Friday, December 24, 2010

Potato Salad Niçoise

Wow December has flown by!! Sadly I haven't had any time to do Christmas baking so I plan on making up for it in January after my wedding. Which is also when I hope to catch up on blogs, as I keep on saying. I hope you all have merry Christmases and happy holidays and happy everythings! I'm waiting for E to get home so we can go over to my mom's and help out with preparations then eat eat eat and play games. We have lots of family meals and visiting in the next few days which I'm really looking forward to!

I've also got a recipe to share with you today from a new favourite cookbook of mine - Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection. For some reason I was kind of skeptical of how the recipes would turn out but I've made a few things and have been quite happy with them so I'm looking forward to working my way through the rest of the book. I've always wanted to try Niçoise salad and came across a vegetarian version in this cookbook so finally decided to try it! I really enjoyed it and will be making it again.

Abby in her new favourite spot.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Mediterranean and Couscous Lentil Salad
Pesto and Chickpea Pasta Salad
Greek Barley Salad
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon

Potato Salad Niçoise
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection

Makes 4 servings

14 mini new potatoes, quartered (1 lb)
2 cups trimmed green beans, cut into 2" pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups baby spinach (I like lots of spinach, you don't have to use this much)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
16 Kalamata olives, pitted
Half sweet red pepper, diced
4 hard boiled eggs, quartered

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes, covered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add green beans; cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain.

In large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper. Add potato mixture, spinach, tomatoes, olives and red pepper; toss to coat. Top with eggs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Pumpkin quick bread is one of my favourite baked goods. Well in general whenever I see pumpkin anything I want it! However I've always been wary of the combination of chocolate and pumpkin, but I saw a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip loaf in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. (I want to make pretty much everything in this book but right now I'm especially fixated on the grasshopper cake!) Anyway, I gave the loaf a chance and while I really loved the loaf itself, I do prefer my pumpkin without chocolate.

Now that my finals are over, I can't wait to start on some holiday baking!! What are you all making?

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Pumpkin Cheesecake
All-In-One Holiday Bundt Cake
Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups (15 oz can) pumpkin puree
1 cup canola oil
3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, baking soda and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until combined. Add the sugar and whisk again. Whisk the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Add 2/3 cup room temperature water and whisk until combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Gently knock the bottom of the pans against the countertop to even out the batter. Use the spatula to smooth the tops.

Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Invert the loaves onto wire racks and cool completely before serving.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Curried Split Pea Soup

Curried split pea soup

It takes me so ridiculously long to post about things that I make that sometimes I have photos of food where I totally can't remember what it was. Just now I was preparing this post and got the photo ready then realized that it was a photo of a different soup. So I spent some time going through my cookbooks trying to figure out what soup that one was... Turns out it was a Tibetan lentil soup from Fresh at Home which was good but not as memorable as this curried split pea soup.

The split pea soup imposter - Tibetan lentil soup.

I don't think I've ever had split pea soup before or maybe never even had split peas. And what is a life if you have never tried split pea soup! I bought my split peas from the bulk section, you know the containers where you pull down the tab to fill your bag? I was delighted to see how green the split peas were. I just assumed split peas were always a yellowish colour because of the peas they put in the front of the container for display (which must be old). As I was grating the carrot into the soup before serving, I was wondering why I was doing it. E suggested that it was to mimic bits of ham. I know this isn't quite a traditional split pea soup but I really enjoyed it.

I'm getting married 1 month from today!!! (And still don't have a cake confirmed haha.)

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Thai Coconut Corn Stew
Greek Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, Rosemary and Feta Cheese
White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup
Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Curried Split Pea Soup
Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance

1/2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4" dice (about 2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp salt
7 cups water
424 g dried split peas (original recipe called for 454 g, I didn't have enough)
1 carrot

In a stockpot, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and salt. Saute for 2 more minutes.

Add the water and stir well. Add the split peas. Cover and bring to a boil.

Bring heat back down to medium; simmer for about an hour, until the peas are tender. Grate in the carrot and serve.