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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Category Archives: kid-friendly

Is there such a thing as too many pancakes?  I have posted several recipes for a variety of pancakes on this blog: Rosemary Lemon Pancakes, Coconut Flour Pancakes with Mango Puree, Cottage Cheese Pancakes and Banana Nut Pancakes!  Today I post one more pancake recipe: Ricotta Pancakes with Raspberry Lime Sauce.  I’m beginning to think I should open a Pancake-themed food truck in Red Deer?

Anyways, I freakin LOVE ricotta; I often eat it for breakfast with some fresh fruit and honey – why wouldn’t it kick ass in a pancake?!  I’ve seen a few very similar recipes floating around the interweb, and morphed it into something that utilized ingredients I had kicking around the house.  Give it a try next weekend!

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Ricotta Pancakes Ingredients:

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup skimmed milk

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

zest of one orange

Raspberry Lime Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup fresh raspberries

1/4 cup agave syrup

2 tbsp cherry jelly (or any other jam/jelly you have in the fridge)

2 tsp fresh orange juice

zest of one lime

dash of salt

Method:

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, milk and egg yolks.  Set egg whites aside for now – don’t forget about them yet though!  Add in the flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest and stir until smooth.  Get back on those egg whites again – whisk them until frothy and then gently fold into the batter.  Set the batter aside while you preheat your griddle to medium.

fold those egg whites in!

fold those egg whites in!

While things are heating up, get your sauce on; combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Stir to combine and watch as the berries break down.  Turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the mixture has decreased by about half.  This takes about 10 minutes.  At this point you can pour the sauce through a sieve to get rid of those pesky seeds, but Erin and I decided why throw out anything of the fruit, especially if it added fibre, which is something humans are dying to get into their bodies anyways?

Back to the pancakes… so the griddle (or your largest non stick frying pan) is heated up, your batter has had time to froth up a bit and now it’s go time!  Make pancakes as you normally do, flipping once when the tops are bubbly.  I usually heat my oven to 200 degrees to keep my pancakes in while I’m cooking the rest of the batch.

That’s it – it’s that easy – you can do it too!  I served the pancakes with the raspberry sauce, some lovely bacon and an egg, sunny side up.  A perfect brunch after a long Sunday run!!

 

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I know I’ve already posted different recipes for granola on this blog before, but this one is the best – inspired by one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever purchased, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s super crunchy and sweet and makes a great little gift for anyone who loves maple!  I like to layer the granola between scoops of Greek yogurt and fresh berries – so good and keeps me full all morning!  This recipe is worth heating up the kitchen for!

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Maple Pecan Granola

(inspired by recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook):

Ingredients:

3 cups quick oats IMG_0695

1 cup large flaked coconut, unsweetened

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup oat bran

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg white, beaten

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment/baking paper lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, folding in the egg whites at the very end.

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Spread the mixture evenly onto the cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes – take out of the oven, carefully flip – make sure to keep some of those big chunks in tact.  Put back in the oven again for another 20 minutes, repeat the flipping, then back in the oven for another 20 minutes.  The batch should be nice and crispy – let cool completely on a rack.  So easy!

 

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The summer continues to fly by and I can’t believe we’re past the middle of August already!  I have been doing tons of cooking and baking, but obviously not a lot of blogging!  I’m going to try and get some of my new creations written down over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Canadian Living Magazine has been busting out some awesome editions lately and this month included a little bonus mag called “Just for Moms” which highlighted some back to school lunchbox recipes.  One recipe for Chewy Quinoa Bars caught my eye because of an ingredient I haven’t tried yet: quinoa flakes!  I found some at Bulk Barn – they aren’t exactly cheap (over $6 for 350g, but it seems like there are many applications for these fluffy things!)  I fooled around with the recipe and came up with something I knew I would like.  A lot.  These have been a big hit at our place and around the office; they are quite filling too!

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Chewy Chocolate Quinoa Bars (adapted from Canadian Living Recipe, Fall 2013)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa  IMG_0690

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup tahini

1/3 cup liquid honey

1/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 cups large flaked rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (in Red Deer, buy at Pure Earth Organics)

1 cup quinoa flakes

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1/2 cup pepitas

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a 13×9″ cake pan with baking paper and coat with non-stick spray.

Toast the quinoa (not the flakes!!) in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, for about 8-10 minutes or until fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

While the toasting is going on, combine the corn syrup, tahini, honey and oil in a medium sauce pan, stirring often until smooth and combined.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted quinoa and quinoa flakes, coconut, pepitas and chia seeds.  Pour in the liquid mixture and stir to combine; at this point add about half of the chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Press the mixture into your prepared cake pan (isn’t it nice being prepared?)  Chuck into the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on the top, pressing in slightly.  Let cool completely and then shove into the fridge for about half an hour before cutting into bars.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you leprechauns out there!  Hope everyone gets to enjoy a green beer today.  Yesterday I ran in a little fun run 5 km race and the weather was a nightmare – it lasted till this morning too, so I took my 10 km run to the indoor track at the Collicutt Centre.  It was still snowing like a mofo when I got home and I decided I didn’t want to venture out on my usual Sunday grocery trip, so instead attacked the deep freeze and pantry!

Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to put together a Steak and Vegetable Pie, using some sirloin steaks and puff pastry that were in my freezer.  I’ve seen a lot of versions of this dish to include Guinness, but I just didn’t have a can kicking around… so I made a much simpler version instead, using something probably everyone has in the fridge: ketchup.  It turned out great and is so easy!!  Takes about 2 hours to cook in total, so maybe it’s not something you could throw together at work – definitely a Sunday supper!!

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Steak and Vegetable Pie

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 slices smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 lb sirloin steak, cubed small (1 cm)

1 medium onion, chopped IMG_0530

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup beef broth

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 –  397 g pkg Tenderflake Puff Pastry

1 egg, beaten

salt, pepper, flour

Method:

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat and add bacon.  Cook until golden.  Meanwhile, cube the steak very small, about 1 cm pieces.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lightly coat with flour.  Add the beef to the pot and brown over medium high heat, about five minutes.  Next add the onions, carrots and celery and stir, lifting the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Next add the beef broth, ketchup, Worceshtershire sauce and bay leaf.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes with a loose fitting lid.  Stir occasionally, to make sure things aren’t sticking to the bottom.  Take a taste at about 30 minutes and decide if you need to season more.  Preheat your oven to 400F and roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface (it comes in 2 squares – if you love pastry, roll out both squares, one for the bottom and one for the top – alternately, just roll out one half for the topper)  Coat a small baking dish (9×12″) with cooking spray and layer with one of the pastry sheets if you decided to do top and bottom pastry.

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Fill the dish with the beef mixture and top with a sheet of pastry  make sure to remove the bay leaf!!  Crimp the edges and cut a few slits in the top.  Brush the top with the beaten egg and chuck in the oven for 30 minutes.   When cooked, let the pie stand for 15 minutes before serving.

st pattys scurry

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One of the greatest compliments has to be when a kid says “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten” and proceeds to eat 3 huge bowls in one sitting!  I actually had not planned on blogging this recipe until I got that reaction, so I snapped some photos  post-meal.  This is a dinner that is ready in under an hour and you can easily sub in different ingredients depending on your kid’s favourite flavours!  Sometimes a bit of improv in the kitchen pays off in a big way!!

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Chicken Taco Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

3 small chicken breasts, diced

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp onion powder

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

fresh ground pepper & sea salt to taste

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 cup corn kernels, frozen or canned

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1/2 cup prepared salsa

1 1/2 cup Tex Mex shredded cheese

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

Garnish with: chopped cilantro, jalapeno and sour cream

2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta

Method: 

this is all that was left!!!

this is all that was left!!!

Preheat oven to 350degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta to the perfect al dente.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high and brown chicken, about 5-6 minutes.  Add seasoning and cook for another minute.  Add the red pepper and corn, continue to until the pepper is tender.

Back in the pasta pot – add the can of soup and salsa and stir to combine.  By now the chicken/pepper mixture should be done – add to the pasta mixture.

Pour this goo into a 9×11 baking dish and top first with the crushed tortilla chips, followed by the cheese.  Bake for 20 mins and then broil for another 1-2 minutes to get bubbly.  Let sit for about 5 minutes and dinner is on!  Just like with tacos, dress with your favourite toppings and enjoy!!

"this is the best thing I've ever eaten!!"

“this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!”

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I’m finally catching up on a bunch of recipe posts and today I’m sharing this one I made up after Thanksgiving: Chicken Pot Pie!  You could totally make this recipe using a rotisserie chicken, or use left-over turkey after a holiday feast too. I didn’t make a turkey this year for T-giving, because I find it to be such an undertaking considering that no one in my family enjoys dark meat!  So this year, I made a gigantic spatch-cock chicken and a delicious ham in the slowcooker (will post that soon because it’s a gooder).

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (bones and skin removed)

1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked carrots (leftover from a family feast perhaps?)

1 cup frozen peas

3/4 cup chopped celery

3/4 cup chopped white onion

1 3/4 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup milk

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1/8 tsp Keen’s Mustard Powder

salt & pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

2 Tenderflake deep-dish frozen pie crusts, slightly thawed *

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute celery and onions until soft and translucent.

Sprinkle with the flour and still until coated – careful not to burn.

Add the broth and milk and keep stirring.  The sauce will thicken up and start bubbling.  Add the chicken, peas and carrots and keep stirring.  Add the seasoning – take a taste and add more salt/pepper to your taste!

Pour the filling into one of the pie crusts – you might not be able to fit into the one pie crust so set aside for now.  Top with the other pie crust and crimp around the edges.  Using a knife draw some vents into the top of the crust.  Brush with beaten egg whites.

Chuck this pie into the oven and bake until golden brown – about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before diving in!

*SO WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE FILLING? I poured it into a tiny tin-foil container, then topped with a piece of Tenderflake puff pastry.  DO NOT put any egg wash on it at this point, but cut the vent slits, cover with a lid and then put into your freezer for another day!

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Last weekend, I was in Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (my first half-marathon yay!) I love going to Toronto and always look forward to the great markets, restaurants and of course my fave: the LCBO!!  They have a great publication called Food & Drink that is always full of amazing recipes – today’s recipe was inspired by a recipe in the Autumn 2012 edition for Chewy Date and Seed Bars.  I switched up the ingredients a little bit, but these are still nut-free, gluten-free and packed with protein!!

Chewy Seed Bars

Ingredients

1 cup chopped dates 

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup water

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup hulled, roasted pumpkin seeds (they’re green)

1 cup hulled, unsalted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup coconut flax oil

2 tbsp poppy seeds

3/4 tsp salt (less if you use salted pumpkin seeds)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350degrees and prepare and 8″ square pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a medium sauce pan, combine chopped dates and apricots with the water.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes, until the dates are soft and most of the water has evaporated.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Fold in the date mixture and mix thoroughly.

Press into the prepared pan and back for 35 minutes, until the top is nice and golden brown.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into little squares.  Store in a sealed container, or freeze them – these make really nice “to go” snacks!

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