Sunday, September 26, 2010

Root Vegetable Time!!!

I love Autumn - for turtlenecks and boots, for big magazine issues of InStyle and Elle, for beautiful leaves turning colours, for soups, and for root vegetables!

Friday I bought the October issue of Bon Appetit magazine... the apple torte with breadcrumb-hazelnut crust grabbed my attention as did the headline 'easy fall dinners'. Any kind of apple cake or coffee cake reminds me of all those coffee cakes mom used to make for the workers for coffee break on the farm. We never had dessert after dinner at our house but now that I think about it there were always coffee cakes sitting on the counter. Thank goodness I was active and involved in sports, otherwise I would have been an obese child with the amount of food that was in our house growing up.

Anyway.... I did my first pass of the magazine on Friday night and picked out a few recipes that I wanted to try right away. One being on page 93, the Root Vegetable Tagine with Sweet Potatoes,Carrots, Turnips, and Spice-Roasted Chickpeas.... as I write this Chris is making the quinoa (instead of the recommended couscous) while the tagine (moroccan for 'stew') sits and the flavours blend. We both keep 'testing' the flavours.... not sure if we'll even be hungry for dinner - the flavours are amazing. I don't cook with olives too often so that was a change and the other thing I had to prep beforehand was to make preserved lemon slices. Bam! These flavours are soooo good. The recipe is too long to write out here but you can pick up the issue or check out their website

The Spice Roasted Chickpeas are similar to the ones in Delicious Detox that I made in the snack section. So you spoon the couscous (or in our case quinoa) into a bowl and then spoon the vegetable tagine into the center and then sprinkle the chickpeas over it.

While I was making the tagine, I was also making a banana, pumpkin walnut loaf.... I got the recipe from a facebook friend that has this amazing food album on her page. She was kind enough to share the recipe (thanks KLC!) and I decided to of course shake it up and substitute! Here's the recipe with my substitutions in brackets where done! Turned out delicious but when I do it again I would add a bit more ginger and nutmeg or actually get pumpkin spice. Great!

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil)
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar (1/3 cup raw cane sugar)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (blend of spelt and quinoa flour, same amount)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (didn't have so I did 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp nutmeg)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Off to eat!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back to Cooking

The last month has been so random with both my schedule and Chris' that I haven't been doing a lot of prep work on the weekends for our weekday meals. We have been buying the minimum on the weekend to get by because there just happened to be only two nights that we would be eating together. The dinners we did have at home together we had quick 'big salad' nights with tons of veggies, and a can of tuna or beans for some protein or a quick veggie stirfry on quinoa. Things that took minimum thinking and time.

Last week I was reminded what it was like to cook for one .... I was so tired one night I just sauteed some zucchini and a tomato, threw in some sundried tomatoes in oil, and leftover brown rice pasta and then cracked in 2 eggs. So random but tasty and it only took me 10 minutes total.

Its also been super busy with Delicious Detox attending health fairs and book signings, including one last weekend at The Apple Market in Mississauga and yesterday at Maya Health in Woodstock. The drive in SW Ontario yesterday and to Uxbridge on Friday also inspired my activities for today....

Today was a beautiful September morning so Chris and I went for a walk through High Park and then had breakfast on Bloor before walking through the Ukrainian festival booths and then home. All the fruit and veggie stands and perogies (even though Ukrainian, not Polish) inspired me to cook this afternoon. So I made parsley pesto, hummus, roasted beets, and a curried lentil stew for the week. It felt good to have a full fridge again!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School - Pizza Pizza?

This morning driving to work I saw something that almost made me cry. This little boy, clearly his first day of school ever, had a spiderman backpack and was waiting at the corner for a bus with his mom. It was 8:40 so I thought it was kind of late... so there was a problem.

A bus stopped at the lights and I saw the mom walk over to the bus and start talking to the driver. A few minutes later the bus drove off and the little boy threw his backpack on the ground and started crying. Oh boy!!! Poor little guy!!! Hopefully he got to school.

Interesting story about Pizza Pizza in the Toronto Sun today. The company has apparently revamped its recipe and portion size ahead of time to meet the stricter healthy guidelines the Ontario government is putting into place for next September: 80% of food sold in schools must be healthy. To achieve the healthiest rating food must have lower levels of salt, sugar and fat, and contain more essential nutrients... and apparently Pizza Pizza has. Great policy. Healthier living and examples of healthy living has to start early!!

Still don't like the idea of pizza day or pizza at schools, but if it has to be, then a healthier version is better.