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Category Archives: Brunch

Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

This used to be one of our favorite salads at a local restaurant. This recipe beats theirs! Yeah, there are two halves there!

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Shrimp stuffed avocado                        Author: Layla Pujol

Yield: 8-10 stuffed avocado halves

Ingredients

  • 4-5 firm ripe avocados
  • 1 lb medium sized cooked shrimp (OR 2 cans of tiny Shrimp uncut)
  • ½ medium red onion, diced finely
  • 2 radishes, diced finely
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 2 celery stalks, diced finely
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 5 tbs. mayonnaise
  • Lime juice from 1 lime
  • Salt/pepper to taste (I like cracked peppercorns)
  • Cilantro chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chop the cooked shrimp in half, if desired keep a few whole to garnish OR use whole if small)
  2. Combine diced onions, radishes, bell pepper, celery, eggs, shrimp, ½ of the lime juice and aioli or mayonnaise in a bowl, mix well. Can be kept refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. Taste and salt/pepper if necessary.
  4. Cut avocados in half, remove seed and peel carefully.
  5. Drizzle remaining lime juice over avocados, this help keep them from darkening too quickly.
  6. Use a spoon to stuff avocados with shrimp salad filling.
  7. Add any garnishes and serve immediately.

 

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Blue Cheese, Bacon and Green Onion Cheese Ball

The holidays are always full of social events. What would it be without a cheese ball rolled in crunchy walnuts? Usually I make mine with Imperial Cheddar from Canada, some softened blue cheese and a package of Philly. This year, something a little different… did I mention it is Keto friendly, if you dip bacon rinds?

Blue Cheese, Bacon, And Scallion Cheeseball

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces bacon, chopped and fried and drained to make bacon bits
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 scallions (green onions), minced
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped and divided
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free blue cheese crumbles (or more, depending on taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped unsalted walnuts, raw or lightly toasted

Instructions

1 In a medium bowl, combine the bacon bits, cream cheese, scallions, 1 tablespoon parsley, blue cheese crumbles, pepper, and salt. Stir together to mix.

2 Using hands or a spatula, form the mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

3 Place the walnuts and reserved tablespoon of parsley in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

4 Unwrap the cheeseball and roll it in the walnut mixture to coat all sides. Press the walnut coating gently to help it stay on if necessary.

5 Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

For 1/10th Of The Cheeseball

Calories: 197

Fat (g): 12.9

Carbs (g): 2.2

Fiber (g): 1.3

Protein (g): 7

Net Carbs (g) .9

simply so healthy http://simplysohealthy.com/

 

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef)

Ropa vieja (Spanish for “old clothes”) is one of the national dishes of Cuba, but is also popular in other areas of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables. This was a dish we had in Havana in 2014. The beauty is that it is done in a slow cooker.

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You can omit the olives, but trust me on this one. Serve with your favorite rice or use it with fresh tortillas.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. beef flank steak (or substitute Mexican arrachera)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced ( I used red for contrast)
  • 1 cup Spanish olives – green
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled

Cooked yellow rice for serving*

Slow Cooker Size:4-quart or larger

Instructions

  1. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Add the flank steak and flip it around in the sauce so it gets coated. Add the bell pepper, onion, olives and garlic cloves, mix those items together to combine on top of the meat.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours on LOW without opening the lid during the cooking time. Shred the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.

If you have been following me you know that our slow cooker cooks faster for some unknown reason. When I looked up cooking on HIGH (because I was short of time) it suggested 5 hours as the equivalent. Guess what? It was done in a little over 2.5 hours using an arrachera of 1.3 kilos.

LESSON—-dont let it cook while you are away at work unless you know your cooker very well. Keep checking  for doneness.

 

Easy Cranberry Chutney

No photo for this one as it is all blended together in a jar and then refrigerated. Great for using during the upcoming holidays…

Easy Cranberry Chutney

From inthekitchenwithkath.com

(Adapted from a recipe in Yumana’s Table by Yumana Devi)

Makes about 3 cups, and doubles easily if you’re serving a crowd.

1 (12-ounce) bag of cranberries

2 large apples

2 large oranges or limes

1 cup pure maple syrup (I used ½ cup)

  1. Zest the oranges.
  2. Wash and drain the cranberries and put them in a pot. (My 3 quart pot is the perfect size.)
  3. Peel, core, and chop the apples, and add them to the pot.
  4. Juice the oranges. Add the juice and the orange zest to the pot.
  5. Add the maple syrup.
  6. Bring the chutney to a boil over medium-high heat.
  7. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 – 45 minutes, until the cranberries have popped, the apples have cooked down, and the chutney has thickened a bit. Stir it occasionally while it’s cooking.
  1. Cool and transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve OR put it in an airtight jar, ready for use. Would be great over cream cheese as an appetizer or with roast beef…not just turkey!

Keto Lasagna with Zucchini spirals

Sooo…my spouse bought this Paderno spiralizer a year ago..new toy…lol. We have only used it a handful of times. Since we started our low carb diet we are now using it more. We love lasagna, but low carb means no pasta or breads. Et voila, with Pinterest I discovered this recipe. We have served it to our guests and they loved it too! It tastes wonderful!!! Don’t tell anyone it is low carb… shown here with a green salad with radish sprouts.

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Keto Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles Author Vicky | Tasteaholics.com

Prep Time 15 minutes          Cook Time 30 minutes         Total Time 45 minutes

 Servings  4     Calories 544 kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. ground beef
  • 1 cup Rao’s marinara sauce * (see below)
  • 1 zucchini large
  • 10 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel zucchini into strips and leave out the seedy core. Salt and let sit for 15 minutes and blot with paper towels.

Brown ground beef in pan and add marinara. Season well with salt and pepper.

Layer into a small casserole dish: meat, zucchini, ricotta, meat, zucchini, ricotta, mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Broil uncovered for 2-3 minutes to brown the top.

  • Rao’s Marinara Sauce (Pinterest recipe)

Makes 7 cups

Ingredients

  1. Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes (I used four cans of Kirkland tomatoes)
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 6 tablespoons minced onion
  4. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  5. Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 12 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)
  7. Pinch of dried oregano

Directions

  1. Remove tomatoes from can and place in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands; remove and discard the hard core from stem end, and any skin and tough membrane; set aside. OR…just use as is if using Kirkland brand…
  2. Place oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juices; season with salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.
  3. Stir in basil, if using, oregano, and season with pepper; continue cooking 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 544 Calories from Fat 369
  • Total Fat 41g 63%
  • Saturated Fat 18g 90%
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 139mg 46%
  • Sodium 487mg 20%
  • Potassium 530mg 15%
  • Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
  • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 34g 68%
  •  
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

New diet equals new foods! Just in at Costco – Cauliflower Rice! Pinterest has recipes for almost everything…shown here with roasted peppers, grilled salmon and avocado salsa. Supposedly all Keto friendly.

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Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower “rice” is now widely available in many supermarkets, including Costco Merida. There are many different recipes for using it, but this one is very simple!
Ingredients
5 cups cauliflower rice
3 T butter
3 garlic cloves minced
7 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil)
Chopped parsley
Directions
In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let it burn!
In a separate fry pan, skillet or wok add 1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra Virgin Olive oil OR coconut oil). Medium heat. Stir in the cauliflower rice and continue stirring until it is warmed through.
Pour I the butter mixture and stir to blend.
Top with the shredded Parmesan and mix well. Add chopped parsley! SERVE.
Instead of the butter and cheese, try pesto sauce…OR cilantro and lime…

 

Cheesy Ranch Chicken and Broccoli Bake (KETO)

Alas, we have succumbed to the Keto Diet which requires us to eat very few carbs, lots of protein, veggies and some fruits. Beginning today you will see Keto friendly recipes. This is not to say they aren’t tasty!! I am a novice here and still in the early stages of figuring out what is good and bad. Help me!! If I post a recipe which you know is not KETO please let me know. I need your help… You know if I post it, it must have at least tasted good…LOL. Here we go….

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Cheesy Ranch Chicken & Broccoli {Keto & Low Carb Friendly}
Ingredients
• 2 cups cooked chicken breast (3 small breasts)
• 2 tablespoon of butter
• ½ pack ranch seasoning mix (see below )
• 4 oz. cream cheese, softened.
• ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
• Broccoli (Costco pieces – steamed
• ⅔ cup chicken broth
• ¼ cup crumbled bacon
• ½ cup cheese
For the Topping
• 2 cups cheese
• ½ cup crumbled bacon
Instructions
1. Kasey* cooked her chicken first in a slow cooker on high for 3.5 hrs. (Boiled mine for 10 minutes)
2. Remove from slow cooker (or the pot) and shred.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. In an oven-safe skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
5. Add ranch seasoning, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, ¼ cup crumbled bacon and ½ cup cheese.
6. Use a whisk to combine ingredients and cook on low for 5 minutes.
7. Steam broccoli in the microwave while the ranch mixture is cooking.
8. Add chicken and cooked broccoli to ranch mixture and stir to combine.
9. Sprinkle 2 cups cheese and ½ cup crumbled bacon on top.
10. Cook in oven for 25 minutes then move to top rack.
11. Cook on broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly and bacon is browned. (I skipped this)
*Recipe by Kasey Trenum at https://kaseytrenum.com/cheesy-ranch-chicken-broccoli-keto-low-carb-friendly/

Dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix (I used the whole recipe)

  • 1 tbsp dry Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or dry minced onion
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…

Jambalaya  is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.

Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
  • 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
  • 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.

Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.

Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Green Mango Salad

Our neighbours introduced us to Green Papaya Salad, a favourite Thai salad with crisp vegetables. Alas, no green papayas to be found. Why not Green Mango Salad? The green refers to the unripeness, not the outside colour. Stefano Faita, one of my fav Canadian chefs and CBC personality had published this recipe…great colour! FYI…you could use firm nectarines in place of the mango.

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As always, my changes are shown in red.

Green Mango Salad

INGREDIENTS

2 large to 3 small green or under ripe mangoes, julienned

1 carrot, julienned (substitute 3 red radishes)

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup each mint leaves and Thai basil

1 tbsp. sweet spicy chili sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce, or to taste

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mint or Thai Basil, for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

Add green mangoes, carrot or radishes, red onion, red pepper, mint, Thai basil and chili sauce to bowl. Toss to combine.

Combine lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce and vegetable oil in small bowl. Stir to combine. Toss with salad. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

 

Croque Monsieur

We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.

Croque Monsieur

 Croque-Monsieur

A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dijon mustard for spreading

  • 4 slices ham

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)

  • OPTIONAL – 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.

  3. Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.

  4. Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.

I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.

Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/