Category Archives: recipes

Dairy free Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken (Dairy-free)

This dairy free Butter Chicken is just as good, if not better than any butter chicken recipe you may have tried. It is delicious.

I actually think that garam masala, which is a combination of spices, is the key to it’s depth of flavour.

And don’t worry if you are not a fan of coconut milk…you won’t taste it at all.

I originally came across the recipe from My Heart Beets.  She has lots of great recipes on her site. But I quickly realized that there were a few steps that you could cut out in order to make this recipe come together quickly and still result in tender chicken that is full of flavour and a creamy….creamy…sauce.

I like to pair it with Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower Rice or white rice. And feel free to throw in a few more veggies (if you do, let me know in the comments section what you added)

Dairy Free Butter Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts (boneless and skinless), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Tandoori spice mix
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-inch knob ginger, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 jar organic tomato basil sauce
  • 1 can organic coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro, garnish
  • 1 head cauliflower (optional for cauliflower rice)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli roasted, (optional, to serve with butter chicken)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice and Tandoori seasoning.
  2. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked to 155ºF for breasts and 165ºF for thighs.
  3. Add oil to a pan on medium heat. Once it melts, add onions and cook until completely dark golden-brown but be careful not to burn them (this will take at least 15-20 minutes).
  4. Add ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
  5. Add spices and let them bloom for a minute.
  6. Add green pepper and tomato sauce. Let everything simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Add 1 can of coconut milk, mix well. Let it simmer for another few minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve over roasted broccoli or rice.

Serves 4-6

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

5 Steps To Get Food Organized for Sports Tournaments

If you have a child in competitive sports you know what an away tournament can look like. Continental breakfasts, restaurant meals, treat sharing every night….That is why being food organized for sports tournaments can make all the difference in the world.

The downside of doing no planning and jumping in the car assuming that your tournament town and the rest stops along the way have all the food and drink that you need is that toward the end of the weekend you and your kids end up low on energy (which really sucks if you make it to the finals), people end up with short fuses….and low and behold, come monday….everyone is sick.

So here are my best tips on how I get food organized before we leave for hockey tournaments. I have to thank all the hockey moms and dad’s from my hometown who have given me ideas along the way.

And make sure to grab the free download at the end. It will be very useful for you.

1. Request a small fridge and microwave in your hotel room.

Many hotels already have these in each room but if you are not sure, just call the hotel in advance and request it. Sometime hotels only have limited numbers of them so don’t wait. Call now!

Remember that the hotel fridges are not large so use smaller packaging with the food that you bring bring ice for your cooler.

2. Find out if your hotel serves a hot breakfast.

One of my favourite hotel features is a hot breakfast. No, not because of the croissants (well, maybe I will treat myself to one…once…maybe:-)…

Seriously though, if they have some fruit, real eggs and bacon then that is perfect. Breakfast is covered. (Yes, we have actually seen not real eggs).

If not, plan to bring some hard boiled eggs, yogurt, trail mix and fruit. And if you want to get real classy, cook up some bacon at home and just heat it in the microwave! We also like Nutty Cereal so I have been known to just throw some almond milk and banana on top of whatever trail mix I bring and Voila! Nutty Cereal at it’s finest.

3. Take a look at your team schedule for the weekend.

Hopefully your team manager has put together an itinerary that notes when the team plans to eat together and when you are all on your own. I know ours does…she’s amazing like that.

There may be a team pizza night on the Friday and restaurant on the Saturday. If so, good/not-good but your dinners are covered.

Did you think I was going to recommend you just attend the pizza party but bring your own chicken breast and broccoli? Surprise! No. After a couple of years at this, I realize that that’s just not going to work for most people.

Enjoy your pizza. I’ll be chomping down on mine right beside you…(but it will probably be gluten-free:-).

You can suggest to the team manager that someone pick up a veggie and fruit platter to go along with the pizza as well as some bottled water (this has always come out of our team budget and I’ve never heard a complaint).

And make a decent menu choice at the restaurant.

4. Fill in the gaps

So if breakfast and dinners are covered, you are left with snacks and lunches.

This is where a little meal prep comes in handy. I usually choose a couple of meals that reheat well and then make them before we go. Perhaps a Shepherd’s Pie and Egg Roll in a Bowl. These serve as meals for in the car and lunch on Saturday and likely Sunday.

Another simple lunch is a pack of better quality lunch meats, raw veggies, cheese and mayo. We like to wrap the cheese in the lunch meat with a little mayo and enjoy the veggies on the side with some hummus. It’s quick, easy, cheap and healthier than most fast food options.

This means I also bring paper plates, plastic cutlery, a little knife and cutting board and stuff to wash the dishes.

