Sunday, 15 November 2015

Spicy Ginger Pumpkin Soup

About a year ago, I visited a friend who served this amazing soup. He was kind enough to send me the recipe! This is great recipe because you can play around with the type of liquids and winter squash you use. I've made it with pumpkin and butternut squash - both are delicious. 

Warning - the recipe is SPICY! The ginger sneaks up on you. If you are sensitive to spice, dial it down to your needs.

Your shopping list

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups uncooked peeled pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp anchovy paste
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 freshly grated ginger
  • 3/4 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup 5% cream
  • 1 litre low sodium chicken broth
  • salt, to taste


  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

What to do with it

Perfect soup for a fall day
  1. Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add pumpkin and cook, stirring often, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes
  3. Mix in anchovy paste, onion, and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Stir in red chili flakes, ginger, and brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add liquids, along with a cup of water, and bring to a boil
  6. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes
  7. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth
  8. Add salt and simmer for an additional 20 minutes
  9. Meanwhile, heat a dry pan over medium heat
  10. Add seeds and toast, until just smoking
  11. Add cayenne and toss seeds for about a minute
  12. Transfer sunflower seeds to a plate to cool
  13. Serve soup with toasted seeds

Lime Fajitas

Lime Fajitas

Your shopping list
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • handful of mushrooms, halved (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
To serve (pick your favourites):
  • tortillas
  • guacamole
  • salsa
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • spinach
  • fresh coriander

What to do with it

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl or ziplock bag and add chicken
  2. Seal and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F.
  4. Place chicken in a large roasting pan or dish and bake, covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover chicken and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Sauté the oil and vegetables in a medium frying pan until they are soft and begin to brown.
  7. Serve chicken and vegetables in warmed tortillas and top with guacamole, salsa and greek yogurt or sour cream.
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Soups on!

My bestie Ashley bought me an amazing cookbook for my birthday - nothing but soup. I was really excited to find a recipe to make and am so happy that I chose this one. With a few modifications, it turned out great. I'm sure the original recipe is delicious but I am not known for following recipes to a tee.
This is a perfect healthy dish for a cool night.

Creole Shrimp Soup with Quinoa

Inspired by Marian C. Hanna's recipe in The Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Cookbook

Serves 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Your shopping list:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 medium onion (yellow or white), finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
1 sweet pepper, diced (I used yellow)
1/2 cup green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of half of a lemon
2 cups of water
28oz can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
4oz can of tomato sauce, no salt added
5.5oz can of tomato paste
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb scallops (or add more shrimp)
a handful of chopped parsley for garnish
Optional - cooked quinoa or brown rice

What to do with it:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until it's shimmering. 
  2. Add flour and stir constantly until the roux is the colour of peanut butter.
  3. Add yellow onions, celery and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add green onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until everything has softened (approx 15 minutes)
  5. Add lemon rind and juice to the pot along with water, tomato ingredients, worchestershire sauce, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 50 minutes (stir occasionally).
  7. Remove bay leaves and add shrimp and scallops
  8. Simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes
  9. Serve with cooked quinoa and a sprinkle of parsley!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Gone boating

Spaghetti Squash Boats

One small squash serves two
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

If you're looking for an easy and impressive looking meal to serve to guests, look no further! This is a great substitute for pasta. If you don't feel like getting fancy, skip the part where you melt cheese in the squash skin and just serve it. Enjoy :)

Your Shopping List:

  • 2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce (I make my own that has lots of veggies and either turkey or beef)
  • One small-ish spaghetti squash
  • a handful of grated cheese (I used Mozzarella)

What to do with it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Cut spaghetti squash length-wise and remove seeds (set them aside to roast later)
  3. Place squash cut-side down on a greased or lined baking sheet
  4. Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes
  5. When the squash is cooked, shred with a fork
  6. Mix shredded squash with your pasta sauce in a bowl then return it to the hollowed squash skins
  7. Top with cheese and bake the squash boats for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted
  8. Serve with a garden salad!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Weekend wonders

I've been bad at posting. The issue with my cooking style is that I make a lot of stuff up! I often fail at measuring and marking my changes to recipes. The result is delicious food with no record of how to replicate it.
I spent this weekend doing some cooking and food prep and it paid off!

Turkey and Spinach Quinoa Casserole

Your shopping list:

2 cups cooked quinoa 
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
half medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 mushrooms, chopped
half green pepper, diced
5 handfuls of spinach, chopped if you want
2 cups tomato sauce (I use homemade)
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/8 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp chili flakes (omit if sensitive to spice)
Salt & pepper, to taste
A few sprays of olive oil

What to do with it:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375
  2. Cook turkey over medium heat in large skillet
  3. Once fully cooked, drain fat, remove turkey and add to a large bowl with cooked quinoa
  4. Spray pan with oil and return to medium heat
  5. Add garlic and onions and sautee until almost golden brown
  6. Add vegetables to skillet and cook until spinach is wilted
  7. Transfer veggies to bowl and add spices, panko, tomato sauce and one cup of cheese
  8. Mix well
  9. Pour mix into baking dish sprayed with olive oil
  10. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes
  11. Enjoy once cooked, or freeze individual portions for later!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Just Dessert

Those of you who know me, know that I don't have much of a sweet tooth. That being said, I love baking cookies! It's a good thing too, because people love asking me to bake them.

I found this recipe a few years ago and have never looked back. I have, however, made a few notes of my own and changed the size.

Without further ado... 

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approx 2 dozen cookies

Your Shopping List

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (not hot, just melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (splurge on pure, the artificial one is a joke!)

1 egg yolk ( since I don't have an egg separator, I always add the yolk before the whole egg in case I fail...)
1 egg
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

What to do with it

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 F
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or just grease them (make sure you can fit two in your oven at once)
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
  4. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until well blended
  5. By hand, beat in the vanilla and egg yolks - it should be light and creamy
  6. Add in the sifted ingredients and mix
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon
  8. Using a 1/8 cup, measure out approximately 8 cookies per sheet
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes
  10. Cool on baking sheet before transferring to wire racks
  11. Eat one
  12. Eat another...
  13. and another...
  14. Then save the rest for friends and family!
*Note: if your cookie dough seems too wet, let it sit for a little while. Chances are your butter was too hot.

Doubly Delicious Grilled Chicken

While I realize barbecue season is over, I have yet to throw in the tongs. 
This is one of my favourite recipes because it's fairly versatile. I've made this sauce countless times (occasionally without all of the ingredients) and have never been disappointed. If you don't have a grill, you can make it in the oven instead - I've done this when I run out of propane!

Double-time Barbecued Chicken

Inspired by "Triple Play Barbecued Chicken" from Weber's Way to Grill

Your Shopping list:


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup ketchup
½ cup lemon-lime soda 
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup packed golden brown sugar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 chicken drumsticks

What to do with it:

  1. Prepare your grill for both direct and indirect cooking over medium heat
  2. Cook oil, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, or until golden over medium heat in a medium saucepan
  3. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil
  4. Stirring often, reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together the rub ingredients and coat the chicken pieces evenly
  6. Place chicken on the grill, skin side down, over direct medium heat
  7. Grill for 8-10 minutes, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning occasionally
  8. Move to indirect heat for an additional 25 minutes
  9. Brush chicken with the sauce and grill over direct heat for approximately 10 minutes. Continue turning and brushing the chicken until juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink at the bone
  10. Heat remaining sauce so that it is safe to serve alongside the chicken and your favourite salad!