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: Quickie Meal – Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas

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Quesadillas were one of the first meals I learned how to cook. They were simple, required minimal ingredients and they involved cheese. SOLD.

Over the years I’ve filled them with lots of wacky stuff, but guys, I promise you, this is a contender for top all-time quesadilla fillings.

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Mexican street corn and Mexican food in general, have been kind of a big deal in my neck of the woods over the last few years.  As the name suggests, it’s a popular Mexican street snack consisting of a cob of corn slathered in all sorts of delicious stuff (chill, lime, mayo, CHEESE).  It’s also known as elote.

I’ve made my own version of elote at home a number of times and although it’s always a huge hit, it’s doesn’t work well as a complete meal.

Until now!

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These come together in less than 20 minutes ALL IN (prep and cooking included). Meaning, perfect for a last minute weeknight meal.

Quick jalapeño tip: I find they can be all over the place when it comes to heat level.  Slice yours in half and have a tiny sample of it before you throw the whole thing in. You may only need half. Or a quarter. Depending on how much of a heat pansy you are.

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We’re pretty much done with fresh local corn for the year, which just means the high-quality frozen fresh stuff will soon be on sale! Bonus, this recipes is on the table even quicker without having to cut the kernels off a fresh cob.

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This is my tried and true quesadilla technique.  You can certainly cover the entire thing with filling and top with a second tortilla.  Good luck with the flip, though!  I’m guessing you’ll be finding corn in the dark recesses of your kitchen for the next new months.

Also, a note on the cheese.  Use whatever tickles your fancy. I like harvarti ’cause it’s creamy and melty.  Mozz, gouda, monterey jack or even cheddar would work.

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I served mine alongside sour cream and smokey tomatillo salsa.  A perfect combo.

If you want to serve them with something green and leafy for a more complete meal, go right ahead you health nut!

Erin

Mexican Street Corn Quesadillas

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided)
  • 1 Small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup harvarti cheese
  • 4 12 inch flour tortillas

Directions

1. Heat 2 tsp canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeño and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add chili powder and cook for additional 30 seconds. Add corn and salt and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Transfer corn mixture into a bowl, add mayonnaise and lime juice and stir until combined.
3. Heat large frying pan over medium heat. Brush pan with a tsp of oil. Lay one tortilla in pan and top ½ with ¼ of corn mixture, and sprinkle with ¼ of grated cheese. Fold tortilla over to make a half-moon and press down on top half with a spatula.
4. Cook quesadilla for about 2 minutes, carefully flip it over and cook an additional 2 minutes until tortilla is browned and cheese is melted. Transfer to a cooling rack then cut into 3 pieces when slightly cooled. Repeat with remaining 3 tortillas.
5. Serve plain or with salsa and/or sour cream, if desired.

How To: Quickie Meal – Lime and Curry Marinated Tofu Stir Fry with Mushrooms, Red Peppers, and Corn

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I’m always looking for new ways to jazz up that old block of tofu.

We’ve roasted it, we’ve served it cold, we’ve even turned it into a delicious burger. Can you believe we have yet to stir fry it?! I know, crazy town!

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I think stir-frying has to be the most common method of cooking up some extra firm tofu. And it’s something we do fairly regularly in my household. And once I realized I have yet to share this method with you, I braved the hundred degree heat wave, broke out my wok, and cranked up my stove to cook up this lime and curry flavoured dish.

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I love this dish because it isn’t your usual Asian flavoured stir fry – it has flavours of both Mexico and India and I love it wrapped up in a soft tortilla with a scoop of salsa and guac, served over a bed of quinoa or rice, or just eaten as is.

So blast your AC and get stir-fryin’!

Dara

Curry and Lime Marinated Tofu Stir Fry with Corn, Mushrooms, and Red Peppers

Serves 3
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Ingredients

  • 2 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 4 Tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 1 inch piece of ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 1 block of tofu (cut in cubes)
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (chopped)
  • 1 small can of corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 2-4 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)

Note

This stir fry is great on it's own or served with rice or quinoa. I also like to serve it topped with some guacamole, salsa, and some tortilla chips for scooping.

Directions

1. Combine olive oil, lime juice, curry powder, soy sauce, and ginger in a large bowl. Add tofu and let marinade while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Heat a non stick wok or large skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and cook until they start to brown and release some liquid. Add garlic and green onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add corn and red peppers and cook another 2-3 minutes, until the red pepper softens.
3. Add tofu with all the marinade and cook until the liquid evaporates and the tofu begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

 

How To: Healthy Sides – Mexican Street Corn Salad

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It may seem a bit early in the season to be sharing a recipe featuring corn but I just couldn’t help myself. Two reasons for this –

1. It SO felt like summer this past weekend. And summer equals barbecue. And barbecue equals corn.

2. My daughter’s new favourite food – corn. Hence – if I want her to eat something, throw in some corn.

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This salad is a take on the traditional Mexican street corn found on the menu of one of our favourite local Mexican spots. The combo of creamy mayo, salty feta, spicy jalapeño, and sweet corn make it utterly irritable. So much so that I highly suggest you double or triple this recipe. You have been warned.

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Make it now with canned corn, make it in a couple months with fresh corn off the cob, heck – make it in the winter with frozen corn. And trust me, you will want to freeze some corn for this salad.

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Dara

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups canned corn (drained)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed) (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp low fat mayo
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp feta (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Note

While this recipe is delicious with fresh corn when it is in season, it also works great with canned corn. So you can enjoy this salad year round! If you like a bit more heat, feel free to double the jalapeno or leave the ribs and seeds intact. This salad is great on it's own or as a side dish for grilled meat or fish.

Directions

1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil.
2. Add corn and let it sit until it begins to brown and then stir once and let it sit again. Continue to do this for about 8 minutes. Add jalepeno and cook for another two minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are mixed evenly throughout. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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How To: Big Batch – Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

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When it comes to making a winner of a dinner, you can never go wrong with enchiladas. I mean, who doesn’t love a large saucy casserole dish covered in cheese? If you just raised your hand, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

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But  if I’m really being picky, the one problem with enchiladas is the stuffing and rolling. Not to say our butternut squash enchiladas are not worth that little bit of extra effort, but sometimes you just want to throw everything in a pan, get it in the oven, and call it dinner.

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And that is why I bring you this casserole. Kinda like a lasagna, but instead of tomato sauce, we have a super simple homemade enchilada sauce. And instead of the usual ricotta and spinach, we have beans, corn, and a whack load of cheddar cheese. It ain’t enchiladas without the cheese!

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It may not be a quickie dinner, but once made, the leftovers will come to your dinner rescue the next night, and the next night, AND the next night. It’s not called big batch for nothing!

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So forget the rolling and get stacking!

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Dara

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Serves 8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Weelicious

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 zucchini (diced)
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 Cups cheddar cheese (grated and divided)
  • 6 whole wheat or corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 Tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)

Note

This enchilada casserole is a Mexican twist on the traditional Italian lasagna. It can be made a day or two ahead of time and baked off right before serving. It also freezes well whole before baking or as individual servings after it's cooked.

Directions

Enchilada Sauce
1. Heat oil over medium high heat and saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt and saute one more minute.
2. Add honey and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and puree with an immersion blender until smooth and set aside.
Casserole
3. In a large bowl combine red pepper, zucchini, garlic powder, cumin, salt, Greek yogurt, 2 cups of cheese, egg, and cilantro. Stir until mixed together.
4. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 x 13 pyrex with cooking spray. Add about 1 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan and layer with two tortillas. Top with half of the vegetable and cheese mixture. Continue layering with tortillas, sauce, and remaining vegetable mixture finishing with tortillas and sauce.
5. Sprinkle remaining half a cup of cheese evenly over the top and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.

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