Saturday, 24 September 2011

Rosemary Rutabaga Maple Soup

Hi friends,

Can you believe it's fall already?! Although I'm a bit sad to see summer go, I love the cool and crisp mornings, beautifully coloured trees against bright blue sky, cozy sweaters and snuggling under blankets. And who could forget fall food? Pumpkin! Apples, pears, squash, root veggies - I love having a new palate of foods to work with! And I really love soup. It can come together quickly with whatever you have hanging around in the vegetable drawer and it warms you through and through on a chilly day. Grab a piece of GF bread and a salad and you've got a wonderful meal.

This soup is slightly sweet but hearty and filling. I got the original recipe from a chef at a restaurant that we used to go to almost every week with J's parents. One week for the buffet the chef made this soup and I didn't try it but after he came to the table and insisted we get a bowl, I was swooning over it! As you may know, I love rosemary... so I really couldn't go wrong! The sweet maple flavour and toothsome chunks of rutabaga and potato - delish! The recipe I was given called for butter and cream but I made a few simple changes and the result is an even better-for-you soup!

Rosemary Rutabaga Maple Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot (or small onion), finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced into small (1cm) cubes
150 ml pure maple syrup (approx. 2/3c)
1L vegetable stock (approx. 4c)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small (1cm) cubes
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallot, rosemary and rutabaga. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add maple syrup, cover and cook 1 minute.
Add potatoes and pour in stock (it should cover the vegetables.)
Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.
Cover and reduce heat to medium/low.
Simmer until rutabaga and potato are done.
Season with salt and pepper.
When vegetable are nearly tender, place beans in a blender and blend until smooth (you may need to add some soup broth.)
Carefully add half of the soup to the blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and heat through.
Adjust seasoning.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Chocolate Chunk Banana Millet Muffins

Oh. Good morning...

That's quite the shadow you've got there.

Oh my. That's a bit scandalous... we just met...

Is that a little chocolate chunk I spy there?

I thought so... Mmmmmm. You've got some really good texture going on there. Fluffy but moist... a little chewy with a bit of crunch. And that chocolate...

Don't ever leave me.

I promise you've replaced my other banana muffin. Forever.

Oh. Oops.

I'm sorry, my love.

Well, at least I've got 11 more...

Chocolate Chunk Banana Millet Muffins
Adapted from Mama Pea's recipe

2/3 c millet, ground in your blender until powdery
1 1/2 c Namaste Perfect Blend (or white whole wheat flour, if you can tolerate it)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 bananas, mashed (or blended until smooth if you don't like chunks)
1/2 c coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp oil (I used canola, but will try coconut oil next!)
1/2 c rice milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c Enjoy Life chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat your oven to 375F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients - you can toss them all in the blender if you've used it for the bananas.
Add wet to dry and mix until just incorporated - don't over mix!
Fold in the chocolate.
Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing to a wire rack.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Rosemary Lemon White Bean Dip

Hey everyone!

Today is the third day of school for my older kids - they were tired this morning! The jitters and excitement have worn off already and they just wanted to sleep in this morning... the weekend will come soon enough my babies! Its strange having Boy1 off at school all day. The days seem very long... My littlest boy has been okay at home with me though. He's been finding things to play on his own and helping in the kitchen. I'm sure it really won't take long before he's tired of being home, just the two of us, and will want to have someone to play with. I'm going to have to come up with a bunch of fun things for him to do... better kick my brain into gear!

I'm really hoping to be able to post more often, now that my days are spend at home. It means (in theory...) that I have more time to tweak/test out recipes and sit down and write!

This recipe for white bean dip is really tasty. I love dip. And I love the fresh flavours in this one - fragrant rosemary and tart lemon with a creamy backdrop. Mmmm! And the best part about making something like this is that you can eat the whole batch all by yourself (count yourself lucky if you don't have to bat off 4 extra hands trying to steal your precious dip!) and you really don't have to feel guilty about it! It's healthy and full of fiber and protein. Grab a bowl of veggies for dipping, slather it on a piece of GF bread, eat it by the spoonful or do all three!

Rosemary Lemon White Bean Dip

1 can navy beans, drained (rinse if using beans packed with salt - read your labels!)
half a lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp rosemary olive oil* or plain olive oil

Place bean in food processor and pulse until they start to come together.
Add in lemon zest, juice, rosemary and s&p. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
With the processor running, slowly add in olive oil and blend until incorporated.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving - its even better after sitting overnight (if you can wait that long!)

*make rosemary olive oil by packing rosemary into a jar and topping with olive oil. Allow it to steep for about a week before using.
**if you love garlic, I'm sure you could throw a clove or two in and you would find it delicious :)

My little guy is allergic to lemon, but I find the small amount of juice and zest doesn't bother him. I can't give him a glass of lemonade without consequences, but a little bit once in a while doesn't effect him. I'm going to try making a batch with balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice and see how it turns out - should be good!