Category Archives: Recipes

Sweet Potato Mash

I don’t know about you, but I’m always having a hard time with side dishes. The meat I’ve got down (pretty much). But the same old boring steamed green beans was getting me down. And now with drastically reducing grains (ie. eating them once in the last 3 1/2 weeks), sometimes I want to add something a little starchier to my meals.

I’ve searched so many times for a recipe for a sweet potato mash. I love sweet potatoes, love the texture of a mash, but every one I saw had sugar and other crap in the recipe. So I made my own.

It’s quick, easy, and best of all, healthy. So if you like sweet potatoes, I’m sure you’ll like my mash.

Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:

2-3 sweet potatoes (you can alter the number you use, based on how many people you’re feeding, and if you want leftovers, which I always do!)

1 c. chicken stock (I have been making my own, believe it or not!)

butter to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Peel and chop sweet potatoes. Add chicken stock in a pot, and fill with water until it covers about 3/4 of the sweet potatoes. Boil until sweet potatoes are tender (I just check with a fork).

Drain sweet potatoes – BUT THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART. Save the cooking liquid in a heat proof container.

Return the sweet potatoes to the pot and mash. Add enough cooking liquid until they are at the desired consistency and runniness. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

I serve sweet potato mash with chicken, lamb, beef – it can go well with any type of meat. Let me know how you like it!

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Roasted Curry Vegetables

Tired of steamed vegetables and salad? Here’s a different way to get your veggies in, and the roasting gives them a sweeter flavour.

I will include one of my favourite combinations of veggies but feel free to get creative and make up your own (I got a tip today on the small turnips, so I’m going to try that one). I’m also going to test it out on the BBQ, so I can make it a summer favourite (when it’s too hot to turn on the oven), not just a winter one. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Roast Curry Vegetables
Ingredients:

1 c. cauliflower

1c. broccoli

1 red pepper

1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion)

1 sweet potato

1/2 mushrooms

1 c. carrots

olive oil

1 tsp curry powder (or to taste)

1 tsp cumin powder (or to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop veggies and put in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, curry powder and cumin (or any combination of spices that you love). Transfer into a 9 x 13 pan (large enough so veggies aren’t layered). Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

That’s it, that’s all! So easy, so delicious and a great way to eat your veggies!

Make your Salad Epic

It sure isn’t easy to eat healthy if your food tastes like crap, is it?

One of the biggest hurdles to eating healthy is picturing days on end of eating carrot sticks, celery, and oh god, not another salad. Healthy is boring to many people. So why stick to it.

If you’re watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (and you should be, it’s fabulous!), the local station DJ made a similar comment to Jamie about not wanting to eat lettuce to be healthy. In reality (as Jamie’s trying to show), there are so many great tasting recipes out there that aren’t salads, but still healthy.

Let’s call a spade a spade. A salad can be an easy and healthy part of a healthy diet, and most healthy people eat a lot of salad. Not all salads are healthy – there are plenty of unhealthy salads out there too – some have as much fat as a quarter pounder. Think taco salad, caesar salad, anything with a really creamy dressing.

And if you’re picturing your salad the typical iceberg lettuce, carrot, maybe tomato with Kraft salad dressing, forget it. That’s not a salad to me.

My point is if you’re going to make yourself a salad, make it EPIC. Make it memorable. Make it so delicious that you actually crave that salad the next day. Make it so epic you forget that it’s healthy – it’s just good food.

So, what makes a salad epic?

