Saturday, April 27, 2013


There are many recipes for pasta e fagioli which is a classic soup of beans, pasta, tomatoes and vegetables. The vegetables in this recipe can be interchanged with others depending on your preference.  For example you can add carrots and or fresh green beans.  I used frozen grape tomatoes instead of fresh or canned tomatoes.  The traditional pasta that is used in this recipe is ditalini but I used another dried short pasta.  I cooked the pasta separately from the soup as I didn't want to overcook the pasta.  Cooking them separately worked well.  With a slice of fresh bread this was supper for me.  I also sprinkled Parmesan cheese on the soup after it was ladled into a bowl.  Both the DH and I enjoyed this bowl of soup.


2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small zucchinis, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 to 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp spaghetti sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 oz uncooked short pasta
3 cups of cooked beans - cannellini, kidney, or other beans
2 handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a large soup pot to medium high heat.  Saute the onion, garlic, celery and zucchini for 3 to 4 minutes.  If the vegetables are sticking to the pot, add a little bit of water.  Add the chicken stock and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes.

While the soup is on simmer, the pasta can be cooked.  In a separate pot, heat water for pasta to a boil.  Once the water boils, add the pasta.   Cook pasta to al dente.  Drain in a colander.

Add the beans, chopped spinach and Italian seasoning to the soup.  Turn the heat up to medium high.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the pasta and chopped parsley to the soup.    Cook for 2 more minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 8.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Using my electric pressure cooker, I cooked up a batch of baby lima beans.  I did presoak them for about four hours before cooking them.  I made about four cups of cooked beans and decided to use some of them to make a bean vegetable salad.  You could include or substitute other vegetables than the ones I used.  Friends and the DH enjoyed this salad as did I.


1 1/2 cups cooked baby lima beans
2 cups cooked green beans, chopped
1 fresh zucchini, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp basil pesto
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice


In a medium size bowl mix all of the ingredients.  Serves 4.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I like to make one pan or one pot meals for supper sometimes.  It provides variety and can be less complicated.  You can make this meal in 30 minutes and you don't have to clean many pots, mixing bowls or utensils.  I used tilapia fish in this recipe but salmon, halibut or cod would also be a good choice.  The photo doesn't do the recipe any justice and it does taste good.


2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4-5 baby potatoes, thinly sliced
1 coloured pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
4 small tomatoes
2 filets, tilapia or other fish, cut into small chunks
1/2 tsp dried dill


Heat a large frying pan with olive oil.  Add the onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 10 minutes and stir a few times.  If the vegetables are sticking to the pan, add a little bit of water.  Add the pepper, tomatoes, fish and dill.  Combine with the other vegetables.  Cook for another 5 to 8 minutes.   Serves 2 to 3.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


These hoisin glazed brussel sprouts make a great side dish to any meal.  I made them as a side dish along with other vegetables for a recent supper.  We had several friends over for supper and even though I hadn't made this dish before, looking at the ingredients did not make me question whether this dish would be tasty or a bad experiment being tested on friends.  Everyone enjoyed the brussel sprouts and the sauce mixture with the onions, garlic and ginger was a great combination.   This recipe is a keeper.

Brussel sprouts cooking in the fry pan.

All of the sauce has been added and just about ready to serve.

Finished product.

1 pound brussel sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed and sliced in half length wise
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar, seasoned or regular
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil


Using a steam rack in a pot or other kitchen appliances you may have to steam vegetables, steam the brussel sprouts for five minutes on medium heat.  Remove and let cool while you start the next steps.

Whisk the rice vinegar, soy sauce and hoisin sauce in a small bowl, set aside.  Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.  Add the onions and saute for 4 to 5 minutes on medium high heat to brown them.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the ginger, garlic and brussel sprouts to the pan.  Toss the ingredients to combine them and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  The brussel sprouts should start to brown.

Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce and hoisin sauce mixture to the brussel sprouts and combine.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and watch that the sauce doesn't start to stick to the pan.  Drizzle with the sesame oil, turn off the heat and serve.  Serves 4.

Modified from