Perfect Asparagus

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My absolute favourite veggie side is asparagus! Asparagus is a tricky veggie to cook. If it is made properly it is crunchy, juicy and delicious, but if it is made incorrectly it is limp, stringy and chewy.

The most important tip: never and I mean NEVER boil asparagus! 🙂 I’m not sure who first circulated the method of boiling asparagus….but it was a bad…bad idea. It is very difficult to get the proper texture and maximum flavour from boiled asparagus.

The good news is that the best way to cook asparagus is also one of the easiest!
It only requires 3 simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

Sprinkle of sea salt
Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
Olive oil

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut off the bottoms of the asparagus and line them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on the size of the asparagus)

* Another delicious method is to BBQ the asparagus. Prepare the asparagus the same way with the oil, salt and pepper and then cook on the grill for approximately 10 minutes.

You want the asparagus to stay firm and not limp. When asparagus is overcooked it get’s chewy and stringy.

The flavour that these three ingredients brings out when cooked together is fabulous!  When I serve this asparagus people often ask “WHAT is on this asparagus?!” The flavour actually tastes more complex than it is!  People are always shocked that 3 simple ingredients can bring out such a full taste!

This method can be applied to almost any vegetable!  I cook my cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, peppers and brussels sprouts this exact same way!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

XO, Pam

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Clean Bruschetta Chicken

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I’ve seen many different recipes for this bruschetta chicken all over Pinterest and Facebook.  I was feeling like trying something new for dinner so I decided to try it out!  This recipe was all that it promised!  It was really delicious!  I will definitely be making this chicken again as it was super quick and easy to prepare!  I made this in the oven, but I will be trying it on the BBQ next time!  I bet that will bring the flavour out even more! *Tip* There is also a delicious bruschetta mix you can purchase at Costco. If you are looking for an even easier short cut to make this chicken- that is a very good option. As good as the Costco bruschetta mix is, there is just something extra special about the flavours when you use all fresh ingredients. 🙂 Ingredients: Chicken breasts 1 Handful Basil 2s clove Garlic (minced) 1/2 Red onion, small 4 Tomatoes (diced) 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar 1/4 Cup goat feta Salt and pepper to taste 1/8 tsp Sea salt 1 tsp Olive oil Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350F Combine all bruschetta ingredients together in a bowl. Mix it all really well so that the tomato is coated well with the oils and vinegar. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet and spoon bruschetta mixture over the top of each piece of chicken. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts) *Tip* The flavour of the bruschetta is best when you make the mix the night before or early in the morning to give it a few hours to marinate in the fridge. The flavour of the basil and garlic with really come to life if you let the mixture sit before using it. I hope you enjoy this recipe! XO, Pam http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com *If you would like to receive more posts with recipes like this, click on the subscribe button at the top right hand corner of the blog! 🙂

Clean Chicken & Broccoli Bake

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I wouldn’t really consider myself a “picky” eater. In fact, I’ll try almost anything. There is one food however, that has haunted me since childhood. Its unique odour, almost ominous texture and ever changing appearance has continuously caused me to be leery of this dish. As much as I’ve tried to avoid this dish through the years, there it is, at baby showers, bridal showers, family picnics and holiday gatherings. I often circle the table, trying to avoid looking at it, and just hope no one offers it to me. It is the most vile of all party foods.

My friends, I am talking about the “casserole”.

Whenever someone says the word “casserole” I instantly picture a rectangular glass pyrex dish filled with a mysterious substance covered with cheese. What is beneath that cheesy layer? No one REALLY knows! And therein, lies the great mystery of the “casserole”!

This one dish wonder’s transformation could put any chameleon to shame! No two casseroles look or taste alike! In fact the casserole is the perfect dish to make at the end of the week when you are trying to clean out your fridge!

You see, there are “rules” when it comes to cooking. There are certain ingredients that “go” together and certain ingredients that do not.
Oh.ho..ho…..but when it comes to the “casserole”- it seems that anything goes!

You have some orange Chinese noodles? Throw ’em in! Have a can of Coke lying around? Pour it in! Have some corn flakes in your cupboard? Sprinkle em on! Heck, toss anything in that pyrex dish, pour a can of “cream of whatever” soup over it all, coat it with cheese, and you’ve got yourself a good ole’ fashion casserole!

(excuse me while I try to keep my lunch down…)

Why is it that you can put the most inappropriate ingredients together and as long as it’s called a “casserole”, no one even thinks twice?!

STOP THE MADNESS!

When I was a child my Mother used to make her own famous casserole type dish once in a while. It was called “I don’t know”. As the clock would near five and us kids would ask Mom, “What’s for dinner?” She would coyly reply. “I don’t know”.
The trouble was, we all KNEW perfectly well what “I don’t know” was. It was a “clean out the cupboard” dish. It was typically some sort of noodle, some sort or soup, and then whatever other canned and packaged food was in the cupboard and it was DREADFUL! (sorry Mom)

I’ve spent the better part of the past 32 years avoiding casserole type dishes, but sometimes you’ve just got to stop running.

That day came a few weeks ago. I was at my friend Crystal’s house for a playdate with our boys. We were there over the lunch hour and Crystal offered to feed us. I gratefully accepted. Who would pass up the chance to cook one less meal a day?! Just as I was mentally rejoicing in this welcomed meal preparing break, Crystal uttered the most terrifying of all words.

“I’ve got a broccoli casserole in the oven for us” A what?!!…A who?!…A where?!! “Did she just say “casserole?”
I instantly started to sweat…”keep a smile on your face”. “Act normal.” I thought to myself.
I started to exhale slowly.

Must. Regulate. Breathing.

Casserole. Casserole. Casserole.

Must. Not. Panic.

I started working over a plan in my mind to at least manage 3-4 bites, then proclaim how stuffed I was and push my plate away. “That should be socially acceptable right?”

I started to notice that the entire house was filling with THE MOST delicious aroma.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, everything Crystal has ever made has been fantastic! She wouldn’t steer me wrong now…right?

Crystal pulled the casserole out of the oven and served me an exceptionally large piece. “What a shame that most of this will be wasted”, I thought to myself.

I raised a shaky fork to my mouth, concentrated on controlling my gag reflex, and took my first bite. Every hair on the back of my neck stood up…

This tasted AHHHHH-MA-ZING!

Like, seriously, sooooo yummy! I’m not sure what Crystal was even saying when I blurted out “What IS this?!!” It was honestly one of the most delicious dishes I had ever tasted! In no time at all I had completely forgotten my “manage to swallow 3-4 bites” plan and had inhaled the entire thing. At one point I even contemplated licking my plate, but thought that would definitely be inappropriate..(at least not while she was looking..) 🙂

When she gave me a run-down of the ingredients, I realized that it wasn’t exactly “clean”, so I vowed to tinker with her recipe and come up with a cleaner version!
This recipe is the end result! It turned out really yummy as well! It is very easy to pre-pare, has minimal ingredients and has an awesome taste! Even my kids loved it!

Crystal has restored my faith in casseroles. I dare say I am almost a “fan” of them now. 😉
Well done Crystal…Well done. 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Heads of broccoli chopped

1 Cup Shredded goat mozzarella

2 pieces of ezekiel bread cut into cubes (crouton size)

1 White onion diced

1 Cup chicken broth

1/2 Cup Greek yogurt

3 Eggs

2 TBSP Epicure Onion Spice

1/2 Tsp sea salt

1 Clove (large) garlic diced

1-2 Cooked chicken breast diced

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F

In a bowl whisk together the broth, eggs, garlic, salt and epicure spice.

In a separate bowl combine bread, cheese, broccoli and chicken. Once all of the dry ingredients are mixed, pour the liquid over top and then transfer to pyrex dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

This dish is delicious!

I hope you enjoy it!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Mexican Salad with Lime Dressing

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Who’s excited for summer?!!  Yippee!  This has been a looong winter and I’m sure that we are all ready for some summer in our lives!  I don’t know about you, but I love summer food!  I love BBQ’S and fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market!  This salad is fresh and delicious- the perfect way to kick off summer!

