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Cooking By Numbers


6 High-Protein Foods You Should Know About

December 3rd, 2008

04:21 pm - Apple Butternut Squash Soup
Delicious, low-fat, lower in sodium, and keeps well in the fridge - in fact, if you cook this up and let it sit for a day or two, the flavours combine even more, giving a delicate, smooth flavour.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup


* 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

* 1 small onion, thinly sliced

* 2lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

* 3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

* 1/2 cup unsweetened apple cider

* salt and freshly-ground pepper

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about five minutes. Add squash, cover and cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add broth, salt and pepper and simmer until softened, about 15-20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer solid ingredients to a blender with apple cider and purée until smooth. Add 1 1/3rd cups of the cooking liquid and purée until smooth. Stir back into the pan, and serve hot.

Makes 6 (1 1/2 cup) servings.
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04:02 pm - Cranberry-cherry sauce for Thanksgiving (or anytime, really)
This sauce is delicious, made sweeter by the addition of cherries. It's simple, and tastes way better than the stuff you buy in a can.

Cranberry-Cherry Sauce


  • 2 1/2 cups cranberry juice

  • 1 cup golden brown sugar, packed

  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1 6oz package dried cherries

  • 1 12oz bag cranberries

Bring the juice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Add cherries and cook for about two minutes, then add the allspice, cinnamon stick and cranberries and cook until all the berries have popped (you can help them along with the back of a wooden spoon).

Serve cold or at room temperature, remembering to remove the cinnamon stick before doing so :)
Current Mood: calmcalm

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September 18th, 2008

09:37 am - Root veggie stew-type thing
I was inspired after seeing a recipe in the local free paper, and though I'd intended on more or less following the recipe (roasting the veggies first, then putting it all in the oven for half an hour), this is what happened instead:

1lb new potatoes
2 huge carrots
4 small-medium parsnips
2 gigantic zucchini
3 small turnips
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
Onion powder
Spices as desired

Cut all the veggies into large hunks and dump them in a pot (it will have to be a LARGE pot). Cover with water, set to boil. After they've cooked a while and some of the water has boiled off, add broth- I added about half a box of low sodium beef broth, but any kind will do. Add garlic and onion powder, and anything else you like (my sister and I like our food bland, so this is actually all I put in). Put it on the lowest setting and leave it to do its thing overnight.

I woke up this morning to some pretty awesome food.

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March 23rd, 2008

08:51 pm - Homemade pita bread
I got this via niira, so credit to her for this. I plan on tweaking and playing with this a bit, adding herbs and/or garlic, for instance, but it's ridiculously easy, not to mention cheap, and difficult to screw up. I'll never have stale pita bread for my hummus ever again!

2 cups flour (or you can do what I did and use 1 cup of white and 1 of whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce fresh yeast (about a teaspoon of the dried stuff)
2/3 cups lukewarm water (you may need a little more to get the dough to bind)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Mix flour and salt together. Mix yeast with water until dissolved, stir in olive oil. Beat the flour into the yeast mixture to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a large bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled.

Divide dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll each ball of dough into an oval about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches long. Place on floured dish towel and cover, let rise at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (and hope your cats don't decide to walk all over them like mine did).

Preheat oven to 450F and heat baking sheets in oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until puffed up, they do not need to brown. It's important to get the oven *and* baking sheets up to temperature so the pita will puff up, however.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

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March 10th, 2008

01:00 am - cookie recipe
I have a couple of favorite cookie recipes, but they almost all require crisco, which i have been unable to locate. anyone have a favorite they want to share?

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December 23rd, 2007

10:25 am - Texan Chili
Texan Chili

1 package ground beef, or aibiki(mixed beef and pork), or soy fake meat
1/2-1 onion, chopped
1 small can corn, or regular sized can hominy, drained
1-3 carrots
1 can kidney or black beans, drained or not
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
LOTS of chili powder
a little habanero powder (optional)

1. slowly heat ground beef (or substitute) with onion until mostly cooked. [if you use fake soy meat, just sauté the onion in some oil instead).

2. add the rest of the vegetables, and a few teaspoonfuls of chili powder, and cook until carrots and onions are soft.

3. add more chili and habanero powder to taste, and eat.

best served with yogurt or sour cream.

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November 16th, 2007

01:10 am - chickpea and barley vegetable stew
Either an entree, or a side dish, depending on the size of the serving. A two-cup serving for dinner kept me full all night.

