Sunday, May 29, 2011

In the Garden: Week 2

After a week of rain, the sun came out just in time for the weekend and just in time to get the rest of the garden planted.

All 34 tomato plants are now happily transplanted.

As well as the zucchini, pumpkin, cucumbers, beans and brussels sprouts. 

The few corn plants that have not been mowed down by Mylo and Jersey are now almost 6" tall.

Speaking of Jersey... I found a new way to keep her occupied and out of the dirt while I work in the garden - letting her lick out the empty yogurt container!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Another wheat free, paleo friendly treat!

Serves 6 to 8

3 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced
2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a medium cake pan.

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, cinnamon and honey in the bottom of the cake pan.

In a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Crumble mixture on top of the fruit.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Serve warm! Enjoy!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet-Spicy Salmon

From Chatelaine, serves 4

1 salmon fillet
1/4 cup red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1 large bunch gai lan or other chinese greens
1 teaspoon oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Preheat broiler to 500 F. Line a large baking pan with tin foil and spray with oil. Place salmon on foil skin side down.

Combine red pepper jelly, mustard and sambal oelek in a small bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture and spread the remaining mixture over the fillets.

Broil fillets about 8 to 11 minutes or until the fish is flaky.

In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, garlic and ginger, saute for 1 minute. Add gai lan with 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove salmon from oven and brush with the reserved pepper jelly sauce.

Serve over greens.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Start of the Garden

Despite the cold, slow start to the growing season our garden is actually off to a good start. The pear and apple tress are in full bloom!

The strawberries are also blooming - including the new beach strawberries we planted along the stone pathway at the back gate.

On our first trip to the garden centre we also picked up a hops vine to grow on the shed. Hopefully in two years we will be able to harvest our own home grown hops to use in making our own beer.

In the vegetable garden, we have already seeded peas, carrots, beets, parsnips, onions, kale, mustard, lettuce, spinach, corn and beans. The peas have already sprouted!

I am hoping that the rain stops long enough this weekend to transplant the tomatoes and beans that were started from seed indoors.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Paleo Cookies

Dave has recently joined a Crossfit gym and begun researching the Paleo Diet that the program recommends. Although neither of us are quite ready to commit wholesale, we have been experimenting with some of the paleo concepts - like removing flour from our diet. 

Adapted from the Livestrong website, makes 24 cookies

2 1/2 cups almond meal flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chunks in the stand mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix to incorporate. 

Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into balls and press onto a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 



Friday, May 20, 2011

Coconut Lime Cupcakes

A summery cupcake that I made for a work barbeque last week – the frosting ended up curdling and melting with the lime juice but they still looked and tasted amazing!

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons grated lime rind

1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted

Preheat to 350°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of the bowl between each egg.
If using the vanilla beans, spilt the pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds (or vanilla extract) to the egg mixture and beat to combine.

Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixtre and mix on low speed just until blended. Add the coconut milk and mix until blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups using a cookie scoop.

Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, whisk the butter in the stand mixer until smooth. Add 2 cups of sugar, coconut milk, seeds from vanilla bean and salt. Beat on medium speed until blended. Continue to add sugar and beat on high speed until desired consistency is acheived. Add lime juice and lime rind and beat just to combine. (I added my lime juice to early which caused the butter to curdle).
Spread coconut onto a cookie sheet and toast under medium broiler until browned. Keep a close eye on the coconut as it will burn!

Since my frosting went horribly wrong, I simply used a knife to spread the frosting and then dunked the tops of the cupcakes into the toasted coconut to completely cover the frosting. Alternatively you could use a pastry bag with a large start tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with toasted coconut.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Pad Thai

An easy version of the Thai classic - from scratch! The tofu could easily be replaced with chicken or shrimp.

Modified from Canadian Living, serves four

1 package rice noodles
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup fish suace
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
2 eggs
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 package firm tofu, cubed
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Soak the noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes or as directed on the package. Drain and set aside.

To a small bowl, add stock, tomato paste, fish sauce, sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and sambal oelek. Whisk to combine and set aside. 

In a wok or large pan, heat half of the oil over medium hear. Add eggs, scramble and cooks until set. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok, add the ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add tofu and saute until browned. Add the vegetables and cook for about 3 minutes or until slightly tender. 

Add the noodles to the pain, stir in sauce and cook for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. 

Stir in the egg and bean sprouts. 
Top with green onions, cilantro and peanuts. 

Serve and enjoy!


Tip: Use a mandolin to slice the carrot and zucchini into matchstick sized slices.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Indian Spice Burgers

The perfect start to the summer grilling season! Would also work well with ground chicken or turkey.

Inspired by Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, Martha Stewart Living

1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and peper

1 lb ground beef
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

4 whole wheat naan
cucumber, sliced
tomato, sliced
radishes, sliced

To prepare the cumin yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

For the burgers, preheat the grill or barbeque to medium high. Combine the ground beef, green onion, ginger, garlic, egg and seasonings in a bowl. Mix well and form into patties - hands work best!

Grill the patties for 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Toast the naan on the grill if desired.

Serve the patties on the naan bread topped with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, cilantro and cumin yogurt sauce.



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lentil Tacos

In honour of Cinco de Mayo, a vegetarian meal with mexican flare!

Adapted from Chubby Vegetarian, serves four

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne or chili flakes
5-1/2 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced

small corn or flour tortillas
old cheddar or jalapeno monterey jack, shredded
lettuce or shredded cabbage
green onion, diced
avocados, sliced
sour cream
lime wedges
hot sauce

To prepare the lentil "taco meat", add the onion and garlic to the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute until softened.

Add the spcies and allow to cook for a minute more. 

Add the remaining ingredients and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are soft. It may be necessary to add more liquid.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare your favorite taco toppings.

 Serve family style, allowing everyone to add there own toppings.



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Adapted from Cupcake Blogmakes 24 cupcakes

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 cups milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
3 to 4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup raspberry puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure out all of the ingredients but the eggs into a bowl or stand mixer. Mix on low speed just until incorporated and then beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

Add the eggs and beat at high speed for another two minutes.

Measure out into a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the butter until soft. Add 3 cups of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

To make the raspberry puree, blend either fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. I have also added defrosted raspberries directly to the mixing bowl which results in small pieces of raspberry in the frosting. Any berry could be substituted for the raspberries, strawberries are heavenly on vanilla cupcakes.

Add the puree and beat until combined. Add more icing sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

This frosting will work in a piping bag with a larger tip, I use a 1" tip. However, the raspberries make the frosting prone to melting, so I tend to just swirl it on with a spatula.


Tip: Use a cookie scoop or icecream scoop to fill your cupcake papers. Two scoops with a 1" cookie scoop or one scoop with a 2" icecream scoop is the perfect amount of batter for a regular cupcake.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...