Saturday, October 31, 2009

Red Wine Sauteed Mushrooms

About two months ago I was addicted to mushrooms. I ate mushrooms with every meal for about 8 days in a row. Wine sauteed mushrooms turned out to be my favourite dish and is now a "must have" when serving steak. This batch was served alongside a medium rare NY strip loin, roasted sweet potato and steamed green beans and carrots.

1 lb white button mushrooms
3 tbsp unsalted butter (or more if you think it's needed)
pinch salt
splash of olive oil (to keep butter from burning)
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
handful fresh parsley, chopped

It's sinful, but these mushrooms taste best when cooked with LOTS of butter - the more butter, the better. I used a tad bit more than the 3 tbsp called for in the recipe.

1. Brush mushrooms to remove any visible dirt. Cut mushrooms in half, or into quarters if they are very large.

2. Heat butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.

3. Add mushrooms and salt and saute until reduced, browned and tender.

4. Add red wine and continue to stir until wine reduces, about 8 minutes. (I reduced mine to low and let simmer for 15 minutes while I prepared other dishes).

5. Add lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.


Try adding fresh baby spinach to your saute. Use two large handfuls of spinach (1/2 small bag) and add it near the end of cooking and stir until it wilts. Omit the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Courtesy 10 Cent Diet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Immunity Boosting Foods

Veggies @ Granville Island Market

The flu season has hit us early and with a vengeance. Everyday the media is reporting on a new death from H1N1; Seemingly healthy people are dropping like flies. After much thought and debate I have decided not to get the H1N1 vaccine. The reasons are my own and are not up for debate here. Instead of medical prevention, I will be seeking holistic prevention. I will be:

-obsessive about hygiene and sanitation. Hand sanitizer and wet wipes go with me everywhere!
-keeping my schedule mostly free so I have more time for rest and relaxation.
-going to bed at a decent hour every night that I am not working.
-eating as healthy and wholesome a diet as I possibly can.
-looking into vitamins and supplements and remembering to use my bee pollen (my co-workers swear by oil of oregano)
-getting some physical activity every day (not strenuous)

10 Cent posted about her Anti Flu Diet the other day which got me doing some research on foods that give our immunities a little boost. One of the books on my Required Reading list also touches on eating for immunity.

I learned quite a bit. Read the page in the link for more detailed information. The top five immunity boosting winter foods are:

- Cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale etc.)
- Orange vegetables (carrots, yams, sweet potato, winter squash, pumpkin etc).
- Mushrooms
- Whole Grains (whole wheat, oats, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, etc.)
- Alliums (onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic, chives)

Other sources add in:

- Omega 3's (wild salmon, fish oil)
- Grass-fed beef (high in zinc and vitamin D)
- Yogurt
- Oysters & other shellfish (high in Zinc and selenium)

Vegetables should be "raw, lightly steamed or gently stir-fried" to preserve their nutrients.

Dr. Moashing Ni (the author of Secrets Of Longevity) recently wrote another article about natural immunity boosters and ways to prevent colds and flus. You can read it here,

On the menu tonight:

- Poached salmon
- Baked sweet potato
- sautéed mushrooms in red wine
- steamed broccoli and green beans

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beef & Bean Enchiladas

Tonight's recipe falls into the category of things that taste good but photograph poorly (as Marianne says). The inspiration comes from my need to clean out my pantry, fridge and freezer. My cupboards are overflowing and it's time I use up what I have before I go on another grocery shopping trip. I will be honest and tell you I am using ground pork in my enchiladas because I don't have ground beef but it works just the same. The seasoning comes from the same Mexican Seasoning I posted in my Spicy Black Bean Tortilla Soup recipe.

Beef & Bean Enchiladas:

1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 can diced green chilis
1 lb lean ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey
1 tbsp Mexican Seas1oning, or more to tastes (see below)
1 can refried beans
1 small can sliced black olives
1 pkg small corn tortillas
2-3 cups prepared Enchilada Sauce (see below)
cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream, for garnish
diced green onion & fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a large glass baking dish.

2. Heat oil in a sautee pan over medium heat. Add onion and chilies and saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent.

3. Mix Mexican Seasoning with a 1/4 cup of water.

4. Add ground meat to pan and break apart with spatula. Pour seasoning over top. Mix well and cook until meat is browned. Drain fat, if necessary.

5. Remove mixture from pan and place in a medium mixing bowl. Once cooled slightly, add refried beans and sliced olives and mix well.

6. Wrap a damp paper towel around tortillas and microwave for 1 minute until pliable.

7. Pour some enchilada sauce in the bottom of the glass baking pan and spread to coat.

8. Fill each tortilla with 2-3 large spoonfuls of meat and bean mixture. Roll into burritos and place seam side down into the baking pan. Continue doing this until the pan is filled. A large pan should fit 8-10 enchilada rolls.

9. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over top of the enchilada rolls, ensuring to coat the rolls well.

10. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar cheese and more diced green chilies and sliced olives, if desired.

11. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes then remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

12. Spoon enchiladas onto plates and top with sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

Enchilada Sauce:

3 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp oregano
3 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce (8oz can)

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Stirring constantly, slowly add enough water to make a thin paste. Pour into sauce pan and add the rest of the water.

3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

4. Stir in tomato sauce. It is now ready to use!

5. If you want the sauce less spicy, use less chili sauce and more tomato sauce.

Mexican Seasoning:

2 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cinnamon

1. Mix all in a container with a tight fitting lid. Use as needed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Potato Lentil Vegetable Soup

This recipe was inspired by Epicure's Potato Lentil Soup. I've never cooked with lentils before, so this was a first for me. I also learned that lentils don't cause gas like their cousin beans do. Bonus!

Potato Lentil Vegetable Soup:

Olive Oil
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cups diced red potatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups red lentils (pre soaked per package directions)
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
8 cups vegetable stock

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Cook onions, celery, carrots, garlic and potatoes for a few minutes until fragrant.

2. Add stock, lentils and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are cooked and broth has reduced slightly.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Star Fruit

This Asian fruit is sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving AND high enough in fiber to serve as a between meal snack.

Star Fruit comes from the Carambola tree and is native to South Asia. One fruit only has 30-40 calories, is high in fiber and rich in vitamin C and anti oxidants. I think of it as a cross between a citrus fruit and an apple. It's delicious in an odd way.

It should be noted that their are health risks associated with Star Fruit, specifically for those with kidney disease. There is also a risk of drug complications for those taking certain medications (similar complications as grapefruit). If you are unsure, check with a doctor before snacking on delicious star fruit!

Read here on how to prepare and eat a Star Fruit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10 Cent's Spicy Vegetarian Escabeche

This is one of my all time favourite 10 Cent Diet recipes. I didn't deviate from her recipe very much so you might as well just check it out on her blog. The only change I made was to reduce the amount of chilies used. Her recipe calls for six. I used three the first time I made it and it was still too hot for me. This time I used two. If you aren't much for heat, start with half of one and go from there. I have made this a few times, once adding baby potatoes and another time using the broth to poach a piece of wild salmon. It's a very versatile recipe. Tonight I served it over rice.

10 Cent's Spicy Vegetarian Escabeche.

And in case you're wondering: Escabeche is a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving. The marinade itself is also referred to as an escabeche. The dish is common in Spanish cuisine. (From Wikipedia)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick Mushroom & Herb Omlette

There isn't a recipe to go along with the post. Everyone knows how to make an omlette. I'm just making a point that a delicious, satisfying omlette is just as quick and easy to prepare as a couple slices of toast slathered in PB or a dish of yogurt covered in fruit.

For this particular omlette, I sauteed mushrooms and onions with olive oil in a small fry pan (or omlette pan). My preparation was easy because I bought my mushrooms pre-sliced and I had half an onion left over that just needed a quick dice. When the vegetables were cooked, I poured a lightly beaten egg over top. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper. I left it to cook gently over medium-low heat. Once most of the liquid was gone and the egg mixture had fluffed up, I folded the sides over to create my "folded side" omlette. You could also add some cheese before folding. The liquid doesn't need to be completely gone because once you fold it, the heat will continue to cook the egg. Sprinkle with an herb of your choice and serve with whatever you would like. Today I used some shaved black forest ham.

In total this preparation took 10 minutes, most of it unattended. While my omlette was cooking I was able to unload and re-load my dishwasher and take some clothes out of the dryer. Yesterday I prepared a similar omlette while I was getting ready for work. I plated it into a glass "to go" container and ate it once I got to the office.

Quick, easy, filling and delicious!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Pies

There is no recipe for this dish.

Last night I had a Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Salad for dinner. This time, I topped it with a bit of grilled chicken (quickly marinated in lemon juice, olive oil and Epicure Herb & Garlic Dip Mix). I made some extra veggies and chicken so I would have lunch for today.

This morning while looking through the fridge, I found left over puffy pastry from when I made Turkey Pies.

Et voila!

Roll out your puff pastry into a rectangle. Place beets, sweet potatoes and shredded chicken on half. Add some feta if you have it. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold over, pinch closed to seal, cut a few slits in the top, brush with egg wash, and bake in oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Everything inside is already cooked so it was just the pastry that needed a quick bake & brown.

These pies (as well as the Turkey Pies) freeze well too so they make a quick and easy re-heatable dinner.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Along with loving all things Thai, I also love all things Mexican. This recipe was inspired by Epicure. If you have some Epicure spices, check out the original recipe here. I really enjoyed this soup and I will definitely make it again.

Spicy Black Bean Tortilla Soup:
1/2 white onion, diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 28oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp Mexican seasoning (see below)
1 cup prepared hot salsa
1 can diced green chilies (reserved)

1. Add all ingredients (except the diced green chilies) to a soup pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat and puree soup using an immersion blender.

4. Add diced green chilies and stir well to incorporate.

5. Ladle into bowls and top with Crisp Corn Tortilla Strips and desired garnish.

Crisp Corn Tortilla Strips:
3-4 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oil in fry pan over medium high heat.

2. Add strips to oil one handful at a time.

3. "Deep fry" strips for 1-2 minutes until crisp and starting to brown.

4. Remove from pan and place on paper towel.

Optional Garnish:
fresh cilantro leaves
shredded cheddar or jack cheese
sour cream
sliced avocado

Mexican Seasoning:
2 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cinnamon

1. Mix all in a container with a tight fitting lid. Use as needed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chinese Chicken and Snow Peas over Ginger Rice

This is another recipe inspired by my dad. He will often make this using shrimp instead of chicken or with bell peppers instead of snow peas. I can't eat bell peppers and I don't have shrimp so this will have to do!

Serves 3-4

Chinese Chicken and Snow Peas

Chicken Prep:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp gluten free oyster sauce
2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/3 cup fresh chicken broth
1 tsp sucanat
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp corn starch

Stir Fry:
1/4 cup cashews
1 1/2 cup snow peas, washed and trimmed
1/2 small onion, diced medium
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts

1. Place chicken in a shallow bowl and coat well with baking soda. Let rest for 15 minutes.

2. While chicken is resting, combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

3. Rinse chicken well and pat dry. Cut into small cubes. Place chicken in a bowl and coat with 1/4 of the sauce mixture. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

4. While chicken is marinating, blanch snow peas. Heat 1-2 cups water in wok over medium high heat. Fill a bowl with water and ice and set aside. When wok water is boiling, toss snow peas in and leave for 30-60 seconds. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and place them in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove from ice bath and set snow peas aside until ready to use.

5. After 30 minutes of marinating the chicken, heat a small amount of peanut or sesame oil in a wok over medium high heat.

6. Add marinated chicken and stir fry until meat is nearly cooked. Remove from wok and set aside.

7. Add onion to wok and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until onions are slightly translucent. Reduce heat to medium.

8. Add chicken back to the wok along with the snow peas, cashews and water chestnuts. Stir together.

9. Pour remainder of sauce over stir fry and mix well to coat. Stir and simmer until sauce is thickened, chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender crisp.

10. Serve over Ginger Rice.

If you are in a time crunch, skip the baking soda step. The baking soda helps make the chicken tender by breaking down the tissues, sort of like brining. It isn't absolutely necessary though.

Ginger Rice

A very tasty side dish to serve with Asian stir fry or even curry. Way better than plain old rice!

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp dehydrated onion
1 green onion, sliced and reserved

1. Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cover.

3. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.

4. Fluff with a fork and fold in sliced green onion.

OR... even easier, use a rice cooker!

Serve with Chicken & Snow Peas, Two Potato Curry, Green Thai Chicken Curry or Five Spice Beef & Broccoli.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thai Chicken Meatballs

I had some extra meat mixture from my Thai Chicken Burgers, so I figured I would put it to use a re-invent one of my sister's signature appetizer recipes. She makes Thai Turkey Meatballs in Peanut Sauce. I love her dish but it has much more mild flavours and was never spicy enough for my tastes. My chicken burger mixture is just the right amount of spice and doubles perfectly as a meatball recipe. Just shape into small balls and cook in a fry pan. Pour some peanut sauce on a platter and place meatballs on top for a quick and easy appetizer. Or serve over noodles and top with peanut sauce for a Thai inspired pasta dish. You can even pop them in your mouth for a quick and delicious snack like I did today!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thai Chicken Burgers with Marinated Cucumber Salad

Another of my absolute faves. Every once in a while I will make a big batch of these burgers, wrap them individually and freeze them for "quick meals". The burgers are also good broken up and spread over top of salad then topped with peanut sauce.

Thai Chicken Burgers:

1 1/2 lb ground chicken
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 large shallot (or 2 small), minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Thai chili, diced or 1 tsp hot chili sauce (or more to suit your spice tastes)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sucanat
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
Enough Whole Wheat buns to serve your group
Bunch fresh cilantro leaves
sliced red cabbage or pre-packaged coleslaw mix
peanut sauce

1. Mix all patty ingredients (chicken through to bread crumbs) together in a bowl. Use hands to mix well so all seasonings are spread throughout.

2. Form mixture into burger size patties. Mixture will make 6-10 patties, depending on size.

3. Grill burgers over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. According to 10 cent's Internal Temperature Chart, the internal temperature of your ground chicken patties should read 160-165 degrees when ready.

4. To assemble, place a patty on each bun. Spread peanut sauce over patty. Top with cabbage (or coleslaw) and fresh cilantro leaves.

Marinated Cucumber Salad:

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 English cucumber, sliced very thin
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1/4 Thai red chili pepper (optional)

1. Combine vinegar, water, salt and agave syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Cook until boiling then set aside to cool.

3. Place sliced cucumber, onion and chili pepper in a bowl. Pour vinegar over top of vegetables.

4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

5. Using a slotted spoon, scoop vegetables onto plate. Top with course fresh ground pepper.

Note: Also pictured is a little dish of Thai Peanuty Coleslaw. No recipe here. I had some pre-packaged broccoli slaw on hand and mixed it together with some peanut sauce, chopped peanuts and diced Thai chilies. Very easy. very delicious.

Variation: Skip the burger and make Thai Chicken Meatballs instead!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Turkey Pies

The worst part about a turkey holiday is dealing with the turkey left overs. One can handle turkey soup and sandwiches for so long! The inspiration for Turkey Pies came from the Dear Food Network Thanksgiving day special. One of the hosts used pre-made puff pastry and created turkey pot pies. Initially I tried to make pot pies as seen in the episode, however puff pastry is not as easy to work with as I thought it would be. Instead I ended up making "strudel" style pies - much easier with beautiful results. The filling was concocted with the veggies I had available in my fridge. This isn't the healthiest meal but it sure is tasty and and is a quick and easy way to use up those dreaded left overs. You can also make the pies smaller to serve as appetizers.

