Jason and I LOVE Mexican food. So we decided to experiment, and create our own version of one of our favourite dishes. Needless to say, family and friends are going crazy over our pulled chicken tacos. And so are we :)
4 chicken drumsticks (organic if possible)
4 chicken thighs (organic if possible)
2 poblano peppers - small dice
2 cans black beans (BPA free) - rinsed
1 tbsp olive or grape seed oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 small/medium yellow onion - roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
5 kumato or vine ripened tomatoes - roughly chopped
3-4 dried ancho chili peppers
1-2 dried chipotle peppers
3 dried New Mexico peppers
1 dried ghost pepper
1-2 fresh red chili peppers
handful of cilantro stems
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
Large pinch of salt
1 red onion - finely diced
2 avocados - mashed.
Handful of cilantro - roughly chopped
Jalapeños - finely diced
Red chili peppers - finely diced
Soft Shell Tacos:
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups of MASA
Large pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 275F
In a large cast iron pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil or grape seed oil on medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Sear the chicken in hot oil until golden brown on each side (approximately 2-3 minutes).
In the meantime, blend all sauce ingredients together.
Pour the sauce, as well as the diced poblano peppers over the chicken. The sauce should cover all of the chicken. If it doesn’t, add a little more vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Place the lid on the pot and place into the oven for approximately 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and add drained & washed black beans. Stir through and place back into oven an additional 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven. At this point, the chicken should be falling off the bone. Use a set of tongs to remove chicken from pot and into a large bowl. Let the chicken cool slightly before using your hands or a fork to remove chicken from the bones.
In the meantime, place the sauce on the stove to reduce by half.
When sauce is thick, place chicken and a few ladles to a skillet set on medium/high heat. Stir through so chicken is nicely coated before serving on soft white or yellow corn tacos.
Combine warm water, salt and masa. Whisk until combined. Then, knead until it forms a soft well rounded dough. NOTE: If dough is dry/crumbled, add a tablespoon of warm water at a time until dough forms.
Roll out golf ball size balls of masa. Flatten between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper using a tortilla press or flat/ heavy bottomed plate or container.
Heat a cast iron pan on medium/high heat. Place the tacos into the cast iron pan (a couple at a time). Let them cook for at least 30 seconds before flipping them. They should puff up slightly and be easy to flip.
Place a spoonful of pulled chicken on each taco and serve with a multitude of toppings. Enjoy!
I have a giant canister of my granola sitting on the counter and a smaller container in my purse at all times. It is by far my favourite thing to snack on throughout the day.
3 1/2 cups GF (gluten free) rolled oats
2 cups chopped nuts and seeds of your choice (I use almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup good quality maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ª F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds and coconut flakes.
In a small sauce pan, heat coconut oil on low heat until melted. Add apple sauce, maple syrup, cinnamon, ground cloves and himalayan salt. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
Pour the sauce over the oats and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly onto lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 325ª. Remove the granola from the oven and add the dried fruit. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Sprinkle with a pinch of Himalayan salt.
Jase and I tried this for the first time in Montreal and couldn’t get enough of it. It’s my friend Emily’s mothers recipe and is by far the best quinoa dishes I have ever had. I made 3 batches this week. It’s completely addictive.
1 cup white quinoa - rinsed
1 cup red quinoa - rinsed
1 vegetable or chicken bouillon cube
3 cups of water
1 red pepper - small dice
1/2 english cucumber - small dice
3 stalks of celery - small dice
1 scallions - small dice
5 tbsp olive oil
juice of 2 limes (approx 4 tbsp)
3 tbsp gluten free tamari
2 tsp cumin
1 cup cilantro - finely chopped
Boil water in a medium sized pot. Once boiled, add bouillon cube, then add quinoa. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before adding the vegetables.
In the meantime, whisk olive oil, lime juice, tamari, cumin and cilantro together.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables and mix until well combined.
The Spiralizer is my new favourite kitchen toy. I combined zucchini and kelp noodles with a pad thai inspired sauce. You won’t miss the rice noodles. Promise.
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 tbsp ginger - finely grated
3 zucchinis - cut into long spaghetti strands (this is where the Spiralizer comes in VERY handy)
1 bag of kelp noodles
1 carrot - cut into matchsticks or spaghetti like strands (if you have a Spiralizer).
2 tbsp soy sauce or GF tamari
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp tamarind paste or sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1/2 lime - zest and juice
Handful of cilantro - chopped
2 scallion sprigs - chopped
Handful of bean spouts (or any other sprouts)
2 tbsp chopped almonds or peanuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. At the same time, fill a large bowl with ice cold water. Put zucchini noodles in boiling water for about 10 seconds before immediately transporting to ice bath.
While the zucchini noodles stay cool, soak the kelp noodles in warm/hot water.
Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Let it sit until the coconut sugar dissolves.
In a wok, melt coconut oil on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the kelp noodles and the sauce to the wok. Simmer for about 3 minutes before adding the carrot and zucchini noodles. Mix noodles through before turning off the heat. Add garnishes.
I made this soup for a bridal shower and it was a big hit. Thought it was worthy of posting! It will be a great addition to your winter soup collection. Enjoy :)
1 butternut squash (cut in half length wise and seeded)
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/5 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 large sweet onion - diced
1.5 cups carrots - diced
2 celery stalks - diced
1 head of garlic + 4 more cloves
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Handful of Italian parsley - chopped
Himalayan salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Massage flesh side of butternut squash with 1 tbsp of coconut oil, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 40 minutes. At the same time, take the full head of garlic, chop off the bottom (where the root is), drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper and wrap in tinfoil making a little bundle and place on the same baking tray as the butternut squash
While the butternut squash and garlic bakes, place the curry powder, turmeric and coconut oil together in a large pot and cook on medium heat for about one minute. Then, add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper cooking until onions become transluscent. Once they do, add in the carrots and celery and cook until vegetables becomes soft. If they bottom of the pot starts to brown, add a splash of broth and continue stirring.
Add the stock to the pot, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Remove the butternut squash and garlic bundle from the oven. Let the squash cool slightly before peeling off the skin and dropping the flesh into the soup. Let the soup continue to simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the soup to a high speed blender in batches, adding 1/2 cup of coconut milk to each batch before transferring into a new pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish soup with roasted garlic and chopped Italian parsley.
I was inspired by a cold quinoa salad that my cousin made for me at the cottage a couple of weeks back. This asian inspired snack is both healthy and absolutely delicious.
3 sheets toasted nori
1 cup uncooked quinoa - rinsed
1 red bell pepper - diced
1 english cucumber - diced
2 large handfulls of baby spinach - roughly chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley - chopped
1/4 cup pickled ginger
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons Agave
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 or 3 garlic cloves - minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger - grated
3 tablespoons cold water
Boil 2 cups of water, then stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for approximately 15 minutes. Remove quinoa from the heat to cool slightly.
In the meantime, combine all ingredients for the dressing in a mason jar. Shake well.
Once the quinoa has cooled slightly, add the cucumber, red pepper, pickled ginger, spinach, toasted pine nuts and parsley as well as 3/4 cup of the dressing. You can always add more dressing later, or use the left over on salad or as a dipping sauce.
Put the quinoa in the fridge for about half an hour so it can soak in all of the flavours and cool down even more. Eat as is or create a cone shape with a piece of nori and stuff the quinoa mixture inside.
Crisp, tart, delicious!
1 English cucumber - diced
3 kumato or vine ripened tomatoes - diced
1/2 vidalia onion - diced
Handful flat leaf parsley - chopped
1 garlic clove - minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Cracked black pepper
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving so vegetables can marinate.
Cook these slow and steady. You’ll thank me later! Then serve them up with some homemade guacamole. You may just want to make a tripple batch.
1 large sweet potato (cleaned, not peeled)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch Himalayan salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200ºF. Using a mandoline, slice the sweet potatoes on the 1/8 inch setting. Lay the sweet potatoes on 2 baking sheets lines with parchment paper. Make sure not to overlap the sweet potato slices. Lightly drizzle the sweet potatoes with olive oil and then use a basting brush to be sure the top of the sweet potato slices are evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes. Take them out of the oven, flip them over and cook for another 30 minutes. Flip them over once more and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and onion powder for some “sour cream and onion” flavour.
I can eat avocado by the spoonful. But sometimes it’s nice to take it up a notch.
1 Hass Avocado
3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (only 1 tablespoon if eating raw)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup ground raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with lemon juice in a small dish. Spread ground macadamia nuts and Himalayan salt on a plate. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Slice the avocado into 1/2 inch strips. Using a basting brush, lightly coat avocado slices with oil/lemon mixture. Once coated, take avocado slices and gently press them into the macadamia nuts. If eating raw, this is the last step. If cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a sauté pan on medium/high heat. Add the avocado slices and cook for approximately 30 seconds on each side.
This recipe was adapted from the My Dance With Cancer website. I added raw walnuts for some texture and of course, health benefits.
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Set up a double boiler on your stove. Bring three cups of water to a boil in the lower pot. Then turn the heat down to low. Add the cacao powder, coconut oil, raw honey and Himalayan salt to the top pot. Mix until all ingredients are melted together into liquid form. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and walnuts. Pour mixture into a medium sized baking dish lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for approximately two hours before serving. Store leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator.
I LOVE cinnamon. And with the added benefit of chia seeds, this drink makes the perfect snack.
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 organic granny smith apple - *puréed
Stevia to sweeten
Mix all ingredients together in a large glass and give it a good stir. Let the chia seeds plump up for about five minutes before drinking. If you want a smoother consistency, blend until smooth.
*NOTE: I peel the granny smith apple and then grate it on a microplane. I find this to be the easiest way to purée it. You can always sub with unsweetened applesauce.
This is such an easy, delicious side dish.
1 pound mini tri-coloured potatoes
4 garlic cloves - smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Handful of italian parsley - chopped
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the potatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a fork to press potatoes down, so they become flat. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and place back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Garnish with Italian flat leaf parsley.
This was adapted from Chef Amber Shea’s Almost Vegan recipe. It is AMAZING!
3 cups raw, shredded coconut
2 cups frozen strawberries (defrosted)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup water
Combine all ingredients together in a high speed blender. Blend for at least 3 minutes on the highest setting. If your blender is having trouble breaking this mixture down, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I absolutely love mushrooms. And this decadent sauce will convert those who don’t!
4 medium sized portobello mushrooms - sliced
8-10 shitake mushrooms - sliced
1/2 cup marsala wine
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion - diced
3 garlic cloves - minced
3 sprigs of thyme
Handful of flat leaf parsley - chopped
2 tablespoons Earth Balance spread (soy free)
2 tablespoons gluten free oat flour
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/8 cup *cashew cream (optional)
In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, garlic, thyme, Himalayan salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for approximately five minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook for another five minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Then, add flour and Earth Balance spread and cook through for one minute. Pour in the marsala wine to deglaze the pot. Reduce the marsala for a couple of minutes before adding the vegetable stock. Simmer for ten minutes. The sauce should be nice and thick at this point. Test the sauce to see if more salt or pepper is needed. If you are adding the cashew cream, do so in the last minute of cooking. Toss with your favourite pasta and garnish with flat leaf parsley.
* To make cashew cream, combine 1/3 cup raw cashews with 1/4 cup boiling water in a blender. Blend until smooth.