Canadian Dishes

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Monday, 7 January 2019

Almond Milk for Alexandra

Yield: 6 cups of almond milk

3 cups raw dry almonds
water  to soak - 10+ cups
water to blend - approximately 8+ depending on how thin you want your milk to be
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. honey

Soak almonds in cold water for no less than 24 hours.  I soaked my almonds for about 30 hours.
During this time rinse the almonds once and replace the cold water. Make sure that the almonds are completely covered with water. Store in the fridge if you are soaking longer than overnight.

Strain the water off the soaked almonds.  Scoop the almonds into the blender and add triple the amount of water.  If you are blending 3 cups of almonds use at least 8+ cups of fresh cold water.
Blend well.

Straining the almonds
There are a couple of ways to strain the blended almonds.
Method #1
Stain through a piece of clean cheesecloth.  This is a rather messy method but it does work.  Drape the cheesecloth (fold the cheesecloth in half for a double layer so start with a large piece of cheesecloth) over a large bowl and control the 4 corners so the cheesecloth does not collapse inward while you are pouring.  It is important to keep the pulp away from the milk.
Gather the 4 corners together and gently squeeze the milk out of the cheesecloth...careful not to burst the bag.

Strain milk through a FINE wire mesh strainer. This method is a little less messy but it is important that the wire mesh is very fine so that the pulp does not seep through.

Add vanilla & honey according to your taste and store milk in a clean mason jar in the fridge.  It should last up to 5-6 days in the fridge.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Perfect Pasta Dinner For 2

Yield:  2 servings
This is one of those recipes that you can whip up in a couple of minutes but it is so tasty and simple when one needs comfort food.  My pasta of choice is so delicious and is the brain-child of  InGrain Pastificio a North Vancouver company
who specialize in slow-dried, super traditional pasta.  

2 cups of your favorite pasta ( I am using In- Grain's Durum Sprinners)
2 anchovie fillets
3 tblsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onions
serano peppers - this provides the heat...optional but yummy
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup bell red pepper
1 cup fresh tomato
3/4 cup pasta water
1/4 cup white wine

Cook the pasta in salted water until el dente.
Strain pasta saving 1 cup of the pasta water.  Set cooked pasta aside.

In a sauté pot cook the anchovies in the oil with garlic and onions. Continue on medium heat for 1 minute.
Add peppers, sun dried tomatoes & fresh tomatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Add pasta water and wine and reduce the sauce for a few minutes.
Add cooked pasta to your tomato sauce and stir well. Salt & pepper to taste.
Serve immediately.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Easy Tomato Garlic Sauce

This recipe is so very easy that you can whip up the tomato sauce in 10 minutes and you leave it marinating in the fridge all day.  A real treat for the family and friends.  This is one of Alexandra's favourites and she is coming for dinner today. Thanks again Maggie for this delicious recipe.
 This is also a great way to use up those ripe or overripe tomatoes.


½ cup olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic – diced
5-6 ripe tomatoes - diced
1/2 cup white wine
Heat olive oil to a low simmer.  Add chopped garlic and watch as the oil and garlic starts to bubble slightly...DO NOT COOK at this stage.  Take the pot off the stove and add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and white wine.
Stir well and put a lid on the pot and store in the fridge.  During the day give this mixture a stir and it can sit for hours in the fridge and even over night.

1 hour before dinner time:
Add to tomatoes and garlic and stir in:
1 cup basil – fresh, diced chiffonade[i]
Chili flakes – optional ½ tsp.
Salt & pepper
2 lemons - juiced
2 cups washed arugula 

Put your pot back on the stove.  Turn on and watch at this point, just warm the sauce through...this takes seconds. Do this by brining the tomatoes up to the boil and then immediately turn off and remove from heat.
Stir again and add basil and arugula allow to marinate again with the greens mixed in.
Serve over pasta of choice.

[i] Chiffonade is a knife technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and basil) are cut into long, thin strips. This is generally accomplished by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then cutting across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife, producing fine ribbons

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Almond Milk Pumpkin Pies

It is pumpkin pie time again and this year I have added a little twist. Two of my kids are dairy sensitive so almond milk it is.  Yummy!

Almond Milk Pumpkin Filling:

yield:  filling for 2  X 10 in. pie shells

1 can pure pumpkin (796ml or 28 oz.) 
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups almond milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
½  tsp. salt

Heat almond milk until hot but not boiled.
In a large bowl or with a stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar until well blended. You can easily do this by hand....a mixer is not necessary.

Add pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling from the can) from the can, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add hot milk to the pumpkin & spice combination. Stir or whisk until combined.
Pour into unbaked pastry pie shells (recipe above) just up to the fluted edges (don’t
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake pie on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 40 minutes until the filling is baked and set. Usually the filling when set has a slight convex appearance to it.
Serve hot or cold.  Refrigerate unused pie after cooled to preserve the freshness.

Pastry for Pumpkin Pies

Ingredients :  full recipe  (can be cut in half if it is too much pastry at one time)

1 Lb. vegetable shortening - cold
5 Cups all- purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Brown sugar

3 Tbsp. Vinegar  (white or apple cider - whichever you have in the cupboard at the time will do)
1 Egg 
Cold water (approx. 3/4 cup)

You will need a total of 1 1/4 cups of fluid so here is how we make up the fluid. Add one egg to a 2 cup measure. Beat with a fork. Add vinegar and whisk again. Then add the very cold water  and bring the combined fluid up to 1 1/4 cups.  You may not need all this liquid, but sometimes you do depending on the moisture content of the flour and shortening.