Ingredients:

Dressing:

1/4 Cup olive oil

1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar

Juice from one lime

Rind of one lime

2 Minced garlic cloves

1/4 Tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp minced cilantro

Salad:

1 Can corn

1 Head romain lettuce

1/2 Cup baby tomatoes

1 Can black beans

1 Diced avocado

1 Cup broken tortilla chips

Directions:

Mix all dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad or serve it on the side of the salad.

Layer the ingredients for the salad starting with the romaine lettuce.  Be sure to wash and throughly dry the black beans or else it will make your salad soggy!

I hope you enjoy this delicious fresh summer salad!  It’s a favourite in our home!

XO, Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Garlic Chicken with Roasted Peppers

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If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you will know that I LOVE meal ideas that are simple! We are all busy and looking for meals that are both easy AND healthy! A few months ago my friend Kristin introduced me to one of her chicken cooking tricks. When I tried the finished product I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious the chicken was! Once she showed me how simple the recipe was, I was even MORE intrigued. This is one of the simplest, yet tastiest cooked chicken recipes I’ve ever seen. This recipe is perfect for those rushed nights when you’ve forgotten to take something out for dinner. You can cook this chicken straight from the freezer or from thawed. It is quick, easy and so so delicious! This chicken is great on it’s own or in a salad, stir fry or any other recipe that calls for cooked chicken. Tonight I paired this recipe with another family favourite! When my daughter saw this side she ran to the table and yelled “yay! I love when we have burnt peppers!” 🙂 These roasted peppers are a real crowd pleaser! And, of course, it’s super easy! 🙂 This entire meal takes approximately 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook! You can’t go wrong with that! 🙂

Ingredients:

Chicken:

5 Cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 TBSP olive oil

Sprinkle sea salt

CHICKEN BREAST

Directions:

In a frying pan add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until garlic is browned. Add in chicken until fully cooked. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

ROASTED PEPPERS:

Ingredients:

3 Cloves minced garlic

1 Tsp oregano

Drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut peppers in half, place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with minced garlic and oregano and place in oven for 20 minutes. After the peppers have cooked for 20 minutes, turn oven on to broil and keep an eye on peppers until they are slightly blackened.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do!
XO Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

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Clean Quinoa Wraps

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One of my favourite treats from Starbucks is their Quinoa wraps. Although they are delicious, they are not quite clean. I decided to try to clean these puppies up and the final result turned out great! These taste awesome! This recipe is the perfect example that “clean” and “healthy” food does not mean you have to compromise on taste! You can serve these to any of your junk food lovin’ friends and they will go crazy for them! These wraps are a win for both my husband and kids! I hope you love them as much as we do! 🙂

Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 Cups cooked quinoa

1 Can organic black beans

1 Can corn

1 Red pepper, diced

1 Bunch chopped green onion

2 TBSP fresh cilantro

1/2 Cup crumbled goat feta

1 1/2 TBSP Epicure taco spice

1 Package of Ezekiel wraps

Directions:

Combine above ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Scoop one heaping spoonful in wrap and fold like a taco. Heat oven to 350F. Place wraps on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
XO Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

If you would like to receive more posts like this one, simply click the blue “follow” bottom at the top right corner of this page. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Clean Shepherds Pie

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Since I posted the “Cauliflower Mash” recipe the other day, I thought I would follow it up with a recipe that uses the cauliflower mash left overs! I LOVE re-working leftovers into a completely new dish! I usually make a double batch of the cauliflower mash, knowing that I will save some in a container in the fridge for THIS recipe later in the week! Of course you don’t have to use leftovers for this recipe, but who doesn’t love being able to skip a step? The easier the better right?! This recipe also uses Epicure Spices to season. I have mentioned in past posts about my love for Epicure Spices! These spices are another awesome way to simplify recipes and give you a little time saving shortcut!

If you don’t have leftover mash, you can find the recipe here: https://cleanlifehappywife.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/cauliflower-mash/

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Mash

4 Large Carrots peeled and diced

1 Large white onion diced

5 Sticks of celery diced

1 Can corn

4 Cloves of minced garlic

1 Package of extra lean ground beef, turkey or chicken. (whichever you prefer)

2 TBSP Epicure meatball spice. (or spices of your choice)

Pinch Sea salt and pepper

1 TBSP Olive oil

Directions:

Cook meat and Epicure spice together in a pan. In a separate pan combine carrots, onion, olive oil, celery, and garlic. Cook until veggies are soft. Add corn to the cooked veggies and mix. Line the bottom of a baking dish with the meat, then add the veggies and finally spread the cauliflower mash on top. Pop it into the oven and cook at 400F for 30 minutes.
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I hope you enjoy this dish!
XO Pam

* If you would like more recipes like this, simply click the blue “follow” button on the top right corner of the page!

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Cauliflower Mash

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I think that cauliflower is my new favourite vegetable! In a previous post I shared with you my roasted cauliflower recipe which is a staple in our home. My kids and husband LOVE it, so naturally it’s a no-brainer as a “go-to” side at our house! As much as I love my roasted cauliflower, I was feeling like I needed to “switch it up” a little! I am loving this mash cauliflower recipe! It’s equally as easy to make as the roasted recipe and the taste is fabulous! This is an awesome alternative to mashed potatoes if you are looking to cut back on carbs.

Ingredients:

1 Head of cauliflower (serves 4)

4 Cloves garlic

1 Tsp Coconut oil

1Tbsp Coconut/almond milk

1 Tbsp Parsley (chopped)

Pinch of Sea salt

Pinch of Pepper

Directions:

Chop cauliflower and boil for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. In a small pan add coconut oil and diced garlic. Cook on medium heat until brown. Once both cauliflower and garlic is cooked, place in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour mash into a bowl and add salt, pepper, and parsley.

Enjoy!
Pam XO

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http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Meatballs

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By the end of the week I often feel like I need an easy meal that my kids will eat without complaining. By the weeks end I start to take offence as they wrinkle up their sweet little noses, and immediatly ask how many bites they HAVE to have. By the time Thursday rolls around I’m really needing an “Mmmm Mommy this is sooo good! Can I have more?” reaction! And for that in our house, pizza or meatballs are a guaranteed win! I use ground turkey for this recipe but you can easily swap that out for ground chicken or lean ground beef.

Ingredients:

1 Package lean ground turkey (or chicken or beef)
1 Diced white onion
1/2 Cup oats
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Epicure meatball seasoning
1 Can sugar free pasta sauce (My favourite is the White Linen sauce from Costco)

Directions:

In a large bowl combine meat, onions, oats, eggs, spices. Mix throughly with your hands and form small meatballs. Heat the pasta sauce in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover with a lid. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes or until you think your meatballs are fully cooked through.

It’s been a while since I’ve used Epicure spices in one of my recipes and I have no idea why!! Epicure spices are one of my absolute favourite shortcuts in the kitchen! If you are trying to eat clean but need meals that are quick but don’t compromise on taste, then you HAVE to try Epicure spices! Most of their spices are clean and have no sugar added! Many are also salt free or low in salt. They have pre-mixed spice combinations for all of your favourite dishes from tacos, to fajitas, meatballs, meatloaf, chilli and more! You can take your clean cooking from drab to fab with just a simple sprinkle of these spices! I order my spices through a friend who is a distributor, you can order them from the Epicure website as well.

My friend Leah who distributes Epicure is offering free shipping for any of my blog followers. Email her to redeem free shipping at: leahmiller7@gmail.com
or order online at http://leahwhitson.myepicure.com
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I hope you love these meatballs as much as our family does!
XO Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com

Clean Cilantro Lime Quinoa

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If you are looking for a side that has a fresh zesty taste, then look no further! This recipe can be made with quinoa or brown rice. This recipe is super easy and only takes 3 ingredients. My kids LOVE this side!

Ingredients:

2 Cups Quinoa (you can also use brown rice)
2 limes
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
Sprinkle of sea salt

Directions:

Cook quinoa (rice) according to the directions on the package. Once fully cooked, add both lime’s juice and cilantro and mix well. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Pam

http://www.cleanlifehappywife.com