Popular Posts


For a limited time, download Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving e-cookbook !!! Just in time for...thanksgiving? Oh well....it's comfort food with MARTHA...and that's all I need to know :)

You're invited to a Recipe Party!!

Sew Many Ways (a fun crafting blog ran by a mom with very clever crafting ideas) is hosting a Holiday Recipe Linking Party! Starting November 28th and on into December, people from all over the blogosphere will link up a recipe that they've posted on their blog and you can do the same!

This is a great way to find new recipes for the holidays and share your recipe with others who might enjoy it! Isn't it a neat idea?! If you want more info, follow the link here where Karen explains how to participate!

Spread the word! the more recipes the better! :)


Easy Peasy Split Peas Soup!


OOOOhhh BABY those cold nights are coming on! Nothing says cozy on a crisp Fall evening like pea soup and a fuzzy blanket! Here's a super easy recipe courtesy of my Nanny!

500 mlsplit peas (green or yellow)2 cup
2 Lcold water8 cup
2celery stalks, chopped2
2medium carrots, chopped2
2small onions, chopped2
-salt & pepper to taste-

Rinse peas in colander with cold water. Place in large saucepan. Add cold water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are soft.

Add celery, carrots, onions, salt and pepper. Bring back to boil and simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 6

A word about Spaghetti Squash


With the peak season of cold nights and dark mornings, it's time to get thinking about excuses to keep your oven turned on all evening. One of my best excuses is roasting something really huge and hard....right. Not to mention, spaghetti squash gives you a great excuse to wield a really big knife after a long day of whiny teenagers and public transpo employees (or maybe that's just me). But really, spaghetti squash is worth the minimal effort it requires, and last forever in your fridge. Plus, it really does live up to its name as a pasta substitute. Your waistline, and more importantly, your life-long body will thank you. So will your wallet: spaghetti squash goes for about 79 cents a pound, but I've found it in season for 99 cents a squash.


1. By hook or by crook, slice a spaghetti squash into two halves, length-wise. Don't be dauntedl; this is difficult, but not impossible. My suggestion is to saw into it a bit with a bread knife to give your butcher's knife some leverage. Like I said, by hook or by crook. I usually use a man, but I think this is sad, so I keep on trying the two knife approach until he comes careening into the kitchen convinced I'm going to wind up short a hand.

2. Scoop out it's guts: remove seeds, stringy bits, and anything gooey looking from the middles of the halves - you're going to be roasting only the hard parts on its sides. Don't worry - they get nice and roasty in the oven over their long bake. For extra snacking, save the seeds and roast them simulatenously! Throw the rest of that junk out.

3. Light drizzle the exposed squash interior with olive oil or canola oil. Crack a generous amount of fresh pepper into it and season as you like - I generallys stick to salt and pepper, but part of me feels you could go nutmeggy with this baby and it would also be delish.

4. Place on a roasting pan (i.e. your most already-ruined cookie sheet...sugar leaks out of most vegetables and can leave dark burns on pans), inside-down (scooped-out side down), and bake for a good 45 minutes that way.

5. At the 45 minute mark, use tongs (or man) to flip the halves over so they are edible side upfor about 10-15 minutes, or until they are baked-looking enough for your liking. The flesh should be tender and easy to scrape with a fork. When scraped, noodly strings of squash will happen. Note: Generally, my squash comes out a little browner than in the image, which I really like.

This makes an excellent side with a dollop of sour cream or (my preference) plain yogurt. It's also commonly substituted in pasta dishes as is great with tomato sauce or with stir fried vegetables, or really with anything. Heart healthy and worth the one hard part, this is an easy and satisfying way to treat your body nice.


Bring the Restaurant Home with Chinese-style Chicken!

Wow! It's been a while since I posted a recipe!

Without further ado, here's an AMAZING recipe that my roommate and I tried out last night for supper. I always had trouble keeping chicken moist, but this time, I felt like a real restaurant chef! This recipe is truly finger-licking good!!

- 2/3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1x5 cm strips
- 1 1/3 cup snow peas
- 1 green peppers, cut into thin strips
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tbsp sherry [optional]
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp suga
- 4 slices gingerroot, cut into thin slices
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste


1. Slice the chicken breast into strips ½ to 1 cm wide and about 5 cm long. Mix with the soy sauce, sherry (optional), cornstarch, sugar, and 2-3 slices of ginger. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
3. Prepare the vegetables. Coarsely chop the onion, thinly slice the pepper, and mince or press the garlic. Keep the snow peas whole. Cut 2-3 more slices of ginger.
4. Heat ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying-pan or wok. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, cook 2-3 min until they start to soften, then set aside on the warmed serving plate in the oven.
5. Turn up the heat and add ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil. First add some salt, then immediately add the snow peas. Stir constantly for 2-3 min since they cook very quickly (the colour should stay dark green). Put the snow peas on the plate with the other vegetables. Keep the plate warm.
6. In the same wok, add the remaining oil and the marinated chicken. Reserve the remaining marinade. Stir constantly over medium heat 7-8 min until the meat is almost cooked. Then put the vegetables back into the wok, add the new slices of ginger plus the reserved marinade. Cook another 2 min. Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.

