Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup


6-8 servings

Ingredients
bones of 1 chicken
2 chicken breasts with bones
1 large carrot roughly chopped
1 celery stalk roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper

8-10 cups cold water
1 cup dry small egg noodles or spaghetti broken into small pieces
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon dried parsley


Directions
In a large pot, add chicken bones, chicken breast, veggies, bay leaves salt & pepper and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 1.5 - 2 hours or until the broth is tasty. Strain and reserve liquid. Discard veggies. Place liquid back into the pot and bring back to a simmer. Remove chicken breast meat from the bone and cut or pull into bite size pieces. Add chicken and noodles back to the simmering pot. Once noodles are cooked mix corn starch with a touch of cold water then add to the pot. Add dried parsley. Serve hot.

Tip: If you're my mom, you'll chop your veggies smaller in the beginning and keep them in your soup. Then you'll stir in a little Maggi liquid seasoning. I have found some stores that sell chicken backs. They remove the breast to sell as boneless and then they sell the bones to people like me use in soups. If you don't find this in your store, it doesn't hurt to ask. They'll only throw them away anyway.


- chicken noodle soup -

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lasagna


10 servings

Ingredients
1 box no boil lasagna noodles
1/2 an onion diced
1 red pepper diced
8oz slices mushrooms
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon each dried basil & oregano
1 tub ricotta cheese (about 1 cup or so?)
3 boxes frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 egg
salt & pepper
pinch nutmeg
6-8 cups home made or jar pasta sauce of choice
500g block mozzarella cheese, grated


Directions
In a nonstick pan, fry onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Once softened, add ground beef and spices and cook until meat is done. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, salt & pepper, nutmeg and 1 cup of the grated mozzarella.

In the bottom of a large baking dish place about 1 cup of sauce or more. Layer your noodles over sauce, no need to overlap, they'll expand when cooking. Place more sauce on top of noodles. Add spinach layer and top with another layer of noodles. More sauce. Be generous with the sauce since your noodles will be cooking in it. Add meat layer and top with 1/2 the left over cheese. More noodles. More sauce. The rest of the cheese.

Bake at 375F unti the noodles are cooked. Poke them with a knive to see if it goes through easily. Takes about 40 miutes or so.

Tip: If you want to use the noodles that you boil, you might be able to get away with less sauce. It's up to you. Also, buy 2 boxes of noodles just in case. It all depends on your baking dish but I used 1 whole box and 1 noodle extra from the second box.


- lasagna -

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shepherd's Pie


6-8 servings

Ingredients
1lb lean ground beef
1 onion diced
1 red pepper seeded and diced
olive oil
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (with corn!)
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (prepared mustard will do)
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
4 medium potatoes peeled
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup italian flavoured bread crumbs


Directions
Preheat oven to broiler.

Fry onion and pepper in olive oil until browned. Add beef and contine to simmer until meat is cooked through. Add frozen veggies and spices and cook until veggies are warmed through. Stir in flour. Stir in stock and let simmer until thickened to a gravy then transfer mixture to a 9x13 glass baking dish.

In the meantime, boil potatoes until tender then mash with butter, milk, cream cheese, salt & pepper.

Top meat mixture with a layer of mashed potatoes, followed by cheese then bread crumbs. Broil until brown and bubbly.

Tip: I used a 9x13" dish because I like more space for the cheesy topping but you could make a deeper dish pie instead if you want.


- shepherd's pie -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brined and Barbecued Chicken Recipe

It was my first time using a brine. The chicken turned out nice and juicy!


4 servings

Ingredients
8 chicken pieces with or without skin and bones
4 cups warm water
4 cups ice or cold water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
2 smashed garlic cloves
barbecue sauce

Directions
In a large bowl, mix warm water with salt & sugar until dissolved. Add soy sauce and olive oil. Add ice cubes or cold water. Either way, make sure the mixture is cool before adding to the chicken.

In a lage zipper bag or container, place the brine with the onion and garlic. Mix then add chicken pieces. Original recipe says to brine for 4 hours but I left it for 24.

When ready to use, rinse the chicken peices several times in cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Don't skip this step or you may end up with really salty chicken.

Grill until no longer pink inside then brush barbecue sauce on and grill for another minute or two on each side. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tip: You could probably just sprinkle on some spices and grill instead of using a sauce. However you cook it after brining is up to you.

Original Recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Simple-Chicken-Brine/Detail.aspx

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crustless Quiche Muffins { with turkey bacon, onion, red pepper, broccoli and cheddar cheese - south beach diet friendly }



6 muffins

Ingredients
3 large eggs
3/4 cup 2% milk
3 slices turkey bacon
1/4 cup sliced onion
1 diced red pepper
1/2 cup cooked broccoli pieces
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
salt & pepper


Directions
Beat eggs with milk and set aside.

In some olive oil or butter, fry the bacon, onion and pepper until golden. Set aside and allow to cool.

Mix all ingredients into the egg mixture and divide between 6 muffin cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with oil. I would skip the paper muffin cups on this one as the egg will probably stick to it. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve hot.

Leftovers are also good reheated the next morning.

Tips: Try using ham, swiss and frozen thawed (and squeezed) spinach. Try adding mushrooms! You can pretty much add anything you want! Make it richer tasting by using a can of evaporated milk instead of 2%. If you're on South Beach you can use lower fat evaporated or regular milk, and low fat cheeses.


- crustless quiche muffins -

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder



8 servings

Ingredients
3 slices bacon diced
1 stalk celery diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1 small onion diced
1 medium potato diced
1 tablespoon chile powder
3 cups homemade (or low sodium) chicken stock
1 can corn (341ml - about 1 cup?)
6 oz cooked chicken breast diced
salt & pepper
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro if you like it ..I don't)


Directions
In a large nonstick pot, fry your bacon until crispy (no oil needed). Remove bacon and set on a paper towel to drain. In the bacon oil on medium high heat, fry onions, peppers and celery until golden. Add potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chile powder.

Add chicken stock, corn and chicken and bring up to a simmer. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Mix flour with milk until lumps are gone and add to simmering soup. Continue to simmer until thickened then add parsley (or cilantro) and cheese. Serve hot.

Tips: I had 1 1/2 breasts of left over grilled chicken so I used that. I always keep bacon in the freezer. Buy a pack of bacon and seperate it into portions of 3 strips. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze. They cut easily when they're frozen if you use a sharp knife.


- creamy chicken corn chowder -

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup



4 servings

Ingredients
3 red bell peppers
2 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chicken or veg stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed
sour cream


Directions
Place peppers and tomatoes on the grill or under a broiler until skins turn black. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic for a few minutes. The skins should easily peel off. Remove stem and seeds from peppers.

Chop 2 peppers and 2 tomatoes roughly. Chop 1 pepper finely and set aside in a seperate bowl.

In a nonstick pot, brown onions in olive oil. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon. Stir. Add chopped peppers and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring up to a simmer. Move to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot on medium heat. Once simmering add chickpeas, heavy cream and basil. Bring back up to a simmer. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Tips: Peppers are beautiful and in season here now but you can always used canned tomatoes and a jar of roasted red peppers. If you're on South Beach you may want to leave out the heavy cream.


- roasted red pepper and tomato soup -

Grilled Chicken Breast with Roasted Vegetables and Yogurt Recipe


4 servings

Ingredients
- Chicken -
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each paprika & oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons balkan style yogurt
1/2 a lemon juiced
1 tablespoon honey

- Roasted Vegetables-
1/2 a head each cauliflower and broccoli cut up
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 whole cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon each paprika and dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

- Yogurt -
1 1/2 cups balkan style yogurt
1 tablespoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated cucumber

Directions
To make chicken. Mix all ingredients except chicken and place in a large ziploc bag. Place chicken inside, seal the bag and smoosh it all around. Let sit in the fridge for 2 hours or longer. Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it until no longer pink inside.

To make the vegetables. Mix the spices with lemon juice and olive oil. Add all the veggies and toss well. Place in a glass baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes on 425F. After 20 minutes, give it a stir. Remove from oven and toss with parmesan cheese.

To make the yogurt. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup


4 servings

Ingredients
1 cup broccoli cut up
1 cup cauliflower cut up
1 medium potato sliced
3 cups chicken stock
salt
pepper
1 tsp butter
1 tsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar


Directions
Add broccoli, cauliflower, potato, salt and pepper, and stock to a pot and boil until veggies are tender.

