Tag Archives: Dinner

Moroccan-style Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust

This recipe is from CBC’s “Best Recipes Ever

 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper or red pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned chickpeas
  • 1 cup (250 mL) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add yellow pepper, zucchini, cauliflower and chickpeas; fry, stirring often, until pepper is softened, 8 minutes.

Add pasta sauce and lemon juice; cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. Stir in peas, fresh coriander and almond butter; let cool. (Make-ahead: refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; to continue, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.)

Chickpea Crust*:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp milk

Meanwhile, in food processor, pulse together chickpeas, butter, 3 tbsp (50 mL) cold water, salt, cumin and turmeric until crumbly. Add flour; pulse until combined.*

Turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Cut in half; roll out each to 10-inch (25 cm) circle. Line 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with 1 of the circles; spoon in vegetable mixture. Lightly brush pastry edge with some of the milk. Top with remaining pastry; trim edge. Using tines of fork, press edges together to seal and crimp. Brush top with remaining milk; slash steam vents.

Bake in bottom third of 400°F (200°C) oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

*Note:  I had to add about 2T more butter, and 3T more cold water to make the dough hold together enough to knead it.

Servings: 6

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Filed under dinner, food, Main Course, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Quick Falafels with Tzatziki

Though this is quick and easy, it requires pre planning so that the chickpeas can be soaked overnight, and then air dried for two hours.

Falafels*:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked overnight
  • 1 small yellow onion, chunked
  • 1 bunch flat-leafed parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece bread
  • big pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lemon
  1. Drain the chickpeas and let air dry for 2 hours or more.
  2. In food processor on low speed, whirl the ingredients until a thick paste forms. No lumps or chunks, or your balls/patties will fall apart!
  3. Form into patties and let rest while Tzatziki is made.
  4. Fry patties in canola oil on medium high heat for 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
  5. Serve with the tzatziki in whole wheat pita bread. Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Tzatziki
Pulse in food processor, just until blended:

  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chunked
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ bunch mint (or less, to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of one lemon

* for authentic — and delicious  — falafel, see Habeeb Salloum’s Falafel

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Filed under Protein, Sauce, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Vegetarian Chili à la Podleski

This recipe — more of a stew than a child — was created by the wonderful Janet and Greta Podleski, of “Looney Spoons” fame.  We’ve never made one of their recipes and not liked it!  Their books are full of nutrition information and useful trivia.

I chop everything into the size that makes it palatable for everyone, and sometimes add some eggplant along with the mushrooms and zucchini.  For those who prefer meat, they can just fry up some ground beef and put it into a smaller pot with some of the vegetarian chili.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup  chopped green  bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 can (12 oz) no salt whole-kernal corn UNDRAINED (I usually use frozen corn, and add a bit of water)
  • 1 can (19oz) no salt chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (19 oz) no salt black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced, no salt tomatoes UNDRAINED
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup unpeeled, diced zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, red and green peppers, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Add mushrooms and zucchini.  Cook and stir for 4 more minutes.

Add child powder, cumin, oregano, and basil.  Cook for 1 more minute.

Add undrained tomatoes, the beans and chickpeas, undrained corn, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve with brown rice, or cornbread.

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Filed under dinner, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetables

Vinaigrette/Marinade for Vegetables

We use this to marinate vegetables for grilled veggie and soft goat cheese sandwiches on ciabatta buns; we marinate and grill red peppers, red onions, eggplant, zucchini, portobello mushroom caps, and anything else that strikes our fancy, topped off with fresh baby greens.

