FOCACCIA BREAD

 
   
       
           
             
                 
             
             
                 

Focaccia with Oregano and Olive Oil 

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This focaccia recipe is a simple and delicious classic that makes a perfect addition to your antipasto, a lovely side to salads,  perfect to pair with your pasta dishes, a savory base for focaccia pizza and can be used as sandwich bread. 

                 
             
           
       
   

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water 

1 tablespoon of quick-rise instant yeast

1 teaspoon of white granulated sugar

2 cups Tipo '00' Flour

1 teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3/4  cup of bread flour plus more for kneading if required

1 tsp dried oregano

Freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to drizzle and brush on top

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DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl gently whisk the yeast and sugar into the warm water.  Ensure that the temperature of your water is not too hot. 

Let this mix sit quietly for approximately 5 minutes.  While your yeast mix sits in your stand mixer add all 2 cups of your of Tipo "00" flour and salt to your mixer bowl. *If you do not have a mixer you can do this by hand and add all your ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.   

At this point your yeast should start to show a frothy texture at the top and it is now ready to use.  

Add your yeast and water mix directly into your stand mixer bowl with the Tipo 00 flour and add your oil.  

Turn on your mixer to the lowest setting to begin working this into a dough.

Once it is at the point where it is mixed and very sticky gradually add the bread flour.  

If you find the dough still quite sticky add a little more flour until you see it come together and firms up a bit. 

At this point remove the focaccia dough from the mixer bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for another minute or so until it forms a softer ball. 

In a separate bowl that is deep enough to allow the dough to rise lightly coat the bottom of the bowl with some oil and place the dough in the bowl.  

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and set aside for 1-1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size. 

Once the dough has doubled in size it is now ready to be placed into a greased 14-inch-long x 10-inch-wide x 2-inch-deep baking pan. 

Gently stretch out your dough to fit into all of the corners of the pan.  Do not roll the dough out. 

Once again cover loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise for another few hours or until it has puffed up again. 

Once your dough has rested and risen once again preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Uncover your dough and remove plastic wrap.  Gently drizzle the extra virgin olive oil approximately 1 ½ tablespoons on top of the dough and gently spread with a pastry brush. 

Evenly distribute the dried oregano and add fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to your taste.   

Place in your preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for approximately 18 to 20 until slightly golden on the bottom.  

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing.   

This focaccia makes a delicious grilled focaccia sandwich for lunch should you have any leftovers so be sure to keep your focaccia wrapped to prevents the focaccia from drying out.  Enjoy!!










PAN FRIED SQUASH AND SPINACH
 
   
       
           
             
                 
             
             
                 

PAN FRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SPINACH   

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This dish is vegan, gluten free and dairy free.  The combination of sweet squash and tender spinach make this dish a delicious, nutritious and simple side dish that pairs well with chicken, meat served over a bed of steamed jasmine rice or with a slice of warm crispy bread for dipping. Change the text sample and add the Picture etc...

                 
             
           
       
   

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INGREDIENTS

400 grams of butternut squash peeled and cubed

11 oz of fresh spinach leaves 

1/4 extra virgin olive oil

1 finely chopped garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

3/4 teaspoon paprika 

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DIRECTIONS

DIRECTIONS

Peel and cube your butternut squash and set aside. 

Wash your spinach leaves and run them through your salad spinner a few times to remove excess water. 

Place your large skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add your oil. Add your butternut squash cubes and all your spices and cook for approximately

6 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally until softened right through making sure not to burn the squash.     

Once softened add your garlic and cook for 30 seconds and immediately add your spinach leaves and cook for 2 minutes

Remove from heat and serve.

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If you like a little extra heat feel free to add some hot chili flakes for that extra bite.  

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WHIPPED RICOTTA AND HONEY TOAST
 
   
       
           
             
                 
             
             
                 

Whipped Ricotta and Honey Toast with Tomato Basil Confit 

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This has to be one of my favorites go to dishes because not only is this really simple and quick to make but it is also incredibly delicious.  This open faced ricotta toast can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even as an appetizer.  The creamy ricotta cheese is gently whipped with sweet honey and fresh cracked black pepper and then topped with sweet slow roasted gourmet cherry tomato and basil confit and drizzled with a rich balsamic glaze to bring all the flavors together. I was once told that the most beautiful things in life were the simplest ones and this is a perfect example of that.  

                 
             
           
       
   

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INGREDIENTS

2 slices of sourdough bread

6 tablespoons of ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon of liquid honey

1/4 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

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TOMATO CONFIT
12 oz of gourmet sweet cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 small leaves of fresh thinly sliced basil
1 teaspoon of salt
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*balsamic glaze optional
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DIRECTIONS

Your confit can be made the day before to save you plenty of cooking time before assembling this dish or it can be done the same day. Heat up your oven to 325 degrees and in a small baking tray arrange your tomatoes side by side.

 Drizzle and evenly distribute your oil, salt, basil, pepper and garlic powder and place into the oven on the middle rack for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow a few minutes to cool meanwhile In a food processor add your ricotta cheese, honey and pepper and blend until smooth.  

To assemble - Toast your bread and generously spread half of the whipped ricotta cheese on each slice of sourdough. Top each slice of toast with as many tomatoes as you like and lightly drizzle the balsamic glaze and serve immediately.





PAPAYA, CHIA AND FLAX YOGURT BOWL
 
   
       
           
             
                 
             
             
                 

PAPAYA, FRUIT, CHIA AND FLAX YOGURT BOWL

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I have heard the saying "Breakfast of Champions" and always thought of eggs and toast however this is another perfect example of a good heart healthy breakfast of champions.  

The mornings in our household can sometimes be busy but one thing is for certain breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be done right.  This recipe was made when I was actually cleaning out my pantry and had some deliciously ripe fruit just ready to be eaten.  I was hungry and needed some good energy and extra fiber, which also helps to keep you fuller for a longer period of time.  This bowl was incredibly easy and quick to put together.  Its packed with nutrients and most of all fresh and delicious.  This also makes a great bowl to take for lunch.  Healthy habits, healthy bodies and feeling great is what this yogurt bowl represents.  Feel free to use a dairy free yogurt if you are lactose intolerant. 

                 
             
           
       
   

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INGREDIENTS

200 grams fat free plain greek yogurt

50 grams of Gay Lea french vanilla cottage cheese or plain low fat cottage cheese

4 thinly slices strawberries

1/2 sliced banana

1/3 cup fresh papaya chunks 

1 tablespoon of dried blueberries

1 teaspoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon raw chopped walnuts

1/2 tablespoon of flax seeds

1 teaspoon of flaked coconut

1 tablespoon liquid honey to drizzle on top (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl stir together your greek yogurt and cottage cheese.  

Top your yogurt with the fresh fruit, dried fruit, seeds and nuts. 

Drizzle honey on top and serve.  

If you are taking this as a lunch option you may consider omitting the banana as it will discolor quickly.





POMEGRANATE DRESSING
01/20/2018  
   
       
           
             
                 
             
             
                 

POMEGRANATE DRESSING

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This dressing is a light, tasty, healthy, sweet and versatile dressing that is best enjoyed on salads , on top of grilled meat, chicken, and turkey.  It's gorgeous ruby color and  mild acidic notes make this a beautiful salad dressing to add on your holiday table but can be enjoyed all year round.

                 
             
           
       
   

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INGREDIENTS

8 oz of fresh pomegranate arils

1 1/2 cups of water

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

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DIRECTIONS

Place your water and salt in a small saucepan on med heat and let it come to a boil.  Add your pomegranate arils 

and reduce your heat to med low for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the water has reduced and the arils have softened.

Remove from heat. 

Over a bowl place all your liquids and arils through a mesh strainer to strain out all the remaining liquid.  

Uses the back of a spoon to push against the pomegranate pulp in order to draw out as much juice as possible. 

You should get close to 1/4 cup of juice from this process.  

To the strained juice whisk in your oil, lemon juice, vinegar and spices and set aside until it has cooled 

down completely before refrigerating.   

This dressing can and should be made ahead of time and can be stored in the fridge

for a few days.  Be sure to shake the dressing well before using.







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