Category Archives: Comfort Food

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry is the Easiest Healthy Comfort Food

Are you craving a warming, deeply delicious curry that is slow-cooked to perfection? This coconut chicken curry has the bold, creamy flavours we love in restaurant versions, but is a cinch to make at home, and far healthier. The method is as simple as adding ingredients to your slow cooker and setting the timer – you come home to a beautifully cooked meal that’s especially satisfying to eat as the weather gets chilly. Served on a bed of whole grain quinoa or rice and topped with refreshing cilantro, it’s healthy comfort food done right.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes on high, 8 hours 10 minutes on low
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
1 heaping cup of baby spinach
Warm cooked quinoa, for serving
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Curry ingredients

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients except baby spinach, quinoa and cilantro in a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix well to combine, cover and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

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2.  When ready to serve, open the lid and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Ladle curry over cooked quinoa or rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Serve.

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Spicy-hot curry is all about the cooling condiments. Smooth things out with this refreshing mint, yogurt and cucumber raita.

Looking for more slow cooker ideas? Try these tasty chicken slow cooker recipes.

a bowl of vegan celery soup on a black countertop

7 Ways to Make Your Soups Creamy Without Dairy

During winter’s bitter, blustery days, a warming pot of soup is top of mind. If you’re craving a rich and comforting soup without adding the heaviness of cream, you’ve got plenty of options in your crisper or pantry. It’s time to think outside the box (or carton) with these seven easy, dairy-free thickeners.

a bowl of vegan celery soup on a black countertop

Creamy soups, like this vegan cream of celery soup, don’t have to be loaded with fat or heavy cream.

1. In A Slurry
When it comes down to it, some creamy soups are just white sauces with more liquid added. Building a roux from flour and butter (or margarine), cooking for a few minutes to remove the raw flour flavour, and adding chicken or vegetable stock will give you a sturdy soup without a whisper of cream. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is mixed with a few tablespoons of liquid and then stirred into the soup after it has come to a boil. Either way, the tricks you use to thicken a gravy — flour pastes, cornstarch slurries or even add-ins such as arrowroot or tapioca — can give your soup a thicker mouth feel.

2. Koo Koo For Coconuts 
For creaminess without cream, full-fat coconut milk will add a luscious sheen and body to your broth (you can use low-fat if you must, but it won’t give you as much richness). In Thai cuisine, coconut milk is added to flavourful curry pastes to produce creamy soups that pack a punch, such as this Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup. If coconuts aren’t your thing, try subbing in soy or nut milk instead, although your soup will be a little thinner in consistency.

3. Against The Grains
Anyone who has ever made a Chinese congee knows the thickening power of rice — absorbing liquid and releasing starch to add a velvety texture when cooked. Add half a cup of rice at the beginning of the simmering period for your soup, and blend when the grains have plumped out. Pressed for time? Try using quick cooking rice instead to shorten the simmering time needed.

4. The Power Of Spuds
Don’t forget the humble potato — adding just one can add significant body and creaminess to your soup. Peel your spud if you desire, or leave it unpeeled and well scrubbed if you’re pureeing the soup afterwards. Just be warned that unless you’re using a full blender, you may end up with visible bits of potato skin sprinkled throughout. A smaller dice or thin slices will help the potato break down quicker in the boiling liquid. Sweet potato or yam can also be used, but keep in mind it will affect the colour of your finished product. You can also raid the fridge for yesterday’s mashed potatoes, leftover potato soup or baked sweet potatoes for a head start.

5. Back To Your Roots
Don’t stop at potatoes — chopped root vegetables, such as parsnips, turnips, rutabaga or carrots, all make economical and easy ways to add velvety texture. Beyond the basics, Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes, taro or water chestnuts can also be cooked and puréed for body. Try  sneaking in some cauliflower or broccoli for some added vegetable goodness.

6. In A Nutshell
Soft nuts, such as cashews, add a creamy texture when soaked, such as in this vegan cream of celery soup. Nuts can be pre-soaked the night before, or cooked directly in simmering liquid to soften before blending.

7. Check Your Pulses
White beans, such as cannelloni, release a starchiness when cooked that will taste creamy on the palate without providing a dominant flavour. Soak and cook your own, or open a can for convenience, if you desire. Chickpeas or lentils, on the other hand, will impact the taste of your finished soup, but also provide a hearty helping, especially when paired with salty pancetta or bacon.