  • 1 tsp garlic paste (prepared, or make your own by mashing a garlic clove with salt)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil.
  2. Add olive oil to the jar, and shake well.
  3. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

OPTIONAL (and recommended):

Add 1/3 cup minced fresh herbs, of choice (such as flatleaf parsley, basil, thyme)

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Filed under dinner, food, Vegetables

Tuna Croquettes à la Alton Brown

  • 2 tins flaked tuna, drained and well shredded by hand (original recipe calls for a 7 ounce pouch of tuna)
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil for sautéing
  1. Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup panko crumbs into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Using a small handful of the mixture, form a flattened patty, and place on a cookie sheet or plate.  Repeat with remaining mixture until all of it is used up.
  3. Allow the patties to rest for 15 minutes
  4. Place remaining 1/2 cup of panko onto a large plate. One at a time, coat each round in the panko on all sides.
  5. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a 12″ pan over medium heat until shimmering.
  6. Add the croquettes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove to a cooling rack set over paper-towel-covered cookie sheet ( I just put them directly onto paper towel, and skip the cooling rack)
  8. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

I like to serve these with a sauce created by mixing together:

  • 1 part mayonnaise
  • 1 part sour cream
  • dill, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sometimes a finely chopped dill pickle, again, to taste
  • sometimes some very finely chopped green or red onion
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Protein, Sauce

Chicken a la King 

4 to 6 servings (for on toast, biscuits, or puff pastry)
Note: prepare the sauce, and the vegetables at the same time, if able


A.  The Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded; tuna would also work!

B.  The Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream
  • (2 to 3 Tbsp sherry, optional)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 to 3 pinches ground nutmeg
    1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan.
    2. Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute.
    3. Remove the pan from the heat, and add 2 cups of chicken stock; whisk until smooth.
    4. Whisk in the  milk and return the pan to heat.  Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly, and vigorously.
    5. Add lemon, salt and pepper, and nutmeg.

C. The Vegetables

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter or canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 carrots, finely diced
  • hand full of mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
    1. Sauté the fresh vegetables until tender, and all liquid has evaporated. Add peas.

D.  The a la King

  • Add the shredded chicken and the hot vegetables to  the sauce

E. The Chicken a la King

    1. Toast whole wheat bread, and lightly butter.  Cut into triangles and place on dinner plate.
    2. Spoon the hot chicken and vegetable mixture over the toast.
    3. Eat with a knife and fork.

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Cauliflower and Chickpea Coconut Curry

This is certainly not authentic, and doesn’t have well developed flavours, but it’s very quick and easy.  Chop up some hot pepper and add at the beginning if you’d like to zip things up.  Add some potato, small cubes, along with the cauliflower.

  • 2 Tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece of ginger root, finely minced or grated
  • 2- 15 oz tins chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28oz tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut or broken into florets
  • 1 tin coconut milk (not sweetened!)
  • salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a Dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium heat.  When it is shimmering, add the onion and stir occasionally until softened.

Add the garlic and ginger, and cook a few minutes longer until the onion begins to caramelize.

Stir in the spices and toast for a couple of minutes until they are fragrant.  Add a couple of drops of water to prevent burning, if you need to.  Stir constantly.

Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, and cauliflower.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.

If desired, take lid off and cook for a few more minutes  until sauce has reduced to the consistency that you like.

Taste for salt.  Add the chopped cilantro and stir carefully.

Serve over brown basmati rice, or with roti or naan

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

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)

Tofu with Spicy Sesame Sauce

We’ve decided that we prefer this method of frying tofu to the General Tso version, but the sauce for the General Tso Version is better!

For the sauce:

  • ⅓ cup liquid honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes (use less if you like things less spicy)

For the tofu:

  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed*
  • ¼ cup cornstarch with a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

 For tossing with the sauce and tofu:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted if you have the time
  • 4 green onions, minced

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Simmer the sauce on low while you prepare the tofu.

Making sure that the pressed tofu has been thoroughly dried, cut it into ¾” to 1” cubes, and place them onto a large plate; we slice the entire block in half “sideways”, and then cut each shallow block into smaller pieces (we end up with 24 pieces).  Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the tofu, and toss the cubes and cornstarch gently with your fingers until the cubes are completely coated.

Heat half an inch of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan until just smoking.  Gently put the tofu cubes into the hot oil  and fry them on all sides until light golden. Carefully lift the tofu from the oil and set on paper towels to drain.  You may need to do it in batches, however, our 12” frying pan is large enough to hold an entire block’s worth of tofu.

When all of the tofu has been fried, place the cubes in a large bowl. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour half of it over the tofu, tossing to coat. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds and green onions, and toss gently to coat evenly.

Serve immediately, with remaining sauce on the side for dipping or pouring over the tofu.

*To press tofu:  wrap the block of tofu in several layers of paper towels and set it on a flat plate. Place another plate on top of the tofu, and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a can of tomato juice. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, or longer, if you have more time.

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Sauce for Stir Fried Veggies

Vegetable Stir-fry sauce:

  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Mix well, set aside, pour into the pan over your hot stir-fried vegetables*.  Toss gently and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

 

*Vegetables:

Use any vegetables that you like; this is simply suggestion.

  • 1 slice fresh ginger (not cut up)
  • ½ cup snow peas
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small white onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 big handful of beansprouts

In a medium-sized pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Add snow peas and cook for  5 seconds.  Remove from water and run under very cold water, and drain.  Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the boiling water, and cook for 2 or three minutes until bright green.  Drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat oil in wok until just smoking over medium heat.  Add the ginger slice and cook until brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove and discard ginger.  Add all of the prepared vegetables except for the bean sprouts and stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes.

Throw in the bean sprouts.  Pour sauce over and toss to mix.  Cook until sauce thickens and naps vegetables, about 1 or 2 minutes.

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Filed under food, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

General Tso Tofu (Stephanie Kepman’s version)

This is SO good!

  • 1 package (350 g) extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ginger root, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) garlic, minced
  • 1 Thai chili, finely chopped with seeds (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons (25 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mirin
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chili paste
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup cornstarch with a good pinch of salt and pepper
        • This is the original method for “breading” the tofu, which we don’t like:
          • 1 egg
          • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cornstarch
  1. Drain tofu; wrap in clean kitchen towel or paper towel for at least 15 minutes, gently pressing down occasionally to absorb excess moisture (see this method for better pressed tofu)
  2. In small bowl, mix 1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch with 1 tbsp (15 ml) water to form paste.
  3. In small saucepan, heat 1 tsp (5 ml) oil over medium heat. Cook, onions, ginger, garlic and chili (if using) for 1 minute, stirring often. Add broth, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, mirin, chili paste and cornstarch paste. Bring to boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat; set aside.
  4. In wok or medium saucepan, heat 2 cups (500 ml) oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Cut tofu into ¾-inch (2 cm) cubes; place back on kitchen towel to absorb more moisture.
  6. Making sure that the pressed tofu has been thoroughly dried place the cubes onto a large plate.    Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the tofu, and toss gently with your fingers until the cubes are completely coated.
    • (In small bowl, whisk egg. Place ½ cup (125 ml) cornstarch in another small bowl. Dip tofu cubes in egg, letting excess drip off. Lightly toss in cornstarch.)
  7. Add coated tofu to wok; cook, turning often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to bowl; drizzle sauce over top.

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

Utterly Inauthentic Moo Shu Chicken

  • 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into very thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh beansprouts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • (1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp dry sherry
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce (divided)
  • 4 (6.5″ or 7″) flour tortillas, warmed

In a small bowl, combine chicken with 1 TBSP soy sauce, the cornstarch, and the pepper.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat until very hot.  Add chicken mixture, and stir fry until chicken turns white, about 3 minutes.

Add cabbage, bean sprouts, scallions, mushrooms, and waterchestnuts to wok.  Stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add beaten egg and stir fry 1 to 1.5 minutes, until egg is just scrambled.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp soy sauce, sherry, sugar, bouillon granules, sesame oil, and 1 TBSP hoisin sauce to wok.  Stir fry for 1 minute.

Brush centres of heated tortillas with remaining 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce.  Spoon chicken mixture down the centre of each.  Fold in sides of tortilla.  Fold bottom quarter of tortilla up over filling, then roll up to enclose.  Serve immediately with additional hoisin sauce for dipping, if desired.

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Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

I’ve been testing out quinoa cake recipes for a while now, and this is the winner, hands down!  The whole family really likes it, which is saying a lot.  I serve it with a lemony aioli (stir up some real mayo with some pureed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and s & p).

  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked will yield 2 – 3 cups of cooked)
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat; it is hot enough when a droplet of water jumps when sprinkled into the pan.
  3. Form 1⁄4 cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan, 3 or 4 at a time.
  4. Cook quinoa cakes for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked.

Serve with

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Pierogis, Perogies, Etc

True comfort food for me — my great Aunt Rose made the very best “cheese pillows” ever, and my Grandmother’s and Mom’s were fantastic.  The “Kleckner Girls” made two varieties:  one with dry curd cottage cheese, and another with basically mashed potatoes with lots of sharp cheddar mixed into the mashed potatoes while they were hot.  A fiddle to make, but worth the effort.  This is the recipe for the dough, and the filling. Makes approximately 75 perogies.

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. In a large bowl, miss all of the ingredients and knead into a soft, pliable dough.
  2. Cut in half and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Roll out each half into a thin circle ( about 1/8”).
  4. Using a drinking glass or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into round circles.
  5. Fill them with desired filling (we like a potato/sharp cheese filling*).  Place less than a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each circle, and fold in half.
  6. Press and seal into a half moon.  If desired, rub a bit of water around the edges to ensure a tight seal.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes in boiling salted water, until they float to the top.  Drain.
  8. Pan fry in butter, and serve with caramelized onions, fried crumbled bacon, and sour cream.

*For potato and cheese filling, boil approximately 1 ½ pounds of peeled potatoes.  Drain and mash well with a little butter and milk.  Add grated sharp cheddar, to taste (lots is good — a ratio of 1:1 is my favourite).  Taste, and season with salt and pepper.  Sometimes some caramelized minced onions can be added for a change.

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Filed under food

Curried Chickpeas with Vegetables

This is basically how this recipe appears in “The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking”.  It is absolutely delicious!  Make sure that you use all of the specified ingredients, as the taste blend is wonderful.  It’s a good idea to have a read through and get things prepared in advance of beginning to cook.

Heat in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until sizzling:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds

Add:

  • 1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic.

 Cook, stirring, over low heat for 1 minute; do not brown.  Stir in:

  • 2 tsp curry powder

Cook for 1 minute.  Stir in:

  • 1 ¾ cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if using canned
  • 1 cup of ½ inch cubes peeled sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of ½ inch cubes peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup 1 inch pieces green beans (or use frozen)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or vegetarian chicken cube with water to make 1 cup
  • ½ to 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir together in a separate small bowl:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (we use Greek)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

 Add to the vegetables along with:

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers (or more, to taste)

 Cook, stirring, over low heat until heated through; do not boil.  In a small separate skillet over medium heat, toast:

  • 2 tbsp shredded, unsweetened dried coconut

 Sprinkle over the vegetables.  Top with:

  • ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

Serve with rice and/or naan.

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Filed under Main Course, Protein, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Tomatoey Chicken Curry

  • 2 ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp ground fennel seeds
  • pinch red ground Indian chilies
    • 3 tbsp ghee
    • 2 medium onions, minced
    • salt
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced (appx 2 tbsp)
    • 1 tbsp minced or grated fresh ginger
    • 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed (include seeds if you want it hotter), minced
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 2 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped finely (about 1 cup)
    • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
    • ½ cup coconut milk or whole milk plain yogurt
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
    • ground black pepper
  1. Combine the spices and set aside.  Heat the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the spices and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  2. Stir in the onions and 1 tsp salt, and cook, stirring constantly until the onion is softened and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the chicken to coat with the spices and cook, stirring often, until it is just opaque, about four minutes.
  5. Stir in the water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until no longer pink.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred into bite-sized pieces using two forks.
  7. Stir the tomatoes, peas, coconut milk or yogurt, cilantro, and butter into the sauce until combined, then stir in the shredded chicken.
  8. Return the curry to medium heat and cook, until the butter is melted and the sauce is hot, 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

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All-dressed Cheese Oven Fries

This is adapted from a  recipe at “Skinnytaste.com”, which I highly recommend!  Reminds us of New York Fries’ “The Works”

  • 2 medium potatoes, yukon gold or russet, washed and dried (peel if desired)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 slice center cut bacon, cooked & finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp diced scallions
  • 1 tbsp sliced pickled Jalapeno (jarred on canned)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly coat a large cookie sheet with olive oil.
  2. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thin slices; then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and oil; toss well.
  4. Add seasoning (paprika to salt and pepper). Toss to coat.
  5. Place potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased large baking sheet.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until tender, turning once half way through.
  7. Remove from oven, place fries into two small oven safe dishes (or one large dish for sharing), top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos, scallions and bacon bits and return to oven for  about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  8. Serve with sour cream.

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Asian Inspired Beef Lettuce Rolls

Will wonders never cease?  We’ve found another ground beef recipe that is really good!  The flavours and textures are so delicious, that I don’t even really notice the ground beef.  Adapted from “Canadian Living”.  Serves 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 four-inch piece cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut into matchstick-sized pieces
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 Boston lettuce leaves or leaf lettuce, washed and dried (we use a whole head)
  • 4 lime wedges
  • about 1 cup of dried parboiled rice, sushi rice, jasmine rice — or any sticky rice — cooked according to package directions, and placed in a serving dish
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced gingerroot
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Asian chili sauce or hot pepper sauce

Preparation:

  1. Arrange vegetables, lettuce and lime wedges on serving platter, or place in small bowls.
  2. In large nonstick skillet, sauté beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Drain off any fat.
  3. Add garlic, ginger and five-spice powder; cook over medium heat, stirring, until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add hoisin sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce; cook, stirring, until hot, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
  5. Let each person spoon beef mixture into each lettuce leaf. Top with some cooked rice, cucumber, red pepper, carrot and green onions. Squeeze some lime onto the filling.  Wrap lettuce around filling.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein

Squashed Baked Potatoes

Another blast from the past; I’m not a lover of potatoes, but I do like these.

  • baking potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes onto a greased baking tray, and bake at 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour (until tender)

Remove from oven and make an X-cut in the top of each potato, then squash each potato with a potato masher, or a mug or plate.  The idea is to flatten them, not mash them.  You want the skins to crack and the insides to be rough.

Drizzle each potato (liberally) with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 450F for about 15 to 20 more minutes, until crispy and golden.

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Filed under Main Course, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Awesome Meatloaf (yes, really)

I don’t like ground beef, and I don’t like meatloaf.  That being said, this recipe via Martha, while being a fiddle to make, is delicious and I actually enjoy eating it!  Halve the recipe if you want a small meatloaf.  This calls for a food processor, but if you don’t have one, just mince the veggies.  The meatloaf is baked with a sauce — Niall’s very favourite — which is at the bottom of this page.

    • 4 slices white bread, torn into pieces (or any white bread bun with the crust completely off — use about 4 slices of bread worth)
    • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
    • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
    • 2 cloves fresh garlic
    • 2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
    • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
    • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup ketchup (you’ll need another 1/2 cup for the sauce)
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
    • 2 teaspoons dry mustard, like Keene’s (you’ll need another teaspoonful for the sauce)

Heat oven to 375F.  Place bread pieces into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form.  Transfer to a bowl (you do this first so that they don’t gunk up the processor bowl later).

Into the food processor bowl place: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and parsley.  Pulse until finely chopped.

Add to the processor bowl, with the vegetable mixture: egg, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, salt and pepper.  Pulse until mixed.

Pour the bread crumbs back into the food processor, pulse until thoroughly mixed.

Into a large bowl, put the ground beef and break it up with a fork.  Gently mix the food processor mixture into the beef, until thoroughly combined.

Gently place the meatloaf mixture into an 8.5″ x 4.5″x2.5″ loaf pan (or use whatever loaf pan you have).

Mix these three ingredients together, then brush over the top of the meatloaf:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (like Keene’s)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Place in the preheated oven, and bake for about one-and-a-half hours, until the center reaches 160F.

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Filed under food, Protein