You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Recipes’ tag.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- About 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water or broth
- 3 tsp Moroccan spice mix (recipe below)
- salt and pepper
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ¼ – ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add the carrot; continue to cook until the onion is soft, a few more minutes.
Add quinoa, water, Moroccan spice mix, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the quinoa is cooked and the carrots are tender (15 minutes or so).
Add the chickpeas, stir and simmer for a minute or two until the chickpeas are heated through.
Add lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.
Moroccan Spice Mix
- 4 tsp curry powder
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (I always grind nutmeg fresh – it’s so much better)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp dried mint
- salt and pepper
Mix everything together. Store unused mix in an airtight container. This is a modified version of a spice mix from a recipe by Real Food for Real Kids.
We’re well into the New Year and I’m thinking about my More or Less Resolutions. Since I didn’t give myself any set-in-stone resolutions, I’m not going to beat myself up over the things I haven’t done yet. Still, I thought I’d post an update.
More Cooking was one of my More or Less Resolutions, and I’m happy to report that I have been doing more cooking.
I think the merits of a good cookbook can be judged on the condition of the book: how many spills, how many missing or falling out pages and just generally how well used the book looks. Take, for example, my trusty old copy of The Joy of Cooking.
Pretty gross, eh? This is the book that taught me about dough, apple pie, how to pick, chop and cook any vegetable I’ve ever come across, how to make shepherd’s pie, how to cook a big turkey dinner and gave me the best vegan chocolate cake recipe ever. Any basic recipe or cooking technique is covered in this book. It is my cooking bible. I don’t use it very much anymore but I will never get rid of it.
Right around Christmas, I got three new cookbooks. First, from dear Mr. Family Nature, I got Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian. Then with a gift card from my brother, I bought Seductions of Rice by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid and Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran.
(My friend, MoneyGal, has the best cookbook collection I’ve seen outside of a library. Every time I’m at her house, I like to browse her shelves. Many great cookbook recommendations have come from her, including Seductions of Rice and Indian Home Cooking.)
Of my new cookbooks, the one I’ve used the most so far is Indian Home Cooking. I absolutely love it. As you can see, there are a fair few splashes and sticky notes in the book already.
This book sent me in search of a whole bunch of new and interesting spices that I’d never bought before, like cumin seeds, dried red chillies, green cardamom pods, black mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves and amchur. It also has me using cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in something other than baked goods. The combination of all these spices and more gives foods such rich flavour.
If you like Indian food, I highly recommend this book. The recipes are easy to follow and best of all, the kids (for the most part) like it. Some of the recipes are a bit spicy but I make a note a use a bit less chilli the next time.
Having all these spices on hand has also helped me rediscover my love of chai tea. I leave you with the recipe that I’ve been using. I have a great little pot that has measurements marked on the inside, plus it has a strainer lid, so I whip this up really easily:
- 2 cups water
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- 5 peppercorns
- ½ inch of ginger root, rinsed and smashed
- 2 tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 cup milk (soy milk, almond milk or milk of choice)
- 2 tea bags (or 2 teaspoons of black tea leaves)
Bring the water and the spices to a boil on the stove. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for a few minutes. Add the honey and milk, and bring back to a boil. Add the tea bags, remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, strain and enjoy!
First we washed six limes, then we put them in the microwave for one minute (I read somewhere once that limes straight from the fridge won’t yield as much juice as room temperature ones).
Next the kids gently rolled them (apparently this helps soften them up so they’re easier to juice).
Then, with several helping hands, we squeezed each one.
Meanwhile, we boiled 3 cups of water and added 1 cup of sugar (I found this a tad bit sweet so next time I’ll use a little less sugar).
We added the lime juice to the sugar water, then we filled the jug up with water and ice and voila – a super yummy, super easy, super cheap (6 limes for 97¢), fun to make summer drink.
You can also use replace some of the limes with lemons to make lemon-limeade. Yum.
I love a nice chunky guacamole; tomato, avocado, cilantro and lots of lime, but the kids – not so much. Anything chunky is no good in their books. So, when I’m making things like soups and pasta sauces I often puree them to ‘hide’ what’s inside – a trick I’m sure many parents use. I do this with guacamole too.
This guacamole is great with chips but it’s also great as a dip (for veggies, crackers, or whatever!) and it makes a really nice spread on sandwiches; a great vegan alternative to mayonnaise. It’s has been a favourite around here lately:
- Two or three avocados, skins and pits removed.
