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Chicken Parmesan Soup

Chicken Parmesan Soup
Although Spring is officially here it is rather chilly and there is even a bit of snow on the ground so I have still been craving soups! I always enjoy converting some of my favourite meals into soups and now it was time for a chicken parmesan soup! Chicken parmesan is a dish where chicken breasts are coated in parmesan and crispy breadcrumbs and it is commonly served with marinara sauce on pasta and it is covered in melted mozzarella cheese. I started the chicken parmesan soup off with a chicken broth and tomato base that I seasoned with onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel and an Italian seasoning blend. Up next was the chicken, which I cooked in the soup before shredding it, and the pasta which is also cooked in the soup. Of course the final ingredient was plenty of parmesan cheese which is melted right into the soup adding a ton of flavour! I served the chicken parmesan soup with some crostini covered in parmesan and it definitely hits the the spot on a chilly day!

Tuna, White Bean and Kale Soup

Tuna, White Bean and Kale Soup
Tuna is a staple in my pantry, it's always nice to have on hand and I always enjoy using it. The other day I was thinking that I had not tried using tuna in a soup and that it would go well in one. That immediately led to the idea of a light and healthy soup based loosely on a tuscan tuna salad. I started with some Clover Leaf solid white tuna to which I added white beans and Italian seasonings along with fennel and a touch of paprika. I always like to have some green vegetables in my meals and kale fit the bill for this soup perfectly! I finished the soup off by melting a bit of parmesan into it which adds that: you just can't quite place your finger on it, but makes the soup that much better, element. I have to say that tuna works well in soups and I will definitely be doing it again! This tuna, white bean and kale soup is pure comfort food and yet it is also nice and light and healthy!

Scroll down a bit for the chance to win a Clover Leaf tuna prize!

One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
I guess I missed the whole one-pot craze that went around awhile ago but I did bookmark a few recipes to try including this one-pot cheeseburger casserole from Damn Delicious. What's not to love about one-pot recipes? I am all for anything that helps cut down on the number of dishes that I need to wash and I am really into using cheeseburger flavours in interesting new dishes so this one-pot cheeseburger casserole was right up my alley. I started the casserole off with, you guessed it, bacon, because no self respecting burger can go without bacon! Up next is the beef and onions followed by a tomato base, pasta and beef broth for the liquid to cook the pasta. The casserole is seasoned with some common burger garnishes including ketchup and mustard and I like to add a hit of worcestershire sauce to my burger patties so that was in as well. Overall this cheeseburger casserole is super easy to make, you simply cook the bacon, cook the beef, throw everything into the pot and simmer until the pasta is cooked before throwing on the cheese to melt on top. The cheeseburger casserole would be amazing all by itself but why not garnish it with some fresh toppings and I like to go with some of my favourite burger topping including fresh tomatoes and diced pickles.

Check out below the recipe for more bacon cheeseburger recipe ideas!

Creamy Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup

Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup
I am a huge fan of mushrooms and one of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in a cream of mushroom soup! The other day I found myself thinking that instead of using cream why not kick things up a bit and use brie to make the soup nice and creamy! I mean you really can't go wrong taking something that is already pretty amazing like a cream of mushroom soup and adding a nice cheese like brie! Of course I like to roast the mushrooms to caramelize them and bring out their flavour though they could just as easily be sauteed in the pan making this a one pot soup. After roasting the mushrooms you just need to throw them into the soup along with the brie and simmer for while before pureeing to the desired consistency. I have to say that this mushroom and brie soup is the best cream of mushroom soup that I have ever had and I will definitely be making it all the time from now on!

Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Recipes

Who doesn't love a slow cooker? I mean what's not to love? You throw the ingredients in one in the morning and you have a meal waiting for you when you get home from work. In addition to cooking meals it's great for keeping things warm, say at potluck's, or dips at a party or cooking the perfect bowl of oatmeal overnight for breakfast and can you say the worlds easiest pulled pork! Although a slow cooker is not perfect for everything it has a lot of good uses and they can be a great way to save time on a busy day. Here are some of my favourite slow cooker recipes. What are your favourite things to cook in a slow cooker or crockpot?

Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara

Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara
Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish consisting of egg, bacon, fresh cracked black pepper and cheese and I am a huge fan of it; it's so quick and easy to make and so amazingly good! One of the things that I like about it is that you can easily add things, like vegetables, and I figured that it was past time to make a carbonara with my new favourite vegetable, cauliflower. Of course, I could not resist roasting the cauliflower to give it that caramelized flavour and I also brought cauliflowers best fried, mushrooms, to the roasting pan! Once the vegetables are roasted you really just need to cook the bacon (I used pancetta this time) and pasta and toss everything together! The trick to carbonara is that you want to mix the egg sauce with the hot pasta, bacon and pasta water so that the eggs 'cook' without scrambling, which is actually pretty easy! This roasted cauliflower and mushroom carbonara might just be my favourite carbonara yet!

Check out below the recipe for some more carbonara pasta recipes!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta
After making the spinach and artichoke dip soup I could not help but think that it would also make an amazing pasta, and I hardly need an excuse to fit more of that fantastic dip into my meals! For this pasta I started with mac and cheese style sauce except instead of using cheddar I went with spinach and artichoke dip flavours including cream cheese, parmesan and mozzarella. With the tasty cheese sauce made all that was left was to add the spinach and artichokes to complete the pasta. (I like to go with fresh chopped baby spinach but frozen spinach would also work and it's pantry friendly.) This spinach and artichoke pasta comes together in less than 30 minutes making it a perfect weeknight meal and it's so addictively good! (ps. No, I didn't forget the bacon, scroll down a bit!)

