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If You Can’t Take the Heat… Turn off the Oven

We’re not sure what the weather’s doing over in your neck of the woods, but here in Ontario we just came out of a 2-week long heat wave.  We’re talking 107F.  And this is not a dry heat, this is a hair-frizzing pore-clogging kind of heat that basically renders sweating useless.  (Not that our bodies got that memo- every time we came in from a run we looked like we had just gone swimming fully clothed- how’s that for a pretty picture for ya?)

Anyways, we think it goes without saying that in that kind of heat turning on the oven is completely out of the question.  Even barbecuing seemed like a bad idea, so we were really at a loss as to what to make for dinner for our family.

We’d also like to take this moment to blame the heat wave for our decided lack of posts lately.  We’ve hardly been doing any cooking so we really haven’t had much to share with you guys.  Because you can only post so many salad recipes.

Anyways, we’ll stop making excuses for ourselves and continue on to the good part!

As we said in Tuesday’s post , we had a delicious recipe that uses our pesto coming your way, so here it is…

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Quinoa Salad!

Ok, so right after saying that we didn’t want to start throwing a whole bunch of salad recipes at you what’s the first thing we do?  Give you a salad recipe.  But this is a quinoa salad, so it’s a little different and doesn’t really count.

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We discovered quinoa for the first time a few years ago and basically become obsessed with it.  We started putting it in almost everything we made so it found its way onto the dinner table several times a week.  It became a running joke in our family that if you didn’t know what was in something, it was most likely quinoa.  It got to the point where every time we made anything everyone would ask if there was quinoa in it.

We suppose it was a tad excessive…

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So while the quinoa-craze of 3 summers ago has passed, we still do like to break it out every once in a while.  And it was the perfect thing in this heat wave because it’s a great source of protein that can be cooked in 10 minutes on the stove-top.  Minimal prep and minimal heat required.  Which means more time in the pool- the only suitable place to be during weather like that!

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We had a wicked storm last night that took some of the heat away, so we will most likely be turning on the barbecue again, but you can be sure that if another heat wave like that hits we will be making this salad again!  In fact, even if it doesn’t get so hot, we will probably make this tasty dish again anyways 🙂

Quinoa Pesto Tabouleh Salad

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Prep: 20 minutes
Rest Time: at least 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 c. quinoa (any colour)
2 c. water

1 recipe of Sage-Basil-Arugula-Walnut Pesto
1c. bell peppers (any colour), diced
1/2 large seedless cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Directions:

Place the quinoa and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil, uncovered.  Once the water has started to boil, place the lid on top and turn the heat to low.  Allow the quinoa to simmer for 10 minutes.  Turn of the heat and allow to sit on the burner for another 6 minutes.  Remove from the burner, take off the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

Combine the veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl.  Add the quinoa and stir to make sure the vegetables are evenly distributed.  Add the pesto and stir well.  Place in the fridge and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, so the quinoa has a chance to cool and the flavours have the chance to mingle.

Optional: add some chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, or feta cheese to the salad.

~twosaucysisters

What kinds of things do you make when you’re in the middle of a heat wave?

Simple Sunday: It’s All Greek to Us!

Apparently our tzatziki-hummus from Thursday’s post got us craving Greek food, because we’re back again today with another little taste of the Mediterranean. This time it’s in the form of a salad that’s delicious, healthy, and as always- simple 🙂

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And yes, that is the same blue bowl and blue napkins from our other Greek-themed photo shoot.  What can we say? When you find something that works you stick with it, right?

Well, that and you can only have so many blue bowls in your cupboard…

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But enough about bowls, let’s talk about salad!  Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, some pungent black olives and salty feta cheese. Talk about yum!

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Those of you who have had some experience with Greek food (or at least Greek Salad) will notice that we left out one very key ingredient: red onion.  The truth is, no one in our family is a real fan of red onions.  In small quantities they’re ok, but for the most part we all find they just leave an overwhelming onion taste in our mouths that lasts forever.  But of course, if red onion is your thing, we definitely encourage you to add it in to the mix!

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The dressing for this salad has only a handful of ingredients, making it a snap to prepare so you can spend the rest of the time working on the chicken souvlaki feast you’re going to serve it alongside.  At least that’s what our family did, and is highly recommended!

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Oh, and remember that Greek-inspired hummus we mentioned?  That would go pretty well with this, too.  Just sayin’ 😉

Easy Greek Salad

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 ripe tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 cup pitted black olives
1/2 large red onion (optional)
1/2 c. reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano

Directions:

Dice the tomatoes, cucumber and onion (if using) into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl.  If desired, cut the olives in half or leave them whole and add them in as well.  (We cut some of them up and left some whole).  Crumble the feta cheese and add it to the bowl as well.  Stir everything together until it is all evenly mixed.

In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and oregano.  Shake vigorously until everything is mixed together well.  Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently to make sure all the ingredients have been evenly coated with the dressing.  Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.  The salad will keep in the fridge for a couple days. (And even gets better as it sits).

