Pate anyone? Introducing: walnut lentil pate!

BY: CHEF JANET CRAIG

This is a vegan recipe that even I had a hard time figuring out it was not meat! It’s a quick and easy appetizer or can be spread on a sandwich. Looking for a New Year’s treat anyone? Just saying …

A bowl of lentil walnut pate

Ingredients 

  • Walnut Lentil Pate
  • ¾ cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (I prefer Le Puy)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons wheat free Tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive or walnut oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne or smoked paprika (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Sauté onion and bay leaf in 2 tbsp oil until soft. Then add garlic, continuing to cook until caramelized. Add salt, pepper and paprika. Remove the bay leaf.
  2. Toast walnuts on baking sheet and 400 degrees F for five to seven minutes, shaking the pan. Remove and cool.
  3. Place lentils, walnuts and all other ingredients in a food processor until creamy – enjoy!

Chef Janet Craig recipes are simple, healthy, delicious and ABI friendly. You can find out more about her HERE.

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From Chef Janet Craig: holiday entertainment hacks

BY: JANET CRAIG

Are you up to holiday entertaining? It is possible to entertain and not feel overwhelmed, with some helpful tips from our favourite Chef Janet Craig!

Buy the Easy Essentials: 

Keep a couple of cheeses and interesting pickles such as mushrooms and olives in the fridge so you can quickly make up an antipasti plate. Have hard boiled eggs on hand to make devilled eggs, which are easy to prepare and a favourite for many! Hit your local Bulk Food Store for nuts, chocolates and other treats to put in small bowls without spending too much on goodies.

Holiday entertaining hacks

Write a Menu: 

Write a menu of what you would like to serve. It helps with the shopping and is a constant reminder of what you are serving (including that salad stuck at the back of the fridge that’s so easy to forget about!) Save even more energy by hosting a potluck and invite people to bring their signature dish, such as a favourite family holiday recipe.

Small Place? No Problem!

If your place is smaller, consider draping a tablecloth over an ironing board to use as a buffet serving board. If your entrance is small, hand out a plastic bag to put wet boots in then the neck of the bag goes over the hanger of their coat.

Go Fancy-Schmancy 

Cider, Thyme + Tonic Mocktail
Cider, Thyme + Tonic Mocktail via townandcountrymag.com

Think about a signature drink, such as these tasty non-alcoholic mocktails. It’s so nice to greet your guests with a beverage in hand rather than running around trying to mix something. Keep a cooler with ice and bottles under that buffet table, just in case. Above all relax and enjoy yourselves.

I always say people come for your company, it’s just a bonus if they get great food.


After suffering a stroke at the age of 40, Janet left the corporate world to open a personal chef business, Satisfied Soul Inc. Now retired, she continues to enjoy her passions of cooking, creating and teaching people how to eat properly.  Find our more about her & her amazing recipes, HERE.

A new way to enjoy green beans

BY: CHEF JANET CRAIG

Are you looking for a new way to enjoy your greens?

french green beans, freshly blanched

This lovely recipe can be prepared in advance and served as a cold side salad in the vinaigrette or warm in same sauce!

Blanche Beans

Any green vegetable such as asparagus, broccoli, and rapini can be blanched, here’s how:

  • Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water with ice cubes.
  • Depending on the size of the vegetable place, in boiling water one to four minutes. Drain and place immediately in ice water.

French beans covered in sauce, with vinaiger and lemon on the side

Herb Vinaigrette

This lovely dressing can be used as a dunking sauce for fresh bread too. I often double or triple it and leave in the fridge for any salad.

  • 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp each of any fresh herbs – I use basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, mint, chives and cilantro
  • Zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1 tbsp sherry or tarragon vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3-cup good olive oil

Whisk together shallot, grainy mustard, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, thyme, tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gradually whisk in oil, I use a hand blender or small food processor to get it creamy.

Pour on top of vegetables and enjoy!


Chef Janet Craig recipes are simple, healthy, delicious and ABI friendly.  You can find out more about her HERE.

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Warm up with delicious, gluten free almond rice bars

BY: CHEF JANET CRAIG

To say the least, it’s been a wet fall in Toronto. Here’s something to warm up to: a delicious, vegan, rice bar that’s low in sugar, gluten and dairy free – enjoy with a warm cup of tea or your favourite hot beverage!
almond rice bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 4 cups rice cereal
  • Slivered almonds as garnish

Directions:

  1. Line an 9 x 9 inch pan with parchment or wax paper
  2. Place rice cereal and dried fruit in large bowl
  3. Mix together almond butter, coconut oil, rice syrup and vanilla in another glass bowl and heat in a pot until you can stir everything easily together. Let cool for two to three minutes.
  4. Add mixture to cereal and stir well with spatula.
  5. Mix in the chocolate and pat into the pan. Garnish with almonds.
  6. Chill then cut into small bars and enjoy!

Chef Janet Craig’s recipes are simple, healthy, delicious and ABI friendly.

You can find out more about her HERE.

This World Egg Day: Cook up Egg Foo Yung

BY: CHEF JANET CRAIG

Egg Foo Yung is a basic omelet, high in protein and gluten free. You can add leftover chicken, shrimp or ham to it for an extra protein boost!

This recipe is great and the sauce works for any stir fry. For Egg Foo Yung, make the whole recipe and serve over the omelet as a sauce or gravy.

  • Four egg whites beaten, or whole eggs
  • Four tbsp water
  • One tsp sesame seed oil
  • One bunch green onions
  • Two cups bean sprouts
  • Two tsp fresh grated ginger
  • One chopped garlic clove
  • One large stalk of celery chopped
  • Sauce ingredients which you can just shake in a bottle & add 1/2 cup to the recipe.
Left: egg foo yung in pan on stove top next to pot of sauce, right top image: eggs in shell, middle right chop sticks on top of a wooden table, bottom right bean sprouts
EGG FOO YUNG PHOTO: JANET CRAIG

Omelet

1. Beat eggs with water, oil.
2 Spray a stir fry pan  with vegetable spray.
3. Sauté onions, celery, garlic & ginger together until translucent.
4. Add omelet with the beans sprouts and cook like a pancake until firm.

Sauce

  • One cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • One tbsp grated ginger
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • Two tbsp Sherry, or white wine ( vermouth)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • One tbsp honey or Hoisin Sauce
  • Two tbsp cornstarch
  1. Make a ” slurry” of cornstarch and broth by slowly stirring in adding more fluid.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients in a jar which you can shake to keep cornstarch mixed.

 


Chef Janet Craig’s recipes are simple, healthy, delicious and ABI friendly. You can find out more about her HERE.

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For the most important meal of the day: fruit breakfast bars

BY: JANET CRAIG

Dare we say it?  With the new school year just around the corner, breakfast is about to get a lot more hectic for some of us. And even if you, or no one in your household is heading back to the Big S-, September still feels like it’s time for a new start, right?

So here’s a new way to start your day – with Janet’s make ahead Fruit Breakfast Bars – they’re easy, delicious and a great start to your morning! And the best part: no prep is needed in the morning, they’re already done!

Base Ingredients –  can be done in food processor

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4  cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Breakfast Fruit Bar

Fruit Filling

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup berries (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries) fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup jam (of the same fruit)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Base:

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-coloured metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.
  3. Reserve ½ of the mixture.
  4. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the filling.

Fruit Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the fruit, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the berries are evenly coated. Then mix in the jam.
  2. Spread evenly over cooled base then sprinkle remainder of the crumbs on the top.
  3. Bake at 360 F for 35 minutes rotating once so bars brown evenly.
  4. I like to add nuts to the topping – almonds, walnuts or pecans are nice
  5. Cool and cut into squares. Can be stored up to three days in the fridge or frozen.Satisfied Soul

 

 

 

 

Chef Janet Craig recipes are simple, healthy, delicious and ABI friendly. You can find out more about her HERE.

What I learned from having a stroke at the age of 40

BY: JANET CRAIG

Although I usually post recipes I thought June being Brain Injury Awareness Month, I would talk about how I got here.

Back in 1991, when I was just 40-years-old (yes, you can do the math), I suffered a massive brain aneurysm. I am now turning 67 and even now when I speak to stroke survivors, I still get emotional. I was a healthy ski instructor, never smoked, did not take birth control nor had high blood pressure. I was bodybuilding with heavy weights and teaching skiing at least twice a week. So the bonus was, I was in great shape.

Having at stroke at 40

What I did not realize was that my mother had the same type of stroke at 37-years-old. Being Irish, she kept talking about the time she had the ‘spell’. My sister also had a TIA, a mini stroke, at 42 so definitely we were predisposed. This is another contributory factor, the hereditary card.

For the two months prior to my stroke I worked in a new job that I was struggling with that included a lot of travelling, driving and working all kinds of hours. I was single and dating so probably exceeding the number of drinks I should be having. I had a constant migraine, which sometimes I would think that I was just tired and I would ‘catch up’ on the weekend. I never consulted with a physician and later on, when I returned to work, realized I was self medicating.

Easter weekend I was teaching skiing at Mont Tremblant and had a migraine so severe I was vomiting throughout the night. In the morning I felt so tired and still nauseous. I tell people later the sensation of trying to move and I felt like I was literally was underwater.

Everything was an effort and my limbs wouldn’t respond. I finally made it to the chairlift but when I sat back, my head felt like it exploded. Fortunately for me the staff there are trained EMS services so got me into an ambulance where I was rushed into Montreal Neurological Institute, a leading research facility where I was diagnosed with having a  stroke and treated quickly. That is the only reason I survived.

In hindsight, all the signs were there but like most people, particularly women, I chose to ignore them.

In hindsight all the signs were there, but like most people, particularly women, I chose to ignore them - Janet Craig

I thought I was overtired, stressed from work and lack of sleep. Well of course I was. Not realizing that expression, stress kills, is actually true! What I did learn, the hard way, is to know your own body and be kind to yourself.

Be aware of the risk factors: oral contraceptives, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, family history, high alcohol use and stress. Most women have very high expectations of ourselves and even though they are exhausted think that they will “catch up” on the weekend. Well you know the drill, you have to be the driver, the cook, the therapist, model wife, and housekeeper and lo and behold the weekend flew by and you are still tired!

Now women have more strokes than men and heart disease in general is hard to diagnose in women we have totally different systems than men. The prognosis is much better for recovery with new drugs available, more research and 10 centres for Stroke Prevention in Ontario.


After suffering a stroke at the age of 40, Janet left the corporate world to open a personal chef business, Satisfied Soul Inc. Now retired, she continues to enjoy her passions of cooking, creating and teaching people how to eat properly.