Get Him To The Greek [Tzatziki]

Mum's spanikopita, tzatziki & tortilla chips, complimentary hair colours, and a beautiful cake from our friends!

A few weeks ago some family friends of ours came over for dinner and we went with a Greek menu.  It was lovely to catch up with them and as you can imagine I always enjoy getting ready for a little feast.  I was asked for the recipe for the tzatziki and promised to send it over right away, but of course with my great organization skills during exams that didn’t happen.  So here it is, only three weeks late!

Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce/appetizer/dip, depending on how you serve it. We like eating it with souvlaki and grilled meat, veggies, bread and crackers, or just straight out of the bowl.   

Until today I had never actually measured what I was throwing into the tzatziki, so it’s quite easy to just make it to your own taste. If you like Greek food, you really can’t leave out the tzatziki! Tzatziki Recipe

Auntie C’s Granola

Pretty, but the snow probably isn't good for the tulips!

When my (amazing) Auntie C visited over Christmas, she brought with her a big bag of homemade granola. We meant to save it for breakfast, but someone opened the bag to start munching and before we knew it the whole thing was gone! I’d been meaning to make her recipe since then, and it did not disappoint.

After a weekend with friends in rainy Montreal, I woke up to a slushy wonderland in Ottawa this morning.
Cozy in my PJs, this granola was beyond perfect with some Greek yogurt and my morning coffee.

Montréal, je t'aime.

Having never made my own granola before I was happy with how easy it was! I love the “artisan”  organic type of granola you can get at the store, but this is so much cheaper and you can use whatever ingredients you like and have on hand.
It tastes great with fruit and yogurt or milk, on its own as a healthy snack and if you packaged it nicely it would even make a nice treat for someone else (a friend who skips breakfast?!). There’s a lot to like about this easy and delicious granola.  Auntie C’s recipe

A Good Good Friday

Up late studying (and now procrastinating, oops!) on a Friday night…but it was a good, Good Friday!

First, great news! Hélène Campbell has had her double lung transplant! There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome after a transplant, but it’s exciting just the same…now just hoping for a speedy recovery. You can see Hélène’s blog here: http://www.alungstory.ca/ and the story about her transplant here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/04/06/ott-helene-campbell-lung-transplant.html.

My brother made Dunlop look like a babushka. Poor puppy.

Disney was right: it’s a small world after all. I went to a friend’s birthday last night and met a girl whose blog (http://weightlossandcorinne.com/) I stumbled upon when I first joined WordPress. Turns it we have both been following each other’s blogs but had no idea that we both knew the birthday girl! It was a fun discovery and I was so happy to meet Corinne! Alycia convinced me to stay a liiiittle longer than I initially intended, and I’m glad I did.

Woke up with a bit of a hangover and a super-foamy & delicious latte made by my Dad...lovely.

Beautiful spring weather means beautiful blossoms and a beautiful time for a run. I couldn't resist being outside today. Which is why I'm stuck at my desk now. Good trade off!

To avoid starting my work earlier I baked, of course.  I tried this delicious and healthy sounding recipe for strawberry & banana quinoa muffins; they tasted really good but were sooooo moist.  I might tinker with the recipe before I share it because they were a bit like muffin-pudding! Tasty, but a little messy to eat.

Never thought muffins could be TOO moist -- will give these ones another try, they were really yummy!

While this long weekend is shaping up to be sunny & lovely, I’m sending lots of love and best wishes to my uncle in the hospital and his family. Thinking of you guys a ton and hoping for the best! xox

Mum’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if the meal isn’t skipped altogether we tend to just grab something we can eat on the run.  I’m not saying that we need to cook a feast every morning, but isn’t it nice to actually sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day?  These pancakes are a cinch to whip up in the morning,they’re healthier than your average pancake, and if you make extra just freeze them for later…easy!  My Mum’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica.

 

Dwight Schrute would approve of this salad. Actually, it’s probably a little too high maintenance for him (but it’s really easy, I promise!). This winter salad features beets, citrus, fennel and onions — might not sound like a winning combination, but let yourself be surprised.  The contrast in textures, flavours and colours make this something special.

Blood oranges star alongside beets in this Moroccan inspired salad.

Try it out!

Sunday Dinner [Red Lentil Soups]

After making a sufficient mess in the kitchen this weekend, some lovely gals came over for Sunday dinner. I love playing hostess, and am super lucky to have friends who act as my cooking guinea pigs! The menu was a little bit haphazard, but the outcome was a warm, hearty and healthy meal with good friends, which is the most important part!

This red lentil soup is very simple to prepare, but with a drizzle of the spiced oil on top and garnished with a sprig of coriander, it will look like you slaved over the stove.
Serve up some soup! And see the rest of the random dinner menu…

I Ate Quinoa Before It Was Cool [Cheesy Quinoa Cakes]

I had a lot of fun visiting friends in Toronto this past weekend – maybe too much fun right before getting back into the school grind…oops!

These cool people introduced me to what might be the tastiest burger ever. There’s a place in Toronto called The Burger’s Priest, where their mission is to “redeem the burger one at a time”. I was initially leaning towards a veggie burger, but then I saw the “Vatican City”; instead of a bun, the burger is between two grilled cheese sandwiches…I couldn’t resist! (Their whole “secret” menu can be found here. Soooo good.) But, you can’t eat like that all the time…

So. After the first day back at school I had a craving for something cheesy, but didn’t feel like going into a large-burger-induced-food-coma afterward…cue cheesy quinoa cakes.

I ate quinoa before it was cool. I feel like the superfood (pronounce keen-wah) has enjoyed a surge of popularity within the past decade as more and more people realize how awesome and versatile it is, but my wonderful mama has been serving it up in various ways for as long as I can remember. If you haven’t tried quinoa before, you really should. It boasts some crazy nutritional value and is a snap to make. If you have tried quinoa before, I’m glad! Either way, you should make these as soon as possible…

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes served with Garlic and Lemon Aioli and Sauteed Collard Greens

Make them now!

Quick Quesadillas

How many people have included to eat healthier in their new year’s resolutions? If you want to get going on that, try these super tasty, super easy and super quick quesadillas.

There is really no end to the possibilities of fillings for these quesadillas; the only essentials are tortillas, some kind of sauce, and some cheese.  From there, the rest is up to you!

I used a yogurt-pesto sauce (three quarters plain, non-fat yogurt, to one quarter pesto) on a whole wheat tortilla and filled it with sliced chicken, shredded cheese and tomatoes. Fold over your tortilla and pop them in the oven at 425 degrees for about eight minutes and you’re all set. Doesn’t get much easier! Here are some more filling ideas!

Never Too Late for Latkes!

Hanukkah has come and gone and I almost missed out on latkes! In the end though, I was able to make time to fit in these bad boys, and oh MAN am I glad I did! Crisp and golden on the outside with a fluffy potato center; this recipe for the Hanukkah specialty was a winner.

Latkes crisping in olive oil on the skillet.

Never having made latkes on my own before, I chose a pretty simple recipe. We happened to have parsnips in our fridge, so this variation was a pleasant surprise. Another great thing about this recipe? You can make it healthier! Simply sub in whole wheat flour instead of white flour and there you go! You won’t taste the difference, but you’ll have heart smart latkes.

The eggs, the potatoes, parsnips and scallions, and whole wheat flour -- all together make delicious (and healthy) latkes!

These were so tasty and so easy to make, I can’t imagine I’ll wait til next Hanukkah to try them again…. Check out the recipe!