Friendly Food Snobs

Raspberry chia jam

chia seed jam
chia seed jamchia seed jamI love a slice of seedy sprouted toast for breakfast topped with nut butter and banana slices, berries, honey or jam. I take the time to eat it with a steaming mug of tea or cup of coffee before the day gets crazy and usually before anyone else gets up. It’s my happy place where I plan my day. I know traditonal jam is super high in sugar. I had heard rumours about chia jam and decided to try it. Such a winner! It was so easy and only took about ten minutes to make. Truth: my crew devoured this jam in just four days!

The chia seeds expand and act like natural pectin to thicken the jam. They are also little superfoods high in fibre and healthy fats. You can use blackberries, strawberries, whatever you prefer. The jam will last two weeks in the fridge. I  love it stired into some plain yogurt too. Let me know what you think in the comment.

Ingredients:
3 cups of washed fresh raspberries (two small clamshells)
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp whole chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup

Combine berries, water and syrup in a small pot and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Stir and mash the berries with the back of a fork. Let simmer for two minutes.
Add chia seeds, stir and remove from heat. Pour into a dish or clean jar, let cool and refrigerate covered. If you want a sweeter more traditional tasting jam try adding a little more syrup. We enjoyed it with just two tablespoons, but go with what tastes good to you. The jam takes about two hours to reach “jam like” consistancy in fridge.

This post was sponsored by Metro and all ingredients used in the recipe were purchased there. I only accept sponsorships and collaborations from brands and companies I love and trust, and I always share with my readers when a post is sponsored. In this case I was thrilled to work with Metro to purchase all these healthy summer ingredients and develop this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

best kale salad

kale salad 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.

best kale 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 maple syrup
1 and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic chopped
pinch red pepper flake
3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese (half goes in dressing, half on top)
handful toasted slivered almonds
handful dried cranberries

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, nuts and cranberries 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.

super seedy banana bread

I took my favourite banana bread and pumped it up with chia seeds, hemp hearts and nuts for extra protein and healthy fats. The recipe makes two loaves. Life is busy with two boys and this is my go to breakfast lately. Dashel arrived in April and Oscar is almost 3 years old in June. I’m doing a lot of batch cooking and baking like this to try to stay ahead of the game..or the next meal/snack! The key to freezing muffins or healthy homemade baked goods is to let them cool and freeze in freezer bags the day they are made. Then I quickly warm them in the microwave and breakfast is ready in under a minute and I know it’s healthy. Or keep one loaf and give one away to a friend. The bread freezes well and never lasts very long at our house. I love it with almond butter and a hot cup of tea or coffee for breakfast.

Ingredients:
5 large ripe bananas mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted or room temperature coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups large flake oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Topping: 2 tbsp sunflower seeds or pepita seeds to sprinkle on top of each loaf before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another. Combine, but don’t over stir. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or canola oil using paper towel. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the seeds on top. I think this looks lovely once it’s baked. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  You can bake the second loaf right away or do it later, the batter can sit in the fridge. Once the first loaf is done, you can bake the second as a loaf or as muffins. You might only have one loaf pan in your kitchen like me.  I sometimes bake the other loaf as 12 muffins or bake it in the loaf pan later in the day once the kids are in bed. (For muffins increase your oven to 375 degrees.) Also if you’re short on time, you can bake the entire batter as muffins and it makes 24. Enjoy!

easy bbq chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bbq chicken is huge on taste and short on prep time. I came up with it the summer Oscar was born and just remembered it the other day. Depending how much time you have you can marinate it for as little as one hour or overnight. I’m often short on time and dinner hour is approaching (eeek..again!) and I’ve  had success marinating in just one hour. My three year old loves this chicken. Feel free to add more siracha if you like more spice.

Ingredients:
6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp siracha
2 tbsp ketchup
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover and refrigerate. Grill on the bbq at 375 degrees turning once. I’ve served this with quinoa and a kale salad or arugula salad.

beef kebobs and mint garlic yogurt sauce

beef kebobsbeef kebobs beef kebobsThese are the best beef kebobs for a winter supper. Middle eastern flavours served with rice and a yogurt sauce that tastes amazing and takes two minutes to assemble. I’ve been making variations of this recipe for about 10 years and I think I’m finally happy with it. Warming, filling, and perfect for this polar freeze Toronto has experienced this winter. The recipe made enough for our family of three (and a prego me) to have for two dinners. So I would say serves 4-6 people. Want to do a veg on the side? I make a simple green salad with cucumber and greens, or roasted cauliflower florets with olive oil, s&p and lemon.

Ingredients for beef kebobs:
600 grams lean ground beef
1 egg
1 large cooking onion grated (or 2 small)
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
fresh black pepper to taste (I like a lot)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak 8-10 wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands or paper towel squeeze all the excess moisture from the grated onion. Combine all ingredients and using the back of a dinner fork blend and mash together. Let beef mixture rest five minutes.

Holding the skewer with your left hand over the parchment lined pan, scoop some of the meat mixture with your right and form it along the skewer. I find it easiest to lay it on the lined pan and form the kebob along the skewer. Put only four or five skewers per pan at once. Bake for 17 minutes or until slightly browned. Then remove the cooked kebobs to a waiting plate and form the last batch. Makes 8-10 beef kebobs. I serve with basmati rice cooked to package instructions and chopped Italian parsley. As well as the following super simple mint garlic yogurt sauce.

Ingredients for mint garlic yogurt sauce:
3/4 cup full fat plain Balkan yogurt
1 tsp dried mint
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine and store in fridge until ready to eat. Keeps well in fridge for three days.

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