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February 18, 2020 Special Feature

A collection of favourite spring recipes submitted by our readers that are sure to inspire you in the kitchen!

Winner of the $1000 Gift Certificate from Stor-X!

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Winner of the $1000 Gift PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY Certificate from Stor-X! Page 2

FEATURED RECIPE: Cajun Prawns by Alison Wightman

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Winner of the $1000 Gift Certificate from Stor-X!

Special Spaghetti Sauce Submitted by Jani Cardinal Makes: 12-14 cups

Jani Cardinal

• 2 to 3 tsps salt • 2 tsps sugar • 2 tsps dried oregano leaves • 1 tsp dried basil leaves • 1 tsp dry mustard • 2 bay leaves • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or 10 to 12 peppercorns crushed) • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed • 4 Tbsp cooking oil

• 1/4 tsp paprika

• 2 lbs. good quality lean or extra lean ground beef

• 1/4 tsp cayenne

• 8 small or 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced • 2 small cans tomato paste (156 ml each)

• 1 to 2 cups water or unsalted beef broth or tomato juice

• 3 cans crushed tomatoes (4 cups) plus 4 cups water

• freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Triple Thrills Ginger Lemon Cookies Submitted by Frances Benton This is a crispy, chewy cookie full of gingery loveliness. Bake 350º for 10 minutes.

• 1⁄2 cup white sugar

Scoop small balls of dough onto parchment paper on bake pans. Leave room around cookies as they will spread. For extra thrills, place a few grains of rock salt on top of each cookie before baking — no more than four per cookie. Bake! Eat.

• 1-1⁄4 cup white flour

Remember that the flavour of spices in the sauce will intensify over time. I like to make this sauce a day ahead, as a better flavor develops. Cool sauce and refrigerate promptly. Makes a lot of sauce – about 12 to 14 cups – this is the original recipe doubled.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a recipe! FREE COLOUR UPGRADE until March 31st!

Sift dry ingredients together, then add to the butter/sugar mix. Mix in zests from lemon and ginger.

• 1 egg

Taste and correct seasoning – especially salt – if you have used no salt tomatoes you may need to add more salt.

Beat together softened butter and sugars. Add egg.

• 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter • 1 cup brown sugar

In a large heavy pot, brown ground beef in oil ½ pound at a time (use 1 Tbsp oil for each ½ pound meat), setting aside browned meat in a bowl. Then return meat to pot. Add garlic and then remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover or leave uncovered and simmer very SLOWLY about 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally until reduced to preferred consistency, adding more broth/water/ tomato juice as necessary, as sauce thickens.

• 1⁄2 tsp baking soda • 1⁄2 tsp baking powder • 1⁄4 tsp salt • zest of a medium lemon • 1 cup finely cut candied ginger • 1 tsp powdered ginger • 1 tsp fresh zested ginger root • 1 tsp cinnamon • 1/8 tsp coarse rock salt grains

Today’s culinary creators don’t just dream about being organized, they demand it! They know that great meals begin with great organization! Who hasn't, at some point in their lives, lamented a lack of space and organization at home, especially in the kitchen? A lifetime's worth of items have to be kept somewhere, and without the right organizational strategy, clutter can quickly take over. The home improvement site, Home Therapy, says that when square footage is limited, tapping vertical walls is the fastest way to maximize and multiply the space available with hooks, rods, shelving, and built-ins. The sky is the limit when it comes to finding additional storage and adding a bit of personality to tight quarters. Even homes that may have adequate space can benefit from custom organization solutions. Greater Victoria franchise owner, Lisa Ashe, always had a natural interest in homes and interiors. Combine that with her


independent, entrepreneurial streak and it’s easy to see why becoming part of STOR-X was a perfect fit for her. Her keen eye for style, form and function means Lisa is a natural fit when it comes to working with the STOR-X system. “I’m all about making something functional,” says Lisa. “It has to work for people. Just looking good isn’t enough anymore.” “Life is so chaotic for everyone these days,” says Lisa. “People don’t want to spend time looking for things, especially when they are cooking, they want to enjoy the experience. Well-planned closets, pantries, garages and storage are absolutely critical when it comes to making a home, a kitchen – even a business – more functional.” For more information, contact: lisa.ashe@stor-x.com • 236-464-2245 STOR-X.com

Hillary's Greek Pasta Salad Submitted by Alison Wightman Cook one cup bow tie pasta in boiling, salted water, about 8 minutes or until done, drain set aside.

