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Simple Sunday: Another Summer Salad

This morning we were reminded just how much we love the Summer.  We went for a run and it was just so beautiful outside we felt like we could have run forever.  And we have to say that so far this has been one of the best running summers we have had in a long time.  Yes, the heat wave we had a couple weeks ago was a bit much (although we refuse to complain!), but that has gone away and left us with beautiful days like today.

But Summer isn’t just awesome because of its blue skies and warm temperatures.  The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found at local stands on just about every corner cannot be discounted!  We know we’ve mentioned this many times before and we don’t mean to be repetitive, but every time we eat a fresh tomato from our own garden, or snack on juicy cherries from just down the road, we can’t help but be reminded of how delicious the summer is!

Which is why we made this salad- to showcase the season’s best!

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This salad brings together what in our minds are sort of like the three “stages” of summer produce.  First comes the asparagus in the spring (which is basically like early summer in our opinions!), then you start to get into more of the actual summer months and get strawberries, and then of course the summer is capped off with delicious, sweet corn.

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Of course, there are a million other fruits and veggies that make an appearance during those times, too, like fiddle heads and leafy greens in the spring, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and apricots mid-summer, and peaches are starting to hit the stands now too! 🙂

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Add some chicken and a little tahini drizzle and you’ve got yourself and easy, delicious and fresh-tasting summer meal!  And feel free to change it up a bit, too- local strawberries might be a little tougher to find now, but cherries are out full-force and would work wonderfully in this salad.  The idea is to use whatever summer produce you can find.

We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are, and be sure to hit up your local farmer’s market to take advantage of all this awesome food nature has to offer!

Strawberry Asparagus and Corn Salad

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c. strawberries, sliced
1 c. corn (fresh or frozen)
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

For the tahini drizzle:

3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp water

Directions:

Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper and bake in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until done.  Alternatively you can barbecue the chicken over medium heat for 20-30 minutes if you prefer.

Meanwhile, toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes until they can be easily pierced with a fork, or grill over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.

In a frying pan over medium heat, add a small amount of olive oil.  Add the garlic and corn and saute until the corn begins to blacken a bit.  Turn off the heat and add the strawberries so they cook down just a little bit and release some of their juices into the corn.

Cut the asparagus into bit-sized pieces and add to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and stir until everything is combined.  Slice the chicken and divide the salad onto separate plates.  Place the chicken on top and finish with the tahini drizzle.

For the Tahini Drizzle:

Combine all ingredients except the water and stir until fully combined.  Slowly add the water until the mixture is drippy but still slightly thick.  Drizzle over top of salad.

~twosaucysisters

What is your favourite part about Summer?  What is the weather like where you live?  How do you like to take advantage of these beautiful days?

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Dipping and Decisions

Greece-Slide1-Santorini

 

Doesn’t that look nice?

This is a picture of Santorini, Greece. Neither of us have ever been to Greece, but it is definitely on our “Must Go” list. There’s so much culture, it’s warm, and of course, who doesn’t love Greek food? Souvlaki, olives, figs – deeeelicious!

One of the most famous dishes to come out of Greece (besides the yogurt) is Tzatziki, and with good reason! It’s creamy, garlicky, yet still fresh and bright, thanks to the cucumber.  So good. One of our favourite dips, actually. It can sometimes be a tough call between Tzatziki and hummus. Well, that decision just got a whole lot easier – we combined them!

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Tzatziki-hummus, anyone?

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A beautiful blend of two different cultures (middle eastern + Greek), kind of reminds us of our Greek Nachos… we sure do love culture-crossing over here!

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For this dip, we blended tzatziki ingredients into the hummus, though for a simpler version (ahem – cheater! Cheater!) you could also blend some store-bought tzatziki into a plain or roasted garlic hummus.

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However you choose to prepare it, this dip is creamy, refreshing and perfect for when you just can’t make that decision between Tzatziki and Hummus.

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Enjoy! 🙂

Tzatziki – Hummus

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Prep time: 5 min
Total Time: 10min
Makes: ~2c.

Ingredients:

2 c. chick peas
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
pepper
water, for thinning.

Directions:

In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine all ingredients except the water and the chickpeas. Blend until combined and creamy. Add the chickpeas and blend until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add water to reach desired consistency, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite – hummus or tzatziki?

Clusters of Awesome

Banana and peanut butter is a classic combination.

But there is another.  It is lesser-known, but not any less delicious!  That’s right- there is something else that is equally as delicious as peanut butter and banana.

So what is this magic combination?  Banana and tahini.

Since we started reading food blogs, we have been introduced to many new and wonderful ideas, and the banana-tahini combo definitely makes the list of the top 10 (if we were to make one, that is..).

Unfortunately, we cannot remember on what blog we first heard about putting these two ingredients together, so if you are a food-blogger and have ever mentioned about eating banana and tahini at the same time, feel free to take credit for introducing this idea to us 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, tahini is sesame seed paste.  It’s kind of like peanut butter, except its made with sesame seeds instead (it also has no sugar or salt added to it).  It’s a very common condiment in middle-eastern cooking, and is a major ingredient in hummus.  It can be found in pretty much any grocery store, and has a mild, nutty flavour.

We could go on all day about how delicious and versatile tahini is, but today we’re actually here to talk about granola:

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You see, the other day we decided we wanted to make granola.  We had some ripe bananas that we wanted to use up, so our first thought was to make peanut butter-banana.  But then we decided that we wanted to try something a little different-and thus banana tahini granola came to be!

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We really can’t say enough about this granola!  There’s a slight sweetness from the banana that’s balanced perfectly with the nuttiness of the tahini.  If you’ve never had tahini before and you’re a little hesitant to try it, this is the perfect recipe to start with!  The tahini flavour is very mild in this granola- almost an after thought, really.

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In fact, if you didn’t know there was tahini in the granola, you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s there.  You’d just be wondering why this granola tasted so ridiculously delicious.  Then you would just accept it, and go on blissfully eating it by the bowl-ful. 🙂

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There is also one other very important thing that we must mention about this granola.  It has the best. Clusters. Ever.  The secret?  An egg white!  One single egg white.  Add it into the mix, and you’ll get those hearty clusters that are so highly coveted when making homemade granola!

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Would you just look at those clusters?  No need for a bunch of oil or sugar- because we don’t know about you guys, but when we have granola, we want to eat entire bowlfuls of it!  Stuff it full of sugar and oil and suddenly that becomes a not-so-healthy idea.  That being said, we didn’t add a tonne of sweetener to this, so if you’d prefer you can feel free to add a little more if that suits your taste 🙂

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So please do yourself a favour and go make a batch of this granola.  Then eat a bowl full of it.  In fact, you may even want to make a double-batch, because it is that good.

Banana and tahini- seriously, people.

Banana Tahini Granola

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: approximately 5 cups

Ingredients:

3 c. large-flake rolled oats
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. chopped almonds
1 medium banana, mashed
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350C.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cinnamon.  Stir until evenly mixed.

In another smaller bowl, whisk the banana and tahini together until smooth.  Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and mix until everything is fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until everything is mixed and there are no dry spots left.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared pan, pressing down slightly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir, breaking up the granola slightly, but leaving several large chunks.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven again and stir the granola so that the darker pieces are moved to the bottom and some of the less-baked pieces are exposed.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will get crispier as it cools).

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried banana and tahini?  What is your favourite kind of granola?

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?

Pick Me Up Pancakes

What a weekend!

We had our first track meet of the season this weekend, so we were off in Windsor running around in circles for the better part of two days.

And you know what?  It was not our best performance.  The first meet is often a bit rough, but this weekend our bodies just didn’t seem to want to go as fast as we would’ve liked them too.  Oh well, it happens, right?

We figured, though, after a tiring weekend of disappointing racing, we deserved something extra special- something to perk us back up.

So we made pancakes.

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Not that we ever need an excuse to make pancakes, but these just seemed like the perfect thing at the time.

These banana nut pancakes were fluffy, flavourful, and oh-so satisfying!

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Loaded with cinnamon, full of crunchy walnuts, and drizzled drowned in maple-tahini syrup these pancakes hit the spot!

