How To: Big Batch – Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

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After making this recipe three times over the past two weeks, I thought it could now definitely be deemed “blog worthy.”

I loved it so much that the last time I made it, I doubled the recipe and made an extra pan to store in the freezer. Yes, at just over 38 weeks pregnant I am in full on nesting mode. And I know that having this delicious and filling lasagna ready to pop into the oven with a 2.5 year old and newborn at home will surely be a lifesaver.

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But I must say, this Mexican lasagna comes together so fast, it is the perfect weeknight meal. Just like our enchilada casserole, corn tortillas replace the standard lasagna noodles. Instead of the Italian tomato sauce, your favourite salsa is used to cover the bean, spinach, and cheesy layers.

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If I say this is worthy of a triple recipe repeat in a mere two weeks, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a go once!

Dara

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Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Kiwi and Bean

Ingredients

  • 10 oz bag spinach
  • 1 large jar of salsa
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small log goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Note

I like serving this casserole with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and a mixed green salad with avocado and tomatoes. This dish also freezes very well so it makes a great make ahead option.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook spinach in pan until wilted and set aside.
3. Spread about 1/3 of the jar of salsa evenly over the bottom of the pyrex dish. Lay 6 tortillas evenly on top. Spread another 1/3 of salsa on top of the tortillas and top with spinach, beans, red pepper, chili powder, and goat cheese. Lay remaining 6 tortillas on top and cover with remaining salsa and cheddar cheese.
4. Cover pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If the cheese isn't browned yet, broil for another 5 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream or greek yogurt and guacamole.

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Broccoli and Cheese Spaghetti Squash Casserole

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If you can resist broccoli and cheese casserol-y things in the winter, you’re one up on me.

Also, the squash is still rolling in weekly with my produce box delivery, so I’ve been needing to get creative all up in here.

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This isn’t totally brand new, though. This recipe was inspired by another recent spaghetti squash doozy; spaghetti squash gratin.  I’ve basically added some broccoli and greek yogurt for oomph.

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Looking for even more broccoli and cheese in your life?

Check out these previous How to Eat hits:

Broccoli and Cheddar Patties

Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup

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This recipe will work as a side, or even a vegetarian main in a larger portion.  Serve with a hearty winter salad for a complete meal.  Reheated leftovers are also a dream.

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Go on and get your casserole on.

Erin

Broccoli and Cheese Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Serves 4-6
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2.5lb spaghetti squash (makes 3.5 - 4 cups cooked squash)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets/ stems
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup light sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 120g old cheddar cheese (finely grated and divided)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

1. Halve squash and roast in 400F oven for 40-45 mins until easily pierced with a knife. Alternatively, pierce squash with a knife all over and microwave whole for 10-12 minutes.
Lower oven (or preheat) to 375F
2. Meanwhile, steam broccoli for 3-4 minute until tender/crisp, but still bright green.
3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, ⅔ of the cheese, salt and pepper.
4. Combine squash, broccoli and egg mixture in a large bowl. Transfer into a lightly oiled baking dish.
Top with remaining cheese.
5. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 and broil for 2-3 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.

How To: Healthy Side – Kale and Apple Salad with Havarti, Almonds, Dates, and Avocado

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I find I normally have recipes I reserve for fall/winter and recipes I use for spring/summer.

Sure, I try to cook with seasonal ingredients, but mostly find I crave heartier stews, soups, and casseroles in the colder months and lighter salads and bbq meals when the weather turns warmer. But sometimes, you just need some green to brighten up a dreary winter day. And a kale based salad is a hearty way to satisfy your cold weather cravings AND get your 7 servings of fruit and veggies in your belly.

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This is no ordinary salad – loaded with cheese, almonds, dates, and avocado – it’s a party in your mouth! With all these fancy shmancy ingredients, a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil is all that is needed.

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Arla Dofino generously gifted us with the havarti cheese used in this recipe. I love the subtle creaminess it adds and anything with cheese in it is a winner in my books!

Arla Dolfino has generously offered to donate a prize pack for one lucky reader that features a beautiful cheese board and coupons for Arla Dolfing cheese. Simply leave a comment on this post telling us your favourite way to eat cheese and a winner will be chosen at random. 

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IMG_7591Turn this salad into a main with a piece of seared salmon or a can of chickpeas, and you have a delicious lunch or light dinner. Unless of course you would prefer to just throw in some extra cheese – by all means I wouldn’t object!

Dara

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Kale and Apple Salad with Dates, Almonds, Avocado, and Havarti

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of kale (chopped)
  • 1 apple (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup havarti cheese (cubed)
  • 1/3 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 1 small avocados (peeled, pitted, and chopped)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

This salad is great as a starter or side and can also be turned into a main course with the addition of some chickpeas, grilled salmon, or chicken. It also holds up well as leftovers for the next day.

Directions

1. Place kale in a large bowl and pour lemon juice and olive oil over top. Toss thoroughly to evenly coat and let stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
2. Add dates, avocado, cheese, and almonds and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

 

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Thai Sweet Potato Soup

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Anyone else disturbed by the amount of their grocery bill lately?

Not OK.

With the tumbling loonie, word on the street is grocery costs will continue to rise. It’s all of that fancy imported food we like. Like cauliflower, the caviar of 2016.

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Not to worry though, friends. I’m here to give you an insider tip on how to save some sweet cash.

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Buy local! Yup. Not only does Ontario still have a good variety of locally available fresh produce (check it out here), you can also buy frozen ‘product of Canada’ fruit and veg. In fact, a lot of it is on sale this time of year.  Perfect timing.

Oh, you need some incredibly well tested recipes which feature local foods? I happen to know of a cookbook that’s just the ticket.  Homegrown is selling like mad though, so you bes’ be ordering a copy STAT.

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This super cinch recipe makes use of Ontario roots – sweet potatoes and carrots.  I’ve added a few thai inspired ingredients because thai food kicks ass. Is there a better reason?

Serve it as a side or a starter for any of our other Thai-inspired recipes (um, it seems we’re sort of obsessed with thai food):

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu

Shrimp and Mango Fresh Rolls

Thai Chicken Cabbage Wraps

Thai Mango Salad

Thai Turkey Meatballs

Enjoy!

Erin

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Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1lb sweet potatoes (approximately 2 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1lb carrots (approximately 4 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 1l low sodium vegetable stock (divided)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (plus additional lime wedges for garnish)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted, chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • parsley or cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

1. Add potatoes, carrots, ginger, 3 cups of stock and coconut milk to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 until potatoes and carrots are very soft.
2. Remove from heat. Using a hand blender or counter top blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency and reheat in pot if necessary. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
3. Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with parsley/cilantro and peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge.

 

 

 

 

How To: Snack Healthy – Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

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My 2 year olds new favourite activity is sitting on the counter and “helping” me cook.

I use the term “helping” loosely as I usually end up with an extra scoop of flour in the bowl, and all over my counter. Now, I love getting her in the kitchen and cooking or baking is the perfect rainy Sunday morning activity. But cleaning, I do not enjoy. And for some reason, she doesn’t want to help with that part.

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That is why I absolutely love this muffin recipe – it’s “easy like a Sunday morning.” You only need to throw everything into your food processor, give it a whirl, stir in some chocolate chips, and 15 minutes later you have delicious banana oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. It is actually the easiest, almost mess free, muffin recipe.

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I love that you can satisfy your muffin craving instantly and use up those brown bananas that always seem to accumulate on the counter. And if I can keep my toddler occupied for even 20 minutes, that’s a win in my books!

Dara

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Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Serves 12 muffins
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Website Recipe Adapted from Running with Spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Note

Make sure to use very ripe bananas in this recipe. Both plain or vanilla Greek yogurt would work here. The muffins can be frozen and then defrosted in the microwave when you are ready to eat them.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
2. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients, except chocolate chips, and process until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips.
3. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 way full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until muffins are set and beginning to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before you remove from the pan.