McEwan Gets Sweet, Spicy and Sticky with BBQ Sauce

Here at McEwan, we’ve known for a long time that the way to anyone’s heart is undoubtedly through their stomach. People do love to eat and there’s something particularly appealing about busting out the grill. And for every special someone in our lives there is a great BBQ sauce to add to the grilling flavour and fun, appealing to their spicy, smoky, sweet, or sour tastes. So this summer, do the special person in your life a favour and head to McEwan for the perfect saucy slather to dress up your next grilling feast.

McEwan’s team has spent countless hours testing out some of the world’s most unique and delicious BBQ sauces. From sweet Memphis style, to Mexican chipotle, to Jamaican Rum-spiked and more ~ there is something to satisfy everyone. They’ve even got a line of McEwan’s Own blends including a Wild Blueberry, Spicy Apple, and Cola infused sauce.

Obviously, the most popular use for BBQ sauce is on barbequed meat, with different flavours working best with different fare. Go for a Carolina vinegar-based sauce like the one from Guy Fieri when pulling fatty BBQ pork. The ketchup-based Kansas City sauces like the line by Zarda Barbeque is delicious slathered on ribs. Richer sauces like McEwan’s Own Cola BBQ is irresistible on beef brisket, while lighter Honey based sauces like Rufus Teagues is great on chicken drummettes and wings. But why should meat have all the fun and flavour?

In this recipe I use one of my favourite sauces, Bear Claw, which has the savoury addition of Chipotle to add a smoky note to this healthy shrimp dish. Serve this low fat, high protein dish alongside a cup of McEwan’s cold gazpacho and you’ve got a satiating well-balanced meal.

CHIPOTLE PEACH BBQ SHRIMP SUCCOTASH

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2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cobs of corn, husked and silks removed (about 1 ½ cups of corn kernels)
2 bell peppers, cut into quarters
2 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
3 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
1½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup frozen (thawed) or fresh (blanched) lima beans
Salt and pepper
¼ cup Bear Claw BBQ sauce
Juice of 2 small (or 1 juicy large) limes
1 lb large shrimp, deveined and peeled
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp Bear Claw BBQ sauce
1 oz queso cojita, or feta cheese (crumbled)
Cilantro, to garnish (if desired)

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Brush the corn, bell peppers, zucchini and peaches with olive oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly charred on all sides, about 9 minutes for the corn, 6 minutes for the zucchini and bell pepper, and 2 minutes for the peach. Remove from the grill. Once cool enough to handle, peel away the charred skin from the pepper. Dice all of the vegetables and remove the corn from the cob. Set aside.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper, anchor them onto a skewer and brush with the Bear Claw BBQ sauce. Grill on both sides until cooked through and opaque, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.

mcewan_mcewanfoods_mcewandonmills_bbq_shrimp_shopsatdonmillsHeat the 1 ½ tbsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in the black beans and lima beans and toss until warmed through. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add in the cooked vegetables, the lime juice, and the additional ¼ cup of Bear Claw BBQ sauce. Toss to coat.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the queso cojita and cilantro (if using) and top with the grilled shrimp skewers.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Tap into the Mouthwatering World of Maple at McEwan

Harvested right here in our backyard, Maple Syrup is an international delicacy that Canadians can call their own. It’s aromatic, sweet and completely natural, making it a popular choice for flavour-junkies and health-enthusiasts, alike. With an eye for quality and great taste, McEwans offers a wide variety of maple syrups for all of your baking, cooking, dipping, drowning and drinking (we don’t judge) needs.

Pure maple syrup tends to fall into two major categories ~ Grade A and Grade B. While Grade B is great for adding complexity to cocktails, Grade A (specifically Medium Grade A) is ideal for everyday use. From Shady Maple Farms’ Organic to McEwan’s OwnKemble Ontario, to Noble’s handcrafted artisanal Vanilla Bean Matured Maple, to fruit-infused options like Haskapa Maple Syrup, Can Natur’s Blueberry or Voisin Maple’s Apple Cinnamon ~ the choices at McEwans are literally endless.

“While I believe all sweeteners should be used in moderation, I like maple syrup because it’s sustainably produced, offers a more aromatic flavour compared to white sugar and offers a bonus dose of manganese, riboflavin, and zinc.”

MAPLE ALMOND CRUSTED SALMON WITH KALE, ORANGE AND MAPLE SALAD

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This nutrient-rich recipe is high in Omega 3s, fibre, protein and vitamin C and makes for a satisfying dinner or lunch that serves up to 4 people.

Dressing:

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp Smokey Kettle Grade A Medium Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad:

8 cups kale leaves, finely chopped and washed
2 oranges, segmented
1 oz sliced almonds, toasted

Almond Crust:

¼ cup almonds
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Pinch each of salt and pepper

Glaze and Salmon:

2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. Smokey Kettle Grade A Medium Maple Syrup
2 tsp orange zest
Salt and pepper
4x 3-4 oz filets of salmon
4 tsp olive oil

mcewan_mcewanfoods_maplesalmon_AbbeySharp_recipe_shopsatdonmillsMix together freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper together, and set aside.

Dress the kale leaves in a few tablespoons of the dressing and begin to massage. Rub the leaves between your hands for a good 5 minutes to soften, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Once salad has finished marinating, Preheat the oven to 425 F.

For the salmon glaze, mix together dijon mustard, maple syrup, orange zest and a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine almonds, panko and a pinch of salt and pepper into a small food processor and process until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Lightly season the salmon filets with salt and pepper and brush with the glaze.

Sprinkle generously with the almond crust and drizzle each with a teaspoon of olive oil.

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once cooked, carefully lift the fish from the skin and discard the skin.

Assembly:

Toss the salad with a few more tablespoons of dressing to taste, and arrange on plates with the segmented oranges and toasted almonds.

Top with the cooked salmon filets. Enjoy!

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Soups ~ Make it a Meal or Outside the Bowl

It’s been a bitter cold Winter and soups have been gracing our dinner tables. At McEwan, you will find lots of slurpable options that you can warm up with. As we come out of the indulgent holiday season, and a chilly new year, a bowl of soup is a great healthy option to warm your body and fill your belly while keeping you on tract with your healthy goals.

They are also great time-saving starters for building heartier, more fulfilling meals Five Go-To Soups from McEwans and my top tips for transforming them into something new.

MCEWAN’S OWN TOMATO FENNEL

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Nutritional Benefit: Dairy-free and low in fat, this hearty broth-based tomato soup is packed with antioxidant-rich veggies.

Make it a Meal: Add some frozen tortellini, spinach, diced zucchini and top with Parmesan cheese.

Outside the Bowl: Mix ½ cup to your family’s meatloaf recipe for added flavour and moisture.

MCEWAN’S OWN VEGAN CHILI

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Nutritional Benefit: Made with almost a dozen veggies, beans and a little soy meat for protein, this vegan chili is low in fat and packed with satiating fibre.

Make it a Meal: Mix with cooked whole grain macaroni and a little cheese for an old-school Chili Mac.

Outside the Bowl: Layer the chili with sharp cheese and corn tortillas, and then bake into a Mexican Lasagna.

PACIFIC THAI SWEET POTATO SOUP

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Nutritional Benefits: With all those bright orange potatoes, a single cup of Pacific Thai’s Sweet Potato Soup offers 150% of your Vitamin A needs.

Make it a Meal: Add a handful of cooked rice noodles, some bean sprouts and poached shrimp for a Thai Noodle Soup.

Outside the Bowl: Sear bite-size pieces of chicken until golden brown, then add in a container of soup and a spoonful of almond butter. Simmer in the soup until it reduces to a thick curry sauce and serve over brown rice.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S HEARTY LENTIL VEGETABLE

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Nutritional Benefits: Lentils are a low fat healthy vegetarian source of protein and fibre, and this Wolfgang Puck’s soup packs a double punch with the added veggies!

Make it a Meal: Add a cup of diced low sodium smoked ham, and 3 cups of baby spinach as you reheat the soup on the stove.

Outside the Bowl: Simmer the soup over medium high heat until the broth evaporates and you’ve got a thick bowl of cooked lentils. Serve with seared turkey sausages and Swiss chard sautéed with garlic.

AMY’S ORGANIC CREAM OF MUSHROOM

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Nutritional Benefits: Sure there’s a little cream here, but while most canned cream of mushroom soups you barely see any real mushrooms or cream. Amy’s version is completely organic, and preservative and additive-free.

