I get a lot of requests for easy, quick and healthy recipes. Here’s a recipe that can’t get any easier or quicker, and can be super duper healthy! These were inspired by Vietnamese rice paper spring rolls and can be 100% vegan or vegetarian-friendly if you want them to be. If you’ve ever tried Vietnamese food, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
Rice paper wraps are my best friend. They’re so quick and easy to use and they don’t cost much at all! Rice paper is like thin, steamed rice crepes that have been dried out into thin, hard, round sheets. You dampen the sheets, one by one, in warm water and you’re ready for wrapping! They get nice and sticky and adhere to themselves to make a gorgeous fresh roll in one step. They’re also much healthier than fried spring rolls. Continue reading →
Nothing cures a…well, ANYTHING…better than a taco night! If you’re looking for an easy, quick and fun meal, tacos are a great idea. Meat (or meat alternative), shells, toppings, DONE! They’re quick to make and probably even quicker to eat, if you get as hungry and excited as I do.
Taco nights have always been a guilty pleasure of mine…until I started realizing there was no reason for me to feel guilty. I had the idea, for years, that tacos were unhealthy. Totally not the case! What is a concern is the trans-fats that some store-bought taco shells contain. Many are made using hydrogenated soybean oil. There are ways around this! Some brands are better than others, check out the labels at your grocery store or try visiting your local health food store or organic grocery aisle for healthier options. You can even use soft tortillas or wraps. Continue reading →
Macaroni and cheese. Classic comfort food. I’ve had it over and over again throughout my life. There are some nights when you just crave that gooey, cheesy pasta…and tonight was one of those nights for me. I rummaged through cookbooks and looked online to find out where to begin. I had lobster tails in the freezer and right away thought, “LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE!”. I ended up picking out an Emeril seafood mac and cheese recipe to guide me.
I’ve had only a few really good macaroni and cheese experiences in my life. I find I’m often disappointed with what I am served at restaurants. I get so excited at the table when I see lobster, or crab, or truffle mac and cheese on the menu. The excitement builds until my food arrives, and then I’m usually let down by the not-as-glorious-as-I-thought-it-would-be dish of pasta. Continue reading →
When the moon hits your eye like this homemade pizza pie, it’s gonna be some serious amore. I promise.
I use a whole wheat pita for the crust. You might think this sounds crazy, but give it a chance! These are the fastest super-yummiest thin-crust pizzas I’ve ever made! And it’ll take you less time than it takes to call for delivery…and taste better.
I had this brilliant idea a couple years ago, and I haven’t stopped making these pizzas since. The best thing about them is that you can customize them to your own liking. Put anything on them! Get creative! There are no limits to the yummy creations you can make. You can make them as healthy (or not healthy) as you like. You can even use gluten-free pitas/ingredients, or make them vegan. You just pile the toppings on a pita, and bake in the oven.
The result: A deliciously crispy thin crust anything-you-like-on-it pizza pie. You’ll be super impressed, along with whoever’s eating them with you. My non-pizza-eating mother has even started eating these when I make them.
Get your toppings, and hop to it!
Easy Thin Crust Pizza
*Use gluten-free or vegan-friendly ingredients to make this work for you*
Pita bread. Large or small. Each pita makes one pizza, so use as many as you want to make. I use the thinner, drier, whole wheat pitas that can open into a pocket, as opposed to the moister, more dough-y pitas.
Pizza sauce. You can buy pizza sauce, or make your own, any tomato sauce will probably work fine.
Cheese. I usually use mozzarella, this time around I used a blend of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Play around with other cheeses as toppings too!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line baking trays with parchment paper and lay your pitas down on top. If you’re using smaller pitas you can probably fit two pitas on one tray.
3. Spread a THIN layer of sauce over your pita. I use a spoon. **Make sure you dont over do it. Just a thin layer is enough, or your pizza will be soggy.**
4. Cheese it up! Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella (or whatever cheese you’re using) over top.
5. Lay your toppings on.
6. Add a bit more cheese as a finishing touch if you think your pizza needs it. If I’m going to use a different cheese as a topping, like a blue cheese or brie, this is when I do it.
7. Put the pizzas in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until you can see that it’s starting to brown and get a bit crispy around the edges. You don’t want a soggy pizza, so if it still looks wet, leave it for a bit longer. I trust you, you know what a ready pizza looks like! Sometimes I put the broiler on at the end for a couple minutes, just to get the cheese a little golden. 🙂
I made a broccoli & aged cheddar pizza, veggie pizza with zucchini, red onion, garlic, green pepper, arugula & spinach, jerk chicken pizza with mushrooms, garlic & red onion, and my meat pizza had pepperoni, hot salami, olives, garlic, mushrooms, & green peppers. (Incase you’re wondering what’s in the pictures.)
