Here is a dip we can really dig into! We hope that you will enjoy this most simple of recipes and try it at your next gathering … it’s sure to be a hit!
Archive for the ‘Sauces, Dips and Marinades’ Category
By: Alison Bigg, Chef – Victoria, BC
Cheese sauce was the first culinary technique my mother taught me. It was my ‘job’ in the kitchen. It made me feel important and a part of the team. I eventually experimented with it by making it with blue cheese and adding Dijon for spark. This same sauce is also yummy on broccoli and in potato soup.
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 2 TBSP chickpea flour
- 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
- 1 TBSP dijon mustard
- 2 minced cloves garlic
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 cups milk or almond milk
- 2 cups grated cheese *
- penne pasta (ancient grains or your favorite gf version)
- One head cauliflower
- Salt and pepper
*for a vegan version, sub out the cheese for 2 extra TBSP of nutritional yeast and 2 TBSP of tahini paste.
- Get a big pot of salted water boiling.
- Heat a deep, wide saucepan to medium high. Heat yeast and flour in dry pan until you can smell it is toasted. Add butter or olive oil, bay leaf, garlic and Dijon. Whisk until smooth.
- Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until smooth. Get hot but not boiling, it will thicken by now.
- Add the grated cheese. Let your child be creative and add any combination of cheeses they might like. (cheddar, goat cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese, are all good choices)
- Meanwhile let your child chop the cauliflower into florettes. Show them first, then let them use a sharp but small knife — trust that they can do it! Blanche the cauliflower in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, don’t overcook. Pull the veg out of the water into a colander and put in the noodles.
- Once noodles are cooked, strain and add to sauce along with cauliflower. Let your child season with salt and pepper by tasting it first. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced medium thick
- 4 medium cloves garlic, pressed or chopped fine
- 1 TBSP organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
- 2 cups small broccoli florets, cut into about 1/2-inch pieces with no stem
- 1 lb cod filet, cut into 1-inch pieces (use thick filets)
- 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 1 TBSP sesame, pumpkin, chia or hemp seeds
- 2 stalks of fresh scallions, chopped
Sweet n’ Sour Sauce:
- 3 TBSP Bragg’s soy sauce, wheat-free tamari or coconut liquid aminos
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup mirin rice wine
- 2 TBSP chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 TBS raw unpasteurized honey
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice onion and mince garlic, and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting properties.
- Mix together all sauce ingredients and simmer in a small saucepan over high heat for about 15 minutes, reducing it to half the volume. Set aside. This will intensify the flavor.
- While sauce is reducing, prepare the rest of ingredients.
- Heat 1 TBSP broth in a stainless steel wok or large skillet. Sautee onion in broth for 1 minute over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add garlic, ginger, and cod and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add broccoli and continue to stir-fry for another minute.
- Add cabbage and continue to stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, stirring when needed.
- Add sweet n’ sour sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with desired seeds and chopped scallions.
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC
Herbage! This might be the first time that I write about an herb as the food of the month, but it likely won‘t be the last. This is your lucky month, because every time I write about herbs I get happy and that means the article reads happy. Herbs are such amazing nutrient boosters and so, so essential for providing health promoting properties and preventing disease.
This summer, for some amazing reason, my basil was shooting up into the sky very early in the summer. Although, for most, NOW is the time for basil; after it’s absorbed so much of the summer sun. As I walk through and past all the gardens in Victoria, I’m noticing more and more basil in September.
So, for those of you who have basil flourishing in your gardens currently and aren’t using it, here’s why you should start today… and for those of you without basil or any other herbs, I strongly recommend you consider planting some for next year and borrow some from your neighbour this year.
1. Basil is used throughout the Mediterranean and Asia in many of our favorite dishes. It compliments both the spicy Asian foods and the rich Italian foods really well. It has a fragrant and full flavour that is very versatile. It’s what makes cooking a simple dinner easy. Just add basil, good quality oil, garlic and you’re rockin’!
2. It provides a very large amount of Vitamin K. What is Vitamin K for, you ask? Well, many qualities come to mind, although most importantly; research shows that in some cases Vitamin K is proven to be even more beneficial than Vitamin D is in cancer prevention. Particularly for protecting our cells from free-radical damage due to chemical exposure, pollution, radiation and poor quality foods among many other things.
3. Basil is also high in Magnesium, a mineral essential in cardiovascular care and maintenance. It’s part of the reason our hearts beat normally, providing oxygenated clean blood into the rest of our systems and producing energy. That’s pretty crucial, is it not?
4. It is also quite high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) which is a powerful antioxidant, therefore adding an extra benefit to basil for cancer protection, more specifically, cellular tissue; the precious protective lining around all of our mighty special cells.
5. Among all of these essential nutrients that basil provides, it also contains an array of spectacular healing benefits. Basil contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Therefore it can help in the event that you’re suffering from any inflammatory conditions, allergies, arthritis, stress disorders and then also bacterial infections, due to parasites, the flu, gut imbalances and skin conditions.
The easiest way to consume basil is by breaking it up with your fingers over a dish after it’s been plated. Not only is this the easiest way, it’s also one of the best ways of preserving all of those powerful and health promoting properties, by not cutting them away into the cutting board.
The next best way, is to make a big jar of pesto, and keep it in the fridge or freezer for adding that quick flavor punch to any meal.
Eaten raw – mixed in with your salad greens, sprinkled on dishes, in a pesto, salad dressing etc. – is the best way of preserving these nutrients and properties that are oh- so-valuable. Another way is by cooking it into dishes in the last 5 minutes. Stir-fry’s, pastas, fish, meat and baked casseroles, vegetables etc.
Here’s my pesto recipe for you to try!
Basic Basil Pesto
- 3-4 cups (packed) fresh basil
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup pine nuts (almonds,walnuts or pumpkin seeds may be substituted)
- 5 cloves garlic (if using to cook or marinade) 3 cloves (if using raw, in a dressing or dip)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor, until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
- For variety, you can add 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½” rounds
- 1cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 TBSP almond butter or tahini
- 1 1/2 TBSP honey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp orange zest finely grated
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- Boil or steam carrot until very tender. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds, toast, stirring or shaking pan frequently, until seeds turn from green to brown and begin to pop.
- Pour seeds into a food processor. Let cool briefly until nearly warm.
- Process seeds into a fine powder.
- Add carrot, almond butter, honey, salt, orange zest and cinnamon to food processor. Process until smooth for about 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl a few times.
Use as a dip, spread or to fill the insides of raw celery sticks…but mostly, ENJOY!
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria,BC
Yields: approx. 2 cups
- 2 cups roughly chopped garlic scapes, buds removed
- ½ cup olive oil + more for desired consistency
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1/3 cup walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds
- ¼ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- ¼ cup fresh basil (optional)
- Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend well, leaving a wee bit of texture. Do not blend to complete puree.
- Garnish with a few thinly sliced scapes or buds.
Serve with your favourite chips, crackers, or veggies, or as a garnish on soup, in wraps, sandwiches or veggies patties.
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC
Figs are an amazingly luscious fruit that grows bountifully across the Mediterranean and California. Although, much to our advantage, there are surprisingly many trees planted in N. America as well. The last place I lived, in Vancouver, had four fig trees between us and our neighbors, and the harvest was overwhelming. We ate, dried, jarred, jammed and shared with plenty of friends, family and birds.
There are over 154 varieties of figs. Many different colors; ranging from light green to dark purple skins and light pink to deep purple flesh. Among the most common varieties are: kalamata, vista, dessert king, negretta, red Lebanese, black mission, flanders and monstreuse.
Figs are known as the fertile fruit. This may have something to do with the resemblance they have to a specific part of men’s privates. Although it is also talked about that they create bio-chemical reactions that support our bodies’ reproductive systems. For women, they help provide a cozy uterine lining and fertile egg production. In men, they help with sperm production, count and efficacy. The fact that figs contain a vast amount of B6, may also have something to do with their use for fertility support. Vitamin B6 is very helpful for balancing the reproductive system, PMS, and other hormonal symptoms/conditions.
They are also very high in fiber and potassium which makes figs a great snack for anyone with cardiovascular issues, problems with constipation or just generally low fiber diets. Research has shown that they’re great support for people with heart conditions, high sodium diets or for preventing post menopausal breast cancer.
For diabetics, the fig leaves have been proven to help rebalance insulin levels. They are anti-oxidant rich, meaning they’ll help restore cellular health and combat free-radical damage with anyone concerned about cancer prevention
My favorite way to eat figs is fresh off the tree. There’s nothing like a big juicy fresh fig that‘s just barely dangling from the branch! If you haven’t previously been a fan or are skeptical about them at all, I suggest first having them on a salad with your favorite balsamic dressing or try my fig jam recipe below. If you jar them you can save them for the winter….what a lovely winter surprise!
Fresh Fig Jam
- 1lb. figs (about 10-12 figs)
- 1 lrg sprig of fresh rosemary (about 6” long)
- ½ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest, from 1 lrg lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 TBSP fresh grated ginger
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ cup raw sugar (or coconut sugar, stevia…)
- 1-2 whole vanilla beans, scraped
- Wash and trim stems from the figs.
- Add all ingredients into a large crock pot and simmer on low-med heat.
- Once sugar has dissolved and figs have released their juices, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Stir periodically.
- Once fully thickened (the syrup should be slowly dripping off your spoon, or sticking to it), remove from heat.
- Spoon jam into glass jam jars and let cool.
- Cover with lids and place in fridge for consumption within 10-14 days OR properly can/preserve them and store for later use.