Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese & Basil

We’ve, meaning the internet, has stated this over and over, but we can definitely hide things and make everything look so peachy keen – cue pink, sparkles, and fluffy marshmallow like clouds. Why is it that when I think happy go lucky, cutsy wootsy that’s what I think of? Like a very bad television show with a princess wearing pink with long blonde hair. I don’t even like pink .. or princesses… anyways rambling. There are bloggers that make writing stories look so fluid and easy, with one quick sentence they can embrace you, drag you into their world and be able to taste the food with one imaginary digital bite. Then there are others, like me, where writing out one paragraph when not in the mood is like trying to get a cat to take a bath. Not very pretty and you’ll want to wear long sleeve shirts for a week.

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Some posts I just want to run out with a flashing virtual billboard with a large neon green arrow that points to this recipe and goes, “This. This doesn’t matter if you’re gluten-free, paleo, bacon lover extraordinaire. This tastes good, so go run to the store to get ingredients and make it.” Then just leave you like that without any sob story about my life and how I used to eat tomatoes as a snack and how the French call it the love apple. Trust me those paragraphs left you with a few scratches.

Now go, fly you fools, and try this recipe.

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Oh and Evie says hi.

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Tomato Tart
Author:
Use up your summer tomato bounty with this delicious light with a little kick tart.
Ingredients
  • 1 grain-free crust
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1-2 beef steak tomatoes, sliced
  • 3-4 eggs, beaten
  • Goat cheese
  • 5 basil leaves, sliced
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Toss your sliced tomatoes with a pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside. This is to help remove some of the excess water. We don't want a soggy tart.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  3. Take your grain-free crust and spread your dijon mustard thinly across the base. Shake off the excess water from your tomatoes before laying them down in one layer across your tart. Depending on the size of your tomatoes you'll need between one and two. Slowly pour your egg mixture on top of the tart giving the pan a slight shake to settle it into the crevices. Now depending on how much you love goat cheese, spread large hunks of it through out the top. I like a lot so I put a lot on. If you don't like goat cheese you can skip this step.
  4. Place in the oven on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the egg is set. When the tart is cooked, bring out of the oven and spread the sliced basil leaves evenly over top. Slice and serve with a tossed salad.

Back to Basics – Grain-Free Crust

In grade one, oh so many years ago, I had the bad habit of cutting my clothes during school. My parents realized this habit one day doing laundry and had a meeting with the teacher in where she expressed that I needed “help”, when really I was just bloody bored. You see I was told to create a pattern in class so I did, yellow-red-yellow-red, in my young little head my thought pattern was pretty rationale – you told me to make a pattern so I did, you didn’t tell me to make a complicated pattern. My Dad looked at me and said, “Heather, next time create a complicated pattern.”

Set Up of Ingredients

I’m a problem solver – you ask me to do something and I’ll work at it and work at it, until it’s done, but you need to be a little specific. I cook and create without a recipe assuming that most just know how to play and make delicious patterns. That’s not the case, especially people who are being introduced to a grain-free healthier lifestyle who have limited cooking skills. Today’s post is the start of a new series called, “Back to Basics,” I’ll talk about simple basic recipes or techniques that I use in my cooking and slowly add recipe links to the bottom to show you what you can do with each idea. These posts are for the people who burn pasta or grate raw butternut squash in a blender to make soup (you know who you are!) or just need new ideas on things. If you would like to see something specific drop me a comment.

Mixing the Ingredients

Today’s post is … crust, either it be a pie or quiche, getting a grain-less crust is one of those quintessential paleo, gluten-free, however you want to call it problems. It’s been two years of trial and errors, most involved just almond flour, one combined almond and coconut, but none gave me that crust flavour or texture I so desired. Honestly, most overpowered the quiches to the point it felt like I was eating a big hunk of almonds covered in a little egg, not so appealing – until now.

This recipe is adapted from The Healthy Foodie’s pie crust, where she goes into detail on how to make a finicky crust which you roll out. Recall the pattern story? I have little patience, so cutting lard and rolling dough isn’t my idea for fun. For me, this recipe involves stirring the dry ingredients in, stirring the coconut oil to make fine lumps, and stir the rest of the ingredients until it forms dough. Sounds easy no? Then just dump your dough into your quiche or pie pan and press it in to the bottom and edges evenly… or be like me and ask someone else to do that part, remember the patience?

Mixing the Ingredients

Unlike the other crusts I’ve tried, this one stands up. A lot of paleo/gluten-free crusts meld into the filling, the texture and feel of this crust remind me of true pie crust, you’re able to see a true definition between crust and filling. The flavour isn’t pow-right-into-the-almonds either, I bet you could make this and fake someone out that it really is proper crust. I made a tomato tart (later on this week) with this crust, took one bite and did a gig, I was so happy to finally have found something that didn’t feel fake. Even better you can make this vegan by substituting the egg for a flax egg and it will work fine.

Get your hands a little dirty by trying this grain-free crust and let me know what your favourite fillings are in the comments!

Grain-Free Crust

Grain-Free Crust
Author:
First in the Back to Basics series, a grain-free crust for any savoury or sweet dish.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • ⅛ cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir all your dry ingredients together until evenly incorporated. Add the coconut oil and stir until you get pea size lumps. Stir in your egg and vinegar. Depending on things you may not need to add all your water, start with half and work your way up. It should feel like dough, if it feels any bit dry add a bit more water.
  3. Press into a pie or quiche pan to make an even layer, try to make it at least half a cm thick.
  4. You can add your filling now and bake or bake by itself for 20 minutes or until golden.
Notes
Substitute a flax egg for a vegan crust alternative, you may have to add a little bit more water at the end.

 

Blackberry Mojito Pimm’s

Today marks a very special day, a day of freedom to do nothing; no assignments to write, no tests to study for, not even work to anxiously wait for in the evening. I can lounge in my sweat pants all day on the couch if I wanted to, which I’m going to try, but I’m not one to relax very well, so we will see how long that lasts. Let’s take bets – two hours? Five hours?

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I silently saluted to all my classmates who are kilometers away, we all celebrated hard this week, but we worked even harder to get where we are today. Dealt with insane timelines – let’s write a case study in two weeks while writing and preparing speeches for another class. We crammed intense knowledge into our heads in a short amount of time, like a university level anatomy and physiology course in two months. Scapula anyone? We even dealt with crazy politics like not allowing one of our friends to celebrate with us. There were tears of frustration and love and I wouldn’t have asked for a better group of classmates to walk this journey with me. Best of luck in your endeavors wherever in the world that may be. I salute you with a glass of booze in one hand and a cheesy delicious pizza in the other.

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I celebrated last Friday with this drink, combining two of my favourite summer drinks – the mojito and a Pimm’s cup. A mojito is light, crisp and refreshing yet the spiced nuances of the Pimm’s brings an earthy almost sangria quality to this drink. If you’ve never had Pimm’s before and just have rum in the cupboard use it, but I highly recommend going out and trying to find this British liquor to try. Just try not to get cat hair in your drink …

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Blackberry Mojito Pimm's
Recipe type: Drink
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Try this earthy spiced twist to a classic summer drink.
Ingredients
  • 8 fresh blackberries
  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 oz Pimm's
  • ice cubes
  • club soda
Instructions
  1. In two glasses separate the blackberries and mull them with a muller or the end of a wooden spoon. If you like more seeds and whole chunks don't press too hard. Add the mint leaves and lime juice, mull some more.
  2. Add the Pimm's and stir.
  3. Add whatever amount of ice cubes you desire (I used two per glass) and top with club soda. Stir and serve.

Peeling an Egg with a Spoon

Disclaimer – This post is part of A. Vogel’s herbamare campaign; we were given three samples to try. All opinions are my own.

A.Vogel has asked Canadian food bloggers on “How do we Herbamare?” this month and I leapt at the chance to join in. Last summer during the sprouting challenge I was given a little sample of their original flavour and it has been a constant companion in my lunch bag; making everyone at school a wee bit jealous.

To be perfectly honest I don’t really add salt to a lot of things, I try to keep my sodium intake low, but I do I use it on my hard boiled eggs adding just a little something something. Herbamare uses ingredients like organic sea salt and herbs like leek, cress, lovage, garlic, and kelp. I highly recommend making the switch to sea salt; it’s a natural occurring substance that hasn’t been chemically bleached so it still contains minerals like calcium and magnesium.
A. Vogel's Herbamare Sea Salt

Hard boiled eggs are delicious, but seriously peeling them is a complete pain; a chore that almost makes me throw up my hands and stomp off in frustration. Standing there in the kitchen, tiny pieces of shell coming off at a time, ripping parts of the egg with it, taking forever just to peel one egg, and when you finally get a whole hunk of shell off at once you feel like doing a happy dance and a victory lap. Been there done that, until a classmate of mine showed me a trick that would change my life forever – use a spoon to peel the egg! No more picking at tiny bits at a time, no more wasting an egg, this takes a few moments and voila nice clean egg to eat.

Peeling an egg with a spoon

Peeling an Egg with a Spoon

I’m not going to talk about how to cook the perfect hard-boiled egg. There are so many posts about that and we all have our own way of doing so. I myself bring my eggs to a boil, then turn off the burner and let them sit, covered, for ten minutes.
 

  1. 1) Press on a hard/corner surface and crack the shell a little bit.
  2. 2) Peel part of the shell; make sure to get under the membrane.
  3. 3) Using a spoon, insert under the shell and membrane.
  4. 4) Slowly twist and lift up while moving around the egg.
  5. 5) Lift the shells off in chunks and voila!

 
Something as delicious as this flavoured sea salt shouldn’t be hidden away in some pasta sauce or crackers (which I fully intend to do with their zesty flavour, stay tuned!), but showcased and what better to do that with a nice creamy hard-boiled egg? A. Vogel is giving everyone a chance to win a cooking kit by showcasing your own Herbamare food photos.

What is your favourite way to season a hard-boiled egg?