Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pan Seared Rib Eye Steaks with Cranberry Reduction and Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

  As per our new family traditions at Christmas, we will be packing up our car on Christmas Eve and driving to Ucluelet BC on the west coast of Vancouver Island in Canada for a five day stay in a little winter cabin on the ocean. 


 While there we stock up the fridge with essentials...



 Power up the hot tub, (you haven't lived until you've sat under a starry winter sky in a hot tub listening to waves lap the shore as you sip a cold glass of champagne), and hunker in for a week of board games, good books, hiking, and - of course - eating. 

Those of you who have been Kitchen Witch fans for a long time, know that my recipes are always full of flavour - and my really special ones (like today's) - are super easy to make but look, and taste incredibly impressive. 


 This is what I will be serving this year for Christmas dinner and I couldn't be more excited because the meal is a show stopper! A sweet and savoury cranberry reduction is drizzled over tender pan seared rib eye steaks with To. Die. For. blue cheese mashed baby potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts on the side. 

The combination of flavours in this dish literally sing together and all of the guests you serve this to will know just how special they are. Serve with a robust Barolo or a Pinot Noir and if you try these recipes, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Pan Seared Rib Eye Steaks with Cranberry Reduction and Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes 

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Steak Ingredients
  •  4 rib eye steaks
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup non sodium added beef stock
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp butter 
Potato Ingredients
  • 12 baby potatoes, halved and unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions 
  1. Bring the steaks to room temperature
  2. Once they are at room temperature, rub them on all sides with the salt and herb mixture and let them rest for another 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. To make the cranberry reduction: Place the half cup of sugar into a dry saute pan and melt it over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar begins to go liquid and golden brown. 
  4. Add the cranberries, vinegars, wine, and allspice.
  5. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves into the liquids. Let simmer and thicken a bit. Add the beef stock and continue to boil and simmer another 5 minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Set aside and keep warm until ready to use.
  7. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender and drain. Mash slightly.
  8. In a separate saucepan, heat the milk, chicken stock, butter and blue cheese until the butter and cheese have melted. Pour that mixture over the slightly mashed potatoes and continue to mash until the liquids are well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  9. Sear the steaks 6-8 minutes a side in a cast iron pan. Let rest on a plate covered with foil 10 minutes. 
  10. Serve the rib eyes sliced with the cranberry reduction over top and the mashed potatoes on the side.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Easy Taco and Rice Pie

Today's recipe is another one I came up with cooking from the pantry - and I have long said, a well stocked pantry full of healthy and economical ingredients like mixed beans, rice, canned tomatoes, tuna, grains, salsa, re-fried beans, pastas etc, can be a time saver, and a wallet saver!

So today I was in the mood for tacos - you know when you get one of those crazy cravings for something? Except I didn't have any taco shells in my pantry, and I didn't feel like running to the store to get some. Instead I decided to get creative and subbed in high fiber, nutty tasting brown rice. Add an egg white and some grated cheddar, and you've got the basis for a healthy pie crust to scoop a yummy taco mixture into.

And voila! A star is born!


Serve my easy taco pie with a tossed green salad. Better still, the recipe makes two pies so you can have one now and freeze the other for later. If baking from frozen, thaw on your counter before baking.

So get into that pantry. Pull out some gorgeous brown rice, your favourite salsa, and some re-fried beans and try this recipe yourself - created with love and a pinch of magic from your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Easy Taco Pie

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 2 pies

Ingredients 
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups grated sharp (old) cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1, 16 oz tin re-fried beans
  • 1, 10 ounce can (1, 1/2 cups) tomato salsa or rotel
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice
Directions 
  1. Mix the rice and egg whites together with 1 cup of the grated cheese. And press equal amounts into two pie plates that have been well sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Brown the ground beef and diced onions in a non-stick pan treated with cooking spray over medium high heat. 
  3. Add the re-fried beans, salsa, seasoning, and lime juice.
  4. Pour in equal amounts into each pie shell and top each pie with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 45 minutes. 
  6. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 
  7. Serve with a green salad. 

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew with Potato Gruyere Dumplings

Well it's that time of year again. A cold snap has come to the air, and Christmas will be here before we know it. Although this can be a depressing time for many of us, this year, I choose happy - reminding myself that a change of seasons is also a reminder of change in our own lives.

Spring for me is all about renewal - new vegetables, fresh asparagus, crepes, and eggs. Foods that evoke feelings of Easter, and lilacs, and breezes grown warmer.

And then, before we know it, it's summer. The sun comes out, the grass grows green, and we find ourselves in a world of abundance. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables are ours for the picking. Plump ripe tomatoes on the vine, juicy berries, and the smell of grilled meats on the breeze as we head to the beach for one last swim and kids play until the streetlights come on.

With Autumn, comes the harvest. Afternoons spent canning tomatoes, and pickles, and beans. The smell of wood smoke, new pencils, and apple pie as we prepare ourselves for the long months of hibernation the cold weather brings.

And now, with winter right around the corner, I'd like to present a meal that makes me think of roaring fires, days on the ski slope, fresh shoveled snow, skating parties, and Jack Frost painting the trees in shades of icy silver white.

 This gorgeous stew is full of the flavours I think about when I contemplate winter. Rosemary and thyme combine with fresh garlic and winter herbs seasoning the stew from the inside out with their combined essence of earthy unctuousness and acting as the perfect compliment to beef, wild mushrooms, and pillowy potato dumplings made with gruyere cheese.

 As always, I've worked hard to make this stew a little bit healthier by using high fiber Nutri-blend flour, lean beef, and no sodium added beef stock - keeping the sodium levels low in this dish while losing nothing on flavour.

So get out into the elements. Take a walk in the woods, pull on some skates, or hit the slopes - and then when you get home bask in the warmth and aroma of stew made with love and a pinch of magic from your friendly neighborhood Kitchen Witch. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew with Potato Gruyere Dumplings

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Rosemary Beef and Wild Mushroom Stew 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  •  2 lbs stewing beef cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1/4 cup all purpose or Robin Hood Nutri-Blend flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup each diced celery and carrots
  • 2 stalks fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 stalks fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves peeled whole garlic
  • 10 brown button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • 1 pkg dried mixed wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups no sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Dumpling Ingredients
  • 1  cup dried instant mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup hot water 
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup all purpose or Robin Hood Nutri-Blend flour
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Directions 
  1. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, herbs de provence, and garlic powder together.
  2. Place the stewing beef into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the flour mixture. Toss well so that all of the meat is evenly coated. 
  3. Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let steep 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the water and chop. Reserve the mushrooms water for the stew.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sweat the onions, carrots, and celery in the olive oil just until they begin to grow soft.
  6. Add the beef and toss well browning slightly on all sides. Don't worry if some of the flour mixture begins to stick to the pan, just reduce the heat lightly, this will add to the flavour of the stew. 
  7. Add the wild mushrooms, the brown mushrooms, and continue to stir and toss.
  8. Add the red wine, mushroom water, and beef stock to the pan and de-glaze it getting all of the flavour off the bottom. 
  9. Bring to a slow boiling simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and let stew for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
  10.  Add the frozen peas during the last 20 minutes of cooking and bring back to the boil.
  11. Mix the potato flakes with hot water. Stir in the flour, herbs de provence and grated cheese. Add the beaten egg and mix well using your hands. Form into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Drop into the stew and cook covered for 15 more minutes.



Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.




Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions

Those of you who have been following The kitchen Witch for awhile know I'm absolutely crazy about Sunday Dinner. When I was growing up, no matter what was going on the rest of the week, I always knew Sunday dinner was something I could count on as both an ending and a beginning.

We'd sit in the dining room around a large table with family and friends over dishes like roast beef, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and gravy and I would feel a sense of gratitude for the week just ending along with a sense of excitement for the one about to begin.

It's a tradition I've kept alive in my family and although my son now lives too far away from home to attend Sunday dinner often, my parents often join us around the table and there is always room for friends.

Tender chicken is roasted with oranges and fennel and glazed in a sticky marmalade sauce.


That said, to my mind Sunday dinner is about very specific kinds of dishes. It's comfort food taken to the next level. Eaten off the good china with a glass of wine, Chopin playing softly in the background, Sunday dinner needs to be easy enough to put together with very little stress, but elegant enough to mark Sunday evening as a special occasion because I don't think we do that enough anymore. If you can't make it happen every night, making sure to have a wonderful sit down meal on Sundays will be something to look forward to and is a beautiful way to get caught up with your family and friends while you set the tone for the week ahead.

It's also a great time to get creative in the kitchen with old classics - like today's recipe for Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions - a recipe I came up with because I'm crazy about the flavours of orange, fennel, and slow roasted chicken coming together.

