Monday, 29 September 2008

Greek Chicken Salad

...with Panko Breaded Spicy Shrimp
For the Salad:
4 small cucumbers, diced (about
   2 cups)
4 small tomatoes, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
For the Garlic-Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greekplain yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice and grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
For the Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Topping:
1/4 cup feta cheese

  • In large bowl, toss Salad ingredients.
  • In small bowl, mix Garlic-Yogurt Sauce ingredients.
  • Heat 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make thinner. 
  • Season breasts with salt and seasonings. 
  • Pour olive oil in skillet; add chicken. 
  • Cook about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is golden and no longer pink in centre. 
  • Remove from skillet to cutting board; let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Assemble with with salad on the the bottom, top with chicken and a dollop of the sauce.
  • Top with cheese, and serve. 

Panko Breaded Spicy Shrimp

...with Greek Chicken Salad
2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
Black pepper
2 large eggs
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp. sriracha
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. honey

  • Preheat oven to 400°. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together panko, olive oil and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk eggs. 
  • Dip shrimp first in flour, then egg, then the panko mixture. Continue until all shrimp are coated.
  • Place shrimp on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the coating is crispy and golden.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk mayo, chili sauce, Sriracha, lime juice and honey until combined. Season with salt.
  • Drizzle sauce over shrimp or use it for dipping.  

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Cranberry Chocolate Pecan & Oatmeal Cookies

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 whole large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 (heaping) cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray cookie pan with Pam.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter until light in color then add the sugars and blend until light and fluffy. 
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. 
  • Measure and add in vanilla. 
  • Gradually add in the flour mixture, a little at a time. 
  • Do not over mix.
  • Mix in oats, cranberries, chopped pecans and chocolate chips. 
  • With wet hands, shape the cookie dough into small golf ball size shapes and place about an inch apart onto a prepared baking pan.  
  • Put extra on a plate to be rotated into the oven when it's their turn.
  • Place your pan on the middle rack in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Once baked, cool for one minute before transferring to a wire rack. 
  • Repeat with remaining dough.

Easy Jerk Chicken

2 teaspoons allspice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground
   black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1½ lbs. boneless skinless
   chicken breasts
  • Combine all the spices, brown sugar, and 1 tbsp oil in a small bowl. 
  • Preheat a skillet or grill to high heat. 
  • Rub the spice mixture over the chicken breasts.
  • Transfer the spice-rubbed chicken breasts to the hot grill. 
  • Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until the exterior is very deep, dark brown and the inside is no longer pink. 
  • Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes to let the juices soak in before cutting.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Baked Mashed Potato Bites

1¼ lb. little potatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
    2 oz. prosciutto, chopped
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
      & chopped
    3 tbsp finely grated cheese
    2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
    2 tbsp Pesto
    2 tbsp finely chopped sun
      dried tomatoes
    2 tbsp Yogurt or Sour Cream
    Garlic Powder and/or
      Onion Powder to taste
    Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Mash the potatoes with olive oil or butter and pepper and salt until combined. 
  • Alternatively, use leftover mashed potatoes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
  • Stir any or all of the "optionals" into the mashed potatoes. 
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Lightly coat a mini muffin pan (24 cups) with cooking spray.
  • Using a spoon, place the mashed potato mixture into each muffin tin. 
  • Lightly press down the mixture.
  • Bake until the potato bites are browned around the edges and starting to brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  • Let rest for 5 minutes. 
  • Using a small metal spatula, remove the potato bites from the muffin tin and transfer to a serving platter. 

Bacon and Kimchi Frittata

250 grams thick-cut bacon, sliced
   into 1-inch-thick strips
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, fresh,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1/2-inch) knob ginger, peeled
   and minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon Sweet Red Chili
1 cup kimchi, squeezed, liquid
   reserved, and chopped
1 cup rice, cooked, day-old
1 cup baby spinach (roughly
   cut up)
7 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
olive oil
3/4 cup shredded cheese

  • Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add bacon and render fat until bacon is crisp. 
  • Once bacon is lightly crisp, add mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Add garlic, ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, and Red Chili Sauce; cook until fragrant.
  • Add kimchi and sauté for 1 minute. 
  • Increase heat to high, add rice, and stir for 5 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon reserved kimchi liquid and cut up baby spinach. 
  • Gently stir until spinach begins to wilt. 
  • Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Beat eggs, milk, and the rest of the salt in a large bowl. 
  • Add cooled bacon-kimchi mixture. 
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • In the same pan, heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium-high heat. 
  • Add egg mixture and cook for 1 minute. 
  • Tilt pan slightly and use a rubber spatula to gently lift the sides of the frittata, allowing the uncooked egg to run underneath. 
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then turn off heat.
  • Cover top of frittata with shredded cheese.
  • Transfer pan to the preheated oven and bake just until eggs are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Rotate pan halfway through cooking. 
  • Turn on broiler setting or move pan closer to the top of the oven. 
  • Broil until top is slightly browned and puffed, about 1 to 3 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Mango Slaw
1 mango, peeled and sliced into
   thin strips
1 carrots, cut into small
1 cucumber, cut into small
green onion chopped finely
1 red chile pepper, chopped*
juice of 1 lime
1/ 2 cup roasted peanuts or
   cashews, chopped

* I pop the above 3 items through a food processor on grate -- works fine

Green Cashew Sauce
3/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil
3/4 cups roasted cashews
1/3 cup coconut milk, plus more if needed
juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon thai red curry paste
2-4 tablespoons sweet thai chili sauce

1 pound ground pork sausage & spicy sausage - casings removed (mixture)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 head butter lettuce
1/2 cup sweet thai chili sauce, for dipping

  • Mango Slaw: In a bowl, combine the mangos, carrots, cucumbers, green onion, red chili pepper and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Toss well. Store in the fridge until ready to serv. Toss in the nuts just before serving.
  • Green Cashew Sauce: Add the parsley, basil, cashews, coconut milk, lime juice, thai red curry paste and sweet thai chile sauce to a blender or food processor. 
  • Blend until completely smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. 
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more sweet thai chile sauce if desired. 
  • Can be store in the fridge for 1 week.
  • Meatballs: Season the pork with salt and pepper and then roll into 20-30 tablespoon size meatballs.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and honey.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning them 2-3 times throughout cooking. 
  • During the last minute or so of cooking, add the sauce and give the meatballs a good toss through the sauce. 
  • Cook another minute longer you until the sauce glazes the meatballs. 
  • Remove from the heat.
  • To serve, put 2 lettuce leaves on each of your plates and divide the meatballs among the leaves. 
  • Top with mango salad and the cashew sauce. 

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Broccoli Pesto Chicken with Noodles

1 (12 ounce) package wide
1 cup broccoli florets
20 large basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 - 10 garlic cloves
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-½ cups cubed, cooked

  • Boil water and cook the noodles according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, combine broccoli florets and basil leaves in a food processor or blender, and pulse until the broccoli and basil are chopped very finely.
  • Add the pine nuts to the food processor and continue to pulse until they are also chopped very finely.
  • Add the parmesan cheese, salt, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until well combined.
  • Taste to decide if more garlic or salt is needed.
  • Add the olive oil and process until mixture is smooth. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • When the noodles are done, drain and return to the pot.
  • Add the pesto and cooked chicken cubes and stir until noodles and chicken are coated.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Cabbage Casserole

