Crunchy clustery paleo granola

Crunchy clustery paleo granola
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grain free dairy free granola

Anyone who has ever read my blog posts has probably reached the conclusion that I’m a bit of a granola cruncher and true to that premise I make a mean grain free granola.  It is honestly better than any oat based granola I have ever had, perfect for topping coconut yogurt, smoothie bowls or just eating it by the handful.

Be warned.  You will not be able to stop munching once you make this, so if you are trying to lose some lbs and have very little self control, (me), you might want to save this for a special occasion.  It also makes a lovely gift packed in mason jars.

Everyone I know who has tried this has loved it, and I’m sure you will too.  It is very forgiving so feel free to make substitutions as you like, just keep the ratios of wet to dry relatively the same and make sure you wait to add those cranberries at the end (that was a lesson I learned the hard way).

Crunchy clustery grain free granola

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flakes (the bigger ones work better here but shredded coconut is ok too)

3/4 cup slivered almonds

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

generous pinch of salt

1 tbsp. melted coconut oil

3-4 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

Crumble or chop the nuts, seeds and coconut into oat size pieces and toss with the salt and spices.

Melt the coconut oil over low heat and stir in maple syrup, and vanilla.

Pour the wet over the dry and spread out on a parchment covered sheet pan, bake at 300 for 25 minutes flipping halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries.

The granola will crisp up as it cools so let it cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!

Delicious Herb Falafels

Delicious Herb Falafels

Falafels are one of those amazing foods that meat eaters enjoy as much as vegetarians.

In my vegan days falafels got me through some dark times, but now I am eating to heal my autoimmune diseases and have eliminated most grains and re-introduced pastured meats.

I have seriously never felt better, but that doesn’t mean I’m only into eating meat centric meals.  In fact I still have a well rounded arsenal of delicious grain free vegan recipes I love and would still consider my diet to be largely plant based.

While legumes can be tricky for some guts, I did an elimination diet that revealed garbanzos to be fairly benign for my sensitive belly.

And so, my love for falafel lives on.

The biggest problem with falafels is the price tag on the pre-made ones.  It’s crazy to me considering I know how to make these delicious little bad boys right at home, and I also know how ridiculously cheap it is to do so.  Two dozen falafels only cost a couple bucks to throw together.

They store in the fridge or freeze very well so you can make them ahead and always have them on hand. They are perfect to round out a salad, toss into a flatbread or just serve them up with some dips like coconut tzatziki, hummus, or my favorite cashew cheese!

The key to authentic tasting falafel that are crispy outside and fluffy inside is using dried garbanzo beans soaked for 24 hours.  Yes, I’m not joking, dried garbanzos!

Whenever I come across a food blog with falafel recipes that call for canned chick peas I am so outta there!  Not only are these recipes non authentic tasting, but they often call for a breading to get that crisp outer layer.

Real falafels are easy to make, take just a few ingredients and should always be 100% grain free and plant based.  These ones taste like they come from your local shawarma spot.  Try them out today and let me know what you think!

Delicious Herb Falafels

Ingredients:

1.5 – 2 cups dried garbanzos soaked for 24 hours (should look like roughly 3 cups after soaking)

1 shallot

3 large garlic cloves

1/4 cup cilantro

1/4 cup parsley

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp pepper

1.5 tsp salt

1 tbsp. garbanzo bean flour

0.5 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup refined coconut oil

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend into breadcrumb texture

Gently form small balls about the size of ping pong balls

Heat oil and fry until golden brown in two batches

Drain on a paper towel and serve with your favorite dips such as, cashew cheese, coconut tzatziki, or hummus.

Lemon black berry cheesecake – raw- vegan – gluten free – grain free – kid friendly.

Lemon black berry cheesecake – raw- vegan – gluten free – grain free – kid friendly.

Cheesecake was one of those things that never really appealed to me before my autoimmune diagnosis.  I’ve always been more of a savory girl and somehow the words ‘cheese’ and ‘cake’ just didn’t belong together in my mind.

I’ve also always been a proud member of ‘all desserts should be chocolate’ camp, but something interesting happened to my palette as I began making more consistently healthy choices.  It was like my taste buds reinvented themselves.

I first encountered a similar cheesecake on a trip to Montreal.  This was in the peak of my vegan days and  was beyond thrilled to discover a small raw vegan kitchen not too far from where I was staying.  I went back everyday for the entire week to grab a slice of blueberry cheesecake and a double chocolate brownie.  (Maybe this lack of self control is part of the reason why I was never thin as a vegan.)

And it was in Montreal that I also observed a strange phenomenon, I would always finish the cheesecake first.  I would practically inhale it.  The balance of sour, sweet and fat flavours was perfection, while the brownie in comparison seemed almost too sweet, too rich.   It was  here that I first observed my taste buds were changing.

Don’t get me wrong though, that brownie would get eaten.

And I’ve since gone on to develop a few of my own variations of that raw vegan brownie recipe that I’m super excited to share here in the near future.

Today though, it’s all about the cheesecake. 

If you make just one recipe this weekend, this should be it.

Because blackberries are easy to find and I absolutely adore them, I chose them to top of my creamy cake.  I have also used; pomegranate seeds, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and sometimes, I just keep it real with plain lemon.  It’s all good.

I think we can agree, lemon and fruit, particularly berries, love each other, so just have fun with it and use what you have on hand!

This cheesecake comes together so easily, it sets up in the freezer, is fully plant based and completely void of processed sugar.  In fact the only sugar in the whole pie is a handful of dates and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup.   It’s also a major crowd pleaser, whip one up for your next dinner party and your guests will beg you for the recipe

(Send them my way!)

You will need a food processor and a good quality blender, but if you don’t already have these tools, and are serious about living a healthy lifestyle I highly recommend you get out there and obtain them asap.  Mine get used nearly everyday and have been worth every penny.

This is coming from a girl who purchased her $1200 Vitamix blender in installments. #worthit

Crust ingredients:

6-8 menjool dates (use 8 small or 6 large)

1 tbsp. coconut butter (you can use oil but it will produce a different texture and not be as light and crust like)

1 cup walnuts or pecans pieces

1 tsp good vanilla

A good pinch of salt

Filling ingredients:

Roughly 3/4 cup coconut cream (this is the thick white part on the top when you open a can of milk)

3 tbsp. melted coconut oil

Juice of 2 lemons (should be close to 1/4 cup)

Zest of 1 lemon

3/4 cups cashews soaked for a minimum of 4 hours

2-3 tbsp. maple syrup to taste

1 tsp vanilla

A good pinch of salt

Directions:

Rinse your cashews and soak for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.  Rinse again well before using.

Remove the pits from the dates and using a food processor, process into rough pea size pieces

Add the coconut butter, walnuts, salt and vanilla and process to the texture of breadcrumbs

Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a small pie pan and place in the freezer to chill

In a high powered blender add all of the filling ingredients

Blend into a smooth cream scraping down the sides as needed

Pour over the chilled crust and return to the freezer for an additional 30 – 60 minutes

Remove from freezer and allow to soften a bit before slicing

Top with your choice of berries/fruit – be creative

Serves 12

Lasts about 3 days in the fridge and 3 weeks in the freezer ( I recommend storing it in the freezer and letting it thaw a bit in the fridge prior to serving)

If you recreate your own version of this recipe tag me with your creation @tha_wild_sage on Instagram.  I love to get feedback, it keeps me motivated to keep creating healing recipes for you guys!

Plantain cups – tostones – patacones – grain free – dairy free – vegan – appetizer

Plantain cups – tostones – patacones – grain free – dairy free – vegan – appetizer
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Well, this is my new favorite thing.

Honestly. These are such a treat, and also how cute are they?!

They make perfect appetizers for a dinner party or vegan meet up. Or just do what I did  and make them all for yourself.

I usually bring things I’ve cooked into work to share and get feedback on recipes I’ve created, but I brought these in yesterday and didn’t share a single one.

I kept popping into the break room between clients to sneak bites of these and it somehow made my super busy day so much more bearable.

Today I am making them again, because they are just, that, good.

I really don’t know what to call these.  Tostones are actually a simple dish of crispy, twice fried plantains.  But I wanted to spice them up a bit.

These are made from a base of tostones molded into a mini muffin tin while still hot, stuffed with refried beans, and topped with salsa verde and cashew cheese. Holy yum.

Honestly I would order these in a restaurant.

Use whichever beans you prefer, red beans don’t bother my stomach like black beans do, but I’m sure black beans would be amazing if that’s what you have on hand.

If you still eat dairy you could top these with some crumbled queso fresco, but I love having some fully plant based meals in my arsenal and think cashew cheese works beautifully in this recipe.

If you like plantains, give these a try, this is just one of many ways to enjoy the super versatile ingredient.

Ingredients

Spice mix – zest of 1 lime, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 large plantain – more on the green side

4 tbsp. coconut oil divided

1/2 cup beans (I prefer kidney)

4 tbsp. salsa verde divided (I prefer herdez brand)

1 clove garlic

3 tbsp. water

Directions

Heat 2 tbsps. oil in a skillet on medium low

Cut the plantains into 1″ pieces and fry on all sided until golden (don’t let them get dark brown turn the oil temp down if needed)

Remove from heat, drain on a paper towel a few minutes and then smash to about 1/4 inch flat with the back of a heavy glass

Add the remaining oil and fry again until golden and crispy

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the spice mix

While still warm use the back of a metal tablespoon to press the plantains into a mini muffin tin, let cool

Add the beans to the pan the plantains were fried in, pour in the spice mix, half of the salsa verde, and the water, fry and mash into a paste

Fill the plantain cups with the refried beans

Drizzle with remaining salsa, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and top with cashew cheese

If you try this recipe and like it please pin it or Instagram it and tag me @tha_wild_sage

Pad Thai – Grain free – Low Carb -Delicious

Pad Thai – Grain free – Low Carb -Delicious
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I love Pad Thai, but not just any version, it has to be the authentic flavor created with a base of Tamarind paste.  Ketchup on rice noodles?  NO THANK YOU.

When people suggest the taste difference between the two methods is barely discernable I scoff.  As someone who doesn’t even really like ketchup on fries there is no way a plate of ketchup-y noodles is going to suffice for the real thing.

The best Pad Thai looks like it barely even has any sauce on it.  The rice sticks are soaked in warm water (never boiled) so they don’t get over cooked and the balance of flavours is so perfect I can polish of a plate without even stopping to realise I have just ingested a full days worth of calories.

I believe it is super important to eat healthy food ninety percent of the time, especially when healing from an autoimmune disease, but I also feel it is important to treat yo self! Subscribing rigidly to diet labels can ultimately set us up for failure and on the rare occasions I find myself eating out in a Thai restaurant, I order the Pad Thai. As long as they can make it gluten free I do the dang thing, no guilt, no shame.

However, when cooking at home I’m pretty serious about avoiding grains and dairy, (aside from the occasional gluten free tortilla chip)  Since ditching most grains my thyroid antibodies have improved, my body composition has improved, I’ve had more energy and I’ve noticed hair regrowth.  Why mess with a good thing?

Yesterday I had a craving for some Pad Thai and decided I would create a version I can eat as often as I like, one that would nourish my body and keep those insulin levels stable.  What I came up with did not taste exactly the same as the noodles from an actual Thai restaurant, but it was very similar, and completely satisfying.  Craving crushed!

Using a combination of zucchini and carrots for the ‘noodles’ kept my palate interested and made the dish look super pretty and colorful.

Ingredients:

Sauce – 1 tbsp. coconut aminos, 1 tsp tamarind paste, 1 tsp coconut sugar, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 clove grated garlic, salt and pepper.

1 small organic chicken breast

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 small shallot finely diced

1 egg

3 tbsp. chopped peanuts

1 chopped scallion or garlic chives (green parts)

A few sprigs of cilantro

A lime wedge

Red chilis to taste

2- 3 tbsp. cooking oil

Directions:

Make the zucchini/ carrot noodles with a spiralizer or vegetable peeler

Make the sauce in a mason jar, shake vigorously to combine

*Tip* Make extra and save the excess for future preparations, it lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge

Slice chicken breast into long thin strips, lightly season with salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet and sauté shallot

Toss chicken in and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until light brown

Push the chicken to one side and crack the egg into the skillet, stir it around to scramble for about a minute

Add the zucchini and carrot ‘noodles’ to the pan pour the sauce overtop and stir everything to combine

Let it simmer another 1-2 minutes, allow most of the liquid to evaporate but don’t overcook

Drizzle with lime juice, and top with fresh herbs and peanuts

Plate with an additional lime wedge and optional red chilis

Serves 2