Toronto Food Stylist Diane Beard - Creating a Delicious Image

Seafood Chowder – Nova Scotia Style
 
Note I use all organic ingredients and the fish varies each time I make it.
 
In a 15 qt pot:
 Melt: ½ pound unsalted butter
Sauté gently until sweated:
2 large onions – chopped fine
6 large carrots – chopped fine
6 celery sticks  - chopped fine
 
Remove from burner and add flour sufficient to absorb the butter, mixing quickly to prevent lumps.
Gradually start to add the milk mixing in well so there are no lumps and return to element to add the remainder of the whole milk (and whipping cream if desired)
Note: sauté the seafood in another pot/pan and combine later.  Details below for shrimp
 
Add Potatoes (6-10 depending on size)
2 Bay leaves
¼ finely chopped chili pepper if desired or a ½ tsp cayenne pepper – your choice
½ tps paprika (smoked if you like)
1 tsp dill
 
If using shrimp, purchase raw with easy peel shells.  The shells give so much flavour.  Sauté the shrimp shells separately in 1/4 of the butter and be careful not to burn the butter.  Pour that butter into the chowder because it’s full of seafood flavour. Do this step with any shellfish you use to enhance the flavour of your chowder.
Choose any seafood to sauté (any combination of the below):
shrimp
haddock
scallops
salmon
lobster
 muscles  (not clams – save them for clam chowder)
 
Wait to salt and pepper until the flavours are warm and incorporated into the milk
Use fresh ground pepper and ONLY Himalayan sea salt
 White wine – ½ - 1 cup if desired, depending on preferences (some prefer no wine)
Now the secret ingredient….Nova Scotia Dulse!  It dissipates throughout the chowder and looks like pepper.  I like to add probably ½ cup to this size recipe.  It gives the chowder a huge seafood flavour without needing fish stock.
 

Next add Thyme and chopped parsley in the last 10 minutes.  Simmer gently (no boiling) for another 30 minutes then serve with some butter T-Biscuits.  

Seed Crackers - No Grains - Raw Live Food
 
Soak ¾ cup of flax seeds (use dark and golden if desired) in cup and add structured water to 1.5 cups and wait for it to absorb.
Cooked quinoa (in the quinoa is spring onion and 3-4 small or 2 large cloves of garlic (NOTE: I like to make extra quinoa for eating with my salads, but use ½ cup in the crackers)
 
In the food processor..while you are waiting….add:
 
1/8 to ¼ cup chopped red pepper (sweetness)
Sprinkle of nutritional yeast
1/8 cup approx. Onions chopped or spring onions chopped
Himalayan sea salt
 
Seeds:
½  cup chia seeds (soaked)
½ cup Sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup hemp seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3-4 small garlic cloves or 2 large (or more if desired)
 
½ Cup of the cooked quinoa
 
Sprouted buckwheat or buckwheat flakes if desired – ¼ cup (I do not add this)
 
Spices:
I mix it up and use various combinations of – just to change up the flavours:
Smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil or chives
 
Once the quinoa is cooked and the flax seeds have absorbed all the water. ….Everything goes into the food processor.  Mix until it comes together well. It should be quite moist.
 
Put a “lump” of the mixture on a sheet on your dehydrator shelf and put a sheet of parchment paper on top.  Using a rolling pin cover evenly over the sheet, lifting to grab overflow and place where scarcer.  Try to make even edges and make thin.  Cut into crackers.  Repeat until all your shelves are full.
 
Dehydrate at 95 degrees until done (depends on dehydrator). Mine is an Excalibur and it takes about 12-15 hours.  They MUST be crispy and curled up slightly to be done.  I store in a sealed glass or non-plastic container. 

Kale Chips
 
Sauce:
 
In a blender…..add…
 
1            cup raw organic cashews
¼           cup of chopped sweet onion
2/3        cup filtered water
2            TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
3            TBSP unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
2            TBSP nurtritional flakes (yeast)
1             tsp pink salt         
 
 
Blend until smooth.  If you want  a real cheesy, cheddar taste add about ½ a red pepper to the mix.  This is my personal preference
 
 
Rip washed kale into chip sized pieces and put in a big bowl.  Pour over the kale and using two spatulas mix until all kale is thoroughly covered.    This mixture covers about 4 bunches of kale.
 
Spread out on a hydrator which has either silicon sheets or parchment paper.  Do not exceed 115 degrees (so oven is not possible). 
 

Keep moving the trays as you would with any other dehydrating project.  
 
Asiago-Parmesan-Artichoke Dip for bread
 
 
Parmesan cheese grated
Asiago cheese – more than parmesan and grated much larger
2-3 cloves garlic (large)
Oregano, thyme, rosemary and cilantro – fresh and chopped – be generous
Artichoke hearts (about 3)
Salt & Pepper
Chili peppers
All enough to make about 1.5 cups then float in a very good EVOO to cover by about ¼ inch
 
Refrigerate overnight before use to let the flavors blend the remove from fridge about 30-60 minutes before serving……I would use a spoon in a ramekin on the bread board with a nice freshly baked gluten well seeded bread.

 

Quiche with Gluten-Free Almond Crust
First – The Crust:
Ingredients
Gluten-free almond crust
  • 1.5-2   2 cups almond flour either made in Vitamix or purchased but ground unbleached with skin
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup EVOO oil (depending on size of quiche pan)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon water

Instructions
1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a quiche pan with EVOO. In a bowl, press together  the almond flour (made with almond skins on), garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and water and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
2.     Press the mixture your oiled quiche pan until it is evenly pressed into the bottom and up the sides sufficient to enclose the filling you intend.  Bake until the crust is lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Filling (thanks Tais)
1.     In the bottom of the quiche dish add your favourite quiche filling.  If using broccoli, ensure it is             small pieces and if you use organic nitrate free bacon, ensure it is partially pre-cooked to reduce           fat.  The important part is the grated gruyere cheese because you want to be generous with the             cheese.  The filling should be generous but not heaping above where you will fill you quiche.
2.     Mix 2 organic eggs with 500 ml of Organic whipping cream.  Add Salt & Pepper
3.     Pour the well mixed liquid over without overfilling.
4.     Bake until jiggle set and a nice golden top at 375 degrees (about 30 minutes)
 
 
 Sesame Seed Salad Dressing (all organic ingredients) 

 Flax Seed Oil 
 Hemp Oil 
 Brown rice oil 
 Sesame oil (very little)
 Tamari  (or similar organic product with soya sauce taste) Aminos (organic is excellent)
Apple cider vinegar 
coconut vinegar 
2 full droppers of Better Sevia by NOW vitamins or Liquid coconut sugar 
Toasted sesame seeds 
Garlic, about two cloves 
Grated Ginger  
Xanthan  - a few sprinkles if you like it thicker

Balance the vinegar and oils to be 50/50, add the balance in a good dressing shaker and shake to blend and thicken with the Xanthan.  Yummy!

Spinach Salad Dressing - Honey Mustard
In a bullet (because it is best to do small amount)
Mix 2 cloves garlic
2 TBSP honey
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
squirt of dijon mustard
squirt of regular mustard (organic please)
will thicken as the cold press olive oil semi solidifies in the fridge..if it does not, change olive oil brands because it is not pure olive oil.  

Fennell Chicken 
Cut partially frozen chicken breast making a large pocket cutting from the center breast bone position and keep the curves outside intact.  Push open only enough to stuff.  The open side will remain up.   

Stuff with baby kale leaves and follow with: 
4 cubes of cheddar cheese 
4 small dollops of blue cheese 
Grated garlic 
Crushed fennel seeds 
Chopped rosemary 
S&P 
Small amount of bacon chopped 
Sprinkle of chili peppers 

Then stuff in more kale Drizzle with olive oil…all over the chicken and kale then top with 
Garlic 
Panko bread crumbs ( just to cover) 
More crushed Fennell seeds 
Grated parmesan - generous 
Crushed pistachios (about 5) 
Drizzle again with EVOO 
Dried cranberries, chopped (4-5) 

Use a thermometer for best chicken 160F


Mole Poblano  

This Mole sauce can be partially prepared (the dry ingredients ground and bagged) ahead of time and then completed closer to when it is required for a meal.  This recipe is broken into those sections.    First roast an organic chicken, remove the meat and roast the bones in the oven for 20-40 minutes until they are visibly darker.  Cover with water (about 8-10 cups), add what you would typically to make a chicken stock (carrots, celery, onion, etc.) to bring out the flavor.  Simmer for 2-3 hours.  If you are not continuing to make the mole, freeze it until you are ready (remove bones and vegetables).   Part 1: With each of these ingredients – individually not together – the process is the same: Place in a dry pan over heat and with constant motion to flip them, preventing burning, roast until very fragrant and well roasted.  When done put in a food processor (or bullet) and blend to fine, but not a paste.  

These ingredients are:
100 grams of each of: 
Peeled peanuts 
Peeled pecans 
Pumpkin seeds 
Sesame seeds 
Unpeeled almonds     
Once each is roasted and ground separately they may be combined.   These peppers are all handles in the same manner: You will require 3-5 of each of these peppers.  While wearing rubber gloves or oiled hands, remove the seeds and stems, retaining only the skin.  Roast them like the nuts, then put in the food processor until fine, but  not a paste.  You can add these to the nuts. Chilli Pasilla Chilli Hujillo Chilli Mulato Chilli Ancho The final ingredients in the dry mixture which may be made in advance is Mexican cinnamon sticks.  These are also roasted, breaking them up as they heat through.  These differ from Canadian or American so it is better to pick them up at Marsan as well before you leave Sunset Fisherman.   

Part 2: In readiness to begin, caramelize plantain in butter or pork butter 300g. or 3-4 plantain When you are ready to make your mole sauce,  in a large pan….. Put 250 g pork butter (lard will do but not nearly as tasty) and add One very large onion to caramelize (400 g) After several minutes add 200g garlic or 3-4 large followed by 100g green tomatoes 250 g red tomatoes (roma are best) Raisins – 100g or 1 cup Cook down adding chicken stock gradually to keep moist   

Part 3: Add several more cups of the chicken stock then add your bag of ground nuts and peppers together with: 
1 large star anise 
3-5 sprigs of fresh thyme 
5 whole cloves (use a mortal and pestle if you have one for the Star Anise and cloves) 
2 disks of Mexican Chocolate (available in Mexican grocery stores) 
Sugar 150g preferably coconut sugar (optional)   
Black pepper to taste Salt to taste   

You can continue to add chicken stock if you wish to thin out then use Ground Marias (cookies similar to our arrowroot cookie) . You may wish to simply add chicken stock to desired consistency.   Cook slowly over low heat and let the flavors meld together. Taste test   When cooled sufficient blend until almost smooth in a food processor (takes quite a while) in batches.  It does freeze quite well and this recipe makes enough for about 24 people.   Toast sesame seeds and sprinkle over the chicken mole when serving.  Chicken can be cooked any way you like.   You can roll chicken in foil and boils it.  You can also pound a chicken breast, roll it and roast it in the oven or simply use a chicken breast, roasted.                

Some other chilies used in Mole may be: Chilli Pasilla Chilli Guajillos Chilli Mulato Chilli Ancho Chilli Pasilla, Chilli Hujillo, Chilli Mulato, Chilli Ancho   but chipotle are seldom used because of the heat.



