Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate and Vanilla Halva Bites

Jenn and I went on a trip to Israel over the summer (part of the Birthright program). It was a magical experience in so many ways! We ate great food, learned about the culture, met so many new friends and just in general had a grand time.

One of my favourite things there was: Halva!
There's lots of recipes for halva, some include granulated sugar, rose water, eggs, even butter.

But the kind in Israel is just made with two ingredients: tahini and honey. And it's amazing...
I bought some from the grocery store but it was the one with sugar in it and just didn't cut it.

I thought to make "no cook" halva bites, that have a secret ingredient: protein! So it cuts the glycemic index and it's like eating a protein bar but it tastes like sesame-honey goodness. I tell you the combination is magic.

You can easily make these VEGAN! Simple as pie! Use a vanilla flavoured protein powder (brown rice protein would be perfect) and substitute the honey for agave or they have honey flavoured agave which is interesting but worth a try!

The honey! This is our main "natural" honey in Canada. It's in every health food store (at least in Ontario). Summer Blossom is the most mild and is best for baking!


1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp honey
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (or 4 tbsp)
Pinch of salt


1/3 tahini
3 tbsp honey
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (or 4 tbsp)
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (add more if you like it more dark chocolatey)
Pinch of salt

Roasted sesame seeds for rolling

Combine all ingredients to make two different flavoured doughs.

Take a piece of dough and roll into ball, then roll it in sesame seeds to form a strip of seeds on the ball, then flatten a bit to resemble a cookie.

Put them in the fridge and snack away!

You can buy these seeds at any asian supermarket, they're roasted, and nice and crunchy!

Delightful treats!

You could do so many different flavours too, putting some orange zest would be good (choc or vanilla) Mix in pistachios or you could roll them in toasted coconut. yum!

Store in refrigerator. Makes around 15 bites.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Vegan Halloween: Rocky Road Treats! w/ Marshmallow Ghosts

Halloween is almost here! Jenn and I rarely go for conventional candy but sometimes you just gotta give in to the treat-filled holiday.

This is a vegan/halloween take on Jamie Oliver Rocky Road Kill, recipe here. I've expressed it before, I am loving the recipes on Jamie's Food Tube Channel, if you haven't checked it out do so ASAP! To make these vegan we used Earth Balance butter, which is our first time ever using it. Except for this one time in a pumpkin pie... It melts just like butter and tastes pretty darn close to the real thing. You could alternatively use regular butter or even try peanut butter!

We used Dandies for the first time as well, they are so so soft, and taste exactly like marshmallows, superb!

Even the Reese's Pieces are vegan (they contain 'trace' amounts of milk, but you know, close enough)

We realize these are definitely not a sketch-free ingredient but once (or twice! :P) a year never hurt-

Gather up the rest of your ingredients!

Not seen - honey/agave syrup

And begin the concoction!

250 g dark chocolate
2 tbsp agave syrup (we used honey)
1 Earth Balance baking butter sticks (113g) + 1 small knob
1 bag Dandies marshmallows (cut up smaller) (Save 5-6 for ghosts!)
30g crushed chocolate cookies
30g crushed gingersnaps
1/4 cup Reese's pieces candy (Save a handful for topping)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (We like the "salted chocolate" taste so we put more in)
You know I should have put in coconut, if you have the large flake kind definitely add around 1/4 cup!

It's like the easiest thing to make. Melt the chocolate, butter, salt and agave in a double boiler. Reserve 1/4 of your melted chocolate/butter, set aside. Add in all of your "add-ins." Spoon into pie plate and drizzle your reserved melted chocolate/butter mixture. Top with Reese's pieces and marshmallow ghosts! (see below for recipe). Place in refrigerator until firm.

Cut up those mallows-

Crush up those cookies-

The icing for the Marshmallow Ghosts:

1 part honey/agave
1 part cocoa
1 pinch of tapioca/corn/arrowroot starch

Spoon into a ziploc bag, snip the end and start piping on the expressions! Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set. Then plant onto rocky road to set in the fridge.

Tell me these aren't the cutest-

Cross-section of delicious delight!

This mallow's looking mighty happy to be sitting on top still intact, while all the other marshmallows were cut up and used as pavement! Oh the horror!

Makes 15 pieces

Thanks Jamie for the inspiration!
This was so quick and easy and exactly the kind of treat I was looking to make this year. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken and Corn Soup via The Dumpling Sisters!

I was browsing Food Tube the other day. If you haven't heard of it it's a youtube channel run by Jamie Oliver and his friends who post super cool recipes every week! It's amazing. Anyways, there was a mini competition to find Jamie's next Food Tube star and that's where I found: The Dumpling Sisters!

These girls are sisters who cook together (just like us!), they are from New Zealand and cook traditional and not-so-traditional Chinese food, everything they make looks so good! I always had this close-minded view of Chinese food as only consisting of: Chicken Balls, fried rice, and lots of MSG. But these sisters cook food that is easy, accessible and healthy, I'm totally on board!
If you're curious about Chinese food and want to try out a few recipes, take a look at their blog.

I've wanted to make this soup for a while and finally got around to it! It's probably the easiest soup I've ever made and it takes maybe half an hour.

For the corn, you can use canned, frozen, or fresh!

640g corn
5 cups of chicken stock
1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp tapioca flour (combined with 1/2 cup cold water)
2 eggs
3 chopped spring onions
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

First take half of your corn and blend with 1 cup hot chicken stock. Combine blended corn, whole corn kernels and 4 cups of chicken stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Marinade chicken with soy sauce and a pinch of salt. Turn down heat and add chicken, give it a few stirs. Bring soup back up to a boil. Take off of heat and slowly stir in the tapioca flour/water slurry. Put back on heat and stir until thickened, make sure it comes back up to a boil because tapioca flour must be coked through. Crack two eggs and whisk in a bowl (original recipe called for 3 but I only had 2, add 1 more if you want!). Season soup with salt and pepper, chop up spring onions and stir into soup, I added 1 tbsp chopped cilantro because I'm obsessed with cilantro and it goes well with corn. I also added some chili spice and black sesame seeds as well as a sprig of cilantro for garnish.

And that's it! Soo easy! It's like chicken noodle soup, so comforting!

You can use tapioca, corn starch or even arrowroot flour would work too!

yum yum yums

sunny days

Here is the video of the original recipe by the Dumpling Sisters:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grapefruit Mango Smoothie

Hey everyone! We have a fantastic smoothie to share with all of you!

It started out with this HINT of inspiration:

0 sugar!

I've never come across a mango and grapefruit combo, but oh my! It's so good!

Grapefruits are one of our favourites because it's low in sugar but still has such a unique and fresh flavour.

Mango has that same fresh taste, which is why they are a perfect combo!

Onto smoothie making!...

Grab 1 1/2 cups of frozen mango (or one happy mug full!)

mug full of mango

Pour in 1 cup of grapefruit juice (we used not from concentrate which tends to be pretty strong so we subbed 1/4 cup of it for water)

fresh juice

Add 3 heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt (we used Liberte Organic Yogurt). Blend until this sunny colour happens.

kickin' back on the sunshine coast

And you've got a bright mango and grapefruit smoothie! Since we used stronger juice, we didn't have to use any sweetener, feel free to add a squirt of honey or even half a banana!

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