  • Start with your base of lettuce. Combining types of lettuce makes it interesting and adds different flavours. Mine right now has red lettuce and spinach. I love the buttery texture of the red lettuce. And I bought if for only ¢63. Not bad!
  • Add protein. Here’s a chance to make your protein rock. Leftover roast chicken. Chicken or turkey bacon. Hardboiled egg. Sliced flank steak. Leftover roast. The more flavourful, the more it adds to your salad. I often use 2 proteins – chicken and 1 hardboiled egg. Yum.
  • Lots of veggies. But only veggies you like, because really, who wants to pick veggies out of your own salad.
  • Sprouts on top. I love a good sprout – it gives the salad texture and a nutty flavour.
  • Nuts – sliced almonds, walnuts, whatever goes with your flavours.
  • Something warm – don’t underestimate the impact of warm food on your cold ingredients. Either I heat up my protein, or I will add steamed green beans, or other steamed veggies.
  • Something sweet. I don’t always do this, but if you want to kick it up a notch, add some dried cranberries or dried cherries for a little punch. Edit: Cut up fruit, such as apples or pears also add some sweetness with less sugar than dried fruit. (Thanks Carmen for your comment – I hadn’t included fruit!)
  • Something tart. I use goat cheese (since I’m non-dairy, it’s the only cheese I can eat). The goat cheese gives it a creamy texture, but also a little tartness. If you don’t like goat cheese (really??), you can get tart from the salad dressing as well. Plus, with the something warm (see above 2 steps), the goat cheese melts a bit.
  • Last but not least, the dressing. The dressing is THE most important part of any salad, I think. Which is why I’ve given up store bought salad dressings. They taste HORRIBLE after you’ve made your own, and it takes about as long to make your own as it takes to walk down the aisle and pull one of those nasty bottles off the shelf. I’ve put a number of my favourite on this site, and love to hear new recipes. So please, don’t be selfish, SHARE! Here’s a list of mine (click for the recipe):

Apple Cider Dressing

Green Dressing (on my salad right now!)

House Dressing

Asian Dressing

The one mistake that I often make is putting too much salad dressing on my salad. But I’m trying to curb that habit!

I’m eating lunch while I’m writing, and my salad is EPIC! I even remembered to take a picture (woohoo!) so the image you see is actually my salad. I only have egg in it, and some chicken would have made it even better. I had leftovers from last night’s dinner in the fridge, and I craved a salad instead.

And just so you don’t think I’m blowing smoke, last week I offered to make one of my salad dressings for a dinner party with friends. And I got compliments on my salad dressing, yes I did.

So here’s my call out to all of you. To my friends. I want to prove to you how epic my salads are, so please, send me an email and I will have you over for lunch to experience one of my salads. Yes, I said “experience”, cause that’s what it is. I expect my lunch calendar to be full soon!

Lemongrass Flank steak and roast beet salad

Had the most delicious dinner tonight. (I’m starting to think I’m over using the word “delicious”, but everything else sounds corny!)

Today was grocery shopping day. It’s moved from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning. It’s much quieter on Monday morning! Just me and the old people….

It’s much quicker now to shop as well, as most of my shopping is done in the produce and meat departments, with the occasional foray to find oil, vinegar or some other accompaniment.

For tonight’s meal, I made Flank steak marinated in a lime and lemongrass marinade (thanks Craig fo the recipe!), with leftover sweet potato mash and roasted beet salad. Scrumptious!

Lemongrass Flank Steak

Ingredients:

1 flank steak

lemongrass

1 clove of garlic

1 1/2″ piece of ginger

2 tbsp chopped basil

juice of 2 limes

Directions:

Take a 1″ piece of lemongrass and soften using a mortar and pestle. Add a clove of garlic and ginger and continue to blend. Add basil.

Juice limes and mix with lemongrass mixture. Pour into a ziploc bag and add the flank steak. Massage the bag so the marinade covers the steak. Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or longer).

Take steak out 20 minutes before grilling. Grill on BBQ or indoor grill.

Roast beet salad

Ingredients

1 bunch of beets

Sea salt

olive oil

thyme

Arugula

juice of an orange (I used 1/2 clementine)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and remove tops.  Line a 8 x 12 dish with foil. Cut beets in quarters or halves (depending on size) and place in foil covered dish. Throw some salt, basil, and olive oil over the beets. Roast for 45 minutes – 50 minutes (until beets are tender – which always takes longer for me!).

Slice beets once cooled. Line a plate with the arugula and place cooled beets on top. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Drizzle the orange juice over the beets and sprinkle with salt. Serve and enjoy!

Quick and healthy banana “ice cream”

Roll back a year, and I had pretty much a nightly date with a carton of ice cream. No – I didn’t eat the whole thing each night, but most nights after dinner I would have a couple of scoops. Healthy, eh?

