Tag Archives: dinner

Salmon en Papillote

 

Salmon en Papillote

Salmon en Papillote

We’re currently nearing the end of the second week of Spring break at our house and I’ve been finding it difficult to make time to write my blog posts, but I really wanted to share this simple salmon recipe.

Salmon makes a regular appearance on our dinner table, we have it on the menu almost every week. Aside from being delicious, healthy and incredibly versatile, it’s also a guaranteed hit with my kids, which makes it a no-brainer for me. Plus it’s wonderfully flavourful on it’s own, so you really don’t need to do much to it to make it a winner. Typically, I’ll just bake it with lemon slices on top or brush it with maple syrup. This past week, though, I felt like trying something I haven’t made in a while, something a bit fancier, like Salmon en Papillote. En Papillote refers to a cooking method in which the food, traditionally fish or vegetables, is sealed in parchment paper. The term sounds quite fancy, but it is actually an easy way to prepare your meal. By sealing in parchment, the meal cooks in a pocket of moist air, allowing the juices to blend and intensify. The resulting aroma upon opening the package is just a hint of the deliciousness waiting inside.

parchment paper

4 – 4oz salmon fillets

1/2 Carrots, julienned (or thinly sliced)

1/2 Cup fennel bulb, stalk removed and julienned (or thinly sliced)

2 tbsp butter

1/4 Cup fresh tarragon, chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.

Cut the parchment paper into 4 squares measuring approx. 12″ by 12″. Fold each square in half diagonally. Place one salmon fillet in the centre of each square of parchment, lining it up with the fold. Season with salt and pepper, then top each fillet with an equal portion of the carrots, fennel, tarragon and the butter.

Seal the parcels by folding the paper over the top of the fillet. Starting at one end, twist the edges of the paper until it is tightly sealed.

Samon En Papillote prep   Salmon En Papillote prep

Continue twisting along the edges until you get to the end. Fold the end under the parcel and place it on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

 

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Spaghetti and (Healthier) Meatballs

 Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s delicious, kid-friendly and it’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s definitely a favourite at our house. The recipe I usually make is one that I got from my mom, who got it from her friend, who got it from her grandmother many, many, many years ago. It’s one of the best spaghetti and meatball dishes I’ve ever had, so I’ve never really played around with the recipe. Why mess with a great thing, right? Last week, however, I felt like playing around with it just a little. I wanted to see if I could make a healthier, yet equally delicious meatball to throw in the sauce. Usually I use a combination of ground pork and ground beef, but to lighten it up, I chose to use ground turkey. I also added some chopped spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids. The experiment was a success. The kids ate the meatballs, spinach and all, and my husband actually said he preferred this verion to the original. So here it is, my updated, slightly healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground turkey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/4 Cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and form into 1″ meatballs. Set aside.

Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp fresh italian flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favourite spaghetti

Cut the Italian sausage into 1″ pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the sausage, onions and garlic and saute until the sausage is browned. Add the red wine. Then stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue simmering over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Prepare spaghetti according to the package. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

I’ve been promising my husband for months now that I’m going to make Jambalaya. With his birthday (and Mardi Gras) last week, it was finally time to make good on that promise. I’ve only tried to make jambalaya once before, years ago. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favourite, which is probably why I’ve been hesitant to make it again. It just seemed like a lot of work and a lot of expense (there’s a lot of meat in this dish) for something I wasn’t crazy about. This time I did my research and am proud to say I will definitely be making jambalaya again. Meaty, spicy, savoury and comforting, jambalaya has a lot going on. It’s entirely worth the effort and expense. Continue reading

Spicy Prawn Soup

Spicy Prawn Soup

Spicy Prawn Soup

 

This soup is a variation of one of my mother in law’s favourite recipes. She calls her recipe zuppa soup, but I’ve changed the name to Spicy Prawn Soup to better describe it. Let me just say that I have a really hard time following recipes, which might seem pretty obvious given that the first thing I did was change the name of this one. When it came time to make the soup, I couldn’t help myself, I had to make a few little tweaks. That’s how I cook, feeling my way through a recipe and tweaking little things as I go. I feel that recipes are really more of a Continue reading

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

 Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

Happy Meatless Monday!

We try to eat a vegetarian dinner at our house at least twice a week, although not usually on Monday. Most of the time I’m not organized enough for that. Typically our Meatless Monday happens on Tuesday after I’ve planned the meals for the week and been to the grocery store.  There’s no denying that adding a vegetarian meal into our dinner rotation is better for our health. It’s also better for the planet. And with less meat on the menu, the grocery bill tends to be a bit lower, too.

I think it’s important to continually expose kids to a wide variety of foods, vegetarian or otherwise. A great way to do that is to try making dishes from another country or culture. My son has always been very interested in learning about other countries, so for us it becomes a great conversation topic at the dinner table, as well. One of the recipes I make fairly often is this Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry. It’s loaded with healthful ingredients and is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter night. I love the spice from the madras curry and the punch of flavour from the tomatoes, lime and cilantro. Madras curry  is what I typically have on hand. It’s a fairly spicy curry hailing from the south of India. If you prefer things a bit milder you can certainly use a milder curry or whichever curry powder you’re comfortable with.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp ginger, grated or minced

2 Tbsp madras curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander

1 Cup vegetable broth

398 mL (14oz) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 head Cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

796 mL (28oz) can of whole tomatoes

1 lime, juice only (about 2 tbsp)

1/2 Cup cilantro

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute for about 2 minutes until the onions are starting to sweat. Stir in the curry, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute until it starts to become really fragrant. Stir in the broth and then add the cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes and cauliflower are just tender. Add the chickpeas and continue simmering for about 15 minutes longer. To finish, stir in the lime juice and cilantro right before serving. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

 

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