Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dairy & Gluten Free Potato Perogy Filling - Cheesy with a few Polka's on the side!

Hey Folks.

I took a bit of a "break" from blogging but I'm back.

We were busy on a mini-vacation and then had a "Ukrainian weekend". My daughter wanted the theme of her 5th Birthday party to be "Ukrainian". Who am I to complain? And then we had my daughters' first ever Ukrainian Dance Recital.

So I have been busy. And so HAPPY! For those of you that don't know me well - the idea of spending the weekend immersed in Ukrainian music, food and dance is kinda my thing.

I'll share a couple of pictures from the party just for kicks. We love theme parties.

But the key to any good party is the food. And unfortunately the staple of the Ukrainian feast is the good ol' perogy. The cheesy, wheaty, inflammation-inducing perogy.

A while back I developed a gluten-free, vegan perogy dough. That's the dough I used again and it worked out just fine. Warning: gluten-free dough is not that forgiving. I'm an experienced roller and pincher so I managed to make it work. If you are a newbee to perogies I apologize in advance if you struggle with it. You can always just use this filling with gluten-free lasagna noodles to make a perogy casserole if you aren't a fully-qualified Baba like me. Or look for an alternative gluten-free perogy dough. The one I made was purposefully simple (i.e. few ingredients) so I used an all purpose gluten-free flour blend. If you want to get fancy (and use more flours/ingredients) you might be able to make something a bit more pliable (and forgivable).

Just a couple other tips:

  • Obviously, omit the bacon if you want to keep these vegan; 
  • Fully cooled and refrigerated filling is MUCH easier to work with than when it is still warm. Don't rush it; 
  • After trying it both ways, I found that freezing the perogies raw (if you aren't going to eat them immediately) works better than boiling and freezing them, which I would normally do with wheat perogies; 
  • When you are ready to eat them, take them directly out of the freezer and boil them immediately. Make sure you boil them on a LOW GENTLE ROLLING BOIL so they don't fall apart. Be patient and let them cook slowly. When they float to the top let them boil for a couple extra minutes and then drain and serve doused in melted Earth Balance;
These were a big hit with my daughters'. And I think my guests were pleasantly surprised that gluten and cheese free perogies could be so PLEASANT.

There is life after gluten and cheese people. I promise. And parties...............

Really Cheesy - Gluten & Dairy Free Potato Perogy Filling

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 1/2 hour plus chill time
Cook Time: NA
Keywords: boil entree gluten-free dairy free bacon potato nutritional yeast Ukrainian
Ingredients (Enough for 4 - 5 dozen perogie)
  • 3 Tbsp Earth Balance - or other dairy free butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
  • 3 sliced bacon finely chopped
  • 4 cups hot cooked white potatoes (about 6 medium sized potatoes boiled in salted water until tender and then drained)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup Daiya dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp Herbamare or fine sea salt
  • dash of black pepper
Peel and boil your potatoes.
While the potatoes are cooking, fry the bacon and diced onion with 1 Tbsp Earth balance until tender. About 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
After the potatoes are boiled and drained, put them back in the pot. Add all remaining ingredients.
Mash together until fully combined and smooth.
Let cook on counter until warm and then put in fridge to cool entirely. This will take a few hours so you may want to do it the night before you are assembling the perogies.
Use the filling with your favorite gluten free perogy dough recipe. Or layer the mixture in between cooked gluten free lasagna noodles and baked for a delicious perogy lasagna.
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Our Ukrainian Weekend - well some of it...........Mommy with her little Uki at her first concert, Avery blowing out the candles on her Matryoska doll cupcake-cake (not my best decorating job but vegan and the kids actually gobbled them up), the little guests with their VINOK's (yep- that was a major glue gun project) - don't they look pretty, the vinok's, and a my creepy decorations - my daughter's face superseded on an old dancing poster of mine. LOL. I love it. She hated it.

We also did a Matryoska doll craft, had a Polka inspired Freeze dance party and ate cabbage rolls and Kulbasa. Mommy did a bad job of getting pictures.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weekend Reflections - Blogging, Burpees, Baskets and Blessings

Easter Weekend. 

A time to celebrate. A time for tradition. A time to be thankful. 

A time to do burpees? 

I'm playing with blogger. Now that I don't "have" to blog twice a week I feel like blogging. And I felt like trying to see if I could add a video to my blog. My first one EVER!

So my 4 year old took a video of me doing burpees this morning (she nailed it). I have no idea if its going to work. If it does, that's me. And yes, it is April 19th and our front yard is still covered in snow. 

I LOVE doing burpees. Full - hit the floor and then jump in the air- burpees. I know some people will hate me for saying that. Sorry. Maybe you like jogging. Well I hate jogging. We're even.  

Seriously though. I have three kids, I work, I make most of our food from scratch - I don't have much time to work out. So I go hard when I do. I've had a few people ask me what I'm training for - life. Keeping up with three kids. But don't ask me to run. I don't run. 

So if you want to get in shape - try doing three sets of 10 - even if that is ALL you do you will have had a good workout. They are killer and AWESOME! But start slow - work up to the full burpees - work up to 10. I don't want anyone to hurt themselves. 

And we are counting our blessings this weekend. I am happy to say that I am feeling REALLY good. I've had lots of ups and downs the past 5 years. Some really LOW lows. But right now, today, I feel pretty great. The stars have aligned for me. I've worked for it. I keep working for it. I can't let my guard down. I take care of myself. It might seem selfish sometimes - always protecting my sleep, getting my workouts in, taking my supplements, eating a certain way (which can be a pain for others if they feel the need to feed me), saying NO. But the pay off for those around me is that I am happy. I have energy. My husband told me yesterday - I've been really liking you lately. Thanks hubby. I like you too. I'm more likable when I'm healthy and I like others a lot more.   

Rather than being trapped in survival mode, I have energy to do fun things with my kids. And actually be in the moment with them to enjoy it. 

So here are a couple of other fun things we have been doing this weekend................

Our Good Friday craft. Making stamps out of potato's. That was followed by making perogies out of potatoes. Recipe to come sometimes this week. 

We went to church to get our baskets blessed!  A little non-traditional twist on a very traditional part of my childhood. Are those Caramilk clean? NO. Did I have one. Yes!

I hope everyone has a very blessed and beautiful Easter! 

Христос Воскрес! (Khrystos Voskres!)

Christ is Risen!

BTW if someone happens to say that to you "in person" this is how you should respond........

Воїстину Воскрес! (Voyistynu Voskres!)

 Truly He is Risen! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vegan GF Peanut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I first went CLEAN I was doing the Wheat Belly Diet. Dr. Davis, of Wheat  Belly fame, uses lots of peanuts in his recipes. So I scoured Winnipeg for peanut flour. And when I didn't find any, I scoured the internet and ordered some on-line.

But then I went PALEO.........and then I went on the Candida diet.........and then I found out my daughter had peanuts on her "no go" list. So the peanut flour just sat there in the freezer.

But I've come full circle. I'm trying not to be scared of food. I don't think a half cup of peanut flour is going to make me so moldy, acidic (etc, etc, etc insert scary word) that I won't survive. I'm trying to be more balanced with my eating. Because the stress you can cause yourself from being insanely strict with your diet can wipe out all the awesome benefits of eating clean.

So I pulled out the peanut flour and decided to make some peanut cookies. If you don't have peanut flour, I don't see why these wouldn't work with almond flour or almond meal. And damn I am enjoying them. They aren't fully PALEO, fully Candida diet friendly, or fully grain-free. But they are full of great "clean" ingredients and they are FULLY VEGAN. I'm choosing to pick my battles.

Gotta run. I feel like eating a cookie!

Vegan & Gluten Free Peanut Chocolate Chip Cookies

by MamaChanty
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Keywords: bake snack dessert gluten-free low-carb vegan chocolate peanut cookie
Ingredients (15 cookies)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 Tbsp ground golden flax
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • +1/2 cup organic palm coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp Earth Balance (vegan margarine - or replace with more coconut oil)+
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
Dry Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour (or other nut flour)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • Hand ful of vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    Mix together first 3 ingredients. Let stand for a couple of minutes.
    In a second bowl, whip together oil/butter and sugar. Mix until fully combined and slightly fluffy. Add applesauce and vanilla.
    Mix together two separate bowls of wet ingredients.
    Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Stir until just combined.
    Scoop out a heaping Tbsp at a time. Form into balls and then flatten out slightly with the back of a fork.
    Bake for 10 minutes.
    Remove from oven and let cool before eating. I dare ya!
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    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Mama Gets Fit - Dancers Pose on a Bosu and Other Fitness Fun

    Let me tell you......taking a selfie with your "free" hand when you are doing dancers pose on a Bosu is not easy. I'm pretty pumped I was able to get a decent shot without hurting myself

    Anyway, this is what I've been up to at the gym lately.

    I was getting a little bored with my usually routine. Actually not really bored, I like my routine. Just looking for the new challenge.

    And one of my YMCA instructors was recently talking about the importance of balance as you get older. And I have been finding lots of grey hairs this week (I just colored my hair -  wtf).

    And I have been CRAVING to dance.

    So all this resulted in my starting to try all sorts of balancing poses and ballet moves on the top of the BOSU.

    Its so fun. But my sense of fun is kind of weird.

    And its a great core workout. A great overall workout.

    You should try it. Carefully. And maybe privately. I do this at the gym and my husband is pretty embarrassed to be seen with me.

    What is the point of this post. I don't know. I'm just high on my monthly B12 shot, I just finished my first year-end at my new job (and discovered I actually love accounting - who knew) and I'm feeling invigorated with the freedom of not having to post recipes every Wednesday (although I have an awesome chocolate chip peanut cookie recipe coming).

    Or maybe the point is to keep doing new things with fitness if you are getting bored. Keep it interesting. Keep it fun. Even if you look like a complete weirdo ballet freak. Do it for you..

    I gotta run...........40 more get ups to do tonight before bed.

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    Tasty Taco Turkey Burgers - Grain & Egg free

    Hello Everyone...........Mama's back.

    Had a recipe to share. Darn these were good. Really good. 

    I've been on a hiatus from blogging my recipes. Not from developing recipes. As soon as I said I wasn't going to post recipes for a while I couldn't keep myself out of the kitchen. So I have been having fun trying out lots of new recipes. But they aren't all making it to paper...........or Blogger as the case may be.

    But hubby and I loved this one so much that I thought I better get out the camera and jot some notes. You'll notice my presentation is lacking.....................

    That's how I roll these days. I'm trying to focus on playing with my kids.  We have had an awesome Spring Break. Crafts galore. Shopping. Swimming. Busy. Busy. Busy. Fun. Fun. Fun. Three happy kids. And I was "there" to enjoy it. Fully there. And that's what its all about. I am well enough (no Candida, no Adrenal fatigue, no digestive problems - YAY) right now to be in the moment so that's where I'm trying to stay!

    Hope you enjoy this and hopefully I'm back soon with some of my new tofu recipes............I've become slightly obsessed with Silken Tofu..............can't stop experimenting. Its magical!

    Turkey Burgers - Mexican

    by MamaChanty
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes ish
    Keywords: grill entree low-carb paleo turkey Mexican
    Ingredients (7 - 8 burgers)
    • 1 lb lean ground turkey (I get mine at Costco)
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 1/4 cup red sweet pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
    • 1/2 Tbsp ground Chia seed
    • 1/4 cup corn
    • 5 tsp Taco spice
    I make a big batch of my taco spice using the following (I use it for various recipes):
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 4 tsp cumin
    • 4 tsp fine sea salt
    • 2 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    I mixed all the ingredients together, except for the meat, first. I then added the ground turkey and gently mixed it up until it was fully combined. I try not to over-mix. I made the mixture into patties.
    I found the mixed meat to be a bit sticky and was worried it would stick to the bbq, so hubby fried the patties first - about 2-3 minutes on each side- in some grapeseed oil on the frying pan. He then grilled them for about 7 minutes on each side on the BBQ (on low heat).
    I served topped with home-made guacamole. So tasty!!!
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