Sesame chicken with sweet harissa sauce

sesamechickenharissasauce

I love lazy supper days. I ate this right off this plate. By myself. Because I was alone with my two little babe’s who don’t want to eat harissa sauce. So they get to eat plain old sesame chicken!!!! Anyways, without marinading the chicken, this recipe takes next to no time and very VERY little prep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed in to 1/2″ pieces
  • 1C Buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3c tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • fresh ground sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes

Harissa sauce:

  • 3/4c Harissa sauce from a can
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, add your chicken, buttermilk, garlic cloves, tahini, lemon, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Marinate 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. Discard marinade. In a bowl, add your chicken, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes. Toss to coat.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add your sesame oil. Once hot, add your chicken and start to cook.
  4. In a separate sauce pan, add your harissa sauce ingredients over medium heat. Don’t have your heat too high, you don’t want the honey to burn. mix ingredients together. bring to a small boil, then reduce to simmer until your chicken is done cooking.
  5. Once your chicken is done cooking, remove from heat. serve with cucumber tomato salad, or in taco’s and top with your sweet and spicy harissa sauce.

Blackened pork tacos with a poblano tomatillo salsa

porktacos

This last week I haven’t had any time to make a meal plan. I’ve been too busy with sick children, being sick myself and trying to catch up on sleep.. So a meal plan was the LAST thing on my mind. So I did what any regular person would do- go to the grocery store and buy whatever is on sale or looks good! That is when the idea of these taco’s were born.

Poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tomatillos… All green everything. It should be called the mean green charred salsa of the west. Right, there’s pork too. Blackened pork which is delicious. But the SALSA. I mean come on, this batch makes over a litre of salsa so you have an excuse to eat nacho’s smothered in cheese later.

The secret to this recipe that keeps the pork moist and tender is a DRY rub and an over night marinade. Or at least over an hour. Preferably 2. Ok the secret is baking soda. Why? because google said so. “Baking soda is an antacid. In other words, it works to neutralize acid. Rather than “denaturing” the meat as salt does, baking soda raises the pH on the surface of the meat, making the outside of the meat more alkaline. This chemical reaction makes it more difficult for the proteins in the meat to tighten up together.”

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You’ve got to char these bad boys. (Jalapeños orange and extra lime not shown, oops.)

Blend it up and BAM – a deliciously fresh salsa with a citrus-y kick and the heat comes right after you get that citrus kick. It hits alllll the right spots on your tongue. I’m going to stop blabbing now, and post the recipe. You have GOT to try this.

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Ingredients: Serves 8-10

For the rub/marinade:

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 2.5 TSP oregano
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1 TSP coriander
  • salt and pepper

For the Mean Green Salsa:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 8 tomatillos, shucked and washed
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large lime, or 2 small limes halved. (1/4c fresh squeezed lime juice.)
  • 1/2 large navel orange
  • EVOO for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1/2 TBSP honey or agave

For cooking the pork:

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1c red wine preferably, or chicken stock
  • 10 organic volcanic stone ground corn tortillas

Optional toppings:

  • Radishes, Avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, cheese

Directions:

  1. For the dry rub marinade: mix baking soda, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander in a small bowl. Rub all over your pork tenderloin. Put in the fridge to marinate uncovered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. For the salsa: Turn your oven to the broil setting. (about 550F) Place your poblanos, jalapeños, tomatillos, scallions, garlic cloves, onion, and limes on a baking sheet. drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked peppercorns. Put in the oven for 2-4 minutes. put a timer for 2 minutes, and check to see if they need an extra minute. It depends on your oven. there will be a bit of smoke. You’re charring the veg after all. Once the veg are slightly charred, remove from the oven.
  3. In a blender or food processor, juice your limes and your orange. Rough chop your charred vegetables and add to the blender. Add cilantro, honey and season again with salt and pepper. (not too much, I would blend ingredients first and taste. adjust your seasoning accordingly.)
  4. For the pork: Preheat your oven to 400F. In a well seasoned cast iron skillet over med-high heat, add your EVOO. Once hot, add your tenderloin. Blacken on all sides. This does not take long, I swear it’s the baking soda. once blackened on all sides, de-glaze the pan with your wine or stock. Swish (can I say swish?) your pork around to soak up and roll around in all those black bit flavours stuck on the pan. Remove from heat and put in the oven for 15 minutes. (Or until cooked to 145F)
  5. Remove pork from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes while you chop up your Avo’s, radishes, cilantro and char your tortillas. I do this right on my gas burners. if you don’t have a gas stove, use a stainless steel skillet over med-high heat and add your tortillas to toast them. (not a non-stick, it’s dangerous to heat food with no oil or fat.)
  6. Slice your pork and assemble your tacos. YUM.