Turkey Pies:

1 pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed at room temp
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced sweet potato
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
left over turkey gravy
salt & pepper to taste, if needed
egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten mixed with 1/4 cup water)

1. Heat oil in a saute pan. Saute onions, celery and carrot until translucent.

2. Add other veggies and continue to saute until mushrooms have reduced slightly.

3. Add soup and gravy. Stir well to mix. Let simmer on low for 15 minutes.

4. Add salt & pepper if needed. If your gravy was well seasoned, additional S&P probably won't be necessary.

5. Roll out puff pastry on a flour covered counter top. Cut dough into squares to suit your pie size (for example: 3 inch square for appies, 5-6 inch square of entree).

6. Spoon turkey mixture on half of a pastry square, leaving a 1/4 inch on each side.

7. Fold pastry over to cover mixture. Press down sides with finger tips to form a tight seal. Ensure your seam is sealed otherwise tasty juices will leak out while baking!

8. Slice 3-4 slits across top of pie to let steam escape.

9. Brush tops and sides with egg wash.

10. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Pastry will be puffed up, flaky and browned lightly on top.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Red Thai Curry Chicken & Rice Soup

I've been slacking off in the cooking department. I blame Thanksgiving. I spent so much time and effort planning and preparing my Thanksgiving dinner, everything else went by the way side. Today I am cooking up a delicious treat using left overs and tomorrow I am going to sit down and plan my menu for the coming week ahead. Now for something tasty...

Red Thai Curry soup is my absolute favourite soup. Since my first taste at a local restaurant, I have been trying to emulate the flavours into my own version. I must admit, my current version ain't half bad! This soup is a rustic version of the classic, with lots of chunky vegetables and chicken pieces. It's a great cold weather meal. Serve with some flat bread to soak up the delicious broth and a glass of BC Riesling or Gewurztraminer to wash it down.


1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 white onion
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into large cubes
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh chicken broth
1 cup water (or chicken broth)
1/2 cup brown jasmine rice
lemon grass stalk, peeled, trimmed and bruised slightly with the back of a knife
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 whole red Thai chili peppers
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 can light coconut milk (or 4 frozen cubes)

handful snow peas
1 carrot, julienned (cut into long, thin strips)
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips (I omit this but it adds nice colour)
1-2 red Thai chili peppers, diced (Optional - If you want extra heat, use them!)
handful bean sprouts for garnish
handful fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1 red Thai chili peppers, sliced, for garnish


1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-heat heat. Add chicken pieces and onions and cook for a few minutes until chicken is seared and starting to brown.

2. Add red Thai curry paste, ginger and garlic. Stir to blend well.

3. Pour in chicken stock and water. Add lemon grass, lime leaves and chili peppers. Let broth simmer on low so the flavours have a chance to meet and party (20 minutes).

4. Add rice and fish sauce. Stir to mix. Let simmer on low for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.

5. Add coconut milk and vegetables. Continue simmering for 10 minutes or until vegetables cooked.

6. Remove lime leaves, lemongrass and whole chilies.

7. Ladle into serving bowls. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro and more julienned carrots.

Note: If the soup reduces too much due to the rice, add a bit more chicken stock or water 1/2 cup at a time. We want a soup, not a stew!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thanksgiving - Roasted Root Vegetables with Candied Pumpkin Seeds (GF)

Photo: Vegetables prepared & ready for the oven.

A dish full of healthy, wholesome fall vegetables. This is a fabulous alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, and surprisingly, a real crowd pleaser! Unfortunately I didn't get an "after" photo, but the dish looked fantastic.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Candied Pumpkin Seeds:

1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, halved and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 large shallots, peeled and quartered
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & ground pepper to taste

1. Combine vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fresh herb springs on top of vegetables.

3. Cover with foil and roast in 350 degree oven for 90 minutes. Remove foil and roast an additional 30 minutes, tossing occasionally until vegetables are tender and golden brown.

4. Spoon vegetables into a serving bowl. Top with candied pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of real maple syrup.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds:

1 cup dried raw pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp real maple syrup

1. Earlier in the day, place pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

2. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over pumpkin seeds and mix around with your fingers.

3. Drizzle maple syrup over everything and mix around with a sppon.

4. Toast in 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until seeds start to bown.

5. Remove from oven to cool on the pan, about 30 minutes. Break pieces apart to release individual seeds. Small clumps of 3 or 4 are okay.

6. Sprinkle over cooked vegetables and toss lightly to incorporate.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanksgiving - Moist Bread Sausage Apple Stuffing +BONUS

Photo: Before Cooking

This is my mom's classic stuffing recipe, created by merging two recipes from a cookbook so old that the cover has been ripped off and the spine is barely holding together. This stuffing has been served at every major holiday dinner in my family at least the last 15 years. This stuffing won over my stuffing hating brother-in-law. It's THAT good. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get an "after cooking" picture of this or any Thanksgiving dish. You'll have to use your imagination!

Serves 8 with a bit of leftovers

1/2 cup butter
2 cups celery, chopped thin
2 cups onion, diced small
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 3 tbsp dry)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb ground pork sausage
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup agave syrup or honey
1 loaf multi grain bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 8-10 cups)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chicken broth

1. Melt butter in a large saute pan. Add onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent and celery tender. Add seasonings and mix well. Remove from heat and pour into an extra large mixing bowl or stock pot.

2. In the same saute pan, cook sausage and apple until sausage cooked through and apples are soft. Add mixture to the bowl of onion and celery.

