Two years ago today I posted my first blog entry. For real. The time has gone really quickly. When I started out I wasn't really sure what this blog would look like or what sort of information I would provide. It quickly evolved to a recipe testing/transforming/sharing format. A much slower evolution also took hold; the sharing of more of my personal life. There was only so many ways I could talk about how I swapped out whole wheat flour for white, or Greek yogurt for sour cream before things get a little dry and repetitive. When I was younger I was a diary keeper, my last entries were done around grade eleven, After that I kept a yearly planner that included homework, weekend adventures, dinner plans, holidays and work schedules. I have now progressed to iCal on my phone. I keep track of the boys' big moments in the calendar too (I have yet to get a baby book started for either of them). I guess I have always had a need to document. The part that is missing is the details. Maybe that's where this blog fits in, a way to document some of the details.
It has also been a great way to keep track of my favorite recipes. I refer back often. There are still things I would like to do: add a print option, figure out a better way to categorize the recipes so they are easier to find, add a search box, etc. Someone asked me a while ago "Why do you write your blog?". I thought it was kind of a strange question. It was hard to answer. I don't make any money doing it. I guess it does provides some exposure for my business and website, but that's not the motivator either. I think I would still write entries even if no one was reading. I just really like doing it, which is really the best motivator. Of course I love that people do read, try recipes and realize that healthy eating doesn't have to be tasteless or difficult.
For this entry I am sharing a recipe for lemon loaf. When I was younger I was not a lemon dessert fan at all. My Mom and Grandma love them. I was sure it was an older lady thing. Then it hit me like a truck. A sudden love of lemon desserts. I am officially an older lady by my own definition. Whatever, as long as there is lemon loaf. Of course I was looking for something a little more healthy, but still moist and very lemony. I used Meyer lemons. Good lord, go out and buy some if you haven't already. First off they are the most beautiful yellow colour, they scream spring. They release the most amazing smell when you zest them (like candy). They are also easier to juice than their traditional cousins.
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of canola oil
1 cup of low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel (I was very generous to achieve max lemon flavour)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Squeeze lemon juice from a fresh lemon. Then grate the peel.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.
In a large bowl, stir egg, oil, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and lemon peel. Once mixed, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well (it will be a pretty thick batter)
Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes.
While baking, mix together the sugar and remaining lemon juice to create a glaze. When bread is done baking and has cooled, apply glaze. I used a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the bread. Adapted from here.
So yeah, delicious. I doubled the recipe (of course) and froze a loaf for a later date. I added a little more lemon juice to the glaze because I wanted it more tart than sweet. Loved it. Very moist.
Thank you for reading, trying recipes and all your comments. The last two years have flown by. I feel so lucky to have something in my life that I enjoy so much.
Last post I discussed the things I like and don’t like (loved all the feedback and comments that post generated). I am sure you noticed things like yoga, working out at the gym on my not enjoy list. People often assume that I eat healthy and am fit and active. I do eat healthy, but fit and active, not so much. I find fitting regular activity into my life difficult. It isn’t even a time thing, I just don’t feel like it for the most part. I know all the benefits and reasons for activity, but at 7:00 pm they are not always convincing enough. When I have spare time I want to read a book. Having two small boys I am often on the move. I am not sitting with my feet up for the most part. At the same time I know I am not getting my heart rate up or breaking a sweat. My husband is one of those people that doesn’t have trouble building activity into his life. He chooses goals like doing a triathlon or running a marathon and works towards that goal (the wallpaper on his iPad is his training schedule). Marathons, triathalons, so not for me.
I know the activity that I am more likely to enjoy and therefore stick with. I need a class with a start time. I also like a group and music. I grew up taking dance classes so those things feel right to me. That being said I have a three month pass to Stereo Fitness waiting to be started. Since August....no joke. I have managed to create legitimate reasons (to myself) why the present month was not the month to start. I went to some classes while I was pregnant with Sawyer and loved them. I had every intention of starting back up as soon as my midwife gave the go ahead. They even offer child care.
Stereo Fitness is currently running a fabulous health and wellness challenge. Last night was the kick off. The participants were given their challenges and were introduced to the Health and Wellness Squad, which I am included in. It was inspring to see so many people excited about making healthful changes in their lives without the focus being on weight loss alone. Well guess what? It was enough to kick my sedentary butt into gear, drop the excuses and get active. It is about damned time.