4 tbsp olive oil, separated
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper - to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
400 g can diced tomatoes with juice
480 g jar tomato/spaghetti sauce
2 cups rice, cooked
1 large head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • In a large, deep, pan/pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and add the chopped cabbage.  
  • Cook, stirring almost constantly until the cabbage is about half cooked - add salt and pepper generously as it cooks, then remove from heat.
  • The cabbage and rice can be cooked the day before and kept in the fridge if you'd like.  
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil again in a deep skillet or pot over medium heat and saute the onion for about 3 - 4 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef and season well with salt and pepper.  
  • Cook until browned, crumbling it up as it cooks.
  • Stir in the thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and vinegar and cook for a couple more minutes before adding the tomatoes and tomato/spaghetti sauce.  
  • Swirl about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the tomato sauce jar and add that as well.
  • Let this simmer for about 15 minutes, then stir in the cooked rice and remove from heat.
  • Heat your oven to 350 F (175 C) and grease a large casserole dish.
  • Spread about 1/2 the cabbage onto the bottom, pressing it down a bit.
  • Spoon half the beef mixture over the cabbage, then add the other half of the cabbage and finish with the rest of the meat mixture.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, then remove the foil and sprinkle the cheeses on top.
  • Bake uncovered for about 10 more minutes, until the cheese melts, then move the dish to the top of the oven - turn the broiler on for a minute or two until the cheese begins to brown.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Southwestern Chicken Cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup each diced bell pepper
   and chopped onion
   2 cups corn kernels (canned,
   fresh, or frozen)
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup canned black beans,
12 oz (2 cups) cooked chicken,
   chopped or shredded
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
24 wonton wrappers

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Generously coat 6 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the onions, bell peppers, salt. 
  • If you’re using frozen corn, add it now. If you’re using canned or fresh corn, add it later with the beans. 
  • Cook the veggies, stirring occasionally, until slightly blackened on the edges, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add the minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well incorporated, about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the beans, chicken, and pepper. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place a wonton wrapper in the bottom of each cup in the prepared muffin tin. 
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of chicken mixture and top with about 1 tablespoon cheese. 
  • Layer on one more wonton wrapper, chicken mixture, and cheese.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 - 15 minutes, until heated through and edges are golden.
  • Makes 12 cups. 

Zucchini and Tomato Muffins With a Cheddar Crust

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
¾ cup sharp Cheddar, grated
1 large egg, whisked

3 medium zucchini, about 2 pounds, trimmed and cut into
   1/2-inch cubes
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
⅛+ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons runny honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
¾ cup fresh ricotta
1 large egg
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 small garlic clove, grated
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons finely grated Cheddar
Runny honey
  • Prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flours and salt. 
  • Pulse in butter and Cheddar until mixture resembles chickpeas. 
  • Drizzle in whisked eggs and ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 6 tablespoons, pulsing occasionally until mixture is just moist enough to hold together. 
  • Form dough into a ball, wrap with plastic and flatten into a disk. 
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours+.
  • Prepare the filling: Heat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss zucchini and tomatoes with rosemary, salt, red pepper and olive oil; spread mixture out into one layer. 
  • Roast, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are tender and golden, 40 to 50 minutes. 
  • Stir honey and vinegar into the hot vegetables, then let cool completely.
  • Assembly: Spray a muffin tin(s) with nonstick spray or use a nonstick muffin pan. 
  • Roll out dough to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle, trimming any rough edges. 
  • Cut into a dozen 4-by-4-inch pieces and gently press each piece into the 12 holes of your muffin tin(s), leaving the 4 corners hanging over the edges. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg, chives and garlic. Season with a large pinch each of salt and black pepper.
  • Divide ricotta mixture into the bottom of each tart, using about 1 heaping teaspoon each. 
  • Top with the roasted vegetables. 
  • Fold edges of crust over filling. 
  • Drip a bit of honey onto the top of each tart.
  • Sprinkle each with cheese. 
  • Place muffin tin(s) on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Cool slightly before serving.

Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

vegetable oil for frying
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup diced onion  (put the
   zucchini & the onion through
   my food processor)
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup prepared mayo
juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp chili powder

  • Start by pouring the vegetable oil in a skillet, fairly deep, and turn the heat to medium.  You want the oil hot before you start cooking.
  • Combine the zucchini, onion, and eggs in a large bowl.
  • Next, add the flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir well to combine.
  • Now drop batter into the oil by the heaping tablespoon, frying between 4 - 6  fritters at a time.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes a side. Once the centres are firm, remove the fritters from the oil and let them drain on several pieces of paper towel.
  • To make the dip, simply combined mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Crab Roll

200 g of crab (or imitation crab)
5 raw eggs
3 tbsp. spoons of milk
3-4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tbsp. minced dill
150 grams of cheese
3 hard boiled eggs
4 cloves of garlic
1 red bell pepper
dill - to taste
100 g of mayonnaise
salt and pepper - to taste

  • Omelet: Preheat oven to 180º C.
  • Put all the omelet ingredients into a food processor and run until thoroughly mixed and the crab is broken up.
  • Line a cookie baking tray with parchment paper and then grease lightly with Pam or vegetable oil.
  • Evenly distributed the omelet mixture over the prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes at 180º C, making sure that the omelet is not over dry. 
  • Stuffing:  Grate cheese and hard boiled eggs.
  • Crush garlic with the help of a press. 
  • Chop dill and bell pepper very finely.
  • Mix all stuffing ingredients together with salt/pepper/ and mayonnaise.
  • When omelet out of oven, cool slightly.
  • Distribute stuffing evenly across the surface and then roll starting from a larger side.
  • Wrap roll in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator over night. 
  • When serving cut into slices.  Decorated with greens and thin slices of bell pepper.

California Chicken Wraps

Tortillas (whole wheat or homemade)
Mashed or sliced avocado
Cooked shredded chicken
Choppd cucumbers
Choppd tomatoes
Homemade ranch dressing*
Shredded cheese
Spicy salsa (optional)

  • Cook chicken if necessary, then shred.
  • Chop your cucumber and tomatoes and cover with ranch dressing.
  • Stir and let sit. 
  • Slice your avocado.
  • Assemble wraps: avocado, chicken, mixed cucumber & tomato, cheese & lettuce.
  • Top with spicy salsa if you wish.
  • Roll tightly and grill on a very hot pan seam side down first.
  • Turn once 
  • Remove when tortillas are lightly browned.

* Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

1 c. sour cream or plain homemade yogurt (half and half makes it pourable, typically)
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. each: dried parsley, dill weed, chives
a few shakes cayenne pepper or a few chili flakes
black pepper to taste
salt to taste

  • Mix and serve. 
  • Store in the refrigerator.
  • Lasts as long as the sour cream would have lasted.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
8 ounces (1 cup) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup strawberry jam or preserves

  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Line an 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Melt butter.  I use the microwave for about a minute. 
  • In a large bowl add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and lastly the butter you just melted.  whisk until smooth.
  • Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, don't over mix.
  • Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set aside.
  • Rinse & dry your bowl and add the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and beat on high-speed with a handheld electric mixer until smooth and combined, about 1 minute.
  • Turn the cream cheese mixture out into the prepared pan and using a knife or spatula, form an even, smooth, flat layer.
  • Add the jam in small dollops distributed evenly over the pan and then using a spatula or knife, spread and swirl the jam into the cream cheese.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. The edges should be set and while the centre will be glossy and a bit loose, it should still be set to an extent and not overly jiggly. The toothpick test is unreliable because the bars will be done but the moist cream cheese layer will make the toothpick look wet. 
  • Bars firm up as they cool. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. 
  • Bars will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

Monday, 15 September 2008

Pizza Pasta

8 oz spicy sausage, no casings
½ cup pepperoni, cut into bite
   size pieces
24 oz can pasta sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
   with juices
2 TB sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
13 oz dry rotini pasta
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a large oven-proof pot, brown sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up as you brown, 3-5 min. 
  • Stir in half of the pepperoni until heated through, 1 min. 
  • Add pasta sauce, diced tomato with juices, sugar, onion, powder, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. 
  • Add 1¾ cups water, stir well, and add salt/pepper to taste.
  • Add pasta and stir to combine. 
  • Bring to a boil. 
  • Immediately cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 14 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat. Top with mozzarella, parmesan, and remaining pepperoni. 
  • Place into oven, uncovered, and broil 1-2 min or just until cheese melts and bubbles. 

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Asparagus & New Potato Frittata

200g new potatoes, sliced
100g asparagus tips (or can of
   asparagus tips)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 eggs, beaten
150g cheddar, grated (or taco
Spices:  salt, pepper, garlic, dill,
   basil, etc. to taste
Rocket or mixed leaves, to serve

  • Put the sliced potatoes and asparagus tips (if fresh) in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. 
  • Once boiling, cook until nearly tender.
  • Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and add the onion. Cook for about 8 mins until softened.
  • Add more oil if necessary.
  • Add the potatoes and asparagus and cook until tender.
  • Mix the eggs with half the cheese and season well. 
  • Ensure contents of frying pan are evenly distributed.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the contents of the pan
  • Top with the remaining cheese and put in your preheated 375 degree oven until golden and cooked through - 10 - 20 minutes. 
  • Cut into wedges and serve with salad.

BBQ Chicken Naan Pizza

2 whole wheat naan flatbreads (see recipe
½ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup cooked shredded or chopped chicken
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake the naan for 5-7 minutes directly on the oven rack (or on an oven safe rack fitted into a half baker's sheet), or until beginning to get crispy.
  • Meanwhile, mix 2-3 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce with the chicken.
  • Remove from oven and top each naan flatbread with the remaining BBQ sauce, followed by the cheese, and chicken.
  • Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until beginning to brown on top.

Whole Wheat Naan Bread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (does not rise, this is for flavour)
2 teaspoons sugar
⅓ cup cup warm milk
1-½ tablespoons coconut oil
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
parsley for topping

  • Add the flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the warm milk and yogurt to the dry ingredients, and mix together slightly until just incorporated.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes. It will not rise, but this helps the seasonings and the dough to come together and test.
  • Divide the dough into 4-6 balls (depending on whether you want larger naans or smaller) and roll into circles on a floured surface using a rolling pin. They'll be fairly thin.  
  • Over medium-high heat, heat a cast iron skillet or a regular large skillet. Brush both sides of the naan with the coconut oil and here you can add even more seasonings on the outside of the naan - garlic powder, parmesan cheese, salt, paper, what-have-you.
  • Place the naan into the hot skillet, cover with a lid and bake for 1 minute, until you see bubbles starting to form. It might puff up a little bit, but the indicator is the slightly darkened spots (you don't want everything to burn).
  • Turn the naan over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, looking again for the slightly darkened spots. Place on a wire rack to let the naan cool. Continue with the other naan breads until finished.
  • After cooling, these can be put into a sealed plastic bag and kept on the counter for a day or two, i.e. they can be made the day before the Naan Pizza above.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Cherry Tomato Salad

12 oz ripe cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (+ or -) chopped green onion
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
generous pinch of sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

  • Cut all tomatoes into halves or fourths. 
  • Toss tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, and green onion.
  • Add chopped cucumber and feta.
  • Season with salt and pepper, then give it a taste. 
  • Adjust (all) ingredients, if desired.
  • Mix in some fresh parsley to garnish

Baked Berry French Toast

12 slices of bread
8 large eggs
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whole milk
2 cups raspberries/strawberries/blueberries/black berries/what-have-you?/cleaned and picked over
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  • In the prepared baking dish, arrange the bread in layers, cutting in half as necessary for coverage.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and milk. 
  • Pour over the bread. 
  • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Remove the cover from the baking dish and sprinkle raspberries evenly over the soaked bread.
  • Combine the butter, flour, and brown sugar; blend with a fork until well combined. Sprinkle evenly over the berry layer.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Cut into squares to serve. 

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls


For the dough:
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp  granulated dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup to work the dough)

For the filling:
   Strawberry coulis:
1 cup chopped strawberries
   (natural or frozen)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
   Cream cheese spread:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crumble:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plain flour
2 oz. / 60 g unsalted butter, melted

Note:  You'll probably want to make the Strawberry Coulis (see below) the day before.

  • For the dough: In a large bowl combine the warm milk, melted butter and granulated sugar. Stir in the yeast and let it sit until it is foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beaten egg, the salt and vanilla extract and mix
  • Add the flour to the wet mixture and work till you obtain a sticky dough but not to the fingers. Add the 1/2 cup flour to knead the dough over a floured working surface for about 5 minutes. 
  • Allow to prove for 2 hours in a warm place
  • For the filling: Strawberry coulis: In a small saucepan combine the chopped strawberries, water, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and when the fruit is tender process briefly. Allow to reduce stirring gently over a low fire. Refrigerate until you need to use it. 
  • Cream cheese spread: combine the softened cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla extract and mix. 
  • Work the dough on a floured working surface with a rolling pin into a 12" x 16"rectangle, 1/2" inch tall
  • Spread the cream cheese over the surface and the strawberry coulis over the cream.
  • Roll the rectangle up lengthwise into a long jellyroll. Slice it into 1 1/2" inch pieces
  • Prepare an 8" x 13" inch baking tin with vegetable oil spray. Place the rolls in the tin with a space between them. 
  • In a small bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and melted butter to form the crumble. Sprinkle the mixture over each roll. Allow to prove for 1 hour 
  • Preheat the oven to 180º C / 350º F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown
  • Allow to cool 

Sangria Cake

Sangria Glaze
3/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup fruit juice  (your choice, we like Mora here in Ecuador, which is blackberry)
1/4 cup white sugar
2 heaping teaspoons corn starch

Fruit Filling and Outside Decoration
2 medium kiwis, peeled and diced into 1/2” pieces
6 oz blackberries
6 oz blueberries
6 oz raspberries
can substitute diced peaches, nectarines, huckleberries
   or what-have-you  for one or more of the above
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
220 grams (small container) of sour cream (not fat free)
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed citrus juice (can use combination of lemons, limes and oranges or just orange juice)
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Liberally grease a bundt pan with butter or Pam and then dust with a coating of all purpose flour.

2. Place all the sangria glaze ingredients in a small pan (except cornstarch) and turn the heat onto medium. Put cornstarch in mug and when sangria glaze mixture warm, spoon a couple of tablespoons into mug with cornstarch.  Stir until thoroughly mixed and add to ingredients in pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Once it starts to boil, immediately remove from heat and stir to cool slightly.

3. Place fruit filling & decoration ingredients together in a medium bowl and drizzle about 1/2 cup of the sangria glaze on top of the fruit. Gently toss together and set aside.

4. Place all cake ingredients into a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.

5. Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, evenly distributing the batter throughout the pan. Then spoon and spread half the fruit only mixture (add the juice to sangria glaze mixture) on top of the batter. Spoon the remaining 1/3 cake batter on top of the fruit.

6.  Add remaining fruit to sangria glaze mixture and on medium heat, cook until fruit soft. 

7. Bake in the preheated oven, for 50+ minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8.  Immediately release the cake from the pan (you might have to use a thin knife to help remove it from the pan) and place on large platter that will accommodate overflow.  With thin knife poke holes into cake everywhere.  Then pour the sangria glaze over the cake, making sure to drizzle some of the glaze down the sides of the cake.  The fruit in the sangrai glaze should fall mostly to the middle centre of the bundt cake.

Good warm or room temperature!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Several Yummy Casseroles

       Beef & Cabbage Casserole
       Chicken Currey Casserole
       Meatless Zucchini Casserole
       Seven layer Casserole
       Vegetable Casserole

Chicken Curry Casserole

        6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
        2 cups cooked green beans or 2 regular cans (sans liquid) of canned green beans
        Cream of Mushroom Soup base (see recipe below) or 2 regular cans mushroom soup
        1 cup mayonnaise
        1/2-3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
        1 heaping teaspoon curry
        1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Make Soup base (see below)
    Layer green beans on the bottom of a 9X13 casserole dish.
    Lay chicken breasts on top.
    Mix soup, mayo, curry and lemon juice together. Pour over top of chicken.
    Sprinkle cheese on top.
    Bake uncovered at 350F for one hour.
    Check chicken (may need an additional five or ten minutes), cheese should be melted and lightly browned.

