RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Something’s Fishy

Lately, this is what our days have been looking like:

Wake up, eat breakfast.

Do blog stuff.

Run.

Shower at our Grandma’s house.

Go to work.

Come home, eat.

Crash.

With some other eating in there, somewhere, too. We feel bad though, because lately our day hasn’t been leaving us much opportunity to make dinner for our family. What they’ve been eating the last few days…. not really sure! It had been a few days since we had made dinner for the guys (dad+brothers) so we were bound and determined to make them something.

What’s quick, doesn’t require fore-thought (aka setting in the fridge the night before) and is bursting with nutrition?

Fish!

Our fish was frozen Haddock, to be precise.  Fish is often something we turn to when we’re in a pinch because it thaws really quickly in the microwave, or even just in hot water. Haddock is a white fish that is pretty flaky when cooked and has a mild yet delicious flavour.  It is low in saturated fat, an excellent source of protein, and is chock full of B vitamins (B6, B12, Niacin)  and some minerals (Magnesium, Selenium, Phosphorous, specifically). (source.)

We opted to go the fish cake route.

Apologies for the not-so-pretty pictures of these guys, we were in a rush to get out the door and didn’t have time to set up a good photo-op!

Our family loves fish cakes, especially our brother Brendan. They’re one of his favourites, he’s told us before! To be perfectly honest, though, we really didn’t think these were going to be all that great. Obviously we new they’d be yummy, but blog worthy? Hmmmm… not. But boy were we wrong! These turned out to be absolutely delicious! So flavourful, not dry, soft and tender with a crispy exterior. Basically everything you’d want in a fish cake! We baked ours simply because we could prepare the salad that we were going to bring to work to put our cakes on top of while they were baking, but we’re pretty confident that these guys would be excellent in the frying pan as well.

Happy eating! 🙂

Crispy Fish Cakes

Prep time: 10-15min

Cooke time: 30-40min

Makes: 14

Ingredients:

2 400g packages of frozen Haddock fillets (other white fish will work)

1 c. crushed corn flakes

1 egg

1/2 c. finely diced red onion

2/3 c. diced Red Pepper

1 tsp Rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp garlic salt

pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. (unless using a frying pan!)

Thaw fish completely.  In a bowl, combine fish with all other ingredients until evenly mixed.  Form into 14 patties and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-40min, flipping every 10min, until fish cakes are brown and slightly crispy on the edges.

For the frying pan method, heat some oil on a non-stick pan and brown fish cakes on each side until golden.

Serve on top of a salad, rice, in a pita or tortilla, on a bun…. the possibilities are endless! 🙂

twosaucysisters

Advertisements

Waste not, Want not

Remember the other day when we made sweet potato gnocchi?

As delicious as this recipe was, it did have one flaw.  It didn’t use the skins on the sweet potatoes! But you didn’t actually think we would just throw away sweet potato skins, did you?  Of course not!  That would be ridiculous.

It is in the skin where most of the fibre is found, as well as a whole bunch of beta-carotene (source), so to just simply throw them out would be such a waste!

No, we could not do that, so instead we made these:

They don’t look like much, but boy were they delicious!  What are they, you ask?  Black bean and quacamole-stuffed sweet potato skins!  They were spicy, creamy, slightly sweet, and very messy.  Seriously, don’t make these for a lunch date when you’re trying to impress someone.  It won’t go over well.

This is also a very easy and quick recipe.  We don’t really have exact measurements, so you can feel free to added however much or little of an ingredient as you like, according to your preferences.

We just ask that you never, under any circumstances, throw out your sweet potato skins ever again!

Black Bean Guacamole-Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

Sweet potato skins

Black beans

diced red bell pepper

Avocado

Salsa

Directions:

in a bowl, mix the black beans, avocado and salsa together.  Spoon filling onto sweet potato skins and fold the skins over like a jacket.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and broil for 5 minutes.  Add other toppings such as yogurt, hot sauce, etc. as desired.

~Twosaucysisters

What do you do with your leftovers?

Not an Egg Salad Sandwich

The other day, both of us decided that we REALLY wanted an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Unfortunately, making egg salad requires boiling the eggs, waiting for them to cool, taking off the shells… too much time and hassle than we were willing to go through. But we still had this craving that needed to be conquered!

Solution?

Tofu Egg Salad!

We had half a block of pressed tofu in the fridge, so we thought, why not?

The key to making tofu taste like egg salad is putting the right spices and flavours into it. Does it taste exactly like egg salad? No. But it was pretty close and was too yummy for us not to share it with you!

Tofu “Egg” Salad Sandwich

Prep time: 10min

Makes: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1/2 block tofu, pressed

1 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp dijon mustard

5 tbsp plain thick yogurt

1 tbsp white balsamic vinaigrette

1 tsp rosemary, chopped

1 tsp chives, chopped

dash salt and pepper

chopped sweet peppers (optional)

Directions:

Crumble tofu into a bowl and add all other ingredients.  Mix with a fork and mash/mix until ingredients are evenly distributed and mixture resembles the texture of egg salad.

Spread half of the mixture onto a slice of bread or bun, top with desired toppings (we put tomato, cucumber and lettuce), top with another slice of bread or half of bun and enjoy! 🙂

twosaucysisters

The Brownies You’ve All Been Waiting For

Remember a few weeks ago when we posted the Chocolate No-Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, and we promised that the brownie recipe would be up soon? Well, shortly after that the temperature soared over 35 degrees and we didn’t want to turn on the oven, so our brownie experimenting had to be put on hold. However, we have finally done it! The temperature dropped and we had a stroke of fudgy genius.

Oh wait, do you need a closer look?

Mmmmmmm…. so chocolatey, so fudgy…

Our first attempt at the black bean brownie did not go quite so well. We used a recipe we found, with a few modifications, and it ended up tasting basically like a mashed up banana mixed with cocoa powder.  Not so good.  Luckily we came up with a delicious icing recipe that we could slather all over the top, which saved them (sort of).

This time we decided we would just do all the work ourselves, and created our very own recipe- sans the internet.  And you know what?  We think we’ll be doing that from now on!

We opted to use apple sauce instead of banana this time.  Not that banana couldn’t work, its just that we still had the memory of last time’s mushy-chocolate-banana slab in our heads, and decided we had to go a completely different route.

The great thing about these brownies (besides the fact that they’re fudgy and delicious) is that they can be vegan and gluten free- which means that almost anyone can eat them. (You may not want to advertise that, actually, or else you may have share…)

All you have to do is ensure you’re using certified gf oats for the brownies, and use a dairy-free milk alternative instead of regular cow’s milk in the icing.  You could sub greek yogurt for the cottage cheese and add a dash of salt to the icing, and voila, you have a veganized version!

So no one has any excuse not to make these.

For those of you who have already read our icing post, you may want to have another look.  We’ve changed the recipe a bit, and we think it is even better now.  Because we know none of you were thinking of making these without the icing… that would be ridiculous!

Our dad couldn’t wait for the photos to be taken

So here’s a list of why you should make these brownies:

They’re high in fibre-  black beans, oats, almonds, and apple sauce all contribute to about 4g of fibre per brownie- that’s more than a whole wheat slice of bread!

They’ve got protein– there’s about 3 grams of protein (not including the cottage cheese on the icing ;)) between the black beans and the brownies.

They’re Low in Fat– they’ve only got a bit of oil in the brownie and some healthy fat from the coconut butter in the icing and the almonds in the brownies.

They’re delicious.

  

So enough with the chit-chat and go make some brownies!

Chocolate Fudge Black Bean Brownies

Prep Time: 10 min

Bake Time: 25 min

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

2 c. black beans

1/3 c. apple sauce

1/4 c. maple syrup

1/2 c. date paste

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp canola oil (or some other veg. oil)

1/3 c. ground almonds

2/3 c. ground oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 c. cocoa powder

pinch of xanthan gum (optional)

**Optional Mix-ins: walnuts and chocolate chips (we put in both!)

One batch Chocolate No-Cream Cheese Icing

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

In the food processor, add all wet ingredients. Blend until smooth. Add wet to dry and mix well.  Pour batter into a greased 8X8inch pan and bake for 25min. Allow to cool for at least 10min before icing.

– twosaucysisters

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

The first time either of us ever had gnocchi was at a Christmas potluck dinner several years ago.  Our friend brought it and before the meal started she raved about how good gnocchi was, and went on about how appalled she was that we hadn’t ever tried it.

Well after having some, we, too, were appalled at ourselves for waiting all that time to try the classic Italian dish!  The soft little pillows of potato practically melted in your mouth!  We’re pretty sure we both went back for seconds that night 🙂

Despite our delicious first experience with gnocchi, however, we’ve only had it maybe once since that dinner.  Why?  Well, at the time we were still very new to the kitchen, and so stuck to a very limited repertoire of dishes.  For some reason going out on a limb and buying a bag of pre-made gnocchi and dousing it in pasta sauce seemed too adventurous.  Boy, have the times changed!

We’re actually kind of glad, though, that we didn’t  end up trying to re-create the dish at home with the store-bought stuff.  In our opinions, that would be doing it a disservice.  Sure, pre-made gnocchi would be good, but fresh and homemade is always better, wouldn’t you agree?

However, considering our very non-Italian heritage, we thought it would be better if we steered clear of the classic just-like-nonna-makes gnocchi.  We’ll leave the authentic stuff up to her 😉

We asked ourselves, what’s even better than gnocchi?  Which lead us to the underlying question, what’s better than potatoes?  We think the answer is obvious.  Why, sweet potatoes of course!  And that is how this came to be:

Sweet potato gnocchi.

And not just any sweet potato gnocchi, but maple-sauteed ham and veggie sweet potato gnocchi!  Seriously, people, this was goood!  Our brother said it was very easily one of his favourite dishes we have ever made!  Pretty high praise, if we do say so ourselves!  And you know what’s fantastic about it?  The gnocchi itself is quite easy to make (despite what other people on the internet say to try and scare you) and it only takes three ingredients! (or four, depending on whether or not you use multiple types of flour)

Sorry about the blurriness- we were in a rush to take pictures so we could eat!

Classic gnocchi uses just potato, salt, and flour, but when doing our research we found that many people add an egg or two to the dough to help it hold together better in the boiling water.  Despite all of the warnings, we decided to forgo the egg addition and it worked out splendidly!  Ours stayed together just fine 🙂

We also used a combination of white and whole wheat flour to improve the nutrition status of our meal.  We didn’t try any gluten-free flours, but if you do, let us know how it goes!

So if you’ve never made gnocchi before, don’t be afraid!  Despite what people may tell you, its actually quite easy, and so. Freakin’. Delicious.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple-Sauteed Ham and Veggies

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 10 min

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

For the Gnocchi:

very large cooked sweet potatoes, skins removed

1.5- 2 c. flour

1/2 tsp salt

For the ham:

12 very thin slices of deli ham

3 tbsp maple syrup

Veggie Sautee:

2 cloves of garlic

1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced

2 c. chopped Bok Choi

1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 c. sliced mushrooms

1 cup frozen green beans

1.5 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground sage

pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mash up sweet potato and add salt.  Add flour gradually until you have a dough that holds together but is still quite sticky.  With wet hands, grab finger-fulls of the dough (about 1 tbsp of dough) and roll into a little log, about 1 inch long.  Place on a floured sheet and continue until you have used all the dough.

Place the ham slices on a frying pan and turn to medium-high.  Once you hear it sizzling a little, add the maple syrup and turn the ham to coat the slices in the syrup.  Continue to cook and flip until the ham is browned and there is some caramelized syrup on the slices.  remove from the pan and set aside.

To the same pan, add a tbsp of olive oil.  Add all veggies except bok choi, and cook over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, drop the pieces of dough into the water, giving them a gentle stir to prevent sticking.  allow to boil for a few minutes, until they float to the top. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the veggies.

Add the bok choi, maple syrup, ground sage, soy sauce, and pepper to the pan and gently stir, being careful not to squish the gnocchi! Slice the ham into thin strips and add to the pan.

Separate onto plates and top with an additional drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.

~Twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried gnocchi?

Jewels of Summer

Another addition to our list of favourite things about summer: Our neighbors fruit and veggie stand! What’s better than walking 30sec across the street to get fresh, no-chemicals-used fruits? Not much (except maybe getting it out of your own back yard, but our strawberry plant doesn’t seem to doing so hot).

Right now, they have strawberries and cherries, so needless to say, pretty much every meal and snack we’ve eaten this week has involved one or the other, or both (usually both).

So, we have three recipes for you today: A breakfast, a salad dressing, and a sandwich, each using strawberries and cherries. Aren’t you guys lucky!

So, the breakfast:

We’ve talked before about our love for buckwheat bakes, and despite the heat we couldn’t pass up a strawberry+cherry buckwheat bake combo!

  

Coconut+Strawberries+Cherries= WIN.

Coconut Strawberry Cherry Buckwheat Bake

Prep time: 10min

Bake time: 3-35min (microwave or oven dependent!)

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

1/4 c. buckwheat flour

1 tbsp buckwheat groats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 c. strawberry-cherry puree (strawberries and cherries blended)

1 egg

3 tbsp cherry juice

1 tbsp each diced cherries and strawberries

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.  Combine wet ingredients and add to dry. Pour batter into large greased ramekin. Bake at 350 for 35min OR microwave for 3-5min. (We microwaved ours to avoid turning on the oven in the 30 degree heat!)

Turn out onto a plate and top with desired toppings! We topped ours with coconut butter, yogurt, and fresh fruit! 🙂

Of course, after such an amazing breakfast, we HAD to continue our strawberry-cherry fix over into lunchtime. We had strawberries, avocado, and mozzarella crying out to us.

Enter strawberry-avocado grilled cheese!

Creamy. Gooey. Sweet and savory. Everything you’d want in a grilled cheese!

Strawberry Avocado Grilled Cheese

Prep time: 5min

Cooke time: 5min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread

1/2 avocado

1/2 tsp lime juice

dash salt

1/3 c. sliced strawberries

Sliced mozzarella

Directions:

Get pan or sandwich grill heating.  Mash up avocado with lime juice and salt, spread evenly onto both sandwiches.  Top with strawberries and finish with mozzarella.  Grill until both sides are nicely browned and cheese has melted.

And finally for the last recipe of the day! This one goes along with the sandwich, because really, one little sandwich is not enough to keep these girls going for long! We went for a light and fresh side salad, with some of the leftover chicken from father’s day and sliced up strawberries and cherries (we couldn’t leave the cherries out of the meal!)

And what would a salad be without a delicious salad dressing? We decided to stick with the theme and make a sort of strawberry cherry “vinaigrette”, but really not because there’s not actually any vinegar in it!

Strawberry-Cherry Salad Dressing

Prep time: 5min

Ingredients:

1/4 c. sliced strawberries

1/4 c. sliced cherries

2 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp lime juice

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Add to blender or food processor and puree! Pour over salad and enjoy 🙂

– twosaucysisters

Are you on any flavour kick lately?

What’s your favourite way to use strawberries and cherries?

Minty Meltdown

We don’t know what the weather is like where you’re from, but here in Southern Ontario, it’s been hot. We’re talking 40 degrees with the humidity hot. It’s the kind of heat that causes you to feel like you’re melting after just standing outside for 5min (and yet we ran a track race yesterday anyways….).

This is the kind of weather that you want to avoid turning the oven on as much as possible! Enter no-bake treats.

Our original goal yesterday was to make minty, no-bake Nanaimo bars, but our recipe took a frosty turn when the temperature sky rocketed.

Chocolaty.

Minty.

Cold.

And these bars have not one, but TWO secret ingredients that make them nutritional superstars.  That’s right, these little desserts will not only help you cool off while at the same time satisfying your chocolate fix, but they’ll help you sneek in a little extra veggies and fibre.

Veggies and fibre!?!

Yes, you heard that correctly.  The secret?  Spinach and chickpeas!  Now don’t go running for the hills, we promise that you won’t even notice they’re in there!

Our family gave us the thumbs up before we told them what was in them! 🙂

So if it’s a million degrees where you live and you need to cool off, these squares are for you.  If you love chocolate and it’s not really hot where you live, these are also for you. (translated: they’re for everyone :))

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mint Freezer Bars

Prep time: 10 min

Freeze Time: 2 hours

Yield: 16 squares

For the Base:

1 c. Oats

1/2 c. almonds

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. dates

2 rounded tbsp cocoa powder

For the Middle:

1 c. chickpeas

1 frozen banana

1 c. spinach, packed

1/4 c. plain greek yogurt

1/4 c. honey

1 tbsp coconut butter

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

pinch of cream of tartar (optional- to lighten the colour)

For the Top:

1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp honey (depending on how sweet you like it!)

3-4 tbsp milk

Directions:

Crust: pulse almonds in food processor until they’re finely ground. Add oats and dates blend until ground up.  Add coconut oil and cocoa powder until fully incorporated and mixture binds together. Press into the bottom of a wax-paper lined 8×8 inch pan.

Middle: In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.  Spread evenly over crust and freeze for about 1-1.5 hours, or until firm.

Top: Combine all ingredients in a bowl except milk.  Add milk gradually until you have a thick but spreadable mixture.  Spread over top of bars and freeze for another 30 minutes.  The top layer will never freeze fully, but it will firm up a bit.

Cut into bars and store in an airtight container in your freezer.

~twosaucysisters

How do you keep cool in the heat?