Friday, April 30, 2010

Post Fight Indulgence: I ♥ Banana Bread

This week I was itching to bake for myself especially since my training/diet regime when I wasn't able to as much, so I decided to make banana bread - one of my all-time favourite foods ever and one of my most favourite flavours ever.

So I was thrilled to find this gluten-free banana bread recipe on one of my favourite websites: Taste of Home.

The recipe on the website makes two loaves but I only made one since I can't eat a loave that fast ... well, actually I probably could eat it in one day but I know I really, really, REALLY shouldn't!

Gluten-free Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients - Makes 12 servings
I made a few substitutions from the original recipe

1 cups gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch teaspoon salt
1 egg + 2 egg whites
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or walnuts)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, banana, agave, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Optional: Sprinkle with walnuts (I omitted this because I used chocolate).

Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Yield: 1 loave


Friday, April 23, 2010

Hard Training & Weight-watching Week

Hot Ginger and Vegetable Salad
A Sarah-Lyn original recipe

1 tsp olive oil
1 green onion chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced round
1 small green hot pepper chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 pkg of firm tofu, chopped in cubes
1 tsp of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb mix
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (optional)
1-2 cups of mixed green salad

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan at medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.
2. Toss in the onions, carrots, hot pepper, ginger and tofu and coat well with the olive oil.
3. Satay for about 2-3 minutes then add the Mrs. Dash spice and the vinegar if adding.
4. Satay for another 4-5 minutes, stirring often and then turn off the heat.  I cook mine long enough for all of the tofu to be lightly browned.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Place the mixed greens salad in a large bowl (you can add more balsamic vinegar at this point) then cover the bed of salad with the satayed vegetables.
7. Optional: Add a dash of fresh lemon juice.


After my boxing match on Sunday, besides eating chocolate again, I like to eat pizza as a reward - it's my comfort food but only the homemade version! Stay tuned for a yummy gluten-free, vegan pizza recipe next Friday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Raw Dinner Delights!

Made this fabulous dinner for friend and myself last weekend - we both loved it! Still can't believe the whole thing is raw and it tastes amazing.  Thank goodness for almond butter!

Raw Pad Thai with Almond Sauce
(Original recipe from The Raw Gourment by Nomi Shannon)

Serves 8 to 10 (I made about half the recipe and it still lasted me for 3 days!)

- 4 large zucchini
- 2 large carrots
- 1/2 cup coarsley chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts

Peel the zucchini, then shave the flesh into thick strips with a vegetable peeler.  Cut the carrots into thin matchsticks with either a mandoline or a sharp knife.  Combine the zucchini, carrots, cilantro, and bean sprouts in a bowl and toss together gently.

Pad Thai Almond Sauce
- 2 cups raw almond butter
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 pitted soft dates
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp crushed dried chiles (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. If necessary, add small amounts of water to facilitate blending.  The sauce should be thick.  Add the sauce to the noodle salad and mix well.

- 4 green onions, chopped
- 4 tbsp chopped thai basil leaves
- 10 to 12 wedges of fresh lime
- 8 raw almonds, chopped

Sprinkle the green onions, basil, lime wedges, and almonds over the salad just before serving.

Note: When I put my salad together I kind of just placed everything together, scooped some of the sauce to each place and let the person mix it together for themselves.


Raw Strawberry Pie
(Original recipe from The Raw Gourment by Nomi Shannon)

Basic Almond-Maple Crust
- 1-2 cups almonds, soaked 8-12 hours
- 3-4 tsp maple syrup (I actually used agave nectar)

After draining the almonds, dry them for 30-60 minutes in the sun or simply with a clean towel.  In a food processor, chop the almonds until they are uniformly very fine.  Gradually add the syrup, using just enough for the almond meal to hold together.  Sprinkle the mixture into a 8- or 9-inch pie pan and then gently press it into the bottom and up the sides.  Makes 1 pie.

Strawberry Filling

- 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

- 6 pitted dates, soaked 4-8 hours (reserve soak water (I actually used 10 dried dates, soaked)
- 2 cups quartered strawberries
- Maple syrup or agave nectar to taste (optional)
- 4 tsp psyllium (I didn't this ingredient, now thinking I really should have!)

In a blender, comine the strawberries with the dates and enough of the date soak water to achieve a thck purée.  Taste and add sweetner, if required.  While the blender is still running, gradually add the psyllium.  When the mixture is very thick and smooth, immediately pour it over the strawberries in the crust, being sure to cover all areas of the pie.  Using a spatula, smooth the binder around and into the berries.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

I added fresh strawberry slices to the top of my pie for a decorative touch.

mmm ... strawberry pie!