Blend in a blender until smooth.

In the same pot, mix butter and flour over medium heat just until it starts to brown. Return soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. It should thicken slightly. Add milk and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Serve hot.


- creamy broccoli and cauliflower soup -

Creamy Veggie Soup

You make this soup when you have leftovers from a party veggie platter! Make it vegan by using vegetable stock.



4 servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup chopped zucchini (peeled)
1/2 cup red pepper slices
1 potato peeled and diced
1/2 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper
2 cups chicken stock


Directions
Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer until veggies are tender. Put in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve hot.


Tips: Great soup for kids because they can't see all the veggies that are in there.

- creamy vegetable soup -

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken Salad


1 serving

Ingredients
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup Balkan style yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber, grated and squeezed (use paper towel)
1 teaspoon dried mint


Directions
Marinate your chicken for at least an hour in lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Grill or fry until no longer pink inside. Set aside to rest.

Mix yogurt with cucumber and dried mint. You can also add garlic if your heart desires.


Top lettuce and tomato with yogurt and then place sliced chicken on top.


- chicken salad -

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meatloaf Cupcakes


12 muffins

Ingredients
2 slices bread
3/4 cup milk
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder and dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 large potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sour cream
beets or food colouring (optional)


Directions
Preheat oven to 350F

Soak the bread slices in milk.

In a bowl, add beef, egg, ketchup, spices, onion and parsley. Add soaked bread and mix it all up until well combined.

Evenly distribute between 12 muffin cups. No need to grease the muffin pan as the meat has enough oils in it already, it won't stick.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop your potatoes. Boil just until softened, then drain.

I didn't have any beets but I really wanted to use them as colouring. If you have a beet cut it up (it cooks faster) and boil it then mash it in with your potatoes. Leave some white if you want. Or use different food colourings.

Mash potatoes (and beets) with remaining ingredients.

Remove cupcakes from tray and frost with mashed potatoes. If you want to get fancy, you can pipe it on. Sprinkle with various spices for decoration.


- meatloaf cupcakes -

Tuna on Salad


2 servings

Ingredients
1 can tuna in water, drained
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (or dijon)
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced


Directions
Mix tuna with celery, scallion, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper.

Mix mayo, mustard, honey and lemon juice. Toss lettuce and tomato in honey mustard dressing and top with tuna mixture.

- tuna on salad -

Marinated Steak Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing


1 serving

Ingredients
4 oz grilled steak (spiced however you like)
1 teaspoonolive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (dijon if you like)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Directions
Marinate the steak in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for at least 1 hour. Blot with paper towels to dry then sprinkle on your favourite steak spice blend. Grill the steak to desired doneness and set aside for 10 minutes.

Mix mayo, mustard, honey and lemon juice then toss with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Slice up your well rested steak and place it on top of your salad.

- marinated steak salad with honey mustard dressing -

Friday, August 27, 2010

Asian Salad


2 servings

Ingredients
4 tbsp slivered almonds
1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp crushed fresh ginger
1/2 clove garlic
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp sesame oil
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 tsp reen onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
12 snow peas chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 medium apple, cut into matchsticks
8 oz cooked chicken breast, diced


Directions
Toast the almonds in a nonstick pan on medium heat until they start to brown. Try not to burn them. Put on a plate and set aside to cool.

Mix hoisin, honey, ginger, garlic, vinegar and oils with a fork until it comes together as a dressing.

Combine all the veggies and toss with dressing. Top with chopped chicken and toasted nuts.


- asian salad -

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vegetable Soup



V Make it vegan by using vegetable broth and leaving out the cheese rind. Sprinkle on some nutritional yeast or homemade vegan croutons instead of goldfish or parmesan. 

Vegetable SoupMakes 6 servings

Ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dried whole wheat pasta (elbows)
Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 can Stewed Tomatoes (about 1 or 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups water
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 can beans of choice, rinsed & drained (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 tbsp tomato paste
black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Cheddar goldfish or fresh parmesan for garnish

Directions
Saute garlic, onion, celery and carrot in olive oil until golden. Add pasta and continue to cook until it gets a bit toasted and brown.

