Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday no.3

T's on holidays this week, so I was feeling adventurous tonight. What's Cooking Wednesday no. 3 is Tomato and Sausage Risotto


1 can diced tomatoes (23 oz)

1 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 lb sausage with casing removed (or ground pork)

1 small onion, finely chopped

coarse salt, ground pepper to taste

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)

1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, washed and chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving

In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes with their juice and 3 cups of water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.

Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 minutes. Add wine; cook stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Add about 2 cups of hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until absorbed 4-5 minutes. Continue to add 1 cup at a time of tomato mixture to rice, waiting until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Stir occasionally until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday #3

Trying to get my kids to eat healthy foods is always a I decided to invest in the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. This week's What's Cooking Wednesday is a recipe from this cookbook...

Chocolate Chip Cookies (with chickpeas)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat for more nutrition)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray (or use a Pampered chef baking sheet)

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.

Drop dough by tablespoonful onto baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11-13 minutes. Do not over bake. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

So my daughter was very excited that I was baking (it doesn't happen often!) When the cookies were cool, she begged to try them. She pointed to the chickpeas and said "What are those?" Like any good mother, I told a little white lie and said "Butterscotch chips." After the first few bites, she decided she didn't like the "butterscotch chips" and proceeded to eat around the chickpeas..oh well..I had good intentions!!! Next time I think I'll puree the chickpeas...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday - 2nd edition

So we've been eating pretty poorly the last few days (Swiss Chalet, Burger King..need I say more!) so I decided tonight I would make a healthy, but delicious recipe for the next instalment of What's Cooking Wednesday.

Vegetarian Chili


an assortment of chopped vegetables totalling around 2 cups (tonight I used carrots, celery, green onions, green pepper, broccoli and mushrooms)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of beans in tomotato sauce (pork n beans without the pork!)
1/2 can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder (this makes a mild version as my kids won't eat spicy food)
pinch of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice (I like basmati best!)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Cut all of your vegetables and place in a large saucepan. Add a little water and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are slightly tender.

Add black beans, tomato beans, chili powder, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed. Add enough tomato sauce to make it chili-like.

Cover and cook on medium low for about 1/2 hour until flavours are blended. Stir once in a while. If it is too liquidy, then take the lid off.

Spoon cooked rice into bowl and top with a healthy dose of the chili. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Enjoy!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Time will tell....

It was with great trepidation that today we decided to try nuts with M. With T's severe nut allergy, we have been holding off introducing nuts to our children. But M is starting school in the fall, so we decided it was time to know for sure whether she has an allergy or not!

There have been a few times in the past where we've thought about just giving her nuts and seeing what happened (I joked with my husband that we should have brought M to the hopsital when I was in labour with our second child, N, ...that way if she reacted, we were already at the hospital!!) But I couldn't bring myself to just feed nuts to her without knowing what might happen (I'm a bit of a control freak!) So on Monday, I took M to Wellesley Naturopathic Medicine for a sensitivity test to see whether her body was sensitive to any particular foods. When the test results came back with no sensitivities, I decided this was the push I needed to feed her nuts.

Today was the day...I offered M some Oatmeal Crisp which is laced with almonds. Perfect! She readily took it and even asked to eat more nuts! So far, no reaction...I guess only time will tell!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday

If only....I had discovered What's Cooking Wednesday sooner!!!

I've been trying to be diligent about creating meal plans each week to avoid the meltdowns that happen when I'm late with dinner. So far I'm about 50/50 in my sucess! When my sister started doing What's Cooking Wednesday on her blog, I thought this would be a great way to make sure I try at least one new recipe a week...and eventually have enough to create some great meal plans!

So here goes my first attempt...

Chicken Pot Pie with Green Leaf Salad
(adapted from Sandi Richard's Cooking for the Rushed)

1 tsp olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion
10 mushrooms
1/2 tsp each of salt and ground sage
1/4 tsp each of marjoram and thyme leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat oil in large frying pan on med-high. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and gradually add to pan as you cut. Toss until chicken is no longer pink.

While meat is browning, chop onion finely. Wash and slice mushrooms. Add to meat pan. Add spices and stir.

Add butter, flour and gradually add milk. Stir until thickened.

Rinse vegetables under cold water. Add to the meat pan, stirring until mixed. Cover and cook about 3 minutes. Pour this mixture into a rectangular baking dish.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Serve with a green leaf salad, and hot fresh bread. Enjoy!
The original recipe calls for adding biscuits on top of the casserole and baking (I don't like soggy bread, so I didn't do this)
Use finely chopped fresh, in season, vegetables in place of the frozen vegetables.