Yummy Mummy Monday: Minestrone Soup

With the cooler weather comes cravings for warm & hearty food. One of my favourite things to make in the Fall is soup- I love combining ingredients to create comfort in a bowl. One of my all- time favourites is the classic minestrone- I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this soup that’s chock- full of nutrient- rich veggies. Perfect for anyone seeking full- flavoured vegetarian or paleo options, this yummy soup doesn’t disappoint (for a ‘set it & forget it’ version, mix this baby up in a crockpot or slow cooker for busy work/ school days).
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Minestrone Soup
Serves 6- 8

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fennel bulb, diced (discard the greens at the top)
2 leeks, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cups stock (veggie, chicken, or beef are all fine options for this soup)
3 cups water
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1″ long pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
2 small zuchinni, sliced
Pepper to taste
Optional: 
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
1 can of your favourite beans, such as kidney
1 cup pasta, cooked (best to add cooked & at end, so noodles don’t absorb too much liquid)
Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel, leeks, & celery; cook for approx. 5 minutes. (If using a slowcooker, complete this step, then add all ingredients & cook on low for 6- 8 hours).
2. Add stock & water, followed by carrots, beans, & tomatoes with juice (if using potatoes & canned beans, add them now as well). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 25 minutes.
3. Add zuchinni & bring back to a low boil. If using, stir in pasta. Season with pepper & serve.
This is a great simple soup to start the season with, and your kids will enjoy helping prep and add all of the ingredients.

September posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique 

Image Source: Shop Girl Maria

Yummy Mummy Monday: Easy BBQ Recipes

BBQ season is in full swing! If the weather’s hot it’s perfect to enjoy some sun and avoid overheating the house with the stove & oven.
Some of our family faves are ribs, burgers, fish (we’re coming up on an epic salmon run here in BC soon!) and veggie skewers (you need to have a little green to go with all that BBQ protein! 😉
So, to go with all this vitamin D, here’s some quick & easy ideas to toss on the barbee!

BBQ Menu: 
Homemade burgers with veggie skewers & yam fries

 Mouth- Watering Homemade Burger Patties 
You can’t beet a fresh, homemade patty!
Makes 4 patties

Ingredients:
1 lb ground meet (for a fresh alternative try ground buffalo-amazing! Ground turkey or a chicken breast are also great lighter options)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 white or yellow onion, diced fine
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs (for a gluten free version, use gf breadcrumbs or finely chopped kale)
Optional: 1 tsp each of ground paprika, chipotle chilli and/ or cayenne for added flavour & kick
Directions:
Mix everything in a bowl & shape into patties (if skipping the breadcrumbs, it may be a good idea to cook the patty on a piece of foil to avoid it crumbling over the bbq grates). If using a chicken breast in place of a patty, create a dry rub with the garlic, onion & spices. Grill on medium heat until cooked through; approx. 10 minutes.
Serve with your favourite buns & fixings (we love avocado for a yummy substitute for mayo)
If you’re on an uber health kick, swap the bun for lettuce leaves- a fave for those on a paleo or gluten free diet.
 Veggie Skewers 
Kick up the nutritional value & add flavour with some seasonal veggies
Makes 4- 6 skewers

Ingredients:
1 zuchinni, sliced into medallions approx. 1/4″ thick
Red & green bell peppers, chopped into 1 1/2″ chunks
Red onion, chopped into 1 1/12 chunks
Other ideas:
Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, mango chunks
Directions:
Alternate the veggies on your skewers (make sure they’re bbq safe- we had a set melt once!) leaving some space between items to cook. Pop on the bbq for approx 10- 15 minutes, covered at medium heat.
 Yam Fries 
A sweet & smoky twist on your typical spud side!
Makes 4- 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 large yams, peeled & cut into wedges (see photo)
1- 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
Combine the oil & seasonings in a large bowl & toss in yam wedges. Mix until evenly coated. There are two ways you can tackle these: slow cook them on the grill for approx 30 minutes in a foil pouch with a tbsp or two of water until soft, then place on grill to char; or place directly on grill at low heat for approx. 30 minutes & then turn up heat to medium to char (it depends how much you want to babysit them- the foil pouch & water will be a little more forgiving if you’re distracted by your company offering you a fresh beer every few minutes!) 😉
Enjoy with your favourite dipping sauce (try combining garlic, onion, avocado & chipotle in a food processor for a mayo dip alternative)

Great, now I want to BBQ! Hope this inspires you to fire up the grill!
For more yummy & healthy recipe ideas, check out our Yummy Mummy Recipes page!
Image Sources (in order of appearance):
Let Them Eat Burgers!- Epicure Selections– courtesy of Renee Schuck (learn about this Amazing Mom here!)
Veggie Skewers- Katherine Petrunia
Yam Fries- Health.com
July posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Taco Salad

When the weather gets hot I tend to crave lighter options but still crave full- flavoured food with a kick. Enter the taco salad- a Summery dinner idea that will leave you content and satisfied. Plus you can make this as healthy (or naughty!) as you like! It’s also one of those quick meals that’s a crowd pleaser- making it a perfect mid- week dinner idea for busy families. 
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Taco Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients:
Ground beef (or turkey if you’re wanting a leaner choice)
Pasta
1 Head of leaf lettuce
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Taco Seasoning (I used Epicure’s Taco Seasoning courtesy of my gal pal Renee)
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Directions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil & cook up your pasta
2. While pasta is cooking, saute your ground beef with the seasoning and some onion if desired
3. While the meat & pasta are cooking cooking, layer your fresh ingredients on a plate, starting with the lettuce as a base
4. When the pasta is cooked, drain & layer on top of veggies
5. Top with ground beef & garnish with fresh cilantro
Serve with salsa, Greek yoghurt or sour cream, and some yummy guac. Ole!
Healthy Sub Suggestions: 
– You can make this super healthy and use a lean ground meat other than beef (or go with a vegetarian version)
– …Or pack on extra veggies and lighten how much meat you’re loading on
– Use a whole wheat or nutritious gluten free pasta
– Skip the store- bought condiments & make your own salsa & guacamole to cut out unnecessary salt and additives
BIG THANKS to my friend Renee for the delicious taco seasoning! 
Want some for yourself? Check out her website & Facebook page to order some! You can also enter to win a $25 credit to use towards Epicure products from Renee. Check out our Contests Page to enter!

June posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Mexican Undone Omelettes

I LOVE breakfast! Working in the family restaurant in my teens & early 20s made me an addict of all things brekkie. Keeping busy with Ari means that my menu choices have changed- both for health reasons and to save time- but that doesn’t mean they don’t still taste great & satisfy.
I made this for brunch recently for some of my family and it was a hit! Easy, healthy, gluten free- and paleo friendly if you skip the cheese. You’ll look at omelettes differently from now on.

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Mexican Undone Omelettes
Serves 4


Ingredients:
3 Zucchini, washed & sliced lengthwise 1/8″ thick
2 Tomatoes, diced
1 Red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 Green pepper, sliced into thin strips
8 eggs (2 per person)
2 Avocados, diced
Cilantro, chopped for garnish
Cheese, grated (pick your favourite & grate as much as desired)
Optional toppings:
Salsa
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Guacamole

Directions: 
1. Heat some olive oil in a pan; when hot, place zucchini on hot surface & cook until it starts to turn golden; flip & repeat. Cook all the zucchini this way and place 4- 5 strips in a row on a plate for each person
2. Toss tomatoes, red onion, and green pepper in pan and cook until soft; remove and distribute evenly on top of the zucchini on the plates
3. Crack eggs in pan & cook in your favourite style (I went with sunny side up); pile eggs on top of veggies
4. If using, garnish with cheese and cilantro & serve with your choice of toppings- I love mine with salsa and Greek yogurt

What’s your favourite healthy twist on a breakfast classic???

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Thai Coconut Curry Soup & Salad Rolls

I have officially shifted my cooking to the fresh, lighter options of Spring & Summer. I’ve also been trying to find healthy options that accommodate our new dietary restrictions. I have discovered some amazing international cuisine in the past few months and have been wanting to try some curry recipes & find other ideas that would go well with them. This week’s Yummy Mummy Recipe is not only healthy, it is full of flavour and will leave you feeling satisfied. It’s great because you can do a lot of the prep work in advance (roast the squash & cook the rice) and have the soup simmering while you construct the wraps.  I hope this inspires you to try something new with food!
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Thai Coconut Curry Soup & Salad Rolls
Soup Ingredients:
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed

4 cups chicken broth
1cup coconut milk
1 can (28 fl oz) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp curry powder (more or less to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 butternut squash, roasted
Salad Wrap Ingredients:
Makes 8 wraps
rice paper wraps 
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 carrot
1/2 cucumber
bean sprouts
handful spinach
1 cup shrimp, cooked (optional)
2 strips imitation crab (optional)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; scoop out seeds of squash & roast 1/2 the squash covered with foil for 45 minutes (this is great to do ahead, so you can just add the peeled/ diced squash to the soup)
2. While the squash is roasting, cook your rice (add 2 cups of water to the 1 cup rice; bring to a boil, then cover & simmer for 15 minutes); when cooked set aside & allow to cool
3. In a large pot, heat oil & add onions, garlic, & ginger. After 5 minutes add broth & coconut milk
4. Stirring well, add canned tomatoes (with liquid), cilantro, curry powder, & cumin
5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer; when the squash is finished, peel, dice & add to soup (if you wish, you can puree this soup, time allowing)
6. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the carrot & cucumber thinly slice the carrot & cucumber into pieces approx. 1/8″ think by 5″ long (think of how veggies are sliced in sushi)
7. Soak your rice paper wraps according to directions on package; line each wrap with 2 spinach leaves & approx. 1/4- 1/2 cup rice close to one side
8. Add bean sprouts, carrots, & cucumber on top of rice; top with shrimp and/ or imitation crab if using
9. Roll the wraps by tucking the top/ ingredients & folding in the sides as you go; the wraps should hold themselves together
10. Serve together; the wraps have a very subtle flavour & are delicious dipped in the soup; you can serve the soup with some fresh chopped cilantro for garnish 
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!!

April posts sponsored by Gary Gallant Travel