Category Archives: Snacks

Energy packed morsels-great for on the go and outdoor expeditions.

Brain Power Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies

GET YOUR OMEGA-3s!

Ever since my dad had a stroke last summer I have been trying to incorporate more brain and heart healthy Omega-3s into the food I feed myself, Shane and others that may cross my path.  Omega-3s are one of the best nutrients to support heart health, brain function, immunity and younger looking skin (oh-ya baby!)

I miss my dad!

From what I have read the best way to get Omega 3s is to eat them.  In addition to incorporating Omega-3s into your diet, take a wild caught omega-3 supplement as “insurance”.

Try incorporating the some of the following foods into at least three meals per week:

  • Ground Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Caught Salmon
  • Grass-fed Beef
  • Beans
  • Olive oil
  • Shrimp
  • Brussel sprouts

My Omega-3 obsession was the driver behind concocting these simple, lovely, comforting and powerful cookies! BTW-these cookies have been husband and co-worker approved!

The recipe will make approximately 20 cookies.

Ingredients & Method:

2 cups raw rolled oats (not instant but that might work too)

1/3 cup raw cashews (raw nuts are the healthiest and raw cashews are super creamy!)

1/3 cup walnuts (there’s those Omega-3s!)

Put all of the above into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (you can experiment with this, I like go a little finer on the chop).  Put this mix into a separate bowl.

1 large handful (~1/4-1/2 C) of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate chips- these are big chips so you can chop them into smaller bits.  I use about 1/4 cup, honestly I don’t think you need more than that but do what makes your heart sing.

Next, add the following into the food processor:

1 Cup packed pitted medjool dates (I like medjool dates because they are soft and carmel-like, if your dates are dry you can try soaking them in warm water for a 1/2 hour.

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp unrefined coconut oil

Process until a smooth paste is formed.

Next, add the dry ingredients back into the processor and pulse to combine.  If things get a bit dry, try adding a bit more coconut oil.

Now the fun part: take ~2 TBSP size dollops and roll into a ball.   Convert the ball into a cookie shape by smooshing it flat–this works best if you use one hand to smoosh while containing the ball between  your thumb and pointer finger shaped into a circle.  You could leave them as balls but I personally think that flattening them out into more of a cookie shape me feel like it is a “real” chocolate chip cookie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Chicken (of the Woods) Strips

Those who know me would not be surprised to learn that I have resorted to mushroom hunting while boating!  I found this beautiful Chicken of the Woods (COW) mushroom while I was on Lake… oh… HAHA!  you thought I was going to tell you where???  🙂  I was on “a lake” and took a quick stroll on “an island” (yes, in my swimsuit) when I found this beast!  I imagine the nearby boats were a little confused when they saw me carrying this thing over my head, through the water, and back to the boat.

Often when you find COW, you find it in abundance.  It is less often, however, that you find it in abundance AND fresh!  This mushroom was about 12 pounds and amazingly fresh and juicy!  When you find a mushroom like this, find a party to attend and tell them you will bring an appetizer!  Otherwise, I freeze it raw in vacuum sealed bags and it keeps very well.  Some people prefer sauteing the mushroom slightly (about 30-40% cooked) before freezing.  I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort because I think it’s just fine when frozen raw.

COW is a super versatile mushroom and I normally tell people you can use it as a substitute for almost any chicken of the farm recipe.  One of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook COW is by turning it into buffalo strips.

