Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Jam, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged Breakfast, cinnamon, delicious, Gluten Free, healthy, Light, Vegetarian on January 30, 2017|
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This is a naturally sweet applesauce, no added sugar or chemicals, just the beautiful sweetness of the apples!
Since JT and I have embarked on our diet, I have been expanding a recipe collection because there is nothing worse than eating ‘diet food’. JT can attest that our food has been the furthest from ‘diet’, at least, our perception of ‘diet food’. We’ve had:
- Chicken Schnitzel with cauliflower mash
- Zucchini spaghetti and chicken meatballs
- Mushroom and cauliflower crêpes with lentil béchamel sauce
- Apple and Dijon glazed pork tenderloin
- Pulled pork tenderloin crêpe with homemade BBQ sauce
- Navy bean mushroom ‘risotto’
- Pacific Salmon with cauliflower dill sauce on wilted spinach
- Chicken Tikka Masala on cauliflower ‘rice’
- Pork tenderloin on braised red cabbage
- Pork tenderloin with mushroom sauce on sautéd veggies
- Tilapia en papillote
The real challenge is finding alternatives that fit into the diet parameters so I created this apple preserve (or butter) as a condiment, but also as a sweetener in some of the dishes named above. I try to vary the meals so that we don’t get bored of the same thing.
The other thing that I’m finding quite helpful is weighing everything to make sure we are not having more than we should — I’ve fallen off that bandwagon a few times, so it’s great to get back to it. Measuring is a great tool to keep you on track and it keeps you from inching up the volume (which I can be guilty of)! I measure out 100 g (3.5 oz) portions of any protein we purchase and freeze them individually. I know each baggy is 100 g (3.5 oz) which is exactly the portion size we should be eating. It doesn’t take long to get used to the smaller volumes particularly since we have to drink a lot of water. And the veggies are quite generous (230 g 8 oz per portion), in fact, JT has a difficult time eating the allotted volume of veggies sometimes (I do a lot of wilted spinach…makes for a smaller amount!). Fortunately, we can season to our heart’s content so the food isn’t bland. The other thing about 100 g or 3.5 oz portions is that it makes the budget go further! I’m not going to post a lot more about my regimen but I will share the odd recipe I think you might enjoy. Plus, we have a few cheat days planned (Super Bowl for one!) so I’ll share some of those tasty treats. Thank you for allowing us to indulge in our resolutions, while I enjoy your wonderful recipes from afar, for the time being.
Unsweetened Apple Preserves
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 750 mL (3 cups) preserves.
- 1 kg (about 2 lb) red delicious apples, peel and core included*.
- 1 L (about 4 cups) water
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 10 g (about 3 tbsp) freshly grated ginger
- pinch of salt
- In a medium Dutch oven, add chopped apples, water and cinnamon sticks and cook on medium heat until apples have broken down and thickened and most of the water has evaporated, about xx minutes.
- Add freshly grated ginger and pinch of salt, stir well.
- Pour into prepared containers and seal with new lids. Store in the freezer. Use refrigerated preserves within a month.
- Use to sweeten sauces and dressings instead of sugar.
- Pour over unsweetened yogurt or ice cream or gelato.
- Use as a condiment for pork.
- Combine with a little Dijon Mustard as a glaze over pork tenderloin.
*The peel and core add natural pectin to the preserves which help to thicken and preserve it.
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Posted in ActiFry, Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged ActiFry, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, garlic, Gluten Free, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, Light, low fat, onion, tasty, Vegetarian on September 5, 2016|
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This recipe nothing new. You’ve seen it posted a million times on a million blogs (OK, maybe I exaggerate!). And I wasn’t going to post about it, but it turned out SO WELL so I kinda felt like I had to. I’ve made the oven roasted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) before and although they were pretty good, they didn’t have the crispy crunch that I had been lead to believe they would. Sure they were crisp on the exterior but the interior was rather pasty. These beans are crunchy through and through! In fact, if I hadn’t “unfried” them, I would not, could not, have believed that they were not deep fried. Yes, you read that correctly, my dear friend: they are UNFRIED.
Some time back, I cooked for a short testimonial-piece for the T-Fal ActiFry Express XL appliance (not published yet) where I had to cook twelve dishes in advance for an on-location motion shoot with a local celebrity. The great folks at T-fal gave me an ActiFry Express XL for the job. I started cooking at 5am so that food would look fresher than cooking it the night before and left just in the nick of time to get there (far end of town). We got the house at 12:30 and had to be out at 3:30! It was challenging, to say the least, particularly because the kitchen was the commercial set! I had to prep on the floor in the hall, and at one point, in the garage so that I could have access to an electrical outlet! That profession kitchen truck would have come in very handy!
