On a lot of restaurant menus, especially during the summer months, I usually find some type of fresh tuna salad. Now I love tuna! I love just slightly searing the outsides of the fresh tuna and slicing it thin, placing it right on top of the green salad. For me, it's like eating sushi but without the rice! Obviously, when eating sushi there is the dipping sauce, and in the dip sauce most of us add in that Asian green mustard called wasabi (spicy I know!). For me, the wasabi is great with any raw fish because it takes away any possible fishy flavour you might get after tasting it. Anddd I should mention the wasabi clears my sinuses too! So here is the fourth installment of the series of walnut recipes from California Walnuts.  The wonderful summer months are upon us folks! Have something fresh for lunch like say...a tuna salad! :)

Oh, on a side note...Happy Canada Day (on July 1st) to all of my Canadian readers! Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

Recipe and photo from California Walnuts. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California walnuts is strictly from California walnuts and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Walnut Wasabi Dressing:
1/2 cup (125 mL) California walnut pieces, toasted
2 tbsp (30 mL) walnut or olive oil
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) wasabi
1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
dash sesame oil
2 limes, juiced

Tuna Salad:
4 4 oz (125 g) sushi grade tuna steaks
salt and pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 Boston Bibb lettuce
1/2 cup (125 mL) California walnuts, toasted
1 avocado, sliced
4 tbsp (60 mL) pickled ginger, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) red cabbage, finely sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
handful cilantro
   

DIRECTIONS:

Walnut Wasabi Dressing:
With an immersion blender, blend walnuts, oil, wasabi, soy, sesame oil and lime juice until creamy in consistency. Set aside.

Tuna Salad:
Season tuna steaks with salt and pepper. In a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sear tuna for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Let rest. Cut each tuna steak into thin slices.

Divide the lettuce, walnuts, avocado, ginger and red cabbage among four plates. Top the lettuce with the walnut wasabi dressing and tuna. Garnish with green onion and cilantro.
Tips: The dressing can be used as a dip or as a sauce for grilled chicken.

Toasting Walnuts:

Baking: Preheat oven to 350∞F (180∞C). Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently.

Stovetop: Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently

PER SERVING: about 548 cal, 33 g pro, 41 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 16 g carb, 7 g fibre, 51 mg chol, 522 mg sodium. %RDI: 7% calcium, 19% iron, 11% vit A, 31% vit C.

 
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Do you know what got my attention originally with this recipe? If you're a FTY reader than you are already aware that I have a Korean background, so naturally the first thing I saw was the word "kimchi". Kimchi is essentially a Korean fermented dish made with mostly napa cabbage and a variety of spices. It is served along side rice and almost anything else within the Korean cuisine. I don't think I ever remember having a Korean dish without it. But anyways I digress!

The idea of having a steak sandwich with kimchi is brilliant! Partly, I say this because kimchi is an excellent partner with beef. We Koreans love having kimchi with Korean beef BBQ, so I can imagine this combination tasting quite good! Also, the sandwich being open-faced when served would really be a show-stopper! Like I always say, people always eat with their eyes first! Tantalizing isn't it? So without further delay, here is the third installment of the walnut recipes from California Walnuts for you all to enjoy!

Recipe and photo from California Walnuts. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California walnuts is strictly from California walnuts and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Makes 8-10 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 mL) California walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp (60 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
2 lb (1 kg) flank steak
1 tbsp (15 m) olive oil L
salt and pepper
1 small baguette, thinly sliced diagonally into 8-10 equal parts
1 cup (250 mL) kimchi, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350∞F (180∞C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine walnuts, maple syrup and soy sauce. Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool.

Brush steak with oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill or grill pan to high heat and grill steak to desired doneness. Let rest.

Lightly oil and grill the baguette slices on the bbq or in grill pan.

In a bowl, add walnut mixture, kimchi, onion and bean sprouts. Thinly slice the steak crosswise and divide evenly among 8 to 10 baguette slices. Top steak with walnut kimchi. Serve immediately.

PER SERVING: (1 sandwich): about 362 cal, 24 g pro, 20 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 24 g carb, 2 g fibre, 31 mg chol, 374 mg sodium. %RDI: 3% calcium, 15% iron, 8% vit C.


Cook's Tip: I would even recommend making this sammie on nice Italian bread. Make it a larger sandwich for dinner!
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SUPER SALAD WITH LEMON-HONEY SESAME CHICKEN

I just love making huge salads for dinner sometimes. It's a quick way to get the dinner on the table in about 30 minutes or less! For this particular night, I decided that instead of just cooking a plain old seasoned chicken on the pan, I would instead do something a bit more special....say a sesame chicken! with lemon and honey! I figured if you make a monster salad and add tons of good veggies and fruits this salad could not fail, even if the chicekn didn't turn out good. So here I gave it a shot! Turns out, it was good.....real good! Now I have to say here I don't like to measure when it comes to making salads. I figure the person making the salad knows best on how much they want. So I won't be providing measurements for the greens but I will for the chicken. My hubby and I were thoroughly impressed by how well this turned out! Make it an easy night folks and make it a salad dinner!

Serves 2 generously

Ingredients for Salad:

  • Mixed baby greens (baby romaine, spinach, arugula etc.)
  • Carrots, sliced into matchsticks or pre-sliced slaw style carrots
  • cucumber, thin slices
  • broccoli slaw style (pre-packaged), and florets
  • mushroom, thin slices
  • olives, sliced thin
  • Ripe tomato, sliced into wedges
  • Ripe avocado, sliced into wedges
  • fresh strawberries, sliced
  • toasted walnuts, chopped roughly
  • small cubes of cheddar or havarti cheese
  • Creamy dressing (use your favourite)

Ingredients for Sesame Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways and sliced in half
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large handfuls of sesame seeds (untoasted variety) - use more if needed
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey

1. Assemble the salad. Get two large dinner plates and place all of the greens down first, then top the rest of the ingredients (minus the dressing). Place saran wrap over the two plates of salad and place it into the fridge to keep cool and fresh.

2. Take the sliced chicken breasts and place it into a bowl. Add in the beaten egg and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Place the sesame seeds into another plate. Then using a fork, take the chicken pieces one by one and place each one into the plate of sesame seeds to coat. Then place them onto a clean plate until you're ready to cook.

3. Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat, and drizzle with oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook on both sides. This should take 5-6 minutes per side, check for doneness. Make sure not to burn the sesame seeds and don't overcrowd the pan. You may have to do this in two batches, so make sure to have a little extra oil on hand.

4. Once the chicken is cooked through, lower the heat to medium, and squeeze the lemon juice all over. Drizzle the honey as well and make sure all of the chicken coats. Cook for another 2 minutes, then turn the heat off. 

5. Take the salad out of the fridge. Slice the warm chicken into strips and place them on top of the plates of salad. Drizzle generously with your favourite creamy dressing and eat right away!
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Here is a wonderful and easy recipe for a sophisticated version of a grilled cheese sammie. I was actually flipping through a toddler cookbook called Top 100 Finger Foods by: Annabel Karmel (a great book!) and saw this recipe. The author actually had the cheese toast dressed up like a cute little bunny rabbit, but knowing my little girl I knew that she wouldn't be fooled by a dressed up sandwich -- cute or not! I decided to give it a try and see what she thought. You can't fool kids, they always tell you the truth about food. Yuck! = forget about it mom! and Yum! = Keep it coming mom! All kidding aside, it was a big hit! My addition to this recipe was the chopped up ham. For me, it added a bit of a nice smokey bite to the sammie. Having the cheese toast on a english muffin and adding in the egg yolk to the cheese mixture made the texture when cooked quite fluffy. Delicious all in all! This one is a great one to serve not only to the kiddies but also at a nice brunch :) Happy eating!

Adapted from the "Welsh 'Rabbits'" recipe. From the Top 100 Finger Foods cookbook by: Annabel Karmel. (copyright 2009).

Makes 1 portion

Preheat the broiler to high

Baking time: 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is golden and melted

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 thin slice of ham, chopped fine
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tsps cream or milk
  • 2-3 drops Worcestershire Sauce (or to your taste)
  • Pepper, to season
  • 1 English Muffin, split and lightly toasted
  • Fresh chives, chopped (to garnish if you wish)

1. Preheat the broiler to a high temperature. On a small baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Put in the cheese, ham, egg yolk, cream, and Worcestershire sauce into a small bowl and mash it together to combine. Season with pepper.

3. Spread the mixture on the cut sides of the toasted muffin, spreading it right to the edges of the english muffin. Place the cheese topped muffin halves about 3-inches away from the heat (about one rack down from normal broiling position). Broil for a good 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted and golden. Serve immediately with either a light green salad or a handful of cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
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WALNUT TOFFEE BARK AFFOGATO

OK dear readers, I have to admit something... I love anything chocolatey that you can serve with ice cream. When you add one of my favourite nuts i.e. walnuts to this delicious chocolatey dessert you got delicious heaven on a plate! This is the second installment from California Walnuts. This is a recipe that I will have to try when company is coming over. I am sure to impress with these affogatos yummmmm!

Recipe and photo from California Walnuts. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California walnuts is strictly from California walnuts and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Makes about 20 servings

INGREDIENTS:

vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) California walnut pieces, toasted and chopped, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, salted
1 1/4 cup (300 mL) light brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) light corn syrup
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
7 oz (210 g) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
60 oz (4.5 L) ice cream, vanilla recommended
20 oz (600 mL) espresso
   


DIRECTIONS:

Use vegetable oil to grease a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 cup (250 mL) of walnuts in an even layer in centre of baking sheet, set aside

In a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, add butter, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes, using a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches 275∞F (140∞C). Immediately remove from the heat and stir in baking soda (it is normal if the mixture foams). Tip the pot over the baking sheet and carefully spoon toffee over the walnuts to cover evenly. Sprinkle chocolate over the toffee and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Spread chocolate with an offset spatula to achieve an even layer, and then top it with remaining walnuts. Let bark chill for 20 minutes until the chocolate has set and then portion into 2-inch (5 cm) square pieces.

To serve, scoop 3 oz (75 g) of ice cream into a bowl and top with a 1 oz (30 mL) shot of espresso and walnut bark.

Makes approximately an 8- x 11-inch (20 cm x 28 cm) piece.

PER SERVING: about 393 cal, 6 g pro, 26 g fat (12 g sat. fat), 37 g carb, 1 g fibre, 106 mg chol, 98 mg sodium. %RDI: 13% calcium, 5% iron, 4% vit A.

Tip: Toasting Walnuts


Baking: Preheat oven to 350∞F (180∞C). Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently.


Stovetop: Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

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GRILLED VEGETABLE SANDWICH WITH WALNUT AIOLI

I love me a good grilled veggie sandwich, don't you? I first had me one of these several years ago at a pub. To be honest, as much as I love grilled veggies I wasn't too sure (at the time) about a sammie without some type of meat in it, but boy was I wrong! It turned out to be one of my hands down favourite ways to eat a sandwich. So when this picture and recipe was sent to me via California Walnuts I just knew I was in sandwich heaven! This was definitely going on the blog, no questions asked!

Recipe and photo from California Walnuts. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California walnuts is strictly from California walnuts and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Makes 4 Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (250 mL) California walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tbsp (30 mL) tahini
2 tbsp (30 mL) mayonnaise
1 lemon, juiced

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich:

1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch (1 cm) coins
1 small eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch (1 cm)
1 orange pepper, sliced in strips
4 small tomatoes, sliced in half
1 onion, sliced 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick
4 tbsp (60 mL) olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
8 slices of sourdough bread
1 clove garlic
handful basil leaves, chiffonade (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Lemon Walnut Aioli:
In a food processor, add walnuts, Dijon, tahini, mayonnaise and lemon juice; pulse into a chunky paste. Set aside.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich:
In a large bowl, toss zucchini, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes and onion with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of olive oil, salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness.

Brush bread with remaining oil and lightly grill on both sides. Rub each slice of bread gently with garlic.

Spoon 1 tbsp (15 mL) of lemon walnut aioli on two slices of bread, and place 1/4 of the grilled vegetables between the slices. Repeat with remaining bread and vegetables.

Optional: Garnish sandwiches with basil leaves.


Tips: The lemon walnut aioli tastes great with grilled chicken. The aioli can also be used as a burger spread or as a veggie dip.

Toasting Walnuts
Baking: Preheat oven to 350∞F (180∞C). Arrange walnuts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently.
Stovetop: Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

PER SERVING: (1 sandwich): about 714 cal, 16 g pro, 45 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 67 g carb, 9 g fibre, 3 mg chol, 971 mg sodium. %RDI: 13% calcium, 33% iron, 5% vit A, 182% vit C.
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BLUEBERRY LEMON SOUR CREAM MUFFINS

Don't these look good FTY readers? I made these delectable muffins on the weekend for my hubby (and daughter of course!) for a nice afternoon treat for Father's Day. My hubby came home after he went for a little shopping trip to the grocery store and had a huge smile on his face. He could smell the goodness of something baking in the air! Now I had to admit I don't bake as much as I would like since I'm busy with a toddler, but when I do bake I love baking something new. Something on my, "I definitely need to try this" list of recipes. I had this one bookmarked for a while now and surprisingly (to some) I got this recipe from a cooking magazine. I just added a bit of lemon zest and there I had the most perfect batch of homemade muffins. My hubby even admitted these were one of the best homemade muffins he has eaten in a long time. This one is a good one folks, definitely one of my favs! These are best eaten the day of. Make these muffins for someone you care about and you're sure to put a smile on their face too.

This post is dedicated to my wonderful husband Matt and to the most wonderful Father to our little girl. She is one lucky little lady :) Glad you enjoyed the muffins sweetie! xoxo

Adapted from the "berry cream muffins" recipe from Linda G. From the Taste of Home's: Prize Winning Recipes Magazine (Spring 2005).

Yields: about 24 muffins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (or raspberries)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sour cream (5%)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line two muffin pans with paper muffin cups. Set aside for now.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then gently stir in the blueberries and the lemon zest. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla; mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients until the batter is just moistened. Fill in the paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

4. Place it into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. Using a toothpick, poke the middle of the baked muffins and if it comes out clean then they are ready. Cool the muffins a bit before eating them.
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WATERMELON PINA COLADA

So for my final watermelon post on FTY from the National Watermelon Promotion Board series of recipes, here is a watermelon pina colada drink for you! This is a non-alcoholic take on the traditional pina colada.  Perfect for those that just want a refreshing summer drink without the kick of alcohol. This is a recipe that I will definitely keep on hand for the future. Cheers again!

This is the 6th installment of watermelon recipes. Brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Recipe and photo: permission granted prior to posting

Makes 4-5 cocktails

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Watermelon purée
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups ice
  • 2 tbsps canned coconut milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until desired consistency. Divide between 4 to 5 glasses and serve.

Tip: For an alcoholic version, add 4 oz (113.6 mL) rum.

PER SERVING (1/4 recipe without rum):78 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fibre, 2 g protein. % RDI: 6% calcium, 2% iron, 2% vitamin A, 23% vitamin C.



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WATERMELON LAVENDER GRANITA

I would consider granita to be one of my perfect summer desserts. It's like having a very grown up crushed up popcicle. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board this is, "a refreshing treat, [and] this recipe offers a unique blend of nutrient-rich watermelon and aromatic lavender in a light palette-pleasing sorbet. A touch of vodka will ensure the right consistency for a perfect summer-time cocktail." All of which sounds good to me! Enjoy folks!

This is the 5th installment of the watermelon recipes. Brought to you by the: National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Recipe and photo: Permission granted prior to posting.

Serves 4-8

Ingredients:
  • 4-1/2 cups pureed watermelon pulp, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or part sweetner)
  • 1 tsp culinary edible lavender
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps each: lemon juice and vodka

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the watermelon pulp, sugar, lavender and salt. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.

