Harvest Time - What to do with all the Zucchini?
It's that time of year! Harvest season is upon us and our gardens are overflowing with various veggies and fruit. My in-laws gifted me some zucchini, really big zucchini. I have made zucchini noodles (zoodles) before, and breads, muffins, and cake, but I was wondering what else I could make and freeze, or preserve. So, I went to my blogging friends and my Facebook page and asked what others are doing. Below is a long and varied list of how you can use this vegetable to bake, pickle, freeze and more. (more…)
This Simple Pasta Goulash is the North American version of goulash.
Let's talk comfort food. It just is...it is one of those meals I can prep quickly and have left overs for lunches. It is simple, yet delicious, affordable yet not loaded with preservatives. It is perfection in a skillet! (At least I feel this way 🙂 ) (more…)
Zucchini Salad with Lime Basil Dressing
Zucchini are in abundance this time of year. We love using it in baking and roasting it in the oven or on the BBQ. Here is a nice lightly dressed salad that you can serve as a side with almost any meal.
The lime and basil dressing is the perfect light dressing to pair with chicken or fish. Enjoy and be creative. You could add more veggies to this or change it up with greek dressing, adding feta and olives. (more…)
Cranberry Pork Roast
Batch cooking and freezer meals are my favourite meal prep strategies.
Over the years I have tried many meals that you prepare ahead and freeze, some you prep partially and mix together when cooking and others you simply combine ingredients in a freezer bag and dump into a slow cooker for an easy flavorful meal.
I have shared a few Chicken Freezer Meal recipes before, but this one is a simple dump Pork meal.
- 2 1/2 pound bone-in pork shoulder (or pork tenderloin)
- 15oz can whole berry cranberry sauce (or 1 1/2 to 2 cups homemade cranberry sauce)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on “low” setting for 6-8 hours.
- Remove any bones and shred meat.
- Serve on buns, with tortillas, or with a salad or other side.
**Freezer Meal: Combine all ingredients in freezer bag and freeze. When ready to cook, dump into slow cooker and cook 8 hours on low.
In mason jar (or cleaned small salsa jar, like I used), place the following ingredients, give it a good shake, and place in fridge overnight. In the morning you will have a lovely creamy pudding packed with goodness!! Great for breakfast or snack mid morning.
- 1/3-1/2 cup oats
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (regular yogurt if you have it is fine, simply reduce milk to 1/4 cup)
- 1/4-1/3 Cup Almond Milk, (soy, dairy, etc works as well)
We made ours with this base and added the following combinations.
1 Tbsp Cocoa, 3 Chopped Strawberries, 1 tsp Vanilla and 1 Tbsp Honey.
Peanut Butter Cup:
1 Tbsp Cocoa, 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter, 1 tsp Vanilla and 1 Tbsp Honey. (I would add a little more honey when I eat this one, a little bland...next time I am going to try Maple Syrup) The variations are endless. I will be sharing all the combinations we try. So far, these are the first 2 and both are great.
Our Perfect Buttery Biscuits
A warm biscuit with melted butter is probably one of my favourite indulgences. Do you know how to make flaky and tall biscuits?
Well, besides the cold butter, you need layers...it is all in how you roll it out.
Here is my recipe for the Best Buttery Biscuits you will ever have.
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup Cold Butter
- 3/4 Cup Buttermilk (or milk with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, let sit 5 min)
- Combine dry ingredients and then cut in butter (with pastry cutter or fork). Leave butter a little chunky to allow for airy biscuits when cooked
- Once mixture is a crumbly texture add milk.
- Combine stirring and then knead on floured surface for a minute.
- Roll out in rectangle, fold over (making 2 layers of dough) & roll again. Fold over one more time then roll to desired thickness.
- Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes or until browned.
Big Mac Salad with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
This really and truly tastes like a Big Mac! Even my 13 year old said it was awesome...that's a huge compliment coming from him.
This salad will be put in our meal planning rotation for sure. I did not have cheese in my bowl, but took a couple close up pics with the cheese added.
Big Mac Salad with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
1 lb cooked Extra Lean Ground Beef OR Lean Ground Chicken, crumbled
6 cups Lettuce, diced
4 Dill Pickles, diced
1⁄4 cup raw Onion, diced
1 oz Light cheddar cheese, Shredded
Thousand Island salad dressing (homemade recipe below)
- Cook ground beef in a skillet & drain.
