Friendly Food Snobs

best kale caesar salad

kale caesar I brought kale into my life with this recipe! Two years of tinkering and I thought it time to share. The secret tricks to this being healthy and absolutely delicious are fresh lemon juice and a quick massage of the kale with the dressing. Unlike most salads, the kale leaves hold up to the dressing, and once tossed and dressed this salad tastes better an hour after mixing or a day later. It’s a great side dish for just about any protein, or stirred into quinoa for a quick quinoa salad. Hello leftover lunches. I use organic kale so a head is about 5 leaves.

best kale caesar salad

Ingredients:
head of kale washed and chopped into 1 or 2 inch strips
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 tsp honey or substitute like maple syrup or agave
1 and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
pinch red pepper flake
3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese (half goes in dressing, half on top)

I find it easiest to chop the kale, then wash it in a salad spinner. Another quick trick is to measure the olive oil and whisk the dressing together in the same glass measuring cup. Less clean up! Combine all ingredients for the dressing, reserving half of the grated parmesean. Pour the dressing over the kale in a large bowl. Massage the dressing into the kale (30 seconds max). Top with remaining cheese and that’s it. I have made this dozens of times and find it tastes best after hanging out covered with cling wrap in the fridge for an hour before serving.

slow cooker steel cut oats + musings about motherhood

slow cooker steel cut oatsEight months into motherhood and what have I learned? Be okay with unfinished. Nothing is going to be perfect. Ride the wave. And if I am still wiped? My mom taught me to quietly whisper to myself “this too shall pass”. And it’s so true. The weeks and months swim by and old challenges become new triumphs. It’s still dark in the mornings when we wake here in Toronto. Neil is running out the door after an early morning play session with Oscar and I am still nursing in the night so knowing that breakfast is made makes the day feel great. This recipe has been saving us of late. Steel cut oats are a commitment, as they take much longer to cook than oats but they are packed with protein and keep you feeling full longer.  I put a batch in the slow cooker Sunday afternoon. It’s foolproof and ready in 2 hours with minimal effort. I store in a container in the fridge and we have breakfast for a few days.

Slow cooker steel cut oats

Ingredients:
1 cup steel cut oats
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil

Coat inside of the slow cooker generously with coconut oil. Leaving any leftover chunks in there. Combine remaining ingredients and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once, or on low for 6 hours. Top and enjoy with more cinnamon, milk, banana slices, almond butter, raisins, dates, walnuts, maple syrup, goji berries, anything you have on hand. Recipe makes four servings and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Wishing you happy mornings!

balsamic chicken salad

balsamic chicken salad

It’s almost Christmas! The house abounds with cookies, chocolate, wine and treats. Time for a mini detox and lots of salads and greens leading up to Christmas Day and New Year’s. Whipped up this salad today and the chicken and roasted peppers are really the stars. The recipe for the roasted peppers can be found on my blog here. The balsamic glaze at the end really makes the dish. You can find it at any grocery store or specialty food shop. I add it to salads or over cheese on a cheese board. If you have time on your hands here is a great recipe for how to make it at home from the Pioneer Woman. I have also added toasted pine nuts and asiago or parmesean cheese to this salad to fancy it up for guests too. Recipe below serves two.

balsamic chicken salad

2 big handfuls salad greens
2 roasted peppers (hint: recipe here)
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
herbamare (can be found here)
olive oil
half of a lemon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
balsamic glaze for drizzling on plate

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season each side with salt, pepper and herbamare. Roast in oven (I use my cast iron pan) 10 to 15 minutes a side until browned. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the chicken when you flip it halfway during cooking. Remove chicken from oven to cutting board and let cool. Divide greens onto two plates. Dress the greens with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Top with roasted pepper pieces. Slice the chicken and add to salad plates. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the chicken and dig in!

crispy flattened chicken + moroccan spices

flattened chicken
Almost ten years ago I backpacked through Morocco with my best, Laura and this week I was craving something warming and exotic. This crispy chicken takes only 45 minutes to roast in the oven, thanks to being flattened. The spice rub is sweet and savory and reminds me of all the tagine meals we devoured with our twenty-something-wonder in North Africa. As I get ready to start feeding our baby boy something other than milk this winter, I get excited at the journey I will get to show him through food in the years to come. Um, perhaps I will start with some sweet potato or mashed avocado first! Enjoy this chicken dish, one of the best parts is the crispy skin. I love to pair it with a simple green salad or cous cous or quinoa with lots of tomatoes and cucumbers and mint. Preserved lemons on the side are lovely too, but not at all necessary.

crispy flattened chicken + moroccan spices

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
1 heaping tsp each of the following:
cumin
garlic powder
paprika
cinnamon
brown sugar
In addition to:
pinch red pepper flakes
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
generous drizzle olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine spices in a small bowl. Using kitchen scissors or a pointed serrated knife slice top of chicken (breasts) in half and flatten the chicken. This saves so much cooking time. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Using your hands rub the spices over both sides of the chicken and even under the skin if you can manage. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a cast iron pan for 45 minutes or until crispy and brown. Let rest a few minutes before diving in. The skin is amazing and so crispy and chicken always moist from the quick cooking time. Enjoy!

baked oatmeal bars

Oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas and berries. Humble, and so satisfying. I’ve been devouring these oatmeal bars after being up in the night with our four month old son Oscar. (Oats are great for nursing!) These bars are simple to make and I’ve even served them as a make-ahead breakfast for overnight guests.  Recipe makes 10 servings, but you can easily half it. I’ve also packaged and frozen these individually and they still taste delicious.

baked oatmeal bars

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas cut into slices
2 cups thawed and drained frozen blueberries or mixed berries (can also use fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups large flake oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing baking dish

Heat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil. Layer the bananas, then half of the berries. Bake for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour over the bananas, gently pressing down with your hands. Then combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and pour over the oats and bananas. Sprinkle remaining berries and walnuts on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool, slice into desired slices and enjoy!

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