Rosemary and Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas

I am obsessed with roasted chickpeas for snacking. They are so high in fiber, gluten-free and they satisfy that salty craving we all know is inevitable.

Recipe:
unsalted cooked chickpeas, pat down with a towel to ensure they’re dry
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea or Himalayan salt
fresh rosemary leaves

Method:
– preheat the oven to 204C (400F)
– on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss chickpeas in olive oil and generously with salt and rosemary
– bake in the top rack for 20 minutes
– serve hot or cooled
*Note: I cook chickpeas by soaking them overnight at room temperature in a large amount of water, then cook them at a low boil for 2 hours

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Atlantic Salmon with Olive Tapenade

What are you making for dinner tonight? Fish is such a great alternative to meat. Its light, and full of omega-3’s and protein.

Recipe:
2 (140-200g) portions Atlantic salmon, with the skin on
1 garlic clove, peeled, minced
2 tbsp white onion, chopped fine
4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
4 kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Method:
– preheat oven to 204C (400F)
– heat an oven safe pan on high heat, add olive oil
– season fish well with salt and pepper on both sides
– place fish skin side up in pan, sear 8 mins, or until fish is golden brown
– flip and sear, 4 minutes
– place in oven for 14 minutes
– heat a small pan on medium high heat, add olive oil
– saute garlic, onions, tomatoes and olives for 3 mins
– after 14 mins, top fish with tapenade, return to oven and cook another 5 mins or until fish is cooked (internal temp of 70C (158F)
– serve hot with an arugula salad and sauteed red peppers

Yield: serves 2

Spring Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

I know it’s warming up outside, but I eat soup all year round… Leeks are in season right now in Ontario and I thought I would use them in a traditional way. Classic leek and potato soup is usually cream based and heavy, so I lightened it up with this healthier alternative.

Recipe:
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped rough
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped rough
2 large leeks, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, washed and sliced thin
handful fresh parsley (curly or flat), chopped rough
2 tbsp fresh dill
3 bay leaves
3.5 liters water
salt to taste
olive oil

Method:
– in a sauce pot on high heat add olive oil
– add potatoes and celery
– cook 10 minutes
– add water, parsley, dill and bay leaves
– cover and bring to a boil
– reduce to a simmer and simmer 25 mins, or until potatoes are soft
– in the meantime, heat a pan on medium heat, add olive oil
– saute leeks for 10 mins, until soft
– set the leeks aside
– remove the pot with potatoes from the heat and pluck out the bay leaves
– with a blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth
– return to heat and add almost all of the leeks (reserve some for garnish) and salt to taste
– heat and serve, garnish with remaining leeks

Yield: about 2 litres

PB and J (5-Minute) Oatmeal

Peanut butter and jam is a classic so why not have some PB and J inspired oatmeal that only takes 5 minutes to whip up!? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Recipe:
1 cup water
1/2 cup quick oats
2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips (optional)
handful fresh berries
2 tsp cinnamon

Method:
– in a small sauce pot, bring water to a boil
– add oats, stir, cook uncovered 4 minutes
– while still hot, transfer to a serving bowl, top with peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit and cinnamon
*Note: If you like your oatmeal more watery add more water, for more dry oatmeal use less water

Yield: serves 1

Vegetable Broth 101

Making soup is so easy and even more rewarding when you use your own homemade broth! Everyone should know how to make an easy vegetable broth, and always have some on hand in the freezer.
You can use whatever veggies you have on hand, just avoid bitter veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts or rapini, and always include a basic mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery at a ratio of 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery.

Recipe:
white onion, chopped rough with the skin
carrot, chopped rough with the skin, or use leftover ends or trimmings
celery, chopped rough, or use leftover ends or the leaves
garlic, whole smashed with the skin, or use leftover skin and trimmings
fresh rosemary, whole
fresh parsley, whole
salt
pepper
water
extra virgin olive oil

Method:
– in a pot on high heat, add oil
– add onion, carrot, celery and garlic
– saute for 5 mins
– cover the veggies with water, allowing about 2 inches of water above the amount of veggies you are using
– add rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper
– being to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
– simmer for 1 hour
– adjust salt to taste
– strain
– store in the fridge or freezer until use (thaw in the fridge before using frozen stock)

Caesar-Style Avocado Dressing

Caesar dressing is a crowd favorite. But finding a healthy, dairy-free store bought alternative is near impossible. Make your own, and feel like you’re doing your body some good, rather than feeling like you’re indulging in something guilty! Use it as a dip for veggies or as a salad dressing (adjust the water accordingly).

Recipe:
1 ripe avocado (only the fleshy part of course)
1 garlic clove, smashed, peeled
2 tsp capers, drained
2 tsp tahini
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water (add more depending on if you prefer a thicker dip or thinner for a dressing)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
black pepper to taste
salt if needed (I find the capers have enough salt for me, but adjust per your taste buds)

Method:
– add all ingredients in a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle
– blend until smooth
* this consistency is thicker, and more like a dip, if you intend to use it for a salad dressing, add 3 tsp more water and blend until smooth (you can keep adding water if you prefer it even thinner)
– serve with veggies or toss with salad

Yield: about 3/4 cup

Asian Peanut Stir-Fry with Rare Flank Steak

It has been a while since I posted something! I’ve been so so busy this semester it seems like writing out recipes wasn’t at the top of my priority list. But this stir-fry is definitely at the top of my list now.

You can’t go wrong with peanuts and lime, one of my favorite combinations! Ditch the store bought sauces that are packed with sugar, salt and preservatives, you can make your own easily with a little help from this recipe!

Recipe:
For the steak:
250g slab flank steak, trimmed
2 tbsp red wine (I used an old Merlot)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, chopped rough
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper

For the stir-fry:
1 small white onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, peeled, sliced thinly on a bias
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly on a bias
1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 green zucchini, sliced thinly on a bias
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp all natural peanut butter
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
1 avocado, sliced thinly
lime wedges for garnish

Method:
For the steak:
– the day before you make the stir-fry, mix all ingredients together in a large seal-able container (big enough to lay the steak flat)
– add steak and ensure it is covered all over with marinade
– store in the fridge
– take out of fridge about 45 mins before cooking, allow to rest at room temperature

For the stir-fry:
– heat a rondeau pan on medium high heat, add oil
– add onion, carrots and celery, cover and cook 5 mins
– heat another pan (big enough for the steak) on high heat, add a small amount of oil
– in the rondeau, add bell pepper, cover and cook 5 mins
– in the separate pan, place steak down and allow to sear for 4 mins
– flip and cook another 4 mins
– remove from pan and allow to rest on a room temperature plate, covered with foil, for about 8 mins,
– in a bowl combine garlic, peanut butter, water, soy sauce, lime juice and hot sauce
– add sauce to the veggies and add zucchini, toss so sauce is spread evenly over veggies, cover and cook 5 mins
– with a sharp knife, slice steak against the grain into thin slices
– serve stir-fry with steak, sliced avocado and a lime wedge

Yield: serves 2

Pan Roasted Chicken with Drunken Onions

Date night, girls night, solo night in, whatever tonight looks like for you, cook up a fancy-ish meal, without the fuss. This one will make you feel like a superstar chef, and bonus: it’s real easy. Enjoy!

Recipe:
2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 small white onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 kalamata olives, chopped rough
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 tbsp 10% heavy cream
extra virgin olive oil
butter
salt and pepper

Method:
– preheat oven to 190C (375F)
– heat a pan on high heat, add olive oil
– season chicken well on both sides with salt and pepper
– place in pan, sear until golden brown, about 3 mins, flip and brown the other side
– if your pan is oven safe, place in oven; if not, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
– place in oven, about 15 mins or until chicken is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 74C (165F)
– while the chicken cooks, heat a pan on medium heat
– add a tbsp of butter, add onions
– cook until soft, about 8 mins, stir frequently to avoid them from browning
– add garlic and olives
– cook until garlic is soft, 5 mins
– add wine, cook for 8 mins, until mostly evaporated
– lower heat, add cream, cook for 5 mins, until heated through
– season with salt and pepper to taste
– serve over chicken

Yield: serves 2

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Make these tonight! More nutritious than potatoes and all the crisp, without the grease.

Recipe:
3 green zucchini, washed, sliced lengthwise into long strips
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup milk
lemon wedges for garnish

Method:
– preheat oven to 218C (425F)
– place flour in a large bowl, set aside
– place eggs and milk in a large bowl, whisk together, set aside
– place Parmesean, breadcrumbs, basil and oregano in a large bowl, mix together, set aside
– create a breading station, place ingredients from left to right: sliced zucchini, flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
– taking one at a time, dip zucchini into flour to evenly coat, shake off any excess, place in egg mixture
– wish a fork, toss the zucchini until it is evenly coated, using the fork, lift the zucchini out of the eggs and place in the breadcrumbs (using a fork allows your hands to stay clean so you don’t get the breadcrumb mixture wet with egg)
– toss zucchini in breadcrumbs until evenly coated
– place on baking sheet
– continue this process until all zucchinis are battered
– ensure all zucchini are side by side on baking sheet, not overlapping
– bake in oven for 20 mins, until crispy
– serve hot, sprinkled with coarse sea salt and garnish with lemon wedges on the side 

Yield: Serves 4

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