Feta, chickpea and zucchini salad, salmon with balsamic maple glaze and a coffee shop adventure

Feta, zucchini, bean saladJonathan and I have been married almost three weeks now – and have been loving every moment of married life!  I have made many tasty dinners and we have gone on a few foodie adventures in Detroit.  It has been very humid in Windsor and so a fresh summer salad recipe was in order.  We had purchased a Costco sized container of feta cheese, so I have been very creative lately with feta.  Summer salads with beans, zucchini and a light olive oil and balsamic dressing are refreshing and delicious.  This salad is also very versatile you could also add in cherry tomatoes, red peppers, cucumber or other favourite veggies.  The salmon I made had a balsamic and maple glaze, which was the perfect week night meal.  The glaze thickened perfectly and was very balanced in its light sweetness and balsamic flavour.

From our adventures in the USA, Jonathan discovered a unique coffee shop that we just had to try.  The Roasting Plant is a coffee shop in Detroit that features a system of tubes that roast, grind and store your coffee until it is ready to be Roasting Plantbrewed fresh on site.  While you sit at your table you can see green coffee beans being roasted in the Javabot.  There is also a great deal of selection from region to roast for the coffee beans.  Jonathan tried three different small sized coffees (called a flight of coffee, so you can sample a few different roasts) and I had an iced coffee.  We also shared a small croissant – yum!  The coffee was delicious and we would both recommend a visit if you are a coffee snob/ coffee lover.  The concept of the tubes, roasting and fresh brewed coffee is great and the coffee is delicious.

Feta, chickpea and zucchini and salad

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

½ cup green olives, sliced

1 medium zucchini, chopped into small pieces

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix dressing in a measuring cup and stir well.  Then drizzle over top of salad and toss together.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Salmon with Balsamic Maple Glaze

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ maple syrup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon corn starch

1 tablespoon brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Prepare baking sheet with lightly drizzled olive oil.  Place salmon fillets on the sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. (adjust bake time according to your oven, mine took 20 minutes.)

Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients together in a saucepan.  Let simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.

Pour glaze over salmon and cook in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy.

Feta, zucchini, bean salad with balsamic maple glazeRoasting PlantIced coffee at Roasting PlantRoasting Plant

Turkey Burgers with Olive and Feta

For the Canada Day weekend we went to the family cottage up north.  The weather was perfect with bright blue skies and temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius.  I went swimming in the cool and refreshing lake everyday.  There really is no feeling like gliding through the cool water on a humid day –  just you, the water and the sky above.  My Dad likes to swim across the lake, which is about one mile (1.6km) in length.  My Mom accompanies him in a kayak, towing an extra one behind her (for Dad on the way back).

For dinner yesterday, my Mom made her famous turkey burgers with kalamata olives and feta cheese.  With a ciabatta bun, fresh tomato and tzatziki sauce, it is a flavour combination that can’t be beat.  Barbequing at the cottage is great because it doesn’t heat up the inside on a humid day.  Dad loves barbequing and decided to show off his skills for a picture.

Our little dog Beau absolutely adores the cottage, roaming the property like he is the king of the castle.  He loves stopping to smell the flowers and blending in with the limestone rocks.  All the cottage activity keeps Beau happily running around all day.  In particular he loves playing with my cousin Steven’s dog, Sasha, a large Siberian Husky.  Despite their difference in size they play well together – most of the time.

For those who love gardening in difficult terrain, the begonias my Grandma plants every year are the heartiest plants I have ever seen!  In addition to their survival skills, they come in many vibrant cheery colours.  I am going to be up at the cottage for a week with my Grandma, so I am sure I will be helping with some more gardening and watering.

Mom’s Turkey Burgers with Kalamata Olives and Feta

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup kalamata olives

2 tablespoons diced onion

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together.  Form hamburger patties and put on the barbeque until cooked thoroughly.  For the toppings, slice  fresh tomatoes, fresh lettuce and add tzatziki sauce.  When it comes to buns, ciabatta buns work wonderfully. When I was in France with my two best friends we had lovely hamburgers served on a French baguette, so those work quite nicely as well.