Saturday, April 28, 2012


I don't cook red snapper frequently.  I tend to cook cod, halibut, pickerel or salmon more often.  The sauce helps make the dish more flavourful.   This recipe is very easy and fast to make, especially when you are short of time.  You can serve this dish with rice, couscous or quinoa.


1/2 lb red snapper fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped green onions or 1 tsp dried onions
1 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger


Rinse the fillets and pat dry with paper towels.  In a shallow bowl mix together all of the other ingredients.  While heating a non stick medium size frying pan, dip the fillets into the marinade to coat both sides.  Place the fillets in the skillet.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Pour the remaining marinade into the skillet.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 3 minutes.  Fish is cooked if it flakes easily with a fork.  Serves 2.

Adapted from

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


For those of you using ground almonds (also called almond meal) instead of flour to make muffins, this recipe makes a nice pumpkin nut muffin.  I used pecans for the nuts and a pumpkin spice mixture that I had on the spice shelf for making pumpkin pies.   When I first started to make muffins with almond meal, I was tempted to increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F but realized that these muffins need to cook longer than those made with wheat flour.


2 cups ground almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup splenda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice mixture or 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 can (14 or 15 oz) unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream or coconut or almond milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease or line with paper muffin cups enough muffin tins to make 18 muffins.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together, the ground almonds, nuts, flaxseed, splenda, spices and salt.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, milk and oil.  Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and combine.  Spoon the batter into the muffins tins filling them to about 3/4 full.

Bake for 45 minutes and test to ensure they are dry by using a toothpick.  Makes about 18 muffins.

Adapted from Wheat Belly diet by Dr. William Davis

Sunday, April 22, 2012


One can never buy just one pound of ground turkey at Costco, it usually comes in bundles of four one pound packages.  I tend to freeze the individual packages for future meals.   One recent recipe that I made was turkey loaf that included spinach, chopped onion and garlic.  It was delicious.  You can serve the loaf with rice or mashed potatoes.  I also froze several portions which I can use for lunches.

Turkey mixture spooned into baking dish

Lemon slices placed over the unbaked loaf.

An inside look at a slice of turkey loaf.


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 pkg of frozen spinach, thawed or 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1 slice of bread, slightly toasted, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp of grated lemon rind
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
thin slices of lemon


Squeeze excess water from thawed spinach if using a frozen package.  In a medium size bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the lemon slices.

Into a baking dish (6 to 8 cup size), transfer the turkey mixture.  Smooth out the top.  Arrange the lemon slices on top.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes.  The meat loaf should be thoroughly cooked.  Serves 4 to 5.

Adapted from Anne Lindsay "Lighthearted at Home".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It is asparagus season and there are many different ways to use asparagus.  I wanted to make a salad style of a dish as I was transporting the asparagus over to a friend's home for supper.  You can make the recipe ahead of time.  The recipe calls for two avocados but I only used one.  I also didn't have a fresh lemon so I used 1 tbsp of lemon juice.  The salad is very good.

Asparagus draining.

Salad is prepared and is ready to be served or can be put in the fridge for a few hours.

2 pounds asparagus, thick ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced 

1 lemon, zested and juiced
 or 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 
or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
 or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt
and ¼ tsp black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove, rinse under cold water, and drain.

Combine asparagus, avocados, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, parsley, cilantro, mint, vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over asparagus mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or chill for several hours.

Adapted from

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I have posted cherry crisp recipes in the past but this new recipe by Pioneer Woman caught my attention for two reasons.  It uses almond slivers in the topping and the cherry crisp is baked in individual ramekins.  I used both small ramekins and large ramekins to bake the cherry crisp.  The cherry crisp was wonderful and the company who devoured the cherry almond crisp gave great reviews.  I made a few adjustments in this recipe.  Instead of using 1/2 cup sugar in the flour mixture, I used 1/2 cup splenda.  I also used margarine to make the crumble.  I lined a large baking sheet with tin foil and baked the ramekins on the baking sheet in case the juice from the cherries ran over the top of the ramekin.  Less baked sugar mess to clean up.

Ramekins filled with cherries.

Topping has been added and ready to go into the oven.

Golden brown topping and ready to be served.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1 pound frozen cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp almond extract


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the bowl.  Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the slivered almonds into the mixture and combine.  Set aside.

Place the frozen cherries into a  bowl and add the 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and almond extract.  Gently stir the mixture so that the cherries are combined.

Grease with oil 8 ramekins (about 1/2 cup).  Top each one with crumb mixture to cover.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 60 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown.   Serve with whipped, ice cream or by itself.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Having several zucchini in the vegetable crisper in the fridge and a number of frozen bags of pitted sour cherries led me to look for a zucchini cherry muffin.  Being made with almond meal instead of flour does make their texture different.  In making this recipe I made several substitutions or additions.  Instead of adding agave nectar, I added a mashed ripe banana.  The muffins are not sweet and likely could have benefitted from agave or splenda.  I also added more than the 2 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini which resulted in a longer cooking time for the muffins as they were overly moist.  These muffins turned out well regardless of my few changes.

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 cup cherries
1 tsp almond flavouring


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Combine.  Using paper muffin cups in a muffin tin or greasing each muffin tin, add enough batter to fill the cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Check to ensure that they are cooked by checking with a toothpick for doneness. Makes 12 to 18 muffins.

Adapted from

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Cooked broccoli needs some dressing up.  An option to consider instead of adding butter to cooked broccoli is making a vinaigrette.  I found the recipe provided below on a package of broccoli tenders that I recently bought.  Broccoli tenders are a bit different than broccoli.  It is sold in the package as individual stalks and the florets and its stalk are long and slender in shape.  I like broccoli tenders more than the traditional broccoli bunches.  The balsamic vinaigrette provides a nice flavour.  Along with the broccoli tenders I also cooked a handful of green beans.

Broccoli tenders and green beans


2 bunches of broccoli, separated into serving pieces

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste


Heat a pot of water to boil and add the broccoli.  Reduce heat to low and cook the broccoli for several minutes until tender but not overcooked.  In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing and mix well.  When broccoli is cooked, drain the broccoli and place in a serving dish.  Pour the dressing over the hot broccoli.  Serves 2 to 4.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I know we like to think that calories consumed have to be less than calories burned in order to lose weight.  An article by Marcelle Pick in the Huffington Post on January 6, 2012, writes that calories are not all created equally and they cannot always simply be burned off with the right amount of exercise.  She says "On the surface, it makes sense that we would lose weight if we simply ate fewer calories than we burned, but our bodies are chemistry labs, not bank accounts.  Food is digested and used uniquely in each of us -- depending on our ages, our genetics, our lifestyles, our food sensitivities, ability to detoxify, and so on.  There are endless factors in how our calories are used and the messages those calories send to our bodies.  This means that a calorie is not just a calorie. Every calorie we eat will be utilized uniquely in each of us."

Many of us know the 3,500 calorie equation.  To lose a pound, you need to eat less or burn by exercising a total of 3500 calories.  Some of use the 500 calorie rule.  If I eat less and exercise more and create the 500 calorie deficiency on a daily basis, I will lose a pound a week.  But our metabolism comes into play and it changes as we lose weight.

An excellent article by Leslie Beck in the Globe and Mail (February 22, 2012) provides details on the role of metabolism and how it dictates how easily you will lose or gain weight.  Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and is determined by your muscle mass.  Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.  Lifting weights and doing resistance exercises does pay off!   Ms. Beck writes about information on a new formula that can be used to better predict how you will lose weight on a diet.  The on-line tool can be found at  The tool calculates what diet and exercise changes are required to reach goal weight and what changes are required to maintain it over time.  The tool shows how weight loss slows down over time but you will continue to lose weight if you stick to your plan.   As Ms. Beck states “permanent weight loss takes time and requires persistence, consistency and patience”.  There are no quick fixes.  It all requires work and dedication or what I like to think – a healthy obsession.

I have tried the formula and need to spend time on it to do some tweaking on calories consumed and daily activity levels.  It is very interesting as you can adapt the period of time you would like to direct for losing those extra pounds.  What I do need to remind myself is that my body is not a bank account, it is a complex chemistry lab and losing weight involves chemistry.  

Mark Bittman has recently written about  when is a calorie a calorie.  He writes about a new book called 'Why Calories Count'.  Basically not all calories are equal, fiber and other ingredient components matter and there are many things involved in our body dealing with weight regulation.

Lots of food for thought.....

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I have been thinking of chocolate chip cookies lately and a friend of mine told me about this recipe that she makes.  It is a gluten free recipe and would fit the wheat belly diet. The cookies use ground almond meal as the base.  The recipe calls for agave nectar but I used splenda and used less than half of a cup.  

The cookies are really good and I don't think they will require freezing as they won't last long.   
Dough shaped into one inch balls. 

Out of the oven and ready for sampling.
Chocolate Chip Cookies

 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour 
 ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
 10 tablespoons butter, melted
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
 ½ cup agave nectar
 1 cup dark chocolate chips


Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir wet together the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, form the dough into one inch balls and press using a fork onto parchment paper paper lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes. Cool and serve.  Makes 24 cookies. 
Adapted from