Tuesday, 29 September 2015

cucumber salad w/ sour cream & dill

i love sundays.  all sundays.  but last sunday in particular.
the weather was beautiful.
the walk along 17th avenue was picturesque.
crunchy leaves were everywhere.
i filled my face with lemon meringue macarons from corbeaux bakehouse.
and capped it off with an afternoon of football/my-really-good-friends-just-got-engaged-BBQ at our place.

low key bbqs will always reign supreme when deeply rooted with any football game.
congrats M & D.  mexico awaits. xo


cucumber salad w/ sour cream & dill

ingredients:
2 large cucumbers, sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
zest of lemon
2 tablespoons fresh dill
salt & pepper to taste

method:
in large bowl mix together sour cream, vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, dill and salt & pepper.  toss dressing with sliced cucumbers and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
enjoy.xo.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Lemon-Ricotta Zucchini Pancakes

i kicked the weekend off on a high note yesterday. 
after all friday morning is basically the weekend which means one should celebrate, and by celebrate i mean, with food.
yesterday also marked a no school day for the kids, which meant no schedule for me.
left behind was the usual hectic rush of a quick yogurt breakfast parfait/lunch making scramble, before heading in a mad dash to the bus stop.
instead, i opted for an early morning coffee and walk with my bestie, followed by some country music tunes while cooking pancakes for the family.
#myhappyplace
the only thing missing was a mimosa, well there's always tomorrow today.
my pancake of choice included vegetables (because i'm still bursting at the seams with frozen zucchini) and protein (in the form of cheese, which is basically how i would like to eat all of my protein from now on)
those two ingredients alone mean you double the batch, bathe each pancake in syrup, and call it a success.
i did. and i'm proud.
cheers.  xo.

Lemon-Ricotta Zucchini Pancakes

ingredients:
2 cups of prepared pancake batter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon

butter, & syrup or honey for serving

method:
in medium bowl combine sugar, zucchini, cheese and lemon zest till well incorporated.  fold in pancake batter and mix till combined.
preheat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat and spray with non-stick spray.
drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and cook till bubbles form on top.  flip and cook on other side.
repeat with remaining batter, keeping warm in oven.

serve with butter & syrup or honey

yields:  8 pancakes

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

spiralized fruit tarts


i've already shared a delicious recipe for chicken & tangy peanut sauce over squash & carrot noodles from the new cookbook "150 best spiralizer recipes" by marilyn haugen & jennifer williams

as a follow up, i'm now introducing a way to use the spiralizer in dessert form. 
because as any human being knows, any good dinner, should also ultimately end with good dessert.
and this one is guilt-free which means you can enjoy it at breakfast, snack time, on a tuesday, basically whenever.
cheers, xo.


spiralized fruit tarts

ingredients:
6 pitted soft dates
2 cups raw walnut halves or pieces
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons raw agave nectar, divided
4 crisp, tart apples, peeled, cored and ends cut flat
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

method:
in food processor, combine dates and walnuts; process until crumbly and sticky.  add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon agave nectar; process until dough forms a ball.
divide dough in six equal pieces and press one piece into the bottom and halfway up the sides of each prepared muffin cup to form a crust.  refrigerate.
using a spiralizer, cut apples into thin strands.
in a medium bowl, combine apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, the remaining salt, the remaining agave nectar and lemon juice.  let stand for 30 minutes or until apples are softened to desired consistency.
remove muffin pan from refrigerator remove tarts from and discard any liquid.  using tongs, divide apple strands among crusts, twisting them to fit.

Courtesy of 150 Best Spiralizer Recipes by Marilyn Haugen & Jennifer Williams © 2015 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold

Chicken & Tangy Peanut Sauce over Squash & Carrot Noodles

we are pretty big vegetable fans in this house.
you'll often find the four of us reaching fighting for seconds or thirds in a race to the bottom of the dish.
i love most of all, coming up with new and innovative ways to enjoy them which thanks to my spiralizer has been made even easier.

have you heard of spiralizers?

they are the handy new kitchen gadget that make introducing vegetables into everyday dishes easy and refreshing. 

think, pasta noodles out, vegetable noodles in.
reducing carbohydrates & eliminating gluten, all the while providing nutritious and satisfying meals and desserts for your enjoyment.

and thanks to marilyn haugen & jenninfer williams new cookbook, "150 best spiralizer recipes"  you'll be introduced to some delicious offerings that include everything from thai salad with peanut lime dressing to curry beef with sweet potato noodles, and even spiralized fruit tarts.
today i'm lucky enough to share with you a colourful combination of vegetables that serve as an inviting foundation for a tasty chicken and tangy peanut sauce.
can you say seconds?

spiralizers for the win!

