Good Morning Muffins (Sugar Free / Gluten Free)

I am not a breakfast lover. Well not until around 11am, then I could eat just about everything! But when I get up, it’s all about the coffee and that’s about it! Mmmm…coffee!

I know eating breakfast is important and the healthy and responsible choice, but I just don’t think about it. Ā About once a month, I make a pact with myself that I am going to eat breakfast everyday from now on. This pact lasts about 2 days and I forget again!

So I came up with a little healthy little breakfast muffin that goes so well with coffee, I look forward to them just as much or more than my coffee! The Good Morning Muffin!

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Sugar free, gluten free goodness! It is so healthy, I don’t feel so bad about putting sugar and cream in my coffee! I like to make them bite size so I can eat more of them!!

GOOD MORNING MUFFINS

Makes 12 regular or 24 bite sized muffins

  • 1 large yellow plantain
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Cinnamon to taste

Make sure your plantain is yellow, even with some black spots. When plantains ripped, they get sweeter! Chop up the plantain in the food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Scrap the edges of the processor to make sure there is no chunks of plantain in there.

I always use muffin liners (mainly because I hate scrubbing anything and muffin tins are THE WORST!) Bake at 325c. for 18-20 minutes for bite size or 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins. You can test by lightly pressing with your finger for a slight spongy feeling.

I like to sprinkle extra cinnamon on top! They have a slight banana taste and are perfect with your morning coffee!

Now I wake up saying Mmmmm….muffins! I feel good about eating breakfast. Like a healthy, responsible person!

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Don’t Throw Out Dog Hair

I have dogs, very, very hairy dogs. At least once a day I go “bunny hunting” in my house. By that, I mean chasing the hair bunnies that like to roll across the floor with the slightest breeze. 


You can brush them all day long, but in the end, they are still hairy creatures! We fill an entire grocery bag with hair every week after brushing them and I hate how much it fills up the garbage (I try to put out the least amount of garbage as possible).


I started stuffing the hair into bird feeders and you know what? The birds LOVE IT! They use it in their nests for their babies and in their houses as an insulator. 

So help a bird out and don’t throw out your dog hair! It just clogs up the garbage and then the landfills. Put it out for the birds to make a nice warm home!


You can also compost it, however it takes a really long time to decompose. Another great use is to put it right in the soil in your garden if you have animal and pest issues. It will keep away the bunnies, skunks and deer as well as slugs and snails! 

Happy brushing my friends! 

4 Recipes For Those Cucumbers In Your Garden

The weather here has been perfect for our gardens! Sunny days, rainy evenings, and cool nights. It has been years since we have had such a nice summer! I remember this time last year sitting on my porch sweating. It was such a hot, dry summer last year, I totally gave up on the garden. 

This year is so different. I find myself running to keep up with the veggies coming out in the garden, especially the cucumbers. It has been years since we have had such a great harvest, I have had to go back into my archives for recipes to use them all! 

Here are 4 fairly easy ways to use up those cukes and enjoy the taste of summer!

  1. CUCUMBER WATER – there are so many benefits to adding some sliced cucumbers to your water bottle everyday. Other than the taste (which is delicious) it really has a lot of health benefits! Read more here
  2. REFRIGERATOR PICKLES – just 10 minutes and you can jam 4-5 of those cucumbers in a jar and have pickles the next day! This is the fastest and easiest way to use them up and enjoy them all summer long! Have friends that like pickles? Get the recipe here! 
  3. CUCUMBER SALAD – this is a great make ahead side dish recipe for BBQs, pot lucks or even weeknights dinners. Get the recipe here. 
  4. HOMEMADE DILL RELISH – want to enjoy your cucumbers all winter long? Why not make your own dill relish? This tangy recipes full of dill is so much better than store bought! Learn how to make it here. 

I hope these ideas help you out when you are staring at that huge basket of freshly picked cucumbers! 

Happy gardening!! 

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

When I crave comfort food, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind and Lasagna is the pasta of all pasta’s in my opinion!

It has been 3 days since we had to put our oldest border collie down and the pain still runs strong through the house. It is hard to try and feel normal with so many triggers. There is just so many memories from the past 13 years. Damn you cancer….damn you!

I thought I would make some “comfort food” tonight for my husband and I, but didn’t want to give in and buy pasta (or look in the back of the cupboard since I am sure there is still some penne back there I am trying to forget about!)

Zucchini is coming out fast and furious in the garden, and although I have diced and frozen quite a bit for future stir fry’s and zucchini meatballs, I also want to eat as many fresh garden veggies as possible. Hence…..the Lasagna Zucchini.

Zucchini is a really watery vegetable, so I halved, oiled and salted a fairly large zucchini and stuck it on the grill for 5-10 minutes a side on medium low heat. If you don’t have a BBQ or just want to use the oven, I would suggest 20-25 minutes on 350 c. This will soften it up nicely and give it some flavour. When it is done, let cool a little and scoop out the seeds and make a nice hole for your filling! My zucchini was quite large so the seeds were pretty big, but if you have smaller zucchini’s, I would put the “scoopings” back in with the meat!

The meat filling was nice lean turkey, seasoned with onion, garlic, italian seasoning and red wine vinegar. Stuff meat into the zucchini, top with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese and pop right back on the BBQ or in the oven for another 10 minutes or until heated all the way through. I topped with ricotta and basil to complete the beautiful lasagna flavoring!

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1 large zucchini or 3 small zucchinis halved, oiled and salted, grilled or baked for 20-25 minutes
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheddar cheese (low fat)
  • Ricotta Cheese (low fat)
  • Fresh basil for serving.

 

There isn’t an exact science to this recipe. Just grill a zucchini, stuff a zucchini and bake a zucchini. The of course, eat a zucchini!

This was perfect as a comfort dish and really had all the goodness of lasagna without the pasta. It is a great healthy, low carb, gluten free option when you just need to stress eat!

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Coconut Shrimp Curry

It was a really hard weekend at our house. Friday we had to put our little 13 year old Border Collie down because of cancer, and both of us just walked around in a cloudy haze all weekend not sure what to do with ourselves. By Sunday night, I figured we needed something to get our minds off of the pain and we decided to make a nice dinner together! 

It was nothing romantic, we actually ate in front of the TV, but just the act of slicing, dicing and frying together in the kitchen brought some “normal” back into our house.

A couple weeks ago I had picked up some authentic Indian curry powder from the market and I was just itching to try it! I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer and the snow peas are in full harvest right now, so coconut shrimp curry was a no brainer!


Jack shelled and deveined the shrimp while I chopped the veggies, and once that curry powder hit the hot oil, the house seemed to come alive! It is amazing how food can do that, change your mood with just one smell!

The curry  turned out amazing and made enough for leftovers today! 

COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

  • 16-24 Raw shrimp, deveined and shelled 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp diced fresh ginger
  • Carrots, sliced 
  • Snow peas
  • Red and yellow pepper, sliced
  • White or brown rice (optional)

Prepare rice as per the package. Devein and shell thawed shrimp and cut veggies. I never add amounts for veggies to a recipe. I figure everyone has a different opinion of how much they want and “too many” vegetables isn’t usually a problem! I used 3 small carrots, 2 cups of peas and 2 peppers, but more or less can be used!

With any curry, you want the spices to hit the oil, so heat oil and add onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add spices and let cook for another couple of minutes. Your kitchen will immediately smell incredible!

Add shrimp and carrots until shrimp is no long translucent, then turn down heat, add peas, carrots and coconut milk. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. It will thicken slightly, but this recipe is thin so it can make its way through the rice and veggies!! 

The flavours were beautiful, the aroma was lovely and the feeling of being “normal” again was priceless! 



Homemade Dill Relish

One thing I hate buying at the grocery store is condiments. I always wonder what half of the ingredients are and it always freaks me out a little to not know what I am putting in my body! 

I have been starting to make my own condiments lately and now with the veggies coming out in the garden…it’s relish time!!

My husband hates sweet relish, so I thought I would whip up some dill relish. The taste is far beyond anything you would buy in the store and you can alter it to you taste! 

HOMEMADE DILL RELISH

Makes 3 small jars

  • 4 pounds cucumbers. I used pickling cucumbers because they have less seeds, but any kind will work.
  • 1 tbsp tumeric 
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cups diced fresh dill
  • 2 cups white vinegar

A food processor is almost mandatory for this recipe. I shredded 10 cucumbers in only 3 minutes! 


Add cold water, salt and tumeric to shredded cucumbers, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight. 

After soaking, rinse well in a strainer and let sit to drain. To get all of the water out, place in cheese cloth (or a jay cloth since that was all I had!) and squeeze, and squeeze and….squeeze! You will be amazed at how much water comes out!


After all the water has FINALLY been removed, place shredded cucumber in a pot with dill, onions, sugar and vinegar.


Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Prepare your jars and lids by boiling for 3 minutes then place relish in hot jars. Make sure to clean the rims then put jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.


I actually ate it by the spoonful! It is so tangy and dilly! I was amazed that there was any left to can! 


Garlic Mint Pesto

I have been on a mission lately to find new and exciting recipes using the mint out of my garden. There is only so much tea you can drink šŸ™‚ For my opinion on growing mint in your garden, check out My Love Hate Relationship with Mint!

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I wanted to make pesto chicken this week and my basil supply is getting a little low. I have been using it so much lately, I am actually running out of leaves. So I started looking in the gardens for some pesto inspiration and stopped in my tracks when I came to the mint!

I was a little worried it would taste strange. I mean when you think pesto, you don’t usually think mint, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how good it was, I had to rush right to my laptop to tell you all about it!

GARLIC MINT PESTO

makes 1 small jar of pesto

  • 3 cups fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil

Wash your mint leaves and put in food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add walnuts, parmesan , garlic, salt and pepper. Blend away until chopped up into very small pieces. Add lemon juice and enough olive oil until you get the desired consistency. I like mine thick, but if you like it thin, just keep adding olive oil.

I hope you have a chance to try this recipe. It is so refreshing, I cannot wait to try it out with my pesto chicken!

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