How To: Healthy Breakfast – Savoury Squash Pancakes

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I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a long time.

It’s been bookmarked in my “recipe to try folder,” along with so so SO many more. Well, thank goodness for national food holidays. When #pancaketuesday rolled around last month, it was the perfect excuse for a breakfast-for-dinner meal.

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And oh how glad I was that I made these. They are deceivingly simple sounding. Just some roasted and mashed squash, an egg, some cheese and yogurt, and flour. That’s basically it. And somehow, through the magic that is Smitten Kitchen, they become addictive little pancakes that you eat so fast you thoroughly regret not making a double batch.

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These pancakes are honestly perfect for any time of day – feeling like a savoury breakfast but also want pancakes? Make these! Feeling like you want something a little different for lunch? Make these! Feeling like a breakfast for dinner type meal? Make these! Feeling a little peckish mid afternoon? Make these! The fact that they come together lickety-split makes it really easy not to miss out. They also freeze wonderfully so make up that double or triple batch, you won’t regret it.

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I’ve eaten them plain, topped with a dab of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. But my favourite way is to top them with a little extra plain yogurt. But you do you – I imagine a soft poached or fried egg on top would be lovely.

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So make them and tell me your favourite way to eat them, okay? And if you’ve made a double or triple batch, give me a ring!

Dara

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Savoury Squash Pancakes

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup 2 % Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • butter (for frying pancakes)
  • additional butter or yogurt, maple syrup, sour cream (for serving)

Note

These pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I love them as a side to eggs and topped with some extra butter or yogurt. You could definitely cook up a double batch as they freeze really well.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place squash flesh side down on baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very tender. Remove and let cool slightly and scoop out flesh and mash. Measure out 1 cup of mashed squash and store the rest in the fridge or freezer for another time.
3. In a large bowl whisk together squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, and baking powder until combined. Add flour and stir until just mixed in.
4. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and add some butter to coat the bottom of the pan (I used about 1 tbsp or so). Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon batter onto pan, flattening it slightly with the back of a spoon.
5. Once brown on the bottom side, flip and cook until brown on the other side. If the pancakes are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. If you aren't eating them right away you can keep them warm on a parchment lined baking sheet at 200 degrees.
6. Serve as is, or topped with some maple syrup, additional butter, or yogurt.

How To: Recipe Makeover – Vegetarian Chilli Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

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I’m at a loss for words.

Seriously – I sat in front of my computer for a good hour just staring. I knew I wanted to share this recipe with you but the only phrase that kept popping in my head was “MAKE THIS NOW!”

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I feel like these are a tad late to the dinner game. They would have been perfect for your super bowl watching party, and even better as a fun Valentine’s Day dinner. And we even missed the boat on the Oscar party night. But fear not, there are lots more holidays and celebratory events on the horizon. Or really, I think Monday, or Tuesday, or even Wednesday is a good reason to make this 30 minute meal. Or maybe Friday can now be called FRY-day and we can all celebrate together. Thoughts?

This recipe came about after a craving for nachos hit one night. Couple that with my daughter’s new found love of sweet potato fries (V for victory!) and my need to use up some vegetarian ground round and half a can of tomato paste. Boom – loaded sweet potato fry nachos. My Irish friends would be so proud.

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You make your own baked fries here so they are a bit better for your ticker. I also leave the skin on my taters to get some extra fibre, and frankly, I’m just lazy. The chilli is a bean-free vegetarian version because beans aren’t agreeing with the tummies of some members of my family these days. TMI? But you could totally add a can of black or kidney beans in with the chilli mixture if you would like.

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I’ve also added some veggies into the mixture because I am a dietitian and all and topped the whole pan off with a good helping of some extra old cheddar. Go for the good stuff here – the older the cheese, the more flavourful. And please PLEASE buy the full fat variety. That low fat cheddar is not going to melt well and is going to seem more like plastic than cheese. I’m sorry, it’s true. When you buy the real deal here you get more flavour for less. Trust.

We ate these as is, but next time they are going to be FULLY loaded and topped with all the guac, sour cream, and jalapeños money can buy!

Dara

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Vegetarian Chili Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes (cut into wedges)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (divided)
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 zucchini (diced)
  • 1 package yves ground round
  • 1 Tsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 2 Tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Note

You could swap out the soy for ground turkey, chicken, or beef if you would like. Or replace it with a can of black, white, or kidney beans. The chili would also be great on top of a baked white or sweet potato, on pasta, or as a burrito or taco filling.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place sweet potato wedges on baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp canola oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Bake in the oven about 30-40 minutes, until brown and tender.
3. While sweet potatoes are baking, heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add remaining 1 tbsp canola oil.
4. Add red pepper and zucchini and cook until soft. Add ground round and cook for a minute or two, breaking it up with a spatula into crumbles. Add paprika, chili powder, cumin, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, and vinegar and mix to combine.
5. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
6. Once sweet potatoes are done, top evenly with chili and then sprinkle cheddar evenly on top. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve plain or topped with some diced avocado, salsa, and Greek yogurt or sour cream.

