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Addendum to MC Veggie Puffs … :)


Well … I added 5 eggs (whipped), about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup of coconut flour (slowly – add a bit, mix … etc.), 1/4 cup quinoa flakes, 1 tsp. salt and for some reason I had the idea to add 1 tsp. of baking powder.

1st photo – the consistency you want to have – the wooden spoon stands up and you can make a definite hole in the mixture without any of it running in. Dryish not too dry. Still quite wet when you are rolling it but does stick together.
IMG_2469
You then proceed to roll them into little balls and flatten out a bit, placing into the pan with the coconut oil. Oven is at 350℃, ready to go. I made 48 in the second pan and 35 in the first – just jammed them a bit more in the second pan, (was getting tired of rolling!).
And here we are:

IMG_2471
Five are already missing … must do a taste test … 😉

They will be a perfect grab and go snack!
The rest – yes, there was MORE mix … I put into an 8 x 8 pyrex dish and it is cooking now. This is the one I will be sampling for the next few days!
Definitely a keeper recipe as they smell delicious, taste divine – puffy, spicy but not too much, just a hint of warmth and notes of curry and will go well with any number of dips/sauces or just a quick bite, straight out of the fridge when you are on the go.
Next time, I will reduce the amount of coconut flour and add mashed potato and cauliflower, see what the difference would be. When I do, I will let you all know!

These would go well with a Salsa Verde, Tsatsiki (made with Toffuti Sour Cream), or a Mango Chutney/Salsa.
Wine pairing: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Rosé, Beaujolais Nouveau.
Happy Cooking!

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Multi-Cultural Veggie Puffs?


Christmas is coming and so is company, one being a vegetarian … What to make?
Made my list of food must haves and requests. Placed a couple of coolers outside (it’s cold enough for them to sub in for the refrigerator), to hold the extras, such as the turkey and the 25 pound bag of carrots (a deal I couldn’t resist) and have begun cooking.
Here’s the list for your inspiration:

Miso soup (to warm the belly upon arrival – it’s chilly here)
Turkey with stuffing and gravy (my favourite!)
Sweet Potato Pie (with mini marshmallows – a request made in a pleading tone which I couldn’t resist … against my better judgement but oh well, marshmallow topped sweet potatoes, once a year, isn’t going to hurt … right?)
Broccoli and Cauliflower salad (easy and delicious – also a request)
Peas and Carrots (a standard)
Roasted Beets (requested with cloves/garlic/vinegar)

Kourambiedes – (Greek, almond shortbread, covered in icing sugar that takes all bloody day to make – but well worth the effort. Even though I can’t partake). Don’t have a choice here … it’s a must!
Melamacarona – (more Greek cookies – not as labour intensive as above but still a lot of work!). Also a must.
Chocolate cake – There’s a Birthday involved as well as the Holiday meal. (Gotta feel sympathy for those born right at Christmas time … )

A lot of food for Christmas dinner, yes and probably enough for leftovers the next day. But … what to have on hand for grazing/snacking? Something simple to make, easy to grab and eat, straight from the refrigerator/cooler (wherever it will fit – I’ll get to that later), and healthy?
Houmous, always good in a pinch, very easy to make – it takes more time to clean up than to make the dip. It’s on the list.
Devilled Eggs? Nope. Too much work – not enough time to enjoy the company and they don’t stay fresh for long.
Hmmm …
Gigantes? Greek style, Delicious giant white beans in a flavourful tomato sauce. Lasts for days in the refrigerator but does need warming … Nope, they’re  off the list.
Pakoras? Okay, I’ve never made them but they’ll go well with the houmous and … they will last and can be frozen beforehand, thawed as needed! Bingo!

And so, this is how this recipe which was supposed to be Pakoras (recipe isn’t quite done yet … I’ll keep you posted today as the making of the “puffs” progresses), began …

Shopping at the grocers’, I spy a 1 kilo bag of baby zucchinis on sale for $1.00! Steal of a deal! But what to do with 1 kilo of zucchini? I can’t eat all of that … In the food processor it goes, mushed zucchini poured into a freezer bag and then popped into the freezer …
Okay, so it’s not going to be Pakoras … but I do like the idea of the Indian flavours instead of plain zucchini puffs … Hmmm …
What do I have on hand? Onions – check, Red Peppers – check, Garlic – check, Indian spices – got them. Off to buy a bag of Red Split Lentils, eggs and cilantro – sounded like a good combo … No?
This morning:
Not knowing exactly what I am doing, I pour the thawed zucchini mash into a pot – it’s very liquidy … so I pour in the lentils and turn the stove on to low … add more lentils, stir … add more lentils, stir (all told, about a cup and 1/3) … Turned off stove and let sit.
Finely chopped the carrots – about a cup, 2 large red peppers, a large head of garlic and the cilantro … the onions have just come out of the freezer where they were placed to cool off a bit before chopping (it prevents teary eyes). Added the carrots and peppers to the zucchini and lentils. Placed the garlic in a pan with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil and a whole lot of turmeric, cumin and coriander. This is what it looks like so far …
Oh God I hope this works …

The photo on the left is the zucchini mash (what else would you call it?), and the one on the right is a mound of spices with garlic waiting to be fried – for 20 seconds and then added to the pot.
So … here’s my next steps …
Quick fry spices/garlic and to mash.
Finely chop onions and toss into the pot.
Finely chop cilantro and figure out how much to add to this mix? mash?
Whip 3? 4? eggs and add in (hope the mash in the pot has cooled enough!)
Melt coconut oil onto a cookie sheet (one with sides), it’s chilly here and the oil hardens … the perils of living up north …
Add coconut flour or quinoa flakes until mixture firms up enough to roll into small burger shapes – a flat “meatless” ball.
Bake in a 350℃ oven … cross fingers and hope for success …

For a list of accompaniments (sauces/salsas and wines), see the excerpt or Facebook.

Will keep you posted on my Facebook Page – simplyyummy123.
https://www.facebook.com/SimplyYummy123-139865369835/
Wish me luck!

One Pan Chicken Dinner! With a Side of Green Beans!


Easy Chicken Dinner – one pan.
Place rinsed chicken breast or thighs in pan. Drizzle EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) all over. Add Wine (red or white) OR orange juice OR lemon into the pan. About 1/2 cup of wine or 1/4 cup juice. Chop (chunky pieces) up potatoes or cauliflower, carrots, onions (just a bit), garlic (lots!) and add to pan. Mix with the juice/wine and oil. Cover the chicken in Dijon mustard – be liberal. Sprinkle entire contents of pan with paprika (lots), cumin (just enough to have a sprinkle – more on the chicken), black pepper, thyme, if you have fresh rosemary, add a 2 or 3 sprigs for extra flavour. Add capers on top of the chicken, it’s okay if a few roll off. Add lots! They are delicious with Dijon mustard. Bake/Roast covered at 350℉ (180℃ or Gas Mark 4), for approximately half an hour (half the time). Uncover and cook until done – browned. Bone in chicken will take about one hour. Boneless will take less time. Cover for only half the time!
Enjoy with a salad or a side of green vegetables!
And here’s a green vegetable idea I made up the other day …
Green Beans, fresh or frozen, whichever you can find! As many as you need – approx. 1/2 cup per person.
Crush some cashews or used slivered/sliced almonds. About 1/3 cup per cup of green beans.
Sesame oil to generously coat pan.
Balsamic vinegar or Lemon juice or Orange juice. Tsp. of Balsamic or 1 tbsp. of Lemon or Orange juice per cup of Beans.
Coriander – crushed.
Black Pepper – a sprinkle will do.
Garlic, chopped. Doesn’t have to be diced up small. Chunky will do. As much or as little as you like.
Fresh Cilantro, Parsley or Basil, chopped up and added after other ingredients have begun to cook.
Add all ingredients into a pan, medium-low heat. Cover for 5 – 10 minutes (depending on how much you have in the pan). Remove cover, add fresh herbs, increase heat to medium-high and stir-fry until done. About another 5 minutes.
Optional: Red Pepper – diced. One Hot Pepper, fresh or dried, cut in half. Only 1 hot pepper, first time I made this, I added 3. Love heat but not THAT much!
Sun-Dried Tomato – about 1 tbsp. per cup of beans … tomatoes will dilute the flavour of the beans if you add too many.
A few fresh green/spring onions … scallions, chopped fine and sprinkled on the beans before serving.
This green vegetable dish would be great on a date night – I’ll tell you why in the book!
Which wine to serve? A crisp Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir … 🙂
Enjoy!

Berried Salmon


Thought I might try a little native twist to the wild sockeye salmon tonight …

This is completely new and untried (by me)!

Drizzled a little olive oil over all three pieces of salmon … ’cause olive oil is sooo good with almost everything!  This part is not native but … creative license … a lot of this recipe is not … 🙂

Looks Delicious!

Before The Oven!

Then drizzled a little REAL CANADIAN maple syrup over all.  A splash of Tamari Sauce (wheat-free) and a heaping tablespoon or more of minced, fresh ginger.  At this point I couldn’t decided whether to add anything else … garlic, dijon mustard, spices, herbs … so decided on nothing else … just fresh blueberries.  Probably about 1 cup of fresh, delicious blueberries were poured on top.  Popped the pan into the oven at 375° for about 20 minutes and immediately tasted, almost burning my mouth!  Blueberries and salmon definitely go together well but I think it needs a little something extra.  Definitely a little too much ginger – a little less or none at all next time … Perhaps mustard?  Horseradish?  More maple syrup?  Will definitely keep refining this recipe and keep you up to date!

Light, Refreshing, very berryish!

Combat the Flu!


Returned from Mexico earlier than planned because of Montezuma … Thank God I had no “issues” on the plane!  A few days later, I thought all was well, this nasty flu bug that’s going around decided to pay me a visit.  Bad head/sinus cold, queasy tummy, sneezing, coughing, aching … OK, enough of this.  Now I am on the attack, blasting this virus with my entire arsenal.  And what is that?  Here is the list:

Green Tea – which I drink every morning anyway;”
Milk Thistle Tea – great for detoxing the body and something I drink occasionally but now 2 cups a day;
Echinacea – liquid form.  It’s actually IMM formula, containing echinacea, golden seal and more – once a day;
Vitamin C – tablets 4,000 mg per day;
Probiotic – usually one a day but discovered, perhaps due to coeliac disease?, two a day is better, taken first thing, BEFORE anything else;
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon;
Vitamin D – liquid form.   This too I take every day, in the winter – just a few drops.  Living in the northern hemisphere, where during the winter it is too cold – most days – to go outside, skin exposed, and allow your body and the sun’s rays to make vitamin D for you, this is necessary.

Food stuffs:

MORNING

Juicing 5 – 6 medium sized carrots, 1 lemon, a small piece of ginger and 1 to 2 apples (depending on size).
– peel the carrots, remove both ends of the lemon (peel part) & cut into 4 wedges, core the apple & cut into pieces to fit the juicer;
–  start with a few apple pieces, add a couple of lemon wedges, toss in the ginger bit, finish of with the carrots;

Drink immediately.  Contains many vitamins, enzymes and other goodies to help boost your immune system.

Wash the juicer parts.  Done!

Next a shake containing many vitamins and minerals, Ultra Clear, also been taking this every day for the past 5 years.  Add one heaping tablespoon to 3/4 of a glass of purified/spring water.  Mix and drink.

More tea.

Yes, I am floating by now but that’s the idea.  This virus must be flushed out by your body’s amazing elimanation system – pores, coughing, nose blowing and other flushes … 🙂

AFTERNOON

 A smoothie is next on the agenda.  In a blender combine 1 banana, 1 heaping tablespoon of a protein powder (I use Vega – allergry-free & vegan), 2/3 glass of purified/spring water and start blending (lid on!).  Next toss in about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup other frozen berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries … ).  Keep blending until smooth – there is a little eddy happening on the top of the mix.  Drink immediately.

More tea – if you can stand it … 🙂  Milk Thistle, Lemon, really any herbal tea will do – no caffein

EVENING

Artichoke – cut off the bottom (about 1/2 an inch, 1 1/2 cm) & the top points (about 1 inch, 3 cm or more).  Place in pot, fill pot with purified/spring water until 1/2 way up the artichoke, cover and turn on medium heat until it begins to boil.  Turn down to low, wiggle artichoke around to avoid sticking to bottom of pot, continue cooking until you can pull an artichoke leaf off easily.  Pour a little (1 tbsp.) EVOlive Oil and the juice of half a lemon in a dipping dish.  Remove the artichoke from the pot and place on a plate or any available dish.  Careful ’cause it’s hot!  Remove one leaf at a time, dip the fleshy end into the … well … the dip, and with your teeth scrape off the tender bits.

Asparagus – Wash and remove stems.  Save the stems!  Roast asparagus in the oven with a touch of water (yes, purified/spring), just until a little soft – about 10 – 15 minutes.  Remove, drizzle Extra Virgin Olive oil and the juice of 1/2 or a whole lemon.  Sprinkle black pepper and oregano over all and munch away.  Add fresh garlic if you like.

Miso soup – In a pot of purified/spring water add the washed asparagus stems and boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until stems become swollen, then remove.  Add some diced tofu and let simmer for 10 minutes.  In the “broth” add 2 – 3 sheets of Nori or Kombu or really any seaweed you can find at your health food store.  Ripped up, of course, not whole.  Let simmer until it begins to “melt” down – approx. 5 minutes.  Add a few drops of wheat-free soya sauce, japanese rice vinegar & saki (for flavour).  Next add a bunch of chopped up green onions/scallions.  Once this has simmered for about 5 minutes, add the miso, remove from heat and stir until miso is blended in.  Eat it up.

Sweet Potato – Scrub clean.  Remove any nasty bits.  Poke holes with a fork.  Place on a pan and cook in a 350° oven until it is soft.  Split open and eat it all – yep, peel too!

Sounds like a lot to do but each item is only a few minutes of work and the benefits are worth it.  You will shorten the duration of your cold.  If you can’t find Artichoke or Asparagus try some broccoli – well steamed but not soggy, or cook up a plate of greens – chard, kale.  Use lots of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice on the veggies.

I am now on day 2.  Will let you know how it goes.

Valentine’s Day Menu!


This dinner will leave you feeling light, sated, relaxed and full of energy for the night ahead … The foods used for this menu are flavourful, nutritious and are said to have aphrodisiac qualities … Perfect for a romantic meal!

Watch the video!

Here’s what you will need:

1 Squash; either butternut or acorn
2 Halibut Fillets
8 Spears of Asparagus
1 Ripe Tomato
Salad Greens
1/2 Cup Dairy & Gluten-Free Chocolate Chips or Chunks
1/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries
2 Tbsp. Frozen Raspberries
Parsley or Fresh Basil
4 Scallions/Green Onions
1 Lemon
1 Orange
Balsamic OR Apple Cider Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Spices/Herbs
Paprika
Cinnamon
Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper (or pimento)
Dry Mustard Powder
Thyme, Oregano OR Basil
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Vanilla

White Wine
3 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. Amaretto

METHOD

1. Wash the squash on the outside and cut in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.  Place cut side up on a pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.  Flip over so cut side is down.  Place in oven at 350° for approx. 45 minutes.  It is done when you can easily press it with a spoon.  Remove, scoop out “meat” and any liquid  remaining in pan, place in bowl and mash/whip until light and fluffy.

Cooked Butternut squash

2. Cut Tomato in half (not through stem part but through the middle).  Place in a small pan, cut side up.  Sprinkle a little water on the bottom of the pan – not on the tomato!  Place in oven with the squash for only 20 minutes.  Remove and set aside (still in pan!).

3.  Snap off woody ends of Asparagus and save in a freezer bag, (great for soup broth!).  Wash and lay in a pan – single layer.  Place in oven at the same time as the Halibut.

4.  Wash Halibut, arrange in a pyrex or corningware dish that just fits it – not too big of a dish.  Pour approx. 1/2 cup (or more) white wine over all.  Drizzle about 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle liberally with paprika and add a light dusting of mustard powder.  Chop up the parsley and green onions, sprinkle over each piece of fish.  Place in oven with asparagus when the squash is almost done (10 minutes of cooking time left).  Fish and asparagus will cook for approx. 20 minutes.

      

5. Before removing and mashing squash, add approx. 1 Tbsp. frozen raspberries to 2 Tbsp. olive oil in an ovenproof dish and set in oven for 2 – 3 minutes.  Arrange salad greens in a pretty bowl.  Remove raspberries from oven and mash – carefully, add at least 1 tsp. or more of thyme, basil or any herb you like, add 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt/pepper (if desired) and pour over salad greens just before serving.

6. Mash/whip the squash.

7.  Remove the asparagus and place in a serving dish, a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, shake of black pepper and a sprinkle of oregano or thyme.

A few slices of peppers added but not necessary!

8.  Place tomato on top rack, 4 inches from broiler.  Move halibut to very bottom rack.  Put broiler on high for 3 – 5 minutes – watching carefully, don’t want to burn the tomato halves, just brown them!  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little fresh garlic before or after cooking (or not), or a little pinch of salt & pepper.

9.  Serve!

This dinner takes less than an hour to prepare, from start to finish, which gives you time to set the scene and pamper yourself!

Dinner is served with the remaining wine – plenty to savour.  Dessert is served with a Blueberry Tea – in a cup or large brandy glass, pour 1 1/4 oz. Grand Marnier and 1/2 oz. Amaretto.  Add one slice of fresh orange – rind and all, and one cinnamon stick.  Pour orange flavoured tea slowly over the cinnamon stick.  I like to drink a bit and add more tea – keeping it warm and flavourful for a long lasting night cap!

Speaking of Dessert … 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks, 1/4 frozen blueberries (or fresh if available), 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier, a 1/2 tsp. of vanilla and a small pinch of cayenne pepper.  All in a small pot, set on low until it all melts and blends together.  This can be poured over dairy-free ice-cream or a baked banana.  Make it the night before and spoon into small cups lined with parchment paper or muffin tin liners.  Leave to set and enjoy a lovely, soft, creamy, libido enhancing treat … Enjoy!  Chocolate mixed with pimento is a true aphrodisiac!

A small velvety smooth, soft, chocolate delight!

Halibut, Leeks & Potatoes …


So simple, so yummy!

1 Leek per person – cleaned, outside layers (2-3) removed, cut in rounds
4 Potatoes – washed, sliced
Liberal Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup of white wine – cheap chardonnay/sauvignon blanc/pinto grigio – save the pricey stuff for you and your guests/family.
Garlic – if desired – as much as you like!
Black Pepper – shake it all over … 😉
Herbs – any one or two or three of the following: Parsley, Lemon Grass, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Savory, Marjoram, Herbs de Provence, Dill … anything but Oregano!

Layer potatoes on bottom of pan/Pyrex dish, arrange leeks on top.

Ready for "dressing".

Pour oil & wine over all.  Add remaining ingredients.  Always add the liquid before the spices/herbs!

All dressed and ready to go!

Cook in 350° oven for approximately 1 hour or until it looks like this:

All done, Yummy!

Next, the Halibut!

1 Fillet for each person
4-6 Green Onions/Scallions – chopped fairly fine
Cilantro/Fresh Basil/Fresh Parsley – chopped up – just a bit.  Any of these fresh herbs are perfect for the fish.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – enough for a liberal drizzle over each piece
White Wine – use the same as for the Leeks. A good pour over all – approx. 1 cup
Paprika – see picture
Garlic – not too much (1 clove) – don’t overpower the delicate flavour of the fish
Mustard Powder – just a sprinkle for a little spice or use Chili Peppers – again … just a light sprinkle!

Wash fish – really any white fish will do for this dish. Place in Pyrex or corning ware dish.  Drizzle EV olive oil over top, pour white wine on all pieces of fish.  Add paprika, garlic (if desired), mustard powder.

A little spice flavour!

Top with green onions and cilantro/basil/parsley.

Topped up for cooking

Place in oven with the leeks, 40 minutes after leeks have begun cooking.  bake for 20 minutes – depending on thickness of fish.  Test with a fork – if it flakes easily, it’s done.

Mmmmm.... Hungry?

That’s it!  Simple & Yummy … Enjoy!

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