Monthly Archives: October 2011

Zucchini Stuffed with Corn and Basil

I loved this recipe! It is taken from Cook’s Illustrated “The Best Light Recipe”. A great tip taken from this cookbook suggests to buy firm zucchini with tiny prickly hairs around the stem end as the hairs indicate freshness.  If possible, try to pick zucchini that are all the same size, with smooth bright green skin.

This recipe does take a bit of time, but it’s worth it. Leftovers are great heated up the next day too.

4 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces each), stem end removed
Salt and ground black pepper
Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the sides and inner flesh of the zucchini until the thickness of the zucchini measures 1/4 inch.
2. Season the cut sides of the zucchini with salt and pepper and spray with vegetable oil spray. Lay the zucchini halves, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Roast the zucchini until slightly softened and the skins are wrinkled, about 10 minutes. Remove the zucchini from the oven and flip cut-side up on the baking sheet; set aside. When cool enough to handle, dice 2 of the roasted zucchini halves into 1/4-inch pieces.
3. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer the bread crumbs to a small bowl and let cool slightly; when cool, stir in 6 tablespoons of the Parmesan.
4. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon more oil to the skillet. Cover, return to medium heat, and cook until the onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 teaspoons garlic and the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, until the tomato juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
5. Stir the corn, diced zucchini, 2 tablespoons of the toasted bread crumbs, remaining 2 teaspoons oil, basil, and remaining 10 tablespoons Parmesan into the cooked tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture evenly between the 6 squash halves on the baking sheet, and pack the filling lightly. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining toasted bread crumbs. Bake until the zucchini halves are heated through and the topping is crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

PER SERVING: Cal 150; Fat 6g; Sat fat 2g; Chol 5mg; Carb 18g; Protein 8g; Fiber 3g; Sodium 480mg

Dill and Parmesan Tomatoes

I make this as a side dish to almost anything. This recipe is taken from The Best of Bridge series – The Rest of the Best and more. I use 3 large tomatoes or 4 medium sized tomatoes.

3 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut each tomato into 4 slices and place on a cookie sheet. Melt butter, add bread crumbs, dill, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir together and spoon crumb mixture into tomato slices. Place in cold oven under broiler (not too close) and turn on broiler. Broil until crust turns golden – about 5 minutes. Serves 6

Tortilla, Sautéed Cornand Plum Tomato Soup

This soup is spicy but very good! It is taken from The Complete Light Kitchen by Rose Reisman. I brushed the tortillas with olive oil, then cut them into thin slices. I baked them in a 400F oven for 7 to 9 minutes. I also used a red pepper instead of the green.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
3/4 cup canned corn kernels, drained
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp basmati rice
1 tsp hot chili paste
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup thinly sliced flavored flour tortillas
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

1. Spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Cook the onion, green pepper and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden. Stir in the corn and cook for 5 minutes, or until the corn begins to brown.
2. Stir in the stock, black beans, rice and chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, cornstarch (dissolved in 1 tbsp of water) and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
4. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish each serving with tortilla strips, fresh herbs and sour cream.

Stuffing with Roasted Garlic and Apples

This stuffing is the only one I make with my turkey dinner. It is taken from Homemakers magazine. I had to call my mother to find out what year and she thinks about 1996/97. I used to stuff the turkey but for the past couple of years I just cook it after the bird comes out.

1/4 cup butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 heads roasted garlic, chopped
8 cups dry bread crumbs cut in small cubes
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 fresh sage, chopped or 4 tsp dried
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped or 2 tsp dried
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock or apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add onion and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, squeezed from roasted cloves. In large bowl combine crumbs, apples, parsley, sage, thyme and onion mixture. Add enough liquid to moisten the crumbs. Salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: This recipe makes enough for a 10-12 lb bird. It can also be halved for a 4-6 pound bird. The stuffing can be baked separately in a covered casserole at 350F for 30 minutes.
ROASTED GARLIC: Slice 1/2 inch off top of each garlic to expose clove. Remove outer leayers of papery skin. Lay in foil and drizzle with oil. Cover up tightly. Bake for 350F for 30 to 45 minutes.

Asian Style Chicken and Rice Pot with Spicy Citrus sauce

This recipe was taken from Food and Drink magazine, Autumn 2004.  The picture i took was my son’s bowl and I didn’t add the cilantro.  I do highly suggest you do though.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut in half
1 1/2 cups Thai jasmine rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp Asian hot chili sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 tbsp chopped coriander

1. Slice chicken thighs in half, or quarters if large. Place in bowl, combine shallots, ginger and garlic. Toss chicken with half of shallot mixture and all of soy sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper and add to oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan, add mushrooms and sauté 1 minute or until softened. Season mushrooms and set aside.
3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add remaining shallot mixture and sauté 30 seconds. Stir in rice, chicken broth (or water) and chili sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and place chicken pieces and mushrooms over rice. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Scatter in peas and green onions and cook, covered, until both rice and chicken are cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir vegetables and chicken into rice, garnish with coriander. Serve with Spicy Citrus Sauce. (recipe follows)

Spicy Citrus Sauce
This sauce enhances the flavour of the chicken and rice. It should be served in a sauce boat allowing each diner to drizzle some over their plate. The grocery store did not have mint that is why you don’t see it in the picture. 

1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp Asian chili sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1. Combine ginger, chili sauce, fish sauce, water, lemon and lime juice, brown sugar and fresh mint in a bowl. Let sit for one hour before serving.
Makes about 1/2 cup.

The Best Chicken Soup

This recipe is taken from “MealLeaniYumm!” by Norene Gilletz. The only chicken soup I make.

3 lb chicken, cut up
8 cups water (approx.)
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
7 to 8 carrots
4 stalks celery
2 onions cut in quarters
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh dill sprigs (do not chop)

1. Trim excess fat from chicken. Place chicken in a narrow, deep soup pot. Add water. (it should cover the chicken completely). Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove scum completely. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cover partially and simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add garlic and dill. Simmer soup 10 to 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings to taste.
2. Cool completely. Strain soup. Discard all veggies except the carrots. Refrigerate soup overnight. Discard hardened fat from surface of soup.
3. After the stock is made, I add in 1 cup of egg noodles.  I cut up the carrots that I saved from the stock as well as the chicken meat.  I add more salt and pepper to taste and add fresh dill. 

Dinner Rolls

My whole family love these buns!!  They are super easy to make too!  This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.

3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, margarine, or shortening
1 beaten egg

1. Stir together 1 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir the milk, sugar, butter, and 3/4 teaspoon salt just until warm (120F to 130F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture along with egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much remaining flour as you can.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).
3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease muffin cups.
4. Divide each portion of dough into 36 pieces. (I cut a log of dough into 12 pieces, then separate 3 balls from each piece). Shape each piece into a ball, pulling edges under to make a smooth top. Place 3 bals in each prepared muffin cup, smooth sides up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).
5. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until rolls sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pan. Cool on wire racks.

MAKES 12 buns

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

YUM! This recipe was taken from Food and Drink magazine Autumn 2011.  

1 can (540ml) chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup each lemon juice and water
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pure pumpkin
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Flour tortillas, large or small
Olive oil
Garam masala, cumin seed and kosher salt

1. If making crackers, preheat oven to 400F.
2. Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water and tahini in a food processsor. Whirl until smooth. Add pumpkin and seasonings. Whirl. With motor running, drizzle in oil until blended. Taste and add more lemon juice or cayenne if needed.
3. Lightly brush surface of as many tortillas as you like with oil, sprinkle with garam masala, cumin and kosher salt. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool, then break into large crackers.
Makes 2 1/2 cups hummus.

Salmon with Lemon, Dill and Arugula in Panini

I treated myself to this wonderful sandwich today at lunch. This recipe was taken from Food and Drink magazine (compliments of the LCBO) Autumn 2007.


2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp finely diced red or green onion
1 tsp drained and rinsed capers, chopped
160g can salmon, drained well
1 tbsp fresh dill
3 tbsp spreadable cream cheese
2 of your favorite buns such as panini or focaccia or 4 slices of sourdough
Arugula leaves

1. Place mayo, lemon juice, red onion, and capers in a bowl. Stir. Using a fork, mix in salmon.
2. In a separate bowl, stir dill into cream cheese. Slice buns in half horizontally. Spread bottom half of each with cream cheese. Top with salmon mixture then Arugula. Top with other half of buns to make sandwiches.

Bacon Omelette Roll with Salsa

This recipe would work great on a brunch menu, or if you are feeding lots of people for breakfast.  

Although, I prefer real bacon… I have substituted the bacon with turkey bacon, with good results.  

I also topped the roll with cheese instead of putting it on the eggs before rolling it up. This way I could control the amount of cheese instead of adding it into the roll.  I did not use the full 1 cup suggested in the recipe.

 This recipe was taken from Kraft Foods “What’s Cooking” magazine Spring 2010.


8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1 red pepper, finely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
3 green onions
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 cup Kraft Mozza-Cheddar shredded cheese
1 cup salsa, warmed

1. Heat oven to 350F.  Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends extending over shortest sides of the pan.  Spray with cooking spray.
2.  Beat eggs, milk and flour in large bowl with whisk until well blended.  Stir in next 4 ingredients; pour into prepared pan.  Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until edges are almost set.  Top with cheese; bake 2 minuntes or until melted.
3. Roll up omelette immediately, starting at one short end and peeling off paper as omelette is rolled.  Place on platter into slices.  Serve with salsa.