Recipe { Easy Cauliflower Soup }

Even though other parts of the world are enjoying springtime weather, we were blessed with another snowstorm this week. Since it’s still cold, I just want to eat food that warm me up, like this delicious (and easy) soup!

My cousin first discovered this recipe, and I’ve made tweaks to it over time. That’s the beauty of cooking, you can change a recipe to create your own version of a dish – it’s like a creative outlet. This recipe is pretty versatile, and I’ve left alternative options below. Feel free to play around and adjust it to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup Chicken broth
  • Mushrooms (approx. 227 g)
  • One head of cauliflower
  • One onion
  • One big potato
  • 1 can (540 mL) white kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Steps

  1. Prepare all the ingredients: wash mushrooms, cauliflower and potato.
  2. Roughly cut up the veggies them up.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a big pot.
  4. Over medium heat, bring to boil and let the ingredients steam for about 45 minutes.
  5. Blend everything together.
  6. Serve while hot!

Alternatives

  • Add 1-2 tbsp Italian herbs.
  • Add 1/3 cup cream cheese. This makes it a lot more delicious!
  • Removing the kidney beans
  • Using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • Add Sriracha sauce, to taste.

Recipe { Loving Pancakes }

I wanted to call these ‘Loving’ pancakes because your whole body, from your taste buds to your tummy, will love it: it’s delicious but also healthy!

I’ve been playing around with this recipe for a while, and can finally share the perfect combination of ingredients. There are few tweaks that you can make and I will include them in the ingredient list.

I usually make these on a weekday, but are also perfect for a lazy Saturday morning for the person you love (make sure to double the recipe!).

Ingredients {for one person – yields about 5-6 small pancakes}

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (I’ve also used ground flaxseed but didn’t like the taste as much)
  • A dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp of almond milk (or any milk that you have on hand)

Optional additions {add to taste}

  • Almond slivers
  • Dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

Steps {prep time: 5 minutes | total cook time: 15-20 minutes}

  1. In a medium bowl, mash the banana, making sure that you get rid of as many clumps as possible.
  2. Add 2 eggs, vanilla, almond milk & coconut flour, and mix until smooth.
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan on medium heat, and add a bit of oil (just enough to thinly coat the bottom of the pan).
  4. Pour about 2 tbsps of the mixture onto the heated pan [I usually cook 3 pancakes at a time]. The batter is quite thick so I spread the batter with a spoon to create an oval/roundish shape.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes, making sure that it’s not over-cooking. [This is the tricky part: if the pancakes don’t cook enough, you won’t be able to flip them and they’ll just fall apart.] Test the consistency of the pancake by slowly lifting one side with a spatula.
  6. Flip over and let the other side cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! I love hazelnut butter & berries on these pancakes. A real treat that you will love and not feel guilty about!

If you try this recipe, share the picture on social media and use the hashtag #seppyslovepancake so that I can see how they turned out! You can find me on Twitter (@peppy3), Instagram (@seppysmtl), and GooglePlus (@seppysmontreal). 

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Recipe { Cozy Chili & Cornbread }

Words can’t even begin to describe how good this chili tasted. Full of flavor and nutrients, this is such an easy meal for a cold winter night – an instant heart-warming bowl of yummy goodness (just thinking about it makes me crave it).

I can’t recommend this recipe enough. I mean, really, you have to go get the ingredients like, RIGHT NOW. It’s easy, makes a HUGE batch, and is just… oh-so-good. This whole batch lasted me for about 8 meals, which I did NOT mind eating for a week. Yes, that’s just how good it is.

To make it heartier and have my veggie intake for the day, I added mushrooms, carrots, and celery. I also used ground beef because I couldn’t find ground turkey in my grocery store.

This recipe goes perfectly with cornbread, which turned out delicious, even though I substituted the buttermilk with almond milk. Not sure how much it affected the texture since that was actually the first time I’ve actually tasted cornbread, but whatever, it tasted delicious and I am totally making this again. This cornbread could easily use some additions such as sharp cheddar cheese, or sundried tomatoes, but that’ll be for next time.

What’s one of your favorite go-to winter meals? 

Recipe { Pumpkin Scones }

After making my healthy pumpkin muffins, I still had pumpkin puree left over. I had seen this recipe of Julie’s blog when she published and had bookmarked it, so this was the perfect excuse to try it. The recipe was so good that I just might make another batch with the remainder of the puree. Fall isn’t over yet and pumpkin treats are perfect for the current weather (with a cup of hot chocolate of course!)

A few things that I did differently:

  • The butter that I used was actually melted, and the scones seemed to have retained their flakiness. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing this, don’t fret if your butter is not chilled like the recipe instructs.
  • I used one cup of white flour and one cup of whole-wheat flour to make a bit healthier and I couldn’t even tell there was whole-wheat flour in it.
  • I don’t usually have cream at home and I actually only had almond milk, which seemed to have worked out fine…and it makes me healthier too.
  • For the glaze, I used Stonewall Kitchen’s pumpkin caramel, which worked perfectly to add a touch of sweetness to the scones.
  • I didn’t have all the spices to make pumpkin spice, so I just used ¾ tablespoon cinnamon and ¼ tablespoon ground cloves.
  • I don’t have a food processor either so I combined the butter and dry ingredients by hand, making sure that I ‘squished’ the butter between my fingers (a little trick I learned by watching Anna Olsen on the Food Network). I also used my hands to combine the pumpkin mixture with the dry ingredients by folding over the mixture until combined. This means that you grab large amounts of mixture at the same time and simply…fold it over onto the rest of the mixture and so on and so forth until it is fully combined!

…coming to think of it, maybe next time I should follow the recipe and it’ll turn out even more delicious…?

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Recipe { Moist Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Muffins }

The fall is upon us, which means earlier sunsets, cooler evenings and the changing leaves, all of which make feel like every night should be spent cuddled up in bed with a good book or movie, a cup of hot chocolate in hand, and a nice pumpkin treat (because how else should an evening be spent? Studying? Nah…!)

I was so happy with the way they turned out because they are light, healthy and delicious, the perfect pumpkin that can be enjoyed guilt-free! I used applesauce instead of oil, which made these muffins incredibly moist.

This is definitely a recipe that I am keeping, but will probably add at least a half-cup of pumpkin puree to make the taste of pumpkin slightly stronger.

I found the recipe on Food.com:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil (or substitute applesauce for this too)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 16 ozs pumpkin
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 ozs semisweet mini chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Mix wet ingredients in one bowl, and dry ingredients in another (excluding the chocolate chips).
  2. Mix the wet and dry mixtures together.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Generously fill 24 greased muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes at 400˚C.ImageImageImageImageImage

Recipe { Chocolate Almond Cookies }

I get excited when I find healthier versions of sweet treats because I can allow myself a guilt-free dessert, and I’ve been lucky to find recipes that don’t sacrifice any taste!

I whipped up this batch of chocolate almond cookies when my aunt came to visit and we had a hard time controlling ourselves because they were so delicious. Half of the cookies were gone within the hour of coming out of the oven!

I got the recipe from the lovely Pastry Affair. If you’re not following her blog yet, it’s an absolute must: her writing is poetic, her pictures are beautiful, and her recipes are inspiring!

  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I substituted with honey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Use a tablespoon to create round and even balls of dough, lined on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the cookies from the baking sheet.

[ N.B. if you haven’t noticed from the pictures below, I *might* have forgotten to put the chocolate chips INSIDE the dough…the cookie was actually delicious without the chocolate but I’m a chocoholic so to me, everything is better with chocolate in it. ]

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Recipe { Guilt-Free ‘ice cream’ }

I have a dilemma: I like to eat healthy…but I love ice cream. I still have vivid childhood memories of going to the ice cream parlor with my sisters and parents, and then crawling into my dad’s lap after I finished my cone because I would always get cold.

In the last few months though, I have been changing my lifestyle and trying to eat as clean as possible, which entails reducing my sugar and dairy intake…see the dilemma? When I saw this recipe on Rosie’s blog, I had to try it, and I am so happy with the results and excited to have a new sweet treat to satisfy my next craving.

You can whip up this recipe in less than 15 minutes, it is guilt-free because the ingredients are relatively healthy (in moderation), but most importantly, it’s DELICIOUS! Even my dad and sister, who are both ice cream crazed like I am, were really surprised at how good this ‘ice cream’ tasted!

I chose to serve the ‘ice cream’ with fresh strawberries and lightly roasted almonds slivers. You can eat it without any toppings, or add whatever you like.

This recipe yields about 3-4 portions:

  • 3 frozenbananas
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp non-sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey/agave

Blend all the ingredients (I used a hand blender), making sure everything has mixed well (especially the peanut butter, it can easily clump up), and serve! The bananas do soften a little from the blending, so you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. ImageImageImageImage