Real Food Recipes

From my kitchen to yours! Whether you’re new to cooking or have a knack for it, or have food sensitivities or eat everything – explore delicious real food recipes that I have created and photographed over the years.

Cornish Hens with Fresh Herb Wild Rice Stuffing (gluten-free)

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Cornish Hens with Fresh Herb Wild Rice Stuffing (gluten-free)

Fresh herbs really make this dish more flavourful! If you can’t find them all – try for fresh sage in the least.

And since the stuffing is made out of wild rice, it makes it gluten-free friendly for Thanksgiving! I also have a pecan apricot stuffing that’s gluten free and doesn’t require it being cooked inside the bird (making is vegan/vegetarian friendly too!).

Enjoy this neatly packed all-in-one meal and Happy Thanksgiving for those celebrating!

gluten free wild rice stuffing thanksgiving

Cornish Hens with Fresh Herb Wild Rice Stuffing (gluten-free!)

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cornish hens
4 tsp butter
4 tbsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp paprika

Stuffing

1 cup uncooked wild rice (2 cups cooked)
2 celery stalks, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
1 cup mushrooms, sliced into small lengthwise pieces
½ onion, chopped small
1.5 tsp fresh thyme
1.5 tsp fresh marjarom
1.5 tbsp fresh sage
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Cook wild rice according to directions (approx. 30 minutes)
  3. Sautee celery, carrot, mushrooms, onion and olive oil in a skillet. Mix in herbs, sea salt and pepper. Mix in with wild rice when it’s cooked.
  4. Add stuffing inside each Cornish hen and bake for 20 minutes, being careful not to touch raw chicken to the remainder of the stuffing in case there are leftovers.
  5. Rub each Cornish hen with 1 tsp butter. Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp fresh rosemary and ½ tsp paprika.
  6. Place the hens on a baking tray with tin foil, spaced apart from one another.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 400F after 20 minutes and continue to bake for another 40 – 50 minutes until skin is crispy and a light coloured brown and there is no longer pink inside. Depending on your oven the cook time may be an additional 20 minutes for 4 hens.

If leftover stuffing, serve as an additional side.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

I made this stuffed acorn squash recipe a few years ago and make it frequently just because it makes great leftovers and can really accompany anything as a side dish or main meal – you pick! It’s very versatile.

It could also be a Thanksgiving side dish – because why not!

I also use this vinaigrette on a lot of things – a spinach and strawberry salad, any other bitter greens – I do love cinnamon 🙂

gluten free thanksgiving

Stuffed Acorn Squash with a Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Serves 4 – 8 (depending if it’s a main meal or what it’s being served with)

Ingredients:
Acorn squash

2 acorn squash
1-2 tsp butter, melted
1 tsp maple syrup

Filling*

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions (or 2 cups leftover cooked quinoa)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion, chopped small
2 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp goats cheese, crumbled

Dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and place flesh side down on a baking dish with 1 cm water. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook quinoa in water according to the directions on the package – approx. 8 minutes (if not using leftover quinoa)
  4. After 30 minutes – remove the water from the acorn squash dish in the oven and turn it so it’s flesh side up (carefully using oven mitts as it will be hot). Melt the butter and mix with 1 tsp maple syrup. Brush each squash half with the mixture. Return to oven and bake face up for another 20 minutes – until it’s soft enough for a fork to poke through.
  5. Heat a medium size skillet with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil and sauté the chopped red onion and kale until soft.
  6. Once quinoa is cooked – add kale and onion mixture along with dried cranberries.
  7. Mix the dressing in a bowl and add slowly to the quinoa mix to ensure not too wet.
  8. Divide quinoa filling evenly into each half of the acorn squash once the squash is cooked. Crumble goats cheese on top and add some extra cinnamon sprinkle of desired. Serve warm or cold.

*Quinoa mix can be made the day before and the dish can be served warm or cold.

