#EPIC Lasagna (Oh yes I did!)

What Ya Need:

Bolognese/Puttanesca Love Child:

  • Olive oil
  • Diced onion (I like sweet or spanish)
  • Chopped garlic (lots)
  • 1 finely diced red bell pepper* (optional) 
  • 1 medium or 2 small finely diced carrot*(s) (optional) 
  • 6-12 pitted kalamata olives finely diced (optional) 
  • 2-6 anchovies finely chopped (optional) 
  • Dashes dried or fresh chopped Oregano
  • Cracked pepper and sea salt (to taste) 
  • 2 bay leaves (optional – take out at the end before putting in the lasagna!!)
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, or several crimini finely diced (optional) 
  • 2 mild or spicy Italian sausages (meat taken out of casing) 
  • Large package of ground beef 
  • Tomato paste
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (optional) or 1 large can chopped tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes to equal this amount (prob 10 roma or 3 beefsteak or 6-8 vine ripened) 

*If you chose to leave out the bell pepper or carrots you may need to add a small spoon of honey or cane sugar to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes as those vegetables add a sweetness to balance the flavour. So I highly recommend keeping in at least one of those veggies! Much healthier that way! Also if you want to have an authentic bolognese you can add in celery, keep the carrot but skip the bell pepper. As well the anchovies and olives give savouriness with a subtle Puttanesca  vibe, however, they are not usually found in a Bolognese… but feel free to play around. That’s why I made the extras optional so you can alter to suit your personal taste!

How To:

Sautee diced onions in olive oil on medium heat in large sauce pan til softened. Toss in garlic, bell pepper, carrot, olives, anchovies and oregano. Add in some freshly cracked pepper,  a dash of good salt and a couple bay leaves (to be removed later).

Mix about and cook til softened as well.

Create a hole in the centre and add a bit more olive oil and the mushrooms, cook a bit and then mix into veg.

Create another hole in the middle of the veg/mush mix (mmmm sounds delectable). Open up the Italian sausages and slice down the casing. Squeeze the meat into the pan. Bash at it with a spatula to break it up. Bash is a technical cooking term. I learned it in the school of hard brocs. I have the certif(iable)icate and everything. I digress.

Add in the ground beef (or elk, or venison, or bison).  Cook the meat for a bit and then mix into the veg. Keep stirring and cooking til the meat is basically cooked through.

Add in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Simmer for a long time. Til it looks like sauce. At least 90 minutes on low with a lid slightly off to let out steam. Or if you are fancy and have a lid with those little air holes, well good for you 😉

While the sauce simmers, do the other bits!

Pasta Sheets:

Fresh flat egg pasta sheets, al dente (if you can’t find fresh you can use conventional dried lasagna  pasta sheets)

How To:

Boil salted water. Toss in pasta, cook it. Til it’s done. But not too done. Just perfectly slightly underdone. Like chewy-ish. It will cook more in the oven. Set aside. You can oil or butter it to keep them from sticking. Or run under water again before layering.

Spinach & Ricotta:

  • Small box or bag or bunch of fresh spinach washed and chopped fine
  • Handful fresh basil washed and chopped
  • Chopped garlic
  • Large container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded asiago cheese (optional can use extra ricotta if preferred) 

How To:

Mix these items in a bowl til mixed. Mmmk.

Bechamel: (my amounts are approx. if you want you can google bechamel 😉

  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs gravy flour or 00 flour 
  • 1 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup cream 
  • Dash nutmeg 
  • Cracked pepper to taste
  • Dash salt 
  • 1-2 tempered egg y0lks (drop some white sauce into the egg and whisk, add another dollop of sauce and whisk again and then slowly incorporate into bechamel) 

How To:

Butter: melt it in a pan on medium. Add flour. Use a whisk to incorporate into a company. I mean paste. Add milk and cream. Keep whisking as it heats up and it will eventually thicken.

Dash nutmeg, crack pepper, dash salt. Do a pirouette. No don’t. That would be dangerous in the kitchen.

Add a bit of sauce into an egg yolk. Stir. Add a bit more. Stir. Now your y0lk has been tempered and is safe to add to the white sauce. If you don’t temper it you will end up with scrambled eggs in the midst of the sauce, and well, yuck. Don’t do that!

If you wanna make your bechamel Alfredo-y you could add in parmesan cheese. But, there is already a ricotta layer and mozzarella will be layered on top of the bechamel, so I think this would be too much. But I won’t be there to stop you, so do what you like 😉 maybe it will be glorious.

Toppings:

  • Grated mozzarella cheese or slices  of fresh bocconcini if feeling extra fancy!
  • Dashes of freeze dried or fresh chopped basil, or oregano. 

Assembly: 

Make sure you have pre heated the oven to 350F. 

Get a huge baking dish and put a bit of the bolognese style meat sauce on the bottom. 

Layer on some noodles.

Then put the ricotta mixture on top.

Layer on some noodles. 

Then add the rest of the meat sauce. 

Layer on some noodles. 

Then top with bechamel and mozzarella and herbs of choice.

Baking:

Bake til golden brown on top. 

I think it was 30-40 mins ish. But check after 30 minutes and go from there, all ovens vary!

To Serve:

  • Drizzle balsamic glaze (optional)
  • Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) 
  • Side of Caesar salad or simple green salad with balsamic or red wine vinaigrette 
  • Red wine for the adults (not optional. I jest. No I don’t.)

 

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Onions, garlic, red pepper, carrots, oregano, anchovies, chopped olives, olive oil, cracked pepper etc..

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Adding in the chopped portobello.

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Italian sausage coming to the party.

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Ground beef and sausage have been cooked down with vegetables…

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Tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes have cooked down and turned everything here into SAUCE.

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Tempered egg yolk getting added to the bechamel.

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Bechamel!

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Fresh spinach, fresh chopped basil, garlic, ricotta and asiago mixture.

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Layered with bechamel on top and tons of mozzarella and basil sprinkled on top.

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Wait at least 10 minutes before serving so you can serve slices instead of mounds 😉 Solidifies more as it cools.

Moroccan Muffa-Vegga (Vegetarian – *can make vegan)

Hiya! Here’s one for the veggies! You can easily make vegan by excluding the cheese or using a non-dairy cheese like substance 😉

I had some left over roasted eggplant and peppers from making a mondo Italian hoagie last night and didn’t want them to go to waste. So I decided to make a roasted veggie sandwich but didn’t want the same flavour profile as I had the night before. So I decided to go uber veggie styles by adding in hummus which goes great with olive oil (which the veggies were roasted with). And I found this nice little spicy Moroccan hummus so then my brain went: mmmm I love those dry cured Moroccan olives… And bam: Muffaletta with a vegetarian twist.

Instead of half dozen types of Italian deli meats we are using hummus, smoked cheese and roasted eggplant. The olives come in to play chopped up and mixed into the hummus, and with a stack of fresh butter lettuce and tons of roasted peppers, it’s basically a salad between bread. Healthy, protein-packed and sooooo satisfying.

If you wanna compare notes for the heck of it here’s the inspiration for a…..

Classic Meaty Muffaletta

What Ya Need:

  • Good olive oil bread of some kind (I like pane bianco)
  • Smoked Caciocavallo (smoked havarti, provolone or mozzarella are great too)
  • Roasted eggplant (olive oil, egg plant (sliced/salted/pat dry after 20 mins/baked in olive oil at 375F til golden and soft)
  • Roasted peppers (I used yellow and red bells, baked in olive oil at 375F til soft with darkened edges)
  • Moroccan spiced hummus (if you can’t find just mix in some paprika, cayenne, cumin and a dash of vinegar to conventional hummus)
  • Chopped pitted Moroccan dry-cured Beldi olives 
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Good lettuce washed and dried

 

What Ya Do:

Roast your eggplant and peppers in olive oil on a baking sheet covered in parchment. I did mine at 375F for anywhere from 30-45 minutes. I don’t recall exactly. But check them after 25 and turn them over and keep going til they look tasty.

Slice up the smoked cheese and lay on one side of the sliced pane bianco (or other yummy olive oil bread). Bake in the oven til cheese is melted.

Wash lettuce, chop olives.

When the bread has the melty cheese, dollop the hummus on the side that doesn’t have the cheese. Top hummus with chopped olives, top that with lettuce. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the lettuce.

On the cheesey side of the bread, top with eggplant and peppers. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the warm veggies.

Then sandwich it together and scarf it down like a pro.

 

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Bolognese Bianca with Egg Pasta and Parm.

Hey soooooooo been a while.

Anyhoo…… I finally tried out this recipe which I have been drooling over for months…. and it turned out great so I happy to share it with ya.

It is heavily based on this one:

White Bolognese New York Times Original

But I will show you what I did differently so you can decide whether to try your hand at the original or go with mine. I like to break things down a bit and make it simpler, ’cause while I love to cook and love to read… I don’t really like doing these things at the same time. And I can’t be bothered with dried mushrooms, so I just used fresh, and I didn’t bother measuring the amount of meat I just picked what looked right.

Ingredients: (my changes are marked with an * per usual)

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1* red onion finely diced 
  • 2 medium carrots or 1 large peeled and finely diced 
  • 2* stalks celery, finely diced
  • Dried Oregano*
  • 1 large mild Italian sausage* removed from casing
  • 1 small* package of ground beef (or bison, or elk) 
  • Himalayan* salt to taste
  • Freshly ground Rainbow* pepper
  • cup-ish  (may  have been more) dry white wine
  • 1 cup* beef or chicken stock 
  • 4 crimini or 1 small portobello mushroom* halved then sliced
  • 1/2* cup whipping* cream
  • Egg pasta* fresh or dried (cooked al dente and coated with melted butter)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How To:

Sautee onions  in olive oil on medium  heart til golden and browning.

Toss in celery and carrots and cook til softened. Dash on a bunch of Oregano. I like a lot, but you may want to start small if you find it too strong a flavour.

Create a circle in the middle of the pan, add more oil. Toss in mushrooms. Brown a bit and then mix into the rest of the veggies.

Create a circle in middle of pan. Add broken up sausage and ground beef.

Let meat brown and bit and move about. Then incorporate into the veggie/mushroom mixture.

Salt, pepper.  

Once the meat is close to cooked pour in the white wine. Reduce. Then pour in the stock. Reduce. 

What it looks good. Turn down the heat and drizzle in cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve over cooked pasta with Parmesan all over and perhaps some hot chili flakes. Some freshly chopped Italian parsley would be a nice addition but this was an afterthought.

Drink white wine with it! It works trust me! You can drink red if you want, but the sauce has white wine, so the flavours mesh even though it’s red meat.

You may also want a salad. It’s a heavy dish. But then you may not, ’cause you are too  lazy to make one… and then you can just have a smoothie for breakfast the next day. BALANCE 😉

ENJOY!!! 

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Olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, oregano.

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Adding crimini mushrooms and more oil.

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Mushrooms doing stuff.

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Adding in Italian sausage and ground beef…

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Cooking down meat and then adding white wine and stock.

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Adding in cream and reducing til thick.

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Yup that’s pasta.

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Pasta with sauce and cheese. Yup. Forgive the crappy picture. I forgot to edit it and now I am just telling you that instead of just going back and editing it. Yup good plan. Night! 

SMOOTHIES GALORE!

Just getting started on my smoothies collection. Will keep adding and when I get around to grabbing some photos I will add those in as well. STAY TUNED.

Been super hectic last few months. But am going to get back into posting again soon.

Some more simpler, smaller meals.

See ya soon!

