This delicious and healthy quinoa salad is packed with veggies, fresh herbs, crumbled feta and dressed with a garlicky Dijon vinaigrette. It’s a favourite recipe in my household and the leftovers are even better! It’s the perfect salad to pack for lunches, picnics and potlucks.
I love this salad because it’s so easy to make and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand!
What’s in this salad?
Quinoa (of course!) – regular quinoa or tri-colour
Peas – I like to use fresh peas when in season but frozen are just as nice
Pumpkin seeds – roasted & salted give the salad a nice crunch
A good Niçoise salad never disappoints. Simply to prepare, so delicious and beautiful on the plate. It’s a real show stopper!
Salade Niçoise originated in the Provence region of France. Traditionally made with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, anchovies, and dressed with olive oil, it more commonly includes tuna, green beans, lettuce and potatoes. It became popular in the United States in the 1920s when French chef Jean Orsi introduced the Niçoise salad at his restaurant in San Francisco.
In my version I use:
tuna loin, seared quickly over high heat, served rare and seasoned with just a little salt and pepper.
pitted kalamata olives – they are a little easier to source than Niçoise olives.
baby new potatoes – kept whole if they are the tiny variety or halved if larger.
French beans – I like to use these because they are smaller and lend themselves nicely to this salad but substitute green beans if you prefer.
hardboiled eggs – a must with this salad.
a light vinaigrette made with olive oil, white wine vinegar, shallots, Dijon and thyme.
To save time, cook the potatoes and beans together. When the potatoes are almost fork tender, add the beans to the water. When the beans are tender crisp, place the beans and potatoes in a colander under cold water to cool down.
For perfect hard boiled eggs without the grey ring, add the eggs to a saucepan and cover with water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes. Run eggs under cold water then peel. Older eggs will be easier to peel.
To sear the tuna you will need an oil with a high smoke point such as avocado or vegetable oil. Heat the oil in the pan until it’s very hot then add the tuna. Sear on all sides until lightly browned but still rare in the middle.
This salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Be sure to enjoy it with a glass of French rosé. Enjoy!
My take on this traditional, elegant French salad. Seared tuna with greens, potatoes, hard boiled eggs and olives in a light white wine vinaigrette. Delicious!
3/4cupolive oilextra virgin
1/4cupwhite wine vinegar
1small shallotfinely diced
salt and pepper to taste
8cupsbaby salad greens
2cupsnew potatoessliced in half
4hard boiled eggspeeled and halved lengthwise
1/2cuppitted kalamata olives
1/2 lbfrench beansends trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
In a small glass jar add all ingredients, place lid on jar and shake to combine. Double check seasoning and adjust if needed.
Add potatoes to a large saucepan with water and bring to a light boil. Cook until just fork tender. Add green beans to pot and cook until tender crisp. Drain potatoes and beans and run under a little cold water to cool down. Set aside until room temperature.
Add greens to a large platter. Arrange beans, eggs, olives, tomatoes and potatoes on top of greens leaving an area in the middle for the tuna.
Add avocado oil to sauce pan over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the tuna to the pan. Sear for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes per side until lightly browned and cooked to your liking. Remove tuna and slice to 1/3" with a serrated knife. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tuna to top of salad and serve with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
Nothing says Spring like an elegant roast rack of lamb. This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare lamb because it’s so simple but the flavour is wonderful. You simply rub the lamb with plenty of garlic, rosemary and olive oil before searing it on high heat, so the meat browns beautifully before adding it to the oven.
Instead of the usual mint sauce, I serve this dish with a crisp, lightly sweetened, radish mint salsa. It’s bright and lively and really brings out the natural flavour of the lamb while balancing out its richness.
Serve this dish with your favourite starch and veggies or try my Creamy Cauliflower Mash and Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic recipes.
Tip: buy racks that are already frenched or have your butcher do it for you.
Tender oven roasted rack of lamb paired with a bight and lively radish mint salsa.
Course: Main Course
Lamb and Marinade
2racks of lambfrenched
Salt & pepper to taste
1 ½tbspfresh rosemaryfinely minced
2tbspvegetable or avocado oilfor searing
Radish Mint Salsa
2/3 cupcucumberfinely diced
2/3cupred radishesfinely diced
2 tbspolive oil
2tbspwhite wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Season lamb racks liberally with salt and pepper.
Prepare the marinade: add olive oil, garlic and rosemary to a small bowl. Mix well. Brush marinade on both racks and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Prepare the salsa: add all salsa ingredients to a medium bowl, mix well and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add vegetable oil to pan over high heat. Sear lamb racks for 1 minute per side until browned. Return lamb to baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes or longer depending on how you like it: 125 degrees for rare, 135 degrees for medium rare. Let lamb rest for 5 – 7 minutes before cutting.
Serve with radish mint salsa and your favourite mash and veggies and enjoy!
This creamy mashed cauliflower recipe is an easy, low carb, and delicious side dish!
You won’t miss your potatoes, trust me. We make this recipe a lot and our kids love it too. This mash is the perfect complement to your favourite stew, Sunday roast or Easter ham and it is so quick to make it can be on your table in under 30 minutes.
What you’ll need to make this recipe:
Cauliflower – You will need one medium sized head that’s approximately 2 lbs.
Butter – Adds a velvety richness to the mash.
Cream and Sour Cream – In equal parts.
Salt, pepper and garlic powder – To bring out the flavours! I like to keep things simple by using garlic powder but add fresh roasted garlic if you prefer.
Easy side dish alert! Asparagus tossed in olive oil and garlic and oven roasted to perfection. Topped with with fresh lemon juice and zest for additional flavour.
A couple of tips:
Trim your asparagus by snapping off the woody ends. The ends will break off just where the asparagus starts to get tough.
Add the asparagus to a large bowl and add the olive oil, garlic and seasonings. I find mixing the asparagus with tongs or your hands will ensure the asparagus is covered evenly with the oil and garlic.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. This will make clean up easier!
Lay asparagus in a single layer to ensure even cooking.
Bake at 425 degrees until tender. This should take about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your asparagus.
Have you tried Marry Me Chicken? This popular and easy skillet chicken recipe has been all over TikTok and if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out!
So what is Marry Me Chicken, you ask? It’s tender chicken simmered in a parmesan sun-dried tomato cream sauce. It’s easy to make and so delicious they say the person you cook it for will instantly fall in love and propose!
In my version, I use boneless skinless chicken thighs and cook it stove top to cut down on cooking time. This recipe is low carb, a crowd pleaser and will be on your table in 30 minutes!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Boneless skinless chicken thighs – seared on one side and lightly seasoned.
Olive oil – to brown the chicken.
Garlic – 4 big cloves.
Chicken stockand whipping cream – forms the base of the sauce.
Parmesan cheese – to thicken this creamy and flavorful sauce.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs simmered in a flavourful sun-dried tomato parmesan sauce. Delicious!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: comfort food
1 1/2tbspolive oil
10boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3cupsundried tomatoes chopped
1/4 tspred pepper flakes
1cupgrated parmesanplus more for serving
2 tbspfresh basil leaveschopped, for garnish
fresh cracked pepperto finish
Heat oil to medium high in a large sauce pan. Season chicken thighs lightly with a couple of pinches of salt. Sear chicken in 2 batches: place 5 thighs in saucepan, skin side down and sear until lightly browned on one side. Remove thighs and set aside. Repeat with remaining thighs and set aside.
Turn seat down to medium. Add garlic and shallots to saucepan and saute until fragrant.
Add chicken stock, cream, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, capers, sundried tomatoes and parmesan and mix well.
Add chicken thighs to sauce and simmer until thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°, approximately 20 minutes.
Garnish with basil, fresh cracked pepper and additional grated parmesan. Serve with cauliflower mash or mashed potatoes.
This sweet cinnamon sugary, pull-apart bread is a sharable treat that the whole family will love. Think bite-sized sticky buns with toasted pecans and Skor toffee bits baked right in. This recipe is as easy to make as it is delicious. Perfect for your next Sunday Brunch!
Frozen dinner roll dough works perfectly here. I use Knead to Bake which can be found at Save-On Foods and Stongs. The dough takes some time to thaw – directions are on the back of the bag. If you are making this recipe for breakfast set the prepared dough on the counter just before you go to bed.
You will need a bundt pan to make the bread. Spray generously with cooking spray. You’ll be flipping the bread out onto a plate and this will stop it from sticking to the pan.
Toast the pecans first for extra flavour.
Here’s brief overview of the recipe:
Thaw the dough overnight on the counter.
When the dough has thawed and risen, cut each roll into quarters. Add the pieces to a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
Add half of the dough pieces to the bundt pan, sprinkle with pecans.
And the second half of dough pieces to the pan and sprinkle with more pecans
Melt the butter with the brown sugar, then pour over the dough and bake.
Tip the monkey bread upside down onto serving platter or cake stand.
Seasoned chicken tenders breaded in crushed potato chips with honey mustard dipping sauce on the side. Who’s in? Brings me right back to my childhood when my mom used to make this for me and my sister. She used whole chicken breasts – before chicken strips were a thing!
These chicken tenders are perfectly crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. They’re baked instead of fried and way tastier that the ones you buy in the freezer section. Easy to make and a crowd pleaser!
Adding the seasoning straight onto the chicken before dipping them in flour lends more flavour to the chicken. The right chip is essential: a thin chip like Lay’s works best here to make the coating light and crispy. I buy the family-size bag because we always eat the extras! You can use your hands to crush the potato chips but I like to add them to a zip lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. This recipe calls for 2 lbs (0.9kg) of chicken tenders which yields approximately 20 tenders. If you can’t find chicken tenders, use chicken breasts and cut them into 1-inch strips.
