Cooks Corner

Fresh Fruit Cake

Peach cake 2

This amazing cake takes a bit of time to prepare but once you taste it it will be on your ‘Favourites’ list.     :)

Ingredients:   

Fruit Base:

Enough Soft Fruit to line the bottom of a

glass baking pan (apricots, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, etc.)

Lemon Zest – finely grated skin of one lemon

1/2 cup Sugar – granulated

Nutmeg ground – as needed

4 Tbs. Melted butter

2 Tbs. Flour  –  Whole Wheat

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups Flour  –  Whole Wheat
1 cup Sugar – granulated

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

———————————————–––––––—–
Wet Ingredients: 

3 Eggs

2 Tbs. Melted butter or Olive Oil
1/2 cup Milk or Milk substitutes

Directions:

• Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

• Oil the glass baking pan

• Line the pan with soft fruit, pitted and cut in half.  If the skins are tough, peel them.

• Grate the rind of a lemon over the fruit.

• Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the fruit

• Pour 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the fruit.

• Dust the fruit with powdered Nutmeg.

• Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of flour over the fruit.

• In a bowl mix the four dry ingredients with the whisk.

• In another bowl mix the three wet ingredients with the whisk or stick blender.

• Bake at 375º for 30 minutes.

• When the cake sets and the edges brown lightly, you can set the pan on top of the oven or on a wire rack to cool.

Serving Options:

Upside Down Cake – We can place a cookie sheet over the finished cake then quickly flip it over.  This will display the fruit on the surface of the cake.

Baked Side-Up version – I prefer it served this way, as the cake remains crisp in texture.

Almond MIlk

almond milk 1

Ingredients:   

1 cup Almonds with skins still on

2 cups boiling water

1-1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

3 Tbs  Honey or Maple Syrup

Up to 2 liters of cold water (without chlorine)

Directions:     For 2 liters of milk

• Put 1 cup of almonds into a 2-cup measure.

• Fill the measuring cup with boiling water.

• Allow the almonds to soak, preferably overnight,

• Drain. Pour hot water over the almonds then roll the almonds between your fingers; the skins should pop off.

• Put the peeled almonds in the blender with 2 cups of cold (chlorine-free) water.

• Run the blender at least five minutes.

• Place the jelly bag into the top of the pitcher and secure it, pour in the almond milk.

• Squeeze the jelly bag to get the liquid out.

• Put the pulp back into the blender with two more cups of cold water and repeat the process.

• After the third blending pour some of your almond milk back into the blender and add 1-1/2 tsp. pure Vanilla extract and 3 Tbs Honey or Maple Syrup while blending.

• Return the sweetened milk back into the pitcher and top it up with cold water.

• Save the pulp for baking in cookies and cakes.

 

Stir before serving, as some of the residual pulp and sweetener settles to the bottom.

Bran Muffins

bran muffins

Makes about 24 muffins.

Ingredients:    

1 cup Raisins 

2 cups of Hot Water

3 Eggs

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla

1/2 cup Olive,  Coconut or Sesame Oil

1 Tbs.  Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 cup Molasses

1-1/2 cups Bran

3/4 cup Sugar

2 1/2 cups Whole Wheat or Spelt  Flour

1/4 cup Wheat Germ (optional)

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Tbs. Cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts  (optional)

Directions:  At least a half hour before you start to bake, soak the raisins in 2 cups of hot water.  Beat the eggs thoroughly, add molasses and oil.  Now add the water that you soaked the raisins in. If you are using an electric mixer put the sugar in with the Wet ingredients.  If you are mixing by hand put the sugar in with the Dry ingredients.  By hand, stir the raisins and bran into the wet mixture.

In a medium bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.  Gently combine the egg mixture with the dry ingredients taking care not to over mix.  The mixture should be runny enough to drop off a large spoon into the oiled muffin pans.  If it is too thick add a bit more water or milk… if it is too watery add a bit more bran.

Bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes till they smell good and look brown on top and bottom.  The muffins should be springy to touch and when a toothpick is inserted it should come out feeling dry, not gooey.

Veggie Pate

pate

Ingredients:    

3 Cups of  ground Sunflower Seeds

1 Cup Nutritional Yeast  (not brewers)

1 Cup Whole Grain Flour

2-1/2 tsp. each dried Sage, Basil, Thyme,  use more if herbs are fresh

1 tsp. Ground Cloves

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Olive Oil -or- sesame oil

2 medium Onions

2 medium raw Potato

3 Tbs Lemon Juice

2-3 Cups Warm Water (or less)

Directions:   preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grind the sunflower seeds in a clean coffee grinder. Add them to the mixing bowl with all the dry ingredients. Grate the potato and the onion to a mushy consistency and stir them into the bowl along with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Stir in just enough water to make the mixture very moist. Spoon the mixture into lightly oiled pans and bake for 45 minutes -or- until the center is brown and set. Let it cool before serving.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

cheddar crackers

Ingredients:    

2 Cups of Whole Grain Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp. Dried Basil    (or 1 Tbs. chopped fresh Basil

1 Tbs. chopped Fresh Parsley    (or 1 tsp. Dried parsley)

½ tsp of Cayenne -or- ½ tsp Paprika

¼ tsp finely ground Salt

1 tsp of organic Sugar

1 Cup  aged Cheddar Cheese (grated)

¼ Cup of Butter (or ½ Cup of olive oil)

2 Tbs coarse Celtic Salt (optional)

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium sized bowl mix all of the dry ingredients with the whisk. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the dry ingredients. Use the pastry blender to mix in the butter in until the batter is crumbly. Mix in the grated Cheese with a fork -or- a stationary mixer with a dough blade.

Gradually add water, stop when the mixture is wet enough to stick together but not wet enough to stick to your hands or the rolling pin.  Divide the dough in half and roll it out to about 1/8th of an inch on the parchment paper. If it gets too sticky as you are rolling it out, dust it very lightly with a bit of flour (use a wire mesh strainer or flour sifter). Slide the parchment paper, with the dough, onto the cookie sheets then cut to the desired sizes with the pizza cutter. Prick each cracker with a fork. If you wish, you can sprinkle 1 tablespoon of coarse salt on each tray of crackers. Be sure to press the salt into the crackers before they bake.

Put the trays on the top rack of your oven. Bake for 12 minutes then pull them out to see if the are getting brown on the edges. Remove the lightly brown ones then turn the trays around and put them back into the oven. Repeat this every three minutes until all the crackers are done. It is better to have them under done than over done!

 

Quick Biscuits

biscuits

Makes a dozen medium size biscuits

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Flour (whole wheat or spelt flour)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3/4  Cup Milk

Directions:

– Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl using a whisk or a fork.

– Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.

– Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.

– Using an oiled metal spoon, drop spoonfuls of dough onto your cookie sheet, (you can adjust the shape with your spoon).

Bake about 20 minutes, just until the edges are lightly brown.

QUICK BISCUITS: you can pre-mix batches of the dry ingredients and store in a freezer in air-tight containers.  When you need biscuits, you only have to mix your oil and milk and stir in, then it is ready to bake.

 

Simple Tomato Soup

tomato soup

 This recipe feeds 6 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons  ‘cold pressed’ Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic, minced

12 large Tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

Water as needed

2 teaspoons of Thyme

1/4 cup of Cream or Vanilla Yogurt

2 tablespoons Butter

2 teaspoons of Salt

add Pepper to taste

Directions:

– Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

– Add onions and garlic and continue to cook until translucent.

– Add tomatoes and sugar and cook for 5 more minutes, stir in thyme, then cook for about 25 minutes.

– Purée the soup with a food processor or blender.

– Pour purée through a food mill or rub it against the sides of a strainer, over a pot using a wooden spoon.

–  If you wish, you can add water until you reach your desired consistency.

– For a very rich taste, you can stir in cream or butter.

– Season with salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions: Garnish with grated parmesan cheese,  chopped chives or croutons that have been toasted, then tossed in melted butter and herbs.

Ratatouille

ratatoulli 2

This recipe feeds 6 – 8 people. Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of ‘cold pressed’ Olive Oil  (I use this oil lots!)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic (crushed)
  • 2 Bay Leaves ­­­
  • 2 medium Onions (chopped)
  • 2 medium Eggplants (peeled and cut into bit-size chunks)
  •     (If you do not like eggplant substitute more zucchini.)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of Salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Rosemary
  • 2 to 3 Cups of fresh Zucchini (cubed)
  • 2 or 3 red, yellow or orange Bell Peppers ( bit-size chunks)
  • 4 medium sized Fresh Tomatoes  (diced)
  •    -or-   a 14-1/2 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • … if you have fresh parsley use it as a topping

Directions: – In a large pot heat the oil then add the onions, garlic and bay Leaves and cook until the onion is translucent. – Add the eggplant, salt and spices (not the pepper) cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes until the eggplant is tender.  (Stir occasionally) – Stir in the bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and black pepper.  It usually takes around 10 minutes for the peppers to become tender. – Serve it at any temperature. We usually serve it hot on a bed of warm brown rice and garnish it with fresh parsley.

Simple Miso Soup

miso-soup-1

Serves 6
Ingredients:  

  • 6 inch strip Seaweed (chopped)
  • 6 cups Water or Soup Stock
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil (preferably cold pressed)
  • 1 large Onion  (chopped)
  • 4 stalks Celery
  • 1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2  Tbs Tamari or Braggs Liquid
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/3 cup Miso

Directions:  

  • In a large saucepan saute chopped onions in olive oil for 5 minutes.
  • Add celery and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Pour in soup stock and bring just to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add everything EXCEPT the Miso.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • 10 minutes before you wish to serve, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Take out one cup of soup and blend the Miso into it with a fork.
  • Stir the liquid Miso solution back into the soup.
  • Cover and wait 5 minutes for flavours to mix before serving.

Pinto Bean Soup

bean-soup

Here is a hearty soup that is easy to prepare and features a unique and delicious taste.  Serve with a grain and you have a great protein rich meal.
It serves 10.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dry Pinto Beans
  • 6 cups Water or Soup Stock
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil (preferably cold pressed)
  • 2 large Onions (chopped)
  • 4 Garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper, just grind some in fresh
  • 6 more cups Soup Stock or Water
  • 2 – 3 Tbs Tamari or Braggs Liquid
  • 2 Tbs Butter

OPTIONAL Additions:

  • 4 inch strip Seaweed
  • Hot Sauce – Sour Cream – Salsa

Directions:

  • Cook 2 cups of pinto beans in 6 cups of water for 1-1/2 hours (until soft).
  • Mash most of the beans with a stick blender or potato masher
  • In a saucepan saute chopped onions in olive oil for 10 min.
  • Add crushed garlic, salt and pepper; cook another five minutes.
  • Add onion/garlic mix to the mashed beans.
  • Add soup stock or water to reach your preferred consistency.
  • Add tamari and butter (optional hot sauce to taste).
  • Simmer 20 minutes to melt butter and blend flavours, stirring frequently or it will stick!

This soup is very Mexican so serve with salsa and sour cream… Yummmmm.