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried Greek food?  What is your favourite Greek dish?

Party Pleaser

What’s creamy with spice and all kinds of things nice?

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Salsa-chipotle Hummus, of course! 🙂

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We made this hummus a few weeks back when we went to Toronto for two of our good friend’s birthdays, and it was a huge hit! So naturally, 3 weeks later, we’re finally getting around to giving you the recipe! 🙂

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We’re certain that you’ll love it just as much as everyone did at the party!

p.s. This hummus is FABULOUS made with black beans instead of chickpeas! 🙂

Salsa Chipotle Hummus

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Prep time: 10min
Makes: ~2cups

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. salsa
1 or 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1 clove of garlic
hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Put olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, water, salsa, chilis, garlic and spices into a food processor and blend until creamy, about 1 min. Add chickpeas and blend until smooth.

~twosaucysisters

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?

Simple Sunday: Cheater Bruschetta

How many times growing up have you heard the phrase “cheaters never prosper”? Probably more than you can count!  We think it’s safe to say that the general consensus among the population  is that cheating is bad.

But today we’re here to tell you that they’re wrong.

Ok ok, we retract that statement- how about instead we just say they’re not completely right.  Sound better?

Because you see, sometimes it’s ok to cheat!  Sometimes, it’s actually a good thing!  Like with this cheater bruschetta!

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It looks like homemade bruschetta bread, right?  Well that’s because it is- sort of.  The thing is, we love bruschetta bread, but we don’t always feel like going to the trouble of making it from scratch, nor do we always have  a jar of bruschetta mix on hand.  But you know what we always do have on hand?  Salsa!

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We love salsa! So one day, when a craving for bruschetta hit, we thought bruschetta is made of tomatoes, right?  And salsa is made of tomatoes too, is it not?  So why not make salsa bruschetta!

Brilliant!

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Anyone who’s a born-and-raised Italian would probably look at us with mild disgust for even proposing that salsa can be used to make bruschetta bread, but what can we say?  It’s fast and super easy, and it tastes pretty darn good!  If you happen to have fresh tomatoes that you want to dice up and throw on top, be our guest!  And here we’ve used cheddar cheese to top (because that’s all we have in the fridge right now and we’re trying to use it before it goes moldy…) but you can use whatever cheese you like!  In fact, we prefer to top with goat or feta cheese 🙂

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So just to clarify- it is not ok to cheat on a test, or in a sporting event, but it is perfectly acceptable to cheat in kitchen! 😉

Happy Simple Sunday everybody!

Cheater Bruschetta

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Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 4 min
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat french bread
1 – 1.5 c. chunky salsa
1/2 c.  cheese of choice

Directions:

If broiling in the oven, pre-heat the broiler.
Slice the french bread length-wise and place on a baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Put under the broiler or on broil setting in a toaster-oven for 2 minutes to lightly toast the bread.
Once toasted, Spread the salsa across the loaf, covering evenly. Sprinkle with cheese of choice and place back under the broiler for another 2 min or until the cheese is melted.
Cut into smaller pieces and serve!

~twosaucysisters

What sort of foods do you “cheat” with? Besides bruschetta, we almost always replace low-fat sour cream or cream cheese with plain yogurt and cottage cheese, because we pretty much never have sour cream and cream cheese on hand but always have yogurt and cottage cheese! 🙂

Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe.  33 days!  We think that’s a record for us!  Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

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This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus!  We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

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But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East!  Boy do they know how to cook!  We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

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And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it 🙂

Curried Hummus

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Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth.  Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick.  (Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?

Holiday Entertaining

Hi everybody!

We’re here to tell you today that we have not fallen off the face of the planet- we’ve just been extra busy over the past week and have had no time for blogging!  In fact, we have barely even been on our computers, which is pretty outrageous for us because ordinarily we spend quite a bit of time on them!

We have been enjoying our Christmas holidays so much over the past week spending as much time as we can with our family who have come to visit from out west and New York that we have hardly even been in the kitchen! (gasp!)

And since today’s their last full day here, we are only stopping in briefly so you don’t think we’ve abandoned you forever.

So we’d like to ask you, what do you make when you have family coming and going constantly, have no time to cook (or plan) elaborate meals, and you just need quick easy snacks/munchies that everyone c will enjoy?

Hummus!

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Obviously.

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You should all know by now that we are basically obsessed with hummus, and are constantly coming up with more ideas for new versions and flavours.  Today’s is the sun-dried tomato addition, but you can check out our recipe page for a million a few other recipes for some different variations on our favourite dip 🙂

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

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Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) blotted dry
1/4 c. oil (from the sun-dried tomato jar)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. water
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and serve with veggies, pitas, crackers, etc.

~twosaucysisters

What have you been doing over your holidays?  What are your go-to foods when you’re busy and entertaining guests?