JT and I are not big on fried foods, so this cool appliance is perfect for us and recently I needed a cocktail snack for the cottage and I wanted something healthy with protein and crispy garbanzo beans (chick peas) popped into my head. I thought the beans would be perfect for the ActiFry (see notes). So I purchased two 540 mL (19 oz) cans of low sodium chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and dried them on a clean towel and popped them into the non-stick coated ActiFry. The result was magical, it did not dehydrate the beans (which sometimes makes them a bit leathery), it actually fried them in 1 tbsp oil! They are crunchy through and through! And the next best part? I didn’t have to turn on the oven because it was 30° C (86° F) outside and humid! And cleanup was a cinch (I vacuumed it and wiped it out with a soft cloth).
I know that this recipe will be a repeat for all parties from now on!
“Unfried” Garbonzo Beans (or chick peas)
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes ~250 g or 2 cups unfried garbanzo beans (chick peas)
- 540 mL (19 oz) cans of low sodium chick peas
- 1 tbsp dehydrated onion powder (see notes)
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic (see notes)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- dash of sesame oil
- Combine all of the spices and salt and mix well.
- Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans (chick peas) and lay out on a clean towel to dry for 30 minutes).
- Add the dried beans to the ActiFry bowl and drizzle in the oils. Set the timer to 45 minutes and close the lid. Start, allow the paddle to rotate a full circle and open the lid and sprinkle about 1/3 of the spice blend onto the beans. Close the lid and allow the paddle to go around twice. Repeat until all of the spice blend is used up. Close the lid and wait for the magic to happen.
- Test the beans around 35 minutes and then about 5-minute increments. You want a crunch, much like the crunch you get when you eat potato chips. Keep it going until you achieve a great, crunchy bean.
- Pour the beans out onto a clean cookie sheet (with sides) and allow to cool. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until needed (it was too humid to store in the pantry).
- I keep a container of Kirkland Signatur Chopped Onion and I combine it with Kirkland Signatur Granulated Garlic (not garlic powder) and blitz it in a coffee come spice grinder for this purpose (great on popcorn too!).
- Be creative and come up with your own blend of spices, like garlic, ginger and sea salt.
- I did not have time to use dried beans but feel free to soak, dry and ActiFry dried beans, I’m sure the result would be the same.
- Although the ActiFry paddle moves around at a very slow pace, I find larger things get a bit beat up without the stationery tray but it’s perfect for these beans.
Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations received T-fal ActiFry Express XL from Group SEB, Toronto; this recipe was developed by Eva Taylor for Kitcheninspirations, and the opinions expressed in this post are that of Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations.
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Posted in Fish, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged delicious, Gluten Free, healthy, Light, low fat, tasty on January 18, 2016|
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Last week we posted the Arugula Paste (or Arugula Pesto for those of us less traditional) and you might have guessed that I would do something tasty with it. The paste ended up on a tilapia fillet with some sautéed vegetables on a bed of spinach. The dish got rave reviews even if the lighting sucks.
Tilapia Crusted with Arugula Paste
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
- 60 g button mushrooms, cut in half
- 60 g radishes, cut into triangles
- 50 g yellow pepper, cut into cubes
- 50 g red pepper, cut into cubes
- 70 g eggplant, cut into cubes
- 70 g onion, chopped
- 60 g celery, cut into cubes
- 200 g tilapia fillet
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup arugula paste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F (176° C). Place fish in the centre of a heart-shaped sheet of parchment paper. Spread about half of the arugula paste on top and close and fold the parchment en papillote style (please see note below).
- In the meantime, add 1 tsp vegetable oil to a sautée pan and sautée all of the vegetables until just crunchy. Toss with the remaining arugula paste.
- When fish has reached an internal temperature of 158° F (70° C)
- Serve hot on a bed of baby spinach topped with the fish and the sautéed vegetables.
A delicious topping on a firm white fish.
I created this easy to follow video on how to fold en papillote. Please let me know what you think.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Condiments, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetable Sides, Vegetarian, tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, carrot, delicious, Gluten Free, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, hummus, Light, sweet potato, Vegetarian on June 14, 2015|
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A couple of weeks ago my kitchen had all sorts of half used leftover vegetables from a testing I did for my recipe testing lady. They were for recipes that called for specific volumes of vegetables (such as, 1 cup) instead of the quantity of vegetables (such as 1 medium carrot). I always find those recipes a bit odd because I am left with bits and pieces that lay around for weeks without any specific purpose. Indeed, I could have thrown them into a soup or stew but I wasn’t making either of those things. Then I saw my lovely friend Lorraine’s Roasted Vegetable Hummus recipes and thought “GENIUS”! What a great way to use up bits and pieces of leftover veg. Thank you Lorraine, truly a great idea (ps, it was darn delicious too!).
Because this recipe was created to use up leftover vegetables, feel free to modify the quantity or variety to what you have on hand. This would also work beautifully if you had leftover roasted veg from a dinner. Hummus is an easy Middle Eastern dip/spread and the seasonings should be to your personal taste; we love the traditional flavours so I’ve kept it pretty much the same with the exception of substituting tahini with toasted sesame oil because that’s what I had (you can use peanut butter too, I know, GASP!!!).
It turned out that The Hungarians had never tried sweet potatoes (not sure if it’s a veg not available in Budapest or they were never introduced to it) but it was a grand success as a dip AND as a roasted vegetable side for our roast chicken dinner one night.
Sweet Potato and Carrot Hummus
makes about 1 cup, depending on the size of your vegetables
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into equal sized cubes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into equal sized cubes
- 1 large clove of garlic, whole
- 3 tbsp EVOO, divided
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp each, cumin and coriander
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp smoked sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 190° C (375° F).
- Add sweet potato and carrot cubes to a large roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Add garlic (peel and all) to a small ramekin, top off with 2 tbsp olive oil and and water. Season with sea salt. Cover with foil and tuck into a corner of the roasting pan.
- Roast vegetables for about 35 minutes or until very tender, try not to brown the vegetables so that the dip colour remains vibrant.
- Scrape vegetables from roasting pan into a glass bowl, squeeze the garlic out from its skin and pour the liquid from the garlic into the glass bowl with the sweet potato and carrot.
- Toast the cumin and coriander until fragrant, add to the glass bowl along with the remainder of the ingredients (with the exception of the sesame seeds). Purée until smooth, season with salt and pepper, if desired. For an ultra smooth dip, press through a fine sieve. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature with bread, crackers or crisp vegetables.
It’s creamy and naturally sweet.
My dear friend Genie of Bunny, Eats, Design suggested I submit this post to our growing edge for June, themed Picnic, hosted by Maddie from Supper Lovin’
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Posted in Condiments, Fish, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Main Courses, tagged Cucumber, delicious, fish, Fresh, healthy, Light, lite, mango, salsa, tilapia on April 20, 2015|
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Summer is coming. That’s what I’m told, I hardly believe them though. But with the warmer weather on the horizon (possibly as far away as Europe) I have again begun to think about lighter dishes. Fish seems to be a four-letter word, not for me, of course, I love the stuff. But some people in this household don’t love it as much as I do, so selling it on the plate becomes a thing. I simply broiled this tilapia, seasoned with salt and pepper and wanted a little something tasty to dress it up and my Mango Salsa recipe was born. Like many savoury recipes on this blog, I urge you to make it your own, volumes are simply suggestions — you hate cucumber, omit it! Hate mango, try pineapple instead! It’s pretty darn tasty and quite easy to prepare — I like my salsa cubed into even little cubes, but you may like yours another way…GO FOR IT!
Tilapia with Mango Salsa
- 1/2 cup ripe mango, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup cucumber, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup red pepper, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 200 g of cooked white fish (we used Tilapia but cod, halibut or monkfish would also work well)
- a few handfuls of massaged kale (my dear friend Kelly at Inspired Edibles shares a very compelling story about getting intimate with your food, 50 Shades of Green-style!)
- Combine the mango, cucumber, red pepper, cilantro and mix well. Pour the white balsamic into the mix and stir to combine, season to taste.
- Serve over broiled white fish on top of massaged kale leaves. Enjoy!
- This salsa would be lovely on BBQ chicken breast or even a steak if you’re feeling like red meat.
- A mix of greens would be fine instead of the massaged kale but I love kale so I use it where I can.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Dressing, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salad, tagged delicious, Kale, lemon juice, Light, pine nuts, Salad on October 7, 2013|
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Has this ever happened to you: you hear about something for the first time and then you keep hearing about it again and again? It’s happened to me recently and it’s the absolute, lip smacking, deliciously tantalizing Kale Salad by renowned chef and restauranteur of Gusto 101, Daniel Mezzolo. My friend Kim (old boss, neighbour) mentioned this salad a while back and I’ve seen it come up more and more often which has made me want to taste said salad, however, that is much more difficult than one would think. You see, Gusto 101 takes reservations only until 6pm and then it’s a free for all. We’ve driven by many times around 7 or 8 and there is always quite the line-up outside, waiting for a table. Now, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I just don’t like to line up. I figure if I am about to spend upwards of $80 for a meal, I shouldn’t have to wait in line to do so. But this is the reality if one needs to try this salad, and I really, really needed to try it.
I searched the net and found this helpful video on making this healthy salad, but alas there was no recipe for the dressing…so I looked further and found several versions all based on similar ingredients. My friend Celi from The kitchen’s garden just competed her September Home Grown challenge during which time she only allowed herself to eat what she grew on her little farmie! By the end of the challenge she mentioned that she was quite tired of eating the same old things. So when I finally hunkered down and made a decent effort to make the Kale Salad, I immediately thought of Celi. I know I’m a little late for the challenge, but it’s definitely a good recipe and I hope you have a chance to try it before the snow falls.
It’s a melt in your mouth salad
What makes this salad unique is the finely cut curly kale and how the lemon juice in the dressing acts to ‘cook’ the kale as it sits (like a ceviche would cook the seafood!). It’s a wonderful balance of sour, sweet and salty. I added a couple of slices of crispy cooked Serrano ham, but that is easily omitted if you wish to make it vegetarian.
Cavolo Nero (Kale Salad)
- 4 cups finely chopped kale
- 2 tbsp raisins or dried cranberries or dried sour cherries
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or toasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- pinch of salt
- 2 slices of Serrano ham, baked or fried until crisp and crumbled (omit for vegetarian)
- 1/4 c + 2 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese or Pecorino
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- pinch of salt
- About 20-30 minutes before serving, combine the lemon juice, honey, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and mix well in a large unreactive bowl (not metal). Add the finely cut kale and toss to coat evenly. Set aside for a minimum of 20 minutes (I did 30 minutes) tossing a few times over the 30 minutes. (an update October 16: I made this salad at my brother’s cottage last weekend and I suspect the kale was older and tougher so 30 minutes wasn’t enough time to macerate, please keep this in mind when making the salad. Just as baby kale will take less time than the 30 minutes because it is not has tough).
- Muddle the fresh basil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, with a pinch of salt. Set aside. I’ve made this lovely salad without the basil oil without missing it.
- Just before serving, add the raisins, pine nuts, crispy serano ham and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the dressed kale and toss well. Divide the kale between two plates.
- Drizzle the basil olive oil on the plate and garnish with 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese over each plate. Serve immediately.
Perfectly balanced sweet, sour and salty
A perfect salad for a hot summer’s day. Where did it go, anyway?
The fall colours were just starting when I took these photos in late September.
The cottage colours happen a bit earlier than the city colours.
The sun also moves to the far left during the fall. We see more of the sunset during the summer months.
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The egg yolk acts as part of the dressing on this tasty salad
This post was written and photographed entirely on my iPhone 4S sitting on the deck at the cottage. Apps used for photos are: PS (Photoshop) Express and Art Studio Lite.
We’ve been enjoying our time at the cottage but sadly the lazy days of summer are quickly coming to an end so we’re savouring every
bite minute. Many of you have suggested that I write a cookbook/manual about the cottage and I’m going to seriously consider it. Thank you for being so very complimentary, I am very touched by your kind words and voices of encouragement.
Cottage life to me means taking the time that is normally not available in the city; take things low and slow. It’s been incredibly hot up north and humid! This morning it was 20C (68F) at 8am, projected humidity throughout the day is 97% which makes the 20C feel like 27C (81F)! Now that’s a scorcher for sure. Our little cottage is a heat sink powered by the low and slow moving sun on the horizon with inside temperatures in excess of 32C (90F) so I’ve been focussing on easy, lighter summer meals some with grilling instead of roasting. Yesterday’s lunch was a reinvention of a delightful salad I’ve enjoyed many times at a local place where I used to work. What’s incredibly delicious is the poached egg with a runny yolk on top which, when broken into flows all over the salad making a warm, creamy and delicious dressing. It’s not really a recipe as such, but mere suggestions; I urge you to try this wonderful dish at the earliest opportunity. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity – it will impress your taste buds for sure.
Poached Egg Smoked Salmon, Endive, Roasted Sweet Potato on Baby Arugula and Baby Kale Salad:
- 2 eggs
- 2 handfuls each of baby arugula and baby kale
- 2 large or 4 small endive
- 100 g smoked salmon
- 1 sweet potato
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 tsp chopped dill
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbsp capers
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Peel and cube the sweet potato into about 2.5 cm or 1″ cubes and roast on the BBQ (or oven) with a 1 tbsp of olive oil until soft.
- Add a handful of the greens to each bowl. Slice endive and divide into each bowl.
- Add about 50 g of the smoked salmon to each bowl.
- In a small measuring cup, add the juice of half a lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, the Dijon mustard and dill and mix well, drizzle onto the greens.
- Poach two eggs so that the yolks remain runny. Add one egg to each bowl and divide the warm roasted sweet potato between each bowl.
- Add the capers and season to taste. Serve immediately.
There is something extraordinary about a poached egg with a runny yolk.
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