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

Double Corn Buttermilk Cake #SundaySupper

As much as I want to, I don’t get into much variety in my cooking over the Summer months. It correlates directly with how much work my garden needs at the time – if I’m lucky, it’s almost maintenance-free, needing just minutes of my time every few days to weed or harvest. If, like last year, it was more work to keep it running than it bothered producing – basically sucking up hours in a flurry of under-nail “perma-dirt”.

Even if the garden isn’t playing nice, the farmers markets almost always do! In addition to the two we have in my city, there’s an almost 100% organic market about 45 minutes away that consistently blows me away every year. Late in the season last year, I came across a drastically marked-down box of local peaches and plums there at the end of the day – slightly blemished in the sense that they had tree marks, a tiny bruise, or an indent caused by growing too close to the tree. The peaches were eaten in short order – chopped up over bowls of oatmeal or dry cereal or cooked into Purely Peach Jam.

Turning to the plums, though, I didn’t really feel like doing the fresh eating thing. I’m a fan of plums when they’re warm and caramelized in pies, muffins and cakes, though – and when it comes to Summer cakes, the simple, single-layer buttermilk variety that I’ve riffed off time and again still takes precedence. This time around I went full-on Summertime sweetness, roasting corn kernels to pepper the cornmeal batter, tenderizing the works with a hearty dose of buttermilk and a couple egg yolks and lightening the richness just a tad with a touch of lemon zest. The pinky-purple hue of the sliced fruit looked ever brighter against the golden yellow batter, and the combination sang whether it was barely cool enough to unmould, room temperature or reheated and topped with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

For #SundaySupper this week, Coleen of The Redhead Baker is hosting our motley crew of nostalgic Summer recipes. Whether the recipes are inspired by traditions (like my annual market sojurns resulting in this cake) or the same treats made year after year without fail, the list is nothing short of heartwarming, inspiring and hunger-inducing!

Beverages

Breakfast

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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.

Double Corn Buttermilk Cake
Makes one 9″ cake, 12 slices
1 cup fine-ground cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
1 egg
⅓ cup canola oil
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 cup roasted fresh corn kernels
1 plum, sliced thinly

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F, grease a 9″ springform pan.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine cornmeal, buttermilk and whole milk, stirring well.
  3. Microwave on HI for 30 seconds, stir and allow to sit 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest, egg yolks, whole egg and oil.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, stirring until just blended.
  5. Fold in the corn.
  6. Spread in the pan and top with sliced plum.
  7. Bake 35 minutes, until tests done. Cool in the pan.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 228.8
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Cholesterol: 47.5 mg
Sodium: 63.9 mg
Total Carbs: 35.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 5.4 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

"Caramel Doughnut" Cake #SundaySupper

As a Canadian, I always forget that my friends to the south celebrate their “long weekend” – Memorial Day – a week after our Victoria Day holiday. In my household, at least, July 1 (Canada Day), not late May is the herald of Summer’s beginnings – in fact, this year’s blast of near 40°C (104°F) heat is a total anomaly that we didn’t even see in the middle of July last year!

Because of the swath of heat and humidity we got this week (not complaining at all!), we’ve been grilling outdoors or making no-cook meals more than usual. That said, the sweet teeth around here sometimes just need a baked treat. Nothing super-sweet or rich, but toothsome enough to fill that craving whenever it strikes. Coffee cakes, in my opinion, fit that purpose to a T – especially when they’re homemade, since you can keep the sweetness below tooth-aching storebought levels, add your own spices and ingredient twists, and (of course) know that it is perfectly fresh.

Remembering the Summer road trips my family took when I was young, where we always stopped at a local doughnut shop halfway to our destination, I decided to recreate the flavours of the “old fashioned” doughuts and muffins we used to savour all through the Summer. I decided to switch up the sweetener, ditching granular sugar for my favourite vegan caramel sauce (made with soy milk this time) to give it a richer, rounder flavour that worked perfectly in the 100% whole grain batter and heightened the spiciness of the nutmeg and light smokiness from the salt. To get the “edge” of savoury that comes along with the true “old-style”, tallow-fried doughnuts, I added just a hint of nutritional yeast – the popular vegan “cheesy flavour” secret for sauces. Thankfully, the cake doesn’t taste anything like those sauces – just delicious! Of course, being topped with a decadent streusel doesn’t hurt either! 

This #SundaySupper we’re helping celebrate Memorial Day and the beginnings of Summer by sharing our BEST recipes for our summer gatherings! How do you mark the start of hot, humid, happy weather and fun times? Take a look at all our recipes this week, hosted by T.R. Crumbley of Gluten Free Crumbley

Appetizers

Sides and Salads

The Main

Desserts

Plus Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake and Best Potluck Dishes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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

“Caramel Doughnut” Cake
Makes one 9″ cake, 12 slices
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ tsp smoked sea salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup vegan “buttery sticks”, cut into cubes
¼ cup shortening, cut into cubes
¼ cup large-flake rolled oats
2 tablespoons coarse raw sugar
¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
⅔ cup Simple Salted Caramel Sauce – made with soy milk for nut free

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9” springform pan.
  2. Whisk the flours, nutritional yeast, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Add the margarine and shortening, cutting into the flour mixture to create coarse crumbs.
  4. Reserve ½ cup crumbs, add the oats and coarse sugar and set aside.
  5. Combine the milk, vinegar, vanilla and caramel syrup, then stir into the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Spread in the pan and top with the crumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then release the sides and cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.3
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.6 mg
Total Carbs: 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 4.5 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

Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake #SundaySupper

My mom has always adored dark chocolate, cherries and cheesecake – particularly in that order. Given the choice, she’d happily sit down to a relatively spartan slice of New York style cheesecake with cherry and chocolate sauce before a towering sponge cake, so this year for her birthday I figured I would combine her three sweet favourites. This Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake was born out of a 3AM brainstorm (the best ideas always come out of insomnia!) where I thought “why not make a cookie (rather than cookie crumb) base packed with dried cherries and cocoa, topped with a silky, dense, slightly tangy chocolate-laden cheese filling with a cherry swirl?”. A quick consult with the birthday girl later, I found myself in the kitchen whipping together this intensely rich, but incredibly easy one bowl / one food processor cheesecake.

To make things easier on myself (and to ensure the base was completely cool and set) I baked the “cookie” the day before, letting it hang out in its springform home at room temperature overnight. The cheese mixture featured not only silky couverture chocolate and sour cream, but my favourite “secret ingredient” – silken tofu – as well. The tofu, unlike eggs, doesn’t hold air when beaten, making the cheesecake incredibly creamy and dense with a far smaller chance of cracking – even without a water bath! Coupled with the extra step of partially cooling the baked cake in the oven, this dessert was as gorgeous as it was delicious.

Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake

The name of this dessert is no lie, either. Each bite of this cake feels almost exactly like eating a dark chocolate Lindor, with the occasional break of chewy cherry tang. It’s so intense that a small piece is more than satisfying, and that’s probably a good thing given the incredible decadence of the ingredients! According to Mom, the cake freezes well too – she just pulled the last piece out for dessert this week!

While my mom’s birthday was over a month ago, Mother’s Day on May 8th is another perfect excuse to indulge in all things mom-worthy! This #SundaySupper we’re sharing our favourite recipes Mom made throughout the years as well as the recipes they love to eat. Our hosts this week are Christie Campbell of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Wendy Leep Hammond of Wholistic Woman.

Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):

Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Plus What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day plus Mom’s Favorite from Sunday Supper Movement recipes.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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.

Chocolate Cherry Truffle Cheesecake
Serves 20

Crust:
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup port wine (or cherry juice)
⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup shortening
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups barley or whole wheat pastry flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder

Filling:
14 oz chopped best-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used couverture wafers)
4 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate
1 (10 oz / 300 mL) can sweetened condensed milk
24 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
4 oz silken tofu
½ tsp salt
¼ cup cherry pie filling, pureed until smooth

chocolate wafers and / or chocolate covered cherries, for decoration

Crust:

  1. Combine cherries and port in a small bowl. Let stand at least 30 minutes (do not drain).
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening, salt, egg, vanilla and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Sift in flour and cocoa, mixing until incorporated.
  4. Fold in cherries and liquid. The dough should resemble a chocolate chip cookie.
  5. Spread dough into the bottom of a greased and parchment-lined 10” spring-form pan and freeze 1 hour.
  6. Bake at 400 °F for 20 minutes or until just firm. Set aside to cool.

Filling:

  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and wrap the outside of the spring-form pan with foil.
  2. Melt together the chocolates and condensed milk. Cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, puree cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, tofu and salt until smooth. Add chocolate and beat until combined.
  4. Pour mixture onto prepared crust.
  5. Spoon dollops of pureed pie filling onto the cheese mixture and swirl lightly with a knife.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until filling is set.
  7. Turn off the oven and let cool inside for 30 minutes, then remove and cool to room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate in the pan, covered, at least 8 hours or overnight.
  9. Unmould and decorate with chocolate wafers and / or chocolate covered cherries, if desired 

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 449.0
Total Fat: 31.4 g
Cholesterol: 79.9 mg
Sodium: 181.3 mg
Total Carbs: 37.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 8.3 g

Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cookies #SundaySupper

I am very leery of declaring that spring has arrived… being an April baby (along with my sister), I’ve heard far too many retellings of the snowstorm that occurred the day before I was born, and definitely remember being snowsuit clad the week my sister entered the world three years later. That said, this weekend has been double-digit (Celsius) for the first time this year, and the rest of the week is supposed to follow suit (fingers crossed). The family has been out gardening, preparing the beds for eventual seedlings and direct-sowing, and I even got my butt in gear to start my tomato, squash and nasturtiums in my indoor greenhouse this week.

Carrot Oatmeal Raisin CookiesNow of course, all this glorious weather has been short-lived, and there’s no way we’ll even be seeing backyard rhubarb for at least another month or two. Therefore, we’re still embracing the freezer stockade of greens, berries and peaches, plus the “storage crops” like carrots, cabbage, onions and potatoes for a lot of our dishes, slotting in (imported) lettuce, hothouse tomatoes, citrus and berries to brighten up the plate. I always think of carrots in the springtime for some reason, probably due to the Easter carrot-cake tradition, and it’s a wonder that I don’t usually turn orange by May after eating them for months!

Ironically, as the days get warmer and sunnier I become more prone to roasting and sauteeing the roots, which brings out the sweetness hidden deep within their cores after months of storage. Since growing my own heirlooms every year, I’m spoiled when it comes to the flavours I enjoy raw – nothing beats the crisp, bright and lightly sugary snap of a bright red (or purple, yellow, white, black orange…) carrot freshly pulled from the (pesticide-free) dirt, rinsed with the garden hose and devoured immediately. So roasting away I go, and often I’ll do a whole 3-lb bag at once to portion and freeze for simple side dishes, sauce extenders or last minute stir fry additions.

When I was given a copy of my school’s “classic” carrot cookie recipe to make for Easter, I immediately started thinking of ways to elevate the recipe from it’s rather spartan, highly sugared, slightly chewy-cakey roots to something worthy of a spring cookie tray. I pulled a couple tricks out of my back pocket that I had learned from years of oatmeal cookie experimenting – namely, chilling the dough as long as possible so as to rehydrate the oats and flaxseed – and used pureed roasted carrots in lieu of baby food for a thicker moisture component. A few extra swaps later and I had vegan, bite sized drop cookies perfect for Peter Cottontail (and his brood).

What I love about this cookie is that it’s a great spice cookie open to possibility in terms of additions and twists. Don’t like raisins? Add craisins, nuts, coconut, white chocolate… whatever floats your boat. Personally, my next step is going to be supersizing the cookies into whoopie-pie like rounds for cream cheese ice cream sandwiches. Oh, to think of ice cream weather!

Spring has arrived at the #SundaySupper table this week, and along with our host Renee from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures our gang is sharing recipes to welcome the season to 2016!

Breakfast:
Appetizers:
Beverages:
Main Dish:
Side Dish:
Dessert:
Plus Spring Vegetable Minestrone and more Spring Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

 
Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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

Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 
Makes 30
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup low fat, unsweetened soy milk
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pureed roasted carrots or good quality carrot baby food
1 cup flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups thick-cut rolled oats
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup raisins

  1. In a bowl, beat together the margarine, sugars, soy milk, flaxseed, extracts, spices and salt.
  2. Add the carrots and beat well.
  3. Stir in the flours, oats, baking powder and raisins until combined.
  4. Cover and chill at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  5. Heat the oven to 375F and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  6. Drop half-tablespoons of dough onto the sheets, spacing about 1″ apart. Flatten slightly with damp fingers.
  7. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Cool on the sheets

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 114.4
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 57.7 mg
Total Carbs: 19.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 2.2 g

Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins #SundaySupper

Depending on the day, asking me how I feel about Italian customs may garner eye rolling, sighs, or enthusiastic babble from me. Living in a blended family where (until recently) half the household was die-hard Italian born and bred and any and every celebration denoted 20-odd Italian-Canadians (brothers, sisters, children and cousins) descending on the house for a raucous party, I never quite “got” their passion for loud, familial gatherings. I was raised in a plain-Jane, small but relatively close-knit family where aunts and uncles were almost exclusively out of province and even Christmases never totaled more than 10 people at the table, so the exponential expansion is still a little much for my introverted self to contend with.

That said, I do like Italian culture in the traditional sense – especially their penchant for homemade, from scratch ingredients and meals. I love making my own tomato sauce, bread, ricotta and pasta, especially over the summer when I have the time – and while we do grow our own grapes here, our homemade wine is more like rubbing alcohol than a fine sipper, so it stays out of the glass, out of the pot and (for the most part) down the drain. Instead, I take advantage of the world of wines available at our local liquor store, some of which (like the Italian variety I used in today’s recipe) were gifted to me by parents at my school.

In the spirit of this week’s #SundaySupper “Italian” theme, I went all-in to create a treat that encompassed some of my favourite Italian flavours and ingredients. My homemade ricotta combined with rich red wine, cocoa and just a hint of almond flavour to make a thick and moist cradle for a single Hershey’s Kiss. While sweet and rich, they’re definitely still “muffin” territory, and I would shy away from trying to gild these with frosting – if anything, a smear of almond butter would be the furthest I would go. The intense moisture and tenderness of the crumb (almost too soft to work with muffin liners) will make you forget they’re over half whole wheat and egg free!

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Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins

Enjoying our family around the dinner table is what #SundaySupper is all about, making this week’s Italian event a perfect pairing. From Antipasto to Zabaglione and everything in between, we’re gathering to enjoy a feast of (Roman) empirical proportions! Our host this week is Manuela of Manu’s Menu.

Here’s what we’re serving up this week:

Appetizers:

Mains:

Dessert:

Beverages:

Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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

Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins
Adapted from Eggless Cooking
Makes 12
1 cup extra-smooth (or pureed regular) whole milk ricotta cheese
5 oz (by weight) whole milk (about 9 tbsp)
1/4 tsp almond extract
½ cup dry red wine (I used Doppio Passo Botter Primitivo Salento IGT)
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp Cabernet Salt (or sea salt)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup canola oil
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Aero hot chocolate mix (or your favourite hot chocolate mix)
¾ cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
12 Hershey’s Kisses (original or dark), unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, milk, extract, wine, sugar, salt, vanilla and oil.
  3. Whisk in the cocoa powder and hot chocolate mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flours and baking powder, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups ½ way full (about 1 ½ tbsp) and place a Kiss in the middle of each. Top with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until the muffins spring back to the touch – the toothpick test won’t work for these!
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.2
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 12.7 mg
Sodium: 35.5 mg
Total Carbs: 32.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 5.7 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

Chocolate Carrot & Squash Muffins #SundaySupper

The Sunday Supper family is singing the praises of naturally sweet, earthy, comforting root vegetables this week – whether they’re being roasted, fried, pureed, shredded, spiralized or baked. Not only are root veggies inherently versatile (fitting in just fine in either sweet or savoury recipes), they’re generally cheap and long lasting – a huge plus for those of us with less than generous incomes and a myriad of other expenses to contend with! I personally love the world of roots because they last so long – feeding only myself, I can still buy a bag of potatoes, onions, carrots or beets and finish it before they go bad – not something I can say for leafy greens, bean sprouts or mushrooms!

Carrot-Zucchini-Apple Muffins

Obviously, being the baking fiend that I am, I used this week’s theme to play around in the sweet kitchen – eventually devising a muffin recipe that was both nutritionally dense and sweet enough to appeal to the kids in my grade 4-5 Home Ec class. The best part about making these muffins with a gang of kids is that they all get a chance to do something relatively “physical” along the way. After all, there are three things that need grating, eggs to beat, cocoa to sift, batter to scoop and sugar to sprinkle! Don’t be discouraged if the younger set are somewhat vocal in their opposition to the shredded produce, either – I had 14 vehement protesters convert to raving fans within a half hour (including our infamously veggie-phobic principal). What can I say, chocolate conquers all, and the fine shred on the fruit and veggies allows them to melt into invisible, ever so slightly sweet, everbearingly moist additions.

Check out all our “rootin’ tootin'” recipes below:

Appetizers

Breakfast

Main

Sides

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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 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.

Chocolate Carrot & Squash Muffins
Makes ~16
4 eggs, beaten
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt (or homemade yoghurt)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup finely shredded yellow squash (or zucchini), peel left on
1 ½ cups finely shredded carrots
1 small sweet apple (I used Red Prince), finely shredded, peel left on
½ tsp coarse raw or sanding sugar per muffin for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners, and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla.
  3. Beat in the sugars and cocoa until smooth.
  4. Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda until just combined, then add the squash, carrots and apple and fold in until evenly distributed.
  5. Scoop the prepared batter into the muffin tins ¾ of the way up.
  6. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 213.6
Total Fat: 5.3 g
Cholesterol: 46.5 mg
Sodium: 34.0 mg
Total Carbs: 43.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.1 g