Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Squash Country Bread
Squash Country Bread
This bread is adapted from my No Knead bread mix that rises in the refrigerator until you need it.
You can have hot bread any day of the week!
1/4 of no knead bread*recipe follows
1 cup cooked squash mashed well (buttercup squash)
extra four for shaping
No Knead Dough
13 cups flour*
3 tbsp salt
3 tbsp yeast granules(not rapid rise)
6 cup water
extra flour for shaping
In a large food grade container (ie: Tupperware) mix water and yeast together.  Stir in flour and salt.
Cover the container with a lid but, do not seal the lid on all sides.  The dough will expand and pop the lid up.
Place in refrigerator until needed.  Use within 2 weeks.  Makes 4 loaves.
Dough: When ready to use: pull out 1/4 of the dough and add squash, mix together until well incorporated. With extra all purpose flour knead dough on counter.  If it is does not keep it's shape, don't panic add a handful of flour at a time to achieve a firm loaf.  Shape into desired shape and score top.  Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with coarse corn flour, a parchment lined sheet or silpat and let rise for 1-2 hrs.
Bake at 375F in a preheated oven until golden brown.
*This is where you can get creative! I like to add variety to the flours so I get some protein and fibre.  Instead of using all purpose flour in the whole recipe, I substitute 5-6 cups of "other" flours.  They can be: quinoa, kamut, brown rice, white rice, millet, spelt, corn,  teff or buckwheat.  These "other" flours are gluten free so they do not have "stretch" to them and would not rise on their own but they add texture, flavour and protein to any loaves with all purpose flour.
When you use your last batch of this dough, keep a handful in the container as a "starter" and make another batch. This becomes a sour dough with time, adding more flavour to your future doughs..I also use this dough to make pizza.  It is a sturdier dough and not fluffy and delicate.
I have also used leftover mashed or baked potatoes and have achieved a fluffy dough.
Don't be afraid to add dried herbs, spices or olives to this recipe when rolling and shaping.

Autumn Cranberry & Squash Loaf
Autumn Cranberry & Squash Loaf
One of my favourite things about Autumn besides the changing of the leaves is making flavourful foods with Canadian squash! It is full of antioxidants and so colourful and distinctively orange.  I have adapted my pumpkin muffin recipe and used Buttercup Squash, which is dense like a baked potato and makes baked goods very moist. You can also make muffins with this recipe and the kids will never know you put squash in it!
But you know it is low in fat and sugar!
4 eggs
3 cup flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cup mashed cooked buttercup squash*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil (I use EVOO)
1/4 cup applesauce
pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries (or any dried or fresh fruit)
2-3 tbsp granola
In a mixer beat egg, then add sugar, oil and applesauce, beat thoroughly.
Add all dry ingredients mix only until no flour shows.  Stir in dried fruit.
Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and sprinkle granola over the top.
Bake in a preheated oven @ 350F for approx 70min or until skewer comes out clean.
Muffins: makes 12 generous sized muffins bake for 20-30min.
*Cut squash in half and place cut side up in 350F oven (or when using the oven to roast/bake other foods) and bake until a knife easily pierces the flesh.  Cool to handle and scoop out seeds. *


Friday, 21 September 2012

Crispy Bacon Cabbage

Crispy Bacon Cabbage
Do you have trouble getting the family members to eat their vegetables?
I find adding a little bacon adds a lot of flavour without breaking the calorie bank. 
Cabbage is a great fibre booster and adds cozy comfort during the cooler weather.
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
4-6 slices of smoked bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp EVOO
1tbsp chili flakes (opt)
salt & pepper to taste
Fill a large stock pot 3/4 full of water. Drop in cabbage and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium high. Cook for 10 min pushing cabbage down into water so it is completely immersed.
Drain cabbage into a colander. 
Place the pot back onto medium heated burner add bacon and oil. 
Cook until crispy and golden brown.  Add garlic and chili flakes.  Saute until lightly golden.
Tip cabbage into pot, season to taste and continue cooking for 10-15min. more continuously tossing so cabbage evenly cooks and does not stick to pot.
Enjoy with love.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Green Beans
a la Pizzaiola
Fagiolini a la Pizzaiola
This easy tomato accompaniment can be used for any vegetable or meat dish. It is versatile and tasty!
You can use this fast tomato sauce to spread over pizza dough, hence the name Pizzaiola!
Pizzaiola Sauce
3 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
3 tbsp fresh chopped or frozen parsley
salt & pepper & red pepper flakes to taste
3 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 cup tomato puree or fresh very ripe peeled & diced tomatoes
Saute garlic & pepper flakes in preheated EVOO for 1 min until fragrant.  Pour in tomatoes, add seasonings and herbs.
Cook for 10-15min to reduce liquid.  Toss in approx. 2lb of steamed/boiled green beans that have been washed and ends snipped.
Using tongs toss to coat and continue cooking for a few more minutes to desired doneness.
Enjoy with love!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