This is one of those meals that makes the whole house smell good, and especially at this time of year, harkens feelings of comfort and well being. So light a fire in the hearth, pull out some candles, and gather everyone around your Sunday table for a weekly feast. And if you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!





















As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Sticky Orange Roast Chicken with Fennel and Onions

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!


 

Sticky Orange Roast Chicken
 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Roasting Time: 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1, 3-5 pound roast chicken
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 orange, quartered, and then halved
  • 1 medium onion, quartered (to stuff into the cavity)
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
Sticky Marmalade Glaze
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
Directions 
  1. Drizzle the olive oil into a roasting pan and then toss in the sliced fennel, and sliced onion.
  2. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, 1 tsp herbes de provence, the orange zest, and the 5 garlic cloves. Toss well.
  3. Mix together a seasoning blend with the remaining salt, pepper, herbs de provence and the garlic powder. 
  4. Sprinkle the inside cavity of the chicken with 1 tsp of the seasoning blend and then stuff with the quartered onion and orange. 
  5. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with the remaining seasoning blend and place onto a roasting rack above the fennel and onions. 
  6. Roast uncovered in a 325 degree oven while you make the glaze.
  7. To make the glaze, melt the marmalade into 1 cup of chicken stock in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and add the thyme and vinegar. Let boil 5 minutes until it reduces slightly. Add the cornstarch to the remaining tbsp of chicken stock to make a slurry and add to the glaze. Stir until slightly thickened and then turn to low.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven after it's roasted an hour, lift the rack off the fennel and onions and give them a good toss. You will do this periodically (about every 20 minutes or so) until the chicken is cooked. The idea is to get the fennel and onions nice and brown and caramelized as they will act as a substitute for gravy. 
  9. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, glaze the chicken every 10 minutes or so with the sticky marmalade sauce.
  10.  Roast for 2-3 hours until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 
  11. Slice. Serve the chicken over a bed of the fennel and onion, drizzle with the remaining glaze, and sprinkle with sliced toasted almonds.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Harvest Chilighetti with Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash

I absolutely love the changing of the seasons. That warmth in the winter air as the snow begins to melt when spring is on its way, pink cherry blossoms and lilacs perfuming the air in May, the smell of fresh mown grass, and the sound of crickets as a new school year approaches. But perhaps the most glorious changing of the seasons comes in Autumn when that first chill is in the air and the trees display their fiery splendour in all shades of red, gold, yellow, and orange.

So what better when this kind of vibrant fire is in the air than to serve a warm and comforting dish like to day's Harvest Chilighetti!

 This gorgeous dish is a healthy adaptation of dish my mom used to make when I was growing up. She made hers with ground beef and pork and beans and it was such a great meal because it wasn't only delicious, it was super economical and always made a large potful leaving plenty of leftovers.

My rendition is full of delicious ingredients like butternut squash, black beans, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and lean ground turkey. Better still (shhhh... don't tell my mother) it's even more comforting and yummy than the original.

If you try this recipe, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Harvest Chilighetti with Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked cubed butternut squash (can use frozen and par-boil)
  • 1 cup cooked greens like spinach, swiss chard, or kale
  • 1 lb ground turkey (breast or thigh)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 large tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups dry macaroni or other pasta 
Directions 
  1. Cut each cube of squash into four small cubes 
  2. Chop the greens
  3. Saute the turkey, onion, and red pepper in a nonstick pan lightly sprayed with olive oil or cooking spray 
  4. When the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute 1 minute until fragrant. 
  5. Add the squash, greens, beans, salsa, tomatoes, and brown sugar and bring to a simmering boil. Turn to low and let simmer while you cook the pasta.
  6. Cook the pasta just until al dente and then toss into the ground turkey mixture.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Witch's Chicken Fingers with Monster Brain Dip

Happy Halloween everyone!

This year I have an extra special treat for all your little ghosts and goblins (and the big ones too)!


 Chicken tenders are dipped in mayonnaise, coated in a crunchy Panko bread crumbs, and baked to moist crispy goodness with almond finger nails and gooey witch's blood!

Serve with a side order of monster brain dip and you've got the fixings for a spooktacularly delicious Halloween!

This is an incredibly delicious main dish or appetizer, and if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload new recipe blog and video every week week! 

Visit the printable recipe here: Witch's Chicken Fingers with Monster Brain Dip

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning 
  • 1 egg beaten 
  • sliced almonds
  • red cake decorating gel
Directions
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, and mustard together. 
  2. Marinate the chicken tenders in the mayonnaise 4-6 hours.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs and creole seasoning together in a shallow dish and then place the chicken into the dish turning to coat well on all sides. 
  4. Brush the tip of each finger with beaten egg and add an almond finger nail.
  5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet, at 400 for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Let cool slightly and then put a little of the red gel around the nail beds, smearing it slightly to make it extra creepy.

Monster Brain Dip 
  • 1/2 cup red pepper jelly
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Mix just enough to make the jelly and mayo look like goopy brains :-) (as per the video) Gross looking but absolutely delicious!


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.   

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bangers and Mash with Apples, Green Beans, and Onions

There's something about Autumn that makes me want to strap on a feed bag and dive into mounds of mashed potatoes. It's like the weather begins to change and my body says: "We need to up your fat stores for the winter."

Can anyone else relate?

The thing is, though, I did so well last winter maintaining and not gaining that I want to keep the momentum alive while continuing enjoy my life. I know that sounds drastic, but I'm a cook and a foodie who also works really hard, long hours and wants to come home to beautiful meals featuring whatever it is I might be craving at the time.

In other words, life is too short for deprivation - for me anyways - and so that's where recipe development comes in. I've learned over the years that just about anything can be made into a healthier version of the original. For example, many recipes call for more oil than you actually need for sauteing - especially if you have a good non-stick pan. And the way you cook your dish, can also make a difference.

So today I'm going to share my healthy (er) version of Bangers and Mash!



















To make this iconic dish leaner and healthier I did a few things...

First, I purchased my sausages at the butcher shop so that I knew I was buying excellent quality, fresh, local sausages and then instead of doing them up in a frying pan, I poked holes in them and roasted them on a rack in a hot oven. Roasting on a rack this way helped release some of the additional fat without losing anything on flavour. And, using my method, you get a gorgeous crispy exterior.

Next, I decided to forgo the gravy and instead do a topping with apples, green beans, and onions. I knew the flavours would go beautifully together and that the fruit and veggies would add all kinds of additional nutrition and fibre to the dish.

Finally, I whipped up my mashed potatoes with chicken stock instead of butter and cream. This is a great way to enjoy mashed potatoes without all the additional calories. The chicken stock adds gorgeous flavour and with all that lusciousness from the sausages, apple, and green beans, you won't miss the butter.

This is an incredibly delicious rendition of Bangers and Mash, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Bangers and Mash
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Bangers and Mash
  
Ingredients
  • 4-6 Bratwurst Sausages
  • 1 medium white onion cut into thin rings 
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 large tart apples (like the honey crisp) cored, peeled, and diced 
  • 1/4 tsp herbes de provence, or thyme 
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple wine, apple cider, or apple juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Directions
  1. Saute the onion, apple, and green beans in a medium non stick pan sprayed with PAM or olive oil over medium high heat until the onions are caramelized, the beans begin to go tender, and the apples are soft and golden.
  2. Add the herbes de provence, wine, and garlic and stir until the wine has almost evaporated.
  3. Add the chicken stock, reduce heat, and simmer until the liquid reduces by 3/4.
  4. Turn the heat to low, add the butter, put a lid on the pan, and let the sauce sit on low while you roast the brats. 
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 400. 
  6. Poke holes in both sides of the brats using a fork and place on a roasting rack over a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once and then place under the broiler for 5 minutes a side until crispy. 
  7. Add the brats back to the pan and smother them in all that apple goodness.
  8. Serve over your favourite mashed potatoes. (I like to lighten mine up by mashing with chicken stock instead of cream and butter) 
  9. Spoon even amounts of the apples and beans over each.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.   




Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce with Lentils

I make no secret about it - I love lentils! They are a healthy and economical source of protein and fiber and can be used in soups, stews, as a side dish, or on their own. Recently a friend of mine asked me if I had a good recipe for vegetarian lasagna and I began to think in terms of lentils as a replacement for the ground beef.

So before embarking on an entire lasagna, I thought I'd begin with a lentil inspired bolognese sauce done in the slow cooker and serve the end product with rigatoni.



















I'm not gonna lie, the lentils at the halfway point in my slow cooker looked like they were going to be an epic fail - but with a little patience and a full 8 hour cooking time on high, they came out BEAUTIFUL with the perfect texture for a sauce!

It also makes a lot so that you can freeze some for later - and I plan to make that lasagna with the next batch I pull out!

This is a healthy, and very delicious dish, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce with Lentils

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!



Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup carrots diced into bite sized cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 14 ounces dried, rinsed lentils
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients but the balsamic vinegar in a slow cooker treated with cooking spray and cook on the low setting for 10-12 hours or high for 8 hours - until the lentils are soft and tender.Add the balsamic vinegar to the cooked warm lentils.
  2. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, lightly puree everything to resemble a Bolognese sauce (as per the video)
  4. The sauce makes enough for four meals. Place into freezer bags and keep in the freezer up to 6 months.
  5. Heat and serve over your favorite pasta, vegetables, or both. 

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  
 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Turkey Meatballs in Easy Marinara Sauce

I was at an event a few years ago called Eat Vancouver - a day that was set up completely around food and cooking. There were hundreds of vendors present selling everything from truffle salt to ponzu sauce, live cooking demos with chefs like Rob Feenie, Chuck Hughes, and Anna Olson, and a wine tasting station. But my favourite part of the day was the opportunity to taste food from a variety of local chefs and despite being treated to a plethora of textures and flavours, the best thing I ate that day was a baseball sized meatball covered in a fresh and simple marinara sauce.

That said, for today's blog I wanted to re-create my own version of that delicious dish and I have to tell you, if you try this, you won't be sorry!

































This is a healthy, and very delicious dish, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Turkey Meatballs in Easy Marinara Sauce

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb ground turkey thigh
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped. pitted, kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 680 ml jar Italian pureed tomatoes
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
Directions 
  1. Mix the first 10 ingredients together and form into baseball sized meatballs.
  2. Brown on all sides over medium high heat in a non stick pan treated with olive oil. 
  3. Set the meatballs aside and saute the onions in the same pan until soft, add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree, bay leaf, and the meatballs back to the pan. Cover the meatballs with the sauce, bring to a simmering boil, turn to medium low, cover and simmer one hour. 
  5. Serve over your favourite pasta or over a bed of sauteed spinach. 
  6. These freeze well.  

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

For me, when life gets busy, there's nothing more refreshing or delicious than a fully loaded salad. And the nice thing about salad for dinner is that it can almost be entirely prepped ahead so that all you have to do when you get home from work, or from looking after your family, is dump ingredients into a bowl.




















My Tex Mex salad is loaded with healthy ingredients like avocado, peppers, niblets corn, chicken, shrimp, crunchy tortilla strips, and a honey like salad dressing that's worth the entire price of admission!




















This is a healthy, and very delicious dinner salad, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!



Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla
  • 4 cups chopped salad greens
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast seasoned with 1/2 tsp of creole seasoning
  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup niblets corn
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup purple onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
Honey Lime Dressing Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning 
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp honey
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mist both sides of the whole wheat tortilla with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray. Cut in half, turn sideways, then cut into thin strips. Spread the strips in a single layer on baking sheets and season with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets once, until crispy. 
  2. Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. 
  4. Toss everything along with the tortilla strips together and serve.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers ~ Vegetarian Meals in the Slow Cooker

Today's recipe is so easy, tasty, healthy, and economical I think it deserves a parade!

This because I've been loving easy vegetarian meals I can turn to once or twice a week - guaranteeing we're eating a wider variety of vegetables, trying new ingredients, and saving money.

But if someone had told me the magic that's created in a slow cooker with re-fried beans, quinoa, cheese, and salsa I never would have believed it!


The quinoa gets mixed together with a few other ingredients, is stuffed into peppers, and cooked on low for 6 hours resulting in oodles of cheesy, tomato, deliciousness and mounds of nutrition! Better still, the quinoa is super filling and the entire easy meal will leave you feeling great and coming back for more.



This is a healthy, and very delicious vegetarian meal, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers

Or join me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube where my husband Big V and I get into a Foodie Showdown: Ribs vs Peppers!




Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 14 ounce can re-fried beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
  • 4 medium sized peppers any variety
Directions 
  1. Mix the quinoa, beans, salsa, sour cream, cumin, lime juice, cilantro, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese together in a large bowl until well combined. 
  2. Remove the insides and seeds from the peppers and spoon equal amounts of the quinoa stuffing into each. 
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of a slow cooker and place the stuffed peppers into the crockpot.
  4. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.
  5. Before serving, remove cover and sprinkle the peppers with grated cheese,Cover the crock pot again for a few seconds to melt the cheese. 
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 




Saturday, September 5, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas

In an effort to save money and eat more healthfully, I try to make at least one vegetarian meal a week and Tex Mex style dishes really lend themselves to this kind of cooking - especially when vegetables are in season like gorgeous butternut squash.

 Don't let vegetables like squash scare you. I know they can look daunting in all of their heavy peel, seeds inside glory at the grocery store, but if you peel it, de-seed it, cube it and pop it into a freezer bag, you've got a wonderful vegetable on hand for all kinds of soups and dishes like today's Quesadillas.


Served with your favourite guacamole, these are so delicious you won't believe it! They're even good the next day cold.

This is a healthy, and very delicious vegetarian meal, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients
  • 3 medium while onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups 1/4" cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1-15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup niblets corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I like the Kraft Tex Mex blend in this)
  • 1 large avocado, scooped out of shell and mashed
  • 1 tbsp salsa
  • 6 large soft tortilla shells
Directions
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium low stirring every so often until golden brown and caramelized, about 60 minutes. (You can also do this ahead of time in larger batches and freeze)
  2. Remove the onions from the pan, turn heat to medium, and add the corn - use a spatula to get all of the golden onion flavour off the bottom. Add the black beans, salsa, cumin and chili powder and continue to saute until the liquid from the salsa has mostly evaporated. 
  3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with nonstick spray or olive oil. Toss the butternut squash in the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until caramelized but not mushy. Can be made a day ahead of time.
  4. Heat the oven to 350. Place 3 whole wheat tortilla shells onto a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray or oil. Spoon 1/2 cup of the bean mixture, 1/2 cup of the roasted squash, and 1/4 cup of the caramelized onions onto one half of the tortilla. Top each with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Fold over and bake for about 10-15 minutes until crispy. 
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peach Crisp Breakfast in a Jar

Time and again I'm reminded that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I have to admit, when I do make the effort to eat a healthy breakfast, not only does my morning go better, I tend to eat less during the day. That said, I'm a busy person, and often have to take my meals on the fly - which is why I'm so crazy about any kind of something I can make in a jar!

And what could be better than today's recipe for fresh, seasonal peaches, baked to juicy perfection and topped with homemade granola?


 If you said "nothing" that would be the right answer!

This is a quick, easy, and very delicious breakfast to have on hand for busy days, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Peach Crisp Breakfast in a Jar

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!



 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds (or other nuts, chopped)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1⁄3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ripe peaches
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Directions
  1. Combine oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon and flax in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine oil, honey and vanilla in another, smaller bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Set aside.
  4. Peel peaches as per the instructions in the video. Cut into cubes and add the brown sugar, corn starch, and cinnamon. 
  5. Fill 6, 8 oz canning jars to the halfway point with the peach mixture and then cover with the granola
  6. Put the mason jars on a foil-covered cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the peaches are bubbling and the granola is golden brown. Keep an eye on it because you don't want it to burn.
  7. Serve warm with Vanilla flavored Greek yogurt.
  8. If taking to go it's great cold or can be warmed in the microwave. Serve with vanilla flavoured Greek Yogurt

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Skinny Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash

When I was a teenager growing up in the mid 80's my mom was always on one health kick or another so from the time I began to learn how to cook, I did so with an eye toward making dishes healthier. We ate a lot of steamed vegetables, chicken, and pita bread pizzas, but I think one of my mom's most memorable creations was when she made spaghetti squash. 

I had never heard of it before and the marvel of those spaghetti like strands coming from a squash was pretty impressive. I remember she made a Mediterranean style spaghetti sauce with fish and it was incredibly delicious. 

Not one to be outdone, I was craving Alfredo sauce last weekend but given my penchant for absorbing cream and pasta much like the Goodyear blimp, I knew I was going to have to find an alternative - and then I remembered the spaghetti squash - thus begging the question?
Could I have my creamy sauce and eat it too?

 As you can see, the answer was a resounding yes!!


I loved this creamy baked dish so much that the next time I throw a dinner party, this is going to be the star of the show! Everything about it screams decadence, and yet you can enjoy it with relatively no guilt. 

Yes, there is butter in the sauce - some things you just can't skimp on when making a cream sauce - however the deficit in calories provided by the squash and the absence of heavy cream more than makes up for it.  

This is a quick, easy, and very delicious dinner, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Skinny Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Skinny Shrimp Alfredo with Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 20 large shrimp
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup 1 % milk 
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese or Boursin cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbsp extra for topping
  • 1/4 tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the end off, the squash, stand it up, and carefully cut down the middle until it comes apart. Remove the seeds, place face down in a baking pan filled with water, and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour - just until the squash is tender and forms strands when lifted with a fork.
  2. Saute the shrimp two minutes a side in a non-stick pan misted with olive oil, set aside to a plate, and squeeze fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper over all.
  3. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute until fragrant. Sprinkle two tbsp of flour into the melted butter and fresh garlic, and stir well to make a roux, continuing to cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Pour in the white wine, and continue to stir using a whisk until the wine has cooked down - next whisk in the milk, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese until thick and luxurious and then stir in the prawns. 
  5. When the squash comes out of the oven, fluff up the insides with a fork, place equal amounts of the shrimp alfredo sauce into each, top with more parmesan cheese and broil until bubbly. 
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Beef and Mushroom Noodle Bowl with Pickled Radish and Spicy Onion Sauce

One of my favourite things about blogging and making cooking videos is the people you meet who share similar interests in food and cooking from all over the world. One such person is lovely young woman  named Ai who lives in Tokyo.

Ai has a cooking channel on Youtube called "Cooking with Ai" where she features delicious recipes from Japan. Many of her flavours and ideas come from experiences growing up and cooking with her mother and I was super excited when she asked me if I would like to collaborate on a recipe video with her.

Collaborations are a fun way to meet new people and gain new viewership and we decided to each do a video featuring a recipe. Ai featured her delicious recipe for Hot and Spicy Onion Sauce, and I created today's noodle bowl using the sauce!



 This is a quick, easy, and very delicious dinner - and make sure to pickle the radishes! They are an AMAZING condiment and they go perfectly with this dish! And if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Beef Noodle Bowl with Pickled Radish

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Prep Time: 20 minutes
Pickling Time for the radishes: 3 hours or overnight
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2- 4 (depending on appetites)

Stir Fry Ingredients
  • cooking oil for your wok or pan
  • 1, 8 oz rib eye or strip loin steak, sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
  • 8 oz, sliced mushrooms
  • 2 squares Rooster Brand Instant Noodles
  • 4 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, bok choy - whatever you like)
  • 1/2 small diced chili pepper (optional)
Hot and Spicy Onion Sauce
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • the juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili bean sauce (can substitute siracha or black bean sauce in a pinch)
Pickled Radish  
  • 2 cups thinly sliced radishes
  • 1⁄2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin (optional but good)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
Directions 
  1. Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt, and mirin well in a large jar. Add the radishes and let sit at least 3 hours before eating. They're even better if you leave them overnight.
  2.  Stir fry the steak and mushrooms in a hot wok or pan along with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Saute just until the steak is cooked and the mushrooms have begun to release their water. 
  3. Add the greens and continue to saute until wilted. 
  4. While the greens are cooking, boil the noodles for app 5 minutes until al dente. Drain.
  5. Add the hot and spicy onion sauce to the wok.
  6. Add the noodles to the wok and stir fry for another minute or two. If using hot chili peppers add them at this point.
  7. Serve in bowls garnished with the pickled radishes.
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ground Beef and Wild Mushroom Stroganoff

 I'm back to work after five glorious weeks of vacation and it's amazing how quickly the lazy hazy days of summer can fade to the background as I get back into the grind. That said, my husband and I work hard and both of us look forward to dinner together as a way to unwind. 
We like to have a glass of wine as we prepare dinner and talk about our days as we cook and eat. That said, neither of us want to cook something elaborate or difficult during the week so I've got many simple and easy recipes that come straight from the pantry.  
What I've done, though, is elevate them slightly from the everyday by adding a few special ingredients - and one of those ingredients is dried wild mushrooms. 
 Dried wild mushrooms can be purchased in just about any grocery store and come in a variety of different types. I like to buy a mixed package with chanterelles, porcini, and morels - but truly, any dried mushrooms will do, including shitake (which may be easiest to find).

I keep dried mushrooms on hand year round as a pantry staple and truly hope you'll try today's easy recipe because it's truly delicious!
I've also kept it healthier by not adding additional sodium (there is enough in the consomme), using low fat sour cream, whole wheat egg noodles, and reducing the amount of oil in the saute pan. Oftentimes recipes call for much more oil than is actually needed. My preference is to begin at a teaspoon and add more only as required.

This beautiful comfort food dinner is full of flavour, great with a tossed green salad (and a glass of red wine) and I hope you try it. If you do, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Visit the printable recipe here: Ground Beef and Wild Mushroom Stroganoff.

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey) 
  • 1 diced white onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pkg. dried wild mushrooms (app 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence or thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tin Campbell's Condensed Consomme or Beef Broth
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2 cups dried whole wheat egg noodles
Directions 
  1.  Cover the wild mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water and let steep 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, reserve the water, and chop the mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Set aside. 
  2. In a large stainless steel or cast iron pan saute the onions and ground beef over medium high heat until fully cooked. If the ground beef begin to stick too much turn the heat down and add a little extra oil. 
  3. When the beef is cooked, add the spices, the chopped wild mushrooms, the mushroom liquid, and the consomme, and stir to get all the flavour off the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium low and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
  4. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain well.
  5. When the mushroom, beef sauce has reduced by half, add the sour cream and stir well until incorporated. 
  6. Add the cooked, drained noodles to the pan and toss well. 
  7. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Triple Berry Icebox Cake (Made with Greek Yogurt)

Last summer I developed a recipe for an old fashioned dessert called an “Ice Box Cake” and we loved it so much, my husband asked if I would make one again this summer. While I loved the cake as much as he did, the one issue keeping me from cake making heaven, is that we’ve been doing so well with our healthy recipes and Ice Box (or refrigerator) cake is made with whipping cream, cream cheese, and sugar – lots of sugar. 

Never one to be dissuaded, my husband (who is now calling himself “Slim V”) suggested we make a healthier version of the ice box cake and load it with seasonal ingredients like raspberries, and blueberries. That way we could let the natural sugar in the berries sweeten and flavour the bulk of the cake and up the nutritional value at the same time. 

Two birds. One stone. (or something like that) 




















I promise, though, if you want to add a power load of nutrition to your daily diet, get into berries – especially in the summer when they’re sweet and plentiful. Much like spinach, raisins, apples, plums and grapes, blueberries and raspberries are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C.Other nutritional benefits include a very low sodium and calorie count at only 62 calories a cup. The dark blue colour of blueberries also give them one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits.

So we had our flavour base, with the addition of a little grated orange zest to brighten things up, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and pure Canadian maple syrup that we added for a little more natural sweetness and flavour to the berries. 

Maple syrup is another ingredient I’ve embraced both for the gorgeous taste and also because the health benefits of real maple syrup are far more comprehensive than what you might expect. It is the only product in our diet that comes directly from a plant’s sap and features over 54 antioxidants that can help delay or prevent diseases such as cancer or diabetes. In addition, maple syrup features high levels of zinc and manganese, keeping the heart healthy and boosting the immune system.  

With all that good nutrition we were on a roll, but we still had the whipping cream/cream cheese filling to contend with. And then it hit me… somewhere in the annals of my memory I remembered reading that it was possible to make whipping cream out of coconut milk – and thanks to the trusty folks at Google and other bloggers, I found the secret for doing so: Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to whip, remove the solid white coconut from the can and whip until peaks form – works like a charm! But don’t get me wrong, coconut milk is still pretty high in fat and calories – however, it’s lower in both than whipping cream and has higher nutritional value. 

Plus, I think it’s really cool that you can turn it into whipped cream!

For added flavour, protein, and nutrients, I subbed in French Vanilla Greek Yogurt, and then made an orange flavoured thickener with pure orange juice and one package of gelatin - which is also incredibly good for you. Fold it all together, and layer between low fat graham crackers, and you end up with a spectacular dessert!

This beautiful dessert just screams decadence without all the guilt and I hope you try it. If you do, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Visit the printable recipe here: Triple Berry Icebox Cake
And then cook along with me and my husband, Big V, at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!





Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1  box low fat Graham Crackers
  • the zest from one large orange
  • the juice from one large orange
  • 1 package gelatin
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups vanilla flavoured Greek Yogurt
  • 1 can coconut milk that has been refrigerated over night
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
   Directions
  1.  Dissolve one packet of gelatin into the orange juice along with 1/4 cup of boiling water.
  2.  Scoop the solid coconut milk from the can and whip until stiff peaks form. 
  3. Gently fold in the Greek yogurt followed by the orange juice and gelatin.
  4. Add the orange zest, maple syrup, and cinnamon to the berries. 
  5. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and spoon some of the berry mixture into the bottom. Spoon the cream filling over that and then top with a layer of low fat graham wafers. Continue to layer finishing with a top layer of graham crackers, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
    Remove the cake from the pan using the plastic wrap and then invert onto another plate like so and cut into delicious slices.
 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish