Tag Archives: Olive oil

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 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.

Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

I made this awesome appetizer for book club last night.  We all have dinner with our families before we meet for book club, so I like to have something light to nibble on. This recipe was perfect!

I will definitely make this recipe again and again.  It is super good and super easy.

Instead of a melon baller, I just used a teaspoon to scoop out the cucumber. I also cut up the scooped out cucumber and added it into the rest of the vegetables.

You could definietly make the filling and scoop the cucumbers out ahead of time and then assemble right before your guests arrive.

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YIELD: About 15 cucumber cups

2 cucumbers
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/8 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 cup fresh feta, crumbled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon plus 1/2 tablespoon zest
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the onion, bell pepper, tomato, olives, oregano, feta, parsley, lemon juice and zest, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Peel the cucumbers partially, leaving thin strips of skin going down the entire length of the cucumber. Trim the ends of the cucumbers and cut each cucumber into 1-inch thick slices. Scoop out the center of each slice with a melon baller, leaving a shell of flesh.

3. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the Mediterranean salad into the cucumber cups. Garnish with additional parsley and feta, if desired.

Lime Grilled Chicken

This chicken is so easy to throw together.  Perfect for the BBQ.  I love this chicken paired with Santa Fe Salad. I found this recipe in The Best of Bridge – The Best of the Best and more.

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1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2 large limes)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and halved

In a bowl combine all ingredients, except chicken, whisking until well blended. Marinate chicken breasts in lime mixture 1-2 hours. Broil or grill approximately 4 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through. Baste during cooking. Serves 4.

Broccoli and Cheddar White Bean Spread with Pita Wedges and Crudités

I found this great recipe from an old Canadian Living magazine.

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If you have a food processor, this spread is super easy and fast to throw together. I used white kidney beans since I could not find cannellini beans.

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This spread is much like a hummus consistency. Pack up some chopped up veggies and some pita and enjoy a lunch full of protein and fibre.

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1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 can (540ml) cannellini beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

9 cups vegetable crudités (baby carrots, celery, sweet pepper)
3 whole grain Greek-style pitas, cut into wedges

1. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water, drain well. Transfer to food processor.

2. Add beans, cheddar cheese, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; purée until smooth. To take along, divide dip, vegetables and pitas among resealable containers.

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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Curried Chickpea Wraps

I found this recipe on Twitter. The original recipe can be found at http://infinebalance.com/2013/04/30/curried-chickpea-wraps/.

I love this recipe since you can make it in a tortilla wrap,  lettuce leaves, or you can eat it as is!  This recipe is super easy, especially if you own a food processor.  I shredded my carrots and chopped my chickpeas using mine. I also used raisins instead of currants. The filling will last for several days making this is a great make-ahead recipe for lunches or dinner.

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1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large carrots shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon garam marsala curry spice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 18oz can chickpeas (about 2 cups cooked), rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons currants (soaked in hot water to plump and drained), then chopped
1/4 cup mayo, plus more to your taste
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
pinch of salt

1. If you haven’t already, pour some hot water over the currants so they plump up a bit before you drain and chop them.
2. In a skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add garlic, garam marsala and carrots. Saute until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in green onions and remove from heat.

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3. in a food processor, add chickpeas and pulse several times until coarsely chopped. (Alternatively, you could mash the chickpeas in a bowl with a fork).
4. Transfer mashed chickpeas to a large bowl. Add carrot mixture, salt, mayo, chopped currants and rice wine vinegar. Blend well. Taste for seasonings.
5. Serve in a wrap or in lettuce leaves.

YIELD: Enough for 4 8-inch wraps.

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Chicken Parmesan

This recipe is adapted from The New Best Recipe Cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated.  I use my own marinara sauce (you can find various marinara recipes on this blog) and I also melt mozzarella cheese on top. The recipe I have included is for the breaded chicken cutlets used. I always serve my Chicken Parmesan with egg noodles.  Super easy and very filling!



Breaded Chicken Cutlets
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 
3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 3 /4 cup olive oil

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1.  Use a meat pounder, rubber mallet, or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness.
2. Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper.
3. Set a large heatproof plate on the rack in the oven, and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish or pis plate.  Spread the flour in a second shallow dish.  Beat the eggs with the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a third shallow dish.  Place a wire rack over a baking sheet.
4. Working with one at a time, dredge the cutlets thoroughly in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Using tongs, dip both sides of the cutlets in the egg mixture, taking care to coat them thoroughly and allowing the excess to drip back into the dish to ensure a very thin coating.  Dip both sides of the cutlets in the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs with your fingers to form an even, cohesive coat.  Place the breaded cutlets in a single layer on the wire rack and allow the coating to dry for about 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a heavy-bottomed 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes.  Lay the two cutlets gently in the skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp on the first side, gently pressing down on the cutlets with a wide metal spatula to help ensure even browning, about 2 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the cutlets, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the meat feels firm when pressed gently and the second side is a deep golden brown and crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.  Line the warmed plate with a double layer of paper towels and set the cutlets on top; return the plate to the oven.
6. Discard the oil in the skillet and wipe the skillet clean using tongs and a large wad of paper towels.  Repeat Step 5, using the remaining 6 tablespoons oil and the now-clean skillet to cook the remaining cutlets. 

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Parmesan Breaded Chicken Cutlets
Follow the recipe for Breaded Chicken cutlets, replacing 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs with 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese



Lime-Grilled Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa

This is a family favorite!  The recipe was taken from the August 2010 edition of Canadian Living magazine.  I use 2 avocados instead of one and 4 tomatoes instead of 2, as the salsa is in high demand! 

 
 
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup (75ml) lime juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp (5ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1ml) pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped
Half red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp (15ml) red wine vinegar
1 avocado
 
Cut chicken breasts in half to create 8 pieces.  Pound each to even thickness.
In glass bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the lime juice, 3 tbsp(45ml) of the cilantro, 2 tbsp(30ml) of the olive oil, garlic and half each of the salt and pepper.  Add chicken, tossing to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno peppers, vinegar and remaining lime juice, cilantro, oil, salt and pepper.  Peel and cut avocado into large dice; gently toss with salsa, without breaking up.  Set aside.
 
Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill until no longer pink inside, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with salsa.