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Whisk together to remove the lumps.
Add shortening to the flour mixture and cut up shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter (see photo to the right).

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥ I now realize after making pastry for so many years that the flakiness of your pastry is directly correlated with how well your shortening is cut into the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter helps with this process. The shortening should disappear into small chunks while keeping the flour powdery.

Prepare liquid and add 90% of the liquid to the flour mixture. Combine the liquid until it is incorporated and the pastry starts to come together into a ball. Do not over mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Continue to mix with your clean hands and if it is too dry add the rest of the liquid.
Roll dough up into a disc and wrap in parchment paper and then in a clean plastic bag and store in cooler until needed.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip Making this pastry ahead is a great time saver. It keeps well for over a week in the fridge as long as it is wrapped well. After making pies. Freeze the leftover 
pastry for use later.
Foodsafe Tip: to ensure your leftover pies are safe to eat the next day, always refrigerate pies after dinner. Any harmful bacteria will be minimized by properly cooling and storing of your pies.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for 'Deez Balls' - Gluten & Egg free

A summers night at the ball park with the kids is a perfect way to spend a Friday night.  Here's to all
the slowpitch teams on the North Shore.  I baked up a batch of these cookies for the game and 'Deez Balls' loved them.  FYI... look out teams...'Deez Balls' added a new pitcher...way to go Will!

This can be prepared by hand or with a mixer.  Start out with really soft butter and it is easier for you if mixing by hand.

Yield:  80 small cookies

1/2  lb. Butter (1 cup)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar 
2 cup gluten free flour 
2 tbsp.  egg substitute ('enjoy life' brand)
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 cup  large oat flakes (not instant) 
1 cup coconut flakes
1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder
1  tsp. Salt
2 1/2 cup of chocolate chips - today i have used these 'enjoy life' chips which are dairy and nut free 

In a mixer or by hand cream room temperature butter and sugars together.
Add the egg substitute and vanilla and continue to mix.
  1. Add all the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or mixer until it forms cookie dough
  2. Add chocolate chips of choice.
  3. Scoop to bake or roll in parchment paper to freeze for later use.
  4. Bake cookies at 350° for 20 minutes 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Easy soup for Marty's pre soccer game meal

Homemade soup for Marty. (please click here to go to my video of this recipe)
My friend Marty is coming for dinner and her favourite pre-game meal is homemade soup.  She has a soccer game later tonite so a big meal wouldn't be a good idea... soup is a perfect option.
Here is another tasty and quick recipe that could be a crowd pleaser for you too.  Enjoy!

1/3 cup avocado oil
1/2 large onion (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper (yellow, red or orange)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery

2 chicken breast - on the bone will work or use boneless skinless if that is available. Cut up chicken into small chunks (the size is up to you)

2 cups tomatoes (optional)

2 cups approx. vegetables of choice - I used leftover vegetables that I had used for a stir fry the night before (please click here to go to the recipe for the best stir fry ever and to see what vegetables I used)
10 cups water or broth  - vegetable or chicken (I often use 'better than boullion' which is a concentrate that is always handy to have on hand in the fridge if you don't have home made broth or store bought).
cilantro - for garnish if available

Prep all vegetables by rinsing well and dicing.  I used my mandoline for the onions, bell pepper, and cabbage.  It makes the prep go so much easier.

Remove the chicken from the bone, save the bones as I toss them into my soup while it is cooking for added flavour. Remove the bones before serving.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥  It is much easier to cut up chicken that is semi thawed. Remove your chicken from the freezer and allow it to thaw enough that you are able to safely remove the meat from the bone. It is not AS slippery when in the thawing stage.

Sauté onions, pepper, garlic and celery. Add diced chicken. Sauté again.
Add tomatoes, leftover vegetables.  Stir again.
Add broth and the chicken bones if desired. Stir
Bring up to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Marty thought this soup was delicious and it was so easy to prepare for her. Also, lots of leftovers for tomorrows lunch or kids if they drop by.
I hope you enjoy.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥  I make soup sometimes when I have a fridge full of old vegetables that need to be used up and are not fresh enough for a salad or stir fry. Most vegetables can be used in the recipe above and will only enhance the flavour. EXCEPTION: parsnips. Adding parsnips will change the taste completely so use caution when adding it.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Easy Stir Fry thanks to Lorna from Gibsons

Easy Stir Fry (please click here to go to my YouTube channel)
This is an adaptation of Lorna's dinner she served in Gibsons this weekend.  It was so delicious that I had to share it with you.

4 tbsp. avocado oil
1/2  large onion
1 cup each of cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini
1 1/2 cups red cabbage
4 (or more) skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt to taste

Cut up the chicken into thin strips. Add 4 tbsp. soya sauce and 1/4 cup of marinade of choice to a bowl. For this recipe I use a delicious tomato based marinade shown below called 'Aji Medium Hot'. Add cut up chicken a marinade for a minimum of 1/2 hour.

Vegetable Prep

I used my mandolin to thinly slice the onions, cabbage and zucchini. If you do not have a mandolin simply slice up the above vegetables into thin slices. Rinse all vegetables well before you slice.

Rinse cilantro well and slice up into smaller stems.

In a frying pan add the avocado oil to a hot pan.
Add onions to sauté first. Add remaining vegetables and sauté to allow the oil to coat all the vegetables and so the vegetables are partially cooked.
Pour hot vegetables into a bowl.
Add chicken & marinade to the hot frying pan and sauté until cooked.
Add hot vegetables back into the hot pan & add chicken stock as well.
Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Serve hot.