Month: May 2014

Steamed Beet Roots with Balsamic Reduction

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Beets make an amazing and healthy side dish for any meal. They are full of phytonutrients and vitamins, some of which may even help fight off cancer! From lowering blood pressure to giving you your daily dose of fiber these guys pack a punch in your daily intake of healthy foods. There are many different ways to enjoy them, you can pickle them, steam them, juice them, eat them raw and even make an amazing soup from them called Barszcz. I will post my moms recipe on here for this soup once I have been able to master making it. While the origins of the soup are Ukranian and many eastern and central European countries have their own take on the soup, each family has a recipe handed down from mother to daughter and is very popular around holidays.

Alright back to the beets themselves. I found an awesome article about some of the benefits of beets here. Have a read through and see why adding these guys into your diet is worth it.

For the side dish pictured above, I chose to steam the beets with a water and vinegar mixture. You can cook them for less or even more time if you choose, but remember the longer you cook them, the more nutrients you lose so try not to over do it. This is such a simple dish that will go with just about anything. Best of all it won’t take you long to make for all the busy people out there trying to eat healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium Red Beets
  • 4 Medium Golden Beets
  • 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. Peel your beets and cut them into wedges. **Use gloves otherwise you will be walking around with bright red hands for awhile**
  2. Fill a large deep pan with the water, oil and vinegars then place your beets in.
  3. Cover then cook on high for 20 minutes or until most of the water steams out.

I served mine drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.

How To:

8 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar and 2 Tbsp Water. Slowly reduced in a pan on medium heat.

 

 

Parmesan Breaded Jalapenos

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I made these lovely treats the other night after having a craving for spicy food. The inspiration for these came after a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant where they served something similar. Naturally I have no idea how they made them at the restaurant so this is me winging it at home. Super quick and easy snack for parties or even to snack on at home. I served up ours as a side dish at dinner with some garlic and white pepper aioli the recipe is also below.

For the Jalapenos:

  • 10 Medium Jalapenos
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan
  • 1 Egg

How To:

  1. Cut the top off your peppers and cut them length wise. Remove the inside and seeds.
  2. Put your egg in a bowl and beat it.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan.
  4. Dip each half in the egg then in the bread and cheese mix.
  5. Place your peppers on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Heat your oven to 420 degrees F and place the peppers in.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese turns golden.
  8. Remove and serve.

Garlic White Pepper Aioli

  • 3 Tbsp Mayo
  • Juice from 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves

Combine all the above in a bowl and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes then serve. If you do not get through all of it in one sitting it stores well for several days.

Whiskey Pulled Pork Sliders for Beer Tasting

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This past weekend we threw a Beer Tasting Bash at our house to celebrate my husbands birthday. This was just one of the dishes I served up for the spread of snacks to enjoy. I served it with my No Mayo Coleslaw and garlic dill pickles but you can choose to pair it with whatever fixings you like most. This dish you will need to start the night before but after that there is really no work involved aside from assembling your slider, the slow cooker will do the rest.

For your Sauce:

  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Cups of Hickory BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar)
  • 2 Tsp Beef Broth (No MSG)
  • 3 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 3 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 3 Shots Whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Syrup
  • 3 Minced Garlic Cloves

Yes, there is a lot in there but it makes for one heck of a sauce. All you do is the following:

  1. Mix all of the above in a bowl and store overnight.
  2. In the morning take out your slow cooker, add 2 ladles of this sauce on the bottom, place your Pork Tenderloin inside (I used 2 1/2 Lbs) then pour the rest of the sauce over the meat.
  3. Cook on Low heat for 9 Hours.
  4. At the 9 hour mark take out your pork and cut it up into small pieces. Then place it back into the slow cooker and mix with the sauce.
  5. The pork will absorb most of the sauce so feel free to add in more BBQ sauce into the cooker.

Below are some of the photos of the decor at the Beer Tasting.

While I made most of the signs and food tags myself using chalkboard paper and chalk I found some lovely Free Printables on the web.

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Barbequed Garlic & Herb Prawns

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Here is another simple and quick BBQ recipe for some yummy prawns this time.

I have been making these for years and they always go quick at the table.

I had approximately 100 peeled and deveined prawns

For the Marinade:

  • 2 Tbsp Melted Butter (i used unsalted)
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • Handful minced Italian Parsley
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Garlic Powder

How To:

  1. If you are using wood skewers soak them in some water for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Rinse your prawns keeping the tails on.
  3. Skewer your prawns onto the skewers.
  4. Mix the above in a bowl. Using a brush coat both sides of the prawns in the marinade. I let mine sit for 20 mins.
  5. Start up the BBQ and once it is hot place your skewers on.
  6. These guys cook fast so don’t leave them unattended. You will need about 1 – 2 minutes per side.
  7. Serve immediately.

BBQ Oysters with a Horseradish Cream Sauce

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BBQ season has officially started!

While our new BBQ is still sitting in pieces on our living room floor much to the dismay of our pup who has been cautiously walking around the loud and precariously placed pieces. These wonderful Oysters were barbequed this past weekend when we went to visit some good friend of ours at their new house on Vancouver Island. They bought a beautiful house just steps away from the beach where they have been raising their two twin boys. On Saturday night I wanted the busy parents to relax a bit so I cooked up dinner. This is one of the dishes that came out of the dinner. The rest of my recipes from this dinner will follow in subsequent posts so check back 🙂 Since we were right by the ocean, fresh seafood was the theme of the evening, this recipe as well as the ones that will follow are all super easy and full of flavors!

I made 8 Oysters but this sauce will be enough for much more if you like. It also goes great with Steak!

For the Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp Horseradish Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • 3 Tbsp Chives (chopped)
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (leaves removed)
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper

How To:

  1. Mix all the above in a bowl.
  2. Rinse your Oysters and make sure they are all sealed.
  3. Place the Oysters flat side up onto your BBQ and cook on Medium heat.
  4. When the shells lift open a bit (approx 5 mins) use a dull knife to pry them open while holding it down with an oven mitt. **BE CAREFUL** during this step.
  5. Take off the top shell and cut the oyster away from the tendon at the top of the shell. Remove excess juice and sit your oyster back on the BBQ in its bottom shell. Pour 1 generous teaspoon of the above sauce onto your oyster and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Take off the BBQ and serve right away.

 

Chicken Wraps with Fresh Guacamole

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Not entirely sure where April went but since it is now May and Cinco de Mayo is approaching I figured my first post should be a dish with some Mexican flare. While the holiday is primarily celebrated in the United States and Mexico, over the years there have been more celebrations being held here in Canada as well. I have several friends that celebrate the holiday and offer up amazing traditional meals for family and friends to enjoy. I myself being a huge fan of Mexican Cuisine could not be happier to celebrate as well. For those of you who do not know what Cinco de Mayo is, it is celebrated yearly on May 5th and is meant to “commemorate the cause of freedom of Mexican-American communities during the first few years of the American Civil War”

Now I know that what we consider “Mexican” food is not entirely serving the country’s cuisine justice. The food we have come to know and love has for the most part been westernized to appeal to the masses. This is the case with just about any ethnic food we enjoy today. If you were to go to China, Greece, Italy, India or basically any where else in the world, the food you would enjoy there if you were willing to try that countries REAL cuisine would most likely surprise you. That being said, here is my take on Mexican wraps, a very simple and quick dinner option when you want something full of flavor and won’t take you hours to prep. There are endless ways to alter this dish too, you can choose not to have cheese or guacamole, use different wraps and even add in different things to the filling. Have fun with it.

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts (cubed & seasoned with garlic powder)
  • 4 Tbsp Diced White Onion
  • 4 Diced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 Red Cabbage (chopped thin)
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 4 Tbsp Taco Sauce (I used medium)
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne
  • 2 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Handful of Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. In a large pan heat up oil and throw in your onions. Saute until they are golden and toss in your chicken. Cook until you do not see pink (approx 5 mins) stirring frequently.
  2. While the chicken cooks put your taco sauce in a measuring cup and add 1/4 cup of water. Add in the lime juice and all the spices. Mix everything together.
  3. Mix it all together and add your peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes to allow everything to mix together.
  4. Throw in the cabbage and parsley and cook for about 1 – 2 more minutes to allow it to soften.

Ingredients for Guacamole:

  • 1 1/2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Mush your avocado with a fork then add in the rest. Mix until smooth.

Serving your Wraps:

  1. On a whole wheat wrap or corn tortilla spread some guacamole.
  2. Shred some Monterrey Jack cheese on *optional
  3. Spread your chicken and veggie mix
  4. Wrap and enjoy 🙂