Friday, June 6, 2014

THM Boeterkoek (S)

Two of our friends lost their mothers this past week and I wanted to DO something, so I went to the kitchen. I made boeterkoek (butter cake). Both have Dutch heritages, so I thought it would be something a little special and different to eat with a cup of coffee when they have some quiet time, some pondering time.

The edges did get a little dark.

As I was working on it, I began to think that I could perhaps make this into a Trim Healthy Mama treat for me to enjoy too.

This recipe is my first try at it. It tastes delicious! It was still warm when I had my first piece, so it was quite crumbly. It does come out in one piece once cooled, but it is still crumbly -- and moist which is good because that means I didn't put in too much coconut flour. I find it make things very dry.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or substituted equivalent of a THM approved sweetener)
1 egg, lightly beaten ( think I will add a second one next time to help hold it together better hopefully)
1 1/2 tsps almond extract

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Sliced almonds for top (optional)

Stir together butter and sugar until smooth. Add almond extract and beaten egg and mix until smooth. In another bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Pour into wet and stir gently until evenly combined. Pat into lightly greased 9" round cake pan or pie plate. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and center does not look soft.

If you make any changes to the recipe please let me know!  I'm very open to improvements!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fish Chowder (THM S)

I made this for the family for the first time tonight and it received rave reviews. It is delicious! If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, this would be a perfect S lunch or supper. Pair it with the bread in a mug from the THM book if you want to be sure you're well fueled!

3 lbs fresh or frozen white fish fillets (I used Alaskan pollock)
2 lbs cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup celery
1/3 cup butter, cut up
3 bay leaves
3 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried dill
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 3/4 cups water
3 cups heavy cream (I used 18%)
1/3 cup snipped fresh parsley

Thaw fish if using from frozen. Rinse and keep cool until ready to use.

In a 5-6 quart slow cooker**, combine cauliflower, onion, celery, butter, bay leaves, salt, dill, and pepper. Stir in the water.

Cover and cook on high heat for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Cut fish in the 2 inch pieces and lay on top of vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on high for 30 to 45 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in heavy cream and parsley.

**I made mine on the stove in a large stock pot. It worked well too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apple Tart

This is one of those tried and true recipes that has been in our family for as long as I can remember. I remember my oma making it, my mom still makes it quite often, and I like to make it for the family too. It is quite simple -- especially if you have the apples peeled and chopped already (like I did for this recipe). I often double or even triple the recipe, but the recipe as follows is for one 8" or 9" tart.


4 sliced apples peeled (about 4-5 cups)
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until apples are nice and evenly coated.


1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp vinegar

Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it forms nice crumbs and then add in the vinegar. The vinegar will help it stick together nicely. Pat crust into pie plate/ Pour apple mixture over top and bake at 400 degrees F until nicely browned about 30 minutes.

 Sugar and spice! (My apples are really brown because they're thawed from the freezer.)

 All stirred up!

 The dry ingredients for the crust.

 Sifted together...
 Butter is added....
 Nice and crumbly.
 Then a nice ball after the vinegar is added.

 Pat gently into the pie plate.

Nicely patted into the pie plates.
Somehow I forgot to take a photo pre-baking, but I'm sure you know how to dump your apples into a pie plate. :o)
All done! By the way, these freeze really well!
Please note: I doubled the recipe in these photographs. The recipe as written will only make one tart. It's a great way to use up those less than pretty apples wrinkling in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mexican Cornbread

This cornbread is hands down our favorite on the deliciousness scale, but it's loaded with fat and sugar, so we only have it occasionally as a special treat. I have not even begun to attempt to remake this one into the clean eating or Trim Healthy Mama category. I'm not sure it's even possible without losing it's fat filled, sweet, moistness that is the essence of this cornbread. As an occasional treat for my family, I will allow it. Although, perhaps I could switch out the sugar!

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 (15oz) can cream-style corn
1/2 (4 oz) can chopped green chile peppers, drained
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup yellow cornmeal
 4tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in cream corn, chilies, and cheeses.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to corn mixture; stir until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated over for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Mud Pies

I'm sure there are many many versions of this recipe out there, but this is the tried and true one that I use. Mudpies can be a bit touchy. Boil too long and they're a little dry. Boil too short and they're a little soupy. The use of a timer is very important.

