Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki

House cleaning day/laundry day/shopping day/day at the park day means this 40 week pregnant mama has zero time to spend making and preparing dinner.  I can get the marinade done early in the day or the day before, marinate the chicken and do the tzatziki at the same time. So by the time it comes to BBQ, all I need to do is cut up some veg and make a side salad. for me, this is simple!

Cheers to the BBQ and healthy dinners!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the chicken + marinade-

  • 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 palm full of fresh basil, minced
  • 1 palm full of mint, minced
  • 1 palm full of parsley, minced (roughly 1-2 tbsp)
  • 1 palm full of dill, minced
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 TBSP full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced (About 3 tbsp)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tzatziki sauce-

  • 1 1/2C full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 red onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 English cucumber, grated
  • 2 tbsp mint, minced
  • 1 tbsp dill, minced
  • (If the garlic doesn’t sit in the yogurt for a little while, it can have a very strong flavour, especially if it is fresh garden garlic. If the flavours are too strong for you, I would suggest adding in 1 tbsp of honey. This can really help!)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, or a food storage bag add all of your chicken and marinade ingredients. Let marinate for 30 minutes, up to one hour.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together all of your tzatziki ingredients except for the DILL. Set aside and let sit for as long as your chicken is marinating.
  3. Heat your outdoor grill to just below medium heat. Start skewering your chicken on to metal skewers or pre-soaked wooden skewers. brush the skewers with the marinade, and add them to the grill.
  4. Turn once your chicken starts looking opaque. *Note- if your chicken skewers are sticking to the grill, your heat may be too high. To avoid pulling all the meat off the skewer itself, I suggest using a metal spatula and gently scraping underneath the chicken skewers to move them before you turn them with a pair of tongs.
  5. Once your chicken is no longer pink (test a large piece or use a meat thermometer and make sure the temperature reads 160F) remove from the grill.
  6. Add your dill to your tzatziki and mix together.
  7. Serve with grilled peppers + onions, your tzatziki sauce and my Fresh Dill and cucumber salad!

 

 


Chipotle Mango BBQ’D Pork Tenderloin

The best thing about spring time is the warm weather and the sunshine (and hopefully in a day or so here BEER for me! Come on baby girl, it is time to vacate the premises!!) And what comes with warm weather, sunshine, and beer?! BBQ SEASON! Keeping your house nice and cool without heating it up more in the stinking hot sun is a truly beautiful thing. So lets get those grills started people!!

When your mother in law brings you a bunch of mangoes… you need to use those mangoes. This was a small experiment that turned out quite delicious! Its mangoes, chipotles in adobo and a few other ingredients. It is absolutely delicious! And it is a bit spicy, but it is a SMOKY spicy. I would dial back the heat to half if you’re not a spice person.

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Ingredients: (Serves 2. Use a second pork tenderloin to serve 4. Do not double the sauce recipe, the recipe makes 2 cups already!)

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce/Baste

  • 2 TBSP pureed chipotle in adobo sauce (see note at bottom of post.)
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to MEDIUM heat. No higher. I wouldn’t go lower unless your grill is very hot.
  2. Season your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  3. In a food processor or small blender, add in all of your sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth. Put 1.4c of the sauce in a small bowl to use to baste the pork tenderloin while it cooks.
  4. Slather some sauce on your pork tenderloin and place it on the grill. This will take no longer than 20 minutes to cook through.
  5. Check on your pork tenderloin and turn it every 4 minutes or so to get nice and grilled on all sides. if you go to move your tenderloin and she is still sticking to the grill, don’t touch her. She isn’t ready to be turned over yet.
  6. Baste your tenderloin as you turn it over to cook each side, getting some beautiful grill marks. The color of the tenderloin will be a gorgeous deep orange. Baste and cook until your tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145F.
  7. Remove the tenderloin from the grill to a cutting board, cover with foil and let it rest for at least 7 minutes.
  8. Slice into medallions and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
  9. Serve up with some BBQ’d seasoned carrots and some Bacon Mango Rice !

 

*Note: Whenever I open a can of chipotle in adobo, I know I will not be using the whole thing in a week normally. So I puree it all together, put it in a freezer zip lock bag and break off portions as I need from the freezer. This keeps your waste to a minimum.


Bacon Penne Carbonara with peas and Leeks

For the love of BACON. Lazy nights equal lazy suppers. Although this dish only takes moments to prepare, it definately does NOT lack in flavour! Pasta, garlic, leeks, fresh peas, bacon and cheese. Need I say more?

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 3c dried penne pasta
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 leek, quartered and sliced and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1.5c fresh peas
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • parmigianno reggiano
  • parsley, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

bacon penne carbonara

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water. Add your penne, and cook until el dente.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add your bacon. Cook bacon to your liking, drain as much fat as you can.
  3. Once the bacon is almost done cooking, add in your leeks, peas and garlic. Cook until leeks are softened and peas are bright green. (Only a few minutes)
  4. In a measuring cup, gather 1 cup of starchy pasta water and add the 2 egg yolks to the water. Beat the eggs and water together and then pour over your bacon mixture.
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley, toss everything together and serve!

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!

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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!

Pork loin with white wine and herb gravy

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 LB pork tenderloin
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1 TSP each dried thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Gravy-

  • 1C white wine
  • 1/4 TSP garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1/4C heavy cream
  • 1 TSP corn starch

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together your thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  3. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add your EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your tenderloin and sear it on all sides.
  4. Once your tenderloin is nicely seared, put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 145F.
  5. Once your tenderloin is done cooking, remove it from the oven and the skillet and place it on a cutting board. cover it loosely with tin foil and let it rest for about 7 minutes.
  6. Place the same skillet back over medium heat. Add your garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, rosemary and black pepper. Whisk the seasonings together in the pan for a little less than a minute. Add in your white wine and whisk everything together, getting all the nice browned bits of pork and seasoning from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by a little less than half. Add your butter, season with salt.
  7. Mix your cornstarch with your heavy cream, and then add to the gravy. Whisk and let thicken.
  8. Slice your pork into medallions, and serve with the gravy.
  9. Serve this with roasted carrots and potatoes. season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, or whatever seasoning you like. bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Grab your pork loin. Make tiny slits all over the loin and slide your garlic slices in. I call this “studding” my loin. Once finished, in a plastic zip lock bag, add half the rosemary sprigs and half the thyme sprigs. Add your salt and your water. Braise your loin for 24 hrs or more. You can also SKIP this step if you don’t have the time.

Preheat your oven to 375F.

In a skillet over med-high heat, add EVOO. Remove your pork from the braising liquid. Dry the loin with a towel or paper towel. Season all sides of the loin with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, and parsley. Add the loin to the pan. Brown on all sides.

NOTE: I cooked this with balsamic carrots. SO, I placed the sliced carrots in the bottom of a roasting pan, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and then I placed the garlic loin in the centre. i also added about 1/4-1.2c chicken stock to the pan. Place in the oven, and cook through. About 30-40 minutes or so, depending on the size of your loin.

In the sauce pan that you browned your pork in, deglaze with white wine. Let it reduce to half. Add your chicken stock. Next, add in the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs.Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. whisk in your flour coated butter. Once the pork tenderloin is done, add 1/2c of the cooking liquid to the gravy. Simmer until ready to serve.


Sticky & Sweet Pork Noodle Bowl

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This is probably one of the tastiest meals I have ever made. What a delicious stir fry. It is so easy to make, and it is quick! So if you don’t have a lot of time for dinner, this is perfect for you!

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Ingredients:

For the pork:

-1lb pork tenderloin, diced. (or any pork of your choice. Any meat actually..)

-4 tbsp soy sauce

-1 tsp sesame oil

-1 tsp sriracha

-2 tsp sugar

-1/2c flour

-EVOO

For the stir fry:

-1 zucchini, diced

-5 cloves garlic, minced

-2″ knob of ginger peeled and minced

-3 small carrots, peeled and sliced

-1/2 red bell pepper, diced

-1/2c fresh packed basil, torn

For the sauce:

-1/2c ketchup

-1/2c honey

-3 tbsp red wine vinegar

-1.5 tbsp brown sugar

-3 tbsp soy sauce

-1 tsp sriracha

-1 tsp each ground ginger and granulated garlic powder

-1 tbsp flour dissolved in 3 tbsp cold water

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, mix together 4 tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and sugar. Add pork. Let sit while you are prepping your veggies.

Once ready to use, remove the pork from the sauce. Add to a bowl of flour. Toss to coat.

In a large pan over med-high heat, add enough evoo to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add your pork. Don’t try and stir it until it is fully browned and crisp on the one side. Once it is, then flip. Cook the other side. Add in your carrots, peppers and zucchini. Saute for 3 minutes. Add in ginger and garlic. Saute another minute or two.

In a separate bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Whisk together. Add to the pork mixture in the skillet. Toss to coat. Remove from heat and add the torn basil leaves. Serve with rice, or your favourite noodle.


Ginger & Garlic stir fry

Need a quick dinner idea? Try out this pork stir fry. It takes less than 30 minutes to make!

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Ingredients:

-1 lb pork, cubed

-6 cloves garlic, minced

-2″ knob of ginger, peeled and minced

-1/2 red pepper, diced

-1/2 green pepper, diced

-1/2 white onion, sliced

-2 red chili’s, sliced

-salt and pepper to taste

-1/4c honey

-1/4c soy sauce

-3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

-1 tbsp sriracha sauce

-rice noodles, cooked, to serve with the pork.

In a large sauce pan over med-high heat, add a nice glug of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add your pork. Season with salt and pepper. Once browned, add your ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add the diced peppers, chill peppers, and onion. Cook until slightly softened. Add your honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sriracha. Cook another 2 mins, or until sauce is heated through. Remove from heat, and serve over rice noodles or rice. Garnish with a little cilantro.