A self proclaimed Foodie and author of a cookbook, Geeta Maini portrays immense pleasure and passion with her cooking. Geeta continues to explore and experiment with the abundance of herbs, spices and ingredients available in the market place to create home-style dishes that are sensuous to the palate. She is currently working on her second cookbook, linking food from a historical, geographical and cultural aspect.
Ratatouille, which comes from a French region of Provence, is known for its delicious medley of zucchini, peppers and tomatoes. This make-ahead dish is ideal for breakfast or brunch.
2 zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks
2 red peppers, cut into bite-size chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 eggplant, cut into bite-size chunks
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried basil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
1 cup (250 mL) Milk
1 cup (250 mL) 15% or 18% cream
8 slices white sandwich bread, divided
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups (500 mL) grated Canadian Mozzarella, divided
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated Canadian Asiago, divided
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, toss together zucchini, red and yellow peppers, eggplant, oil, oregano, basil, salt and pepper until vegetables are coated. Transfer to a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 25 min or until vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, whisk together milk, cream and eggs. Cut each slice of bread diagonally in half.
Arrange 8 bread halves on the bottom of a buttered 9 x 13-inch (3 L) baking dish. Stir tomato into the roasted vegetables. Scatter half the vegetable mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle with half of Mozzarella and half of Asiago.
Arrange remaining bread halves on top. Scatter with remaining vegetables. Slowly pour milk mixture over top. Press gently to submerge bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 45 to 50 min or until casserole is hot in the middle and cheese is a deep golden (cover for the last 10 min if browning too quickly). Let stand for 10 min before serving.
As there are so many varieties of eggplant available today, just pick your favourite; and there’s no need to peel it either.
Replace the yellow pepper with one large onion, cut into wedges.
Diwali season is here and Dairy Farmers of Canada teamed up with Spice Goddess Bal Arneson to create a series of delicious South Asian recipes.
Enjoy cheese? These delicious recipes feature the goodness of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.
The Spice Goddess’s recipes include:
Cheddar and Ricotta samosas – Bal’s pockets of flavour feature fennel and garam masala with the addition of Canadian Cheddar and Ricotta to bring a touch of smoothness to the veggie filling.
Baked Cauliflower with a cheesy Madras curry dip – However, in her version, Bal sets her curry-spiced cauliflower alongside a cheese dipping sauce of Madras curry paste, yogurt and Canadian Mozzarella for extra flavour and texture.
Peach chutney with Feta – A wonderful marriage of flavours, the fruit and cheese combination creates the perfect balance between sweet and salty. Briny and crumbly with a semi-soft texture, Canadian Feta pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the peaches and smokiness of the paprika.
Palak with pan-fried Paneer – Today, excellent Paneer is made right here in Canada and you can put them to work in the Spice Goddess’ recipe best grilled or BBQ’d.
Grilled chicken with Ricotta sauce – Bal softens the fiery Tandoori flavours of her grilled chicken with a fresh and cooling Canadian Ricotta sauce.
Ricotta rice pudding with fresh berries – The Canadian Ricotta adds a creamy texture to the spice-infused rice pudding contrasts with the fresh fruit and crunchy almonds.
These recipes are available in a booklet distributed at participating Food Basics, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Fortinos, FreshCo, and Walmart stores. They are also available online HERE.
About Bal Arneson
As a TV host, award-winning author and well-known culinary personality, Bal is also known across the globe as the Spice Goddess. Bal is no stranger to spice-infused cooking and has been known to develop delicious dishes using a fusion of ingredients.
Since September of 2009, Bal has been hosting a weekly cooking segment on Global Television in British Columbia. In July of 2010, her cooking series Spice Goddess premiered on the Cooking Channel in the United States and on the Food Network in Canada. Her first cookbook Everyday Indian is a best seller and her second cookbook, Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian, released in 2010, was a best seller almost immediately upon release. Along with many other appearances in the media, Bal appeared as a judge on the TV series Iron Chef America in early 2011. She currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia with her 17-year-old daughter, Anoop and 8-year-old son, Aaron.
About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC promotes quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet.