Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I continued my efforts to use everything in The Box today. I tackled the packet of mushrooms. Mushrooms are a man-vegetable in my book. I think it's because they go so well with steak. BBQ season? That's when it pays to have a barn full of chicken s*** (I am not entirely sure of how a commercial mushroom operation works, but a friend of mine worked at one once in the Okanagan, this is where I get the chicken sh*** idea from).
I couldn't think of a soup or a pie that I could stick the mushrooms into, so I checked out 101 Cookbooks, that's when I decided to make my very first casserole.
You will need:
1 8oz package of mushrooms
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temp.
1 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (the recipe called for part cottage cheese, part sour cream, but I don't eat the latter. no, not even on nachos.)
Chop the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes with olive oil and salt, until they start to brown and some of the liquid is released. Add the chopped onion for about 5 minutes, and then the garlic for another minute. Remove from heat, and stir in the rice.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cottage cheese and salt. Mix in with the veggie/rice mixture. Move to casserole dish (formerly known as the shepherd's pie dish in our kitchen). Sprinkle with a layer of parmesan cheese, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
It looks exactly like a casserole, the contents somewhat unidentifiable, and no expectation of texture or flavour. I haven't tried it yet since I threw it together (that's my casserole talk, borrowed from TV) at 10pm. Maybe I should throw it in the freezer, you know, save it for a rainy day. I'll let you know what happens to this dish!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
These guys were really easy to whip up. You know those restaurants that offer a variety of little rolls with innovative flavours in a basket at your table? You'd find these rolls in that basket, yum!
I kept going. These pumpkin scones were so good the first time, I had to repeat. The only difference was that the first time the scones were so big that you had to cut them in half. So I made them half size this time. I divided the dough in two before making the circles and dividing into six.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Apricot Cinnamon Almond Hummus
- 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 c. raw almonds
- 4 dried apricots
- 3 dried dates, pitted
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 T. agave
- splash of water
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
I followed this recipe almost to a T, replacing the agave with maple syrup, and I used 6 dates instead of 3 because the dates I had were kind of small.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Try as I could, I could not get my hands on all of the ingredients. Who knew that you can't get fresh basil in Ottawa in late October? Unfortunately, I think that the basil would've packed a lot of punch into this bowl of deliciousness.
It's Monday, spinning night, where we did hill climbs. I was sweating from my shoulders and arrived home with giant eyes that were like magnets to the kitchen. This is how my salad started:
- 1 can of chick peas
- 2 chopped carrots (carrots are one thing that I buy organic as they flavour is so amazing)
- shredded coconut
- ground pepper
onto which I added the following sauce:
1T almond milk
1T maple syrup
I tasted, and it need something else, so I added some raisins. This is what it looked like:
At second taste, it needed something else. My trusty avocadoes were conveniently sitting on my table, perfectly ripened. Half of one went into my bowl, and I added some pita bread to go along with it. This is what I consumed, post hill-climbs, pre-5k walk with Oslo:
On Sunday, I met up with a study buddy to practice our Inuktitut. We went to Planet Coffee in the market, where there were two things on the lunch menu: 7-grain salad, and tomato and roasted garlic soup. I had the soup. Oh. Em. Gee. Amazing! It was a light coloured soup, it clearly had other veggies in it, as it wasn't a totally pureed soup. I thought to myself, I have to try and make this at home.
So I prepared the following:
- 5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
- a bunch of fresh sage, leaves torn off of their sprigs
- a couple of carrots, I used the leftovers from the massive amount that came in the veggie tray that I had for dinner (sometimes I get an irresitable craving for a veggie tray, the smaller size, I can eat the whole thing, except for the carrots, there are always so many carrots!)
- 5 or six cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
I roasted the three last items listed in the oven at 350 for about half an hour with some olive oil drizzled on them:
After 30 minutes, I put them in the soup pot, with the rest of the veggies, minus the tomatoes. I added 5 sundried tomatoes to get an extra-tomato-y flavour, a litre of water and a bouillion cube. All of that stewed for about half an hour, until everything was soft. I then used the hand blender and zapped the developing deliciousness into a puree. THEN in went the chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of almond milk.
Almond milk you say? No, it doesn't taste at all like cow's milk, nor does it have the same texture. I've never compared the nutritional information, so other than the two of them being good sources of calcium, I don't know how they compare nutritionally. I don't mind milk, but I don't mind milk alternatives either. If you're a tried and true cow's milk fan, please use it in this soup, otherwise you'll be disappointed with the distinct almond milk flavour and likely throw out the whole pot.
Let the soup stew a little more, then zap it a second time, not zapping the tomatoes entirely. Add salt and pepper, and serve. My version of delicious tomato soup came out like this:
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
You can see his friend, Wicked Witch of the [insert your preference here] being carved in the background.
B and M came over this evening to partake in a practice run for a pumpkin carving competition that is happening at the Big House this Saturday. Text messages indicated that treats were going to be involved, which is how the pumpkin beer came in. This beer is pretty delicious, as I'm sure you were wondering. It's got a rich flavour to it, a bit sweet but still a beer, not cider-like, and it's nice and light. You can definitely have a few, it's not one of these "nice to have a glass of" brews. It's by Great Lakes Brewery and only available at this time of year.
Ok, enough about the beer, let's get back to the pumpkin. I picked up a "pie" pumpkin quickly somewhere between work, walking Oslo and spinning. B and M showed up with proper carving pumpkins. With pumpkin carving tools and patterns present at the table, and away we went. First gutting the pumpkins, then carving, for those of you who have never done this before.
Three pumpkins = a lot of pumpkin seeds. M is a serious team player and quickly finished her carving to start separating the seeds for roasting, she's amazing! Suddenly we had a colander full of seeds.
The only time I've roasted pumpkin seeds it's been straight up salt on a pan in the oven. This time, I decided to make them savoury instead of just salty. The colander of pumpkin seeds went into the pan with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, rosemary, salt and olive oil. 30 minutes later, flipping every ten minutes, my apartment smelled amazing, and we had a giant batch of savoury snacks to compliment the seasonal decor:
This is about half the batch, the other half was eaten/sent home with M and B.
A close up of the schnacks:
Friday, October 15, 2010
Pumpkin scones! A couple of weeks ago B called me into the catering kitchen at the office. She introduced me to a tray of delicious Starbucks treats, before she could finish her sentence, my paws were all over the half a pumpkin scone like it was going to run away. That's how I feel about pumpkin scones. Unfortunately the calorie count is equivalent to a Big Mac. Fortunately, someone before me knew this and took just half of the pumpkin scone available.
So I made 6 pumpkin scones. My friend M came over and we shared one, she loved it. It was absolutely the perfect way to spend a chilly Friday night. Thanks for the visit M, and thanks for the easy peasy recipe S!
The mung beans went into a pot of water and salt to boil until soft, but not too soft as I decided to leave them whole in the apartment pie.
While the beans were cooking, potatoes were peeled and also boiled. For flavour, I finely chopped an onion and some garlic and browned them in a pan with olive oil, then added the beans once they were quite soft, and some oregano, salt and pepper.
Then, like a shepherd's or cottage pie, the three layers went into a dish, mung beans, corn, and mashed potatoes (mashed with almond milk and butter).
After 25 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees, this was the result:
1 generous spoonful of peanut butter
a handful of frozen strawberries
approx. 1 cup almond milk
Amazing. Rarely will I make the same smoothie more than a couple of days in a row. This was repeated 5 times. I'd like to thank the bag of 5 avocadoes that ripened slowly and perfectly, stretching over 5 days of delicious breakfasts!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Last night, as I'm reading the edible perspective, I learn that I'm not the only one. Pumpkin smoothies! What a great idea! I fell asleep with thoughts of orange gooey goodness.
What went in the blender this morning:
1 frozen banana
1 cup pure pumpkin (canned, I wasn't excited enough to stay up and cook a pumpkin last night)
3/4 cup almond milk
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
a spoonful of sucanat
Thick! Spicy! Perfect for fall! Yum! Pumpkin smoothies are definitely going to be a part of my daily routine this season!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
El objetivo de las siguientes semanas: perder el michelin! El problema es que las temperaturas estan bajando, y la reaccion natural para el cuerpo es tener ganas de comida calentita, mas pesada. Que puede hacer una niña?!
He ido al super, evitando las galletas, la comida preparada, el pan buenissimo. He comprado fruta de la temporada como manzanas y peras, y verduras. Tambien tortillas, un tipo de pan fino, que se usa para los wraps, y un poco de queso parmesano.
Inspirado por, si lo puedes creer, un bocadillo caliente que he tomado en el avion, he creado un relleno para las tortillas, que es la siguiente:
2 batatas pequeñas
1 pimiento rojo
3 tomates pelados
1 cebolla pequeña
2 dientes de ajo
Cortar todo en cuadraditos, y cocinar en un sarten con aceite de oliva, albahaca (he usado seca), y pimienta, hasta que las verduras estan blanditas. Baja la temperatura, y añadir queso parmesano a tu gusto. Servir en una tortilla:
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Normalmente echo aguacate a gazpacho, añade una buena textura. Aqui puedes ver todos los ingredientes que he usado esta vez:
Salio muy rico, pero soy muy fan de pimiento rojo en el gazpacho tambien. La proxima vez, pimiento rojo! Me encantan las posibilidades de gazpacho. Producto final:
Sunday, March 28, 2010
We're on week 4 of no processed sugar. I admit to falling off the wagon each and every weekend, but I'm ok with that, because it's been a pretty big change over all, and I feel like it's sustainable, but more about that later.
I'm a breakfast lover. So is J, I'm pretty sure it's one of the things that keep us together. Whenever we prepare for a trip, we think about the breakfast that we're going to eat. If we're staying in a hotel, breakfast included is a must have. Hotel Tivoli in Lagos, Portugal is our all time favourite hotel breakfast if you were wondering.
If you've ever read the side of a cereal box, you know that sugar is always an ingredient. That includes Shreddies and Cheerios btw. My breakfast over the last four weeks has been of the pita with peanut butter, banana and honey, or hot cereal variety. What's missing from these delicious things? Crunch.
So, I decided to take a shot at making my very own crunchy cereal with no processed sugars. I started with quinoa. Remember to rinse your quinoa before you cook it, friends! 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 2 cups water, some unsweetened shredded coconut and cinnamon, all in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover to simmer until all of the water is absorbed. Once this was done and cooled a bit, I put it into a bowl with more coconut, a bit of sucanat, dried cranberries and chia seeds. This mixture went onto a cookie sheet and into the oven at 350, for 1 hour, stirring every so often.
What I didn't like about this: It was hard to get consistency. I had individual burnt pieces of quinoa, and then big chunks that were still pretty soft. I'm thinking I might try and cook the quinoa in apple juice or add some apple sauce to up the overall sweetness. I put it on my oatmeal the next morning anyway, with some strawberries. I give this attempt a big ol' meh.
I decided that I wanted to make cookies, with all natural sugars of course. My friend over at Alilstrange has got my hooked, absolutely hooked on edibleperspective.com. I love this girl and all of her food and activity adventures. I decided to try the recipe that she posted for molasses cookies.
Off to the neighbourhood hippy supermarket I went to get some organic sucanat. This supermarket is a whole new world for me, and I'm loving it. Sucanat is the contraction of Sugar Cane Natural, or non-refined cane sugar. The juice is squeezed out of the cane, then dried. The result are sweet little grains that kind of look like sand. It's not a processed sugar, so it fits nicely into Jent.
I got home, and was planning on making half a batch of the recipe, only to realize that I only had a quarter of the flour called for. Oops. A quarter batch(ish) it is:
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sucanat
2 tbsps molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Cream the butter and sucanat together until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and molasses until just combined. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together before adding them 1/3 at a time into the wet. Roll into little balls and place on a cookie sheet with a couple of inches space between, and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.
These cookies were so yummy. With no processed sugar. I'm totally going to make a full batch next, you can find that recipe here. J, and our neighbour españolo A enjoyed these, and agree on the 5 oslos given.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I didn't make this, but I have to post it because I'm so excited. This is the sample wedding cake that we tried today, by Mary Mary Culinary. We found out a couple of months ago that this fellow kettlebell-er bakes. We just happened to be in the market for a cake baker for our wedding!
Our dream wedding cake, which was discussed way before a date was ever set, is carrot cake. J had never had carrot cake before he met his future wife, and I'm pretty sure that when I made carrot cake for the first time, it sealed the deal for him. After the first cake, he asked me to make one so that his family could try. Carrot cake became a legend among his entire extended family, and shredding carrots became a hobby for me. Birthday? Christmas? Carrot cake.
Today turned out to be the perfect wedding cake tasting day for us. Cousin B came around and we got to eat cake and drink coffee. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Hopefully it's given her lots of brain power to give her an extra kick through her paper writing season.
The cake had two layers, with a thick cream cheese icing in the middle. The outside is meringue, blow-torched to give it that toasted look. I think we're going to have to switch out the toasted look idea and just do a swirly cream cheese icing, as the survival of the meringue in August is questionable. But it was amazing, I asked her to confirm the cake for our wedding day before I finished my slice. mMm!
Aaaand...we're back! After the last entry, I was inspired to incorporate more meat into our meals. I came across this recipe for a soup with chorizo. Chorizo is a Spanish sausage, it's dark red, comes in mild or spicy, and can be found in the deli section of your supermarket. In Spain, I didn't learn about chorizo as mild or spicy, more like good, and bad. Both ends of that scale are extensive in Spain. Here in Canada though, it's pretty standard, and I'm a fan of the spicy variety.
Chorizo is one of Spain's favourite foods, typically you'll find it as a tapa, in paella, and on the bbq. Surely, there are many other unique ways that "pueblos" pride themselves on preparing chorizo. Kind of like today's recipe: chorizo soup.
What went in the pot:
2 red onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of veggie stock
2 tbsps cornstarch
1 red pepper, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
150g of chorizo, sliced
1/2 can of red kidney beans
1/2 cup 18% cream
First, the onions and garlic went into the pot with some olive oil on medium heat. While this stuff was creating a beautiful aroma in my kitchen, I mixed the cornstarch with half a cup of the veggie stock. Stir all of this together for about 2 minutes, then add the rest of the stock. Add the red pepper and potato, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At the 25 minute mark, add the zucchini, red kidney beans and chorizo, and let cook for 10 more minutes. When you take the cover off at the end of the 10 minutes, you'll likely be hit by an aroma that makes you want to dive right into the pot, my eyes were like saucers. Finally, add the 1/2 cup of cream, and you'll get a really nice colour.
I was a fan of this soup immediately. The spiciness of the chorizo was really nice with the cream, and you could really taste the red pepper. I'm so excited for lunch tomorrow. Leftovers of course!