Tag Archives: quick and easy

Plate of healthy fried chicken

This Healthy Sriracha-Honey Oven-Fried Chicken is Simply Delish

For all the fried chicken lovers out there who are looking for a much healthier way to enjoy delicious chicken — this paleo Sriracha-honey oven-fried chicken is right up your alley. It’s spicy, sweet and savoury, extremely flavourful and there’s no deep frying or oil required.

Plate of healthy fried chicken

Healthy Sriracha-Honey Oven-Fried Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 eggs
1 lb chicken breasts or thighs (4-5 pieces)
⅓ cup Sriracha hot sauce
⅓ cup pure honey
1 tsp garlic powder
Fresh chives or parsley, for topping

Ingredients for healthy fried chicken on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and pepper. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs.

Related: Our Best Budget-Friendly Chicken Recipes to Have on Rotation

3. Dip each chicken breast in the whisked eggs, then coat with almond flour mixture and place on the lined baking sheet. Store any leftover almond flour mixture in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. This can be reused within 3 days.

Healthy fried chicken in batter on baking pan

4. Transfer the chicken to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

5. In the meantime, combine Sriracha hot sauce, honey and garlic powder in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the honey is melted and mixture is smooth. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.

Sauce for healthy fried chicken in pot

6. When ready, take the chicken out of the oven, then turn the oven settings to broil. Using a pastry brush, brush the Sriracha-honey sauce on the surface of the chicken until coated. Place the chicken back in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Pan full of healthy fried chicken

7. When ready, top with fresh chives or herb of choice. Serve immediately.

Like Valerie’s healthy Sriracha-honey chicken? Try her low-carb mint lamb burgers or her low-sugar persimmon creme brulee.

Bulgur salad in white bowl

This Middle Eastern Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad is Full of Whole Grains

Bulgur wheat is one of the most underrated grains, but it’s oh-so versatile and packed with fibre. It’s a common Middle Eastern staple and comes in various sizes — from very fine (which is used for tabbouli) to coarse grind (which has a similar cook time to rice). If you’re looking for a creative way to give bulgur a try, this winter salad is the perfect recipe. It’s crunchy and nutty, with hints of sweetness and tartness from the pomegranate and lemon juice; and the parsley and green onion add freshness. It’s the ultimate balance of flavours and ready within minutes.

Bulgur salad in white bowl

Middle Eastern Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

Bulgur
¾ cup coarse bulgur wheat (makes 2 cups cooked)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ¼ cups water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Salad
1 cup pomegranate seeds (roughly half a large pomegranate)
¾ cup slivered almonds (or whole or blanched almonds)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped parsley
¾ cup chopped green onions
½ cup crumbled feta (optional)

Dressing
3 Tbsp olive oil
⅓ cup pomegranate juice
Juice of 1 lemon (roughly ¼ cup)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Bulgur salad ingredients on kitchen counter

Directions:

1. Wash and drain the bulgur. In a pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and washed bulgur. Saute for a few minutes to toast the bulgur.

Related: Fantastic Warm Salad Ideas to Enjoy Right Now

2. Add the water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, cover and turn heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork when it is ready.

Bulgur cooking in pot

3. Meanwhile, deseed the pomegranate. You can do this by using your fingers or tapping the back of half the pomegranate with a wooden spoon to release the seeds.

Pomegranate seeds in bowl

4. In a pan on medium heat, toast the almonds in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring continuously until they turn golden brown. Remove immediately off the heat.|

Almonds roasting in pan

5. Chop the parsley and green onions.

6. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake well.

Salad dressing in jar

7. Assemble the salad by mixing all the ingredients except for the toasted almonds and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (You can also eat this salad warm!). Before serving, add the toasted almonds, mix well and enjoy.

Bulgur salad in white bowl

Like Amina’s bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad? Try her roasted cauliflower with tahini and curried Brussels sprouts.

roasted cauliflower with tahini

This Middle Eastern Roasted Cauliflower With Tahini is What Vegetarian Dreams Are Made Of

If you’re serving up a vegetarian side, don’t settle for boring. Take it up a notch with this easy recipe! Cauliflower is the perfect vegetable to serve in the fall — and roasting it brings out its nutty and sweet flavour. It is typically mild in taste and can use some spices to jazz it up. In this recipe, it’s marinated in olive oil and warm Middle Eastern spices, then roasted to perfection. The key to roasting cauliflower is to use a high temperature so the outside can caramelize, while still maintaining a bit of a bite. But we’re not done yet. Serve this cauliflower with a luxurious drizzle of tahini sauce and garnish with parsley, cilantro or flaked almonds. Then just watch it disappear off the plate.

roasted cauliflower with tahini

Middle Eastern Roasted Cauliflower With Tahini

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Cauliflower
1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small ones (roughly 600g without stems)
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt + more per preference

Tahini Drizzle
½ cup tahini paste
3 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
5-7 Tbsp water, per preference

Garnish
Handful of parsley or cilantro (optional)
Flaked almonds (optional)

roasted cauliflower with tahini ingredients

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash the cauliflower and pat dry using a paper towel. Trim off the ends and green stems. Cut into florets.

chunks of cauliflower on baking tray

2. Prepare the marinade by mixing together the olive oil, onion powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and salt.

roasted cauliflower with tahini marinade

3. On a large sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the marinade ensuring they are well coated. Do not overcrowd them on the pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until they are caramelized. Toss around halfway through baking time.

roasted cauliflower on baking tray

Related: How to Grow Fall Vegetables and What to Do With Them

4. Meanwhile prepare the tahini drizzle by mixing together the tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Whisk everything together using a fork. The tahini will thicken a lot and seize up and it will seem like it is ruined. However, keep whisking and gradually add water a few Tbsp at a time, until it becomes smooth again. Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your preference by adding more or less water.

white bowl filled with tahini

5. Take the cauliflower out of the oven and taste for salt. Add more if required while they are hot. Toss in lemon juice if you desire. Serve the cauliflower with the tahini sauce drizzled on top. Garnish with parsley, cilantro or almonds if using.

roasted cauliflower with tahini

Like Amina’s Middle Eastern roasted cauliflower recipe? Try her curried roasted Brussels sprouts.

These Pan-Fried Pork Chops With Roast Cabbage Wedges Will Help Your “What’s for Dinner?” Woes

Healthy and budget-friendly, cabbage is one of the most delicious and versatile cruciferous veggies. Anyone who is “on the fence” about cabbage will be converted with this roasted variety — promise! High heat cooking caramelizes the outer cabbage layers and opens up the nutty sweetness, while maintaining a tender, textured crunch. With the addition of the quick and easy pan-fried pork chops, this meal ticks off all the boxes and will become a family favourite.

Pan-fried pork chops and roasted cabbage on white plate

Pan-Fried Pork Chops With Roast Cabbage Wedges

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Cabbage
1 red cabbage (feel free to swap out red cabbage with white cabbage or a medium Savoy cabbage)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar

Pork Chops
2 bone-in pork chops (1 ¼ to1 ½-inch thick) (approx. 1 ½ lbs)
½ tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, smashed
4 green olives (optional)

Garnish
Chopped parsley
Finely grated Parmesan

Ingredients for pan-fried pork chops and roasted cabbage

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut cabbage in half and then each half into 6-8 equal wedges, keeping the core and stem intact. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet; brush with ¼ cup of the oil all over and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roast until browned and slightly charred on bottom, about 10 to 15 minutes. Flip and continue roasting until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice or vinegar.

Cabbage roasting on pan

3. While the cabbage is cooking, sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and cook pork chops until golden brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes; repeat flipping and cooking until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 135°F, about 8 minutes total.

Related: 12 Must-Try Fall Cocktails to Give Thanks for This Autumn

4. Remove pan from heat. Add butter, thyme, olives (if using) and garlic to pan, tilting and spooning the butter mixture over chops, basting the fat cap to brown.

Pork chops in pan

5. Transfer chops to a cutting board; cover and rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thick slices, reserving juices. Sprinkle with parsley or grated Parmesan (if using). Serve with cabbage.

Pork chops and roasted cabbage

Like Soo’s pan-fried pork chops with roast cabbage wedges? Then try her Chinese stir-fried eggplant or pork banh mi burgers.

These Ginger Molasses Cookies Will Warm You up on a Chilly Fall Day

One of the first recipes I turn to when the weather starts to shift are these soft and chewy ginger molasses cookies. They have warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves, are dotted with spicy candied ginger and rolled in raw sugar for a bit of crunch. My secret to the rich golden colour? Blackstrap molasses! It’s bold and robust in flavour — everything I want in a ginger molasses cookie. But feel free to swap in regular molasses if your taste buds aren’t quite ready for it.

Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 13 minutes
Total Time: 17 to 18 minutes
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients:

¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp water
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (about 10 wheels) diced ginger candies
½ cup turbinado or raw sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, water and blackstrap molasses. Scraping down the sides as needed.

Related: 25 Healing Ginger Recipes for Cold and Flu Season

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. On low, add the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until just combined. Fold in the diced candied ginger.

4. Pour the turbinado sugar in a shallow dish. Scoop the cookie dough into 1 ½ inch balls and roll in the turbinado sugar until completely coated.

5. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet to allow the cookies to spread. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until the tops have slightly cracked. Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her no-bake key lime pie icebox cakedessert wontons and easy peach plum cobbler.

This Comforting Mujadara Recipe is Our Favourite Way to Cook Rice

Mujadara is a simple and delicious dish of lentils, rice, spices and fried onions. The first-known recipe of this popular Middle Eastern dish can be found in a 13th-century Iraqi cookbook. This vegetarian meal was once considered to be “food of the poor” — as its inexpensive and readily available ingredients can feed many people. It gets its rich, infused flavour by coating the rice in olive oil and spices before cooking it. If you have leftover rice, you can improvise a cheat version of mujadara and fold it in with the lentils and onions at the end. But it’s always best to start with a traditional recipe from scratch before you begin experimenting with shortcuts — so you know how it’s meant to turn out. This recipe is adapted from methods from my favourite Middle Eastern chefs, who bring Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Syrian influences to their recipes. I remember trying mujadara for the first time as a little girl and savouring the crispy onions — and now, when I make it for my own children, they also eat the onions first!

Vegetarian Mujadara

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 (depending on if it’s a main or side)

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil
3 large or 4 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced as evenly as possible
1 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups brown or green lentils
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 cup basmati rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 bunch of parsley, picked off the stems and roughly chopped (optional)
1 lemon, quartered for serving
Sea salt and black pepper

Serve this mujadara recipe warm or at room temperature, with a side of plain Greek yogurt or labneh, lemon wedges, parsley and a chopped salad of tomato and cucumber.

Directions:

1. Heat the vegetable oil on medium to high in a heavy-bottom saucepan with a lid or a Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add half of the onions. Fry for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a rich golden brown. Some dark bits are fine, that’s where you’ll get the bitterness. If the onions are all the same size, they will cook more evenly. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a colander or plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. (Act fast— the onions crisp up quickly at this stage and it’s in the last seconds where they’ll go from brown to black if you’re not careful). Season with salt. Repeat with second batch and set aside.

2. While the onions are frying, add the lentils to a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft, but slightly firm in the centre. Drain and set aside.

Related: 25 Healthy Middle Eastern Recipes You’ll Make on Repeat

3. Drain the oil from the saucepan you fried the onions in and wipe it clean. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, rice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and spices. If you’re adding sugar, now is the time to put it in as well. Bring to a boil before simmering on low heat for 15 minutes. (Be patient and don’t open the lid — you don’t want any of that steam to escape).

4. Remove from heat, take the lid off and immediately cover with a clean tea towel and put the lid back on, sealing tightly. This will allow the mujadara to keep steaming gently. Let rest for about 10 minutes.

5. Transfer the rice and lentils into a large mixing bowl or straight into your serving platter and then gently fold in half the fried onions.
Top with the second half of the fried onions and garnish with parsley.

Like Claire’s vegetarian mujadara? Try her mother’s recipe for seven-vegetable Moroccan couscous.

The-Pioneer-Woman-16-Minute-Honey-Garlic-Shrimp-Skewers

16 Minutes Until Dinner With The Pioneer Woman’s Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

This sweet and garlicky skillet recipe is one of Ree Drummond’s all-time favourite 16-minute meals, and it’s easy to see why! The Pioneer Woman often enjoys this simple dish as a quick option when dining solo as it’s packed with flavour and zero-fuss.

Ree starts with a sticky-sweet glaze made of sriracha sauce, honey and crushed garlic and cooks up the shrimp in minutes. She serves it on a bed of wilted garlic spinach with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a bright finish.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best 16-Minute Meals

The Pioneer Woman's 16-Minute Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Active Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Serves:
2 servings

Ingredients:

Shrimp
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp sriracha
1 tsp crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
20 shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spinach
2 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment:
4 metal skewers

Ree Drummond with honey-garlic shrimp skewers and glass of white wint

Directions:

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and a large skillet over medium heat.

2. For the shrimp: In a small bowl, mix together the honey, sriracha, crushed red pepper, garlic, lime zest and juice and 1 Tbsp of the parsley. Set the glaze aside.

3. Thread the shrimp onto 4 metal skewers, 5 shrimp per skewer. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place on the grill pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp, brush the top with the glaze and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Flip the glazed side down, brush the top with the glaze and cook for an additional minute. Flip, glaze and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, up to an additional minute per side. Remove from the grill and drizzle with any remaining glaze.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Seafood Recipes

4. For the spinach: Meanwhile, heat the oil in the skillet and add the spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.

5. Make a bed with the spinach on a serving platter. Top with the shrimp skewers and garnish with the remaining parsley.

The Pioneer Woman's 16-Minute Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

Want more recipes from The Pioneer Woman? Ree’s got your cravings covered with her 30 best Tex-Mex recipes.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, Amazon, $23.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

The Whole Family Will Jump Right out of Bed for These Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Love the smell and flavour of cinnamon? Then these muffins — a moist yogurt-based vanilla cake with a crumbly cinnamon streusel — are for you. But, wait! There isn’t just a topping of streusel. There’s also a hidden layer inside each muffin to ensure you get a hint of cinnamon in each bite. This recipe will work with both plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, but I highly recommend using the full fat variety for maximum flavour. If the aroma of these muffins cooking doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t know what will.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

Muffins
¾ cups unsalted butter, melted
¾ cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Streusel
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tray with 12 liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla and yogurt until well blended.

3. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until ingredients come together.

4. Scoop a heaping Tbsp of the batter into each muffin liner.

Related: Start Your Morning on a Sweet Note With These Gooey Cinnamon Buns

5. For the streusel: in a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumb mixture is formed.

6. On top of the batter already in the muffin tray, sprinkle with a heaping tsp of the streusel mixture.

7. Divide the remaining batter on top of the 12 muffins, followed by the remaining streusel mixture.

8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Tip: Drizzle with vanilla glaze if desired! To make the vanilla glaze, simply whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract until smooth. If mixture appears thick, add more cream. If mixture appears thin, add more powdered sugar.

Love this muffin recipe? These lemon meringue cupcakes and matcha and white chocolate oat muffins will surely satisfy too.

This Simple Miso Chicken With Glazed Carrots Recipe Comes Together in Just 45 Minutes

This is a favourite meal of ours because it’s quick to pull together and has big flavour thanks to the magical marinade that’s sticky, sweet and salty. Whenever you mix miso, sesame oil and honey, you get pure deliciousness. Here, we slather it all over chicken breasts, but thighs would be just as perfect and much juicier. The glazed carrots are also divine. This is a quick one-pan meal with little mess.

Simple Miso Chicken With Glazed Carrots

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

¼ cup white miso
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp minced ginger
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
4 cloves garlic
2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken thighs (about 1 lb), skinless and boneless
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients (miso, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, avocado oil and ginger).

3. In a wide, oven safe dish, add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil to coat the bottom.

Related: Here’s How to Organize Your Tupperware Drawer Once and for All

4. Place the carrots and whole garlic on the bottom of the dish and then the chicken on top.

5. Pour the marinade over the chicken and carrots, ensuring the chicken gets the majority of marinade.

6. If the carrots seem too dry, add a splash of avocado oil and make sure they’re coated so they cook well.

7. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes and broil for 2-3 minutes at the end, so the marinade gets bubbly and caramel in colour. Make sure you watch the chicken as it broils because the miso can burn easily.

8. Top with fresh herbs and sesame seeds and serve with brown rice, if you like.

Want more delicious chicken recipes? This slow cooker chicken shawarma and Middle Eastern sumac chicken are must-makes.

Winning Recipes for Your Academy Awards Party

Celebrate the Academy Awards with Oscar-worthy spread that is sure to impress even the toughest critic. Hollywood’s biggest night deserves your best kitchen performance and these recipes are sure to earn you at least a ‘Best Host’ nomination.

Whether you’re channeling old-Hollywood elegance or have a casual evening in mind, we have a slew Oscar party ideas for easy appetizers and cocktails that will keep you well fed from the red carpet through to the credits.

Oscar Party Menu

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails

Greet your guests with a celebratory champagne cocktail. Crème de cassis, a dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants gives these bubbly sippers their bright red-carpet shade.

Oysters with Caviar

Oysters, Caviar and Bubbles

Your movie-buff guests may shy away from spoilers, but they won’t mind you spoiling them with these indulgent appetizers that are packed with old Hollywood glamour. Reserve a little champagne from your cocktails for the mignonette sauce, which is seasoned with fresh shallots and bright pink peppercorns.

White Bean Puree on Endive

White Bean Puree on Endive

We’d like to thank Patricia Heaton for this delicious and simple bean dip that gets a fancy flourish when served on individual Belgian endive leaves. Place these apps on a gold tray for an elegant cocktail-party feel. Not a fan of endives? Serve this light dip in a dish with toasted pita points or chips.

Deviled Eggs with Caviar

Devilled Eggs

Party like the stars with these lavish appetizers. The ordinary snack gets a lavish twist with a dollop of salty Sturgeon roe. For a paired-down version, omit the caviar and season each egg with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry Pockets

Puff pastry is your best friend when it comes to whipping up a tray full of appetizers in no time at all. These spinach bites are everything you want in an appetizer: golden flaky crust paired with a warm, cheesy filling you can enjoy in two delicious bites.

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

Maple Sriracha Popcorn

No Academy Awards party is complete without popcorn! When those acceptance speeches go on and on, you’ll be happy to have this sweet and spicy popcorn to snack on. Leave out the peanuts and cashews if you want to keep it nut-free.

Caramel Popcorn

While not everyone can go home with a golden statue, your guests can each enjoy their own golden caramel popcorn treat. For added fun, shape each popcorn ball into your own version of the iconic statue and ceremoniously hand them out to your special guests.

Rumarita Cocktail

Rumarita Cocktail

As soon as the credits start to roll, that’s when the real party starts. Kick off your after-party with a rumarita, made with gold rum and fresh citrus.

Looking for more ideas? Try our 20 Best Recipes for an Awards Show Party.

Dry Glaze Pork Tenderloin

4 Recipes That Transform Pork Tenderloin Leftovers

So you’ve mastered the art of cooking the so-called filet mignon of pork, moist and delicate pork tenderloin, and now you’re staring down a load of luscious leftovers. Whether it’s a next-day ragu or an elegant take on the classically rustic Shepherd’s Pie, here are four ways to savour your scraps because those succulent pieces of pork tenderloin are about to have their second coming.

Dry Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Start with Anna Olson’s Dry Glazed Pork Tenderloin.

Pork Ragu

1. Make a Ragu

This company-worthy pasta dish ticks off all the right notes for a cozy winter dinner. Thanks to pre-cooked pork, it comes together in virtually no time. Start the sauce by frying up some bacon and then sautéing garlic, onion, carrot and celery in some of the reserved fat. Add a splash of red wine, canned plum tomatoes, fresh rosemary and bay leaf. Throw chopped pork to the simmering tomato sauce and let it bubble away until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Serve over tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta or even creamy polenta. Finish with chopped fresh basil, parsley and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

shepherd's pie

2. Build a Quickie Shepherd’s Pie

Kick your recipe for humble Shepherd’s Pie up a notch by swapping in shredded pieces of leftover pork tenderloin. Start with a base of peas and corn in a broth gravy, then layer with leftover pork tenderloin and top with creamy mashed potato. Bake until the top layer browns and forms a gentle crust.

Kimchi Fried Rice

3. Whip Up Some Fried Rice

This dish is perfect if you don’t have a ton of leftover tenderloin, since it won’t take much to make a hefty portion of fried rice. Fry any mix you like; we like a combination of rice mixed kimchi, pork, sliced green onions and a fried egg.

4. Shred in a Taco

As if you needed an excuse, leftover pork tenderloin practically insists you celebrate Taco Tuesday (or Wednesday). Use the prongs of two forks to shred cold pork tenderloin for a quick carnita-style taco. Heat the pork quickly in a pan and then pile it high on a warm corn or flour tortilla. Top with shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, your favourite hot sauce and a generous squeeze of lime.

Looking for more tasty ideas? Start with these Perfect Pork Tenderloin Recipes.

 

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A Classic Green Goddess Dressing That Goes On Everything

Salad dressings don’t usually get their start on the stage, except for the classic Green Goddess, that is. Created in 1923 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, this verdant dressing was made to celebrate a stage production of the same name. Unbeknownst to the creator at the time, the simple blend of mayonnaise, fresh herbs and anchovies would become a staple in North America throughout the 20th century. Let’s just say that if Green Goddess didn’t pave the way, ranch dressing wouldn’t be as prominent on the grocery store shelves as it is today.

The best part of this particular salad dressing, aside from its amazing deity-provoking name, is its remarkable versatility. Its first calling may be to tenderly coat cool spinach leaves, crispy iceberg wedges or tender butter lettuce, but try serving it alongside grilled chicken, steaks and pork, or with roasted potatoes and cauliflower. The list of uses runs longer than the dressing’s history.

Without further ado, here’s how to make the famous Green Goddess dressing at home, and our favourite salad to serve it with.

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Classic Green Goddess Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1½ cups

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Ingredients:
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
¼ cup fresh chervil leaves
¼ cup fresh chives, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
⅔ cup mayonnaise
⅔ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt

greengoddess_02

Directions:
1. In a food processor or blender, add tarragon, chervil, chives, garlic, anchovies and lemon juice. Blend until a thick paste forms. Pulse in remaining ingredients and blend until full combined and pastel green in colour. Store airtight in refrigerator up to days.

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Roast Chicken, Almond and Currant Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 5

Ingredients:
Roast Chicken:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 cup raw almonds
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste

Currants:
⅔ cup water
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup dried currants 

Salad:
6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 avocados, pitted and flesh cubed
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Classic Green Goddess Dressing, as needed (recipe above)

Directions:
Roast Chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Add chicken to a baking dish and roast until skin is crispy and interior is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool. Once chicken is cool, remove skin and separate meat from bones into bite-sized pieces. Discard skin and bones or save for use in another recipe. Reserve meat.

2. Place almonds into same baking dish (containing chicken drippings), season with salt and pepper and return to 400ºF oven. Roast almonds for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to brown. Transfer almonds to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess fat. Once cool, roughly chop almonds. Reserve almonds.

Currants:
1. Add currants to a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a simmer and pour over currant. Let sit for 10 minutes, strain and reserve currants.

Salad and Assembly:
1. In a large bowl, add lettuce, celery, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, chicken and currants. Add Green Goddess dressing to coat lettuce mixture and gently toss. Transfer salad to a serving platter, top with almonds and serve.

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Green Goddess 101

Dressing Herbs
Many Green Goddess recipes call for parsley instead of, or in addition to, chervil. Although chervil looks similar to parsley, the taste and texture of the fresh herbs are quite different. Chervil has a more subdued, fresher taste compared to that of parsley, and boasts somewhat of a licorice flavour, similar to fennel. Find chervil at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets or your own backyard.

Basil is another tender, summery herb that can be added to a Green Goddess dressing. A touch of mint is nice, too, but rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano have distinct flavours that will easily overpower the more delicate herbs.

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Dressing Add-Ins
Ripe avocado adds creaminess to a Green Goddess dressing, typically in lieu of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, and is an especially ideal substitute when egg or dairy allergies or are involved, or those following a vegan diet.

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For more ways to jazz up your greens, check out our best homemade salad dressing recipes.

Make Daniel Boulud’s Top Chef Canada Cod Basquaise at Home

Creating a dish from memory is one thing, but it was a whole different game in the fifth episode of Top Chef Canada: All-Stars when competitors were asked to blindly taste the four favourite dishes of famed chef Daniel Boulud and then attempt to recreate them. Added to the pressure? They would be cooking for the master chef himself.

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Daniel Boulud with Mark McEwan in the Monogram Kitchen.

While others tried to parse out the ingredients in a Mussel and Cauliflower Veloutè, Poulet Chausseur and Steak Tartare, Andrea  and Nicole  were presented with Cod Basquaise, a fish dish flavoured with ingredients that region is known for, including tomatoes, Espelette peppers and chorizo.

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Nicole and Andrea blind tasting Boulud’s Cod Basquaise in the Episode 5 Quickfire Challenge.

Andrea was praised for her version which had all the key components, while Nicole neglected to add peppers – to Boulud’s surprise. (Ultimately, Boulud and head judge Mark McEwan, awarded Andrea the Quickfire Challenge win – and earned the coveted advantage going into the elimination round.)

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Andrea’s interpretation of Boulud’s Cod Basquaise 

The Basque Country region overlaps the border between France and Spain, at the western edge of the Pyranees mountain range and along the Atlantic coast. Unsurprisingly, seafood is a chief ingredient in the Basque people’s celebrated cuisine, which shares some commonalities with Spain, including the use of olive oil and tomatoes. Peppers are also frequently seen in dishes. But, while we in North America will likely reach for red peppers, those in Basque use the Espelette, a variety grown in the Basque area.

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Espelette peppers

This trio – tomatoes, peppers and olive oil – are key ingredients in Boulud’s celebrated Cod Basquaise, which takes the fish and cooks it with the vegetables, oil and onions, along with some garlic, naturellement.

While chicken is often on the ingredient list for Basque-style recipes, Boulud uses it and cod in seemingly equal measure. In his Café Boulud Cookbook it’s all about the fish (along with chorizo and clams), while on his website, he has posted his recipe for Poulet Basquaise with Artichokes, Peppers and Chorizo.

Fish is such a treat to make a meal from because it cooks quickly and, when done right, is flaky and light. Boulud’s Cod Basquaise takes about half the time to prepare and cook compared to the chicken version – even quicker if you consider the famed chef recommends seasoning the chicken the night before cooking the recipe.

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Daniel’s Cod Basquaise from Top Chef Canada: All-Stars Episode 5

A fish like cod, known for its mild flavour and versatility, does well when paired with most flavours, including the bold ones associated with Basque cooking. However, fish can seem intimidating to many of us because for lack of experience cooking it, fear of committing the cardinal sin of overcooking.

Cooking fish at a lower temperature – whether roasting or pan-frying – makes it easier to catch it when it’s cooked to perfection and before it’s gone too far. For Boulud’s recipe, the temperature of the pan is turned down to low once the cod has been added to the pan, for example.

While Andrea fairly accurately recreated Boulud’s memory only from taste, those of us wanting to attempt Cod Basquaise at home have a little help – Daniel Boulud  shared his recipe with us! This recipe has been modified slightly for the home cook.

Daniel Boulud’s Cod Basquaise

Total Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, split and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, red and green, cut into thin strips
Salt
1 tsp piment d’Espelette
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup white wine
4 plum tomatoes, peeled, split, seeds removed, cut into thin strips
4 5-oz filets of cod
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Directions:
1. In a shallow braising pan set over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp of olive oil and add the onion, garlic and bell pepper.
2. Season with salt, piment d’Espelette and smoked paprika. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion and peppers have softened, then add the white wine, tomato and cod.
3. Cover, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
4. Top with the chopped parsley and serve with crusty baguette.

You can also try these delicious cod recipes:
Ling Cod with Clams

Granadian Cod and Orange Salad with Black Olives

Pan Braised Cod with Puttanesca Sauce

creamy lobster linguini

Giada de Laurentiis’ Romantic Valentine’s Day Menu

Forgo the fancy restaurants and prix-fixe menus this Valentine’s Day and make your sweetheart swoon with a little taste of Italy right at home. Start the evening off with a restaurant-worthy Italian cocktail, followed by a rich risotto appetizer and a luscious pasta dish that’s so good, it may just lead to a romantic, Lady and the Tramp moment.

So set the table, light some candles and let Giada De Laurentiis’ simple and delicious Italian menu complete your intimate evening.

The Gentle Italian
Treat your loved one to a pink, effervescent Italian aperitif that goes down smooth. This light, lemon-scented sipper gets a hint of orange and rhubarb from a splash of Aperol, and a fizzy finish from Italian Prosecco.

Artichoke Arancini

Artichoke Arancini
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a warm, gooey and crispy bite of arancini. These golden risotto balls are lovingly made from scratch with toasted arborio rice, white wine and fresh basil. For an extra-special surprise, add a touch of fresh mozzarella or spicy sausage to the centre of each arancini ball.

Creamy Lobster Linguine

Creamy Lobster Linguine
Rich, buttery lobster gets even more indulgent in this gorgeous dish complete with bacon, shallots and a creamy garlic sauce. Basil, tarragon and a heaping handful of freshly grated Parmesan is enough to woo your lucky dinner guest.

Chai Chocolate Truffles

Chai Chocolate Truffles
Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without chocolate, and these rich, indulgent handmade truffles are just the answer. There’s only five ingredients in Giada’s scrumptious chai-flavoured truffle recipe, and your special someone won’t know that it took you less than 20 minutes to make them. For a truly romantic touch, present them in a heart-shaped box with a cappuccino to sip as you enjoy these delicate treats.

Looking for more romantic recipes? Try one of these 12 Romantic Recipes to Make at Home.

Watch Giada Entertains Sundays 12 pm E/T.

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Mustard Pan Sauce

Sometimes you want some easy luxury that can take you out of your weekday rotation of fried rice and chicken salad. This is that kind of recipe. It’s rich and impressive enough to make for a dinner party, but I have no problem tackling it during a weekday. I feel like almost every French-style dish gives you the best of both worlds like that.

Skillet chicken thighs

What makes this dish shine is searing the chicken thighs in the pan to crisp up the skin and create the base for the sauce. They’re finished in the oven on a sheet pan so you can make the sauce while they roast. The tangy, creamy sauce comes together with lots of white wine, grainy mustard and capers — no cream added!

The crispy chicken thighs and mustard sauce is delicious on its own or you can also pair it with a frisée salad, potatoes or even serve it over spaghetti.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
6-8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, sliced or minced
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 1/2 cup crisp white wine, like pinot grigio
1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp drained capers
Salt and lots of fresh black pepper
Chopped parsley, garnish

Skillet Chicken Thighs

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and fresh black pepper.
3. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
4. Sear the chicken, skin side down first for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. The chicken will release itself from the pan easily when it’s ready to be flipped and taken out of the pan!
5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 18-22 minutes until the internal temperature reads 165˚F. Roasting time will depend on the thickness of the chicken thighs so check the temperature.
6. Immediately after removing the chicken from the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the shallots and thyme.
7. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften.
8. Add the flour and grainy mustard and cook for another minute until the rawness of the flour is cooked out.
9. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all of the browned bits from the chicken.
10. Turn the heat up to medium-high and reduce the wine by at least half.
11. Add the chicken stock and capers to the pan and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has reduced and has thickened.
12. Taste and season with salt, if needed, and lots of fresh black pepper.
13. Plate by spooning some of the pan sauce onto each serving dish, placing the chicken in the sauce, and then drizzling a little bit of sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley.

10 Quick Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

Don’t skip the most important meal of the day because you’re in a time crunch. Start your day off right with one of these quick breakfast options that are heavy on the nutrition and light on the ingredient list.

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1. Caramelized Onion & Bacon Strata Cups
These savoury bread pudding cups are filled with the golden breakfast foursome: bacon, eggs, bread and cheese. Batch-make a bunch on the weekend and simply warm them up throughout the week for a no-fuss brekkie.

2. Banana Dog Bites
A quick, mess-free, portable breakfast you can eat while rushing out the door.

3. Overnight Mango Chia Breakfast Pudding
Mix up a Mason jar filled with chia seeds, frozen chopped mango, coconut milk and almond milk and a little splash of honey or maple syrup and leave it in the fridge overnight: you’ll wake up to a healthy breakfast pudding the kids will love.

4. Strawberry-Beet Smoothie
Popping a bright red beet into your morning smoothie gives it an intense colour and packs some serious nutritional punch. Don’t think you like beets? Once it’s whizzed with strawberries, banana and a little milk and honey, no one will ever believe you snuck one in.

5. 3 Ingredient Energy Bites
Whirl a handful of unsalted peanuts, chocolate chips and unsweetened shredded coconut in the food processor or blender, roll tablespoon-sized portions into a ball and breakfast is sorted.

6. Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups
Like a mini frittata, these muffin-size breakfast bites are full of good-for-you ingredients like cooked quinoa, eggs, egg whites, shredded zucchini, cheddar cheese and diced ham.

7. Avocado Coconut Banana Pops
These cool breakfast pops are jammed with more than just flavour. Made with creamy avocado, banana, frozen pineapple chunks and a mix of coconut yogurt and milk, these sweet morning treats are brimming with vitamins, Omega-3 and potassium.

8. Peanut Butter Banana Oat Smoothie
Frozen bananas, protein-packed peanut butter and Greek yogurt, and fibre-filled oats are blended together to create a thick and creamy peanut butter banana oat smoothie that will keep everyone full until recess.

9. 5 Ingredient Chia Coconut Energy Bites
Combine dates, shredded coconut, chia seeds and chopped nuts with pure honey in a bowl, roll them out and you’re done. Make a bunch in advance and keep in an air-tight container.

10. Nut Butter Crunch Toast with Granola and Honey
This quickie breakfast gets a crunchy boost from a sprinkling of granola, while the nut butter and banana make it substantial enough to keep you feeling full.

5 Easy Dishes You Make in a Toaster Oven

The toaster oven is a marvelous appliance when you’re cooking for one or two people, and don’t want to turn on the oven just to bake a single chicken breast.

Here are five easy ways to cook delicious meals and snacks with this underrated kitchen appliance.

Breakfast: Warm Turkey and Gooey Mozzarella English Muffins

This simple yet satisfying breakfast sandwich beats anything you’ll get at a coffee shop en route to work. Protein from the turkey and healthy fats from the avocado will keep your hunger in check, while the spicy mayo, which can be made in advance, will wake up your taste buds. This recipe makes two English muffins, enough for you and your roommate (or you and your hangover).

BreakfastSandwich

Ingredients:
2 whole wheat English muffins
2 slices mozzarella
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
4 slices turkey breast
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
Sriracha, to taste

Directions:
1. Slice the English muffins in half and top each of the bottom halves with a slice of mozzarella and two turkey slices.
2. Toast all four halves in the toaster oven until the cheese starts to melt.
3. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with Sriracha until it’s to your liking.
4. Top the toasted muffins with avocado slices and a smear of the spicy mayo.

Mid-Morning Snack: Roasted Spiced Almonds

Forget buying the sugar-laden, honey-roasted nuts and opt for toasted almonds for a healthier snack that you can take to the office. Toasting the almonds intensifies the nuttiness and gives them a better crunch.

Almonds

Ingredients:
1 heaping cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 big pinches cayenne

Directions:
1. Set the toaster oven to the bake setting at 400°F.
2. In a pan lined with aluminum foil, toss the almonds with the olive oil ensuring that every nut gets evenly coated.
3. Sprinkle salt and cayenne on the almonds and toss again. Spread the almonds out in single layer and bake for 12-14 minutes until the almonds turn a dark brown, but not black.
4. Let cool for five to 10 minutes before serving. Let the almonds cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Lunch: Baked Chicken Fingers with Cucumber-Mango Slaw

Nothing will replace the greasy goodness that is a bucket of fried chicken (NOTHING!), but this baked version uses significantly less oil and still has that satisfying crunch.

ChickenTenders

Ingredients:
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thick strips
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 panko crumbs
1/4 cucumber, julliened
1/2 mango, julliened*
Chili flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Set the toaster oven to the bake setting at 425°F.
2. In a small bowl, lightly coat the chicken strips in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine the panko crumbs, parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Dredge the chicken in the crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into the meat to ensure they’re heavily coated.
4. In a baking pan covered with aluminum foil, line the chicken strips in a single layer. Bake for 8 minutes. Flip, then bake for another 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely. Let the chicken rest for five minutes.
5. In the meantime, toss the cucumber and mango together. Sprinkle with chili flakes on top. Serve with chicken strips, which go well with dips like Dijon or ketchup.

*Wash the mango and slice the skin off with a paring knife. Slice along the length of the mango, keeping the knife as close to the pith in the middle as possible. Repeat with the other side. You’re now left with two mango halves or “cheeks” and the inedible seed in the middle.

Afternoon Snack: Vegan, Dairy and Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Oat Cookies

These soft and chewy cookies are basically made from a sweet potato that’s been baked, pureed and mashed with rolled oats. They’re essentially teething cookies (my baby niece approves), but I’ve also been passing them off as vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free (as long as the oats came from a gluten-free factory) treats for my friends who suddenly became intolerant to everything. Hey, as long as they taste good, right?

SweetPotatoCookies

Ingredients (makes about a dozen cookies):
1 medium sweet potato
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:
1. Set the toaster oven to the bake setting at 400°F.
2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Set the toaster oven to 350°F.
4. Remove skin and place in a mixing bowl. Using a hand blender (or a spoon or potato masher) mash the potato to get a creamy consistency. Add in the oats, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices. Mix until well combined.
5. Make Tbsp sized dough balls and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Arrange them so that none of them are touching the edges of the tray or each other. Slightly flatten the cookies with your palm.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to cool completely on a wire rack.

Dinner: Lemon-Pepper Cod with Roasted Vegetable and Kale Salad

Roast whatever vegetables are in season when they’re at their most flavourful (not to mention cheapest) — potatoes, parsnips, beets, sweet peppers — mix it up to keep things fresh and exciting.

CodSalad

Ingredients:
1 cod filet
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup summer squash, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup carrot, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup white onion, diced
2 cups kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the toaster oven to 400°F.
2. In a pan lined with aluminum foil, toss the vegetables with olive oil until everything is evenly coated (about 2 Tbsp). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Remove from oven and pour the vegetables into a bowl to cool.
3. Sprinkle the cod with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place on roasting pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is flaky and no longer translucent. Let the fish rest for 5 minutes before serving.
4. In the meantime in a serving bowl, toss the kale with the warm, roasted vegetables and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Place the cod on top, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.

Rhubarb Relish Revival

By Katherine Eisenhauer, as told to Nancy Fornasiero

Katherine Eisenhauer, a ninth-generation resident of Lunenburg, N.S., has been the chef-owner of The Savvy Sailor Cafe in her hometown since 2012. Her unassuming little restaurant, which boasts a view of Lunenburg’s historic UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront, is a favourite with tourists and locals alike. Fresh locally sourced ingredients and a diverse menu that includes many of her own family’s favourite dishes are the secrets to her success.

Rhubarb is definitely a well-loved ingredient in Nova Scotia; it grows in many backyards, including my own. I still remember helping my grandmother—my dad’s mum, Josephine—pull rhubarb from the huge patch in the yard of the home she lived in with Gramps when I was a kid. I think they had the best rhubarb patch in town. We would have a great time together gathering it, washing it and chopping it up. Although she made different things with it, Gamma (as I always call her) was most famous for her rhubarb relish. I can hardly remember a family gathering where fish was served when it wasn’t on the table.

Hers is the exact recipe I still use today in the café. In fact, I followed it right from her own handwriting in the Dutch Oven cookbook just this morning! The Dutch Oven is a Lunenburg classic. It was first published in 1953 by Gamma and her friends in The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, and it’s full of traditional Nova Scotia recipes. When they created it as a fundraiser back then, the ladies sure didn’t expect it to remain popular all these years later. It’s now in its 21st printing.

Around here, rhubarb relish is typically eaten with whitefish, cod or haddock, or with other cod-based dishes, like fish cakes. That’s how we serve it at the café: alongside our famous fish cakes and baked beans as part of our “Lunenburg Breakfast.” It’s one of our most popular items, even though it’s pretty unusual for people to choose fish for breakfast. (I guess when they visit us, they figure: When in Rome…?) People really love the relish—they’re always asking me, “Can I buy some? Can I buy some?” So when I have enough on hand, I sell some to customers. When stored properly in the fridge, it lasts many months. We also serve it for dinner alongside fish cakes and salad or pan-seared Atlantic cod and salad.

This recipe has so many great personal connections for me, but what really stands out is our family’s annual “fish-cake brunch.” For as long as anyone can remember, we’ve been gathering for this event between Christmas and New Year’s—both sides of the family, as well as family friends. It’s the sort of meal where we prep about 50 pounds of potatoes and 15 pounds of cod! The relish is always a big part of that meal.

We’ve been in Lunenburg since 1753, when the three Eisenhauer brothers first arrived from Germany. Traditions mean a lot to us. Grandma’s 90 now, and though she still loves to cook, I make the relish these days and take my relish over to her. She’s given it her stamp of approval! I’m so happy to be keeping her tradition alive.

The Savvy Sailor’s Rhubarb Relish, courtesy of Katherine Eisenhauer

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Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 ½ hours (includes chilling time)
Yield: approx 8 cups

Ingredients
8 cups (2 L) chopped rhubarb
8 cups (2 L) onions, thinly sliced
7 cups (1.75 L) granulated sugar
3 cups (750 mL) cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cloves
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon

Directions
1. Chop rhubarb into rough dice; set asi1002de.
2. Add onions to separate bowl. Cover with boiling water; let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and discard water.
3. In heavy-bottomed pot, dissolve sugar in cider vinegar on medium heat. Add onions, rhubarb, salt, cloves and cinnamon. Stir well. Cook, stirring often, until it reaches a thick jam-like consistency, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Remove from heat; let cool. Place in jar and refrigerate.

Jump over here to print, save or share this Rhubarb Relish recipe.

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!

Rob_Rossi

Rob Rossi’s Tips for Cooking with Cheap Cuts of Meat

Rob Rossi is a Food Network Canada favourite: he was the runner-up in the inaugural season of Top Chef Canada and he was a star chef on Chef in Your Ear. He’s also a celebrated Toronto restaurateur and meat savant, known across the city as the culinary brains behind Bestellen, a meat-centric restaurant where diners with the foresight to place an advance order can enjoy an entire roasted suckling pig, family style.

Despite all the attention, Rossi’s approach is actually quite simple; focusing on quality ingredients and time-tested techniques. Here he gives his advice for choosing inexpensive meats, as well as the cheap cuts home cooks can prepare without sacrificing flavour.

Think low and slow.
When in doubt, search for recipes that call for braising, stewing, or ‘low and slow’ cooking. “Any cut that can’t just be grilled or seared is usually pretty cheap,” says Rossi. “Tougher cuts are often the cheaper ones.”

Season, season and season some more.
I think a lot of the time people are really scared of salt and pepper,” says Rossi. “They’re really scared of fresh herbs, or they use them too sparsely.” But when cooking with cheaper cuts — which Rossi says are often more flavourful — seasoning can mean the difference between adequate and great.

Spend your meat savings on wine.
Quality is important when braising, a common technique for turning tough cuts tender. Use an excellent veal, beef or chicken stock, and avoid high-sodium boxed brands. Even the low-sodium versions are too salty, says Rossi. If you prefer to braise your meats with wine — a solid choice for darker meats like oxtail, venison and beef — Rossi suggests choosing one that’s good enough to drink. “It’s probably not a good opportunity to dump in some crappy wine,” he says, “because that taste is really going to stay there. You certainly don’t want to open up a $20 bottle, but I would say if you’re going to drink some of it, that’s a good measure there. Would you have a glass of it? Okay, that’s good enough.”

Ready to get cooking? Here are some cheaper cuts Chef Rossi loves to make:

Shinbones
Roasting the shinbone of a cow yields a decadent marrow, perfect for spreading on brioche toasts or potatoes. “There’s no real meat on the outside of them,” says Chef Rossi, “so that’s why they’re cost effective.  It’s just the marrow on the inside, which is basically just really rich and fatty.”

Roasted Bone Marrow

Try Rob Rossi’s Roasted Bone Marrow with Ox Tail, Parsley Salad and Toasted Brioche

Ground Meat
“Ground meat is definitely cheap, so you can always do meatballs or Bolognese sauce,” says Chef Rossi. “Even burgers — generally they’re not very expensive.”

Although Rossi says most Canadians are liable to pick beef, it’s not his top choice. “I like ground pork a lot,” he says. “I think that it doesn’t really get enough attention. I think as Canadians we’re usually fairly conservative when it comes to food, and ground beef is one of those things we always gravitate towards. But ground pork is awesome — it’s a little bit fattier and it has a lot more flavour.”

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Use ground pork (and ground beef and veal) in Rob Rossi’s Spaghetti & Meatballs and Olive Oil Ice Cream

Sausages
“Sausages are always cost effective,” says Rossi . “Again, it goes back to that ground meat.” Whether you enjoy them in their original shape, or disassemble them for the ground meat inside, they’re a relatively inexpensive way to add meaty flavour to many dishes.

Chorizo Sloppy Joe

Try Rob Rossi’s Chorizo Sloppy Joe with Manchego Cheese

Pork
“Pork’s an easy one,” says Chef Rossi. “Most pork cuts are very cheap: even the prime cuts, which would be pork chops, we know they’re cheap.” He suggests pork tenderloin if you’re cooking for a group. “Pork tenderloin is always really good for a family,” he says. “Super tender, super cheap and easy to find.”

Flatiron Steak
Despite their relatively low cost, flatiron steaks provide the same feeling as having a very good cut of meat, says Rossi. “You can cook it medium rare, you can slice it like a steak.” However, don’t expect to find them easily at a grocery store. “That is something you would definitely buy at a butcher shop,” he advises.

Whatever cuts you end up choosing, have fun with them! “Chefs always make mistakes, we always have failures, and it’s certainly not something you should be scared of or say, ‘Oh I tried that once and it didn’t work,’” says Chef Rossi. “You know, it’s just food. At the end of the day, you’ll get it, and it will turn out eventually the way you want it to.”

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