Tag Archives: easy dinner

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

This Baked Brie With Nuts and Dried Fruit is the Perfect Holiday Appetizer (or Easy Dinner Idea!)

With five minutes of prep time, this incredibly easy appetizer is a favourite around the holidays — or any day for that matter. You don’t even need to splurge on a fancy Brie, a budget choice is just as delicious with every sweet and savoury bite. And while this holiday recipe calls for walnuts or hazelnuts, as well as cranberries or cherries, feel free to add in whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer. Almond and pecans are always tasty, alongside apricots or figs. You can also swap out the herbs for a strip of orange or lemon zest too.

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

Baked Brie With Nuts and Dried Fruit

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

200 g double cream Brie
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp butter
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary
½ cup toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

Baked brie with nuts and dried fruit ingredients on table

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the Brie in a small oven-safe skillet or a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Score the top with a paring knife for the cheese to quickly warm. Bake until softened and slightly puffed all around about 15 minutes.

Related: Best Edible Gifts Under $20 That’ll Make Anyone’s Holiday Sweeter

2. While the Brie is in the oven, make the topping: combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and thyme in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil; cook, stirring until brown sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts and dried cranberries.

Making baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

3. Immediately top warm Brie with hot pecan cranberry mixture and serve with crackers and fresh fruit if desired.

Tip: If using a heat-safe small skillet or ceramic dish, the Brie will stay warm for up to 15 minutes. It can also be reheated in the microwave until warm, about 30 seconds. If you’re a fan of toasted nuts, feel free to toast them before adding to the brown sugar mixture. Do so over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes.

Serving of baked brie with nuts and dried fruit

Like Soo’s baked Brie recipe? Try her Chinese scallion pancakes or pan-fried pork chops with roast cabbage wedges.

This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

Tibs are a quick, easy and delicious Ethiopian-style stir-fry traditionally made with beef or lamb. Mushroom tibs are one of my favourite ways to make a tasty plant-based alternative to this popular dish. It is super flavourful and perfect for a quick lunch or weeknight dinner. Tibs are typically served with injera (a spongy fermented Ethiopian flatbread), but can also be enjoyed with rice, fonio or quinoa.

Vegetarian Mushroom Tibs Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
450 grams mushrooms
1 tomato
1 yellow onion
1 ½ bell peppers (different colours)
1 jalapeno
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp berbere (Ethiopian spice blend)
1 tsp ground korarima (Ethiopian Black cardamom) (optional)
1 sprig rosemary
Salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Begin by prepping all of the vegetables. Clean mushrooms thoroughly and remove the stem (save stems for another dish). Slice mushrooms evenly and set aside.

2. Dice tomatoes, thinly slice the onion and bell peppers and set aside. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and thinly slice.

3. To a hot pan, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook down on medium-high until it reduces in volume. Drain the excess liquid and remove the mushrooms. Set both the liquid and mushrooms aside for later.

4. Now add oil to the heated pan and sauté the onions.

5. Once the onions begin to become translucent, add the berbere spice and stir. Pour back in a few spoons of the liquid from the mushrooms as needed.

Related: 20 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

6. Add the minced garlic to the pan, stir and add the diced tomatoes. Next add bell peppers and stir.

7. Add the mushrooms, jalapenos, korarima spice, rosemary and stir.

8. Garnish with rosemary or thinly sliced jalapeno (in Ethiopian cooking, jalapenos are both an ingredient and garnish!). Serve with fresh injera, rice, quinoa or fonio. Enjoy!

Tip: Tibs are all about your personal preference. If you’d like this dish to be a bit less saucy, add half of the tomato instead. Many berbere spice blends have salt within the mix, so be sure to taste your stir-fry as you go and salt to taste.

Like Eden’s mushroom tibs recipe? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or teff breakfast bowl.

Snack Plates Are the Easy Dinner Option You Need This Week

We’ve been at home for months now. We’ve brushed up on our cooking skills, baked enough to open a bakery (are you also a banana bread connoisseur?) — but, some days, the thought of cooking one more meal that ends in a mountain of dishes is too much to handle. And as the weather gets warmer, we’d rather be spending our time outside and not chained to a hot oven. So, here’s the solution: make snack plates for dinner a thing every week.

