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Raw energy bars (my new best afternoon snack)

If you are like me, you try to always make snacks as healthy as possible, I know that some of that thinking has become Yale’s thinking too. Yale is studying for exams and she came up with this super energy snack. These little snacks are jammed with oats, almond butter, honey and chia.  Today’s post is by Yale.

Guest Post by:  Yale Hertzman
Here is her article as it appears in the The independent student newspaper of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Ultravires.

Step aside, Nature Valley. There’s a new bar in town. Chocolate Dipped Chewy Bars, Nutrigrains, and Lara Bars pale in comparison to these home-made energy bars. While store-bought bars are undoubtedly convenient and delicious, they have their downsides:

  1. Expensive. $2.99 for an energy bar, really? Unless you have direct access to Costco or an account in the Cayman Islands, buying energy bars daily are likely to suck the energy out of your wallet.
  2. That KIND bar may not so kind after all. Purportedly healthy energy bars can be riddled with processed and unnatural ingredients. Soy isolate protein, what are you? If you need to chemical engineering degree to understand the ingredients in your food, you probably should not be eating it.
  3. Deceiving. The package will say something like “chocolate-flavored” but inside is something that looks like and tastes like an actual brick.

Treat yourself right with one of these home-made, no-bake energy bars. You read it correctly: there is no baking required. Even if you are the worst cook alive – you burn toast, you use your oven as a storage space, and you don’t know how to make a pate en croute – you will be able to make these energy bars. Is time an issue? Of course it is – you’re a law student! From start to finish, these bars take 20 minutes to make. Meaning your precious Tort readings will not have to wait for long.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quick-cook oats, uncooked
  • 2/3 cups of dates (can also substitute for dried cherries or raisins)
  • 1 cup all-natural peanut or almond butter
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Punch of salt

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Spread the mixture into a pan and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. Slice into bars and enjoy!
  4. Store in fridge or freezer.

 

I had to make these too. This is my version.  I added a 1/4 cup of cacao nibs and 1/4 cup of coconut flakes.

raw fig and oat bars (tastes like a fig newton)!

Yale loves figs.  I thought I would make these fig bars as a super serious snack, for a super serious girl. I can see her now rolling her eyes,(when she reads this), but I know when she bites into one of these little squares of healthy goodness she will love me forever.  These are for you Yale. xo

Delicious.

This recipe was inspired from the food blog This Rawsome Vegan Life.

Makes 16 small squares.

Ingredients:
For the crust:

  • 2 cups oat flour, (see instructions below on how to make your own oat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs, soaked in water for 2-4 hours ( remember to keep some of the water!)
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup or a bit less of the filling

Directions:

  1. To make the crust process the oats in your food processor or blender until you get the consistancy of flour. (see instructions).
  2. Add the raisins, dates and cinnamon.  Process again until the mixture starts to gather around the blade.  If this does not happen you may need to add a few more dates or raisins.
  3. Press the crust into a 8×8 or 9×9 pyrex lined with parchment paper.
  4. For the filling blend the figs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in the food processor.  While the food processor is running add a bit of the liquid from the soaked figs to make the filling smooth enough to spread on the crust layer.
  5. Before spreading on the curst layer take out about a 1/4 cup of the filling and set aside.
  6. Spread the remaining filling on the crust.
  7. For the topping, add the pecans to the food processor with the rest of the fig mixture and pulse until the pecans are roughly chopped. Sprinkle the topping onto the fig filling and press down.
  8. Cut into squares.
  9. Store in the fridge. (These freeze really well).
How to Make Your Own Oat Flour
Ingredients:
  • rolled oats
Directions:
  1. Place rolled oats in a blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse on high until the oatmeal becomes the consistency of flour, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Repeat until you have as much flour as you need.

end of winter salad

Sometimes you need a bit of colour in your day and this end of winter salad will do just that.

Ingredients for salad:

Use as much as you like of:

  • red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • green beans, lightly steamed
  •  peppers, thinly sliced
  • cauliflower, small florets
  • radish, thinly sliced
  • pear, thinly sliced
  • handful of fresh herbs such as dill, parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • handful of nuts or seeds or both, (optional)
  • soft cheeses such as goat or feta, (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 Ingredients for salad dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Zest of 1  lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl; taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. To assemble the salad, place the veggies on a pretty platter.
  3. Sprinkle with the nuts, seeds and cheese if using.
  4. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  5. Season with additional salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
  6. Serve immediately.

 

 

Good morning muffins (vegan)

My Good Morning Muffins are vegan and made with a little bit of everything – spelt flour, coconut flour, zucchini, carrots, applesauce, dates and maple syrup. True to their name, they are worthy of breakfast after I spent the weekend enjoying too much TV, red wine, dim sum, and french fries (my weakness). The good thing about overindulging is that you know you can always start over and put aside the fries, and yes my jeans are a bit tight. Yale told me it is lame to wear leggings all the time, but it is winter and I must keep warm.  I admit to watching too much TV and I am hooked on Episodes and True Detective. I may never give up TV, french fries or wine, but I can make some healthy choices, bake muffins and start a new day, good morning.

This recipe makes 10 large muffins.  I used applesauce, maple syrup and dates to naturally sweeten these muffins.

Ingredients:

    Dry

    • 2 cups spelt flour
    • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
    • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
    • 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

    Wet

    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 tbsp water
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

    Add-ins

    • ½ cup of grated carrots
    • ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
    • 4 dates, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
    3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
    4. In a smaller bowl combine all the wet ingredients.
    5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
    6.  Finally, mix in the carrot, zucchini and dates and mix again.
    7. Spoon the batter evenly into your muffin tin.
    8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until tops are browned and a knife inserted comes out clean.
    9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely or a cooling rack before removing from muffin tin.

    These are the dates I used.

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust

    When you think of cauliflower, pizza is probably the last thing to come to mind.  I should tell you up front that this is not going to be anything like the Dr. Otker pizza in your freezer.  BUT I can tell you that you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tastes while also packing a big punch of veggies. This crust is low carb and gluten free. That being said all this goodness did not persuade my in-house taster to join in the pizza party. Tonight Dr. Otker came through for Gordy.

    I keep reading that cauliflower is the new kale.

    This recipe makes 6 large slices of pizza.

    Ingredients:

    • 3 cups of processed cauliflower, (packed)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
    • 2 tablespoons corn meal
    • 1/3 teaspoon salt
    • 1 – 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    Directions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper and brush very lightly with oil.
    3. Place the cauliflower florets into a food processor and process until completely broken down into the consistency of rice. You will need enough for 3 cups.
    4. Now wrap the cauliflower ‘rice’ in a clean dishtowel, twist it up then squeeze all the excess moisture out.  The less moist, the crispier the crust will be.
    5. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower mixture, almond flour, eggs, baking powder, garbanzo bean flour, corn meal and spices. Using your hands, form the mixture into a ball and then flatten out a pizza pan into a pizza shape.
    6. Bake the crust for 25 minutes or until it starts to become crisp on the outside. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
    7. Carefully slide the parchment paper out from under the crust. The crust will now be directly on the pizza pan.  (This will help crisp the crust).
    8. Add your toppings. (Your choice)
    9. Bake again with the toppings at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot.

    Toppings:
    Whatever pizza toppings you like.  Just a note about ‘cheese’. I try to stay away from eating dairy and am not a big fan of ‘fake’ cheese but I thought I would give it a try.  I mixed a 1/2 cup of Daiya dairy-free style cheese with 1/4 cup of grated goat milk mozzarella, my pizza had the cheesiness I was looking for.

    Cooks Notes:  You can bake the crusts earlier in the day and refrigerate until ready to top and bake.  The secret to a crispy curst is to squeeze out as much moisture from the grated cauliflower.