Mozzarella, tomato,and prosciutto frittata

Mozzarella, tomato,and prosciutto frittata

For a bigger breakfast or brunch this is one of our favourite frittatas. I found this recipe in the Canadian Living site and have cooked it several times. You can check it out here. The original recipe calls for a walnut pesto, which I normally don’t add, I find that the tomatoes, onions, cheese and prosciutto are salty and flavourful enough.

4 large servings

Ingredients:

4 tsp vegetable oil

1 onion, sliced

12 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

100 g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

45 g thinly sliced prosciutto

2 or 3 cocktail tomatoes sliced

 Directions:

In 10-inch ovenproof nonstick or cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and light golden, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over onion mixture in pan; reduce heat to mediumlow and cook until bottom and sides are set but top is still slightly runny, about 15 minutes.

Top with mozzarella and tomatoes, sprinkle some oregano. Broil until top is golden and set, 3 to 5 minutes. Arrange prosciutto over top; cut into wedges.

img_0868

Advertisements
Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

Hot and sour mushroom and tofu soup

For the cold days ahead of us, this soup fills all the requisites: light and filling, packed with protein from the tofu and egg that go along so well  with the 2 varieties of mushrooms. A rich broth made with chillies, ginger and garlic adds heat and a spicy oriental flare to the soup. The original recipe calls for bamboo shoots instead of my second type of mushroom. It is from Jamie Oliver and you can find it here .

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilly
sea salt
ground white pepper
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and diced
250 g shitake mushrooms , cleaned
250 g buttom mushroom, finely sliced
vegetable oil
3 tbs low-salt soy sauce
3 to 4 tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp honey

1.5 litres hot vegetable stock
150 g firm tofu cut in 1 cm cubes
2 green onions chopped
½ bunch of chives chopped
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar, adding a pinch of salt. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, combining it well.
Finely slice the buttons mushrooms and separate the threads of the shiitake mushroom.

Heat a tbs of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the chilli paste and mushroons and fry for a little bit.
In the mean time mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, the honey and the white pepper. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a minute, then pour in the hot stock and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

Add the tofu, the spring onions and chives.
Once reduced, remove the soup from the heat. Using a chopstick, stir the soup in a clockwise direction until you get a little whirlpool, then slowly add the beaten egg, stirring continuously to form thin ribbons. Stir in the tofu and return to the heat for 1 minute to warm through. Season to taste with soy and vinegar, then serve immediately with the spring onions and chives on top.

Gluten free strawberry crumble

Gluten free strawberry crumble

20140426-102309.jpg

Although we are not on a restricted gluten free diet, I like to explore different possibilities for gluten, when I can. It also seems that going gluten free greatly improves my husband’s control of his diabetes.
Spring in the air, fruits are looking better and better every day, I found this amazing recipe here, and had to give it a go.
Huge success, the combination of oats and shredded coconut was brilliant, gluten free and very yummy. Easy to put it together, a great dessert for the warm evenings that are about to start.

Gluten free strawberry crumble

4 cups (1 L) halved hulled strawberries
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Crumble Topping:

1-1/2 cups pure uncontaminated large-flake oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Stir together strawberries, brown sugar, cornstarch and vanilla; scrape into 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish.

Crumble Topping: In bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until in coarse crumbs with some larger pieces. Sprinkle over strawberry mixture.

Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven until topping is golden and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

20140426-102859.jpg

Perfect moist and light banana bread

Perfect moist and light banana bread

20140218-163204.jpg

Bananas are very abundant in Brazil, all shapes, many different types, found everywhere, a fruit that is commonly taken for granted, as so there is an expression to describe it: “as cheap as bananas”. You would think that banana bread would be a favorite there too but it is not.

There are plenty of banana cakes, banana pies, breads filled with banana and cream, tons of different types of banana desserts but nothing like the North America’s favorite, banana bread. I tried it for the first time still in Brazil, many years ago, in a friend’s house, who used to be a baker in Montreal and I fell in love since.
I never miss an opportunity to try a different one at any coffee shop and I am always experimenting with new recipes, like my Ultimate and fluffy banana bread, still looking for the perfect banana bread, that would remind me of that first one.
So it happened! I was flipping the pages of the last issue of Canadian Living magazine and found it! I had to try it right away and so far, this will be the one I will be baking, for ever!!
The original recipe is here.

The secret that makes it so special ? Let the mashed ripe bananas soak for 5 minutes with buttermilk and baking soda and the magic of fluffiness gets started!

Moist and light, no surprise that baking with brown sugar and real butter would bring the banana flavor very alive, but it was worth it! I substituted half of the flour with whole wheat flour and half of the brown sugar with sweetener to make it diabetes friendly.
If you like walnuts, chocolate chips or raisins, go ahead and add 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite thing.

Perfect moist and light banana bread

1 loaf – 12 pieces

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir together bananas, buttermilk and baking soda. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until combined; beat in egg, vanilla and banana mixture. Stir in flour mixture until combined; scrape into greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake in 350 F oven until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

20140218-163230.jpg

Homemade healthy granola bars

Homemade healthy granola bars

20140207-213441.jpg

For the times when you’re craving something sweet and doesn’t really need that nasty chocolate bar to fulfill your desert desire, I have the healthy solution! These granola bars are sweet, nutty, crunchy and delicious. It is great as a snack, tucked in your purse for work, for kids in school and as a quick breakfast on the go. For me, it has the sweetness I normally miss in the cold nights of this never-ending winter, with my tea and I get the added benefit of being totally satisfied and craving-free.

I love all the ingredients in this recipe, specially the taste of coconut that goes so well with cranberries. Although the original recipe, from Ina Garten, calls for dates, I will replace it next time for a different dry fruit, probably raisins. I found dates were too sweet. It was my first time using wheat germ and I was very pleased with the result and the taste. Easy, fast, healthy and yummy, give it a try! You will never buy granola bars again!

Homemade healthy granola bars
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

20140207-213510.jpg

Cream of carrots soup

Cream of carrots soup

20131020-223829.jpg

I didn’t know a carrot soup could be so decadent until I tried this one. Carrots are cooked with milk, which brings the creaminess that elevates this hearty soup to another level. I adapted from a recipe from Canadian chef Ricardo Larivée , adding some fennel to break up the sweetness of the carrots and we all loved the result. Perfect to start a meal, perfect for this nice fall weather and for a fast and simple dinner along with a loaf of bread.

4 portions

4 cups sliced carrots (about 7)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 fennel chopped
2 tbs butter
5 cups milk
1 pinch salt and pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, soften the carrots and onion, fennel in the butter. Add the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom to prevent the milk from sticking. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

My ever glorious morning glory muffin

My ever glorious morning glory muffin

20130908-140657.jpg

I found this recipe in an old issue of Canadian House & Garden magazine and since the first batch I baked, I could not stop thinking of these muffins every time I sip my coffee in a lazy and sunny Sunday morning. Or in any other day, actually. Perfection.

The story behind is that this recipe is one of the signature muffins from chef Debbie Parker at the High level Diner – Edmonton AB, Canada.

For me, the magic about this muffin is the perfect combination of fruity flavors: bananas, almonds, walnuts, coconut, my ever favorite, raisins and a hint of orange. It is an explosion of hearty goods baked with a smart mix of whole wheat flour, wheat bran and all-purpose flour, for a more than satisfying breakfast or snack. And yes, super healthy.

It has 2 layers, so the crunchy topping is quite the hit here. Not too sweet but sweet enough, dense but yet moist.

I did substitute sugars by sweeteners to make it diabetes friendly, as usual, for my husband, but the recipe below follows the original.

Great recipe to get us started in the cooling temperatures waiting for us in this fall!

20130908-141813.jpg

Orange nut Muffin

12 large muffins or 18 small ones

Muffins
1 cup natural wheat bran
2/3 whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 medium bananas, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbs molasses
1/2 cup melted butter
zest and juice from 1 large orange

Topping
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup silvered almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 1/2 tbs raisins or currants
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Pre heat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl combine wheat bran, flours, brown sugar and baking soda. Sir until well combined. Add bananas and mash well to remove any lumps. Add beaten eggs, molasses, butter, orange juice and zest and mix until batter is smooth and well combined.
In a medium size bowl, combine all topping ingredients except eggs and oil. Stir to combine. Add eggs and oil and stir again.
Pour batter evenly into the prepared baking cups (12 large or 18 small).
Top with nut mixture, spreading evenly among all muffins.
Bake for 30 min. Check after 5 min and push all fallen topping back onto the top of the muffins.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

20130908-141934.jpg