Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes


I found this recipe on Facebook and had it bookmarked for the longest time.  After back-to-back classes of Pilates and yoga, I was hungry!!!  I bought a rotisserie chicken on my way home and had the rest of the ingredients on hand. 
This is easy, flavourful, filling and healthy - you HAVE to try it!!!

BUFFALO CHICKEN TWICE BAKED SWEET POTATOES
Ingredients:
4 medium sized-sweet potatoes
2 heaping cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buffalo sauce (I used Frank's)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried dillweed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Sliced green onions, fresh parsley, cubed avocado (optional toppings)
  • Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash sweet potatoes and prick skins with fork.  Place in oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour (or until soft)
  • While the potatoes bake, heat oil in a skillet and saute celery, onion and carrot over med-high heat until softened.  Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  • When sweet potatoes are cooked, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out most of the flesh leaving a thin layer so the skins maintain their shape.  Combine with the celery mixture.
  • Add shredded chicken to the bowl, along with the mayonnaise, buffalo sauce and spices.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Scoop mixture back into the potato skins and bake for 20 minutes more in a 350F oven.
  • Sprinkle each potato with optional toppings.
  • Serve and ENJOY!!
**I unfortunately scooped too much of the flesh out of the potato skins and they crumpled.  Instead I placed the mixture in small serving dishes, baked them in the dishes and served as you see in the photo!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crustless Caprese Quiche



Since I can't stand baking in any form, making pastry is a painful ordeal for me (plus we are gluten-free so who needs crust, right?)  This classic flavour combination is so fresh and light that you can literally eat it for any meal or even as a snack!  The best part?  I used basil from my garden, tomatoes, garlic and eggs from Cooper's Farm and combined it with some ingredients I had on hand and adjusted a typical quiche recipe to suit our food intolerances.  Try it tonight!!!

CRUSTLESS CAPRESE QUICHE
Ingredients
1/4 cup diced onion (I had spring onions so I used them and skipped sauteing them)
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes; one with the seeds removed and the other thinly sliced
1/3 cup packed fresh basil, julienned
4 oz fresh mozzarella, grated (I used goat mozzarella)
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk (I used non-dairy creamer)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray an 8" or 9" pie plate with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
  • Add a tsp oil to a large skillet (I always use coconut because it can take high heat).  Saute the onions over medium-high heat until translucent and add the garlic, salt and pepper; saute for a couple of minutes more.  Spoon into an small bowl to allow to cool
  • Slice one of the tomatoes in half and scoop or squeeze out as many seeds as you can.  Dice tomato.  Add to onion mixture.
  • Add julienned basil to the onion mixture and stir to combine.  Spoon this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie dish and spread into an even layer.  Top with the mozzarella.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper.  Gently pour over top the cheese layer in the pie dish.
  • Lay the tomato slices gently on top of the egg mixture (overlapping if necessary).  Sprinkle top of quiche with black pepper and salt.
  • Place in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the quiche is set.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Thai Cucumber Salad



I saw this recipe on allrecipes.com and since we received a TON of cucumbers in our CSA box from Cooper's Farm, I decided to give it a whirl!  This is not only super simple, but it's tasty and refreshing!
THAI CUCUMBER SALAD
Ingredients
3 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4" slices
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

  • Toss the cucumbers with the salt in a colander, and leave in the sink to drain for 30 minutes.  Rinse with cold water, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Whisk together the sugar and vinegar in a small mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved.  
  • Add the cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro; toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup


This simple recipe came from "Men's Health" March 2016 magazine and it is a keeper!!  Not only is it fast to assemble, but requires minimal ingredients and is incredibly flavourful.  The recipe only made enough for one serving so I have provided a recipe which makes 4 servings!

THAI RED CURRY CHICKEN SOUP
Ingredients:
4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tsp fish sauce
1 can of coconut milk
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (I used a pre-cooked BBQ chicken from the grocery store)
Thinly sliced Thai red chilies (optional)
Torn mint leaves (optional)
  • In a large pot, combine the Thai red curry paste with the chicken stock, fish sauce, coconut milk and lime juice.  Stir to dissolve the curry paste.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce head to medium low.
  • Add chicken and stir.  Heat until chicken is warm (2 to 3 mins)  Taste and season if necessary, with salt,
  • Serve with sliced red chilies and mint leaves sprinkled on top - you could even garnish with a squiggle of sriracha sauce if you like it really hot!
  • ENJOY!

Curried Chickpea and Mango Salad Wraps




I love the free magazine that you can pick up in the natural foods section of Loblaws called "Sage".  It always has interesting articles and recipes that inspire me!  This recipe came from January's edition and it is fantastic - quick to assemble, tasty and a great source of protein!!!

CURRIED CHICKPEA AND MANGO SALAD WRAPS
Ingredients:
2 tbsp plain yogurt (I used goat yogurt)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp honey
2 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 green onions, green and white parts sliced
1 cup diced mango
1-15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 soft tortilla shells
1 cup baby spinach, washed and dried
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine: yogurt, mayonnaise, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, curry powder, cayenne, and salt.
  • Add red onions, green onion, mango and chickpeas; stir to combine.
  • Split mixture among 4 tortillas and top each with spinach.  Fold in sides and roll up tightly; cut each in half and serve.
  • ENJOY!
*If you are planning to pack this for lunch, simply keep the chickpeas in a container with the baby spinach and take along a tortilla separately.  Assemble right before eating to avoid a soggy tortilla!!
**If you don't have chickpeas, this recipe works just as well with diced cooked chicken or firm tofu.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lemon Sugar Scrub


Not only is this a delicious-smelling way to brighten up and hydrate dry winter skin, but it is easy and economical and contains only natural ingredients (in fact you could eat it if you wanted!!)

LEMON SUGAR SCRUB
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 lemon
  • Place sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  • Measure out 1/4 cup of coconut oil and place in a microwave safe container.  Heat for 30 seconds or until liquid.  Pour over sugar and combine thoroughly.
  • Zest the rind of the lemon.  Cut lemon in 1/2 and juice, removing seeds.  Add to sugar mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Put into mason jars and store next to the bathtub or in the shower!
  • ENJOY your newly soft skin!!
*If the mixture is too wet once the lemon juice and coconut oil is added to the sugar, simply add 1/2 cup more of sugar.

Toasted Coconut Rice Pudding with Bananas


For Christmas Eve dinner everyone chose my homemade macaroni and cheese with garlic bread for dinner, but I decided to surprise them with a traditional dessert that the whole family loves, but with a tropical twist!  I found this recipe in "Alive" magazine and it is a definite keeper!!

TOASTED COCONUT RICE PUDDING WITH BANANAS
Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips (I bought some in the organic section of the grocery store and they were made by "Hippy Snacks")
4 cups unsweetened plain coconut milk beverage (can be found in the refrigerator section at the grocery store - mine is made by "Silk")
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup short-grain brown rice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 bananas sliced, or any tropical fruit of your choosing (mango, pineapple, etc)
  • In a large pot or large high-sided skillet, stirring constantly, bring 3 cups coconut milk, arborio rice, and brown rice to a boil.  Reduce to medium and cook uncovered, stirring often, for 20 minutes.  Reduce to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes longer. 
  • Stir in remaining cup of coconut milk, 1/2 cup coconut chips, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and allspice.  Continue to cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 10 to 20 minutes or until mixture is thickened and rice is tender.
  • Chill pudding for at least 6 hours.
  • Serve garnished with banana slices and remaining coconut.
  • ENJOY!
*If you cannot find coconut chips, unsweetened shredded coconut that has been toasted, is a good substitute.
*If you do not like coconut, substitute the coconut milk with almond milk, and replace the coconut chips with slivered blanched almonds.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cheese Tortellini Soup

As always, I needed a fast recipe because I arrived home late (story of my life it seems!)  Besides having to pick up the tortellini on my way home (I grabbed these gluten free tortellini from Zehrs), I had everything else on hand! Fast, easy, inexpensive and tasty - try it!!

CHEESE TORTELLINI SOUP
Ingredients:
1 package of refrigerated fresh tortellini
6 cups of chicken broth
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 handfuls of fresh spinach or arugula
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Heat oil over medium high in a large pot.  Add onions and saute until golden brown.  Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add tortellini.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until al dente.
  • Add tomatoes and juice, arugula, dried basil and ground pepper.  Simmer until arugula is wilted.
  • Serve with Parmesan grated over top, if desired.
  • ENJOY!

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry




I needed something that would be quick and easy, include ingredients that I had on hand, and would make enough for a couple of dinners...Jamie Oliver to the rescue!  This recipe popped up on my Twitter feed and it completely fit the bill.  My only complaint is that it isn't hot enough for me, but my kids enjoyed it (and I just added more chili to mine!)  For someone who doesn't love leftovers; I ate this all week and enjoyed it more and more as the flavours deepened!!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & CHICKPEA CURRY
Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1" chunks
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 fresh red Thai chili sliced
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves removed and stems finely diced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2- 400g cans of coconut milk
2-400g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Melt coconut oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Add ginger, garlic, red chili and onion.  Stir frequently until golden brown.  Add mustard seeds, curry, and cilantro stems.  Saute until crispy.
  • Add the turmeric, can of tomatoes with juice, and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and add squash and chickpeas.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender and sauce has thickened (approximately 25 to 30 mins).
  • Serve over a bed of basmati rice.
  • ENJOY!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sauteed Leeks with Cherry Tomatoes


After a summer of cooking familiar recipes, I felt inspired by the fall-like weather (my FAVOURITE season!) and the load of root veggies and produce in my kitchen.  While the chicken was baking and the root veggies roasting alongside a sweet potato that was baking, I decided to whip up a quick side dish!  The flavours work well together; sweetness of the leeks and tomatoes, saltiness of the cheese, bite of the black pepper and the mellow flavour of the coconut oil!!  Try it - you won't be disappointed! 

SAUTEED LEEKS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES
Ingredients:
1 leek
10 small cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp grated Gruyere
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Trim the leek by removing the root end and topping it just where the leek changes from light green to darker (the leaves become woody in texture at that point).  Slice the leek in half lengthwise and rinse under running water; fanning the layers with your fingers to ensure all sand is washed away.
  • Slice the leeks into thin half-moons.  Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the coconut oil. When it melts add the leeks.
  • Remove any stems from the cherry tomatoes. Add to the skillet.
  • Keep stirring the leeks and tomatoes to prevent burning.  After a minute or so, gently press on the tomatoes one at a time, with the back of the spoon.  This causes the skins to split and all the lovely juices to run out into the pan and mix with the leeks.
  • Continue stirring until the leeks are tinged golden brown and are transluscent.
  • Place in a serving dish.  Top with the grated Gruyere and ground pepper.
  • ENJOY!