Courtesy of BC Fresh

2 lbs. BCfresh Red Nugget Potatoes 1 kg
1 BC red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced into julienne strips
4 whole BC green onions, diagonally sliced
1 stalk BC celery, thinly diagonally sliced

Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk 125 g
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives 15 mL
1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon peel 1 mL
1 tsp. Dijon mustard 5 mL
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground white pepper

Optional:
6.5 oz. chunk light tuna packed in water, drained 184 g

Instructions

Scrub unpeeled potatoes, cutting larger ones into halves. Place in a large saucepan with 1/2″ (1 cm) water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and gently steam for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a fork. Strain, return to the burner and shake briefly to dry. Set aside to briefly cool.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing combining ingredients in a large serving dish. Stir to blend. Add partially cooled potatoes along with red pepper strips, green onions and celery. Toss together to evenly coat with dressing. Refrigerate to completely cool. Add chunks of drained, chunk light tuna and additional gratings of fresh pepper before serving, if you wish.

Makes 4 servings.

Beet & Pear Salad

April 2, 2009

Courtesy of BC Fresh

8 medium BCfresh BEETS, cooked and peeled
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt 125 mL
2 Tbsp. liquid honey 30 mL
1 tsp. Dijon mustard 5 mL
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg .5 mL
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint 30 mL
Grated rind and juice from 1 orange
Salt and pepper
8 large BC LEAF LETTUCE leaves
2 BC BARTLET or ANJOU PEARS
Watercress sprigs

Instructions

In large bowl, combine yogurt, honey, mustard, nutmeg, mint, orange rind and juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir beets into yogurt dressing.

Arrange 1 lettuce leaf on each of 8 salad plates. Spoon beet mixture onto the top of the lettuce. Thinly slice pears. Arrange pear slices and watercress sprigs on top of beet mixture.

Makes 6 servings.

Apple Cream Pie

March 31, 2009

Makes 8 Servings

1 unbaked pie shell
3 cups (750 mL) apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cinnamon
1/3 cup (80 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter, divided
4 oz (125g) light cream cheese
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
3 Tbsp (45 mL) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped, toasted nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C).
2. Place apples in pie shell and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. In mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar, eggs and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the butter until creamy.
4. Add cream cheese and vanilla and blend until smooth. Pour over apples.
5. Combine brown sugar, flour, remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter and nuts, if using. Sprinkle over pie and bake for 1 hour.

Courtesy of BC Tree (http://www.bctree.com/recipes/index.php)

Per serving:
Calories: 312
Carbohydrate: 25 g (41%)
Protein: 4 g (8%)
Fat: 10.5 g (46%)
Fibre: 1.7 g
Sodium: 142 mg

1 tbsp    butter    15 mL
1/4 cup    onions, peeled and coarsely chopped    50 mL
2 1/2 cup    asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut in 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces    625 mL
1 cup    potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) pieces    250 mL
1 cup    chicken stock    250 mL
2 cups    whipping cream (or milk)    500 mL
1 cup    plain yogurt    250 mL
white pepper to taste
1/2 cup      blueberry or raspberry sherbert    125 mL
fresh dill sprigs

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté onions, potatoes and asparagus until the onions are translucent.  Add chicken stock and 1 cup (250 mL) cream or milk and simmer until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with white pepper. Purée mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth, then pass purée through a very fine sieve or strainer, using the back of a spoon to help push liquid through.  When mixture has cooled add plain yogurt and the other cup of cream or milk, blending well. At this point the soup may be reheated over medium heat, or chilled for 4 hours if serving cold. Garnish each serving with 1 tbsp (15mL) of sherbet and dill sprigs. Serves 5-6.

Serves 2

1/3 cup finely chopped mix of shallot, red onion, white onion, sweet onion, and leek (pale green and white part only)
3 tablespoons chopped scallion
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
4 slices (each 1/2-inch thick) country bread, halved crosswise
3/4 pound aged Cheddar, coarsely grated
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Heat a large griddle over medium-low heat until hot.

2. In a bowl, combine the onion mixture, scallion, and garlic. Make 4 sandwiches with bread, cheese (pack it on), and onion mixture. Butter both sides of the sandwiches.

3. Set the sandwiches on the griddle and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, until the bread is golden and the cheese melts.

Courtesy of “The Engine 2 Diet.”

1     onion, chopped
1     small head garlic, cloves chopped
8     ounces mushrooms, sliced
1     head broccoli, chopped
2     carrots, chopped
2     red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1     pound silken tofu
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1     teaspoon dried oregano
1     teaspoon dried basil
1     teaspoon dried rosemary
2     jars (about 25 ounces each) prepared pasta sauce
1     pound whole grain lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1     pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2     sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
6     Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1     cup raw cashews, ground

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a large skillet over high heat, cook the onion and garlic, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until they release their liquid.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, reserving the liquid in the pan.

4. In the same skillet, cook the broccoli and carrots, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add them to the mushroom mixture.

5. Add the bell peppers to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until they’re just beginning to soften; transfer to the bowl of vegetables.

6. Drain the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels. Break it into pieces. Add the tofu to the vegetables with the cayenne, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well.

7. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles generously with sauce. Spread all the vegetables on top. Add another layer of noodles, then another layer of sauce.

8. Distribute all the spinach evenly on top. Use all the sweet potatoes to make another layer. Add sauce, then noodles, and finally more sauce. Lay the tomatoes on top.

9. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

10. Remove the foil. Sprinkle with cashews and return to the oven. Continue baking for 15 minutes. (Total baking time is 1 hour.) Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Adapted from “The Engine 2 Diet”

Both my girlfriend and mom are from the Southern United States (North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively), so let me tell you I’ve had a biscuit or two in my day.  Southern cooks aren’t shy about copiously using butter, crisco and other unhealthy ingredients when they cook, which is why when I learned how my girlfriend didn’t use butter in her biscuits, I didn’t feel guilty about having two.

What’s the secret ingredient, you ask?  How, without using any butter, can you get that biscuit to melt in your mouth?  Well, in light of concerns about hydrogenated oil and excessive butter use, we had to come up with something.  The answer…Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for a few reasons.  First it stays solid at room temperature, which is important because it needs to be “cut into” the dry mixture so that it is of a course crumble consistency.  The coconut oil in this state allows for the same consistency of the mixture as butter without jepoardizing the final product.  In case Memphis Blues might be reading, here’s her recipe:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cut in 1/2 cup solid coconut oil till mixture is of a course crumbly consistency.  Make a well in the center.  Add 2/3 cup milk all at once.  Stir until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Quickly kneed dough intil nearly smooth.  Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with 2 1/2 inch cutter.

Place them 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

They come out golden brown on top, just slightly crispy, and absolutely melt in your mouth in the middle.  Add 2 1/4 cups of shredded yams if you’re feeling adventurous, and serve with chicken, gravy or some grilled catfish (if you can find it here) or, more traditionally, breakfast.  Do what I do and spread lots of butter on top.  You can’t have a fresh biscuit without butter!