Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garlic Cheese Bread

This is definitely not the glamorous photo this cheese bread deserves! Because it is just completely perfect, delicious, gooey, cheesy, and flavourful. I've never made cheese bread with mayonnaise before - turns out it's an excellent addition. The original recipe suggests that it serves 4, but I don't recommend eating 1 serving of this, unless you eat it with a giant plate of raw vegetables, as we did one night. So basically what I'm saying is you have to try it, but make it when you're serving lots of people or have lots of raw vegetables!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Mediterranean Macaroni & Cheese
Chile-Cheese Bread
Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Oregano Muffins
Flatbread with Caramelized Onions and Brie

Garlic Cheese Bread
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves 6-8

3 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cups mayonnaise
4 green onions, minced
1 loaf crusty French bread
8 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Mix cheeses with the mayonnaise and the green onions. Set aside or keep in fridge until you need it.

Cut loaf of bread in half, then each half into half again. Working 1/4 loaf at a time, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add 1/4 of the minced garlic. Place 1 of the 1/4 loaves face down in the skillet, swirling it to soak up the butter and garlic. Allow bread to toast in the skillet, removing garlic if it starts to get too brown.

Repeat with remaining butter, garlic, and bread.

Spread cheese mixture on warm loaves and bake in a 425F oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Slice and serve.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones

I could eat scones everyday. However I try to mix them up with lots of healthy muffins. And then sometimes I try and take not so healthy scones like this one and make them healthier. Sometimes it fails, like this time. (Other times it doesn't, like with these dill cheese scones.) I didn't even change that much - I just tried to use half whole wheat flour. And the scones turned out dry.

So of course I had to make them again, the original way. And while the unbaked dough was still really crumbly and hard to form into mounds, the resulting scones were soft and moist with nice crisp edges. The flavour combination in these scones - pepper, pear, goat cheese - was wonderful. I love pepper in savoury baked goods. So while it all worked out in the end and I did like the scones, I won't likely be making them again because I don't know about you, but crumbly dough really aggravates me!

Abby's new favourite sleeping spot (the back of a couch cushion).

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Tomato Rosemary Scones
A Dilly of a Cheese Scone
Cheddar and Black Pepper Scones
Apple Cheddar Scones

Peppered Pear and Goat Cheese Scones
Adapted from Savory Baking

Makes 6 scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and diced
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into large walnut-size pieces
1/2 cup 2% plain yogurt
2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir together. Add the butter and break it into pea-size pieces with your fingertips. Sprinkle the pear pieces and crumbled goat cheese over the top of the flour mixture and gently toss together, being careful not to break the cheese into smaller pieces.

Soften the yogurt by whisking in the milk. Pour the yogurt over the flour mixture and gently blend the ingredients together with a spatula, being careful not to break up the cheese. The dough may look slightly dry, but it will produce a moist scone. Divide the dough into six equal mounds on the baking sheet, leaving about a 1inch space between each to allow for slight spreading.

Place the baking pan in the center of the oven and bake until lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the scones on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Greek Basmati Rice

As suggested by Dreena, I paired this Greek basmati rice with lemon-herb tofu and it made for the perfect easy dinner. This rice dish comes together so quickly - basically you dump everything (tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, lemon, oregano, uncooked brown rice) into a casserole dish and bake it for over an hour. Delicious and easy - perfect weeknight meal!

I'm so ridiculously excited as I just received 2 awesome new cookbooks in the mail!! Radiant Health Inner Wealth, and The Two Week Wellness Solution. I've been waiting for these books for weeks. We're going out for dinner shortly but I can't wait to come home and look through them!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Shallot Salad
Greek Barley Salad
Orzo Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon
Wild Rice Almond Cherry Pilaf

Greek Basmati Rice
Adapted from Vive le Vegan!

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
3 1/4 cups water
1 medium red onion, diced
4 small tomatoes (1 to 1 1/4 cup) tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400F. In a deep casserole dish, combined all the ingredients except the olives and parsley, and stir through to mix. Cover and bake for 60-65 minutes. Add the olives and stir through. Cover and bake for another 10-15 minutes or more, until the rice is soft and has absorbed all the water. Remove and stir in the fresh parsley.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Black Bean & Scrambled Egg Enchiladas

I'd like to commit to making every single recipe from a cookbook. Or maybe a few cookbooks. I know there are groups about that (like TWD which I was part of before). Being part of a group like that is great because it forces you to make dishes you otherwise might not or might not make time for. So I guess what I'm saying is that I want to try making everything in Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection. I love that it has a variety of dishes, some with interesting twists like these black bean and scrambled egg enchiladas, the recipes are all fairly simple and easy to accomplish on a weeknight, and the ingredients are all really easy to find. Has anyone else made anything from this book? Have people outside of Canada even heard of it? Anyway, I'm not formally committing myself to it right now but perhaps soon.

At first I didn't want to make these enchiladas because while I do like scrambled eggs, I knew we'd have leftovers and the idea of reheated scrambled eggs does not appeal to me. I'm really happy I made it, as it was delicious, but I was right about reheated scrambled eggs not being good. I think this dish is best served to a large group where it will be finished in one night. I liked that it was something a little different than other enchiladas I've made.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Lentil Veggie Burrito Casserole
Frijoles, Etc. Casserole
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Southwest Brunch Bake

Black Bean & Scrambled Egg Enchiladas
Adapted from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4.5 oz/126 mL) chopped green chilies, drained
1 tbsp lime juice
12 eggs
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
8 large (10 inch) whole wheat tortillas
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese

Enchilada Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
680 mL tomato sauce (my can might not have been exactly 680 mL, something around 680 though)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't add it but would next time)

Enchilada Sauce: In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion and garlic until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth, chili powder, oregano and sa< bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Set aside.

In bowl, combine beans, chilies, lime juice and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce; mash with fork. Set aside.

In separate bowl, beat together eggs, 1/4 cup water, half of the green onions, the salt and pepper.

In skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook eggs, stirring, just until softly set but still moist.

Divide bean mixture among tortillas, spreading evenly. Spoon egg mixture along bottom third of each; roll up tortilla. Trim ends; place, seam side down, in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish. Spoon 3 cups of the remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in 375°F oven until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. After removing from the oven, top with remaining green onions. Serve with remaining sauce.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yorkshire Pudding (that are actually Popovers)

Is there anything more glorious than a perfectly baked fresh out of the oven Yorkshire pudding? (And by Yorkshire pudding I do mean popover, as I did not use roast drippings to make these. But my mom used to, and while she now makes them with oil instead, we still call them Yorkshire puddings.)

My mom only ever makes these when she makes roast beef and my brother and I always fight over who ate more Yorkshire puddings. I carefully count how many everybody eats. And will eat any that are leftover because they're not nearly as delicious the next day, and a Yorkshire pudding cannot go to waste! This is my mom's recipe, and after looking up other recipes it seems that they're all pretty similar to this. I was so ridiculously excited to make these for the first time that I think I ate 6 of them for dinner (with a side of vegan pot roast and delicious vegetable gravy). I probably won't eat 6 of them next time, but I will be making them again.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Three-Seed Biscuits
Cheddar and Black Pepper Scones
Light Brioche Burger Buns
Noreen Kinney's Irish Soda Bread

Yorkshire Pudding (that are actually Popovers)

Makes 12

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2-3 tbsp oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a blender or with a whisk, blend together all ingredients except oil, until very smooth. Let batter sit on the counter for 45 minutes.

Put 1/2-1 tsp of oil in each muffin pan (enough to cover the bottom). Place muffin pans in the oven for 5-10 minutes - if the oil starts to smoke before then, take them out. Take muffin pans out and evenly divide the batter. Each cup will be about halfway filled.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until dark golden brown and puffy. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Shallot Salad

Months ago my mom gave me a pumpkin. No I didn't wait until now to use it (don't think it would've lasted that long). This is just one of those many back logged recipes I have yet to post about. I was looking for something interesting to do with said pumpkin and came across this warm salad recipe. Roasted pumpkin and shallots, rice, and a sunflower seed lemon cilantro dressing. Have you ever had a sunflower seed dressing? I made one once before for a delicious sunflower rice bowl and really liked it so thought this one would be good too and it was. The next day the lemon isn't as zingy, so you might want to squeeze a bit on if you have any leftovers. One sad thing was that after I had put finished putting together the salad, I broke a dish and some glass got in the salad. I was tempted to throw the whole thing out but I had just made it and was able to pick out the big pieces.

I think I was trying to artfully drizzle the dressing on top but it was more blobs than drizzle.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Butternut Squash Casserole
Greek Barley Salad
Autumn Panzanella
Warm Vegetable Salad with Sesame-Maple Dressing

Warm Roasted Pumpkin & Shallot Salad
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
12 shallots, peeled and halved
1/2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt

2 cups cooked brown rice

1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey (or agave to make it vegan)
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375F.

Toss the pumpkin in a olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt, and turn out onto a baking sheet. At the same time, toss the shallots with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and turn out onto a separate baking sheet. Roast both for about 45 minutes, or until squash is brown and caramelized. The same goes for the shallots, they should be deeply colored, caramelized, and soft throughout by the time they are done roasting. You'll need to flip both the squash and shallot pieces once or twice along the way - so it's not just one side that is browning.

In the meantime, make the dressing. With a hand blender or food processor puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt, and honey until creamy. Stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings (or flavors) to your liking.

In a large bowl, toss the rice with the dressing. Add the shallots, gently toss just once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out onto a platter and top with the roasted squash.

Serves 4-6.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lentil Veggie Burrito Casserole

Yikes I'm sorry for once again disappearing!! These past couple of weeks have been ridiculously busy. I just finished school on Thursday, not for the semester but forever. Wow finished school, it's still hard to believe. I still have my practicum to do and the certification exam, but classes are over!! Okay enough about me.

This may not look like much, but has fast become one of my favourite meals. Healthy, filling and tasty. The original recipe has you make chimichangas, filled with bell peppers, onions, zucchini, fennel seeds (looooooove this addition) and lentil tomato sauce. Frying the burritos isn't something I really want to do, and while I do love burritos, I've found it much simpler to make a sort of burrito casserole. (Though the photo shows when I attempted to fold them into burritos.) Much quicker and easier to make and it tastes the same. Oh and the lentil tomato sauce? I'm often not a fan of tomato sauces, but this one is really yummy. And I love that it's full of lentils and thus protein!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Tracy's Lentil Loaf
Sweet Potato Badi
Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles
Chayote and Corn Enchiladas

Lentil Veggie Burrito Casserole
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt
4-6 whole wheat tortillas (depending on the size of the tortilla, when I have tiny ones I use 6 tortillas)
"Hide the lentils" tomato sauce, recipe below

Preheat oven to 425F. In a frying pan on medium heat, add 1/2 tbsp oil, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, fennel seeds, salt and pepper, and saute for 6-7 minutes, until veggies are slightly seared and onions soften.

In a 9x13 dish, place half of the tortillas, spread them out evenly and ripping them up if necessary to fill gaps. Spoon on the vegetable mixture and about half of the lentil tomato sauce. Place the remaining tortillas on top, spreading them out as you did with the bottom layer. Pour the remaining lentil tomato sauce on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

"Hide the Lentils" Tomato Sauce
Adapted slightly from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan

1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup dry red lentils
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

In a large pot on medium-low heat, add oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes (reduce heat and/or add a few drops of water if needed to prevent garlic from burning). Rinse lentils. Add lentils, tomatoes, water, rosemary, basil, agave nectar and bay leaf. Increase heat to high to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 22-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are fully softened. Uncover and simmer for 3 minutes to reduce liquid. Remove bay leaf.