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Peanut Butter Cups

No matter how strict a diet I’m on, I still allow myself the occasional treat, whether a sweet, or whatever. But I also realize how important it is that the treats be organic, too, just like all my other food selections. I’ve worked diligently on my health since 2005 to get to where I am. From now on, I’ll guard my health by eating only organic. To allow myself an occasional treat is only reasonable, and I promised myself it will always be organic.

On the long road to restoring my gut health, I have learned a lot about our “conventional” food industry and what exactly it does to hurt a body. For example, all sugar, unless specifically labeled as “organic” is genetically modified, and will destroy your gut health. Sugar beets and other foods now contain the Bt-toxin. Years ago, the Bt-toxin could be washed off. But, thanks to genetic modification, it is now bred directly into the plant and will do to your gut what it does to bug guts: split their guts open and they die. Hard to believe that this toxic chemical is allowed in our food these days. Yet, the sad truth is, it is permitted, as long as we keep buying “conventional” produce. As a result, I’m allowing my food dollars to speak clearly about this important issue by buying organic food.

Before I knew better I used to like “conventional” peanut butter cups. After getting ill, I have gone without. Until now. I have now perfected my home-made peanut butter cups and here is the recipe for anyone who wishes to make this delicious and actually nutritious chocolate treat.

delicious peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

Chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa butter* (shredded)
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup (raw) cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey (or more for desired sweetness)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Filling
1 cup Peanut butter (chunky or creamy, as preferred)
Drop of vanilla (optional)

Directions

Line a regular 12-muffin pan with parchment muffin cups.
Melt ½ cup shredded cocoa butter, ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of honey in a double-boiler (set a glass Pyrex measuring cup in a pot of simmering water on the stove, if you don’t have a double-boiler).
Pour 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate into each muffin cup for chocolate base.
Cool pan in fridge for 15 minutes or until hard.
Leave remainder of melted chocolate to simmer gently on stove.
Mix peanut butter so that oil is well blended.
Remove cooled chocolate muffin pan from fridge and set on icepack to keep chocolate base from melting while working with peanut butter and hot chocolate mixture.
Scoop ½ teaspoon into oiled palms (using coconut oil), form into a ball, then flatten into cooled chocolate bases.
Tip: make into “sandwiches” by flattening peanut butter right to edges of parchment or else leave room to surround peanut butter with chocolate edges, just like a real chocolate.
Pour remainder of chocolate mixture into parchment cups, making sure that all peanut butter is covered with chocolate.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Let cool in fridge.
Wrap individually for a quick snack.
Eat within 1 week.
Yield: 12 snacks.

* For best results, always use organic ingredients to avoid toxins and chemicals used by conventional farming methods.

organic produce has five-digit number starting with 9
Tip: A five-digit number beginning with a “9” in their product code means it is organic.

A five-digit number beginning with an “8” means it’s genetically-modified and contains harmful Bt-toxins.

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Aphrodites Organic Delights Cafe and Pie Shop

Aphrodite's Organic Delights Cafe and Pie ShopFood fit for the goddess this restaurant is named for, here is a favorite place to go for special occasions to indulge in all possible organic delights. Local, organic, in-season, Aphrodite’s takes pride in serving the finest local organic food available in Vancouver. They aim to work directly with local organic farms to ensure that their menu has the smallest ecological footprint possible. They are open for brunch, lunch, or dinner, seven days a week — and make sure to leave room for dessert — choose from their selection of over 14 famous organic pies or cakes! Aphrodite’s is undeniably most famous for their pies. We always order a pie for take-out when we leave after a meal. Their fruit and cream pies are made from all organic ingredients including local organic fruits and berries. They also have organic wheat and gluten-free and vegan pies for those with special dietary requirements. This is a licensed restaurant, which means organic liquor is served here as well. Treat your god and goddess self at Aphrodite’s soon!

Visit Aphrodite’s website and read more!

Watch Aphrodite’s short video on YouTube.

More organic restaurants are coming all the time and I’ll keep you posted as I discover them!

Eternal Abundance Cafe

Review of Eternal Abundance Cafe
Occasionally I hear objections to our eating strictly organic food such as, “Well, don’t you get tired of cooking from scratch?” Yes. I admit that at times I want a break from the kitchen. Then of course, most naturally I would only wish to eat at an organic restaurant. For a long time I didn’t know any place like that existed — which is why I was so happy when we discovered this cafe. Eternal Abundance does indeed claim to serve organic food, as stated on their website banner: “All Organic Vegan Grocery and Cafe.” It’s on their posters in the cafe, as well. Their homepage says:

“Eternal Abundance is Vancouver’s only all organic, vegan, and gluten-free grocery market and cafe located in the heart of Commercial Drive. We offer healthy, entirely plant-based foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, herbs, spices, superfoods, cacao, sweeteners, teas, oils, baking ingredients, books and DVDs, and more. We source as close to home as possible, and from small local businesses that demonstrate high integrity in their sourcing and business practices. In the cafe you’ll find a wide variety of raw and cooked vegan options that are made in small batches and assembled to order. Enjoy a fresh juice or smoothie, salad, raw wrap, burger, pasta, or dessert; daily soup, chili, or grain bowl! Occasionally we host cooking classes, documentary screenings and expert talks on health and well-being, social justice issues, and the environment.”

