My Favourite Breakfast – yogurt, granola and fruit

yogurt, fruit and granola - trust in kim

Most days I enjoy some version of this breakfast, depending on the fruits that are available.  This one has blueberries and papaya – can’t wait until there are fresh local fruits available!

I make my own granola so I can control the ingredients and limit the fat and sugar content, and because I think it tastes great.

What you need:

What you do:

  1. Choose a pretty bowl, if that matters to you, and put some fruit in it.
  2. Add some yogurt.
  3. Top with granola.
  4. Enjoy.

Best served with a cup of tea, in my opinion.

Greek Meatballs

greek meatballs - trust in kim

 

These tasty meatballs were served up recentlyas an appetizer at a birthday party.  I served them with some pita and homemade tzatziki.  They are really delicious, and really easy to make.  I mixed them up a few hours before the party, then fried and served them hot.  These would also be great in pita sandwiches for lunch with a Greek salad on the side.

I got the recipe here.

You need to plan ahead if you’re going to make your own tzatziki, as the yogurt needs to be drained for a few hours.  The garlic flavour also improves after sitting for a while.

What you need for the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 to 3 pieces bread, crusts cut off, soaked in milk and then squeezed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 2 to 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed

What you do for the meatballs:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl by mixing with your hands.
  2. Heat a frying pan or well-oiled grill on high heat.
  3. Form the mixture into about 24 balls, then flatten them slightly.  Reduce the heat and fry each one for about 12 minutes, flipping once.
  4. Serve them hot with the pita and tzatziki sauce.

What you need for the tzatziki:

2 cups yogurt, (I use whole milk yogurt)

cheesecloth for straining

1 clove garlic, minced (or more if you like it really garlicky)

1/2 english cucumber, grated

salt and pepper to taste

fresh mint, optional

What you do for the tzatziki:

1.  Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place the yogurt into the cheesecloth.  Refrigerate for a few hours or over night to and allow it to drain.  Pour off the liquid that is drained.

2.  Grate the cucumber and squeeze it so you get as much liquid out of it as you can.  Add this to the thickened yogurt.

3.  Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and optional mint.  Mix it all up. I like to remove it from the fridge at least an hour before serving.

trust in kim - tzatziki

Now I just need to learn to make pita bread…

 

Warm Peaches and Yogurt

warm peaches and yogurt - trust in kim

 

This is a slightly fancier version of what I normally eat in the morning.  My usual breakfast consists of yogurt and whatever fruit is in season, plus some homemade granola if I’m planning on cycling to work or somewhere else. I recently had a friend visiting who was allergic to fresh peaches; knowing how much she loves them, I decided to cook them a bit so she could eat them for breakfast.  Adding yogurt to the warm fruit makes it seem a little like melted ice cream and fruit – pretty decadent for breakfast!

One of the great things about this recipe is that the peaches can be slightly under-ripened.

What you need:

1 peach. sliced (or substitute with a nectarine or a few apricots

1 tablespoon apricot jam

some blueberries or other fruits of your choice

plain yogurt

granola (optional)

1 teaspoon butter

What you do: 

1.  Heat the butter in a frying pan, then add the peach slices and jam.  Cook them, flipping after a few minutes, until they are slightly tender. Stir to coat the peaches with the jam.

2. Place the peaches in bowls, then add some yogurt.  Add some blueberries and granola if you’re using it, and you’re set!

Maple-Nut Granola

maple-nut granola - trust in kim

For breakfast I usually eat a bowl of fruit and homemade yogurt.  It’s so delicious, but I find sometimes it’s not enough to get me through the morning.  I haven’t made granola in ages, so I thought this would be a good time to rework an old recipe. I’ve used maple syrup for a little sweetness, and a bit of olive oil to make it nice and crunchy.  I think the amount of sugar and fat are quite reasonable, especially when you look at the fat and sugar content of commercial granolas.  The nuts themselves have a high fat content, but it’s a healthy fat, and one of the reasons why  serving of granola should be small.

What you need:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 300F.

2. Combine the oats, almonds, pecans, walnuts and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oil,maple syrup and vanilla to this and combine thoroughly.

3. Spread this mixture evenly on a baking tray.  Bake for 2o minutes.

4. Add the pumpkin seeds and coconut to the baking tray and combine with the other ingredients.  I like to add these later in the cooking process so they don’t get too toasty.

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.  You will want to watch it towards the end of the cooking time, just in case your oven in running a little hot.  The granola should be a golden colour, but not browned.  I think it tastes burnt when it gets browned.

6. Allow to cool completely on the baking tray, then store in an airtight container.

Easy Homemade Tzatziki

Easy and delicious, that’s what this homemade tzatziki is!  I use my homemade yogurt for it, and strain it to make a Greek yogurt.  It’s great for dipping lightly grilled pita, and for souvelaki.  You just have to plan a few hours ahead so you can strain the yogurt, unless you’ve bought some already thick Greek yogurt.

What you need:

2 cups yogurt, not low-fat

cheesecloth for straining

1 clove garlic, minced (or more if you like it really garlicky)

1/2 english cucumber, grated

salt and pepper to taste

fresh mint, optional

What you do:

1.  Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place the yogurt into the cheesecloth.  Refrigerate for a few hours or over night to and allow it to drain.  Pour off the liquid that is drained.

2.  Grate the cucumber and squeeze it so you get as much liquid out of it as you can.

3.  Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and optional mint.  Mix it all up.

I like it best when it’s not served straight out of the fridge, so if you keep it in the fridge, you might want to take it out a little while before serving.

Addictive Chocolate Sea-Salt Cookies

I’ve been enjoying Lindt’s sea salt chocolate bars lately, so when I found this recipe for yogurt-cocoa cookies I knew I needed to mimic those chocolate bars with this recipe.  I did this by adding a little sea salt to the tops of the cookies.  They are definitely addictive, being chewy inside and crispy outside, super chocolatey, and then there’s the little hit of salt on top.  Not too sweet, and a definite must for chocolate lovers!

What you need:

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter

7 tablespoons cocoa

2/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup plain yogurt (not low-fat!)

1 teaspoon vanilla

sea salt for sprinkling

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Melt the butter and remove from the heat.  Stir in the cocoa and sugars.  Stir in the vanilla and yogurt.

3.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt all at once and stir it in.

4.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, then drop the cookie batter on by tablespoonfuls, or use a small ice cream scoop.  Leave space between the cookies.

5.  Bake for about 8 minutes, then remove the pans from the oven and let the cookies sit for a few minutes.  Then let them cool on a rack… but you’re going to want to eat some right away.

Homemade Yogurt

For the last few years I’ve been making my own yogurt.  It’s really easy to do, it is way cheaper than buying yogurt (1L of yogurt for the cost of a litre of milk), and it tastes amazing.  I eat it for breakfast most mornings, but I also use it to make yogurt cheese, dips, and as an ingredient in many recipes like this, this, this and this.  I also eat a lot of yogurt as a source of calcium, because as a person who is lactose intolerant I am always trying to include calcium rich foods in my diet.  The culturing process eats up most of the lactose, so it doesn’t hurt me.

The brand of my yogurt maker is Deni, and I like it because it’s the perfect size for a quart canning jar.  I just took out the little jars and insert that came with the machine, and make it in the big jar – fewer jars to wash up!

What you need:

1 litre milk, I use whole or homo, from Avalon Dairy

1/4 cup plain yogurt or yogurt starter

What you do:

1.  Heat the milk in a pot, stirring to avoid scorching.  Heat until just before it boils (110F if you want to be exact).

2.  Let the milk cool to room temperature.

3.  Mix a little of the cooled milk into the yogurt, then add a little more milk, stir it in, then mix all the rest together.

4.  Put the milk into a clean jar and screw the lid on tight.  Place it in the yogurt maker.  This keeps it a constant temperature.  I like to keep it in for 8 hours, but you can keep it in up to 12 hours.  It will taste more tangy the longer you keep it in

5.  Refrigerate the yogurt to stop the process. You can eat it a few hours later. I like to just cut up some fruit and put it in a bowl with the yogurt – a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack!

Chocolate Cherry Rum Cake

Yummy, rummy and chocolatey.  What could be better?  The dried sour cherries are soaked in rum, plus there’s chocolate chips for the extra hit that you’re craving.

This one makes half a recipe, one 9-inch round pan.  It’s from David Lebovitz’s cookbook Ready for Dessert.

What you need:

3/4 cup dried sour cherries, chopped

4 tablespoons of light rum

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 egg yolk, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped and toasted

2/3 cup chocolate chips

for the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2-3 tablespoons rum

What you do:

1.  Bring the sour cherries and 4 tablespoons of rum to a boil in a small pot.  Set them aside with a lid on for about an hour.

2.  Butter a 9-inch round square pan and dust it with flour.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

3.  Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4.  Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and yolk and vanilla and beat in.

5.  Stir in half the flour mixture, then stir in the buttermilk or yogurt.  Add the rest of the flour mixture.

6.  Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries.

7.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It might have a little bit of the chocolate chip on it, so don’t mistake that for not being done.

8.  Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then poke the cake all over with a toothpick and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of rum.

9.  Let the cake cool for about another 1/2 hour, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove it from the pan to cool.  Peel off the parchment paper.

10.  To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and the remaining rum.  Spoon it over the cake and let it run down the sides.

11.  The cake should last about 5 days, but if you’re going to keep it that long it’s best to glaze it shortly before serving.

Thank you Corey for editing!

Beef Quesadilla

A great comfort food – I love fried onions and steak together, add the salsa and yogurt and it’s a dream come true!  This one is great to make if you’ve got some left over  steak from your barbecue the night before.  Another amazing addition is some slices of avocado – that puts it over the top!

I don’t eat cheese very often, so when I do but it I grate the unused part and keep it in the freezer.  Same goes for the tortilla, just pop them in the freezer to use later, maybe even in a tortilla pizza.

What you need:

1/2 onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 beef steak

cheddar or another favourite cheese, grated

salt

olive oil

yogurt or sour cream

salsa

tortilla shells

What you do:

1.  Take the steak out of the fridge so it isn’t completely cold when you cook it.  Rub a little olive oil on each side, then liberally salt each side, then set aside.

2.  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the sliced red peppers and continue to cook until the onions are quite browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

3.  Heat the pan to medium high.  When it’s good and hot, place the steak on the pan.  Cook it for just a few minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and your preference.  I love mine quite rare, so I don’t leave it for long, plus it continues to cook while it rests out of the pan before cutting.  Use tongs to flip the steak and cook the other side for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan to rest for at least 5 minutes.  Slice very thinly.

4.  Clean your pan out and place a tortilla in it, on medium-low heat.  Sprinkle a little cheese on one half, then add some onion and pepper and some slices of steak.  Add a little more cheese, then pull the other half of the tortilla over the fillings.  I like to put the cheese on the top and the bottom because I think that when it melts it helps hold all the fillings in.  Plus people love cheese, so often a little more is better.

5.  Let the quesadilla cook until that side it slightly brown and crispy, then flip it over and do the same to the other side.

6.  Serve with some salsa and yogurt or sour cream on the side.

Thanks for the great photo, Megan!

Pistachio and Chorizo Bread

I wish I had gotten to posting this recipe earlier in the summer, because it makes a great picnic food.  It would be a great appetizer too, any time of year.  It’s pretty easy, impressive, and loved by many.   Feel free to add more or less of the chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, chili powder and pistachios depending hon how much you like each of those ingredients.

I forgot to put the pistachios in when I made it, so I piled a few on top when I ate a slice.  This worked great because the nuts stayed crunchy.

This recipe comes from David Lebovitz’s blog.  I also recommend his book The Sweet Life in Paris for a taste of life in Paris and some good recipes.

What you need:

butter for greasing the pan

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for the bottom of the pan

1 & 1/4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

3 eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup plain yogurt

85 grams or so of chorizo sausage, diced (the kind that doesn’t need cooking)

8 or so sun-dried tomato halves, finely diced

3/4 cup unsalted pistachios (hard to find, but they are available at Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)

What you do:

1.  Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with some butter.  Toss the sesame seeds around in the pan until there is a layer of them over the bottom.  Preheat your oven to 350F.

2.  Mix the egg and yogurt together in a bowl.  Add the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt and chili powder.  Stir, being careful to mix only until just incorporated.

3.  Fold in the chorizo, tomatoes, nuts and parsley.  Pour into the loaf pan.

4.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, then let it sit in the pan for about 15 minutes after you’ve taken it out of the oven before removing it to cool on a rack.

When it’s cool you can cut it into thin slices to serve.  Wrap leftovers up tightly in plastic wrap; apparently it lasts a few days at room temperature.  Mine didn’t last the night, so I didn’t get to test that out.

Let me know how you like it!