06 January 2013

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Kirk's naturopath recently put him on an anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic diet. It's very restrictive, but super-healthy, so we've been trying our best to stick to it. It's going pretty well, and I'll have some new food posts for you soon. But in the meantime, I just have to talk about these cookies...

There's no sugar allowed on this diet, and my sweet tooth has been suffering. So tonight I made it my mission to find a cookie recipe that would be both healthy and satisfying. I found this one. I made some adjustments based on what I have on hand, and the fact that several of the comments complained that they were bland.

My version did not turn out bland. Just the opposite. They are SO good! And only 40 caories each!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
(adapted from Skinny Chunky Monkey Cookies)
makes 46 small cookies

3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup carob chips
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1-1/2 tbsp agave nectar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Let stand 10-20 minutes to soften oats. Drop batter by the teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-14 minutes.

These are my new favourite cookies!

04 November 2012

Veg Eats Vancouver: Fray

I've been meaning to check out Fray for a while, especially since I can walk there from my house. Kirk and I finally decided to try it one Sunday because there was no line up for brunch. That's a rare thing in Vancouver.

Firstly, I like the decor. It's a little hipster, but light and airy and it feels clean in there. And there are crayons on every table and the placemats have fun activities for adults.

I started out with a pot of green tea. I was impressed with the tea pot. The tea was okay.

I had the Superfoods Salad. I was a little put off by the $12 price tag ($12 dollars for a salad at brunch?), but it sounded like the thing on the menu I wanted to try the most. It's quinoa, beets. crispy chickpeas (where have you been all my life?), beans, fennel, dried cranberries, kale, herbs and a little bit of raspberry vinaigrette. I understood the price tag as soon as I saw it - it's figgin' huge! I got three full meals out of one bowl, and $12 is a bargain, really. It was good, and I'd get it again.

I am now a fan of Fray. Honestly, it's nothing super special. But it's good food, good prices, good service, and no line up for Sunday brunch. Works for me.

Fray on Urbanspoon

01 November 2012

Veg Eats Vancouver: The Acorn

It was mine and Kirk's sixth wedding anniversary last week. Now that we're parents, we don't get to have romantic weekends at B&Bs anymore, but we did have my Mum babysit so we could go out for a nice dinner.

I've been wanting to try The Acorn since it opened. Finally, a nice vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver! Don't get me wrong, I like The Naam and Foundation, but I'm not a hippie or a hipster, and bad service is not really my thing. And it's nice to have somewhere vegetarian to go for a special occasion.

So anyway, they don't take reservations and we went early. I don't like waiting for a table, and luckily we got one right away.

Now, I had a cold, so I can't reliably comment on flavours, but I'm going to anyway. Take my comments with a grain of salt, as it were. Also, sorry about the crappy iPhone photos. I should have used my flash, but I have it turned off so I'm not blinding Odin with it all the time.

We shared a potato and parsnip croquette appetizer. I found it a little bland, and I said as much to Kirk. He pointed out the pieces of sharp cheese in the sauce. I hadn't gotten any cheese on my portion, and I think if I had it would have made all the difference in the world. With the appetizer I had a glass of the Kettle Valley Gewurztraminer, and I didn't like it. Normally I'm a Gewurztraminer fan, but I found it a little musky for my taste. The server recommended the Pentage Reisling, which was better, though very fruity. It could have been my snotty nose ruining the wine, though.

They didn't clear our plates after the appetizer, and we had to use the same cutlery for our entrees. I wasn't impressed by that, and it seemed inconsistent with the rest of the service, which was pretty attentive.

I chose the beer battered halloumi entree. It came with a zucchini pancake, smashed peas and a yogourt sauce. It was honestly one of the best things I've ever eaten. The halloumi was salty and somehow light, for fried cheese anyway. The pancake was all zucchini, not a bunch of filler, and the peas were delicious and a little minty. It seemed to me like a spring dish, rather than autumn, but I enjoyed it very much.

Kirk had the king oyster mushroom medallions with spelt and a peppercorn sauce. He said it was really good, although other than the peppercorn sauce, it seemed like something we would make at home. If he could choose again, he would have gotten the halloumi too.

I ordered the pumpkin semifreddo dessert. It was good, but not spectacular. It tasted really nice, and was surprisingly light, but was frozen a bit too hard and was difficult to cut into with the big, clunky spoon they gave me. The plate wasn't chilled, so it melted a bit on the bottom and I ended up chasing it around on the plate.

Overall, I enjoyed The Acorn, and I would definitely go back given the opportunity.

The Acorn on Urbanspoon

31 October 2012

Baby Food

I started feeding Odin solid foods a few weeks ago, and it's been quite the adventure for both of us.

Even just knowing where to start is confusing. There is way too much information out there. Purees, baby led weaning, cereals or no cereals, fruits or no fruits, juice or no juice, water or no water, the connection between starting solids and skin troubles, and just as we were starting out all the news articles about iron and breast fed babies... It seems like everyone has an opinion. I decided to keep it simple. I asked our GP, and she said 5.5 months is a fine time to start as long as he's showing interest. She said to stay away from sweetened juices and water and to make sure I don't wait too long to try iron-rich foods like meat or tofu. I did a little research and found a nice, simple chart of what foods are fine when from Wholesome Baby Food that made sense to me. Then we went for it.

We started off with mashed yams at Thanksgiving dinner. Not a big hit. He wasn't sure what to think, really. Then I tried avocado. He didn't like it straight up, but loved it thinned out with a bit of breast milk. Same with carrots.

adventures in yams

So far he's tried apples, avocados, pears, carrots, peas, butternut squash, yams, oatmeal and rice, all purees, some homemade, some prepared. No bad reactions, not even gas or constipation. Rice cereal is by far his favourite. He likes jarred peas better than oatmeal. What a weirdo.

avocado - yuck!

Overall, this whole solid food thing has been fun so far. I love watching his reactions to new things. It does make me a little sad too. He's growing up so quickly!

rice cereal is serious business


Happy Hallowe'en from the cutest monster ever!
He's too little to trick-or-treat and it's pouring rain outside, so he's just dressed up to hang around the house. But costumes are fun no matter what!