Recipe: Quinoa chickpea salad

DSC_0162

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Arugula
  • Feta cheese
  • Red onion
  • Chives
  • Lemon (for juice)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cayenne

Directions 

  1. First things first, you’ll have to cook the quinoa. You’ll find some good tips for how to do it by clicking here. Don’t overcook!
  2. While the quinoa is cooling down, finely chop some red onion and chives (amount based on your preference).
  3. In a bowl or on a plate, add arugula, chickpeas and quinoa. Sprinkle chives and onion on top, along with crumbled feta cheese.
  4. Mix together olive oil with some ground black pepper, a few squeezes of lemon juice and a dash of cayenne. Drizzle over top.
  5. Serve salad at room temperature or slightly chilled. Enjoy!

    DSC_0165
Advertisements

Recipe: Caesar salad

Caesar salad

I love a good caesar salad. You know the type – salty, savoury, full of flavour. Unfortunately, many are just lettuce tossed with creamy, packaged dressing. Lots of calories and a bit of a letdown.

If you want to impress guests with a delicious caesar salad drizzled with homemade dressing, try this out – it’s my mother’s recipe that she’s been tweaking over the years, and I finally just asked her what was in the darn thing. Trust me, you’ll be tossing your bottled dressing in the trash in no time!

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove raw garlic
  • 1 tbsp. worstershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • Up to 1/2 tsp. or so anchovy paste (depending on preference)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan arregiano
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Mix together olive oil, garlic, worstershire sauce and dry mustard in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add anchovy paste if you wish, or leave out for a vegetarian option. Mix with a fork until it blends fully with the rest of the dressing mixture.
  3. Drizzle dressing over romaine lettuce shortly before serving.
  4. Squeeze and drizzle lemon juice and add parmesan shavings and ground pepper.

Caesar salad

Caesar salad

p-button

Recipe: Potato salad with chives & tarragon

DSC_0456

I’ve been borrowing a lot of recipes from my mother lately. What can I say, the lady is a good cook! I tweaked her potato salad recipe to make this version… and it’s so darn yummy. It’s also simple, quick, and doesn’t contain any heavy ingredients (like cream or cheese) which makes it a healthy side dish. If you’ve got a potluck or dinner party coming up, this is a great dish to bring!

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings):

  • 1 bag of mini potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Large white onion
  • Green onions
  • Dijon mustard
  • Chives
  • Tarragon
  • Salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes in a pot filled with water (should be about half an inch above potatoes). Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and keep cooking until tender (15-16 minutes).
  2. Chop up half an onion and a few green onion stalks.
  3. In a pan, heat up some olive oil. Fry the onion and green onion for several minutes. Add garlic and fry for another minute.
  4. Coat potatoes in the onion/garlic/olive oil mixture.
  5. Finely chop a bunch of chives and tarragon. Add more olive oil to potatoes as needed, along with the chives, tarragon, dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
  6. Toss potatoes and let stand.
  7. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

DSC_0450

Onion lovers will definitely enjoy this potato salad. But the real flavour, I’d say, comes from the tarragon – personally, it’s not a herb I use often, so it gives this dish a unique taste. This salad also keeps in the fridge for a couple days – meaning you can get a few meals out of it. From personal experience, I know it pairs as well with hamburger as it does with steak.

DSC_0462

Placemats from Anthropologie ($16.00 CDN, $14.00 USD)

p-button

Recipe: Pear & walnut salad

Pear and walnut salad

There’s something so pleasing about a light summer salad. I love this pear & walnut combination which features a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette based on a recipe by my mom. It’s healthy and provides the perfect starter for a summer barbecue – and pairs beautifully with white wine. (Anything that goes with wine is good in my books!) While the presentation for this salad is so lovely, you can make it in under 10 minutes… so why save it for a special occasion?

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings):

  • 1 pear
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Arugula
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. For the dressing, mix together olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and honey in a bowl. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice and a dash salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Skin the pear and use a paring knife to cut off fine shavings.
  3. On top of arugula, sprinkle the pear shavings, goat’s cheese and walnuts.
  4. Drizzle dressing over top shortly before serving.

Pear and walnut salad

This is a lovely side salad for the summer (we had it with beef tenderloin, potato salad and green beans over the weekend) but could also be a satisfying main course. Try it served with our honey dijon chicken on top – the dijon mustard in both recipes makes them a great pairing. Happy cooking!

Pear and walnut salad

p-button

Recipe: Honey dijon chicken

DSC_0421

I’ve never been much of a mustard fan on burgers and whatnot, but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a dijon-based marinade. Dijon just sounds lovely, and looks lovely, so why wouldn’t it taste lovely too? (It does, for the record.) I played around with flavours for this simple recipe that’s quick to whip up but tastes absolutely wonderful.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 4 breasts of chicken
  • 1/4 cup of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Fresh thyme
  • Black pepper

Directions

  1. Mix dijon mustard and honey in a bowl.
  2. Add olive oil and crushed garlic to pan.
  3. Chop onion into slivers and saute for 1-2 minutes in pan on medium heat.
  4. Add chicken to pan and coat both sides with dijon/honey mixture.
  5. Cook chicken for about 7 minutes until there is no pink inside.
  6. Add thyme to pan shortly before taking chicken and onions out to serve.

DSC_0386

DSC_0391

The whole process takes less than half an hour – but it doesn’t taste like a quickie dinner. I paired the chicken with smashed potatoes and a simple arugula salad with parmesan shavings and balsamic dressing. So easy, so good! And similar ingredients for all three makes the whole thing extra simple. Happy cooking!

DSC_0412

p-button

Recipe: Strawberry quinoa salad

quinoasalad2

Spring is here and with that comes my unabashed desire to do/eat/wear all things spring-y. Since it’s still chilly in Toronto and I can’t bust out my adorable new pink pants, I’ll settle for something else colourful instead: strawberries.

Strawberry quinoa salad is one of my favourite things to make when I feel like something light but filling. It’s healthy and features such a nice balance of sweet and creamy, thanks to a combination of the berries and goat’s cheese. Layer the whole thing over spinach and drizzle on some balsamic dressing – and you’ve got yourself a quick weeknight dinner (oh, and don’t forget to save some leftovers for lunch!)

Strawberry quinoa salad

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2  strawberries
  • 1 tsp (4ml) balsamic vinaigrette
  • Crumbled goat’s cheese

Directions

    1.  First off, feel free to switch up the amounts in this recipe – they’re a rough estimate, and it really depends on the ratio of cheese/strawberries/dressing you prefer.
    2. Start off by cooking the quinoa. (You can follow these good tips to ensure it’s fluffy and not overcooked.)
    3. Wash and chop the strawberries.
    4. Wash the spinach.
    5. Put the whole thing together – for a nice presentation, lay the spinach down first, then the quinoa, then the strawberries. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top and drizzle on dressing right before you’re ready to eat. And voila! A quick and healthy dinner, if you pre-cook the quinoa in advance.

p-button