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Pizza Party

We grew up in a busy household.  With four kids, all of whom were involved in sports, music lessons, clubs, etc., and two full-time working parents, you can imagine things got a little hectic once in a while!

But our mom was a real champ, and always made sure we had a healthy, home-cooked dinner on the table for us.  You can probably all understand, though, that by the end of the week she was pretty tired of thinking up of something for dinner.  So she started a tradition that made Friday night pizza night!  Obviously this idea was not met with any resistance from us kids, because lets be real- who doesn’t love pizza?

Of course, the pizza we had on these nights were of the store-bought variety since making pizza from scratch would kind of defeat the whole purpose of not having to cook that night, but that didn’t bother us one bit.  Heck, if our mom wanted us to eat pizza every Friday night we sure weren’t going to complain about it!

This tradition has continued over the years, and while we don’t have pizza every Friday, we still like to bring it back once in a while.  But we like to do it with a little bit of flair 😉

We consider ourselves pretty lucky because our family isn’t stuck on classic pepperoni and cheese- they like to get a little more adventurous with their pizza, which is much more fun for us!  So for our pizza night, we made not one, but two pizzas!

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For the first of these two pizzas, we capitalized on our family’s love of Thai food, and made a Chicken Satay Pizza.

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When we told our brothers what it was, they shrugged and said “We don’t know what ‘satay’ means, but it tastes like Thai food on a pizza!”. Well said, bros, well said.

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This particular pizza is also a bit of a “rebel pizza”, because it breaks pizza rule #1: Cheese! This pizza has no cheese whatsoever. We know, we know, what’s a pizza without cheese? Normally, we’d agree, but you’re just going to have to trust us on this one – this pie doesn’t need it! In fact, we don’t think our brothers even noticed it was missing. 😉

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Chicken Satay Pizza

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: 1 large pizza (8-12 slices)

Ingredients:

1.5-2 lbs whole wheat pizza dough
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced
parsley

1/3 c. all-natural (no salt or sugar added) peanut butter*
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp siracha (or other hot sauce)
1/4 c. water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a large pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Roll out the pizza dough until it fits the size of the pan.  Brush with olive oil.

In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and siracha.  Stir until smooth.  Slowly add the water, stirring until the sauce becomes smooth and drippy.  Spoon about 2-3 tbsp of the sauce onto the pizza crust.  Top with chicken and vegetables.

Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and drizzle with remaining sauce.  Return to the oven and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the bottom of the pizza is firm.  Top with parsley.

*You can use whatever peanut butter you have on hand, however it might change the consistency of the sauce a bit, and your sauce will probably taste a little sweeter.

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And now on to pizza #2: Caramelized Onion BBQ Chicken Pizza!

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We really can’t say enough about this pizza!  It is a little more work than the satay pizza, but oh man it is 100% worth the effort!

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In fact, this was probably the favourite of the two if you asked our brothers.  Us? We’re still on the fence, but that’s not really surprising, now is it? 😉

Caramelized Onion BBQ Chicken Pizza

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: 1 large pizza (8-12 slices)

Ingredients:

1/2 large white onion
1.5 tbsp olive oil

1.5-2 lbs whole wheat pizza dough
1-2 tsp olive oil

1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 c. extra-old cheddar cheese
Cilantro

1/2 c. diced pineapple
1/2 c. tomato paste
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
4 drops liquid smoke
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp molasses
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat.  Slice the onion into thin strips and add to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 20-25 minutes, until the onions are browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

While the onions are caramelizing, prepare your sauce.  Add all sauce ingredients (pineapple, tomato paste, etc.) to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a large pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Roll the dough into a large circle to fit the pan.  Brush with a little olive oil.  Spread the sauce over the pizza, top with chicken, caramelized onions and cheese.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and is firm on the bottom.  Top with cilantro.

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As you can see, we didn’t include a recipe for pizza dough.  Truth is, we did in fact make our own dough, but it didn’t turn out exactly the way we wanted it to, so you’ll have to wait for the perfect whole wheat pizza crust 😉  For now, feast on pizza made with store-bought dough! It’s all about the toppings anyways, right?

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So the question is… creamy, peanut-lime taste-of-Thailand?

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Or sweet-and smokey back yard barbecue?

You decide.

~twosaucysisters

Smokey Greens

So now you all have coleslaw marinating in your fridge, right? 😉

Before we continue, though, let’s remind ourselves of the feast meal our family enjoyed the other day…

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Yesterday we gave you our creamy coleslaw recipe, so today we’re moving on to the other side [of the plate] to talk about collard greens!

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We suppose now is as good a time as any to explain to you the inspiration behind this meal.  There’s a restaurant near our house called Memphis Fire Barbecue Company.  Our brothers and father discovered it sometime while we were away at school.  We came home one weekend and they were all excited about this great new place and couldn’t wait for us to try it!  We were a little skeptical because the whole “meat, meat and more meat” thing isn’t really our scene- not that we don’t like meat, just not in such large quantities, you know?  But when we got home late from work and really didn’t feel like cooking anything we caved and agreed to order-in some Memphis.

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So now you’re probably expecting us to say that we were blown away and couldn’t believe that we had ever thought we wouldn’t like it, aren’t you?  The truth is, we weren’t.  Like we said, large amounts of meat really aren’t our thing.  We liked it well enough, but we weren’t head-over-heals for it or anything.  Our brothers, of course, were in heaven!

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The funny thing is, though, is that while the pulled pork was definitely the star of the show, our brothers couldn’t stop raving about the collard greens!  We had to agree with them, they were pretty tasty!  Of course, they were cooked in a fairly large amount of butter, and there were salty bacon bits in them, so they weren’t exactly the healthiest greens we’ve ever eaten.

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But we knew that they could easily be healthified (yup-that’s a word) and still taste great!  How did we do it?  First off, we decreased the butter (confession: we had no butter left over in the house so we used margarine) and used low-sodium vegetable stock to help with the wilting process and give the greens a little more flavour.  Also, since we don’t really like bacon all that much (we know, we know, we’re crazy) we left it out and instead used some liquid smoke to achieve that coveted smokey flavour that bacon imparts on the collard greens.  Toss in some garlic et voila! You have healthy, tasty collard greens!

Collard Greens

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Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of collard greens
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Melt butter or margarine in a large pan over medium heat.

Chop the collard greens into thick strips.  Add the chopped greens and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until slightly wilted (about 5 minutes).  Add the stock and liquid smoke and continue to cook until the greens are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and season with a dash of salt.

~twosaucysisters

What restaurants does your family love?  Have you ever had collard greens before?

On the Creamy Side

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This, friends, is the meal our family had the other night, and yes, it was just as awesome as it looks! Pulled pork, collard greens, creamy coleslaw and pumpkin corn bread- we truly feasted that night!  You see, whenever we come home for an extended period of time we like to start off the time with a bang and make a meal that wows the crowd.  This, of course, is sometimes a problem because with our busy schedules we obviously can’t keep this up on a daily basis. Then we’re left wondering what to make for dinner for the next few days because we can’t think of anything to top it!  And trust us, this one will be hard to beat!

In an attempt not to overwhelm you with awesomeness, we will be bringing you this meal in stages, starting with the coleslaw!

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We had half a head of green cabbage sitting in our fridge with the intention of using it for Heather’s Meatless Monday link-up, but then we ended up working for two days at 7:30 in the morning shoveling dirt clogs off golfing greens, so we just didn’t end up getting the recipe onto the blog in time.  Oops!

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Anyways, there’s really not a whole lot to say about this coleslaw, other than that it’s creamy, tangy, and delicious!  It’s a great side dish for and backyard summer barbecue (which are starting to happen all around the neighbourhood- we can’t walk out of the house without smelling someone’s grill-tastic dinner!) because it’s cool and creamy, which is exactly what you want in a summer salad!

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It’s also much healthier than a traditional coleslaw, thanks to some good ol’ plain yogurt!

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It may seem like an oxy-moron to say that this salad was both creamy and crunchy, but there really is no other way to describe it!  Add a little zing with some mustard and you’re on your way!

So today was coleslaw, tomorrow’s collard greens, and then we’re on to the grand finale!  Start gathering your ingredients now, folks, because by the time we’re finished you’ll have the makings for an a-maz-ing meal!

Creamy Coleslaw

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Prep Time: 20 min
Total time: 50 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1/2 large head of green cabbage
1 large carrot

1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. +2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery seed
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Shred cabbage using a grater or mandolin if you have one.  Peel and grate the carrot.  Toss both in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, vinegar, honey, mustard, paprika, celery seed and pepper.  Add this to the cabbage and carrots and mix until fully incorporated and there are no dry spots.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.  This salad can be made a day in advance if you wish.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like coleslaw?  What do you make when you’re trying to create a memorable meal for loved ones?

Empty Pantry, Open Mind

When we’re away at school, we get very used to the ingredients that we always have on hand, plus we have the ability to pick up something new or interesting on a whim while grocery shopping. When we go home for a weekend, it’s always a slightly awkward adjustment, because at home our family doesn’t keep nearly the variety of ingredients we do in their fridge and cupboard. Combine that with the inconvenient long-weekend grocery store hours of last weekend, and you’ve got yourself severely under-stocked pantries. Thankfully, our Dad is a forward-thinker and does his best to pick up some of the veggies and other items that he knows we like to have, however we never quite know what there will be until we get home, and we usually don’t know exactly what we’re going to make, so we can’t always give him the heads up!

This calls for some serious creativity!

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When we arrived on Easter weekend, we found chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and orange juice. Naturally, we decided to put them all together!

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In case you didn’t know, sweet-potato and orange is a fantastic combination! This sweet potato-carrot mash is quite reminiscent of one of our favourite sides  by one of our favourite bloggers, just with a citrus and sweet potato twist! Just as delicious, we assure you!

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It was a beautiful weekend, perfect weather to fire up the grill, so to go along with the citrus theme of the sweet potato-carrot mash, we made a honey-orange glaze and gave it to our Dad to spread on the chicken while barbeque-ing. It turned out fantastic, with that great off-the-grill taste mixed with the fresh sweetness of oranges.

Dinner-time perfection! 🙂

Orange-Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash

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Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 45 min
Serves: 5

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

5 medium sized boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. 100% orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic salt
ground black pepper

For the Mash:

2 large sweet potatoes
5 medium sized carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 white onion
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp milk of choice
1 tbsp orange juice

Directions:

For the chicken:

In a small frying pan, combine the orange juice and honey. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until it reduces by half, about 10min. Stir in the rosemary, garlic salt and pepper.
Pre-heat the grill to medium-low, brush both sides of the chicken with the glaze and grill for approximately 30min, flipping every 10min, until cooked through.

For the mash: 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
Chop the sweet potatoes and carrots into 1-inch peices. Toss the sweet potato, carrots and garlic cloves with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 35-45 min or until soft and mash-able.

Meanwhile, heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Slice onion into thin strips and place in the pan. Cook for 20min, stirring frequently, until caramelized.
Once the vegetables are finished in the oven and the onions are caramelized, transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until there are only a few large pieces left. Add the yogurt, milk and orange juice and whip with electric beaters until somewhat smooth with a few chunks.

Serve along side your favourite vegetables and enjoy.

~twosaucysisters

What do you do when your pantry or fridge is running low?

 

Taco Time

When my dad went to the grocery store the other day, chicken thighs were on sale, so he picked up a package.  Chicken thighs are already cheaper than the breasts, so when they go on sale they’re an even bigger money-saver.  The thighs, however, are often given a bad wrap for being higher in fat than the breast, which of course, is true.  In all honesty I prefer the breast because of that reason- I’m not a huge fan of all the extra blubber hanging off the thighs- gross.  The meat itself is also a bit darker, and I prefer light meat, so the breast is usually my cut of choice.

That being said, there definitely is a place for chicken thighs, even in a healthy diet.  It just takes a little more creativity.

What are those, you ask?  Why, pulled chicken tacos, of course!

As we have mentioned before, both Julie and I are not overly fond of pork.  Our brothers, though, really love pulled-pork, so this is our compromise.  And here, my friends, is where chicken thighs have found their niche!  You see, in this recipe, the chicken itself doesn’t have to look pretty, because you’re going to be shredding it up anyways, so you can rip it apart and mangle it up as much as you want to cut out a majority of that nasty excess fat that has found its way into all of the nooks and crannies of the thigh.  At the end, if your chicken looks like it got in a fight with a lawn-mower, it doesn’t matter!  The process of cutting out the fat is a little long and tedious, but it is very worth it in the end.

Now, some of you may be thinking that by cutting out all of the fat we will lose all of the moisture.  Ordinarily you would be correct, but in this dish, it is the sauce that is the real show-stopper, and completely makes up for any moisture loss.

Before I go any further with the tacos, though, there is one other component of this meal that deserves some attention.  Because what is a good taco without a little salsa?

We served our tacos with peach salsa and honestly, this may have been my favourite part of the meal!  Julie and I both were eating this stuff with just a spoon, it was that good.  The peaches were perfectly ripe, and the sweet juiciness of them complimented the tacos pefectly.  There isn’t really a whole lot I can say to describe how delicious it really was, so you’ll just have to make it yourself!

This salsa was so fresh tasting, and it was super simple to make.  It would be really good with tortilla chips as a snack to bring to parties, if you’re willing to share it 😉

Summertime Peach Salsa

Prep: 10 min

Makes: 1.5-2 c.

Ingredients:

1 tomato, diced

1 peach, peeled and diced

1/4 c. diced red pepper

1/4 c. diced green pepper

1/4 c. diced hot peppers (we used banana peppers)

1/3 c. diced white or red onion

1 garlic scape, diced

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Easy, right?

And now on to the main event!

The first step is making your sauce and pouring it into a slow cooker with the chicken.

   Slow cooker meals are great in the summer time, because when you look outside and the sun is shining, the sky is a perfect blue with hardly a cloud and the thermometer is telling you that its the perfect weather for swimming, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours in the kitchen.

  The Slow cooker is the perfect solution.  It does all the work for you while you can enjoy the beautiful weather outside.

Julie and I call our slow cooker Ol’ Faithful.  She’s got a few chips and cracks, a few scratches, and is probably older than we are, but she has never failed us.  Never burns our food, never under-cooks anything.  Whatever we put in there always comes out moist and flavourful.  The day this one kicks the bucket will be a day of mourning for us, i’m afraid.

But I digress.

The next step is making your taco shells.  Of course, you can buy taco shells, but we often find them to be too salty.  Instead, we like to use small, 8-inch tortillas. Here’s what we did:

Insert a toothpick into each tortilla to hold them open, then bake them at 350 for 10 minutes.  What we forgot to do: roll up a ball of tin foil and place it inside each tortilla to keep them from collapsing inward when baked.  They still turn out crispy and delicious, you just have to pry them open a bit to get any filling inside.  The tin foil on the inside will help you to avoid any cracked shells.

The pulled chicken is really delicious, and you don’t just have to do tacos.  We’ve made it before and put in on a bun, on salad, in wraps- it’s very versatile!  This is one of our family’s favourite meals, so we hope you enjoy!

Pulled Chicken

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 3-8 hours*

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 c. tomato paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp worchestershire sauce

1 tsp chipotle puree (chipotle peppers in adobo sauce blended until smooth)

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp molasses1/2 c. water

1 tbsp corn starch

1 large package of chicken thighs

Directions:

Open up the chicken thighs and remove the excess fat. Place in the slow-cooker.

Combine all other ingredients except for corn starch in a separate bowl, stirring until smooth.  Add the sauce to the slow cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker shred it using 2 forks.

Meanwhile, pour the sauce into a sauce pan and add the corn starch, whisking quickly to avoid clumps.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add shredded chicken to the sauce and stir until evenly coated.  Serve over buns, in tacos, over salad, etc.

Enjoy!

~Brittany @ twosaucysisters

Do you like pulled pork?

What is your favourite slow-cooker recipe?

Pork n’ Beans

Such a classic combination.

Of course, we really like the bean part, better. Actually, we’d prefer the beans sans-pork.  You see, we’re not really pork people.  We don’t like bacon, and we find pork often has just too much blubber, even the lean cuts.

But then, we had a brain-wave! What’s the best way to have meat? In a burger, of course!

A Pork n’ Beans burger. De-ee-licious!

First, let’s talk about the beans. They were sweet, savoury, tangy and rich, while still being entirely healhy, not full of the added salt and sugar of canned baked beans.  They were so buttery tasting, it was heaven! Not to mention they are really easy to make. Toss everything in the slow cooker at noon and you’ve got delicious beans by dinner.

These were so friggin delicious- we wished we had made at least a quadruple batch of them!  We’re pretty certain that we could’ve polished off four times the amount we made between just the two of us.  They were that good.

Slow-Cooker “Baked” Beans

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: ~4hrs

Ingredients:

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 c. crushed tomatoes (we used no-salt added)

1/4 c. molasses

2 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Worchester Sauce

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and stir to mix evenly.  Cook for 2 hours on high and then 2 hours on low.

And now to the burgers!

Oh baby! Now this is how pork should be eaten.

Stacked up…

Squished down!

As it is obvious, we enjoyed these burgers pool-side. Is there really any other way to have a burger in the summer?

These burgers are great because they are purely meat and beans, with some extra ingredients for flavour. No eggs, no breadcrumbs. We are able to do this because of the same burger trick that we used when we made the Curry Burgers. With this trick, our burgers never fall apart on the grill! The trick? Blend half of the meat (and beans, in this case) in the food processor, making a paste-like mixture that acts like glue to keep the burgers together.  You then add the rest of the meat and slightly mashed up beans to the paste by hand.

   

We weighed the batter, and figured out that using 2lbs of ground pork and one can of beans, each patty should weigh 5.5 – 5.6 ounces.

This gave us ten big, delicious burgers. Leftovers, anyone?

Topped with our “baked” beans, ladies and gentlemen, this is summer at it’s absolute finest.  It really doesn’t get better than this- unless, of course, the meal ended with something chocolate… which may have happened 😉

Omnomnomnom

Good to the last bite.

Pork n’ Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

2 lbs. lean ground pork

1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp worchester sauce

1 tbsp molasses

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 clove garlic

Directions:

In the food processor, blend 1 lb of ground pork, 2/3 of the can of beans, the molasses, worchester, maple syrup, and garlic until you have a sticky paste.

In a large bowl, slightly mash up the remaining beans.  Add the other pound of pork, along with the meat and bean mixture and mix together with your hands.

Form into patties (ours weighed 5.5-5.6 oz each)

Grill on low for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Top with slow-cooker baked beans, and any other toppings you desire!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like pork and beans? What’s your favourite  way to eat them?

A Restaurant Review and an Excellent Summer Recipe!

Today, we were celebrating our 20th birthday (a month and a half early!) with our Mother. Having just retired from 33 years of teaching, our mom is moving out to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and we couldn’t be happier for her! She’s really excited to start this new chapter of her life, and we can’t wait to hear all about the adventures she is about to embark on.

To celebrate our birthday, we decided to try out a restaurant that we had never been to before: The Naked Sprout! It is a 100% vegan and partly raw restaurant located in Burlington, Ontario. We first heard about it when reading Angela’s blog, who spoke highly of it. She was definitely correct! This restaurant is seriously delicious! And the best part about the three of us going together? We get to try three items off the menu 😉 Sharing is caring!

Our mom ordered Pete’s Protein Bowl. Oh. My. Goodness. All three of us LOVED it! It was brown rice, tempeh, sweet potato, broccoli, sprouts, and a giant blob of hummus. It was so tasty, in fact, that we are going to re-create it at home! Expect a recipe 🙂 .

Brit got the Perky Pizza. This was a raw dish, with a carrot-flax crust and the chef’s daily creation on top.  Today’s was a huge heaping of spinach, onions, grated beats, and sprouts all on a base of a tomato marinara sauce. Here we must mention the only thing that erked me (Julie) the entire time: Our waitress pronounced tomatoes to – MAT-oes. Mat, as in the thing you wipe your feet on, or the boys’ name. Drove. Me. NUTS! But the pizza was incredible so I’ll let it slide, not to mention the cute young chef cooking behind the counter 😉 .

Julie got the Twisted Tacos, also a raw meal. The shell was the same as the pizza “dough”, and the “meat” was made of sunflower seeds. The likeness to ground beef was uncanny! In the taco was also fresh tomatoes, avocado, and sprouts, served with cashew “sour cream” on the side. Yum yum yum!

Of course, we could not leave without having dessert! We shared a slice of the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake. Oh my word was this good! One of the best cheesecakes I have ever had, and there was no cheese! This cheesecake was raw with no sugar and a nut crust (grain free!). To go along with that, we also shared the Mocha Mud Slide smoothie. It was also to die for! Made with half brazil nut milk and half chocolate chai tea, we were in heaven.

Long story short: If you live close within a 100 mile radius of this restaurant, you MUST go! If you don’t, what better excuse to come visit southern Ontario? 😉

On with the rest of today’s post, after having such a delicious lunch, dinner was under a lot of pressure. Problem? It’s one thousand million degrees out today. Solution? Gazpacho!

No ovens or stove-tops required! Served along with barbecued grilled cheese, and you’ve got the perfect winter-turned summer combination.

We’ve had a love-hate relationship with gazpacho. We see it in pictures, and it looks like it should be delicious, but every time we eat it, it tastes like cold soup that would be so much better if it were heated up! Until now. There are certain rules that must be followed in order to have a good gazpacho.

1. All ingredients must be fresh. (No canned tomatoes here).

2. You have to have a proper balance between acidic (ex. tomatoes) and sweet flavours (ex. apples) or it simply won’t work.

3. It has to be hot out, because if you make it went it’s cold, you’ll just sit there wondering why you’re eating cold soup on a cold day. Confused? So are we.

We wanted to take a classic winter comfort meal, tomato soup and grilled cheese, and give it a summertime makeover. So today’s gazpacho was tomato, with grilled cheese on the bbq. Throw in an apple for sweetness, cucumber for freshness, basil for spice and salsa for kick, and BAM you’ve got a winner!

BBQ= Summer. Doing the grilled cheese on the barbecue just made sense. To maintain the fresh factor, we forwent the traditional butter and brushed our bread with olive oil. We went to Whole Foods this afternoon and had this beautiful loaf of sourdough bread, so these grilled cheese are Extra-Old Cheddar, deli ham and spring mix (gotta get those greens!) on sourdough. Oh baby this was unreal! We are lovers of grilled cheese, this was on a whole new playing field.

  

So if it’s hot where you live, make this gazpacho. If it’s not…. crank the heat and make this gazpacho 🙂 .

Tomato Gazpacho and Barbecued Grilled Cheese

Serves: 6

Total Time: 10 min*

Ingredients:

8 medium fresh tomatoes

2/3 large english cucumber

1 apple, peeled (any variety, we used Royal Gala)

1/4 large white onion

2 cloves garlic

3 sprigs fresh basil

2/3 c. salsa

2/3 c. vegetable stock

1/4 c. water

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp salt

Pepper, to taste.

1 extra tomato

extra 1/3 of cucumber

For the Grilled Cheese:

12 slices bread (we used sourdough)

Extra Old Cheddar Cheese (or any cheese you’d like!)

Deli Ham (optional)

Spring mix (optional)

Olive oil

Directions:

Roughly chop all vegetables and place in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and blend with a hand blender until somewhat smooth, with a grainy texture and some chunks. Finely dice extra tomato and cucumber and stir into soup. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before serving. Top with sweet relish, if desired.

For the Grilled Cheese: Pre-heat barbecue to medium heat.  Spread outsides of bread with olive oil.  Place cheese and desired fillings on one slice (olive oil side out!) and top with second slice (again, olive oil side out!).  Place on grill, flip once toasted, golden with grill marks.

*Does not include chilling time for the soup.

– twosaucysisters

Do you like gazpacho?

What’s your favourite meal to beat the summer heat?