Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simple Applesauce

I bought a big 20 lb. bag of McIntosh apples at the local grocery store for less than five bucks.  Hard and crisp; just the way I love them.  Aside from daily snacks I also used some to make this simple applesauce.  So easy and so much more flavourful than the jar stuff from the store.

I love to eat applesauce "as is" but you can also use it in baking to replace some of the fat and boost the fibre.  It goes well in smoothies and is especially nice in a smoothie with pumpkin and warm spices.  Other good ideas are to serve it with pancakes or potato latkes, ice cream or yogurt.  

Click on this link for a printable recipe.
Makes 9 x 1/2 cup - 125 ml servings (4 1/2 cups or liters)

2.2 lb apples, raw with skin, cored and sliced - 1 kg
2 Tbsp cold water - 30 ml (yes, it doesn't seem like enough but it is)
2 Tbsp brown sugar - 30 ml - I used organic demerara
1/2 tsp cinnamon ground - 2.5 ml

1.  Cut each apple into four going around core.  To do this stand the apples stem up.  Cut one vertical slice as close to the core as you can.  Turn and repeat 3 times.  Discard core.  You don't need to the peel add fibre and additional nutrients located just under the skin.  Place apples in 12-cup (3 L) pan.

2.  Top with water, sugar and cinnamon.  You can also use honey or maple syrup for a more natural sweetener.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until apples are starting to fall apart - about 15 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and leave to cool. You can leave it chunky "as is" or mash or purée until smooth.    It is a matter of preference.   Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days.  It freezes well but if you take that approach it is best mashed or pureed.

Nutrients per ½ cup (115 grams): 70 calories, 0 g fat and saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium.  % Daily Values are 2% calcium, iron and Vitamin A and 8% vitamin C.

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

This is one of my favourite winter salad dressings. I keep frozen cranberries on hand and it whips up fast in the blender. The ingredients are simple and also rely on a good olive oil and local honey. I have seem my daughter mop up this tasty vinaigrette with her bread! It is good over all types of greens and also in a winter salad with shredded cabbage and grated beets. Top with your favourite nuts for extra fibre and healthy fats.

Vinaigrettes are versatile and you can us them as marinades as well as salad dressings. This is a good marinade for chicken and mild, white fleshed fish.

I like to encourage people to make their own salad dressings.  It is fun to be creative and you end up with better quality and reduced fat, sugar and salt. This concoction is additive and sodium free! Traditional vinaigrettes are 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Play with this…. I mostly use 1 part oil to 1 part vinegar. Another good combination is 1 part oil: 1 part vinegar and 1 part wine, stock, juice or water.  

Also, remember not to overdress your salad - ¼ to 1/3 c (50-75 ml) of vinaigrette should dress 8 cups (2 liters) of salad greens.

Click this link for a printable recipe.
1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen - 125 ml
1/2 cup red wine vinegar - 125 ml
1/2 cup olive oil - 125 ml - I used an extra virgin cold pressed
1/2 cup honey, local - 125 ml
1/4 tsp cumin seeds - 1.25 ml
2 Tbsp poppy seeds, whole - 30 ml

Simply combine all ingredients, except poppy seeds, in a container like a glass jar with a lid.  Cover tightly and shake until blended. For a more stable emulsion and a creamier texture, blend in blender one minute. A food processor, traditional blender and immersion (stick) blender also work well.

Stir in poppy seeds. Store any unused portions in the fridge.  Below I am using poppyseeds I saved from my summer garden.

Nutrition Facts (per 2 Tbsp – 30 ml): 60 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 mg sodium, 0 g fibre, 5 g sugar, 0 g protein.  % Daily Values are all 0 for calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C as the serving size is small.

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Fruity and Nutty Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

This is one of my most popular quinoa salads. It is a great dish for pot lucks and get togethers.  I also like it packed on the bottom of clear containers, pint or quart size canning jars and topped with your choice of salad greens and vegetables for grab and go salads and lunches.  When you are ready to eat simply dump on a plate and the grain salad with the dressing will fall over the greens.  The salad jars keep in the fridge for at least three days.

Click here for a Printable recipe 
Makes 6 x 1 cup (250 ml) servings


1 cup dry quinoa - 250 ml
2 cup water - 250 ml
½ cup almonds - 125 ml
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ cup dried apricots, sliced - 125 ml
¼ cup sunflower seeds -60 ml
¼ cup dried cranberries - 60 ml
¼ cup raisins - 125 ml
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped - 30 ml
¼ cup maple syrup - 60 ml
¼ cup balsamic vinegar - 60 ml
2 Tbsp olive oil - 30 ml
2 Tbsp water - 30 ml
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard - 15 ml


1. Combine the quinoa and 2 cups (500 mL) of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add almonds, diced apple, slivers of dried apricots, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins and chopped mint; toss to combine. 

3. In a jar, combine maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, oil and water. Seal and shake until well blended.

4. Pour in vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh mint. Serve warm or cold.

Note: You can store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; shake well before use. Makes I cup (250 ml) dressing  and is so good on many things!

Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup or 150 g quinoa salad without the green salad): 260 calories, 9 g fat, 55 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 15 g sugar. % Daily Values are 20% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 6% calcium and 20% iron.

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Grilled Trout and Feta Eggy Pie

This is a baked, crustless quiche-type dish excellent for brunch, lunch or supper.  I made this version with leftover grilled trout but it is also very good made with canned red salmon, leftover grilled salmon or smoked salmon.  It is built in layers with the eggs poured over and topped with grated cheese. Feel free to use bits and pieces of cheese from your fridge that need using up.  This is a flexible recipe.

The photos don't do it justice.  My phone isn't always the best camera.

I doubled the ingredients to make two 9 inch (23 cm) size pie pans.

Click here for a printable recipe.

4 eggs, medium - I used organic
1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream - 80 ml
1/4 tsp sea salt - 1.25 ml
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper - 2.5 ml
1/2 tsp paprika - 2.5 ml
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg - 0.8 ml
1 cup onion, diced - 250 ml
1/2 of a sweet red pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded kale - 375 ml
1 Tbsp olive oil - 15 ml
1 1/2 cup grilled rainbow trout, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces/chunks - 375 ml
1/2 tomato, large, cut into wedges
1/4 cup dill, fresh, chopped - 60 ml - sub a teaspoon dried
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled - 125 ml - I used sheep feta
1 1/2 cup white cheese grated - 375 ml - I used organic mozzarella
1/4 cup marjoram leaves, fresh - 60 ml - to scatter over (optional)
sprinkle of paprika


1.  Crack eggs and beat with yogurt (or sour cream).  Whisk in sea salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika and ground nutmeg.  Set aside.

2.  Dice onion and red pepper and set aside.  Slice kale into ribbons.  If the stems are tough you can remove them.  Below is the end of my garden kale.

3.  Heat olive oil in cast iron pan over medium high heat.  Saute onions and red pepper until tender.  Stir the fresh (or dried) dill into the mixture.

4.  Grease large pie pan.  Sprinkle sauteed vegetables over bottom followed by the fresh kale.

5.  Cut grilled trout into strips and scatter over sauteed vegetables.

6.  Cut tomato into thin wedges.  Chop fresh dill.  Lay crumbled feta, tomato and dill over the sauteed vegetables and fish.  You can create a pin wheel pattern in the centre with the tomato.

7.  Pour beaten eggs over top.

Sprinkle over grated cheese. Scatter fresh marjoram leaves over top. Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until eggs are set and top is lightly browned. You don't need to cover these pies while they bake.

End of the garden fresh marjoram.

The baked creation.  It was delicious.

Nutrition Facts (for 1/6th of one pie): 270 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 165 mg cholesterol, 430 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 4 g sugar, 23 g protein. %Daily Values are 60% vitamin A, 70% vitamin C, 35% calcium and 10% iron.

