garlic

Easy & Fresh Bruschetta

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Ever since I was little I have LOVED tomatoes. Being a picky eater as a child I quite literally survived my elementary school years eating tomato and cheese sandwiches. This wasn’t for a lack of trying on my parents part for me to try new lunches and food…I simply refused to eat anything else. Sorry mom!

Now that I am all grow up, I still LOVE tomatoes and even grow them in my garden 😊

From time to time I get a craving for Bruschetta so I figured I would share my take on it with all of you.

Ingredients:

1 White Baguette

5-6 Roma Tomatoes (any other tomato will do as well but these are my favourite choice)

2 TBSP Sweet Onion (finely diced)

1 – 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)

½ Red Pepper (finely chopped)

Handful of Fresh Basil (Chopped)

¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan

1 TSP White Pepper

1 TSP Dried Oregano

Salt to Taste

1 TBSP Olive Oil

2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

How To:

  • Dice and chop all your ingredients.
  • Place your tomatoes in a strainer and squeeze out the juices so the bruschetta is not watery.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Slice your Baguette and toast in the toaster, or if you prefer, pan fry it until golden brown in a pan with butter.
  • Place topping on baguette slices and enjoy 😊

Prawn & Zucchini Scampi

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scampi

Looking for a quick and easy dinner option? Look no further. From start to finish this meal takes under an hour to make! It is served with a light yet creamy white wine sauce with a hint of lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 375g Pasta of your choice (I used 1 pack of linguine)
  • 20- 30 Raw Prawns (peeled & de-veined)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Medium Shallot
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • Juice from 2 ½ Lemons
  • ¾ Cup Water
  • ¾ Cup Dry White Wine
  • ½ Cup Whipping Cream
  • ½ Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • ½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Oregano
  • ½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh Chives and Parsley to garnish
  • Fresh Parmesan for Garnish

How To: 

  1. Peel your prawns, if you did not purchase de-veined ones you will need to do so now.
  2. Cook your pasta according to instructions on box, depending on the type of pasta you choose the cooking time varies. TIP: Once your pasta is cooked, strain and run under cold water to prevent it from sticking together. Set aside.
  3. Dice your shallot, zucchini and pepper and set aside each one separately.
  4. In a large skillet, melt your butter on high heat and add the shallot. Lightly brown the shallot then add your green peppers. Let them cook approx. 3 minutes until they are getting softer.
  5. Add your water and zucchini and mix. Cook for approx 4 minutes until zucchini is starting to get soft.
  6. Add your garlic, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, white pepper, oregano & Italian seasoning. Mix everything together and cook for another minute or 2.
  7. Add your lemon juice and mix.
  8. Add the prawns and mix. Let them cook for about 2 minutes or until they turn pink.
  9. Add your wine and mix. Cook everything with a cover on for about 5 minutes to allow the wine to evaporate a bit.
  10. Add in the cream and mix. Lower heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  11. Add your pasta and combine everything.
  12. Once everything is combined serve and garnish with chives, parsley & Parmesan.

 

Coconut, Ginger Lime Chicken

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Coconut, Ginger Lime Chicken

Wow, talk about a long hiatus from posting anything! For those of you who used to follow me… my sincere apologies, for anyone seeing any of my posts for the first time…Welcome! 🙂

A lot has happened over the past two years. I quit a horrible job, started a new amazing job, got settled, then subsequently lost track of time. To keep things interesting me and the husband decided to buy a detached house before the market in the Lower Mainland made it impossible to own a house. We got in the market just in time but still over paid…that is another story all together. Last year, we got ourselves into a full scale renovation of said over-priced house. That was an adventure to say the least! Once the dust settled, we had turned an un-kept, filthy house that was stuck in 1995 into a place we could call home. Surprisingly, there was only one major melt down during the entire process.  In the end, I got my dream kitchen and our marriage came out stronger. We turned a delivery of 220 boxes from Ikea into something spectacular! Here is a quick before and after:

kitchen
Our Kitchen…Before & After

So now that you are all caught up…on to the cooking and food 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 6 Chicken Breasts (cut into 1″ strips)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 9 Garlic Cloves (grated)
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • Juice from 2 Limes
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2 Lemongrass Stems (cut into 1″pieces)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (no msg)

Toppings: 

  • Cashews
  • Roasted Sesame
  • Fresh Cilantro

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

How To: 

  1. Place your Coconut Oil and Chicken Pieces into a cast iron pot. Cook on high until chicken is lightly browned. (about 8 minutes)
  2. Add in your broth and the rest of the ingredients . Mix well and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn down the heat to low and cook covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Scoop out your chicken strips and dice/shred them up on cutting board.
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the pieces of lemongrass.
  6. Return the now shredded chicken to the broth mixture.
  7. Let it cook on low for about 20 minutes to allow the chicken to take on even more flavour from the broth mixture.
  8. Top your chicken with the toppings and serve over rice or quinoa.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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Apple Cider Slow Cooked Pork

