Tag Archives: recipe

Pumpkin Up Your Soup & Snacks


With the arrival of October and the cooler weather,  so comes pumpkins.  Pumpkins aren’t just for Pumpkin Pie (although a great use for it!), and for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, they are loads of fun for carving – and of course roasting the seeds!  I’ve also included a soup recipe that you may not typically think of, but really highlights some of the fall veggies.  This soup is thick and creamy without containing dairy (coconut milk is used in place of cream) and although I made this with home-made turkey stock (from the Thanksgiving bird), you could certainly substitute veggie stock and make it a vegan dish as well!   I’ve also highlighted my families favorite ways to roast pumpkin seeds with a few variations as well!  So visit your local farm or farmers market before they close for the season & enJoy!

Sweet Potato-Squash & Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato
  • 1 med acorn squash
  • 3/4 can pumpkin puree or a small pumpkin
  • 1 litre (approx 4 c) coconut milk
  • 1 litre (approx 4 c) chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 lemon’s juice (or about 1.5 tsp lemon juice concentrate)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash and pumpkin (if using) in half and scoop out the seeds (keep them pumpkin seeds for roasting!). Wash the sweet potato. Place the pumpkin and squash face down on a cookie sheet with a lip (you may want to spray it with EVOO first to keep them from sticking) and add a bit of water to the bottom of the tray. Cover with tinfoil.  Place the tray in the oven along with the sweet potato(es). Bake for about 45 min – 1 hr or until a knife goes in without resistance.
  2. Remove the skin(the meat of the veggies will be very soft) by scooping the insides out and into a large 4 quart pot.   Mash together.
  3. Heat, add lemon juice.  Add the coconut milk a little at a time until mixed in. Add the stock.  Add black pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes – serve & enJOY

Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Scoop out pumpkin seeds from large pumpkin.  Rinse in a colander to get some of the “pumpkin guts” off. Lay out on a cookie sheet for 24 hrs to dry out (or else you will need to increase cooking time – we let them dry out over night – about 14 hrs and then roasted them for about 1.5 hr).  Once they have dried out, you can pick any of the left over “guts” off more easily.

Drizzle some sesame oil (about 1-2TB dependent on how many seeds you have), and mix it with the seeds. Sprinkle sea salt and mix.  Place in 300 degree oven for about an hour, stirring 1 or 2 times.  Let cool (if you can wait!) and enJOY!

some of our fave variations:

  • use melted garlic butter instead of sesame oil.
  • After removing from oven, sprinkle with a little sugar as well as salt for a sweet & salty snack.
  • Forgo the salt and use black pepper instead.
  • Use onion, garlic or seasoning salt instead of sea salt.
  • Add 1 tsp cumin when roasting.

I love hearing from you! Please add your comments and like my blog! Want more?  Visit my website at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com

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Not Peachy Keen… but a real Peachy Crisp


 

I’m distressed! I’m disappointed and kinda of appalled! I was on a fave site of mine – a database made up of different users submitted (shared) recipes and decided to see if there was any thing out there to add a new twist to my Tried & True but Oh-So-Loved Apple – Peach or whatever in season fruit Crisp.

I was expecting to find – the same ol basics maybe with a twist of honey, or granola or some other flavor and was appalled to find a Peach Crisp that’s crust was made out of a yellow or white box of cake mix! What? How is that crisp? Am I wrong in thinking crisp is actually – you know crumbly & crispy? Like rolled oats – or graham wafer crumbs crust – but cake? and a boxed cake at that (yuck – sorry readers if you use those – I like making it from scratch and really it only takes an extra 10 minutes and a few ingredients to keep in house.)

Don’t get me wrong there – were plenty of other yummy recipes that came up too but this one and the thing is – it came up a 4 1/2 out of 5 ranked by 111 people – that means at least 111 people have tried this recipe –  and ranked it great – what? why?

