Blue Raspberry Chia Jam: Toast Topper #68

Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious. Around here, especially in the height of summer, our table sings with the bounty of both our backyard and the local farms that sell on the market days. It’s a time that flies by way too fast in my opinion, since it seems like only yesterday I was hauling my first load of rhubarb from and planting my tomato seedlings in the garden, and now we’re halfway through July!

Anyways, my latest foray into the farmer’s market netted me with two boxes of wild Ontario blueberries, which (after careful taste testing!) were carefully stashed away from prying fingers. I had picked up a bag of frozen Ontario raspberries the week before, and had been grabbing the occasional handful right out of the freezer after a few hours in the 35C heat in our backyard, and it occurred to me to combine the two fruits in a lightly sweetened, lightning-fast Toast Topper. After all, we had a fresh loaf of Pain au Levain to gild!

Blue-Raspberry Chia Jam

I’m not kidding, either, when I say this recipe is an exercise in simplicity – or frugality. It can be as easily made in the dead of winter with frozen berries as in the height of summer with fresh, and doesn’t contain any added sugar – the minimal boost in sweetness for this batch came from a boiled apple syrup I cooked down from fresh juice and tempered with added lemon juice and zest. To thicken the medley of berries, a dose of chia seeds went to work, making for a spread that is not so stiff that you have to cut through it with a knife (yech!) but thick enough not to run off your bagel in the morning. While the mixture is less alien today than a year or two ago when the chia craze first hit, I’ve still yet to find many people (outside of my Home Ec classes!) that have truly tasted it like this. Hopefully this recipe will spark another group of eager eaters!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Blue Raspberry Chia Jam
Makes 2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tbsp Boiled Apple Cider Syrup (I made my own but you can use this too)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp raw sugar (optional, I didn’t use any)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. Combine berries, syrup, zest and sugar (if using) in a medium pot and bring to a simmer, mashing the berries slightly. Cook 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and chia seeds.
  3. Process in a waterbath for 25 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 16.8
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 3.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.4 g

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Pain au Levain avec Banane #BreadBakers

Pain of whatnow?

Relax, the fancy-schmancy French name I gave the hearty, crusty boule made for this month’s #BreadBakers event simply means Banana Sourdough. There’s only six ingredients – five if you don’t count water – and there’s no added sugar at all. All the sweetness comes from the namesake fruit, and in lieu of added butter or oil, a scoop of all natural cashew butter adds the “peanut butter and banana sandwich” nuance along with everlasting moisture.

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

Of course, sourdough anything, regardless of the sweetener or fat used, is usually far from being a mindless pursuit. There’s a starter to maintain (sort of… mine pretty much lives in the fridge unless I decide to bake one morning), baking stones to heat in the oven, and hours upon hours to wait for each rise. I’m not denying these steps exist with this loaf, either. They do – from almost a full day, followed by an overnight, rise as well as multiple stretch-and-folds in place of a one-shot knead. However, all this fuss and time allows the relatively heavy dough to strengthen, rise and eventually shape nicely into it’s final round.

Looking at it, of course, it’s not impressive. In fact, the perfectly baked loaf is pedestrian at best, not large or beautifully embellished with washes, score marks or egg paint. It’s something that would sit in the breadbox, untouched by passerby – and definitely nothing that would fly out of a boulangerie. The secret to this bread only reveals itself when it’s cut into – and even without butter or any other Toast Topper I dare you to declare it’s not delicious!

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

All our naturally sweetened breads:

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

In brackets, I have included the baker’s percentages so you can easily scale up or down as you need.

