Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

This week has just been one big struggle to stay cool. Does anyone have any big exciting plans heading in to the long weekend? I, personally, will be working most of the weekend, but hopefully I’ll get to spend some of it out on the deck with a radler in one hand and The Kite Runner in the other. Somehow I haven’t read it until now and it’s so captivating! It just sucks you in and doesn’t let you go! I’m also debating starting to watch Outlander, since I’ve read the first two books, but I think parts of it might be a little too graphic for me to get through. And also I might kinda neglect everything else and that wouldn’t be good. Thoughts?

In other news, I’m checking out a crossfit gym in Stratford next week and I’m really excited about it! I’ve always wanted to try it, and it’s another way to work physical activity into my life. Stay tuned to hear how that goes.

These Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps were born out of a need for something for lunch that didn’t involve heat. Also, I had lettuce and green onions to use up. Yes. We STILL have green onions. I am working them into at least one meal a day, normally two at this point.

This recipe makes 4 small wraps, or 2 servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 170g can of tuna
  • 4 medium-sized lettuce leaves
  • 2/3 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  1. In a bowl, combine the tuna, cherry tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, and mayo, and mix until everything is evenly combined.
  2. Divide the tuna salad into four and portion onto lettuce leaves.
  3. Roll up and chow down!

Blueberry Iced Tea

If you know me, you know that I drink a silly amount of tea sometimes. And while this is all well and good, summer is sometimes just way too hot for that, so last summer I started playing around a little bit with making my own unsweetened iced tea at home.

Another thing I want to touch on here is the idea of liquid calories. Calories from things that you drink don’t fill you up in the same way that food does. This means that sugary iced coffees, sweetened iced teas, pop, wine, beer… everything! Can lead you to taking in a lot of calories without meaning to, especially when it’s hot out. By making your own iced tea or water with fruit in it, you can still have something fruity and summery, without all the sugar.

Also, let’s have a little rant about detox waters: this is not a thing and this tea is definitely not one of them. All over Pinterest, there are recipes for “detox water”, which is normally water or tea with fruit and/or herbs added to it. You do not need to detox your body. That is why you have a liver. Staying hydrated can help you feel more full, which can lead to eating less, and it may help with bloating, but these recipes will not detoxify anything. It is water with fruit. Not a magic potion. End of rant.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 green tea bags
  • 2L water
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  1. Place the tea bags in a large pitcher. Pour 2L of water over them and refrigerate over night.
  2. Remove the tea bags.
  3. Add the blueberries and mint to the pitcher and crush them with a wooden spoon. Let steep until you’re happy with the flavour.
  4. You can strain out the berries and leaves if you want before serving, or leave them in if that’s your thing!

Grilled Beer Chicken

Everyone has heard of doing beer can chicken on the BBQ by now. But when you’re only cooking for two people, making a whole chicken is sometimes a lot of food. The first time I made this Grilled Beer Chicken, I said something about the chicken being in the beer in the morning and got some lovely silly response about “drunk chicken”, so we started calling it that. But I wasn’t sure that was really the route I wanted to go for the title of the post. This is a classy blog.

For the beer, you can use whatever you want. A darker, heavier beer will add more flavour, but might also overpower the chicken and the garlic. I’ve made this with both Rickard’s Blonde and Budweiser and both were great. I’d love to try it with some fruity beer, either Rickard’s Radler, or Shock Top could be really fun. If you take the chicken out of the marinade and notice it’s starting to look paler and more opaque, it’s because the acid in the beer denatures the proteins. Don’t panic. Also, how long you marinade these for is pretty much up to you. I’ve left them for 9 or 10 hours both times and that worked, but if you want a less beery flavour, only do 6 hours.

This recipe is for 2 chicken breasts and serves 2. You could marinade up to 4 chicken breasts with 1 bottle of beer.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle of beer (pick your poison, and this is a regular sized bottle. Not a growler.)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, or 1 large, minced
  1. Place the chicken in a bowl or container that can be completely sealed
  2. Pour the whole bottle of beer over it and add the garlic.
  3. Let sit in the fridge for 8 hours.
  4. Preheat the BBQ on medium heat.
  5. Grill the chicken for 7-10 minutes each side, or until the juices run clear.

Pickled Green Onions

So apparently there’s a limit on how many green onions two people can actually eat before they go bad. I’ve been trying to get them into everything I can: eggs, potatoes, salmon salad, avocado toast… I even saw people on Instagram just straight up grilling whole green onions and I might try that one out tonight. It’s worth a try, right?

