Barley and Brown Rice Salad

Photo credit: gobarley.com

Photo credit: gobarley.com

This versatile recipe is very tasty.

1/2 c. pearl barley, rinsed

1/2 c. brown rice, rinsed

2 c. water

dash salt

2 cups diced vegetables – I used a mixture of celery, green onions, and carrots)

1/2 c. each dried cranberries and chopped walnuts

1/2 c. crumbled soft cheese – I used Boursin, but feta or goat cheese would work well too

Dressing:

1/2 c. oil

1/4 c. vinegar

2 – 3 T. each maple syrup and mustard

2 T. soy sauce

salt and pepper

While this version is vegetarian, chopped diced chicken, canned tuna, or tofu can also be added.

Bring water to  a boil.  Add rice and barley. Cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes or until any remaining water is absorbed.  Combine with remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up dressing in a jar and pour over salad.  Refrigerate for a few hours to cool and let flavors meld.  Serves 4- 6.

Make it Once, Eat it Twice: Salmon and Quinoa Salad

Planned overs from dinner for lunch yesterday.

Combine in large bowl:

1 cooked salmon fillet, chopped

1 c. cooked quinoa

1/2 c. roughly torn fresh spinach

1/2 c. frozen mango chunks, thawed

Splash or two of olive oil

Add salad dressing of your choice. Serves one

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I have been having this for breakfast every day for two weeks now and I’m still not sick of it. Mind you, I ♥ oatmeal and eat it every day.

Combine in large bowl

1 1/8 c. water

1/2 c. large flake oatmeal

dash salt

Microwave on oatmeal setting in microwave (or about 3 minutes on high, until oatmeal is set).

Add:

1/8th c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 T. coconut oil

1/8th c. chopped walnuts

dash each of cinnamon and vanilla

Stir together until coconut oil is melted. Serve with milk or dairy-free milk.  Serves one.

Polar Vortex Soup (aka Sausage and Lentil Soup)

Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.

Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.

This soup is great for when cold weather hits – hearty and filling. All that’s needed are some crusty buns.

1 onion, chopped

1 T. oil

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 pepper, chopped

15 small fresh tomatoes (the ones I used were called “blushers” – bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a Roma), halved

1 liter carton beef or chicken broth

1/2 farmer’s (or Mennonite) sausage ring, cooked and chopped

handful each fresh baby spinach and kale

1 can lentils, drained and rinsed

1 T. each dried parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary

1 tsp. (or to taste) white pepper

Saute onion in oil until brown. Add the next five ingredients (celery through broth) and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add sausage, spinach, kale and lentils and heat until spinach and kale are wilted.  Stir in herbs and white pepper.  Serves 4-6.

Is Dinner The New Breakfast?

P1030173

Studies out last year seem to indicate that higher calorie breakfasts (including chocolate cake!) help your health. These studies have shown that skipping breakfast is associated with higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/skipping-breakfast-may-lead-to-higher-risk-of-heart-attack-heart-disease-study-1.1378307. Also, eating a higher calorie breakfast can be useful in managing obesity and metabolic syndrome. By switching to a higher calorie breakfast and a lower calorie dinner, participants in the study were able to change their weight and improve their health:  http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?id=18956

My personal opinion is that a higher calorie breakfast will naturally result in consuming slightly lower calorie lunches and dinners just as a lower calorie intake throughout the day will result in being ravenous by dinner (usually how I roll –not too much during the day resulting in starvation by dinner — so this will take an adjustment on my part). Fortunately, breakfast items are usually my favorite items to eat, any time of day.

Too time-crunched on weekday mornings to grab breakfast? Here are ten of my easy, fast breakfast recipes:

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2012/10/29/breakfast-scramble-2/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/10/12/pears-with-yogurt-and-honey/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/05/10/breakfast-scramble/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/03/09/missed-fat-tuesday-strawberry-smoothie/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2011/02/02/pimp-my-oatmeal/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/sesame-seed-squares/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/swiss-breakfast/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/10/18/breakfast-wrap/ (tip:  hard boil the egg the night before)

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/09/09/quick-skillet-granola/

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/2010/05/31/pb-b-wrap/

For more great breakfast recipes follow this tag.

http://chronicinthekitchen.com/tag/breakfast-2/

Dinner — it’s what’s for breakfast!