Pain au Levain avec Banane 
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, 20 slices

350g 100% hydration, recently fed (preferably rye) sourdough starter    (100%)

350g whole wheat bread flour  (100%)
246g mashed banana  (70.18%)
55g smooth cashew butter (this is my current fave) (15.79%)
49g water  (14.04%)
11g salt (3.16%) – use less if your cashew butter is heavily salted

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Mix ingredients on low speed for 2 minutes, just to combine, then cover and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Knead for 12 minutes on medium-low speed. 
  4. Cover and let rise 2 ½ hours, stretching and folding (30-40 times) every 50 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  6. Place in the fridge overnight.
  7. Bring to room temperature, shape into a round loaf and let rise 4 hours on a sheet of parchment.
  8. Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven and heat to 410F.
  9. Transfer dough (on the parchment) to the stone and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Reduce temperature to 375F, tent with foil and bake another 25 minutes.
  11. When fully baked, the loaf will be 190F internally.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.6
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.6 mg
Total Carbs: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 3.7 g  

Kheer #SundaySupper

Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of rice pudding? While the bulk of my experiences with the grainy dessert growing up were the result of opening and dumping a can into a couple bowls, dad and I were suckers for the stuff (nobody else, by the way, even remotely likes it here). Today, if you were to ask me to name what I crave in times of stress, you’d hear me wax poetic about the thick, creamy pudding warmed up in the microwave and shoveled down as fast as I could. Heck, even cold, a spoonful from the fridge could cure wonders.

I wanted to bring the great memories of sharing rice pudding to my Home Ec class this past year, and since we were working on a “food around the world” theme, I turned to the only other country with a rice pudding that I knew of – India. Kheer, as it’s called, is not always 100% rice based though – recipes vary from using wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli noodles as the starch and anything from cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, nuts and sesame seeds to flavour it. The version I made for class was culled from one of my old college professors and was what was served at her son’s first birthday – leftover cooked rice elevated by re-cooking it in thickened milk, coconut milk, saffron and sweet spices before being garnished with softened raisins and dates. It sounded absolutely incredible – even to someone allergic to coconut such as me!

Making this exotic comfort food is even easier than making rice (to me, anyways… I’m stovetop-rice challenged). The kids – from 6 to 8 years old – all had at least one heaping spoonful, and some even took extras home after polishing off thirds! What made it home with me was eagerly purloined by my dad to rave reviews (probably a good thing, otherwise I’d be making ice cream with the thick, custardy mixture and trying to figure out what to do with it then!). If you and your family can tolerate dairy and coconut, I really wouldn’t worry about the leftovers sticking around too long though!

A #bowlful of #Coconut #Raisin Kheer (rice pudding ) for a #glutenfree #snacktime

You know what else uses a lot of coconut? Piña Coladas! National Piña Colada Day is today, and those in the know are toasting the combination of coconut, pineapple and rum with their own libations. To our credit, the #SundaySupper gang is sharing over 40 coconut recipes today, with both sweet and savory dishes, breakfasts and drinks, almost anything you could think of! Check out our offerings below and don’t forget to leave a comment telling me your favourite coconut dish!

Great Starts

Dive in with Sides and Appetizers

Coco-Nutty Main Dishes

“Col-lots-a” Desserts

Sweet to Sip Beverages

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Kheer
serves 8

1 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup whole milk powder
pinch saffron (optional)
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
¾ cup full-fat, canned coconut milk
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅓ cup raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
¼ cup chopped soft dates (soak with the raisins if they’re too dry)
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the milk, milk powder, saffron (if using) and cooked rice, whisking well.
  2. Heat until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken – about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, cardamom and cinnamon.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. When mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and dates.
  6. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled – if chilling, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to avoid forming a “skin”.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 148.0
Total Fat: 5.3 g
Cholesterol: 8.5 mg
Sodium: 39.5 mg
Total Carbs: 22.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 3.7 g

Orange Tofu Noodles

It has been ages since I’ve had good old-fashioned Chinese (Canadian) food. Since becoming the Italian-centric blended family we are, the household’s general eating out attention has been on Canadian “bar and grill”, pizza or burger joints. In fact, aside from my 2-3 sushi restaurant trips a year, Americanized European fare is as “exotic” as we get. That said, Mom and I, in particular, adore Asian-style cuisine, and when it has the balanced flavours of the culture with a ton of veggies as well, we’re in like dirty shirts! While she’s retired now, I still make Mom her lunches (and bread) for the week so she can grab-and-go something slightly more nutritious than a can of soup or a deli-meat sandwich. 

This time around, I had a mission in mind – an (almost) vegan, gluten free noodle bowl packed with all sorts of goodies from the garden and local farms. I started with a hearty mixture of carrots, broccoli and onions that I had prepped and frozen last year, fleshing it out with greenhouse zucchini and Ontario sweet potato that I spiralized for extra bulk. The noodles themselves were spaghetti from the new Barilla Gluten Free line of pastas, that I cooked in vegetable broth for extra “oomph” – and that I’m excited to say not only hold their shape better than most “normal” noodles but taste identical (I just wish they were whole grain, but small miracles!). 

Cooking up #glutenfree yummies with #sanj and #barilla #cooking #healthyfood #foodie #vegan #vegetarian #instafood #yum

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Protein wise, I turned to my ever-present stockpile of various tofu, opting for Vitasoy Organic Black Soybean TofuPlus, one of my all time favourites, marinated in a bottle of San-J Orange Sauce amped up with ginger, garlic and extra sweet, sour and salty flavours. The sauce contains honey (the reason this is “almost vegan”) but generally is more fruity than syrupy, adding a decadent flavour to the tofu and blanketing the noodles and veggies perfectly. The finished dish was delicious hot (right out of the pot… shhh!), but equally delicious cold the next day – just like stereotypical Chinese take out, with none of the “mystery” ingredients, excess fat or crazy sodium levels!

Orange Tofu Noodles

 Shared with Gluten Free Fridays


Orange Tofu Noodles
Makes 8 generous servings

800g (2 blocks) Vitasoy Organic Black Soybean TofuPlus (or your favourite firm tofu), frozen, thawed, drained and pressed
200 ml (just over ¾ cup) San-J Orange Sauce
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp low sodium tamari
1 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 large sweet potato
1 large zucchini
4 cups gluten free vegetable broth
1 box (12 oz) Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced into half moons
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped broccoli
¼ cup minced cilantro
  1. Cube the tofu and place in a shallow casserole dish.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the Orange Sauce, ginger, garlic, vinegar, tamari and rice syrup.
  3. Pour 3/4 of the sauce mixture over the tofu and stir gently to coat all sides. Cover and let stand while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Reserve remaining sauce.
  4. Using a spiralizer, julienne peeler or sharp knife, cut sweet potato and zucchini into “spaghetti” strands. Place into different bowls and set aside.
  5. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot and add the spaghetti. Cook for 8 minutes, then add sweet potato and cook 2 minutes.
  6. Reserve 2 cups of broth and add to the reserved sauce mixture, then drain pasta mixture and set aside.
  7. In the same pot, heat sesame oil over medium high.
  8. Add the onion and carrots and cook until softened.
  9. Add the broccoli, tofu and spiralized zucchini. Cook until broccoli begins to soften and turn bright green.
  10. Add the pasta mixture and reserved sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are combined and the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  11. Fold in cilantro and serve.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 362.7
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 624.5 mg
Total Carbs: 60.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 13.2 g

Chufa Chocolate Chippers

Are you a “chunky” type of chocolate chipper? Growing up, you’d never catch me with chunks of anything other than chocolate in my cookies – raisins, chopped nuts and seeds, granola were verboten by us kids, and my poor chocolate chip-pecan-oatmeal cookie loving mom obliged year after year, batch after batch. Eventually I started to come around to the “heartier” side of things, but I never really liked the semi-bitter flavour that walnuts and pecans brought to the sweet party, not to mention I could barely bring “nutted” goodies anywhere anyway, after the explosion of allergies in schools, camps and even some offices.

Chufa Chocolate Chippers

Luckily, as years passed and I started paying attention to alternative options, I devised a recipe that had all the texture my mom (and many others) desired, but was allergy-friendly too. In the end, the basic formula switched extremes in a way – from being packed with nuts, eggs, dairy, refined sugar and gluten to lacking every single one of those. My secret was a blend of sorghum flour, ground chufa nuts (AKA Tigernuts) and sunflower seed flour for the base “dough” – making for a sweet and earthy cookie – then adding chopped Tigernuts for texture and a stevia/agave mix for sweetening. A few batches in and I was starting to get requests for them – leading to a bag of them in everyone’s Christmas boxes last year!

A note, which applies to almost all gluten free baking and certainly good chocolate chip cookie manufacturing: let the dough rest. In this case, it’s not to relax the gluten (there isn’t any!) but to allow the dough to hydrate – no sandy gluten free cookies!
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Shared with Gluten Free Fridays (#200!)

Chufa Chocolate Chippers
Makes 24
¼ cup canola oil
¼ tsp stevia extract powder
½ tsp vanilla
⅓ cup water
1 tbsp agave nectar
100g tigernut flour
50g sunflower seed flour
50g sorghum flour
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
½ tsp guar gum
pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
⅓ cup miniature chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped tigernuts (optional)

  1. In a bowl, beat together the oil, stevia, vanilla, water and corn syrup until blended.
  2. Beat in the flours, flaxseed, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and tigernuts.
  4. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp balls of dough and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes. Cool on the sheet.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 85.9
Total Fat: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.2 mg
Total Carbs: 9.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g
Protein: 2.3 g

Beerinara for a Father’s Day #SundaySupper

If I had any doubt that Father’s day was coming close, I’d only have to look at the tables, shelves and cubbies of our school classrooms to wipe it away. Just from Home Ec alone, 75 glass jars have floated in and out of the building, filled with everything from candied pretzels to BBQ sauce, flavoured salt and a KFC style chicken coating. The goodies, being made by kids, are of course all “child friendly” and nut-free – things like beer cozies and spiced nuts are pretty much verboten, not to mention a good chunk of our student body’s parentage does not touch a drop of alcohol.

That said, at home, my dad loves a good beer on a hot Summer day, not to mention he (like his daughter!) adores his garlic. Really, it’s a wonder that both of us have hypertension given she sheer amount we consume, but genetics does weird and wonderful things (at least I know I belong to my parents, who both have genetic hypertension!). But I digress. I found a bagful of tomatoes roasted and frozen from last year’s crop when cleaning out the deep freezer a month or so ago and knew I needed to do something with it, as well as some of the zillion tons of zucchini I had shredded and individually frozen for baking but never used. Inspired by The Beeroness, I took a quick trip to the store which netted me a lovely Quebec-made gluten free ale and some fat heads of garlic begging to be roasted. A hint of homemade, salt-free lemon pepper added just the right amount of zip without the extra salinity, and the whole works canned like a dream for enjoyment both now and down the road. In fact, I can’t wait for my July tomatoes to start coming in just so I can try this out with other beers! 

This #SundaySupper is celebrating dads! Does your dad love to cook or would he rather leave that to someone else? What is his favorite recipe he likes to make or have made for him? Is your dad the king of the grill (or not!)? Let’s share stories about dads/father figures and all the delicious foods they loved to eat or make!

Appetizers & Snacks:

Beverage:

Breakfast:

Condiments & Sauces:

Desserts:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Plus What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Beerinara
Makes ~ 9 cups, 36 (1/4 cup) servings
2 large heads of garlic, papery overcoat removed but unpeeled
3 lbs tomatoes (ideally plum or other meaty variety), halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
3 cups shredded zucchini
12 ounces gluten free ale or IPA
6 oz tomato paste
¼ cup fresh basil, divided
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp salt-free lemon pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut a small amount of the tip off the head of the garlic heads to expose the cloves and place on two small pieces of aluminum foil. Fold the foil tightly around the garlic, place on a baking sheet.
  3. Add the tomatoes (cut side down) to the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the tomatoes and the garlic for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Allow to cool.
  5. Pass tomatoes through a food mill into a bowl, set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
  7. Add the onion and cook until golden.
  8. Stir in the carrot and zucchini (along with any zucchini liquid) and cook until carrots begin to soften.
  9. Add the beer, tomatoes, tomato paste, half the basil, thyme and paprika.
  10. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves the cloves into the sauce.
  11. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, cover and cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavours blend.
  12. Stir in remaining basil, salt and lemon pepper.
  13. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree until smooth.
  14. Can in a waterbath for 35 minutes

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 27.1
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 108.1 mg
Total Carbs: 4.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.9 g

Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… blame the warmer (read: gardening) weather coupled with end-of-the-year school stuff, and spending time at the computer just doesn’t hold the same allure! Besides the usual annual demands for time, I was stuck with a slowly dying laptop which I (finally) replaced this past weekend! Hopefully, this will mean things are back to their slightly-less-sporadic posting… I still have lots to feed you!

Studded Spiral Cinnamon BriocheIf you know me at all, you know that the best way for me to blow off steam is to cook or bake something. Between the rhythm of preparing, mixing and cooking, the ability to be creative, the control over the situation and the smells that emanate while doing so, I don’t see any better solution on the pharmacy shelf! I must come by that trait honestly, since my grandfather would do the same – and, like me, he found bread to be the answer to all. 

Of course, just because bread is the ultimate tamer of hunger and nerves doesn’t mean it always has to be a plain old loaf of white or wheat! With the end of a carton of eggs and a container of Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter sitting in the fridge (it’s the new “cinnamon toast” staple here), I was thinking about a rich, exotically inspired loaf. Of course, I went back to the Middle East for inspiration after finding a neat spiraled Tahini Bread , this Noon Rogani loaf and this flaky pastry along with my stepsister-in-law’s donation of baklava to a family dinner. My mom (my bread-eater) prefers pecans to any other nut, and for me using them in the filling for my version of a spiral bread was only natural, as was using good ol’ Canadian dried cranberries and the same local honey I made this batch of butter with. To keep the filling in, I turned to this handy tip from King Arthur Flour and used the whites left over from my yolk-based egg wash. A spring-form pan coated with semolina helped the bread keep its shape while adding a light crunch.

Cutting into the loaf, the most incredible aroma wafts out and boldly declares that it is anything other than the ordinary. It was perfectly moist and tender, remaining so for days, and when toasted was the perfect foil for the Toast Toppers in the fridge. 

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Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche

Studded Spiral Cinnamon Brioche
Makes 1 large loaf, 20 slices
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
½ cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp skim milk powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2/3 cup recently fed sourdough starter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp orange flower water (optional)
2 large eggs
⅓ cup Scented Cinnamon Honey Butter

Filling:
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup diced pecans
1 tbsp honey
2 egg whites

Assembly:
¼ cup semolina, for dusting
2 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tbsp water, for egg wash

Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the sourdough starter and flavourings, mixing well.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in well.
  4. Add the butter in small pieces, beating it in gradually. Continue beating until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 1 ½ hours.

Filling and Assembly:

  1. Line a greased 10” springform pan with parchment and dust the bottom with semolina.
  2. Punch down and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 9 inches wide and 3 feet long. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cranberries, pecans, honey and egg whites.
  4. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with the filling mixture.
  5. Beginning with a long edge, roll the dough into a log.
  6. Spiral the log into pan or other deep, round pan, tucking the end into the middle.
  7. Cover and let rise in a warm place until very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Brush the risen loaf with the egg wash.
  10. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until its internal temperature is at least 190ºF on an instant-read thermometer. Check after 20 minutes and tent with foil if it’s browning too quickly.
  11. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently unmould onto a rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 129.2
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 41.4 mg
Sodium: 146.9 mg
Total Carbs: 18.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 4.4 g

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup #SundaySupper

While the weather is definitely starting to warm up (albeit slowly!), around here we’re still in the throes of ever variable climate conditions day to day. This past week, for example, I went from wearing a fuzzy winter jacket, mittens and hat to a light sweater and back to a spring coat – and inside vs. outside temperature is even more variable due to the heating / cooling systems in different buildings.

Even if it was consistently hot and sunny outside, it’s almost guaranteed that soup will play a role in our weekly menu at home. For me, it’s often a quick-fix dinner after a full day of work or a busy weekend of lesson planning or prep work. My mom, though, savours the pleasure of a warm potage at lunch (with homemade bread, of course!), and is as eager to travel the world via tasting as I am through cooking. Soup is perfect for taming even the most savage of beasts (hunger or otherwise), and I love this one in particular because it’s a filling, protein and fibre-rich, flavourful blend with a built-in antibacterial forcefield from the hefty doses of herbs, spices and garlic!

While the ingredient list seems long, a lot of it is spices that are fairly commonplace. The starch I chose – sorghum – is one of my favourites in the flour world, and when I found a bag of the raw grain at my local Asian grocery I snapped it up and fell in love. The slightly sweet, buttery, nutty flavour the sorghum has pairs perfectly with the mellowed garlic and onions, while its texture reminds me of Israeli couscous or tapioca. That said, brown rice (especially a short grain variety) would play just as well here and regardless the whole thing is basically an excuse to eat a bowl of hummus for dinner!
 

Tunisian Garlic and Chickpea Soup

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#SundaySupper is focused on “Spice is Nice & Some Like it Hot” this week – if you love spicy food of any kind (not just the “hot” spices), this event is one to check out! This week’s host is Sarah of The Chef Next Door

Aromatic Appetizers

 
Distinctive Drinks
 
Daring Desserts
 
Masterful Mains
 
Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup
Makes 10 servings
2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
1 large, sweet onion, diced
5 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
25 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Zest of 2 Meyer or 1 regular lemon
7 cups vegetable broth
½ cup sorghum grain or short-grain brown rice
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (or 2 tbsp regular lemon juice)
⅓ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp minced lemon thyme (or regular thyme + ½ tbsp extra lemon zest)

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the garlic oil over medium until shimmering.
  2. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until onion is beginning to turn golden.
  3. Add the garlic and spices. Cook 2 minutes longer, until fragrant.
  4. Add the broth, sorghum (or rice) and chickpeas and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. With an immersion blender, partially puree the soup, leaving some whole chickpeas and vegetables (alternatively, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree, then return to the pot).
  6. Stir in lemon juice, parsley and lemon thyme (or thyme / zest combination). Serve.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 151.5
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 379.2 mg
Total Carbs: 26.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Protein: 5.3 g

Rosemary and Olive Grissini #SundaySupper

I have a confession.

I almost never watch movies. In particular, I never willingly watch romantic comedies, especially if they’re in the theatres. For my $15 (not counting concessions), I’ll take James Bond, Tim Burton or Star Wars way before settling in for 2+ hours of boy-meets-girl / boy-loses-girl / boy-gets-girl semi-storylines. Even then, I’m hard pressed to focus that long on anything (I can barely watch a half hour TV show) so most of the time I skip the theatres entirely and catch up on the Coles Notes version while waiting for it to come out on the free On Demand cable channels.

That said, I’m still excited for this week’s #SundaySupper theme – My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – because I love Greek food, and definitely love partying Greek style! Our group is combining Hellenic inspired dishes to create a feast of Olympic proportions – whether its to remember and join the re-union celebration of Toula and Ian or simply revel in the rich, healthy flavours of the Mediterranean.
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Black Olive and Rosemary Grissini

My contribution to the dinner feast is this recipe for grissini – skinny, crunchy breadsticks that are perfect for an appetizer, snack or accompaniment to a simple Mediterranean meal. They are incredibly easy to put together, and are packed with the bright, vibrant flavour of fresh rosemary and the briny richness of both Kalamata and sun-dried olives, which mingle with the slight nuttiness of the whole wheat flour to make a satisfying, well-keeping snack that not only stands up on its own but pairs beautifully with dips like baba ghanoush or hummus. For cocktail or dinner parties where they’re being used as pre-meal nibbles, a grating of fresh Parmesan on top before baking adds an extra “gourmet” twist – but even without that extra garnish I dare you to try stopping at one. If you’re anything like my coworker – who claims he’s not a “bread guy” in general – you’ll find yourself missing more than a few before the end of the day due to “quality control” checks!

This #SundaySupper event is hosted by Nichole Crews from Casa de Crews. Thanks Nichole!

Greek Appetizers:

Greek Soups:

Greek Breakfast:

Greek Main Dishes:

Greek Side Dishes:

Greek Desserts:

Greek Beverages:

Plus Baked Shrimp with Feta plus More Greek Cuisine from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Rosemary and Olive Grissini 
Makes ~84
2 cups white bread (or all purpose) flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup warm water
⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives (or a mix of Kalamata and sun-dried black) in oil, pureed with 2 tbsp of the oil
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves

  1. In a large bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook), combine all ingredients (in order).
  2. Knead to form an elastic dough (about 7-10 minutes).
  3. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  4. Deflate dough, knead briefly, and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 375F (350F convection) If your oven is not convection, place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  6. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Roll the rested dough out into a rectangle about 20×12”.
  8. Cut in half crosswise, then into ¼” strips lengthwise.
  9. Lightly roll each strip to round the edges and place on the parchment lined sheets.
  10. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  11. Bake (1 sheet at a time if not using convection) for 18 minutes, until crisp and golden. Keep unbaked sticks in the fridge during baking.
  12. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 21.4
Total Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 32.3 mg
Total Carbs: 3.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.6 g

Strawberry Papaya Jam: Toast Topper #67 #thereciperedux

There’s no getting around it – our family loves jam. Whether it’s peach, lime, persimmon or bluebarb, the plethora of Toast Topper I’ve posted (and the even greater number of general condiments) should indicate that we can’t leave a piece of bread (or waffle, or pancake…) undecorated – even filled ones like the Figgy Olive Oil and Sesame Challah – untouched. No, we need a spread to crown our carbs, but by and large we find the standard jars from the store well… standard. You just don’t find flavours like the ones I mentioned at the local grocery store here, and the jams and jellies you do find are often packed with sugar or (in the case of the so-sugar-added ones) artificial sweeteners.

That said, jam doesn’t have to be like that – nor does it need to be a super-complex, multi-pot, 47-jar canning bonanza (though I have nothing against that!). Last post, I mentioned how you needed sugar to activate the pectin in standard recipes, but luckily today there are varieties of pectin requiring less (or no) sugar at all to work, as well as a couple other options like agar, gelatin and, what I partially relied on here, chia seeds. Back last June, I made No-Cook Berry Chia Jam using the incredible gelling properties of the seeds to great effect. This time, I used them as an accessory thickener – a fail-safe, if you will – since the fresh papaya in the jam can sometimes wreak havoc with the jamming process (thanks enzymes!). With the extra help, and natural sweetness from the tropical fruit, it turns out that cooking up a healthy and delicious Toast Topper with fresh fruit and coconut water is not only easy, but fast – and you won’t miss the refined sugar either – promise!

This Recipe Redux has out gang whipping up no-brainer dishes with “7 or fewer” ingredients in honour of tax season. As a lover of spice (and flour) medleys, it was tough, but yummy experimenting!

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Strawberry Papaya Jam
Makes ~2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
7 oz chopped strawberries
7 oz chopped papaya
⅓ cup coconut water
½ tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin
¼ cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. In a pot, mash together the strawberries, papaya, coconut water, lime juice and pectin.
  2. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  3. Add the sugar and chia seeds and return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into jars.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 28.4
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.8 mg
Total Carbs: 5.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.7 g