Kitchen Confidant Blog

Madeira Sauce

Madeira Sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups Madeira (fortified wine)
  • 1 1/4 cup Dry Red Wine 
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  1.  Reduce to 2 cups, discard the herbs
  2.  Add the brown bits and juices from your roasted beast into the sauce and bring to a boil. 
  3. Combine the following:
  • 2 TB Room temperature butter
  • 2 TB Flour

Then whisk this into the sauce, simmer until smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Zesty Pepitas

Yields  2 Cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Pepitas or Spanish Pumpkin Seeds (raw)
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or low sodium tamari
  • 1  tsp garlic powder (no salt)
  • 1  tsp cumin powder
  • 1  tsp coriander

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the pepitas in a saute pan over medium heat.  Toss  for about 3-4 min, until you hear them  popping.  
  2. Combine the cumin, coriander and the garlic powder.  Set aside.
  3. Once you hear the seeds popping, add the liquid aminos over the entire pan and toss to coat. Immediately add the dry mixture, continue to toss to evenly coat.
  4. Once they are all coated (1-2 minutes), pour onto a sheet pan and allow to cool or into a dish and serve hot!

Thin and Crispy Pizza Dough

Yields 4 10” rounds

DESCRIPTION

This is a wet dough that makes a light, crisp crust.  Under-working the dough will give you the best crust, over working it will give you a tough and dry crust.  Can be frozen.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup Whole Wheat Flour       
  • 3 ½ cups AP Flour       
  • 2 tsp (1/4 oz) Fresh Yeast           
  • 2 tsp Salt               
  • 2 tsp Sugar               
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil           
  • 1 2/3 cup Lukewarm Water       

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the whole-wheat flour, AP Flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.  
  2. While the mixer is running, gradually add the oil and the water.  
  3. Knead on low speed until the dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes. (Dough can be wrapped and placed into the freezer at this point.)
  4. Divide the dough into four balls.
  5. Flour the surface of two sheet pans placing two balls on each, covering with a damp towel. Let them rise in a warm spot until they have doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface.   Press down in the center with the tips of your fingers, spreading the dough with your hands.  
  7. When the dough has doubled in width, use a floured rolling pin and roll out until it is very thin, like flatbread. (The outer border should be a little thicker than the inner circle.)
  8. Pick the dough up with a spatula or the back of a knife so to transfer it to a paddle that has a generous amount of cornmeal on it. (Don’t worry that the dough is not round, you are looking for an oval or a rectangular shape.  If you get a hole, simply pinch the edges back together.)
  9. Heat oven to 400.  Add pizza stone.
  10. Once the dough is on the paddle, add your favorite toppings and slide it onto the pizza stone.  
  11. After 7-10 minutes, lift and check the underside of the pizza.  It should be golden brown and crispy and the toppings should appear cooked.
  12. Remove with the paddle to a cutting board.  Allow for it to cool for 2-3 minutes and then cut.

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Marinade for Swordfish, Tuna or Halibut

Yields  1 ½ Cups

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup tamari
  • 3-4 limes (zested & juiced)
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • 5 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 4 Tbsp garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ jalapeno pepper (minced)
  • 10-12 sprigs of fresh cilantro (chopped)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix all the ingredients together, add the fish for 30 minutes.  
  2. If placing on the grill, spray the fish with pan spray, as well as the grill, and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.  (If your steaks are more than an inch thick, consider moving the steak to the oven to finish or onto a foil plate and baste with more marinade.)

Strawberry Chia Pudding

Yields  4 Cups

Note: Fantastic dessert or midday snack

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz Chia Seeds – Hydrated in 1.5 cups of lukewarm water for 20 minutes
  • 3 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 -4 Tbsp Honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 lb.  Strawberries, diced  (substitute other fruits, mango, pineapple or raspberry)
  • 1.5 cups Strawberry Puree  (adjust to desired flavor profile)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine hydrated chia seeds with the milks, honey, vanilla extract and puree.  
  2. Allow to sit for 2 hours or overnight. Add diced fruit and puree,  mix together. 
  3. Adjust to taste and to desired consistency with milk or water.

Saffron Rose Water Syrup

Yields  3 Cups

Note: Creates the most unusual fruit salad or cocktail!

  • 2 cups water           
  • 1/2 cup sugar           
  • ~32 coriander seeds   
  • 2 each star anise       
  • 2 pinches saffron           
  • 2 cardamom pods   
  • 2 cloves (whole)       
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional--cut in half, do not scrape)
  • rose water to taste      

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toast coriander and cardamom pods in a sauté pan, remove to a small bowl and crush pods with the back of a spoon.   
  2. Add all of the ingredients, except for the rose water, back into the sauté pan and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer for 1 minute.  
  3. Take off the heat, squeeze the vanilla seeds into the water, and place into a blender for 2 minutes.  
  4. Strain seeds.  Allow to cool and add rose water to taste.

*Options: Pour over grilled Pineapple and  allow to marinate for a few hours.  Serve with diced granny smith apples,  pomegranate seeds and top with vanilla ice cream.

Polenta

Yields  3 Cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups water, chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup *polenta
  • Salt to taste

*Use equal parts fine and coarse polenta for extra-creamy results.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring 3-4 cups of the water or broth to a boil in a medium sauce pot.
  2. In another bowl, add polenta the remaining broth and salt, whisking together.
  3. Pour the polenta, slowly, into the boiling broth, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking until polenta is creamy and pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 10-12 minutes.

Orange Avocado Smoothie

Yields  1 Serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado (ripe)
  • 2 oranges (zested & peeled)
  • 1 carrot (medium sized)
  • 1 cup of water, milk or coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • crushed ice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Scrape avocado flesh into a blender along with the orange zest and segments.
  2. Peel and shred the carrots, add liquid of choice, honey and ice.
  3. Pulse until it reaches a creamy, smooth consistency

No Bake Thumbprint Cookies

Yields 2 Dozen

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup pitted Dates (cover with boiling water for 5-10 minutes, reserve liquid)
  • 3 cups  Oats, rolled
  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Butter
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup 100% all-fruit preserves, such as cherry or apricot

*Option - mini chocolate chips, cocoa powder (½ cup) and any nut butter that you prefer.

  1. In a food processor or blender, grind oats into a flour consistency; transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Transfer dates and reserved 1/2 cup soaking liquid to food processor and purée until smooth.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except the fruit preserves to the bowl with oats,  kneading together to make a dough.
  4. Roll dough into balls, transferring them to a parchment paper-lined sheet tray when done. Make an indentation in the middle of each cookie by pressing down with your thumb.
  5. Spoon a bit of fruit preserves into each indentation and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Mushroom Ragout

Yields 3 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (divided)
  • 1 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms (trimmed & chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup merlot (or another medium bodied red wine)
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp whole-wheat or spelt flour
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onion  and cook for about 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  2. Add in 1 cup of the broth and continue cooking.  
  3. Stir in mushrooms, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook about 3 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid and start to become tender.
  4. Add wine and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in 2 cups broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together remaining broth, tamari, yeast and flour to form a thick paste.
  7. Add mixture to skillet, along with the garlic, whisking constantly to make sure paste dissolves.
  8. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  9. Add ground pepper to taste.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yields 3 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon (zested & juiced)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/8 tsp white ground pepper
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper (diced)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 2-3 scallions (sliced)
  • ½ cup of cherry tomatoes (halved—optional)
  • ¼-½ cup black and or green olives (chopped)
  • ¾ cup of feta cheese (crumbled)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place quinoa in strainer and rinse under running water.
  2. Put quinoa and broth in saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Spread out over a sheet pan to cool.
  4. Combine lemon zest,  juice, garlic & pepper. Set aside.
  5. Combine vegetables  in a bowl. Add in the feta and allow to sit together for 10 minutes. Stir in cooled quinoa,parsley and dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Options :  Add pulled Grilled Chicken, Poached Fish, Shrimp or Calamari

Lisa’s Love Bites

Yields  2 Dozen Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz dates (hydrated in 1 cup of boiling water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1 cups of rolled oats (ground into a flour)
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup Manitoba harvest hemp seeds   (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or ginger, allspice or cayenne)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ¼ cup of almond (or cashew) butter
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chunks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the ground oats, coconut, hemp seeds, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt in a blender.  Blend into a fine powder and transfer into a bowl.  
  2. Chop the chocolate chunks and combine with the dry ingredients.

  3. In the blender, puree the dates and the water into a fine paste.  Pour the date paste into the dry ingredients and add the nut butter.  

  4. Combine the wet and the dry together with your hands.  Roll into small balls and press your thumb into the center, creating a well for jam or press flat into a pan (lined with plastic or parchment paper) and cut into squares.  Chill to set.

Fig Jam

Yields  1 ½ Cups           

DESCRIPTION

This is more like a dried fruit preserve than a true jam.  Use it on pizza, accompany crackers and cheese, or a spread for a ham sandwich.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 shallots (diced)
  • 1 cup of red wine or golden sherry
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1 cup of dried mission figs (quartered)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place a  skillet over medium heat and when it is hot, add the shallots.  Saute the shallots,  cooking until they are softened, about 3 minutes.  

  2. Deglaze the pan with the wine or sherry and reduce by half.  Add the broth, vinegar, rosemary and dates.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the figs.  Stir occasionally,  simmering until the mixture has the consistency of a liquidy jam.  ** Important-  It will thicken as it cools

*This can be used  immediately or allow the flavors to come together overnight!

Farro, Mango and Avocado Salad

Yields  6 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Farro
  • 1 quart Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Mangoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 Avocados, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh Ginger
  • ½ bunch of Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • ½ TB Curry Powder
  • ½ Jalapeno
  • 1 Lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tangerines, zested and juiced (Oranges can be used)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook farro in vegetable broth until al dente. This will make 4 cups cooked.
  2. Prepare the mango, avocado, red pepper, scallions, cilantro, season with salt and set aside.
  3. Combine the fresh ginger, cilantro, curry powder, jalapeno, lime zest and juice, and tangerine zest and juice.  Whisk together and set aside.
  4. Allow farro to cool to room temperature.  Once it has cooled, combine with the  vegetables and dressing.  Allow to sit for 1-2 hours to come together before serving.

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD


Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette for Tuna

Yields  1 Cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar              
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard              
  • 2 tsp honey                   
  • ¼ cup, chopped cilantro               
  • 2 Tbsp parsley (3 sprigs chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika              
  • 1 tsp cumin                   
  • ½ tsp coriander               
  • salt & ground black pepper  to taste   

DIRECTIONS

  1. Remove tuna from the refrigerator and season with salt on both sides.  
  2. Combine all the ingredients in bowl with a whisk.  Once you have adjusted the marinade to your taste, add the tuna steaks and marinate for 2-4 hours.
  3. For Grilled Tuna:
  4. Preheat grill to medium, turn to low just before placing the tuna on the grill. Spray both sides of marinated fish liberally, as well as the grill.
  5. Grill the fish (without moving) until grill marks form (approx 1 min) and bottom surface is opaque, about 1 ½ minutes.
  6. Carefully flip, cooking until grill marks form on second side.
  • For Rare: 1 ½ minutes  (opaque with a translucent red center)
  • For Medium Rare: 3 minutes  (opaque with a reddish pink center)
  • For Baked Tuna: Preheat oven to 350 and place the marinated tuna in a sprayed casserole dish.  Place in oven for 10-15 minutes.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Yields  4 Servings

DESCRIPTION

Curry powder conspires here with the cauliflower to produce a full-flavored blended soup that's creamy on the palate without including any actual cream. Perfect for the dairy-free crowd!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cauliflower head (broken into florets)
  • 3-4 tsp yellow curry
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable, almond or coconut milk
  • pinch of kosher salt
     

DIRECTIONS

  1. Saute onion and garlic in a large casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 10 min.)
  2. Add cauliflower, curry powder and vegetable stock, cover and simmer on low until cauliflower is very tender (about 40 min.)
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder if you like.
  4. Working in batches, carefully purée in a blender until smooth.

* If you find the texture to be grainy, work the puree through a double meshed strainer.

Cumin Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

Yields  ½ Cup

--If you don’t like mushrooms, you will now!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced--or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder (or chipotle pepper powder)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 4 Tbsp of tamari
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb crimini or button mushrooms (cleaned)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the broiler.  
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic, cumin, chili powder, black powder, vinegar and tamari.  
  3. Immerse the mushrooms completely in the marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Place the mushroom caps button side down on a baking dish.  Brush marinade onto the mushrooms.
  5. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms looked baked (slightly wilted).  Serve warm, or allow to cool to room temperature.

*You can store the remaining marinade in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.  Perfect for red meat, chicken, tofu or other vegetables.

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Yields 9 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp Ener-g egg replacer  (whisk with a  ¼ cup water)
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder (Valrhona is suggested)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chunks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  
  2. Combine the sugars and applesauce.  
  3. Whisk Ener-G egg replacer with ¼ cup water & beat beat in with almond milk, vanilla and vinegar.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips)  in a separate bowl.  
  5. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients & stir in the chocolate chips.  
  6. Pour the batter into a prepared 9x9 pan and bake until set. (15-20 minutes)