How To: Quickie Meal – Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn Relish

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I have been chomping at the bit waiting to share this recipe with you. It was so good, I made it twice in one week. That may also have been due to the fact that I needed to finish  a pacakge of fresh corn tortillas before they went bad, but that’s besides the point.

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As we were scarffing down taco after taco, my husband proclaimed this was his new favourite taco recipe. And that is coming from a guy who had previously professed his undying love for the kung pao version.

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Some prepared grocery store items come in handy here – pre-shredded cabbage, canned corn, and jarred salsa saves time and helps this taco recipe come together lickity-split. Can I just say that shredding cabbage is one of my least favourite things? I adore bags of pre shredded and pre chopped greens. No shame here!

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So there you have it – a quick, delicious and family friendly fish taco meal – my little one thoroughly enjoyed her decontructed taco plate. Actually, we all may have stollen bites of her quesadilla triangles (note to self: make quesadillas ASAP!).

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There’s a reason you won’t see me ordering fish tacos at my local Mexican joint anymore –  why pay a premium when you can make a pretty darn good version at home?

Dara

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Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn Relish

Serves 2-4
Meal type Main Dish
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large onion (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or from a can)
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayo
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • shredded cabbage or pre-packaged colseslaw mix
  • 4-6 soft corn tortillas

Fish

  • 2 tilapia fillets (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lime

Note

These fish tacos come together so fast they will be your new weeknight favourite! Cod or haddock could be substituted for the tilapia. If you can't find corn tortillas, you could substitute flour ones but I much prefer the flavour of corn so try your best to seak them out!

Directions

1. Place avocado and cilantro in a large bowl and toss with the juice from 1/2 a lime. Set aside.
2. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add corn, onion, and red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to brown and get soft. Place in the bowl with avocado and toss to combine.
3. In the same skillet, heat corn tortillas until they start to blister and warm through, turning once. Remove from pan and cover with a towel to keep them warm.
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4. Combine spices and toss with tilapia. Spray the same skillet with cooking spray and add tilapia pieces. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, turning occasionaly. Add the juice of 1/2 a lime and cover and cook for another minute until the tilapia pieces flake apart with a fork.
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5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine Greek yogurt, mayo, and salsa. Now you are ready to assemble your tacos!
6. Place tilapia pieces in corn tortillas and top with corn relish, shredded cabbage, and a large dollop of yogurt/salsa mixture. Dig in!

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How to: Recipe Makeover – Hot and Sour Soup

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I know. I’m a little behind the Chinese New Year ball with this one.

But what I’m not behind on is posting a weather appropriate soup recipe.

It is still FREEZING out there.

If I need to keep hibernating I think I’m gonna lose it.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to rely on warm delicious things in bowls to keep my sanity in check.

This soup 100% qualifies. My friends and family are safe for one more day.

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Hot and sour soup is one of my all time favourite takeout dishes.  Most chinese restaurants (and occasionally some thai) offer their own version.  The degree of success varies…drastically.

I’ve never attempted my own version because I assumed the ingredients wouldn’t be easily accessible.  I have never ever seen wood ear mushrooms at the supermarket.  Canned bamboo shoots I have occasionally come across, but they’re not everywhere.

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This version only includes ingredients you can find at most major supermarkets.  I’ve used fresh shiitake instead of wood ear mushrooms, which also have a very satisfying texture.  I’ve also subbed shredded carrots for bamboo shoots.  While they impart a different flavour, they’re an ideal substitute for bamboo’s crunchy texture.

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When prepping fresh shiitakes, clean the tops with a damp cloth or paper towel and remove the woody stems before slicing.

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Once the ingredients are prepped, which itself is minimal, this soup comes together in about 10 minutes too.

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Bam. Faster than takeout.

Erin 

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Hot and Sour Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Website Slightly adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 900ml vegetable broth (or chicken)
  • 115g fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed and sliced)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 200g extra firm tofu (about ¾ of a package, sliced into ¼ inch pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced or grated)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water)
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 green onions (sliced thinly)

Directions

1. Bring broth, mushrooms, carrots, tofu, garlic, ginger, vinegars, soy sauce and sriracha to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. While stirring slowly add eggs to soup in a thin stream.
3. Add sesame oil, green onions and serve.

This post was inspired by a request from Open Table to collaborate with them by re-creating one of our favourite restaurant meals at home. Recipe makeovers are totes our MO and obviously, we didn’t hesitate for a second.

FYI, as always, this is pro-bono work for us as we don’t make any dolla bills from writing this blog.  We just love y’all that much and want to continue to inspire you folks to COOK!

How To: Make Your Own Granola – Almond Butter and Jam Granola

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There’s just something about a good old pb and j.

Spread nice and thick on some squishy white bread with the crusts cut off. You just can’t beat it.

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As mature adults we think we need to eat with a bit more sophistication than a simple sandwich. But if we change the peanut butter for almond butter and toss these flavours with some standard granola ingredients –  you’ve got one grown up pb and j.

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I love peanut butter, but I LOOOOVE almond butter. It has an almost cookie dough quality to it and is the perfect coating for an oat and nut mixture. It also acts as the binder in this granola and gives it a chewy and crispy quality. Or what I like to call granola perfection.

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So grab a bowl and a spoon and prepare to relive your favourite elementary school lunch.

Dara

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Almond Butter and Jam Granola

Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cups ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 cup raisins

Note

A twist on the classic sandwich, this granola is great served with yogurt or milk, or eaten on it's own as a snack. Feel free to sub your favourite jam, nut, and dried fruit.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, pecans, almonds, flax, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined.
3. In a small bowl combine almond butter and maple syrup (or honey) and microwave for about 60 seconds, or until runny. Pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and mix until oats are evenly coated.
4. Add apricot jam and mix again. Spread out granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, until it starts to brown.
5. Remove from oven and mix in raisins. Store in a sealed container or zip lock bag.

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How to: You only Live Once – Spicy Buffalo Caramel Corn

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To me, love is caramel and buffalo wings.

As such, I plan on really showing my love this Valentine’s Day.

By combining the two.

Like a crazy person.

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I found this intriguing recipe in February’s Bon Appetit magazine.  It was appropriately featured in a Superbowl snack piece.

I’m thinking spicy buffalo caramel popcorn is totally a year round thing though.

IMG_2425I make my own popcorn these days.  ½ cup popcorn kernels, 3 Tbsp canola oil.  Heat over medium, cover with a tight fitting lid. Once the kernels start popping, shake the hell out of the pot (cover remains on) for 2-3 minutes until they’re all popped.  Remove from heat and season to your liking.

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You’ll get a super fresh and fluffy batch every time and nearly every kernel pops.

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Once the popcorn is done and you’re ready to start on the caramel, get everything ready.

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The caramel with change colour quickly once it starts and you want to avoid burning it by having the butter and hot sauce right by your side to whisk in.

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Adding the baking soda at the end will give the caramel a light and fluffy consistency which will make it a bit easier to toss with the popcorn.

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There was very little time for photos! You’ll have to work quickly to coat the popcorn evenly before the caramel cools.

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If you want to eat the remaining spicy caramel from the bowl with a spoon, I’d consider that completely reasonable.

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Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

Erin

Spicy Buffalo Caramel Popcorn

Serves Makes 8 cups
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
From magazine From February 2015 Bon Appetit Magazine

Ingredients

  • 8 cups plain popped popcorn (from ½ cup popcorn kernels)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat a large bowl with a non-stick spray and transfer popcorn to bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil, swirling the pan occasionally for about 10 minutes until the caramel develops an amber colour.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and hot sauce. It will bubble vigorously. Return to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in salt, baking soda and cayenne.
4. Working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn and toss to coat. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
5. Allow to cool before breaking up in to pieces. Store in airtight container.

 

How To: Quickie Meal – Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Sheet Pan Supper

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You may have noticed a surge in blog posts that fall in the “quickie meal” category.

Life is busy.

Gone are the days of cooking elaborate three course sit down dinners. Most of the time, it is hard to manage even one course, which is sometimes eaten in such a rush I can’t even tell you what I was eating. If your weeknight dinners are eaten at a leisurely pace than kudos to you. But, if this sounds familiar than you understand why we all need more “quickie meal” blog entries.

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IMG_5487This sheet pan supper is the epitome of a quickie meal. A whack load of vegetables are chopped and tossed with a mixture of dijon mustard, olive oil, and spices. They get tossed on a pan with some sausages and roasted until everything is tender and browned. And that’s all! What is quicker than a one pan supper? Nothing!

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No matter how many recipes you have in your dinner rotation, I think you can never have too many quick meals up your sleeve. So add this one to your weeknight dinner arsenal.

Dara

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Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Sheet Pan Supper

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (chopped)
  • 1 large russet potato (chopped)
  • 1 bulb of fennel (chopped)
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 small cauliflower (chopped)
  • 4-6 chicken sausages
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Note

You could substitute other vegetables for the ones listed - broccoli, carrots, parsnips or squash would all work great. Use any flavoured sausages you have on hand.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and oregano. Pour over the vegetables and toss until coated.
3. Spread out vegetables evenly on a baking sheet and place the sausages on top. Bake for about 30 minutes. Flip the vegetables and sausages and bake for an additional 30 minutes until vegetables and sausages are browned and tender.

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