Tag Archives: life made delicious

Chickpea Avocado Salad

Chickpea avocado salad

We’re a month into 2014 – are you one of the ones who resolved to eat better and work out more? Not me. I’m all for being fit and healthy, but resolutions don’t work for me. I’m usually off the bandwagon a week in, because no matter how hard I try I just can’t keep myself out of the chicken wings and beer. I still try to do the best I can, though, and this week I made myself a lovely little salad inspired by one of my favourite delis. There’s a delicious chickpea broccoli salad there that I just can’t get enough of, with a sweet and creamy dressing. I’m sure it’s full of mayonnaise and other not-so-healthy stuff, so I decided to give it a go with an avocado dressing.

Chickpea avocado salad

This is a nice, reasonably healthy recipe that fits well into any new year resolution – full of healthy fats and loads of fibre. And even if you didn’t make a resolution to get healthier this year, this is a good salad to make just because it’s so damn tasty. A note, while this keeps well in the fridge, it may discolour a little. It doesn’t affect the flavour, it’s just that the avocado can turn brown as it oxidizes. Still delicious, it just doesn’t have that lovely green colour anymore.

Chickpea avocado salad

Chickpea Avocado Salad

1 ripe avocado
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups cooked chickpeas {2 cans}
1/2 large bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Whisk in honey, olive oil, and lemon juice.

Combine chickpeas, bell pepper, onion and parsley in a bowl. Pour dressing over top and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils #LMDconnector

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Now that we’re in the midst of winter, my mind has turned to hot, filling, comforting meals for every time of day. I’ve been up to my ears in soups and casseroles lately, and while that’s all well and done, this month I wanted to share with you one of my favourite breakfast recipes. Oatmeal is one of my go-to winter breakfasts, and I love it in all its forms (except instant, blech!). Usually at this time of year I gravitate towards apples and maple syrup, but I always keep a stash of frozen fruit from summer’s bounty, and decided that this would be the perfect use. This baked oatmeal is the perfect combination of a little summer freshness (to remind you that winter won’t last forever, even when it seems like it will!), and the hearty warmth that a winter morning requires.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

When my friend Julie first posted this recipe, I had to admit, I was skeptical. Lentils? With oatmeal? Is that girl crazy? I have to assure you, she most certainly is not. Truthfully, while the lentils are a nutritional boost, you don’t even notice them in there, which is perfect for picky eaters. They absorb the flavours of everything else around them, and blend in perfectly with the oats.

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

The best part about this recipe is that it reheats beautifully. I just don’t have time to make myself a hot breakfast on mornings when I’m rushing out the door to get to work, so I toss a little container of this in my bag and take it with me. A minute or two in the microwave as soon as I get to work followed by a drizzle of milk, and I have the hot, delicious, comforting breakfast I so crave on cold winter mornings, especially after standing out in the cold waiting for the bus. Pair it with a cup of tea and that little bit of happy first thing can really start my day off right (and maybe even stave off a case of the Mondays).

baked oatmeal (with lentils!)

Peach Blueberry Baked Oatmeal with Lentils
(adapted from Dinner with Julie)

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup lentils
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup blueberries {fresh or frozen}
1 cup peach slices {fresh or frozen}
1 banana, sliced
2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

All in an 8″ square baking dish, blend together the oats, lentils, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Scatter with blueberries, peach slices and banana slices.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour this over the oats, and give it a bit of a stir to make sure it’s all combined.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown all over and the oats appear done. Scoop out a bowlful and drizzle with cream {or milk}, and enjoy your perfectly heavenly bowl of breakfast lentils.

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Raspberry Dessert #LMDConnector

Raspberry Dessert

Nothing says summer to me like fresh berries, but especially fresh raspberries. I have fond memories of the massive raspberry bushes at my grandparents’ house, of going out in the back yard with an old ice cream bucket and filling it to the brim with bright ruby-red berries. When I was a wee girl, I got to be the one to pick the berries hiding down low and under the leaves, and I used to sit in the shade of the raspberry bushes and eat them by the fistful while my grandmother filled the pails. 25 years later, the smell of fresh raspberries transports me straight back to her kitchen, and the warm summer evenings we spent together.

Raspberry Dessert

My inspiration for this month’s Life Made Delicious post is the essential summer berry – the raspberry. The rich red tones, the tart yet sweet burst in your mouth – perfection in a bite. This recipe is a family favourite, one that has been made for as long as I can remember by my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts. Incidentally, this is my first time attempting it! It has graced every family picnic, every barbecue, every potluck, every celebration in the summer months for as long as I can remember, and yet I have never been the one to make it. Ever. It seems ironic that I’ve tackled the vast majority of my family’s staple recipes, but not this one.

Raspberry Dessert

I spent most of this month wavering on what recipe I’d post, too. I just didn’t know – summer foods? Too many choices! But a recent, and unfortunately sad, family event made the decision for me. My grandfather passed away last night at the ripe old age of 85. I was thankfully able to have a very good, though somewhat rushed, visit with him in his final hours. And before I left, he urged me to go to the house and pick the raspberries – the bushes were overflowing. Well, they weren’t quite overflowing, but there was a decent harvest of fresh berries. We had actually already been to the house and picked the canes of their beautiful harvest before our visit with him, but I promised him that we would make something delicious with them. And so I did.

Raspberry Dessert

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I could honestly eat an entire pan of this and not feel an ounce of guilt. Granma and Pupa Good – this one’s for you. I miss you both more than I can possibly express, and your memories will live on. Of that I am certain.

Raspberry Dessert

Raspberry Dessert

Layer 1:
1 cup graham wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Layer 2:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Layer 3:
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (85g) raspberry-flavoured gelatin
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Layer 4:
1 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp unflavoured gelatin*
1 Tbsp cold water*

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix together graham wafer crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and combine, reserve 1 Tbsp, and press the remainder into an ungreased 8×8 pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, icing sugar, and almond extract. Spread over cooled graham crust.

Pour boiling water into a bowl and whisk in raspberry gelatin powder until dissolved. Stir in raspberries and refrigerate, stirring often, until the mixture begins to thicken and set. Pour over the cream cheese layer and refrigerate until completely set.

Whip cream until it begins to form peaks. Add sugar and vanilla. Sprinkle unflavoured gelatin powder over cold water, and let sit until all the water has been absorbed. Microwave gelatin for 30 seconds, until clear and all crystals have dissolved. Drizzle gelatin into the cream while whipping it. Spread over the set raspberry layer, sprinkle with reserved graham crumbs, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

* A tip: the gelatin and cold water is a stabilizing agent for the whipped cream. If you plan to serve this immediately, you can skip the stabilizing agent and just whip together the cream, sugar, and vanilla. I like to add the stabilizer if it will be in the fridge for more than a few hours, as whipped cream has a tendency to lose its airiness if left to sit for too long.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, and creating tasty memories for your family, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

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