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Just Peachy!

It’s August in Ontario. Know what that means?

Peach Season!

One of our absolute favourite times of year, especially living in an area that is well known for the peaches that grow here. We even have a festival specifically for them, where they serve the world’s best (yes, we said it) peach sundaes. In fact, the peaches here are so good that we only eat peaches this time of year. To buy some overpriced  picked-way-before-it’s-ripe peach that’s shipped thousands of miles and isn’t even that good of peach would be doing this magnificent fruit such injustice!

No, we will only eat fresh Ontario Peaches. Call us princesses, we don’t care!

We’ve made Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal, Fish Fingers with a Peach Dipping Sauce, a Peach Blondie Breakfast Parfait, Peach Pancakes a La Mode, Peach Raspberry Overnight Oats, Peach Salsa, Peach-Tomato Chutney and so much more! But for today’s post, we thought we’d play up the sweeter side of a peach…

DSCN6329So we made Peach Crumble Bars!

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Using an old date square recipe, we came up with a healthy treat that’s not only delicious, but actually stays together!

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Now don’t get us wrong, they are still Peach Crumble bars, meaning the crumb topping can get a little messy. Unlike many date square recipes we come across, however, they are not dry or overly sweet.

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This recipe took more than one trial to get right, and frankly, we’re proud of the results! The first time we made them, they were a little too salty and just a tad on the dry side – neither of which stopped our family from gobbling them up anyways! We knew that with just a couple minor tweaks here and there, they would be perfect!

DSCN6319So go buy yourself some fresh, local peaches and celebrate the season with a peachy treat! 🙂

Peach Crumble Bars

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Prep time: 20-30min
Bake time: 30-35min
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

6 ripe, medium sized peaches
2 tbsp honey

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. ground nuts (we used almonds and walnuts)
2 c. oats
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c. + 1tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Peel and slice the peaches. Toss with honey and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Melt the coconut oil and combine with honey or maple syrup. Mix into the dry ingredients until there are no dry patches and you have a somewhat crumbly mixture.
Remove 2 cups of the crumble mixture and set aside.
Spread the remaining oat mixture in the bottom of a greased 9X9inch square baking pan. Using the back of a lifter/spatula, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Pour the honeyed peaches over the top and spread evenly across the pan. Take the reserved 2 cups of oat mixture and sprinkle it evenly over the top.
Bake for 30-35min, or until the crumb begins to turn a golden brown.

~twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite way to enjoy fresh peaches?

**ps- we will be away all this week at Cross Country Training camp, so we apologize in advance if we do not respond to any comments/questions right away, we will be sure to read them as soon as we return!  Have a great week everybody!

Noodle Bowl!

This is another one of those recipes that we’ve made a zillion times and we’re only now getting around to blogging about it.

Every time it went like this:

Question: “Are we going to take pictures of this for the blog this time?”
Answer: “Hmmm, we probably should…”
Reply: “Yeah I guess, but I kinda just want to eat it.”
Reply: “Me too- we can just make it again later and take pictures then”

And with that we would tuck into our bowls full of yummy noodle-y goodness and you would all unknowingly be kept in the dark for another couple of weeks before we made it again.

Until today, that is, because we finally managed to snap a few photos for you!

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This is basically a bowl full of veggies, fish, and lots and lots of noodles!  So what did we decide to call it?  Noodle Bowl!  Fitting, right? 🙂

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We found these really cool spinach vermicelli noodles at the No Frills (sometimes that place surprises us!) and they are what originally inspired this dish.  We’ve also made it with regular vermicelli noodles, and it would probably work really well with other types, too, like angel hair pasta, for instance- whatever you happen to have on hand, basically.

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And the best part is that this dish is extremely simple!  (Apparently our new Sunday tradition is leaking out into the rest of the week?)  There’s basically 4 steps to creating this meal: cook the noodles, cook the fish and veggies, heat up the broth, dump everything in a bowl.  Done and done!

Simple, delicious, nutritious – an extremely corny and cliche way of describing this bowl of awesome, but truthful, none the less. 🙂

Szechuan-style White Fish Noodle Bowl

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Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 15min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

 2 fillets of your favourite white fish
3 tsp + 1 tbsp hoisin sauce (we made our own using this recipe, but have also used store-bought, with the same results!)
2 tsp coconut oil

1/2 c. white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 c. veggies of choice, diced or cut into thin strips*
2 c. kale
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
1/2 tbsp peanut butter
pepper
2 c. vegetable stock

2 bunches of Vermicelli Noodles**

Peanuts
Hot Sauce

Directions:

Melt coconut oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. With the first 3tsp of hoisin sauce, coat both sides of the fish fillets. Cook on both sides for 2-3min, or until fish is blackened and cooked through. Remove from pan and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Fill a pot with about 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook for 2-3min, or until soft. Strain and set aside.

While water is heating, add some more coconut oil to your frying pan on medium-high. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, then add the rest of your vegetables, except the kale. Once the vegetables have cooked down some (about 3min), add the kale, peanut butter, final tablespoon of hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and pepper. Stir in fish.

In a separate bowl, heat stock in microwave (or in a pot on the stove, if you’d prefer) until hot. Divide noodles between two bowls and put fish and vegetable mixture on top. Pour hot vegetable stock over the noodles and vegetables, top with peanuts  and hot sauce (if desired) and serve.

*For our vegetables, we used peppers, zucchini, frozen mixed vegetables and mushrooms.

** Vermicelli noodles typically come in several bunches in a bag.

~twosaucysisters

Strange Bananas

Have you ever tried a plantain banana?

Up until about a month ago, we had not.  We were both always a little leery of trying them, because let’s be honest, they kind of look like mutant, over-grown bananas that never really ripened properly- not exactly something that entices you to pick them off the shelf.

But then we saw this recipe: Creamy Pantain and Coconut Chicken by Sonia, the Healthy Foodie.

We knew the instant we saw this recipe that we had to get over our trepidation about plantain bananas.  And boy are we glad we did!

And of course once we had made her recipe, we knew we had to put our own spin on it…

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And since it’s nearing the end of February and we’re craving a little warmth and sunshine, it only made sense to make a tropical version!

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And what comes to mind when you think tropical?  Pineapple and coconut!

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Of course, plantain bananas are already a tropical fruit, so the whole thing came together quite naturally- and deliciously, of course! 🙂

Tropical Plantain Chicken
Inspired by The Healthy Foodie

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Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 large chicken breast
1 large Plantain Banana
1/3 large onion, diced
2/3 c. diced sweet peppers (red, orange, yellow)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. pineapple juice
2/3 c. diced pineapple
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut
salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat a small amount of olive or coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Slice the chicken into strips, and put in the pan.  Saute the chicken until the pieces are browned on all sides, then remove fro the pan (it’s ok if it’s not fully cooked- you’ll be adding it back in later).

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the onions start to soften and turn translucent.   Add the peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for another minute.  Add the chicken back to the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Now add the coconut milk, pineapple juice, and pineapple to the pan.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for a couple minutes.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.  Stir in the yogurt, coconut, and salt and pepper.  (Adjust the seasonings to your tastes).  Serve over rice.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried plantain bananas?  What is your favourite way to eat them? (We’re always looking for new ideas!)

Cookies for Santa

It’s Christmas Eve day, and we made cookies.

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Really delicious ginger snap cookies.
The soft, chewy kind of ginger snap cookie.

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Sold yet? No!? What if we told you that these are healthy ginger snap cookies? (Surprise surprise) What if we told you that it’s ok for you to eat more than one of these at a time? (unless, of course, you wish for them to last for more than a day.)

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And what perfect timing: A cookie recipe the very night you have to leave cookies out for Santa. He’ll be eating a lot of cookies that night, so why not help the guy out, and give him some whole wheat, low fat, no refined sugar cookies? Pair that with a glass of low fat milk, and he’s all set for a healthy snack that’ll help him make it through all of his rounds. 😉

And so will you!

Chewy Ginger Snaps

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Prep time: 10 min
Bake time: 10-12 min
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 c. almond butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp molasses
1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Add wet to dry and stir until just combined. Roll dough into 12 balls and place them onto a prepared cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

-twosaucysisters

We hope everyone’s Christmas preparations are going well (we know we’re elbow-deep in rolls and bread baking!), and we hope that everyone has a very merry Christmas surrounded by family, friends, and of course good food! 🙂

Another Product Review + Our first Giveaway

Hello 2SS readers! 🙂

Today, we are reviewing another product!

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4h6eycjf29M

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the <a href=”http://coconutoil.com&#8221; This time, Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! Shortly after our last product review, this company contacted us and requested that we write a review for them. Naturally we were super excited and agreed. 🙂

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided us with this product to review, and we were under no obligation to review it if we so chose. Nor were we under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. 

Tropical Traditions is a great company with tonnes of products – from food to skin care, household and pet products! Their coconut oil is their main product, however they sell other oils, as well, and if you visit their website, not only can you find more information about their other products, but you can also find lots of awesome recipes.

Back to our review – we REALLY liked this coconut oil! It  is soft and creamy, making it very easy to use in a wide variety of dishes, as well as in baking. It has a much more subtle coconut smell than coconut oils we’ve used before, almost with a light toasted smell to it. It has a little bit of texture to it, yet it still remains very smooth and blends into things quite well.  When it starts to melt, it lets off that beautiful coconut aroma that we’ve come to love about cooking with coconut oil.

You can click here to watch a neat little video about cool ways to use coconut oil!

Our “tester recipe” for coconut oil is always sweet potato fries! We look at how crispy the fries turn out, and how flavourful they are. This coconut oil definitely passed the test – the fries turned out perfectly crispy, and the flavour of the coconut oil was nice and light, so that you didn’t feel like you were eating coconut fries with sweet potato oil on them! 😉

For these fries, all we did was toss them in a little bit of the coconut oil (just enough for a light coating) and some salt and pepper, and them baked them at 400 degrees for 20min, then flipped them over for the last 5min.  We would have flipped them over sooner, but we didn’t expect them to be done that soon! We had our oven on the convection setting, so they cooked a lot faster!