Very tasty food, beautifully presented. My salad was topped with live sprouts. I ordered the Raw Slaw, containing green and purple cabbage and carrot tossed with my choice of miso ginger dressing or creamy tera dressing. I went for the miso ginger dressing and I do believe I made the right choice. Tastiest coleslaw I ever had — even better than mine! I’ve been wondering ever since whether a hit of ginger in the dressing would have the same effect in my slaw recipe.

My partner chose the Falafel, a delicious combination of sprouted beans, macadamia, walnuts, herbs and spices; topped with cucumber, tomato, shredded carrots, and sprouts, drizzled with sour cream. Yum, his choice is certainly appealing to me now, even as I write about it.

We both enjoyed a hot cup of Hibiscus tea and watched the people go by on the sidewalk.

The staff at Eternal Abundance is very pleasant. Coming soon will be profiles of each staff member. The “feel” of the place is relaxing and hospitable, like community.

I find it intriguing how we “stumbled” onto this cafe. Not necessarily surprising, though, because I have been thinking lately how nice it would be if we could find a pleasant and trustworthy place to eat out on occasion, organically. I have been noticing how easily I manifest when I think “wouldn’t it be nice if…” from a place of imagining how good it would feel. As it turns out, I have been experiencing synchronicity around the entire subject of healthy eating. Recently, I watched a video about the Hippocrates Health Clinic and was very impressed to see the success this clinic was having in treating all kinds of health issues, including cancer, by simply eating healthy. Next thing I knew, we found this Eternal Abundance cafe. And the very next thing I discovered was that Dr. Brian Clement, who appears on the cafe website, is none other than a co-director of the Hippocrates clinic. When I see synchronicities like this occurring, then I know my inner guidance has been leading me. It’s a feeling of utter peace, calmness, and full trust. I can’t describe it better than that. It’s an inner knowing. If you experience synchronicities in your life, you would understand what I mean. It’s really exciting when you realize you are in the midst of a manifestation of your fondest wish. In my case, it was a quest for a real organic restaurant!

Baba Summer Salad

My Baba's Fabulous Summer Salad

I miss my Baba. She’s been gone from the planet for many years now. I still remember her awesome home-made summer salads directly from her garden. She always grew a huge vegetable garden, even while in her 90s. She would never dream of using poisons on her precious vegetable patch. Now, that woman knew how to grow an organic garden even before the word “organic” was used to describe produce. It was just real produce, none of that GMO stuff and none of the toxic sprays used these days so liberally on our food. Most unfortunately, sometimes what is called “progress” is anything but progress. Baba just knew how to grow real food — healthy food. In fact, she never served a hamburger once to us grand-kids. I never even knew what a hamburger was until I left home and went to live in the city at the age of 16. In the past several years I began fondly remembering how she had a special way to make her most delicious salad. I have never tasted a more delectable salad before or since those fabulous summer salads she lovingly prepared for us grand-kids. She would pick all the ingredients she needed from her wonderful, flourishing garden, put it in a big bowl, and serve us kids the most luscious salad. Oh, how I looked forward to those delicious salads.

Okay, so I have now resurrected the recipe and have been making it for myself and my partner for several years now. It’s so good I decided I can’t keep it to myself. Here’s what I do:

My Baba’s Summer Salad

Ingredients

1 package of bacon, chopped into bits and fried
1 head of lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 or 2 collard leaves, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 sticks Celery, chopped
handful of fresh chives, chopped
handful of fresh dill, chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
6 radishes, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large container of cottage cheese
2 tablespoons of whipping cream
juice of half lemon, squeezed
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and serve!

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

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Favorite Greek Salad

I don’t know who else eats Greek salad the way I eat Greek salad — with lettuce. While I have been served awesome Greek salad on a bed of lettuce on occasion, I prefer my lettuce chopped up and mixed in with all the other wonderful ingredients. Ever since I visited Athens (yes, the one in Greece) I have been a huge fan of Feta cheese. Of course, when I’m at home I always get to prepare a salad just the way I like it, and with all-organic ingredients, so that makes it much more special — and healthy besides. I only know of two restaurants that serve organic food in the city where we live, and they are both a long way from home. As a result, we don’t go out that often to restaurants anymore, except for special occasions. Funny thing is, I don’t miss not eating out. Just knowing that the food served in most restaurants is “conventional” meaning it could have pesticides and/or herbicides all over it like some strange dressing, makes it easy to say goodbye to eating out. At least I know the food I serve lovingly to myself is minus toxins. So now, let’s get to the part about how I make my favorite Greek Salad.

