Category: Category: Food

Cheesy Zucchini Bread

Love cheesy bread? But want a healthier alternative that still tastes good? This cheesy zucchini bread is both healthy and tasty.

What you need:

  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes for taste
  • 2 teaspoons Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • Marinara, for dipping

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Using either a box grater or in a food processor, grate zucchini.
  3. Wring excess moisture out of zucchini.
  4. Place zucchini in a large bowl and add eggs, garlic, oregano, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, and cornstarch.
  5. Stir until completely combined.
  6. Transfer “dough” to prepared baking sheet and pat into a crust.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and parsley and bake until cheese is melted for another 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Slice and serve with marinara.

Speedy Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes out there, and I love it, but I wanted to make a simpler version that was both speedy, healthy and tasty.

This dish is great when served over rice.

what you need:

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • half teaspoon salt
  • quarter teaspoon turmeric
  • half cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced Onions
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
  • one third cup whipping cream
  • half cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

How to make it

  1. Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish.
  2. Place flour in a shallow dish.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with half a teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer to a plate.
  7. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium-low heat.
  8. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown at about 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. Add the remaining spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  10. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour and stir until coated.
  11. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  12. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in cream.
  14. Add the chicken to the pan.
  15. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, around 3 to 4 minutes.
  16. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Pressure Cooker Balsamic Chicken Breasts

I love my pressure cooker, and this is a dish that’s one of my favorites.

What You Need

  • 1 package of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

How to Make it

  1. Mix the basil, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion, and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Add chicken to the mixture, be sure to cover the chicken in this sauce and set aside.
  3. Set your pressure cooker to Sauté, add the avocado oil and sauté the garlic, stirring frequently.
  4. Set your pressure cooker to the Poultry setting, add the chicken and sauce from bag to the existing avocado oil and garlic that is already in there. Add water until the chicken is just covered.
  5. Close the lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. When serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top for a tasty treat.
  7. Serve with some rice and your favorite vegetable.

Grilled Salmon Fillet with Spicy Blackberry Sauce

It’s summer, and that means it’s time for grilling in the backyard, but maybe you want a break from the usual burgers or steaks or hot dogs?

This spicy, but sweet and tasty fish dish will hit the spot.

What You need

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened white grape juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (a little goes a long way with vanilla so don’t overuse it. )
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce (Frank’s red hot is a good choice).

How to make it

  1. Heat your grill.
  2. Grill salmon fillets on hot grill for around 4-5 minutes on each side, until they reach desired level of done-ness.
  3. Make the Sauce:
    1. In a food processor or blender, combine sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
    2. To serve, top each cooked fillet with 3 tablespoons of sauce.

Roasted Tomatillo and Pepper Sauce

When you want a nice zesty sauce but don’t want the usual salsa or pesto, this tasty Tomatillo and Petter sauce is great.

What you need

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 small bunch fresh dill
  • Zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread the tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, bell pepper and onion on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss everything to coat.
  4. Roast until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the seeds from the peppers. Put all of the roasted vegetables and the cilantro and dill into a food processor or blender.
  7. Process until still a bit chunky.
  8. Thin with some water if it is too thick.
  9. Stir in the lime zest and juice.
  10. Let cool completely.
  11. Serve

Slow Cooked Turkey Breast

It’s Christmas, and one favourite Christmas dish is turkey.

What you need

  • 2 kg / 4 lb turkey breast, skin on, bone in or boneless
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 onion (brown, yellow or white), unpeeled, cut in half
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme leaves)
  • Rub
    • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 5 grinds of black pepper
    • 1.5 – 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Gravy
    • Chicken broth, for topping up liquid
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • Salt and pepper
    • Savoury

How to make it

  1. Place Rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine, it should be a wet paste.
  2. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels.
  3. Cover turkey with the Rub, using most for the side and top.
  4. Place the garlic, onion and thyme in the slow cooker.
  5. Place the turkey breast on top so it is elevated.
  6. Cook on high for 1 hour
  7. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  8. Remove turkey from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before crisping the skin.

Gravy

  1. Strain the liquid into a measuring cup, top up with chicken broth.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add flour and mix to combine. Pour about 1/2 cup of liquid into the flour mixture and mix until it forms a paste.
  4. Slowly add remaining liquid, stirring as your go.
  5. Use a whisk if required to make the gravy smooth.
  6. Simmer until thickened – take it off before it is as thick as you want because it will continue to thicken.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with turkey.

Crisp the Skin

If you want to make your turkey skin crispy, then follow this step after cooking it in the slow cooker

  1. Preheat grill broiler to high.
  2. Place an oven shelf 30 cm / 1 foot from the heat source.
  3. Remove turkey breast from the slow cooker into a heatproof serving dish.
  4. Place on the oven shelf and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is crispy.
  5. Serve immediately with gravy on the side.

Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl

What you need

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake, turning once, at the 10 minute mark, for a total time of 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and slice or shred.
  6. Meanwhile, place peppers, 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, paprika, and cumin in a mini food processor. Puree until fairly smooth.
  7. Combine quinoa, red onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.
  8. To serve, divide the quinoa mixture among 4 bowls and top with equal amounts of cucumber, chicken and the red pepper sauce.
  9. Sprinkle with feta and parsley.

Pineapple Peach Ghost Pepper Sauce

We grow our own Ghost peppers and various handy kitchen herbs in our back yard, it’s nice to just walk out and grab what you need to make something.

A recent trip to the local farmer’s market got me a few fresh peaches, and the pineapple, well, that I bought in a store since those don’t grow on trees around here.

This sauce is a mixture of sweet and spicy, and you can switch out the Ghost peppers for any type of hot pepper you like, I also like to use Habanero peppers in this sauce.

This sauce is tasty on just about anything that can take the level of heat with the touch of sweet. It’s a touch on the vinegary side, which works for me for many things. Try it over chicken, or a nice piece of fish, over a piece of sliced pork loin or pretty much anything.

You can even just use some on your veggies if you want.

What you need

  • 5 – 6 ghost peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped peaches
  • 1 handful mint leaves, rinsed
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

How to make it

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Add to a pot and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Cool and strain, if you want a less-chunky hot sauce, if you want a chunkier hot sauce, skip the straining.
  4. Pour into bottles and refrigerate until ready to use!
  5. Makes about 12 ounces.

Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes that you can customize as much as you want and it never gets old.

For this dish, I substituted a classic set of ingredients and the result was amazing.

Rather than the usual flour and milk for the sauce, I like to use Ricotta cheese, which sticks to every piece of pasta and combined with a spoonful of lemongrass gives you a nice comforting, and filling dish.

What you need

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass (optional, and to taste)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheedar cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzeralla cheese
  • 1 cup paramesan cheese

How to make it

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. In the saucepan, add the onion, lemongrass and measured salt and pepper, and cook until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add the ricotta cheese to the mix slowly, and whisk frequently until evenly combined and smooth, stopping to whisk any clumps as needed.
  6. Continue cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. Add the pasta to the boiling pot of water and cook until still chewy and underdone, usually a few minutes less than the package directions suggest (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven).
  9. Drain and rinse with cold water until no longer steaming; set aside.
  10. Return the ricotta mixture to medium heat and stir in 3/4 of the cheeses until melted and smooth, leave some cheddar for a topping.
  11. Add the rinsed pasta and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is heated through and steaming, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  13. Transfer to a 5-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the panko crumbs and remaining cheese, and bake until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chili Lime Broiled Avocado

Avocadoes… the things you can make with them are incredible or just slice them and eat them as is.

This is a fun recipe that is pretty basic, but tasty.

What you need:

  • 1 Avocado (pitted)
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • Sea salt (to taste)

How to Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to high heat.
  2. Drizzle the avocado halves with the honey and lime juice.
  3. Lay on a baking sheet and broil for 5-6 minutes, until avocado flesh begins to blister.
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Serve warm.