Monday, 31 March 2014

Spring Salad

Tomorrow is April 1 and I'm hoping that the nice weather I've been experiencing is no April Fool's Day joke. I've been loving the sunny, flower filled, gorgeous days so much that I've already started having a few summer salad dinners. And, boy, so those dinners make me happy!

I know I'm in one of the few cities in Canada that can say spring has arrived, but I think that one bite of this spring salad will begin to convince even those on the frozen east coast that spring is on it's way.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Raw Cashew Love

As you might reminder, I told myself that I'd try a new food each month of 2014. I've done well so far and don't plan on giving up. So this month's new food is raw cashews.

Raw cashews are something you wouldn't want to snack on because they aren't roasted and salted into the cashews we typically know and love. But raw cashews are truly perfect for making a cheese-less cheese sauce and that's something worth talking about.

I learned about raw cashews and vegan cheese sauce from the Oh She Glows blog and cookbook and knew that I had to give them a try. I love cheese but scrubbing a pot from a cheese sauce is tiring and there's only so much cheese a girl should eat.

My recipe is inspired by Oh She Glow's Smoky Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta and Greens, but I think the "secret" ingredients I added takes the sauce up another few notches. But you should try both recipes to know for sure.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Crispy Chick Peas - Take Two!

From the very first moment I tried a crispy chick pea, I knew I was hooked. They remind me of chips but they're so much healthier than a chips and what could be better than that?

I've shared my original recipe for Crispy Spiced Chickpeas and I still think they're delicious, but my new Sweet and Smokey Crispy Chickpeas are worth doing a cook off against the original. I think they might be even better than my original recipe!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Grilled Cheese Goodness

A good grilled cheese sandwich is crisp on the outside and gooey and melty on the inside. The bread and the cheese can be switched around, but never do I want to bite into a limp breaded sandwich filled with hard cheese.

But crisp bread and melted cheese is not where a good grilled sandwich ends. No, good grilled cheese sandwiches need more than that. They need something special added in them. Maybe it's spoonful of fig jam smeared into the bread before Brie is sandwiches in. Or maybe it's a little pesto or apple added for a burst of flavour. Whatever it is, just make sure you put enough in the sandwich so you can taste it.

I think the grilled cheese sandwich I'm sharing today is pretty spectacular. It's full of healthy spinach and tart little artichokes. And it's high time a spinach artichoke dip met a grilled cheese sandwich, don't you think?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Veggie Cannelloni

I am truly addicted to pasta and cheese. But sometimes I try to make my meals a little healthier than just pasta covered cheese because we all could use a little more veggie love in our lives. I've subbed out pasta for cauliflower and made a delicious new version of Cauliflower Mac and Cheese and I knew I could make a cannelloni just as tasty as the real thing without using pasta too. 

Here's my recipe for Eggplant Cannelloni. They're stuffed with ricotta, black beans, olives, and drenched in a tomato sauce. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Luck of the Irish

It's March 16 today and I bet a few of you are planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day today. I bet some of you are looking for green food to whip up, some of you are looking for an easy and yummy meal to soak up some of the Irish brews you'll be enjoying later, and maybe a few of you are looking for a recipe you can make for a date. Whatever the case, I think that today's dish will bring the luck of the Irish to you.

Today's dish is green, easy to make and filling, and fanciest enough looking to be perfect to make for someone special. It's only fancy looking though, so don't get worried. It's not really fancy...

Read on for my take on a Veggie and Shrimp Barley Risotto. It's inspired by one from Food Network Canada. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Twice Baked Mexican Sweet Potatoes

Week nights and a sink of pots and pans don't mix at my house. I'd much rather make something quick, easy, and as sink free as possible. Today's post is one of my new ideas that combines these concepts to make a tasty and fun week night dinner. 

I love to eat these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes on their own for dinner but you might want to serve them with a salad or a piece of chicken if you'd like something a little more hearty. But whatever you serve them with, just serve them. Your taste buds will thank you!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Shamrock Cake for St. Patrick's Day

I don't know what it is about holidays, but I love to create something special for each and every special occasion. Every couple of weeks I think about what occasion is coming up and start planning what I can make for it.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up soon and of course I've been planning for it. My mind wanted to follow the rainbow to the pot of gold last weekend and I ran with the crazy idea I came up with. I am really excited to share this recipe with you because it's really cool and tastes great too.

Read on for my new recipe, Shamrock Cake with Irish Cream Buttercream!

Friday, 7 March 2014

BC Salmon Rocks

When I think of the best food from British Columbia, I think of big bright pink wild salmon. It's not that I don't love all salmon, it's just that salmon caught off the coast of BC or Alaska is quite frankly the best. 

So when Valerie from A Canadian Foodie challenged everyone who volunteered in The Canadian Food Experience Project to write about a Canadian regional food this month, I had no other choice than to choose salmon. I decided to pair my salmon with a fun cauliflower cous cous recipe because while cauliflower is sold and eaten year round, it's best in the winter. 

So if you have a food processor and are eager to pulse a head of cauliflower into couscous, read on for my easy recipe - inspired by cold Canadian winter dreams of heading to Morocco. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Breakfast Memories and Pillsbury #Strudelgram Contest

Breakfast has played a starring role in some of my favourite childhood memories. This might be because I am a morning person or maybe because I love tea and toast, but whatever the reason, I know breakfast will always be important to me.

Whenever my grandfather visited and we had pie for dessert, I always knew I could catch him in the kitchen the next morning digging a fork into straight into the leftover pie. On nice days in the summer my mom would pack up a breakfast picnic for the whole family to eat at the "water's edge". And cinnamon buns drizzled with cream cheese frosting will always have an important place at my family's Christmas breakfast meal.

Today my mornings are a little more rushed and I don't get to enjoy quite as many leisurely morning meals. But, Pillbury's Strudelgram contest is making breakfast fun again. It's not time consuming and it's easy for the whole family to get involved. All you need is a box of Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, a camera, and a little imagination.

First, decorate your breakfast pastry with frosting. Next, take a photo of your delicious creation. Finally, post it to the Strudelgram contest website. The contest is live from now until March 28, 2014 and there are two great prizes to be won. Find out more details at

My first entry is shown below. I've called it "Morning Pie". I think it's pretty clever, but I'm going to try to top it tomorrow!

“Disclosure: I am part of the Pillsbury Strudelgram Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Sesame Slaw

Did anyone else forget that there are only 28 days in February and it's March 1 today? I did and now I suddenly feel like I've lost a couple of days. I hate feeling rushed because it makes me make mistakes. When I'm rushing and cooking, I always seem to cut or almost cut myself. When I'm rushing at work, everything always seems to take longer because I need to do things twice. And when I'm rushing when I'm trying to get out the door, something will always be forgotten at home.

But there are a few rare occasions where something good has come from rushing. One of those occasions is preparing dinner. I now have a few quick and easy recipes that I almost always have all the ingredients for in my pantry, fridge, or freezer. One of those recipes is my Greek Chickpea Salad and another is the new slaw recipe that I'm going to share today.

I love to serve this Sesame Slaw with a simple piece of baked fish but it's also great with take out or frozen pizza or even a grilled cheese sandwich. It just makes food feel more like a meal.