Friday, June 30, 2017

Waffle Poutine

Poutine is amazing. If you disagree, you should probably stop reading now because there is going to be a lot of poutine praise going on in this post. Who knew taking 3 ingredients and throwing them together would create this Canadian masterpiece? Apparently the Quebecois did. Thank you Quebec. 
There's not too many ways to improve on poutine, I mean it's already pretty close to perfection.  (You can click HERE for our Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Poutine.) However, we did come up with a tasty solution for making poutine when all you have is day old fries in the fridge and you don't feel like making a trip to the grocery store. 
Day old fries + a waffle maker = crispy and delicious.

Waffle Poutine

2 cups of leftover fries
1/2 cup or more of brown gravy
1/2 cup or more of cheese curds

Heat up waffle maker and lightly spray with cooking spray. 
Place about 2 cups of fries on the hot waffle maker. Do your best to spread them out so there is no waffle maker showing through. NOTE - not too worry if there are spots with no fries, you can always add some a bit later to fill the gaps. 

Close the waffle maker and, using a towel so you don't burn yourself, gently but firmly press down on the top of the waffle maker to squish the fries. Cook in the waffle maker about 5 minutes. Carefully open the machine and check to see if you need to add a few more fries to fill any holes. 

Close lid again and cook about another 5 minutes, until fries are golden brown. Using a flipper, gently lift the fry-waffle onto a plate. 

Top with a few cheese curds then pour on as much gravy as you like!

Top with a few more cheese curds. 

Serve immediately.
If desired, sprinkle with a few chopped green onions - you know, to sophisticate things up a bit. 

You can eat with a fork or pull the waffle apart into quarters - just be careful - it's hot! 
How easy was that? Of course you can make more than 1 waffle if you have more fries to use up. You can also make this with frozen french fries - just be sure to thaw them first. Day old fast food fries also work very well. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Canada Day Treats

Sue and I thought we would make some special treats for Canada Day this year to help celebrate Canada's 150th. We went with a distinctly red and white theme with a little poutine thrown in's poutine. We don't really need to explain, do we?
If you'd like to see more of our Canada Day creations simply click on the "Holidays" bar at the top of the page for links to more recipes perfect for celebrating Canada. 
We will share a few photos here and link up the individual blog posts below the different photographs. If you have any questions about what we are sharing then, please, feel free to comment below. 

Our Watermelon Strawberry and Feta Salad (Link HERE) is not only perfect for Canada Day but any day all summer long. It is crisp, refreshing, sweet, and tangy and can be whipped up in about 5 minutes. 

Another Watermelon and Strawberry combination that works sooooooo well for Canada Day - our Watermelon, Strawberry, and Cherry Adult Slushie. A little vodka, a little tequila, a whole ton of tastiness. (Recipe HERE)

If you want something to impress your guests for Canada Day then look no further. This super simple red and white appetizer comes together with 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes. Our Creamy Stuffed Peppers (Recipe HERE) should definitely be on your list of "must make" for your next get together. 

I love these red chicken drumettes Sue created for our Canada Day celebration. Not only are they totally cool because of how bright red they are - they taste amazing!! A combination of BBQ and Asian flavors with a sweet and sour dipping sauce make our Canada Day Drumettes (See recipe HERE) the perfect meaty appetizer for your family and guests. 

Cherries are always plentiful around our place this time of year. We decided to make some smooth and creamy Cherry Ice Cream (click HERE for recipe). The color may be a little more pink than red BUT it still works as a fabulous dessert for Canada's birthday. 

And lastly, we can't forget about the poutine!
We figured out a way to save those leftover fries from being wasted. We turned them into Waffle Poutine! That's right.... Waffle. Poutine. (Click HERE for link to recipe.)
If you've never had poutine (really? are there people out there who still haven't had poutine?) then you can start with this easy peasy "recipe" - there's only like 3 ingredients!! 

