Thai chickpea & cauliflower taco’s with coconut peanut sauce

I said yesterday in my last post that I would be posting a micro green slaw recipe soon – that day is today! I decided to do a vegan dinner tonight, and what better protein replacement is there than chickpeas? Throw in some cauliflower and you’ve got a hearty taco filling! This isn’t a 30 minute dinner by any chance, especially when you have two tiny children under the age of 2.. but it is so worth it. This can be taco’s as shown, or make some rice noodles and have as a stir fry or even just eat it as a salad. I’m not the boss of you, do whatever you want with it! It is delicious either way!!

cauliflower chickpea tacos

Ingredients:

for the filling:

  • 2c chickpeas
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 12 corn tortillas

For the slaw:

  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of green onions (greens only) thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, grated or mathsticked
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful each of these micro greens: cilantro, cabbage, onion and basil. (you can easily substitute regular herbs and cabbage for this. I am only using what I have on hand.)
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.)
  • 1/2c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil is okay too.)
  • handful of raw cashews or peanuts  (throw them in when youre ready to eat.)

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/2c natural peanut butter (nuts to you is my favourite.)
  • 5 tbsp coconut cream (do not shake your can of coconut milk. simply open, and scoop the cream off top.)
  • 5 tbsp coconut water (now you can stir your can and mix it together.)
  • 1 1/2 limes juiced
  • 1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha, plus more to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, add your cauliflower, chickpeas, evoo, salt, pepper, garlic and coriander. toss together. Place on a baking tray. bake for 26-30 minutes.
  3. in a medium sized bowl, add all slaw ingredients except for the nuts. let it sit for at least 10 minutes. mix frequently.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together all peanut sauce ingredients
  5. add peanuts to your slaw mixture.
  6. Once your chickpeas and cauliflower are cooked, it is time to assemble your taco’s. heat your taco shells on your stove (or microwave or oven) add your cauliflower mixture, then your slaw, and then smother with your peanut sauce. and enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard BBQ sauce

If you’re all for a different kind of barbecue sauce, I suggest this one! It is a bit spicy, so if you don’t normally eat a lot of spicy foods your head might sweat! This BBQ sauce is made with mustard and a delicious combination of spices. Try it out!

mustard BBQ pork

Ingredients: (serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 Lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: Rosemary, garlic powder, thyme and onion powder
  • 1/4 TSP chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP EVOO

For the sauce- (This makes about 2 cups so there will be left overs.)

  • 1/3C Ketchup
  • 1/2C Mustard
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP worchesterchire sauce
  • 3 TBSP Franks red hot sauce
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix together  your spice rub ingredients – rosemary, garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Rub the spice mixture all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add your EVOO. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your tenderloin to the skillet. Brown it on all sides to get a nice crust.
  3. Once the tenderloin is browned, move it right to the 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until its internal temperature reads 145F.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk all of your sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Let it rest 5 to 10 minutes. Once the tenderloin is rested, slice it into medallions and serve with the mustard BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve this with mashed potatoes and a broccoli cole slaw! Yummy!

Home made Raviolli with spinach and ricotta filling

I honestly believe there is nothing in this world as amazing as home made pasta. It is SO fresh and so delicious, I swear I can’t go back to store bought boxes of pasta. You just need to find a really good recipe, and I have tried many. My favourite is from Chef Michael Smith. I made a home made tomato sauce as well, but I will not be posting it for a while, so you will have to make or buy your own!14355589_10157410985795099_816792382677748228_n

Ingredients:

-1 lb favorite pasta dough, rolled into  thin strips

-16 fl oz or 2 cups ricotta cheese

-4 cups spinach, chopped as small as you can get it!

-salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg

-1 egg, beaten

-1/4 cup parmigianno reggiano

For topping-

home made or store bought tomato sauce

basil

grated parmesan

 

Directions:

mix your ricotta, spinach, egg, parmigianno, salt and pepper and nutmeg together in a bowl.

Lay your pasta flat on a floured surface. Using a cup, or ravioli cutter, cut out circles big enough to hold 1 tsp of filling, or big enough to fold the pasta over itself. I cut out enough circles so I could put another piece of pasta over the filled ravioli. And then i just used an egg wash to help the edges stick together.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, season the water with salt. A LOT of salt. Add your ravioli and cook for 7-9 minutes.

Add to a plate, throw pasta sauce on top and add some grated parmesan cheese and some basil.


Cardamon rice + Chili Beef

The beef cooked with this rice dish is a straight copy from Chef Ramsays “Great escape” cook book. It’s a great one, I suggest you get that book!! the rice is just something I thought to make with it. And it is sure delicious. Packed with flavour.

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Ingredients:

-chef ramsays chili beef from “the great escape”

-1.5c long grain rice (basmatie or jasmine)

-3c chicken broth

-4 cardamon pods, crush them so the seeds can fall out. keep the pods.

-1 heaping tsp coriander

-1 tsp red pepper flakes

-1/2 a lime, juiced – keep the juiced lime half for cooking

-salt and pepper to taste

-In a medium to large sauce pan over med-high, add your chicken broth. Once the chicken broth is warmed, add your cardamon seeds and pods, coriander, red pepper flakes, lime juice and lime half, salt and pepper. Whisk, and bring to a boil. once it has been brought to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavours meld together. once that is complete, cook your rice in the broth according to package directions. I cheat by using a rice cooker 😉


Herb buttered chicken and a white bean puree

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened to less than 1/2″

-salt + pepper + red pepper flakes (enough to coat both sides of chicken)

-EVOO

-3 tbsp butter

-2 tbsp each minced garlic, parsley and oregano

For the white bean puree:

-Immersion hand blender or regular blender

-1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

-1 cup chicken stock

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-1 red onion, rough chopped

-salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

-1 large handful of arugula

-1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard

-1 tbsp red wine vinegar

-1/2 tsp honey

Directions:

Season both sides of pounded chicken with salt pepper and red pepper flakes. In a little bowl, add butter, garlic, parsley and oregano.

In a skillet over medium heat, add your EVOO. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken breast. Do not move the chicken, let it sit in the pan to brown and cook. After about 6-7 minutes, flip your chicken breasts and cook on the other side for another 6-7 minutes. Add your herbed butter, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. This cooking time depends fully on how flat you’ve pounded your breasts. If you’re unsure of the doneness of your chicken, i suggest a kitchen thermometer. Chicken should be 160F.

In a medium sauce pan over just under medium heat, ands your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are slightly translucent. Once they are, add your white kidney beans. Cook for another minute or two. Add your 1 cup of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. let these flavours boil and cook together for at least 7-10 minutes. After that, puree your mixture with a hand blender. (Or transfer to a regular blender.) Once blended, turn the heat to low and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, add your dijon, red wine vinegar and honey. whisk to mix together. Throw your arugula on top, and toss with your hands to coat the arugula with the dressing.

When ready, serve your chicken on top of your puree with your salad on the side.

This meal tastes best when you eat the puree , salad and chicken in one bite. Yummy!!


Herb Stuffed Chicken with a white wine sauce

Herb stuffed chicken with a white wine sauce

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Ingredients:

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened

-4 slices of prosciutto

-2 tbsp each of fresh oregano, thyme, parsley, and chives coarsely chopped

-6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 FAT tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tbsp each of: oregano,thyme,parsley

-1.5c white wine

-1 tsp flour mixed in to 5 fl oz cream

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Once you butterfly your chicken, use a pan or a tenderizer to flatten your breasts to the same thickness. You want them decently thin so you can stuff and roll them.

Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. Place your mozza and fresh herbs on your chicken breasts. Roll up nice and tight. Wrap the chicken with 2 slices of prosciutto de parma.

In a skillet over med-high heat, add your EVOO. brown chicken on ALL sides. place in the oven and cook for 17-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from the oven. Place chicken on a plate. Put your pan back on the stove on medium heat. (I always use frying pans that can go in the oven.) Add your garlic cloves to the chicken drippings. Saute for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add in your herbs, sauté. Add your white wine, and cook until it is reduced by almost half. Slowly whisk in your cream+flour mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over the chicken.

 


Garlic, apple and onion stuffed pork loin

 

Stuffed Pork Loin

Ingredients:

-1 pork loin, butterflied and pounded to 1/4″thick

-1/2 white onion, sliced

-2 apples, peeled and match sticked

-6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly. Not minced.

-salt and pepper, to taste

-smokey paprika

-Olive Oil

-1c chicken stock

-Butcher twine

Directions:

Brine your tenderloin for at least 2 days, using a salt and water liquid. Use about 1/4-1/2c of salt and about 3-4c of water. You can store in a bowl with a lid, or a zip lock bag that is air tight. Put it in a bowl in the fridge just in case it leaks.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Enough to coat the bottom of the pan lightly. Once the pan is hot, add your onions and apples. Start browning. once browned, add your garlic, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Remove from heat.

Lay your butterflied and pounded tenderloin out on a cutting board or a silicon baking sheet. Layer your onion mixture on to the whole tenderloin, covering every inch of it. Season again with salt, pepper and paprika. Roll up your tenderloin, trying to keep everything in it. If some falls out, that is okay! Once rolled up, tie with at least 4 pieces of butcher twine to keep everything in place. Season the outside with salt, pepper and paprika.

In a pan over med-high heat, add some oil. Once the pan is hot, add your tenderloin seam side down. Brown on all sides. Add 1/2c to 1 cup chicken stock to the pan, and throw it in the oven at 350F until cooked through. It should only take about 45 minutes.

*Note- not all frying pans can be put in the oven. Make sure yours is oven safe before it goes in the oven. If not, transfer the pork loin and chicken stock to a new oven safe pan.

 


Chicken cutlets with brie and ham & a seedy mustard arugula salad

This is a delicious meal. The salad cuts through the heaviness of the chicken and brie. Perfect combo inspired by Chef Bobby Flay.I make this dish quite a bit!!

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Ingredients: serves 4                                                          Salad

-1.5c all purpose flour                                                        -4c baby arugula

-2c panko bread crumbs                                                   -salt+pepper to taste

-2 eggs                                                                               -2 tbsp red wine vinegar

-kosher salt, pepper, cajun, garlic powder                         -2 tbsp seedy mustard

-2 large 8oz chicken breasts – boneless/skinless               -2 tbsp bold and spicy dijon

-1/4c EVOO                                                                         -1/4c evoo + more if needed

-8 slices brie

-2 sliced black forest ham, quartered

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together all the salad ingredients except the evoo. Once those are mixed, start pouring evoo while whisking until evoo is emulsified. Set aside.

Cut your two chicken breasts in half – start as if you were butterflying the chicken and opening it like a book. But cut the whole way through to create 4 chicken cutlets. Pound down to the same thickness.

Add the flour to a bowl, egg to a bowl, and bread crumbs to a bowl. season all bowls with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning and garlic powder.

Dredge the chicken slices in the flour, then to the egg yolk and then into the panko crumbs. Repeat this with all 4 cutlets.

in a large sauce pan, heat evoo over med-high heat. Once the oil is HOT add your chicken breasts. if the oil is ready, you’;; hear the chicken cooking and sizzling. Heat for about 3-4 mins until browned on one side. Flip, and cook another 4-6 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through. Add the brie cheese, throw a tight fitting lid over the pan and let the cheese melt.

In a separate pan over high heat, heat ham slices. Add on top of the brie.

Add arugula to the dressing, toss.

Serve the chicken with a bit of salad on top!


Fall Acorn Squash Soup

This soup is one of the best soups to have on a cold fall or winter day. Roasted squash and sweet potatoes with veggies? Delicious!!! I kept the seeds and roasted them for a while @ 250F, and used some for garnish and the rest for eating later!

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Ingredients:

-2 acorn squash, halved, gutted and seeded (Keep the seeds.)

-1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

-2 tbsp EVOO

-1 onion, chopped

-4 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-3c chicken broth + 1 cup water

-1/4 c heavy cream, or coconut milk

-sea salt + fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425F. After you have cut your squash in half and seeded them, place them face down on a baking sheet. Roast them for 20-25 mins. Once the tops are slightly browned, take the squash out. Let cool. You can either peel your squash, then dice it up – or if you prefer serving in the squash itself, just hollow out the squash leaving room for the soup.

Lower the oven heat to 350. Wash your squash seeds, drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 mins. Remove from oven. Let cool.

In a large pot over med heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Add onion. Cook until softened (about 3-5 mins) Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or so. Add in cubed squash and sweet potato. Cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Add in your chicken broth, cream and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and gently boil, partially covered for 20-25 mins.

Puree the mixture. Ladle into bowls (or your prepared squash bowl) add a dollop of greek yogurt, sprinkle with chill powder and top with the roasted squash seeds.


Bacon Carbonara!

Bacon Carbonara with a Red wine sauce

This is a carbonara with a twist!!! It’s basically what happens when you’re a red wine drinker, not a white – and you don’t have white wine in the house. When all else fails, use red wine to make a delish pasta sauce!

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Ingredients: -serves 4

-1/3 lb bacon (I used 8 slices), sliced

-5 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 large onion, chopped

-1/2 cup of your favorite red wine

-pepper and salt – to taste

-3 large egg yolks

-1 lb pasta

-grated Parmesan cheese

-1/2 c flat leaf parsley, chopped

Prep:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large skillet add your diced bacon. Turn heat on  medium-high heat. (Do not pre-heat the pan. Add the bacon in the pan and THEN turn the heat on.) Brown your bacon for a few minutes (3/4 of the way to your desired doneness.) Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant (2 mins or so) Add in the red wine. Stir to combine. Reduce heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your egg yolks, salt and pepper. Add 1/2-1 cup of the starchy cooking water from the pasta SLOWLEY while whisking at the same time. Reserve another 1 cup of starchy water, set aside.

Drain pasta, and toss it with the bacon mixture. Remove from heat, add the egg yolk mixture, and 1/2 cup starchy cooking water. Mix together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley, serve!