Tag Archives: basil

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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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.

Blueberry, Avocado and Toasted Pecans Quinoa Salad

I love this salad.  I can not wait to make it for lunch using fresh picked blueberries at the cottage.  This recipe is from http://www.ifoodreal.com.

I could not find fresh basil, so I did not add it. I missed it, but the salad is still good without.

Quinoablueberry

2 cups quinoa
1 cup blueberries
2 large avocados, diced
1 cup pecans

Lime Basil Dressing:
1 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 large lime, juice of
3 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, add quinoa, blueberries and avocados.
2. In a small skillet, toast pecans on low-medium heat until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently and watch closely not to burn. Transfer to a bowl with other ingredients.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Lime Basil Dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and gently stir to combine. Serve cold.
STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.
Servings: 6

Amount per serving = 3/4 cup:
Calories: 366.3
Total fat: 25.8g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 297.1 mg
Total Carbs: 32.4g
Dietary Fiber: 8.3 g
Protein:7.0g
WW points: +10

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Grilled Halibut with Mango-Avocado Salsa

I can’t tell you how much I LOVED this recipe!!! I could have this once a week no problem.

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  The original recipe comes from Bon Appetit. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/gwyneth-paltrow-s-grilled-halibut-with-mango-avocado-salsa

I used frozen mango with great results!  I also used tomatoes from my neighbours garden since I had so many of them. I grilled the halibut on the BBQ.  One piece took no time at all since it was so thin.  The recipe says 5 minutes per side, but adjust to the thickness of your fillet.

This recipe is super easy and so delicious!

Halibut

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 6-ounce halibut or mahi-mahi fillets
4 lime wedges

1. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Gently combine the avocado, mango, tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature, Gently tossing occasionally.
2. Place fish fillets in a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons lime juice over. Season fish with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, turning fish occasionally.
3. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill fish until just opaque in centre, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon mango-avocado salsa over fish. Squeeze a lime wedge over each and serve.
SERVES 4

One serving contains:
Calories(kcal) 417.8
%Calories from fat 48.1
Fat(g) 22.3
Saturated fat(g) 3.2
Cholesterol(mg) 58.1
Carbohydrates(g) 15.8
Dietary fiber(g) 4.8
Total sugars(g) 9.2
Net Carbs(g) 11.0
Protein(g) 39.5
Sodium(mg) 106.0

Summer Corn Soup with Crisp Prosciutto

I loved this soup. It is a great way to use the tasty Manitoba corn available right now. I took this recipe from Fine Cooking’s “Cook Fresh” cookbook.

The book mentions to resist the temptation to remove husks at the store. The husks keep the corn fresh and moist.

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3 very thin slices prosciutto
3 or 4 large ears fresh corn
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
Kosher salt
2 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups medium-diced peeled red potatoes (from 2 to 3 medium)
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

1. Position a rack about 4 inches below the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on a small baking sheet and broil until it begins to curl, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the prosciutto and broil until it appears dry-crisp and has curled a bit more, about 1 minute. Let cool, then finely chop or crumble by hand; set aside.
2. Slice the kernels off the corncobs for a total of 3 cups corn. Reserve the cobs.
3. In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
4. Add 4 cups water, the broth, potatoes, 1 1/2 cups of the corn, the cobs and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the cobs.
5. Working in batches, carefully purée the soup in a blender, transferring each batch to a large heatproof bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each serving with the crisped prosciutto and basil.
MAKES ABOUT 8 CUPS
SERVES 8 AS A FIRST COURSE
170 calories per serving

HOW TO CUT CORN OFF THE COB
Removing corn kernels from the cob can be messy – they like to bounce off the cutting board and end up scattered all over the counter and floor. To keep those kernels in their place, insert the tip of the ear of corn into the center hole of a Bundt pan. Cut the kernels away from the cob in long downward strokes, letting them fall into the pan.

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World’s Best Lasagna

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.  It got rave reviews!! Make sure you give yourself time to make this one, since you have to simmer the sauce for 1 1/2 hours.
I used about 17 noodles and I also used grated mozzarella cheese. My lasagna started to spill over slightly during cooking, so you may want to put a cookie sheet under your lasagna to avoid a mess.

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1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles, lenghthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

MAKES: 12 servings
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 2 hours 30 minutes
READY IN: 3 hours 15 minutes

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Marinated Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

This recipe was given to me about 15 years ago from my Mom. It was taken from a Homemakers magazine.

I love quick salads like this one. It’s easy to make and super fresh to have on hand for a quick lunch, or dinner side.

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3 cups cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 each sweet red and green peppers, diced
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained

Marinade:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp granulated sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook cauliflower and carrots in boiling water to tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
2. Add zucchini, peppers and chickpeas.
3. Whisk together marinade ingredients
4. Pour over vegetables and toss. Cover. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.

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Garlicky Tortellini, Spinach and Tomato Soup

This soup takes 10 minutes to make.  I make it often as it’s super easy and packed with flavour.  This recipe is taken from The Best of Bridge – The Rest of the Best.



1 Tbsp. butter
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped. (use it all – honest!)
4 cups chicken broth
6 oz. (170 g.) cheese tortellini
14 oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
or 2 1/2 cups skinned, chopped fresh ripe tomatoes
10 oz. (300 g) bag of spinach, stems removed
8-10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
parmesan cheese, grated



Instructions:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute about 2 miinutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook halfway (about 5 minutes if frozen, less if using fresh.) Add tomatoes and their liquid; reduce heat to simmer and cook just until pasta is tender. Stir in spinach and basil and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves 4.