Ok so here’s my task for this week – I will try said recipe – glup- boxcake mix and all – I was going to do one from scratch but thought that would be an unfair advantage so I will go buy a cake mix and follow the recipe and report back what I think! (well I may have to use a gluten free cake mix so I can actually eat it)

In the meantime – here’s my tried and true – Old school – but love it.

Peach Crisp

(sorry guys no pictures – camera is still dead – getting another one soon!)

  • 4 fresh peaches, peeled & sliced
  • 2 banana’s (optional) peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or use Quinoa Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine fruit and water in a 7×11 baking dish.
  3. In medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar,  flour & cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry cutter (or 2 knives) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 35 to 45 minutes, until topping starts to brown. Serve warm.
  • Note – to make this gluten free try changing the all purpose flour to quinoa flour or GF all purpose flour.  The next time I make this I may even try zipping some slivered (raw) almonds thru my coffee grinder into a flour and use that.
  • You can also substitute any in season fruit  – strawberries, apples, blue berries etc, If you want to omit the banana’s, increase the number of peaches by 2.

EnJOY!  Don’t forget to comment and like my blog!

Want more? Check out my business site (http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com) and Facebook Business Page!)

 

 

enJoy the journey to Gluten Free


As some of you know I have recently been advised to try to eliminate Gluten from my diet due to a suspected Gluten Intolerance.   Wondering why I am capitalizing the Gluten?  Because its so damn yummy and hard to replicate of course!   This week – in a distinct effort to eat the same meal as the entire family, I tried to – ungluten-ize (ya that’s sooooooo a Joy word 🙂  ) some of our family-faves-clean-up-your plate recipes.  If you follow my blog – you will see that I found a Brown Rice Pasta that works perfectly for Penne and GF Meatballs.   Here are my next 2 attempts – one successful – scored a 10 from me, a 10 from hubby and a 7 from my 6 year old – Sweet Potato Enchiladas Verde Casserole and a “So-So Recipe With Potential” – Gluten Free Turkey Meatball Dumplings – scored a 4 from me, a 7 from Hubby and a 5 each from the kids.

**(skip to bottom for review of Chunky Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing).

Sweet Potato Enchiladas Verde Casserole


*This casserole made of corn tortillas (make sure you read the ingredients – to ensure that yours do not contain gluten), sweet potatoes and spices combined with black beans & spinach makes a hearty & tasty meal These Sweet Potato Enchiladas  can’t be beat!

Filling:

2 1/4LB Sweet Potato – peeled and cut into chunks  (about 2 Large Potatoes)
1/8 LB (a bunch) or 10 g fresh spinach – washed & trimmed & blanched & drained
2 TB Cilantro Salsa (or 1/2 c fresh cilantro mashed with lime juice)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 large Red Onion
1 – 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1/4 LB (100g) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (omit to make it vegan -maybe substitute in avocado for cheese? might be worth a try)
1tsp cumin
8 small (6 or 8 ” corn tortillas)
1 lime cut into slices or wedges.

Verde Sauce

Mix together – 1 jar ( 10-12oz) green salsa, 5 dashes cayenne sauce (optional), 1 1/2 c sour cream & 1/2 tsp minced garlic.

Directions:

  1. Bring a saucepan to a boil and add sweet potatoes until very tender.  Drain, return to hot sauce pan to eliminate any moisture.  Mash potatoes, add rest of ingredients except the cheese, sauce, lime  & tortillas.
  2. In the bottom of a greased lasagna pan/casserole dish spread a bit of sauce.  Add a layer (slightly overlapping) of tortillas (they may go up the sides of the pan a bit), top with a thin layer of cheese, then 3/4 of the filling, top with 1/2 of remaining sauce.
  3. Add another layer with the remaining tortillas, then the remaining filling and top with the remaining sauce. Top with lime slices.
  4. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through.  enJOY!

BONUS!

Extra Bonus – Grab a bag of Gluten Free Corn Tortilla Chips and reheat any leftovers and top with a bit more shredded mozzarella cheese and feast on no guilt nachos with the family!

Gluten Free Turkey Meatball Dumplings

This one we were expecting to come out like a turkey meatball stuffed yorkshire – however the “all purpose” gluten free flour I  was using made the batter almost like  a chicken ball batter, and they were difficult to brown.  That being said  – next time I would substitute a big chunk of chicken breast and a sweet and sour sauce and serve it as Chicken Balls…. or do this again and make a hollandaise  type of sauce, maybe a cranberry sauce for  a holiday meal, we dipped it in dijon mustard and that worked too.

Ingredients
1LB extra lean ground chicken (or large chunks of chicken breast)
1 Egg (beaten)
1 Tsp Oregano (or herbs to taste)
1/4 c gluten free bread crumbs
Dumpling:
1  Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Milk
3 Eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees and place muffin trays inside to heat while the oven heats up.  meanwhile,  mix meat (if making meatballs), with beaten egg, herbs and bread crumbs – roll into large or small meatballs (we tried both).  Remove trays from oven, spray with cooking spray or mist some EVOO onto the tin).  Place Meatball into the centre of each muffin tin (we made some with a mini muffin tray and some with a full sized muffin stone.   Bake for 10 mins or until meatball is browned.  Remove tray from oven, pour batter over top to between 3/4 and totally full.  Put back into oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Enchiladas Casserole -shown served with Chunky Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing (Tomatoes – Avocado – Chick peas – Green Leaf Lettuce – as expected was AWESOME  – that salad will be added to the rotation for sure!)   Thank you to fellow blogger:  Mrs Buena Vida for sharing the recipe!

In the Stoup-Italian-style Chicken Meatball Stoup that is!


I won’t lie – stoup isn’t my expression I stole it from Rachael Ray – it’s a soup that eats like a stew! Not only that – but its perfect for a rainy day like today.  This is a recipe – adapted from Rachael Ray’s Just In Time Cookbook, (Double Dumpling Chicken Stoup) I just tweaked it a bit for our family and – well what we had in the fridge at the time!  I consider this one kid friendly – the 4 and 6 year old both liked it – and my 40 year old kid (AKA Dad) wasn’t even finished his second helping when he declared “This is definitely a keeper! ”  I reheated some for lunch and he took some for work and it will reheat beautifully.

Italian Chicken Meatball Stoup (Joy style)

  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 1-2 broccoli stalk – peeled, half chopped into small pieces, the other shredded with a grater (keep the florets for another dinner)
  • 4 medium to large carrots – peeled, trimmed and shredded using a grater
  • 1 small – med zucchini – peel and chopped or shredded
  • 1 red onion – peeled and grated or chopped finely
  • 2 dried bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups veggie stock (I use homemade stocks with no salt added so adjust seasoning accordingly if you are using store-bought stock)
  • 1LB extra lean ground chicken
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs (I use ones that contain a bit of Romano cheese as well as seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup grated (fresh is best) baby Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package (one that feeds 2-4) fresh gnocchi (potato stuffed pasta)
  • 1 cup frozen peas – thawed
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot (large saucepan) over med-high heat.  Add oil to hot pan, allow to heat for a couple of minutes.  Add onions, broccoli and zucchini and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the stocks and cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the ground chicken, garlic, nutmeg, bread crumbs and beaten egg and some black pepper and Parmesan cheese (can also add a bit of salt 1/8-1/4 tsp if desired).  Combine with your hands until thoroughly mixed. Form into tiny meatballs – it will make a lot of meatballs!! – about the size of shelled peanut or walnut.  Add to stoup.  Cook for about 4 minutes (simmering in a slow boil).  Add gnocchi to pot and cook (boil) for another 5 minutes .  Add thawed peas. Turn the heat off and allow to stand in pot for 5 minutes before serving.  We had this garnished with parsley and assorted buns (pumpernickel was my fave). enJOY.

Like it? Tried it?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Visit my Facebook page (Joy In Your Kitchen) or website http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com to sign up for my newsletter!

Its a New Year – 5 steps towards accomplishing your goals & Clean Out the Fridge Primavera.


I don’t make resolutions.

That’s right I said it – I don’t make resolutions.

Resolutions revolving around New Years are for the most part – empty – made to in an effort to appease the masses – some thing done to say you have.  I mean really – how many New Years resolutions have you made and kept – for longer than a week or past the 1st week of February? Look at any gym 7 weeks into the year.  Where as the first week in January you had to wrestle the treadmill from the other 500 people, now you could bowl in in between the machines.
Long ago I gave up on the typical New Years resolutions. Any “resolution” I have made and kept have always been made as a promise to myself – whether that be to lose weight (who hasn’t made that one before?) – quit smoking (gasp – yes I’m an ex ex ex – smoker – actually have been and ex smoker now for longer than I was a smoker) or whatever else was made because I was sick and tired of doing whatever I was resolving to quit and funnily enough – never at New Years.    Instead of a resolution, I think of it as a promise – a promise to myself – samatics you might think – but to be fair I am far more likely to give up on a resolution than I am to break a promise.  If its a promise to myself – who better to avoid disappointing.   This year to further cement my promise and to help you cement yours – I’m sharing with you my tips on how to keep your “resolutions”.

 1.  Be real.  If you really want something to stick be realistic of your abilities.  If you resolve to win a marathon and you are not a runner – Break it into smaller steps – promise to yourself that you will run – a little each day and work towards a marathon.  Maybe winning the marathon can be next years promise.

2. Plan.  If you want it to happen – you need a plan surrounding the how to make it happen. Period.

3.  Confidence.  Make it attainable by including smaller goals to build your confidence.

4.  Write it down – write down your promise. Then write down your plan.  Write down your smaller goals – if you are a visual person like me – I cross off each smaller goal as I accomplish it – the more things I can cross off – the better I feel about myself and the more likely I am to keep moving in the right direction.  Another fantastic visual tool is a vision board.  Get out your old magazine and cut out words and pictures that represent what accomplishing that goal means to you. Paste them on a bulletin board or Bristol board. Put it somewhere you see it and take a minute to reflect on it when you are feel down – then revisit your list of things you have already done to accomplish it.

5.  Forgive.  Forgive yourself – if you miss a small goal, take a step backwards, stall out at some point, relapse – whatever – realize you are human and not a machine.  Life happens.  Forgive your self and start again.

6.  Timelines.  Give your self a timeline and check in with yourself – are you on target?  Better yet – do you have a buddy working towards an alike goal or even an unlike goal – check in with one another and encourage each other to keep going.

If you follow these steps – whether you want to lose weight, get healthy, give up junk food, quit smoking, run a marathon, or fly to the moon, I promise you will have more success than trying on your own.

And now my easy recipe of the week.

Clean Out the Fridge Primavera

1/2 box penne (or whatever you are cleaning up)
2  sweet potato  fingerlings
1/4 head broccoli
1/2 c frozen peas
1 cooked chicken breast
chicken stock
basil
white wine
black pepper & garlic & onion
EVOO

The ingredients in this change – depending on what I have left over in the fridge and need to get rid of – carrots, celery, green beans, spinach or whatever else you have also works!

Cook penne according to instructions.  While pasta is cooking, in another pan heat EVOO.  Add garlic, and thinly sliced onion.  While those are sauteing for a few minutes, peel and thinly slice sweet potato, (carrots), chop broccoli and other vegetables (chopped chicken if using).  Add to garlic mixture.  Add basil -(I like a lot) – a couple handfuls of fresh chopped or about 5 TB of dried. Add black pepper.  Add chicken stock (or vegetable stock), add white wine.  Simmer until pasta is finished.  Drain pasta add to vegetables, turn heat down and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until liquid reduces.  Serve topped with fresh parmesan.

From my kitchen to yours – happy & healthy eating!

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