And then we just heat up the food in the microwave in our room. But if you are in a decent hotel, they will be happy to bring plates and cutlery to your room. They even brought me cloth napkins once! Just call housekeeping.

5. Make a list

And now for the best part. I am actually going to give you the grocery and packing list that I use when I am getting ready for an away tournament. You can download it for free HERE..

It has all of the ideas I mentioned above plus a few more. You can follow it to the letter or you can use it to get a few ideas so that you feel a little more prepared at your next tournament.

I hope you find it useful. You can get the free list HERE.. And let me know how it goes!

*****

So here is the recap on how to be food organized for sports tournaments.

  1. Request a small fridge and microwave.
  2. Find out if the hotel has a hot breakfast.
  3. Find out your team’s itinerary. When are you on your own for meals?
  4. Fill in the gaps.
  5. Make a list of what you need.

You see, I haven’t told you that I think you should try and eat perfect all weekend. What I want for you is that you have plenty of great options available because it will make your indulgences be a bit less…and that makes a difference.

So feel free to use this list to get yours started. And good luck at your tournament! You can download the list HERE..

What would you add to the list?

Let me know in the comments below! 

 

Foil Fondue

Campfire Chocolate Fondue

This summer has been all about the Campfire Chocolate Fondue that my kids and I discovered in the early days of June. You may already know that I love fondue so much if you have seen my Simple Chocolate Fondue Video.

But this one is different…because you cook it over the campfire!

I love camping with friends. But it has always been a bit of a struggle when it comes to campfire time. As everyone settles in around the fire, out come the marshmallows or worse, the smores (have you noticed the ingredients in many of these brands?).

And for years, I never had an alternative. I even made my own marshmallows once but really, who has time for that when you also have to pack an entire family for camping?

So one day my sister introduced me to the idea of wrapping fruit in foil and cooking it over the fire (she did whole, cored apples with raisins, cinnamon and butter). And I took the idea and turned it into what I like best, fondue.

Now to be clear, fondue is generally known for having a pot containing a melted food for dipping (cheese, oil or chocolate) and it is shared communally. This version of fondue has no pot and nothing to dip so on a technicality you may want to argue that it is not really fondue…but you can share it communally right from the foil or serve it up in bowls so I am sticking with the name “fondue.”

Foil wraps are so convenient because they make for easy clean up and they can go directly on the hot coals with no worry about warping a pan or melting anything by accident!

And I love that the fruit is also cooked in this recipe….I am in love with the warm blueberries that pop softly in your mouth, the softened strawberries that remind me of a strawberry pie and the banana slices that melt right in your mouth before you can chew them…(insert a very dramatic, slightly sensual “sigh” here)!

But of course, you can use whatever fruit that gets you that excited!

Notes on cooking these over the fire: First off, you want hot coals not fire. So move the wood aside and place the packet right on the red hot coals.

You will want to have a large set of tongs and perhaps an oven mitt to remove the packets from the heat. And check them after 3-5 minutes. They cook super fast. What you are looking for is that the chocolate has begun to melt. it doesn’t have to be completely liquid to be amazing.

Who needs marshmallows when you have Campfire Chocolate Fondue? (Ok, I admit, I did chop up a few just to see what they would taste like once…and it was pretty (very) good, but totally unnecessary and really not healthy).

Before I give you the recipe here is a little tutorial on making foil wraps:

  1. Place food on foil.Foil Fondue
  2. Bring long edges together and fold them over the top of the food.foil wrap
  3. Fold outer edges inward a couple of times so nothing can leak out.

Campfire Chocolate Fondue

  • Fruit of choice (mixed berries, bananas, apples)
  • dark chocolate chips or pieces
  • sea salt
  1. Wash and cut up fruit.
  2. Break chocolate into small pieces if necessary (chocolate chips are fine as is).
  3. Place fruit on a rectangular piece of aluminum foil and top with chocolate and sea salt.
  4. Wrap the foil as per the instructions above.
  5. Place on hot coals (not in the flame) for 3-5 minutes and then remove foil packet from fire using an oven mitt and large tongs. Check to see if the chocolate is melted to your liking. If not, close it back up and put it back on the coals. Do not let it burn!

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

salmon foil packs

Sundried Tomato Pesto and Salmon Foil Packets

The best summer bbq recipes are healthy and simple but still deliver a ton of flavour.
Admittedly, this Sundried Tomato Pesto & Salmon Foil Packets recipe does carry an extra step of making your own pesto but it is super simple, I promise.

They are great for a weeknight meal but also fancy enough for company!

These packets can be made in advance and then frozen before cooking. Make sure that your rice is fully cooled before you put the salmon on top if you intend to freeze it so that you do not unintentionally heat up the salmon before freezing it. Then, defrost the packets before putting them on the bbq.