3. While sausage is cooking, simmer cranberries and agave syrup in a small pot of boiling water (2-3 cups of water) just until cranberry skins start to split. It will only take a few minutes so keep an eye on it. They are ready when you hear them pop. Drain the liquid into a bowl and place the cranberries in a second bowl. Set both aside to cool. Save the liquid for the BONUS RECIPE below.

4. Once vegetable mixture has cooled slightly, add bread cubes to the bowl. Using salad spoons, toss everything to mix well.

5. Add cranberries and gently fold into mixture, careful not to crush them!

6. In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs together with the chicken broth. Pour over the stuffing and gently mix to coat.

7. Pack stuffing into greased loaf pans. Cover with tin foil.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, the last 15 minutes uncovered.

Note: It may seem like a lot of butter, but this is what will help with the "Moist" part of the stuffing. The seasoning amounts are a guideline. Add more or less to suit your own tastes. I prefer a bit more poultry seasoning so I add a 1/2 tsp extra. The cranberries can be prepared the night before to save some time. You may chose to stuff the turkey instead of baking the stuffing separately. Go for it - It's even better that way!

Bonus recipe: Jill's Honey Crantini

Use the cooking juice drained from the cranberries to create a tasty holiday martini.

3 oz drained cranberry cooking liquid
2 oz unsweetened REAL cranberry juice (if using Cranberry Cocktail, only use 2 oz cooking liquid)
1 oz vodka
1 oz triple sec
2-3 cranberries per glass for garnish

1. Mix the liquids in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake and pour into chilled martini glasses.

3. Garnish with cranberries.

4. If it's too tart, add another splash or two of agave syrup while mixing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu

This weekend I will be hosting my first family Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully there are only 5 1/2 of us in my immediate family (the 1/2 being my one year old niece, officially one on Thanksgiving Sunday)!

My plan is to serve a "healthy" Thanksgiving dinner by serving a reduced amount of dishes, using healthier cooking methods. There are only five of us after all so we don't need a table full of food. Contrary to popular opinion, Thanksgiving is not an excuse to overeat. To the horror of my family, I eliminated the traditional mashed potatoes. I was going to cut the stuffing too but my sister very vehemently overruled, so the stuffing gets to stay. I pared my menu down to just the turkey plus three side dishes and two garnishes.

With the help of The Healthiest Meals on Earth I will be preparing the following dishes:

- Citrus Herb Turkey - The turkey will be brined overnight in a mixture of water, salt, honey, lemon & orange peel and cardamom. It will then be stuffed (with lemon & orange halves, whole garlic cloves and fresh rosemary, sage and thyme) and roasted in the oven until golden brown and perfectly cooked.

- Sausage Apple Stuffing - My mom's classic stuffing recipe includes onion, celery, apple, ground sausage and fresh herbs. I'm using multigrain bread, of course.

- Roasted Root Vegetables - Instead of mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, my vegetable dish will be a mix of butternut squash, fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets, onion and fresh herbs. I may top it with a warm shallot vinaigrette and throw in some toasted pumpkin seeds. We'll see.

- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and Asparagus - My second veggie dish will be topped with a balsalmic glaze and tossed with chopped walnuts.

- Cranberry Orange Relish - While we typically use my Grandmother's homemade cranberry sauce, it is packed full of sugar! This time I will be making my own fresh cranberry garnish using fresh cranberries, orange segments and orange marmalade.

- White Wine Gravy - Classic gravy (roast drippings & chicken stock), kicked up a notch with a cup of white wine and fresh herbs.

I am hoping to get some nice pictures of the dishes and will post the complete recipes next week.

In the meantime, I don't have any new recipes to share. The other day I made a couple batches of 10 Cent's Oatmeal Cookies. One batch was gluten free per her recipe and the other was with whole wheat flour for my co-workers. I also added raisins. My co-workers were very pleased.

Last night I snagged another 10 Cent recipe and made nachos to use up my left over Pico De Gallo.

No other cooking planned until The Big Day on Sunday. Posting to resume Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

photo taken Thanksgiving Day - October 9, 2006 @ 0705hrs

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shrimp & Fish Tacos

A delicious and healthy alternative to the usual beef and chicken Mexican dishes we are all used to. Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine, Fall 2008.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small fillet of white fish such as Talapia or Mahi Mahi, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 5 oz)
1 cup pre-cooked & peeled shrimp (the small ones)
1/2 tsp taco seasoning
pinch sea salt

2 tbsp red taco sauce (or adobo sauce if you want a chipotle flavour)
2 tsp sour cream
1/2 avocado, mashed
pinch of salt & pepper

4 corn or flour soft taco shells (use corn if you want gluten-free)
1/2 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
prepared Pico de Gallo (See previous post here)
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Season fish evenly with taco seasoning and salt.

2. In small skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add fish to hot pan and cook about 6 mins, turning occasionally, until pieces are lightly browned and flake easily. Remove from pan and place onto a small bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, rinse shrimp and ensure shells and tails are all removed. Toss shrimp in the same pan for a few minutes to warm through. Remove from pan and place with fish pieces.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.

5. Place tortillas, one at a time, in the pan. Warm each side for a few seconds then transfer to plates.

6. To assemble the tacos, spread some taco sauce mixture on centre of each tortilla. Add equal portions of fish/shrimp mixture, cabbage, cilantro and Pico de Gallo. Fold in half to form a taco.