How are you celebrating Canada's 150th?  What are your favorite Canadian dishes? 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tandoori Style Drumettes

Last week I was on a cleanse/detox (you can read about my experience HERE) so the list of foods I was "allowed" to eat was pretty short. I find when you can't add creams and sauces and such to your foods it helps to add spices for flavor. Indian spices are some of my favorite to experiment with because a little can go a long way!
Normally tandoori has yogurt and such but I have simplified here to meet the criteria of the cleanse I was on. It still has all the flavor and, because it is cooked at such a high heat, has a lovely crunch to it without a lot of oil. You definitely don't need to be on any kind of cleanse to enjoy these drumettes. They are super easy and require almost no prep which means it is a perfect recipe for those lazy days. 

Tandoori Style Drumettes

1 Tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil
juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper

about 2 lbs chicken drumettes (or wings)

In a mixing bowl, combine spices, minced garlic, coconut milk, oil, lemon, and salt & pepper, stirring well. Place the chicken into the marinade and stir very well to coat all the pieces. Pour marinade and chicken into a Ziplock bag and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. 
After marinading: Preheat oven to 400. Line 2 cookie sheet with tinfoil then place wire racks on top of the tinfoil. Spread the drumettes out on the racks.

Cook at 400 for 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip all the pieces over, return to oven and continue to cook at 400 for another 10 to 12 minutes. 
Turn oven to broil and move drumettes from the middle rack to the top rack to broil for 2 to 4 minutes to crisp up - keep an eye on it!
Remove from heat and serve.

I had mine with a baked potato topped with fried onions and peas!

Healthy, easy, delicious. I'd call it a win. How 'bout you?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wild Rose Detox (My Experience With The 12 Day Cleanse)

I want to start off by saying I was not compensated for this post. I am simply sharing my own experience with the 12 day detox and if you are considering doing something similar you should always check with your health practitioner to make sure it is safe for you. 
For more information on products from Wild Rose you can visit your local health food store OR go HERE, to their website.  

The detox consists of 4 supplements - 3 in pill form and 1 in drop form, that you take twice daily with your breakfast and dinner. At the same time you follow a list of approved foods for the best possible cleanse result. (Visit HERE Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox 12 Day Cleanse for more information on the supplements and for a complete list of approved foods). 
Mainly you are eliminating flours, sugars, dairy, and any vinegar, etc. You focus on eating "cleaner", if you will. More veggies, more natural proteins, fruit (but not tropical fruit), and such. 
Starting in January of this year I have made a concerted effort to cut white flour and sugar/artificial sweeteners from my diet so I thought the food portion would be fairly easy to follow. It ended up being trickier than I thought. Not being able to use soy sauce, vinegar, bananas, or dairy was a big adjustment. I struggled a bit to come up with meals that were okay for the cleanse and were also still exciting to eat. If it's boring and bland, odds are I'm going to be more apt to not want to eat it. 
Luckily, there was a Wild Rose D-Tox Cookbook available when I joined the Facebook group for the cleanse. It had several recipes that I tried that I will probably add to my regular rotation. They also inspired me to create some of my own recipes. I don't have a link to the cookbook but I am sure you could Google it or ask for it by going to the above links.) 
Below you will find my 12 day breakdown of what I ate and how I was feeling each day. 

Day 1.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal & chia breakfast pudding.
Mid-Morning Snack: a few almonds
Lunch: Baked eggs in sweet potato shells
Mid-Afternoon Snack: a few strawberries
Dinner: Chicken breast, brown rice, broccoli
Mood: Normal. 

Day 2.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Brown rice pudding with cinnamon and almonds
Mid-Morning Snack: a few almonds
Lunch: Warm asparagus ham and egg salad
Mid-Afternoon Snack: 2 plums
Dinner: Curried baked trout with new potatoes and broccoli
Mood: Headache that started around lunch and went through the remainder of the day. Nothing that bad just "nagging". Otherwise, normal.

Day 3.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Apple crumble
Mid-Morning Snack: a few blueberries
Lunch: Tuna stuffed tomatoes
Mid-Afternoon Snack: a few sliced cucumber
Dinner: Chicken fajita lettuce tacos
Mood: Headache off and on throughout the day. Otherwise normal. 

