Roasted Summer Salad

Good afternoon! Today's post is all about my Roasted Summer Salad. Right now there are so many vegetables that are in season and this means that they taste their most delicious and they're also more affordable. You can make this as a lunch for two, a dinner for one, or as a side dish without the lettuce. It is also vegan & gluten free. 

For this recipe you will need: (serves 1-2)

1 zucchini, sliced in rounds

A dozen cherry tomatoes (these were from my own balcony garden!)

2 medium-sized potatoes, half moon slices 

2 green onions, sliced 

A handful of fresh herbs (whatever you have on hand works; I used parsley, basil & rosemary)

2 tbsp of olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Butter lettuce leaves (or any other greens you have on hand)

Seeds, nuts, anything crunchy & nutritious 

To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper all throw everything together except for the green onions, lettuce, and nuts. Toss everything together so the veggies are well coated. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until everything is golden brown and delicious. 

To assemble your salad, place your butter lettuce leaves or greens as the base in your bowl. Put all the roasted goodness within the lettuce cup/base, and sprinkle the green onions and nuts as a garnish. For a dressing, balsamic vinegar works well. You can keep this plain as well as it is quite flavourful. Enjoy! 

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Vegan & Gluten Free Falafels

I absolutely love chickpeas. They're high in protein and fibre, and absolutely delicious. I'm always trying to find news way to enjoy them so I thought I'd venture out into the falafel world. I made these falafels for lunch today and they're easy, very quick, and very yummy! You'll also have everything on hand which means less money for you to spend. IMG_3280

You will need:

A can of chickpeas

A pinch or so of salt

Cilantro

Hot peppers

A teaspoon and a half of gluten free flour (If you don't need it to be gluten free, use AP flour!)

A teaspoon of oil (I used vegetable)

A food processor

(I used Gourmet Garden's Cilantro and Chili Pepper paste. I always keep it on hand, and it makes flavouring a lot easier.)

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Put your pan on the heat at medium and add in your oil. Add all of your ingredients into your food processor. Put the lid on and whiz it up! (Its that easy really!) Make your little falafels with about a spoon or so of your mixture. If you wet your hands lightly it makes it the mixture stick less to your hands and easier to work with. Place your falafels into the hot pan, and let each side brown and crisp up. This should take about 1-2 minutes per side.

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Enjoy them with a salad, pitas, tortillas, yogurt, or any other chutney that you like! You could easily put them in the oven to bake as well. Next time I'm going to try adding sweet potato into the mix, and use them as a veggie burger! Bon appetit!

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Summer Time Fridge Clearing

Hello my fellow InBetweeners! It has been a while since I posted something because I've been really busy with getting my apartment together! There will be a series of Apartment postings coming soon, and you can judge my personal decorating skills.

Summertime means fresh and healthy food that is uber delicious, and I'm all about that. This week I made a pizza and salad using leftover fruits and veggies (and cheese!) in my fridge.

I had some pizza dough on hand so I rolled it out and slathered it with red pepper pesto. I topped that with grated mozzarella, sliced and diced peppers, tomatoes, and red onions. I finished off the pizza with more mozzarella, and goat cheese! (I absolutely love goat cheese so I always keep it in my fridge. PC Blue Menu is a fantastic and cost-effective choice!)

I had half a watermelon left in my fridge, and without this clearing, I probably would have forgotten about it. I LOVE watermelon. It can be sweet or savoury, and although the pizza and watermelon is an odd combo, it is so refreshing! I cubed the watermelon, added a little salt, oil, lime juice, and cilantro (from my very own balcony herb garden). I finished it with feta cheese, and I was good to go.

It was so scrumptious. I can't recommend enough clearing your fridge once in a while and using what you have on hand to create a meal! It saves you money, and you'll learn to be creative.

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Breakfast for Dinner

I love food. I love meals that involve carbs, potatoes (more carbs), and my new found love of bacon. Breakfast happens to involve all of those things with a nice mixture of fruit as well. It also happens to be a meal that doesn't cost much and can feed an army of people. Breakfast can be served three times a day, and today I had a proper breakfast for dinner. Breakfast for dinner should include all of your favourite things to eat for breakfast! Make pancakes, toast, eggs, bacon, sausages, hash, french toast... The list literally goes on and on. Throw in some coffee, tea, fruit, veggies, and a sweet dessert like cinnamon buns, and you're done! Everything you would make is inexpensive, and you might already have on hand. (Yet another good way to clear the fridge!)

So when in doubt of what to make for dinner for a group or just yourself, think of breakfast! You'll be happy you did!

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Dinner on a Trip Budget

Now when I say vacation food, it might seem to be like a beautiful beach resort tropical yumminess, but this is not that kind. This is food that I had while on a short trip to Niagara Falls. When you go on a trip, you often have a budget. That being said, you don't want to skimp out on yummy food because that's the most important part! (Well at least for me!) Plan out where you're going to go, and enjoy everything you get.  My general rule for dining on trips is not to spend more money on drinks than you do on food (my general rule for life is to eat my calories not drink them! haha). My trip to Niagara Falls consisted of eating at Milestones (my favourite) a couple of times or so. I just couldn't get enough. The first night I had a Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich with fries. It was dressed with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a spicy mayo. Avocado salad on the side also. ($11.99)

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The second night I had a soy based Garden Burger that was topped with tomatoes, avocados, and onions. Oh I also got bacon on it. The irony of it all. It was soooo delicious. And the yumminess of french fries were also on the side. ($11.99)

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These meals were reasonably priced and absolutely delicious! They were also filling. Money well spent for sure.

Here's a cute bike that was parked outside my hotel!

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Wine & Cheese Party

Last weekend I had a mini wine and cheese party. It's easy to put together, doesn't cost you much, and everyone will enjoy it. To have one of your own, you will need: An assortment of cheese. I used a brie, manchego, a garlic & herb soft cheese, and a spiced goat cheese.

Nuts & Dried Fruit. Use anything you have on hand. Almonds, walnuts, dried apricots, dried cranberries. Endless choices.

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Fresh Fruit. Figs, apples, and pears are a nice addition to a wine and cheese spread. They're fresh, and work with everything.

Crackers & Bread. Use different types of crackers. I find that a plain sea salt cracker, and whole wheat work best because they are more sturdy. Choose flavoured ones too! Naan bread and pita bread are lovely as well for spreading cheese on.

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I made a cheesy take on a bruschetta. I took a baguette, sliced it into small pieces along the top, not going all the way down. Put mozzarella pieces in between each  piece, and put into the oven until the bread is crunchy and the cheese is melted. Top with a bruschetta mixture of chopped tomatoes, garlic, oregano, oil, and salt. You're all done!

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Wine. Use whatever you already have, and if you don't have anything, just pick up a $10.00 bottle. It doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious.

Other pairings. Olives, spreads, jams, and jellies all work nicely with everything. Go spicy and sweet for great combinations!

A wine and cheese party is meant to be rustic, delicious, and creative. There are endless cheese, fruit, nut combinations that you can achieve so just have fun! You won't break the bank with this, and everyone will be impressed, trust me.

Pennette Rigate with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Pennette Rigate with Red Pepper Pesto

Pennette Rigate is just the cuter version of the penne we're more used to, and with the same deliciousness. For dinner tonight I made a wonderful meal that stemmed from whatever I had in my kitchen. This is a good way to cook - it ensures that you use up whatever veggies (and fresh cheese in my case) that you have before they go bad. I was feeling pasta, and looked at the abundance we have in our pantry and simply chose the cute little pennette! Needless to say, this meal was very inexpensive when you get to the actual cost of it all. Pasta is filling, and very yummy. Also, you can't mess up pasta. It's super easy to make, and when you get the hang of it, there are no limits on what you can do to it!

I already had half a red pepper chopped up in my fridge, so I decided on a red pepper inspired pasta. I also realized I had the exquisite red pepper pesto by Jamie Oliver from Sobeys. Add a little cream to the pesto after you've drained the pasta and put in back into the pot, and you're almost done! I then added the peppers, almonds (for good health and a little bit of crunch), and tiny boccincinis (if you don't already know, they're fresh cheese that are sooo yummy! I got mine from Grande Cheese). Mix it altogether over a low heat for a couple of minutes, and you're complete!

Food is meant to be simple and delicious. It doesn't have to be fancy or takeout to be good either! Try this pasta dish yourself and sub in whatever kind of pasta, sauce, or other ingredients you like! Go wild with your food!

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