Tag Archives: vegetarian

Make Your Own Baked Tortilla Chips

As I am working at adjusting to this new way of eating, there are certain foods I crave more than others.  Nachos is one of them.  Crispy tortilla chips, topped with spicy beans, salsa, veggies, laden with cheese and baked in the oven until it becomes a hot, melty mess.  Yum.

But nacho chips are not on my list of acceptable foods at the moment.  (and please, let’s not even talk about cheese, ok?)

So imagine my excitement when I learned I could make my own, healthier, baked version of this favourite food!  (Insert dance of joy!)

This is so easy to do, and unlike some “healthier” substitutes, it does not taste like a poor version of the real thing, but has the same great corn crunch as the orginal.

Ready to see how easy this is?

Baked Tortilla Chips

First, you need corn tortillas.  If you are lucky, you can buy these at your local supermarket.  If you are even luckier, you can buy sprouted corn tortillas at your supermarket or health food store, which are even better for you.  Not being able to find either, I, of course, learned how to make my own.  (This is also ridiculously simple – I promise I’ll share the recipe later, but if you can’t wait to make your own I found the recipe on my bag of Maseca – the flour the tortillas are made from)

Heat your oven to 375.  Use a pizza cutter to cut your tortillas into quarters.

Toss with olive oil and herbs or spices of your choice. (I used chipotle chili, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt.)

Lay out the tortillas in a single layer on a baking pan.

Bake for about ten minutes, or until crispy.  (Thicker tortillas may take longer.)

Done!  Cover with your favourite nacho toppings and enjoy!

That bright orange processed-looking cheese is actually a sauce made from cashews and roasted red peppers and it is delicious.  You can find the recipe here (this was my inspiration for baked tortilla chips, too!)

Any other nacho fans out there?  What are your favourite toppings?

 

More Yummy Pinterest Recipes

As we are coming to the end of my Pinterest experiment I found I still had a lot of random photos of recipes I have tried, but that do not necessarily lump together well as I have done in other Pinterest posts.  So, in no particular order, here is some more Pinterest recipe love:

Skillet Lasagna

Considering how labour intensive lasagna making can be, this was quite easy.  I used cottage cheese instead of the Ricotta, and regular cheeses instead of the skim versions, but other than that made the recipe as written. It cooked quickly enough to be a week-might meal, and will definitely grace our dinner table again!

Pinned Here              Blogged Here

Taco Seasoning

The taco seasoning we used to buy at the grocery store was full of ingredients I could not pronounce (always a sign that something isn’t quite “real” food.)  So when it comes to seasoning meat or tofu for our favourite Mexican meals, I always make my own seasoning.  But having lost the recipe I was using (I am sure I put it somewhere “safe”) I quickly turned to Pinterest for a new one.  I liked this mix and will use it again!

Pinned Here            Blogged Here

Sourdough Burger Buns

I have been wanting to make my own burger buns for a while.  And I am always looking for uses for my sourdough starter.  In comes this recipe.  I actually have made this one twice.  The first time the buns were absolutely perfect. The second time they were a little crumbly.  But both times they tasted good – even Hubby ate them!

Pinned Here             Blogged Here

Raspberry Oatmeal Smoothie

I have become an oatmeal smoothie convert.  And the raspberry flavour is wonderful in this version.  I made mine with almond milk in place of the coconut water.  And I’ve been making variations on this recipe ever since….

Pinned Here            Blogged Here

Pineapple Coconut Popsicles

This was a bit of a vague recipe (how large a can of coconut or pineapple chunks?) but I just kind of threw things together and poured them in popsicle molds (and the leftover mix I put into a smoothie – yum!).  Both Hubby and I have been enjoying them on the hot sunny days we have been having.

Pinned Here             Blogged Here (scroll down to find the recipe for the popsicles)

Grain Free Brownies

Although I do not eat chocolate, Hubby does and loves it.  So a while back I started testing out some healthier versions for him.  This was the winner.  The base is black beans, but with all of the chocolaty goodness in there, you would never know. They are definitely better the second day (otherwise Hubby says they taste a bit “eggy”) and Hubby prefers them cold from the fridge.

Pinned Here             Blogged Here

That’s it!  I am going to reorganize my pin boards so that the recipes I have tried have their own boards, which will hopefully make them easier to find.  And then I will know what I still have yet to try…..

For the next three weeks, in the interest of improving my health,  I am going to be eating meat-free, dairy-free and wheat-free.  Anyone know of some great vegan and wheat-less recipes I should try?

 

“Pinterest”ing Sauces and Beverages

I am having so much fun working my way through my Pinterest boards.  The only problem is, just when I think I’ve made it through a whole bunch of them, I pin more!

Today I am going to share with you some of the sauces and drinks I have been experimenting with lately.  And this time – not one pin to remove from my pin boards!  That’s right, every single sauce and drink recipe I have tried so far is a keeper!  Go to love it when that happens! :)

Strawberry Lemonade

Sweetened with Stevia, this is a healthy, sugar-free drink for a hot summer day.  Both hubby and I loved it.  It was a little on the sour side after following the recipe (my frozen berries are a little bitter) but an extra bit of Stevia solved the problem.  I will be making this all summer long!

Pinned Here       Blogged Here

Sore Throat Tea

I often make a honey and lemon “tea” to soothe a sore throat, but had never thought to add cinnamon, ginger and mint.  I actually didn’t have any cinnamon on hand, but even the addition of the fresh ginger and a handful of mint from the garden added a little extra dimension to this already soothing drink.

Pinned Here      Blogged Here

Awesome Sauce

OK…that’s not its real name.  But hubby and I renamed it as its given name includes a word we try not to use in daily conversation.  Whatever you call it, it’s good.  There are two versions, the original and a chipotle.  I am partial to the heat and smokiness of the chipotle, hubby prefers the original.  Either is beautiful over a bowl of rice and veggies, or as a topping for a quinoa burger.

Original Pinned Here      Original Blogged Here          Chipotle Pinned Here      Chipotle Blogged Here

Peanut Sauce 

Many of you already know that my beloved hubby is not a big fan of vegetables.  I am discovering, though, that if I can find the right sauce, it makes a lot of the veggies I love to eat more palatable to him.  This thick, nutty, and slightly spicy peanut sauce had him eating rice, kale and green beans and loving it!  I would say it is a winner!    I found it took quite a bit more water than the recipe stated, and it was still a little thick, but I know I will be making this again and again.

Pinned Here      Blogged Here

Catalina Dressing

We enjoy a good taco salad around here.  And our recipe calls for Catalina dressing.  So when I saw this recipe for Catalina dressing, created by someone trying to please her husband’s fondness for a traditional taco salad, I knew I wanted to give it a try.  The photos I took were fuzzy, but the dressing (and salad) were a hit!

Pinned Here      Blogged Here

 

What have you been cooking (or pinning) lately?


Pinteresting Recipes – Main Meals

So it seems cooking through my Pinterest boards has extended into another month.  I’m ok with that.  There are so many great ideas filling up my boards (and I already have such a backlog of recipes to share with you!)

Once again, I have included links both to the pin itself, and to the site, so those of you who are not on Pinterest can check out the recipes too.

Quinoa Burgers

Pinned here.  Blogged here.

These were really good.  Mild tasting enough that even hubby enjoyed them on a burger bun with all of the fixings (as a side note, the burger buns were a pinterest recipe too, I’ll share those soon!)  I still have some stored in the freezer and they heart up well in the oven, too.

Baked Onion Rings

Pinned here.  Blogged here.

Onion rings are one of my guilty pleasures.  I don’t eat at fast food joints very often, but when I do, I want to eat at a place with onion rings.  Yum.  So I was quite excited to try out this baked version I could make at home.  The end result was good, crunchy, and full of onion flavour.  But they definitely tasted, um, healthier.  Which means I can enjoy them more often.  But I have to admit, I think I will still crave that greasy deep-fried taste.

Hail Caesar Salad

Pinned here.  Blogged here.

