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Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Oh, Canada!  My home, native land, and where maple syrup originated. First collected by the indigenous people, Canada became the largest producer of maple syrup, and today exports 70% of the world’s demand. Sweet and silky, this amber syrup has hints of toffee and caramel and is like no other. If you’ve been lucky enough to taste our famous export, then you know what I’m talking about. Every spring our maple trees are tapped and the sap that collected is carefully boiled down to pure syrup. Maple syrup is used on everything from an oozing pancake or French toast topping, to a popular dessert flavour to a sweet glaze for vegetables, chicken, fish or pork. So basically this magical syrup goes with everything! Bacon and maple syrup in particular, are a delightful combination and one of my favourites. When your maple syrup runs all over your plate and soaks into your bacon, there are no complaints! So when my friend and I found a recipe for Maple Bacon Jam we knew we had to make it. Paired with some strong cheddar cheese on fresh multigrain bread, this Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese is truly the tastiest way to say Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

This recipe is from Better Homes and Living, and the only change I made was to swap the regular bacon for maple bacon. We bought the two-pound pack from Costco and it took all our will power to not sneak a little bite. Their bacon is so thick, salty and super maple-syrupy!

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

The ultimate sweet and savoury combination, the sweet, caramelized maple flavour balances the rich, salty bacon and strong cheddar cheese. Using mayonnaise instead of margarine or butter is a grilled cheese maker’s secret for a perfectly crispy browned sandwich.

Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese
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Maple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Maple syrup flavoured bacon is caramelized into a sweet and savoury jam, complimenting the strong cheddar, making for the ultimate grilled cheese!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 1
Author ISeeHungryPpl

Ingredients

  • 1 pound maple bacon chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1` medium yellow onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup old cheddar cheese thickly grated
  • 2 slices multigrain toast 1/2 inch

Instructions

  1. In a large pot (Dutch oven works best) over medium high heat,  saute bacon until just brown and slightly crisp on the edges. Remove cooked bacon and pat excess grease off with paper towels.

  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from pot. Turn heat down to medium low. Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent. Add apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and coffee. Bring to a boil. Add cooked bacon.

  3. Simmer on low for 1½ hours, stirring every 10 minutes, watching closely as the sugar will burn easily.  Bacon jam should be thick and syrupy.

  4. Transfer bacon jam to a food processor or Vitamix. Pulse jam until creamy but still a bit chunky. Spoon into 125ml mason jars.  This jam cannot be processed and must be stored in the refrigerator.  Use within one month, or freeze up to three months.

  5. Head cast iron pan or grill on medium low heat.  

  6. Spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise on each slice of bread and place in hot pan.  Quickly top with half the cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of bacon jam and remaining cheese.  Place 2nd slice of bread on top, mayonnaise on the outside.  Cover tightly with a pan lit or ceramic plate.

  7. Toast for 2 minutes on one side until lightly brown.  Flip and toast on the other side until brown.  Turn off stove and leave covered for a minute or so until cheese is melted, making sure the sandwich doesn't burn.

  8. Slice in half and serve with ketchup or sriracha!

With this delicious sandwich in hand, I say Happy Birthday Canada!  I’m so proud to be a Canadian and live in a country that believes in equality, diversity, peace and protecting our planet.  I’m thankful for all you have given me.  From the beautiful camping trips to a safe home, a group of friends from many different cultures and the freedom to express myself and believe anything is possible.  Cheers to another a hundred and fifty years!

How did you celebrate Canada’s 150?  Have you ever tried a maple bacon cheddar grilled cheese?

30 Minute Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

I love being able to come home from work in the summer and head out for an evening run. The warm air along the lake cools to the perfect temperature as the sun sets on the horizon. I return home feeling so relaxed…and ravenous for dinner! On a night like this, I don’t have the patience for a complicated dish. This shrimp fried quinoa is one of my go-to post run meals, as I often have leftover quinoa in the fridge, and some frozen shrimp or scallops in the freezer. I like to add a lot of ginger to this dish because ginger is really good for muscle recovery, as it helps to reduce inflammation and is a natural muscle relaxant, as is lavender. I had some lavender salt from Prince Edward County Lavender, and sprinkled a bit at the end to finish off the dish as the mild floral infusion along with the thyme compliments the seafood nicely. Packed with protein and classic Asian flavor combinations, this shrimp fried quinoa is completely addictive. You’ll need to go for another run just so you can finish off this tasty dish!

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 large servings (or 4 small side dishes)

Calories per serving: 575 per meal, 288 per side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 package frozen shrimp or scallops, thawed & drained
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1" inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 chili peppers finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed
  • lavender salt (or sea salt)
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa and two cups of water in a rice cooker or on the stove top (covered, on medium high heat) approx. 12 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok on high until oil starts to smoke.
  3. Turn down to medium high and stir fry the eggs, set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to wok and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic and chili pepper until onion is translucent approx. 4 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper and stir fry one minute.
  6. Add shrimp and toss, then cover wok for 4 minutes, tossing once at the two minute mark.
  7. Add cooked quinoa, eggs, soy sauce and thyme, stir fry for one minute.
  8. Remove wok from heat. Season with lavender salt and ground pepper to taste.

Notes

Quinoa can be made the day before.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/06/07/30-minute-shrimp-fried-quinoa/

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

One of my favourite wraps in Toronto can be found at a small downtown coffee shop called Le Gourmand. Their chicken apple curry wrap is a standout: sweet crispy chunks of apple, spicy hints of curry, and tender roasted chicken all wrapped up in a creamy bite. I no longer work in that area, but have been tweaking my own version ever since.

My two-bite chicken kale wraps are a quick, light lunch or a healthy afternoon power snack.     Being on a detox, I had to find a substitution for the wrap. I’ve had endive and Boston lettuce wrapped food before, but I’m a big fan of kale and of all the leafy greens, kale has the highest nutritional value. Kale is packed full of vitamins A,C & K and has 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach!  This leafy green is also high in fiber which helps support our digestive track and is loaded with antioxidants, a key benefit during a detox. By massaging the kale in apple cider vinegar and olive oil, the leaves become more pliable without losing the crunch. I’ve added raisins to this recipe because I love the tiny bursts of sweetness alongside the crunchy apple, but I know many people dislike raisins for exactly this reason (but let me try to convince you…give raisins another try!).  If you prefer, you can substitute the raisins with maple syrup. This recipe serves four, but I could easily eat half the portion myself, the chicken-apple-curry combination is so addictive! I secured the wraps with a toothpick, but feel free to dive right in and scoop up the chicken with the kale, Ethiopian-style.

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

41

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 240

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Ingredients

    For the wraps:
  • 16 kale leaves, stems carefully removed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 2 x 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 x celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 x large Gala apples peeled and cored. 1 coarsely grated, 1 finely diced
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of golden raisins or 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice from half a lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat griddle to 350C.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in between two pieces of parchment paper and pound to an even thickness with a meat tenderizer.
  3. Grill chicken until lightly browned and no longer pink inside approximately 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Remove the stems from the kale leaves and place in a large bowl. Add apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Using your hands, carefully massage the kale for 1 minute and let sit.
  5. In a medium bowl mix together celery, apple, raisins (or maple syrup), curry, cumin, and garlic powder. Shred the chicken breasts into the bowl. Add Greek yogurt and cream the chicken and ingredients together.
  6. Drizzle with the juice from half a lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Carefully spread out the kale leaves. Place a spoonful of chicken filling at the edge of the widest part of the leaf and roll inwards, tucking in the edges while rolling and wrapping the bottom of the leaf around the wrap, securing with a toothpick.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/04/18/two-bite-chicken-apple-curry-kale-wraps/

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps