Month: September 2013

Raisin Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread in the Bread Machine

Raisin Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread in the Bread Machine

Raisin oatmeal bread with peanut butter is a quick and nutritious way to start your morning (unless of course you are allergic to peanuts).  I have an ancient bread machine I got on points back and I haul it out every once in a while…

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Pastry Cream with Graham Cracker and Almond Crust

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Pastry Cream with Graham Cracker and Almond Crust

I had left over coconut milk from something or other that I needed to use up so I tried out the coconut pastry cream recipe from the Triple Coconut Cream Pie recipe in Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. I cheated a bit…didn’t have any vanilla…

Vegetarian Lasagne with Zucchini and Kale (aka La, La, La, Lasagne)

Vegetarian Lasagne with Zucchini and Kale (aka La, La, La, Lasagne)

With or without meat, lasagne is a healthy and filling meal. Add in layers of vegetables and it packs a tasty and nutritious punch.

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini (halved and cut in 1/4″ slices)
6 sheets of Duso’s fresh lasagne pasta noodles (or lasagna noodles of your choice). If you use fresh pasta you don’t have to muck about cooking noodles (just make sure your tomato sauce is a little on the thin side so the noodles will cook through).
2 c. ricotta (one recipe of homemade ricotta will do it)
1/4 c. feta cheese crumbled
3 Tbsp parmesan
2 eggs
1 650 mL jar of pasta sauce (I like President’s Choice fire roasted tomato or primavera)
1 bunch kale (washed, centre stem removed and rough chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed)
1 340 g package of mozzarella cheese, grated
Extra parmesan for sprinkling.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Zucchini layer: Cut the zucchini in half and then slice into 1/4″ slices. Put in a pie plate, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few steam holes and pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes. Let stand until cool.

Kale layer: Heat olive oil in a large pan, put the garlic cloves through a garlic press (or chop fine) and add to the pan. Add the kale and saute 5-7 minutes until kale is wilted. Add fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. If you don’t like kale you could use chard or spinach.

Ricotta layer: Beat 2 eggs into the ricotta and stir in the crumbled feta, add 3 Tbsp parmesan and a grinding of fresh pepper plus a tsp of dried basil. Mix well.

In a 2 quart baking dish ayer the lasagne as follows:

Put a thin layer of tomato sauce to coat the bottom the dish.
Layer of half the kale
Layer of half the zucchini
Noodle layer
Press down to compact.
Tomato sauce
Other half of kale
Half the ricotta mixture
Noodle layer
Tomato sauce
Other half zucchini
Other half ricotta
Noodle layer
Last of the sauce
Top with 2 c. of mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan

Bake for 45 minutes. For easier cutting let the lasagne stand for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the noodles to absorb any excess liquid.  This is even better on day two.

Serves 6.

 

Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Chickpeas and Lentils

Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Chickpeas and Lentils

The Lost + Found Cafe makes a delicious quinoa and spinach salad and this is my attempt to replicate it at home. Ingredients: 1 bunch baby spinach washed and spun 1 c. quinoa cooked and cooled* 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained 1 can lentils…

Ricotta Cheese…Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Ricotta Cheese…Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Ricotta cheese is great for making homemade lasagna, adding umph to a sandwich or wrap or just eating on crackers. I noticed several recipes on the web that all received 5 stars. Several had heavy cream as an ingredient but I found one from The…

Banana, Blueberry, Buttermilk Muffins (aka 3B Muffins)

Banana, Blueberry, Buttermilk Muffins (aka 3B Muffins)

My freezer had a good sized banana graveyard and some frozen blueberries I had painstakingly frozen on trays. In addition I had  some soon-to-expire buttermilk in the fridge so it was time to take action. The result are these moist and delicious banana, blueberry, buttermilk muffins. The recipe is an ad lib from a blueberry buttermilk muffin recipe from Food.com. It didn’t call for bananas but I was intent on reducing the dead banana quotient in my freezer so I opted to take liberties with the dry to wet ingredients ratio. Yes, I know baking is chemistry…I threw caution to the wind (mwa ha ha). You can get the original directions here.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bananas (let thaw slightly if using from the freezer)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F and line a muffin tin with 12 extra large parchment liners. You could probably use those tulip papers as well but I didn’t have any.

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the flour and toss that with your blueberries, especially if they have come from the freezer, to keep them from sticking together. In your Kitchen Aid (or by hand in another medium sized bowl), beat bananas, eggs, buttermilk and oil together. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in liquid ingredients, mixing quickly. Fold in the blueberries and flour mixture. Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups and bake 20-30 minutes (until golden brown)

Bake at 400 F for 20 -30 minutes.

Homemade Nutella and Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Nutella and Homemade Peanut Butter

Nutella (aka chocolate hazlenut spread) is a big hit at my house. We all love it but I don’t love some of the ingredients so I went looking for a homemade alternative. I ended up settling on a combination of Elsie + Emma’s A Beautiful…

Crepes aka Mummu’s Finnish Skinny Pancakes

Crepes aka Mummu’s Finnish Skinny Pancakes

My Mom makes excellent crepes. Light, crispy edges and just a hit of cinnamon. Warning: the “skinny” has nothing to do with calories because they need butter to make them tender. Don’t use margarine…please just don’t. The secret to these delicious crepes is a smooth…

Warm Steak Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Warm Steak Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

My son the carnivore is heading off to boarding school on Tuesday so I thought this warm steak salad would be a good way to feed him a steak and get some extra veggies into him…also since my daughter “the mostly vegetarian” had already eaten dinner it was a chance to eat red meat with out the, “ewww that’s disgusting” look.

Ingredients:

280 g steak marinaded the way you like.

Make the salad and the dressing first but don’t dress the salad until you are ready to plate up.

Salad:

2 carrots grated
1/2 English cucumber sliced thin
2 plum tomatoes quartered and chopped in chunks
1 avocado cut in chunks
1 bunch of organic hearts of romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces

I used my Cuisinart to make the dressing but before I did that I used the grater and slicer disks to do the carrots and cucumber.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

I used Giada de Laurentis’ Red Wine Vinaigrette but decreased the salt to 1 tsp.
1/2 c red wine vinegar
3 tbps lemon juice
2 tsps honey
1 tsp rock salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c olive oil

Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in your Cuisinart (or blender). With the speed on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

Pan Fried Steak:

I thought about grilling the steak but I’m forever over cooking it so I followed the pan frying directions from BBCgoodfood.com. Click to view the Youtube video. The 3 minutes per side suggestion worked out perfectly for medium rare. Make sure you let the steak rest before slicing.

Dress your salad with the red wine vinegrette to your taste and put a good sized bed of salad down on a dinner plate. Grind a bit more fresh pepper and salt over top. Slice the steak into 1/4″ ribbons and arranged over top of the salad. Serve. This would have gone very well with roasted new potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

Serves 2.