New Year, New Goals

So it’s the start of another new year, yay 2014! We’re big believers in making new years resolutions. If the goals you set are honest, achievable and things you actually care about working on, resolutions are great motivators for improvement in all areas of your life. We decided to come up with a list of food/nutrition related goals for 2014 to share with you.

 

1-drink more water-01We’ve all heard it!  8 glasses a day for better skin, a flatter belly, more energy and better overall health.  Although on most days, we do choose to drink water over juice, we’re still guilty of not drinking enough. We think the above illustration by Torrie T. Asai  would sure help us remember to drink up!  Do you have any tips for drinking more water?

 

2-waste less food-01

2. This one’s a biggie! The UN estimates that 1/3 of all of the world’s food goes to waste, ONE THIRD!!! This is nuts considering around 925 Million people worldwide are threatened by starvation. This has been a resolution for the past few years now and is something that we are improving on. It’s not that we’re big food wasters (nor have we ever been) but  by changing the way we shop for food and putting an emphasis on meal planning BEFORE we go to the store or market  have really helped us to buy only the food we know we are going to eat before it goes bad.

The above photo is part of a really cool series by photographer Klaus Pichler entitled “One Third” on the topic of food waste.

 

3-cook more with friends-01

3. What’s more fun than getting together with friends and cooking up an awesome meal together? We often get together with friends for potluck dinners but there’s something to be said about doing the cooking AND the eating together. Cooking in a group is a great way to share and learn new skills as well as collaborate and come up with some pretty awesome stuff you might not have thought of on your own. We’d like to plan a pizza party as shown above, or how about an iron chef themed party where there’s a secret ingredient and you all have to feature it in a unique dish?

Photo via Todd Porter & Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple

 

4-eat less meat 2-01

 

4. It’s a fact, eating less meat is good for you AND the environment. While we do love meat and because of that could probably never become a full fledged vegetarian, we are conscious of the impacts eating meat has on both our bodies and the world around us. Our goal this year is cut back a bit and try to not eat meat at least 3 days a week. Part of this resolution is to get more experimental and learn how to cook more amazing, vegetarian dishes. What’s your favourite vegetarian recipe?

The illustration above is by Koosje Koene and is part of a project called They Draw and Cook- a collection of illustrated recipes from around the world.

 

5- be more creative-01

5. Not that we don’t experiment and have fun with our food but this year we want to push ourselves to think a bit more out of the box.  We want to step out of our comfort zone, take more risks and play with our food the way we play and create with other mediums.

We got plenty of inspiration from the image above featuring ‘Dessert of Flowers’ from Noma Restaurant made with elderflower mousse, rose hip meringue, violet syrup, thyme fluid gel, and skyr sorbet.  Noma is a restaurant in Copenhagen that has been called the best in the world. Each and every dish is a true work of art where the eating experience has been beautifully created. Take a look here at this video where chef  René Redzepi creates one of his signature dishes and see the art behind what he does.

There you have our top 5 food resolutions for 2014! What are your New Years Resolutions? Are any of them food related? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Shortbread 3 Ways

To get you into holiday baking mode, we’ve rounded up 3 of our shortbread cookie recipes. Each are made using a classic shortbread recipe but have unique flavour twists to shake things up a little.

First up is Lemon Thyme Shortbread. Lemon zest brightens up the classic buttery sweet taste and a bit of fresh thyme adds a nice herbaceous note. This is classic shortbread taken to the next level.  Recipe here

lemon rosemary shortbread_9360

Next we have our Brown Sugar Shortbread with Garam Masala. If you aren’t familiar with the spice blend Garam Masala, you must try it! It’s a comforting blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg,  cardamom, cumin and pepper that pairs really well with these brown sugar shortbread cookies. Think cinnamon sugar with a bit of an extra kick.  Recipe here

garam masala shortbread_9378

Last but not least, we  have our savoury Asiago Pesto Shortbread cookies. Instead of being sweet, these are savoury and packed with asiago cheese and a hint of pesto. These would go great served as a cheese plate accompaniment and offer a nice change from all the sweet things we tend to eat around the holidays. Recipe here 

Asiago Pesto Shortbread

Hope you enjoy these recipes! Do you have your own twist on shortbread? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

A Drink to Celebrate the Season

Fall is hands down our favourite time of year.  The breathtaking colours, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, watching leaves dance and fluter in the air as they slowly fall, the smell in the air, cozy sweaters, the list goes on and on.

To celebrate this glorious season, we created this colourful cocktail. Cheers to our favourite season!

RosemaryCocktail_NBP1465

 Ingredients: makes 1 drink

  • 3 oz of mulled apple cider
  • 2 oz of your favourite sparkling wine
  • splash of cranberry juice
  • sprig of rosemary

Directions:

  1. Pour chilled apple cider and sparkling wine  into a champagne flute
  2. Give it a little spash of cranberry juice
  3. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary
  4. Give a cheer to fall!

Expert Tip:

Take the sprig of rosemary and rub it between your hands, this releases the natural oils and gives the cocktail a little extra somethin’ special

 

 

 

 

Ravioli with Pumpkin, Greek Yogurt, Maple and Thyme

It’s our favourite season, pumpkin season!  And with Thanksgiving coming up, we wanted to make an appetizer to bring to our family dinners.  A few years ago, we learned a cool trick from Food & Drink Magazine: quick and easy ravioli using store bought wonton wrappers. Although nothing can beat homemade pasta dough, this is a very easy alternative that’s perfect when you don’t have a ton of time but still want to make something special.

For Thanksgiving, we decided to make a pumpkin ravioli. For the pumpkin filling, we used canned pure pumpkin and mixed it with greek yogurt for a nice creamy and rich texture. We seasoned the filling with nutmeg and thyme for the perfect combination of thanksgivingy flavours. After they were cooked, we sautéed them in a bit of brown butter and a drizzle of pure maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

PumpkinRavioli_NBP1437

 

Ingredients: makes 12 (serves 4 as an appetizer)

  • 24 storebought wonton wrappers
  • 1 canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/3 greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • warm water

Directions:

  1. combine pumpkin, greek yogurt, nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl
  2. spoon about 1 tbsp of pumpkin mixture onto a single wonton wrapper
  3. dip your fingers into warm water and run your finger along the edge of the wonton wrapper to moisten the edges
  4. place another wonton wrapper on top and with a fork, press down to seal all four sides
  5. repeat with all ravioli
  6. boil a large pot of water
  7. boil raviolis for 5 min or until cooked through, remove from heat and strain
  8. on medium heat, melt butter and sautee until it begins to brown slightly
  9. add raviolis, lower heat and sauté raviolis for 3-5 min
  10. drizzle with a touch of maple syrup (less is more in this case)
  11. garnish with fresh thyme sprigs
  12. serve and enjoy!

 

Grilled Corn Salad

This weekend we celebrated the end of summer (sad, we know) with a last day of summer BBQ.  Although the weather didn’t cooperate, there was plenty of warm weather nostalgia provided by all of the tasty summer food. We created this colourful, bright and fresh tasting grilled corn salad as a tasty side. It was such a big hit, we thought we’d share this one with you on the blog. We have a feeling this will become a regular in our repertoire of favourite salads and would also be awesome with grilled shrimp, lobster or fish.

Grilled Gorn Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cobs of corn, husks on
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 medium red onion
  • handful of cilantro/to taste
  • 1-2 jalapeños (optional, depending on if you like it hot)
  • 2 limes

 

Directions

  1. heat BBQ to medium
  2. leaving husks on the corn, place corn cobs directly on the grill
  3. BBQ corn for about 35-40 min or until nicely charred, rotating every 10 min or so
  4. remove corn from grill and set aside to cool of
  5. once cool, remove husks from corn and cut kernels off cobs
  6. place corn kernels into a large salad bowl
  7. dice red onion and place into salad bowl
  8. finely dice jalapeno(s) and add to salad bowl
  9. slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to salad bowl
  10. chop cilantro finely and add to the bowl
  11. chop avocados and add to bowl
  12. squeeze limes into the bowl and stir carefully (try not to mash up avocados too much)
  13. serve as a side with grilled meat, fish, shrimp or lobster

Farewell Summer Salad with Black Kale, Peaches, Almonds & Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s officially fall and we’re excited for cozy sweaters, colourful leaves and pumpkin spice everything! But before we go there, we thought we’d savour the very last of summer with a Farewell Summer Salad. Yes, it’s sad. Summer is over. However,  you can still grab some local bites of sunshine (or peaches as they are more commonly known) at your local market and have one last taste of summertime.

While at our local farmer’s market this weekend we noticed the last of the Ontario peaches and grabbed a basket along with this gorgeous black kale.

black kale & peaches

We had never tried black kale before but were intrigued by it’s beautiful purple colour. We thought  it would not only look great (hello contrasting colours!) but also taste great and deliver a good dose of healthy vitamins and nutrients to our bodies too.  Something we all need after a summer of indulgence.

Farewell Summer Salad

To make this salad is very easy, toss all the ingredients below together with your favourite berry vinaigrette (or make your own). Farewell Summer Salad goes well on it’s own as an appetizer or with grilled salmon or chicken as a main dish.

Farewell Summer Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of black kale
  • 3 fresh whole peaches
  • 1 handful of raw almonds
  • your favourite berry vinaigrette- we used Kraft Fruit & Veg Berry Balsamic

Directions:

serves 4 as an appetizer/side or serves 2 as a main

  1. wash kale, remove stems and chop into bite sized pieces
  2. dry kale  in salad spinner or pat dry and place in a large salad bowl
  3. wash peaches, remove pits, cut into slices and add to bowl
  4. roughly chop almonds and add to bowl
  5. drizzle with salad dressing
  6. toss, serve & enjoy!

Honeydew, Cucumber & Mint Popsicles

Homemade popsicles really are the best. They always taste good and are SO easy to do. Say goodbye to sugary fake flavours and hello to healthy, tasty, colourful treats.

We recently picked up a cool star shaped popsicle mold and thought we’d put it to use over the weekend. We wanted to create a light, cool and refreshing pop and came up with this Honeydew, Cucumber and Mint version. They turned this amazing green colour, tasted great and were super refreshing. Best part- all natural and pretty much guilt free!

Honeydew Cucumber Mint Popsicles

Ingredients: makes 6 popsicles

  • 1/2 small honeydew melon
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • simple syrup

Directions:

  1. Remove seeds & skin of honeydew, chop into small pieces
  2. Remove seeds & skin of cucumber, chop into small pieces
  3. Chop mint leaves finely
  4. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend throughly
  5. Taste and add simple syrup as needed to desired sweetness
  6. Pour blended mixture through a mesh strainer to remove pulp & chunks
  7. Pour strained mixture into popsicle molds (or use paper cups and popsicle sticks)
  8. Freeze overnight & enjoy!

Fish Tacos with Ontario Yellow Plum Salsa

When we think of the perfect summer meal, there isn’t much that can top a good fish taco. The combination of light, flaky fish, soft corn tortilla and bright, crsip toppings can’t be beat. We recently went to one of Toronto’s best known taco spots “La Carnita” and were inspired to try our own version of the famous fish taco with a unique  twist- Ontario yellow plum salsa.

Fish Tacos w Yellow Plum Salsa

First, we topped fresh Cod fillets with a spice rub and baked them in the oven.

Fish for Tacos

Next, we made our own corn flour tortillas from scratch. Nothing quite beats warm, homemade tortillas and they are well worth the extra effort!

tortillia

Finally, we made a salsa from Ontario yellow plums, jalapeño and red onion. The tart and slightly sweet yellow plums really add a nice flavourful punch to this dish. We added shredded cabbage for extra crunch and texture and a squeeze of fresh lime to top it all off.

We hope you enjoy our fish tacos as much as we did!  The salsa is also great served on it’s own with some tortilla chips, or on top of salmon like we did here.

 

Ingredients: serves 4

Fish Fillets

  • 8 small fillets of cod (or any other mild flavoured white fish)
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp corriander
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cajun spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Cabbage Slaw

  • 1/2 of a small head of green cabbage
  • juice of 1 lime
  • handful of chopped cilantro

Ontario Yellow Plum Salsa:

  • 1o Ontario yellow plums
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Corn Tortillias: (follow package instructions)

  • corn flour
  • water

 

Directions:

Fish Fillets

  1. pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. pat fish with a paper towel to remove any excess water (do this especially when using frozen fish)
  3. mix spices listed above
  4. rub spices on both sides of the fish fillets and place fish on a non-stick baking tray
  5. bake fish in the oven for approximately 20 min or until fish is flaky in texture

Cabbage Slaw

  1. slice head of cabbage in half, set aside one half for future use
  2. shred or slice remaining 1/2 of cabbage finely
  3. chop cilantro
  4. throw shredded cabbage and cilantro into a mixing bowl, add lime juice and set aside

Ontario Yellow Plum Salsa

  1. chop all ingredients, mix in a mixing bowl and set aside

*Note: Depending on the tartness of the plums you use, you may have to use slightly more sugar aim for slightly sweet but not overpowering. You still should be able to taste the tartness of the plums.

Corn Tortillas

  1. for the dough, follow directions on corn flour package for 1 batch of tortillas. We used the brand “Maseca” – find it in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
  2. form small balls (size of a ping pong ball) in your hands, roll out to flatten (or ideally use a press)
  3. cook stovetop in a frying pan (cast iron is best but non-stick will do)
  4. cook each side for 2-3 min similar to a pancake
  5. wrap cooked tortillas in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm

 

Taco Assembly: Top 1 tortilla with 1/2 a fish fillet, cabbage slaw and a spoonful of salsa. Hot sauce, sour cream and guac also make great additions.

Dinner Pancakes with Quinoa, Mushrooms and Parmesean

We’ve been trying to cut back on our meat eating ways lately to live a more sustainable life. Every little bit counts and it IS possible to whip up an amazing, flavourful and hearty vegetarian meal at home.

What we like most about trying to eat more vegetarian meals is that it forces us to be more creative and experimental in the kitchen. This recipe for example, came from such an experiment.