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Detox Week of Mostly Raw Eating

After finding out that my fight was cancelled and with the Easter long weekend coming up I did what any normal person would do, I ate very, very bad food! Wait, is that normal? Well, it's not my norm and I don't condone it although falling off the health wagon once in a while is okay if done in moderation... unfortunately however, I don't do anything in moderation, I turned that one day of bad eating into 1 week!

It was not good. So, to detox, cleanse and clear my conscious I decided to focus on getting back to my healthy lifestyle and having mroe fun with my raw food meals!

Food I made, ate and loved this week ...

I revisited my ever wonderful Cranberry Kale Salad and ate it two nights in a row ... mmm, kale!

I also created a new, simple yet colourful little salad topped with, what is now most favourite dressing ever, a Japanese Ginger dressing (see picture above for the salad I made).

Trio Lunch Salad
A Sarah-Lyn original recipe :)

- 1/2 a head of romaine lettuce, shredded
- 1 small or medium carrot, julienned
- 1 med red pepper, julienned
- 1 small zucchini, shredded
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 tbsp of your favourite dressing

1. Place the lettuce in a bowl, as the base layer, then add the carrots, red pepper and zucchini on top, keeping them separate.
2. Add the cherry or grape tomatoes to the middle of the trio of veggies.
3. Top off with the dressing or keep it in a separate small bowl for dipping.

I like to dip each bite of veggies into the dressing, that way I get some with every bite!

For dinner Tuesday night (and again for my lunch Wednesday) I made a fabulous fruit juice drink and raw tacos for myself and a friend. We both loved it!

Hot Pink
Recipe from the amazing book Raw Food/real World:100 Recipes To Get The Glowow by Matthew Kenney

- 1 medium beet
- 1/2 medium pineapple
- 1/2 pint of strawberries, stems removed
- 1 thumb-size knob of fresh ginger
Run all the ingredients through a juicer. Enjoy!

I found the pineapple juice really cuts the taste of the beet and the ginger really gives it some spice!

If you imagine really hard you can almost convince yourself it's wine!

Lettuce Shell Tacos
Original recipe from the book The Raw 50 by Carol Alt

- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 medium spanish onion
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this, I hate parsley!)
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2hrs
- 1.2 jalapeno peppers
- 1/2 tsp salt (I omitted this too)
- 1/4 block of firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces (I added this for protein)
- 6 medium romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dryed

1. Cut the avocado into bite-size chunks and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Chop the onion a food processor, and then add the cumin, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and jalapenos. Process the mixture until it is smooth and creamy.
2. Add the mixture to the chopped avocado and add the tofu, mixing just enough so it's mostly covered.
3. Distribute the taco filling equally among the six lettuce leaves and then fold the ends of the lettuce together like a taco. (I folded it more like a burrito, to keep the mixture in)

For Thursday night dinner I wanted to experiment a little with the kale satayed salads I've been making and come up with this one:

Raisins and Apples and Kale, oh my!
A Sarah-Lyn original recipe :)

- 5-6 leafy branches of fresh kale
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tsp apple cidar vinegar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of raisins (I used golden raisins)
- 1/4 block of firm tofu (for added protein, optional)

1. Wash, dry and chop Kale into pieces.
2. Scrub kales in olive oil then add to frying pan, satay at med-high for about 5 minutes.
3. Add cinnamon and apple cidar vinegar, mixing well and sataying for another minute.
4. Add the tofu.  Satay long enough until the kale is warm and darker green but not burnt or soupy - or until however you like it.
5. Add the apples and raisins last, remove from heat.
6. Stir just enough to mix it up and serve.  Enjoy!
Not as tasty as the Cranberry Kale salad but still yummy and filling, could add more cinnamon for a stronger spicy flavour.

I didn't want to leave breakfast out of the mix, so this morning I made this:

Raw Granola with Fruit
Original recipe from the book The Raw 50 by Carol Alt

1/4 cup raw rolled oats, soaked overnight and drained
1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained
Small handful of raisins, mix of yellow and brown
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Seasonal berries or sliced fruit of your choice
Raw honey to taste
1 cup of raw milk (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the rolled oats, almonds, raisins and cranberries.  Top the mixture with your choice of fruit and drizzle with honey to taste.  Add raw milk or Almond milk if desired.


Need a coffee break? Visit i bake cupcakes blog today for my Dark Cherry Mocha cupcake recipe.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Beach Brunch on a Great Friday!

It's a lovely day for an Easter/Beach Brunch with friends.  I'm heading out today with my pup Scarlet to meet friends at the beach, have some good food and perhaps play some beach volleyball.  I made these beauties, which are also sugar free - gluten-free Zucchini and soya feta muffins...mmmm, savoury!

The original receipe can be found in 500 cupcakes on page 74.  I substituted the flour with gluten-free flour and the feta with soya feta; granted it doesn't have the same lovely texture as regular feta but it does the trick!

Please visit: i Bake Cupcakes for the cupcakes I made for our brunch!
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