Serve with a side of re-fried beans or Mexican rice or eat them all alone.

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo is a fresh, uncooked Mexican salsa made with chopped vegetables. Unlike regular salsa, Pico De Gallo contains less liquid so it can be added to all sorts of dishes including scrambled eggs, guacamole and even ceviche. That's why it's perfect with the taco dish I'm going to be posting later - No juices running down your hands while you eat! It also makes a GREAT snack and is my favourite thing about Mexico.

Pico De Gallo:

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups

- 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (How to Seed a Tomato)
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 whole jalapeno or green chili, seeded and diced (or 1/2 can diced green chilies)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp
- 1 pinch pepper
- juice of 1 lime (1 tbsp)

1. Add all diced veggies to a bowl.

2. Squeeze in the lime juice and season with salt & pepper.

3. Toss well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

You can also add minced garlic and/or a few dashes of hot sauce if you like more kick.

It gets better the longer the vegetables rest and mingle. Make it a few hours in advance for best results.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chinese Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Sauce

Another Asian recipe and another of my favourites! Lettuce wraps are a fun, do-it-yourself meal. They can easily work as a dinner entree for a few or an appetizer for a larger group. Lettuce wraps, like all stir fries, are very versatile. Use whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand. Get creative. You can also serve them "Mu Shu" style and use small flour tortillas along with (or instead of) lettuce leaves.

Chinese Lettuce Wraps:
1 head of lettuce (ice berg, butter, bib or even romaine)
1 tbsp sesame or peanut oil
1 lb ground chicken, turkey, beef or pork (I used pork today, at room temp of course.)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cups pre-packaged broccoli slaw
1 can water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup other assorted vegetables (chopped celery, snap peas, bean sprouts, bell peppers, yellow onion, green onion, sliced red cabbage - whatever you have)
1-2 Thai red chili peppers, sliced (optional)

Stir Fry Sauce:
2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1/4 cup gluten free oyster sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp sucanat
2 tsp minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic

1. Separate lettuce leaves, wash, pat dry and assemble on a serving platter. Set aside.

2. Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium heat. Brown meat in wok. When finished, pour meat into a fine mesh strainer and run under warm water. Drain well. Pour meat into a bowl and set aside.

3. While meat is browning, combine all stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

4. Return wok to stove top. Add ginger, garlic, mushrooms & onions (if using). Stir fry until onions start to soften. Add broccoli slaw and other vegetables. Continue to stir fry, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Add meat back to the wok along with the water chestnuts. Pour stir fry sauce over everything and stir well to coat the mixture. Stir fry for another 5-8 minute until vegetables are cooked and meat is heated through.

6. Remove wok from heat and pour mixture into a serving bowl.

7. To assemble lettuce wraps, spoon some stir fry mixture into your lettuce cup. Top with some homemade hoisin sauce. Fold the sides of the lettuce leaf over to form a wrap (like a burrito). Use more hoisin sauce for dipping. Eat and enjoy!

Hoisin Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp pepper
splash Sriracha (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and wisk until well blended.

2. Use as a topping or dip for your lettuce wraps.

Glossary of Terms - Asian Cooking

I love Asian food, especially Thai. Many of my recipes are Asian inspired and use a myriad of Asian ingredients. Almost everything listed is widely available at most large grocery chains. Save on Foods, IGA and Superstore all have great ethnic food sections. Safeway is less stocked than most. If you have an Asian supermarket in your area (like T&T), make use of it as you will find everything you need and it will cost less too!

Fish Sauce is a staple of Thai & Vietnamese cooking. It is derived from fish and salt that has been left to ferment for several months. Fish sauce is used in sauces, marinades and as a seasoning condiment (like we use salt). To quote Thai Food & Travel, Fish sauce "is indispensable in the Thai kitchen as Thai food wouldn't be quite the same without it".

Garlic Chili Sauce is a Vietnamese chili sauce similar to Sriracha and Sambal (see below). The main difference is that Garlic Chili Sauce is hotter and runnier than Sriracha and Sambal. Generally, they can be used interchangeably.

Lemongrass is an herb widely used in Asian cooking and native to India. It can be dried, powdered or used fresh. It imparts a citrus flavour and is often used in marinades and to flavour soups. See here about choosing your lemon grass and how to prepare it for cooking.

Lime Leaves are native to South Asia and are common in Thai cooking. The leaves can be used fresh or dried and the fresh leaves can be frozen for future use. Like lemongrass, lime leaves are most often used in marinades and soups.

Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine with a low alcohol content. It is used to make teriyaki and other sauces.

Oyster Sauce is common in Chinese cooking. It is a thick, savory sauce made from oyster extracts.

Red Thai Chili Pepper, also known as "birds eye chili", are small, thin, hot peppers. They are about an inch long and usually sold in small bags with a couple dozen or more pieces.

Sake or Cooking Sake, is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice. It is often called rice wine, although unlike wine, it is brewed not fermented.

Sambal or Sambal Oelek is a hot chili sauce made from several types of chili peppers. It is common in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Shirataki Noodles are gluten free, low carbohydrate, low calorie, thin, translucent noodles made from yam starch. In North America the most common types are made from a blend of tofu and yam starch. The noodles have little to no flavour and tend to take on the flavours of their cooking sauce or liquid. Shirataki noodles are incredibly versatile and can be used in place of traditional noodles in most all dishes.