Snack plates are essentially the way toddlers eat (not a bad thing!) and make perfect sense for adults as a simple, vibrant and ultimately exciting meal option that promises a myriad of flavours, textures, colours and nutrients. Start by selecting items that already live in your fridge or pantry. Remember: the plate is still supposed to resemble a meal, so even though it’s snack-style, ensure there’s colourful fibrous veggies and fruit, protein and healthy fats.

Related: How to Prep Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to Get Through the Week

What to Put on Your Snack Plate

Veggies:
● Choose veggies that have texture (good crunch), colour and can be grabbed easily.
● Some great examples are carrots, cucumbers, celery, radishes, fennel, bell peppers and snap peas.
● You can also BBQ, roast or saute veggies like onion, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli , cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

Fruit:
● It’s officially the season for fresh fruit, so add it generously.
● Use fresh mixed berries, sliced apples and pears, pineapple, peaches, nectarines — the list goes on!
● Cut everything small enough so it’s easy and quick to grab.

Dips:
● If there are dips in the fridge, use them; if they’re half finished or need a little bit of love, drizzle some oil on top, add toasted seeds or nuts, mix in fresh herbs and even sprinkle some spices on top.
● For example, a half eaten hummus container in the fridge can easily be revived by adding some chickpeas, sesame seeds, parsley, tahini, lemon and za’atar on top.
● Or make dips like pesto, roasted red pepper and beet hummus.

Protein:
● You can keep it vegetarian or use animal proteins (the snack plate is yours to design).
● Ideas include crispy chickpeas, grilled skewers, hard-boiled eggs, sausages, sliders, cooked chicken or fish, lox, tofu or tempeh.

Grains:
● When choosing a grain, try to find one that’s rich in fibre.
● You may want something that acts as a vessel for dip, stuffed with other ingredients or just added for carby-deliciousness.
● Think: crackers, sliced bread, pita, tortillas, chips, cornbread or savoury muffins.

Related: Our Fave Food Trends to Come out of Quarantine, From Pancake Cereal to Bread Art

Extras and Bonuses:
● These are little delicious bonuses that add punchy flavour or satisfying crunch.
● Things like olives, pickles, toasted cashews, tamari almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates or raisins.
● You can also add sweetness with dessert-inspired bites like chocolate chips, truffle balls and brownies.

Plate Themes:
● You can theme your plate based on cuisines you love or based on leftovers that need to be revived.
● For example, if you already have leftover falafel or chicken shawarma, you can make a Middle Eastern plate and add hummus, pitas, pickled veggies and crudite with drizzles of tahini and fresh parsley on top.
● Or if you have leftover ginger soy salmon, you can create an Asian-style theme and add nori chips, steamed dumplings, kimchi, sesame crackers, edamame and lettuce leaf wraps.

Related: Middle Eastern Sumac Chicken With Date Syrup, Lemon and Pecans

How to Assemble It:
● Depending on how many mouths are being fed, choose the size of your plate accordingly. It can be a big platter, a few platters or just a normal size dinner plate.
● This doesn’t need to be Instagram- or Pinterest-worthy, but bonus points if it is!
● Start by adding one item at a time, placing each item either in a few different spots on the platter or in one dedicated spot.
● Your snack plate can be as elaborate or as simple as your heart desires. Then, enjoy yourself an easy, clean-up friendly dinner!

Want some more easy dinner ideas? Try this baked salmon with spicy mango avocado salsa and mint and lemon pearl couscous salad.

This Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad is What Every Dinner Table Needs

Looking for something simple and fresh to make this season? Look no further! This vibrant couscous salad utilizes the freshness of mint, citrus and cucumber, as well as pearl couscous. This grain is also called Israeli couscous and is similar to regular couscous, but is much larger in size and yields a chewier texture. However, if you have quinoa or regular couscous in the pantry, that will do the trick.

Mint and Lemon Pearl Couscous Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, store bought or homemade
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cucumber, diced
½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and the couscous. Continuously stirring, cook until couscous is lightly toasted.

2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with lid and let cook until liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.

3. To the mixing bowl, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, cucumber and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Want more recipes you can whip up quickly? This simple miso chicken and this salad with tuna both come together in a flash!

RoastedRedOnion

Budget-Friendly Dinner: Sweet Roasted Red Onions

By Bridget Oland

When I was growing up, onions were an unassuming kitchen staple.  Sliced and diced, they disappeared into dishes, leaving nothing but a little flavour. But all that changed when I moved to France after university. It was there I discovered this vegetable could star in a meal.

