Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 servings

An amazingly creamy chowder, loaded with tons of veggies. It’s hearty, nutritious and so comforting!  Thanks

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven. Add garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme and dill until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in vegetable broth and bay leaf, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach and corn until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

Notes

*Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and cream. For 1 cup half and half, you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.

Humous

This recipe is thanks to Inspired Taste for the initial method (but I prefer mine with more garlic)

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas (approx 400g)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Sprinkle of ground paprika for serving

Method

  1. In the food processor or blender, combine tahini and lemon juice.
  2. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  3. Add the olive oil, crushed garlic, cumin and the salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice mixture. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed can of chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.

Getting the consistency right

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.

To Serve

Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil over the top, and then sprinkled with a little with paprika.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to about a week (if you don’t eat it all by then).

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200g margarine
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 100-120g Chocolate chunks (vegan chocolate if preferred)
  • 120-100g Caramel pieces
  • Freshly ground sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
  3. Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
  4. Add the chocolate chunks and caramel chunks to the dough, and mix carefully
  5. Roll into small golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly.
  6. Freshly grind salt on top of each cookie.
  7. Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven (take out just as they start going golden, not when they’re all golden)
  8. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to the cooling rack.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.

Notes:

  • In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half or third a ‘square’ of chocolate, so you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie).  Chocolate drops are just a little too small, and so melt too much during cooking.
  • The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect.  But if they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling.

Choc Oat Chewies

These are based on a ‘Special Oat Chewies’ recipe I picked up from somewhere many years ago.  So when a friend asked for some chocolate chip cookies with oats this morning, this recipe came quickly to mind.  Because of some new dietary restrictions amongst friends, I was able to modify the recipe accordingly below, and they’re delicious!

This makes a good 24-36 ‘biscuit’ sized treats (as I tend to cook them in baking trays of 12 at a time. Smaller is normally better)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup     rice bran oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup        white sugar
  • 3/4 cup     agave syrup (honey, or golden syrup)
  • 1/2 cup     non-dairy milk (soy, rice, etc.  or regular dairy if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp          vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (or wholemeal flour if you’re not worried about the Gluten Free aspect)
  • 1/2 tsp       baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp       salt
  • 3 cups       rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp       cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup      sultans or raisins
  • 1/3 cup      hazelnuts
  • 1 cup / 125g         large chocolate chunks (such as 1/2 bar of Whitaker’s Dark Ghana, chopped roughly into half the regular sized chocolate squares)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees.
  • Blend the oil, sugar, syrup/honey, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add the powdered ingredients slowly (mixing in well to the liquids as you go along).
  • Finally add the raisins, whole hazelnuts, and chocolate chunks, and mix in well.
  • Place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking parchment, around 12 cookies per sheet.
    • They largely keep their shape, so will look pretty rugged even after baking.
  • Bake them for around 11-14 minutes until just going golden on the peaks and base (rotating the baking trays as necessary).
  • Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes (to help keep their shape).
  • Then remove carefully from the baking parchment, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or so.
  • Enjoy slowly!

Storage:

  • You can store them in an airtight tub for up to a few days easily.
  • I haven’t tested them beyond 4 days yet, because they always get eaten up by then!