Cilantro & Basil Pesto Chicken

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The kids were playing in the other room while I was making this pesto. All of a sudden they went really quiet, and a moment later they both walked into the kitchen to ask what smelled so good! I’m telling you, make this pesto and your kitchen will smell like Italy! Fresh basil and cilantro, garlic and olive oil .. these flavours were just meant to be together! The best thing is that you can add it to to everything .. pastas, zoodles, salads, wraps and I even used it to marinate my chicken and salmon! :)

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Traditional pesto calls for just basil, but I always have so much cilantro in the fridge that I thought this would be a good way to use it up!

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It’s super easy to whip up in your food processor and a great thing to make every few weeks so you always have a batch to throw in and add a little more flavour to your meals.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Cilantro

  • 1.5 cups basil

  • 1/4 cups Pine Nuts

  • 1/4 cups Olive Oil

  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated

  • Salt + Pepper to Taste

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Method:

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts and toast until golden.

  2. Remove from heat to cool.

  3. In a blender or food processor, add the cilantro and basil, pine nuts, olive oil, zest, juice and garlic.

  4. Pulse until a thick paste forms.

  5. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can store in an airtight container in the fridge. See below for my Pesto Chicken recipe, but you can also add to pastas, salads and sandwiches.

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Pesto Chicken:

Just add a few tablespoons of the pesto to your chopped chicken breast. Mix and pan fry with a little olive oil till chicken is cooked through. You could use the chicken to top your pasta, add it to a wrap or salad, or just have the chicken with a side of brown rice and veggies. Enjoy! :)

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Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

These are some of the best “clean” brownies I’ve ever made! Deliciously chocolatey and oh so moist. They take no time at all to whip up and are definitely kid approved!

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I’ve tried different recipes for brownies before, but I especially love how this one is super simple and clean .. and still tastes delicious!

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I get the feeling this recipe’s gonna become a staple in our house (I’ve already made 2 batches in the last week) and it could become one in yours too :)

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Ingredients:

½ cup Hazelnut Butter

3 large Eggs

½ cup Maple Syrup

1 tbsp Vanilla

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

½ cup Cacao Powder

½ tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Baking Soda

½ cup Almonds (you could use chocolate chips or any other nuts as well)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor mix hazelnut butter, eggs and maple syrup until well combined. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except for the nuts or chocolate chips) and pulse until all are combined. Stir in the nuts and/or chocolate chips into the batter.

Grease a 9x11 baking dish with coconut oil and pour batter in, tap to evenly distribute the batter. Top with a few nuts.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the pan.

Let brownies cool for 30-45 mins. You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Enjoy!

Kuku Paka (East African Style Chicken in Coconut Curry)

This traditional East African dish is a staple in our house. It is one of the first dishes I learned to make from my mom and can also be made in less than 30 minutes. The recipe here calls for chicken breast, but any other chicken cut, drumstick and/or chicken thighs may be used as well.

KukuPaka Coconut Curry

For the Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast cut into pieces.

  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic

  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 tbsp green chutney

  • The squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the sauce

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 small tomato

  • ¼ tsp turmeric

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 tbsp green chutney

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ cup of water

  • 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch (to thicken the sauce)

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken in garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, green chutney, and lemon. Let sit for 30 minutes to a few hours.

  2. Place marinated chicken in a baking sheet and place in oven under the broiler for 5-7 minutes.

  3. In a blender, place coconut milk, tomato, turmeric, lemon, onions, green chutney, and salt and blend well till smooth.

  4. In a saucepan, heat oil add in potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the sauce from the blender and heat through till sauce comes to a simmer. Add in broiled chicken and let the chicken cook in the sauce for 12-15 minutes.

  5. Add lemon juice, or salt to taste, garnish with fresh coriander.

  6. Serve with Basmati Rice or Roti.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Tots

Sometimes as moms you’ve gotta be a bit sneaky. We’re always looking for fun & new ways to get our kids to eat those veggies .. right? These tots will fool everyone in the house. My kids still think they’re made with potatoes and I’m totally fine with that! These are super easy to make and are great for school lunches, as a side with dinner, or as an after-school snack. I also love that you can add different spices and flavours to spice it up.

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1 small head Cauliflower

1 cup Cheese, shredded

½ small Finely Chopped Onion

1 Egg

¼ cup Chopped Parsley or Coriander

1 cup, Almond Meal or Bread Crumbs

1 ½ tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 ½ tsp Paprika

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Steam Cauliflower till super soft (more than fork tender), set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add in the shredded cheese, egg, onions, coriander, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and paprika. Once the cauliflower has cooled a bit, mash well with a fork and add to the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything well, if your mixture is too wet, add some more almond meal or bread crumbs till you can form small rolls. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and form the mixture into small rolls, keeping them spaced apart about and inch in between.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Take out tots when they’re nice & toasted. Serve with ketchup or any other fun dipping sauce like salsa or guacamole.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

I don’t know about you, but we’re still in the midst of that post-Halloween buzz. The house is full of all kinds of treats and little snack-sized chocolates, and they’re all just calling out my name. BUT… I’ve been REALLY good at cutting out processed sugar this past month and I don’t want to fall back so I knew I’d need a healthier sweet alternative available that was just as delicious and quick & easy to grab to help satisfy my sweet tooth.

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In came the idea of “Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls”. I’ve tried them a few times at health food stores and often wondered ‘how hard would it be to make a batch of my own’? Plus, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are hands down one of my all-time fave treats. That chocolate & peanut butter combo seems to hit the spot each & every time. So I set to work to try to make my own version that would be both delicious and wholesome. I usually have a bunch of healthy ingredients on hand, so I looked through my pantry and came up with this quick & delicious recipe. The main star is the all-natural (icing-free) peanut butter and raw cacao, then I added in some oats, chia seeds, and flax seed along with maple syrup and a few dates to sweeten it up!

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These were super easy to make and Asiyah loved getting her hands right in there and helping me make the balls (and also been more than happy to help eat them too!). I promise you, if you love chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do, you will LOVE these. Be sure to give them a try and, as always, tag me in your pics so I can see your creations!

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Ingredients:

1 cup, Oats (I used steel cut oats and blended them first)

2 tbsp, Almonds

2 tbsp, Flax Seed

2 tbsp, Cacao Powder

1 cup, All-Natural Peanut Butter (meaning, no added ingredients other than peanuts, esp no icing sugar)

3 tbsp, Maple Syrup

2 Mejdool Dates

2 tbsp, Hemp Seeds

1/2 tsp, Vanilla

pinch of Sea Salt

Coconut Flakes (optional, to coat)

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Method:

In a food processor or blender, first grind the oats, almonds and flax seeds until they become similar to a powder-like consistency. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Blend and pulse to break down and mix all the ingredients together (you might have to stop and scrap down the sides). If you feel the mixture is too thick, add a little water to get the dough mixing (1 tbsp at a time). Scoop out with a spoon and shape into 1-1.5 inch balls.

Feel free to coat the balls in coconut flakes, crushed nuts or keep them as is. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week!
Makes 20-25 balls .. if you don’t keep eating them as you go along ;)