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2017 Cook My Books Challenge: May

Still going strong with my Cook My Books Challenge for 2017! Here’s what I cooked from my books in May:

Apple Pie Oatmeal from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast (hello banana almond butter oatmeal or mango coconut overnight oats), but this was a nice departure from my usual. It was not only delicious, but also very filling! Angela suggests topping with walnuts, hemp seeds, and coconut but I went with raisins and a scoop of almond butter instead.

apple-pie-oatmeal-oh-she-glows

Chickpea Deli Salad from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sarah Forte

Such a simple recipe to throw together! I loved this for weekday lunches stuffed into a pita or just eaten on its own with some side dishes. I do a lot of heart health classes at work focused on cooking with beans and often make salads like this one – it’s such an easy way to eat more beans and boost your fibre intake!

chickpea-salad-sprouted-kitchen

Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

The only thing better than these three foods on their own is these three ingredients in combination. The roasted garlic adds such great flavour (note: I definitely recommend adding two heads of roasted garlic). Next time I might actually add more sun dried tomatoes though.

Spaghetti with Prawns and Rocket from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

At first bite I thought this recipe needed more sauce, but I ended up really enjoying its simplicity. I used shrimp with their shells on and doubled the garlic, both of which really help to add more flavour to the dish. I wouldn’t use 455 grams of spaghetti like the recipe calls for though – I used only 375 grams and that was the perfect amount. If you don’t have this cookbook, you can get the recipe on Jamie’s website here.

shrimp-spaghetti-jamie-oliver

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

I’ve made this recipe several times before and it’s one of my all-time favourites! So when my mom asked me to come up with  a menu for my birthday lunch with the family, I knew I wanted to make this one. It has the perfect combination of herbs, lemon juice, and feta cheese that hits all the right notes. I’ve also made this vegetarian with chickpeas in place of shrimp and it’s just as good. The recipe is available on The Food Network website here – I highly recommend you make it!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

So I might have messed these guys up a little. After forming the rolls and letting them rise for 30 minutes, I realized they were not going to fit in the baking dish I’d selected. I moved a few to another dish and rearranged the other rolls, but while handling them I made them all deflate. So I probably should have let them rise for another half hour, but I didn’t have time for that. Instead I just baked them as is, which I think is why they came out a bit on the harder side. They weren’t too bad on the first day, but the leftovers the next day were as crunchy as croutons!

cinnamon-rolls-seriously-delish

What cookbook recipes did you make this month?

Missed my previous Cook My Books Challenge posts? Check them out below!

January
February
March
April

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Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Cheater pizzas and I go way back.

When I was a kid I went to summer camp up north every year. One of the highlights for me was always the week long canoe trips on remote lakes. They were hard work with 8 hour days of paddling and sometimes 4 km long portages! But gathering around the fire for dinner after a long day was one of the best feelings! Pita pizzas were a staple meal on these trips because of their simplicity. Still to this day, the combination of pita with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni is a comfort food for me.

Even though these days I tend to make real pizza with homemade dough, sometimes I still crave the simplicity of a cheater pizza. Okay, that’s just my way of saying “sometimes I’m too lazy to make dough.” This pesto naan pizza is inspired by a pizza that I had a few years ago at a restaurant in Hamilton. Theirs used a more unique homemade pesto with mint and lemon in it. But given that cheater pizzas are a lazy meal, I decided to just go with a bottled pesto. Feel free to make this vegetarian by leaving off the bacon – it’s still just as good!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!
Author:
Yield: 2 naan pizzas
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly (makes leftovers)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • 2 pieces whole wheat naan
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the thinly sliced onion. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, then turn down the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside. *Note: this makes leftover caramelized onions.
  2. Lay out the bacon in a cold skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until starting to get crispy on the underside, then flip over and cook until the other side starts to get crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Spread the pesto on each piece of naan and top with the bacon, caramelized onions, feta cheese, and mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. To brown the mozzarella, broil it at the end, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.

Your turn: What’s your favourite pita or naan pizza toppings?

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2017 Cook My Books Challenge: April

I am so glad April is over! Not just because it was a rough month for me, but also because it means a) summer is getting closer and b) it’s now my birthday month. Yes, I’m one of those people who celebrates my birthday for the entire month. J makes fun of me because one year I celebrated my birthday 7 different times.

Anyways, looking back at April I made some more great meals from my cookbooks. I’m especially loving Brown Eggs and Jam Jars from the author of Simple Bites. I can totally relate to her approach to food – good, simple cooking that’s wholesome without going to extremes. In a world of gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, sugar-free, oil-free everything, it’s refreshing to not feel judged by your cookbook for adding extra sugar to your muffins.

Before we get onto April, make sure to catch up on my Cook My Books Challenge posts:
January
February
March

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Corn Cakes from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Andrea and I get together usually once a month to cook dinner together. It’s our favourite way to catch up while also expanding our culinary skills! We usually make dinner – in the past we’ve made a goat cheese lasagna, enchiladas, a ratatouille galette, and far too many others to list. But this month we decided to do brunch featuring this recipe. As we were making it, I realized I never picked up bacon… but that’s because it wasn’t listed in the ingredients in the cookbook! I don’t know if Jessica intended for this dish to contain bacon or not, but it was still good without it. I felt it needed some kind of sauce though, so I made a lime cilantro mayonnaise to have with the leftovers.

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Corn Cakes from Seriously Delish

One Bowl Carrot-Spice Oatmeal Muffins from Brown Eggs & Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

I had a rough week in April and needed some comfort food – and at that time muffins were just what I was craving! I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour and decreased the amount of flour by about a tablespoon. Usually whole wheat pastry flour can basically be subbed 1:1 for all purpose, but I bought a new brand that I find needs to be decreased just a bit. I also added a few more tablespoons of sugar because the recipe only called for 1/4 cup of brown sugar for 12 muffins, and I like my muffins a little bit sweeter than that. The result was delicious! I usually make my muffins with oil, but this recipe reminded me how amazing muffins made with butter are.

Carrot spice muffins from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

Crispy Cornmeal Pancakes with Orange Honey Syrup from Brown Eggs & Jam Jars by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

Clearly I’ve bee really digging this cookbook lately. These pancakes were also a hit and a nice switch up from our usual banana and almond butter pancakes. The 1/2 cup of cornmeal in here was the perfect amount to add a bit of grit without going full-on cornbread texture. And I love love loved the orange honey as an alternative to maple syrup! Next time I think I’d also add some orange zest to the pancakes themselves to boost the citrus flavour.

Cornmeal pancakes with orange honey syrup from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

What cookbook recipes have you made recently?

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