Feel The Beet!

Confess it, don’t you love getting free samples?  Well, I most certainly do, especially when they are the latest and greatest in the health food industry.  Last weekend, the Canadian Health Food Association Trade Show took place in Vancouver.  I sampled all sorts of delights from chaga mushroom tea, brown rice kale chips to a salted caramel, cashew milk frozen dessert.  Besides trying great food, there were talks given by doctors and health experts.

One of the speakers was Kathy Smart who is a registered nutritionist, holistic chef, named Canada’s health activist, and she was even a guest on Dr. Oz.  Kathy had clients who wanted to slim down, so she tested a theory on them which she claims worked time and time again.  Her theory is that a plant-based protein works better for apple-shaped women and meat based protein is best for pear-shaped women. Whether you’re wanting to trim down or not, here is a tip about how much protein to eat.  Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half, then this is the number in grams that you should be eating a day.  So let’s say you weigh 140 lbs., then you should be eating 70 grams of protein per day.

Kathy Smart also talked about her list of top healthy foods.  Can you guess which vegetable she thinks should be crowned vegetable of 2015?  BEETS!  This superfood is a powerhouse of nutrients with some not readily found in other vegetables/fruits.  As an example, beets have a high concentration of betalains (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying).  They also contain vitamin C, magnesium, iron, folate, manganese, nitrate and potassium.  This purple vegetable offers a huge range health benefits including: warding off cancer, supporting the digestive tract, boosting the immune system and energy, lowering blood pressure, helping arthritic pain, preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia.  In China when women are menstruating they eat a lot of beets to replenish their iron levels. Don’t throw out the beet greens (tops of the beets), as they have a good dose of lutein, an antioxidant that supports eye health. I cook them like I would spinach or swiss chard.  So, if you didn’t believe in the benefits of beets before, then it’s time to embrace and feel the beet!

Roasted Beets and Kale Salad Kake2Kale.com

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Is Paleo for You?

What do you picture when you hear the word Paleo?  Half clad hairy ape-like people where the men carry big clubs (not for golf) chasing down wild beasts as the women huddle around a fire, while skinning the wild beasts that the men have clubbed to death.  Or do you picture healthy, shiny-faced lean people munching on a plate of veggies with a side of meat.  If the first image is what you see, then you are definitely behind the times and need to catch up.

The word Paleo is gaining popularity like “yoga” once did.  There’s the Paleo lifestyle, Paleo diet, and Paleo workout.  I’ve been hearing of the Paleo diet for a couple of years now, and especially the testaments of weight loss and improved health.  One would think that meat would be a large component of the Paleo diet.  But meat actually comprises only a small percentage of the diet, and the balance is made up of fruits and vegetables.  That’s about all I know about this trend, so when {Kale} recently met a follower of the Paleo lifestyle we wanted to find out more and organized an interview with her for our blog.

Paleo Diet 5 kake2kale

Natalie Cishecki calls herself ‘The Peaceful Paleo’ and I wanted to know why she chose that name.  It started off as an acronym taught by a high school teacher. According to Natalie: “P.E.A.C.E — People Educating Accepting and Celebrating Everyone. This is what I wanted my website to be: A place for people to come together, share their experiences, and build a community of support. Thus, The Peaceful Paleo was born.”

I was curious to know how she adopted the Paleo diet.  “Originally, I had adopted a Gluten-Free diet as a result of some digestive issues I was having, however, the symptoms seemed to persist, and in some cases, worsen. From there, I cut out dairy and refined sugars (gradually) and started to feel a bit better, but still not 100%. After being diagnosed with MS a friend of mine recommended a book called ‘The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal your Body’ by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. I began reading and decided that this diet made sense, not just because of being autoimmune but because it is based in science and history, not just the latest fad.”

Though her health has improved drastically since she has been on the Paleo diet, Natalie is still finding out which foods work better for her and which not, so it’s never really cut and dried.  As Natalie says, ” I am working on making the switch to Autoimmune Protocol or AIP (‘Paleo Approach’) which is a little stricter than a conventional Paleo diet, and I am taking it one step and one day at a time.”

