Parmesan Crusted Pesto Tilapia with Roasted Tomatoes

Parmesan Crusted Pesto Tilapia with Roasted Tomatoes
After making the summery version of the parmesan crusted pesto tilapia bruschetta I could not help but think to update this fall/winter version. The only difference between these recipes is that the summer version uses beautiful fresh ripe tomatoes but when they are not available this version works better, roasting the tomatoes to help concentrate and bring out more of their flavour. This dish could not be easier to make, you simply sprinkle the parmeson on the fillets and broil them along with the cherry tomatoes until the fish is cooked and the tomatoes have roasted up and started to burst. If you are looking for a tasty, quick and light dish you really cannot go wrong with this parmesan crusted pesto tilapia with roasted tomatoes!

4 Cheese Hot Roasted Red Pepper Dip

4 Cheese Hot Roasted Red Pepper Dip
The markets have been filled with red peppers these past few weeks and I picked up a rather large basket of them for roasting! I like to make my own roasted red peppers because it is so easy, cheap and good! They keep well in the freezer so I freeze a lot of them for use throughout the winter but I could not resist using a few and this roasted red pepper dip has been on my mind for a while now. This dip is really simple hot melted cheese dip that consists of the roasted red peppers along with no less that four kinds of cheese! I went with a small Spanish theme using manchego as one of the cheeses and I included a touch of smoked paprika. You really cannot go wrong with a hot melted cheese dip and the roasted red peppers really make this one shine!

Maple-Miso Dijon Salmon

Maple-Miso Dijon Salmon
Maple dijon, a variation of honey dijon, is such a nice, easy and amazingly tasty flavour combo that goes great on so many things including meats like chicken and fish and vegetables like green beans, asparagus and even brussels sprouts, but my favourite way to enjoy it is on silky smooth salmon. Although the basic maple and dijon combo is great I often like to change things up with additions like grainy mustard or other flavours and one truly standout version is this one with a Japanese theme including miso. Miso is a fermented soybean paste that is packed with flavour and umami and it is typically used in soups but it also goes great in sauces and marinades like this one.

This maple-miso dijon salmon is literally as easy to make as mix the marinade, marinate and cook! All said and done it only takes about 15 minutes of effort! If you place the salmon in the marinade the night before or in the morning you can have the main course of your dinner ready in under 15 minutes! In addition to being super quick and easy to make it is amazingly tasty and pretty healthy to boot! The maple, miso and dijon flavours go magically well with the buttery, flaky salmon that just melts into your mouth!

Esquites Quinoa Salad with Avocado

Esquites Quinoa Salad with Avocado
One of the best ways to enjoy corn is right from the cob and one of my favourite ways to do that is Mexican style, aka elote, where the corn is covered in butter, mayo, cotija cheese, a squirt of lime and a touch of chili pepper. Of course you can easily cut the corn from the cob and if you do that with elote you get esquites, a Mexican style corn salad which I also like a lot! Quinoa is often on my mind and I could not help think that adding some would only make things better both by adding an amazing texture and by adding a healthy source source of protein! I often enjoy the addition of avocado to my esquites and so I could not leave it out of this quinoa salad! I have to say that the combination of sweet corn, creamy avocado and quinoa is quite amazing and it makes for a great side dish or even a light meal!

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole

Creamy Pesto Caprese Pasta Casserole
With the cooler weather here I don't have to worry about the heat that having the oven on will create and that means that things like casseroles are back on the menu! Since the tomatoes and basil is still around I took advantage of the opportunity to make a 'caprese' pasta casserole with some fresh tomatoes and basil pesto; along with plenty of melted mozzarella of course! This recipe is super simple consisting of cooked pasta, marinara sauce, fresh cherry tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella and a touch of cream for richness, and is all mixed together and baked until the cheese has melted. There is just something that is magical about the combination of the tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, mozzarella and cream and it works so amazingly well in this pasta casserole! One of the best things about this casserole is how the cherry tomatoes on top roast up, concentrating their flavour, and how the ones in the middle explode with warm tomato-y goodness in your mouth!

Grilled Corn, Roasted Poblano and Bacon Zucchini Crust Pizza

Grilled Corn, Roasted Poblano and Bacon Zucchini Crust Pizza
Who can tell what my favourite new recipe was this summer? You guessed it, the zucchini pizza crust, and I could not resist getting one more in while the zucchini was still around. I have really been enjoying the zucchini and corn combo this year and I had one more idea for pizza using them, this time using a spicy salsa verde as the pizza 'sauce' along with some roasted poblano peppers and smoked bacon. This grilled corn, roasted poblano and bacon zucchini crust pizza is so simple and yet so amazingly good! The sweet corn definitely pairs well with the spicy salsa verde and smoky roasted poblanos and bacon!

Pesto Caprese Omelette

Pesto Caprese Omelette
With summer quickly coming to an end I have been trying to enjoy it as much as I can and recently I have been focusing on the fresh field ripened tomatoes and basil. The other day I realized that I was not making the most of the summer produce with my breakfasts and that led to the idea of these pesto caprese omelettes! The basic idea was to take all of the ingredients of a caprese salad including tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and use them in an omelette. Of course the easiest thing to do would be to make an omelette and simply throw the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella into it but I knew that they would be even better if I used a fresh homemade basil pesto instead of just basil and not only did I place the pesto into the omelettes filling along with the tomatoes and mozzarella but I also mixed some into the eggs. The trick to these omelettes is to place the mozzarella into the eggs while they cook so that it melts and then place the tomatoes and pesto in later so that they both remain as fresh as possible! I have to say that the pesto caprese omelettes are both a great way to start the day and to enjoy some of summers produce!

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

Corn is in season and I certainly have been enjoying it! In addition to trying out new recipes with corn I have also been making some old favourites and one that I cannot stop making over and over again is this hot cheesy corn dip adapted from Emeril Lagass's recipe! Since I was making the dip anyways I figured that I would take the opportunity to update the 5 year old photo on this recipe with some new ones. This dip is super easy to make, you simply char some corn to bring out its natural sweetness, combine it with a few other vegetables along with plenty of cheese and bake it until it is all melted, bubbling and golden brown. In addition to being easy to make, this dip is addictively good; there is just something magical about how the sweet corn works with the savoury cheese and mayonnaise in this hot dip! The only real problem that I have with this dip is that it disappears far too quickly!

Eggplant Pizzas

Eggplant Pizzas

After making the cauliflower pizza crust and the zucchini pizza crust the next vegetable up was eggplant! Instead of following in the footsteps of his predecessors I wanted to go another route with the eggplant pizzas keeping things nice ans simple and just using eggplant slices as the crust of the pizzas. These eggplant pizzas are really easy to make, you simply slice the eggplant and roast or grill the slices until the eggplant just starts to turn tender, top it with your favourite pizza toppings and then bake them until the cheese gets all melty and good! In addition to being easy to make they are super tasty and if you are an eggplant lover like me then they are even better than the original, healthier and kid friendly to boot! These eggplant pizzas are bound to become a staple on my meal plan!

Ceviche

Ceviche
The other day I was at a Mexican restaurant where I enjoyed an amazing ceviche which made me realize that I had never actually made ceviche at home and that is a shame considering how easy it is to make and how absolutely good it is. Ceviche is a dish that is common in Central and South America where fish is 'cooked' in a marinade of citrus juices like lemon, lime, sour orange, etc., onion, chili peppers, cilantro etc. Really ceviche is one of the easiest dishes to make where you simply have to cut the fish into small pieces and then let it sit in the simple marinade for a few minutes to 'cook'. Pretty much any seafood would work in ceviche and I went with a white fish, halibut, and I used a lime and orange based marinade that included some onion, pickled jalapenos and cilantro. This halibut ceviche is amazingly light, bright and citrus-y good! I served the cechiche as an appetizer along with blue corn chips for dipping but you could easily make a bigger batch and serve it as a main along with a few sides. Right now I am thinking that some ceviche tacos would be fabulous!

Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Roll Ups in Creamy Gorgonzola Cauliflower Sauce

Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups in Creamy Gorgonzola Cauliflower Sauce

I have been seeing cute lasagna roll-ups around the internet for a while now and I have been wanting to try making some. The lasagna roll-ups are basically just lasagna where instead of layering everything you place the filling on top of the noodles and then roll the noodles up, top them with the sauce and cheese and bake them. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my lasagna roll-ups, a mushroom and kale lasagna with creamy white sauce.

For the filling I went with some easy sauteed mushrooms and kale along with some parmesan mixed into ricotta cheese and some of the creamy white sauce. I wanted to try something new for the white sauce, I wanted to try a cauliflower based sauce rather than a more traditional, calorie filled, bechamel sauce made with flour, butter and milk or cream. The cauliflower sauce is simply pureed cauliflower and cheese along with enough liquid to smooth it out into a sauce. For the cheese in the cauliflower sauce I went with gorgonzola, a blue cheese, but it would also work well with parmesan, romano or asiago among others. Since this is a lasagna I was bound to top the whole thing off with even more cheese, this time in the form of mozzarella. (For those of you keeping track, yes, there are no less than 4 kinds of cheese in this lasagna!)

I knew that this lasagna was going to be amazing just thinking about all of the ingredients and it easily lived up to my expectations and then some! The mushroom and kale lasagna in creamy gorgonzola cauliflower sauce was amazing! I have to say that the cauliflower sauce was no less than spectacular and it went so well on the lasagna! I will definitely be using this cauliflower sauce again! Luckily this recipe makes a lot so I will be able to enjoy the leftovers for lunch this week.

50 Late Summer Recipes

50 Late Summer Recipes

Summer may almost be over but there is still plenty of great late summer produce around including some of my favourites like tomatoes, eggplant, red peppers, corn, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans. In addition to all of the summer produce we already have some fall items showing up including apples, pears and winter squash so we are quite literally spoiled for choice these days! It was really difficult trimming a roundup of recipes down to a manageable amount so I ended up going with a 'mega' roundup containing a whopping 50 amazing recipes using late summer produce! When I head down to the market at this time of year it is always challenging to not pick up some of everything that is available but no matter what I end up bringing home I have plenty of tasty recipes to make!

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans

While I was enjoying the summer vegetable bibimbap for breakfasts last week I could not help but think about how similar bibimbap is to burrito bowls. They are bowl rice bowls filled with meats and/or vegetables and a spicy sauce, in one case a gachujang sauce and in the other case a salsa. With that thought I had to try burrito bowls with the same late summer produce including zucchini, corn, black beans and avocado along with a fresh pico de gallo made with some fresh field ripened tomatoes for breakfasts this week! Instead of going with rice this time I went for something a little healthier, quinoa, well I actually went with a blend of quinoa and sprouted brown and wild rice. These late summer vegetable burrito bowls certainly make for some tasty, filling and healthy meals!

Chipotle Peach Salsa Quesadillas

Chipotle Peach Salsa Quesadillas

Summer isn't gone just yet and I have been enjoying its bounty while it lasts! One thing that I have been really into lately is fruit based salsas and with all of the amazing fresh peaches around these days a peach salsa was definitely on the menu. I kept the peach salsa nice and simple with fresh diced peaches, red pepper, onion, cilantro lime and some chipotle chilies for smoky heat. Although this chipotle peach salsa is great to snack on with tortilla chips it is always fun to use a salsa in another dish and top on my list was to place it in some quesadillas along with plenty of ooey gooey melted cheese! I gave the peaches a nice big dice so there would be large chunks of them just bursting in your mouth as you eat the quesadillas! I have to say that using peaches to make a slasa and then covering it in hot melted cheese is a great way to enjoy them!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Zucchini is still everywhere and one really nice way to enjoy some is in a zucchini bread. Although my favourite zucchini bread is a blueberry zucchini bread, every once in a while I like to indulge and go for a dark chocolate chip zucchini bread. Even though I was going with the chocolate chips, I wanted the rest of the zucchini bread to be as healthy as possible so I tweaked my recipe a little, cutting back on the fats and sugars while adding whole wheat flour and using 0% Greek yogurt along with bananas and the zucchini to keep the bread nice and light, moist and tender. One of the best things about a quick bread like this is that it literally only needs about 5-10 minutes of effort and then you just have to patiently wait for it to bake. I like to make a loaf of bread on the weekend and then have a slice for breakfasts during the week and this bread definitely lasts all week and with a few seconds in the microwave it is just as light moist and fluffy as the first day! What a great way to enjoy some zucchini!