We dipped them in a Chilly-Cheese Sauce – our Vegan Cheese Sauce with some chilly powder, hot pepper flakes, and a drop of liquid smoke added to it. Mmmmmm – so tasty! 🙂

So – on to the giveaway!

To enter you have to:

subscribe to Tropical Tradition’s email newsletter

and do one, two, or all of the following:

 – “Like” us on Facebook

– Follow us on Twitter @twosaucysisters

– Tweet about our giveaway!

– subscribe to our blog

– Comment on this post about your favourite way to use coconut oil

– Follow us on Pinterest

– Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals

– “Like” Tropical Traditions on Facebook

– Follow Tropical Traditions on Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/troptraditions/

The contest will close on Sunday, November 4 at 10:00pm (Eastern Time Zone).

-twosaucysisters

Meatless Mondays A-Z: Figs

Hello 2SS readers!

We’re back from our weekend in Montreal, kicking off the 2012 cross country season! It was a great weekend full of fun, running, and awesome eats! We’ll be re-capping the weekend’s events tomorrow, but for now….

Meatless Monday! 🙂

This week, the letter is “F” for figs! Mmmmm figs 🙂 . We love them, they are so naturally sweet and delicious, with a little bit of texture added from their teeny-tiny little seeds. Yumm:)

We were really excited when we found out that this week was figs, as probably one of our favourite little grab-and-go snacks are fig newtons! In high school, we used to always have a package of fig newtons in the house, and they are something we’ve been wanting to try our hand at making for quite some time.

MMAZ gave us the perfect opportunity.

When buying them at the grocery store, we always got the 60% whole wheat ones, but we knew that we could do better than that!

Our fig newtons are 100% whole wheat, and contain no added sugar.  They also use coconut oil instead of butter.

They should actually be called date-and-fig newtons, because our filling has dates in it (partly to help with sweetening, but mostly because we only had one package of dried figs!).

Don’t forget to head over to Heather to check the rest of this week’s participants.

Happy Meatless Monday everyone! 🙂

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons

Prep: 30 min
Bake: 30 min
Makes: 20 squares

Ingredients:

For the Filling:

1/2 c. dried back figs
1/2 c. dates
1/2 c. water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Crust:

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. creamed honey
1 egg, brought to room temperature
1 tbsp luke-warm milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp luke-warm water, if needed

Directions:

For the Filling:

Place figs, dates, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium-low and cook until the dates and figs soften and begin to “melt”, stirring frequently and slightly crushing up the figs.  Once the water has cooked away, add the lemon juice, remove from heat and allow to cool.  Blend in the food processor to remove the chunks.

For the Crust:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, cream the honey and coconut oil.  Add the egg (the egg must be at room temperature, or else it’ll cause the coconut oil to harden) and milk and vanilla.  Combine the wet with the dry and kneed with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Ad extra water if the dough is too dry.

With a rolling pin, roll half of the dough into a square about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread fig filling on top.  Roll out the other piece of dough in the same way and place over top of the fig mixture.

Bake for 30min, until lightly browned.

-twosaucysisters

Our first Product Review+Recipe Roundup

Today’s post is going to be a little bit different, because today, we are going to do a product review! Yay! We’ve done restaurant reviews before but never a product, so hopefully you all will enjoy.

The product we are going to be talking about today is Maison Orphee‘s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.

This company has several lines of top-quality oils, mustards and vinegars,  as well as sea salts. Both Brit and I doing double majors in French and Foods and Nutrition, and Maison Orphee being a french food company, it is the perfect match for us. It’s like they know our souls… 😉 .

While we’ve never had the opportunity to try out many of their really cool oils and vinegars (toasted sesame oil say whaaa?) we have tried their mustard, and of course, their coconut oil!

Seriously, guys, this stuff is so good! We’ve used several different varieties of coconut oil, and Maison Orphee’s is hands-down our favourite! It is so smooth and creamy, and adds such wonderful flavours and aromas to whatever you use it in!

We love to use it in stir-frys, curries, chocolate desserts… the list goes on! Here’s a round-up of a few of the recipes on the blog that we’ve used coconut oil in!

 
  

1. Blackened Tilapia with a Roasted Red pepper Coconut Lime Sauce
2. Szechuan Chickpea Burgers
3. Chocolate-chick cookies
3. Chocolate Chip Lentil Granola Bars
5. Chocolate Mint Freezer Bars

We would also like to point out the healthy benefits of coconut oil. For years people have shied away from this oil, because it is quite high in saturated fat. However, new studies have been done showing that the saturated fat in coconut oil is different from those in butter, margarine and animal fat. To read more about the nutrition of coconut oil, go here.

Anyways, if you have never used coconut oil before, we encourage you to try it out! And when you’re staring at the shelf trying to decide between the excessive number of brands to choose from, we recommend Maison Orphee, we promise you won’t be disappointed!

-Julie @twosaucysisters

Have you ever used coconut oil before? What’s your favourite brand?