Since our focus at kake2kale is on superfoods I asked how she incorporates them. The focus of the Paleo diet is on eating nutrient-rich foods that are not pro-inflammatory. Consequently, the diet is focused on eating unrefined, whole foods. As a result, there are many superfoods that fit into a Paleo diet, especially fruits, vegetables, proteins (minus Eggs for AIP), herbs & spices, nuts and Seeds; however in very limited quantities (except for AIP which avoids these foods). The main difference is that Paleo eliminates all grains and starches because they have similar scientific effects on the body as gluten does, being highly pro-inflammatory and contributing to leaky gutThis is all explained very thoroughly and comprehensively in the book, The Paleo Approach.”

I also asked Natalie about her favourite superfoods and how she likes to prepare them.  “My top 3 superfoods would have to be avocado, coconut (in all its wonderful forms) and beets. The main reason for this is that they are incredibly diverse! I bake a lot and definitely have a sweet tooth (partially because I am still an infant in the broad spectrum of those living the Paleo lifestyle), so being able to incorporate these delicious superfoods into my baking is not just delicious but also nutritious! Additionally, I cannot eat bananas so avocados are my main potassium source and a great source for fats to sustain me through the day. I eat avocado with everything. It is my favourite burger topping, I eat it plain sometimes, or use it as an egg substitute BUT my favourite thing to do with it is to add it to a salad. I often eat it for breakfast like this: 1/2 avocado cubed; 1 apple cubed; 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, and some sort of fruity vinaigrette + whatever protein I am eating for breakfast. As for coconut, I use coconut flour mainly in all of my baking, and if I am having a protein shake, I mix it with coconut water. I love shredded coconut, especially in my Chewy Paleo granola bars.  I add beets to my Red Velvet Cake or I love to cut them thin, BBQ them and add them to my lettuce-wrapped burger as beet chips — delicious!

Natalie’s favourite dish is soup and bacon, which she sometimes has for breakfast.Last night’s leftovers are completely suitable at 6am the next morning, and if I want protein-pancakes for breakfast with bacon, then I do it!”  I love that there are no ‘should have’ in terms of breakfast, lunch and dinner, because earlier this week I had leftover pasta topped off with a fried egg for breakfast.” 

One of the main goals for eating Paleo is that it eliminates pro-inflammatory foods and yet red meat is known to be inflammatory, so I asked Natalie about this and she said grass fed beef actually does not promote inflammation and suggested I do some research into this.  You can read more about this topic here.  Thanks Natalie for opening my eyes and my stomach!

I wondered what her challenges are when eating at restaurants.   “Variety.  There are not many places I can go to eat ‘safely’ (meaning Paleo-friendly) that also have a decent selection for me to choose from (more than 2-3 options).  However, I have focused on finding restaurants that are willing to adapt.  Anywhere that is not a chain, or some of the higher end chains (like the Keg) tend to be very understanding and accommodating in my experience.  When in doubt, I just order a steak and veggies.

For my kake2kale recipes, I asked Natalie which are Paleo-friendly?  Her reply was that Kale Pesto with Potato and Egg would be acceptable if only sweet potatoes were used.  For the Cauliflower Steak, it would be Paleo if nutritional yeast and sherry were left out.  And, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups would be Paleo if almond butter replaced peanut butter.  Lastly, the 5-minute Chocolate Mousse is Paleo as is.

Finally, I asked what is the top advice she has for someone interested in adopting the Paleo diet. “I can only speak for myself and from my own experience, but I definitely needed to do things gradually, otherwise I would have been very overwhelmed.  I started with (cutting out) gluten, then dairy and sugar, grains and starches, and then legume.”

Will I become Paleo?  Well I don’t adhere to any one particular way of eating, but if I were to have health challenges, I would definitely give Paleo a good go, especially after meeting Natalie and hearing her story.

We asked Natalie to share a Paleo-superfood recipe.  Below is her Maple Smoked Sesame Crusted Salmon with Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Kale Slaw which serves 5-6 people.   It is superfood-friendly, scrumptious, and is definitely worth making!

Paleo Diet 2 kake2kale

Pumpkin-Spice Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 Cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • ½ TSP each Cinnamon, Ginger, & Cayenne
  • ¼ TSP Nutmeg
  • 1/8 TSP Cloves & All Spice
  • 2 TBSP Maple Syrup or Honey
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  •     Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  •     Mix together Maple Syrup or Honey with the spices.
  •     Add in Pumpkin Seeds and stir until seeds are evenly coated.
  •     Spread Pumpkin Seeds in a single layer on the parchment paper.
  •     Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  •     Remove from oven, stir, and let cool entirely.

Paleo Diet 3 kake2kale

Paleo Pumpkin-Spiced Kale-Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 Bundle Green Kale
  • 2 Medium Beets, Peeled & Shredded
  • 2-3 Large Carrots, Peeled & Shredded
  • 1 – ½ C Medjool Dates
  • 1 batch Pumpkin-Spice Candied Pumpkin Seeds *see above*
  • 1 batch Sesame & Apple Cider Vinaigrette *see below*

Directions

  • Wash and dry Kale thoroughly.
  • Cut Kale across the leaf in ½ inch-thick strips. Stop when the base of the leaf meets the stalk and discard the remaining stalk or save it for soup broth.
  • Place in a bowl.
  • Peel and shred beets and carrots and add to the bowl of Kale. Toss until all ingredients are thoroughly coated with the Sesame & Apple Cider Vinaigrette (below) and allow to sit in the fridge for a minimum 1 hour or up to overnight. The acid from the Apple Cider Vinegar will break down the starches of the beets making them softer to bite into.
  • Cut the dates lengthwise and remove the pit. The date will fold open like a butterfly. Cut down the middle, so the date is split into two, lengthwise halves. Then cut these halves lengthwise once more. You will have four strips. Cut these strips horizontally so that each yields 3-4 pieces. Do this with all the dates. (Of course you can chop the dates however you want, this is just how I do them to yield the size shown in the photograph).
  • When ready to serve, add the dates and the Pumpkin-Spice Candied Pumpkin Seeds to the slaw, toss, and plate. I initially served this slaw as a side for wings at a movie night I hosted, and the next time, I paired it with my Maple-Smoked Sesame-Coated Salmon – Delicious!

Paleo Diet 1 kake2kale

Sesame & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • ½ C EVOO
  • ¼ C + 1 ½ TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP each Sesame Oil & Coconut Aminos
  • Salt to taste

Direction

  •  Mix together EVOO & Apple Cider Vinegar by pouring one into the other slowly and whisking continuously.
  •  Add in Sesame Oil, Coconut Aminos, and Salt to taste. Mix thoroughly.

The dressing is under-seasoned because the spices from the Pumpkin-Spice Candied Pumpkin Seeds will integrate throughout the dish, bringing lots of flavour.

Paleo Diet 4 kake2kale

Paleo Maple-Smoked Sesame-Coated Salmon

Ingredients

  • 5 – 4oz Salmon Fillets
  • ¼ C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ C + 2 TBSP Maple Syrup
  • Liquid Smoke
  • ½ C + 2 TBSP Water
  • 1 C toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Grapeseed Oil

Directions

  • For the marinade, mix together Apple Cider Vinegar, ¼ C Maple Syrup, ½ C Water & 3-4 splashes Liquid Smoke. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  •  Place Salmon Fillets skin-side down in a glass pyrex baking dish or equivalent large enough that they are not overlapping. Pour marinade over Salmon. Cover and place Salmon in the fridge, setting a timer for 30 minutes. Fish is very delicate and will begin to cook if marinated for more than 30 minutes. Additionally, this is as long as it takes for fish to absorb flavour, so any marinating in addition to this is unnecessary.
  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • While Salmon is marinating, mix together 2 TBSP Maple Syrup, a few splashes of Liquid Smoke, and 2 TBSP water in a shallow plate.
  • Cover another place entirely with toasted sesame seeds. If you want to add additional Salt or Pepper, add it to the seeds.
  • Prepare 5 square sheets of aluminum foil by placing them shiny-side up, and putting a small dot of Grapeseed Oil in the centre of each one (~ 1 TBSP).
  • When the fish is done marinating, remove each piece one at a time from the liquid. Dip it flesh-side into the Maple Syrup mixture, and then into the sesame seeds, and lay it in the centre of the foil, skin-side down. Fold the foil to create a small house shape around the fish so that the foil is not touching the sesame seeds. Repeat for all fillets and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to broil and open up the houses. Let the salmon cook an additional 2-5 minutes at this temperature or until the seeds are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy with a generous helping of Paleo Pumpkin-Spiced Kale Slaw.

Paleo Diet 6 kake2kale

Thank you Natalie for sharing your inspiring story, insights about the Paleo diet, and recipe with us!!  You can find her blog at www.ThePeacefulPaleo.com.

