Tzatziki


Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

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Tzatziki tzatziki. It’s so simple and so good. My dill plants had been struggling on my balcony over the winter months so I wasn’t able to make this recipe for ages, but now that we’ve moved onto the farm with plenty of space and sunshine, the dill plant here has gone wild! This dip is so refreshing with the cucumber, lemon and dill. Our favourite way to eat this is slathered between two burger buns in a beef patty to make a quick Greek burger but its also fantastic on its own as a dip with bread or veggies.

This is a make-ahead recipe. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up this recipe but the full potential of the flavours don’t come out until it’s refrigerated for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. This dip needs time for the flavours to marinate and work themselves out. It sounds a bit crazy but trust me. The first time I made this dip I spent over 20 minutes adding a little more of this and that and it still never seemed quite right. I ended up putting it away and when I revisited it the next morning, it was AMAZING! I was surprised how everything just fixed itself overnight. Now when I make this sauce I don’t even bother with adjusting the flavours until the next day, after its had time to sort itself out.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.

The salt in the dip will draw out the water in the cucumber and result in a wet sloppy tzatziki which is why it’s so important to squeeze out as much water as you can at the start.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Tzatziki

Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. (Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together.) Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!

Classic Hummus


Date Published: August 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: dips/sauces, snack
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 1 minute

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A good classic hummus makes me so happy. Something about the classic flavours of the creamy tahini with cumin and chickpeas blended together with that kick of garlic makes it magical. There are so many variations out there these days but at the end of the day I always prefer the old-fashioned hummus and best of all it only takes 10 minutes to make! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spin on a classic such as beetroot hummus or even roasted red pepper hummus, but the additional flavours distract from the true creaminess of a classic which is what makes it unbeatable. This smooth creamy dip is so so good as a dip with some crackers or veggies and even better smeared in a warm wrap! Try it with some leftover lamb roast in a homemade flatbread – I promise it’s phenomenal.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 can (400g) of chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid aside.

Put the drained chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin) into a food processor or blender and blend until thick and smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add in one tablespoon of the reserved chickpea fluid at a time and mix until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Discard the rest of the chickpea liquid.

When serving, drizzle olive oil over the hummus and add a pinch of paprika for garnish.

Pair it with some pita chips made from the homemade flatbread recipe!

Notes:

  • To make this a low carb version, substitute the can of chickpeas with 4 cups zucchini, peeled & chopped.
  • You can try other combinations: beetroot, roasted red peppers and parmesan…etc.

To make a roasted red pepper hummus: roast 3 peppers over the grill or fire until charred. Set aside to cool and scrape off any excessively blackened bits. Place the peppers in a clean tea towel or paper towel and over a bowl, squeeze out any liquid. Save this liquid. Add the roasted red peppers to the hummus and blend until combined. If it’s too thick, then add in a teaspoon of the liquid from the peppers at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You can also add in the liquid from the drained chickpeas as well. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. You may need to add additional salt to the above hummus recipe since adding red peppers will dilute the saltiness of the hummus. Done!

To make a beetroot hummus: Drain a can of beetroots and reserve the liquid. Blend the beetroots into the hummus. Taste and adjust the amount of beetroot as needed.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Hummus

Date Published: August 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: dips/sauces, snack
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 5 mins | Mix time: 1 minute

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) of chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid aside.
  2. Put the drained chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin) into a food processor or blender and blend until thick and smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add in one tablespoon of the reserved chickpea fluid at a time and mix until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Discard the rest of the chickpea liquid.
  3. When serving, drizzle olive oil over the hummus and add a pinch of paprika for garnish. Done!

Classic Greek Salad


Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

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I love Greek salad. It’s so refreshing and easy to make, perfect for a hot summer’s day or paired with a delicious roast lamb. The dressing only takes 3 ingredients to make and the salad components are easily adjustable to whatever proportion you like. Toby’s not a big fan of olives so I tend to go easy on them when I’m making this salad but feel free to double or even triple the amount of any of the salad ingredients. This salad is healthy (if you don’t go crazy on the feta) and so delicious. If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest holding off on the dressing until right before you serve it because the salt content from the dressing will draw out water from the veg and you’ll end up with a soggy salad.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

*Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Greek Salad

Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy, healthy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    • *Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad


Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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In many Chinese households raw vegetables are not very common – if at all. When we moved to Canada it was really strange watching my classmates eat raw carrots and celery as a snack. It was even stranger that someone would bring a platter of uncooked vegetables to a party as their contribution. To this day I’m still not a big fan of raw veg on their own but when it’s paired with a delicious creamy dip or in a flavourful salad, sign me up!…Except for celery. I still can’t eat that shit raw.

Broccoli was one of the last few veg I came to terms with eating raw. I’ve always loved steamed broccoli especially with some garlic and black pepper, but crunching on it raw just felt so wrong…until I came upon this amazing salad that a friend brought to a party a couple years ago. I was going to call this “Jess’ Broccoli Salad”, but I went with a more descriptive title instead for those of you that don’t know Jess 😜 (who’s also a super amazing baker). If you’re a fan of blue cheese, this salad is definitely for you! The bold blue cheese is offset by the sweet and tart cranberries and juiciness of the red onions, then mellowed out with crispy bacon and toasted pecans, all transported by the humble crunchy broccoli for a super flavourful mouthful.

The ingredients list seems long, but most of it is the balsamic dressing. A freshly made balsamic vinaigrette really does make a difference to tie all the flavours of the salad together, but if you’re in a rush, feel free to take a shortcut and use a store-bought version. There are also a few other shortcuts in the recipe marked as “optional” steps, but I encourage you to take the time to toast the pecans, blanch the broccoli and sauté the bacon to bring out the maximum flavours of the ingredients.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
(Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well until all the ingredients are combined.)

Blanch the broccoli: place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.

This step is optional but it helps soften the broccoli a little but and bring out the bright green colours. If you prefer your broccoli raw and crunchy, feel free to skip this step. You can also boil the broccoli a little longer if you prefer it softer.

Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.

This step is also optional, but I find toasting the pecans bring out a lot more depth in the flavours of the salad.

Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad

Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
  2. Blanch the broccoli (optional): place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.
  3. Toast the pecans (optional): Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.
  4. Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Apple Chicken Goat Cheese Salad


Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins, mains
Serves: 4 as mains, 6-8 as side salads | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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This is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE SALAD. Seriously. Back in Canada I used to go to Montana’s a lot with my friends and I almost never order salad when I’m eating out because I always think it’ll never be as good as a warm cooked meal and not way could it be as flavourful. One night I wasn’t particularly hungry and I was trying to be a bit more healthy since I was training for a marathon so I decided to browse their salads section and ordered the ‘Apple Harvest Salad’. I only chose this one because it had goat cheese in it (and I LOVE goat cheese). When the food arrived, my salad portion was HUGE with dressing served on the side. I was skeptical, but ohhhhh boy was I wrong. That salad changed my world and it actually became my new favourite thing on their menu (other than the goat cheese stuffed chicken breast and Kapow Shrimp). I’d actively go to Montana’s just to get this salad – which doesn’t sound like me at all! Now that I live in Australia, there’s no Montana’s in sight and I decided to recreate it myself! I’d say I did a pretty good job because this salad is FANTASTIC. If you love goat cheese, this is the salad for you! The juicy crisp apple pairs so well with the warm nutty toasted pecans and the creaminess of the goat cheese all tied together in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

I’ve only ever eaten this salad as a main dish because it’s THAT good and there’s no way I could eat it as just a small side dish so I’ve categorized this in both the mains and sides section. If you want to serve it as a side, you might want to consider skipping the chicken so your meal isn’t too bulky. If you’re packing it for lunch, keep the salad dressing separate and pour it on when you’re ready to eat.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Salad:
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 4 cups cooked chicken breast or thigh, chopped to bite-sized pieces – you can use leftover chicken from a roast or make it fresh the way you prefer (see my preferred method to cook chicken breast here)
    • 12 cups of lettuce or mixed greens (enough for 4 main salads)
    • 1 red bell pepper (aka capsicum), sliced (I ran out of peppers in the house and used cherry tomatoes instead in the photos)
    • 1 large apple, sliced
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 140g goat cheese, crumbled
    • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 180˚C (~350˚F) and bake the pecans on the top rack for 5-10 mins and flip over and continue to bake until fragrant and toasty darker brown (another 5 mins). When done, set aside and let them cool then roughly chop.

Optional step: if you haven’t made your chicken breast, you can pop them in the oven with the pecans (see my preferred method). When cooked, slice into strips or bite-sized pieces and let cool.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients together: pecans, chicken, lettuce/mixed greens, red pepper, apple, cranberries, goat cheese, and fresh ground black pepper. If you want to be fancy you can place the ingredients on top of the salad and serve the dressing on the side.

Make the balsamic vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, honey, salt and pepper) in a bowl and whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Apple Chicken Goat Cheese Salad

Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins, mains
Serves: 4 as mains, 6-8 as side salads | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • Salad:
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 4 cups cooked chicken breast or thigh, chopped to bite-sized pieces – you can use leftover chicken from a roast or make it fresh the way you prefer (see my preferred method to cook chicken breast here)
    • 12 cups of lettuce or mixed greens (enough for 4 main salads)
    • 1 red bell pepper (aka capsicum), sliced
    • 1 large apple, sliced
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 140g goat cheese, crumbled
    • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Toast the pecans: Preheat oven to 180˚C (~350˚F) and bake the pecans on the top rack for 5-10 mins and flip over and continue to bake until fragrant and toasty darker brown (another 5 mins). When done, set aside and let them cool then roughly chop.
  2. Optional step: if you haven’t made your chicken breast, you can pop them in the oven with the pecans (see my preferred method). When cooked, slice into strips or bite-sized pieces and let cool.
  3. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients together: pecans, chicken, lettuce/mixed greens, red pepper, apple, cranberries, goat cheese, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, honey, salt and pepper) in a bowl and whisk until you get a homogenous mixture. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing as needed. Enjoy!

Easy Moist Chicken Breast


Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: basics, how-to, healthy, easy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

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Chicken breast is one of the things I always have in my freezer. It goes well with so many things and it’s so easy and quick to make. You can have it as part of a healthy meal seasoned with simple spices and paired with a veg or pack it full of flavour with a kickass sauce and toppings. The most common way I like to use it is in salads. It’s amazing how you can turn pretty much any side salad into a main dish just by adding chicken breast.

Chicken breast often get a bad rep for being dry and bland which is why some people avoid it. There’s not much fat on the meat and thus it’s easy to dry out when cooking. Follow this basic tutorial and I’ll show you how I like to prepare chicken breast so it comes out moist and perfect every time! I use a combination of baking and steaming to ensure the chicken stays moist.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast – as many as you like, but try not to crowd them too much in a pan so they cook evenly.
  • Olive oil – roughly 1 tsp per breast. You don’t need much oil since you’re steaming.
  • Water – enough to fill 1 cm of the pan
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: any seasoning you like – I keep it plain with just salt and pepper if I’m using it as a base with a sauce, but if I’m adding it to a caesar or garden salad, I rub some Italian seasoning or oregano over it.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 180˚C (~350F) and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.

Rinse your chicken breasts and place them in a baking tray. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, any additional spices you like, then rub it all over the chicken breasts on both sides.

Pour 1 cm of water into the pan (it doesn’t have to be exact).

Cover the tray with aluminum foil and make sure the edges are sealed (otherwise steam will escape while baking and could result in a dry chicken). Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-30 minutes. You can check the doneness of the chicken by either cutting the thickest part and if the juices run clear, it’s finished. If it’s pink, then put the foil back on and bake for another 5 minutes. Alternatively you can use a thermometer and poke it into the thickest part of the breast until it reads 65˚C.

*Caution: HOT steam will escape when you unwrap the foil so please be careful when checking on your chicken!

Once your chicken is cooked, serve it on a plate immediately or rest them for 5 minutes before slicing. It’s VERY important not to slice them when they’re steaming hot, otherwise the juices inside the chicken will evaporate and your chicken will be dry. By allowing them to rest, it lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

Enjoy!

Tip: if you’re adding this to a leafy salad, wait until the chicken comes to room temperature before adding it in otherwise the heat might wilt your salad leaves.

Summarized Recipe:

Easy Moist Chicken Breast

Date Published: August 10th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 10th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: basics, how-to, healthy, easy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast – as many as you like, but try not to crowd them too much in a pan so they cook evenly
  • Olive oil – roughly 1 tsp per breast. You don’t need much oil since you’re steaming.
  • Water – enough to fill 1 cm of the pan
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional: any seasoning you like – I keep it plain with just salt and pepper if I’m using it as a base with a sauce, but if I’m adding it to a caesar or garden salad, I sprinkle some Italian seasoning or oregano over it.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C (~350F) and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Rinse your chicken breasts and place them in a baking tray. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, any additional spices you like, then rub it all over the chicken breasts on both sides.
  3. Pour 1 cm of water into the pan (it doesn’t have to be exact) and cover the tray with aluminum foil. Make sure the edges are sealed (otherwise steam will escape while baking and could result in a dry chicken). Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-30 minutes. You can check the doneness of the chicken by either cutting the thickest part and if the juices run clear, it’s finished. If it’s pink, then put the foil back on and bake for another 5 minutes. Alternatively you can use a thermometer and poke it into the thickest part of the breast until it reads 65˚C.
    • *Caution: HOT steam will escape when you unwrap the foil so please be careful when checking on your chicken!
  4. Once your chicken is cooked, serve it on a plate immediately or rest them for 5 minutes before slicing. It’s VERY important not to slice them when they’re steaming hot, otherwise the juices inside the chicken will evaporate and your chicken will be dry. By allowing them to rest, it lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat. Enjoy!

Tip: If you’re adding this to a leafy salad, wait until the chicken comes to room temperature before adding it in otherwise the heat might wilt your salad leaves.

Spicy Garlic Miso Green Beans


Date Published: August 9th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 9th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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I love cooking with green beans. They’re a common ingredient in a lot of Asian cooking and there’s so many ways you can make them. The flavour of green beans are relatively subtle so I find them fantastic when paired with a bold and flavourful sauce, like in this recipe! These beans are steamed to tenderize, then sautéed in a miso, ginger, and garlic sauce to pack a punch. This recipe is super easy and makes a great quick side dish to pair with a salmon (like my popular maple salmon recipe – click for recipe ) or steak. It only takes 15 minutes to make with minimal clean up :).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp miso paste
    • 1/2 Tbsp chilli pepper flakes (makes it medium spicy)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 600g fresh green beans, trim off ends

Directions:

In a bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, miso paste, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger. Set aside.

In a dry pan on medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toast it until light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and add in the green beans. Stir-fry for a couple minutes then add in enough water to cover 1cm of the pan. Put the lid on and steam the beans until they’re tender (~5 minutes).

Once tender, remove the lid and bring the heat up to MED-HIGH and continue to stir-fry until the beans are lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the toasted sesame seeds and the sauce to the pan. Stir quickly to combine. The residual heat from the pan should cook off any liquids. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Garlic Miso Green Beans

Date Published: August 9th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 9th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp miso paste
    • 1/2 Tbsp chilli pepper flakes (makes it medium spicy)
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 600g fresh green beans, trim off ends

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, miso paste, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
  2. In a dry pan on medium heat, add the sesame seeds and toast it until light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and add in the green beans. Stir-fry for a couple minutes then add in enough water to cover 1cm of the pan. Put the lid on and steam the beans until they’re tender (~5 minutes).
  4. Once tender, remove the lid and bring the heat up to MED-HIGH and continue to stir-fry until the beans are lightly browned. Turn off the heat and add the toasted sesame seeds and the sauce to the pan. Stir quickly to combine. The residual heat from the pan should cook off any liquids. Serve!

Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steak


Date Published: August 8th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 8th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: vegetarian, mains, sides, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 38 mins

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Ohhhhh boy. Get ready to have your mind blown. I had never heard of cauliflower steak before until a few weeks ago when the whole family was trying to eat a little lighter. After a couple hours of googling for some food inspo, I came across this recipe from Epicurious and I instantly knew we had to make it. The result came out fantastic albeit a little salty (and I usually love my salt so that’s saying something!). The crunchy parmesan panko crust with the dijon mayo ontop of the roasted cauliflower was so delicious and adds warmth to a miserable cold day (much like today). This easy recipe is definitely a must-try! It’s going straight up to my top 20 dishes to make! I’ve adjusted the recipe to lessen the salt and made some adjustments to have this as a standalone dish with any sides of your choice.

PS: Try to get the biggest cauliflower you can find because I could eat two of these in one sitting! Or make smaller steaks and serve this as a side dish.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 large heads of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Parmesan Crust Topping:
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Zest of 1 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
    • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 Tbsps olive oil
    • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 220˚C (425 F).