Back to food. At my son's playschool parents take turn making snacks for the entire class. For my turn I decided on Pineapple Carrot Mini-Muffins and a fruit tray.
Directions:Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, soda and cinnamon. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry blend until moist. Do not overmix. Spoon into muffin pans (greased) and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees farenheit. Adapted from here.
I made a double batch because it used up the whole can of pineapple and I love to have muffins in the freezer. Compared to the original recipe these muffins are higher in fiber, lower in sugar, fat and sodium. I also like that there is a variety of fruit and veg in them. The pineapple makes them very moist. A double batch made 36 mini muffins and 12 regular muffins. The mini muffins were perfect in my oven between 15 and 20 minutes of baking.
They were a hit, no leftovers sent home. One of Hudson's class mates called them "delicious". These are a great on the go snack, or work as a part of breakfast or lunch.
Not to be outdone by active husband, the wallpaper on my iPad is the Stereo Fitness class scedule. Hope to see you there!
I really like scones, not the oversized, floury, run of the mill coffee house ones. Good, aromatic, homemade ones. I don't ever make them though. I am always turned off by the large amount of butter required. A friend sent me a recipe for grapefruit oatmeal scones, so I changed my mind in a big hurry. Grapefruit obsession + almost 40 weeks pregnant + overwhelming urge to bake = match made in heaven. I must say I am a huge believer in the 80/20 principal: making healthy choices 80% of the time and less healthy choices the rest of the 20%. Healthy eating to me isn't about constructing the perfect diet (whatever that is). Sounds like torture and a sure fire way to end up fantasizing about the foods you can't have all day long leading to over eating them when you finally get your desperate hands on them. All that said I still tweaked the recipe a little (I can't help myself).
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons granulated sugar + more to sprinkle on top
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Ruby Red grapefruit, zested and segmented (how to do this here)
1 tablespoon orange zest
3/4 cup cold salted butter, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup plain non- fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 400°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Toss the grapefruit zest and orange zest with the dry ingredients.
Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, coarse peas. Work quickly so the butter doesn't warm too much. Add the yogurt and honey, and toss everything together with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
Add the grapefruit pieces last. Quickly and gently envelope them into the scone mixture. You don't want the grapefruit chunks to become smashed or release much juice as that will alter the texture of your scones.
Turn the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into an 8-inch circle, about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into ten triangles using a knife. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and firm but soft in the center. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Adapted from here.
Are you kidding me? These were perfect. Waiting the recommended 15 minutes of cooling was torture. What did I change? I reduced the amount of sugar, butter and salt. I also used non-fat Greek yogurt. The original recipe called for oat flour, but I switched it for whole wheat just because I didn't have any. I also cut them into ten pieces instead of six to take down the portion size a little. I was thinking the zest of the entire grapefruit would be a little over powering, but it wasn't at all (be sure to zest your grapefruit before you segment it).
So now two days away from my due date I have a special treat to enjoy, something that seems so fitting to this grapefruit frenzied pregnancy.
All of a sudden I am 38 weeks pregnant. In other words 2 weeks and away from my due date. Of course it isn't all of a sudden, but it still has a way of sneaking up on you. The last week has been spent finishing room details for both boys, organizing newborn baby clothes (which includes gushing over how small newborn diapers are), making appointments for the dentist, a massage and a pedicure (don't want to look at ugly toes when I am in labour). My parents were also kind enough to have our house cleaned top to bottom. There are meals in the freezer, the infant car seat is clean and ready to be used to safely bring home another amazing little boy, the house/car are clean and I have almost packed my hospital bag. I dare say I feel ready.
Then I think about the whole delivery idea. I have done this before, but I don't know if that makes me feel any more ready for it. I also feel like a newbie in someways. When I had Hudson my water broke with no labour so I was induced. I am hoping to go into labour myself this time which would allow me to spend a little longer at home. The one thing I did learn is that you can hope for a lot of things but you don't have a lot of control over the process. Sometimes your water breaks with no labour, sometimes you need to get induced, sometimes baby is posterior, sometimes baby has a short umbilical cord that leads to fetal distress, sometimes forceps are used, and sometimes you tear. But most of the time there is a healthy baby at the end bringing on the biggest wave of emotion you have ever felt. I am ready for that. In the mean time every Braxton Hicks contraction or twinge I feel I wonder...is this it?
When a friend announced on Facebook that she had made Raspberry Cream Cheese Quinoa Muffins, I had to get the recipe. And get it I did....worth sharing.
1/2 c quinoa
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 oz cold light cream cheese, diced small
1 c frozen raspberries
1/2 c white or cane sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 c light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave covered pot on burner for 15 mins, fluff with fork and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400, line muffin pan with paper liners. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda in medium bowl, blend well. Add 1 1/4c of cooked quinoa and mix until its evenly coated with flour mixture. Stir in the cream cheese, breaking up any large pieces. The cream cheese should remain chunky in these muffins. Add the frozen raspberries and coat in flour mixture, set aside
In large bowl whisk sugar and oil together, followed by the egg. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combined. Spoon the dough evenly into muffin pan. Bake on the center rack for 25-27 mins until muffins are light brown around edges and toothpick comes out clean. Store in a sealed container in fridge up to 1 week or freeze. Makes 12. Adapted from Quinoa 365.
I reduced the amount of sugar and eliminated the salt. When I made them I doubled the batch, I like to have muffins in my freezer at all times. This is a great recipe if you have leftover quinoa around. These were really, really good. They have a really nice texture. And can you really beat the raspberry cream cheese combo?
Maybe I will see you here next week, maybe I won't. I have a feeling I will.
I am not a Christmas baker. The only Christmas baking that I look forward to (other people making) is shortbread, specifically my Grandpa's recipe, and something referred to as "Christmas Crack". My mother-in-law makes it, it consists of a layer of soda crackers with a toffee like layer smothered in chocolate. We are spending the holidays with my in laws in Edmonton this year and I have been assured the "Christmas Crack" has been made....fewf. A pregnant girl has got to have something while others are enjoying rum and eggnogs or mulled wine. That being said it is nice to have something sweet around, so I decided to make some glazed nuts.
1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pound walnut halves or pecans or mixed nuts (works out to about 3.5 cups)
Adapted from here.
I used mixed nuts and accidently bought salted nuts. I like the salty/sweet combo so no big deal. These turned out really well. I thought the amounts of spices sounded like a lot (especially the cloves) but they all blend really well together. When you take them out of the oven they will still be a little sticky but will harden up once they cool. I highly recommend the use of parchment paper or a really good non-stick cookie sheet.
Overall: really easy and great taste. They also make a great gift, are a perfect topper for salads and are add some tradition to holiday gatherings. They are pretty easy to get carried away with, so watch out. Nuts are loaded with protein and healthy fats but are also calorie dense, so try to stick to a handful (good luck).
Over the weekend we went to visit Santa at Woodland Gardens, didn't go so well. But really, would childhood be complete without a crying with Santa photo?
When I first saw this recipe for healthy double chocolate muffins I was intrigued. On the up side there was a lot of interesting ingredients, plus the promise of double chocolate. On the down side, could it taste good? Sometimes the healthy version of things are so far off, it is embarrassing to even pretend they are the same thing. I did note this is a muffin, not a cupcake. Let's keep expectations under control here.
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk ( or 1 cup skim milk + 1 tbsp vinegar let sit for 5 min)
1 cup (250 mL) pure pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling
1 cup (250 mL) dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup (125 mL) bran
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
¾ cup (175 mL) ground flaxseed
½ cup (125 mL) cocoa powder
2 tbsp (30 mL) wheat germ (I didn't have any so I left it out)
2 tbsp (30 mL) cinnamon
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 cup (60 mL) chocolate chips at least 60% cocoa mass or 70% cocoa mass chocolate chunks
Adapted from here.
These are not muffins you want to eat hot out of the oven, they taste better once cooled. I really liked them. If you are looking for a hard core chocolate fix, this is not your winner. But they are not too sweet to have for breakfast.
The whole wheat flour, bran and flax add fiber (who doesn't want to take great poops?). The pumpkin is acting as a fat replacer with the added bonus of adding a lot of moisture and beta carotene (with the left over pumpkin make these). The dark chocolate contains fabulous antioxidants, plus it is chocolate. The flax brings omega three fatty acids, almost all of us could use more of those. I bought the flax whole and ground it myself in the Magic Bullet to the consistency of corn meal. You can buy ground flax, but be sure to keep it in the freezer. Once the outer shell is cracked they can go rancid quickly. At the same time the shell needs to be cracked for our bodies to be able to digest the omega three fatty acids, otherwise out the same way as they came in. A lot of poo talk today, not that I mind. I have never grown out of poo and fart jokes, I can't help myself.
This did seem to make a real mess in my kitchen. You might envision Susie Homemaker over here, umm not so much (if you know me well you probably don't). I can be a disaster while in preparation mode. Maybe that's part of the fun?
I love to bake when it is stormy. Nothing makes you feel warm and cozy like fresh baked muffins. One possible down side would be a power failure mid-bake. I have a scar on my finger from one such muffin making extravaganza. The nut chopping got a little wild and the knife got away from me, a snow storm I can never forget. The muffins were good though.
This has all been a great winter welcome back to the West Coast. The rest of our vacation was amazing. The only down side was when my son projectile vomited while our plane was taxing to our gate in Vancouver. Apparently he doesn't do turbulence. FYI: there are no bathrooms until you get through customs. Good times, at least it was landing and not take off (to be honest Hudson and my husband bore the brunt of it).
Up until this point I have never made bran muffins, quite possibly a reason to have my right to practice revoked I am sure. I like bran muffins a lot, but just didn’t ever see a good enough recipe to make me go out and buy some bran (kind of a key ingredient). This Buttermilk Bran Muffin recipe was the one, bran bought.
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk add 1 generous tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 1/4 cups of milk and let sit for 5 mins.....magic)
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.
Lightly spray or line with muffin liners twelve nonstick muffin cups with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the bran, flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, using a handheld eletric mixer set at high speed, beat the buttermilk, sugar, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla until frothy, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a spoon, stir just until combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the center, about 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups. Serve warm or cool completely on the rack. Adapted from here.
This is the basic recipe, which I think begs for additions. I added 1 cup of frozen blueberries and one tsp of cinnamon. The possibilities are endless: raisins, nuts (don't cut your finger tip off), shredded carrot with ginger, mashed banana, etc. I really loved the texture of these muffins, they were also very moist. They freeze well too. Loaded with fiber, low in sugar and saturated fat.
Fire up the oven and use the stormy weather as an excuse to bake...
I was recently the lucky recipient of a large box of fall fruit from my uncle who had just been in the Okanogan. The Bartlett pears were divine, my favorite fruit when they are the perfect ripeness. A little trick I learned from the pear growers: pears ripen from the inside out so don't squeeze the flesh to judge ripeness, instead feel the ends. If they are starting to soften eat the pear. If the outside is getting soft the inside is usually turning brown and is unpleasantly mushy.
But this is about apples. Also in the box were various kinds of apples, all very authentic with their matte, just picked off the tree look. We have been eating them like crazy, but I decided to do something extra special with some of them. As I have mentioned before I don't really like pastry, but do love the baked apple cinnamon taste of the filling. My all time favorite dessert is cheese cake and one of my favorite cookies is shortbread...when I came across the recipe for this apple tart on the Joy of Baking website there was no decision to made. Start to preheat the oven!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
One 8-ounce package of light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups BC apples, cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 2-3 large apples)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Spray a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan with non-stick spray. I think you could use a pie pan as well.
Crust: In the bowl of your food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse to blend together. Add the butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together. Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling. My crust was still quite powdery, it didn’t “come together” as the recipe states. I was thinking flop for sure, but it turned out fine. I still was able to press it into the pan.
Filling: In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling.
Topping: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss the sliced apples in the sugar mixture. Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds. Place the spring form pan on a larger baking sheet to catch any drips.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is brown, the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, and the filling is almost set. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve at room temperature. Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Adapted from here.
So what did I do differently? I used whole wheat flour instead of white, I reduced the amount of sugar, used light cream cheese and didn't peel the apples. Didn't make an ounce of difference in the taste, I loved every bite...no maybe savored is a better description. I do think butter is essential to the short bread crust. Making shortbread cookies with margarine is a crime as far as I am concerned, so not happening with the crust either. A slice of this tart comes in at 273 calories, 16 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar. A slice of apple pie is 400 calories, 21 grams of fat and 23 grams of sugar, quite the savings and a much better taste if I do say so myself.
I would also like to plug my hand blender that is pictured above (I used this in place of a food processor with this recipe). Love this thing...I hesitate to call it a gadget as that implies something more gimmicky. It is a motor top portion that attaches to either an emersion blender (great for soups and making baby foods), food processing unit (use it for fresh salsa, guacamole, dips) and a whisk attachment (perfect for small jobs where a mixer is over kill). The best part - all dishwasher safe. Every time I use it it makes me happy.
Anyways the tart was a hit all around. It is also a way to appreciate the changing seasons and all they have to offer. The smell of apples baking evokes crisp mornings, crunching leaves underfoot and all else that fall means to you.