- Place a bed of lettuce in your serving bowl.
- Combine ground beef, pickles and onion and spoon over lettuce.
- Top with dressing and sprinkle with cheese (optional).
Thousand Island Dressing is one of my favourite sauces for burgers and salads.
Here is how to make it from scratch.
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic (1/2 clove)
- 2 Tbsp Sweet Relish (or 4-5 sweet pickles chipped fine)
- 2 Tbsp Ketchup
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour minimum.
- Lasts up to 5 days in refrigerator.
Enjoy this Big Mac Salad with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing. It sure is a hit in our house and U hop it will be in yours as well!
Naan Bread is a great option to have on hand for many meals. Pizza, wraps and for dipping. I like making a batch of smaller flat breads and putting them in my son's lunch with pizza sauce or hummus. We also make pizza often with it, as you will see in the pics.
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ cup warm water (not hot)
- 2½ cups flour, plus more for kneading (up to 1 cup more)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt (I prefer greek)
- 1 large egg
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Stir to dissolve then let sit for 5 to 8 minutes until a froth appears. Once frothy, stir or whisk in the oil, yogurt, and egg until well combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine ONLY 1 cup of the flour with the salt. Next, create a well in the flour and pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until combined. Continue adding flour, a half cup at a time, until you have a thick dough that is not overly sticky, about 1 to 1.5 cups more.
- Turn the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the ball of dough for about 2-3 minutes. You can continue to add small amounts of flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky. Adding dough while kneading should be done in small amounts, to avoid mess, and dough that becomes too stiff.
- Once you are done kneading, place dough in a clean bowl (you can rub a little olive oil on bowl). Cover the dough with clean dish towel and let it rise about 1 hour, it should be doubled in size.
- After it rises, gently flatten the dough with your hands and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball and set aside. Do not handle a whole lot.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Roll out one ball at a time, until it is about ¼ inch thick. Place the into the hot skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown and large bubbles have formed on the surface. Flip the dough and cook the other side until golden brown as well.
- Stack the cooked bread on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm,until remaining pieces are ready.
Chicken "Pot Pie" Wreath
Here's my take on an easy Chicken Pie! Crescent rolls were on sale a few weeks ago for $0.99 a package. I picked up 4 and here is what I did with 2 packs.
Over the holidays, my mom was visiting and when we have company, I like to serve more planned meals that are easy to throw together. This was one of the meals I made that is quick and super easy....and delicious.
- 2 pk Crescent Rolls
- 2 cups cubed cooked Chicken
- 1 cup Frozen Peas & Carrots (cooked)
- 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
- Place crescent roles in a circle to form a "sun". Using floured fingers, press the dough flat around the center of the wreath, giving you about 2 inches of solid dough all the way around the ring.
- In bowl, combine remainder of ingredients and stir.
- Scoop spoonfuls around the dough wreath. Create a full circle around the wreath shape.
- Fold the points of the crescent rolls up over the chicken mound and connect to dough at inside of the ring.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
Makes 4-5 servings
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap with Ginger Peanut Carrots
I love using lettuce as my wrap or or bun when making wraps or burgers. As I was searching for new salad recipes I came across a recipe for Peanut Ginger Carrot Slaw, which was my inspiration for creating this wrap recipe.
If you like peanuts and ginger, you will love the flavour in this healthy wrap!
When I come home from the grocery store with chicken, I usually bake it all with a little seasoning, the cool it and freeze for later use. This recipe calls for cooked chicken. You could also use rotisserie chicken, if you don't have time to cook your own.
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
- 2 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 bag Carrots, matchstick cut (approx. 2.5 cups)
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 2 tsp ground Ginger, or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped Ginger
- 6-8 portions, Romaine Lettuce or any other Leaf lettuce you wish to use as a wrap.
- Chopped nuts (peanuts or pecans) to garnish
- In skillet, heat 2 tsp Coconut Oil and then add carrots to sautée.
- Add 2 Tbsp water to carrots, cooking for about 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter, 1 Tbsp Lime Juice, 1 tsp Garlic Powder and 2 tsp ground Ginger or 1 Tbsp chopped Fresh Ginger. Add to carrots in skillet and stir to combine. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.
- In larger bowl, combine diced/ shredded chicken and carrot mixture.
- Spoon chicken mixture onto lettuce, sprinkle with chopped nuts and wrap to serve.