Grilled Mediterranean Zucchini with Orzo and Feta

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Happy Zucchini Season!! While I don’t have a garden and am not growing zucchini myself, I feel like all I see on Instagram right now are people showing off their zucchini crop. I'm not going to lie, I’m a little bit jealous and was googling “what can you grow in pots on patios” just last week.

So while I don’t have my own harvest of zucchini, it is still abundant at every farmer's market and grocery store, and, best of all, it's super inexpensive right now. So if it’s cheap, why not utilize it as much as possible right?

Now, while you can hide zucchini in so many things, it’s also great to celebrate it every now and then and make it the star of the dish - and that is exactly what this dish does. Topped with orzo flavoured with lemon, balsamic and red pepper flakes it is perfectly balanced with the tender grilled zucchini.

If you have the opportunity to grill up your zucchini on a bbq I highly recommend doing it - you get to enjoy the wonderful smokey flavour from the grill that complements the Mediterranean flavours so well, but if you don’t have a bbq close by you can certainly use a grill pan and still get all of those beautiful grill marks.

So whether you have an overabundance of zucchini and just need to use it up, or you’re envious like me and have to buy it from the market, make this dish today - I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 15 minutes

total time 25 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini

1 cup uncooked orzo

2 tbsp parsley

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup feta

2 tbsp balsamic glaze

1/2 lemon

1 clove of garlic

salt + pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

In a medium pot cook orzo according to package.

While the orzo is cooking slice your zucchini in half. Season with salt + pepper then grill - 3-4 minutes per side or until zucchini is fork tender. Arrange in a single layer on a serving platter.

Once the orzo is cooked, drain and place in a medium bowl. To the orzo add in finely chopped parsley, cherry tomatoes, almonds, crumbled feta, balsamic glaze, the juice of 1/2 lemon, minced garlic, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir until fully combined then spoon over the zucchini and serve immediately.

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Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Salad

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Tabbouleh Salad - while this is not exactly a classic version it is low carb, super delicious, and gives me major greek salad vibes.

Are you're like me your trying to savour every last minute of summer, I mean seriously, how is it already the end of August? It feels like it was only June about 2 weeks ago. So while I maybe haven’t accomplished all of my summer goals, I did accomplish 1 important one - to make a killer Tabbouleh salad!

So while traditional tabbouleh would have bulgur, I don’t know about you but I don’t usually have that lying around my kitchen. So that is where riced cauliflower came into play and seriously, it’s such a good substitution. While I, and the rest of the world, maybe having a major obsession with cauliflower rice right now I don’t think that it’s fad food that’s going to go away any time soon. I mean it’s healthy, carb-free, and can be added into so many things. Plus, if you mix it with your favourite carb (potatoes or rice) it can be completely masked and give you the extra health benefits without anyone even knowing it.

The other great thing about this salad is that the ingredients are all things that you are likely to have on hand. Tomatoes, cucumbers, feta - they are all staples, right?

So go ahead and make this tonight - you will be soooo glad you did!!!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 10 minutes

total time 25 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1/2 long English cucumber finely chopped

1/2 red onion

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 bag frozen cauliflower rice

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup feta

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tsp

salt + pepper

Instructions

In a large frying pan add in 1 tsp of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add in sliced almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned - stirring often. Add in frozen cauliflower and cook another 3 minutes or until cauliflower is warmed just cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine halved tomatoes, finely chopped cucumber, minced red onion, parsley, mint and crumbled feta. Add in cooled cauliflower and almonds and stir until fully combined.

In a small bowl squeeze the juice of a lemon and stir in olive oil. Pour over your salad and season to taste with salt + pepper then toss and serve.

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Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

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Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Fries - oven-baked, crispy and full of flavour.

Do you guys love sweet potato fries? I have my moments of loving them, but I’m not going to lie, I have a hard time turning down a good classic fry - so I have them so rarely. But, these Indian Spiced ones might be giving the classic French Fry a run for there money! Plus these fries are baked so you really don’t need to feel as guilty as you would eating a big batch of deep-fried ones.

The wonderful Indian flavour combination on these fries work perfectly on the sweet potatoes. A little bit sweet and a little bit spicy - maybe all fries should be coated in yummy spices! Actually, that was a thing at McDonald's when I was a kid - ShakeIt Fries (or something like that). I remember making a special trip just to try them - you basically got your fries, a little package of seasoning, and a bag to shake them all together in. I don’t know if they were actually good or I really just enjoyed the experience, but they must not have been all that popular because they disappeared from the menu pretty quickly.

So bring back the much improved, adult version of ShakeIt fries - it’s the perfect healthy version of an indulgent treat!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 1 hour

servings 4

Ingredients

6 small sweet potatoes

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp salt + more to finish

1/2 tsp pepper

cilantro to finish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450. Clean then slice your sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch fries then put into a large bowl and drizzle with melted butter and oil. - toss to coat.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, salt + pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the sweet potatoes then toss until evenly coated.

Lay fries in a single layer over 2 large baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes then flip and bake another 15-20 or until they are crispy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with additional salt + cilantro.

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Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

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Who can resist a Recess Peanut Butter Cup - I mean seriously, it might be the best “chocolate bar” ever invented! Lately, my favourite treat has actually been the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joes - they are mini, delicious, and the perfect little after-dinner treat! I keep them in the fridge because 1 - it’s always warm here and I don’t want them to melt, and 2 - nothing beats really cold chocolate. Anybody with me on the cold chocolate front?

So while it is way to easy to pick up a pack of super yummy peanut butter cups it’s also kinda special to make your own now and then. Plus, if you're going to go to the trouble of making peanut butter cups you might as well up your game and add in a few extra ingredients right! Peanut and chocolate are basically the perfect canvas for adding in extra flavours. I have done a layer of raspberry jam, making them peanut butter and jelly cups, or how about adding in some marshmallow fluff, bananas, or go really crazy and toss in a little bacon - seriously, your options are endless

Today I was feeling the salted caramel and crunchy peanuts, and it honestly brings these peanut butter cups to the next level - plus the sea salt makes them so addictive, which is why storing them in the fridge is another solid plan because out of sight out of mind. It may actually help stop you from eating the entire batch in one sitting!

So next time you have a craving for your favourite peanut butter treat whip up a batch, though be careful, because you may find yourself making these more often than you will want to admit!

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prep time 40 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 12

Ingredients

2 cups good quality chocolate

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tbsp icing sugar

1/4 cup caramel + more to drizzle over the top

1/4 cup salted peanuts

coarse sea salt

Instructions

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. In a small bowl place 1 cup of the chocolate and melt in the microwave for 1 minute - stopping every 20 seconds to stir.

Scoop a teaspoon of the chocolate into the bottom of each paper lines and spread around the entire bottom and 1/2 an inch up the sides.

While the chocolate is setting combine peanut butter and icing sugar in a small bowl and whip to combine - microwaving for 20 seconds if the peanut butter is too thick. Divide the peanut butter evenly between each of the chocolate cups - spreading so it fully covers the bottom.

Divide caramel over the peanut butter then sprinkle with the salted peanuts. Let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator to allow to harden.

Microwave remaining chocolate for 1 minute stirring every 20 seconds. Pour chocolate over each of the cups then tap the pan so that the tops become smooth. Allow to set for 10 minutes on the counter then drizzle with a small amount of caramel and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Allow peanut butter cups to fully set before serving.

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