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Kale Chips

Kale chips last about as long as it takes them to cool down in my house.  It’s an incredibly effective way to eat a LOT of greens all at once! They are pretty comparable to regular chips in terms of tastiness and ‘you can’t eat just one-ness’, but you get to control how much salt goes on them and anything else you can think of.

Serves 2-3 (or 1 if you’re me)

2 bunches of kale washed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Ripe kale off the spines so that you have bite sized ‘chips’.

2. Place the chips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

3. Put into oven and set timer for about 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they’re not burning. They should be crisp and a little brown on the edges.

4. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Garlic-Lemon Salmon on Spinach

Garlic-Lemon Salmon on Spinach

This uber-easy recipe was actually a pod cast from the website by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife Jessica called; www.doitdelicious.com
The recipe is so easy that I watched the video once and remembered the whole thing – well, almost  (and I changed the fish from halibut to salmon).

4 4oz pieces of salmon with skin removed
1 lemon cut into slices
10oz baby spinach (about 3-4 handfuls from bag or box)
1tbsp olive oil
1 1/4tsp salt
1 clove of garlic smashed and cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 450˚.
2. Rub a baking pan thoroughly with the two halves.
3. Toss spinach with olive oil and 1/4tsp of salt, and spread evenly over the pan.
4. Place fish on spinach bed.  Salt each piece of fish with remaining 1tsp of salt.  Place 2-3 slices of lemon on each piece of fish.
5. Place fish in oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the fish is no longer translucent in the middle.

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

Grilled Vegetable Stacks

You may have noticed that I have a soft spot for many different foods. Roasted vegetables come close to the top of this list. Roasting takes something wonderful like a zucchini and makes it divine, turns garlic into something swoon-worthy, and gathers every last drop of sweetness from a tomato. These vegetable stacks take all that deliciousness and adds two more amazing ingredients; fresh bocconcini and balsamic vinegar. Once you try these little towers of vegetable power, you`ll be singing their praises too.

Serves 8

1 cup pesto sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 japanese eggplants (the thinner ones)
2 red peppers, quartered and seeded
2 yams peeled
2 zucchinis
2 red onions
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup grated mozzarella or sliced fresh bocconcini
1/2 cup (125 ml) goat cheese

8 six inch wooden skewers
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup balsamic crema (this is a creamier reduction of balsamic vinegar mixed with grape juice. You’ll find it in most specialty stores and well stocked grocery stores).

1. Slice eggplants, yams, zucchini, red onions, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Brush all vegetables, except tomoatoes, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
2. Heat barbecue to medium and grill all vegetables except tomatoes until they have some nice grill marks and are tender. If you don’t have a barbecue, or it is raining or snowing heavily, roast the vegetables in the oven at 350° for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
3. Assemble 8 vegetable stacks by layering slices of vegetables with pesto and cheeses between the layers. Start the stacks with the yams and finish with the zucchini. Place a wooden skewer in the middle of each stack.
4. Make ahead and reheat in a 350° oven or the barbecue for approximately 20 minutes to melt the cheese and heat the vegetables. Once heated, remove the skewers and replace with sprigs of fresh rosemary. Serve the stacks drizzled with the balsamic crema.

This recipe was taken from the ‘Whitewater Cooks at Home’ cookbook by Shelley Adams.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu is unfortunetly not without it’s faults as a potential health food. It is however a very good source of protein and relatively fast to prepare. I keep it on hand for the occasional quick dinner. Like anything else that isn’t completely healthy, use this food in moderation.

Serves 4

1 package (440g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
or 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tofu into 15 rectangular pieces. Put the pieces on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
2. Mix soy sauce or tamari with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce; pour this over the tofu turning the pieces over to coat. Marinade for about an hour (or longer) turning the tofu over a couple of times.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Put the sesame seeds or panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
4. Remove the tofu from the marinade, (most likely, it will be all absorbed to the tofu) and dip each piece first into the arrowroot mixture and then the seeds or crumbs, pressing quite firmly to get them to stick.
5. Heat a saute pan to medium and add the vegetable oil.
6. Add the tofu nuggets to the hot pan and saute for a minute or 2 on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t try to fitr too many in the pan at one time or you’ll have trouble flipping them around.
7. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to soak up any extra oil, then serve right away with your favorite dipping sauces.

This recipe was taken from ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ by Shelley Adams.

Moroccan Yam Soup

Moroccan Yam Soup

This recipe was passed on from my mother-in-law, and is a staple in her kitchen.  It’s freezes well, is fancy enough to serve to company, and healthy at the same time.  Yams are very high in carotene which is helpful for everything from preventing cancer, to keeping your eyesight strong.

Serves 6-8

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced garlic
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp saffron threads
8 cups grated yams (do this in the food processor to save time)
1 cup chopped red peppers
1/3 cup crushed tomato
4 cups chopped onion
1/3  cup minced ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup ground cumin
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups soup stock (chicken or veggie is fine)
1 cup sliced almonds
½ cup currants
salt

  1. Slowly sauté onions in oil at low to medium heat, stirring often, until soft and caramelized.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and spices cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer whisking periodically until yams practically ‘melt’ and thicken the soup (or use a hand blender once the yams are soft).

 Recipe from the Alfresco restaurant, Saltspring Island, BC

 

Apple Raisin Spelt Muffins

Fruit Sweetened Apple Raisin Spelt Muffins

These muffins remind me of my home town because they come from an old vegetarian restaurant called ‘The Big Carrot’.  Now, they remind me of my mom, because she makes them all the time. We can be at an airport, a beach, or any old family gathering, and these muffins are too! How can you go wrong with a sugar-free muffin!  Don’t be scared by the large scale ingredients, they freeze well and you’ll never have trouble finding people to eat them for you. 

Makes 24 large muffins

Dry ingredients:
     
6 cups spelt flour
      1 cup raisins         
      1tbsp cream of tartar
      1tbsp baking soda
      ½ tbsp. sea salt

 Wet ingredients:
     
2 cups whole pitted dates
      4 cups chopped apples
      1½ cups sunflower oil
      2 cups apple juice
      1/8 cup vanilla extract
      1¼ cups water

 1. Preheat oven to 350˚

2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. In a small pot, cover dates with water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and let cool. Puree in a blender or food processor.

4. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

5. Add wet to dry and gently fold together being careful not to over mix. Add large spoonfuls to well-greased muffin tins so that batter is just over the tops of the muffin tins.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, and then rotate tins.

7. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.  If baking large muffins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

This recipe was taken from The Bar None Cookbook, a great cookbook from an even better vegetarian restaurant in Courtenay BC which is sadly no longer open.