Saturday, 28 September 2013

Meat on the Side

I haven't always been a person who'd love to fill up on a fresh and delicious salad while enjoying meat on the side, but I sure am now. Now I love seeing as much fresh green as possible on my plate and seeing only just enough protein to keep me healthy. 

Today's dish is a light curry over a small bed of rice topped with a few plump shrimp and a big fresh salad. It's perfect for a healthy person on the go and filled with enough flavour to satisfy anyone. 

Ready for my fresh and fast recipe? Read on for it! 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Easy Clean Up

While I love cooking, I hate cleaning up the kitchen. Usually my sweetie does the cleaning up and that's always a happy moment for me, but sometimes I do all the cleaning up too. Those nights I plan to cook something with as few dishes as possible.

This recipe is one I've seen on Pinterest and I took the idea and ran with it. It was too perfect for nights where I was cooking and cleaning up because there are only a couple dishes to do and it's delicious to boot!

Read on for my yummy Spaghetti Squash Alfredo, served in its own shell!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Apple Crisp Granola a la Mode and a Giveaway! #OPAYOPA

Everyday day I get out the door with a full belly is an achievement to me. And when I get out the door with a belly full of something delicious, well that's a great achievement because I'm a sucker for anything delicious.

When I first heard the Yoplait was coming out with a new Greek yogurt, YOPA!, I got excited and could see lots of delicious breakfasts in my future. I have always loved Greek yogurt, but YOPA seems to take the cake because it's really good for you and tastes like it should be considered a dessert.

YOPA comes in lots of delicious flavours including Mmm Mango Tango, Lotta Piña Colada, and my favourite - Va Va Vanilla Bean. Plus there are lots of added benefits with choosing YOPA. YOPA has double the protein of regular yogurt, no fat, no article colours or flavours, no gelatin, and only 80 calories per serving.

To celebrate my love of YOPA, I created a yummy Apple Crisp Granola recipe that I like to enjoy "a la mode" with a healthy serving of YOPA Va Va Vanilla Bean. It's the perfect breakfast or the perfect dessert -and I should know because I've it enjoyed it both ways!

Read on for my recipe and a great YOPA giveaway!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Second Place Is Pretty Darn Good

This summer I passionately and consistently entered Weston's Grill Up Summer contest. I didn't come up as a $10,000 winner but I did get chosen as a second place winner twice!

Before I start exciting you, let me tell you flat out that my prize had no monetary value. And that part is a little disappointing. But I am featured in a cookbook and I am pretty excited about that.

The first time was chosen as a second place winner, I turned down the prize. I was definitively honoured to be chosen as a winner, but I was told that a person could only win one prize and I wanted to go for gold. I wanted to win that $10,000 prize and that means that my Cherry Cola Pulled Pork sandwich isn't going to be featured in Weston's Grill Up Summer cookbook. But you can still read all about it on my blog.

Do you want to know what recipe of mine is being featured in the cookbook? Wait no longer, check it out online here or just read on for my yummy recipe!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Mysterious Tomato Soup Cake

I have finally tried the infamous and mysterious tomato soup cake and it's all thanks to this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge! I can't imagine that any of you envy me when I say that the challenge was to cook something delicious with tomatoes and coconut, but I bet that you would envy me if you knew how delicious my dessert came out. 

I don't know what it is about a can of tomato soup that made my cupcakes so delicious, but I know that it somehow worked. And maybe the success wasn't all due to chance. I did make a couple of conscious choices when building my recipe. I chose a can of soup without herbs and spices, I added lots of cinnamon to the batter, and I made a delicious frosting for the top. 

Curious yet? Read on for my delicious recipe. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Super Salad

If you're someone who thinks that there is something about a salad that says diet food, you just haven't tried one of my salads. I don't mean that my salads are high in fat, I mean that my salads have enough oomph, flavour, and substance to leave you feeling full longer. 

And since I've paired today's salad with one of my favourite treats, green onion pancakes, it left me feeling full for a very long time. This feeling of being super full may have been because I had two helpings, but who's to say? I think that when a salad is that good, you should always have seconds! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Guilty Pleasure

One of the things I miss about eating meat is smearing a big chunk of pâté on a slice of baguette. I love the creamy texture and the rich flavour. Everything about pâté makes me feel guilty and in love, all at the same time. 

Luckily I found a way to relive all my guilty pleasures of eating pâté because I have made a truly decadent vegetarian version of my old favourite. I'm going to make it for my family at Christmas and I really don't think that they'll be able to tell the difference from the original version. Or maybe they will, because my Mushroom Pâté is a little bit better than the original.  

Friday, 13 September 2013

Chips and Dip

When I hear the words "chips and dip" I automatically think of thick cut potato chips, a huge bowl of French onion dip, and football. I also think of a couple hundred calories. I love chips and dip as much as the next girl, but I also want to be able to enjoy a crunchy chip and a silky dip without the crazy calories.

Thus my Cinnamon Apple Chips and Caramel Yogurt Dip were born. These chips are low fat, crunchy, incredibly yummy, and would make a great back to school gift for a teacher too. Plus, when they're served with this dip, oh boy, you had better make a double batch. Mine disappeared right   before my eyes. And I was the only one home too!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Mad About You

Today my sister is flying to Madagascar for three months. I am a little envious of her adventure, but happy for her too because I imagine that there might be some delicious Madagascar vanilla in my future. And all the thinking I've been doing about the possible Madagascar vanilla has me thinking beautiful floral thoughts and playing with beautiful floral flavours. 

Today's dish celebrates the floral flavours of Madagascar and also acts as a farewell note to Mary. It's features a really inventive polenta made from cornmeal, silky puréed sweet potatoes, and coconut milk. I can't take credit for the concept because I read about it in an old cookbook from my local library, but I can take credit for making the dish really yummy. 

Safe flight and have fun, Mary. See you at Christmas! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Southern Asian Fusion

When I watch reality cooking shows I love the episodes where the chef-testants have to fuse together two entirely different cuisines. I think of much of my cooking as fusion and think it is incredibly fun to cook that way. Not only am I always coming up with new dishes, but I'm also teaching myself new tricks. 

If I was on a cooking show today and pulled both Asian and southern cuisines, I wouldn't know what to cook. But today's dish is awesome tasting and shows that Asian and southern cuisines actually can go well together. 

Read on for my yummy Hoisin Glazed Tofu and Southern Veggie Medley. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

My Cherished Canadian Recipe

For this month's Canadian Food Experience Project our challenge was to share a cherished Canadian recipe. It took me a little while to come up with what I would choose to share, but when it came to me, I was certain it was perfect. 

I grew up eating my Nana's shortbread cookies. Chocolate dipped, cookie pressed, plain, decorated, with a cup of tea, or without. I just plain love eating them. I know shortbreads may not seem like a Canadian recipe, but they definitely are Canadian to me. So many of our population came over from the UK and Scotland and joined our lovely country. And since I reinvented my Nana's recipe and added in some lavender bought from a lovely little Canadian farm, I know these particular shortbreads are one hundred percent Canadian. 

I chose to leave my lavender flowers whole, rather than mashing them into my sugar. I thought it gave the cookies a small farm look and pretty texture, but I know they'd be great however you choose to make them. Read on for the recipe!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Perfect Fall Pasta

As much as I don't want to admit it, it's September now and that means the first day of fall is near. But this year, instead of getting annoyed that summer is almost over, I'm going to embrace fall's delicious flavours and dive into some new comfort food. 

Today's dish may look underwhelming at first, but when you taste it you will find that it's packed with roasted veggie flavour!  The sauce is made from tons of roasted veggies that get puréed into a heavenly smelling and tasting concoction. I topped mine with sliced almonds for a little extra crunch and thought each bite was perfect. 

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying I'm ready for cold weather, but I am ready for cold weather food! So cold weather, you stay away for just a little while longer, ok? 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Crispy Edamame

Awhile back I showed you one of my favourite dishes, Crispy Spiced Chick Peas, and you made them one of my most viewed posts! Today I was craving some of those snackable treats and couldn't find a can of chick peas in my pantry. But I did have some frozen edamame and I made something equally delicious with them. 

It was a pretty simple switch from chick peas to edamame, because they're both in the legume family. But I decided that the spices I use with my Crispy Spiced Chick Peas wouldn't be as delicious on today's dish. So I got out my favourite Parmesan cheese and made something awesome. Read on for my simple and yummy recipe! 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Banana Curry

When I go to a restaurant and I see a dish on the menu that I feel inspired to try to make at home, I know it's been a good night. The last thing I want in a restaurant is a boring menu filled with uninspiring things. Steak and potatoes or salmon with rice, all served with seasonal veggies, is nice - but I want to be excited by a meal.

When I saw a dish of banana curry with mussels on a menu recently, I knew I was in for a treat. I love curry and I love bananas. Plus I could see how that dish could work. I always use something sweet in my curries to counterbalance the spicy tart flavours of my dishes.

I was also really excited to have a new dish to try when I had a few overripe bananas. I love banana bread but everyone needs a break from the ordinary! Read on for my Banana Curry recipe!