Monday, April 21, 2014


A friend recently gave me a recipe for a vegetarian moussaka.  She made it with zucchini instead of eggplant and used quinoa in it.  I decided to take the basics of it and make it lower calorie along with some other tweaking.  The DH and I both enjoyed it and I froze several portions for future lunches.

Vegetable mixture in the pan.

Sauce poured over the vegetables.

Just out of the oven.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic. minced
2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
2 medium size zucchinis, quartered and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
small can of tomatoes or 4 fresh or frozen tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water or broth
pepper to taste

1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste


In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat and add the garlic and onions.  Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, quinoa, tomatoes and broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.  Season with pepper to taste.

In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and add the flour.  Whisk the eggs and the flour and add the milk.  Combine well and add the shredded cheese.  Add salt band pepper, mix and set aside.

Oil a 9 X 13 inch pan and place the vegetable mixture in the pan.  Spread the mixture evenly across the pan and pour the sauce over the vegetables.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes until the dish is golden brown.  Serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I have collected cookbooks over the years and I do find it relaxing to sit in a relaxing chair and read cookbooks as a way to unwind.  I may not read the cookbook from cover to cover but will read sections at a time.  I also enjoy the books that include pictures.  The challenge is of course when I make a particular recipe, will it look like the one in the cookbook.  The following recipe does look like the photo in the cookbook.

I have been spending time reading the new cookbook I bought, "oh she glows", which I quite enjoy.  I decided to make the classic glo bar which I have paraphrased as a granola bar.  What attracted me to the bar is that I buy protein bars or a healthy 'clean eating' bar for myself and the DH to have as a snack during the day.  These bars filled the bill as a good snack.  I also figured out the carbs, protein and fat content using 'my fitness pal' based on 12 bars.  Each bar contains 191 calories, 24 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein.  If you don't have dry rice cereal you can substitute with another dry cereal.  These bars are gluten free.  Both the DH and I enjoyed the bars and we ate them over a period of 9 or 10 days.  I will make them again.

I can't the provide the original recipe to you as it is copy right protected and I didn't modify it enough to make it different from the original recipe in the cookbook.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I have been reading the recipes in the new cookbook by Angela Liddon.  In a previous post I wrote about her new cookbook 'Oh She Glows'.  I really liked this lentil nut loaf and I took it for lunches instead of my usual soups.  The DH also liked this loaf.  The glaze is worth making as it adds to the flavour.   I also recorded the ingredients into the app 'my fitness pal' and saved it as a recipe so that I could count the grams of protein, fat and carbs.

Chopping the vegetables in a food chopper.

Mixing the vegetables and the raisins.

Ready to go into the oven.  You can see how the parchment paper  goes over the sides of the loaf pan.

Cooked and being to be sliced.  

Lentil Nut Burger


1 cup uncooked green lentils
3 cups of water
1 cup mixed nuts, toasted, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely ground flaxseed
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1/3 cup raisins
½ cup flour
½ cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic apple glaze:
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce or apple butter
1 tbsp maple syrup


1.     In a medium size pot, cook the lentils in the three cups of water.  Once the lentils start to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Drain excess water and using a food processor, process the lentils for less than 30 seconds until it is a smooth paste.   Don’t puree all of the lentils and leave about half a cup of lentils intact as they add texture.

2.     Line a loaf pan, 9 X 5 inches with parchment paper.  The parchment paper needs to come up the sides of the loaf pan and be a bit taller than the loaf pan so that you can lift the loaf out of the pan by the parchment paper.

3.     In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the celery, onion, apple and raisins.  Saute for five more minutes.

The nuts and vegetables should be finely chopped so that the loaf holds together.   

4.     Carefully stir in the processed lentils, flaxseed, nuts, flour, bread crumbs, thyme and oregano.  Stir until well combined. 

5.     Press the lentil mixture firmly and evenly into the loaf pan.  You can use the back of a fork or a wooden spoon to press the mixture down firmly in the pan.

6.     In small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the balsamic glaze.  Spread the glaze over the loaf using a spoon or a pastry brush.

7.     Bake uncovered in the oven at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.  Gently lift the loaf out of the pan using the parchment paper and place onto a cooling rack. Cool for thirty minutes before slicing.  Makes 8 servings.

To make it gluten free use oat flour and gluten free bread crumbs.

I used unsalted mixed nuts that were already toasted.  You can use just walnuts,  almonds or other nuts.

Modified from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


When I buy lean ground turkey, I end up buying four packages of lean ground turkey from Costco and each package is frozen for future use.  If you are thinking why I am buying four packages at a time, it is because Costco does not sell individual one pound packages.  I try to use the ground turkey in different ways.  I decided to make turkey taco salad for supper one night.  I don't think I have ever made turkey taco salad before.  There are numerous ways to make a turkey taco salad.  I wanted to make a healthy version of a taco salad and use ingredients based on what was in the fridge.

I didn't have salsa in the fridge or cupboards but I had sour cream.  I also did not have nacho or taco chips.  I decided to add a cup of cooked brown rice to the turkey mixture in the frying pan as I thought it would add volume to the dish and I also wanted to use the leftover rice.  The meal was great.

Ground turkey and vegetables being sautéed.

Ready to serve.


2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 coloured pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground lean turkey
1/2 tsp chill powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste

shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped cucumbers
chopped cilantro
sour cream or plain yogurt
shredded cheese


Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a non stick frying pan, add the onions, pepper and garlic.  Reduce the heat to medium and saute for five minutes.  Add the ground turkey and continue to sauté until the turkey is cooked (10 minutes or so).  Ensure to break up the pieces of turkey so that you don't have big chunks of meat.  Add the chill powder and cumin and salt and pepper.   Combine well and cook for another few minutes.

To create individual salads, use a large soup or salad bowl.  Layer the bowl with chopped lettuce. Amount is based on how big a salad you want to serve.  Add one half to one cup of turkey mixture to each bowl.  Top with cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, salsa. shredded cheese and sour cream based on your preference.

The turkey mixture will serve 4 to 6 people depending on portion sizes.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Many people think of mac n' cheese as comfort food.  Mac n' cheese can be made in some many ways, from pre packaged to basic to gourmet.  I grew up eating cottage cheese with bow ties noodles.  This remains one of my comfort food.

This recipe is not first vegan mac n' cheese I have made.  I have made it using nutritional yeast which is used as a substitute for cheese.  The nutritional yeast was combined with other ingredients including garlic, dry mustard, flour and milk.  This recipe is nut based - cashews and almonds.  I prefer this recipe versus the one that used nutritional yeast.

In making this recipe, I first soaked the nuts for two hours in water.   It softens the nuts and they actually expand.  I also halved the ingredients to make the casserole serve two instead of four.  The servings were quite filling and likely the nuts and olive oil make the dish satisfying.   Both the DH and I enjoyed this dish and I will make it again.

Just out of the oven.

Eating my mac n' cheese after a salad.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese


3 – 3 1/2 cups of dried pasta (about 10 ounces).  Use short pasta such as macaroni, bow ties, short penne

1 ½ cups almond, coconut or soy milk
¾ cup raw cashews
½ cup raw almonds
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 tsp arrowroot powder or corn starch
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp onion powder or dehydrated onion flakes
¼ tsp dry mustard
1 cup water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional but adds richness)

½ to 1 cup dried whole grain bread crumbs
½ to 1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil an 8 X 12 inch baking dish.

Cook the pasta per the directions.    Once the pasta is almost tender, fully drain but don’t rinse the noodles.  Put the noodles back into the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, the sauce can be prepared.  Using a blender, add half a cup of the milk (reserve the rest) and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.  Blend the ingredients until the mixture is very smooth.  Add the remaining cup of the milk and blend.  Pour the sauce over the noodles in the pot and combine.  The mixture will look very runny but it will thicken up while it is baking.  Pour the noodles into the casserole dish.   

Prepare the topping by mixing the bread crumbs and oil in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the casserole.   Cover the casserole with a lid or a piece of tin foil.  Bake for 17 to 18 minutes.  Remove the lid or foil and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes.   You don’t want to over bake the casserole as it will get too dry.  Serves 4.

 Adapted from 'Let them eat vegan' by Dreena Burton

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Some of you may be familiar with the blog site "Oh She Glows", written by Angela Liddon.  Her site is a very popular vegan blog site and has wonderful recipes.  Angela has just written a cookbook with over 100 recipes.  Angela's cookbook and website provides some background on her life's journey.  She talks about switching to a vegan diet about five years ago after struggling for many years with an eating disorder and eating low calorie processed foods.  Her transition to a vegan diet didn't happen overnight, it was a gradual process.  Her cookbook goes into more detail on her lifestyle changes and her cooking trails in creating recipes.  The recipe that started this all for her is a granola bar.  In 2009, Angela created a vegan energy bar and started to sell it online.  She was selling over 500 bars a week and she was making these bars by hand.  The recipe is included in her book.

There are a number of reasons why I like this cookbook.  It has ten easy to understand chapters, the recipes include tips and ingredient substitutions.  There are not many imitation vegan foods and generally the recipes are vegetable, fruit, grain, nuts, legumes and seed based.  The cookbook contains a chapter on ingredients and what a pantry could contain.  I did learn some things reading this chapter.  I also like the photographs of each of the recipes.

There are some recipes in the cookbook that I have been making already and it was good to see her suggestions for them.  I made two of her recipes today which I will blog in the near future.   If you are looking to add a new cookbook to your collection I would recommend this book.  It won't gather dust.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Cooking vegetables with couscous is convenient in only having to use one large frying pan and you can make the vegetables to be the focus of the recipe.  You can also cook enough to have leftovers for at least two meals.  I used fresh cilantro but you could use other herbs including parsley or dill.  If using fresh dill, I would only use about one tablespoon of chopped fresh dill.   You can also substitute quinoa for the couscous if you want to make this dish gluten free.

