Garam Masala Meatballs with Turmeric rice

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Imagine my evenings (I’m sure for some it’s not hard…)

Tired mom drives close to the speed of light down the highway, racing to her destination… day care. Upon arrival, some polite chatter with the person entrusted to mold and meld my babes, inquiring about their their day. Hopefully no apologies required, (a few F bombs have dropped).

I then try to quickly and calmly stuff them into the car as they run around appearing like a cross between squealing hyenas and an octopus (hyocs, octayenas…???).

Fortunately, this often involves lots of hugs. Unfortunately, they seem to grow thousands of arms competing for body area to hug. I’ve fallen when not braced properly.

The ride home is half filled with happy chatter and half filled with a chorus of “mom, we’re hungry”, “can we watch ponies?”, “mom, she keeps touching me”.20140723-224702-82022154.jpg

We arrive, I unlock the door, the dog charges us and the octyenas sort of quickly make their way inside as I herd the dog and the cat, carrying bags, my purse and backpacks.  I then either try to be super woman getting snacks and lovely brain enriching activities out and on the go, or I say f*@k it and put on the bloody ponies…again.

Sashay  into the kitchen, ready to prepare yet another perfectly balanced meal of both flavour and health.

I manage to get supper organized with only 6 interruptions, one involving food, two settling disputes, at least one accident and one boo boo that needs kissing, (of course something else happened too). Finally  presenting my masterpiece to the adoring family and pretending that a bomb hasn’t exploded in the kitchen.

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Miraculously all is well. The kids come to the table and happily shove nourishment into their little pieholes,  babbling about Pokemon cards and colouring. I breathe for the first time since I got in the car and we settle into the rest of our nightly routine.

For obvious reasons I need food to be quick, easy and tasty. I also want to enjoy my dinner so it needs to be kid friendly and manageable by little hands. Hence my love of tacos and meatballs. However, combining the two could be weird or boring or both.

But, I have been blessed to live in a country that has given me global inspiration and grocery stores that stock spices and flavours to play with. Even in the small town I live in I can still created ethnically inspired dishes that open up my kids experience of the world through food. Giving me hundreds of ways to create new versions of a meal that fits my families needs.

This dinner is such a perfect example of that. I have been making  chicken meatballs for my family as a staple meal for years. Recently I started using them in tacos and then somehow that morphed into trying different ethnic variations, including spices like curry powder, ginger and turmeric. I’ve never eaten a lot of meat so I also  have what my husband calls ‘filler’ to go along with the meatballs. In this case it became a rice dish that I actually think almost steals the show and makes an amazing side or a great vegetarian option for your tacos :). I love it. The raisins are a bit sweet and the rice is so fragrant. Plus the turmeric makes it an absolutely gorgeous colour.

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I can have everything ready in about 45 minutes too. And part of that is in the oven cooking time so I don’t feel tied to the kitchen or like I’m missing out on my family.

For my tacos I make the meatballs and rice then slice up tomatoes and cucumbers. Plain yogurt mixed with cilantro, mint or even basil, plus a bit of salt and olive oil make a super easy sauce to top it all with. For a salad just toss that all in one bowl.

And if the idea of tacos is just too weird, ixnay (say no to) the tortillas and serve your meatballs on the rice with the salad instead. That was my lunch today… People were jealous.

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Garam Masala Meatballs

2 packages ground chicken thigh or ground turkey (around 900 g)
1/4 cup panko
1/4 chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, chives)
1/4 chopped feta
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tsp curry powder
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350
Mix all the ingredients gently together and form into small balls. About a tbsp scoop.
Place the meatballs in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes and cooked through .

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Turmeric Rice

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion finely diced
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you are not using a salt free stock)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups veggie stock or 1 cube salt free veggie bouillon and 2 cups water

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a medium sized pot add the olive oil and heat over medium low heat. Add the onions and sauté until they soften. Add all the ingredients down to and including the salt, cooking for only a few moments. Add the rice, stirring regularly cook for a minute or two. Toss in the raisins and then pour in either the bouillon or stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiling reduce to low heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to sit another 5 minutes. Fold in the cilantro and serve

 

 

 

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What can I say. We’re a family that likes our food and when hubby’s ashore he makes sure to get his fill 🙂

I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do and please let me know what you think. I also have a Facebook page where I post nightly meal ideas, photos and meal prep www.facebook.com/myweeklydish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Banh Mi Inspired Burger

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A Banh mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich that has inspired many creations and has become familiar in most parts of the world. It’s a crusty French roll filled often filled with pork, chicken, fresh crunchy vegetables, herbs and a little spice. Basically a massive amount of flavour packed into an amazing sandwich and if you try one you immediately understand why so many people love them.