Irish Nachos with Guinness and Irish Cheddar Sauce

Irish Nachos with Guinness and Irish Cheddar Sauce
I hope that there is time for one last recipe for St Patrick's Day and this one is a good one, Irish nachos in a Guinness and Irish cheddar sauce! Irish nachos are pretty much your regular nachos only they are made with home made potato chips, in this case crispy baked potato chips. The most important part of these nachos is of course the Guinness Irish cheddar sauce or fondue which allows you to get some Guinness right into your meal in addition to washing the nachos down with a pint! The sauce is pretty much a bechamel sauce where the liquid is Guinness which the Irish cheddar mellows out giving you a creamy and tasty sauce. Next up is the meat and I like to go for a spicy Mexican chorizo but any sausage will work and chopped up corned beef or even bacon would also be perfect. From there you can add your favourite nacho toppings and I like fresh tomatoes, onion, avocado, sour cream and cilantro. The perfect pub food for your St Patrick's Day celebration!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Day Recipes

St Patrick's Day Recipes

St Patrick's Day is just a week away and that means that it is time to start planning your menu! Corned beef is a classic recipe for St Patrick's Day, one of my favourites, and it is so easy to make! You simply throw it in the slow cooker in the morning and then optionally glaze it and toss it in the oven for a few minutes at night and you are in corned beef heaven! I always plan to make plenty of extra corned beef because there are just so many tasty recipes to use the leftovers in! Some great sides for your corned beef are colcannon, sauteed cabbage and soda bread. Of course corned beef is not your only option, lets not forget the tasty Irish stews, pies, fish n chips and dishes made with Irish stouts like Guinness. Of course no St Patrick's Day meal is complete without dessert and Guinness just happens to work fabulously well with chocolate so you have plenty of options! With these St Patrick's Day recipes your St Patrick's Day meal is sure to be one to remember!

Tortellini Chili

Tortellini Chili
When I made the spinach and artichoke dip tortellini soup the other day I realized that it had been a while since I had last used tortellini and that reminded me that I had several recipes bookmarked to try including this chili tortellini from Picky Palate. Adding cheese stuffed pasta to an already tasty dish like chili is a fabulous idea and I could not resist making it! In addition to being super tasty, this chili tortellini is easy to make, it only takes about 30 minutes and it's made in one pot! You pretty much just need to cook the onions, brown the meat, throw everything in the pot and simmer until the tortellini is ready! This chili is perfect for a quick work night meal and a great way to enjoy some tortellini!

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Tacos with Apple and Pomegranate Salsa

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Tacos with Apple and Pomegranate Salsa
Now that I had the homemade chorizo and the apple and pomegranate salsa made it was time to use them in some tacos! For these tasty winter themed tacos I started with the chorizo to which I added some chipotle roasted sweet potatoes and onions which was all topped off with the apple salsa along with some cool and creamy avocado and crumbled queso fresco. The spicy chorizo pairs perfectly with the sweet potatoes and the crispy and juicy apple salsa complements and contrasts them with flavours and textures and you rally cannot go wrong with the addition of the avocado and cheese!

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo
Mexican chorizo is a tasty fresh pork sausage stuffed with chilies, garlic and other seasonings. Unlike the Spanish sausage with the same name Mexican chorizo sausage needs to be cooked and you can find it along with the other fresh sausages in many grocery stores. Of course it is also easy to make at home, you pretty much just need to soak the chilies, puree them and mix them and the seasonings into some ground pork and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Of course you can stuff the chorizo into sausage casings but I generally just prefer to cook it like any ground meat in a pan, breaking it up. Chorizo is really convenient to have on hand since you just need to cook it in a pan and you are ready to go. Like a lot of Mexican meats it can be used in a lot of different dishes from tacos to quesadillas, tostadas, queso fundido or even just mixed in with your scrambled eggs for breakfast. Check out below the recipe for some tasty ways to use Mexican chorizo sausage.

Apple and Pomegranate Salsa

Apple and Pomegranate Salsa
I always enjoy a nice fresh fruit salsa and in the winter you can't go wrong with a crispy apple one! Fresh fruit salsa's are super easy to make, you pretty much just need to dice the fruit along with some jalapeno and onion and hit it with some lime juice, cilantro and salt and you are good to go! At this time of year pomegranates are also available and they make an excellent addition to an apple salsa adding a nice burst of juicy sweetness along with their amazing colour.
Whether you are just snacking on this apple and pomegranate salsa or using it in something, it definitely adds a burst of brightness and freshness on a cold winter day!

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice
I always enjoy tasty Chinese takeout but it's also great to make at home! One of my favourite dishes has to be fried rice and it's super easy to make! Something that I have been enjoying lately with my fried rice is replacing the main ingredient, the rice, with 'riced' cauliflower; basically cauliflower that has been grated so that it is in small rice sized pieces. One of the great things about fried rice is that you can throw in pretty much anything that you like and this recipe is a pretty standard one that starts out with Chinese sausage or bacon, chicken, a bunch of vegetables, the cauliflower rice and some seasonings. A great tip for making fried rice is to have everything ready and on hand before you start cooking as things move quickly once you start and for cauliflower fried rice you don't want to over cook the cauliflower or it will get mushy. I have to say that cauliflower makes and excellent alternative to rice in fried rice that is lighter and healthier without all of the carbs!