Saturday, March 30, 2013


I hadn't cooked kasha in a long time and decided to make it as a way to expand my repertoire of grains.  I grew up eating kasha and bowtie noodles so I have fond memories of kasha.   This salad reminds me of a tabbouleh salad.  You can make a number of variations with it including adding chickpeas which some tabbouleh salads include.  I didn't have fresh mint so I used cilantro.  I also used zucchini instead of cucumber.

Instead of kasha, you can substitute 1 cup of quinoa, bulgur wheat, or any whole grain and cook it in the amount of water appropriate to the grain.

1 cup buckwheat kasha, medium coarseness
2 cups vegetable broth

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

1/2 coloured bell pepper, chopped

1/2 large cucumber peeled, seeded and cubed OR 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1tbsp sweet chili sauce 

Heat 2 cups of vegetable broth (or heat water and add vegetable bouillon).  While you're waiting for it to come to a boil, toast the kasha in a large, dry saucepan for about 3 minutes, or until it releases a nutty aroma.  When the broth reaches a boil, add it carefully to the kasha. Cover and turn the heat very low.  Cook until kasha is tender and all liquid is absorbed, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff, and allow to cool.  Kasha can be refrigerated and stored overnight, if necessary.

Add all chopped vegetables to the kasha.  Mix the lemon juice and remaining ingredients well and add them to the kasha, stirring so that the dressing is distributed evenly.  Serves 8

Adapted and modified from

Saturday, March 23, 2013


There are many variations of marinades for salmon.  I like this one as it includes fresh garlic and ginger.   You have to be careful to not over marinate fish as the acid or salt in the marinade ingredients will start to cook the fish.  I used over 2 pounds of salmon but I didn't increase the quantity of ingredients other than adding more garlic.

Salmon baked with the marinade.

4 to 6 salmon fillets or steaks (2 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 scallions/green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped


Mix oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, and ginger to make a marinade, pour over salmon and marinate for one hour in the refrigerator.  I used a zip lock bag for marinating the salmon.  You can pour the marinade over the salmon and then bake the fish in a baking dish.

Grill, bake or grill salmon for about 15 to 20 minutes or until done.  The time depends on how you are cooking the salmon and the temperature.  I baked the salmon at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes as I put all of the fish into one baking dish and it was densely packed.

Modified from

Friday, March 15, 2013


During this time of year we usually consume a fair number of naval oranges from California.  The combination of fennel and oranges is wonderful and adding fresh parsley and cilantro helps add more flavour to the dish.  This is a wonderful salad and will keep for two days in the fridge.  I have kept it in the fridge for three days when I have made a big batch.


1 fennel bulb, sliced very thinly
grated rind from half an orange
orange segments and juice from half a large orange
2 tbsp olive oil
handful of parsley, chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp marmelade


Into a medium size bowl combine all of the ingredients.  Chill or serve right away.  Serves 4.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


This chili is a bit different than most as it contains both cocoa and cinnamon.  I have used cocoa in the past when making chili but this was the first for adding cinnamon.   This recipe calls for kidney and black beans and chickpeas.  I am sure you can improvise with other beans based on what you have in your pantry.  I didn't add corn to the chili as I didn't have any in the house.  I also did not add cayenne pepper but added medium hot salsa instead of tomato paste and the heat from the salsa was enough.  You could add more chili powder but I found one tablespoon to be enough.  I did like the taste of cinnamon in the chill and both the DH and I enjoyed having a bowl of chili for a weekend lunch.  The recipe makes a big pot so I will have chili for lunches this week.

Starting to saute onion, garlic and pepper.

All ingredients have been added and now ready to simmer for the next 45 minutes.

1 tbsp oil
2 medium size onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large or 3 small celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 coloured peppers, chopped
1 can (19 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (19 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes or 8 frozen tomatoes
2 large carrots, chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (optional)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste or 1/3 cup salsa
ground pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, celery and peppers and saute for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  Serves 8.

Adapted/modified from The Plant-Based Power Diet by Leslie Beck

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I made this casserole for supper one evening.  My intentions were to also have leftovers for work lunches.  I didn't double the ingredients but used 1.5 times what was called for in order to have enough leftovers for several lunches.  For the ingredient of white wine/lemon juice, I used a combination of cooking wine and lemon juice.  I quite enjoyed this casserole and so did the DH.  I also like it as an alternative to having soup for lunches.

Mixing all of the ingredients together prior to baking.

Out of the oven with melted cheese on top.

A serving of the casserole in a bowl ready to eat.


1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup green lentils
½ cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut up tomatoes or stewed tomatoes
½ cup white wine or lemon juice
1 medium sized onion, chopped
6 mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried basil
1/2 cup cheese, shredded (optional)
ground pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Into a 6 cup casserole dish combine all of the ingredients except the cheese.   Bake covered for 90 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.  If your casserole dish does not have a lid, you can use tin foil.   Serves 4.

An option at the end of baking is to remove the lid/cover and sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese and bake for 5 minutes.

Adapted from “The Plant Based Power Diet” by Leslie Beck