Monday, October 24, 2016


Ginger Cookies have a power over me at this time of year. I will be going about my Maximized life, minding my own Maximized business, and pow!  Out of nowhere a Ginger Cookie appears in front of me, calling my name so loudly that it deafens me to all my healthy intentions and practices.  The last time I ate one (two weeks ago), I vowed to write a GOOD FOOD recipe for a sugar free, grain free version, and here it is.  
I have used a Stevia-Erythritol blend for the sweetening of this cookie.  According to B.J., Erythritol is the best of all the sugar alcohols.  I have sampled it in other recipes and I find it does not upset my stomach, as does Xylitol.  Furthermore, I wanted a snappier Ginger cookie than I could achieve with Stevia alone, so I was willing to take a chance on this blend, which, by the way, is available at the Bulk Barn.
One other note, notwithstanding the elaborate preparation instructions below, I used room temperature butter and threw all the ingredients into a stand mixer at once, and voila! The easier method meant that I skipped the first 3 steps and moved right to step 4.


2 1/4  cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
1 cup chopped raw pecans
1/2 cup organic butter
1/2 cup Stevia-Erythritol Blen, plus a tiny bit extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon pure vanilla (no sugar – check the label)


Use Room temperature butter and combine all ingredients in a stand mixer until dough forms. Then proceed to step 4.

  1. In a stand mixer, or using an electric hand held beater, combine the butter and stevia-erythritol blend. Add the vanilla and mix again until all three ingredients are incorporated.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the pecans.
  3. Combine the butter mixture with the dry ingredients.
  4. Using a piece of parchment paper, form the dough into a log, approximately 2 ½ inches in diameter. 
  5. Freeze the log for approximately 1 hour; then unwrap and cut into 1/8 inch slices.
  6. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with a clean piece of parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. 
  8. Sprinkle with additional Stevia-Erythritol blend while the cookies are just out of the oven.
  9. Cool and serve. 

Makes 24 cookies
Note:  Image credit Martha Stewart

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Blend

Pumpkin Spice is always so popular this time of year. Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice ice cream, pumpkin spice breakfast smoothies, next there will be pumpkin spice kale salad! Here's a simple recipe for your own blend.  I like to make a batch in the early fall and hope it lasts throughout the holiday season, so I can add it to all sorts of recipes.  To do that, I would recommend doubling the recipe below.

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoons ground cloves

Store in a glass jar with a tight lid.  I like to use Mason Jars.

Home made Chipotle Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, if bought at the regular grocery store, is not fit for human consumption.  Here is an easy, delicious recipe for a spicy mayonnaise that will keep in the refrigerator for at least three weeks. . .if it lasts that long. (The beautiful photo which I use here is not my own.  My mayonnaise never lasts long enough to take a great picture like this.  Props to the original photographer.)

1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Chipotle powder
1 - 1 1/4 cups olive oil

Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or high speed blender such as a Blendtec or VitaMix. Blend or process, while very slowly streaming in the olive oil until the mixture becomes mayonnaise.  It really is that simple.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Teryaki Chicken Wings

Here's a wonderful recipe that we literally lived on during the summer months.  This recipe is based on (translation: stolen from) my friend Kimberly Roberto's amazing recipe which can be found at her SMART MEALS blog on WordPress.  I have never tried one of Kim's recipes without it becoming a staple in our family meal plans.  She is amazing. And I know her recipes will never contribute to ill health or weight gain because they all conform to the Maximized Living Nutrition Plan. She is, after all, the co-author of the book!
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it can be incorporated into a busy family life so easily. For instance, because there are only two of us (although Cliff eats enough of these wings to feed a gaggle of teenagers) I make the sauce, and then use half for one meal and refrigerate the other half for the next time we want to prepare the dish. The other benefit is the ease of the preparation.  Once the wings are in the oven, as you will see by the method below, you have all the time you need to organize all the other things you have to organize in an afternoon.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


  • 1/2 cup organic unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons spoonable stevia (or equivalent)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1/2 cup liquid aminos or organic tamari
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup hot sauce (adjust to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (Do not use table salt.  Unbelievably, it contains sugar!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 to 5 pounds of organic chicken wings (Adjust the amount of wings based on family size.)


  • Melt all the ingredients (except the chicken) in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Pour sauce over chicken wings in a large plastic bag to marinate for up to 6 hours.  If making a smaller batch of chicken wings, use half the sauce and refrigerate the other half for up to twenty-one days. 
  • Arrange chicken wings on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake wings at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 275 degrees.  Remove the parchment paper and replace wings onto an oven rack over the rimmed baking sheet and continue to cook for up to 2 hours.  Lifting the wings onto the rack gives them room to groove, and we find the end product is more tender and extremely tasty.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


This recipe is so good for use on any salad,  but particularly good on Caesar Salad.  
BTW, this stuff is like popcorn.  You will find yourself snacking on it long after the salad has been eaten.

3 to 4 cups large, unsweetened coconut flakes (not regular shredded coconut!)

3 tablespoons Bragg's Aminos, aka: Bragg All Purpose Liquid Soy Seasoning.

2½ tablespoons liquid smoke (any flavor, choose your favorite)

10 drops liquid stevia (I sometimes use 12 - 15 drops. Taste it!)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a half-sheet pan or large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the liquid ingredients in a small measuring cup or bowl.
  • In a large bowl, drizzle the coconut flakes with tamari, liquid smoke and liquid stevia mixture.  Mix well. I find it easiest to toss with my hands. Spread the flakes into an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet. 
  • Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes, until flakes are mostly dry and turning golden on the edges. 
  • (Keep an eye on the coconut as it can go from golden brown to deep burnt brown fairly quickly. For softer bacon, you'll probably only need to bake for 12 minutes, for crispy bacon, aim for 14.) 
  • The coconut flakes will further crisp up as they cool.
  • Let the "bacon" cool. Then use it immediately, or freeze for up to three months (It will never last that long).


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Grainless Turkey Stuffing

Finding an organic turkey in your regular grocery store is getting easier all the time.  Stuffing the turkey seems to be the problem for most Advanced Plan eaters. I hope this recipe helps you, whether you've prepared multiple turkeys over the years, or if you've never been the chef for a festive holiday dinner before.

I know this looks like a lot of ingredients and a ton of preparation,  but it really is a matter of chop,  sauté,  season,  and stuff!  When you've done it once,  you'll be amazed at how easy it is.  Read the recipe through,  chop everything,  and have it all at your fingertips before you begin,  and you'll find it a breeze.


1 to 2 cups each (depending on the size of your turkey) :
Chopped organic celery
Chopped (preferably organic) cooking onions
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

3 to 5 cups (again depending on the size of your turkey) bite sized cubed pieces of Grainless Rolls.  (I usually cut up 5 or 6 rolls.)

2 - 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 organic free run large or extra large eggs
1/2 cup grass fed butter

Seasonings to taste

(If you love thyme, add thyme.
If you love rosemary, add rosemary.)


First, gently melt and then cool the 1/2 cup of butter and set it aside.

Gently melt the  2 - 3 tablespoons of butter and olive oil in your largest sauté pan.  Add the celery, onion and garlic, and lightly sauté over medium heat until they just begin to sweat.  (The celery will become a brighter green.)  Understand that the stuffing ingredients will fully cook when you roast your turkey,  so don't worry. . . Enjoy!

Add the cubed grainless rolls to the vegetable mixture and stir in to combine.

In a small bowl,  slightly whisk the eggs.  Add the eggs to the melted and cooled butter and whisk until combined. 

Pour the butter and egg mixture over the cubed bread and vegetable mixture.  Toss over low heat until everything is combined and the egg mixture is heated through.

Add your spices.  I use salt and pepper to taste, a healthy tablespoon full of dried sage,  and about the same amount of fresh,  finely chopped parsley.  (You could use dried. . . If you do,  use less.)  Again,  the amount you use is largely dependant on the size of your turkey and the amount of your stuffing. Stir to distribute the spices and TASTE.  Adjust seasoning to suit your taste.

At this point your stuffing is ready to go into the turkey.  If you are not roasting the turkey immediately,  DO NOT put it into the bird.  You can,  however,  make this stuffing the day or night before and refrigerate it until you stuff and roast the turkey on the big day.  Stuff both the neck cavity and the large inner cavity of a rinsed,  patted dry  organic turkey.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


This is the simplest, tastiest, healthiest Ranch Dressing recipe you will ever find.  You do need a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, but after that, you need 5 minutes, some cashews and an appetite.  Enjoy.


  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water or coconut water (or a little more) 
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Put everything into a high speed blender.  Blend 'til creamy.  That's it.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


It seems all of the recipes I found online for these tasty dessert bites use medjool dates to sweeten and hold the ingredients together.  Do not misunderstand.  Medjool dates make many recipes sweet and creamy and delicious, but I don't want to use them because they are so high on the glycemic index (which means the sugar content is sky high). So I got out my food processor this morning and started experimenting. The finished product had to be completely legal on "The Advanced Plan," and delicious enough for everyone.  Here is the recipe.

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup any nut you have on hand (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
4 small carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup gently melted coconut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 droppers full of liquid stevia (I used vanilla stevia, so I omitted the vanilla extract.)

Note:  If you really don't like stevia, use an amount of xylitol to achieve the same sweetness.  I would love to give you a measure, but I really don't like xylitol, so my experience with it is limited.  I can tell you that two droppers full of vanilla stevia is very sweet. Make this recipe your own by tasting and adjusting the sweetness as needed.

Place all ingredients in a high powered food processor and process until fully combined.

Form mixture into 1 inch balls (bites) and roll in a little cinnamon or a bit more unsweetened shredded coconut.

Chill for a few hours or overnight.  You can freeze the chilled bites in an airtight container in the freezer for a few months, but I guarantee they won't last that long.

Recipe yields approximately 24 "bites."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


The incredible Kimberly Roberto has done it again. These wings are ridiculously easy to prepare and they turn out perfectly every time. What a great dish to take to an outdoor bar-b-que.  By the way, they are also delicious cold, (for breakfast. . . .yes, I did).

4 pounds organic chicken wings
Dry Rub:
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons reserved dry rub
1 (12-ounce) bottle hot pepper sauce (check ingredients) (I like "Franks")
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Combine all dry rub spices in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Add the wings to bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay all wings flat on the baking sheet and bake for an hour turning halfway through.
When the wings are almost done, melt the butter and then add other sauce ingredients.
When ready to serve, add the wings to a large serving bowl, pour sauce over the wings and toss.
Recipe modified from Guy Fieri 

Friday, September 5, 2014


I love all the raw dessert balls you can find these days.  I especially love the lemon flavor.  These could not be easier. . .  or more delicious.  Here's the recipe.

1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup organic raw coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
1 – 2 droppers full of liquid stevia
3 organic lemons (fresh squeezed juice)
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)

All ingredients in the food processor. Whizz it up.  Use a mini ice cream scoop to form balls.  Drop balls into unsweetened shredded coconut. Roll.  Chill.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I made this for dinner this evening.  Could NOT be simpler.

2 cups water (next time I will use Coconut Water)
1 cup raw cashews
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 dropper liquid stevia

First into the Blendtec (high speed blender)
Then into the Ice Cream maker
Done and done


Friday, June 27, 2014

Black Bottom Strawberry "Cream" Pie (Raw Vegan - but the Kids will NEVER know it)

This recipe takes approximately 15 minutes to prepare.  I can't seem to keep it in the fridge. Everybody enjoys this "creamy" strawberry pie.  I hope you will too.


