Sunday, October 5, 2014

Emerald Wraps

Emerald Wrap Ingredients

I found out recently that I am anemic, so I have been eating lots of iron rich foods. For this post I decided to do something a little fun and different plus it includes iron rich spinach, raisins, coconut, peanuts and even the orange marmalade has some iron in it. These Emerald Wraps make a tasty snack or you can eat it as an accompaniment to your lunch. I had them for lunch the other day along with an organic nitrate free chicken sausage (cured without sugar), chicken is another iron rich food.

I had a variation of these wraps at a restaurant several months ago (I made some adjustments to them to fit my dietary needs), I thought they were yummy and fun to eat. For this recipe I am not going to include any kind of measurements because it is best to just put everything in smaller bowls and on small plates. When it is time to eat, you wrap them up one at a time at your table. (Just put the ingredients in the spinach leaf then eat).


Spinach - I buy a large bag of it, so I have a lot to use in different ways throughout the week, the bag that I buy has been thoroughly washed and is ready to eat.

Dry roasted peanuts - I only eat peanuts on a very rare occasion, I prefer other nuts plus other nuts are better for you however I make an exception for the peanuts at times like these.

Raisins - I just buy good old fashioned raisins in the bulk.

Toasted shredded coconut - I buy the large shredded unsweetened coconut in the bulk. I toast it in a cast iron pan with no oil, medium heat until golden brown.

Orange marmalade - I buy Smucker's brand "Simply Fruit", sugar free, fruit juice sweetened, fruit spread.


Take a spinach leaf then take a small amount of the orange marmalade and place it onto it, then take a small amount of all of the rest of the ingredients and put them on top of the orange marmalade. Wrap the spinach leaf around all of the ingredients, pop it into your mouth and eat it!

Happy eating!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pacific Rim Salad

Gluten free cooking, paleo, healthy foods
Pacific Rim Salad with buckwheat noodles and jumbo prawns

This is the most popular dish that I make at my house, I usually quadruple the recipe (enough to fill a four gallon container) and it will all disappear in one day. This is also the first time I am posting it on my food blog however last February I did post it on my original blog: The World According to Art Deco Girl, this recipe is so good I felt that it deserved to be in the spotlight over on the food blog. Because it is a cold salad it is great to eat while the weather is still warm however at my house it is so popular we eat it all year around. 

The recipe originally came from New Woman Magazine 1996.

This salad can be made with shrimp, crab meat or chicken. I usually use jumbo prawns (big shrimp).


1 bundle *buckwheat somen noodles or brown rice angel hair pasta (both are gluten free). If you have another type of gluten free pasta you prefer such as corn you can use that instead. *For people who are on a grain free diet try buckwheat noodles, buckwheat is not a grain it is from the rhubarb family (oddly enough).

*Note if you are allergic to any of the following veggies you can substitute them out with julienne slices of carrot, whole pea pods or celery just to name a few.

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut in julienne slivers.

3 to 4 young scallions, cut into julienne slivers.

1/2 medium sweet red pepper, seeded, cut into julienne slivers.

1/2 small hot green chili pepper, such as jalapeno, seeded and cut in julienne slivers (this can be omitted for a very mild salad).

1 lb. large shrimp about 18, boiled, shelled, and deveined, or one 1 lb. cooked lump crab meat, or 2 large chicken breasts (8 oz.), poached, skinned and boned after cooking.

2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger root.

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced.

1/2 tsp. coarse salt (I prefer coarse pink Himalayan salt).

1/4 Cup sherry vinegar, rice wine vinegar or plain white vinegar.

1/3 Cup toasted sesame oil.

1 Tbsp. Light, low-sodium soy sauce (I use Bragg's Liquid Amino's it does not contain preservatives and is made with non GMO soy beans and much better for you than soy sauce or if you have problems with soy you can always try coconut Amino's, I have not tried these myself yet).

Optional garnishes: 

Sprigs of watercress or small dark-green lettuce leaves; 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet until golden brown (this is my personal favorite!); or 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts.


1. Boil noodles in 3 quarts well salted water until just tender (follow directions on package), they should be firm but not hard in the center. Drain immediately and rinse in cold water. Drain thoroughly on cloth towel.

2. In large bowl, combine noodles with vegetables and chili pepper  and toss lightly. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise (or pick over crab meat, or pull chicken into shreds with fingers) and add to bowl.

3. To make dressing, pulverize ginger, garlic slices, and salt with mortar and pestle, or in a bowl using back of wooden spoon. Combine with vinegar, oil, and soy sauce, adjusting each to taste. Toss dressing through salad ingredients.

4. Divide into portions and garnish.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings. Per serving (6 servings) with shrimp, 282 calories: 29% (22g) protein, 28% (10g) fat, 43% (33g) carbohydrate. 115 mg cholesterol; 325 mg sodium.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Know the Truth About Your Food.

One of my friends posted this movie trailer on her social media page. This is for a movie by the name of Fed UP (that is out in theaters now, I have not seen it yet because it just came out on May 9th and I just heard about it this morning). Fed Up is about the growing epidemic of obesity in America. Doctors are now saying that obesity is caused from refined sugars, rather than fat and that people are highly addicted to refined sugar (after I had done my own research I found out that after sugar has been through the refining process it is not at all like its original cane form and is nothing more than a chemical and just like the movie trailer says it is in literally everything). For example sugar can be found in bread, mayonnaise, salsa, pizza dough and much, much more!. I know personally that I am highly addicted to refined sugar and is one of the many reasons I have cut it out of my diet. I truly believe that refined sugars are harmful to everybody on the planet and not just people with weight problems. This is something I have been saying for years.

I think there should be a refined sugar free movement (similar to the gluten free movement) where there are sugar free options in foods and at restaurants. Please note when I say sugar free I am not talking about substituting refined sugar for artificial sweeteners, because those I believe are worse than refined sugars, I am talking about either leaving the sugar out all together because in a lot of circumstances it is completely not a necessary ingredient. I know this first hand because I make these things at home without it. When a recipe requires some type of sugar I substitute it with an unrefined sugar that usually has some beneficial ingredients in it (because I am all about max nutrition). My personal opinion is this: the nation I live in is eating and eating but it is the wrong foods, so most people are constantly hungry because the foods they are eating contain a bunch of fillers, refined sugars and empty calories. So the people here continue to eat to fill those voids that should be filled up with whole foods, so in essence the people here in the United States are really starving.

Check out the trailer and see what you think:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Healthy Cooking, cooking with no gluten, refined sugars or preservatives
Honey Walnut Shrimp
This is one of my very favorite and most delicious recipes. In order to get this meal just right I had to combine 3 different recipes and then I had to further adjust it according to my dietary needs. Another thing I will point out before I begin is that this recipe contains mayonnaise, I do not eat store bought mayonnaise because it has a bunch of ingredients in it that I do not eat, so I make my own from scratch (I make up a batch of it in small quantities I use what I need for this recipe and then I store the rest in the refrigerator to use another time for other things) I have included the mayonnaise recipe in this recipe, in case you are like me and prefer not to eat the store bought stuff.

Ingredients for the candied walnuts:

1/2 Cup walnuts
1/2 Tablespoon butter melted
1 1/2 Tablespoon light honey (I prefer raw)
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the fried shrimp:

1lb raw peeled, deveined shrimp also be sure to pull the tails off
1/4 Cup arrowroot powder
3 Tablespoons of coconut oil

Ingredients for the sauce:

*1/4 Cup of mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons light honey ( I prefer raw)
1 Tablespoon of organic creamed coconut (I buy it at whole foods it is a little thicker than canned coconut milk) or if you are unable to get the organic creamed coconut, canned coconut milk works great too (just scoop a Tablespoon cream off the top of the can).

*Ingredients needed for mayonnaise:
Makes 2/3 of a cup

1 egg (I prefer to use organic eggs when I make mayonnaise)
1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 Cup light olive oil or grape seed oil or some other very light tasting oil

First we need to turn our walnuts into candied walnuts. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the walnuts, melted butter, honey and a pinch of salt together until well coated. Place nuts on a stick free baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the nuts start to brown. When done cooking set them aside.

Next we will make the mayonnaise. Add the egg, lemon juice and mustard to your blender. Remove the small cap in the middle of the lid and turn on blender. Keep the blender running the entire time. Wait a few seconds then very slowly start dripping the oil into the opening. The mixture will begin to blend together, keep dripping consistently until the mixture thickens and looks like mayonnaise. Now you can start to add the oil a little bit faster, being careful not to break the emulsion. The whole process takes about 5 minutes. Take out a 1/4 of a cup of the mayonnaise and set aside for the Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe,  refrigerate the rest immediately.

Then we are going to get the shrimp ready to be cooked, take the 1/4 of a cup of arrowroot powder and put it into a shallow dish. Take each shrimp and lightly coat each one with the arrowroot powder. Take your coconut oil and heat on medium high, once heated fry shrimp in batches. Do not over crowd in the pan,cook a few minutes on each side until they are cooked through. Let shrimp drain on a paper towel covered plate, when shrimp are all cooked set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise; honey; organic creamed coconut or coconut milk and candied walnuts. Then take your fried shrimp and mix into the sauce right after draining while they are still hot. Return all items to the pan that the shrimp were fried in and heat thoroughly. Serve immediately with cooked rice, I prefer Basmati brown rice but everyone in my family prefers Basmati white.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Butter VS Margarine

"Pass The Butter ... Please.
This is interesting . .. .
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.
It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavourings....
DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end...gets very interesting!
Both have the same amount of calories. 
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .
And now, for Margarine..
Very High in Trans fatty acids.
Triples risk of coronary heart disease ...
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five times..

Lowers quality of breast milk
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.
And here's the most disturbing fact... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT.
These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).
Open a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)

* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.
Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Interesting Article: A Year Without Sugar, One Family's Grand Adventure plus my own grand adventure that I will share!

I found this article: A Year Without Sugar, One Family's Grand Adventure. It is about a family of four (a mom, dad and two children) that went an entire year without sugar. I found the article very interesting so I thought I would share it with you all:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rich and Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Guilt free chocolate pudding, home made chocolate pudding, healthy pudding
Rich and Creamy Chocolate Pudding with Fresh Whipped Cream and Raspberries

Here is another dessert to add to the collection of healthy desserts with more to come in the future. I got this recipe from the Fred Meyer booklet that comes out monthly and is found in the health food department (FM got the recipe from the Taste for Life test kitchen). I only made some minor adjustments to the recipe.

This pudding is made from scratch rather than a box and has no artificial sweeteners. There is no gluten, refined sugars or preservatives. I recently had a friend and her husband stay with us for a few days, I mentioned making some homemade chocolate pudding with no refined sugars, her husband asked me how can you make pudding without refined sugars? My friend answers him by saying this... you just go to the store and you buy the sugar free stuff in the box. My friend is about 20 years younger than me and was raised by her dad, so needless to say EVERYTHING food wise has come out of a box, can or package (mostly some sort of fast food) her whole entire life (this seems kind of sad to me).

I took the time to explain to them that I do not eat the ingredients, especially the artificial sweeteners (most artificial sweeteners are found to cause cancer in lab rats) that are found in the instant puddings that you buy at the store in a box and that I make everything from scratch. Boy they got an education in food and cooking during their stay, that is for sure!

25 minute prep time
serves 6


1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk for the pudding
1 cup chopped dark unsweetened chocolate (I used Hershey's)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup honey (I use raw local honey)
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp of raspberry extract or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
whole raspberries for a garnish
whipped cream for a garnish or for a totally dairy free garnish use coconut milk (take the cream off the top of the can and whip it till it is smooth and creamy)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. Arrange 6 small ceramic or oven-proof ramekins (I don't have ramekins so I use an 8 inch ceramic souffle dish) place the ramekins or the souffle dish in a baking dish or pan with sides at least 2 inches high.

3. Whisk coconut milk until smooth over medium heat. Add chocolate and whisk constantly. until mixture is smooth and combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. In a large glass bowl, whisk together egg yolks, honey and maple syrup until smooth. Pour milk mixture into egg mixture slowly, whisking constantly to combine the two. Add raspberry or vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour into souffle dish or evenly divide mixture into the ramekins.

5. Place baking dish on middle rack in oven. Pour enough water in baking dish so it comes about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up the outside of the ramekins. Bake custards approximately 40 to 45 minutes, until tops are set. (The inside will become more firm once chilled).

6. Remove ramekins from oven. Set aside to cool. When cool, place ramekins in fridge and chill for four hours or overnight. Garnish with raspberries and whipped cream.