Feta Salad with Zip: So freakin’ delicious!


I don’t often get overly excited about salad.  It’s greens.  In a bowl. And at times, it’s very boring.

But when you find a salad that is so delicious…so fantastic…slightly peppery, yet salty, yet citrusy….a salad so damn good that you make it five times in one week….there’s some excitement to be had!

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I apologize for this picture, which doesn’t do the salad justice at all!
But it’s just so good that you start to taste and you forget to take a shot!

Regardless, I have promised friends that I would post the recipe here so this picture will have to do, for now.

My friend Pamela from Montreal gave me this recipe.  She made it first for a dinner when we were on a mini-vacation together, and I have since made it for other people who have all loved it!

So, here it is!  The recipe for one of my favourite salads! Merci Pamela!

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Making this salad requires a lot of tossing.  I have found it easiest to forgo any utensils and toss with my hands.
I was also told that for the taste of the salad to turn out, you have to follow the steps IN ORDER.

You have been warned. *wink*

1) Greens – (I use a mix of red lettuce and spinach but you can use whatever you wish) Cut up in bite sized pieces.

2) Black pepper – Put some in your hands and rub all over the greens. Rub and toss in the bowl.  I have found the amount of pepper to depend on preference.  It adds some good zip to the salad so start with a bit and add as you like.

3) Red Onion – Cut into *very* thin slices, half-moon shape or smaller (I’m not always one to put onions in my salad, but in this case, I don’t find I notice them much at all so I always include them)

4) Dill – Cut up some *fresh* dill into small bits and sprinkle in the bowl. Toss toss toss!

5) Lemon – Squeeze 1/4 to 1/2 lemon (depending on your salad size) and again, toss toss toss!

6) Mix olive oil with a pinch of salt (Be sure to mix them together before adding or the flavour won’t turn out as expected).  Once mixed, add lightly to the salad.

7) Lightly mix and toss again.

8) Feta cheese – Added last and, in my case, I add a LOT! :)

Additional things Pamela suggested to add: sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.  I have had it with both and they were a brilliant addition!

So there you go!

Happy salad making!
And if you add something new to the mix, be sure to share!


Stuffing Peppers: Highly recommended


I have been meaning to try making stuffed peppers for a while now and it wasn’t until I saw a post in our free Metro newspaper that I decided to give it a go.  Instead of using the recipe in the paper that called for beef, I did a search online for stuffed pepper recipes that used ground chicken since that’s what I had on hand.  I found a recipe here at SOS Cuisine but I altered it a bit to make it suitable for two peppers instead of four.

Click here for the altered recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

 

They turned out pretty darn good!
I’ve been looking for recipes that are low in carbs and this recipe delivered.  Mainly vegetables and meat with just a bit of rice thrown in there.

I only had two peppers on hand so I cut the recipe in two.
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The one problem I had was that my chicken was past the “best before” date and I wondered if I should be cooking it or not.  It smelled fine and looked fine so I went ahead.  And here I am, healthy and feeling good, so I think it was the right decision!

I am generally not all that overly concerned about the best before dates on food products. I do heed them to a certain extent and consider something more carefully if the date has passed, but more often than not I have found that those dates are more a caution than a black and white rule.

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Sadly, my four peppers didn’t fit into the same dish so I had to use a second one.

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My peppers took about 40 minutes to cook thoroughly, keep an eye on them and add 5 minute increments if you don’t feel as though they have finished in the time mentioned in the recipe.

The peppers were simple to make, delicious and filling!

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And, in addition to that, I reheated one for lunch today and ….yep, still yummy!  So make a couple extra halves and keep them for future meals!

Stuffed Peppers

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  • 3 tbsp long grain rice
  • 2 peppers of any colour
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1-1.5 tsp olive oil
  • 300g ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch of garlic powder (or fresh garlic, which I didn’t have at the time)
  • parmesan cheese

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F.
  2. Cook rice
  3. While rice is cooking, cut the peppers in half lengthwise, then remove the seeds; finely chop the onion; cut the celery into small pieces.
  4. Heat half of the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly coloured and soft, paying attention not to let it burn.
  5. Add the celery and sauté 2 more min, then remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
  6. Add the remaining butter and oil to the skillet, then add the ground chicken meat. Cook until the meat looses its red colour. When the meat is golden-coloured, put the cooked onion and celery back into the pan. Pour in the broth, then add the paprika and cayenne. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the cooked rice and mix well.
  8. Fill the pepper halves with the meat-rice mixture, dividing and slightly mounding it equally among the halves. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the stuffed peppers. Put in an oven safe dish and add a bit of water (1/4-1/2 cup depending on the dish) to maintain the moisture.
  9. Bake the peppers, uncovered, in the middle of the oven until the tops are browned, about 35 min.
  10. Serve

Remarks from the website:

  1. The peppers may be stuffed 1 day ahead, then covered and chilled in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, sprinkle them with the cheese, pour water in the dish, then bake.
  2. The prepared, stuffed peppers may also be baked ahead of time, then warmed up 15 min in the oven at 120°C/250°F before serving.

Struggling with Breakfast


I have always had to struggle with eating in the morning.

I recognize that it’s healthy and that we shouldn’t skip breakfast but here’s what I find difficult:

a) how to find time when you’re running out the door
b) what to make that is a healthy choice
c) how to not eat said healthy breakfast *every.single.day*
d) make a breakfast that fills you up but doesn’t sit like a rock in your stomach all morning, especially when you’re having a particularly early start

My typical breakfast? A smoothie typically made with banana, some type of frozen fruit/berries, almond milk, hemp seeds/wheat germ/whey/bee pollen/etc (sometimes a number of these, sometimes one).  At times I add spinach or a dollop of peanut butter.

Typical morning smoothie in process

Typical morning smoothie in process

But effectively, the smoothie is the same every day…see difficulty ( C ) above.  Boring!

(Also can I add COLD!  On a cold winter’s morning, do I really want to be sipping at a frozen beverage? Not so much :P)

I love my smoothies, but I eventually lose interest and either then skip breakfast because “Meh” or end up eat something that doesn’t really fall into the healthy category.

So, my point? Breakfast needs an overhaul, a new perspective and a new approach.

This article: 31 Delicious Low-Carb Breakfasts For A Healthy New Year has some brilliant ideas and is what kickstarted this train of thought.

Many of the options on this website call for actually cooking ingredients, which I admit does not happen on a regular basis.

Somehow the idea of cooking breakfast equals weekend mornings, when you are relaxing after a long week and have time to cook a luxurious breakfast.  Perhaps this is a perspective that needs to change.

I have more investigating and reading to do, so for now I’ll ask, what do YOU do for breakfast?

Fast, healthy, yummy…all in one.  Possible?  Would love some suggestions!

Mmmm, breakfast smoothie!

Mmmm, breakfast smoothie!


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