Recipe

7 Kick Ass Salad Dressings

I thought I'd mix it up a bit and instead of offering a recipe for a meal this week, I'll give you seven kick ass salad dressings that you can make at home. These are perfect for the mason jar salads you meal prep to make life easier.

So here they are, compliments of Honest Cooking.

7 Kick Ass Salad Dressings

1. Spicy Garlic Salad Dressing

2. Southwestern Avocado Salad Dressing

3. Cilantro and Lime Salad Dressing

4. Citrus Shallot Salad Dressing

5. Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

6. Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing

7. Maple Balsamic Dressing

Which one will be your new favourite salad dressing?

1. Spicy Garlic Salad Dressing  Photo Credit:  ThisSillyGirlsLife.com

1. Spicy Garlic Salad Dressing
Photo Credit: ThisSillyGirlsLife.com

2.  Southwestern Avocado Salad Dressing Photo Credit:  BunsInMyOven.com

2. Southwestern Avocado Salad Dressing
Photo Credit: BunsInMyOven.com

3.  Cilantro and Lime Salad Dressing Photo Credit:  SimpleAwesomeCooking.com

3. Cilantro and Lime Salad Dressing
Photo Credit: SimpleAwesomeCooking.com

 

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Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

I was listening to a podcast and they were interviewing Clotilde Dusoulier, a French food writer based in Paris, with an awesome blog, Chocolate & Zucchini. She also has a few cook books and podcast of her own too, so I figured why not find a delicious recipe to share from her blog - and you can link on the link above to check out more of her recipes!

Photo source:  Chocolate & Zucchini

Photo source: Chocolate & Zucchini

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • a 3-cm (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 900 grams (2 pounds) butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and diced into 1,5-cm (1/2") pieces (you can substitute another type of winter squash, such as red kuri, acorn, or delicata)
  • 320 grams (1 1/2 cups) lentils (any color you like or have on hand), soaked 8 hours or overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 500 ml (2 cups) stock, preferably homemade (vegetable, chicken, or fish stock will all work)
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
  • fresh mint, finely minced, or fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, for serving
  • chili sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, and salt, and cook over medium heat until softened, stirring regularly.
  2. Stir in the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and fennel seeds, and cook for a minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add in the butternut squash and lentils, pour in the stock, and add in enough water to cover.
  4. Cover, bring to a simmer, and skim the froth that appears at the surface. Cook for 30 minutes, until the squash and lentils are cooked through.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Ladle into bowls, top with fresh herbs, and serve with chili sauce.

 

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The Most Delicious Recipe in the World

I was thinking about what what recipe to share with you, and thought it would be fun to simply Google "the most delicious recipe in the world" and see what came up. A link for Real Simple was the first search result, so I clicked on the link, and it took me to a list of the top 25 recipes their readers enjoy. This is the first recipe within that list.

Needless to say, I was pretty surprised that the number one recipe is Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie. I definitely thought something with chocolate would have come up!

But here we are, and since I happen to be a fan of pot pie, and committed to sharing Google's result for the most delicious recipe in the world - here's your next meal idea!

Photo credit:  Real Simple

Photo credit: Real Simple

Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups 1 percent milk
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 9-inch store-bought piecrust (thawed, if frozen)

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool, then shred.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a shallow 1½ - to 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut several vents in the crust. Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

 

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Sesame Soy Brussels Sprout Slaw

Believe it or not, I only found out last year that I actually like brussels sprouts! I had never tried them before, and I hadn't really searched for the opportunity to try them either. They have that childhood connotation that they're gross, so I just didn't bother, haha.

And to be honest, I don't even remember how it came about that we decided to try them. Maybe my husband just decided one day to make them for dinner - but I DO remember how delicious they were!

He had baked them on our Pampered Chef stoneware with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and some seasoning. The edges crisped up, but the brussels sprouts themselves were so tender! And whatever spices he used were super delicious.

We fell in love with them, and make them relatively often now (although not too often because they also make me a little gassy... hehe).

This Asian-inspired brussels sprout slaw is a perfect side dish to whatever you're having for lunch (or even dinner). I typically eat a small amount each day, so my digestive systems doesn't hate me, haha!

This recipe was borrowed from The Organic Center, and they recommend to, whenever possible, try to choose organic when buying your Brussels sprouts to avoid pesticide residues.

Photo Credit: Cajsa Lilliehook

Photo Credit: Cajsa Lilliehook

Sesame Soy Brussels Sprout Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. organic Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ c. chopped organic red onion
  • 5 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. sesame seed oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh organic lime juice
  • organic sunflower seeds for topping

Directions

  1. Thinly slice brussels sprouts lengthwise and steam until they become tender, about 4 minutes. 
  2. Transfer steamed brussels sprouts to a serving bowl and combine red onion, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and lime juice.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
  4. Top with crunchy sunflower seeds and enjoy!

 

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

Easy? Yes.

Delicious AF? Yes!

Healthy? Not so much... haha!

But Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those classic get-together appetizers that is always a crowd pleaser! 

We're spending New Year's Eve at my brother's, since him and my sister-in-law have a relatively new baby (our niece is just over two months old now), so we're doing an evening of appetizer-type foods. It's nice because then no one really has to do any elaborate cooking, and we can just spend time together, instead of slaving away in the kitchen.

This super easy Spinach Artichoke Dip is compliments of Genius Kitchen - enjoy!

Photo by  SharonChen

Photo by SharonChen

Spinach Artichoke Dip

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of parmesan cheese (or whatever your fav cheese is that melts easily)
  • 1 (10 ounce) box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 ⁄ 3 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 1 ⁄ 3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix together parmesan cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with spinach mixture.
  4. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with veggies, crackers, toasted bread, pumpernickel, etc.

 

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Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Bruschetta is one of my favourite appetizers, and it's one of the few things I can actually contribute to our home-cooked meals (even though my husband typically makes it himself anyway - but hey, at least I know HOW to make it, right?! Hehe...).

So when I found this delicious Grilled Chicken Bruschetta recipe from Skinny Taste, I was excited - it takes all the flavourful elements we love about bruschetta bread, and instead has them as toppings on grilled chicken - switching the carbs to protein, and the portion from appetizer to actual meal-sized.

All while showcasing fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, and basil! 

Photo source:  skinnytaste.com

Photo source: skinnytaste.com

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced (omit for whole30, paleo)
  • 1.25 lbs (8 thin sliced) chicken cutlets

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.
  2. Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional 1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight.
  3. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve. 
  4. Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high, clean and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
  6. Grill the chicken 2 minutes on each side, set aside on a platter and top with bruschetta and serve.


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Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

With Christmas sneaking up on us (can you believe it's already December on Friday?!), you'll want to be armed with some delicious side-dishes for your family get-together. I do love me some cauliflower (and broccoli too, which you could add to this recipe), so I decided to share this super simple Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower side-dish, compliments of Kraft

Photo by  Jennifer Schmidt

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450ºF.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients; spread onto foil-covered rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake 40 min., stirring after 20 min.
  4. Add sour cream to vegetable mixture; mix well. Top with cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted.

 

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Turkey Meatloaf with Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I never used to eat meatloaf. I always just assumed it would be bland and flavourless - basically like a hamburger patty without the bun and toppings. But then my husband made meatloaf one night, and I decided to try it (otherwise, I'd have to make my own damn dinner, hehe). And WOW - he had packed so much flavour into one little slice of meatloaf on my plate; I was sold!

For some reason it never occurred to me that you can essentially put anything you want into a meatloaf, to heighten the flavour. Like this awesome concoction from Giada at Home. It's a turkey meatloaf (healthier than regular beef) and features two of my favourites - feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. You could even dice up some black olives and throw them in the mix too!

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Photo Source:  The Food Network

Photo Source: The Food Network

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced,
  • 2 eggs (optional), at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
  4. Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

 

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Mexican Chicken Chili

Mmmm... I do love me a good chili! But since I'm a baby when it comes to heat, I appreciate that homemade chili really gives you the flexibility to make it as spicy (or in my case, as mild) as you'd like. This Mexican Chicken Chili recipe from Jamie Oliver has all the delicious traditional flavours - as well as an easy tomato salsa to top off the stuffed tortillas. Huh? Stuffed tortillas?! Yes, that's right - you stuff the chicken chili right inside some grilled tortillas for a more authentic Mexican experience. You're going to love it!

Mexican Chicken Chili

WITH A SUPER-FRESH TOMATO SALSA

Photo Source: jamieoliver.com

Photo Source: jamieoliver.com

Chili Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 whole dried chipotle chili
  • 1 pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 2 x 400 g cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 410 g tin of black beans
  • 4-6 flour tortillas
  • 2 gem lettuces
  • 0% fat Greek–style yoghurt
  • 1 lime

Tomato Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red chili
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 lime

Directions

  1. Peel and slice the onions, peel and finely chop the garlic. Pick the coriander leaves and finely chop the stalks. Slice the chicken into 1 cm strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and, when hot, sauté the onions, garlic, coriander stalks, spices, and whole and flaked chili for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, but not coloured.
  3. Add the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the canned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken breaks apart when pressed with the back of a spoon. Add a splash of water if it looks too dry at any stage.
  4. Next, make the salsa. Blister the pepper and chilli skins by placing them under a hot grill or holding them with tongs over a gas flame. Once blackened all over, place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside to cool.
  5. Roughly chop the tomatoes, put them in a colander with a pinch of sea salt and place it in the sink for 15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out some of the tomatoes’ water, then give the colander a good shake.
  6. Peel the skins from the pepper and chili and discard along with the seeds, then place them on a board with the spring onions and chop.
  7. Add the tomatoes, pick over the coriander leaves and continue chopping until you have a fine salsa. Transfer to a bowl, and season with black pepper and a good squeeze of lime juice.
  8. Shred the chicken using two forks, then drain and stir the black beans into the chili. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes until the beans are heated through, then remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves.
  9. Chop the lettuce, then serve the chili in the tortillas with the lettuce, a good spoonful of salsa and a drizzle of yogurt, with lime wedges on the side.

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