How To: Healthy Sides – Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

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Grilling season is almost upon us! Woo hoo!

FINALLY! After enduring a long and extremely cold winter, I can now see the light!

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This past weekend the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I bought my first pair of capris for this season. Spring is here! Time to break open the bbq and outdoor grills!

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And what do you need to accompany your succulent grilled chicken and burgers? A tasty side dish of course. Enter these sweet glazed carrots.

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These honey roasted carrots come with a delicious and tangy tahini yogurt sauce that can actually serve double duty at your next dinner party. As perfect as it is to accompany these carrots, it’s also perfect as topping for your favourite grilled chicken or fish.

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I used these cute baby carrots because I just love the way they look. If you can’t find them, regular old carrots will work great, just cut them into large chunks or sticks.

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So let’s welcome patio season with open arms and a beautiful tray of roasted carrots!

Dara 

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Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish
From book Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby carrots (if using whole carrots, cut into chunks)
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • pinch of salt

Note

These carrots are a great side dish for grilled or roasted chicken or fish. The sauce is also great on salmon, as a dip for other veggies, or as a sandwich spread.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place carrots in baking sheet and lay thyme sprigs on top.
2. Combine olive oil, honey, water, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and pour over carrots. Toss until they are evenly coated.
3. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft and brown. Serve with tahini yogurt sauce.
Sauce
4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

How to: Quickie Meal – Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

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Italian-thai fusion. So hot right now.

Or, I made that up to hook you.

But please friends, for the love of Pete, you’ve got to try this.

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I’ve seen different takes on the thai/pizza infusion throughout the blogosphere and while intrigued, have always been a little skeptical.

I decided to revamp a recipe from Kevin over at Closet Cooking to make it vegetarian and holy moly guys,  I basically exploded with joy at how good (and easy!) this was.

You can go ahead and make your own pizza dough for this if you’re keen. Lookie here, we’ve even got one right on the blog! Using premade frozen dough or crusts will speeds things up though.

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The tofu is simply crumbled raw, and when you add some of the peanut sauce it soaks up the flavour like a sponge. A delicious sponge you want to shove in your face.

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Then, you just-a make-a your pizza, and badda bing badda boom…glorious bubbly goodness.

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Erin

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Serves 2 - 12 inch pizzas
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 packet extra firm tofu (crumbled)
  • 300g mozzarella cheese (finely grated - about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (substitute parsley if you dislike cilantro)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (natural will work too)
  • 2/3 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (use soy sauce sauce as a substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (if using natural peanut butter, adjust sweetness to your liking)
  • 1 tablespoon thai red curry paste

Note

If you'd prefer to forgo the tofu, replace it with leftover shredded chicken.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven.
2. In a small sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients for peanut sauce. Heat over medium low, whisking until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Add about 1/4 cup peanut sauce to crumbled tofu and stir until all tofu is lightly covered with sauce. You may need an additional Tbsp or two.
4. Divide the remaining peanut sauce in two and spread over the base of your pizza crust. If there is any leftover sauce, you can combine it with the crumbled tofu or use it for a really great dipping sauce. Divide the cheese and sprinkle over each pizza.
5. Cover pizza with carrots, bean sprouts and green onions and bake for about 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown around the edges and the tips of the bean sprout are beginning to char. Use the broiler for the last minute or two if you find it's not browning to your liking.
6. Sprinkle peanuts and cilantro over pizza and serve.

 

 

 

 

How To: Quickie Meal – One-Pot Farro with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Kale, and Feta

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Mondays after a long weekend are always rough. You’ve had a blissful three day weekend to celebrate Passover or Easter, the weather was actually spring like for one of the days, and the sun was shining most of the weekend. And then comes Monday – back to the grind.

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I also had the lovely fortune of falling ill with some sort of terrible cold and stomach virus. So sick with no appetite, I couldn’t even enjoy my morning coffee. I know, so tragic.

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So after finally recovering, I was craving comfort and nourishment all in one. This one-pot farro fits the bill. As I’ve mentioned before, I love farro. And I love it even more in this simple vegetarian main.

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I will apologize – it is not Passover friendly. But if you do celebrate Passover, just think what you have to look forward to when the eight days are up!

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Just seven ingredients and one pot – a “quickie meal” at it’s finest!

Dara

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One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes, Feta, Kale, and Chickpeas

Serves 3
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Pinch Of Yum

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 cups kale (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup feta (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce

Note

This vegetarian main is delicious warm, but can also be served at room temperature. Spinach or swiss chard could be substituted for the kale. Feel free to use whatever beans you have on hand in place of the chickpeas.

Directions

1. Place the stock and farro in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the farro is tender. Add the kale during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain any stock that hasn't been absorbed.
2. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, and tomato sauce to the pot and stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

How to: Recipe Makeover – Twice Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetComing up with new, exciting ideas for the blog can be challenging.  My fave is to use the seasons as my guide, because fresh seasonal food is always inspirational.

But y’know…March in Canada is just real bitch for seasonal produce.

Hurry uuuup rhubarb!

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After a good powwow with the gals in my office, I’ve got a slew of new ideas for upcoming posts. Thanks ladies!  This one is both a recipe makeover – a healthier version of restaurant style twice baked potatoes – and a rip on one of our older recipes (Butternut squash enchiladas).

IMG_3366Sweet potatoes are so good and so good for you.  Also, eat them skins y’all.  They not only contain great healthy stuff (vitamins, mineral, fibre – you know the deal) – they add great texture.

IMG_3374I realize this is a twice ‘baked’ potato recipe and I’ve cheated by microwaving the potatoes for step 1.  It’s just so much faster.  30 minutes instead of 90. How can one argue?

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Now let’s talk chipotle peppers in adobo for just one minute.  They are HOT. The can contains about 8-10 of them, but please trust me when I say you only need one, with perhaps a teaspoon or so of the sauce, max.  Do not get rid of the leftovers!  Place them all on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet, leaving a space between each pepper.  Freeze em’ right on the baking sheet.  Once frozen place the individual frozen peppers in a freezer bag for later use.  I probably go through a can a year and have never had a freezer burn problem.

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They add a super awesome spicy and smokey flavour.  If you can’t find them, you can substitute with a teaspoon of mild chili powder and finely minced jalapeño.

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You can add all of the black beans in to the potato mixture if you like.  I left some aside to act as a garnish.  If you’re serving it to people for dinner, it will give them a sense of what’s inside.

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The green onions and lime wedge really add a pop of fresh flavour so don’t leave them out! If you’re a cilantro lover, I’m sure it would be a good replacement.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetStuffed stuff is awesome.

Erin

Twice Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (washed and scrubbed well)
  • ½ cup sour cream (more for garnish if desired)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup canned black beans
  • 50g creamy feta cheese (goat cheese, mozzarella or Monterey jack would be great, too.)
  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • lime wedges

Note

These would also be delicious topped with a few slices of avocado.

Directions

1. Using a small sharp knife or a fork, poke each sweet potato 3-4 times on either side toward the middle of the potato.
2. Microwave potatoes on high power. About 5 minutes for 1 potato, adding 2-3 minutes for each additional potato. For 4 potatoes, microwave for 12 - 15 minutes turning over halfway through. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
3. Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut a ¼" slice of the 'top' of each potato (on one of the sides you have poked). Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes. You will only use the flesh of 3 of the 4 potatoes to re-stuff them. Keep the remaining flesh for a different use or to snack on while you prep.
4. Combine potato flesh, sour cream, chipotle pepper and salt in a bowl and blend with an immersion blender. You can also mash everything together with a fork; just be sure to mash the chipotle pepper into a paste before mixing it all together. Add 1 cup black beans.
5. Re-stuff potato skins. Top with feta cheese. Bake for 12 minutes, with an additional 1-2 minutes under the broiler until cheese begins to brown.
6. Garnish with green onion, remaining black bean and lime wedges.

 

 

How To: Slow Cooker – Lentil and Carrot Curry Stew

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As of this past Friday, it is officially spring!

Can we finally say good bye to that cold winter weather?? I am so done with the heavy winter jacket, boots, hats, and gloves. Bring on the capri pants, tank tops, and spring jackets.

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Now winter isn’t all doom and gloom – there is one redeeming quality to this season that I do enjoy. The slow cooker.

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The slow cooker has not only become my weeknight dinner saviour during my busy work weeks, but it’s perfect for cooking up a comforting stew for the cold winter nights. But fear not, the bright flavours in this lentil curry stew are also perfect for welcoming in the warm spring weather.

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Phew! No need to throw away the slow cooker, our Monday dinner hero, just because the weather is FINALLY starting to get above the freezing mark. And what a relief because no one should miss out on this delicious vegetarian lentil curry stew!

Dara

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Slowcooker Lentil and Carrot Curry Stew

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Slender Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 4 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (grated)
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 5 oz can tomato paste
  • 1-2 handfuls kale (chopped)
  • Greek yogurt and cilantro (to garnish)

Note

While this hearty vegetarian curry is great on it's own, you could serve it with some bread or over some rice or quinoa to make it more of a meal. Chopped swish chard or spinach could be substituted for the kale.

Directions

1. Place all ingredients except for kale into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
2. After about 8-10 hours, turn slow cooker to warm and mix kale into stew. Place lid back on until kale has wilted.
3. Serve topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and some cilantro.

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