Posts

IMG_8774 (2)

Making Lunch FUN Again – and Healthy!

We love Autumn! The beautiful colours, the changing of season and of course – kids are back at it with school, after school programs and well, things won’t be slowing down anytime soon. This time of year is busy and parents are trying to figure out what to cook up for their families. As every parent knows packing your child’s lunch can be a real chore and coming up with exciting and creative snacks every day can start to feel next to impossible. Before you know it you’ll be hearing “Leftovers again, that’s boring!” However, preparing lunches that are healthy, fun and filling doesn’t have to be difficult!

NB Image

Image from goodness: recipes & stories pg. 240

We’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for packing yummy school lunches that you AND your kids will love.
Creating extravagant lunches has become a trendy (and time consuming) task but more often than not, your child wants something simple. That’s why we are fans of the classics – with a twist of course.

FullSizeRender (5)

Here are some Neal Brothers approved tips for your child’s lunch:

Spicy Thai Tuna Sandwich – Tuna mixed with Neal Brothers Sriracha Mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, sesame oil or sesame seeds topped with red cabbage for some crunch. Spread onto plain bread.

Gourmet Truffle Sandwich – Neal Brothers Truffle Mayonnaise spread onto a ciabatta bun, topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach or basil, parmesan and a balsamic drizzle.

Lime Mayo Chicken Wrap – Rotisserie chicken and coleslaw, topped with sunflower seeds and corn.
o Coleslaw: cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, Neal Brothers Lime Mayonnaise

Turkey Club – Bacon, avocado, turkey, tomato and lettuce on rye with Neal Brothers Classic Mayonnaise.

Truffle Egg Salad – Copped hard boiled egg mixed with Neal Brothers Truffle Mayonnaise, chopped celery and chopped onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, on plain bread.

IMG_8774 (2)

With these tasty recipes your kids will be the envy of the other students – and the teachers!
And for a once in a while treat, add a side of Neal Brothers Kettle Chips to add some crunch to their lunch.

From our family to yours.

Enjoy!

photo (17)

Cinco de “Mayo” Creamy Lime Slaw

Looking for a fun and delicious way to celebrate Cinco de “Mayo” (pun intended) this year? Try this creamy lime slaw made with our Neal Brothers all natural lime mayo. It’s simply delicious – bursting with colour and lime flavour!

photo (17)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup shredded red cabbage

– 1/2 cup shredded carrots

– 2 green onions

– 1/2 lime juiced

– 1 tbsp. cilantro

– 1 jalapeno (remove seeds)

– 2 tbsp Neal Brothers lime mayo

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– salt and pepper to taste

photo (22)

 

Directions:

1) Shred red cabbage and carrots and place in a mixing bowl.

2) Add chopped green onions, minced cilantro, and finely chopped jalapeno.

photo (21)

3) Dress with lime mayo, olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

4) Combine all ingredients and toss.

photo (18)

5) Top with cilantro garnish and serve.

photo (24)

6) Enjoy!

 

quinoa chili with chip in it

Vegetarian chili with quinoa

Happy September! I don’t know about you but as the weather begins to cool down, scarves come out and all I want are warm comfort foods. I can’t think of anything more comforting than a big bowl of hot chili. Chili is so versatile; it can be made spicy, mild, sweet, with or without meat. This particular recipe is a very healthy, vegetarian version packed full of protein and veggies!

I always keep a jar of my favourite Neal Brothers Organic Medium salsa on hand to throw into recipes because it adds delicious flavour, with just the right amount of spice.

To give this chili it’s flavour base, I combined a jar of salsa with Pacific’s sweet, organic baked beans and low sodium vegetable broth.

pacific and neal brothers salsa (vegetarian chili)

Ingredients:

1 jar of Neal Brothers Organic Medium Salsa (or any of your favourite from Neal Brothers!)

