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Cooking For The Family? Try These Quick And Easy Recipes

Nothing says “comfort” like a home-cooked meal. Cooking for the family? Try these quick and easy recipes from Panoramic Properties.

Best Brown Bag Lunch Recipes

When packing a lunch, why not try some healthy and interesting alternative options?

Zesty Pasta Salad

This recipe is as simple as it gets. Cook up a batch of pasta, mix with a combination of lemon zest, olive oil, chopped herbs, spring onions and plenty of seasoning. Store in a large container in the fridge and you’re set for lunches for the week. Just spoon out a portion each morning. Add a different protein to the recipe to keep it interesting. Vary the pasta salad day-by-day with the addition of chickpeas, ham, salami or salmon! It’s quick, easy and totally delicious. 

Roasted Vegetables and Couscous Salad

Preheat your oven to 475 F (245 C). In a large bowl, combine chopped onions, peppers, zucchini, butternut squash and eggplant (feel free to add your other favourite vegetables), season well and drizzle in olive oil. Spread evenly on a large pan and roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add couscous and remove from heat. Fluff it up with a fork as the water soaks in. Allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes. Add some lemon juice and your roasted vegetables. It’s as easy as can be.

Tortilla Cheese Wrap 

This is a delicious low-carb alternative to a sandwich. Lay out a tortilla and add your choice of ingredients. Our favourite combination includes cheese, some chorizo sausage, and jalapenos. Place a second tortilla on top and grill for three minutes on either side or until crispy. Slice into triangles and away you go! Brown bagging will never be the same again! Try it out this week and grab your ingredients from the Walmart Supercentre just up the road.

Hearty and easy crockpot recipes for winter

In the winter months, you may have less energy to make the hearty and comforting weekday meals you crave. Do it all this winter with a crockpot. Spend a few minutes preparing the ingredients for your meal, place them all in the slow-cooking crockpot, and when you get home in the evening, dinner is ready! The blog team at Panoramic Properties has put together a list of some of our favourite hearty and easy crockpot recipes for winter. Enjoy!

Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes

This Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes recipe is so nice to come home to. Simply season some chicken with oregano, rosemary, basil and salt and pepper. Sear it in a pan, skin side down with some melted butter, until it’s golden brown. Place the potatoes in the crockpot with some olive oil, garlic and thyme, then add the seared chicken in your slow cooker and cook for about 8 hours on low heat, or 3 to 4 hours on high. Remember to sprinkle liberally with parmesan before serving.

Red Eye Brisket Stew

This is a great, hearty meal to pick you up and warm your bones after a long winter day. It’s flavoured with a little dijon mustard, pickled red onions and coffee for a bit of kick — that’s why it’s called Red Eye Brisket Stew. You’ll need about 25 minutes of prep time before it all goes into the crockpot for about 8 hours.

Hearty Black Bean Soup

Sometimes all you want is a big bowl of hot and hearty soup to warm your bones. This thick and hearty Black Bean Soup is super satisfying, while still being light on calories. It’s flavoured with onion, garlic and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. The result is a tangy, spicy soup that is like eating a big bowl of comfort. Serve it with some warm bread or garlic toast. This soup also happens to be gluten-free and vegan (if you don’t top it with sour cream).

Lasagna

Who wouldn’t want to come home to a fresh and filling lasagna? The trouble is, lasagna is usually a time-consuming dish that may be more than you’re willing to invest in for a weeknight dinner. This Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe solves that problem. No pre-cooking of noodles or pre-heating of the oven is required. Simply layer noodles, sauce, cheese and repeat. The crockpot will do the rest!  Make this on a Monday night — we call it the Garfield Special!

Healthy Popsicle Recipes

Children love the summer season because they get a break from school and plenty of opportunities for cold desserts. Popsicles are a great summer treat that will bring out the kid in everyone. These snacks are tasty, though some store-bought brands can be filled with artificial flavours and colours.  

Popsicle Molds

To make your own healthy popsicles at home, the first thing you need is a popsicle mold. These are usually made from plastic (look for BPA free) or silicone and can be purchased online or in stores. The local Canadian Tire (3770 Montrose Rd) near our Katrina Court apartments (6635 Thorold Stone Road) sells popsicle molds.

A quick and healthy way to make popsicles is to pour 100% apple or orange juice, or any of your favourite flavours, into the molds and freeze them. Within two to three hours you can enjoy a great popsicle.

