3 Creative Ways to Eat Chickie Dough!

If you haven’t already heard, Karmel Walters and I are the RD duo behind Edmonton’s fav cookie dough hummus – Chickie Dough. The use of pulses in desserts and baked goods was NOT main stream by any means 2.5 years ago when Chickie Dough made it’s debut, but things are changing quickly (in large part due to WHO naming 2016 the International Year of Pulses). We have definitely gotten our fair share of crazy looks over the years as we ask if people would “like to try our cookie dough flavoured hummus.” But the way their eyes light up when they try it for the first time and realize it is actually ridiculously delicious make’s our job so much fun!

One of the MOST common questions I get is – how do you eat it? So, I thought it would be fun to do a quick blog highlighting three ways to eat Chickie Dough other than using it as a dip.

IMG_1880

Chickie Dough Toast – those of you who have read a food blog or scrolled through Instagram in the last year know that toast is “so hot right now”. I’ve completely jumped on the bandwagon and I think Chickie Dough toast is just about the most decadent (but still nutritious) thing I’ve ever tasted. The best combo, in my personal opinion, is Chocolate Chip Chickie Dough with fresh strawberries on a grainy whole wheat bread. But honestly, the combinations are endless!

IMG_1872

Chickie Dough Ants on a Log – now this one is something that I tell people to try all the time, but I have this strange feeling that no one ever does. You really should. Seriously. Peanut Chickie Dough is the flavor with the least amount of sugar, making it extremely versatile and the PERFECT filling for crisp celery. It makes for a super light, but satisfying snack after work or a guilt free treat after dinner when you are trying to curb your sweet tooth.

IMG_1848

Chickie Dough Parfait – so I don’t know about you, but I’m ridiculously excited for pumpkin spice season!!! I’m not sure I ever liked pumpkin spice anything before we started making Pumpkin Spice Chickie Dough, but now…I have fully converted. The Chickie Dough Parfait was inspired by the uncanny resemblance between pumpkin pie and Pumpkin Spice Chickie Dough. This baby is the equally as tasty, way less fattening cousin of pumpkin pie, topped off with fat free cool whip and crushed up graham wafers.

What is your favorite way to eat Chickie Dough?? Leave a comment below – I would LOVE to hear from you.

 

Vegan “Nice” Cream – Two Ways

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day!!

If that doesn’t get you excited – then I’m not sure we should be friends…

(Just kidding! – but honestly…)

I LOVE ice cream – but really try to practice moderation in it’s presence. Lucky for me this ice cream is healthy enough to be consumed at breakfast, lunch and dinner (in my personal opinion)!

I clearly could not decide on just one flavor, so you’re getting two:

Strawberry Coconut Cream
&
PB Banana Chocolate

IMG_1631

IMG_1638

IMG_1653

Strawberry Coconut Cream
(2 servings)

Ingredients:
– 1 banana, sliced and frozen
– 8 strawberries, quartered and frozen
– 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
– 3 strawberries, finely diced
– 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Instructions:
– Add frozen banana, frozen strawberries, and coconut milk in a food processor and blend until smooth
– Combine ice cream mixture with diced strawberries and coconut flakes in a small bowl
– Freeze ice cream mixture overnight or until solid

IMG_1641

PB Banana Chocolate
(2 servings)

Ingredients:
– 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 2 tbsp chocolate chips
– 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped

Instructions:
– Add frozen banana and peanut butter in a food processor and blend until smooth
– Combine ice cream mixture with peanuts and chocolate chips in a small bowl
– Freeze ice cream mixture overnight or until solid

IMG_1647

 

Low Sugar Roasted Strawberry Jam with Balsamic and Basil

IMG_1386

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

IMG_1354IMG_1355IMG_1361IMG_1362

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.

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

IMG_1299

My husband and I carpool to work. We haven’t always, but over past year we have been lucky enough to both work in the same general area, which happens to be about ten minutes from home! I love carpooling – we save a bit of money on gas and my husband makes me laugh before 7 AM just about every day. Because we are so close to home, we usually head there for our lunch break (bonus: that means I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to bring for lunch).

IMG_1264

About two weeks ago we were on our way home for lunch and a commercial came on for a one day sale at The Bay. Le Crueset French Ovens on sale for $159, regular $400!!! I have been dreaming about a french oven for quite some time and that was a smokin’ deal (in my personal opinion). Long story short I immediately got Alex to turn the car around and head straight to The Bay.

Homemade yogurt was one of the main reasons I was wanting to purchase a french oven. I had no idea how easy it was to make yogurt at home until about a month ago when I came across an article from The Kitchn. For those of you who know me well, you know that I can be very frugal when it comes to grocery shopping. Yogurt was one of the products that I feel is totally overpriced. $7 for a tub of greek yogurt seems a little high – am I right?! Needless to say, I will NOT be purchasing yogurt again anytime soon cause I am totally pumped about what I can make with a 2 L of milk and a little bit of patience, right in my own kitchen.

Here is what you need:

  • French oven or heavy sauce pan with lid
  • Instant read thermometer
  • 2 L of milk (I used 1% cow’s milk)
  • 1/2 cup of plain commercial yogurt with bacterial cultures (I used a plain non-fat PC brand greek yogurt)

IMG_1283

IMG_1281

IMG_1285

IMG_1287

Instructions:

  1. Heat the milk over medium heat. Stir gently throughout to avoid the milk from scorching.
  2. Once the milk reaches 200 degrees F – remove from heat. Allow the milk to cool to 115 degrees F. Stir occasionally to help reduce the temperature  more quickly or put the french oven in an ice bath.
  3. Remove 1 cup of warm milk and combine with 1/2 cup of commercial yogurt in a separate bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the thinned yogurt back into the warm milk and whisk gently.
  5. Cover with a lid and transfer into a room temperature oven (I tried this after cooking something in the oven and it was too hot and did not work!). Turn on the oven light to keep the milk warm while it sets.
  6. Let yogurt sit overnight. Avoid stirring the yogurt until it has fully set.
  7. Once the yogurt is set – remove it from the oven and drain off any whey from the surface of the yogurt.
  8. Whisk the yogurt prior to transferring into jars for a smooth and cohesive texture. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Make sure to save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt to use in your next batch! The yogurt will stay good in the fridge for about two weeks.

This is a traditional yogurt – not a greek yogurt! If you want a thicker texture you can drain out some of the whey using a strainer and a cheese cloth, use a higher fat milk, or add 1 cup of skim milk powder to the fluid milk during the cooking process.

IMG_1303

PS. I added 1/4 tsp of coconut extract and 1 tsp of granulated stevia to 3/4 cup of homemade yogurt and topped it with toasted coconut and sliced strawberries and it was pretty unbelievable. I’m on the coconut bandwagon and I am NOT getting off. But really, the sky is the limit when it comes to mix ins!

Aurora: The Perfect Patio Beer

So how about this weather???

But actually…it has been friggen beautiful outside in the YEG this spring! All this vitamin D has me dreaming of sipping on ice cold beverages out on the patio with friends. It doesn’t get much better than that (in my personal opinion). So it was pretty much fate when our friends, Kristen and Josh, brought a pack of Aurora over to our place for dinner.

IMG_1197

Let me tell you about it.

I am going to be completely candid with you – I would not call myself a beer drinker, but this beer does it for me! It is totally refreshing, has a bright floral/citrus flavor profile, and is brewed locally in Canmore, Alberta (#shoplocal). One of the first things I noticed about Aurora was the subtle carbonation. I often feel uncomfortably full after drinking a beer, but this is not the case here. The five simple ingredients used to brew Aurora were chosen specifically to maintain nutrient content and reduce bloat – sign me up!

IMG_1204

If you happen to drop by this summer, you will definitely find a can of this beer in our fridge/in my hand.

IMG_1219

PS. Use this super handy website if you want to know where to find it!

PPS. I snacked on Sweet Chili Pistachios while photographing/drinking this beer and it was delish 🙂

IMG_1207

Cheers!

Birthday Month: Ampersand 27

Seven months ago I got married and at that moment I went from having three wonderful parents to having eight! Blended families are pretty much the norm these days, but I think my husband and I take this to a whole new level. I didn’t know it yet, but at that moment birthdays went from a weekend event to a month long celebration. All I can say is – I am not complaining!

Last night I celebrated my birthday for the third time this month at Ampersand 27. I tend to be the most adventurous family member when it comes to food, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was told to put together a charcuterie board for the table to start. I wanted to choose items that I knew everyone would enjoy and this is what we ended up with:

  • Prosciutto de Parma
  • Bison Smokies
  • Appenzeller
  • Pecorino
  • Pickled Asparagus Spears
  • Hummus
  • In House Bavarian Pretzel
  • Blueberry & Port Chutney
  • Maple Grainy Mustard

IMG_3938IMG_3940

I think it’s safe to say I chose well, because the food disappeared in about 2.5 minutes flat. My personal favorites were the appenzeller cheese (perfectly firm and creamy swiss style cow cheese), the bison smokies, and the pretzel with honey mustard (plus it was in the shape of an ampersand – how cute is that??). It was clear that the asparagus had been pickled using fennel, which is kind of unfortunate, as most of the table really dislikes the black licorice flavor it gives. But, overall a huge win.

The “Butcher’s Pride” feature was a meatloaf made with 90% bison and 10% beef, served with tricolor baby potatoes and kale. The “Captain’s Catch” feature was a seafoood green curry with scallops, shrimp, mussels and salmon over coconut rice. I instantly knew what I was going to order – I am a sucker for green curry! Between the five of us, we ordered two of the “Captain’s Catch”, two of the “Butcher’s Pride” and one Organic Free Range Chicken (Apple Hickory Smoke, Honey, Herbs, Little Gems and Vegetables).IMG_3941IMG_3944IMG_3943

Everything was delicious and we all left absolutely STUFFED. It was brought up that we were charged $1 per person for water, but when I saw this on the menu I was totally on board:

“Proudly Serving Q Water – In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint & support charity all are welcome to our unlimited filtered still or sparkling water at the cost of $1 per guest. Partial proceeds of Q Water sales will be donated to Mealshare. Thank You”
Mealshare is an organization that partners with restaurants to raise money for individuals in need. If you want to learn more about what Mealshare is all about check out their website: http://www.mealshare.ca/
I would definitely recommend Ampersand 27 as a place to meet friends for cocktails and charcuterie or to go for dinner on a special occasion. The service was amazing and the decor is absolutely beautiful. Check it out!

Chicken Milanese with Celery Root Puree

Over the past summer I have had the opportunity to spend many Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market and it has really opened my eyes to availability and seasonality of foods. When you shop at the grocery store you see the same fruit and vegetables stocking the aisles nearly every month of the year but at the Farmer’s Market you see exactly when food is available and at it’s peak – because if it’s not, you probably won’t be able to find it. I’ve also found that if you are looking for something a little bit more unique you likely won’t find it at Superstore or Save On but you can almost always find it at the City Market on 104 Street!

Celery root is something that I have never used before in cooking and I actually didn’t even know what it looked like. So when I was wondering around Kuhlmann’s I had to ask someone to send me in the right direction and boy am I happy they did! Here’s a photo of what celery root or celeriac looks like:

CeleryRoot2

Anyways, I found a recipe for Chicken Milanese with Celery Root Puree on the Canadian Living website and I was excited to try it out (after looking at three different grocery stores for celery root and finally finding it at the Farmer’s Market). Chicken Milanese is a Latin American dish where breaded meat fillet preparations are known as a milanesa. I lightened this one up by baking the chicken rather than frying it and getting rid of the cream in the puree and substituting milk instead.

This would be a great dish to make for friends because it is delicious, not overly adventurous for those picky eaters and looks beautiful!

Chicken Milanese

Ingredients:

4 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cup arugula
1 cup celery root leaves (I added them in because they were just so dang tasty!)

Celery Root Puree:

1 celery root, chopped
1 russet potato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp margarine
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in shallow dish. In separate shallow dish, whisk egg with mustard. Place panko in third shallow dish. Dip chicken into flour, shaking off excess; dip into egg mixture, letting excess drip back into dish. Press into panko to coat. Place on waxed paper–lined rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Using an olive oil mister or cooking spray, lightly coat baking sheet. Place breaded chicken on sheet and lightly coat chicken (to get a nice golden crust). Bake for 15 minutes or until inside is no longer pink.

Celery Root Purée: Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling water, cook celery root, potato and garlic until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Dry over low heat, shaking pan often, for 1 minute. Transfer to food processor; add Gruyère cheese, milk, margarine, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth.

In bowl, whisk olive oil with lemon juice toss with arugula and celery root leaves. Serve over chicken and celery root purée.