Saturday, April 27, 2013

Apple Smoked Gouda Baked Tortilla

This is a lazy man's pizza. It would be delicious made on Naan bread. It's something we make after we've worked a 12 hour day and don't feel like anything too difficult. Add a mixed green salad, and tada...dinner.

Apple Smoked Gouda Baked Tortilla

1 tsp olive oil
8 large mini bella mushrooms
1/2 onion diced
2 apples, cored and sliced
4 large whole grain tortillas
1 C shredded smoked gouda

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat oil in skillet on medium-high. Add mushrooms and onions, and saute until mushrooms are golden brown and onions are soft and brown. Add apples and cook for 5 minutes more. If the pan gets too dry, add 1 Tbsp of water when needed.
2. Place the tortillas on a parchment lined baking sheet. Divide the apple mixture evenly among the 4 tortillas. Top with shredded cheese.
3. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Slice and serve. YUM.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Chocolate and Buckwheat Cookies

It seems like I have a back log of yummy recipes waiting to be posted, so stay tuned for a lot of recipes over the next week or two. I went in search of a way to use buckwheat flour and came accross these cookies. They're a nice change from a regular chocolate chip cookie. If you don't like the flavour of buckwheat, these won't be for you! It's prominent.

Chocolate and Buckwheat Cookies
adapted from this recipe on "The View from Great Island" which was adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 C buckwheat flour
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornstarch
1 C chopped 80% dark chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy
3. Add the vanilla and egg and beat well.
4. In a separate bowl, whick together the dry ingredients.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. 
6. Stir in the chocolate, then drop by spoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. They will look slightly underdone, but this is okay. Let them cool for a few minutes, then transfer to rack to completely cool ( or enjoy them warm)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fun with Herbs

I found a wonderful way to freeze parsley here. I'm sure that this would work well for cilantro as well, since they are so similar in consistency. This is easy, and maintains the fresh taste of parsley that I love so much. It's also compact, so you don't need much space for storage. Here's a photo my my parsley roll. The instructions on the website are thorough.

For basil, you can just spread it out and freeze it on a flat cookie sheet. It only takes about 30 minutes, then you can throw the frozen leaves in a ziploc bag and take them out as you need them for recipes.

I also made basil pesto which I froze in a silicone ice cube tray, then popped them out and put them in a ziploc bag. You can take the frozen cubes out and throw them right in a bowl of pasta to melt it, or just leave it at room temperature while you prepare the rest of your dinner, then it's set to go. I love using pesto as a sauce for my pizza.

I love this recipe because it's adaptable. You can use as much or as little oil as you like, but be sure to use a high quality olive oil here. It really makes a difference for the flavour.

Fresh Basil Pesto
adapted from this recipe by Michael Smith

A few large handfuls fresh basil
1/2 cup or so grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
A few handfuls slivered almonds
A generous splash extra virgin olive oil
A sprinkle or two Salt and Pepper

1-2 cloves of garlic if desired

1. Toss everything into a food processor and puree until smooth. It too dry, add some more olive oil.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zucchini and Ricotta Bruschetta

The recipe I'm going to share is really easy. I think it would be nice alongside a bowl of tomato or red pepper soup. 

Zucchini and Ricotta Bruschetta
adapted from this recipe by Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen

4 slices of whole grain bread of your choice ( I used thinly sliced home made Ezekiel bread)
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small zucchini
1/2 onion minced
1- 2 tsp lemon flavored olive oil
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
1/2 package low fat ricotta cheese
1/3 C fresh chopped parsley
1/4 shredded parmesan
fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 475F
2. Mince the garlic clove and stir together with olive oil in small bowl. Brush evenly over the 4 slices of bread. 
3. Broil toasts in oven for 5-10 minutes ( until edges are browned)
4. Chop zucchini into bite sized pieces
5. Heat lemon flavored olive oil over low - med heat in skillet. Saute the zucchini and onion for about 10 minutes to soften. 
6. Stir the parsley into the ricotta. Spread ricotta cheese evenly over 4 toasts ( about 1/4 C per slice). Top with zucchini/onion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 
7. Top each toast with 1 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese. 
8. Return toasts to oven and broil for 5-10 minutes more ( until cheese is melted).

T-shirt necklace
instructions found here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Colorful Lentil Soup

The soup I'm going to share with you today is my favorite soup. Other than the fresh flavours, I love all of the bright colors. I adapted a recipe from Foods to Live By. The soup was already perfect, but I wanted to add some protein to the mix to make it more of a complete meal. 

