This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Vegetarian Quinoa Lentil Patties

One of my boys used to date a vegetarian. When deciding what to feed them for dinner one night, I realized my vegetarian cooking repertoire has become somewhat limited. I feed meat eaters now, and my vegetarian cooking has kind of gone by the wayside these past few years. (We were vegetarian for probably 12 years, not a new way of cooking for me at all, but I do admit, I am kind of rusty!) So, with frozen lentils and quinoa in my freezer, I set out to make something that she would enjoy while we were having some leftover rotisserie chicken. I think they turned out pretty tasty!

The curry in these patties is mild, but if you are not a curry fan, feel free to substitute any herbs of choice for the curry powder.

Vegetarian Quinoa Lentil Patties 

2 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup finely diced onion
½ cup grated carrot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp madras curry powder (or curry powder of choice)
1 cup of cooked lentils (mine were French lentils)
1 ½ cup cooked quinoa
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
½ cup grated Parmesan

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in a cast iron or other (NOT non-stick) heavy bottomed frying pan. Sauté the onion, carrot and garlic until the vegetables are just starting to soften and brown, approx 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils and the curry powder, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Allow this mixture to cool to room temperature before proceeding!

Preheat Oven to 375F
Add the contents of the cooled frying pan to a bowl with the quinoa, eggs, salt and cheese. Mix well.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and shape the mixture into 8 patties, approx 1/3 cup each. Press them together as best you can, it helps hold them together.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, remove from oven, and carefully flip the patties over to the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the patties start to brown slightly, and hold together well.

Serve as is, or in a burger bun, wrap or lettuce leaf with toppings of choice. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cheesy Swiss Chard and Onion Bake

My Swiss chard is still going strong in the garden, and I am always trying new ways to prepare this lovely leafy green. I threw this together tonight to go with this recipe.  (see my comments at the end of this post about the meat loaf recipe!) Supper was pretty darn tasty!  You could substitute any leafy green of your choice here, kale would be lovely, but would take a little longer to cook.

Cheesy Swiss Chard and Onion Bake

2 bunches Swiss chard, any colour (mine is a mixture of red and green)
1 large red onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
½ cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375F

Rinse the chard and then remove the large middle stem from the chard leaves. Roughly chop the remaining greens and set aside.
In a 8-9 inch cast iron (or other oven safe ) pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften and brown slightly. Start adding the chard by the handful, stirring after each addition until it wilts down.(it will look like you have a TON of chard to add, but it will wilt down, really it will!)
 As soon as you have all the chard in the pan and it is all nice and wilty, add the cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cream reduces slightly. Turn off the burner, and sprinkle the cheese over top of the chard and onion mixture.
Using an oven mitt, (because the handle of your pan is probably hot!) place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted and browned. Serve immediately!

A recipe from Real Simple, well worth trying!
The only thing I did differently to the meat loaf was to leave out the ground pork (It is hard to find a good clean source of ground pork in my area, and I am not all that fond of it anyway—I just left it out all together) I also used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Other than that, the recipe was exactly as written, and was very very good! The roasted cherry tomatoes become a smoky sweet topping for the meat loaf,  It does use oats, which I use sparingly and only occasionally. Although this makes this recipe not grain free,  I think cooked quinoa would be a great substitute if you wanted to keep it grain free)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Grain Free Mini Blackberry Cobblers

When the weather starts to turn cooler, comfort foods always ease their way back into my cooking repertoire. (ease? Who am I kidding? Mostly they gallop!) It does help that my gas oven heats up the kitchen, great for cooler days, but not so great during the heat of summer!
 I had a bag of organic frozen blackberries in the freezer, and decided to make some individual cobblers with them. I borrowed the topping from my Honeyed Pear Upside DownSkillet Cake, changed it just slightly, and this was the result. We had them as is, but they would be lovely with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
The topping made more than needed for the bag of blackberries I had, (I believe there is about 200g in the bag) for a nice cobbler to fruit ratio. Feel free to use it all if you like a "cakier" cobbler. I greased 2 extra ramekins and baked the excess topping for about 20 minutes, this would be an excellent grain free shortcake!

Grain Free Mini Blackberry Cobblers
1 bag Stahlbush Frozen Marion Blackberries (approx 200g) or other frozen fruit of choice
Zest of ½ a lemon
5 tsp coconut sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
¼ cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
¾ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ cup kefir

Divide the bag of blackberries evenly between 5  one cup ramekins. Sprinkle each with 1 tsp of coconut sugar, and the lemon zest. Set aside.
Measure the rest of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and mix well with an immersion blender or a wire whisk.
Divide batter between the 5 ramekins, (bake any excess in greased ramekins and save for another use, I had enough to make 2)
Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until the batter is set (the ones with the batter only will be done in 18-20 minutes)

Serve warm or at room temperature. 
I see an awesome shortcake base here!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Grain Free “Battered” Cauliflower

I found this recipe browsing on Pinterest the other day, and being as I had a nice head of organic cauliflower in my fridge, decided it was the perfect time to try it out. But, I was already marinating this chicken to go on the BBQ for dinner, and the buffalo flavour for the cauliflower just didn't seem to match. Being as I already had to tweak it to make it grain free, I ended up changing the entire recipe to suit the flavours of my chicken. The concept is similar, but the recipe is totally new, and incredibly tasty!! My eldest son, who generally doesn't like cauliflower, declared it “delicious”, much to my surprise.  I can’t wait  to try a grain free version of original recipe, but for now, this one is a keeper!!

Grain Free “Battered” Cauliflower
4 T coconut flour
1 tbsp chick pea flour
¾ cup water
1 egg
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Herbamare
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
4 cups bite sized pieces of cauliflower(approx 1/2 of a large head)

Preheat oven to 425F.
Place all ingredients  except for the Parmesan, cauliflower and arrowroot in a blender and blend until completely pureed.
Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken up.
Chop your cauliflower into bite sized pieces, place in a large bowl or ziplock bag and toss with the arrowroot powder.
When “batter” has thickened up, toss with cauliflower until all pieces are well coated.
Scrape out onto parchment lined pan. sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the pieces are starting to brown nicely.
Serve hot alongside this chicken and a tossed green salad.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Grain And Gluten Free Honeyed Pear Upside Down Skillet Cake

 A customer of mine gave me a box of pears from her backyard tree last week (have I ever mentioned how much I love my job?) . I think they are Bartlett’s, but I am not quite sure. I do know that they are very tasty though.  I needed to get them used up, so I threw this recipe together this afternoon. The results are definitely worth sharing! The cake to fruit ratio was ideal, and the honey complimented the flavour of the pears perfectly. Pretty enough for company, but easy enough to make any day.
I used my 9 inch cast iron skillet for this cake  (mine measures 9 inches across the bottom on the inside) because it goes easily from the burner to the oven. If you don't have a cast iron pan, you could use a cake pan and transfer the honeyed pears into a cake pan and continue with the recipe, although the cooking time would probably be a wee bit longer. The cast iron's heat holding qualities speed up the baking process being as it goes in the oven hot. (in my last cooking class I talked about seasoning cast iron pans, this link gives a great step by step tutorial. Coconut oil is my "seasoning oil" of choice)

Grain And Gluten Free Honeyed Pear Upside Down Skillet Cake

Fruit layer:
3 cups peeled and thick sliced ripe pears (quartered and then ½’d again)
¼ cup butter (mine was salted)
¼ cup honey

Melt butter over medium heat in the bottom of a 9 inch cast iron pan. Add the pears and honey, and sauté until the butter and honey start to reduce, and the pears just start to soften, about 10-15 minutes. Stir often.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cake Layer:
Measure into a  medium mixing bowl:
3 eggs
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
¼ cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
¾ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup kefir

Mix together well with an immersion blender, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary.  Spoon evenly onto the hot sautéed pears, and carefully place in preheated oven (remember the cast iron pan will be hot!!). Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are starting to brown and top feels firm when pressed.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan, place a large plate over the pan, and invert carefully out on to your plate from the hot pan. Let cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature. Store leftovers, if you have any, in the fridge.