Children & Teen Health Summit

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cheery Pie Oatmeal Porridge (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I wish this were my own cherry tree- nothing so fruitful in my yard...yet!  Courtesy of Yokim at

It's a foggy old rainy old day out there, but it's not particularly cold and we don't have to shovel it, so end of complaints.  Today is perfect for a happiness-making, sweet, and tangy bowl of Cheery Pie Oatmeal Porridge.  This is purely decadent and will make you feel like a princess for a day-- it's perfect for Valentine's Day breakfast.  Find the recipe below:

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3 generously)

1/2 C. Almonds (organic if you can find them)
1 C. Steel Cut Oats (Buy GF Oats if you are Gluten-sensitive)
1/4 C. Chia seed
1/2 C. organic Dried Cranberries (or dried cherries) (or REAL CHERRIES as in picture)
1/4 tsp. Salt (or to taste)
1/4 C. Wholesome Sweeteners Raw Cane Sugar from Malawi
1/2 C. organic Coconut shreds
3 C. Water
1 tsp. Simply Organic Almond Extract
Tree of Life Organic Cherry Spread
Almond Mylk
Cheery Pie Oatmeal-- starring REAL cherries!


  1. Toast Almonds in pre-heated 350F oven.  Spread almonds evenly over pan surface and toast for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure no burning takes place.  Toasting gives the almonds that extra luxurious flavour and crunch.  Alternatively, use soaked raw almonds and do not toast.  Chop or slice almonds and put aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a pot except for Almond Extract, Cherry Spread and Almond Mylk.  Turn on to high heat and bring to boil.  Immediately turn down to lowest heat level and cover with lid.  Continue cooking on low heat until most of the moisture is absorbed into the oats (15+ minutes, more time if you want the oats to be less chewy).  Stir occasionally.
  3. When done, stir in the Almond Extract.
  4. Put Porridge in individual bowls and garnish with a scoop of the Cherry Spread and the slivered Almonds.  Pour the Mylk around the periphery.
  5. Enjoy!  
  6. Substitutions for what you like better than the above, or what you have in your own cupboards/fridge are always allowed!  Please come back after you've tried this and let me know what revisions you made and how it turned out!
Want to try 4 other Nutritious, Delicious, Gluten-Free Porridge Recipes? Go HERE.

Check out Jealous Fruits Dark Cherries.... oh yum yum yum yum (got them at Costco)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Zupa Soup (Veggie Soup-in-a-Soup) (Gluten-free, Vegan)

I know that this sounds a little mystifying-- after all, doesn't 'zupa' mean 'soup'?
Why, yes zupa does mean soup (and also something like a drunk's sop, but we'll overlook that definition).

Zupa Soup sounds so much better than "Yesterday's Lazy Cabbage Rolls* combined with all the malingering week's veggies chopped up and made into a soup".

But that is basically what you have here.  I made up this pretty delicious Lazy Cabbage Rolls (vegan) but I wasn't that keen on the fact that the rice didn't quite cook through (although that didn't bother my dh-- he had a couple of servings).  So, today I combined about 1 C. of fried Mushrooms, 1 fried chopped Onion, 3 yellow Peppers (which I had roasted and skinned), and about 2# of Broccoli florets in with the left-over Lazy Cabbage Rolls (and various spices, more dill and salt and pepper, basically) and 1 Simply Organic jar of Pasta Sauce, and about 2 quarts of Water, and voila, Veggie Zupa Soup!

I cooked it all to a bowl and then let it simmer away (in a big pasta pot so as to not worry about boil-over) until the rice was finally the way I like it and the broccoli was rendered to a pulp one would never eat if it were broccoli cooked by itself.

This is just a sample of what YOU do, or could do, if you have lots of orphan vegetables in your fridge and yesterday's casserole-- this Zupa Soup turned out pretty yummy.  I wish the same to you!

*I'm feeling a little too lazy to give you the recipe for the Lazy Cabbage Rolls... just check out Pinterest or google-- there are 100s of versions.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Stove-Top Apple-Beans (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Stove-Top Apple-Beans over Spud Bakes

  1. 1 1/2 C. cooked Beans (white, pinto, your choice)
  2. 2            Apples, finely chopped, or fresh unsweetened Apple Sauce
  3. 2 C.       Crushed or Pureed Tomatoes
  4. 4 tsp.     Dijon Mustard
  5. 2 T.       Blackstrap Molasses
  6. 2 T.       Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. 1/2 tsp.  Smoked Paprika or Chipotle (hotter smoky)
  8. 1/2 C.    Water
  9. 1 Sprig  Rosemary
  10. 1 tsp.     Dried Thyme or Dillweed
  11. A few drops of Liquid Smoke
  12. 1/2 tsp.  Celtic Sea Salt (or Smoked Sea Salt)
  13. Black Pepper to taste
  1. In a large sauce pan, combine all the ingredients above (except for the salt and pepper)
  2. Cook over medium heat until the ingredients simmer, then turn down to LOW and put on cover.  Cook for up to 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and serve over potatoes (as above) or quinoa, rice, etc. 

This recipe is based on the lovely Apple Baked Beans Recipe
 in my favourite Bean Cook Book (below):
Find this book on

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hot Oatmeal Porridge with Nut Jam Toppings

Creamy Hot Oatmeal with Dreamy Marzipan Topping
I really can't identify with people who turn up their noses at hot oatmeal porridge.  But maybe it's because they have only ever eaten it with the same old milk and brown sugar topping?  Maybe it they tried topping the breakfast with wonderful nut jams (sounds like they might be a bother to make, but they are really easy) they would be converted to l.o.v.i.n.g oatmeal forever!

If you have even the tiniest bit of Scots in your background (or even German, I find out from my hubby), you may have been introduced to oatmeal as a youngster.  Maybe the icky kind: either thin, grey gruel (ugh) or lumpy, unpalatable "porjch" (gag).  My mom cooked the thick lumpy variety and I ate the gruel type when I attended a convent boarding school for a year.  But my friend's mom cooked it 'just right' as Baby Bear's.  And my mother-in-law's was right up there with the stuff you get served at 5-Star hotel brunches-- I think she even made it in a double-boiler.

I've learned to cook my oats so that they turn out creamy (my preference) or add some more to the pot for my husband who explains that he likes his "firmer".  It's mainly in giving yourself some time for the boiling, and stirring, and then turning it off, removing to a cold burner, and putting on the lid for a few minutes of steaming.  

Oats have a pile of health benefits that you have no doubt heard about: 

(1) They "stick to your ribs" (fill you up) without a lot of calories (about 130 in an average big bowl) and generally can get you through to lunch without a grumbling tummy.

(2) Oats have lots of protein, little fat and loads of fibre.  If you eat steel cut oats you get more of the fibre than if you eat the more process flakes, but even with the flakes there is fibre!

(3) Steel cut oats break down very slowly into simple sugars, so you aren't apt to go into sugar-induced shock like you might do with processed cereals (including, of course, those sugar-laced "instant" oats in little paper envelopes).

(4) Even some gluten-sensitive people can eat oatmeal inspite of there being avenin (the oat protein) in the porridge.  However, some folks are highly intolerant of avenin, made worse if the oats have been grown in among a wheat crop (common) or if they are coeliac.  There is such a thing as (high-cost) gluten-free oats, but if you have problems with wheat intolerance or are coeliac, I would suggest you just skip the oats.

And other amazing things have shown up in studies that suggest that oatmeal is the best way to start the day (for those who are not allergic or gluten/avenin-intolerant of course).  

Sesame Slick (like Halvah!) on this porridge
 I'm a huge fan of "gourmet" porridge toppings, as you will know from hanging around this site.  The two that I am featuring today-- NUT JAMS-- can be found HERE : Marzipan Spread & Sesame Slick (tastes like Halvah).  

Other gourmet oatmeal recipes:

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