Raspberry Vinaigrette

I’ve been so busy with school and work I’ve barely been cooking, let alone making anything worth posting about.  The most I’ve done on the weekends is bake bread, make applesauce, apple butter, and pumpkin puree.  I did pickle some hot peppers and have a bunch of little hot pepper plants growing like weeds under my grow light.  My rosemary is finally growing thanks to a friend’s organic fertilizer (thanks Claude!) and both lemon trees are doing well, although one of them is no longer a resident of my apartment.  I am trying to sprout some apple seeds currently and would totally plant a pumpkin seed when I puree the last 3 pumpkins I have if I wasn’t terrified of it taking over my livingroom.

On non-food related news, I have a real livingroom now!  Claude and Dallas were generous and wonderful enough to give me their entertainment unit and were at my place for about 2 hours on Monday evening helping me move everything around.  My computer desk is now in my bedroom and then tv, ps3 and ps2 are all in the livingroom on the entertainment unit.  I can now look for a coffee table and end tables!  So excited! 

Back to food…I have been searching for months for a salad dressing I love that I can make at home.  I finally found it this weekend.  I made a homemade raspberry vinaigrette for our thanksgiving supper and I adore it.  I’ve never liked storebought raspberry vinaigrettes before so it was surprising.  It’s simple to make and I have all the ingredients at home, amazingly.  It keeps well in the fridge, and just needs a shake or whisk to put it back together for serving. 

Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 tbsp homemade raspberry sauce (basically try to make raspberry jam but don’t add enough sugar or pectin for it to set, lol)

1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp White Vinegar

1/8 cup Olive Oil

1/8 cup Canola Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wisk the raspberry sauce and vinegars together.  Slowly drizzle in the oils, whisking constantly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stores well in the fridge, just shake or whisk before serving.

Veggie Egg Anytime Wrap

For the last 2 months, this wrap has become a very popular lunch or supper option when I don’t feel like cooking but still want something quick, easy, and healthy.  It’s super tasty, incredibly flexible, and ready in about 5-10 minutes.

Veggie Egg Anytime Wrap

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 zucchini, diced small

1/4 onion, chopped fine

handful of kale, finely sliced

1/4 red pepper, diced small

2-3 eggs, beaten

1 whole wheat tortilla

1-2 tbsp of herb and garlic cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.   Add onions, red peppers, zucchini, and kale.  Season to taste.  Cook till onions are translucent and other veggies are soft.

2. Pour eggs over top, spread out on the bottom of the pan.  Cover and cook on medium until eggs are set, 3-5 minutes.  While the eggs are cooking, spread the cream cheese on the wrap.  Once the eggs are done, place on top of the wrap, fold and serve.

Variations: 

Use different veggies:  Mushrooms, pre-cooked and shredded potato or sweet potato, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, jalapeno, etc

Seasonings:  Dill, rosemary, basil, cyanne pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic

Sauces/spreads (instead of the cream cheese): Salsa, hummus, bbq sauce, ranch dressing.

Other toppings: Cheese (very good with brie melted on top)

Best Relish Ever

This weekend is full of the fall canning I won’t have time for in a few weeks.  It was originally scheduled for September long weekend and wasn’t supposed to be as busy as it’s ended up.  The list for this weekend was supposed to be Spaghetti Sauce (recipe here), Cabbage Borscht (recipe to come), and Dill Pickles (my grandma’s recipe).  The first hurdle we had to jump was that my mom couldn’t FIND my grandma’s pickle recipe.  The second hurdle, which I’m still jumping, is that my mom bought ingredients to also make Salsa and Relish, both of which we made last year and I don’t need any more of.

Now, the thing you must know before I continue is that I don’t like cucumbers.  I don’t like the smell, I don’t like the texture, I don’t really like anything about them.  This dislike extends to pickles and relish.  The only pickles or relish that I eat are my mom’s homemade pickles and relish.  (My mom did a LOT of canning when I was growing up.)  The relish recipe I’m about to share with you is the only relish I enjoy.  We couldn’t find my grandma’s pickle recipe tho, so we found one that my mom thinks was similar and we’ll see how they turn out.

