My favourite kind of muffins are carrot; there, I said it. My favourite kind of breakfast pastry includes a vegetable. But, I always end up eating more than one muffin because, well, their just too delicious to stop myself; but that meant I needed to make them a bit better for me if I was going to give into my urge to eat another every time. These babies are my recipe for 100 calorie Carrot-Ginger Muffins; this is my personal favourite recipe I’ve found. They stay the most moist, even if they are stored for a few days and they are even better with a little ricotta cheese on top!
Number of Servings: 12
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 large shredded carrot
1/4 cup skim milk (almond milk works as well!)
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (I also add raisins but they can be left out if you don't like them as much as I do!)
1.Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C).
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder with the butter, using a pastry cutter to break down the butter into fine pieces mixed with the flour.
3. Add sugars, ginger, carrot, milk, beaten egg, vanilla, and spices to the mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or spatula.
4. Add raisins if using them.
5. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool.
As requested from my twitter page (www.twitter.com/missmarilynTO) I decided to share my recipe for my vegan chickpea Bolognese pasta dish! As many of you know, I’m a vegetarian and love finding new ways to sneak in protein, fibre and vitamins into my everyday meals that I loved ‘pre-vegetarianism.’ It’s a very basic recipe but packed full of protein!
(You’ll notice the base of this is a tomato sauce, I make my own at home in HUGE batches but you can use the plainest store bought tomato sauce and it will be almost the same!)
1 package of pasta such as linguine
3 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup of chopped button mushrooms
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic , minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1 – 15 oz can of whole chick peas
-Cook pasta according to the package directions.
-In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes until they soften and become golden in spots. Add the mushrooms and the salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic herbs and cayenne.
-Stir in the tomato paste and sauce.
-Bring to a gentle simmer and then fold in the chickpeas.
Well, there you have it: a totally vegan, totally delicious dinner that's complete within minutes!
From the Provence of France brings you one of my favourite ‘fill you up’ foods, Ratatouille. I prefer my Ratatouille baked in the oven and sliced rather than in the typical chunks, but everyone’s recipe is slightly different. A mouth watering blend of olive oil (my personal favourite oils are La Tourangelle extra virgin olive oil or Merula extra virgin olive oil) and top spices spread across fresh vegetables.
For the sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 diced onion
4 minced garlic cloves
2 bell peppers, diced (I usually use sweet red peppers)
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp basil
For the sliced veggies:
6 Roma tomatoes
2 yellow squash
For the herb seasoning:
2 tbsp basil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp parsley
2 tsp thyme
4 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven for 375˚.
2. Slice the eggplants, Roma tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately the same sized circles.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch oven safe pan (I use a cast iron skillet.) Sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers until soft. Season with salt and pepper, then add crushed tomatoes. Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated. Turn off the heat, then add basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with your spatula.
4. Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns, (e.g. eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the inside of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Mix herb seasoning in a separate bowl and pour over the vegetables.
6. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, uncover, then bake for an additional 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft and herbs should be fragrant.
Another recent place that’s I’ve tried in Figo on Adelaide for brunch; and it really was a great start to a Sunday. Starting off with a warm welcome from the waiter and our coffee quickly arrived, very fresh as we browsed the menu (which that day happened to a price fixed menu that included three courses) which I decided to go with. As a vegetarian there were not many options, but the ones there were sounded tasty.
I started with their housemate granola with greek yogurt, fresh berries and honey. Fairly standard but a fair portion size for an appetizer and a fresh way to start my brunch. Very light, which was nice.
The main I chose was scrambled eggs with grand padano cheese on top of their fresh, housemate toast. The toast was perfectly made; really light and fluffy which is just how I like my toast. That came with a fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette and some sunflower seeds. Finished with wedged potatoes; salted with a touch of garlic. It was a large serving for me but delicious, no other seasoning needing to be added, which is a sign of a good cook!
For dessert, I hijacked my friend’s dessert who was full and I ended up eating two! (Poor me right?) On the top, we have a vanilla panna cotta with fresh berries, mint and jam. On the bottom there is vanilla ice cream topped with cold expresso. Both were to die for really! (But I am yet to find a dessert I really can’t stand)
I am not one to return to restaurants as there’s so many more to try in Toronto, but I will DEFINITELY be visiting Figo again.
As I become more and more excited about my upcoming vacation, it’s been making me want to try different restaurants. Especially French ones.
A few week ago, my date asked if there was anywhere new I’d like to try: there is ALWAYS somewhere new I’d love to go. We decided on Cluny in the distillery district for their award winning pastry chef and seemingly date friendly ambience. When you walk in it is truly beautiful, small patisserie at the front with a bar, when in the actual restaurant there is a wall of beautiful wines and an open seafood kitchen with fresh fish and oysters on display. Right in the middle, there is a long table covered in different types of fresh bread. The ambience was one of the best parts of the meal.
Now, my date is a meat eater so there were many seafood options shown that I got his thoughts on, but lets start with the starter which was a cheese board featuring aged cheddar, blue cheese and a softer brie; served with gooseberries, honey and berry preserves. It was OK, I was not a fan of the crackers that came with it; I would’ve preferred the fresh bread hey displayed for tables already. Moving onto the Oysters and salmon crudo with avocado, lime, parsley and served with some toasted potato. I had to try a bite, I purely couldn’t help myself. And it was incredible, the way the acid really brought of the salmon, the potato giving the bit of crunch thats needed and the avocado being soft enough to almost be a sauce. Really well done and was very impressed; my dining partner said the oysters were extremely fresh and fragrant.
Next we moved onto him having the shrimp and me having french fries with a vegetarian, mushroom gravy. The shrimps I was told were hard to eat due to the exoskeleton but very cold and fresh and served with a lemon aoili; which is a different choice oppose to seafood sauce. My mushroom gravy was great, if there were more it; it was very lightly put on and I found lots of my fries were dry to it. I did appreciate them having a vegetarian poutine on the menu which is something you don't see often.
Now, My favourite part; desert. Which was, to say the least, disappointing. We decided we would share the house chocolate souffle which should be incredible due to the knowledge of the pastry chef here. It was very dry and had not risen properly before coming to our table.
**Overall, it is a good choice perhaps if you are in the mood for seafood where everything is as fresh as possible. Otherwise, I could suggest better French restaurants in Toronto.
I am completely Vegetarian; and no, I’m not going to give a speech about PETA or show a video how bacon is made. I’m a practical and non-judgemental vegetarian; you enjoy your steak and I’m going to be over here devouring my honey glazed carrots and love every bite. But, there are times I miss comfort foods which typically include meat, I recently found my new favourite comfort food made completely meatless. Shepard’s Pie.
Who doesn’t love a good Shepard’s pie really? Soft and chewy, covered in hot mashed potatoes and just full of grace enough for the flavour to explode in your mouth. Absolutely delicious. Below, I will list my personal recipe and steps to make my comfort food that I can curl on with a plate of on my couch, in my sweatpants and watch a good rom-com.
For the Potatoes
• 5-6 white potatoes peeled
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/4 cup butter (I typically add a couple tablespoons extra, naughty, I know!)
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
For the Filling
• 1 package sliced mushrooms
• 2 cups cooked black lentils
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 3 carrots, chopped small
• 3/4 cup vegetable broth (Homemade is always best and can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container)
• 1/2 cup red wine (And pour yourself a glass; cooking is hard work)
• 3 tbsp flour
• 1/4 cup corn (I use canned corn but fresh or frozen works as well)
• 2-3 cloves minced garlic
• 3 tsp tomato paste
• 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
• 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
• 1 tsp sea salt
1 Dice the potatoes into 1/2 pieces. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, between 10 -15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Keep mashing and stirring until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2 Make the filling while potatoes are cooking. Heat a pan on medium high, add the oil. Add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the mushrooms, lentils, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms lose their moisture, approximately 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and toss to coat. Add the tomato paste, broth, wine, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
3 Stir in the corn, then transfer the filling to an 11 by 7 inch baking dish. Use a spatula to spread evenly. Top with mashed potatoes, being sure to create a seal around the edges to prevent the filling from bubbling through. Place the dish on a baking sheet on the centre rack of the oven. Bake until the potatoes begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Let sit for 10-15 before serving; I can never wait and end up burning my tongue.
I love food; whether it be cooking a classic for myself, something I found in a recipe book and am trying for the first time; but, sometimes I’m lazy, and would rather meet with a friend out somewhere high end where ‘tartar’ is definitely on the menu, or a dive bar where I can get a can of my favourite cider for $5 and our whole meal is under $20. I can do it all, that’s how far my love of food spreads.
I decided to start a little ‘blog’ if you will, to show off a bit more of my personality and to get a little deeper into my cooking skills and tastes. There is a warning with this blog, you will get hungry and possibly aroused by the way I speak about my personal favourite treats for my tongue. Go grab a snack, I’ll wait until you get back….ready? Great, let’s start into Chef Marilyn’s kitchen, I’ll spill some of my secret recipes for you and give you insight on where to find me munching down out on the town.