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!

Grilled Flank Steak with chimichurri sauce

I have come to the realization that we eat way too many flank steaks in my household… Here’s a delicious chimichurri sauce to pair with your flank steak! I’m pretty positive this recipe is already on my blog for a taco recipe – and it’s that good that it needs to be repeated! (Also I’m happy to say the cilantro and parsley were both used from my own garden!)

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Ingredients: (serves 2-4)

For the steak-

  • 1 flank steak, tenderized using a meat mallet to the same thickness
  • 1/2 TBSP each of dried: oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and coriander
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, or more to taste

For the Chimichurri sauce-

  • 1C loosely packed cilantro
  • 1C loosely packed parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds and ribs for less spice.)
  • 1 large lime or 2 small limes zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/4c extra virgin olive oil, or enough to get it to a smooth consistency.

directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. In a small bowl mix together your oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Spread over both sides of your steak, pressing the spices in to the steak.
  2. Put your steak on the grill. Let cook for about 7 minutes on one side. Flip and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 125F. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board, cover loosely with tin foil and let it rest for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. In a food processor or a blender, add in ALL of your sauce ingredients. blend until you get a nice partially chunky but smooth consistency.
  4. Serve with your steak! mmmmmmmmm.

Flank Steak Taco’s with a Tangy Avocado Sauce

I love taco night because it’s one of the quickest dinner ideas when you’re tired and need to get dinner on the table…. And because I love taco’s. Also, flank steaks are so large that in my tiny family, they feed us for days… I suggest if you’re not serving at least 4 to 5 people these taco’s, use the left overs in a stir fry. I used them in my other recipe Sticky & Sweet Pork Noodle Bowl. Obviously I just replaced the pork with the steak. Or, use it in Philly cheese steak sandwiches. mmmm. It’s a great way to use up the left overs instead of leaving them in the fridge to throw away later.

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Ingredients: (makes about 10-12 taco’s)

  • 1 Flank steak, pounded to the same thickness
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • 10-12 corn or flour tortillas

Steak Rub:

  • 1/2 TBSP each: smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Sauce:

  • 1C Cilantro, rough chopped (doesn’t matter if there’s stems in there.)
  • 1 avocado, halved and divided
  • 2 small limes or 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 4 TBSP plain full fat greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to medium heat.
  2. Mix all of your steak rub ingredients together in a small bowl, then rub generously over all sides of your flank steak.
  3. Put your steak on the grill and cook on one side for about 5-7 minutes and then flip and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 125F.
  4. Once your steak reads 125F, remove it from the grill to a cutting board and cover it with tin foil and let it rest.
  5. While your steak is resting, take out a blender or food processor. Add all sauce ingredients. blend until a chunky smooth consistency. This is going to be a thicker sauce. If you need, feel free to add oil to thin it out a bit.
  6. Assemble your taco’s and garnish with pickled jalapeños and the other half of the avocado that wasn’t used in the sauce.

Pineapple Pork Satay

This is by far one of the worst photo’s of pork satay in the whole world, but I promise you it was absolutely amazing! There’s so much flavour in the marinade and sauce! It’s a little sweet and a little spicy, with pineapples and jalapeños! This is a must try!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmer of fat and thinly sliced in to long strips

Marinade/Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 1/4C Pineapple chunks
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1″ ginger, peeled
  • 1 Lime, juiced and zested
  • 1C cilantro
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1/2C Soy sauce
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a blender or a food processor, add all of your sauce/marinade ingredients and blend until smooth.  Reserve half of the sauce and set aside.
  2. In a ziplock bag or a bowl, add your pork tenderloin strips with the remaining marinade and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Once ready to cook, remove your pork from the marinade. Do not discard the marinade.
  4. Preheat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. Not too high as you do not want the thinly sliced pork to stick to the grill.
  5. Skewer your pork on to soaked wooden bamboo skewers or metal skewers.
  6. Brush your skewers with some of the remaining marinade, and then place on the grill. These will only take a few minutes on each side to cook. Once your pork is almost opaque, flip the skewers over to cook on the other side. Brush the rest of the marinade on the pork and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the grill, and serve with the reserved sauce that was NOT used to marinate your pork.
  8. Serve with rice and my Carrot Ribbon and Radish salad

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?

bacon penne carbonara 2

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!

Spring Flank Steak Salad

This flank steak salad sure was a hit tonight! It was once again ridiculously hot out today, so I decided that my BBQ was the best cooking source for the evening! This is loaded with flavour and fresh veggies (that I of course also grilled on the BBQ) and the “dressing” is a less intense version of a chimichurri sauce. It was actually quite refreshing.

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Ingredients:

For the steak-

  • 1 flank steak, pounded to a half inch, or at least the same thickness throughout
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground salt
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the “Dressing” –  you don’t HAVE to grill all of these, you can simply just puree them all together uncooked.

  • 1 Avocado, halved – grilled
  • 1/2 large bunch of cilantro, rough chopped (I did not grill this.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grilled
  • 1 bunch of green onions, whites and greens – grilled and rough chopped
  • juice and zest of 2 limes (also grilled the limes.)
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • 1/4c water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, grilled
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad-

  • 1 head lettuce of your choice, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • Fresh peas
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced

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Directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. Pat flank steak dry with paper towel, and make small slits against the grain. Do not slice all the way through, maybe only 1/4 of an inch. In a small bowl, mix together your steak spice rub ingredients. Once mixed well, slather on both sides of the steak. Place on the BBQ. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on one side. Flip the steak over and continue cooking until a meat thermometer reads 125F. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board and cover it with tin foil to rest.
  2. While your steak is resting, add your halved limes, green onions, avocado, green pepper, garlic and jalapeño pepper to the grill. Let them get a nice char on both sides, and then remove them from the grill. Put the green pepper to the side, as this is not a sauce ingredient.  Place your avocado, cilantro, garlic, green onions, lime juice and zest, EVOO, water, jalapeño pepper, salt, pepper and honey in a blender or food processor. Process until nice and smooth. Taste, and season more if need be.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add a tbsp of EVOO. Saute your leeks and peas for a couple minutes until the leeks are softened. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, assemble your salad ingredients – lettuce, peas, green peppers and leeks.
  5. Slice your steak thinly against the grain and add it to the salad bowl. Add some dressing, and toss the salad to mix. Add more dressing if desired.

 


Roasted beet salad with goat cheese and chives

The title of this post says it all: beets, goat cheese and chives. Well, I added a couple more things, but you get the jist of it!

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Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

  • 3 large beets, ends trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO 2 fat drizzles, separated
  • 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2c crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3c chives, minced (add much more if desired, they are delicious.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Drizzle your beets with EVOO, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap them in tin foil, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 60 minutes, or until they are nice and fork tender.
  3. Let your beets cool down. Once they are cooled, peel their skin off.
  4. Dice up your beets and put them in a bowl. Add your lemon zest, lemon juice, chives, a fat drizzle of EVOO (a little less than a TBSP.) season with salt and pepper, and add in your crumbled goat cheese. Toss your salad together, and serve.

Juicy Chicken with a lime and cilantro sauce

My favourite dinners are the ones that are easy to make, but also fresh, healthy, and light. It’s officially grilling season, so I don’t need to dirty any pans in the kitchen for this bad boy! Lime and cilantro marinated chicken breast, topped with a fresh herb sauce – it doesn’t get much better than this!

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper

Marinade:

  • 2 small limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • 1C loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 1/2 TSP dried lemon grass, or 1″ fresh lemon grass
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 of a shallot, about 1.5-2 tbsp rough chopped
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1/2 of a large bunch of cilantro, rough chopped (some stems okay!)
  • 1 fat TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP China lily soy sauce
  • dash of fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a ziplock freezer bag or small bowl, add your chicken breasts, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper, cilantro and EVOO. Let your chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat.
  3. Remove chicken from the marinade, and pat it completely dry with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place your chicken on the grill. cook on one side for about 7 minutes. The chicken will not stick to the grill once it is ready to flip. Once it is ready to flip, flip it over and continue cooking until your internal temp reaches 165F.
  5. While your chicken is cooking, get your sauce ingredients ready.
  6. In a small blender or food processor add all sauce ingredients and blend until you get a chunky or smooth consistency. Whether it is a little chunky or smooth is up to you.
  7. Remove your chicken from the grill and smother it with the sauce. Enjoy!!!