Category Archives: Veggie & Sides Recipes

Sunday Supper Spinach & Parmesan Risotto


The cooler weather is here and that means comfort foods!  My 7 year son requested his absolute fave  – risotto!  Although its a little labour intensive,  the end result is  definitely worth it.  This is my basic recipe for risotto – we really like parmesan risotto and I wanted to use up some spinach I had in the fridge so I added that.  Feel free to play with flavors and different tastes – mushrooms are another one of my faves for this dish.

Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Risotto

  • risotto4 cups homemade or organic chicken stock/broth
  • 1/4 c salted butter
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 -2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1  1/2 cup arborio rice (scant)
  • a few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 3TB butter  – cup up into chunks
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth/stock to a boil, turn down heat and allow to simmer.  Meanwhile, in a a deep dished fry pan, melt 1/4 c butter.  Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 min or until onion is soft.   Add garlic and stir for 1 min.  Add rice and stir for about 2 minutes.  Add the first 1.5 cup of hot stock (keep the stock hot throughout the process). The stock/rice will be boiling – adjust heat if you need to – to keep it at that temp..  Stir every couple of minutes until liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir and add liquid 1/2 c at a time until all stock is used up and rice is soft – this will take about 25 minutes.  At the 15 min or so mark, throw in the torn up spinach.  Keep stirring! When all of the liquid is absorbed, add 3 TB butter and stir to mix.  Remove from heat,  add parmesan cheese & salt and pepper to taste (taste it before adding salt).   Cover and allow to sit for 3 or 4 minutes.  Serve. EnJoy.
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Meatless Sunday


Today I was making dinner for one, and didn’t feel like eating any meat.  Luckily I had some portabella mushrooms in the fridge to the rescue.

Easy Balsamic Veggies

  • balsamic veg11 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 small portabella mushrooms  – quartered
  • 1/4 of a large sweet onion – chopped
  • 1 red pepper cut into thick chunks
  • 5 pieces Asparagus – trimmed and broken in 1/2 or 1/3
  • 3TB – 1/4cup Balsamic Vinegar

 

In a pipping hot pan, add EVOO until hot, add garlic, add onions and caramelize onions for 10 min.  Add peppers, and saute for a few min. Add mushrooms  and mix, add a generous amount of salt, plus pepper to taste, mix, add 3TB balsamic vinegar,  mix and cook down for 5min.  Taste – adjust balsamic vinegar/salt/pepper to taste, turn heat to low, cover and allow to reduce and steam itself for 15 min. balsamic veg 2

Toss and serve with basmati rice.  EnJoy.

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Avacodo & Feta Taco. Its quick – Its Gluten-Free – Its Delicious and its Easy!


Its summer time and no one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when there’s sunshine to enjoy!

IMG_20140716_150654 IMG_20140716_150703 TacoThis is an old favorite of mine.  Simply easy and delicious – best of all takes about 5 min to make and very little mess to clean up. This is a vegetarian taco-like sandwich using an unconventional filling.

Makes 1 sandwich.

  • 1 Corn Tortilla
  • 1/2 avacado
  • 1-2 TB red onion
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • cilantro (optional)

Heat a non stick pan over high heat.  Place corn tortilla (you can usually find them in the refrigerated area at your supermarket), in the hot pan.

Meanwhile chop the avocado & onion.  Flip the tortilla over in the pan (it will be crispy on the side that was fave down and a little browned).  Crumble the feta on the tortilla, add onion and avocado.  Sprinkle with  salt and pepper and cilantro if using.  (You can also add tomatoes or some cooked fish like mahi mahi ).   Heat for a couple min until you can peak at the bottom of the tortilla and see that it is browned.  enJOY.

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Outta the mouths (for the mouths) of babes!


recipeI found this recipe written by my 8 year old daughter sitting on the dining table this morning. Looks like she’s  on the way to a full fledged foodie like her Mom!

In case you can’t read it – here are her recipes (2 of them – she’s written more and came up with a delish veggie salad as well but that’s for another post)  – could be influenced by a recipe book – or more likely the Food Network, that kid loves any cooking show! Especially Chopped and Top Chef!

 

Crazy Cucumbers

  • thinly sliced cucumber
  • thinly sliced carrot
  • raisins
  • cream cheese
  • chives

Spread cream cheese on cucumber.  Add carrots and raisins.  Roll it all up and tie it with a chive.

Inside Out Sandwiches

Mini Me Foodie

Mini Me Foodie

  • breadstick
  • mustard
  • thinly sliced cucumber
  • thinly sliced red pepper
  • turkey slices

Spread mustard on turkey slice.  Add rest of ingredients, ending with the breadstick.  Roll it up. EnJoy

 

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Better, Faster (makes you stronger) than Take Away ….Beef Stir Fry


Beef Stir FRyEveryone likes to order in once in a while right?  Well one of my pet peeves is ordering in and getting something salty & tasteless.  In less time then it would take to have it delivered, and a fraction of the cost, you can make this beef stir  fry.  Best thing – no weird ingredients and I’ve included my favorite short cuts to shorten prep time. Ready, Set, …Let’s Stir Fry!

Sauce

  • 2/3 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c beef broth (stock)
  • 1/3 c rice vinegar
  • 3 1/2 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 TB minced garlic
  • 3/4 TB minced ginger
  • 2 TB Cornstarch

Veggie of choice. Rice. 1 LB beef – sliced thin

Our favorite veggie combo for a beef stir fry is:

  • about a pound of mixed red, green, orange and yellow peppers – sliced  – fresh is best, but frozen are a good time saver! (About 2 peppers, sliced total)
  • 3-4 bulbs of baby bok choy
  • 1/2 onion – sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bag (454g) of “Carrot Slaw” (shredded carrot and broccoli) – you can also  manually shred these
  • 400 g brown cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 bag of bean sprouts

other options we play with:

  • sliced water chestnuts
  • mini corn
  • snow peas
  • broccoli

Cook rice (we like basmati) according to instructions.  (Or use a rice cooker like me 🙂  ) While rice is steaming,  mix sauce except cornstarch, once it is mixed add cornstarch and whisk until mixed completely, set aside.

Heat wok or large, deep fry pan,  when pan is hot add about 2 TB sesame oil.   Let heat for a moment, then add garlic, stir fry for about 30 sec, add onion.  Continue to saute for 1 min. Add beef & try to sear.  Add peppers. (if using frozen peppers the trick I use is to thaw peppers (in microwave in a pinch) and squeeze out all excess water, as that will render your sauce tasteless).  Add carrot slaw.  Add about  2TB-4TB  water, cover and let carrots steam for about 3 min.  Remove lid (water should be gone or pour off excess water).  Add mushrooms, Toss. Add sauce & toss.  Heat sauce to boiling and continue to stir fry for about 3 min, – the sauce will thicken, your rice should be ready.  Plate with rice, serve and eJOY.

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Aside

This is a family favorite and its Gluten Free to boot!  Feel free to add (left over) cooked broccoli or bell peppers or other veggies to make it your own.  Super simple and delish – without all the processing that … Continue reading

Alice fell down the Toad in the Hole


Today’s post brought to you by “Going crazy with 2 sick kids at home”.com, donations of wine in particular are accepted.  Seriously though, its the time of the year here in Ontario, Canada that the leaves are changing and the weather is getting cooler.  To our family this means, a yearning for a hot breakfast and a blanket to curl up and read a book with.  Alice in Wonderland is great read and Toad in the Holes are my daughters favorite breakfast, put them together and you get …

Alice Fell Down the Toad in The Hole

Toad in a Hole (5)

  • 1 piece of bread
  • 1 egg
  • margarine or butter

 

 

Toad in a Hole (2) Toad in a Hole (7) Toad in a Hole (1)

  1. Heat a small frying pan on medium-high heat. Melt a bit of butter into pan.
  2. Butter both sides of the bread.
  3. Use a small cookie cutter (we use one shaped like a heart or a star) and cut a hole in the bread.
  4. When pan is hot, place bread into bottom of pan, then crack egg into hole.
  5. Fry the stars as well. 
  6. Flip over after about 3 minutes and fry for an additional 2 minutes (or to taste). 
  7. Remove to plate and serve. EnJoy!

hint: also good, if instead of frying in butter, there is a little bacon or sausage grease in the bottom of the pan

 

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Aside

Chicken on Grill – is there anything better? Its one of our families favorites.  Here are our top 5 ways/hints to make Chicken on the Grill even better. Barbecue Chicken – use a good (or make your own) barbecue sauce. … Continue reading

Get Spicy with Spicy Remoulade & Spicy ‘Slaw


I’m starting this post out with an apology for the delay between posts – you know how it goes – sometimes life just gets away from you!  But have no fear I am back (do you hear and ominous voice in your head  saying “Be afraid – be very afraid”?) and ready to blog so lets get to it!

As some of my readers know I love southern food, one of the classic things I like about summer – southern food is Spicy Slaw (Coleslaw).  This recipe is my favorite – in fact my 7 year old and I had a argument about who was getting the last bit of slaw when we had it last!  My version features spicy version of classic Remoulade classic southern sauce) mixed  with shredded cabbage, carrots and onion, but also is great as a chip dip or dip for Fish Cakes, such as my Catfish Cakes.

We eat everything quite spicy, and this sauce is no exception, however you can play with the heat level by reducing the hot sauce added.  Pictured with the only Gluten Free Beer I have found that actually tastes like a lager and is GOOD!  (Thank you Bard’s!)

Spicy Slaw

spicy slaw served with fishcakes

  • Shredded Cabbage, Carrot s & Onion (or use broccoli slaw)
  • Remoulade Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

Remoulade Sauce

remoulade ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tsp Horseradish (we use hot)
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce (Franks or Louisiana Sauce)
  • 2 TB Creole Mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 – 2 TB (kosher is better) dill pickle juice (or vinegar)
  • 1-2 tsp Andy Roo’s Creole Seasonings

Now first off, if you look at my photo carefully (sorry was taken with my phone – seem to have misplaced my camera) I actually used Dijon mustard – on account of I was out of creole mustard (better place an order with Mississippi Queen Foods yikes!) but still wanted spicy slaw.   In any case, add all ingredients to a small bowl, and combine (I use a mini whisk) and refrigerate for a min of 30 min to let the flavours come together.  Add generously to the cabbage/carrots and serve.  P.S. this is awesome to dip your french fries into as well!

This will keep in the fridge for up to a week – but good luck making it last that long.   enJoy!

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part 1: Quick & Budget Friendly Pork Schnitzel & Pasta


Recently, my time has been rushed and we’ve been in need of some quick & easy recipes.  Same with everyone right?  Well I am tired of arguing that making food your self is more expensive then grabbing a pizza – so in this series of blog posts I am out to prove it!

Today I was at the store and Pork Schnitzel strips were on sale,  so I grabbed them.  I had some gluten free multi-grain bread crumbs and some gluten free pasta at home as well and so this meal was born! Not only that but it was cheap too! Fed 4 people (2 younger kids, 2 adults) for under $11 (that’s about $2.65 a serving….. try getting take out for that!

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)                 $4.71
  • GF Bread Crumbs                      $1.00
  •  1 egg                                           $0.20
  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti             $1.50
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered    $0.50
  • 1 small head broccoli                   $1.00
  • EVOO (3 TB)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste                     $1.70
  •                                            total       $10.61

Time from prep to plating,  about 15 mins …..

Pork Schnitzel & Pasta:

  • Porkporkschnitzel and pasta

  • Pork Schnitzel (1LB)
  • GF Bread Crumbs  (1/4-1/2 cup)
  •  1 egg

Pasta

  • 1/2 pkg of GF Spaghetti
  • 4 cocktail tomatoes quartered
  • 1 small head broccoli-washed & cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 TB EVOO
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 TB Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed.  While pasta is cooking, quarter the tomatoes, and chop broccoli.  In one bowl, beat egg, then dip the pork in the egg and dredge thru the breadcrumbs.  If you have enough bread crumbs, let it sit for a couple minutes then repeat to get a nice coating.  Spray skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet on med -high.  When there is 5 minutes left on the pasta, place the pork on the hot pan.  Cook for about 3 min per side. When pasta is done, drain & rinse, add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta and toss, serve along side the schnitzel. enJoy.