In the blender or food processor whip the following: (double or triple recipe, depending on how much pasta you’re using)

Add the following to the cooled pasta:

• 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

• one or two green peppers, diced

• 2 Tbsp honey

• one cucumber, diced

• 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

• one red onion, diced

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 4 Tbsp sundried tomatoes chopped into strips (not too small)

• 1/2 tsp cracked pepper

• feta cheese, crumbled • pitted calamata or black olives, crumbled • oregano, to taste

• 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Pour the dressing over the salad. Pasta will absorb dressing overnight. If you have leftovers, it might need a bit more dressing the next day.

Piña Colada Cake Submitted by Bert Churchill • (520 gram) package white cake mix • (355 ml) tin cream of coconut syrup, divided • 1/4 cup (50 ml) light rum • 4 large eggs • 1/4 cup (50 ml) vegetable oil • (540 ml) tin crushed pineapple, well drained, divided • 2 (250 gram) packages cream cheese A delicious cake – perfect for any occasion.

Place cake mix in a large mixing bowl, along with 1/2 cup (125 ml) cream of coconut syrup, rum, eggs, and oil. Beat with electric beater according to package directions. Stir in one cup (250 ml) drained pineapple. Grease and line the bottom of two (9 inch or 23 cm) round cake pans with wax paper. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cakes on rack for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. For icing, beat cream cheese with remaining cream of coconut syrup until smooth and creamy (note – add the

coconut cream a little at a time as this product is thinner than it once was). Spread half the cream cheese icing on top of one cake layer; spoon remaining pineapple over top of icing. Place second cake layer firmly on top and spread with remaining icing. Garnish with lime or kiwifruit slices and refrigerate until ready to serve. Make the cake a day ahead of serving. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for several days. NOTE: In this version, we do not put half of the icing in the middle and the other half on top. We put a smaller layer of icing in the centre with the pineapple and use the rest to ice the sides.



Pumpkin Vanilla Mousse Cake Submitted by Judith Appleby



• 3/4 cup flour

• 3 cup whipping cream, divided

• 2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 2 eggs

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• 1 tsp vanilla

• 1/2 tsp nutmeg

• 2 pkg Knox gelatin

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 3 eggs

Whisk 1 cup cream with the eggs and sugar. Microwave at 1 minute intervals, whisking between, until thick and eggs are fully cooked.

• 1 cup sugar • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree Preheat oven to 375º. Line a 10” springform pan with parchment or wax paper. Mix dry ingredients. Beat eggs at high speed until pale and thick. Gradually add sugar until creamy. With mixer on low, beat in pumpkin and flour mixture. Pour batter into pan and bake 25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

Dissolve gelatin in a little water, then microwave for 2030 seconds. Add to cream mixture. Cool completely. Whip remaining 2 cup whipping cream with the vanilla, and fold into custard. Assembly: Cut cake into two layers. Place bottom layer back into cleaned springform pan and top with 1/2 of the mousse. Repeat with the top layer of cake and the rest of the mousse. Let cake set in the fridge for several hours, then run a knife around the edge and remove the springform edge.

Low Gluten Diet Squares

Cajun Prawns

Submitted by Gary Mons and Gloria McDormand

Submitted by Alison Wightman

Baking time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 5-10 minutes

• combine 2 cups rolled oats and 2 cups buttermilk and soak overnight • add 1/2 cup of melted butter and 2 large beaten eggs. Mix together.

Pour mixture into an 8 x 12 baking pan and bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and cut into desired squares.

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar or sugar substitute of your choice

I like to serve these squares with no sugar added fruit preserves. If you feel like indulging, serve with maple syrup and whipped cream.

• 1 tsp baking powder


• sprinkle in 1/2 cup spelt flour

• 10 to 12 prawns • 6 slices of bacon • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard • 1/4 cup hot sauce (like Frank's)

Fry bacon until crisp - remove bacon from pan and crumble.

• 2 Tbsp tomato paste

Add Dijon mustard and hot sauce into bacon grease.

• 1/2 white onion, diced

Add tomato paste and 2 to 3 Tbsp of water.

• 1 tsp baking soda

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/2 tsp salt

• chilli powder, basil, oregano, pepper to taste

Add white onion and garlic cloves - cook till tender/crisp.

