Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pad Thai Salad

A treat for the eyes and the palate! This salad has the approval of my 8 year old son.

Serves 6 as a side salad, 4 as a main.

2 zucchinis, peeled and sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler
2 cups beansprouts
3/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts or cashews)
1 red or yellow sweet bell pepper, sliced into strips
4 green onions, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a blender or food processor, whiz dressing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle approx. 5 tablespoonfuls of dressing onto salad and toss to combine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Virtually fat free, whole grain cornbread!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp flax mixture*
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 individual snack cup of unsweetened applesauce)

Preheat oven to 180 c. Coat a 9x9 baking pan with nonstick spray.

Sir dry ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Add flax mixture, water and applesauce and mix well.

Pour into prepared baking tin, bake for 25 min or until inserted skewer comes out clean.

*Flax mixture:

In a blender, place 1/4 cup ground flax seed. (Or use whole flax seed, and grind it up first.) Add 1 cup water and blend until milkshake thick. This can be used as an egg substitute in recipes where egg is used as a binder.

3 tbsp flax mixture = 1 egg

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mixed Bean Chili

I always serve this chili with home-made cornbread warm from the oven. It's comfort food on a cold Autumn night.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 x 19 floz can mixed beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)

Saute onion, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and garlic in oil. When onion is translucent, add tomatoes, beans, corn, water, dried herbs and spices. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

One of my favourite quick breads to whip up for lunchtime snacks (I freeze slices for lunch boxes) or when I'm low on ingredients... I can still usually make this!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown works fine)
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 tbsp poppy seeds
zest of 1 orange (optional, but it does add more orange flavour)
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 165 c. Coat a loaf tin with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and poppy seeds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together orange zest, juice and vanilla extract. Add orange mixture to dry ingredients, mix well. Pour into loaf tin and bake 30 minutes, or until inserted skewer comes out clean.

Remove from oven, turn out onto wire rack and let cool before slicing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving feast: stuffed kobacha squash, roast potatoes and brussels sprouts, pureed swede (rutabaga), cranberry sauce and onion gravy. Turkey hats made by the children!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bean Quesadillas with Fresh Salsa

Quesadillas are basically Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches. I make mine with beans and top them with fresh salsa. My preschool daughters enjoyed these for lunch today.

Makes 10
1 onion, finely diced
1 large ripe tomato, finely diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 cup masa harina (corn tortilla flour)
~1 cup hot water
1 x 19 floz can beans, drained and rinsed (I used mixed beans, but you could use pinto, kidney, black beans etc.)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin

For the Salsa:
In a small bowl, place 1/4 of the diced onion, all the diced tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Stir together, cover and set aside.

For the Tortillas:
Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to cover a tortilla press. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place masa in a food processor, and turn blades on to a medium speed. While blades are turning, slowly pour in hot water until it just comes together into a ball of dough. Transfer dough to a bowl and pinch off golf-ball sized pieces to press between parchment paper, in the tortilla press. Cook tortillas on the hot skillet, about a minute each side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a cloth to keep from drying out.

For the Refried Beans:
Rinse out food processor. Put in beans and 2 tbsp water, process until smooth. Add more water if necessary.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the remaining diced onion and cook until translucent. Add cumin and cook 1 more minute. Add pureed beans and stir for another minute. Turn off heat and leave on hob to keep warm.

Putting it Together:
Spread refried beans on one half of a tortilla. Fold and place onto a hot frying pan/skillet. Turn once. Remove and spoon salsa inside. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Moroccon Chickpea Stew

My 7 year old son ate this and asked to have it in his lunch. Perhaps it's because I've been showing him Popeye on Youtube... it's got him eating spinach out of the bag!

2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 x 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 x 19 floz can chickpeas (4 cups cooked chickpeas)
3 cups water
salt to taste
6 cups fresh chopped spinach, packed (or use 1 block of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained)

In a large pot, saute onion in oil. Add garlic and spices, cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook five more minutes. Add chickpeas and water, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted.