Category Archives: recipes

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.

Panang

Panang Curry with Shrimp, Chicken or Beef

Beef Panang is my significant other’s favourite dish when we go to our favourite local Thai restaurant.

I took on the challenge a few years ago to make it but I found it too spicy and the meat was tough so I wrote it off…clearly, I was doing something wrong which at the time, I had no interest to investigate any further.

But recently I had a client request Beef Panang so this time I decided to do my homework and get it right.

I watched some videos on Panang which were so helpful especially this one in particular.

In a nutshell, I learned that adding fresh lemon grass, thai basil and lime kaffir leaves would bring this dish to a whole new level. I also learned that using prepared curry paste is totally ok (instead of making it yourself) because the prepared paste is made with special grinders so that everything is the perfect texture (or perfectly combined)…all I know is they said it was ok!

I also learned that both chicken or shrimp were great alternatives to beef, however if you are going to use beef, flank steak is a great cut for it. (Take note, that many chefs agree that beef is the ultimate protein choice for panang because of it’s rich flavour).

Personally, I think there is some truth to that but I have thoroughly enjoyed it with shrimp as well.

The trick to keeping it less spicy or if you prefer, to make it super spicy, is to adjust the amount of curry paste. The more you use, the hotter it gets.

The lime kaffir leaves and thai basil should be available at your local Asian market (assuming you have one in your town) and the bamboo shoots and lemon grass may be at your local grocer. You can make this curry without all of those ingredients if necessary, but really, they take the panang to another level.

Panang Curry

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 pounds meat of choice (beef flank, chicken breast or thigh, or shrimp)
  • 8 lime kaffir leaves, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, soft centers only, minced
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Thai basil leaves and stems, torn (a handful)
  • 1 227ml can bamboo shoots
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (1 tablespoon will make it not spicey, more than two will make it super spicey, depending on your brand of paste).

Instructions

  1. Place coconut milk in soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Mix Curry Paste into coconut milk and reduce until you the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon with out running (this may take about 10 -15 minutes).
  3. You can add the lime kaffir leaves and lemon grass while the coconut milk is reducing.
  4. Once the coconut milk is thick enough add the onion, peppers, thai basil, bamboo shoots and stir.
  5. Meanwhile if you are using steak, sear it in a separate pan and slice thinly.
  6. Add the meat to the pot once the coconut milk mixture has reached your desired consistency. If using chicken or shrimp, add them to the panang sauce and cook until the chicken or shrimp is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Serve on its own or over cauliflower rice or white rice.

Serves 4-6

I look forward to hearing how it goes for you!

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.

Super Fast And Healthy Dinners

7 Super Fast and Healthy Dinners

I was recently asked to host a cooking class and demonstrate some super fast and healthy dinners.

So I put together seven of my favourites.

And then I realized, that these recipes were so good and so convenient I needed to share them with you.

I have put all of the recipes together in one free download which you can get HERE.

And if you are wondering how fast these recipes really are? I demonstrated six of them in about 90 minutes, with about an hour of prep work before hand which averages to less than 25 minutes a meal….and many of them will take you much less time than that to throw together.

1. Cabbage and Sausage

The cabbage and sausage is just simply chopped cabbage with sausages. You can bake it or slow cook it. And it is of course, delicious.

2. Sausage and Butternut Squash Stew

The Sausage and Butternut Squash Stew is great for the oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot. If you purchase pre-chopped butternut squash you will save your self a whole whack of time.

3. Crustless Crab Quiche

This recipe is just super fast and so buttery good (even though there is no butter:-). The crab meat can be purchased in the seafood department of the grocery store.

4. Sundried Tomato and Basil Turkey Burgers with Avocado Cream

These burgers are great to make ahead and freeze raw. You can then just throw them frozen on the grill or in a pan for about seven minutes per side and drizzle the avocado cream on top.

5. Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl

Possibly the easiest dinner ever made (with the exception of cabbage & sausage). Just watch the video. You’ll see.

6. Chicken Salad with Apple & Celery

This is a recipe that happened by accident. Got leftover chicken? And who doesn’t have apples, mayo and celery in the fridge? I made this for the kids lunches one day it was a hit that we have repeated several times.

If you want to step it up a notch, add some pecans, grapes, bacon…what else would you add?

7. Tandoori Chicken with Curry Cauliflower Rice and Tzatziki

The Tandoori Chicken is super easy because you can buy the Tandoori spice mix already prepared. Just marinade it overnight for a tonne of flavour. If you want cut out one more step, you can buy prepared tzatziki which usually contains the same ingredients you would be using anyway.

What are your favourite super fast and healthy dinner recipes? Please comment below.

And don’t forget to download your free Quick Dinners Recipe Package HERE.