Marvelous Mini Quiches

The holiday season was filled with many potlucks and I found this recipe (stolen from my sister, Steph) to be a big party hit. It’s also very simple to make and easily portable. The following recipe yields about two dozen mini quiches.

Cooking Time – 45 mins

Level of Difficulty – Easy

Ingredients

2 12-packages of frozen mini pastry shells

3 large eggs

2 cups of milk (can also be substituted for cream for a richer quiche)

1 packages frozen chopped spinach

1 cup shredded cheese (old cheddar and/or swiss work well)

¾ cup chopped onions (yellow or sweet onions work best)

1 tbsp butter/margarine/olive oil

Herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Cheesecloth (to ring out spinach)

Directions

1)    Preheat oven to 375

2)    Defrost spinach; squeeze out the excess liquid using the cheesecloth, set aside

3)    Take out frozen mini pastry shells and let it thaw for about 10-15 minutes before adding filling. Place shells onto a baking sheet.

4)    Chop onion finely and add to bowl with butter and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft

5)    In bowl, whisk eggs thoroughly, add milk and whisk again until mixture is blended

6)    Add herbs of your choice, salt and pepper to taste and then crumble and mix the chopped spinach

7)    Grate cheese and add a small amount to the bottom of each pastry shell

8)    Add a small amount of cooked onion on top of the cheese in each shell

9)    Carefully spoon the egg and spinach mixture into each shell (enough to reach the rim of the shell)

10) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry starts to brown. Egg mixture may puff up slightly. To determine whether it’s ready, stick a toothpick into the middle of the quiche. If it comes away clean, the quiche is ready!

– Jess

Honey-Roasted Squash with Crumbled Feta and Walnuts

I first made this salad for Canadian Thanksgiving, and have enjoyed it multiple times throughout October and November. This recipe was found on the CBC.ca site in the “Cookbook Club” section where it was sourced from Linda Haynes and Devin Connells book Two Dishes. You can find the recipe here: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/10/07/f-cookbook-club-linda-haynes-squash.html.

Cooking Time – 45 minutes 

Level of Difficulty – Medium

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash

2 tsp olive oil

3 tbsp liquid honey (warm)

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

Mixed greens (enough for 6 starter servings – around 6 cups)

½ cup crumbled feta

 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cut open the squash and remove the seeds/filling with a spoon as well as the skin

3. Slice squash into ½ inch slices

 

4. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

6. Spread squash pieces out and brush with half the honey

 7. Bake squash for 15 minutes

8. Remove from the oven and flip pieces of squash over; brush again with the remaining honey

 9. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through.

 10. While the squash is baking, place the walnuts in a small ovenproof dish (we used a toaster oven) and bake for about five minutes at around 400F (until lightly roasted)

11. Whisk together the lemon juice, a bit of olive oil (taste as you mix it) and salt and pepper

 

 

12. Toss the mixed greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates.

13. Top with three to five slices of squash and sprinkle with walnuts and feta and a touch more salt and pepper

Serve while the squash is still warm.

 Enjoy!

 

– Allison

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe is delish, but most importantly, it’s easy and fast to make. It’s not exactly authentic, since I added in ingredients not traditionally found in the dish, but I think it works really well. Oh and it’s low fat, which is always an added bonus. 

Cooking Time – 1 hour and 15 mins 

Level of Difficulty – Easy

Ingredients

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 small white onion, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

3 cups of mushrooms, chopped or whole depending on size

2 zucchinis, chopped

1 small eggplant, chopped into cubes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried basil and oregano

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 can of tomato paste

1 small can of low sodium tomato sauce

Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Spaghetti or linguini

Directions

1)    Preheat oven to 350

2)    Combine all ingredients except pasta into large mixing bowl and stir well

3)    Pour entire mixture into a casserole dish, cover and bake for 45 minutes

4)    Ten minutes before cooking time ends, boil pasta until cooked

5)    Serve over pasta

 

– Jess

Baked French Onion Soup Recipe

Take that Tim Hortons! My sister and I made this French onion soup recipe over the weekend. It’s easy to make and more authentic than many of the recipes I’ve come across in the past. Note, that you do need French onion soup bowls like the ones pictured below—but they’re pretty easy to find and well worth the cost. I, personally, found them in my mom’s house…apparently there was a big craze for them in the 70s. 

Cooking Time – 1 ½ hour

Level of Difficulty – Easy, but I recommend wearing protective glasses from all the onions

Ingredients

2 ounces butter

1 pound of onions, sliced – I used three different small onions for flavour and colour (Spanish, White and Red Onion)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon flour

4 cups beef stock

1 cup of Gruyere cheese, shredded

Worcestershire sauce

Slices of French bread

Pepper to taste

Directions

1)    Melt butter in a large pot and cook sliced onions on low heat for approximately one hour. It’s important to brown the onions very slowly until they are caramelized (soft and transparent).

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2)    Add in the minced garlic about 45 minutes into cooking the onions

3)    When the onions are cooked, turn the heat up to medium, stir in the flour and cook for approx 1 minute

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4)    Pour in the beef stock and season with pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil and let it cook for about 20 minutes

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5)    Preheat the oven to 400F

6)    Place slices of bread on the bottom of each bowl and pour soup on top (the bread will float to the top)

7)    Sprinkle cheese on top of bread and bake until the cheese melts and browns

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– Jess

 

The Naked Chef Takes Your Questions!

So first off, apologies for the lack of posts in October here folks! Our lives have been a whirlwind but don’t fret – now that the official holiday countdown is on we are gearing up to share a plethora of new recipes!

In the mean time, we wanted to help our friends at the Globe & Mail spread the news about an upcoming Q&A with Jamie Oliver. In brief, they are accepting questions from readers up until tomorrow (Friday). They will be chatting with Jamie later this month about his new cook book and will also choose some questions from the pool for him to answer.

We are definitely going to submit a question – any thoughts on what we should ask?

Check out the details here:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/ask-jamie-oliver/article1351188/

 

Hot Chef Alert!

Roasted Vegetable & Pesto Pizza

I am a huge fan of all Italian food – especially, pizza. However, I unfortunately have an allergy to tomatoe paste, making it difficult to enjoy a good piece of ‘za. I recently tested out a recipe from Cottage Life’s “Summer Weekends” cookbook for roasted vegetable & pesto pizza on some friends – it was a hit! This is a great recipe if you are looking for a light lunch (serve it with salad) or a snack. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable & Pesto Pizza (c/o Summer Weekends)

Ingredients

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Pesto

Red Peppers

Zucchini

Eggplant

Fresh Parmesan (shredded)

Olive Oil

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Directions

Step 1 – Roast the Veggies

 Roasted Red Peppers

  1. Turn the broiler on in the overn
  2. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (make sure you do this so you don’t ruin your cookie sheet)
  3. Cut red peppers in half and remove the seeds and other insides
  4. Flatten the peppers and lay them on the cookie sheet

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5. Place in the oven for a few minutes – once the skin is brown/black and blistered, remove from the oven

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6. Let the pepper cool – once they are OK to touch, peel the outer skin off and discard

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7. Slice into thin strips

Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini

  1. Turn oven to 425F
  2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil
  3. Slice eggplant and zucchini in thin discs
  4. Spread discs on cookie sheet and brush with olive oil

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5. Place veggies in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes (or until the top is slightly browned – SLIGHT being the key word here)

6. Remove from oven and let cool

Step 2 – Arrange the Pizza

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F (or to the temperature on the package of your pizza crust)
  2. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza crust

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3. Distribute roasted veggies (red peppers, egg plant and zucchini) on the pizza crust evenly (you can overlay if you like)

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4. Shred fresh parmesan (as much as you like) and sprinkle as the last topping to go on

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5. Bake pizza in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes

Bon Appetit!

– Allison

Homemade Garlic Bread

My boyfriend, Josh, feels a lasagna dinner without garlic bread is incomplete. Traditionally, I’ve always bought the frozen stuff, but I thought I’d try to make it myself. It was so easy that I’m actually embarrassed to admit that I ever bought prepared garlic bread. And most importantly, homemade is way more delicious and healthy.

Cooking Time – 25 mins

Level of Difficulty – Ridonk easy

Ingredients

1 baguette

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup of butter

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Directions

1)    Cut baguette in half

2)    Make diagonal cuts in each half without cutting all the way through

3)    In a mixing bowl, combine butter, garlic, olive oil and sea salt, microwave until butter is melted

4)    Throw in chopped parsley and mix well

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5)    Spoon mixture into each bread slot

6)    Wrap both bread halves in aluminum foil

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7)    Bake at 325 for 20 minutes

8)    Unwrap garlic bread, cut pieces and serve

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– Jess