This has become a staple in our house. After trying various different methods for making some slow cooker pork this one has come out on top in our house. It all began with not having enough time to make Paleo approved dinners in our house so I began trying to make more and more meals in our slow cooker. This recipe is one of the main reasons I started eating more pork. It is full of wonderful flavors and pairs with so many different things which makes it a super easy Paleo dinner options. Your house will be filled with amazing smells and if you make enough of this, you will have leftovers that can be transformed into tacos, stir fry’s and a number of other options. When I first made this version of pulled pork I made so much of it that we decided to invite my father-in-law over to help us get through some of it. Now normally he does not go up for very many second helpings but after he had a bite of this pork he asked for 2 re-fills and a tupper ware for lunch!. i was more than happy to oblige and since then I have made this dish several more times in order to perfect it. I usually pair it with some of my homemade Apple Cider Pickled Onions, the flavors combine into an amazing meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/2 White Onion (sliced)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (halved)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (No MSG)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Paprika

How To:

*If you are putting this pork in before work I recommend combining all the spices the night before in a bowl and putting your onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker before bed, that way you can simply put in the pork, season it and top it off with the broth and vinegar.

  1. Place your onions, garlic and oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Rinse your pork loins and place them into the slow cooker.
  3. Combine your seasonings together in a bowl then generously coat the pork with the mixtures. Try to cover the sides as best as possible.
  4. Mix your broth with the vinegar then gently pork it around the pork being careful not to wash away the spices.
  5. Close your slow cooker and set it for 8 hours on low.

Finally, come home from work or a day of running around doing errands and enjoy your pork with whatever sides you wish 🙂 You also won’t need to light and scented candles because your house will smell amazing!

Smoked Tomato Red Pepper Soup

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Smoked Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a fan of tomato soup, there is just something comforting about it and always brings me back to my childhood. Let’s just say I had and still have an obsession with tomatoes. My mother can attest to the fact that growing up I practically lived off of tomato and cheese sandwiches and since I used to be such a picky eater, sandwiches it was, for most snacks, lunches and sometimes even dinner. Bless my moms heart, she tried just about everything to get me to eat anything but these sandwiches but with limited success. I even distinctly remember when we lived in Spain she tried to trick me into eating fish by telling me that it was “pollo” something I actually ate on occasion. For those of you who do not know Spanish, “pollo” means chicken, not fish. However at that age and a very limited palette, I took my moms word for it and ate the fish thinking it was chicken. The jig was up pretty quick and I went back to tomato and cheese sandwiches as my go to food source. Since I loved tomatoes so much, tomato soup was a pretty regular occurrence in our house, perhaps that is why it is still such a comfort food for me.  This past Thanksgiving I decided to put a twist on the standard tomato soup and since Thanksgiving brings so many rich flavors and sweets to our plates I wanted to start the meal off with something savory and different. Bring on the smoky richness of those crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (796ml)
  • 4 Roasted Red Peppers (I used mine from a jar)
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 White Onion (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth (I used one with No MSG)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour (optional for thickening)

How To:

  1. In a medium soup pot heat up your oil and toss in the onions and let them brown.
  2. Toss in the peppers and tomatoes and combine with the onions.
  3. Add in your seasonings followed by the broth.
  4. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. If you do not have a hand held blender you can always pour the soup into a blender to puree.
  6. If you would like to thicken your soup a bit, mix 2 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water (i used coconut flour for the paleo version of this soup) Once the flour is dissolved into the water without clumps, slowly pour it into the soup and bring it all to a boil again.

 

Ratatouille

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Baked RatatouilleBaked Zucchini Ratatoullie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add  it into yours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
  2. In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
  3. In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
  4. Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  6. Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
  7. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Spicy Ginger Green Beans

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A week ago we decided to go out for a dinner and  a new item on the menu caught our eye. They were spicy green beans and they were delicious! Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at making these. Last night as we were leaving from the vet, my father-in-law drove past us and my husband quickly gave him a call to let him know he was spotted. Earlier that morning I had put in a ridiculous amount of pork into the slow cooker so I figured why not invite him over for dinner. However, all we had at home was just that, pork. Now I also had some of my recently pickled onions but my father-in-law flat out refuses to eat onions so those were off the table for him. (The recipe for those amazing things will be posted soon along with the pork) Alright back to the beans. I had recently picked up some lovely looking green beans at the market for the purpose of attempting to recreate the spicy beans from the dinner. So last night was the night I gave it a shot, I have to say for something so easy and quick, they were delicious! If my father-in-law hadn’t shown up soon after I made them I think me and my husband would have easily polished them off as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pack of Green Beans
  • 2 Small Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Fresh Pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Rinse your green beans and cut off the tips a bit for freshness. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Heat up your wok and pour a little bit of water mixed with some olive oil into the bottom.
  4. Once the water is bubbling, throw in your beans and sauté them until they are bright and starting to get a bit golden (approx. 5 minutes)
  5. Pour in your sauce and cover the beans. Saute them for about a minute more.
  6. Remove and serve right away.