Tag Archives: dinner

STRAWBERRY JALAPENO SPINACH SALAD with a very special dressing too!

We can’t always explain why we are the way that we are.  We can’t usually find reasons to explain our behavior…. Some  days are good, some are not as good and some are just not good.  It happens.  Well, at least it does to me.  When I get like that it’s no ones problem but my own so I have to find a soloution.  To the kitchen we go….

Something new, summery, and delicious, found it’s way into my menu tonight.  For years I’ve enjoyed my Mommy’s awesome Spinach Salad.  I’ve made it many times and I’ve blogged it here before.  I needed some fresh basil and feta for another dish so I was racing to the grocery store for probably my 3rd trip this week (my organization skills blow chunks)  I walk in and all the fruit was glorious AND….. on sale!  Strawberries were calling my name as were the glorious BC cherries.  KIWIS!! oh and 3 bananas and seriously, these are the largest grapes I’ve seen in my life!!  How lucky to live in such a great place with so much healthy crisp produce. Woooo Hooooo.  Who wants to come visit me??  I’ll feed you!

juicy giant grapes. I am not a lion!!! Big right!

juicy giant grapes. I am not a lion!!! Big right!

With a cart full of fruit and the rest of the stuff I needed, homeward bound.  I’ve always wanted to add strawberries to a spinach salad but never had the push to do it.  Well its go time now and I’m super excited.  Then the flavour profile I’ve been desiring came to me!  Oh but wait.  I don’t have what I need and I just got back!!!  In a grocery store, I am easily distracted.  Always sure to forget something or things, so I make lists… and even then I fail.  I’m not going back…. so after begging Hubby to go once, twice, 4 or 5 times.. pouted around for a bit…. he put down his tools and ran to the market to get me some Jalapenos.

K so maybe you know your peppers, and you’ve looked at the pics from this post and you know those are not jalapenos in my photos.  Well the little market up the street didn’t have good looking jalapenos…. they were old and wrinkled and worthy mind you but for photos… nope.    Serranos are a great sub for jalapenos but 3 times hotter FYI….

Serrano Chili Peppers are the thinner of the 2, where as a Jalapeno Pepper is the girthy one. *wink wink*

Ladies, I mean chefs…. pick your preference… haha

The idea in my head comes to life and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  Photos by me, House Of Haley Photography

Here is my Strawberry Jalapeno Spinach Salad with a very special dressing.  Strawberry Jalapeno Balsamic Red Wine Vinegar Dressing.  Try saying that after a few glass of wine… or bottles for some of you.  Hey, I don’t judge, you do you, its cool!

I’m pretty sure I could have come up with a much more simple name but when I’m looking for a recipe or when i’m wanting to make something it frustrates me having to read through a recipe to try and figure out the flavour profile from it.  The title says it all!

And here is the dressing.  Almost as cute as Strawberry Shortcake LOL.   Seriously made him go to the store for the pepper for this shot.  Let me add in another “LOL”  OMG i’m howling, I’m sorry if that’s not as funny to any of you as it is to me!  Thanks Hubs
STRAWBERRY JALAPENO BALSAMIC RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

♥ 2 CLOVES GARLIC
♥ 1 C. RED WINE VINEGAR
♥ 2 T. JALAPENO WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR
♥ ½ C. OLIVE OIL
♥ 1 TSP. SALT
♥ 1 TSP. SUGAR
♥ 1 TSP. GRAINY MUSTARD
♥ ½ TSP. GROUND BLACK PEPPER
♥ 1 WHOLE STRAWBERRY

Combine and blend/pulse for just a few seconds till the garlic is no longer whole and vinegars and oil have blended. DO NOT OVER DO IT. Trust me….. Just for a few seconds.

The Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar was a Christmas gift from Sister In-Law and it’s a great addition to many meals.  I use it mostly when I do any type of roasted potatoes.  With the right seasonings, its a great way to brighten up the flavours.

vinegar

I certainly don’t expect you to have this Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar, nor do I expect you to go out and buy some.  Althought, it’s totally recommended for your pantry fo sho!  This one is from Evoolution out of Edmonton, Alberta, CA.

Let’s get to it shall we!

Words can’t explain what it’s like to cook upstairs…. renos are coming along… thats all i can say.   So cool!  Look at the way that natural daylight casts across all that divine good-for-you food up there.  haha  It’s the simple things in life.

dressingI’m a hardcore #clasher Clash of Clans junkie… game always on… always creepin.  LOL

Again I’m using my new immersion hand blender and the mixing vessel it came with to make this.  You can use a blender but you’ll end up with most of it on the sides.  Use a battery operated whisk or just chop up the strawberry and garlic before you make the dressing, put it all in a jar and shake the crap out of it.

I peeled 2 cloves of fresh garlic.  Its hard for me to use such a little amount, but 2 cloves is just right.

Add in the vinegar’s and then the oil.  If you find after it’s all done that it’s too thick… add in some more vinegar and whisk it up.  If you over blend this you’ll end up with a strawberry like mayonnaise.

Next add in the S+P, sugar and mustard.  The mustard is crucial to the flavour of this dressing.  I’ve used mustard powder before but I find French’s Bold & Spicy Deli Mustard to be the perfect one.  I’m actually addicted to this mustard.  So so so good I could eat it with a spoon.

Now blend.  I’m going to be straight up honest here… I bombed this the first time, hence my warnings…. DO NOT OVER BLEND hahaha.  Pulse a few times, The strawberry is obviously going to thicken it up quite a bit.  I’ve increased the amounts of vinegar to hopefully compensate.  This is why I say recipe blogging is tricky.  So as always, make it your own.  Do what you feel is right and adjust to your liking.  We are all different.

STRAWBERRY JALAPENO SPINACH SALAD

♥ 1 BAG BABY SPINACH, FRESH AND WASHED
♥ HARD BOILED EGGS, COOLED AND SLICED (1 PER PERSON)
♥ MUSHROOMS, FRESH AND SLICED
♥ STRAWBERRIES, SLICED AND SLICED
♥ BACON, COOKED AND CRUMBLED
♥ 2 T. GREEN ONIONS, FINELY CHOPPED
♥ 2 TSP. JALAPENO OR SERRANO PEPPER, FRESH AND DICED

Make this salad up just before you’re ready to eat. Plate it per person rather than in a large salad bowl. I find that the ingredients are at such different weights that you don’t get a proper serving. Person 1 will get all spinach and egg, while the last person gets all the bacon onion and pepper. LOL Just my opinion.

This is where you get to do your fancy…. BE FANCY Plate it up per person, make it pretty, show you care. Then you can give yourself those extra slices of strawberries and bacon. Haha shhhhhhhh….

Use about a handful of spinach leaves per person. Layer in individual salad bowls or plates and drizzle with a little of our Strawberry Jalapeno Dressing from up above.

It was delicious to eat.  Looks pretty cool too.  Each bite held a yummy little mouthful.

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Blackened Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cilantro Dressing (salmon or cod or whichever fish you want)

Finally, this post is done. I still consider myself a beginner food blogger even though this blog has recently had it’s 3rd anniversary. Blogging recipes takes work. Writing an accurate recipe takes work. It’s work but it’s work I enjoy. I just wish I could do nothing but cook, take pics, and blog… Haha True story.


Been talking about these a lot, I know, I apologize for the redundancy. Finally got all the components together….

You’re going to need to check out my last 2 posts!

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click on the photo to the left to get this yummy Chipotle Cilantro Dressing recipe for these Blackened Fish Tacos that we’re about to make.

Click this photo to get this recipe!

Click this photo to see the ingredients needed to make the Blackened Seasoning that will crispify (is that a word?)the fish to a nice golden crunch on the outside and give it a deep savory flavour.



BLACKENED FISH TACOS
♥ 2 BAGS COLESLAW
♥ 1½ C. CORN KERNELS
♥ SALT + PEPPER
♥ FLOUR TORTILLAS
♥ 1 BIG SALMON FILET or 4 LARGE COD FILETS
♥ HIGH SMOKE POINT OIL FOR FRYING (i used Canola Oil)
1 BATCH OF BLACKENED SEASONING
1 BATCH OF CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING
♥ AVOCADO, FRESH, CHOPPED
♥ CILANTRO + LIME FOR GARNISH

Saute the coleslaw and corn with salt and pepper until just tender.
Set aside, but keep warm.
Heat oven to low temp and slowly warm the tortillas. I like em just before they get toasted.
Cut salmon or fish into large pieces suitable for frying.
Heat oil, just above medium, not too hot or the fish won’t cook thoroughly and not too cold or the fish will soak up to much oil and become soggy.
Fry till dark and golden on each side.
If you’re using salmon you may have to do the ends too. Use tongs. They work best.
When they are done gently remove from hot oil onto a papertowel lined dish to remove excess oil.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and break into good chunks.

THE ASSEMBLY
Warmed Tortilla
Sauteed slaw and corn
Blackened fish
Drizzle with some Chipotle Cilantro Dressing
Top with chopped fresh avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice


Place the Blackened Seasoning in a shallow flat bottom container of some sort so you can press the fish into it.  Coating every inch of it.  The better it’s coated the better the crisp.

You don’t want to over cook the cabbage, or it will lose all it’s structure.  You want to saute it till it just starts to wilt.  Keeping it warm will also allow it to keep cooking so with the pan on medium heat, just keep an eye on it.
This is the cod I used last night.  Seasoned all over every surface of fish with the Blackened Seasoning.

Fried in some oil till golden and delicious. I use a large cast iron flat bottom deep dish for frying. Allows maximum room for the fish to fry properly without over crowding the pan.   The heavy duty cast iron can withstand the high temperatures and will maintain it’s heat better when you drop in the fish.

I fried the fish in 2 batches to ensure it cooked evenly and properly. Or you can use a deep fryer but I’ve only used one once and I didn’t like it…. it was too small for what I needed and I don’t want a big greasy appliance kicking around here. I fry as little as possible.
Frying foods took a lot of practice for me over the years.  So many times chicken or potatoes or whatever it was I was cooking, was either undercooked or well well well done. Practice makes perfect.

Frying can be very unhealthy if done incorrectly.  When done the right way you are using the least amount of oil to get that desired crunch and crispiness.

✰ Oil thats too hot will scortch the food on the outside while leaving it raw inside. ✰

✰ Oil that isn’t hot enough won’t seal the food as it should when you drop it in. ✰

(Rather it will sit and soak up the oil.  This results in that drippy soggy mess we’ve gagged on one too many times.

The first time I made these I used some fresh plump salmon and they were to die for! This time around i used cod. I preferred the salmon over any white fish but both were really good.


BLACKENED SALMON TACOS

Here are some pics from the salmon ones I made last week!  These ones were my favourite!

Since the photos were taken down in my temporary basement dungeon kitchen they aren’t of the greatest quality.  We can only go up from here my friends ☺

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Blackened Seasoning

Hi guys, I posted some pics of the Blackened Salmon and Blackened Fish Tacos to my Cooking With Hay Facebook page, and the requests came in for the recipe. As well as the request for me as your personal chef. Thank you for that! It actually is much easier to make the food than to blog the recipe… just in case you were curious. LOL so much time spent running a photoshoot and a kitchen at the same time. I love it tho and anxious to spend more time doing it. The balance between stoning the front of the fireplace and installing bathroom sinks… or blogging…. its a tough one….

I’m quite pleased with the photos from recent photoshoots. I’m working partially upstairs while I can get the good natural daylight and partially still down in the dungeon, errr, I mean, basement. Natural daylight makes for much more appetizing food pics. Less shadows and more true to life colouring of these meals. After all, we taste with our eyes and our noses before the food even hits our tongue or tummies.



I’ve laid out all the ingredients that I used to make the Blackened Seasoning, on this fancy bamboo KitchenAid cutting board that Hubby came home with for me! *SMILES* This is the seasoning for the Blackened Salmon Tacos and Blackened Fish Tacos that I’ve been mentioning. (Blog posts to follow guys!)

I pulled this from a website a while back, I haven’t altered anything except that I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. It actually just adds to the crispy factor we’re going for here! Yummy


Don’t confuse T (tablespoon) for TSP (teaspoon)!!
Oh come on, like you haven’t done that before.

The original image said 2 T. Chili Powder… LOL its got to be 2 TSP. Teaspoons
I made the same error when I first made Butter Chicken. That was a hot hot hot meal. Great tho. Just a real kicker that’s for sure.

BLACKENED SEASONING

♥ 2 T. FLOUR (I use whole wheat)
♥ 2 TSP. CHILI POWDER
♥ 1 TSP. PAPRIKA
♥ 1 TSP. BROWN SUGAR
♥ ½ TSP. ONION POWDER
♥ ½ TSP. GRANULATED GARLIC
♥ ½ TSP. CUMIN
♥ ½ TSP. CAYENNE
♥ ½ TSP. SALT
♥ ½ TSP. PEPPER

Mix together well. Store in an air tight container.


↓ This made enough to do a big slab of salmon or 4 large cod fillets. If you’re doing more you may want to double this recipe. Or to save you some prep time on the next go around, make up a big batch now.

↑ I made one batch of this seasoning and mixed it in this shallow plastic container. All ready to go so I can just lay the piece of fish or meat or whatever it is that you’re going to use, onto the seasoning.
This works great for everything, even prawns and scallops. Try it out and I hope you like it.  I’ve made it 3 times this July.  Cuz it’s that good.  LOL yum!


Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!

Blog Post with recipe and pics COMING SOON!




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CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING or dip

Hi Guys, How is summer???  EEEEEK I’m super excited.  As many of you know my house is still under reno’s and just recently got my new Caesarstone counter-tops installed.  I’m ecstatic!  They are flawless and beautiful and exactly what i’ve wanted for oh so long now.  Now my foodblog pics have a higher quality look to them.  I’m so pleased.  Time to fine tune my Canon Rebel T3i camera and get to work!

Last week I made some Blackened Salmon Tacos.  There are no words for this easy recipe and there was also no room…. no room to eat as much as I could have, that’s for sure!  Wow, great way to enjoy some tender flaky juicy fish this summer. The recipe for the Blackening Seasoning will be my next blog post.  This is the dressing that I always make and it was great on the fish tacos.

Hope you like!


CHIPOTLE CILANTRO DRESSING OR DIP

♥ 1½ C FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
♥ 1 T LIGHT MAYO
♥ 1 T MILK
♥ 1 T CHIPOTLE PUREE
♥ 1 TSP CUMIN
♥ ½ TSP CRUSHED BEE POLLEN
♥ HANDFUL FRESH CILANTRO
♥ JUICE OF ONE LIME

Blend together using an Immersion/Hand Blender or a Food Processor.
Chill in the fridge until its time to serve.


↑ I love me some chipotle! I buy chipotle peppers in small cans in adobo sauce and puree them with a hand blender or food processor. Chipotles pack a punch let me tell ya. The heat from these peppers is potent and smoky and is great for everything.
**If you don’t do heat. Use a very small amount, like 1-2 teaspoons of pureed chipotle for this recipe instead of the requested amount.**

↑ If you don’t have canned chipotles in adobo sauce then you can certainly use a dry powder version, there are many out there. I have these 2 in my pantry. Remember that the longer the dressing sets for the more the flavour is enhanced, and therefore making it much much much hotter the longer it sits.

↑ My Immersion Blender came with this cool mixing vessel. What I love about this machine compared to a hand mixer or hand beater is that it will stand up inside the vessel and not topple over. Flat bottom makes it easy to leave it standing and use both hands to if you need to pause to get an ingredient or whatever. Anything to help keep the counters less messy.

↑ Bee Pollen is one of Mother Natures little goodies. I add a little to every salad dressing I make. You can add it to anything though; soups, sauces, whatever you like. The flavour is like a flower. Its got a floral taste when it hits your tongue. It comes in the natural foods section of your grocery store and looks like little gold nuggets. I grind them down with a mortar and pestle. I have a small one that I use for spices and such. Another inexpensive way to make your kitchen/cooking life a little easier.

Here’s some info on Bee Pollen I picked up from http://www.mercola.com

What Is Pollen?
Pollen is the male seed of flowers. It is required for the fertilization of the plant. The tiny particles consist of 50/1,000-millimeter corpuscles, formed at the free end of the stamen in the heart of the blossom. Every variety of flower in the universe puts forth a dusting of pollen. Many orchard fruits and agricultural food crops do, too.

Bee pollen is the food of the young bee and it is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body. Such highly assimilable protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs.

To view the full article, please click here.

↑ Place all the ingredients into the mixing vessel and blend away. Lift the machine up and down to get it good and blended. Oh so easy I want to blend everything in sight.

photo 9

↑ ❤ Immersion Hand Blender! ❤ NEW TOY! LOL ❤

↑ COMING UP NEXT → Blackened Fish Tacos, using this dressing!
Stay Tuned and if you’d like…. FOLLOW MY BLOG

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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

My mommy has always made a spinach salad and it is THE BEST! When we have it, we can’t get enough of it. It has bacon in it and when you get a bite it literally is a tongue tantalizer. Normally we will have this with a steak and potato but how can I make this fabulous little tongue pleaser more of a meal. So it’s easy. Make a salad with lots of fresh spinach, green onions and mushrooms, some grated hard boiled egg and then…… grilled bbq’d chicken chopped on top. Heck yes! Let’s do it up. A big plate full of this goodness!

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GRILLED CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD with RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

Here’s what you’ll NEED:
Lots of fresh baby spinach
Lots of sliced fresh mushrooms
Lots of chopped green onions
6 cooked eggs, hard yolks (see below)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp.pepper
1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALLS
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dijon mustard or mustard powder

Here’s what you’re GONNA DO:
To make the best hard boiled eggs that are cooked to absolute perfection follow these simple steps:
1. place eggs in the bottom of a pot
2. add cold water, fill to be 1-2″ above the eggs
3. bring water to a rapid boil
4. once boiling, remove from heat and cover with a lid
5. set a timer for 20 minutes
6. after 20 minutes add ice cold water to stop the cooking process
7. drain water
8. with eggs still in the bottom, gently shake back and forth to slightly crack the egg shells
9. under cold water the shells will come right off.
Easy peasy!

For the chicken part:
Pound out your chicken breasts in a big ziploc freezer bag. I use a wooden rolling pin! LOL You don’t want to demolish them… just break down the structure of those bad boys and flatten them out a bit. This will allow them to cook much faster and be a tender bite instead of a big mouthful and hope it’s fully cooked bite…
I gently massage them with a little big of olive oil just so they stay moist on the grill. I seasoned them with a small bit of sea salt, seasoning salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic, and oregano, because I love oregano.
Preheat your bbq, I’m going to say med-high but you need to know your bbq, you need to watch your food when you’re bbqing. Practice makes perfect! When they turn that white cooked colour flip them, about 10 minutes the first side and about 5 or so minutes on the second. Ensure they are cooked through and grilled up nicely Oh on the bbq! Oh on the grill Yo! haha I love bbq’d food!

–In a large salad bowl add in spinach, green onions, mushrooms
— you can slice the cooked eggs or you can use a cheese grater. I was so hungry, I opted for the grater, and also it makes the egg go further. Slicing the eggs makes for a much nicer presentation. Add to the salad bowl.
–mix it up and serve onto salad plates
–chop up a grilled chicken breast and then gentle swipe it ontop of the salad off of the cutting board.
–repeat for all servings
–serve with the red wine vinegar dressing

Oh the dressing!!! I make this in a jar. It’s easy to add in all the ingredients and shake it up. Because it’s oil and vinegar it will seperate obviously, just shake it up before serving it and keep it in the fridge. Add to the jar the last 7 ingredients. Shake it up. Taste it and adjust it to your liking!

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So like I said up there at the top, my Mom used to make Spinach salad for us all the time, the same as this but with bacon and no chicken. Gosh I love that version, and I will still make this version, when I feel like being a bad girl. 😉

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ROTEL TOMATO & MOZZA GRILLED CHICKEN

I wasn’t feeling up to par today, but I wasn’t up for take out either so I opted for something extremely simple, quick and easy. Here it is. Butterflied chicken breasts seasoned with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic. Grilled them on the bbq and topped them with mozzarella and some Rotel tomatoes and green chilies.
EASY! GOOD!
How cute are they, heart shaped and red!
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Have any of you made these before? I’ve seen them around for a few years now I think, but I had yet to try them. Or try quinoa for that matter. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not or how to cook it so that I would like it. I came across this on one of my boards and immediately decided it was time. If you are a big quinoa fan please leave me a comment below this blog post or comment on the facebook post please. Turns out I do really like it and want to find more ways to make it.
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
20 minutes to cook the quinoa
30 minutes to bake the stuffed peppers
Makes 6
Done in less than an hour! OH Yeah!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
3 CUPS QUINOA, cooked
1 SMALL CAN DICED GREEN CHILIES
1 CUP CORN
1 CAN BLACK BEANS, drained and rinsed
1/2 CUP FINE DICED TOMATOES, remove the seeds,
1/2 CUP MONTERAY JACK CHEESE, grated
1/4 CUP LIGHT FETA CHEESE, crumbled
3 TBSP. FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
1 TSP. CUMIN
1 TSP. GARLIC POWDER
1/2 TSP. ONION POWDER
1/2 TSP. CHILI POWDER, or more to taste
GROUND SEA SALT to taste
GROUND FRESH PEPPER to taste

6 BELL PEPPERS, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Place parchment paper on the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients gently in a big bowl, except for the peppers obviously.
3. Spoon the filling into the pepper bowls. Tap them on the counter to get everything to the bottom.
4. Gently stuff.
5. Place them in the parchment lined baking dish.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes. I baked mine with the “tops” on but as you can see in the pics, they wrinkled. Bake them without the tops until the filling is hot inside.
7. Eat em up right away!

Quinoa is usually found in the same section of the grocery store that the rice is found in.
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1 cup of uncooked quinoa will equal 3 cups after it’s cooked
For every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa use 1.5 cups water or chicken broth
Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer
Bring liquid to a boil, and add in the quinoa, give it a stir and then reduce the heat to a med-low temp. Put the lid on it and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Put the lid back on it and remove it from the heat. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
Fluff it up with fork
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I recruited Hubby to help me out with the next 3 shots. It gets awfully challenging trying to hold that massive camera and operate a sharp knife. Here you want to cut the top portion of the peppers off to create the ‘tops’
Use a sharp knife and slice down the edge of the ribs of the pepper following down towards the base of the pepper but not cutting through!!
Pop out the seed pack in the middle and knock out any seeds.
Using that handy melon baller {I like it better than a spoon because it has sharper edges} scrape out the remaining bits of the ribs until you have some nice little pepper bowls!
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They are super cute. I think I can find other reasons to use this type of ‘vessel’ for dips and sides in the future.
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Ok mix up all those ingredient, minus the peppers, in a nice big mixing bowl. Toss it all together gently.
I think this is the first time I’m using feta cheese in something other than a greek meal. I find this highly intersting and can’t wait to see what it tastes like.
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Once you have the filling all together you can simply put it in a casserole dish with a lid on it and just bake it that way if you don’t want to go through the effort of the pepper. I think the next time I will omit the pepper bowl if it’s just Hubby and I, and maybe leave the quirky presentation to when I’m preparing it for guests. It’s just alot of pepper for us. I like my peppers much more tender. Too the point of fully softened mush. Mmmmmm nummy yummy
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Here’s where you get to fill the pepper bowls up with that yum yum quinoa filling. I sprayed my baking dish as I ran out of parchment paper at christmas time and never replaced it. This caused my filled pepper bowls to slide around. I’m thinking the parchment would keep them in place better. Scoop and stuff the peppers and put them in the lined dish. The original recipe that I saw did not seem to bake the peppers with the “tops” on. I did and the “tops” came out quite wrinkled. I think for a better presentation, I would bake them without the “tops” and then just pop them on after you take them out of the oven. I also added a few shreds of the monteray cheese to the top of the filling before baking. gives them a nice finished look. Then I meant to sprinkle them with fresh chopped cilantro but I forgot and had already taken the pictures…. LOL #foodbloggerproblems haha.
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I baked these in a preheated 350 F oven for about 40 minutes. Check them at 30 minutes. You want the filling to be hot throughout. I think they look cute with the wrinkled tops, but not that cute, oh well. They were absolutely scrumptious! Even Hubby liked them.
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I served these with butterflied, grilled chicken breast. Seasoned them with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic and a slight sprinkle of chili powder, with a side of a homemade chipotle dip {fat free sour cream, a wee bit of light mayo and as much chipotle puree as you can handle}
Yay for the second bbq this year! I just love the flavour that a bbq or grill can bring to the food and to the table 😉
Now I know it’s not a Green Egg bbq or anything like that or a nice old fashioned one but it does the job. It may actually need to be replaced this year. We’ve been saying this for the last 2 years so we’ll see.
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And since I’m suffering from severe post vacay depression….. I’ve posted a small collection of pics from House Of Haley Photography, from our time in Mexico a few weeks ago. You can find them at the bottom of this post.

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BAKED TURKEY & SPINACH MEATBALLS

Hello Everyone. Since adding a Facebook Page, Cooking With Hay, {please come by and LIKE my page} I have some more followers this time around and I just wanted to take this opportunity to say ‘Hello and Thank You’
I appreciate every single one of you, and any LIKE or SHARE that you can throw my way as well. You keep this fun for me.

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In just 10 days Hubby and I will be off to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. If you’re on my personal FB, you’re most likely annoyed with my daily countdown photos… sorry about that. I’m just super excited! The point to this rambling… I’ve been trying to empty out the freezer before we go. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t have an answer. 😜 One of the last few things In the freezer was 2 lbs of extra lean ground turkey breast!! Awesome. I bought this for one purpose and one purpose only…. our favorite meatballs, Baked Turkey & Spinach Meatballs to be exact! So lean, so good! I will serve these with some turkey gravy, garlic mashed potatoes made with no butter or milk. {I use chicken stock, salt and garlic} and sweet corn.
You may remember an older post about these meatballs, but it didn’t contain any pictures and I’ve since jacked up the spinach and the seasonings a bit. I hope you like this new tweek!

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BAKED TUREY & SPINACH MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional – adjust to your preference)
  • 2 x 16 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach (defrosted, drained, and squeezed to remove excess water)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, {I make my own from the loaf ends if my favorite 12 grain bread.
  • 2 large eggs

 
INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying with cooking spray.
  • In a frying pan on medium heat, heat olive oil until hot. Then add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is tender.
  • Add spinach to pan and combine with onion mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth and mix well to combine. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked out. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and egg. Add cooled onion/spinach mixture to the meat.
  • 5. With your hands, create meatballs that are about 1 – 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave a little bit of space between each meatball. When you are done shaping your meatballs, you will probably have about 40-42 meatballs from this recipe. If you don’t need this many, you can freeze them after baking or cut this recipe in half.
  • Bake until your meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F – which was about 20 minutes for my oven. Remove from oven and serve as desired.

 
20140214-142852.jpgOne my favourite smells is onions in a frying pan. Adding in the garlic and seasonings and you are suddenly transported to a very happy happy land. Haha. Ok it’s good, but maybe not that good… No, it IS that good!!

20140214-142839.jpgWhen they are done they are golden and smell divine. Here’s the before and after!
20140214-142901.jpgHa! I’m supposed to freeze some if these. Dude, by the time we are finished with these, there won’t be enough to bother freezing!!

20140214-142912.jpgLike I said ,way back there up above, I served these with garlic mashed potatoes {no butter, no milk}. I put in 1 Garlic Ball {click this link to make them yourself} add in some salt. I use Sea Salt and some of that leftover chicken stock because I know what you were thinking when you had so much stock left… “What am I going to do with this leftover stock?” {Ok maybe you’re not thinking that, but I’m always trying to use everything. Waste not want not after all.}. So you should still have stock left after the meatballs, and the mashed potatoes so tomorrow morning you can add it to some fresh cut hash brown potatoes in a ‘barely’ oiled hot pan. So you don’t need as much oil! Hahaha! Oh, I got sidetracked…. I also served this with turkey gravy, spiced up with oregano and red pepper flake because I idolize red pepper flake hahaha and sweet juicy corn!

20140214-142925.jpgHere, I used my fork and broke one of these scrumptious meatballs open. I have doubled the amount of spinach originally called for to 2 packages. This ensures lots of Popeye strength, and so much healthy goodness and flavour! Your call. I say use 2 packages of spinach and if it’s too much for you cut it down next time but it’s not like it’s intolerable, I swear, you’ll thank me! Hehe!

20140214-143048.jpgI thought there would be some sort of drippings in the pan that I could use to make some good gravy but check out this cooking sheet…. Dem are some lean mean healthy machines…. Depending on how much gravy you put on! Another reason to make a shitload of gravy at Christmas time. Freeze it in portions for occasions such as this. I just said ‘shitload’ on my blog. Is that completely inappropriate, it’s just that that seemed like the most appropriate wording. I don’t know. I’m still learning…..

20140214-143059.jpgSeriously hearty, mostly healthy and your tummy will be forever thankful! Please hit me up with a comment below if you make these and what your thoughts were! I love feedback.

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Tandoori Chicken Pizza

Tonight’s Dinner…. My man’s favorite!!!
Tandoori Chicken Pizza
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Click the link to see the recipe.
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Cilantro Jalapeno Chicken Burger with Chipotle Salsa & Guacamole

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CILANTRO JALAPEÑO CHICKEN BURGER WITH CHIPOTLE SALSA & GUACAMOLE
Makes 6 burgers

CHIPOTLE SALSA
1 cup chunky salsa
1 tablespoon chipotle purée
Mix it up and chill it until you’re ready to serve.
{this makes just enough for 6}

LIGHT & SIMPLE GUACAMOLE
2 soft avocado
2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
Mix it up, we like ours slightly smooth and still a bit chunky…. your call.
Chill it until you’re ready to serve.

BURGER INGREDIENTS
2lbs ground chicken breast {I used extra lean}
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Pre Made Homemade Garlic Balls {or 5 cloves of minced garlic}
3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeños
1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt {or less, I used less and they needed more}
couple cranks of fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese {I used the smaller grate}

BUNS & TOPPINGS
6 hamburger buns {sliced and toasted before serving}
Lettuce
Red onion rings
Light mayo
Bacon {this burger be beggin for bacon but my waistline was not 😦 }

BURGER DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl add everything in the order listed.
Using your hands, gently combine all the ingredients.
DO NOT OVER MIX OR OVERWORK
Make 6 patties { I lined a dish in wax paper so they didn’t stick to each other}
I cooked mine on my Cuisinart Griddler, about 15-20 minutes {cooked through}
Would have used the bbq but it’s just too cold outside and I had wet hair from swimming.

BURGER ASSEMBLY
Chipotle Salsa on the bottom of the bun
Add your burger
Top the burger with some Guacamole
Here’s where I would add the bacon if I had included bacon
Lettuce
Red onion
And finally, light mayo, on the top bun.20140128-222558.jpgI came across the idea for this on another site. I had been wanting to do something different with a chicken burger and this ground version seemed great for it. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 lbs of ground chicken, and since my 2 packages of chicken came to more than that, I had to adjust the rest of the ingredients.
1kg = 2.2lbs
Keep this in mind when shopping and referring to your recipes.20140128-222640.jpg20140128-224625.jpg20140128-222727.jpgEverything gets combined in a bowl. Don’t mix it too much. Just enough to incorporate everything.
20140129-195724.jpgMakes 6 patties.
I have to say…. I really don’t like the way ground chicken looks and feels compared to ground beef… Regardless these looked good and they were very tasty. Plus the Chipotle Salsa on these gives you a great mix of flavours in yo mouth!20140129-203530.jpg20140129-203540.jpg
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Love Haleykins
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