Category Archives: Grains

Alaa’s Lamb and Bulgur

Alaa had me make this recipe under her instruction, with no written recipe. I jotted down generally what I did and measured! I can’t remember what it’s called but this Syrian dish is absolutely delicious.

Scribbled down hurriedly!

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Filed under comfort food, food, Grains, lamb, Main Course, whole food

Instant Pot Brown Basmati/Texmati

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, or brown Texmati rice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  1. If your rice needs to be washed, do so.
  2. Add the rice, water, and salt to the Instant Pot.
  3. Put lid on, and ensure that it is set to “seal”.
  4. Set Instant Pot to high pressure, for 22 minutes.
  5. Leave the lid on when the pot beeps, and let sit, with the lid on for another 10 minutes (natural pressure release).
  6. At the end of 10 minutes, release the pressure valve completely.
  7. Remove lid, and fluff the rice with a fork.

 

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Filed under food, Grains, whole food

Brown Rice: quick and easy

Rice tastes much better this way, and it’s quicker than simmering it in less water, in a covered pot.  We use parboiled brown.

  • Fill a medium pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of rice per person.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down till it is boiling gently, then leave lid off and boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water — I use a seive — and season with salt, pepper, and butter.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Grains, Tips, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Kristen’s Granola

Best on top of yogurt with fruit.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp honey, warmed (added half way through baking)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In large bowl, toss oats with almonds, flour, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. Over the stove, or in the microwave melt the butter in the maple syrup. Add it to the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly coated.
  4. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola in center of oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the granola, and drizzle the honey over top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes longer, stirring once more, until golden and nearly dry.
  8. Turn off the oven and prop the door open half way; let the granola cool completely in the oven, stirring occasionally.

Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about three weeks.

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Filed under Breakfast, Grains, whole food

Maple Quinoa Granola

This is based on a recipe at Food52, by “spacekase” — I’ve adapted it, ingredient-wise and quantities-wise to my own preferences.  The quinoa adds a definite crunch; use quinoa flakes if you don’t like the whole quinoa.

Maple Quinoa Granola

Maple Quinoa Granola

Preheat oven to 225F

Mix together in a large bowl, then set aside:

  • 2 cups whole rolled oats (not the instant kind)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, the pre-rinsed kind (like Bob’s Mill)
  • 1 cup raw nuts, coarsely chopped (any kind that you like — I use walnuts & sliced almonds)
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped if big (I like apricots, dried cranberries & dried cherries)

For the coating, whisk together until thoroughly combined:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid/melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture, and stir until everything is completely coated.

Spread the mixture evenly into a large roaster, or onto a large cookie sheet, so that it covers the entire bottom.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, food, Grains, whole food

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under comfort food, Grains

Orzo-kale-feta Salad

Use any orzo or firm rice, along with any dark green tender greens.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained well, and cooled (may substitute with brown rice)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped (OR baby spinach or baby kale, chopped) 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, only if using large kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • The zest and juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or 1-2 small cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. IF using large kale: cut leaves away from the stalks and coarsely chop; discard stems. Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes. Put the kale into a large salad bowl.
  3. IF you’re using baby spinach or baby kale:  do not cook it! Just put the chopped, raw leaves into a large salad bowl.
  4. Gently mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale.
  5. Pour salad dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.

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Filed under food, Grains, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Spinach Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds

This salad tastes much better to me with a double batch of the dressing.

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in dry frying pan or in oven
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped OR 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/3” dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • salt & pepper to season
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in quinoa.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Remove from heat and cool, covered, in pot.
  3. Lay 5 or 6 spinach leaves flat on top of one another on a cupttingboard. Roll tightly into a cylinder, then slice crosswise into slivers.  Repeat with remaining spinach.
  4. In a large bowl toss together the cooled quinoa, almonds, spinach, cherries, cucumber, chickpeas and red onion .
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
  6. Pour over salad and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop, then serve.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Betty’s Couscous Salad

Betty didn’t specify how much couscous to cook , or how much feta to add for her delicious version of this salad, so I just wing it…

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, or shake up in a jar.

