Something warm and soothing…

I’ve been dragged out with a cold recently… a cold that turned into a viral infection.

It’s taken a lot out of me. I have no energy and I just want someone to take care of me… basically – I turn into a whining baby.
Many years ago, when I was living with my parents, my mom would make leek and potato soup when we were sick. I loved that soup.

Given that my mother worked full time in a very busy job at a bank, and had a very long commute, which included catching a ferry, homemade soup was an extra-special treat.
As you drifted in and out of consciousness, the smell of vegetables simmering in broth could instantly help sooth the chill that had settled deep into your bones.
One bowl of Mom’s soup would have you on the mend in no time.

Since I started this primal journey, I have cut high-starch white potatoes from my diet. No more fluffy mashed potatoes, french fries, or baking dishes filled with scalloped masterpieces.
As a “treat”, though, I allowed myself sweet potato to help (hopefully) rebuild my energy after a week of feeling dragged out and sorry for myself.

This soup is really easy to make – it freezes well, reheats beautifully and can be adjusted for half batches!

In my first batch, I got a bit liberal with the cayenne pepper and it kind of got away from me…. while I enjoy hot foods, this soup got hotter every time I reheated it – so the little bit of cayenne is definitely enough. (This can be left out if you have little ones to feed – but my boys enjoyed the extra little kick) 🙂

Sweet Potato Leek Soup

1 tbsp butter
4 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 leeks, washed and chopped
1 onion, diced
10 white mushrooms, washed and quartered
1 glass white wine
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp butter
cashews (about 1/2 cup – I used salted, but plain would work just as well!)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then saute the garlic, onion, sweet potato and mushrooms for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the glass of wine. Pour in the chicken stock, add the cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, until sweet potato is soft when poked with a fork.

Remove half the vegetables and puree in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, but have a hand blender, you can remove half the vegetables, then blend the remaining vegetables in the broth)

Mix everything back together, cover and let simmer until ready to be served.

In a small frying pan, melt 1 tsp of butter. Add the cashews, tossing until lightly browned and warm. Add to the soup and enjoy!

Please forgive me for the BAD pictures this week… these were taken with my phone…

Stay tuned… after a little bit of trial and error, I have a phenomenal Primal maki roll recipe coming.

Muffin tin Madness | blueberry coconut muffins

I hope you’re not sick of the muffin tin recipes yet.  This week, I’m actually making something in them that’s meant to be made in them… go figure hey?

This is the first primal baking recipe I have ever attempted. I was a bit hesitant to delve into baking, when I was so new to the primal way of life… but Hubby and I like our “treats”, so I wanted to try and keep this new lifestyle as close to the old as possible – I figured that if we are giving up rice, pasta and potatoes cold turkey (not to mention bread and refined sugars) that having a treat up my sleeve as a reward was just being a good wife… yes??

We’ve been doing really well this week.

The lack of refined sugars/carbs left me with a pretty good headache earlier in the week… combined with some paint fumes from renovations happening at work… overall – not a great week.


I’m feeling much better now and am soooo excited to share my first Primal recipe with you.

First, I have to say: learning to bake with coconut flour has been an exercise in patience. You need so little, compared to standard flour. It has a phenomenal absorption capacity – not to mention when you pour it out of the bag and into the bowl, the smell is a-mazing.
My chiropractor told me you could make amazing pancakes with it – so I just might have to try that at some point.

After a bit of trial and error, I’ve finally got some muffins that Hubby (the taste-tester) was pretty darn happy with. And since he’s the whole reason I’ve been doing this, I’m glad he’s enjoying them.

Like I said, I used coconut flour, but you could also use ground almonds (also known as almond flour) if you wanted a different flavour.
These are made rich and creamy by adding coconut milk, instead of traditional milk or cream.

Additional moisture comes from mashed bananas (the riper the better!!) and eggs.

The hardest part is not over-stirring the mixture when combining the dry ingredients with the moist ingredients.  Then folding the blueberries in…

YUM – did you know that blueberries are a superfruit? Yep – they have amazing antioxidant properties – wild blueberries especially – which is what I am using here!

Muffin tins are so versatile.

On with the recipe!

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

This recipe is wheat-free, dairy-free but definitely not taste free.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups, or grease with coconut oil.

½ cup coconut (or almond) flour
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp of salt

1/3 cup coconut milk (tip: don’t use the light one… the muffins will be watery)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 cup blueberries (or more, if you prefer)
flaked coconut for sprinkling, if desired.

Mix the coconut flour, baking soda, shredded coconut and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and mix in the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until combined – try not to overmix, as this can keep the muffins heavier.
Fold in the blueberries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d include the nutritional data on these lovely little bites. Based on the ingredients used, each muffin has 98 calories, fat 4.8 grams, carbohydrate 10.7 grams, protein 3.3 grams.


Maybe next week, I’ll try a recipe using my new Ninja Kitchen System… I’m so excited about this – maybe my Green Monsters will make a debut…

Porcupine Meatballs

As a child, my mother used to make these meatballs from time to time. They were a real treat – I’d almost forgotten about them, until I was struggling to get out of the dinner “slumps” a couple of years back and remembered this fun meal.

Porcupine meatballs are named such for the rice that is cooked into the meatballs – it sticks out like little quills after the meatballs are cooked.

I took my basic meatball recipe, added a bit of water to keep them moist, and switched the spices up a bit.

Here, I used medium ground beef – normally I would use lean or extra lean…even turkey burger.

Because of the boys, I kept the spices simple… a couple of them are picky… but I think if I have another go at it for just Hubby and I, I may try these babies curried.