Anyway, I decided to pickle some of them to use them up. I played around with fridge pickles using cucumbers in the winter after I read the Thug Kitchen Cookbook. These follow the same idea but are completely different. They can be kept in the fridge for a week, or up to twelve days. The onions can be eaten all on their own, just like pickles, or incorporated into tuna salad, put on burgers, or whatever floats your boat. I think I’d like to learn more about how to can stuff so I could make these and can them and not have to keep them all in the fridge until I need them. You’ll also need a jar that holds roughly 3 cups of liquid and seals tightly. I bought mine at the dollar store in January because I couldn’t find one (I know, who can’t find a Mason jar or something?). Anyway, if you make these, give me a shout and let me know how they went! As always, if you like what I’m doing, like me on Facebook!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 GIANT bunches of green onions
  • 4 sprigs of fresh dill, stems removed
  • 1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Cut the ends off the onions and wash them (the onions, not the ends).
  2. Cut the onions to the height of the jar. If your onions are as big as these guys were, you’ll get two lengths worth from each bunch, plus a good amount of bits left over to use for fresh stuff.
  3. Cram all the onions into the jar carefully.
  4. Add the dill to the jar. You just want to stick it all throughout the jar so it gets a good flavour.
  5. Add the salt and peppercorns to the jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and water over the onions. Put the lid on tightly and shake it up to make sure everything is combined.
  6. Store in the fridge. After leaving them over night, the onions will take on all the other flavours. After more than 12 days, they’ll probably start to get a little slimy and mushy.

Cucumber and Egg Toast

This post is less a recipe and more instructions for assembly since this toast was so easy and so straight forward.

Have any of you guys ever done Blogilates or Pop Pilates? I think I’ve gotten kind of addicted to them. Cassey Ho is so upbeat and happy all the time and the music is just so fun. I think there’s a lot of messages in the videos about bikini bodies and looking good for a certain dress or whatever, but there’s also good ones about “sculpting your best body, no matter what that looks like” that make me less frustrated. I’m a big believer that a bikini body is any body that has a bikini on it, regardless of size or shape. She’s also really taking a stand against body shaming, which is something I think needs to be focused on more. While I could never follow her meal plans (but if that works for you, then go ahead), I do love that she plans out all the workouts for the month and all I have to do is follow along and get my butt kicked.

This recipe serves 1 person, and is great for an easy breakfast, light lunch, dinner, or whatever meal you need it for. I made it for lunch the other day, without planning on putting it on the blog, but it looked so nice on the blue plate and was so tasty that I figure it needed to make an appearance. And then I made it again this morning and ate it for breakfast.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 slice whole wheat or multi-grain bread
  • 1/2 tbsp herb and garlic light cream cheese
  • 6-9 thin slices of cucumber (depends how big your toast and cucumber are)
  • 1/4 tsp margarine or butter
  • 1 egg
  1. Toast the bread in a toaster.
  2. In the meantime, fry the egg using the least amount of margarine or butter possible.
  3. When the bread is done toasting, spread it with the cream cheese and top with the cucumber slices.
  4. Top with the egg and chow down.

Throwing Together a Simple Meal

Can anyone believe it’s halfway through July? I feel like the summer is just flying by.

It was suggested last week that I do something different for a blog post and talk about how I go about putting together an actual meal instead of just a recipe. My breakfasts are normally pretty simple since I’m either running out the door or I’m not awake yet. For lunch, I grab leftovers, a salad, or toast if I have the day off. Dinner is kind of a hit and miss situation since I work evenings and weekends, but I have been trying to make something remotely nice (aka not grilled cheese or KD) when my boyfriend and I are both home.

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Last week, the meal I threw together consisted of white wine and maple grilled pork chops, some grilled asparagus in my fancy new grill pan, and this Garlicky Kale Salad that I made back in April and still love. My mom has also started making it, and when your mom decides a recipe is good and makes it more than once, it’s good. I made the salad ahead of time since it can keep in the fridge for a few days.

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For the asparagus, I literally just broke the woody ends off , put them in the pan, topped with salt and pepper and put them on the grill until they were soft and bright green. The pan keeps them from getting too burnt or brown, and from falling through the grill. You could also cook them this way, like I did this spring. It’s getting to the end of asparagus season but you can still find it for a reasonable price. One big bunch gets two of us through two or three meals, depending what else it’s paired with.

For the pork, my boyfriend specifically asked me to marinade it in wine and maple bbq sauce. I take no credit for it. I used 1/4 cup of Pelee Island pinot grigio, because that’s what was in the fridge, and 1/4 cup of the Selections brand Maple BBQ sauce. I just poured them in a Ziploc bag with the pork chops and let them sit in the fridge for 5 hours. Fun hint: check the bag for holes before you add the liquid and definitely before you shake it up. Double bag if necessary. Then I just grilled the pork chops for roughly 7 minutes on each side, or until they’re cooked through.

In other news, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee comes out today! This is the follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn’t pre-order it, but I will be finding a copy when it goes on sale. Just as a hint of how much of a book geek I can be, I bought my own copy of To Kill a Mockingbird the summer after grade 11, when I realized I had missed out on reading it at school somehow. Heaven forbid I would miss out on a classic book! I’m really cool, I promise.

On Friday, we’ll back to your regularly scheduled programming with a new recipe! Have a good week!

BBQ Roasted Potatoes with Green Onions

I’ve spent a fair amount of time this spring and summer playing around with how I should be cooking veggies on the BBQ. For the longest time, my solution was just to toss everything on some tin foil, wrap it up, and then cook it and hope for the best. Last weekend I picked up this awesome, flat, square pan at Wal-Mart that is so perfect for roasting veggies, fish, or literally anything else I don’t want to fall through the grill. I cooked these potatoes up with a couple pork chops and served it with a salad for a nice summery meal eaten out on the deck.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions on how to use up a whole lot of green onions really quickly, let me know! All the green onions are ready at once right now. I’m planning on pickling a couple bunches, since apparently that’s good, but I’m not sure what else I’ll do with them.

This recipe serves three people.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 small potatoes, washed
  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced,
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • dash each of salt and pepper
  1. Heat the BBQ to medium heat.
  2. Slice the potatoes into half-centimeter-thick slices.
  3. Toss the potatoes in the pan with the onions, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  4. Place the pan on the BBQ and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to stick a fork into easily.

Herbed Turkey Burgers

One of the coolest things about having this blog and sharing my recipes and adventures is how far things sometimes get shared. WordPress shows what country people looking at my blog are from on a fun little colour-coded map. Sometimes I check it and am so amazed by where people are looking at my blog. Today was Canada (makes sense) and Norway. The other day it was Singapore. I had a big string of views from Japan a few weeks ago. It’s just so cool to think that I’m sitting here at my desk outside of nowhere in South-Western Ontario and people all over the world can see what I’m making for dinner!

We’ve been cooking burgers a lot here, mostly just because they’re so easy to throw on the BBQ after work and serve with a salad or some veggies, or grilled potatoes or whatever. Making burgers with turkey lightens them up and adding the fresh herbs and breadcrumbs gives them something different than just boring plain beef every time. You could top these off with anything from your standard mustard/relish/ketchup/cheese ensemble to some blue cheese, guacamole, or garlic mayo. Ground turkey can get expensive, so buy a couple packages when it’s on sale and freeze what you don’t need. Or see if you have a local butcher who deals with turkey. You’ll probably get a better deal, support a local business, and know where your food is coming from (as much as you can with ground meats).

This recipe makes 4 to 6 burgers, depending how big you want them to be.

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Ingredients:

  • 450g lean ground turkey
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat the BBQ on high-medium heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, onion, thyme, rosemary, and egg. Gradually add the breadcrumbs until the mixture is sticky enough to mold into burgers.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 to 6 balls, and then flatten to make the burgers.
  4. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until there is no pink left in the middle. Place on grilled buns and top with all your favourite condiments.

Tart Cherry and Applesauce Loaf

For those who don’t know, I am a huge bookworm. We’re not talking run-of-the-mill, read-whatever-movie-is-popular kind of bookworm. We’re talking voracious, need-to-read-every-book-I’ve-ever-heard-of, 1109-books-to-read-on-Goodreads, book addict. Which explains why I’m sitting beside a pile of eight books right now. Three of them are textbooks for my Canadian Society of Nutrition Management exam, which I decided I could just not handle as PDFs, but the other four are for my own reading.

Why is all this relevant?

Because I read a lot while making and eating this loaf this week.

This recipe uses tart cherries, which are too sour to eat more than a couple of on their own. The applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla almond milk sweeten them up and make them tasty. You could also use regular cherries, but the loaf would be much sweeter. Also, pitting cherries is a pain in the butt. If there is a better way to this than sitting at the table slicing each cherry in half and taking the pit out, someone please let me know. Or maybe don’t, I’m not sure I want to know how much time I wasted.

This recipe makes 1 loaf.


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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup tart cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 vanilla almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in the egg, applesauce, and almond milk and stir until everything is evenly mixed and there’s no lumps.
  4. Stir in the cherries.
  5. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (greased if it’s not non-stick).
  6. Bake the loaf for 55 minutes, or until a fork stuck in the middle comes out clean.