By Christine Blanchette
With the holiday season finally here, former Olympian Diane Clement, anaward-winning author of eight cookbooks, says, “Sunday is our family day, so I enjoy surprising them with one of my international menus and a favorite dessert.”
Diane’s husband, Dr. Doug Clement, is a two-time Olympian himself and has also co-authored two of her lifestyle books.In Start Fresh, she shares some of her favourite dishes, beginning with Max’s branberry muffins.
Max’s branberry muffins
Makes 1 dozen small muffins
3/4 cup (180 ml) brown sugar
3/4 cup (175 ml) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole wheat bran
1/4 cup (60 ml) wheat germ
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1 cup (250 ml) blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup (125 ml) seedless raisins
1 tbsp (15 ml) orange zest
1 large egg
2/3 cup (150 ml) plus 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with vegetable oil. Mix together the brown sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, bran, wheat germ and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in blueberries, raisins and orange rind. Whisk the egg with buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients all at once, mixing well. Add 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) more buttermilk, if necessary, to bind the batter. Spoon 1/4 cup (60 ml) of batter into each muffin cup and bake about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 217 calories 5 g protein 6 g fat 37 g carbohydrate 5 g fiber 114 mg sodium
For brunch: Spanish omelet and tomato relish, with a tuna olive tapenade appetizer.
For a dinner party with friends, Diane suggests you start with Italian antipasto platter salad (from your local deli), featuring a mozzarella and fennel salad and a tusan chicken and orzo entree. For dessert: Italian gelato, biscotti.
Diane says most recipes can be done in advance and the ingredients are available in food markets across Canada.
She adds, “We have a loyal following across Canada. From my first Chef on the Run,printed in 1982, to Doug and my first lifestyle book Chef and Doctor on the Run to our present Start Fresh lifestyle book,” and acknowledges her contributions to the culinary arts.