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cranberry Honey Sauce

Looking for a twist on the more traditional cranberry sauce?  This spiced up version is delicious served with the usual roast turkey or chicken or even roast pork.  It is also makes an awesome spread served as an appetizer with cheese and crackers and a quick dessert sauce over good quality ice cream or cheese cake. The recipe features honey and red wine instead of the usual white sugar and water and is kicked up a notch with walnuts, cayenne pepper, fresh ginger and anise seed.

Click on this link for a printable recipe.
3 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen - 750 ml
1 cup red wine - 250 ml
1/4 cup red wine vinegar - 60 ml
3/4 cup honey - 175 ml
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped - 60 ml
1/4 tsp cayenne - 1.25 ml
1 tbsp ginger raw - 5 ml
1/4 tsp anise seed - 1.25 ml

1.  Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir well and reduce heat and simmer until the skins on the cranberries start to split and pop which releases pectin and helps the sauce thicken.  It will thicken more as it cools.  In the picture below I have added a few Red Zinger tea bags and used a local cinnamon flavoured honey for extra flavour.  I have many versions of this recipe.  Make it once and you'll come up with your own modifications.  Great with a chopped fresh orange etc.

2.  Fill a sterlized 250 ml/1 cup jar with the sauce and seal.  Allow it to cool and once the lid "pops" it is sealed.  Pour remainder into a serving bowl.  Serve warm or cold.  The extra jar should be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 months.  If you want longer shelf life and not store it in the fridge you should process the jar in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Potato & Kale Pie

This is a re-work of my mom's scalloped potatoes.  Depression food.  I changed the name to get my now adult children to eat it even though they knew it was a version of the scalloped potatoes I was raised on.  "Something about the word scalloped" my daughter said.  I think it is incredibly good.

I make it often switching up various fresh herbs and vegetables layered with the potatoes.  The thinly sliced layers of onion, herbs etc are sprinkled with salt, pepper, flour and a bit of butter and then scalded milk is poured over.  It bakes up thickened without the need to make a white sauce or used canned cream soup.  Leftover chopped ham is also a popular addition between the layers.

This is an "about" recipe. The measurements aren't exact. You just make the number of pies/pans you want. The leftovers re-heat so well it shouldn't be a problem getting people to eat it up later.

Per 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate

2 medium large potatoes, washed, but peel on, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
a few cups of kale, chopped.  Remove the stem if it is tough
1 small zucchini or patty pan squash, rutabaga or turnip, sliced same thickness of the potatoes
I medium onion, sliced thin
potato flour between layers, about a 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) per layer - use any flour - I use gluten free potato or brown rice flour
sprinkle of salt and pepper and a bit of butter between the layers
minced herbs between the layers - I like sage and thyme leaves but use what you have on hand
1+ clove garlic, minced also spread between the layers
2 cups scalded milk to pour over - 500 ml
Top with grated cheese like old cheddar.

1.  Butter, oil or spray two 9 inch pie plates (2 inch deep).  I use butter as it is traditional for old school scalloped potatoes.
2.  Slice potatoes, kale, turnip/rutabaga and onion.  Peel on for potatoes and the onion gets cut into rings.  Make potato and rutabaga slices similar size pieces so they have similar cooking times.

3.  Put the milk in a saucepan and heat over medium high heat to scald which is just before boiling.  Whisk along the way.  Don't boil the milk as it can clump.
4.  Mince fresh herbs and set aside.
5.  Grate or slice cheese and set aside.
6.  To assemble place layer of potatoes over bottom of pan.  Sprinkle with some of the onions, chopped kale and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, minced herbs and the flour.  Dot with layer with a bit of butter.

7.  Add layer of rutabaga and repeat step 6.

8.  Sprinkle cheese over top and bake at 300'F for 45-60 minutes or until sauce is thickened and cheese is lightly browned.  Believe it or not I couldn't find the grater so the cheese got sliced.  Dig around the fridge and use the odds and sods of cheese that need to be used up.

Option:  Ham is a nice addition between layers. 

Yours in good taste,
© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc