Black Bean, Chickpea and Avocado Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Alright, now here is a salad that eats like a meal. This high fibre, high protein salad is great to whip up for a gathering of many or a batch cook for the week. Beans are a cost effective, nutrient dense option in a time when the cost of food is on the rise. No time to soak and prepare beans from scratch? No worries! Canned beans have the same nutrition and are a huge time saver when in a pinch.  Salad Ingredients  1 can (540 mL) Black Beans  1 can (540 mL) Chickpeas  1 medium Red Bell Pepper – diced  2 Large Roma Tomatoes – diced  2 Medium Avocados – chopped or sliced  1/2 Medium Zucchini – chopped  Dressing Ingredients Juice of 1 lime  1/2 cup olive oil 1 Green Onions – finely chopped  2 cloves garlic – minced  1/4 cup balsamic vinegar  Salt and Pepper – pinch  Directions  In a large bowl combine the beans, peppers, zucchini and tomatoes.  In a medium sized mason jar, add in all dressing ingredients and cover tightly with lid. Give the jar a good shake to combine the dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine flavours. Add in chopped avocado and gently mix to combine. ...

Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad

Summer time calls for fresh and easy-to-prepare meals. This salad is perfect to batch cook for a week of lunches, or to wow your guests at your next BBQ. I first whipped this salad up to bring to a potluck, and when it got rave reviews, I knew I had to bring it to the blog. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Ingredients 1 cup whole wheat penne, rotinni or macaroni pasta noodles (dry measure) chopped vegetables 2 cups of kale 1/2 cup zucchini diced 1/4 cup red onion diced  1 cup Roma tomatoes chopped  1/2 cup white mushrooms chopped  1 cup pesto sauce  Directions  Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add 2  Tbsp canola oil and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together.  While the pasta cooks prepare the pesto and chop the vegetables.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add pesto and vegetables to warm pasta, stir well to ensure all the pasta becomes coated with the pesto.  Serve the pasta warm, or let cool and store in the fridge to serve cold.  Makes 4-6...

Red Pepper & Black Bean Vinaigrette

This is a super simple vinaigrette that packs big flavour. It can be used on salads and as a marinade for meat.  Ingredients 1/2 cup canola oil  1/2 cup white vinegar  1 Tbsp black bean garlic paste  1 Tbsp Chili garlic paste  1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped Juice of 1 lime  Sprinkle of salt and pepper Directions  Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly with a lid and give a good shake. Voila – Done!  Food Photography: Bree Ann Merritt...

Green Lentil, Arugula & Spinach Salad

This salad says horray for summer! Fresh and full of flavour, it’s perfect for a light lunch or to bring to a potluck or cookout.  Ingredients  4 cups arugula and spinach mix  1 cup of cooked green lentils  1/2 cup feta cheese  Directions  First prepare your lentils for cooking. They do not need to be soaked but be sure to rinse them under cold water very well.  In a sauce pan with 3 cups cold water add 1 cup rinsed raw green lentils.  Bring lentils to a boil and then cover the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let lentils cook for about 15 minutes until tender. Be sure to check them so they do not over cook. Once lentils are cooked drain any excess water and set aside to cool.  Lay out your arugula and spinach on a platter to create a bed for the lentils. Sprinkle lentils evenly over the greens, followed by the feta cheese. Finally top with my special red pepper black bean vinaigrette.  Food Photography: Bree-Ann Merritt...

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks

Food Photography: Bree-anne Merritt Photography  You will need…  1 cup sweet & spicy garlic barbecue sauce  10 – 12 chicken drumsticks (skin removed) Salt and pepper – heavy sprinkle of each  Prepare the chicken… Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees Celsius Place chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper coating all the pieces.  Pour about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce over the chicken and mix to evenly coat. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, then baste chicken with sauce in the pan and additional barbecue sauce.  Reduce temperature to 200-250 degrees Celsius and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the...

Kale, Beef and Crimini Mushroom Stir Fry

Food Photography by: Bree- Ann – Merritt Photography  Makes 4 servings. You will need…  1/2 medium red onion diced  2-3 cloves minced garlic  2 sprigs fresh rosemary  200 grams sliced Crimini mushrooms  1 large bunch of kale (or your favourite leafy green) 1 cup (250 ml) low sodium beef broth  2 Tbsp white flour  1/4 cup cilantro (less or more if you like) 4 Tbsp olive oil  pinch salt 20 oz sliced steak  Directions…  In a large sauce pan heat olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic. Let cook for 1 minute or until onions start to soften.  Add mushrooms, rosemary and a sprinkle of salt – stir. Let simmer for 2 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Then add kale and let cook until soft.   In a separate small pan heat 2 Tbsp olive oil, when hot add steak and cook for 1 minute. Add in flour and cook for 1 minute on high heat (to cook flour).  Add 1 cup beef broth, stirring the whole time, to create a sauce. Add the broth  mixture to the larger pan and combine. Add cilantro and stir.   Let simmer for 1 minute and remove rosemary. (Rosemary can be taken out earlier to reduce the strength of the taste.. personal preference!).  Serve over your favourite carbohydrate like quiona or brown rice.  Chinwe’s Notes: You can make this dish vegetarian by removing the steak and using vegetable broth or water for the...