And the rice is totally optional.

The best option for a super nutritious meal would be to make a bed full of veggies under the salmon. Cut the veggies small enough so that they will soften in the 15-20 minutes that they cook. Using frozen broccoli is great because it will soften quickly.

Just remember that no matter what you use, adding a little water to the packet before closing it will help to make sure the bottom layer does not burn during cooking.

If you want to make these packets for a weeknight meal, it will speed up the process if you make the rice and pesto in advance, but this is not necessary…just a little food prep tip.

Nutritional Yeast can be found at Bulk Barn, your local health food store or the health food section at your grocery store. It is an inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses that tastes similar to cheese. It sounds weird, but it is a great alternative to parmesan for those you cannot consume dairy.

Sundried Tomato Pesto & Salmon Foil Packets

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Special Equipment: Food Processor

  • cooked white rice (optional, I use the equivalent of 1 cup dry rice, before cooking)
  • trimmed green beans (or snap peas or broccoli)
  • 1.5 pounds salmon, cut into four portions
  • salt & pepper
  • sundried tomato pesto (about 1.5 cups, recipe below will yield more…)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • aluminum foil
  • olive oil
  1. Make the Sundried Tomato Pesto (recipe is below).
  2. Make two large rectangles of aluminum foil (about 2 feet long each).
  3. Pat down half of the rice in the center of each piece of foil.
  4. Create a layer of green beans on top of the rice making sure to have the length of the bean running parallel to the long side of the foil so it folds easily and drizzle a little oil over top.
  5. Place 2 salmon portions over the beans on each piece of foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Spread a thick layer of sundried tomato pesto over the salmon portions (about 1/8 inch thick but more or less will be great too)!
  7. Sprinkle minced garlic over the salmon.
  8. Place fresh thyme sprigs on top.
  9. Roll up the foil by bringing the long edges together and rolling them down. Then roll up one end.
  10. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of water into the open end of the packet (this is to keep the rice from drying out). Then fold up that end.
  11. Foil packets can now be
    cooked or placed in the freezer.
  12. Cook packets on the bbq over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF (or 120ºF if you like it medium rare).
  13. Open packets and place portions on plates to enjoy!

Sundried Tomato Pesto

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 270ml bottle of sundried tomatoes with oil (I use these)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • Additional olive oil if needed
  1. Turn on your food processor and add the cashews and garlic while the blade is spinning.
  2. Open the food processor and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Process until the ingredients have turned into a pesto.
  4. If the mixture seems a little too dry add 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Serves 4-6

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.

Best Broccoli Salad (By Design)

Having an awesome Broccoli Salad recipe in your back pocket is so great when you are looking for a change in your salad routine.

This recipe is so simple and with the addition of fresh dill for a pop of freshness it really makes for a surprise in the flavour.

And there is a reason that I want you to add Broccoli Salad to your regular salad rotation.

That is because broccoli belongs to a family called cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates which support detoxification and break down further into compounds which have shown to reduce the risk and/or growth of certain cancers (specifically lung, stomach, colon and rectal).

Now, in our home, we actually don’t usually add cheese or bacon (gasp!)…but that is generally because if I don’t have cooked bacon on hand, I am not looking for an extra step in the prep process, I tend to be “frugal” with our cheese…and I don’t really tolerate dairy well…but that is just me. You are welcome to go wild!

This recipe has stood the test of time. Adults love it and so do the kids…and it’s really simple.

If you want this to be really healthy, make the mayo yourself by following the recipe below. If you are in a rush and are just glad to have a salad on the table, use store bought mayo. The problem is that store bought mayo is made with lower quality oils and I want to see you using a healthy oil like avocado oil (which is best for mayo because it has little to flavour compared to olive oil, but olive oil works well too).

Meal Prep Tip:

if you are preparing this salad in advance, just leave the dressing on the side.

Broccoli Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 head broccoli, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup organic raisins
  • ½ cup homemade or store bought mayo (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • cheese, bacon optional
  1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, red onion, sunflower seeds and raisins.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, maple syrup, dill and apple cider vinegar
  3. Pour over broccoli salad and toss to combine evenly.

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Mayonnaise

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Special Equipment: immersion/stick blender

  •  1 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole egg, raw and fresh, free run
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a cup that your immersion blender will fit into.
  2. Insert immersion blender to bottom. Turn on blender and hold it in place, on the bottom of the cup for about 20 seconds.
  3. With the blender still running, slowly lift it out of the cup allowing it to blend any remaining oil.
  4. Store in airtight container.

*Should last as long as the expiry date on the egg you used.

For more simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.