Sun Dried Tomato Dip

HEALTHY  ‘TASTY’ DIP
sun-sdried-tomato_dipNow that you have made your decorated goat cheese, you can make a tasty and healthy dip to serve with it. The dip is very versatile.This dip is great with crudités or crackers, on sandwiches, or with cold meats. It can be made a day or two in advance and served at your chalet, lake house, sailboat or right at home. People always enjoy this combination goat cheese /sun dried tomato spread. This pairing pops with flavour and is a big hit with my friends.  I am often asked where I bought it!  Instead of crackers or I prefer sourdough baguette slices. Crisp and tasty. Although crackers have evolved to gluten free and no preservatives which you can buy at your local supermarket. I find that most of these healthy crackers are very flavourful and will change the taste of my goat cheese / sun dried tomato dip.  Over my years of reading about healthy foods, I would always come across the information that with respect to bread, we should eat rye bread or sour dough. I was puzzled by the sour dough as it was white bread after all. Then one day I came across some information that explained it.

RECIPE
Ingredients
1 package (3 1/2 oz) sun dried tomatoes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar substitute (optional)
1 green onion coarsely chopped including green tops

Directions                                                                                                                                                                   

sun-dried-tomatoesCombine all ingredients in a food processor.  Use the pulse feature until everything is chopped to a coarse consistency not liquid.  Refrigerate until needed.  The flavour is even better the next day.  Serve at room temperature over goat cheese with toasts or crackers.

This is a tasty dip and will keep in your fridge for 7 to 10 days, limited only by the freshness of the herbs.  You can then make this in advance or use up the left overs as a salad dressing, to toss your vegetables and some more olive before roasting or add to a soup for more flavour.  The addition of mayonnaise or buttermilk will transform any leftover dips into sauces or salad dressings.

EVENING OUT:  I just brought the sun dried dip to a birthday party last night.  I paired it with a goat cheese log rolled in herbs.  There were herb crackers and whole wheat sourdough croutes.  This was a big hit!  People kept going back again and again for more.  They were addictive.  This was more popular than the smoked salmon platter!

didyouknowFOOD FACT: The acid in the sourdough slows down the absorption of the bread. That is how the San Francisco gold miners were able to sustain themselves all day long with just a loaf of sourdough bread. Hence the San Francisco sour dough loafs. The flour/simple carbohydrate  is broken down into sugar which starts even in the mouth with salivary amylase and eating a slice of white bread is not so different than having a piece of pound cake as far as your body is concerned.

Do you want a piece of white bread? Then…eat sour dough bread. It is healthier!

Healthy Snacks and Appetizer

Craving a snack?  Need an appetizer to serve?  Why bother with a cracker? Use nature’s vessel.  Have you been putting your sandwich fixings in a piece of lettuce to avoid carbs and gluten?  Well, now you can substitute a piece of endive for the proverbial cracker. You can use this for tuna salad, egg salad, salmon salad, Caesar salad, beet pomegranate orange salad, beet pomegranate feta salad, the list goes on….. It adds just a little bite to your snack. As much as I am an anchovy hater, I will even add some anchovy paste to my egg salad to give it a bite.  When you bite into your food, you want it to just slightly bite youIMG_3553 back.  Yum! Yum!

Sun Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

3/4 cup olive oi1
1 1/2 oz. re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers
2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley
5 basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 green onion

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend to a course consistency. The flavour will be better the following day as they permeate the oil.  Serve with goat cheese, crudities, crackers or on cold meats. Delicious!

Decorated Goat Cheese

menu_flower Spring is just around the corner. Here is an idea that will wow your friends and welcome spring with a goat cheese appetizer. Have you seen those lovely decorated goat cheese rounds in your grocer’s deli case? They are so easy to make. Put a piece of plastic wrap in a small container that is a shape you wish to duplicate. Place a piece of washed herb, edible flower(s), olives, crushed coloured peppercorns, whatever you wish on top of the plastic wrap. Place a piece of goat cheese on top, pressing the sides into the corner of the container. I wrap the plastic wrap on top and at the end, press it on the counter top to flatten the base. Refrigerate overnight and you can unmould it onto your serving dish. It looks so much more appetizing when presented this way. Remember, the eye does half the eating. Beautiful!

didyouknow FOOD FACTS: Some things you may not know about goat cheese. While cheese and milk from cows is most popular in the United States, on an international scale, goat cheese is actually more commonly consumed.
If you want to get technical, cheese made with goat milk has a higher amount of medium-chain fatty acids. You don’t necessarily have to know the science behind these acids, but they account for the cheese’s signature tangy flavor, and also make goat cheese easier on the digestive system, so those with lactose sensitivities often find goat cheese easier to digest.

Salmon Saltimbocca

IMG_3500A SPLENDID SINGLE SERVING: This is possibly my favourite way to enjoy salmon.  It is so fast and easy to prepare. And so tasty. After all, who doesn’t like bacon? The prosciutto of course is a very thin version of bacon. It has just enough salt that I don’t add any to this dish. I will usually have prosciutto in my fridge as it comes in those self sealing bags.  Often I don’t have fresh sage so I just so it without or add whatever fresh herb that I happen to have on hand to give it just a little more flavour and also the micronutrient benefits of the herb. I bake rather than fry the salmon. It is easier. Just PUT ON THE TIMER as you are getting out the cutlery and any side dishes.

RECIPE: Salmon Saltimbocca

HAT2YOUR FOOD TIP: Speaking of sides, I will put my vegetables right on the same roasting pan as the salmon. Saves dishes and clean up.  In this case, it was asparagus with olive oil and a sprinkling of cherry tomatoes.  Sun dried tomatoes are also tasty.  Some feta cheese sprinkled on the asparagus would be good if you have it. Yummy!

NOTE: For the single serving super food lovers: Love this dish – bake 2 salmon and refrigerate 1 salmon to enjoy cold for another day.