Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I don't always have orange juice in the fridge.  When I do and depending on the amount of the orange juice in the container, I will use the juice in marinades or in dressings such as those used for salads.  I made this great vinaigrette for salads and both the DH and I enjoyed the taste.


1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic, rice or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp fresh minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients and mix well.   Drizzle over your salads.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


There are many ways to cook shrimp.  The fastest way is to saute them in a frying pan with oil, butter and garlic.  To dress up the shrimp you can saute a variety of vegetables and with adding rice to accompany the vegetables and shrimp, you have created a complete meal.  There are other vegetables you can add besides the one I have listed.  Examples include corn, celery, onion and carrots.  I did use the cilantro in this dish but you could use fresh basil instead.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this dish.

Shrimp cooking in the pan.

Diced zucchini and green beans.

Zucchini, green beans and red pepper cooking in the pan.

Shrimp and tomatoes have been added to the other vegetables.

Ready to serve.

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
16 raw, peeled shrimp
1 small zucchini, diced
1 handful of fresh green beans, diced
1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
7 grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon


Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan on medium heat.  Add the shrimp and garlic.  Stir often and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the pink are turning pink.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and add the zucchini and green beans to the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add the red pepper.  Stir often and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and shrimp and cook for another few minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.  Stir often.  Add salt and pepper and cilantro, stir and remove from the heat.  Place the vegetables and shrimp into a serving dish and squeeze the lemon juice over the vegetables and shrimp.  Serves 2 to 3.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I like having a salad each night as part of the supper meal.  But one does need variety and there are days when I create a non salad vegetable dish.  What I like about a vegetable saute is that you can use a variety of vegetables based on what you have in the fridge and the amounts of each vegetable added to the pan doesn't have to be exact.   Sometimes I add grated parmesan cheese to the individual servings when ready to serve.  You can serve this saute by itself or with rice, couscous or quinoa.

Onion, red pepper, garlic, celery and no salt seasoning.

Chopped tomatoes and chopped spinach added to the pan.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
handful of spinach
no salt seasoning to taste


On medium stove top heat, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion, celery, garlic, and pepper,  Saute for 5 minutes and lower the heat to medium low.  Add the tomatoes, no salt seasoning and spinach to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.  Serves 2 to 3.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have seen a number of recipes for making these egg cupcakes or egg muffins.  In many ways they are a mini quiche made without any flour.   They consist of eggs, zucchini, onions, red pepper, bacon and cilantro.  In making this recipe I used a dozen eggs and made 29 muffins.  I used non-stick muffin tins and inserted a paper muffin cup into each of the cups.  After baking the egg cupcakes and removing them from the paper cups, it would have been easier to spray the paper muffin cups with Pam.   These egg cupcakes would taste great with hot sauce or sweet chilli sauce.  Another important point to note is that zucchini adds moistures to the recipe and if you have the time, after chopping the zucchini, I might put the contents from the blender into a colander to drain some of the liquid for 30 or so minutes.

Cooked bacon.

I used this seasoning to add flavour.

I beat the eggs in the blender

Zucchini cut up before processing.

Zucchini chopped in the blender.

Spinach and cilantro chopped in the blender.

1/3 cup of egg batter added to muffin cups.

Egg cupcakes out of the oven.

Ready for sampling.

10 to 12 eggs
1/2 sweet onion
2 zucchini
8 slices cooked bacon
1 to 1 1/2 red or yellow peppers
4 cups spinach
1 handful of cilantro
pepper to taste
other seasoning to taste


Break the eggs into the blender or a food processor, add pepper and seasoning and blend for a minute.  Pour into a big bowl.  Chop the zucchini, onion and red pepper in the bender or food processor.  Chop it but don't overblend it as you don't want to liquify it.  Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the eggs.  Mix everything together.  Add the spinach and cilantro to the blender and chop.  I added a cup of the liquid egg mixture to the blender to help with the chopping of the spinach and cilantro.  Add this chopped mixture to the bowl.  Combine everything.  Add the chopped bacon to the egg mixture.  Mix all of the ingredients well.

Using non stick muffin tins, either grease each muffin cup with oil or add a paper muffin cup.  Fill each of the muffin cups with 1/3 of a cup of the egg mixture.   Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.  Makes over two dozen cupcakes.

Adapted from "Everyday Paleo" by Sarah Fragoso.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In the March edition of the Nutrition Action Healthletter there was an article on how much exercise a 150 pound person needs to do in order to burn off the calories in some of the popular snacks consumed.  I knew some of this information already but it is always an eye opener when you start to see a variety of snacks and exercises required to burn a certain number of calories.  Knowing this information may stop us from eating these high caloric snacks.  I would like to provide several examples.

(1) NY Fries, regular size (200 grams) has 580 calories.   You would need to play doubles tennis for one hour and 5 minutes.

(2) Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte with whipped cream, venti size (20 ounces) has 410 calories.  To burn these calories, you need to jog for 50 minutes.

(3) Buttersalt popcorn from Kernels, small size which is 9 cups, has 410 calories.  You need to do one hour and 15 minutes of low impact aerobics to burn these calories.

(4) Tim Hortons apple fritter has 300 calories.  You need to walk briskly for one hour.

(5) Tim Hortons raisin bran muffin has 410 calories.  To burn these calories would require strength training of one hour and 45 minutes ( 8 to 15 reps per exercise).

(6) Starbucks banana loaf has 430 calories.  You would need to swim laps for one hour and 5 minutes to burn these calories.

This March edition had a wonderful article on food volumetrics and calorie density of foods.  Calorie density is a predictor of weigh loss and maintenance.  People can cut calorie density in their food by reducing fat, sugar and refined grains and adding more vegetables and fruits to their diets.  The professor and author Barbara Rolls was interviewed for this article.  She has written a number of books on volumetrics.

The January/February 2010 edition of Nutrition Action Healthletter had an article on sugar overload.  Added sugars (eg. glucose, fructose, table sugar, honey, agave syrup, corn syrup) raises the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and gout.  One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories.  The average women should get no more than 100 calories, about 6.5 teaspoons, of added sugar a day and the average man should get no more than 150 calories, about 9.5 teaspoons, of added sugar a day according to the American Heart Association.  Just by consuming a can of coke, you will have exceeded your sugar intake for the day as it has 10.5 teaspoons of added sugar.  To convert teaspoons of sugar to grams of sugar, multiply by four.

To illustrate some of the added sugar to food that we consume, I provide the following examples:

-Tim Hortons, chocolate chip muffin has 10 teaspoons of added sugar
-Tim Hortons wheat carrot muffin has 6.5 teaspoons of added sugar
-Tim Hortons French Vanilla Cappuccino, medium size, has 8 teaspoons of added sugar
-Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 1 cup, has 4 teaspoons of added sugar
-Hershey's Special 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate, 1/2 bar (50 grams) has 6 teaspoons of added sugar
-Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte, grande size (16 ozs) has 5 teaspoons of added sugar
-Starbucks caramel macchiato, grande size (16 ozs) has 4 teaspoons of added sugar
-Starbucks pumpkin scone has 5 teaspoons of added sugar
-Dairy Queen Caramel Sundae, medium size, has 13 teaspoons of added sugar
-Dairy Queen Oreo Cookies Blizzard, medium size, has 18 teaspoons of added sugar
-Yogurt, 100 grams, low fat with fruit, has 3 teaspoons of added sugar
-Chapman's Orange Sherbet, 1/2 cup, has 5 teaspoons of added sugar
-Heinz Maple Style Beans in sauce, 1 cup, has 6 teaspoons of added sugar

I hope this information that I have provided in this blog post will help you in making choices when deliberating on eating a higher calorie or sugar snack.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I don't cook with kale very often and have used it mostly to make juices.  Kale is vey good for you; it has many nutrients and we should all be eating more of it.  This recipe is easy to make and both the DH and I enjoyed it.  For the 2 tablespoons of oil ( 1 tbsp to add to the cooked noodles and 1 tbsp to toast the walnuts) I used lemon flavoured olive oil.  The oil has a wonderful taste.  You have to keep your eyes on the pan when sauteing the walnuts.  I took my eyes off the pan to do something else and I overcooked the walnuts.  They were starting to burn.   I had to throw out that batch and start again.  Some people like to remove the rib from the stalk of kale and just use the leaves for sauteing as the rib can be tougher.  When using kale for juicing, I use the whole stalk.   Both the DH and I enjoyed this dish.

Brand of soba noodles I used.

Walnuts being saute in the frying pan.

Kale and nuts have been added to the noodles.

Ready to be served.
Noodles with Kale, Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese


3 ounces uncooked soba noodles
1 large bunch kale, chopped (2 plus cups)
2 tbsp oil
handful of walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ to 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium size pot, boil enough water to cook the pasta.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.  In another medium size pot, boil water for cooking the kale.  Add the kale, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.  In a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium high heat and sauté the walnuts until golden.  Remove the frying pan from the hot burner.

Drain the noodles and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.  Drain the kale.  Into a serving bowl, add the noodles.  Toss the noodles with 1 tbsp of oil.  Add ¼ cup of the reserved noodle cooking water to the bowl with the noodles.  Combine.   Add more cooking water if desired.  Add the kale, walnuts, salt and pepper.  Combine.  Add the Parmesan cheese.  Serves 2 to 4 depending if this dish is eaten as a side dish or the main entrée.

Adapted from the Oprah magazine, March 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


One of my girlfriend loves saute red cabbage.  She provided me with the recipe that is simple and has few ingredients.  One of the ingredients that makes this dish delicious is using lemon flavoured oil.  I recently bought some of this oil and have been using it to saute vegetables.   I liked the taste of this recipe and will make it again.

Onion and cabbage starting to cook.

Ready to serve at the table. 

1 tbsp oil ( I used lemon flavoured)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/4 head of red cabbage, chopped
1 to 2 tbsp sweet red chilli sauce


In a medium size frying pan, heat the oil on medium high and add the onion.  Saute for a minute and add the cabbage.  Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring the vegetables every few minutes.  Add the chilli sauce and combine with the cabbage and onion.  Serve 3 to 4.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I had leftover baked salmon from supper, about 10 ounces, so I decided to make a favourite recipe.  My sister-in-law gave me this recipe for clam chowder a number of years ago.  I have used clams, baked salmon or canned salmon in this chowder.   This recipe calls for potatoes but I used a cup of frozen corn niblets instead.  When I first read this recipe and saw the amount of garlic cloves, I thought the taste would be too strong but it isn't.  Because the cloves were large, I used 9 cloves of garlic.  Instead of flour I used flax seed meal as part of the roux in the chowder.  Recently, I bought flax seed meal by mistake.  I was looking to buy ground flax seed to make my breakfast cereal and I bought meal instead. The meal is like flour, finely ground and can be used in baking or as a thickener.

Chowder cooking in a big pot. 

Ready to eat.

Clam Chowder


½ cup butter or margarine
10 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cans of baby clams, drained
19 oz can of tomatoes with its juice
3 medium size carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, chopped OR 1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh or frozen basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot, on medium high heat, add the butter and garlic.  As the butter melts, add the flour.  This is a roux.  You don't want to overcook the roux and make paste.  Once everything is combined and well blended, add the milk.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients.   Once the chowder starts to boil, reduce the heat to simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.  If the chowder is too thick, thin with water or milk.