Rustic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Prepare this side dish up to 2 days in advance and bake it the day you want to serve it — a perfect time-saver for the holidays and when you’re feeding a crowd.

Rustic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Rustic Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes


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Ingredients
  1. 3 lbs yellow-fleshed potatoes, cut 1.5 kg
  2. into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
  3. 4 garlic cloves, smashed and 4
  4. thinly sliced
  5. 1 tbsp salt 15 mL
  6. 1 cup sour cream 250 mL
  7. 1⁄2 cup half-and-half (10%) cream 125 mL
  8. 1⁄4 cup butter 60 mL
Instructions
  1. 1 tbsp salt 15 mL
  2. 1 cup sour cream 250 mL
  3. 1⁄2 cup half-and-half (10%) cream 125 mL
  4. 1⁄4 cup butter 60 mL
  5. Lightly grease a 13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) casserole dish. Add potatoes, garlic and salt to a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and boil gently for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain well. While potatoes are still hot, add sour cream, cream and butter. Using a potato masher, mash to a chunky consistency. Spoon into prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove plastic wrap and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8.
  7. Tip: If you’d like to serve this dish right away, simply skip the refrigeration and baking steps.
Notes
  1. If you’d like to serve this dish right away, simply skip the refrigeration and baking steps.
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Carbonara Pasta

Here’s a restaurant favorite you can serve at home! Look for pancetta in the deli section of the grocery store, at the counter or sliced and packaged for ease of use.

Carbonara Pasta

Carbonara Pasta a restaurant favorite.


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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz    dried spaghetti
  2. 6    1⁄4-inch (0.5 cm) thick slices
  3. pancetta or guanciale (about 2 oz/60 g total), chopped
  4. 4    large eggs
  5. 1⁄2 cup    grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 3 tbsp    chopped fresh parsley
  7. Pinch    black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti for about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook pancetta for about 5 minutes or until slightly crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, parsley and pepper. Add egg mixture to hot drained pasta, place over medium heat and toss for about 30 seconds or until pasta is coated. Add pancetta and toss to combine. Serves 4.
Notes
  1. The eggs in this recipe are not fully cooked. If you are concerned about the food safety of raw eggs, substitute 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) pasteurized liquid whole eggs.
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Baked Mushroom and Herb Barley Risotto

 

Baked Mushroom and Herb Barley Risotto Barley offers up a delicious and rich-tasting alternative to rice in a risotto. With its slightly firm texture and ease of preparation, this creamy risotto is a breeze because there is no continuous stirring involved.

Baked Mushroom and Herb Barley Risotto
Barley offers up a delicious and rich-tasting alternative to rice in a risotto. With its slightly firm texture and ease of preparation, this creamy risotto is a breeze because there is no continuous stirring involved.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
  2. 8 oz (250 g) mushrooms, sliced
  3. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian seasoning
  6. 1 cup (250 mL) pot barley
  7. 1/2 cup (125 mL) roasted or drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  8. 4 cups (1 L) ready-to-use vegetable broth
  9. 1/4 cup (60 mL) herbed cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, onion and Italian seasoning for about 10 minutes or until no liquid remains. Stir in barley until coated. Stir in roasted tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until barley is tender but firm. Remove from oven and stir in cream cheese until melted and creamy.
Notes
  1. Tip: For added protein, stir in a 19-oz (540 mL) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (2 cups/500 mL) with the roasted tomatoes.
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Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa has become a staple in many homes, and stuffed peppers are a family favorite. These come together easily and are even better for lunch the next day.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed
  2. 1 cup (250 mL) ready-to-use vegetable broth
  3. 4 large bell peppers (any color)
  4. 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
  5. 8 oz (250 g) mushrooms, chopped
  6. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 red onion, diced
  8. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  9. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes
  10. 2 cups (500 mL) chopped baby arugula
  11. 1/3 cup (75 mL) crumbled feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut stem end off bell peppers and remove seeds. Trim bottom of peppers to stand flat in a small baking dish. Remove stem and dice pepper tops. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté diced pepper tops, mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt and hot pepper flakes for 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in cooked quinoa and arugula. Spoon filling into peppers and sprinkle with feta. Bake for about 20 minutes or until peppers are softened and filling is ho
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Herbed Bulgur Salad

 

Herbed Bulgur Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup dry bulgur (cracked wheat)
  2. 1 cup boiling water
  3. big handfuls of fresh parsley and cilantro, leaves pulled off the stems and coarsely chopped (a bunch or two)
  4. a smaller handful of mint and/or dill
  5. a small handful of chopped toasted walnuts
  6. juice of a big, juicy lemon
  7. a good drizzle of good olive oil
  8. if you like: tiny tomatoes, crumbled feta, shaved cucumber
Instructions
  1. Put the dry bulgur into a bowl and pour the boiling water overtop; cover with a plate and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Pour off any water than hasn't been absorbed (I like to do this in a sieve, shaking it to make sure all excess moisture is gone) and transfer to a bowl and set aside or in the fridge to cool.
  2. Add the herbs, squeeze over the lemon juice and a good glug of oil, toss and add the toasted walnuts (and anything else you think would taste good). Serves 4-6ish.
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Many people overlook fresh herbs as a potential salad ingredient – classic Middle Eastern tabbouleh is a notable exception, loaded with flat-leaf parsley, grains and typically cucumbers and tomatoes. It’s a perfect candidate if you have all three growing in your back yard (or at their peak at the farmers’ market), but if you want to make use of a wider variety of herbs, this leafy, herb-heavy bulgur salad is packed with green goodness: parsley, cilantro, mint and dill, but you could use anything you have on hand and love. 

This salad is simple to make – bulgur is simply soaked in boiling water, so you can plug in the kettle and don’t even need to put a pot on the stove. A squeeze of lemon gives it a brightness and brings out all the green, herbal flavours, and a drizzle of olive oil adds richness, healthy fats, and smooths everything out. We added a handful of chopped toasted walnuts, but pine nuts would  be delicious too. Feel free to add tomatoes and cukes to make it more like a classic tabbouleh.

Watermelon + Feta Salad with Mint

There are few summer salads I enjoy as much as one made with chunks of cool, crunchy, sweet watermelon and salty, briny feta, punctuated with leaves of fresh mint from the garden. It’s as easy as salads get, and looks amazing on a shallow platter on the table. Because watermelon has such a high water content, the salad is refreshing – and easy to get on your fork, unlike spring greens on a hot day.

I like to drizzle mine with a balsamic reduction, which you can make yourself by simply reducing balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until it reduces by about a half, or buy by the bottle at most grocery stores. It holds onto the watermelon and feta better, without getting runny like straight up vinegar can.

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