Archive for ‘Protein’

April 5, 2012

Creamy Sweet Potato Curry Soup

A nice variety of winter vegetables mixed with grains! It’s a complete meal in a bowl!

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 sweet potato cut into large pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 a turnip, chopped
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup barley
3 cups broth
1/2 red onion
1 TBSP curry powder
1/4 cup cream cheese salt and pepper
1 TBSP dijon mustard

Combine first 9 ingredients into a pressure cooker, turn on high and lock lid. Once lid locks into place turn heat down to medium and allow to simmer away for 30 minutes until everything is nice and soft.

Add final ingredients and combine with an immersion blender or in a regular one. Check seasonings and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

March 8, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk 1 small onion, finely chopped
Another great addition is some left over ham or bacon if you have any

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted.

Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

Gradually stir in milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Heat to boiling. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Arrange potatoes in greased 2 quart casserole in 3 layers, topping each layer with part of the chopped onions and 1/3 of the sauce. Layer in the meat as well if you are using it.

Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, broken into little pieces.

Cover and bake until potatoes are tender, about 60-70 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minute before serving.

February 24, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

This is a quick and light lunch that has loads of fibre and veggies!


1/2 red onion
1 TBSP olive oil
1 can black beans – salt free, rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
1 tomato diced
1 cup frozen corn
2 TSP each garlic powder and chili powder
** Any other left over cooked veg you happen to have … this particular one had squash and cabbage in there too!
Large lettuce leaves
Cooked rice
Shredded cheese

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute red onion until tender and add beans, salsa, tomato, garlic powder and chili powder and corn. Cook until heated through. Add pepper to taste.

To assemble, take a lettuce leaf, a couple spoonfuls of rice and bean mixture and top with cheese.

February 17, 2012

Sheppard’s Pie

This Sheppard’s pie is amazing, and I don’t really like Sheppard’s pie! It’s a one pot dinner that takes some time, but is pretty easy to do. It also makes a great freezer meal for expectant moms!

1 beef roast of your choosing
4 cups of broth
2 medium red onions, sliced
Bay leaf
1 TBSP dried Thyme
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup frozen peas
6 medium washed potatoes
1 lemon
1 nob of butter
splash of milk
1/2 cup  grated old cheddar cheese
1/4 mayo or sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 TBSP garlic powder

A day or two before you plan to make your Sheppard pie… or really early that day, add the roast, broth and onions to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until the meat falls apart. Allow to cool to the touch and shred by hand. Do not throw away the broth! When meat is shredded, add to the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish.

On medium heat add the broth that the roast cooked in with the onions to a small sauce pot. Add bay leaf, thyme, tomato paste, mushrooms and red wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to come to a simmer and reduce down to the consistency of gravy. When finished reducing, pour over meat. Followed by the cup of frozen peas.

In a large microwaveable dish add half the potatoes and half a lemon. Cover with cling wrap – two layers, so that it is totally covered. Microwave for 10 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Discard lemon and any juice on the bottom of the bowl and transfer cooked potatoes to another large bowl. Repeat with remaining potatoes and lemon.

To the potatoes add butter, milk, cheese, mayo and garlic powder. Mash together. Spread over the top of the meat mixture.

Now bake the whole concoction at 400 degrees until the gravy is bubbling and the potatoes have a golden brown crust on top, or until heated through if you just can’t wait that long! Serve with a nice green salad.

January 13, 2012

Peanutbutter Gingersnaps

These cookies are low in sugar but high on flavour!


3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground ginger and salt
1/2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 TBSP melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 TBSP molasses
1 tsp vanilla

Add first 5 ingredients to a large bowl. Mix and make a well in the centre. And remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

Roll into little balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Press down with fork. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes. They will be quite soft when they come out of the oven but will harden as they cool.

December 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

The other day I found a recipe for chicken broth in a cookbook first published in 1901 called The Settlement Kitchen Cookbook. It used to belong to my Grandmother and I like having it around as a reference to pure cooking where everything was made from scratch. This indeed is a great throwback recipe that I have modernized with the use of a slow cooker and some altered cooking times.

1lb of uncooked chicken backs – you could also use a chicken caucus that has had most of the meat removed from it.
1 TBSP sea salt
2 celery stalks chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 small onion, quartered

In your largest slow cooker add meat and salt and put on high for 3.5 hours until raw meat is cooked through and floating. Add vegetables and cook 1.5 hours longer. Allow to cool and remove any fat that floats on the top. Use in your favorite soup or anything else that needs broth!

December 9, 2011

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa is truly a super food with so many amazing health benefits it deserves a post all its own. It is the only complete protein that is not from an animal source and has many antioxidants. Tabbouleh is a middle eastern side dish that is light and flavourful and traditionally made with bulger. Using quinoa pumps up the healthiness of this dish, but feel free to substitute for bulger if you want a more traditional tabbouleh.

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2 bunches green onions, diced
2 carrots, grated
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped


In a saucepan bring water to a boil.  Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots and parsley.  Stir in cooled quinoa.

** Recipe and picture courtesy of Syneva B on


November 25, 2011

Michael Smith’s Beef Stew

This is a great article that Chef Michael Smith (one of my all time favourite chefs) wrote in the Globe and Mail in 2008 and I thought I would share it with you here. It is getting to be that time of year when everyone is feeling a bit more generous, and counting their blessings. A reminder to be thankful and pass good fortune forward.

When I make this recipe at home, I use only 1 lb of stewing beef and instead add 1/2 cup of Quinoa into the mix for a plant based protein. He also adds 1/2 a bottle of red wine, which I have omitted.


The holidays are not quite over, and chances are you’re still talking about the table full of friends and the menu full of flavours you enjoyed over the past week. Your fridge is full and you’ll probably have three good meals today.

Count your blessings, because some of your neighbours are not so fortunate.

In every community across Canada there are hungry families. Kids who eat everything put in front of them because they know they don’t have the luxury of choice. Parents slowly starving themselves so their kids can have a bit more on their plates. Senior citizens subsisting on little more than crackers and water.

Imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from. Imagine mastering the ever-changing schedule of which food bank is open on which day. Imagine having no food options at all. Now imagine doing something about it.

For several years, I have been the national spokesman for the Children’s Emergency Foundation. This experience has taught me a lot. Canada’s food-based charities are in trouble. A perfect storm of rising demand, feeble government support, a faltering economy and diminishing donations have combined to weaken the stance of those among us on the front lines of poverty every day. Our food banks need our help.

Please don’t feel guilty about your own success, but take a moment to consider what you can do to help in your community. A cash donation is a great place to start. Then find out what your local food bank needs. Maybe you can drop off a bag of extra groceries every week. Maybe you can spend one day a month helping out in the kitchen of a meal centre or serving tables. Maybe you can head for your nearest food bank or homeless shelter and help them cook up a batch of hearty beef stew. Because the true spirit of the holidays is quietly celebrating the bounty in your life and sharing it with those who need it more than you do.

Old-Fashion Beef Stew

2 pounds or so of stew beef
A sprinkle or two of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
A splash of vegetable oil
A few carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
A few stalks of celery, roughly chopped
A few potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
A few parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
A few onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 turnip, peeled and roughly chopped
28-ounce can of whole tomatoes
3 or 4 cups of homemade or canned beef stock or water
A few bay leaves
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
Another sprinkle or two of salt and pepper

Preheat a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.

Pat the beef dry with a clean towel, then cut it into large cubes and season it.

Add a splash of oil to the pot – enough to cover the bottom with a thin film – then toss in enough meat to form a single sizzling layer.

Sear the meat on every side until it is evenly browned. Be patient when you’re browning the meat; it takes a little time but it’s worth every minute. The caramelized flavours are the secret to a rich, hearty stew.

As the pieces brown, remove them from the pan, adding more oil and meat as needed. Once the meat is done, discard the remaining oil – but keep all the browned bits in the pan. They’ll add lots of flavour to the stew.

Put all the meat back into the pot and add half of the vegetables (reserve the other half). Add the tomatoes and enough wine and beef stock to just barely cover the works. Add the bay leaves and rosemary, and bring the pot to a simmer. Continue cooking until the meat is almost tender, about an hour, then add the remaining vegetables. Adding the vegetables in two batches allows the first to dissolve into the stew and the second to retain their shape, colour and texture. Continue simmering until the meat and veggies are tender, another 30 minutes or so. When the stew is tender, taste it and season as you like.

November 17, 2011

Apple Turkey Loaf

This great recipe from Wholesome Baby Food can be easily made in to finger foods for your baby! Suitable for babies between 6 to 8 months, but use your judgement when giving babies finger foods.

1 lb ground   turkey
1 whole egg, beaten
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/4   cup applesauce
1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran
1/4 cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil
pinch of garlic powder


Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.

Add   the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran. Mix well –   If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture   appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs

Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan   and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out   clean.
**You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning

When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from   pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding   or mash or chop gently

This recipe may also be made into “Turkey Sticks”   for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger   foods.


Cook the ground turkey separately, add the   other ingredients and puree

November 11, 2011

Apple Walnut Tart

Last week I gave you a never fail pie crust recipe. This week I’m using it! Walnuts are a really healthy food. Giving you a big dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and cardiovascular helping antioxidants in as little as 7 nuts per serving. A lot of the nutritional value is in their skin, so while you need to take them out of the shell, don’t worry about removing the skin! That’s a job that just isn’t worth the effort. I feel the same way about peeling apples. That’s why in my tart, I don’t. But feel free to if you like.

1 pre-made pie crust, not baked
5 medium apples, sliced
1 cup California Walnuts, out of their shell
2 TBSP unsalted butter (*if using salted butter omit salt below)
1/4 TSP salt*
2 TSP cinnamon
4 TBSP brown sugar

In your pie crust layer apples until they cover the entire pie crust. Cover with walnuts, butter, salt and half the amount of cinnamon and brown sugar.


Add remaining apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and bake in a 350 degree oven until crust is golden brown and apples are soft, about 35-50 minutes depending on how thinly you have sliced the apples. Add a bit of vanilla yogurt on top for a bit of calcium – it’s super tasty. Enjoy!