Make it a Meal: Create a hearty chowder by adding some parboiled potatoes and fresh shellfish.

Outside the Bowl: Use it as the creamy sauce in your beef stroganoff to accompany the lean beef, sautéed mushrooms and whole grain noodles.

On those chilly nights cozy up with bowl of something warm and fulfilling or switch things up with one of my easy soup-transforming tips! Whatever you’re craving, McEwan has all the top picks.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Romance Your Valentine with an Italian Feast at Fabbrica for Two

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and while jewelry and roses are optional, a romantic delicious meal that she doesn’t have to prepare is pretty much a non-negotiable. And no, delivery pizza doesn’t count.

When I think of an intimate Valentines Day meal, I immediately think of Italian fare, like the rustic authentic menu at McEwan’s Fabbrica at the Shops at Don Mills.

Shareable pizzas, sensual pastas, decadent desserts, an extensive wine list, and a warm luxurious dining atmosphere all help makes Fabbrica the ideal spot for a romantic dinner for two. Resolving to eat lighter and healthier in 2015? No problem! They make a huge effort to help you dine well despite having dietary restrictions, so even gluten-free couples won’t miss out on the romance of an Italian spread. Check out some of these signature plates from Fabbrica’s top chefs that are guaranteed to win you some serious brownie points with your love!

 

This Valentine’s Day, skip the crusty box of chocolates, token Teady bear and the tasteless lingerie, spoil your sweetheart (and yourself) with a reservation at Fabbrica and let their talented chefs take care of the rest. Located at 49 Karl Fraser Drive in the Shops at Don Mills right across from the McEwan’s Shops. Don’t delay in planning your Valentines Day meal, book your special dinner online right here or give them a call at 416-391-0307 today.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Abbey’s Top 10′s for Your Healthy Holiday Charcuterie Spread

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Holiday meals at my house are hectic enough so I always kick things off with a care-free charcuterie board. It’s really the perfect dish for entertaining because I don’t have to cook it, it looks impressive, there’s something for everyone (even the picky Pollys) and it keeps mouths and bellies happy while I fuss over the main meal. But let’s be honest- most typical party platters aren’t much better for you than the mini sausage rolls and fried shrimp- they’re often loaded with saturated fat and refined carbs from all the rich cheeses, fatty meats, and buttery crackers. So this holiday season, why not let McEwan help you build a better board with an assortment of lighter, more elegant bites.

The key is to choose an assortment of big bold flavours so that a little bit goes a long way- no processed diet food, no deprivation, and no Debbie Downers. Need proof? Check out the top ten delicious and balanced items you’ll be seeing on my cocktail spread this season.

Niagara Berkshire Prosciutto- Skip the well marbled salumi and go for prosciutto which is one of the leanest yet tastiest charcuterie options at the deli.

Fresh figs – Jammy and sweet, ripe figs are irresistible with salty prosciutto or cheese.

McEwan Spanish Marcona Almonds- Packed with protein, fibre and good-for-you fats, a small handful of these will keep the hunger monster at bay.

Mary’s Organic Crackers- Forgo the carb overload of the bread basket and opt for these whole grain gluten free crackers instead that deliver tons of flavour and great crunch in their petite size.

Pastrami Smoked Atlantic Salmon- Loaded with protein and healthy omega-3 fats, pescaterians and meat lovers alike will swoon over this pastrami-inspired smoked fish.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co’s Bagel Chevre (Garlic & Chive)- Made simply with just some hormone and antibiotic free goats milk, bacterial culture, rennet and salt- this is a far more nutritious alternative to cream cheese.

McEwan Olive Trio- Olives are packed with heart-healthy fats and a ton of bold flavour so you only need a few to get your briny fix.

McEwan Pickled Beans- Virtually calorie free with a good bite of heat, these snappy beans are more addictive than chips.

McEwan Spiced Orange Marmalade- Try this bitter-sweet preserve on your cheese and crackers for the spicy sweet flavour of the holidays.

Beemster Slimkaas Matured Cheese- Skip the processed “low fat” cheese, and opt for a naturally lower fat offering like this Slimkaas which has 33% less fat than most regular Gouda cheeses.

To pick up my ten tasty essentials and everything else you need to pull off a healthy and delicious holiday meal, visit McEwan Foods at Shops at Don Mills.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN