Meals, recipes, Snacks

Goat Cheese and Rosemary Mashed Butternut Squash

Everyone loves mashed potatoes, right? The problem is, they are not always healthy with the heaps of butter, milk or cream that get added. A traditional homemade serving of mashed potatoes can contain 237 calories or more! Let’s not forget the hefty amount of ¬†saturated fat and cholesterol in there ūüėģ

Now, don’t worry folks, I love creating spins on this traditional dish and I recently discovered a new one: mashed butternut squash, rosemary and goat cheese. No butter because the goat cheese acts as a substitute, making it creamy (while giving you protein, calcium and iron). One whole butternut squash is 82 calories with loads of vitamins! We’ve got a winning dish here for the waist line, people!

This version of mashed potatoes has loads of flavour and tastes just as creamy as normal mashed potatoes. It’s a great side with almost any meal and is a 4 ingredient recipe, making it very simple and affordable!

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Here is what you will need:

  • 1 ¬Ĺ lb (680 g) butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
    (one butternut squash weighs on average between 1 and 2 pounds)
  • 3 oz (85 g) goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • salt, and pepper to taste

How to make the dish:

1.Add butternut squash to large pot of boiling water. Cook until fork-tender, 10-15 minutes.

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2. Drain the squash in a colander and add back to the pot.

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3. Add in the goat cheese, milk, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mash until desired consistency is reached.


Tell me what you think of this recipe and if you would like to see other variations of traditional mashed potatoes. This is one of my new favourites!

 

 

 

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appetizer, recipes, Snacks

Seared Scallops

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Scallops may just be my favourite shellfish. The¬†soft fleshy texture and delicately mild sweet flavour makes them so appealing to even those that don’t love seafood. There are two key things to know before cooking these little gems of joy:

1. Keep the ingredients simple. You don’t need much to let the flavour of the scallop shine.
2. Don’t OVERCOOK the scallop. A lot of people make the mistake of leaving them on the stove too long and then they become dry and rubbery. They cook quickly! You’ve been warned ūüėČ

Most of the time I just saut√© them in some garlic and butter and they melt away in your mouth. Scallops are great because you can eat them on their own or throw them in dish (I always add them to pasta, mmmm). I think I’ve gotten my point across by now about how great scallops are so I will stop glorifying them and give you the ingredients for the recipe.

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Here is what you will need:

  • 1 lb (455 g) sea scallop, side muscles removed
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)

Here is how to make them:

1.Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.

2. Season with salt and pepper and then add to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil.

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3. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook until golden brown on one side, 2-3 minutes.

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4. Gently turn the scallops, and add the butter and garlic to the pan.

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5. Continue to cook, spooning the butter over the scallops until they are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Add the white wine and cook another 10 seconds.

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To finish the dish off, I like to garnish with chives, but it is not necessary. I also serve the scallops with lemon to squeeze on top before eating.

You can’t go wrong with this dish. Let me know if you want to sea more seafood recipes and what you would like to see.

Happy cooking (and eating), friends!

appetizer, recipes, Snacks

Sweet Potato Veggie Tots

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Since I can remember, I have been in love with tater tots. Whether I am watching a movie or at a restaurant with friends, I seem to have a craving for these bite size bits of heaven. The appeal comes from the crunchy outer skin and soft, yummy interior that the tots offer.

I wanted to be able to indulge in one of my favourite snacks, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle. SO, I have re-vamped the traditional tater tot that everyone adores and created a sweet potato, all veggie version.

I originally saw a similar recipe on Tasty for a broccoli and cheddar tot, but if I can incorporate sweet potatoes in a recipe, I WILL. The health benefits and nutrition within each one is astounding.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated with a course cheese grater
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I use panko bread crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, minced (fresh is better, but dry rosemary will do the trick as well)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. In a large bowl, mix the grated sweet potato with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Let sit for 10 minutes so the salt can draw out some of the moisture from the sweet potato.

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3. Pour the sweet potato into a kitchen towel and twist to strain as much liquid as you can.

4. Placing the sweet potato back in the bowl, now add the breadcrumbs, parsley, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, remaining salt, pepper and egg.

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5. Mix all these ingredients together and then roll the mixture into little cylinders, about 2 inches long. Don’t be afraid to get messy! You can also make them round if you would like. The recipe should make about 15 tots.

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6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce! I love chipotle mayo, dill mayo, garlic aioli or siracha! mm mm mmmm.

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Whether you’re entertaining or on-the-go, these are the perfect snacks ¬†for any occasion and quick to make.

What else do you think would be great in tot form? Maybe a butternut squash version or a garlic and chives mashed potato tot? Tell me what you think in the comments and happy snacking!

 

 

Desserts, recipes, Snacks

Mango Coconut Frozen Yogurt

With the gorgeous weather we have been having, I have the perfect snack or dessert to enjoy on a warm, sunny day. Not only is this recipe effortless, but it is gentle on the waist line. I know that’s an important factor since we all have bathing suit season on the brain, eek!

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I promise you, once you make homemade ice cream, you will not go back to store-bought. The ingredients are all natural, no additives, bolder flavours and the texture is much creamier.

Here is what you will need:

  1. 3 cups frozen mango (I cut my own mango and then freeze it, but a frozen pre-packaged version in the frozen section of the grocery store works just as well)
  2. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  3. 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  4. 2 tbsp honey

How to make:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  2. Pour the mixture into a pan or bowl and smooth over in an even layer.Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 8.09.01 PM.png
  3. Freeze until frozen, yet soft enough to scoop which is about 2 hours. If you are freezing over night or for a longer period of time, cover in plastic wrap and let it sit out at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes before scooping.Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 8.09.27 PM.png
  4. When ready to eat, scoop into a bowl or cone and add your favourite toppings if you’re feeling wild. I add shredded coconut and drizzle chocolate if I really want to indulge (which is basically every time).

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Alright, so just a little side note- this recipe gets even better! You can substitute the mango for any of your other favourite fruits (strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, you name it). You can even change up the greek yogurt flavour. Get creative and tell me  your favourite ice cream combination in the comments.

 

 

appetizer, recipes

Traditional Bruschetta Appetizer

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Bruschetta is one of my favourite appetizers because the flavours are so fresh and it is really easy to make (I’m also obsessed with all things covered in balsamic). The most important thing you will need for this recipe is a fresh baguette from your local bakery or grocery store. Bad bread= bad bruschetta.

I stole this great recipe last year from fellow blogger, Ahead of Thyme.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Basil leaves (4-6)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 loaf baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices- (I buy from Fortinos bakery section)
  • aged white cheddar, shredded

*Note: you do not use balsamic dressing for this recipe. You need a balsamic glaze/reduction. You can make on your own or simply buy from the store.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, about 1 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. If you store the mixture in the fridge and let it sit for an hour or two, the flavours will really emerge!

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2. Line you baguette slices on a lined cooking tray and brush with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes.

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3. Line the slices up on a plate and scoop generous amounts of the tomato mixture onto each piece. Sprinkle with the aged white cheddar and balsamic glaze to finish of this amazing appetizer.

Tell me what you think in the comments!

 

 

breakfast

Breakfast Breadboat

Hello folks!

I’m sorry for going on a posting hiatus, I am sure you were all lost in the kitchen without my help (wink, wink). However, don’t fret, I have some great recipes in store for the coming weeks!¬†Now, how many of your go-to breakfast meal is eggs and toast? It’s quick, easy and pretty tasty, right? Personally, I am getting pretty bored of eating plain old, boring eggs (and sometimes cereal to change things up).

I have re-vamped your basic breakfast and turned it into one that is sure to please everyone. I mean, bacon, egg, and cheese in a bread boat… Can you go wrong? *initiate drooling*.

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Best part is that it’s simple to make, but will surely be a party pleaser. Toss this on the table during breakfast or brunch and you will be the favourite for at least a day (until the trolls become hungry again).

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of bacon, cooked and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

How to make:

1. In a bowl, mix your eggs, milk, bacon, cheese and onions. As a quick side note, you can use any type of cheese you prefer. I love to use Jalape√Īo cheddar to spice things up.


2. Cut a long rectangle through the top of the baguette and partially unstuff it.

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3. Spoon the mixture into the baguette and then bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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Try to tell me that does not look deeliiccciiiousss?! Cut it into slices and enjoy! Depending on the size of the baguette you can feed about 6 people with it.

What else do you think you could stuff into a baguette? I am thinking a pizza bread boat or a meatball breadboat next time. Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

breakfast, Desserts, recipes

Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

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I made this for my family on Valentine’s day and it was a huge hit! It’s a nice spin on the classic french toast dish. The flavours are more complex and the strawberries make it fresh tasting.¬†¬†You could make this in the morning for breakfast or as a dessert.

*Yields 2 french toast sandwiches 

Ingredients:
Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

French Toast:

  • 4 slices bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

1.In a medium bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together (cream cheese, powdered sugar, strawberries and vanilla extract).

 

 

2. Spread two spoonfuls on two pieces of bread. The picture shows the standard amount to use, but I add a little extra because I like the cream cheese mixture to almost be oozing out of the french toast sandwich.

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3. press the other two slices on top and apply a bit of pressure when making the sandwich so it all sticks together.

4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon together.

 

 

5. Place the butter in a skillet on medium heat, and while that is melting, dip both sides of one of your sandwiches in the egg mixture. Then, place in the skillet.

 

 

6. Cook until golden brown on both sides

 

 

I like to sprinkle extra powdered sugar on the finished french toast sandwiches, and serve them with additional strawberries on top. Maybe add a little maple syrup and you will be in a sweet, sweet heaven.

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Do you think I should try making french toast with some sort of a banana custard filling? I’d love to hear what else you think would be tasty stuffed in a french toast sandwich. I’m thinking maybe something involving caramel or toffee… Let me know in the comments!