Green Goddess SaladI made this delicious Green Goddess Salad just a few hours before leaving for my trip out west. I was looking to eat something light and healthy before boarding the plane and this salad certainly satisfied my craving. I filled it with loads of kale from the garden, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, parsley and some sunflower and pumpkin seeds which gave it a good crunchy texture. I ended up going with a very flavourful honey- mustard dressing, which complimented all the veggies in the salad really well.10668495_10202321501152866_903512182_n

Green Goddess Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • 1 head broccoli, florets chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, florets chopped
  • 3 cups of kale
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • ½ large cucumber, sliced
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • Honey-Mustard Dressing
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Raw honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Mix chopped broccoli, cauliflower, kale, parsley, cucumber, and nuts in bowl. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, to make Honey-Mustard Dressing: whisk together all ingredients in bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour dressing over the salad and let sit in the fridge for a half hour before serving.

 

peachupsidedowncakeI absolutely love Ontario peaches; especially around the end of the summer when they are super ripe and full of great flavour. It was just the other week my mom came home from Niagara with a basket full of them, and I knew I needed to make something for my blog. I originally found this Peach Upside-Down Cake recipe scribbled down in one of my mom’s cookbooks and I thought it was the perfect time to test it out.

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Peach Upside-Down Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the peaches, sugar, cornstrach, and lemon juice first in a bowl. Spoon into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with butter or some sort of cooking spray.
  2. Place ⅔ cup coconut sugar, butter, grated lemon rind, vanilla extract and egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
  3. Spoon batter over peach mixture in pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake, and invert onto plate.

 

 

veggie&bulgurstuffedeggplantsThe other day I was having a major food dilemma. What to do with a bunch of fresh veggies from the garden in the fridge that needed to be used up? My first thought was to make some sort of vegetable lasagna. A part of me wanted to experiment to see what else I could come up with. I’ll be the first to admit that I completely winged this Veggie & Bulgur Stuffed Eggplant recipe; but I’m happy to say that it was a success and I’ll definitely be making this again.

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Veggie & Bulgur Stuffed Eggplants
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 eggplants, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, with the florets chopped off
  • 5-6 large kale leaves
  • handful basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 7-ounce package feta, crumbled
  • 2 cups Bulgur, cooked
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Plain greek yogurt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F. Slice the eggplants in half lengthways, leaving the stem intact. Using a small knife, cut a border inside each eggplant about ½ cm thick. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the eggplant flesh, so that you have 4 shells. Brush these with a little of the olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Chop the flesh and place to one side.
  2. Meanwhile, over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, peppers, broccoli and kale in coconut oil until veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant flesh, tomatoes, and mushrooms and cook through. Remove from heat and stir in bulgur, basil, feta, and salt and pepper.
  3. When the eggplant halves are tender, remove from the oven and reduce heat to 325F. Pile stuffing into shells. Bake for 15-20 mins, until the cheese is gooey. Serve with plain greek yogurt over top which is optional.

 

Breakfast MuffinsLately, I’ve been finding it a little difficult during the week to eat a proper breakfast in the morning before my usual commute into work.  It’s been awhile since I’ve stocked up on my homemade granola bars, so this week I decided to make these light, fluffy and very tasty Breakfast Muffins to fill that void. The great thing about this recipe is that you can really throw in any sort of fruit you like. It’s quite versatile that way, and freezes well for later consumption!photo 2(2)

 

Breakfast Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup unflavoured greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅛ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¾ apple sauce
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp honey (I love clover)
  • 1½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin & sunflower)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 12 large muffin cases. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, greek yogurt, oil, apple sauce, banana, honey and vanilla. In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients, except the seeds, into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and mix to combine.
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix briefly then divide the batter up evenly in muffin tray. Sprinkle the muffins with the extra oats and the seeds. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and well risen. You can stick a skewer into the center of a muffin and when it comes out clean you're good to go! Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or place in ziplock bag in the freezer and it can keep up to two weeks.