I had planned to share a summery salad today, but with the rain it didn’t feel quite right. I can hear the drops bouncing off my roof, a sound I actually love. I kind of like the rain, I said it. Maybe it is because I grew up on the West Coast, maybe it is because it gives you an excuse to cuddle up with some hot tea and a good book in July. It also makes me grateful that I have a roof over my head and a place to call home. Would I want it to rain everyday? Probably not, but I can handle a few rainy days.
I eat my bananas when they are yellow, no brown spots. This is the way my husband likes them as well, so I have a few things to do with over-ripe bananas like muffins and adding them to smoothies. There have been a lot less of these brown beauties around since my son has turned into a banana monster, but I did have one the other day, looking rather sad and lonely in the fruit bowl. I have been wanting to make banana rice pudding ever since I came across the recipe two years ago, the time had come.
I like to think of myself as willing to try quite a variety of foods. But I had decided long ago that I didn’t like rice pudding even though I had never tried it. I knew I didn’t like tapioca and this all seemed the same to me. Then one day I tired it, I am sad that I wasted so many years not eating rice pudding.
Baked Brown Rice Banana Pudding (Adapted from the Swedish Heart Diet)
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups skim milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 medium banana
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook brown rice as directed or use left over rice. In a blender mix together milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, brown sugar, vanilla and margarine (this will all just fit in a Magic Bullet). In a large bowl mix together rice, raisins, pecans and mashed banana. Add the blender mixture and stir making sure the rice doesn’t clump. Pour into a 8”x 8” glass baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 45 min.
Very, very good. Huge hit with my son. I think cinnamon always adds a sense of sweetness, there is not a lot of sugar in the recipe but the end result tastes quite sweet. This rice pudding makes a great dessert or is great for breakfast in place of hot cereal (you know how I love new non-egg breakfast ideas). When reheating it helps to add a little milk to moisten. For a 1/2 cup serving there are 292 calories, 8 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat (mostly unsaturated) and 4 grams of fiber…nice! I thought the use of a blender sounded a little weird, but it worked out really well and made things a little quicker.
The perfect way to make up for my years of not eating rice pudding…
I went to the Comox Valley Farmer’s Market on Saturday with a friend, her twin boys and my son….all in the same vehicle. Car seats galore. It was an action packed ride that included a lost apple and a foot stuck in the door handle, but we made it. Once there it was great. I love seeing what people actually grow (I try not to compare it to my first-timer veggie garden). The boys enjoyed the musical entertainment, snacks and helium balloons.
I came home with some rhubarb and cheese. I love rhubarb, probably because I like tart things. I don’t eat it that often, but have been thinking about it a lot because of the road-side signs advertising its availability. When I got home I did a quick Google search for recipes. I came across one for rhubarb chutney, sounded good but must involve some kind of processing or canning. Not so! It was actually quite easy and a way I have never used rhubarb.
Spiced Rhubarb Chutney
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup raisins
Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy large pot. Bring to simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb, onion and dried raisins; increase heat to medium-high and cook until rhubarb is tender and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.) Adapted from Bon Appetit.
I served it over barbequed pork medallions that I seasoned with a pinch of salt. The chutney had a very rich, spiced flavour that was very complex. The different spices would pop up in each bite. I reduced the amount of sugar because I like the tartness. I think it would also be good over chicken or on a multigrain baguette with a soft cheese.
I still had some left over rhubarb, so I decided to make the classic strawberry rhubarb crisp. Trying new things is good, but enjoying classics is still great too. My Mom used to make it for us. It always seemed close to my birthday (the end of May) maybe that’s why I have such good memories. Rhubarb also always reminds me of my mom warning us 1000 times that the leaves were poisonous (when she saw the rhubarb in my fridge from the market she thankfully reminded me again, for real).
Preheat the oven to 375°
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup oats
Combine white sugar, 1 tbsp flour and fruit in an 8x8 glass baking dish. Combine the rest of ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork to cut in the margarine. Top fruit with the mixture and bake for 45 min.
Serve alone or with vanilla frozen yogurt. I don’t need to tell you how good this was. To see the original recipe look here. I reduced both the brown and white sugar, the margarine, switched to whole wheat flour and increased the fruit.
Who wouldn't want their house to smell this good and who wouldn't want car seats three deep for a little adventure?
Tiffany McFadden, RD