Monthly Archives: August 2011

Salmon and Spinach Fish Cakes

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This is another one of the original four recipes! Though we seem to eat this every week, I still love them.  They are very simple to make, easy to prep ahead of time and are full of all kinds of healthy goodies. 

Make sure that you don’t overcook your potatoes, as they need to be firm enough to hold together the rest of the ingredients.  A knife inserted into them should slip through, but not tear them apart. 

Feel free to make these up to 8 hours in advance!  They need at least 1 hour in the fridge to meld, but any additional time after that does nothing but help.

fish cakes

Salmon and Spinach Fish Cakes

Ingredients:

6 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped

3-4 salmon fillets

2 handfuls of spinach, washed and chopped fine

1 tsp lemon zest, optional

olive oil

butter

salt and pepper to taste

whole wheat flour to coat

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F (200*C). Place the salmon fillets, a small drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper into individual aluminum foil packets on a baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fish is light pink and flakes easily.

2. Meanwhile, boil potatoes until just done, approximately 10 minutes.  Drain and mash with a small knob of butter (don’t be afraid to leave them lumpy!  This enhances the flavor).  Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the chopped spinach , stir to mix and cover to allow the spinach to steam.  Add lemon zest, if using.

4.  Flake the salmon, paying extra care to remove any bones that might be present.  Add the salmon to the mash.  Let cool until able to touch.

5.  Make patties by flattening some of the mix between your hands.  Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate at least an hour.

6. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Coat each patties with flour on both side.  Fry on each side until brown, adding oil as needed.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Literally the king of all cookies!  My little men had a slumber party with their BFFs over the weekend, so Myles and I made cookies for the event!  It was probably the calmest part of my day, as juggling four little ones single-handed was (unsurprisingly) loud and stressful.

The thing with baking during the day, though, is that it can’t tie me to the oven for too long.  My three month old won’t allow it! 😉

So, instead of making the entire batch into cookies, I made half into mini cookie muffins.  They don’t really rise in the middle, but you could just add some nice buttercream frosting in the hole, a la Millie’s Cookies and no one would ever know!

Though the recipe calls for chocolate chips, I just chopped up a large bar of plain baking chocolate instead. It added a more rustic look to the cookies, which I really liked.

chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate, chopped into tiny chunks

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 375*F (190*C).

2. Cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly incorporate into the wet ingredients.

4. Once the dough is formed, add the chocolate chunks.

5. In an ungreased muffin tin, fill the individual cups half way.  Or drop dough by the Tbsp onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Space each cookie at least 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they are light brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted fromhttp://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-cookies/088ce72b-53b0-470b-8919-8e0a03a693cc

 

Italian-Style Frittata with Marinara Sauce

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Eggs are just a ridiculously versatile food.  Throw ’em in a cake and they bind everything together. Chuck ’em in some boiling water and they are a perfect protein rich snack. Whip ’em up and they make a light, yet filling meal for any time of day.

Though I much prefer the richness of a quiche (mainly because it involves pie crust and there ain’t many things better in the world that a good flaky pastry), some days I really crave the healthy simplicity of a frittata.

We had this for dinner tonight, combined with a butternut squash soup.  It was a veritable vegetarian feast!  And since I cut the frittata servings into familiar “pizza” type slices, my kid didn’t even blink an eye as he downed two helpings!

Feel free to serve this plain; the sauce was just some leftovers from pizza night that I had in my fridge.  The flavors worked well, though, so the recipe is included.

italian frittata

Italian-Style Frittata with Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

6 eggs, beaten until lemon colored

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large white potato, peeled and boiled until soft

1 green pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 tsp Italian-style seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

marinara sauce to garnish (recipe follows)

Method:

1. In a large oven-proof frying pan, combine olive oil, onion and garlic over medium-high heat.  Cook until fragrant.

2. Add the peppers and mushrooms, cooking another 5 minutes or until the pepper start to soften. Toss in potatoes and seasoning; continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.

3.  Pour whisked eggs evenly over top of the veg and cook for another few minutes.

4.  Turn on the broiler (grill).  Once the egg is starting to set on the bottom and sides of the pan, place it under the broiler.

5. Keep an eye on it!  Remove from the over when the top is set.

6. Sprinkle cheese over top and return to the broiler.  Cook until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

7. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Cut and serve with marinara sauce.

 

frittata with marinara

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 green pepper

1 (14 oz./400g) can of tomatoes, diced

1 cup passata (pretty sure this is just tomato juice… ? )

1 Tbsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Fry onion, garlic and pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until soft.

2.  Add diced tomatoes and passata; reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes.  Sprinkle on brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Cook another 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning.

3. Puree if desired.

 

Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza

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It’s gourmet, but still man food, as it includes bacon. Fancy bacon, but bacon nonetheless.  I haven’t tried it, but my taste tester hubby greatly approved of the salty and sweet flavors that meld together on this little beauty.

It was an instant, food coma producing success.

I used my favorite 50/50 dough of both white and wheat flours, just like in the Pizza Tricolore (recipe found there!).  Please, trust me…the flavor of whole wheat in a pizza crust is just immense! Plus, it adds a little fiber to your meal.  You could almost call it healthy.  It’s not.  But it’s as close as you’re gonna get with pizza.

😉

caramelized onion and prosciutto pizza

Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Pizza

Ingredients:

1 pizza dough portion

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

sea salt, to taste

freshly grated parmesan

fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

4-6 slices of prosciutto, torn and spread around

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 500*F (260*C). Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Stretch shape pizza crust until it fills the baking sheet.  Sprinkle salt and parmesan lightly over the top.

2. Meanwhile, caramelize the onions by combining brown sugar and red onions in a medium pan over medium-high heat.  Stirring frequently, fry until the onions are soft and browning.

3. Assemble the pizza by arranging the mozzarella, onions and prosciutto over the crust.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

 

Recipe taken fromhttp://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/03/caramelized-onion-prosciutto-pizza/

Butternut Squash Soup

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Ya know, when Myles was a newbie to food, he used to adore anything orange.  Loved sweet potatoes, loved pumpkin, loved oranges…but his favorite was always the butternut squash.  Not that I minded at all, since it is high in carotenoids, antioxidants and dietary fiber. This little beauty is truly a superfood!

While gone are the days when my little guy will eat it just steamed, he still enjoys a nice hearty portion of this yummy, sweet soup.  Serve with a nice green salad and some crusty bread.

butternut squash soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 small onions, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs Butternut Squash (1 kilo), peeled, de-seeded and cubed

1 red pepper, chopped

1 veggie stock cube + water

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp paprika

1 Tbsp honey

salt and pepper to taste

plain yoghurt to serve

Method:

1. In a large stock pot, combine olive oil onions and garlic and fry over medium-high heat until fragrant.  Add the squash and red pepper; fry until the onion is soft, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t brown.

2.  Add stock cube and enough water to just cover the veg.  Add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the squash begins to breakdown.

3. Remove the pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup.

4. Add the honey. Stir for another minute, then taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Serve with a spoonful of plain yoghurt.

Hasselhoff Potatoes

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Otherwise known as hasselback potatoes.  But this version keeps the skin on so they are extra tan.

😀

I love these!  They are a great side dish to add just a little more jazz to a roast dinner. Though you can use store bought bread crumbs for this, it is very easy to just whip up your own.  And, while traditionally you would only use butter on these, feel free to use a half and half combo of oil and butter!  Or just olive oil if you want to make them a bit lighter.

hasselhoff potatoes

Hasselhoff Potatoes

Ingredients:

6 medium white potatoes, washed

1-2 slices of whole grain bread

1 tsp dried rosemary (1 Tbsp if using fresh)

salt and pepper to taste

a good drizzle of olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400*F (200*C).

2. Slice a fan top into each potato on one side only; cutting in about half of the way down.

3. Place potatoes in a large, non-stick oven proof pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat and roast in the oven for a good 30-45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make breadcrumbs by whizzing bread, rosemary, salt and pepper in a mini blender.

5. Remove potatoes from oven; Sprinkle the tops liberally with the rosemary breadcrumbs and then place a little bit of butter on top of each.  Return to the oven and roast for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until done.

 

Long live the Hoff!

 

 

 

Pizza Tricolore

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Not to toot my own horn here, but….BEEP BEEP!!  This pizza is amazing!!  And, as I have a husband who needs to eat pizza at least 4 times a week, I feel pretty qualified to write that.

Before I moved to the UK, one of my favorite ready meals was Amy’s Kitchen frozen pizza.  It’s an organic brand which features a whole wheat pizza crust.  I really don’t know why everyone isn’t jumping on the boat with this; the whole grain adds such a beautiful depth of flavor that melds perfectly with olive oil and mozzarella.

I found this pizza dough recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s blog….though she says that it yields two crusts, I got 4 out of it.  The thinner and crispier, the better. Don’t bother rolling it out; just get your hands in there and stretch it out like you know what you are doing.  Even if you don’t.  I didn’t. It worked out fine 😉

Enjoy!

pizza tricolore

Pizza Tricolore

Ingredients:

1 basic pizza dough crust (recipe follows)

4 handfuls of spinach, washed, drained and sliced fine

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 medium tomato, diced

fresh mozzarella, sliced fine

parmesan

1 large red onion, finely sliced

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 500*F (260*C).  Drizzle a little olive oil on a rectangular baking sheet.  Stretch and shape the dough to fit the baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and some parmesan.

2. Caramelize the onion by heating a small amount of olive oil in a medium pan.  Add the red onion and brown sugar.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and browning.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the spinach and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

4. Assemble pizza by spreading the onions, tomatoes and spinach all over.  Top with mozzarella and some freshly ground black pepper.

5. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is brown and cheese is melted.

 

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

1 tsp instant or active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 cups plain flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Method:

1. Place warm water in a bowl; sprinkle yeast over top and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together plain flour, whole wheat flour and salt.

3. Drizzle oil in slowly as you stir, to distribute evenly.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast water. Stir until the dough comes together in a sticky, gooey mass.

5. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place dough inside.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 2 hours.  Feel free to place in the fridge at this stage for up to 4 days. (It rises just fine)

6.  When ready to use, section into 4 separate doughs for a thin crust, 2 for thick.

Recipe adapted from: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/basic-pizza-crust/