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

 

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Flamin’ Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup

How is everyone’s Easter Monday coming along? Well, it’s game day here in Calgary as most of you know, our Calgary Flames hockey team are bringing the third playoff game home to the Saddledome! In support of our boys and an urgent needed win, I have surely created a good luck, red flamin’, Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup!

Who doesn’t love a creamy, bright, flavorful tomato soup, especially one that sports our hockey teams colors, hah!? Some tomato soups can be bland and watery, it’s those that give tomato soup a bad reputation I’d say, let’s turn that around with my tomato soup! My Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup is so fitting for Spring, packed with fresh and flavorful vegetables, heightened by roasting them and adding fresh savory spices. I have enjoyed it for lunch for three days now and it makes an effortless lazy dinner option, served with perhaps your favorite grilled cheese sandwich? I mean tomato soups are meant for dunking while watching the Flames win!

This recipe is pretty foolproof, chop chop, throw on a pan, roast, simmer and blend, if only it was actually created in seconds… but truly, let your oven do the work here then you just need to bring it all together in harmony. Don’t forget that roasted garlic, yummmm. Roasted garlic is seriously outstanding and brings a caramelized garlic flavor to the soup, check out the recipe on how to make a head of roasted garlic! I baked some fresh chia and buckwheat bread, smothered with fresh avocado, then drenched in my Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup, OMG, that’s all I have to say! I made my husband a cheddar and green apple grilled cheese sandwich with his tomato soup, if that’s more your food language!

Let’s cheer on our Calgary Flames with my Flamin’ Roasted Tomato Vegetable Soup tonight! Let’s roast those ducks, Go Flames Go!

 

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Spiced Apple Carrot Cake for an Easter Treat!

Happy happy Friday of a long Easter weekend to you all! I realize I’m cutting it close here posting an Easter inspired recipe, but I needed this Spiced Apple Carrot Cake with Maple Cinnamon Infused Greek Yogurt topping to be perfection for all you and perhaps it can make a presence at your family Easter dinner!? I adore carrot cake, it’s my absolute personal favorite, so I’ve been a busy bee creating a healthier version that wasn’t packed with sugar or butter, well I’d say I’ve delivered with my gluten-free and refined sugar-free, Spiced Apple Carrot Cake, it’s freakin incredible!

My mom makes a mean carrot cake, so I thank her for showing my palate what a yummy carrot cake should taste like, big shoes to fill, I had quite the task trying to develop a healthier version and retaining all that goodness! I seriously tried quite a few combos and batches before I could say I was truly thrilled about the end product. Also my husband, AKA, #1 food test subject, inhaled half the cake in joy, I knew it was the one (the cake, and my husband too, I suppose :))

I prefer a denser carrot cake that hit you in the face with balanced warm spices and where with every bite you get a delightful surprise of crunch and an explosion of flavor. I actually think that is why I adore carrot cake so much, you never know what every forkful will deliver with all the mixing’s and infusion of spices, mmm. My cake is made with a gluten-free and nutrient rich base of oat flour and garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, a multitude of warming spices, of course carrots and I decided to experiment with the addition of yummy tart green apples into the blend, this was the trick! It brought another beautiful flavor dimension to this cake as well as moisture. My favorite mix in combinations ended up being dried pineapple, walnuts and raisins, but you can get wild and creative here, kinda like Marble Slab, carrot cake version… !

Now, you simply can’t have carrot cake without some sort of creamy topping, that is unacceptable. I wanted to keep this fresh and lite to stay balanced with my Spiced Apple Carrot Cake, so I developed a Maple Cinnamon Infused Yogurt Cream to smother on top! It’s simple and much healthier than sugary cream cheese icing, so you can apply a little more! In a bowl simply whip together Skyr plain yogurt (or any thick plan greek yogurt), maple syrup, cinnamon and a touch of lemon juice and you have got yourself a finger licking good cream to throw on top of that cake!

My Spiced Apple Carrot Cake will be making an appearance at my family Easter dinner this weekend, I’ll keep you posted on what my family has to say regarding my healthy carrot cake! Let me know what you think of the recipe if you decide to make it a guest at your Easter or family gathering! Happy long weekend, sending lots of love! XOXO

 

 

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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

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Asparagus Wrapped With Crispy Miso Eggplant

Happy first week of April everyone! So I think (actually, I know) I’ve created something positively out of this world, I know, I’m humble on every aspect today…:) I promised to showcase asparagus in a variety of recipes and I’m still on that asparagus high, but I wanted a salty, satisfying, pub style, finger food deliciousness to munch on… then it hit me! Why not try emulate a healthy play on tempura/bacon wrapped asparagus, is that even doable? YEP, sure is! I combined my inspiration from Japanese staples and seasonal produce to create the perfect finger food, Asparagus Wrapped in Crispy Miso Eggplant.

I get many recipe ideas in my kooky head, usually at 3 AM I might add and I have to jot it down immediately, my husband thinks I’m nuts as I’m madly scribbling something in the early morn… he’s used to it now. Where I was going with that, oh yes, was not all my ideas work or there is a lot of trial and error…. but these magnificent Miso Eggplant Wrapped Spears were faultless the second I pulled them from the hot oven and popped one in my mouth! I am always thrilled when that occurs, these are truly a scrumptious, easy peezy and healthy finger food option!

This recipe was clearly cultivated by my culinary experiences in Japan, immediately miso marinade jumped into my head! Miso is such a staple in the seasoning of their food and has such an amazing tangy, distinct, savory and salty flavor, I knew I wanted to create a miso marinade for that silky eggplant, then wrap that deliciousness around nothing else but those fresh asparagus spears! The second they began to roast, I was reminded of familiar smells that I experienced in the many Izakaya’s (Japanese style pub/taverns) that serve a variety of grilled meats and vegetables, all with a cup of sake to wash it all down with!

Simply dip that eggplant, wrap and roast! The eggplant get’s golden and crispy around the juicy asparagus, the bold miso, garlic, sesame and ginger flavors hit your palate and you keep wanting more. They are a great snack or perfect for a unique appetizer that surely will have your guests pleasantly bewildered, even those carnivores (I swear). My husband is neither an asparagus nor eggplant lover and I made him (I asked him nicely) sample one, then before I knew it, half my photography plate was eaten up! Try em out, let me know what you think, tag a pic on Instagram (@apinchofnurse) or Facebook, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

See Monday’s aren’t so bad when you have my Asparagus Wrapped in Miso Eggplant recipe you need to try out this week right?! XOXO

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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

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Fresh Shaved Asparagus & Roasted Tomato Salad

You guys, guess what… it’s officially asparagus season! This excites me way more than it probably should, but I always forget how marvelous fresh and in season asparagus truly is. So I’ll be highlighting these lovely green spears in a couple of recipes over the next couple weeks. The task of which recipes to share has proven to be really difficult for me because asparagus is so versatile and I had so many ideas! I fell in love with this idea for a salad and it couldn’t have turned out any more delectable, here is my, fresh Shaved Asparagus & Roasted Tomato Salad!

You’re probably saying, um Andrea, you do realize asparagus is typically in the groceries stores all year round, don’t you? I realize that! I don’t know about you, but I walk right past them when i see that $5.99/lb price tag on limp, leaning and pathetic looking spears, so when I saw $3.00 per gorgeous bunch at the market, I bought 3 bundles (I know, slightly excessive). Asparagus is typically harvested from February – June, so keep an eye out at your market for those green, crisp spears with beautiful purple ends! You buy and I’ll provide you with a recipe, deal?

So, here is my asparagus recipe for the week I’d love for you to try! I wanted to highlight how delicious asparagus can be in its raw state and got carried away with my peeler to create a masterpiece of a salad I’d say! My Shaved Asparagus & Roasted Tomato Salad, is authentic, simple and true to the freshness of the crisp asparagus. First of all, I was way too entertained while shaving away at those spears creating asparagus ribbons, I’m sure I had a massive grin on my face the entire time! There is nothing more perfect than sweet and bursting roasted tomatoes to pair with those crisp ribbons and soft buttery lettuce, mmm. Then I thought, why not throw on (actually, be gentle!) a perfectly poached soft egg and let that golden yolk ooze into the layers of the salad. I closed off this masterpiece with large flakes of savory Parmesan and my easy Creamy Honey Mustard dressing. Divine!

