Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon

Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon
Easter is coming and I have been have been working on menu ideas and I was thinking about something other than ham and salmon is a great option! I wanted something fruity to represent spring and apricot was my first choice and from there I decided to go with a slightly Asian fusion theme where I combined the aspects of sweet, spicy, salty and sour. The apricot preserves provided the sweet and I went with dijon mustard for the spicy, soy sauce for the salty and lime juice for the sour and the combination created a fabulous blend of flavours that I accented with a touch of ginger and garlic. This recipe could not be easier, you simply mix the glaze, brush it on the salmon, bake and you're done. (You can optionally marinade the salmon in the glaze for a while before baking to infuse it with more flavour.) All said and done, this tasty apricot dijon glazed salmon takes less that 20 minutes to make making it a perfect weeknight meal or a meal for special occasions where you would rather be spending time with your family than in the kitchen. To complete the meal I served the salmon on an apricot quinoa salad along with some simple steamed asparagus making for a really nice Easter meal!

Apricot Quinoa Salad

Apricot Quinoa Salad
With Easter coming I have been thinking about menu ideas and one of them involved an apricot theme so I was looking for an appropriate side dish and I was thinking that a Mediterranean style couscous salad would be perfect. I have really been into quinoa lately so I replaced the couscous with quinoa and I added some chopped dried apricots to the quinoa while it cooked so that they would get nice and soft and tender. After that I added a complement of fresh herbs including mint, parsley and green onions along with some slivered almonds. The salad is finished off with a simple 'dressing' based around apricot preserves, lemon juice and ginger. This apricot quinoa salad is amazingly light, fresh and tasty and the mint really brings it home; it's a fabulous side for any meal!

Cauliflower Enchilada Casserole

Cauliflower Enchilada Casserole
Given my obsession with both cauliflower and Mexican flavours I thought that I would combine the two and make a cauliflower version of a chicken enchilada casserole. Of course I had to start by roasting the cauliflower to slightly caramelize it and enhance it's flavour and after that everything is super easy; you pretty much just mix all of the ingredients, top with cheese and bake until the cheese has melted and everything is all bubbling and good! I went with beans and corn for the filling and when combined with the cauliflower this casserole is just packed with good things! For seasoning I like chili powder, cumin and oregano and this casserole just begs to be covered in plenty of melted cheese! I always enjoy topping hot dishes like this with cool fresh ingredients like tomatoes, avocado and plenty of cilantro, and a bit of queso fresco couldn't hurt either. (You could also add any of your favourite taco ingredients like sour cream, lettuce, etc.) Serve with tortilla chips for dipping!

Cauliflower Recipes

Cauliflower Recipes

Cauliflower was a food that I had always thought was pretty bland and boring but recently I have discovered how exciting and versatile it can be; and I have become a little bit obsessed with it. It is a pretty healthy food and it can be used as a substitute for some heavier foods like potatoes, rice and pasta but it can also do so much more and besides it's great all by itself! So far in my experiments with cauliflower, after the obvious mashed cauliflower and cauliflower rice I have used it to make pizza crusts, soups, salads, pastas, casseroles and more. Take a look below at some of my favourite ways of enjoying cauliflower and feel free to drop a comment telling me your favourite ways to use cauliflower.

Chicken and Wild Rice Kale Salad in a Creamy Asiago Balsamic Dressing

Chicken and Wild Rice Kale Salad in a Creamy Asiago Balsamic Dressing
Up next I have another salad for you and this one is based on the flavours of a creamy chicken and wide rice soup! This salad of course starts out with the chicken and wild rice which I throw on a bed of hearty kale and I add some red quinoa for some colour and to add some extra bulk to the salad. Soups very often start with a base of onions, carrots and celery and I did just that and since I like to add mushrooms to my chicken and wide rice soup they were a must and the final ingredient of the salad. The only thing that remained was adding the creamy aspect of the soup and the dressing was the perfect way to do this! Since I had just finished sauteing mushrooms in a pan I figured that a nice creamy pan sauce that picked up all of the mushroom flavour from the pan was a great start and I seasoned the sauce with shallots and garlic before adding some white wine, broth and cream. The sauce would have been perfectly fine like that but I kicked the flavour way up by adding asiago cheese and a few splashes of white balsamic vinegar. This salad is amazing when served with the warm ingredients still warm but it is also good when everything has cooled down. (Even if you do not get to try this salad, you have to try the dressing! I would drink it by the bottle full!)

Creamy Chicken and Sundried Tomato Pasta

Creamy Chicken and Sundried Tomato Pasta
I have been seeing this tasty looking creamy chicken and sundried tomato pasta on pinterest for a while now and it was time that I made my own version of it! You really can't go wrong with a creamy sauce packed with the flavour of sundried tomatoes but this pasta takes things a step further with the addition on plenty of melted cheese including both fresh mozzarella, which only adds to the creaminess, and parmesan! This recipe is super easy and it only takes as much time to make as it takes to bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta! You start off by cooking the chicken, deglazing the pan with some white wine, adding some broth and cream along with the sundried tomatoes and cheese and you're done! Other than tweaking the recipe I made one important addition and that was to add some roasted grape or cherry tomatoes for their juiciness and acidity which complements and contrasts the creaminess of the pasta perfectly! As simple as this dish is it's so wonderfully tasty that words just cannot describe how good it is, you really just have to try it!

Chicken and Mushroom Skillet in a Creamy Asiago and Mustard Sauce

Chicken and Mushroom Skillet in a Creamy Asiago and Mustard Sauce
Up next we have another super quick and easy chicken dish and this time it's a one skillet chicken and mushroom dish in a creamy asiago and dijon mustard sauce and it's just packed with flavour! This recipe starts out by butterflying or pounding the chicken thin so that it cooks quickly and then cooking it at a high temperature to caramelize it on both sides before setting aside. The mushrooms along with the onion, garlic and thyme are then cooked before deglazing the pan with some white wine, adding the chicken broth, cream and mustards, simmering to reduce and thicken the sauce and adding the asiago cheese! All said and done this recipe takes about 30 minutes to make so it is perfect for dinner on a busy week night and it's sure to impress everyone that tries it!