February 14, 2017

Fudgy Lentil Brownies

Big batch fudgy lentil brownies get their great texture from a simple red lentil puree.

These big batch fudgy lentil brownies get their great texture from a simple red lentil puree.

My mom has a terrific stash of sweet recipes that are made in a 9” x 13” pan. She and my aunt put great effort into searching out big-batch recipes when we were growing up, one of their tactics for keeping their large families fed (18 children between them) and their sanity intact. Especially through the teenage years when kids plow through your kitchen like a swarm of locusts, leaving the fridge and cupboards half bare and still complaining that they’re hungry.


Big batch fudgy lentil brownies get their great texture from a simple red lentil puree.

My aunt, the mother of 11 (including seven boys), used to lock her baking supplies high in a kitchen cupboard, pocket the key and then slip down the street to our house just before the school bus arrived. She and mom would have a peaceful chat over coffee while a live version of the Sheree Fitch book, “There were monkeys in my kitchen” played out up the road in her kitchen.


Big batch fudgy lentil brownies get their great texture from a simple red lentil puree.

When my kids make their way through the back path and in the door after school these lentil brownies are a great grab-and-go snack that’s wholesome and just sweet enough.

Don’t let the lentils in the recipe throw you off. They add great texture and help keep the brownies moist. Leftover lentil puree can be stirred into soup as a thickener.

This recipe is adapted from a Canadian Lentils recipe.

Healthy tip: This recipe works well with some ground flax added to it. Try adding 1 Tbsp. and increase from there if you're looking for a bit more nutrition. 

Fudgy Lentil Brownies


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup red lentil puree*
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Melt butter. Mix in lentil puree, cocoa, sugar and salt. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla, flour, then chocolate chips. 
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. 
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan.
*Lentil Puree: Place 3/4 cup red lentils in a pot and cover generously with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. Drain then blend in a food processor to make a smooth puree with a consistency like canned pumpkin. If needed, add additional water 1 Tbsp. at a time.

February 4, 2017

Wholesome Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Wholesome Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Did you know that buckwheat is grown in New Brunswick? We get so accustomed to our food being from faraway places that it’s easy to forget so much food can be, and is, grown locally.


The BBC food website has a list of 25 foods you should try at least once. They range from octopus to okra, but in the middle of the list is buckwheat. I don’t think of buckwheat as being exotic – it’s grown in New Brunswick after all - but reading it on the list did remind me of a great recipe for buckwheat pancakes that I have had for years.

February 3, 2017

10 Non-Toxic Cleaning Hacks with Vinegar

10 non-toxic cleaning hacks with vinegar

One of the most powerful, practical cleaners in your home is likely in your kitchen cupboard.


One cold evening when I was gassing up my car I accidentally dripped gasoline on my down coat. The smell was so strong that I thought I might have to toss the coat in the garbage. But it’s my favourite coat for walking so I decided to try washing it. Throwing it in the wash only seemed to make it worse, spreading the gasoline smell throughout the whole coat, and the washing machine. As a last resort I put the coat through another wash cycle with two cups of white vinegar. It came out of that wash smelling like vinegar instead of gasoline and after being tossed in the dryer with tennis balls for 40 minutes it smells as good as new.

The experience reminded me that plain old white vinegar has dozens of cleaning uses for every room, and cleaning challenge, in your house. And it's a safe and inexpensive cleaner.

January 13, 2017

Cranberry Almond Granola Bites

Cranberry Almond Granola Bites: This recipe is a cross between granola and a granola bar. A simple baking technique helps the granola stay clumped together so you can break it into clusters, which makes it great for nibbling.

This recipe is a cross between granola and a granola bar. 

For Christmas one year during high school I received a Richard Simmons exercise tape called “Reach”. He wrote the lyrics to the soundtrack (very hokey) and he sings you through the exercise routines in his goofy voice. It was my introduction to aerobics and listening to it made me feel like I was in some sort of low budget sitcom. Still, it suited the motivations of the post-Christmas season and I did the exercise routines all through the winter.

January 10, 2017

Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet:


“Flushable” wipes aren't the only thing you should never put down the toilet...

“Your guide to adult toilet training” is front and centre on the City of Vancouver Facebook page, part of the city’s “never flush wipes” campaign. (Check out the website neverflushwipes.com.) Like cities across North America, Vancouver is spending millions each year to unclog and repair sewerage system infrastructure damaged by “flushable” wipes. Not to mention all of the other sewer-clogging non-flushable items that continue to go down the toilet, from facial tissue to dental floss, diapers, feminine hygiene products and food scraps.

January 7, 2017

Seven Easy Green Living Tips To Start Your Year

7 Green Living Tips To Start your Year Off Right

This year, make some green resolutions to live a more eco-friendly life.

Early January is a good time to start anew. There’s something about rolling into a new year that inspires us to do something to improve ourselves.

But what it we all viewed January 1st as an opportunity to make our world a better place?

Making a few eco-friendly changes to the way we live is one way to improve the world with the added benefit of improving our lives since the health of the planet and our personal health are so intertwined. Something as simple as buying better quality food, or eating a little less meat, can have positive repercussions that extend way beyond your waistline.

As with any new resolution or habit, starting with bite-sized changes and adding to them bit by bit is a good way to build positive momentum. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

January 6, 2017

Healthy Feta Walnut Dip from Moosewood Cookbook

Healthy Feta Walnut Dip has loads of texture and the delicious flavours of creamy goat's milk feta and walnuts.

An extra healthy dip that is delicious as a sandwich spread too. 

One year a very long time ago my family all decided to spend the New Year’s holiday at my brother and sister-in-law’s place near Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine. The plan was to ski for a couple of days and have a big family New Year’s Eve celebration.
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