Recipes from CH Morning Live with Lori Deanglis on Friday April 19th, 2013

Blue Cheese, Medjool Date and Bacon Biscuits

Sit back and enjoy a wonderful breakfast biscuit that combines the sweet rich flavour of Medjool dates and the salty smokey taste of bacon and blue cheese. Try serving these up at your next family brunch and make them smaller to feed a bigger crowd with other offerings alongside.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 12 minutes

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) cornmeal
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter cut into small cubes
3/4 cup (175 mL) Natural Delights Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ cup (125 mL) chopped cooked bacon
1/3 cup (75 mL) crumbled blue cheese
¾ cup (175 mL) 18% table cream (approximately)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and pepper. Using fingers, add butter and rub butter into flour mixture until coarse crumbs start to form. Using a fork, stir in dates, bacon and blue cheese. Drizzle cream over top of mixture, tossing with fork until mixture starts to come together.

Gather dough together with your hands and place on floured surface. Knead gently a few times to bring together. Pat out dough to form about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick circle. Cut into 8 wedges and place on prepared sheet. Bake in centre of 425 F (220 C) oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

Makes 8 biscuits.

Tip: Let cool completely and wrap individually with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Warm through in the microwave or in the oven before serving.

Medjool Date and Cocoa Muffins

Sitting down to enjoy a hearty muffin is a great way to start your day or afternoon snack. With the sweet caramel flavour of Medjool dates and the crunch and deep cocoa flavour from the cocoa nibs these will be a favourite treat for family and friends.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) whole wheat flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) cocoa nibs 
½ cup (125 mL) butter, softened
¾ cup (175 mL) packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder
1/3 cup (75 mL) buttermilk
2 Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and quartered

In a bowl, whisk together all purpose and whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in dates and cocoa nibs to coat; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

In a small bowl, stir together vanilla and instant coffee until dissolved. Add to butter mixture and beat into mixture. Stir in buttermilk and add flour mixture; stirring until evenly combined.

Line or lightly grease muffin tin and scoop batter among 9 muffin cups. Top each muffin with the quartered dates and bake in centre of 375 F (190 C) oven for about 18 minutes or until golden and cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

Makes 9 large muffins.

Tips: Let muffins cool completely then wrap individually and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days and warm through in the microwave before serving.

You can find cocoa nibs in the natural or organic section of the grocery or health food store. 

Slow cooker barbecued pork loin

Cook this loin for dinner and enjoy some leftovers for lunch or cook the whole thing and have it ready for lunch to pack for the family. Using dates helps sweeten the sauce but the vinegar helps keep the tang of a tasty barbecue sauce.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 to 10 hours (slow cooker)
Broccoli slaw Yield: 1 L (4 cups)

1 small onion, finely chopped
125 mL (1/2 cup) chopped pitted medjool dates
375 mL (1 1/2 cups) strained tomato puree (passata)
45 mL (3 tbsp) cider vinegar
10 mL (2 tsp) Worcestershire sauce
2 mL (1/2 tsp) hot pepper sauce
5 mL (1 tsp) each dried thyme leaves and chili powder
5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
1 boneless pork loin roast, about 750 g/1.5 lb

Broccoli slaw:
1 bag (340 g) broccoli slaw
25 mL (2 tbsp) light mayonnaise
25 mL (2 tbsp) plain 0% greek yogurt
45 mL (3 tbsp) cider vinegar
2 mL (1/2 tsp) celery seeds
Pinch freshly ground pepper

1. In blender, combine onion, dates, puree, vinegar, Worcestershire  and hot pepper sauces. Blend until smooth. Pour into slow cooker.

2. Rub pork loin with thyme and chili powder. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and brown pork loin on all sides. Add to slow cooker; turn to coat. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours. 

3. Broccoli Slaw: In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar and celery seeds. Add broccoli slaw and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Remove pork loin and set on cutting board. Slice into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices and serve with broccoli slaw and spoon sauce over top.

Pork loin Sandwiches: Place pork loin into whole grain buns, spoon with sauce and top with broccoli slaw if desired to enjoy.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Pull pork loin apart with 2 forks and return meat to sauce and stir to coat. Place on whole grain buns and top with broccoli slaw if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Couscous and Chickpea Salad

This salad is so fresh tasting it will keep your guests coming back for more! The recipe is easy to double for a big crowd and simple enough to make ahead. From “Get in the Kitchen and COOK!” by Emily Richards

2 cups (500 mL) sodium reduced vegetable stock
1½ cups (375 mL) whole wheat or white couscous
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, grated
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
3 tbsp (45 mL) each chopped fresh mint and Italian parsley
2 tbsp (25 mL) walnut oil
3 tbsp (45 mL) cider vinegar
cup (75 mL) dried cranberries or chopped medjool dates
cup (75 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts

In a saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Add couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and scrape into large bowl.

Add chickpeas, pepper, carrot, sundried tomatoes, mint and parsley; toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cranberries and walnuts.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Helpful Hint
Make the salad up to 2 days ahead and stir it up before serving. For added fruit and nut flavour increase both to ½ cup (125 mL).


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