Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake

I’m the proud owner of a Costco size bag of quinoa. I wouldn’t say I “needed” it, but it was right there in front of me and everything at Costco is so tempting (i.e. the massive blocks of cheese). Not to mention a little box of quinoa isn’t always cheap, so it was a pretty good deal…and quinoa is dellisssh.

This bake is pretty great because it’s like healthy comfort food with the classic chicken and broccoli combo. I know what you’re probably thinking, how is it healthy if it has cheese? Well a little cheese never hurt no one, okay! It’s made totally from scratch. That means no canned soup full of ingredients that you ain’t ever heard of. Chicken, fresh broccoli, superfood quinoa, creamy greek yogurt and cheese… how can you can say no to that? Seriously… how? It’s also easy and quick to make. PERK ALERT.

Oh hey, does anyone know how to actually measure out how much quinoa you need? It’s like pasta, I always cook wayyyyy to much. I wanted 2 cups cooked quinoa, but I had no idea how much dry quinoa to measure to make 2 cups cooked…so I ended up with about 6 cups cooked quinoa. If you’re mathematically challenged like me (or don’t read instructions like me) then you can freeze cooked quinoa in freezer bags and defrost in the fridge, which is what I ended up doing!

Some Dani notes:

  • Cook the quinoa ahead of time (the ideal shortcut)
  • Make the whole casserole ahead of time, keep it in the fridge or freeze it and bake it off on a busy night when you’re running out the door.
  • Get creative with the cheese, I always use cheddar but you can use whatever you like, mix it up!
  • Cut out the chicken if you like and substitute with more veggies or meat alternative (Asparagus or yves sausage would be yum)
  • I used white wine (because I had some open) but you can sub it for veggie or chicken broth (which it turns out I didn’t have)
  • This whole thing can be made ahead of time, and baked off when you’re ready to eat
  • This makes GREAT leftovers, you can even freeze the leftovers!
  • I’m pretty sure it’s kid friendly? I mean it’s full of cheese, so how could it not be. I don’t have kids, but I definitely would have ate this as a child.

Is there anything better on a rainy day then hot, ooey gooey, creamy comfort food that you can feel good about? I don’t think so. It’s the perfect way to add some superfood to your weekday!

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Serves 4 (or less if you want amazing leftovers!)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken, veggie stock or wine
  • 3/4 cup milk or half and half cream
  • 1-2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (plus a pinch extra 😉 )
  • Cilantro, for on top
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square casserole dish.
  2. Season sliced chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  4. Add chicken breasts and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned. Set aside.
  5. In the same pan, melt butter. Scrape all those yummy brown bits off the bottom. Add onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or 2 until onions are soft and translucent. Your kitchen should start to smell fantastic at this point!
  6. Add in flour and cook for 1 minute until lightly browned. Whisk in the stock or wine and milk. Bring to a boil and add cilantro. Cook for 2 minutes, continuously whisking.
  7. Turn heat down to low, add broccoli and simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in cooked quinoa, chicken, greek yogurt, 3/4 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Toss to combine.
  9. Spread mixture into the casserole dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake until cheese in melted and top is lightly browned.
  11. Serve with fresh cilantro.

Mango Noodle Salad

I moved to New Westminster this past weekend and I now live 5 minutes away from one of my closest friends, which means she’s going to be at my house more often. It’s great news because I love having someone to cook for. Last night she popped over with a bottle of cold white wine and very kindly made sure my glass didn’t run empty while I made dinner. True friendship.

Anyways, with the nice warm weather we’ve been having it seemed like a good night for something light, and mango’s were on sale the other day so that kind of made the decision for me. Mango’s are amazing so I was more than happy to fight with mango pits. I always thought by now I’d be able to figure out how to cut around the pit properly, but I still end up leaving meat on the mango or somehow just hacking it up. HOWEVER I did learn this super cool trick to peel a mango – and I’m sure you’ve all seen it on the internet by now – BUT you take your slice of mango and using a glass you hold the mango against the lip of the glass in between the flesh and the peel, drag it down with your hand and the drinking glass peels the mango! I feel like I didn’t do a good job explaining it so here’s a link to a video so you can see it for yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F9-Nkj3Bb4

How cool is that? Super easy and a lot less messy (I think). Now you can peel sweet delicious fruit in seconds!

I really do love mango’s though. It makes anything you put it on taste tropical, sweet, and colourful. They’re also full of vitamins so even if you blend them with rum and coconut (my personal favourite use for mango), it’s still technically healthy.

Okay – but this salad is pretty delicious. It makes a perfect light, summer dinner, or a nice light lunch. The dressing is refreshing, the noodles are filling, and it’s full of crunchy veggies and sweet, juicy mango. Kayli likes chicken, so I did cook up some soy ginger chicken to top it with, but if you don’t put the chicken on then this could easily be a great vegan or vegetarian dinner!

It’s also wonderful because it’s served cold, so you can make it ahead of time – perfect for busy nights or when it’s too warm out to eat something hot! And you can use whatever veggies you have handy – peppers, cucumbers, celery – if you have it, include it! The dressing could also double as a marinade for meat or grilled veggies in the summer time. Double duty dressings are where it’s at. One more thing, I used capellini noodles, but use whatever long, thin noodles you have in your pantry! Rice noodles, vermicelli, angel hair, or soba noodles would work well here.

This pairs perfectly with crisp white wine, which isn’t included in my recipe below, but it’s kind of just an unofficial ingredient.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is mango no. 5! *cue Lou Bega music*

Mango Noodle Salad

Dressing

1/2 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
t tbsp honey or maple syrup

Salad

2 cups mango, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup basil
15 – 20 ounces, long thin noodles (cavetelli, soba, angel hair etc)

To make the dressing, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Put in fridge to chill while you prep the salad.

Cook noodles as per package directions (this is a no brainer, just boil em up for a few minutes until they’re al dente, pretty boiler plate stuff here). Drain and let cool. Oh hey, guys don’t rinse your noodles, please. When you do that it rinses off the starch which means the dressing (or sauce in other cases) won’t stick to the noddles and it will be a mess. Just leave them to cool on their own in the colander- promise me, okay?

Chop mango, radishes, cucumber, carrot, green onion, cilantro and basil. Toss with dressing and cooled noodles (that you didn’t rinse). Chill in fridge until you’re ready to serve. Serve as a main if you’re doing no meat, or serve as a side.

I’m pretty sure this will feed like 4-6 people, easily! Keep leftovers for lunch!


Chorizo Chili (Vegan)

This is actually the chili that my mom taught me to make. She grabbed the original recipe from Trader Joe’s, which is one of my favourite stores. I think the original way to make it was just beans, tomatoes and the chorizo, but we add a few extra ingredients. So I’m not sure if I should give the credit to TJ’s or my mom? Thanks to both of you!

My family has a place in Washington, so I always make a stop at Trader Joe’s when I head down (we need one in Vancouver!), or if my parents are going I ask them to bring me back some of this soy chorizo. I like to keep a few on hand – it freezes really well and defrosts quickly. It’s perfect for nachos, tacos, chili fries, pasta sauce..basically whatever you would use chorizo for (or any ground meat) you can replace with this. It’s amazing – the texture is fantastic, it’s spicy, flavourful, and unlike regular chorizo or ground meat, it’s not greasy or fatty. I’ve been able to get quite a few friends on board the soy chorizo train. It’s definitely worth stocking up on it if you make it to TJ’s! If you don’t have access to one, I’m sure another soy chorizo would work just as well.

The best thing to make with it though (in my opinion) is this chili. Whenever I think about chili I think about a big ol’ pot of hearty meat and beans…complete with a layer of grease and fat floating on the top…and a big ol’ stomach ache to follow. No bueno. This chili on the other hand has all the heartiness of a regular chili…but without that layer of fat and grease from the meat..so it’s tastier and way healthier! To be honest, the first time my dad had this chili, he had no idea it was meatless. This is hands down our favourite chili even though we are not a vegan family.

Not to mention this chili is way easier to make because you don’t have to brown meat or play around with spices. The chorizo already has all the spices in it…including salt…so there’s no need to add any salt or chili powder which is another reason it’s quicker to make! Play around with it though if you like it a bit spicier.

Perfect to pack up and freeze for meal prep!

This chili freezes really beautifully. My mom often makes it when we go away – she makes it a few days ahead and freezes it so it’s ready to go (perfect for camping or ski trips *wink wink* Gord). I like to make a big pot of it and pack it up in individual servings for quick dinners and lunches. It makes quite a bit, so I even packed a couple containers up to share! And because it’s so quick to make it’s a great dish to make during the week!

I top mine with crushed taco chips, avocados, cilantro, and lime. Sour cream or cheese are also great toppings if you’re not worried about keeping it vegan.

You don’t need to be vegan to love this chili. It’s really the perfect comfort food for a cold winter… hearty, warm, spicy, comforting, and easy! What more could you ask for….except for maybe a cold beer on the side!

Chorizo Chili (Vegan)

  • 1 pkg Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 – 520 ml. cans of kidney or black beans (drain if desired, but not necessary, I don’t like dry chili)
  • 1 cup of corn
  • Olive oil
  • Dash of hot sauce, if desired
  • Toppings, optional – Cilantro, lime, avocado, taco chips (or your favourite topping)

In a large dutch oven, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in a touch of olive oil until they begin to get soft.

Add chorizo by slicing open the casing (like a regular chorizo) and squeezing into the pot. Saute until chorizo becomes hot and slightly brown.

Add tomatoes, beans and corn (and hot sauce if you want it spicier!). Stir and cover with lid. Once boiling, turn to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick – or until you’re ready to eat!

Top with your favourite chili garnishes, or serve over rice or quinoa. Pack up the leftovers in freezer bags or containers and freeze for a quick and easy meal!

Tahini Harvest Bowl

Nope, I didn’t hurt myself. I was Dwight Schrute-ing it last night. If you don’t know what that means you should go look up who Dwight Schrute is, I bascially looked like this last night:

Image result for dwight schrute covered in beet juice at mall

Meaning that like Dwight, I wouldn’t be allowed in any fancy stores for safety concerns. “I’m a beet farmer, you idiot!” I’m actually not a beet farmer though. But I do like beets, and I decided to try roasting them last night which was a W-I-N in my books, and I also discovered a few things. 1. I should have used gloves, and 2. Dwight must have some damn good soap because beet juice gets over and stains EVERYTHING, and 3. He was right, beets are life. If you do use beets, I suggest gloves and to rinse everything off right away so it doesn’t set in.

This dish isn’t really about the beets, I just got super excited because I never cook with them, so it was new and uncharted territory for me. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but veggie bowls are REALLY popular, they’re everywhere. I jumped on that train last night with some in-season winter veggies and quinoa and it was darn good. So good in fact, that I called my mom just to tell her what I had made and how much I was enjoying it.

Umm…and this easy tahini sauce? If you haven’t had tahini, it’s sesame paste, and it’s often used in hummus. It’s a bit bitter for me, so I felt it needed sweetener. This sauce was soooooo fantastic (or at least I thought it was), I legitimately could eat it on ANYTHING and be perfectly content. I packed up a container of leftovers for BBE who likes Tahini, and I think I may have put too much on, but hey the quinoa will soak it all up, right? As you all know by now, I love lemon, so I added a lot – but start with a little and then keep adding as we may have very different lemon tolerances. This sauce would also be perfect as a salad dressing, hot or cold, as a dip, over any fun hippy-dippy veggie/grain bowls…or maybe even just on some bread…or just with a spoon.

Alright, so this is a super easy concept. Sweetened roasted broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes and carrots, fluffy quinoa, and to marry it all together it’s topped with tahini sauce, pistachios (another BBE favourite) and fresh dill. How quick and easy is that? More importantly, it’s packed with nutrients and you can use any seasonal veggies, or whatever you have in your fridge. This really makes the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something healthy and simple yet satisfying. Plus, it’s super comforting, which is ideal for the chilly winter weather! Oh and hey, it makes beautiful leftovers…ding ding! Meal prep friendly!

In more good news, my hands and cutting board are beet juice free today, and I have veggie loaded, sweet and savoury, superfood leftovers awaiting me! Not too shabby considering this meal took LESS THAN AN HOUR which means you can quickly get back to binge watching Netflix! WIN WIN.

Tahini Harvest Bowl (Vegan)

Vegetables:

  • 2 medium whole carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 beet (peeled and cubed…gloves recommended!)
  • 2 Tbsp sweetener (honey, maple syrup or other alternative)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • Pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 small/medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed

Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained; I buy the pre-rinsed)
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt

Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Zest and Juice of one medium lemon (to taste, start out with a bit add more if needed)
  • 2 -3 tbsp sweetener (honey, maple syrup or other alternative) (to taste)
  • pinch of pepper & salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or until you get a consistency you like)
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh dill or parsley (to taste)

For serving (optional):

  • Pistachios, walnuts or almonds
  • Dill or parsley

Preheat oven to 400 fht. Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment (easy clean-up!)

Place carrots, beets and sweet potatoes on baking sheet (these take longer than the broccoli so we start them first) and drizzle with 3/4 of the honey or sweetener and oil (save some for the broccoli) and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toss to combine..careful not to mix the veggies together as the beet will stain the other veggies.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until veggies start getting soft (depending on your oven and how big you cut the veggies). Once they start to get soft, add broccoli to the sheet pan, drizzle with the rest of the honey or sweetener and oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the water and add the quinoa. Put on low and cook for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy. Set aside.

To make the sauce, combine tahini, sweetener, dill (or parsley), salt, pepper. Add lemon juice, a bit at a time, adjusting the amount to your taste. Drizzle in olive oil to loosen the sauce and make it thick but pourable. If you want it thicker, add less oil, and more for a thinner sauce. Taste and adjust as needed, adding in more honey, lemon, dill or oil if desired.

To serve, divide quinoa into bowls. Top with roasted vegetables and a pretty generous pour of the tahini sauce because it’s delicious. Garnish with nuts (I used pistachios, the crunch is great) and fresh dill or parsley.

Saluti!

Quick Vegan Pea Soup

I’m in Kelowna, visiting family for the week, doing lots of snowboarding and snow sports – my favourite! My uncle is a vegan, so you know there’s going to be LOTS of amazing vegan food happenin’ this week, so stay tuned! Gord is so excited to cook together this week, and I am too! We always have such a blast in the kitchen together.

He told me that this soup is the easiest and quickest thing you can make, and he wasn’t lying. This pea soup is vegan and gluten free, not to mention it’s only 5 ingredients…including salt and pepper. So there’s no excuse to not make this. You can make as little or as much of this soup as you want because all you have to do is cover the peas with about an extra 1/4 inch of boiling water, so use as little peas or as many peas as you want!

moments before disaster

This should only take 6 minutes to cook…but umm…yea we had some techinical issues and may have set the immersible blender on fire….there was a pop! and then a puff of smoke….so we tried the masher..plan B…well darn that it didn’t work either, way too much of a work out for me. So plan C….food processor! Actually that should have been plan B but we’re people that like to use our hands. So we rolled out at almost 12 minutes, but honestly that’s still ridiculously quick, I can’t even make Kraft dinner that quickly. The lemon juice adds a really nice brightness to the peas, and you can see the colour is AMAZING. FYI, 3/4 of a cup of peas (110 g) is only 70 calories, has 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 5% of your daily carbs, 20% of your daily fibre and 5 grams of protein and it’s 10% of your daily iron! Which is good because it offsets the puff pastry bundles that we ate it with. It’s called balance okay.

We ate this as our lunch with vegan triangle puffs (which I’ll upload a little later) and it was the perfect hot lunch on a cold winters day in Kelowna, and bonus we got to watch the snow fall outside. Also served best with a big glass of red wine, because it’s noon and that’s okay. Cabernet Sauvignon is not just for breakfast anymore.

Quick Vegan Pea Soup

  • 750 Grams Green Peas
  • Boiling water
  • 2 ounces lemon juice (to taste)
  • Kosher Salt & Cracked Black Peppercorn (to taste)

Put peas in large dutch oven. Cover them with boiling water with about 1/4 inch above the pease.

Let come to a boil. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Blend with submersible (hopefully yours doesn’t catch on fire) or food processor as your backup or blender until smooth.

That’s it!

Saluti!

Vegan Red Pasta Sauce

Happy Friday! It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? If you’re one of my parents lucky dinner guests this weekend then you get to look forward to a massive lasagne dinner tomorrow night. Among the classics will be one that I made with this vegan red pasta sauce, which in my opinion, is delightful. 

I’m not a big meat eater in my day to day, and to be honest, I really dislike ground beef. Besides the fact that beef makes me so sick that I feel like I’m about to die (TMI?), it’s always greasy and oily and fatty, even the lean stuff is kinda gross. But I do love how thick and hearty it makes pasta sauce. As a note, I would never dis my mamas pasta sauce, it’s fantastic, and something that I grew up eating, so nostalgia and all that. She’d make big batches of it to bring up to the cabin – and no matter who showed up last minute for dinner, there somehow always seemed to be more than enough for everyone – I have no idea how she did it!

I just find that pasta sauce that only has veggies in it, while still super yummy, sometimes lacks the hearty texture of a traditional red meat sauce. So to fix that I started making my sauce with Vegan Ground Round. I like the Yves Italian Veggie Ground Round. It has a nice texture, similar to that of finely ground beef, it’s not fatty or greasy, and it has spices in it so you get a little extra somethin’ somethin’. Oh, and I like to think that it’s healthier (not sure if it’s true, but it will make you feel better if you want an extra serving) than the meat version as it’s plant based, so no hormones or steroids, and no extra grease or oil! People sometimes seem slightly afraid (?) or maybe intimated (?) to try plant based meat, and I will admit – some of it is not my favourite – but this ground roast and the Yves sausages are pretty delicious! And like a traditional sauce, it includes a couple splashes of red wine to add some depth. Since you have the wine open, don’t forget to give yourself a splash!

I made this while I was staying at my parents last night, and I asked my dad to try it to make sure it was good, and he loved it! He didn’t even know it was vegan at first! He thought it was fantastic and tasted just as hearty as the traditional sauce, and he can be a picky eater (sorry dad!) so I consider this one a victory. 

Pasta sauce is great, because you can season it how you like, add in whatever vegetables you like, and serve it however you like. The vegetables in the recipe are what I like in my pasta sauce, but my mom puts celery and olives in hers, and sometimes roasted red peppers, so to each their own. As long as you put in the onion and garlic, which is necessary – because what would pasta sauce be without it – the rest of the veggies are up to you! If you like it spicier, or like more basil, or rosemary or you just want it seasoned plainly, it’s up to you. 

This batch of sauce is getting served as a lasagne – layered in between lasagne noodles with slices of roasted sweet potato for extra texture. This sauce freezes really well (woo!), so I’ll defrost some and serve it over pasta at home (I’ve been really into quinoa pasta lately), or over roasted sweet potato and it’s sooooo great! Food this easy, and so easy to freeze is SUCH a GEM!

Legit comfort in a pot 

Vegan Red Pasta Sauce 

  • 1 medium/large onion, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced 
  • 1 large or medium zucchini, diced 
  • 1 pd. button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 bell peppers, chopped 
  • One package, Yves Italian Ground Round (340 grams)
  • 28 grams basil, chopped (more or less, to your taste)
  • Couple splashes of red wine
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, 28 oz. x 2 
  • 1 can of tomatoe sauce, 28 oz. 
  • 2 tbsp. dried or fresh oregano (more or less, to your taste)
  • 2 tbsp. dried or fresh rosemary (more or less, to your taste)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (more or less, to your taste)
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)

In a large pot, sautee onion, garlics and carrots in olive oil, until slightly soft and brown. 

Add in zuchchini, mushrooms, peppers and ground round. Cook for around 3-5 minutes until vegetables are cooked down slightly, and soft. Add half of the basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in a couple splashes of red wine (and pour some for yourself), use the wine to scrape up all the good bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for around 2 minutes until wine has started to reduce. 

Add in crushed tomatoes, tomatoe sauce, rosemary, crushed red pepper and oregano. Cook until sauce is bubbly and begins to thicken. 

Mix in rest of the basil, and spinach leaves. Cook until spinach leaves have wilted. 

Simmer the sauce on low and let it cook for at least a half hour, to give all those flavours a chance to mingle. Serve in a lasagne, over pasta, veggies or freeze for later!

Saluti! 

Chicken Provencal

I don’t have a lot to say about this dish except that it was friggen delicious, but I’m gonna write a long ass post about it anyways because I LOVE talking about cooking.

I’m not sure if it was mashed potatoes that I loaded with Boursin Cheese and butter (the BEST way to season mashed potatoes in my opinion) that made it better, because that’s what potatoes do, but the chicken was soooooo yummy. The chicken was falling off the bone,  you could taste the fresh herbs and the red wine in the tomato sauce, and it was nice and hot right from the oven. This is exactly what winter comfort food is about; hot, cozy, comforting, and best served with wine! 

It’s a great make ahead dish. If I had a pot big enough I would have left it in the pot to stew on the stove, but I was feeding 5 people and my dutch oven isn’t big enough, so I transferred everything to a 9 x 13 pan and let it simmer and get all those flavours cozy in the oven, which worked out really well. I made it in the early afternoon and turned the oven on a couple hours before I wanted us to eat. Having that time in the oven gave us a chance to eat a crap ton of cheese and enjoy some wine.  You already have the bottle of red open to make the sauce, so you may as well enjoy the rest of the bottle, right?

The only change I would’ve made is to take the skin off the chicken thighs, but if you like chicken skin then it’s not necessary. I used chicken thighs, because let’s be honest, they’re cheaper, but they also always stay super moist and they make perfect serving sizes. 

In case you were curious, Herbes de Provence is made with Savoury, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Lavendar. This dish, as you can probably guess, is from the Provence region of France. The French definitely know what they’re doing with food. 

I served this to my family over mashed potatoes seasoned with Boursin Cheese and butter, green beans that I quickly cooked with butter and garlic until they were just tender but still crunchy and bright, a spinach salad lightly tossed with balsamic, oil and goat cheese, and…wait for it…LOTS of crusty baguette. That last one is SUPER DUPER necessary. You can’t eat this without baguette. You need it to soak up all the saucy goodness on your plate. If you take anything away from this post is that this recipe BEGS and PLEADS to be served with crusty baguette. Wine too, of course. 

Chicken Provencal 

  • Olive Oil 
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour, mixed with salt and pepper 
  • Chicken Thighs, about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds (skinless, or skin on, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red wine, plus an extra splash 
  • 2 – 796 ml cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, with juice 
  • 2 tbsp. herbes de provence
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of Rosemary (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of Thyme (more or less, to taste)
  • Sprinkling of black olives, I like Kalamatas ~

Coat dutch oven or deep frying pan with olive oil and heat up 

Meanwhile, mix flour, salt and pepper in ziploc baggy. Put a couple chicken thighs at a time in the baggy, and shake to coat chicken. 

Brown chicken in oil until both sides are crispy and golden. 

Once chicken is brown and crispy, remove from pan onto a separate plate. 

In the same pan, cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine, and stir to pick up all the goodies stuck on the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer until thick and reduced, by about half. 

Add tomatoes, herbs and fresh sprigs of rosemary and Thyme. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until sauce is hot and bubbling, and has thickened slightly. 

Add chicken back to pan into the sauce, sprinkle with olives and let simmer on stove for about 20-30 minutes until everything has had time to get friendly and the chicken is cooked through. 

If you want to make ahead, you can put the chicken back in the sauce,put it in the fridge and then take it out and let it simmer and get hot just before you’re ready to eat. 

If you’re making a large batch of this, or don’t have a pot big enough, brown the chicken, and lay in a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with olives. Let simmer in the oven at 300 for 30 minutes or longer (make sure the chicken is cooked through), until you’re ready to eat. I let it simmer in the oven for just over an hour last night while we had appetizers. Also can be made ahead and put in the oven about an hour before you’re ready to eat. 

Serve over your favourite mashed potatoes and crusty baguette! 

Saluti!

Thai Peanut Curry (Vegan)

My favourite Thai place doesn’t deliver anymore, and even when they did, there was a $35 minimum, which is a lot when it’s only you and your wine, but I really only ate the curry anyways and it turns out it’s super easy to make! Also when I make it at home, I don’t have to pay extra for rice (what a rip off, eh!)

This is a really good way to clean out any veggies that you have in your fridge because you can put any vegetables you want in it. As long as you have coconut milk then the rest is up to you. This is another “go by your taste” kinda situation.Even easier, you can buy a frozen mix of thai veggies and throw them in at the end while it’s simmering.

I often make red thai curry, but if you cut back on the curry and add peanut butter it gets all creamy and nutty. Peanut butter is just straight up amazing. It’s full of fibre and protein and vitamin E in it, so it’s healthy…but I really just like it because it’s sweet and creamy, but perks are nice. This peanut butter  from earth balance is what I buy, it’s delicious and made with coconut oil and agave (extra health boost if you’re into that) and it goes really well with the coconut milk and it keeps it healthy!

I made this one vegan, but if you’re not vegan or vegetarian then you can add cubes of chicken or beef and brown it in the pot before you add the other ingredients. Shrimp added at the end would be really good too. Put on a pot of rice while it’s simmering away, that should give you enough time to chill some white wine, put your favourite PJ’s on and get Netflix going!

Serves 2! (with a little extra 😉 )


Thai Peanut Curry (Vegan)

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli (or frozen)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • handful of snap peas
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 3 -4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp red thai curry paste (more or less depending on your spice preference, taste it then add more if needed. Start off with a bit.)
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro (for garnish)
  • Chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • Lime (for garnish)
  • Cooked rice for serving (I like sticky rice or brown rice)

Brown onions and garlic in olive oil (if you’re putting in meat, brown your meat as well)

Add broccoli, carrots, peppers and potatoes (or any mix of fresh vegetables that you’re using, I also love zucchini and eggplant in it), cook until almost tender.

Add peanut butter and red thai curry paste. Mix with veggies.

Add coconut milk, sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add snap peas and bamboo shoots.

Turn on low, and let simmer while your rice is cooking.

Once rice is cooked, serve over cooked rice. Garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Serve with fresh wedges of lime (seems optional, but it’s super necessary, the lime really adds to it!)

Saluti!