Instead of making a salad along with baked chicken breasts, I cooked a variety of vegetables and added couscous while the vegetables were cooking.  I served this couscous vegetable medley with the chicken and that was a perfect supper for the DH and I.

Couscous vegetable medley is ready to be served.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 mushrooms, chopped
1/4 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
half cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup water


In a large non stick frying pan, heat the oil on medium high.   Add the onion and garlic and sauté for three to four minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add the remainder of the vegetables and cook for about three to five minutes.  Add the cilantro, couscous and water, reduce the heat to low and cover.  Cook for ten minutes and occasionally stir the mixture.  Serves four.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


There are many ways to make scalloped potatoes.  You can use different kinds of cheeses, sprinkled cooked bacon on top or through the middle of the casserole.  Not all recipes include onion.  I added onion to the first layer of potatoes.  I used extra old cheddar cheese in the cream sauce.  Before putting the casserole in the oven, I added a mixture of shredded Italian cheeses. The DH and I enjoyed this dish.  And there were leftovers!

Potatoes layered then followed with thinly cut onions.

Cheese cream sauce poured over the first layer of potatoes with the added onions.

Shredded cheese sprinkled on top.  Ready for the oven.

Just out of the oven and ready to serve.
Scalloped Potatoes

2 pounds of thinly sliced potatoes
½ medium size onion, thinly sized 
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated or thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top


In a small sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour.  Let sit for a minute.  Add the cold milk and stir with a whisk.  Season with salt
Cook the sauce on low until smooth and boiling, stirring occasionally with a whisk.  Reduce heat and stir in cheese.

Place half of the sliced potatoes in a lightly greased medium size casserole dish.  Add the sliced onions and spread over the potatoes.

Pour half of cheese sauce over potatoes.  Repeat with second layer of potatoes and cheese sauce.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour at 350°F.

Modified from

Sunday, February 16, 2014


There is a bit of peanut butter in the house; more than what the DH, the dog and I can eat in a reasonable time frame.  The DH eats more peanut butter than I do.  He decided he wanted to eat peanut butter that is less processed, just peanuts, so the large tub of Skippy peanut butter needs to disappear.   This recipe is made with almond and coconut flours.  You could use peanut flour or oat flour instead of the coconut flour if you wanted.  I added coconut flakes but you could add chocolate chips instead.  I also used 1/3 cup of Splenda so the cookies are not as sweet.   The cookies don't look pretty but they are good.  Eating two of these cookies does hit the mark.  You could duck them in milk or almond milk and that would be a perfect combination.


1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup Splenda
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk or almond milk or soy milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, salt and Splenda.   In a separate medium size bowl, whisk with a fork, the egg, milk, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.

Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients until combined.  Add the coconut and combine.

Using non stick cookie sheets, drop by a tablespoon onto the sheet.  Allow some separation between cookies.  The cookies do not spread out like some other cookies.  Using a fork, flatten each cookie.   Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are browned.   Makes about 38 cookies.

Based on my fitness pal and using skippy peanut butter, each cookie has the following breakdown:
82 calories, 4 gm carbs, 6 gms fat, 2 gms protein and 1 gm sugar.

Recipe modified from the Wheat Belly Cookbook.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


A friend posted a link on Facebook to a list of recipes using beets.  Since I had cooked beets in the fridge I decided to investigate the recipes.  There were a number that looked interesting and this one caught my attention as I like quinoa.  Of course I made a number of modifications.  Costco sells cooked vacuum sealed beets in small packages and I have been buying them as it saves on cooking time and it is convenient.

The recipe calls for orange juice.  I didn't have any in the house so I used apple juice.  If I hadn't had apple juice I would have used lemon juice but not likely the whole 1/4 cup.  I also used a combination of white and red quinoa.  Besides adding some chopped almonds, I also included roasted chopped hazelnuts.  I added more chick peas than what the recipe calls for.  I added about a cup and a half of cooked chick peas.  If I would have had fresh cilantro or parsley, I would have added a handful of chopped herbs to the salad.  The salad is very good and I will be making this one as one of my 'go to' salads.

Quinoa, Beet and Chick Pea Salad


3 cups cooked quinoa 
2 beets, trimmed and quartered
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp tamari sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar, maple syrup or honey
1 cup cooked, drained chick peas
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces
handful of roasted almonds, chopped or slivered


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  While the quinoa is cooking, roast the beets in a medium size roasting pan, by combining the beets with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt.  Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the beets are tender (roughly 45 minutes).  Remove the beets from the hot pan and set aside to cool.  When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin. Cut the beets into bite sized pieces. 

Dressing: combine the olive oil, orange juice, tamari, vinegar, and agave in a cup and whisk.  Set aside. 

Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and orange pieces.  Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  Gently add in the cut up roasted beets and chopped almonds.  Do not over mix or your entire salad will turn beet red.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh goat cheese, if desired. Serves 4.