Friday, October 23, 2020

Vegetable Barley and Chicken Chowder with Lentils and Split Peas


This hearty chowder has lentils, split peas, barley and is flavoured with thyme and a bay leaf. Serve this soup to the whole family, and they will all be asking for seconds.  

Before you begin, be sure to rinse the lentils, split peas and barley thoroughly, to remove any dirt or residue.   

This recipe calls for cooked chicken, so be sure to cook the chicken the night before. You can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or if cooking chicken one night, cook extra and freeze the extra for the soup.  

Lentils, split peas, barley, and vegetables. Ingredients for the vegetable, barley, and chicken chowder soup

Vegetable Barley and Chicken Chowder with Lentils and Split Peas


Serves 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes and their juices
3 cups water
3 medium-sized carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed well
1/4 cup pearl or pot barley, rinsed well
1/4 cup split peas, rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 dried bay leaf
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add all other ingredients, except the chicken. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 45 minutes. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.

Vegetable Barley and Chicken Chowder

Other Recipes To Try:

Veggie Chili with Avocado and Cilantro








Simple Pasta Carbonara


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Carrot Soup With A Hint Of Curry

 

Carrot Soup with a Hint of Curry


This is a simple soup that is satisfying and easy to make. This recipe uses both leeks and onions. Leeks are a mild type of onion. When using them, make sure to remove the first few white layers, because dirt can easily get trapped inside.  

Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
6 large carrots, diced (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
Cilantro, chopped (optional)

In a medium-large pot, or Dutch oven, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add onions and leeks and sauté until soft, about eight to 10 minutes. Add additional two tablespoons of butter, carrots, curry, salt, water, and stock. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until carrots are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree soup in a blender until smooth. Serve with cilantro sprinkled on top, if using.

Carrot Soup with a Hint of Curry

Other Soups to enjoy:

Salmon  Chowder









Comforting Lentil Soup






Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Black Bean and Squash Soup

Black Bean and Squash Soup

Serves 4

This healthy, robust soup is sure to warm you up on those cold winter days. In this recipe, I use a carnival squash, but any squash will work. A carnival squash is a cross between a sweet dumpling squash and an acorn squash. They can be used in any recipe that calls for either an acorn or a butternut squash.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 pounds squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 28-oz can tomatoes, diced with juices
1 19-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and sauté three more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree half of the soup mixture in a food processor or with a hand blender. Return to the pot and add cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.  

Carnival Squash
Carnival Squash 


Other Soups To Try:

Cheese and Potato Soup

Cheese and Potato Soup





Beefed Up Minestrone 

Minestrone Soup With Beef, Rotini and Veggies








Lentil Curry Soup







Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Beefed Up Minestrone Soup

This hearty minestrone soup has beans, pasta, veggies and ground beef. It is an old recipe of mine that kids will love. Serve it with fresh Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  

Hearty Minestrone Soup With Beans, Pasta, Beef and Loaded with Veggies


This soup calls for Worcestershire sauce. I’ve always had some in my refrigerator for when I make caesar salad, however I’ve never questioned its origins. I discovered that it’s a condiment that was created in 1835 in Worchester England, by two chemists Mr. Lee and Mr. Perins. It’s made from vinegar, molasses, red onions, garlic, anchovies, tamarind and some secret seasoning. Tamarind is essential to the unique flavour of Worcestershire sauce. It is a paste found in the bean-like pods of the Tamarin tree - a hardwood variety found only in tropical regions.   

The method used to make the sauce starts by pickling red onions and garlic separately for several months, while the anchovies are also aged in salt for two years. After this process, all the ingredients are added together and fermented for a while longer. It is then pasteurized and bottled. This complex process results in a sauce with a unique flavour of tangy, savoury, sweet, and salty.

Serves 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cooking onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb (454g) ground extra lean beef
1 small zucchini, diced small
1 cup carrots, sliced 
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 14-oz can whole tomatoes
6 cups water
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup dry rotini
½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about five minutes. 

Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. 