Chunky Whole Food Cranberry Sauce with Pork Tenderloin

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in Soups & Sauces, Whole Food Recipes | 2 comments

Chunky Whole Food Cranberry Sauce with Pork Tenderloin

Happy Fall! Fall always gets me thinking about pumpkin, apples, cranberries and of course cinnamon and nutmeg – yum! Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Cranberry sauce is a typical Thanksgiving/Fall sauce – however it’s either gelatinous-like in a can (gross), or swamped with processed sugar.

This recipe is actually my Grandma’s and I always loved how chunky fibrous fruit was included. Awhile ago I altered it to include maple syrup instead of white sugar just to see what would happen – and it worked really well!

thanksgiving recipes

Chunky Whole Food Cranberry Sauce with Pork Tenderloin

Yields 1.5L of sauce

Ingredients

Cranberry Sauce*

4 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries (not dried)**
1 cup maple syrup
¾ – 1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup raisins
1 apple – peeled and diced small
1 orange, zest from ½ and then peel and cut up the whole orange in small pieces
zest from ½ lemon
1 tsp freshly grated (preferably zested) ginger
Optional – more orange zest for garnish

**NOTE – whole cranberries are a seasonal thing. You will only find these fresh in the Fall, and only some grocery stores will sell them frozen throughout the year. So if you love this sauce, stock up on fresh cranberries now and freeze them for year round sauce!

Pork

2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 pork tenderloins (there is enough cranberry sauce to cover 4-5 loins)
cracked pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Add cranberries and maple syrup to a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer with a lid until skin pops on the cranberries and they begin to mush together – approximately 15-20 minutes.
  3. While cranberries are simmering – preheat a skillet with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add the pork tenderloin(s) to the pan. Brown each side of the loin(s) – approx. 30 seconds each side.
  4. Place seared pork tenderloin(s) on a tinfoil lined baking sheet – cover generously with cracked pepper and drizzle 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on each pork tenderloin you use. Bake for 20 minutes – more time may be needed for more than 2 loins. Remove from heat when it’s cooked through and cover with the tin foil for 10 minutes to allow juices to settle.
  5. Check the sauce – when cranberries have popped open – stir in raisins to soften them in the heat along with orange zest, lemon zest and grated ginger for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Then add remaining ingredients to the sauce – adding the orange juice slowly so the sauce isn’t too runny. Mix together and serve immediately or refrigerate. The sauce can be warm or cold when served. Freeze remaining sauce if necessary.
  7. Slice the pork loin into rounds and place cranberry sauce laying overtop. Optional – add some more orange zest for garnish.

*Sauce can be made 1 – 2 days in advance

Thanksgiving recipes

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins – Gluten Free + Paleo

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Desserts n' Sweets, Snacks, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins – Gluten Free + Paleo

Here’s another example of a recipe I so wish was mine, but works out so well there’s nothing that needs to be altered from it! (high fives to the creator of the book Practical Paleo!) They looked so pretty with their bright red popping out I had to capture it and also share this recipe with you. I also love how red works with blue (hmmm I wonder why – hello logo and website branding!).

A few notes – the recipe mentions different fats to use, and I used coconut oil for my fat option. In the book it didn’t say to use tapioca flour so I didn’t use that either even though all of the other ingredient measurements are the same – worked out well and haven’t tried the tapioca version yet because I just noticed that difference 😉

It also has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, they held together well for a grain free muffin (I made them into mini muffins) and they froze well.

Enjoy the recipe here or below for a capture from the book!

gluten free paleo muffin

 

 

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce

I know fish tacos are usually battered and fried and that’s what makes them tasty – but these light and flavourful fish tacos are great too! The freshness of lime, cilantro, cool avocado and spice rub on the fish does not disappoint in flavour!

It’s okay to put a healthier spin on a usual favourite especially if it turns out like this 🙂

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients
Fish

4 tilapia filets (or other mild white fish)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Avocado Sauce

1 avocado, pitted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh cilantro (stems removed)
juice from ½ lime
¼ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup water

Toppings (optional)

Plain greek yogurt
Shredded cabbage – approx. ¼ cabbage
¼ cup diced onion
2 tomatoes, diced
fresh cilantro
1 lime, in quarters (recommended as a minimum)

Serve with soft corn tortillas (8)

Directions

  1. In a food processor – blend avocado, oil, cilantro, lime juice, onion and garlic powder, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Check consistency, gradually add ¼ cup water – should be thinned out but still creamy (not liquid). Set aside.
  2. Mix seasoning in a small bowl. And coat both sides of the tilapia pieces. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a nonstick pan. Cook 5 minutes each side. Fish should slide apart easily once done.
  3. While tilapia is cooking – chop up your toppings of choice – shredded cabbage, diced onion and tomato, fresh cilantro and slice the lime in quarters. You can also prepare the avocado sauce by placing it in a baggie with a cut out tip for easy distribution – you can do the same with the greek yogurt as well. Or serve with spoons.
  4. Warm 8 corn tortillas in a skillet or microwave according to the package.
  5. Divide each tilapia in half lengthwise and add half to each tortilla (2 tortillas per person). Top with desired toppings of choice and avocado sauce. Serve each with a quarter lime.

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Salmon with Mango Salsa

A fresh summery sweet salsa makes a nice addition to this spice rubbed salmon – yum! Another recipe for the grill season 🙂

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 salmon filets with skin
½ mango, diced small, skin removed
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, diced small
3 tbsp diced red onion
½ cup cilantro, stems removed, diced – additional for garnish if desired
juice from 1 lime
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder, thyme and oregano each
1/8 tsp sea salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper for spice
Olive oil for the pan

Directions

  1. Dice up ingredients for the fruit salsa – mango, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Add lemon juice and a small pinch of salt. Let sit.
  2. Mix together all of the spices and coat each salmon on the flesh side
  3. On a BBQ or stovetop grill (if stove top add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan) – grill skin down for 15 minutes on low-medium heat, flip over and cook another 5 minutes. If the fish needs longer to cook – flip back to the skin side and continue cooking – it should be no longer pink inside.
  4. Top fish with salsa and additional cilantro if desired.

 

Grilled Pear Salad

Posted by on Aug 4, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Grilled Pear Salad

Let’s keep with the grilled fruit theme for this week!

I’m not the most exciting salad maker as I tend to keep salads in the “toss whatever you have in the fridge” category, but every now and then I’ll put a little more effort into the flavours and ingredients and actually make it a recipe!

The flavours in this salad help to mask the bitterness of the endive and radicchio making it much more pleasant to eat than on it’s own. Who knows – will this salad turn you into a lover of bitter veggies? You’ll only know if you try!

Grilled Pear Salad

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

Ingredients

1 bunch curly endive
1 head radicchio
2 barlett pears
2 tbsp goats cheese
2 strips of bacon, raw
3 tsp butter (or 2 tsp if you use bacon drippings)
1 tsp maple syrup

Dressing
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1 shallot, chopped
sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a small pot to a boil and heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. While waiting for it to boil and heat – prep the veggies – chop the shallot into small pieces, set aside. Peel pear and slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds, set aside. Wash curly endive and remove the bottom white part of the stem. Slice radicchio in half and then into smaller pieces. Add endive and radicchio to a large bowl or 4 separate bowls.
  3. Boil pears for 4 minutes until slightly soft.
  4. While waiting for the pears to boil, cook bacon on the heated skillet until very crispy – approx. 6 minutes each side. Once done, place on paper towel to absorb grease. Keep the skillet on the heat and add the chopped shallot – you can use the bacon drippings or wipe clean and add 1 tsp butter. Cook and stir shallot until translucent.
  5. Heat a grill plate (or regular pan) on medium heat. Slice the boiled pears into thin slices. Melt 2 tsp butter and stir in 1 tsp maple syrup. Brush both sides of the pears and place on heated grill plate and grill lightly for 2 minutes each side until you can see grill marks.
  6. Using a food processor or blender – mix the dressing ingredients with the shallot to try and combine all the ingredients. It may still be a bit lumpy – but combine the best you can. Dressing can be warm or cold, but will be warm if you serve immediately.
  7. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss. Top with crumbled bacon, goats cheese, and grilled pear. Enjoy!

Grilled Nectarines or Peaches

Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Desserts n' Sweets, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Grilled Nectarines or Peaches

I always crave fruit a lot more in the summer than in the winter – so it’s a perfect time to have fruit based desserts.

No doubt, you’ll be BBQing more than usual during the great weather so why not create a BBQ dessert by throwing on some nectarines or peaches and grill them until juicy and soft!

summer dessert, gluten and dairy free dessert, bbq dessert

Grilled Nectarines or Peaches

Yields as many as you want

Ingredients

Nectarines or peaches – very ripe (1 nectarine/peach per person)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (per nectarine)
2 tsp honey (per nectarine)
dash of cinnamon (per nectarine)
Optional topping – full fat vanilla yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium – whether an indoor grill plate or outdoor grill
  2. In a small bowl combine the balsamic vinegar, honey and cinnamon and stir until fully blended.
  3. Wash and cut each nectarine in half, remove the pit
  4. Brush the balsamic/honey mixture onto the flesh side of the cut nectarine and place flesh side down on the preheated grill.
  5. Grill for a few minutes until the nectarine feels softer when poked – careful not to burn the nectarine. Outdoor grills will cook the nectarines faster.
  6. Serve – with or without optional topping.

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Lunch & Dinner, Whole Food Recipes | 2 comments

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash Fritters

I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much used spaghetti squash only as spaghetti noodles – that is until now! I decided to get creative with it, and since I do love making various fritters – out came these yummy lemon fresh fritters! Finally – something else to do with spaghetti squash!

gluten free spaghetti squash

Lemon Basil Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Makes 12 – 14 fritters

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash, cooked*
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking (approx. 1 – 2 tbsp per batch)
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped spinach
2 eggs
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lemon zest and ¼ wedge juice
2 tsp dried basil
sea salt and pepper to taste

Optional – plain greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping

Directions

*To cook the squash – slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and brush with olive oil. Bake face up for 50 – 55 minutes at 400F until it can be pricked with a fork and “noodles” can be lifted out. Let cool a bit before following the remaining steps or cook the day before.

  1. Sautee green onion, garlic and spinach in 1 tsp olive oil
  2. Get 2 medium size mixing bowls. In the first bowl mix together the flours, basil, sea salt, pepper and lemon zest. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and squeeze in the lemon juice.
  3. Slice the cooked spaghetti squash down the centre to cut the noodles in half. Then remove the noodles and place in egg dish to coat.
  4. Add spaghetti squash and egg mixture to the flour and mix well.
  5. Heat 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil at medium heat on a skillet and form flat pancakes with the spaghetti squash mixture in your hands – place on the skillet once heated and cook until each side is crispy – approx. 4-5 minutes per side.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all of them are cooked.

Serve with plain greek yogurt or sour cream – optional with grated lemon zest in it and chopped green onion or chives.

gluten free spaghetti squash fritters

 

 

Avocado Fudgesicles – dairy free

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Desserts n' Sweets, Whole Food Recipes | 0 comments

Avocado Fudgesicles – dairy free

It is getting HOT out – so I’ve been searching around for the coldest snacks I can find to help cool me down – and these avocado fudgesicles were a hit! They were so creamy and delicious – you won’t believe it’s bursting with nutrients from whole food and healthy fat from an avocado!

Now, I wish this recipe was mine – I really do. It’s such a winning recipe, chalk full of nutrients and real food! It’s from Nourishing Meals (The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen) and they did a damn fine job with this recipe!

Since I’m also enjoying experimenting and practicing photography, sometimes the recipes I capture aren’t mine – but they are definitely worth sharing (and eating) – this is one of them. Enjoy!

Avocado Fudgesicles Recipe

nourishing meals, whole life nutrition kitchen, dairy free fudgesicles

 

nourishing meals, whole life nutrition kitchen, dairy free fudgesicles