Monday, January 28, 2013

Social Supper Club | Recipes to Try, Love, Tweak and Freeze

It's funny. People tend to feel sorry for me when they find out I've cut out dairy. They instantly think I've made some big sacrifice and that I must be a woman of will power to give up delicious dairy delights. Truth is, I've never felt so inspired and culinarily liberated (and yes, I know that's not a real word, but I'm using it anyways!). Instead of not-so-healthy quick dinners like pasta, spanokopita, and grilled cheese, I actually make real meals. With real food. From scratch. And the flavours and dishes I get to enjoy because of that are so much more varied and flavourful than any other dinners I've cooked for myself. And it's not just here and there. Almost every night of the week I'm inspired to try a new recipe. I love cooking like never before. I love shopping for fresh ingredients. And, I especially love when the things I make are so. much. more. satisfying. than a cheese quesadilla.

Since I'm cooking for one here (the mister has yet to turn to the green dark side), and most recipes are not just single servings, I am finding myself freezing more and more. It works really well for me, because although I enjoy the meals I make, I like to take a few day breather in between repeat suppers. Freezing is just the bee's knees.

Frozen or not, I wanted to share with you my favourite recipes I tried this week. It's one thing to see a recipe on Pinterest, and it's another to hear a personal review of how the recipes came together and what tweaks could be made on the original.

Because I'm a dessert for breakfast kind of girl, it's fitting that these delectable bites from Texanerin go first.


I once made a "cookie dough dip" using chickpeas and was unimpressed. After seeing the ingredient list on this recipe, I really had low expectations for the finished product. Alas, I gave it a whirl, because it's been a good year or so since I've indulged in that "fresh out of the oven" chocolate chip goodness experience. Although at this point, a handful of chocolate chips alone would seem like a treat, I must say these passed the test with flying colours. OH. EM. GEE. So good. As stated in the recipe, they are BEST warm and gooey, although they weren't too bad cold the next day. I wish I could say I only ate one, but then I would be a liar. These are actually too tempting to make on a regular basis because it's really easy to eat half of the batch. Or all...

Tweaks: Can sub agave nectar for honey for true vegan. Instead of canned, I cooked chick peas in slow cooker the day before.
Pros: Delicious. Low guilt level. Short ingredient list, with good for you ingredients. Ingredients should mostly be on hand. Freeze well and taste just as yummy after a trip in the microwave.
Cons: Too tasty to make often. Need a food processor to make.
Freezer Friendliness: Yes ma'am! If only they could stay in the freezer and not in my belly.

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Let's move away from desserts for a bit and go to dinner. I pinned these a while ago because they just looked very satisfying. I also liked that they combined sweet potatoes and black beans, which are both super nutritious and healthy for you. I am not a meat eater, obviously, but I would venture to say that black beans and sweet potatoes make an excellent meat alternative in terms of satisfaction and satiety. Great option for a Meatless Monday!


I followed the recipe almost to a tee, except I had an already cooked sweet potato I slow cooked the day before with skin on. I cut it up, but when mixed in with the filling, the cubes I had cut completely mushed in with the other veg. I was very happy with the "mashed" sweet potato as it kept all the filling together. I was able to make 9 burritos, which I wrapped in foil, then again in saran, and then placed two to a freezer bag before freezing. OK, I only froze 7 because I ate 2. Because they were that good. And I skipped lunch. Anyways...verdict? These are so delicious, and I will definitely be rotating them in. I love that I can make a big batch and freeze for later. They taste like something that belongs in a restaurant. Yummmmers.

Tweaks: Used already cooked sweet potato (didn't cook again, just added to the bean mixture) and used Daiya shredded "cheese", which was delicious, despite not usually liking it. Used less cheese than called for. Added 6 sliced grape tomatoes to the wraps I was eating instantly (did not use in freezer version). Used more filling than suggested (heaping 1/4 cup).
Pros: So very yummy and satisfying. Affordable ingredients and can make extra for future meals.
Cons: Can't think of any, really. I needed to buy jalapenos because those aren't a staple in our house, but I guess that's not really a con.
Freezer Friendliness: I just made and froze tonight so the verdict is still out. The recipe page does mention being able to freeze the filling, so I can't see why freezing the entire wrap wouldn't work. I usually buy my tortillas at Costco and freeze them, and the shredded cheese was already frozen, so despite lack of personal results, I'm going to give this a thumbs up!

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Now that you've got mexi spice and savoury on the brain, let's round out the flavours with some sweet. Apple butter jeans, boots with the fur, with the fur! OK, clearly the entire time I made this apple butter, that song was running through my head... oh dear.


I was so lucky to have gone to our "super close and convenient but overpriced" market on a whim, to see they had a HUGE sale on organic apples. All different varieties, just $1 a pound (usually $2.49/lb). I must've bought at least 25 pounds, and I may go back for more. I love me some apples, especially when they're local and organic (PS- where do apples grow in BC in the winter? I do not know....). Although I found ways to store apples for longer periods of time, I thought I may need to figure out a way to preserve a portion of them. Having seen the apple butter recipe on one of my favourite blogs, Oh She Glows, I thought it was the perfect time to give it a whirl and put my new slow cooker to work. I had never heard of apple butter prior to this recipe, but my oh my is it great. Since I've cut out most sweeteners (refined sugar, artificial, etc) its really nice to have this naturally sweet apple butter on hand for smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and more.

Tweaks: None! Just used about 5 different kinds of apples I had from my "apple splurge".
Pros: Really fool proof and easy to make. Very tasty. Seriously teeny ingredient list. Healthy, natural ingredients.
Cons: Requires a slow cooker (can make on stove top but would be more difficult) and a really good blender or vita mix. Need to be around to stir apples so would have to be on a day/night off where you can tend to the kitchen for 5+ hours.
Freezer Friendliness: Commenters say yes! I have yet to freeze, but know I will have to because I don't think I'll get through it all in 3 weeks. As per most "saucy" things, I plan to freeze in ice cube trays, then once frozen pop into a freezer container. That way, I can take out a few cubes a week or as needed :)


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If you're a fan of Mediterranean food, then this one is for you! Whether you're trying out a plant-based diet, or just looking for an occasional meatless dish, this is one you should add to your rotation.


I've always loved falafel, but most of the time it's fried. I like this baked recipe because of the reduced fat content, but also because of the inclusion of spinach, which certainly ups the nutrient factor! I made both the falafel and the tzatziki in my food processor, and from start to finish was less than an hour. While the falafal are baking, make the tzatziki, then clean up, and you're good to go! The best part? You can eat these on their own, or put in a warp or pita pocket for your filling protein fix. Even if you are a dairy-consumer, give this tzatziki a try! I thought it was delish (and would consider myself a tzatziki connoisseur!).

Tweaks: I used dried herbs because I just find it's a more economical solution for me.
Pros: Not too hard to make. If you plan your time right, both can be made and ready to consume in under an hour. Seriously tasty. Full of fibre, protein, and healthy fats.
Cons: A bit messy to make, but good things are worth a bit of a mess.
Freezer friendliness: YES! I froze the tzatziki in an ice cube tray (of course, I did) and was really not sure how well they would do. Well, colour me surprised, they actually worked! I took a few cubes out for dinner a couple nights ago and defrosted them and the sauce turned out perfectly. The falafel also freezes fantastically.


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There were some other great dishes I whipped up last week, but I fear this post is dragging on. I will have to save those for another edition of Social Supper Club :)

Now your turn! What recipes have you tried out lately that have surprised you or been worth sharing?


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