Soy Sauce is a Chinese cooking staple made from fermented soy beans. It also contains wheat so if you have any wheat or gluten intolerance it's important to use gluten free soy sauce.

Sriracha is a Thai chili sauce used to flavour sauces, marinades and as a condiment. The main ingredients are chili peppers, galic, vinegar, salt and sugar.

Thai Curry Pastes are a moist blend of fresh ground herbs and spices. Read more about Thai Curry and how it is different from Indian Curry here. The common varieties are red, yellow and green.

Other staples of Asian cooking include fresh garlic and ginger, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, coconut milk, cilantro (and corrinader, the latter referring to the seed and the former refering to the leaf) and several ground herbs and spices (turmeric, tamarind, cumin, star anise and galangal, for example).

If you enjoy Asian cooking, I recommend stocking your pantry (and fridge) with good quality soy sauce (gluten free if needed), fish sauce, a chili sauce, red & green chili pastes, a can or two of coconut milk, rice wine vinegar and a jar each of minced ginger and minced garlic. Those will get you started. Later on you can add more to your Asian pantry as needed.

A well stocked pantry leads to good cooking!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Slow Cooker Veal Stew with GF Dumplings

Stewing veal was on sale at the local grocer. I love veal when I don't think about where it comes from. I thought it would be perfect in a hearty stew in place of beef chuck roast. The recipe is meant to be made in a slow cooker but you can convert the times for conventional stove top cooking. My mom used to always make her stew with dumplings. They were one of my favourite things as a kid. These dumplings are gluten free and just as good as I remember.


1 lb stewing veal or boneless beef chuck roast cut, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 parnips, halved lengthwise and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2-3 large carrots, halved lengthwise and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes (Use the rest to make soup!)
1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir... whatever you have
1 cup beef broth
2 bay leaf
tsp oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste


1. In a large plastic zip lock bag combine flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Add meat pieces. Shake the bag to coat. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Brown meat on all sides. Drain off the fat. Set aside.

2. Place chopped vegetables into your slow cooker. Place the browned meat on top of the vegetables.

3. Pour wine and broth over meat. Stir in bay leaf and oregano.

4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours. If cooking on stove top, use a dutch oven style pot and simmer for 2-3 hours.

5. When time is up, remove bay leaf. Stir in tomato paste to thicken stew. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

6. If making dumplings, leave lid off and turn slow cooker to high-heat while you prepare the dough. If not making dumplings, ladle into serving bowls. Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Gluten Free Dumplings:

1 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
2 tbsp softened butter
drizzle of olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp fresh parsley or chives, chopped

1. Sift flour with xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and herbs.

2. Lightly cream butter with dry mixture. Lumps are okay. Add drizzle of olive oil.

3. Add milk and mix lightly with spatula until firm dough is formed. Dough should be a moderatly moist consistency - not too wet, not too dry. Add more milk or flour if needed.

4. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto hot stew. Cover and cook on high setting for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre of dumpling comes out clean.

5. Ladle soup and dumplings into serving bowls. Top with more fresh chopped parsley.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like Grandma used to make but updated for the modern, healthy minded cookie lover. I have been making this recipe for years, but recently adapted it using mostly non-refined and non-processed ingredients. Just to be fair, I will post both the original and the made-over version. They are both equally delicious. The uncooked dough is my absolute favourite! :)

Original Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Makes 2 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet or two small ones and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, blend sugars with butter then mix in other wet ingredients.

3. In a separate medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well with wooden spatula or your hands. Hands work best but the dough will be very sticky!

5. Fold in the chocolate chips.

6. Drop table spoon sized portions onto baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten down with back of a spoon or heel of your hand.

7. Bake for 10 mins on centre rack. DO NOT overbake.

8. Remove immediately and let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Move to wire rack to finish cooling.


Updated Chewy Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sucanat
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet or two small ones and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, blend sucanat with butter then mix agave nectar, eggs and vanilla.

3. In a separate medium bowl, mix flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.

4. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well with wooden spatula or your hands. Hands work best but the dough will be very sticky!

5. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries.

6. Drop table spoon sized portions onto baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten down with back of a spoon or heel of your hand.

7. Bake for 10 mins on centre rack. DO NOT overbake.

8. Remove immediately and let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Move to wire rack to finish cooling.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vietnamese Salad

This recipe comes from an old, old, old issue of Canadian Living Magazine. The recipe is actually called Vietnamese Bun but I changed the name to avoid confusion. In Vietnamese, "bun" is pronounced "boon" and refers to a "fresh, light salad of grilled meat, herbs and rice vermicelli". It's very similar to the flavours of Thailand so it's one of my favourites!

Serves 2 entree salads or 4 appetizer salads


8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water or 8 metal skewers
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 green onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch section of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
1 red Thai chili pepper, sliced
2 tbsp peanut oil
4 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sucanat
1 lemon grass stalk, peeled, trimmed and bruised with the back of a knife
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Add marinade ingredients to a shallow glass dish and mix. Set aside.

2. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut each piece in half lengthwise and place into the dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Thread chicken accordion style onto soaked bamboo skewers. Place on oiled grill over medium-high heat. Turn once. Cook for approximately 8 minutes until nice grill marks appear and chicken juices run clear.


2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch section fresh ginger, minced
4 tsp sucanat
1 tsp garlic chili sauce
1/3 cup water

1. While chicken is marinating, whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.


8 oz (250g) rice vermicelli noodles
1 5 inch length of cucumber
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped
1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, julienned
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts

1. In a large bowl, cover vermicelli with boiling water and soak until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water, ensuring noodles are separated. Blot dry with paper towel. Divide among 4 serving bowls.

2. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips then cut those strips again into 1/8 inch strips.

3. On each bowl. sprinkle vermicelli with basil and mint.

4. In rows, neatly arrange lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, bean sprouts and carrots on top of each bowl.

5. Pull chicken off skewers, if desired, and place on top of each salad bowl. Sprinkle with peanuts and remaining basil and mint.

6. While eating, pour a little sauce at a time over the salad and toss to to combine.


- To make it fun, place all the vegetables and garnish on a serving tray and allow each person to dress his/her own salad.
- Skip the salad and just make the chicken for a chicken satay appetizer.
- Use shrimp or beef instead of chicken.
- Add diced red chilies for more heat.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Potato, Onion & Mushroom Spanish Omlette

This simple dish is inspired by Ricardo's Spanish Potato & Onion Omelette. In Spain it is called "tortilla de patatas" or "tortilla a la española", meaning potato omlette or Spanish omlette. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and doesn't take long to prepare. You could even put it together the day before and bake before serving. You can also add bacon, chopped ham or chorizo sausage for a more complete breakfast dish or leave as is for a delicious vegetarian entree.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced with a mandolin or sliced thin
3 large white potatoes or 8-10 small new potatoes, sliced with a mandolin or sliced thin
6-8 large white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup shredded white cheese (I used Goat's Gouda)
6 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and high sided square or round glass baking dish. Line the dish with a strip of parchment paper horizontally with the paper hanging over the two ends so the frittata will be easy to remove. Lightly oil the parchment paper as well.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and potatoes. Cook until just starting to brown. Add more oil if necessary. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook another 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender and browned, stirring often. Total cooking time should be 15-20 minutes to ensure potatoes are mostly cooked through.

3. Scoop half the onion/potato mixture into the baking dish. Top with half the parsley and half the cheese. Scoop the rest of the onion/potato mixture into the dish. Top with the remaining parsley and cheese.

4. Pour the eggs over the onion/potato mixture.

5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes until eggs are set. Check every 10 minutes by jiggling the baking pan and inserting a fork in the centre. The eggs should be fluffy, not runny.

6. Let cool in dish for 5 mins. To remove from baking pan, carefully invert it on a serving dish. Cut into squares or wedges. Serve warm.


- Add bacon, ham, chorizo or other meat. If using bacon, cook it first and use the bacon fat to cook the onion and potato, eliminating the need for olive oil.
- Use different herbs and cheese to vary the flavour.
- Add diced bell peppers, green onion and chopped chili pepper for a mexican style dish. Sub the parsley for cilantro. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
- Assemble in ramekins for individual portions.
- Eliminate the cheese, creating a dairy-free meal.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Potato Curry

This flavourful Indian style curry is a delicious cold weather treat. The curry is not spicy, unless you want it to be! Serve it over brown basmati rice or alone for a curry stew. If you don't have all the spices to create your own curry, use a pre-made curry powder, although homemade definitely tastes better. Serve your curry with toasted naan bread, whole wheat pita or make your own gluten-free flat bread like I did. I'll post the flat bread recipe tomorrow.

Two Potato Curry

Serves 3 (or 2 with left overs)

1 cup brown basmati rice
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups small red potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup shelled frozen edamame beans
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut or fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Prepare rice according to package or rice cooker directions.

2. In a medium bowl, combine broth, coconut milk and all spices. Mix well and set aside.

3. Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium heat. Add olive oil. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute until just starting to brown.

4. Stir in liquid mixture and bring to a low boil.

5. Add vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with a tight fitting lid and leave to simmer for 15-20 mins until vegetable are cooked through (fork tender).

6. Stir in edamame beans and lemon juice. Heat through.

7. Serve over cooked rice and top with shredded coconut and/or cilantro leaves.


- Add cooked diced chicken for a non-vegetarian entree.
- Toss in one or two diced chili peppers for more heat.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blueberry Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is from the current issue of Clean Eating Magazine. I made a few minor changes by eliminating the buttermilk and adding extra banana. I substituted lemon rind for orange rind because I forgot to buy an orange and I used one whole egg instead of two egg whites. I'm not afraid of egg yolks. They are good for you. Forget the high cholesterol hype.

In making this bread I learned I have a mild intolerance for walnuts. After eating several slices of the bread as well as a couple walnut ladden brownies baked by a co-worker, my tongue developed a weird tingley sensation. I will definately make this loaf again but next time, sans nuts.


Olive oil or butter to grease the baking pan
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup flax seed meal
1 whole egg, lightly beaten with a fork
1/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup goat yogurt or plain regular yogurt

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup spelt flour
zest from 1 lemon

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together banana, flax meal, egg, agave and yogurt.

3. In separate bowl, mix together baking soda, salt, flours and lemon rind.

4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well.

5. Fold in the walnuts and blueberries.

6. Pour mixture into loaf pan.

7. Bake for 45-50 mins.

8. Remove from oven and let cool in loaf pan for 10 mins.

Related Posts with Thumbnails