Shred the COW into strips

Important! Use only extremely fresh COW that is so juicy that it drips when you cut it from the tree or ground.  Dry or old COW is gross and can have unwanted creatures inhabiting it.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
  • Buffalo Sauce
  • Ranch and/or Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Celery Sticks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Tear the chicken into preferred size strips.  COW has a similar texture of chicken and tears nicely into strips.
  3. Put the COW into a glass baking dish and pour your preferred buffalo sauce onto the COW and stir so it is fully coated.  I have used Franks Red Hot Sauce and it works great.  There is also a Buffalo Sauce version, which is delicious, but has more ingredients than the original Franks (which is only aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt And Garlic Powder).
  4. Cook the COW uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the mushroom is cooked fully (depends on thickness of strips).  Stir occasionally.  Feel free to add more sauce if you like it saucy!
    NOTE:  It is important to cook COW thoroughly as some people can get an upset stomach if undercooked (but don’t overcook it, either!). It’s not as easy as sticking a thermometer in it to tell if it is done.  Raw COW is firm, flakey, and solid in color.  I consider a COW cooked when the “meat” becomes softer and more flexible and has a slight translucent-ness to it.  If you can imagine cooking a regular white button mushroom, and how it changes in color and texture, I’d say it’s the same thing.  You just get a feel for it after a while.  It’s slightly more complicated with COW because it is picked at different stages, and there are different varieties, but that’s the best I can explain it.  As with any wild mushroom, if you have never had it before, restrain yourself and only eat a small amount the first time to see if you have any negative reactions.  Also, do not eat COW that grew on a coniferous tree… only deciduous trees.
  5. Serve the mushroom as you would normal buffalo strips, with a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing and sticks of celery.  This is where you have control of how healthy you want this dish to be.  I have found healthier versions online, like this one.

“Guna” Salad

guna-in-bowl

Besides the chopping, this is a super easy recipe!

This is one of my favorite lunch salads! I typically munch this during the summer but it’s also great in the fall, winter and spring!  Like most of my week-day lunches I make a large batch of this on Sunday and then eat it all week long.  My husband can’t stand to eat the same lunch all week; me on the other hand- I certainly don’t mind!guna-ing

This recipe has been served and devoured during several Goldie outings.  I recently made this for a snack when Uncle Steve and my Momma stayed over at my new house (thanks guys, it was so much fun to have you here!).  We ate it several ways: wrapped in cabbage leaves, on top of cucumbers and zucchini, and on crackers.  It was great and raved about every which way. My mom asked me to post this recipe. Mom this one is for you! XOXO

Makes 4-5 3/4 cup serving

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Garbonzo Beans (I cook my own in a crock-pot because they get nice and creamy but you can  use canned too).

2 medium Organic Carrots-shredded or chopped fine (I like to go heavy on the veggies, you may want to start with one)

2 stalks Organic Celery-chopped fine

1/2 medium Onion-you guessed it-chopped fine

3 Tbsp whole grain mustard

2 Tbsp Veganise (found in the natural foods section) mayonnaise would probably be fine too

2-3 Tbsp Bragg’s Aminos (a must! Found in the natural foods section and is similar to soy sauce)

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Cabbage or lettuce leaves (for wraps) or zucchini and cucumber slices for crackers.

Method:

Mash Garbanzos with a fork, add all of the ingredients and mix. DONE! Fell free to add more or less of all of the veggies and condiments.  I make this different every time- in addition to the basics you can put any veggie that would go good in a tuna salad.  FYI- I tend to go heavy on the veggies because it bulks it up and helps my tummy feel full. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE to feel full?guna-wrap

 

Nuts for Cabbage

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Nuts for Cabbage being transported on the Echo Trail and into the Boundary Waters!

This was a new hit with the Goldies on our trek up to the Boundary Waters this year.  A German pediatrician gave me the idea and I modified a little bit.

I’m all about simple, healthy recipes… and this really fits the bill!

Ingredients:

1/2 head of raw Cabbage (red or white)
1 cup raw nuts (any mixture of almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans)
1 cup Coconut flakes (optional)
Sea Salt to taste

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There’s a great store called “Mike’s Discount Foods” in Fridley, MN that carries a lot of organic and natural items (sometimes past expiration) for really cheap! (The one in Columbia Heights is much smaller and not near the variety of items.)

Method:
1)  Cut cabbage into bite-size chunks and put in bag or container.
2)  Add nuts.  I’ve tried this with both raw and roasted & salted nuts.  Try pecans, almonds, walnuts, and/or cashews.  Raw is preferred for optimal health benefits.
3)  Optional – Mix in coconut flakes.  Either Tiffany’s Power-full Coconut Chips or Dang Coconut Chips (experiment with different flavors)
4)  If you added raw nuts, you might want to sprinkle some sea salt on the mixture, but it’s surprisingly good even without.  If you added roasted and salted nuts, there is no need for salt.

