Penne in Tomato Sauce

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Pasta is easy to make, and takes minutes in the kitchen.  I had leftover ground lamb from the night before so I thought about making this dish. Give it a go tonight!

Penne in Tomato Sauce     Yields: 4-6 servings

1/2 package or 227g Penne pasta

1 can (156ml) tomato paste

1 C cooked ground lamb

1 C pasta water

Salt and pepper to taste

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Start by preparing the penne. Drop pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, until penne has a nice but tender bite to it. Drain pasta water but reserve some for use in the sauce.

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Next, prepare the sauce. Add tomato paste to pan with 1/2 of the pasta water and stir to dilute paste.

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Next, toss the pasta into the sauce. Add ground lamb, remaining 1/2 cup pasta water, and stir.

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Finally, add salt and pepper to desired taste and voila! Dinner is served. Enjoy with salad or as a side to a main dish.

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Bon appétit! xo

Homemade Donuts

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My sister worked at Krispy Kream years ago, so I consider her a donut connoisseur! And since my brother was visiting from Australia and Munsur can’t have donuts outside, I decided to try making them at home. Needless to say, she gave me two thumbs up! They tasted so delicious hot and ooey gooey good! Although it may not look like it, it is easy to make, so give this recipe a try :)

Dairy Free Donuts     Yields: ~ 30 donuts

1/4C Coconut oil

2Tbsp crisco

3/4C water

1Tbsp quick rising yeast

1/2C very warm water

1tsp salt

1/4C plus 2Tbsp sugar

3 1/2C flour

2 large eggs

Glaze

2 C Confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)

1/4 C water

1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

1 C (8 oz) Enjoy Life semi sweet chocolate chucks or chocolate squares

2Tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

———————-

First thing you’ll need to do is prepare the yeast.  In a bowl (or measuring cup!), add yeast to very warm water and leave it for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

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In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients (except flour), combine, and set aside.

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In a pot over medium-low heat, combine the coconut oil, crisco, and water. Whisk until melted. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk.

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Next, lightly beat eggs and add to bowl.

Add prepared yeast to bowl and combine to incorporate.

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Now, add the flour and stir until dough forms.

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Once dough’s formed, wrap bowl and throw a towel over it and let sit for about 1 1/2 hours. Dough will double in size!

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Roll dough to about a 1/4 inch thick and using round cookie cutters (or any shape you have really – make it fun!) cut out the donuts.

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To cut out the hole in the middle, I used the ring of my pipe tip ;) Repeat making donuts with scrap dough until all of dough is used.

Tip: Be creative in the kitchen and use what you’ve got!

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Now, fill pot with Mazola or veggie oil and heat to fry the donuts.  You don’t need much oil, maybe about 3 cups or so, depending on the depth of your pot. You’ll want enough to cover about 2-3 inches in your pot. 

Tip: To determine if your oil is at the right temperature to fry, use the back of a wooden spoon and place at the bottom of the pot. When tiny bubbles appear around the wooden spoon, you’re ready to fry!

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Drop a few donut doughs at a time (4-5). They’ll start at the bottom of the pot but will quickly rise to the top. Once they rise, flip after about 30 seconds or so – when donuts are a nice light-golden colour, and do the same on the other side before removing.

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Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet (as shown). I find this allows the excess oil to drip and leaves you with light, crispy, and tender (not soggy) donuts!

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Time to glaze and decorate!

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients for the glaze on medium heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Turn heat to the lowest temp and using a pastry brush (or if you don’t own one a spoon will do), brush or spread the glaze onto the donuts.

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For the chocolate glaze, in a double boiler (a glass or metal bowl on top of a pot with gentle simmering water), add your ingredients and stir once you notice the chocolate beginning to soften.

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Once chocolate glaze is smooth, and using a fork to handle the donuts, gently dip half of the donut rounds into the chocolate glaze and swirl when removing it and place back on the rack to harden. You can add sprinkles here (optional).

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You’re done! Enjoy your hard work with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

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Bon appétit! xo

 

Fennel Potato Soup

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I had fennel sitting in my fridge for a few days and so decided tonight that I wanted to make a soup out of this yummy veggie. If you have about 15 minutes to spare, then give this recipe a try!

Fennel Potato Soup     Yields: 6-8 servings

2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 1/2 C chicken broth and/or water

3/4 C coconut milk

Salt to taste

——————–

Start with the chopped onion and add to pot with olive oil.  Let slightly wilt before adding the chopped fennel bulb. Stir from time to time for approximately a few minutes.

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Add chopped potatoes and stir occasionally for a few minutes more.

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Once vegetables are nicely caramelized (browned), add broth and/or water and bring back to a boil.

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Once soup is boiling, bring down to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for approximately 10 minutes until the fennel and potatoes pierce easily with a fork.

Uncover pot, and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables until smooth.

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Add coconut milk to the soup and blend – this helps add a bit of depth to the soup and also makes it creamier.

Add salt to taste before serving.

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The result is a hearty soup, great on its own, or served alongside a meal of your choice.

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Bon appétit! xo

Sautéed Green Fava Beans “Foul Mi’li”

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I love this easy to make delicious meal – a favourite in my family!  Green fava beans are available in any Middle-Eastern grocery store or check your local supermarket in the frozen aisle.

Sautéed Green Fava Beans     Yields: 4-6 servings

1 large onion, chopped

3 C frozen green fava beans

2 C cilantro, roughly chopped

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2-3Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

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Start off by chopping the onion and placing in a pot with the oil over medium-high heat.

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Once onions are soft and slightly translucent, add the fava beans and stir a few times. Turn heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook the beans for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Uncover the pot and add the cilantro. Stir a few times until well incorporated.

Tip: I buy cilantro, wash it, chop it, and freeze it in Ziploc bags. That way, I have it on hand for any recipe calling for cilantro!

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Next, turn off the stove and add minced garlic and stir.

Tip: I like to add garlic last when cooking – this step preserves the garlic’s super benefits and also keeps its flavour.

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Add and adjust salt and pepper. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil before serving (optional). Serve with pita bread (optional). Enjoy with a side of salad.

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Bon appétit! xo

 

 

Hummus

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Hummus is a great dip that’s healthy and full of nutrients.  Bonus: it’s super easy to make! Serve with crispy pita bread slices or anything you’d normally dip. Give this recipe a try tonight!

Hummus     Yields: 2 cups

2 Cups Chickpeas (pre-cooked or canned – drained)

1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp water

1 minced garlic

1/4 Cup tahini (sesame paste)

2Tbsp fresh lemon juice

salt to taste

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In a food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, and water and blend until smooth.

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Add tahini (available at your local Middle-Eastern grocery store) and blend.

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Next add lemon juice and salt and blend until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

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Done! Simple right? Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil before serving or serve as is.

Who needs canned hummus when you can make your own batch at home, without the unnecessary ingredients.

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Bon appétit! xo

Green Peas with Rice

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If you’re ever stuck on what to make for dinner, try green peas with rice! This dish is effortless to make, and is loved by young and old alike! Give it a try tonight!

Green Peas with Rice     Yields: 4 servings

1 medium onion, chopped

1 C frozen green peas

1 C rice

2 1/2 C water or broth

Salt and pepper to taste

—————-

Start with the chopped onion. Add to pot with some olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until onion wilts.

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Next, add the frozen peas and stir a few times to soften them and incorporate with the onion. Let cook for about 3 minutes.

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Add the rice and water next and stir a couple of times and bring to a boil. My brother was over that day and was kind enough to lend me a hand!

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Let water continue to boil until large bubbles appear at which point you’ll want to turn heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and keep pot covered for approximately 5 minutes.

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Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Done! Smells so good!

Serve with a citrusy salad. Bon appétit! xo

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Boiled Chicken and Broth

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The minute I sense that someone in my household may be coming down with a cold or the like, I boil chicken and make broth for soup.  There’s nothing like knowing that the food you make helps those you love feel better. Follow this very simple recipe for a fool proof way to get the tastiest and healthiest chicken and broth.

Boiled Chicken     Yields: enough to comfortably feed 4 people

1 2-3lb Whole chicken

6L cold water

1 onion

5 whole cloves

5-6 cardamom pods

salt and pepper to taste

Other whole spices you may have (like 1-2 cinnamon sticks, handful of pepper corns, 1-2 bay leaves)

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Lightly rinse the chicken under cold running water and place in a stock pot and add water. For the onion, stick the whole cloves in the onion (as shown) and add to pot.

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Next, crush your cardamom pods using your mortar-and-pestle, or if you don’t own one, use the back of a spoon (as shown)! Add to pot.

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Cook chicken on high heat until water starts to boil.  Once water reaches boiling point, you’ll notice a thick white foam appear which you’ll want to discard.

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When you’ve cleared most of the foam, reduce to low heat and cover pot. Cook covered for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours. However I recommend a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours (the longer the better).

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Remove and discard the onion and spices. Remove chicken, discard skin and bones, and set aside in a shallow dish. Add salt and pepper to broth, stir and taste the broth, until satisfied with taste.

The result is a delicious, juicy, tender chicken, with the yummiest broth – good on its own, or as a base for any soup. Freeze any leftover broth in tupperware(s) for future use.

I pull the chicken into pieces and serve with rice and broth. Mouth-watering. Bon appétit! xo

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Roasted Cauliflower

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This is one of Munsur’s favourite vegetables to eat…when roasted! It’s definitely a much healthier option than frying and the taste is never compromised.  It’s a nice side dish served with your main course.  Give this a try tonight!

Roasted Cauliflower    

1 cauliflower head

1-2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tsp Ground cumin, or enough to cover the cauliflower florets

Salt to taste

——————–

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Start by washing the cauliflower.  Turn it on its head and segment the florets and place on a pan with parchment paper.

 

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Next, drizzle olive oil and use your hands to coat the florets evenly in the oil.

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Sprinkle cumin all over florets.

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Roast in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, until cauliflower is a nice golden brown colour. Remove from oven and sprinkle salt before serving.

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Bon appétit! xo

Cream of Broccoli

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You read right – Cream of Broccoli is not only possible on a restrictive diet, but it’s also dairy-free and delicious! My version is healthy, satisfying, and nutritious.  Give it a try tonight!

Cream of Broccoli     Yields: 6 generous portions

3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1-1 1/2 C baby carrots or chopped carrots

1 large broccoli head including stalk, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp flour

3 C Broth and/or water

1 1/2 C Coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

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Start by placing olive oil and adding the chopped onion into a pot over medium heat. Sprinkle some salt and stir occasionally to wilt the onions and slightly brown them.

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Next, add carrots and give that a stir alongside onion. Let cook for a few minutes to get the carrots to brown a little.

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In the meantime, separate the broccoli, peel and chop the stalk, and add to pot.

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Next, combine the flour with the vegetables, stirring quickly a few times.

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Add the broth and/or water and the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cover pot and simmer soup for about 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are nice and tender.

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Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables until smooth.

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Add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy! You won’t be able to tell this has no cream in it!

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Bon appétit! xo

Product Highlight – Ian’s Chicken Nuggets

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Ever asked yourself: “What do I put in my child’s lunch bag?” Well, wonder no more! Introducing Ian’s Chicken Nuggets. Your go-to for lunches, and last minute meal ideas when your kids are back home from school and you haven’t made dinner!

These are truly so delicious and they’re free from most allergens including of course dairy, nuts, and soy. They take minutes in a toaster oven or conventional oven, and once they’re done…well let me just tell you to go ahead and make more! They’re crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside – There has never been a time when i’ve asked Munsur if he wanted chicken nuggets that he’s turned me down!  That’s how good these are! Available at Loblaws nationwide, or click here to find a store near you. xo

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