Tuesday, 27 January 2015

 
 
The Lentil Revelation Challenge
is back again!
 
Last year I had a lot of fun making new recipes with
Canadian Lentils
I even had a wonderful opportunity to meet
Chef Michael Smith
at
Cirillo's Professional Kitchen
 
 
He is as tall as he looks and friendly too!
 
Lentils are always in some dish in my
Italian home.
They are a great source of inexpensive fibre, vegetable protein and are so easy to cook.
My vegetarian daughter incorporates legumes into her diet all week long.
 
Here is my first entry into the
 
Lentil Recipe Revelation
Challenge

Warm Tuscan Style Lentil Salad
 
This is a salad that is served warm,
perfect for our cold winter months.
It is a nutritional side incorporating
Canadian Lentils, chickpeas, kale
herbs, and colourful crunchy veggies!
 
This recipe is huge enough to serve a large family, easily transportable for pot luck and makes great leftovers for lunch.
 
 
Here's what you'll need:
 


2 tbsp EVOO
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1/2 red pepper, diced
540ml can green lentils, drained and rinsed several times
540ml can chick peas, drained and rinsed several times
2 cup chopped Kale or Endive lettuce
4 cup cooked quinoa, room temp
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
Dressing: Mix together in a small bowl
1/4 cup EVOO
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp each salt & black pepper or to taste
1 tsp pureed garlic or 1 clove chopped garlic
 
In a large preheated skillet on med. high heat, add oil, jalapeno, rosemary, red peppers and onions. Sauté for 5 min until softened, stirring to often.
Add lentils and chick peas cook for 3-5 min.
Add Kale, stir until softened for 2min.
In a large bowl toss quinoa, legumes, carrots, parsley and dressing together, serve hot or warm.
 


Here is my 2nd Entry for the
Lentil Recipe Revelation Challenge
 
Lentil Pops


Lentil Pops
 
These Show Stopper Pops are a
1 Bite Appetizer
ok maybe two!
 
These can be made ahead and popped in the oven when guests arrive.
This recipe incorporates sticky short grain
Italian rice that is used for Risotto,
leftover rice is great too
high in protein,
Canadian Lentils
colourful peas and carrots
and makes a huge amount.
 
Here's What You'll need:
 

100g canned green lentils, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup cooked seasoned Italian rice
(this has more starch, so it will stick together better when forming balls)
1/2 cup mixed frozen vegetables (peas, corn, carrots)
1/4 cup tzatziki dip
1/3 lb. ground pork or sausage(chicken can be substituted)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs + 2 cups for coating
4 tbsp.  grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tbsp. minced flat leaf parsley
1 tsp each salt & ground black pepper
1" vegetable oil for frying; your choice
227g pkg. Tomato Bruschetta for garnish
36 skewers
Coating:
In a small bowl blend 2 tbsp. Parmesan with 2 cup panko crumbs. Set aside.
Lentil Pops:
In a large bowl combine lentils, rice, vegetables, sauce, meat, crumbs, parsley and 2 tbsp. Parmesan.
Allow to sit for 15 min to absorb flavours.
Shape filling into 1 1/2" balls using a teaspoon or small ice cream scoop. Drop into crumb mixture and roll to adhere coating. Roll mixture using 2 hands to form balls, pressing crumbs to make firm balls. Continue until all are formed.
In a heavy bottomed pot bring 1" of oil to 250F.
*or sprinkle one crumb into oil, if it immediately sizzles and rises, it is preheated*
Place balls into oil do not pack tightly or it will lower the oil temperature.
Fry until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel.
Pierce each pop from the top to enable easy pick up.
Serve with Bruschetta in individual serving spoons for each bite or arrange in a vase.
 
 


 
 

 


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Panna & Tartufo
Pappardelle

This luscious "game changing" dish hails directly from Italy!
I have relatives visiting from Lazio, Italy just outside of Rome.
To my delight my cousin's husband brought
7 precious  Truffles considered here in the Western World as "black gold". He forages through the neighboring forest with help from the nose of his trusty experienced dog.
 They have a delicate woodsy light mushroom scent which is just divine!
Carefully wrapped in paper towels and then vacuumed packed so as not to spoil they arrived in my kitchen.
I just happened to have 35% cream leftover from
the Holidays and he made a spectacular lunch that everyone devoured!
Most of you may not be able to acquire this  item but, it is wonderful if you can get your hands on it.
 
Here's What You'll need:

2 pkg. 500g. fresh dried pasta
500ml 35% cream
2 garlic clove, smashed
3 tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup butter
3 truffles
salt
Parmigiano cheese 
 
Under running water scrub the truffle with a vegetable brush.

 Bring a large pot 3/4 filled with water to a boil.
Add 1 tbsp salt.
Drop in the pasta and cook, stirring often.

Meanwhile place a small sauce-pot on a burner.
Preheat to med. heat add oil and butter. 
Stir to melt.
Grate 2 or 3 truffles finely into the fat. 
Stir to cook on med. low heat for 2 min.
 This brings out a wonderful aroma.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for another min. until the garlic is golden brown.
Remove the garlic.

Add the cream and 1 tsp salt
Cook for 5-10 min on med. high heat
to thicken slightly.
Do not let the cream come to a boil, it will curdle
Drain the pasta reserving 1/4 cup of liquid.
Add the cream to the pasta.
Add reserved liquid if the "sauce" is too thick.
Grate or shave more truffles on top if you desire.
Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Bumble Berry Crisp

Crisp oatmeal and soft succulent Berries
top this crisp that is made in a
Crockpot!
 
This hot dessert will get you back into your
groove
for the New Year
and eating right.
 
Berries are full of antioxidants, fiber and
vitamins!
 
 
This gluten free dessert is also
guilt free! 
 
Bumble Berry Crisp
 
 
You'll need:
 
4 pints of mixed berries; blue, cran, black, raspberries
 
1/4 cup honey
 
1/4 cup water
 
1 cup oatmeal
 
2 heaping tbsp. dark buckwheat flour
 
1/4 cup margarine or butter
 
 2 tsp cinnamon
 
1 tbsp. brown sugar
 
pinch of salt
 
Tip all of the berries into a crock pot
*or casserole dish*


Top with honey and water no need to mix.

 
Add oatmeal, buckwheat, salt, margarine, brown sugar and spice to a small bowl 

 
 
Using a pastry cutter, cut margarine into
the dry ingredients.

 
To a crumbly mixture
 

 
Pour over fruit to cover completely.
 
Place a piece of wax paper on top.

This prevents too much moisture from collecting and making the Crisp soggy.
Turn the crockpot onto low for 2 hrs.
or
Bake in a preheated 350F for 45 min.
 
 
Serve with frozen yogourt or ice-cream if you want to be bad!
 
Enjoy with love!

 
 


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

French Apple Cake Torte


Fall and winter in our cold North American region is known for apples!
Apple pie, Apple Spice & Cinnamon Loaves,
I wish they would make Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream.
I found this recipe in a cookbook from
American Homecooks.
They love to perfect recipes so I knew it was safe to try this recipe.
HOWEVER...
I reduced the sugar content,
changed the apple type
and
even changed it to gluten free the next time I made it!
I substituted buckwheat flour!
It was richer and darker in flavor and colour.
Using the exact same ingredients and buckwheat made it fluffier! Sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind when experimenting and
~just go for it~ 
 

 
French Apple Cake Torte

 
 Here's what you'll need:
 
1 1/2lbs gala or golden delicious apples
1 tbsp. rum
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup flour or buckwheat flour+ 2 tbsp. extra
1 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar+ 1 tbsp. extra
1 cup milk or dairy free milk
1 tbsp. pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lg. egg + 2 lg. yolks
confectionary sugar for dusting
 
Apples
 
Peel, core and cut into 6-8 wedges.
Slice 1/8" thick, crosswise.
*As you start, place them in a bowl full of water with the half of the squeezed lemon to prevent darkening. When done slicing, drain the water*
 
Add the lemon juice to the apples, mix.
Microwave for 3 min. to pre-cook.
Toss with the rum and allow to cool.
 
Batter
 
Whisk 1 cup of flour, 1 cup sugar, salt, spice and baking powder together.
Whisk egg, oil, milk and vanilla together.
Combine the two together, mixing lightly.
 
Transfer 1 cup of batter to another bowl.
Add egg yolks to remaining batter, whisk.
Fold apples into this batter.
Transfer the batter to a sprayed 8" or 9" springform pan.
Press down apples with a spatula, pressing to create a compact even layer right to the edges.
Whisk 2 tbsp. flour into the reserved batter.
Spread to the edges evenly over apples.
Sprinkle 1 tbsp. sugar over batter.
Bake for 1 1/4hrs in a preheated 325F oven or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Cool for 5min. then run a paring knife around the  inside edge, loosing the cake.
Cool completely
Dust with confectionary sugar if desired. 
 
 
Enjoy with love!
 


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Little Potatoes
 
My family has been enjoying these Potatoes
supplied by the Little Potato Company.
They are so easy to use.
Prewashed, tender and creamy inside,
I have been waiting for my party to use them in the following recipe.
They really are so convenient and are 1 bite!
 
#LilPotatoCompany 
With  the Holiday Season in full swing.
These Little Potatoes
make an ideal appetizer.
Hearty quick and easy
Make extra for your friends and family
Watch them disappear!
 
Santa's Little Helpers
 
 
Here's what you'll need:
 
12 Little Potatoes; Something Blue
1/4 cup onion dip
2-3 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
4 slices bacon
sea salt to mimic snow!
 
Rinse the Little Potatoes even though they are clean, just in case ;D
 
Roll them around a flat surface and see if they sit up well. If they don't with a sharp knife, slice off a tiny amount off the bottom so they sit flat.
 
With the point of a sharp knife, carve out some of the top making a cavity.
Do not discard these pieces, use in another recipe.
 
Place in a pie plate carved side up.
Bake at 350F for 30min.
When a sharp knife inserts easily they are done.
 
Place bacon on a small parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a flat piece of foil.
Bake for the same time as the potatoes.
Check to prevent burning.
Remove from pan when crisp and press onto a piece of paper towel to absorb excess fat.
 
Break into pieces, this will be the top décor.
 
 
Meanwhile mix the onion dip and cheddar together. Leave some shreds off for top.
 

Generously top the Tiny Tots with the filling.
Top with bacon pieces and cheddar.
Spread out a thick layer of salt on a decorative platter and nestle the Tiny Tots into the salt to hold up the potato.
 
Can be served hot or room temp.
 
Enjoy with love

Friday, 5 December 2014

Little Potatoes

I have the pleasure of testing the
Little Potato Company's
Something Blue
Purple Skinned

Originally bred in Chile by a father and son team, these purple/blue skin exotic beauties display beautifully when serving with the flesh slightly purple; a perfect creamy bite!
 and Blushing Belle
Pink Skinned yellow fleshed
Edmonton, AB, The Little Potato Company

Originally bred in Germany by a one of the oldest breeding companies. This Blushing Belle is moist, light in texture and can be adapted in many cooking methods.

Creamer Potatoes

Headquartered out of Edmonton Alberta, it has two facilities.
One in Edmonton and one in P.E.I.
Angela Santiago, Co Founder and her father
Jacob van der Shaaf
grew their first acre of Little Potatoes in 1996.

This successful family run business has grown to include sales from Canada to the U.S. Serving food service and retail businesses across the country.


 
These tiny pre-washed, thin skinned, creamy potatoes come in a 1.5lb bag
and are truly
Canadian grown!

I have actually seen the larger 5lb bags in better grocery stores and was impressed by the mixture of colours. What a great conversation piece for your family and guests!
 
Eager to try them...I love potatoes!...
 
The first thing I did with them is to place them simply in foil.
I added a large tsp of pureed garlic,
a drizzle of EVOO
a pinch of salt and a sprig of rosemary


 
Wrapped them in foil and popped them on my hot  300F BBQ grill. Turning them over periodically.
 
They were done in 1/2 hr. and the taste inside of them really matches their name
CREAMY
My kids even commented on how moist they are inside.

 
They accompanied my burger and greens


 Making this meal a healthy, hearty, complete dinner.

 
Potatoes have been getting a bad rap for many years now, but they are high in
potassium and fiber
The  added calories come from high heating methods
ie: frying or adding rich ingredients like mayo or cream.
Potatoes are a natural unprocessed starch far more nutritious than processed  prepared carbs.
 
Here is my second recipe for these Little Potatoes
 
Tuscan Bean Soup


Pasta & Fagioli
A cold weather fave in my Italian home.
Hearty vegetarian and a complete easy meal.
 
 
You'll need:
 
2 cup crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 tsp oregano
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2-1 tsp chili flakes
3-4 stems of chopped fresh parsley
1 cup canned romano beans, drained
1 carrot, peeled, diced finely
6-8 quartered Blushing Belle potatoes
2 tsp salt
Parmesan cheese for topping
1/2 lb of small cut pasta
2 cups water or broth

Pour the oil into a preheated sauce pot.
Sauté the garlic & chili until fragrant and golden.
Add the tomatoes, herbs, salt, carrots and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of water, stir to mix.
Cook on medium heat for 20 min.
You may need to add more water as the sauce evaporates.
Add the potatoes and cook until almost tender.

Add 2 cup additional water or broth,
bring to a boil.
Drop in pasta. Stir to prevent sticking.
Reduce heat to #6 or #7 continue to stir regularly
until al dente ( to the bite) and the potatoes are cooked. If it becomes too thick add a bit more liquid.
 
Allow to sit for 10min before serving to
blend the flavours.
Sprinkle with cheese.
 
 Whole Roast Chicken

 
 
 Whole Roast Chicken,
is a great family Sunday Meal!
It fills the home with cosy  comfortable mouthwatering aromas.
This is so easy to prepare and pop in the oven and forget about it for awhile.

 You'll need:

1 cleaned and patted dry whole chicken
1 tbsp. rosemary
3-5 sprigs of parsley
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp Cajun spices
4-6 small, halved, yellow onions
1 green pepper, quartered, seeded
1- 1/2 lb Blushing Belle Little Potatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
1 carrot, cut in half lengthwise
1 celery stalk, cut in half lengthwise


Place the carrots approx. 6" apart in a roasting pan
Place the celery over the carrots crosswise.
Pour the water into the pan.
Place the chicken over the root veggies.
Pour the wine over the chicken.
Sprinkle with salt, rosemary, spice all around and inside the chicken, reserve 1/2tsp for the veggies.
Place the sprigs inside the cavity.
Place the onions and green pepper around the pan. Sprinkle with reserved spices/salt mixture.

Place in a preheated 375F oven in the center of the oven. Roast for 1/2hr to brown and colour.
Turn the chicken over.
Roast for another 1/2hr.
Turn the chicken over, toss the potatoes into the gravy and turn them to coat.
Cook for another 1/2 hr. or until a skewer inserted into the area between the thigh and breast, oozes clear juices.
Strain the jus and serve

Serves 4-6