Saturday, May 26, 2012


This vegetable puree soup can be made using a variety of vegetables including potatoes (white or sweet), carrots, parsnips, onions, celery, cauliflower, zucchini and green beans.  I used what I had in the fridge and added chopped mushrooms after the soup was pureed.  This soup is good to take for lunches.  Because it doesn't contain any protein, I would need to include some protein as part of my lunch along with a serving of this soup. 

Soup in a storage container ready to go into the fridge. 

2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small cauliflower, chopped
1 cartoon chicken bouillon (4 cups)
2 to 3 cups water
1 cup of sliced or chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil on medium high in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, garlic and celery and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the carrots and cauliflower and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.  If the vegetables are sticking, add a bit of water.  Add the bouillon and water and simmer for 30 minutes.  Using a hand blender puree the soup.  Add the mushrooms and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Add the dill and season with salt and pepper as required.  Serves 6 to 8.


One of my favourite food writers, Mark Bittman, provides recipes that are straight forward and can be altered to suit your tastes.  I have mentioned his cookbook in previous posts "The Food Matters Cookbook".   I made this recipe from the cookbook and of course varied the ingredients.   I didn't use an onion in the vegetable saute as I didn't have any onions in the house.  Normally I always have several onions on hand but I had bought a bag of onions and for some reason they were spoiling so they found their way out the door.  For vegetables I used carrots, potatoes and zucchini.  I served the vegetables beside the fillet of fish instead of the fish placed on top of a serving of vegetables.

Sauteed vegetables

Pan fried fish

4 tbsp oil or more if needed
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups of shredded vegetables - winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, zucchini
1/2 tsp grated ginger and or 1/2 tsp grated garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 pound to one pound of fish fillets such as halibut, cod or red snapper cut into portion size pieces
lemon wedges


Hear 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium size non stick frying pan on medium high heat.  When it is hot, add the vegetables , ginger and or garlic, and salt and pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  The vegetables should not be over cooked.  Transfer the vegetables to a serving plate and keep warm.

While the vegetables are cooking, combine the cornmeal and flour on a plate, along with some salt and pepper.  Dredge the fish in the flour and remove the excess flour.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan and on medium heat add the fish when the oil is hot.  Cook until lightly browned on both sides.

To serve the fish and vegetables, place a serving of vegetables on a plate and place a piece of fish on top of the vegetables.  Or you can serve the fish and vegetables separately.   Garnish with lemon wedges

Monday, May 21, 2012


Every few months I get a craving for ribs.  I don't always follow through on making ribs.  This time I did and made a marinade that uses maple syrup or agave.   I used agave in the recipe and baked the ribs versus grilling them on the bbq.  The ribs were very enjoyable.   To make life even easier,  I had bought a big package at Costco and I froze some of the unbaked ribs in the marinade for a future meal.   

Ribs going into the oven to bake.

Ready to be served.

3 pounds baby back pork ribs
3/4 cup maple syrup or agave
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder

Place ribs in a large pot, and cover with water. Cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Drain, and transfer ribs to a shallow dish.

In a small saucepan, stir together the maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and mustard powder. Bring to a low boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool slightly, then pour over ribs, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

There are two options for cooking the ribs: 

(1) Prepare grill for cooking with indirect heat. Remove ribs from marinade. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan, and boil for several minutes.  Lightly oil grate. Cook for about 20 minutes, basting with the cooked marinade frequently, until nicely glazed.

(2) Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the ribs from the marinade.  Place the ribs in a pan that has a cooking rack.   Bake for 45 to 60 minutes.  If the ribs look like they are getting overcooked, cover them loosely with a piece of tinfoil. 

Serves 6

Adapted from

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I made this wonderful corn salad the other day.  There are not many ingredients and the salad keeps for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.   You can add other vegetables than the ones provided in the recipe.  


3 cobs of corn
1 yellow, orange or red pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh basil, chives or parsley


In a medium size pot, add enough water to cover the corn and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain cooking water and add cold water.  Rinse corn several times in order to cool the cobs down.

