High-Protein Greek Salad

I feel like it’s been awhile since I posted a food recipe (and with this post, I’m using the word recipe quite loosely). It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, it’s just that our food choices have been pretty basic and routine. I suppose that’s what summer time is about, though. More time spent outside, less time around the stove 🙂 We’ve been eating a version of this Greek salad for quite a few weeks now, so I thought I would share it.

This Greek salad doesn’t deviate much from the classic version. Sharp red onion becomes mellow in the balsamic vinegar, crunchy cucumbers and peppers add a sweet bite, and juicy tomatoes round out the salad combo. We add fresh mint, too, because it’s a great way to use up the monster bushels that currently seem to be in the markets.

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What makes our version different is our secret high-protein ingredient. Dry curds! Have you ever had them? It’s cottage cheese, but without the milk fat. When you open the tub, you’re staring at… you guessed it… dry curds. 

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So, why go this route, instead of using the standard feta cheese? Well, we often try to limit our intake of super-salty foods, and we’re always looking for ways to add more protein into our meals. This power-house source of protein gives you a whopping 22 grams of protein in half a cup. This is a win-win addition, in our books!

I won’t lie – the dry curds don’t taste like feta cheese (they actually don’t have much taste on their own). But with a really flavourful balsamic vinegar and copious amounts of fresh herbs, I would argue this salad doesn’t need the extra salt.

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This high-protein Greek salad has found its way into many of our meals. We have it alongside chicken or tuna sandwiches, it gets topped with perfectly poached eggs, and we’re not opposed to using it as a makeshift salsa with our salmon tacos! And it still tastes really good as leftovers a day or two later.

See? The perfect summer salad!

High Protein Greek Salad
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Using dry curds gives this Greek salad a huge boost in protein. It's the perfect addition to any meal.
Ingredients
  • ½ medium red onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Large handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup once chopped)
  • 2 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 cup dry curds
  • Balsamic vinegar (enough to cover the red onion - about 2 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (enough to cover the salad - 1 to 2 tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped red onion into a large bowl, along with the balsamic vinegar. Let this sit to mellow while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Taste. Add salt and pepper as you see fit.
  3. If you can, leave this sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavours to combine.

Enjoy this High-Protein Greek Salad!

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Great Northern Parkin Under Wensleydale

Classic British food is probably not on the forefront of people’s minds when they think of really great food. Perhaps it’s because I’m married to a Brit, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it; granted, I did marry into a family of food-lovers, but I dare you to argue with me after eating Sticky Toffee Pudding, or Treacle Sponge, or good-quality classic Fish and Chips, or Yorkshire puddings with roast beef!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Parkin and Wensleydale with a cup of tea

I think the Brits tend to do simple food very well. Actually, looking at my love list above, perhaps they do comfort food very well 🙂

One of these easy recipes is Parkin. It’s a gingerbread cake that originates from Yorkshire in the north of England. There’s nothing terribly special about the ingredient list (oats, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, molasses and ginger), but the unusual thing about this cake is that you leave it to age for a few weeks after it bakes.

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Waiting for this cake is a test of your willpower. Just out of the oven, the smell of the gingerbread is mouth-watering, so you get excited about trying a little piece but, no, you have to wait. And not just until the cake cools. Nope, you have to wait weeks, two or three, to be precise!

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It sounds strange, I know. You leave a cake to sit (in a tightly sealed container, granted) for a few weeks, and it doesn’t go bad or stale?

Nope!

It’s completely counter-intuitive. The cake becomes crumbly the longer it sits, but at the same time it is also slightly dense (in a good way). And as it ages, the sweet molasses and ginger flavours mingle and become more pronounced, to give you a wonderfully rich-tasting cake.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Parkin and Wensleydale with a cup of tea

Last but not least, you cannot eat this cake on its own. No, it must be eaten with cheese, and not just any cheese – it must be eaten with plain Wensleydale (not that weird fruit-laden Wensleydale)… and a cup of tea… preferably on Guy Fawkes Night (but I’m Canadian, so I feel justified in ignoring that last part).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Parkin and Wensleydale with a cup of tea

On a rainy Vancouver day, after three weeks of waiting, there is almost nothing more satisfying than a cup of tea and a slice (or two… or three…) of ginger Parkin under a great wedge of Wensleydale.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Parkin and Wensleydale with a cup of tea

If you’ve never tried it, hopefully I’ve convinced you to give it a whirl. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Classic Parkin Cake
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Modified slightly from a Gary Rhodes recipe in New British Classics
Ingredients
Dry stuff:
  • 200 g (~1.5 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10 g (~2 tsp) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 150 g (~1 cup) large-flake oats, processed into a coarse flour (or use oat flour)
Wet stuff:
  • 200 g (150 mL) golden syrup
  • 100 g (70 mL) molasses
  • 200 g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 200 g (1 cup) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 275F and well-grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Add in the coarsely-ground oats and mix.
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the golden syrup, molasses, butter and brown sugar. Do not let the mixture simmer or boil, you only want this to melt.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and blend.
  5. Add in the beaten eggs and milk, mix to combine.
  6. Pour the batter into the well-greased 9x13-inch pan and bake for 75 minutes, or until the centre of the cake is firm to the touch.
  7. Leave the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, before turning it out to finish cooling.
  8. Place the cake in an air-tight container and leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks. The closer you leave the cake to 3 weeks, the better the flavour will be.
Notes
We have made this cake in a 9x13x2-inch pan as well as a 5x11x3-inch loaf pan, and both have turned out great.
If you bake it in the deeper loaf pan, be prepared to increase the baking time by 15 minutes or so.

Enjoy!

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Climb Eat Cycle Repeat | Seeded Pecan (Raincoast Crisp!) Crackers

Homemade Seeded Pecan Crackers

First question: Have you ever made homemade crackers? I must admit, it does take a bit of work – not hard work, but waiting work, planning work. I must admit also that, as most homemade food goes, they do taste better than store bought, and I think we appreciate them more, knowing the time it takes to make them.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackersSecond question: Have you ever had Raincoast Crisp Crackers? They are crunchy, biscotti-like crackers that are quite addictive and quite expensive – $8 for a box… a small box!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackers

These homemade crackers are basically very similar in style to Raincoast Crisp Crackers. If you google a recipe for these crackers, most websites all seem to point back to this one, and for good reason – this Canadian makes some pretty great, fool-proof food!

You start by making a quick bread in loaf tins. Add whatever goodies you might fancy – nuts, seeds, raisins or dried fruit… anything is fair game! If you have a favourite cracker flavour, now would be the time to recreate it! I went  the Pecan-Raisin route 🙂

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Once the loaves have cooled, slice them up as thin as possible and then bake the slices until crisp. I usually stick the loaves in the fridge or freezer for awhile, which makes it much easier to slice the bread without it crumbling too much.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackers

Even thought the crackers do crisp up once they have cooled, they should still be fairly firm when taken out of the oven.

They do taste especially good with a glass of nice red wine and an assortment of quality cheeses 🙂

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Happy nibbling!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackers

Homemade Raincoast Crisp Crackers
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: ~8 dozen crackers
  • Serving size: 1 cracker
  • Calories: 29
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3 g
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 41.5 mg
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Recipe adapted from Dinner with Julie
Ingredients
Dry ingredients
  • 1½ (180 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) spelt flour
  • 2 tsp (10 g) baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup (70 g) raisins
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup (30 g) pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) ground flax seed
  • ¼ cup (45 g) packed brown sugar
Wet ingredients
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup (85 g) pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and spray two 8"x5" loaf pans with oil or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and maple syrup. (If you don't have buttermilk on hand, place 2 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice into the bowl and make up the remaining 2 cups with milk of any kind. Stir and let it sit for ~ 5 minutes before using.)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter equally between the two oiled loaf pans.
  6. Bake for ~35 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown and slightly springy to the touch.
  7. Remove from the pans and let cool completely.
  8. When ready to make the crackers, pre-heat the oven to 325F. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves as thinly as possibly.
  9. Lay the crackers flat on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes, until they are firm and crisp.
Notes
If you don't have spelt flour, feel free to use all all-purpose flour.
These loaves freeze very well, so I will often make one loaf into crackers and freeze the other loaf for another time.

Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli and Chorizo Pizza | ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com

Roasted Broccoli and Chorizo Pizza

Years and years (and years ago!) we used to make a pizza every week. I should be ashamed to admit the size of pan we would fill and how thick the crust was, and how much we would consume in an evening, but I’m not… because it was darned good! We were young and our metabolisms were high 🙂

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted broccoli and chorizo pizza

This is the time of year when the cravings for warm, homemade carbs start to tug – the days are getting shorter, the sun setting sooner and the cool, wet weather is settling in. When we succumb to our pizza cravings, the pan size is definitely smaller and the crust is much thinner than those pizzas of our youth, but we enjoy it just as much!

I have never made pizza dough with bread flour. Have you? If not, I’d urge you to try it! The crust was light and airy, with that nice soft chew you get from the good Italian pizzas. It’s been on my “flours to try” for ages, and I’m glad I finally got around to it!

Jonty was on tomato-sauce duty, which involved letting a whack-load of tomatoes, garlic, onion and a splash of red wine, simmer down over low-heat. I was on pizza crust duty, which involved mixing the dough for a few minutes and then letting it rest for a while.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted broccoli and chorizo pizza

Really, homemade pizza is the art of doing a bit of work, then leaving the ingredients do their thing – pretty low-stress, really! And this roasted broccoli and chorizo pizza definitely falls into that category of low-stress (but highly tasty) food.

The pizza dough recipe comes from Peter Reinhardt’s book. His original recipe makes five individual pizzas – I opted to halve the recipe and make one large pizza. Next time, I would probably reduce the quantities even more, to get a thinner crust, or opt to freeze any unused dough (which he mentions as an option).

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted broccoli and chorizo pizzaClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted broccoli and chorizo pizza

This pizza crust was really good and I will definitely make it with bread flour again, such a small change, such a difference!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Roasted broccoli and chorizo pizza

Roasted Broccoli and Chorizo Pizza
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12" pizza
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 234
  • Fat: 7.8 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.8 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 422.5
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 9.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.3 mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted slightly from Artisan Breads Every Day
Ingredients
For the pizza dough:
  • 440 g / 12 oz / ~2⅔ cups unbleached bread flour
  • 7 g / 0.25 oz / ½ tsp salt, or ½ tbsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1.5 g / 0.06 oz / ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 14 g / 0.5 oz / 1 tbsp sugar
  • 240 g / 8.5 oz / 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, room temperature
  • 14.5 g / 0.5 oz / 1 tbsp olive oil
For the tomato sauce (if you want to make your own):
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • Good splash of red wine (optional, or red wine vinegar)
For the toppings:
  • ½ head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 150 g extra-lean ground buffalo chorizo (use this recipe)
  • 50 - 75 g Havarti cheese
Instructions
  1. To make the dough, place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook until the ingredients are well combined, then let the dough stand for 5 minutes, to fully hydrate the flour. On medium-low speed, knead the dough (with dough hook) for 2 - 3 minutes, until the dough is soft and slightly tacky.
  2. Coat your hands with olive oil and remove the dough from the bowl onto a work surface. Knead (stretch and fold) the dough a few times, then shape into a small ball. Place in a clean, well-oiled bowl and leave to stand in a warm place to double in size. You can also place this in the fridge for up to 4 days before baking.
  3. When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 500°F and place a piece of parchment paper onto an upside-down baking tray (or use a pizza stone, if you have one). Place the pizza dough onto a well-floured counter and gently press the dough into your desired shape. If the dough springs back, leave it rest for a bit, then try gently stretching it again. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined tray and top with the sauce and toppings.
  4. For the tomato sauce, place all ingredients into a sauté pan and reduce over low heat, stirring periodically, until the sauce is nice and thick. This will probably take an hour or more, so patience is key!
  5. We like our pizza light on the cheese and heavy on the veggies, so feel free to use whatever toppings you like.
  6. Bake in the very hot oven for 15 minutes or so, rotating the pan half-way through the baking time, until the crust turns golden brown.

Enjoy this Roasted Broccoli and Chorizo Pizza!