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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Monthly Archives: February 2013

One of the greatest compliments has to be when a kid says “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten” and proceeds to eat 3 huge bowls in one sitting!  I actually had not planned on blogging this recipe until I got that reaction, so I snapped some photos  post-meal.  This is a dinner that is ready in under an hour and you can easily sub in different ingredients depending on your kid’s favourite flavours!  Sometimes a bit of improv in the kitchen pays off in a big way!!

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Chicken Taco Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

3 small chicken breasts, diced

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp onion powder

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

fresh ground pepper & sea salt to taste

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 cup corn kernels, frozen or canned

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1/2 cup prepared salsa

1 1/2 cup Tex Mex shredded cheese

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

Garnish with: chopped cilantro, jalapeno and sour cream

2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta

Method: 

this is all that was left!!!

this is all that was left!!!

Preheat oven to 350degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta to the perfect al dente.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high and brown chicken, about 5-6 minutes.  Add seasoning and cook for another minute.  Add the red pepper and corn, continue to until the pepper is tender.

Back in the pasta pot – add the can of soup and salsa and stir to combine.  By now the chicken/pepper mixture should be done – add to the pasta mixture.

Pour this goo into a 9×11 baking dish and top first with the crushed tortilla chips, followed by the cheese.  Bake for 20 mins and then broil for another 1-2 minutes to get bubbly.  Let sit for about 5 minutes and dinner is on!  Just like with tacos, dress with your favourite toppings and enjoy!!

"this is the best thing I've ever eaten!!"

“this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!”

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Today I got up early and made a batch of my yummy Banana Chocolate Chunk Quinoa cookies and a big batch of a seed filled granola that would make any bird’s feathers fly!  This granola is full of pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and even tiny little poppy seeds!  I chucked in some shaved coconut and sliced almonds too, this is so good – sprinkle it into yogurt, top muffins with a sprinkle of it before baking, or add it to your oatmeal for a bit of crunch.  This was inspired by a recipe in the latest Bon Appetit magazine.

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“Seedy” Granola

Ingredients:

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup agave syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

3 cups rolled oats

2 cups coconut shavings

1 cup each pepitas and sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tbsp each poppy seeds and  flax seeds

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly coat with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the egg with the syrup, coconut oil, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  IMG_0468

Add all of the other ingredients and stir to coat evenly.  Spread onto the cookie sheet and chuck into the oven.  Bake for about an hour or so, stirring every 15 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown (this doesn’t really happen till the last 20 minutes or so!)

When all nice and golden, let cool completely before storing in an airtight container – it will stay nice and fresh for a couple of weeks.

 

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Anyone who knows me has heard the stories of how my family has teetered on the edge between regular diet and paleo diet – there have been some highs (losing weight, feeling great) and lows (Hot Toddy’s sugar-deficient rage attacks against helpless frozen fruit), but for the most part, we are pretty happy with our “modified” paleo diet!  I think we are more defined as “clean eaters” but I still troll the paleo blogs for inspiration and recently spied a ton of recipes titled: Paleo Crack Bars.  Just google it and you will find many variations of these chocolatey deliciously sweet and nutty bites!

For this batch, I used organic, fair trade ingredients that I bought from Ten Thousand Villages, now located in downtown Red Deer.  I threw in a 1/2 cup of chopped dried Golden Berries, which I actually thought were the same as goose berries, because they are little orange berries growing in a paper BUT I googled them and they are not really related. The Golden Berry has many delightful properties such as being high in protein and super high immunity boosting vitamins!

Anyways, the base is easy, melted honey and coconut oil, bound together with ground almonds and coconut and you can get creative with whatever fruits and nuts your family is down with!  Or none at all, if that’s your thing!!

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Paleo Fruit & Nut Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey IMG_0449

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup ground almonds

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chopped golden berries

Method:

Line a 9×12 baking dish with baking paper.  In a glass bowl, melt the honey and coconut oil in the microwave.  Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

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Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and shove in the fridge for a while to harden.

I cut my bars into about 24 little squares  because they are pretty sweet!  I like to wrap them individually so they are ready to go when I’m on my way out the door – they keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.

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