THE HEALTHY HAG

I COOK … I EAT … I SHARE.

APPLE PEAR CRUMBLE February 22, 2012

Good grief has it really been THAT long???  Well, I guess it has, and I’m confident with my excuse: new motherhood.  I welcomed the best thing EVER into my life last year and it’s been one hellova rollercoasster ride since.  Poopy diapers and tantrums aside, I still love love love to cook and bake.  So that’s that.

Here’s a great recipe for one of my autumnal faves … Apple Crumble.  This version is modified to be GLUTEN FREE that has a slightly almond twist and incorporates pears as well.  It’s a quick and elegant way to use up any apples or pears you just know will go if you don’t use them soon, and is super easy to prep.  Now that time is of the essence (crazy toddler running around), making food that is healthy AND ready F-A-S-T is more important than ever.

INGREDIENTS:

TOPPING

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond flour (or oats)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (this is optional)
3 tbsp butter (at room temp)

FILLING

3 tbsp almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (this is optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 pounds apples (about 4 medium sized)
1 1/2 pounds pears (about 4 medium sized)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins or raisins
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1) Grease an 8″ or a 9″ square baking dish

2) Peel, core, and slice apples and pears.

FOR TOPPING:

* In a medium bowl, combine sliced almonds, flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger

* Add butter to mixture, and combine ingredients and butter until mixture resembles loose crumbs (best to use your fingers!)

FOR FILLING:

* In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, then add apples and pears, cranberries, lemon juice and almond extract.

* Mix fruit with the dry ingredients to coat, being careful not to break up the fruit (again – best to gently use your fingers!)

3) Transfer FILLING (fruit mixture) to the baking dish, and sprinkle TOPPING mixture evenly over top.

4) Bake at 375° F for approx 30-35 min or until topping is starting to turn golden brown, and fruit juices bubble.

5) Cool slightly before serving

NOTES:

– you can serve with whipped cream or ice cream

– can be served warm or cold

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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!

.

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
.

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!

 

Kashmiri Kidney Beans and Turnips April 24, 2009

I LOVE Indian food – winter, spring, summer and fall. This fragrant and heart-warming dish is a winter staple in the Indian state of Kashmir (or so I hear – although it seems for Fall-like to me) – but can obviously be enjoyed any time of year. It is a straightforward recipe, and results in an immensely satisfying meal. It’s high in fibre and nutrients, and is low in fat and calories, so what more can a gal ask for? Serve over basmati rice – or with a warm piece of fresh Naan bread.

INGREDIENTS

1 turnips, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained (but save liquid for later)

1 tbsp and 1-1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds

1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger root

1/4 tsp minced garlic

1 cup chopped tomatoes (or use canned if you want)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp water

1/4 tsp garam masala

DIRECTIONS

1) Place turnip into a saucepan with water and salt, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the turnip is soft (about 5 min).

2) Once tender, stir in kidney beans, and cook 5 min more.

3) Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat – stir in cumin and fennel, and cook until the spices toast and become fragrant, about 1 min.

4) Stir in onion, and cook until it turns golden brown, about 5 min.

5) Stir in minced ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking until the mixture turns pasty.

6) Finally, stir in paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, and a bit of water (about a tbsp) – cook 2 min more.

7) Add tomato mixture to turnip, and add back in liquid from kidney bean can, and simmer 10 min.

8] Season with garam masala before serving over a bed of basmati rice!

curried_kidney_beans

 

Lentil-Quinoa Salad February 10, 2009

I eat alotta beans … alotta quinoa … alotta salad … so a tri-combo is what my tummy is used to, but it’s quite a savory treat for my tastebuds!  Plus, I’m on a bit of a lentil kick these days.  Did I mention this is so very kind on your wallet too?  Oh, and don’t bother sitting down to wait for the cooking to be complete … it’ll be done before you even set the table!

Ingredients:
1 cup lentils, uncooked (or 1 cup canned – skip step 1 if using canned)
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
Fresh coriander (optional)

Lime-curry vinaigrette
1/8 cup canola oil
6 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground coriander

Directions:

1) Cook the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes – drain and allow to cool.
2) Cook the quinoa until translucent and tender (2 parts boiling water
or stock, 1 part quinoa, simmered until all water has evaporated) –
allow to cool.
3) Chop scallions; and add along with lentils and quinoa to a large
serving bowl.
4) Place all ingredients for vinaigrette in a separate bowl and stir
thoroughly (you can adjust spices to suit your taste).
5) Add vinaigrette to mixture and combine thoroughly.
6) Garnish with fresh coriander if desired, and serve at room temperature.

quinoasalad1

 

Lentils, Sweet Potatoes, and Swiss-Chard Curry

Don’t be afraid of curry, that’s my motto.  There are so many varieties, ranging from the sweet to super hot, so find one that is right for you.  I like ’em all.  This one is another work-week quick fix … and once you have it nailed down, it’ll surely become a go-to.  You can sub in a bunch of different ingredients for each major veg (try regular potatoes or spinach).  Did I mention the health benefits here?  You can guess I’m sure – just look at that ingredient list!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, grated (for fresh, make sure you peel & grate first)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded if desired), minced
4-5 cups vegetable broth
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (I use green)
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (or you
can sub fresh spinach)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime

Directions:

1) In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
2) Add onion to pan and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
3) Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno, and
cook (while stirring) for 1 minute.
4) Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf, then
increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
5) Once boiled, reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for
20-25 minutes.
Note – if lentils seem hard still, add up to 1/2-1 cup stock, as needed
6) Stir in chard with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until
lentils are nice and tender and chard is cooked (approx 30-40
minutes).
7) Before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice – then spoon
into bowls and savor!!!lentils-for-sprouting

 

Out-of-Africa Stew September 23, 2008

Ah fall. Not only do we get to enjoy all the sights of this great time of year, but it’s also an amazing time for the foodies of the world. This tasty and perfect fall stew is modeled on traditional North African style stews – a perfect solution for any damp or chilly day.  This aromatic veggie main course can be served on it’s own or over brown rice.  Curl up and enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup dried chickpeas (or 1 can of ready to eat)
2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash (see note below) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large carrots or zucchini, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth or your favourite stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron, shredded
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1) Soak dried chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, overnight (skip step if using canned).

2) Combine pre-soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots OR zucchini, quinoa, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a large pot (or slow cooker if you prefer).

3) Cook covered on low until chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down (anywhere from 1-2 hours). IF using canned chickpeas, only cook for about 30-40 minutes.

4) Once cooked, stir in lime juice, and serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

NOTE:
Kabocha is a hard, and knobbly-looking skinned squash that is shaped like a squatty pumpkin.  It has a dull coloured deep green skin with green and white colored stripes, with an intense yellow-orange color on the inside.  It is very similar to butternut squash but without the characteristic cup on the blossom end.

 

LENTIL DHAL August 13, 2008

Some of my all-time favourite dishes are Indian or Pakistani. So many veggie options and so rich and creamy. I would eat naan all day every day if I could! It outranks chocolate for me – now that’s quite a statement! Many of these dishes are easy to make, once you get the spices and technique down. Dhal is usually made with lentils, and can be served alone, over rice or in a naan or pita. It’s super healthy too, and can be full of heat or not … that’s up to you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tbsp coconut oil (you can substitute canola here, but it will detract a bit from the overall flavour)

1 med brown onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped

1 red chili, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 tsp Garam Masala

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes (plain is best)

2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1) Heat coconut oil in a heavy pan, add onion, garlic, ginger and chili and sauté until the onion is golden

2) Add Garam Masala, turmeric and lentils and sauté for another minute.

3) Add tomatoes and water and bring to boil – then simmer, cover and cook for 15 min.

4) Salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until dhal has a thick consistency.

5) Serve hot! Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley.

NOTES:

– keeps well in fridge for a few days

– serve over hot naan bread or over basmati rice

– for a spicier version, keep a few of the chili pepper seeds and add while simmering