Jul 08

Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

The warmer months are all about celebrating and spending time with friends and family. Try your hand at baking something special for loved ones the next time you entertain guests or bring a hostess gift.

Easy-to-follow recipes and high-performance appliances like the Cuisinart Precision Master Stand Mixer can help even the most novice chefs master bakery-style goodies. This recipe below combines potassium-rich bananas with sweet chocolate chips in a bread that everyone’s sure to love. Remember that that the secret to soft banana bread is a light mixing hand.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Makes: One 9-inch loaf, about 12 servings


• 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) unbleached, all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

• 3/4 tsp (4 mL) baking powder

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt

• 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar

• 6 tbsp (90 mL or 3/4 stick) butter, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces, plus more for buttering pan

• 2 large eggs

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract

• 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) ripe banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) mini chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Generously butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Reserve.

3. Put sugar and butter into the Cuisinart mixing bowl. Attach the flat mixing paddle and mix on speed 2 until creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the entire bowl.

4. Continuing on speed 2, add eggs, one at a time, and mix until each is incorporated. Scrape the entire bowl. Add vanilla extract and then banana and continue to mix until banana is well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl.

5. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the bowl well and add chocolate chips and mix to fold. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.

6. Bake until deep golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until cool to touch; remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Nutrition information: Calories 210 (38 per cent from fat); carbohydrates 31g; protein 3g; fat 9g; saturated fat 6g; cholesterol 51mg; sodium 190mg; calcium. 9mg; fibre 1g.


Jul 08

Recipe: Gluten-Free Crispy Vegetable Fritters

Gluten-Free Crispy Vegetable Fritters

Do you want to raise a foodie? If so, take note that a child’s palate is set around age three, making the food we feed them during this time the most influential for their future eating preferences. If you have a picky eater at home, odds are their eating preferences include sugary condiments and sauces that are often paired with fatty and not-so-nutritional foods. And they are not alone: research shows that only two out of five Canadian children eat their “seven a day.”

One of the oldest tricks in the book to improve kid’s nutrition is to hide vegetables in a meal, like puréed into a tomato sauce or covered with cheese. At only 15 calories per teaspoon and relatively no fat, Maille Honey Dijon mustard is a versatile ingredient that can make introduction to different foods easier. Use it to make a sweet sauce to serve on top of mixed grilled or baked veggies, or simply add a little bit of sweetness into a dish. Combine it with olive oil and vinegar to make a light vinaigrette and give salads a sweet zing, or with yogurt for an easy, healthy dip that proves how tasty veggies can be. After all, we are more likely to eat more vegetables when we actually enjoy them.

Gluten-Free Crispy Vegetable Fritters


• 2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 2 tsp Maille Honey Dijon mustard

• 1 cup zucchini, finely chopped

• 3/4 cup grated carrots

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• Salt and pepper


1. Combine potatoes, egg and mustard in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini, carrots, salt and pepper. Shape into 2.5 cm patties and chill for at least one hour.

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook fritters, turning once, until golden brown; about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Find more recipes and coupons online at maille.ca.


Jul 08

Recipe: Cornichon and Sweet Onion Relish

You might not typically equate cornichons with eating healthy, but the wee cucumbers pack a nutritional punch: low in calories, fat and sugar, cornichons carry an impressive amount of vitamin K, iron, folate, calcium, vitamin A and potassium. And it doesn’t end there; these little guys also help control blood pressure, increase digestion, support bone growth and improve muscle building. That’s why athletes can be spotted drinking the juice and munching on cornichons to prevent cramping.

Did you know that by changing the bacteria in your gut, you can positively affect your mood and brain function? A recent study from the University of Paris concluded that consuming cornichons as little as three times a week helps your gut produce more serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone.” When absorbed, serotonin stimulates the brain and acts as a natural antidepressant.

However, not all cornichons are created equal. Avoid brands that use copious amounts of glucose and fructose and contain as much as eight grams of sugar per serving. Instead, try French cornichons like those of La Maison Maille with just three calories per cornichons and two grams of sugar per 30-gram serving. The smaller cousin of the pickle are handpicked before reaching maturity, rendering a distinguished crunch, tart bite and piquant flavor that puts them in a league of their own.

You can incorporate cornichons into recipes like this easy homemade relish and serve as a topping for bruschetta or hot dogs, or mix into potato or chicken salads.

Cornichon and Sweet Onion Relish


• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

• 1 cup Maille cornichons, chopped (try Caramelized Onions or Cayenne Chili Peppers for an extra kick)

• 1 tbsp garlic, chopped

• 1 tsp brown sugar

• 1 tbsp Calabrian peppers, chopped

• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

• 1 1/4 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped

• Salt and pepper


1. In a 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown; about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

2. Add cornichons and continue to cook, stirring often, for another minute. Then add garlic and sugar and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Remove pan from heat and stir in peppers, lemon juice and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Find more recipes and print coupons online at maille.ca.


Jun 25

Maple Pecan S’mores Dip

Maple Pecan S’mores Dip

No campfire? No problem! This oven-baked dessert dip packs all the gooey chocolatey-marshmallow goodness of the classic fire pit treat, no flames required. Keep it traditional and dive in with graham crackers or achieve sweet-and-salty nirvana and enjoy with potato chips.

And for those of who do have a campfire, Tom Filippou, executive chef for President’s Choice cooking school, has just the right tip for you to cook this golden dessert. “Use a heavy cast-iron skillet — not a pie plate — and set it over the grates of your fire pit and melt the butter. Add pecans and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add chocolate chips, top with marshmallows and cover loosely with greased foil. Cook until the marshmallows are puffed and golden and chocolate is melted.”

If you prefer to stick to traditional oven baking or want to make this when it’s still chilly out, check out the recipe below.

Maple Pecan S’mores Dip

Makes: 20 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ready in: 20 minutes


• 1 cup (250 mL) pecan pieces

• 1 tbsp (15mL) (75 mL) PC Salted Country Churned Butter, melted

• 1 pkg (270 g) PC The Decadent Milk Chocolate Chips

• Half pkg (400 g pkg) PC Maple Flavour Marshmallows

• Graham crackers, pretzels or potato chips, for dipping


1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Stir together pecans and melted butter in 9-inch (23 cm) cast-iron skillet or pie plate. Bake, stirring once, until fragrant; about 5 minutes.

2. Sprinkle chocolate chips over pecan mixture. Bake until chocolate is softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Arrange marshmallows in single layer over top of chocolate mixture. Bake until marshmallows are puffed and golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving (2 tbsp): Calories 140; fat 8 g (3 g saturated fat); sodium 25 mg; carbohydrates 17 g; fibre 1 g; sugars 14 g; protein 2 g.

More recipe ideas are available online at pc.ca.


Jun 12

Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise Dip

Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise Dip

If your meals for work are starting to feel bland, try a Canadian secret for zipping up sandwiches – mustard. Homemade meals come to life with just a dash of the condiment.

Mustard is a staple crop for Canadian farmers. We export it all around the world – to Europe, the United States and Asia.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers are also working with mustard growers and processors to find new uses for this hearty plant. For example, mustard is used in environmentally friendly pesticides, added to bio-diesel additives, and makes a great natural fertilizer. In the kitchen, try making a tasty dip to pair with omega-3 rich salmon wraps.

Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Grainy Mustard Mayonnaise Dip

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


• 1 can (184 g) salmon, drained

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) coriander

• 1 garlic clove, chopped

• 1/2 onion, chopped

• 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice

• 1 tsp (5 mL) honey

• 4 tsp (20 mL) fresh bread crumbs

• ¼ cup (60 mL) mayo

• 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• 12 iceberg lettuce leaves


1. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl to make the salmon mixture.

2. In a medium-sized, non-stick pan, heat canola oil and fry salmon mixture for 5 minutes over medium heat. Place salmon mixture in the lettuce leaves and wrap.

3. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice and grainy mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Use as a dipping sauce for the wraps.

4. Serve wraps with dipping sauce.

Find more recipes online at agr.gc.ca/discoveragriculture.


Jun 10

Blueberry Hazelnut Pancakes

Delicious blueberries are a Canadian favorite for good reason – they’re rich in disease-fighting nutrients and are a good source of antioxidants.

Now you can enjoy them even more throughout the year, as Canadian researchers are working on growing and storing them longer outside the normal season. The team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Kentville Research and Development Centre has developed a storage system to extend the shelf-life of cultivated blueberry crops by as much as eight weeks.

So savour this tasty snack with a fruity twist on a classic breakfast and dessert staple.

Blueberry Hazelnut Pancakes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8-15 minutes
Serves: 4


• 1/2 cup (125 mL) blueberries

• 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) self-rising flour

• 1 tsp (5 mL) salt

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar

• 3 eggs

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) hazelnut butter

• 1 cup (250 mL) milk

• 1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil


1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

2. In another bowl, beat eggs with hazelnut butter, adding milk and melted butter. Add mixture to dry ingredients and mix well, taking care not to over mix (a few lumps are fine).

3. Pour canola oil in a small bowl. Using paper towel, gently brush some oil on a non-stick pan.

4. Heat pan to medium heat, then lower slightly. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the mix per pancake into the pan. Drop in 1 teaspoon of blueberries per pancake. Wait till the mixture starts to form bubbles on top, then flip and continue cooking for a minute.

5. Remove from the pan and wipe the pan with oil again before making more pancakes.

6. Serve with maple syrup.

Find more recipes online at agr.gc.ca/discoveragriculture.


Jun 01

Cauliettes Mushroom Gratin

Cauliettes Mushroom Gratin

Love carbs but hate what it does to your mid-section? Consider trying a trendy substitute to the typical comfort foods. Vegetables like zucchini, carrots, spaghetti squash and cauliflower are tasty ways to continue enjoying your favourite foods. This yummy recipe uses cauliflower to thicken the sauce for a lighter version gratin.

Cauliettes Mushroom Gratin

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


For the skinny “Alfredo” sauce:

• 1/2 (14 oz) package Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes

• 3/4 cup milk or vegetable broth

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp garlic powder

• Dash cayenne pepper

For the Gratin:

• 1/2 (14 oz) Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes

• 1/4 cup onion, diced

• 2 tsp olive oil, divided

• 1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

• 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Microwave Cauliettes covered for 6 minutes, until very soft. Split the Cauliettes in half and use half for the sauce and half for the main ingredients. Sauté onion until soft, then set aside. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil until slightly brown, then set aside.

2. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Purée all the sauce ingredients in food processor or blender until very smooth. Set aside.

3. Mix cooked Cauliettes, cooked onions, and cooked mushrooms with sauce. Spread in shallow baking dish (8” to 10” diameter).

4. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbling at edges and starting to turn golden brown on top.

For freeze ahead: Prepare as above using two 2-quart casserole dishes. Allow dish to cool to room temperature. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil; freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 60 minutes or until warmed. Sprinkle with extra cheese before serving if desired.

Find more recipes online at culinarycutsclub.com.


May 22

Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

There’s no time like springtime to fill up on farm-fresh greens and crisp vegetables. Take advantage of nature’s peak season by eating easy dinner salads all week.

Add protein. Protein transforms a boring side salad into a satisfying main course. Marinated steak, grilled chicken, boiled eggs and seafood are all hearty options, but don’t overlook plant-based protein sources such as chickpeas, black beans, tempeh and tofu.

Toss in grains. A true main course borrows from all the food groups, grains included. Grains, such as bulgur and quinoa, not only add extra texture to your dish ( they also pack another punch of protein, which will keep you from sneaking dessert or a midnight snack later.

Experiment with toppings and bases. Who said fruit can’t be invited to the party? Crisp apples or nectarines add a welcome tartness that can be lacking in your salad. Dried cranberries and grilled peaches add a complimentary sweetness to an otherwise savoury dish. Experiment with other toppings, such as creamy goat cheese, avocado, fried Asian noodles or bacon. Remember that lettuce isn’t the only acceptable base. Ready-to-make cauliflower rice, such as Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes, can make a hearty substitute for plain spinach.

Dress it up. Ditch bottled dressing and start making your own ( it’s easy and way healthier. One of most basic and versatile types of salad dressings to make is a vinaigrette. Just mix one part vinegar/acid to two to three parts oil. You can experiment with different oils, such as walnut or grapeseed, as well as acid in options like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or sherry. A bit of Dijon mustard or tahini can help make it a bit creamy. Once your basic mix is ready, you can add other flavour components like herbs, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, nuts or whatever you fancy.

Moroccan Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6


• 1 bag (14 oz) Mann’s Cauliflower Cauliettes

• 1 tbsp coconut oil

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1 tsp ground cumin and paprika

• 1/2 tsp each ground coriander and salt

• 1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and pepper

• 1/4 cup water

• 1/4 cup lemon juice

• 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• 1 red pepper, chopped

• 1/3 cup red onion, chopped

• 1/4 cup orange juice

• 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

• 1/4 cup toasted almonds, slivered

• 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped and divided

• 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

• 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped


1. Heat coconut oil in large skillet set over medium heat; cook Cauliettes, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, cinnamon and pepper for about 5 minutes or until well coated and Cauliettes start to soften. Stir in water; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until no liquid remains and Cauliettes are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

2. Toss together cooled Cauliettes, chickpeas, red pepper, red onion, orange juice, apricots, almonds and 2 tbsp cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, pomegranate seeds and mint.

Find more springtime salads and seasonal meal ideas at www.culinarycutsclub.com.


May 10

Chicken and Bean Baked Tortillas

Chicken and Bean Baked Tortillas

These protein packed tortillas from Ontario Bean Growers take white pea beans out of their traditional baked beans, soup and salad recipe roles and make a tasty pairing with chicken.

Chicken and Bean Baked Tortillas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Makes: 6 tortillas


• 2 cups (500 mL) cooked white pea beans

• 2 cups (500 mL) cooked chicken breast, diced

• 1 cup (250 mL) medium or hot chunky salsa

• 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

• 6 10-inch flour tortillas


1. In a medium bowl, combine cooked beans, diced chicken, salsa and cheese.

2. Divide mixture between 6 tortillas, placing mixture on the bottom half of the tortilla. Begin to roll, tucking in the sides as you go.

3. Place seam side down on a non-stick cookie sheet.

4. Bake in a preheated 400° F (200°C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired. For spicier tortillas, add finely chopped jalapeños, minced garlic or green onions.

Nutritional information for one serving: Energy 478 kcal; protein 31 g; fat 15 g; carbohydrates 51 g; total dietary fibre 4.3 g.

Find more recipes online at ontariobeans.on.ca.


May 07

Grilled Chicken Soup

Warming up the grill this spring

Grilled Chicken Soup

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves 4-6


• 4 to 5 carrots

• 1 sweet onion

• 4 to 5 fingerling potatoes

• 1 stalk celery

• 2 to 3 chicken breasts

• 3 cups chicken stock

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) hot sauce

• 1 1/2 cup (350 mL) cream

• 1 cup (250 mL) Rickard’s Red

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Crumbled blue cheese for topping


1. Coat grill with olive oil and pre-grill carrots, sweet onion, fingerling potatoes and chicken breasts. Cook through three quarters of the way to allow final cook in the soup. Cool and chop all into hearty sized cubes.

2. In a large pot combine chicken stock, hot sauce, cream and beer. Stir well.

3. Add chopped ingredients and simmer soup for 1 hour.

4. To thicken soup so consistency is more like a stew, stir in a little flour.

5. Serve in bowls topped with crumbled blue cheese.

6. Pair with a beer and enjoy.

Find more grilling recipes online at Rickards.ca