Dinner

Dinner

 

A Christmas Dinner would not be complete without the cranberry sauce, but I don't love all the added sugar and gelatin you find in the store bought canned versions.  My daughter and I make cranberry sauce every year over the holiday and often times the recipe will vary with what we might add to it like apples, oranges, pineapple, cinnamon, ginger or cloves.  

 

Not So Sweet Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients
2 bags of fresh cranberries (they are usually 12 ounce bags)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup stevia to taste
2 tsp cinnamon
tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
Juice and zest of one orange

Directions
Put cranberries and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
Reduce to a simmer and pour the juice and zest over the cranberry mixture, add in the maple syrup and stevia to taste.
Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. Add a little more maple syrup if needed.

I made this chili with a vegetarian cooking class a few years back and it was a huge hit! You could also use quinoa in place of the bulgar.

Thai Chili

A delicious combination of vegetarian chilli and red curry with a hint of coconut.

Ingredients:
1 ½ tsp red curry paste
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup uncooked bulgur or pot barley
½ medium sweet potato
1 large green bell pepper chopped
3 cups cooked kidney beans
½ cup light coconut milk
2 cups tomato puree
2 scallions chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste

One: In a pot add curry paste, cumin and a bit of broth. Mash mixture and stir until paste is no longer in lumps. Add remaining broth, bulgur, potato and bell pepper.
Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

Two: add beans, coconut milk, and tomato puree to pot and stir. Cook, uncovered for 7 minutes until bulgur is tender and chilli is thick. Stir in scallions and black pepper to taste.

A stir fry is a quick and healthy dinner you can make any night of the week with any combination of vegetables and/or meat you prefer.  My daughter has braces, so eating veggies that have been cooked are easier for her to chew.  A stir fry will leave a little crunch left in your veggies so the nutritional content is higher.  Be sure to fully cook your meat first however.
 
Cauliflower pieces
Broccoli pieces including the stem
Celery, sliced
Carrots, sliced
Zucchini, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Tomatoes, quartered
Peppers, sliced in strips
Onions, sliced
Edible-podded peas (optional)
Chicken breasts, steamed
 
The quantity of each ingredient depends on the number of people to be served.  A heavy cast iron frying pan or a wok should be used.  Sautè in butter or coconut oil. using medium heat, any combination or all of the listed vegetables.  Begin by cooking the vegetables that take longer to tenderize (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli).  After a few minutes, add the rest of vegetables, except the tomatoes.  Turn heat to simmer, cover pan or wok, and cook until all vegetables are barely tender.  Add tomatoes and cook about 1 minute longer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add prepared chicken and serve piping hot.
 
Preparation of meat:  Stem chicken until tender.  Remove skin and bones.  Cut in large chunks.  Brown in a separate pan in butter.  Set aside until you are ready to combine with vegetables.
 
½ cup split peas
1 small onion
Coconut oil for frying 
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
1 medium diced carrot 
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (about ¼ of a medium squash) 
1 teaspoon grated ginger 
400 ML or 13.5 Fl Oz Coconut Milk 
½ cup lentils 
2 cups broccoli tops 
1 dash cardamom 
1 dash cumin 
½ teaspoon turmeric 
½ teaspoon paprika
 
Note: Cardamom, turmeric, cumin and paprika together make a mild curry if you don't have those spices just use a powdered curry to taste instead or add powdered curry to the spice mix for a stronger curry flavour. If you want it really spicy, add cayenne.
Boil split peas until tender. Dice carrots, butternut squash and broccoli.
Sauté onions until light brown. Add carrots and butternut squash. Add Sesame oil. Add grated ginger.
Stir in coconut milk. Put heat to medium, stirring constantly.
Add drained tender split peas. Add broccoli tops and lentils. Add spices. Simmer on low heat for at least one hour stirring occasionally. Serve hot. 
(Reprinted with permission from Northshore Naturopathic Clinic) www.eatingalive.com
 
½ cup (125 ml) quinoa
¼ cup (50 ml) filtered water 
¼ cup (50 ml) finely chopped onion (about ½ small) 
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed 
1½ cups (375 ml) cooked back beans, or a 14 Oz (398 ml) can, rinsed and well-drained 
½ cup (125 ml) oats or whole-grain bread crumbs 
3 tablespoons (45 ml) minced fresh cilantro 
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili powder 
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin 
½ teaspoon (2 ml) unprocessed sea salt 
coconut oil
 
Wash the quinoa by putting it in a fine-meshed sieve and setting the sieve over a large bowl full of filtered water. Rub it gently between your hands, rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear and then drain it well. 
 
Put the quinoa, ¼ cup of water, onion and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. 
 
Allow to cool before combining with the rest of the ingredients. 
In a large bowl, mash the beans really well. Add the oats or bread crumbs, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, sea salt and cooled quinoa mixture. Mix thoroughly and adjust seasonings if desired. Form into 4 burgers, about ¼-inch thick.
 
Place burgers on a plate and put into the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm them up a bit. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add 2 burgers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Repeat for the other 2 burgers. Serve with a mixture of mild salsa and plain yogurt or light sour cream. Makes 4 servings.