 

Carrot Hot Dogs & Peach Feta SaladThese Carrot Hot Dogs are a great vegan alternative. The first time I heard about them I was up north at a cottage on Manitoulin Island. There is a lady there that sells them at the local farmers market and I thought it would be a great idea to feature them on my blog before the summer officially comes to a close. Personally, I love all sorts of fresh condiments as you can probably tell from the photo below. Besides the carrot hot dogs I also wanted to share with you this great Peach Feta Salad recipe. It is a summer time favourite of mine. There are SO many great recipes out there to incorporate fresh Ontario peaches this time of year and I look forward to sharing with you all at least one more.

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Carrot Hot Dogs & Peach Feta Salad
 
Ingredients
  • Carrot Hot Dogs
  • 5 large carrots, peeled try to cut yours to the size of the hot dog buns
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ⅛ tsp granulated onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • hot dog buns
  • hot dog toppings
  • Peach Feta Salad
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2 cups kale
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Carrot Hot Dogs
  2. Fill a pot about half-way full of water, heat it on high until it boils. Turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Boil for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, or until fork tender but not mushy. After removing the carrots from the boiling water, run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. While the carrots are cooking, whisk together in a bowl the water, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, onion powder and pepper.
  4. Combine the carrots and the marinade in a zipper gallon-size bag. Shake so the mixture coated the carrots. Place the carrots in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
  5. Coat a medium skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Turn the heat to medium and place the carrots and about ½ cup of the marinade into the skillet. Heat the carrots for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Peach Feta Salad
  7. Place kale, sliced peaches, chopped tomatoes, cucumber and feta into salad bowl.
  8. Beat the balsamic vinegar in a bowl with garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  9. Toss dressing with the salad and enjoy!

 

 

vodkaredpeppersauceI hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. Personally, I can’t believe how much time has flown by. Before the summer comes to a close I wanted to share with you all my personal favourite Vodka Red Pepper Sauce recipe. I’ve seriously been making it for ages. Its always a toss up between this one or a vegetable pasta sauce whenever I’m craving something comforting. It was just in the last few years when I realized the importance of fresh pasta and believe me when I say it is truly essential if you’re going to do it right! If you don’t have time to make it from scratch yourself, many grocery stores tend to carry it! I really love making pasta around this time of year when the garden is just exploding with tomatoes, basil and red peppers.

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4.0 from 1 reviews
Vodka Red Pepper Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 -ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream (I usually used ½ & ½ or a cashew cream)
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn, plus more for topping
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh linguine
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the white onion and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the vodka, tomato sauce and salt to taste. Return the skillet to medium heat and simmer, stirring often, until the alcohol cooks off, about 7 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and basil.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook as the label directs.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Season with salt. Serve topped with more parmesan and basil.

 

HomemadeBBQPizzaWho doesn’t love the taste of  crispy thin crust BBQ pizza? This is probably one of the most fun meals to make with a group of people. Despite the chopping prep work, it is actually quite simple to execute over the BBQ. I especially love adding an assortment of toppings. The garden in my backyard has exploded, so I’ve been trying to use up all the tasty and fresh vegetables and herbs as possible. On the left I used my family’s home-made tomato sauce and decided to add fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and fresh kale and basil from the garden. On the right I used my home-made pesto, mozzarella, mushrooms, kale and fresh sprouts. Both were insanely delicious.    Untitled

BBQ Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • 1 piece of pizza dough
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • any additional ingredients youd like!
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill for high heat. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape ⅜ to ½ inch thick.
  2. Brush grill grate with olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over using two spatulas. Working quickly, brush oil over crust, and then brush with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Arrange whatever ingredients you desire on the pizza and place back on the grill. Close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.

 

 

California SaladThis past weekend I went up north to my girlfriend’s cottage with my sister for a much needed girls weekend. It had been years since I had been up there and despite the not so great weather; we ended up having a wonderful time. Pre-weekend I decided to whip together a California Salad inspired by this lovely little restaurant by my work called Lola’s Kitchen. This salad is quite hearty and can quite easily be made into a meal by adding some fish, tofu or chicken. photo 1(2)

California Salad
 
Ingredients
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 sweet potato (diced)
  • 2 beets
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (toasted)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (toasted)
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes
  • 2½ cups kale
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • For the dressing:
  • ¾ cup olive oil (good quality)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Toss potatoes with coconut oil, salt, and pepper to taste
  2. Roast until tender and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once through and allow potatoes to cool.
  3. Place the beets in a large saucepan and add water to cover and the lemon juice or vinegar. This will help to keep the beets from bleeding. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place pot under running cold water and let rinse until beets can be handled. Peel the skin off the beets and slice beets.
  4. For the dressing you want to combine the olive oil, vinegar, water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender.and then massage the dressing into the kale.
  5. Layer on top the rest of the ingredients for the salad, mix and enjoy!

 

israelThe past two weeks absolutely flew by for me while on vacation in Israel.  I am in no way surprised that I’m still craving the delicious falafel and hummas salad plates, which ended up being my ultimate go-to while traveling around the country. I’m still desperately searching to find a spot in Toronto that is comparable. I’ve heard good things about Fat Pasha, but if anyone has anymore suggestions I’m completely open to it : )

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All-in-all, the trip was quite the eye-opening experience for me. The culture including the people I met and became close too combined with the fresh and flavourful dishes really made me feel like I could easily spend at least a month there exploring. I had so many amazing moments on my trip, it’s hard to pin point a favourite place. Tel Aviv was definitely up there for me, Carly and I only had a couple of days there so we spent most of our time walking around Camel market and Jaffa Flea market picking up neat nic nacs, drinking fresh smoothies, and trying out some delicious restaurants. We ended up stumbling upon this gem called Puaa. While there we ended up trying some pomegranate mimosas, cauliflower poppers and a simple yet tasty mixed green salad. At the time I wish I had a bigger stomach and more time to try everything on the menu. 10487293_10201923098833057_697476358539381136_nThat evening we ended up going to a beautiful seafood restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean called Manta Ray. I loved the tapas style plates you had to chose from, a sample of 12 different dishes ranging from vegetarian, seafood, and salads. It all came out on a big tray and between Carly and I, we ended up ordering quite few items between the both of us. The most interesting combination I had was the salmon, parsley salad, I could have eaten about five of them! The last night we ended up at this new Italian restaurant around the corner from where we stayed called Gemma Wine Bar. We sat on the patio in the middle of this beautiful quiet cobble stone street and ate an amazing beet pistachio salad, fire stone oven pizza, and spinach pasta dish. 10518979_10201933934543943_5212482783989181577_nBesides indulging in the markets and amazing food, I tried to spend as much time on the beach appreciating every moment and relaxing. Now that I’m back home I’m excited to try a lot of this dishes with my own personal touch and share with you some new and exciting dishes with a middle eastern flare!

Banana Chocolate Coconut PancakesWho doesn’t love pancakes, especially ones that contain chocolate chips? For fathers day after a great game of early morning golf with my dad, I decided to whip up some sinfully delicious banana chocolate coconut pancakes.  These pancakes are completely gluten-free and made with cashews the perfect alternative for those watching their blood sugar! This is definitely one of my favourite combinations, that is sure to satisfy my sweet cravings right away.photo 3(1)

Banana Chocolate Coconut Pancakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut chips
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • coconut oil for cooking
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews overnight in water. In the morning using a food processor, pulse cashews until finely ground. Add in the baking soda, then pulse in eggs, vanilla, and banana until combined. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  2. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Spoon batter 1 tablespoon at a time onto skillet
  3. Flip pancakes when bubbles form. Sprinkle coconut chips on top with maple syrup (optional)