Tag Archive | dinner

Epicure Azteca Tortilla Soup

It’s that time of year again! A new Epicure catalogue has launched with lots of new products and meal solutions. I thought it might be fun to review some of the new products and share my thoughts.

If you aren’t familiar with Epicure it is a local to me Canadian company that aims to inspire clean eating through their line of gluten free, sugar/salt/fat conscious line of spices, mixes, and meal solutions.

In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I am an independent Epicure consultant! That in no way means I will withhold my honest opinions on these products. This is not a sponsored post in any way and I have purchased these products at my own cost.

So, on to the soup!

I followed the directions on the package using the water option instead of broth. The ingredients and directions are extremely simple. You boil the water and seasoning, add in tomatoes, boil again. Meanwhile rinse the black beans. Add beans and corn and simmer.

To serve top with Greek yogurt, cheese,avocado, lime juice, and tortilla chips if you wish.

Now in all honesty I found the soup incredibly bland after following the directions on the package. Next time I will definitely use broth over water.

After trying it as prepared according to the package directions I went ahead and added in some salt, taco seasoning, red garlic sensel, and a few other things to give it more of the flavour I was expecting/looking for.

I also added two chopped Roma tomatoes because I like chunks or tomatoes in my taco soup.

I don’t mind at all that I had to add salt to this soup. In fact I think that is a good thing given how many packaged mixes and soups are sodium heavy. I’m not one who adds much salt in my cooking but I will when it’s needed. I will admit I wasn’t expecting to have to add so many extra ingredients/spices to this soup to make it more flavourful. On the other hand it’s easier to add ingredients to your liking then to try to cover up a flavour you don’t like in a package mix.

Once the soup was done and topped with the toppings mentioned above and cilantro I very much enjoyed it but again I don’t think I would of enjoyed it very much had I not tweaked it to my liking.

With that being said would I make this again? Absolutely! I would make it using broth and set out knowing what I want to add. I’m also looking forward to trying this with the addition of veggie ground round (or ground beef for the meat eaters). I would also use this mix in other recipes, I’m thinking a taco casserole.

This product is not at all what I was expecting as a quick meal solution/soup mix but it’s a product I will happily use as an ingredient in my own creations.

Argentinian Chimichurri Flank Steak

Kevin and I have decided to seek out one new dinner recipe a week to cook together and share. This week we thought the recipe for Chimichurri flank steak in this weeks Weight watchers weekly looked good!



20150827-212924-77364755.jpg We made the marinade last night and let the steak marinade a full 24 hours prior to cooking. I really enjoyed the flavors of the marinade but Kevin found the red wine flavor a touch over powering. We both agreed we would double the garlic next time!

As stated above this is not my recipe. It is a Weight Watchers recipe.

1 Small bunch parsley
4 Cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoon salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 Teaspoons olive oil (divided)

1 Pound lean flank steak
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper pinch

24 hours in advance prep and marinade the steak.

Combine first 8 ingredients and purée in a food processor until relatively smooth.


Place 3 tablespoons of Chimichurri into a small bowl and add 1 tsp olive oil.

Rub mixture over steak and allow to marinade for 24 hours. Refrigerate remaining Chimichurri after adding remaing Olive oil.

When ready to cook preheat grill to high heat. Wipe off marinade, pat dry and season steak with salt and pepper. Spray grill with cooking spray. Grill steak for 5-7 minutes per side, flipping once. Cook to medium rare. Remove from heat and allow to rest. Drizzle remaining Chimichurri sauce over steak and serve!

I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a flavorful healthy steak recipe.


Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Last summer I ordered something called “Dragon Boats” one night when we went out for dinner and ever since I’ve been meaning to try to make them at home. Tonight I did, with fantastic results! They are fresh and flavorful. I used leaf lettuce as the wraps but you could use whatever kind of lettuce you like.


3 chicken breasts
1 cup dry chow mien noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped pepper
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 can sliced water chestnuts drained
1/2 cashews
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili sauce (more for spicier)
Handful of cilantro
3 sliced green onions
1 head of lettuce of your choice

Heat a tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and toss chow mien noodles in heated pan for 2 minutes, set aside.

Cook chicken in remain olive oil.

Once the chicken is almost cooked add in peppers, onions, mushrooms, water chestnuts, garlic, thai chili paste, and cook until soft.

In a small bowl mix together soy sauce , brown sugar and vinegar. Add this mixture to pan and cook for 2 minutes.

Add in hoisin sauce, cashews, cilantro, and green onions and cool for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently.

Serve this mixture on lettuce leaf wraps!

Enjoy this fantastic homemade tasty take on a take out classic.


Honey Lime Dressing

A few months ago Kevin and I decided to make halibut tacos and I’ve been craving them ever since! I think my craving was mostly for the honey lime dressing I whipped up to drizzle over them. Last night I gave in and made another batch of this delicious dressing. I used it to top my halibut tacos as well as to dress my slaw.


2 Large limes zested and juiced
-I always use organic fruit when using the zest.

(About 1 tablespoon zest and 1/2 cup to 3/4 fresh lime juice)

1 small clove of garlic
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
Small handful of cilantro (optional but suggested)
Tiny pinch of salt and pepper


You can use a food processor or magic bullet to make this dressing or by hand your choice.

Juice and zest limes

Add all ingredients except salt and pepper into your processor and pulse




I like to whisk in the salt and pepper once the food processor has blended everything.


This dressing can be used on anything you like. As I said I use it on my halibut tacos and slaw. The slaw i make for fish tacos is simply shredded cabbage and avocados. So fresh and flavorful.


This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing and left over dressing can be stored in a glass mason jar for a few days in the refrigerator.

Buffalo Chicken “Cupcakes

So after three nights of not making dinner, unless you count toast at midnight dinner! I finally felt well enough tonight to spend some time in the kitchen tonight!!

I have spent some time looking at recipes on Pinterest and a version of this dish caught my eye. I decided to go to work inventing my own recipe for Buffalo chicken cupcakes! Of course because the hubby doesn’t do spicy I did half the batch as BBQ chicken cupcakes.

These are super easy to make and I think they would make a great appetizer. I ate a couple for dinner with some veggies because I’m awesome, no it’s cuz I’m awesome!

This recipe makes 12 “cupcakes” using a regular sized muffin tin. I did 6 buffalo and 6 BBQ by simply separating the chicken/veggie mix before adding the sauce.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup real bacon bits *optional*
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup hot sauce or BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray


Chop chicken, onions, pepper into small pieces and pan fry in butter, adding Italian seasoning and garlic halfway through cooking.



Preheat oven to 375

Spray muffin pan liberally with cooking spray.

Cut pizza dough into 12 equal portions and form each into a dough ball with your hands.
Use a roller to roll out each section of dough into a small circle and place into greased pan.





Once chicken/veggie mix is cooked toss with your choice of sauce. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 muffin tins.



Bake uncovered for 15 minutes and the remove from oven, quickly top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes to melt cheese.

Remove from oven and remove from muffin tin pan by running a butter knife around the edge of each “cupcake” !




Homemade Meatballs

So in true Erica fashion I forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner today! Luckily I realized this while Kevin and I were in Vancouver picking up my race packet for tomorrow’s Color me rad run! We made a quick stop at Whole foods on Cambie! I was a happy girl!! We picked up lots of yummy stuff and decided to make meatballs!

These meatballs are moist and flavorful. They can be used in a variety of ways such as meatball subs or appetizers. Tonight I served them on pasta with veggie loaded sauce and a warm fresh baked parmesan herb muffin for a filling, healthy pre race dinner!



1 Pound of extra lean ground beef
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 small pepper chopped
1/2 a medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
5 splashes worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup oats
4 crushed stone wheat crackers
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt

Optional ingredients but suggested for yum factor!

1/2 cup crispy onions
1/4 cup tortilla strips


Mix ground beef and ground pork

Add all ingredients with meat in a large bowl and mix well with hands until combine.




Did you notice my giant garlic?!? We got elephant garlic in Seattle! I love it! It is sweeter then normal garlic. The below photo is one clove in my hand!

Once the mixture is well combine form well packed meatballs in your choice of size…I made giant meatballs a little larger then golf balls.

Cooking will depend on the size you made. Just be sure the internal temperatures reaches 165 degrees. I did this by baking them in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. I cooked uncovered for the first 20 minutes then loosely covered with foil for the last 20 minutes. Feel free to pan fry these if you choose! I cooked mine in our new specialty meatball pan. The pan is designed to let the fat run out and works fanatically!





Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Growing up I use to spend hours watching my Mom cook, I was even allowed to help! It didn’t matter what she was whipping up I was enthusiastically welcomed to help. I think she instilled my love of cooking into me at an early age. The kitchen was the one place my Mom was relaxed and at ease.

My Mom made many different meals but one of my personal favorites was always cabbage rolls. Tonight I had a craving for some cabbage rolls but didn’t have the time to make the labour intensive recipe so I did the next best thing! Lazy cabbage rolls, aka unstuffed cabbage rolls, aka cabbage casserole, aka inside out cabbage rolls! Whatever you wish to call them they are tasty, quick, and cost effective!

1 pound lean ground beef, ground turkey, or veggie ground round
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 cans of tomato soup
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 small cabbage chopped (5/6 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook until throughly browned.


Once the beef is well browned add in tomatoes, soup, rice, spices and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the cabbage and water, stir to combine, cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until cabbage reaches desired consistency.



This dish has a very comfort food feel to me yet is quiet healthy. Mom always serves cabbage rolls with fresh white bread and butter to tone down the health factor 😉



Cilantro Lime Tilapia

Happy Tuesday Blog Friends! My consumption of lime and cilantro is seriously out of hand! I think I’m edging dangerously close to the need for an intervention!!!

Earlier today I decided to make cilantro lime marinated tilapia for dinner and luckily I remembered to document the super easy process!!! (Blog fail/slack that Katie)

So with minimal time, effort and ingredients you can whip up a tasty healthy dinner and knock a fish serving off the must eat list for the week! I used Tilapia but this would also work on cod, halibut, salmon, etc.

1 cup cilantro leaves
Juice and zest from 2 large limes
1 garlic clove
Fresh jalapeño – base amount on how much kick you want your fish to have
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Fish of choice -This amount of marinade will work for 4 filets of fish as well.


Place filets in a shallow baking dish and dust with salt and pepper. Zest limes directly over fish. Set aside.

In a mini food processor, Magic bullet or blender place cilantro, lime, jalapeño, olive oil and blend until combine.

Pour over fish and place in refrigerator to marinade for a few hours.


Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.


I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s fresh, easy, healthy and filling. Plus it’s a pretty color! I promise to lay off the cilantro lime inspired recipes.

Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing!

So I survived my first shift back at work. I feel mostly better but still have a bit of a cough. I am however extremely cranky! Never a good thing!

Anyways tonight I made spinach salads for dinner at work, complete with homemade warm bacon rosemary dressing. I am not going to lie to any of you and say this salad is healthy! It isn’t! The main ingredient is bacon (fat)! Proceed with cation! While it may be high on the fat scale it is even higher on the delicious scale! It is a super quick meal to throw together and yet impressive enough to serve at a dinner party. It can be served with chicken breast as a meal or as a simple side salad.


-For two good size dinner salads-
4 to 6 cups baby spinach
2 hard boiled eggs (cooled)
4 strips of bacon (reserve grease)
4-6 mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Sprig of thyme
Sprig of rosemary


Pan fry bacon to desired crispness. Meanwhile assemble spinach, dliced mushrooms, onion on plate or bowl. Remove bacon from pan and chop, add half to each salad. Add one sliced egg to each salad.



To make dressing leave about 1/8 of a cup of the bacon grease in the frying pan and add in chopped rosemary, thyme, brown sugar and vinegar. Whisk all ingredients together over medium heat. Cook long enough to allow mixture to come together and heat through.


That’s it! It’s as simple as that! Drizzle warm dressing over salad and serve.

Sometimes if I’m feeing adventurous i’ll add some smoked Gouda or mozzarella cheese into the mix. If I’m feeling especially ambitious I will lightly sauté the mushrooms and onions before adding them to the salad.

Cilantro Lime Turkey Burgers


Who says a burger can’t be healthy!!!! These little babies are healthy, filling, and down right delicious!

I invented a version of turkey burger a few years back that have become a staple in our house, as well as at my work! I will share that recipe with you sometime soon! Until then this is another of my own creations that I think you might enjoy! These burgers have a spicy kick thanks to the jalapeño but feel free to omit it if you don’t like jalapeño spice! The cilantro and lime pair well with the feta to liven up dull but healthy ground turkey breast meat!

1 pound ground turkey
1/4 bell pepper (chopped)
Handful fresh basil leaves (1/4 cup chopped)
4 green onions chopped
1 cup loosely packed cilantro chopped
Juice from 1 large lime (1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1 small jalapeño diced (amont dependent upon your taste)
1 egg
1 cup feta
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup crispy onions (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon salt free seasoning
Pinch of salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste


Mix everything together in a large bowl and combine with your hands! Pretty simple!


Form patties, pressing ingredients together firmly. I usually get 6 good size patties out of this recipe.

I like to let the burgers sit so the flavors can meld. This can be as little as 15 minutes or as long as 8 hours covered in the fridge! The longer they sit the better they are in my opinion but let’s face it we don’t always have that kind of time!

When I’m at home I like to let Kevin grill these babies on the BBQ. Always be sure to spray the grill well because there is very little fat in these burgers.

When I’m cooking at work I do them in a large skillet with a little olive oil.

I like to flip them frequently to ensure they brown evenly. Cooking this method usually takes about 13 – 15 minutes. Just ensure you cook to a safe temperature.


I’m a big cheese fan and have tried a number of combinations on these burgers. Tonight we went with havariti. Whatever kind of cheese you like! It’s up to you! My favorite is smoked Gouda.


I always like to serve these with guacamole! I posted my recipe for it Here. They also go well with tzatziki or on a bun with your favorite burger toppings!

I hope you give them a try and let me know what you think!