Archive for May, 2011

May 26, 2011

Mushroom and Eggplant Spring Rolls

A fresh and tasty appetizer that’s sure to please, while helping you to get your much needed veggies! Serve with a low sodium dipping sauce for added flavour.

1 Eggplant
1 cup Julienned carrots
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
1 TSP vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 TSP salt
1 cup chopped water chestnuts
Rice paper wrappers
1 head boston or leaf lettuce
Fresh Basil – I like Thai basil in this dish but regular works great too!

Cut eggplant into 2 inch by 1/2 inch rectangles. Cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes until slightly tender. Use a slotted spoon and transfer them to a colander. Press to drain out any water. Blanch carrots in the remaining boiling salted water for 20 seconds. Drain.

Stem shiitake and save for stock – slice caps. In a non stick skillet heat oil and cook onions for 1 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and cook 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl with carrots and eggplant. Mix well.

Fill large pie plate with hot water and spread clean tea towel on work surface. Dip rice paper wrapper into water until pliable, about 10 seconds. Place on tea towel. Place half of a lettuce leaf on lower half of rice paper wrapper, top with 1 or 2 basil leaves and loosely packed 1/4 cup eggplant mixture. Fold bottom edge over filling; tuck in sides and roll up into tight cylinder. Place roll on platter, seam side down, cover with damp towel to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Source: Homemakers Magazine: Dec./Jan. 2007

May 18, 2011

Light Deviled Eggs

These tasty appetizers have a secret – they are light on the typical mayo and packing more protein than ever!

6 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup of your favorite humus
1/2 TSP black pepper
1/2 TSP smokey paprika
Optional dash of hot sauce

Shell your hard boiled eggs once they have been chilled. Slice in half and remove yolks, setting them aside into a bowl. To the yolks add humus, black pepper and optional hot sauce. Stir until combined and then spoon mixture back into egg white.

Top with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

For really fancy eggs, make sure the mixture is very creamy then add to a piping bag and pipe back into egg whites using a fancy tip to make a design.

May 12, 2011

Summer Mocktails

Summer is right around the corner and everyone is heading to a patio or back yard BBQ. Why settle for water while everyone else is drinking something frozen and yummy? Enter the Mocktail! Here are a few recipes for some really great ones courtesy of the LCBO!

Apricot Invasion

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the juice of 1/8 fresh lemon, 3 oz. apricot juice, 2 oz. cranberry juice and 2 oz. ginger ale. Garnish with an apricot slice.
Cool Cat

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 1 oz. apricot juice, 2 oz. raspberry juice and 2 oz. cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a highball glass. Top with soda and garnish with a mint sprig.
English Garden Sipper
Fill a cooler glass with ice. Add 4 oz. iced tea and 4 oz. raspberry juice. Garnish with fresh lemon and raspberries.
May 10, 2011

Mint Tea Poached Pears


I’m always looking for ways to sneak more fruits and veggies into my family’s diet. I’ve found there is always room in our snacks and desserts for a little more nutrients. That is why I love the idea of poached pears! Simple and easy to do, it turns eating a pear from ‘that thing you do to get your fruit and vegetable serving’ to a yummy treat that might even have you going back for seconds!

Hubby and my step daughter love them when they are served warm. Of course my step daughter likes them best when served with a little vanilla yogurt – or even vanilla frozen yogurt. But a little calcium isn’t bad for you either!

1-2 pears, peeled, halved and core removed
4 cups water
1 mint tea bag
3 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

While you are halving, coring and peeling your pears – put the water in a saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil then turn down to a light simmer. Add lemon juice and mint tea bag and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes.

Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time – test after each addition until sweetened to your taste. Add pears and cook until fork tender.

Remove pears when finished and set aside. Keep 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid – discard the rest. Return liquid to the pot and boil until thickened into a syrup. Serve warm syrup over pears.

May 4, 2011

Vegetable Quinoa Baby Food

Quinoa is a perfect first grain to get your baby eating textured food. It’s light taste packs a real nutritional punch. Full of protein, fiber, potassium and folate – quinoa is often called a ‘super food’. Introduce this to babies 7 months and older. If they prefer the consistency a little smoother, just add the recipe to the blender with a little bit of water.

1 cup homemade vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup shredded zucchini
2 TSP canola oil

In saucepan, bring broth to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in quinoa, carrot and celery; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until no liquid remains, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in zucchini; cover and let stand until quinoa and vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

Drizzle with oil; fluff with fork. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to 3 days.

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: March 2009