Day 4.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Blueberry crumble
Mid-Morning Snack: Boiled egg
Lunch: Chickpea salad lettuce wraps
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Peach slushie
Dinner: Chicken breast and sweet potato fries. 
Mood: Headaches were gone today but definitely felt a few twinges of nausea throughout the day. Nothing major, just noticeable. 

Day 5. 
Food Plan: Breakfast: Apple crumble
Mid-Morning Snack: a few blueberries
Lunch: Spinach salad with chicken
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Skinny potato fries
Dinner: Broccoli cauliflower Caesar salad
Mood: A little nausea on and off throughout the day. Definitely felt less bloated today than usual. 

Day 6. 
Food Plan: Breakfast: Onion and pepper omelet.
Mid-Morning Snack: a few slices cucumber
Lunch: Broccoli cauliflower Caesar salad
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Peach slushie
Dinner: Quinoa & beef meatloaf with asparagus and brown rice
Mood: Feeling back to normal. No nausea or headaches. 

Day 7. 
Food Plan: Breakfast: Raspberry crumble
Mid-Morning Snack: a few raw carrots and cucumbers
Lunch: Egg salad on brown rice crackers
Mid-Afternoon Snack: a few strawberries
Dinner: Quinoa & beef meatloaf with asparagus and brown rice
Mood: Normal. 

Day 8. 
Food Plan: Breakfast: Cauliflower broccoli pancakes with peppers
Mid-Morning Snack: a few blueberries
Lunch: Turkey meatballs with brown rice and carrots
Mid-Afternoon Snack: a few cucumber slices
Dinner: Baked potato with tandoori chicken drumettes
Mood: Burst of energy today. Feeling very "bright". 

Day 9. 
Food Plan: Breakfast: Steak and egg with some cucumber slices
Mid-Morning Snack: a few strawberries
Lunch: Tandoori chicken drumettes with peas
Mid-Afternoon Snack: a few strawberries
Dinner: Steak and cauliflower fried rice
Mood: Sugar cravings from mid afternoon on. 

Day 10.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Peach Smoothie Bowl
Mid-Morning Snack: None.
Lunch: Egg salad on brown rice crackers
Mid-Afternoon Snack: few slices of cucumber
Dinner: Ham with roasted cabbage and brown rice
Mood: Still craving sugar and now feeling a bit bloated. 

Day 11.
Food Plan: Breakfast: Brown rice cakes with almond butter
Mid-Morning Snack: a few cherries
Lunch: Ham with roasted cabbage
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Brown rice cakes with almond butter
Dinner: Roast chicken with seasoned wedge potatoes
Mood: Feeling quite bloated all day. Otherwise normal. Sugar cravings VERY strong.

Day 12.
Food Plan: Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with peppers
Mid-Morning Snack:  a few raspberries
Lunch: Chicken wings with roast sweet potato wedges
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Popcorn
Dinner: Roast chicken with baked potato
Mood: Very strong sugar cravings. 

I stuck very close to 1,200 calories a day as that is what I have been doing since January. 
I lost a total of 5 lbs in the 12 days. I had lost 6 lbs in the first 7 days but then around day 10 I gained a pound back. I also lost 1/2 inch off my chest and 1 inch off my waist. This is not a weight loss cleanse though, just to clarify. Weight loss can be a result of it but is not the purpose for it. 
**The results of this cleanse will be different for everyone. They can even differ for the same person each time they do it..**
Over all, I think my skin benefited from doing the cleanse the most. I usually have quite dry skin and I found that it was smoother and almost had a glow to it. I thought the first week would be the hardest but it turned out the last 4 days were the most difficult. I really missed having peanut butter and bananas and yogurt and those last 4 days I was struggling with some pretty massive cravings. 
I think because I had already cut out flour and sugar that it was a little easier to follow the food plan. 
I also was expecting a little more...errrm.... eliminating to be happening. You take a mild, herbal laxative as one of the supplements that helps you get rid of the toxins. I've spoken to people that had quite dramatic effects from the laxative. Myself? Not so much. Nothing out of the norm, truth be told. I'm curious if I would have the same effect the next time I do the cleanse. 
So, would I do the cleanse again?
Yes. I think I would. 
I didn't get the burst of well being and energy that some people experience BUT I did find that it was a great way to get focused on eating clean when things are a little out of control. It was the perfect jump start I needed after plateauing in my weight loss.And, because the food list is fairly restricted, I felt like going back to my regular healthy eating gave me way more choices - which was great because I was starting to feel like my regular healthy eating was getting boring. 
Conclusion: am I a huge believer in cleanses? Well, to be honest, not really. I do however, think they are a great way to get you back on track if you are struggling. I think I will do another round of the Wild Rose D-Tox in a few months to see if I benefit in any different ways. 
Any questions? Feel free to comment below. If you have any questions about the detox/cleanse specifically then please visit HERE for more information. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cauliflower Broccoli Pancakes with Fried Egg

For the last 8 days I have been on the Wild Rose Detox/Cleanse. I have been struggling with breakfast ideas that are "cleanse approved" until I decided to use up some veggies I had in the fridge. I decided to try a very simplified version of our cauliflower crust pizza (that recipe HERE). 
Turns out this was a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself). 
The recipe for the "pancakes" is only 3 ingredients then there is only 3 more ingredients for the toppings. How easy is that? 
According to MyFitnessPal, one serving (recipe makes 1) is: 214 calories, 14 carbs, 10 fat, 17 protein, and 4 fiber. Even if you aren't following the Wild Rose Detox/Cleanse (website here for more info), this is a great recipe for a healthy, hearty, delicious breakfast. Nutritional info includes pancakes and toppings.
If you are interested in hearing about my experience with the cleanse then be sure to check back. I will do a more extensive post with what I thought after I have finished the cleanse. 

Cauliflower Broccoli Pancakes (with Fried Egg)

1 cup grated cauliflower, raw
1/2 cup cooked, finely chopped broccoli
1 egg

1/4 cup sliced onions
fried egg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cauliflower, broccoli, and egg until well combined. 
Heat a frying pan over medium/low heat. Scoop half of the cauliflower broccoli mixture into the pan and press into a circle about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. 

Let cook until firm - don't rush it!! I believe it took about 8 minutes on the first side. (I just kept gently trying to lift the edges with a flipper until it felt solid enough to turn over). Gently turn over and cook the other side for about the same amount of time. You want the heat fairly low so the outside doesn't burn and leave the inside mushy. 

When done, move to a plate and keep warm while you prepare the second pancake.

While second pancake is cooking, in a second frying pan, fry the onions and the egg over medium heat until they reach desired level of done-ness. I started the onions frying, when they were turning translucent I pushed them to one side and cracked the egg in. 
To serve: Place second pancake on serving plate with the first. Sprinkle with a little garlic powder and salt & pepper. 
Place fried egg on top and then the onions. Season with a little more salt and pepper, if desired. 

Serve immediately. 

I added a little bell pepper to my plate as the calorie count on these was so low. 

You can leave out the broccoli if you like and these will still work just fine. I just happened to have leftover broccoli to use up and wanted to add a little color. These are definitely best served as soon as they are made. They do not reheat well as they they don't maintain their crispness (read: they get soggy). 
I really liked this and will be adding it to my breakfast rotation. The only thing I will note that makes these tricky is trying to flip them. DO NOT rush it. Let them cook for as long as it takes!! You can cover the pan with a lid for a few minutes to help hold in the heat and cook better if you find the bottom is getting too dark and the pancake isn't cooking through. 

Pop over to Carole's Chatter for more food links. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Samosa Roll Ups

Move over pizza rolls ups, here comes the NEW favorite appie on the block. Samosa rolls up! 
These delicious Indian inspired treat is super easy to whip up and works as a lunch or as an appetizer. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. That's it! Seriously. Plus, you can freeze any leftovers and simply reheat them in the microwave (or toaster oven) for a quick and tasty snack anytime. 
I've made these vegetarian but you could add some ground turkey or beef to make them even heartier. 
Looking for a new idea for something delicious, easy peasy, and quick? Look no further. 

Samosa Roll Ups

2 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked potatoes, diced
1 cup cooked carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp water

2 pkgs Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add in onion and garlic and cook and stir for 5 minutes. 