Seed Cookies (and gluten free version)

This is my very special recipe.  This cookie will promote healthy colon and bowel activity

INGREDIENTS ·     
 .     1 cup organic coconut oil (gives a coconut taste, healthy alternative to butter)    
.      1 cup organic coconut palm sugar (bulk barn carries it and it does not spike insulin) 
 ·     3 eggs organic (or egg substitutes for vegan recipe such as flax seed/water)
 ·     2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract 
 ·     1 1/4 cups organic brown rice or quinoa flour
 ·     1 tsp Xanthan Gum (essential because they are gluten free) 
 ·     1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
 ·     3 -4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
 ·     1 tsp allspice 
 ·     ½ -1  teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg (half a nutmeg or more if desired) 
 ·     1 teaspoon Himalayan Sea salt 
 ·     1 cup organic quick cooking oats or steel cut oats (which may require pre-grinding)
 ·     1 cup organic oat bran
 .     1 cup buckwheat flakes 
(for completely gluten free make the 3 cup combo, buckwheat, and quinoa flakes)
 ·     1 or 1.5 cups organic raisins (so they are not pesticide pellets) 
 ·     1/4  to ½ cup pecans and/or walnut blend if you prefer 
 ·     ½ cup gogi berries if desired (optional) 
 ·     1 -  1.5 cups Chocolate chips (your preference, President’s choice work best) 
 ·     Four cups of seeds -  Listed in the order of greatest quantity, roughly: 
 ·         Flax seeds (organic ground fresh or whole) 
 ·         Hemp seeds 
 ·         Alfalfa seeds ( Organic) 
 ·         Chia seeds ( Organic) 
 ·         Pumpkin seeds (organic) 
 ·         Sunflower seeds ( Organic) 
 ·         Golden sesame seeds ( Organic) grind 
 ·         Milk thistle seeds ( Organic)  lesser amount than other seeds and grinding recommended

  DIRECTIONS 
  1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 
  2.  In a large bowl, cream together melted butter, and palm sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 
  3.  Combine the (everything else in one bowl) flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon,  oats, seeds and nuts, etc. until VERY WELL blended and the Xanthan is distributed evenly throughout. 
  4. Using an electric stand mixer is best.  Gradually add the dry ingredients, until completely mixed 
  5.  Using a ¼ cup measure, packed tight, plop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Wearing rubber gloves helps with the sticking of the batter to your hands. Press hard into the measuring cup….oil inside of cup if batter begins to stick. bang them out onto the cooking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 22-24 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies on a wire rack.  They Freeze well


Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancake Recipe
 
Once you try these pancakes you may never go back to regular ones
makes 7-8 small pancakes – enough for two adults   
Additionally you can make 3 cups of the dry ingredients and one cup of the dry (freeze the rest because of the ground flax which must be kept frozen) and it makes three thick pancakes suitable for 3 adults

  •  1/2 cup     buckwheat flakes 
  •  1/4 cup         quinoa flour 
  •  1 TBSP.     baking powder 
  •  1/8-¼ tsp Xanthan 
  •  Cinnamon to taste (1/2 tsp maybe) 
  •  pinch        sea salt 
  •  ¼ Cup       Flax Seeds   Top before serving with ¼ cup of fresh ground flax seeds (and put half into the batter)   
  •  1 egg 
  •  1 tBSP      maple syrup into the batter 
  •  ½ tsp        vanilla 
  •  Almond milk or coconut milk  (add last so you can guess) 
  •  2 TBSP      butter, plus more butter for cooking   
  • Blueberries make an awesome addition to these pancakes 


In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well for the egg and almond milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is well mixed and a pancake consistency.   Melt the butter in the pans you will be using for the pancakes.  Heat the pans until butter is bubbling and drop in spoonfuls of the mixture.  Flip when surface starts to look a little dull.  Pancakes will be thick, smooth out but not too thin.


These pancakes are very nutty and flavorful….they may be your new favorite!


John Gray’s Duck Recipe or my take on it   

This is my formulation based on taste.  I always order this at John Gray's restaurant in Playa del Carman, Mexico and it is a well known hit.

First the duck…. 
  •  Heavily salt & pepper the duck, with lots of salt on the fat side.  
  • Put in a DRY pan, fat down…COLD pan.  
  • Then turn on the heat, medium low, to render the fat from the duck.  
  • Cook 5-6 minutes with fat side down, then pour off some of the fat (retain it for other cooking another time – great for potatoes I understand) and flip the breast.  
  • Cook 3-5 minutes on second side, then drain fat again, and put the pan (SAME pan) into the oven on 390 degrees for 6-8 minutes FAT side DOWN.    
  •  Take it out and let it rest fat side down for a bit, then turn over and thickly slice.  
  • Before you do, assess the crispiness of the fat and if it looks just too fatty still, cut it off, but if the fat rendered and it’s really crispy, then leave it on.  Cut with FAT SIDE UP.   
  •  To serve, place green beans or asparagus on a plate and top with mashed sweet potato, then place the slices of duck, standing, along the sweet potato.      
 
On top pour your sauce:    
 Chipotle & Tequilla Sauce    
  •  About 3-4 TBSP honey Chipotle sauce (or canned chipotle blended or work with fresh chipotle peppers and remove ) and tequila to taste.  I like lots of both. 
  •  Splash of lime juice is nice   It’s hot but it’s sooo good.   

I initially thought the sauce might need something else to make it work, but wanted to do a taste test with the duck and determine if I liked it or not, and there is no point in changing anything..it’s wonderful with the duck.      

Gluten Free English Muffins
  3 cups flour (organic quinoa, brown rice, or mix them)
   1/4 cup organic flax seeds (half ground, half whole)   
1/4 cup whole organic chia seeds
1/4 cup organic raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup organic raw sunflower seeds
1 TBSP instant yeast
1 tps xanthan
1 tsp organic coconut (palm) sugar
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup organic corn meal (must be organic so that it's not GMO)

Mix together well then add warm water until it forms a ball.  Don't knead because it is the nooks and crannies that make them English Muffins

Add some olive oil (it is easiest to put the oil generously on your hands while you half the ball, and each ball until you have 8 evenly sized pieces.  Form the balls into English Muffins and roll in organic corn meal on all sides.

Cover and wait an hour or so to rise, then using a fry pan with cover, warm the pan for 5 minutes, covered.  Then using your timer cook each side 5 minutes.  If they begin to get dark too soon,turn down the heat.     I generally cook 4 at a time, twice, but that will be relative to pan size.

They keep well in the fridge until you are ready to toast them.  Toasting them on the dark setting will make them nice and crunchy!  Enjoy!     



Coconut Everything Cupcake Recipe (gluten free)

Gluten Free – Dairy Free Ingredients (I found the original base recipe on a gluten free site, then modified it to suit my personal preferences and ingredients)

Cupcakes 
 ¾ cup organic coconut flour
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup organic coconut oil
¾ cup organic coconut sugar (1/2 liquid and ½ granular or all liquid) 5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Mexican works best)
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
¼ cup coconut milk
1 cup small organic coconut flakes 

Frosting
½ cup organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1-1.5 cups organic icing sugar 3 – 4  tablespoon coconut milk
1 cup (or more if required) unsweetened coconut (large flake coconut) 

Directions

Cupcakes 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners or 16-18 mini muffin cups. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt until the coconut flour is no longer lumpy. In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut oil and agave for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts and beat well to combine. Add half of the flour mixture, then the coconut milk and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Beat until combined and not lumpy. With a spatula scrap the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl to ensure all the ingredients are properly combined. Fold in the coconut flakes. Divide the mixture between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.  Note if you use mini cupcakes (16-18) then 20 minutes is fine. 

Frosting 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the coconut oil with the extracts to combine. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and blend after each addition. The mixture may look clumpy, this is ok. Add the coconut milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency – you want it similar to butter cream frosting. Continue to beat for 2 minutes. Frost the cupcakes generously and top with the coconut chips or flakes. I prefer to put a glob of the stiff frosting on top and then invert the cupcake into a bowl of coconut and it then spreads automatically.

It is best to keep the cupcakes in the fridge if not serving immediately but take them out about 10 minutes before serving to take the chill off for best results.




