Mini Kale Quiche

Kale, Kale, the superfood! When you find yourself with a bunch of kale and in need of a recipe, look no further! These kale cups are a perfect option for a vegetarian breakfast/brunch/lunch! I have adapted this recipe from Muffin Tin Mania.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Havarti cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup hemp hearts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop kale and spinach finely.  Add kale/spinach to a large bowl along with cottage cheese, havarti cheese, eggs, garlic, lemon zest, chili flakes and hemp hearts. Mix well until all the cottage cheese has blended in with the kale and spinach. Divide among 8-10 medium-sized muffin cups or ramekins and bake 20 minutes. Let cool several minutes.

Replacements:

  • Replace cottage cheese with ricotta cheese
  • Use any combination of spinach, Swiss chard and kale

Vegan (Apple) Crisp

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family celebrating!

If you are looking for a delicious, simple, and healthy last-minute recipe, look no further! This recipe is also friendly to most diets including vegan and dairy-free and works well with any fruit you have on hand. I used apples this time because the apple tree in my backyard did really well this season and I have more apples than I know what to do with!!  This recipe is based on one from the book “Vegan Pie in the Sky” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Filling:

  • 4 pounds of apples ( I used Golden Delicious), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Farenheit. Pour Filling ingredients into an ungreased 11 X 13 inch baking dish and ensure apples are coated well.
  2. In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour crisp topping over the apples.
  4. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

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Mixing the filling

IMG_0096The Topping

Dessert is served!

Aloha to Hawaii – Hanging Loose in Waikiki

After visiting Victoria BC, the girls reunion trip moved to Hawaii for some well-deserved sun, beach, and relaxation. Before I get into the details of the trip there are a few notes I want to make about Hawaii for all the geography enthusiasts out there. Before going to Hawaii I didn’t realize how many islands the state was composed of (5!!). Contrary to what I first thought, the island called Hawaii (also referred to as the big island) and namesake of the state is not where Honolulu is located. Oahu is the island upon which Honolulu is situated and the Hawaii island is where the active volcano lies. Here is a map of the Hawaiian islands:

hawaii map

Aloha Honolulu

My two girlfriends and I stayed in the Waikiki Beach area for a week at the Aqua Waikiki Wave. As first timers in Hawaii we fell in love at first sight. The south pacific sun, the infamous Waikiki beach, the interesting landscapes and attractions. Oh and of course the good shopping and delicious restaurants! Waikiki Beach is the place to be in Oahu and a great starting place to any Hawaiian holiday. With everything in walking distance there is no need for a car! Here are some of the highlights from our week in Waikiki:

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Waikiki Beach – Best part of the beach is near the Westin Hotel IMG_7985

One of the most popular things to do in Waikiki is to hike up Diamond Head Monument. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk up to the top. Note: path is not all paved so proper shoes are recommended (we learned this the hard way as we hiked up in our flip flops and at the hottest part of the day – noon!!!)

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Breathtaking views from Diamond Head – Looking over Waikiki Beach

IMG_7972Look at the colour of the water!!

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Main street -Waikiki

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Out and about in Waikiki

IMG_8339Check out all these surfboards!!

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When in Hawaii…see a luau! We went to Germaine’s Luau one night (approximately $70) and includes a buffet and show. Pictured above is the pig roast ceremony.

IMG_8243Germaine’s Luau – dancers!

My Granny’s Irish Scone Recipe

This recipe is a family favourite that my Granny used to make. She never had the recipe written out and followed it strictly from memory. With some persistance my Dad was able to figure out the list of ingredients to these perfect Irish scones. Luckily for you I am going to share it!  This recipe yields approx. 14 scones so you will probably want to double or triple it!

Ingredients:

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Directions:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together while sifting the flour.
  2. Mix butter into dry ingredients.
  3. Add egg to buttermilk and beat together.
  4. Make a hole in centre of dry ingredients and gradually add liquid ingredients.
  5. Roll out dough on floured surface. (Note: Dough should not too be too wet or too dry. Don’t overwork the dough.)
  6. Cut dough with circular cutter or form desired round or triangle shapes.
  7. Place on floured baking sheet and put in pre-heated oven at 350F.
  8. Bake until golden on bottom.

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Vegetarian General Tso

Who doesn’t love General Tso? Typically, you see general tso’s as a chicken dish listed on menus and in cookbooks; however, for those who are vegetarian the Tofu General Tso is a great alternative. I found this easy and scrumptious recipe for Tofu General Tso adapted from That’s So Vegan (thanks for the recipe!).

