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Chicken Salad

This recipe makes for a quick dinner, especially on the nights of my son’s soccer games.  You can have this flavorful salad on it’s own, in a croissant or on fresh rye bread.

I use a rotisserie chicken from Sobey’s. I usually grab the chipotle flavoured chicken, but the regular barbecue flavour is just as good.

4 cups chicken, cooked
1 cup mayonnaise, or greek yogurt
1 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp dill, fresh
1 1/2 cups red grapes, quartered
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients together.

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Avocado Egg Salad

Mayo-free! I love this about this recipe! Super tasty and super easy to make.

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6 eggs hard boiled
1 – 1 1/2 ripe avocados peeled and mashed
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste

1. Add the eggs to a medium-sized pot and cover with a few inches of water. Cover and place on high heat. Bring water to a full (but gentle) boil. Remove from heat, lid the pot and cook for 12-14 minutes.

2. Drain the water and immediately run cold water over the eggs. Transfer eggs to an ice bath and allow eggs to chill for 3 minutes. Peel the shell right away as it makes for easier peeling. Refrigerate peeled eggs until ready to use.

3. In a medium bowl, add the avocado, lemon juice and salt. Mash the avocado, leaving it slightly chunky if desired. Add the chopped hard boiled eggs and stir well to combine. Eat on toasted bread with greens of your choice.

Simple Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

If you like kale…you’ll love this recipe. This salad makes a great base for your favourite toppings. I added grilled chicken, but you can add salmon, avocados, nuts, dried fruits or shaved Parmesan.

I massaged the dressing into the kale for about 1-2 minutes. I don’t mind the texture of kale but massaging it does make it softer. Also, the dressing gets really mixed in.

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10 oz raw kale, ribs removed and discarded
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl mix together the oil, lemon juice and garlic. Pour over the kale and with clean hands start massaging the dressing into the kale. Taste the salad and add salt and pepper and continue to massage again. Taste again and adjust seasoning accordingly.
2. Serve as a side to dinner or have as a lunch.
3. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Cucumber Avocado Rolls

This roll makes a great appetizer. It’s fresh and super tasty!

I used a potato peeler to peel my slices of cucumber, but you could also use a mandoline.

One batch of Avocado mixture filled one cucumber. Next time, I will double the recipe. An English cucumber is best for this recipe as a garden cucumber has too many big seeds.

I made this ahead of time, and it became soggy. For best results, make and serve right away. See step 5 in the recipe instructions for tips on how to prepare to bring to a party.

No toothpicks are needed, just make sure you spread the mixture from end to end.

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1 Avocado
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grounds of pepper
1 cucumber
Smoked or sweet paprika for garnish

1. Add the Avocado, basil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. You can also blend by hand, finely mince the garlic and basil, and mash all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth and creamy.
2. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to cut long thin strips from the cucumber.
3. Take a cucumber strip and spread a thin coat of the Avocado mixture along the length of the cucumber. A little goes a long way! Make sure to get some Avocado all the way to the end, so it will stick the roll together.
4. Roll it up! No toothpicks needed. Do the same with the rest of your cucumber strips. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve right away.
5. Cucumber is watery and softens quickly, so if you plan on bringing these to a party, prepare the Avocado spread that morning, and store in an air tight container. Bring a whole cucumber and potato peeler and assemble at the party.

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Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Yum! I really liked this salad. I do wish however I had purple cabbage to add more colour. This salad is super easy to make, especially if you have a food processor to help you. In a pinch you could buy the package of pre-cut coleslaw.

I did not add the black sesame seeds. I cut up cashews and added to the top instead of mixing them in. You can also substitute almonds if you wish.

Shredded chicken or pork would be an excellent addition to this salad.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, which lead me to the website thekitchengirl.com.

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6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped cashews
1 Tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
2 finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, cooked Quinoa, carrots, cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds and green onions; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. To serve, toss in sesame ginger vinaigrette

SESAME GINGER VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 finely grated garlic clove
1 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, Ginger, garlic, honey, salt and pepper; cover, refrigerate.
Makes 3/4 cup

Honey Mustard Salmon

This is my new favourite salmon recipe. I changed this recipe slightly. I preferred to barbecue my salmon in a foil packet rather than cooking in a skillet with oil. I also steamed my broccoli.

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I also halved the honey mustard mix since I was only making one salmon portion for myself. I added the honey mustard mixture in with the salmon before I cooked it on the barbecue with great results. Be careful not to cook at a super high temperature since there is honey in the mixture and it will blacken.

My halved mixture is:
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch of onion powder
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. It lead me to a website dinneratthezoo.com

1 and 1/4 lbs of salmon, cut into fillets
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
2 cups of broccoli florets
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: lemon wedges and chopped parsley

1. In a small bowl mix together the Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, soy sauce and onion powder.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water and cook for 2-3 minutes more until water is evaporated and broccoli is tender. Season the broccoli with salt and pepper, remove it from the pan and place it on a plate.
3. Heat the remainng 2 teaspoons of olive oil over high heat. Season the salmon generously with salt and pepper.
4. Put the salmon in the pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Brush the tops of the fillets with the honey mustard mixture and place sauce side down in the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
5. Add the broccoli back into the pan with the salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the vegetables are heated through. Drizzle the salmon and broccoli with remaining honey mustard mixture and serve. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

I love easy simple dinners, and this is one of them.  However, I would make a few changes.  I prefer less rice and more meat.  I made 3 chicken breasts instead of 2. I also used a bag of frozen vegetables to see how it worked in this recipe and I had great results.  However, next time I would steam fresh veggies since there wasn’t enough broccoli in the frozen mix that I bought….I could honestly make this recipe with just broccoli alone.  I love broccoli. Also, please switch out the white rice for brown!

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This recipe is perfect for make-ahead lunches or a quick make ahead dinner.  Pre-cook on a Sunday night and just re-heat for your busy Monday night…or portion out for lunches for the week.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It lead me to the website life-in-the-loft house.com.

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons water
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3 large)
1 (12 oz) bag stir-fry vegetables that can be found in the produce section (for convenience I tried frozen with good results)
3 cups cooked brown or white rice

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
2. Combine soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove lid and cook for one minute once boiling.
3. Meanwhile, stir together the corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a seperate dish until smooth. Once sauce is boiling, add mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken then remove from heat.
4. Place the chicken breasts in the prepared pan. Pour one cup of the sauce over the top of the chicken. Place chicken in oven and bake 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and shred chicken in the dish using two forks.
5. *Meanwhile, steam or cook the vegetables according to package directions.
6. Add the cooked vegetables and rice to the casserole dish with the chicken. Add most of the remaining sauce, reserving a bit to drizzle over the top when serving. Gently toss everything together in the casserole dish until combined. Return to oven and cook 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle each serving with remaining sauce. Enjoy!

Easy One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

This recipe is super fast and easy to make! My kids loved it! This is a perfect make ahead meal for busy nights or a great hot lunch for the kids at school. I found this recipe on damndelicious.net.

I used 1 1/2 cups of red kidney beans instead of adding the 3/4 red and 3/4 white. I used ground turkey instead of using beef. I also grated my cheese super fine so that it melted quicker.

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1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
8 ounces ground beef or ground turkey
4 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces elbow pasta
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat oilve oil in a large killet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks;drain excess fat.
2. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin;season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
4. Serve immediatley, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

This recipe is super tasty! I found this great find on Pinterest which lead me to the website thewholesomedish.com.

I used ground turkey instead of chicken. I also used a cup of my homemade marinara sauce. I used Guy Fieri’s recipe Fieri’s Marinara Sauce.  You could also use Quick Marinara Sauce or Marinara Sauce , both recipes are from Giada De Laurentis.

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4 medium zucchini (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional: sliced fresh basil for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and break it apart with a spoon. Add the salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally and break down down the chicken into small chunks.
3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic to the chicken. Cook 1 minute stirring often. Add the pasta sauce. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. As the chicken cooks, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and centre out of each zucchini half, leaving a 1/4-inch thick zucchini boat.
5. Place the zucchini in the baking dish cut-side up.
6. Spoon the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats. Press the mixture down into the zucchini using the back of a spoon.
7. Sprinkle the zucchini evenly with the Parmesan, then the mozzarella cheese.
8. Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes.
9. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Nutritional information:
Serving size: 2 halves
Calories: 332
Fat: 17.8
Saturated Fat: 6.1
Carbohydrates: 13.3
Fibre: 2
Protein: 38.2

Cucumber Quinoa Salad

I took on the project of staining our back deck this weekend and I knew that I would have little time to make a good lunch.  I found this great recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the website gimmesomeoven.com. I pre-made my quinoa the day before so that it would be nice and cold. This salad is super fresh and delicious! It is easy to make and it doesn’t take long to put together. It was the perfect salad to have while working outside on a hot day.

I crumbled the feta on top of my serving and did not add it into the salad. I also only used half of the dressing. I will definitely use the other half on a garden salad.

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1 English cucumber, diced
2 cups chilled cooked quinoa
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup julienned or roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1 batch Lemony Italian vinaigrette (see below)

LEMONY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, homemade or store-bought
Pinch of salt and black pepper

To make the cucumber quinoa salad:
1. Toss all ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately.

To make the lemony Italian vinaigrette:
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.

*If you add hot quinoa fresh out of the pan, it will melt the cheese and wilt the basil in this recipe. It is recommended to cook the quinoa beforehand and chill.