Add in remaining filling ingredients. Cook and stir gently over medium heat until well mixed and heated through. 

Remove from heat.
Unroll one can of the Pillsbury crescent dough on a flat work surface. Pinch the seams together well. Spread half of the samosa filling on the dough leaving about 1/2 inch of dough around the outside. 

Roll up jelly roll style.

Slice into 12 slices.

Repeat with the remaining crescent dough and filling. 
Bake at 375 until dough is golden brown - about 15 minutes. 

Remove to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm. 

These are fabulous served with our Rhubarb Relish (link HERE) to dip them in. 

Also, these are great for a potluck as they are super tasty at room temp too.  
I just love the Indian flavors in this and how colorful the filling is. Give them a try! You'll fall in love too, I'm sure of it!

Carole's Chatter has lots of great food links! Stop by and check them out. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sausage and Shrimp Skillet

Who doesn't love meals that are quick and easy and delicious? Crazy people, that's who.
I mean, this skillet meal takes about 30 minutes from prep to table, it's healthy, and - most importantly - it's super tasty. 
I came up with this recipe to use up my shrimp and sausage. All the recipes I was finding online were "gumbo" type recipes and I just wasn't feeling it. This is a simple flavor profile so the taste of the veggies, shrimp, and sausage really stand out. I served it with quinoa but rice or couscous would work just as well. 

Sausage and Shrimp Skillet

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium orange pepper, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 large zucchini, diced (about 4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz keilbasa, sliced
salt & pepper
1 tsp dried garlic granules
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup chicken broth

Prep all your ingredients.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the shrimp until it is pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook the peppers, zucchini, and onion in the skillet until veggies start to wilt a little - about 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and sliced sausage and cook, stirring often, until everything is heated through. Stir in the salt & pepper, garlic granules, parsley, and onion powder. 
Add the shrimp back to the pan and the 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

Cook and stir until everything is steamy and hot. 
Serve immediately. 

You can eat on it's own or serve over quinoa, rice, couscous, or even barley. 

According to MyFitnessPal one serving (recipe makes 4 servings) is - 270 calories, 8 carbs, 1 fat, 31 protein, 2 fiber. 
With 1/2 cup quinoa a serving is: 381 calories, 28 carbs, 3 fat, 35 protein, and 5 fiber. 
FYI - leftovers are just as tasty reheated the next day or two. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake Snowballs

This recipe has been floating around in my thoughts for quite a while. It's one that our Aunty Pat used to make for us when we were children and would spend our summers with her and her family. 
For the life of me I couldn't remember what was in it. I thought it may have been Jello but my experiments just were not coming anywhere close to the real thing. Our aunt passed away before I had the chance to ask her for the recipe so I feared it would be one of those childhood memories that would never be recreated. 
As it happened, our sister, Orra, was down for lunch and I was reminiscing about these treats and she said that had the recipe and, even better, it was in Aunty Pat's handwriting. I cannot tell you how excited I was. I asked her to text me the recipe that day so I could make it!
You guys!!! It tastes just like I remember. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Snowballs

1 8oz brick cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed and not drained
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup whipping cream

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in the honey until well combined. Stir in the strawberries.

And stir in the marshmallows.

In a separate bowl, whip the cup of whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the marshmallow mixture.

When well combined, scoop the mixture into 12 mini cups (like Dixie cups) - each cup should hold about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup. You will also need 12 Popsicle type sticks. I couldn't find any in town so I snapped the blades of off plastic knives and used the handles for my sticks. 

When each cup is filled, press a stick into the center of each one as far as it will go. 

Place all the cups on a cookie sheet or in a pan to make it easier to carry them all.

Freeze until solid - at least 5 or 6 hours. To enjoy - simply make a cut down the side of the paper cup and peel off.

They are light and airy and so cheesecake-y and, in case you were wondering, they are 192 calories each. 

So easy to whip up. 
You could, of course, use popsicle molds instead of the paper cups. Part of my childhood memory is having to peel the cup off before we could dig in so I am partial to the cups. :)

Be sure to pop by Carole's Chatter for tons of fun food links!