Pizza au onion (onion pizza) seemed like a bit of a joke when I spied it on the menu at a little bistro in eastern France, but one bite in I was converted. Who knew that onions could be so sweet? That revelation convinced me that this cheap and humble vegetable could stand on its own in any dish.

Years later, a friend wrote to me about roasting onions whole “until their shoulders slump.” By that time caramelized onions were standard fare in our house, the star of galettes and the occasional pizza. The idea of roasting them whole sounded like a delicious, easy way to use onions as a vegetable side dish.  Any size onion works with this recipe, although I prefer small- to medium-size onions. The dressing is optional.

Roasted Red Onions with Walnut Dressing, Courtesy of Bridget Oland, bridgetsgreenkitchen.com, Rothesay, N.B.

Serve these sweet, caramelized onions as a main or as a side dish to complement a hearty meat entrée.

RoastedRedOnion

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
Onions
1tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
pinch sea salt
pinch pepper
4 red onions (small or medium), tops and bottoms removed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme or oregano)

Walnut Dressing
1/3 cup (75 mL) walnut oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
1½ tsp (7 mL) fancy molasses
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste

Directions
Onions
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
3. Starting at top and stopping 1/2 inch (1 cm) from bottom, slice an “X” into each onion cutting it in quarters.
4. Place onions on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently pull wedges slightly apart; drizzle with oil mixture.
5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until fork-tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on size and  freshness of onions.)
6. Sprinkle with herbs and drizzle with Walnut Dressing just before serving.

Walnut Dressing
1. In Mason jar, combine walnut oil, cider vinegar, molasses , salt and pepper. Shake well.
2. Drizzle over onions.

Tip: Try substituting plum vinegar or sherry vinegar for the balsamic vinegar.

Follow the jump to print, save or share this Roasted Red Onion recipe.

Bridget’s Green Kitchen 
Bridget Oland is a creative home cook and mom of two young kids who shares recipes for wholesome everyday food that’s family friendly, eco-friendly and easy to prepare. Her blog, posts green-living tips to help readers make planet-healthy choices as they prepare great food.

Fast Family Dinner: Fried Rice With Bacon

By Katherine Chong

Fried rice is one of those super versatile dishes you can whip up on any weeknight and it works especially well with leftover rice. Sometimes my much younger cousins, ages 8 and 11, come over for dinner. This is my go-to recipe for them—they can be picky eaters and getting them to eat what’s good for them can be difficult. However, I’ve found that mixing bacon with kimchi in fried rice appeals to both kids and adults.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is packed with kid-approved flavour, it’s flexible and it’s super quick to prepare. Both the rice and the bacon can be prepared ahead of time, to make the actual dinner itself super quick. After you’ve left work and picked up the kids, just 10 minutes in the wok or pan gets dinner on the table.

Bacon-Kimchi Fried Rice, Courtesy of Katherine Chong, piqueyeater.com, Toronto

Kid-approved and made in minutes, this satisfying fried rice recipe is perfect for weeknights.
bacon-kimchi-rice_highres_888embed
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients
8 pieces low-sodium bacon (or turkey bacon)
4 cups (1 L) leftover cooked rice
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups (500 mL) frozen vegetables (of your choice)
1 cup (250 mL) kimchi, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1½ tsp (22 mL) kimchi juice
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped green onion, divided

Instructions
1. Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces. Fry in wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until cooked but not crispy. Remove bacon from pan and drain off half the bacon fat.
2. Add leftover rice to skillet and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat.
3. Once rice is reheated, about 5 minutes, pour eggs into skillet and cook, tossing, until mixture begins to set.
4. Stir in frozen vegetables, kimchi, soy sauce, reserved kimchi juice, 2 tbsp (30 mL) green onions and reserved bacon. Cook, tossing, until heated through.
5. Top with remaining green onion just before serving.

Do you have a delicious dish to share with the rest of Canada? Submit your recipe for a chance to be featured on Great Canadian Cookbook and Food Network Canada!

The Piquey Eater
As a fourth-generation Chinese-Canadian, marrying the two cultures in the kitchen is a very important part of my life and something I write about on my blog. I’m also an adventurer, exploring other cuisines and cultures in the mosaic city of Toronto.