healthy – The Culinary Chase http://theculinarychase.com support local Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:47:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 roasted radishes – so pretty! http://theculinarychase.com/2017/05/roasted-radishes-so-pretty/ Mon, 15 May 2017 19:07:49 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=13627 If 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.  […]

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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.  Hodgepodge Farm, I love that name, is one of the farmers we buy from.  Like the name indicates, their products range from a mixed produce garden, Shetland wool and lamb, maple syrup, and more from the Van Wagner family.  Their colourful radishes caught my eye.  I asked what variety they were and was told Easter egg.  So pretty I couldn’t resist buying!

I am the first to admit I was never a fan of radishes.  I found them too bitter/peppery and with a heated wasabi taste.  However, when radishes are this fresh and tiny, they somehow don’t taste as bitter or sharp.  Roasting softens their taste and texture.

radishes (ends trimmed, rinsed, and pat dry)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
white balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425f (220c).  In a bowl toss radishes with a splash of olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast on a tray 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly softened.  Remove from oven and add a splash of white balsamic vinegar.  Serve as finger food straight from the baking tray.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  Enjoy!

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homemade apple chips http://theculinarychase.com/2015/10/homemade-apple-chips/ Thu, 22 Oct 2015 14:33:44 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=11556 Apples 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 […]

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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.  When I’m making an apple pie, I like to mix the apples usually with granny smith, cortland, and honeycrisp.  The skin of an apple contains fiber, antioxidants, helps to detox your liver, boost your immune system and more.  The best way to enjoy an apple is on its own.  Biting into a juicy, crisp apple sends me back to my childhood when I would pick them fresh from the trees.  At our local farmers’ markets dried apple chips are always available.  I always buy a small bag and is gobbled up in minutes.  It got me thinking that I should make some of my own.  They’re so easy to make and a perfect healthy snack for the whole family to enjoy.

Ingredients:

apples, washed and cored

applesPreheat oven to 225f.

Use a mandoline to slice the apples. You can use a knife but the mandoline is guaranteed an even slice every time which means even cooking. Place slices on parchment lined baking tray or silpat lined. apple slicesPlace in oven and bake for one hour. Turn slices over and bake for another 60 minutes. Turn oven off and let the apple slices cool down in the oven. When oven is cool, remove apple slices. They will be crispy for a bit. Place in a container.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: The apple chips will soften slightly depending on humidity.  The natural sugars are drawn out during the cooking process and each bite seems as though sugar was sprinkled over the chips.  A delicious snack and one I am sure your children will like.  Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Soup http://theculinarychase.com/2014/11/butternut-squash-soup/ Thu, 06 Nov 2014 20:47:54 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=8779   I 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 […]

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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.  Before our daughter headed out west, she bought a ton of food for her meal prep (she didn’t eat her meals with us as her work schedule didn’t allow).  We’ve slowly gotten through the excess with the exception of apples and oranges; the apples are starting to show wrinkles.  I could make applesauce, apple crisp or an apple pie but I wasn’t feeling inspired until I decided to make soup.  I was at our local market on the weekend and picked up ginger and butternut squash from Elmridge Farm.  The only place I found ginger as fresh as this was when we lived in Asia. I was delighted to see this and knew it had to go into the butternut squash soup.

Ginger and I haven’t always been the best of friends even though I know it’s good for me.  However, when it’s young my palate allows me to savor it without the biting, peppery, pungent taste.  Cooking it also allows the flavors to mellow.   Ginger is a herb that is used as a spice and for its medicinal qualities. It helps to bring back your appetite, settles an upset stomach, aids in digestion, helps arthritis, morning sickness and motion sickness.  For more health information on ginger, click here.

Serves 4 to 6
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into similar-sized chunks
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white parts only)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
olive oil
chopped parsley for topping

butternut squash soup ingredientsIn a large pot over medium heat add a splash of olive oil and the leeks. Allow leeks to cook until very soft (about 15 minutes) but keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to brown. Reduce the heat if the leeks do start to brown and more olive oil if it becomes too dry. Add garlic and ginger and allow these to release their aromas before adding the butternut squash and apples. Stir the squash and apples and add chicken stock and 1 cup of water. You may need to add another cup of water depending on how thin you like your soup. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until squash is soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and purée the soup until smooth. Spoon into bowls, drizzle your favorite oil on top and garnish with chopped parsley.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: A hearty soup that’s perfect for this time of year when the temperatures begin to dip and the days become shorter.  Young ginger, like the one in the above photo, has a very mild taste compared to the ones you see in the grocery store with a thick skin.  If you can’t find young ginger, you might want to scale back the amount indicated if you’re not a big fan of it.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup

51

15 minutes

30 minutes

4 to 6

Allowing the leeks to become completely soft without browning will enhance the flavor of the soup and you'll find a hint of it with each mouthful you take.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into similar-sized chunks
  • 4 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white parts only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • olive oil
  • chopped parsley for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat add a splash of olive oil and the leeks. Allow leeks to cook until very soft (about 15 minutes) but keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to brown. Reduce the heat if the leeks do start to brown and more olive oil if it becomes too dry.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and allow these to release their aromas before adding the butternut squash and apples.
  3. Stir the squash to combine and add chicken stock and 1 cup of water. You may need to add another cup of water depending on how thin you like your soup.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until squash is soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and purée the soup until smooth.
  5. Spoon into bowls, drizzle your favorite oil on top and garnish with chopped parsley.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: This hearty soup is perfect for this time of year when the temperatures begin to dip and the days become shorter. Young ginger, like the one in the above photo, has a very mild taste compared to the ones you see in the grocery store with a thick skin. If you can’t find young ginger, you might want to scale back the amount indicated if you’re not a big fan of it. Enjoy!

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Chicken, Peach and Quinoa Salad http://theculinarychase.com/2014/08/chicken-peach-quinoa-salad/ Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:40:38 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=8142 As 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.  […]

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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).   But for a rotisserie chicken, food shops sell at a loss to attract customers.  They’re hoping the customer comes in hungry and buys more (loss leader strategy).  The strategy works as I bought more food to go with the chicken.

Not only was the chicken economical, its flavor was yummy and it was used in this salad recipe, plus enough meat left for another meal.  But before I go on to the recipe, I wanted to point out something that bothers me a bit with the sell-by-date system that North America adopted.  I know it is used as a guide for consumers who want to know the time limit to purchase or to determine when it is at its best quality.  However, it’s not a safety date.  A recent report from Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic suggests that because date labels are wildly inaccurate a lot of the time, they’re pretty much directly responsible for 60 billion pounds of wasted food every year.  The dates scare consumers into tossing away food that’s still perfectly fine to eat.  I  believe in the need to educate ourselves on the longevity of fresh and packaged food.  We’ve already taken the step to educate ourselves – or so I hope – to read food labels so why not on sell-by-dates.  As you might have guessed, there is a site to assist you. Visit StillTasty to find out how long your food will stay safe and tasty.  Now, let’s get on with this really delicious quinoa salad!

Serves 4 as a side

2 cups cooked white quinoa
1 to 2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
handful of parsley, chopped
handful of dill, chopped
1 or 2 small peaches, chopped into chunks
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
handful fresh mint, chopped
splash of walnut oil or olive oil
splash of sushi rice vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large bowl toss to combine all ingredients except oil and vinegar. Add a splash of oil and vinegar and season to taste.  Serve this salad at room temperature or cold.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Experiment with the portions to suit your own palate.  Omit the chicken for a vegetarian option.  Enjoy and have a safe Labour Day weekend!

Chicken, Peach and Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This dish makes use of store bought rotisserie chicken. Even if you had to cook the quinoa, you'd have a meal ready in under 30 minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 4 as a side
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 1 to 2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • handful of dill, chopped
  • 1 or 2 small peaches, chopped into chunks
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • handful fresh mint, chopped
  • splash of walnut oil or olive oil
  • splash of sushi rice vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl toss to combine all ingredients except oil and vinegar. Add a splash of oil and vinegar and season to taste. Serve this salad at room temperature or cold.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Experiment with the portions to suit your own palate. Omit the chicken for a vegetarian option. Enjoy!

 

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Carrot Soup with Feta and Quinoa http://theculinarychase.com/2014/01/carrot-soup-feta-quinoa/ Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:00:49 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=5172 When 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! […]

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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!

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Oven Roasted Rutabaga Fries http://theculinarychase.com/2013/11/oven-baked-turnip-fries/ Mon, 04 Nov 2013 20:42:27 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=4714 Confession 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 […]

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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!

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Smoothies http://theculinarychase.com/2013/09/smoothies/ http://theculinarychase.com/2013/09/smoothies/#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2013 19:03:23 +0000 http://theculinarychase.com/?p=4354 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 […]

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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!

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