Fierce French Toast Recipe for Father’s Day

Fierce French Toast Recipe for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the perfect time to buff up your dad-duty goals for the coming year. Unless you’re Liam Neeson in that movie Taken, you’ve got more to think about than how to save your daughter from the plight of international murderers – for the third time since high school. Thankfully, most dads don’t need to apply their “particular set of skills” to rescuing their kidnapped kids as a hobby. The little ones will be just as impressed when you show them what a man-made breakfast looks like in the kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups milk (try a low fat milk if you really want to wow your wife, plus it tastes pretty much the same)
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract (the imitation stuff is just nasty)
  • Whole wheat bread, sliced
  • Sliced bananas, fresh strawberries
  • 8 tsp Grade A maple syrup (We’re Canadian, after all, plus it’s chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories)

How to make it:

  • Combine the milk, eggs, spices and salt in a bowl. Throw in some bread slices and let them soak for a minute or two.
  • Grab a non-stick pan and put in just enough butter to coat the surface. Fry on medium-to-low heat for a minute or two on each side.
  • Plate the bread, toss on some fruit and maple syrup and serve.
  • Pro tip: Still craving bacon? Give turkey bacon a chance. Close your eyes and see if you can really tell the difference.

This article was originally published on June 19, 2015.

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If you like Pina Coladas…try blending them with less booze

If you like Pina Coladas…try blending them with less booze

Sing it with us: “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…”

Who are we kidding? Getting drenched isn’t all that awesome, especially when you’re wearing jeans and a flannel poncho. And enjoying any kind of cocktail may seem tricky if you’re trying to live healthier, feel better, and save some serious coin by cutting down on alcohol.

Well, it turns out you can have your cocktail and drink it, too. After all, many popular mixes can be just as tasty with less or no booze. Pack a glass with ice cubes, pour tonic water, diet cola or Clamato over top, and squeeze in some fresh lime or lemon. The result is just as refreshing and tasty as a regular gin and tonic, vodka and cola, or bloody Caesar. And if you miss that hint of booze, use one ounce, or even just a splash, instead of two ounces. If you’re more of a beer man, it’s just as easy to cut down on your sudsy intake. Every little bit helps, right?

If you’re wondering how to consume less alcohol, these three recipes deliver the lip-smacking goods for guys looking to take their cocktail games to the next level:

Sparkling Pom Collins

Sparkling Pom Collins

This non-alcoholic version of the Tom Collins puts a Vitamin C-rich twist on an old favourite. Makes one serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • Half a cup soda water
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • Ice

Instructions

Step 1:
Squeeze lime juice into two tall glasses filled with ice
Step 2:
Pour in the pomegranate juice and soda water
Step 3:
Stir and enjoy! So easy.

No-Booze Penicillin

No-Booze Penicillin

This tasty take on a blended-Scotch classic replaces whiskey with black tea. An awesome festive option for entertaining a crowd. Makes four serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon loose-leaf black tea
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • A tablespoon of honey
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • Ice

Instructions

Step 1:
In a teapot or cooking pot, steep the tea in the boiling water. Let steep for about 4 minutes, then strain out the leaves.
Step 2:
Add the ginger and honey to the tea, stirring gently until the honey is dissolved. Allow the mixture to infuse for 15 to 30 minutes, then strain out the ginger, pressing gently on the solids to squeeze out any remaining liquid. You should have about one cup of liquid.
Step 3:
Add half the lemon juice, then taste and add more until the balance of sour, sweet and spicy is to your liking. Refrigerate the drink until ready to serve over ice.

The Nilsson

The Nilsson

If you can’t decide between a pina colada and a daiquiri, this tasty option combines the two. Makes two servings.

Ingredients

  • A bag of crushed ice
  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 2 ounces coconut cream
  • 4 dashes pimento bitters (available at many liquor stores)
  • 2 lime wheels, for garnish

Instructions

Step 1:
Fill two short glasses with crushed ice. Fill a large cocktail shaker two-thirds of the way with ice cubes, then add the lime juice, coconut cream and bitters.
Step 2:
Shake hard, about 15 seconds, then strain into the glasses of crushed ice. Garnish with the lime wheels.

And there you have it: Three awesome drinks with no booze! Now, like the song says, time to start thinking about making love at midnight…

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From zamboni driverz to zookeeperz, this zesty zucchini recipe is a crowd-pleazer

From zamboni driverz to zookeeperz, this zesty zucchini recipe is a crowd-pleazer

What’s not to like about the letter Z? It kicks off awesome words like zombie and zamboni, wraps up blitz and buzz, and makes up most of pizzazz.

Let’s face it: If you heard that a blitzed zombie was zipping on a zooming zamboni, you’d probably want to whiz over and check it out AZAP.

This brings us to zucchini. In addition to starting with the coolest of letters, this dark green sausage-shaped vegetable is a healthy-eating powerhouse. It contains zero fat, is high in digestion-aiding fibre, and is packed with vitamins and minerals. No wonder zucchini is one of the stars of Canada’s new Food Guide, which encourages Canucks to eat a diet of roughly half fruits and veggies.

“I serve it as a meal with a side of rice or baked potato.”

What’s a good zucchini recipe? Just ask Don’t Change Much team member Seshley, who has already shared awesome recipes for Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette dressing and Potato & Leek Soup. Zucchini is great for grilling, so Seshley throws down her BBQ Zucchini Boats all summer long. “This recipe is an easy one that doesn’t require much chopping, slicing, or prep,” she says. “I serve it as a meal with a side of rice or baked potato.”

Is your mouth watering yet? Here’s the easy three-step recipe from the grill guru herself:

What you need (serves 4)

  • Avocado oil, olive oil, or cooking spray
  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Half an onion
  • 1 pound / 500 grams of ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Half a cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • A bunch of green onions

Instructions

Step 1

Time to get prepping! Trim the tips off the zucchini, cut them in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the centres to create boats (leave at least half an inch of zucchini along the edges of the boat). Then brush the boats all over with oil, or spray them with cooking spray. Next, mince the garlic cloves, dice the onion, roughly chop about half of the scooped-out zucchini, and set it all aside on a plate.

Step 2

Preheat your BBQ to medium heat. Grill the boats, flat side down, for about 4 minutes, then turn them and grill for another 4 minutes. While the boats are grilling, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a cast-iron skillet and place it on the grill next to the boats. (If you have a BBQ side-burner, you can use a regular pan over medium heat. If you don’t have a skillet or a side-burner, no worries: Just use a pan on the stove. In this case, it’s a good idea to finish grilling the boats first so you don’t have to run back and forth.) Add the minced garlic and onion to the pan or skillet, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey to the pan, sautéing for 2-3 minutes while breaking up any chunks.

At this point, your boats should be nicely grilled. Turn off the burner under them (leave the other burners on), and let them rest on the grill.

Add the chopped zucchini pieces to the pan or skillet and sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, and stir.

Step 3

Scoop the filling from the skillet or pan into the zucchini boats right on the grill, then sprinkle the cheese on top. Close the BBQ lid and wait 10 minutes (or until the cheese has melted).

Then remove the boats from the grill, garnish with green onion, and serve.

So gentlemen, start your zambonis, zoom (very slowly) to the nearest grill, and get your zesty zucchini on!

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Grilled Avocado & Albacore Tuna Salad

Grilled Avocado & Albacore Tuna Salad

Cover photo courtesy of NaturesClassic.com

Whether you’re a bonafide fisherman or just enjoy the “chicken of the sea” now and then, this fresh and filling salad recipe is sure to satisfy. Forget chopping and dicing, this salad keeps it simple with just a few ingredients. That way, you can focus on the show-stopper: The dressing! This recipe comes courtesy of Don’t Change Much Champion Chef Ned Bell, who suggests pouring leftover dressing over any salad or fish, using it as a dip for vegetables, or even spreading it on wraps and sandwiches. What is the best salad recipe out there? This one’s gotta be in the running!

Chef Ned Bell
Chef Ned Bell

Grilled Avocado & Albacore Tuna Salad

Dressing ingredients:

  • 2 whole ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 cup thawed green garbanzo beans (a.k.a chickpeas)
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil
  • 1/8 cup fresh chives
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, low-fat sour cream or low-fat yogurt
  • Zest (grated skin) and juice of 1 lime
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Fresh avocado, green garbanzo beans, lime, and lemon

Salad ingredients:

  • 3 handfuls of leafy greens (romaine lettuce, spinach, or kale work great)
  • 1/4 cup Green Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 Albacore tuna steak
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Dressing method:

  • Set oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove stem and seeds from jalapeno and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove jalapeno from the oven.
  • Use a fine grater to zest the skin of your lemon and lime.
  • Add jalapeno, lime and lemon zest, and remaining ingredients to a blender, and blend into a puree (a soft, creamy paste).
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve on your salad. Store leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Salad method:

  • On a grill or in a pan over high heat, place half an avocado until browned on the flat side. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Season the tuna steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper. On the same grill or pan over high heat, sear the tuna on both sides until browned. Slice tuna steak into 1/4 inch wide strips.
  • To build your salad, toss your chosen fresh salad greens in a bowl to serve, place the sliced albacore tuna on top, garnish with some green garbanzo bean spread, add half a grilled avocado, toss some green garbanzos on top, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and some sea salt.

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Do you have any awesome tuna recipes? Share them with your buds in the comments below!

This article was originally published on January 12, 2016.

Chef Ned Bell’s Green Eggs and Salmon

Chef Ned Bell’s Green Eggs and Salmon

Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, penned “Green Eggs and Ham” on a bet that he couldn’t write a book using 50 or fewer words. You won’t have to make this easy recipe 50 times for it to become one of your go-to dishes — just once should do the trick! Courtesy of Don’t Change Much Champion Chef Ned Bell, this tasty and healthy meal swaps ham for wild salmon fillets, which we’re sure Dr. Seuss would have loved despite the fact that “salmon” doesn’t rhyme with much. (Famine? Gammon?) Whether you’re “in a box or with a fox,” as the book says, this delicious high-protein meal shows how easy healthy recipes can be!

Chef Ned Bell

Chef Ned Bell’s Green Eggs and Salmon

Serves: 2

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 whole ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 cups green garbanzo beans (a.k.a chickpeas; put aside 3 tablespoons for later)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest (grated skin) of 1 lime
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  • Blend all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until you’re ready to build your breakfast skillet for baking.

Pastrami-Cured Salmon Instructions:

  • Watch this video demonstration for how to cure wild salmon fillets.
  • Once rinsed, coat salmon fillets with a little olive oil, and season with a pastrami spice blend before grilling. We suggest picking up a premade pastrami seasoning blend, but you can also make your own.
  • From there, just keep an eye on the salmon and cook it to your preference. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the breakfast skillet for baking.

Breakfast Skillet Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoon ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs per person
  • Pea shoots (desired portion)
  • 1 wild salmon fillet per person

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F while you prepare the ingredients.
  • In a cast iron skillet or oven-safe casserole dish, toss a few tablespoons of the green chickpeas to cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Add two generous spoonfuls of the green chickpea dressing to the centre of the skillet.
  • Crack 2 eggs on either side of the green chickpea dressing.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the eggs are set, but not hard.
  • Remove from the oven and dish out onto serving plates. Add your salmon fillets once cooked, and top with the ricotta, sliced avocado and pea shoots.
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and check out our photos to see how the dish is presented.

Do you know any can’t-miss salmon recipes? Go ahead and share the joy with your buddies in the comments below!

This article was originally published on April 21, 2016.

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