I’ve got some fresh ground peppercorns, garlic powder, some brown rice and the ground beef, which I stirred together in a large bowl.

I also added some finely diced onion, parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt.

I stirred in a bit of water, and mixed it well. Using a tablespoon, I formed 1.5″ meatballs and placed them in a baking dish. Then I covered them up with tomato soup mixture and baked!


Porcupine Meatballs

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
2/3 cup brown rice (uncooked)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 small onion – finely diced
1/2 cup water
1 can tomato soup (I’ve tried a few, and Campbell’s always works the best for me)
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.
In a large bowl, mix together the first 8 ingredients. Shape the mixture using a tablespoon into 1.5 inch balls. Arrange in an ungreased baking pan.
Mix together the tomato soup and water and pour over the meatballs.
Bake, covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.

Serve on hot rice, or egg noodles.
These are kid-friendly, and completely adaptable for tastes.

This is another great recipe that freezes well for ready-made meals for busy families.

sorry for the lack of pictures… I have a lens that isn’t working properly and I need to get in to be serviced…

more muffin tin madness

So last Monday I introduced you to the ham & eggies, which has become one of my favourite muffin tin recipes… it’s so easy!!
Let me explain a bit why I have this muffin tin obsession.
I love making food ahead and freezing it. Our lives are busy… ridiculously so… and the less prep time required for a meal, the better.
I make huge batches of spaghetti sauce, chili and thai chicken. That’s right. HUGE batches of thai chicken. It’s Hubby’s favourite meal, so I try and have it on hand for him.

What the hell does this have to do with a muffin tin?

Single serving sizes.
Muffin tins have this down PAT.

I use them to make mini meatloaves, which I thought was awesome. I mean, traditional meatloaf takes at least an hour to cook, right? Muffin size? Half hour tops. Then you can pop them in a freezer bag, or tupperware – whatever your preference – and voila! Next Thursday, as you are running between work and swimming lessons, you can throw a real meal in the microwave.

You love the idea, don’t you? Why didn’t you think of that sooner??!!
You can thank me later.

Won Ton Wrappers. They’re not just for won tons anymore.

Friends, I give you: Spinach Ricotta Mini-Lasagnas.

First: I mixed a tub of fat-reduced ricotta (it actually wasn’t fat-reduced, but it should have been) with a package of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and strained. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mixed it up well.

I lined each muffin cup with a won ton wrapper. (You can find these in the frozen section of your local grocery store.)

Spoon a rounded teaspoon of spinach and ricotta mixture into each cup (I have a little bit much in these…)

Lay another won ton on top of that layer, then spoon the rest of the mixture into the cups.
Here comes my secret ingredient.

Goat Mozzarella.

I shredded goat mozzarella and topped each cup with it.

It was so good… and meat free!  You could use these as appetizers, or add a salad and have them as a meal!

Yummy, easy and simple to switch up ingredients to add whatever you like… go ahead… play with it!!

Spinach Ricotta Mini Lasagnas

24 won ton wrappers
1 tub reduced-fat Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & strained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Goat Mozzarella
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix package of ricotta cheese, spinach and parmesan cheese together. Add a dash of salt & pepper.
Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Line each cup with a won ton wrapper.   Spoon a heaping teaspoon-ful of mixture into each cup. Top with a bit of mozzarella. Layer another won ton on top and top with the other half of the mixture and the rest of the goat mozzarella.

Bake on the middle rack for 15-17 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve!

This is a variation of the mini lasagne recipe I found HERE at


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Time to try something new…

Well, here goes.

This year, I’m going to attempt to broaden my horizons on the food front. I’m not a picky eater… not by a long shot. I love spicy foods, ethnic foods, and I absolutely adore trying foods from other cultures.

Thank goodness Hubby has an appreciation for excellent cuisine, too. He allows me to try different foods and is patient with me when I try a different recipe, while substituting recipes to see if I can make it “fit into my pantry”.

This year, I’m going to try and document some of my recipe wanderings.

Today, I’m starting by demonstrating my love for the muffin tin. You’ll learn more about this love obsession as the recipes continue. And the first recipe is…. (drumroll please)….

Ham & Egg Cups (or ham and eggies as Monster called them)

This was super easy, and I’m shocked that I didn’t think of it years ago.


Start with your favourite type of ham.  I used Rosemary Ham, because I love the extra flavour it brought to the recipe. Ok Ok… and because it’s all we had in the house.

Spray the muffin cups and line each cup with a slice of ham.

Crack an egg into each ham cup.

This part is crucial.

You must… repeat MUST have an adorable sous-chef to help you out. Have him sprinkle chopped green onion (or scallion) into each cup.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to each.

Pop them into the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending how well done you like your eggs) at 375 degrees and they come out deeee-licious.  Next time, I think I’ll sprinkle a little bit of old cheddar on the top just before it’s time to take them out.

These were quick, simple, and would make a great meal if you have a lot of people to feed at once… the recipe is easily adjusted to the number of people you are entertaining.

Then I toasted a slice of multigrain bread and…. VOILA!

Ham and Egg Cups

12 slices of thin-sliced ham
12 eggs
3 finely chopped green onions (or scallions)
Salt & Pepper
Shredded cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham. Crack one egg into each ham cup. Top with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with green onion.
Cook on middle rack for 10 – 15 minutes until whites are opaque and yolk is cloudy. Times can be varied according to the preferred done-ness of the yolk.
If desired, remove from the oven 3 minutes before done and top with a small amount of shredded cheese.

Serve on English Muffin, or bread of your choice!

Bon Appetit!