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Cremini Omelette
Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

This family-friendly oven-baked chicken is easy to make and can be cooked and stored in your fridge for up to two days before the picnic.

1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cracked black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) plain low-fat yogourt
1 tbsp (15 mL) skim milk
4 free-range bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks

The night before the picnic: preheat oven to 400 C (200 F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cereal flakes into food processor or blender. Pulse until crushed. (Or crush with potato masher, or place flakes in clean plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.) Add paprika, pepper, onion powder, dry mustard, cumin, and cayenne; pulse until spices have been well incorporated. Place crumb mixture in shallow-rimmed dish or medium bowl.

In separate medium bowl, whisk together yogourt and milk.

Wash your hands. Remove skin from chicken thighs and discard. Wash hands. Brush both sides of 1 thigh with yogourt mixture using pastry brush. Then place it into crumb mixture and press down firmly to coat. Turn to coat the other side and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.

Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 F (74 C).
Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from pan and place in resealable container and store in fridge for up to 2 days.

The day of the picnic: pack container of chicken into insulated cooler bag with a large cold source on top of container. Don’t bring it out until serving time, and stow leftovers immediately back in cooler bag with cold source after serving.

Makes 4 servings.

One serving (1 thigh) contains:
258 calories; 28 g protein; 11 g total fat (3.2 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat); 8.9 g carbohydrates; 2.8 g fibre; 123 mg sodium

Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

The easiest and most popular dessert to take on a picnic is the ever-portable cookie. And what makes a cookie perfect? Chocolate chips, of course.

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic canola oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic cane sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90 mL) dark brown sugar, packed
1 large free range egg
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes
3/4 cup (180 mL) stone-ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (180 mL) large flake oats
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup (60 mL) dark chocolate chips

Set rack in your oven to the middle. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly with oil.

In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until it is well incorporated and butter/oil mixture is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.

In medium bowl, mix together cereal flakes, flour, oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Add to butter/sugar mixture. Beat in until cereal flakes are well distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, start off on low and then when incorporated turn up to high.

Drop by heaping tablepoonfuls onto the prepared pan. Lightly press down to flatten.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get.

Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and then remove to cooling rack; store in airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 30 cookies.

One cookie contains:
90 calories; 1 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 19 mg sodium

Tip: These cookies are so delicious, you’ll find them irresistable. But watch your intake of this sweet treat or you’ll quickly overdo it.

Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011

Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

You may substitute raw grated or roasted beets—feel free to experiment. Be  aware that handling beets will stain your skin; you may want to wear gloves when  preparing.

Salad
2 or 3 beets, different colours if you like, peeled and  quartered
2 cups (500 mL) mixed baby greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) goat chèvre  or feta cheese
Mint or cilantro to garnish

Vinaigrette
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp (23 mL) balsamic  vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2  mL) raw sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steam beets until tender, about 15 minutes. While beets are cooking, whisk  together ingredients for the vinaigrette in small bowl and crumble cheese.

Toss greens with half of the vinaigrette, and put a handful of greens on each  of 4 plates. When beets are done, allow to cool, peel, then cut into small  chunks and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange beets on top of greens,  sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with mint or cilantro leaves, if  desired.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:
209 calories; 5 g protein; 19 g total fat (6 g sat.  fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 142 mg sodium

Did you know?
Like spinach and chard, the beet is a member of the amaranth  family (Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae). Its ancestor is the wild beet,  or sea beet, which dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Originally eaten  for its leafy green tops, the roots were cultivated by the ancient Romans. By  the 16th century they had become popular not only as livestock fodder, but also  in family kitchens throughout northern Europe.

from "Unbeatable Beets", alive #344, June 2011

Basic Crepes

Basic Crepes

Most people think preparing crepes is a high-flying kitchen feat. But there’s no need to be intimidated—the process is surprisingly easy. With a little practice of the pour-tilt-swirl motion, you will find it takes no time at all to prepare a batch of  goodness.

Using this basic crepe recipe, follow these simple steps for success.

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat pastry flour*
2 large free-range eggs, lightly  beaten
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk or unflavoured milk alternative
1/2 cup  (125 mL) water
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

*If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, substitute half whole wheat  flour and half all-purpose flour.

Step 1Step 1: In mixing bowl or blender, whisk or blend together all  ingredients until smooth with no lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1  hour or up to 24 hours. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream.  Thin with more milk if necessary.
Step 2Step 2: Lightly grease an 8 to 10 in (20 to 25 cm) skillet with  paper towel dipped in vegetable oil; heat over medium heat until a drop of water  sizzles on the surface. Pour in about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter for an 8 in skillet  or 1/3 cup (80 mL) batter for a 10 in skillet onto one side of the pan.

Quickly lift skillet off the burner, then tilt and swirl pan so batter covers  the bottom. Don’t fret if the crepe does not completely cover the pan or is not  perfectly round.

Place pan back on heat and cook for about 2 minutes until edges begin to turn  golden brown, the centre has dried, and the crepe blisters on the  bottom.

Step 3Step 3: Loosen with a thin spatula, flip and cook the other side  briefly, about 20 to 30 seconds. Often the first crepe turns out less than  perfect—adjust the batter thickness or pan heat if needed.
Step 4Step 4: Slide crepe out of skillet and repeat with remaining  batter. (Coat pan with butter or oil as needed, about every third crepe.)  Fillings should be placed on the side of the crepe that cooked against the  skillet the longest.

Makes 8 crepes.

source: "Sweet & Savoury Crepes", alive #345, July 2011

Crepes with Summer Vegetables and Herb Sauce

Crepes with Summer Vegetables and Herb Sauce

This highly flavourful crepe works well with any number of seasonal  vegetables.

Batter
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup  (250 mL) low-fat milk or unflavoured milk alternative
1/2 cup (125 mL)  water
2 large free-range eggs
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2  tsp (2 mL) salt

Sauce
1 cup (250 mL) cilantro
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh  mint
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15  mL) red wine vinegar

Filling
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium  zucchini, diced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 cup (250 mL) corn  kernels (about 1 large ear)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups (1 L) baby  spinach
1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, grated

Blend together batter ingredients with whisk or in blender until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In food processor, mince cilantro, mint, and garlic. With machine running,  pour oil and vinegar in the top tube and process until well combined. Set aside.

Prepare crepes according to basic crepe instructions. Keep warm  in the oven at 200 F (93 C).

In skillet, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil over medium heat. Cook zucchini, bell  pepper, corn, salt, and pepper until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in spinach and cook an additional 1 minute, or until wilted.

Place vegetables on crepes, top with cheese, and roll. Garnish each rolled  crepe with herb sauce.

Makes 8 crepes.

Each crepe contains: 204 calories; 8 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat,  0 g trans fat); 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 242 mg sodium

source: "Sweet & Savoury Crepes", alive #345, July 2011

Cocoa Buckwheat Peach Crepes with Chocolate Cashew Ganache

Cocoa Buckwheat Peach Crepes with Chocolate Cashew Ganache

Making luscious ganache with cashews instead of cream greatly cuts back on  saturated fat in these gluten-free dessert or brunch crepes. In-season sliced  plums or nectarines can be used in place of peaches. Batter 1 cup (250 mL) buckwheat flour 2 Tbsp (30 mL)  cocoa powder 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sucanat or unprocessed sugar 1 cup (250 mL)  low-fat milk or unflavoured milk alternative 1/2 cup (125 mL) water 2  large free-range eggs 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon Filling 2 peaches, thinly sliced Ganache 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted cashews 4 oz (115 g)  dark chocolate, chopped 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup or agave syrup Blend together batter ingredients with whisk or in blender until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Place cashews in bowl and soak for at least 1 hour. Drain cashews and place  in blender along with just enough water to cover them. Blend until smooth. Place cashew cream in small pot along with chocolate and maple syrup. Heat  over medium heat until chocolate melts, stirring often. If sauce is too thick, stir in additional syrup. Set aside. Prepare crepes according to basic crepe instructions. Divide peaches among crepes and spread  some of the ganache over the peaches. Use the pocket-fold or fold-over method to  close, and drizzle additional ganache over each crepe. Makes 8 crepes. Each crepe contains: 258 calories; 8 g protein; 12 g total fat (5 g sat. fat,  0 g trans fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 38 mg sodium source: "Sweet & Savoury Crepes", alive #345, July 2011
Sage Crepes with Smoked Salmon and Yogourt Curry Sauce

Sage Crepes with Smoked Salmon and Yogourt Curry Sauce

Smoked salmon gives these crepes a healthy dose of heart-friendly omega-3  fats.

Batter
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
2  large free-range eggs
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk or unflavoured milk  alternative
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive  oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh sage, chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

Sauce
1 cup (250 mL) plain, low-fat yogourt
1 tsp (5  mL) curry powder
Juice of 1/2 lime

Filling
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups  (1.25 L) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
Salt and  pepper, to taste
1/3 cup (80 mL) dry white wine
2 Tbsp (30 mL)  capers
1/3 lb (150 g) smoked wild salmon

Blend together batter ingredients with whisk or in blender until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In bowl, whisk together yogourt, curry powder, and lime juice. Set aside.

Prepare crepes according to basic crepe instructions (see page 72). Keep warm  in the oven at 200 F (93 C).

In same skillet, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms,  thyme, salt, and pepper to skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms  have softened considerably. Pour in wine and cook until wine has reduced, about  2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in capers.

Divide smoked salmon among crepes, top with mushroom mixture, and roll.  Garnish each crepe with yogourt sauce.

Makes 8 crepes.

Each crepe contains: 189 calories; 11 g protein; 8 g total fat (2 g sat. fat,  0 g trans fat); 17 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 339 mg sodium

source: "Sweet & Savoury Crepes", alive #345, July 2011

Grilled Chili Squid Salad with Passion Fruit Dressing

Grilled Chili Squid Salad with Passion Fruit Dressing

Squid Salad
1 lb (450 g) cleaned squid, including tentacles
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly grated ginger
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into 1/4 in (0.5 cm) half-moon pieces
2 medium carrots, julienned
1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh mint leaves, torn
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Passion Fruit Dressing
4 passion fruit or 1/3 cup (80 mL) passion fruit purée
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) agave nectar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

To prepare squid, cut each squid body along one side to open flat. With sharp knife, lightly score one side of the squid in a criss-cross pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through.

In large bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, chili, ginger, and a pinch of salt. Add prepared squid bodies and tentacles and allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least 25 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make passion fruit dressing by cutting each passion fruit in half and scooping out pulp into bowl. Add remaining dressing ingredients to bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

When ready to assemble salad, in large bowl, toss together cucumber, carrot, cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and green onion.

Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill squid, turning once, until opaque and slightly golden. Keep a close eye on squid—it will only take 1 to 2 minutes. Remove squid to a
clean plate.

To assemble salad, divide cucumber mixture among 4 plates. Top with squid and drizzle passion fruit dressing over each salad.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 184 calories; 19 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 288 mg sodium

Source: "Taste of the Tropics", alive #345, July 2011

Lemongrass Chicken with Mango in Lettuce Cups

Lemongrass Chicken with Mango in Lettuce Cups

2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) agave nectar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) cubes
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, inner white part only
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin coconut oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tommy Atkins mango or 2 Ataulfo mangoes, peeled and cut into large dice
1/3 cup (80 mL) Thai basil leaves, torn
6 large butter lettuce leaves
1/3 cup (80 mL) red-skinned peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced

In medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, agave nectar, fish sauce, and cayenne. Add chicken cubes and stir to coat with marinade. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Bruise lemongrass and then mince very finely.

In large sauté pan or wok, heat coconut oil over high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemongrass and chicken with marinade and stir-fry until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened. If sauce is getting too thick, add a little water to thin. Remove sauté pan from heat and stir in mangoes and basil.

To serve, divide chicken mixture among butter lettuce leaves and sprinkle with peanuts and
green onion.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 271 calories; 26 g protein; 14 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat);
13 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 283 mg sodium

Local option
In lieu of mango, swap in 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) fresh, tart raspberries.

Source: "Taste of the Tropics", alive #345, July 2011

Upside-Down Pineapple Quinoa Cake

Upside-Down Pineapple Quinoa Cake

Topping
1/4 cup (60 mL) light brown sugar, turbinado, or sucanat
1 - 15 oz (425 g) can pineapple slices in unsweetened juice, drained (reserve 1/4 cup/60 mL juice)

Cake
1 cup (250 mL) cooked white quinoa
2 free-range eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1/3 cup (80 mL) light brown sugar or sucanat
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain, low-fat yogourt
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

To prepare topping: stir together sugar and reserved pineapple juice in small saucepan over high heat. Boil until mixture is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes.

Lightly grease 8 x 8 x 2 in (2 L) baking pan with vegetable oil. Pour boiled syrup into the bottom of pan and artfully top syrup with pineapple slices. Set aside.

In food processor, process cooked quinoa, egg yolks, sugar, yogourt, applesauce, and vanilla extract until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Add quinoa mixture to flour mixture and stir together until no flour streaks remain. With spatula, gently fold egg whites into quinoa batter until just incorporated. Gently spoon cake batter over pineapple.

Bake in centre of oven until puffed and golden, and a wooden skewer inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in cake pan before running a thin knife around the edges and inverting the cake onto a serving plate.

Serves 9.

Each serving contains: 113 calories; 4 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 21 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 227 mg sodium

Source: "Taste of the Tropics", alive #345, July 2011