Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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A little bit of homemade spaghetti and meatballs

I honestly surprised myself with how quick and easily these spaghetti and meatballs came together! It took about half an hour and was such a comforting and tasty dish. I’m not the biggest pasta eater (and I say eater because I definitely am a fan) because pasta = lots of carbs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love carbs, but the issue is I love them TOO much. I eat a lot of bread so that’s why I usually stay away from pasta. But, every once and a while I switch things up and soak in all the carbs with a beautiful pasta dish.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I’ve posted a meatball recipe before, but trust me, these are even easier to make!

Learning from the best…

Throughout my travels and life experiences, I’ve definitely learned that the beauty of Italians cuisine and a delicious pasta in particular is simplicity. Being able to highlight the few ingredients used is so much more powerful than dumping a bunch of flavours together. This spaghetti and meatball dish was definitely inspired with that thought of keeping it simple. I hope you love how easy and delicious this recipe really is!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Keeping it simple and classic, this spaghetti and meatballs recipe uses few ingredients but is a punch of comfort and flavour.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Large pan
  • Medium bowl
  • Medium pot
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 medium egg beaten

Sauce

  • 720 ml tomato sauce I used Divella Strained Tomato Sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ½ tsp oregano dried
  • salt & pepper to taste

Other

  • ½ box spaghetti noodles cooked as per box instructions or until al dente
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a medium pot, cook spaghetti noodles in salted water according to the instructions or until al dente. Set aside once done.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and form about golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add 1½ tbsp of olive oil and wait til hot. Lightly brown the meatballs on each side, approximately 2 minutes each side. Once lightly browned, place the meatballs on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, using the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and turn heat down to medium. Sauté the garlic and cherry tomatoes for 5 minutes. Then, season with salt, pepper and oregano. Next, add the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and pasta to the pan and mix until well combined. Serve with some Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Keyword italian, meatballs, spaghetti, spaghetti and meatballs


Banana Pancakes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Whether the banana pancakes are plain or with walnuts and chocolate chips…

I’m definitely more of a savoury breakfast person, but every once in a while I get a sweet craving. These banana pancakes are the perfect option, especially if you have some ripe bananas on hand. Whether you have them plain or with walnuts and chocolate chips, they are super delicious and simple to make with staples you already have in your kitchen.

Pancakes are easy to make, but it’s all about knowing when to flip them. Once you start seeing little air bubbles, that’s when you know it’s time! Check out the photo below as an example.

Banana pancakes
Banana pancakes

Banana Pancakes

Banana pancakes that are delicious plain but even better with walnuts and chocolate chips
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 pancakes

Equipment

  • Large pan
  • Medium bowl
  • Whisk

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 medium eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk your preferred type, I used almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil plus a little extra for the pan
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 handful crushed walnuts
  • 1 handful chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Heat your pan on medium-high heat. Add the extra vegetable oil, about 2 tbsp, and wait until hot. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the pan. Individually place crushed walnuts and chocolate chips onto the pancakes (optional). You’ll know when to flip your pancakes when you start to see air bubbles in the batter, approximately after 4 minutes. Once flipped, cook an additional 2 minutes and serve.
Keyword banana pancakes, banana walnut chocolate chip pancakes, pancakes

Green onions

Green Onions

Flora Friday featuring green onions!

This week’s Flora Friday post features green onions! What it also known as spring onions and/or scallions. I grew some from bulbs this year and I also regrow the ones I buy from the store! It’s definitely the easiest plant to grow and maintain on my balcony garden.

Scallions aka Allium

Deriving from the genus Allium, spring onions are in the same family as shallots, chives, leeks, and garlic. They are much milder than other onions and can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be used in dishes or as a garnish.

Green onions

How to grow it

The fastest and easiest way to grow green onions is to buy a bunch at the grocery store. Stay with me here. Buy one bunch and you get 2-4 more for free! Just keep the ends with the roots and you have 2 options: grow them in water or in soil. Both options work, but I personally prefer growing them in dirt.

The other way is to buy bulbs and plant them in dirt. They do well in full sun for 6-8 hours a day and in well-drained soil. Bonus is that they take only a couple of weeks to grow!


Łazanki (Polish Cabbage & Noodles)

Łazanki (Polish Cabbage & Noodles)

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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A classic Polish dish, łazanki aka Polish cabbage and noodles

Łazanki (Polish cabbage & noodles) is technically a poor man’s dish, but just because it’s cheap to make doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious! The key to making it as flavourful as possible it to use quality bacon and all of the bacon grease. I got this recipe from my mom, and since moving out it’s become one of my staple dishes. With so few ingredients, it’s super quick and easy to make, perfect for a busy evening. The best part? It leaves a lot of leftovers for a couple so I automatically have lunch for the next few days.

I’ve always loved this dish, but I found it super interesting that it’s a common dish served in Polish prisons. However, it’s a much cheaper and less flavourful version. Watching Inside the World’s Toughest Prison’s, the prisoner’s definitely didn’t appreciate or like this dish as much as I do, but then again, their version isn’t nearly as good as my mom’s. Since it’s so cheap to make, and you can really use any meat you want instead of bacon, but I recommend trying my classic version before you start experimenting.

While the ingredients are few and simple, it’s important to use the proper noodles (image below). These little square egg noodles can be found at most European foods specialty stores.

Łazanki (Polish Cabbage & Noodles)
Łazanki, Polish cabbage and noodles

Łazanki (Polish Cabbage & Noodles)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Polish

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Medium pot
  • Large pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small green cabbage shredded
  • 2 medium carrots shredded
  • 250 g Kliseczki Wiejski or any small square egg noodles
  • 375 g bacon diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large pan, cook your diced bacon on medium-high heat for 13-15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add olive oil to a large pot and turn to medium-low heat. Add the shredded cabbage, carrot and pepper, and cover with a lid.
  • Next, bring salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Cook the egg noodles as per packet instructions or until al dente, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside the cooked noodles.
  • After about 15 minutes cooking the bacon, add the onion to the bacon pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  • Once the onion and bacon are done, add the entire contents of the pan, grease included to the large pot with cabbage. Add the noodles as well and mix the everything until well combined and you’re ready to serve.
Keyword cabbage and noodles, Polish, Polish cabbage and noodles, Łazanki

Lasagna

Lasagna

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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My all time favourite food… LASAGNA!

MMMMM. I could literally eat lasagna everyday for the rest of my life. It’s by far my favourite food, so much so that I even had the nickname Garfield once. The options are endless in terms of the flavour profile you choose to go for, so I’m sure this won’t be my one and only lasagna recipe.

A couple years ago, my partner and I went on a trip to France and Italy. It was my mission to find the best lasagna. I wasn’t planning on getting it in France, but one random evening, in a random restaurant I placed my order. It was the BEST of the trip. I still remember it to this day. And that beats out each of the 4-5 lasagnas I tried while we were in Italy.

Lasagna

It’s all about the layers…

I love all lasagna, especially my mom’s. She used to always make it for me when I’d come home after weeks or months away. While this recipe is pretty close to my mom’s, I have made a few changes.

Lasagna

Lasagna

Lasagna noodles layered with ground beef with veggies, mozzarella, ricotta cheese and baked to perfection.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • 12 x 16 inch pan
  • Large pan

Ingredients
  

  • 450 g lasagna noodles cooked as per packet instructions
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 100 g white mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 375 g ground beef extra lean
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 650 ml Primo sauce I used thick and zesty herb and garlic
  • 454 g ricotta
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • cup mozzarella grate
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook lasagna noodles in salted water until al dente, as per packet instructions. Set aside once done.
  • In a large pan, on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Wait til hot and sauté onion for 2 minutes. Next, add garlic, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add in the ground beef and Italian seasoning and cook for approximately 8 minutes or until beef has browned.
  • Once browned, turn down to medium-low heat. Add chopped red pepper and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Turn down to low heat, add the Primo sauce and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Now it’s time to assemble your lasagna. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Start with some sauce on the bottom of your pan, then lasagna noodles, mozzarella, beef, ricotta, noodles, repeat. There will be 3 layers of noodles. On top of the last layer, top with sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Rest for 10-15 minutes and serve!
Keyword lasagna

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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A Greek quinoa salad that’s full of vegetables

If you know me, you know I’m not the biggest salad person, especially boring green salads. This Greek quinoa salad on the other hand, is not boring in any way shape or form. Full of veggies and flavour, this super simple and healthy quinoa salad is the perfect side dish for your summertime meals.

Greek Quinoa Salad

How to make it

When it comes to salads, it’s important to have different textures to make the salad more exciting. The other important piece is to chop everything in a uniform way. You don’t want some vegetables 3 times the size of others, so it’s important to cut everything in a consistent way.

A lot of the flavour comes from cooking the quinoa in vegetable broth, so be sure not to miss this step! Alternatively, you could cook your quinoa in water, but in that case you’ll have to add some seasoning at the end.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

A deliciously fresh and flavourful cold Greek quinoa salad
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek

Equipment

  • Medium pot
  • Medium bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked as per packet instructions
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ¼ English cucumber quartered
  • ¼ small orange pepper diced
  • Handful cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 tbsp red onion finely diced
  • 6 olives I used green olives stuffed with garlic
  • ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp feta cheese crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Cook 1 cup of quinoa as per the packet instructions, adding the vegetable bouillon to the water for added flavour. Once cooked, set aside and let it cool.
  • In a medium bowl, add the quinoa, lemon juice, cucumber, pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives, parsley and feta. Mix until well combined and it’s ready to serve!
Keyword cold quinoa salad, greek, greek quinoa salad, quinoa salad

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Crab cakes using imitation crab…

If you follow my blog, then you know I love using imitation crab. It’s so cheap compared to fresh crab making it the perfect substitute. I had an extra pack in my fridge and decided to make some delicious crab cakes topped with my homemade tartar sauce. These fried little crab patties are jammed packed full of flavour. Filled with plenty of finely diced veggies, even the kiddos will love this simple dish.

Crab cakes

Variations:

While I used imitation crab, this can easily be substituted for the real thing. I’m absolutely sure that using real crab meat would elevate this dish ten fold, but you have to work with what you got. Imitation crab definitely saves money, but if you’re feeling bougie, use the real thing instead!

In terms of what you put inside your crab cake, it’s really up to you and you can use most veggies you’ll find in your fridge. Don’t be afraid to change things up!

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

Might not be made of real crab, but these imitation crab cakes are delicious and won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Large pan
  • Medium bowl
  • 2 small bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 227 g imitation crab chopped finely
  • 1 stalk celery chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp red onion chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp bell pepper any colour, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried dill
  • ¾ lemon juiced
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Caesar dressing Renée’s or your preferred brand
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 medium eggs beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, combine the imitation crab, celery, red onion, bell pepper, old bay seasoning, dried dill, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Caesar dressing, and pepper. Form patties about the size of your palm.
  • In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs and set aside. In another small bowl, fill with bread crumbs. Take your patties and coat them first with egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg again and lastly breadcrumbs.
  • In a pan on high heat, add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, fry the crab cakes on each side for 3 minutes. When done, place crab cakes on paper toil to absorb any excess oil and they’re ready to serve!
Keyword crab, crab cakes, imitation crab, seafood pasta

Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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The quickest, easiest tartar sauce

This super easy tartar sauce is made out of ingredients you’ll most likely find sitting in your fridge. It’s so quick to make why would you buy a store-bought version?!

Honestly, I came up with this recipe because I needed a sauce to top off my crab cakes and I let me tell you, I absolutely blew myself away. I’m quite picky when it comes to my tartar sauce and this one really hit the mark. It’s a must have for me with my fish and chips and most other fried seafood.

