Roasted Winter Fruits

Hello! I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about my love for roasted veggies before- honestly I think that I could eat them all day. They get so tender and caramelized in the oven, making them the perfect addition to bowls, or one of my favourite stand-alone sides. However, when we’re talking about raw, uncooked veggies, I definitely prefer fruit. So I was thinking, what would happen if I roasted fruit?!!??! And, ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you that what happens when you roast fruit is PURE MAGIC.

Seriously. Magic. You get ten times the caramelization that you get with veggies because of the higher sugar content, and everything gets all soft, bubbly, and sweet. I roasted some nice in-season winter fruits that you might not think to roast. We’re talking grapes, mandarins, and apples, all of which release some beautiful juices and get amazingly tender. It all feels so Christmas-y and heartwarming!

There is so little prep that goes into this- just washing some grapes, peeling some mandarins, and roughly chopping an apple. I tossed everything in some allspice before roasting for some extra holiday flavour. Then it all goes in the oven for about forty minutes; this is where the enchantment happens. Halfway through the baking time, I took a fork and smashed some of those mandarins and grapes, just to get the juices flowing. Other than that, you just let those fruits do their thing.

Not gonna lie, I sneaked a few of these fruits right off the pan. They would be amazing over oats, yogurt, ice cream, cake, pancakes, waffles- you name it, these would make it better!! Feel free to add some more spices if you like as well- I know that cinnamon would be a welcome addition to the flavour explosion.

Hope you enjoy these festive fruits!

Roasted Winter Fruits

Serves: 2-3

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Gala apple, chopped
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and split into segments
  • 1 1/4 cup red grapes
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and combine. Spread out the fruits onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes.
  4. At this point, remove them from the oven and use a fork to lightly smash the mandarins and grapes, just bursting them so that the juices can escape. Place the pan back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.
  5. Take the fruits out of the oven, serve warm and enjoy!

Have a great weekend everyone! Can’t wait for more holiday recipes coming next week:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Chickpea Shakshuka

Hey there! I have a really fun and awesome recipe for you guys today! Even though you may not have heard of it, Shakshuka is SO GOOD. It’s a middle eastern dish that combines a warming tomato stew with poached eggs, and is the perfect addition to your breakfast spread. I added some chickpeas to mine for some extra protein and fibre. This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together in less than an hour, because the faster this deliciousness gets into your mouth, the better.

I’ve seen shakshuka on a bunch of cooking shows and featured in the occasional Pinterest post, so I thought, why not try it out? I began by frying up onions and garlic. What a shocker! I find it interesting how so many different cultures use garlic and onions in their food. Making tomato sauce? Garlic and onions. Curry? Garlic and onions. Shakshuka? GARLIC AND ONIONS BABY. I am not complaining because the smell of frying onions is out of this world. After I got that aromatic veg all sauteed up, I threw in some amazing spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, and lots of salt and pepper. Those ingredients all get to know each other very well in the pan while you continue on with your morning routine. I did some stretching:)

Personally, I am an egg lover, and so this is next part was my favourite. After stirring up the stew, I cracked four eggs DIRECTLY into there, brought it to a nice heavy simmer, covered, and let them poach. This is a critical moment because you want that yolk to be nice and runny. I appreciate a good hard boiled egg, but this is not the time. So set your timers because it will be very disappointing is you overcook these. I will personally be disappointed in you.

Once those eggs are done, you’re done! Step back! That’s all! I just took these off the heat, removed the lid so that the eggs don’t keep steaming, and I want to say that I dug in right then and there but no, I took the whole pan down to the fridge in our basement to preserve it for when the lighting was better, so I could take a good picture. Do you see the sacrifices that I make for you guys? Annnnnyways, when I finally got around to eating this, I scooped myself a big bowl, warmed it up, and topped it with fresh chives, parsley flakes, and avocado because you’ve gotta go big or go home. And let me tell you, this is AMAZING. It’s so full of flavour from all those spices, and then the chickpeas give you some texture, and that runny yolk is just perfection. This is such a great fall/winter breakfast, because it’s so cozy! Traditionally it is a breakfast dish, but I would be very happy to eat this any time of day.

Make sure that you try this out! I can’t wait to make it again for my family on a weekend.

Chickpea Shakshuka

Serves: 2-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (trust me)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 avocado for serving, sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep pan or skillet. Add in the onions and cook for around 4 minutes, until they’re just translucent. Next add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the all of the spices and herbs to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until they’re somewhat browned and nice and fragrant.
  3. Dump the tomatoes, tomato paste, and paprika into the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, give everything a good stir, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid from the pan, stir everything again and make sure the stew is level across the top. Crack the 4 eggs directly into the pan, in a kind of square pattern so that they’re not too close to each other. Bring the stew back up to a faster simmer, cover again, and let the eggs poach for EXACTLY 5 minutes.
  5. Remove then pan from the heat and take the lid off. serve immediately and garnish with more parsley flakes, chopped chives, or avocado.
  6. Enjoy!

Hope you guys love this recipe! It’s one of my faves. Come back on Friday for my December Reading List!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Vegetable Stew with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Hey guys! Hope you had a great weekend:) I’m still going strong with these cozy fall/winter recipes, and today I’ve got this Vegetable Stew with mashed Sweet Potatoes. It’s completely vegan but is packed with SO much richness and delicious flavour. Plus, who can say no to sweet potatoes?

I started this stew by cooking the onions until they were nice and caramelized, so that all of that browned up goodness makes its way into the stew. Lots of garlic made its way into the pot as well because garlic just makes everything better. I also used a kind of unconventional strategy to get more flavour and richness in there- I used a whole can of black beans, liquid and all. No joke! This thickens everything up and just gives it that nice savoury-ness that you want in a good stew. However, this means that you should definitely use a can of organic black beans, or make sure that the only ingredients are beans, water, and some salt. You don’t want any of those nasty preservatives if you’re not rinsing the beans off.

The next things that I through into the stew were chopped carrots, frozen corn and peas, some tomato paste, and some flavour boosters like soy sauce, maple syrup, and oregano. Super simple, no long or complicated prep involved. Frozen veggies are my jam; I could literally eat corn all day long. If you have a bag of mixed frozen veggies, feel free to throw some of those in there to avoid chopping carrots and cut down on prep time even more.

I don’t mash sweet potatoes often, but I really should! It’s faster than roasting and they’re pretty darn good:) I just boiled em, mashed em, and seasoned em with some salt and pepper. They make the perfect carby accompaniment to this amazing stew!

What are you waiting for? Throw on some fuzzy socks, get a fire going, and whip up a plate of this homey deliciousness!

Vegetable Stew with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Stew:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 can of organic black beans, liquid (aqua faba) included **make sure it only contains beans, water and salt**
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • 1 medium or large sized sweet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions, and cook until browned and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Make sure that you stir them often to prevent burning.
  2. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another two minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the can of beans, carrots, frozen veggies, tomato paste, soy sauce, maple syrup and dried oregano to the pot and mix until combined. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.
  4. While the stew is cooking, bring a smaller pot of water to a boil. Add in the chopped sweet potatoes and cook for 8-10 minutes, until tender and mashable. Drain them, add them to a bowl, and then mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. When the stew is ready, season it to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. Serve with the mashed sweet potatoes.

Hope you enjoy this comforting cold-weather recipe! Make sure you come back for more because there’s lots more where this came from:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))