2 cups of Pacific vegetable broth

1 packaged of Pacific Organic Baked beans

2 carrots, peel and chopped into bite sized pieces

2 bell peppers chopped

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of dry quinoa, rinsed

1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp. of chili powder

1 tsp. of cumin

chopped fresh cilantro

quinoa chili with chip in it

Directions:

In a large sauce pot, sauté all the veggies over medium heat with grape seed oil until slightly softened. Add in chili powder, cumin and sea salt. Add in salsa and broth and turn up heat to boil.  Once the liquid is boiling, add in the quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer about 15- 20 minutes. The final step is to add the kidney and baked beans. Stir everything to combine and heat through (about another 5-10 minutes). Before serving, stir in chopped fresh cilantro.

We served ours with a dollop of sour cream, chopped green onion and Neal Brothers Organic blue corn chips with flax for dipping. yum!

quinoa chili with chip bowl

finished truffle egg salad

Gourmet truffle egg salad on rye

This isn’t your Grandmothers bland egg salad sandwich. This is a fancier, gourmet lunch meant to be served on dark rye or open face on crispy flat bread. The secret to taking this egg salad from blah to WOW is Neal Brothers new Truffle Mayo! This creamy spread is 100% natural and made with Free-run eggs.

truffled mayo

The woodiness from the black truffle have the ability to enhance all other flavours it’s paired with, making every bite that much more satisfying.

truffle egg salad sandwich

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. of lemon juice

3 heaping tbsp. of Neal Brothers Truffle Mayonnaise

6 slices of dark rye bread or crisp breads

1 tsp. each of Sea salt and pepper

open face egg salad 2 -neal brothers truffle mayo

Begin by boiling the eggs for 10 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.

Peel the shells and mash the eggs well with a fork. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve spooned over toasted rye garnished with fresh dill.

Enjoy!

tabouleh

Ed’s Tabbouleh

Every Thursday our dear friend Ed comes to the Neal Brothers office to cook up something delicious for lunch. How lucky are we!? This recipe was a definite favourite in our office. It’s jam packed with nutrition, crunch and is the perfect light and colourful summertime meal.

tabouleh

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts

7 dried prunes

1 jalapeno (fresh)

2 tbsp. fresh ginger

1/2 cucumber

1 yellow pepper

1/2 red onion

1 pint grape tomatoes (in halves)

500 mL chickpeas

1 cup red quinoa (cooked)

113 g dried organic cranberries

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

8 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup parsley

1 tbsp. fresh mint

1 tsp fresh tarragon

scallion flowers

pinch of cape herb smoked salt and pepper

photo (6)

Directions:

– Chop all veggies and dried fruit into bite sized pieces and add into a bowl.

– Boil 1 cup red quinoa until soft and fluffy. Drain water and fluff with a fork.

– Add cooked quinoa to bowl of chopped veggies and dried fruit. Chop herbs and add to mixture.

– Add grated ginger, pine nuts, chickpeas, salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.

– Incorporate all ingredients with a spoon.

– Add scallion flowers to the top for garnish.

– Enjoy!

 

 

 

completed quinoa salad

Quinoa salad with pistachio and mint

A good vinaigrette can make or break a salad. This pistachio oil from La Tourangelle is cold pressed with a rich, nutty taste that compliments the bright mint laced throughout. We paired the oil with simply fresh lemon juice to preserve it’s aromatic flavour.

pistachio oil

For the Salad you will need:

1 cup of dry quinoa

3 1/2 tbsp. of pistachio oil

a hand full each of chives and fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup of fresh or frozen green peas

1/3 cup of crumbled feta

1/3 cup of unsalted shelled pistachios

1/2 a lemon

Sea salt and pepper

ingredients for quinoa salad with pistachio and mint

 Begin by cooking your quinoa. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Once boiling, add in rinsed quinoa, stir, cover and reduce heat to med-low. Let cook 12- 15 minutes and set aside to cool completely.

cooked quinoa

Wash and chop chives, mint and roughly chop the pistachio’s. You will need about 2 tbsp. each of chopped mint and chives.

chopped ingredients for quinoa salad

Combine chopped chives, mint, crumbled feta, green peas and pistachios over cooled quinoa and mix. Drizzle with pistachio oil and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Finish with a pinch each of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

ingredients in bowl for quinoa salad with pistachio and mint

completed quinoa salad

If you have time, let sit in the fridge a little to let the flavours soak in. Serve with a lemon wedge and enjoy!

finished ramen noodle salad

Cold ramen noodle salad with a tahini dressing

As the weather finally warms up it’s time for some cooler foods! This cold noodle salad makes a light meal with the perfect combination of crunchy vegetables and soft noodles all swirled in a creamy dressing. Try it for a vegetarian lunch or bring to your next BBQ for a crowd pleasing side dish.