Mushroom Soup Base
    1 pound regular white mushrooms coarsely chopped
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    1 Tablespoon butter
    1 Teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 Teaspoon ground pepper
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 cup water
    2 chicken bouillon cubes
    1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

In a food processor or by hand, coarsely chop mushrooms.
Add all ingredients (except cornstarch & water) to (4-5 quart) sauce pan. Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add cornstarch mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Beef & Cabbage Casserole

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small chopped red onion
1 small chopped green, red or orange pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small head cabbage
1 small can (11 oz) tomato juice

3/4 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese   

In large skillet, cook ground beef, chopped onion, and chopped pepper until meat is no longer pink; drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and garlic powder. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Cut cabbage into 6 wedges. Cook cabbage in a small amount of boiling salted water, covered, for about 10 minutes and drain well. Arrange cabbage wedges in a lightly buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Pour ground beef mixture over and around the cabbage wedges. Pour can of juice over mixture.  Bake cabbage casserole, uncovered, at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over cabbage casserole and bake about 5 minutes longer.

Seven Layer Casserole

    •    1 cup uncooked rice, washed and drained
    •    1 cup whole kernel corn, drained
    •    dash salt and pepper
    •    1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water
    •    1/2 cup chopped onion
    •    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    •    3/4 to 1 pound extra lean ground beef, uncooked and broken up
    •    dash salt and pepper
    •    1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
    •    6 strips bacon, cut in half
    •    shredded cheese for topping

Place ingredients (except cheese) in a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole in order given. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes longer, until bacon is crisp. Top with shredded cheese the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Meatless Zucchini Casserole

        4 large zucchini (6 small) sliced
        1/2 cup chopped onions
        1 chicken bullion cube
        2 cups cooked rice
        1 cup fat free sour cream
        1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
        1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
        1/4 cup breadcrumbs
        1 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon black pepper
        2 large eggs, lightly beaten
        cooking spray
        Optional:  shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a large pan, just covering zucchini with water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.
  • Combine zucchini mixture, rice, sour cream, cheddar cheese, parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, eggs & any or all optional items in a bowl; stir gently.
  • Spoon zucchini mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with parmesan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Vegetable Casserole

        2 cups cooked brown or white rice
        2 cups broccoli, cut in 1/2 inch slices
        1 cup julienne sliced carrots
        1 cup zucchini, sliced on the bias
        1 cup cut green beans
        1 (16 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
        2 cups of grated cheese (mix & match)

Cook rice.
Cook veggies until tender. Drain.
Put cooked rice in bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
Place veggies over rice.
Cover with spaghetti sauce.
Spread cheese(s) over top.
Cook at 375°F for 35 minutes. 
Freezes well.


    Saturday, 6 September 2008

    Sloppy Joe's x's I

    Sloppy Joe's I

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 1/4 cups ketchup
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
    1 teaspoon coarse ground black
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    4 hamburger buns

    • Cook ground beef, in a skillet over medium-high heat. 
    • Drain any excess liquid. 
    • Add remaining ingredients. 
    • Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup water. 
    • Stir until combined. 
    • Cover and reduce temperature to simmer, for 5 minutes. 
    • Remove cover and stir. 
    • Serve over hamburger buns. 


    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1 tbsp Corn starch
    1 tbsp yogurt
    A pinch of saffron powder
    A pinch of orange food colour
    1 tsp Instant yeast
    1/3 cup warm water
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tbsp oil

    Sugar Syrup:
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup water or as needed
    1 tbsp Lime/lemon juice
    1 tsp Rose syrup (if available)
    Few strands of saffron
    1/4 tsp cardamom powder

    Oil (I really like to use Coconut Oil)

    • Batter:
    • Dissolve the yeast in warm water with sugar and let it sit for about five minutes.
    • Mix the flour, corn starch, saffron and food color together.
    • Add the yeast solution and mix well, making sure that there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.
    • Set the batter aside and let it sit in a warm place for 15-30 minutes.
    • Make sure the batter is fermented, but do not over ferment. After fermenting batter will be little lacy.
    • Now add oil and mix very well. Your batter is ready.

    • Single thread Sugar Syrup:
    • Boil the sugar and water together on medium heat. Once the sugar syrup come to the boil, simmer for about 5 minutes. So it takes total of about 12-15 minutes to get the sugar syrup done. Add the lemon juice, cardamom powder, rose syrup and saffron and turn off the heat. 
    • How to check syrup: With the help of your thumb and point finger, take sugar syrup (make sure it is not too hot) on tip of your point finger, and rub between thumb and point finger tip, and when you pull, you should see one thread.

    • Making Jalebis:
    • Heat the oil in a flat deep frying pan. To check if the oil is ready, put a drop of batter in the oil, the batter should sizzle and come up without changing in colour right away.
    • Fill the Jalebi batter into a squeeze bottle or empty ketchup or mustard bottle.
    • Squeeze the Jalebi batter out in the medium hot oil in a pretzel shape to about 2 inches in diameter.
    • Fry the Jalebis until golden colour on both sides. 
    • Immerse into the warm syrup. Let Jalebi soak in the warm syrup for a few seconds and take out.
    • Serve hot or warm or cold.

    Hot Chicken Rolls

    1 recipe Pizza Dough (see below)
    1 onion, chopped
    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into small pieces
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup hot sauce (really)
    2 cups fresh grated mozzarella
    • Saute chopped onions in butter over medium heat.
    • Once transparent, add chopped chicken.
    • When chicken is done, add hot sauce and heat for 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and set aside.
    • Preheat oven to 400.
    • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Roll dough into a large rectangle roughly 1/4 inch in thickness.
    • Spread chicken and cheese evenly across rolled out dough.
    • Starting from long side of dough, begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll.
    • Pinch ends when done.
    • Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls.
    • Place on the baking sheet.
    • Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and dough is lightly browned.

    Pizza Dough

    1 1/4 tsp yeast
    1 cups warm water
    2-1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
    1 tsp salt
    Oil or Pam, to coat bowl
    • In a bowl  or large mug dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until creamy.
    • Combine the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. 
    • Add the yeast mixture.
    • Mix until combined and until dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
    • Remove dough from bowl, wiping out if necessary, and coat the bowl with just enough oil to cover it.
    • Return dough to bowl and cover with a loose towel. 
    • Allow to rise until double in size, about 2 hours.
    • Punch down.
    • Cover the dough again and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling out.

    Wednesday, 3 September 2008

    Curry Grilled Zucchini Roll Ups

    3 medium zucchinis
    1 large red pepper cut into approximately one inch strips
    about 3 oz creamy goat cheese
    1 Tbsp curry powder
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    salt + pepper
    • Preheat your grill to about 350-400 degrees or medium-high.
    • Once hot, lightly oil the pepper and place it on the grill for about 5 minutes per side. 
    • Slice pepper into 1/2” x 1 1/2” slices depending how wide your zucchini strips are. Let cool.
    • Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
    • Trim the ends and slice your zucchini lengthwise into about 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices.
    • Lightly coat all of the zucchini strips in oil on both sides and then rub the spice mixture onto both sides of the strips.
    • Place the strips on the grill in a single layer for 5-7 minutes.
    • Flip and grill the other side for another 3-5 minutes. You want them golden brown and slightly charred, not crispy.
    • Take the zucchini off the grill and let cool on a wire rack.
    • Once cooled, sprinkle with goat cheese down the length of each zucchini strip and place one slice of roasted pepper at the end.
    • Wash your hands to avoid goat cheese all over the outside of the rolls, then roll the strips and place seam side down.
    • Serve chilled or at room temp.