Easy Pineapple Salsa

So yesterday I was feeling like Autumn was just around the corner and today it is hot as hell here in the sunny south of Niagara! You just never know what the weather will hold this summer! This is the strangest season ever!

So I have been craving pineapple lately and bought a nice juicy one on sale (yay for saving money!). After eating to my hearts desire, I had some left over. My brain immediately started searching the recipe index I keep stored in my head and pulled out a recipe for Pineapple salsa!


I haven’t made it in several years and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why! It isn’t even much of a recipe it is that easy and it is so delicious with so many things!

Use pineapple salsa for chicken, fish, pork chops, sausage, with tortilla chips, fish tacos, etc, etc! Again I start wondering why I haven’t made it in so long!


You won’t even need to write the recipe down (unless you have a bad memory, then I would suggest saving this post!)

EASY PINEAPPLE SALSA

  1. Pineapple
  2. Green pepper
  3. JalapeƱo
  4. Onion
  5. Tomato
  6. Salt and pepper

I’m not even going to suggest ingredient amounts because I have never used measurements and have never made a bad salsa! You can even throw in some cilantro (which I hate more than anything in this world, so I never use it.)


Please try this recipe and let me know how it turned out and what you used it with. I have even been known to eat with with a spoon, so no judgement if that is the choice you decide to make šŸ˜

Oatmeal Bars (Gluten/Dairy Free)

I know it is not even mid August yet but it is already starting to feel like fall around here. The winds have changed and the need to bake begins!

I have been torn however since I have not done much baking since going gluten free. Baking without flour (I refuse to buy anything labeled “gluten free”) seems tricky!

So I started playing around with oats! Let me tell you, these oatmeal bars are delicious and just as satisfying as anything else laced with wheat! I made them for a pot luck party and they went over so well that I had to make another whole batch for myself!


OATMEAL BARS

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350c and grease a 9×9 pan. Mix all ingredients together (try microwaving the peanut butter first to make it easier) and bake for 20 minutes.


It really couldn’t be easier and I love this recipe since I always have the ingredients on hand. Perfect for a fast dessert, healthy enough for breakfast and delicious enough for a party!

Apple Cranberry CompoteĀ 

My dreams have been so vivid lately, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between dreams and reality. I am not sure if it is the excessive stress I have been under or what, but it is starting to confuse me sometimes!

Last night I had a dream that I made Apple Cranberry Compote for breakfast and when I awoke, the craving was unreal. Before I even got out of bed, I was inventorying the ingredients in my kitchen to make sure I could make them! Low and behold, I was in luck.

This is simple compote recipe that can be used for a pie, over waffles or pancakes or eaten alone while warm with a scoop of whipped cream (which was my choice!)

I know this recipe seems Ā a little “autumn” in the middle of July, but I cannot help what I crave in my sleep šŸ™‚

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APPLE CRANBERRY COMPOTE RECIPE

  • 5 small apples
  • 1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg

Peel, core and chop apples and place in pot and immediately cover with lemon juice to stop them from turning brown. Add dried cranberries, sugar and spices.

Cook over medium low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the cranberries are plump and the juices and sugar have thickened and make a nice syrup at the bottom of the pot.

I chose to eat it just like this with some whipped cream, but I have used it in pies with great success, as well as with crepes, waffles or pancakes.

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Good Morning Muffins (Sugar Free / Gluten Free)

I am not a breakfast lover. Well not until around 11am, then I could eat just about everything! But when I get up, it’s all about the coffee and that’s about it! Mmmm…coffee!

I know eating breakfast is important and the healthy and responsible choice, but I just don’t think about it. Ā About once a month, I make a pact with myself that I am going to eat breakfast everyday from now on. This pact lasts about 2 days and I forget again!

So I came up with a little healthy little breakfast muffin that goes so well with coffee, I look forward to them just as much or more than my coffee! The Good Morning Muffin!

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Sugar free, gluten free goodness! It is so healthy, I don’t feel so bad about putting sugar and cream in my coffee! I like to make them bite size so I can eat more of them!!

GOOD MORNING MUFFINS

Makes 12 regular or 24 bite sized muffins

  • 1 large yellow plantain
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Cinnamon to taste

Make sure your plantain is yellow, even with some black spots. When plantains ripped, they get sweeter! Chop up the plantain in the food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Scrap the edges of the processor to make sure there is no chunks of plantain in there.

I always use muffin liners (mainly because I hate scrubbing anything and muffin tins are THE WORST!) Bake at 325c. for 18-20 minutes for bite size or 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins. You can test by lightly pressing with your finger for a slight spongy feeling.

I like to sprinkle extra cinnamon on top! They have a slight banana taste and are perfect with your morning coffee!

Now I wake up saying Mmmmm….muffins! I feel good about eating breakfast. Like a healthy, responsible person!

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Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

When I crave comfort food, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind and Lasagna is the pasta of all pasta’s in my opinion!

It has been 3 days since we had to put our oldest border collie down and the pain still runs strong through the house. It is hard to try and feel normal with so many triggers. There is just so many memories from the past 13 years. Damn you cancer….damn you!

I thought I would make some “comfort food” tonight for my husband and I, but didn’t want to give in and buy pasta (or look in the back of the cupboard since I am sure there is still some penne back there I am trying to forget about!)

