Friday, July 31, 2015

Blueberry Cheesecake Scones

A few weeks ago I went for high tea with a group of friends to a place called Milner Gardens. The restaurant is in this charming ivy covered heritage home and I recommend anyone who visits Vancouver Island go there as it is a wonderful and unique experience.

While there, we were served a gorgeous array of tiny sandwiches, tea served in china cups, and the crowning glory: fresh baked scones with Devonshire cream, and fruit preserves.

Not a low calorie meal, to be sure, but so worth the splurge!!

The only problem is, I came home with a newly acquired tasted for all things scone and tea and could pretty much exist on Devonshire cream indefinitely - which wouldn't be good for my ticker, or my waist line!

But never one to give up on a passion, I decided to create my own, healthier, version of a scone so that I could enjoy tea time every now and then with less guilt. And voila, my version of a Blueberry Cheesecake Scone was created!

 With blueberries in season right now, these gorgeous delights are filled to the rim with the sweet goodness of sun ripened blueberries in every bite! And if that isn't decadent enough, they're also filled with tiny little cubes of light cream cheese, creating bursts of creamy, blueberry goodness with every delectable mouthful.

Now I know what your asking yourselves: "How in the heck could these things possibly be healthy?

The key word here, people, is "healthier."

I mean, let's face it, you can't make a scone without butter and sugar - and whole wheat flour is far too dense to get the texture I wanted. But there are other options!

The first thing I did with this recipe was to swap all purpose flour for a flour from Robin Hood called Nutri-flour blend. It bakes just like an all purpose flour but has the fiber of an all purpose flour - so check! We're healthier already.

(note: if you can't get this brand of flour where you are, these scones are decadent with regular all purpose flour as well)

Next, I cut the butter in half, and supplemented light cream cheese to make up the difference. I also cut the sugar in half and made things a little sweeter with the goodness of unsweetened apple sauce. Finally, I added a whopping two cups of fresh blueberries to the dough. Not only do they naturally sweeten and flavor these scones, blueberries are incredibly good for you. They're loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins, and nutrients out the ying yang!

I hope you try this one, and if you do, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe, follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.


So come on over to the Kitchen Witch Cottage and bake a few up with me or scroll down for the recipe.




Blueberry Cheesecake Scones
Visit the printable recipe: Blueberry Cheesecake Scones

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups  Robin Hood Nutri-flour Blend or All Purpose
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese cut into small cubes
  • buttermilk for brushing the tops of the scones (optional but amazing)
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon and sugar mixed together for sprinkling
Directions
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter and cream cheese using a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the apple sauce, sugar, cinnamon, egg and vanilla together. Add the milk and sour cream, and continue to whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients a little at a time and stir just until it is all incorporated.  
  4. Gently fold in the blueberries but don't worry if a few break. 
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured board and shape into a rough rectangle (as per the video). The dough will be very wet and sticky so flour your hands as well - but trust me - the sticky wet dough becomes a tender crumb once baked. 
  6. Using a pastry cutter, cut into 8 equal pieces. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and then insert 3-4 cubes of cream cheese into each scone, reshaping the dough around the cheese as you go. Brush each scone with buttermilk and then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until golden. Let cool on racks slightly before serving.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.   

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Skinny Zucchini Pizza Boats

When I was growing up, all the people who had gardens, come early August, would be giving away zucchini. And not ladylike little zucchinis, either, because zucchini seems to be the one vegetable that just about anyone can grow - and on the prairies, those suckers were MASSIVE.

I remember my mom coming home from the neighbor's house with the inevitable 10 pound zucchini and, not knowing what to do with it, she'd either plop it onto a newspaper in the corner of the basement (the place where zucchinis were left to die) or mash it up to put into zucchini bread.

Truth be told, however, it was usually the former fate that awaited those poor over achieving vegetables and I was left with a distaste for the not so jolly green giants well into adulthood.

But all that changed a few years ago when I visited an Italian friend during zucchini season and oh the wonders! Fried zucchini coated in corn meal, zucchini in pasta sauce, zucchini on the grill - and the list goes on. So much so that it's now become one of my favorite vegetables.

Not only is it super versatile and absolutely delicious, it's high in vitamin C, fiber, and many other nutrients and it's also a great low carb, low calorie choice for healthy eating. So knowing all that, I hope you can imagine my excitement when the zucchini boat idea popped onto the foodie scene.






















As a recipe developer who's passion is to make easy delicious foods a little healthier, this one was a no brainer! I had to throw my hat into the ring and come up with a zucchini boat recipe of my own that would be super healthy, lower in carbs and calories, and incredibly delicious.

And I did.


















The magic in today's recipe is that it tastes like summer. What I mean by that, is because zucchini is so iconic (to me anyways) of warm summer days, I wanted this dish to taste really fresh year round, and the secret to that is canned cherry tomatoes. Typically imported from Italy, canned cherry tomatoes are an inexpensive product that you should be able to find at your local grocery, Trader Joes, or Italian grocer. In a pinch, the recipe is still great with regular tinned tomatoes - but it is over the top with the cherry tomatoes so do try to find them.

The second secret is the use of ground turkey breast meat in the filling. I've discovered over the years that few proteins go as well with zucchini than ground turkey - better than ground beef (especially in this dish) because, again, the flavor profile is really light and that comes across so well.

I hope you try this one, and if you do, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe, follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

So now, cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch as we put together this beautiful dish!




Skinny Zucchini Pizza Boats
Visit the printable recipe: HERE




















Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6 (2 boats a person)

Ingredients 
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 400 gram (14 ounce) tin canned Italian cherry tomatoes (if you can't find these, substitute a tin of high quality canned tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup shredded feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 medium zucchinis
Directions
  1. Saute the onion and ground turkey over medium high heat in a non stick pan misted with olive oil until the onion is soft and the turkey is almost cooked through. Add the salt, black pepper, minced garlic and continue to saute until the ground turkey is completely cooked through.
  2. Stir in the canned tomatoes and use the spatula to burst the tomatoes. Let that simmer 10 minutes.
  3. While that simmers, place the zucchini in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to about 1/4 inch from the skin. Chop pulp.
  4. Add the zucchini pulp to the sauce.
  5. Stuff the zucchini halves with the ground turkey mixture. Place each boat onto a square of tinfoil, top each with equal amounts of the cheese, and bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Buttermilk Brined Chipotle Chicken with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Okay, I have a disclaimer to make... one of the many reasons I love summer so much (like long days at the beach, having time to read great books, the smell of the air in the morning, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh cut grass...) is that summer is the time we barbecue. And I love me some barbecue!

In particular, I'm crazy about barbecued chicken and there's just something about the way a good
barbecue sauce tastes on a chicken breast. But the only problem is that a bone in chicken breast takes a while to cook and if not done right it's not uncommon to have burned over cooked skin, dry chicken - or worse - chicken that isn't cooked all the way through.

But never fear, because I've found there are several techniques for getting juicy, tender, chicken breasts on the barbecue that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside without being burnt to a tinder. And that technique begins with brining them in buttermilk.

Buttermilk has magical enzymes that penetrate and tenderize meat without breaking it down too much as a vinegar might do. And chicken breasts, after they've brined, (how to put this) *ahem* they get bigger (kind of like a visit to the plastic surgeon).

Grill them using the techniques below and then slather in my incredible Peach Barbecue Sauce. The result is tender, juice chicken, crispy skin, and a sweet, sour, sticky sauce that I promise is TDF (To. Die. For.)

Visit the printable recipe here: Buttermilk Brined Chipotle Chicken with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Or join me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch and cook along with me!




Ingredients 
  • 1 litre or quart of buttermilk 
  • 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Canned Chipotles in Adobo sauce
  • 4 large bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers (depending on how hot you want it)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning

 Directions
  1. Put the chicken into a large resealable plastic bag. Mix the buttermilk, salt pepper, and 2 tbsp of adobo sauce from the can and pour over the chicken. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
  2. Score the peaches with the shape of x just at their base and then submerge for 10 seconds into boiling water, and remove with a slotted spoon. Let them cool slightly and then peel from the place you scored them. The peel will come off easily. Cut them into small cubes and place in a blender with the ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle peppers, and other listed seasonings. 
  3. Blend until smooth, store in an air tight container and refrigerate. Will keep for 1 month in the fridge. 
  4. Place your chicken breasts skin side down onto a hot grill and using tongs move them and turn  periodically, spraying with water if you have any flare ups. Cook this way until golden on all sides for about 12 minutes a side and then move the chicken to indirect heat but face the meatier part of the breast toward the high heat source. Cover and continue to roast 15-25 minutes longer until the meatiest part of the breast registers 150 degrees. 
  5. Generously brush the breasts all over with the barbecue sauce. Continue to brush with the sauce and cook about another 2-3 minutes until the meat reaches 160 degrees. Remove to a platter and let rest five minutes before serving. 

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Detoxifying Lavender and Lemon Milk Bath ~ The Kitchen Witch ~ DIY Bath Products

Some of my favourite things to have on hand are canning jars in all shapes, and sizes. In mid August as the vegetables come in, nothing gives me more pleasure than listening to the popping sound the lids make as they seal summer's bounty into row upon row of jars.

There are other wonderful things to be made in jars too. Edible delights like my Curried Chicken, Grape and Kale Salad, and today's easy Do It Yourself for Lavender and Lemon Milk Bath.


Made with a blend of epsom salts, baking soda, powdered milk, lavender, and lemon, the bath smells as wonderful as it will make you feel. When absorbed through the skin, epsom salts work to relieve muscle tension, pain, and inflammation in joints. It also replenishes the body's magnesium levels which combats hypertension as the sulfate contained in salt flushes toxins and helps form proteins. 

 

The baking soda acts as a natural exfoliant, prepping the skin for the powdered milk which softens and soothes dry skin, and the combination of lemon and lavender is relaxing, rejuvenating, and will make your skin smell amazing. 


Pour a half cup of the bath milk mixture into warm running water and submerge yourself in the velvety luxuriousness of it.  And after the bath, be sure to drink lots of pure, fresh water. 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup epsom salts
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender buds (these can be purchased as health food stores)
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
 Mix everything together in a large bowl and pour into jars. 


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chicken Grape and Kale Salad in a Jar

It's 7:30 Saturday morning and the sun is making a brave appearance after a few days of much needed rain. That said, with the day spread out before me I'm thinking that time spent outdoors would be amazing. Living on Vancouver Island as I do, the world truly is my oyster in the summer as there are so many beautiful beaches, and parks, and mountains, and trails to explore.

And what better to take on an exploratory excursion than a picnic lunch?


One big jar of this delicious (and healthy) salad will easily feed four people. Just pack it to go in a cooler or heat proof bag along with a large plastic bowl. When you get to your desired destination for lunch, dump it into the bowl, toss it up, and serve.

So good!

And if you want to stop by the Casa de Kitchen Witch to chat, join me on my porch as I toss this one together!




Printable Recipe Here: Chicken Grape and Kale Salad in a Jar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup light Hellman's mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast (I like to buy a rotisserie chicken and use that)
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, washed and sliced in half
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Directions 
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, and curry powder together and pour into the bottom of a 4 quart mason jar.
  2. Layer the other ingredients in the order given. Put the lid on and store in the fridge up to 3 days. 
  3. To serve: dump everything into a large bowl and toss well.

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Campfire Ham and Lentil Stew with Apple Turnip Bread

There's something incredibly comforting about a warm stew - especially if it's being cooked in a large cast iron pot over a roaring fire. It makes me think of cowboys, and trail rides, campsites, and other summer delights.

The reality, though, is that we're having an incredibly dry hot summer, so the visions of campfires dancing in my head will have to remain just that. But not so with the stew! Just because it's summer, doesn't mean a little rustic good food isn't in order; especially since it finally rained today.

So I've thrown together a dish filled with all kinds of amazing, healthy ingredients like lentils, Swiss chard and kale - and if that isn't enough, I've also created a bread to go with it that is so perfectly paired to the brilliance of the lentils, I think the dishes should get married - or at least never be served without the other ever, ever, again.


