Tag Archives: Salad

Meatball Bug


First up – I have to admit – this was not my idea  – I found it on pinterest  for the original  recipe/poster from food.com click here.  Recently Pillsbury Crescent Rolls were on sale – not something I typically pick up but I grabbed some.  My kids love my homemade meatballs so I made those up to.  This was so fun and easy!  Next time I would try substituting (cooked) breakfast sausage or hot dogs for the meatballs. This would be a great dish for a little kid’s birthday party as well.  It was Halloween so I added gummi worms to the salad which is totally gross but the kids thought it was fantastic – mom & dad – not so much.

Meatball Bug

  • 1 Package refrigerated biscuits or crescent rolls
  • about 15 meatballs or pieces of hotdog or sausage (cooked)
  • dried chow mien noodles
  • couple of sliced olives
  • salad
  • gummi worms (optional)

Cook meatballs or sausage or hotdogs. Set aside.  Unroll refrigerated biscuits cut in half.  Stretch out the dough and wrap around the meat. Make one slightly bigger to be the head.  Stick the olives on to make a face and 2 chow mien noodles to make antennas.  Stick the chow mien noodles into the rest of the balls to make the legs.

Place on sprayed cookie sheet and bake according to biscuit instructions.

In the meantime – create a salad on a plate.  When the bug is done arrange on salad. enJOY

No Labour Here – 2 Labour Day Simply Colourful Salads


 

Its Labour Day Weekend, which is kinda funny since the last thing I want to do on Labour Day is – you know labour! Not in the work sense (or the have a baby sense either lol) … here are 2 of my Colourful Salads – easy to make – Non-Labour intensive – Labour Day Salads.

Cauliflower-Tomato Salad

This is so easy to throw together at the last minute and a family fave.  I used a purple cauliflower that I picked up at the farmers market but a regular one is just as good.  I also made my dressing from 1TB cider vinegar, 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard and  4 tsp EVOO, but a bottled Italian dressing works perfectly too!)

  •   1/2 head of cauliflower (I used purple but any cauliflower will do)
  •   2-3 Ripe Tomatoes (I used yellow heirloom & red roma`s)
  •   1/4-1/2 small purple onion (sliced thin) – optional
  •   Green or Black Olives – optional
  •   Oil & Vinegar or Italian style dressing to suit.

Mix dressing. Clean cauliflower*, and rinse tomatoes, cut both into bite sized chunks, add to bowl, add the rest of ingredients & dress salad. Best if you let it sit for 15 min for dressing to mix.

* best way to clean cauliflower (or broccoli) – fill a bowl with warm water and add a dash of salt to it – cut up vegetable and pop into the salted water, let soak for 5-10 min, drain (rinse if you want), the salt will draw out any bugs hiding out in the florets.

Best Black Bean-Tomato-Avocado Salad

This is another fave – you can cut salt by soaking your black beans, however a can of black beans rinsed will work wonderfully and rinsing the liquid will both cut the salt & the flatulence factor.

  •    1 (28 oz) can black beans – drained & rinsed
  •    2-3 Firm Tomatoes (I use roma`s)
  •    1/2 red/purple onion, sliced thinly or diced
  •    2 avocados – peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
  •    juice of 1 lime
  •    cilantro to taste (dried about 1 Tsp, fresh – a handful)
  •    salt & pepper to taste

This is best made just previous to serving to prevent the avocado from browning (although the acidity in the lime juice also helps prevent this as well).  Place drained and rinsed black beans in a bowl, add tomatoes, onion, and avocados. Mix together. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice* over the bean mixture. Add the cilantro and S&P. Mix again, let sit 5 minutes before serving. (tightly wrap plastic wrap over the top  so there is no air getting in if letting sit for longer).

* hint:  roll lime (lemon or orange) over counter top previous to juicing and you will yield more juice.

enJoy.

I love to hear feedback – leave a comment and like my blog! Don’t forget to check my biz page out at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com and Facebook Page!  Follow me on Twitter.

 

Get some Pork on your Fork!


Looking for an elegant but easy  – dinner on the grill?   One that’s quick enough for a weekday – but nice enough for company?  Try this  one (another go to for us!).
Fairly often Pork Tenderloin goes on sale around here, whenever it does I grab a few and keep them in the freezer, on hand for a quick meal.

One of our families fave’s is Crispy Grilled Pork Tenderloin, crispy on the outside but tender & juicy on the inside.

Crispy Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Pork Tenderloin**
  • Sesame Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your choice)
  • 1-2 TB minced garlic.
  • 1/2 -1 tsp dried parsley
  • dash or 2 pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried rosemary
  • or whatever other herbs you prefer ( Italian blend of spices is nice, or tried & true Salt & Pepper)

Sorry about the recycled pic – I realized after writing the post that my camera died and I couldn’t take a pic…

Mix all ingredients except pork into paste.  Rub into tenderloin.  Cook on bottom grill on high flame for 1 min per side (to crispen), reduce the flame and keep temperature at 400 degrees F move to top rack, close cover and roast until internal temperature is 160-165 degrees.   Dependent on how big your tenderloin is this may be anywhere from 25min-45min so keep an eye on it.  Occasionally base with more of the oil mixture.  Remove from heat, loosely cover in tinfoil and let sit for 10 min before slicing.

Serve with rice or quinoa, and fresh tomato salad.  Or make the entire meal on the grill!  Bake some cored apples (fill the core with butter and brown sugar for a treat) sprinkled with cinnamon and wrap in tinfoil and bake in the 400 degree BBQ with pork. At the same time, in a disposable tinfoil container, add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to some (preferably  local) new  potatoes  (cut up into smaller bite sized pieces), an onion (chopped), local peppers & mushrooms  (if desired) sprinkled with a little (Gluten Free) onion soup mix or onion & garlic powder & salt & pepper to taste, (cover with tinfoil), (or use market fresh sweet potatoes, carrots black beans, corn, and cumin & cinnamon), grilled asparagus (or peppers if not using in the potatoes), green garden or cabbage salad and dinner is served!  enJOY!

Optional sauce to serve with this on the side:  mix some fresh salsa, dijon mustard, minced garlic and sliced apples together and cook in disposable dish on top rack while pork is cooking.  The sharpness of the dijon makes a lovely contrast to the sweet apple and succulent pork.

Love to hear your comment s and feedback!.

** (dependent of number of people we feed 2 adult and 2 small kids with 1, if we cook 2, my husband gets a lunch for work and I get some to top a salad the next day)

Eat better than your cat.


You are what you eat … no seriously you are….

I was standing in a particularly slow line at the grocery store this morning and overheard the women in front of me chatting with the cashier about the cat food she was buying.  She was remarking that it was good she had a coupon because the cat food was a little more expensive but she lived alone and her cat was her friend and companion and was worth the extra money spent on a “better-for-it” food.  Ok, makes sense.  Then I looked down at what was on the belt and noticed what she was buying – the cat food, was indeed a higher end brand  but the rest of the “people food” was all garbage…. Keeping in mind this women lives alone, she was buying 13, yes 1. 3. full sized bags of assorted chips, 3 containers of chip dip, 2 boxes of granola bars, juices, a case of pop, and multiple boxes of premade process crap  umm I mean “food” (term used loosely here) like frozen dinners, breaded sodium and fat filled stuffed chicken (ahem again – term used loosely) breast, nuggets, pizzas and other assorted frozen non food.

Do see anything wrong with this picture? Why is her pet worth spending more on than herself?   Now this women was a heavyset women, and was huffing and puffing and out of breath shuffling her groceries around and heaving them into the grocery cart.  Now I am not here to judge about weight – its not about weight – its about health.   All I could think of to myself was – that women has 1 bag of frozen corn and that’s the only vegetable she is buying  (and really lets face it – its really more of a starch then a veggie) and not one fresh  or frozen fruit!  Then to top it all off – when all was said and done the cashier announced “OK, that comes to $161. 91 – I just about fell over!  I mean, I did our main grocery shopping for our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 young kids)  the other day, and spent $111 and change.  However we bought, meat (real meat), lots of fresh veggies, fruit, toilet paper, milk, cheese, butter, etc etc. real food – yup I will say it again REAL. FOOD.

OK, I get that not everyone likes to cook  – or cooks for a living like I do. However there are alternatives out there, people and businesses like mine (Joy In Your Kitchen) – I make homemade fully cooked meals from whole foods and deliver them frozen – but there are also so many things you can do yourself with little to no effort to make a healthy meal quickly.  In the time it takes to bake one of those pre-made breaded chicken “breasts” stuffed with broccoli and cheddar, you could bake a real chicken breast, with freshly squeezed lime juice and sprinkled with chili flakes, steam some broccoli throw on some rice (NOT that instant crap – brown or long grain is great – or try jasmine or basmati rice – I use our rice cooker to make it easy peasy- chuck the rice and water (or use chicken stock) in close the lid and forget it) or quinoa and make a salad.  Heck – don’t want to go to the trouble of buying all the ingredients for a salad – buy a salad in a bag complete with dressing!  Better yet – forgo the typically fat laden dressing (you know the creamy stuff),  add a bit of feta cheese to the salad (it keeps FOREVER in the fridge) and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.  Save yourself a whole lot of calories and saturated fats and feel better.  If you use this type of eating as fuel for your body – doesn’t it just make sense that your engine (body) will run cleaner?  Naturally flush the toxins out, and sustain a healthier and happier lifestyle – I mean who wants to huff and puff hauling groceries?  Even better add a little exercise (consult your doctor first before starting any exercise program) – baby steps – go for a walk then shovel the driveway, heck – pay things forward – surprise your neighbour and shovel their driveway!  Go tobogganing with the kids – or with your friends (who cares if your 40 – tobogganing is fun!) and walk up the hill, walk the dog, try out snow shoeing or cross country skiing.  Not an outdoor person?  Go to the mall and walk around it (briskly) for 25-45 minutes (you can go shopping later –  this is about continual movement), go to YouTube and search Yoga or Pilates – do some poses, buy a exercise DVD, join a class, try swimming, aquafit or walking the lengths of the pool (in the water).   Maybe you can only get moving for 5 or 10 mins at first  – that’s fine, DO IT!   I promise if you keep it up and eat cleaner you will be able to do 10 mins, then 15, then 20 and so on and so on.  Make your mind up and do it – get a friend to promise to motivate each other – heck write to me! Because no matter who you are or what you do, have or have not done in the past – you deserve it …. yes … even more so than your cat. 🙂

Easy Baked (or Grilled) Chicken Meal … or make it into a two-fer!
(sorry guys, I didn’t have time to take any pictures today!) 

Chicken & Quinoa Meal 1
1-2 chicken breast (or however many you need for you or your family)
1 lime
chili flakes to taste
Quinoa (you can get it at the grocery store typically near the rice or the Bulk Barn)
1 lemon
Broccoli – fresh is best but get the frozen kind if you don’t want to deal with fresh
optional – dried cranberries or crasions
optional – feta cheese
bag of salad
balsamic vinegar (the older its aged the sweeter it is)

Equipment needed:  1 manual juicer (I think it makes it easier – you don’t have to use but they cost about $1 at the Dollar Store) and a cookie sheet or baking pan. 1 saucepan.

Instructions
squeeze the juice out of the lime -pour over chicken breast, sprinkle with chili flakes (no you don’t need salt TRUST ME – this is good just like this)  bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear (internal temperature is 165-170).
*tip: if you are not using a juicer to juice the lime or lemon, roll it on the counter a few times before cutting in half – you will get more juice this way.

Meanwhile just before chicken is done, set a pot of water (amount specific to the quinoa directions) to boil on the stovetop, add lemon to water (or use chicken stock), add broccoli and boil for 2 min, add quinoa to broccoli pot (cook according to directions), add cranberries or craisons and (optional) a bit of feta cheese,  just before serving, and fluff with fork or mix together. Dump some of your bag of salad into a bowl, add some feta if you like, top with balsamic vinegar. Voila dinner is served – 2 pots/pans, 1 dish, fork and knife. pretty easy eh?

Meal 2
Wait – have extra Quinoa? Don’t toss it out yet! Throw in some parsley, spinach and feta and make it into a salad for the next day’s lunch or dinner! Extra chicken throw that in too?  Or make extra chicken while you are cooking anyway and throw it into a wrap with and feta some of the bagged salad for lunch or dinner.

*Quinoa Tip 1:  if you are cooking quinoa on its own, you can play with flavours by adding different juices (from the fruit not from the bottle) like oranges, lemons or limes, chop up some pecan or almonds, substitute chicken (or vegetable) stock for water, add different spices play with different options till you find something you like!
* Quinoa Tip 2: rinse the quinoa before cooking to prevent bitterness – if you are losing it down the sink put it in a sifter (like for flour) and gently run the water over it

*To get more of the skinny (haha) on quinoa -check this article out.

I love to hear your comments or suggestions – please subscribe to my blog and/or leave me your comments!

From my kitchen to yours, happy and healthy eating!

Summer’s here – what to eat?


Summer has arrived – whats on your plate?  Summer for our family means eating outside and  lots of quick and easy meals, barbecue,  salads, corn on the cob, fresh veggies and dips and relaxing with a beer relaxing – who wants to make a big meal inside when its beautiful outside?

Whats better than some BBQed chicken for dinner?

BBQ Chicken

How about some BBQ chicken with my homemade BBQ sauce the Joy of BBQ (ok I had to add a little plug there!)    and rice, brussel sprouts (or little green brains – as my kids refer to them)  and a big salad.

Great Tip – if you are barbecuing for a crowd (or your selves) and have bone-in chicken and want to shorten the time on the grill so you can relax or reduce the charring – removed the skin (this will also cut the saturated fat) and boil your chicken on the stove for about 15-20 min – or until the chicken is no longer pink inside, then douse it with sauce and grill – tender and delish!

Need a vegetarian option?  Get some Portebello Mushrooms, brush with EVOO, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and grill – hearty alternative to steak or chicken.

What are your favorite things to add to a salad?

We love Romaine Lettuce, Avocado, Feta Cheese, Berries, and topped with Balsamic Vinegar instead of dressing #YUM!

If you want an alternative to Balsamic Dressing here is a great go to recipe for a quick summer (or winter) salad dressing:

4 tspEVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1TB Juice – apple, orange or mango are all great

1TB rice vinegar

1/2 tsp cumin (or coriander – whichever one you like)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

salt & pepper to taste,

1tsp garlic (optional)

whisk together and pour over salad (we like this one over mixed greens, avocado, oranges segments and red onion).

So grab what ever is in the fridge, get out the grill, sit down together and enjoy dinner as a family!  Enjoying time with family and friends makes everything (even your mother-in-laws cooking …(or is that beer?)in any case… taste better!

Happy & Healthy Eating!