Friday, November 6, 2015

Bacon wrapped turkey meatloaf with kale, apple and cheddar

This is the perfect meatloaf recipe. It combines all of the fall goodness into a tasty lean turkey meatloaf, with just a touch of sweetness from the apple, the tang of sharp cheddar, healthy kale and crispy bacon.

Hope you'll enjoy this as much as I did!

- 2lbs ground turkey
- 1 bunch of blanched kale
- 1 apple
- 4 oz aged cheddar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1 tsp each salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika (you can adapt to your taste)

- preheat your oven at 350F
- grate the apple, chop the blanched kale and cube the cheddar in 1/4 inch cubes
- in a bowl, add the spices and the egg to the ground turkey and mix well

- fold in the panko breadcrumbs, apple, kale and cheddar and mix until well incorporated

- shape the meatloaf in a greased form and wrap with the bacon strips

- bake for about 45 min, or until the internal temperature reads 165F

- enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Clear barley and mushroom soup

If you like mushrooms like I do (that is abnormally so), you will love this delicious, simple and healthy take on mushroom soup.
The porcini bring an out of this world earthy flavor and the barley brings a chewy texture. This recipe is just lovely and I make this every year. It takes no more than 30 minutes from start to finish and will never disappoint you!
Try it and let me know what you think!

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 1 8oz bucket of cremini or white button mushrooms
- 1 1oz pack of dried porcini mushrooms
- barley, 1 to 2 cups to taste
- 6 cups of chicken broth (you can use mushroom or vegetable broth to keep the recipe vegan)
- a splash of olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 cup of boiling water (not pictured)

- rehydrate the porcini mushrooms with the cup of boiling water

- while the porcini are rehydrating, slice the fresh mushrooms and saute them in a pot until golden in the olive oil and a good pinch of black pepper (about 5-6 minutes on medium high heat)

Note: the mushrooms will exude moisture and look wet for a minute or two, but continue past that stage. The water will evaporate and the mushroom will eventually brown.
- drain the reconstituted porcini, making sure to reserve and filter the flavorful liquid, chop them and add them and the liquid to the fresh mushrooms

- add the chicken (or veggie) broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat

- add the barley and cook for the recommended time

- when the barley is cooked to your liking, the soup is ready!
- enjoy :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Jamaican jerk chicken and spiced slaw

Today is such a gorgeous day where I am, and that just makes me want to eat delicious foods! Try this Jamaican jerk chicken dish! It is delicious, fresh and very impressive while requiring little work.

And if you happen to have an outdoor grill, even better :)

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- jerk sauce (click here for recipe)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- fresh cilantro
- roasted coconut flakes
- 1 fresh mango
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 large shallot
- a few spring onions
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 small yellow pepper
- 2 lbs chicken drumsticks

- coat the raw cashews with a few tablespoons of jerk sauce (click here for the recipe), spread into a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden

Note: make sure to stir often to ensure even baking and that it doesn't burn
- put the chicken drumsticks in a ziploc bag and add about 1 1/2 cups of jerk sauce, coat well and marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge

- after an hour, put the chicken and marinade in a baking dish and cook in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through

Note: you can turn the chicken a few times during the cooking so that it gets caramelized on all sides
Note 2: if you are lucky enough to have an outdoor grill, these drumsticks would be absolutely delicious grilled!!!
- while the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the slaw: shred the cabbage, slice the mango, shallot, green onions and peppers finely and mix in a bowl

- serve the cooked chicken on a bed of slaw, sprinkle with the roasted cashews, a few toasted coconut flakes, fresh cilantro and dress with a few tablespoons of jerk sauce loosened with a splash of sesame oil and white vinegar

- enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jamaican jerk sauce

Hi everyone!

A couple of months ago, in the midst of the longest winter ever, I purchased a Jamaican cookbook to escape the cold. At least in my mind.

Virtually all the recipes in this amazing cookbook had me craving caribbean food and I decided to try my hand at jerk chicken (recipe to follow soon). But first, I needed jerk sauce, which I decided to make from scratch using bits and pieces from different recipes I found online.

Here's how I made mine.

- 4 large scallions
- 2 jalapeno peppers, or more if you prefer it hotter
Note: authentic recipes call for scotch bonnet peppers, but I cannot take that kind of heat, so I stick with one jalapeno. plenty hot for me.
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 6-7 sprigs of thyme
- 3 chubby garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tsp ground allspice, not pictured but VERY important! :)
- 1/4 cup chili-flavored dried mango
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp orange vinegar
Note: most recipes call for molasses, freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, but since I had neither on hand, I used a mixture of dried mango, dried tomatoes and orange vinegar to mimic the sweet and tang of molasses and citrus.
- a splash of white distilled vinegar to adjust acidity, to taste
- salt, to taste

- start with rehydrating the mango and tomatoes in the boiling water and reserve the liquid

- then mix the sesame oil, orange vinegar, soy sauce and ground allspice

- chop the scallions, ginger, onion and garlic coarsely and put everything in a blender

- blitz away!

Note: You can adjust the seasoning at this stage. I had to add one more jalapeno, a splash of white distilled vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt to make it to my taste
- this sauce will keep for at least two weeks in the fridge
- enjoy!