Harissa Carrot Salad
3 carrots (grated)
1/2 lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp Harissa paste or spices (I got mine at Loblaws)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley. I used fresh but you can use dried.
1 Chopped Green onion
*optional toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) on top
Peel and grate the carrots on a box grater with the large holes. Place in a bowl.
In a mason jar add all of the rest of the ingredients except for the pepitas.
Add the lid to the jar and mix well and pour over the carrots until it's lightly dressed and tossed.
Add the toasted pepitas on top.
*Optional. you can also add chopped garlic to the dressing but you don't need it really.
You can serve it cold or at room temperature. Perfect for Potlucks.
LAZY CABBAGE ROLLS
1/2 head of White Cabbage (cubed)
1 can of chopped Tomatoes
1 pound of ground Beef/pork mixture
2 Italian Sausages (uncooked and remove casing)
1 small onion
1 cup parboiled rice (uncooked)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp paprika
1/2- 1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 -1/2 cups water or stock
1 tbsp Canola Oil
Cut the Cabbage into cubes about 1 inch and rinse and set aside.
Cut the onions into small diced pieces and set aside. Chop garlic and reserve.
Open your can of tomatoes and set aside.
In a Large Dutch Oven heat it on medium to high heat on the stove, I used my Le Creuset Pot because it's oven proof and you can brown the meat in it before putting everything in the oven.
When the pot gets hot add the oil and add the ground meat and the sausage meat and break it up into small chunks. Let it brown on both sides but don't cook through. Once both sides are brown add the onions and mix through. Cook for a minute and then add the chopped Cabbage and the garlic and mix through again. Cook for another couple of minutes and add the rest of the seasonings. Then add the cup of rice and mix to distribute the rice throughout and coat the grains of rice. Add the chopped tomatoes and then fill the empty can with water and pour that in. Make sure there is enough liquid so that you can actually see it but it's not a soup. You need enough for the rice to cook and spread. You can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock if you have some instead of water. I used a bit of beef stock and water. Add the one can of water and see if you need to add more water once you mix everything through and the water comes to the top of the whole mixture. Add the butter for a creamy flavour texture if you like.
Place the cover on the pot and put it in a preheated oven set at 350F for about 20 minutes. You can check at the 15 minute mark and mix it through and see if there is enough liquid. Add more if the rice isn't cooked and there isn't any liquid left.
It shouldn't take more than an hour from start to finish to make this and it's all in One Pot.
It makes at least 4 large servings.
I had some for dinner and lunch the next day and have at least 2 more portions left.
It's great the next day and you could probably freeze it if you add a tiny bit more liquid to it.
NEW YEAR'S EVE Rostii/ Latkes
1 large Russet potato
Fresh Dill or chives
Peel at least 1 russet potato and grate on a box grater on the large grate side. Do it quickly.
You can pat it dry with a paper towel but you don't have to add anything else. Just work quickly before the potatoes turn brown.
In a medium frying pan heat up a tablespoon of oil and add a small amount of butter about a teaspoon for flavour. When the butter is melted add a spoonful of the grated potato and pat down to a small rounded mound of potatoes. It's easier to make them small to flip them.
Flip them using a spatula when you see the sides start to get brown. Continue to cook until both sides are brown and crispy. Before you flip them you can add salt and pepper. Remove and place on a paper towel lined tray until they are all done.
If you want to make a lot for a party I would suggest just grating a potato at a time so they don't get brown. You can only cook them in small batches anyway. This method skips the straining and adding flour or eggs that you would normally add but you still get nice crispy potatoes.
You can make ahead and keep heated in a low oven. At the last minute garnish with smoked salmon and a make the sauce using a small container of sour cream and a tablespoon of grated horseradish and add a tsp. of dill or chives.
Place the smoked salmon on top of the latke and then add a tsp of the sour cream sauce on top and then top with fresh dill or chives.
That's pretty much it. It just take a bit of time to cook the potatoes but it's pretty easy and few ingredients.
One large russet potato is about 2 servings.
1 tbsp canola oil or other vegetable oil
½ chopped medium onion
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey
5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 oz. Jack Daniels whisky or similar
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
3 tsp dry mustard or regular mustard
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
In a saucepan on medium heat add the Canola oil and when it’s hot add the diced onions. Cook until translucent. Add the salt and spices and mix until you smell the spices. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on medium low for about 20 to 30 minutes until it thickens up and flavours are released.
Let cool and store in a Mason Jar or squeeze bottle in the fridge. If you leave the onions out you can store for a longer time.
I used it on cubes of chicken that I sautéed. Cut up chicken breast in cubes and add salt and pepper. Saute in a frying pan until there is a golden brown color. Lower the heat and add a tablespoon or 2 of the BBQ sauce and then just heat until it coats the chicken and is thoroughly cooked through and hot.
Super easy and quick.
TUNA PASTA SALAD
1/2 box of Penne pasta
1 stalk of celery
1/2 green pepper chopped
2 green onions chopped
1/4 red onion diced
chopped parsley *optional
1/2 cup of Vinaigrette of 1 part oil and 1 part Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 lemon zest and juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans of Tuna
*mustard (optional) you can add a teaspoon of mustard to the vinaigrette but I omitted it.
Cook the whole box of Penne Pasta according to the directions on the package and drain and divide into half the other half reserved for tomato sauce or your favourite pesto sauce. Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the vinaigrette dressing. I usually just add enough to coat the pasta and keep it moist so I don't always measure. I like more acid than oil in my salads but classic vinaigrette is 1 part acid and 2 parts oil.
Add the canned tuna, I usually drain and rinse slightly to get excess salt out. I like to control the salt a bit more for the whole salad.
Add the chopped vegetables and fresh herbs like parsley or basil and toss the pasta.
You can add mayonnaise but I skip it because this salad will keep longer and less chance of getting sick if it sits at room temperature.
It's that easy. Most of the hard work comes in the vegetable prep because the pasta is just boiling water and draining the pasta.
It's great to add the vinaigrette when the pasta is warm so that it absorbs the dressing better and I really like the pasta salad when it's still warm but it will intensify when it sits in the fridge for a while.
The containers you put your lunches in is equally important. For the cold pasta salad it's ok to use a good plastic container without BPA because you won't be microwaving it and make sure it has a good seal to keep it fresh.
For the Hot meals I always use glass containers if I am going to be microwaving them. When I am at work I see people microwaving their lunches in cheap plastic containers. That's the worst thing you can do because it leaches the plastic into your food. I am not a huge fan of microwaves and use very sparingly. At my office I have a ceramic mug with a handle that I can microwave things like chili and soup so that it's easy to take out of the microwave and it has a plastic lid with a vent. That might not be as practical for a school lunch but easy to keep in your desk at the office.