Thursday, August 25, 2011

Magical Breakfast Cream

I've been enjoying Magical Breakfast Cream (or MBC) as my daily breakfast for a year now, from the French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook. I don't usually follow fad diets but I'm always on the lookout for good and healthy recipes. I really love this recipe because it really includes all that you need nutritionally in one bowl. It's a great start to my day!

Magical Breakfast Cream

Magical Breakfast Cream
Adapted from French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano. I realized typing this that I don't follow the quantities and suspect I have more yogurt and honey than the quantities below. Of course, ingredients can be improved to taste: different fruit, different oil. One of the suggestions in the book is to sweeten with mandarin juice. I would buy fresh mandarins and squeeze the juice out. It was good but rather tedious so I add honey instead.

* ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, any type will do but I like how thick it is
* 1 tsp flax oil
* 1 tsp honey
* 2 Tbsp cereal, ground (I like to use Grain Shop High Fibre Crisp)
* 1 Tbsp nuts, ground (I use a mix: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
* handful of blueberries
* half a banana, peeled and sliced

Scoop the yogurt into a bowl.
Add the flax oil and honey, and mix.
Add the cereal and nuts, and mix again.
Top with blueberries and banana.

Yogurt, flax oil and honey Cereal and nuts
Yogurt with honey and flax oil, then cereal and nuts.

This recipe made me start having flax oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid. It has to be refrigerated and ingesting 1-2 tsp a day is recommended.

Magical Breakfast Cream

Clearly, I like this recipe so much that I've been having it regularly for a year. Even on weekends when I allows myself to splurge on breakfast, sometimes I just want to have MBC. My perfect spoonful is having some blueberries and banana, and the crunch of nuts.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

White Beans and Mushroom Salad

After having dinner at her friend M's, my sister raved about a white bean and mushroom salad, served with steak. Her instructions were sauté mushrooms, with a lot of onion, mix with white beans and grilled veggies, and toss with a Dijon dressing; serve with steak. I decided to skip the steak and make a healthy and very filling salad.

White Beans and Mushroom Salad

White Beans and Mushroom Salad

Honestly, I throw in whatever looks good for a dressing and adjust to taste. I cheat and rarely follow the 3:1 oil to vinegar usually recommended.

* 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
* salt, to taste
* freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.

* oil
* small onion, sliced thinly
* 2-3 good handful of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
* thyme, dry or fresh
* salt, to taste
* freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* dried chili flakes, optional
* 1 can white (cannellini) beans
* grilled veggies of your choice, such as peppers or zucchini

In a hot pan, heat oil.
Add onion and cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms and sauté.
Add thyme and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain white beans.
Place beans in a bowl.
Once mushrooms are cooked through and dry, add mushrooms and grilled veggies to the bowl of beans.
Pour the dressing and mix well.
Refrigerate or serve hot.

White Beans and Sautéed Mushroom Grilled Zucchini
White beans and mushrooms. Grilled Zucchini.

I find that allowing the components to sit in the dressing really help add flavour to the salad. I am happy eating this salad as lunch for a whole week. I like eating it at room temperature so take it out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. I love the creamy beans, with the mushrooms and grilled zucchini. Tasty eating with no guilt!

White Beans and Mushroom Salad

For mushroom lovers, more mushroom posts:
* Bacon & Parmesan stuffed Mushrooms
* Chicken and Mushroom Orzo
* Fried Polenta and Mushrooms
* Goat Cheese stuffed Mushrooms
* Mushroom Crusted Tilapia
* Mushroom Pita Pizza
* Mushroom Ravioli
* Mushroom Soup
* Potato Mushroom Bruschetta
* Red & White Quinoa Mushroom Risotto
* Spinach and Mushroom Cannelloni

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corn and Shrimp Fritters

My sister gifted me with six different spice blends from Chasseurs d'épices (Spice Hunter), a Québec company. The spices come whole to maintain the flavours, and you grind up the spices before you use them. The package also came with a little recipe booklet. I had eyed a number of recipes to make, corn and shrimp fritters, made with the satay spices, being at the forefront.

Corn and Shrimp Fritters

Corn and Shrimp Fritters - Makes 10 fritters
Adapted from Spice Hunters - Ethné and Philippe de Vienne. Add more shrimps if you like or skip them altogether to make this a vegetarian appetizer. If you don't want to make the whole spice mix, just pick a few ones, like a bit of cumin.

* 1-½ cups corn kernels, fresh if they're in season
* 1-½ cups shrimps, roughly chopped
* 1 green onion, sliced thinly
* coriander (optional)
* dried chili flakes (optional)
* ½ tsp salt
* ½ Tbsp Satay spices, ground (cumin, coriander, cardamon, white pepper, bird chili, kaffir lime leaves, dried lemon grass, dried garlic)
* ¾ cup flour
* 1 egg, beaten
* oil

In a bowl, mix corn, shrimp, green onion, chili flakes, salt and spices.
Add enough flour so that the ingredients are somewhat dry.
Mix in the beaten egg to make a stiff batter.
Shape into 3" patties.
In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Cook patties until golden brown (about 3 minutes per side).
Serve hot or cold - I like them hot with sweet chili dipping sauce.

Satay Spice Mix
Satay Spice Mix.

Ingredients for the fritter Fritter mixture
Corn and Shrimp Fritters
(1) Ingredients, (2) making the batter and (3) frying the fritters.

I was very happy with this recipe. It was easy to put together, and very good. I am loving corn right now, and this was the perfect recipe to showcase this seasonal offering. I enjoyed the combination of the sweet corn kernels with the chunks of shrimps. Let's be honest, the word fritter always win me over and these fritters made for a delectable appetizer!

Corn and Shrimp Fritters
Perfect bite of corn and shrimp.

Other recipes featuring fresh corn:
* Corn Soup with Dill
* Corn Spring Rolls
* Fresh Corn Salad
* Lobster and Corn Soup
* Sautéed Corn

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trứng Chiên Củ Cải Muối (Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon)

As mentioned in my previous post, I asked my mom to have trứng chiên củ cải muối (Vietnamese omelette with pickled daikon). I remember having this dish growing up with rice. As it's just an omelette, it's quite easy; I just wasn't sure where to buy the ingredients. Pickled daikon (củ cải muối) can be purchased at Asian grocery stores, in sealed plastic. It is often served with bánh tét for Vietnamese New Year, after being soaked in fish sauce.

Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon

Trứng chiên củ cải muối (Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon)
Củ cải muối is salty so this dish does not need added salt.

* oil
* small onion, sliced
* ⅓ cup dried salted radish (or pickled daikon) - or more if you'd like
* 3 eggs, beaten
* freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large pan.
Add the onion slices and salted radish.
Meanwhile, season the beaten eggs with black pepper.
Once the onions have softened, add the beaten eggs.
Turn over your omelette, once the bottom is cooked.

Củ cải muối - pickled daikon Củ cải muối - pickled daikon
Củ cải muối (pickled daikon) is purchased bagged and not refrigerated but I did refrigerate it once I opened the bag.

Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon
Cooking the omelette.

Củ cải muối (pickled daikon) has a distinctly salty and a bit sweet taste. It also has a crunch that combines well with the crunch of the onions. For someone who loves salt like me, this has been my go to recipe for a quick and easy dinner for the past few weeks.

Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon
Trứng Chiên Củ Cải Muối (Vietnamese Omelette with Pickled Daikon).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sautéed Pea Shoots

My mom came to visit for a long weekend a couple of weeks ago. She always asks if there is something I'd like her to make. In the laziness and heat of the summer, I just wanted something simple and easy. So my request was rice with sautéed pea shoots and omelette with pickled daikon (recipe to come on the next post).

Pea Shoots and Garlic

Sautéed Pea Shoots
If you can't find pea shoots, you can replace with any other green, such as spinach.

* oil
* garlic, minced
* pea shoots, hard stems removed
* salt

Heat oil in a pan to medium-high heat.
Add the garlic.
After about 30 seconds, add the pea shoots.
Season with salt to taste.
Cook until the shoots are wilted, for just a few minutes.

Pea Shoots Cooking pea shoots
Picked over pea shoots and sautéeing the shoots.

Pea Shoots and Garlic

Calling this a recipe seens a bit of an exaggeration. Vietnamese enjoy a variety of greens just simply sautéed like this, served with rice.