Refreshing Lemon Rosemary Beer Granita

Granitas are super easy to make and always impress. And since I love cold beer on a hot day, I decided to add it into this semi-frozen dessert. The fresh rosemary and lemon zest add a nice brightness. Eating it on a sunny deck is mandatory!

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Serves: 5 to 6
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours

Lemon Rosemary Beer Granita

Ingredients:

2 cups light beer (I used Mill St’s Lemon Tea Beer)
2 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cup cane sugar
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (loosely chopped)

Directions:

1. Place all the ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to simmer on medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has completely dissolved.
2. Transfer hot liquid to a large, metal bowl or baking dish (the wider and shallower, the faster it will chill). Place into freezer and leave until ice begins to form. After an hour or so, take a fork and break up the ice forming on the top and sides of dish. Continue to check on the granita every hour, scraping with the fork.
3. After a few hours, you will have an icy, slushy delicious dessert. Give it a final scrape with a fork for a more snow-like consistency, or leave as is for a more chunky texture. Serve in chilled bowls.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

Breakfast for dinner just got a whole lot tastier. When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting than the novelty of having pancakes for dinner. I still get a thrill out of indulging in the occasional meal swap, only now I do it in the form of avocado toast with poached eggs.

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I topped one with seasonal, peppery pea shoots, and the other with salty prosciutto. But the real key here is to get a super-ripe avocado that slashes the need for any added butter, and a soft-poached egg that oozes with the slightest pierce of a fork. It’s a simple meal, sure, but when stacked high with all these goodies, it feels quite fancy. And there’s absolutely nothing childish about that.

Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1

Avocado Toast Poached Eggs Proscuitto

Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs & Prosciutto

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 slices bread, toasted
2 eggs, poached
4 slices prosciutto
4 leaves butter lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
1. In a pot of boiling water, add a Tbsp of vinegar and gently swirl the water in one direction. Carefully drop the eggs one at a time and poach for 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness.
2. Meanwhile cut the avocados in half, remove stones and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork and squeeze in fresh lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper.
3. Smear toast with avocado, and top with lettuce, tomatoes, prosciutto and the poached egg. Top with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

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Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs & Pea Tenders

Ingredients:
1/2 avocado, mashed
2 slices bread, toasted
2 eggs, poached
12-15 sprigs pea tenders, rinsed and dried
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
1. In a pot of boiling water, add a Tbsp of vinegar and gently swirl the water in one direction. Carefully drop the eggs one at a time and poach for 2-4 minutes or until desired doneness. Removed with slotted spoon and set to drain on paper towels.
2. Meanwhile cut the avocados in half, remove stones and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a fork and squeeze in fresh lemon or lime juice and salt and pepper.
3. Smear toast with avocado, and top with pea tenders and the poached egg. Top with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, fresh parsley and serve immediately.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

The Vegan “Big Mac”

You know those nights when you just feel like a Big Mac? Well don’t go get one because you’ll hate yourself afterwards. Instead, make this vegan “Big Mac” at home in a flash and hate yourself a little less from the comfort of your own couch! I hope you know I’m joking — I haven’t hated myself after eating once since going vegan two years ago.

I made this burger using Gardein’s ultimate beefless burger patties and Fieldroast’s chao cheese, and I made a quick “Big Mac” sauce using vegan mayonnaise (recipe follows). I also have to admit: my vegan “Big Mac” looks a lot more alive than the one you get at the drive through!

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Ingredients (1 burger):
2 vegan burger patties
2 tsp barbecue sauce
2 slices of vegan cheddar cheese
1 1/2 large kaiser rolls

Use these ingredients to your liking:
Boston leaf lettuce
White or red onion, finely minced
Relish (or pickles)

Vegan “Big Mac” sauce ingredients:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/2 Tbsp hot sauce (or ketchup)
1/2 tsp onion powder

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Directions:
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble the vegan “Big Mac”.
2. Cook vegan burger patties in a pan on the stove or on a barbecue, and baste them in barbecue sauce as you go. Melt cheese slices on top during last minute of cooking.
3. Cut one kaiser roll in half and take another kaiser roll and cut a slice off the bottom for the middle piece.
4. Put vegan “Big Mac” sauce and relish (if using) on both sides of the middle pieces of the bun and the inside of the top and bottom bun. Add your burger patties with cheese between each piece of bun, and then add onions, lettuce and pickles to your liking.
5. Dive in and don’t forget lots of napkins!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Tips on How to Eat on $1.75 A Day: Live Below the Line Challenge

Eating and drinking on $1.75 a day is not something many of us have ever considered. That’s the Canadian equivalent of the extreme poverty line, an amount that 1.2 billion people around the world must live on daily for all their needs.

The Live Below the Line Challenge, which kicked off today (April 27), aims to bring awareness to those living in extreme poverty by encouraging participants to eat and drink on $1.75 a day for 5 days (April 27 to May 1, 2015).

Many Canadians are taking the Live Below the Line challenge and to help them along we’ve put together a few practical tips for cooking on a budget.

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From Odette Hutchings, Canada Campaign Manager and past participant:

Plan ahead: Create a meal plan and a list before doing your grocery shopping and try to do one big shop.

Be sure to pick up some low cost proteins such as: eggs, beans, soy-based protein, lentils and steel cut oats. These proteins are versatile and will help keep you full. Odette  topped her steel-cut oats with a sprinkle of cinnamon and banana which tastes delicious and will keep you satisfied and full throughout the morning.

Beans and lentils are also versatile and can be mixed well with different flavors to keep things interesting throughout the challenge week.

When you get home from grocery shopping, divide the food out into individual meals to ensure you don’t run out throughout the week.

From Chef Trevor Bird, co-owner/head chef of Fable restaurant and runner-up on season 2 of Top Chef Canada:

Research and plan: The more prep work you do, the less processed food you buy, the more successful you’ll be and the less it will cost you.

Stock up on vinegar, which always makes everything taste better, just like salt does.

Trevor also recommends buying whole vegetables — carrots, onions, eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potato — which can be chopped, sprinkled with salt and roasted.

Rice and pasta are inexpensive, especially if you make the pasta yourself with an egg and flour.

Shop with coupons and look for produce that’s marked down because it’s close to its sell-by date.

For even more tips and easy recipes that cost just cents a day, click here.

Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, an organization that envisions a world without extreme poverty by 2030. More than 30,000 people in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada have taken the challenge and raised in excess of $10 million for anti-poverty organizations. Information on signing up for or donating to the challenge is available at their website here.

 

New Cooking Series! Chef In Your Ear Coming to Food Network Canada

For someone who’s clueless about cooking, julienne or blanch might sound like a person’s name, temper sounds like something you lose when you’re upset, and spatchcock might be something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey. Though these kitchen techniques are second nature to experienced chefs, not so with cooking newbies.

On Chef In Your Ear, the delicious fun happens when two extremes come together: talented chefs and kitchen rookies. They are teamed up together to see which culinary odd couple can create the best restaurant-quality dish. But there’s one serious catch — the chefs can’t step foot into the kitchen. The chefs can only give their culinary expertise — step-by-step instructions on how to cook an amazing dish — through an earpiece that the rookie wears, all the while trying to keep their temper (and we don’t mean keeping eggs from curdling).

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Left: Jordan Andino. Right: Devin Connell

Jordan Andino (Harlow Sag Harbor), Devin Connell (Delica Kitchen), Craig Harding (Campagnolo), Rob Rossi (Bestellen) and Cory Vitiello (The Harbord Room) are the five talented chefs up for this challenge, all rooting for their rookie to win. But it’s not just their pride and reputation on the line — the winning chef decides the losing chef’s fate.

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Left: Rob Rossi. Right: Craig Harding.

In every episode awaits an exciting challenge and a chance for everyone watching to learn serious cooking skills from some of the top Canadian chefs.

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Left: Cory Vitiello. Right: Greg Komorowski.

Comedian and Second City Theatricals alum Greg Komorowski is the host of this deliciously fun, insightful and thrilling challenge premiering Friday, August 31 10 E/P. On the show website, fans will be able to catch up on episodes, get recipes from the show, learn techniques to make their home cooking shine and get more behind-the-scenes fun.

 

 

10 Tasty Cocktail Spots from Coast to Coast

As much as us food folks love to talk food, photograph food and, after all of that’s over and done with, actually eat food, it goes without saying that we all love a well-made cocktail too. Refinement levels of cocktails can differ from city to city across Canada, but no matter where you are there’s likely a good drink just waiting to be sipped. Here are 10 great places to enjoy a drink if you find yourself in these neighbourhoods.

1. L’abattoir (Vancouver, BC)

Now almost five years old, L’abattoir is still one of the top-rated restaurants in Vancouver’s food scene that seems to grow exponentially by the month. The service is always spot on and the food as well, but any cocktail lover will tell you that a seat at the bar with a Donald Draper in-hand (the bourbon cocktail, not the man) is one of the best places to be in Vancouver.

2. Anejo (Calgary, AB)

Much like Uva, Anejo isn’t necessarily known for their food, but certainly is for their massive tequila selection as well as their long list of tequila cocktails. The lively dining room is a fun place to spend your time, especially on the weekends. And it only gets more exciting after a few sips on one of their tequila negronis.

3. Bar Isabel (Toronto, ON)

I’ve eaten at this restaurant a number of times and I have a hard time finding any faults. Delicious food aside, the bar team really knows what they’re doing when it comes to cocktails. If only for the name, try the “Witch, Please” for starters, made with gin, lillet blanc, celery bitters and an absinthe rinse. A little bird once told me the restaurant is still consistently so busy that they’re looking at allowing people to make reservations for their bar seats. If that’s not a sign of a restaurant doing cocktails right, I’m not sure what is.

4. Field Guide (Halifax, NS)

There are a lot of fun places to go grab a beer in the heart of this east coast city, but only a few that can guarantee a great cocktail. This intimate open kitchen and bar concept is a go-to for anyone in Halifax looking for a well-made drink. Order the “I’ll have another” because it pretty much describes drinking anyway.

5. The Grazing Goat (Saskatoon, SK)

This city has seen a massive revitalization of its Riversdale area over the past three or so years and with Goat moving into the neighbourhood just under a year ago, it’s gotten even better. The joint is surprisingly spacious for a more hipster-chic sort of establishment, but having that roomy feel in a cocktail-forward restaurant is definitely a rarity these days.

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The Harbord Room

6. The Harbord Room (Toronto, ON)

Again, a restaurant of many accolades, The Harbord Room places as much importance on their cocktail development as they do on their food menu. Bar manager Evelyn Chick is a Vancouver native, who’s spent time stirring and shaking with award-winning west coast mixologist Lauren Mote. It’s nice to see talent moving eastward as I’m sure Toronto is all the better for it.

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Krafty Kitchen + Bar

7. Krafty Kitchen + Bar (Kelowna, BC)

It’s no secret that wine rules the roost when it comes to the libation scene in Kelowna, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t delicious cocktails to be had here too. Top Chef Canada season three alumni Chris Shaften puts a strong emphasis on showcasing Okanagan ingredients, but the bartenders are crafting drinks worthy of the spotlight as well. If you’re just stopping by for some drinks, try the vodka-forward carrot and cumin sour. I mean, bourbon sours are so 2013 anyway.

8. Model Milk (Calgary, AB)

One of Calgary’s best restaurants, built into one of the only heritage buildings on 17th Avenue (also known as the red mile now that it’s playoff season), has been a frontrunner in both the food and cocktail scene since it opened in 2011. Their cocktail program has really evolved over the past four years, but the restaurant’s most popular signature cocktail is, without a doubt, The Black Manhattan — a combination of whiskey, averna amaro and chocolate bitters. On Thursday nights, people can also experience Model Milk’s next-door space called “PDR” (which stands for private dining room) that offers a more intimate drinking experience with tasty bar snacks.

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The Shameful Tiki Room

9. The Shameful Tiki Room (Vancouver, BC)

Spend a half hour in this dimly lit, island-themed bar and I think you’ll agree this country needs a whole lot more tiki bars. Everything from the interior design to the menu and service exudes an unabashed fun and playful atmosphere. Punch-bowl cocktails are a great idea for sharing (like that giant blue cocktail from Wayne’s World), while classics like Mai Tais go down much, much easier than they should. Be careful though. Having more than a couple of these extra boozy drinks and you’ll find yourself falling down a rabbit hole…and likely purchasing the ceramic tiki mug your drink comes in too!

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Uva: Vieux Canadien (left) and Gin Donkey (right)

10. Uva (Vancouver, BC)

Not as well known for their food, this wine and cocktail bar in the Yaletown area of Vancouver is home to one of the country’s most well-known mixologists, Lauren Mote. Mote was just named Vancouver’s bartender of the year for 2015, which isn’t really surprising seeing as the cocktail program at Uva is nothing short of extensive. You’ll find seasonal cocktails, classic drinks, signature cocktails and zero proof ones too (i.e. non-alcoholic).

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

3 Tiny-Budget Meal Recipes

Do you think you could survive on $1.75 a day on food and drinks? An estimated 1.2 billion people do that every day.

The Live Below the Line Challenge (which runs from April 27 to May 1, 2015) aims to bring awareness to those living in extreme poverty by encouraging us to do just that for 5 days. To kick off the global campaign, now in its third year, Live Below Line organizers asked chefs from across Canada to create meals on a $1.75 budget.

Want to join the challenge? Here are three recipes below, specifically created for Live Below the Line campaign. Plus get tips here.

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Breakfast of Champions: Egg and Black Bean Enchiladas
Created By: Created by: Executive Chef Elia Herrera of Los Colibris
Cost Per Person: $0.59
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

8 tortillas
4 large eggs
Bean purée
¼ cup Cotija cheese
½ cup dry black beans
1½ tablespoon chopped Spanish onion
½ garlic clove, chopped
½ cup water
1½ teaspoon canola oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Soak the beans overnight. In a pot, sauté the onion and garlic with canola oil until translucent. Add pre-soaked beans and water over medium heat until cooked.
2. Blend mixture and place back on the heat to slightly reduce. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a non-stick pan, scramble the eggs. Fill the tortillas with the scrambled eggs.
4. Add the hot bean purée over the tortillas and sprinkle the Cotija cheese on top. Serve immediately.

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Lunch: Fajitas with Chicken and Rice
Created By: Executive Chef Elia Herrera of Los Colibris
Cost Per Person: $0.63
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
4 garlic cloves
8 oz chicken
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
400 mL water
Pinch salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a pot, heat half of the oil and sauté garlic until golden. Add raw rice and let it get some colour.
2. Add warm water and salt, cover and leave rice over low heat until cooked, occasionally stirring.
3. Cut chicken into strips roughly the same size as the peppers and onion, and in a separate pan, heat remaining oil and add peppers, onion and chicken. Season with salt and pepper and keep over heat until chicken is fully cooked.
4. Serve chicken and vegetables over bed of rice.

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Dinner: White Fish and Navy Bean Cassoulet
Created By: Executive Chef Wayne Sych of Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Cost Per Person: $0.66
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

5 oz white fish, cod or sole, cut into cubes
700 ml white beans cooked per package instructions
3 stalks celery, julienne
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and julienne
1 white onion, julienne
60 ml tomato paste
15 ml vegetable oil
2.5 ml thyme leaves
2.5 ml fennel seeds
large pinch salt
pinch pepper
pinch chili flakes
500 ml water

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, celery and carrots, sauté until soft 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste, thyme, chili flakes, fennel seeds and water, simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until vegetables are cooked.
3. Add fish, white beans, salt and pepper to taste, add more water if needed, simmer until hot and fish is cooked through 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into serving bowls.

Super Easy Fresh Lemon-Pepper Popovers

Popovers never fail to amaze me. How can milk, eggs and flour balloon into such towering, billowy cakes? No matter how often I make them, I find myself glued to the oven door, watching through the glass as they rise higher and higher even still. Impressive as popovers look, they require almost no culinary skill. The secret? A hot oven, a well-greased pan and the discipline not to open the oven door to take a peek. And your reward will be crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, air-pumped popovers.

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Lemon-Pepper Popovers

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes resting
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6 popovers

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground lemon pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, divided
For Topping
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
fresh ground black pepper

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Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon pepper, and lemon zest.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir until combined. Do not over-mix. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the batter overnight and let it warm on the counter while the oven heats.
3. In a small bowl, toss the Parmesan and grated lemon zest together, mixing well to distribute the zest evenly.
4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F with a rack positioned in the centre.
5. When the batter has rested (or warmed), about 20 minutes, grease a 6-well popover pan with butter or cooking spray designed for high temperature baking.
6. Heat the greased pan in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Once the pan is hot, remove it from the oven, and quickly close the oven door to retain the heat. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the remaining melted butter into each popover well. Give the batter a gently stir, then distribute evenly between the six wells. Sprinkle with the Parmesan-lemon mixture. Top with a quick grind of black pepper.
8. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking for another 30 minutes. They will emerge tall and golden brown. Serve immediately.

100x100_Charmian Christie Charmian Christie is a cookbook author and food writer whose wants to mess up your kitchen so she won’t be alone in the chaos.

Honey Panna Cotta with Oat Crumble

One of my absolute favourite words in French is “rayon de miel,” meaning honeycomb. In my mind, it’s synonymous with sunshine, warm weather and spring leading to summer. The days are getting longer and the temperature is slowly rising, and with the warm weather, the farmer’s market stands will soon be bursting with local fruits and veggies.

Honeycomb is like candy. You can cut off a piece and chew it, and every bite releases a little more honey that is tucked away inside (yes, you can eat it all, even the wax). It makes a beautiful garnish for all kinds of desserts, like this simple panna cotta, or even fancy tarts and ice cream cakes.

This panna cotta is refreshing and bursting with the intense, sweet flavour of honey. It’s a dessert to celebrate spring and all the gorgeous weather to come. I encourage you to invest in a good quality honey from your local farmer’s market because the intense flavour is perfect for this kind of dessert. I get mine from the same farm stand as my maple syrup, and they also conveniently sell the prettiest honeycomb, perfect to garnish the honey panna cotta before serving. You could get away without making the crumble topping, but why would you? That crumbly, crisp topping is a welcome contrast with the creamy panna cotta. If you’re short on time, I suggest purchasing some granola or crumbling up some shortbread cookies over top.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

For the honey panna cotta:
Canola oil, to grease inside of jelly moulds or ramekins
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup wild flower honey
2 cups 2% milk
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
1 1/2 packets gelatin powder (such as Knox) (note: each packet contains approximately 1 Tbsp gelatin)
For the honey oat crumble
¼ cup pecan halves, chopped fine
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup large flake oats
2 pinches salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp wild flower honey

For serving:
Wild flower honey for drizzling over top
Honeycomb and berries for garnish

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Directions:
1. First, make the honey panna cotta. Brush six 125-ml ramekins or jelly molds with canola oil and set aside on a tray.
2. In a medium saucepan, place honey, cream, milk and the seeds of half a vanilla bean (if using). Sprinkle gelatin over top and let stand 10 minutes off heat.
3. Place the saucepan on a burner and heat on medium-low, whisking constantly until the gelatin has dissolved (125°F). Strain the mixture into a 4-cup measurer or a large spouted jug. Let stand 30 minutes, whisking every so often, then divide between the prepared jelly molds and transfer the tray of panna cottas to the fridge. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, if not overnight.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the honey oat crumble. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine the finely chopped pecans with the flour, oats, salt and cardamom. Work the softened butter into the dry mixture using your fingertips, and then add the honey. Continue working until the mixture resembles a fine crumble.
6. Transfer the crumble to the prepared baking sheet and bake until a deep golden brown, approximately 15 minutes, stirring every so often and breaking up any large clumps of crumble as needed. Let cool completely.
7. When you’re ready to serve, you can easily serve the panna cottas in the jelly molds but since you greased the molds first, you can also loosen the edges carefully with a sharp, thick knife and then invert each panna cotta onto a plate and serve with a drizzling of honey, lots of crumble topping, berries and pieces of honeycomb.

Janice Lawandi Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.

Kid-Friendly Sammys on a Stick

Kids love to eat with their hands and, admittedly, grown-ups do as well. When it comes to eating foods on a stick, the options are endless. From sandwiches to fruit and brownies, stick foods allow kids to have fun while eating. They can even create their very own masterpiece. Put out a bowl of prepared ingredients and let everyone have fun building their meal.

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Here is how we make sammys on a stick.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4

Ingredients:

1 bun, bagel, bread, pita or croissant, cut into small chunks
½ cup leftover cooked meat, cubed or 2 pieces deli meat, cut into thin strips
½ cup hard cheese, cubed or small bocconcini balls
¼ cup pepper, seeded and cut into squares
¼ cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup cucumber, cut into chunks
½ cup lettuce, torn into smaller pieces
Wooden skewers

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Directions:
1. Start adding your ingredients to your skewers in whatever order you like. Leave a little room at each end of the skewer to give you something to hold on to.

Tips:

1. When prepping your ingredients, be sure to cube and cut everything similar in size.
2. If you like butter, cream cheese or pesto on your bun, spread a little on to the pieces before skewering.
3. If your wooden skewers are long, cut them smaller for little hands, and to fit into lunch boxes.

100x100_Wanda Baker Wanda Baker is a busy mom of 2 who blogs about food and adventures in Calgary and beyond.

Salad Niçoise with Dijon Lemon Dressing: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

Briny and bright, this take on a classic French bistro salad is a cornucopia of flavours and colours that doesn’t require extra primping to make a big statement at the table. Here, I’ve made it the traditional way with olives, capers and good quality, oil-packed jarred tuna, and again with a filet of smoked trout, which gives it an extra layer of richness and smokiness.

It looks great neatly organized in rows, breaking up the colours by ingredient with the fish taking centre stage. No matter how you present it, it’s going to be good, so just go for it.

From the delicate and crunchy French green beans and tender potatoes, to the ping of the garlicky Dijon lemon dressing, this is one beefy (but beef-less) salad you’ve got to make.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Assembly Time: 2 minutes
Serves: 4

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Salad Niçoise with Tuna

Ingredients:
1 jar oil-packed tuna, drained
1 lb. small potatoes, cooked until tender
2 cups French green beans, trimmed and blanched
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 Tbsp capers
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
Fresh dill, to taste
3-4 salt-packed anchovies (optional)

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Salad Niçoise with Smoked Trout

Ingredients:
1 medium filet smoked trout, chopped
1 lb. small potatoes, cooked until tender
2 cups French green beans, trimmed and blanched
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 Tbsp capers
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
Fresh dill, to taste
3-4 salt-packed anchovies (optional)

Dijon lemon dressing (adapted from Saveur):
1 clove garlic
? cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

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Directions:
1. On a cutting board, mince garlic and sprinkle with coarse salt. Using the flat side of the knife, press the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallots, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. On a serving platter or in a large bowl, arrange the butter lettuce on the bottom and then line up ingredients neatly in rows. Drizzle with Dijon lemon dressing and more salt and pepper just before serving.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Three New Series Premiering This Weekend

A new sweet six-part series Spring Baking Championship takes eight superbly talented bakers and has them create their best treats for Mother’s Day, weddings, picnics and other delicious springtime get togethers.

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Bobby Deen is back as host and judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale return as the expert panel of judges for this baking championship, who we saw team up for Holiday Baking Championship.  Whichever baker whips, ices, sprinkles and bakes the best will walk away with $50,000 and the title. Spring Baking Championship premieres Sunday, April 26 at 9 E/P.

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Get details on the talented group of competing bakers here.

What Cutthroat Kitchen lacks in sweetness it makes up in sabotage. But now there’s even more sabotage (yes, hard to believe) with a special series Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious. Especially evil former competitors – the ones who were almost too diabolical – return to see who has the skills and stomach to be the most evil. This special five-part tournament premieres Sunday, April 26 at 10 E/P right after Spring Baking Championship. Just think of it like having dessert first and then sabotage for your main dish!

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What IS Alton Brown going to do with that duct tape?

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Food Network celebrity chefs competing on Chopped: All Stars from left to right: Madison Cowan (Guy’s Grocery Games judge and Kitchen Inferno chef); Cat Cora (Iron Chef on Iron Chef America) and Jet Tila (regular Cutthroat Kitchen judge).

A roster of super talented chefs, who you’ll recognize as former Top Chef , Kitchen Inferno and Iron Chef America competitors, will enter the Chopped kitchen to compete in a special Chopped: All Stars  tournament. We’ve seen these chefs turn out amazing dishes and win culinary battles before but how well will they do with bizarre mystery ingredients and the ticking Chopped clock? The special five-part tournament premieres Tuesday, April 28 at 10 E/P.

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Former Top Chef competitors crossing the aisle to enter the Chopped kitchen (clockwise from top left): Antonia Lofaso, Dale Talde, Marcel Vigneron, Hung Huynh, Lee Anne Wong, Fabio Viviani. 

For the full network schedule, visit the schedule page here.

Mini Zucchini Pizzas with Pepperoni

If you put pepperoni and melted cheese on something, you’ve got about an 80 percent chance that it’s going to taste good. And these baked zucchini bites are a fun and healthier alternative to pizza.

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Mini Zucchini Pizzas with Pepperoni

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 1-4

Ingredients:

Zucchini slices
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
Pepperoni
Tomato (seeds removed)
Red onion
Basil

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Directions:

1. Cut your zucchini slices about half an inch thick.
2. To remove moisture, generously salt both sides and allow to rest in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400F°.
4. After the zucchini has rested, wipe off salt and squeeze between paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
5. Place zucchini on baking sheet.
6. Spread a spoonful of pizza sauce on each slice, followed by some shredded cheese (I used cheddar), a slice or two of pepperoni, some tomato slices with seeds removed, and some slices of red onion.
7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and the top of the zucchini pizzas start to brown.
8. Garnish with fresh basil and serve!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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The Double Grilled Cheese with Havarti and Balsamic Jelly

Between the Classic Grilled Cheese, the Artisan Grilled Cheese and the three, four or even five cheese varieties, you start to lose track of how many types you’ve tried. That was when it finally dawned on me: I had never had a grilled cheese made on cheese bread! I know it must exist, but for whatever reason I’d never tasted it.

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To make the perfect cheese-bread grilled cheese, I recommend using a bread made with cheddar cheese. It has that perfect subtle savoury greasiness that makes this sandwich a perfect afternoon indulgence.

To help cut through some of that richness, we’ve added balsamic glazed mushrooms. I love making three or four times as many mushrooms than I plan on using them and save them for salads, pizzas or even more grilled cheese sandwiches later in the week. Among all the grilled cheese we sampled so far this month, this still remains one of the favourites.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 slices cheese bread
4 Havarti cheese slices or 1 cup shredded Havarti cheese
1 cup sliced mushroom caps
1 Tbsp balsamic jelly (or balsamic vinegar combined with 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
Kosher salt

Directions:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter until it is melted. Add the mushrooms and begin to sauté. Once browned, add a little salt and the balsamic jelly or balsamic vinegar mixed with brown sugar. Sauté for an additional minute.
2. Using a second skillet or wiping out the first one with paper towel, heat the remaining tablespoons of butter.
3. Assemble the sandwiches by dividing the cheese and mushrooms between two slices of bread and topping off the sandwiches with the remaining slice.
4. Add the sandwiches to the skillet in a single layer and cook until both sides are golden and the cheese is melted, about three minutes per side.
5. Slice in half and serve.

10 Great Seafood Joints from Coast to Coast

People always assume that if a city isn’t a stone’s throw away from the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean that it couldn’t possibly serve dishes with fresh seafood. Obviously, if you’re located on a coast, you’re going to have easy access to fresh seafood. But most respectable restaurants these days can have top-notch seafood flown in to them the same day it’s caught. Whether you’re looking for a platter of freshly shucked oysters or a perfectly seared fillet of halibut, these 10 seafood-focused restaurants will not let you down.

Bacalao (St John’s, NFLD)
There’s a lot of seafood to enjoy on the menu here, but cod will forever be a staple of Newfoundland cuisine. Try it in a variety of applications, like a seared fillet with cauliflower puree, mixed into a dipping sauce for crispy calamari or, for the more adventurous, a cod tongue salad with bacon, beets and walnut oil.

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Whalesbone: Risotto

Blue Water Cafe (Vancouver, BC)
Located in the Yaletown area of Vancouver, this is the place to go if you’re looking for refined service and well-prepared seafood. Start off small with a fresh smoked salmon terrine or tuna carpaccio before moving on to the main courses, which could be anything from sturgeon or ling cod, to lobsters and crabs fresh out of the tank. I’ll take that one, please, and I think I’ll name him Sebastian.

Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar (Calgary, AB)
A fixture of the Calgary food scene for over 12 years, Catch has had a long legacy of chefs work in its kitchen, including Top Chef Canada season three’s Nicole Gomes. With Chef Dan Norcott running the show now, he keeps the bar as high as ever when it comes to the food. Plates like the spot prawn salad with citrus and endive or the seared halibut with potato pave, peas and asparagus are almost too pretty to eat. Almost!

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Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar: Halibut (left) and Spot Prawn Salad (right)

Five Fishermen (Halifax, NS)
In a historic building that’s nearly 200 years old, the restaurant itself hasn’t been serving food quite that long, but is a staple of the Nova Scotia dining scene nonetheless. There’s a lot to offer on Fishermen’s long menu, but if you want plate of seafood upon seafood, then the lobster-stuffed scallops or the crab-crusted haddock will probably catch your eye.

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Five Fishermen: Lobster Pasta (left) and Lobster Roll (right)

Rock Lobster (Toronto, ON)
Lobster poutine, lobster rolls, lobster boils, lobster mac ‘n cheese… The list of the ways in which you can devour some delicious east coast lobster goes on and on at any of the three locations for this small seafood-centric empire. Rock Lobster’s chef and host of the new Super Snack Bros Matt Dean Pettit, aims to keep his food fun in the lively restaurant atmosphere. The Rock Lobster cookbook also came out recently, so if you want some lobster inspiration at home, this book has got you covered.

Rodney’s Oyster House (Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto)
With two locations in Vancouver, one in Calgary and one in Toronto, this oyster house restaurant chain is slowly popping up across the country. The restaurants are mostly known for their fresh oysters when it comes to food, but the real charm of a true Rodney’s lies in its friendly wait staff that have very friendly tableside manners. Who doesn’t enjoy a little special attention every once and awhile?

The RawBar at The Fairmont Pacific Rim (Vancouver, BC)
This Japanese-style restaurant composes beautiful plates of sushi for guests of the hotel and hungry Vancouverites alike in the heart of downtown. It doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a plate of sashimi for a light bite or something more filling like the smoked sablefish, every single seafood protein on the menu is 100% Ocean Wise-certified. No easy feat for a restaurant that’s all seafood!

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RawBar: Sushi Platter

Sobo (Tofino, BC)
One of the features of this tiny west coast town’s food scene (which is surprisingly substantial, considering its size), Sobo is bursting at the seams with good, honest food that perfectly highlights seafood caught in the waters just a couple blocks away.

The fish tacos is arguably the most famous dish here, but the smoked wild salmon chowder is perfect for any rainy day, and the broiled oysters are also memorably delicious. Just thinking about them makes me want to have one right now.

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 Sobo: Broiled Oyster (left) and Chowder (right)

The Whalesbone (Ottawa, ON)
With its original seafood shop location and now a sister oyster bar, you can either pop by for a simple sandwich or chowder at the shop or come by with friends, have a drink, some oysters and order off the concise dinner menu at the bar, which offers dishes like scallop ceviche and fish cake banh mi.

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Whalesbone: Oysters (left) and Seared Fish Fillet (right)

YEW (Vancouver, BC)
The many ways Ned Bell works with sustainable seafood (they’re 100% Ocean Wise-approved) here keeps people coming back again and again. There’s the award-winning chowder with smoked cod and candied sablefish, crispy-shelled lobster tacos with maple and lime, albacore tuna with pork belly and a whole lot more. What’s even cooler, YEW launched a new cocktail program earlier this year with an entire list of drinks inspired by the different oceans of the world. A drink inspired by the Rock of Gibraltar? Don’t mind if I do!

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YEW: Scallops and Shrimp Dish

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Coconut Pancakes

I thought pancakes would be the death of me! I could never get them cooked through without being burned on the outside, or they would just stick to the pan. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who barely has the patience to watch batter bake, but this formula for gluten-free vegan coconut pancakes might just be fool proof. Feel free to leave out the coconut and add any other fillings you like.

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Ingredients (makes 6-8 pancakes):
1 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp egg replacer powder
2 Tbsp water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp shredded coconut

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Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 250°F and place a parchment covered baking sheet in the oven. This is where you’ll keep the finished pancakes warm until you’re done and ready to serve.
2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon with a fork until combined. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together egg replacer powder with water, then add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the shredded coconut and stir just a few times to get the mixture combined, but don’t over mix.
4. Heat a non-stick pan to medium and use a paper towel to spread a light coating of coconut oil on the surface, then scoop 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture into the pan. You’re looking for the surface to bubble, then flip. The other side should take 1-2 minutes.
5. Serve the pancakes with warm maple syrup, another sprinkling of shredded coconut and grated raw cacao on top with a bit of vegan butter. Happy stacking!

Tip: Let your maple syrup bottle sit in hot water while you make the pancakes! Then you’ll be serving warm syrup instead of cold.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

Why choose between blueberry muffins and coffee cake, when you can have both? In this simple breakfast recipe, the moist buttermilk cake and crunchy streusel topping are merged with bursts of sweet, juicy blueberries throughout. Enjoy a piece of this muffin-like cake for breakfast, or in the afternoon with a cup of coffee.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Serves: 10-12

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (room temperature)
¾ cup sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries

Streusel Topping:
¼ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ stick cold butter

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. Coat inside of 8?x8? pan with butter, then dust with flour.
3. Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl, beat until light and fluffy. Then beat in one egg and vanilla extract.
5. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together.
7. In three parts, mix dry ingredients and buttermilk into wet ingredients (add ? of dry + ? of the buttermilk and mix until combined, the repeat two more times).
8. Gently mix blueberries into dough, and then spread dough evenly in baking pan.

Begin making streusel topping:
1. Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. In chunks, mix in butter with a fork or beater until you get a clumpy mixture.
3. Spread streusel topping on coffee cake.
4. Bake cake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when piercing center of cake.
5. Allow cake to rest 10 minutes before enjoying!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

There’s nothing quite like slow-melted butter turned slightly brown and nutty, wafting throughout the house to whet the palate and get you excited about dinner. But when you toss a few fresh sage leaves into the mix, you’ve got an incredibly easy and delicious sauce that’s ready in less than 10 minutes.

This super-fast meal is both elegant and simple to throw together and thanks to a few last-minute flourishes — like a generous dusting of your best-quality parmesan and toasted pine nuts — this minimal-ingredient dish suddenly becomes restaurant worthy.

Tip: While you can certainly make your own gnocchi, this sauce works well on the packaged version.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

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Fried Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, toast pine nuts over low heat until golden, being careful not to burn, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In another skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add gnocchi in a single layer and fry on one side until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Gently flip and fry one the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add fried gnocchi and lemon zest to the pan with the brown butter sage sauce and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

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Gnocchi with Chili Brown Butter Sauce & Crispy Sage

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Add gnocchi and chili flakes to the pan and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve immediately.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Vegan Grilled Cheese & Beef Sandwich with Sriracha Ketchup

Now this creation is going out to John who always tells me how he grew up on two things: beef and cheese. His mom once made these sandwiches that were made of cheddar cheese, ground beef, and white bread, because that’s all she had on hand. Of course, John and his siblings loved the sandwiches so it became a regular meal.

It’s about time we made a vegan version, but this one is spiced up a little, because we’re adults now!

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Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich):
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped pickled jalapeños
1/2 cup meatless ground round
1/4 tsp chili powder
Pinch sea salt
1/3 of a block, Daiya jalapeño havarti wedge
2 slices sourdough bread
2 tsp vegan butter
1 Tbsp ketchup
1-2 tsp Sriracha

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Directions:
1. In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onion and olive oil for 2 minutes until soft. Add pickled jalapeños, meatless ground round, chili powder and a pinch of sea salt, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Push this mixture to the side of the pan to make room for the bread.
2. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place one slice, butter side down, into the pan.
3. Place thin slices of jalapeño havarti wedge on the bread, covering it generously. Then scoop the meatless ground round mixture on top. Place the other slice of bread, butter side up, on top of that.
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip the sandwich carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
5. Serve with ketchup mixed with Sriracha for dipping.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Healthy and Easy Chickpea Coconut Curry

The perfect balance between spicy and savoury, this dish is packed with hearty goodness, thanks to the chickpeas, fresh herbs and coconut milk. Considering you can make it basically out of canned food (which is great if you’re crunched for time), it’s surprisingly easy too.

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Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tsp of fresh grated ginger
2 1/2 tsp medium curry powder
1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
3 small tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes)
3/4 cup vegetable stock (I used the juice from my canned tomatoes)
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced (I used one small can of canned mushrooms)
1 large can of chickpeas (450ml), drained
4-6 oz creamed coconut (depending on how much you want to tame the heat of the curry)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro plus extra unchopped for garnish

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Directions:
1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, combine your olive oil, garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, cilantro (just the first 3 tsp), and paprika. Lightly fry and be careful not to burn. Add your vegetable stock and tomatoes and continue to fry for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Take your frying pan ingredients and transfer into a food processor and blend into a liquid until completely smooth.
3. In the meantime, fry up your onion for 3 minutes, add your mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes, then add back your now pureed frying pan ingredients and sauté for another 4 minutes. Add your chickpeas and over a medium-low heat, simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If you find you need more sauce, add a bit more vegetable stock (or in my case, tomato stock).
4. Turn off your heat, and add your creamed coconut. Feel free to add more or less, just add about 2 oz at a time, taste and add more until you get the taste you desire.
5. Top with the last 3 Tbsp of fresh cilantro, dish up & eat! This dish would be great served with naan bread as well.

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100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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