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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?

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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?

See a Need, Fill a Need

Does anyone remember the movie Robots?

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There was one line from that movie that always stuck with us- it was Rodney’s motto, “See a need, fill a need!”  Don’t you think that’s a great rule to live by?  We sure do, and that’s what we try to do when we create recipes.  Find out what people want and need and make a recipe that fulfills those requirements.

And that is precisely how these muffins came to be…

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You see, a family member of ours recently underwent knee surgery (Heather, I think you’ll be able to relate to this…) and has been on some serious pain meds for the past few days.  Anyone who has ever had to go through this kind of thing before knows what kind of side effects medications like these can have…

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To put it a little more eloquently, this family member of ours has been experiencing some… difficulty with, you know… “moving things along”.

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The pain killers combined with the fact that he’s pretty well couch-ridden and can’t do a whole lot of moving around to (ahem) “shake things out” has left him with a little difficulty staying, well, regular.

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This family member is also used to being very active, so now that he’s being faced with several months of significantly decreased amounts of exercise, he’s also put in a request that sweets and unhealthy snacks be kept at minimal levels around the house.  (Did we also mention that this particular individual has quite the sweet tooth, and is somewhat lacking in will power? ;))

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He also likes to snack.  A lot. So we knew what we had to do- create a snack that’s full of fibre, but is low in sugar, and unhealthy fats, and of course it has to taste good, too!

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And thus, the super high-fibre date n’ raisin mini-muffin was created!  We decided to make these mini, because that way if he feels like he needs a little snack, he doesn’t have to commit to eating an entire muffin.  But of course, these would be just as delicious if they were full-sized, all you’d have to do is bake them a little longer!

So what makes these high fibre?  They have wheat bran, oat bran, rolled oats, and whole wheat flour.  They also have dates and raisins, which are also good sources of fibre.  So when all’s said and done, one of these mini muffins has 2 grams of fibre, which, considering their size, is quite a bit!  And if you were to make them into large muffins, they’d be about 3 times the size, which would put them at about 6 grams per muffin!

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You could even amp-up the fibre content even more by adding some ground flax seeds and chopped almonds to these muffins- something we would’ve done if we hadn’t been all out!

And as for the taste?  Well, we realize that you don’t often hear people saying “yummm… fibre…” but we promise you will love these!  Everyone in our family loved these- in fact, we just made these yesterday, and we’re already thinking we’ll have to make another batch pretty soon…

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Mmmm fibre! 🙂

Date-Raisin Mini Muffins

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Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 10-12min
Makes: 30 mini muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bran
1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1/2 c. yogurt (any kind will do, we used strawberry!)
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup

1/2 c. dates
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Combine milk and vinegar and set aside for 5min (to make “butter milk”).
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet, only adding the milk after having sat for 5 min.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry along with the dates and raisins and stir until just combined.
Fill greased mini-muffin tins with the batter.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a surgery and experienced difficult side effects after wards? What did you do to overcome those difficulties?

Simple Sunday: Apple Parfait

As we have said before, a really important part of healthy eating is healthy snacking! We don’t know too many people who can make it all the way from lunch to dinner (or breakfast to lunch, or dinner to bedtime…) without needing that extra something to tie them over until then.

Snacks should be quick, easy and not complicated. At the same time they should be enjoyable, tasty, and of course, nutritious! After all, every time you eat is a chance to give your body important nutrients. That being said, each time you eat should also be fun and exciting, right?

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Right! 🙂

And it should be pretty, too, because pretty food tastes better! (and that’s a scientific fact!)

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Well, ok, that may or may not be scientific, but the proof is in the pudding apple parfait!

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Fresh, juicy and sweet apple chunks layered with creamy yogurt and crunchy granola, this snack was a snap to prepare and out-of-this-world delicious!

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We used plain yogurt mixed with vanilla and cinnamon, but you can use any flavour you want! (Apple – berry anyone?) Also, any granola will do just fine, pick your favourite! For our parfaits, we made an apple-cinnamon version of this granola (recipe to come!). If you’re using store-bought granola, make sure you read the nutrition label to make sure it’s not too high in sugar (10g or more per serving), and watch for aspartame in sweetened yogurt.

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The process is simple: Assemble your ingredients, find a pretty glass and layer them up!

Enjoy! 🙂

Apple Yogurt Parfait

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Serves: 2
Total time: 10min

Ingredients:

3/4 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

OR

3/4 c. of your favourite yogurt

1 apple
3/4 c. granola
cinnamon, for topping

Directions:

Core and dice your apple into small pieces.
If adding vanilla and cinnamon to your yogurt, mix them now.
In a tall glass, layer your ingredients starting with yogurt, then apples, then granola. Continue this pattern until all ingredients are used up.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite quick and easy snacks?

