Warm Autumn Beakfast Bakes
Basic pancake mix turns a simple chicken stew into a kicked up comfort food favourite!
THIS DISH IS CALLED NINJA CHILI FOR TWO REASONS:
This chili leaves people guessing WHAT IN THE WORLD is giving it such a unique smooth richness. They’ll guess and they’ll guess with each bite until they reach the last spoonful and then, poof, like in a cloud of smoke or into the darkness, the mystery is gone without a trace. ...until the next bowl.
Download the PDF Version of Ninja Chili
Makes 8 six-inch flatbreads
If you’ve run out of bread and grocery day is still a few days off, don’t fret! In no time at all (and with only 3 ingredients plus a bit of water!), you can prepare a fresh, DELICIOUS batch of flatbread. No yeast, no special equipment or skills, and no stress needed!
1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose), plus a bit more for dusting and rolling
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil (preferably olive, but any type will do)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
~Wash your hands (you’re getting right into this dough)!
~Measure flour and salt into large bowl and toss together evenly with a fork. Make a well in the centre by pushing flour mixture away from the middle of the bowl.
~Add water and oil to the well and, starting with a fork, gradually stir in flour bit by bit until most has been incorporated into the wet ingredients. It will look weird and shaggy and that’s ok! Leave the dough in the bowl and use your hands to knead it for about two minutes or until it smooths out and looks uniform and has had a bit of a work-out. Shape into a ball, Leave in the bowl, cover with a plate/tea towel/plastic wrap, and let the dough relax for about 30 minutes.
~After dough has rested, portion it into 8 pieces by using a knife and cutting the ball in half, then cutting each half in half, then cutting each quarter in half. Use your hands to shape each into a ball and place back into bowl, covered, until ready to roll out.
~Using a rolling pin (or a can from your pantry, label removed, can well washed and dried) on a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a very thin round, about 5-6 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about weird shapes; they’ll still be delicious! Roll all flatbreads and just leave stacked while you cook them, one by one. You’ll be able to separate them quite easily.
~Heat a medium-sized cast iron pan (or other heavy skillet) over medium heat until very hot. Cook flatbreads in dry pan, about 1-2 mins per side/until slight charring occurs, flipping only once. Adjust heat if pan becomes too hot or cool.
~Stack cooked flatbreads on a large piece of foil. When all are cooked, wrap in foil and keep warm in very low oven (150 degrees) until ready to serve. They are best served the same day you make them but can be wrapped tightly and kept at room temperature for a day or frozen and rewarmed, wrapped in a 325 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.
SO! What can you do with your lovely flatbreads?...besides using them for dippers with curry, chilli, soup or stew, or for wraps and sandwiches, try one of these fresh ideas!
1. Use them as a base for tuna melts
Mix well-drained tuna, a scoop of mayo, chopped onion and celery and salt and pepper, then scoop onto a flatbread, sprinkle with grated cheddar and toast on a rack or baking sheet under the broiler or at 425 degrees for about 5-10 minutes
2. Fill with your favourite taco toppings
Seasoned ground beef/turkey/pork, shredded deli chicken, salsa, shredded lettuce, sautéed onions and peppers, guacamole, salsa - all heaped into these tender flatbreads breathes new life into Taco Tuesday!
3. Top them for delicious, mini ultra-thin crust pizzas
A thin layer of canned spaghetti sauce, shredded mozzarella, and any toppings you crave! Try pepperoni and mushroom or bacon and green pepper, or basil and tomato for a vegetarian pizza Margherita. Bake directly on the rack or on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 425 degrees
4. Make a burrito-bowl salad
Invert flatbread onto a small metal measuring cup or oven-safe bowl and bake in a 375 degree oven for 5-10 mins or until crisp and lightly browned. Cool, flip and fill with cooked rice or quinoa, a scoop of chilli, shredded cheese and lettuce, salsa, and diced avocado. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and dig in!
5. Roll into PB&J pinwheels
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on surface of flatbread to about a half inch from the edge. Top with a thin layer of your favourite jam. Roll carefully, taking care to not make the roll too tight or filling will squirt out the ends. Wrap roll in plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes. Remove from freezer and slice into wheels. Serve to any little one who is suffering from lunchtime boredom!
Quinoa is a superfood that is so high in protein and nutrients, it’s a wonderful addition to any pantry! Here are a few tips on how to cook perfect quinoa every time.
1. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!
Quinoa has a bitter coating that always needs to be rinsed away prior to cooking, so decide how much you’d like to make according to package directions and then measure it out into a medium-sized bowl. Pour enough cold water over the quinoa to cover it by a few inches, then get a fork or a whisk and stir it vigorously for a few minutes. Drain it by either pouring into a fine mesh sieve or by covering with a pot lid and straining carefully. Repeat this process once or twice more, drain very well and then proceed to step #2.
2. Time for a Toast, then Cool it!
Toast well-drained Quinoa in a large, dry frying pan over medium-low heat (do this in a few batches if you can, to avoid over-crowding the pan). Toast, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown slightly and develops a mildly nutty aroma (it will pop a bit during this process; just a heads up!). Transfer toasted quinoa to a baking sheet, spread out to cool, then proceed using your favourite recipe or the package directions... BUT, be sure to cook with salt added to the water with a bit of butter/olive oil if you can OR a bouillon cube adds wonderful flavour as well!
***PSSST! ...Now that you’ve got the ‘recipe for success’, so to speak, here’s what to do with all that wonderful quinoa you’ve just made!
~use in place of rice as a side dish or in any of your favourite recipes
~add cooked, cooled quinoa to salads; it’s amazing topped with vinaigrette and is wonderful with tuna, veggies, shredded cheese/nuts for a main course salad
~add cooked quinoa to soups for a protein boost! Tomato, minestrone, vegetable and beef barley with quinoa are fabulous!