Happy Canada Day Breakfast, Eh?

   
   
Delicious. That is all. 

If she’s lucky, the girl will have one of these with her soup…

  Our daughter is coming tomorrow for a visit, in advance of her anniversary party. She tells me she’s sick, so soup will be in order. If we aren’t too greedy, she might get one of these as well.

These sun dried tomato olive herb buns are adapted from an old favourite, the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. I love that there is no added sugar or and very little oil. We switched up the flour to 100% whole wheat and added olives when I ran out of tomato pieces.  I also shaped them like burger buns so they would be great for sandwiches of all kinds. All the fresh herbs are from our garden, and we skipped the salt. For a vegan version, simply omit the egg white glaze. Makes 12.

2c/500 ml boiling water

6 sun dried tomato halves, not oil packed, cut in slivers

6 stuffed olives, chopped

1T/15ml yeast

875ml/3.5c whole wheat flour

1/4 c chopped herbs (I used rosemary, oregano and thyme)

1 beaten egg white

In a 2 c glass measure, pour boiling water over tomatoes and let stand about 5 minutes. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon into another dish and set aside for later. Pour off enough liquid from the measuring cup so you have 310ml/1-1/4c and let it cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm tomato water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Measure flour into a large bowl. Stir yeast mixture with a fork, then with a wooden or silicone spoon, mix it all at once into the flour, stirring until it mostly cleans away from the sides of the bowl. 

Scrape onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 30 times until smooth. Shape into a ball.

Spray your mostly-clean bowl with cooking spray or coat with a very light coating of olive oil. Put your ball of dough in it and cover with a clean tea towel. Let rise in a warm place about an hour, until doubled. (Honestly it was quite chilly in the kitchen today but it worked fine).

Punch down the dough then knead in the herbs, tomatoes, and olives until well distributed. 

Divide into 12 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, pat each into a circle about the size of a burger bun. Place on cookie sheets on parchment or Silpats, about 3 fingers apart, and cover again. Let rise for another hour. Notice how if you are working on something at your desk in the home office, the buns summon you to take a regular break to move around.

Preheat the oven to 400F /200C/ Gas mark 6. Brush tops with egg white if you are using it, and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. 

Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Foods of Canada, Sunday Edition…

 With Canada Day just a few days away, local foods are on my mind. Also, I expect this will be the last year for this country-sized veg garden, so we are making the most of the harvest. Today’s special: Rhubarb Maple Crisp.

Fill your dish with sliced rhubarb, and drizzle lightly with maple syrup.

For the topping, mix melted butter and syrup (about 1/3c of each) with 1/3c sliced almonds and enough rolled oats (large flake) to cover your dish – around 3c.

Bake in a 375 oven for 45-50 minutes, until the rhubarb is bubbling and cooked through, and the top is golden.

 
We served ours with some fat free plain yogurt, delicious and creamy. 

  

We’re Eating in Technicolor…

  “Eat your colours” is a great description to get kids to tuck in to a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eye appeal works just as well for us, the “grown-ups”. That’s the whole idea behind today’s Super Sesame Salmon Bowl. (A vegan version could just as easily feature sautéed mushrooms, chickpeas, or seitan).

2 c /500ml broccoli florets and stems cut in coins

1 c /250 ml sliced red cabbage

2 small avocados, diced

1 apricot, sliced

1 ripe tomato, sliced

2 t / 10 ml sesame oil

1t / 5 ml honey

15 ml sesame seeds 

1 can salmon 

For two, we steamed the broccoli for a minute or so in the microwave in a large bowl with the juice of a lemon. Put veggies (except avocado) in a bowl w the steamed broccoli. Drizzle with sesame oil, honey, and sprinkle in the seeds. Toss lightly.

Add the salmon and avocado and mix gently. Eat and enjoy.

We’re crazy for crisps…

English friends, full disclosure…not chips, or what you might call crisps. Fruit crisps are a summer dessert and breakfast staple. This one started with a layer of stewed rhubarb, although simply chopping with a little maple syrup would work well. Any summer fruit (or mixture) will do.

Put the fruit in a square pan. In a large bowl mix 1/4c melted butter, 1/4c maple syrup or brown sugar, 2c large flake rolled oats, and 1/3 c each of unsweetened coconut and walnuts. Change it up with nuts and seeds as you like. Add more oats until you have a consistency that’s not too wet and sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes for pre-cooked fruit or up to an hour for fresh fruit, until topping is nicely browned and fruit is soft and bubbling. A glass pan lets you see what’s going on underneath.

We served ours with a tasty yogurt topping but whipped cream, ice cream or nothing at all and it would still be divine. (1/2 c fat free plain yogurt mixed w 1t maple syrup and 1/2t vanilla is plenty for two).

  

We really tarted up breakfast this morning…

  

A sure sign of the spring food garden is an abundance of rhubarb. In fact we had so much last year, that a whole bag went undiscovered in the back of the freezer and we found it when tidying up to prepare for this year’s harvest. This delicious tart is one of the results.

Stew at least 4 cups (1l) of chopped rhubarb with sugar to taste (we like ours tart, no pun intended) and cool. Eat as is, or to make this tasty tart, preheat oven to 375F . On a sheet of parchment, roll out one sheet of puff pastry to about 12″/30cm. Place on cookie sheet. Put rhubarb in the centre and turn in edges to lap over filling and contain it, leaving top open. Brush pastry with a beaten egg and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. We served ours with a spoonful of plain fat free yogurt, sprinkled with a little cinnamon.

Love the coffee mug? It’s from Krysta Oland’s Morning Sun Pottery.

The Old Ways Aren’t always the Best Ways…

We’re always reading and exploring information about healthier food choices. One really interesting documentary we watched this week is Forks over Knives, which presents a case for a whole food, plant based diet. While we haven’t thrown away all our food and started fresh, we were already proponents of eating real food, prepared at home. Our first step on the journey is to return to eating far more fruits and vegetables, and to reduce the prime position animal products are taking on our table.

So why feature these breakfast eggs in today’s post? Eggs Benedict are an old favourite of ours. We’ve eaten many, and fed them to our friends. But this is definitely a healthier option.

  
These poached eggs are served on a whole grain buckwheat English muffin loaf, which is topped with mashed avocado. Hothouse tomatoes are on the side. What could we substitute next? Perhaps some cooked mushrooms and chickpeas? Watch this space for more healthier food choices. Meanwhile, this is as good as any Benny, and moving us in the right direction.