Posts tagged ‘Cottage Cheese’

May 16, 2011

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

This is the 3rd post in my series of posts on healthy breakfasts over at In The Know Mom.

The more I do breakfast, the more I realise I absolutely LOOOVE breakfast! I think I could easily do a hundred posts on that subject and still, I wouldn’t run out of ideas or get fed up talking about it…

A couple of weeks ago, I fell on a picture which lead me to this recipe and thought OMG, I soooooo have to make a healthy version of that. Not that the original was entirely bad, but I still felt I needed to clean it up some.

To make this one, you cannot be in a hurry. This is a food of love kind of breakfast. It is one that is best prepared for a nice family breakfast on a week-end day when it’s cold and rainy outside and you need some sort of a picker upper. This last Sunday was EXACTLY that kind of day where I live. As well as Saturday! Oh, and Friday… We’ve been having such crappy weather lately, it’s not even funny. But that’s beside the point. I’m getting way off track here.

Back to French Toast. The ” normal” version that we are used to seeing is nothing but plain white bread, soaked in eggs, milk and sugar, often cooked in loads of butter then drenched in maple syrup. Sure, it tastes awfully good! But it’s not exactly what I would call good for you.

This version here not only tastes absolutely fantastic, it’s also incredibly good for you. The key is to start with good, wholesome bread (I chose to use a sprouted seeds and whole grain bread) and to not go overboard with the honey or maple syrup. Chances are, you won’t feel the need to. The toasts are already sweet and tasty enough as it is!

Seriously, that breakfast was so heavenly, I’m already dreamin’ of trying a raspberry version, and maybe even make a lovely raspberry sauce to go with it. *Sigh*

Makes me wish I could have breakfast at least twice a day! 


Stuffed French Toast
(makes 6 slices)

One good, wholesome loaf of bread

STUFFING

  • ½ cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 40g vanilla protein powder
  • 125g fresh strawberries, cut in half
  • 1-2 large strawberries, diced (to be folded in)

EGG BATTER

  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tps vanilla
  • Pinch salt

BREADING

  • 40g fresh coconut, grated
  • 60g sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup old fashion oats

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small food processor, combine the cottage cheese, vanilla protein powder, chia seeds and 120g of strawberries; Process until smooth. Fold the diced strawberries into that mixture. Set aside.
  2. Cut the bread into 6 thick slices (remove the ends first). Make an incision at one end of each piece of bread and create a pocket that goes about 3/4 of the way through. Using a pastry bag, (or a spoon if you don’t have one of those readily available) fill the pockets you’ve just created with the cottage cheese mixture. Refrigerate the stuffed slices while you prepare the batter and breading.
  3. For the egg batter, mix all the ingredients in a shallow baking dish and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
    In a sheetpan, mix all the ingredients for the breading and set aside.
  4.  Dip the bread slices in the egg batter making sure to let each side soak for about 45 seconds, and even longer if you can. (*see note) Next, dredge them into the breading mixture.
  5. Put a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and drizzle with a tiny little bit of olive oil. When pan is hot enough add the stuffed bread slices and brown on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from skillet and serve immediately. Top with a fresh strawberry and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

*next time, I will try soaking the slices for an extended time, like 15-20 minutes per side. I would love for my bread to absorb more of that lovely batter, which will hopefully result in a super moist (almost “bread pudding-like”) French toast.  


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April 4, 2011

Rustic Sweet Potato Chestnuts Galette

Tracey, over at Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, gave me the inspiration for this dish . When I saw it, I thought that tart looked so amazingly good but I really didn’t like the idea of using so much butter in the crust. I think that, unfortunately, good old pie crust is a thing of the past for me… It requires way too much fat to be a part of my regular diet. But I refuse to cross pies entirely off my list! I like them way too much for that. I simply have to look for ways to make them a whole lot healthier.

Back to Tracey’s tart, I thought that the “bready” crust I had used for my rustic spinach feta galette would work great! Then I thought maybe if I was going to use that crust, that I could do the exact same technique as the one I had used for said galette but change the stuffing to match that of the tart! Aaaah, now there’s a great idea!

From there, I totally forgot about the recipe and let my imagination run wild. I had to use sweet potatoes, as to me, that was the base ingredient. I also wanted chestnuts in there. And spinach was also a must. For some reason, I really wanted to try the spinach, chestnuts and sweet potato combination. I wasn’t convinced it was going to work well with the feta cheese but still, I had to try it. If it didn’t work out, then I could always make a few adjustments next time…

Well, I think I made a pretty good call in the end. No adjustments necessary here. I think all the flavours and textures complemented each other just fine. This is another keeper, for sure. Oh, and I have some leftover in the fridge, so now I look forward to trying it cold. I’m hoping it’ll be just as good as the spinach / feta version was!

I just love easy, versatile dishes such as this one!

Ingredients
(serves 4-6)

Crust

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 450g spinach
  • 300g roasted and peeled chestnuts (pre-packaged)
  • 125g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Poppy seeds

Instructions

  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk oil, milk and egg; pour over flour. Stir to form fairly smooth dough. On floured surface, knead until smooth, 2 minutes. Press into disc; wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry onions, stirring often, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Every 2-3 minutes, add water, a few tablespoons at a time and let it evaporate completely before adding more. When onions are nice and caramelized, transfer to large bowl.
  • Add sweet potato and fry for 5-10 minutes, to give it a nice brown coloration. Add ¼ cup water and cook for another 5 minutes, until all water has evaporated. Transfer to bowl with onions.
  • Add spinach, in batches, and cook until wilted. Drain and squeeze out moisture. Mix into onions and potatoes, along with chestnuts, feta, cottage, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • On floured surface, roll out dough to form a 16 inch disc. Fit into greased (brush with olive oil) 9 inch cast iron skillet, letting excess hang over edge.
  • Mound filling in center; lift pastry up over filling, letting it fall naturally into folds and leaving 5 inch opening in the center. Brush dough with egg white, sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  • Bake in bottom third of oven until pastry is golden and filling is steaming, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.

 

April 2, 2011

All the colours of Autumn Stuffed Loaf

This would be one of my daughter’s favourite dishes. Oddly enough, she doesn’t care for bell peppers and this recipe calls for A LOT of bell peppers. In fact, I would say bell peppers make this dish. Along with the parsley, it would be the only ingredient that you cannot substitute for something else. I like to use at least 3 different colours: the classics red, orange and yellow. I find this does so much for the visual aspect of the dish.

Since she likes it so much, I decided to make one and bring it to my parents’ to eat there. This happens to be the ultimate portable dish. All you need is a piece of aluminium foil, so you don’t risk of leaving any of your favourite dishware behind. Plus, it’s so extremely easy to carry around. No danger of spilling, tilting over or being damaged in transportation here! Just put it in a bag and drop in on the passenger’s seat (if available) and you’re good to go.

I used to make this stuffed bread with Ementhal cheese instead of cottage. I have to admit that the Ementhal added a lot of depth to this dish, but it also added a lot of extra calories and fat while not being quite as generous as cottage in the protein department. Since there is no other source of protein in this dish, I figured cottage would be an excellent choice and it is. Next time, however, I might go half and half, because I truly miss the distinctive flavour of the Ementhal.

It is really important that you choose a loaf of bread that is very dense with a nice, crispy crust. Of course, go with whole wheat or whole grain! As for the olives, I use Kalamata, but any olive would do, as long as it has a lot of flavour. I don’t think I would go for the canned black olives here; they are a bit too bland. Moroccan would work beautifully, I think. Black or purple would be a better choice as they will also benefit the beautiful array of colours that this dish has to offer. It’s like Autumn in a bun!

Ingredients
(serves 4-6)

  • 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread
  • ½ of each: red, orange and yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 500g 1% cottage cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut the top off the loaf and hollow it, leaving as little of the crumb as you possibly can, without damaging the crust.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together (except bread, of course!)
  • Tear about half the bread crumb into bite size pieces and add that to the stuffing you just mixed. (Save the rest to make breadcrumbs)
  • Give the mixture a good stir and return to the hollowed out bread. You’ll want to press it in really well; while it does look like a lot of stuffing, you should be able to fit it all in.
  • Replace top of bread and wrap in aluminium foil. If possible, refrigerate until the next day. It will taste even better the next day, as the flavours will have had time to develop.
  • This dish can be eaten cold but it’s even better when slightly heated in a 375F degree oven, for about 20 minutes. This will crisp and warm up the exterior, while leaving the inside fresh and cold. It’s like eating a refreshing salad with warm piece of bread. If you choose to heat it up, leave it in the foil but open it up halfway.