Monday, September 5, 2011

Recipe Catch Up

Well hello out there… Hopefully someone’s still out there despite my sporadic posts.  The last long weekend of the summer is over, and all the kiddies are heading back to school.  I have to say though that fall is my favorite time of the year.  The cooler weather, (not that we’ve had a very hot summer), the turning leaves, the annual trek to the Valley to see the Pumpkin People it’s all good.  Well almost all, the one thing I don’t enjoy is the shorter days, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Even though I haven’t been posting I have been taking pictures.  The only problem with that is I can’t remember what recipes go along with what pictures. I thought I would just do a recap of some of the pics that I know.
This first one is for my parents.  They’ve been helping me out a lot looking after my house while it’s for sale. Mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, turning off the lights when the realtors forget and so on.  They live next door to the house so it saves me tons of time and gas driving in from Porters Lake.  I’ve been doing some cooking and baking for them in return.
I thought this recipe came from Oh She Glows but I can’t seem to find it there at the moment. My next best guess is I found it via Pinterest.  It was a simple no bake dessert, that I knew my dad would LOVE, because it contained peanut butter and my dad is addicted to peanut butter.  The other ingredients were rice syrup, vanilla, Kamut puffs, butter (or earth balance) and melted chocolate to drizzle over the top.
IMG_0121 Of course I sampled them before delivering them to the parents…. they almost didn’t make it there.
As soon as I saw Angela’s post over at Oh She glows for the Chocolate Chunk Toffee Bars I knew I had to make them.  It seems I missed taking a picture of these.  Not sure what happened there.  These too were super good, but everything I’ve made from OSG has been, so that wasn’t a shock. 
I also whipped up a batch of these Wheat Free Chocolate Digestive Cookies.  I modified the recipe slightly.  I used Xylitol instead of Stevia, and added a little maple syrup, and a couple tbsp of melted butter.
IMG_0114  IMG_0119

Really I haven’t just been making sweet treats.  I found a recipe I knew hubby would LOVE!!!  I mean how could I go wrong it incorporated all of his favorites, pasta, cheese and beer.  Yup, you heard right beer.  Usually I’m drooling over How Sweet Eats dessert creations but this is equally as good.  I think Easy Beer Mac and Cheese is possibly the best mac and cheese I’ve tasted.  
IMG_0132 IMG_0134
I guess that’s all for now.  I’m going to tuck myself into bed and get my beauty sleep before heading back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Clean Eating Beans and Rice

Hi ALL!!!  Hope your week is going great so far.  It’s a little grey, rainy and rather chilly here on the east coast.  Feels more like fall instead of August but I’m on vacation and any day that does not involve going there is a good day in my world.  There aren’t any exciting plans for the week, just hanging out at home and taking care of some things I’ve been putting off.   I spent most of Monday laying around in my pj’s, watching tv, surfing the net and looking through cookbooks.  I thought about the fact that the dishes needed to be done, and the floors needed to be cleaned, not to mentions the 54323 loads of laundry to do … I don’t know how 2 people can have so much laundry.  I think my neighbors sneak in when we’re at work and drop theirs off … but I didn’t feel one bit guilty about not doing it.
One of the cookbooks I was browsing was the Eat – Clean Diet for Men.  I  think I have all of the Eat Clean / Tosca Reno books.  I bought this one in hopes there would be hubby approved recipes in it.  They all have a lot of great recipes, training and shopping tips as well as meal plans and grocery lists.  Tosca is Canadian born in Quebec.  At the age of 40 ( I think), she started to change her life / health for the better by eating clean and working out.  In my opinion she has smokin' body, and the fact she’s 52… the saying, you’re never to old comes to mind.

I’ve tried a few of the Eat Clean recipes and haven’t been disappointed.  One in particular that hubby and I both loved was the Pasta Roll Ups with Turkey and Spinach
I can’t do a lot of dairy so not one I can eat often but it is a delish and easy recipe.
I decided on this one last night for my supper, too many veggies for hubby so I made a different meal for him, but I’ll get to that in another post.
Black Beans and Rice
Nutritional Information: 1/2 cup serving  110 Cal; 3 g Fat; 3 g Fiber; 3.6 g Protein; 18 g Carbs
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 19 oz can black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper or pepper of choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup canned, fresh or thawed frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I substituted cilantro.  That’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced (I used 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (I used the juice of one lime)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
**The original recipe is served cold.  I sautéed my onions, peppers, celery and corn,. Mixed in the rice and a little low sodium chicken broth, a few canned San Marsano tomatoes and added the beans at the end just to warm them up and served with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
IMG_0089  IMG_0091 IMG_0095

It was pretty tasty hot and made a good side dish.  The leftovers I nibbled on out of the fridge today were just as good. It would make a good burrito filling too, just add a little cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach…yumm!!!
Enjoy your night!!

New Camera = Wordless Wednesday

My first wordless Wednesday post, Enjoy!!                                              IMG_0019
Happy Wednesday!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quinoa Tabouleh and Real Estate Woes

When last I checked in I had recently put my house on the market.  Well..... my house is STILL on the market, not a good thing in my world.  There were two offers and both fell through at the last minute.

A common comment from people viewing the house is that they were hoping for more of an open concept.  Ummmm....people it's a 50 year old house, open concept didn't exist then, what did you expect.  Unfortunately for me this house was a rental, my tenants moved out so it's killing me to pay the mortgage while it sits empty.  Needless to say I'm not in my happy place right now.  I'm not sure what I did to PISS OFF the real estate gods but whatever it was I'M SORRY!!!!  Please let my house sell.... SOON!!

Moving on to the food.  Quinoa seems to be a recurring theme on the blog.  Considering I hated it the first time I tried it that's progress.  I'm sure most of you already have the scoop on it but in case you don't here a few tidbits

  • It's a seed not a grain
  • Gluten free
  • High in fiber 
  • Complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids.
One of my favorite foods is Tabouleh I could eat it every day.  It's a refreshing and healthy salad. Sometimes I find it hard to get my hands on the small bulgur and a lot of it that I have purchased has a stale taste to it which I don't like. Also, I'm trying to cut out as much gluten as possible so Quinoa makes a great substitute. 

Tabouleh with Quinoa
** Measurements are only estimates, I've never used a recipe to make it.**

1 cup cooked quinoa cooled ( I use red and white)
Juice of one lemon approx 4 Tbsp or more to taste I like mine lemony
1 large or 2 small green onions finely chopped
2 or 3 large mint leaves finely chopped
2  Tbsp EVOO
3 garlic cloves grated or minced ( I always grate my garlic using a microplane grater)
3 or 4 medium ripe tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 large bunch of parsley finely chopped (I prefer curly but you can use flat leaf too)
Sea Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Combine the lemon juice, EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate for an  hour or so to let the flavours combine.

You can play with this to make it your own.  More tomatoes, less parsley, more garlic... whatever your tastes are. 

Slather a cracker with some crack hummus aka Sabra roasted garlic, and top with a scoop of this soooo good.

With any luck I'll get a couple of posts in this week.  I'm on vacation and it looks like rain for most of the week here in Halifax, so I'll have time on my hands.  

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Really ……You’re Cooking Supper?

Yup, that's right.... I'm actually posting twice in one week.  Trust me I'm as shocked as you are!!
If you follow me on twitter you may already know that I put my house up for sale.  Something I honestly wish I didn’t have to do but my tenants moved out at the end of May and I know I’ll never find tenants like them again.  Adding to the stress of finding good tenants is the fact that my parents live next door soooo you can imagine how difficult life could become if the tenants from hell moved in.
Another reason for selling is that I am planning on going back to school.  Never thought I’d be saying that at the age of 42, I must be crazy!!  Everyone always says you should do something you love, enjoy, and are passionate about, well I’m here to tell you I don’t love accounting/finances and I certainly am not passionate about it, but it does pay the bills.  So I’ve decided to change things up and start off by studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist.  Fingers crossed my old brain can handle the extra work.
I’ve been struggling lately with preparing meals, again. Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He does NOT like veggies.  I mean he doesn’t even like onions or peppers in a meal unless they are cooked to DEATH and I mean cooked to death.  If he comes home and sees me chopping peppers he has it in his head he won’t like it.  If I chop the veggies up in the food processor so they are pretty much indistinguishable he’s none the wiser and he has always says he like it.  I tell you it’s like cooking for a kid.  I actually bought cookbooks for kids for ideas on how to hide veggies in food. Sad, I know.  Once in a while we have a breakthrough and tonight was one of those nights.  Hubby decided he was cooking supper. It doesn’t happen often and his choices are usually not “healthy” but I am grateful for the break all the same.  Especially with the struggle I’ve been having lately.
I was pleasantly surprised with tonight’s choices.
Cherry Tomato & Pancetta Amatriciana
  • 1 box Penne or Fettuccini
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 150 grams Pancetta1/2 red onion diced
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (he used low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2/3 cup grated parmigiano regiano
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions on package.
In a large skillet sauté pancetta until crisp.  Drain fat.  Add EVOO to pan.  Sauté onion and garlic for 5 min or until soft. Stir in wine (or broth), parsley, tomatoes and pepper.  Cook about 10 mins.  Add pasta water, basil and cheese.  Add pasta and toss.  Serve with fresh grated parmigiano and chopped parsley for garnish.
Pancetta Amatriciana
He also made some Oven Fried chicken.  I don’t have the recipe for that but I have to say it was quite tasty. 
oven fried chicken 
Not the best pictures, but technology hates me tonight.  It started with my camera when I went to take pictures of supper.  This is what the screen looked like when I turned it on.  I think it’s safe to say it’s toast :o(

Well that’s all for now…. The big game is about to start, so I’m going to join the rest of Canada and cheer my team on!!  Game 7 !!!!
Cheers…. Jackie

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chocolate and Quinoa

Well Hellloooooo!!!  It appears I haven't written since December.  Wow, how time flies.  I've planned on writing many, many times over the last month or so.  I've written many posts in my head, unfortunately they never made it to the blog.

Even though it's been awhile, I'm just going to make this a quick one.  I've been on a search for a relatively healthy cookie that hubby would like.  Well, I've finally found one.  One of the main ingredients is quinoa, yup that's right quinoa.  Now I was a wee bit skeptical when I saw quinoa in a cookie but I thought I would give it a try.

Chocolate Quinoa Cookies 
Adapted from Peggy Kotsopoulos Recipe

My changes are marked with an * and the measurements are approximate.  I've made them a couple of times and didn't measure any of my changes either time.  It's an easy recipe to play with though, so have fun with it!!

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup quinoa flakes (or oatmeal) - I used oats
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 large VERY RIPE bananas *
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar*
2 Tbsp maple syrup*
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted*
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tsp Maca (optional)*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon*
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 -1/3 cup cocoa
Optional ingredients - raisins, walnuts, pecans

Preheat oven to 380 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork add vanilla, maple syrup and melted coconut oil.  In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Add wet to dry and mix well.  If you think the batter is a little on the wet side you can add a few more oats or a bit more cocoa powder.  The batter should be on the wet side though.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop batter on to cookie sheet.  Bake for 25-30 mins. * They took about 20 mins in the convection oven*

I made half the batch without cocoa or chocolate chips for hubby.  He doesn't like chocolate... I don't get it myself, how can anyone NOT like chocolate.  One of the great mysteries of the world!

Here's hoping it's not another 6 months before I post again.

Cheers... Jackie