Looking for comforting soup recipes? Try this Arabic Lentil Soup next.

The Best Vegan Margherita Pizza

Simple, delicious and comforting, traditional Margherita pizza is made vegan thanks to this tasty, cheese-less recipe that replaces classic mozzarella with non-dairy cheese shreds. The cast iron skillet method is ideal for creating a restaurant-quality pie, helping you get a super-crispy, thin-crust slice without any special equipment.

Whether you’re looking for vegan alternatives or just want to cut back on cheese and dairy, this vegan pizza recipe is a must-try.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
All-purpose flour, as needed
2 tsp fine cornmeal, for pan
1/2 lb fresh pizza dough (from supermarket or local pizzeria), room temperature
1/2 cup strained tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
1 cup non-dairy shredded mozzarella cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt or fine-grain sea salt
8 fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, more for hands

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Directions:
1. Place one oven rack in the very bottom slot of the oven. Preheat oven to 500ºF.
2. Sprinkle a medium (12-inch) cast-iron skillet with a light dusting of all-purpose flour and cornmeal.
3. With a bit of flour, work dough to stretch into a round. Add to prepared cast iron skillet, grease hands and finish pressing into place all the way to the outside (this takes a few minutes, but it’s worth the wait for a thin crust).
4. Cover dough with tomatoes and top with cheese. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is crisp.
5. Remove from oven, decorate with basil and drizzle with olive oil.
6. Slide onto a cutting board, slice and serve hot.

Check out this collection of 40 comforting recipes you won’t believe are vegan.

vegan shepherds pie on a speckled countertop

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Crispy Cauliflower Crust

There’s something ultra-comforting about a wintery shepherd’s pie. But this vegan version turns the concept of the classic comfort food on its head. Protein-packed lentils and vegetables are smothered in an easy pan gravy and topped with lean puréed cauliflower.

This veganized shepherd’s pie is not only nutritious, delicious and satisfying, it’s also really easy to make. All your guests — meat-eaters and vegans alike — are sure to enjoy a scoop of this cozy meal.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Filling
3/4 cup uncooked brown lentils
1 Tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
2 cups finely chopped savoy cabbage
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Crispy Cauliflower Crust
1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. For the filling, add lentils to a medium saucepan, cover with 3 inches water, bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain. Reserve.

3. For the crust, steam cauliflower until very tender. Add to a food processor along with olive oil, salt and pepper, and purée until smooth. Reserve.

4. In a large high-sided skillet, heat coconut oil or vegan butter over medium heat. Add cabbage, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are almost tender. Thoroughly stir in reserved cooked lentils, water, vinegar, Worcestershire, tomato paste, salt, pepper and cloves.

5. To assemble, pour filling mixture into an 8×8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish; smooth surface. Add dollops of cauliflower crust over top and smooth to cover filling. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown on top. Serve.

Love Allison’s vegan shepherd’s pie? Be sure to try her easy vegan spaghetti bolognese next.

French Onion Soup Casserole for Chilly Days

The biting cold of winter requires major comfort foods to indulge in, and French onion soup is at the top of our list. While we love a big bowl of soup, turning it into a cheesy casserole is a no-brainer. It’s super easy and delivers huge on flavour. The combination of rich, caramelized onions, gooey melted cheese and toasted baguette packed with the deep flavour of French onion soup will leave you weak in the knees and totally satisfied.

onion soup casserole

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups sliced Spanish onion
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Madeira wine
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6-8 1 inch slices of French baguette, toasted
1 cup of Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:
1. Heat butter in a large pan over medium. Once butter is bubbly and foaming, add the onions and salt. Stir onions to coat in butter and let cook until deep brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes, stirring intermittently.
2. Once onions have caramelized, pour in Madeira wine, stir and continue to cook until alcohol is evaporated and liquid is fully absorbed into onions, about 1 minute.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and thyme. Increase heat to medium and cook until stock reduces by about 1/3, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour contents of pan into a medium-size casserole dish. Remove thyme sprigs. Arrange toasted baguette slices over onion mixture and press down allowing the bread to absorb the liquid. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with melted butter.
5. Bake in oven until cheese is melted and golden, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Looking for more comforting dishes? Try Ina Garten’s Most Comforting Casseroles.

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Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Dairy-free and delicious, a “cheese” sauce made from cauliflower and nutritional yeast (aka “nooch”), hugs macaroni noodles for a classic comfort food made into a modern masterpiece. Enjoy this super-creamy vegan dish, right out of the pot or top with breadcrumbs and bake for a casserole-style of mac and cheese. Either way, it’s family-friendly comfort food with a twist!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
Pinch, ground nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened soymilk or other non-dairy milk
3 cups dry macaroni noodles
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; salt well. Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and add back to pot.
3. Steam cauliflower until very tender. Add to a food processor or blender along with 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, turmeric, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg and milk. Purée until smooth and add to cooked noodles, mixing well to combine. Pour into a large casserole dish.
4. In a small bowl, combine panko, Italian seasoning, nutritional yeast and remaining 2 tsp oil. Top macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and crisp on top. Serve.

How to Roast a Whole Chicken in Your Slow Cooker

Whole roast chicken is such a comforting food, but turning your oven on, roasting it and letting it rest can be a feat at the end of a busy day. Many people resort to picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but there’s a better answer. Toss the whole chicken in your slow cooker in the morning and you’ll come home to the aromas of a mouth-watering home cooked meal. The chicken will be perfectly juicy and tender, the meat will fall right off the bone and you’ll be left with a jus at the bottom of the pot that’s liquid gold. Interested? Here’s how to do it.

Slow Cooker Chicken

Quick and Easy Slow Cooker Chicken
Season a 4-lb chicken with salt and pepper. Place roughly chopped onion, celery and carrot in slow cooker to cover the bottom of the pot. Place chicken on top of the vegetables breast side down. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Strain the jus collected at the bottom of pot. Serve chicken with jus.

Tasty Flavour Ideas:

Southwestern Spiced Roast Chicken
Replace the carrot with a green pepper. Rub chicken with a little salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cumin. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or baked beans.

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken
Place a roughly chopped onion and a few garlic cloves on the bottom of the slow cooker. Mix together equal parts sriracha, honey and soy sauce and rub onto the chicken. Place chicken, breast down, on top of garlic and onion. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with sticky rice or fries.

Rosemary and Citrus Roast Chicken
Place several garlic cloves, a quartered orange and lemon in the bottom of the slow cooker. Rub chicken with orange marmalade. Place a few sprigs of rosemary in the cavity of the chicken. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 7 hours. Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Serve with buttered country bread.

Looking for more delicious ideas? Try our 20 Best Chicken Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chicken and Italian Sausage Cacciatore

Braising chicken is underrated. Everyone always wants to roast, fry, or grill, but braising gives the chicken time to absorb the utmost flavour and become extremely tender while staying moist.

Chicken cacciatore, a hunter-style one-pan braised dish that’s usually a humble mixture of chicken, herbs and peppers, gets turned up a few notches in this recipe.

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This version of chicken cacciatore is made with the addition of sausage, peppers, garlic, potatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, olives and lots of red wine. It’s warming and luxurious, perfect for any winter table. I serve it with a chunk of crusty bread to soak up all of that delicious gravy, but it can also be served over rice or pasta. The garnish of lemon zest at the end brightens up the dish just enough.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 mild Italian sausages
4 chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks attached)
Salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into ½” thick slices
1 large or 2 small green peppers, cut into ½” thick strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine (like a Chianti or even a Rioja or Malbec)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup strained tomato puree
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup pitted green olives (I use Castelveltrano olives)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 bay leaves
Lemon zest
Crusty country loaf of bread

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Directions:
1. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium. Sear the sausages for 3-4 minutes per side.
2. While the sausages are searing, season the chicken legs well with lots of salt and pepper.
3. Once the sausages are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and place the chicken into the pan, skin side down first.
4. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove them from the pan.
5. Add onions and peppers to the pan, and sauté until softened and they’ve picked up a bit of colour, about 6 minutes stirring often.
6. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add flour and cook for 1 minute.
7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom to lift all of the flavour bits into the sauce.
8. Reduce the wine by half until there is about 1 cup left.
Stir in stock, strained tomatoes, salt and pepper.
9. Add in potatoes, olives, chicken legs and sausages to the pan. Be sure the chicken and sausages are in one layer. It’s fine if the potatoes are all underneath.
10. Add rosemary sprigs and bay leaves to the pan.
11. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover with the lid. Simmer on low for 1 hour, undisturbed.
12. Uncover and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the gravy is thick.
13. Before serving, zest a lemon over top. Enjoy with a crusty loaf of fresh bread!

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Hearty Vegetarian Chili with Butternut Squash

There’s nothing more soul-warming than a big bowl of chili. A unique and tasty alternative to your typical chili, this vegetarian green chili is made with tangy canned tomatillos, poblano chiles and jalapeños for some added heat.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

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Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans whole tomatillos, drained and roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
8 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp lime juice
Shredded aged Cheddar
Sour cream
Finely chopped radishes
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan set over medium heat. 2. Add onions, poblano, carrot, celery, jalapeño, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.
3. Add tomatillos, broth and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Add butternut squash, potatoes, white beans and pinto beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender and chili thickens slightly.
4. Stir in corn, cilantro and lime juice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with Cheddar cheese, sour cream, radishes, lime wedges and tortilla chips.

Notes:
– For those who like their chili to pack a punch, replace chili powder with chipotle chili powder.

Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

This creamy chicken, spinach and ricotta-filled pasta is packed with a flavourful tomato sauce and walnut pieces for some crunch. With its cheesy, crisp crust on top and moist and tender interior,  you can’t go wrong with this satisfying baked pasta dish.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
28 oven-ready cannelloni shells
1 pound ground chicken
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
6 cups fresh spinach
1 small onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
pinch nutmeg
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup grated 4-cheese blend, divided
½ cup walnut pieces

For the Cream Sauce:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Pinch nutmeg
¾ cups grated Asiago cheese

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, brown the ground chicken until cooked through and drain any water or extra fat. Add browned meat to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, heat olive oil on medium high and sauté onion until golden brown. Add garlic to skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with the salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
3. Add onions, garlic and spinach to bowl and allow to cool slightly before mixing ricotta through to incorporate. Mix in walnut pieces.
4. Make cream sauce by melting butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Take off the heat and whisk in flour. Heat milk and cream in a separate saucepan or in the microwave, and slowly whisk into butter and flour mixture. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a light boil, whisking occasionally. Incorporate salt, pepper and Asiago cheese, and set aside.
5. Pour ⅓ of the sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 9” casserole or oven-proof dish.
6. Stuff half the cannelloni shells using an icing bag or a spoon and place in 2 rows on the bottom of the casserole. Cover with ½ of remaining sauce and ½ of 4-cheese blend. Repeat with the rest of the cannelloni, sauce and 4-cheese blend.
7. Cover with tin foil and place on a pan to catch any possible drips. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
8. Let cannelloni cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into 6 sections and serving.

Top 5 Pizza Recipes from You Gotta Eat Here!

There’s just something about homemade pizza — whether it’s shaping the dough, the layering of your favourite ingredients, or devouring the pizza itself, nothing is more satisfying than some mouth-watering pizza created by yours truly.

To get you in the pizza making mood, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite pizza recipes from You Gotta Eat Here!:

1. Mango Tango Chicken Pizza
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2. Pulled Pork Pizza
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3. Capricciosa Pizza
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4. Kung Pao Chicken Pizza
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5. Wise Guy Pizza
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Top 10 Things to Add to Your Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Who doesn’t love a heaping bowl of mac and cheese? According to a very unscientific study conducted in our mouths, it’s the world’s most soul-soothing comfort food. As classic as it is, sometimes we can’t help but want to add a little oomph to our mac and cheese. From chili to lobster to bacon, we’ve rounded up our favourite things to add to mac and cheese, for those days you’re feeling adventurous. 888_10-things-to-add-to-mac-and-cheese

1. Bacon Mac ‘n’  Cheese 

2. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

3. Tuna Melt Mac ‘n’ Cheese

4. Tomato Mac and Cheese with Italian Sausage

5. Bacon Burger Mac ‘n’ Cheese

6. Chili Mac ‘n’  Cheese 

7. Aged Cheddar and Parmesan Mac ‘n’ Cheese 

8. Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese 

9. Sloppy Joe and Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bread Bowl 

10. Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese

 

Super Easy French Onion Soup

This is a pretty standard, classic dish — not much to change, only to tweak. Seasonings are up to you, so make them personal. Use vegetable broth instead of beef if you’re vegetarian, or use chicken stock if you’re just looking for lighter fare. This version is very heavy on the onions, so reduce those if you find them overpowering.