Pesto Guacamole BLT

Pesto Guacamole BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) Sandwich

This has to be one of my favourite times of the year with all of the fresh field ripened tomatoes around and my favourite way to enjoy them has to be in a BLT or a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. BLT sandwiches never get boring and I like to experiment with them adding different things. Two of the best ways to go are with a BLT with basil mayo or a BLT with avocado or guacamole and so when I made the pesto guacamole I knew that I would have to use it in a BLT! You just cannot go wrong combining fresh rip tomatoes, basil pesto and avocados with bacon in a sandwich! I will definitely be enjoying a lot of theses pesto guacamole sandwiches over the next few days!

Pesto Guacamole

Pesto Guacamole

When I came across the idea of a pesto guacamole on two peas & their pod last week I knew that I would have to make it and make it soon! You really cannot go wrong combining two already amazing things like pesto and avocados and with all of the fresh basil around now it was the perfect time to make it! This guacamole could not be easier to make, you simply mash the avocado and mix in your basil pesto along with some lemon juice to brighten things up and to help prevent the avocado from browning. Of course I went with my own homemade basil pesto which is also super easy to make and inside of 10 minutes I was enjoying some super tasty pesto guacamole! I polished the first batch of pesto guacamole off in a few minutes just snacking on it with tortilla chips but I already have several ideas about what I could use it in!

Caprese Chicken Pesto Pasta

Caprese Chicken Pesto Pasta

The days are getting busier and when that happens it is always nice to have some quick and easy recipes on hand and ones that sacrifice nothing in the way of flavour! Luckily it is a good time of year for that, especially if you are enamored with the the flavours of the caprese salad like I am. The caprese salad is the combination of fresh, field ripened tomatoes along with basil and mozzarella and although simple, it is amazingly good with fresh ingredients! I have been enjoying a lot of caprese salads these days and one of my favourite ways to enjoy the caprese flavours is in this chicken caprese pasta that combines grilled chicken with fresh tomatoes, homemade basil pesto and mozzarella. If the flavours of this dish were not enough, it is ready in the time that it takes to cook the pasta! You really cannot go wrong with the late summer flavours of tomatoes and basil and this chicken caprese pasta is an wonderful way to enjoy them!

Summer Vegetable Bibimbap with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans

Summer Vegetable Bibimbap with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans

Some of my most popular recipes are not the healthiest which may give the impression that I spend my days eating things like grilled cheese sandwiches and hot melted cheese dips which is not the case. I believe in moderation and although the grilled cheese sandwiches and dips definitely have their place I try to balance them out with healthier dishes and even if they are not as glamorous I wanted to start sharing more of them with you. On of my favourite 'healthy' meals is bibimbap, a Korean rice bowl, where the rice is topped with pretty much anything you want along with a spicy chili pepper sauce. One of the things that I like most about this dish is that you can use what ever you have on hand from meats to vegetables and leftovers are just perfect. If you are using only raw vegetables and leftovers then this meal only takes as long to make as it takes to cook the rice and if you have leftover rice then it only takes 5 minutes to throw together! I like to make big batches of rice and assemble all of the other ingredients on the weekend so that I can throw these bowls together quickly for meals throughout the week.

Recently I have been enjoying bowls of bibimbap filled with some of the amazing summer produce that is around right now including corn and zucchini which along with the rice and some beans makes for a pretty complete healthy meal in a bowl! Instead of going with plain white rice I like to go with more whole grains including things like brown rice, bulgar, farro, and even quinoa. For this particular bibimbap I wen with a nice mix of brown and wild rice.