Thursday, December 1, 2016

Menu Swap

Jessie and I did another menu swap a few weeks ago.  I love sharing recipes with her because I get to think of my dear friend as I prepare food each night, and her menu is always great!


Thai Chicken Pizza - this was my favorite meal of the week!  The flavors and different textures were great.

Korean Beef Bowl - throw a simple veg on the side of this quick crowd pleaser for an easy dinner

Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup - I'd actually made this before a long time ago, but was grateful for the reminder of this delicious soup.  We liked it so much, I made it again this week with turkey leftovers and homemade turkey stock.

Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Casserole -  this is a fancier version of your grandma's broccoli rice casserole - comfort food

Broiled Tilapia Tacos - Jessie loves tacos, so I can always count on her menu including a new version to try.  These are great, and it's worth hunting down a ripe avocado to make the sauce

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps - this was my youngest daughter's favorite meal.  She and I are both suckers for beans and rice.  Add a crispy tortilla, wrap in foil, and you have an easy picnic meal!

Refried Beans - I made these to put on nachos for my extended family and everyone was raving about them.  I've done them in the crockpot before, but I liked the flavor of these better.

Aunt Jo's Sweedish Pancakes - the ones I was able to make without destroying were delicious, but I needed Aunt Jo to come for breakfast to give me a tutorial on how to make her pancakes!

Moon Pies - YUM!  Make these!  And if you make the mistake I did and DOUBLE the amount of butter for the pies AND the filling, your family will thank you all the more!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Chicken and Butternut Squash Satay Curry

I found this yummy recipe here.  The meal was simple to pull together, had rich flavor, and went over well with everyone at my table. 


1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into smallish cubes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I only used a pinch for the kids' sake)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
6 cloves garlic, crushed
a decent piece of fresh ginger (about 2 thumbs’ widths), peeled and chopped finely
about 800 grams to a kilo chicken thighs or breast, chopped into small pieces
14 ounces coconut milk
3 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon honey
2x 14 ounce cans chopped tomatoes (I only used one can)

for serving:
fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts & natural yoghurt 
rice & poppadum


Toss the butternut squash in a large bowl with the chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper and turmeric, and set aside.

Heat up a big drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, then cook the garlic and ginger together for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another two minutes or so or until white.

Add the coconut milk, then stir in the peanut butter, Thai curry paste and honey.

Add the butternut squash with spices and the tomatoes, and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Squish about half of the squash into the curry before serving.

Serve over rice, garnished with the coriander and peanuts, and with the yoghurt and poppadums on the side.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pumpkin Apple Cake

After a trip to the apple orchard with my friend, Patricia, she suggested I use some of the apples to make this cake.  I always take Patricia's advice when it comes to food!  This wholesome cake is moist and just right for Fall. 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup, divided (or less - I only used 1/2 cup total)
  • 2 cups apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place foil over the base of a 9 inch springform pan and then place sides on pan (I used an 8-inch cake pan). Grease well.

  • In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and ¼ cup maple syrup over medium heat. Once the mixture is melted, add the sliced apples and stir to coat. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  • Place apples on bottom of springform pan.

  • Mix together the flour, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. In seperate bowl, whisk together the oil, remaining ½ cup maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

  • Pour pumpkin batter over apples and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes. With a butter knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Remove side of springform pan. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Remove base and foil from cake. Allow to cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Plantain Tortillas


My sister-in-law introduced me to this flourless tortilla alternative.  I love them!  My kids think they're a tad bitter, but not so much that a little cheese and taco meat, or sandwich fillings can't cover it up.  The plantains need to be very green (otherwise the wraps have a banana flavor), so when I see extra green plantains at the store, I consider it taco night!  


3 green plantains
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Line a large jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  This is a must!  Cooking spray won't cut it.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Pour onto parchment-lined baking sheet and use spatula to spread out evenly.  Bake 27-30 minutes.  Cut into 6 or 8 rectangles and serve warm with fillings of your choice.  

Reheat leftovers in the oven instead of the microwave to avoid drying the wraps out.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese

Pasta, cheese, bacon, bread crumbs, and "hidden" cauliflower all baked in one dish.  What's not to love?  I did have quite the messy kitchen when dinner was ready, but that's not entirely abnormal when I'm cooking so I shouldn't blame it on the recipe.  The recipe I used can be found here.  Below are the approximate translated measurements I used =)


6 slices bacon
1 head cauliflower
12 oz. dried macaroni
olive oil
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 thick slices of bread
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese


Fill large pot 2/3 full with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile . . .

Lay bacon in a 9x13 baking dish and place in cold oven.  Preheat oven to 425F with the bacon in the oven.  The next steps should take about 15 minutes - the approximate time you'll want the bacon to cook.  

Trim cauliflower, removing coarse outer leaves and the tough end of the stalk.  Break cauliflower into large chunks and place in boiling water.  Add dried pasta and 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom, bring water back to boil.  Cook partially covered with lid.  Meanwhile . . .

In a medium bowl, mix cheese, sour cream, and yogurt.  Set aside.

When cauliflower and pasta are just cooked (a knife inserted into the cauliflower stalk should slide in easily), reserve 1 cup cooking water then drain in a large colander.

The bacon should be done by now.  Remove bacon slices from dish and set aside on paper towels to absorb the grease.  Tip pasta and cauliflower into the dish the bacon was cooked in.  Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved water.  Stir in cheese mixture, breaking up the cauliflower as you go.  If necessary, use a potato masher to break into fine bits.  If the pasta mixture now seems too dry, stir in more of the reserved water.  Season to taste.

To make the breadcrumb topping: place bacon, bread and rosemary in a food processor (my Vitamix did the job).  Process well until you have a breadcrumb topping texture you are pleased with, adding a drizzle of olive oil as necessary to help bind everything together.  Evenly spread breadcrumb mixture over pasta dish.

Cook 8-10 minutes.  Broil 1-2 minutes if you want to give the breadcrumbs extra texture.  The topping should be golden and the pasta sauce should be bubbly.  Grate parmesan on top for serving.  Enjoy!


Friday, September 30, 2016

Toasted Millet Muffins

Muffins are a staple in our home.  Some muffins are more like cupcakes, but these are hearty and filling.  My friend, Patricia, introduced us to toasted millet, and my kids love the crunchy texture it adds.  You could swap out the coconut oil for any other oil, but we like the added flavor.  I bet some dried fruit would work well also.


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup millet, toasted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare muffin pan with cups

In a large bowl, mix the flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, buttermilk, egg, oil, and honey.  Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture just until everything is moist.  Transfer batter to prepared muffin pan.

Bake 12-15 minutes.  Enjoy!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Banana Pancakes

These flourless, sugarless pancakes are a weekly breakfast favorite in our home.  You can't beat a quick breakfast that goes from the Vitamix to the griddle to my mouth.  I always make a double batch.

3/4 cups milk
2 bananas (more ripe is better)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Put everything into a blender and mix until smooth.  Pour in 2-3 Tablespoon amounts on a hot griddle (preferably with butter sizzling!).  Cooke 3-4 minutes, then flip for another 1-2 minutes.  Top with yogurt, honey, syrup, berries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce . . . enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

We had a week of sandwiches a while ago and this one was my favorite.  By far.  The chipotle caramelized onions are a must to keep the sandwich from being a glorified BLT.  


1 small chicken breast, pounded thin
salt and pepper to taste or your favourite grilled meat seasoning
mayo
lettuce
tomato
bacon slices, cooked
ripe avocado, sliced
chipotle caramelized onions (click link for recipe)
sandwich buns (I used this recipe to make my own)


Brush your grill with oil and heat to medium heat.
Season the chicken and grill until cooked, about 5-7 minutes per side.
Assemble the sandwich and enjoy.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beet Pancakes

A while back, some friends gifted me with a bag of homegrown beets.  I was thrilled!  But then I made the mistake of adding too many beets to our berry smoothie one day and the kids were NOT thrilled.  For a week, they asked every time I made a smoothie if I was going to add beets.  I backed off for a while, and then made this cake, which won back my kids' affection for beets.  
Recently I pulled out a few cooked, peeled beets from my freezer to try these pancakes.  I was evasive an answering my kids' questions about how I made PINK pancakes!!  Only after the meal did I tell them they were made with beets.  No complaints from anyone!  Another great beet recipe that went over well for my family.


about 3 small beets, cooked
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of cloves
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour (I used half all-purpose and half whole-wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
oil for the pan

Puree the beets in a food processor (or Vitamin!) until very smooth.
In a large bowl whisk together the beet puree, greek yogurt, and milk.  Add the eggs and whisk until combined.  Add the cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Whisk well.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix with a spatula until the flour disappears but the batter is still lumpy. Batter will be on the thinner side. If you feel that it’s too thin, add another 1/4 cup of flour.

Let stand for half an hour to an hour.

Heat a large skillet pan on medium high heat and brush oil on it.
Once the oil is hot, pour generous tablespoons of batter on the pan and fry the pancakes for about 3 minutes until bubbles start to appear on top. Since the batter is pretty thin, it’ll spread, so leave enough space between the pancakes and don’t over crowd the pan.
Once the bubbles appear and the top gets matt in colour, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Top with plain yogurt, whipped cream, syrup, fresh berries, chocolate sauce, powdered sugar  . . . you get the idea!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lemon, Tomato and Feta Zoodle Salad


If you haven't tried a spiralizer before, or were thinking of getting one but aren't sure where to start - let me recommend this delectable salad!  It's light, tasty, healthy, easy . . . a perfect "Welcome Spring" lunch, if you ask me!



3-4 medium zucchini
2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup feta
2 cloves garlic
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat your oven to 350.  Crush the garlic and combine with 1 Tablespoon olive oil.  Halve the tomatoes, spread on a baking sheet, and drizzle with the garlic oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss everything together lightly.  Roast for 15 minutes in your preheated oven, then set aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.

Spiralize the zucchini and put zoodles in a large serving bowl.  Crumble feta on top.  Gently scrape tomatoes from pan and add to the bowl.

Lastly, mix together lemon juice, honey, and remaining olive oil.  Pour over the zoodles, feta, and tomatoes.  Toss gently until everything is evenly mixed.  Enjoy!


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