I always look forward to rhubarb being in season. My grandfather has a rhubarb patch at his place and makes a delivery of rhubarb when it’s all ready. Then the magic begins. There are so many delicious ways to use rhubarb for baking. Pies, crumbles, jams, chutney, and these amazingly tasty muffins.
What is Rhubarb?
Although it is used more like a fruit, rhubarb is a veggie. It has a similar texture to celery but has a very tart taste. Because of its sour taste, it’s usually prepared in some sort of baked good to compliment the tart with some sweetness. Although rhubarb stalks provide lots of health benefits, it’s important not to eat the greens because they are toxic. So I wouldn’t recommend it. Lol.
These muffins are the perfect level of sweetness to match the tartness from the rhubarb. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, however if you are using frozen I recommend thawing them out to chop them up.
Who doesn’t love pizza! Exactly. Everyone loves pizza. The great thing about pizza is the endless variaties you can make. Veggie, donair, barbecue, greek and of course Hawaiian, because I’m team pineapple when it comes to the age old debate as to whether or not it belongs on pizza.
We all know that ordering pizza isn’t the most nutritous option out there. And while it’s still delicious, and should definitely be consumed on occasion; there are many delicious and healthy ways to make pizza at home. With that I give you these individual pizza flatbreads.
These pizzas are perfect for anyone, because you can customize them how you like, making everyone happy! We often make this meal when we have company and cut up lots of toppings to make a pizza bar. No more having to say “only mushrooms on half please”.
The best part is these pizza crusts are made with three simple ingredients; flour, baking powder and greek yogurt. My favourite crust is made with spelt flour, but all-purpose and/or whole wheat work really well too.
BBQ vs Oven
To make these pizzas there are a couple of options. Number 1 and my favourite is on the BBQ. They get nice and crispy on the outside, while staying fluffy and moist on the inside. Otherwise, you can make these just as easily in the oven!
To make them on the barbecue you will place your flatbreads without toppings and cook on one side for 1 minute. You’ll then take them off the BBQ and place the toppings on the side you grilled. Then when you put the flatbreads back on the BBQ the bottom (uncooked side) will get to the perfect crispiness while your cheese melts and your toppings warm up. Depending on how warm your barbecue gets, you can put them in the oven on broil for one minute to further melt the cheese if they don’t reach perfection. You don’t want to leave them on the barbecue too long or the bottom could burn.
If you are making them in the oven, simply place the flatbreads on a cookie sheet, top them how you like, and then bake in the oven oven for approximately 13 minutes. (I know that sounds way easier than the BBQ version and is still delicious but trust me the BBQ version is more fun and more delicious:)
Now for toppings! You can make whatever kind of pizza your heart desires. One of my favourites is barbecue chicken. The details on my barbecue chicken pizza are down below. Use your favourite barbecue sauce, or make my simple barbecue sauce recipe.
*I personally use plain lactose free greek yogurt, however you can use plain greek yogurt as well, just make sure it’s unflavoured.
Barbecue sauce Recipe
6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp yellow mustard
2/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp liquid smoke*
1 tsp cayenne (if you like a little heat!)
*Liquid smoke is an important ingredient that gives the sauce an authentic barbecue smell and a slightly smoky flavour.
Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
To make your flatbread start by adding all dry ingredients in a bowl and mixing together.
Add yogurt and use a fork to mix together as much as possible, then use your hands to knead the dough until the dry ingredients are fully combined with the yogurt.
Divide your dough into four equal size balls.
Flatten your dough onto a well floured surface and ensure both sides are covered in flour so it doesn’t stick.
Take a rolling pin, (or I use a glass, as it’s smaller and easier) roll your dough until it is about 1/4 an inch thick.
You can make these in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate.
Turn your grill on high heat.
Note that even though the flatbreads are really thin they will puff up and crisp together while on the barbecue.
I also recommend oiling your grill to ensure the crust won’t stick (pour some vegetable oil on a rag and wipe on the hot grill)
Once it’s ready cook one side of the flatbreads for 1 minute.
Take them off the grill and top them however you like. (Try not to fight over pineapple belonging on pizza or not.) Make sure you put the toppings on the grilled side.
Return your topped pizzas to the BBQ and cook for another 3-5 minutes until your cheese has melted and your toppings are warm.
*If the bottom of your pizza has reached your desired crispiness but the cheese isn’t completely melted (this will vary depending on your barbecue) then put pizza in the oven on broil for 1-2 minutes. DON’T try multitasking while they are on broil, trust me they will burn way too quickly lol.
If you are making in the oven simply heat up your oven to 425℉ and place toppings on pizza. Then cook for about 10-15 minutes.
This Jamaican inspired meal has quickly become one of my favourites. I love using Jamaican spices to give every bite a huge punch of flavour. This meal is so tasty you’ll feel like you are in the Caribbean! Well maybe not quite, but we can pretend.
Stars of the show
While every part of this meal plays its own special role, a few key ingredients that take you to Jamaica, and enhance the taste are allspice, lime and cilantro.
The chicken thighs marinated and seasoned to perfection give this meal delicious Jamaican flavours. The mango salsa along with the cilantro lime rice balance the spice and bring a refreshing taste. I also love making some barbecued veggies with jamaican spices as a side dish, but this is completely optional. My favourites are zucchini and eggplant.
For this recipe you are going to need to marinade the chicken thighs for at least 2-3 hours, but if you are ahead of the game I suggest leaving them to marinade over night.
Like I mentioned above, cilantro and lime are the star ingredients for the side dishes. You can make the salsa while heating up the grill and cooking your chicken. While you are doing this you can also prepare your basmati rice by cooking it how you normally would.
1/2 tsp cinnamon, cumin, coriander and dried thyme**
Prepare marinade by chopping and mincing garlic, ginger and jalapeños.
Put chicken thighs into a bag along with all the other marinade ingredients.
Put the marinading chicken into the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make supper heat up barbecue to high heat.
Once barbecue is heated up, grill chicken for around 6-7 minutes on each side.
After 15 minutes check the center to make sure it is fully cooked through.
Serve with your delicious side dishes!
*If you wanted to replace the chicken thighs for chicken breast that would work as well but thighs are way juicier on the grill.
**To make the barbecued veggies, slice them into long thin slices like in the photos above, poor a light amount of soy sauce over them and sprinkle your desired amount, or approximately 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cumin, dried thyme, all spice and coriander on top.
One of my favourite appetizers and side dish are these tasty buffalo cauliflower “wings”. A much healthier version of the deep fried chicken wings we all love! They are easy to make, and even easier to eat!
Cauliflower is a super healthy cruciferous vegetable that’s loaded with good nutritional value. It is high in fibre, has many different nutrients and contain lots of water. Just one cup of chopped cauliflower provides 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 5g of carbohydrates and 2g of fibre. It has many essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and more.
With all of the health benefits it provides it’s no wonder cauliflower has become a popular veggie used to make a ton of different meals, side dishes, and appetizers. More to come on that.
To make these yummy wings you will use flour, and a spice mixture called Emeril’s Essence by celebrity chef Emiril Lagasse. You can make this with a combination of a few common cajun inspired spices that are listed in the recipe below. I like to make a jar full of “Emeril’s Essence” as it’s super good to add to a bunch of different recipes for a punch of flavour.
Nothing screams summer like barbecued anything. As soon as the temperature starts to warm up, and the sun starts to shine I get immediate cravings for barbecued meals. Eating food fresh off the grill just tastes like summer. As the summer months are approaching, and warmer weather is upon us, I’ve been barbecuing as many dinners and lunches as possible.
These chicken kebabs are a super quick and easy meal to prepare and make. They have a dry rub spice mixture so you don’t need to worry about marinading them for hours in advance. Just throw on the spices as you are making supper. I like to serve these kebabs with a side of rice or roasted potatoes. Topped off with a delicious peanut sauce makes for the perfect barbecued summer meal.
What to put on the kebabs?
I have a few “go to” veggies for these kebabs which include bell peppers, red onion and zucchini, and for a delicious burst of flavor I add pineapple. This adds a little sweetness to the meal and a whole lot of deliciousness. You can, however, use whatever veggies you have on hand, like brussel sprouts, mushrooms, egg plants, cherry tomatoes, etc.
The peanut sauce is easily what makes this meal go from good to great. I like to give it a slight spiciness by adding a little chilli sauce, however it’s not a must have if you don’t like spicy food.
*Like I said before, none of these veggies are required, use whatever you have. I had Brussel sprouts on hand so I threw those on the skewers.
The amounts listed for each spice is only meant to be approximate. I always tend to add more spice then a recipe calls for because I love when things are extra flavourful. So feel free to add more of these spices if you see fit.
Turn the barbecue on to high heat
Chop all your veggies and pineapple into bite size cubes that will fit on the kebabs.
Place them in a large bowl.
Cut up your chicken into cubes as well.
Place chicken in separate bowl.
Then measure out your spices and put them in a small bowl.
Sprinkle your spice mixture over both of the veggies and the chicken.
Toss to coat the spice mixture over all of the food.
Place all the chicken and veggies onto your kebabs.
Put on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Turn them over and cook the other side for 3-5 minutes.
Veggies don’t take long to cook so to make sure the kebabs are ready check the center of a piece of chicken to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
During this global pandemic, like many others, I have found myself with a little extra time on my hands, hence how this blog came to life. As seen basically anywhere on the internet, people are making bread like no other as a pass time. So obviously I had to hop on the trend.
One of my absolute favourite kinds of bread is sourdough. A local bakery just 15 minutes away from my house makes all sorts of delicious sourdough breads, including apricot, olive, baguettes, etc. I’ve always known that sourdough is “healthy” but that was the extent of it.
What is it?
First of all, what is sourdough bread and why is it different than regular bread? Sourdough is bread that is made from a sourdough starter in place of store bought yeast. Yeast reacts with the gluten in flour which is what causes the dough to rise. Sourdough bread rises from “wild yeast” instead of added yeast. The yeast and bacteria grow inside the flour and water. The bacteria that is present produces lactic acid which ferments the dough. AKA why the dough has a sour taste.
Sourdough is healthy because of the grain fermentation process. All you need to make a sourdough starter is flour and water. Within that there is “wild yeast” and lactic acid bacteria which act as natural leavening agents. Lactic acid bacteria is a bacteria found in other fermented products like kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and beer to name a few. This bacteria makes sourdough bread easily digestible and therefore all the nutrients are more available to the body. The lactic acid in the bread also causes it to have a lower glycemic index than regular bread. This means that sourdough is a slower digesting carbohydrate and it won’t spike your blood sugar as much.
I wanted to try making my own sourdough bread, which requires a sourdough “starter”. I followed The Kitchn step by step guide to make my own starter from scratch.
I like to think that after a few months of successfully starting and maintaining my starter that I have become an expert. But, I honestly just look up any questions I have.
The thought of growing and maintaining a starter seems like a lot of work at first. Having to feed it everyday, and waste all of the “discard”. But I can honestly say it’s much easier than it may seem. Whenever I know I won’t be be baking for a longer period of time I just put my starter in the fridge. It’s recommended to leave it in the fridge for no longer than a week before taking it out to feed it. There are also a bunch of really cool ways to use sourdough discard.
Sourdough starters are also really cool because you can share them with other people so they don’t have to do the initial phases of building a starter. Here is another great website that explains all the basics about having a sourdough starter.
To feed your starter follow a 1:1 ratio of flour and water in weight. If you have a kitchen scale that is an easy way to measure equal amounts. For example I usually do 4 ounces of water and flour. If you are using measuring cups, 3/4 cup of flour is approximately 1/2 a cup of water.
I started out by making a simple white sourdough bread recipe, and then began branching out to try different recipes. I then decided to attempt making a whole wheat flour starter and have had equal success!
I’ve made many different loaves of bread with my starters as well as bagels that are to die for! I’ve even made a few of my own recipes along the way. So stay tuned for lots of sourdough content to come.
Ever find yourself wanting a little something sweet after a meal? Or needing a quick bite to eat to hold you over until supper. These stuffed dates are your next snack. They are super easy to make and you can prep them in advance and throw them in the freezer for a quick grab anytime.
All you need for this deliciousness are some dates, nut butter of your choice and a freezer. Of course it is only a recommendation to put them in the freezer, but not really, because its way better that way. My favourite nut butters to use for these are almond butter and cashew butter. If you prefer peanut butter that would also work.
Start by pitting your dates (or save yourself the time and buy pitted dates). Cut a slit into the date, then stuff some nut butter into the centre. It doesn’t have to be a lot as dates are pretty small, about one teaspoon should do it.
When you have them all prepped throw them into the freezer and grab a couple for a snack whenever you’re craving something sweet.
Not only are you curing your sweet tooth by eating this snack, you are also gaining a bunch of great nutrients. Dates are a source of natural sugar, full of vitamins, and contain fiber as well. They are also great to help with digestion. This paired along with some nut butter makes for the perfect combination of carbs, healthy fats and protein for a simple snack or dessert.
Frozen Stuffed Dates
Serves: 20 Prep time: 10 minutes
20 Pitted dates
Nut butter of choice
This is just a super quick and simple version of this snack, but if you are feeling extra special these would also be great dipped in dark chocolate, or putting a little extra in the filling like chocolate chips, or little bits of nuts. Customize them however you like! But trust me, they are amazing just like this.
Cut date open and pit them if they aren’t already pitted.
If they are already pitted cut slit in date.
Take around 1 tsp of your nut butter of choice and stuff it in your date.
Repeat this for all of your dates.
Put them in the freezer and grab one for a quick snack whenever you need to sweeten your taste buds!
Mmm. There’s nothing like a light and fluffy blueberry muffin. Blueberries are one of my favourite berries out there. I love putting them on salads, blueberry pancakes, yogurt bowls and of course in these muffins.
I’ve used blueberries in this recipe because we had some frozen blueberries in the freezer but you can put in other berries or chocolate chips as well.
These muffins are an ideal pre/post workout snack as well. They are great pre-workout because they provide some carbohydrates through the banana, oats and honey. AKA fuel! They are also great post workout to replenish your glycogen stores after all the hard work. They’re super light and airy so you don’t need to worry about any discomfort while you workout either.
For this recipe I have used oat flour by blending old fashion rolled oats in a high speed blender, but regular all purpose flour or gluten-free flour can be used as substitutes as well. To sweeten these muffins up I used two ripe bananas with a little honey to go along with it. You also get some sweetness from the blueberries. An important tip for these muffins is loading them with blueberries, they are definitely the star of the show.
These muffins are super quick to prepare and take around 17 minutes to bake. They make for the perfect sweet snack on their own, or with a little nut butter on top. If you are like me today, with my afternoon iced coffee.
When people say carbs are the most fun to eat, they are so right. Sweet Potato is easily in my top 10 favourite foods. I have it at least once a day if not 2 or 3. With that, Asian flavours are some of my favourites to make recipes with. It’s so versatile and delicious. So this side dish is one of my faves!
Sweet potatoes are an incredibly nutritious, sweet tasting root vegetable. They contain many vitamins and minerals and they are over 75% water. Sweet potatoes are also awesome to promote gut health because they are high in fiber and antioxidants.
In one small sweet potato there are around 110 calories, with 26g of carbohydrates, 2g of protein, 0g of fat and 4g of fiber.
My spiralizer is one of my favourite kitchen tools that I highly recommend purchasing if you don’t have one. You can easily find spiralled vegetables in store but the quantities are super small and the price is jacked up. There are so many different spirallizers on the market, some are super high tech, but you can also find mini ones if you only plan to use it once in a while. You can find these pretty much anywhere in stores as well as on Amazon.
Like I said before Asian cuisine is one of my favourites. There are endless possibilities. In this recipe I made a sauce that has a salty taste with a hint of sweetness. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter (which is commonly used in many Asian sauces), but peanut butter would be delicious as well.
Asian Style Sweet Potato Noodles
Serves: 4 large side dishes Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook: 7 minutes Total time: 23 minutes
5 medium sweet potatoes peeled and spiralled or roughly 5-7 cups.
2 zucchini spiralled*
3 stalks green onion finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
For the sauce
1/4 c almond butter
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lime or about 3-4 tbsp
1 tbsp chili sauce (optional if you like a slight spiciness)
*Zucchinis are optional but I really like to add them to give the dish more depth and I find it really lightens it up as well.
Start by spiralling your sweet potato and zucchini into noodles if you do not have store bought.
Mince and chop the garlic, green onion and ginger.
Prepare your sauce in a medium size mixing bowl.
Add all sauce ingredients and stir together.
Heat up a large stir fry pan to medium hot with one tbsp of oil. (Sesame oil gives it amazing nutty flavour and aroma, but olive oil works as well.)
Add the garlic, green onion and ginger to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add sauce to the pan.
Right after sauce, add sweet potato noodles and toss with the sauce. Cook for about 4 minutes before adding zucchini noodles as they take much less time to cook and you don’t want them to get mushy.
Once you add zucchini mix it all up and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
One of my favourite flavours is lemongrass. It is a unique tasting herb that adds a burst of flavour to whatever dish it is added to. It has a light you guessed it, lemony taste and makes whatever you’re eating taste refreshing.
If you aren’t familiar with lemongrass and maybe have never cooked with it before I highly recommend looking for it the next time you go grocery shopping. An important tip when preparing lemongrass is to chop it very finely as it is quite tough.
Lemongrass tea is a very common tea flavour that is known for its health benefits. Lemongrass contains many essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin A to name a few.
So I’ve come up with a super simple pan fried lemon grass chicken recipe that is healthy and delicious. All you need to do is marinade the chicken and then pan fry when you are ready to eat.