March 5 to 11

This week I pushed myself on a couple recipes and was really excited to see how a couple turned out. There is so many recipes that I have completed by this week that I am so excited to complete the rest of this challenge. I made the first fish dish of the challenge and it was delicious and amazing. I really like cabbage rolls and I was so happy that I could make them for my family this week.

 

March 5 - Veggie Curry

Making an all vegetarian dish was very nerve-racking since my family has never really eaten a vegetarian dish. So making a curry dish, I found myself nervous. I did use frozen veggies and they worked so good. I served this curry with rice because I was unsure what to serve the curry with. It is amazing because this is a one-pot recipe where you make everything in a single pot. Love that. Overall this was a very good meal. My brothers girlfriend would have been very proud since this is an all Vegan meal.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic (I used 4 cloves)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat oil and saute onion, and garlic until golden. Stir in curry powder and tomato paste, cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, vegetable bouillon cube, mixed vegetables, water, salt and pepper to taste. Cook approximately 30 minutes until vegetables are well done (not crunchy). Sprinkle with fresh cilantro prior to serving.

 

March 6 - Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love cheesecake? So I decided to make a Cranberry Orange Cheesecake, this cheesecake has to set up in the fridge for 12 hours so I made it the night before so it would be ready for dessert. I only wish I knew how to keep the cranberries from falling to the bottom. Everyone who tried this cheesecake really enjoyed it, a couple people said that I should bring it for other meetings that we have. This recipe is actually quite simple in the long run, you just have to make sure that your measurements are correct otherwise the cheesecake won’t set up correctly. 

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar (I didn't put the sugar in the graham crust)
  • 2 lb. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup thawed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur (I put 3-4 tbsp, I used Cointreau)
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sour cream
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the dried cranberries with water to cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until soft and plump, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Drain off any liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 10 inch springform pan with 3 inches. 
  3. In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Press crumbs firmly onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust until golden, about 12 minutes. Let crust cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on. 
  4. In a bowl, using electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat the orange juice concentrate, orange zest, and liqueur until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the cream cheese mixture in the cooled crust.
  5. Bake the cheesecake until just set when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to the wire rack and let cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
  6. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream and the 2 tbsp sugar. Pour over the cheesecake and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until the sour cream is set, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on the wire rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. To serve, run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan sides, remove the pan sides, and carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate. 

 

March 7 - Sheet Pan Chicken

This is one of the recipes that my Dad sent me and I thought we should try it. I only wish that chicken took on more of the flavour of the sauce that I had made for it to cook in. So instead I cooked the chicken and then poured the sauce over the chicken and put it in the oven. I seasoned the potatoes differently than the recipe called for and I believe that it tasted amazing with the chicken. Overall the flavour was really good. I am going to have to do some research on how to properly marinate the chicken.

  • 8 ounces small Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 inch)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divide
  1. Preheat oven to 500° (leave pan in the oven as it preheats). Carefully remove pan from oven. Add potatoes to pan; bake at 500° for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and next 5 ingredients (through honey) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; drizzle chicken evenly with about 2 tablespoons mustard mixture.
  3. Add chicken to jelly-roll pan with potatoes; bake at 500° for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is done. Drizzle potatoes with remaining mustard mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

 

March 8 - Walnut Pizza

This pizza was very interesting since there was not really a sauce it was just cheese, walnuts and onions. It seemed like a sweet pizza. The flavour was very delicious, only I don’t like walnuts so I was picking off all the walnuts off my pieces. Overall the pizza was really good and everyone seemed to really like it. I would make this a little different next time. 

  • 4 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • potato pizza dough
  • 6 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. If using a pizza stone, place in the oven, then preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a frying pan over low heat, combine the onions, butter, and 2 tbsp of the oil. Cover the cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft, about 30 minutes, adding a little water if needed to stop from sticking. Add the sugar and vinegar and continue to cook until the vinegar evaporates, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Cover the pizza dough with the cheese. Scatter the walnuts over the top then the onions.
  4. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until crust is golden, about 10 minutes. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp oil over the top, cut into wedges, and serve right away.

 

March 9 - Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Beans

First fish dish of the challenge and I believe it was amazing. I decided to try and make a Maple Salmon with Sweet Potato chunks and beans. Overall the sweet potato is so difficult to make since it can burn so easily. Fish will take on any flavour that you baste it with, so it really took on the maple flavouring that I poured over it. I could not believe how good everything turned out. I am challenging myself to make a fish dish that everyone in my family likes including my Dad since he only likes Halibut.

  • 4 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted 
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 whole salmon fillet (I used frozen Atlantic Salmon individual fillets)
  • snipped fresh chives for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper, and cinnamon to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan, stir together the maple syrups and Worcestershire sauce. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture is thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. 
  4. Sprinkle the salmon fillet with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Carefully turn over the sweet potatoes and place the salmon fillet on top of them. Brush half of the maple mixture evenly on the salmon fillet. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the salmon with the remaining maple mixture. Return to the oven and roast until the salmon is opaque throughout when pierced with a knife, 5-10 minutes.
  6. To serve, divide the salmon into serving portions and arrange on warmed individual plates with the sweet potatoes. Spoon some juices onto the plate. Sprinkle the chives and serve right away. 

 

March 10 - Overnight Oats

Today was a very long day we were out all day and I didn’t really have time to make something big and fancy like I wanted to. So I made a classic which I could enjoy the next day for breakfast. I made Banana Chocolate Overnight Oats. I always love when you can make something that soaks overnight and it makes a great breakfast. Literally you mix everything together and then place into a glass jar and throw it into the fridge overnight. 

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup almond milk or regular milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 banana
  1. Mix everything in a bowl. Pour mixture into a glass jar.
  2. Place in fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning. 

 

March 11 - Cabbage Rolls

This is a family recipe and I was super excited to make them. I was really worried that my family would compare my cabbage rolls with my grandmothers. The only part I don’t like about making the cabbage rolls is boiling the cabbage because it makes the house smell like cabbage and it is quite gross. I decided to not precook the meat so that the cabbage rolls were a tighter roll. I asked for my Dad’s help since I could not mix the meats with my hands. We rolled as many as we have cabbage for, and then we made a couple meatballs as well. Overall they were delicious and they are honestly better the second day so we plan on having them again for dinner the next day. 

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
  • 1/2 pound uncooked ground pork
  • 1 can tomato sauce, divided (I used 2 big cans)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  1. Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. In a small bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne; mix well.
  2. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat.
  3. Slice the remaining cabbage; place in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350° for 1-1/2 hours or until cabbage rolls are tender.