Posts Tagged by mint
|April 15, 2013||Filled under Salads, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Vegetables|
Here’s an easy side for your next barbecue or weeknight dinner. This flavourful herb-filled dressing, which is a cross between pesto and salsa verde with a hint of Caesar dressing, is versatile and great on grilled vegetables, chicken, steak, or fish. The best part is that everything for the dressing gets tossed into a food processor or blender and it’s ready with the touch of a button.
Zucchini is low in calories and high in nutrients like potassium, folate, and vitamin A. Most of the nutrients are in the skin so make sure to leave the skin on. Zucchini is also great fried in a Gwenyth Paltrow inspired pasta, and in these amazing vegan chocolate chip muffins. But I really love zucchini best when it’s grilled and simply dressed with this minty pesto dressing. Hope you enjoy.
Grilled Zucchini with Herb Dressing (serves 3 to 4 as a side)
- 2 medium zucchinis, cut diagonally into 1/4″ slices
- Non-stick cooking spray or canola oil
- Parmesan cheese shavings (omit for vegan version)
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional, omit for vegan version)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Special Equipment: Blender or food processor, grill pan/outdoor grill
- Preheat grill pan to medium-high heat. When pan is quite hot and almost smoking, spray with non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush pan with oil. Lay slices of zucchini onto grill pan in a single layer, and cook about 2 minutes each side, or until zucchini has charred grill marks. Remove from pan and place in serving dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
- Meanwhile, place dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend. Set aside. Add more olive oil if too thick and blend. Spoon over grilled zucchini and sprinkle with Parmesan shavings, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste.
PS – I don’t have access to an outdoor grill but if you have one, I would totally recommend using it for grilling instead of a grill pan indoors. Unless it’s raining or snowing, both of happened last week.
|September 12, 2011||Filled under Indian, Salads, Sauces & Dips, Sides, Snacks & Appetizers, Vegetables|
Samosas are little pastry pockets of potato-y goodness, spiced with Indian flavours, deep-fried and served with refreshing cilantro chutney. My samosa-eating days came to a screeching halt when I went gluten free and my mouth would water with envy as my family and friends devoured them at parties and dinners. I’m sure I looked pretty pathetic as I sulked.
After going gluten-free, I attempted making samosa spring rolls using Vietnamese rice paper wraps, which turned out to be an epic fail. I was left with oil everywhere, grease burns, a burnt pot, etc. But I also had leftover samosa potato filling and chutney dipping sauce which I ended up combining to make a delicious potato salad. So now whenever I crave samosas, I make this spicy potato salad instead. It’s not only great for easy cleanup, but it’s also way better for my waistline and arteries.
The potato mix is adapted from 500 Chili Recipes, which D found at Borders in the clearance section for $5. Best $5 score ever. It’s such a great book with spicy recipes from around the world, pictures for each dish, and clear simple recipes – I definitely recommend this cookbook for anyone who loves exotic spicy eats. The coriander chutney is adapted from an old issue of Fine Cooking - one of my fave cooking mags.
What gives the potatoes a distinctly samosa-y flavour is the combo of onions, ground coriander, ground cumin, and peas. A little saute action to soften the onions and toast up the spices is key. Easy peas-y.
The coriander chutney is very refreshing – both sweet and tangy at the same time. Throwing everything into a food processor is all you need to do for this one. I use leftover chutney on salads. PS – if you like my blog, you can follow me on twitter or like my facebook group for updates. Thanks for your support.
Recipe Spiced Samosa Potato Salad (Serves 4 – 6 as a side)
- 4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 Thai bird chilies, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp chopped coriander and mint
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
- Combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a food processor or mini chopper and puree. Set aside.
- Boil potatoes in a medium pot. Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add cumin and ground coriander, stir and saute for 3 minutes. Add peas and continue cooking until peas are heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes, and set aside.
- When potatoes are tender, drain and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Place in medium mixing bowl and add onion mixture, chilies, chopped coriander, lemon juice, and salt and stir to combine.
- Add 1/3 cup of the chutney and 1 tablespoon of oil to the potatoes and stir. Serve room temperature or chilled.
|August 8, 2011||Filled under Italian, Main Dishes, Pasta, Rice, & Grains, Vegetables|
This dish is adapted from Gwenyth Paltrow’s fried zucchini spaghetti recipe from her new cookbook My Father’s Daughter. Now this Oscar-winning, country-singing, glee-starring, lifestyle-blogging, rockstar-marrying, mother-of-twoing, is also a bona-fide cookbook author. I watched her make this simple dish on Rachel Ray today and happened to have a couple of fresh zucchini in the fridge and thought, let’s see how good this Goopster’s food is.
GP’s version was a little simpler, but I happened to have some fresh herbs in the fridge so I added those. And I wanted to do a bit of a detox today after a big-eating weekend, so I opted out on the cheese she used as her sauce base . Instead, I made lemon, garlic and chili infused olive oil which is jam packed with flavour and a little more heart healthy than cheese. (PS – D put some parmesan on his and said it was awesome).
Infused olive oil is super easy to whip up, useful, and tasty. A trifecta. I first learned how to make it watching Food Networks Anne Burrell on her show ‘Secrets of a Restaurant Chef’. I combined her infused oil with GP’s fried zucchini and voila – a tasty fast light meal from my two favourite blonde foodies. You’ll end up with extra infused oil which you can use to grill veggies or to dip your bread into.
Fresh summer zucchini is so yummy – delicate and light. The nutrients are all in the skin so don’t peel them. Using a mandoline makes the slicing super fast and uniform.
I know fried food isn’t exactly detoxifying but… you know… it’s delicious,vegetarian and gluten free. I mean it works for Gwenyth right (like how hot is her body?) And it’s seriously fast. From beginning to end, the entire thing took me 18 minutes and this recipe is definitely going in the week night dinner rotation. Good going Gwenny.
Recipe (Serves 2)
Fast Fried Zucchini Spaghetti
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest of 1 lemon, about 1 Tbsp
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
In a small saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil. Let simmer for about 1 minute, until fragrant, and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to use.
Fried Zucchini Pasta:
- 6 oz dried Gluten Free Spaghetti (enough for 2)
- 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced into rounds
- 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
- Canola oil for frying
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (option, omit for vegan version)
1. Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add sliced zucchini and GF flour. Toss until zucchini is evenly coated.
3. In a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add zucchini slices in batches. Lay zucchini in an even layer and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt immediately. Continue frying until all zucchini is done.
4. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, 3 tablespoons of the infused oil, mint, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and Parmesan cheese if using. Toss to combine. Add fried zucchini and serve. Garnish with extra Parmesan, chili flakes, and infused oil (optional).
|August 5, 2011||Filled under Drinks|
|April 22, 2011||Filled under Asian, Fish & Seafood, Salads, Snacks & Appetizers, Vegetables|
Stacked salads look so fancy, don’t they? I recently had a couple friends over for a girls night and when I whipped out this salad, they were totally wowed. ‘Five star’ was what they called it (thanks girls!). But really, they had no idea how easy this is to put together, well until now. All you need is a 3″ ring and a little patience to put this posh looking starter together. And not only does it look glam, it’s so full of fresh yummy flavour.
A salad is only as good as it’s ingredients. Nevermind the fancy tower of seafood, if the ingredients aren’t fresh, it’s just a stack of grossness. So buy the best ingredients you can – you’ll be able to taste the difference. When cutting fresh mint, make sure your knife is super sharp so you don’t bruise the delicate leaves. To cut, I stack up a pile of leaves, roll them, and slice into thin ribbons before chopping them up.
To get uniformly thinly sliced veggies, you would need a mandoline. Read more about it here. No mandoline? No problem. Just slice thinly and you’re perfect. This recipe is adapted from the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine from a few years back. The great thing about this mag is they post all their recipes and gorgeous photos online. I simplified the salad and modified the seasonings a bit. This website is a great source for food and drink recipes – I use it often.
How do you get cubed avocado? I cut the avocado in half and cut the flesh into squares. Then use a tablespoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. This way, you don’t need any of those fancy avocado slicers. To get slices, just cut the avocado lengthwise and scoop out.
The ring I used here is from Sur la Table for $3.95. If that’s not convenient, I think you can just go to a hardware store and buy some plastic plumbing parts. When filling the ring, press the ingredients down gently. The more compact the ingredients, the less likely it will fall apart when you slowly remove the ring. Don’t freak out if the crab starts falling out – just gently put the pieces back into place or put them back on top. Most likely, no one will even notice. The chives crossed on top are an effective decoy for any errant pieces of crab.
This salad can definitely be made ahead of time – up to 4 hours is fine. Just make sure the avocado is really well coated in the dressing; the lemon and lime juices keep the avocado from turning brown. The nice thing about making this ahead is that the cucumbers get slightly pickled from the lemon and vinegars in the dressing. So refreshing. Reminds me of a california roll.
Recipe (serves 4)
Stacked Crab, Avocado and Cucumber Salad
- 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pickled sushi ginger finely diced (I found an organic one here)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 ripe medium Hass avocados, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced rounds
- 8 oz fresh lump crab meat
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced shallot
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- pinch of salt
Special Equipment/Tools: one 3″ metal ring, mine was from Sur la Table .
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the crab salad and set aside. When ready to plate, place ring in the center of your dish. In a small bowl, add half an avocado, cubed into squares, and add 1 tablespoon of the dressing so avocado is well coated. Place in ring and press down to make an even layer. Add about 10-12 slices of cucumber to create an even layer to cover the avocado. Press down and add a half teaspoon of dressing. Add 2 ounces of crab and press down gently. Slowly lift the ring off while down the crab. Repeat for additional servings. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving. Garnish with two stems of fresh chives, sprig of mint on top of the stack and scatter chopped fresh chives around the plate.
|April 21, 2011||Filled under Main Dishes, Meat, Sides, Vegetables|
Everyone needs that go-to entertaining recipe that will make their guests feel honoured, yet is easy to whip up. Inlaws dropping in? Hot date? Hosting Easter dinner? Don’t worry, try this lamb recipe and you’ll look like a star without breaking a sweat. The mint, lemon, and parsley in the gremolata are the perfect flavours for a spring time supper. Make this, and you’ll be able to entertain with ease.
What’s a gremolata? It’s a fancy word for a garnish made of parsley, lemon, and garlic. I’ve added some fresh mint to the mixture – mint and lamb go together so nicely. Throw in some gluten free bread crumbs and you have a delicious breading for your lamb chops. I use my trusty mini chopper to do the hard work for me.
When zesting the lemon, make sure to only grate the yellow peel part and not the white part underneath – it’s bitter tasting. I used day old gluten free bread and threw it in the chopper and blended until everything was combined.
Cutting a rack of lamb is super easy – just use a large sharp knife and cut along the bone. One rack feeds 2-3 people, depending on the size of the rack (usually 8 pieces) or how hungry your guests are.
Once you have the lamb cut into individual chops, you just firmly press some of the breading into the meat on both sides of the chop. You can totally do this ahead of time – allowing the meat to chill in the fridge with the breading acutally helps the breading stick to the meat.
Recipe (serves 2-3)
Mint Gremolata Lamb Chops (Gluten Free)
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 slices day old gluten free bread
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 rack of lamb
In a mini chopper or food processor, combine the first five ingredients and blend until finely chopped. Break up the day old bread and add to the chopper and blend. Add a pinch of salt and combine. Slice the rack into individual chops by holding onto the bone and cutting along the bone through the meat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Press about 1 teaspoon of the topping into each side of the lamb chop – the breading should be firmly pressed in an even layer. Place in a dish and refrigerate for 1 hour up 4 hours.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add some 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl around to coat the pan. Add the lamb chops to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the lamb chops to cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving for medium-rare chops.
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (Dairy-Free)
- 6 – 7 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion (yellow or spanish onion)
- olive oil
- 4 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- 4 Tbsp soy milk
- 1 Tbsp fresh chives, finely diced
In a pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add onions. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown but not burnt. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup of liquid, and return potatoes to the pot. Put butter and soy in a bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Pour mixture into potatoes and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add onions and chives and blend with an immersion blender for smooth texture or a masher for a chunkier mash. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid and continue mashing until desired texture is reached. Potatoes should be moist but not wet. Garnish with store bought fried onions.
Boil frozen peas in boiling salted water until cooked (follow package instructions). Drain and return to pan. Add some vegan butter, finely chopped mint, a splash of fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.
Imagine a peppermint patty with its cool creamy middle squished in between two layers of a truffle-like brownie. It’s the perfect blend of richness, chocolate, and mint. Now imagine it’s gluten-free, and low fat. Sounds impossible right? Wrong.
I used a GF brownie mix, reduced fat dark chocolate York peppermint patties, and coconut yogurt instead of butter. I also used egg replacer to make it egg-free. So there you have it – a deliciously decadent dessert that requires minimal effort. I first saw this brownie here on pastry chef David Lebovitz’s blog and knew I had to make this gluten free version. He’s so hardcore that he made his own mint filing. Wow.
I used Gluten Free Pantry’s Chocolate Truffle Brownie mix for this recipe – it’s very gooey and fudgy. If you can’t find it in stores, you can order online here or use any other GF brownie mix. They ship to Canada and the US. I’ve also used Pamela’s GF Brownie Mix and love the texture – less gooey and more cakey.
Don’t worry if you haven’t worked with egg replacer before. It’s basically a cornstarch and potato starch based mix that you combine with water. Once heated, it replicates eggs’ binding qualities. I use Ener-G brand – one little box is equivalent to like a hundred eggs or something. It makes baking super easy and cuts a few calories too which never hurts. I find using egg replacer usually means a longer baking time so adjust your recipes accordingly.
Can’t find the right sized York peppermint patties? You can buy any size really and break them up to fit the pan. That way you get more minty goodness in each brownie. The way I’ve done it here, the peppermint patty is hidden in the brownie when you cut them into squares. What’s the prize? Surprise. A peppermint patty hiding in your brownie.
Note: the peppermint patties contain egg and milk so please take note. I’m only sensitive to eggs and milk and the brownie itself is dairy/egg free so I can get away with the contents of the peppermint patties.
Low Fat Peppermint Patty Brownies (Gluten-Free)
Makes 16 pieces
- 1 Package brownie mix (Gluten Free Pantry brand)
- 2 egg replacements (Ener-G brand)
- 1 cup coconut yogurt, vanilla flavour (or plain yogurt with 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 16 York Peppermint Patties
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, add egg replacer and water and whisk together until frothy about 2 minutes. Add entire bag of brownie package and mix until combined. Add the yogurt and mix until combined. Mixture will be thick.
Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Lay four rows of four peppermint patties to fill the pan. Press them gently into the batter, but not all the way to the bottom. Pour remaining batter over the patties and smooth. Bake for 27 to 29 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Freeze for 1 hour before cutting. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, fresh berries, and a sprig of mint for garnish if you want to be fancy or else just eat straight out of the pan.