How to Make Berry Tea Popsicles

How to make Berry Popsicles

Nothing much beats the thirst-quenching bliss that comes from sipping on a cold and sweaty beaded glass of iced tea on a hot summer’s day — except when you turn that same glass of iced tea into a cold berry popsicle.

Stay cool this summer by making these easy and refreshing pops; just add a handful of fresh, plump, in-season strawberries and blueberries to some ready-made, subtlety-sweet raspberry tea for a bright and healthy treat bursting with juicy flavours and an intense pop of colour.

How to make Fresh Berry Tea Popsicles

Berry Tea Popsicles

Makes: 8 Popsicles

Ingredients:
6 to 8 large strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup Pure Leaf Raspberry Iced Tea (or you can use unflavoured iced tea)

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients and pour into popsicle maker and freeze until ready.

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.

12 Farm-to-Table Restaurants Celebrating Canadian Cuisine

This Canada Day we should be celebrating the restaurants highlighting the fresh and local ingredients surrounding them. A hyper-local menu (very similar to local food and is in many ways the same thing) will taste differently on the west coast of Canada compared to the heart of the prairies, but our vast and diverse landscape is what makes this country so great.

Here are 12 must-try restaurants from coast to coast that do right by the farm-to-table approach and serve some pretty tasty food, too.

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Chives Bistro: Crab Cakes

Chives Canadian Bistro (Halifax, NS)

One of the institutions of the Halifax dining scene, Chives Bistro and owner Craig Flinn have always stayed true to the “work with what’s around you” mentality when it comes to their menu. Naturally, you’ll find some fresh East Coast lobster being offered here, but also a ton of local produce, Nova Scotia cheeses and more.

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Fable Kitchen

Fable Kitchen (Vancouver, BC)

With a name like “Fable” that merges the words “Farm” and “Table” into one, you’d better hope that the restaurant places an emphasis on knowing where their ingredients come from. Top Chef Canada’s Trevor Bird and his kitchen team work with a long list of B.C. producers onshore and offshore, receiving whole halves of beef or lamb and butchering them down in-house. Getting a side of the signature house-made bacon is a must when you’re popping by for brunch on the weekend!

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Farmhouse Tavern

Farmhouse Tavern (Toronto, ON)

When it comes to a meal here, diners looks to a chalkboard with an ever-changing list of options that go along with the season. In terms of libations to enjoy with the hyper-local menu, expect local craft beers and a nice list of VQA wines from the Niagara area.

Fusion Grill (Winnipeg, MB)

Though the name may not really imply it, Fusion Grill’s thought process with food is “local, local, local,” through and through. On the menu you’ll find Manitoba grass-fed beef (a protein that is not overly common in the city), pike, bison and even a variety of cold-pressed canolas used in various dishes that are specific to the Manitoba region.

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Fusion Grill

Langdon Hall (Cambridge, ON)

Hyper local has never looked quite as beautiful as (if you don’t believe me, check out his Instagram right this second: @langdonhallchef) the food coming out of Langdon Hall’s kitchen. If you’re looking to splurge a bit on local, foraged and good quality cuisine, then head to the proper restaurant, but those looking for something a little more casual then Wilks’ Bar on the same property, which has the same mentality but with more approachable fare.

Mallard Cottage (St. John’s NFLD)

Top Chef Canada season one alumnus Todd Perrin embodies Newfoundland cuisine in an old character cottage that (through much blood, sweat and tears) was transformed into a restaurant just outside the heart of St. John’s.
Like Farmhouse Tavern, the menu is ever-changing, but don’t be surprised to see uniquely Newfoundland ingredients like seal or salt beef popping up on the menu. To stay up-to-date with what Perrin is cooking up, check out his Instagram: @mallardcottagechef.

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Mission Hill: Halibut

Mission Hill Winery (Kelowna, BC)

In terms of location, the Okanagan offers one of the best growing seasons in Canada, which also means having access to locally grown produce almost all year round is sort of like a chef’s dream come true. Aside from working closely with a long list of Okanagan producers, the winery restaurant chef Chris Stewart also cares for the large on-site garden that has everything from herbs to peach trees and huckleberries (say, what?). All of these things will end up on the menu at Mission Hill in some shape or form.

It’s also pretty tough to beat the view while dining on the terrace here, especially when the sun begins to set and a light breeze comes up from Lake Okanagan.

Prairie Harvest Cafe (Saskatoon, SK)

I’ve mentioned this cozy Saskatchewan restaurant before because of their great weekend brunch, but one of the main reasons why most Saskatoonians (myself included) love Prairie Harvest is because they work closely with the city’s farmers’ markets to use local products like beef, pork, lake fish like trout and more.

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River Cafe: Fiddlehead Soup

RGE RD (Edmonton, AB)

The name of the restaurant itself is an ode to the country roads (range roads) that you can find in the Prairie Provinces; roads that cross over hundreds of kilometres of farmers’ fields. As it implies, RGE is all about using the best ingredients Alberta has to offer on the plate and showing you how tasty the province can be.

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River Cafe: Octopus Salad

River Cafe (Calgary, AB)

One of the first restaurants in Western Canada to embrace a “local” mentality and definitely the first in Calgary, River Cafe has been a staple of the dining scene since the 1990s. Being around for that long, you’d think the restaurant might have a hard time keeping up with what’s new and trendy, but the food remains as contemporary as ever, and the restaurant continues to be rated as one of the best establishments in the city for years.

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Rouge: Tartare 

Rouge (Calgary, AB)

Much like River Cafe, Rouge has long been a leader in the sustainable sourcing food movement in Calgary. A great sourcing ethic paired with one of the largest and most lush backyard gardens in the prairies means you’ve got a culinary experience worth trying. In the summertime, sit on the restaurant’s back patio while you watch Chef Jamie Harling and his kitchen staff pop in and out of the heritage home, picking greens and small vegetables to garnish plates with. Garden-to-table — it really doesn’t get fresher than that.

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The Wolf in the Fog

The Wolf in the Fog (Tofino, BC)

When you’re only a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean, it would be a real shame if you didn’t opt for using the beautiful (and sustainable) bounty that’s underneath the waves. The Wolf in the Fog, enRoute’s best new restaurant in Canada for 2014, is big on utilizing local oysters, more meaty underwater delicacies like Humboldt squid, as well as foraged mushrooms from the many forests that surround the beautiful little coastal town that is Tofino.

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.

The Raspberry Refresher Smoothie

This simple, nutritious and refreshing smoothie is the perfect energy boost pre workout or great for replenishing your body post workout. Featuring an electrolyte hydrator packed with the essential electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated when you exercise, you’ll be replacing your regular coffee with this healthy smoothie day in and day out. Feel free to sub any flavour or brand of your choosing, but the berry flavour pairs perfectly with the raspberry and banana.

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Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana
1 packet Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator, berry flavour
1 Tbsp fresh mint
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/4 cup coconut water (or use 1 cup coconut water & 1/4 cup fresh orange juice)
1 cup ice cubes

Directions:
In a Vitamix or high powered blender combine all the ingredients until smooth.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

S’mores Stuffed French Toast

As I was relaxing on my couch after a particularly long day at work, I had s’mores and sandwiches on my mind. Initially I was thinking s’mores sandwich, but that was too strange. But then, the obvious came to mind: S’mores Stuffed French Toast. What you’ll get is the gooiest, most chocolatey, belt-busting French toast you’ve ever tried.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients:
2 Slices of Bread (French, challah or brioche)
4 graham crackers
2 squares Lindt milk chocolate
4-5 marshmallows
Butter
2 eggs
1/8 cup half & half cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of salt

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

Directions:
1. Start off by slicing your bread and crushing up your graham crackers.
2. Then toast your marshmallows by whatever means necessary. I used a blowtorch but you could probably get away with using a gas stovetop, barbecue on high, wood fire or any open flame.
3. Once you’ve toasted your marshmallows, remove the toasted outer layer to put in your French toast. Using just the outsides gives you optimal gooeyness and maximizes that delicious roasted marshmallow flavour.
4. After this is done, whisk your eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl large enough to dip your bread in.
5. Dip your bread into the mixture, allowing it to soak for a few seconds, then place it in the crushed graham crackers, coating each side.
6. When you’ve crusted all your bread with the crushed graham crackers, place your chocolate and marshmallows and top it with the other slice of bread.
7. In a pan on medium heat, add a knob of butter and once properly melted, cook the French toast for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
8. Now slice it open and enjoy the pure decadence.

S'mores Stuffed French Toast

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.

8 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks Kids Will Love

An action-packed schedule can mean big gaps between meals. Resist the lure of the fast food drive-through and fuel after school practice with these belly-filling, good-for-you snacks that are packed with fresh ingredients and loads of nutrition.

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1. Kid-Friendly Sammies on a Stick
Just one of these protein-packed sticks is enough to satiate a hungry belly. Get your kids to help make them ahead of time by letting them pick and choose which ingredients they like from the items of your choosing. Nothing beats a homemade snack that they’ve helped make themselves!

2. Rolled Turkey and Apple Quesadillas
Turkey roll-ups get a bit of crunch when thinly-sliced apples are tossed in the mix. These protein-rich, nutritious snacks will keep energy levels up and little tummies satisfied.

3. Veggies with Creamy Chick Pea Onion Dip
Sliced peppers, carrots and celery get an added dose of nutrition with this creamy chickpea dipper you can pack in a container.

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4. Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins
Bake a large batch of these on Sunday and use as breakfast on the move or as a brown-bag snack the whole week. Stuffed with banana, fibre-rich bran and a hint of chocolate, these yummy muffins will be a hit with kids.

5. Grape and Cheese Bites
These fruit and cheese snacks make the perfect on-the-go munchable kids can eat anywhere — whether they’re in the car, at the park or on the bench before practice.

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6. Easy Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so easy to whip up and can be ready to eat in under 10 minutes. Try different variations from week to week. Some combos that kids love, include almond butter and bananas, tuna and cheddar cheese, and chicken and salsa.

7. Warm Banana Roll-Ups
For breakfast or dessert, sweet banana rolls have the built-in bonus of keeping little fingers clean during the chaos of the weekday rush. Just spread cream cheese on to a warm tortilla, place a whole banana on top then roll it up and grill until golden brown. The result? Crispy and warm on the outside and gooey and sweet on the inside.

8. Apple, Carrot and Flax Muffins with Streusel Topping
Kick up the nutritional value of carrot muffins by adding apple and a whack of flax seeds for a hearty and portable snack.

Egg Breakfast Baskets

These egg breakfast baskets eliminate the steps when making a typical breakfast — frying the egg, toasting the bread, cleaning the pan and combining the different ingredients — and instead, this easy recipe brings them all together in one simple dish.

Try sprinkling some shredded cheese or chives on top of the egg spice up this delicious and well-balanced breakfast.

Egg Breakfast Baskets

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 slices of soft, 100% whole-wheat sandwich bread
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray four 1-cup ramekins with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet.
2. Place each slice of bread inside a ramekin, pressing gently to tuck it inside the ramekin to make a bread basket. Spray the slices with a little more cooking spray. Break an egg into each bread basket.
3. Bake for 20 minutes until eggs are set. Gently release from the ramekins and serve topped with salt, pepper and paprika.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

Fried Egg Onion Rings

Along with wanting to make onion rings from scratch for quite some time, I had a plan to make Fried Egg Onion Rings. I was ecstatic when I came across this scrumptious looking recipe but I wanted to take it to the next level, thus the desire to bake onion rings was born.

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With this dish, you get that delicious crispy bottom on the egg with its runny yolk when you cut into it, mixed with your crispy fried onion ring. Hello perfect hangover breakfast!

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Baked Onion Rings

Ingredients:
2 yellow onions
1/4 cup flour
1½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Salt
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 eggs

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Directions:
1. Start off by peeling your onions and cutting them into approximately ½-inch wide slices. Get 3 bowls for your breading station. In a bowl, combine flour, garlic powder and table salt. Put your panko crumbs in a bowl and scramble 3 eggs in another bowl.
2. To bread the onion rings, dip them in the egg, lightly coating them, then into the flour and into the egg once again, and finally into the panko. Then place the breaded onion rings on a pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat this process until you have breaded all your onion rings.
3. If you don’t have the patience or are feeling a little lazy, put all of your onions in a large plastic bowl, pouring some egg onto them, mixing them around until they are lightly coated. Move rings to a separate bowl, then pour your flour mix onto them, mixing until well coated. Once you’ve done this, dip them individually in the leftover egg wash and into the panko crumbs.
4. Once all your onions are breaded and placed on your baking sheet, give them a generous coating of cooking spray to help brown them, and bake on 450°F for 20-25 minutes or until they’ve browned, flipping halfway through.

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Fried Egg Onion Rings

Ingredients:
Batch of onion rings
Eggs
Butter

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Directions:
1. Once you have your onion rings, get a pan on medium heat and add butter.
2. Place your onion rings in the pan and slowly pour the cracked eggs into the centre of each onion ring, allowing the bottoms to cook quickly as they hit the pan, forming a seal to keep the rest of your eggs in.
3. Cover your pan and cook until the egg whites have solidified.

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.

Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Slaw and Avocado Crema

Everyone wants to eat a little lighter when it’s hot outside, so we’ve come up with a clever and delicious meat-free meal. Grilled cauliflower, mango slaw and avocado crema come together for a sophisticated vegetarian take on fish tacos, perfect for a family picnic or easy weeknight meal.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: makes 12 tacos

Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Slaw and Avocado Crema

Mango Slaw:
1 cup thinly sliced red onion (approximately ½ an onion)
1 thinly sliced red pepper
1 thinly sliced red mango
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
½ lime, juiced

Avocado Crema:
1 ½ avocados
2 limes, juiced
2/3 cup canned coconut milk
1 garlic clove
1 tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

Grilled Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cumin

Extras:
24 corn tortillas

Directions:
1. In a bowl toss together all the ingredients for the mango slaw and refrigerate until ready to serve tacos.
2. In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the avocado crema until smooth and refrigerate until ready to serve tacos.
3. Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil, minced garlic, chili powder and cumin, and grill for 20 minutes on the barbecue over medium-high heat.
4. Assemble each taco with 2 corn tortillas as a base to prevent tacos from tearing. Place a small amount of mango slaw on the bottom, then a few pieces of grilled cauliflower and top with a dollop or drizzle of avocado crema.
5. Add a squeeze of extra lime on top if desired.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Brandied Strawberries and Coconut Whip

There are many ways to make gluten-free vegan pancakes but buckwheat flour is our new fave! It cooks quickly, holds together without adding other binders and has a delicious nutty taste. Combined with a sweet brandied strawberry sauce and the most perfect coconut whip, you’ll be craving breakfast in bed every day of the week.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 8 pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes with Brandied Strawberries and Coconut Whip

Ingredients:

Brandied Strawberries:
2 cups diced strawberries
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brandy
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
1 tsp water

Buckwheat Pancakes:
1 ½ cups buckwheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp melted vegan butter
2 cups non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp vegan butter (or cooking pancakes)

Coconut Whip:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan bring maple syrup and brandy to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the mixture is bubbling, add in the diced strawberries and lemon juice. Continue to stir occasionally while you bring to a simmer again.
3. Mix together arrowroot flour and water in a small bowl until smooth and add this to the strawberry mixture.
4. Continue to stir occasionally while simmering for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside while you make pancakes.
5. Bring a non-stick pan to medium heat and combine the pancake batter ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined.
6. You may need to waver between medium and medium-low heat to keep the pancakes cooking evenly. Place a little bit of vegan butter in the centre of the pan and pour 1/3 cup of batter per pancake. It’s best to cook 1-2 pancakes at a time depending on the size of your pan, for about 2 minutes per side.
7. You must use a can of full-fat coconut milk for the coconut whip and have it already refrigerated, so it’s really cold and the thick cream is separated from the liquid. Another tip is to place the beaters from your hand mixer and a stainless steel bowl in the freezer in advance of preparing the coconut whip.
8. When you open the can of coconut milk, scoop only the thick cream that is sitting on top into the stainless steel bowl. Do not let any liquid get in the mixture. Beat on high for a couple of minutes until thick and fluffy.
9. Serve the pancakes warm with brandied strawberry sauce and a generous dollop of coconut whip.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Caesar salad is something that non-vegans will swear we can’t re-create. But the truth is, a vegan Caesar salad is SO much healthier for you, you’ll only want to eat this version from now on. It will leave you feeling light, clean, and energized. Feel free to use romaine lettuce instead of kale for an even more traditional salad. We just like to switch it up and get our dark leafy greens in wherever we can. Tempeh bacon makes this more of an entree salad, but you can use coconut bacon for an appetizer version (as seen in right photo). You can also use the coconut bacon in the entree salad for added flavour and texture.

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I like the taste of roasted garlic in a Caesar dressing because it makes it sweeter and less overpowering. In case you don’t know how to roast garlic, just peel the outer layers off the garlic bulb, leaving a thin layer still in tact and cut the top of the bulb off (approx. 1/4 inch from the top) so the cloves are visible. Coat in 1 Tbsp of olive oil (per bulb) and a pinch of sea salt and then bake at 400°F for 35 minutes or until the cloves are browned and soft to the touch.

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Caesar Dressing

Ingredients (makes 2 cups):
3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked for a minimum of 3 hours)
3/4 cup water
1 bulb of roasted garlic (approximately 7-9 cloves. Feel free to do more/less depending on your taste.)
1 pitted medjool date
1 lemon, juice & zest
3 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
1. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse with more water until it runs clear.
2. Place all the ingredients in a vita-mix or high powered blender and mix on high until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving on your salad.

Garlic Croutons

Ingredients:
3 cups cubed bread (your choice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp go veggie! vegan Parmesan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and pepper. Toss the cubed bread in the mixture until well coated. If you’re adding the vegan Parmesan, then toss them in that next.
2. Lay out the bread onto a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes, turning over once in the middle of baking, until golden brown. Depending on the bread you use the time will vary so just keep an eye on them. Gluten-free bread takes longer, approximately 20 minutes. and gluten free bread is always a bit gummy so don’t expect them to be crispy crunchy croutons like when they’re made with regular bread. Italian baguette is our favourite for this recipe.

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Tempeh Bacon

Ingredients:
1 package of tempeh (approximately 250 grams)
1/2 cup tamari (can sub soy sauce or Bragg’s aminos)
1/2 Tablespoon water
1/3 cup liquid smoke
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (for frying)
Extra water for de-glazing the pan

Directions:
1. Thinly slice the tempeh.
2. Whisk together all the liquid ingredients and smoked paprika in a shallow dish that you can use to marinate the tempeh in.
3. Lay the slices of tempeh in the dish and pour in half the sauce. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
4. To cook, heat a non-stick pan to medium and add 1 Tbsp of coconut oil. When it’s heated, add the slices of tempeh.
5. Once the first side starts to brown you’ll want to start de-glazing the pan with left over marinade and a bit of water every so often to prevent them from sticking and to get them really caramelized and browned. Flip the slices and do the same thing on the other side.
6. You might want to use another Tbsp of coconut oil on the other side to get them frying up nice. You’ll start to notice the liquid becoming absorbed and the tempeh getting crispier and stickier. Cook time is approximately 15-20 minutes. Remember, you’re trying to caramelize the tempeh, times may vary.
7. Remove from the heat to cool while you assemble the Caesar salad.
8. All there is left to do is wash and chop your romaine lettuce or kale.

Garnish your Caesar salad with more black pepper, lemon wedges, and additional go veggie! vegan Parmesan if you like! And…I think we might just convert you to being a vegan Caesar salad lover.

Kale tip: If you’re using kale, finely chop it and massage it with your hands in some lemon juice for 3-5 mins. Massaging the kale is actually beneficial. It makes the tough, bitter green sweeter, softer and easier to digest. I like using lemon juice for this salad, but massaging kale with olive oil, lime juice or a pinch of sea salt will wilt it and break it down just the same.

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See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster grilled cheese? Yes, please! Rich meaty lobster chunks, surrounded by melted cheese and toasty buttered bread… This is one rich, tasty sandwich! The idea for this bad boy stemmed from the thought of lobster mac & cheese, which seems to be fairly popular these days.

With that thought delicious combo in mind, I knew I didn’t want to stick with just one cheese, so I mixed in a little creamy, buttery Gouda and some aged cheddar cheese for a stronger cheese flavour. A little mayo on the bread for some zip, some salt & pepper to enhance the flavours, and you’ve got yourselves a winner!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
2 slices french bread (or similar)
1 lobster tail (around ½ a cup of lobster meat)
¼ cup gruyere cheese
? cup gouda cheese
¼ cup aged cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp clarified butter
1-2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Salt & pepper

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Directions:
1. Get a pan on low-medium heat, placing about 1 Tbsp of butter in it. Once butter melts and begins browning, remove film over top of the butter, until most of the milk solids have been removed.
2. While you’re waiting for the butter to clarify, begin preparing your sandwich.
3. Break the lobster tail in half, removing meat and roughly chopping.
4. Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom slice.
5. Shred cheese add ¼ cup gruyere, then an ? cup of gouda.
6. Chop up lobster tail, place on sandwich and add some salt and pepper.
7. Top with ¼ cup of aged cheddar cheese and top slice of bread.
8. Brush both outer sides of sandwich with clarified butter.
9. In a pan on medium heat, fry until golden brown on each side and cheese has melted.

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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.

How to Make Faux Pho

Pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish (pronounced “fuh” with the inflection and not “faux” as it’s commonly mispronounced), has quickly become a go-to comfort food for many. Its distinctive blend of aromatics and, of course, wallet-friendly price point, is a welcoming sight on a cold, miserable night. For those times when venturing out the door is too much of a challenge, here’s a surprisingly easy way to recreate the flavours in less than half an hour in your very own kitchen.

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Faux Pho Broth
Yields enough broth to cook noodles for two people, or make one XL-sized bowl.

Ingredients:
900 ml no sodium-added chicken or beef broth
3 star anise pods
2 teaspoons all-spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha, to taste
Salt, to taste
Package of noodles (Vietnamese rice noodles or Japanese udon)

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Directions:
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a soup pot. Add the anise, all-spice, black pepper, cinnamon. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Season with salt to taste. Drizzle in Sriracha as well if you want a spicy broth.
3. Throw in noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles are tender.
4. Finish with various toppings and serve immediately.

Toppings:

Proteins
Make sure to slice the meat really thinly so that they’re easier to pick up (and eat) with chopsticks.

Grilled chicken
Roast beef or flank steak
Tofu steaks
Peeled shrimp (grilled or boiled in the broth)
Fried or boiled egg sliced in half

Vegetables
Raw veggies add that distinctive watery crunch that contrasts the hot, earthy broth.

Bean sprouts
Green onions
Snow peas or sugar snap peas
Kimchi
Green onions
Corn niblets
Mushrooms (add when the broth is simmering with the spices)
Raw baby kale or spinach leaves
Quick Pickles*

Quick Pickles*

Directions:
1. Simmer sliced cucumbers, julienned carrots, white onion, and daikon in a saucepan with 1/2 cup white vinegar, and a pinch of both salt and sugar for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
3. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Loaded Nacho Grilled Cheese for Game Night

Create a nacho grilled cheese buffet by setting all the ingredients out, and letting people choose the toppings they like. Or create mini grilled cheese by cutting them into little squares, making them perfect for dipping in salsa, sour cream or guacamole. To cook for a large group, use the oven at 450°F, cooking for about 6 minutes on each side.

Loaded-Nacho-Grilled-Cheese-recipe

Ingredients:

2 slices French bread
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa
Tex Mex cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons cooked ground beef
1/8 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 green onion stalk (chopped)
4 to 5 cilantro leaves
1 slice of tomato (diced)
1/4 avocado (diced)
1 to 2 black olives (chopped)
1 tablespoon black beans
1 to 2 slices jalapeno pepper (chopped)
1 to 2 handful nacho flavoured Doritos (crumbled)
1 egg (scrambled)
Butter

Directions:

1. If you don’t have any ground beef, cook that to your liking first (I just used salt, pepper and garlic). Now let’s start with the sandwich: crush all the Doritos and spread them on a plate, dip one side of each bread slice in the egg and then into the Doritos. Once you have done this begin assembling the sandwich with sour cream on one slice, and salsa on the other. Next place a layer of cheese on the bottom slice, then stack on the rest of ingredients and finish with another layer of cheese and your top slice.
2. In a pan on medium heat, add some butter. Once that has melted, place your sandwich in, cooking each side until browned and the cheese is melting. You may want to cover your pan with a lid while it’s cooking to help the cheese melt, since there is so much stuff in the sandwich.
3. Once everything is ooey gooey, slice it in half and enjoy all your favourite nacho toppings in one glorious sandwich. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make your own salsa and guacamole for dipping!

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.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream

This dessert is simple and quick to make, and the combination of smooth vanilla ice cream topped with tender, bourbon-spiked cherries is to die for. Enjoy this boozy treat outside during those hot summer months, after a long day at work.

Cherries Jubilee

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1 pound pitted sweet cherries, halved
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 fluid ounce bourbon
pinch of kosher salt
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream

Directions:
1. In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, combine the cherries, brown sugar, and unsalted butter. Cook gently until the butter and sugar have melted and the cherries begin to release some of their juice. Continue to stir until the mixture is bubbling gently, about five minutes.
2. Stir in the bourbon and kosher salt. Cook for an additional five minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste and let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes.
4. Divide ice cream between six bowls and top with a cherry mixture.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are like eating a brownie, fudge and meringue all at once. In each bite you experience a crunchy, chocolate crackle on the outside, and a soft brownie-like texture on the inside. If you love chocolate as much as we do, this recipe was made for you. The best part is that although they may sound heavy, the lack of flour makes them super light. So take advantage of how easy these chocolate cookies are to put together as soon as your craving hits!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 48

Ingredients:

3 cups  icing sugar
3/4 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease well with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Whisk the icing sugar with the cocoa powder, coffee and salt. Stir in the egg whites and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using). Spoon 12 mounds of batter on to each baking sheet.
3. Bake, on the middle rack, for 13 to 15 minutes or until the tops are shiny and crackled. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Gently peel away the parchment paper.

Notes:

– Let stand for 2 (or up to 20) minutes before baking to make a smoother and shinier cookie.
– Bake one tray at a time on middle rack for best results.
– Store extra cookies in between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

Raw Vanilla Cheesecake with Chocolate Almond Crust

This recipe has been in the bank for a long time and I’ve just never divulged my secret. I keep it in my arsenal and always make it for dinner parties to wow my non-vegan friends! It totally works plus they all feel good after eating it. This healthified dessert is definitely a fan favourite and now I’m sharing this little piece of vegan love with you too. Enjoy!

vanilla-cheesecake-with-chocolate-almond-crust

Makes: 4 x 4 1/2″ cheesecakes

Ingredients:

Chocolate Almond Crust
1 cup raw almonds (soaked at least 3 hours)
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup shredded coconut
8 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling Ingredients
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 3 hours)
1/3 cup agave nectar (or 1/2 C maple syrup for non-raw version)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or the inside of 1 vanilla bean)

Topping
1 cup frozen mixed berries

Directions:

Chocolate Almond Crust
1. Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and blend them into a coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
2. Using your hands, press the dough in an even layer into mini tart pans with removable bottoms. Freeze the crusts for 30 mins and make the cheesecake filling.

Tip: If you don’t care about eating a strictly raw dessert, you can poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork and then bake them for 8-10 minutes at 325°F. The nuts toast up nicely and it gives a yummy overall flavour to the cheesecake that might be more palatable to people who aren’t accustomed to raw food and desserts. Allow the crusts to cool completely before filling them.

Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
1. In a vita-mix or high powered blender, combine all the ingredients until smooth.
2. Remove your crusts from the freezer and pour the filling into them just below the top edge of the crust. Place them back in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set.
3. Before serving the cheesecake allow them to sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. They can keep for a while in the freezer as well.

Topping
For an easy topping you can just thaw frozen mixed berries at room temperature while you wait for the cheesecakes. Alternatively, you can place fresh mixed berries in a bowl with a mixture of 2 parts lemon juice and 1 part raw agave nectar and let this mixture sit for 30 minutes until it becomes soft and juicy.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Gluten-Free Powdered Sugar Doughnuts

Who knew making dreamy little, vegan gluten-free powdered sugar doughnuts could be so easy! And what better way to celebrate National Doughnut Day than with these tiny treats that are much like those Tiny Tom doughnuts you get at the fair every year. By using a ready-made gluten-free flour blend that already contains baking powder and xanthan gum you take all the science and guess work out of gluten-free baking.

vegan-gluten-free-doughnuts-powdered-sugar

Note: This recipe will only work with a flour blend that contains these two ingredients so look for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit & Baking Mix at your grocery store. It’s fairly common as most commercial grocers carry this line of products and have specific gluten-free sections.

Makes 16: Small doughnuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup organic golden sugar (or same as unbleached granulated sugar)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit & Baking Mix)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
½ cup powdered icing sugar

Directions:
1. In a small bowl mix together ground flax and water. Let is sit for 15 minutes in the fridge to thicken.
2. In a mixing bowl combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
3. After letting these 2 components sit for 15 minutes heat up vegetable oil in a pot to 375°F while you prepare the rest of the dough.
4. In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (the other ¼ cup is for rolling out the dough) and mix with cinnamon until well combined.
5. Add the ¼ cup of vegetable oil, vanilla extract, sugar, and flax mixture to the bowl with soy milk and apple cider vinegar and whisk together until well combined.
6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it just comes together into a sticky ball of dough.
7. On a clean, dry surface spread out ¼ cup of the flour and place the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface. Knead the dough into a little bit of this flour as well as ensuring you keep the surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking. It will become a little less sticky to handle as you incorporate a bit more of this flour into it.
8. Pat the dough down with your hand until it’s ½” thick.
9. Cut 2 ½” circles from this dough. Being sure to lightly coat the cookie cutter with excess flour on the counter.
10. Bring the excess dough together in a ball again, ensure you’ve spread out a bit more of the excess flour across your surface/counter and flatten the dough again to ½” thick and continue to cut out circles. After this second round of cutting out circles you should be left with just enough dough to make one or 2 more doughnuts with your hands.
11. To make the center hole you can light coat the thicker end of a chopstick with a bit of excess flour. Then stick it through the middle of the circles and roll it around a little to create a small ¼” hole.
12. Place powdered sugar into a shallow dish and have it near your frying oil. You’re going to sugar the doughnuts right out of the fryer.
13. Ensure your oil has reached a temperature of 375°F and place 2 to 3 doughnuts in the hot oil. After about 1 minute they should be floating at the surface. Using a slotted frying spoon gently flip them. Then let them fry for another 1 ½ minutes until golden.
14. Lift them out with the slotted frying spoon allowing excess oil to drip onto paper towel. You can let them sit for a few seconds but you want to get them powdered with sugar pretty immediately while they’re still hot. Roll the doughnuts around in the powdered sugar until coated evenly and place them on a separate clean plate. Continue this process until all the doughnuts are fried.
15. It’s best to eat these immediately while they’re still warm!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Bacon Cheese Puffs

Is there any food combination better than bacon and cheese? If you want an appetizer that will have everyone wanting seconds (and thirds), look no further. These amazing little puffs pack big, bold flavour into one tasty bite: light and flaky choux pastry is filled with a mouth-watering dip that combines Pepper Jack and Parmesan with crispy bacon. Feel free to serve this dip on the side and allow your guests to dip right in!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 60 bites

cheesy bacon puff pastry bites

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
3/4 cup water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 eggs

Cheesy Bacon Dip:
7 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

Choux Pastry:
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour with salt, set aside.
2. Bring water and butter to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Remove saucepan from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, set over medium heat until mixture forms a ball and coats the pan with a thin film.
3. Transfer to stand mixer bowl. Mix with paddle attachment until cool. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue beating until dough is shiny and smooth.
4. Spoon into piping bag fitted with 1/4-inch (6 mm) plain tip. Pipe 1-inch (25 cm) rounds, 2-inches (50 cm) apart onto prepared pans.
5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Reduce heat to 350°F, continue to bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Turn oven off and let the choux puffs cool for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Cheesy Bacon Dip:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Cool completely and crumble.
2. In the same skillet, set over medium heat, cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until softened. Let cool completely. Stir onion mixture with bacon, Pepper Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese and mayonnaise until combined.
3. Split the puffs and fill each with 1 tsp (5 mL) dip. Arrange on prepared pans. Bake for 10 minutes or until filling heats through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Notes: Pepper Jack is Monterey Jack cheese flavoured with jalapeno peppers. Substitute Havarti cheese spiced with jalapeno if you like.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

New Potato Skillet with Baked Eggs

This hearty New Potato Skillet with Baked Eggs one pan dinner, inspired by the classic diner breakfast, is simple, full of flavour and very satisfying.

new-potato-skillet

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp(15 mL) canola oil
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 lb (1 kg) new potatoes, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp(15 mL) fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp  (1 mL) pepper
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken broth
1 tomato, cut into chunks
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh shelled peas
4 eggs

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook the bacon for 7 minutes or until crisp. Transfer half the bacon, using a slotted spoon, to a paper-towel lined plate. Add the potatoes, onion, thyme and half the salt and pepper to the skillet.
2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned. Stir in the spinach, broth and tomato. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
3. Stir in the peas. Create 4 small divots in the potato mixture. Cracks an egg into each divot. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness. Sprinkle with reserved, crisp bacon. Serve immediately.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake is one of those popular desserts you can make all year round. What I love most about this cake it that it isn’t cloyingly sweet — with a hint of cinnamon and the thick cream cheese frosting, the flavours really blend well together. Thus creating a dessert that can calm anyone’s sweet tooth, but not be too much.

This recipe is so simple, anyone can make this cake. Don’t be afraid to dabble in the art of baking. This recipe will be so easy, you will make it over and over again!

carrot cake loaf

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cup non fat Greek yogourt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded carrots
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in oil and yogurt. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Slowly pour in the buttermilk then stir in the shredded carrots.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
4. Let cake cool completely before frosting. To make the cream cheese icing, beat together the softened cream cheese and remaining 4 Tbsp butter. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Spread frosting all over the top of the cooled carrot cake loaf.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.