Made this last night, and made enough for several meals for one, so it's a good thing to make one day of the week, and put the rest of in the fridge when you want a quick reheat later.

This is one of those open-and-dump recipes, so except for the premeasured cans of things, and the barley (which I had to measure, to make sure it came out all right in proportion to the liquid, and actually cooked), all amounts are aproximate.

I used frozen veggies. But if you feel better going with fresh, do so.

Put into a two quart pot:
  • 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes, and the same amount of water

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas (aka Garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed

  • Aproximately 1 cup each:
    • sliced carrots

    • sliced bell peppers

    • Cut leaf spinach

  • About one tablespoon of your favorite salt-free Italian seasoning blend

  • Garlic powder (to taste)

  • Cayenne powder (to taste)

Bring to a rapid boil, and add:
  • 3/4 cup Pearl barley

Stir it in, cover the pot tightly, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook without stirring 45 minutes, or until the barley has absorbed nearly all the liquid, and is tender to the tooth (basically, cook the barley just the way you'd cook brown rice).

Notes: A tablespoon or two of tomato paste would not have gone awry, if I'd had it to add, nor would some diced onion.

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October 21st, 2007

09:28 am - Spinach spaghetti sauce (vegan)
I think this will be one of my favourite ways to get a serving of veggies when I'm being lazy about cooking. It's not all from scratch unless you want it to be. I'm writing it down as I made it, but feel free to add or subtract the other veggies.

1 jar of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (2-3 cups)
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 medium cooking onion, diced
2 t. minced garlic (fresh or from a jar)
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
Basil and oregano to taste (necessary if starting from plain tomatoes)
Olive oil

Brown the garlic, mushrooms and onion in 1-2 T. of olive oil. If you're using any other veggies, add them now. Add the tomatoes/sauce and herbs, and stir everything together. Add the spinach, break up any remaining frozen chunks, and put a lid on it with the heat turned down low. Let it simmer until the pasta is ready.

The consistency of this stuff is very thick, mostly spinach and less tomato, or at least it was when I used 3/4 of a jar of leftover prepared sauce as the tomato base.

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May 31st, 2007

08:46 am - Dinner nachos (vegetarian)
This is more of an idea than a recipe, maybe. I am going to make a point of getting low-fat tortilla chips (baked instead of fried, maybe?) the next time I do it. But seriously, nachos can be a balanced meal if you top them properly. ;)

This is a hearty meal for two, or a snack/appetizer for four.

Vegetarian bean topping: cook 1/2 cup of rice. After it's cooked, mix it with 1 can of beans (approx. 1 1/2 cups soaked and precooked beans) that have been rinsed well, and 1 can (1 cup) corn kernels. Sprinkle 1-2 t. ground cumin over it and mix well. This should be a crumbly mixture that sticks together a little bit because of the rice starch.

Hot topping: slice and remove seeds from two jalapeno peppers. Dice one small cooking onion and one clove of garlic. Sautee over low heat in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil, until the onions start to brown.

Cooking: On a baking tray with a lip (such as a deep pizza pan), arrange tortilla chips so that they cover the tray with no gaps. A double layer of chips is fine. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of grated cheese evenly over the chips. Cover that with the bean topping, the hot topping, and optional black olive slices. Sprinkle another 1/3 cup of grated cheese over the top of that. Put it in the oven and broil or bake until the cheese is gooey.

Cold toppings: after baking you can add any of the following, sprinkled and/or dolloped on top -- diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, green onions or chives, sour cream (or yogurt or cottage cheese), salsa, avocado, or whatever other fresh things you like on your nachos.

Serve on the baking tray with a fork and ample napkin for every participant.

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April 10th, 2007

12:22 am - Balsamic Vinaigrette
Trying to cut back on your sugar intake, and annoyed with all those brands that claim to be really good but always contain high fructose corn syrup? Here's a sugar-free, very simple vinaigrette you can do that won't cost you a bundle.


1 clove garlic
1 cup olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Mince garlic. Put into a small bowl with the mustard and vinegar. Mix quickly, add salt and pepper, and add the olive oil slowly, whisking it to create a smooth, creamy texture. Bottle.

Voila, you're done! This yields almost a full bottle's worth. This will keep well at room temperature or in the fridge. Shake before using.

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