3/4 cup crushed raw pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
Optional:  Chocolate “Bottom”:
3/4 cup stevia-sweetened melted chocolate. 
NOTE: To be on the safe side, to sweeten melting chocolate, use approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon of Powdered Concentrated Stevia, such as KAL brand or NOW brand. Depending on "How liquid" your brand of liquid stevia drops are, liquid stevia may sieze melting chocolate. . .not good)

2 cups fresh strawberries (or raspberries) 
1 cup raw organic cashews
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (If using Liquid Vanilla Stevia, you need not add this.)
1 to 2 droppers full of liquid stevia (to taste), or 1/8 – 1/4 tsp pure concentrated stevia powder 
1 pinch salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1.) Grind crust ingredients in food processor or high speed blender and press into bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, building up the sides slightly. 
2.) If adding the "Black Bottom," pour the melted chocolate over the crust and cool in the fridge while you prepare the creamy strawberry filling.
3.) Place all filling ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. 
4.) Carefully pour on top of crust and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.


Thursday, May 15, 2014


If you want to make your own almond milk, there are lots of easy recipes to be found online.  This recipe is different. The secret ingredient is coconut water, which adds a delightful hint of sweetness to your home made almond milk. I think you will love it. 

This smooth and creamy, subtly sweet recipe comes from Joe the Juicer, and his team at It is really delicious. When I read the recipe the first time, I thought it a strange concoction, but since it was a small amount to experiment with, I went ahead.  Even as I was putting the ingredients into the blender, I was skeptical. . .but felt that it could always  be used in a smoothie if I didn't like the taste or texture on its own.
The smoothie option was not necessary. Twice.


1 cup/250 ml coconut water (if you have access to a fresh coconut, use the water from that, but if not, try to find organic coconut water.  At the very least, be sure it is 100% coconut water with no additives or added sugars)
1 tbsp. raw almonds
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
About 1/2 pinch of Himalayan salt, to taste
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1 handful of ice cubes - 3 or 4


Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend on high for 45 – 60 seconds, until smooth. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Look who's Vegan all of a sudden!  Can't say when it began, but slowly over the long Winter, I have had less and less interest in eating meat for protein.  Before you start to worry about my nutritional needs, let me just say I have never felt better.  I am excited to share this creamy, delicious cauliflower soup for a few reasons.  1.) It is Vegan.  2.) No one in your family will ever suspect it is Vegan. 3.) It is delicious.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves - I used 4 cloves)

2 cups (200g) chopped leeks (white parts only, from 2 or 3 leeks)

Kosher or Sea salt

1 head cauliflower, chopped

7 cups vegetable broth (or water with a bit of added Kosher or Sea Salt)

1/4 cup (35g) raw unsalted cashews (available at Bulk Barn)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the garlic, leeks, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the cauliflower and saute for another minute. Add the vegetable broth (or water), increase the heat to high, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely tender. Stir the mix periodically and mash the cauliflower with a wooden spoon.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly; stir in the nuts. Pour the soup into your blender in batches and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. (Remember to remove the plastic cap in the blender top and cover the opening with a kitchen towel so steam can escape while you blend.) Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Taste to adjust seasoning.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hot Cereal

Winter is holding on too long this year! Looking for a really healthy, tasty, warming breakfast? Allow me to share this amazing post from one of my favorite recipe authors, Elana Amsterdam. Her website and her book are an inspiration, and her recipes usually take very little manipulation to make them "Advanced Plan Approved." Her Porridge recipe is a perfect example. There are enough superfoods in this lovely cereal to get anybody going in the morning!

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until finely ground
  3. Pour boiling water into a blender, cover with lid. Then cover lid with a tea towel.
  4. Blend very carefully starting on low setting, then moving to high, until porridge is smooth
  5. Transfer porridge to a bowl.  By the time you rinse and dry the blender, the consistency will be perfection!
  6. Serve

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Delectable Pumpkin Bread - Wheat Free and Sugar Free

This might be my new favorite use for almond flour and for pumpkin puree. The batter is made in a food processor in record time!
However, let's do the "Notes" first:
1.)  The pumpkin bread is easier to remove from the loaf pan if you let it cool for about an hour.  This is only an assumption on my part, since the warm loaf was far too appealing for me to wait.  Delicious warm or cold! (I'm thinking toasted, for breakfast. . .)
2.)  I enjoyed the process of making my own pumpkin puree, following Elana Amsterdam's easy recipe.  I am sure you would have wonderful results using 1 cup of any good organic pure pumpkin puree.
3.)  This recipe, like so many of my favorite almond flour recipes, is adapted from one I found at Elana's Pantry.

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons good quality ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (If you can grate your own nutmeg, use less)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon "Kal" brand or "Now" brand concentrated powder stevia
6 organic eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and seasonings in a food processor.  Pulse to mix.

Add the pumpkin puree, the stevia, and the 6 eggs to the mixture, and process for approximately 2 minutes.

TASTE the batter.  IF you want to add seasonings or stevia, do so.  (When I made my roasted pumpkin puree, I used a Grey Ghost organic squash, which has a sweeter taste to start, so I did not need to add anything.)

Pour the batter into a glass loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. You will have a wet batter, and your end product will be moist when it has cooled.

Monday, August 12, 2013


This recipe is da bomb!  It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.  And yes, this is Vegan.  The "cream" comes from raw organic cashews.  The only drawback is waiting for the pie to chill.  This will take two to three hours in the refrigerator. Well worth the wait!

I wish I could say it is my own creation, but I can't.  I must give all the credit to Christel, a fellow admirer of Sarah Shilhavy @ Free Coconut Recipes.  I have adjusted the recipe so that it meets the requirements of the Maximized Living Advanced Plan - using liquid stevia instead of honey, for instance; and I should also mention that the original recipe was for STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE, and I changed that, too.  This was to meet the requirements of Dr. Cliff, who does not eat strawberries, so if you are so inclined, feel free to switch out the berries. Just make SURE the berries are organic.  Conventionally grown berries are loaded with pesticides.  Just don't eat them.

I am including a link to Sarah Shilhavy's website, so you can watch her prepare this recipe, all in a high speed blender, in less than 5 minutes.  Just be sure to use the "Maximized" ingredients below.


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries (or strawberries)
  • 1 cup raw organic cashews 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 droppers full of liquid stevia (to taste)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
Grind crust ingredients in food processor or high speed blender and press into bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, building up the sides slightly.

Place all filling ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Carefully pour on top of crust and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maximized Grainless Rolls

Maximized food has become a no-brainer for us.  I hear all kinds of protests about the "cost" of organic, grain-free, sugar-free cooking.  I can only reply that my health is worth paying for.  In fact, I can not think of anything that is more worthy of my money.  I will admit, though, that the idea of a grilled organic turkey burger without a bun has often left a little to be desired.  That's why I needed to share with anyone who doesn't already have the recipe. . .these Maximized Grainless Rolls are the bomb!  The recipe is from Kimberly Pease-Roberto,  co-author of The Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, so rest-assured, your health need never suffer from eating a burger again!
By the way, they freeze beautifully. . . .if they last that long.

Kimberly's great recipe goes like this:

1 1/2 cups almond flour
5 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 organic eggs or 3 organic egg whites
1 cup boiling water
Mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Add the eggs and apple cider vinegar and mix well.  You will have a very stiff mixture on your hands.  Add the boiling water and continue to mix until well combined.  The mixture will then turn from a "soup" into a very sticky dough.  Split the mixture into 5 rolls.  You will want to “form” them into nicely shaped rolls and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I do this using a very large serving spoon (for rolls) and (for "buns") I place a ring on the parchment to make them "round." Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
These can be used for sandwiches, grass fed burgers, or own their own.
Here is the link for this and a plethora of other great recipes:


Friday, June 28, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Crackers

Have you tried the Garlic Parmesan Flax Seed Cracker recipe in GOOD FOOD? I make it at least every two weeks, simply because it smells so great, tastes so good, and provides that "crunch" we tend to miss when we get the junk food out of our lives.
This recipe can be tricky to make. Over the past 6 months or so, I have developed a somewhat easy method for preparation, and I thought it might be good to share it with you. If you read ALL the tips below, I know it will help you.

