The sous chef and I usually use our trusty Slammin’ Salmon recipe when looking for a delicious salmon marinade, but last night I wanted to try something new, so used the “Skewer Always on My Mind” recipe in the cookbook “Eat Shrink and Be Merry” by Janet and Greta Podleski (the authors of Starvin Guy Chicken Pie). The result was fabulous; read on to hear more and drool over the photos!
I started with a lovely piece of wild sockeye, and cut it into large chunks.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Tonight’s dinner features a very easy twist on lasagna that’s perfect for a quick weekday meal. Its one of the sous chef’s favourites… read on for more evidence on that!
To start, you need a meat sauce prepared ahead of time (unless you were simply using jarred tomato sauce). Luckily, we had some in the freezer so I just defrosted it the day before. It consisted of tomato sauce, ground turkey, sauteed mushrooms, onions, and spices.
Now, all you need to do is layer a few things and throw it in a preheated oven to 350 degrees, couldn’t be easier!
First up – lightly spray the bottom of a pie pan or cake pan (I used an 8 inch round pan). Put down one tortilla.
Next, add half of the sauce mixture you’re planning to use.
Then I sprinkled on some nutritional yeast (you could skip this or add Parmesan).
Fresh spinach comes next, along with grated cheddar cheese (I used a vegan substitute because I’m avoiding dairy and it was actually really good – the sous chef loved it!!).
Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!
A sign of a good meal? The sous chef actually would not surrender the pan to be washed; he was determined to get every speck of sauce/cheese he could! (Kind of reminds me of someone named Max!).
Give this one a try!
Last night the sous chef and I had a delicious creamy, rich pasta… but with no cream and minimal oil involved! It was phenomenal and so simple; you really must try it. (We fought over who got to eat the leftovers for lunch today… somehow the sous chef won. Must be because he was a trooper and did all the dishes by candlelight during our power outage).
This recipe comes from another blog, Oh She Glows, and can be found at: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/
I made a few adaptions and additions, as described below.
Step 1: Put some pasta on to boil. I used brown rice spaghetti, but really any type would do.
Step 2: Gather up your ingredients for the sauce, including an avocado, fresh basil, a lemon, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. I used a food processor to blend it all together, but a blender or even an immersion blender would probably work.
Step 3: Blend together 1 avocado, 1/2 cup fresh basil or more (the recipe calls for 1/4 cup but I don’t think you can add too much fresh basil), juice of whole lemon (I increased this from 1/2 lemon), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic (I reduced this from 2 the recipe called for), 1/8 teaspoon salt (I found 1/2 teaspoon way too much), and pepper. Blend this until smooth, and your sauce is ready. It does not get heated up, but will become hot once tossed with the cooked pasta and veggies.
Step 4: Saute mushrooms and spinach in a frying pan until browned.
Step 5: Once the pasta is done, add the sauce and veggies and toss until combined. It’s best to do this in the hot pot to add heat to the sauce. I also threw in some cooked chicken breast to add some protein. (Helpful tip: every week or two we cook up a bunch of chicken breast, slice it, and freeze it to add to meals. It’s so easy to do all at once and makes weekday cooking a lot easier.)
Step 6: Enjoy!
Over the weekend, we had some serious business to attend to. I was most excited to learn some new cupcake decorating techniques! But first up was the redo of the apple cinnamon scones, this time adding a bit of sugar which was previously mistaken. [note - we are not the only ones to forget adding sugar - one of my friends (who will remain anonymous) is an amazing baker/cook and she phoned me this morning to tell me she forgot to add any sugar to her chocolate cake recipe - oops!!]. You see, even the best make mistakes; the key is to salvage the damage and move on!
My mom had brought over the dry ingredients so these were whipped up in no time. The recipe was adapted from Martha Stewarts recipe http://www.marthastewart.com/874312/apple-and-oat-scones-cinnamon-and-nutmeg but the sugar was reduced (3 tablespoons were used) and the butter was reduced (only 1/2 cup was used) but we used salted butter so reduced the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. In addition, Nutragrain flour was used instead of white flour to up the nutrition, and the amount of buttermilk was increased to 3/4 cup. Also, some blueberries were thrown in to add some antioxidants to the mix!
20 minutes later, and they were done! I didn’t try them but the sous chef was around to do some taste-testing, and gave his seal of approval!
And now on to the fun part… it was my sister’s birthday on Saturday so I wanted to make some cupcakes to take to her party and learn some decorating techniques from the master cupcake maker, my mom. I baked up a simple white cake recipe and got to use my awesome new mixer the sous chef gave me for my birthday!
I added some coloured sprinkles for a little festivity and made mini cupcakes.
While they cooled, the buttercream icing was made (note – the nutritional gatekeeper does not approve of mass consumption of these, but also thinks life is too short not to indulge every so often… that, and I didn’t want to be kicked out of the party for bringing sugar-free whole-wheat muffins with vegan icing). A really easy recipe for buttercream involves using 1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and then gradually adding in 4 cups of icing sugar and 4 tablespoons of whole milk.
I added some food colouring to make a nice lavender colour, and then set to work learning how to effectively use piping bags and tips. Some cupcakes were definitely better than others as I started to get the hang of it! One of the keys is to keep the icing cold, alternating between two bags so one can be kept in the fridge to firm up.
Next up was making little blue flowers on the top. We added blue colouring to the leftover icing, changed tips, and then piped right on top of the lavender icing. Finally, tiny candy pieces made the center of the flower.
And here’s the final product! I’m happy to say they wowed people at the party, and must have tasted great too, because they were all gobbled up in no time!
… we had a bit extra icing… so had some fun:
That’s it for now… coming tomorrow: an avocado pasta recipe that is actually nutritional gatekeeper approved!