Serves 2.

(source: http://soscuisine.com/en/recipes/view/chinese-style-chicken-with-snow-peas?sos_l=en)


Mom's famous teriyaki sauce

The sharing of recipes in my family is quite the controversial topic. Some of the women love to share recipes, such as my mom, while others hoard the family recipes and only pass them onto their children. This has lead to some sneaking around, and consipring by the women to get certain recipes. Fortunately, the do not have to do that for this recipe, one my mom created herself.

It is simple, it is fast, and it tastes great...however, you may want to consider a breath mint afterwards. :)

1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of soya sauce
4 tbsp of ketchup
2 tbsp of vinegar
4 cloves of garlic

Yes that is all. However it is best to use a hand held blender such as those little ones for making vinaigrettes, and mix so that you have no seperation between the liquids. It is ready when you are, however, like wine, it gets better with age, so let it sit for a half hour or so if you can.

What to do with this?
I love this on steak, you can marinate the steak in it, or you can simply dip the cooked steak into the sauce. It is also great on rice and chicken.
This sauce can last forever in your fridge.


zucchini and yellow pepper risotto with A BASIL BONUS


So I have recently begun working, by which I mean I have a real job that leaves me exhausted by 6pm and yearning for sleep by 10. Somewhere along the line between unemployed vagrant and underpaid (but profoundly grateful) teacher, I lost the time I used to spend chopping vegetables to my couch and tired feet. I realize that this is my own fault: granola bars and coffee do not a lunch make 5 days a week. I've been burning out because I'm just not feeding my furnace, so here's a recipe I'm returning to in a time of nutritional need. I used to make this for special occasions, but risotto is actually one of the best things for me to eat for lunch as my version is packed with nutrient rich vegetables and the benefit of fresh herbs, satisfying carbs and dairy protein. Besides, risotto is one of those rare foods that actually benefits from a microwave, or can be eaten cold, which suits my noontime cravings just fine. Also, sometimes I buy a whole basil plant and can't keep it alive so I just eat it, in this :)

FYI this is a little time consuming, and I would set aside an hour to do it, but it' worth the wait for the long term gain :) And it's an impressive dish when you're done, not to mention totally delicious.


  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 zucchini. diced generously
  • 1 large yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups dry risotto
  • 4 tbsp dry white vermouth
  • 7 cups vegetable broth, simmering
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
  • EXTRA LARGE handful (or entire plant) of fresh basil, torn roughly
  • 1 cup (freshly) grated parmesan cheese (I know it's expensive, but the real stuff will make such a different with the basil, it's really worth the extra dollar to buy a block of reggiano and grate it yourself)

Heat half your oil in a large skillet on high. When it's super hot, but not smoking hot, toss in your zucchini and peppers, and stir fry them for about 2-3 minutes, until they're starting to get a wee bit golden brown (gauge by the zukes, not the peppers). Add your garlic and stir it all together to fry for about 30 secs, then remove it all to a separate plate and set it aside for a spell.

Heat the rest of your oil in a heavy pot (this will eventually hold everything, so account for about 7 cups of rice); add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft, which usually takes a good 2-5 minutes IMO. Add the risotto and cook it all together, stirring so it doesn't stick, for another vague 2-5 mintues (you want your risotto to become translucent, which has taken a wide range of times in my experience). Make sure the risotto is well coated with the olive oil.

Pour in your vermouth (delicious); let it bubble and steam away - this is its job, and I promise, not a waste of your vermouth :) Add ladleful by ladleful of hot almost boiling stock to your risotto pot, stirring each ladleful until it is absorbed by the rice. Do this until all your stock is finito. This should realistically take about 20-25 minutes. The rice will get creamier and tender, but should still be firm (think al dente pasta). It will get a little tough to stir.

When this is done, stir in your pre-cooked veggies, along with any of their escaped juices. Add in the butter/margarine, basil (LOTS OF BASIL) and grated parmesan, stirring gently (but forcefully, for the cheese spreadage). When mixed, drizzle with oil if you like, garnish generously with EVEN MORE BASIL(!) and serve hot.

Makes about 6 girl sized servings.

Foods for your Brain

Today marks International Literacy Day, a day that not only celebrates literacy, but also raises awareness about those who still lack literacy skills. In fact, a staggering 67.4 million children around the world are still illiterate because of various factors. As such, this post highlights the importance of food for the brain for better learning and concentration. While many still lack literacy skills around the world, those who are lucky enough to be in school need proper food in order to succeed. Indeed, the right foods for your brain will keep it clean and fully energized!

First, let's look at key foods for your brain (although various sources will give you slight differences, the ones listed below are good to know):

  1. For short term memory, drink coffee, NOT energy drinks, you don't want to mess with your mental computer!
  2. For long term memory and cognitive processing, eat FRESH blueberries, ripe berries don't contain as many nutrients. If they're out of season, buy them frozen!
  3. To think faster, eat salmon or mackerel, NOT full-fat ice-cream. High levels of fat clog the blood vessels and are just plain not good for your brain, or body!
  4. To energize, eat a high-protein salad with vinaigrette, NOT pancakes or bagels. Avoid eating a high amount of carbs when you need to wake-up, that's what puts you to sleep!
  5. To calm down, eat low-fat yogourt or mixed nuts, DON'T drink soda. A study shoes that people who drink 2 1/2 cans of soda each day are more likely to be anxious and depressed.
  6. To concentrate, drink peppermind tea, DON'T eat candy. In the long run, sugary foods cause highs and lows of sugar, causing fuzzy states of mind.
  7. For good moods, eat aragula or spinash salads, NOT white chocolate. If you're going to go for the chocolate, grab the real deal (the darker the better) as white chocolate does not contain the euphoria-inducing mood boosters that real chocolate brings (because of the lack of cacao).
(Other brain stimulating foods can be found here)

Having said that, breakfast is the most important brain energizing meal of the day! Make sure you have a good breakfast before leaving the house in the morning (or bring it with you at work). It'll keep you alert all day long!

While the discourse around illiteracy is often centered around developing countries, many Canadians still have low levels of literacy and many children still do not get a proper breakfast in the morning. As such, le Club des Petits Dejeuners in Quebec aims at giving kids a proper breakfast in order for them to succeed. I think it's a step in the right direction and definitely one that could help raise levels of literacy in school.

Other organizations such as 1Goal aim to raise levels of literacy around the world! If you know of any organizations or good brain stimulating recipes! Leave a comment on this post! :)



Mayonnaise and bananas you say? NEVER?! Welcome to Miracle Bread

Image by L. Kelly Lyles

I love to bake banana bread. I love the smell, the batter's texture, the endless rotation of possible ingredients, the way it slowly chips away at the mountain of brown frozen bananas in my freezer door. This afternoon it was so chilly that I decided it was the perfect day for the first baking session of the season. It's been so hot this summer that our bananas haven't been keeping worth anything, so there were about 25 frozen fruits calling my name, and baby their time had come.

I wanted to hang on to the few eggs we had kicking around the fridge for breakfast tomorrow, so I made a few substitutions to my traditional recipe. Usually, I go the yogurt route, but having only fat free yogurt on hand means giving up on any kind of rising so guess what I did :) M couldn't, but it turned out great! This bread is just chewy enough but not wet like some healthy banana breads, certainly not too dry, and just sweet enough to make it feel like a treat!

Preheat your oven to 350.
Lightly grease a standard loaf pan (I always cheat and use cooking spray to keep this step really easy. If you do this though, reduce the salt in your recipe: I find cooking spray flavors the loaf more than other options, though it's still a much healthier way to do it).
  • Mash 3 large overripe or frozen-and-then-defrosted bananas in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in 1 tbsp warm water
  • Stir in 1-2 heaping tbsp of Miracle Whip
  • If you have it on hand, mix in 1 tbsp of your favorite low-fat-low-sugar yogurt for a little extra sweetness
In a larger bowl mix
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • .5 cup sugar
Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the wet mix into it. Mix only until dry ingredients are absorbed. Fold in a small handful of chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever your creative little heart desires. Pour that beauty into your loaf pan and bake on the middle rack for about 35-45 minutes depending on your over. Take the opportunity here to check on it every once in awhile and let the deliciousness waft into your kitchen. Mmmm. WHIP IT GOOD!

Baked Lemon Sole...err..Haddock

I had a friend coming over this week and I had to prepare a fast and good supper. I had some frozen fish in the freezer, which I thought was Sole, so I unfroze it in the morning and came back after work to find out it was Haddock. Having no time to look for another recipe, I decided to cook the Haddock using the Baked Lemon Sole recipe I had previously found on cookitsimply.com. It turned out FANTASTIC and took me only half an hour to prep and bake!


