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.

BUT

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.

Enjoy!!

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…