 Coconut Rice Dish from the Philippines
I love reading multi cultural recipes and this one I had most of the ingredients in the house so I said why not try it! Basically is it like risotto but with an Asian flair!
Wow is it delish and makes a huge amount, which is great for a party.
It is also a one pot meal and you can change the ingredients if you'd like
3 cup roasted chicken, shredded, room temp
2 tbsp vegetable oil of your choice
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 onion, diced medium
3 cloves garlic
1 Portobello mushroom, sliced
1/2cup snow peas, string removed and cut in half
2 cups sushi rice, rinsed and drained (or glutinous rice soaked overnight)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
banana leaves to cover wok
Add oil to a heated wok and saute onions & garlic for 1 min to soften slightly.  Add remaining vegetables and cook while stirring to soften vegetables approx 5 min. Add rice and continue stirring to coat all the rice.  Add broth, coconut milk and fish sauce.   Cook for approx. 20min on low heat to al dente.
Place mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir in chicken until distributed evenly throughout mixture.
Wash wok and dry.  Brush it with some oil preheat to med low.
Wipe banana leaves with a damp paper towel to remove any residue.  Line the wok with 2 layers of banana leaves.  (These impart the flavour)
Pour the mixture back onto the leaves and pat to form a flat surface.  Cover the top with a piece of foil or extra leaves.
Cook on low heat for20-30min to brown bottom of rice.  Check to see if rice has steamed and finished cooking.  Invert onto a serving platter.
Enjoy with love.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fennel and Asparagus Beef Involtini with Farfalle
Fennel & Beef Involtini
with Farfalle
This dish is definitely a long and slow comfort dish.  Great for easing into the changing season.
A great family or holiday dish that gives you extra tomato sauce that you can use for another dish during a busy work week

2 tbsp EVOO

1 onion chopped, medium dice

1/2 bulb fennel, washed, stems trimmed(reserve for stock), celery can be substituted

1 carrot, peeled, ends cut, washed

5 asparagus spears,  woody ends snapped

12 slices deli ham

10-12 beef outside round cutlets

1/2 tsp black pepper

sea salt to taste

2 bay leaves

1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup dry full bodied red wine

3 sprigs parsley, chopped including stems

1lt. tomato puree

1 cup water

1 tbsp tomato paste
1 pkg. farfalle or bow pasta, cooked and drained

Preheat a large sauce pot, big enough to hold everything.  On med heat add oil and onions, cook stirring occasionally  for 3-5min to soften.

Meanwhile cut vegetables ,10-12 pieces  1/4" thick match stick pieces 3"-4" long, set aside

On a clean cutting board place 1 cutlet narrow end facing you.  Place 1 slice of ham on top and 1 piece of each vegetables in a neat pile on end facing you.  Roll away from you, making a tight bundle, secure with toothpicks or metal skewers.  Continue for all bundles.

Push onions off to one side of the pot and begin to brown bundles on all sides.  Move bundles around to make space for all the them.  It doesn't matter if they stack when browned. 

Add wine continue cooking to reduce alcohol  by 1/3 on medium high heat.  Add tomato puree, spices, herbs and seasonings.  Bring to a gently boil, add water and paste, stir.  Reduce heat to a slow simmer. Stir occasionally, if liquid reduces too much add more water or wine.  Cook for 1 1/2hrs. until fork tender.

Serve over cooked pasta, removing picks before serving.

*Slow Cooker:

Meat and sauce can be prepared the night before and placed in slow cooker in the morning.

When all ingredients come to a boil, transfer to a slow cooker and cook for 4-6hrs. If it becomes too watery, leave lid slightly ajar, to allow steam to escape.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Egg & Pepper Pita Wrap

Scrambled Egg & Red Pepper Wrap
What a great wrap for sending your kids off to school tomorrow!
Eggs are very versatile and can be served hot or cold.  An addition of tasty humus gives you added flavour, fibre and less fat than mayonnaise!
1  8" or 10" whole wheat pita with pocket
2 eggs
3" piece of red pepper, diced
2 tsp chopped chives
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp hummus spread (I used roasted garlic)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 slices of tomato
Place pita in a warm toaster oven or oven for 2 min.   Remove and spread with humus all over.
In a small preheated skillet add oil and saute pepper and chives.  Season to taste lightly.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a fork + 1tbsp water.  Pour mixture over softened vegetables and cook, pushing sides into centre of pan as the edges begin to become opaque and cooked.  Swirl pan to loosen mixture, use a spatula to flip eggs when cooked to your desire.
Place eggs on top of hummus and top with tomato.
Roll and cut in half
Wrap in paper for transporting.