I don’t know about you guys but when I go camping, the only reason I eat dinner is so I can have dessert afterwards. So I decided to start with dessert recipes. Well ok, one of them isn’t really dessert but it’s sweet and a treat. Here are my top 5 camping desserts. Sorry I don’t have pictures for all of them. I’ll fix that this summer.
BackPack Trail Mix (nut friendly)
1.5-2 cups raw organic pumpkin seeds
1.5-2 cups raw organic sunflower seeds
1 cup organic raisins
1 cup shreddies cereal
1/2 cup dried goji berries
1/2 semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups of your favorite granola cereal (I used the Enjoy Life brand that is nut and gluten-free)
Preheat oven to 400F. Spread raw seeds on dry cookie sheets in an even single layer. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until seeds are a golden brown. Be careful, they’ll go from golden brown to full on burnt in seconds. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Once seeds are cooled, dump in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients. Feel free to add your favourite thing to the mix. Cheerios, nuts, cranberries, what ever. I usually add a handful here and a handful there until it looks like good proportions. Using your hands, gently mix and turn over the mixture. Portion out 1/2 cup of mix into zip lock baggies.
BadAss Banana Boats
This is my twist on the classic Banana Boat!
1 banana split lengthwise down the middle
2 large marshmallows
3 squares of your favorite chocolate bar (I like Jersey Milk)
2 brownie bites cut in halves (boom, that’s the bad ass part)
2 caramel squares (you know, the ones you get at halloween?) (YUP! Another boom, right there)
Making a “boat” with tin foil first, spray the bottom with cooking spray. Start with the brownie halves on the bottom of the foil boat. Put banana halves on top of brownies. In between the 2 halves of the banana alternate chocolate pieces and caramel squares, top with marshmallows. Seal up the boat and put in the hot coals for 5-10 minutes depending on how hot the fire is. At a camp ground with a no fire policy? Throw the foils in the oven or in your slow cooker! Now aren’t you glad you brought the slow cooker? They’re done when they look like a little piece of heaven wrapped in a foil bird.
Ok, we’re not reinventing the wheel here but here are a couple of small adjustments to this camping staple.
Replace graham crackers for digestive cookies that have chocolate on 1 side (made by Christie)
Replace squares of chocolate for chocolate covered cream mints like After 8′s
Bacon. nuff said.
Add sliced pre-grilled apples
Add sliced pre-grilled pineapple
A slather of peanut butter on the graham crackers (if you’re not allergic to nuts like me)
A square of caramel on 1 side and chocolate on the other, marshmallow in the middle. WOW!
Fruity Foil Packs
I use a half piece of fruit for the kids and a whole fruit for adults but for this recipe I’ll do adult size.
1 of the following fruits: peach, apple, pear (halved, seeded and peeled)
1 pat of butter
1 or 2 TSP of brown sugar
drizzle of lemon juice
drizzle of maple syrup
drizzle of Grand Marnier or booze of choice (optional)
Seal in a foil boat and cook on the campfire for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Remove from heat and pour over individual short cakes or angel food cake or if you have a freezer, ice-cream! Oh yeah baby!
Campfire Fudge (via KOA Campgrounds)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 TBSP water
1/2 cup granola cereal
In a large saucepan, combine first 3 ingredients over medium heat. Melt chocolate. Stir constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a foil lined 8 inch square pan. Sprinkle granola cereal over the top. Let stand until firm, about 1 hour. Cut and serve.
The original recipe can be found here.
I love me some eggs. Today I wanted eggs for lunch but I didn’t feel like having the regular ‘ol eggs and toast, I know my eggs were sad too. So I decided to make an omelette but since I’m terrible at flipping eggs without massacring them I figured, why bother. Just don’t flip ‘em. Right? Right. And so the Inside Out (No Flip) Omelette was born.
yeild 1 omelette
handful of diced red pepper
handful of diced mushrooms
handful of shredded cheese
dab of salsa
pinch of sass (tee hee)
Preheat a small fry pan on medium high heat.
In a bowl, beat eggs and milk (season with salt and pepper, optional)
Spray fry pan with cooking spray (I use olive oil Pam cooking spray)
Pour egg mixture into hot frying pan. As the sides of the egg start to cook, use a spatula and work around the edges pushing back the egg and tilting the liquid egg onto the exposed pan. Do this until there is no more liquid left moving around. The top will still be wet looking. Let cook for another 2 minutes.
Sprinkle peppers, mushrooms and top with cheese.
Cover with a lid from a pot bigger than the fry pan.
Turn heat down a little and watch closely. When the cheese is melted, remove lid and slide the omelette onto a plate and top with salsa.
It ain’t pretty but it sure is good. Enjoy!
I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation when the snow finally melts and we get our first invite to a friends house for a BBQ. YAY! It’s the BBQ season kick off!
The temps hit a whopping 22 degrees on Saturday and with clear blue skies, how can we NOT take advantage by expanding the entertainment space to the great outdoors. The smell of the grill burning off last summers finale, the icy drinks, the children running wild in the yard, laughter and conversation with friends.
BBQ season also brings with it a rotation of recipes from the warm, rib sticking winter comfort food to the light, fresh and often char broiled foods. I love this time of year! It’s early enough in the season that the bugs aren’t a bother yet the weather is warm and the sun is bright.
My contributions to the meal were both a salad and a dessert.
The Quinoa & Chickpea salad with Tomato Vinaigrette comes courtesy of one of my favorite magazines, Canadian Living. You can find the full recipe HERE.
Just A Tip: I substituted the green beans for sugar snap peas and I used tri colour quinoa but otherwise I followed it to the letter and let me just say, this salad will be on my summer menu plan. The best part of this recipe is that it gets better the next day. Tip: mix in some cooked, chilled, chopped chicken breast for lunch the next day.
This Chocolate Chip cookie recipe is THE last recipe I’ll ever use. For real! They’re soft and chewy and perfect every time. I found this recipe on Kelsey’s yummy food blog. Her recipe can be found HERE. Just A Tip: I substituted the white sugar for organic coconut sugar and in my oven I only needed to cook them for 9 minutes. Yes, 9. Not 8. Not 10.
Who wants to have me over for their next BBQ? What are your favourite BBQ season recipes?
Ok, I didn’t intend for this to turn into a weekly meal planning thing but as long as you’re interested, I’ll keep it up. So that being said, here’s what we’re having for dinner this week.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (purists are going to think this recipe is a total cheat but let me tell you, it’s worth it to cheat)
3 lbs mix of chicken legs & thighs
1 jar of your favourite pasta sauce
1 can of tomato paste
(sliced mushrooms & green peppers optional)
remove skin off all chicken and place into a large slow cooker. In a bowl, mix together pasta sauce and tomato paste. Pour over chicken in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over brown rice or pasta.
Slow Cooker Meat Loaf w/Mashed Potatoes – Easy recipe I got from RecipeTips.com. You can find it HERE.
Chicken & Broccoli Quinoa Casserole – I found this one on Pinterest and have made it once. It turned out so yummy but I did make some slight adjustments. First off I poached 2 chicken breasts and cut up the meat then added it to the mix. Also ended up using 3-3.5 cups of cooked quinoa and an extra can of soup to get more volume and substance out of the recipe. You can find the original recipe HERE.
Ham & Broccoli & Cheese Quiche w/Salad – This simple, yummy recipe came from my Auntie who also happens to be the best cook and baker I’ve ever known. You can adapt the base of this recipe to your own personal taste. Add roasted veggies or sausages, the skies the limit.
1 frozen or fresh pie crust
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped ham cubes
1/2 cup shredded cheese (plus extra for the topping)
2 cups steamed, drained, chopped broccoli crowns
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix eggs and milk. Pour eggs into pie crust. Sprinkle ham, cheese and broccoli into egg mix. Top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Put pie on a cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the centre is no longer wiggly.
Serve with salad.
Pizza Day – If you have a favourite pizza place now’s your chance to go nuts. If you want something a little more personal and cheaper than frozen or take-out then try my recipe.
1 pgk of Flat-Outs wraps (I love this product. They’re thick enough to handle pizza toppings but thin enough to be guilt free and at 110 calories for 1 you can really enjoy your pizza)
Here are some sample toppings:
1 spolumbos sausage per person (remove meat casing into a frying pan and crumble cook the meat)
pizza sauce (I use plain old tomato paste and sprinkle oregano on it)
roasted mushrooms, peppers and broccoli (sliced or cut, tossed in a light drizzle of olive oil, roasted at 400 for 20 minutes)
Bake at 400 until edges are crisp and cheeses are melted. About 10 minutes.
I’m really happy that so many of you read, liked and even tried some of the recipes that I posted in my last meal plan. Thanks for the feedback! As long as you guys let me know you want me to post more, I will do my best to post my meal plans and recipes. I’m also working on building my stock of photos of my recipes so for now you’ll have to use your imagination and trust me ,this stuff is good.
Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week.
Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs with Brown Rice and Broccoli (recipe below)
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup – this recipe was adapted from a recipe that was shared with me by my lovely neighbour whom I miss dearly since moving this summer. This recipe has become a staple in our house. (recipe below)
Easy Turkey Manicotti - from one of my favorite cookbooks written by a local mom turned author and meal planning expert, Sandi Richard. (recipe below)
Beef n’ Broccoli with Quinoa (or rice) – I found the recipe on Pinterest but the original blog post for the recipe can be found HERE.
Tacos - You don’t need a recipe for this. It’s as simple as picking up some shells (soft or hard) and seasoning up some kind of meat. Add cheese, salsa, sour cream, voila! TGIF!
I’m going to test out a new soup recipe this weekend and if I like it I’ll add it to my plan in the future.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you try any of my recipes. Like them, hate them, want me to plan something using your favorite ingredient in future plans? Tell me about it!
Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Use 1.5 lbs of ground beef and make your favorite meat ball recipe. For this recipe I add, 1 egg, 1/2 cup panko crumbs, 1/2 envelope of onion soup mix to the meat and then roll into balls. Place raw meat balls in the slow cooker.
For the sauce:
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
remaining half of onion soup mix from meatballs (optional)
2 tbsp cornstarch disolved into 1 cup of water
Mix first 4 (or 5 if you are using the onion soup mix that’s left over) ingredients in the same bowl you used to make the meatballs. No need to dirty another bowl. Pour over meatballs and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, pour cornstarch water mixture into slow cooker and mix with a spoon. Let cook and thicken for 30 minutes or so. Serve over quinoa or rice with a side of steamed veggies like broccoli. YUM!
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1- 16oz jar of your favourite salsa
1-32 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1-15oz can of black beans
1 cup of frozen corn
16oz of water (use the empty salsa jar to measure water)
1 envelope of low sodium taco seasoning (I use Old ElPaso)
Place cubed chicken in a skillet and brown. Don’t cook all the way thru. Coat chicken with taco seasoning. Place chicken in slow cooker along with salsa, crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn and water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Serve with a dollop of light sour cream and a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. (optional topping: crushed taco chips) ( If you like your soup thinner add more water or visa versa, if you like it thick, reduce the water)
Easy Turkey Manicotti (Cooking for the Rushed- The Healthy Family by Sandi Richard page.83)
1 lb of ground turkey
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Table Blend
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 soup can of milk
1 pkg of manicotti noodles
1 – 250g 1% cottage cheese
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (700ml)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
preheat oven 375F
brown ground turkey meat until cooked thru. Add spices and seasonings and stir. Add soup and milk and stir. Remove from heat.
Spray a baking dish with grease.
Hold uncooked manicotti noodle and spoon meat mixture into the tube until filled. Place in baking dish. Repeat until all the meat is gone. When all the shells are filled in the pan, spook cottage cheese over top. Pour pasta sauce over top of cottage cheese. Cover dish with tin foil tightly. Shiny side down. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until noodles are tender and cooked. Remove foil and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven to melt or broil to melt cheese. Serve with caesar salad.
Phew, doing a weekly meal plan for a family of 6 is hard work. Keeping it interesting and new is even harder. Since starting my weekly meal planning I’ve compiled over 120 weeks of meals. WOW. Impressive, I know right? But when you’re cooking for 6 people, you can’t get home at 5pm from music class or dance and look in the fridge and say, “what am I going to make tonight?”
I use a lot of different resources to compile my meals from websites to cookbooks to emails from friends and family and of course, Pinterest.
After all the quick response to my Facebook page a lot of you want to know, so here’s what’s on the table in my house this week. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of all the dishes but trust me when I say, the first 3 are YUMMY! (the last 2 are new but are sure to be hits as well.)
Chicken pot pie and salad (my own recipe shown below)
I’ll prep it in the morning and put it in the fridge so that it can be popped in the oven later. Make it ahead is just as good as putting it in the slowcooker.
Smothered Pork Chops (click HERE for the recipe from www.recipetips.com)
This will also be prepped ahead and put in the fridge. There’s nothing bad about having meat sit in the sauce all day before it goes in the oven. I’ll serve it over a brown, wild rice, quinoa mixture.
Spaghetti & meat sauce w/Spolumbos sausages in slow cooker (my own recipe shown below)
Avocado Chicken Parmesan (click HERE for the recipe from elenaguan.blogspot.ca that I found on Pinterest)
Pizza Roll-ups w/marinara dipping sauce (my own recipe shown below)
I purposely didn’t register any kids in activities for friday’s to keep it loose and casual. We alternate between tacos, pizza or even hot dogs on Friday nights. Although I’ll opt for a salad or sushi for myself and Brent if the kids are having hot dogs or tacos.
I hope this weeks meal plan helps inspire you to plan your week. It will save your sanity and your pennies to plan ahead.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you try any of these recipes and if you want me to keep posting my meal plans.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 roast chicken (skinned and boned)
1 large can of Chicken Corn Chowder soup
2 cups of steamed broccoli (drained and cut in bite size pieces)
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 frozen pie shells
Pull the frozen shells out and sit them on a cookie sheet while you prepare the filling.
Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees
Pour soup in a medium mixing bowl. Add broccoli. Add enough chopped chicken to make the mixture very chunky. I usually use both breasts plus a little extra dark meat. If you like your pie more runny then add less chicken. I like my pie chunky so I add a lot of chicken. Pour mixture into 1 pie shell. Take second pie shell and remove foil pie plate. Invert over the top of filled pie and use water to seal the edges with your fingers. The top will likely crack but that’s ok. Cut some slits in the top crust to let the steam out. Brush with an egg wash if you want. (I don’t)
Bake in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes or until crust is brown and cooked fully.
Serve with salad.
Spaghetti & meat sauce w/Spolumbos Sausage
1lb lean ground beef (cooked and drained)
3-4 of your favorite Spolumbos sausages (raw)
1- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1- 16 oz can of tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 medium carrots (peeled and finely grated)
1/2 onion (finely grated or chopped if your family is OK with seeing their onions)
2 tbsp Italian herb mix
Using a large slow cooker, add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, herb mix and stir to combine. In a skillet combine onions and carrots and cook until tender. Add tomato paste to skillet and caramelize the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add carrots and onions to slow cooker and stir. Add cooked beef and raw sausages and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high from 4-6 hours or until sausages are cooked thru.
Serve over your favorite pasta or gluten free pasta!
Pizza Roll-ups w/Marinara sauce (I just made this one up)
1 pkg of your favorite full sized wraps
2-3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
5-10 slices of your favourite pizza meat (pepperoni, ham, salami, etc) cut with pizza cutter into strips.
1 jar of your favourite marinara sauce or make it from scratch and use the extra later in the week.
Lay out 1 wrap and sprinkle evenly with a thin layer of cheese. Layer meat on top of cheese. Add another sprinkling of cheese. Roll from one end to the other and use toothpicks to hold in place. Repeat with other wraps. Bake all wraps in a 375F oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and wrap is slightly crispy. While wraps are in the oven, heat marinara sauce on stove top until warm but not boiling so the kids can dip right away. Let the wraps sit on top of the stove for 5 minutes once done. Slice on an angle. Serve with a side bowl of marinara sauce for dipping.
This is one of those recipes that you can customize to your taste. You could add goats cheese and cooked mushrooms or roast some peppers and onions and add to your wrap. Fun, Fast and Easy!
I was at Costco last week and decided on an impulse to buy a 6 pack of portobello mushrooms. What? An impulse buy at Costco doesn’t always have to be a new set of luggage. You’re welcome honey!
So once I had the mushrooms at home, I had to figure out what to do with them. Here’s what I came up with. It’s super easy and quick and the kids liked it.
6 portobello mushrooms (stems cut off)
3 Spolumbos sausages (casing removed)
2 cups cooked quinoa
In a bowl, mix the raw sausage meat with quinoa. Place mushrooms on a cookie sheet. Divide meat mixture into 6 patties and press gently into each mushroom. Cook at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until meat is cooked thru. Sprinkle cheese on top and melt in oven for a minute or so. Serve with salad or steamed veggies.
A great addition for the meat would be roasted peppers or top with fresh tomatoes or a strip of zucchini! If you’re feeling adventurous.
Growing up as a kid I learned to cook early on. Shepherd’s Pie was a family staple but when I had my own kids I wanted to make it my own recipe. I’ve made this dish for the kids and family and people are always asking me for the recipe. Here it is. Enjoy!
1 pound lean ground beef (I use grass fed and finished local beef from BITE BEEF)
1 box of organic condensed cream of mushroom soup (or canned if you prefer but buy the low sodium one)
1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels
1 – 19oz can of organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed (Superstore has a great line of organic canned beans at a great price)
3-4 yellow potatoes (peeled, cubed, cooked and mashed how you wish)
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef until it’s fully cooked. Drain fat and rinse. Put cooked beef in a large mixing bowl. Add cream of mushroom soup, frozen corn and beans to beef and mix well. Pour meat mixture into a deep casserole dish. Top meat with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until heated thru. Serve with a salad or whole grain buns.
This soup has been a cold weather staple in our house for a long time. Yesterday we got a spring winter storm with more than 10cm of snow. Soup seemed logical so I changed it by adding a gluten-free, wheat-free, organic quinoa pasta and I think it’s damn near perfection! I use mostly organic ingredients and after checking all my ingredients, I’ve found that it’s also a sugar free meal! We are not a gluten-free house but I do think that having G-free meals once a day are as important to our health as having meatless meals once in a while. Variety is the key to ultimate health. The kids loved it and Brent (the husband) was very impressed that I managed to make my awesome soup even awesomer!
2 medium carrots diced small
2 stalks celery diced
1 small onion diced small
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
2 cups of broth (veggie or beef)
1 1/2 cups water
1 pound of your favourite meatballs (uncooked) (my recipe below if you don’t have one)
150g (about half of a 300g bag) Anelli wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan, organic pasta (GoGo Quinoa brand)
In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients EXCEPT pasta. Stir and cover. Turn slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. 20 minutes before you want to eat, boil a pot of water (season with salt if desired, I never do), add quinoa pasta and cook as directed. Keep a close eye on the pasta as you don’t want to over cook it. Stir frequently. Once pasta is done, drain. Spoon some pasta in the bottom of each bowl and ladle meatball soup over top. Mix pasta and soup gently. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan if desired.
1 pound of organic lean ground beef
1/2 cup of gluten free bread crumbs or Panko crumbs OR 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup crumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Mix by hand. Take about 1-1 1/2 tbsp of meat and roll into a ball. Add raw meatballs to slow cooker with soup.
I’ve made this recipe for family and friends and it’s a hit all over. So easy and great to put in a tin and give as a gift.
3-4 regular size candy canes
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
15 large marshmallows (1 large = 10 mini)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Crush candy canes in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Line an 8 inch square pan with tin foil.
In a large saucepan, medium heat, stir milk and sugar until dissolved. Bring to a gentlel boil; be careful because the mixture will bubble up high.
Reduce heat to low and vigorously stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows until evenly mixed and melted.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter. Add 1/3 of the crushed candy canes. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining candy cane over top.
Refrigerate until set and firm, about 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
Makes 16 large or 32 small squares.
1 large square = 218 calories, 2g protein, 6g fat, 41g carbs, 0g guilt if you run 5km
Original recipe found in Today’s Parent (November 2010)