Experimenting in the Kitchen
Katelyn Sander

Experimenting in the Kitchen

Spice of Life

Not sure about you, but we’re getting tired of making the same old recipes over and over and over again. We thought it was time for some new treats and dishes to mix into our rotation, so we’re sharing some of the recipes we’ve been experimenting with over the last few weeks. Like what you see? Why not try them for yourself!

Try these recipes below (and all of those we’ve collected over the last year in our Spice of Life Recipe Book) and email us your favourite photos. Success stories, epic fails, and everything in between are welcome!

What we’re listening to…

We, like so many of you, have recently found ourselves looking for things that make us laugh. From tv shows to books, movies, and, yes, podcasts. That led us to Spilled Milk, a comedy show about food.

Every week, writers & comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton start with a food-related topic, from apples to winter squash, and run with it as far as they can go – and, regrettably, sometimes further.

Check it out here and find the latest episodes wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These pancakes offer up everything you love about delicious carrot cake but in a form you can eat for breakfast! Thick and fluffy. Moist and soft. Just like the cake! Breakfast for dessert? We actually encourage it. Recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Walnuts, for garnish (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Instructions:
  • In a blender, add in chopped carrots and pulse until fine.
  • To the carrots, add the milk, vanilla, egg, raisins and pulse until well blended and the mix turns orange. The mix will get thick.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add the carrot mixture and oil to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t overmix or your pancakes will end up flat and tough.
  • Heat a griddle to medium heat. It’s important to have a steady medium heat for cooking pancakes. When griddle is hot, add a little butter.
  • Scoop a big spoonful of batter onto the griddle. Cook on first side until bubbles form all over the top of the pancake and the edges begin to change colour. These bubbles are important to hold up your pancake.
  • Flip the pancake and cook 1 to 2 minutes on second side.
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer or hand mixer and beat until the cream cheese is smooth.
  • Add in the cream and continue to beat until the mix thickens, around 2 minutes.
  • Serve a big dollop of the Cream Cheese Frosting on top of your pancakes, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle over some toasted walnuts. Everything combined makes the most incredible stack of pancakes.
Tips:
  • You can use white sugar instead of brown sugar if you prefer.
  • If you have any pancakes leftover, you can always wrap them in foil and heat them up in a low oven.

One Pan Creamy Thai Peanut Chicken Couscous

This delicious one pan recipe is packed with protein and offers a boost of colourful veggies! Filled with Thai flavours, thanks to a rich and creamy peanut sauce, this chicken couscous recipe is a perfect, cozy weeknight dish. If you’re a spice lover, feel free to kick up the spice levels! Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper

For the Peanut Couscous

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (or substitute water)
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (just peanuts + salt)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp chili paste or sriracha
  • 1 cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • Optional for spicy peanut sauce: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (plus 1/4 tsp more if you love it a little extra spicy!)

For the Add-Ins

  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned

For Garnish

  • Green onion (green part only), diced
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Honey roasted peanuts, chopped
  • Hot sauce, if desired
Instructions:
  • Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in oil. Once hot, add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook, about 5-7 minutes total. You don’t need to cook chicken all the way, just about halfway through so it’s nice and golden brown with flavour. Transfer chicken to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the garlic, cooking for 30 seconds, then add in the coconut milk, chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, and chili paste to the same skillet. Whisk together until well combined and smooth.
  • Stir in the couscous, carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper. Then add the chicken back into the pan. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent couscous from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the lid and gently simmer for 5-10 more minutes uncovered to soak up any excess liquid.
  • Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts, green onion, and cilantro.

To make the recipe gluten free: This recipe would work okay using white basmati rice or quinoa in place of the couscous. Please note that you’d likely need much less quinoa (probably 3/4 cup) if you choose to replace it, and any other grains may have different cooking times.

To make vegetarian/vegan: Feel free to swap the chicken for chickpeas or tofu to keep this dish vegetarian and/or vegan.

Spicy Salmon Bowl

We simply love grain bowls. They are perfect for meal prepping and packing up for lunches. All of the components are great on their own, and once they’re tossed together, somehow, they become even better! Recipe from the Delish.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the Salmon

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (4 oz) salmon fillets

For the Quick Pickled Cucumbers

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

For the Spicy Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

For the Bowls

  • Cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cilantro leaves, torn
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, olive oil, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, honey, and garlic. Add salmon and gently toss to combine. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until salmon is fork-tender, 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make pickled cucumbers. In a microwave =safe bowl or jar, add vinegar, sugar, and salt, and microwave until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then add cucumbers and shake to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap until ready to use.
  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sriracha, and sesame oil for the spicy mayo.
  • Divide rice among 4 bowls. Top with salmon, pickled cucumbers, avocado, carrot, red onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with spicy mayo.

Cherry Blossom

Spring is here. And with the warmer weather, the cherry blossoms have begun appearing across the city. Shed your winter layers and hit your internal defrost button with this refreshing, spring-inspired cocktail. Recipe from Town and Country Magazine.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 oz 1800 silver tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • Grapefruit slice or maraschino cherry, for garnish
  • Salt, as needed
Instructions:
  • Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake well.
  • Strain into a salt rimmed martini glass or serve over ice.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit slice or cherry.

Parmesan & Black Pepper Chips

These chips are an elevated late-night snack! If you want to go all out, they also make the perfect sidekick to a classic burger. Aren’t you glad we’re sharing the recipe just as BBQ season gets underway? Recipe from Delish.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb), sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp granulated sugar
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Arrange in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Watch carefully in the last 5 minutes as some potatoes will cook faster than others.
  • Using a metal spatula, transfer potatoes to a plate to cool as they are done. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan while still warm.
  • In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and sugar. Serve aioli with cooled potatoes.

Feeding Canada’s Economic Recovery

One of the first (and hardest) hit industries in this pandemic was the foodservice sector. While the industry continues to face unprecedented difficulties, they are “uniquely situated to serve as a fiscal anchor to guide Canada’s economic recovery.” Read more about Restaurants Canada and their recent survey from February 2021.

To ensure the restaurants in our community are able to come back stronger than ever, we encourage you to continue supporting local. Order takeout. Buy a “make your own meal” kit that many restaurants are selling. Buy your groceries from local small grocers and markets. Every little bit helps!

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