whole wheat oatmeal chip cookies

I guess you could say I'm on a bit a bit of a 'whole wheat' kick lately, ha ha (whole wheat cranberry muffins here).  I've always loved subbing in some extra goodness when I'm baking.  I love oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips - there's nothing wrong with raisins, but chocolate is just better, right?  Add in a bit of whole wheat flour and you can feel good about packing along a few of these treats in your lunch bag.  

*In the recipe below I used 1/3 cup of old fashioned rolled oats and 1/3 cup of quick oats.  I like the combo because it gives a nice texture to the cookies.  The large flake oats give nice texture and make the cookies really feel 'oatmealish' and the quick oats keep it a bit softer, while still giving great flavour.  If you don't have one or the other, you can use 2/3 cup of whatever you have on hand.    

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats*
  • 1/3 cup quick oats*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 F with the oven rack in the middle position and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the coconut oil with the brown and white sugar.  When they are well combined, add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy.  

In another bowl mix the flour, oat (s), baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.  

Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips to the bowl of the stand mixer and combine on low speed.  Don't overmix.  

Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out cookies onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.  Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookies look lightly browned around the edges.  

 

Recipe adapted from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

chicken mushroom spaghetti & a giveaway!

Did you see my last post about Catelli's new ancient grains pasta?  I was given a few boxes to take home with me, so I tried some out as soon as I could.  Yep, still delicious.  

I decided to make a chicken and mushroom spaghetti inspired by a dish my mom used to cook when I was a kid.  She used to use cream of mushroom soup with either chicken or pork chops and serve it with noodles or rice.  Straight up comfort food for me :)

Keep scrolling down past the recipe to find a Catelli pasta giveaway!

Chicken Mushroom Spaghetti

  • 1/2 box Catelli Ancient Grains Spaghetti
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2 cups shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 cups white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Put on a large pot of generously salted water.  While it's coming up to a boil, start preparing the chicken and mushrooms.  

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper.  Sear the chicken breasts for 5 minutes each side, so they get a good golden colour.  After the chicken is seared remove it from the pan.  Don't worry if they're not cooked all the way through yet - they go back in the pan later.  

Get the pasta cooking, then start on the mushrooms.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic and thyme.  Saute for a few minutes, then deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and continue cooking until the mushrooms are softened.  Add in the cream cheese and stir until it melts into the mushrooms.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Put the chicken breasts back in the pan, cover and turn the heat to low and continue cooking for 5 minutes.  

Drain the pasta - reserving a bit of the cooking water in case the sauce is too thick.  Toss the spaghetti with the mushroom sauce immediately, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.  

This recipe is Hannah approved

Win a year's supply of Catelli pasta!  

Here's what you need to do:  Post a comment on this post telling me what your favourite pasta dish is, then enter the contest through Rafflecopter.  The contest closes on April 11, 2015. 

Post update (April 12):  The contest is now closed.  Thank so much to all who participated, I loved reading through your favourite pasta dishes!  The winner was Sandra M.  - I hope you enjoy lots and lots of delicious pasta Sandra!

catelli ancient grains pasta & chef lynn crawford

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a cooking event hosted by Catelli & Chef Lynn Crawford.  The event was to introduce Catelli's new line: Healthy Harvest Ancient Grains.  The pasta contains 100% Canadian whole wheat, quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet.  Have you tried all of these grains before?  I hadn't!  

Chef Crawford told us that she was excited to pair up with Catelli because it's what she uses at home and in her Toronto restaurant, Ruby Watchco.  I'd loooove to visit her restaurant sometime.  

Chef Crawford was great!  She was hilariously funny, easy going and totally approachable.  Hanging out with her for the evening was like stepping into an episode of 'Pitchin' In'.  She brought a few of the participants up the front to help her cook and plate.  She had my friend Megan (check out her blog here) make pesto in the amount of time it took to cook the pasta al dente and there was an impromptu 'Chopped Canada' plating challenge for a fellow blogger.  

Shaking the salad dressing to the tune of taylor swift (complete with dance moves)

Chef Crawford prepared pasta for us in several ways.  First we enjoyed a duo of rotini with marinara sauce and spaghetti with basil pesto.  Sooo good!  I finished every last bite, which shows that healthy eating doesn't have to be boring - Catelli's Ancient Grains pasta tastes great and delivers a ton of nutritional benefits.  In fact, I liked the taste and texture better than regular whole wheat pasta.  This Ancient Grains pasta will be my new go-to choice for delicious and healthy dinners (or lunches... or any other time I need some pasta!)