Colorful Lentil Soup
adapted from Summer Harvest Soup in 'Food to Live By' by Myra Goodman 2006

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C white wine (optional)
7 C vegetable broth (add extra 1/2 C if you didn't use wine)
1 C green lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 tsp dried thyme
3 small carrots, sliced
2 C mixed green vegetables of your choice (green beans, peas, zuchinni, kale)
2 C mixed yellow vegetables of your choice (yellow beans, corn, summer squash)
2 C mixed red vegetables of your choice ( red pepper, tomatoes)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add leek and bay leaf and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, and continuing cooking until vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes). 
2. Add the wine ( if using), and cook over med-high heat until wine is almost evaporated. 
3. Add the vegetable stock, lentils, and thyme. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Test the lentils to make sure they are cooked. 
4. Add the sturdier vegetables (carrots, beans) and let simmer for 5 minutes. 
5. Add the softer vegetables (except tomatoes) and let simmer for about 5 more minutes. 
6. Add the tomatoes and herbs and let simmer until just heated through ( about 1 minute).
7. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with a hearty piece of whole grain bread. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Baked Artichokes and Leek Poached Haddock

The easiest way to cook artichokes is just to boil them in water with some garlic for anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the artichoke. To eat them, pull off the leaves, one by one and scrape the "meat" at the base of the leaves with your teeth. When you get to the fuzzy leaves in the middle, scrape them out, then enjoy the juicy and delicious base. This is what you find canned/jarred. Some people make a dipping sauce, but I don't think its necessary. For a little more complicated recipe, be sure to try this one. It is picture perfect, so its sure to impress dinner guests.

The fish was also delicious, and the nice thing about baking fish this way is it doesn't cause too much of a smell like frying or baking fish sometimes can.

These carrots were a side dish. I just sauteed them in half butter and half butter flavored olive oil until browned slightly.

Stuffed Mediterranean Baked Artichokes
adapted from a recipe in Chatelaine November 2012

4 small to medium artichokes
1 lemon (optional)
2 slices stale whole grain bread
1/4 C parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp olive oil (I used lemon infused olive oil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 C diced red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut off the tips of the large artichoke leaves and peel tough outer layer of stems. 
2. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. 
3. Cut off the top third of each artichoke, and remove fuzzy leaves from center with a spoon. 
4. If using lemon, cut in half, and rub over the cut edges of each artichoke
5. Simmer the artichokes over low heat in a large pot from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your artichokes. The outer leaves should pull off easily when they are done. 
6. Drain the artichokes, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cut side up. 
7. Process bread into crumbs, then mix together with all remaining ingredients and juice from half a lemon if using. 
8. Using all of the crumb mixture, cover the artichokes evenly. 
9. Bake at 400F for about 10 minutes. 

Leek Poached Haddock
adapted from Milk Poached Fish with Chive Cream in "Almost Vegetarian" by Diana Shaw 1994. 

1 C milk of your choice (I used brown rice milk)
1/2 white onion sliced
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 fillets haddock, or white fish of your choice

1. In a deep skillet or wok, combine the onion, leek, and herbs. Heat gently over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep 15 more minutes. 
2. Add the fish, then gently heat over low-med heat being careful not to boil. 
3. When you notice, the fish start to turn white, flip with a slotted spoon to cook other side. It will not take long to cook ( anywhere from 3-9 minutes depending on thickness of fillets)
4. When fish flakes easily, remove with slotted spoon, and place on plate covered with paper towel.
5. Transfer to serving plates and top with leek/onion mixture if desired. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Classic Brownies

I make almost everything from scratch, but I must admit that there are some packaged brownies that we love. Unfortunately with all of the extra crap they put in packaged foods, I was on the search for a new brownie recipe. I found this recipe on Sprouted Kitchen, and Sara's description of the brownies sounded exactly like what I was looking for - fudgy and sweet, with no need for anything extra like icing. It delivered! These are rich and chocolately and delicious served warm with some vanilla ice cream. It is, by far, the best from scratch brownie recipe I've ever made.  

Classic Brownies
adapted from this recipe by Sara Forte of Spouted Kitchen which was adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert.

5 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz 70% high quality chocolate
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 C oat flour

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Line inside of 8 or 9 " square pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease with butter. 
3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and add the chocolate. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted being careful not to burn. 
4. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. 
5. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir until the batter becomes smooth. 
6. Bake in the prepared pan until the center is almost set, about 25-30 minutes. 
7. Let them cool in the pan before lifting out of the pan. 
8. For a nice and smooth cut, place the brownies in the fridge for 20 minutes before cutting with a sharp knife. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dark Chocolate Marble Cookies

Oh chocolate,  I've missed you. This was the perfect recipe to reintroduce chocolate back into my life. This is my chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I can only eat high quality chocolate, so instead of chocolate chips, I substituted chunks of 70% chocolate. I intended for the cookies to be chocolate chunk cookies, but they became a pleasant accidental marble cookie. They are so much prettier, and they really melt in your mouth.

Dark Chocolate Marble Cookies

2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter, softened
1 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 C chopped 70% high quality chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl
3. Beat butter, brown sugar and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.
6. Stir in chocolate chunks.
7. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets
8. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
9. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.