Asparagus Risotto  
1            finely chopped medium onion 
1            clove finely chopped garlic 
1 ½ c      short grain Italian rice 
1 lb         Asparagus & Shrimp too is nice (in addition to the Asparagus if it suits the rest of the meal) 
 2 TBSP   extra virgin olive oil 
4 oz        fresh Brie cheese (g) 
 5C         organic chicken or vegetable stock  (1 liter) 
 ½ C       white wine        (you may find it needs more than 1/2 C)          
Salt & Pepper to taste 
 Small block of parmesan or Romano cheese 

Preparation 

 Discard woody section of asparagus  & cut into 1” pieces and steam for 4 minutes – set aside along with shrimp with tail off Cut Brie into ½” cubes and set aside 

  • Heat oil in heavy bottomed pot over low heat Add onion and sauté gently until transparent 
  • Stir in garlic and sauté for one minute 
  • Add rice and stir for 2 minutes 
  • Add wine slowly, stirring constantly Simmer until fully absorbed  (about 20 minutes) 
  • Add half of the stock (2.5 cups), stirring constantly until full absorbed.  
  • Continue to add stock half a cup at a time, continuing to stir.  It’s handy to have a husband to stand and stir for the hour (in total) it takes! 
  •  Just before stock is fully absorbed, add asparagus pieces and Brie Continue stirring until melted cheese is evenly distributed and stock is fully absorbed 
  • Season with salt & pepper, then let risotto sit uncovered for a few minutes Sprinkle risotto with freshly shaved curls of Parmesan or Romano cheese.




Asiago-Parmesan-Artichoke Dip for bread     

 Parmesan cheese grated 
 Asiago cheese – more than parmesan and grated much larger 
 2-3 cloves garlic (large) 
Oregano, thyme, rosemary and cilantro – fresh and chopped – be generous 
Artichoke hearts (about 3) 
 Salt & Pepper 
 Chili peppers   

All enough to make about 1.5 cups then float in a very good EVOO to cover by about ¼ inch   Refrigerate overnight before use to let the flavors blend the remove from fridge about 30-60 minutes before serving……I would use a spoon in a ramekin on the bread board with a nice freshly baked gluten well seeded bread.


Kale Chips - Using a Dehydrator (so that food remains raw - oven's lowest temperature is generally 170 which is too hot, but acceptable if you don't have a dehydrator)

1 cup raw organic cashews
1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion
2/3 cup filtered water
2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 TBSP unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt (pink salt)

Dehydrate at 115 degrees until dry (my dehydrator only goes to 105 so it takes 12+ hours, but smells amazing while you are waiting).

For a cheesy taste add a small amount of organic red pepper
Don't like Kale?  Doesn't matter these are very very addictive!!!




Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Brownies    
These are the best brownies ever!!! as my granddaughter, Abby says "Ohhh Grandma"

1½ cups chopped pecans
12 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for preparing the pan. ¾ cup or 6 oz
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1¾ cups coconut (palm) sugar
1 tablespoon organic Coconut nectar – liquid coconut sugar (does not spike insulin)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*¾ cup all-purpose gluten free flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt   

Refined Sugar Free Caramel Sauce 
1 ½ cups  Coconut nectar (do not use Agave...it does not have positive health benefits over cane or beet sugar or honey)
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt (if using table salt use ½ the amount)
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter   (3 oz)   

Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Ganache
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons  Coconut nectar
2 tablespoons heavy cream   

Directions ·         
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Butter a 9 by 12 inch baking pan, fit a piece of parchment into the pan and butter the paper in the pan. ·         
  • Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 minutes or until warm and fragrant. Let cool. ·         
  • Place the 12 tablespoons of butter and 4 ounces of chocolate in a pot on the stove until most of the butter and chocolate is melted, 2 – 3 minutes. ·         
  • Stir to combine, stir in the eggs, coconut palm sugar, and 1 tablespoon coconut nectar and mix well. ·         
  • Add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Stir in 1 cup of the pecans. ·          
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. 
  • Bake for 20 – 22 minutes or until the brownies look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean except for a few moist crumbs. Do not over bake. Let cool. ·           

Refined Sugar Free Caramel Sauce
 
  •  While the brownies are baking, make the caramel sauce. 
  • Stir together the coconut nectar, cream, lemon juice and salt in a large saucepan (much larger than you think you will need – the mixture expands a lot while boiling) and bring to a boil. Let boil vigorously for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Take off the heat and whisk in the 6 tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon at a time (whisk each piece of butter into the mixture until fully melted.) 
  • Let mixture cool for ½ and hour. It will thicken as it cools. 
  • Pour the caramel sauce over the brownies and top with the remaining 1½ cups toasted pecans. Put the brownies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the caramel harden some more.  
  • This sauce keeps well in the fridge, so double the recipe and spoon over ice cream – much like that amazing bottle of caramel sauce in your fridge, but it is organic and not full of chemicals.     

Refined Sugar Free Chocolate Ganache (you can skip this step if you wish, I don’t think it adds....I like without, but adding a good vanilla ice cream and drizzling more of the caramel sauce over it)  
  •  Place the chopped chocolate, agave and cream in a small skillet and melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring. Let cool slightly. 
  • Put the chocolate ganache into a small food storage bag and snip off a tiny bit of one corner. Squeeze the ganache through the hole over the brownies in a crisscross pattern. 
  • Refrigerate for an hour or up to 24 hours. Cut the brownies into twelve 3 inch squares (or you can cut smaller).   

Servings:
A gluten free recipe that makes 12 – three inch brownies. 


Freezie Pops...or Healthy Popsicles
First grind in a coffee grinder, about 1-2 TBSP each of flax seeds and chia seeds (grind well)
Add to a Vitamix with...
coconut milk (the amount will vary...it should be thick but not ice cream thickness)
1/2 cup mixed frozen berries
1/8 cup whipping cream if desired but not necessary
1 banana (frozen)
1 full scoop of Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla (pure and Mexican is best)
2 full droppers of stevia (chocolate is excellent)
a few good shakes of cinnamon (at least a tsp)

blend until smooth and pour into the moulds and insert the sticks.  These are extremely nutritious but very yummy.  My 4 year old granddaughter loves these purple treats!!  



Gluten Free Vegan Almond Apple Cookie

 
Cookie Play with your amounts
 
Brown Rice Flour (about 1 cup) organic
Grind (use coffee grinder) organic almonds (about ½-3/4 cup)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Sesame seeds (as many as you want, white or black)
I like to add a dash of Xanthan gum just to keep things together
 
Mix dry ingredients together well
 
Add organic Maple Syrup and cold pressed organic olive oil until in even amounts basically, or maybe slightly more oil than maple syrup.  You will know by the feel of the dough.
 
Filling (these look like old fashion jam cookies except that the surface you will cover on top of the cookie will be larger than the old traditional globs of jam)
 
You can use apple sauce if you like, but this is my preference:
In my Vitamix I add one organic apple (skin and all) and add only enough organic apple cider to blend.
Small amount (about ½ tsp) baking soda
Cinnamon to taste…I like lots
Tbsp of organic coconut sugar if the apple is tart or you just want it sweeter
 
Make balls from the dough, to any size cookie you like.  They are best a little thick (¼ inch) so they stick together and don’t break.  Flatten the ball leaving an indentation in the middle (most of the middle)
 

Spoon apple jam in the middle, but spread it out (thickly) leaving the edge of the cookie such that you will get jam in every bite!  (my granddaughter, Abby, likes Almond Butter in the middle)


Chocolate  Beet Cake or Cupcakes

1 ½ cups organic coconut sugar
3 organic or free run eggs
 
blend well and add:
1 2/2 cups pureed beets (14 oz can or steam raw beets until soft, then peel) well blended in food processor or Vitamix
2 squares melted 70% chocolate (shave them for easier melting)
1 cup coconut oil
 
mix in
1 ¾ cups gluten free flour (I use Perfect Flour Blend)
1 ½ tsp baking soda (do not add more)
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tps pure vanilla (Mexican is my favourite because it has less alchol)

works well in a tube pan or muffin pan with parchment cups 
350 50-60 minutes in tube pan

Or about 30 minutes as cup cakes 

Ice when cool
I prefer coconut oil, icing sugar, vanilla, and color with a bit of the left over beets to make pink (or use frozen strawberry or raspberry - just not food colour)




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