Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Deep Fried Crispy Fish with Quinoa and Kale Salad


This recipe has the potential to be anything you want it to be, and can be tailor made to suit your taste. There are few measured quantities, and offers a lot of flexibility depending on your taste for any particular day. I start with 1/3 cup of quinoa (red or white), and then cook that using 2 parts of water to one part of quinoa. Once cooked, I use that as the base of the salad. For the fish, I use any firm fish, cut in chunks and seasoned with the seasoning of your choice. I use Jamaican fish seasoning but any combination that you like may be used. The fish has to be thoroughly dried prior to seasoning. Let the chunks marinate in the fridge for a while. Prior to deep frying, dredge the pieces with either cornstarch or flour. Deep fry until crisp on the outside but cooked inside. Drain on a paper towel.

Nuts added to the salad can be any that you like (peanuts, cashews, Macadamia, pecans etc). I used plain, raw walnuts but candied ones can also be used. Salad dressing again can be what you like. I like a Raspberry or Strawberry vinaigrette but any can be used.
Directions
1. Place the cooked quinoa at the bottom of a bowl.
2. Add some chopped pickle to this (I use a red cabbage, red onion and cranberry pickle (recipe can be found on this site) but any type of pickle can be used (dill cucumbers, Italian Giardinera, Vietnamese Dua Chua, Pepperoncini etc)
3. Tear a few leaves of kale, and stir fry in olive oil until wilted. Add this as the next layer to the salad.
4. Deep fry the seasoned chunks of fish, drain and arrange as a layer on the top of the salad.
5. Sprinkle nuts on top and add dressing to taste. 
6. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Pumpkin Sour Cherry Tea Bread

This is a not too sweet tea bread with added oat bran and flax meal. Makes a nice addition to afternoon tea or morning coffee....without a lot of the guilt!

1/3 cup shortening
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
½ pound pumpkin, grated
1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt (not a thick, Greek style yogurt)
2 tablespoons flax meal
½ cup oat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped sour cherries (Montmorency)
Directions
1.      Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.      Mix together, flour, oat bran, flax meal, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, allspice, nuts and sour cherries. Make sure the latter is scattered throughout the mixture (sour cherries tend to clump together).
3.      Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper
4.      Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy
5.      Add yogurt, shredded pumpkin, and eggs and beat at low speed
6.      Add the flour mixture in 2 increments, and mix until just combined.
7.      Pour batter into pan. Bake for about 65-70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8.      Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then invert on to a wire rack to cool. Slice when cool.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Biscoaties

These are twice baked cookies like Biscotti but with the taste and texture of the European type cookie that one gets on many airlines, called Biscoff. They go well with coffee or tea. I wanted to make them as healthy as possible but sometimes that's just not possible! Note to self: Do not make these often!

2/3 cup all- purpose flour
1/3 cup oat bran
½ cup Durum wheat flour
½ cup Arrowroot flour
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/ 2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar
½ cup non-fat, Greek style yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flours, oat bran, spices, salt and baking soda.
  4. In mixer bowl cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together on low
  5. Add vanilla extract and vinegar
  6. Slowly add flours, oat bran, spices, salt & baking soda & beat until well combined, then add the yogurt and mix until dough comes together.
  7. Pinch off golf ball size pieces of the dough. Roll into a ball and then press down using the middle three fingers of your hand until the dough comes up between them. Spread about 1 inch apart as the cookies do flatten and spread.
  8. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper, placing approximately 1" apart
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes
  10. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Put back in oven for another hour and fifteen minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cookies are a golden brown color. Remove and cool cookies on wire rack. Store in airtight container.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Maple Cranberry Pecan Bread

This bread is a variation on my theme of tea breads. It has great texture and taste, with the Maple Syrup giving it that very special background flavor. Make sure you use the genuine 100% pure maple syrup. Anything else just wont be as good!

1 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup oatmeal
¼ cup flax meal
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon oil
1 1/4 cup half and half
1 egg
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup chopped cranberries and sour cherries, mixed
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
Directions
1.      Line the bottom of a standard sized loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour sides.
2.      Place a couple of thin slices of the apple at the bottom of the loaf pan. Dot with about 1 tablespoon of butter and sprinkle some cinnamon over it. Set aside. Finely chop the remainder of the apple and mix with the dried fruit.
3.      Mix all the flours, oatmeal, flax meal, salt, baking powder, soda, and nuts, together in a large bowl.
4.      Gently heat the half and half together with the sugar, chopped fruit and apple, maple syrup, and molasses. Mix until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool.
5.      Whisk the yogurt, and egg together. Mix with the half and half mixture then add the lemon juice. Stir quickly then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix until just incorporated.
6.      Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about  55-65 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely.