Blueberry Banana Muffins

Wow! How has a week gone by since I posted last?! I spent the week working and helping a friend prepare to leave for an opportunity of a lifetime. I decided to create the individual a “care package” encasing these muffins, and oatmeal cookies which will be posted tomorrow!

I always like to make recipes healthier, adding my own tweaks, I tried to make these as healthy as possible, my family loved them, they were very moist! If you do not like large quantities of sugar in your diet you can reduce the sugar within this recipe.

Ingredients (makes 15 muffins)

1 egg, 3 very ripe medium bananas, 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 cup of sour cream (fat content does not matter), 2 cups of flour (all-purpose or whole wheat), 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt,  2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries.

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven 350 F
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas, add the egg, applesauce, and sour cream, blend well
  3. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until all incorporated
  5. Add 1 tsp of flour to the blueberries, ensure that all the blueberries are coated in flour, add to the mix, fold in lightly
  6. Add the mixture to greased muffin tins or lined muffin tins, bake for 25 minutes, check and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and brown on top

Note: In step five, flour is added to the blueberries to stop them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, it is very important you do this if you do not want your blueberries sitting in the bottom of the muffins!

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Vegetarian Italian Meatballs Recipe

Hello, folks! Happy long weekend to all of those celebrating, for the long weekend a family gets together with a delicious dinner is always on schedule, and for this dinner, an abundance of meatball subs and vegan peanut butter pie was enjoyed!

This recipe is super easy and can be doubled which will allow you to freeze the meatballs for later to have with pasta! Vegetarian meatballs can get expensive so making your own is a great way to save money and to be honest, these are better than any store bought vegetarian meatball!

Ingredients (serves 8-10) 

2 lbs of vegetarian ground beef substitute (I use Yves original ground round), 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of Italian breadcrumbs (I use panko breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning), 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup of fresh minced parsley, 1/3 of cooked chopped spinach, 1/3 cup of minced onions, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp of pepper, 1/2 tsp of salt

Note: You need just enough milk to moisten the breadcrumbs, moistening the bread crumbs with milk allows the meatballs to stay moist

Instructions 

  1. Moisten the breadcrumbs with the milk
  2. Whisk the eggs and mix with the ground round, add all the other ingredients, I noticed that the recipe was quite salty if you are sensitive to salt like me, omit the tsp of salt, mix well so all of the ingredients are well incorporated
  3. Shape all of the meat balls into the size of your choice, for pasta, larger meatballs are better, for subs smaller meatballs are preferred
  4. Bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet at 350 for 25 minutes
  5. While the meatballs are cooking prepare a large baking pan 9×13 with sauce at the bottom, once the meatballs are done cooking, place in the sauced pan, add a very small amount of sauce on top of each meatball
  6. Baked covered for 20 minutes, bake uncovered for 10 minutes, and enjoy

Note: If you plan on freezing the meatballs omit steps 5 and 6, this leaves the meatballs par-baked, bake for another 30 minutes at 350 from frozen

Super Easy Veggie Stir Fry

It’s Monday?! That’s how I feel every week because I’m lucky enough to work weekends. Today was such a gorgeous day and I spent it inside at work, that’s when I decided to make this veggie stir fry so I could enjoy the beautiful gifts of the Earth inside! I love to make this with rice or noodles, but my favourite is quinoa! Did you know quinoa has 10g of protein for just a 50g (1/4 cup) serving size, this is a great alternative to animal products (chicken 12.5g/50g, beef 18g/50g, pork 15g/50g) and is filled with vitamins and minerals so you can enjoy your meatless Monday without sacrificing nutrition!

Another reason why I love this recipe is that you can use really any set of vegetables you have in your fridge and are not limited to what is listed below, when in season I also love to use zucchini, eggplant, and cauliflower!

Ingredients (serving size: 6 people)

1 bell pepper chopped, 1 onion diced, 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1 cup of sliced cabbage, 1 cup of chopped carrots, 2 cups of chopped broccoli, 1 cup of snap peas, 2 cups of fresh spinach, 2 cups of a grain of your choice (quinoa, rice, noodles, etc.), 1 tbsp of oil

Sweet Garlic Sauce: 1/2 soy sauce, 2 cloves of mined garlic, 1 tbsp of minced ginger, 1 tbsp of honey (maple syrup if vegan)

Note: This recipe can be made with or without an added protein, I like to enjoy it with stirfried tofu, for non vegans/vegetarians chicken, fish, beef, etc. would all go well with this vibrant dish

Steps 

  1. Prepare all vegetables as stated above, heat a large skillet on medium heat and add oil, at the same time, prepare grain of your choice to package specifications
  2. Add onions to pan, cook for 5 minutes until translucent, add mushrooms, cook for another 5 minutes, add all the other vegetables except the spinach and cook for 10 minutes, until vegetables soften and brown slightly
  3. While vegetables are cooking add soy sauce and honey/maple syrup to a small sauce pan, bring to a gentle boil stirring often, add garlic and ginger, simmer for 10 minutes, taste sauce adjust sweetness by adding more honey/maple syrup
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the spinach, cook for 2 minutes until wilted, add the desired amount of prepared sauce ontop of the vegetables, simmer the vegetables in the sauce for two minutes
  5. If desired add grain to the vegetable mixture, serve ontop of the grain, or serve along side the grain

Note: Omit step 3 if you are using your own store bought sauce, if this sauce does not appeal to you, plain soy sauce works great as well.

 

 

Lasagna Roll-ups

Hello, friends!

I have just recently explored the world of Lasagna roll-ups and I was very impressed! They are a great substitute for lasagna on busy nights because they are fast to prepare and only take 30 minutes to bake! They were a hit at our dinner table so hopefully, they will be at yours too!

Ingredients (serving size: 5, 1 lasagna roll-up per person, if hungry, two lasagna rolls per person and double cheese mixture) 

1 package of lasagna noodles, 2 cups of ricotta, 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tbsp of oregano, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tbsp of basil, 1 tbsp of thyme, 1/2 cup of parmesean, 1 cup of cooked spinach, 1 cup of mozzarella, 4 cups of tomato sauce

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions, some require to be boiled, some required to be soaked
  3. While lasagna noodles are cooking mix together ricotta, lemo zest, nutmeg, garlic spices, spinach and parmesean cheese
  4. Once noodles are cooked lay them out flat and add 2 tbsp of the cheese mixture, spread evenly across the noodle and roll
  5. In a baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan, put the rolls into the dish, top with the rest of the sauce and mozzarella
  6. Bake covered for 30 minutes, bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  7. Enjoy!

Greek Quinoa Salad

TGIF, right? How can you say TGIF if you work weekends? I love to make this salad to take camping, on picnics or at the beginning of the week to take for lunches to work.

Ingredients (serving size 4 people) 

2 cups of uncooked quinoa, 1 cup of chickpeas, 1/2 cucumber (diced), 2 roma tomatoes (chopped), 1/3 cup of pitted kalamata olives, 1/2 cup of crumbled feta (omit if vegan), 1/4 cup of red onion minced, 1/2 cup of celery minced

Dressing: 3/4 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of oregano, 2 tsp of dried basil, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 1/2 tsp of onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp of yellow mustard, 2 garlic cloves minced, 1 tbsp of honey (or maple syrup)

Steps 

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, I like to use vegetable broth instead of water to add another depth of flavor
  2. While quinoa is cooking mix together dressing, adjust the amount of honey as needed to your taste preference
  3. Combine all the vegetables and chickpeas together in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of dressing, let sit for 10 minutes
  4. Once quinoa is cooled, add the dressed vegetables feta and 1/2 cup of dressing, mix thoroughly
  5. Let sit for at least one hour in the fridge before consumption

Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie Recipe

Good evening friends,

It seems like where I am from April showers has continued into May, the past week has been all doom and gloom with upwards of 50 mm of rain each day! Damp, cool days make me want my comfort food, if I had to choose my very last meal, this would be it. This recipe will fill you up and warm your belly on a cool day.

Ingredients (serving size: 5 people)

5 medium potatoes of your choice (I like russet/white/yellow, sweet potatoes would be good too), 1/2 cup of corn, 1/2 cup of peas, 1/2 cup of carrots (diced), 1 diced onion, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 package of instant vegetarian/vegan gravy (you could make your own, but this is just too easy!), 1 package of Yves groundround, 1 tsp of steak spice, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of yellow curry powder, 2 tbsp of butter (or vegan substitute), 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 cup of milk of your choice

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Note: I often used canned/frozen peas/corn/carrots as it is much faster then preparing them fresh, this recipe’s instructions are designed to use frozen/canned vegetables, if you are using FRESH vegetables, please see the final note within the steps.

Steps 

Prep-time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius
  2. Wash and chop the potatoes into 3×3 cm cubes, leave the skin on! Place in a large pot cover with water and bring to a boil, cook until a fork can easily be pierced through
  3. In a large pan, bring to medium heat, add oil, spices, and diced onion, cook until onions are translucent and slightly brown about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the groundround to the pan, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until slightly browned and heated through.
  4. While the groundround is cooking begin making the gravy, my personal favourite is the Swiss Chalet Homestyle gravy, cook according to the package, OR use your favourite gravy recipe.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked through drain the pot leaving about 1/4 cup of water, begin mashing them, add the butter of your choice, if the mixture still seems too dry add 1/4 cup of milk of your choice. To make creamier, add 1 tbsp of sour cream and 1 tbsp of cream cheese if desired.
  6. Once the groundround is cooked add the vegetables, turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes
  7. Once groundround and vegetable mixture is ready, potatoes are mashed, and gravy is prepared, begin assembling the meal.
  8. In a 9×13 pan first add the groundround and vegetable mixture, next pour the gravy over top and mix, finally add the mashed potatoes
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, before removing from oven gravy should be boiling, if it is not leave in for another 15 minutes
  10. Remove from oven let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy.

