Friday, April 22, 2011

Cucumber Mango Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

This is another wonderful salad from Brandi's great salad cookbook... that I do not know the name of, but need to buy so that I don't have to constantly bug her to give me her salad recipes every time I eat over there :)

The original recipe calls for macadamia nuts (I'm drooling writing this, thinking of our trip to Hawaii and the delicious macadamia nuts we ate there...). Brandi substituted toasted sunflower seeds, so I followed suit since I can't eat nuts right now. Though I did an even lazier version and didn't even bother toasting them (but I'm sure that makes it even better). I can't wait to try it with macadamia nuts as soon as I'm done breastfeeding though, as I think that combination sounds fantastic. I actually forgot to put the sunflower seeds in the second time I made it, so you won't see any in my picture, but they do make it better. I also substituted 1 tbsp. sesame oil and 1 tbsp. canola oil for the peanut oil, since I didn't have any. And as with all recipes calling for fresh coriander -
don't leave it out!!


1 English cucumber (peel on), thinly sliced
1 cup of mango, chopped (Brandi has also used thawed frozen mango chunks and this works well - I happened to have a bunch of ripe mangoes on hand both times I've made it)
1/2 C macadamia nuts, toasted and finely chopped (or toasted sunflower seeds)

 2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. peanut (or canola) oil
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce (I used chili garlic sauce because that's what I had in my fridge)
1/2 tsp. dried crushed chilis
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all dressing ingredients in a jar. Toss dressing into above cucumber, mango and nut mixture.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Banana Brownies

Happy Easter to everyone!!! No Easter recipes on here this year, as we chose to hang out here ourselves and didn't really do much of anything Easter-like. Didn't even eat a single Easter egg, in fact... I can't wait until next year when Logan is a bit older and we'll have some of his eggs to swipe :)

I made these brownies last week, from the Canada's 150 Best Diabetes Desserts cookbook (again, I am so going to buy this book). They make a huge pan and we've been slowly working our way through them. I find these have more of the texture of a cake than of brownies - not quite as rich and dense. But they're still good.

Last night, we decided to make a brownie sundae with them. Not terribly diabetes friendly, but we opted to have no carbs with our dinner (other than low carb veggies) so that Jerome could afford this little treat (well and really, I guess that means I can afford it more too, right?). We used a small brownie, vanilla ice cream (my favourite is Breyer's All-Natural Vanilla, as I find it actually tastes like vanilla and not chemicals), and a touch of apple caramel that we had bought at Les Vergers Lafrance where we go apple-picking each year . The caramel is sickeningly (and deliciously) sweet, so you only need a touch. I'd meant to put a bit of sliced bananas on top as well, but that slipped my mind when I made them. Mmmm... pure delight :)

1 C sugar
1/3 C vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 C mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas)
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C chopped semisweet chocolate
1 1/3 C coarsely chopped walnuts

1. In large bowl, using an electric mixture on medium speed, beat sugar, oil and eggs until thick and light, about 2 minutes. Add bananas and cocoa and beat on low speed.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to cocoa mixture, beating on low speed just to blend. Stir in chopped chocolate and walnuts. Spread evenly in prepared 13 x 9 inch pan.

3. Bake in 350 degree Farenheit oven just until set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars or squares.

Variations: substitute peanut butter chips for the chopped chocolate and coarsely chopped peanuts for the walnuts (mmm.... I can't wait until I can eat peanut butter again!!! I am sooooooooooo making them like this!).

Makes 36 brownies.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

Two unrelated side notes before I get started with today's recipe.

1. Since posting the roasted cauliflower on March 31/11, I tried the real recipe instead of my adapted version. I figured I really should try it if it was on my blog. And I didn't like it. At all. I found it really greasy and couldn't even finish it. So I don't recommend making the real version... but my adaptation is tasty.

2. A few people have been asking about Jerome's diabetes, so I'll give a quick update. We saw the endocrinologist again last week and he's pretty certain (though can't be 100% without testing) that he has type I. Which basically means he'll be insulin-dependent for life, but he seems to have adapted to it quite easily and it doesn't seem to bother him much. I guess it's a good thing we already ate in a relatively diabetic-friendly manner beforehand, or I'm sure the shift would have been much harder. We certainly don't have desserts quite as often, but he can still have these in smaller portions on occasion, so he seems fine with it. And his sugars are controlled fairly nicely now, so it doesn't seem to be much cause for concern.

On an interesting, somewhat related note, the doctor explained to us that type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease, that basically is a predisposition to type I diabetes, that is triggered by some environmental factor. And he said that nowadays they are thinking that it is a virus (or actually, one of several viruses) that triggers it. I found the whole thing kind of fascinating, as it's really not the conception I had of diabetes. And he said that there's actually less heredity (in terms of passing it down to our kids) than there is for type II.

Ok... on to today's recipe. This recipe comes from my sister's mother-in-law. Ashley's husband made this for us for dinner one night when I was visiting them a few months ago. It's super easy to put together, makes a ton and is both yummy and healthy. For a vegetarian version, you can just omit the beef and throw in an extra can of beans if you want.

4 large (or 8 small) whole-wheat tortillas
1 lb. lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1 onion
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can white kidney beans, rinsed
1 can of Aylmers Accents flavoured tomatoes
1 can of corn, drained
1 jar of salsa (I used my black bean and corn salsa)
grated light cheddar cheese
salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole, as desired to serve on the side

1. Cook the onion and beef in a frying pan. I also chose to add in my homemade taco seasoning. Eric had said that he thought his mom added some sort of seasoning, but couldn't remember what, so I just threw this in and it worked well with the recipe.

2. In a bowl, mix together the beef, beans, tomatoes, corn and salsa.

3. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking oil, or spread a bit of salsa on the bottom of the pan. Layer 2 large whole-wheat tortillas (or 4 small ones) on the bottom of the pan. Spread half of the bean/beef mixture over the tortillas, ensuring that they are fully covered (or they will dry out while heating). Layer grated cheddar cheese over the bean/beef mixture.

4. Repeat step 3 again, with 2 tortillas, beef/bean mixture and then cheese.

5. Heat in a 350 degree Farneheit oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until heated through. If the cheese starts browning too quickly, you can cover the top of the casserole with foil for all but the last 10 minutes, being sure to spray it with oil beforehand so the cheese doesn't stick.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Big-Batch Banana Blueberry Muffins

Jerome recently came home from the library with the cookbook Canada's 150 Best Diabetes Desserts. Which I think is my new favourite cookbook. And I'm pretty sure that my 'no new cookbooks' rule can be broken, given the special circumstances of Jerome's diabetes, right??? ;) So I think I'm gonna have to run out and get myself my own copy. It's full of all sorts of healthy desserts, using lots of flax, whole-wheat flour (which I usually substitute in anyways) and bran. So my thing...

These muffins are the first (and so far only) recipe that I've tried from the book and I really liked them. Although I like the flavour of flax, I thought the muffins might have an overpowering flax flavour, given how much is in them. But the banana nicely offsets the flax and they're quite tasty. I had meant to split the recipe in half (since we clearly can't get through 36 muffins on our own before they go bad - 18 is even more than pushing it!), but I messed up halfway through and dumped in an entire container of applesauce. So we now have 36 of these to get through, as I have no space in my freezer at all these days. So yes, Heather, I'll likely drop some of these off one day this week :)

3 C whole-wheat flour
3 C ground flaxseed
2 C lightly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. baking soda
pinch salt
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 C)
1 jar (128 mL) baby food prunes or unsweetened applesauce
2/3 C vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C fresh or frozen blueberries

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a very large bowl, combine eggs, bananas, prunes, oil and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

4. Bake in a 350 degree Farenheit oven for 20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, or until tops are firm to the touch.

Makes 36 muffins (I got 30 out of them).

Nutrients per muffin:
185 calories
25g carbohydrates
5g fiber
4g protein
8g fat

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mango Lassi

We went out for India this weekend, as I all of a sudden really wanted some butter chicken. Mmm... We went to Bombay Choupati on the corner of Gouin and Sources. I'd heard for years that the food here was excellent, but we had never gotten around to trying it. Thank goodness we finally did, as this is now probably my favourite spot for Indian in the West Island. It's a tiny, unassuming restaurant in a random plaza at the end of Sources, but the food is homemade and delicious. Even Logan loved the curried potatoes, butter chicken and goat vindaloo (and this of a baby who spits out about half of what we give him on a daily basis). I joked with Jerome that maybe we just need to eat out every day to get him to eat more :)

In any case, I had a mango lassi while I was there and found it a bit too sweet for my tastes. Which left me wanting another, less sweet, one. So I went through my only Indian cookbook, scouring it for recipes I could make. And concluded that most of them are too labour intensive for these days. Maybe once Logan is in daycare?? But the mango lassi was simple and I happened to have everything I needed, so I made one for breakfast this morning. I'm sure it's not meant as a breakfast drink, but I figure it's pretty much like a smoothie, so why not? Here's my recipe, which I got from Heartsmart Flavours of India.

1 1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 C diced ripe mango
1 1/2 C ice cubes
2 tbsp. sugar (I used Splenda)

Blend and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings.

I started by putting in 1 C of mango, but still found that it didn't have as much mango flavour as I wanted, so I threw in another cup. This took about 2 of the bigger types mangoes.