Let us introduce to you one of our new vegetarian favourites: Dinner Pancakes! Made of two types of quinoa, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan cheese these little cakes are just as filling as they are savoury and delicious.

dinner pancake 1

dinner pancake 2

Hand pressed into patties and then fried stovetop, they are crispy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. Top with fresh basil and you’ve got an awesome main course, appetizer or even party food if you make them bite sized.

dinner pancake 3

They’re so delicious you’ll eat them right up!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa of your choice (we used a mix of white and red)
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sauteed mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside to cool
  2. Sauté mushrooms until golden brown, set aside to cool
  3. With your hands, combine all ingredients above (except basil) in a large mixing bowl
  4. Form mixture into patties with your hands (like you’re making burgers)
  5. Cook patties in a frying pan on medium heat until crispy on the outside (about 5 min/side)
  6. Serve topped with fresh basil

 

 

Father’s Day Spice Rub DIY

Father’s Day is around the corner and if your Dad is anything like ours, food is the way to his heart. Our Dad loves to BBQ.  He loves it so much that rain, snow and -20 temperatures don’t stop him from grilling up meat, veggies and even pizza all year round. We thought our Dad would enjoy some homemade BBQ spice rubs as a Father’s Day present this year, so we decided to make it into a fun DIY for the blog.

We created 3 distinct spice blends complete with custom labels (download them below) for Dad to use as a dry rub for BBQing: Mexican Fiesta, Steak & Beef and BBQ Chicken and Ribs.

Fathers Day Spice Rubs

This is our Mexican Fiesta Spice Rub and it’s a spicy one! Our Dad loves spicy food and Mexican flavours so we created this one with cumin, chili powder, garlic and chipotle. Recipe below.

Mexican Fiesta Spice Rub

Next is our Steak & Beef Spice Rub. Familiar with Montreal Steak Spice? This is very similar but even better! We blended dehydrated onion, garlic, ground mustard, red pepper flakes, sea salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper. Recipe below.

Steak & Beef Rub

Last but not least, we have our BBQ Chicken and Rib Spice Rub. It’s sweet and savoury with a blend of brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. It will go perfectly as a dry rub on ribs, chicken breast or BBQ chicken wings. Recipe below.

BBQ Chicken and Rib Rub

To package them up nice and pretty, we used 4 oz Mason Jars and created custom labels for the top that you can download and print at home.  Simply, download, print, cut out the labels, put them on the lids, stack jars and wrap with butchers twine and you’ve got a winning Father’s Day gift!

Fathers Day Spice Rubs Stacked

Label Printing Instructions: To print labels, download them by clicking here. Once the image loads, click on it, then right click and save the image to your computer. Print labels on your home printer on an 8.5″ x 11″ pice of paper (we used matte photo paper but you can use regular paper). The labels fit perfectly in between the flat cap and the round screw lid.

Directions:

For each of the rubs, mix all ingredients (recipes listed below) together in a bowl then transfer to a clean, dry 4 oz jar.

Ingredients:

Mexican Fiesta Rub

  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1  1/2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Steak & Beef Rub

  • 1  1/2 tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1  1/2 tbsp Dehydrated Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1  1/2 Course Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground Black Pepper

Chicken & Rib Rub

  • 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1  1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1  1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1  tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1  1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Shrimp with Chili, Lime and Coconut Oil

We’ve recently gotten on the coconut oil train, have you? We love it for it’s versatility-  you can use it to cook or bake with but can also use it as an amazing treat for your skin and hair. In this simple dish, we combined coconut oil, green chilis and lime juice with shrimp for a delicious combination of flavours.

coco-lime-shrimp (1)

 

The marinade we’ve created gives shrimp a light coconut lime flavour with just a little kick from the chillies. It’s the perfect combination of slightly sweet, citrus and spice. Eat it on it’s own as an app, put it on top of a summery salad or feature it as a main course with your favourite summery sides. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 green chillies
  • 12-14 large raw shrimp, de-shelled

Directions:

  1. melt coconut oil and set aside to cool
  2. chop chilies and add to coconut oil
  3. add lime juice to the coconut oil
  4. toss shrimp in coconut oil and set aside for 10 min, mixing every once and a while
  5. heat skillet to medium high
  6. add shrimp mixture and cook until pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delishsis Turns One !

happy-birthday-delishsis

On May 27th, our little blog turned 1!  Even though it’s only been a year, it seems like a long time since we wrote our first post and shared our first recipe with you. We’d like to thank everyone for all of your support and encouragement. THANK YOU for checking us out, recommending delishsis to your friends and family, trying out one of our recipes and following us on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram.

For our first birthday we  gave delishsis a little bit of a makeover. We’ve made it easier to navigate, connect and see more of the great photos and content. As well as updated the overall look and feel. We hope you like our new look!

1stbirthday - delishsis

We had a little celebration this week but were too excited and ate the  cupcakes before we could take a pic!