Salmon Lettuce Wraps

Hello!

I love summer, but I love getting back into the routine that Fall brings.  Everything starts up again and it’s fun to start switching things up.  A big thing for me is getting back to cooking healthy.  Summer tends to throw me off track and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

Here’s a recipe I made up for tonights dinner!

Salmon Lettuce Wraps

1 Salmon fillet

Olive Oil

Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning

Head of Iceberg Lettuce

Cucumber

Yellow Sunburst Tomatos

Red Onion

Avocado

Greek Yogurt Dip Tzatziki / Dill ( Got mine from Superstore)

Brown Rice

Optional: Feta

1) Preheat oven to 400F.

2) Start the brown rice – I suck at cooking rice, so I can’t give advice other than google cooking times depending on what you have

3) Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on the salmon and rub in the seasoning. Bake in oven for 16 mins at 400F.

4) Dice up the cucumber, onion, tomato, and avocado

5) Tear off a few peices of the iceberg for your wraps

6) Assemble any way you wish!

Salmon Lettuce Wraps

 

Lemme know what you think if you try it out!

XO

 

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Healthy Pumpkin & Honey Bran Muffins

muffins

Autumn is my most favorite season, the colors (especially back home), the crisp fresh air, comfort food etc. Every year around this time I start my pumpkin craze, and this year is no exception and last night I made Pumpkin Bran Muffins. They make a great option for a healthy breakfast on the go, they freeze great, just wrap each in plastic wrap and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. These delightful pumpkin treats are moist and pack a nice little punch. Since they are made with bran it means full of fiber. The recipe calls for dried cranberries or raisins, I didn’t have either of these ingredients and I think they turned out just fine.

Each muffin, 218 calories, 5 grams of fat

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1½ cups honey
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 egg whites 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups wheat bran
  • ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins  

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or use paper liners for easy clean up.

2. In an electric mixer or in a large bowl mixing by hand, add pumpkin, honey, applesauce and oil.

3. Stir in egg whites, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

4. Add wheat bran, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt and mix until combined. Stir in cranberries or raisins and mix until blended

5. Fill each muffin cup just about to the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.

Makes about 16 muffins (each serving, 1 muffin)

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Source: Skinny Kitchen

September Snow Day?

Yup…it happened…September 8th: a summer snowstorm.

I think everyone was a little unsure how to dress for this weather because it was still above the freezing mark. Do we bundle up in our parkas and risk the inevitable back sweat… or opt for the spring jacket with an umbrella praying that the wind doesn’t pick up and cause the embarrassing flip effect?

I chose the umbrella route and ended up using it as a shield to avoid the flippage…looks a little something like this:

Person-with-Umbrella-Fighting-Wind-and-Snow

All I want to do in this kind of weather is snuggle up, have a bath, and indulge in some delicious comfort food. But is there such thing as a healthy comfort food dish you ask? Why yes, yes there is….

Turkey chili!

This is one of my most favorite meals ever…such a satisfying warm dish that fills you right up and tastes sinfully good 🙂

You can definitely switch up the ingredients in the below recipe. Perhaps add some different veggies or sub out the garbanzo beans for kidney beans…but to be completely honest I don’t mess around with it too much because it’s just so darn good!

Snuggle up with a bowl of this deliciousness and I swear you will forget about the horrendous weather we are currently experiencing and make it until Wednesday…. which is when it is supposed to be sunny again! (Oh Calgary weather…).

Xox

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Zucchini Turkey Chili

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided20140810_182124
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (7 ounce) can salsa
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
  2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
  3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
  4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini and garbanzo beans to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
  5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.

Recipe originally from allrecipes.com.

Summer Salads

I am so lucky to be able to escape to my parent’s cabin on Shuswap lake in BC during the summer months. Although it takes about six hours of driving to get to, once I am there it feels like my own little peaceful oasis (although the water sports can get a bit intense…).

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My family and I all live in different cities, so it’s such a blessing to be able to all come together for a week or two at the cabin and spend some quality time together with the most gorgeous backdrop.

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I think one of my favorite parts about being at the lake is getting to cook up some fabulous summer meals with my mom. This last trip we grilled some killer pork tenderloin on the BBQ and even made some deep-fried chicken wings one night in my dad’s favorite toy – the turkey deepfryer.

One thing I am usually in charge of in the kitchen is the side dish or the salad, and some people may say this is the crappy job…but I disagree! I like to keep it interesting and surprise people with some creative and tasty dishes that have a summer vibe to them.

Check out these two awesome summer salads that are perfect for a dinner on the deck or as an item to bring to an outdoor BBQ potluck.

XOX

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or 1 cup chopped, seeded, tomato
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped

    I threw some black olives on the top because I LOVEE olives :)

    I threw some black olives on the top because I LOVE olives 🙂

  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • 10 cups mixed greens

Balsamic Dressing Ingredients: 

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Give it a stir, put a lid on it, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Allow to cool until room temperature.

To make the dressing, just measure everything into a jam jar, put a lid on it, and give it a good shake. Set aside.   Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, cucumber, and onion, then toss them in a bowl with a little bit of your dressing. Toss with the cooled quinoa and some feta cheese.   In a salad bowl, layer the greens, and then the quinoa mixture. Top with a little more feta and then sprinkle over some fresh oregano. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top.

Recipe from YMC

Chickpea Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped green beans
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander

Chili Lime Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water; drain and set aside.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and black beans; drain well and place in large bowl. Add red pepper, corn and onions; set aside.

Chili Lime Dressing: Whisk together oil, lime rind and juice, chili powder, sugar and salt ; pour over beans and toss to coat. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate salad and beans separately for up to 24 hours.)

Add green beans and coriander; toss.

Recipe from Canadian Living.

 

A taste of Spain: Ox & Angela

One of the best experiences in my life was spending six weeks in different areas of Spain. The people I encountered and culture I witnessed were beyond what I ever expected.  I was especially impressed by how they use lunch and dinner as a way to create community.  Rarely did I go out for dinner with a large group and be done in less than 3-4 hours. People don’t rush to order their meal, rather multiple people order small plates throughout the night to keep the options lighter and the conversation flowing. It was a refreshing experience.

I am always on the hunt for a great tapas restaurant. I’ve been obsessed with that style of meal ever since my European travels. My good friend was the one to introduce me to Ox and Angela here in Calgary.  I thought it was too good to be true that my new city had not only a tapas menu, but a dedicated Spanish menu! I was in heaven.

I have waited to go there again and had the luxury of taking my sister who came to visit me. It was the perfect atmosphere to catch up and enjoy every bite of food.

We heavily relied on our lovely server to lead us through some of the best dishes on the menu.  We also used him for an amazing wine recommendation.

Pan con tomate with fried goat cheese

Pan con tomate with fried goat cheese

We knew we needed fried goat cheese in our lives (fried cheese is a no brainer) and as much as we were confident we could eat it by itself, we were told to get an order of the pan con tomate to accompany it.
This combo is perfect for sharing with up to four people. Luckily it was only my sister and I so we could each have two toasts. The goat cheese flavour was not too overpowering, so if you aren’t normally a fan I would encourage you to step out and give this a try. I’m still dreaming about it.

We then moved onto the pan-friend mushrooms on toasted bread, poached egg, and truffle. It was a flavour experience to say the least. You cannot miss out on this. We tried our best to eat it slowly, but no luck!

 

Next up, the spicy merguez lamb sausage sauteed with apricot, sherry and mustard. We did not grab a shot of this one since the picture could not do it justice. It had a good kick to it, but it was best paired with a little bit of the apriocot with each bite.

 

Of course we made room for dessert.  This was a dark chocolate salted almond torte. It was rich, but the dark chocolate was the perfect balance of sweetness that we needed to end this delicious meal.

 

El Porron - The Spanish Wine Pitcher

El Porron – The Spanish Wine Pitcher

 

I can’t leave out the wine. From his recommendation, we ordered the Borie de Maurel Esprit d’Automne. I could have butchered that name, but I’m hoping you’ll be able to find a way to order this smooth red wine.

The coolest part is how they serve it in the Spanish version of a decanter! Our server explained it is used a lot at festivals or gatherings where caring is sharing!

 

Do yourself a favour and check out Ox & Angela.  Perfect for a first date, small gathering, or a unique food experience.

http://www.oxandangela.com/

Love xox

 

 

 

 

Koi: Funky & Delicious

At one point in my life I equated healthy food with less than delicious food, and use to be so perplexed on how someone could possibly be full without a mound of potatoes or ample servings of bread with their dinner. Obviously I couldn’t have been further from the truth. This journey from eating whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like, to being a bit more conscious about what I eat has been a long and challenging one. By no means am I a clean eater and will probably never be and for me I think that is ok. Growing up I played a lot of competitive sports so between that and being blessed with a fairly good metabolism I could crush burgers, garlic fingers and ice cream without much thought. Now, the more I get into multi sports and endurance racing I’ve been trying to change my set and look at what I eat as fuel. Which can make eating out tricky especially when you love going for dinner with friends as much as I do. Luckily I’ve found a couple places in Calgary that offer nutritious guilt free menu’s.  

I first stumbled on Koi about two years ago, and have been going back regularly ever since. Koi is a funky gem along 1st SW. Supporting the Calgary Arts scene in a big way. They offer local artist their wall space to exhibit their work. Looking to shake up date night? This spot is perfect, as they offer a variety of off the beaten path entertainment, check their schedule for more details.

 

Buddha Burger with Yam Wedges

Buddha Burger with Yam Wedges

While all the above is sweet it’s the food that keeps me going back. The menu is filled with Asian-fusion dishes that blend the culinary flavors of China, Korea, and Japan. Many items offer the option of Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten Free. My latest kick is the Buddha Burger. If you would have asked me two-five years ago that I’d be drooling for at veggie burger I would have probably laughed in your face, but this handmade black bean patty with caramelized onions, beets, spinach and peashoots is out of this world. I dip it in the sauce that comes with the yam wedges which sends this dish right into flavor town. If your mouth is watering I suggest checking it out during happy hour where you save on bowls or during ‘Vegelicious Monday’ where you save $2 on vegetarian / vegan entrées.

Happy Eating!

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Healthy…Dessert?!

I know, I know. Healthy and dessert are two words that NEVER go hand in hand. When it comes to eating, I am a firm believer of balance. You can have your cake and eat your quinoa too. In fact, cake, cookies, chocolate…basically anything sweet…are my weaknesses.

So, I wanted to share with everyone a blog I am currently OBSESSED with: Chocolate Covered Katie.

This amazing girl dreams up the MOST delicious and…wait for it…HEALTHY recipes in the game. Trust me, you will still get your sweet fix with these healthy options.

I highly recommend you check her out. And while you’re at it, try the Cookie Dough Brownies. You won’t regret it.

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Happy Friday, my loves!

XO Erin

Green Goddess Dressing

Ahhh…Summer is upon us and life is filled with BBQs and sangria nights. For me, there is nothing better than a fresh summer salad on a hot summer day. I am a huge fan of creamy (ish) dressings, but without all of the calories. I wanted to share with you one of my favourite light, healthy and DELICIOUS salad dressings (taken from the amazing Gwyneth Paltrow). Hope you enjoy!

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
¼ cup cilantro
2 scallions, roughly chopped
¼ cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
½ jalapeno, roughly chopped, or a drizzle of hot sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. The dressing can be kept in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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Pair your salad with a delicious white wine and enjoy with some friends! Cheers 🙂

xo Erin

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites

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I love Peanut Butter, like spoon into the jar kind of love. I also love treats. You can see how this may be troublesome as my triathlon nears. I have been trying to learn about proper nutrition for multi sport athletes, and figuring out what works best for me and my body can often be a challenge. I however, feel no guilt whatsoever when I chow down on these little wonders.

You’ll need:

  • Bananas
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut Butter
  • Two pots

Step One

Cut ripe bananas (maybe 3/8″ thick then spread peanut butter between slices and sandwich together.

Freeze slices until firm

Step Two

Start a double boil on the stove (one pot on top of the other) in the bottom pot put water, the top pot put your chocolate chips and melt.

Step Three:

Take frozen slices from the freezer and dip the slices into the melted chocolate.  Remove the excess chocolate and allow to cool on  waxed paper.

Put back in the freezer until you get your PB craving and enjoy!

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Happy snacking,

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Playa Del Carmen – Eats

This past week I had an opportunity to head to the beautiful Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen for a quick getaway. What better way to see your friends from Vancouver than meeting in Cancun??
What made it extra special was celebrating my friend Stephanie’s 27th bday. I knew we had to do something a little different, so we found this VERY cool restaurant right in the city.
What did we do before google, trip advisor and yelp? Please tell me.

Alux Restaurant, Playa del Carmen

If you want an experience outside of your resort one night for dinner, I’d highly recommend taking a cab to this place. It had high ratings on every site I checked and it did not disappoint!

Essentially, it is fine dining in a natural cavern. At first we assumed we were just paying for the atmosphere, but then we had food served to us. It was extremely delicious and we all enjoyed our meals!

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Alux1

Alux1

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Check out this photo! Order a Spanish coffee “on fire”.  So cool.

Tough posting on my almost dead iPad, but hope you enjoyed a taste of Mexico with me!

xo

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