Eat healthy, live like you mean it! {Kake}

From the Culinary Trail – Sailing and Savouring the Gulf Islands Part 2

Does kitchen size matter? In Amsterdam (The Netherlands), we lived in a small top floor apartment of a canal house that was built in the 17th century.   My partner and I loved this cozy flat particularly for its location, that is – in the historic center of the city and overlooking one of the grand canals.   It had a lot of nice features, such as a roof deck and a wood-burning fireplace.  But, like so many small flats in the city, our place had a teeny-tiny kitchen. It measured roughly 3 x 4 feet and included a dual burner electric stove, sink, short counter, and mini-fridge.  Only one person could squeeze into the L-shaped space to prep/cook; but we managed to make elaborate and gourmet meals….and, without an oven!  I didn’t miss the baking…after all, I’m the {Kale} in this blog and prefer savoury dishes.

Typical sailboat galleys are no bigger than our old Dutch kitchen. There is a common misconception that the confined galley space limits your cooking to simple or camp-like meals.  Not at all.  In my view, the quality of our culinary creations has never been affected by the size of the kitchen or galley.  Even though I am pretty creative with menu planning and provisioning for our sailing trips, I am always interested in cookbooks that focus on galley-friendly options.  I recently discovered a cookbook that is fantastic and worthy of sharing with our blog circle.  It’s a fairly new cookbook from Vancouver Island called “Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley“.  This cookbook has received rave reviews and won ‘Best Fish + Seafood Cookbook in Canada’ and ‘Third Best Fish + Seafood Cookbook in the World’ by Gourmand International.   During our Gulf Islands sailing trip on the Amritha Catamaran, we had the pleasure of meeting two of the cookbook’s authors.  We were sailing with a friend from a yachting magazine and because he was preparing an article about the cookbook and interviewing the authors, our group was able to experience a unique dinner prepared by the authors and based on the cookbook’s recipes.  This part 2 of 2 posts is my recap of our spectacular culinary evening and includes a recipe of a dish that we sampled from the cookbook.
sea salt cook book - kake2kale
The mother-daughters collaboration behind this successful cookbook is made up of Lorna, Hilary and Alison Malone.  They are a family of sailors and reside in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.  Alison, an accomplished lifestyle writer and editor, is one of the daughters but was not available to join us. We met Lorna, the mom and avid racer, and the other daughter, Hilary, a chef and an expert food styler.  Both are incredibly down to earth and their passion for their project and the local food/wine scene shows when you meet them.

The award-winning Sea Salt cookbook is a collection of over one hundred sea worthy recipes which are fast and delicious, whether aboard in the galley or at home on land.  I love that the eight chapters are logically organized by the time frame of a sailing trip.  My favorite chapters include: i) Chapter one (Breakaway) highlights recipes with fresh ingredients on the first nights, ii) Chapter five (Entertaining: On the Dock and Rafting Up) showcases recipes for appetizers, dinners and desserts that are ideal for sharing, and iii) Chapter six (North) features recipes of food with a longer shelf life that can be used near the end of a trip.  There is a lot more to enjoy from their cookbook, from stocking and provisioning tips, suggestions about markets to the stunning food photography by Christina Symons.  But, what stands out is that the recipes are inspired by the freshest local flavours of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Products from twenty artisan producers of food, beer and wine are featured and stories of the producers are included with various recipes. Our 4-course Sea Salt dinner comprised of:

Balsamic Beets and Goat’s Cheese Crostini with beets from a Nanaimo farmers market, chive flowers from the Malone garden, goat cheese from the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, and red fife sourdough bread from Bodhi’s Artisan Bakery
sea salt cook book 2 - kake2kale
Seared Qualicum Beach Scallops with Sweetcorn-Basil Purée and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Qualicum Beach scallops from Island Scallops Ltd.
sea salt cook book 3 - kake2kale
sea salt cook book 4 - kake2kale
Pacific Cioppino
with mussels from Island Sea Farms on Salt Spring Island and sea salt that is hand-harvested and natural from Vancouver Island Salt Co.
sea salt cook book 5 - kake2kale
Cranberry and Hazelnut Coffee Cake
with hazelnuts from Foote’s Hazelnut Farm
sea salt cook book 6 - kake2kale

Four wines, handpicked by Lorna, accompanied this amazing meal.  My favourites were the Averill Creek’s Cowichan Black and Joie Farms 2011 Pinot Noir.

There were so many superfoods in our Sea Salt dinner.  Scallops, clams, mussels, salmon, prawns, beets, tomatoes, hazelnuts and cranberries were just a few of them. Go to our list of favourite superfoods to see the nutritional benefits.

I highly recommend the Sea Salt cookbook, whether you’re a sailor or not, and regardless if you cook in a small or large kitchen.   I wish the Malones continued success with their cookbook and I look forward to trying all of their recipes!  Thank you to Lorna and Hilary for an unforgettable culinary experience.

The Seared Qualicum Beach Scallops with Sweetcorn-Basil Purée and Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe and cookbook cover photo are courtesy of Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley by Alison Malone Eathorne, Hilary Malone and Lorna Malone, with photographs by Christina Symons, Harbour Publishing, 2013, www.harbourpublishing.com

Travel Far, Explore More! – {Kale}

From the Culinary Trail – Sailing & Savouring the Gulf Islands Part 1

As a kid, my friends found it amusing that I wanted to sail yachts when we lived in a landlocked Canadian province.  I’m not sure how or when I got the sailing bug but I started with sailing lessons on Laser class sailboats at our small reservoir.   Back then, I must have been really brave or stupid because I also didn’t know how to swim.  I was terrified of going into the water and avoided the exercise of flipping the boat.   My fear of water is probably what drove me to like larger sailboats – to stay as high off the water as possible!  After years of travelling far for ocean sailing, I now live on the coast with easy access to cruising, and I am a better swimmer.

Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands Sailing kake2kaleSailing continues to be one of my favourite activities.  I feel lucky to live on one of the most spectacular coastlines in North America and one of the top cruising areas in the world.  There is an abundance of cruising destinations to enjoy and one of my top picks is the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, a beautiful archipelago located between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, comprising of 13 major and 450 smaller islands.  On a recent sailing trip through these islands, I took more time to explore the flourishing local food and wine scene, which I’m happy to share with you over two blog posts.  This is part 1 of 2 posts and captures our visit to the charming Saturna Island Winery.

Amritha Catamaran
Amritha kake2kale
Our group of six set sail in the Gulf Islands on a gorgeous Lagoon 400 catamaran named Amritha.  If you’re interested, she’s available for sailing charters – click here for more information about this catamaran, BC sailing and catamaran sailing.

Saturna Island Vineyards
Saturna Winery kake2kale
Each of the major islands has their own unique personality and special spots.  I’ve been to all of them, except Saturna Island.  The key attraction of this Island, and the main reason we wanted to go, is the Saturna Island Family Estate Winery which is one of ten wineries in the Gulf Islands and the largest with an annual production of 20,000 cases of wine.  If I’m not mistaken, it is the only island winery that has their own beach access, with an easy 15 minute walk to the vineyard.  We’ve tried several times to get there but one thing or another stopped us.  On the morning of our planned visit, there was an electrical issue on the boat and we almost didn’t make it.  I was beginning to think that the universe didn’t want us to go to Saturna Island!  Luckily, the problem got fixed. We sailed into and docked at Saturna Beach for a visit.   The uniquely hand-crafted barn (post and dowel frame with no steel nails) with their tasting room, wine shop and bistro is in a lovely spot, surrounded by vineyards and ocean views.   Forty acres of the property is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Merlot grapes. We sampled seven wines, all made on property from grapes grown on the island and from growers in the Okanagan.  The wines, which include a rose and port, are pleasant and good value compared to other BC wines.   The 2011 Riesling ($14.90) is fantastic and is my new favourite BC Riesling! We also sampled the food at the bistro.  The chef, Agi, is a locavore who strives to feature products grown or produced on the islands. I sampled her roasted beet salad, which was delicious.  Whether you’re sailing or visiting the Gulf Islands by ferry, I highly recommend a visit to this delightful and special island winery.  The owners, Larry and Robyn, and their team are amazing and look forward to welcoming all visitors.

Superfoods on this Visit
beets and wine kake2kale

Wine: Consumed in moderation, wine is considered one of the top 10 superfoods! Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that is thought to help fight cancer, prevent blood clots, lowers the risk of diabetes and hinders fat storage.  While white wine contains less resveratrols,  it has two antioxidants that are not found in red wine – tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, which are in olive oil and considered good for the heart.