Now you may be thinking that the banana-tahini combination is slightly strange, but we assure you it is de-lic-ious!  We’ve used a tahini dressing on banana pancakes before, and it was every bit as wonderful as we remembered.  This one had the addition of maple syrup, which brought it up to a whole new level of awesome 🙂

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So while we hope your athletic endeavors this weekend were more successful than ours, if they weren’t, we encourage you to make these pancakes for yourself as a reward for putting in the effort. If you did have success (of any kind) this weekend, make these as a reward.  And if you really can’t think of any reason why you should be rewarding yourself this morning- make them anyways, because we’re sure you did something worth celebrating this weekend 🙂

Banana Nut Pancakes

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Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp coconut flour (optional- but decrease the liquid if not using)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites (or one egg)
1 mashed ripe banana
3/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp banana extract (optional)
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Tahini Drizzle:

2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp maple extract (optional)
water

Directions:

For the pancakes: In a medium-sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  In a separate small bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined.  Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a hot skillet, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

For the Drizzle: Combine tahini, cinnamon, and maple syrup.  Slowly add water while stirring until you reach your desired consistency.

~twosaucysisters

Round 2: Roasted Garlic

On Wednesday we talked about three hummus recipes that we made last week.   We gave you the full recipe for our spinach hummus the other day, but in an effort not to bore you with an endless string of hummus recipes, we’ve held off giving you the second edition.  (Even though can you ever really be bored with hummus recipes?  We don’t think so…)

But now that we’ve given you a one-day intermission, we think you’re ready for round two! 🙂

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This roasted garlic hummus is much more traditional, but traditional doesn’t mean boring!  An entire bulb of roasted garlic went into this batch, so it definitely wasn’t lacking in flavour!

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If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you really must.  When you roast garlic, the cloves turn so soft and buttery, you could practically spread it on toast!  The strong and pungent flavour that is so characteristic of raw garlic is also mellowed-out considerably when roasted, which is why you can put an entire bulb of it in one batch of hummus without reeking of garlic for a week 🙂

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This hummus truly embodies the idea that simplicity is delicious.  Its easy, quick, and healthy.  And if green colour of the spinach hummus scares you a bit, maybe this one would be more up your alley?

At any rate, you should give this hummus a try, and then get ready, because we’ve still got another rendition coming your way!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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Prep Time: 30 min
Time: 10 min
Makes: ~ 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic

2 c. cooked chickpeas (about 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350C.  Slice the top of your garlic bulb (just the tips) off and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft, lightly browned and aromatic.

Once the garlic has cooled off a bit, place all other ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever roasted garlic?  What is your favourite way to enjoy it?

Part Two

We hope you’ve all read yesterday’s post and have a jar of Thousand Island Dressing waiting in your fridge!  If not, we suggest you get on that right away 🙂

Because today we’re bringing you part two of our recipe trilogy, and it’s important to have the first two components ready.

So what is part 2, you ask?

Creamy Brussel-Slaw!

Or rather, shaved brussel sprout salad with creamy tahini dressing.

Confused yet?

You’re probably wondering what Thousand Island dressing and shaved brussel sprout salad have to do with each other.  We understand your confusion, and we sympathize with you, but we can’t give you that information- at least, not until tomorrow! 🙂

All we ask is that you please trust us on two things:

1. This salad + yesterday’s Thousand Island Dressing + tomorrow’s recipe is something you do not want to miss out on!

2. Shaved Brussel Sprouts taste a-maz-ing with a tangy, creamy tahini dressing!

So please go make this salad (but save it for tomorrow!) and if you haven’t already made yesterday’s  Thousand Island Dressing (do we sound like a broken record yet?) you should do that, too.

Oh, and it might also be a good idea to run out to the store and find yourself some tempeh, too 😉

Creamy Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Time: 5 min
Makes: ~ 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 c. brussel sprouts, shaved (about 3 brussel sprouts)
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
3-6 tsp water
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the brussel sprouts (adjust the water as necessary- it needs to be runny enough to sufficiently coat the brussel sprouts).  Pour the dressing over the shaved brussel sprouts and stir until everything is fully incorporated and the brussel sprouts are evenly coated.

Store in a container in the fridge.

~twosaucysisters

Any guesses yet? (If you think you know- don’t tell! 🙂 )