 

How To: Snack Healthy – Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

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We never discussed halloween! Shame!

Let’s discuss – we can talk about all the candy my daughter collected and how magically all the mars bars and snickers disappeared. We can talk about how I had one cute lady bug and one beautiful Elsa princess and how these costumes are now who knows where. Or we could just talk about these muffins. These delicious corn muffins that were paired with a vegetarian chili for the perfect pre-trick or treat meal.

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I think the reason cornbread pairs so wonderfully with chili is cornbread, by nature, is a little dry. Dipped in some chili – perfection. These muffins however are kept moist by Greek yogurt and canola oil. Kind of like our previous cheddar and cornbread loaf, although in muffin form. Which I find slightly more kid friendly, freezer friendly, and portable. So perfect chili partner or snack on the go.

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Please use some full fat aged cheddar over the lower fat plastic tasting stuff – a little goes a long way and the flavour is just a million times better.

This recipe makes 8 muffins, but I would suggest doubling up and freezing some. It’s always good to have an emergency stash of corn muffins, no?

Dara

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Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

Serves 8 muffins
Meal type Side Dish, Snack
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese (grated)

Note

These muffins can be made a day or two in advance and kept in a sealed container. You can also freeze them if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, oil, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add in cheese and mix until evenly incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for about 12 minutes, until cooked through and brown. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing.

How to: Make your own – Cauliflower and Cheese Tots

 

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The harvest is rolling in now, folks.  It’s the very best time of year to get fresh everything and I’m feeling overwhelmed with choice!

I picked up 2 huge heads of cauliflower last week for $4. Because $4!

I made 4 cauliflower and cheese quiches (2 went straight into the freezer) and these little golden nuggets.IMG_6854

My little kiddo, who thank lordie is an excellent eater, is full-on in to the finger foods now.  It took quite a while for her to warm up to actually feeding herself rather than playing the part of greek goodess and being hand fed by servants (read: mum & dad), but she’s got it now!

So, I made tot-sized tots! How perf.

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I love that this is such a straightforward, simple recipe.  Minimal ingredients, minimal prep, minimal fuss.  While I haven’t experimented much with the recipe yet, I’m certain you could make changes to suit your needs.  Panko rather than cornmeal, onion or garlic power rather than mustard or even a cheese switcheroo like parmesan or asiago.

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Leaving the mixture in the refrigerator before forming your tots will give the cornmeal a bit of time to absorb a little moisture and will help them stick together. If you’re in a rush you can get away with leaving this step out, but you’ll have to treat the tots delicately until they’re cooked.

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In they go!

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Out they come, light, crispy and cheesy.

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Eat them while warm from the oven.  If for some crazy reason you have leftovers, they’re best re-heated in the oven.  Dipping sauce you ask? I’d go with sriracha mayo, but that’s just me.

Enjoy!

Erin

Cauliflower Cheddar Tots

Serves 2 dozen-ish tots
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Website Katya Wulfers - Yummy Mummy Club

Ingredients

  • 1 Small head of cauliflower (or about ½ a large one, cut into florets)
  • 1 cup finely grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 Large egg
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until very fine. You should have approximately 3 cups of finely chopped cauliflower.
2. Add cauliflower and remaining ingredients to a large bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined. Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
3. Using heaping tablespoon form cylindrical tots with the mixture and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 16 minutes, flipping each tot over halfway through.
Serve warm.

How To: Quickie Meal – Tortellini Salad with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

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One of my husband’s favourite foods is cheese tortellini. Second probably to the one and only KD, as I may have mentioned once or twice.

I on the other hand, could take or leave tortellini. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bowl of pasta just as much as the next person. But I usually find the store bought tortellini devoid of much cheese and very unsatisfying. In this salad however, lets just say it has made me a tortellini convert.

This cold salad is an update on your usual creamy pasta salads found at your summer bbqs. Savoury roasted mushrooms and crunchy arugula combine with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and a delicious tangy vinaigrette. And served cold, it is perfect for this crazy summer heat!

Tortellini lovers everywhere rejoice – this one’s for you!

Dara

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Tortellini Salad with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted from The Vintage Mixer

Ingredients

  • 350 Grams cheese tortellini
  • 16oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 5oz arugula
  • 1/3-1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

This salad stands great on it's own as a vegetarian main and is also a delicious side for bbq chicken or fish. You can substitute any other tortellini you like - pesto or spinach filled would be fantastic. This pasta salad holds up well and is still tasty the next day.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and fresh thyme and place evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes until tender and set aside.
2. Cook tortellini according to package direction. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl with mushrooms, arugula, and parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Add dressing and toss again to evenly coat.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
3. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.