A little touch of Irish

Can you believe that March is almost over? This is crazy to me. Crazy.

This month the Boy and I did typically well for making delicious meals, but not as good at trying new recipes.

Some tried and true favourites I rediscovered this month:

Perfect Veggie Burgers

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Dough Balls

I’ve also discovered Hemp Hearts and Chia Seeds – both are slowly but surely changing my life. Well, that may be a bit extreme but I am looking forward to trying chia gel in my next baking undertaking.

Here’s what I tried that was new:

Pineapple Fried Rice – One word. Yum.

Butternut Squash Ravioli – kind of, we used the wonton wrapper trick from the Green Pea Pesto Ravioli of February

Hummingbird Cupcakes – as inspired by my new love – Pinterest! (FYI – if you’re looking for a breakfast cupcake this is it!)

Pineapple and cream cheese? Sounds like breakfast of champions to me!

And the one I’m sharing – I’ve gotta say, I wish I had had my stroke of creative genius BEFORE St. Patrick’s Day not after.

Bailey’s Chocolate Cupcakes.

I used Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cupcakes and then topped it with Martha’s Bailey’s Buttercream, which can be found in the GLORIOUS cupcake book, but is simply her Basic Buttercream recipe with 3 Tbsp of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Delicious.

Where I lost my creativity was in the colour.  Sure I made them green as per the Boy’s recommendation. It was St. Patrick’s Day after all.  But after enjoying a delish Green Monster the other day I thought – hey I should have greened up the icing with spinach or maybe avocado… hmmm so curious if it would have worked. But alas, food colouring.

Luckily they were still super delicious and I highly recommend them!

 

 

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Lentils and Quinoa and Oranges – OH MY!

Did you think I forgot? My vow to share a recipe each month?  Never.

I was just waiting to see what the winner was of February.  And what I learned? I make a lot of new things each month when I take the time to actually remember what I’ve made.
There were Chocolate Cherry Dough Balls, and Martha Stewart Cupcakes.  Strawberry meringue buttercream and Oatmeal cookies.  The Boy and I made our own Green Pea Pesto Ravioli and I made a quinoa with chickpeas and feta cheese. And while all of these things tasted delicious (though the Strawberry buttercream was not without its challenges – note do not mix warm with cold, you will get curdled buttercream and it will still taste good but it will not look good), one recipe took the cake.  In fact, I’ve made it three times this month.

Lentils Quinoa and Orange Salad.


YUM.

Adapted from the cookbook Quinoa 365 I ditched the called for can of mandarin oranges and used a delicious in season, Florida navel orange instead. And I have a hard time believing the mandarin orange segments and sickly sweet syrup come anywhere close to being as delicious.

This salad is SO easy to make. Lasts all week in the fridge for lunch.  Is super filling and yummy and is gluten-free and allergen free which makes it Naturopath friendly. How can you get better than that?


Give it a try before the deliciousness of winter oranges go the way of the do-do bird (isn’t that such a disappointing day when you get your first dry orange of the spring?  No? Just me?)  Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Adapted from Quinoa 365 Mandarin Almond Salad

1 3/4 c  water

1/2 c brown lentils

1/2 c quinoa

1/4 c canola oil (you could make it extra Naturopath friendly by splitting Canola and Flax oil)

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

3 Tbsp orange juice (I juiced half an orange)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c almonds roughly chopped

1/2 c dried cranberries

3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

1 (and a half if you use fresh orange juice) Orange(s) – chunked.

Cook the lentils – boil and then simmer (20 minutes) add quinoa (boil again) and cook until cooked.

Combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, orange juice and salt in a jar – shake it up.

Combine the rest of the mixin’s, mix in the quinoa and lentils and toss with dressing.

DONE.  Super filling and DELICIOUS!

Who said you couldn’t have fresh delicious salads in the depths of winter?

Crazies that’s who.

Havin’ a Party that’s Friendly to all

The Boy is turning the big 3-0 this week.  We celebrated in style this weekend with a 14 inning Blue Jays game (I skipped that part and was SO happy I did – I would have been grumpy for sure), and some good ol’ fashioned BBQ.

The Boy and I got prepared the night before cleaning up and making a TON of hamburgers and turkey-burgers.  We wanted to make sure our party was friendly to all of our guests and happily that included a couple of preggos and a couple of veggies.  Do you know all the things that preggos can’t eat? It’s a lengthy list. So we made some adjustments.  I thought I was making myself some “Challenge” friendly food in the process – two birds one stone kind of thing – but apparently the options I provided were too intriguing and I ended up with a turkey-burger (not a terrible choice – so it’s okay) instead of my anticipated portabello mushroom burger.

I had a lot of requests for recipes so I thought it would be easiest to blog about it and trick those kids into coming here to get them everyone could enjoy!

In all the hoopla I completely forgot to take pictures – Worst. Food Blogger. Ever.  You’ll just have to trust me that it all looked delish and tasted great.

To start – Garlic Bread. Pretty standard mince a BUNCH of garlic and mix it with butter and spread across non-naturopath approved bread.  We like to barbeque our garlic bread – it gets super crispy and delicious that way.

Caesar Salad: Did you know that most people don’t make their own salad dressing? This always surprises me.  It’s so easy to make your own dressing and WAY healthier – you know exactly what’s in it!  My normal Caesar Salad dressing includes an egg – preggos can’t have raw eggs – so I had to turn to Google to find a different recipe.  I ended up using a very similar one to my original.  It’s apparently a Rachael Ray recipe and you can find it here.  I added more oil and WAY more garlic (probably 4 cloves and I just throw them in the blender whole).  Are you seeing a theme?  If you’re ever eating at my house please tell me if you have a garlic allergy or aversion to it for some crazy reason, otherwise I might kill you.

Burgers: I made a few different kinds and I know everyone has a different way to make home made burgers – but here are my highlights: GARLIC – lots of it. Ground Flax – a bunch.  Onions, green pepper, whatever other vegetables have been in the fridge a while (this batch featured broccoli and a second pepper) – all thrown in the food processor and pulsed to a pulp.  Sneak those veggies in there and makes great filler.  I also find between the veggies and the flax it makes for a more fibre filled burger – which makes my “Challenge” tummy happier.  I also throw in a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese.

Toppings included – lettuce, tomato, cheese, dill pickles (yuk), avocado, tzatziki, ketchup, mustard, relish, red onions.

The other burger option was a marinated portabello mushroom.  I only bought 5 and I thought the Boy and I would have a couple left over for the week.  WRONG.  These were a HUGE hit.  Portabello mushroom burgers were marinated using this recipe from Canadian Living. The longer you leave them soaking the better I think.  I’m thinking if you were to put them in a large ziploc bag for a while in the marinade they would be even more flavourful – but either way they’re still pretty good!

DESSERT!

For dessert the Boy LOVES Baskin ‘n Robbins Pralines and Cream ice cream cake. BUT he was worried there wouldn’t be leftovers. So I made cupcakes instead! Martha Stewart One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes were not only delicious but SUPER easy and baked perfectly – I love Martha for that.  I frosted them with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream – adding 8oz of melted dark chocolate to this recipe and reducing the sugar to 1 cup.  I was also out of white sugar so I used brown.  I didn’t know how the meringue would hold up – but it turns out, it doesn’t make a difference.  I frosted 20 cupcakes with the buttercream but preggos and their lack of eggs were causing problems again 🙂 so I used some of the leftover vegan chocolate mousse as icing for the last 4 (hey, if they can’t drink they should get extra cupcakes!).  Unborn baby friendly and super easy!

All in all I think everyone had a good time and I was able to keep up with the challenge pretty well without being a pain in the butt or missing out on all the deliciousness I made.

The Boy was happy to spend the day with all of our friends and he got his favourite birthday treat for dessert at his second birthday celebration on Sunday.

 

Looks like the Boy got some birthday sun! (He was too quick for my action shot)

 

Great start to birthday week!