Sunday, August 17, 2014

Apple - Oat Breakfast Cookies (Back to School #SundaySupper)

I think it's kind of funny that the end of Summer break snuck up on me. It's not too surprising, given that I've been working the Summer school / camp program since the beginning of July and as such didn't experience the definite "break" most of the students (and many of the teachers) did, but the realization that there's only a week left of camp before school "set up" begins still made me do a double take. All I can say is that thankfully I don't have to plan months of lessons in advance, or do much of the administrative stuff my superiors at school do - I'm actually still waiting on confirmation as to what my role will actually be next year! 

With my relative freedom after camp lets out for the day, I've been doing some planning and preparation of a different kind: weekday meals! Lunches have always been relatively standard on my end, but early mornings demand on-the-go food I can easily toss into my bag for the commute if (read: when) I sleep through my alarm in the morning. I've never been one for "savoury" breakfasts (even scrambled eggs, home fries and bacon get lashings of dark maple syrup here), but since pancakes and oatmeal can be a bit messy in the car I settled for the next best thing - breakfast cookies. 

Apple - Oat Breakfast Cookies

These hand-held, sugar free bites of bliss have it all: Amoré Almonds + Dairy beverage, multigrain cereal, oats, flaxseed and protein powder make up a "powered up" base peppered with diced apple and a seed mixture. Hearty but not heavy, they're the perfect size to get you to lunch without thinking about the vending machine or cafeteria - and if you do find yourself a bit peckish mid morning a second one won't derail your healthy eating mantra either, since each cookie is under 150 calories! 

This week's #SundaySupper is helping everyone gear up for school once again. Check out all the fabulous recipes and make sure to say hi!

Back to School Beginnings
Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats
Sunday Supper Movement 
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Harvest Ragoût-Filled Zucchini “Marrow”

It surprises a lot of people that in a previous life I was a total meat-aholic. In particular, I loved all the "end bits" left over from a dinner mom would cook - the cartilage, fat, skin and (in particular) bone marrow of that night's chicken, pork chop or steak were beloved treats, and things like oxtail soup were high on my "like" list (I always wanted to try beef heart before getting sick, too - not so much now!). Vegetables? I could take them or leave them, really, unless drenched in a sauce of some kind or smothered in salsa, hot sauce or lemon juice.

Harvest Ragoût-Filled Zucchini “Marrow”

Of course, now the tables are drastically reversed! I crave and covet veggies above all else, finding I like ones I never considered before and loving the various configurations they can be formed into. with our recent glut of zucchini, I've been making zucchini boats with various things, but when we had some truly epic-sized beasts come in I turned to the internet for more inspiration. It was good ol Mr. G that reminded me that large summer squash are often called "marrows" (although "real" marrows are a different veggie), and that label got it into my head to try a different type of stuffed zucchini variation: mock marrow bones.

The Weird Characters
Two weird characters: celeriac (L) and kohlrabi (R)

A trip to a few farmer's markets turned out to be gold for inspiration and sourcing what we didn't grow out back, too. Leeks, kohlrabi and celeriac joined the freshly-picked haul of eggplant, beets, carrots, herbs, arugula and summer squash, which I then rounded out flavour-wise with lentils, sun-dried olives, tomato paste and white wine. Finally, I took a peeler to a wedge of Parmigano Reggiano cheese for piquant ribbons that browned ever so slightly in the oven, making for a vegetarian main or elegant side dish! If you need this to be vegan / dairy free, I'd suggest a dusting of ground almonds or panko for that little bit "extra".

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Friday Frenzy

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Chocolatey Zucchini Bread

Since the zucchini overload in the garden still won't let up I (and my food processor) have been forced into almost constant "shredder" duty. Bags and bags of the stuff have been packed into Ziplocs and stashed in the fridge for later baking, but I'd be remiss is I didn't make at least a few treats along the way! 

Super Chocolatey Zucchini Bread

While the classic spice and nut versions of zucchini bread are delicious in their own right, there's no better way of ensuring a recipe hit around here than by packing in as much chocolate flavour as possible. Not just cocoa, not just chocolate chips, but both plus the divinity known as Nutella found their way into the bowl this time, with homemade ricotta and apple butter for rich moisture and an almost brownie-like texture. While it's not overly sweet, it's the perfect dessert for bittersweet chocolate fans and picky kids alike, that just so happens to contain whole grains and almost a pound of zucchini! 

Even though the loaf needs no accoutrements, I couldn't resist and made up a quick cream cheese glaze too. Hey, whoever said eating your vegetables had to be a chore?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Spicy Apple - Carrot Chutney for #SundaySupper

It's no secret that I am the "chutney queen" around here. It's an odd distinction for me, really, since I'm not a huge fan of the sweet, sour and savoury condiment - but my parents both love it, as did my grandfather (RIP). While most of the people who enjoy my various combinations of fruit and vegetables do so alongside curries, rice or other spicy fare, my mom is the only one I know who will add it to (or serve it with) almost anything - Israeli couscous, whole wheat spaghetti and roasted vegetables, carrot sticks, and even Chinese-style stir fry. To her, it's simply another flavour enhancer like salsa or hot sauce.

This time of year is when (sadly) I can forsee the end of Summer approaching, heralded by the first harvests of my heirloom root crops and the beginnings of early apple varieties popping up in the markets. Even as hearty as these types of vegetation are, their season is just as fleeting as the earlier berries, asparagus, fiddleheads and tomatoes we've enjoyed the past few months. My mom and stepdad grow vegetables every year as well as I do (although theirs are conventional, not heirloom, varietals), and from the first bean to the last eggplant it seems like they wait until the food is almost rotting on the vine before finally picking them. When the produce does come into the house, their schedules often leave the vegetables sitting on the counter for better or worse, accounting for a shameful amount of waste if I don't get my hands on it.

To lengthen the amount of time we have to truly relish my hard work's harvest, I do things a little differently. First, I do my best to pick the veggies at the peak of their flavour and texture, separate what I can reasonably see myself consuming before it spoils, and process the rest by either blanching and freezing, drying (in the case of fruit) or canning into jams, sauces and condiments like this chutney. I found the inspiration for this "late season" condiment in Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays by Jennifer Katzinger, which I packed with flavourful coconut oil and flakes, as well as a sweet and hot medley of exotic spices (including Schezuan peppercorns), garlic and fresh ginger. Whether freshly made for tomorrow's dinner or canned up for February eating, it's a taste of the harvest worth exploring.

This week on #SundaySupper, we're sharing recipes and tips for prolonging the taste of summer as long as possible with any method of preserving: canning, freezing, drying and pickling are all fair game, as well as some shorter term uses that look beyond perfect for the dinner plate! This event is being co-hosted by Tara of Noshing With The Nolands and Stacy of Food Lust People Love. Thanks Tara and Stacy!

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?
It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Baked Spanish - Style Tortilla

Baked Spanish-Style TortillaWhen I say "tortillas", what comes to mind? A lot of people probably say (quite correctly) that tortillas are (im)perfectly round flatbreads of corn or flour combinations ready for stuffing, a la Mexican style food. However, there is another type of tortilla out there that is totally unrelated to bread in any sense, and is in reality closer kissing cousins to quiche and fritatta - fitting, since this eggy dish hails from Spain, a stone's throw from France and Italy.

While there are a lot of variations on the Spaish tortilla, the two constant ingredients are eggs (obviously) and potatoes. Without a crust like quiche, the potatoes add a nice bit of "body" to the dish and are usually shallow fried in olive oil before assembly, adding extra texture. Anything else is really fair game, keeping in mind that "harder" veggies like carrots do better finely diced and cooked through and everything tastes better with a bit of sauteed pan-flavour. Since we have such a glorious array of garden bounty (including more zucchini than even soup can take care of), I took inspiration and packed ours with the harvest. I had a carton of egg substitute kicking around (we had bought it for something back at Easter, never made it and froze the carton) so that made up the bulk of the eggs, enriched with a luxurious splash of cream and pops of local chèvre and prime chorizo.

Now, traditional tortillas rely on copious quantities of olive oil for frying potatoes and other ingredients, but since I had the cream I wanted to play a bit nicer with the rest of the fat quantities. Instead, I steamed the red-skin new potatoes, and sauteed the remaining items in a hint of good quality olive oil. Lacking a decent oven-safe saute pan, I wrapped my best 9" springform up in foil and simply transferred the egg-coated mixture to it. A slice is definitely a full (and filling) meal for lunch, especially with a slice of garlic toast on the side and a nice wine (or sangria!). Without the chorizo, the dish is a vegetarian delight, and regardless the whole thing is gluten free too!

Baked Spanish-Style Tortilla

Shared with  Gluten Free Fridays