Wednesday, September 25, 2013


With the abundance of tomatoes in the garden along with preferring homemade spaghetti sauce over store bought brands, I recently made a big batch of sauce.  I like my sauce to have vegetables and not just be concentrated tomato paste.  I freeze batches in generous one cup portions and I was able to freeze seven containers to enjoy over the next number of months.  


2 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 coloured pepper, chopped
6 - 8 mushrooms, sliced 
1 small to medium size zucchini, chopped
15  tomatoes, skinned, and quartered
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste


In a large stock pot heat the oil on medium high heat, add  the onions, garlic and celery, reduce the heat to medium and saute for 7 to 10 minutes.  

Add the rest of the ingredients except the basil, cover the pot with a lid, heat to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Add the basil in the last half hour of cooking.  Because you are reducing the water content in the sauce I like to stir the pot every 20 to 30 minutes.   Let it simmer for 2.5 hours or until you feel the sauce is concentrated enough.  Makes about 8 generous cups of sauce.    

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


On several shopping trips to one locally owned grocery store I have seen this product on the shelf.  I decided to buy it as I was intrigued.  It is powdered peanut butter.  I know some of you don't eat peanut butter for several reasons including mould on peanuts, it may be non-organic and allergies.  This product is processed as the fat is reduced, there is some sugar added and it is made into a powder.

I still like it even if it is processed and made into a powder.  I have been adding a tablespoon to my overnight oatmeal recipe and I must admit it is quite enjoyable.  It may be healthier for me to add real  almond butter instead to my oatmeal but the lower fat and calorie option in using this product has captured my taste buds and waist line.  The company also makes a chocolate powdered peanut butter.  I haven't tried it yet. There are other foods you can add this peanut butter powder to including smoothies, pancakes, thai stews, cookies and other recipes where you would add peanut butter.

PB2: Powdered Peanut Butter


Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Calories: 45
Calories from fat: 13
  • Total fat 1.5 g 
  • Saturated fat 0 g 
  • Trans fat 0.01 g
  • Cholesterol 0.01 mg 
  • Sodium 94 mg 
  • Total carbohydrate 5 g 
  • Dietary fiber 2 g
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Protein 5 g

Friday, September 13, 2013


We had company staying for several days and I wanted to make a big pot of soup to have for lunches.  I have always liked the combination of barley and mushrooms and I decided to add beans to have more substance in the soup.  I used dried navy beans, soaked them overnight, and made the soup early the next morning.  You can use other beans and also canned beans if that is more convenient for you.  If using canned beans, you can shorten the cooking time.  We all enjoyed the soup and I will definitely make it again.

Ingredients being added to the pressure cooker.

All set to go.

A bowl of wonderful tasting soup.


1 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 - 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 3 small potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 cups mushrooms. chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup navy, dry and pre soaked
8 cups of water, chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp basil or 5 leaves fresh
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Soak the beans overnight or for 8 hours in 3 cups of cold water.  Drain and rinse well.

Heat the oil on medium high heat in a soup pot and saute the onion, garlic and celery for 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Heat to a boiling point and then let simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours.  If the cooked soup is too thick, add some water to thin.  Serves 8 to 10.

If you are making this in an electric pressure cooker, you can saute the onion, garlic and celery in the pressure cooker if your cooker has that cooking feature.  Cook using the pressure cooker at medium heat for 21 minutes.

Adapted from Meal Lean i Yumm by Noreen Gilletz

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I have a number of herbs in my fridge along with cucumbers and I found this recipe that uses herbs, cucumbers, tahini and lemon juice.  This sounded like a perfect marriage.  The dressing really complimented the cucumbers and this dish was enjoyed by my supper guests.


1.5 pounds cucumbers, peeled and cubed into 1/4 to 1/3 inch pieces
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp warm water (may need to add more if tahini is really thick)
1/2 clove garlic, minced
zest from one lemon
1/3 cup red onion, chopped or 2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Toss the cubed cucumbers with salt in a colander. Let drain in the sink while you chop the other ingredients and make the dressing.

In a large bowl, mix the tahini, lemon juice and warm water. Stir to combine.  Add the garlic, lemon zest and onion.

Briefly rinse the cucumbers under cold water and pat to dry with paper towels.  Add the cucumbers to the bowl with the dressing and gently combine.  Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix.  Store in the fridge until ready to be served.  Serves 4 to 6.

adapted from