• 2 tsp cinnamon • 1/2 cup nuts of your choice or dried fruit of your choice Stir until combined 4 READER RECIPES | February 18, 2020 | TIMES COLONIST

Add chilli powder, basil, oregano and pepper to taste. Simmer the sauce for 5 to 10 minutes. Add shucked prawns and cook until done. Serve with basmati rice and cucumber/ mango salad.

Cheese and Broccoli Casserole

Everyday Granola

Submitted by Gail Mackay

Submitted by Neala St. Hilaire

Baking time: 45-50 minutes This recipe is excellent for gluten free or vegan family members. Preheat oven to 350º degrees. Butter an 8 x 8 inch pan. A slightly larger one will work, too. Combine in a big bowl:

• 2 large heads of fresh broccoli, cut into big chunks •  1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese •  4 cups cooked rice Melt 3 Tbsps of butter in a saucepan, then add 1 small chopped onion, and 2 cloves minced garlicup Saute over medium heat until onions are transparent. Add 3 Tbsps gluten-free flour (I use Cup4Cup) or regular flour to the onion butter mixture and stir until dissolved. Slowly add 2 cups of milk and heat and stir until the sauce thickens.

Cooking time: 45 minutes Makes: 12-14 cups

Set oven to 275º. Mix all dry ingredients together in a very large bowl and stir thoroughly. Whisk together in a measuring cup:

Combine the sauce, broccoli, cheese and rice in the big bowl and mix together. Pour into the baking pan.

• 1kg package of large flake oats

Shred some extra cheese and sprinkle over the top.

• 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Bake 45 to 50 minutes.

• 1 cup raw sunflower seeds

• 3/4 cup maple syrup

• 1 cup chopped raw pecans

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Black Bean Brownies

• 1/2 cup ground flax seed

• 1 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened • 1/2 cup sliced natural almonds

Submitted by Nancy Harrison

• 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds

Baking time: 25 minutes

• 2 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º.

The reason the recipe makes so much is that large flake oats can be purchased easily in 1 kg packages, so I adapted my recipe to be able to accommodate that amount of oats.

BROWNIES • 15 oz. tin black beans •  1/4 cup peanut butter •  2 Tbsp cocoa powder •  1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips •  1/2 cup quick rolled oats •  1/4 tsp salt •  1/3 cup brown sugar


• 2 Tbsp white sugar

• 1/4 cup milk

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil

• 1/4 cup butter

• 2 tsp vanilla

• 1 cup icing sugar

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients together in blender except chocolate chips. Add them last. Pour batter into an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

I don't like to add dried fruit to granola until after it has been baked, so the fruit doesn't end up dried out so you can add your own dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, etc) after the granola has cooled or when you are ready to serve.

Pour the combined liquids into the middle of the dry ingredients. Using a large wooden spoon, carefully stir wet and dry together until thoroughly mixed. Bake at 275º for 25 minutes and then remove the granola to give it a stir, then pop it back in the oven (switch the cookie sheets so they are on opposite racks) and bake at 275º for another 20 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 hours and store in a tightly sealed container for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!

The recipe fits easily on two cookie sheets so everything can be baked together, I usually place parchment paper on the cookie sheets first for easy clean-up.

• 1/2 tsp vanilla Melt all of the ingredients together in the microwave. Ice the top of the brownies while still warm. Cut into squares and cool. TIMES COLONIST | February 18, 2020 | READER RECIPES


Mushroom Risotto with Nova Scotia Scallops and Wilted Spinach Submitted by Juanita King In an oven-proof pan, sauté the diced onion in butter over medium heat until soft and transparent. Add sliced mushrooms and continue to saute. Add the spices. Add the Arborio rice to the pan and continue to stir.

Serves 2 Preheat oven to 350º • half an onion diced • 1 cup sliced mushrooms • 10 to 12 large scallops • 3/4 cup of Carnaroli or Arborio rice • 1 Tbsp minced garlic • 1 tsp salt and about 15 turns of the pepper mill • 2 Tbsps butter • 2 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth • 1 to 2 Tbsp cream • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat broth in the microwave until hot. Reserve 1/2 cup. Slowly add the remaining broth to the pan and continue to stir. Once the broth is absorbed, cover the pan and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Cook the scallops in butter. First pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes each side. Cover and set aside. Remove the rice from the oven and return to the stove top. Add Parmesan cheese, cream and additional butter. Stir constantly, slowly adding the remaining hot broth. When the rice has absorbed the broth and has a nice chewy, but soft texture, serve onto two plates. Lay 4 or 5 scallops on top of each serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives. I served this recipe with wilted spinach as a side dish, but any green veggie would work.

My Mexican Salad Cheryl Sutton


I love this recipe because it is healthy, tasty and very colourful. Vegans and gluten-free people can enjoy this salad.

• 2 cups frozen corn

This salad is always a hit at summer or winter potlucks. Even my husband who doesn’t like beans will eat it!

• 1/2 medium red onion cut in fine pieces

Before making salad, I make the dressing in a small jar.

• 1 large orange pepper cubed

DRESSING: • 1/2 cup commercial balsamic dressing

• 2 large handful green beans cut in 1/4s • 1/2 can drained and washed black beans • 1-2 large avocados cubed • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved • 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley or cilantro • 1/2 fresh lime Scorch the corn until it caramelizes in a non-stick frying pan with no oil. Then, put it into a wide, low bowl in the ridge to cool.

Arrange the cherry tomatoes artistically over the top of the salad with domed side up.

• Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (the same as what you used in salad so it blends)

Cut the green beans into quarters, and microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the beans to the bowl in the fridge to cool.

Squeeze the lime juice over all.

Combine the ingredients in a jar and shake. Put in the fridge until ready to serve.

Add the drained and washed black beans, chopped red onion, cubed avocado, cubed orange pepper and mix.

• one clove of pressed garlic • 1/2 lime, juiced • 1/4 tsp chili flakes


Sprinkle the finely chopped parsley or cilantro over the top. When you are ready to serve your salad, shake the dressing and drizzle over the top. Do not mix the salad.

Savoury Zucchini Breakfast Scones Submitted by Heather Alton Preheat oven to 400º • 2 Tbsp chives or green onions, chopped • 2 tsp thyme or rosemary • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated • 1 large egg • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 Tbsp baking powder • 1-2 Tbsp granulated sugar • 1 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1/2 cup butter, cold • 3/4 cup buttermilk • 1/2 cup grated cheddar or Asiago cheese • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated, or cheddar or Asiago (for topping)*

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add chopped onion, chives and spices. Cut in the butter until the size of peas. Beat the egg with a fork and combine with grated zucchini and buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just mixed. If too dry, add a little more buttermilk. Gather and knead the dough gently on a floured surface, forming into a round ball. Dust with flour and roll the dough with a rolling pin until approximately 1/2 inch thick. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough with some cream or milk, and then sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Cut the dough into wedges (like a pizza) and then place on a cookie sheet. Bake scones at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

These scones are excellent served with soups, stews, and especially good for breakfast. OPTIONAL: add 1/4 cup cooked, chopped bacon or ham.

Chicken Parmesan Submitted by Gail Hamilton Marinate the chicken breasts in the Italian dressing for 2 hours. Grease baking pan. Stir spinach and basil into the tomato sauce. Coat the bottom of the baking pan with threequarters of the sauce. Reserve 1/4 to top off chicken.

Arrange the chicken on top of the sauce in the baking pan. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the middle of each breast, then top each one with cheese. Bake in a hot oven for 40 minutes. When bubbling hot and golden brown, remove from oven and serve with rice or pasta with side of seasonal vegetables or salad.

Mix all coating ingredients together. Dredge and pat chicken in coating. Heat a medium size frypan with 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, fry breaded chicken breasts until golden brown on each side.

LOW CARB OPTION: Skip coating the chicken and serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash or zucchini spirals.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


• 1/4 cup Italian dressing

• 1 tin spicy tomato sauce

COATING: • 1 cup Panko or cornflake crumbs • 2 Tbsp dry parsley • 2 Tbsp Parmesan

• 2 cups chopped fresh spinach • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil Mozzarella or Swiss cheese to top. Parmesan to sprinkle on top.

• 1 Tbsp onion powder • 1 Tbsp garlic powder TIMES COLONIST | February 18, 2020 | READER RECIPES








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Profile for Times Colonist

TC Reader Recipes  

A Special Section of the Times Colonist

TC Reader Recipes  

A Special Section of the Times Colonist

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