Fast and Fabulous Vegetable Frittata

I don’t do omelets, but I make a mean frittata.

image from femaleflare.com

image from femaleflare.com

8 large eggs

3/4 c. milk

3/4 c. cheese, shredded

salt, pepper, spice mix (to taste)

2 c. chopped broccoli

1/2 c. chopped pepper

3/4 c. chopped mushrooms

Grease large frying pan. Place broccoli and pepper in it with 1/4 c. water and simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Meantime, mix eggs, milk, cheese,  mushrooms, salt, pepper and spices in a large bowl.  Add to vegetables in frying pan. Cook over medium heat until eggs are almost set, about 8 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave on burner another 8 minutes until eggs are completely set. Serves 4 – 6. Good with a crusty bread and some fruit and perfect for any meal.

Christmas Baking, Day one – Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Makes a great gift this Christmas season

Makes a great gift this Christmas season.

This is so easy to make, there is no need to spend money on pre-made Chocolate Peppermint bark at expensive specialty stores.

2 cups chocolate wafers (available in Canada at http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/index.html)

Chocolate making wafers

Chocolate making wafers

2 large candy canes, crushed

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Few drops of peppermint flavoring

Temper chocolate by placing wafers in the top of a double boiler. Fill the bottom half of the boiler one-third to one-half full with water. Heat chocolate over medium heat, stirring,  until melted and glossy:

P1050917

Remove from heat, stir in crushed candy canes and peppermint flavoring.

Freeze until firm, 2 – 3 hours, in a pan lined with wax paper. Remove from freezer.  Using wax paper, so the bark doesn’t melt onto your hands, break it apart into pieces.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

For gift-giving, place in a pretty container, and wrap with seasonal cellophane paper.

Pesto Chicken Pasta with Peas

English: this is a picture of self made pesto ...

English: this is a picture of self made pesto in a mortar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 cooked chicken breasts, cut up

1/2 c. pesto

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (you could add to the pasta while it’s cooking during the last few minutes, or rinse the peas under hot water)

4 cups cooked pasta (rotini or broken up spaghetti) (regular pasta or gluten free pasta)

1/4 c. olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a large pasta bowl. Add Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves four.

Roasted Morrocan-Inspired Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots

 

Shop with spices in Morocco

Shop with spices in Morocco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Two chicken breasts, skinned and deboned

 

2 – 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

 

1/2 head cauliflower, separated into florets

 

1 onion, chopped

 

3 T. oil, divided

 

2 tsps each (divided then mixed into a small bowl): cumin, nutmeg, allspice, coriander, curry powder, tumeric and salt and pepper

 

Place prepared vegetables in a  9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil.  Combine one teaspoon each of the spices in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over vegetables and toss to combine.  Place chicken breasts on top of vegetable mixture.  Combine 1 T. oil with one teaspoon each of the spices in a small bowl and brush onto chicken breasts.  Bake at 375 uncovered for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover with foil, and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven. Cut breasts in half. Serves four. Good with couscous, rice or quinoa.

 

Five Minute Pickles

P1020679

2 onions, coarsely chopped

3 English cucumbers, thickly sliced, then cut in half lengthwise

Dried dillweed (I used lots, use it to taste)

Brine:

2 c. vinegar

2 c. sugar

1/4 c. salt

1/2 T. picking spices

Place cut up vegetables and dill in a bowl that has a cover or in an old ice cream pail.  Mix the brine ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Allow brine to cool a bit before pouring over vegetables.  Cover and refrigerate.  The pickles will be ready in 2 – 3 weeks and keep for a long time.

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