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Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
6 medium to large yellow onions, sliced in half and then into half rounds
3/4 cup vermouth (like Noilly Prat)
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
8 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Round slices of crusty bread (optionally buttered on both sides)
1 cups grated Swiss Gruyère
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

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Directions:

  1. In a large, deep saucepan, heat the butter on medium high. Add in onions and sauté for 30 minutes. The onions should begin to caramelize and turn brown. Remember to stir often so nothing sticks to the bottom, but scraping some of the brown bits into the onions is a good thing.
  2. Add garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Deglaze saucepan with vermouth, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add stock, herbs and salt & pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, tunr down and simmer for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The longer the flavours have to meld, the better.
  5. In oven proof bowls, ladle the soup. Top with some crusty bread, sprinkle on the cheese and pop under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Bon Appetit!

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Tip: Try this as a showy appetizer (in small bowls) at your next get together, or savour it alongside a light spinach salad as a full meal. Whatever you choose, just be sure to use good quality cheese, it makes all the difference.

Herb Rubbed Pork Sandwich with Salsa Verde

After making the Herb Rubbed Pork Loin the other week, in the spirit of meat and bread I felt obligated to make a sandwich with the leftovers!

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Herb Rubbed Pork Loin
If you don’t have pork on hand, the spice rub would taste equally great on chicken, steak or lamb.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 2-3

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Ingredients:
0.4 kg pork loin
1½ tsp rosemary
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp crushed red pepper (skip if you don’t want it spicy)
1½ tsp chopped parsley
1 clove minced garlic
Zest of half a lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:
1. Combine and grind all dry spices, then add in fresh herbs, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Mix by hand or with food processor.
2. Rub mixture onto surface of pork loin.
3. Tightly wrap pork loin in plastic wrap. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (the longer the better!).
4. Remove from fridge when ready to cook. Heat oven to 375°F.
5. While oven is preheating, in a pan on med-high heat (hot enough to sear meat), add oil & once heated, sear each side of the pork loin until browned (about 2 minutes per side).
6. Once oven is preheated, place pork loin on baking dish, cooking until internal temperature reaches 145°F. (Can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on the size of your pork loin). I would check temperature at 20 minutes to check progress (mine took about 20 minutes).
7. Allow pork to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
8. Cut into slices, drizzle with salsa verde if desired (see recipe link below).

Italian Salsa Verde
If you’re serving this for one or two, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half, as a small amount of sauce goes a long way due to its intense flavour!

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Makes: 1 cup

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Ingredients:
1 garlic clove
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Zest of ½ a lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup (packed) chopped Italian parsley
1 Tbsp  capers
¼ tsp anchovy paste

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor, and process until finely chopped and mixed.
2. Add olive oil and process until mixed.
3. Taste, add more salt,pepper or lemon juice if desired.

Herb Rubbed Pork & Salsa Verde Sandwich
Use up leftover pork loin in this delicious sandwich!

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 1

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Ingredients:
Herb rubbed pork loin
Salsa verde
2 slices of bread
Mayonnaise
Bacon
Lettuce
Tomato
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
1. Spread mayo on each slice of bread.
2. Slice and spread pork loin on sandwich and drizzle with about 1 Tbsp of salsa verde.
3. Layer your bacon, lettuce, tomato, salt and pepper, add top slice, and enjoy!

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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.

Greek Waffle Nachos with Spiced Lamb

This downright comforting dish combines crispy waffle fries tossed in oregano and lemon juice, piled high with gyro spiced lamb, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese. It’s a Greek food lover’s dream made at home.

If you don’t have a spit to cook real gyro at home (and I’m assuming most of us don’t), a skillet works fine here. The ground lamb is browned with tons of spices and garlic to really give you all the flavours that come from gyro, but with none of the hassle. My only tip is to serve this hot and with lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon over top of the lamb and fries. It gives this dish a nice brightness. Enjoy!

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-4

Ingredients:

For the tzatziki:
½ English cucumber
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 Tbsp chopped dill
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 pinches of salt

For the gyro spiced lamb:
1 lb (454 g) ground fatty lamb
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

For the waffle fries:
1 package (22 oz or 623 g) frozen waffle fries, baked or fried as per package instructions
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt

Diced tomatoes
Sliced red onions
Crumbled feta cheese
Torn kalamata olives
Chopped dill
Lemon wedges

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Directions:

For the tzatziki:
1. Peel and cut the cucumber in half, length wise.
2. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds of the cucumber and discard. Then grate the cucumber on the large hole of a box grater.
3. Place the grated cucumber in clean tea towel and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Allow the cucumber to sit and release its water.
4. After 10 minutes, pull the corners of the tea towel together and wring out as much of the water as possible.
5. Place the cucumber in a bowl and combine with the yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and two pinches of salt.
6. Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

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For the gyro spiced lamb:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, start to brown the ground lamb while breaking it up. It will begin to release its fat.
2. After 1-2 minutes, mix in the garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Continue to brown the lamb for another 7-8 minutes until cooked through.
4. Drain off most of the excess fat from the lamb.

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-2

For the waffle fries and plating:
1. As soon as the waffle fries come out of the oven or fryer, toss with lemon juice, oregano and salt in a large bowl.
2. Transfer the fries onto the serving dish. I used a skillet because I thought it was cool.
3. Top the fries with dollops of tzatziki. Pile the lamb on top and garnish with as much or as little diced tomatoes, sliced onions, crumbled feta, torn kalamata olives and chopped dill as desired.
4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges! Enjoy!

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100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Orecchiette with Homemade Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

The first time I tried making ricotta from scratch I was about 300-years pregnant with my second child and in some weird hormone-induced frenzy, it drove me mad halfway into the night trying to make my own cheese.

A happy ending being the clincher to this story, I finally made it and it was truly spectacular. Despite a few hiccups the process was not that difficult. You only need four ingredients and at the end of the day, homemade ricotta is hands-down worth making yourself. It’s rich and creamy and has none of that grittiness that comes with buying it off the shelf.

So I ended up making it three times in one night the first time. I’ll tell you what I did wrong, so you can spare yourself some craziness.

homemade_ricotta

Things to Watch Out For When Making Homemade Ricotta

– Make sure your cheesecloth is folded enough so that your luscious ricotta curds don’t slip right through the holes, resulting in no cheese.
– Let your milk/cream mixture come very slowly, almost to a simmer. Rushing this part by cranking the heat will result in no cheese.
– Make sure you add enough lemon juice, especially when you’ve already tried making ricotta twice in one night. Not going out to get more lemons when you know you should will result in—you guessed it—no cheese.

Luckily my misadventures in cheese-making means you won’t (or shouldn’t, because…hello? No cheese!) make the same rookie mistakes I did, and that your ricotta-making experience will be a breeze.

Because once you’ve made your own, going back to the stuff in the tub won’t be the same. Trust me when I say you’ll be scrambling to find things to smear it on. I like it tossed with steaming hot, just-from-the-pot orrichette pasta, with spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped shallots and a healthy whack of basil, like this:

orecchiette_finished

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
1. Set a large, fine mesh sieve over a deep bowl. Line the sieve with the two layers of cheesecloth.
2. Slowly bring milk, cream and salt to a simmer, stirring occasionally. This step can take as long as 20-25 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice.
4. Allow the curds to separate from the whey. About 3 minutes.
5. Gently pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and let stand until all the liquid has passed through and your left with only the curds.
6. The longer you let it stand, the dryer the ricotta. I like it somewhere in the middle.

Orecchiette with Homemade Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes

orecchiette_ingredients

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 small shallot, minced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp quality olive oil
3-4 large basil leaves
1/2 cup, homemade ricotta
1 pound, orecchiette
Cracked black pepper and sea salt

Directions:
1. Cook orecchiette according to directions on the box.
2. Meanwhile, assemble garlic, shallot, tomatoes and spinach in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add cracked black pepper and sea salt. Set aside to marinate.
3. Drain pasta and pour over tomato/spinach mixture. Add ricotta to hot mixture and stir. Add a bit of the pasta water to loosen up the mixture if necessary.
4. Serve immediately.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups with Almond Ricotta

To celebrate National Lasagna Day we thought we’d switch things up and roll up our lasagna! These fun and healthy lasagna roll ups are stuffed with spinach and zucchini, and the most velvety almond ricotta (the ricotta can be made the day before) and can be used in so many other delicious recipes. We’re actually kind of obsessed with it right now!

Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Makes: 8 rolls

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Ingredients:

Almond Ricotta:
1 cup blanched sliced almonds
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil

Tomato Sauce:
½ cup finely chopped white onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil

Lasagna Rolls:
8 lasagna noodles
4 cups baby spinach
1 large yellow zucchini (or 2 small)
1 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp nutmeg
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Note: The almond ricotta should be prepared one day in advance to give it time to set.

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Directions:
1. In a high-powered blender combine all the almond ricotta ingredients together except the basil. You will fold this in after the mixture is blended.
2. Once the mixture is smooth, fold the finely chopped basil into the almond mixture with a spoon, then place a double layer of cheesecloth over a large mixing bowl and pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth.
3. Take the excess ends of the cheesecloth and tie it around a wooden spoon or something you can lay on top of the mixing bowl, suspending it in the mixing bowl. It shouldn’t be touching the bottom of the mixing bowl. Refrigerate this allowing the excess water to strain from the almond cheese for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove it from the cheesecloth and place it in a new clean dish.
4. To make the tomato sauce, heat a pan over medium and sauté white onion for 2 minutes with olive oil.
5. Then add minced garlic and dried oregano, and sauté for another minute.
6. Stir in tomato paste until the garlic and onions are well coated, then add crushed tomatoes, sea salt and ground pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Add fresh basil, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
7. While the sauce is simmering for the last 20 minutes, preheat oven to 325°F.
8. Boil the noodles in salted water for about 5-6 minutes, until half cooked. Drain and set the noodles aside on a damp towel or damp paper towel to prevent them from sticking until you prepare the lasagna rolls.
9. Thinly slice yellow zucchini with a mandolin.
10. Heat another pan over medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil, and add spinach and zucchini together with nutmeg, sea salt and ground pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes. There will be a bit excess water from the vegetables, but just drain it from the pan before adding vegetables to the lasagna rolls.
11. To assemble the rolls take 1 Tbsp of almond ricotta and spread it across each lasagna noodle out to the edges, then layer spinach and zucchini on top. Roll the lasagna noodle snuggly.
12. Pour half the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9” glass baking dish. Place lasagna rolls 4 across and pour the remaining sauce over each row of lasagna rolls.
13. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

The Ultimate Breakfast Pizza

Recently I decided that it was time I try making a breakfast pizza and let me tell you — it did not disappoint! Not only did it fill the kitchen with the pleasant aroma of all my breakfast favourites, but it tasted absolutely delicious. Combining breakfast classics onto thin, airy pizza crust… How could you go wrong? Well, you can’t! Unless you burn it of course…

Breakfast-Pizza-3-of-7

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3

Ingredients:

No-Knead Pizza Dough:
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
? tsp active dry yeast
180ml water

Pizza Toppings:
Tomato sauce
Cheddar cheese (grated)
Cooked bacon
Ham
Green onion
Russet potato (very thinly sliced)
Egg

Breakfast-Pizza-7-of-7

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients, slowly mix in water while stirring with a wooden spoon.
2. Once dough begins to form, work it into a roughly shaped ball with your hands, leaving it in the bowl, and covering with plastic wrap.
3. Allow dough to rise at room temperature for around 18 hours or until doubled inside.
4. After 18 hours, remove dough from bowl and place on a floured work surface,
5. Cut the dough into three even pieces for personal sized pizzas.
6. Knead each piece of dough into a ball and allow to rise for another hour covered with a damp towel, or wrapped in plastic wrap.
7. If you won’t be using all the dough right away, refrigerate it, and remove it from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking allowing it to warm to room temperature.
8. While dough is resting, if using a pizza stone, place it in the cold oven and turn the heat to 500°F (or as close to that heat as possible), allowing the oven to heat for about an hour.
9. If you don’t have a pizza stone, arrange the pizza dough on a baking sheet, and just preheat the oven to 500-550°F.
10 Once the dough has finished resting, on a floured surface, stretch it thinly to your preference (without breaking the dough).
11. Spread tomato sauce, topped with grated cheddar cheese, potato, bacon, ham & green onion. Once all your ingredients are placed, crack an egg on top of the pizza.
12. If using a baking sheet, bake at 500-550°F, if using a pizza stone, turn your oven to broil and cook the pizza for 5-10 minutes until desired doneness.

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.

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.

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.