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!

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)


Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

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If you’ve ever been to Taiwan in the middle of summer, you’ll know that not only does it get hot, it gets HUMID AF. What’s better on a hot sticky day than a refreshing bowl of cold noodles? This dish is commonly found everywhere in Taiwan – you can even pick them up from most convenience stores, pre-packaged in a lunch box and ready to eat – just add the sauce! The direct translation of “liang mian” is “chilled” or “cold” noodles and it’s served as a bowl of cold white noodles mixed with a savoury peanut sauce and topped with cucumber and carrot slices, occasionally a sliced egg. It’s delicious, filling and crazy easy to make! It’s also a great lunch to pack to eat on the go or to avoid the microwave queues at work or school 😉.

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:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).

Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.

Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours. Serve cold!

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Cold Noodles 涼麵 (Liang Mian)

Date Published: August 7th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 7th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 2 mins + time to cook noodles

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps crunchy peanut butter (smooth is okay too but crunchy gives it better texture)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp black vinegar
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 Tbsps warm water (or more)
  • White Noodles (any brand you like)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together except for the water. Once combined, add 1 Tbsp of warm water at a time to the sauce and mix until you get a thin runny sauce but not overly watery (only add as much water as you need).
  2. Make the noodles according to package instructions. Drain well and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cooled. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of sesame oil on the noodles and mix it around so they don’t stick together.
  3. Assemble the noodles by adding the sauce to the noodles with the cucumber and carrots. Mix until combined. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Serve cold!
    • If you’ve made too many noodles (as I always do because I’m terrible at judging how much noodles to cook), make more sauce for the noodles until you’re happy with the intensity of the flavours.

Tip: If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest you pack the sauce separately and pour it on the noodles when you’re ready to eat to avoid the noodles getting too soft from sitting in sauce for too long.

Curry Tuna Salad


Date Published: August 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

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This is by far my favourite version of a tuna salad. The addition of dill and curry with the crunch of the pickle all infused into the creamy mayo brings this to the next level. You’ve got to try it. It’s packed with flavour and so easy and quick to put together for a quick snack or lunch. Serve it in a sandwich, in a tuna melt, or even as a dip with some crackers. (Recipe adapted from Allrecipes with changes to ingredients and proportions.)

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:

  • 200g (~2 cans) tuna in springwater , drained very well (the drier the tuna the better, otherwise you’ll have a sludgy tuna salad)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup mayonnaise (depends on how creamy you prefer it)
  • 3 Tbsps parmesan cheese
  • 5 Tbsps (36g) pickles, finely chopped (or 3 Tbsps sweet pickle relish)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion flakes (optional)

Directions:

Mix everything together and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. If you prefer a creamier tuna salad, add more mayonnaise. If you want it crunchier, add more chopped pickles or even some cucumber or red bell peppers/capsicums.

Chill for 20 minutes before serving to let the flavours infuse. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Tuna Salad

Date Published: August 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, <15mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • 200g (2 cans) tuna in springwater , drained
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you like your tuna salad)
  • 3 Tbsps parmesan cheese
  • 5 Tbsps (36g) pickles, finely chopped (or 3 Tbsps sweet pickle relish)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion flakes

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. If you prefer a creamier tuna salad, add more mayonnaise. If you want it crunchier, add more chopped pickles or even some cucumber or red bell peppers/capsicums.
  2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving to let the flavours infuse. Done!

Serve in a sandwich, as a tuna melt, or with crackers!

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.

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)


Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Jump to recipe |

Tabbouleh (or tabbouli) is a simple mediterranean salad mainly comprised of whole grains, tomatoes and parsley. There are many versions of this salad out there but this one is by far my favourite and simplest. The freshness from the lemon juice and veg pairs really well with a heavy main dish such as a roast lamb. It’s also pretty good as a topping in wraps!

I like to use white quinoa in this recipe for the fluffiness, but you can sub it out for a different whole grain if you like for different textures. This recipe is super simple, healthy and filling. Feel free to add in some baked chicken breast or canned tuna or salmon for an easy lunch.

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:

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – if you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s super simple. Just boil 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa until the liquid is absorbed. You can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need.
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Directions:

Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator.

Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)

Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Ingredients:

  • Salad Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – you can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator. Done!

Smoked Salmon Salad with Roasted Sesame Dressing


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

Jump to recipe |

I love this salad. It’s so flavourful, satisfying, and best of all it’s really easy and quick. You can easily customize it too. I came up with it one morning while trying to make a quick lunch for the fam and at the same time clearing the fridge of ingredients – I never expected it to turn out so good!

This recipe sounds fancy smancy but it’s the quickest most ridiculously easy salad to put together as long as you have roasted sesame dressing on hand. You can make the dressing yourself from scratch (the recipe is on my to-do list to upload, I swear), but often times I let the good people at Kewpie do the hard work for me especially if I’m in a rush or just feeling extra lazy. Kewpie does such a fantastic job with this dressing that Toby and I like to keep a 1L bottle in the fridge and use it on SO many things as a dipping sauce – I highly recommend picking up a bottle next time you’re at an Asian grocer.

Roasted sesame dressing is commonly seen in many Japanese restaurants served on their side salads in bento boxes. It’s a creamy dressing that’s packed with roasted sesame flavour. It elevates the most basic salads to another level, including this one. While you can use this dressing with virtually any salad ingredient, I found that when you pair it with smoked salmon, something absolutely magical happens. The heavy savoury smoked salmon paired with the dressing is balanced out by the fresh crisp veggies that results in a refreshing salad with a heap of flavour.

Next time you’re in a rush to pack lunch but still want something delicious and healthy, think of this salad! Or better yet, next time you’re inviting people over for a dinner party but you’ve exhausted all your energy on the main dish, you can quickly whip up this salad as a starter or a side dish to impress.

I’ve written this recipe with veggies I commonly have in my fridge as a staple in most of my salads (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers/capsicums, and cucumbers) but of course you can change it up to whatever veggies you like such as grated carrot, radishes, spinach, red onions…etc. This recipe is so easily customizable. The only thing I don’t usually pair with this dressing is cheese. I find that the creaminess of the dressing tends to overpower most cheeses so why bother adding it in – fewer calories, amiright?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced – you can use smoked trout as well which I find is usually cheaper and tastes very close to smoked salmon
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Feel free to customize the ingredients to whatever you like or whatever you’ve got in your fridge. The bold flavours of the salmon and the dressing makes this salad pretty forgiving with whatever veggies you want to chuck in it.

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Summarized Recipe:

Smoked salmon salad with roasted sesame dressing

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

Classic Simple Guacamole


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Jump to recipe |

I love guacamole. LOVE. Seriously. The creaminess of the avocados with the freshness of the tomatoes and lime juice is pure happiness in a bowl. I could easily devour a whole bowl of it myself while binge-watching something. It’s quick and easy with no actual cooking required – just chop some ingredients and mix it all up. Try to make it a little ahead of time because it tastes so much better after a few hours in the fridge to let the flavours infuse. Trust me.

Avocados are quite fatty by nature so the bad news is that the calories tend to stack up when you have too much. However the good news is that it’s good fat and has numerous health benefits so it’s actually quite good for you (as long as you don’t pair it with too many chips 😅).

My favourite way to eat guacamole is to simply have it as a dip served with tortilla chips. It’s a simple, quick and filling snack – but of course it goes amazingly on so many other things such as nachos, fajitas, tacos, burritos…etc.

I think my guacamole obsession started back in my university years in Canada with my old roommate Taryn. We’d frequently go to Gryph’s Sports Lounge/Campus Bar above the hockey rink and always order nachos with a side of guacamole. I don’t know what they put in their nachos, but it was so simple and satisfying. No fancy meats or sauces – just good ol’ nachos, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Even after we graduated we met up a couple times at Gryph’s just to get the nachos and catch up (although from memory the last time we went there they had changed their nachos 😞).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 large hass avocados – a tip on how to choose avocados: gently squeeze them. You want them to be firm but with a slight give. If they squeeze in too much then they’re over ripe. If you don’t plan on using them for a while, then buy them more firm and leave it out on your counter to ripen. Hass avocados work best in guacamole.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion (~1 medium onion), diced – you can use regular yellow onions instead but the red ones give a bit more sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste) – different limes will have different sourness, so taste as you go and add more if you need (if you accidentally go overboard, add some sugar or more salt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste) – salt enhances the flavour of the ingredients. If you’re not sure whether you need more salt, I’d recommend letting the guacamole sit in the fridge for an hour after the flavours marinate together and then taste it to adjust flavours
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional for a bit of heat)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl. I find it easiest to mash avocados by using a whisk as a masher. If you prefer your guac more chunky, stop mashing when you get to your desired consistency.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients to the mashed avocados (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. I find that different limes have different degrees of sourness, so start with a small amount (like half a tbsp) and then add more as needed – I’ve had to add up to 2 Tbsps of juice before. It’s better to start with a small amount rather than overdo it. If you’re having some trouble adjusting the flavours, you can let it chill for a few hours first to let the flavours blend together and season it afterwards.

Ideally refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving (overnight is better) to let the flavours marinate together, then taste and adjust ingredients as needed. The difference between letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight vs serving it right away is night and day. Trust me.

Enjoy! Serve on the side of burritos, fajitas, nachos, or even just with some chips and crackers as a snack.

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!

Summarized Recipe:

Guacamole

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large hass avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

  1. Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Ideally refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to let the flavours marinate together then taste and adjust flavours again as needed.