Black Bean Taco Salad

Who doesn’t love a good taco salad? This recipe is so easy and chockful of flavour! I love to add shredded cheese and taco seasoning to the meat!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 6 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Frying Pan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Can opener

The Recipe

Time: 20 min. prep

Servings: 4

Calories/ 1 1/2 cups: ~ 672

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 cups torn leaf lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup Catalina salad dressing
  • 4 cups nacho-flavoured tortilla chips

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomato, beans and beef. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
  2. Arrange tortilla chips on a serving plate; top with beef mixture.

Slow-Cooked Southwest Chicken

There is nothing better than having dinner ready when you get home from work. This is a great quick and healthy slow-cooker dinner for those busy weekdays. All you have to do is make some rice when you get home, easy peasy! Recipe comes from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 15 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Slow Cooker
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Rice cooker or stove pot
  • Forks
  • Mixing spoon

The Recipe

Time: 15 min. prep

Servings: 6

Calories/cup: ~ 320

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained (I couldn’t find them together so I just bought a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies separately)
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 jar (8 ounces) chunky salsa
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • Optional: Lime wedge and fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. In a 2- or 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the beans, broth, tomatoes, chicken, salsa, corn and seasonings. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
  2. Shred chicken with two forks and return to the slow cooker; heat through. Serve with rice. If desired, serve with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.

Cream Cheese & Chive Omelet

This is a great quick breakfast for dinner meal. I love the creamy texture the cream cheese gives it but you could use cheddar instead if you like. Add some avocado & toast and you have yourself a meal! This recipe comes from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 15 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 7 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Large Skillet
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spatula for flipping egg

The Recipe

Time: 15 min. prep

Servings: 2

Calories/serving: ~ 305

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • Salsa

Directions:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs, chives, water, salt and pepper. Add egg mixture to skillet (mixture should set immediately at edges).
  2. As eggs set, push cooked edges toward the center, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When the eggs are set, sprinkle cream cheese on one side; fold other side over filling. Slide omelet onto a plate; cut in half. Serve with salsa.

Greek Salmon & Zucchini

This recipe is so easy! Big on flavour and full of healthy & fresh ingredients. I adapted it slightly from Half Baked Harvest’s Super Simple cookbook. I definitely recommend getting salmon fillets from Costco, they are just so juicy and thick! I love Greek flavoured dishes and this one does not disappoint! Give it a try! You won’t be sorry 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 10 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 13 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Parchment paper
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl/spoon
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Baking sheets

The Recipe

Time: ~10 min. prep

Servings: 4

Calories/serving: ~ 534 – 636

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small russet potato
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 4 (6-8 ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • feta cheese (for sprinkling)
  • crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, dill, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  3. Rip 4 pieces of parchment paper or tinfoil. Lay them flat on a clean work surface. On one half of one packet, arrange one-fourth of the potato slices in an even layer (about the size of your piece of fish) and season with salt and pepper. Layer one-fourth of the zucchini on top of the potato and season with salt and pepper. Place one salmon fillet on top of the zucchini, drizzle with the olive oil mixture, and top with 2 lemon slices. Repeat with the remaining parchment and ingredients.
  4. To seal the packets, fold the bare half of the parchment over the salmon and fold in the open edges twice. Place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are tender, 25-30 min.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the packets to plates and open carefully, tearing away and discarding the top half of the paper. Serve with crumbled feta and red pepper flakes.

BALSAMIC CHICKEN SALAD

This salad is so so good! and EASY! I can’t rave enough about it! With a little over 20 minutes prep work you can’t beat it. Balsamic sauce with fresh tomatoes, chicken and basil… yummm… I like to add goat cheese or feta for a little extra 😉 This recipe comes from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 21 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 9 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Large Skillet
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Mixing spoon

The Recipe

Time: ~21 min. prep

Servings: 4-6

Calories/serving (6): ~ 226

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each), cut into 3-inch strips
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (or grape)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté chicken in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same skillet, bring vinegar to a boil. Add the chicken, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper and remaining oil; cook and stir until heated through. Divide salad greens among six plates; top with chicken mixture.

Tropical Muffins

These muffins are delicious! If you are looking for a new and unique muffin recipe this is fantastic. The muffins are so moist you don’t need to add anything to them. One bite and this muffin will take you back to that sunny, breezy island you once went to for vacation. Enjoy!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20 min. prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Muffin pan
  • Muffin cups (optional)
  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer
  • Can opener
  • Spoon
  • Measuring spoons/cups

The Recipe

Time: 20 min. prep + 22 – 25 min baking = 45 min.

Servings: 12

Calories/serving: ~ 225

I got this recipe from Taste of Home.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract (you could use vanilla extract instead)
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (227 ml) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream and extract.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture just until moistened.
  3. Fold in the pineapple, coconut and pecans.
  4. Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Decadent Fudge Cake

This cake is soo good! So moist and so chocolatey! There is 3 different kinds of chocolate and another great recipe for using up buttermilk. All you chocoholics out there will love it. Definitely a crowd pleaser! I got the recipe from Taste of Home and I highly recommend it. It’ll definitely be making it again. I served it with a sparkling wine for any of you looking for a wine pairing 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • ~30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 12 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can find at the grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • 10-in. fluted tube pan
  • Mixing bowls for melting

The Recipe

Time: ~30 min. prep + 1 1/4 hours bake time = 1 hour 45 min. total

Servings: 16

Calories/serving: ~ 519

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Cream butter in a large bowl. Gradually mix in sugar. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine buttermilk and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with flour, beginning and ending with flour. Add melted chocolate, chocolate syrup and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup miniature chocolate chips. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325F for 1-1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Immediately invert cake onto a serving plate; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave, melt white chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly; drizzle over cake. Melt remaining chips and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Drizzle over white chocolate.

Cedar-Plank Salmon

Cedar-planked salmon is one of my favourite ways to cook salmon in the summer. I recently found a pack of 4-5 cedar planks at Costco for a reasonable price but unfortunately they are just too thin and catch fire no matter how long you soak them. I recommend investing in a thicker cedar plank. This recipe has so much flavour and it is pretty easy! If you’ve never had salmon cooked on a cedar-plank before give it a shot because you’ll never want to eat Salmon another way! I got the recipe from LCBO Food & Drink.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 7. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 11 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring spoons
  • Barbecue

The Recipe

Time: ~7 min. prep + 30 min. soak time + 20 min. cook time = ~ 1 hour

Servings: 6-8

Calories/serving: ~ 278-371

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed (I use minced)
  • 3 c2 tbsp (30 mL) grainy mustard
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ketchup
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lb (1 kg) salmon fillet
  • 1 soaked cedar plank (soak at minimum for 30 min. but longer is better)
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Combine mustard, ketchup, olive oil, rosemary, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over fish, then cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat barbecue to high.
  3. Place soaked cedar plank on grill and grill, with lid down, for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can smell or see smoke. Immediately flip plank and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Place fish on plank, skin-side down. Close barbecue lid and grill for 12 to 15 minutes, until fish is just cooked. Remove plank from grill and slip fish onto a serving platter.

Grilled Veggies

You gotta have some favourite grill recipes when it’s summertime. This is my favourite way to cook veggies in the summer and a staple side dish at our house. You’ll need a grill basket and I have linked one you can buy HERE. I have given measurements below but usually I just guess and you can add more or less of any veggie you want. Then you top it off with feta or goat cheese. It is simply fresh and delicious!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 11 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Grill basket
  • Tinfoil
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Barbecue
  • Spoon

The Recipe

Time: 30 min. prep + 30 min. grill = 1 hour total

Servings: 8

Calories/serving: ~ 108

Ingredients:

  • 1 Zucchini
  • Mushrooms (227 g)
  • 2 Green peppers
  • 2 Red peppers
  • 1/2 – 1 Red onion
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Pepper sauce (optional)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 crumbled feta or goat cheese (or however much you want!)

Directions:

  1. Line grill basket with tinfoil. Chop vegetables into pieces and put in grill basket.
  2. Toss with olive oil, a few sprinkles of pepper sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Grill 25-30 minutes or until vegetables look cooked/charred.
  4. Put in a bowl after grilling and add feta or goat cheese and toss.

Strawberry Lemonade Scones

These scones are fantastic! Definitely do the lemon curd! I got a recipe for one HERE and it works well for me. These are a great recipe for a summer breakfast treat and for using fresh strawberries that come in June!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Grater
  • Basting brush

The Recipe

Time: 30 min. prep + 20 – 25 min. bake = 55 min. total

Servings: 8

Calories/scone: ~ 305

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsps. sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream (half and half, table, heavy, etc. all will work)

TOPPING:

  • sugar or sanding sugar
  • cream (any cream will do)
  • lemon curd

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender (or hands or food processor), cut in butter cubes until mixture has coarse crumbs. Gently add strawberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs and cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Gently stir until moistened.
  3. Place dough onto a well floured surface. Gently knead the dough by folding and pressing it quite a few times, turning the dough a quarter turn after each fold. Move dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet (or stoneware baking sheet without parchment). Pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and separate each slightly.
  4. Brush wedges with cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar or regular sugar. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle scones with lemon curd.