Cauliflower and Hummus Pita Pockets

Cauliflower and Hummus Pita Pockets

The crispy cauliflower gets cooked in the same amount of time it takes to make everything else you need which means the whole meal will take you just a little over half an hour. It’s mostly plant food and it’s delicious. You should eat it. Soft pita bread filled with creamy hummus, crunchy cabbage and crispy roasted cauliflower. All the good things. So give it a shot!

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FLATBREAD WITH IRISH CHEDDAR, APPLES, AND BACON

Hello Lovely,

I'm so excited to share this new recipe with you. I was looking for ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but I was tired of everything green and wanted something more original. Then I discovered this recipe from Kerrygold and I knew I had to try it.

This is hands down one of my favourite all time recipes! It's so simple, healthy and delicious I could eat this all the time! It's vegetarian and you can even make it vegan by swapping out the cheese for vegan cheese and using a vegan flatbread. I love naan bread and I love making flatbread pizzas with it (it's the only time thin crust is acceptable).

Naan bread is something you should always have on hand for party snacks and quick & easy meals. In this recipe, I piled Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, crisp, salty bacon and sweet apple slices high on the naan bread and pop it in the oven until the cheese becomes melty and gooey. A quick sprinkle of crunchy green onions is all this Flatbread with Irish Cheddar and Bacon needs before it’s ready to eat. Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. This recipe has all the great flavors you want in a flatbread without being overly rich. And who can say no to anything with bacon?

Flatbread with Irish Cheddar Apple and Bacon.jpg

FLATBREAD WITH IRISH CHEDDAR, APPLES, AND BACON

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ounces grated Kerrygold
  • Aged Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 pieces of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • ¼ of an apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Top the naan crust with the grated cheese. Sprinkle the bacon on top of cheese and add the apple slices. Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle green onions on top of flatbread. Slice and serve.

3 Healthy Winter Soup Recipes

In the wintertime, there’s a big fight going on in my appetite. Part of me wants something light to balance out recent holiday indulgences and start the year out right… but part of me wants to curl up on the couch in my sweats and eat only comfort food. Thankfully, Waitrose provides the perfect soup base for you to build and add whatever you have in your pantry or fridge.

Here are three of my all-time favourite quick and easy vegetable soup recipes that will keep you feeling full and satisfied:

Chicken Carrot and Coriander Soup.jpg

1. Chicken Carrot & Coriander Soup

A soup that takes inspiration from the not-at-all vegetarian, this recipe produces a bowl full of healthy heartiness. The depth of flavour comes from a lot of sautéed aromatics, and the chunky texture is due to big portions of chopped chicken breasts, carrots, and corn. Though it’s low in fat, this soup will keep you full all winter long. 

Ingredients

  • Waitrose Carrot & Coriander Soup Mix
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup loose whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup sliced cooked carrts
  • 2 cups water, boiled

Instructions

  1. Boil water and empty packet in a soup bowl. Pour water over contents and stir to dissolve. 
  2. Add chicken, corn and carrots.
  3. Stir and enjoy!
One Pot Lasagna Soup.jpg

2. One Pot Lasagna Soup

This recipe is clean vegetarian cooking with a hint of decadence. It’s an all-veggie soup made a tiny bit indulgent and oh-so-dreamy by the addition of mozzarella cheese.  If you’d like to add a little crunch, whip up a batch of these paprika toasts to eat alongside. 

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 24 ounce jar pasta or marinara sauce
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika - optional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 7 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 13 lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium mozzarella ball, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Toss in diced onion and sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in minced garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in tomato paste and flour then cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper to pot then stir in vegetable broth.
  4. Bring to boil then add lasagna noodles (broken into 4ths) to pot and reduce heat back to medium then cook, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes).
  5. Once noodles are tender, stir in fresh spinach, heavy cream, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cut mozzarella ball into small slices and place on top. Garnish with shredded basil. Serve with crusty bread.
Tomato Soup.jpg

3. Classic Tomato Soup

If you have a constant craving for tomato soups, you’ll love this recipe for a thick vegetable soup that channels the zing and richness from those tomatoes.  The result is a soup that tastes like it’s been on the stove for hours when actually, it was never there in the first place! Nice. 

Ingredients

  • Waitrose Tomato & Basil Soup Mix

Instructions

  1. Boil water and empty packet in a soup bowl. Pour water over contents and stir to dissolve. 
  2. This is where you can have fun by added whatever vegetable you want. Mixed veg, spinach or onions. Don't forget the grilled cheese!

Which one of these healthy soups will you make first?

Let me know in the comments below!

Salmon Pasta Salad

Hello Lovely,

Eating well is so important. Lately I just do not have the energy to cook or bake. Time isn't a factor but the creative energy and the physical energy are just....not...there! I had a week of meal prepping and while it helped me tremendously to cut down on time spent getting ready in the morning, it left me feeling drained. One of the things I was able to create before throwing in the towel was a delicious Salmon Pasta Salad!

I love easy pasta dishes and I had a salmon fillet in the freezer for weeks that I didn't want to go bad. So I thought, what about a pasta salad with Salmon? It was really easy to put together. If you thaw and marinate the salmon overnight, all you have to do in the morning, is grill it and boil the pasta. You could even save some of the marinade as a dressing for the pasta. So before I hop on a plane today for the annual VIVA conference tomorrow night, I thought I'd share this quick and easy lunch dish that anyone can make!

Salmon Pasta Salad.jpg

Salmon Pasta Salad

Serves 1 (simply double ingredients to serve more)

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillet thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cups pasta of your choice (I used Rotini in lieu of Bow Tie pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • grated cheese for topping

Directions

  1. Thaw salmon then mix the vinaigrette, seasoning, salt and olive oil in the salmon pouch. Allow to marinate overnight.
  2. Boil pasta according to directions on box, then drain.
  3. Saute the salmon in a skillet while the pasta cooks.
  4. Once pasta is complete, combine the noodles with the salmon, marinade and tomatoes in a dish. Feel free to add other items like corn, bacon or spinach. I just used what I had on hand because I was in a mad rush.
  5. Top with grated cheese and serve!
  6. Enjoy!
Salmon Pasta Salad 2.jpg

If you try this and any of my other recipes, don't forget to shout me out on Instagram by tagging @life_by_olivia or #lifebyolivia; or on Twitter at @lifebyolivia!

 

 

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Hello Lovely,

While preparing to return to work, I've been looking for recipes to try that will be filling, healthy and easy to make if I'm short on time in the morning. I don't always have the time or energy to meal prep but that's something I'm trying to get better at this school year. So when I found this recipe, I was actually excited to give it a try. I've been considering trying more vegan recipes. After this one, I honestly don't know how they feel full afterwards. But after eating healthy (not vegan, just healthy) for a week, I actually started to crave healthy snacks and meals.

I would suggest trying it anyway. You may be full afterwards, you may still be hungry. But one thing I can't deny, is this dish is absolutely delicious!  Cooking quinoa in chicken/vegetable broth with a little bit of butter really enhances the flavour and makes eating healthy a lot easier.

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 fl oz or 400 mL)
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon or more brown sugar
  • 1 quarter lemon squeezed or more
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 bunch spinach, cleaned
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

Note: If you like your curry a bit runny, add a little bit of water in the end to reach the desired consistency. If reheating the next day, you will likely have to add a touch of water to the curry as it will thicken overnight in the refrigerator (I like my curry thick).

  1. Heat coconut milk in a large pan until it boils and reduce heat to simmer. Add next 7 ingredients to the coconut milk: chickpeas, red curry paste, tomato paste, brown sugar, lemon juice, chili powder, basil. Mix everything together until even consistency.
  2. Add spinach, chopped green onions and sliced mushrooms to the coconut milk mixture, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a separate pan, combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked and fluffy.
  4. To serve, place a scoop of quinoa into the middle of each plate. Top with chickpea curry.

Remember if you try any of my recipes, you've got to share! Tag me on Instagram using @life_by_olivia or #lifebyolivia.

Grab-and-Go Salad

Hello Lovely,

Grab-And-Go Salad

Rushing through the usual morning routine, we often have to choose between healthy and fast when it comes to our meals: especially lunch.  An easy way to combine both ideals is to prep a salad the night before and place it where you can have quick access the next day.  Discovering the many uses of mason jars and my preference for delicious salads, I made a grab and go salad that did not disappoint.  Using the basic lettuce and tomatoes, you can add fun ingredients such as cranberries, carrots , celery and cheese with the added protein of chicken , turkey or ham.  One of the best parts of this salad: Shaking it up!  By adding a vinaigrette based dressing the night before or right before eating the salad, you can quickly combine the salad and dressing in 3 – 4 quick shakes.

Ingredients

1 (2 cup) Mason Jar

½ head of lettuce, thinly sliced or chopped

5 grape tomatoes

¼ cup shredded carrots

Sliced chicken

 

Directions: Layer the ingredients in the mason jar, placing the lettuce on the bottom, then carrots, chicken and tomatoes.  This method will allow for easy storage.  You can add or substitute ingredients to make the salad heartier and more colorful.  Great additions would be Italian seasoning, cheese dried fruits and vegetables (sliced bell peppers).  After sealing tightly, place salad in the fridge until the next day.  For the salad dressing you can place on top the night before or add it right before youre ready to eat it.  Shake the closed jar with dressing for easy distribution and full flavor.

What are your favorite salad ingredients and dressing?

XoX,