Spring Gnocchi with fresh herbs

Dinner tonight is super fresh and super simple! There’s a little bit of chopping, and we cheated by buying our gnocchi instead of making it today. Oops! No time for that today! This was quite the refreshing dish. I love all the green in it! Give it a try!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 700g fresh potato gnocchi
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, diced and rinsed to remove dirt
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, tough ends broken off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions, whites and greens separated, and sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced (not minced. we want nice big but thin pieces.)
  • 1c Peas
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2c parmigiano reggiano + more for serving
  • few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1/2c parsley, rough chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp butter. Let the butter melt and the oil get nice and hot. Add your gnocchi in and brown on both sides.
  2. Once your gnocchi is browned, add in your leeks, asparagus, whites of the green onions and garlic. Cook until the leeks and asparagus start to get tender. (a few minutes.)
  3. Add in your fresh peas, remaining 2 tbsp butter, greens of the green onions, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your lemon zest and your lemon juice, 1/2c parmigianno reggiano, parsley and basil. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with more cheese!
  5. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and spring veggies

This Thai Curry uses a home made green curry paste that you can find here

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 3 medium carrots, sliced on the bias (about 1/2C)
  • 7 stalks of asparagus, hard ends snapped off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions both whites and greens sliced on the bias, keep whites separated from the green.
  • 1 398ML can of coconut milk or cream
  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 tbsp Green Thai Curry Paste
  • 2 TBSP china lily soy sauce
  • 2 TSP coconut sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2.5C cooked basmati rice (for serving.)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Directions:

  1. Heat 1/2C of the coconut milk in a wok over low heat. Add your green curry paste and mix until well combined.
  2. Add your cubed chicken and turn the heat up to just over medium. Cook until your chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add in the rest of your coconut milk, soy sauce, coconut sugar, carrots, asparagus, white parts of the onions, and kaffir lime leaves. Let the curry come to a boil. Once the curry is boiling and foaming, turn the heat back down to low to let the curry simmer for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until your vegetables are tender-crisp. (To your liking.)
  4. Once the curry is done cooking and your vegetables are done, stir in your green onions and torn basil leaves. Serve immediately over steaming hot basmati rice
  5. Enjoy!!

Green Thai Curry Paste

Spring is in the air!! It got up to maybe 13 or 14 degrees today in Edmonton, and let me tell you it was AMAZING. 13 degrees is pretty warm for me after our winters… sadly. Needless to say, I was feeling extra inspired for my meal plan I made this morning! I want to do spring dinners with all the beauty produce that is out and in season! If only I could cook this way the whole year round and not go broke, I would be the happiest girl in the whole entire world!

First meal of this weeks plan is a green curry with chicken and spring veggies, with a home made green curry paste. It is so much better to make your own so you don’t have a store bought container in your fridge with one or two spoonfuls out of it until you end up throwing it out 6 months later. What a waste. Grab your mortar and pestle (or a small blender or food processor) and lets get to it!

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 TSP ground coriander
  • 1″ piece of lemon grass, OR 1 TSP ground lemon grass
  • 2.5 TBSP fresh grated, and peeled ginger root
  • 2 small kaffir lime leaves (it is okay to use dried leaves.)
  • 1.5 TBSP shallot, minced (About half of a shallot.)
  • 1 TSP fresh grated turmeric
  • 1.5 TBSP grated garlic cloves (about 3 large cloves)
  • 5 large basil leaves, minced
  • 2 red Thai chili’s, minced (Use more if you want spicier.)
  • 1/8 TSP freshly ground sea salt

Directions:

Add all your ingredients to your mortar and pestle or food processor and turn it into a paste. This makes about 3.5 TBSP of green curry paste.

I scaled down the spice of this as my 13 month old eats what we eat for dinner, and he sure does not approve of anything too spicy. That being said, up that chili pepper amount and use green Chile’s with red Chile’s. This is a little less than medium spice.


Lemon Parm Orzo with Peas

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/4c Orzo
  • 2 1/2c chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2c peas
  • 3/4c freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (or any other hard parm like cheese)

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, add EVOO. Let the oil heat up and then add your dried orzo to the pot. Stir every minute or so until your orzo is nice and browned and fragrant. Now add in your chicken stock or water. Let your pot come to a boil, and then reduce your heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Let cook until nice and fluffy. When there is a few minutes left of cooking, add in your peas.
  2. Once your orzo and peas are done cooking, turn your heat down to low. Remove the lid and add in your lemon zest, lemon juice, pecorino romano cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all up and serve!
  3. It doesn’t hurt to grate a little extra cheese on top!!

Juicy chicken with a dijon sauce

This is a recipe that has been on my blog for about a year now, and it needed some serious TLC. It was good before, but this is a much better version of it. Juicy BBQ’D chicken with a white wine dijon sauce. Make this alcohol free by using low sodium chicken stock in place of wine. Did I mention that this is a super quick cooking meal? It is!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • fresh ground sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, rough chopped (optional.)

For the sauce:

  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1c of your favourite white wine
  • 1 heaping TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping TBSP grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven or outdoor grill. (oven to 425.)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and brown them. Once your onions are browned, add your garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Once your garlic is fragrant (1-2 min) deglaze your skillet with your white wine, stirring the mixture. Let the liquid reduce a little.
  4. Add in your dijon mustards (both kinds! if you only have one, then thats fine. add 2 tbsp of one kind.) and add in your butter. Once mixed, add in your cornstarch dissolved in water, and turn your heat down to low.
  5.  Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on your BBQ on a medium heat. Because the chicken is pounded nice and thin, it will take literally only minutes to cook. Cook for a few minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I suggest using a meat thermometer and checking the internal temp of the chicken (165.)
  6. if you’re using the oven – season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. in a skillet on just over medium heat, add EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your chicken. Brown it on both sides. Throw it into the 425 oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. remove chicken from the grill and top with your dijon sauce. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over it if you like!

Peanut butter jelly time!!

I am almost 36 weeks pregnant now, so I can justify having around 10,000 calories for breakfast. I have been on a protein smoothie kick lately to help use up fruits that my lovely son does not want to eat anymore! I never eat fruit…. but I will drink it. Strange? I agree. This smoothie is delicious. I found a few versions of peanut butter and jelly on the internet, but I never follow a recipe like I am supposed to, so here is what I did! 

20170501_081259

Ingredients:

  • 5 large strawberries, halved
  • 1 banana, frozen, cut into 3 chunks
  • 1 heaping TBSP of peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
  • 1.5c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions:

Throw everything in a blender and BLEND.

MMMM. Breakfast.


Basil Chicken Pasta

Hi everyone!! What a weekend we have had over here! We had a wonderful dinner with friends friday evening where Jacob (our 13 month old son) got to visit and play with his “girlfriend” who is one month older than him! It was so nice to get to see them play together and eat together! How special. Saturday evening we went to Paul’s parents house to visit with his grandmother. Jacob has never met his great grandmother so it was very special for us to spend some time with her before she went back home. THEN after dinner, we had gone to a friends housewarming party! It was a fantastic (and late) night with friends! I am still exhausted today from not getting to bed early enough! Needless to say, when it came to dinner I really didn’t want to work too hard.

Thankfully in the summer I get to can and freeze home grown tomatoes from my mom, and my mother in laws gardens. I get to can stewed tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauces and soups. How lucky am I? I had one can left of stewed tomatoes, and a basil plant that was on its last legs today. SO we are having a pasta for dinner tonight. What an easy meal to make. Get a pot of water going to boil your pasta, and flavour your tomatoes for a sauce and cook some chicken. SIMPLE.

Hopefully you all had a great weekend whether it was busy or relaxing!!! Here we go!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIngredients: (Serves 3)

  • 2 8oz chicken breasts, pounded to the same thickness
  • fresh ground Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried basil, divided
  • 1/2tsp thyme
  • 2c stewed tomatoes
  • 1c chicken stock (or just use the starchy cooking water from your boiling pasta.)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1C loosely packed fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn
  • pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 6-8oz dried spaghettini

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 1 tsp dried basil. In a med-large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp EVOO. once thats nice and hot, add your chicken and brown it on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and on to a plate, cover it with foil. Your chicken will not be cooked through at this point.
  3. Add another tbsp of EVOO to your skillet. Add your onions, brown them. Once they’re nicely browned add your garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add your stewed tomatoes and your chicken stock to the garlic and onion mixture. Season with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp of dried basil and thyme. Add your chicken back to the skillet, cover, and let cook until chicken is cooked through. This shouldn’t take very long, use a meat thermometer to read the chicken in the fattest part. it should read 165.
  5. Once your chicken is cooked through, remove it from the sauce. Place on a cutting board and slice it all up in to strips.
  6. Add your cooked pasta, fresh basil and freshly grated cheese to the sauce and toss it all together. Add your chicken on top, or on the side. Serve!

Take-Out Mongolian Beef

This Mongolian beef stir fry is a delicious weeknight dinner and it’s decently quick to whip up. (minus marinating your steak. but you can really just omit that step if you wanted to.) You’ve got to give this a try!!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Marinade/Sauce:

  • 1 large flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain. As THIN as you can get.
  • 1C China Lily soy sauce
  • 1/3C water or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (more if you want it spicier.)
  • 2 tbsp Rice wine vinegar (Or a sherry vinegar.)
  • 1/4c Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar (You can omit this and use honey instead.)
  • 1″ ginger, finely grated (or minced. I freeze peeled ginger and grate it as I need. WAY easier.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced. I would use 5 if they’re smaller.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste. (I suggest tasting the sauce before adding salt. depends on your soy sauce and how salty it already is. This is why I use china lily, it is DELISH and not crazy salty like most soy sauces.)

For the rest:

  • 1.5C dry rice + 3 cups water (Or you can use noodles. whatever makes you happy!)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 small Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced into strips
  • 1/2 + 1.5 Tbsp corn starch, separated
  • small handful of Cilantro (or flat leaf parsley if you hate cilantro.)

Directions:

  1. In a freezer zip lock bag or bowl, add ALL marinade/sauce ingredients, including your thinly sliced steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  2. Start cooking your rice according to package directions.
  3. Remove sliced steak from the marinade to a piece of paper towel. (KEEP THE MARINADE. we are USING this and not wasting it.) Dry it as much as you can. In a bowl, add 1/2 c cornstarch and add your beef to it. Toss the beef to coat.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with about 1.4c EVOO, vegetable or cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add your beef. Let it sit and cook and get crispy, then stir it up to crisp up the rest. When you’ve stirred the beef to crisp the other side, add your peppers and onions. Let them cook together for a couple minutes.
  5. Add 1.5 tbsp corn starch to your marinade. Mix it together, and then add it to the skillet with the beef and veggies. Let the sauce come to a boil for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to low-medium and let it thicken up and cook your peppers and onions a little bit more.
  6. Once the peppers and onions are cooked to your liking and your sauce has thickened up a bit, remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon on top of your steaming hot rice or noodles and throw some parsley or cilantro on it. AND EAT UP!!

Corn and Bacon Carbonara

One of the best things in the whole world besides everybody’s love for bacon, is pasta! And what better way to eat pasta than to eat it freshly made? There is something so mouth watering about a home made pasta, it is simple, delicious and SUPER fast cooking. If you don’t feel like making pasta, most grocery stores sell fresh pasta in the refrigerated section, or you can even just use boxed stuff. Whatever makes you happy. This recipe is also a good way to use up corn from the garden in the summer!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of bacon, diced
  • 1lb fresh pasta such as fettuccini, spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ears of corn, shaved OR 2 cups frozen corn (whatever you can get.)
  • 1/2C parsley, loosely packed and rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) +1 tbsp if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1C fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Large egg YOLKS (save the whites for breakfast.)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water.
  2. In a large skillet just over medium heat, add your bacon. Cook your bacon to your desired doneness. I love crispy bacon, so I cook the heck out of it. Once cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate (To drain excess fat.) DROP your pasta – cook according to package directions.
  3. Drain as much bacon fat from the pan as you can. Add 1 tbsp EVOO, and let it get nice and warm. Add your onions to the pan, cook until they start to go translucent. Add in your corn kernels and your garlic, give it a nice good stir, cook for a couple minutes until the corn is cooked or warmed through.
  4. In a cup or measuring cup add your egg yolks, slightly whisk them. Add in 2 cups of starchy cooking water from the pasta pot and whisk in your 1 tbsp of corn starch. Add this to your skillet full of corn and onions. Add your bacon back in, season with salt and pepper (ALWAYS taste before you season, and season accordingly.) At this point I turn the heat just between low and medium.
  5. Drain your pasta and add it to the skillet – TOSS everything together. your sauce should be thickened up a bit add more liquid if you prefer. OR just drizzle the pasta with a bit of good EVOO!
  6. Garnish with parsley and make it RAIIIIINN with cheese. And then have more at the table for serving because you can never have too much cheese. Right?

Thai coconut shrimp

I have this little tiny thai cookbook straight from Thailand from my dear mother in law. Unfortunately it is still packed away in the basement with the rest of my books that NEED a home up stairs… I had a hankering for Thai and this is the closest and most authentic I can get without the PRO’S. By the by, it was friggen AHMAZING.

thaicoconutshrimp

 

This recipe perfectly serves 2, with a bit of left over rice for lunch the next day, or it can be pureed in to baby food for your little one!

Ingredients:

Rice:

-1.5c jasmine rice

-3c chicken stock, or water

Shrimp marinade:

-16-20 shrimps, shelled, deveined, tails removed (or you can leave them on.)

-3 tbsp soy sauce

-1 tsp chili flakes + 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Sauce:

-1 tbsp sesame oil

-2″ knob ginger, minced

-5 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 large white onion, diced

-1/2 large red bell pepper, diced

-2 chili peppers, sliced. (remove the seeds and ribs for less heat.)

-1/4c tamari or soya sauce

-1 can (398 ML) coconut milk

-Juice of 2 small limes

-1 tbsp brown or white sugar

-1 heaping tbsp smooth peanut butter

-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

 

Directions:

-The absolute best way to have a super quick and stress free dinner is to PREP before you start cooking. This way, everything is ready to just toss in the pan when you need to.

-First, marinate your shrimp. This only takes 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your time. it isn’t a huge deal if you can’t marinate it. So combine shrimp, soya sauce and chili flakes in a bowl, put in fridge and marinate.

-Second, cook your rice. Get that started first, as it takes the longest.

-Next, in a large pan or wok add your sesame oil. Put heat on medium. once the pan is hot, add your shrimp. Cook until they are pink. Once they are pretty pink, remove them from the heat, place on a paper towel.

-Next, add more oil if need be. Let the oil heat up for a minute. Add your onion and red pepper and chili peppers. Cook until the onions start to brown and the peppers get a little soft. Add your ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute or two or until fragrant.

-Now add in your tamari, your brown sugar, peanut butter and coconut milk. Stir to combine, and cook until slightly thickened. After about 5 minutes, you can add your lime juice and add your shrimp back to the pan. Heat the shrimp through, and remove the pan from heat immediately.

-Serve over your rice and garnish with your cilantro or parsley.