Roasted Beet, Carrot and Chickpea Salad

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Roasted beets, carrots and onions are so sweet and delicious that it really doesn’t take much to make a great dish with them. Although you can use any kind of beet in this salad recipe, golden beets tend to be a bit milder in flavour and won’t stain hands, clothes, etc, while you are prepping them. This dish is incredibly simple to make and I recommend it for anyone looking for a quick dinner that they can pack for lunch the next day. Not including roasting time, this recipe took about 15 minutes to prepare (using canned chickpeas) and cost under $8 to make. If you want to make this salad a little heartier, try adding in some scrubbed and quartered red skinned potatoes.

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Roasted Golden Beet, Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Makes ~ 2 main servings and ~4 side servings

Ingredients:

4-5 medium carrots, cut into 2″ lengths
4-5 golden beets, peeled and cut into half moons
1 tbsp olive oil (for roasting)
1/4 tsp salt (for roasting)
1 28oz can salt free chickpeas or 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, sliced
1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss sliced carrots, beets, and onion with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste.
  2. Spread in a single layer in baking dish and roast until tender and beginning to brown ~40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make dressing mix lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine roasted carrots, beets, onions, chickpeas, and parsley. Pour vinaigrette over salad mixture and toss to combine. You can use as much or as little of the dressing as you like.
  5. Add black pepper to taste. Serve the salad warm.
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Mini Chocolate Zucchini Loaves

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This recipe for mini chocolate zucchini loaves is moist, low in fat, and nutrient dense. I find that just the cocoa in the recipe makes the loaves chocolatey enough, but for those that want more you can fold in 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or drizzle melted chocolate on the top of the loaf.

I love using mini loaf pans for baking as the the little loaves can make great gifts, take up less space in the freezer, and can help with portion control. As per Eat Right Ontario, one of the most important decisions we make each day about food is how much to eat. Many people struggle with judging appropriate portion sizes and often eat portions that are too large which can contribute to unintentional weight gain.

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Mini Chocolate Zucchini Loaves

Makes 2 mini loaves

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sugar

1 medium banana, mashed (or 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ounce semi-sweetened chocolate, melted

2 cups grated zucchini, (1 medium) with as much moisture removed as possible

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two mini loaf pans.
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, sugar, banana, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate in another large bowl until blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in zucchini and walnuts and/or chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
  7. Bake the loaves 50 to 60 minutes, or until the tops are browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for ~10 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool completely.

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Recipe adapted from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_zucchini_bread.html

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus

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DSC_0794This sun dried tomato and basil hummus is one of my favourite recipes to make. It is great as a dip for veggies, a spread in sandwiches, or in place of tomato sauce on pizza. Home made hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If it becomes dry, try mixing in a bit more olive oil.

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are beige-coloured, pea-shaped legumes. Although we often associate this food with the Mediterranean and Middle East they are also grown in the southern parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Canada is actually one of the top five exporters of chickpeas worldwide (Eat Right Ontario, 2014). Chickpeas are a good source of protein, dietary fibre, and B vitamins like folate.

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 19 oz can low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or more as per preference)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water (as needed)

Directions:

  1. Using a towel/paper towel, try to remove as many of the skins from the chickpeas as possible.
  2. Grind the garbanzo beans on their own in a food processor until they are smooth.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese  to the chick peas and blend together for about 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in the olive oil; grind for an additional 15 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. If you find the hummus is too thick, add in water until you achieve a smooth consistency.

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Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-sun-dried-tomato-and-basil-hummus/

Twisted Pesto Bread

DSC_0411The season of soups is now upon us and what better side for a hearty soup or stew than freshly baked bread? This twisted pesto bread is a tasty twist on a basic French bread recipe. Don’t let the braiding step of the recipe put you off as it is actually quite simple!

(As you can see from the picture my bread became a bit too long for the baking sheet, so I had to bend it a bit to make it fit).

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Twisted Pesto Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

2 tsp instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp white sugar

1 1/2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

~1/2 cup pesto, purchased or homemade

Directions:

By hand

  1. Dissolve yeast into warm water. Stir in sugar and salt. Mix in enough flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until it is smooth and elastic ~ 10 minutes.
  3. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double in size ~ 1 hour.

Bread maker

  1. Place above ingredients into bread maker as per the manufacturers instructions.
  2. Select dough cycle

Both 

  1. Punch down dough and divide into 2 parts if you wish to twist the bread or 3 if you want to braid it.
  2. Shape each part into a 10 inch strand (for braiding) or 15 inch strand (for twisting). Twist or braid the bread on either an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper.
  3. Apply pesto sauce to the bread.
  4. Let bread rise 30 minutes or until double in a warm place.
  5. Bake in 375 F oven for about 30 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook