RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Holiday Entertaining

Hi everybody!

We’re here to tell you today that we have not fallen off the face of the planet- we’ve just been extra busy over the past week and have had no time for blogging!  In fact, we have barely even been on our computers, which is pretty outrageous for us because ordinarily we spend quite a bit of time on them!

We have been enjoying our Christmas holidays so much over the past week spending as much time as we can with our family who have come to visit from out west and New York that we have hardly even been in the kitchen! (gasp!)

And since today’s their last full day here, we are only stopping in briefly so you don’t think we’ve abandoned you forever.

So we’d like to ask you, what do you make when you have family coming and going constantly, have no time to cook (or plan) elaborate meals, and you just need quick easy snacks/munchies that everyone c will enjoy?





You should all know by now that we are basically obsessed with hummus, and are constantly coming up with more ideas for new versions and flavours.  Today’s is the sun-dried tomato addition, but you can check out our recipe page for a million a few other recipes for some different variations on our favourite dip 🙂

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus


Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups


2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) blotted dry
1/4 c. oil (from the sun-dried tomato jar)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. water
pepper, to taste


Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and serve with veggies, pitas, crackers, etc.


What have you been doing over your holidays?  What are your go-to foods when you’re busy and entertaining guests?

Cookies for Santa

It’s Christmas Eve day, and we made cookies.


Really delicious ginger snap cookies.
The soft, chewy kind of ginger snap cookie.


Sold yet? No!? What if we told you that these are healthy ginger snap cookies? (Surprise surprise) What if we told you that it’s ok for you to eat more than one of these at a time? (unless, of course, you wish for them to last for more than a day.)


And what perfect timing: A cookie recipe the very night you have to leave cookies out for Santa. He’ll be eating a lot of cookies that night, so why not help the guy out, and give him some whole wheat, low fat, no refined sugar cookies? Pair that with a glass of low fat milk, and he’s all set for a healthy snack that’ll help him make it through all of his rounds. 😉

And so will you!

Chewy Ginger Snaps


Prep time: 10 min
Bake time: 10-12 min
Makes: 12 cookies


1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 c. almond butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp molasses
1 egg


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Add wet to dry and stir until just combined. Roll dough into 12 balls and place them onto a prepared cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.


We hope everyone’s Christmas preparations are going well (we know we’re elbow-deep in rolls and bread baking!), and we hope that everyone has a very merry Christmas surrounded by family, friends, and of course good food! 🙂

It’s back…

Just when you thought you had seen the last pumpkin recipe until next fall, here we are again with yet another pumpkin baked good! This one has just been “Christmas-a-fied”.


After making so many pumpkin recipes back in the fall, we took a bit of a pumpkin break, as well. And by break we mean instead of going through two cans each week, we were eating a little under one. 🙂


Maybe that’s why our palms are so much more… “sunkissed” looking than our friends and family?


Pumpkin Blondies! Infused with cinnamon and nutmeg and bursting with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips – it’s like Christmas in the form of a tasty treat. A healthy tasty treat, I might add.


As usual, these are made with whole-wheat flour, no butter and no refined sugar. And you know what? They are dense, chewy, delicately spiced and delicious! Really, the only un-healthy thing about these blondies are the white chocolate chips, but it is the holidays, right? 😉

We think it’s safe to say that pumpkin has no season- and these little bars are proof!

Pumpkin Blondies


Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 20-30min
Makes: 10 bars


1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. date paste
1/4 c. apple sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
1 egg

1/2 c. white chocolate chips
3/4 c. dried cranberries


Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Add wet to dry and then stir in the white chocolate chips and the dried cranberries. Once well combined, pour batter into a greased 9X9 inch baking pan.
Bake for 20-30 min, until they are browned on the top and are firm to the touch.


Do you still enjoy having pumpkin this time of year?

On the lighter side…

Lets look at the components of a Christmas dinner:

Creamy, decadent mashed potatoes
Cheese-covered brussel sprouts
Buttery rolls
Dessert-like sweet potato casserole

Do you sense a theme here?

Christmas dinner specializes in all things rich and decadent, which are delicious, but can also get quite heavy. So why not lighten things up a bit?


We’ve come up with this Christmas-themed salad which is a great addition to your holiday spread, but not to your waist-line!


What makes this a seasonal salad? The roasted chestnuts, dried cranberries and juicy clementine segments, that’s what! We had never had roasted chestnuts until now – we feel as though we can finally fully appreciate the Christmas Song.


Of course, one of the key parts of a salad that really takes it to another level, brings all of the components of a salad together but still lets each topping shine, is the dressing!


Cranberry Vinaigrette!


With only five ingredients (6 if you include water) this is extremely easy to make, and it’s the perfect Christmas dressing!  It’s tart but with a slight sweetness, and just look at that bright red colour!  As we always say, food tastes better when it’s pretty 🙂

Cranberry Vinaigrette


Time: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup


1 c. frozen cranberries
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp water
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste


Place cranberries in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to split.
Allow the cranberries to cool slightly, then place them in a blender along with the apple cider/water mixture, maple syrup and water. blend until the cranberries are all chopped up and everything is fully incorporated.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Add salt and pepper, blend, and then taste it and adjust to your liking.

When this dressing is poured over a bed of greens, roasted chestnuts, clementines and dried cranberries, Christmas magic happens.  And all you have to do is assemble the ingredients…

…pour on the dressing…

and you’re ready to go!  Easy, healthy, delicious.

Christmas Salad


Time: 10 min (not including roasting time)
Serves: 4+


1 bag of greens (we used a spinach/arugula mix)
1/2 large white onion
5-6 white button mushrooms
3-4 clementines
10-15 chestnuts, roasted*
1/2 c. dried cranberries


Put the greens in a large bowl.  Slice your onion into very thin shavings.  Thinly slice the mushrooms, peel the clementines and separate into segments and roughly chop the chestnuts.  Place all ingredients on top of the greens and serve with the dressing on the side.


What kinds of foods do you often eat at your Christmas dinner?

Fuel for the Season

Hi everybody!  Long-time no-see! 🙂

Between finishing the last of our exams and making the trek home for the holidays, we have been super busy and have neglected to write anything for a few days.  Yes, we’re going to be cliche here and blame Christmas for our laziness.  We’re pretty sure that’s some kind of right of passage this time of year anyways, so we’ll take advantage of it while we can 😉

But the great thing is, now that we have exams behind us (yay!) we can throw ourselves into full Christmas mode with no reservation!  This also means that we have less than five days to do all of our Christmas shopping.  This is going to be an interesting 5 days…

So we had to prepare.  What does 4 days of fighting through packed mall crowds require?  Fuel.  And what better way to give yourself a much-needed energy boost than with a muffin?


A Christmas-themed muffin, of course! 🙂


There’s a bit of a story behind these muffins.  An extremely long time ago, we went into a little coffee shop somewhere in London (it was so long ago that neither of us can remember which one it was) and saw in their display case these big green muffins.  We didn’t actually buy one so we don’t know what they tasted like, but they had pistachios in them.  We love pistachios, and we both thought that they looked really cool because they were so green!  We decided right there that we were going to make our own green muffins, and now, almost a year later, we’re finally getting around to it!


But given that this is the Christmas season, just making a green muffin didn’t seem like enough.  So we threw in some dried cranberries to make them green and red!  (a few chocolate chips may have fallen into the batter as well… 🙂 )


And what is the secret to the bright green colour?  2 things: pistachios, and spinach!  Yes, spinach.  The leafy green vegetable has this amazing ability to blend right into whatever it is you’re baking, making it bright green, but leaving no spinach-y taste at all!  We’ve had success in the past with putting spinach into baked goods, so we were pretty confident that it would work for these, too 🙂

We’re also pretty confident that the muffins in that coffee shop were not made green by the addition of spinach, but just adding food colouring is way too boring, not mention significantly less healthy!


Topped with a little bit of almond butter, these muffins are the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  They’re also a good size for tossing into your purse to take with you into the war zone mall during those last-minute shopping trips 🙂

Green Cranberry Pistachio Muffins


Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins


1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. pistachios

1 c. mlk
1 c. spinach
1/2 c. Apple sauce
1/4 c. date paste
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/2 c. pistachios
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips


Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
Grind the first half-cup of pistachios into a fine powder, then combine all the dry ingredients in one big bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour the wet into the dry. Add the other 1/2 cup of pistachios, dried cranberries and chocolate chips, and stir until just combined.
Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, and bake for 15-20min, or until slightly browned on the top and firm to the touch.


Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

Christmas Tradition Made-Over

Let’s talk brussel sprouts.

They have graced the table at every single Christmas since we can remember, always covered in cheese.  How many times have either of us actually eaten them?  Well that is an entirely different thing altogether!

You see, like beets, brussel sprouts were another one of those foods that scared us.  This time, though, it wasn’t so much what they looked like, it was more because of their name.  Brussel sprouts.  Something about that just didn’t sound right to our 8-year-old ears.  They provoked the same kind of reaction that liverworst and blood oranges would cause.

Ridiculous? Maybe, but are we really going to try to justify the logic of 2 little girls?

How about instead we just move ahead to the time when we finally decided to try them?  Eventually we both decided that how bad could something possibly be when it’s covered in cheese? 🙂

And guess what?  Surprise of the century, we both actually ended up really liking them- so much so that we even found ourselves choosing the ones with less cheese! 

That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy a good cheese sauce, though, which is why we have come up with this dish:


No-Cheese Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

The thing is, brussel sprouts are incredibly good for you, but when you drown them in cheese you kind of negate any of the potential health benefits.  So we came up with this recipe for two reasons: Its much healthier, and if you or a family member is vegan, he/she can have it too! 🙂

And that’s perfect, because Christmas is a time for sharing, right? 😉


Before we go any further, let’s give a quick run-down on brussel sprout nutrition:

We aren’t really into calorie counting, but for those that are, in one cup of brussel sprouts there is only 38 calories. With those 38 calories, you get about 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Not only that, but they also contain vitamins A, B6, E, folate, lutein and choline, and have especially high amounts of vitamin C (even more that oranges!) and vitamin K. Brussel Sprouts are also rich in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, selenium and potassium. Pretty impressive, right?

Studies have also been done showing that brussel sprouts contain a compound that stops breast cancer cells from multiplying. (source) We think that’s pretty cool, and all of these benefits make brussel sprouts worth trying!


So back to this so-called cheese sauce.  It doesn’t have any cheese in it, so we suppose that’s a bit of a misnomer, but “nutritional yeast sauce” doesn’t really have the same ring to it, so we’re gonna just going to let that one slide.

Despite the fact that this sauce is missing the “key” ingredient, though, we don’t think anyone would even notice!  Because this stuff really tastes just like cheese!  So you can happily sit at the table listening to your friends and family say things like “wow! this is delicious cheese sauce!” and “forget the sprouts- just gimme more of that cheese sauce!” and smile to yourself knowing that you’ve fooled them all 😉


So at a table full of thick gravy, buttery rolls and candied yams, these brussel sprouts will be a nutritional star for your Christmas day meal – though no one will know it. 🙂

“Cheesy” Brussel Sprouts


Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25-30min
Serves: 8-10 people


10 cups brussel sprouts, halved (measured after cutting)
1 tbsp olive oil
Dash of pepper

2 c. milk (or non-dairy milk, for vegans)
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder


Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Toss brussel sprout halves in oil and pepper, spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30min, or until fork can be inserted with ease.
Meanwhile, combine milk, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt and garlic powder in a pot and whisk in the corn starch until all clumps are gone. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to a medium low and simmer for about 10min, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly.
When the brussel sprouts are done, put them into the pot with the cheese sauce and stir until evenly coated.
Serve and enjoy!


What other Christmas side-dishes would you like to see made over?

The Last of the Carton

We have finally made it to the end of our eggnog carton.  So you know what that means?  This will be our last eggnog post.

For now… [insert evil laughter here]

But we think this third eggnog-inspired breakfast is a great way to round out our breakfast trilogy.  So far we’ve made pancakes, and pancake-in-a-jar, so this time we decided to branch out a little and go in a slightly different direction.


Now we know what some of you might be thinking. What!?! This one looks exactly the same as the last one!  Another jar? What gives?

To the untrained eye this may look like another jarred pancake concoction, but we assure you it is not.

So what is it, then?  Overnight oats, of course! 🙂


Eggnog overnight oats layered with cranberry-banana soft serve and topped with warm cranberry jam.

This parfait has so much Christmas flavour it will have you dancing around the kitchen to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in red and green fuzzy slippers with your jar in one hand and a spoon in the other!


And yes, for those of you who picked up on it, Christmas is no longer just a holiday- it’s a flavour, too 🙂

Eggnog Cranberry Overnight Oats Parfait


Prep time: 10 min + overnight
Serves: 1


For the Oats

1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds (or 1.5 tbsp ground flax)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c liquid (1/2 eggnog / 1/2 water)

For the Soft Serve:

1 frozen banana
1/4 c. frozen cranberries

For the Jam:

1/2 c. cranberries
3 tbsp pomegranate juice (or orange juice)
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon


The night before, mix oats, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a container.  Add Eggnog-water mixture and stir until everything is moistened.  Cover and place in the fridge to sit overnight.  When you wake up in the morning, the oats and chia will have soaked up all the liquid and you will have and oatmeal-like texture.

In the morning, place the frozen banana and cranberries in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

For the Jam: place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, crushing the cranberries as they heat up.  Allow to cook until thickened slightly.

For the parfait: starting with the oats, put a couple spoonfuls into the bottom of a jar or large glass.  Then place a few spoonfuls of the soft serve on top.  Continue layering like this until you run out of oats and soft serve.  Top with warm cranberry jam and enjoy!