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I thought the idea would translate into an amazing burger and these have quickly become a favourite in my house. The flavours all combine so wonderfully; crunchy pickled vegetables on top of a soy, ginger and garlic flavoured patty then a spicy mayo to tie it all together.

I have made these for friends and family and each person has declared it one of their favourite burgers ever. In fact, if I ever have my dream come true and own a little restaurant/shack this will most definitely be on the menu

This post has been updated with new photos and some editing to my initial writing (I spelled Sriracha wrong…). The recipe has not changed 🙂

Burgers

350  grams ground pork (1 package)
350 grams ground chicken thigh (1 package)
1/8 cup finely sliced green onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 thumb of ginger finely diced
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients, folding them together by hand, then form into patties. In a non stick pan over medium low heat brown one side about 5 minutes. Flip the burger and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook another 5-7 minutes or until the burger is cooked through.

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Pickles

1 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup roughly chopped  basil (I like mint in here too)

Heat the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until the the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the cucumber, carrots and radishes and allow them to sit for at least an hour before using. Just prior to serving pour off the pickling liquid and mix the pickled vegetables with the cilantro and mint.

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Spicy Mayo

2 tbs mayo 
2Tbsp plain yogurt
a healthy squeeze of sriracha 
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all three ingredients together in a small bowl. I have used Sambal because it’s what I had in my fridge but it’s pretty potent so it needs to be used fairly sparingly

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Smear the bun with the spicy mayo, then top the burger with the pickles and enjoy!!

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or any of my other posts. Also come and check out my Facebook page MyWeeklyDish for nightly meal inspiration

 

I hope you love this inspired burger as much as I do 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Scotch Eggs with Chicken Sausage

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This was an experiment based on the fact I did nothing Eastery food wise but knew that lots of people would have left over boiled eggs. I have never tried a scotch egg but have been fascinated (really??) by them for way too long and finally decided to try my hand at making them. Typically they are made with pork sausage and deep fried. Since I like to eat lighter fare but love the idea I thought chicken sausage would work perfectly.

They were super yummy and my son loved them. I see them being a great brunch item or as part of a lunch. I’ve seen scotch eggs on menus as part of a ploughman’s lunch, which are generally meats, cheeses, pickles, bread and a bit of salad. I think lunch guests would be  impressed with a spread like that and honestly they aren’t much work.

Ploughman's lunch

Ploughman’s lunch

Scotch Eggs

7 Free Range Eggs
1 package (400g) of ground chicken thighs or ground turkey
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground sage
pinch nutmeg
pinch marjoram
pinch thyme
or 3/4 tsp poultry seasoning to replace sage to thyme
1 tbsp brown butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp paprika

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Scotch Egg Loveliness

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large saucepan cover six of the eggs with about an inch of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for six minutes and then place the eggs into cold water.
In a mixing bowl combine the ground chicken with 1 tsp salt, and the spices. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat melt the butter and allow it to become brown without it burning. Add the browned butter and mix in to the ground chicken mixture.
In a shallow bowl combine the panko, paprika and 1 tsp of salt. Prepare a breading station with three bowls. The first has your sausage mixture, second the last egg beaten, and the third is the panko mixture. Also have a sheet pan ready for your finished eggs. I lined mine with parchment paper but they aren’t messy.
Remove all the shells from the eggs and one at a time cover in a thin layer of the sausage. Place it next in the egg bath and roll it around. Then move the eggy egg to the panko and roll the egg around gently to form a crust. Place on the baking sheet and move on to the next egg.
Once all your eggs are ready place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes making sure the sausage is thoroughly cooked.

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Delicious

A Curry for My Sister

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In our family and I think in most families, birthday dinners are kind of a tradition and expectation. So when my step-mom’s (or other-mother as I prefer to call her) birthday came around we needed to make the usual decision of going out or staying in. Out of a desire to actually enjoy the evening we decided to skip the restaurant meal this year and stay at home.

Eating in a restaurant with two small kids just isn’t all that fun sometimes, either for the parents or for other diners. It’s not that dinners out are impossible but  there is the potential for chasing small bodies around crowded restaurants, coaxing them out from underneath tables and the guarantee of either not tasting the food or sort of enjoying it cold. So instead I made dinner at their house. The kitchens bigger and the kids are entertained playing with their grandparents leaving me to happily play in the kitchen.

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Curry spices meeting an onion

I made a fish curry because OM loves fish and good Indian food is hard to find where we live. The Island is an amazing place to live but if you’re looking for wonderful, diverse ethnic eats you may find yourself a little disappointed or have to drive really far. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we have on occasion driven an hour just to have good dim sum and I would consider flying back to Edmonton just for my favourite Indian buffet. But, it’s given me a good reason to expand my culinary wisdom and I can honestly now say I make a damn good curry. And this one isn’t just for special occasions. It is quick enough to be good any night of the week.

When my sister (who unfortunately still lives too far away) heard what I made she was bummed she missed out but was excited she might see the recipe on my site. She hasn’t had the time to try out a bunch or different recipes looking for a good one. Fortunately, she trusts my cooking skills and I hope when she tries this one out she will be as happy with this dish as we all were.

Curry from scratch may have seemed daunting before but I promise you will feel completely comfortable making this dish and your friends and family will all be suitably impressed. I love the sweetness the bell peppers and the coconut milk bring combined with warm Indian spices. It’s also really pretty when served which I always think helps too. I didn’t make this a spicy dish, but if you like a little more heat I would add a seeded and diced jalapeño when the spices are added.

While writing the recipe for this curry I didn’t have time to grab fish so I adapted it for chicken. To keep it a fish dish follow the same directions for making the sauce and use a hardier fish that can stand up to the flavours and cooking, like the wild pacific cod I tried.  Add palm (like your hand) size pieces of fish directly to the sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is happy. It should flake with a fork when it is ready.

Curry Recipe

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A thumb of ginger

3 Tbsp canola oil
1 sliced medium sized onion (about 1 cup)
1 clove diced garlic
1 thumb of ginger finely diced
1 seeded and finely diced jalapeno (optional)
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp medium curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 large can diced unsalted tomatoes 28 oz
2 sliced red, yellow or orange bell peppers
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp salt (if you used salted tomatoes season with salt to taste)

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup chopped cilantro

Over medium heat warm 2 Tbsps of the oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until they are softened and translucent. reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the next six ingredients stopping at the tomatoes. Cook the spices for 2 minutes, reducing the heat if the garlic begins to brown. Add the sliced peppers and cook until they have begun to soften, about 5-7 minutes and then pour in the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then stir in the coconut milk, and salt.

Aren’t those beautiful spices!

Over medium heat in a separate pan, heat the last tbsp of canola oil and brown the chicken thighs on each side. About 3-4 minutes a side. Rest the chicken in the curry sauce without submerging and cover. Increase the heat to medium and leave it alone for 15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the cilantro and remove from heat. Allow all the flavours to get to know each other a little better, about a minute and then serve.

I like to serve curry over basmati rice. Add 1 cup of basmati rice to 2 cups slightly salted boiling water (1 tsp). Cover and and reduce heat to low. Ignore it for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a for before serving

If this is the first time you’ve attempted to make a curry from scratch I hope you feel ready to make this on a regular basis. I know my family will happily have this in their meal rotation for quite a while.

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A Taste of Newfoundland

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My sister in law came into town this week and when I looked at our dinner plan, it was fried egg sandwiches. Not exactly a dinner I want to serve to out of town family. Since hubbers is feeling homesick and the theme for the week is comfort food, I decided to try my hand at making a traditional Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner. This is a Sunday supper/special occasion kind of meal with Irish roots. The meal consists of a roast chicken/turkey or beef roast, mashed potatoes, salt beef , an assortment of vegetables that are boiled in the water the salt beef is cooked in, dressing or stuffing as I call it, peas pudding (it’s like a really thick pea soup) and gravy. It’s accompanied with mustard pickles, pickled beets and sometimes cranberry sauce. Some regions of Newfoundland have their own unique variations but this is a pretty typical Jiggs dinner where hubby is from.

This is not a meal I have any experience in making and I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Unfortunately, cooking is not my SIL’s (sister in laws) favourite so we had to make a few calls back East and check out a blog, A Cook’s Life, to get it all figured out. I wasn’t able to replicate my mother in laws dressing but other than that I personally think I did a lovely job. I was even happier that my hubby and his sister liked it.

There isn’t a lot of prep to this dinner but at the end there is a huge hurry of activity to bring it all together. I would suggest either having a partner to help you pull it together or have a tight plan to get it on the table before it gets cold.

This meal will serve 4-6

Salt Beef and Vegetables

3-4 pieces navel salt beef
1/2 a large turnip
1/2 a green cabbage
4-6 carrots, peeled
1 cup yellow split peas

Normally you would need to soak the salt beef in water overnight, changing the water at least once. Since I got a late start my father in law suggested that I boil the beef and then change the water and let it soak. I have always found salt beef too salty (funny that, it starts with 226% of your recommended daily sodium intake) so I boiled it twice and then soaked it hoping to reduce the salt more.

After again changing the water I put the water to boil with the beef about 2.5 hours before supper time. Place the split peas in a peas pudding bag, if you don’t have one it can also be tied up in a tea towel or cheese cloth, (My husband told me his cousin has used a sock). Don’t tie the bag so tight that the peas are packed tight against each other. I made this mistake and the pudding wasn’t able to cook.

Cut the vegetables into large chunks. I cut the turnip in three, the cabbage in three and the carrots in half. About 30 minutes before dinner I added the cabbage and turnip and about 15 minutes before I added the carrots. The cabbage and carrots are served as is, the peas pudding is mashed with a bit of butter and turnips are also mashed with butter and pepper to taste, no salt:)

Roast Chicken and Dressing

Since it was just the four of us I decided to do a small chicken, that was too small to stuff. I rubbed olive oil on the skin and generously seasoned it with salt and pepper. It then went into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. I used my meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reached 165.

Like I said this wasn’t my MIL’s dressing but more similar to what I grew up eating. If you have Newfoundlander’s coming to dinner you may want to check with them for their recipe.

1/2 stale loaf of French bread
1 finely diced onion
1 finely chopped stalk of celery
1 tsp Savoury
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup melted butter
salt and pepper
hot water

Buzz the bread in a food processor until it is broken down but not crumbs. Add the onion, celery, seasoning and melted butter. It should be moist and clump together without being wet. If it doesn’t stick together use the hot water to moisten the bread mixture until it does stay together. Since I wasn’t able to stuff the chicken I then put the whole mixture into a baking dish, covered it with tin foil and placed it in the oven and the same time as the chicken.

Gravy

Drippings from the roast
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup liquid from salt beef
up to a tbsp of flour
pepper to taste

In a sauté pan combine the drippings with the stock and salt beef liquid. In a small cup mix 1 tsp of flour with a bit of the liquid to create a lose slurry. Over medium heat bring the liquid to a simmer and stir in the slurry. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to simmer. Stir regularly with a whisk to prevent lumps. The gravy should begin to thicken, if it is not thickening or not thickening enough make another slurry with an additional tsp and repeat until the consistency is gravy like. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

I used a big platter to serve everything family style. I like the way it looked and then all the different parts kept each other warm as it was getting to the table. One day I’ll get around to buying a gravy boat too and I won’t have to use my measuring cups.

My husband comes from a place that has such a strong cultural identity and more than anything this meal shows how a dinner can bring a person home or to a place that feels like it. I don’t love every part of this dinner but I will make it happily for my family and friends to share that feeling with them and to make sure that my children feel that same connection to the place their dad is from.

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Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

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One of my favourite ways to make an amazing pasta dinner is to play with a meal that I already love and to translate those flavours. Tikka Masala is a rich and creamy Indian dish using the spice blend Garam Masala. I’ve talked about Masala before in my Indian Spiced Sloppy Joe recipe. It’s a combination of warm fragrant spices and it instantly makes my mouth water.

Tikka Masala is generally not low calorie and uses whipping cream and butter to add richness to the dish. I’ve cut back on the cream and all the butter. By using Greek yogurt there is still richness without the heaviness. To save time I’ve used cooked chicken that I made using the Roast Chicken recipe leaving off everything but salt and pepper, a rotisserie chicken would be perfect too if you don’t have the time for making roast chicken. In a traditional recipe the chicken would have been marinated in yogurt for at least an hour. To get the tang of the yogurt without the time of marinating, the yogurt is added at the last minute. Spinach provides greens and if you like a little heat add a diced jalapeño while cooking the onions.

If pasta isn’t an obsession for you like it is for me this would be delicious over rice, quinoa or really anything, even cardboard would probably taste good with this sauce:)

Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 med onion)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
1 heaping tbsp garam masala
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp salt if using no salt added tomatoes. Season to taste otherwise
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

4 cups uncooked rigatoni pasta, cooked to package instructions

Over medium heat sweat the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and garam masala. Allow the spices to cook for five minutes stirring regularly, then stir in the diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and add the spinach. It may need to be added in batches. It will seem like a lot but will cook down quickly. Once the spinach is wilted in mix in the whipping cream. Season with salt and lay the chicken in the sauce. Simmer for another five minutes and remove from the heat. Once the sauce has stopped bubbling fold in the yogurt and cilantro, if the sauce is still too hot the yogurt can seperate. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently combine.

I like to grate a little parmesan on the top after serving.

Tikka Masala

To get this meal on the table in 30 minutes:

  1. Have the salted water on the stove over high heat for the pasta
  2. Once the tomatoes have been added pour the pasta into the boiling water
  3. After adding the pasta slice the chicken
  4. Once the spinach is added chop the cilantro and measure the yogurt
  5. After adding the yogurt and cilantro let the sauce rest a few minutes while you set the table, then add the pasta

Enjoy and if you’re interested in how this dinner fits into my weekly meal plan It can be found in my Weekly Meal Plan list.

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki and Greekish Salad

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I love Mediterranean food. The combinations of herbs and spices create amazing aromas and flavours that make my mouth water. Over Christmas I experimented and made a Lebanese meal for my family which featured different types of kebabs. It was an all day process and not something I want to take on again for a long time. So, I worked out a quick kebab like meatball, which shares the same amazing flavours but can be a week night dinner.

From start to finish I can have this one done in about 30 minutes give or take. To get this on the table that quickly timing and multi-tasking are key. My strategy is that once the meatballs are browning I throw together the tzatziki so its deliciousness can mingle. When I have the meatballs in the oven I prep the salad and get the table set. Then it’s only a few minutes to pull the whole meal together and my family gets to enjoy a meal that looks like I put in a whole lot more effort.

Meatballs

1 package ground chicken
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
¼ tsp allspice
½ cup small cubes feta
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tbsp olive oil

MeatballsCombine all the ingredients except for the feta and olive oil in one bowl. Once all the ingredients are combined gently mix in the feta, trying not to break it up.

Form into small meatballs, about a tbsp size each, by rolling the mixture in your hand. I get about 20 meatballs.

Over medium heat warm the olive oil in an oven safe pan. Once the oil is heated, place the meatballs in the pan and cook about 5 minutes, turning once they are browned. Allow them to sear on the opposite side for about another 2 minutes then transfer into a 350F degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked and have reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Tzatziki

½ cup Greek or plain yogurt
½ cup grated english cucumber
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cucumber. I wrap mine in a thin tea towel and wring it until I can’t get any more water out. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy

Greekish Salad

1 large chopped tomato
1 chopped yellow or orange bell pepper
2 sliced small cucumbers or ¾ of an English cucumber
½ cup calamata olives
½ cup small cubed feta cheese
2 handfuls of salad greens
½ a sliced red onion (optional)

Dressing

2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of oregano and basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Old baby food jars or other small jars are perfect for mixing dressings. Simply add all the ingredients to the jar and give it a shake.

Layer all the vegetables and top with the salad greens. Just before serving toss the salad with the dressing.

pita and chicken

I hope your family loves this Mediterranean inspired dinner as much as we do and I’d love to hear what you think. If you would like to see how this meal fits in to my families meal plan here’s the link, Weekly Meal Plan

Creamy Vegetable and Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

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I love the Joy of Cooking. In fact, I have actually read it from cover to cover and had it beside my bed until I was finished. Food geek you say? Why yes I am, completely and totally. I learned a lot from this book and use it all the time as a foundation for cooking. When I have a new idea I turn to this wonderful book and can often find a starting place, the waffles and pancakes I make weekly are Joy of Cooking recipes. But sometimes my holy book lets me down and when I had an idea for a chicken and tortilla casserole the one I found, the King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe was not a recipe I would make. It has almost no vegetables, no spices or yummy seasoning and sounds like it would be cheesy, gloppy chicken. So, I set out to create my own healthier version.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

I like to think I do the book proud with my version and I had a friend test the recipe to make sure it was tasty. She loved that it came together quickly and that she could use a rotisserie chicken.

I’ve used lots of vegetables and cumin, chili powder, garlic and cilantro to add flavour and freshness to this casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 diced red pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced zucchini
2 cups cooked chicken

1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheese
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup cilantro
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Salt

About 7 Corn tortillas cut in half

Over medium heat sauté the onion in canola oil until they are translucent. Stir in garlic, spices and tomato. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato has softened and the mixture smells delicious. Add the red peppers corn, and zucchini, cook for a few more minutes, then stir in chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Casserole without cheeseIn a largish bowl whisk together the mushroom soup and yogurt. Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the tortillas and season to taste with the hot sauce and salt.

In a casserole dish place a single layer of corn tortillas then a layer of the sauce mixture. I find two and a half tortillas fit perfectly. Continue layering, alternating between corn tortillas and sauce, finish with sauce mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350F

My girlfriend added a diced Jalapeño in while cooking the vegetables and I think that would add a wonderful flavour and heat if your family and friends approve. Here’s how this dinner fits into my families weekly meal plan, Weekly Meal Plan

Vegetarian Chickpea Tacos

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One of my goals this year has been to eat less meat and since I’m the cook in the house, my husband’s right on board with me. I’ve used chickpeas for a healthy protein source and upped the veggie ante with a base of tomatoes, bell peppers and corn. This makes for a super flavourful, fresh tasting taco. The recipe has become a multi-purpose base for lots of dishes. I’ve made taco salads and quesadillas using these delicious chickpeas and I’m hoping you can find your own uses.

I love tacos for their versatility and all the yummy toppings and this recipe has become a favourite. It’s also easy and quick, my non-cooking husband made this for his sister. She was suitably impressed and so was I.

For those that like it a little more spicy I would add jalapeño. I’m cooking with a two-year old in mind and he’ll have more spice then I expect but I like to start mild and add heat with my toppings.

chickpea tacos

Chickpea tacos

1 diced onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 diced tomato
½ diced red pepper
¼ cup frozen corn
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
½ lime
1 large can chick peas
¼-1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
¼ cup cilantro
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and lime. Once the onions and spices have had a few minutes together stir in tomatoes and red peppers, and corn, cooking for a few minutes. Rinse and drain the chick peas and stir into vegetable mixture. Start by adding ¼ cup of stock, allow to cook for about five minutes and then mash some of the chickpeas. I find at this point I often need to add more stock to keep the mixture from getting too dry.

Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in cilantro. We love cilantro so if it’s not your favourite feel free to cut back.

We like to top our tacos with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce, plain greek yogurt and shredded cheese. For those with food sensitivities or allergies these tacos are vegan, dairy and gluten-free without the toppings we use.

Here’s how this recipe fits into my families dinners for this week, Weekly Meal Plan

Indian Spiced Masala Sloppy Joes

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One of my favourite ethnic eats is Indian but it’s hard to get a full authentic meal on the table in the time I have with two kids. It’s something I only seem to be able to do for special occasions. But as I’ve discovered new flavours and spices I’ve learned to play a lot  more and create fun twists on classic dinners like this. They’re quick and I can get lot’s of vegetables into them, which, in my eyes makes them awesome. So voila, sloppy joes with an Indian flare.

I’ve  used more veggies then in a traditional sloppy joe. It’s healthier, decreases the amount of meat needed and super bonus it’s a one pan meal 🙂

A friend of mine skipped the bun and served the sloppy Joe sauce on a bed of spinach and said it was perfect that way too.

I recently updated this recipe to add measurements for some ingredients and to change when the tomatoes were originally added. The recipe is still the same but I found it a little clearer to say 1 cup of tomato instead of one big one:)

Delicious and a pretty colour

Delicious and a pretty colour

Sloppy Joe

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium diced onion
1-2 cloves minced or grated garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp  Garam marsala
1 tbsp Curry powder
1 tsp Turmeric
400-550 gram ground turkey or chicken
1 cup grated carrot (about 2)
1 cup diced red pepper (about 1)
1/3 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 cup diced tomato (about 1)
salt

½ cup plain Yoghurt
¼ cup Cilantro

Naan or buns

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with the oil. Add the onions and tomatoes, cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened. Mix in the spices, ginger and garlic, cooking until it smells awesome (a few minutes).

Spread the turkey/chicken around the pan and begin to break it up. When the meat has browned, add carrots, raisins and red peppers to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes until carrots have softened. Stir in the ketchup  and season with salt. Reduce heat to simmer and cook mixture 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in yoghurt and cilantro.

Serve on warmed Naan bread or hamburger buns.

This can be yummy topped with a little mozzarella cheese too