Caesar Salad (with Kale and Romaine)

Caesar Salad

 I recently attended a special dinner at a new creative local restaurant and tried the Kale Caesar salad.  It was delicious!   I loved the smoked paprika on the croutons which gave the salad a smoky flavour…kind of like bacon.   Adding a variety of lettuce and greens to a salad just makes it more interesting (and nutritious) too!

 My kids love this salad dressing.  It alone is the reason they eat more greens!  My daughter even uses it on a cabbage salad she makes.  She calls it Caesar Slaw.

Enjoy!

Caesar Salad Dressing

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 hard boiled egg

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp Parmesan cheese or more to taste

4 tsp lemon juice or to taste

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

 

Whole grain croutons

Rub whole grain bread with a cut garlic clove, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika.   Cut in cubes and toss, bake at 350 until toasted on the outside but still soft on the inside, about 10 minutes.

 

Mix of Romaine lettuce and Kale (tender, small leaves work well)

Toss lettuce, kale and dressing in a large bowl until lightly coated.   Add croutons and sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese.   Serve immediately.

 

The Caesar salad dressing is adapted from Looneyspoons Low Fat Foods Made Fun.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice “Cream”

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice “Cream”

 We have been enjoying making banana ice cream since I first read about it over a year ago.  We have tried many combinations, all good, with added nuts, toasted coconut, chocolate, cocoa powder, berries, other fruits, but when I came across adding spinach I really wasn’t sure.  However, there are greens in my favourite smoothie and it tastes great!. I had nothing to lose by giving it a try! The original recipe uses mint extract but I love the flavour of the fresh mint leaves, fresh from my garden.  Currently it is the house favourite and amazes everyone who tries it!


Recipe

2 frozen bananas

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup coconut milk  


Using blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.  Stir in 2 tbsp dark mini chocolate chips.  Freeze until firm.


Thanks for the inspiration www.cleananddelicious.com.  

Food Experiments – Fresh Mozzarella

When planning our Spring Break food experiments my son suggested making cheese. After some research,  we chose a fresh cheese so we could taste it and enjoy it right away!  We found a terrific tutorial online and we can honestly say it was easy, fun and very tasty! It was also very educational to see the changes the milk goes through.

 

 I found vegetarian liquid rennet and citric acid at The Gourmet Warehouse, Vancouver, BC, where they have a good selection of cheese making supplies.  http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-mozzarella-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-174355

Food Experiments – “Sour” Dough Bread

Yogurt Sour Dough Bread

It is the midst of Spring Bread here in Vancouver and a great time to spend time in the kitchen with your kids trying out some new ideas that may be too time consuming to fit into our regular schedule.   This easy recipe uses yogurt instead of a starter, along with a little yeast.  The active bacteria in the yogurt produce the “gas” which results in bubbles in the the dough causing it to rise!  The results are amazing and delicious with the characteristic “sour” dough tangy taste.

 

Recipe

2 cups all purpose or bread flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon instant or fast rising yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup natural yogurt (it is important to use a natural plain unsweetened yogurt with active cultures)

 

Mix flours, yeast, and salt until well combined in mixer or bowl.  Add yogurt until well incorporated, adding a couple more tablespoons of yogurt if needed to form a dough. (dough will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap (air tight)  and let rise for 17 hours (Plan your timing!  We started at 8pm to bake the bread the following afternoon.) Put bowl upside down on a piece of parchment paper and gently fold dough over being careful to not flatten all the bubbles.  Let rise again for 2 hours.  15 minutes prior to baking preheat oven with dutch oven inside to 425 degrees F.  At 2 hours, put dough (on parchment paper) in hot dutch oven, lid back on and into the oven for 30 minutes.  Take lid off and bake approx 10 minutes more to brown the crust.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

 

The first time we tried this recipe we tried it will all white flour, but then adapted it to add whole grain flour.  I am currently working on other variations to use different whole grain flours, grains,  nuts and seeds, dried fruit etc.  Have fun experimenting!

 

This recipe is from Lady and Pups, No Knead Bread.

 

Welcome!

 Thanks for checking out my blog.  I hope to provide some interesting insights on topics I am passionate about: foods, nutrition, fitness, wellness, and everything related!  I hope to bring you reliable information and inspiration to assist in all the many choices you make everyday for yourself, your family, friends and community. I believe in a balanced whole food based diet, with a priority on fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and small amounts of dairy and lean meat.  It’s confusing out there with so much information and so many dietary choices.  It is difficult to wade through it all and figure things out!


My name is Laura Murray.  I am a university educated Nutritionist, a nutrition and cooking program Facilitator, a Nutrition Program Planner, a Nutrition Presenter,  a Group Fitness Instructor and a busy Mom.  I live in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada area with my husband and 2 young children.