Monday, 23 October 2017

Sweet Potato Crusted Potato Knish


Mashed potatoes is a total comfort food, and also a staple dish at many holiday meals. A knish upgrades everyone's favorite side dish into its sophisticated cousin by stuffing it into a crusty outside. 

Go outside the expected, and welcome Autumn, by swapping the original flaky dough with my colourful antioxidant-rich sweet potato crust.

It's pretty, the colours contrast wonderfully when sliced, and man, this tastes great!



This recipe does take a bit of time to make (there's making the dough, and the filling, plus assembling it), but it's always super popular, so I only make it for Fall special occasions! 

Assembling mashed potatoes on dough

Microwaving the sweet potato instead of boiling it can cut down on some time. Depending on the size of your potato, it can be ready in 4 minutes to 16 minutes. Peel it after microwaving, and it's so much easier - the peel just slips off! 


Raw knishes before egg wash
Save the water used for boiling the other potatoes, and use it to make super smooth and creamy mashed potatoes




Sweet Potato Crusted Potato Knish

Ingredients:

Dough:
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
Filling:
  • 1/2 bunch leeks chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 5 small potatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • egg- optional for glaze

Instructions

  1. Microwave or boil sweet potato until completely soft
  2. Peel and mash sweet potato until smooth
  3. Combine all dough ingredients and set aside
  4. Boil potatoes- save this water
  5. Sautee chopped leeks and onion
  6. Mash potatoes well and combine all ingredients
  7. Add in reserved potato water to reach the smooth consistency of mashed potato you prefer

    To assemble:
  8. Preheat oven to 350° F
  9. Divide dough in 2 equal portions, plus about 1/8th to use for decoration
  10. Roll dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle
  11. Spread filling in the centre of the dough, and fold dough over, so sides overlap
  12. Place seam-side down on baking tray
  13. Repeat with second half of dough
  14. Form a crisscross pattern using assigned dough
  15. Brush with egg wash
  16. Bake for , remove from oven to cool.



What occasion will you make this for?





Thursday, 19 October 2017

What's for Lunch?



Lunch is one of your most important meals of the day (breakfast and supper being the others 😉). Packing a lunch is one of the best things you can do for sticking to your eating and budgetary goals, but it can be tricky coming up with lunch ideas day after day. I have some of my go-to ideas, and today I'll share one of my faves, plus some ways to switch it up.

A balanced lunch needs grains, protein and vegetables to keep you going strong throughout your day. Grains provide your brain with fuel, and making it a whole grain allows for slower digestion, both keeping you full for longer and preventing a sugar spike and crash. Protein also slows digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer, and vegetables provide important nutrients and health benefits.



  1. Chose a grain. Bulgur, rice, quinoa, wheat berries and barley are all great options; pick your favorite, or get adventurous and try a new one. (I've been wanting to try sorghum for a while now, but haven't been able to find it yet.)
  2. Grab your eggs: I recommend 2 eggs per person (this is a meat & alternatives serving on Canada's Food Guide, and more filling than just 1 egg)
  3. Season and choose your veggie add-ins; we'll get to those soon!

Instructions:
  • Add grain and water to a pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer until all the water is absorbed (amounts of grain, water and time vary, so check here to find ideal cooking times)
  • When most of water is absorbed, add in your raw scrambled eggs and combine with grains until fully cooked
  • Add in your spices: salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne... whatever gets your taste buds sizzling
  • Here's where you can get creative: the veggies! You've got 2 options: 1) Add them into the mixture 2) Top it off. (of course if you want to do both of them, you won't hear me complaining!) 
Wheat Berries + Eggs + Chunky Salsa

Some add-in ideas:
    • a couple tablespoons chunky salsa (adjust your seasonings depending on spice level here)
    • 1/2 can sliced yellow or green beans
    • fridge veggies reaching their prime
    • canned mushrooms
    • frozen green-beans (add before the eggs so the water is boiled out) 
Brown rice + frozen green beans

When going the topping route, you seriously can't go wrong: take any veggie you like, raw/roasted/sauteed etc. and top 'er up. Make it pretty if you want (I'm a proponent of 'pretty food tastes better'), and enjoy your high fibre, high protein, nutritious, filling lunch!!



Bulgar + 2 eggs Topped with 1/2 an avocado and 1 cob corn

Want more lunch ideas? Comment below and let me know :) 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Fig & Oat Squares


Figs, to me, are a special occasion fruit. Traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana, it's a fruit I look forward to each year. (Figs are in season June to September). The tang of the skin, the sweet and creamy flesh combined with those crunchy seeds is a sensation like no other fruit! 

Figs are a good source of fibre, potassium, vitamin B6, copper, manganeese and pantothenic acid, and have many health benefits associated with eating them. 



With some extra figs this year, I decided to create these oat squares to kinda-sorta-not-really-at-all mimic those fave cookies; Fig Newtons.

The  fig jam filling is naturally sweet and tart (plus that great crunch!), and you may want to make extra for straight eating, because it is that good. 






Fig & Oat Bars

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. On stove top, bring figs, water and lemon juice to a boil, and allow to simmer until mixture starts to thicken, about 5-10 minutes
  2. Allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes
  3. Process mixture until smooth
  4. Set aside in fridge
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F
  6. Line 8-inch pan with parchment paper
  7. Whisk together oats, flour, sugar and salt
  8. Add in oil and eggs and mix until combined
  9. Wet hands, and press half the mixture into the pan
  10. Spread fig mixture on top
  11. Crumple pieces of remaining dough on top as crumbs
  12. Bake for , remove from oven to cool.
Yield: 12 squares.