Relish

1 1/2 dozen large cucumbers

4-6 Onions

1 green pepper

2 red peppers

1/2 cup pickling salt

6 cups water

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1.5 tbsp mustard powder

1 tsp turmeric

2/3 cup pickling vinegar

1. Shred cucumbers, onions, and peppers in a food processor (large shred).  Put in a large bowl and add pickling salt and water.  Let sit for 4 hours.

2. Drain veggies and place in pot.  Add enough pickling vinegar to just cover the veggies.  Add 2 cups of sugar and cook till vegetables are translucent.

3. Make a thin paste of the flour, mustard powder, turmeric and 2/3 cup vinegar.  Add to pot and stir till thickened.

4. Add 3-4 drops of green food colouring (optional, it’s very yellow without it) and put into hot pint jars.  Place new, sterilized seal lid and ring.  It’s safe to let it sit at room temperature unless it doesn’t seal.

Yield – 7-8 pint jars depending on the size of your cucumbers.

Changing tastebuds?

I’m in complete shock that my tastes and preferences have changed already.  I’ve been having a green monster every morning for breakfast before leaving the house for not even a week, in addition to eating mostly vegetarian the rest of the day and I think my tastebuds are changing already. 

Yesterday I had a Cadbury Cream Egg for the first time this year (they’re on sale now and I’m cheap!).  I used to be able to down these things one after another…yesterday it was too sweet and made my mouth and teeth feel really icky.  For my lunch wraps this week the first two days I used some leftover chicken from Saturday’s Easter Dinner chicken and I just didn’t really like the texture much.  I left out the chicken today.  I’ve also been really enjoying fresh tomatoes in my sandwhiches/wraps and traditionally I’ve hated fresh tomatoes.  I can’t wait to see what else is going to change.

This weeks eating

This week I have been very good so far.  I’ve followed my goal of having salad every day for lunch and hopefully can keep it up for the last 2 days of the week.  Over the weekend I went with my parents to Superstore and was lucky enough to get bing cherries on sale, along with a bunch of other fruit.  My lunches have consisted of a big salad, fruit and sometimes yogurt.  I’m trying to just eat fruit for breakfast as well, but it’s rough cause I’m soooo hungry by the time it gets to my first break at work and fruit just doesn’t seem to fill me up. 

Biggest issue right now to eating better, tim hortons right on the walk to work.  Even tho I rarely get coffee and usually just get a tea biscuit or a bagel with cream cheese, I should be saving the $4/day for more important things…the carbs probably don’t help either.

Woo salad!

I haven’t really cooked food all week so far, I’ve been living off of leftovers and easy foods, so when it came to lunch for yesterday all I really had that I could get ready in about 5 minutes was a small bag of salad lettuce and veggies.  I threw together a really nice salad with carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and red peppers.  My favorite dressing is an asian sesame dressing, and it was sooo good. 

And my payback for eating salad was being really gassy the rest of the day, woo!  >.<  So my goal for this week is to get more salad greens this friday and bring salads for lunch all next week.  I need to find another dressing i like…

About Pop/Soda

About 6 months ago I decided to start eating a better and trying to cut out a lot of sugar from my diet.  The first thing to go was pop, iced tea, and any other really sugary drinks.  I’ll be the first to admit that I do still have a coffee (half hot chocolate) from tim hortons at least once a week, but that’s better then what it was.  I’ve mostly been drinking water with crystal light singles (Aspertame is bad I know!!) or tea.  I’ve gotten a lot better about just drinking water at restaurants and water with some lemon is good too.  I was a bad, bad girl today and ordered a dr. pepper with my lunch.  I can’t finish it.  It’s far too sweet and has a funny taste to it, and I’m not liking the burpy-ness that results from the carbonat…ion.  I feel gross and bloated, it’s not much fun.  At least I’ve kicked one bad habit…only about 100 to go, lol. 

Next goal is to cut back on my portion size and try to eat slower.  This includes snacks and meals.  I also need to learn to stop eating when I feel full.  I do need to lose weight, and I haven’t really lost anything but that isn’t exactly the goal…I find if I focus on weight loss as a goal I get very frustrated and start to obsess about it, which doesn’t help.  I also know that I would actually need to start getting off my butt and actually going out and doing stuff.  Adrian and I have both said that if we lived together we wouldnt’ be on the computer nearly as much and would be going out, but that’s not possible right now and I hate doing things beyond going to work by myself.  One of these days I’ll hafta just get over it I guess.