Category Archives: Cooking

Taco Salad

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I tried this great taco salad recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be MerryIt’s called Na-Cho Ordinary Taco Salad. I don’t do a lot of meat recipes on this blog but I really enjoyed the meal. Instead of nacho chips, crisp romaine lettuce is used instead. There’s beef (I used pork), corn and black beans and some cheese. Below is the recipe I’ve adapted from the original.

Cooking the meat and the onions only takes about 10 minutes. I recommend having the salad ingredients diced and ready to go before you cook the meat.

The Meat Portion:

  • 250-500 mL cups of ground pork
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • half can jalapeno peppers (100 mL or to your taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

  • I head of romaine lettuce, ripped into pieces and washed
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 2 cups canned black beans, drained
  • diced peppers
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
  • sliced avocado (optional but highly recommended)
  • Salsa for the topping

Assembling:

  1. Brown the pork over medium-high heat.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the onions until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli powder and jalapeno.
  3. Once the pork is cooked, add it to the vegetables. Add barbecue sauce and salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble the salad: lettuce first, then the pork and cheese. Add the vegetables and top with salsa.
  5. Enjoy!
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Thanksgiving on the road: part II

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It’s day two of being in Radium for Thanksgiving weekend.
This morning started with a dip at the hot springs before coming back to get ready to put the turkey in the smoker. Here’s how we did it:

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1. We started by getting the coals heated in the fire

2. Meanwhile we boiled water for the second level pot and placed some of the smoking chips in

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3. Once the coals were heated we placed it in the bottom of the smoker with some wood

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4. Then we carefully placed the bowl of water and chips in next. Then we placed the grill ontop

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5. Finally, we placed the turkey down on the grill and added some final spice. We covered it with the lid and let it start smoking

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Thanksgiving on the road: part I

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Happy thanksgiving! I am camping in Radium this weekend with the family and we’re not missing out on turkey. We’re doing it a little differently and smoking it.
So I’ll be live-blogging this event this weekend so you can see how it turns out.
We started this morning creating a cold brine for the turkey. This is allows the flavor to soak into the bird so the flavour won’t disappear during the smoking.
Here’s what we used:
A turkey (ours is about 14 pounds)
Dry mustard
Cayenne
Salt and pepper
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Two bags of ice
Water.

OK I don’t have amounts calculated. We poured our spices generously

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Here’s what we did:
1. Put the turkey in a garbage bag inside a cooler
2. Add all of the ingredients into the bag.
3. Close the lid and let it brine away overnight.

Talk soon in part II when we put it in the smoker.

Lettuce try another salad

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Today I am sharing another salad mix. I’ve been making and sharing a bunch of different salads lately which I hope you’ve been enjoying. I find they’re great to make because they’re so easy but also because they can be a meal on their own for lunch but also a compliment to a larger meal.

This one is based off of the last salad I made but it has its own unique taste because of the blue cheese which is quite sharp. I only used a small amount of cheese, about 2 tablespoons, and it went a long way in creating a unique flavour.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 4-6 cups washed, cleaned arugula mix
-2 chopped pears, into cube-sized pieces
-Half a cucumber, chopped into small chunks
-A quarter of a red onion, sliced in small, thin pieces
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts
-2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
-2-3 tablespoons olive oil.

Let’s get started:
1. Rinse salad mix and place in a large bowl.
2. Add cucumber onion and oil. Toss well.
3. Sprinkle pear, blue cheese and walnuts on top. Serve.

Cooked on a bed of salt?

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As I said before, I didn’t end up posting as many meals as I hoped during my summer road trip through the states.

This is mostly because we ate a lot of the same thing to save on money: sandwiches, beans and quesadillas.

But, during the long weekend this month, we went camping in Golden with my brother and his girlfriend and cooked salmon on the grill in a really unique way: we cooked it on a bed of salt. And no, the fish doesn’t taste salty at all. I think it all goes into the skin.

Anyway, even though I made it awhile ago now I really wanted to share it because it’s easy and tastes great.

What you’ll need:
Two salmon fillets (try Costco for a good price)
A box (Yup, a box) of salt.
Tinfoil
Either a pan to place on your barbecue or a flat iron grill for in the house.
Lemon wedges
Sprig of dill

Here we go:
1. I lined the grill with tinfoil so the salt didn’t cause a huge mess.

2.Pour the box of salt onto the tinfoil/grill over medium heat. You’re going to want to watch the salt and probably stir it around a bit with a flipper. Wait 10 minutes or so until the salt is hot. Don’t touch it, you’ll burn yourself (trust me) but do put the back of your hand against the salt to see how it’s warming up.

