Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pita Bread

Rolled out dough ready for second rise

Freshly baked(could have been browner). I don't know the chemistry behind Pita Bread
but they baked perfectly with the centre open.

You are probably thinking, no way! But yes, you can make your very own homemade Pita Bread and with very little effort with Peppy's Pita Bread recipe. Again, I used my bread machine to mix the dough effortlessly. For some odd reason I had troubles with this recipe. The dough was very sticky but I followed it exactly and I am not sure what went wrong. Otherwise I am sure the dough would have been much easier to work with.

But I shall redeem myself and try it again with a few changes. The taste is good but it wont blow your socks off. This recipe will save you a lot of money if you really like Pita Bread. I think most packages of 8 Pita's run about $3 per bag? I also have a hard time finding fresh ones that don't expire within a few days of buying them. Super Store is also notorious for freezing their baked goods so they last longer on the shelf, which makes knowing how old the breads really are very deceiving. The bonus to homemade, no preservatives!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Support Sustainable Farming

Free Range Chickens

Mass produced chickens
(which meat do you want to eat?)

Have you ever thought about where your meat comes from and what it contains? Many people don't even begin to think about these things. All animals produced for mass slaughter are given antibiotics and a long list of vaccinations to keep them "healthy" until they are ready for slaughter. They are given these antibiotics and vaccinations because they are housed in very small and dirty environments where germs and viruses grow rapidly.
There is a simple solution to this problem. Buy sustainable farmed meat with no antibiotics or vaccinations. It is a domino effect. More people have to be aware of what they are eating and they should care about what they eat. If you support small farmers who are taking that extra step you are creating a market for a more demanding product and hopefully one day we will push out the mass produced meat that is unhealthy for us.
We will also be supporting farmers who actually really care about their livestock. Farmers who care about quality over quantity. Farmers who don't force their hogs and chickens into small steal crates but rather let them run free, like nature intended.
A few great search tools to find local meat producers is
There is a list of local meat and egg suppliers as well as a few other products like honey, nuts and seeds.
As a family we have purchased Chickens from Asher Farms, and Pork from Ian Smith. The cost may seem high, but isn't your health and the health of your family worth it?
And the simple thing about supporting a local farmer goes beyond more then you can even imagine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Supporting Haiti

ok, so these are not exactly healthy. But my son's school was having a bunch of fundraising activities all week for the Haiti relief efforts. Tuesday was a bake sale and I wanted to do something fun. So at least they are all 100% completely homemade goodness, and the kids loved them and I had fun making them.

Ranch Dressing/Dip

I found this Ranch Dressing recipe one day when I was in search for all things home made. I don't want to even imagine what is in packaged salad dressings, I can only think they are packed with a lot of preservatives. There are many ingredients on the list that I can not pronounce nor do I know what they are without looking them up.

I have altered the recipe(of course) I just use all organic sour cream instead of mayo and sour cream. It is nice and thick which makes a great dip for raw veggies. If you want to make a salad dressing I would suggest just adding some organic milk, or even soy milk to thin it out. Make sure you let it sit overnight. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Perfect Food

My Husband and I discovered this grain like substance a while back called Quinoa. It can almost be considered the perfect food.
here is the nutritional break down.

High in protein, high in calcium, great for celiac's, good source of fiber, low in fat, no saturated or trans fats and very high in folates.

How to cook it

Here is the recipe I made tonight.
(sorry no pictures today). It turned out great!
We had tried it a few months back but cooked it like we would have rice, with just some salt and olive oil. Lets just say there was a reason why it took us this long to try it again. It was horrible!
We didn't rinse it first, which makes a huge difference and Quinoa will take on any flavour you throw at it. So if you like beef or chicken broth use that instead of vegetable broth. I suggest to try a recipe that adds flavour and you will probably really enjoy it.

I bought some Organic Quinoa from the Bulk Barn and have not looked for it anywhere else. I am sure the health food stores like Vita Health and Organza have it. Super Store may also have it in there New Health food sections that they are adding to all their stores(which I am loving).

Skinny Bitch

No, I am not a Skinny Bitch, or I at least have to work on the Skinny part.
A parent of one of my son's Kindergarten classmates suggested this book to me. We got talking on healthy eating and she told me I just had to read it.
It took me a few weeks to decide to get the book. I bought it on a Friday, started the book that afternoon and finished it early Saturday afternoon. It truly was a great read. I consider myself open minded and had no issues reading the book. It also brought me back to the good old days when I was a Skinny Bitch. Why was I skinny? because I was a strict Vegetarian! I always had issues with my weight whenever meat was involved in my diet, but once I became a Vegetarian and then a Vegan my weight just fell off.
So, with that I have decided to finally get back into it. I had always had that thought at the back of my head that I should really stop eating meat again. Skinny Bitch gave me that push that I needed.

I highly suggest the book. It not only talks about Veganisum, but it also talks about the politics on food. Which companies are corrupt and a nice long list of artificial ingredients to stay away from, as well as an ok list of natural safe ingredients in packaged foods.
I am still trying to stick to my no packaged food lifestyle as well, so this is going to be a challenge.
In my previous vegetarian ways I would always eat packaged hamburgers and never gave it any thought. But you have to be careful with the amount of sodium in vegetarian packaged foods. The companies have to add A LOT of salt to make those foods taste good.

You may see some of my old favorite recipes pop on here, one being a super yummy mushroom burger I use to make all the time. But if you hate mushrooms I am sure it doesn't sound good at all.

I am going on day 4 of no meat and I feel great! I also cut out coffee cold turkey and surprisingly never had any withdrawal symptoms. I am seriously addicted to coffee, it is harder for me to give up the coffee over anything, even the meat.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I LOVE If you are not familiar with it, you must go there and brows. You can pretty much buy anything you can think of ever needing on there. It is all handmade or vintage items, so you know anything you buy from there is not from a sweatshop and it is all really good quality stuff. I have bought many thing off Etsy and have never been disappointed.
I always look in the "local" section to see what great local artist we have.
Today I found this lovely store that is donating some of her proceeds to Winnipeg Animal Services. RubyDee Creations
Why not have a peek and buy something to support all the dogs who desperately need a home.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mini Pancakes

This was lunch one day this past week.

Quick and simple and the kids love them.
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour(preferably unbleached or whole wheat. 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup wholewheat works nice too.
1tbsp baking powder
1 egg

Mix all together and fry on the frying pan. I like to use a little bit of butter to fry them up.

Serve them with Maple syrup and fruit on top(or on the side if you have picky eaters)

Pizza Perogies

These are an all time favorite with my kids.

I was inspired to make my own after buying some Pizza Perogies from the Farmer's Market.
I start off with my Mother-in-Laws perogie dough, which is very easy to work with. (I have her Cottage Cheese Perogie recipe at also very good.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. Pour in the vegetable oil and cold water, and mix or knead into a smooth dough.

2.Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, and cut into 3 inch circles using a glass, can, or cookie cutter. Place a spoonful of the cottage cheese filling onto each circle. Fold in half, and pinch the edges together to seal.

3.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the perogies into the water, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they float. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, and place on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to drain excess water.

For the Pizza filling I make my own pizza sauce.

1 small can of tomato sauce(about 8oz). I prefer to buy the no salt added and be careful to read labels. Many tomato sauce cans have added sugar as well.

1 small can of tomato paste. Again, read the labels. Superstore yellow label is simply "tomatoes" which it should be, but again many companies add sugar and salt.

Spices of choice, garlic, basil, oregano, onion, pepper and salt. You can add tiny slivers of pepperoni or mushrooms if you wish. There really are no rules or limitations to this, my children just like it simple.

Once you make the sauce add a small amount of sauce and cheese for your perogies.

I got a Hunky Bill's for Christmas this year and it is amazing at how fast I can make perogies now. You can buy it online or at specialy Kitchen supply stores in your area. The dough recipe above makes 18 perogies with Hunky Bill's larger size perogie maker.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strawberry Banana Jam!

This is only the best Jam ever! Homemade that is. Any flavour will do, but nothing beats making homemade jam.

The first time I made it I tried to cut back on the sugar but it turned out more like a thick sauce instead of a nice jam consistency. with my second try I followed the instructions as per the recipe but added some banana to the strawberries and boy oh boy is it yummy!

The possibilities are endless really. I have to admit that I hardly even do a thing when I make jam. My wonderful bread maker does it all for me. The only difference with this jam is you have to eat it within 2 weeks or freeze it. I collect small jars and freeze about 1/4-1/2 a cup in each jar. Take it out of the freezer as needed and you have fresh homemade jam, for a fraction of the cost of good quality store bought jam.
If you don't have a bread maker you can buy Certo packages specifically labeled "Freezer Jam" you don't need to worry about having a bunch of canning items and boiling any jars. all you need is some fruit, Certo mix, sugar, a pot, a spoon and jars. Plastic containers work just as well.
Note: If the fruit you want to use is not in season, buy it frozen. Frozen fruit is always picked in season.

Monday, January 4, 2010

English Muffins

Today's new experiment involved making homemade English Muffins.

Thankfully I have a bread maker to make the dough as I have never been good at making yeasty breads without killing the yeast some how.

I placed all the ingredients into the bread maker and rolled out a couple dozen English Muffins in no time.

Again, a learning experience. I always try to follow recipes since they usually do work or they wouldn't be published, but for some reason this one needed to be changed and it was the baking process.

I tried making them on the stove as suggested but they just burned badly. I decided to bake the remaining muffins in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, turned them over and baked them for another 8 minutes. They turned out lovely!

The only ingredient I changed in the recipe itself was I used 3 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups unbleached white flour. Next time I make these they will be 100% whole wheat.

We are not huge white bread fans but again, I try not to veer too far from the original recipe or I can't blame it for not working if it doesn't turn out.
p.s. The family and I loved these! so much nicer than bought english muffins, and not packed with preservatives and cheap fillers. Just simple homemade goodness. try them, you will love them too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


My first attempt at making home made pasta.

I bought a cheap pasta maker($22) I wanted one that attaches to my Kitchen Aid mixer, but at well over $100 I figured starting out small was the best way to go.

The pasta maker was very simple to use, not too time consuming and the pasta tasted pretty good. I used just regular unbleached flour for my first try and made the noodles on the thickest setting. This is very much a learning process, but I will be trying Whole Wheat flour next time and making the noodles much thinner. Our son had some issues with the texture of the noodles, otherwise he is fine with pasta as it is one of his favorite things to eat.


My first post!
I wanted to start this blog to record all the different things I am making. I have always tried very hard to feed my children healthy natural foods without preservatives or added chemicals, but boy is that hard. I have always been a label reader and the older I get the crazier I get.
We are starting out slowly but I would love to make my own yogurt and butter one day. But the key thing for that is to find some whole cream. For some odd reason the only full fat cream sold in stores has carrageenan in it, so I am on the hunt for pure cream!