Archive for ‘Vitamin C’

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.

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.

October 14, 2011

Vitamin C

Everyone knows that Vitamin C is helpful in keeping those nasty colds, infections and flu at bay, but why is it especially important for you while pregnant? Well let’s take a look at what Vitamin C does for your body.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and repair, and healthy skin. Both you and your baby need this vitamin daily – it’s necessary for the body to make collagen, a structural protein that’s a component of cartilage, tendons, bones, and skin.

So not only is it keeping you healthy, but it’s also helping your baby develop it’s muscles and bones. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, another essential nutrient.

How much do you need? Well, pregnant women need about 85 mg while those breastfeeding need almost 120 mg. But there are easy ways to get it into your diet!

Some foods high in Vitamin C include: citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries and red peppers.

Use the tabs on the side to click through to recipes that include Vitamin C and check back often, new recipes and information is added each week.

October 6, 2011

Asian Marinara Sauce

Noodles of any kind are always a big hit at my house. There is something about them that the whole family loves. So warm, so comforting. But sometimes I grow tired of the same old same old. That’s why when I saw a recipe for Japanese Noodles in my Moosewood cookbook I was keen to give them a go. But of course in the hustle that is my week night I needed to make a couple of changes to the recipe for time sake. The finished product was something a little off the beaten path, but close enough to home that the kid gave it a thumbs up!


3 single serve packages of Udon Noodles (you can find these in most grocery stores near the rice noodles)
2 TBSP sesame oil
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cups diced salt free canned tomatoes
5 spring onions chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot add all ingredients minus the udon noodles. Bring to a simmer and let sit on low heat to warm through.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the udon noodles for 3 minutes, or by package instructions. Drain and return to large pot. Add heated sauce and serve immediately.

September 16, 2011

Lemon Dill Green Beans

According to Google today is Albert Szent-Gyorgyi’s birthday. Who is that you might ask? Well he is the man who discovered Vitamin C and to celebrate here is a recipe for Lemon Dill Green Beans!

1lb green beans, trimmed
3 TSP chopped fresh dill
1 TBSP minced spring onion (green onion)
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam green beans 5-7 minutes until tender but still crisp.

Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Add green beans when finished cooking and allow to sit for 10 minutes to absorb flavours. Serve and enjoy!

July 8, 2011

Lime Coconut Sweet Potato Bites

A great little appetizer that is low in fat and high in vitamin A!

2 sweet potatoes
2 TBSP butter
1 small clove garlic sliced
2 TBSP toasted coconut
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TSP zested lime peel
Dash of hot sauce
Salt to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-in (1 cm) cubes. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer until almost fork tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel.

In a skillet set over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove garlic and discard. When pan is hot, add cubes of potato and cook, turning until golden on each side, about 8 minutes.

Add coconut, lime juice, lime peel and hot pepper sauce to pan; toss potatoes to coat evenly. Taste and add salt if necessary. Skewer each potato cube with a toothpick and arrange on a platter. Serve at room temperature

** From Dana McCauley of

June 30, 2011

Apple Breakfast Bars

Here’s a guest post from my friend Elise who made these for her beautiful baby Leo! Though she likes them too 😉

1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups raw apples, shredded

Combine all ingredients. Let stand 10 minutes. Press mixture into 8″ x 8″ baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Loosen with spatula, and cut into bars while warm. Serve hot for breakfast or snack.  Freezes well.

June 22, 2011

Chickpea Divan

This is a spin off Anna Olson’s Turkey Divan – same idea but no meat!

2 cups broccoli, cooked half way and then chilled in cold water to stop the cooking
3 TBSP butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloved garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
2 spoonfulls all purpose flour
1 TBSP minced fresh oregano
2 cups veggie broth
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup white wine
2 TBSP mustard
1/4 cup un-cooked quinoa 
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar), divided
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup bread crumbs
2 TBSP minced chives

In a non stick pan, melt butter, saute onions, garlic and carrots until soft. Add flour and stir to coat. Add liquid, mustard and quinoa and reduce until quinoa is soft and it is a thicker consistency.

Melt in 1.5 cups of cheese, add chickpeas and cooked broccoli.

Transfer to an oven safe dish, top with bread crumbs, left over cheese and chives. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until top is golden brown.

June 9, 2011

Couscous and Bean Salad

Here is another great salad recipe that takes your thinking out of the box! Light and refreshing this salad offers grains, protein and some veg! Have with a glass of milk and you have got yourself a balance meal.


1/2 cup  green beans
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 sweet yellow pepper, diced
1 cup whole wheat couscous
2/3 cup each cooked or drained canned chickpeas and red kidney beans
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive_oil
1/2 TSP grated lemon zest
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 TSP Dijon mustard
1/2 TSP each dried oregano
Pepper and salt to taste

Cut green beans into 1/2-inch pieces. In saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil; boil green beans, carrots and yellow pepper for 2 minutes. Drain, reserving water; set vegetables aside.

In large bowl, stir couscous with 1 cup reserved water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add cooked vegetables, chickpeas, kidney beans and green onion; set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon rind, lemon juice, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over couscous mixture and toss to combine.

*Recipe courtesy of Canadian Living Magazine

June 2, 2011

Moroccan BBQ Roasted Vegetables

Last night I made the most fab roasted veggie dish – it’s a variation on one from Moosewood (a great series of vegetarian cookbooks). Theirs they make in the oven, but with BBQ season I figure why not roast over a flame?!?


1  onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1  zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick circles
1  eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick semi-cirlces
1  sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick semi-cirlces
1  red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2  tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1  can (15.5-ounces), drained
3  cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 1/2 TSP turmeric
1 1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
1 1/2 TSP paprika
1/4 TSP cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
Optional rice for serving
Add all ingredients to a very large bowl, stir to combine.
Wrap mixture in two large foil packets while your BBQ is preheating over medium high heat.
Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Carefully open the packets, stir contents, re-seal and cook another 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. The sweet potato will take the longest so use that as your guide.
Serve on its own, with rice or another grain for a great meal! Also awesome with nuts, raisins or other dried fruit sprinkled on top.