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Monday, January 28, 2008

Zucchini Pineapple Loaf

Growing up my mom always made zucchini bread or muffins and I remember eating the batter by the spoonful, thinking it always tasted better than the actual loaf. I came across a slightly different version of my mothers loaf, one which called for crushed pineapple in it. I thought the pineapple would make an already delicious bread even better. I used fresh pineapple, which made it moist and flavorful. As this makes a double batch (2 loafs), I made 1 loaf 9x5 and 12 muffins.

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1cup crushed pineapple, drained (fresh or canned)
2 cups zucchini, grated and water squeezed out
3 cups flour (1 whole wheat, 2 cups white), sifted
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips and/or raisins (optional)
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
** do not add more than 2 of the 3 optional ingredients

Tip: before adding optional ingredients (chips, raisins or walnuts) mix them in bowl with about 1T flour, just enough to coat. This will stop these heavier ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.

Combine the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and beat/whisk until smooth and thick. Stir in the zucchini, pineapple, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Fold in the chips, raisins and/or walnuts.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Use 2 loaf pans 9x5x3 and fill 1/2 to 3/4 and bake for 50-60 minutes, one at a time. If making muffins bake for 20 minutes at 350F.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mango Chutney

Chutney is a condiment originating from Indian regions, that can be sweet or spicy. They usually contain fruit or vegetables and can be served as a salsa with meats or breads or cheeses.

1 green mango, upripe and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1-3 thin slice of ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup raisins
less than 1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

This mango chutney is quite sweet and hence I have taken to adding less sugar to reduce the sweetness, and have added a few jalapeno seeds for more heat.

Recommended with chicken rotis and flatbread or served on top of baguette and brie.
Makes approx. 1 cup.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Whole Wheat Roti or Chapatis

There are a variety of indian breads known as chapati, phulka, roti, naan and parantha. Most of them are made simply with flour and water, cooked in a skillet. As they contain no yeast they are perfect for those with allergies. You can add your own flavoring such as garlic or cumin to spice it up. These delicious flatbreads can be served with curries, stews, and/or chutneys. (
chicken roti recipe)

1 cup Organics whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 T powdered cumin
1 tsp vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients. Add in oil and a bit of water and continue mixing with hand, continuing to add water until dough is smooth and not sticky. Cover and let sit for 60 mins. Divide into 5-6 pieces and roll out into circles. In greased or oiled pan fry the pieces 2 mins per side until golden brown. Serve with main dish.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chicken Roti

Ever since I have been introduced to Caribbean Flavours in Ottawa, I have been addicted to rotis. I had never heard of a chicken roti until my co-worker, owner (her husband's restaurant) of Caribbean Flavours made me a chicken roti and I was hooked on the texture and well flavor of this dish. I knew that I would never be able to hold up to his authenticity and quality of cooking, but decided to try my luck at a roti. Rather than wrapping the chicken stew in a roti, the flatbread was served on the side to dip in this delicious chicken stew and served with mango chutney.

1 lb chicken breast, cubed
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes, canned
3 T mango chutney
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 T mild or hot curry paste (Iprefer the hot)
1/2 tsp cumin ground
1/2 tsp ginger ground
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 cup low fat coconut milk
19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 dashes hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor puree onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, 1 T chuntney, giner, salt and pepper. Place in a bowl. Add chicken and tomatoes. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in skillet with curry paste, cumin and cook 1 minute. Add chicken mixture and chicken stock, apple and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add chickpeas and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with roti flatbread and mango chutney.
See following blogs for roti flatbread and mango chutney.
Makes approx 6 servings.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Roasted Sweet Potato, Coconut, Ginger Soup

This recipe is packed with nutrition, antioxidants, phytochemicals and flavor. The sweet potato is high in fiber, vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, B6, as well as iron, maganese, potassium and calcium. One medium sweet potato is about 130 calories with 0.4g fat, 2g protein, 31g carbs and 4g fiber. It is known to have anitoxidant capabilities and is also known to be an antidiabetic food (helps stablilize blood sugar levels and lowers insulin resistance).

Recent studies have suggested that the peel of oranges and other citrus fruit contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals work as antioxidants which can increase resistance to disease and boost one's immune system. Antioxidants can help fight damaged cells (caused by free radicals which weaken the immune system). They can help fight cancer (anti carcinogenic effect), heart disease and other diseases. Optional to add the zest of an orange (just a touch or it will be too overpowering).

Ginger is also known for its medicinal benefits, such as relieving nausea, pain and inflammation. It is also helpful for digestion, as well as an aphrodisiac.

With the health benefits of the sweet potato, orange zest and ginger this soup is certain to boost your immune system and tantilize your taste buds.

6 cups sweet pototoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
1 T olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 T gingerroot, grated
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 whole clove
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 T low fat sour cream
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Spray a roasting pan with non stick spray. Add sweet pototoes, onions, olive oil and garlic. Stir well. Roast uncovered at 425F for 25 minutes. Stir once, halfway through cooking time.

Transfer mixture to a soup pot. Add broth, orange zest, ginger, clove, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Stir in buttermilk.

Working in batches transfer soup to blender and puree to smooth. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro for garnish.

Makes 6 servings.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Again many variations to stuffed peppers with regards to meat, vegetarian and the vegetables and spices added. This vegetarian version is very light and healthy.
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onions, choppped
1 medium zuchini, small cubes or 10oz spinach fresh
1 can (28 oz) canned tomatoes, undrained and cut up
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tsp worchestshire sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
6 large peppers (green and red)
3 cups cooked rice (brown, jasmine or basmati)
1 can (19oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn niblets, frozen or fresh
In a medium pot cook the rice as directed on the package.
In a large saucepan add olive oil, garlic, onions and cook over medium heat until tender (5min).
Add the zuchini/spinach, tomatores, tomato paste, worchestshire, spices, corn. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occaionally.

Meanwhile, prepare peppers for stuffing. Cut off tops with stem and remove the seeds.

Remove the sauce from heat and stir in the beans and rice. Stuff the peppers with an even amount of the mixture (might be left over mixture - can either make more peppers as they can freeze nicely, or use for leftovers in tortilla wraps or as a side dish). Stand the peppers up right in a roasting pan.
Place the cover on and bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Can serve with hot salsa, or fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes and shredded monterey cheese if desired.

Makes: 6-8 peppers

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

1 1/4 cup onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 cup zuchinni, cubed
1 can (28oz) tomatoes, undrained cut up
1 can (19oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (12oz) corn kernels, undrained
1 T ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp of both dried oregano and dried basil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Spray a large sauce pan with non stick spray or use 1 tsp olive oil. Add onions, peppers, celery, carrots, garlic and chili powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are softened (about 6-7 minutes).
Add mushrooms and zuchinni. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, beans, chickpeas, corn, cumin, oregano, basil and cayenne. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuit

Pot pie is such a versatile recipe that can be made vegetarian, with chicken or beef. Pot pie can be made with a number of different herbs or spices (sage, rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram, curry), the broth can consist of anything from chicken or vegetable broth, the white wine, creams (creme, coconut milk, cream of mushroom soup). The topping itself is so versatile from mashed potatoes, herbed crust, pie crust, potato biscuit or sweet potato biscuit. With all these options a warm pot pie is sure to suit anyones palate during the winter months.
For this pot pie I use chicken, vegetable broth, thyme and rosemary with a sweet potatoe biscuit as the topping.


2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (2-3 boneless chicken breasts, can use thighs or whole chicken)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups peeled white potato or sweet potatoes, cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt and coarse black pepper
1 cup sliced green beans
1/2 cup corn niblets and/or peas
3 Tbsp all purpose flour

Sweet Potato Biscuit Topping

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 T softened butter
3/4 cups cooked mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup 1% milk

If you would rather a normal biscuit topping you may use 1 cup four, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground sage, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 T butter and 1/3 cup milk.


Filling: First cook chicken breasts either in the oven or stove top until tender. In a saucepan spray non stick spray, add onions, pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 4 mins. Add 2 cups broth, potatoes, carrots, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 mins. Stir in beans, corn and cooked chicken and cook for about 3 mins.

In a small bowl mix 3T flour with the remaining 1/2 cup broth. Add to the filling mixture and cook until bubbly and thick (optional: can add cornstarch to thicken mixture if desired). Once thick transfer the mixture either to a 2 quart casserole dish or to 6 x 5-7oz ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Biscuit: Boil water and cook 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes. Once cooked, mash 3/4 cup of sweet pototo and add whisk in mild. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sweet potato and milk mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until a soft ball forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surgace and roll or pat out to fit top of casserole dish or ramekins. Place dough over casserole dish or ramekins. Brush top of biscuit with milk.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 mins before serving.