Archive for February, 2014

Amazingly Easy Maple Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Home Made Cooking

I found my youngest sitting in a laundry basket this week, as if it was the most comfortable thing in the world. She was reading something and commenting about it to herself. So I stand there (in the kitchen of course, where else?) and I hear her saying to herself “Reading Star – What? I don’t want to be a reading star, I want to be a STAR).

And to think that when I was her age all I wanted to do is play in the mud and build swords from sticks. Yeah, I wasn’t a real girlie girl 🙂 I always preferred to play with the boy, which turned out great as I grew up 🙂

And now just a bit of food talk – this next recipe is roasted vegetables, but adding maple and garlic just made them super good!

Isn’t it the easiest thing in the world? roasted vegetables that is. You just cut them, mix with their sauce, place in the oven and wait. And the more veggies the merrier your dish will look. And after 30-40 minutes you got your perfectly nutritious side dish. As easy as sitting in a laundry basket, isn’t it?

Maple Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Amazingly Easy Maple Garlic Roasted Vegetables
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4 People
 
A great twist on plain roasted vegetables. Just add that touch of maple sweetness and the tangy garlic and you've got yourself a hit.
Ingredients
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes - Cut into large cubes
  • 2 Zucchinis - Cut into large pieces
  • ½ Butternut Squash - Cut into medium pieces (because it takes a bit longer to roast)
  • ½ Onion - cut into large pieces
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 3 Garlic Cloves - Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher (coarse) Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and layer a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can also make these in a Pyrex oven proof glass dish).
  2. Place all the cut vegetables in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, olive oil and minced garlic until evenly mixed.
  4. Pour the maple mix on top of the vegetables and stir it using a wooden spoon until the vegetables are fully covered with the mix.
  5. Place the vegetables onto the baking sheet (or Pyrex) and sprinkle with some kosher (coarse) salt on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until you test the veggies with a fork and they’ve reached your desired tenderness.

Maple Garlic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Garlic Roasted Vegetables

I found my youngest sitting in a laundry basket this week, as if it was the most comfortable thing in the world. She was reading something and commenting about it to herself. So I stand there (in the kitchen of course, where else?) and I hear her saying to herself “Reading Star – What? I […]

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Delicious Baked Brown Rice and Vegetable Falafel

Baked Goodies | Home Made Cooking

Do you like Falafel? I love it!! So imagine how happy I was when this next recipe turned just right! One taste was enough for me to understand that what it’s missing is a good fresh pita with chopped salad and tahini sauce, just perfect.

Growing up in a place where falafel can be found anywhere and having a big variety of it, obviously resulted in me just loving this dish.

Traditionally falafel is made of chickpeas and delicious spices and I love it because it’s such a great and easy meal. Once you got the falafel patties all you need is to stuff them in a pita with salads and there you have it – lunch! (or dinner)

Over the years I’ve seen people react differently to falafel. Some will love it, some will love it but get stomachaches from it (the chickpeas mostly), some even hate it (how is that possible?), but this version of completely gluten free, vegetarian falafel blew me away.

It started with me thinking what to make for hubby. At first I planned on making soy “meatballs” but then I found out I have no soy, so next, I opened the fridge, and what do I see? brown rice! ta-daaa…I knew what I was going to make!

I made the shape by using the kitchen gadget my dear father in law gave me after we moved to Canada. It’s a falafel scoop (click on the text in bold) words to see what it is) and it shapes the mix into balls, so it looked really authentic.

These Baked Brown Rice And Vegetable Falafel Patties (or balls) are great on their own and also go really good served in you favorite sauce (meatball style). You can also freeze them after they’re ready and use when you need to. Really a treat and so easy and healthy.

Brown Rice and Vegetables Falafel Patties

Brown Rice and Vegetables Falafel Patties

Delicious Baked Brown Rice and Vegetable Falafel
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian, Mediterranean
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 28 balls
 
Falafel (apparently) does not have to be made of chickpeas. Check out this recipe - Vegetables, Cornmeal and Spices make all the difference.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Carrot
  • ¼ Small Onion
  • 1 Celery Stick (no leaves)
  • Small Bunch of Fresh Cilantro (about ¼ Cup packed sprigs)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 8 Tbsp Cornmeal
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cumin
  • Ground Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and layer baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the rice, pepper, carrot, onion and celery in a food processor and blend well until finely chopped.
  3. Remove the mix from the food processor to a mixing bowl and add the egg, olive oil and spices and mix well until evenly combined.
  4. Add in the cornmeal and mix together. Depending on the type of cornmeal, you might need to use more or less of it, 1 Tbsp give or take, you just want the mix to be good enough (and no veggie juices) for shaping and placing on the baking sheet.
  5. Using a teaspoon scoop one teaspoon at a time and place on a parchment paper layered baking sheet. You can also try and give it a little ball shape.
  6. Bake in 375F (190C) for 15-20 minutes.

Brown Rice and Vegetables Falafel Patties

Brown Rice and Vegetables Falafel Patties

Do you like Falafel? I love it!! So imagine how happy I was when this next recipe turned just right! One taste was enough for me to understand that what it’s missing is a good fresh pita with chopped salad and tahini sauce, just perfect. Growing up in a place where falafel can be found […]

Read More

Date Night – Sweet Date, Coconut and Walnuts Energy Balls

Sweets

I’ve been wracking my brains out, thinking about something for Valentine’s Day.

The first thing that comes to mind is cookies, those sugar coated (sometimes with added food colorings) heart shaped cookies, but I don’t really do that. Well, maybe for my kids’ class sometimes, and even then I do my best to not use or minimize the use of food colorings (sometimes, you can’t really avoid some colored sprinkles, right?).

So I was thinking really hard, what looks cute, can be given as a sweet gift and is somewhat healthy? and then it hit me – Energy Bars. But energy bars are not really something to put in a box of bonbons aren’t they? that’s when I had a ‘light bulb’ moment, realizing that the answer (along with the ingredients) was right in front of me all that time.

So here they are, my Energy Balls. No dairy, no gluten, no eggs and no added sugar – Just plain ol’ healthy treats.

Took me some extra time to make the mix because I was too lazy to take out the food processor and decided that my small food chopper would be enough (almost killed the motor), but if you use a decent food processor this should really take minutes.

Also, one last note: when adding water, add just enough for the mix to be nicely combined (kind of like playdough 🙂 )

And now, I’ll give you the recipe for these cuties! Valentine’s Day or not, these are excellent year round, and such a great substitute to your chocolates and candies and generally sweet tooth.

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Date Night - Sweet Date, Coconut and Walnuts Energy Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Energy Bars
Cuisine: Healthy
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Why make or buy energy bars when you can put it all in a small ball and enjoy it just the same if not more? These are packed with energy and flavor.
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cups Walnuts - Divided
  • ½ Cup Raw or Roasted Whole Almonds
  • 2 Cups Pitted Dates
  • 3 Tbsp shelled Flax
  • 10-14 Tbsp Water - Add just enough to form playdough like mix
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • Extra Shredded Unsweetened Coconut for coating
Instructions
  1. Place the almonds (only if raw, if roasted you don’t need to soak them) and dates in a bowl of hot water and soak them for 10-20 minutes (this will help to soften both ingredients a bit).
  2. In a food processor grind 1 cup walnuts until they become crumbs and set aside in a medium bowl. Break the other ½ cup walnuts into small pieces using your hands.
  3. Add the shelled flax and ¼ cup shredded coconut into the bowl with ground walnuts.
  4. Using a colander, drain the dates and almonds and place in a food processor.
  5. Blend the dates and almonds in the food processor until they become this ‘play dough’ looking mix.
  6. Add 5 Tbsp water to the date mix to start with, before blending (this will ease the blending and maybe save your food processor motor from overheating) and then gradually add the additional tablespoons water until you get the right consistency of mixture (like I said - Playdough)
  7. Once you’re done with blending the almonds and dates (you may still have chunks in the mix but that’s OK, it’s not supposed to be smooth), add them to the bowl with walnuts and flax.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, stir and mix all the ingredients in the bowl together until evenly combined.
  9. Prepare a plate with shredded coconut on the side to roll the balls in.
  10. Scoop one teaspoon at a time from the batter and roll into a ball and then roll in the coconut plate to give them the coconut coating (it might be easier to form balls with wet hands).
  11. Store in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge.

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

Dates and Walnuts energy balls

I’ve been wracking my brains out, thinking about something for Valentine’s Day. The first thing that comes to mind is cookies, those sugar coated (sometimes with added food colorings) heart shaped cookies, but I don’t really do that. Well, maybe for my kids’ class sometimes, and even then I do my best to not use […]

Read More

11 Food Blogs You Need To Follow

Tips and News

As a food blogger, it only makes sense for me to follow other food blogs.

Not just because we are an entire (amazing) community, but because when you create something, whether it’s food, art, jewelry or any other thing, you need inspiration.

I draw my inspiration from my mom, my friends, my family, my husband, my kids, (sometimes myself) and my fellow food bloggers.

I bet most of you follow at least 2-3 food blogs. You know, one for healthy eating, one for baking, one for great meat recipes, so today I wanted to share my 11 go-to food blogs; food blogs you just owe it to yourself to follow. They are all run by talented people and I love that you can feel their passion in every post.

 So here they are, your next go-to food blogs:

 Green Kitchen Stories:

I’ve recently discovered this beautiful blog. It is a blog that’s being run by a couple (in real life) and they share the task of running it (one cooks and develops recipes and the other bakes, edits and takes the photos). The blog focuses on eating healthy and wholesome vegetarian foods. The recipes are wonderful, the photos are mouthwatering and the writing is up-close and personal. I also love that the ingredients are not hard to find which means I can actually make the recipes (woo-hoo). This blog will definitely take your vegetarian dishes to the next level.

greenkitchenstories.com

 Guilty Kitchen:

I became familiar with Elizabeth’s blog through her book.

If you read through my blog you’ll see that I love using coconut oil whenever possible, and I also try to substitute various ingredients with their healthier version.

So imagine how thrilled I was when I first read Elizabeth’s book “Cooking with Coconut Oil”. The book was so great I had to check out the blog. This blog is full of healthy recipes that use coconut oil, it also has many recipes for people out there that follow the Paleo diet, and although I don’t follow this diet, I’m telling you, the recipes are SUPER good! You will love the simplicity, the writing and the “drool-able” photos.

guiltykitchen.com

Simple Bites:

I had the pleasure of meeting Aimee (Simple Bites editor) at the 1st Food Bloggers Conference that took place in Ontario last year. She came with her husband and daughter and I immediately knew that her blog was family focused, just the way I like it.

Her blog is full of great family stories (running an urban homestead will provide you with these) and amazing recipes for food made from scratch. She has great tips for cooking with kids, awesome tutorials and super inviting posts.

I love the photos, the recipes and the use of healthy, affordable and everyday ingredients.

 simplebites.net

The Baking Beauties:

Although I’m not celiac or Gluten intolerant, if you know me a bit by now you’ll know that I try to avoid gluten or minimize its presence when possible.

Jeannine’s Gluten Free blog is a must add to your bookmarks. She shares some pretty fantastic gluten free recipes ranging from breakfasts to desserts. I know Jeannine in person and can tell you that once her recipes go up on the blog, they are sure to be foolproof and oh-so-good. Whether your body embraces or rejects gluten, you will love this blog and all it has to offer – just like I did!

 Bakinggeuties.com

 Bakeaholic Mama:

I started following Carrie from Bakeaholicmama.Com through Instagram. I just loved her funny photos and happy attitude. In her blog she says about herself: “Busy Stay at home mom of 3. Trying to fulfill my baking addiction while eating my veggies” and that’s exactly what she does 🙂 Carrie has so many baked goods recipes that are to die for! Yeah, not all of them will help you with your diet but you’ll probably end up just coming back to them every single time. She is funny, talented and has a way of making you empathize with whatever she writes about (she also has 3 adorable helpers). Her photos are delicious and her blog is in one word – priceless!

 bakeaholicmama.com

Smitten Kitchen:

This is one of the first food blogs I have ever discovered and I keep following it to this day. Every photo makes me hungry and every recipe is made of ingredients I usually have available. You’ll find amazing cooked dishes as well as wonderful baked goods. The recipes will take you step by step and you’ll be amazed at what you just created. This one is seriously addictive. And to think that Deb (the editor) creates everything in her tiny kitchen! Inspiring!

 smittenkitchen.com

All Day I dream About Food:

Carolyn is the mastermind behind this beautiful blog. She is Diabetic and other than that she blogs about delicious mostly low carb, gluten free food. So imagine the benefits of browsing through her blog and making her recipes.

Beautiful shots, great recipes and fabulous writing are just the beginning. I am hooked on this blog and loving how it proves that there are no limits when you have the passion.

 alldayidreamaboutfood.com

The Shiksa in the Kitchen:

While looking for a traditional Jewish holiday recipe I found Tori’s blog a couple of years ago. If you browse through, you’ll find delicious recipes with easy to follow instructions and stories about food history that will pull you right in. You’ll also find Jewish dishes with a twist and beautiful photographs. I love Tori’s blog; it makes me feel at home.

theshiksa.com

The Healthy Apple:

TheHealthyApple.Com is basically a guide to clean eating. You see, after suffering with digestive issues for years and receiving a life-changing diagnosis that would change her life, Amie decided to not give up and look at the bright side. She developed some pretty awesome recipes and a lifestyle that is totally admirable. She is (a personal chef among other things) sharing gluten free, organic, dairy free, vegan and just super healthy and nutritious recipes that not only look great but taste amazing as well (believe me, I tried some). I totally admire her lifestyle and her positive attitude. When you feel you would like to treat your body, just pick a recipe from her blog.

thehealthyapple.com

Kitchen Meets Girl:

Ashley’s blog KitchenMeetsGirl.Com is the living proof that absolutely everyone can cook! From declaring that she will not cook to having her own successful food blog, this fact alone should get everyone go ahead and check out her blog.

But seriously, the shots are astonishing and the recipes are so easy and healthy and nourishing. This blog has so many inspiring ideas, giveaways and really just good stuff! It is family focused and sure enough, everyone in your family will be happy if you make some of the recipes Ashley posts. Pizza, Chicken, Brownies, Soups, Breads – it’s all there. I keep checking it out daily. Yumm!

kitchenmeetsgirl.com

365 Days of Baking:

You are going to love Lynne! She is funny and friendly and just a fun personality, and adding these to her recipes is just perfect. I love her blog and her recipes. I always find something easy to make on the go and I always have the ingredients in hand. Tons of desserts, baked goods, dinners, lunches and just everything! And it all looks so good! The posts are fun and inviting and sometimes I find myself checking them out just for the sake of reading a fun post. A keeper!

365daysofbaking.com

Isn’t it inspiring to know that so many people share the same passion yet find so many different ways to express and share it? I think it’s amazing!

11 Food Blogs You Needd To Follow11 Food Blogs You Need To Follow

As a food blogger, it only makes sense for me to follow other food blogs. Not just because we are an entire (amazing) community, but because when you create something, whether it’s food, art, jewelry or any other thing, you need inspiration. I draw my inspiration from my mom, my friends, my family, my husband, […]

Read More

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

Baked Goodies | Home Made Cooking

I’ve never been a fan of game days. I mean those days when a tournament starts or even the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, I like sports. I used to play Tennis, watch Basketball and even F1 races. But I just don’t find it too interesting any more. I guess people mostly get excited about it all because it’s one more reason to spend time with a bunch of friends or family, munching on “game-day” food and drinks, discussing game strategies, players and just life in between.

So it’s a social thing, I get it, and I’m the last person to oppose it. In fact, when it involves drinks, friends and munchies, I’ll be the first one in.

Game day or not, my morning started with 3 words: “mommy I’m hungry” and even though I tried Ignoring the high pitch voices, it was impossible and I finally had to get up and do something about it.

Trying to ignore or procrastinate usually results in kids eating the wrong things, so I had to do something.

Given the fact that it was almost 11am I figured we might as well call it brunch, and prepared the food accordingly.

I ended up making Pizza Fingers (or Pizza Sticks) and boy oh boy were they a success! served with some side Tabbouleh Salad and fresh Avocado, my work here was done, but then it hit me – Game day food! these Pizza Fingers would be perfect!

So I ran to the keyboard, typed a few lines, copied the recipe, uploaded some photos and here I am, sharing these goodies with you all.

An added healthy twist in the form of Whole Wheat Flour helped in reducing feelings of guilt while we munch on Pizza Fingers for brunch – What can I tell ya? it worked.

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers
Author: 
Recipe type: Pizza, Game Day Food
Cuisine: Finger Food, Wholesome
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24-26 Fingers
 
Pizza fingers are a treat, but when made with whole wheat flour they even have a healthier kick to them. These are awesome, soft and full of flavor!
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • Whole Wheat Flour (500gr)
  • 1 Tbsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Granulated White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¾ - 1 Cup Water (depending on your flour)
For the Pizza Filling:
  • 5 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
  • ⅛ - ¼ tsp Salt (depending on your taste)
  • 1 ¾ Cups Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella, Cheddar or your favorite)
For the Brushing on top:
  • 3 Tbsp Butter -Melted
  • ½ Tbsp Kosher (Coarse) Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dry Oregano
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, egg and vegetable oil and ¾ cup lukewarm water and mix all together on low-medium speed. If the dough is still crumbly and dry, add in the extra ¼ cup water by drizzling it in until you get a soft and a little tacky dough.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough rises and doubles its size. This may take 35-60 minutes.
  3. In the meantime prepare the filling by mixing the tomato paste, olive oil, garlic and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set it aside.
  4. After the dough has risen, dump it onto a floured surface and roll it a bit in the flour. Divide it into 4 equal pieces and set 2 of them aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the first 2 pieces into long rectangles (about 20cm/ 8 inch wide and 40cm/ 16 inch long when the dough is about ¼ cm thick).
  7. Spread ½ of the filling mix on one of the rectangles and sprinkle with ½ of the shredded cheese.
  8. Place the other rectangle on top of the one with sauce and cheese and gently roll the rolling pin on top of the two (this will make sure the cheese stays inside while baking).
  9. Using a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut the rectangle (now with filling in it) into 12-14 fingers (depends on how wide you cut them - mine were 3 cm wide).
  10. Place the Pizza Fingers on a parchment paper layered baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  11. Repeat steps 6-10 with the other 2 pieces of dough left.
  12. Melt the butter for brushing and add in the kosher salt and oregano.
  13. Brush each Pizza Finger with the butter mix and bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes.
  14. Eat while still fresh or cool and freeze in a container for later serving (to prepare from frozen just heat it up in the oven on 275F)

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

Whole Wheat Pizza Fingers

I’ve never been a fan of game days. I mean those days when a tournament starts or even the Olympics. Don’t get me wrong, I like sports. I used to play Tennis, watch Basketball and even F1 races. But I just don’t find it too interesting any more. I guess people mostly get excited about […]

Read More