Salad:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into small pieces
  • red onion, sliced (to taste)
  • black olives, to taste
  • feta cheese, crumbled or cut up
  1. Cook the couscous, stir, and set aside to cool (follow the directions on the box); whole wheat is my preference.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss.
  4. Add the couscous to the vegetables, toss.  Just before serving, gently stir in the feta cheese.

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Anne’s Quinoa Salad (via Pat Tamosetis)

  • 2 cups cold water or broth
  • 1 cup quinoa   (rinse well before using – I use organic white quinoa)

Combine water and quinoa in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer until quinoa “pops” (~15-20 min).   The water should all be absorbed and the quinoa should be tender.  Let cool to room temperature.  I like to cook the quinoa in the morning and then make the salad in the afternoon when it is cool.

  •  1 sweet onion (Vidalia or similar) finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tblsp olive oil/butter/coconut oil
  • Pinch each of white sugar and salt

Caramelize onions and garlic in the oil with salt and sugar over med-low heat, for about 25 minutes or until golden yellow and very soft. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Chop:

  • 2 stalks celery
  •  1 red pepper (half and half red and yellow)

Grate:

  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 1 peeled apple
  • 1/3 cup raisins or cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

You can add any nuts, seeds, fruit or veggies that you like – be bold!  If you use apple, get the dressing on the quinoa quickly so the apple does not go brown. Combine the quinoa, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and berries in one large bowl/pot.  Pour on the dressing.

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or less)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • a squeeze bragg or soya sauce
  • bloop maple syrup (up to 1/8 cup)
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • Orange zest (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper as suits your taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a glass container and give them a good shake. Pour over quinoa and veggies.  Fold to disperse dressing.  I stir the salad every hour or so to combine the flavours.  Refrigerate for an hour or overnight – enjoy!

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Mixed Grain Bread

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ⅜ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • ¼ cup bulgur
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • (a big handful of dried cranberries)
  • (extra sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the topping)

Add all ingredients to the bread machine, except for the cranberries and the extra seeds.  Set the machine on the dough setting and start.

At the end of the first kneading, add the dried cranberries.

When dough is ready, remove from pan and knead a few times on a floured surface.  Shape into a long, narrow roll, and place on a buttered (and sprinkled with cornmeal if you like) baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp dish towel, and put in a warm place to rise again until doubled in bulk,about 25 minutes or so.  Poke the risen bread with a finger:  if the indent stays, the bread is ready to bake, if it bounces back out, give it another few minutes to rise.

Preheat the oven to 425F, and place a pan of water onto the bottom of the oven if you like crisp crust.

Brush the top of the bread with a wash (milk, water, beaten egg, butter), and gently put the seeds onto the loaf.  You can make a few shallow slashes with a very sharp knife, or a few snips with sharp kitchen scissors.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Loaf is done when it reaches 200F inside.

 

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Grains

Yet Another Banana Muffin

This recipe is from a Healthy Eating booklet distributed by the Ontario government, and is very good!  I add about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the recipe.  Without chocolate chips, each muffin has 8g fat, 3g fibre, and 4g protein.

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (we use a “split” flax seed that doesn’t need refrigeration — adds a wee bit of crunch)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, brown sugar, yogurt, oil, and egg.
  3. Add flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.  Using a wooden spoon, stir just until blended.  Do not over mix!
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Grains

Grandma Ruth’s Wild Rice Casserole

This is one of my absolute favourites from my childhood.  My mom made it with local wild rice.  It needs to be started a day ahead, so requires planning!  This recipe serves 4 people, but is very easily doubled.

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • boiling water
  •  ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ lb mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Wash the rice under cool running water, then place in a heatproof dish or bowl.
  2. Cover the wild rice with boiling water.  Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain.
  3. For a second time, cover the wild rice with boiling water, and let sit until cool.
  4. Melt the butter in a large pan, add onion, almonds, and mushrooms, and sauté until golden.
  5. Mix in the rice, and stir until well coated.
  6. Pour the broth, sherry, and salt into the rice mixture, and transfer into a baking dish.
  7. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.
  8. The following day, bake for 1 ½ hours at 350F

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Filed under Grains, Main Course

Rustic Grains Bread (for bread machine)

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, or butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp liquid honey (or molasses)
  • 3 cups white flour (or use combination of whole wheat and white)
  • ¾ cup “toasted grain mix” (see below*)
  • 1/3 cup cracked wheat/bulgur
  • 1      ½ tsp bread machine yeast
  1. Add ingredients to bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Select the whole wheat cycle, or the dough cycle.

For the dough cycle (my preferred method):

  1. When dough is finished, remove it from the pan onto a floured surface (about 1 to 2 Tbsp of flour).
  2. For freeform loaves, shape the dough into a smooth ball by pulling it down the sides and pinching underneath.  Let it relax for a couple of minutes, then shape it into 1 or 2 rounds or 1 or 2 oblongs, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk.
  4. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes.

*Toasted Grain Mix

  • 1 cup barley flakes
  • 1 cup rye flakes
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Combine the flakes, and spread out in a shallow pan.

Toast in a 350F oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Keep sealed in a container, or freeze until needed.

I double or triple the recipe so I have lots on hand.

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Niall’s Summer Pasta Salad

Really an “anything goes” kind of salad, adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for the Whole Family

The Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ lb pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup celery, chopped small
  • ¼ cup red or Vidalia onion, finely diced (use spring onions if you don’t have)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 tins water-packed tuna –no hydrolyzed plant protein – flaked
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, a handful
  • ½ cup cucumber, seeded and chopped

The Dressing/dip Ingredients:

This makes way more than the above recipe requires!

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Gently combine all of the salad ingredients.  Add dressing, tossing, until the salad is coated to your preference; it’s likely that you’ll have about 2/3 to ½ of the dressing left over.  Refrigerate until flavours mingle.

The left over dressing makes a great raw veggie dip.


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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salad Dressing, Salads, Vegetables

Cheese Straws

From The Smitten Kitchen.  These addictive cheese straws are the best recipe EVER.  EVER.

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half, cream, or milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds. (it never forms a ball for me, but when it holds together when squeezed between finger and thumb, I remove it then knead by hand for a moment until it forms a nice ball).

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel; both worked great), cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet (though I lined mine with parchment), leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned; these taste bad if they brown all over. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature.

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Filed under Appetizers, food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Super Easy, Super Fast Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley OR 1 Tbsp dried, if absolutely necessary
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced  OR 1 tsp dried basil

Heat a medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Great with these meatballs and pasta.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Sauce, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Banana Muffins II

Not as “textured” as the other banana muffin recipe, yet still nutritious.

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour (or very finely ground whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 – 3 bananas)
  • ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners, or grease with oil or butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.  Whirl the oats in a blender or food processor until they reach the consistency of cornmeal.  Whisk oats into the dry ingredients.

In another large bowl, thoroughly mix together the eggs, bananas, oil, and yogurt.

Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, along with the chocolate chips.  Do not over mix!

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean and dry.

Cool in the tin for  minutes, then finish cooling on a rack.

Makes 11 to 12 regular sized muffins.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Caramel-y Oat Squares

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats

Mix everything together as you go, in the order given.  Press down the resulting mixture in a well-buttered 9” x 9” baking pan/glass baking dish.  Bake in a 400F oven for approximately 11 minutes, until golden (check often to prevent over browning or burning).  As soon as you take them from the oven, cut them into squares (we use a pastry scraper to “score” them right down to the bottom of the pan).  The original recipe says to remove them while still hot, but we find this unnecessary because we butter the pan very well.

If you want to make them very crispy, use a cookie sheet and spread the mixture thinner.  Adjust the time.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Lyn’s Cheddar Dill Muffins

These are rather like a scone or fluffy tea biscuit, but in muffin form.  Add three crisply fried and crumbled strips of bacon if you wish.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or substitute whole wheat)
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup Old Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Grease a standard 12-compartment muffin tin.

In a largish bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, dill, and baking powder.   Stir shredded cheese until it is all coated with flour and well distributed. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and all at once, pour the wet ingredients into the well.

Using a large spoon, quickly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stopping when all of the dry ingredients have been moistened. The batter should be quite lumpy; this is a very thick batter.

Spoon or scoop the batter evenly into the 12 muffin compartments (about 2/3 full).  Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned, and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Let rest for 5 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on a rack.

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)