THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

Lentil & Veggie Stew April 17, 2012

It may be spring and the birds might be chirping, but I still love a hot bowl of comfort food for dinner.  Now that time is of the essence more than ever (hello raving toddler), I have to make something that is quick and delish, and who’s fooling who, I loveeeeeee a stew!!!  I have made variations of this recipe, both in my Le Crueset Dutch Oven and in my slow cooker.  Both are totally yummy.
Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh vegetables cut in bit-sized pieces (I used parsnips, mushrooms, carrots and zucchini)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cooked lentils (you can use freshly cooked – about 1 1/2 cups with cooking liquid)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin or squash (canned or cooked – all water pressed out)
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook onion in a large, Dutch oven until browned, then add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add veggies, broth and spices and cook until vegetables are soft and it begins to boil.
  3. Add quinoa and cook on medium heat until tender (approx. 15 min), then add pumpkin and salt/pepper to taste and cook for 5 more min (adding a little water if too thick).
  4. Serve hot, with shredded cheddar and/or some large crusty bread with butter!

Notes:

– to use the slow cooker, but all ingredients into cooker and place on low for 6 hours.

– this freezes pretty well too.

 

The Weekly Soup – Red Lentil January 28, 2010

I live for lentils.  Okay not literally, but I get excited about lentils the way some people do about bacon.  I could add them to just about everything and be one happy camper.  Packed with flavour, protein and fiber (okay, and phosphorus, copper, thiamin and potassium, you get the point) lentils come in a variety of forms and typically are cheap cheap cheap.  Oh did I mention they are pretty darned easy to prepare too?  If you’re a lazypants, buy the canned, however you can really control the flavour and texture (and sodium!) if you buy them dried, and they’re even cheaper.  This soup is creamy, slightly sweet and hearty.  Perfect for fall, winter or a chilly summers night.  PS – it’s dairy free too!

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INGREDIENTS:
1 TBSP coconut oil (this is a great way to add more flavour, but you could use olive oil if you’re desparate)
1 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

2 cups red lentils
2 cans coconut milk (I use the powdered kind that you add to water – it’s handy to have, and less fatty)
4-6 cups water (enough to cover all ingredients)
1/2 cup carrot or zucchini, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced
2 cups sweet potato, diced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 TBSP curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp pepper
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DIRECTIONS:
1. In a dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, sauté onion for 2 min in coconut oil, then add garlic and salt, stir, and cook for 1-2 min.
2. Add all remaining ingredients, combine and cover and bring to a boil.
3. Stir well, reduce heat to simmer, cover again, and cook on low for 30-45 min, until lentils are cooked through and creamy.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with your favourite naan or pita bread!

 

Harvest Loaf January 17, 2010

 

I love loaves… add to that something savoury and nutritious?  I’m sold.  This little gem will impress your guests, be kind to your hips, and won’t break the bank.  Try subbing in your favourite squash or whatever you happen to have on hand.  Oh, and it’s totally dairy free so it’ll knock the socks off your dairy-freer pals.  You could even make this one vegan by using egg substitute for the 2 eggs.  Impressive, I know!!!!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup pureed squash (I used canned organic butternut, but you could use pumpkin or even sweet potatoes!)

1/3 cup canola oil (you could use almond or any other seed oil, but I’d avoid using Olive oil)

1/2 cup raisins

handful of pumpkin seeds

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 350F, and grease loaf pans.

2) In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and set aside

3) In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, squash and oil with a wooden spoon, until smooth.

4) Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine, then stir in raisins.

5) Pour batter into loaf pans (I used 3 mini, but you could use 1 large), sprinkle with seeds, and bake at 350F for 40 min until browned and tester stick comes out dry.

6) Allow to cool for 10 min in pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack for another 5-10 min, and serve!

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NOTE – these can be frozen and allowed to defrost at room temp.  

 

Crunchy Corn Soup October 15, 2009

Summer may be over (or what was a bad substitute for summer as it was here) but that doesn’t mean that we have to say ‘see ya next year’ to lovely corn.  Corn is such a fall vegetable for me, more so than summer.  I do love driving back from up north in August and picking up a dozen fresh corn from a local farmer for next to nothing … but all the fall dishes with corn are where it’s at for me in the end.  Soups, breads, warm sauces … now you’re talking!  Give this super easy soup a try this fall – you will love the simplicity and savoriness of this velvety liquid gold.

Happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving!

pumpkins

INGREDIENTS:

1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound frozen corn (try not to use canned)
3 cups vegetable broth (or a wee bit more as required), heated
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper
2 TBSP corn flour or corn starch (give or take)
1/2 TBSP nutritional yeast (you can skip this if you don’t have any on hand)
2 corn tortillas
salt, chili powder, and ground pepper to taste

corn-soup
DIRECTIONS:
1) On medium heat (using a heavy saucepan), sauté onion until lightly browned, then add minced garlic and cook for another minute (don’t burn the garlic!).

2) Place sauted onions and garlic into a blender along with frozen corn, 2 cups only of vegetable broth (make sure it’s heated already), cumin, chipotle, corn flour, and yeast, and blend until very smooth.

3) Pour all blender contents back into saucepan, add remaining 1 cup of broth, and simmer on very low until soup is thick and bubbly (approx 10-15 min), stirring continuously to prevent any burning.
4) While the soup is simmering, preheat oven to 400F, and cut corn tortillas in half and then each half into strips (about 1/2-inch wide each).

5) Place strips onto a non-stick cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and chili powder, then bake until crunchy and a light brown colour (approx 5-10 min, as ovens may vary), ensuring to stir or flip at least once to prevent burning or sticking.

6) Ladle soup into bowls, then divide tortilla chips equally among the bowls, and enjoy!!!  You can also garnish with herbs (chives, parsley, etc) or cheese or sour cream or even a few corn kernels.

 

Oh-so-oat-cookies! August 6, 2009

Why OH-SO?  Well, these little gems are OH-SO guilt-free, soy-free, easy to make, can be dairy-free, and if you use non-Quaker brand oats, they’re gluten-free too!  And they’re OH-SO tasty, believe it or not. Plus, they’ve got the added bonus of the bananas, so they’re super healthy and a great way to use up any over-ripened bananas you may have lying around.


Ingredients:
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted (you could also use CANOLA oil to make these dairy-free)
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats (NOT Quaker or other conventional brands, if you want gluten-free)
1/4 cup skim milk (use RICE or ALMOND milk to make these dairy-free)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp vanilla


Directions:

1) Heat oven to 350°F, then puree bananas completely, until they are runny and smooth.

2) Thoroughly mix ALL ingredients together in a bowl, ensuring oats are evenly moistened.

3) Let batter stand for about 5 minutes, then drop heaping teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet.

4) Bake cookies for approximately 15-20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned (every oven is different so keep a watchful eye near the end).

5) Move cookies to a wire rack to cool.


NOTE – if you make these super-sized, they make terrific ice-cream sammys.  Just scoop vanilla icre-cream and squish between 2 cookies, and freeze for an hour before serving.  Smother with chocolate or caramel sauce for a real gooey mess if you want.  Tastes like summer!!!

oat

 

Peanut Butter Choco-Chip Squares

I live and breathe peanut butter!!  I swear, if I ever get a nut allergy I am doomed.  Every day for as long as I can remember, I’ve had nuts in some shape or another.  Nothing makes me instantly cheerful like a big spoonful of my fave PB (okay, maybe a glass of wine, but that’s another story).  These bars are not only delectable, they are packed with good-for-you ingredients that you most likely already have on hand.  If you are looking to cut back on some calories, you can use Splenda, but I prefer the real thing.  To make these dairy-free, sub in ALMOND or RICE milk and use dairy-free ‘chips’ as I’ve done.


Ingredients:

¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour

¾ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy – your call)

1/3 cup regular brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend if you are calorie counting)

1 egg, beaten

½ cup skim milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chips – which are dairy and soy free! Yay!)


Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and lightly brush with oil (coat with cooking spray).

2) In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and gently stir with a fork.

3) In a separate mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg and stir vigorously until creamy, then add milk and vanilla and stir until smooth.

4) Add the flour mixture to wet mixture, stirring until well combined, then mix in the chips.

5) Place dough into prepared baking dish and pat top lightly until smooth, then bake for about 15 min, or until slightly puffy and very lightly browned at the edges.

6) Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 min before cutting.

NOTE – you can add in oatmeal, raisins, coconut flakes, etc if you wish … totally up to you!pb

 

Out-of-this-world Oatmeal PB Bars July 23, 2009

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting tasty treats that are soy-free and healthy.  I’ve experimented with dozens of batches and have adjusted my good ol’ taste buds to accommodate a lot of pasty and good-for-you-but-not-good-tasting snacks.  I was hankering for something oatmealy, healthy and transportable and came up with what according to my hubster, is by far the best thing I’ve ever made.  It’ll be tough to follow up this one with something comparable, but I love a challenge.  These bars are a great way to grab a brekkie on the go or to feast upon with a cuppa java.  They’re also dairy-free so that’s another unexpected perk too!  The batch I made yesterday has been reduced to one bar in less than 24 hours – and there’s only 2 of us to blame.  YUMMERS!

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp wheat bran

1 tbsp ground flax seed

1/2 cup natural-style smooth peanut butter (my absolute favourite right now is PB & Co … LOVE their stuff!)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or sugar in the raw

1/3 cup honey

2 eggs

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, dates or apricots (or any other dried fruit you like)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds (or your favourite nut)

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray (I used a bit of oil smudged about with a brush, as all the spray oils I’ve seen have soy).

2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, wheat germ, and ground flax in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Thoroughly mix peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl until blended, then blend in egg, oil and vanilla and beat until smooth.

4. Add reserved flour mixture to wet mixture and combine, then mix in oats, dried fruit, and nuts.

5. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish and bake fro 20-25 min until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

6. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into bars (about 30 min minimum).

oatmeal-peanut-butter-trail-bars-af