Wednesday 29 February 2012

Quinoa salad

When I was in Ottawa over reading week (and I really did do work!), I met up with E, and we made some awesome healthy cookies, and this quinoa salad. 
It was from something I had posted on Pinterest a while ago, and forgot about. Since the cookies had quinoa in them, we decided to just make a bit more quinoa and try making this recipe at the same time. E really wanted to try it, and said she had all the ingredients, which really meant that she had quinoa, dill and goat cheese, but we worked around it and found colorful vegetables to add to it and make it pretty!
I was adapted from the Rainbow Quinoa from KathEats. 

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tomato
1/2 avocado
1/2 log of goat cheese
3/4 cup carrots

1 tbsp lemon juice
1 heaping tsp mustard (ok, I honestly read it wrong when I made it, and put 1 tbsp of mustard, and it was WAY too mustardy, but I'm sure it would be fine with 1tsp!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh dill

Bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until ready. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and goat cheese. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl for the dressing, and pour it over the quinoa and vegetables. Mix, and enjoy. 
I've actually also put it over spring salad mix, and it turns out to be pretty good that way also. 

Friday 17 February 2012

baking with lemons

I got Meyer lemons from the grocery store the other day, so I got really excited about cooking with lemons and made lemon loaf and lemon blueberry muffins. Both tasted excellent but the loaf did not look pretty. So, definitely won't be posting the pictures of the loaf, but I'll post the recipe! The muffins are pretty enough to post the picture and recipe!

Lemon blueberry muffins - adapted slightly from Canadian Living Cookbook and Quinoa 365
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup bran
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp lemon rind
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cups blueberries

Mix the flours, bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats and lemon rind together. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk together. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add the blueberries. Spoon into a muffin pan (my silicone pan doesn't need oil, and lasts forever!).
Cook at 375F for 25 minutes until the tops are firm and golden.

These were so good!

Lemon loaf - adapted from Wanda's Pie in the Sky cookbook
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest

Beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whish together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk. Stir together until well combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 325F for 40-50 minutes, or until a tester is dry when inserted into the loaf.
You can also add 1 cup of raspberries or blueberries but I didn't choose to do that.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Monkey bread

So for Steph's birthday, I figured I would make her a homemade version of Monkey bread, something that she loves but always buys. I found a recipe on Food Network Canada, so I figured I would try it. It was delicious! I only had a few bites (and that is really all I needed, so much sugar and bread). But she managed to plow her way through half in 12 hours. I don't know how she does it...

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For rolling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • For the bread
  • Preheat oven to 200°F. Lightly oil a large bundt pan or other baking pan.
  • In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add the melted butter, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and yeast. Mix for a few minutes and then add the flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together in a shiny mass, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Put the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel, turn off the oven and place the dough in the preheated warm oven to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough has risen, take it out of the oven. Pour the melted butter into a small bowl. Put the sugar and cinnamon into a second bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Punch down the dough to knock the air out of it and then form and roll small balls in your hand or on the counter. Dip them first in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar and layer them into the bundt pan or other baking pan.
  • Put the pan into the oven to rise for a second time, for about 45 minutes, until the dough balls reach the top of the pan and double once again. Remove from the oven and increase the heat to 350°. Once hot, place the pan back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Snacks for the superbowl I am not watching :(

I am so sad to be missing the Super Bowl, instead I get to sit on a train, download class notes, and answer emails. That sounds like more fun though, right? Nope, not to me either. At least I am following the game on TSN. In honour of the Super Bowl though, I figured I would post about the caramel popcorn that I made a while ago, as studying snack food. Actually so bad for your teeth, but I'm not a dentist yet!

This popcorn is so good, it's really hard to keep it for more than 2 days, and it's so easy to make!

1/4 cup unpopped popcorn
1/2 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar

Pop the popcorn over the stove top. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the popcorn, and heat it, moving the pot around often until the first kernel pops. Make sure the lid is on, or else the popcorn will fly out of the pot! Keep moving the pot until the kernels popping slows down (2 seconds between each). Take the pot off the heat. 

Add in the butter and icing sugar and stir it with a wooden spoon. the butter will start to melt. Make sure the kernels get coated with the butter and sugar. The mixture will start to caramelise and darken. Don't take the popcorn off the heat too quickly, or you won't get good flavour. Wait until it gets nice and golden brown, and spread the popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. It was super tempting to eat, but don't! I did, and totally burnt my tongue. wait til it's cooled down, and you can eat it. 

Another thing that I have also done is add in nuts, like walnuts, and it adds a little extra to the popcorn when you are eating it. And maybe a small healthy bit into an otherwise pretty unhealthy snack! But delicous snack, I really have to emphasize the delicious factor. 

Leek, potato and carrot soup

Every time I go to the grocery store, I end up buying more vegetables than I could ever eat on my own. Before I left for Ottawa, I decided to use some of them up to make some soup to freeze for days when I don't want to make any dinner, or don't have time, which frankly happens quite often. 
This time, I had carrots, potatoes, and leeks, so what better to make than  soup!

1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 leeks, white part sliced
2 potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth
more water

Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and cook the leeks until slightly browned and softened. Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it simmer until the vegetables are softened, maybe 30 minutes? I was doing school work in the meantime, so it must have been about that much. 

Once all the vegetables are soft, blend it with a handmixer. 
Done! I just put it into containers and into the freezer, and dinner is ready for this week at some point! I may add in some cheese (maybe feta?) into one of my bowls of soup just to see how it tastes. Sometimes having the same thing too often gets boring, so this could make it more interesting.