Have an amazing week of warm weather and asparagus buying! XOXO

 

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Fresh Baked Spring Apple Carrot & Turmeric Breakfast Muffins

Buh-bye snow and welcome golden rays of energy! These bright days have me craving fresh, warm and spring infused healthy baking. My ongoing obsession with the golden, citrusy root of turmeric has not died down and I recently stumbled upon Teff, a super food wee little grain with a list of nutritional benefits that are mind-blowing. So I thought, why not mash these two together with warm spices, crisp apples, sweet carrots and VUALA, out came these delicious fresh baked, Spring inspired, Apple Carrot & Turmeric Breakfast Muffins!

Now I have to tell you, I am not a die-hard muffin fan… in fact, I can’t remember the last time I had one prior to this urge to do some Spring baking. I actually experimented first with breakfast cookies, wasn’t in love with the textural result, which led to, huh, how about a muffin instead? It was meant to be, these muffins are everything I was craving and more! Although the season is changing, I’m still not quite ready to let go of those comforting winter spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, so I thought I’d ease in to this whole Spring thing! A bite of one of my Apple Carrot & Turmeric Breakfast Muffins will bring your taste buds an infusion of citrusy turmeric and ginger, bursts of juicy tart apples, sweet hints of anti oxidant packed carrots, warmth from the cinnamon and nutmeg, finished off with a caramelized sweetness from the baked dates, YUM!

So you’re probably wondering, what the heck is teff, what kind of crazy grain is this?! I thought the same thing as I browsed the shelves and came across this tiny, dark brown, gluten-free grain (FYI I bought bulk teff from Bulk Barn and Bob’s Redmill Teff Flour from Sobey’s). I bought that interesting grain and marched straight home to do more research, little did I know that this Ethiopian grain is brimming with surprising health benefits, a super food and gaining major popularity in North America. High in nutrient content, it’s loaded with protein, calcium, eight amino acids, iron, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, all in this adorable little grain! Well, I tried it out in these muffins and teff flour worked perfectly! I can’t wait to experiment more with this mysterious super grain!

So, what are ya waiting for! Get your Spring baking on with these nourishing muffins… or shall we call them Teffins, hehe :)? Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you, reach me on Instagram @apinchofnurse or Facebook! XOXO

 

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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
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Slow Cooker Pulled Tandoori Chicken

Oh boy everyone, what a beautiful day out there, blue skies and sunshine, melting snow and now to top it all off, my delicious Slow Cooker Pulled Tandoori Chicken, can this day get any better? This easy slow cooker chicken is brimming with fragrant Tandoori spices and you can eat it up for lunches and dinners for days! I love to sit back while my slow cooker does all the hard work, don’t you?

As you can probably appreciate already, I relish Indian cuisine and all the bold and beautiful flavors that it encompasses! One day I watching this inspiring Netflix series, “The Kindess Diaries,” based on one man’s quest to ignite kindliness from others, and through those acts, allow him to cross the world without spending a single penny! If you haven’t come across this series yet, it’s an absolute must see, heart warming and a tear jerker. During one of his days spent in India, I was slightly distracted during one of the episodes as I saw tandoori chicken cooking in the background… the craving was on! I got experimenting and created a pulled chicken version so I could throw it in butter leaf lettuce wraps, topped with my Mango Salsa With A Snap, it definitely hit the spot!

Tandoori is a curry blend that is more savory and typically mixed and marinated with yogurt in a clay oven, aka a tandoor. I used coconut milk in the recipe instead to balance out those beautiful savory flavors and used my trusty slow cooker as my oven, it turned out brilliant I’d say! Tandoori chicken typically has a smokey flavor to it due to it being cooked over charcoal or wood, I tried to embrace that smokey profile in using smoked paprika. I typically like to create my own spice blends, but it can get costly buying random and hard to get ingredients, then I came across The Silk Road Spice Merchant’s Tandoori Masala blend and I was instantly in love! I buy my spices from them at the Calgary Farmer’s Market, they are amazing!

This Slow Cooker Pulled Tandoori Chicken can’t be any easier to create or tastier, seriously. I know you will love it! Go soak in some sunshine and let your make shift tandoor oven (slow cooker haha) make dinner tonight! XOXO

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