Chicken and Tangy Peanut Sauce over Squash & Carrot Noodles


ingredients:
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/3 - 1/2 cup water
3 zucchini, ends cut flat
3 yellow summer squash, ends cut flat
2 large carrots, peeled and ends cut flat
ice cold water
4 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

method:
in a medium bowl, combine ginger, garlic, sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and oil until well blended.  gradually stir in water to reach desired consistency.  (the squash strands will add liquid, so you may want to make the dressing slightly thicker than usual)
bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.
meanwhile, using a spiralizer, cut zucchini, squash and carrots into thin strands, keeping the carrots separate.  
add carrots to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked to desired tenderness.  using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer carrots to a bowl of ice cold water.  blanch zucchini and squash int e same way, but boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  drain the cooled vegetables thoroughly and pat dry if necessary. 
transfer blanched vegetables to a serving bowl.  top with chicken and drizzle with dressing.  sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds on top.

serves 6 

courtesy of 150 Best Spiralizer Recipes by Marilyn Haugen & Jennifer Williams © 2015 www.robertrose.ca reprinted with publisher permission. available where books are sold

craft beer market

this past weekend mr. handsome and i went out for a night on the town with my parents.
 dinner and a concert? okay, twist my arm.
growing up there were two tapes (yes, tapes, not cd's) that pretty much were the anthem/soundtrack to all family road trips.  don william's greatest hits and pretty much anything sang by randy travis.  we were raised on country and to this day that's where my heart belongs.

so when i found out a few months ago that don william's was coming to calgary on tour,  i immediately jumped on board and got tickets for the four of us.
childhood relived, live!

and because you can't go to a concert on an empty stomach or thirsty, we first had dinner & great craft beer, courtesy Craft Beer Market @ 345 10th avenue sw.
for someone who appreciates a good beer, is married to someone who brews his own, it's a wonder how this was my first visit to a place that should really be a regular watering hole.

#brewlove


best brews of the night belong to:

new belgium snapshot wheat - fort collins, co
pyramid audacious apricot ale - seattle, wa



baja fish tacos |  ocean wise fish spice rubbed and grilled.  served with fresh cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado and craft signature hot sauce


pacific lingcod |  ocean wise lingcod baked in a house made lemongrass, fresh turmeric and coconut sauce.  served on a bed of grilled cauliflower and steamed rice


classic burger |  house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion and house made mustard.


brewmaster's chicken sandwich |  naturally raised chicken breast, avocado, bacon, aged cheddar, tomato, lettuce, red onion, served on a grilled ciabatta bun.
a night well spent.  cheers.  xo

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Freshii

i like to think of myself as healthy.  
i workout, eat my greens, avoid processed foods, and take most things in moderation.
although to be fair this last month i've been off my a-game.  workouts are still a regular occurrence {after all they keep me sane}, but take out has taken over.  we moved,  then wedding month/BBQ season happened.  luckily september means back-to-school and back to schedules.
so when i was approached by Freshii, a new healthy restaurant chain in calgary, to come and see what they have to offer, i was eager to try it out and it couldn't have come at a better time.
eat. energize.  
that's the Freshii motto.  their aim is to provide fresh and nutritious meal choices that energize people on the go.  emphasizing the foods you should eat more of and less on those you should avoid.  providing meals and snacks to live your best life.  fibre-rich, slow-burning carbs, essential fats and lean proteins.  the menu includes custom-made green wraps, salads, quinoa bowls, and fresh pressed juices.

today i had the pleasure of being their guest at breakfast.  breakfast is an essential part to my day since it usually follows an early morning workout.   for me,  a healthy balanced breakfast not only nourishes me, but it also sets the tone for the remainder of the day.



fresh pressed juices
carrot zinger |  carrot, apple, ginger
red power |  beet, carrot, ginger, lemon


ranchero grilled breakfast burrito |  scrambled eggs, avocado, black beans, aged cheddar, cilantro, pico de gallo


spinach, mushroom & cheese grilled egg pocket |  scrambled eggs, spinach, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, goat cheese
thanks freshii for starting my day off on the right foot, you've quickly become my new go-to restaurant.
you also sent me home with lunch, which was devoured at record pace and was so very delicious.  #thankful


pangoa bowl |  brown rice, avocado, black beans, aged cheddar, corn, grape tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedge, fiery bbq sauce
this is a place not to be missed. 
 i'm already looking forward to going back and eating my way through the rest of the menu.  which just so happens to also include 1, 3 or 5 day juice cleanses.  perfect for the after thanksgiving hangover that is sure to occur.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Apple-Zucchini Bread

last weekends work has now yielded a pretty delicious {if i do say so myself} quick bread.


with fall comes warm spices, way too much pumpkin, tall boots, cozy sweaters, and of course apples, to which, always makes a delicious quick bread.   today was no exception.
#myhousesmellslikefall




Apple-Zucchini Bread

ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini, squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated apple

method:
preheat oven to 350F.  spray 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
in large bowl combine the first six ingredients and whisk.
in separate bowl whisk together sugars, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla till smooth and blended.  fold in zucchini and apples.
add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just incorporated, do not overmix. 
pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing to cool completely.

cheers. enjoy. xo.
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