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arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

 

This is my go-to salad for guests. So simple and so good. I’m hosting a big family meal on Christmas Eve and plan to make a batch of this. I love a salad on a holiday table to lighten things up. The bitter arugula plays so well off the sweet pear, salty parmesean, walnuts and lemony dressing. I will often toss this all in a big white bowl to show off how pretty it is. This is how salads should taste to me, hearty, satisfying with every mouthful leaving you wanting another. Salad pairs well with any grilled meats, or as a standalone lunch.  Hope you love it as much as I do.

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

Ingredients for the lemon dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
4 large handfuls baby arugula
seeds of half a pomegranate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (lightly toasted in a dry pan)
parmesean peels (use a potato peeler) to taste (I like A LOT)
1 ripe pear cut into slivers

Whisk the dressing together. Mix the salad ingredients. Toss and serve. Bonus points – dressing can be added 30 minutes before serving with no fear of wilting. Recipe serves four to six.

nuts and bolts – a christmas classic

nuts and bolts

Nuts and bolts are a Christmas classic at my parents house when I was growing up. This is my take on my own mom’s recipe. Her nuts and bolts were so infamous she would make two or three huge batches between November and January and it would get devoured. I make it these days to have a stash at home and also give it away to friends and family tied up in clear bags. I have to do this pretty quickly. (Before Neil and I eat bowls of it while watching a movie after the kids go to bed!) I love having a container of this kicking around the kitchen to put out if guests pop by over the holidays and Oscar absolutely loves it as an after nursery school snack on these cold wintery days we’ve been having here in Toronto. It is the perfect salty snack and so addictive. It is not my typical whole food healthy recipe, but is tastes like my childhood Christmas and being home and cozy and really what is better than that in November?

Ingredients:
5 cups shreddies
2 cups cheerios
2 cups cheese bits crackers
3 cups pretzels
2 cups mixed salted nuts
2 cups salted cashews
4 tablespoon butter (I use salted)
4 tablespoon olive oil
5 teaspoon worcestershire
2-3 teaspoon garlic powder (we like 3 but if you are not a huge garlic fan, try 2)
2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch chili powder

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. I use a large aluminum roasting pan (the disposable kind) from the grocery store. Combine all the cereal and crackers and nuts in the pan.  Melt the butter in the microwave and add the oil and spices. Pour over the nuts and bolts and I use a large wooden spoon to mix well. (You want that yummy coating on everything.) Bake for 90 minutes and stir every 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely before you package them. Keeps well in a sealed container for two weeks. But it never lasts that long in my house. If you need any more holiday inspiration check out my chewy ginger cookies  or arugula pomegranate salad or cheddar thyme shortbread. Happy Christmas cooking, friends!

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.

roasted root vegetables

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Roasting is my favourite cooking method for vegetables, hands down. Texture wins every time. Crisp and browned on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. If hosting people for dinner. I often make this earlier in the day and just reheat. They’re that good. Nourishing, unpretentious and earthy with a touch of cumin. This could easily pass for a Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday side dish. Delicious made into a frittata or thrown with some arugula and goat cheese for a lunch the next day. Serves four.

roasted root vegetables

Ingredients:
1 carrot chopped
1 red onion chopped
1 large sweet potatoe roughly peeled and chopped
2 yukon gold potatoes roughly peeled and chopped
50 ml of olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Heaping teaspoon of cumin

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.

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