Category Archives: Dinner Meals

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts

Drop whatever it is you are doing and make. this. now. Trust me on this. You won’t be disappointed.

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts
Granted, it doesn’t take much to impress me in the kitchen. If it’s easy, tastes good and looks good it’s pretty much a win. But this really is one of my most favorite recipes I’ve shared here so far. I know, I know…it’s all wheaty and gluteny and what not. But I’m kind of in the mindset lately that if I’m going to eat bready type stuff as an occasional treat, I may as well make it worth it. No fast food sandwiches or junky, doughy pizzas. But a scrumptious, homemade tart made with flaky, buttery puff pastry? YES PUHLEEZ! Totally worth it.

If you are like me, you will be eating these Chicken and Pesto Tarts as a meal. One will should serve two people. Alternatively, these would also be so nice cut up in smaller pieces and served as an appetizer. If you do decide to do this, be sure you make two or three. Your guests will definitely want more. 🙂

Roasted Garlic
Being the non food snob that I am, I also want you to know that I totally used store bought pastry and pesto for this. Mainly for convenience laziness reasons. Someday I may venture into the pesto and pastry making world but today is not that day. I’ve got kids home all day on summer break and I’m lucky if I get to use the bathroom alone. So for this I used Classico Pesto and the President’s Choice Puff Pastry found in the frozen food isle of my Loblaws store. Their puff pastry is actually perfect for this because it comes with two in the box. Making both of these will feed my family of four and often there is a bit left over too!

Chicken Pesto Tarts Recipe

Rustic Chicken and Pesto Tarts

– 2 small chicken breasts, grilled
– 4 big tbsp pesto (or more if you like)
– 2 pre-rolled sheets of butter puff pastry (I use these)
– 1 bulb of roasted garlic (or minced garlic if you don’t have time to roast some!)
– 1 medium ripe tomato
– 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Using thawed Puff Pastry, unroll onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Using a fork, stab pastry evenly all over to prevent too much puff while cooking.

3. Spread two heaping tablespoons of pesto on each pastry and spread it around over the surface of each. (If you love it as much as I do, feel free to use a bit more pesto!) Once pesto is evenly distributed, spread roasted or minced garlic over that. Then the shredded mozza and grilled chicken. Slice tomato thinly and place slices over top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden roasted and cheese is bubbly. At the halfway point you may want to rotate these on the oven racks. If your oven cooks as unevenly as mine, that is!

Rustic Chicken Tarts Recipe

Honey and Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi & Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Ahh summer. My family’s favorite season. It’s also the season of trying to balance a zillion things at a time while still trying to find delicious, nutritious meals for the family. On a recent shopping trip to Costco I noticed that they were selling wild-caught Mahi Mahi. Having never tried this type of fish before, I thought what the hell. My Mom lived in Bermuda for several years and more than once I heard her talk about my Step-Dad fishing for Mahi Mahi and that they really loved it. Not knowing how to cook it though I turned to the web and found this recipe for Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi on All Recipes. My version here is slightly modified from the original to suit our tastes and because I wanted more glaze than the recipe called for. This is one recipe that I can see us making over and over again. Slightly sweet, slightly sour and it gives this otherwise mild but meaty fish some zing!

Accompanying the Mahi Mahi is something I’ve been dying to try for a while now after having seen a zillion recipes for it on Pinterest. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. I mean let’s be honest, bacon wrapped ANYTHING is good, but it’s especially excellent with Asparagus I find. The presentation of this is sheer brilliance as well. It’s one of those things that looks like you spent hours planning and preparing but in reality it’s dead easy!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus recipe

Asparagus and fish

Honey and Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

– 4 tbsp honey
– 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
– 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
– 2 cloves minced garlic
– 3 tbsp Olive Oil
– 4 Mahi Mahi fillets

1) Preheat oven to 400.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Take approximately 1/4 of this glaze and marinade Mahi Mahi fillets for about 20-30 minutes. Set remaining glaze mixture aside.

3) Coat or spray the inside of a cast iron skillet with olive oil and place marinated fillets into skillet with the liquids it had been marinating in. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until fish appears white and flaky.

4) Pour reserved glaze into a small pot and simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes. Pour desired amount over the fish and enjoy!

This fish tastes delicious over quinoa, but I’m sure rice would work well too. The best part is that it absorbs up all of the excess marinate 🙂

Honey and Ginger Mahi Mahi Recipe
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

– 1 bunch Asparagus (the thinner the stalks, the better and more tender they will be)
– 7 or 8 bacon strips
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
– 1 clove minced garlic

1) Preheat oven for 400.

2) Wash and trim approximately 30 spears of Asparagus. Group together in bunches of 4 or 5 spears. Wrap each bunch tightly with one strip of bacon. Place on a baking sheet with the ends of the bacon strips down.

3) In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, maple syrup and olive oil. Using a pastry brush, brush liquid mixture over the bacon wrapped Asparagus.

4) Bake at 400 for approximately 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked. Enjoy!

delicious Mahi Mahi recipe

Do you have any fish recipes that are your favorite? Or a different way of cooking Mahi Mahi?

Easy Asian Inspired Lettuce and Veggie Wraps

One thing my family eats a lot of is ground beef. Because I insist on it being local, ethically and naturally raised it just makes the most sense for us and allows us to be able to eat a lean, premium quality meat more often than we normally would. The big challenge with it though is trying to find new things to make. The lazy chef in me is tempted to make burgers all the time. But alas, this can’t happen. I may be a lazy chef but I’m also the most likely person in my family to get bored of a particular food to the point of never wanting to eat it again. So it seems like a weekly quest of mine to find something new to try.

I know you are thinking “Hey, these aren’t technically wraps!”, but y’know, you COULD wrap them. Either by rolling these long ways or switching up the romaine lettuce for iceburg or Boston. I just chose to eat them more taco-style as pictured. I’ve seen various recipes like this one floating around on the internet (often claiming to be knock-offs of PF Chang’s lettuce wraps) but this is my first time trying my hand at anything like this. What I love about this recipe is that it’s low carb BUT STILL FILLING. For me anyway. And when you start cutting out things like bread, feeling full isn’t always easy. 

Lettuce wraps recipe

Easy Asian inspired Lettuce Wraps

– 1lb lean ground beef (you could also use ground pork or chicken if preferred)
– 2 romaine hearts
– 3-4 green onions, finely chopped
– 1 bag of shredded fresh veggies or coleslaw (I used the PC carrot, broccoli and cabbage one)
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 3 tablespoons low sodium soya sauce
– 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tbsp water
– 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
– 2 tsp sesame seeds
– Salt and Pepper to taste

– Brown ground beef in a skillet, drain off any fat.

– In small bowl, stir together the minced garlic, soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, water and maple syrup. Pour mixture over the cooked beef and stir in. Add sesame seeds and the finely chopped green onion and stir in. Add salt and pepper to taste.

– Serve on full romaine lettuce leaves. Top with coleslaw/veggies and enjoy!

ottawa food blog - lettuce wraps

lettuce wraps

What kinds of light, summery dishes are you cooking up this summer?