Ingredients for the salad: (Serves 2)

1 pack of Lotus Foods Jade Pearl Ramen Noodles

2 cups of shredded napa cabbage

1/2 a yellow bell pepper thinly sliced

1 cup of thinly sliced cucumber

1 tbsp. of sesame seeds

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup of cubed firm organic sprouted tofu (optional)

ramen noodles

These ramen noodles from Lotus Foods are the new and certainty improved instant noodles! They take just 4 minutes to cook, they are gluten free and packed with nutrients! Not to mention they have a chewy texture that can stand up to any sauce.

For the tahini dressing:

1/3 cup of Artisana’s raw tahini

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1/4 cup of lime juice (we used Succo)

1 tbsp. of sesame oil

2 tbsp. of honey

2 tsp. of sriracha or your favourite hot sauce

1 inch of minced fresh ginger

tahini in jar

If you are not familiar with tahini it’s simply sesame seeds ground into a butter to create a nutty flavour and creamy consistency. It’s great added to sauces in place of cream or spread over toast with a dollop of honey. Sesame seeds are a good source of heart healthy vitamin E, source of protein and iron.

To make this salad, begin by prepping all your veggies and tofu. Set aside.

chopped veg and tofu

Boil 2 cups of water in a pot and add 1 pack of ramen noodles. Let boil 4 minutes and gently separate noodles with a fork. Drain the noodles and drizzle with a bit of sesame oil, set aside to cool.

cooked ramen

While the noodles cool, prepare the dressing. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk.

tahini

finished tahini sauce

Place all salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl and cover with desired amount of dressing (about half) place any remaining dressing into the fridge. Toss to combine.

tossing salad

Let salad set in the fridge at least an hour-overnight to let all the flavours marinate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

finished ramen noodle salad

 

 

 

 

TomatilloSalsa smalll

Cinco De Mayo Recipes – Featured on CTV Ottawa

Perfect recipes to celebrate Cinco De Mayo or for any occasion where food is what’s bringing your family and friends together!

NB Pollo Con Arroz Verde

Serves: 6

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

3 lbs. skinless chicken (legs & thighs)

1 onion, finely chopped

I carrot, minced

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 cup (250 mL) short grain rice

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken broth

1 jar (450 mL) Neal Brothers Tomatillo Salsa

 Garnishes:

Avocados, diced

Green onions, minced

Cilantro,chopped

Lime wedges

Neal Brothers Extremely Tasty Tortilla Chips & Corn Salsa.

Heat 1 tbsp. (15 mL) oil in large Dutch Oven pot over medium high; brown chicken in batches; set aside.

Add additional 1 tbsp. (15 mL) oil; sauté onions, carrot and celery for 5 minutes or until onion is soft; stir in rice. Return chicken and drippings to Dutch oven and add broth; bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until broth is absorbed.   Gently stir in  Neal Brothers Tomatillo Salsa.  Simmer 5 minutes. Serve with diced avocados, green onions and Neal Brothers Extremely Tasty Tortilla Chips and salsa.

TomatilloSalsa smalll

 

Lightened-Up Guacamole

Serves: Makes 3 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pit removed

1 jar (450 mL) Neal Brothers Tomatillo Salsa

1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped

1 bag Neal Brothers Extremely Tasty Tortilla Chips

Place avocados and tomatillo salsa into the blender container. Cover and PULSE on MEDIUM or LOW until chopped finely or to desired consistency- add cilantro, pulse twice then transfer to serving bowl. Serve with Neal Brothers Extremely Tasty Tortilla Chips.

