admin / January 5, 2015

It’s Meatless Monday-Golden Beet and Cranberry Salad

About this time of the year I begin craving salads again. This one uses a mix of spring greens and baby kale and combines it with two favorites of the late fall/winter season, golden beets and cranberries. The beets are sweet, the cranberries have a slight bite to them, and pull all the flavors together with a miso dressing and I think this scores a hit with any salad lover, especially on a cold winter’s day.

Ingredients

For the salad

1 pound (about 4 medium sized) golden beets

¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries

5 cups spring green/baby kale salad mix (washed and dried)

For the dressing

2 teaspoons sesame oil

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

½ tablespoon white miso

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ teaspoon coriander

Good pinch black pepper and ginger powder

 

Method

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim, wash and peel the beets and cut into one inch cubes. Place them on a baking sheet and toss with some oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together again so each piece of beet is evenly coated.

Bake for around 20 minutes or until they’re caramelized and golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Place the spring green mix into a bowl, add the beets and cranberries and toss well.

In a small bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and blend them together.

Right before serving add it to the bowl with the salad mix, beets and cranberries and toss well making sure everything gets a coating of dressing.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

 

admin / December 4, 2014

Cranberry Chocolate Bites

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I’ve spent the morning in my lab (AKA the kitchen) putting together some holiday treats. While my second experiment…I mean treat, is setting in the freezer, I thought I’d post this one to share with you. Just three ingredients and as you’ll see they make the idea gift for the stocking, part of a place setting during a holiday get together, or even as a take home gift for guests.

All you need is-

11 1/2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate

I used Nestle chunks but you can use chips or even milk chocolate if you want.

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

About 1 1/2 – 2 cups cornflakes

The best way to get these bites to set is to use a muffin pan and muffin liners. So have everything set up before you start.

Place the cranberries and cornflakes in a large bowl and stir together.

Melt the chocolate. You can use a microwave for this but I’ve found I have better results with a double boiler.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the cranberry cornflake mixture and mix well.

Place about two tablespoons of the mixture into each muffin liner. You can get a dozen out of them but if you make them smaller it’s 15.

Place the muffin pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the freezer. You can keep the bites in the liners or take them out and wrap them like this-

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admin / October 13, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Cranberry-Orange Kale Salad

Kale always seems to be on sale, but the price per bunch dips even lower around this time of the year. It’s a superfood too which makes it a nutritional powerhouse. However, two things I’ve found are, one; it can often be bitter. Two, it gives your mouth a workout because of the chewiness of this veggie.

I’ve found a couple of ways to overcome these problems. One is to cook it before I add it to things like soups. And the second way, which I used in this week’s Meatless Monday recipe, is to add some salt (for want of a better word), and then massage it. It turns the kale into a deep green veggie, almost like cooking it because it reduces it down to size too. Best thing is the salt removes any hint of bitterness and makes this veggie a little less chewy.

I like to pair kale in salads with oranges but for this one I took a short cut and used a can of mandarin oranges in my pantry supply. The liquid doubles as the base for the dressing so nothing goes to waste.

1 bunch of kale, washed, stalks removed (keep them for making stock), cut the leaves into small shreds

½ teaspoon salt

1 11 ounce can mandarin oranges (Drain them but reserve the liquid)

½ cup dried sweetened cranberries

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Splash of vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar for this one but rice wine vinegar would be perfect too)

Good pinch of pepper

About ¼ cup oil.

Place the shredded kale in a large bowl and add the ½ teaspoon of salt. Using your hands ‘massage’ the kale until it starts to reduce down and releases a liquid.

Place the kale in a strainer and drain all the liquid.

Place the drained kale in a bowl and add the slices of mandarin oranges and cranberries. Toss everything together.

Pour the reserved liquid from the mandarin oranges into a measuring cup and add some water so the amount totals about ½ cup.

Add the splash of vinegar and the pepper.

With a whisk slowly add the oil until everything is well blended. Taste test and add some more pepper and salt if needed.

Pour the dressing over the kale mixture and then add the crumbled feta cheese.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada.

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admin / May 9, 2013

An Afternoon Tea Treat-Cranberry, Orange and Walnut Quick Bread

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One of my favorite things to do is put together an afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and other sweet treats. I’m always looking for new recipes to add and here’s one I came up with last week. I thought I’d share it with you because it’s easy to make, has simple ingredients, and maybe even perfect for a Mother’s Day treat-

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
1 orange, peeled and cut into small pieces (also toss the pieces in some flour to stop them from sinking to the bottom of the bread while it’s cooking)
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 X 4 inch pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and add the sugar.

In another bowl mix together the oil, orange juice and eggs. Add this to the flour/sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.

Add the orange pieces, cranberries and walnuts. Mix until everything is well incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Cook for about 50 minutes, check after 40 minutes. The loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for about ten minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

Makes 16 slices.

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