10 Things to Make This Week

Happy Sunday! Here in Vancouver it’s pouring rain (who could have guessed, right?) and it feels like the right time to think about what’s to come next week. Sundays are my favourite time to sit down and plan out the week – I write lists of food to make, lists of groceries to buy, lists of well… anything that needs a list. I’ve always loved lists.

So in the name of Sunday and in the name of lists, here is a list of 10 things you could make this week with links to the recipes.

1. Lemon Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

I have made this beauty time and time again. It looks a little like the result of some freak tur-duck-en extreme food video where a few guys get together and drink beer and try to make the most ridiculous meaty food item they can – but look again – it’s just a roast chicken with a few strips of bacon on it. And it’s delicious. Seriously – every person I’ve made this for has said it is the best chicken they’ve ever had. Plus, there’s a lemon up it’s butt. Have fun with that.

Lemon Roast Chicken Recipe by Jamie Oliver.

2. Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew) 

Fish_soup

My good friend Marlon started a YouTube channel called Bachelor on a Budget where he posts mouth watering recipe videos and this was one of the recipes I couldn’t not make. I also happened to have everything I needed already in my kitchen (I used coconut oil instead of palm oil) – can we all just agree this is the best feeling ever? I love a good trip to the grocery store, but it’s so satisfying already having everything in the house to make a delicious meal.

Moqueca Recipe by Bachelor on a Budget

3. Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken_enchilada_soup

Who else loves their slow cooker? Put food in. Do other things. Out comes dinner. Okay sometimes it’s not that simple, but this meal takes very little prep work (sauté a few onions first and you’re fine) and you end up with a super filling, healthy and delicious meal. This is perfect for Sunday lunch prep. But you’ll want to have some for dinner too, trust me.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe by Skinnytaste

4. Maple Spiced Pecans 

Paleo_pecans

Ok, yum. I want these right now. This was the first thing I made when my Whole30 was over last November. I didn’t know about spiced nuts. My whole life, no spiced nuts. My old office used to be next to a Wendy’s and if I forgot a lunch I would give in and grab a salad (emergency recommendation only) that came with spiced pecans. I researched how I could make these at home and found these babies. Cayenne, maple syrup, cinnamon, a little vanilla – whoah.

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans Recipe by The West Coast Mommy

5. Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

Fish_Tacos

Tacos are my favourite food. I grew up eating the kind of tacos where you buy the Old El Paso sauce mix and put everything in giant burrito wraps. While there is certainly a warm nostalgia around that meal, in my adult life I’ve fallen in love with the street taco style – small corn tortillas and a small handful of toppings. I usually make pulled chicken tacos because they’re easy, put I had fish and wanted to try something new. Plus, I love fish tacos. This recipe had an avocado crema with it. I love avocado. Perfect. I wish I had purple cabbage so it looked as beautiful as the photos from the recipe, but it tasted the same I’m sure.

Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce Recipe by Host the Toast

6. Home Made Pizza 

Pizza

Serious question: Is there anyone who doesn’t like pizza? This is one of my favourite things to make because it’s easy, relatively quick, and everyone loves it. If I can impress my mom, I know it’s good, because she’s a great cook. I won’t go on and on, because I already do in the recipe post – this recipe is already on my blog.

The Best (+ Easiest) Pizza Ever by ashes + acorns

7. Chicken and Avocado Soup

Avocado_soup

As mentioned above, I adore avocado. I’m also a lover of soup. So I was delighted to find this recipe and even more delighted to discover that again, I had everything I needed to make it in my kitchen. Triple win.

Chicken and Avocado Soup Recipe by Skinnytaste

8. Avocado Pesto Pasta

Avocado_pesto

This is a great meal when you’re in a hurry. Creamy, garlicky, vegan (if  that’s your thing – or maybe your guest’s thing) and super quick.

15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta by oh she glows

9. Apple Rose Puff Pastries 

Rose_Pastries

Okay now that you’re done staring at the beauty that is these little pieces of art – let’s talk taste. These are mildly sweet and super delicious. They’re the most beautiful pastry ever – and I discovered them while scrolling through my Facebook timeline. Thank you, 20 second food videos. Hint: I used a mandolin to slice the apples super thin.

A friend commented on my Instagram post of these saying it looks like slices of ham – I wonder what these would be like as a savoury breakfast pastry!

Apple Rose Puffed Pastries Recipe by To Simply Inspire

 

10. Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Tart 

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Oh, hello there. What a nice way to finish the week. This double chocolate pie is a) insanely delicious and b) super fun to make. Look at those swirls! One caveat: I wouldn’t attempt to make this crust unless you have a good food processor or high power blender – it even made my Vitamix break a sweat. I’m also realizing how much I needed my iPhone 6 – this photo was taken with an iPhone 4 over a year ago. I guess I’ll have to make it again… darn… 😉

Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Tart by oh she glows

Enjoy! xo

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Vegan chocolate in a hurry

IMG_0335Is there really anything out there as delicious and satisfying as chocolate? While I’m not one of those people who is OBSESSED with chocolate, I do have a sweet tooth – especially after a savoury meal.

Flashback to my childhood: remember Icy Squares? Those amazing melt-in-your-mouth, somehow-feel-cold, sweet, delicious little cubes wrapped in colourful foil? Yum. I used to LOVE Icy Squares. Too bad they’re stocked full of unfortunate ingredients I can’t pronounce. But that flavour…

Queue: This recipe.

I’m not vegan, but I want to draw attention to the fact that this is delicious dairy-free, three-ingredient way to satisfy those cravings without all the junk. .

Vegan chocolate in a hurry

Get ready for this… it’s tough… (just kidding it’s super easy!)

Ingredients

1 part cocoa powder

1 part natural maple syrup (Aunt Jemima you have no place here!)

1 part virgin coconut oil, melted but not warm. (If you don’t already have coconut oil, get some, and get the good stuff. You won’t regret it.)

Method

Mix. Pour. Freeze. Eat.

Really. Mix it up, pour it into a dish with a lip on it. Freezing time will depend on the size of your pan and how thick it ends up. If you’re dying for chocolate like I usually am at this point, pour it thinner so it freezes quicker. Pull it out of the freezer and break into pieces.

Enjoy 🙂

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

You know how everyone has those foods that bring them back to their childhood? Mine are my mom’s home made mac and cheese (nothing like it!) and bacon wrapped scallops. I have memories from when I was little of my parents making them after my brother and I had gone to sleep. I would sneak out of my bed and see them eating them while watching TV and tip toe my way over and give them a coy little smile until they handed one over.

The memories extend into my adult life, and while a lot has changed one thing that has stayed the same is we all love bacon wrapped scallops. Scallops are not the most budget friendly choice, so while I would love to eat them everyday, they are special occasion items. So you can imagine my pleasure when a coworker brought in what looked to be bacon wrapped scallops for everyone to snack on. I took a bite and there was an uncharacteristic, yet amazing, crunch. What a weird scallop. Wait – this isn’t a scallop. It’s a water chestnut.

What? Why hadn’t I heard of this? It had the same satisfying flavour I loved, and for $1.50/can instead of $15 a bag. WIN.

baconwaterchestnuts

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Ingredients

1 can whole water chestnuts

1/2 – 1 whole package of bacon, sliced into halves (depending on how many water chestnuts pieces you end up with)

Method

Preheat oven to 350 – 400 degrees – this recipe is not high maintenance. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up. If your water chestnuts are large, simply slice them in half. Wrap in bacon slice half and secure with moistened toothpick. Arrange on cookie sheet and put in the oven until they start to brown (about 10 minutes, although I didn’t really time them as much as just kept an eye on them) and flip over. Cook until bacon is as crispy as you like it, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t get toooo crispy. No one wants that. Unless you do, that’s cool too.

Let them sit for a few minutes, they’re darn hot. Eat up and enjoy!

PS I did some research after the fact and found several recipes that suggest marinating the water chestnuts in soy sauce and rolling in brown sugar before you roll them in bacon. Damn. I’m doing that next.

The Best ( + Easiest) Pizza Ever

I have a serious thing for pizza. Not just any old pizza though, I’m talkin’ about the stone fired goodness that comes out of the handful of amazing pizza joints (holes in the wall, really) popping up around Vancouver.

My favourite pizza place by far is Pizzeria Farina on Main St.  The best pie from Farina is, in my opinion, the Calabrese. Spicy calabrese, fresh arugula and salty black olives – what more could you want? Not to mention that crust. Crisp, blistered, thin and blackened. Delicious.

Now, I don’t have a fancy oven or a pizza stone or any of those fancy shmancy pizza making accessories, but the good news is, you really need next to nothing to make delicious pizza.

pizzacrust

Would you believe me if I told you all you need for an amazing crust is flour, salt, water and yeast? It’s true! I mix some olive oil in because I mix olive oil with everything.

Thin Crust Pizza Crust

Ingredients

¾ c. warm water

1 tsp. instant yeast

2 c. all purpose flour

salt

crust

Method

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or more if you’re feeling adventurous). Stir yeast into warm water in a small bowl. Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. When you add the salt, add how much you think you’ll want, then add more. Salt makes the crust, I promise. Stir in the wet ingredients and combine until the dough looks rough. Move the dough to a smooth, clean surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until well combined and a smooth ball is formed. Set aside in a covered bowl for 30 minutes – 1.5 hours. Because this is thin crust, you don’t need to allow it to rise for long, so if you’re short on time, don’t worry. I just like seeing it rise, really. I think it’s part of the fun.

You’ll see some recipes that do this and some that don’t. I like to “par-bake” my crust a bit so it stands up to the sauce. I push it out into my square baking dish and pop it in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Take it out and use a spatula to take it out of the pan.

Top that pizza. Remember the cardinal rule: less is more.

topped

Calabrese Pizza

Ingredients

6 strips calabrese salami

fresh mozzarella cheese

sundried tomatoes in oil

feta

fresh arugula (for topping)

tomato sauce (I insist on homemade. I’ll post that recipe soon. It’s so easy and so worth it)

My boyfriend doesn’t like olives so I often exclude them, but adding little black olives makes it even more delicious.

Method

Spread tomato sauce (remember, less is more) across par-baked crust. Lay out the salami strips and top with sliced fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta. I can’t stress this “less is more” phrase enough. In a land of over indulgence, let me assure you that the less you put on the more lovely the flavours will be. Don’t overdo the cheese, don’t double layer your meat. You’ll believe me when you taste it.

Bake directly on rack of preheated oven until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden brown. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and top with fresh arugula before cutting.

Share + enjoy!

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