Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble (Grain/Gluten Free)

Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 6 apples, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup maple syrup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon, divided
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 ½ cups almonds, ground in a blender to a consistency that is not quite as fine as almond meal but not quite chunky or to your preference (depending on the blender this may be done in batches)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut (
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and ½ tablespoon of cinnamon and stir.
  4. Add apples. Stir to coat.
  5. Raise heat to medium and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples soften slightly.
  6. Add lemon juice and stir to cover apples. If there is a significant amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan, remove the lid, raise the heat to medium-high and allow the liquid to reduce for a few minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together ground almonds, coconut and remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon. Blend ingredients with a spoon or with your hands.
  8. When the apples have finished cooking, transfer them to an 8×8 baking dish.
  9. In the same saucepan, melt the remaining butter and add the maple syrup. Stir.
  10. Add the butter and syrup mixture and the remaining cinnamon to the ground almond mixture and mix with your hands until it resembles a crumble.
  11. Place the crumble on top of the apples and bake for 20 minutes or until the topping has browned.
  12. Let cool slightly and serve.

Serves 6-8

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

7 healthy take out options

7 Healthy Take Out Options

Let’s face it. Sometimes you are going to choose to eat take out.

Whether you are short on time, out shopping and starved, on a road trip or spending some quality time with friends, I want you to know which healthy take out options are actually decent, healthy options…

Although I have yet to come across perfect take out…gluten free, grain free take out that is loaded with meat and veggies does exist!

The three issues that you are going to have a hard time overcoming when you are looking for healthy take out are

  1. The quality of the meat
  2. The quality and type of cooking oils.
  3. Any unfavourable additives in the spicing.

And because you want your food fast, asking them to cook everything in butter instead of vegetable oil is not ideal (but you can sometimes swing that at a sit down restaurant).

And not disappoint but hoping that they have grass fed beef or pastured chicken is likely futile…

So those are consequences that you will have to be willing to accept if you are going to indulge in a little fast food convenience but if you take the time to search out one of the options below you will minimize the impact of a little take out indulgence.

Here are my top seven favourite take out options:

  1. Mucho Burrito 2. Chipotle 3. Quesada

At any of these restaurants you can order a burrito bowl. It is essentially a burrito without the wrap.

You get a big bowl of meat with peppers, onions, pico, salsa, guacamole, cheese and sour cream…and let me tell you, it is delicioso!

If you are super hungry, order double the meat. Yes, you will have to pay a surcharge but it is well worth it to have a satisfied belly.

  1. Pita Pit

Pita Pit does up some mean pita action.

They have fresh veggies and sauces and you can top your pita with whatever yummy cucumbers, sprouts, olives, cheeses, lettuce etc. that you like. And you can have them grill it all up so that you can have a warm meal, which is always great.

“But it’s a pita?” you must be thinking. Well, no… What you do is ask for it “fork style.” They will put it into a bowl for you on a bed of lettuce.

Again, you may want to ask about doubling up some toppings or meat and the only downfall is that they charge you extra not to have the pita (which I find a little weird)…but again, it’s worth it.

  1. Five Guys

Five Guys is the one place that I know that I can get a good sized, juicy burger with all the toppings I could ask for and have them wrap it in lettuce in a way that I can actually pick it up to eat it.

I am telling you, a Five Guys lettuce wrapped burger is well worth the indulgence.

The only downfall is that they do not have any ideal sides. If you want more than a burger, your only option is fries…or poutine:-).

And you could argue that they are only potatoes…but they are deep fried in unhealthy oils.

  1. Shawarma Salad

Lebanese Shawarma meat….it’s just so tasty.

At one of my favourite locations they have chicken and lamb while others have beef.

I love to get a mixed meat Shawarma salad with double the meat (which is usually enough to share). And of course, as part of the indulgence I get the toum (that utterly delicious, creamy garlic sauce) and I spread it all over the salad. I also usually get some sesame dressing on the salad.

I pass on the rice and other fried sides, although I wouldn’t put it past myself to get a side of those fried potatoes as an indulgence..and accept the consequences.

  1. Farm Boy and Whole Foods prepared meals

These two grocery stores have so many fresh, healthy options. “fresh greens and soups, grilled proteins and an array of hot and tasty meals” as the Farm Boy website says.

And whereas Farm Boy meals have no preservatives, Whole Foods has no preservatives or artificial flavours.

Both stores have some of the healthiest take out options you could ask for.

So, if you are in a bind or you just know that you are getting take out today, try one of the restaurants mentioned above. None of them are perfect in respect to food quality but they still offer nutrients that come from meat and veggies, which is what you should be looking for if you are trying to build or maintain good health.

Am I missing any great take out restaurants? Comment below so that we can all expand our horizons.

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Pinwheel Meatloaf

Video: How to Make Pinwheel Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a super easy meal to prep and it leaves you with a filling supper that you can easily pair with a simple vegetable side dish like roasted broccoli or a salad. Pinwheel meatloaf is just as easy but it has one-up on regular meatloaf…

Have you ever made meatloaf and found that the cheese seeped out into the juices…so that when you cut it open there was no cheese to be found?

I know…heartbreaking, wasn’t it?

Well, this Pinwheel Meatloaf will keep the cheese right in the middle, where you want it…and it’s almost pretty too…as far as meatloaf goes!

Enjoy.

Pinwheel Meatloaf from Kristin McCaig on Vimeo.

Pinwheel Meatloaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite meat seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup organic ketchup or bbq sauce
  • 4-6 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil in a pan and cooked all of the chopped veggies until soft, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl add ground beef, eggs and seasoning.
  5. Combine using your hands.
  6. Spread and flatten ground beef on cookie sheet.
  7. Spread chopped onion, garlic, green pepper, zucchini, bacon and cheese.
  8. Fold meatloaf as you would a letter going into an envelope.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until thermometer reads 160ºF.
  10. In the last 10 minutes of cooking spread organic ketchup or bbq sauce over meatloaf and return to oven.

Serves 8

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Healthy Homemade Take out

CTV: Healthy Homemade Take Out

After I posted my recent Easy Burrito Bowls Recipe (which I posted to help you get excited about creating healthy homemade take out), CTV news asked me to come on the show and do a segment on more healthy, homemade take out ideas.

Many of you are trying to eat healthier food or have food sensitivities and allergies that make take-out a non-option. And I know that you care about food quality in terms of where your meat comes from and what oils are used in cooking…all of which are out of your control when you get take out.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Homemade take-out totally defies the purpose of take-out. It is not convenient at all…it takes time. Birthday parties or having company over are often the only way to get me to work this hard to make dinner:-).

I suggest that you break up the prep my making sauces like guacamole, garlic sauce and pico in advance. Chop your veggies the day before and marinade your meat in advance. All of this will make less work the day of and it will allow you to enjoy an even better version of your favourite takeout at home for about 1/3 the price.

Watch the segment (click here). 

Here are the recipes that I demo’ed in on the segment.

  • Indian Butter Chicken (dairy free)
  • Chipotle Burrito Bowl (mexican)
  • Eggplant & Tapioca Starch pizza crusts
  • Orange Chicken with cauliflower rice (Asian or Chinese)
  • Shawarma with homemade garlic sauce

Below are links to the recipes I use and I have suggested some changes that you can make so that you are not only have “better than take out” meals…but healthier and better.

Changes to the recipe:
  • Omit the flour and cornstarch. Sprinkle the chicken with about 1/3 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot flour before frying.
  • You only need to use enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan to fry/brown the chicken.
  • Double the Sauce ingredients.
  • Omit the water, sugar and white vinegar. Instead, use a juice box of orange juice.
  
Changes to the recipe:
  • Rice and beans are optional.
3. Pizza (gluten & grain free)
 
Changes to the recipe:
  • None
Changes to the recipe:
  • I use avocado or olive oil in place of the unhealthy canola oil
  • You can substitute almond milk for the cow’s milk.
  • You can even use yogurt in place of the eggs!

Changes to the recipe:

  • None

Here is a dairy free Butter Chicken recipe that has received rave reviews from my personal chef clients.

Changes to the recipe:
  • Use a Tandoori spice mix to save time if you like (President’s Choice has a nice mix).
  • If you really prefer rice with this dish, go for white rice. It doesn’t have any nutrients (which is why I recommend Cauliflower Rice) but it is easily digested.

Here is the Cauliflower Rice recipe

5. Shawarma with homemade garlic sauce

Changes to the recipe:

  • None

Here is the garlic sauce recipe (so easy! from jocooks.com)

Garlic Sauce
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg white*
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, it should take 1 to 2 minutes. This recipe will make about 1½ cups of sauce, refrigerate leftover sauce.

*You can make this garlic sauce egg-free. Just omit the egg white!

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

 

Eggplant Pizza Crust

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Special Instruments: food processor with chopping blade
, 2 feet of cheesecloth, 100% cotton (meant for cooking), parchment paper and a baking sheet

Ingredients For Crust

Approximately 2 pounds fresh eggplant (weigh them at the grocery store), chopped finely in the food processor with chopping blade

1⁄2 cup shredded raw cheese

1⁄2 cup almond flour

1 egg

Toppings for Pizza

Choose your favorite toppings and prepare them while the crust is cooking.

Instructions For Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Grease a baking sheet.
  3. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a bit larger than the baking sheet. 
Place the paper on the baking sheet and grease it (yes, grease the parchment paper.)

Preparing the Eggplant

  1. Finely chop all of the eggplant in the food processor. Using the cheesecloth, wring out as much water as possible from the chopped eggplant.
  2. Place the drained eggplant, cheese, almond flour and egg in a bowl and mix with your hands. The “dough” will feel quite wet.
  3. Transfer the eggplant mixture on to the greased parchment paper/cookie sheet.
  4. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a rectangle, about a quarter inch thick or to fit your cookie sheet.
  5. Place cookie sheet in oven.
  6. While the crust is cooking, prepare your favorite toppings.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese in the crust has browned and the crust feels relatively dry. The edges of the crust should be shrinking away from the edge of the baking sheet.
  8. Remove crust from the oven.

Flipping the Crust

  1. Grab the edges of the parchment paper and slide the paper and crust onto a cutting board. With the oven mitts still on, place the baking sheet back over top of the crust. Now flip the baking sheet and cutting board over so that the baking sheet is now on the bottom. Remove the cutting board. Peel the parchment paper from the pizza crust. Now your crust has been flipped and is ready to go back in the oven.
  2. Return the pizza crust to the oven for 7-10 minutes, until it feels dry to the touch. Remove from oven.
  3. Top pizza with your favorite toppings.
  4. Return prepared pizza to oven and broil until the cheese is melted and browned to your liking.

Yield: 3-4 servings with a salad on the side

Easy Prep Tips

  1. Chop and drain your eggplant the day before. It will brown in color but will still taste great.
  2. Use a strainer in place of the cheesecloth to drain the eggplant. Just push down on the chopped eggplant in the strainer to press out the water.

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.