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Spicy broccoli and cheese greek yogurt dip

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Aug 30th, 2016


  • 2 cups florets steamed or boiled
  • 3/4 cup cracker barrel habanero cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup no fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl combine the warm broccoli that is slightly over cooked (either steamed or boiled) with 1/2 cup cheese. Using a potato masher mash the two until the cheese is melted and the broccoli is mashed.
  3. Then add in the greek yogurt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, caramelized onions and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a small casserole place the mixture in and top off with 1/4 cup of cheese. Place into the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold as well.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco (www.cookingwithv.com)

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Aug 9th, 2016


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps. of baking powder
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips



  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bunt cake or loaf pan of your choice.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs and sugars, then mash in your bananas, and lastly mix in the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix all your dry ingredients together; the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until it is all combined.
  4. Fold in your chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into the pan and let it bake for 40-45 min, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for about 10 min.
  7. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco (www.cookingwithv.com)

Crispy Zucchini Blossoms

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Jul 5th, 2016

Ingredients (makes 12):

  • 12 zucchini blossoms (washed)
  • 1 container of ricotta (454g)
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
  • 1/2 cup diced capicollo (or any type of ham or deli meat of your choice)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil for a shallow fry (about 1 cup)



  1. Gently cut the zucchini flower down the middle to make an opening for the stuffing. At the same time make sure that the zucchini blossom is clean and has no residue on the inside.
  2. In a bowl combine the ricotta, parsley, green onions, garlic powder, salt, Pepper, parmiggiano reggiano and capicollo. Add the mixture into the blossom and close it up as best as you can, it is perfectly fine if the ricotta comes out a little bit.
  3. Onto making the batter, in one bowl add the flour and season with salt and Pepper, in a seperate bowl add the eggs and also season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a skillet (frying pan) warm the vegetable oïl until it begins to ripple on medium high heat. The vegetable oïl should be about 1/4 inch high, it really is a shallow fry.
  5. Dip each stuffed blossom into the flour and then into the egg mixture. Then place the blossom into the skillet and cook until it is golden brown, then turn over and do the same on the other side.
  6. Remove when ready and place on a dish covered in a paper towel.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco (www.cookingwithv.com)

Watermelon Spritzer

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Jun 21st, 2016

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 5 cups fresh watermelon juice (watermelon cubes simply blended)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 500ml sprite or 7-up (diet version is best to keep it a low calorie drink)
  • 500 ml champagne or sparkling wine



  1. In a blender combine the fresh watermelon, lemon juice and pineapple juice. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Prepare the glass of your choice with cubed pineapple and add in the mint leaves. Add in ice cubes and fill the glass 1/2 way with the fruit mixture then fill 1/4 of the way with champagne and the last 1/4 of the way with sprite or 7-up.
  3. Serve with a wedge of watermelon on the rim of the glass and a pretty coloured straw.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco (www.cookingwithv.com)

Basil, Blueberry Citrus Sorbet

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice



  1. On medium to high heat combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Carefully stir until all the sugar is melted, this is a simple syrup. Remove the saucepan off the heat and then add in the basil leaves and the lemon zest and allow them to steep into the mixture for at least 25-30 minutes. Remove the basil.
  2. In a food processor add in the fresh or thawed blueberries, lemon and lime juice. Then add in the cooled simple syrup, combine.  Because I love a sorbet that is textured I keep in all the seeds and skin but feel free to strain the mixture at this point. Place the mixture in a jug or bowl and cool completely.
  3. Once the mixture is cooled completely, place into the ice cream machine, and churn for about 12 minutes. Place into a cake pan and cover carefully with plastic wrap.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco

Shrimp Toast

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Shrimp Topping:

  • 2 cups deveined, tail off cooked shrimp (nordic shrimp are great in this)
  • 1 cup cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 cup hot sauce

Avocado spread:

  • 1 large ripe avocado mashed
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced

Spice blend:

  • 2 tbsp montreal steak spice
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp corriander seeds
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes



  1. Toast the sliced bread of your choice, a mutigrain (with seeds) type of of loaf is great in this dish.
  2. Top the toasted bread with the avocado spread, then top with the shrimp mixture, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oïl and about 1 tsp of the spice blend evenly sprinkled over the toast. I like to serve 1 large slice per person, or 2 smaller slices depending on the size.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco


BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Apr 26th, 2016


  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2  tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (to cook the pancakes)



  1. Using a hand mixer combine all the wet ingredients: ricotta, lemon zest, buttermilk, egg yolks and vanilla. In a seperate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, also using the electric hand mixer whisk together the egg whites until they are light and fluffy (to create what looks like a meringue). Using a spatula gradually fold in the egg whites into the batter. This will create a light and fluffy feel to the entire batter, but it must be done slowly.
  3. Warm a frying pan (10-12 inch) on medium-high heat, add in the butter  (1 tbsp at a time) and wait for it to gently melt. Using an 8 ounce ladle, pour the batter into the pan. Once the batter bubbles its time to flip them. Cook an additional 3 minutes (do not press down on them) and then remove and set aside on a dish covered with aluminum foil to keep warm.


Recipe courtesy: Chef Vanessa Gianfrancesco

Passover Strawberry Mousse Parfait

BT Montreal | posted Tuesday, Apr 19th, 2016

1. Choose your form and cut your cake

You can buy plastic containers at the dollar store, at party supply stores, at cake decorating supply stores and many other places….There are so many available on the market these days. Choose one you like or a combination of them. Using the form of the glass cut cake pieces to make pieces of cake that fit into your cup. Use a cake mix, ready made cake or scratch cake. It is there to add a more full rounded dessert. You can omit it if you prefer mousse and cream only.


2. Make a simple syrup

If you are using cake, simple syrup adds flavour and keeps the cake moist. Add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar and place over heat until the sugar melt. Place in refrigerator. For a more tart flavor, replace ½ of the water with real lemon juice.


3. Make the Compote

Place 4 cups of frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar in a heavy pot and put heat on medium to high so that it boils. Mix and cook until berries are soft (15 minutes) turn off heat and let sit.
Taste and add more sugar if you like. Adjust to taste…
Let cool completely. It will thicken. Pokemixture with a spoon to make sure no large clumps left.
(recipe can be easily doubled)


4. Make the Whipped cream:

There is Kosher for Passover whipped cream in the freezer section of your grocery store. Defrost and whip with beaters until stiff. During rest of year, use any type of whipped cream you like!


5. Assembly:

Assembly is fun. You will need to line up all of the cups on a table and start with:
Cake, followed by simple syrup
Compote – Spoon into form carefully
Whipped cream – easy to dispense from a piping bag if you like or spoon into form
Repeat until you reach the top.

For a nice edge, use the flat edge of a knife to flatten.
Top with whipped cream using a star tip and add berries on top
There are no real rules. If you like more compote and less cream, go for it!
Can be frozen and thawed or simply keep in refrigerator a day or 2 before.


Courtesy: Delicious Without Gluten

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