Summer Salad Rolls

These Vietnamese style salad rolls are my new obsession! I cannot stop making (and eating!) them, I made the first batch last week and have made two more batches since. They are so tasty, light and relatively easy to make once you get the rolling down. Salad rolls are usually done with shrimp but I’m allergic so it was chicken for these guys. I think adding a little bit of fruit made them really special, it brings a sweetness and tones down the spicy sauce a bit.

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The most tedious part is the prep. You have to do a lot of chopping, once everything is ready and you start rolling things go pretty fast. The best part of these is that you can basically put in whatever you want and substitute or add things the more you make them. This batch I put in plums and cabbage, then took that out next time and used pink lady apples and spring mix instead, I think the apple was better.

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What you’ll need for the wraps:

  • One – two red bell peppers, sliced thin
  • english cucumber cut in half then sliced thin
  • 3 plums, cored and sliced thin
  • red cabbage cut into thin slices
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks (I bought a bag of pre cut matchstick carrots to save myself some time)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • Rice vermicelli noodles (find in the “asian” section of any grocery store – cook as directed)
  • rice paper wrappers (find in the “asian” section of any grocery store)
  • one bunch cilantro, use to your liking

A note on using the rice paper. I fill a pie plate with luke warm water, and the key with these is to get them just the right amount of soft and wet. I soaked two at a time, about two and a half minutes. If you have never used them before, they start out hard and crispy. Lie them in the water, touch them periodically to see how soft they are getting. It might take a few tries, but don’t get discouraged – too soft and they’ll rip, still too crisp and they’ll rip. Once you get a few good wraps you’ll know the right texture to take them out at. I also found wrapping them on a wooden cutting board was the easiest because the wraps will be soaked when you take them out of the pie plate, it will absorb a little bit of that water so they’re easier to work with and they won’t slide around like on a plate.

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What you’ll need for the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons natural rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
  •  1 tablespoon all natural honey

Whisk it all together! This sauce does definitely have a bite to it, my husband preferred it with a little more peanut butter, I prefer it with a little less – do whatever works for your tastes.

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Now start rolling those babies! Soak your rice paper then transfer to your rolling area. I always build in the middle of the paper then wrap them like a fajita; fold up the bottom, fold up the sides and roll up to the top – you really want to tuck as you’re rolling to the top or they can get messy, the wrappers will get a little sticky as they dry and self adhere. I usually did my rice noodles first, laid peppers on one side of the noddles and cucumbers on the other, topped with plum, chicken, then finished with cabbage and carrot, I added cilantro to all of mine but I love cilantro, I know some people hate it.

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Your final product should be a pretty snug wrap, it might take a few times – I had no clue what I was doing at first.

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Then you can drizzle the wrap with the peanut sauce or dip as you eat.

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These refrigerate really well, just make sure they’re in an air tight container or the wraps will harden and get stale. I made a bunch and ate them for lunch all week. Then when those were gone I made a new batch with a few changes to the filling and made my husband eat them for dinner, I love them!

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This recipe was adapted from buzzfeed.

Enjoy! Have fun making them and mixing up the recipe!

 

 

 

 

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Hot soup, cool salad!

These are my two favourite recipes of 2016, and even though we’re just finished January I think they have staying power. I have made this healthy version of a Chinese chicken salad three times in the last month! It takes a little bit of prep time but it keeps for a least a few days and makes a huge, veggie filled salad. I love soup, particularly thick pureed soups – tomato and tortilla are the top of my list. This tomato soup is made with greek yogurt instead of cream so it’s a lot more guilt free then your standard tomato soup but is still so filling. I’ll be making it again and again in the winter months.

Clean Eating Chinese Chicken Salad

I am a big salad eater but I tend to stay away from Chinese style salad because they’re usually full of heavy noodles, deep fried wontons and sugary dressings, at least in all our North American style restaurants! This version still has tons of crunch with all the different veggies and I added a few organic, unsalted peanuts.

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3.5 cups raw tri-colour slaw
  • 2 cups cooked and shelled edamame
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, sliced very thin
  • 2 cups cooked and chilled chicken breast, chopped into bit site pieces
  • 2 handfuls bean sprouts
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For your dressing

  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pureed ginger
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic honey

Whisk all your dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Then you can start building your salad, this is how I layer it…

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Started with peppers, then added carrot, cucumber and sprouts.

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Slaw and edamame, and finally chicken. I then toss the salad while it’s dry to mix up all the veggies and chicken. Add you dressing and toss, then add your chopped cilantro and peanuts and toss a second time.

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I would recommend chilling it covered in the fridge for a couple hours, it tastes better cool and the dressing mixes with all the veg and the chicken. I made it on my lunch break, chilled it and then had it for dinner – it was perfect.

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This salad is a rainbow!

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If you so desire add a few wonton crisps (I just bought some at the grocery store with all the salad stuff), green onion, or sesame seeds. The wonton crisps add a little salty element to it, but it’s much cleaner without and I don’t think it needs it. Enjoy! You’ll soon be making it time and time again like me!

Tomato Basil Soup with Greek Yogurt

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This soup is to die for you guys, and I’m not afraid to say it! It takes a little bit of work but it is completely worth it. I will never eat or serve canned tomato soup! If you’re a hearty soup lover like me, this is the recipe for you.

What you’ll need…

  • 2 of the large canned diced tomatoes (the 28oz/793g cans) I used one that was diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, and one that was diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 chopped small yellow onion
  • 4 chopped cloves of garlic (you can decrease that if you’re not crazy for garlic)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of chopped basil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

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Add olive oil to large pot on medium high heat and sauté your onions for about four minutes, add garlic and sauté  for another two minutes.

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Pour in your diced tomatoes, empty the can – no juice left and also add vegetable broth at this time. Stir in basil, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper, you don’t need much salt but I added a lot of pepper. Put the lid on the pot and cook at low heat for 10 to 12 minutes.

Now is time to add your greek yogurt and cheddar cheese. I’ll be honest and say I was a little more generous than 1 cup of cheese, but the original recipe calls or 1 cup. Stir until well blended.

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Now this is the key to the soup – puree it. Pour the entire soup into a blender, juicer, food processor – whatever you have is fine – and blend for about thirty seconds, it doesn’t take much. Then add your soup back to the warm pot.

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Cover again and simmer for another 7 – 10 minutes. While it’s simmering chop a little more basil and grate a bit more cheese to top the soup. In most of my pictures it’s also topped with pepper but that is optional, I just love pepper and Ryan doesn’t like much spice so I added it to my individual bowl.

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My mouth is seriously watering just writing this.

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This recipe was adapted from the More Fruit Please blog.

I hope everyone is having a great new year so far! These recipes should help stay on track with any healthy new year’s resolutions while still satisfying your most demanding cravings.

 

Vegan, Gluten Free Curry for Dinner!

Ryan and I spent a lot of the summer on some strict diets, so now that we’re off (and happy!) I’ve been looking for unique options for healthy dinners that are a little more fun then chicken and rice! This chickpea and sweet potato curry is so simple to make and I absolutely loved it, my girlfriend Lisa also came over for dinner and she devoured it. It doesn’t have any cream, it’s about 190 calories per serving and this recipe makes 6 servings. Ryan is not really a curry fan so I don’t think he loved it as much as me but what does he know anyway!

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  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

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Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic, curry, ginger, pepper and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes.

  • 2 small sweet potatoes chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 796 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 540 ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • cooked brown basmati rice (I served about 3/4 of a cup of rice with each curry serving – this still keeps your whole meal well under 400 calories)

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Peel your sweet potatoes and chop into pieces, stir into saucepan along with diced tomatoes, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in your chickpeas and continue cooking until sweet potato is soft, about 15 minutes. Cook your rice while your simmering and waiting for the sweet potato to cook. Sprinkle with cilantro. Could not be easier. It also warms really well as a left over the next couple days. Enjoy and happy cooking!

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