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Something’s Fishy…

As we mentioned a couple days ago, sometimes you have those days where you just can’t seem to think of anything to eat, and yet somehow every single one of your meals ends up tasting delicious!

Sometimes those days are the best, because with no expectations you almost can’t go wrong! (almost) 

For dinner that day we decided to re-create a childhood favourite- fish fingers!

Fish n’ Chips- not exactly a meal that is known for it health benefits, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it?  One of our favourite things to do is take a traditionally unhealthy meal and turn it into something nutritious.

And of course the fish is only the half of it- you can’t forget the chips!  In this case, ours came in the form of baked potato wedges.

Now, there is a trick to making really good potato wedges.  If you don’t want your potatoes to be too soft or mushy, the thing to do is soak them after you cut them up.  When we worked as prep cooks in a busy kitchen last summer, their potatoes were always cut up and kept in big buckets of water, so that’s what we started doing.  They don’t have to sit in the water forever, just long enough to draw some of the starch out, which is usually a maximum of 10 minutes.

The other key component of Fish n’ chips is plum sauce.  Really, who eats fish fingers without plum sauce?

We didn’t have plums, though, so we had to improvise.  Peaches seemed like the obvious choice, of course!  And if we’re being perfectly honest, this dipping sauce was probably the best part of this meal!  The perfect sweet-and-sour combination!

We also had no bread crumbs in the house, so we used corn flakes instead, which worked out pretty well, if we do say so ourselves 🙂

And again, with the insane amount of zucchini coming out of our garden right now, we couldn’t leave it out of this meal! So to sort of keep with the theme, we made these zucchini fries.  We didn’t take any pictures, but wow these were delicious!  The zucchini sticks were like butter they were so tender.  They made this meal taste nice and summery, too 🙂

So if you’re feeling uninspired for anything for dinner tonight, give this meal a try!  Its fun, easy, and oh-so-tasty.

Fish Fingers with Peach Dipping Sauce

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 10-15 min

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

12-15 White Fish Filets (such as haddock or Tilapia)

3 c. Corn Flakes

3/4 c. Ground Flax Seed

Salt and pepper

1 egg + 1-4- 1/2 c. water

1 c. flour

Dipping Sauce:

2 peaches, peeled and diced

2 tbsp finely diced onion

1/4 c. peach juice

scant 1/4 c. white vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 clove of garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp each ginger and cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp arrowroot flour

Directions:

For the Fish:

Crush Corn flakes in a large plastic freezer bag until finely ground.  Combine in a large bowl with flax seed and salt and pepper.  Ina separate bowl, whip egg with  water.  Pour flower into another bowl.  Cut the fish filets into strips.  First, dredge the fish strips in the flour until they are completely covered.  Then dip the in the egg mixture.  Finally place them in the corn flake mixture and cover them in the corn flake-flax mixture.  Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400C for 10-15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily.

For the Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a pot and place on the stove over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like fish fingers? What is your favourite traditionally unhealthy meal that you like to give a nutritional makeover?

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A La Mode

And we’re back for our 2nd-ever What I Ate Wednesday!

And there is absolutely no fruit that epitomizes August in Niagara more than peaches!  Seriously, we don’t think we’ve ever had a peach out-of-season.  Every time we see them in the grocery store in the middle of winter, we get the temptation to pick up a pack, but then we come to our senses.  We just couldn’t do the peach such an injustice.  Truly, peaches are the Kings of summer.

And you know what else is not a summer staple, but a year-round must-have?  Pancakes!

Summer staple + year-round staple = peach pancakes.

But not just any peach pancakes. No, we decided to throw another summer staple into the mix- ice cream!

Yes, these pancakes were served A La Mode.

Ok, ok, we know that most health professionals will tell you to avoid anything smothered in ice cream, particularly at breakfast.  But we heartily disagree.  Mostly because topped with our peach-banana ice cream, these pancakes are actually super-healthy!

Seriously people, these pancakes were  decadently delicious!  In fact, we’d say these rival our blueberry banana pancakes– and that’s saying something!

They were fluffy and tender, and simply bursting with peach flavour!  And nothing beats a hot stack of pancakes topped with cool, creamy ice cream, melting all over the place and soaking into each layer, infusing your stack with even more peach flavour.

Pancakes demolished.

And in the spirit of What I Ate Wednesday,  here’s a little look into all the other peach-themed eats we’ve had in the past couple days…

Peach-Banana Ice Cream 

Peach Blondie Breakfast Parfait (recipe to come soon!)

And then of course there’s our baked oatmeal from a while back:

And of course peaches have found there way into several salads, sandwiches, and a host of other savoury and sweet dishes that remained un-photographed.

Anyways we won’t torture you any longer, so without further ado, peach pancakes a la mode!

Peach Pancakes A La Mode

Total Time: 15 min

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

1/2 c. chickpea flower

3/4 c. multigrain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 peach, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 c. milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 batch of peach-banana ice cream

Directions:

Heat large pan or pancake grill.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Place peach chunks into food processor and process until crushed and fairly smooth.  Add all other ingredients to the food processor and blend until fully combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Drop large spoonfuls of batter at a time onto the griddle and cook until bubbles begin to form, then flip and cook for a few more minute on the other side.

Stack your pancakes and layer with sliced peaches.  Top with ice cream and devour.

* separating your egg and whipping the white into stiff peaks will make your pancakes even thicker and fluffier.  We were going to do that but our yolk broke. Oops!

~twosaucysisters

ps- congratulations to Adam van Koeverden for his silver in kayaking, Mark Oldershaw for his bronze in canoeing, Ryan Cochrane for his silver in the 1500m freestyle swim, and Dereck Drouin for his bronze medal in high jump! Go Canada!

Do you like peaches? What is your favourite summer fruit?

A Summer Wish

When it comes to kitchen appliances and gadgets, Julie and I have a long wish list.  It includes a food dehydrator, a mandolin, a rice cooker would be nice, and honestly I think our lives would be complete if we had a Vitamix.

But all summer we have found ourselves constantly wishing we had one thing: An ice cream maker!

All you have to do is peruse foodgawker or tastespotting for a couple minutes, and I guarantee your mouth will be watering over all the delicious ice cream creations that some amazing food bloggers have come up with.  And for some reason, I click on them every time to read the recipe and imagine how awesome it would be to make my own version at home.  Apparently I really enjoy torturing myself.

You can imagine my excitement then, when I find recipes that don’t use an ice cream maker.  I do a little happy dance all the way to the kitchen.

So of course, Julie and I had to come up with our own version.

And of course it being August in Niagara, it had to be peach flavoured.

And of course both of us having a slight obsession with bananas, they too fell into the mix, and given the nature of this blog, this “ice cream” is healthy, too!

Healthy peach and banana ice cream that doesn’t require an ice cream maker?  I don’t know about you, but I’m sold!

Peach-Banana “Ice Cream”

Prep time: 5 min

Total Time: 3-4 hours

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 peach, peeled

1 banana

1/4 c. thick greek yogurt

1/4 c. milk of choice (or more greek yogurt)

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into a container with a tight-sealing lid and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours or until frozen.

Remove container from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minute to thaw slightly.  Using a knife or fork, roughly brake up the frozen mixture and return to the food processor.

Pulse the ice cream a few times or until you are able to scoop it up with and ice cream scoop.

~Brittany@twosaucysisters

Do you like ice cream? Are you lucky enough to have an ice cream maker?

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?

Snack Attack

Several years ago, we saw a McDonalds billboard that said “Dinner is a long way from lunch”. We heartily agree! It was an advertisement for their snack wraps.

Different ad, but we still agree!

We’ve never actually had a McDonalds snack wrap, seeing as we don’t go there often ever.  But we do enjoy snacking, and believe that healthy snacks are an important part of the diet.  It is a long way from lunch to dinner, and who doesn’t love snacks? Having a healthy snack in the afternoon can help to prevent you from over eating in the evening, as well as provide you with some good nutrition.

The easiest way to have healthy snacks is to prepare in advance.  We like to make a bunch of healthy snacks that we keep in the fridge that we can throw in a lunch bag/pop into our mouths as we head out the door!  They’re also great if you’re having a “hungry day” and need an extra little boost.

So we bring to you: Mini Muffins. Easy to throw into a bag and bring along, easy to toss in your mouth snack hole while you’re out and about, and a great little whole grain treat to tie you over until dinner!

Cute little muffins!!

We’re calling these “everything” muffins, because they have a little bit of a lot of stuff in them.  With the chai spices and whole wheat flour, these little guys are big on flavour and fiber, and are pretty cute to boot!

Chai Spiced Everything Mini Muffins

Makes: 24

Prep: 10-15min

Bake time: 14min

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. bran

1/2 c. oat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves

1/4 apple, diced

1/3 c. diced pineapple, no juice

1/2 peach, diced

1/3 c. grated carrot

1/3 c. raisins

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp plain yogurt

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350C.

Mix all dry ingredients.

In  separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Add to dry.

Stir in raisins.

Spoon batter into 24 prepared min muffin tins.

Bake for 14-15 min.

~twosaucysisters

What do you like to have for snacks during the day?

Good Oats Mean Good Mornings

Good Morning.

Don’t you think if your breakfast looked like that every morning, you’d have no problem waking up, regardless of what time it is? With a breakfast such as this, it’s impossible to have a bad day (or at least a bad morning).

Overnight oat parfaits are a staple in our breakfast line-up.  They have the creaminess of oatmeal, but are cool and refreshing, perfect for a summer  any morning! They’re especially good if you know you have a busy morning, because most of the preparation happens the night before, and you can even pack them up and take them with you because they won’t leak!

On our last trip to the grocery store, they had blue berries on 2 for $5! Imported, but still delicious. And on a student budget, we won’t pass up on-sale berries! We didn’t want to take away from the fresh blue berries by baking them into something, and with home-canned peaches (courtesy of our lovely Aunt Joan) in the fridge and a bunch of perfectly ripe bananas on the counter, did we really have any other option?

This parfait was ultra-creamy, and the layers of fruit bursting through were so bright and refreshing- we think that this may be one of the best parfaits we’ve ever made!

Peach Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats Parfait

 Serves: 1

Ingredients:

1/2 c. rolled oats

1 tbsp raw buckwheat groats (opitional)

1 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed- but use 1.5 tbsp)

1/3c. peach juice

1/4 c. greek yogurt

1/4 c. milk

1/4 c. chopped peaches

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

For layers:

sliced banana, blueberries, yogurt, blueberry jam

Directions:

The night before, combine the oats, buckwheat groats, and chia seeds in a bowl.  Add the peach juice, milk, yogurt and chopped peaches.  Cover and place in the fridge to sit overnight.

In the morning, stir in the walnuts.

In a large cup/jar/wine glass etc, spoon a layer of the oat mixture in the bottom. Top with layers of banana, blueberries, yogurt, and jam.  Repeat until you’ve run out of oats!

~twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite quick or summertime breakfast?

A Burger by Any Other Name

I am not a crazy red meat person.  I enjoy a good steak on occasion, and am learning to appreciate more and more the uniqueness of bison and elk, but it’s not something I would typically order at a restaurant or really ever make at home. Once or twice in the summer, tops. But there is one way in which I crave beef, and I’m talking mouth watering, day dreaming, nothing else will satisfy it.

Burgers.

I adore them! There are so many things you can do with burgers, so many topping options, bun options, flavours, cheese or no cheese- the list is endless! With summer now upon us, and Food Buzz’s Flavour of the Month being burgers, Brit and I decided we had better get to burger making!

We didn’t, however, want to make an ordinary, ‘normal’ flavoured burger (though those are delicious!), we wanted to be a bit more creative. After turning over a few ideas, we settled on and East-indian/ Trinidad and Tobago influence – Curry!

And you know what? It was a damn good idea! They were so juicy and loaded with flavour! In the past, we have struggled with creating a recipe in which the patties would actually hold together when put on the BBQ, but we came up with a sure-fire method that will guarantee non-crumbly burger! The trick? Whipping half your beef mixture around in the food processor – it turns into a “glue” as my dad so aptly named it, but by adding the other half in manually afterwards keeps that same delicious burger texture!

Of course, one can’t simply throw any old toppings on a curry-infused beef patty and call it a burger! We knew to make this a winner, we had to put together something that would compliment the burger while not taking away from the flavour of the burger itself. We decided on two: A savoury/fruity chutney (fruit in a savoury dish=best!) and a coconut-lime yogurt spread. Finish off with a crisp leaf or two of lettuce and darlin’, you’ve got yourself a home-run!

*The chutney you will definitely want to make ahead, as it takes a couple hours and has to chill afterwards, as well. There are a few different methods that can be used to make it, but each still takes time to allow the flavours to fully develop.

Paired with a light sweet n’ sour cabbage salad (recipe tomorrow!), this is the perfect meal at the end of a hot summer day. Or any day. 😉

And with that I leave you with not one, not two, but THREE recipes! Go crazy!

Juicy Curry Burgers

Prep time: 20min

Cook time: 20min (ish)

Servings: 10 4oz. patties

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef, divided (it’s best to use beef that hasn’t been frozen, or allowed to thaw fully in the fridge)

1/2 c. greek yogurt

1/2 c. bread crumbs, divided

1 clove garlic

1/8th of an onion

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

black pepper

Directions:

Put one pound of the beef in the food processor along with 1/4 c. of the bread crumbs, yogurt, onion, garlic and spices. Blend until a smooth, mashed-potato like texture. Transfer to large bowl and mix remaining beef and bread crumbs. Shape into patties, 4oz each. Grill on low to medium heat, flipping occasionally, until burgers are cooked through (71 C/160 F). Take you whole grain bun, start with lettuce on the bottom, followed by chutney (recipe below) and the burger placed on top. On the top half of the bun, spread yogurt (recipe also below!).

Peachy-Tomato Chutney

Total Time: 2-3 hours

Makes: 3-4c.

Ingredients:

1 28oz. can no-salt added tomatoes (we used whole and cut them into chunks)

2 c. canned or fresh peaches, chopped

1/3 c. honey

2 tsbp Arrow root flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. mustard seed

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 c. red onion

Directions:

Bread Maker Method: If you have a bread maker, simply put all the ingredients into the machene, select the “preserves” setting and let er’ go! Once finish, transfer to a container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Stove-top Method: Combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer forone hour. Transfer to another container and allow to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Slow-cooker Method: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for one hour or so, then transfer to another container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.

Coconut-Lime Yogurt Spread

Total time: 5 min

Ingredients:

2/3 c. greek yogurt

1-2 tsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Directions:

Combine and enjoy!

– Julie

Do you like burgers?

What’s your favourite burger combination?