Monday, October 22, 2012

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

Things have been a little busy in the past while, so my cooking/photography time has plummeted. I am somewhat in denial about the amount of work I have to do in the next few weeks.. So what better way to procrastinate than cook!? The North Shore mountains got their first sprinkling of snow yesterday, and it is so beautiful! Sunday dinner needed something warm and light (a bit too much dim sum for lunch..). This is another Ina Garten classic, so simple and SO flavorful. Roasting the veggies before making the soup adds tons of flavor- She is a genius! Enjoy!

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6-7 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I just used milk)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Roast potatoes and leeks in olive oil and pepper at 400 for 40-45 minutes, or until tender. Add arugula and roast for 5 more minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl, adding the wine and 5 cups of the chicken broth. Be sure to scrape the pan clean of all the crispy bits- these add tons of flavor! Puree the vegetables and stock until smooth in a food processor or blender. Transfer to large pot. Add stock until the consistency reaches a thick soup, and add cream and parmesan. Heat, covered until ready to serve.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Thanksgiving weekend was so much fun- Pemberton was beautiful, and I couldn't have asked for better weather. Apparently the Huffington Post agreed that this was the best place to spend thanksgiving! The weekend was filled with a visit to the local farm, plenty of wine (maybe a little too much..), and copious amounts of incredible food. They even made a turducken, which was soo delicious! 
Needless to say, this week called for some lighter meals. This recipe was super tasty, and pretty easy to make. It was also quite good cold for lunch today.. I adapted this from Richard Corrigan's recipe. Enjoy!

  • 1 red onion, sliced ½” thick
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 small acorn squash, peeled and ¾” cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups couscous, uncooked
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ½ lemon

Toss vegetables with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Combine couscous with cumin and pepper. Boil 1-1/2 cups of water, add couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat. After five minutes (or until water has been absorbed), fluff couscous and move to large bowl. Mix in roasted vegetables, fresh parsley, and juice from ½ a lemon (More or less to taste!). Serve warm, or cold! Makes enough for 4 people as a side dish. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Canadian thanksgiving is this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited! My cousins have invited me out to Pemberton, and I hear it is just beautiful up there. Fall foods are my favorite- And I now that the pumpkin spice lattes are available at starbucks, it is getting out of control. This recipe is super healthy, and definitely satisfies my pumpkin cravings (I will not be skipping that pumpkin pie, though!). These guys are great for breakfast, or perhaps a snack during stats class? (I didn’t bring enough with me!) Recipe adapted from The Goddess of Baking. Enjoy!


  • 1-1/4 cups flour 
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed 
  • 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg 
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cloves 
  • 1-1/2 Cup Rolled Oats 
  • 1 Egg 
  • 1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin 
  • 1/4 Cup Milk 
  • 1/4 Cup vanilla yogurt 
+ Extra oats for topping

Thoroughly combine flour, oats, sugar, soda, baking powder, and spices in a bowl. Add pumpkin, egg, milk, and yogurt. Mix well, and divide into a muffin tin of 12. Top with extra oats. Bake at 375 for 17 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fancy Mexican Grilled Corn

Nothing can get better than fresh corn in the summer and fall.. and I certainly can’t get enough of it! After three consecutive nights of plain (but delicious) corn on the cob, I decided to switch it up. Mexican grilled corn seems to be pretty popular right now- with cheese and cilantro.. how can you say no!? This version was quite easy and soo decadent. We ate these with our portabella burgers from a while back, and they definitely stole the show. Enjoy!
  • 4 ears of corn
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 2 tbsps mayo
  • 2 tbsps sour cream
  • 2 tbsps grated parmesean
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Remove silky bits from corn and soak for 20 minutes to prevent leaves from burning.

Combine mayo, sour cream, and lime juice. Grill corn for 20 minutes or until tender and crispy. Slather on sour cream mixture, sprinkle with chili powder, parmesean, and cilantro.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oat Flour Banana Bread (Gluten Free)

This recipe is perfect for fall! Low sugar and gluten free so you don't have to feel guilty for the second (or third) slice. Made with oat flour so its extreme high in fibre and keep you full longer then you usual slice of loaf! I will definitely be making this again!
- Sarah


3 cups oatmeal (use gluten-free oats)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas mashed
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Pre-heat your oven to 350. Using a coffee grinder or a blender, grind/blend 2 cups of the oatmeal to make oat flour. Sift flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix wet and dry ingredients together, and fold in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a sprayed loaf pan and allow to cook for 30 minutes! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grilled Mushroom Tacos (Gluten Free and Vegan)

I think I am suffering from mexican food withdrawal. Options are limited where I live (aka. Taco Bell is my only option). I have been longing for some spicy mexican quinine! These tacos were a perfect dinner following indulging in some chips and gauc! ...all that was missing was a salted cucumber margarita!
- Sarah

- 3 portobello mushrooms
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- sprinkle of chilli flakes
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 red pepper
-1 tbsp chopped red onion
- 6 small corn soft tacos
- 4 tbsp salsa
- salt and pepper to taste
- lime wedge

Marinate the mushrooms in olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes. Grill the mushrooms and peppers for about 10 minutes on high heat. Once done, grill the soft tacos for about 20 seconds (too long will make them harden). Assemble the tacos with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

Last night I was craving something Mexican-style. There are tons of places at home in Knoxville that do this really neat combination of Mexican-meets-foodie, using ingredients like swiss chard or portabellas in their burritos! I decided to channel this using goat cheese and spinach in mine, as well as using corn rather than flour tortillas to wrap them up! They get deliciously crispy in the oven but definitely need a toothpick or something to keep them together until they are cooked!

  • ½ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 can back beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Cumin and chili powder, to taste
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 2/3 cup low sodium salsa
  • 6-8 corn tortillas

Prep work: Cook brown rice according to package directions. Rub chicken with olive oil, sprinkle chili powder and cumin over. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cooked. Let cool, then cube. Saute bell pepper and onion over medium heat in olive oil. Thaw corn, add to pan with black beans, cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until warm, add garlic and 1 tbsp of the cilantro.

To assemble, add brown rice, bean mixture, onion mixture, chicken, spinach, goat cheese, and salsa to each corn tortilla (So much deliciousness!!). Roll up and hold together with toothpick. Top with small amount of salsa, then bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until heated. Remove toothpicks, and serve with cilantro and sour cream on top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Honey Seared Salmon with Coriander Noodles

All summer I was bragging to my friends about moving out to Vancouver, particularly about all the fresh seafood I would eat! Being here, I keep forgetting to cook it! I guess since it is not a huge part of my current cooking repertoire I just haven’t thought about it too much.. You would think seeing the ocean every day would be a reminder..? Anyways, my aunt and I have made a new goal to cook seafood at least twice a week! It is so healthy- and living on a coast it is hard to pass up the freshness. My aunt cooked this delicious meal for us last night and OMG it was so good. Donna Hay is one of her favourites, and I can see why with this amazing recipe! Enjoy!

2 salmon fillets
2 tbsp honey
cracked black pepper

1 package rice noodles
1.2 cup coriander leaves
1/3 cup shredded mint leaves
1/3 cup basil leaves, halved
2 zucchinis, shredded
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2/3 cup roasted tomatoes (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and let cool. Combine noodles with coriander, mint, basil, zucchini, tomatoes, lime juice, soy sauce and honey.

Cut salmon into 2 cm wide strips, toss with honey and pepper. Heat in a non-stick frying pan over high heat for 1 minute on each side, or until honey is golden. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zesty Veggie Skewers

After stumbling home at 3 am the night before.. Sunday night dinner called for something easy but delicious. I was motivated to do something greek-style since I bought some amazing tzatziki, pita and hummus the day before at a local greek store (Parthenon, anyone!?). Veggie and chicken skewers seemed to be my best option-

These marinated skewers are so crazy delicious, but the marinade is just too easy! I can't believe I am actually posting this on the blog. I am slightly embarrassed.. but it is just too good to keep to myself! My family in Manitoba always makes these veggies when I come to visit- They marinade all day and get soo flavorful! Maybe eventually I will come up with a more healthy version of this marinade, but for now, here it is!!


  • 1 zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1/2 red onion, quartered and separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-2" cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, 1-2" cubed
  • 2 cups mushrooms, whole
  • Zesty italian dressing (AH!!)
  • Wooden skewers

Add all veggies to a big bowl or ziploc. Pour in enough dressing to coat thoroughly. Let marinade for at least 2 hours but up to a day! Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning, and stack veggies on the skewers. Grill to desired tenderness, enjoy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Balsamic Marinated Portobello Burgers

This was my first experience with portobello burgers, but it will definitely not be my last! I have been eating tons of vegetarian meals lately (easy on the wallet..), and this one is definitely an amazing substitute for your average burger. I have made these portobellos before as a side to steaks- Which was awesome- but stacking them in a burger just makes it a meal!


  • 2 portobellos, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered
  • Avocado and goat cheese spread
  • Red onion, sliced thickly
  • 2 buns (I use the thin buns to not overwhelm the shrooms!


  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tbsp onion, minced 
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence, or oregano and basil works great!
  • Pepper, to taste

Combine marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag, add portobellos and evenly spread the marinade over them. Leave to soak for at least 1 hour but more is better! If they look dry just add some more olive oil.

Grill mushrooms and bell pepper until tender. Toast buns, stack the burger and bell pepper, and serve with red onion and avocado spread. Enjoy!