Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roasted Broccoli & Red Grape Salad

In the pursuit of cleaning out my crisper drawers, I made this delicious side dish last night...think it is a keeper!!!  Roasting the red grapes with the broccoli draws out their natural sugars - YUM!  Try this and you won't be disappointed!!
6 cups broccoli florets
2 cups seedless red grapes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup low-fat, low sodium mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Toss broccoli and grapes with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast for 10 minutes, toss and roast for 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and place into a medium sized bowl.  Toss with chopped onion.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar.  Drizzle over broccoli mixture and toss to coat.
  • Garnish salad with crumbled bacon, if using.
  • ENJOY!           

Easy Carrot Salad

Lately I have had an abundance of carrots in my CSA boxes from Cooper's.  While I have been using quite a few in the slow cooker for roast suppers, there were still some hanging around in the crisper.  So I created this salad last night and it was delicious ~ it is a traditional carrot salad with the addition of tomato and cilantro!

2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used goat yogurt)
1/2 cup sour cream (I just used goat yogurt)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp salt
Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
  • In a small bowl combine the first seven ingredients (carrots to salt).
  • Cover and refrigerate until chilled
  • Remove from fridge and garnish with cilantro and pepper just before serving.
  • ENJOY!         

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

I created an entire meal of side dishes for dinner last night (in an attempt to use up the vegetables that are lingering in my crisper!!) and this was phenomenal!!!  Not only is it super-easy, but super delicious too!!!  Devon had 3 helpings!!!

6 cups cauliflower florets (approximately one large head or two small heads)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Reggiano (or Peccorino Reggiano for a lactose free version)
1/4 cup butter (or coconut, grapeseed or olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Heat oven to 425F
  • Place cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes, toss and then sprinkle with Parmesan.  Roast 5 minutes more.
  • Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt butter.  Add the garlic cloves and saute for 20 seconds (or until fragrant but not coloured), then add the almonds and bread crumbs.  Saute until golden. 
  • Combine the bread crumb mixture with the roasted cauliflower in a bowl and serve.
  • ENJOY!!         

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

With the awful cold, winter weather we are still receiving, this is a lovely and easy stick-to-your ribs kind of meal....simply awesome comfort food!
3 lbs of cubed stewing beef
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
4 large potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground black pepper
 2 cups boiling water
1 package of dried onion soup mix
 3 tbsp butter
3 onions, sliced
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Place beef in a large plastic bag. Combine 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour into the bag with the meat, and shake to coat.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stewing beef, and cook until evenly browned on the outside. Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, potatoes, parsley, and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups of boiling water and dry soup mix; pour into the slow cooker.
  • In the same skillet, melt butter and saute onions until softened; remove to the slow cooker. Pour red wine into the skillet, and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Remove from heat, and pour into the slow cooker.
  • Cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender. In a small bowl or cup, mix together 2 tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir into stew, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  • ENJOY!! 
*We enjoy a little kick to our food so we added some of the sherry peppers we eke out from Bermuda - it adds such a lovely flavour to stews (meat or fish) if you can find it!*

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

I had a crisper full of bits and pieces of a variety of vegetables, and Greg and I had a big lunch so we only wanted something light - this totally fit the bill!  Easy to put together, super healthy and delicious!
Rice paper wraps
Any fresh vegetables you enjoy (I chose pea shoots, enoki mushrooms, Thai basil, yellow bell peppers, cucumber and carrots). Larger veggies such as cucumbers and carrots should be cut into thinly sliced matchsticks
Warm water in a medium-sized bowl
4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce
  • Combine fish sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, sugar and chili sauce in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  • Place the rice wrappers, one at a time, in the warm water for approximately 5 seconds each, or until softened.
  • Lay the wrapper on a clean, dry towel.  Layer vegetables on top of each other, down the middle of the wrapper.  Fold the right side of the wrapper over the vegetables.  Fold bottom of wrapper up toward the middle, roll the wrapper from right to left.  Place wrapper on platter or plate.
  • Repeat for as many rolls as you want to make.
  • Serve spring rolls with fish sauce and ENJOY!
*Another delicious sauce to create for these rolls is a Hoisin & Peanut Sauce.  3 tbsp Hoisin sauce combined with 1 tsp chopped peanuts!*
*The rice wrappers, fish sauce and Hoisin sauces can be found in the International section of most grocery stores or Asian supermarkets.*    

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini Basil, Tomato and Feta Frittatas

The Finished Product!!!
What the frittatas look like going in to the oven.

All puffed up when they first come out of the oven!
I pulled this recipe out of People magazine back in September for its simplicity, but didn't try it out until yesterday.  I made them for a breakfast with my girlfriends and everyone agreed this was "one for the blog"! LOL!  I intend to try a variety of combinations such as sauteed arugula, bacon and mushrooms, or swiss & asparagus, or spinach and sundried tomatoes, or feta, olives & salami....the possibilities are endless!  The nicest thing is that because these are made in muffin cups, you could make personalized frittatas with the minimum of effort!!

6 tsp crumbled feta (I used goat feta)
6 basil leaves, torn
6 grape tomatoes, quartered
Salt and black pepper, to taste
6 large eggs, beaten
Cooking spray
  • Preheat the oven to 360F.
  • Spray a 6 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.  Divide feta, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper equally in each muffin cup.
  • Pour the eggs equally among the tins and gently mix the ingredients together in each cup.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin cups.
  • Serve and ENJOY!    
*These are really puffy when they first come out of the oven, but will deflate as they cool - doesn't affect the flavour in any way! *  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Greg leaves for work at 5am most mornings and with this cold weather, I wanted to have something nice and warm for him to eat before he leaves (but without having to get up and make a breakfast! LOL!)  I happened to see this recipe and it is a definite keeper!  I intend to experiment with a variety of ingredients such as toasted almonds and dried wild blueberries, or dried cherries and walnuts!!! The chewiness of the steel cut oats, along with the sweetness of the apples and the delicious aroma of cinnamon will undoubtedly make it a favourite in your home!

2 apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups of non-fat milk (I use vanilla almond milk as we are dairy-free)
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup steel cut oats
2 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
1 1/2 tbsp of butter cut into pieces (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground chia or flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
  • Coat the inside of the 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray or oil (trust me - this saves a TON of cleaning!!)  Add all ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn it to low for 7 hours (overnight)  Resist the urge to lift the lid of the slow cooker as this adds an additional 30 minutes of cooking time to the me, the aroma will escape no matter what!
  • Serve topped with nuts, raisins or maple syrup and ENJOY!!!