Blueberry Basil Cornmeal Muffins

So even though these muffins have the longest name ever, they are such a delicious combo that leaving out any of those things just wouldn’t do. While the basil may seem like the odd man out it truly isn’t - it's one of those additional flavours that don’t overwhelm, but basically just makes you stop and think - hmm, what is that taste? It’s just so good!

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Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

What’s better than fresh tomato soup using everything that is in season right now! This soup is stuffed full of garden product plus a secret ingredient that throws the flavour over the top!

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Happy Monday everyone! Can you believe that July is already over halfway done? This year we have been really really focused on enjoying the summer and for me, that also means trying to cook as seasonally and locally as possible!

The one thing that I love about summer is tomatoes - seriously they are one of those things that I could eat any time of the day. As a kid, my favourite thing to do was to run to the garden, pick fresh, ripe tomatoes and have them as a snack. Seriously, you can’t beat vine ripen tomatoes.

So last week when I had an overabundance of ripe tomatoes there was only one thing to do - make a bowl of beautiful, fresh tomato soup. The best part about this recipe is that it’s stuffed full of vegetables, is super rich and creamy, yet it has absolutely no dairy. I mean really, can you get much better than that?

I also love that this recipe has a full zucchini in it because if you grow zucchini, you most likely have an overabundance of it plus, it adds great nutritional value without changing the flavour of the soup. In my opinion, zucchini is one of the best ways to sneak vegetables into so many different things, so if you can do it why not right!

So next time your tomato all come ripe at once or your craving a delicious soup whip up a batch, it's quick, easy, and meets all your tomato soup needs!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 55 minutes

total time 1 hour 10 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 medium onion

1 tsp olive oil

2 small carrots

4 cloves of garlic

1 small zucchini

8 cups tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

1 tsp Worcestershire

1 tsp oregano

2 tbsp balsamic

1/4 cup pesto

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

salt + pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot place chopped onion and olive oil and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring often. Add in chopped carrots, zucchini and whole cloves of garlic and sauté for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add in chopped fresh tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down then add in chicken stock, Worcestershire, oregano and balsamic and simmer another 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the soup into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (or alternatively use an immersion blender to puree the soup).

Return the pureed soup to the blender then add in pesto, coconut milk and season with salt + pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes then serve.

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Bruschetta Chicken with Prosciutto and Basil

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Grilled chicken wrapped in prosciutto then topped with fresh bruschetta - can you get much better than that? I mean seriously, it’s like a fancy Italian chicken finger and let’s just say I’m not mad at that!

Not only is this dish super delicious it is also soooo easy to make. You can prep it in advance and throw it in the oven to finish it off just before your ready to serve it. Imagine putting this on the table for your next dinner party alongside a beautiful salad and roasted potatoes, I mean seriously your guests will be in love!

So I will admit this dish is just perpetuating my obsession with bruschetta, I mean I think I could put it on almost anything and probably love it. The funny thing is that even though I have been obsessed I haven’t made traditional bruschetta in so long - so, I guess know what I need to do this weekend.

So seriously you need to make this recipe as soon as you can - you will not be disappointed.

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prep time15 minutes

cook time 25 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 cup cherry tomatoes

3 basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

salt + pepper

2 lb chicken tenders

12 basil leaves

6 slices of prosciutto

1 cup mozzarella

Instructions

In a small bowl combine cherry tomatoes that have been halved or quartered, 3 basil laves thinly sliced, finely chopped garlic, olive oil and salt + pepper to taste. Toss then set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Slice each piece of prosciutto in half (length wise) and set aside. Take one of your chicken tenders, place a basil leaf in the centre then wrap with the prosciutto. Continue until all of your chicken has been used. Season with salt + pepper then place in a large frying pan that has been heating over medium heat. Fry until chicken is browned and the prosciutto is crispy.

Remove from the pan and place on a cookie sheet. Top with mozzarella then bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 365 degrees and the cheese is melted.

Transfer fully cooked chicken to a serve plate and top with bruschetta then serve immediately.

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Prosciutto + Melon Caprese

This salad is simple, fresh + absolutely delicious. The perfect summer side dish to almost any meal!

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes simple food truly is the best, and this recipe is the perfect example of that. Ripe melon, salty prosciutto perfectly balanced with fresh basil and creamy bocconcini - such a perfect combination if I do say so myself!

Now, melon and prosciutto certainly isn’t a new combination. Often you see if as a beautiful elegant starter or one bite passed appetizer, so transforming this into a Caprese salad just made sense. Plus I have really been in love with fresh basil lately so any time that I can add it to a dish I make it happen.

If you don’t have a melon baller don’t let that stop you - you can either use a small cookie scoop or just be really simple cut it in cubes. Though I must say that for some reason melon in balls just tastes better - I can't explain it!

This served with a beautiful piece of grilled chicken or fish would be the perfect warm summer night meal - plus with the sweetness from the melon, you feel like your having dinner and dessert all in one!

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prep time 20 minutes

total time 20 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 ripe cantaloupe

5 slices of prosciutto

1 cup bocconcini

4 basil leaves

drizzle of olive oil

drizzle of balsamic

pepper

Instructions

To prepare your salad slice your cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds. Using a melon baller scoop out your melon and place on your plate or serving tray then add on the bocconcini.

Slice each of your pieces of prosciutto in half then roll and place around your melon and bocconcini. Add on thinly sliced basil and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic and a light sprinkle of pepper.

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Fresh Tomato Pasta with Garlic + Basil Bruschetta

This fresh tomato pasta is perfect all on its own, but top it off with flavourful bruschetta and it throws it over the top.

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So this fresh tomato pasta is a staple in our house, it’s super easy, requires mainly fresh ingredients, and makes you feel good about eating a big bowl of pasta.

While I also really love classic pasta sauce that is slowly cooked and has flavours developed over time, I kinda think that it’s more of a winter, cold-weather meal. That being said, even though it’s summer and hot outside it doesn’t mean you still don’t crave a hearty bowl of pasta every now and then, and so that is where this version comes in. It’s fresh, comes together in no time at all, and is topped off with super yummy bruschetta - the perfect summer meal!

Now, if you have never thought of putting fresh tomatoes on top of your pasta you are seriously missing out. It adds a perfect contrast and really brings this dish to the next level - plus it’s using all the ingredients that you already have so it's super easy to do!

I like to add a bit of Italian sausage into this as well but it is just as delicious vegetarian. You can sub the chicken stock for veggie stock and serve any of your non-meat-eating friends. Even throw it over zucchini noodles for a carb-free option. Seriously, the options are endless so make it any way that works for you and your family - but don’t skip the bruschetta - seriously, it's key and once you try it you will never to back to eating it without!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 30 minutes

total time 50 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 white onion

1 lb sweet Italian sausage

5 cups chopped tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 cup chicken stock

5 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

6 basil leaves

salt + pepper

1 lb orecchiette (or your favourite pasta)

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package.

In a large saucepan add in olive oil chopped onion and cook until onions are translucent. Add in sausage and cook over medium/high heat until sausage is cooked through.

To the saucepan add in chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes are very soft. Add in chicken stock and simmer 10 minutes.

To the sauce add in tomato paste, freshly grated parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, thinly sliced basil leaves and salt + pepper to taste. Add in drained pasta and stir to fully combine. Top each serving with a good amount of bruschetta.

Bruschetta

1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

6 basil leaves

1 tsp olive oil

salt + pepper

In a small bowl combine finely chopped tomatoes, garlic + basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt + pepper to taste.

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