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roasted radishes – so pretty!

roasted radishes - so mild & deliciousIf you follow me on Instagram, you’ve most probably seen a few photos I’ve taken Saturday mornings at our local farmers’ market.  It’s a perfect way to connect with vendors who earn their living off the land and it’s inspiration for me deciding what to make for dinner that night.  I always find something new.  Continue Reading →

homemade apple chips

apple chipsApples are in abundance this time of the year.  I love autumn for all the delicious fruit and vegetables that leave the farmers’ fields and are readily available in food shops and markets.  One fruit I eagerly await their arrival is the humble apple.  It’s hard to imagine there are over 7,000 varieties! With so much choice, however, I am a creature of habit and really only use about 6 or so different types of apples.  Continue Reading →

Butternut Squash Soup

 

Butternut Squash SoupI affectionately call my husband the fridge police and he doesn’t mind.  He’ll come into the kitchen, usually when I’m getting dinner started, and go through the contents of the fridge. “What about this?” he’ll say, or “do you think this is going off?” and “how long has this been here?”  All of which require me to stop what I’m doing and investigate his findings.  Sometimes I’m ok with it and other times…  It’s not that I mind, it’s the timing and sometimes the questions interrupt my train of thought or I lose the spot where I am in a recipe.  Continue Reading →

Chicken, Peach and Quinoa Salad

chicken, peach & quinoa saladAs much as I like cooking a whole chicken, I can’t seem pass by a grocery store rotisserie chicken without stopping to inhale its amazing aromas.  And, how is it they’re cheaper than buying a raw one?  I bought a 4 lb. rotisserie chicken for $7.99 whereas an uncooked 4 lb. one was nearly $11.00.  From what I can gather by nosing around the internet, a supermarket sells fresh ingredients before the best-before-date and anything after that gets chopped up and sold in a salad bar and the meat is cooked and sold hot (helps minimize food waste).   Continue Reading →

Carrot Soup with Feta and Quinoa

carrot soup with feta & quinoaWhen it’s cold outside there’s nothing more comforting and warming than homemade soup.  Soup, by the way, doesn’t need to be arduous nor does it need to take a long time to make to taste good. Carrot soup with feta and quinoa should make you take notice as this isn’t something ordinary but downright scrumptious! The crunchy chewy texture coming from the quinoa not only adds substance but will keep you feeling satiated longer (always a good thing when trying to stick to those new year’s resolutions!).  Carrots have a host of nutritional health benefits:  helps to cleanse the liver, improves vision, reduces the risk of cancer, anti-aging, and healthy skin to name a few.  This soup can be ready in 30 minutes.

Serves 4
adapted by Gourmet Traveller

2 1/2 lb (1.2 kg) carrots, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup quinoa
300g Greek feta, coarsely crumbled
handful of coarsely chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley
extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

carrots by The Culinary Chase1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender. Add carrots, cumin, paprika and lemon rind.  Stir occasionally until carrot softens. Add stock and 2 1/2 cups boiling water, season to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until well-flavored.
2. Cook quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (10-12 minutes), then drain and set aside in a bowl.
3. Remove soup from heat, add lemon juice and half the feta, process with a hand-held blender until smooth. Top with quinoa, scatter with herbs and remaining feta, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Use a food processor with a grater attachment to speed up the grating process.  *You may need to add more water if soup is too thick.  With so many flavors and textures, this recipe is a keeper.  Enjoy!

Oven Roasted Rutabaga Fries

rutabaga fries by The Culinary ChaseConfession time. I always thought the word rutabaga was a fancy term for a turnip. So for clarity, here’s the scoop on both – I know you want to get to the bottom of this.  While surfing the web I found out that a rutabaga (aka swede or yellow turnip) is the cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip. Turnips are also a root vegetable, can have a bitter taste, usually conical in shape and is white-skinned with a light purple top (caused by being exposed to sunlight).  Both carry their own list of health benefits.

Laced with garlic and Parmesan, serve these fries at the next Sunday football gathering…I guarantee they won’t last long!

rutabaga, peeled
splash of extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped or you could use a teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon garlic paste (directions here)

photo: www.rawmelissa.com

photo: www.rawmelissa.com

1. Preheat oven to 425f.
2. Slice rutabaga into 1/4-inch disks and then cut those disks into French fry sized sticks. Place in a bowl.
3. Add rosemary, garlic, Parmesan and olive oil to rutabaga. Toss to coat the rutabaga.
4. Place rutabaga on a non-stick cookie sheet (spaced out) and bake in the oven 20 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them and flip half way through cooking. Remove when golden brown and serve immediately.

rutabaga collage by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: For a bit of spice add cayenne pepper before baking. If you want to serve these with a dip, try using aioli otherwise these fries are lovely dressed they way they are. Enjoy!

Smoothies

Smoothies have been around since the 1930’s which makes me a bit late on the bandwagon!  After two weeks of smoothie concoctions and loving my new blender, I think I have come up with 6 favorites and a new way to eat or shall I say slurp breakfast.  Breakfast has ALWAYS been the way to start my day off right.  I understand how important it is for a healthy body and mind – how else can this be achieved if you’re running on empty?  I fiddled with fresh fruit and frozen fruit and found that I like the frozen fruit better because it was ready to be used…no peeling or chopping required.  The recipes I am about to share can be mixed to your liking.  Or, if you like the ingredients in one and some from another recipe that’s fine, too.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  You can always cover up a mistake by adding more fruit, milk, juice or honey.

Once I got the hang of it, I found I was adding things like sliced ginger (good for heartburn, nausea, digestion), fresh mint (aids digestion, natural stimulant), yogurt with active cultures (calcium benefits, enhances immune system), silken tofu – non GMO (protein, calcium, iron), flaxseed oil (helps reduce risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, helps reduce inflammation, reduce hot flashes).  Smoothies can start out with a few ingredients (milk, frozen strawberries, flaxseed oil) or as many as 8…it’s all up to you. These recipes are a generous portion for one. I used a 12 oz. glass and had some leftover.

green smoothie by The Culinary ChaseGreen Smoothie
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 apple, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup to 1 cup yogurt
5 strawberries
1/2 navel orange, peeled
splash of white grape juice

oatmeal smoothie by The Culinary ChaseOatmeal Smoothie

1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 banana, cut into chunks
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom

peanut butter smoothiePeanut Butter Smoothie
1/2 banana, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or more to taste)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup frozen cubed mango (optional)
1 tablespoon honey

Avocado Smoothie
1/4 cup mango cubes (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup ripe avocado
1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey

mixed berry smoothie by The Culinary ChaseMixed Berry Smoothie
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup white grape juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 banana
1 pkg. non-GMO silken tofu

Papaya Smoothie
1 cup cubed papaya
1 cup frozen sliced peaches
1 pear, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon filtered flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon sliced ginger
8 mint leaves
splash of white grape juice

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  When using frozen fruit remember to add a bit more liquid otherwise it will be too thick to drink. Make sure the yogurt you buy has active cultures for optimum health benefits (Greek yogurt works well).  When loading blender, pack heavier ingredients first.  This will allow for easier blending of the lighter ingredients.  The green smoothie was one of my favorites. Don’t be turned off by its color as the other ingredients mask any spinach flavor.  Enjoy!