Tag Archives: Recipe

My Summer Go-To Salad

18 Aug
Salade Nicoise

Image by HarlanH via Flickr

It’s simple, really – this reduced version of a tuna niçoise salad that I’ve been throwing together for lunches lately. It’s been a great way to take advantage of some of the fresh local produce that’s in season. It takes me no longer than a half hour from start to finish, and is one of the easiest, healthier lunches that we’ve been packing.

Ingredients
Salad
Steamed Green Beans
Boiled Mini Red Potatoes, Halved
Grape Tomatoes
Hard Boiled Eggs, Quartered
Thinly Sliced Red Onion
Canned tuna

Dressing
Dijon Mustard
Red Wine Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I’ll prepare everything, combine all the salad ingredients and then separate into four lunch containers, which is two days worth of lunches for us. For the dressing, I combine the mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a mason jar and shake to mix. Then in the morning, while I’m gathering and packing stuff for our lunches, I’ll portion out enough dressing for each of us into little containers. The little tins of tuna get packed in our bags too. When lunch time rolls around, we throw the drained tuna and the dressing into the salad and toss everything to combine nicely.

I love the simplicity of it. It’s a fresh and refreshing salad and lends itself well to advance prep. This makes a perfect grab and go lunch for us.

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Fill in the Blank Friday – Food!

6 Aug

Food 50s You can fill in the blanks too by visiting Lauren’s blog here.

1.  Today for breakfast I had a smoothie made with frozen berries, rice milk and rice protein powder.

2.  My go to/never fail recipe is Ping Gai, which is a Laotian grilled chicken dish I discovered at a local restaurant. It was so lip-smacking delicious that I had to bring it into my kitchen. I immediately found the recipe online and whenever I make it (and The BF grills it) people rave about it. Not to say I’m a master chef or anything, but it is deceivingly simple and is the perfect mix of spicy, sweet and sour flavors. It makes your mouth happy. It’s true.

3.  Something I eat that other people think is weird is sometimes I’ll eat spaghetti for breakfast if it’s in my fridge. I will rarely admit that because I get embarrassed when people call me gross.

4.  My worst cooking disaster ever was this one time I was making chilli and I thought I would be clever and use dried kidney beans instead of canned. Only I hadn’t planned very well and didn’t have the time to soak the beans properly, so instead did the “quick-soak” method which didn’t work out very well and wasn’t really discovered until after we started eating the chilli. It was a chewy mess.

5.  If I could only eat one flavor of ice cream the rest of my life it would be lemon chiffon, which I had at a little shop of homemade ice cream when we were out in Picton last weekend. The shop is called Slickers, and is very special because their flavours change daily and each is made with local, fresh ingredients. It was hard to choose just 1 flavour – I’d tried Basil too – but I’d settled on the Lemon Chiffon because it was perfectly light and refreshing, and the best answer to that hot sweltering day.

6.  One food I hate and avoid at all costs is mussels and oysters. I actually don’t hate either, but just can’t have them because they make me violently ill. I also just learned that mussels have the same effect on my mom.

7.  What is your favorite meal?  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? It’s split! I love breakfast on weekends, especially long, lingering brunches. During the week, I love lunch so much that all I can think of is my packed lunch in the fridge from the hours of 9am till noon every day.

The Mighty Chickpea

18 Apr

Chickpeas are a staple in my cupboard. Not only are they amazingly versatile because of their mild flavour and ease of use, but they are pretty wholesome for you because they pack fibre and protein. I usually have a few cans on hand because I can usually whip something up pretty quickly involving chickpeas if I find myself in a bind. I know that I should really consider buying them dried and in bulk because it would be better for us, but the cans are just so convenient. All I have to do is open the can and dump the chickpeas into a colander for a nice cold water rinse.

One thing that I love to make is hummus. The first time I tried making this, I was impressed with how easy it was to make it, and for the fraction of the cost for me to buy a container of it at the store. Plus, knowing exactly what is in the hummus that I’m eating is a huge benefit for me. I’m able to control the flavour and the fat content because I don’t use any oil when I make it. Last week, I wanted to try something a little different and attempted making the hummus spicy. Best ever.

I do everything pretty much to taste, but basically I combine 1 can of chickpeas, some tahini (ground sesame paste, 2-3 Tbsp), juice of 1 lemon, about a teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander. Instead of raw garlic, I roast a head of garlic and use all the bulbs because I find it gives a nice and subtle garlic taste. And instead of the olive oil that a lot of recipes call for, I use some of the chickpea liquid that I’ve reserved before from the can. I add it to the food processor a little at a time until it’s a nice, smooth texture. To make it spicy, I added some red pepper flakes. Yummy with veggie sticks or toasted pita wedges.

And now that the weather is offering a little more promise of warmer spring days, I felt like making a salad yesterday that we had on-hand a lot last summer. So easy, and so fresh and delicious. Here I combined a can of rinsed chickpeas, chopped cucumber, 2 chopped tomatoes, 1/2 chopped red onion, a few sprigs of chopped cilantro (or parsley if you’re a hater), the juice of 1 lemon and a tiny splash of olive oil. Tossed it with some pepper, and added some crumbled feta. The feta is optional, but I find it adds a nice little kick.

Anyone else out there have favorite quick recipes using the mighty chickpea?

On another food note, I’ve been getting a lot of hits to my blog because of my mention of the Green Tea Poached Salmon recipe I tried a couple of weeks ago. It seems that people are looking for the recipe online, and I promise that when I have a few minutes, I’ll post the recipe here.

That Time with the Accidental Chickpeas

2 Mar

It was a quiet weekend and I got the majority of it to myself. The BF was busy all weekend doing fun guy stuff like throwing a stag for his buddy and learning how to boardercross, and I had no plans and it was amazingly nice to just be by myself. So while I did my normal weekend routine stuff like the grocery shopping, cooking our food for some of our week’s meals, laundry, and cleaning, I also watched a good number of movies, um, online. While I was doing the stuff around the house, my laptop was on and playing When in Rome, Valentine’s Day, The Lovely Bones, Precious and The Blind Side. Does it go without saying that I also spent a good part of my weekend crying because of these movies? This is a pretty boring and pointless post, but I’ve got nothing else to say, because my week had fueled a temporary loathing towards people in general and also intensified my need to drink. I was not anybody’s friend and now I’m a little numbed by it. I suppose I can leave you with this. I consider myself a solutions-person. I’m not sure if it’s a product of the kind of work I do and that it has groomed me into some kind of a quick-thinking, fire-dousing, creative problem solving individual to make sure our jobs are done well and on time and that everyone is happy in the end, or if it’s something I had before and that’s what makes me good at my job. I just know that if someone tells me something can’t be done, or if it’s going to take too much time, or if there was a mistake made, I’m pretty good at quickly figuring something out that will get us to the end point without losing any time, or even making up some time without cheating and having to cut corners.

It’s time that I get to my point. I was making a batch of white chili this weekend, and accidentally opened a can of chickpeas instead of white kidney beans. I really hate wasting stuff, and though it was just a can of chickpeas, it was still a can of chickpeas that I had bought and I couldn’t throw it out. I kicked myself maybe twice, before I thought to just figure out a way to roast them and put them to good use. I would’ve made hummus, but I hadn’t bought enough veggies to dip in it. This is how I ended up doing it.

Rinsed and drained chickpeas.

Tossed chickpeas with some cayenne pepper, a splash of olive oil and a
little pinch of Herbamare (aromatic sea salt).

Spread on a baking sheet and baked in a preheated 450° oven for
about a half hour.

Watched the chickpeas for the last few minutes to make sure they
browned and didn’t burn. (I’d lost natural light by the time the
chickpeas were done and this picture taken).

They turned out to be pretty tasty, and a healthier snack for us to munch on during the Gold medal hockey match, just not as fun as chips. Maybe I am a bit too proud about what I did with a frickin’ can of chickpeas, but it was still a good, small victory to me.

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