I’ve since broken that pattern – mostly after the detox that I did last year. Giving up dairy hasn’t hurt the cause either. I have to admit that I’ve had a couple of indulgences over the past year, but nothing like what it was before.

When I have a craving, I’ve discovered a delicious alternative. It tastes like ice cream, but is sooooooo much healthier.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!

Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

almond milk

vanilla (to taste)

Directions:

I use a hand blender, but you can use a blender as well. Put banana, and enough almond milk to be able to blend the banana into the blender. Add a dash of vanilla to taste. You could also add cocoa powder for a chocolatey taste. Blend until creamy.


Yep, that’s all there is to it!

Here’s another tip. When I buy bananas, I rarely eat them all. So I peel them, cut in half, and throw into a ziploc bag, which I then keep in the freezer. I always have frozen bananas on hand for a smoothie or to make some ice cream!

Damn – writing about the ice cream is making me hungry! Think I’m gonna go make some….

Shrimp skewers

I felt like shrimp tonight, and so I fired up the BBQ and made some tasty shrimp!

I served it on top of a salad, and had the most delicious dinner. I must say that some nights I’m really outdoing myself! Some of these meals are restaurant quality…or better. My talent has been finding these awesome recipes! This from the girl who often hates to cook. Maybe I should have people over for dinner more often…..(if only the house cleaning fairies would visit!)

(Oh, wait, I said “girl”. Is it ok to still say “girl” or have I really outgrown that and have to say “woman”. Funny, I still feel like I’m in my 20’s, so “girl” it is.)

The shrimp skewers were simple and quick – easily something you could throw on the BBQ (or inside grill if you have one) and have dinner ready in about 20 minutes. My salad ingredients were mostly cut up already, so I just had to assemble them together.

When you read the ingredients below, you may think that butter isn’t healthy. I believe that we need to have some healthy fats in our diet, and believe it or not, many nutritionists and naturopaths believe that butter is healthy, when used in moderation. I don’t use it every day, but there are certain times I do use butter. Our bodies need fat, so make sure you include a healthy fat every day – butter, animal fat (yep, animal fat), olive oil.

If you want to be healthier, ditch the margarine and replace with butter – the fats in margarine are the unhealthy fats!

(Just a reminder – these aren’t actual photos of the meals, for the most part. I get so excited with what I’ve just created that I finish it BEFORE I remember to take a picture! Note to self – must remember to photograph meal before eating.)

Shrimp Skewers

If you have frozen shrimp, but the shrimp in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, take room temperature butter (unsalted), and add in 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on your taste).

Peel shrimp, then place onto skewers. I put 6 shrimp per skewer.

Baste both sides of the shrimp with butter mixture then place on grill.

While cooking, turn shrimp and baste. Cook until shrimp are fully pink.

Salad

Ingredients:

Lettuce (this time I used red lettuce – it was soft and buttery!)

Red pepper

Cucumber

1/2 avocado

crumbled goat cheese

sprouts sprinkled on top

Take shrimp off skewers and serve on top of salad

Apple Cider Salad Dressing

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Add a dash of maple syrup. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard powder and shake to mix.

Pour dressing over salad.


Voila. A simple and delicious dinner!!

Breakfast Omelette

My new favourite breakfast is quickly becoming the breakfast omelette. The past week I’ve been alternating between omelettes and smoothies for breakfast (depending on how much time I have!).

The great thing about an omelette is it makes it easy to have veggies and protein for breakfast.

Here’s my recipe for today’s omelette.

Tomato, Pepper and Avocado Omelette – cooking time, approx 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

Coconut oil

Chopped onion

1/4 red pepper

1 plum tomato

1/2 avocado

Chile powder (to taste)

2 eggs

salsa

Directions:

In pan, melt coconut oil. Add onion and pepper and brown for 2 minutes. Add tomato, avocado and chile powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer from pan to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy. Pour the egg mixture into the empty pan. As the egg cooks, lift up the sides and let the uncooked egg run underneath. When the egg is almost set (no runny egg left on top), spread the tomato mixture to one half of the omelette. Flip the other side of the egg on top, so that the egg is folded in half (and over the tomato mixture). Cook for another minute or two on each side.

Serve with salsa for a healthy and tasty breakfast!