Satinka's Favorite Greek Salad made with all organic ingredients

Satinka’s Favorite Greek Salad

Ingredients

2 leaves of lettuce, broken into bite-sized chunks
1 Roma Tomato, cubed
½ Field cucumber, peeled and cubed
¼ Sweet pepper, seeds removed, cubed
1 slice Spanish onion (sweet), chopped
1 slice Feta Cheese, cubed
6 Olives (stuffed with garlic), cut in half
Juice of half a lemon
Shake of oregano, parsley, and basil to taste
Shake of sea salt to taste
Drizzle with organic Olive Oil

Directions

As I cut up all ingredients, I just add them onto my plate. Nevertheless, since this recipe can be doubled, tripled, and otherwise multiplied to serve friends and loved ones, ingredients may be mixed in a bowl. The other great thing about preparing your own food in your own home is that you get to choose how much of each ingredient you favor. This recipe can be adjusted easily to suit your own food preferences.

My Greek Salad goes superbly with my husband’s Paleo Greek-style Baked Chicken, coming soon! Besides the great food duo, I must say my partner and I make a great team in our own right. 😉

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Butternut Squash Soup

butternut-squash-soup2

I love this time of year when the leaves are turning all those magnificent shades — everything from Sunshine Yellow to Deep Wine colors dripping from the trees. As a result of the seasonal change, my palate is drawn to more hot foods like soup. I love butternut squash soup but am unable to eat the ones out of cans or cartons in the grocery stores. Not sure why, but when I muscle-test, my body says, “No.” Finally, I decided I would experiment and make my own. I have been looking at some recipes lately and ended up altering a paleo recipe I had on hand. For a first try, it turned out really wonderful, and it muscle-tests strong! Here’s what I did:

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 large baked butternut squash*
1 onion, diced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 large green apple, cored and cut into chunks
2 tsp coconut oil
4 cups home-made chicken broth
½ tsp sea salt
Add a pinch of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to taste

Directions

Cut butternut squash in half, butter, and bake on a greased pan at 350 degrees F in oven face down for 40-50 minutes, depending on size of squash.
Cut squash into slices, remove skin and cut into chunks.
In electric frying pan, melt coconut oil, add diced onion, carrots, and celery slices
Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until onions are transparent (add some broth to prevent sticking).
Add apples and remainder of broth.
Add cooked squash chunks.
Simmer 15-20 minutes or until softened.
Blend till smooth.

Yield: Makes 4-6 servings.

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* I buy all organic ingredients in order to avoid pesticides and herbicides found on conventional produce.

Paleo Coconut Bread


I was hesitant to start cooking with nut flours, but in the end I'm having fun diving into the new adventure. It's actually easier than the "conventional" method of cooking or baking because it's just so simple. I have been eating Paleo-style since 2013 and finally this year decided to bake my own bread. Of course it didn't help that I was healing from Adrenal Fatigue, but that's another story, not for here.

Paleo-style coconut bread with garlic and parsley

Paleo-style Coconut Bread

Ingredients

6 pastured, organic eggs
1/2 cup grassfed or organic butter (or ghee or coconut oil)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup organic coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp organic baking powder
 

Directions

Set eggs and butter on counter to reach room temperature (a few hours).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium-sized bowl mix eggs, butter, and sea salt until well-blended.
Combine sifted coconut flour and baking powder.
Whisk flour and baking powder mix into the liquid until well blended.
Spoon batter into a small buttered loaf pan.
Bake for 40 minutes. If toothpick comes out clean, the loaf is done.
Remove from pan and cool on rack.
 
Yield: 1 small loaf

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Please note that this is the new normal for us Paleo-style eaters. This bread is gluten-free, grain-free, and yeast-free, so it has a different texture and taste than other "conventional" breads.
 
This recipe can be doubled. The bread can be frozen if you have a small family. Our family of two doesn't eat much bread, so I cut the loaves in half and freeze whatever I feel wouldn't last in the fridge.
 

Variations

For some different taste sensations, experiment by adding these herbs to your batter:
- Try adding 1 tsp of Rosemary leaves
- Try adding 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) along with 1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley leaves.
 
Anyone else have some other variations to try? If so, feel free to drop me a comment below.
 
Enjoy!