Grill Em Up – Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers

Afternoon everyone! Hope your weekend has been jam-packed with adventure and hopefully delicious meals that were grilled up on that BBQ, since the sun came out to play yesterday. A slightly gloomy start to our Sunday, but who are we kidding , Canadians are notorious for using that BBQ as soon as a walk able path via snow boots can be shoveled through the snow to reach the BBQ… well I do anyways. Although, I find it preferable when you can entertain in the sanctuary of your backyard, kick back, have a drinkaroo or two, all while grilling up damn delicious Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers!

I find from time to time chicken can get slightly boring and recipes are monotonous, throw that flavorless chicken to the side and welcome into your life these super easy, moist, flavor packed and ready for summer, Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burgers! I was craving a juicy bite of a healthy burger, I created these sweet with heat chicken patties and it undeniably hit the spot! Within 10 minutes you can have your ground chicken mixed up with a medley of fresh jalapeno and lime, juicy sweet corn, fragrant cilantro and that perfect spice blend of chili powder , cumin, paprika and chipotle. These burgers deliver a serious flavor bomb, no boring ass chicken here!

I made a batch and had them for dinner, lunch than dinner… I was seriously impressed with their versatility and deliciousness even after being re-heated! I am optimistic that I have inspired you and created half your weeks dinner and lunch ideas, you’re welcome! I experimented with a fully loaded lettuce style burger, stacked with creamy avocado, grilled red onion, fresh tomato with a side of delectable Chili Lime Beets, I dove right in, crazy tasty! Then for lunch I whipped up a quick avocado, tomato, cucumber salad with a Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burger on the side or try the traditional patty between a bun with your fav toppings. You really can’t go wrong and yes, the recipe is also up for the Chili Lime Beet Chips!

I’m obsessed with beets and my BBQ, so I thought… let’s unify these two glorious things! BAM, Chili Lime Beet Chips with a smoky hue and a lovely crisp, a perfect compliment to that Jalapeno Corn Chicken Burger, served as a lettuce slider with a side of chips, not to mention a much healthier alternative than fries or regular fried chips. They did not last long, seriously obsessed and addicted! Just a FYI, the Calgary Farmer’s Market has gorgeous bags of golden and red beets right now, you may want to pick some of these beauties up.

Have I got you wanting to fire up that BBQ now? Get on it and indulge on my healthy and delicious chicken burger and beet chips tonight! Hope you all have a lovely rest of your Sunday and week ahead and let’s coax that sunshine out! XOXO

 

Continue Reading

Moroccan White Bean Stew For Rainy Days

Good morning all! Rainy and grey Sunday’s make me just want to curl up with my bowl of savory, Moroccan White Bean Stew and maybe throw in some Netflix or a good book, don’t you agree? How typical of Calgary… one day I’m outside grilling and basking in the sun, the next I’m back to comfort stews, watching the rain trickle down the windows. I’m not complaining though, there is something tranquil and beautiful about drizzling rain, soon bringing life and lush greenery our way. Oh and now you have a healthy and yummy vegetarian stew recipe to create and curl up with as well!

I have mentioned before the life changing and unbelievable impact that Morocco had on me and my culinary inspiration. My palate was introduced to a whole new world of flavors and cooking techniques that I find myself referring back too for many recipes. With bold and fresh spices and stunning colorful cookware being sold on every corner, it was difficult to not get lost and immersed in the food culture (FYI, I regret deeply not hauling a tagine back to Canada!) This Moroccan White Bean Stew is my healthy play on the radiant traditional Moroccan Loubia White Bean Stew, that I experienced while in Morocco.

The silky white beans bring a balanced richness to this vegetarian dish and the smokiness of the paprika and warmth of cumin keeps your spoon diving in for more. I can’t get enough of bursting and slightly browned roasted tomatoes, they deliver a whole different dimension to this dish, so I had to incorporate! A gorgeous market find this week was some exquisite purple kale, I knew it would finish this stew off perfectly, I mean green kale will do… but really, look how stunning that purple kale is you guys!

So I think you are in need of and deserve a lazy Sunday stew day, kick back with a large bowl of my White Bean Moroccan Stew and take in the beauty and freshness that the rain can bring. Take advantage of the rest of this weekend and enjoy! XOXO

Continue Reading

Asparagus Continues with Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout on Creamy Cauliflower Puree

As promised, another asparagus recipe to embrace asparagus season! I have recently been asked by  multiple people what my favorite, or go to meal is and instantly I knew I wanted to share with all of you this undeniably exquisite dinner. This is my go to dinner because it’s SO DAMN GOOD and works well with any seasonal vegetable, this one being asparagus! Even after making it three nights in a row, I still can’t get enough of my Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout on Creamy Cauliflower Puree, asparagus edition. I know, the title makes it seem dramatically difficult or restaurant like, but you guys, surprise surprise, this is a 20 minute meal!

Doesn’t it look so gourmet, I feel like I’m at a top-notch restaurant when I make and devour this beauty of a dish, without the large bill at the end! I always stock up on fresh fish when it is available, my travels through Japan has made me miss fresh and bountiful seafood tremendously.  I had the most outstanding piece of trout laid upon Japanese seasonal greens and broth while in the mountainous village of Magome, Japan. My obsession with fresh trout has been relentless since then! FYI, the Calgary Farmer’s Market has Market Seafood, where I buy my fresh fish. They have fresh steel head trout in right now, check out their website to see what they have in fresh that weekend!

Streets of Magome, Japan, steps away from the restaurant with the dreamy trout.

Now, back to my Lemon Garlic Roasted Trout and Asparagus With a Creamy Cauliflower Puree. Roasting asparagus, yet another way to prepare these crunchy green spears, roasting them allows their natural and fresh flavors to really shine. In this recipe they are simply roasted with fresh garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper, divine!

If you haven’t had cauliflower puree yet in your lifetime, I am actually going to come over this instance and make this creamy dreamy puree for you myself… you have been MISSING OUT BIG TIME! I am obsessed. I use it all the time and it elevates my dishes to that next level! It adds that silky dimension and you can dip and scoop it up with the garlicky flaky moist trout and crispy asparagus. It pairs really well with grains and works perfectly as a sauce, I threw some red quinoa into this dish (as pictured above) and the two were meant to be! The greatest part of cauliflower puree, is it takes 5 minutes, way less time than lets say… mashed potatoes! Simply steam with spices in the microwave then blend!

Well, let me know what you think about this delectable 20 minute gourmet meal. I wouldn’t be surprised if you too will be eating it three nights in a row, or more! Oh and also, if you can’t get your hands on fresh trout, salmon also works deliciously here, I just love the lightness of trout! Happy weekend everyone and don’t get fooled tomorrow 🙂 XOXO

Continue Reading

Celebrating Spring With A Vibrant Green Thai Chicken Curry

Happy first day of Spring everyone! The Spring equinox is upon us and this calls for a celebration I’d say, I am so looking forward to Spring showers, warmer days, green grass and blossoming flowers. So I created a dish that transitions us from the cool winters into the hopes of Spring, a vibrant and fresh vegetable packed Green Thai Chicken Curry

Quick curry dishes are a go to weeknight meal for me fore-sure and make darn tasty leftovers for your lunch the next day. With Spring here but cool days still lingering, I was craving a warm bowl of goodness packed with fresh and in season veggies balanced with the heat from the curry. I always get my bell peppers from Gull Valley Growers at the Farmer’s Market, seriously the best produce EVER! Their peppers are sweet, crunchy and hold so much flavor, they definitely elevate this curry to the next level! My Green Thai Chicken Curry is hearty with fresh bell peppers, sweet carrots, pops of crunch from flavor infused baby corn, fresh green spinach, tender juicy chicken pieces and that creamy green curry infused coconut broth ties it all together.

I know at times finding all the ingredients for exotic curry dishes can be daunting and can have you running around the city to different stores to find all those rare roots and grasses… this is my case all too often. I stumbled upon the Silk Road Spice Merchant’s Green Thai Curry blend, which is a mixture of all those ingredients that can be tiresome to find! It is such a great alternative when my grocery stores aren’t carrying everything I need and brings such an authentic aromatic flavor to this curry, then I elevated it with a few more spices and it was perfection!

Try this Green Thai Chicken Curry for dinner tonight, it is so simple to throw together and impressively packs a ton of flavor for the minimal time and effort put into creating this dish!

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai Green Curry spice blend/paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion – sliced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper – sliced into strips
  • 1 large red bell pepper – sliced into strips
  • 1 large carrot – peeled and thinly sliced pieces
  • 1 cup canned baby corn
  • 2 packed cups fresh spinach
  • Handful of fresh basil – coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in large saute pan over medium meat.
  2. Add first 7 ingredients to pan and allow spices to get fragrant, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add onions and saute until just softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock, bring to an almost boil.
  5. Once liquid almost boiling, add chicken and carrots, decrease heat to medium/low, cover with lid, cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the rest of vegetables, except spinach, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Once vegetables softened, add spinach and basil and cook until just wilted.
  8. Serve on cauliflower rice, rice of choice or bed of fresh spinach!
 I have confidence that you will fall in love with this transition into Spring, bowl of vibrant, healthy and nutritious ingredients! XOXO
Continue Reading

Lasagna With Love, From Venice

I’ve been dying to share my Venetian inspired lasagna with all of you! What better day to cheer you all up with a comforting, nourishing and love filled lasagna than on this snowy Monday? Let’s close our eyes and transport ourselves to the canal lined streets of Venice, Italy, where smooth sailing gondolas glide through the water, mysterious passageways are around every corner and the quaint cobblestone streets are filled with mouth-watering aromas of fresh-baked pastries and hints of espresso. I was truly inspired by the culture, cuisine and back streets of Venice, this is how my Butternut Mushroom Lasagna came alive!

The best way to see Venice is truly just to get lost, throw that map in the air and explore! My husband and I decided to veer off the touristy walk ways, burrow ourselves into the culture and a whole new enticing and enigmatic Venice was unveiled. We stumbled upon shops full of ornate, bright Venetian masks, inspiring and eclectic art galleries, traditional family run restaurants, charming cafe’s and of course stunning Venetian glass pieces. Our unexpected expedition and grumbling tummies led us to experiencing symbolic Venetian dishes around every corner.

My Butternut Mushroom Lasagna was inspired by a variety of flavors and ingredients that I devoured while in Venice. I can still taste the flavors of woodsy mushrooms layered on a crostini (Venetian Cicchetti) and how could I forget Italy’s famous, fine, sharp Asiago cheese. Italy is obviously is known for it’s delectable lasagnas, Venice offers lasagna made with a nutmeg infused, white bechamel sauce instead of a tomato base. Um, let’s not forget dessert (or the too many desserts!) the lemony and sweet Fritellas (donuts) were to die for. I asked myself, how do I create a healthy and wholesome Venetian inspired meal with all of these delights that hit my mouth?!

Let me introduce you too my tasty and grain free lasagna. My Butternut Mushroom Lasagna has layers of sweet butternut squash in place of heavy pasta, meaty mushrooms, savory leeks and onions, fresh thyme, juicy chicken, lemony ricotta with a hint of nutmeg, fresh spinach and lasagna isn’t lasagna without some sweet tomatoes! Top this gorgeous lasagna off with Italy’s finest Asiago and Parmesan shredded cheese. You will be transported to (a healthier) Italy with one bite of this delicious dinner recipe, try it tonight! Buon appetito!

Continue Reading

Weekends = Crock Pot Dinners!

Rise and shine everyone, it’s Saturday morning and the weekend has just begun, time to get going! I know the weekends can be quite the frenzy, trying to pack in as much as imaginable into 48 precious hours, so who has time to cook dinner? This is why I have a true deep love for my trusty crock pot that has never failed me. When i need a scrumptious dinner to be prepared at the end of the day, it comes through for me every time. Let me save you some time this weekend to focus on the meaningful moments; making beautiful memories, laughing, loving and consuming hearty and mouth watering, Butternut Black Bean Crock Pot Chili!

Butternut squash is a such a gorgeous, versatile and easy to work with ingredient, it beautifully absorbs any flavors you throw at it. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and has found to be an anti-inflammatory super food! I recently educated myself on picking the perfect butternut squash, you want the squash to be: heavy for its size, stem intact and firm, skin matte (not shiny – means it was picked too early), and when you tap it, it should have a “woodsy” sound. That should lead you to the perfect squash… now go tap away on those squashes… haha. I adore butternut squash and had to incorporate it into a chili recipe, I let the ingredients shine and this chili is truly scrumptious.

There is nothing better than digging into a hot bowl of chunky, veggie loaded chili, with smokey and sweet flavors that are so inviting and comforting at the end of a busy day. I recently made this for a very special and significant family gathering in my life, we shared many laughs and tears and the bowls were wiped clean, literally! I more than anything wanted to create a chili recipe that encompasses love and leaves you feeling delightfully satisfied, I think this is it! Try it out this weekend, gather your family and friends, share beautiful food and smile! Sending much love, Xoxo.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Get Out Your Sombreros, it’s Fajita Night!

Hola everyone, well it’s a gorgeous winter day , sun is out and shining bright which brings a smile to my face and a hop in my step! The recent warm weather and golden rays of sunshine have me thinking of summer and beach vacations… in fact, the Mexican topic/theme has come up in my life several times in the last couple days, so I took it as a sign and I’d like to introduce to you your dinner for tonight! Drum roll please… I know you are going to LOVE my Zesty Fajita Squash Boats with my Cilantro Avocado Drizzle! They are a low carb and healthy twist on fajitas, not to mention so much fun eating out of a squash bowl!

 

Let me take you back to some of the best fajitas I’ve had and how that sizzling plate of deliciousness inspired this recipe! My husband and I took a summer trip to Whitefish, Montana a couple of years ago for a golf couples getaway. If you’ve never been to Whitefish, you absolutely have to experience this small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, it has an old historic rustic charm about it, abundance of boutique shops, multitude of outdoor activities and of course a variety of culinary experiences!

Anyways, back to the golfing getaway and food inspiration… there we were golfing away in Whitefish, almost completed our 18 holes and famished, when all of a sudden a giant grizzly bear barreled past our golf cart and down the fairway! Before we even knew what happened, I armed myself with my golf club (smart and quick thinking, I know!) and unsure of what to do next, we just sat in our cart and let that bear do it’s thing! We skipped the last hole, too terrified to keep playing and decided with all that excitement we needed a darn good meal (since we didn’t end up being meals ourselves). You know when you are so hungry you don’t really even have the slightest care where you eat, that you just stop at anything that resembles a restaurant and hope it’s good? Well that was the case that day! We saw a small, old, barely visible sign for Mexican food and decided Mexican sounded darn good. We got out of our car and couldn’t really make out where this restaurant actually was, we were in some isolated parking lot… then we spotted a door to a very sketchy looking building, we weren’t turning back now! Well, I’ve determined over the years of travelling that these restaurants are typically the BEST and usually authentic, haha… usually.

We were seated at a cute little table, in a dimly lit small restaurant that was surprisingly full (I still wonder to this day where these people were parked). Faint Mexican music played in the background and the mouth-watering smells of Mexican fair filled the air. Now I’m sure you can guess what we ordered… yep, FAJITAS! So, you know when you are waiting for your food at a restaurant and someone else’s food goes by looking damn amazing and you think… wow I wish I ordered that. Well for once, that was our sizzling, bright, beautiful skillet of fajitas! I felt everyone’s eyes jealously peering over at our table. Now these fajitas were simply incredible, the flavors were so balanced, the vegetables cooked perfectly, the lime juice on top with that zesty kick, the subtle smokiness to the dish was the key. I still to this day don’t know what the name of the restaurant is or even where it is located, I keep intending to go back and find it one day. I decided that day that I needed more fajita in my life and I was going to create a spice mix and recipe that rocked my fajita world. Over the last couple of years I have, what I think, come up with a pretty darn good fajita recipe and I’m going to share that with you tonight!

For the recipe click here!

Continue Reading