Monthly Archives: July 2016

Cooking on Sundays: Eggplant Rollatini, Salad and Meatballs

IMG_20160724_223431
After spending most of the weekend outside at festivals (T&T Waterfront Night Market and Rib Fest at Fort York Garrison), meals for this week were pretty simple and full of vegetables. Eggplant rollatini (lasagna rolls with eggplant instead of pasta sheets), cauliflower salad, and kale salad with avocado dressing. I haven’t been eating as much red meat lately to the point where my iron count was too low to donate blood this weekend – so I got some turkey and made meatballs. Recipe links are below. Happy cooking 🙂
Eggplant rollatini2

Eggplant Rollatini – recipe from The Kitchn

Cauliflower salad

Cauliflower Salad – recipe from Tasty/Buzzfeed

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs – adapted from DareBee and made with ground turkey instead of ground pork

Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing – adapted from The Kitchn recipe (I didn’t take a separate picture)

Tagged , , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Nicoise Salad in a Jar and Baked Salmon

Now that I’m done my travelling for this summer, it’s back to cooking and eating better. Vacation took a toll of my body – who can resist having seafood everyday in Halifax? The inspiration for this week’s menu came from having dinner with a friend and her talking about wanting to cook in larger batches so she wouldn’t have to cook everyday. We got talking and I was telling her that there are many ways to cook in larger quantities in a more efficient manner, such as using a slowcooker or baking multiple items in the oven at the same time. This allows for you to complete other tasks without having to stand at the stove top and have to keep an eye on things.

Vegetables for the week

I chose a Nicoise salad because it’s packed with vegetables and protein. Also, it’s easy to store it all in a jar and take it to work. I made the dressing and stored the tuna separately so that it wouldn’t make the salad too wet and last longer. I had frozen salmon in the freezer so it was easy to pair it with roasted vegetables. I was craving green things this week so that’s what I got.

Nicoise salad in a jar

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 5 large eggs, sliced
  • 15 fingerling potatoes, sliced
  • 3 handfuls green beans
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3 cups salad greens (I got to use some greens from my balcony garden!!)
Greens from garden

Kale and greens from my balcony garden

Directions

  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, minced garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil, and whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Cook the eggs, potatoes and green beans.
  3. Slice the potatoes and eggs into 1/2 inch slices.
  4. Assemble the jar in the following order:
    • grape tomatoes
    • green peppers
    • green beans
    • potatoes
    • salad greens
    • eggs
  5. Serve with dressing and mix with tuna.

Baked salmon and veggies

Baked Salmon and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen salmon, defrost and pat dry
  • 2 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 500g cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F.
  2. Defrost the salmon overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.
  3. Chop up the zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and green pepper.
  4. Place in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the vegetable pan into the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Spread the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper over the salmon fillets.
  7. Put the salmon pan into the oven with 15 minutes left on the vegetables.
  8. Portion out the salmon and vegetables into containers.

Happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , , ,

Popsicles!!

Popsicle4

I was on vacation this past week and didn’t actually cook anything (re-heating fries on the stove doesn’t count). After getting home, the summer heat has arrived and what better way to cool down than with popsicles! I came across this cucumber mint green tea popsicle recipe from Cake Over Steak and decided to give it a try. They turned out delicious and perfect for a hot summer day 🙂

Cucumber Pear Mint Green Tea Popsicles

(adapted from Cake Over Steak recipe)

Ingredients
For the mint simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large sprigs of fresh mint
For the popsicles:
  • 1/2 cup mint simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened green tea
  • 3 tsp fresh lime juice (from about one lime)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pear, roughly chopped

Instructions

To make the mint simple syrup:
  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Let it steap until it cools. Strain out the mint leaves and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
To make the popsicles:
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) with the liquid in the bottom. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste – it should be a little sweeter than you might want it to be, as it will lose some of its sweetness when you taste it frozen. Add more lime juice or simple syrup, etc. to taste.
  2. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight. Enjoy!!

Popsicle1 Popsicle2 Popsicle3

Tagged , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Canada Day Edition

IMG_20160703_232314Since it was Canada Day long weekend, I decided to stock up on veggies and take my time to put together some meals for this upcoming week. I’m also going on vacation so only have to make six meals (lunches/dinners) since breakfast is always steel cut oats. Since I had more time to shop, I visited my local farmer’s market, supermarket and produce store to get all my vegetables.

Veggies1

I was inspired by a friend’s meal this week to try and make a collard greens wrap and just my luck, they were really fresh at the farmer’s market so I went for it and made a chicken hummus collard greens wrap. To go with the wraps, I paired it with a potato salad and some cabbage/carrot slaw. As well, summer vegetables looked really good so made a simple veggie bake to go with the baked chicken breast.

collard greens1

Chicken Hummus Collard Greens Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, baked and shredded
  • 12 collard leaves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 8 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • Hummus, store bought or homemade (mine was homemade)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the white ends of the collard leaves as well as try to pare down the rib so that it’s flush with the leaf thickness.
  2. Simmer 2 inches of water in a large pan with salt and lemon juice. When it starts to simmer, turn heat down and place your first leaf in the water. Submerge for 30 secs and remove from water. Set aside on top of paper or kitchen towel to dry. Repeat for all leaves.
  3. Heat the pan with the canola oil and place the cut asparagus and pepper into it. Toss until asparagus is cooked yet firm.
  4. To assemble, place 2 leaves overlapping with the stems away from each other. Layer hummus, chicken, carrot and asparagus onto the leaves. Roll like a burrito with tucking in the sides as you roll. Repeat until all rolls are done. Then enjoy!!

collard greens2

potato salad

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 baby red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft yet firm. About 15 mins. Rinse and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Mix together the carrots, cucumber, potato, green onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, hummus, salt and pepper.
  3. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. It just tastes better cold!

Veggies3

Summer Veggie Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced in rounds
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced in rounds
  • 1  baby summer squash, de-seeded and sliced
  • 9 stalks of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 stalk leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  2. Cut up the leek and wash it thoroughly. Here is a great Youtube video on how to wash it – I had to look it up.
  3. Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and put leek slices into the pan and saute until soft. Add the garlic for an additional minute.
  4. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil into your baking dish (mine’s a 2 qt) and spread around with paper towel until lightly coated. Place sauteed leeks on the bottom of the dish.Veggies2
  5. Layer tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, alternating slices. Place asparagus in between the rows.
  6. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper over veggies.
  7. Put in oven and bake for 45 mins or until veggies are soft. Serve with baked chicken breast.

Hope you had a great weekend and happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , ,