Blueberry Goat Cheese Tart

Although it’s still technically summer, the cool nights and crisp mornings are telling us fall is well on its way. And I think this recipe is a perfect representation of that transition. A little bit summery, featuring the last of our 2019 blueberries, and a little bit autumnal with the comforting and filling oven warmed pastry, stuffed with a sweet & savoury filling. It’s the perfect recipe for impressing guests, while still allowing yourself time to enjoy your company since it’s so quick & easy. Paired with a hearty side salad — I’m thinking one with apples and nuts — it makes an easy and satisfying meal. Give it a try & let me know what you think!

Blueberry Tart.jpg

Ingredients

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 log goat cheese, softened

1.5 cups blueberries

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 spring fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem (or ½ teaspoon dried)

Handful of fresh basil leaves, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Unroll the sheet of puff pastry onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Score a ½ inch border around the the edges, being careful to not cut all the way through. Next, prick all over the base with a fork. Pop in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

  3. While the pastry bakes, prepare the blueberry filling.

  4. Add blueberries, water, vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme to a small pot and place on the stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring consistently, for 10 minutes or so. The blueberries should break down and the mixture should be bubbly and thickened.

  5. Remove the pastry from the oven, and gently press down the centre of the tart.

  6. Carefully and evenly spread the softened goat cheese out across the pastry, leaving that ½ inch border uncovered.

  7. Add the blueberry filling to the tart, on top of the goat cheese and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

  8. While the tart finishes baking, roughly chop the fresh basil. After removing from the oven, sprinkle this herb on top, along with a few fresh blueberries for serving.

  9. Slice into rectangles and enjoy!

Recipe developed & photographed by Alex Chesney, RD

Gussied Up Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is a classic – it’s quick, easy, reliable, and delicious. Now, the standard grilled cheese consists of bread, butter, and cheese. But this is just the beginning! There are tons of possible variations, and today I’ve got one for you featuring one of our favourite summer berries. This grilled cheese still relies on the good ole bread and butter but adds a twist with its combination of balsamic blueberry compote and sharp, tangy goat’s cheese. Sweet and savoury have long been a popular combination, and this recipe proves it to be true once again.

This tasty sandwich is packed full of fiber, thanks to the whole wheat bread and blueberries. Blueberries are also a great source folate (which contributes to production of red blood cells, a healthy heart, and prevention of some birth defects) and potassium (important for our bone, kidney, nerve, and muscle health). Further, blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, which plays an important role in the absorption of plant sources of iron, and bone and muscle health. Additionally, Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants found in blueberries. Antioxidants have been linked to heart health and improved cognitive function as well as reduction in cancer and diabetes.

One last fun fact about blueberries – there’s no waste involved, and they are ultra-fast to prepare! Unlike strawberries which must be hulled, blueberries simply need a quick rinse before they’re good to go.

Overall, you really can’t go wrong with blueberries! And this recipe is a real show stopper. Impress your guests this weekend with our gussied up grilled cheese.

Blueberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese.jpg

*Serves 4

Balsamic Blueberry Compote Ingredients

2 cups blueberries, washed

½ cup water

2 teaspoons honey

4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon ground dried rosemary

Sandwich Ingredients

8 slices bread of choice

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 log goat’s cheese

Directions

  1. To begin, make the blueberry balsamic compote. Combine the blueberries and water in a small saucepan and place on the stovetop over medium/low heat.

  2. Cook the berries with the lid off for approximately 20 minutes. Leaving the lid off while cooking allows for evaporation of some of the liquid, which helps the compote thicken. Halfway through cooking, stop to gently mash the berries. Don’t mash too much, as you want the berries to maintain some texture! ,

  3. While the compote is cooking, begin to prep the bread for assembling the sandwiches. Spread an even layer of butter on each slice of bread. Place 4 slices butter-side-down into a frying pan. Set the other 4 aside for later use.

  4. Next, spread ¼ of the goat’s cheese log onto each of the 4 slices of bread.

  5. Once the compote is thick and bubbly, add the honey, balsamic vinegar, and ground rosemary. Cook for a couple more minutes, and then remove from heat.

  6. Add 2 tablespoons of compote to each slice of bread in the frying pan. Spread the compote to the edges, then top the sandwich with a second slice of bread, butter side up.

  7. Cook the sandwiches over medium-low heat for approximately 7 minutes per side. The key to a perfectly golden & melty grilled cheese is low and slow. You have to be patient!

  8. Once the goat’s cheese has softened and melted into the blueberry compote and the bread is golden brown, remove the sandwiches from heat and slice in half. Serve alongside a side salad for a perfect summery lunch!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Mixed Berry Muffins

These muffins are hearty, filling, and delicious! Chock full of fiber from the whole wheat flour, oats, and berries + a boost of protein from the hemp hearts & chia means they'll make the perfect addition to a breakfast-on-the-go or as an afternoon pick-me-up snack. Try topping with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and pair with a glass of milk. Enjoy!
*Makes 12 muffins

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oats
1/8 cup hemp hearts
1/8 cup chia seeds
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Add-ins:
1 cup mixed berries (I used raspberries & blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a muffin tin, or fill with muffin liners. Set aside until batter is prepared.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Slowly stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Do not overmix or muffins will be tough and chewy! Finally, gently fold in berries.

Using a spring-loaded ice-cream scoop (my favourite tool to ensure evenly sized muffins!) drop muffin batter into muffin tins.

Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes. To check doneness, insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, your muffins are ready to be removed from the oven.

Let cool, and then dig in!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Chia Seed Pudding + Blueberries

It's blueberry season! I have been adding blueberries to just about everything these days, because they are not only super delicious but also packed with nutrition! Blueberries are an excellent source of fibre and of Vitamins A & C - which are important micronutrients and antioxidants! They make the perfect mix-in for this creamy chia seed pudding.

Chia seeds are these nifty little guys that form a pudding-like texture when soaked in liquids. The end result is kind of like tapioca pudding, but with packed with fibre, healthy omega-3 fats, and minerals like iron & calcium. Here I chose a mixture of 1% milk and coconut milk, which allows gives the pudding some incredible creaminess without being too laden with fat.

This recipe can be enjoyed as an afternoon snack or as a tasty dessert! Try it out today & let me know what you think.


*Makes 4 servings

3 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup 1% milk
½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse gently until mixed well. Place the mixture in the fridge for an hour. Transfer to mason jars, top each serving with ¼ cup of berries, and enjoy! For an even prettier presentation, try layering - a few spoonfuls of pudding, a sprinkle of blueberries, and repeat!

Recipe developed by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Strawberry Season is Here!

This time of year, when strawberries are still so new & exciting, my favourite way to enjoy them is simply sliced up as a snack. And what a delicious & nutritious snack they are! Packed full of fiber, potassium, and lots of Vitamin C, strawberries are incredibly tasty & super good for you. 

Come pick some up from the farm, pick-your-own-patch, Innerkip Farm Market, or your local farmers' market today! 

Alex Chesney, RD