Taco Time

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t LOVE tacos?

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We think its safe to say that most of you probably do 🙂  We also think that’s its a generally accepted fact that taco salad is one of the best salads out there!

And while traditionally, taco salads have taco shells crushed up on top of them, we think that’s kind of boring…

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Because why put the taco shells on top, when you can make a taco bowl instead?  Obviously having a crispy, edible bowl filled seasoned ground beef, peppers, tomatoes, salsa, quacomole, and “sour cream” is way better!

And it’s much easier than you think!  So here it goes, some step-by-step pictures!

First, find a few bowls (however many people you’re serving, that’s how many bowls you need!).  Fold the whole wheat tortillas to fit inside the bowls, then find something heavy(ish) to put inside them.  We used two small ramekins here, but if you have pie weights, or something similar, they would probably work even better!

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Second, you have to bake them!  They only take about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and crispy.  Once they’ve cooled slightly, remove the ramekin or pie weights.

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Now, flip them over and bake them a little longer to crisp-up the bottoms.

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After about 5 minutes, the bottoms should be slightly browned and hard to the touch, which mean’s they’re ready to be filled up with delicious taco salad!

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Just be careful when you crack it open- you might be met with an avalanche of creamy, spicy, full-of-flavour beef and vegetables, guacamole, “sour cream” (aka plain yogurt) and salsa. Oh, and don’t forget cheese! 😉

Really, calling a taco salad a “salad” is like calling the snowy weather we’re having today “Spring”- it’s calling itself one thing and doing something entirely different in hopes that no one will notice- but what’s in a name, really?  Taco salad can be called whatever it wants- its too delicious to argue. Spring on the other hand?  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do…

Taco Bowl Salads

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Prep: 15 min
Bake/cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 large (10 inch) whole wheat tortilla wraps (corn tortillas would work, too)

500g. extra lean or lean ground beef
1/4 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. sweet bell peppers, diced
1/2 28-oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
pinch of salt
pepper, to taste
Optional: hot pepper flakes

Toppings:

Salsa
Guacamole
Plain yogurt (aka “sour cream”)
shredded lettuce
Grated cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Fit the wraps into 2 bowls.  Place something heavy (such as a ramekin or pie weights) on top and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and crispy.  When they are ready, remove from the oven.  Remove the ramekin or weights and take the tortilla out of the bowl.  Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes, until the bottoms are slightly browned and hard to the touch.

While the tortillas are in the oven, preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef, onions, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the beef is almost cooked. Add the peppers and seasonings and cook until the beef is cooked through, continuing to stir.  Now add the tomatoes and cook until the much of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Divide the mixture between the two taco bowls, and top with whatever toppings you desire!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like tacos?  What are your favourite taco toppings?

Blondies for Breakfast – a spin off

So as you have probably guessed by now, we are currently slightly obsessed with peaches. But seriously how could we not be? The peaches in Niagara in August are to-die-for!

After having peaches for breakfast the other day we were really craving them again! Not to mention the peaches on our counter were becoming softer by the day and just begging to be eaten!

Enter Peach Blondie Parfait!

This breakfast is our own spin off of Meg’s brownie breakfast parfait. If you haven’t made that yet, you definitely should, it’s so delicious, easy and quick! Of course, always after we try another blogger’s recipe, our wheels start turning, coming up with all sorts of variations! For this parfait, going the blondie route was the obvious first thought, and replacing the pureed pumpkin with peaches was a natural progression considering our current cravings.

So go make Megan’s parfait. And then make ours! 🙂

Peach Blondie Breakfast Parfait

total time: 10min

Serves: 2

For the blondie:

1 c. oats

1 peach, pureed

1 egg

2-4 tbsp oat flour

1 tbsp honey (or date paste, or maple syrup…)

For the Parfait:

1 1/2 c. plain yogurt

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

chopped fresh peach

dried cranberries

Directions:

Blend all brownie ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined, pour into two greased ramekins and cook in microwave for 3-4min, or until fully cooked.

For the parfait, in a glass of your choice, layer blondie pieces, yogurt and peaches. Enjoy! 🙂

-twosaucysisters

P.s. Congratulations to Tonya Verbeek (from Beamsville Ontario!!) who won silver in women’s wrestling yesterday, to Richard Weinberger on his bronze in the 10km swim (holy crap!), to the women’s soccer team on their bronze medal finish yesterday, and to Damien Warner who entered into the men’s decathlon in 17th and finished 5th! Amazing athletes here in Canada!

Do you know or are there any olympic athletes from your home town or near where you live?

What food are you currently craving or obsessed with?

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?