For those who do not have the book, here is the recipe.

1 cup flax seed meal
1/3 cup Italian Parmesan cheese, grated (To be on the safe side, I use a cheese that is a product of Italy ONLY)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 F.
1) Mix all ingredients together.
2) Spoon onto sheet pan which is covered with a silicone mat or greased parchment paper.
3) Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Even out the mixture to about 1/8 inch. I find a straight edge, like a ruler, works well. I also use a rolling pin and that does a good job of leveling the dough. The important thing is not to let it be too thin around the edges or that part will overcook before the center firms up. So after you spread it out, go around the edges with your finger and push the thin part inwards to even it up.
4) Bake until the center is no longer soft, about 15-18 minutes. If it starts to get more than a little brown around the edges, remove from oven. Let cool completely - it will continue to crisp up.
5) Break into pieces.

Note: Some cooks rolled the dough into balls and then flattened them with a cup measure.

I mix all the dry ingredients together, add the water and mix it all together. This forms a "ball of dough" which I form into a rectangular disc and place on a silicone baking pad in the middle of a cookie sheet. (If I didn't have the silicone pad, I would place the "disc" on a sheet of parchment paper big enough to cover the cookie sheet.) Then I cover the disc with another sheet of parchment, again big enough to cover the cookie sheet, and I roll out the "dough" between the two sheets with my rolling pin until it is approximately 1/8 of an inch thick. The rolled product covers nearly all of the cookie sheet. Rolling the dough between the two sheets allows the rolling pin to glide evenly without sticking, so getting it to 1/8 of an inch is much easier. Then I simply remove the top sheet of parchment, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. I set my cook timer for 15 minutes, and then WATCH the sheet of cracker VERY carefully, and AS SOON as the edges become dark, OUT of the oven it comes.

Here's another hint. Sometimes, when the outer edges are beginning to brown, the middle is not quite done. What I like to do, once the giant cracker has cooled, is to take the "softer" middle of the cracker and put it back in the turned-off oven. This helps to dry that middle so it will be nice and crunchy.

One of these giant crackers is supposed to be broken into smaller pieces and served with hummus or some other dip. In my family, this almost never happens, because breaking off pieces of the giant cracker is so irresistable when it is cooling, half of it is gone before we know it.

Maybe I should prepare two recipes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms

Generally speaking, I find it necessary to slightly alter recipes I find online.  I "maximize" them, test them in my own kitchen, take pictures, and then post my results.  The following recipe is a rare and beautiful exception.  Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms is my new favourite recipe, but it comes directly from another blogger - the link is below.

The ingredients are simple.  In fact they are simpler than they appear.  The first time I made this dish, I had most of the ingredients on hand, but not all of the dried spices. Since the original blogger mentioned her own swap-outs, I decided to make the essential version without all the spices, and we were all thrilled with the results.  Recipes are like that - they are best when altered to suit your own time, ingredients, and taste! Go for it.

By the way, I am also using the original blogger's photo.  Ours did not last long enough to get a picture.