Summer Strawberry Popsicles:

For this recipe from inhabitat.com, you’ll need a blender. The process is simple —  gather all the ingredients, blend, pour into the molds and freeze. Wait two to three hours before enjoying them.

  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cups of sugar or agave nectar
  • 2-4 (depends on preference) tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of water

Blueberry Lemon Popsicles:

This next recipe comes from dashrecipes.com. To make it, gather all the ingredients and blend until all the blueberries are fully broken up. Pour the mixture into the molds and freeze for about four to five hours. 

  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups water

If you’d like to keep it simple and make popsicles without a blender or molds, you can do that too! With any ice cube tray, some toothpicks, aluminum foil and a drink you like. For example, lemon or limeade works well. Pour the drink into the ice cube tray, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil, and poke a toothpick into the centre of each cube. Freeze well for at least three hours, then remove the foil and enjoy!

4 easy family meals for busy school nights

Making time to eat together as a family has many benefits. Research has shown that it helps to boost kids’ grades, fosters healthy eating habits, and actually relieves stress for parents. To eliminate a little of your parental stress, the Panoramic Properties blog team has put together some easy, weekday family dinner recipes so you don’t have to worry when they ask “What’s for dinner?”

Pizza Pot Pies

This healthy twist on not one, but two, dinner favourites will please even the pickiest of eaters at your family dinner table. These Pizza Pot Pies are filled with roast chicken and broccoli and are a delicious and sneaky way to get your kids to eat their veggies. They take only 30 minutes to prep and about 40 minutes to cook.

Wagon Wheel Beef Soup

As the cooler winds of autumn begin to blow in, you may seek some comfort from warm, hearty meals. This Wagon Wheel Beef Soup is perfect for colder nights. Your kids will love the wagon wheel pasta, and the ground beef and kidney beans will stick to your ribs.

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Olives

The classics are classics for a reason. Roast chicken and potatoes is a filling, healthy and simple meal to make. Olives add another layer of flavour. The best part is that this straightforward weekday family dinner can be made in one pan. All it takes is about 15 minutes of prep time and 35-45 minutes to cook.

Simple Coconut Quinoa and Lentil Curry with Lime Mango

If you have a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters at your table, this tropical lentil and quinoa dish featuring coconut, mango, lime and warm curry spices will please everyone. This meatless marvel is rich in complete protein, thanks to the quinoa and lentils. It’s so satisfying, you’ll never miss the meat!

Wholesome soup recipes we love

Canadians are hearty people. When it comes to winter weather, we can handle it. But a little help from some hot and hearty soups certainly won’t hurt! Winter is soup season. On a cold night, when the wind feels like it can blow right through you, you deserve a hot bowl of soup to warm up through and through. 

Jamie Oliver’s Minestrone

Here’s a hearty and healthy Minestrone Soup straight from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. It’s super easy to make and is ready to serve in a little over an hour. If you don’t have all the same vegetables it calls for, don’t worry, this soup is a great way to clear out the crisper. Use the veggies you like the best, or have to use up the fastest. The recipe also calls for “2 rashers of higher-welfare” bacon. For those of us not from Britain, that simply means 2 strips of bacon from naturally raised pigs. Feel free to omit this ingredient for a vegetarian version or use vegan bacon instead.

Martha Stewart’s Chicken Noodle

It’s hard to imagine anything more comforting than coming home to a hot bowl of homemade Chicken Noodle Soup on a cold winter evening. This recipe calls for (and includes a recipe for) Homemade Chicken Stock, you can substitute this ingredient with store-bought stock. Martha recommends adding a dash of dill and parsley just before serving this satisfying soup, and we have to say, we agree!

Rachael Ray’s Creamy Potato Soup

Here’s a smooth and satisfying Creamy Potato Soup from Rachael Ray. It’s simply delicious and simple to make with only 5 simple ingredients: potatoes, leeks, milk, chicken broth and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Best of all, this winter warmer is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Ree’s Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Ree Drummond hosts a cooking show called The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network that featured this super satisfying Beef Stew with Root Vegetables. It’s delicious and really easy to make with only about 15 minutes of prep time, and there’s even a video to help you along! With all those big chunks of beef, plus carrots, turnip and parsnips in a thick, rich broth – this is truly a soup that feels like a meal. Serve it with some garlic toast or buttered rolls, and you’re all set for supper.

We hope this handy guide for cooking for the family comes in handy when you need a hearty meal. 

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