Fermented Red Onion

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Here are few reasons why you should make these 1) they make a simple dish delicious with the added flavour and texture 2) fermented foods promote good gut health, improving your digestion. 3) it's really easy to make. 

ingredience

red onion (as many as you like)

1.5 tsps salt

1 cup water

equipment

glass mason jar and some type of weight that fits inside the jar.  A mandeline makes it really easy but not necessary.

instructions

1. Cutting the onion.  I like to slice the onions (on the hoizontal) fairly thin, with a mandeline, which makes this really quick and easy .  You may want to dice up the onion or cut it up into strips (on the vertical).  Think of where you plan on using them to determine your cut.  You do want to keep the cuts consistant so they have the same texture.

2. Fill a mason jar with the sliced onion.  Make sure to press them down leaving very little air space.

3. Dissolve the salt in the water.  You want 1.5 teaspons of salt per cup of water.  I like to whisk the salt and water to help it disolve.

4. Give the onions another press and pour the salt water slowly into the jar.  Make sure the onions are all covered then add your weight to ensure the onion stays in the water.  I use a glass puck, part of a fermintation kit to weigh it down but you can put some beans in a small bag and place them on top.  

5. The jar needs to be closed.  If you don't have a gas release top for your jar, all you need to do is open the lid a couple of times a day to release the gas (burp your jar. lol). 

6. Let it sit and ferment for up to two weeks on your counter.  After a week you can try it and determine how much longer you want to leave it out for.

7. Then enjoy your fermented onion onto of patties, with your popovers or atop a salad.

8. Keep refridgerated once you have completed the fermentation process. 

Dukkah

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This is an Egyptian spice mix that I first came across as a topping for a squash soup and continue to use.  There are countless variations of Dukkah which almost always consist of nuts, seeds corriander and cumin.  My variation is nut free.

ingredience

2 tsps fennel seeds

2 tsps sesame seeds

1 tsp corriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

instructions

You have the option of using a mortal & pestle, a spice grinder, or pre ground spices.  I like to use the mortal & pestle.  Something theraputic about crushing the spices.

1.  Put the cumin and sesame seeds in a small bowl or a storage container.

2. Grind up the fennel seeds.  I like a rough grind, not a powder consistency (picture above).  Add the fennel to the sesame seed mix.  Then repeat with the corriander seeds.

3. Stir it all up and enjoy or store it in an airtight container for another day.

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I love this on the Chickpea Crisps.

Chickpea Crisps

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So you may be thinking 'why don't you just buy them?'  My answer, is for the same reason I try and make everything from scratch.  I want to know what I'm eating and it tastes better.  Sometimes you may think your making a healthy choice when purchasing prepackaged snacks, but please, please, please read the ingredience to know what your putting into your body.  

Properly drying the chickpeas before baking is the simple secret to the perfect Chickpea Crisps.  This can be a tedious task because it does mean removing the skins.  I will get into how to do that.  However in saying that if you are fine with great Chickpea Crisps and not perfect, it's ok to leave the skins on.  I usually take the skins off the majority of the chickpeas.

ingredience 

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt

optional seasoning of your choice

instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. DRY the chickpeas.  See the note below on how to do this.

3. Once they are dry, spread them out onto a baking sheet.

4  Put the chickpeas in the oven (without adding the oil).  Bake / dry the chickpeas in the oven for approximatly 20 minutes, or until you see they have dried up a little.

5.  Remove them from the oven and drizzle with oil and salt.  Toss them around the tray with a spatula until they are all coated with the oil.

6. Place the tray back in the oven and raise the tempature to 400 and bake for another 8-10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them so they don't burn but they get nice and golden.  Some of the chickpeas may pop, that's normal.

7.  When they are done remove them from the oven and if you want to add more seasoning this is the time.

8.  They are ready to eat right out of the over.  If you manage to not eat them all, once they are cooled store them in an airtight container in your pantry.  

Besides being a great snack, try finishing a salad with these golden Chickpea Crisps.

Note: How To Dry Chickpeas

Tip:  To make the most of this I recommend doing it with some good company or put on some great music, a podcast or a movie.  It can be a relaxing task if you set it up right.

1.  Strain all the water.

2.  Lay the chickpeas out onto a dish cloth or paper towel.

3.  Set up another clean dish cloth (or paper towel) and take about a handfull at a time and roll them between the dish cloth.  Don't use too much pressure that the chickpeas crush but you do need to create a little friction so the skins brake.  Some of the skins will seperate from the chickpeas really easily some may need a little pinch to pop off.

4.  Continue the previous step in batch sizes that you are comfortable to work with.  (I like the handful) until all your chickpeas are skinless.

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I will share some of my seasoning mixes in future posts.

Enjoy!

Apple Sauce

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It is one of the simplest most delicious fool proof sweet sauces EVER.  

ingredience

2 apples

1 tsp cinnamon

dutch oven

instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Chop apples.  Yes, leave the skin on.  

3. Sprinkle with cinnamon

NOTE: cooking time varies on how small you chop your apples and the consistency of the sauce that you want.  I don't like mine totally mushy.  I bake for 15-20 minutes.  Check them every few minutes and pierce them with a fork until you get the consistency you are happy with.

VARIATIONS:

a) The type of apples you use will change the flavour.  My preference is Gala but if I find another type of organic apple on sale, that's what I use.

b) You can add pear or other fruit as well as some finelly chopped ginger, or vanilla.  Play around with different flavours to discover what you like best.  

c) Please do not add sugar, enjoy their natural sweetness.  

Now it's time to split open a POPOVER and spread on the apple sauce.  MMM

Beet Burger

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I am quickly realizing that versatility in a dish is very important to me.  As much as I love to cook I hate to clean.  So when I get the kitchen dirty it has to last for more than one meal and I don't want to be eating the same exact dish over and over.  So here is another dish that can be eaten many ways.  As a burger (in a popover bun), added to a salad or on its own as an afternoon savory snack.

ingredience

1 cup grated or spiralized beet (about 1 beet) 

2 cups black beans (or chickpeas)

1 large onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/3 cup chickpea flour

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tbsp of dry basil

1 1/2 tsp salt

optional 1/4 cup of soaked sunflower seeds

instructions

1. Put all ingredience in a food processor and process.  Not too much.

2. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop ingredience for patty.  Tap out the ingredience onto a lined baking sheet and press it down to your desired thickness

These patties were made with chickpeas instead of the black beans and added the sunflower seeds.

These patties were made with chickpeas instead of the black beans and added the sunflower seeds.

3. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and enjoy or let cool and freeze for up to a month or refridgerate for up to a week.

Store your baked patties in an airtight container.

Store your baked patties in an airtight container.

Enjoy your beet burger!

Sweet Potato Spread

The Roasted Sweet Potato Spread completes this POPOVER burger.

The Roasted Sweet Potato Spread completes this POPOVER burger.

This is one of my newest creations that is delicious and full of nutritious ingredience.  It has your staples; fiber, protien and healthy fats.  As well as the goodness of fermented foods (the miso) and one of the worlds best anti-inflamatory ingredient, turmeric.

This is a recipe that can be altered to your taste preference as well as end use.  You can honestly serve it up as a sweet potato mash or use it as a dip or spread.  Please feel free to use a different bean or change the spices.  

ingredience

1 cup cooked white beans

1 sweet potato

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves roasted with skin on

1 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp each; turmeric, chili powder, salt 

1/4 c tahini

1 tbsp miso paste

4 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp cumin

pinch cayenne 

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp coconut oil

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instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 

2.  Peel sweet potatos and cut into 1/2" disks.

3.  Peel onion and cut into quarters.

4.  Toss the sweet potato, onion and garlic in a bowl with 1tbsp melted coconut oil,  turmeric, shili powder and salt

5.  Place sweet potato mixture on a baking tray and bake until you can poke the sweet potatos with a fork.

6.  Remove the mixture from the oven let cool slightly.  Peel the garlic, then add the roasted vegetables plus the remaining ingredience a food processer.

7.  Process untill smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning to yor preference.  If the spread is too thick you can add more lemon juice or water. 

Throw all ingredience in a food processor or blender

Throw all ingredience in a food processor or blender

When you get to this point, taste it and add what you want for flavor and cosistency.

