3 Healthy, Homemade Recipes from Chef Christine Tizzard

Chef and TV personality Christine Tizzard is taking us back to from-scratch cooking with her new cookbook, Honest to Goodness.

Starting with recipes for homemade yogurt and salt-free Mexican spice mix through to chocolate chip cookies, she offers home cooks 365 days worth of recipes with an emphasis on raw ingredients and whole foods. There’s also been an effort by the Toronto-based (Newfoundland-born) chef to keep things simple.

“I want to help make your journey with food a little bit easier,” Tizzard states in the book’s introduction.

The recipes includes food facts and helpful tips for cooking everything from standards like Pot of Chili to healthful twists as in Beet Greens and Kale Seeded Salad (recipe follows). The collection of recipes is also multiculturally informed, from falafel to bulgogi to Sichuan 5-Spice Kabocha Wedges (recipe follows).

Handy for those on X-, Y- or Z-free diets, a legend indicates what isn’t in each recipe. Vegan dishes, for example, are denoted with V (GF if they are gluten-free and NF for nut-free). Tizzard has also been mindful of added sugar with most recipes tagged as LS (low-sugar), even desserts.

Beet Greens and Kale Seeded Caesar Salad (GF, NF, LS)

I’ll be honest, this is a more adult version of a Caesar salad. However, toss this same dressing on romaine lettuce, croutons and bacon and you will have an another instant winner. Come on, we have all been known to make a kid and adult version of the same recipe at dinnertime. I also have been able to eat this whole salad by myself in one sitting, and you may have more Seeded Caesar Salad Dressing than required for the one salad. Don’t worry, any extra dressing will be quickly used up as a dip for raw veggies or spread on tomorrow’s sandwich. The seeds in this recipe make a creamy dressing and take the place of raw egg. Nutritional yeast can be used instead of Parmesan cheese if you are trying to cut the fat as 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of Parmesan has 64 calories in comparison to nutritional yeast’s 5 calories.

Makes 2 mains or 4 sides
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Special equipment needed: good blender or small food processor, salad spinner (optional)

1 bunch kale (leafy greens only), finely chopped
1 bunch beet greens, washed well, leaves finely chopped
3 beets, peeled and cut into wedges, roasted (optional; see Cool Fact below)
2–4 tbsp (30–60 mL) nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
2 tbsp (30 mL) raw sesame or hemp seeds, for garnish

Seeded Caesar Salad Dressing
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) raw sesame or hemp seeds
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) water
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
4 anchovies
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. Prepare salad greens. Got a salad spinner? Use it. If not, wrap washed leaves in a clean tea towel and gently shake off excess water. Place in a large salad bowl. The drier the leaves the better the dressing will coat the greens. Place greens in the salad bowl.
2. In a blender or small food processor, combine all ingredients for the dressing, except salt and pepper, and blend until you have a thick and creamy dressing. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour half the dressing over the greens and massage with your hands until the greens are coated and slightly limp. Taste and add more dressing if needed.
4. Serve with roasted beet wedges (if desired), seeds and a sprinkle more of nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese.

Beet Green Tips
When buying beets, buy the ones with the greens attached. These greens, like radish greens (which can be eaten as well), tend to be sandy and will require a good wash. Store washed greens in a plastic bag or container. Vegetables like carrots and beets go rubbery quickly if you leave their tops attached. Trim tops before storing. The tops and leaves will suck the moisture out of the roots for themselves.

Cool Fact: Peels slip off roasted beets easily
To roast beets, place washed, trimmed, unpeeled beets in a double-layer foil package with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil drizzled overtop. Seal the package and roast at 425 F (220 C) for 45 minutes to an hour, until fork tender. For more flavour, add a few garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme to the package. When the beets are cool their peels will slip off easily.

Next: Sichuan 5-Spice Kabocha Wedges

Sichuan 5-Spice Wedges (V, GF, NF, LS)

So, what is kabocha? Well, you may never eat butternut squash again. This typically dark–green, tough-skinned, flat and gnarly looking squash (also known as Japanese pumpkin) is awesome. Intensely sweet with a dark orange flesh so dense it almost seems dry, it reminds me of a cross between a sweet potato and a chestnut. I never peel it; when cooked, its skin softens and is completely edible, full of fibre and very nutritious. Squashes and pumpkin alike are known to be a source of beta-carotene, have anti-inflammatory properties and help regulate blood sugar, so I am always looking for new ways to work them into my meals. Try these wedges alongside my Orange Sumac Dip, or cut leftovers into chunks and toss into a salad the next day.

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Special Equipment Needed: sharp chef’s knife

2–3 lb (900–1400 g) green or red kabocha squash, washed, peel on
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive or melted coconut oil
2 tsp (10 mL) Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp (5 mL) ground Sichuan pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili power
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C) and line or grease a baking sheet.
2. Using a chef’s knife, slice off a thin section of stem or root end providing a flat surface to help cut the squash in half. Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds with a spoon. Cut into quarters and, using its flat surface on a cutting board, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedges.
3. In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Toss wedges in bowl with spiced oil to coat. Place in one layer on lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time, until golden and fork tender.

Saved My Life: One good sharp knife
It is true what they say. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. It slips easily off food and you use your strength instead of the knife’s sharpness to cut though. This is a hazard, not to mention it slows you down. Everyone should have one good, preferably 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife, and sharpen it regularly. Then go buy yourself a bread and paring knife. Don’t be afraid to let your kids get used to using knives. Start them off with a simple paring knife and teach them to keep their fingers tucked in like a claw.

Kabocha Tips
Kabocha grows with both dark green and red skin. The red (more dark orange) tends to be a little sweeter.Sometimes mislabelled as buttercup squash or vice versa, kabocha have flat bottoms, whereas buttercup has a buttercup flower shape on the bottom.Squash will store up to 3 months in a cool dark place and up to 1 month at room temperature. There is no excuse not to have a few kicking around your house. Use kabocha the same as you would any other squash or pumpkin – steamed, puréed or made into a curry or even a pie.

Next: Omelette with Sprouts and Pesto

Omelette with Sprouts and Pesto (GF, LS, NF)

I started buying and trying all these different spouts and microgreens for food styling,
mostly, since they look so darn pretty in pictures. They also make an awesome salad. I will admit, however, they are sometimes not the easiest to eat, unless they are stuffed in something like a sandwich or a wrap . . . or an omelette! The heat of the omelette gently wilts the sprouts as they get blanketed in pesto. Also, if you’ve never had pesto with your eggs you don’t know what you’re missing.

Makes 1 omelette
Total time: 10-15 minutes
Special equipment needed: good 8-inch (10 cm) non-stick skillet

2–3 eggs (I like a 2-egg omelette, some like 3)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp (5 mL) avocado oil, butter or olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) pesto
Handful (about 3⁄4 cup/
185 mL) sprouts or microgreens of choice (like peas shoots, sunflower, broccoli or radish sprouts)
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) grated cheese of choice (Gruyere is especially good here; optional)

1. Using a fork, whisk eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until no streaks remain.
2. Add oil (or butter) to a skillet and melt over medium heat. Let it coat the bottom of the pan and let the pan get good and hot.
3. Pour eggs into a pan and, using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs quickly in a figure-eight pattern while moving the skillet in a circular motion. Cooked bits on the side of pan can be scraped down easily while uncooked eggs takes their place.
4. As soon as the eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes, shake the skillet to settle any uncooked egg. The eggs should be cooked through on the bottom but still runny on top. Lift an edge of the omelette to check that it’s holding together.
5. Add your dollops of pesto, handful of sprouts and cheese, if using, over one half of the omelette.
6. Tip the skillet and use your spatula to gently fold the undressed half overtop the filled half.
7. Slide omelette onto a plate and eat immediately.
A heart-healthy oil that can take the heat of a 500°F (260°C) pan? Yes please! Avocado oil is one of my new favourite oils to have on hand.

Cool Fact: What is the difference between sprouts and micro greens?
Microgreens are a lot like sprouts and the two can often be used interchangeably, but there are a few main differences. Sprouts are grown in water, and they grow in about a week. Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil and can take up to a few weeks to grow. The seed of the sprout is eaten, whereas with microgreens the seed is not eaten, just the plant’s first set of leaves. Sprouts are also known to have more crunch than microgreens, depending on variety, while microgreens are said to have more nutritional value as well as more flavour.

Excerpted from Honest to Goodness: Everyday Recipes for the Home Cook. Copyright © 2017 by Christine Tizzard. Published by Whitecap Books. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.