Guadalajaran Swiss Chard Quesadillas

I’m trying to include chard into our regular diet, my husband loves it and I was afraid to cook with it. Fear no more, thanks to this quesadilla.

What a pleasant surprise. The filling seems really light compared to the regular chicken, cheese and vegetable quesadillas I make, but turned out to be very filling and flavourful. The recipe says this will make four quesadillas, I only made 2 and used all the filling. Here is the recipe…or click HERE for a printable version from Vegetarian Times. Enjoy!

2 T vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 t)
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, minced
1/4 t cumin seeds
1/8 t Mexican oregano
1/4 C tequila (I used Aloe Vera Juice)
12 oz. Swiss chard, trimmed
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup grated reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden. Stir in garlic, chile, cumin and oregano, and sauté 2 minutes. Add tequila, and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in chard. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and steam 5 minutes, or until chard wilts. Uncover, and cook 3 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.

2. Place 1 tortilla in skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1/4 chard mixture and second tortilla. Cook 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Slice into wedges; serve.

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Jamie Oliver :: TED Talks

Sticking with a food theme for March, Jamie Oliver was awarded the 2010 TED Prize Winner, earlier this month. There’s so much about him that I like; his cookbooks are fabulously designed, I love my Jamie Oliver pots and pans, and watch him on the telly when I can. His passion for kids and food is inspiring. In the past few years he has really brought to light the problem with the food industry and school food programs and that’s what he address in his talk.

One of my favourite Jamie recipes is Tray baked chicken Maryland. It’s chicken breast stuffed with banana, wrapped in pancetta and baked in cream and corn. It may sound odd but it’s delicious.  CLICK HERE for the recipe. (I’m sorry, I didn’t take a picture after it was cooked.)

March is Nutrition month

Spring is nearing and I’m finding my cravings are changing with the weather. It’s going from stew and pastas to stir-fries and salads. In support of nutrition month and to get ourselves thinking healthy for the warmer seasons ahead, I’ve posted a few links to look at to get us on a new track. I hope it sparks something new for you, enjoy!

– With great tips, healthy recipes and all the information you need on good food. Dietitians of Canada

– A must see movie about the food we eat.  Food Inc.

I want to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook meals for yourself and your family from scratch, whether you’re a complete beginner or a good cook who likes simplicity. A great ambassador of the home grown meals movement, Jamie Oliver. Visit his site to see what he’s up to and get your hands on delicious recipes.
Jamie Oliver

– When thinking of nutrition don’t forget what flowers, leaves and plants can do for our health. Alternative Remedies that Work

– And if you are up for the challenge… A Year Without Junk Food

Lots of celebrating this weekend

It was a great weekend. I had a birthday, spent time with great friends and the men’s hockey team won gold.

Life can get back to normal, the Olympics are closed. The energy was on high all the way to the end – what a hockey game. National free yoga day was also this weekend and we celebrated with a class on Saturday. There was a great turn out and a lot of new faces. Thank you for everyone who came and to Violet for the amazing cookies. The perfect post-yoga treat. Here’s the recipe, try them!

Sivananda Cookies

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins or golden raisins
1/3 cup raw unsalted peanuts*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
About 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease two or three baking sheets. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the oil, and mix thoroughly. Stir in enough water to make a firm dough.
Take a spoonful of dough, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll it into a ball, place on one of the baking sheets, and flatten to a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Repeat to make 12 cookies. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden at the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
* Use sunflower seeds, roughly chopped almonds, and/or unsweetened dried coconut instead of, or as well as, the unsalted peanuts.
Makes 12

Recipe from The Yoga Cookbook and recipelink.com

Give the gift of granola

Here’s a great granola recipe that’s easy to put together and would make a great, heart warming gift for someone on your list. I’ve been meaning to bake up a batch and package them with the recipe for two Christmases now. It looks like it’s going to be three.

I like the idea of making my own granola because I can control what goes into it. Most store bought granola’s are loaded with refined sugar and fat. I first come across Katie Lee Joel’s recipe on Domino Magazine’s website (a really great magazine that is no longer in production) it is also available in her cookbook (click HERE to get her cookbook).  We have a really great bulk section in our Save-On-Foods, here in Powell River, where I get all the dry ingredients, in organic too. This granola has become my before yoga snack (enjoyed at least two hours before class), served on top of mixed fruit and vanilla yogurt with an extra dash of cinnamon.

Granola

Yields 8 cups (10-12 servings) The Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats
½ cup unsalted hulled sunflower seeds
½ cup unsalted hulled pumpkin seeds
½ cup flaked coconut
¼ cup wheat germ
1-½ cups chopped unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, etc.)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter or canola oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots, figs, prunes, etc.)
Preheat over to 350º. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. In a small saucepan melt butter in the maple syrup over low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Add to the oat mixture. Add 2 tablespoons water and stir until well combined. Spread the granola evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at 10-minute intervals to ensure uniform baking, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in the pan. Stir in the dried fruits.

Recipe courtesy of Katie Lee Joel

Weekend of rain

It was a lovely weekend of rain out here on the coast. Giving me lots of guilt-free time in the kitchen, baking. I was inspired to try a new recipe for pumpkin cookies. Pink Stripes, a blog I follow, was having pumpkin week, last week and shared a recipe for Pumpkin Nut and Chip cookies. This recipe reminds me of my mom’s good old chocolate chip cookies (minus the pumpkin, cinnamon and nuts) I knew I’d like them. I found they mixed up just the same, I couldn’t wait to try one right out of the oven.

I wasn’t able to find pumpkin pie spice, so I used all spice instead (hope that was a proper substitute). If you know where to get pumpkin pie spice please let me know. Also, I found pecans per-chopped in the bulk section, I want with them instead of walnuts.

pumpkincookiesPumpkin Nut and Chip Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 C flour
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C milk chocolate chips
3/4 C walnuts, finely chopped

• Preheat oven to 350ºF
• Mix butter and sugar until creamy; add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition
• Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture until well-blended
• Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts
• Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto lightly buttered cookie sheets
• Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown
• Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container

Recipe courtesy of the California Milk Advisory Board

 

Mothers and Daughters

Today was also a first for me. I taught my first Mother and Daughter yoga class. A totally different dynamic than an adult class, the learning curve was steep tonight. I had a great time and some silly giggles too. It’s great to see children in Happy Baby, they don’t have to be told to move and explore the pose, I had happy babies rollin’ around the room enjoying themselves. Thanks to all the ladies coming out to the class.

Sunday Baking

Today I baked scones. I have a soft spot for and from raisin tea biscuits. The recipe I use tastes very close to those you can buy in the store. The difference being, I know exactly what I’m putting into mine. These scones only have 2.5g of fat and I love that they don’t have egg in them.

scones1 C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C brown sugar
2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C + 2 T buttermilk
1/3 C raisins
2 T melted butter
2 t grated orange zest
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg (for a wash) most times I skip the wash

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray cookie sheet.
Combine all dry ingredients is a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients, including the orange zest. Add wet mixer to dry and stir till a soft dough is formed.
Using a large ice cream scoop, place scoops on the cookie sheet, side by side and nearly touching. I find three columns by two rows works best x2. You should be able to fit all 12 scones on one sheet. Brush a lightly beaten egg over the tops. (There will be more the half of the egg left over)
Bake of 15 to 17 minutes or golden.