Opa! Quinoa Kale Greek Salad

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a pool boy.

A young good-looking man, that is well toned but not huge. He should have great hair, and the greatest smile.

He would be kind, and have amazing hands to delicately massage sunscreen on me.

His day would be spent brining me iced cold drinks and yummy snacks as I sit by the pool lounging in the sun – in a classy but still sexy bikini.

In this little wonder world, I would also be a size 2 and continuously scarfing down cupcakes …

A girl can dream can’t she?

Instead, I work Monday to Friday – suffer from humidity inflicted frizz ball hair and I don’t even have a pool.  

Size 2 – nope.

Scarfing down cupcakes … well that still happens :) 

In both my dreams and reality one thing stays the same – – I don’t want to do anything when it’s scorching hot outside.  

So we resort to bingeing on  salads.

This week, we went Greek and it was perfection. Add some grilled chicken or salmon and you’ve got yourself a meal!!

Opa! Quinoa Kale Greek Salad

1/4 Cup Quinoa

1 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Dried Parsley

1 1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Chopped Cucumber

1/2 Cup Baby Tomatoes

1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onions

1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives

1 Cup Shredded Kale

1/4 Cup Goat Cheese

Directions: 

Over medium heat, bring water to a boil.

Add the black pepper, onion powder, salt and garlic powder.

Add the quinoa and boil for 20 minutes ( or until all the water has absorbed).

Once the quinoa has become soft and yummy, fluff-er up!

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together quinoa – tomatoes – cucumber – onions – olives and kale.

Last but not least, top with crumbled goat cheese.

Refrigerate until ready to chow down on !! 

 

Stay sweet my loves, if anyone minds lending me their pool boy … let me know😀

ohh and one more thing – – don’t forget to enter my tripple whammy cookbook giveaway😀 … and now,

Stay Sweet xox

Sunshine Soup

Please be aware, I’m about to sing….

– – wait – – first, have you entered my brand spankin’ very first giveaway? – – dooo ittt! I want to give you cookies, and this cook book and .. did I mention cookies?!?!

And now ………

*ahem ahem*

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Lately I find the sun’s been playing hide and seek. On Monday, it was out in all its bright and shiny glory and then yesterday – – it was as though someone told it to run away forever!! Mr. Sun, I’m ready for you to come out and play …🙂

 When it’s cold, dark and cloudy, add a little sunshine to your day with a piping hot bowl of sunshine soup.

A bowl of sunshine is bound to brighten your day.

It’s thick and velvety, bursting with brightness teasing you like a warm blanket in the middle of the arctic

( … whoever said I was dramatic, totally doesn’t know me😀 lol)

Sunshine Soup

1 Large Sweet Potato – cubed

1 Large Kabocha Squash – halved

2 Large Carrots – peeled and cut into large pieces

3 Tbsp fresh Thyme

4 Cloves Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 Tbsp Salt

4 Tbsp Black Pepper

4 Tbsp Onion Powder

4 Tsp Fresh Nutmeg

6 Cups Vegetable Stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 oc

In a large bowl, mix together all of the above vegetables.

Add the Olive Oil, as well as all of the above seasonings and spices.

Mix together until everything is well coated.

Roast for 40 minuets until all of the vegetables have become tender.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Working in small batches, add the roasted vegetables to a blender, with 1 cup of stock – blend until smooth.

Empty into large pot and repeat with the remainder for vegetables and stock.

Reheat once ready to consume.

This soup will leave you, walking on sunshine🙂

Enjoy my dears, stay sweet

Xoxox

Mandarin Sesame Nutty Noodles

I swore I would never sing in front of a large group of people ( can you say, off-key much😦 ?!?), but since this blog is where I go to just be me …….

*ahem – ahem*

….

“Noodle, use your noodle

Noodle, do the noodle dance  

Solve a problem, it’s no strain

Use your noodle, that’s your brain

Noodle, use your noodle

Noodle, do the noodle dance 

There’s an answer you can find

Use your noodle, that’s your mind

In a bind, just use your mind

Use your noodle!!”

p.s – thanks PB & J Otter – – your crazy otters are pretty snazzy!!

This is a double-whammy post, I’ve got dinner/lunch covered and I also just serenaded you😉

I like you – – I really really like you ( you can also tell I really like you, because I didn’t tape myself actually singing this song)

And because I like you, I’m continuing the peanut butter pandemonium !!

These noodles are creamy, with a little zing of spice, they’re quick and easy – –

In a bind – just use your mind – – make these nutty noodles😉

Mandarin Sesame Nutty Noodles

Nutty Noodle Sauce

1/2 Cup Peanut butter

1/2 Cup Kraft Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp Marmalade

1/8 Cup Light Soy Sauce

Nutty Noodles:

3 Lbs Flank Beef thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Salt

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Sriracha

110 Grams Spaghetti

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1 Cup chopped Brocoli

1 Cup sliced Celery

1 Cup sliced Green Pepper

1 Cup sliced Carrots

1/2 Cup sliced Onion

3 Tbsp Green Onions (for Garnish)

2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (for Garnish)

Directions:

In a small bowl, add all of the Nutty Noodle Sauce ingredients and mix until well combined.

Set aside until, you are ready to add to your noodles.

In a separate bowl, mix together beef, salt, black pepper, onion, ground ginger and sriracha sauce. Allow to marinade, while you prepare all of the other ingredients.

Next, chop all of your vegetables. Feel free to add more – or even less … it’s your noodles, make them as nutty as you’d like them to be!

 

Next, boil your spaghetti as directed on the package – normally boiling for 6-8 minuets. When finished, drain all of the excess water.

Then, over medium-high heat, add your sesame oil to a large wok ( a frying pan, will work just as well :)). Add your marinated beef. Cook for 3 minutes, until the beef begins loosing it’s pink-tone. Then, add your vegetables.

Cook for 3 more minutes

– – you really just want the vegetables to be heated, by cooking them for such a short time, you are ensuring they still have their yummy crunch.

Add your nutty noodle sauce.

And now, your noodles.

Mix it – dish it – dress it -eat it!

Happy Noodling Around my loves🙂

Stay sweet

xox

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup

Yahoooo!! It’s SoupaPalooza time🙂

Just in the nick of time too. As the weather is still pretty cold, there’s snow on the ground and all you want to do is swim in a bubbly hot tub of your favourite soup (what? – what do you mean you don’t do that … errmmm – – yea, me too – I totally don’t dream of doing that) the brilliant women of Tidy Mom & Dine and Dash bring you SoupaPalooza 2012.

Here you will find rich delicious soups, hot velvety stews, chilli’s that are to die for and all that warm yummy-goodness known to take away the chill during cold winter months.

And sweethearts, to add to this party of amazing-ness – – I’ve got a doozey for you!

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup.

What makes this soup so amazing?

– The rich flavours used.

– The fact that it simmers all day, to bring you an out of this world broth

and most importantly …

It’s slurp-ability!!

Yep, you heard me !!

Remember when you were growing up and mom made chicken noodle soup ( even if it was from a can). I know I would sit there – – ever so silently attempting to slurp every noodle … one.by.one.

I was convinced, I was a ninja — cunning and swift in my soup eating skills.  That was until … I would hear from behind me

“ HEY!! STOP THAT?!?”

… you got’ta love moms. It’s their job to raise humans and make sure we don’t turn out like monkeys (for the most part)… hence, the seldom yelling is sometimes necessary.

Secretly though, I know mom’s find the slurping hilarious (just don’t tell my mom I said that🙂 !!).

Let’s not tell any mom’s this .. but I’m encouraging you to get messy – – and slurp away!!

When this particular pot comes out in my kitchen – – the entire family knows what’s going down. They expect aromas of deliciousness to dance from room to room, throughout the day. They know, tonight  – well tonight’s going to be a great night, ending with us all have a warm soup tummy.

Get in on the slurpy-delicious-cozy soup tummy feeling tonight!

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup.

The stock that will keep you going back for more

4 Sticks of Lemon Grass

1 inch Piece of Ginger

5 Cloves of Garlic

1/4 Cups Fresh Thyme

1 Tbsp Cinnamon Spice

3Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce

2 Tbsp Onion Powder

2 Tbsp Ground Ginger Powder

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Tbsp Black Pepper

Directions

Add all of the above ingredients into a large soup pot.

Cover with 3 litres of water. Bring to a boil for 25 minutes.

Lower heat to a simmer and allow all of the flavours to make sweet sweet love – – for at least 45 minutes. To be honest, I normally allow this to boil all day. The longer it simmers, the more flavourful the stock.

After all of the flavours have meshed, remove all the large pieces from your stock.

The Meat of the matter

3 Lbs thinly sliced lean chuck beef

2 Tbsp Worchestire Sauce

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Tsp Black Pepper

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the ingredients above. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes  – or even better, over night.

Once marinated, add to boiling stock. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, do not over cook – as you don’t want your beef to become tough.

Let’s Veggie-size

(feel free to use any vegetables you may have on hand – – get creative with your soup … after all you’re the boss of it😉 )

1 Cup Bean Sprouts

2 Cups Cabbage, finely shredded

2 Large Carrots shaved using a vegetable-peeler (GENIUS!!)

2 Cups Green Beans

2 Cups Broccoli

Directions

Prepare all of the vegetables as indicated above.

Keep in separate bowls so each individual can customize their soup to their liking.

The Udooly-Noodles

2 packs Udon Noodles

5 Cups Boiling water

Directions:

In a large colander, place udon noodles.

When ready to eat – cover noodles with boiling water and allow to steam for 5 minutes.

Drain and begin to build your soup!!

Bring on the soup tummy feeling!!

Now that everything is prepared – – let’s get hot and throw this noodley-delight together!!

Build your soup in the following fashion:

In your favourite soup bowl, add a cabbage base layer
Next, layer your shaved carrots – a couple green beans and enough broccoli to make your heart happy
Then, noodle up!!
Last and most importantly – – get beefy .. .and add that simmering stock to bring this home🙂

slurp-slurp-slurpitty-slurp.

Enjoy, cupcakes😉

If you want more of this warm and cozy soup action – – or even better, if you have a bowl that you want to share – – Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Happy slurping children of the playground.

Stay sweet

xoxo

Cheesy, Jam-Packed Vegetable Quiche

I have the weirdest Quiche association.

One year for my dad’s birthday – he received a card. On the front of the card was a comic strip…. picture this:

A customer in a fancy-pants restaurant looking over the menu – the waiter approaches and says “can I take your order please”

The Customer then says “why yes, I’ll have a quickie please”

The waiter then proceeds to go ninja on him and then says “it’s Quiche – you fool!”

… and now, anytime I make Quiche I remember quickie😀 lol. It’s bad. I know. – trust me when I say it’s the little things that brighten my day

… just the little things oh and anything sparkly🙂

Let’s move along before things get awkward (I’ve probably already done that ).

This Quiche is SO filled with vegetables that I was tempted to instead refer to it as a vegetable pie!!

For those of you who are veggie-intolerant, it’s also extra cheesy – – and there’s bacon in it. Turkey bacon, mind you – – but you can use the real McCoy if you’re little heart so chooses to.

That’s what I love about Quiche; breakfast – lunch or dinner …. you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand – add some eggs, pop it in a pre-made pie crust (god-sent!!)– top that loveliness with cheese and bake until the cheese gets all melted and bubbly.

It’s a love fest I tell you!!

Cheesy Jam-packed Vegetable Quiché

Yield: 2 Large Quiché

2 Ready Made Pie Shells

8 Large Eggs

1 Small Red Onion diced ~ 1/2 cup

1/2 Head of Broccoli diced ~ 1/2 cup

1 Small Bell Pepper diced ~ 1/4 cup

1 Small Carrot grated ~ 1 1/2 cups

5 medium mushrooms diced ~ 1 cups

2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Spinach

10 Slices of bacon, cooked and chopped (I used turkey – – use the real deal, it’s all good ;))

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Salt

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbsp dried Basil

1 Tbsp Flour

2 Tbsp Mayonnaise

1/3 Cups Butter Milk

1 1/2 Cup sharp cheddar cheese – divided 1 cup by 1/2 cup.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 oc.

Using a fork pierce scattered air pockets, around both pre-made pie crusts.

bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Over medium heat, cook frozen spinach – allowing all the water to evaporate.

In a frying pan, cook your bacon until nice and crisp. Remove from heat and crumble.

In a large bowl, add your eggs. Next, add butter milk. And then  add all of your spices – black pepper, salt, garlic powder, basil.

Now, vegetable-ize this little puppy.

Add those little Bacon munchers in there too.

Let’s get cheesy …  add 1 cup of cheese. And then – whisk that happiness, to spread the love.

Add your flour. Mix until well combined.

Now, fill your two pie shells

Top with the rest of cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Slice and well… do you thing😀

Have yourself a lovely day – – and enjoy your Quiche – or quickie, whatever frosts your cupcake …. Okay, I’ll stop – we’re back to that awkward moment.

Be Sweet

xoxo

Nona’s Italian Wedding Zuppa

I’m not Italian – but I want to be so badly!!

The reality however is, I’m not …😦

I’ll probably continue wishing and trying to be Italian for as long as I live (…..is this weird?? – never mind, don’t answer that).

I’ve also wanted to call my grandma nona forever … nona just screams cute and cuddly … my granny is cute and cuddly … therefore she’d totally deserves the title nona. If I did call her nona though, I’m sure she’d look at me and wonder what in the world was going on in my little head.

If I explained to her my wish to turn my entire world into an Italian dream (complete with biscotti, tiramisu, gelato and pasta … and pizza … and zeppole…. and an italian polo player😉 lol) – – she’d be more confused than ever and then probably make me eat something because she’s convinced, food makes everything better ( lol, this is why we get along so well ;)).

If I did have an italian nona though, besides always making delicious cookies and fresh pasta – – she would make me this soup.

It’s not your traditional Italian wedding soup – – she’s my nona … how could it be traditional?!?! … I put pop-tarts in cookies for heaven’s sake. The meatballs are made with chicken … but its pretty delicious none-the-less and I wouldn’t mind living out of italian fantasy by living in an entire pot of it.

Allow yourself to whisk away for a few minutes tonight from the frigid snowy winter, to a cool italian evening – with the sun just setting and ” godere la vostra zuppa” (enjoy your soup ;))

Nona’s Italian Wedding Zuppa

Meatballs:

3 Lbs Ground Chicken

3 Tbsp Fresh Thyme

3 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary

2 Tbsp Salt, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, Ground Garlic

3 Cloves Minced Fresh Garlic

1 Egg

1 Tbsp Cesar Salad Dressing

1 Cup Breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 oc. Lightly spray a large baking tray ( I used my largest cookie tray :))

Mix all of the ingredients together, until well combined. Try your best, not to over mix.

Form into 1 Tbsp Balls.

Place on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven and allow to cool.

*At this point, the meatballs can be refrigerated until you are ready to make your soup* – – orr … if you’re hungry

let’s make some soup!!

The Zuppa:

8 Cups Water

4 Cups Chicken Broth ( I used low sodium … just because – – use the fresh stuff, if you’ve got it on hand :D)

1 package Frozen Spinach ~ approximately 2 Cups

1/4 Cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Cups Tripoline pasta ( or any short cut pasta)

Directions: 

Over medium-high heat and in a large soup pot, bring the water and chicken broth to a boil.

Add frozen spinach. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.

Next, add the black pepper and Salt.

Now add the meatballs back into the soup.

Add the freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

And last but not least, add the Tripoline. Allow to boil for another 5 minutes

Then …. Mangiamo!!

Stay cozy and warm this weekend with this zuppa … and maybe share with your nona😉

xoxox

Baby Tomato Antipasto Salad

Kiddos …

This recipe isn’t deep-fried.

It isn’t drenched in barbecue sauce.

There isn’t gooey cheese … and it doesn’t involve using beer to complete the recipe (although, who says you can’t enjoy a nice cold beer with a meal ?!?! :))

It’s not even finger food to be honest.

But it’s delicious. And it’s fresh. It’s loaded with veggies. And the word Antipasto makes me feel a little Italian (pretty much my lifelong dream)

It’s delicious and if you want, you can make this along with all your yummy goodies for Superbowl sunday.

Orrr …. I have a wicked-good idea!!

How about you make this salad today – – load up on it until Sunday and then go carb-cheese-anything&everything deep fried  crazy come Game Day🙂

Genius huh? – – I’m all for balance😉

I’ll be honest – – that’s my plan annd I caaannn’ttt waaaaiiiiittt!!

I have to be honest though … I don’t know a single thing about football. I don’t know who’s playing this weekend ( I over heard someone say something about the patriots … mmmyea… okay, that sounds good – – don’t yell at me if im wrong). I don’t know what end zone means … nor where any of the players are supposed to run.

On the other hand …

I know it’s good to get a touch down and I know there will be amazing food on sunday. But until then, I shall chow down on this deliciousness until it’s wing day

– care to join me ?

Baby Tomato Antipasto Salad

4 Containers of Baby Tomatoes ( approximately 6 cups)

1 Cup Black Kalamata Olives

1 Cup Pimento Stuffed Manzanilla Olives

1 Cup Marinated Artichokes

1 Cup Roasted Red Peppers – chopped

2 Cups Small Pearl Bocchini cheese

5 Cloves of garlic – minced

1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley

1/3 Cup Fresh Thyme

1/3 Cup Fresh Rosemary

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tbsp Sea Salt

3 Tbsp Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, add all of the the ingredients.

Mix well and ….

Eat’em up or refrigerate until you’re ready to mangia!!

Buon appetito Sweet Hearts!!

xoxox