Mango Cabbage Slaw

 

 

Mango Cabbage Slaw with PeanutsSo, I bought an ice cream maker.

We have many great independent ice cream shops around the city, and we’ve been known to buy a pint or two from time to time. But at over $10 per pint it’s an expensive habit. So, when I found an ice cream maker on sale, I knew I had to buy it—to save money of course! (Anyone who knows me, or has ever been shopping with me before, knows that I can rationalize just about anything.)

My adventures in homemade ice cream making have been fantastic so far, and I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes for Greek yogurt ice creams and fruit-based sorbets. You may be asking yourself, “what’s ice cream got to do with salad?”” Well, I had some very ripe mangos left over after making a batch of coconut mango sorbet and a fridge full of fresh herbs after a recent trip to the farmer’s market!

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Black Bean Turkey Chili

Black Bean Turkey Chili {Breaking Bland Eats}

 

I’m dreaming of warm California weather today.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re on day number ‘I’ve lost count’ of clouds & rain while my friends to the East are getting the snow storm of a lifetime. Back in November, my husband and I spent an amazing week touring around southern California, which of course included a day at Disneyland. Walking around the park there were a lot of great food choices but I took note of all the people eating hot chili in what we would consider summer weather. Everyone else was bundled in warm jackets and pants while we were sweating in t-shirts and shorts! We may also have been sweating from the 30,000 steps we took while running around the park trying to avoid the line-ups, but either way our definition of cold is clearly very different.

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Chicken Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Mushroom Wild Rice Soup {Breaking Bland Eats}

I’m sitting here wearing my new fleece onesie (thanks hubby for the early xmas present), binge watching Netflix, with a box of kleenex at my side.  Yup,  I’m home sick today.  Luckily, I made this soup this past weekend while I still had energy.  Everything cooks together in one pot and blends the flavours of chicken stew with the earthiness of mushrooms and wild rice.  You can easily make this soup vegetarian by omitting the chicken, which I accidentally did once and only realized when I sat down to dinner and there was no chicken! It was still delicious.  I’ve also made this soup using cooked chicken or turkey, so a great recipe to keep on hand for using up leftovers post thanksgiving or christmas dinner.

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Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken with Warm Corn Salsa

Tequila Lime Chicken with Warm Corn Salsa

A few years ago, on our way back from Mexico, we decided to bring back a rather large bottle of tequila. I don’t know why we did this, maybe it was too much sun (or maybe too many drinks at the beach?), but at the time we thought it was a good idea. Fast forward 4 years and we still have a huge bottle of tequila sitting on our shelf.  In my attempt to slowly make our way through the bottle, without actually drinking it, I came up with this marinade for chicken.  It’s now my go-to whenever I need super flavourful chicken for a Mexican inspired meal.   It’s delicious on tacos, quesadillas, or as a topping for a nice salad.  I recommend getting the marinade started first, because you want to let the chicken soak up all the flavours for at least 30 minutes before you cook it.  While you are waiting, you can prep the rest of the ingredients for the warm corn salsa.

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Turkey Congee (Savoury Rice Porridge)

Turkey Congee

Sorry for the hiatus.
 
It’s been a busy past few months, including two wonderful weddings – one of which was my own!  I’m happy to be back in the kitchen and excited to use all of our new wedding gifts and matching cookware.  I feel like such a grown-up.
 
 My first introduction to congee was a few years ago at one of my husband’s bi-monthly family dinners.  A few times a year, Popo (grandma in Chinese) makes a huge vat of turkey Jook, another name for congee.   Congee is a popular Asian rice soup made by cooking rice in water or stock until it has broken down to a porridge consistency.  At first I have to say that I was not overly fond of its bland taste but saw the potential to spice it up. 
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Chickpea Salad with Fresh Mint and Greek Yogurt Dressing

 

Chickpea salad with fresh mint and greek yogurt - BBEIt’s reached that time of year again.  It’s officially too hot to use any appliance in our small, one-bedroom apartment.  Dinner-sized salads have edged out comforting soups and stews on my dinner rotation.  I came home from work needing something quick to eat.  Since I didn’t have any leftover protein in the fridge, I went to my trusty cupboard and grabbed a can of chickpeas. These little beans pack a punch of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as heart healthy fibre. You’ve heard me talk about fibre before and for good reason.  Most of us simply don’t get enough! By adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and these versatile legumes into your diet, you can easily boost the amount of fibre you eat.

This salad has all the key ingredients of a delicious and satisfying meal-sized salad; crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, protein-packed chickpeas and a burst of flavour from the lemon and fresh herbs.  I can already picture this salad going perfectly alongside grilled meat or fish, or even wrapped in a tortilla for a quick lunch.

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Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Having many green thumbs in your family means occasionally having to come up with creative ways to use fresh produce.  This was the case this past summer with a seemingly endless supply of eggplants from my parent’s garden. I used this opportunity to make baba ghanoush, a roasted eggplant dip, which just so happens to be one of my favourite dips.  As I was browsing through recipes I realized how the ingredients in baba ghanoush were almost identical to those in hummus, so combining the two just made perfect sense!

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Fish and Vegetable Stew in a Light Tomato Broth

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With the weather getting colder, soups and stews are starting to make their way back onto my weekly dinner rotation. There are so many different combinations of flavours and ingredients that you could make a different soup each night of the week and never get bored.  Whether you call it a soup or a stew, this rich tomato broth with tender chucks of fish and vegetables comes together quickly and makes a perfect weeknight meal.

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