Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Milkshake that Doesn't Need Ice Cream


Admittedly, when you think of a milkshake, it's cool, creamy and probably not very nutritious.  This milkshake changes things around.  Sarah Waldman, who wrote the cookbook Feeding a Family came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about a milkshake that contains no ice cream, but instead healthy things like dates, bananas and mint.  It tastes amazing (chances are good your little ones won't know the difference) and accomplishes dessert with very little sugar.

5 dates, pitted
2 cups whole milk (or your favorite unsweetened nut or plant milk)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup ice
1 frozen banana
5 fresh mint leaves
Simply whizz everything together in a blender, divide among 4 cups, and enjoy immediately.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An Exotic Chicken Dish Made Easy!


It's not in dispute that East Asian-inspired dishes are among the most flavorful, exotic meals you'll ever try.  But making them for a family, especially after a hard day at work...well that could be a hard sell.  Enter Sarah Waldman and her new cookbook Feeding a Family. Sarah stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her delicious and relatively easy to make Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken.  Sarah told Tonia it's a real flavor adventure; using spices like fresh ginger, curry and cumin.  What it's not: hard to make!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs and/or breasts)
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
One 6-ounce jar tomato paste
One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ cups sweet peas (thawed if frozen or blanched if fresh)
Cooked basmati rice, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro
Toasted coconut flakes
Toasted slivered almonds

1.       Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks. Fill a 6-quart slow cooker with the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the butter, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Mix again. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork.

2.       Before serving, stir in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and peas. Allow everything to heat through, then serve the butter chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Top with cilantro, toasted coconut, and toasted slivered almonds, if desired.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Burrito "Spiced" with Goodness!


This burrito is healthy...thanks to delicious ingredients like brown rice, chickpeas and cauliflower, but it doesn't skimp on the taste.  Susie Middleton, who wrote the cookbook Simple Green Suppers stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Spiced Cauliflower, Chickpea and Brown Rice Burrito with Arugula.  It's really a symphony of fine flavors with her Susie's Lime-Chipotle sauce.  All in all, a fresh take on a south-of-the-border classic, that can really make your lunch or dinner!

Spiced Cauliflower, Chickpea, and Brown Rice Burrito

with Arugula

Makes 4 burritos

2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice

1 cup cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 large (burrito-size, 10-inch) flour tortillas

Double recipe Spiced Cauliflower Sauté (recipe below) reheated if necessary

⅓ cup or more chopped toasted pecans or toasted sliced almonds

⅓ cup Lime-Chipotle Sauce (recipe below)

1 large or 2 small avocadoes, cut in half and sliced

1 to 1½ cups loosely packed arugula, or 20 to 30 small sprigs of fresh cilantro

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the rice and the chickpeas. Reheat in a microwave on high for 2 minutes or in a medium saucepan, covered, over low heat.

2. Warm the tortillas.

3. Place 1 tortilla on your work surface. Spoon about ½ cup of the warm rice and chickpeas onto the lower center of the tortilla, forming a rough shape a little bigger than a deck of cards (with the long side facing you). Put a portion (one quarter) of the cauliflower sauté on top of the rice and chickpeas. Sprinkle with a quarter of the pecans. Add a generous spoonful of lime-chipotle sauce and several arugula leaves or sprigs of cilantro. Top with a portion of avocado slices and a bit more lime-chipotle sauce if desired.

4. Wrap the burrito: Start by folding up the bottom (the side closest to you); then fold the two sides in, keeping the filling layered and compact. Then roll the whole burrito tightly over the rest of the tortilla to close it. Cut the burrito in half on a sharp diagonal and arrange the two halves on a plate. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spiced Cauliflower Sauté

Makes about 1½ cups,

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 teaspoons grapeseed or vegetable oil

2 cups small (1-inch) cauliflower florets

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

Lemon wedge

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, to taste (optional)

1. In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the cauliflower and salt and stir, then cover and cook, uncovering occasionally to stir, until the cauliflower has lost its opacity and is browning in spots, 7 to 9 minutes. Push the cauliflower to one side, and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and the spice mixture, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir together

the sautéed spices and cauliflower. Remove from the heat and season with a squeeze of lemon. Toss in the parsley (if using). Spoon onto the warm pancake or add to another

Lime-Chipotle Sauce

Makes ½ cup

¼ cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

½ to 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle in adobo, or 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce plus ¼ teaspoon dried chipotle powder or smoked paprika

Pinch of kosher salt

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Let sit for 1 minute. Taste, and adjust seasonings as you like. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Smash That Squash Into Toast!


No question, this squash is smashed, but doing it really brings the flavor.  Susie Middleton, who wrote the cookbook Simple Green Suppers, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Butternut Cranberry Citrus toast, which she says, makes either an excellent appetizer or even a main course. Susie told Tonia the smash we talked about happens as you mash the squash up to make the toast, and she describes that approach as flavor from the bottom-up.  Give this toast a try!

Makes 2 or 3 toasts

2 cups small-diced, peeled butternut squash (about 9 ounces)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil, plus more for brushing

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons Cranberry-Citrus Herb Butter (recipe follows), at

room temperature

2 large shallots, peeled and cut into thin slices (optional)

2 or 3 slices of whole wheat boule or other peasant bread (each

about 6 inches long)

2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans, toasted pepitas, or Rosemary
Roasted Walnuts

1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the squash with a scant 2 tablespoons of the oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake, flipping with a metal spatula halfway through cooking, for 26 to 28 minutes, until nicely browned and tender.

2. Immediately transfer the squash to a medium saucepan over

low heat and add 4 to 5 teaspoons of the cranberry butter. Toss and stir, then use a handheld masher to gently mash the roasted squash and butter

until it roughly holds together. (Some hunks of squash will remain.)

Remove the pan from the heat and

cover to keep warm if making ahead, or keep the pan on low heat for a few minutes, stirring, if waiting until the toast is done.

3. Cook the shallots (if using): Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate.

4. Preheat an oven broiler or the broiler in a toaster oven.Brush the bread slices with a small bit of oil on one side and sprinkle with salt. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Broil until golden brown on the top side, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the slices over, and dot or brush the top of each slice with 1 teaspoon of the cranberry butter. Broil until the top side is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

5. Using a small spatula or spreading knife, spread the warm squash mixture evenly on the pieces of toast. Top with the shallots (if using) and toasted nuts. Serve right away.

Cranberry-Citrus Herb Butter

Makes about ⅓ cup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature or slightly softer

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

¼ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons very finely chopped cranberries

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon seeded and minced fresh jalapeño

Put the butter in a small bowl. Add the salt and orange and lemon zest. Mash and stir the butter using a small silicone spatula or the back of a spoon. Add the cranberries,thyme, and jalapeño, and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Pack into a small bowl, crock, or refrigerator container and cover tightly.

Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature before using.

From Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Better Candy Bar


And the reason it's better is because you make it yourself, rather than buying it in the store. Sally McKenney, who wrote the new cookbook Sally's Candy Addiction, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her take on the classic chocolate candy: A Mounds know the one with Coconut and Chocolate!  Sally says its simple to make and way better than the bars you find in stores, one reason for that is the lack of preservatives in the kinds you make at home.  Give it a try, and a taste it for yourself.  Find out more on Sally's webpage.

14oz (396g) bag shredded sweetened coconut
14oz (396g) can full-fat sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla extract
18oz (510g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Special Equipment
9-in (23cm) square baking pan
double boiler (optional)
dipping tool (optional)
squeeze bottle (optional)

1 Line a 9-in (23cm) square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the coconut mixture after chilling. Set aside.

2 In a large bowl, stir together coconut, sweetened condensed milk, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until combined. The mixture will be very sticky and might be hard to stir, so use some arm muscle.

3 Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan, doing your best to do so evenly. I use the back of a spoon to help pack it down tightly. Cover the pan tightly and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours.

4 While the mixture is chilling, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

5 After the mixture has chilled, it should be firm and easy to work with. If it is still quite sticky, chill for 1 hour. Remove foil from the pan using the overhang on the sides. Slice the coconut mixture into rectangles, about 1 x 2 inches (2.5 x 5cm) large. Peel off any foil adhering to the rectangles. Place the bars on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to dip.

6 Melt or temper the chocolate (see page 42). Remove coconut bars from the refrigerator and, working with one at a time, dip in the chocolate using a dipping tool (or fork). Place bars onto the baking sheet after dipping. If there is leftover chocolate, drizzle it over the bars using a squeeze bottle (or fork).
Allow the chocolate to set completely at room temperature for 1 hour.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: I like to wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap for a quick grab ’n’ go treat. If chocolate has not been tempered, wrapped candy bars keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. If chocolate has been tempered, wrapped candy bars keep well in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 3 weeks.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Custard That's Not a Dessert


In fact, it could be a delicious appetizer, or a starch side dish.  Natasha MacAller, who wrote the cookbook Vanilla Table, has been talking with Tonia's Kitchen all week about different and bold ideas for Vanilla.  And today, Natasha, told Tonia about a wonderful, savory vanilla custard, that's definitely not for dessert.  Instead, it could replace the potato on your dinner plate.  Give it a try!

Caramelized garlic
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
Cut top off garlic head to expose cloves. Peel away just the outer layer of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves. Wrap loosely in foil and drizzle over the oil. Pinch the foil closed at the top, place in a baking pan and cook in oven 30–35 minutes until squishy, caramelized and golden brown.

Custard cups
Butter 6 small (120 ml/4 fl oz) custard cups. Set inside a baking dish large enough to hold the cups.

Cut the vanilla pod in half but don’t split and scrape it, to keep the custard ivory coloured. Squeeze 6 caramelised garlic cloves into a saucepan and add apple sauce/ applesauce, vanilla pod, cream, milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring just to a simmer, turn off heat and cool.about 20 minutes.

Turn the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3.

In a large jug/pitcher, whisk the eggs well, then add ricotta. Place a sieve/strainer over the jug/pitcher and strain the milk mixture into the eggs, pressing the garlic through with the back of a spoon. Discard the vanilla pod or rinse, dry and save for another use. Add Parmesan, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and whisk together.

Pour custard into cups. Lift pan into the oven, then fill with very hot water to come halfway up the outside of the cups. Bake for 20 minutes until custard has browned and set but is still jiggly in the centre. Serve warm as is or top with a spoonful of green pea pesto.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Dessert That's Healthy?


Let's face it, dessert is not healthy...or is it?  Pooja Mottl, the author behind the book The 3-Day Reset, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about what she calls its crown jewel, Chocolate
Raspberry Truffles with NO refined sugar.  She takes a natural kind of chocolate, along with dates raspberries and put it in a food processor.  Roll the resulting mixture into little balls, and serve! It's not hard to make and only takes about 10 minutes.  The truffles are unique dessert that you can feel good about eating!

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup Medjool or Deglet Noor dates, seeds removed, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder (raw if possible) + extra for dusting truffles
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
1/4 cup fresh raspberries

Pour a small amount of cacao powder onto a sheet or large plate for coating and dusting the truffles.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, and blend until ingredients are fully incorporated and pecans and dates are chopped into small bits. Be careful not to overblend. If the mixture looks too dry, add a couple of extra raspberries.

Scoop out the truffle mixture using a tablespoon. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons at a time, forming each into a ball with your hands. Transfer balls to dusting plate and coat thoroughly, then tap the truffle to remove any excess powder.

Enjoy immediately with tea or coffee or chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more. Truffles will last in the fridge for several days.