All posts by Alison Cooper

Chicken Burrito Bowl

This Chicken Burrito Bowl has become a favourite for packed lunches in our house and is also an easy dinner especially on the nights we are home at different times.  I leave the rice in the rice cooker on warm, other bowls and toppings are kept in the fridge and everyone loves making their own combination.

Chicken Burrito Bowl
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A healthier and tasty version of the popular fast food Mexican bowls. Prepare it for dinner and have leftovers for weekday lunches.
Chicken Burrito Bowl
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A healthier and tasty version of the popular fast food Mexican bowls. Prepare it for dinner and have leftovers for weekday lunches.
Ingredients
Chicken & Marinade
Bowl Ingredients
Pico de Gallo Salsa
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl or large ziplock bag add all marinade ingredients - oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and spices. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (If chicken is thick you can use a meat tenderizer to create even thickness 2 cm).
  2. While Chicken is marinating you can prepare your rice in the rice cooker or on the stove. Prep beans and corn. I like to mix a little seasoning (1/2 teaspoon chili powder, possibly salt) and lime juice to the black beans.
  3. Preheat Grill to high heat. Clean the grates. Reduce heat to low and place the chicken on the grill for 7-10 per side until cooked through and internal temperature reads 170 degrees.
  4. While the chicken is grilling you can prepare the other toppings and in a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the pico de gallo.
  5. Let your family create their own bowls starting with rice, beans, corn and finishing with pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, chicken and cheese.
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Weekend Baking Day

Baking on a weekend afternoon can be a fun pastime with the kids – especially if you don’t have to make dinner that evening.  Because the Peppermint Bark needs to chill in the freezer I like to get it started and then make some muffins.  The Muffins are snacks to enjoy and the Peppermint Bark goes in the freezer until the holidays.

Holiday Peppermint Bark
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Peppermint Bark has become so popular almost every chocolate company is making a version of it.  I still think it looks prettiest and tastes the best homemade.  It is an easy gluten free option and good for the non-baker.
Holiday Peppermint Bark
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Peppermint Bark has become so popular almost every chocolate company is making a version of it.  I still think it looks prettiest and tastes the best homemade.  It is an easy gluten free option and good for the non-baker.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl over simmering water melt the bittersweet chocolate. As the chocolate melts stir with a spatula and ensure no water or steam drips into the chocolate causing it to seize. Once the chocolate is melted remove from heat and add peppermint drops. Start with 5 drops, taste and add more if desired. I like 8 drops of DoTerra Peppermint Oil.
  3. With your spatula spread the chocolate as evenly as possible over your parchment paper and then chill in the freezer for 1 hour.
  4. In a medium bowl over simmering water melt the white chocolate. As the chocolate melts stir with a spatula and ensure no water or steam drips into the chocolate causing it to seize. Once the chocolate is melted remove from heat and add peppermint drops. Start with 5 drops, taste and add more if desired.
  5. Spread the white chocolate over the dark chocolate as quickly as possible so as not to melt the dark chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and chill in the freezer overnight.
  6. Transfer your chocolate to a cutting board and using the tip of a chef knife break the chocolate into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
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Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins
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This recipe has become a favourite of my volleyball players.  A pre-game snack for those late matches.  The recipe has been adapted from Jennifer Segal's Chocolate Banana Bread.
Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins
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This recipe has become a favourite of my volleyball players.  A pre-game snack for those late matches.  The recipe has been adapted from Jennifer Segal's Chocolate Banana Bread.
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:
Wet Ingredients:
Chocolate Swirl
Instructions
  1. Place butter and eggs on the counter to bring to room temperature. Puree bananas in your blender or food processor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin pan with papers.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
  4. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Mix in mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
  6. In a small bowl on top of a small pot of simmering water melt the chocolate chips and stir in cocoa powder. Remove from heat.
  7. Remove one cup of the banana batter and stir into the chocolate mixture.
  8. Use a spatula to ensure the banana batter is completely mixed. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter into the banana and swirl slightly. Do not over mix or batters will become blended. Using a muffin scoop fill your pan. You may be able to do 14 muffins.
  9. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean 20-25 minutes.
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Holiday Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark has become so popular almost every chocolate company is making a version of it.  I still think it looks prettiest and tastes the best homemade.  It is an easy gluten free option and good for the non-baker.

Moroccan Beef Stew and Arugula Salad

As the colder weather hits try this slow simmering Moroccan Beef Stew served with a crisp Arugula, Apple and Manchego Cheese Salad from Once Upon a Chef.

Moroccan Beef Stew
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You need 3-4 hours to simmer this stew - it is well worth the wait. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, couscous or quinoa.
Moroccan Beef Stew
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You need 3-4 hours to simmer this stew - it is well worth the wait. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, couscous or quinoa.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until translucent then add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Remove onions and garlic to a bowl and reserve.
  3. Shake beef in a bag with flour, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  4. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to same pan and heat until medium high. Using tongs remove meat from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Cook beef turning with tongs until all sides are browned.
  5. Add coriander, oregano, cumin and ginger and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Now add broth and cinnamon sticks and reserved onions and garlic.
  6. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours stirring every 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, carrots, lemon juice and brown sugar and continue to cook. Once the has the thickens you desire cover for another 1 1/2 hours stirring every 15 minutes. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  7. Taste and season if necessary. Just before serving stir in parsley or sprinkle on top of each plated stew. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, couscous, quinoa or naan bread on the side.
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Arugula, Apples & Manchego Cheese Salad
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My new favourite recipe from Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef. Salad is tossed in an Cider Vinaigrette and can be perfectly paired with many fall dishes.
Arugula, Apples & Manchego Cheese Salad
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My new favourite recipe from Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef. Salad is tossed in an Cider Vinaigrette and can be perfectly paired with many fall dishes.
Ingredients
Salad
Vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Toast the almonds in a large frying pan over medium heat - watch and stir frequently.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler thinly slice the manchego cheese.
  3. Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  4. Thinly slice the apple.
  5. In a large bowl dress arugula little by little - do not over dress - you may have a little left over. Stir in apples and top with cheese and almonds.
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Black Bean Quesadillas with Avocado Lime Sauce

Black Bean Quesadillas are perfect for your meatless Monday dinner served with a twist on Guacamole with an Avocado Lime Sauce. Add some fresh salsa on the side as well. Thanks to Foodlove.com for the original recipe.   If you would like to make a mix of your own taco seasoning you can click here for a recipe.

Black Bean Quesadillas with Avocado Lime Sauce
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Black Bean Quesadillas is an easy recipe for kids to make. You can prepare ahead of time and cook just before dinner or cook up the quesadillas and then warm them in the oven just before eating. Double the recipe if you want extra sauce for another time.
Black Bean Quesadillas with Avocado Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Black Bean Quesadillas is an easy recipe for kids to make. You can prepare ahead of time and cook just before dinner or cook up the quesadillas and then warm them in the oven just before eating. Double the recipe if you want extra sauce for another time.
Ingredients
Black Bean Filling
Avocado Lime Sauce
Instructions
  1. In a non-stick skillet heat olive oil, garlic, taco seasoning and onion powder for 2 minutes over medium heat stirring constantly.
  2. Add black beans, tomato passata and salt. Continue to cook bean mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated about 8-10 minutes. With the back of your spoon or spatula mash some of the beans. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.
  3. On one half of a tortilla spread approximately 1/4 cup of the bean mixture and a sprinkle of grated cheese. Fold in half and press down to flatten.
  4. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat in your clean frying pan and cook tortillas for approximately 3 minutes per side until lightly browned. Continue to cook remaining quesadillas adding additional oil as needed.
  5. To prepare avocado lime sauce add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve along side with a red salsa if desired. Enjoy!!
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