Remove the outer leaves of your cauliflower heads and keep the core intact. If the bottom of the core is thick and fibrous, you can trim it off. Cutting along the widest part of the cauliflower (so you get the biggest slices), cut the cauliflower in half then slice one 3cm thick cuts from each half. Reserve the rest of the cauliflower to be used another day. Repeat for the second cauliflower.

Gently rub olive oil over and black pepper to both sides of the steaks and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 220˚C. You want the cauliflower to be tender and browned on the edges.

While the cauliflower is baking, combine the mayonnaise, dijon mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In another bowl combine all the ingredients of the parmesan crust in a bowl except panko (garlic, lemon zest, parsely, parmesan, olive oil) and set aside. Don’t add the panko to this mixture until your cauliflower has cooked and you’re ready to use it, otherwise the panko can get a little soggy sitting in the bowl.

Once the cauliflower steaks have cooked on both sides, take it out of the oven and spread the mayonnaise/dijon mixture over each steak. Add panko to the parmesan crust mixture and combine then spread it ontop of the steaks. Bake the steaks for another 5-7 minutes until the panko crust is lightly browned. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Parmesan-Crusted Cauliflower Steak

Date Published: August 8th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 8th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: vegetarian, mains, sides, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 38 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Parmesan Crust Topping:
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Zest of 1 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
    • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • 6 Tbsps olive oil
    • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 220˚C (425 F).
  2. Remove the outer leaves of your cauliflower heads and keep the core intact. If the bottom of the core is thick and fibrous, you can trim it off. Cutting along the widest part of the cauliflower (so you get the biggest slices), cut the cauliflower in half then slice one 3cm thick cuts from each half. Reserve the rest of the cauliflower to be used another day. Repeat for the second cauliflower.
  3. Gently rub olive oil over and black pepper to both sides of the steaks and bake for 10-15 minutes on each side at 220˚C. You want the cauliflower to be tender and browned on the edges.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, combine the mayonnaise, dijon mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. In another bowl combine all the ingredients of the parmesan crust in a bowl except panko (garlic, lemon zest, parsely, parmesan, olive oil) and set aside. Don’t add the panko to this mixture until your cauliflower has cooked and you’re ready to use it, otherwise the panko can get a little soggy sitting in the bowl.
  6. Once the cauliflower steaks have cooked on both sides, take it out of the oven and spread the mayonnaise/dijon mixture over each steak. Add panko to the parmesan crust mixture and combine then spread it ontop of the steaks. Bake the steaks for another 5-7 minutes until the panko crust is lightly browned. Serve!

Chicken Udon Stir-Fry


Date Published: August 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, asian, mains
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Japanese udon is one of my favourite type of noodles. There’s so much chew compared to regular noodles and makes it more satisfying to eat. This is a quick and easy stir-fry packed with chicken, cabbage, carrots and udon noodles. The crunchy cabbage and carrots with the chewiness of the udon cooked in a savoury sauce makes this dish so yum and healthy too!

This was actually one of the first things Toby made for me when we were in Bairnsdale together on a vet student placement. We agreed that we’d both start eating healthier and he surprised me with this dinner when I came home from my shift. It was the best thing to come home to especially after a long cold day. ❤️

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 500g udon noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 2 Tbsps ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 large (2.5 cups) brown onions, diced
  • 500g chicken mince (or pork mince)
  • 1/4 small green cabbage, diced to 2cm pieces
  • 2 large carrots, julienned or chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsps sesame oil, to drizzle
  • White sesame seeds, to sprinkle

Directions:

If you haven’t prepared you udon noodles yet, cook them according to package instructions, then drain and rinse the noodles under cold water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, make the sauce by combining: soy sauce, light soy sauce, mirin, ketchup, and sugar. Don’t worry if you have small clumps in the sauce.

Heat up a wok over high heat and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion (in that order) for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add the chicken mince to the wok and use your spatula to break up any lumps and sauté it until the chicken is mostly browned. (You do not have to cook the mince all the way through. It will finish cooking as you add the other ingredients in).

Add the cabbage and carrot to the wok. Sauté for another few minutes until the cabbage is wilted.

Add in the noodles and the sauce. Mix until combined and most of the liquids have cooked off. Turn heat off, drizzle sesame oil over the noodles and mix.

Serve noodles out and sprinkle sesame seeds over top. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Chicken Udon Stir-Fry

Date Published: August 4th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 4th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, asian, mains
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 500g udon noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 2 Tbsps ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 large (2.5 cups) brown onions, diced
  • 500g chicken mince (or pork mince)
  • 1/4 small green cabbage, diced to 2cm pieces
  • 2 large carrots, julienned or chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsps sesame oil, to drizzle
  • White sesame seeds, to sprinkle

Directions:

  1. If you haven’t prepared you udon noodles yet, cook them according to package instructions, then drain and rinse the noodles under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, make the sauce by combining: soy sauce, light soy sauce, mirin, ketchup, and sugar.
  3. Heat up a wok over high heat and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion (in that order) for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  4. Add the chicken mince to the wok and use your spatula to break up any lumps and sauté it until the chicken is mostly browned. (You do not have to cook the mince all the way through. It will finish cooking as you add the other ingredients in).
  5. Add the cabbage and carrot to the wok. Sauté for another few minutes until the cabbage is wilted.
  6. Add in the noodles and the sauce (made in step 2). Mix until combined and most of the liquids have cooked off. Turn heat off, drizzle sesame oil over the noodles and mix.
  7. Serve noodles out and sprinkle sesame seeds over top. Enjoy!

Good For You Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola


Date Published: July 30th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 30th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, < 30mins, quick & easy, snacks
Serves: 8 cups (16 servings) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Ohhh granohhhhla! I love making my own granola. I love the smell that fills the kitchen as it bakes and I love that I can put in whatever I want and feel good about it. I’ve adapted this recipe from Erin Lives Whole which and changed it up to better accommodate my taste (read: making it chocolate!) – don’t worry, I’ve kept all the good stuff in there so I can still enjoy this relatively guilt-free. I’ve also doubled the recipe because Toby and I go through it so quickly.

In the vet world you don’t always get to have your lunch break, so I usually pack a small container in my bag just in case and sneak in bites here and there between consults. It’s perfect to keep me satiated for the rest of the day and I don’t have to worry about heating it up or taking time to prepare it – just add milk! This recipe has saved so many people from a hangry vet 😜.

What makes this granola good for you? The natural and wholesome ingredients! Like most granolas, the bulk of this recipe is rolled oats. Oats is chocked full of fibre and has benefits in lowering cholesterol. It’s also made with coconut oil, chia seeds, honey, and natural peanut butter. Depending on the brand of peanut butter you use, each serving (1/2 cup) is roughly 220 calories. This granola makes a wonderful quick breakfast on the go when topped with some fresh fruit, or a filling snack throughout the day. You can change it up and add extras like nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips…etc. Have it with milk (regular, almond, soy…etc.), greek yogurt, or even sprinkled on top of ice cream. Mmmmmmm.

This recipe is super simple and quick to put together. I’ve added in the weights of each ingredient so if you’re feeling lazy and have a kitchen scale, you can just pour everything in one bowl to the correct weight and mix!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup (280g) natural chunky peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened)*
  • 2/3 cup (220g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (620g) rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsps (47g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

*If you’re struggling to locate natural peanut butter or find it too $$$, you can use regular peanut butter but skip the salt and half the amount of honey (110g instead of 220g).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 165˚C (~325˚F). Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.

Then add in the rest of the ingredients except for the oats: cocoa powder, salt, chia seeds, cinnamon.

Then add in the oats and mix until fully combined.

Press the mixture into the tray and compress it down (this will help you get chunky clusters).

Bake until golden brown (about 15-20mins).

Let it COMPLETELY cool before breaking apart (~20 minutes). If you try to break it apart too early, it will be very crumbly.

Enjoy! Store in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Summarized Recipe:

Good For You Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

Date Published: July 30th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 30th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, < 30mins, quick & easy, snacks
Serves: 8 cups (16 servings) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (280g) natural chunky peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened)*
  • 2/3 cup (220g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (620g) rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsps (47g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

*If you’re struggling to locate natural peanut butter or find it too $$$, you can use regular peanut butter but skip the salt and half the amount of honey (110g instead of 220g).

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 165˚C (~325˚F). Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Then mix in the cocoa powder and chia seeds.
  4. Finally, add in the oats and mix until full combined.
  5. Press the mixture into the baking pan and compress it down with your spatula.
  6. Bake until golden brown (about 15-20mins).
  7. Let it COMPLETELY cool before breaking apart. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.