Add all other ingredients except parsley and garnish stirring well. Simmer on medium heat until carrots are tender and pasta is cooked. Before serving, stir in parsley. Top with goldfish or other garnishes.

Tip: The parmesan cheese rind. When I finish the cheese I freeze the rind for later use. Yes, I learned that from The Food Network! If you don't have one just leave it out but it does add a special flavour to the soup.

- vegetable soup -

Chicken and Mushroom Salad


1 serving

Ingredients
1/2 cup sliced musrooms
2 tbsp diced onion
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
2 cups chopped lettuce
1/2 cooked corn cob, kernels removed
1/2 chopped tomato
1/2 diced avocado
4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup sour cream


Directions
Sautee the mushrooms and onions in oil and buter until nice and golden. Fry chicken breast in the same pan until no longer pink inside. You could grill it if you like. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Layer all ingredients. The sour cream becomes the dressing.


- chicken and mushroom salad -

No Shell Taco Salad

This is one of my favourite salads.

1 serving

Ingredients
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 cooked corn cob, remove kernels (or 1/4 cup canned)
1 chopped tomato
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup cooked ground beef (cooked with tex mex seasoning)
1/4 cup sour cream
green onions


Directions
Layer the ingredients and top with sour cream and onions. No dressing required. As you start to eat it the sour cream will be enough.


Tip: It's better if the meat is warm. You could use refried beans instead if you're vegetarian. You could place a tortilla in a pie dish and bake it until it becomes crisp, then serve your salad in it.

- no shell taco salad -

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Steak Salad


1 serving

Ingredients
1 4oz grilling steak
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Greek spice mix
2 cups chopped romaine
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared salsa (or 1/2 diced tomato)

1/2 avocado sliced
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
ranch dressing

Directions
Marinate your steak overnight in oil, vinegar and spice mix. Grill to desired doneness and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Mix lettuce with salsa and sour cream. Top with sliced steak, cheese, avocado and a drizzle of ranch dressing.


Tip: Crushed up tortilla chips would add a nice texture to this salad.

- steak salad -

Monday, August 23, 2010

Breakfast Bowl { egg scramble with turkey bacon, sweet red pepper, onions and cheddar cheese - south beach diet friendly }



1 serving

Ingredients
2 eggs, beaten
3 slices turkey bacon, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 tbsp chopped onion
cheddar cheese

Directions

Sautee bacon onion and pepper in a bit of butter until brown. Mix cheese with egg and stir into veggie mixture. Stir to scramble until eggs are cooked and cheese is melted. A good low carb breakfast but you can serve it with toast.

- breakfast bowl -

Friday, August 20, 2010

Persian Kotlet


approx 12 patties

Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, grated
2 medium potatoes, boiled, skin removed & mashed or grated
1 egg
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh if you have it)
1 cup breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Directions
Mix it all up with your hands (except breadcrumbs) until well combined. Take about 1/4 cup balls and form into flat ovals. Coat with breadcrumbs and fry in canola or olive oil for a few minutes per side until golden and cooked through(this will depend how thick your patties are).

Serve with rice or pita. Also goes nicely with stewed tomatoes and red peppers.

Tip: I like them with mustard because they remind me of left over breaded pork (which is good with mustard on a sandwich) but I'm sure that's just me


- persian kotlet -

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beef Stroganoff


6-8 servings

Ingredients
1lb lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken stock (low sodium)
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup sour cream or Balkan style yogurt
1/4 cup red wine

salt
pepper

Directions
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef in olive oil then push off to one side. Add the pepper and onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, then push to the side with the beef.

Stir the flour into the juices on the empty side of the pan. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and stir in mustard. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Five minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream, and white wine. Heat briefly then salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles.

- beef stroganoff -

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Carrot and Zucchini Ribbon Salad


4 servings

Ingredients
1 zucchini, peeled
2 large carrots peeled
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups fresh chopped parsley & dill


Directions
Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons out of the zucchini and carrots. Toss with lemon juice, oil , salt, pepper and herbs. It tastes better if it sits in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.