Variations:

To make this recipe vegan, simply use a vegan mayonnaise and relish!

Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce

A super easy tartar sauce made from the staples already in your kitchen!
Prep Time 3 mins
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Servings 4 side servings

Equipment

  • Small bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • tsp relish
  • ¼ lemon juiced
  • ½ tsp dill fresh or dried

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, relish, lemon juice and dill.
  • Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Keyword sauce, tartar sauce

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Happy national Mac and Cheese day!

Mac and cheese, mmmm. What a great comfort food that’s perfect as a side or as the main dish. There are just so many options when it comes to this dish! Depending on what cheese you decide to use and whether you decide to add protein or vegetables, the opportunities are endless.

This time, I decided to stick to a classic recipe because I had a bunch of cheese in the fridge that I needed to use. So sticking to the quarantine mentality of using what you got, I made a mozzarella and cheddar version. Our neighbourhood ribfest stand was still up, so we decided to pair it with Silver Bullet BBQ’s ribs.

Mac and Cheese

The key …

It absolutely crushes my soul when I see people post their recipes where they just throw shredded cheese in with some macaroni and bake it. When making mac and cheese, you MUST make a cheese sauce. Otherwise, you’ll have chunky, stringy, half melted cheese on plain pieces of macaroni.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Macaroni enveloped by smooth, creamy, cheesy mozzarella and old fort cheddar sauce and baked with a crunchy top layer.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Medium sauce pan
  • Medium pot
  • 10 x 10 baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 454 g cut macaroni cooked al dente
  • cups mozzarella shredded
  • cups old fort cheddar shredded
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 10% cream
  • dash nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs or panko

Instructions
 

  • Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions, about 11 minutes or until al dente.
  • In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix until well combined and a roux is formed.
  • Add the cream, reduce to a medium-low heat and stir constantly. After a few minutes, once the cream is warm, slowly begin adding your shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, a handful at a time, stirring constantly. Once the first handful of cheese melts and is combined, continue to add the cheese, a handful at a time until incorporated. The sauce will thicken as the cheese is added and melted. Once you’ve added all your cheese and the sauce is a smooth texture, turn of the heat and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 380°F. Put half of your cooked macaroni into a baking pan and coat with cheese sauce. Mix so it’s well combined before adding the remainder of your macaroni and cheese sauce. Once your mac and cheese is combined, top with seasoned bread crumbs and bake for 15 minutes. Then switch to a low broil and broil for 5 more minutes or until bread crumbs start to brown on the top.
Keyword mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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A super simple carrot ginger soup

This is the perfect recipe to help you get rid of some of your staple vegetables that are on their last leg. This nutritious carrot ginger soup is so easy to make and will be ready in 30 minutes. Just the perfect healthy soup for any time of the year!

Carrot Ginger Soup

I’m not going to lie…

I miss soups now that it’s summer! I have 2-3 different soups every week in the winter time, but once that summer heat hits I definitely scale back. That being said, I still love a great healthy soup for lunch even in the hot summer months. I haven’t had soup in a couple of weeks and this one truly hit the spot. The whole theme of this quarantine has been use what you have on hand and today it was carrots! Using vegetables that are on their last leg, along with my homemade vegetable stock also helps me minimize my food waste. That’s probably my favourite part of making homemade soups, using what you have available to you.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

A simple carrot ginger soup topped with a little cream and nuts for some added crunch.
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 27 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Large pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 6 medium carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ginger jarred or grated
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups vegetable stock homemade or low sodium
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Put a large put on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and onion. Sauté for 1 minute. Next, add the celery, carrots, garlic powder, ginger, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock and vegetable bouillon and turn to high heat. Once the contents come to a boil, turn down to medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  • Blend the soup in a high powered blender on high for 1 minute. Once smooth, it’s ready to serve!
  • Serve with a dollop of cream and some nuts for an added crunch.
Keyword carrot, carrot ginger, carrot ginger soup, ginger, homemade soup, soup