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Ingredients:

1 package firm tofu
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp siracha (or to taste)
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400º and grease baking sheet. Press the tofu between paper towels to get rid of excess water and cut into small cubes. Toss the cubes with a tablespoon of cornstarch and place them on the sheet to bake for about 20-25 minutes.
2. Heat the garlic over low heat in a saucepan. After a minute, add in the other ingredients (except for the cornstarch mixture) and stir for about 3 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat.
3. Once tofu is cooked, place cubes in bowl and mix in the sauce. Serve with brown rice and broccoli.

Taste of Victoria

When in Victoria we quickly realized that British traditions are still quite alive in the city. What could be more British than fish and chips for lunch and high tea in the afternoon? So we decided to check it out for ourselves. For lunch we went to the locally recommended Red Fish Blue Fish located on the waterfront. This place it just a shack on the dock with only outdoor seating. It’s very popular so expect to wait in line (it’s well worth it though!).

I had 1 piece of halibut, fries and it came with a side of coleslaw.

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High Tea at Venus Sophia 

For a little afternoon pick-me-up we decided to partake in a very British activity – high tea! The most famous place to have high tea in Victoria is at the Empress Hotel and costs $50 per person. Since we were on more of a budget we decided to try a more cost-effective, yet equally impressive option at the Venus Sophia Tea House and Vegetarian Eatery. Venus Sophia has several comfortable couches and chairs and feels very cozy. For $25 per person we got more goodies than we needed (and delicious ones at that!). I would highly recommend this tea house if you want to experience high tea in Victoria.

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Other Notable Mentions:

While in Victoria there are a few other treasures not to miss including:

  • Rogers Chocolates – gourmet chocolate shop on Government St.
  • Cook Street Village – cute neighbourhood with little shops and restaurants including The Beagle Pub.
  • Boutique browsing on Government Street near Yates/ Pandora ( my favourite store was definitely Emporia which had cute home and lifestyle apparel).
  • There are countless independent cafes/coffee shops which offer small meals and a good afternoon pick-me-up. You can find one on almost every corner.

Wave hello to Victoria!

This past winter, I went to go visit one of my BFFs in Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria is located in western Canada on Vancouver island and has a population of about 300 000 (with a large population of retirees!). The city of Victoria was named after Queen Victoria and still maintains its charmed British history (via historical buildings, cuisine, and culture). We spent three days exploring (very easy to navigate on foot) which gave us plenty of time to see the main sights. Here are some of the photo highlights:

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Me and my bestie strolling around Beacon Hill Park.

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Pacific Ocean

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Provincial Parliament Buildings. Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia.

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One of the many nice walking paths in Victoria (Dallas Rd)

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Empress Hotel. Luxurious hotel in downtown Victoria.

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Downtown Victoria (check out the flowers in February!)

Cucumber Feta Mint & Avocado Salad

For this labour day weekend I decided to make something with all the lovely mint growing in my garden. After a quick search online I came across this delicious recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. This salad is a fresh addition of greenery to any lunch/dinner menu. 

Ingredients for 2 -4 servings:
2 cups chopped cucumbers
salt, for drawing water out of cucumber
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1-2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Dressing Ingredients to mix overtop:
2 Tblspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tblespoon fresh lime juice

 

Voila!!

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Cookie Monster meet Monster Cookie

I havent’t been doing much baking lately so I decided it was about time to try a recipe that I’ve stockpiled. This recipe turned out very well and I would make it again!

Monster Cookie

Recipe from witandwhistle.com

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 1 cup  dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces / 225 g bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/4- and 1/2-inch pieces

Directions:

1. Butter 10 by 11 inch oven proof skillet

2. Mix dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

3. In another bowl mix the sugars and the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, until mixed. Then add the vanilla and mix in the flour mixture from the other bowl.

4. Lastly add in chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Pour mixture into skillet and bake for 35 – 45 minutes.

6. Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Summer Salads: Black Bean Fiesta and Honey Mustard with Goat Cheese

It’s summer, it’s hot, and you definitely don’t want to be adding any extra heat by turning on your stove. Here are two delicious and refreshing summer salads to enjoy (preferably on a patio outside!). Enjoy!

Black Bean Fiesta Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Hass avocados, chopped
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together except avocados. Let sit until ready to serve at which point you should add the avocado and any extra cilantro for garnish.

*Adapted from onceuponachef.com

Honey Mustard Salad with Goat Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Directions: Combine mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dill and stir thoroughly. Mix dressing with lettuce. Garnish with goat cheese and apple sticks.

Recipe from: dailyunadventuresincooking.com