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Monthly Archives: July 2012

What’s for dinner?

This has been a standard line for many years, along with “What would you like for dinner?” Usually it is followed by “I have not decided” or “I don’t care.” I don’t know about you but this can drive you a little crazy. You check the the cupboards, the refrigerator, the freezer and then ask yourself “What can I make with this stuff today?”  The you go diving into your cookbooks or recipe box or as is more popular with many of us these days, check out one of a multitude of Internet sites. My favourite Internet recipes sites are the following –

Internet Food Sites

The Food Network provides thousands of recipes from various chefs with clear, easily searchable menus by chef, recipe, etc. There is also the ability to create your own online recipe box. I love this feature sine I can access it from any computer while travelling anywhere in the world!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/

Kraft Foods gives you the choice of creating  an online recipe box as well. One of the great features of their site is the ability to plunk in the ingredients you have on-hand and then they will give you a recipe for using those ingredients. It also features tips and seasonal menus.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com

Canadian Living Magazine has been around in Canada for many years. Besides the features, there are always lots of great recipes. They have craft projects, health information, recipes of the day and also a recipe box online.

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/

Food and Drink Magazine is produced by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Seasonally it distributes in their stores a magazine called Food and Drink. Of course, it advertises beer, wine and alcohol, but is has scads of recipes in every issue for foods and drinks. Each issue has a great index at the back. Normally there is a new issue for each season. You cannot buy or subscribe to this magazine, but it fully available online! The beauty of the online magazine is that it is fully searchable.  You indicate what type of dish you want to prepare and the main ingredient and they come up with several great recipes. My favourite Six Hour Leg of Lamb came from Food and Drink Magazine!

http://www.lcbo.com/fooddrink/recipes.shtml

ALL of the above are absolutely free, but of course you can subscribe by filling out your email address in the appropriate place on their website.

Food Blogs

You already know about these if you are reading this,but I find that there are many great blogs out there with incredible recipes!

A blog I subscribe to is called Back road Journal by a friend, Karen – http://backroadjournal.wordpress.com. Karen writes about life along the east coast and her various journeys, everyday life and features some great recipes! She lives in a small town in New Hampshire and writes about life there.

A more recent blog that interests me is  posted by a nutritionist in training in New York – http://learnnutritionwithme.com. While she bills herself as a “student dietician”, she shares a wealth of info about nutrition as well as some great recipes! The site is actually called “Learn About Nutrition With Me”.

So, readers these are just a few of my sources. It would be great if you could share some of your best online sites or blogs by posting them in the comment section.

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Nutty Strawberry Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Nutty Strawberry Banana Breakfast Quinoa {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Source: Ambitious Kitchen and re-blogged from www.learnnutritionwithme.com

As always, words inserted in red are my changes to the recipe.

Serves 2

1 cup of water

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups milk of your choice (to make vegan use coconut or almond milk), or yogurt, divided

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup strawberries, diced

1/ 4 cup toasted nuts of choice, chopped

2 tablespoons unsweetened toasted coconut

Directions

  1. Place water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add cinnamon and vanilla and reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  2. Divide into two bowls, adding 3/4 cup of milk. Top each bowl with bananas, strawberries, toasted nuts, and unsweetened coconut. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Optional add-ins: honey, agave nectar, peanut or almond butter, berry variety, mango, pineapple, apples, applesauce or toasted nuts
  • If you’d like you can double the recipe and store the extra quinoa (without milk and toppings) in a container and place in fridge. Take out portions during the week, reheat, and add toppings.
  • Save yourself some time and make a big batch the night before for dinner and have the rest for breakfast.

Summer Quinoa Salad

When I first met Larry, he introduced me to “quinoa”  (pronounced keen wah) which is a grain widely used by the Incas of Peru. It is a much better alternative than rice or couscous. It is easily found in most bulk food stores in Canada, in either red white or black colours or mixed. Most of our friends to whom we have introduced this tend to really enjoy the nutty flavour. It has great nutritional value. For more info on quinoa, here is a link that might interest you – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

Our usual preparation  is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups (or less) of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 10–15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta). As an alternative, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, treating it just like white rice (for both cooking cycle and water amounts). Often times in place of the water, we use broth or sour orange juice and mix in some nuts and cranberries. We serve this hot as a side dish in place of potatoes.

Apparently, 2013 has been declared International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations. Anyways, having cooked too much quinoa one day I searched for other recipes and came across these variations by Annabelle Waugh  for quinoa salad – the one in red is the only one I have tested so far and it was great! Let me know if you try any of the others, please?

Summer quinoa salad recipe with three dressing options

by Annabelle Waugh

For a Middle Eastern salad:

  • Whisk together equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, then add a clove of garlic, minced, a handful each of chopped fresh mint and parsley and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Sometimes I’ll add some crumbled feta in, too.

For an Asian salad:

  • Whisk together 4 parts unseasoned rice vinegar and 1 part each of soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Mix in handful of chopped cilantro and a minced green onion. And hot sauce, naturally.

For an Italian salad:

  • Whisk together equal parts olive oil, wine vinegar and strained tomato puree (passata). Season with salt, pepper, a little minced garlic and a handful of chopped fresh basil.

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Tart

While attending the 2012 Wine and Herb Food Pairing Festival in Niagara on the Lake in May, with our friends Tom and Kathy, we had the opportunity of sampling this great appetizer! The recipe was prepared by The Pie Plate Bakery and Cafe in nearby Virgil http://www.thepieplate.com/  and served at Reif Winery   http://www.reifwinery.com/

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Tart (or Quiche)

1. THE POTATOES:

Roll pastry and line 9 inch French tart shell or 24 mini tarts. Pre-bake at 450 degrees using weights to prevent the pastry from bubbling up.

Peel and dice 3 – 4 large sweet potatoes. Place on a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with olive oil, tossing to coat.

Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence, season with salt and pepper. Toss again.

Roast in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so potatoes cook evenly.

The potatoes should be soft when pierced with a fork and the edges should be caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

2. GOAT CHEESE FILLING:

130 gram package of goat cheese

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence

Combine these ingredients until smooth.

3. EGG FILLING:

5 large eggs

1/2 cup 10% cream

Beat together.

4. THE ASSEMBLY:

Crumble prepared goat cheese mixture evenly on bottom of tart shells.

Fill tart with prepared sweet potatoes chunks.

Pour egg mixture into tart slowly till it comes close to the top edge of the pastry.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until tart souffles in the center (about 10 minutes for tarts).

Chuck’s Cole Slaw

Chuck brought this along to our July 1st BBQ and it was awesome, along with some  other great salads that I  will share with you over the summer months.

Chuck’s Cole Slaw

1 large head cabbage, sliced thin

Mix in a bowl:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup oil
2 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
2 tsp crunchy Dijon mustard
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tsp salt

Pour over cabbage, and mix well.  Refrigerate.

Make at least 24 hours before serving, mixing several times during the resting period.