Bake these on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and you’ll find they brown up beautifully without the need for added oil.
Potato Chip Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Dip
Seasoned chicken tenders breaded in crushed potato chips with honey mustard dipping sauce on the side. So easy to make and kid-approved!
Course: Main Course
Keyword: easy weeknight meal, family friendly
1 sheetpan lined with parchment paper
2lb (0.9kg)chicken tenders
4cupscrushed potato chips
Seeded Honey Mustard Sauce
2tbspwhole grain mustard
Preheat oven to 425°f. Add mustards, honey, mayonnaise and onion salt to a small bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside. Season chicken tenders on both sides with salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Place flour, beaten eggs and crushed potato chips into 3 separate bowls. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, place in flour to coat completely. Shake off any excess flour then dip the chicken into the egg mixture and lastly place in the potato chips, pressing the crumbs into the chicken to adhere. Place the breaded chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken, spacing them an inch apart.
Bake for 10 minutes then flip and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until coating is brown and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°f. Serve with honey mustard dip on the side.
One of my favourite uses for leftover turkey are these puff pastry pockets stuffed with chopped turkey, caramelized onions, cranberry sauce and melty brie. I like to serve these for Boxing Day brunch with a light salad. Just delicious.
I use Tenderflake puff pastry to cut down on time and it works perfectly in this recipe. Working with puff pastry may seem intimidating but it’s really very easy. All you need is a floured work surface and rolling pin and a sharp knife. You can find puff pastry in your freezer section, just remember to thaw it overnight in your fridge.
You can omit the caramelized onions if you are pressed for time but I highly recommend adding them. They add a lovely sweet layer of taste to this recipe!
Puff pastry stuffed with savoury turkey, creamy brie and cranberry sauce. Perfect for a light lunch!
Course: Main Course
sheet pan lined with parchment paper
medium sauce pan
1pkgTenderflake puff pastry
all purpose flourfor dusting
6heaping tspcranberry sauce
2cups cooked turkeysmall dice
Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare caramelized onions. Slice in half from root to tip. Remove skin and place cut side down on cutting board. Next slice thinly and aim for the slices to be as even as possible so that they will cook at the same rate. Before you add them to the pan, separate the onion layers. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring often for 20 minutes or longer until onions reach a deep brown colour. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the puff pastry. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. The pastry will come in two squares - using a sharp knife separate them. Roll out the first square to a size of approximately 10 inches x 10 inches. Cut the dough into 3 even parts vertically and then cut in half horizontally. You will have 6 even rectangles.
Add one heaping teaspoon of cranberry sauce to the centre of each pastry piece. Using the back of a spoon spread the sauce making sure to leave an inch border around the edges. Add 1 heaping tbsp of caramelized onion to each tart and spread to cover the cranberry sauce. Add turkey in the same manner. Season with thyme and salt and pepper. Slice brie into 6 pieces. Add 1 slice of brie to each section of turkey.
Roll out the second square so that it's a little larger than the first - approximately 10.5 X 10.5. Cut the dough into 3 even parts vertically and then cut in half horizontally as in the previous step. Add this pastry to the top of the filled bottom pieces. Close the pastry edges with the help of a fork. You can brush the edges with a little bit of water so it seals nicely. Trim off any excess pastry.
Beat the egg and brush each pastry with it.
Place tarts on a baking sheet with parchment paper, Bake for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack until tops are golden brown and pastry is cooked.
Glühwein is a warm spicy mulled wine traditionally served après ski or at Christmas markets across Germany. I first tried it a little closer to home at the Vancouver Christmas market – I remember it was a miserable rainy night and a few sips of this lovely drink warmed us up right away. Glühwein translates to glow-wine which explains exactly how you feel after a glass, warm and glowing.
Typical glühwein contains cinnamon sticks, oranges and cloves. I like to add cardamom, star anise and a little amber rum to notch things up. A few tips:
Use a dry full-bodied red wine for this recipe. It doesn’t need to be pricey.
Don’t bring the wine to a boil, it will burn the alcohol off. Gently simmer.
This recipe will yield 4-6 servings. For a larger crowd, you can easily double the recipe.
German-style mulled wine that will warm you up on cold winter nights.
1750ml bottledry red winecabernet sauvignon or malbec
2 cinnamon sticks
1mediumnavel orangesliced into 4 rounds
amber rum, for serving
Add sugar and water to large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low.
Take 3 rounds of orange and stud each one with 4 cloves. Cut the remaining round into 4-6 wedges and set aside. Add wine, clove studded oranges, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods to pot. Simmer gently for 30 minutes up to an hour or longer. At this point you can strain the spices and oranges out of the wine.
To serve add 1/2 oz of rum to small heat proof mugs and pour mulled wine over top. Garnish with reserved orange wedge and a cinnamon stick, if desired.