The nuts can get soggy after about a day so it is best to wait to add the nuts till before you are ready to eat.

Cucumber and Melon Summer Salad

It’s summer, it’s hot, I’m busy and I don’t have time to spend a lot of time on meal preparation! However, I still want (need) to eat in a way that makes me feel healthy and strong.

A few weeks ago I concocted this refreshingly simple salad.  I made a large batch and ate it as a light lunch or a side to a larger meal for several days in a row.  Actually, the salad is better the second day since the flavors begin to meld (if making a large batch wait to add dressing until just before eating). It’s light, has minimal ingredients, it’s quick to prepare, tastes great and most importantly makes me feel super human!

If you are going to eat it as a meal, add some type of nuts.  I roasted some sunflower seeds with thyme and added them just before eating.

Simple and refreshing!

Simple and refreshing!

Ingredients

1 Cantaloupe

6-10 Green Onions (depending on how much you like onions)

4 organic cucumbers (conventional have wax on the skin. if you are using them make sure to peel them first)

1 lime- juiced

1/4 cup oil (I used sunflower oil but EVOO would work too)

salt to taste

Roasted chopped nuts (optional. 1/4 cup per serving)

Method:

Dice cantaloupe and cucumbers into bite size pieces.  Chop onions (including the green parts). Toss all ingredients into a bowl and add oil, lime and salt to taste.  That’s it kids, your done and ready to munch!

This is best enjoyed outdoors. I like to eat most of my meals on the deck during the summer- Hey you have to take advantage of every glorious minute of a Minnesota summer!!

 

Almond Salad

Looking for a easy to make low-carb, high protein, healthy, satisfying and  high fiber lunch or appetizer recipe? This is it!

I made this recipe for lunch during Goldies ski weekend last January AND as an appetizer for two Christmas parties last year:  It was a hit at both!

(feeds 4 Goldies for lunch or 10+ as appetizer)

Ingredients:

Salad:

1/2 cup chopped raw almonds (either buy them slivered or pulse in a food processor, i think it would be fine with roasted almonds too)

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup grated carrots (use the food processor!)

5 green onions- chopped

1 Tbsp Vegan Mayonnaise (in the natural foods section)

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

Sea salt and pepper.

Mix all ingredients- the salad is done!  If you aren’t going to eat this right away I would hold off on adding the almonds until just before serving, otherwise they might loose some of their crunch.

How to eat it:

Lunch: wrap in an organic romaine lettuce leaf (pictured) or any other green leafy thing.

Appetizer: Slice cucumbers approximately 1 1/2 inches thick -scoop out some of the seeds in the middle to make a little bowl for the salad.  Fill with salad and place them on a plate.  Obviously you can eat it for lunch this way too, it just takes a bit more work:)

I want to share some pictures from the Goldies 2016 Ski weekend with you! As usual, the temperatures were BRUTAL!!! When we woke up in the morning to go skiing the thermometer read -15.  The wind-chill was -29!!! What did we do? We went skiing to Sugar Hills of course!!! I love my hard-core goldies!!!! Thanks for being my friend and an inspiration ladies!

-30 degrees? That doesn't stop us from getting out into the north woods!

-30 degrees? That doesn’t stop us from getting out into the north woods!

The gang <3

The gang <3

Paleo Angel Mini Cakes

Happy Birthday to me! For as long as I can remember my favorite birthday cake has been angel food with whipped cream and strawberries.  I have long dreamed of the day that I would find a healthier version of this old favorite.  After some research and a bit of trial and error I found it!

The recipe I am sharing with you today has been tested by myself (self-proclaimed angel food critic), my husband (doesn’t care if it’s healthy or not) and the Goldies (hard core healthy foodies).  The results have been unanimous: THESE ROCK!

The recipe was modified from Our Four Forks classic vanilla coconut flour paleo cake.

