Latest Entries »

Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins – my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too. I know I don’t really post “child-friendly” recipes all that often, much less label them as such. However, after making these tender, vegetable-packed muffins I realised that they would be perfect tucked into a […]

via Cheesy Vegetable & Herb Muffins — food to glow

14203098_10154224248948429_8561012686160227768_n

Its the height of garden season here in Southern Ontario and I am blown away by all the kale I have grown.  Its invincible!  I swear as soon as I pick it, it reappears the next day.  So needless to say, I have to come up with some new creative ways to use it.

One of my ideas is this smoothie.  Great for breakfast because its rich and hearty enough to fill you up, and so healthy it keeps you going well into lunch time.

Now, I know you don’t really need a recipe for a smoothie, but just consider this a bit of inspiration to build on.  Cooking is always about interpretation and adaption…so feel free to change this up anyway your heart desires, and please leave a comment letting me know how yours turned out!

Green Garden Kale Smoothie

About 2 cups washed chopped kale (stems removed)

1 small avocado

1 cup apple juice (sweetened or not…your call, I used the sweeter stuff)

1/4 cup chopped cucumber (skin on, seeds removed)

3-4 leaves fresh basil, stems on (more or less depending on your taste, I like lots)

Throw it all in your blender and start low for about 10 seconds, then blend on high speed until thoroughly creamy.  It should be thick enough to stand a straw in.

ClamChowder53

Soup Season is almost upon us and I am thrilled!  I think there is nothing better than those first few cool days in September when you can curl up on the couch with a blanket, good book, and a comforting bowl of soup.

For me, the soup I turn to when I want comfort food, is clam chowder.  It takes me back to my childhood and time spent with my dad.

I was inspired to make my own when I saw a bag of frozen clam meat at the grocery store.  I know some of you may balk at the idea of frozen meat here, but I must work on a budget, and honestly it tasted great.

Because I didn’t use fresh clams, I was lacking clam juice so I substituted fish stock instead, homemade in this case.  Other than that I tried to keep everything as traditional as possible.

Except for the bacon……there had to be bacon.

 

My New England Style Clam Chowder

Ingredients

1 lb bag frozen clam meat (uncooked)

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 medium white onion, diced

2 stalks of celery, finely diced

1 large Yukon gold potato, diced

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups fish stock (or 1 cup fresh clam juice + 1 cup water)

1-2 cups milk

2 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste.

In a large heavy bottom pot, brown the bacon.Once cooked, remove it from the pot and set aside. Drain some of the fat, but leave enough to sautee the veggies in.  Add the onion, celery and potato to the pot and cook on medium high heat until the onion and celery are softened.  Add the butter and stir until melted then add the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the stock a little at a time, still stirring constantly.  Once all the stock has been added it should have the consistency of a thick stew.  Reduce heat to medium and add the milk, use enough to get to the consistency you like.  You could even use cream if you were feeling especially indulgent, I won’t judge you.  Once you each your perfect consistency, add the clams and the bacon you had set aside, this is also the time to check your seasoning and add in any fresh herbs you like…I used thyme because that’s what I had on hand.  Cook just until the clams are cooked through, about 5 minutes, do not over cook the clams or they will taste like little rubber balls in your soup…not what we are going for.  Remove from heat and serve with oyster crackers or some slices of hearty crusty bread…honestly this soup is good enough to stand on its own.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Shrimp Scallop Tomato Linguine_0023 120dpi @ 10 

I have been craving seafood like crazy lately.  Prices have been through the roof and fresh shellfish is not so easy to find in Southern Ontario, so, in this dish, I had to use a bagged combination of frozen bay scallops and shrimp.  If you are lucky enough to have access to fresh, by all means, use it!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 lb linguine

1 lb bag frozen shrimp and scallop mix (or 1/2 lb each of fresh, cleaned)

2 beefsteak tomatoes, cubed (seeds in)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 tbspn olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 handful fresh basil, torn

1-2 tbspn grana padono, grated (or to taste) (Parmesan will also work)

 

Method:

Get a large pot of salted water boiling and cook linguine according to box directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Add onions and salt and cook until softened.  Add tomatoes, garlic and pepper, cook for about 3 minutes.  Add wine and reduce by half.  Then add the shellfish and continue cooking over medium heat until they are cooked through.  Roughly 5 minutes.  Add basil and check seasoning, adjust as needed.  

Drain the pasta and stir it into the skillet.  Plate and top with the grated cheese.

 

This is a great dish when you want something fresh and super quick.

Serves 2.

Ready in 15 minutes.

 

 

 

Image

 

This is a great slow cooker recipe that was born from random items I had laying around in my fridge and pantry.  It serves more like a soup, but you can thicken it up at the end of cooking with a bit of roux stirred in.  (flour and butter cooked together to form a thick paste).

 

Spicy Mango Purée

2 mangoes, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 tablespoon curry powder

pinch of ground cumin

pinch of ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

big pinch chilli powder.

Cook all ingredients together until the mango is soft.  Place in a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Vegetable Curry

1 small bunch broccoli, chopped

1/2 can of chick peas, rinsed and drained

2 sweet potatoes, chopped and cooked

3 scallions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced 

1 cup mango purée (above)

1 box low sodium vegetable broth (or as much as needed to cover the vegetables)

1 can coconut milk

2 red chillies (use less or omit if you don’t like heat). minced

2 small cinnamon sticks

1 stalk lemon grass

2 kafir  lime leaves

1 thumb sized knob of ginger root

 

Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low for about 6 hours.  Remove the cinnamon sticks, lemon grass, ginger and lime leaves before serving.  Serve over basmati rice, with pita or naan bread.

 

 

Apple Crisp

This is a dessert that always takes me right back to my childhood.  It was my absolute favorite.  My dad loved apples and we always had them in the house, so at least once a week I would ask my mom to make us some apple crisp.  I was ecstatic when I learned to make it myself around the age of 10.  That’s how easy it is.

I like to add twists to most of my recipes, usually.  Updating or tweaking when the mood strikes me, but in this case I kept it basic and simple.  I do not believe something as sacred as apple crisp should be tampered with.  But, if you see fit, add whatever twists or flavors you like to this.  I wont mind…much.  😛

Image

What you will need:

5 medium baking apples

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup orange juice

pinch of salt

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar (white or brown)

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup melted butter

pinch of nutmeg

Method:

  1.  preheat oven to 350 f
  2. Core and slice up the apples.  Peeling them is up to you, I prefer leaving the skins on for added nutrients.  Place them in a bowl with the orange juice.  Generally lemon juice is used to keep the apples from browning, but I was out of lemons, and this worked great.
  3. toss the apples with the cinnamon and flour and a pinch of salt and place in a prepared baking dish.
  4. Mix together the flour, sugar, oats, nutmeg and melted butter until a crumble like texture is reached.  Sprinkle evenly over the apples.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until the tops is slightly browned and the apples are bubbling underneath.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Image

This would be great served up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream, or even just a splash of milk.  Its tangy as well as sweet and is the perfect dessert for a cool fall night.  I hope you enjoy 🙂

Image

*Disclaimer:  This is by no means your traditional Shepard’s Pie.  Because I used leftover pulled pork, I am officially calling this “Farmer’s Pie”.  The thought process being that farmers raise pigs, not cows or lamb which are used in Shepard’s Pie and Cottage Pie.

It’s the last day of the leftover pulled pork from https://pixieinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/perfect-pulled-pork/.

I had been thinking about making a Sheppard’s for a while now.  Lamb is not easy to come by where I live, and there is just not enough flavor for me in ground beef.  Thankfully, I still had some pulled pork laying around in the fridge from Sunday’s dinner.

As I have said this is by no means traditional, but it is scrumptious! Instead of peas for the veg, I made a cremini mushroom and onion gravy, which added a ton of earthy flavor and paired nicely with the bbq flavor in the pork.

ImageImage

 Get a big pot of water on the stove to boil.  Peel and cut 5 medium sized potatoes.  Boil until cooked through.  Mash with a bit of butter and milk and set aside.

While your potatoes are cooking, slice up the mushrooms and onions and sautee in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Add in salt and pepper, and a bit of thyme.  When the veg is tender, add a couple tablespoons of flour to the pan and cook for another minute.  Slowly stir in some chicken or beef stock to form a gravy.

Add your meat (whatever you have used), already cooked to a pie plate.  Top with the mushroom gravy.  Spread the mashed potatoes on top.  Bake in a preheated 400 f oven for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are brown and crispy on top.

Serve and enjoy!

Image

What you will need:

2 cups pulled pork (or any other cooked beef or lamb that you have as leftovers)

5 medium potatoes, peeled

1 large onion

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1 cup chicken (or beef) stock

2 tablespoons of flour

1 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper

Perfect Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is one of my favorite things to eat, but something I have never attempted to make myself.  Until now.  I found some really nice pork butt (my step daughter was giggling uncontrollably when we bought it.) at a local market and decided on a whim to try out this dish at home.  I was surprised at how simple it was to prepare.  It takes some planning, and a little care, but it is so worth it.

As I have seen done on tv, I let my pork sit overnight in a spice rub I made up myself.  Then cooked it slowly in a low oven the next day.  I really did just fall apart when I touched it with a fork.  So flavorful and moist.  I was in Heaven!

I encourage you to try this one out.  So much cheaper than buying it at a restaurant, and so much better, as you can add the flavors you want.  And lots of leftovers!

Image

What you will need:

1 tblspn cumin

1 tblspn coriander

1 tblspn garlic powder

1 tblspn onion powder

1 tblspn instant coffee

1/4 tspn cayenne pepper

1 tspn paprika

1 tblspn thyme

1 tspn cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

salt and pepper

3 lbs pork butt (shoulder)

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tblspn tomato paste

1 bay leaf

Image

Instructions:

Blend all of your spices together in a spice grinder to make a nice powder.  Use half the spice blend on the pork the night before.  Rub it all over thoroughly, wrap the meat in cling wrap and set in the fridge for about 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 f.

Place the onion cut into quarters (skin on) and the garlic cloves in a deep sided metal baking tray.  Set the pork on top of the veg.  Pour in the apple cider vinegar, and enough water to come up the roast about half way.  Add in the rest of the spice rub mix and the tomato paste.

Image

Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and cook for 4-6 hours (mine took about 5) until the meat is literally falling apart when touched.

Remove the meat, strain the liquid and place it in a medium saucepan over med high heat to reduce, tasting and adjusting as needed.  Then pour the sauce over the meat after you have “pulled” it apart using two forks.

There are many ways you can serve this.  Traditionally it is in a sandwich with some kind of slaw.  I served mine over homemade super sized buttermilk biscuits with some pickled carrots from a previous recipe.  I think the  leftovers are going to be in a sandwich for today’s lunch .  The possibilities are endless!

*Side note:  I generally like to take a photo of the finished product, but in my excitement to  serve it up and eat, I just plain forgot 😦

Pickled Carrots

Image

Carrots, again.  Having made yet another batch of carrot muffins, and more glazed carrots, I am desperate to find new and interesting ways to serve up carrots.

I am serving pulled pork for dinner tonight, and I know that slaw is a common pairing with the rich, smoky meat.  I am out of cabbage, so I started thinking that a sweet and tangy pickled carrot would compliment my pork nicely.  I used the same vinegar and spices in my pickling liquid as I did for the broth i am cooking the pork in.

What you will need:

2 large carrots, julienned

1 large clove of garlic, smashed

1 cup water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 stick of cinnamon

1 teaspoon each of coriander seed, cumin seed, onion powder

1 bay leaf salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let it boil, slightly covered for 7-9 minutes, until carrots are tender but still crispy.  remove from heat and pour into a  glass container with a tightly fitting lid.  Place in fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.

Image

 

I have been experimenting all day with a new gluten free flour blend.  It performed beautifully in my  carrot cake recipe, so I was curious to find out if it would works just as well in a roux.  I had planned a pork roast for dinner so, some scalloped potatoes would go just great with that.  Sunday dinner on a Thursday. 

It’s a fool proof recipe and so versatile.  Feel free to mix in whatever flavors you like to the bechemel sauce, I was going for a southwestern meal theme, so i added some smoked paprika, sharp cheddar and a pinch of cayenne. 

 

Recipe:

5 medium potatoes, washed, sliced thin

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons gluten free flour blend

2-3 cups milk

tspn each garlic and onion powder

2 tspn smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups shredded old cheddar

Method:

Wash and slice the potatoes using a mandolin or food processor.  Place in cold water and set aside.

Heat a saucepan on medium high heat and melt the butter.  Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute, until a thick paste forms.  Slowly add in milk, whisking well.  When the desired consistency is reached, stir in 1 cup of the cheese, and the spices.  Cook over low heat until thickened.

Image

 

Grease a square baking dish and place a layer of the sliced potatoes.  Top with a big spoonful of the cheese sauce.  Continue layering until all potatoes are used.  Pour the remaining sauce over top and  sprinkle on the rest of the grated cheese.

Image

 

Bake in a 400 f oven for about an hour, until potatoes are tender and cheese is bubbly and brown on top.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Image

EAT LOVER

Simple Home-made Food

Homemade Delish

With creativity and imagination you can style anything to your taste

My Favourite Pastime

Food, Travel and Eating Out

BitterSweet

Sweet Musings with a Bitterly Sharp Wit

Mio's hot food

food, healthy, delicious, fast, cheap, spicy, hot, kitchen, chicken, pork, fish

Wicked Stitch Crochet

My Life in Knots

It's all in a Nutshell

A nutty crochet blog for nutty people

Feeding Mr. Rodgers

It's a delectable day in the neighborhood!!

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

Keli Paan

Bringing Imagination to your Cooking...!!!

Patrons of the Pit

Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Let's Spice Things Up

Recipe Reviews, Tips & Ideas from my table to yours!

cooking from the heart

inspired by june & norma

Feisty Eats

Exploring new eats, drinks and activities

Bare Natural Mommy

Simple, fresh and from scratch.

Paleo Polly

UK Paleo Recipes, UK Paleo Blog, UK Primal Blog, Paleo Britain, Paleo UK, Primal UK, Paleo England, Primal England

Dinner365

This is what I made for dinner...