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Honey Cake – a healthy cake for a sweet new year

Honey cake is traditionally made with lots of oil, eggs, white flour, sugar and of course honey. I wanted to make a healthy honey cake without using to much oil and refined sugars so last week for Rosh Hashanah I tested this cake on my family. Both Gordy and Zach said it was good but I could tell by how quickly they gulped a glass of water that it must a little dry. Yale told me to make it again and try adding zucchini.  Guess what..?  This cake is now perfectly moist. The spelt flour makes the cake mildly sweet and has a slight nutty flavour that adds real character. The additions of applesauce and zucchini make it light and moist. Happy New Year.

Ready to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup safflower  or grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together until the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Add the zucchini with the wet ingredients.
  2. Cut two pieces of baking parchment to fit the bottoms of two 8-inch loaf pans. Lightly oil the pans. Divide the batter between the two lightly oiled loaf pans. Sprinkle the almonds over the tops of the loaves.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf tests clean.
  4. Allow the cakes to cool completely. Remove the loaves from the pans.
  5. Cut each loaf into 10 slices to serve.

If you want to make this cake vegan substitute 1/2 cup of agave and 1/2 cup of maple syrup for the honey.

I like to make this honey cake at least a day or two before serving as the taste gets better.  If not using store in the fridge.

 

Mixed Bean Veggie Burgers with carrots and parsnip

Everyone has that familiar tin of mixed beans in the cupboard that stare you in the face every time you open the door.  What to do with them…?  No mixed bean salad here, just a delicious recipe for a veggie burger. No promises that everyone in your household are going to enjoy these or even taste one (you know who I am talking about…Gordy) but Yale and I had them for dinner last night with purple potatoes and a dollop of honey mustard that I made by mixing dijon, some buckwheat honey and a dash of cayanne pepper and all of a sudden your can of mixed beans is not ordinary any more.

This recipe makes 8 patties.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 -19 0unce tin of mixed beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium parsnip, grated
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • Coconut oil or olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse beans well in colander under cold running water.
  3. Heat a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until translucent.
  4. Add the carrot, parsnip, chili powder, cumin, salt and cook until the carrot and parsnip is tender. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  5. Mash the beans in a large bowl. Add the carrot and parsnip mixture, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce and oats.
  6. Mix well and then shape the mixture into eight patties.
  7. Place patties in the fridge for 15 minutes so they become firm.
  8. Heat a nonstick  skillet and coat with coconut oil.
  9. Cook patties over medium heat for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  10. Place patties on parchment lined cookie sheet, (You can prepare up to this point in advance).
  11.  Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until hot.
  12. Serve with your favourite toppings.

These veggie burgers freeze well.

Honey Cake with Plums and plum compote for Rosh Hashanah or anytime

A visit to the Leslieville Farmers’ Market inspired me to make this plum cake for Rosh Hashanah. At the market I bought a basket of purple onions, purple potatoes, purple cabbage and purple plums. I just read that purple fruits and veggies are good for you and I think that even applies to using purple fruit in cake.  Well I could be stretching this healthy cake thing but it is gluten-free and sweetened with honey. This recipe makes 2 – 9 inch round or square cakes. When Gordy saw that we had 2 cakes cooling on the counter and I asked him what he wanted for lunch he said…”I think I am in the mood for cake!” Shana Tova.

Gordy’s first bite.

Makes 2 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour, packed
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 to 8 plums, cut in half, pits removed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease your pans with some coconut oil.
  3. Combine wet ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients, stir until combined. Pour into 2 greased 9 in pie plates or square pans.
  5. Top with the sliced plums.
  6. Bake for 3o-40 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Let cool before serving.

Plum Compote:

Ingredients:

  • plums, sliced and pitted
  • honey, the amount of honey you like depends on how sour the plums are. Taste and add more honey if needed.
  • vanilla to taste
  • dash of salt
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • water

Directions:

  1. Combine plums, a little water and honey in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Add vanilla, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a dash of kosher salt.
  4. Stir over low heat until plums are very tender and compote thickens, stirring often and  tasting to see if more honey is needed.
  5. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until plums are soft and have started to break apart.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. To serve drizzle a small amount of compote on each dessert plate and add a slice of cake on top.
  8. Any leftover compote store in an air-tight container for up to one week.

 

GRILLED PEACHES WITH BURRATA, ARUGULA & Hazelnuts

What happens when you bring together fresh peaches, local arugula,burrata and hazelnuts? LOVE.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 peaches ( I usually do 1/2 a peach per person for the salad, but you can add as much as you like.)
  • 1 ball of burrata
  • arugula
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts. lightly toasted
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic Glaze:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced into a thick syrup. Add the honey and set aside.
  2. Slice peaches in half and remove pit. Brush the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the peaches cut side down and grill until you start to see grill marks and until the peaches turn a golden color, about 2-3 minutes.
  4.  Remove from the grill and set aside.
  5. It is not necessary to clean then pan, but turn heat to medium-low and lightly toast the hazelnuts.  Put aside.
  6. To assemble place baby arugula on a platter, add the peaches and using your hands gently rip the burrata and place on top of the argula and peaches.
  7. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the peaches and burrata.
  8. Sprinkle the burrata with a little sea salt and  freshly groud pepper and then the hazelnuts.
  9. Serve immediately with a very crusty baguette.

 

Vegan Corn Pudding with fresh thyme and rosemary

When I told Gordy I was making a pudding for dinner he thought he was getting chocolate pudding.  Wait until he finds out that this recipe has no milk, no butter, no flour… and no chocolate.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh corn
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could use soy milk)
  • 2 tablespoon of arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayanne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon of corn meal

Directions:

  1. Cut corn niblets off the cob.
  2. Whisk arrowroot in 1/2 cup of almond milk.
  3. Put 2 cups of corn and almond milk in the food processor. Puree.
  4. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, melted “butter,” baking powder, and cornmeal to the food processor, and process well.
  5. Add remaining corn, thyme and rosemary to the food processor and and pulse for 5 or 6 times, just until mixed, you should still have some of the texture of the corn.
  6. Grease a 9 or 10 inch round baking dish with canola oil or coconut oil. Scrape corn mixture into dish. Bake uncovered at 350º for 30 to 40 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.