Zucchini is coming out fast and furious in the garden, and although I have diced and frozen quite a bit for future stir fry’s and zucchini meatballs, I also want to eat as many fresh garden veggies as possible. Hence…..the Lasagna Zucchini.

Zucchini is a really watery vegetable, so I halved, oiled and salted a fairly large zucchini and stuck it on the grill for 5-10 minutes a side on medium low heat. If you don’t have a BBQ or just want to use the oven, I would suggest 20-25 minutes on 350 c. This will soften it up nicely and give it some flavour. When it is done, let cool a little and scoop out the seeds and make a nice hole for your filling! My zucchini was quite large so the seeds were pretty big, but if you have smaller zucchini’s, I would put the “scoopings” back in with the meat!

The meat filling was nice lean turkey, seasoned with onion, garlic, italian seasoning and red wine vinegar. Stuff meat into the zucchini, top with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese and pop right back on the BBQ or in the oven for another 10 minutes or until heated all the way through. I topped with ricotta and basil to complete the beautiful lasagna flavoring!

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1 large zucchini or 3 small zucchinis halved, oiled and salted, grilled or baked for 20-25 minutes
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheddar cheese (low fat)
  • Ricotta Cheese (low fat)
  • Fresh basil for serving.

 

There isn’t an exact science to this recipe. Just grill a zucchini, stuff a zucchini and bake a zucchini. The of course, eat a zucchini!

This was perfect as a comfort dish and really had all the goodness of lasagna without the pasta. It is a great healthy, low carb, gluten free option when you just need to stress eat!

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Coconut Shrimp Curry

It was a really hard weekend at our house. Friday we had to put our little 13 year old Border Collie down because of cancer, and both of us just walked around in a cloudy haze all weekend not sure what to do with ourselves. By Sunday night, I figured we needed something to get our minds off of the pain and we decided to make a nice dinner together! 

It was nothing romantic, we actually ate in front of the TV, but just the act of slicing, dicing and frying together in the kitchen brought some “normal” back into our house.

A couple weeks ago I had picked up some authentic Indian curry powder from the market and I was just itching to try it! I had some frozen shrimp in the freezer and the snow peas are in full harvest right now, so coconut shrimp curry was a no brainer!


Jack shelled and deveined the shrimp while I chopped the veggies, and once that curry powder hit the hot oil, the house seemed to come alive! It is amazing how food can do that, change your mood with just one smell!

The curry  turned out amazing and made enough for leftovers today! 

COCONUT SHRIMP CURRY

  • 16-24 Raw shrimp, deveined and shelled 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp diced fresh ginger
  • Carrots, sliced 
  • Snow peas
  • Red and yellow pepper, sliced
  • White or brown rice (optional)

Prepare rice as per the package. Devein and shell thawed shrimp and cut veggies. I never add amounts for veggies to a recipe. I figure everyone has a different opinion of how much they want and “too many” vegetables isn’t usually a problem! I used 3 small carrots, 2 cups of peas and 2 peppers, but more or less can be used!

With any curry, you want the spices to hit the oil, so heat oil and add onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add spices and let cook for another couple of minutes. Your kitchen will immediately smell incredible!

Add shrimp and carrots until shrimp is no long translucent, then turn down heat, add peas, carrots and coconut milk. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. It will thicken slightly, but this recipe is thin so it can make its way through the rice and veggies!! 

The flavours were beautiful, the aroma was lovely and the feeling of being “normal” again was priceless! 



Garlic Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

 

BBQ Season + Garden Season = Stuffed Mushroom Season!

There is no finer thing than a warm and tasty stuffed mushroom right off the BBQ on a hot summers night! Pair it with a garden salad and a nice glass of wine, sit on the patio and watch the fireflies dance!

Ok, I could probably come up with another perfect scenario for a cold winters evening too…..I just loved stuffed mushrooms anytime of the year.

Summer time does produce the best ingredients for this recipe though, and I personally like to eat what is in season.

This recipe is always a hit at parties and BBQs. The woody flavour combined with the garlic pesto and cream cheese is to die for! It starts a flavour party in your mouth (wow, that was cheesy…..HA that’s punny!)

Ok, I am done now!

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GARLIC PESTO STUFFED MUSHROOMS

  • 6 medium mushrooms (or 12 small ones). I have tried different kinds of mushrooms and they are all good, so just grab what is fresh and available!
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepperĀ 
  • Garlic pesto. I make garlic scape pesto that is amazing and uses the curly tops of the garlic plant. This is what gives mine a nice green colour. Again, any garlic pesto would work, but I highly recommend you try this recipe if you have garlic scapes available. Get my Garlic Scape Pesto recipe here!Ā 
  • 3 oz cream cheese ( half a brick)
  • 1/2 small onion

The nice thing about this recipe is you don’t need to mess around with the flavours. Let the pesto and cream cheese create their magic!

Scrub mushrooms really well and remove the stalks. Chop stalks into small pieces. Add 1 tbsp to frying pan and sautƩ mushroom stalks and onion for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Turn off heat. Add pesto and cream cheese and stir until combined.

Use remaining oil to brush mushroom tops and bottoms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stuff pesto cheese mixture into mushrooms and pop on the BBQ or in the oven for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are soft and there is a nice crunchy layer on the top.

You can top with cheese at this point if you would like. I prefer them without because I feel it takes away from the cheese that is already in the mushrooms. You can also use a layer of bread crumbs for more crunch!!

I know what you are thinking and yes, they do taste as good as they look!