Scroll down for the recipes or print them here: Campfire Ham and Lentil Stew
Turnip Thyme and Apple Bread


Cook along with me once you get all the ingredients!




Lentil Stew Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp liquid honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 medium red potato, washed and diced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (or more ) each chopped swiss chard and kale 
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Lentil Stew Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add the ham and chopped onion. Saute until onion begins to get soft (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the mustard and honey and continue to saute until the ham and onions are well covered.  
  3. Add the cumin, curry powder, carrots, celery, turnip, and potato. Continue to saute another minute stirring constantly.
  4. Add the apple and garlic, continue to stir. Add the lentils. Stir until everything is incorporated
  5. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then turn to med low. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped greens and vinegar. Continue covered at a simmering boil over med low heat 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft and cooked through.
Remove pot from heat and let sit covered for 30 minutes before serving

Bread Ingredients 
 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced into thin rings 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour    
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated turnip
  • 1/3 cup grated apple (any variety)
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten 
  • 2-4 tbsp milk milk
Directions    
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, thyme, cheese, grated turnip, grated apple, and some pepper. Add the onion, followed by the egg and 2 tablespoons of milk, then mix to form a soft dough, adding the extra milk if needed. Don’t overwork the dough; just bring it together with a little light kneading. Shape into a round and place on an oiled baking sheet.
  3. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 30–40 minutes, until the loaf is golden and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
  4. Leave to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve while still warm.
     Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chipotle Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers with Grilled Jalapeno Honey Corn and Avocado Salad

I'm always looking for new and inventive ways to eat my veggies and lower the carbs in my evening meal. Not only because I don't like to be overly stuffed at night, but because a high protein/veg meal always seems to have more staying power so that I'm not rifling around the cupboards looking for pie at 8 pm.

And I certainly found the answer to another delicious meal with this one!


Every single flavour in this gorgeous meal compliments the next - from smoky chipotle to the sweetness of honey, the mild heat of jalapenos, and the cool avocado, this is a summer meal to put on your must try list!

Better still, you can join me in the kitchen and out on the grill as I put it all together!

Let me show you how easy this is to prepare...





Visit the printable recipes here: 

Chipotle Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients

  • 2 cup(s) of chicken tenders (one small package) cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tsp. of Creole seasoning spice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce finely minced into a paste
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup(s) of canned stewed tomatoes
  • 15.5 oz tin white beans
  • 1/3 cup(s) of Salsa 
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, light
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 1 1/2  cups shredded Monteray Jack Cheese
Directions 
  1. Saute the onion and chicken over medium high heat in a non-stick pan treated with a light mist of olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. When the chicken is cooked through and the onions are soft, add the Creole seasoning and garlic and continue to saute about 35 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. 
  3. Add the stewed tomatoes, beans, salsa, and cream cheese. 
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in one cup of the cheese. Let cool for 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove the caps from the peppers and scoop the seeds and cores from the insides of each. Fill each pepper with the chicken and white bean mixture and top each with a little more shredded cheese and the pepper cap.
  6. Wrap each stuffed pepper in tin foil and refrigerate until ready to grill. These can be made up to one day ahead. 
  7. When ready to grill, preheat to 400. Grill the peppers over indirect heat with the BBQ lid down for 30-35 minutes or until soft and bubbly and cooked through. 
  8. Serve with Grilled Jalapeno Honey Corn and Avocado Salad.  

Grilled Jalapeno Honey Corn
Ingredients
  • 6 cobs fresh corn  
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions 
  1. Whip all of the ingredients together (except the corn) until smooth.
  2. Slather each cob with the butter mixture and wrap in tinfoil. Refrigerate until ready to grill. 
  3. Grill at 400 over direct heat for 10-15 minutes turning the cobs every 2-3 minutes until they're soft and just beginning to char. 

