Tuesday, July 28, 2015

We recently met my parents for lunch at Parks Blueberries, which is somewhere between London, Ontario and Chatham. What I like about Parks is its pretty layout, the variety of blueberries you can pick (the girls chose Bluecrop) and that every meal you order at the cafe is either made with blueberries or comes with a side of blueberries (even the mac and cheese!). I tried their Blueberry Meatloaf that came with a side of corn and coleslaw tossed with blueberries...I loved it! So I decided to recreate the coleslaw at home but I added chopped pecans...best decision ever! The combination of sweet, tang and crunch makes it berry delicious :) This no-mayo slaw is a fantastic add-on to your summer picnic!

Blueberry-Pecan Slaw with Tangy Vinaigrette

½ red cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, julienned (I used a Julienne peeler)
½ med. onion, finely minced
1 apple, peeled and grated
4 green onion tops, finely chopped
1 cup blueberries
½ cup pecans, divided

Place all salad ingredients and half of the chopped pecans in a large bowl with lid. Pour on the dressing and toss. Cover. Let marinade in the fridge for about an hour. Toss before serving and top salad with the leftover pecans. 


1/8 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar or 1/8 cup agave
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/8 tsp ground cumin
Dash paprika, salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small Mason jar with lid, combine all dressing ingredients and shake vigorously. Shake before using.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Hope you're having a berry good summer XO
© 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

THIS CAKE has become mandatory in our household after strawberry picking. 

First comes the canning of homemade jam, then second in line is THIS CAKE...and I only make it during strawberry season, because store-bought strawberries will NEVER yield the same flavour in this recipe as freshly picked, sun-ripened, rain-drizzled strawberries.

So get your BUNDT into the kitchen and make THIS CAKE.

Fresh Strawberry Bundt with Yogurt Drizzle

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 organic eggs
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups organic, all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

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In a medium bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, baking soda and salt. Grate in lemon zest and set aside. In another medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then with a spatula, fold in 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice. Beat in a bit of the flour mixture, then a bit of the yogurt, alternating between the two, until just incorporated (ending with flour).

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Toss the fresh strawberries in another bowl with the leftover 1/4 cup of flour. Gently fold into the batter (the batter will be thick). Scoop batter in the pan evenly. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then (if your Bundt pan has two parts) gently take out the tube portion of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely (I left mine overnight to have ready the next day). Once cooled, use a very slim knife to help release the cake from the bottom and around the center of the pan. Gently lift out of the tube and place the cake on a cake platter. For the drizzle, whisk together yogurt, vanilla 1 Tbsp lemon juice and icing sugar. Drizzle on the cake.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca

Slice, top with fresh fruit and serve.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Slightly altered from A Spice Perspective
'Tis the season for THIS CAKE!© 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

About three or four years ago, I got to know about the concept of raw food- some of our friends and my brother have already adapted the "living foods" way of eating at home before I started working at a raw and vegan restaurant a year and a half ago. The concept of raw is simple- it means any plant-based food that is not cooked or heated through above 47°C. So some of the common tools we use to make and "cook" with at work are: dehydrators, spiralizers (to make vegetable "noodles") and silicone molds for our nut-based, gluten-free and dairy-free desserts. People are really amazed at how this innovative way of "cooking" or "baking" can taste superb without the use of wheat flour, milk or refined sugars. And more and more people are hearing the word "raw", are willing to try raw food, and to even try "rawcipes" at home.

I love mangoes and have combined several different recipes to create this wonderful:

Raw Mango Mousse Tarts with Macaroon Crust (makes 6-8 tarts)

For the tart shells:

1 cup shredded coconut (macaroon-style)
1 cup raw cashews, not soaked
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt

For the filling:

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup agave
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime zest
3 ripe Ataulfo mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup raw cashews, soaked (in 3 cups of water, overnight, in fridge), rinsed and drained when ready to use.

Things needed: a high-power blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec, a food processor, silicone tart molds and a zester.

In your food processor, add the tart shell ingredients and process until combined and the cashews are finely chopped. Place 2 Tbsp of macaroon mixture in each mold and with slightly wet fingers, press into silicone molds evenly, reaching up to the sides. Place tart shells in the freezer to harden, about 1 hour.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

In your blender, put in filling ingredients starting with the liquids first: coconut oil, agave and lime juice, then add lime zest, mangoes and soaked/rinsed/drained cashews.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Blend (2-3 times) until smooth and creamy.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Unmold tarts from silicone and place them on a decorative serving plate. Pour the mango mousse (about 3 heaping Tbsp of filling) into each shell. Lightly garnish with more coconut and lime peel or fresh berries. Can keep for 2 days in the fridge, in a sealed container.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca  

Highly influenced by Rawlicious At Home cookbook, TheRawtarian.com and Oprah.com
Raw! Raw Raw! © 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

If you want to make a Spring dessert that will please everyone and their mother, it will be these Lemon-Ricotta Bars from Food52 served with my Strawberry-Ginger Lemon Bar Sauce. With it, the bars are elevated to a whole other level of sophistication.

I was at De Mello Palheta cafe in Toronto and had their mind-blowing Rhubarb Custard Square and ever since wanted to make something similar at home. So the hunt was on and I finally chose Food52's recipe. It was perfect- the ricotta added richness and provided a not-so-puckery filling that complimented the moist and buttery shortbread crust. 

As amazing as they were, I really felt it needed something else...perhaps a sweet/tart flavour with a kick, I thought. I wanted something other than rhubarb and decided on crystallized ginger mixed in with strawberries from California I had bought the other day. It was harmonious in every way.

All I can say is, you MUST try the combination. I've made it twice already in the last two weeks and oh, the amount of "Ooos" and "Mmms" i've heard...

For the Lemon-Ricotta Bars:


Baker's note: make sure to stir the ricotta filling right before you pour it on the crust before baking.

Otherwise, your bars will crack and look like this:

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

instead of this:

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

For the Strawberry-Ginger Lemon Bar Sauce:

3 cups diced strawberries, preferably organic
3 Tbsp finely diced crystallized ginger (about 4 circles)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8-1/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in a medium pot, stir and bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium and cook for 12-15 minutes, occasionally stirring until the mixture turns pulpy and jam like. Take off heat and cool before serving with/dolloped on the Lemon-Ricotta bars. Prepare to be swept off your feet.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Almost there...

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

and finally...yes.

Pucker up!
Xxxx © 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

From a Facebook Buy and Sell page, I managed to get free back issues of Real Simple magazines.

Did I really need inspiration for a "Life Made Easier?" Well, for quick and delicious meal ideas, that's for sure. I've been working many hours and wanted fresh and healthy in a jiffy. I'm also a sucker for magazines.

So here's my take on a Real Simple and versatile meal- I served this for lunch and everyone loved, loved, loved it!

Pita and Cherry Tomato Toasts (serves 4, vegetarian)

1/3 cup olive oil
4 piece pkg. of white pita bread
8 oz. container of store-bought roasted garlic hummus
1/4 cup each minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used parsley and mint)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, tri-colours
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup baby arugula
paprika and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven 300°F. Brush one side of each pita bread with olive oil and place them all on one baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 12min. Set aside.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

While the pitas are toasting, chop your herbs.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Add the herbs to your container of roasted garlic hummus along with the leftover olive oil and mix.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Top your warm pitas with the herbed hummus, then tomatoes, Feta cheese, freshly ground pepper, arugula, more fresh herbs, perhaps a drizzle more olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Serve as is or with a side salad. Yum!

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca

Recipe inspired from Real Simple magazine, April 2014
Ahh...les joies simples! © 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Mom always brings a variety of halva for my husband. The Polish store she buys it from sells fresh, inexpensive blocks of these sweet, seed and nut-butter gems. My new favourite is made from sunflower seed as opposed to the regular tahini base. But on the whole, we enjoy them as a special treat for breakfast. And somehow I want to eat it only at breakfast time, and no other part of the day! Perhaps this comes from way back, from our trip to Egypt, before the girls, when a small group of us were served a simple breakfast on a felucca boat sailing the Nile- baby blue sky, quiet river, black coffee, one platter stacked with just-warmed flat bread, and another, with mounds of roughly chopped pistachio and almond halva. Halva heaven.

Almond Halva Cookies (yields approx. 24 cookies)

1 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond halva, crumbled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Things needed: mini cookie scoop and rimless baking sheet (or just turn your rimmed baking sheet upside down, then put your parchment paper on top.)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Then beat in vanilla and crumbled halva. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture and blend it thoroughly before adding the other half, and blend again on low until a crumbly dough forms.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Transfer the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the edges of the plastic wrap to press the dough into a disk. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and chill the dough until firm (about 1 hour).

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Have ready two rimless baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a mini scoop, roll dough into 1-inch balls and arrange them on the rimless cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

In the oven they both go, switching the sheets halfway through baking time (at about the 5 minute mark). Bake until the cookies are starting to crack on the top, 10-12 minutes in total. Keep a close eye on them- they can turn dark very quickly.

Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

You can have these sweet bits of halva heaven anytime. Even for breakfast.

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Inspired by Matkonation, Ottolenghi and Gourmet's sesame and halva recipes.
#breakfastmemories © 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

We love our Overnight Oats, but sometimes it's nice to have warm, no-fuss, flavour-immersed, slow-cooked steel-cut oatmeal during cold, winter mornings. But who stays up until midnight to turn on their slow cooker so that they'll have breakfast ready by morning? Or the patience to keep an eye on steel-cut oats on the stove top? Here's my solution: put all the ingredients in your crock pot the night before, but don't turn it on.

Put the lid on and leave it overnight.

The next morning, before anything else, turn your slow cooker on low.

Your Warm Overnight Oats will be ready in 1 to 1.5 hours.

Warm Overnight Oats (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Refined-sugar free)

1 1/4 cup organic, gluten-free steel-cut oats (toasted-optional)
3 cups organic almond milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp organic coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Things needed: slow cooker.

Combine steel cut oats, almond milk, water, coconut sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in your slow cooker. Give it a stir. Cover with lid but do not turn on until the next morning (low setting). Ready in about 1 1/2 hours. Makes about 4 servings. Top with more almond milk and whatever else you desire ie. bananas, pecans, almonds, granola, coconut, maple syrup, coconut sugar, pumpkin seeds, cacao powder, goji berries, chia seeds, poppy seeds, dried fruit, fresh berries, nut butters, homemade jam,..

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

© 2015 jordanabananabakes.blogspot.ca 

Modified from a How To Feed A Family recipe.
Happy New Year, New You © 2015