3. Place the fillets, skin side down on the salt bed. Let it cook. I suggest covering it with tinfoil and check on in in 15 minutes. It took about 20 for the salmon to cook to where I wanted it. It’s nice and pink and you’ll see the fat start to ooze out.

4. Turn off the heat. You should be able to scrape the salmon right off its’ skin with a flipper and knife.

5. Top with lemon juice and dill or seasoning of your choice.

6.Enjoy with some baby potatoes and a salad.

Definitely not a side salad

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This hearty salad could be a meal on its own. I’ve posted a quinoa salad before, but this one takes the cake.
I used a recipe from the Vegan Planet and switched it up a little bit.

Here’s what you’ll need:
An 11 oz (300g) box or handful of mixed greens
One cup cooked, cooled quinoa
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 pears, sliced
Handful of dried cranberries

Dressing (taken directly from the recipe):
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

To assemble:
1. Mix dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl combine greens, cucumber, pear, nuts and dried cranberries. Mix in half of the dressing and stir well.
3. Mix the other half of the dressing in with the cooked, cooled quinoa. (For instructions, see this previous post).
4. Add quinoa to bowl and mix into salad.
5. Dish into four bowls.

On the road

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So I am on the road this summer, dipping down into the states before surfacing back in Canada in Quebec for a wedding!

I haven’t been able to post much or I should say I haven’t been motivated to post anything because it’s been beens and sandwiches mostly.

But, today we made this salad to go with our sandwiches. It was inspired from a salad I made when visiting my sister in Vancouver earlier this year when we threw some veggies together with pinto beans.

Here’s what you’ll need:
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 can of white pinto beans, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper for seasoning

To prepare:
Throw everything in a bowl and mix. Enjoy!

Chicken and cheese … salad

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Tonight’s meal involves shredded chicken and breaded, heated goat cheese on a bed of spinach with a lemon, Dijon and tarragon dressing. I added two pears – cut in chunks – which was the perfect addition.

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I chose this meal to honour the memory of our late kitten, Nola. She passed away last weekend due to a congenital liver disorder. Nola loved to follow us around the house, and the  kitchen was no exception. She would hop up on the closest bar stool and watch me chop, sauté and assemble a meal. She was a picky eater but we discovered a  wet food flavored chicken and cheese that she loved. Even in her last few days, when she was at her weakest, she would manage to eat a few bites when we cracked the can open.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bundle of spinach
  • Three cups shredded cooked chicken (I purchased a rotisserie chicken and skinned and tore it apart – I used about 2/3 of the bird)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 block of goat cheese (about 150 gram packet) *Keep in the fridge until it’s ready to cut to help keep its form*
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 pears, cut into chunks

Let’s get started:

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  1. Cut the stems off of the spinach, wash and place in a bowl
  2. IMG_3683Add Shredded chicken on top
  3. Cut the pears, place in bowl as well
  4. IMG_3685In a separate bow, add the olive oil, tarragon, lemon juice and zest and Dijon mustard. Mix. Pour on top of salad.
  5. IMG_3687Now for the cheese: Mix the bread crumbs and egg together.
  6. IMG_3690Cut the goat cheese into eight, think chunks
  7. IMG_3691Heat some canola oil in a pan over medium heat
  8. IMG_3693Pat the bread crumbs to the cheese chunks. Place on pan for about a minute, flip (you don’t want them to melt, just let the bread crisp, so watch them carefully).
  9. Place breaded cheese on top of the salad. Enjoy.

This one’s for you, Nola!

A quick, quinoa fix

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My husband and I whipped together this salad tonight to go along with our fish. It was inspired from a similar salad my sister-in-law prepared yesterday for a picnic. Quinoa, of course, is considered a super food with plenty of protein.

I ate this salad while the quinoa was still warm and the feta cheese was melted — it was heavenly and cured my hunger pains. We got about three cups or so from the quinoa, plenty for leftovers tomorrow.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbles
  • dash of wasabi (optional, it was in our fridge so we tried it out)

 

Assembly:

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Add to a saucepan with water. bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover on low, for 15 minutes. Let stand for five minutes.IMG_3459
  2. Meanwhile, dice the vegetables.IMG_3458
  3. Add quinoa to a serving bowl and add oil, pepper, feta cheese, wasabi and chopped vegetables.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Did you like the salad? Try the quinoa cookies, quinoa crunch for your breakfast parfait or, quinoa stuffed cabbage rolls