BlueFlax

 

NB Hacienda Dip:

Makes: 4 cups (1L)

Prep time: 5 minutes

1 19 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red pepper,finely chopped

1 (450 mL) jar Neal Brothers Habanero Salsa

1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped

In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with Neal Brothers Extremely Tasty Tortilla Chips.

Tip: Lightly mash Habanero Bean Dip as base for NB Mexican Layer Dip

SalsaNaturalHabanero (1)

 

 

finsihed fish taco

Fish tacos with a spicy mango cream

Nothing says warmer weather like fish tacos! They are so versatile and a fun meal to enjoy with friends. For our taco recipe we whipped up a deliciously sweet and spicy mango cream to drizzle on top. The combination of fresh, bright flavours will have you reaching for another!

You can really use any ingredients you like in your tacos but here is what we choose:

(Serves 2)

4 fresh corn tortillas

4 small filets of white fish such as Basa or Tilapia

1 cup of shredded romaine lettuce

1/2 a red onion

2 limes

1 avocado

1 handful of fresh cilantro

1 ripe mango

1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

2 tbsp. of honey

3 tbsp. of light mayo

1 heaping tbsp. of Bandar’s Mango Chili Sauce

1/2 tsp. of sea salt

Begin by peeling the mango, chop half into cubes and slice the other half into thin strips.

bandar and mango

Place 1/2 the cubed mango into a food processor a long with the yogurt, mayo, Bandar chili sauce, the juice of 1 lime, sea salt and drizzle in the honey.

ingredients in food processor (mango cream)

Process on high until everything is blended and creamy. Put sauce into a jar or air tight container and place in the fridge until ready to use.

blended mango cream

Cook fish in a medium skillet with a bit of oil, sea salt and pepper until cooked through (white and flaky). Set fish aside. Prep your toppings by shredding the lettuce, red onion, slicing avocado, and limes.

fish taco ingredients

Pre-heat a separate dry pan over medium heat. Place fresh corn tortillas in a hot pan for 20 seconds on each side. Remove and keep covered in a tea towel.

Assemble your tacos with all the ingredients, drizzle on mango cream sauce and finish with a squeeze of lime.

finsihed fish taco

Happy cooking!

Emily :)

 

 

 

smoked ham and split pea soup

Smoked ham and split pea soup with a kick!

Not sure what to do with that left-over Easter ham? This comforting one pot dish is the perfect solution! It’s packed full of rich smokey ham, earthy peas and finished off with Caplanksy’s horseradish mustard for an incredible kick of flavour!

caplanskys mustard

Ingredients:

1 white onion

2 celery stalks, plus the leaves

2 carrots

1 cup of dried split peas

Left over naturally smoked ham and bone (or 1 ham hock)

4 cups of vegetable broth

1 tsp. of dried thyme

A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

1 large white potato, peeled

2 heaping tablespoons of Caplanksy’s Hot and Horseradishy Deli Mustard

Sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Cover split peas with water and set aside.

split peas soaking

Meanwhile, chop celery, carrot, onion into bite sized pieces and roughly chop the parsley.

chopped veg for split pea soup

Place ham bone or ham hock into a large soup pot and cover with 4 cups of water plus 4 cups of broth (you could use 8 cups of either one if you prefer).

ham in pot

Then add in the vegetables (except potato), parsley, and dried thyme.

veg in pot

Gently stir to combine, pop a lid on and bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer about 15 minutes.

simmering soup

At this point, drain your split peas and add them into the pot along with the potato and any left over ham pieces chopped.

chopped potato and ham

Cover the pot again and simmer on med-low another 45 min- an hour until everything is soft and tender.

Once it’s done, remove from the heat and roughly mash everything with a potato masher. Stir in 2 heaping spoonfuls of Caplanksy’s mustard until it melts and turns the soup a buttery yellow. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste.

mustard

Ladle into bowls for serving.

soup in ladle

Happy Cooking!

Emily :)