Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday's recipe links

Happy Memorial Day to my American friends and family! I hope you are sharing some good weather, good food and good times.
  1. Quinoa with Currants, Dill, and Zucchini from 101 Cookbooks. 
  2. Barley with Cucumber and Yogurt-Dill Dressing from Mark Bittman.
  3. Lentil and Kohlrabi Salad from Chocolate and Zucchini.
  4. Spring Salad with New Potatoes from Smitten Kitchen.
  5. Squash Blossoms Two Ways from Tartelette.
  6. Roasted Baby Leeks with Thyme from Jamie Oliver.
  7. Fresh Strawberry Granita from epicurious.
  8. Lemon and Watermelon Granitas from The Telegraph.
  9. Chocolate Gelato inspired by Saveur but perfected by Cafe Fernando, Istanbul.
  10. And in honour of my lovely step-daughter teaching English in South Korea, Kimchi Fried Rice from Orangette.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our garden recipes - up first, beets!

My mother-in-law makes what must surely be among the world's best borschts, so I wasn't entirely surprised when my husband suggested we add beets to our garden plot this year. I was on board, but the boys took a little more convincing. They know that anything we grow in our garden is going to end up on their plates, so it was with what can only be described as modest enthusiasm that they agreed to help me plant them.

I get that beets aren't everyone's favourite vegetable. But they are one of mine. I love their earthy taste when they are roasted, their tart bite when they are pickled, the way they pair with orange, honey, dill, blue cheese or lemon. And you can't beat the beautiful colours of the roots, vibrant reds and golden oranges, and their deep green leaves.  They are worth growing simply for their lush beauty as you pull them from the soil.

Now as I do my cancer prevention research, I learn wonderful things about beets, both the roots and the greens. They are packed with folate which helps build strong bones.  They are a good source of potassium, an important mineral for heart function which may also decrease one's risk for stroke and osteoporosis. They contain magnesium, a mineral vital for maintaining bone health, and are loaded with the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene. They also contain betacyanin, a phytochemical that may have anti-cancer properties.

So if I haven't convinced you to give them anther try by now, you are one tough cookie. Maybe some recipes will soften you up?
  1. First up, a great selection of recipes at Canadian Living. How about Beet and Orange Salad, Beet Risotto with Rapini, Beet, Apple and Spinach Salad, Honey Lemon Beets, or Sesame Wilted Beet Greens?
  2. Golden and Crimson Beet Salad with Oranges, Fennel and Feta from Epicurious.
  3. Grated Beet Salad with Blue Cheese from the kitchn at Apartment Therapy.
  4. Beet Greens from Simply Recipes. A touch of bacon, some garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a splash of cider vinegar make this a worthy side dish for your next roast chicken or poached salmon.
  5. Finally, Eating Well's best beet recipes which includes Roasted Beet Crostini, Borscht, Beet Carpaccio, Salmon and Roasted Vegetable Salad, and Roasted Halibut with Pickled Beets.
Convinced you yet? I will just ask you what I ask the boys - promise me you'll just try them. You never know!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Today's unlikely cancer warrior...rhubarb!

In February of 2010, researchers at a British university released their findings that rhubarb showed signs of being a potent cancer fighter. The key, they said, were the polyphenols found in this and many other red vegetables. These polyphenols only get more concentrated with baking, something most rhubarb recipes call for. If you've ever chomped on a raw rhubarb stick, you'll understand why!

I love rhubarb. My husband loves rhubarb. I have said before that I am suspicious of people who don't. Except children. I will acknowledge that most people aren't born loving rhubarb. But once you do, you will learn to look forward to spring for it as much as for the change in the weather.

I hope you have a good source nearby. Check your farmer's markets and produce stands. The season isn't long so if you are a true nut like me buy extra and freeze it.  Fair warning - most of these recipes are high in sugar, so consume in moderation!

  1. Mark Bittman's rhubarb crisp. I've mentioned it before but it is worth mentioning again. Yum.
  2. Canadian Living compiled a great list of tested rhubarb recipes. Included are: rhubarb compote, strawberry rhubarb sorbet, rhubarb frozen yogurt, and rhubarb strawberry macaroon cobbler.
  3. Rhubarb coffee cake from the Carbone Cancer Centre at the University of Wisconsin.
  4. Rhubarb and orange compote from the World Cancer Research Fund.
  5. Cranberry rhubarb chutney from Diana Dyer, MS, RD and cancer survivor.
  6. Best rhubarb bars from Krumkake at Group Recipes.
  7. Grandma's strawberry and rhubarb pie at the Food Network.
Happy cooking!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday's recipe links

  1. Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw from Mark Bittman.
  2. Lentil and Kohlrabi Salad from Chocolate and Zucchini.
  3. Asparagus Artichoke Salad from Simply Recipes.
  4. Slow-baked Salmon with Carrot Cucumber Salad from Canadian Living.
  5. As part of my never-ending search for healthier Thai recipes, Thai-Style Chicken Soup with Basil, Thai-Spiced Watermelon Soup with Crabmeat, Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Chiles and Basil, and, now that some believe coconut milk in moderation may actually be good for us, Thai Chicken-Coconut Soup. Epicurious - so check out the user ratings and comments.
  6. And the best roast chicken in the world. Alice Waters via Ladies' Home Journal. Add lots of garlic and serve with roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed greens. Or that Asparagus Artichoke Salad up there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recipe links

I have been an inconsistent poster of late. Sorry regular readers! I blame my travelin' man and rambunctious monkeys.

  1. Heidi Swanson's Spiced Coconut Spinach on 101 Cookbooks. Still on my spinach bender - I must be going through 4 to 6 cups a day! Note: on this recipe, at the time of my posting, Heidi has forgotten to indicate when to add the shallot/garlic paste. I would do it just before toasting the spices. I'll try it and let you know if that works.
  2. Oooooh, pretty. Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon at Smitten Kitchen.
  3. Easiest Bean or Grain Salad on the Planet Recipe. A very flexible recipe and good guidance for those of us looking to increase our bean and whole grain consumption this spring. Mark Bittman.
  4. Also from Mark Bittman's site, Halibut Steaks with Creamy Saffron Sauce.
  5. Melissa Clark's Olive Oil Banana Bread via xo breakfast. Whole wheat flour, dark chocolate, lemon and olive oil together with potassium packed bananas? I think I could get my doctor to prescribe this!
  6. And because we are closing in on strawberry season, another Heidi Swanson recipe, this one from her new cookbook. According to the interview she gave to Design Sponge, it's her favourite recipe in the book - Roasted Strawberries.