Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Homemade Cheese and Chicken Ravioli

Tonight was the first time I ever made homemade pasta. My mom got me a pasta machine similar to this one - something that I have been wanting for a while now. I opened it up read the directions and decided to follow a similar recipe for white flour pasta but replace the white flour with spelt flour - I also ended up adding an egg, water and oil. Well, half way through I thought I was going to rip out my hair. It seemed that my pasta was too dry and every time I went to pass my dough through the pasta machine to make it thin, it just crumbled on me. After doing some research online, I decided my dough must have been too dry and added small amounts of water - and eventually it worked!!! :) The filling for the ravioli was the easy part and I can think of so many more options that could be used as filling - the possibilities are endless. For anyone who has a pasta machine and is gluten free, there are recipes online for gluten free pasta as well. I may even try some myself. I ended up baking the ravioli in the oven with some marinara sauce I found at Costco (I surprisingly really enjoyed the taste of the marinara sauce). I baked them in the oven because I was so scared to boil them and have them fall apart on me - after all the trouble I went through! Before my first bite, I was so worried I had wasted a bunch of time and ingredients but fell in love with these cheese and chicken ravioli. I will be making more ravioli and other homemade pasta soon - it was absolutely delicious!

Homemade Cheese and Chicken Ravioli

Homemade Cheese and Chicken Ravioli       
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • water (as needed)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (I baked mine)
  • 1/3 cup marble cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • Favorite tomato/marinara sauce

For the filling: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. 
For the pasta: Mix spelt flour and salt together. Mix egg and olive oil together. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Need dough until consistency isn't too dry but isn't sticky either; add water if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and cover for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cut dough in thirds and roll out each third with a rolling pin. Pass dough through pasta machine until dough is really thin (almost see through). Cut the thin dough into approximately 1" strips and add approximately 1 tsp of filling on one side of strip. Fold strip over and press the three sides together. After all ravioli has been prepared, add a small amount of tomato/marinara sauce to the bottom of a baking dish and align the ravioli on top of the tomato/marinara sauce. Cover ravioli with remaining sauce and loosely cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Blog Question: What has been some of your kitchen mistakes and were you able to fix them?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Over the weekend I FINALLY got to dine at Nirvana. As soon as I walked in the door, I fell in love. It was so nice to step into a restaurant that provided food that is 'out of the ordinary'. I know bigger cities have many restaurants similar to Nirvana but am pleased that Fredericton has a big enough community to keep them in business. I ordered and enjoyed their mexican quinoa peppers with a garden salad and for dessert raspberry lemon swirl cashew 'cheesecake'. The 'cheesecake' was absolutely amazing! I've only made a pumpkin cashew 'cheesecake' so I will have to try and make other flavours too. The dish was also served with 'sour cream' that was made out of cashews. So, today's post is inspired by Nirvana. The stuffed peppers were great and seemed like such a simple and easy dish to prepare. 

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (yields 4)
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked black turtle beans
  • 1 corn on the cob, cooked
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • cilantro, optional
  • cheese, optional
  • 4 red, green, orange or yellow peppers
  • olive oil
Cook quinoa in water and vegetable broth until all liquid is gone. While quinoa is cooking, cut peppers length wise and drizzle with olive oil, inside and out. Lay cut side down on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 F for 20 - 25 mins or until peppers start to become wrinkled. Once quinoa is cooked add beans, corn, salsa, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and cilantro and mix together. Stuff quinoa mixture into peppers. If desired, add cheese to inside of peppers and put back in oven (cut side facing up) until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Blog Question: What's your favourite restaurant?

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Burger Buns

Finally, spring has arrived in Fredericton (I think?!?). The warmer weather gets my hopes up for summer nights, hiking, swimming, yard sales, fresh fruits and veggies and last but not least BBQ's! One of my goals for this summer is to discover/make/find a delicious veggie burger and although I am not vegetarian I do enjoy vegetarian meals. Since there is always a lot of bbq's in the summer, it's nice to have another option other than meat. Firstly, I needed to be able to make homemade buns. About a month ago, I attempted to make homemade pretzels made with spelt flour. Jeff loved them, however, I found that they reminded me more of buns or bread rather than a pretzel...and so began my journey to find a delicious homemade burger bun. I searched the internet to find out what others have done to make burger buns while keeping the pretzel recipe in the back of my mind. Today, I made homemade chicken burgers (from the Looneyspoons cookbook) and made some of my own homemade burger buns. They turned out great! I am very excited to make these in the summer and hopefully will be able to freeze some since they are a bit time consuming. 

Burger Buns
Chicken Burgers

Burger Buns (yields 4 big burger buns)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp warm milk 
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tbsp coconut oil
Combine water, milk, yeast and honey together in a bowl. Let sit until it becomes frothy (about 5 minutes). In a separate bowl, beat the egg. In a food processor equipped with the bread blade (or mixer, or I imagine you can do this by hand also) combine flour, salt and coconut oil. Once combined add the frothy yeast mixture and egg. Mix until dough forms (this took just a couple of minutes for me). The dough should be very sticky. Roll dough into a ball and let rise covered in a warm place for 2 hours. Once the dough has risen, remove from bowl and divide into 4 equal pieces. To each piece, roll into a rounded burger shape. Place on parchment paper and let rise covered for another hour. Pre-heat oven to 375 F which has an oven safe dish with 1/2 cup of water in it to produce steam in order to keep the buns moist. Add the buns to the oven and bake until golden (mine took between 10 - 15 mins). Enjoy!      

Blog Question: What's your favourite summer food?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Avocado Cocoa Nib Truffles

Last summer, Jeff (my boyfriend) and I went to Halifax. It was my first time in Halifax and we did as many activities as we could in 2-3 days. One of my favourite activities was going to the Halifax market. If you are ever in Halifax, make sure to check it out! At that market, I purchased a raw chocolate truffle/ball (from Rawthentic Chocolate); at the time I was not sure whether I should purchase it (since it was over $3.00 for one!) BUT I did and was very happy I did. It was absolutely delicious and worth every penny. Since then I have looked up many chocolate truffle/ball recipes AND made a few but still haven't found a perfect recipe. This weekend I tried my own version of a truffle (I am sure there are VERY similar recipes online). 

Avocado Cocoa Nibs

The balls are yummy but still don't compare to the Halifax ones. I actually ended up liking the coconut coated ones better than the plain ones. Next time, I may use ground up cashews OR date paste with cocoa powder. If anyone has any suggestions, please comment below. :)   

Avocado Cocoa Nib Truffles (yields approx. 15)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (hardened)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 small avocado
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa nibs or chopped up chocolate chips (optional)
  • unsweetened coconut (optional)
In sauce pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. In a medium bowl, add cocoa powder, avacado, vanilla extract and maple syrup and mix using an electric mixer. When combined, add melted coconut oil and continue mixing. When mixture is combined, fold in cocoa nibs or chocolate chips (or both! :)). Place in fridge for 1 hr. Roll mixture in balls* and then in coconut if desired. Place in fridge for an additional hour (or preferably over night). These should be kept in the fridge until ready to eat. Enjoy!

*Run hands under cold water so the mixture won't melt in your hands.

Blog Question:
What's the most expensive food item you have purchased AND was it worth it?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Belgian Waffle Cookies

When I was younger I didn't crave or like sweets, especially chocolate but overtime I've developed a sweet tooth. Admittedly, I am always trying to make healthier sweets (which usually involves other alternatives to processed white sugar such as bananas, apple sauce or dates OR honey, maple syrup or cane sugar, etc.). Yes, I have tried Stevia but do not like it, unfortunately. However, I am willing to try it again if someone has a specific brand or way of cooking with it that they enjoy (post below). This weekend I decided I wanted to try and create my own belgian waffle cookie creation for two reasons:
  1. Delicious
  2. Easy
Since these delicious treats consist mainly of sugar, butter and flour I figured they would be an easy recipe to create a 'healthier' version and to kick off my blog. 

Belgian Waffle Cookies

They turned out great. I used coconut oil to replace the butter (I don't have a problem with butter but don't want to eat large amounts of it at a time). spelt flour to replace all purpose white flour and (less) cane sugar instead of refined white sugar (I believe honey, maple syrup or Stevia could be used for the sweetner also). 

Belgian Waffle Cookies (yields approx. 15)
  • 100 g (less than 1/2 cup) coconut oil
  • 200 g (3/4 - 1 cup) spelt flour
  • 118 g (approx. 1/2 cup but could use less) cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
Melt coconut oil over low/medium heat. Add spelt flour, cane sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract and salt to mixing bowl. Mix on low and slowly add the eggs. Once eggs have been added mix for 1 minute. Slowly add the coconut oil until well combined (initially it will look like it won't combine but it will, trust me) . Put bowl in fridge for at least 1 hour. Roll dough into small balls while waffle iron is heating (I sprayed mine with olive oil). Add ball mixture to waffle iron (I was able to do two at a time) and cook until golden brown (approx. same time as a waffle). Cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!

Blog Question:
What's your favourite dessert and do you have a 'healthier' version that tastes great also?


Yes, I've finally decided to start a blog. It's been something that I have thought about for the past year or so and today I've finally started it. This blog will consist of a lot of favourite recipes that I have found, made AND love and will have links to the original spots that I have found them. The other part of the blog will consist of my very own creations on various food favourites (yes, it is possible that someone else may have a similar recipe as me, please share if you find or know of one).

Overall, I want to reach out to people and show them that there are a lot of healthy (or healthier) delicious foods. I have found most people thinking that eating well means having no taste to the food you are eating. It's scary to go to the grocery store and pick up a product that you have no idea of how to cook or eat (or don't really have the money to buy it) BUT I have done this several times now and overall it has been a positive experience (which involves me buying the product again); I hope I will be able to encourage you to try new healthier foods. Some foods that I have discovered include:

  • Cocoa nibs (thanks to siblings)
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Chia seeds
  • Different types of flours
  • Different types of milk
  • Quinoa (thanks to friends) 

If you don't recognize these items continue reading, if you do recognize these items continue reading also because I suspect you would like to find more recipes with these type of ingredients in them. Once a person realizes that there are foods that our parents never introduced us to it opens up a whole new eating and cooking world. I eat raw foods, gluten free as well as gluten containing foods, vegetarian, vegan, etc. and will post the recipes if they are delicious.

I eat 'clean' and try and make sure there are lots of nutrients going into my body with everything I eat; that means I am not just eating 'empty calories' (but am also human and do still enjoy some of my favs once in a while, like homemade white bread). I hope you enjoy my blog spot and check back semi regularly (my own creations will be a little slower, I suspect).

Blog Question: 
What food/recipe have you recently tried and will continue to eat/make?