- carrot and zucchini ribbon salad -

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stewed Chicken in Tomato Sauce Recipe





4 servings

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 whole chicken legs (or 1 whole chicken cut up)
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups water
2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp saffron, crushed

Directions
Fry onions in olive oil on medium high until browned. Add chicken and cook a few minutes until browned.


Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, then pour over the chicken. If the chicken isn't covered by the liquid, add a bit more water. Cover and cook on medium low for about 1.5 hours or until chicken falls off the bone.
Carefully remove the chicken to a glass serving dish. The sauce should be the texture of gravy. If not, add a tablespoon or two more tomato paste and simmer on medium low until it reduces into a gravy. Pour over the chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes with Bananas Foster & Strawberries



INGREDIENTS
For pancakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
For bananas foster:
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons rum
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 bananas, peeled and sliced
Fresh Strawberries (optional)

DIRECTIONS
For pancakes: In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.


Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

For bananas foster: In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, place bananas in pan. Cook until bananas are hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve at once over pancakes.

Top pancakes with fresh strawberries.

Sources: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Todds-Famous-Blueberry-Pancakes/Detail.aspx / http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bananas-Foster-II/Detail.aspx

- blueberry pancakes with banas foster and strawberries -

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Barley


6-8 servings

Ingredients
3 chicken legs with bones
Water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
salt
1 celery stalk chopped
1 onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped

1/4 cup pearl barley
1 cup diced potato or 1/2 cup dry spaghetti broken into small pieces
1 cup frozen (or fresh) mixed veggies

1 tablespoon tomato paste
Lemon or lime wedges

Directions
In a large pot add chicken, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, celery, onion and carrot. Fill the pot to 1" from the top with water and simmer for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours until chicken is tender and you have a nice chicken stock. Strain and return the stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and add back to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients (except tomato paste).

Simmer again until the barley is cooked, then stir in tomato paste. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Tip: It's good with a little lemon or lime juice squeezed into your bowl at the end.

- chicken and vegetable soup with barley -

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adas Polow ( rice with ground beef, lentils and raisins)

My first try and it was yummy.

 Delicious Adas Polow

 I added these new photos April 7th, 2011.

  Above is a tah dig I made using 2 spatulas full of rice mixed with 2 heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of saffron infused water. Heat the oil in the pot then place the yogurt mixture on the bottom of the pot before layering the rest of the rice and the meat mixture.

 I serve extra raisins on the side so everyone can add as much as they like.

6-8 servings

Ingredients
2 cups basmati rice
2 onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron disolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
3/4 cup dry lentils
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dry orange peel
butter & canola oil

Directions
Rinse the rice then boil in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook just until tender but still has a slight bite to it. Drain it.

Boil the lentils in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain and rinse.

Boil the orange peel and drain 3 times to remove the bitterness and rehydrate them. I just put them in the microwave for 1 minute 3 times with fresh water then drained.

Fry onions and garlic in a bit of butter and canola oil till golden, then add ground beef. Continue to cook until the beef is done then add the spices and 1 teaspoon of the saffron water.

Add the cooked lentils, orange peel and 1/2 cup of the raisins to the beef mixture.

In the same pot you cooked your rice (because who wants to wash more dishes?) decide how you want to prepare the bottom of your pot. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Either put a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom, or a layer of pita bread. Or take 2 tablespoons plain yogurt and mix it with 2 spatulas full of rice and a few drops of saffron water and layer this on the bottom of the pot.

Then, take 2 spatulas of rice and place it over your potatoes or whatever you choose. Add a layer of the beef and lentil mixture. Build a pyramid by layering the rice and meat mixture finishing with a layer of rice. Cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes.

Take the remaining saffron water and some melted butter (maybe 2 tablespoons) and pour it over your pyramid. Place a clean dish towel on your pot and then cover with the lid. Cook for another 50 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering to allow the crust to come free.

In the meantime, take another 1/2 cup of raisins and fry in 1 tablespoon butter just until they start to puff up. Remove the rice from the pot onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the fried raisins. Remove the crust from the pot and hide it or you might not get any. Serve with plain yogurt.


Tip: You could probably make this vegetarian but taking out the beef and using more lentils.


Original Recipe: Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food of Life cookbook.