Avocado Salad 

Ingredients
  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one fresh lime
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Mix the vegetables together in a medium salad bowl
  2. Toss with the olive oil, cilantro, and fresh lime. Finish with the pepper and serve immediately (can also add salt to taste - I don't think it needs it, though)

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Foil Packet Ancho Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

When the weather gets hot, my life gets busy, or a combination of the two is going on, it becomes very easy to get tempted to swing by a drive thru on my way home from work. But not only is that hard on the pocket book, it's also not so good for a healthy lifestyle. That's why quick and easy meals that pack a punch of flavor are so important to me.

Like today's amazingly easy and delicious recipe for Foil packet Ancho Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw - a recipe that can literally be put together in about 15 minutes, start to finish.



It's low fat, low carb, high protein, nutrient rich goodness at it's best and is the perfect dinner for hot weather cooking or even camping as the fish goes into a tinfoil packet and is grilled.

I hope you'll try this recipe and if you're interested in watching how it all comes together or learning some interesting tid bits about pineapple, watch the video that accompanies the recipe!




Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Printable Recipe: Foil Packet Ancho Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

Ingredients
  • 4 large filets of sole 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes 
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp each, salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups coleslaw mix (chopped cabbage, carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cut into tidbits
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 1/4 mayonnaise
  • 8 low carb soft taco shells
Directions
  1. Lay 2 the sole filets onto a large tinfoil sheet that's been treated with olive oil or cooking spray. 
  2. Lightly brush or mist the fish with more olive oil, and then squeeze the juice of one fresh lime over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, jalapeno pepper, and the ancho chili powder.
  3. Mix together the coleslaw, cilantro, pineapple, honey, sour cream, and mayonnaise. 
  4. Heat your grill to 500. Place the tinfoil package onto the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes a side.
  5. Serve in taco shells with the slaw.

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.    

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cedar Planked Chicken with Blueberry Corn Salsa

Under the category "Opposites Attract," I borrowed an idea from Chef Anna Olson to combine blueberries and corn to make a salsa. Anna has a recipe for a blueberry and corn salad on the Food Network Canada website that I really like and even though, on first glance, blueberries and corn seem like an odd combination, sometimes the most unlikely pairings make the most delicious dishes.

And this was certainly the case with today's recipe.


   

















I marinated boneless, skinless, chicken breasts for several hours in an orange infused brine and then grilled it on cedar planks that I soaked in beer - which, in my humble opinion, is the only way to grill boneless, skinless chicken. The finished product is so moist and tender you won't believe it!

But the crowning glory was the salsa and I am here to tell you, blueberries and corn are THE BOMB DIGGITY with each other! Especially when they mingle with the orange flavours in the marinade. Add a little cilantro, avocado, and other fresh ingredients and you've got a recipe that isn't just super delicious, it's also super healthy.

Let me know if you try this one because it really is SDG (So. Damn. Good.) and then come along with me and my team from work on a road trip to Alert Bay on Vancouver Island - like the blueberry corn salsa, we're a bit of an unlikely group, but when we come together, it's magic!




Cedar Planked Chicken with Corn and Blueberry Salsa
Visit the printable recipe here: Cedar Planked Chicken with Corn and Blueberry Salsa

Marinade Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 orange, sliced with skin on
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
Salsa Ingredients
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 diced, ripe avocado
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp each: brown sugar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce
For the cedar plank
  • 2 cedar planks
  • water, wine, or beer
Directions
  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and then pour over the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag. Let marinate 6-8 hours or overnight. 
  2. Soak the cedar planks in water, beer, wine, orange juice or a combination of flavours for at least 4 hours prior to grilling. 
  3. Place the chicken breasts onto the cedar planks and place onto a grill heated to medium, close the lid, and grill for 40-60 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.
  4. While the chicken is grilling, cut the corn from your cobs and saute in a non`stick pan lightly sprayed with extra virgin olive oil. Saute over medium high for app 7 minutes until the corn is bright yellow and cooked through. 
  5. In a large bowl add the hot corn to the blueberries and mix well. Add the cilantro, oil, vinegar, orange juice, mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce and toss. Add the avocado right before serving. 
  6. When the chicken is cooked, let rest five minutes, slice, and serve with the salsa on top. 

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.