How To: Quickie Meal – Thai Chicken Enchiladas

IMG_6173

It seems we like us some enchiladas.

Tortillas filled with everything from butternut squash to corn and zucchini, wrapped up and topped with sauce and lots of cheese. What’s not to like?

IMG_6169

These enchiladas are unlike any enchiladas that have come before. There is not an ounce of cheese in sight. Now don’t go closing your browsers just yet. I promise, these are just as good, if not better than your usual Mexican variety.

IMG_6170

Leftover grilled chicken from you Victoria Day barbecue is perfect for using in the filling of this dish. I used a bag of coleslaw mix for convenience, but feel free to shred your own cabbage and carrots if you have the time.

IMG_6174

And trust me, once you taste the creamy coconut milk and sweet chill sauce mixture, you won’t even notice there is no cheesy topping.

Dara

IMG_6176

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 3
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (chopped)
  • 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 8 oz bag coleslaw (or mixture of shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/2 red pepper (chopped)
  • 4 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 handful parsley (chopper plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (chopper plus more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet chill sauce
  • 6 corn tortillas

Note

These enchiladas are a great way to use up leftover bbq chicken in the summer months. If you can't find corn tortillas, flour or whole wheat would work too. This is also a great make ahead dish - you could make each component and store separately or assemble the whole dish and bake it just before you are ready to eat.

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Once hot, add coleslaw and red pepper and sauté for about 7 minutes, until tender.
2. Add in chicken, green onions, parsley, cashews and mix together. Cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add in a 1/4 plus 2 tbsp cup of coconut milk and 2.5 tbsp of sweet chill sauce and remove from heat. Stir to combine.
4. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex with cooking spray. Combine remaining coconut milk and sweet chill sauce and spread about 1/4-1/2 cup on the bottom of your pyrex, just to cover it.
5. Take 1-2 spoonfuls of chicken mixture and place in the middle of your corn tortillas. Roll up and place seem side down in your pyrex. Try to roll them up tightly and just stuff in any filling that falls out.
6. Cover with remaining coconut milk and chill sauce mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon any sauce that has pooled on the bottom or sides of your dish over top of the tortillas. Top with additional parsley and cashews and serve!

How to: Quickie Meal – Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

IMG_4285Your doctor is gonna thank me.

More importantly, your taste buds will.

This is where healthy and delicious become BFFs.

IMG_4227I’m normally not a huge fan of whole grain pastas.  I find them too dense and their flavour too overwhelming when pairing them with tomato or cheese based sauces.  I find they can work with bold flavours and textures, though. Pesto for instance.

IMG_4254Also, anchovies!

WAIT. DO NOT LEAVE.

For those of you who think anchovies are nasty, this recipe will make you a believer. And I promise to the moon and back that no one will know there are anchovies in this recipe.

They lend a meaty, savoury undertone when used in small amounts.

You can banish this blog for all time if you try it and hate.

IMG_4260

IMG_4262

IMG_4266

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the prep work for this recipe is rather minimal, I get that shredding and de-stemming fresh kale can be a pain in the A.  Feel free to use frozen kale for this, too.  I love the Cooking Greens brand.  You can also opt for broccoli rabe or even rapini if you’re feeling feeling especially bold.

IMG_4267If using frozen kale, defrost first and skip the steaming step.  Just toss with the oil mixture and ensure it’s warmed through before adding the pasta.

IMG_4272Reserving the pasta water is a non-negotiable.  I do this for nearly every pasta dish I make now.  It’s a life saver when you need to loosen up the pasta after it has cooled.  When I pack up leftover pasta for lunches, I always add a couple of Tbsp to my container just before packing it away.  Do not mix it in!  When you go to reheat, stir your pasta halfway through cooking time, your extra pasta water will loosen things up and rejuvenate your lunch!

You probably won’t have leftover for this one though.

Erin

IMG_4285

Kale and White Bean Whole Grain Spaghetti

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g whole grain whole wheat pasta
  • 1 bunch kale (stems remove and chopped or torn in to bite sized pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets (about 2 tsp - minced)
  • 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add 2 tsp salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 10 minutes for while grain pasta depending on the brand). Strain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute.
3. Add kale to sauté pan and reduce heat to medium-low. If the kale is no longer wet from washing, add 2 Tbsp water to the pan. Toss kale with oil mixture carefully to ensure it is well dispersed. Cover sauté pan with a tight fitting lid and allow kale to steam for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add pasta and white beans to the sauté pan with the kale mixture. ¼ cup at a time, add the reserved starchy pasta water as you toss everything together until a light sauce covers everything. You will probably only need ¼-½ cup of the pasta water if serving immediately. Keep the remainder if you plan on reheating later.

How To: Healthy Sides – Mexican Street Corn Salad

IMG_6152

It may seem a bit early in the season to be sharing a recipe featuring corn but I just couldn’t help myself. Two reasons for this -

1. It SO felt like summer this past weekend. And summer equals barbecue. And barbecue equals corn.

2. My daughter’s new favourite food – corn. Hence – if I want her to eat something, throw in some corn.

IMG_6126

This salad is a take on the traditional Mexican street corn found on the menu of one of our favourite local Mexican spots. The combo of creamy mayo, salty feta, spicy jalapeño, and sweet corn make it utterly irritable. So much so that I highly suggest you double or triple this recipe. You have been warned.

IMG_6128

Make it now with canned corn, make it in a couple months with fresh corn off the cob, heck – make it in the winter with frozen corn. And trust me, you will want to freeze some corn for this salad.

IMG_6153

Dara

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 3 cups canned corn (drained)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed) (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp low fat mayo
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp feta (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Note

While this recipe is delicious with fresh corn when it is in season, it also works great with canned corn. So you can enjoy this salad year round! If you like a bit more heat, feel free to double the jalapeno or leave the ribs and seeds intact. This salad is great on it's own or as a side dish for grilled meat or fish.

Directions

1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil.
2. Add corn and let it sit until it begins to brown and then stir once and let it sit again. Continue to do this for about 8 minutes. Add jalepeno and cook for another two minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are mixed evenly throughout. Serve hot or at room temperature.

IMG_6151

How to: Make your Own – Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana ‘Ice Cream’ Sandwiches

IMG_4244

I know. So hard to believe!

Let me show you the way, friends.

I am so. damn. excited. about this blog post.

This recipe is the love child of a couple of very famous recipes.  The first is from the popular blog Two Peas and their Pod for Two-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream. The second from the Kraft Peanut Butter Jar for Super-Easy Peanut Butter Cookies.

IMG_4207

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know we all have this situation at home from time to time.  And if you’re anything like me, you let 63 frozen bananas pile up in the freezer before you’re inspired to use them.

IMG_4210

No better use than frozen dessert, just in time for summer!

IMG_4214

I have a pretty crappy blender.  I think perhaps there wasn’t enough liquid in the recipe to get it going properly, but I ended up transferring my partially processed bananas to a container I could use my hand blender in, and it worked much better.

If you have a wicked blender like a Vitamix then no need to worry.  Other than the worry of me robbing you of your Vitamix.

IMG_4216

This recipe has been around on the back of peanut butter jars forever. It is not healthy per se, but it is quick, easy and foolproof.  Perfect for non-bakers (that’s me!).

IMG_4218This recipe is also gluten and dairy-free.  Disclaimer –  I feel like any time a recipe or product makes a ‘so and so-free’ claim, it’s implied that those ingredients are ‘bad’.  That is not my intention. They are not bad.  They are foods. I don’t believe in ‘bad’ foods.

IMG_4219

Depending on the size of your balls (tee hee), the recipe makes anywhere from 20-24 cookies.

IMG_4224

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can even stop right there and just eat the cookies too.  They’re a crown pleaser, every time.

IMG_4230Once you’re prepped, it takes a couple of minutes to slap ‘em together and you’re ready to go.

IMG_4232Make sure you slam back any unused left over ‘ice cream’.  It’s almost impossible to believe you’re eating just eating bananas with a touch of pb.

IMG_4236

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, enjoy the fruits of your very limited labour!

IMG_4244

Erin

Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana ‘Ice Cream’ Sandwiches

Serves 10-12 sandwiches
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 45 minutes

Ingredients

'Ice Cream'

  • 4 small very ripe bananas (frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Mix 1 cup peanut butter, sugar and egg in a small bowl until well combined. Roll in to 20-24 equal sized balls and transfer to lined baking sheet. Press each ball down with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges just very slightly start to brown.
2. While cookies are baking. Remove bananas from the freezer and microwave for 30-45 seconds until they are thawed just enough to peel easily, but still frozen inside.
3. Transfer bananas to a blender, food processor or to a container in which a hand blender can be used. Blend until bananas reach a smooth, soft serve ice cream type consistency. Add peanut butter and blend until well combined. Transfer to a freezer safe bowl or container and place in freezer until cookies are baked and cooled to room temperature (you can put them in the fridge or freezer to help them along).
4. Remove 'ice cream' from freezer and stir until soft serve consistency reached. If it is frozen solid, allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before stirring. Spread a heaping tablespoon of banana filling on to cookie and sandwich with second cookie.
5. May be eaten immediately. If making ahead, be sure to pull the sandwiches out 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Asparagus and Cheese Tart

IMG_3841We’ve got a little ways to go before Ontario asparagus season hits us.

Just want you to be prepared is all.

Also, I don’t think you could physically restrain me from buying the spring produce now available from the US if you had to.  I needed this asparagus.

I am a woman on a mission to get winter out of my system.

IMG_3818This is a really easy, really impressive little treat.  It could be served at a brunch, cut into small squares for an appetizer or larger squares and served with a salad as a light lunch or dinner.

It’s a good veggo option for the non-meat eaters out there too.

IMG_3820

The combo of gruyere and fontina is top notch.  Gruyere is a bit harder and more pungent while fontina has a mild flavour and is super melty. Instead of gruyere you could try parmesan, romano, asiago or a nice old cheddar.  For the fontina, sub mild gouda, harvarti or mozzarella.

IMG_3828Try not to eat the cheese mixture ahead of time.  Tempting as it may be, there’s just enough.

IMG_3830

If you’ve never worked with puff pastry before, chill, there’s nothing to be scared of.  It’s very simple to work with and roll out.  It does not have to look perfect either.

Rustic is super in.

IMG_3832

I bought this rolling pin from Ikea when I first started cooking over 10 years ago for $3 or $4.  It’s simple, functional and has stood the test of time.  Fancy equipment not required.

IMG_3836

The pastry will be a little puffy (despite all your hole poking) when it first comes out of the oven.  Don’t fret, it’ll settle a bit as it cools and you can lightly push down on the really puffy parts to flatten.

IMG_3838

Assembly is a cinch.  If you’re having a tough time getting the cheese mixture to the edges, use your fingers to even things out.

IMG_3839

Line ‘em up.

IMG_3866

And behold. Gorgeousness!

Erin

IMG_3859

IMG_3861

Asparagus and Cheese Tart

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1 block frozen puff pastry (roughly 200g, thawed)
  • all purpose flour for dusting
  • 1lb asparagus (washed with woody ends trimmed)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 80g grated Gruyere cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 80g grated fontina cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 small shallot (minced)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Using a rolling pin and flour for dusting, roll out puff pastry sheet to 12" x 16" or roughly the size of a baking sheet. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Using a fork, poke holes all over pastry. Baked for 10 minutes until just beginning to lightly brown around edges. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerse asparagus for 1-2 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a large bowl of ice water immediately and allow to cool. Transfer to clean towel and dry any excess moisture. Toss asparagus with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Combine cheese, egg yolks, milk, shallot, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
4. Spread cheese mixture over pastry. Top with asparagus, alternating the direction of the heads.
5. Bake for an additional 12-14 minutes until pastry is golden brown and cheese mixture puffs up from between the stalks of asparagus.
6. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve warm or at room temperature.