dinner

Looking for something slightly different for Easter dinner?

Looking for something slightly different for Easter dinner?

The Canola Council of Canada recently published a recipe collection called “Spice Route:  A Journey of Global Flavors”.  The recipes were developed by Raghavan Iyer, a well known cookbook author and culinary educator. The following recipe is a sample from that collection.  It’s easy to make, filled with flavour and the cilantro garnish adds a touch of colour that reminds us that spring is just around the corner :)! Persian Lamb Stew with Dried Apricots Serves 8  Serving Size:  1 cup INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup (60mL) coarsely chopped firmly packed fresh mint leaves 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped garlic cloves 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) coarse kosher or sea salt 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin 1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper 1 1/4 lbs (625 g) boneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed off and discarded, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes 1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil 4 cups (1 L) finely chopped red onion 1 cup (250 mL) dried apricots 1 cup (250 mL) water 1 Tbsp (15 mL) firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) malt or cider vinegar 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems INSTRUCTIONS In medium bowl, combine mint and all spices; mix well. Add lamb and toss to coat with marinade rub. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or overnight, to allow meat to absorb flavors. Preheat wok, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle canola oil down its sides. As soon as oil forms shimmering pool at bottom, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, stewing onion in its own juices, about 5 minutes. Once liquid evaporates, reduce heat to medium and stir-fry until onion turns honey-brown with deep purple hue, 15 to 20 minutes. Add lamb and apricots and raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until meat sears and starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Some canola oil will separate from onion and lamb, and glisten on top of mixture. Apricots will start to soften a bit. Add water and stir once or twice. Once mixture boils, almost instantaneously, reduce heat to medium-low, cover wok and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer lamb, apricots and onion to serving bowl and leave behind some sauce in wok. Stir brown sugar into wok. Heat from sauce will melt sugar. Pour sauce over lamb and stir in vinegar. Sprinkle cilantro over stew and serve. NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS Per Serving:  260 kcal, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate 3 g fibre, 19 g protein, 510 mg sodium. For more recipes from the Spice Route Collection go to...

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How about lamb for dinner tonight?

How about lamb for dinner tonight?

Lamb is such a treat to prepare and eat that I wonder why I don’t cook it more often.  It is a good source of protein, iron and zinc as well as vitamin B12 and niacin. It can be a little higher in fat than other red meats, however the fat tends to be around the muscle and easy to trim away.  Prairie lamb is mild flavoured, juicy and tender.  According to Stats Canada, there are over 1 million sheep and lambs on farms across the country.  Sheep Canada’s on-line magazine often publishes a producer profile in their quarterly magazine if you’d like to see the ‘face’ of Canadian sheep and lamb production. I’ve posted one of my favourite lamb recipes below.  It’s a modification of the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from Pure Prairie Eating Plan. For more great lamb recipes and meal ideas go to http://www.sungoldmeats.com.  Sungold Specialty Meats, located in Innisfail, is the largest federally inspected lamb processor in Canada.  Sungold and other smaller processors make Canadian lamb available across the Prairies.  Lamb Tikka Masala Serves 4 – Serving Size 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) Ingredients: 2/3 cup (150 mL) dry brown rice 12 oz (350 g) lamb sirloin, fat trimmed 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced onions 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) curry powder 1 tso (5 mL) ground cumin 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper 1 can (14.5 oz /429 mL) low sodium canned stewed tomatoes 1 can (16 oz/500g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen green peas 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh chopped cilantro 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh grated ginger 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/2 cup (125 mL) fat-free plain Greek yogurt 1 medium lime, cut in 4 wedges Directions: 1.  Cook brown rice in 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) of water in a pot on the stove.  Bring rice and water to a boil uncovered, and then place lid on the pot and reduce heat to let the rice simmer for approximately 20 minutes and let rice sit for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked. 2.  Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook lamb until lightly browned.  Set lamb aside on a separate plate. 3.  Heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, cook onions for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown.  Add curry, cumin and cayenne.  Cook for 15 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly .  Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, lamb, any accumulated juices and sugar.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the onions are tender.  Remove from the heat. 4.  Stir in the peas, 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the cilantro, ginger and salt.  Serve topped with Greek yogurt, remaining cilantro and lime wedges.   Nutritional Analysis per serving (eaTracker.ca):  544 kcal, 15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 72 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 32 g protein....

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Wild rice

Wild rice

Unlike regular white rice, wild rice is a grain native to the Canadian prairies, particularly Manitoba and Saskatchewan where it grows in the many shallow lakes, aided by the long hours of sunshine in the summer months.  First Nations people harvested wild rice using canoes and beat the plants with sticks to collect the ripened grains.  Wild rice from Canada is still grown relatively traditionally and the grains are long and have an amazingly delicious nutty flavour when cooked.  In the US, wild rice is often grown in paddies (like other rice) and is shorter and (in my opinion) less tasty, although also less expensive.   Because of its expense, we haven’t featured wild rice in Pure Prairie Eating Plan menus but it can be substituted for other grains in many circumstances.  Wild rice takes about twice as long to cook as regular rice, so if you want to create a blended dish, start the wild rice early, then add the other rice.  Anita Stewart’s book The Flavours of Canada has a great recipe to pair with a roasted chicken or turkey called Baked Autumn Vegetables, Barley and Wild Rice.  You can put it in the oven alongside the bird and relax while dinner cooks.   Baked Autumn Vegetables, Barley and Wild Rice from The Flavours of Canada by Anita Stewart 250 mL wild rice 50 mL unsalted butter 500 mL thinly sliced mushrooms 250 mL barley 500 mL cubed, peeled sweet potatoes 500 mL cubed, peeled parsnips 500 mL cubed, peeled celeriac 500 mL cubed, peeled squash 500 g mushrooms, cleaned and halved (optional) 7 mL salt 1 mL freshly ground pepper 500 mL apple cider 500 mL chicken stock   1.  Over wild rice with cold water; let soak 4 hours.  Drain and set aside. 2.  Melt butter in a large skillet over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add onions, sauté until golden.  In a large casserole dish or small roaster, mix wild rice, onions and barley.  Layer root vegetables and mushrooms on top.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour cider and stock over mixture.  Cover and bake in a preheated 375 oF oven for 90 minutes or until the barley and wild rice are tender.  Serves 8.     In the Pure Prairie Eating Plan, try the Barley with Caramelized Vegetables, substituting wild rice. 15 mL canola oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 250 mL wild rice 1 L low-sodium vegetable broth 15 mL canola oil 1 red pepper, thinly sliced 750 ml sliced mushrooms 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 succhini, cut into thin strips 45 mL balsamic vinegar 15 mL brown sugar   1.  In a saucepan, heat first amount of canola oil over medium-high.  Add wild rice and stir to coat with oil, 2-3 minutes.  Add broth to wild rice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until wild rice grains split and are tender, about 45 minutes.  Add additional broth to keep wild rice covered, if necessary during the cooking. 2. Drain off any excess broth and cover to keep wild rice warm. 3.  Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat second amount of canola oil.  Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add red pepper, mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add zucchini, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes longer.  Season with pepper.  Serve over wild rice.  Serves 8....

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Salad Season is Here (Isn’t it?)!

Salad Season is Here (Isn’t it?)!

Are you looking for a good, healthy salad recipe to serve as a small meal or to compliment barbecued meat or fish?  The Alberta Pulse Growers website has some yummy ones.  Try this one or go to http://www.pulse.ab.ca/consumers/recipes/ for more great salad ideas. Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad Serves 6-8 Ingredients 1 cup (250 mL) water 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 cup (250 mL) cooked chickpeas 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1/2 green pepper, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 cucumber, chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) black olives, chopped 1/3 cup (75 mL) feta cheese 3/4 cup (175 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup (75 mL) balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp. (30 mL) white wine vinegar 1 tbsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard 1 tbsp. (15 mL) sugar (optional) 1 clove garlic, finely grated 1 tsp. (5 mL) dried basil 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) dried crushed red pepper freshly ground salt and pepper to taste Nutrition Calories 190 kcal Carbohydrates 18 g Fibre 4 g Protein 5 g Fat 11 g Saturated Fat 1.5 g Folate 70 mcg Iron 1.5 mg Calcium 60 mg Potassium 255 mg Sodium 115 mg Directions Place water and quinoa in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Quinoa will absorb remaining water and become quite fluffy. If you prefer and crunchier quinoa, drain off any remaining water and then allow to cool completely. In a large bowl place the chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, black olives and feta. Mix together and add the cooled quinoa. Whisk together the oil, vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, garlic and spices. Pour 125 mL dressing over salad. Toss well and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to combine. For a moister salad, add more dressing or place remaining dressing in a spritzer bottle and add additional dressing to individual salads as desired. Note: For a quick dressing mix together equal portions of commercial balsamic vinaigrette and spicy Italian vinaigrette and add to the...

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Orange-Glazed Salmon over Sautéed Spinach

Orange-Glazed Salmon over Sautéed Spinach

Looking for something different for Easter Dinner.  How about Salmon?  Salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that prevent heart disease and stroke.  That’s not all, a serving of salmon in this recipe has enough vitamin B12 and vitamin D to meet your daily needs and the spinach is a great source of vitamin A.  And to top it off, it’s delicious :)!   Orange-Glazed Salmon over Sautéed Spinach Serves 4 – Serving Size:  Approximately 3 oz (85 g) of salmon Ingredients: 1 orange, washed, grated and juiced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey 1 Tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil 1/4 tsp (1 mL) 1 12 oz (340 g) salmon fillet, cut in 4 pieces 8 oz (250 g) fresh spinach, trimmed 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground pepper   Directions: 1.  Combine juice from orange, honey, brown sugar, 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil and red pepper flakes. 2.  Arrange salmon in a dish just big enough to hold the fillet; pour orange juice mixture over salmon.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning the salmon once to distribute the flavours.  Discard marinade. 3.  Grill salmon skin side up, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes; turn and cook another 5-7 minutes, until fish flakes easily. 4.  Just before the salmon is done, sauté spinach in 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil in a non-stick skillet, just until wilted.  Season with lemon and pepper. 5.  Spoon spinach onto heated plates.  Top with salmon.  Sprinkle with grated orange peel. 6.  Serve with cook wild rice.   Nutrition analysis:  284 kcal, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 24 g protein, 85 mg sodium.   This recipe was provided by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.  For more great recipes with canola visit: http://www.canolainfo.org/recipes/recipes.php...

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Are you looking for ways to reduce your salt intake?

Are you looking for ways to reduce your salt intake?

Leslie Beck, reknown Registered Dietitian and healthy food writer for the Globe and Mail, recently published an article in The Globe and Mail with her Top Ten list of herbs and spices to help pop the flavour in your food and reduce the need for salt…just in time for spring! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/forget-salt-flavour-with-spices-instead/article17621143/   For a recipe from PPEP that puts that great idea into practice, try this one. Roasted Vegetables with Herbs Serves 4 – Serving Size 1 cup (250 mL) Ingredients: 5 cups (1.25 L) mixed vegetables such as potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, yams, red onion, zucchini, parsnip, turnip – chopped into 3/4 in (2 cm) squares 6 cloves of garlic (that’s right :)! 2 T (30 mL) olive or canola oil 2 T (30 mL) balsamic or red wine vinegar 1 tsp of mixed dried herbs, such as oregano, rosemary or thyme   Directions: 1.  Preheat oven to 425oF (220oC), and line a baking tray with parchment paper. 2.  Toss garlic with vegetables, canola oil, vinegar and herbs. 3.  Place all vegetables in a single layer on the baking tray. 4.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden.  Toss every 15 minutes.   Per serving:  169 kcal, 7 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 3 g...

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