bookmark_border15 Minute Spinach Dip

This dip is truly addictive. I made it for New Years Eve last night and the only detractors were the people who were upset that they couldn’t stop eating it. It is remarkably simple to make, and with a few healthier shortcuts, isn’t quite as unhealthy as some of the other dips out there! A fresh taste, fast preparation, and ingredients that won’t break the bank – you can’t ask for much more than that! It can be served with sliced cucumbers, wheat crackers, or even in a bread bowl or with sliced sourdough.

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bookmark_borderShortbread Buttons

Christmas cookies are not really a tradition in Australia (nor is use of the term “cookie”), but they do make shortbread here, so why not combine 2 traditions? With only 6 ingredients and one bowl, these are so remarkably simple to make and there’s barely any washing up to do! The whole recipe, from start to finish, will take you all of 20 minutes. I halved the recipe for our small household, but have posted the version that makes 2 batches. Enjoy!

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bookmark_borderSpinach Pie

Hearty and chock full of vitamins, this spinach pie is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Slice into small pieces for a party snack, or serve for dinner with some bread and a salad. This pie has 3 different types of cheeses and a delicious flaky crust. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon or even a dash of hot sauce if you’re feeling sassy.

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bookmark_borderGeordie’s Banana Bread

I had been scouring the internet for an easy recipe to make banana bread, and my friend Geordie came to the rescue. I’ve had this recipe for a while but finally got around to photographing it, so here is a no fail, easy and delicious recipe for banana bread. It’s not too heavy, not too sweet, and great toasted with a slathering of butter. I use this recipe to make muffins (makes 8 cupcake sized muffins) and they’re great for a quick breakfast on the run.

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bookmark_border5 Minute Peanut Noodle Soup

This light, fast, cheap, and healthy soup is fantastic for a quick lunch. It’s low fat, low calorie, and great for those on a budget. Many other peanut soups have coconut milk which adds calories, fat, and bulk. This is more reminiscent of miso type soup that will leave you feeling full but not bogged down. It makes a great base so you can add in whatever additional veggies or meat you want. The delicate flavor is enhanced by ginger, garlic, and just a hint of green onion. Add some Sriracha for a kick, or leave it alone and enjoy the soothing broth at the end. Give it a try and make it your own!

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bookmark_borderPaneer Fried Rice

Paneer fried rice is one of those “hmm what do I have in the fridge” concoctions that turned out spectacularly. Paneer is an Indian cheese, similar to halloumi or a solid ricotta cheese that can be cut into squares. This dish makes a great side for grilled vegetables or meats. If you want to make it vegan, use very firm tofu and a bit of additional salt.

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bookmark_borderHomemade Rye Bread

This bread is crusty, hearty and tastes just like something from an American Jewish deli. It has a great flavor and is delicious with Swiss cheese, mustard, some corned beef, or really just about anything. I used a bread machine but if you have a mixer with a dough hook, that’ll do the trick. I was surprised how easy this is! Your house will smell amazing, trust me. For those of us watching our figures, rye bread is lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber than just plain white bread, too. Everybody wins.

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bookmark_borderStuffed Mushrooms

These mushrooms stuffed with garlic, onion, breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese smell amazing as they’re cooking, and taste amazing once they’re done. My mom has made this recipe along with Sunday roast dinners for as long as I can remember. She passed the recipe down to me, and now I make it whenever I get the chance. This recipe is vegetarian and could also be made vegan if you leave out the cheese and replace with your favorite cheese substitute. They’re easy to make and everyone will want to know the recipe.

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bookmark_borderBanana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was of the mindset that overripe bananas = banana bread, or banana muffins until I found this recipe. I find most banana bread or muffins heavy and overpowering, so finding this recipe was extra exciting. These are cakey, fluffy cookies that aren’t too sweet and have a light hint of banana. (Don’t worry, the coconut is optional, if you don’t like coconut.) Next time you have leftover bananas and don’t want bread, give this a try!


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bookmark_borderSmokey Corned Beef Brisket with White Barbecue Sauce

Pastrami and slow smoked beef brisket are both delicious, but most people (myself included) don’t have a smoker, or the time. This recipe has an ingenious shortcut that will leave you with the next best thing. By starting with corned beef, the brisket is already brined and thus the cooking time is a lot less. It has a dry rub of smokey paprika and other spices, which results in a deliciously savory brisket that goes great with white barbecue sauce. Have it on a sandwich or with potatoes and a green salad.

Unfamiliar with white barbecue sauce? It’s served in the American Deep South, and is a white creamy, vinegary sauce with horseradish and mustard. It’s typically served with smoked chicken but goes amazingly well with this pastrami-esque smokey beef brisket.

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