After Chef Crawford's cooking demo we moved into smaller groups to try our hands at preparing 'Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing' using Ancient Grains Spaghettini.  It had a ton of fresh, crunchy vegetables and the noodles held up really well to the zippy dressing.  I'll definitely be making this one again - in fact I'm already imagining enjoying this tasty salad by the bowlful for summer evening dinners on the patio.   

Chilled Noodle Salad with Ginger Wasabi Dressing

  • 1 pkg Catelli Ancient Grains Spaghettini
  • 2 cups snowpeas, blanced in hot water, then thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 cup shelled edamame beans
  • 1 cup red pepper, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 small long english cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups napa cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • wasabi to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds

Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.  Rinse with cold water and drain well.  Toss with a few tbsp of canola oil and set aside.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare all the vegetables.  Add the rice vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, lemon zest & juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger and wasabi into a jar with a lid (or something similar).  Shake everything together until mixed well.  (According to Chef Crawford shaking is better than mixing, especially if you're dancing at the same time).  Toss the salad dressing with all of the prepared vegetables.  Put into a large serving bowl and top with avocado slices, cilantro leaves and black sesame seeds.  

The event was held at Get Cooking.  Their kitchen is beautiful!  All of the staff were so friendly and helpful.  Get Cooking prepared several appetizers for us and everything was super tasty.  I loved the chickpea pancake with kale on top and the beet macaron with hummus filling.  This was the first time I had heard of Get Cooking, but I'd love to go back and take one of their cooking classes some time.  

I had a wonderful evening cooking, laughing and meeting fellow bloggers.  Big, big thank yous to the following: Catelli, Chef Lynn Crawford, Gail Bergman PR and Get Cooking.  

quick korean beef with cauliflower rice

Weeknight dinners around here are all about quick and healthy.  This recipe gets a big 'CHECK and CHECK' on those criteria!  It seriously only takes about 20 minutes to get this on the table (which is awesome when Hannah is hangry when we get home from work/daycare).  All three of us love it...  I could probably eat this once a week.  

I love the flavours in this dish - it's tastes kind of like Korean BBQ beef - but quick and homemade.  You pretty much can't go wrong with sesame oil, in my opinion.  Plus, if you haven't tried cauliflower rice yet you absolutely should.  You will eat like 1/2 head of cauliflower before you even know it.  Because I'm addicted to this recipe I haven't tried cauliflower rice with anything else, but I think it would probably make an amazing cold salad this summer too.  Give it a shot - I think you'll like it too. 

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Roughly chop the cauliflower, removing the leaves and thickest part of the stalk from the center.  Put about 1/3 of the cauliflower at a time in the food processor and pulse until it's broken up with the majority of larger pieces gone.  Transfer that batch to a bowl, then repeat with the next 1/3 and the repeat one more time.  Trust me, you want to do it in batches, otherwise your cauliflower will end up getting too finely mashed as you try to get it all - and pureed cauliflower is definitely not the goal here.  

To cook the cauliflower preheat the olive oil in a large skillet, the add in the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and stir it around.  Cover with a lid for about 3 minutes, so it can steam for a bit, then uncover and stir around every few minutes.  I like it to get a tiny bit browned on a few pieces, so I usually start the cauliflower cooking at the same time as the beef.  

Quick Korean Beef

  • 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions
  • sesame seeds

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.  Add the beef and garlic and scramble-fry until cooked through.  While the meat is cooking, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.  Once the meat is cooked drain off excess fat (or moisture) then add the sauce mixture to the pan.  Bring everything up to a simmer and allow it to cook for a few more minutes to bring the flavours together.  

Serve immediately over the cauliflower rice.  Top with a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds.  

This recipe makes enough to feed the two (and a half) of us for dinner plus leftovers for lunches.  

Beautiful late day sun streaming in through the window

Beef recipe adapted from Lizzy Writes, cauliflower rice recipe adapted from The Kitchn

whole wheat cranberry orange muffins

I wanted to whip up a batch of healthy muffins that we could take for breakfasts-on-the-go this week.  There were a few lovely navel oranges hanging out on the counter, and I had picked up a fresh bag of whole wheat flour from Provisions yesterday - so I wanted to make something that would use both of those.  Cranberry was an obvious choice, so I set out looking for a recipe.  I ended up cobbling together my recipe from a few online sources I found.   My muffins turned out a bit too sweet for my taste, so I've decreased the sugar in the recipe below.  

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups cranberries, roughly chopped (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners.  (This recipe makes 12 muffins)

Combine all ingredients, except cranberries, in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix just until everything comes together, then stir in the cranberries.  Bake for about 20 minutes - until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and they look lightly browned around the edges.