Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good Morning Carrot muffins

Something I was always deprived of as a kid was muffins. My mother was really strict about what we ate, and all I have to say is sorry mom it did us no good! Muffins can be healthy and satisfying  especially when you make them yourself - they are also great way to curb a sweet tooth. When baking I always try and create a recipe that is healthy as well as tasty. I use ingredients like whole wheat flour, or unbleached cane sugar or honey instead of white sugar. In fact we have cut out all white flour and sugar all together. We eat free range eggs and organic products as much as we can - but this is all besides the point. MMMmmmmmuffins are a great start to the day. These muffins have lots of fiber and vitamin c and other good things.  I made mine with purple carrots but any carrot will work just fine. My dear friend Molly was my sous chef for the day. She loves coming over and baking, and she is an excellent helper, not only with the grunt work but with recipe writing as well. I'm so lucky to have such a great friend and sous chef. Good Morning Carrot Muffins INGREDIENTS:
4 carrots - shredded
1 + 1/4 cup flour - whole wheat
1 cup sugar - raw cane sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
1 tsp baking powder 
1tsp baking soda 
pinch salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 cup coconut 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
1/2 cup yogurt - fat free
PREP: Combine all dry ingredients including nuts and coconut. Wet ingredients: combined eggs sugars and extracts. Add carrots then oil and finally the yogurt. Fold dry to wet ingredients in small batches. 
GARNISH: thinly slice carrots and place on top of muffins 1/2 way through cooking. 
BAKE: 350 for 30 minutes. 

Roasted Love Soup

This soup is stunning, and a real treat! And a great  easy way to eat your fruits and veggies. Unfortunately I have no recipe, but I can tell you what went into this fabulous soup eaten hot or cold. I roasted a few beets, an apple and a pear, sweat off a sweet onion and blended everything together. The soup is garnished with a horse radish creme fresh. I have to admit I preferred this soup cold with the bite from the horseradish against the sweetness of the apple and pear - delish!

Barley risotto with artichokes and baby kale

I've been meaning to write this recipe out for a long time. My friend Molly got the leftovers from this meal, and she just went wild for pearl barley. Love risotto? Try making it with pearl barley  for a healthy twist on a classic Italian favorite. Risotto can be an easy vegetarian meal, personally I like to use chicken stock, but if you're kosher cooking just note most risotto's are made with animal stock, this means no butter to brown your rice, and no parmesan for the velvety texture.  Veggies stock works just as well, but go a bit heavier on the other herbs and spices. You can use red of white wine making your risottos this one uses white dry chardonnay. Barley risotto with artichokes andbaby kale INGREDIENTS: pearl barley - 1 cup soak for 10 mins in water
2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
1 shallot - finely chopped
1 cup white wine - dry
3 1/2 (or more) cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts (or 4 large ones) - thin slices
bunch baby kale
bunch parsley - finely chopped
parmesan cheese - shredded
PREP: Chop garlic, shallot, parsley, kale, artichokes. Keep everything separate.
Cook: brown the barley in butter with shalot and garlic, and add wine slowly add stock 1/2 cup at a time... until barley has softened. * You may need to add more stock. Add kale artichokes cook 1 minute before adding parmesan and parsley last.
Eat this dish hot, risotto tends to become like cement when it cools.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arugula salad with tuna and avocado tarragon vinaigrette

Not your average salad Niçoise
I love taking my classic favorite dishes and
putting my own spin on them. The key is 
to use similar flavour profiles. This delicious 
dinner salad mimics the famousFrench salad Niçoise. 
A leafy salad with tuna, egg, black olives, and french beans. 
Sometimes you will have small potatoes or capers or 
anchovies or other salad accoutrement. My version of salad 
Niçoise is an Arugula salad with tuna and avocado tarragon vinaigrette 
INGREDIENTS: arugula lettuce
moroccan dries olives
olive oil packed calipo tuna - any tuna will do though
hard boiled eggs.
PREP: boil eggs before hand.
TOSS: tuna with lettuce olives and dressing.
GARNISH: Eggs and avocado

Tarragon is a delicious herb - look forward to my post about 
it in herb lesson 1. Tarragon vinaigrette INGREDIENTS:
bunch taragon -
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion
splash lemon juice
1 avocado - 1/2 sliced for garnish, other 1/2 for dressing
splash white wine vinegar - adjust to taste
olive oil
pinch salt
fresh ground pepper
PREP: add all ingredients to mini chopper (or finely chop everything place 
in glass jar and shake until combined)

This bread is bananas! Healthy-ish Banana walnut bread

There is nothing I love more then a satisfying slice of banana bread especially if I know the bread has been made with passion love and whole wheat flower. So many things that should be healthy are actually just a pile of crap. Mediocre ingredients, bleached processed flour, sugar antibiotic filled butter you name it. Of course there are a lot of bakeries and shops that put a premium on their products and use the best but until I know for sure i'll stick to my own cooking. Here's my recipe for a delicious moist sweet treat. 
This bread is bananas INGREDIENTS: 
4 over ripe bananas - mashed TIP: keep them in the freezer until ready to use
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp cardamom 
1/2 tsp fine salt
3/4 cup unbleached cane sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil - canola or other preferred 
3 tbs sour cream 
1 tsp vanilla
1tsp almond extract 
2/3 cup chopped walnuts 
PRE HEAT: oven 350
PREP: In two separate bowls: Sift all dry ingredients together. And add eggs sugar and extracts until light - sugar has mostly dissolved. Add oil sour cream and mashed bananas into mixture. Add chopped walnuts into flour and slowly add the dry to the wet ingredients. Grease loaf pan with butter or use non stick, then pour in batter. 
BAKE: at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Test with long skewer.  
GARNISH: For a nicer presentation dust the top of bread with powdered sugar. 

It's not you, It's me!

Dear sweet Tomato Snobs,
I must apologize for neglecting you this past two weeks. I do have an exiting excuse though, I'm ENGAGED!!!!!! Amazing... I'm so excited, but I'm very sorry to leave you in the lurch through all these new changes. I've also been evicted - not quite as exciting but definitely an emotional experience none the less. So i've been terribly busy trying to co-ordinate events, parties and packing - all sorts of fun and not so fun things. I just wanted you all to know I have not forgotten about chowing and cooking and criticizing culinary offerings all around town. I've just needed a few days to get myself re adjusted to the real world again and now with a ring on my finger... I still can't believe it.  I hope everyone is keeping to their diet-s or binges or whatever else is going on in your kitchens and lives. I have a great post to follow this evening. For those of you who like banana bread this one is the absolute ultimate so stay tuned!