Beets:  Beets have a range of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.  Beets are low in calories, zero cholesterol, known to lower blood pressure, and is packed with potassium, fiber, folate and vitamins A, B,C, B9. Red beets and Golden Beets have similar nutritional value but differ in pigment.  Red beets have betalains that help prevent cancer and degenerative diseases.  Golden beets, rich in b-xanthin, are thought to be good for the heart and helps cleanse the body. Best of all, golden beets do not stain your hands when you’re working with them!

Travel Far, Explore More! – {Kale}

The Iron Dinner Party

Most people probably decide on a dinner party menu by selecting dishes that they’re comfortable making or would be crowd-pleasingly practical.  It is less likely that social dinners are designed solely around one health benefit; however, that is what we did. When several family members developed significant iron deficiencies, we thought it would be helpful and fun to focus on iron-rich foods at family gatherings.  In the most recent dinner party, we kicked into iron chef mode with our best feast yet. Our iron-powerhouse meal included:

Baked Kale Chips – Kale has loads of calcium and vitamin K.
Liverwurst with rice crackers – Pork liver is a good source of vitamin A, D, B and C but also zinc.
Panko-Crusted Fried Oysters – Oysters are high in zinc, good for immunity, protein and Omega 3’s.
Steamed Mussels with gluten-free beer – Mussels are high in minerals.
Marinated Octopus – High in selenium, an antioxidant and vitamin B12 good for energy.
Grilled Asparagus with Spinach salad – Asparagus is high in B vitamins, good for nervous system. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K and Omega 3.
Baked Yam Fries – High in antioxidants like beta carotene, great for eyes.
Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle – Beets and spelt flour adds iron to this dessert.

All deliciously healthy but easy and fun to make! We’ve included Kake’s dessert recipe and Kale’s directions for preparing the oysters and octopus.  Enjoy! {Kake} & {Kale}

iron dinner 1

Panko Crusted Oysters serves 4-6 as an appetizer

Directions:

  • Rinse raw oysters (18-20 medium size) and drain on paper towel.
  • Coat each oyster with flour then dip in egg mixture (1-2 beaten) followed by a dip in panko (Japanese style bread crumbs). Make sure the oyster is fully covered.
  • Pan fry the oysters in hot oil until they are golden brown and cooked through.  Lay on paper towel to drain oil.

Marinated Octopus serves 4-6 as an appetizer

Directions:

  • Simmer fresh Octopus (2 lbs) in hot water for about 40 minutes until tender (pinch with fork).
  • Let cool a bit and lay tentacles over an upside down bowl or hang them over the ridge of a bowl.
  • Place in fridge for 2 hours.
  • Cut octopus into slices.  Make a marinade by mixing pressed garlic with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon (approximate amounts by taste).
  • Toss octopus in marinade and add cut parsley. Place in fridge for another 30 minutes prior to serving.

iron dinner 2

Grilled Asparagus with Spinach Salad & Baked Yam Fries

iron dinner 4

Kale Chips & Steamed Mussels

iron dinner 3

Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle Serves 10

  • 1 1/4 cups light spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 398 ml can beets drained
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  •  2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 T. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 T. Chocolate syrup
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Puree the beets.
  • With an electric mixer beat the sugar with the oil in a medium sized bowl for 2 minutes, then add the egg and vanilla.  Then add the beets.
  • Gradually beat in 1/3 dry ingredients, till just blended. (Don’t over do it, or cake will be tough)  Then 1/2 of buttermilk, keep alternating and end with dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into pan till 3/4 full, if you have more batter, make cupcakes.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted in the center, if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs it is ready.
  • While cake is cooling whip the cream until it is partly whipped, then add the Bailey’s and chocolate syrup. Continue to beat until cream is fully whipped. (Coconut cream may be substituted, just make sure the beaters and the coconut cream is chilled prior to whipping.  Buttermilk has very low lactose so if coconut cream is used, this dessert is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.)
  • Once cake is completely cooled, cut into squares and place half of the cake chunks in a serving bowl (a glass one is pretty) dollop half of the cream over top, and repeat, then sprinkle the raspberries over the top.  Chill for a couple of hours, then serve to oohs and ahhs!!

You don’t even have to let on that this dessert is nutritious, I even had some for breakfast the next day and did not feel the slightest guilt, now that’s having your cake and eating it too!  {Kake}