- Some freshly squeezed lime – I usually start with half a lime and then add more if needed. I love lots of lime!
- A handful of fresh cilantro leaves – this is a ‘must have’ ingredient for me, cilantro can make or break it!
- One or two cloves of fresh garlic, peeled.
- Half an onion.
- A pinch of cumin.
- Salt and pepper.
Throw everything in a bowl, no chopping required:
Use a hand mixer to puree everything:
Until it’s nice and smooth:
(Alternatively, you can also use a food processor if you don’t have a hand mixer. But if you don’t have one, think about getting one! This is probably one of my most well used kitchen appliance coming second only to the toaster oven. Mine is very basic; it doesn’t have any of the nifty attachments shown in the link, and it was very inexpensive. AND it cleans up in a snap; it comes apart and the mixer part goes right into the dishwasher.)
Last week I took Son-S to the allergist. The allergist did a skin test for his usually allergens: dairy, eggs, bananas, walnuts, and pecans, plus she also tested for dust and some moulds. The following day I took Son-S to have blood drawn so that a CAP RAST allergy test could be done. He’s never had a CAP RAST test done so I’m very curious to see what his IgE levels are.
As far as Son-S’s egg allergy goes, he’s never had a severe reaction. He has tolerated a bit of egg in baked goods before but we thought that it might be causing some eczema so we had been avoiding it altogether. Since the chances of outgrowing an egg allergy are pretty good (our allergist told us that 80-90 % grow out of it) and he’s never had a severe reaction to egg, we’ve been told to slowly introduce egg into his diet.
Eggs in baked goods are the way to start introducing them because (a) one egg in a batch of cookies isn’t very much egg – not like having a fried egg and (b) because when an egg is cooked one of the two allergic components is considerably modified by heat such that it can be tolerated by some people.
So the day after Son-S had his skin test, the same day I took him for the blood test, I baked cookies with an egg. I made Peanut Butter cookies, much like the ones I tried to make here, but this time I used an egg (and the cookies turned out much better!). It is the recipe straight of the back of the Kraft Peanut Butter jar:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
Mix until well-blended. Roll into 24 balls, press down with a fork. Bake 15 minutes in oven preheated to 325° on an ungreased baking sheet.
I made a couple of small cookies and Son-S was dying to try them. He watched me make them so he knew there was an egg in them; which I realize now probably wasn’t the best idea. Anyway, he had a small cookie and seemed perfectly fine. He had another little piece of a cookie a little while later. He seemed fine.
Later that afternoon we went up to the hospital so that they could draw blood for the CAP RAST test. Just before we left Son-S started complaining of a sore tummy. Uh oh. I check him out all over. There were no hives, no rash, no redness, nothing. But he kept complaining about his tummy. The whole drive there the poor boy was whining and complaining about his sore tummy. I started to feel really bad…what was I thinking? Why did I give him so much? I should have waited for a day that we were going to be home all day. I should have given him just a tiny piece of cookie…maybe I shouldn’t have done it at all…oh, the guilt. At one point when we were in the van Son-S whined to me “I don’t ever want to eat that again!” That put me over the edge. I was bawling! “Oh honey, you don’t have to eat it anymore,” I cried. Oh, the guilt.
Son-S complained on and off about his tummy for the next few hours. He had the blood drawn and we went home.
The funny thing is, my tummy hadn’t been feeling all that well. It wasn’t that bad, it was subtle really. I was so wrapped up in keeping an eye on Son-S and the guilt I was feeling that I barely noticed. Later on that day Baby-M (who’d also had a cookie or two) had a really gross diaper – I’ll spare you the gory details but let’s just say it was out of the ordinary. Baby-M clearly had some tummy upset too.
And then I started thinking…hmmm. That’s a funny coincidence. Uuuh…wait a second. I wonder how old those eggs were. We rarely use eggs and I’d used the last egg in the carton, so I started thinking that they might have been in the fridge for a while. I went and dug out the empty egg carton from the recycling. The best before date stamped on the egg carton was May 25th! AAAK! No wonder! Later that day when my husband came home I told him the whole story. Not wanting to take my word for it he insisted on trying a cookie for himself. Sure enough, a short time later his tummy wasn’t feeling so well.
A couple of days later, with a fresh batch of eggs, I made the cookies again. Not surprisingly Son-S wouldn’t go near them. I don’t blame him at all. I guess we’ve scared him to death about his allergies. The poor kid.
I’ll have to find something else to sneak an egg into and try again.
Food Allergy Awareness Week: May 5-8 in Canada, May 10-16 in the United States
I made this one day when we were having a party at our house. There were going to be a number of allergic kids at our house and I wanted to find a treat that was safe for everyone. This was not an easy task, I tell you! The allergens I was trying to avoid were dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sesame, and banana. Kettle Corn came to mind so off I went in search of a recipe.
Here’s the recipe I eventually ended up with. I’ve played with it a bit. I tried to use less oil but it was a huge flop; I guess there needs to be a certain amount of oil to melt the sugar and keep the kernels moving freely.
You either have to use a popcorn maker like this really great one my Mother-in-law gave us for Christmas or use a pot on the stove and shake it continuously.
Add to the popcorn maker/pot:
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
Heat a pot on the stove/turn the popcorn maker on (follow manufacturer’s instructions) with the lid on. Watch it carefully. Once the oil starts to sizzle add:
- ¼ cup sugar (or brown sugar if you want a caramel corn version, yum!)
Let popcorn maker do its magic…or shake pot continuously. Once the popping has stopped turn off stove/popcorn maker and add immediately:
- ½ tsp to 1 tsp salt
Careful, it will be very hot. Enjoy! This has become a favourite for our Friday Night Movie Nights.
This is a recipe that I modified from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros (a wonderful book that I’ll write about another time). It is a lovely chocolate loaf. It is dark and rich looking. When you’re baking it, it smells deliciously chocolate but make no mistake, it’s not a cake, it’s bread; chocolate bread with a hint of sweet. It’s different that what one might expect. Try it toasted for breakfast, or as a late afternoon snack.
See photos of our chocolate bread making below!
In a large bowl combine:
- 1 pkg active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 ¼ c warm water
Stir until the sugar is dissolved and let stand for about 10 minutes. Add:
- 3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
Mix together with a fork until all ingredients are combined, then use your hands and knead the dough for about 6 minutes. Put a drop of oil in the bowl, and turn the dough over so that the oil coats the dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap, or a tea towel and leave to rise for 1 ½ -2 hours. Prepare a loaf pan: grease or line with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350°. Punch the dough down to flatten then shape it into a rectangle and put it in the loaf pan. Cover again and let rise ½ and hour to 1 hour, until it rises above the top of the pan. Bake loaf for about 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Three of the kids are checking out the mixture:
My seven year old is giving the three year old and the one year old instructions on kneading bread:
After the first rise:
Punching down the dough:
All punched down:
After the second rise, ready to go in the oven:
We’ve been battling a stomach bug for the last week. I had a migraine this morning (I suffer the Classic form or Migraine with aura) so I’ve been low energy all day and I’ve had a chill that I just can’t shake. The kids are still home from school and I wanted something quick and hearty to make for lunch. I wanted to put it on the stove and walk away.
I decided on lentil soup and beer bread. I have a beer bread “system” so that I can make it quickly. When I have a few minutes to spare I combine all the dry ingredients for beer bread in large zipper bags (I keep the bags and re-use them). I usually make three dry mixes at a time. Then, when I want to make a loaf, I just add the near beer and I have a loaf in the oven lickety-split.
I went searching for a lentil soup recipe on the internet. I didn’t find anything that was quite right; some had yogurt, some had meat, others had ingredients that I didn’t have. I ended up using a combination of a couple of recipes with a few of my own additions. This is what I came up with.
Vegan Lentil Soup
In a large pot, heat up:
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
Add to the pot:
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
Sautee until the onion is clear. Add:
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add:
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Makes about 4 servings.
As a follow up to my Orange Cake recipe, this is my basic vanilla icing recipe. There are several variations, all of which I have tried at one point or another depending the people for whom I was baking and their dietary restrictions/allergies.
In a large bowl mix together with a hand mixer:
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 4 tbsp vegan margarine (or substitute one of the following: butter, shortening, canola oil or other oil)
- 2 to 4 tbsp coconut milk (or substitute one of the following: milk, rice milk, soy milk, water, juice, maple syrup or coffee)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
Add more icing sugar or liquid to adjust the consistency.
I love this cake. Most people aren’t all that thrilled with the idea of an orange cake, but I’ve never had anyone NOT like it once they tried it. It goes really well with vanilla icing or maple icing.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or line with parchment paper a standard round or 8 x 8 inch square pan.
In a large bowl whisk together:
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
In a medium mixing bowl (or I use a large measuring cup) mix together:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk until smooth. Pour into cake pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.