I first made these pickles after a friend gave me a bounty of cucumbers fresh from her garden, and I knew I needed to find a way to use them before they went bad. This Bread and Butter pickle recipe solved my problem and was very uncomplicated to make. Even though it isn’t exactly garden season at the moment, you can still find cucumbers at the grocery store and have these stashed in your fridge year round. They keep for about a month in the fridge and also make great gifts! I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t appreciate a jar of homemade pickles to snack on!
Start by slicing your cucumbers into coins and soaking them in icy water along with onions and a bunch of salt. Let them sit for at least 2 hours to ensure the pickles stay crunchy. 🙂
Bread and Butter Pickle ingredients
Then you just bring the vinegar and all the seasonings to a boil.
Drain the cucumber and onion, and add to the seasoning mixture on the stove.
Turn the heat off and transfer everything to a jar. Let it cool to room temp, put the lid on and store in the fridge for up to a month. Yum!
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
1 lb pickling cucumbers, like Israeli of Kirby, sliced into coins
1 small yellow onion, sliced as thinly as possible
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
A pinch of celery seed
1 bay leaf
- Combine the cucumbers, onion and salt in a large mixing bowl of very icy ice water and let them sit for 2 hours (this will help keep the pickles very crunchy).
- Meanwhile, bring the vinegar, honey and seasonings to a boil in a large pot. Drain the cucumbers and onions and add them to the pot. Bring back to a boil, immediately turn off the heat, and transfer the entire mixture to a glass jar.
- Once the jar cools to room temperature, put a lid on it and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Makes about a pint
From: It’s All Good
Right before Christmas some family came to town, and we had a night in at my place where we cooked dinner. Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto mixed with some ricotta cheese and stuffed inside homemade ravioli, to be exact. 🙂 I had some pasta dough in the freezer, so all we had to do was make the filling and assemble everything. Everyone pitched in and we created an insanely delicious meal. Fun stuff!
We played around with the best way to make ravioli, and settled on using a round ravioli stamp. Cutting them by hand was messier and just not as pretty. Since they were big, the trick was not to over-stuff it, and find a good balance of pasta and filling. I think we nailed it!
We cooked everything up and topped with a lemon brown butter sauce, fresh basil and Parmesan. No leftovers in sight!
Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Ravioli
Artichoke and Pine Nut Pesto Filling Recipe
1 cup artichoke heart, cooked (canned would be fine, and roughly chopped)
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch coarse salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 -2 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 – 3/4 cups ricotta cheese, to taste
- Pulse the first 7 ingredients together in a food processor. Stir in the ricotta and the tarragon and season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.
Note: Omit ricotta and serve pesto mixed with spaghetti or spread on some grilled bread for a tasty snack.
Fresh Pasta Recipe:
2 organic large eggs
10 organic large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting
- Whisk together the whole eggs and yolks in a bowl. Put the flour on a large board or in your biggest mixing bow, make a well in the centre, and pour the eggs into the well. Slowly bring in the flour using a fork and then knead by hand just a few times or until a nice dough forms. Add a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky. Let the dough rest under a tea towel for at least 10 minutes before proceeding.
- Take out your pasta machine. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and roughly form into rectangles. Dust each rectangle with a bit of flour. Starting on the widest setting, put one piece through the machine, dusting with more flour if it’s at all sticky.
- Fold the dough over itself and go through again on the same setting (you are essentially kneading and stretching the dough). Repeat this process on each setting, going from widest to thinnest, until you are left with a long, thing sheet of pasta. Be gentle during the process and careful not to tear your sheets.
- Repeat the whole process with all the pieces of dough, laying them on tea towels or your clean counter. Cover with plastic wrap or a barely damp towel.
- Add a few tablespoons of filling every few inches to the top of a sheet, and top with another sheet of pasta. Stamp or cut out your raviolis, making sure the edges are sealed so none of the filling escapes.
- Top with sauce of choice. I used a brown butter sauce with a bit of lemon, but I bet this would be great topped with something creamy, as well. Don’t forget the Parmesean, basil and fresh ground pepper to finish it all off!
From: My Father’s Daughter
I’m a sucker for anything that’s salty and sweet, and if you add chocolate to the mix it’s the best snack ever. What I like best about these candy bars is that they use all real, healthy ingredients and are very straightforward to throw together. You do have to plan ahead a bit though and let the cashew, date, shredded coconut, maple syrup and peanut butter filling set for a few hours. I skipped this step one time and they were messier and more crumbly than when you let them chill.
The recipe calls for almond butter, but since I didn’t have any I substituted natural peanut butter and I have zero complaints about how these turned out. Coconut flour and coconut oil are also in the original recipe but again I substituted (a bit less) regular flour and peanut oil. I’m sure there are many variations you could try and come up with an above average snack each time!
Candy Bar ingredients
Start by blending the cashews (or whatever other nut you want to use) until they’re a fine meal. Then throw in everything else (except the chocolate chips) and blend until a sticky dough ball forms.
Spread the mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. The parchment will make it much easier to free these treats from the dish later on, and you’re going to want fast, easy access.
Set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate chips and oil, then spread the melted mixture on top of the cooled nut mixture.
I actually felt that this amount of chocolate while delicious, could be overpoweringly sweet at times. Next time I think I’ll cut it in half and just get a hint of sweetness. Gotta find that flavour balance!
Candy Bars Recipe
1 1/2 cups salted cashews
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (or 3/4 cups if you want just a hint of sweetness)
1 1/2 tablespoons oil (coconut, peanut, canola, etc.)
- Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, peanut (or almond) butter, maple syrup, flour, shredded coconut, almond extract and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough.
- Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper and press the cashew mixture out onto the paper, making a rectangle 1 inch deep. Refrigerate mixture for a few hours until it’s firm.
- Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl set over a pot of boiling water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl). Stir the mixture until it’s just melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mix. Return the bar to the fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, at least 1 hour.
- Using the parchment, lift the bar out of the sheet pan and cut it into rectangles. Serve at once or store in an airtight container
From: It’s All Good
These popsicles could not be easier to make and are the perfect treat to pull out of the freezer on a summer afternoon, or for a healthy dessert one night. . There are only 3 ingredients: fresh or frozen blueberries, coconut milk and maple syrup. Just blend everything together (I used my immersion blender – the food processor would have worked as well, but the the clean up is waaay easier), pour into popsicle molds, freeze for a few hours, and voila! Very little work for a very high flavour return.
Blueberry Popsicle Ingredients
I also used a pitcher to hold all the ingredients instead of a bowl, since the spout factor was very convenient for pouring the mixture into the molds.
Blueberry Popsicle Molds
The only popsicle molds available at my local kitchen store are designed to make rocket pops – remember those? I figured they would work just fine, but didn’t really consider it would be nearly impossible to get a non-phallic shot of the finished product…This is the next best thing!
Blueberry Popsicle Recipe
2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh
1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4-5 hours before eating.
From: It’s All Good
Often when my brother Robb and I get together, kitchen shenanigans ensue. On this particular occasion we made a giant batch of almond milk (more on that later) and were looking for ways to use it. We decided to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s frozen banana “ice cream” and were not disappointed. It’s only a handful of ingredients, and doesn’t require any fancy machinery, like an ice cream maker. A food processor works just fine! Needless to say, this turned out to be a very refreshing (and healthy) summer treat.
We started by slicing bananas and putting them in the freezer.
Frozen Banana Slices
Throw the frozen bananas in a food processor with some almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla.
Frozen banana mix
Pulse a few times until the mixture is just blended. mmmmmmmmm.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream
Mix some toasted, chopped pecans (or almonds, or whatever nut you have on hand) with maple syrup, a pinch of kosher salt and drizzle over top of the ice cream. Downright delightful.
My only complaint is that it melts quickly and therefore makes it tough to get a decent photo, but that’s not really a huuuuuuge problem.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream
Frozen Banana Ice Cream Recipe
4 Ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted almonds or pecans
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Freeze the banana slices in a single layer on a tray or plate lined with wax or parchment paper. Once the slices are frozen, use them immediately or keep frozen in a zip-top plastic bag or airtight container for up to a month.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the nuts with 2 teaspoons of the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and set the mixture aside.
- Combine the frozen banana slices, the almond milk, the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and the vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of soft serve ice cream, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t worry if the mixture is not totally smooth at first – once the bananas start to break down and defrost in the food processor, they’ll give in and the “ice cream” will take shape quickly.
- Spoon the banana ice cream into bowls immediately and sprinkle each serving with a bit of the almond mixture.
From: It’s All Good
Because I’m always on the lookout for new and delicious sounding recipes to entice me into healthy eating, I picked up Gwyneth Paltrow’s book in Chapter’s one day. After a few discreet iPhone shots of some especially mouth-wateringly good sounding recipes, I figured I should just go ahead and buy the whole thing. I’ve tried a handful of recipes so far, and have really liked all of them. This one for roasted cauliflower and chickpeas was the first one I tried, and will definitely be making it again. We had it as a side for dinner one night, and it was so good that two people easily polished off an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting! And the whole recipe involved about six ingredients, most of which you likely already have in your pantry. Not complicated at all!
Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas set-up
Mix up two kinds of mustard, add rice vinegar, parsley and kosher salt. Dressing complete!
Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and salt, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. The dark brown pieces is where the flavour’s at 😉
Roasted Cauliflower and chickpeas
Toss the cauliflower mix with some parsley and the mustard dressing, then revel in that gorgeous, golden colour!
Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with mustard and parsley
Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley Recipe
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp seeded mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan or cookie sheet with 3 tbsp olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar and 1/4 olive oil with a big pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From: It’s All Good
This is easily one of the most flavourful curries I’ve ever made. I have my go-to curry recipe, but thought I’d spice it up a bit and try a curry recipe from Jamie Oliver. I had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up so his sweet potato and chick pea curry called to me. I made a few minor adjustments based on what I had in the fridge, and man oh man, this turned out great! What I loved most was how rich the curry tasted, and how the sweetness from the potatoes was a perfect balance. Fresh cilantro, salty cashews and Greek yogurt really put this curry over the top.
It all starts with a solid base of onions, garlic and curry paste.
Onion and garlic curry base
Then add your veggies and some coconut milk and let it simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
Veggie and coconut curry
Once the sauce has thickened up and you are about to serve, throw in some spinach. Stir, let sit for a few minutes until just wilted.
Then serve it up with cilantro, cashews and Greek yogurt. Prepare for your taste buds to rejoice!
Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry
Dang. Just try this. So good.
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry Recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp curry paste
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger, grated
A bunch of cilantro, stalks chopped, leaves picked
1 cup cauliflower
2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400ml tin light coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
400g spinach, washed
Dollop Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped cashews
Poppadoms and rice, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and curry paste, mix well, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden.
- Add the chilli, ginger, cilantro stalks, cauliflower, sweet potato and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 200ml water (or broth) and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10–15 minutes. Remove the lid, then cook for a further 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sauce thickened. Add more water/broth if necessary, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Scatter over the coriander leaves, cashews, greek yogurt, then serve with poppadums and rice.
- To freeze the curry for another time, leave to cool in the pan, then spoon into portion-sized containers or freezer bags and freeze. The curry will keep there for up to 3 months.
From: Jamie Oliver