1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
2 green onions, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 apple, cored and chopped
3 radishes, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled or small pieces
6 - 8 mint fresh mint leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 cup or less fresh parsley, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (use fresh lemon juice if you have lemons on hand)
1 tsp maple or agave syrup
lemon zest from 1/2 medium size lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the orzo according to directions on the package. Best to not overcook the pasta. Drain once it is cooked, rinse with cold water, drain and let cool in a colander. You can cook the orzo ahead of time based on your schedule and assemble the salad closer to the time of having it as part of your meal. When I make pasta ahead of time, I add a little bit of olive oil to the pasta in a bowl or serving dish so that it doesn't clump together.
While the orzo is cooling assemble the rest of the salad ingredients and add everything to a large mixing bowl including the orzo. Combine well. Prepare the dressing separately and add the dressing to the salad before serving. Serves 4.
Friday, July 9, 2021
Sunday, June 27, 2021
|Ready to eat.|
The combinations of greens, fennel, orange and mint make a wonderful refreshing salad for hot summer days. I have posted several variations of fennel salad in previous blog postings and this one adds to the collection. If you don't have arugula greens, any chopped kind of lettuce or greens will be fine and you could even just eat the fennel salad and skip the greens. Peaches or nectarines are also good options to replace oranges. I like to make this salad as an alternative to lettuce and vegetable salads. Most evening meals include a salad and having choices helps.
|Chopped arugula in a dinner bowl.|
|Fennel salad ready to be placed onto a serving of arugula greens.|
Thursday, May 13, 2021
While recently talking to another cookie baker who is a wonderful cook and also my sister-in-law, she mentioned what her favourite cookie is. It is a peanut butter cookie with oats and coconut. I was tempted to make her recipe but decided instead to deviate and make a peanut butter cookie with sourdough discard starter. I added oats and coconut instead of chocolate chips. The chocolate chips were tempting to add but having a kitchen helper who has four legs and likes to sample, chocolate is out of the equation.
For the ingredients, you can add up to a cup of sourdough starter. I had only 3/4 cup available and just used that. I didn't add the full cup of sugar. I used about 3/4 cup of coconut sugar and 1/4 cup of stevia. The cookies are not too soft but are not crispy. The sourdough starter makes them more softer than a traditional peanut butter cookie. We all enjoyed sampling these cookies.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
With having sourdough starter I am always willing to try a new recipe. I have been reviewing sourdough bagel recipes over the past few weeks. Some recipes require more prep time including an overnight rise in the fridge. A long rise in the fridge helps with the fermenting process to give the sourdough its classic flavour.
I decided to make this recipe from baked-theblog who call these bagels a New York style bagel (New York style sourdough bagels). I made mine more of a Montreal style bagel which includes a smaller bagel, larger hole and you use honey or sugar in the boiling water to poach the bagels. There are many debates that go on about which bagel is better.
There are a few things that make bagels different from rolls or buns:
- They are poached before baking which gives them the chewiness and a soft crust. You don't want a bagel to have a crusty texture like a typical sourdough bread.
- They also don't rise as much as other breads.
- Part of the joy of eating the bagel are the seeds coated on the bagel.
- Lastly, they are more dense.
If you plan to make this recipe, you need to factor in the time for all of the steps. From the time I put the ingredients into the mix master to knead the dough to putting in the first tray of bagels to bake, it took over 25 hours. The recipe advises that it makes eight to ten bagels, I made 15 of them. I used three kinds of seeds to coat the bagels - poppy seed, black sesame seed and everything bagel. If you don't have a large fridge or a second fridge it may be difficult to make these bagels as the trays are kept in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours. I had these bagels in the fridge for 20 hours.
They are a delicious bagel and I will be making them again, but not a weekly basis!
Here are some photos to show some of the steps.
Bagel dough is divided up into 15 and resting.
Poaching the bagels in boiling water with baking soda and sugar.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
For an easy supper, I like to make my version of chicken war won ton soup. It does require a little bit of planning if you want to first make some chicken stock using a boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. You can make this soup meatless by skipping the chicken and chicken bouillon and using vegetable mini won tons. The vegetables used in the soup can vary based on what you have in the fridge. I use frozen chicken cilantro mini won tons that I buy from Costco. They are a perfect size. I added about 16 mini won tons but you can add more to the soup. If you have leftover soup, you may need to add some water the following day when you heat it up as the noodles and won tons will have absorbed some of the liquid.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
|An individual serving.|
I decided to make a healthy version of a cheesy vegetable and ground meat pasta dish for supper tonight. I used chickpea rotini pasta, lean ground bison and a small amount of cheese. I added some oat milk to create some creaminess along with the cooked pasta water.
As I usually buy and freeze ground meat in one pound or 454 gram packages, I didn't want to make a larger recipe that serves four to six. I cooked the full pound of thawed ground bison, used half of it for this recipe and will use the remaining half in another recipe over the next few days. With storing it in a container in the fridge, it will keep for a few days.
The pasta dish turned out to be cheesy enough with the amount of cheese added. The DH and I both liked the meal.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
|Ready to sample.|
|Once out of the oven, it is good to let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.|
Having several containers of 2% cottage cheese as bulk packages from Costco prompted me to make a kugel. One of my favourite comfort foods is cottage cheese and noodles. This dish includes vegetables and in many ways is similar to a vegetarian lasagna without the tomato sauce or layers. I used egg noodles and I think this dish works well using a flat noodle. I used a wider egg Italian noodle. It is quite filling and goes well with a green salad as a supper meal. Instead of trying to eat the kugel over several days, I will freeze a section for a future meal for the DH and I.
|Egg noodles drained in a colander.|
|Vegetables added to the sauteed mushrooms.|
|Mixture placed in the casserole dish.|
|Sliced mozzarella cheese placed on top.|
Sunday, February 21, 2021
A friend of mine sent me a recipe for buttermilk soup that both his grandmother and mother have made over the years. It is a depression era recipe made on the farm that used just a few ingredients - potatoes, water, salt and pepper, flour, milk or cream and buttermilk. My friend knows that I use kefir and buttermilk in recipes and thought I would enjoy it. The soup goes well with warm bread.
It is a wonderful soup and I modified it to include a few other vegetables. I used kefir instead of buttermilk as I have large container of plain kefir in the fridge. I added some cauliflower as there was some in the vegetable bin that needed to be used. The soup is very filling and hits the spot when you are hungry and wanting a hot bowl of soup. If you wanted to make just a potato soup I would use four large potatoes.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
A favourite soup of mine and one of the most favourite soups from the recipe section in the Washington Post is their Greek lentil and spinach soup with lemon. The first time I made it I thought wow, this is a really good tasting soup. I did make it with a few modifications. In raving about the soup, I got some requests to blog it so that others could enjoy it.
If I have time and I am thinking ahead, I like to soak the lentils beforehand. You don’t need to soak lentils but I find soaking them ahead of using them in the soup doesn’t require me to add more water to thin the soup after making it, especially after sitting in a storage container in the fridge. I will try to soak the lentils overnight in a large container with water. After soaking them I will drain and rinse them in a colander.
Hope you enjoy this soup as much as I and the DH do.
10 ounces or 1.25 cups brown or large green lentils, rinsed and picked over
7 to 8 cups chicken, vegetable broth or water
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 medium Yukon gold, russet or red potatoes, diced
5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup carrots, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, stock or water, coriander, cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil, with the lid on, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Add the potatoes, spinach and butternut squash, increase the heat until it starts to boil and reduce heat to a simmer with the lid partially on. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes and squash are tender.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they soften, in about 3 minutes. Add the mixture to the soup, deglazing the skillet with a little soup liquid and adding the deglaze contents back to the soup pot. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more if needed.
Thinly slice the lemons as they will be placed on top of the served soup in the individual bowls.
Just before serving, stir the lemon juice into the soup. Serve the soup hot, with a lemon slice floating atop each bowl. Makes about 8 servings.
Adapted from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/03/08/this-lentil-soup-is-so-good-one-nurse-has-eaten-it-for-lunch-every-workday-for-17-years/
Thursday, December 24, 2020
|Ready to go into the oven|
It has been many many years since I have made cabbage rolls from scratch. My sister-in-law sent me a recipe she has made over the years that uses buckwheat, potatoes, onion and bacon. She told me that buckwheat or kasha was very good in cabbage rolls. You could make them meatless and not add the bacon. I decided to make these for the holidays.
Since it has been awhile since I rolled cabbage leaves with filling, I thought a tutorial was in order. I went to youtube.com and found some great videos on cooking the cabbage and removing the leaves without ripping them along with rolling the leaves with filling.
The filling is very good and since I had about a generous tablespoon left after using all of the cabbage leaves, I warmed it up with a little bit of sauerkraut as a snack.
I used a 28 ounce can of skinless tomatoes and added some water to the casserole dish.
This recipe makes over two dozen cabbage rolls. It depends on the amount of filling you use and the size of your cabbage.
|Two layers of cabbage rolls with sauerkraut|
1 large head of cabbage
1 1/4 cups of buckwheat (kasha)
2 cups water
1 medium potato, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 medium onion, chopped
5 - 6 slices of bacon, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
28 oz canned tomatoes or tomato soup or juice
large casserole dish with a lid
Add buckwheat and water to a pot and cook on high heat to a boiling point; then reduce to low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the buckwheat is simmering, you can cover the pot with a lid. Cook the buckwheat until the the kernels are soft and the water has been absorbed. Let the buckwheat cool and add it to a medium size bowl. Add the mashed potato to the buckwheat and combine well. Season with some salt and pepper.
Heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Once the bacon is half cooked, add the chopped onion. Cook the bacon and onion until both are well cooked and the bacon is crisp. Watch that you don't burn the onions. Add the cooked bacon and onions to the bowl with the buckwheat and mashed potatoes. Combine well. Set aside. You can make this filling ahead of time and store in the fridge if required.
Steam/cook the cabbage until you separate the leaves.
I like to first place a layer of small cabbage leaves on the bottom of the casserole pan before I add the cabbage rolls. Fill each cabbage leaf with about a tablespoon of the buckwheat mixture. Roll up the leaf and place in the casserole. After you have placed one layer of cabbage rolls you can add some sauerkraut to the layer of rolls before you add the second layer of cabbage rolls. Add more sauerkraut after you completed the second layer of cabbage rolls. Once you have used all of the cabbage leaves or filling, you can add the tomatoes to the casserole dish. Bake at 300 degrees F for 2 hours.
Recipe adapted from my sister-in-law Darlene.