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and add the kernels to a serving bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix and serve.  Serves 4 to 5.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


An apple and cheddar cheese is one of my favourite mid afternoon snacks.  When I saw this muffin that included apples and cheddar cheese I thought it was a perfect combination.  The muffins turned out well and were a hit with the DH.  The recipe says it makes 18 muffins but I made 22 of them.  I used splenda instead of sugar and used less than half a cup.

Apple Cheddar Muffins


2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup sugar or splenda
1 cup buttermilk (or one cup milk with 1 tbsp vinegar stirred in)
1 egg
½ cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup lightly packed shredded cheddar cheese plus extra for sprinkling on top
2 apples, peeled and diced (makes 2 cups)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and sugar.

In a separate bowl add the egg to the milk and whisk together.  Pour the milk mixture and melted butter into the dry ingredients. Combine but don’t over mix.  Add the shredded cheese and diced apple to the mixture.  Combine.

Divide the batter among 18 muffin cup tins.  You can either line the cups with muffin papers or grease the tins before you add the batter.  Top each muffin with shredded cheese.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack. Because the muffins are moist, store in an airtight container or zip lock bag in the fridge.  Makes 18 muffins.

Adapted from the Globe and Mail, April 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I try to eat fish at least once or twice a week.  While shopping at Costco I bought a package (over 2 pounds) of fresh cod.  Two pounds is too much to cook at once for two people without having leftovers for several days.  My plan was to cook half the package and freeze the rest for a future meal.  I decided to make a cod chowder.  The recipe is a basic chowder recipe and other ingredients can be added including other vegetables.  I used herbes de provence but one could add basil or dill.   I also used butter to saute the onion and celery.  This chowder was eaten as the main meal and you could add fresh bread or buns to eat along with this chowder.  The DH and I both enjoyed this meal.
Ready to eat!

1 lb uncooked cod
2 tbsp butter, margarine or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups raw potatoes, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced or chopped
2 cups boiling water
1/2 tsp dried herbes de provence
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk

Cut cod fillets into bite sized pieces.

Melt margarine in large saucepan Cook onion and celery until onion is tender and translucent.

Add potatoes, carrots, water, salt and pepper and herbes de provence.  Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Add fish and cook 10 minutes longer.  Add milk.  Reheat, but do not boil.  Serves 4.

 Adapted from

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This recipe can be made using veal, chicken or even turkey cutlets.  You can cut the cutlets into smaller sizes or even into strips.  I cut the veal cutlets into smaller pieces for ease of cooking.  This recipe is easy to make and doesn't take long to cook.  I served the cutlets with salad and spaghetti.  The spaghetti had a tomato basil sauce.


1 pound cutlets - veal, chicken or turkey
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each of oregano, rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs.  Add the meat and let marinate for at least five minutes or place the bowl in the fridge and refrigerate for up to four hours.

Heat a nonstick frying pan to medium high and add the meat.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook on each side for five minutes.  Besides cooking on top of the stove, you can also grill the meat on the barbeque.   Serves 3 to 4.

Adapted from Anne Lindsay 'Lighthearted at Home'

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I like making different kinds of noodle salads.  There was some leftover cooked vermicelli noodles in the fridge so this provided an excuse to make a salad with asparagus, carrots, spinach and tomatoes.  I used lemon flavoured oil but regular olive oil can be used instead.  This was a quite enjoyable salad which the DH and I ate as part of our supper.


6-8 stalks of asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
6 baby carrots, chopped
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
6 cherry or grape tomatoes
1 to 2 cups of cooked rice vermicelli noodles, chopped
2 tbsp lemon flavoured oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Into a medium size pot, add enough water to cover the chipped asparagus and carrots.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the spinach and turn off the heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Drain the vegetables into a colander and run cold water over the vegetables to cool them down and then drain.  Into a bowl add the vegetables, tomatoes, noodles, oil and vinegar.  Mix and then add salt and pepper to taste.