Category Archives: Side Dishes

Broccoli Salad

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You know those recipes that just instantly remind you of your childhood, family gatherings and summer BBQ’s?  Well, this is one of those for me.  I hadn’t eaten this in years and actually had never made it in my own kitchen, until a while ago, one of my girlfriends hosted a summer BBQ and served this salad.  I went nuts for it and ate WAY more than my fair share.  Since then, I have been making batches of this salad to keep in the fridge for weekday lunches as it is so satisfying and nice to have on hand for a quick and easy lunch.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the caloric value in the recipe, because lets face it…mayo, bacon, cheese…three delicious items, but when put together, not exactly the healthiest when consumed together in a “salad”. So, I wanted to revamp it a little.  First things first, there was no way I was going to eliminate the bacon…well, because bacon is delicious.  BUT, I could attack the mayo and omit the cheese.  So, I tweaked the mayo by using 2/3 greek yogurt and keeping 1/3 the mayo.  This still gave us the mayo “taste”, but allowed me to add a good source of protein in the form of greek yogurt, not to mention reducing the calories and fat.  Omitting the cheese is a case-by-case decision – if you are serving this for company, I suggest including it, but if it is a weekday lunch salad, I don’t think the salad absolutely needs it to be delicious!

I can’t wait to whip-up another batch of this salad soon…and I know it won’t last long!

Enjoy.

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Broccoli Salad

Yield:  6 servings, 1 cup each
Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes for the bacon

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt (or fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup  mayo/Miracle Whip Spread
  • 2 TBSP sugar (you can also substitute Splenda for the sugar – just use a touch less)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 6-8 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 slices bacon (whatever your family favourite is!)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups of raisins or craisins, whichever you prefer
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

Prepare bacon according to package directions or using your favourite method (I love baking my bacon in the oven, on a baking sheet.  So easy to do and clean-up is a breeze!)  Once bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces and set-aside.

In a bowl, mix together the greek yogurt, mayo, sugar and vinegar and stir well.

Wash and dry the broccoli florets.  Cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl/container (with a lid is a great option, to make storage/clean-up easier!) mix together the broccoli florets, the dressing, bacon, onion, raisins and cheddar cheese (if you are using it).  Mix well.

Place the salad in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, or longer, to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve and keep cold.

Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Kitchen (and from my friend NP!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Side Dishes

Spinach & Goat Cheese Dip

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It’s been a while, eh?  Life definitely got the best of me over the past 6 months and unfortunately something had to give.  It was truly not my intention to stop blogging, but it happened, and without going on-and-on, I truly missed it.  I’ve still been cooking, not as much as I would like, but that is changing too!

So, I will leave it at that.  I am SO happy to be back blogging, back making amazing recipes, back taking photos (especially with my new amazing light box!) and of course, sharing recipes with you all.  Thanks for sticking with me – the best is yet to come (and I promise on a more regular basis).

This dip is a recipe that showed up many times over the holiday season.  It is an amazing appetizer, it is quick to prepare and it is actually reasonably healthy.  It came to be as a pasta sauce and then I envisioned the recipe as a dip and the rest is history!

Definitely whip-up this dip for your next appetizer party, Friday night snack or just because – you won’t be disappointed.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip

Yield: Appetizer for About 6 People
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
  • 5 – 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 – 4 TBSP water
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 3 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • dash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • dash of hot-sauce
  • dash of yellow mustard
  • S&P

Directions:

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and sautee until soft/translucent.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).

Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is soft and wilted.  Place the entire mixture into a blender and add the water to help with the puree process (or use a hand blender and puree in the pan).   Puree until smooth and no clumps remain.

Return the mixture to the pot over low heat, add the goat and parmesan cheese and remaining ingredients and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Season with S&P to taste and serve with fresh bread, crackers or whatever you please.

Recipe from the JBean Cuisine Kitchen.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

WC Recipe Swap: Chicken Gyros

I am literally shocked that not ONE Greek recipe has appeared on this blog yet.  Why am I so shocked?  It happens to be one of my favourite cuisines and has been for years.  CH even has a joke that I have a “Greek stomach”  signifying that when we go out for Greek food, I have a entire other stomach that opens up in order for me to eat more Greek food than CH (it’s true, I do!).

CH and I used to go out for Greek food a lot, that was until our favourite place in our hometown changed owners and significantly went downhill from there – we used to talk about having them cater our wedding – that’s how much we loved the restaurant.  In Toronto there is a huge Greek neighbourhood, and with the exception of one quick (and delicious!) lunch with a friend a few weeks ago, we haven’t explored it yet.  That might have to change in the coming days…now that I am writing this.

Nonetheless, whenever I get the chance to eat Greek food, I do.  So when I had to choose a recipe for this month’s WC recipe swap, I was faced with a challenge.  You see, I was given the amazing blog “SO Tasty SO Yummy”, which I have had in my Google Reader since I created an account.  Katie is a fantastic cook, a seemingly wonderful Mom to the absolutely cutest little girl, and someone who I’ve enjoyed getting to know over the past while through our cooking board.  I seriously have so many recipes starred in my GR from her, that I couldn’t choose: Drunken Noodles, Potatoes Daphinois, Beef Tenderloin in Red Wine Sauce, I could go on, or you could just go check-out her blog and see what I am talking about :)!.

So, I decided to challenge myself – Katie claimed she found the Naan recipe that trumped buying it ever again, and we all know that I love homemade goods.  I also love Chicken Gyros, another recipe Katie features on her blog, so I decided to combine the two and make not ONE, but TWO of her recipes for the Swap.  I personally use Naan a lot more than pita – just the preference around our home.  So when the opportunity arose to make it from scratch, I did.  That post will be released in a few days.  But I had to share the most-deeeelicious chicken marinade I’ve ever had.  It knocked my old recipe right out of our apartment window.  It is simply delicious, and I will leave it at that.  Just try it.

Thanks Katie for a great source of inspiration – can’t wait to see what’s next.

Enjoy.

Chicken Gyros

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • Generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • Tzatziki (homemade or store-bought – here is my go-to recipe: Tzatziki )
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 or 3 leafs of lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1/8 of a red onion, minced
  • 4 pitas or Naan (recipe to come soon!), warmed

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, yogurt and oregano.  Add the chicken to the bowl and ensure all pieces are evenly covered. Cover with saran and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the broiler on high (or grill, or pan on the stove).  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using. (Be aware if you are broiling – there will be smoke from the marinade – so turn the vent fan on!)

Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Warm your naan/pitas either in the oven, or on grill.

Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

Roll-them up and devour.

Recipe From So Tasty So Yummy, Originally Seen on Elly Says Opa (another fabulous blogger friend!)

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Filed under Bread, Greek, Healthy, Mains, Side Dishes