roasted beet & chickpea salad, Italian breadsticks, bacon wrapped chicken, zesty black beans and banana loaf

when your nine year old daughter asks you ‘what is a Kardashian?’…  and your response is ‘it’s a role model honey’…  you know you have this parenting thing down…

now that I feel like a master parent, on to becoming a master chef…

after continuous sugar desserts, I thought perhaps the farmers would enjoy and healthier option to end their meal with…

when I’m not spending time watching the Kardashian show to learn how to be a parent, I either watch cooking shows or running videos on YouTube…

the cooking shows/podcasts have led me to understand that spelt flour is better than all-purpose flour… and the more you can use superfood ingredients such as Costco’s Goldenberry or molasses… the better it is for you…

so this delicious loaf seems like you are doing your body a favour… and I’m not kidding this time… this is good for you!

worried that this loaf might be a bit too healthy looking, I opted to keep it for the kids lunches and made some banana loaf instead…

ginger-molasses bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour (all-purpose if you don’t have spelt)
  • 1” knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup goldenberries (or raisins)
  • 1 tsp orange zest

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease 9×5” loaf pan with cooking spray
  • in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda
  • in a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, molasses, butter, and orange zest
  • add to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to bring batter together
  • add golden berries and fold in
  • pour into the loaf pan and bake until a butter knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, 40-45 minutes
  • cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes
  • turn the loaf out and let cool completely on the rack

spelt banana walnut loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or all-purpose flour if you don’t have spelt)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (4 ripe bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped goldenberries (or golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • grease 9×5” loaf pan with cooking spray
  • in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
  • in a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar
  • scrape down and add eggs
  • add bananas and vanilla
  • pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined
  • fold in walnuts, goldenberries and chocolate chips
  • pour into the loaf pan
  • bake for 50-60 minutes until a butter knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean
  • transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes
  • turn loaf out and cool completely

to balance off the healthy dessert, I then made the trusted and true Italian breadsticks…

the kids had finally got home from school so I could put them to work packing up the loaf and breadsticks…  what I learnt from the Kardashians is that hard work pays off…

golden Italian breadsticks

  • Servings: 1 large baking sheet
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Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Golden Italian Dressing
  • 1 bag or 320 g Italiano Grated Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmenson Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast till combined in a Bosch dough mixer or a mixer with a dough hook
  • add warm water and oil and mix for around 5-7 minutes until well combined
  • turn into a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel and let rise till it has doubled it’s size, around 45 minutes
  • line a 18×12 baking sheet with parchment paper
  • dump dough out onto baking sheet and press out with hands to the edges of the pan
  • spread with a spatula the golden Italian dressing over the dough
  • sprinkle the grated cheese
  • top with the seasonings
  • bake at 425 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown
  • let cool and slice into breadsticks
  • wrap in tin foil to put in supper bags

wrapping bacon around things always looks so great in pictures… and then you attempt it and you are mad at whoever made it look easy…

so instead of being mad at me, I’ll tell you it is frustrating and hard…

so after making up the wrapped version for the farmers, I made the lazy version for my kids…  just cut up the chicken and layered on the spinach, slightly cooked bacon and feta…

same ingredients but I probably saved at least half an hour of work…

if you are a fancy person and like wrapping bacon around things, these long wooden squerers are a must…

back to the healthy again, the side I went with for the bacon wrapped chicken was this zesty black bean mixture…  which I did selfishly because wanted to eat it…

if you have never used chipotle peppers before, they add a lot of heat to a dish…  one is enough…  and recently I discovered you can freeze the rest of the peppers (individually) and use them in the future… so you aren’t wasting the whole can for one pepper…

I had some homemade chicken stock that I added to this bean mixture and right at the end you add lime juice and zest…

zesty black beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo (canned), chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • zest of one lime

Directions:

  • heat oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over med/high heat
  • add onion, carrots, and salt and cook
  • add garlic and cook
  • add the beans, chile pepper, cumin, bay leaf and chicken stock
  • cover and reduce heat to very low simmer for 1 hour
  • prior to serving, add the lime juice and zest

if you are interested in protein and are training for the Crossfit Games… this main dish is for you…

last of all an easy salad…  apple cider vinaigrette drizzled over spinach with roasted beets, chickpeas and red onions…