Strawberry Hemp:

  • 1 cup or so fresh/frozen strawberries (if fresh add in some ice)
  • 1 banana
  • Unsweetened hemp milk (enough to make it blend well and be the right consistency)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (or protein of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp Moringa (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Maca
  • 1 tsp Cocoa Nibs
  • 1-2 dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized unfiltered honey

Strawberry Rose Petal:

  • 1 cup or so fresh/frozen strawberries (if fresh add in some ice)
  • 1 banana
  • Unsweetened almond milk or coconut water (enough to make it blend well and be the right consistency)
  • Strawberry kefir (one small solo sized bottle or equivalent)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (or protein of choice)
  • 1-2 tsp dried (food grade) rose petals
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized unfiltered honey
  • Dash Cardamom

Blueberry/Blackberry Lavender:

  • 1 cup or so fresh/frozen blueberries and/or blackberries (if fresh add in some ice)
  • 1 banana
  • Unsweetened almond  or cashew milk (enough to make it blend well and be the right consistency)
  • Kefir (one small solo sized bottle or equivalent)
  • 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (or protein of choice)
  • 1-2 tsp dried (food grade) Lavender
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized unfiltered honey
  • 1/2 tsp Moringa (optional)

Avocado Pear Mint:

  • 1 green pear (de-stemmed/cored – can also peel if you want smoother consistency)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Unsweetened almond/cashew/hemp milk (enough to make it blend well and be the right consistency)
  • Kefir or yogurt or coconut water
  • 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (or protein of choice)
  • Handful fresh mint (washed and pat dry)
  • 1 tsp unpasteurized unfiltered honey
  • 1/2 tsp Moringa (optional)

Choconut:

  • 1 banana
  • Unsweetened chocolate almond or hazelnut milk (enough to make it blend well and be the right consistency)
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein (or protein of choice)
  • 1-2tbsp almond/hazelnut/cashew butter (you choice)
  • 2 dates (pitted)n
  • 1  tsp unpasteurized unfiltered honey
  • 1 tsp Maca (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs

Lavender Chocolate Poppy Sour Cream Waffles with Dark Berry Syrup!

Hiya!

I love messing around with typical breakfast carbs: muffins, pancakes, crepes, waffles, scones.. you get the picture.

Sometimes having a plain-Jane recipe is just what you want… simple and delightful. But sometimes making the same ole same ole over and over again gets boring for the home cook and you wanna mix it up a bit. I myself am not a huge breakfast-carb person (other than hash browns. I could personally eat the world’s hashbrown supply happily with Srirachup) … but kids love them!

Plus feeding kids is tricky business! Soooooo if you say there are rainbow sprinkles and chocolate chips for breakfast they are gonna eat it aren’t they! It’s a little bit of benevolent manipulation which on occasion is okay I think! Plus kids gotta be kids right? Rainbow sprinkles are kind of a right of passage.

Only you know that you put it in such small amounts that they will literally get like 3 chocolate chips and a 5 sprinkles total… It’s an illusion that pleases all.

Meanwhile you are using spelt flour and blending a bunch of berries into the syrup so as to lower the over all sugar in the recipe. You are adding in an extra yolk for more protein and tossing in seeds and whatever you feel like to boost the nutritional value. Crushed blanched almond slices are easy to hide too and taste great!

Anyway you can basically take any basic carb recipe and twist and turn it into something special and yes a little weird based on how you feel that morning.

I drank a large strawberry cream black tea with honey and milk while whipping this up and it was looooovely.

Oh  yeah… I took this recipe: Original Inspiration and reworked it!

I halved the amounts ’cause it was just for myself and two lil dudes.

Made three waffles.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup 3.5% milk (or almond milk would suffice)
  • 1/2 cup  FULL FAT (14%) sour cream 
  • 1 tsp vinegar (optional – something light like rice vinegar) ** makes it more buttermilky
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (optional)

Mix wet stuff together in a bowl. Cool. 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 + t tbsp cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch himalayan salt
  • 1tsp ground dried lavender (use spice grinder or mortal & pestle)
  • Dash rainbow pearls (optional – or rainbow sprinkles)
  • Dash poppy seeds 
  • Small handful of dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • Other hidden goodies you can add in little dashes: crushed almond slices, hemp hearts, chia, ground flax… whatever you have kicking around in the tree of pan.

    To Cook:

    Dollop approx 1/2 cup batter into heated waffle iron and cook to desired doneness. My current iron doesn’t have different heat options so I did mine for 4 minutes which turned out pretty well.

Berry Syrup:

  • Approx 1 cup frozen berries of choice (I had a mixed bag of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries) – I think blueberries and blackberries would be best for this but whatever you got will work!
  • Approx 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • Dab butter 

Cook berries with a little butter til softened. Add a drizzle of syrup. Cook to bubbling til fruit breaks down. Cool a bit and blend til smooth. Be careful this stuff is hot! If it splashes the burn wouldn’t be pleasant. Keep small children out of the kitchen as it can splatter!!! 

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    To Serve:

Top waffles with syrup! You could add fresh berries, crushed toasted nuts, a sprig of lavender to make it fancy, some whipped cream… what have you – go nuts! 

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    Dry ingredients

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    Berries, butter, syrup….

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    Dry mixed with wet, whisked til only just combined!

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    Pureed berry syrup cooling… dang it’s hot!

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    Waffle + syrup… obviously

Singapore Noodles with Prawns & BBQ Pork!!!! (Can make VEG with TOFU)

Long time no post!

Anyway I am back for a little bit….before I delve back into trying new recipes and figuring out some new awesomeness.

I have been trying to perfect Singapore Noodles for a long time. I think I have made it about half a dozen times and never been happy with it. TIL NOW!!
What made all the difference. Finding a great recipe as a jumping off point + finding the right curry powder!!!! (THE ONE by Flying Swallow contains: clove, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric and is bright yellow)

Also having patience and cooking all the elements individually instead of trying to do a one pot stop dealio. It simply won’t work for this dish. I mean, you CAN use one pot….er WOK….(or very large/deep sauce pan), but you have to cook this meal in steps and then combine at the end.

I adapted the following recipe to my own preferences. You can see my changes marked with (*). As well I rearranged the order of ingredients because I found the original to be very confusing. So it makes more sense to me as per my instructions. But feel free to follow the original. I also doubled up on the sauce and added more bell peppers and took out the snow peas. I found in previous versions that they don’t really work flavour-wise in my opinion 😉 But do whatever you like best!! Plus I just like to add extra veggies so it’s a one dish meal. No need for sides. You have everything you need right here!

Serious EATS Singapore Noodles 

 

 

  • Olive oil (as needed)

Use as needed

  • 1 bundle dried rice vermicelli 

Soak in bowl of cold water til soft, drain, set aside

  • 4* cloves garlic, choppped
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp* fish sauce
  • 2-3 tsp* dark soy sauce ( I like Kimlan)
  • 2 tsp sake*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (I didn’t have any on hand this time so just threw in some fresh cracked rainbow pepper)
  • 1 tsp coconut palm* or brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder (bright yellow Chinese style curry powder works best, I have tried Indian curry powders and they don’t have quite the right ratio of spices to make this dish taste like Singapore noodles) + more curry powder to dash on at the end!!!
  • 2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

 

Put ingredients for sauce in a bowl, set aside

  • 1/4 red or sweet onion sliced 

Pan fry in olive oil til golden, set aside

  • 2 eggs, whisked with a dash of Himalayan or good sea salt

Cook in hot oil as per scrambled eggs, set aside

  • 12 tiger prawns (deveined, shelled, rinsed under cold water and pat dry) – you can use more if you like. We just have kids that don’t like prawns so I used enough for two adults.
  • BBQ pork (I used about 5 slices and diced them)

Stir fry prawns in hot oil and when almost done add in the pork for another minute or so, set aside.

****For vegetarians, you can sub tofu and/or veggie “ham”/”bacon” as your protein

  • 1/2 red bell pepper,julienned
  • 1/2 yellow* bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 green* bell pepper, julienned
  • 1* large carrot, julienned
  • 1 jalepeno*, deseeded, choppped
  • 4* scallions, sliced thinly
  • Mung bean sprouts*, soaked, drained, spun or pat dry

Stir fry veggies in hot oil til just cooked but still firm…. leave the bean sprouts til the end or even wait til you are doing the final step of combining everything together!

FINALE:

Fry the vermicelli noodles in hot oil for a few minutes. Toss the onions, eggs, veggies, proteins back in and stir in with noodles. Pour on the curry sauce. Add the bean sprouts (if you waited to do so!) Add dashes more curry powder and move noodles and everything around til all combined and even in colour.

Serve in a bowl with chop sticks and adjust to your taste! 

I like even more flavour so I opted for:

  • More dark soy sauce
  • Drizzles of Sriracha

 

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    Peppers, carrots, scallions….
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    Pre soaked vermicelli, scrambled egg and sautteed onion….
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    Singapore style curry sauce…
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    BBQ pork and organic tiger prawns….
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    Stir fried veg!
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    Combined and divine…
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    EAT ME!!!

Saganaki Greek Wrap w/ Garlic Yogurt and Lemon Dressing!

This wrap is my new favourite lunch. However I think I am going to adapt it into a salad as well because I love it so much and want to eat more of it but I don’t want to eat two tortillas LOL. I am thinking toasted pita chips in lieu of a traditional salad crouton a la Fattoush Salad.

Anyway seriously this is soooo good. I may try it with Halloumi as well and play around with other veggies for alternate versions. But man it is so simple yet so freaking good.

*** To make vegan sub pan fried or baked tofu sprinkled with nutritonal yeast and faux cheeze type product, or simply a chunk of favorite faux cheeze, and vegan plain fauxgurt style product. Easy!

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla wraps OR/ Pita of choice
  • Chick peas (cooked from dry tastes best!)
  • English cucumber slices
  • Yellow pepper slices 
  • Red onion diced
  • Saganaki Cheese pan fried in olive oil til golden brown crispy and chewy!!!! DROOL
  • Pea shoots

Garlic Yogurt: (yup the name pretty much says it all)

  • Plain yogurt
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Mix stuff together in a bowl. 

Lemon Dressing: 

  • Lemon juice (fresh)
  • Olive oil
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Ahem. Mix stuff together in a bowl. 

Warm tortilla wrap or pita… 

Top with hot saganaki cheese, next chick peas. Then your fresh veggies to the side a little so the hot cheese doesn’t make them go funny. 

Drizzle garlic yogurt and lemon dressing. Top with pea shoots. 

To make it a salad: put everything (except wrap) on some greens of choice. Top with toasted pita chips or simply serve with warmed pita bread on the side. 

I WANT. 

 

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Before the pea shoots (so you can see the other bits)

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With pea shoots!

Veggie Dogs: Pizza and Chili-Cheese! (Great for using leftover red sauce or chili!)

So you wanna eat something kinda bad. Well you can make it less bad by making a veggie version. What looks like stomach ache-inducing madness, actually comes off rather light…err… feeling – perhaps not so much “lite” in the calorie department. But hey if you are eating cheese slathered carbs you can’t rrrrrreally be counting calories can you? 😉 Enjoy yourself.

Ingredients for Pizza Dogs:

  • French Rolls or quality hot dog buns or other bun-type-carb-object that is fluffy inside and crisp-ish out.
  • Veggie Dogs (I use the Jumbo Yves version)
  • Marinara heated and reduced til thickened OR/ favourite pizza sauce (home made is always best if you can be bothered!) *** basic red sauce recipe below!
  • Finely diced yellow bell pepper (can use any colour you prefer)
  • Finely chopped crimini mushrooms
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh or freeze dried basil 
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Olive oil for pan “grilling” the hot dogs

Optional add ons:  red pepper flakes, additional cheeses, olives…basically any pizza toppings that would taste okay with a hot dog!

Preheat oven to 350F or so. Heat up a frying pan with a little drizzle of oil. 

Prep hot dogs by taking a small sharp knife and cutting cross hatch marks on them to create a waffle like effect on all sides. 

Cook weiners in the hot oil on one side til getting browned crispy bits. Turn and cook on all sides til golden-brown marks all over (we are simulating grill flavour!). Note: veggie dogs tend to stick more than meaty ones so use a metal flipper to really get underneath them and avoid sticking. You can avoid this by gently shaking the pan with them in the oil as they cook.

Meanwhile prep you bell pepper, mushrooms, onions and cheese. 

If using a marinara or pasta sauce you will want to heat it to reduce some of the liquid until it’s a thicker consistency. If using pizza sauce you can feel free to use it cold. 

Line baking pan with parchment (the melted cheese is a pain to clean later and well if you use parchment it won’t stick and you can munch on all the crispy cheesey morsels – they are tasty!)

Slice buns/rolls down the top centre. If using pre cut buns then pace them along the seam so the opening is on the top. French rolls hold up better to all the toppings so I highly recommend using a sturdy roll rather than a traditional hot dog bun.

Put a jumbo dog in each bun. Top with peppers/mushrooms/onions. Top with pizza/red sauce. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with basil and pepper. 

Bake in the oven til the cheese is fully melted and getting some golden brown spots. I can’t recall the exact time so check after 7-10 minutes and see where you are at!

NOTE: If you made too many they actually keep really well for the next day. Just wrap in foil and reheat in the oven til warm and melty again.

Red Sauce for Pizza:

Roma tomatoes, red or sweet onion, many cloves of garlic, good salt, fresh cracked pepper, olive oil, fresh or freeze dried basil, fresh or dried oregano. 

Boil salted water. Drop tomatoes in for a couple minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water. Drain in colander. Peel skins off. Cut out the circle-bit where the stem was… Does that have a name? Probably.

Dice.

Meanwhile you are sauteeing diced onions in olive oil in a pan til golden and soft. Then you are tossing in some finely chopped garlic. Then your tomatoes, salt, pepper, herbs… Cook til tomatoes full break down and become saucy. Reduce to thicken if too watery. You can add a small dollop of red pepper jelly to cut the acidity if you desire. Blend with a hand blender once cooled til a smooth consistency. I like a smooth sauce for pizza. And as far as seasoning amounts just taste and adjust. I like a herby pizza sauce. But some may like it more mellow and tomatoey. Up to you! Drizzle in some extra olive oil at the end. Especially if you have  nice one!

Ingredients for Chili-Cheese Dogs with Guac:

  • French Rolls or quality hot dog buns or other bun-type-carb-object that is fluffy inside and crisp-ish out.
  • Veggie Dogs (I use the Jumbo Yves version)
  • Vegetarian Chili (homemade is best of course but if feeling lazy use Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Chili) * I usually add in some hot sauce and red pepper jelly to amp it up a bit. And like with the pizza dog… I tend to heat the chili up for a while to reduce some of the liquid and thicken it up a bit. Makes for a less messy dog.
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Finely diced bell pepper of choice
  • Finely diced fresh jalepeno OR/ pickled slices (optional)
  • Oaxaca, Monterey Jack or White Cheddar shredded
  • Good quality chili powder and/or taco spice mix
  • Guacamole (homemade always!) OR/ slices of avocado
  • Olive oil for pan “grilling” the hot dogs

Preheat oven to 350F or so. Heat up a frying pan with a little drizzle of oil. 

Prep hot dogs by taking a small sharp knife an cutting cross hatch marks on them to create a waffle like effect. 

Cook weiners in the hot oil on one side til getting browned crispy bits. Turn and cook on all sides til golden-brown marks all over (we are simulating grill flavour!)

Meanwhile prep the bell pepper, jalepenos, onions and cheese. 

Heat chili to reduce some liquid. Line baking pan with parchment. Slice buns/rolls down the top centre.

Put a jumbo dog in each bun. Top with peppers/onions. Top with chili. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder/taco spice. 

Bake in the oven til the cheese is fully melted and getting some golden brown spots. 

Top with guacamole. 

Serve with Avocado Lime Jalepeno Caesar Salad (stay tuned for that recipe!)

 

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 Baked off and melty and crunchy and mmmmmm

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PIZZA DOG LUV! WOOF!

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And the vegetarian chili-cheese version. Basically an excuse to eat more GUAC!

Strawberry Rose Petal Pancakes!!!!!!!!! (w/ vegan ***substitutions)

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Diced fresh strawberries (placed on paper towel to drain excess moisture)

Extra butter for cooking.

How To:

Preheat pan to medium. Melt the butter. 

Put vinegar into milk. Let sit while getting dry mix together (it will become thick don’t be alarmed – basically homemade buttermilk). Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. 

Once milk is soured add in egg + egg yolk, vanilla, rose water, almond extract, and melted butter. Whisk to combine. 

Add wet to dry and mix until just mixed. Don’t over do it or the pancakes will be tough. 

Dollop out small portions into preheated pan (the residual butter from melting some for the batter will suffice for first batch – add a  bit more for additional batches). Usually 3 small pancakes will work depending on size of pan. Leave at least an inch of room between as the batter will spread. Sprinkle on some strawberries. Cook in pan with butter til bubbles form. Flip. Cook til Side B is golden. 
Serve with REAL maple syrup. No need for extra butter they have butter in them and are cooked in butter!

NOTE: Sorry I don’t have a pic of the final product plated because we were in a rush getting ready for the boys art class and we scarfed those cakes o’ pan in a flash! 

Alterations:

***To make vegan  you can sub almond milk, coconut oil, and chia egg. 

Additional Toppings:

Crushed pistachios or toasted almonds, honey & rose water whipped cream or honey sweetened cream cheese, fresh strawberries. Sometimes I will also heat up the maple syrup in a small sauce pot and melt/whisk a dollop of strawberry jam into it. YUM. 

 

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Rose petals, pink Himalayan salt and coconut palm sugar up in the dry spelt mixture!

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Diced fresh strawberries losing some of their excess moisture.

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Pancakes making your whole house smell amazing and your neighbours jelly!

Breakfast Burrito: Chorizo & Cuban Blackbeans (with Veg alterations)

I LOVE BREAKFAST! In particular: breakfast sammiches (yes sandwiches) and burritos have a special place in my heart because you can eat them on-the-go!

I have tried just having a smoothie or granola for breakfast countless times but then I usually end up eating a gigantic lunch and dinner because I get sooooooo hungry! Whenever I eat a high fat high protein breakfast it keeps me going all day! And so long as you  have some fibre and veggies and/or legumes all up in there – well, then,  it’s good in my books!

Ingredients:

  • Good quality Tortillas covered in foil and warmed in oven (I love the ones by Indian Life which have a nice chewy texture)
  • Homemade or good quality pre-made Cuban Black Beans .
  • Oaxaca Cheese shredded (can sub Monterey jack but it won’t be as amazing)
  • Fresh Chorizo Sausages*cooked (40 minutes on med/low with a drizzle of olive oil in pan. Then slice in half carefully so you don’t get sprayed with hot fat… and brown the inside to make sure cooked all the way through and to get a nice crispy edge)
  • Plain Omelette** (eggs whisked with salt & pepper cooked in butter or olive oil til set)
  • Seasoned pan fried or oven roasted Hash Browns (fresh or frozen is fine, but if using frozen try to find a brand that has a few ingredients as possible aka just potatoes!) Seasoned can mean: salt & pepper or paprika & garlic  or oregano & onion… whatever floats your boatato.

* To make vegetarian sub avocado and/or sauteed poblano peppers for the sausage. Or vegan chorizo-style faux sausage. 

** Further, to make vegan sub baked or pan fried tofu for the omelette. Or simply leave out. And sub vegan cheeze for the Oaxaca or simply leave out and add more veggies!

How To:

Cook everything and wrap up in tortillas burrito style. Serve with hot sauce and sour cream and whatever else you feel like!

YUM!

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