Low Sugar Roasted Strawberry Jam with Balsamic and Basil

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Where did this month go?! Alex and I have been super busy the last few weeks decorating our master bedroom. In January, we (with the much needed help of my dad and brother) painted our living room, staircase and master bedroom WHITE. I absolutely love it. Seriously, can’t get enough! Alex has been careful not to leave the house for long periods of time because he knows if I get the chance I’ll continue right on into our kitchen and there won’t be a color left in site, except for my fast growing collection of copper accessories, of course. I actually bought a hair brush today because it had copper bristles – is that too much?? Anyways – the master bedroom. I have been swooning over white brick and really wanted to do a feature wall. I came across a textured white brick wallpaper on the target website and promptly ordered 4 rolls. I have heard serious horror stories about wallpaper but luckily this was a peel and stick version that was insanely simple to apply, remove and re-apply (which happened on multiple occasions!). We were in the mood to DIY over the long weekend, so after finishing the wallpaper, we hit up Home Depot and bought a ridiculous amount of copper tubing and 2 white marble floor tiles and created white marble and copper side tables for our bed and a decorative copper ladder! I’m not going to lie, I am shocked at how well it all turned out. Maybe this should be a home decor blog?? (joking, I promise).

Anyhow – all of that has nothing to do with the dang tasty jam that I dreamed up this week! With summer right around the corner, the YEG produce sections have been seriously more plentiful, the fresh berries especially. I have a thing for PB and J and as a result have about five varieties of jam in the fridge right now. Why not add another?? I was inspired by a blogger I follow, Joy the Baker, who recently posted a Roasted Strawberry Shortcake with Basil Cream. My brain immediately translated this to… roasted strawberry and basil jam mixed in to homemade yogurt! Same delicious flavor profile, ridiculously lower in calories (because let’s be serious – bathing suit season is coming). If you try this recipe be sure to leave me a message in the comments below and let me know what you thought 🙂

Low Sugar Roasted Strawberry Jam with Balsamic and Basil

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar.
  3. Spread mixture evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. Combine roasted strawberries, chia seeds and fresh basil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer jam into a clean jar and refrigerate.

 

 

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Sensational Summer Salads

The last few weeks, Alex and I have been experimenting with some new recipes (as usual) and we have come across some real winners in the salad department.  Alex’s boss was even requesting the recipes for the “delicious looking salads” he was bringing in his lunch. Plus, mother nature decided to skip spring this year so it is officially fresh summer salad season. Unfortunately, I haven’t fully wrapped my head around the idea of taking photos of my meals before devouring them so 3/4 of these recipes are sans photo. BUT, I can assure you they are delicious and boyfriend, dad, mom, and step-mom approved (which is not an easy feat in my family, trust me!).

Chicken Bulgur Salad – Make 4 Servings

Ingredients

1 cup bulgur
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup boiling water

3 medium tomatoes, diced

1/2 a cucumber, diced

4 green onions, chopped

3 thin sliced chicken breasts, cooked, diced (if you aren’t using thin sliced breast I would cut this in half)

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

black pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Mix bulgur, salt, and boiling water in a large bowl. Let stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.

2. Add tomato, cucumber, green onion, parsley, and chicken to the cooked bulgur.

3. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar together and pour over salad. Mix all ingredients to evenly coat in vinaigrette.

4. Add black pepper and additional salt to taste.

 

Oriental Salad with Broccoli – Makes 6 Servings

Oriental Broccoli Slaw

This salad was paired with Mushroom and Chicken Kebabs (sans skewer) and Quinoa.

Ingredients

6 cups cabbage, finely chopped or shredded

2 cups broccoli, florets

1 cup carrot, grated

1 tablespoon coriander, dried

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, grated

1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Blanch cabbage, broccoli, and carrots by pouring boiling water until covered and allowing to rest for 1 minute.

2. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

3. Add green onions.

4. Whisk together rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and coriander.

5. Combine with blanched vegetables and toss to coat.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped peanuts.

 

Tomato Salad with Balsamic and Basil Vinaigrette – Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

1 cup green beans, steamed

4 tomatoes, cut in wedges

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

2 green onions, chopped

2 cups spinach, raw

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Combine green beans, tomatoes, mozzarella, green onion and spinach.

2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and basil.

3. Pour over salad and toss to evenly coat the vegetables in vinaigrette.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad – Adapted from The Taste Space

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups chickpeas

1 can artichoke hearts, quartered

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add chickpeas and artichoke hearts. Cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes).

2. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, and garlic.

3. Toss chickpeas, artichokes and vinaigrette until evenly coated.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY 🙂