Monthly Archives: August 2014

Kayla’s Famous Sunbutter Wrap

Kayla's Famous Sunbutter Wrap | real food.  home made.

This weekend my friend Michelle was in town, en route from England to Portland, OR.  This afternoon I gave her a tour of my city, Ferndale (which I consider the Portland of Michigan), and we gathered ingredients to make one of my favourite lunches.  Everyone I serve it to loves it, and I hope you do too!

Kayla’s Famous Sunbutter Wrap

Ingredients:

  • lavash / wraps  (best quality you can find, I found these gorgeous pink tomato wraps at a local Organic market)
  • sunflower seed butter (you can find Sunbutter brand at most grocery stores)
  • hummus
  • avocado, sliced
  • tomato, sliced (preferably home-grown or from a friend or farmer)
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • broccoli florets, chopped small
  • romaine lettuce leaves

Kayla's Famous Sunbutter Wrap | real food.  home made.

Method:

  1. Chop all of your vegetables.
  2. Lay out your wraps and spread sunbutter over one half, and hummus over the other half.
  3. Down the center, place 3 avocado slices, 3 tomato slices, a handful of red onion, a handful of broccoli, and a romaine lettuce leaf.
  4. Roll up your wrap, and use the sunbutter as “glue” to hold it together (I usually add a toothpick also to be safe).
  5. Enjoy!

(Feel free to switch up the veggies, or sometimes we add turkey.  The most important things are the hummus, sunbutter, avocado and red onion.)

MichelleinTree

Michelle perched in my tree.

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Filed under Lunch, Sandwiches, Vegan, Vegetarian

Turkey Apple Cherry Jam Sandwich -or- “Jammy Sammy”

Turkey Apple Cherry Jam Sandwich -or- "Jammy Sammy" | real food. home made.

I’ve been planning to make this sandwich ever since I got home from Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World (most likely).  Last night, however, the biggest flood in recent history hit our region, and I almost couldn’t make it to the grocery store!  Our basement flooded knee-deep, and we spent all of last night and all of today pumping out the water, throwing out everything that was wet, and re-organizing everything that was salvageable. I found time to bike to the market, thankfully, so I could put a nice dinner on the table after such a stressful and hectic 24 hours.

Turkey Apple Cherry Jam Sandwich -or- “Jammy Sammy”

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Slice your fruits and vegetables (I use a mandoline to make life easy!)
  2. Toast the bread
  3. Make the jam sandwich!
  4. Enjoy.

Turkey Apple Cherry Jam Sandwich -or- "Jammy Sammy" | real food. home made.

(What I do next is chop up a heart of romaine, divide it between two lunchbots, add my extra tomato, turkey, apple, and onion slices, and top with dried cherries.  Perfect for mine and Grant’s lunch tomorrow.)

After losing so many “valuables” I definitely have a greater appreciation for the invaluables.  It’s been very cathartic going through everything, to say the least.  Here is a photo I salvaged of me and my dad from July 1995 in Rapid City, MI.

IMG_4444b

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Filed under Brunch, Dinner Ideas, Lunch, Sandwiches

Kayla’s Chickpea Blondies

I am more of a savoury girl than a sweet one.  I would choose sushi over a cookie, or beef jerky over a brownie almost every day (chocolate wins out when I am on my period).  BUT THESE MAGICAL BLONDIES ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.  The main ingredients are chickpeas and peanut butter, blended with honey and chocolate chips.  One could argue that they are the perfect balance of savoury and sweet.

Kayla's Chickpea Blondies | real food. home made.

It is important that you make them with the highest quality of ingredients.  No JIF peanut butter, no 2.99 “honey” bears, please.  Please.   Since they are not exactly inexpensive to make, I usually reserve them for intimate potlucks or small family gatherings (or just to keep around the house for Grant and I).

Kayla’s Chickpea Blondies

Ingredients:

  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup of real honey
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 T genuine vanilla extract
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and spray a 13 x 9 x 2 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips and spread most of the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. In a separate cupcake tin, fill 3-5 cups with batter to bake separately (this way you can taste one before the party, and have more waiting for you afterwards).
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Note: To make vegan, leave out the eggs (or replace with flax eggs), replace the honey with maple syrup, and use vegan chocolate chips.

Bring these to your next potluck, and bring a few copies of the recipe to pass around 🙂

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Snacks, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates | real food. home made.

These look much more appetizing in space than they did on my plate.

You know that feeling when you try to go to bed and you can’t sleep because you are hungry? This is the perfect cure for that feeling! It can also be served as an appetizer, a dessert, a mid-morning or after-school snack. It is simple, requiring only 2 ingredients that you should already have in your pantry!

Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • medjool dates (Natural Delights are the best!)
  • natural peanut butter (home made or make sure the ingredients list contains only peanuts and salt)

Method:

  1. Cut open your dates and remove the pits (very important!!!)
  2. Stuff with peanut butter.
  3. Watch your hunger pangs disappear!

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Filed under Appetizers, Desserts, Gluten Free, Paleo, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Confusing World of Egg Marketing

  • Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs
  • “Grain Fed” / “Vegetarian Diet”
  • “Free-Range”
  • “Natural”
  • “Omega-3 Enriched”

These are all slogans you see on different varieties of egg packaging at the grocery store. But what do they really mean?

First of all, brown eggs are no more “natural” than white eggs. Different breeds of chickens lay different coloured eggs, and that is that.

“Grain Fed” and “Vegetarian Diet” are both problematic. Chickens are not vegetarians. Ones that are free to roam in the pasture eat insects, which are vital to their, and our, nutritional needs.

What can be considered “Free-Range” by technical standards is not what you picture in your head when you hear the term.

“Allowed access to the outside” is how the USDA defines “free-range.” This inadequate definition means that producers can, and do, label their eggs as “free-range” even if all they do is leave little doors open on their giant sheds, regardless of whether the birds ever learn to go outside, and regardless of whether there is good pasture or just bare dirt or concrete outside those doors!  (Mother Earth News)

“Natural” is a big labeling problem – I’m not sure there are ANY regulations on this one.

As far as the Omega-3 enriched eggs, these are basically conventionally raised chickens except their feed is supplemented with an omega-3 source like flax.

What I’ve found is there is no right answer. I’m not sure any of these options are any better or worse than any other. In my local Kroger, for example, they have eggs that range from 0.99 cents to 5.49 a dozen – all with varying packaging materials and marketing slogans. The dollar eggs have simple styrafoam packaging, and the expensive eggs have cardboard packaging with nice fonts and green coloured logos. Each appeals to a different demographic, but they could very well be the very same eggs inside.

 The Confusing World of Egg Marketing | real food. home made.

Here is a chart that outlines some nutritional differences between conventional eggs and true free-range eggs.

The only way to know for sure that the eggs you are feeding to yourself and your family are chock full of nutrition is to purchase them from a local farm. John Henry’s sets up at the Royal Oak farmers market on Saturday mornings, Birmingham farmers market on Sunday mornings, and does bi-weekly delivery to many cities in Michigan.

Believe me, you will taste the difference. And for $5.00 a dozen, you can’t beat it!  The best part about the eggs from John Henry’s is opening up the carton in the morning and seeing this:

The Confusing World of Egg Marketing | real food. home made.

For more reading on the health benefits of pastured eggs, read Meet Real Free-Range Eggs

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Filed under Breakfast, Nutrition

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros | real food. home made.

Today, I rushed home from work and went to my polling location to vote for State Representatives.  I swear, when I am older, I am definitely going to be one of the ladies who volunteers at those things.  They were having a blast.  I would bring baked goods to share.  (I didn’t see any baked goods).

Usually I stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, but today I decided not to, and to “just wing it”; challenge myself to create something from what I had in stock at the house.  And this is what I came up with.

Huevos Rancheros

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar specialty salsa (mild, medium or hot, based on preference)
  • 1 can black beans, partially drained
  • pastured eggs
  • 3-6 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • small handful of cilantro
  • handful of corn tortilla chips (optional)
  • one avocado, sliced (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. In a large skillet with tight fitting lid, turn heat to medium and bring salsa to a boil.
  2. Stir in beans and some bean liquid, and bring to a low simmer.
  3. Carefully crack the eggs evenly spaced throughout the beans.
  4. Cover with lid and cook just until whites are firm (yolks will still be runny).
  5. Microwave 1-2 tortillas per person, separated by paper towel for 20 seconds or so.
  6. Lay down tortillas and scoop two eggs and accompanying bean/salsa mixture onto each plate.
  7. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.
  8. Serve with a lime wedge and a handful of tortilla chips.
  9. Grind black pepper onto the eggs.
  10. Serve and enjoy – for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.

Huevos Rancheros is a great recipe to have in your arsenal; it can be thrown together at a moment’s notice with mostly stock items.  Hopefully now you can add it to yours!

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Banana Toast

Peanut Butter Banana Toast! "real food.  home made."

This is a breakfast I first devised during a camping trip, and it has become one of my go-to quick-fix breakfasts for mornings before work.

Only three ingredients are required:

  • Ezekiel Bread, toasted (Cinnamon Raisin is my favourite)
  • Natural Peanut Butter (either make your own or make sure the ingredients list says only peanuts and salt)
  • Organic banana slices.  I usually buy large bananas, and cut them into 18 circles – enough for 2 pieces of toast!

Peanut Butter Banana Toast! "real food.  home made."

Peanut Butter Banana Toast! "real food.  home made."

Sometimes, like this morning, I sprinkle a little cinnamon on top!  I find this to be a perfectly balanced breakfast.  It is really funny, often times I picture what it would be like to be served this portion at a restaurant.  That restaraunt would be laughed right out of business!  It is a shame.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Vegan, Vegetarian