Monthly Archives: June 2018

Meal Plan for the Week of June 30, 2018

It’s a long weekend–Canada Day–and it’s crazy hot this weekend. I think we could actually cook outside without the grill.  It can reach a point sometimes when it’s actually too hot to eat, and I think we’re there this week.  This week we are sticking to fresh, light flavours, nothing too heavy.  We are spending Canada Day with friends, so I have no idea what we’re having, but I would like to take the opportunity the wish you  a Happy Canada Day!  Every day I am thankful for living in the best country in the world, a truly welcoming melting pot of cultures that has allowed me to explore a world of food without having to leave.  Although we do leave sometimes because travel is good for the soul.
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Spaghetti with Summer Sauce

This is a no-cook pasta sauce that is so quick and easy for those hot summer days.  My Dad made this for us when we were kids.  I have no idea how closely this mirrors what he used to make for us, but it’s how I make it and we all like it.  The longer you allow it to sit and have the flavours mingle the better, but allow a minimum of at least 1 hour.  We will have this with some grilled Italian sausage on the side to get some protein in, but you can easily use chicken too.  Or, if you want to keep it vegan or vegetarian, add some chickpeas to the sauce when you first mix it up to allow them to absorb the garlicky-herby flavours of the ingredients. Continue reading

Meal Plan for the Week of June 23, 2018

You may have noticed I didn’t post a Meal Plan last week, and for that I apologize.  There were two reasons: 1) I created a Meal Plan knowing I was developing a cold, and promptly went to bed for about a week, and 2) when I finally got up and around my laptop had decided to stop recognizing that the Internet is a thing and wouldn’t acknowledge it, so even though I wanted to post, I couldn’t.  As a result of the first issue, even though I had developed the Plan with my impending sickness in mind and therefore easy-to-make meals, it didn’t get followed.  Those boys ate whatever they felt like making (cereal and sandwiches, I’m guessing).  As for the second reason, after a good 6 hours of playing and searching for the issue with the laptop, my husband found the problem and was able to rectify it.  This week we are repeating last week’s Lost Meal Plan, since it was a good one, and every now and then you want easy.
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BBQ Flat Chicken

The best way to get an even cook on a barbecued chicken without a rotisserie is to remove the spine, open it up and flatten it.  I have filmed a video of my husband flattening a chicken so you can see how easy it is, but if you’re at all squeamish, make sure the sound is turned off because you do hear the bones.  It actually sounds louder in the video than it does in real life, though. (Technical difficulties–okay, it’s all User-related–loading the video.  Please bear with me.  It’s coming.)  Opening up the chicken allows you to season and flavour the inside of the chicken as well as the outside and creates a “rack” (ie, the rib cage) for you to cook the chicken on so it doesn’t stick to the grill. You will end up with a juicy, succulent chicken with nice, crispy skin, in just about an hour.  This recipe is the directions for a very basic chicken, but the Tips section below includes flavour variations and how to apply them. Continue reading

Chimichurri

In the same way every country has its own version of stew, most countries have their own version of pesto, using the flavours and ingredients readily available to their region.  Chimichurri is the South American version of pesto, although it is predominantly associated with Argentina. Rather than being used as a pasta sauce, though, it is used as a baste for grilled meats and vegetables, and as a condiment to accompany the meal.  It’s verdant and garlicky, with a hint of heat (or a slap of heat if you’re so inclined). It goes well on chicken, beef, and pork, but lends its own flavour to each dish, rather than making everything taste the same. Continue reading

Meal Plan for the Week of June 9, 2018

We are still loving the grill, and the weather is supporting this love affair. We’re running the gamut of proteins this week: chicken, fish, beef, and pork (and beans!).   We had to make some adjustments to last week’s plan because life just got in the way, so the Thai Beef with Spicy Green Beans is on repeat because we never actually got to make it.  Monday is Corn on the Cob Day, so we will be having grilled corn with our fish tacos, because who are we to let a “holiday” go by unacknowledged?
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Southwest Black Bean and Quinoa Burger

While we like our veggies in this family, it is hard to convince some family members to go meatless for the occasional meal.  So when I decided to go with a Meatless Monday this week it was met with resistance.  Well, guess what?  It was a delicious experiment.   My oldest heard “veggie burger” and went “No way!”, but I sort of shoved it in his face and told him to try it.  His reaction was “You never said it would taste like Mexican Black Beans.  I’m going to have one after my bike ride.”  Can you hear my eyes rolling?  You’d think he’d know by now that I know what I’m doing!  Since there is no tweaking required, I’m posting the recipe right away.  We garnished with avocado, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and Tomatillo Salsa. Continue reading