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Appetizer recipes

Appetizer recipes

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Appetizer recipes

Just in time for the entertaining season, Canada’s baking superstar Anna Olson shares two great appetizer recipes from her latest book Baking Day with Anna Olson, Recipes to Bake Together.

Roasted carrot dip

* Simple *

The natural sweetness of carrots really comes through in this dip, and while the chickpeas give this dip some structure (and protein), they don’t overwhelm the carrot taste, so you won’t mistake this dip as hummus. I love roasting parsnips and carrots together in the fall; why not try a variation of this dip made with half carrots and half parsnips?

• serves 8 (Makes about 2 cups/500 ml) • prep time: 15 minutes • cook time: 45 minutes

1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled and diced (about 3 cups/750 ml)

3 tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme salt and ground black pepper

1 cup (250 ml) cooked chickpeas (or tinned, well drained and rinsed)

¼ cup (64 g) tahini (sesame paste)

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

Dress up this colourful dip by adding a dollop or a swirl of plain yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of sesame seeds or pomegranate seeds – or all of these things!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, garlic cloves, thyme and a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large baking dish. Roast the carrots, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Cool before making the dip.
  3. Puree the carrots in a food processor along with the now-roasted garlic cloves, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin and coriander until smooth, adding a little water if needed (up to half-cup/125 mL) to make it smooth. Season to taste and chill until ready to serve. The dip will keep for up to 4 days, refrigerated.

********

Hummus crackers

** More Involved **

I love crackers. A strange admission, yes, but I would choose crackers over potato chips in a heartbeat (but don’t ask me to give up popcorn). These crispy crackers are a delicious savoury snack all on their own or as an addition to a cheese platter, and served with a roasted carrot dip (page 110) it’s as if you’ve reversed the traditional carrot sticks and hummus.

• Makes about 5 dozen crackers • prep time: 15 minutes, plus chilling • cook time: 8 minutes

¼ cup (60 ml) water

3 tbsp (24 g) ground flaxseed

1.5 cups (180 g) chickpea flour

3 tbsp (27 g) sesame seeds

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

¾ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp fine salt

1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tsp dried granulated garlic)

1 tbsp (30 ml) extravirgin olive oil

2 tbsp (32 g) tahini (sesame paste)

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Stir the water and ground flaxseed together and set aside. Place the chickpea flour, sesame seeds, lemon zest, cumin, salt and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. Add the flaxseed water, oil, tahini and lemon juice and pulse until the dough comes together. If the dough feels sticky, wrap and chill for 10 minutes (to let the chickpea flour absorb some of the liquid) otherwise turn the dough out onto a rolling surface.
  3. Roll out the cracker dough to under quarter in. (6 mm) thick, dusting it and the work surface with chickpea flour as needed to prevent sticking. Use a 2-in. (5 cm) round cookie cutter to cut out crackers. Arrange them on the baking trays so they are close together but not touching. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all of the dough has been used. Bake the crackers for about 8 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Cool the crackers on the trays on cooling racks. The crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

These crackers are a perfect balance: substantial enough to hold up under a good scoop of dip but also delicate enough note to be enjoyed on their own.

Baking Day with Anna Olson

$28, indigo.ca

Visit annaolson.ca


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Celebrate Heart Month with healthy habits

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Celebrate Heart Month with healthy habits

With February being Heart Month, consider these ways to help keep your heart healthy.

Many risk factors for heart disease and stroke are in your control, including diet. With February being Heart Month, consider the following ways to help keep your heart healthy:

Maintain a healthy weight: Keeping your weight in check isn’t easy, but the payoff to your heart is worth it. Managing your weight through diet and exercise can help reduce high blood pressure.

Reduce stress: Stress can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke — and even that’s something to stress over. Everyone can get stressed from time to time, so learn what your stressors are and find coping strategies.

Get moving: Exercise does much more than get your heart rate up. Adding regular activity into your routine can also help manage weight, encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress.

Eat well: Making heart healthy choices don’t have to be boring or bland. Including more plant-based foods in your routine is a good place to begin. Start with simple swaps like using margarine in place of butter.

Celebrate Heart Month with this tasty Quinoa Bowl or visit becel.ca for more delicious, plant-based recipes.

Quinoa Bowls with Golden Turmeric Cauliflower
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 lb/450 g), trimmed and cut into bite-size florets, about 5 cups
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) Becel with Avocado Oil margarine, melted and divided
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° (220°C). Combine cauliflower and 4 tsp (20 mL) margarine and arrange on two-thirds of a rimmed baking sheet. Combine red onion and 2 tsp (10 mL) margarine and arrange on remaining third of baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower is browned and slightly crispy and onion is tender; about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and stir in mint. Combine remaining margarine, turmeric, cumin and red pepper flakes and stir into quinoa. Divide quinoa between four bowls. Top each evenly with cauliflower, red onion and avocado.

EAT MORE VEGGIES

As one of the top food trends, everyone is talking about the power of plant-based eating— but putting it into practice can seem daunting. Choosing a plant-based diet isn’t necessarily an overnight switch, nor does it have to mean a complete diet overhaul. Simplify the pressures of doing the plant-based diet “right” with swaps to introduce plant-based eating into your daily routine.

  • Swap zucchini noodles for pasta to get another serving of vegetables into your dinner.
  • Add natural sweetness to your oatmeal and smoothies with bananas or dates.
  • Get your omega-3s from flax and chia seeds.
  • Trade your taco shell for a lettuce cup, adding extra crunch.
  • Forget the mayo — use avocado to make your salad dressing creamy.
  • Opt for chickpeas or lentils as a protein-packed meat alternative.
  • Replace butter with margarine, which is made with plant-based oils, in cooking and baking.

Try these recipe for inspiration.

Vegan Kale and Chickpea Sauté
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) Becel Vegan margarine, divided
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped onion
  • 1 can (470 g) chickpeas
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped, with tough stems removed (about 9 cups)
  • 1 small lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) margarine in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally until tender and starting to brown; about 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant; about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in remaining margarine and kale and cook, stirring frequently until wilted; about 2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and season if desired with salt and pepper. Find more plant-based recipes and nutrition information at becel.ca.

Lentil and Mushroom Stew
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Becel Salt-Free margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 8 ounces (250 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground red pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) fat-free reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (411 g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Melt margarine in large saucepot and cook onion, celery, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender; about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and ground red pepper, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in water, broth, tomatoes and lentils, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until lentils are tender; about 55 minutes.
  5. Stir in vinegar.

www.newscanada.com

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Healthy eating starts now

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Healthy eating starts now

NEWS CANADA — When you’re hungry and in a hurry, sticking to your New Year’s resolution can get tricky. Plan ahead and beat your cravings with these power crunch snack bars, made with Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop microwaveable popcorn. The popcorn is 100 per cent whole grain, high in fibre and now made without any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

On-The-Go Power Crunch Bars
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 24

Ingredients:
No-stick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 mini bag (34 g) Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop microwaveable popcorn
3/4 cup (175 mL) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) margarine
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (175 mL) dried cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 15×10-inch shallow baking pan with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels; set aside.

Combine brown sugar and margarine in large bowl using electric mixer on high speed. Add water and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture; blend well. Reduce speed to low and add cranberries. Cover hands with plastic gloves or sandwich-size plastic bags. Incorporate popped corn into cookie dough. Spread mixture in pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool before cutting into 24 bars. Store in tightly sealed container.

Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Squares
Craving something sweet and salty? These tasty popcorn squares are the perfect treat and great for snacking on during movies or serving at your next get-together. Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Serves: 18

Ingredients:
No-stick cooking spray
1 bag (82 g) Orville Redenbacher gourmet buttery microwaveable popcorn
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter or margarine
1 pkg (10 oz) large marshmallows
1/2 cup (125 mL) creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) milk chocolate chips

Directions:
Spray 13×9-inch glass baking dish and wooden spoon with cooking spray; set aside. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all un-popped kernels. Place popped corn in large bowl.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows. Heat 5 minutes or until marshmallows melt, stirring frequently. Add peanut butter and peanuts; stir until well combined. Pour over popcorn; mix well with greased wooden spoon. Place popcorn mixture in greased glass dish and press evenly using back of spoon. Sprinkle chocolate morsels evenly over popcorn mixture. Microwave on high 1 minute or until chocolate begins to melt. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set.

Cut into 18 squares with serrated knife. Store in tightly sealed container up to three days.

National Popcorn Day
Snackers will have a reason to celebrate this January 19, as a beloved treat steps into the spotlight. Popcorn has been around for centuries, providing foodies with a satisfying crunch, enveloping aroma and savoury goodness. Popcorn is also a 100 per cent whole grain which is high in fibre.

Here are a few ways to celebrate this year.

Dress your popcorn: Mix things up by adding some seasonings. A pinch of chilli powder can provide some smoky heat, if you like spice. If not, try adding some cinnamon and sugar for a sweet and savoury delight.

Share your popcorn: Share a bowl of aromatic delicious popcorn with your family during a favourite movie to enjoy a warm sense of comfort and connection. For a wholesome snack, Orville Redenbacher has a new recipe of its microwaveable popcorn with no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in most flavours so you can share a snack that your entire family will love.

Find more suggested seasonings and recipes online at https://orville.conagrafoods.ca/

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Enjoy a truly Canadian meal to celebrate Canada 150

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Enjoy a truly Canadian meal to celebrate Canada 150

By News Canada

Canada’s 150th birthday is a time to celebrate all things Canadian. Being Canadian brings on thoughts of salmon swimming upstream to spawn, peameal bacon sizzling in a pan, beavertails on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal and tapping maple trees for fresh syrup when the cold winter starts to break.

Sifto is celebrating its 150th anniversary along with Canada’s milestone birthday so the company commissioned leading Canadian gastro chef Mike Shedden to create a perfect Canadian dish of salt-cured maple Canadian Atlantic salmon. This dish is best served cold on top of a dill crème fraiche with fried capers on French bread.

Sesquicentennial Salt Cured Maple Salmon

Serves: 25 1-oz slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Atlantic salmon, skin on
  • 1 kg Sifto table salt
  • 1/2 kg granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges, zested
  • 250 g cracked and roasted black pepper
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup real maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl until completely combined.
  2. Coat salmon in cure and reserve 40 per cent of mixture.
  3. Lay salmon skin side down on a baking sheet with half of remaining cure underneath.
  4. Mix in maple syrup to remaining cure and coat the exposed salmon in the wet cure.
  5. Wrap tightly in cellophane and leave in refrigerator for three days.
  6. Flip salmon once every 24 hours for best results.
  7. Once salmon is cured, rinse cure off well and slice salmon thinly and on a slight bias.

www.newscanada.com

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