Living for Happiness

Living for Happiness
Live a life that will make you feel great!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Buckwheat Porridge

I have been looking for good breakfast foods. I hit gold this weekend! It is a Raw Buckwheat Porridge recipe that I found on Oh She Glows. I made a few alterations when I made it. I didn't add any sweetener and I thought it was plenty sweet enough especially since I put fresh berries in it!

Mango Coconut Rice

So I love Mango Sticky Rice, but it has a bit too much sugar for me these days. So in order to get some of the same tastes I have been making this! I found a yummy recipe for coconut rice which has recipes for both white and brown jasmine rice. Just cook up the rice and then slice fresh mango over top and enjoy!

Cauliflower Cream Sauce

I am constantly scouting for some alternative pasta sauces.   One that I have been enjoying is this one.   It is a nice alternative to a cream sauce.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbsp dried basil  (use fresh if you can)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets and stem diced
rice milk

If you like pesto, an alternative is this:
4 cloves garlic instead of 3.
2 cups fresh basil leaves instead of the 2 tbsp
2 oz pine nuts (or any other nut that you enjoy)


Heat oil in a skillet over med heat.  Add garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Take care not to burn it or the oil will turn bitter.   Remove garlic from the oil and set aside.

Add basil and onion to the oil and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 min. 

Add cauliflower and stir well.  Add enough milk to cover ingredients and cover the pan.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until cauliflower is soft, 10 to 15 min.

Place cauliflower mix and garlic to a processor or blender.  Puree until smooth, adding water if necessary to achieve a creamy sauce.   Toss with hot pasta and additional fresh parsley and nuts if available.   Serve immediately.

If you are making the modified version, follow the instructions above, but toss in the pine nuts also when you are processing the mix.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gingerbread Man Cookies

I wanted to make some zombie gingerbread cookies that all of my friends could eat so thus these became gluten free and vegan.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

2/3c teff flour
1/3 superfine brown rice flour
1 cup arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons ground ginger (use 1 teaspoon if you don't like a heavy ginger taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons xanthan
1/2 cup dark, unsulfered molasses
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Extra rice flour for dusting when rolling and cutting out cookies
1 recipe for Royal Icing (recipe link below)

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease

1) Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.
2) Cream butter and sugar, beating on high speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
3) Add molasses and vanilla and beat until combined.
4) Slowly add dry, sifted ingredients to butter mixture and beat just until a stiff dough forms.
5) Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap lightly dusted with sweet rice flour. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick.
6) Dip gingerbread cookie cutter in sweet rice flour and cut out gingerbread men. Use a flour-dusted spatula to transfer cookies to baking sheet. If the dough should get too soft while you are working with it, just place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
7) Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven, or until cookies are firm to the touch. Cool and decorate with Royal Icing and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

Royal Icing Recipe
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons non-dairy milk substitute (like rice milk, or water)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or clear vanilla)

1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and first liquid (water or rice milk) until smooth.
2. Add syrups and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more syrup.
3. Cover icing with damp cloth when not using to prevent crusting.

Hummus Recipes

I love hummus and with the restrictions of my diet it is one of the pleasures that is easy for me.   Here are a few places where I have found amazing recipes for hummus:

Hummus - A fairly basic recipe.  I tried a couple of recipes and this is my fav so far.  I did make one change to the recipe.  I used 3 tbsp tahini instead of the 1 1/2.

Sweet Potato Hummus -  from My New Roots Blog ( I love the lemon zest in this!)

Lemon Ginger Hummus* - Same recipe as the basic hummus, but add zest of a lemon  and 1" piece of ginger grated.

Artichoke Hummus* - Same recipe as the basic hummus
 - add 1 can artichoke hearts (14-16oz) (drained and rinsed)
 - extra 1/2 tbsp tahini
 - extra 1 tbsp olive oil
 - reduce lemon juice to 2 tbsp

* I haven't tried these yet, but I am looking forward to it!

Caramel Dip

I love caramel, but since I  have been dairy free, it hasn't really been an option... until I discovered this post on "My New Roots Blog"!  I changed up her recipe a bit just because of some of my limitations and what I had in the kitchen, so please check out her post for the original recipe.

2 cups pitted medjool dates, soaked for at least 4 hours in water
1/4 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, but I think it was too strong of a flavour, I think cashew, sesame, or sunflower butter would be good.)
4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Soaking water as needed

1) Make sure you soaked your dates.
2) Drain dates, reserving the soak water. 
3) Add dates and all of the other ingredients except for soaking water into a food processor.   Blend on high until dates are smooth.  Add soaking water, 1 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
4) Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to a week.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thai Noodles

I was craving Thai food, but sadly I can't have peppers and I am on a low sodium diet so I had to change up a recipe a bit. :)

6 oz bean thread noodles (sai fun)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 lb boneless chicken breast halves (skinless, finely chopped)
18 shrimp (uncooked large, peeled deveined coarsely chopped)
- I would only add the shrimp if you don't plan to reheat this at all. Otherwise add more chicken or some other meat.
15 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup green onion (chopped)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
3 tbsp shallots (chopped)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tbs soy sauce (low sodium)
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
seasonings (cloves, mustard, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger)

1) Place noodles in large bowl. Cover with cold water; let stand until noodles begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large pot of boiling water; cook until just tender and pliable, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.
2) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and shrimp; stir-fry until cooked, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp sesame oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add garlic-oil mix to bowl with chicken and shrimp; cool.
3)Mix vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, fish sauce, tamarind, and seasonings to create a sauce.
4)Add noodles, green onions, shallots, cilantro, lime juice and sauce to bowl. Toss to blend.

Tomato-free Chili

Yields: 16 servings


meat mix
2 lbs extra lean ground meat (I used lamb and bison)
smoked bacon (I only used 3 slices thick sliced bacon)
1 finely grated zucchini

2 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked black pepper
1/4 c fresh basil
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of cinnamon and ginger

other ingredients
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion
1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
1 cup water
2 cans 3 bean mix, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 package corn

Mix ground meat and zucchini in a large pot.
Cook on moderately low heat, stirring often to keep meat from cooking together.
Mix in spices.

Once meat looks cooked, mix in everything else until lentils and carrots seem tender. Be prepared to add more water to pan if there is a risk of burning.

Simmer with lid on for 5 minutes.

Keep on low till serving time.

Quinoa and Lentil Salad

A month or two ago I was in a little cafe and found a salad that I really enjoyed. I have tried to recreate that salad here.

1 cup cooked beluga lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa (whatever colour you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup cilantro
juice of 1 lime

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baklava Nut Butter

This is a little more complicated than most nut butter, but still pretty simple. I have modified a recipe from Cuisine at Home. I am still not 100% satisfied, but it is pretty good!

2/3 cup toasted slivered almonds (you can toast them in a dry pan)
1/3 cup roasted cashews (low sodium)
1/3 cup pistachios (low sodium)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (combination of rose water, water, a splash of lemon)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Pulse in a food processor, 20-30 pulses. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.