Plantain Chips

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I, personally, find the hardest part of eating a grain free diet is snacks. If you think of ‘typical’ snacks as the majority of the world sees them, they often include things like crackers, and granola bars.These snacks are so fast and easy to grab and sometimes I miss them. Most often snacks around here are fruit or veggies or a nut mix. Sometimes we get a bit more creative and involved (like these Celery Snacks). After being away for the weekend we missed our weekly market shopping trip for produce (we had stocked up on meat the week before) so we had to make a trip to a store for some stuff. We went to a local Asian supermarket and bought some wonderful things! While we were picking up some other items, my eyes were wandering towards the plantains. We went down another aisle and then up the plantain aisle and without me even saying a word Tom picks one up! My heart did a little dance and I became very excited about the plantain chips we would be making in the near future.

Of course our patience level is low so Tom made the plantain chips last night.

All you need.

All you need.

Ingredients

  • 1 large plantain, sliced on the bias
  • coconut oil, about 3/4 of a Tbsp for each round of cooking you do (depends on how large your plantain is and how large you pan is)
  • seasoning (we used Tom’s Essence (a secret recipe that might one day be revealed) but you can also use cayenne, salt and pepper, chili powder, or anything your heart desires)

    Sliced on the bias.

    Sliced on the bias.

Directions

  1. Place about 3/4 of a Tbsp of coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Allow the oil to melt and heat up making sure not to burn it. When melted you want the oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan.

    We love coconut oil in our house.

    We love coconut oil in our house.

  2. Once the oil is heated (you can test if it is hot enough by dipping in a the plantain chip. If the oil sizzles when the plantain touches it, it is hot enough. If it does not sizzle allow it to heat a bit longer), add the plantain slices in a single layer. Allow to fry in the yummy coconut oil. Once the edges begin to turn golden, flip them and allow to cook on the other side.

    Cooking the first side.

    Cooking the first side.

  3. Once both sides are cooked to golden, take slices out and place on a paper towel and press lightly to get rid of some excess oil.

    Cooked to perfection.

    Cooked to perfection.

  4. Place in a bowl and toss in spice as desired.
  5. Repeat until all slices are used. Be sure to add more coconut oil every time.

    Delicious Snack!

    Delicious Snack!

As always please share with us if you try this recipe and how it worked for you. We love hearing from you!!

-Katie

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First CSA Delivery!!

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Bins are packed and ready to go.

Bins are packed and ready to go.

The day we have been waiting for has arrived!!! The first day for pick up and delivery of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares from Orchard Hill Farm. We are so excited ourselves to get a taste of this local and organic produce. Each week we will deliver to our customers, produce grown by Ken and Martha and their team at the farm. They are wonderful people and do such an amazing job. We can’t wait to see what tasty things we will be getting as the summer continues.

Shaun checking things over.

Shaun checking things over.

We are excited with how the first deliveries went and it was great to get to talk to all of our customers again. We hope you enjoy your first baskets and can’t wait to hear what tasty dishes you cooked up with them.

Tom packing the bins.

Tom packing the bins.

In this weeks bins:
-1 bunch of asparagus
-8 green onions
-12 rhubarb (you could make our Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler)
-1 head of lettuce
-1 pok choi (similar to bok choy)
-8 radishes
-1 pail of spinach
-fresh herbs: chives and lovage

We 1 CSA Bin.

Week 1 CSA Bin.

 

This week we included a sample of our honey from Oxford Honey. If you are interested in finding out more check out our price list or email us ( info@healthyconnectionslondon.ca).

Each week the list will change and grow,  bringing us some new things to try! We look forward to trying out some pok choi. If you have some recipes you would like to share please post them here, on our Facebook page or email us (info@healthyconnectionslondon.ca).
-Katie

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

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Last summer we went blueberry picking for the first time as a family. We came home with 6 lbs of blueberries and no real plans for them. I immediately turned to google for wonderful ways to use them. I found a recipe for a blueberry cobbler and thought we would give it a try.

We have fallen in love with this recipe and have made many variations of it for breakfasts and desserts.

When we moved into our house two years ago we discovered that we had three rhubarb plants at the side of our house. For the past two summers we have been giving it away as we really didn’t know what to do with it. This past week we decided to use some of our rhubarb ourselves and make a strawberry rhubarb cobbler. It was amazing!!!! We made two, one for us and one for friends of ours. It got rave reviews from everyone!!

Ingredients
2.5 cups of fresh chopped strawberries
2.5 cups of fresh chopped rhubarb
3 tbs of liquid honey(you can use more if you want it sweeter)
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 egg
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs liquid honey to top

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium bowl combine berries and rhubarb and coat in honey. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix together by hand almond flour, shredded coconut, almonds, egg, coconut oil and cinnamon. You want to mix it until its well combined and crumbley.
4. Place the berries and rhubarb in a pie plate. Crumble the topping on top making sure it is evenly spread.
5. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle remaining honey on top and place back in oven for 10-15 minutes. As always with baking, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it begins to turn golden it is done.
6. Allow to cool for about 5 mins before eating.

Enjoy!! We use this topping with many ‘bottoms.’ We will post more in coming months.

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Bacon Infused Hamburgers

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This weekend we had Katie’s mom and sister down for a visit. Sometimes cooking and preparing food for people who aren’t grain free can  be challenging. Katie’s sister is gluten free so her family is used to eating weird and wonderful things. For some it can be a bit hard to adapt to our lifestyle and we always try to be mindful of that when we have company.

As part of their visit this weekend we had Tom’s parents over for a dinner. Since we had been having nice weather all week we figured a BBQ would be perfect. What we were not prepared for was the drop in temperature over the weekend. Luckily it was still nice enough to get out there and fire up the BBQ.

Ingredients(for 10 burgers)

  • 3-4 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 4 pieces of bacon, chopped (uncooked)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • hot sauce (your choice – to your taste – we used approximately 1 Tsp)
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Ingredients are ready.

    Ingredients are ready.

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, onion, bacon, cumin and olive oil. Mix well with your hands (you can’t be afraid to get right in there!).

    Combine with your hands! Get dirty!

    Combine with your hands! Get dirty!

  2. Crack the egg into a separate bowl and beat it with a fork. Add it to the rest of the ingredients and mix it in.

    Delicious farm fresh egg.

    Delicious farm fresh egg.

  3. Add thyme and hot sauce and mix until well combined.
  4. Separate into even balls to become patties. We made 10 patties out of the beef we used.  When all are separated, flatten them down into patties.

    Patties prepared and ready for grilling.

    Patties prepared and ready for grilling.

  5. Oil your BBQ grill with olive oil. Heat BBQ to high allowing your grill to heat. Right before you put the patties on turn the heat to medium.
  6. Try to only flip the burgers once. We cooked ours for about 8-10 minutes per side. Every BBQ is different and every patty maker makes their patties different thicknesses.

    Patties are grilling (plus some chicken for Katie's sister who can't eat red meat).

    Patties are grilling (plus some chicken for Katie’s sister who can’t eat red meat).

  7. We cooked the burgers till they were about medium-well and then turned the BBQ off allowing the burgers to sit for about 1-2 minutes allowing them to continue cooking on the inside but not get burnt on the outside.

We topped our burgers with fresh tomatoes, onions, homemade dill relish, and mustard. We served them with a side of quinoa salad with a balsamic dressing.

Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

What have you enjoyed grilling lately?

-Katie and Tom

The Best Part of Spring is the Smell of BBQ

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As the weather gets warmer, it only means one thing – BBQ season! While some troopers BBQ year round in the Great White North, our BBQ has been on vacation all winter.

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Last week we took her out of retirement and BBQ’d some delicious burgers. We plan to share many burger recipes with you over the summer months as well as some other delicious BBQ meals!

Roasted Beets, Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

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When our son began to eat solid food, we began to prepare a wider variety of vegetables than we had before. As much as we love food, we knew what we liked for veggies and typically stuck to them. So when we trying to make sure that our son got all the nutrients he needed we started to eat more veggies ourselves. One vegetable we began to eat was beets. Growing up my parents often had pickled beets but I was never a huge fan (nor was I really open to trying them). We have boiled beets  and roasted them. By far roasting is our favourite. Roasting is my favourite way of preparing most things as it brings out the flavors in a great way! This recipe is delicious. I first saw the idea online somewhere but have made our own changes.

Ingredients

  • 2 large size beets, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1/2 a large sweet potato or 1 small one, cubed
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Yummy Ingredients

    Yummy Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. When cutting the vegetables, I cut the sweet potatoes larger than the beets. The sweet potatoes cooked faster than the beets so this makes it all be cooked at the same time.
  3. In a glass roasting pan place olive oil and cut vegetables. Mix the vegetables until they are all covered in oil. Sprinkle the basil,  oregano and salt and pepper (to taste) on top and mix.

    Vegetables are cut and prepared for roasting.

    Vegetables are cut and prepared for roasting.

  4. Place in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes. Stir halfway through. Keep an eye on your veggies as every oven is different.

We served ours as a side for our weekly chicken. This time we roasted our chicken with rosemary sprigs tucked under the skin of each breast and each leg. I topped it with garlic and a special spice mix Tom has created. It was all delicious.

-Katie

Yummy!

Yummy!

Celery Snacks

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We are always trying to think of ideas for us to have as quick snacks. Our weekly muffins are a great way to have snacks that are ready and easy to grab for us and our son. Recently Tom has been creating a new snack for us. It’s nothing fancy but not something you always think of – a primal version of ants on a log!

 

We prepared ours three ways – one for me, one for Tom and one for our son. Our son is 13 months and can handle eating raisins and sliced almonds but not all children his age can. If you are preparing this for your child please make sure you prepare it in a way that they can eat it and avoid choking.

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

Ingredients

  • celery sticks – washed and cut to appropriate size (finger size for adults and little bite size for toddlers – you know your child so please make sure the pieces are something they can handle)
  • almond butter and/or creamed cinnamon honey(depending on your preference)
  • raisins
  • sliced almonds
Creamed Cinnamon Honey for our toddler.

Creamed Cinnamon Honey for our toddler.

Instructions

  1. Using a knife spread as little or as much of the almond butter or honey in the crevice of the celery (for toddler snack we place a dollop on the plate and then sort of stir the celery into it or let him do it for himself).
  2. Top with as few or as many raisins and almonds as you like.
  3. Enjoy

    Creamed Cinnamon Honey

      Creamed Cinnamon Honey