8.3.11

Blackberry Crumble Oatmeal

Blackberry Crumble Porridge

I have been obsessed with this oatmeal for the last couple of weeks. It's the perfect balance of warm, hearty and sweet for a winter breakfast that will 'stick to your ribs'. And, to top it all off, it's completely sweetener free! Because you are sweet enough.

The museli has dried fruit (which is sweet), and the coconut butter adds a bit of sweetness as well. The overall flavour reminds me of blackberry crumble.

Blackberry Crumble Porridge Ingredients

Blackberry Crumble Oatmeal
serves 1
1/2 c dorset simply delicious muesli cereal
3/4 c organic unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tbsp organic coconut butter
1/4 c organic frozen or fresh Ontario blackberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
coconut butter and berries to garnish

Stove top Preparation:

Cinnamon and Nutmeg in Almond Milk

Bring the almond milk, coconut butter and spices to a simmer. Stir in the muesli and cook until desired consistency.
Adding the Blackberries
Stir in the blackberries at the end. Pour it into your favourite bowl, garnish and enjoy!

Microwave:

I have been preparing this at home and then warming it up at work, as a fast healthy breakfast or snack!

Combine all ingredients in a leak proof container, seal well. Let soak for 30 min, microwave for 1:30 - 2 min. Stir thoroughly, set aside covered for 5 min and enjoy!

19.2.11

Greens for Breakfast

Greens for Breakfast
I woke up this morning ravenously hungry for something filling, satisfying, warm and, if I could manage it, healthy. This green breakfast is what came together, and it was delicious.

Getting your greens at breakfast is especially difficult. It's just not a time of day when you feel like going for a salad. Many brunch places now have side salads to go with your eggs, but it's not something I've ever gravitated toward at home. And when I am out for brunch, I often cave in and just get something with hash browns and toast.

What really made the breakfast for me was this incredible quinoa bread recipe, from Wendy Moore. I changed it up a bit by adding red quinoa. It is an amazingly moist, dense and fluffy gluten free bread that comes out like cornbread. Warm and smothered in butter, it is heavenly.
Sprouted Quinoa Bread
Sprouted Quinoa Bread
1/2 c red quinoa
1/2 c white quinoa, rinsed and sprouted
2 c water
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 c brown rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Sprouting QuinoaSprouted Quinoa
Place quinoa in a mason jar and add water. Replace the centre of the mason jar lid with a swatch of cheesecloth (this will make it easy to drain in the morning). Let sit overnight and you will see the quinoa begin to sprout by morning.

Sprouted Quinoa
Preheat oven to 350°. Drain sprouted quinoa and put into a blender with milk, eggs, starch and salt. Blend until smooth.

In a large bowl wisk together the rice flour, baking soda and baking powder. Pour the wet mixture from the blender over the dry ingredients, stirring as you pour until thoroughly combined. Don't over mix.

Pour into a greased and flour dusted loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. Test middle for doneness, a toothpick or knife should come out clean

And now for the easy parts of this breakfast.

Acocado and Spinach Salad
1 c spinach
1/2-1 avocado (depending on how hungry you are)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

Slice up the avocado, place on top of the spinach, dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Poached Eggs
2 eggs
water
Eggs for Poaching
Bring water to a boil in a deep pan (non-stick works best here). Reduce to a simmer and stir just before dropping in your eggs. This will cool the water just enough so the eggs don't overcook. Drop in eggs, using a spoon to gather the whites toward the yoke. Cook 2-3 minutes for soft yoke.

Cut two thick slices of bread, warm in a toaster or oven for a few minutes and butter. Place poached eggs over the bread, to catch the yoke when you cut into them. Serve next to the wonderfully green avocado and spinach salad.

Enjoy a great green start to your day!
Nathan Phillips Square

11.2.11

Beautifully Green Vegetable Soup with Red Lentils

Green Veggie Soup with Goat Cheese

In the spirit of getting more greens this February, I threw together this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style soup. I had some broccoli that was going to go bad in a few days, and some slightly old asparagus, so soup was the solution to using them up! I love how hearty the lentils make this soup, and with a dollop of herbed goat cheese it's an amazing dinner soup.

Green Veggie Soup Ingredients
Green Veggie Soup with Red Lentils
10-12 servings
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 c cooked red lentils
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 c water
1 onion
1 leek
1 carrot
3 cloves garlic
3-4 broccoli, stalks and heads
1 c asparagus
water to cover
2 c spinach (or 2 big handfulls)
1/2 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
juice from 1 lemon
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
herbed goat cheese for garnish

Sautéing Red Lentils with Shallot
Warm 1 tbsp grapeseed oil on medium heat in small pot. Add shallot and cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the uncooked lentils and sauté for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly. Add water and cook for about 20 minutes.

Chopped Broccoli
While the lentils are cooking, roughly chop the onion, leek (clean well after chopping), carrot, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and habanero. Add the onion and leek to the last tablespoon of warmed oil. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot, broccoli, asparagus, habanero and garlic and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Green Veggie Soup
Cover veggies with water (add a bit extra, because you'll be adding the spinach next). Bring to a boil. Add the spinach, and reduce to a simmer.

Add the lemon juice, cumin, bay leaves, salt & pepper. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Add the cooked red lentils with shallot and stir through.
Bay Leaves in Green Veggie Soup
Reserve in jars, and store in the fridge or freezer. I usually start with one in the fridge and the rest frozen.
Beautifully Green Veggie Soup in Jars
To serve add a dollop of herbed goat cheese and enjoy!

Tapas Leftovers

Tapas Leftovers
Leftover are really great. I don't own a microwave, and so always reheat things in the oven or on the stovetop. It's so easy, your leftovers don't dry out, and they get just as crispy and delicious as they were originally! No squishy microwave dinners here.

For the tapas leftovers I reheated the Spanish Tortialla in the oven at 350° in the CorningWare dish that I had it refrigerated in. Those dishes are really durable and practical. My aunt gave me some when I was in University and they've lasted beautifully.

I reheated the mushroom loaf and white beans and mushroom on the stovetop.

For a side I threw together a quick salad of mixed greens, red pepper and tomato, with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Total time: 15 minutes.

Delicious.

8.2.11

Vegetarian Tapas Ladies Night Dinner

Vegetarian Tapas Dinner
One of my closest friends has been a vegetarian or vegan for as long as I have known her. Cooking with her or for her has always been really fun, because you have to get so much more creative! Planning out a well balanced meal, when meat is not an option, can be difficult. I often feel like I am constantly struggling to come up with a good main dish, that doesn't include tofu or soy. For this dinner, I decided to go with a Spanish theme. Thankfully, I only had to take care of the main as my friends brought appetizers and dessert!

Here is what we had:

menu
menu
l'entrée: le fromage (herbed goat cheese, goat brie, tapenade, rice & oat crackers)
le plat principal:
Spanish Tortilla with roasted pepers, manchego cheese & smoked paprika sauce
Meditereannean quinoa salad with sprouted red lentils, cured black olives & tomato
White beans with mushrooms over mushroom pate
le dessert: petits fours (tiramisu, salted caramel, double chocolate)

Sprouting Red Lentils
1 1/2 c red lentils
water

Sprouting the lentils ahead of time increases their nutritional value, so they will contain all essential amino acids. This makes for a really healthy and interesting side salad! For instructions on sprouting see this website.

I got the idea for the Spanish tortilla with smoked paprika sauce from an episode of Fresh with Anna Olson on tapas. Her tortilla had chorizo in it, so I altered it for a vegetarian dinner. I also didn't have sherry, and so used brandy in the sauce.

Spanish Tortilla
2 red peppers, roasted
2 yellow peppers, roasted
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
3 red skin potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
manchego cheese

patates
Roast the peppers in the oven, under the broiler. Keep a close eye on them, turning then over when the skin begins to brown and bubble (but not blacken). Once all sides have been browned, remove from the oven and place in a bowl of cool water. The skins should slide off easily. Cut off the ends of the peppers, seed them and chop them up.

Roasted Peppers
Peel the potatoes then slice them using the long side of a 4 sided grater, or a mandolin slicer.

Add the potatoes and sliced onion to warmed olive oil. Use a generous amount, 1/4 c to 1/3 c to prevent the potatoes from sticking and browning. Cook them over low to medium heat, stirring regularly, for 8 to 10 minutes until the potatoes become tender. You can check by poking them with a fork or knife, it should easily go through. Drain the oil from the pan, remove the potatoes from heat and let them cool for a few minutes.

Wisk eggs together gently, add the potatoes and roasted pepper and toss until everything is coated in egg.

Spanish Tortilla
Pour mixture into about 1 tbsp warmed olive oil in a deep pan (non stick works best here). Let cook for about 10 minutes, until the bottom begins to brown darkly. Place a dinner plate over the top side of the tortilla in the pan, flip the tortilla onto the dinner plate and slide, uncooked side down back into the pan.

Finely grate some manchego cheese over the top and cook for another 10 minutes until the other side has browned. It is optional to place the tortilla into the oven at a low temperature to continue cooking if necessary or to keep warm while you are preparing the side dishes.

Smoked Paprika Sauce
3/4 c chicken stock
1 ounce brandy
2 tbsp starch
1 tbsp smoked paprika

Bring chicken stock to simmer and wisk in the brandy, starch and smoked paprika. Stir until thickened. Serve warm with the tortilla!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1 c quinoa
2 c water
1/2 c cured black olives, pitted and halved
1 tomato
2 green onions
1 shallot
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Cooked Quinoa
Put the quinoa and water into a pot. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the quinoa is no longer white (the grains should become opaque). Chop and add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

White Beans with Mushrooms
1/2 c white beans
1 c water
1 carrot
1 leek
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 white button mushrooms, sliced
3 cremini mushrooms, sliced
water to cover
salt & pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil and add the beans. Boil until beans become soft 10-15 min, adding more water if necessary. Warm 1 tbsp of olive oil in a deep pot. Roughly chop the carrot, leek, onion and add to the warmed oil. Sweat the vegetables for a few minutes until the veggies begin to soften. Cover with water and boil for 15 min. Purée the mixture with a hand blender.
White beans with Mushroom- base
Sauté the garlic and mushrooms in the remaining olive oil until the mushrooms begin to brown lightly. Add the mushrooms to the puréed vegetables and serve over a bit of the mushroom loaf from the last post.

Vegan Mushroom Loaf Dinner Salad

Mushroom Loaf Salad
This is a delightful vegan pâté, another excellent salad topper, that I prepare and serve as a loaf.

I got the recipe from my amazing friend Wendy Moore, who's nutrition knowledge is staggering. It is incredible how much she knows about how food interacts with the body.

Mushroom Loaf Ingredients
The original recipe can be found on Urban Harvest's website.

Vegan Mushroom Loaf
1 onion, diced
4 white button mushrooms, diced
3 cremini mushrooms, diced
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
splash of olive oil
1/2 c raw almonds, ground
1/2 c raw cashews, ground
1/2 c spelt flour
1/2 c nutritional yeast
2 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 c water
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 c potatoes, grated
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 habinero pepper, seeded and minced

Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté onions, mushrooms and garlic in oil on medium heat until tender. Combine ground sunflower seeds, flour, yeast, basil, salt, time and kelp. Add water, apple cider vinegar, potatoes, oil and stir together. Stir in sauteed vegetables (and optional pepper) and mix well. Pour into lightly oiled loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until centre is set and the top has browned.

Searing Mushroom Loaf

For an amazing salad, cut a few slices of the loaf and brown both sides in a pan. Serve over a bed of spinach with a balsamic vinaigrette, a soft boiled egg and a few slices of brie.

Spinach Salad

2.2.11

Get Your Greens this February!

Green Salmon Loaf Dinner Salad
Winter is such a difficult time of year to enjoy salad. It's cold and salad is just not quite hearty enough to really hit the spot when all you really want to eat is starchy, hot, filling food. I always struggle with how to incorporate more greens into my diet in the winter, and this salad may be the answer!

The key trick is to add something as a topper to your salad that is hearty and warm, but still really nutritious. I made a Green Salmon Loaf (that can double as a salmon spread), to add a bit of stick-to-your-ribs goodness to this salad. It's protein packed and has a long list of ingredients.

What makes it green is the addition of Spirulina and Chlorella, nutrient packed sources of protein, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. They are an optional ingredient in this loaf, and can be replaced by simply adding finely chopped greens like spinach, kale, chard, etc.

Don't be scared! It tastes really good.
Green Salmon Loaf Ingredients
Green Salmon Loaf
4 tbsp chia seeds
1 c water
3 tins of the best quality salmon you can find (Rainforest Coast is really good) or 3-4 servings of baked salmon
1 lemon, juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 c organic spelt flour
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional, dill would also work well)
1 tbsp sesame seeds, more to garnish
1 c chopped spinach
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
1/2 c raw almonds, ground
1 tsp chlorella
1 tbsp spirulina
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp coconut oil

Make chia gel by adding the water to the chia seeds and setting them aside for about 30 min. Chia gel helps to hold things together, and functions like the addition of eggs in this recipe. Feel free to substitue with eggs (use 2).

Green Salmon Loaf Ingredients
Put your salmon into a large bowl and add the juice from one lemon, salt and pepper. Mash it together with a fork, to break up any large pieces. Add the remaining ingredients, including the chia gel. Mix thoroughly, making sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients or flour.
Green Salmon Loaf
Pour into a coconut oil greased standard loaf pan, and sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top. Bake at 350°F for about 30 to 40 min, or until the top begins to lightly brown.
Green Salmon Loaf
For a salad topper: cut off a slice or two of loaf, brown both sides in a non-stick pan and place ontop of a salad of your choice. I've tried it on spinach with carrot, tomato and mushrooms, with a sesame oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. Or, over mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette and a few slices of toast!
Green Salmon Loaf Dinner Salad