- adas polow - rice with lentils -

Tomatoes with Fresh Basil and Boiled Eggs on Toast



4 servings

Ingredients
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
5 basil leaves chopped
1 tablespoon each olive oil & balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

4 slices of rye (or other) bread, toasted
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Directions

Arrange the tomatoes on a plate and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle on chopped basil, salt & pepper. Layer the tomatoes on a slice of toast followed by slices of egg. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Tip: If you can get a nice fresh baguette it's even better than toast! Make it South Beach and Atkins friendly by serving it without toast.

- tomatoes with fresh basil and boiled eggs on toast -

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Persian Style Spaghetti (with my twist)

My twist is the roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes.



6 servings

Ingredients
About 6 cups cooked pasta, any shape
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 roasted red pepper, pureed
3 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) pureed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbs oregano
salt & pepper
3 heaping tablespoons good tomato paste


Directions
Cook your pasta according to package directions.

Brown your meat in a pan and add the onions, celery and garlic. Cook through. Add pureed red peppers & tomatoes. Sprinkle on the spices and stir in the tomato paste. You may add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to loosen it up a bit but it should be thick. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the pasta and put everything into the pot. Cover with a towel and a lid and cook on medium low for about 1/2 hour. Serve with pickles.


- persian style spaghetti -

Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I adapted this recipe from The South Beach Diet Supercharged book.


6 servings

Ingredients
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 19oz can black beans
2 green onions (scallions) chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper (optional)
lime juice


Directions
Sauté the garlic, celery & scallions in a pot until tender. Add all other ingredients except lime juice and simmer about 15 minutes. Take 1/2 the soup and blend it then return to the pot. Simmer another 10 minutes and serve.

- black bean soup -

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Simple Lamb Chops with Lemon { South Beach Diet Friendly }



2 servings

Ingredients
2 lamb chops
salt & pepper

olive oil for frying
lemon juice or wedges


Directions
Simply sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper and grill or fry (in a little olive oil) to desired doneness. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving and serve with fresh lemon juice or lemon wedges.



Tomato and Onion Salad with Fresh Herbs


4-6 servings

Ingredients
3 diced tomatoes
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
15 mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp sumac
salt & pepper


Directions
Mix it up and chill until ready to serve.


- tomato and onion salad with fresh herbs -

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Persian Style Spaghetti


This is not your typical saucy spaghetti. It is very flavourful though! This is the style we eat most often in our home.



8 servings

Ingredients
8 cups cooked spaghetti noodles
1.5 lb lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tumeric
salt & pepper
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 cup tomato paste


Directions
Cook your pasta in a large nonstick pot according to package directions.

Brown your meat in a pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook through. Sprinkle on the spices and stir in the tomato paste. You may add a few tablespoons to loosen it up a bit but it should be thick. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the pasta and put everything into the pot. Cover with a towel and a lid and cook on medium low for about 1/2 hour. Serve.

It's good with pickled veggies on the side. I also like parmesan cheese because cheese is my friend.

Tip: I don't add any extra oil because there's enough coming from the meat anyway. I use 1 box of Catelli Smart but I think the regular white pasta gets bigger when it cooks.


- persian style spaghetti -

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rouladen

We always have these at Christmas but you can make them any time of year.


2016: I made these in the slow cooker because I needed the oven to make a turkey.
8  hours on low will do it. The bottom ones were falling apart because they were so juicy.


24 rolls

Ingredients
24 beef or veal cutlets (or scallopine), pounded thin
6 dill or polski ogorki pickles cut into quarters
1 large onion sliced (at least 24 pieces)
6 slices of rye bread, cut into 4 strips each
12 slices of bacon cut in half
prepared yellow mustard
seasoned salt

Directions
For each piece of meat, spread 1/2 teaspoon mustard all over one side of the meat. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt. Add a piece of each of the other ingredients and roll the meat up around them. Use a toothpick to hold it all together. Place the rolls into a large baking dish and add about 1" of water. Sprinkle the rolls with additional seasoned salt. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. Drizzle some of the pan juices over the rolls and don't forget to remove the tootpicks.

Tip: Serve with a side of mashed potatoes to suck up all those pan drippings. That juice is just too good to waste.

- rouladen -

Monday, April 5, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Dip



12 servings

Ingredients
1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
3/4 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small baking dish, mix the roasted red peppers, Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic and Dijon-style mustard.

Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve warm.
Serve with fresh bread cut into chunks or nachos.

Tips: Here's the original recipe but I use the Monterey Jack with bits of Jalapeno in it for extra zip, and cut back the dijon to 1tsp because the flavour is just too over-powering for my liking. I also use only 1/2 the amount of mayo because I want to taste the cheese and peppers, not mayo and mustard.

Original Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Marys-Roasted-Red-Pepper-Dip/Detail.aspx

- roasted red pepper dip -

Devilled Easter Eggs { south beach diet friendly }



8 servings

Ingredients
8 hard boiled eggs
A few cups of warm water with some drops of food colouring in them
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbs chopped green onion (including the green part)
1/2 tsp dry dill
pinch of pepper
pinch of paprika and sliced green onions for garnish

Directions

Boil your eggs and let them cool. Mix water with your choice of colours. Remove the egg shells and dip your eggs in the water just to pick up some colour. Dry with paper towel.

Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the rest of the ingredients until they're fluffy and then fill the whites with the yolk mixture. Chill until you're ready to serve.

Tips: You could add salt to the mix but the mayo has enough of salt already in it for my liking.


- devilled easter eggs -

Banana Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Syrup


2 servings

Ingredients
4 slices bread
1 medium banana sliced
2 eggs beaten
butter for frying
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup syrup

Directions

Place the sliced banana between 2 pieces of bread. Dip into the egg and fry until both sides are golden brown.

In the meantime put the strawberries and syrup in a pot and cook until the berries start to fall apart. Pour over the cooked French toast.


Tip: For a crispy coating roll the egg coated bread in crushed up cornflakes before frying.

- banana stuffed french toast with strawberry syrup -

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Salad Shirazi


4-6 servings

Ingredients
1 english cucumber, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup diced sweet or red onion
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each dry dill & mint
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sumac


Directions
Mix it all up and chill until ready to serve.


- salad shirazi -

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beef Stew


8 servings

Ingredients
1 1/2lbs stewing beef, cubed
1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
10 small potatoes, cut in half
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup mushrooms, cut in quarters
5 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp each rosemary & thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
1/2 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon flour


Directions
Season the flour with a few pinches of salt and pepper, then toss the meat cubes in it. Shake off the extra flour and fry in olive oil in a nonstick pot or dutch oven over medium high heat until brown on all sides. Do this in batches of 3 or 4 so the pot doesn't cool down too much or the meat will boil instead of brown.

Once the meat is browned, add the onion and fry for a few minutes until golden.

Add all other ingredients and add water to cover the meat. Bring to a simmer on high heat then reduce to medium low and simmer about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender.

Take 1/2 cup of water and stir in 1 tablespoon of flour until there are no lumps. Add to simmering stew and cook until thickend. If you like your stew thicker, add more flour.


- beef stew -

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lentil Soup


V To make this vegan, leave out the bacon.

Lentil Soup 6-8 servings

Ingredients
1 onion diced
1 large carrot diced
2 celery stalks diced
3 stips bacon diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry lentils
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry dill
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
5 cups water
1 19oz can diced canned tomatoes with juice
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Lemons


Directions
Cook the vegetables and bacon in oil until they're tender. Stir in lentils to coat and stir in spices.


Cover with water and simmer until the lentils are tender. If it seems too thick add more water.

Add the can of tomatoes with their juices and stir. Add parsley and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

- lentil soup -

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homemade Burgers


4-6 servings

Ingredients
1lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 egg
salt & pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs

4-6 buns or pita halves
Toppings of choice

Directions
Mix it all up and form into 4-6 patties. Bake, grill or fry until the meat is just cooked. Top with anything you like. We like he basics such as cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo.


Tip: They now sell burger buns that are super thin. If you don't want to fill up on bread, try to find them, or do what I did and use 1/2 a pita.

- homemade burgers -

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Homemade Marinara Sauce


Unsure about the serving size, I didn't measure the finished sauce.

Ingredients
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup white wine


Directions
In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

- homemade marinara -