Place strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through, straining out lavender flowers. Add remaining 4 cups (1 L) watermelon, lemon juice and vodka. Stir until blended.

Pour into container, cover, place in freezer. When semi-solid, put into food processor and pulse to remove chunks. Scoop desired amount into a small bowl or parfait dish, garnish with a small wedge of watermelon and a lavender flower.

TIP: Use watermelon or citrus flavoured vodka to enhance the flavour.

NOTE: The vodka helps to prevent sorbet from setting too firm.

PER SERVING (1/2 cup/125 mL): 73 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 0 g protein. % RDI: 0% calcium, 1% iron, 2% vitamin A, 13% vitamin C.
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WATERMELON MIMOSA

Here is another delicious watermelon adult beverage. Perfect for just relaxing by the pool or perfect for any summer celebration! It's as simple as combining watermelon juice and champagne. Yummy and refreshing! Cheers everyone!

This is the 4th installment of watermelon recipes. Brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Recipe and photo: Permission was granted prior to posting.

Makes 2-3 Cocktails

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Watermelon juice (pureed and strained)
  • 1/2 cup Champagne

Divide watermelon juice among 2 to 3 champagne flutes and top with champagne.

Tip: To make watermelon juice, blend cubed watermelon and strain it through a sieve.

PER SERVING (1/2 recipe):62 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 1 g protein. % RDI: 0% calcium, 1% iron, 2% vitamin A, 11% vitamin C.
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MILD CREAMY CHICKEN & CHERRY TOMATO CURRY (500TH POST!)

First and foremost, I wanted to say that Food Tastes Yummy is celebrating it's 3rd year very soon, and with this recipe we are celebrating FTY's 500th post! It is definitely a huge milestone for both my hubby and I. We just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our Food Tastes Yummy readers for sticking with us (even if we don't post as much as we would like), and for your all of your kind emails to us. We have received so many kind comments from people from all around the world. It is always amazing to think that someone out there, someone we have never met, is reading a blog post that one of us has written. You fine readers are the reason that we keep Food Tastes Yummy going (aside from my passion for cooking of course hehe). So many thanks again and we hope that you continue reading our little food and alcohol blog. Please feel free to contact us anytime! Happy eating!

So for my 500th post I will be posting a mild creamy chicken and cherry tomato curry. This is a simple dish that can be made on a busy week night for dinner. Quick home recipes like these are what this website is all about.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways in half and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp each: ground ginger, paprika, turmeric, dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • one large handful of carrots, cut slaw style
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup half fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • basmati rice, cooked (to serve along side)

1. Preheat a large shallow heavy bottom skillet, on medium high heat, and drizzle in the oil. Add in the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, then add in the cubed chicken meat. Cook until slightly brown, for a good 4-5 minutes.

2. Lower the heat to medium. Add in the ground ginger, paprika, turmeric, dried oregano, and ground cumin. Lightly toast the spices for 2 minutes. Add in the cherry tomatoes, slaw style carrots, the chicken stock, and the balsamic vinegar. Scrap all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan (if any). Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add in the sour cream and the whole milk. Carefully, stir to combine. Cook another 5-7 minutes or cook until all of the ingredients have come together and the chicken has cooked through completely. The sauce should be thick and creamy, but if you find the sauce too thick for your taste, then add in a bit more milk or stock. Season to taste. Serve warm immediately over cooked basmati rice. Enjoy!
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SPIKED WATERMELON BALLS

Here is a great adult (sorry kids!) party treat for your guests! When I first saw this picture I thought the idea of making little watermelon balls were a great idea, but after reading the recipe I thought adding alcohol to the mix was an even better idea! What a refreshing treat for your summer party guests!

This is the third installment of watermelon recipes from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.  According to the NWPB, "you can use the alcohol of your choice to customize the recipe's flavouring to your liking." Which sounds good to me!

Just to note here: this recipe is brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Recipe and photo: permission was granted prior to posting.

Makes 8-10 balls

Ingredients:

1/3 cup (75 mL)
water
1/3 cup (75 mL)
sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL)
light rum
1/3 cup (75 mL)
fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL)
lime zest
2 cups (500 mL)
watermelon balls


Bring water to a boil. Stir in sugar and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the rum and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat before adding the lime juice and zest.
 
Using a melon baller, shape watermelon into balls. Pour syrup over the fruit, mix gently, cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

PER SERVING (2 watermelon balls with syrup):158 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 1 g protein. % RDI: 0% calcium, 2% iron, 2% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C.
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JAMAICAN ROCK LOBSTER TACOS

Who doesn't love a good taco during these summer months? Now try imagining lobster tacos with watermelon and avocado. Yum right?! Here is the 2nd installment of watermelon recipes, brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. I would recommend saving this recipe for when you have company coming over and want to get that "oooh" expression. Lobster always gets peoples attention. I will definitely have to put this one on the "I have to try this someday" list.

Just to note here: this recipe is brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Recipe and photo: permission was granted prior to posting.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

4
rock lobster tails, cooked
2 cups (500 mL)
watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
2
avocados, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
2
papaya, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes
1/2 cup (125 mL)
cilantro, fresh, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL)
1 tbsp (15 mL)
fresh lime juice
honey
1 tbsp (15 mL)
jerk seasoning

salt and pepper to taste
1
head iceberg lettuce
1 oz (30 g)
shredded coconut
8-10
soft taco shells


Cut lobster tails in half lengthwise (remove vein) and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick pieces. Combine lobster with watermelon, avocados, papaya, and cilantro.

Pour lime juice into small bowl and slowly whisk in honey and jerk seasoning. Pour over lobster mixture and refrigerate one hour, stirring occasionally.

Divide lobster mixture among 8-10 taco shells and garnish with lettuce, coconut.

TIP: For an extra kick, add diced jalepeño peppers.

PER SERVING (1 taco or 1/10th recipe): 292 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 64 mg cholesterol, 473 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 4 g fibre, 22 g protein. % RDI: 10% calcium, 17% iron, 4% vitamin A, 56% vitamin C.
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WATERMELON CAIPIRINHA

Ahh the warm summer weather is pretty much upon us and nothing is more refreshing than a nice cold drink (or in terms of adults a nice cold alcoholic drink!). What's even better you say? How about a nice cold beverage with a summertime fruit - watermelon! I just love watermelon during the hot summer months. It is extremely refreshing and perfect to serve as is to guests as dessert after a barbeque style meal. I will be posting several watermelon recipes on FTY this coming week, brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. I am very excited about these recipes because I have so many fond memories eating tons of watermelon with my dad. My dad never failed to buy one at the grocery store and we would eat till our hearts content! So without further adieu, here is a refreshing grown up watermelon caipirnha recipe for you to try.

Just to note here: this recipe is brought to you by the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Recipe and photo: permission was granted prior to posting.

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:
  • 1 lime
  • 5 quarter-sized slices of ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 6 chopped mint leaves
  • 2 oz watermelon puree
  • 2 oz cachaça (can substitute: vodka or rum)
  • 1 oz grenadine

Muddle lime, ginger, sugar, and mint, and transfer to a martini shaker. Add watermelon puree, grenadine, cachaca, and ice. Shake. Pour into glass and serve.

PER SERVING:283 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 12 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 0 g protein. % RDI: 0% calcium, 2% iron, 1% vitamin A, 13% vitamin C.
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ROASTED MUSTARD CHICKEN LEGS

Here is a recipe that I came up with on the weekend. I always buy these multi-pack chicken legs from the grocery store whenever they're on sale, and usually I end up making bbq chicken, or Korean chicken and potatoes, or simple chicken soup. This time I wanted to roast it, but with simple flavours and seasonings. I love putting mustard on pork so I figured why not chicken? What's great about yellow mustard is that it already contains turmeric (a mild flavoured spice with a lot of yellow colour), and vinegar. In my opinion, you get two flavours for the price of one. To make this chicken a bit more figure friendly, I took the skins off and then spiced it up! Try this dish on a weeknight and let the oven do most of the work! Pair it with oven fries and a simple salad and you have dinner ready in no time!

Makes 10 chicken legs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Baking time: about 40-45 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 10 chicken legs, skins off and scored with a sharp knife
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • good sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard (can use a little more if you wish)
  • mango chutney (to serve along side, if you wish)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside for now.

2. Take the skinned chicken legs and place them into a large bowl. Add in the oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano and yellow mustard. Place the seasoned chicken onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to space it a bit apart.

3. Place it into the oven to bake for about 40-45 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken half way through for even cooking. Make sure that the chicken has cooked through. Let the chicken rest for a couple minutes before serving. Serve warm along side mango chutney, oven fries, and a side salad. Eat eat eat!
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EASY RED LENTIL SOUP

Now I know that summer is approaching and tis' not the season for soups and stews however, I sometimes like to add it to the menu; even during the summer season. There's something warm and comforting about a good bowl of soup. So here I am with a homemade red lentil soup recipe that I found on the back of a red lentil package. I should mention here that I usually am not one to actually make a recipe from a package (for whatever reason), but this one appealed to me. For one, it was easy and two, I love creamy bean soups. There is a canned variety of split pea soup that my hubby and I both enjoy, and this reminds us both of that (but better!). Give this a try folks, even in this nice warm weather. It will sure bring comfort to your soul.

Adapted from the "red lentil soup" recipe on the "NuPak" red lentil package. From the Shah Trading Company.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 3-1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsps fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Preheat a medium sized pot, on medium high heat, add in the oil, onion, and minced garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.

2. Add in the ground cumin, ground sage, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute. Then add in the rinsed red lentils, chicken broth, and water; stir to combine. Once it comes up to a good simmer, lower the temp to low-medium. Gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occassionally. The soup should thicken and you should see a lot less water.

3. Once cooked, turn the heat off and remove the bay leaf. Stir in the fresh chopped parsley, taste for seasoning. Serve warm with a light green salad, and warm naan bread.
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HOMEMADE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

I recently did a post not long ago on my "famous" (and I use the term loosely) chocolate chip cookies. I believe I told the story of how I used to sell homemade cookies at my parents store, and how I used to cater these too. Well, these oatmeal raisin cookies have the same story associated with them. This is a recipe that I tinkered with many many times, and I eventually found a combination of ingredients that I liked. I still make oatmeal cookies the exact same way, and I've never heard anything but good things about these cookies. People tell me, "they taste like Tim Horton's cookies, but better!". Hey, I'll take that as a compliment any day! :) This is a recipe that is close to my heart and I am proud to share this recipe with you folks now. Enjoy!

I dedicate this post to my late Great Grandmother who never said no to my oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies. I always knew I could put a smile on her face with a cookie. Love you Grandma and miss you dearly. xoxo

Makes around 40 cookies

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Baking time: 8-10 minutes per batch

Ingredients:
  • 1-3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups large rolled oats (no quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups golden or sultana raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside for now.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, large rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix gently with a spoon to combine. Set aside.

3. Using a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the two sugars together, until combined. Then add in the eggs, one at a time. Making sure to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl each time. Mix in the vanilla extract.

4. Add in the flour mixture slowly, in thirds, until well combined. I know that a lot of cookie recipes say, until "just" combined but mix it a little more than just combined. Reason being, the dough being a bit more tough, makes a more thicker cookie. You want that "just bought at the bakery" look.

Using your clean fingers, feel how sticky the cookie dough is. It should feel a little sticky but you should not have clumps of dough on your fingers. If you have clumps of sticky dough on your fingers, then mix it a little bit more.

5. Gently, using a mixing spoon, fold in the raisins of your choice. Take a dinner spoon and scoop a generous spoonful of dough, and place it onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to space the cookies apart so they can cook evenly. Slightly flatten the cookies using your hand.

Place the batch of cookies into the oven and bake it for 8-10 minutes, making sure to rotate the baking pan halfway through cooking. Cook until the cookies are just golden. Continue baking until all of the dough is gone.

Cook's Tip: Place the cookies into an airtight container and eat within a few days. That's if you still have some left!
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