1/2 cup butter or margerine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not the big fat ones, although in a pinch, they will work)

Put butter, milk, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring often (especially if you have a gas stove). When mixture comes to a boil, let boil for 5 minutes (set timer) stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rolled oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool.

 Fresh from the stove stop and ready for scooping!

Perfect little mud pies!

Makes about 4 dozen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Simplifying Dried Beans

Dried beans are frugal, a wonderful source of protein, and ultimately are more healthy/safe and tastier than those from a can. When I'm in a hurry, I still am known to use canned beans, but I love dried beans! Really though, preparing beans isn't that hard.

1) Wash your beans and pick through them to ensure there are no little stones or bad beans present. Then cover them with cold water. Six times the amount of water to beans is the best because the beans will rehydrate to almost double their size. Let the beans and water stand overnight. Then drain and rinse.

 2) Place beans in an appropriate sized saucepan and cover by at least 1/2" with cold water. Bring them to a boil. Then reduce heat a let simmer covered for about 45 min or until tender. Time will vary depending on the size and type of bean you are using. If the water goes below the top level of the beans, simply add more water and cover again.

3) While the beans are simmering, check occasionally to skim away any impurities that float to the surface. Drain your beans and rinse again before using them in your favorite bean dish.

 **All that rinsing gets rid of the starchlike compounds that cause the flatulence later. Or at least reduces the amount of flatulence anyway. :o)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunflower Granola

In light of all the GMO press these days, not having time to read it all, and wanting to weed my kids of box cereal anyways because of the expense (We can eat an entire family sized box nicely at one breakfast.), I am trying out granola recipes for those days when they just do not want to eat a bowl of oatmeal.

Sunflower Granola is going to be our first trial. I'll update the post when the family gives their final verdict.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup dried fruit of choice: blueberries, cherries, sliced apricots, etc.
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sunflower oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil)

Preheat oven to 325F. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake 10 more minutes. Stir again and bake 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zucchini Crisp

Whenever the zucchini start to get a little overwhelming, we like to have this dessert. It uses up a good amount of zucchini in one shot. 8 cups to be exact! It also really does taste quite like apple crisp -- and who doesn't love a good apple crisp!

8 cups peeled chopped zucchini*
1/2 cup granulated sugar or xylitol
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar or sucanat
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup margarine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Mix zucchini, white sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Pour mixture into baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, oats, and flour in another bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over zucchini.

Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and zucchini is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

* I remove the seeds, but I do keep the peel on when feeding just my family. If you're feeding some less than trusting zucchini haters, I recommend making them look as much like apple chunks as possible and then not saying a word.

Quinoameal Raisin Cookies

These are from the Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook. We are all enjoying the recipes in this book, but alas I don't own it, I just have it on loan from the library. These cookies are addictive! There from a recipe in the book that just so happens to be the daughter of our neighbour. Small world? Yup!

1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used xylitol)
1 cup brown sugar, packed (can use succanat, but I didn't have)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups quinoa flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1 cup sultana raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large wooden bowl, combine the quinoa flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the margarine mixture until fully combined.

Stir in the quinoa flakes and raisins.

Drop large spoonfuls of dough (just under the size of a golf ball) onto the prepared sheet. You should be able to fit a dozen on a sheet.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. For a chewy cookie, bake just until the tops turn light brown. For a crispier cookie, bake until the tops are a darker brown. Remover from oven and let cool on baking sheer for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer from baking sheet and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

I am a tad addicted to these right now!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trail Mix

When you have seven children and some who have some food issues, you end up taking on the job of making lunches in order to ensure everyone is eating properly and healthy. School starts up in two weeks and that means I have the job of making lunches again. This snack is erring on the knowledge that we will continue to have no nut allergies of any kind in our school.

I bought several ingredients from Costco and our local bulk foods store and mixed together several batches in varying amounts.

Here's one variation so you get an idea of how simple this is:

2 cups organic cranberries
2 cups chocolate covered raisins
3 cups banana chips
3 cups pecans
2 cups walnuts

You can vary the fruits and nuts, add seeds or other yummies such as m&m's etc. I chose all larger ingredients to make it easier for my Littles to eat without making a mess. If there is a nut allergy, you could always switch it to mixed dried fruits. Just make sure they are from a nut free facility.

My batches made about one hundred and sixty bags -- give or take a few. It should last us a few weeks anyways. *sigh!*