This is a recipe from the TV program “Eat, Shrink, and be Merry”  and it was darn good!  I grilled the chicken on the BBQ and it was beautiful, moist, and full of lemon flavour.  (My first attempt at BBQ chicken was a charred disaster so I was really proud of myself for this one!)  The caesar salad dressing was to die for.  Creamy and garlicky and so good.  Except that I used a really large garlic clove, which was a little too much for hubby.  And yes, we were still tasting garlic the next morning.  So next time I will cut back on the garlic a wee bit (but not too much!)  I also used homemade croutons (recipe to follow) instead of the store-bought they suggested.

Homemade Croutons

Pinned here.  Blogged here.

Making your own croutons is really easy.  And you don’t really need a recipe.  But sometimes I like guidelines (and then I feel free to do my own thing anyway!)  I liked the garlic herb combination on these.  But I did find mine took a lot less time to cook than the recipe stated (10 – 15 minutes, instead of the stated 20 – 30 minutes.)

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Pinned here.  Blogged here.

I really enjoyed this unique dish.  It certainly had that unique quinoa flavour, but the cheesiness and crisp breadcrumbs on top were a nice addition.  Hubby enjoyed this one hot out of the oven, but did not appreciate it reheated in his lunch box the next day.  I liked it both the night of and as leftovers, so I would definitely make it again.  I halved the recipe for our small family and it worked out beautifully in and 8 x 8 pan.

Recipes I tried and am removing from my pin board:

Healthy Egg Salad      Pinned here.

I love egg salad.  And I am used to substituting yogurt for a large number of creamy things.  But this recipe just didn’t work for me.  Maybe it was the mustard flavour, and maybe just the tangy yogurt itself, but it was missing that traditional creamy egg-salad taste.

Other main meals on my pin board I have tried and loved:

Onion Gratin, peanut noodles, Best Ever Pea Soup, Spinach and Feta Filo Pie

Have you found any great recipes on Pinterest lately?  Feel free to leave links!

Pinteresting Breakfast Recipes

This month I have decided to work my way through some of the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.  I am a great collector of recipes, and wanted to actually try some of these out before my boards got too big.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so seemed like a good place to start!  For each recipe I include a link to the original source (in case you aren’t on Pinterest) and the pin.

Overnight Oats

I absolutely love this recipe.  It was incredibly simple to put together, and it was so wonderful to wake up in the morning and have a hearty breakfast all ready to go.  I was a little worried that the oatmeal would be a strange texture but I needn’t have worried – smooth and creamy would be the best way to describe it!  I had mine with banana and a spoonful of mixed fruit jam – so good!  I did find it made enough for two, but it was just as good for breakfast the second day.  The second batch I mixed with coconut milk and pineapple, also very yummy.   Found here and pinned here.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

I love smoothies but I would never have thought to put oatmeal in one.  I halved the recipe so it would just serve one, and true to its promise I really did keep me filling full.  Rather than cook up oatmeal, I just soaked the oats in the yogurt overnight, like I did for the overnight oats.  I also added a little almond milk when I blended it to thin things out.  I will definitely be making this again!  Found here and pinned here.

Quinoa For Breakfast

I wasn’t sure I would like this one but was presently surprised.  I used quinoa I had left over from another meal, mixed it with almond milk, fresh pineapple and coconut.  Found here and pinned here.

Recipes I won’t make again

Pineapple Ginger Smoothie

Not all recipes are worth keeping, and this was one of them.  It certainly didn’t live up to its beautiful picture on Pinterest, and although I loved the ginger flavour, the pineapple flavour really didn’t come through, leaving it a little bland.  I love the idea of ginger in a smoothie and will definitely try that on my own.  Pinned here.  

More Yummy Breakfast Ideas from this Pin Board

A few of the recipes on this board I had already tried.

Sourdough Pancakes – truly the best sourdough pancake recipe I have tried!  Found here and pinned here.

Cheesy Potato Cakes  - with a little minced onion thrown in I think these are perfect.  Found here and pinned here.

Zucchini Waffles – like zucchini bread, only in a waffle.  Found here and pinned here.

Enjoy!  If you know of any other “pinteresting” breakfast recipes, feel free to link to them in the comments! :)

Fruit Snacks and Nut Snacks – Healthier Snack Foods

It seems to be all about food here at Artisan in the Woods this week.  I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and under motivated lately – does this ever happen to you?  But we do have to eat, so things are still happening in the kitchen! Here are two more favourites inspired by recipes in The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.

We’ve been munching on these for the last week and they are the perfect snack (and we’ve even had them for dessert!)  Hubby likes nut snacks best, I’m more partial to the fruit, but they are both good.

Both call for cereal.  I almost never buy cereal but happened to have just bought one for hubby that he ended up not liking.  It was one of those cereals that is a mix of flakes and other assorted pieces of all shapes and sizes and it worked well, so I think just about any cereal would work.  Next time I might sub in some nuts and/or seeds or more dried fruit instead.  Hubby has also asked for me to make a batch of nut snacks with chocolate chips.  Not quite as healthy, but I am sure they would be good!

Fruit Snacks

Adapted from “Fruit and Cereal Bits” from The Food Matters Cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruits  (include some soft fruits like dates, figs, or prunes)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Water or juice, as needed
  • 1 cup cereal
  • shredded, unsweetened coconut (or cocoa)

Puree fruit, oil, and honey in food processor, adding water if necessary.    Fold in cereal.  Roll into balls and then roll in coconut.  Store in the fridge.

 

Nut Snacks

Adapted from “Crispy Rice Treats” from The Food Matters Cookbook

  • 2 cups cereal
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
  • 1 tbsp spice (optional)  curry, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, etc.
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Combine.  Use wet hands to form into balls.  Roll in coconut.  Refrigerate.

What healthy snacks do you enjoy?

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

With one more week in my month-long exploration of The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman, I thought I would join in on The Food Matters Project again.

This week the recipe was Whole Wheat Bread.  Similar to the Pizza Dough, the recipe was of the mix it and leave it variety (no kneading!) 

I must say that I do love the ease of making this type of bread.  (Especially when I remember after I have already gotten into bed and am almost asleep that I wanted to throw this together so I could bake it the next morning!) 

And even though the end result was a little hardier than my usual takes-all-day-and-knead-by-hand-for-twenty-minutes loaf, it is also very soft and moist.  Both hubby and I enjoyed this topped with butter or jam, and even a few days later I am still enjoying it, even without the toppings. 

You will find the original recipe, plus another recipe for baguette which I have yet to try, here.  I am surprised no one else has mentioned this (although I do admit that although I read all of the comments I didn’t visit all of the other blogs) but I found the bread to be overly salty.  Next time I will definitely use one teaspoon instead of two.  I also forgot to put parchment paper in the bottom of my glass loaf pan, and despite greasing and drizzling with 2 tablespoons of oil as the recipe recommends,  the loaf was completely stuck when it came out of the oven.  I’m afraid the bottom of my bread got a little mutilated as I tried to pry it from the pan. (and there was a moment I was afraid I was going to have to scoop it out of there with a spoon!)  I don’t think I’ll forget again.

You can also check out all of the other reviews and variations here.  There are lots of creative cooks out there!  I will definitely be trying out some of the creative variations soon.  I am tempted to buy the cookbook just to keep playing along!  It has been fun to explore the same recipe with so many others.

Enjoy!

Potato Leek Gratin (You won’t believe it’s dairy free!)

I’m continuing to cook my way through The Food Matters Cookbook and discovering lots of great new recipes!  This one caught my eye as I love both potatoes and leeks, but I was a little sceptical of a gratin that had absolutely no milk ingredients, other than the butter in the breadcrumbs (which is easily replaced if you are dairy sensitive.)

The author promised that the dairy would not be missed.  My hubby, who is starting to get used to the fact that I am now trying new recipes almost all the time, will insist that I take pictures before we eat, and am always looking for feedback, immediately said  ”I love this cheezy potato stuff!”  Well Mark Bittman, you were right.  The cream was not missed and the veggies so tender that somehow it tasted like there MUST be something else in there with them.  Another to add to our family cookbook.

It’s a rarity around here, but this is a recipe I did not alter in any way, and don’t plan to.  It’s that good.

Potato-Leek Gratin with Buttery Bread Crumbs  from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced
  • 1 pound leeks, trimmed, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or several pinches dried
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (throw a slice or two of bread in a food processor or blender)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted (substitute with an oil of your choice for a dairy-free version)

Set oven to 375.  Lay potatoes and leeks in a 9 x 13 pan and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the veggies are very tender.  Top with bread crumbs and put in 425 oven, uncovered, for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until veggies and topping are nice and brown.

Enjoy!

Only one more week (and several recipes to go!) until I post my review.  This was a big book to take on, but not as daunting as it first seemed, as you’ll find out on review day.

Have you tried any great new recipes lately?

The Best Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Ever! (and it’s easy, too!)

Those of you who have been around the blog for a while will know how much I love my Friday Night Pizza. The recipe has been a staple in our house for several years, and I almost always have a ball of it in the freezer, ready for a quick dinner any night of the week.  It is a recipe that I rave about and often share with others.

So you can imagine that it pains me a little to say this…..but I found a better recipe.

Last night I made the “No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough” from The Food Matters Cookbook (although I made mine all whole wheat because that’s just who I am.)

The recipe is so easy.  Basically you combine all of the ingredients in the morning, leave them for the day, and you have a beautiful pizza dough by supper time.  And no rolling or stretching either – i just pushed the dough with my fingers until it fit my pizza stone.  It only took about 12 minutes to cook, and was the softest, most beautiful whole wheat pizza crust I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Last night I topped it with homemade pesto (frozen in the fall after harvesting the basil from the garden), caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella.

Hubby called it the best pizza I have ever made.  He also declared it restaurant worthy!

As this was the pick for the Food Matters Project this week, you will find the original recipe here, and links to all kinds of variations here.

The only changes I made to the dough was to use whole white flour instead of the all-purpose, and I used traditional yeast, dissolved in a little warm water, instead of the instant.

I’m so sorry Friday Night Pizza, but it looks like there is a new crust in town!

 

Curried Rice with Apples and Coconut

I have been having a great time looking at recipes in The Food Matters Cookbook.  I unfortunately have not been spending as much time cooking as I have reading! (Do you ever have those weeks?)  But I do have one amazingly delicious recipe to share.  This is a baked rice, cooked in coconut milk, seasoned with fragrant spices, and with the addition of juicy pieces of apple.  This is the first time I have ever baked rice, as opposed to cooking it on the stove, and I must admit I was a little sceptical. (Especially since the coconut milk I used was a little thicker than the brand I usually buy…)  But I need not have worried.  The rice was beautifully cooked, fragrant, and delicious.  I know I have found a good rice dish when hubby isn’t tempted to smother it in some type of sauce. And this was a winner!  There were even exclamations of “This is amazing!” a the table.   It will definitely be added to the list of recipes I make again and again.  (and I can’t wait to try more recipes from the book!)

Baked Curried Rice with Apples and Coconut

From the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • salt and pepper
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used what we had frozen from our summer garden)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, optional (I did not add any to my rice)
You will need an oven proof pot with a lid to make this recipe.  Turn your oven on and set to 350 degrees.  Heat the oil in the pot and stir in the curry and ginger, stirring for a minute or so.  Add in the rice and salt and pepper, and stir that until everything is nice and fragrant and shiny.
Add in 1 3/4 cup coconut milk.  Bring to a boil, cover and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, toast the coconut in a dry skillet until lightly brown.  (Do not walk away while you do this or, like me, you will end up having to do it twice!) :)
Take your rice out of the oven and stir in  the coconut, apples, and cilantro.  Pop the lid back on and let it sit for about ten minutes.
Serve with yogurt, if desired.
Enjoy!
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