Add the rest of the ingredients except the rotini and Parmesan cheese and simmer 45 minutes. Add rotini and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Minetrone Soup

Other Soups To Try:

Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup







Comforting Lentil Soup





Friday, October 9, 2020

Chicken Pot Pie

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

If you have leftover chicken this is a super easy meal to throw together. If I don't have cooked chicken I often buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.  Grab a small bag of mixed frozen veggies, a frozen pie shell, and you're good-to-go.  This recipe is worth making for a comforting, weekday meal.

Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
2 medium-sized leeks, white part only, washed well, chopped
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups cooked chicken
2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
1 medium-sized potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
1 frozen pie shell, defrosted

Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a medium-sized Dutch oven. Add leeks and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and saute1 more minute. Add flour and stir constantly until the mixture is thick and a light brown colour about 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and stir mixture for 3-5 minutes or until it thickens. Add chicken, vegetables, potato, tarragon, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Place defrosted pie shell on top. Cut a few slits in the pastry top for air to escape. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly brown.

Prepping Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
2 medium-sized leeks, white part only, washed well, chopped
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups cooked chicken
2 cups frozen mixed 
vegetables
1 medium-sized potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
1 frozen pie shell, defrosted

Preheat oven to 400 degre
es F.  Melt butter over medium-high heat in a medium-sized Dutch oven. Add leeks and saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and saute1 more minute. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is thick and a light brown colour about 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and stir mixture for 3-5 minutes or until it thickens. Add chicken, vegetables, potato, tarragon and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Place defrosted pie shell on top. Cut a few slits in pastry top for air to escape. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly brown.

Chicken Pot PIe















Other Recipes You May Enjoy:

General Tso Chicken With Veggies






Greek Chicken With Tzatziki
Green Chicken with Tzatiki


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Roasted Veggie Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce

Roasted Veggie Lasagne with Bechamel Sauce

I have to be honest. This dish is definitely worth making. That said, there are a few steps involved and many pots and pans will be used. I typically avoid recipes that have lots of clean up, but this one is worth it, especially if you’re having vegetarian friends over for dinner!

Start making the tomato sauce first so the flavours can develop while you finish the recipe. Or better yet, make the tomato sauce the day before.

Roast any veggies you like for this recipe. Feel free to use what’s in your refrigerator or what’s in season. For example, you could swap out the eggplant for zucchini, or add cauliflower and asparagus. I’ve substituted a béchamel sauce, a typical white sauce, to replace the ricotta layer usually found in lasagne. It lends a smoother, creamier feel. 

Roasted Veggie Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce







Roasted Veggie Lasagna with Béchamel 


Serves 6-8

Tomato Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced small
1- 27 fl oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper

Roasted Veggies:

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 onion, chopped into wedges
1 fennel bulb, top and bottom and core removed, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into half and thinly sliced
1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled and cut into about 1/2” cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel Sauce:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk, slightly warmed
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
9 lasagne noodles
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for the top

Method

Tomato sauce:

Heat oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally while preparing other ingredients.

Roasted veggies:

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Toss veggies with oil and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 15 minutes. Toss and cook 15 more minutes until veggies are cooked and nicely roasted.

Béchamel Sauce:

In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until clumpy. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. The sauce will slowly become thicker. When the sauce has a nice creamy texture stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Noodles:

Cook noodles in boiling water according to package. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Assembly:

Lower oven heat to 350° F. In a 13x9x2.5 inch baking pan lightly base the bottom with a small amount of tomato sauce. Cover with 3 cooked lasagne noodles. Spread half the roasted veggies over the noodles. Then spread with half the tomato sauce. Spread half the béchamel sauce on top of the tomato sauce. Spread 1/2 the mozzarella cheese on top. Repeat ending with lasagne noodles then sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese on top.

Cook 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is nice and gooey.

Let sit a few minutes before serving.

Roasted Veggie Lasagna
Veggie Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce

Other Recipes You May Enjoy:







Kid Friendly Chili Macaroni










Salmon and Corn Chowder

Fish and Corn Chowder
When I was a kid, I often fished with my father. He’d wake us up just before sunrise, throw us into a small, orange wooden boat and putter out to his special fishing spot. Sitting there shivering in our oversized life jackets, he’d pass out the rods. We pulled out the lines and sat, waiting for the sun to wake and warm us up. We’d always come home with one or two six-pound fishes. I’m grateful for this memory because today it just wouldn’t happen. The fish sadly, are slowly disappearing.

Prepping Veggies for Salmon and Corn Chowder


This is a simple chowder with a hint of dill. The celery and fennel give it a nice crunch and the cooked bacon sprinkled on top gives it an extra hit of yummy.

Serves 4

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stick, cut into small dice
1 fennel bulb, top and bottom and core removed, split in half and diced small
2 boiling potatoes, scrubbed and diced small
1 cup corn frozen or fresh
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 pound skinless boneless salmon, cut into 1inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook bacon in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until crisp. Drain off the fat and cover in a paper towel.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the same pan and sauté onions, celery and fennel until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes are almost tender soft. Add corn, fish, milk and dill and simmer 6-8 more minutes until fish flakes. Be mindful not to boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with bacon sprinkled on top.

Salmon cut into cubes



Other Recipes to Try:

Crusty Pepper Salmon
Fish Tacos




Monday, September 21, 2020

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

The peaches in Vancouver this year were plentiful and scrumptious.


They were a little late showing up, but well worth the wait. Their arrival takes me down memory lane to the peach tree that grew on the sunny south side of our family house. As a young girl, I was convinced it was a big secret because no one ever went to that side of the house. But I did, and there they were, plump and delicious peaches growing on a white trellis. It was like a hidden treasure.
Fresh Peaches Cut Up on Chopping Block





Did you know that peaches originated in China many thousands of years ago? Now, they grow all over the world, even in the backyards of Vancouver.

Peach Cobbler


I made this peach cobbler three times to get it just the way I like it. Everyone but me liked all three versions, I hope you enjoy this one.


Making Cobbler

Peach Cobbler

Serves 4

6-8 medium-sized peaches, ripe, peeled and sliced (about 5 cups)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

11/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cups butter
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix peaches, brown sugar, and cinnamon together and spread in a 13x9x2 inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

For topping:

Mix flour with 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and vanilla. Using fingertips rub in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir. Spoon batter over hot filling in mounds and bake for 30 minutes until golden.



Other Fruit Desserts To Try:             

Cranberry Crumble With Fall Fruit
Cranberry, Crumble
with Fall Fruit



Cranberry Loaf
Cranberry Loaf

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Comforting Lentil Soup

comforting lentil soup

This is a perfect soup for the whole family. Its mild flavour is comforting and soothing. A recipe that will ease you into the fall season. 

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed well
1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot chili peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated

In a medium-sized pot, heat oil at medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and celery and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, lentils, barley, stock, water, basil, oregano, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.

Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve and pass the Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Other Soups You May Enjoy:



Homemade Tomato Soup in a Pot on the Stove






Kale, Squash and Bean Soup
A bowl of Kale, Squash and Bean Soup






Cheese and Potato Soup



Saturday, September 19, 2020

Moroccan Lamb Stew With Apricots and Dates

Moroccan Lamb Stew With Apricots and Dates

This easy Moroccan dish freezes well. It cooks into a thick, comforting and tasty stew.  I suggest serving it with couscous.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pound boneless lamb leg, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup whole dates, pitted
1/2 cup whole apricots
1-14 fl oz can tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a small bowl combine spices. In a medium size oven-proof pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and sauté until browned. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil and sauté onions, garlic, and carrots. Cook onions until soft, about 6 minutes. Add spices and stir 30 seconds. Return meat to pot with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook in oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Serve with cooked couscous. 

Prepare spices ahead of time
Prepare spices ahead of time

Lamb in Packages
Cut Lamb into Cubes