Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spinach Salad with Quinoa, Grapefruit and Avocado

This salad tastes like spring. It is light and fresh, it was really lovely.

I ate it for dinner but it would make a perfect starter or side salad with a fish or chicken dish.

What you need,

4 oz. baby spinach
2 ruby red grapefruits, segmented
1 avocado, diced
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup dry)

1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
2 tbsp. finely diced shallot
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ tbsp. grapefruit juice (reserved from segmenting process)

Rinse the quinoa under cold water then cook according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.

Peel and segment the grapefruit, working over a large bowl to catch the juice. Chop the grapefruit segments into bite sized pieces.

In a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, reserved grapefruit juice and salt and pepper.

Toss with the spinach, avocado, quinoa and grapefruit pieces.

Taste the salad and season again with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve right away.

The tang of the grapefruit with the smooth creamy avocado and a little crunch from the quinoa really made this salad spectacular.

I really enjoyed it!


Recipe from Skinny Taste

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ravioli with Spinach and Mushrooms

Looking for a super quick super tasty weeknight meal…well I have the perfect recipe for you.

This ravioli with spinach and mushrooms took me all of 20 minutes to make and it was so good!

What you need,

1 package (9oz.) of fresh ravioli, I used roasted garlic and asiago but any flavour you like would do.
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
8oz. button mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. baby spinach
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the ravioli according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Stir in the panko crumbs and stir to coat. Toast until golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Transfer crumbs to a small bowl and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

Return the skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until the mushrooms are brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add in the spinach and cook until it is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add the pasta in and stir to combine, if you need to add in a little of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce you can, I used about ¼ cup. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta topped with the toasted breadcrumbs. 

This was delicious! The crispy breadcrumbs really made the dish!


Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thai Turkey and Basil Lettuce Wraps

When I saw this recipe in a Cooking Light Magazine I thought it looked really good. It immediately went on my “to make for dinner this week” list.

It was not only quick and easy, but it tasted even better than I had hoped.
My in house taste tester loved them, and so did I.

They will be going into regular rotation around here for sure‼

What you need,

4 tsp. canola oil, divided
½ cup minced shallot
½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
4 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey, or chicken if you prefer
2 Serrano chilies, minced
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 wedges of lime for serving
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

Heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add the shallots, sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the red bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Remove the shallot mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Cook the ground turkey for 5 minutes stirring to crumble, until browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess oil.

Add the Serrano pepper to the cooked turkey and cook for 1 minute. Add the shallot mixture back to the pan and stir to combine. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and pepper. Cook the mixture for 1-2 more minutes or until heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice and the basil.

Serve in the lettuce leaves with the lime wedges.
I also cooked up some spring rolls I got from Costco, they went perfectly with the lettuce wraps.

I can’t tell you how awesome this is!
So much flavour, it was truly amazing.

Make these soon, you will be very happy you did!


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Friday, February 22, 2013

Favourite Things Friday Vol. 44

Awhile back my sister and I went for pedicures at the spa in a Fairmont Hotel.

They were serving this AH-MAZING tea in the spa lounge.
I think I drank a gallon of it.

Kea Lani Orange Pineapple Tea, it is made for the Fairmont and sold at the store in the hotel.

I decided to try the loose leaf, it is so good.

It has a distinct orange and pineapple flavour as well as some other flowery tones and a little spice.

It is my new most favourite beverage!

It is great warm but I think it would make a great iced tea in the summer, maybe with a splash of pineapple or orange vodka in it!

Happy Weekend‼


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chewy Sugar Cookies

I love America’s Test Kitchen. I watch the show, I read the magazines and I have the cookbooks.

I know that if I am looking for a recipe that tastes amazing and works out perfectly I can make any of America’s Test Kitchen’s recipes and it will be amazing.

These cookies are a perfect example. They are so chewy! Seriously the most perfect sugar cookie ever!

What you need,

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 oz. Neufchatel cheese, cut into 8 pieces (if you can’t find Neufchatel cheese you can use low fat cream cheese)
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and still warm
¼ cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp. whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 350and adjust the rack to the middle position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Place ¼ of the sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the sugar and cheese. Pour the warm butter over the top and whisk to combine, there may be small lumps of cheese but that is OK it will come together.
Whisk in the oil until incorporated. Whisk in the egg, milk and vanilla until smooth.
Add the flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms, do not over mix or your cookies will be flat.

Working with approximately 2 tablespoons of dough roll into balls gently and roll the balls in the sugar to coat.
Place the dough balls on the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough with the bottom of a glass to 2 inches in diameter.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little bit of the sugar to coat.

Bake 1 sheet at a time for 11-13 minutes until the cookies are just starting to brown around the edges.
Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. They freeze well too.

What can I say about these cookies? They are perfect. Chewy and a little crunchy from the sugar and the Neufchatel cheese gives them a nice tang.

I absolutely loved them!

Thanks America’s Test Kitchen for another amazing recipe.


Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Magazine, Light and Healthy 2012