Here are some toppings I’ve used to help you get thinking:
onion (red or white)
You can even use leftover meat from a previous meal (roasted chicken, bbq chicken, steak). I’ve done jerk chicken pizzas a bunch of times.
This is a really quick, really simple, really tasty, really spicy, recipe. I LOVE spicy food, but I know that not everyone does, so I’m giving you the warning now: spice alert! That being said, you can adjust the recipe however you like to make it work for you. A simple solution: use less cayenne pepper and don’t add the deathly pepper from hell!
While I’ve sadly never been to New Orleans myself, although we’re planning a possible trip in JUNE! (Excitement!), I can certainly appreciate the wonderful flavours that it has to offer the food world. Creole cooking involves a beautiful mix of everything I love. If you’ve never tried this southern deliciousness, it’s hard for me to put into words. Creole cuisine is a combination of Caribbean, African, French, and Spanish flavour influences. Hot pepper, seafood, butter, citrus, tomato, onion, celery, rice, bean explosion of taste! It’s real comfort food.
Anyway, this is a quick recipe I found from a blog called Tummy Travels. I tried it with my tiger shrimp last weekend as part of a huge seafood feast I unintentionally put together. I wouldn’t say it’s a classic Shrimp Creole. I think that involves more veggies, a tomato base, a nice saucy gravy-ness and it’s traditionally served over rice. This shrimp could be a main served with French bread or a good addition to any meal. It’s got nice Southern flavour and a good kick to it!
Cooking shrimp makes me think of Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump (hope you’ve seen it). Bubba knows a million ways shrimp, “the fruit of the sea”, can be cooked. I love this clip! 🙂
The tiger shrimp I used were headless, but I cooked them with the shells on. Heads on, ever better! You can find whole shrimps at most Asian grocery stores if you don’t see any at your usual store or market. Cooking shrimp with the heads and shell intact add so much more flavour! All the juices are kept inside. In New Orleans, crawfish and shrimp are always cooked whole. The best part is pulling off the heads and sucking all the delicious juices and seasonings out of there before eating the rest of it. I know the heads freak some people out, but they’re delicious, I promise. In my half-Asian household, I grew up eating shrimps with heads. My sister and I discovered the next best thing to press-on nails…wearing the pointy/spiky shrimp head shells on our finger tips. It kept us entertained, and super stylish, at family dinners. (Cute…minus the shrimpy fingers afterwards.)
Spicy Creole Shrimp
Ingredients: The spicy stuff is optional…switch it up to keep things at the spice level you want.
This recipe called for 8 tablespoons of butter (a whole stick). I cut the butter amount in half. I didn’t want to go too butter crazy, but by all means, use more butter. More butter = more sauce, and a richer sauce.
1- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp (I recommend doing them with shells and heads, but you can do headless, or peeled if you like)
~1/2 – 1 tablespoon olive oil, to saute garlic
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon (my large lemon gave about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
4-5 tablespoons butter (just cut butter into cubes and keep cold)
Sea salt, to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, and saute until garlic has softened.
2. Add all other ingredients except butter and shrimp. Allow this mixture to reduce for a couple minutes on medium heat. There wasn’t too much liquid and it reduced quite quickly. Don’t let it burn!
3. Add your shrimp into the pan, cooking one side and then flipping to cook the other. Two minutes on each side should be sufficient. The shrimps are cooked when they turn pink.
4. Turn to low heat and begin slowly incorporating cubes of butter.
5. When well mixed you should have a gorgeously rich, amber, shrimp creation.
This was dinner a few nights ago. Delicious short ribs slow-cooked in red wine. This was my first time braising beef short ribs. I braise oxtail more often, which I think would also work well with this recipe. I’m an oxtail addict. The meat is much softer and juicier, although it’s probably a little fattier than the ribs. I found this recipe on cbc.ca, I liked it best out of a few that I read through.
The meal consisted of these yummy saucy ribs, pureed parsnips (recipe here), and a kale salad with sweet potato, carrots, and beets. It was a perfect combo. The pureed parsnips were REALLY good. A great alternative to classic mashed potatoes. I’ll be posting that recipe soon. 🙂
Beef Short Ribs Braised In Red Wine Serves 4-5 people
*I cooked my ribs in a slow cooker, but you could try doing this in a pot on the stove if you don’t have a slow cooker. I slow-cooked the ribs for eight hours, you could probably let them cook on the stove for about three. Continue reading →