Friendly Food Snobs

sweet potato smoothie bowl

smoothie bowlI’m devouring this smoothie bowl as I type and it’s amazing. Slightly sweet and so satisfying. It feels a bit more mindful to eat from a bowl and spoon, rather than chug a smoothie straight from the glass, right?

Summer always feels busy. Our little man is turning 1 in a week, barbecues with family and friends are in full swing, and I am loving the last months of my maternity leave spending a lot of time at the park and local splash pad or cuddled up at home with my babe. I try to incorporate veggies in my breakfast and needed a break from green smoothies. This was a perfect change of pace.

A few tips for this recipe, boil your sweet potatoes the night before and this smoothie bowl comes together in a flash. I just stick them in the fridge cooked and whole and peel them quickly before I toss them in the blender. I added pepita seeds and shredded unsweetened coconut, but chia seeds and any nuts would be delicious. Makes enough for two small smoothie bowls, or one very hungry one!

sweet potato smoothie bowl

Ingredients:
1 pitted date
1 frozen banana
2 small organic sweet potatoes boiled and peeled (or 1 large)
1/2 milk of your choice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1 scoop protein powder
Suggested toppings: shredded coconut, chia seeds, pepita seeds

Combine all ingredients in blender and blitz until smooth.

butter chicken with coconut milk

easy butter chickeneasy butter chickenButter chicken tops my list of comfort foods. I had a fierce craving the other day and  crafted this easy homemade version instead of ordering in. This curry was simple to make and amazing to eat. I used a can of coconut milk, instead of the traditional whipping cream and love it all the more for being healthier. The little knob of butter at the end makes the recipe just the slightest bit better. The sauce a bit glossier. A little bit of butter goes a long way. I froze a few containers for busy weeknights and it was perfection. Makes 6 servings.

butter chicken with coconut milk

Ingredients:
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 heaping tbsp good quality yellow curry powder
1 heaping tsp cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh cilantro for topping

Coat the bottom of a large pot generously with olive oil. Saute onion on medium heat until fragrant with salt and pepper to taste (approximately 10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add a touch more oil if needed. Using a wooden spoon stir the curry powder, cumin and chili flakes into the onion, garlic and oil. The goal here is to create an aromatic curry paste. Add a small splash of water if needed. Cook for two more minutes reducing the heat slightly if looks like it’s burning. (Should smell pretty amazing by now.)

Add the chopped chicken and coat in curry paste. Pour in tomatoes. Using the wooden spoon again scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate any bits that are sticking. The acidity of the tomatoes helps here. Add can of coconut milk. Let simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice. Taste test for salt and pepper. Stir in sugar and butter. At this point I let the curry rest on the stove for about an hour to cool and thicken and for the flavours to mingle. Serve over rice or quinoa and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro.

flank steak tostadas

flank steak tostados
I love Mexican food. Tostadas are one of my favourite dishes to order in Mexican restaurants so I thought it time to try to bang out a yummy version at home. Since figuring out the recipe, I think I’ve made this at least four times this winter already! You can serve with crispy tostadas, tortillas or lettuce wraps. Flank steak is a reasonable cut of beef at most butchers and using the slow cooker makes it juicy, tender and fall apart. I have also portioned it out, frozen and reheated it and it’s still amazing. Recipes makes 6 servings.

flank steak tostadas

Ingredients:
1.5 – 2 lbs flank steak
2 cooking onions cut into thin slices
2 red bell peppers cut into strips
1 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 dashes of your favourite hot sauce
salt and pepper
drizzle olive oil

Serving:
chopped cilantro, crumbled feta cheese, salsa and lime slices, plus tostadas, tortillas or lettuce wraps

Cut flank steak into chunks roughly the size of a hockey puck. This makes it easier to shred after cooking. Slice onions and peppers into strips. Combine cumin, chipotle and garlic in a small bowl.

Coat bottom and sides of slow cooker generously with olive oil. Layer all the onions on the bottom and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top the onions with the flank steak pieces and sprinkle with spice mixture and hot sauce. Layer the red peppers on top of the flank steak. The moisture from all that veg makes the meat juicy and I serve the cooked onions and peppers with the meat too. Cook in slow cooker for four hours on high. Once finished cooking remove lid, let cool slightly and shred with two forks. Let shredded meat and veg sit in remaining liquid in slow cooker for a few mins before serving to absorb some of the flavourful liquid. Serve with toppings and tostadas, tortillas or lettuce wraps. Freezes well too. I add a few spoonfuls of the remaining liquid before packaging for freezing to keep the meat juicy and moist.

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!

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