Sunday, July 28, 2013

Crustless Quinoa and Vegetable Quiche

Crustless Quinoa and Vegetable Quiche
adapted from Tomato and Basil Quiche from Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming 2010

2/3 C cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1 C diced onion
1 stalk broccoli finely chopped (stem and tops)
1/4 C quinoa flour
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
5-10 cherry tomatoes
1/4 C almond milk
1 C shredded mozzarella
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Lightly grease 9" pie plate
3. Heat oil in frying pan. Saute onion for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and continue to saute for 5 more minutes.
4. Whisk together the flour and eggs. Add the cheese, herbs and spices, broccoli mixture and cooked quinoa and mix.
5. Pour into prepared dish, and top with slices of cherry tomatoes
6. Bake for 50 minutes. Centre should be firm.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving with a side salad.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chocolate "Dipped" Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream

Does everyone love ice cream as much as I do? Ice cream is one of those things I love getting when we go out on a hot sunny day or when we're away on vacation. It always brings back memories of stopping at little ice cream stands on the sides of the road while we were on family vacations in the summer.

 I came across this recipe for banana ice cream which is so delicious, I just had to share it with you. The best thing about it - its made with only bananas!. You wouldn't believe how creamy this is. We topped it with chocolate which hardened just like a chocolate dip yummy.

Chocolate "Dipped" Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream
makes enough for 2 people 

3 bananas, chopped and frozen
40g, 70% dark chocolate bar (optional), melted
handful of walnuts ( optional)

1. Remove frozen bananas from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to use them. 
2. Place the frozen bananas in a bowl. 
3. Using a hand blender (immersion blender), blend the bananas until smooth and creamy ( like soft serve)
4. If desired, top with melted chocolate and walnuts. 

You'll never crave ice cream again:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chicken Burgers

The one thing I don't like doing when its this hot is turning on the oven so the BBQ tends to get a lot of use, and there are a lot of salads and raw veggies. The market down the street sells free range organic ground chicken so I bought some to make this yummy burgers - perfect for the grill. The bed of salad is a kale salad, but I really didn't enjoy it so I'm not going to bother to share that recipe with you. I would suggest serving it as an open faced burger on a bun with your favorite toppings  and a side salad instead.

Chicken burgers
adapted from this recipe by Teresa Cutter
makes 4 burgers

1 onion
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, diced
1 C baby spinach, chopped
1 handful parsley, chopped
1 lb ground chicken
1 Tbsp tamari sauce
sesame seeds

1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat until softened. 
2. Add the spinach and saute until just wilted. 
3. Let mixture cool to room temperature, then using hands, mix vegetables with ground chicken, parsley, and tamari. Form patties with hands. 
4. Refrigerate burgers for a couple of hours (or overnight) to firm up. 
5. BBQ or fry in a small amount of olive oil
6. Sprinkle burgers with some sesame seeds ( especially if you are going to serve on top of a salad). 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Potato Salad

I've never liked a traditional creamy potato salad. This recipe is more my style. It would work just as well for a picnic or potluck and you don't have to worry so much about it being kept cold.

New Potato Salad

6-8 new potatoes, cooked, cooled, and quartered
1 handful green beans, washed and sliced in bite size pieces
1 handful yellow beans, washed and sliced in bite size pieces
2 mini red peppers, chopped
1 mini orange pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
handful of chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried oregano
1/8 C olive oil ( I used basil infused)
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place all ingredients in a container which can be covered
2. Cover and shake to combine
3. Serve cool or at room temperature

Add some chickpeas and you have a complete meal. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stuffed Portobellos

I love portobello mushrooms, and this recipe is probably one of my favorites. Even meat eaters would be satisfied if you served them this one. 

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Sweetened Pesto
adapted from this recipe by Sara Forte

2 large portobello mushrooms
4 handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
1 C cooked brown rice, warm
zest of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Sweetened Pesto

2 medjool dates
1/6 C walnuts
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
1 C fresh basil
1/2 C fresh parsley
1/4 C fresh dill
1/8 C extra virgin olive oil
water as needed to achieve desired consistency
pepper to taste


1. Place the nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the dates, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until it forms a paste. Add the herbs and puree. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides once or twice. 
2. Gradually add the oil and process. If you like a thinner consistency, add water. Taste mixture and add salt and/or pepper if desired. 


1. Preheat the oven to 375F
2. Remove the stems and gills from the mushrooms, then brush with olive oil. Set aside
3. Chop the spinach. Saute in a small amount of olive oil until just wilted. 
4. Stir together the rice and spinach and season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Place half of the mixture on each mushroom. 
5. Top each mushroom with Parmesan cheese. Bake on the top rack of the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. 
6. Remove from oven and top each mushroom with some sweetened pesto. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

European Pastry Cinnamon Rolls and the 80/20 lifestyle

These cinnamon buns are buttery, sugary, flaky, and melt in your mouth delicious. They are also bakery beautiful. I couldn't believe how well they turned out. I don't eat this stuff on a regular basis, but I definitely indulge every so often, and I don't think it's going to kill me. I read about the 80/20 lifestyle, and feel like that describes how I eat quite well. Basically 80% of the time, I eat really healthy, and the other 20% I don't worry so much about it. To break it down, for 4 days, I eat really healthy, and on the 5th day, if I want to have one of these cinnamon buns or go out to eat and order something greasy, I do. I don't count the days either.  I just know that if I have a day where I indulge, for the next few days, I won't. On my treat days, I don't let everything go all day. I may have one or two treats that day and everything else I eat will be just as healthy as normal. Otherwise, I'd be packing on the pounds. Also, I still try to have something freshly baked, not packaged. If I'm going to have something unhealthy, I still like it to be made with fresh and whole ingredients, not things that I can't pronounce!

So that brings me back to these cinnamon rolls. They were to die for the first night I made them, but I didn't find they were as good when I cooked them from frozen. They are a lot of work, so save this for a special occasion where you have a lot of people. It makes about 20 cinnamon buns, and I would suggest making them all at once and skipping the freezing.

European Pastry Dough

very slightly adapted from Cinnamon Nut Rolls by Myra Goodman Food to Live By 2006

1 C warm almond milk
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 C all purpose flour
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 C + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk, and let sit until it begins to foam.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg together with vanilla. Once mixed, add milk and stir.
3. Place dry ingredients in another bowl and mix to combine. Add 2 Tbsp of butter and blend in using fingers. It will be very dry and crumbly.
4. Add the mixed wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. Then knead on a floured work surface for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth.
5. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, and flour the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
6. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into a large rectangle (14x22") on a floured work surface.
7. Spread the full cup of butter over the dough. Then fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter.
8. Roll the dough out into a large 14x22" rectangle again, then fold in thirds. Place dough on a lightly floured rimmed baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
9. Remove dough from refrigerator and repeat step 8 two times.
10. Your dough is now ready to use for cinnamon rolls. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Cinnamon rolls
(makes 20-30 rolls)

1 recipe European Pastry Dough ( see above)
1 large egg
2 C brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Roll dough into a large rectangle (14x22")
3 Whisk egg with 1 tsp of water, and brush over the dough.
4. Spread brown sugar evenly over the dough, leaving 2 cm on one long edge, and 1 cm on each short edge without sugar.
5. Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the brown sugar.
6. Starting with the long edge covered in sugar, roll the dough into a tight roll. Moisten the edge with water and press to seal the dough.
7. Cut roll into 2-3 cm slices using a sharp knife.
8. At this point, you can freeze as many rolls as you like. First place the rolls in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, individually wrap each roll in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for future use. Let the rolls thaw in the refrigerator overnight and continue as follows.
9. Place rolls on prepared baking sheet and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour. They don't actually change in size much.
10. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the rolls in the oven and decrease temp to 325F. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly and spread with icing if desired.

Yogurt Icing ( makes enough for about 8 rolls):

1/2 C icing sugar
2 Tbsp non fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat gently over low heat while mixing. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy.

Best served warm out of the oven the day they are made.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Corn and Black Bean Salad

This is an easy, no cook meal. It's perfect for this hot weather we've been having.

Corn and Black Bean Salad

1 can corn kernels
1 can black beans
1 large red pepper chopped
handful chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp white balsamic
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

1. Drain and rinse corn and black beans.
2. Place corn, beans, red pepper, and cilantro in bowl and stir to mix.
3. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over salad. Stir to mix.

This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge and is great in place of salsa in a taco or fajita or for dipping chips.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spanikopita Frittata

Spanikopita Frittata
slightly adapted from "Spaniopita Frittata" from Quinoa 365 By Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming 2010

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 C finely chopped onion
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 large eggs
1/2 C quinoa flour
1 1/2 C low fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 C crumbled feta
2 Tbsp fresh dill
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Spray 9 inch pie plate with olive oil
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and saute onion until it softens. Add spinach and continue sauteing until there is no water remaining. Remove from heat. 
4. Whisk the eggs with the flour until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and spinach and mix until evenly distributed. 
5. Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for 50-60 minutes. Centre should not be wobbly. 
6. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Super Green Salad

This recipe is for all of you who cursed me yesterday when I posted that chocolate cake. This salad is loaded with healthy ingredients.

Super Green Salad
inspired by this recipe by Teresa Cutter

1 large and full stalk of broccoli, finely chopped ( including stalk which has already been trimmed of rough outer layer)
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp dried mint (or a large handful of chopped fresh mint)
1/2 avocado,chopped
handful of pumpkin seeds
2 handfuls of candied or regular walnuts
4 handfuls baby spinach

Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp lemon infused extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp blueberry balsamic
1 tsp honey
small clove garlic minced
handful raisins
generous amount of freshly ground pepper
sea salt to taste

1. Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.
2. Whisk together dressing ingredients
3. Pour dressing over salad and mix well to combine.

This salad is great for a potluck because you can safely dress the salad before you go,and it still comes out great. If you are going to do this, you may want to add the seeds and nuts after you get there to maintain the crunch.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Chocolate Souffle Cake

Let me first tell you that this is probably the most unhealthy thing I have yet to post on my blog, but also one of the most delicious. It's definitely a special occasion kind of cake.

The pictures are a bit dark, so you can't really tell what the consistency it like, but it is just like a souffle. Warm, moist, and decadent. We went all out and topped it with real whipped cream. This recipe makes a 6" cake, which was perfect for 4 servings. Whenever I make a really unhealthy dessert, I usually scale it down so we only have one or 2 servings.

Chocolate Souffle Cake
very slightly adapted from The Earthbound Cook by Myra Goodman

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped up, plus more for greasing the pan
cocoa powder for dusting the pan
225 g 70% high quality dark chocolate
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Grease bottom and sides of 6" springform pan with butter, then dust with cocoa. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper
3. Place the butter and chocolate in the top of the double boiler and water in the bottom. Gently heat water, and stir chocolate and butter until melted. Remove from heat. 
4. Separate the eggs. 
5. Place egg yolks and sugar in bowl and whisk until it is thick and pale yellow. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. 
6. Beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. 
7. Stir one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest. 
8. Pour into prepared pan. 
9. Bake 35-45 minutes. Cake should be starting to pull away from the sides and look slightly cracked on top. 
10. Cool the cake on a rack, then remove sides of pan. 
11. Serve slices of cake topped with whipped cream if desired.