Ingredients (makes 10-12 cakes):

For the cakes:

3 whole farm fresh chicken eggs

1 cup non-dairy milk (I love unsweetened cashew milk)

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cups coconut flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

coconut oil (for greasing the cupcake pan)

For the topping:

2-4 cups Fresh or frozen organic strawberries (they are on the dirty dozen) Have as many as you like, I load these baby cakes up with berries!!

Creamy option toppings:

Greek yogurt (mix plain with vanilla and honey)

Coconut Cream Whipped Cream

Organic Vanilla Ice Cream

Method:

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, (I’m not going to lie this is what I do) throw all cake ingredients into a bowl and mix with a hand whisk until all of the lumps are gone. Grease the cupcake pan and fill each hole with 1/4 cup of mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean when done. Let these cool 15 to 20 minutes before taking out of the pan, they will be delicate as be kind.

Top with berries and cream and enjoy with your favorite people!

These can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days (they usually don’t last that long in my house).

I made these to share for Gina’s birthday trip to New Prague;  it was a great day filled with laughter, learning and food. The day started with a stop at the Farm House Market to shop and meet the dedicated owner Kendra.  This is a great little market that sells local and organic foods. Next, we headed over to the Cedar Brook Garden Center for a Shiitake mushroom growing class.  We learned about growing Shiitakes while making our own mushroom growing logs to take home!  The afternoon ended with a great lunch at Jamie’s  (thanks to Jean) and a dessert of these little delights.

Farmhouse Market Tour

Farmhouse Market Tour

Shiitake mushroom log "building"

Shiitake mushroom log “building”

Happy Birthday Gina!!

Happy Birthday Gina!!

Single Serving Protein Packed Pancake

As a women in the natural resources field I have always felt very passionate about being strong, both mentally and physically. In 2011 I took my passion to another level; I competed in a figure competition (and took first place in my class)!  Truth be told, this had been a bucket list item of mine since I was a child when my mom brought me to my first bodybuilding competition in Colorado Springs. In the year preceding the competition I declared myself as my own personal trainer and nutritionist.  I trained hard, held myself accountable and spent a lot of time behind the computer researching various lifting and meal plans.  About those meal plans:much of what the popular trainers recommend for muscle building wasn’t what I considered healthy, it just didn’t fit with what I wanted to be putting in my body.  I saw lots of artificial sweeteners, refined protein bars,  protein powders with extensive ingredient lists and conventional meats (and lots of them).  I ended up making my own versions of many of the foods I was “supposed” to be eating.  While I was happy to go back to my regular eating regime when the competition was over (so was my husband) the recipe I am sharing here is one that has stuck around.

Check!

Check!

I love this recipe because I love pancakes (I don’t think many people know this) but I don’t love the way the white refined flour and sugary syrup makes me feel.  This recipe, is packed with healthy protein (coconut flour and peanut butter), fiber (coconut flour and psyllium husk), antioxidants (berries) and nutrients like potassium (banana).  I will let you in on another secret: I love eating, I love eating a lot of food!  Just wait until you see the plate size pancake that this recipe makes, it’s sure to satisfy you!  FYI- I eat on small plates, it tricks my mind into thinking I’m eating more!

If I have time during the week I will make this, but mostly this is a good weekend breakfast.

Powerful ingredients!

Powerful ingredients!

Ingredients (serves one):

Pancake:

1 tbsp organic coconut flour

1 tbsp ground psyllium seed husk (you can find in the natural foods section)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk (any milk will do-I’ve used them all!)

1 organic free range egg + 1 egg white (the extra yolk goes to the pups)

1/2 tsp coconut oil

Topping (play with this, top these with whatever you want, just make sure it is healthy!)

1/4 cup blueberries (optional)

1/2 banana (optional)

1 tbsp organic peanut butter (optional)

a drizzle of real maple syrup (optional)

Method:

Whisk with fork until all lumps are gone.

Whisk with fork until all lumps are gone.

Pancake:  Toss all pancake ingredients into a small bowl and whisk (excluding coconut oil).  Drop oil in non-stick pan and heat.  Once the oil is melted spread it around to cover the surface.  Drop the pancake mixture in and spread it out to form a large round cake.  Cook on medium until the sides start to firm up (much like a regular pancake).  Flip- carefully, if it looks too wet let it cook on the first side awhile longer.  Let it cook approximately five more minutes, it should feel slightly firm to the touch).

Make sure you have a dog or two to share the second yolk with!

Make sure you have a dog or two to share the second yolk with!

Topping:  Mash banana and peanut butter together and spread on pancake.  Just to let you in on a secret- this is extra good if your banana is frozen: just let is thaw enough to mash with a fork.  Top with blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Power on!

Optional toppings

Optional toppings

Coconut flour is a grain free flour made from the meat of the coconut.  You can find it at your local food coop, in the natural foods section of the grocery store or online.  If you are interested in learning more about cooking with coconut flour and the benefits check out this blog: The Nourished Kitchen.

 

Golden Roasted Veggie Niblets

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One of the staples of Goldie get-togethers are roasted veggies.  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner… they are always such a tasty treat!  This recipe makes a great snacky-snack that you can nibble on at a party, and they are not going to get ignored like the party platter of veggies with ranch dip.  These little buggars are so addicting! The nutritional yeast gives a cheesy flavor and when browned, a delectable little crunch.  Load up on the nutritional yeast!  If you want to pre-make these for a party, they are good served luke-warm too, so don’t worry about serving them hot.

Of course, they also are great served as a side dish.

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Coat veggies generously with seasonings!

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
1 head broccoli
1/4 cup Olive oil
Salt or garlic salt
Nutritional Yeast
Tandoori
Turmeric

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut Cauliflower and broccoli into small trees
  3. Put veggies in bowl that has a tight lid
  4. Coat veggies with olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and tandoori in bowl and cover (enough seasonings to coat veggies generously)

    2015-12-10 17.59.59

    Make sure the veggies are coated evenly after shaking.

  5. Shake bowl to coat veggies evenly
  6. Add more seasoning if necessary and re-shake
  7. Line pan with parchment paper
  8. Pour contents of bowl on parchment paper and spread veggies evenly
  9. Bake until veggies become browned and soft (about 30 minutes)
  10. Add more salt if desired

Experiment with adding more veggies… brussel spouts, asparagus, and onions would be a great addition!

PB Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I have since I was a child.  I remember being infatuated with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and dipping the ears of my chocolate easter bunny into a spoon full of peanut butter never tiring of the play between nutty, bitter and sweet. HOWEVER – now I have grown, changed and learned about better choices that provide real, lasting energy – not the quick rev of the engine that crashes and burns 30 minutes after the peanut butter cup wrapper has hit the trash.

I created these simple cookies when I had a craving for my life-long favorite. It is based off of Tiffany’s Simple Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I was very concerned they weren’t sweet enough, but after taking some to work last Friday I was encouraged that they were pleasantly sweet yet not cloying and had great flavor – hints of honey and vanilla!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (I used chunky and enjoy the texture of the peanut pieces)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup spelt, barley or oat flour (You can easily make your own oat flour by processing rolled oats in your food processor until they are the texture of flour.  This is a great option for a gluten free version; just be sure you start with certified gluten free oats.)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder (Try to use aluminum free – it is available in the natural food section of large grocery stores and in natural food coops.)

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips of roughly chopped dark chocolate

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  (I love parchment paper so much, at first I considered it a wasteful expense – but it is so darn handy!  If it is not too sticky or dirty, I wipe it with a damp cloth, let it air dry and re-use it.  This makes my husband roll his eyes – but I think he is getting used to it.)

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine peanut butter and melted coconut oil.

Mix egg, honey and vanilla into the peanut butter and oil until combined well.

Mix flour mixture into wet ingredients.

Add oats; mix to combine.

Stir chocolate in by hand.

Scoop cookie dough by 1 tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes – rotating the pans half way through the baking time.

Cool these on a wire baking rack.  Store in air tight container at room temperature for a couple of days – or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

PBC Cookies

Dark chocolate, peanut butter, oats and honey make for a wholesome, satisfying, delicious cookie

These are a great energizing, satisfying, treat-like snack.  Enjoy!