lunch

Baked Onion Rings

When you get a hankering for something crispy, junky and fried theres little else that can hit the spot. That was exactly my mind set just a couple hours ago, I wanted fried and I wanted it now. Onion rings seemed like the perfect idea, however I decided to make one substitution…bake it! These onion rings definitely hit the spot without the extra oil and saturated fat. That’s not to say that these are something you should be making daily… but when you have that craving why not make it a little bit healthier?

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For the batter I had a 3 separate bowl system. The first bowl had flour, the second a combination of buttermilk, flour and egg. While the third had a mixture of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, dried oregano, chilli flakes and fresh rosemary. These onion rings are simple enough to make: dip onion rounds in flour, drench them in the buttermilk mixture followed by a generous coating of the breadcrumb composite. Bake at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes and you’re finished!

While delicious on their own, these are equally good when dipped in Sriracha sauce. However if you’re feeling a little more adventurous I’m sure these would be fantastic with a chipotle mayo or cream-style dip. Yum!

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Pasta with Spinach and Asiago Cheese

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there in the world! Its become a tradition in my house to make homemade pizza for mothers day and fathers day so as you can tell I’m behind on these Food Geek posts! I made this pasta dish sometime ago, *cough* during my blog hiatus *cough* but this is definitely one that I’ll be going back too!

It all started off with a leftover wedge of Asiago, I didn’t know what to make or use it on and so it remained in my fridge. One day while google-ing recipes I came across this one by Giada De Laurentiis. Giada was probably one of the first chefs I came to admire, this was when I first started getting interested in cooking and started watching the Food Network. Although she quickly became my favourite Food Network personality, for some reason I don’t think I’ve made any of her dishes. Well theres a first for everything!

Let me just say if her other recipes are similar to this one I’ll definitely be looking up her recipe repertoire! The smell alone of the asiago, tomatoes and spinach heating over the stove top is amazing, an hour or so after I had finished my meal my housemate came over to ask what I had made; it smelled THAT good. This pasta dish is both light yet creamy and although minimal in number of ingredients the outcome is a complex flavour and aroma that leaves nothing to be desired. I pretty much made this recipe as is, however instead of the fusilli I used bow tie and I finished the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Trust me if you try out this recipe you will not be disappointed!

Lunch at the Works!

Went to The Works again, click here to read about my first visit! This time I visited the Oakville location with my sister. It was her first time and I could just tell she loved it. Everything from the menu choices to the decor to the drinks served in measuring cups, she was mesmerized. I got another smoothie, this time it was the  2001 Shake Odyssey that my friend J ordered when I was last there. This milkshake consisted of caramel, peanut butter and oreo cookie crumbs, and it was incredible. I guzzled that baby down so quickly I was tempted to order another one! (this was the kids size which is 8oz)

For a burger I decided on the Crappy Tire, unfortunately the kitchen had just run out of grilled pineapple leaving me a bit frazzled as I contemplated on one of the many other options. In the end I ordered a Malibu Meltdown burger which consists of a crunchy onion ring, beechhouse sauce, havarti, gouda & brie cheese. Delicious! The combination of flavours meld together really well; you might be thinking wow thats a lot of cheese, in which case you would be correct – and was it ever saucy! This burger wasn’t difficult to eat but I would definitely recommend cutting it in half for better control (a tip which was recommended to me by our server! Side note, turns out this is her favourite burger on the menu!) I ordered my burger with a gourmet veggie patty on a whole wheat bun. And of course I had to go back to my original side of choice the spicy die cut chips! Unlike my first experience at The Works, since my burger wasn’t a spicy one, my mouth wasn’t on fire. The spicy-ness of the chips definitely complemented the sauciness of the burger.

My sister ultimately decided on the Three Ring Binder burger which consists of sautéed mushrooms, chipotle mayo, gouda cheese & 3 crunchy onion rings. Funnily enough I had originally almost ordered this burger before changing mine to the Crappy Tire (and than to the Malibu Meltdown) after discovering we were ordering the same thing, clearly we have similar tastes. Apparently we were twin-ing again as she ordered hers with gourmet veggie patty on a whole wheat bun as well.

We both decided to cut our burgers in half and split them so we could each try both burgers, personally I preferred the Malibu Meltdown to this one. The onion rings were delicious, piled high and extra crispy but I found the mushrooms to be a big overwhelming. It also felt like it was missing something, maybe something with some acid or sweetness would have made all the difference. I didn’t dislike this burger but I don’t think it would be one that I would re-order. My sister decided on the Bold Slaw as her choice of side. The menu warns that it contains jalepeno pepper juice and white pepper however if anything this has more of a sweet and sour flavour compared to a spicy one. Again not necessarily a side I would choose myself but hey its another item I can cross off my list 😉

I have plans to go to The Works again this weekend with a friend, so expect another The Works post on Sunday (clearly I’m obsessed!) this post was actually delayed for almost a week (we went last Tuesday) so hopefully that makes me seem less crazy! Since I couldn’t get it the last time I think I’ve already decided on the Crappy Tire burger, hopefully there isn’t  a shortage of grilled pineapple!

A Middle Eastern Lunch

Food Geek: A Middle Eastern Lunch

Went back home for the weekend which means another mini feast courtesy of moi!

Pictured is:
– kale chips
– tabouli
– falafel
– tabouli (without parsley)
– hummus, tzatziki and jalapeño
– carrots, tomato wedges and lemon

The kale chips were a tasty bit of added crunch to the meal and were a cinch to make! Just baked at 300 until they were nice and crunchy (about 10 min for this batch). I’ve always been a fan of making falafel, its so filling and has such a great flavour. Believe it or not this was my mom’s first time having falafel! Was she the biggest fan? Unknown; but then again she is kind of a picky eater. Tabouli isn’t usually something I’ll have a hankering for, but stuffed in a toasted pita with some falafel, roasted red pepper hummus and tzatziki and my stomach starts to growl!

Open-faced Flatbread with Dressings

Sometimes the best food combinations come out by accident. Made this meal one night after coming back from night class and just threw some things together. My roommates made fun of me for calling this a lazy meal; but hey what can I say, I guess i’m just not a KD girl. Honestly though, can’t even describe how good this combination is!

Toasted flatbread with ricotta cheese, cucumber, fried egg, honey mustard, ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Added some mint for a garnish

Delicious.

Mushrooms and Cauliflower

Noms: Mushrooms and Cauliflower

sauteed garlic and mushrooms with a cauliflower, roasted garlic, roasted bell pepper mash

Felt like being a bit more creative in the kitchen today 🙂 I’ve never been one to make many vegetable mashes but I think that will soon change! I love the difference in texture between the creamy mash and the firm mushrooms. Cauliflower is also a great alternative to mashed potato, they’ve got lots of nutrients and are much lower in starch. I blanched my cauliflower, so it became a bit tender, then blended it along with some other spices for flavor. Delicious!