Sunday, January 29, 2012

yam & spinach bruschetta

This is definitely a non-traditionally bruschetta!  It's packed with nutrients and flavour, and super easy to make.  I made them as my dinner one night but you could have them as a hearty appetizer.  The secret is the mixture of tofu and cheese - so even your friends who don't like tofu won't notice.

what you need:
*makes about 8 
  • whole wheat baguette
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup diced medium or firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup diced sharp white cheddar
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • water
what to do:
  1. Slice baguette on an angle, about 1/2" thick.  Set aside on a cookie sheet.  Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Dice the sweet potato, tofu and cheddar into about the same sizes (less than 1 cm cubes)
  3. In a pot, heat up oil on medium and saute garlic.  Add sweet potato and saute lightly, then add about 1/4 cup water and cover to allow sweet potato to cook to fork tender (10-15 minutes).
  4. Add tofu and stir gently, cook for about 3 minutes.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper.
  5. Add spinach and turn off heat.  Set mixture aside and drain any excess liquid.
  6. Pile each of the baguette slices with a generous amount of the mixture, and then place 3-4 cubes of cheese onto each slice (try to sneak them into grooves/cracks near the bread).  
  7. Place cookie sheet in middle rack for about 10 minutes, checking midway to make sure bottoms are not burned.  Put the oven on broil for 1 minute, browning the tops and cheese will bubble slightly.  Remove and serve warm.  Enjoy!

winter lentil soup

Today my friend Emily and I decided we needed some healthy vegetables after a fun weekend of dining out in Toronto with friends.  I scrounged my fridge and got some inspiration from the Clean Food cookbook to produce this warm hearty soup that's a meal in itself.

what you need:
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 4 cups lentils
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1" x 1" piece of Kombu *optional
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • black pepper and salt (~a pinch)
  • water
  • cilantro & green onion (optional garnish)
what to do:

  1. Prepare all vegetables by dicing them into small pieces.  Roughly chop garlic.
  2. Place Kombu into warm water for about 10 minutes, then dice finely.
  3. In a large pot on medium, heat up oil and add onions.  After sauteing them for 2 minutes, add garlic.  Saute for another 2 minutes, then add the diced carrots, eggplant, and sweet potato.  Stir and saute for a few minutes, then add the can of tomato and the lentils.  
  4. Add water until it just covers the vegetables, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and simmer for at least 1.5 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes and adding water as needed (also depending on how thick you want your soup).
  5. Serve hot with chopped cilantro and green onion for garnish.  Enjoy!
    kombu is a type of seaweed with natural health benefits, and you won't even taste it in the soup
    check out seaweed benefits  for more details

Sunday, January 22, 2012

cinnamon apple french toast

weekend breakfast treat

Last Saturday Ryan made this for breakfast and it definitely hit the spot.  You can use any fruit to substitute the apples but the tartness of a granny smith with the sweetness of brown sugar works really well.

what you need:
*serves 2

  • 4 thick cut slices of bakery multigrain bread (or cinnamon raisin for a sweeter treat)
  • 2 large eggs
  • splash of milk
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • ~1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • butter (for cooking)
  • icing sugar (optional)
what to do:

  1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together, then add apples, cinnamon and salt.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing apples to soften slightly and create a sauce.
  2. In a shallow bowl, beat eggs with milk.  
  3. In a non-stick pan on medium, add a small amount of butter.  Dip sliced bread into egg mixture, allowing absorption of the eggs.  Place into pan and cook both sides until browned.
  4. Serve with apple mixture on top of french toast and dust with icing sugar.  Enjoy!