Category Archives: Food

SRC: Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-4For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sally of Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is Brazilian and a biochemist. She has a beautiful smile, an awesome kitchen, and mad cooking and baking skills! I feel like we have a connection as we both went grey early. :)

She has TONS of delicious looking recipes, like this Cauli-Couscous, this simple non-roasted “roasted” broccoli, this ultimate Apple Cake and this granola. She is also a champion bread maker and I am so impressed by all her Brazilian Food!

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-1

I ended up choosing her Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing – definitely a winner! I changed it up a bit – I used a blender for the dressing as I’m too lazy to chop things that small), added orange zest and added toasted almonds instead of seared scallops (shellfish = bad for me). I expected it to be fairly spicy, but it wasn’t – just really tasty!

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-3

Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I used 1 orange plus the juice left in the membrane from the segmented orange)
Zest of 1 orange
1 jalapeño
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
2 oranges, cut in segments
Mixed greens (I used power greens mix)
Toasted Almonds (Optional – I ran out of time and didn’t toast mine, but I definitely recommend it to take the flavour to the next level)

  1. Simmer orange juice in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp.  It should take a little over 5 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Roast jalapeño directly over a gas flame (I used my BBQ), turning occasionally, until charred on all sides.  Let cool; remove stem, skin, and seeds.
  3. Place shallot, vinegar, reduced orange juice orange zest, olive and the jalapeño in a single serving blender container (i.e. magic bullet or similar) and blend until all chunks are gone; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss avocados, orange segments, salad greens,  and vinaigrette in a bowl.  Serve with toasted almonds if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

Bewitching Kitchen Avocado Orange Salad-2

Sally, it was a joy to read through your blog! I love how your fun personality shines through in all of your posts and your wide array of recipes!

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:

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Dairy Free Banana Almond Butter Milkshake

Vegan Almond Butter Banana Milkshake-2

So the morning that Mr. Bean and I were supposed to head out on vacation, I fell off my bike on the way to work and had a wonderful crash. Thankfully, there were people who saw my crash and they took me to the hospital to get stitched up, plus Mr. Bean was home so he was able to pick me up and take me to the dentist to fix my broken t00th. Great way to start a holiday, eh?

Having your face and mouth busted up means no solid foods, so it’s a good thing I brought my blender with me! Here’s one of my favourite dessert creations. It would also be really good with peanut butter or chocolate ice cream!

Vegan Almond Butter Banana Milkshake-1

Dairy Free Banana Almond Butter Milkshake

1 banana
1 – 2 spoonfuls of almond butter
1 large scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream
2 large ice cubes (you could use more ice cream instead of ice cubes, but this helps lighten it up a bit)
Almond Milk

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth, adding more ice cream/ice or almond milk to get the desired consistency.
  2. Enjoy!

When was the last time you were on a liquid diet? Let’s Commiserate!

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SRC: Troyer’s Loving Life’s Fruit Crisp and Refreshing Strawberry Watermelon Drink

Troyers Loving Life-5

For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Kirsten of Troyer’s Loving Life. Kirsten is a stay at home mom who lives in Washington State with her husband and two daughters. She shares stories, moments and recipes from her life and journey as a daughter of the Most High King.

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She has tons of delicious recipes – even including some gluten free ones! The following recipes caught my eye – creamy avocado dressing, Vegan peanut butter cups, Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Fusilli with Sausage, Zucchini and Cheese. When I was on holidays, we needed to bring a dessert to a dinner party, so I made a variation of Pioneer Woman’s Peach Crisp and it was a success! I was also feeling really ambitious, so on a hot day I made her Strawberry Watermelon Drink, which was super refreshing!

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I did make a few modifications to the crisp to make it more “me friendly:” made it gluten and dairy free, didn’t add the maple cream sauce (although I’m sure that would be absolutely heavenly), reduced the sugar and used the fruit I had on hand. We served it with coconut ice cream and it was delicious! Definitely a keeper!

 

Troyers Loving Life-1

Gluten Free Vegan Peach Blackberry and Blueberry Crisp

3/4 c. Gluten free flour blend (I used Bob Red Mill)
1/4 c. almond meal (could use more flour)
1/4 c. gluten free oats
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (or other fat – coconut oil would probably work as well)
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of Allspice or Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
Juice and Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp. maple syrup
5 – 6 c. of fruit (I sort of eye-balled it and used two sliced peaches, ~2 c. of fresh blueberries and ~3 c. of fresh blackberries. I didn’t skin my peaches, but if you want to, Kirsten has really good directions with her recipe.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, almond meal, oats, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and Salt.
  3. Cut in margarine using a fork or a pastry blender (or go really old school and use your fingers, like me) until it is a moist, coarse meal.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together fruit, lemon zest and maple syrup. Pour into a 8 x 8″ pan. (I also put some into muffin cups so that I would have some available to take photos of in case nothing was left over after the dinner party.)
  5. Sprinkle topping over fruit and press down lightly.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake for another 30 – 45 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. (The muffin tins took about 35 minutes total)
  8. Let cool slightly before serving warm with the maple cream sauce or ice cream.
  9. Enjoy!

Troyers Loving Life-3

Strawberry Watermelon Drink

Strawberries (I used less than 1/2 a pint)
Watermelon (3 – 4 2″ frozen chunks)
Fresh Basil Leaves (I used 2)Ice (if not using frozen watermelon)
Vodka or other hard liquor (optional)

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add additional basil/ice if desired.
  2. Enjoy on a hot day!

Troyers Loving Life-7

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking below!

 

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SRC: I am a Honey Bee’s Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad

Honey Bee Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad-4

For June’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Nicole of I am a Honey Bee. Nicole is also a lover of Boston Terriers, beaches, and food! She recently had her daughter, Autumn, and she is so cute! Nicole also goes on lots of adventures and eats tons of delicious looking food – yum! On top of that, she has tons of delicious recipes on her blog, including these s’mores campfire banana splits, a legitamite Horiatiki salad, and sauteed green beans with lemon and almonds.  After much humming and hawing, I ended up choosing her Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad, which is perfect for summer – especially since we’re actually starting to have nicer weather around here!

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I didn’t change anything except the dressing – I’m not a huge dressing person, so I cut it back to 1/4 c. liquid total and added the lime zest.

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It turned out really well! The flavours worked together quite well and both Mr. Bean and I went back for seconds! (He even tried to eat the one I was photographing before I was done with it!)

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Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad

3/4 of 1 small watermelon, 1″ diced
1 english cucumber, diced
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small block of feta, crumbled
Finely sliced red onion, to taste (I used about a quarter of a small one)

Dressing:

Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

  1. Toss together all the ingredients.
  2. Squeeze lime juice into a glass 1 c. measuring cup. Add enough olive oil to measure 1/4 c. Add zest, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, toss lightly to coat and serve immediately.
  4. Enjoy!

Honey Bee Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad-3

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:

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SRC: Spiffy Cookie’s Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-6

For May’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Erin of The Spiffy Cookie! She literally has the cutest little cookie figure  – especially the one that has its eyes closed! Erin is definitely a smart cookie – she has a PhD in Microbiology! Plus, she thinks chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever! Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-1

She even has a whole list of gluten free recipes! I’m happy to know that I’m not the only person who struggles to get up more than 30 minutes before I need to get out the door! She has so many delicious looking recipes like these Avocado Brownies, Raspberry Mango Margarita Pie, Banana Foster Muffins and these Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits.

Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-5

In the end, I chose her Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars. I made them gluten free, vegan and reduced the sugar in half. Even then, I found them to be quite sweet, although the glaze is good as it adds extra moisture.

They were delicious! The best part were the apples, especially since they got drenched in the glaze. Yum! I sent them along with Mr. Bean to work and his coworkers loved them! They didn’t last very long!

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Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Raisin Bars

Bars Ingredients

1/2 c. each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours *(if you don’t have one of these flours, just use more of what you have)
1/2 c. each tapioca and potato starch
1 1/4 tsp. xathan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp raisins, finely diced
1/2 c. dairy free margarine (use soy free buttery spread to make soy free)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Adams all natural crunchy)
2 eggs or egg replacers (1 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. almond or other dairy free milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1+ c. finely diced apples
Almond Milk (I used 4 tbsp as my peanut butter was really quite hard

Glaze Ingredients

2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. almond milk (my peanut butter was fairly hard, so I added an extra tablespoon of milk)
1 c. sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a 13″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper (I used a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet).
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt maragarine and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Shift the flours and whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the diced raisins. Set aside.
  5. Add eggs one at a time to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the apples and stir until combined. Add extra milk if necessary to make the batter more easily spreadable.
  7. Transfer batter onto prepared pan and spread the batter into the corners.
  8. Bake in oven for ~20 min for a 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet or ~30min for a 13″ x 9″ pan. The bars should be slightly golden on top and edges are slightly brown.
  9. Remove and place on a rack to cook.
  10. As the bars cool, prepare the the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, peanut butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk/sugar to get it to the correct consistency  for drizzling.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and cut into squares.
  12. Enjoy!

Spiffy Cookie Apple Peanut Bars-3

Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!

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