Holiday Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Chutney

Bbrrrrrrr, happy freezing cold Saturday! I’m trying to stay warm, bright and cheery in this blanket of snow and arctic deep freeze… not easy as I dream of sunny days and bronzed skin… then end is in sight you guys! The new year promises warmer weather, YES! Until then stay huddled, warm and eat yummy food, hmmm maybe my Holiday Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Chutney is in store?! Perfect for a New Years appy or for snacking purposes with Netflix on, giant fluffy warm socks and game night! So a friend recently asked me for a chutney recipe he could whip up for a holiday gathering and I immediately jumped on the challenge, flavors and fruit combos went running through my head! I knew I wanted to conjure up a healthier chutney for the holidays, one that wasn’t half sugar… but of course still delicious! I tried a few combos and this Holiday Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Chutney was the winner at all my holiday festivities and with my husband.

So chutnies originated in Indian, coming from the Hindi word “chatni”. Chutnies are typically a relish made from fresh fruit and spices and can be used in a multitude of ways! I love any sort of sauce, relish or side dish that highlights and improves simple ingredients, that’s exactly what this chutney does! While I was trialing fruit combos I was dreaming of being back in warm Hawaii and then it occurrd to me, why not throw a little Hawaaiin heat into the chutney? So in went the pineapple and jalapeno, then the magic happened! It turned out sweet with a little heat and tang, a perfect balance! I actually didn’t even realize how simple chutnies are to make and how much flavor gets packed into a small spoonful, it was a hit forsure!

Chutnies literally go with almost anything, I served my Holiday Spiced Cranberry Pineapple Chutney up as an appetizer on Christmas Eve dinner on a fancy lil charcuterie platter with an arrangement of crackers, cheese, assorted Italian meats, nuts, cucumber slices and dried fruit. I enjoyed it on everything from fresh veggies, roasted chicken, roasted veggies, crackers, eggs to putting it on my husbands meat & cheese sandwich melts, wraps and fruit cheese mid afternoon snack platters! Everyone that tried it loved it, I wish I made a bigger batch! I think it’s definitely a recipe to ring in the New Year with!

Here is what you will need:

1 tsp olive oil

3/4 cup yellow sweet onion – diced finely

1 jalapeno – diced finely

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

6 dried dates – pitted and diced

3/4 cup fresh pineapple – chopped

2 tbsp of pineapple juice (optional, but if you have some leftover juice from your pineapple use it!)

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup apple/cider vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how to make your own chutney! 

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium low heat.

Add your onion, jalapeno, ginger and dates. Sure and allow onions to soften, approximately 5-8 minutes, stirring intermittently.

Add the remainder of your ingredients, stir well and allow to simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Half way through cooking I grabbed my muddler  (you can use a potato masher etc) and broke down the bigger pieces of fruit, mashing it down to desired consistency. I like it a bit smoother but if you like a chunky chutney, then don’t break it down as much!

When it’s thickened it’s ready! Let it cool then add to a jar of your choice and seal!

Serve chilled with your choice of assorted crackers, meats, cheese, veggies, as a spread on sandwiches, great on eggs as well.

It’s easy and delicious, it makes a great little gift as well. Wishing all of you an incredibly Happy New Year, may 2018 be full of love, health, new opportunities, growth and happiness! Until next year! Xoxo

Ps: I love seeing my recipes on your table! Tag me on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram

 

 

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Christmas Morning Herb Mushroom & Onion Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust

Well hello hello! The official countdown is on to Christmas and I’m making you a Christmas Morning Herb Mushroom & Onion Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust! I still am in disbelief that it is that time of year again… I feel like it snuck up on me as M and I just got back from Kauai last week! It was my big 3 0 birthday trip filled with sunshine, beaches, humid hikes and more tropical fruit than I have had in a year stuffed into a week. I have to say, there was something so odd about a palm tree speckled with Christmas ornaments and Christmas lights strung across bushes with beautiful Hawaiian flowers peaking through lush greens, I just feel like without the fluffy snowy peaks, a hot cup of cocoa in front of a fireplace and decorated tree it doesn’t quite feel like the Christmas I know! None the less, it was an incredible way to spend my birthday and when I returned I was spoiled rotten by my family & friends! My parents seriously went over the top on my gift and got me a stunning cherry Le Creuset French Oven that I could only dream about before and a perfect Le Creuset pie dish for a quiche, I still don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such a gift, I’m in LOVE (they sit out on my counter so I can admire them :)! Since returning I’ve been running around like a mad woman getting gifts together and planning my contributions to the many feasts that bring us all together with the ones we love during this special holiday.
One of my favorite meals, hands down, is breakfast! There is something about waking up, having a hot coffee with a nutritious breakfast to fuel my day, so I thought, why not create a scrumptious Christmas breakfast recipe for Christmas morning to start such a beautiful day off right! I created a Christmas Morning Herb Mushroom & Onion Kale with a Sweet Potato Crust. Now that’s what I’m talking about, relishing a bite of your slice of savory layered quiche, having sips of hot coffee (spiked with your fav happy juice), your loved ones surrounding you and perhaps a gift or two under the tree calling your name 😊 The best part, you don’t have to do an ounce of cooking Christmas morning, quiche warms up very well the next day and usually tastes even better! So make it the day before, pop her in the oven Christmas morning and absorb all the holiday love, whatever that may be for you!
There is something to say for Christmas traditions, we all have them and have our own unique customs that we grew up with and they continue to live on as we grow older and maybe even pass them on. My family has always celebrated on Christmas Eve, starting with an ornate delicious feast that my mom works so hard all day on, then as children we would get a story read to us by my mom as we all anxiously awaited the gifts to magically appear under that real Christmas tree… I never clued in that my dad was never part of story time… :O  Then my dad always passed our gifts to us one after another, he now tries to pawn this duty off to my brother these days! I love how traditions live on! Then when I met my husband I took on his families traditions as well, celebrating Christmas morning with a bountiful breakfast and gift opening! This year perhaps we can all start a new quiche tradition by bringing over my Christmas Morning Herb Mushroom & Onion Quiche with a Sweet Potato Crust! 
I have to say, this quiche is so delectable, you may not want to open gifts until this quiche pan is licked clean! The sweet potato crust has hints of sweet creaminess and crunch on the outside, your caramelized onions and mushrooms infused with rosemary are layered between egg and kale, then its all topped off with a little salty feta to seal the quiche! Make it the day before then re-heat in the oven Christmas morning for all to enjoy! More time to sit back, relax and take Christmas in.
Here is my recipe!
Ingredients:
1 small sweet potato – washed & sliced into think circles to layer for the crust
1/2 sweet yellow onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed
6-8 brown mushrooms – washed & finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary – diced (1 tbsp dried)
1 tsp onion powder
3 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
Large handful of kale chopped
2 tbsp fresh feta crumbled
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Optional: pinch of red chili flakes for a slight heat if you want
Get Cooking:
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray pie/quiche dish (mine is 9″) with non stick spray then layer your sweet potato rounds on the bottom and up the sides, spray with non stick spray again and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper & rosemary, put in oven for 15-20 minutes.
While your sweet potato crust is baking, add your onions, garlic and rosemary into a saute pan over medium heat, saute for 5-8 minutes until onions soften, add mushrooms, onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, saute until mushrooms soft. Add in your red chili flakes here if wanted!
Whisk 3 eggs, 3 egg whites and 1/3 cup almond milk in a bowl with your remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
When your crust is done baking, layer your kale, onion mushroom mixture on the bottom then pour your eggs over top, finish with sprinkling your feta on top!
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set, allow it to cool slightly then dig in!
If you are making it the day before, allow it to cool completely then store it in fridge, re-heat in oven on 350 for 10 minutes or so and enjoy your Christmas morning!
I have to show off my gifts… aren’t they beautiful! They are a dream come true!
I hope I’ve inspired your Christmas morning breakfast menu this year, may the holidays be filled with love, laughter, yummy food, great company, gratitude and a gift here or there. Stay warm and I’m sending you all so much love! I’ll leave you with a heart warming Christmas picture of our sweet pup Nara opening her Christmas Bark Box, XOXO! Merry Christmas!
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Thanksgiving Butternut Squash & Apple Feta Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you’re all able to take a moment this weekend to soak in all that you are thankful for: family, friends, health, laughs and of course the exquisite tables of never-ending food that we are fortunate enough to prepare over hours with love and devour within just a few minutes! I am remarkably thankful for this holiday as it truly allows me to press pause on my life for just a moment and in that moment realize that even though our world is struggling in many ways, there is still beauty, resilience, love and a positive energetic force that goes on around us, let’s embody those forces and emit them to the world around us. In that little message I am going to share with you a little sumthin sumthin that I whipped up yesterday to bring to the table of feasts at my family dinner, with overwhelming positive feedback on my Thanksgiving Butternut Squash & Apple Feta Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic, I will pay it forward to your table of thankfulness and hope you and your loved ones truly enjoy!

I signed up for the salad category as my contribution to my mom’s always INCREDIBLE Thanksgiving dinner this year, I wanted make a hearty but still fresh, seasonal salad that encompassed Thanksgiving colors and flavors. I hummed and hawed on what type of salad to make and decided to go with what I had on hand and hope for the best! I had a giant butternut squash lying on the counter top, a head of fresh kale/sweet kale super food leaf mix in the fridge, a pot full of herbs, a mound of golden apples, half a red onion bulb and some of my fav fixings like pecans, hemp, pumpkin seeds and that salty delicious feta! Then I got choppin and cookin and this salad came out better than I could have imagined!

So if you need to bring something to dinner tomorrow… (sorry this post is a little late, but I had to share!) now you’ve got a seasonal salad to impress the fam jam with and it keeps well for the next day so you can keep a little for yourself to snack on the day after indulging!

Here is what you’ll need and hopefully have lying around!

Serves 6-8 people:

4 cups of butternut squash – peeled & cut into small cubes

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried)

1 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)

2 tsp onion powder

2 large golden apples – sliced into matchsticks

8 cups of soft curly kale (I did 4 cups of kale and 4 cups of the Eat Smart Sweet Kale Salad mix)

1/4 red onion – very thinly sliced

1/3 cup pecans whole (tossed in 1 tsp honey & 1/4 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt)

1/4 cup light feta – crumbled

2 tbsp pepitas

2 tbsp hemp (I buy bulk at Superstore/Save on Foods)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Salt & Pepper to taste

Pomegranate Balsamic Salad Dressing:

1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

Salt & Pepper to taste

How to make:

Heat oven to 400 Fahrenheit

Take diced butternut squash & toss with a small amount of olive oil until just coated, toss in fresh herbs, onion powder, salt & pepper.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake squash for 20 minutes, flip half way.

In a large salad bowl add your kale/kale mix, apples, red onion, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper and toss well.

Take your pecans & toss them in 1 tsp of warmed liquid honey, cinnamon & a pinch of salt, when your squash has 6 minutes left to bake, add to your baking sheet and bake 3 minutes a side.

When your squash & pecans are done, let them cool.

Crush pecans and top your salad with crushed pecans, squash, hemp, pepitas & feta.

Add all your dressing ingredients together and mix well.

Pour dressing over your salad when ready to serve, enjoy your Thanksgiving Butternut Squash & Apple Feta Salad!

Happy Thanksgiving and sending much love, XOXO!

 

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