Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dutch oven baked rice and Parchment Baked Pesto White fish

This fish recipe was so delicious, but so ugly. I just couldn't bring myself to photograph it, but its seriously worth making. I promise. The Dutch oven rice is a nice stand by that makes enough left overs for the week.

Dutch Oven Baked Rice
adapted from The Eat Clean Diet 2007

2 red peppers, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 C brown basmati rice
1 Tbsp dried thyme
4 1/4 C vegetable stock, heated

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Season the peppers with salt and spread them out on prepared baking sheet.
3. Roast in oven about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temp to 375F
4. Heat oil in Dutch oven on stove top. Saute the onion until translucent.
5. Add the rice and thyme, and cook a few minutes ( until rice is shiny)
6. Stir in the peppers and stock. Mix to combine, then cover and bring to a boil.
7. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 45 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed.
8. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Parchment Baked Pesto White Fish
adapted from The Eat Clean Diet with Tosca Reno 2007

2 pieces of parchment paper
2 fillets of white fish of your choice
2 Tbsp pesto
1/2 C carrots shredded
1/2 C zucchini shredded
1/2 C cabbage, shredded
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp vegetable stock

1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Coat parchment paper lightly with oil
3. Place fillet in center of each piece of parchment
4. Spread with pesto and top with shredded vegetables. Top with one clove of garlic and half of the salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle fillet with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp stock. Fold paper and seal edges with narrow folds.
6. Place packets on baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Carefully open packets and transfer fillets with their vegetable topping to plates. Pour juices over top.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Louis: "We're seriously low on chocolate"
Me: this cake...enough said.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse
taken from this recipe from My New Roots - no adaptations needed. It was perfect. Thanks Sarah.

2 cups light spelt flour 

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt
1 cup pure maple syrup

1 ¼ cup quinoa milk or milk of your choice
6 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Line 2 mini loaf pans with parchment paper.
3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

4. In a separate bowl combine the maple syrup, milk, coconut oil, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to remove any lumps. 

5. Pour batter into cake pans and smooth the top. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (approx. 50 minutes).

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
2 oz. dark unsweetened chocolate
1 avocado
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

1. Melt chocolate
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
3. Refrigerate and enjoy as a mousse, or top this yummy cake with it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

RazApple Crumble

I love colors. Bright, brilliant colors. I could look at a combination of my fiestaware dishes every day for minutes (and I do), or stare at a beautifully plated dish in a resaturant with brilliant green brocolli or peas. Raspberries are one of my favorite colors. The brilliant red with a touch of pink is stunning to my eyes. The apples in this recipe pick up the rasberry coloring, and I think they would be so pretty if they were made in a clear glass baking dish to show it off. 

RazApple Crumble
adapted from the Eat-Clean DIet Cookbook by Tosca Reno 2007

2 regular sized apples
1 C fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 C whole wheat or spelt flour
1/4 C rolled oats
2 Tbsp canola oil or butter flavored olive oil
1/4 C pitted dates, finely chopped
1/4 C unsalted sunflower seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Core and slice apples. Place in medium saucepan with berries. Cook over medium-low heat and bring to a siummer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour cooked fruit into a ceramic pie plate or 4 ramekins
3. Mix the flour and oats in a bowl and add the oil. Mix with hands until it resembles crumbs. Stir in the dates and seeds. Sprinkle mixture over fruit and bake for 25 minutes. 
4. Serve warm topped with whipped cream or yogurt and a drizzle of honey. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Salmon Burgers and Oven Roasted Vegetables

These salmon burgers are pretty basic. I ate them on a burger plain with some lettuce, but I think they would probably be served best on top of a salad.

Salmon Burgers
adapted from Teresa Cutter, the Healthy Chef

450 g wild salmon fillet, chopped
2 Tbsp diced onion
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp water
1/2 C bread crumbs
freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Combine flax seed and water and let sit while preparing the rest of the ingredients
2. Combine salmon, onion, parsley, flax/water mix, and salt and pepper to taste in food processor.
3. Process until just combined. Remove and shape into 4 burgers
4. Coat lightly in bread crumbs and set them in the fridge for at least 5 minutes.
5. Cook in a frying pan with a small amount of oil until golden and crisp over medium low heat ( 5-10 minutes per side depending on thickness of burger). I covered the pan to ensure the inside of the burger cooked well.
6. Serve over greens or on a bun and drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Oven Roasted Vegetables
adapted from the Eat Clean Diet cookbook by Tosca Reno 2007

1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 large carrots, cut into sticks
2 parsnips, cut into sticks
1/2 lb brussel sprouts
3 beets, peeled and cut into chunks
3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 minced cloves garlic
1 Tbsp dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Toss all vegetables in the mixture of oil, vinegar and spices. Place in a large roasting pan and cover with tin foil.
3. Bake for 35 minutes. 
4. Uncover and stir vegetables. Roast at 425 for another 20-30 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are cooked

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Yogurt Chia Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust

The recipe I'm going to share with you today is not a traditional cheesecake, but it is just as easy , just as delicious, and so much more healthy. I made it in a tiny 6-7" springform pan that I picked up at Value Village awhile back and I've been waiting to use. I topped it with a dark chocolate sauce which I made by melting 70% dark chocolate and mixing with almond milk to the desired consistency. I think this would be wonderful with fresh local berries in the summer.

Yogurt Chia Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust
adapted from this recipe by Bare Root Girl and

1 C almonds
3 medjool dates, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 C melted butter
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 C fat free plain greek yogurt
1/2 C sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp chia seeds
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cornstarch

1. Combine almonds, salt and cocoa powder, and process to desired consistency. I left mine with larger chunks of almonds to give it some crunch.
2. Add dates and butter and continue to process until mixture sticks together and pulls away from sides.
3. Press crust evenly into bottom of 6-7" springform pan.
4. Preheat oven to 350F
5. Combine the chia seeds and water and let sit for 5 minutes to gel
6. Combine the chia mix, sugar, yogurt and vanilla and mix. Add the cornstarch and salt and blend well.
7. Pour filling into prepared pan with crust. Bake for 45 minutes. The edges will start to pull away from sides of pan, but it will look jiggly in the center. Let cool for 2-3 hours in the fridge before releasing springform pan. 
8. Top with fresh berries or dark chocolate sauce ( or both!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
adapted from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno 2007

1/2 C beluga lentils
1 snall onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp olive oil
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 large sweet potato, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/4 C wheat berries or wild rice
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 C vegetable stock 
salt and pepper

1. Prepare lentils according to package instructions.
2. In large skillet saute onion and garlic together for about 2 minutes in oil. Add remaining vegetables and bay leaves and continue to cook 5 minutes more. Add wheat berries or rice and stock and continue to cook for 35 minutes. If stew is too thick, add water. 
3. Add cooked lentils. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. 
4. Remove from heat and serve. This makes great left overs.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Whole Grain Biscuits done Two Ways and Sugar Moon Farm

Sugar Moon is a maple farm in Nova Scotia that is known for their pancake breakfasts and of course, maple syrup. I'm not much of a pancake person really, but these were amazing pancakes. They really didn't seem to sit so heavy in your stomach like a regular pancake does. They say that this is because they are made with Red Fife Wheat flour. It's called Red Fife because the kernels are red, and the first family to grow this variety of wheat in Canada had the last name Fife. It is considered to be a heritage wheat, and is the parent wheat of all varieties of wheat grown in Canada today. Unlike most of the wheats available today, it has not been bread for large output, and for this reason, many people who have wheat sensitivities seem to be able to tolerate Red Fife Wheat. As another added benefit, it is grown in New Brunswick.

Other than the pancakes, we were served Red Fife Wheat buttermilk biscuits topped with maple butter, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven when they hit my mouth. Needless to say, we left with a tub of maple butter, and I was off to the grocery store for Red Fife Wheat when we got home to duplicate this delicious treat. I ended up making two different varieties of biscuits over the next couple of weeks, and I think my Grammie's version (adapted) was my favorite. I will certainly be making some maple butter at some point as well. I highly recommend a trip to Sugar moon at some point. You should take in the whole experience from the hike, to the the breakfast, to the tour of the farm, and the maple on snow treats. It was an awesome day.

The first biscuits I made contain wheat germ which has its own distinct flavour. The flavour makes me think of muffins. They were definitely good, but I think I liked my Grammie's adapted recipe better. Straight out of the oven, those biscuits topped with that maple butter left me speechless.... well moaning with delight actually. If you don't have access to maple butter, find some - seriously! But if not, I think molasses would be a yummy alternative.

Whole Grain Wheat Germ Biscuits
adapted from this recipe at the Mayo Clinic

1 C Red Fife Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
3 Tbsp wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chilled butter, but into small pieces
1 C almond milk
1 Tbsp vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix almond milk and vinegar and let sit.
3. In bowl, combine flours, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to blend.
4. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
5. Add the almond milk mixture and stir just until moist. Do not over mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and with floured hands, knead gently until smooth and manageable.
7. Using your hands flatten dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Flour a glass or biscuit cutter, and cut biscuits, re-rolling scraps to make more biscuits until all dough is used.
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes and serve hot.

Grammie J's Biscuits made healthier

1 C all purpose flour
1 C Red Fife Whole Wheat flour
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 C almond milk
1/3 C coconut oil

1. Cut coconut oil into dry ingredients.
2. Use milk to make dough soft.
3. Add flour just to make stiff enough to roll out with hands. The less you handle the dough, the better the biscuits!
4. Pat out flat and cut with floured cutter.
5. Cook at 450F until golden and cooked through ( about 10-12 minutes). Makes 12 large biscuits. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mediterranean Baked Chicken and Baked Beets

The only beets that were part of my life growing up were pickled, and they did not appeal to me whatsoever.  That image really stuck with me, and I never touched another beet until a couple of months ago. I can't believe all the deliciousness I've missed out on! I've certainly been making up for it though, from grated on salads, roasted beets in warm salads, and these simple oven roasted beets served as a side dish.

Baked Beets

1. Peel 2 beets of different colors, then slice into 1 cm think pieces
2. Whisk together 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and 1 minced garlic clove
3. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Arrange beets in baking dish and drizzle with dressing.
5. Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes ( until tender).
6. Serve as a side dish or on top of a salad.

Mediterranean Baked Chicken

2 small chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini. chopped
2 Tbsp fesh parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C crumbled feta
1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Arrange chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper
3. In a bowl, toss together all remaining ingredients except oil. Spoon over chicken.
4. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mom's Bran Muffins

E.B. White :

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day.

While philosophizing, there's nothing like my Mom's Bran muffins for a snack to keep the brain nourished. I love them with a piece of sharp cheese or topped with nut butter.

Mom's Bran Muffins

2 C bran buds cereal ( or 1 C graham wafer crumbs and 1 C bran buds cereal)
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C wheat germ
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1/3 C canola or olive oil
1/4 C fancy molasses ( or 1/8 C honey and 1/8 C blackstrap molasses)
3/4 C buttermilk ( or 3/4 C almond milk and 1 Tbsp white vinegar)
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl. Whisk to combine. 
2. Mix all wet ingredients in a separate bowl. 
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients  and stir until just combined. 
4. Bake at 375F for 15-18 minutes. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vegetable Strudel

It is an absolutely beautiful day outside, so this is going to be short. I'm taking a small break from the sunshine to try and avoid the dreaded spring sunburn that sneaks up on so many people. I love this strudel. It's easy to make, but looks like something you'd order in a restaurant. I don't know who to give credit for the recipe. It was a photocopy from a book I found on my shelf while cleaning.

Vegetable Strudel

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 C hard goat cheese
1/4 C fresh parsley chopped
1 Tbsp dried dill
6 sheets phyllo pastry
1/4 C butter, melted
1/4 C bread crumbs

1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring frquently until softened (5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and let sit for about 15 minutes to cool.
2. Add spinach, cheese, parsley and dill to leek mixture. Mix thoroughly.
3. To assemble, place a sheet of phyllo on a flat surface. Brush with some melted butter and spinkle with some bread crumbs. Place a second sheet of phyllo on top of the first one. Brush with butter and spinkle with crumbs. Repeat until all phyllo is used.
4. Spoon filling lengthwise along phyllo about 2 inches from long edge. Roll up pastry to make a long roll. Carefully lift onto parchment-line baking sheet, seam side down. Cut 6-8 slits in top of strudel to mark serving peices.

5. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, until golden. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into servings along slits.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Apple Nachos

Sometimes when I hear about an idea, I think to myself, I can't believe I never thought of doing this. These apple nachos are one of those ideas. It's so simple and healthy, but feels like a true dessert. I made these for a recent neighborhood party and they were a hit. The apples didn't turn brown, and they were out for a good hour, so no need to add lemon juice to prevent browning. Three large apples was plenty for a group of about 12-15 adults as an appetizer, but I make individual plates at home with 1 regular sized apple per person. Adjust the size as necessary.

Apple Nachos
adapted from this recipe on Manifest Vegan

3 large apples
3 Tbsp natural nut butter
1/4 Cslivered almonds
1/4 C walnuts
1/4 C coconut
1/4 C raisins
1/4 chopped dark chocolate

1. Slice the apples and arrange on serving dish. 
2. Melt the nut butter and drizzle it over the apples. 
3. Top with the above toppings or whatever else you think would taste good. 
4. Sit back and take the compliments for this super easy dish.