photo cred Cat I'm back at it again after a 4 year hiatus - making baby food, that is.  First time around, with my now eldest daughter, I relied heavily on store-bought jars of well-liked food. That way I was assured that she had enough in her belly (a very common paranoia of a new parent). I buckled under the pressure and never revisited any of the foods she had rejected, which was most things. Funny, or should I say not-so-funny, at 4 years old she's a bit of a fussy eater.  I'm constantly making 2 meals, her meal and our meal.  Terrible habit, I know, and I may have been able to nip in the bud had I persisted with a wide variety of food (well, this is what I tell myself). So 4 years later, new daughter, new lifestyle, new mission. This time I vowed I would a) make all her food from scratch b) introduce her to every veg under the sun To-date she has consumed a wide variety of local and/or organic fruit and veg and much to my utter delight, she's been gobbling down the stuff with great gusto.  A-mazing. Here's how I do it: Add cooked veg and a bit of water to the vitamix/blender and puree away. Easy-peasy.

photo cred Cat It seems that I have an avocado obsession of late. Throughout my journey to rid my daily life of processed food and focus on what really counts - beautiful whole foods, I've realized that I can eat avocados guilt-free. The avocado is beautiful. Even visually, it's gorgeous. Dark and pebbled on the outside and perfectly green and smooth on the inside. They are packed with nutrients, phytochemicals, monounsaturated fat, more potassium than a banana and contain a wide array of essential vitamins (B's, E, & K). And let's not forget the taste. Personally, I could eat one everyday. Oh yeah, I do. So when Ron introduced me to his "GuacaSalsaMole" dish, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Over the 2 weeks that he and Simmah were visiting, the dish was made constantly. Here's what you need: 6 avocados, diced 8 – 10 Roma tomatoes 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped 2 fresh limes - juiced ½ large red onion chopped 2 tbsp freshly ground cumin 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp Himalayan sea salt, or enough to season to your taste The avocados and tomatoes are roughly chopped (big-ish chunks) and the whole shabang goes into a bowl. Don’t think “precision” when making this dish. Think “chop ‘em up and chuck ‘em into a bowl”. (thanks Simmah) Do yourself a favour, make this for friends, family or just yourself and enjoy the perfection of The Avocado.

photo cred Cat My recent Parker's PolkaDot Party (The Triple P) was such a blast and the food was so good that I thought it only fair to share a few fab recipes. My GF, Leith, made this crazy-delish dish which I personally devoured.  She found it on Pinterest and then modified it to be vegan/non-dairy with a gluten-free option.  Talk about inclusive food. The LM Dip Supreme 1 1/2 cups vegan, gluten free hummus 1 cup non-dairy tzatziki (recipe below) 1 cup tomato, diced (mix with 1 tbsp lemon juice) 1/2 cup cucumber, cubed 1/4 cup red onions, diced 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped 1 handful fresh oregano, chopped 4 whole wheat pitas, cut into triangles OR gluten-freecrackers/rice crackers (for celiacs) Optional: 1/4 cup goats-milk feta / organic feta (crumbled). Good for those who like dairy but can't have cow's milk.  And I didn't even see the cheese as it was on the side, so please believe me that it doesn't make the dip. Assemble dip starting with the hummus and stacking each ingredient on top of the last. Tzatziki Recipe 1 1/2 cups plain soy yogurt / or plain organic yogurt 1 cucumber, grated and well drained 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp lemon juice dash of pepper sea salt to taste 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped 1/4 tsp paprika Mix together by hand, and layer with ingredients above.

I just so happened to have celebrated a milestone birthday and thought a) I'm celebrating this mutha with an old-school style potluck party and b) I do NOT want to eat crap at said celebration. So I designed the invite and started a Google Doc so that everyone could signup and see what everyone else was bringing.  Besides the drawback of Google docs only working for peeps with Gmail accounts, the party was a raging success. The Invite We had people with numerous food aversions & allergies so when all the food came out there was a collective sigh of relief.  My brother Simmah (allergic to all animal byproducts & gluten)  and another dear friend commented that this was the first party that they could actually eat other dishes than the ones they specifically made.  The result was the most amazing array of gorgeous food I have ever seen at a party and Lisa and I (and it seems everyone else at the party) were over the moon. Let's change how we look at gatherings that revolve around eating. People are way more receptive than you think to try something different. So invite some people over and potluck that thing up.  You'll be surprised and elated on what arrives on your table.   We were.

Photo Cred Lisa I made Cat's favourite raw pie for her birthday party! It's an easy no-bake pie that you can make with only a food processor, though a blender gets the strawberry filling extra creamy. The recipe makes two 9" pies, makes more sense to do two at a time as they freeze well and then you'll have them on hand to impress your peeps. Crust 3/4 cup raw almonds OR mix and match nuts/seeds OR pulp from nut milk 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts 1/2 cup coconut flour 10-12 large medjool dates, pitted In a food processor blend nuts and coconut flour well, add dates and process until the mixture becomes a stiff but pliable dough. The dates will incorporate easily if they're room temperature. Divide dough in half and press into the bottom of the pie tin and up the sides with your hands or a spatula. Pop the crusts into the freezer while you make the filling. Strawberry Filling 1 pint strawberries (OR 2 pints to decorate) 2 bananas 3/4 cup pine nuts OR sunflower seeds 1 tbsp organic vanilla 2 tbsp psyllium husk powder* 1/4 cup honey Blend all ingredients, except psyllium husk, until filling is smooth and creamy. Add psyllium powder and fully incorporate. Slowly pour filling into pie dishes, making sure not to over fill. Chill pies in fridge or freezer, once they've had about 30 mins to set you can decorate the top of the pies with sliced strawberries. *Psyllium husk powder can be found at your local health food store, it's used in this recipe to thicken the pie filling. If you don't have access to psyllium you can serve the pie frozen.