Here's the link. Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Here is a wonderful recipe that I found on a great website, "Tropical Traditions." I have mentioned this site before, because they feature coconut, a massively healthy ingredient. I only made tiny changes, but essentially the recipe below is directly from Tropical Traditions: 

  • 27 oz full fat coconut milk (In Canada, that's just under two cans, but I used two full cans. . .you can never have too much coconut milk)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 droppers full of liquid stevia.  You can use powdered stevia.  You are going for a sweetness factor equal to approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar. 
  • 2 tablespoons melted grass fed butter, (if you can not get grass-fed, organic is the next best option) 
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - check the label to ensure there is no sugar in the ingredients
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the blended mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions.  I have an older ice cream maker, so I turned it on and added the mixture about 5 to 10 minutes before we sat down for dinner.  By the time we were ready for dessert, dessert was ready!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


This recipe takes NO MORE than 20 minutes to prepare.  It hardly needs to be written!  I have included easy to follow pictures with a few suggestions for amounts included, but honestly, the prep is insanely quick and easy. 

Add this (1 to 1 1/2 cups each) organic celery, carrot, and onion, to one pound of cooked organic ground chicken, turkey, or grass fed organic ground beef.  I often use 4 organic chicken burgers, and break them up in the bottom of the pot as they cook. See photos below.
Add organic beans and organic pasta sauce. (Pasta sauce should be from a glass jar.)The only spice I add is chipotle powder.  (If you  want to add other seasonings, feel free!  Just know that this chili has been called "EPIC CHILI" by some very discriminating eaters.)
Add water as desired to thin out the recipe.  I usually find this is not necessary.

I use organic chicken (or beef) "burgers" that I get in the frozen section at the organic market. You can put them in the bottom of the pot right from the freezer, and break them up, or get about 1 pound of ground organic chicken (or grass fed beef).  Either way, it will take you about 3 minutes to get your meat broken up as you see in the picture below.

 You're done!  Bring the chili to a boil, and then let the chili simmer until the vegetables are tender and the sauce thickens a little - this usually means about 10 to 15 minutes.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I am not a doctor.  I am not a chef.  I am not a nutritionist.  This blog is not intended to generate money or revenue from product sales of any kind.  I write it because I am interested in developing and sharing healthy recipes that taste good.  It really is that simple. 

I have always been, in the words of my friend, Janelle Bohemier, "iffy" about Xylitol. Today I want to share the latest information I have about Xylitol. . . .and it is not pretty.  

Those of us who follow the guidelines of The Maximized Living Nutrition Plan, or guidelines for healthy eating in general, do so because we want to become, and then remain, healthy!  If you read carefully the research and information from Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, you will quickly understand that xylitol is more likely than not producing the opposite results.  PLEASE read Sarah's blog, and then follow up with more research of your own.  I am hoping to make non-believers of all of you.  Let's be "iffy" about xylitol together!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I have had this recipe in my notes for so long, I honestly don’t know where I found it.  I did change the preparation instructions, though, to simplify the process, but props to the original writer, whoever you may be. 


¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon aluminum free baking soda
1 cup chopped raw pecans
½ cup organic butter
1/8 teaspoon Now brand or Kal brand stevia
1 tablespoon pure vanilla (no sugar – check the label)


1.       In a stand mixer, or using an electric hand held beater, combine the butter and stevia.  Add the vanilla and mix again until all three ingredients are incorporated.
2.       In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the pecans.
3.      Combine the butter mixture with the dry ingredients.
4.      Using a piece of parchment paper, form the dough into a log, approximately 2 ½ inches in diameter. 
5.      Freeze the log for approximately 1 hour; then unwrap and cut into 1/8 inch slices.
6.      Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with a clean piece of parchment paper.
7.      Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
8.      Cool and serve. 

Makes 24 cookies

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Green Juice - You Can't Imagine How Great This Tastes!

I don't know how many of you have seen the film, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead."  It is a very inspiring story of an Australian man's journey to heal himself from the inside.  To do this, he traveled across the United States armed with a juicer! Along the way, he met many people who also needed a bit of a food intervention and introduced them to the idea of juicing.  Since I saw the film, I have been incorporating this green juice into my nutrition and I LOVE it!  Here's a link to a recipe for the green juice featured in the film by one of the more inspiring characters, Phil Staples.
Yes, I know it's green.  What you need to know is: IT IS DELICIOUS!