Note: If you are using fresh vegetables, within step two, after the onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the fresh vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes, once the 10 minutes of cooking of vegetables is up, proceed through the recipe omitting step 6.

Vegetable Quiche

Happy Wednesday everyone,

The sun is finally shining and I am looking forward to going outside and enjoying the spring sun. I love using this recipe on busy nights as it is fast and tasty.

Ingredients (serving size: 4) 

1 deep dish frozen pie crust (or make your own, on busy nights I do not have time for that),  4 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, and 2 cups of veggies diced, I like to use; onion, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, 1/2 cup of cheese of your choice, I like to use 1/4 of cheddar and 1/4 of feta, 1 tbsp of steak spice, 1 tsp of pepper

Steps 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk, add the diced veggies, 1/4 of cheddar cheese, and the spices
  3. Dump the egg mixture into the uncooked deep dish pie crust, top with 1/4 of feta cheese
  4. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and bake for 15 more minutes, to ensure the quiche is cooked, poke a fork into the center and pull the egg to the side, if there are no signs of liquid, the quiche is cooked, if there is liquid, bake for another 10 minutes
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes before consumption, and enjoy!

Mac and Cheese Recipe

Hey Folks,

Mac and cheese is one of my favourite recipes to take camping, cooking the mac and cheese over the fire infuses it with a nice smokey taste. The taste of campfire in the mac and cheese is just too good to resist. The taste can be replicated over the BBQ but sometimes mac and cheese baked in the oven is just as good.

This recipe can be a bit overwhelming because it has a homemade cheese sauce, but it is very easy once you get started, and it tastes so good.

Ingredients (serving size: 4) 

Cheese Sauce: 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of rosemary, 1 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of chili flakes, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of milk

2-3 cups of pasta of your choice (I like to use mini shells), 1/2 Spanish onion diced, 1 clove of garlic minced

Topping: 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs (Italian spiced)

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees celsius
  2. Cook the pasta of your choice according to the directions, ensure the pasta is cooked al dente because the pasta will be baked in the oven
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter, add all the spices, wait until the butter is boiling slightly (do not let it smoke), turn the heat down to low, while mixing slowly add the flour 1 tbsp at a time, the mixture will become very thick and hard to mix, once the flour is added the mixture it should resemble a crumbly playdough
  4. While the heat is still on low, slowly add the milk 1/4 of a cup at a time whisking vigorously, about 1 cup of milk should make the mixture the perfect consistency  (slightly thinner than pudding), you can make your sauce thinner by adding more milk *the mixture will thicken once the cheese is added
  5. Once you have reached the desired consistency of your sauce turn the heat off and stir in the cheeses one of a time
  6. Add the cooked the pasta into a large bowl with a small amount of butter, mix around so the pasta does not stick together, add the diced onion and the minced garlic
  7. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta mixture, mix well
  8. Add the pasta mixture into a glass tray (9 x 13), top with the cheeses and the bread crumbs, I like to mix it up, half cheese, half bread crumbs, half cheese, half bread crumbs
  9. Bake covered with tin foil for 30 minutes and bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  10. Once finished baking let sit for 10 minutes before enjoying

Chickpea Smash Recipe

Good evening everyone,

For my first recipe, I have decided to post one of my favourites! This recipe is so easy and such a delicious alternative to canned fish. The filling goes great on sandwiches, wraps, crackers, salads, or even alone!

Ingredients (serving size: 2 people)

1/2 cup of chickpeas, 1 tsp of lemon, 1 tsp of fresh dill (dry can be substituted), 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1/2 tsp of steak spice and 1 tbsp of mayonnaise (can easily be substituted with veganaise)

I also like to add

  • 1 stock of celery, chopped to preferred size, I normally do slightly larger than minced
  • some green onions if I have them (any onions works really)
  • a pickle or two minced
  • cucumbers either diced in or severed on the sandwich/wrap/cracker

Instructions 

  1. Prepare chickpeas as needed, I often like to rehydrate my own, but I have used canned chickpeas many times. Place chickpeas in a large bowl, add lemon juice and spices
  2. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher (or fork) until desired texture is achieved, I often mash them until they are no bigger than 1/4 of a chickpea. Ensure to take breaks in between mashing to stir the mixture.
  3. Once desired texture is achieved add mayo and veggies of your choice
  4. Serve on a sandwich/wrap/cracker with spinach and cucumbers and enjoy

Note: This recipe tastes best once it has had time to sit in the fridge and let the flavors blend, it is recommended you make the chickpea filling an hour before consumption. Leave in the fridge for up to 3 days.