When you get to this point, taste it and add what you want for flavor and cosistency.

Done!  It's really simple to make and will keep in the fridge for days.  I'm always opening up my fridge for a spoon full.  It's filling, nutritious and delicious.  You should really give it a try.

Done!  It's really simple to make and will keep in the fridge for days.  I'm always opening up my fridge for a spoon full.  It's filling, nutritious and delicious.  You should really give it a try.

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SPREAD IT ON A BURGER

This is a Black-Bean Beet Burger (I will share this recipe on my next post) topped with the Sweet Potato Spread, some cucumber and my fermented eggplant.  Sitting over some greens and avocado.  You can eat it like this or put it in a POPOVER.

Popover Recipe

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I think it's pretty incredible how many results you can get from combining milk, eggs and flour.  POPOVERS are my favorite.

Ingredience 

yields 6 large or 12 small

2 large eggs, at room tempature

1 cup 2% milk, at room tempature

1 tbsp butter

1 cup flour

1 tsp salt

avocado oil for the tins

directions

First embrase yourself for their amazingness, but it is important that all steps are followed.  It's  honestly the science behind the ratio of wet to dry ingredience and the temperature that makes them amazing.

1. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature.  

2. Put a few drops of avocado oil in each tin and with a pastry brush (or your fingers) brush the oil around each of the tins.

3. Place your popover pan in the over and turn the oven on to 425.  You want that oil hot.

4. While your oven and pan are heating up you will mix your batter.  First crack your eggs in a bowl, add the salt to the eggs and give it a light whisk.

5. melt the butter in a pan and if your milk is not at room temperature add the milk to the melted butter to bring it to room temperature (do not bring it to a boil).

6. Add the melted butter and milk to the eggs and give it a little whisk.

7. Add sifted flour to the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Do not over mix (it's like a pancake batter).  

8. Let the batter sit until your popover pans are hot.

9. When your pan is hot, be ready to work fast.  Take them out of the over and pour the batter about 1/2 way filling the tins.  You should hear the oil sizzle.

10. Put the pan back in the over and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.  Reduce the tempature to 400 and continue baking for 30 minutes.

11. The results should be golden colour and and if you tap it, it sounds hollow.

12. Remove the popovers from the pan onto a cooling rack and pock them with a chop stick to let the steam out so they don't collapse.

13. Enjoy! 

Please let me know if you try them, and how they work out for you?

Next posts will share recipes that partner with POPOVERS. 

Why Popovers?

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How and Why does an Italian Girl fall in love with Popovers?

I grew up with my mom's home cooked italian food, in which the fruits and vegetables were grown by my dad in our back yard.  We made tomato sauce in our garage, we pickled vegetables for the winter and once a year my dad and his friends would lug a pig into the basement and they would butcher it.  I did not get involved with the butchering but I did help my dad make his wine.  Which some say you need to acquire a taste for.  So growing up I was exposed to a lot of cooking from scratch, that was normal.

It was when I got married that I started my journey getting creative cooking from scratch.  I loved it.  I was always enrolled in a cooking class at George Brown Culinary College and any free time was spent researching recipes that I would test out on our fancy Saturday night dinners.   That was when I came across POPOVERS.  I had never heard of a popover, I heard of Yorkshire Pudding (which is the same thing) but didn't have a clue what it was.  I read more about POPOVERS and was totally intrigued by the science behind what makes them pop.  I made them, and then I made them again and again.  They became the perfect go to food.  It's the most delicious 'blank canvas' to enjoy on it's own or to layer flavors onto.

In 2011 I decided it was time to share POPOVERS with the public.  I joined the Historical Distillery District Farmers Market, in Toronto.  To make a long story short, they were a hit, selling out week after week.  People would come to my table and say 'oh you're the 'POPOVER GIRL' and that was it.  I am POPOVER GIRL.  

Yay! This is my first offical Blog post.  I look forward to sharing my forever journey on recipe development and anything that captures me about food.  Expect mostly nutritious but always delicious recipes. 

P.S. Thank you Dania Massara for your technical support.

 

Next post will have my beloved Popover Recipe, stay tuned.

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Harvey waiting for the pop over

I'm not the only one that likes to see them pop.