Toad's Kitchen

(mostly) healthy recipes for the family

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Spicy Millet Cakes with Garlicky Red Pepper Sauce

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on the Forks Over Knives site. It is very easy to make, and definitely hits the spice buttons. Leftovers refrigerate well and make great lunches for work, which will incite jealousy in your colleagues.

The sauce in the original recipe called for tofu. I don’t mind it occasionally but am not a huge fan. If you are, just blend one package of silken tofu in as described below. It also called for half the number of red peppers, but blackened and peeled. Roasted peeled red peppers which are lovely…but a pain to do, especially if you are pressed for time. My modification saves time (and there is extra fibre from the pepper peel!), and it got very good reviews. However, if you have time to roast the peppers, I am sure it would be delicious πŸ™‚

For the millet cakes:

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup millet

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. mellow white miso, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but good)

salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 large red bell peppers, diced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus a bit more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

zest and juice of 2 small or one medium lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook millet in vegetable stock – bring to boil and reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat or until millet is tender.

While millet is cooking, heat oil inΒ large frying pan and saute onion for a few minutes, until transparent and fragrant. Add curry powder, garlic and cayenne and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Add miso, tomato paste, and if you are using the nutritional yeast, add it. Add the cooked millet to this mixture and mix well.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop or a measuring cup (1/3 cup size), shape millet into cakes and place on paper. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

While the millet cakes are cooking, make the sauce (you could make this ahead).Β For the sauce, heat olive oil in pan and fry red peppers over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and the skin starts to darken. Don’t crank up the heat, you don’t want “scorched”, only darkened – this will approximate the “roast pepper” flavour. Once most of the pepper pieces’ skins have started to darken and they are nice and soft, put peppers into food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients, and whiz until pureed.

To serve, make a “puddle” of the red pepper sauce on the plate and position the millet cake on top. Sprinkle with additional chopped coriander if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Fluffy Quinoa Pancakes

This is something that I had not tried to do until now, and when I researched pancake recipes using quinoa I found a lot of them called for quinoa flour. Chantal told me that the addition of quinoa made light pancakes, and seeing as I had a bowl full of plain cooked quinoa in my fridge, so was happy to find a recipe which I was able to adapt to suit our preferences. The results were delicious! Light, fluffy and very satisfying. We ate them with a light drizzle of maple syrup and some chopped banana. Very yummy.I doubled this recipe and it made 14 4-inch pancakes.

For 7-8 pancakes:

1 cup cooked quinoa (plain, cooked in water)

3/4 cup flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Flour, but plain flour would be fine)

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey (you could use sugar)

Mix quinoa with dry ingredients. Whisk wet ingredients together and stir into quinoa mixture until combined.

Heat a small amount of oil (I used coconut oil) in a skillet over medium heat. Drop 1/4 cup batter per pancake into hot skillet and cook until bubbles appear on the top, a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on the heat as these burn fairly easily. Flip and cook a couple of minutes on the other side, and enjoy with maple syrup, fresh fruit, applesauce, or whatever your favourite topping is πŸ™‚

Fish (of your choice, you choose the seasonings) with Lemony Quinoa

The fish I used in this dinner was a fillet of steelhead – a delicious and cheaper alternative to “regular” salmon, which we love also. The steelhead is mild enough to go with many different types of seasonings, and makes a regular appearance on our dinner table.

The quinoa I made used plain cooked quinoa I had in the fridge – I have taken to making a large batch of quinoa, cooked with water, and using it up over several nights, in different recipes. It is convenient, and seeing as quinoa is so versatile, it inspires me to be inventive because half the work is done πŸ™‚

The lemon in the quinoa complements pretty much any baked fish. I was pleased with this dinner because it was pretty as well as tasty – the black, red and green in the golden quinoa looked good with the pink fish. We had it with carrots! Very colourful πŸ™‚

For the Fish:

For four servings, you will need one fish fillet (by this I mean one side of the fish) or piece of fish weighing about a pound or so – of steelhead, salmon, halibut, your choice. You could always use fish steaks and adjust cooking time accordingly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line your baking pan with tinfoil to save on cleanup time and mess later. Drizzle a thin line of olive oil down the centre of the tinfoil centre and lay your rinsed and dried fillet of fish, skin side down, on this. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of it, and brush it all over the surface of the fish.

Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over the fish – it can be as simple or as exotic as you like. You could also just top it with chopped green onions and minced garlic which have been tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper for something simple and flavourful. Alternately, a Malaysian-style seasoning called Nonya (from Victorian Epicure), which has a fair amount of cayenne pepper in it, is tasty. Mediterranean type seasonings would also be good. Be creative!

Once oven is heated, place fish in oven and cook for about 15 minutes (slightly more than 10 minutes per inch) or until fish tests barely opaque at thickest part.

While fish is in oven, prepare the quinoa:

3 tbsp. pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups plain cooked quinoa

3 tbsp. black olives, chopped

juice and grated zest of one juicy lemon

2 tbsp. chopped chives or green onions

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1/3 cup dried cranberries

salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Once they smell yummy, add olive oil to the pan, wait until it heats up and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until translucent.

Add quinoa and stir gently until oil mixture coats quinoa thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, heat through over medium heat and serve with fish and a side veg or salad.

African-ish Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

Recipes for this soup have always intrigued me because they are such eclectic combinations of ingredients, all of which I love. Today, finding I had ingredients I could work with, I came up with this version πŸ™‚

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbsp. medium curry powder (use less if your curry powder is “hot”, or to taste)

2 large orange yams, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

4 cups vegetable broth, or low-salt chicken

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut

1 teaspoon (or to taste) Asian “hot” chili-garlic condiment (or use cayenne pepper to taste)

3/4 cup *natural* peanut butter (do not use the homogenized, icky kind with icing sugar in it, use the “just peanuts” kind)

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

In large pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic. Sprinkle curry powder over top and mix in, and fry for a couple of minutes. Add yams and fry for a couple more minutes. Add coconut, canned tomatoes (with their juice) and broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes has elapsed and the yams are soft, stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavours and melt peanut butter completely into soup, and serve. Yum πŸ™‚

Mixed Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

This salad is one that I put together today with our new beloved, quinoa. It is a different combination of tastes, and will be served with falafel (which I did not make), with minty-chivy yogourt on the side. You could try different veggies in this – feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes! πŸ™‚

By the way, the seasoning I used was Victorian Epicure Moroccan seasoning – if you do not have that, a combination of equal parts of ground cumin and cinnamon would be good.

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 broccoli crown, chopped into small pieces

6 green onions, sliced (use both white and green part)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped into dice

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

1 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”) – sunflower seeds would also be tasty

1/2 cup Tamari almonds (or plain raw almonds)

1/2 cup dried blueberries (dried cranberries would be great, too)

about 10 mint leaves, cut into fine shreds

1-1/2 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning (or 1/2-1/2 ground cumin and cinnamon)

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper

Bring quinoa and water to boil in saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, leave lid on and let sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.

In large bowl, combine vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. Add cooled quinoa and mix gently. Toss with the mint leaves, Moroccan seasoning, oil, lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Put in fridge to let flavours mellow, and enjoy πŸ™‚

 

 

Fast Broccoli and Black Bean Salad

The other day we were out for lunch, and John had a broccoli and black bean salad. It looked pretty and interesting, and thought I would try making one with those ingredients at home. Mine ended up being quite different from the restaurant version, but the results were tasty πŸ™‚ It was fast and easy to make.

 

2 broccoli crowns, chopped into small pieces

1-14 os can black beans, rinsed several times (until rinse water is clear)

1/2 sweet onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup unsalted toasted cashews

1/2 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup raisins

6-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Dill ranch dressing (no, I did not make this, but had some bought stuff in the fridge – any ranch or creamy commercial dressing would probably be just as good)

1 tsp. dried dill (I put this in because of the dill dressing)

salt, pepper

Mix prepared in a bowl with as much dressing as you need to coat nicely (but not so much that it is sloppy). Season to taste with salt and pepper. That’s it πŸ™‚

 

 

New Look, New Recipe… Mixed Vegetable Tortilla

The overall look of the blog has been changed to make it easier to read and access recipes – hope you like the changes πŸ™‚

 

To celebrate this new change of look, I have decided to post a recipe that is one that I “changed” myself and the results of which were very happily received. True to form, I read the original recipe but did not have half the ingredients it called for, so I started mixing and matching! I love the colourful look and interesting combination of tastes of this tortilla/frittata/crustless quiche.

10-12 pieces of asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch beet tops, stems removed and shredded (about 1 packed cup, total)

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato (or yam? Β I can never remember…the orange one, anyway), cooked and peeled, then chopped into 1″ cubes

1-14 0z can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into chunks

8 eggs

1 tsp. ground cumin

pinch salt and pepper

Snap lower stem off asparagus pieces and discard. Chop asparagus into 2″ pieces. Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, only until they just turn colour – remove from heat, drain and rinse in cold water to arrest cooking. Drain and set aside.

Mix eggs in bowl with salt, pepper and ground cumin.

Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan, and saute garlic and onion in it until they just begin to soften. Add beet tops and cook for a few minutes until they wilt. Add sweet potato/yam, artichoke hearts and asparagus pieces. Stir gently to mix.

Preheat broiler in oven.

Pour eggs over vegetable mixture, and stir gently to combine all in pan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 8-10 minutes or until almost set – top will still look runny. Do not stir.

Once eggs are set-looking, slide pan under broiler to cook and brown top – this will just take a couple of minutes, so watch carefully.

When brown, remove from heat and let cool. This tastes best when eaten at room temperature.

 

 

 

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