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Tomato Barley with Scallops

A's mom and step-dad were coming over a few weeks ago and we wanted to host them properly. While we were walking up and down the isles of the IGA trying to figure out what to cook to make this meal special, we stumbled upon recipe cards. While I had seen them before, I had never actually taken the time to look them over.

At first, we were simply looking for inspiration. But we ended up picking up a few recipes to try out. I was a little intimidated with this recipe at first because I had never cooked barley before. It turned out to be DELICIOUS and so simple to make! We liked it so much, I have a feeling it will easily turn into a go-to dish in our household! (Plus, it's a great source of fiber!)

Ingredients (yields 4 portions)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp each cumin and turmeric
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 bag small frozen scallops (or 20 large scallops)

  1. Defrost your scallops in the fridge overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook the meal, heat oil in a saucepan. 
  3. Fry onion 1 minute over medium-high heat, add barley and coat well.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, water, cumin, turmeric, and roasted red pepper pieces. 
  5. Salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking while stirring often until barley has absorbed all liquid and is tender.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over high heat. Melt butter and wait until hot. 
  7. Place scallops in the skillet and cook through.
  8. Serve scallops over a bed of barley.
Yummers! Try it out, let us know how it goes! :)


- CK

Chicken and Plum Sumac with Herbed Feta Quinoa

In an attempt to keep diversity in our meals (while staying healthy and keeping A happy), I picked up the free Fall issue of the LCBO magazine. Filled with recipes and wine pairing suggestions - it was definitely my cup of tea!

The recipe I'm about to introduce was definitely a winner in our home (with slight changes to adapt to my left over ingredients). It's a great recipe to welcome the Fall!

Ingredients: (Yields 4 portions)
For the Chicken and Plums
- 3 plums
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sumac
- salt and pepper to taste

For the Quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/3 cups quinoa
- 3/4 cup cubed feta
- 1 tsp each dry parsley, oregano and rosemary
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. If you have a Roast option on your stove, now would be a great time to use it.
2. Slice each plum into 6 chunky wedges. Cut each chicken breast into chunky cubes
3. Place the plums and chicken onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Brush with olive oil and sprinke with sumac. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Roast in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and plums are tender.
6. In the meantime, pour the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil
7. Add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 12-15 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and let sit for 8 minutes.
9. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa and add to a bowl. Drop in the feta, olive oil, herbs and pine nuts (if using).
10. Serve the chicken over the quinoa

The LCBO suggests serving it with a Chardonnay from the Niagara Region.

The original recipe served the chicken on couscous. I'll definitely be trying that option next time!


- CK

Pasta with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Red Cabbage

Every other week, A and I try to plan out our weekly menus. To do so, I usually go through my local grocery store's flyers and compare sales. Then, I look through the recipes I've accumulated from magazines, websites, pinterest, etc. and try to match as many items on sale with ingredients in recipes.

We've found that this technique has helped us save a lot of money, as well as discover new recipes!

One of these recipes comes from the blog Trois Fois Par Jour (french only). Marilou has put together a very simple pasta salad that is full of healthy ingredients and very easy and quick to make. However, I've substituted some ingredients since I had things in my fridge just waiting to be used.

The great thing about this salad is that it can be eaten hot or cold! It's also perfect to bring over to a potluck or serve as a side when you're having people over. We ate it as a main dish and it was perfect!

So here we go:

- 375 g of your pasta of choice (I use whole wheat)
- about 15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lime
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup red cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 cup feta cheese, diced
- salt and pepper to taste

for the sauce:
- 2.5 pieces of roasted red pepper in it's oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sugar (next time I would probably use a more natural sugar, like honey)
- 1/2 cup natural greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F
2. Cook the pasta according to package, rinse under cold water, dry well and reserve
3. In the meantime, spread the cherry tomatoes flesh down on a cookie sheet and spread extra virgin olive oil on top. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. In a food processor, or by using a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients for the sauce very well until it becomes creamy. Pour into a salad bowl.
5. Add the lime, green peppers, red cabbage, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and pasta and mix well.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste

Let us know how yours turned out! Did you make any changes of your own?