I had roasted the beets, chickpeas and onions in the morning and had put in the fridge for the day so it was easy to assemble in the mad rush to pack suppers up…

if I put chickpeas in or on everything I think the farmer will finally get the hint to grow some chickpeas!!!

as this fall heat wave continues and harvest keeps rolling along, sunsets on the prairies are some of the best you’ll see anywhere…  I generally like to enjoy them with a glass of wine and this is why I’m usually in bed before my nine year old daughter…

I feel like the Kardashians would approve though

meal to the field #5

disclaimer… this meal is not very healthy… unless you are a pro-athlete and burning insane amounts of calories per day you should not eat like this all the time… but it’s harvest time… the time of year that farmer’s finally make money and gain weight… (or this year just gain weight) and we get to eat dessert at home – that is if there is enough… I for instance have gained 5 pounds so far… I feel like it is an instinct from way back when the settlers (and I’m purely imagining all of this… no homeschooling going on around here) would try to gain weight and a layer of body fat for protection from the harsh Canadian winters… I am just instinctively following suit… it can’t be controlled when it is your heritage… 

the salad is decent for you…  if you want to stay away from the pasta… the gluten… the energy… then just omit the pasta and put it on romain lettuce instead…

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

For the Dressing:

  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp minced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crisco oil

For the Salad:

  • 1, 500 g bag Garofalo Gemelli Pasta, boiled
  • 2 containers cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 500 g Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 cans black olives, drained and chopped

Directions:

  • in a salad dressing shaker, add all the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake well
  • in a large bowl add all of the salad ingredients
  • pour dressing overtop and chill for at least 3 hours before serving


now we move on to the good stuff…  true story… when the farmer and I were first married… at the ripe old age of 20… we would split a pan of these breadsticks (I have doubled this recipe but you can imagine it’s more than two breadsticks each) while watching Ally McBeal and think we were living the dream… found out it was the dream… in your 20’s eating whatever you want and your body just being like ‘keep it coming… eat more… good idea… I can handle it’ …. then your 30’s hit and you have to eat half of one breadstick and run 4 miles to keep the muffin top at bay…  not sure what 40’s will have to offer but at this rate I’ll only be able to smell the food…

Golden Italian Breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp instant rise yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Golden Italian Dressing
  • 1 bag or 320 g Italiano Grated Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmeson Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  • mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast till combined in a Bosch dough mixer or a mixer with a dough hook
  • add warm water and oil and mix for around 5-7 minutes until well combined
  • turn into a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel and let rise till it has doubled it’s size, around 45 minutes
  • line a 18×12 baking sheet with parchment paper
  • dump dough out onto baking sheet and press out with hands to the edges of the pan
  • spread with a spatula the golden Italian dressing over the dough
  • sprinkle the grated cheese
  • top with the seasonings
  • bake at 425 degrees for 16 minutes or until golden brown
  • let cool and slice into breadsticks
  • wrap in tin foil to put in supper bags

I made this casserole so many times… have it ready for after a football game, take to a potluck or after a long day at an initiation hockey tournament …

Perogy Casserole with Deer Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages perogies (Baba’s Homestyle Perogies 3 kg)
  • 5 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 green or red peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 cans mushroom soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 packages deer sausage (I used 1 package cheddar smokies & 1 package hot Italian smokies), cut up 1” thick

Directions:

  • turn oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9×13 pans
  • drop frozen perigees into boiling water and remove with a strainer when they float – I did one package at a time
  • put into greased pans
  • saute onions and peppers in butter and then pour over the perogies
  • whisk soup and milk together and pour over perogies
  • put sausage in with the perogies and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese
  • bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling

  

hint for serving this cake… small portion size as it is dense, sweet and could send a farmer into a slumber that might cause a combine to be driven into a slough…

Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Cake

  • Servings: 1 9x13 cake
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Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Icing:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, to sprinkle on top of cake

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan
  • whisk dry ingredients for cake
  • in a mixer add butter, coconut oil and sugar and beat until smooth
  • add eggs and vanilla and beat, then add yogurt
  • mix in the dry ingredients
  • fold in zucchini, coconut and chocolate chips
  • pour into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean
  • for the icing, beat butter until smooth and then add icing sugar
  • add the coconut extract and beat until smooth
  • spread the icing and sprinkle the cake with the toasted coconut