Sunday, March 1, 2015

wintery caesar salad

hearty, tangy, zippy, wam
Caesar salad is my husband's favourite - he always orders it at restaurants (instead of fries please, upgrade from garden salad) and it is a dressing we make at home frequently.  It really is about the flavour for us rather than the romaine lettuce.  Sometimes though, salad for a meal in -30 C weather just doesn't seem right - you just want something warm and fulfilling - yet at the same time at our house we still crave that caesar salad taste.  This is my winter version of a caesar salad, which satisfies our tastebuds and bellies.  Oh and it's also vegetarian friendly:).

what you need:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 small vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • extra parmigiano reggiano for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil for garnish
for simple caesar dressing:
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  2. Combine all caesar dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk to combine. Taste - adjust accordingly to your preference (e.g. if you like a tangy acidic dressing then start with 1 tbsp olive oil).  
  3. Prep your veggies - tear kale leaves off the stem (bite size pieces) and wash thoroughly, then make sure to dry them off (use a salad spinner if you have one!).  Wash and peel sweet potatoes, then cut into 1/2" discs.  Thinly slice onion.
  4. Toss sweet potatoes with oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Place on lined cookie sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes; be sure to flip them halfway to get both sides of the sweet potato golden brown.
  5. During the last 10 minutes of baking, cook your onions and kale.  In a nonstick pan on medium-low heat with 1 tsp grapeseed oil, sauté onions until they are caramelized and softened, then add the kale.  Stir to make sure you wilt all of the kale - if it seems dry add 1 tbsp of water.  The kale should be wilted and bright deep green in about 2 minutes or so.
  6. Transfer kale and onions from pan to the salad bowl with your whisked dressing. Add roasted sweet potatoes and toss everything gently together, coating all the vegetables with the dressing. 
  7. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese shavings and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the entire plate.  Enjoy!

banana bran flax muffins

you could replace the chocolate chips with raisins...but they're better this way!
This recipe is very similar to my previous post (triple b banana bread) but with less ingredients and coconut sugar in place of regular sugar.  The muffins themselves are not very sweet which is why the addition of chocolate chips is quite necessary to satisfy that sweet treat craving...however if you are using them as a breakfast muffin (serving with jam, etc.) then substitute raisins and they are even healthier!

what you need:
  • 1 cup APF
  • 1 cup bran
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
what to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin tin with medium sized muffin cups.
  2. Beat bananas and coconut sugar until they are well mixed (I used a mixer but if you don't have one you can use a fork to mash up the bananas then whisk in the coconut sugar vigorously).
  3. Add oil, milk and egg to banana mixture, mix well.
  4. Combine dry ingredients (except for chocolate chips) together and stir with a fork to mix.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix just until combined (do not over mix as this will end up making tough dense muffins).
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Fill muffin cups all the way - then bake for about 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (it may seem a bit moist but it's because of the bananas!) - remove from oven and transfer as soon as you can handle them to a cooling rack.  They are delicious warm but the muffin cup tends to stick at first so just beware.  Enjoy!
the recipe should make 12 -
I over filled slightly therefore was short one!