dinner

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

Yottam Ottolenghi’s recent cookbook, Plenty More, is in some ways an antithesis of the Pure Prairie Eating Plan in that some of the ingredients are hard to find and the recipes can be challenging and time consuming…and yet we come back to it because the recipes are imaginative, fresh and FULL of flavor! Thai Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Chile Oil is one of our favorites and we thought you might like to try it over the holidays.  It has some ingredients that aren’t always easy to find (e.g. lemongrass and Kaffir leaves) and ½ a can of coconut milk, so when we’re making it we make a double batch of the body of the soup (without the sugar snap peas and fresh cilantro) and freeze one batch for later.  The recipe for chile-infused oil makes more than you need for 1 batch of soup, but it can be kept for up to a month in the fridge and used for drizzling on soup, salads or grilled dishes.  We think it’s definitely worth the effort!     Thai Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Chile Oil (adapted from Plenty More) Serves 4, Serving Size 1 ½ cups (375 mL)   Soup Ingredients: 4 oz (120 g) sugar snap peas 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sunflower oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced ( 1 ½ cups/160 g) 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL)thai red curry paste 2 lemongrass stalks, gently bashed with a rolling pin 4 fresh  Kaffir lime leaves (or 12 dried) 1 ¼ cups (310 mL/250 g) red lentils 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL) lime juice 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL) soya sauce 1 cup (250 mL/15 g) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped salt   Chile- infused Oil ¾ cup (180 mL) sunflower oil 1 banana shallot or 2 regular shallots, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup/50 g) 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger ½ red chile, coarsely chopped ½ star anise pod 2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste grated zest of ½ a small lemon   Directions: For the Chile oil: Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of sunflower oil in a small saucepan.  Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chile, star anise, and curry powder and fry over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the shallot is soft. Add the tomato paste and cook gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining oil and lemon zest and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Leave to cool and strain through a cheese cloth (or coffee filter) lined sieve This makes more oil than you need for 1 batch of soup, but it can be kept for up to a month in the fridge and used for drizzling on soup, salads or grilled dishes.   For the Soup: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and throw in the sugar snap peas.  Cook for 90 seconds, drain, refresh under cold water, and set aside to dry. Once cool, cut them on the diagonal into slices 1/16 inch/2mm thick Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook over low heat, with the lid on, for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onion is completely soft and sweet.  Stir in the red curry paste and cook for 1 minute.  Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, red lentils, and 3 cups (700 mL) of water.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils are completely soft....

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Colourful foods – more than just eye candy!

Colourful foods – more than just eye candy!

It has been said that we eat with our eyes first  – but colour in food is more than just eye candy.  This week we’re featuring a simple roast vegetable dish from Canolainfo’s beautiful Latin Sides Supper Collection. These side dishes not only add colour and flavor to a meal, the compounds responsible for the bright colours in vegetables and fruits impart a number of health benefits. Recipes for the full Latin Sides Supper Collection can be found on the Canolainfo website. You can find a good overview of the compounds in various coloured fruits and veggies, and their health benefits, on the European Food Information Council website. Roasted Winter Veggies and Tri-Colored Potatoes Serves 10, serving size 1 cup  Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs (750 g) tri-color potatoes, quartered 1 lb (500 g) Brussels sprouts, cut in half 1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped 2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and sliced 2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped rosemary 60 mL 1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil 75 2 tsp (10 mL) salt 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder   Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 ˚F (200 ˚C). 2. In large roasting pan, place vegetables. Add rosemary, canola oil, salt and garlic powder and stir to combine. 3. Cook about 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.   Nutritional Analysis (per serving):  176 kcal, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat 25 g carbohydrates 5 g fibre, 4 g protein.  ...

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Crunchy Winter Salad

Crunchy Winter Salad

We found this recipe on The Globe and Mail’s Chef Basics with Matt DeMille.  It really is delicious!  We were a bit afraid that the beets would dominate the flavour, but they blend really nicely with the other ingredients.  The fennel adds a hint of liquorice, the pear a touch of sweetness, the pomegranate is crunchy…all-in-all a simply yummy mix.  Grapeseed oil is trendy right now, if you have it on hand that’s great. We substituted canola oil for a nice, light, local flavour; we didn’t have dry sherry vinegar on hand, so in the spirit of keeping it simple we substituted the red wine vinegar we had on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!  Add some pumpkin seeds and feta cheese, tofu or chicken to make it a meal. Click here for preparation tips from Chef DeMille. Crunchy Winter Salad Serves 6 – Serving size 1 cup per serving Ingredients:  2 medium carrots, raw 1 medium beet, raw 1 bulb fennel, raw 1 cup (250 mL) kale, raw 1 medium pear, with skin 1/2 medium pomegranate Dressing: 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon Mustard 3 Tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry sherry vinegar 3 Tbsp (45 mL) grape or canola oil salt and pepper to taste 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice Directions: 1.  Peel and chop or shred carrots and beet.  Place in ice water while you prepare the other ingredients. 2.  Chop fennel bulb, pear and kale and place them in a large salad bowl.  Cut the pomegranate in half and use the back of a spoon to dislodge the seeds into the bowl (see the video for details http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/life-video/video-this-crunchy-winter-salad-is/article27506927/). 3.  Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Whisk until emulsified.  Pour the dressing over the salad and mix completely (Cheff DeMille suggests mixing with your hands to get a nice even coating of dressing. 4.  Top with sprigs of parsley and mint and serve as a side salad.  Add goat cheese, feta, tofu, chicken, nuts or your favourite protein to make it into a meal on its own. Nutritional analysis (per 1 cup/250 mL serving): 160 kcal, 7.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 3 g protein.  Canada Food Guide Servings:  2 Vegetables and Fruit....

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It’s a classic soup kind of day!

It’s a classic soup kind of day!

What could be better on a cold day that a nice hot bowl of soup?  One of our favourites is an old classic – Beef and Barley soup.  It’s full of flavour, stocked with veggies, protein and ‘stick to your ribs’ barley.  This recipe serves 8…or 2 meals for 4, 4 meals for 2…#lotsleftoverforlunch!   Beef and Barley Soup You can use Beef Simmering Steak instead of Stewing Cubes in this recipe, if you like. Trim the steak and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 1 lb (500 g) Beef Stewing Cubes, trimmed 6 cup (1.5 L) vegetables, cut in small pieces (i.e. onions, carrots, celery, rutabaga and/or potatoes) ¼ cup (50 mL) pot or pearl barley 1 can (10 oz/284 mL) beef broth ¼ tsp (1 mL) EACH dried thyme, dillweed and pepper 1 bay leaf Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; brown beef cubes. Stir in vegetables, barley, broth, thyme, dillweed, pepper and bay leaf. Add 4 cups (1 L) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook for about 2 hours or until beef and barley are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving. Nutritional Information Per Serving (Calories 173, Protein 15 g, Fat 6 g, Carbohydrates 15 g, Source of iron (13% DV) and excellent source of zinc (39%...

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Friday Night Dinner

Friday Night Dinner

It used to be a standing joke at our house – Friday night would come and someone would say “What should we have for dinner?” and I would say “Black Bean Quesadillas”, which always meant Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas from Bonnie Stern’s Simply Heart Smart Cooking recipe book.  It was published over 20 years ago now (!) but the recipes are still amongst our favourites.  Even though her website says that it’s out of print, it still seems to be available on Amazon.  She also published a whole book of Friday Night Dinners – check it out on her website.   Black Bean Quesadillas are quick, easy and full of flavour.  We almost always used chèvre but you could substitute whatever cheese you have on hand.  Another option is to use the filling as a salad/side for almost anything (chicken breast, fish, mac and cheese, etc).  Whatever option you choose, it makes a great Friday (or any) night dinner.  Bonnie suggests barbecuing them for extra flavour or making them open faced like a pizza.  They can also be made ahead and reheated, and leftovers are great for lunches.   Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas adapted from Simply HeartSmart Cooking   Serves 6 – Serving Size: 1 tortilla   Ingredients:   1 cup (250 mL) black beans 1 tomato, chopped and drained 1 sweet red pepper, preferably roasted, peeled and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced ½ cup (125 mL) cilantro 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chives or green onions 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil 1 ½ cups (375 mL) grated light Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese ½ cup (125 mL) chèvre (soft goat cheese) or feta cheese 6  10 inch (25 cm) flour tortillas   Directions: 1.  Preheat barbecue or  heat oven to 400oF (200oC). 2.  Combine black beans, tomato, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, chives, basil, Monterey Jack and chèvre. 3.  Place tortillas on counter in a single layer.  Spread filling evenly over one half of each tortilla. 4.  Fold unfilled half over filled side and press together gently. 5.  Place in a single layer on heated grill on the barbecue or on a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven.  Bake for 7 – 10 minutes until the filling is heated and the cheese has melted.   Nutritional Analysis (per serving): 340 kcal, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 4 g fibre, 18 g protein.        ...

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Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake

Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake

With the bounty of fall vegetables available in gardens and markets at this time of year, we thought we’d serve up a recipe that takes full advantage of the best of fall flavours.  Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake is one of our favourites from the Pure Prairie Eating Plan.  It can be made ahead and served with barbecued chicken for quick weeknight dinner and leftovers, if there are any :), are great for lunches the next day. Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake Serves 6 Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1/2 lb (225 g) medium fresh mushrooms, halved 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Italian seasoning 2 cups (500 mL) uncooked penne pasta 14 oz (398 mL) crushed tomatoes, undrained 2 oz (60 g) shredded provolone cheese 3/4 cup (175 mL) frozen peas, thawed 1/4 cup (60 mL) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 3 Tbsp (45 mL) grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter or margarine 1 Tbsp (15 mL)grated Parmesan cheese   Directions: 1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, oil and Italian seasoning; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on an ungreased 15-inch (38 x 25 cm) baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425°F (220 °C) for 20-25 minutes or until tender. 2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, provolone cheese, peas, mozzarella cheese, . cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. 3. Transfer to a greased 11 x 7 inch (28 x 43 cm) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes. Uncover; bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bubbly. 4. Cut into six squares and garnish with fresh herbs, if available. About This Recipe: Get your veggies in a delicious way with this vegetable bake! There are also three types of cheeses in this recipe. Need I say more? Per Serving: 317 kcal, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 13 g protein Serve with a 3 oz serving of grilled chicken and add: Per Serving: 199 kcal, 13 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 20 g...

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