- 1 - 1/2 lbs. fish fillets (sole, flounder)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon (6 wedges)
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

1. In bottom of shallow baking or broiling pan, spread oil,lemon juice, and pepper.
2. Swish fish around in pan, coating both sides. Sprinkle with parsley.
3. Broil 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until edges are browned.
4. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle with salt or additional lemon and pepper.

Note: It takes longer to broil Haddock than Sole. It took me 20 minutes to broil rather than 10-ish minutes. So keep that in mind when cooking.

I served it with the Mediterranean Couscous Salad I previously posted on here.

Enjoy! :)

*image source: http://www.shobdonvillage.co.uk/fish-fresh*

Speedy Healthy Filling Breaky

If you're anything like me, you often skip breakfast in the morning because your life takes over, although you know you shouldn't. If I do have breakfast, I usually have a simple bowl of cereal with skim milk, that'll often fill me up....for the next hour or so.

I stumbled upon an article this morning that gives a few good breakfast recipes for the on-the-go crowd. But first, they provide us with facts about the importance of having breakfast (source):

It keeps you slim: Breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight than breakfast skippers, and successful dieters are also more likely to be breakfast eaters.

It keeps you healthy: Eating breakfast may reduce your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, and it strengthens your immune system so you're more resistant to common ailments like colds and the flu.

It keeps you sharp: Memory and concentration get a boost from breakfast. A study on children found that kids who eat breakfast score higher on tests and are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity. It should help you at the office, too.

The Perfect Meal

You say you eat breakfast? Good boy. Even so, it's likely you're doing it wrong. "Most men make the mistake of eating too little in the morning, and then get so hungry they go overboard and eat a giant meal later in the day," says Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., a nutritionist in Irvine, California, and author of Stealth Health.

A typical breakfast is just a couple of hundred calories, mostly in the form of simple carbohydrates that spike blood-sugar levels and leave the body starving for energy a couple of hours later.

Even a classic fiber-rich breakfast -- say a cup of raisin bran with blueberries and skim milk -- provides less than 300 calories and only about 10 grams of protein. An ideal breakfast needs to be much larger -- between 500 and 600 calories. And it needs to be packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including at least 20 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber. That will give your body a high-quality, long-lasting, steady supply of energy to help you through the morning.

Here you'll find 7 breakfast recipes that you can make under 5 minutes!

Have parents: will host dinner


24 hours to show time: what have I gotten myself into!??!

For the first time since I moved in with M, I'm having my parents for dinner. I mean serving them dinner. Well, the first time that won't include a grocery store-bought crudité platter and a frozen coconut cream pie (but dayam was that a success!). I'm still making my big decisions, but have reduced my options to several recipes with similar ingredients, largely featuring lemons, bell peppers, conchiglie (shell pasta), spinach, parmesan and olive oil. I am desperately seeking an appropriate while-I-make-dinner-appetizer, and am hoping Metro will help me out there. Bread sticks? Simple, classy, lazy. Sigh. It's my mom's birthday and I want to do good because man does she set a good table. See above. It's on, mama.

M's getting creamy lemon angel-hair pasta out of all this indecision, despite having a hockey tournament smack in the middle of dinner. That recipe to come soon if it's a success...I have my suspicious about lemon pasta but this is the second time I've seen it since CK posted the chicken recipe. We shall see.

Wish me luck!

Roasty Toasty Asparagus


I know what boys like, and it's certainly not long and green and it certainly doesn't make your pee smell funny. As far as they know anyways. In what looks like a life-long quest to make M get any vitamins at all, I'm learning to cook up vegetables (or sometimes not even cook! God forbid) in a way that makes them almost unrecognizable as part of the dreaded food group. Obviously, going veg meant that we were going to have the 'eat-your-vegetables' convo A-LOT. Since I started roasting though, I swear sometimes he doesn't know what hit him. Asparagus is a good place to start roasting because it's so versatile, and despite being a bit tricky to get 100% the way you want it, it makes for a pretty good side dish no matter how wet or charred it turns out. Believe me, I've tested the extremes of both of those categories only to determine that asparagus is always ALWAYS salvageable.

Preheat your oven to 450.

For the easiest roasting, just toss as much frozen chopped-in-half asparagus (arctic gardens for the win) as you like in a tablespoon- to two- of your favorite olive oil (for a really exciting evening, try a flavored one like basil or hot chilis). If you have the luxury of fresh asparagus, you might want to blanche it first, for easier (read, faster) roasting. Alternately, if you want'em really 'done', steam your asparagus over boiling water (using your steamer thingy), or cop out and boil it in a frying pan filled with 1-2 inches of water (flipping with tongs) for about 2 minutes; this will surely result in softer asparagus post-roasting, but that's certainly not always a bad thing. But be forewarned, boiling your vegetables (not to mention some of our other quick-fix vegetable habits) tends to rid them of their most nutritional qualities, so you if you've got the time, do steam them, for your own good . If you're a lemon person, toss in a squeeze to your own taste. Otherwise, minced garlic might make a nice addition. To top it off, I like a serious dose of fresh ground pepper on just about everything except ice cream. Personally, my favorite seasoning is a sea-salt/lemon-zest/dried chillies blend that I sprinkle VERY lightly over the whole shabang. Delicious, but watch that sodium boys and girls. It'll getcha.

To save your pan/cookie sheet from permanent charring, line it with foil, and spread your lightly seasoned asparagus on the pan or baking dish. Generally, try to keep them from touching each other too much (this is science that maximizes deliciousness). Roast at 450 abouts on the middle rack for 15 minutes or so. After this, I generally move my dish up to the top and broil the asparagus for another 10-15 minutes or so. That being said, times will entirely depend upon your oven and preferences, so the first time you do this, I recommend you watch with bated breath through the oven window and get a tan.

Asparagus cools down WAY too fast so you basically have to eat/serve this right away, though when I miss my window for serving it hot, it makes a fantastic addition to roasted baby potatoes and white beans in olive oil as a non-creamy pasta salad that offers up not only a veg, but a LEGUME! wild.

Now just make sure he doesn't pee in the shower. Enjoy!

Delish Discoveries has got a New Name!

As part of this blog's updates, Delicious Discoveries has a new name, a new addy AND a new look! Please give a warm welcome to Stute Kitchen!

Make sure to take the new url down because delishd.blogspot.com no longer exists and will redirect you to an error page. So if you don't want to miss the recipes that we try to create and cook in our kitchen, make sure to jock down http://stutekitchen.blogspot.com/ in your recipe book and come back regularly! :)

Don't forget, you can send us your recipes and we'll make sure to review them and add them to our blog!




My friends and I have all recently found a new passion for cooking. We love to share recipes (either found online, passed on to us, shared by others, or made-up in our own kitchen!), tips and restaurant reviews but could never find a place that would allow us to do just that. This is the reason why this blog was created and we would like to share those recipes with you! If you have any comments/suggestions or recipes you'd like to share with us to be posted on our blog, let us know and we'll add it in!


P.S. Please keep in mind that this blog is still under construction. We just couldn't wait to share food with you!

Earl's Warm Potato Salad

As my boyfriend and I were travelling in the Rockies last week, we came across Earls Restaurant, which seems to be a very popular chain restaurant across Canada (we unfortunately don't have it in Ottawa nor anywhere in Quebec, which is why I had never heard of it). Regardless, our very delicious baby back ribs came with a side of vegetables and probably the most amazing potato salad I've ever had (or at least, something very close to that).

So I searched online, and found ALOT of different recipes, but this one looks like it's the closest to the real deal. Although I had it with some bits of bacon, removing them from the recipe makes a great appetizer for a vegetarian meal! Probably NOT the healthiest choice, but I definitely recommend either cooking it yourself or trying it at Earls.

- 4 cups cooked potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup Miracle Whip
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- dash of green tabasco or red pepper (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1. Simmer potatoes until fork tender. Remove skins, and cut into cubes.
2. In a bowl, combine celery, eggs, potatoes, onions, vinegar and seasonings. Toss lightly to combine.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix mustard, and Miracle Whip. Stir into potatoes and serve warm.

Variation: Add cooked and crumbled bacon bits to the salad dressing.

The restaurant's website offers the following nutritional information for their warm potato salad. For 217g:

Calories 431.00
Protein (g) 9.00
Carbohydrates (g) 29.00
Fibre (g) 2.50
Fat (g) 31.00
Saturated fat (g) 7.90
Trans fat (g) 0.70
Cholesterol (mg) 40.00
Sodium (mg) 523.00

Barely Vegetarian Chili


Granted everyone's got their own favorite chili recipe, and no doubt the meat eaters in the crowd are already looking at each other skeptically. But trust me, my carnivorous boyfriend couldn't tell the difference, and neither will you (or yours!) :)

Though I always favour Yves veggie ground rounds for meatless options, I've heard other meatless grounds or crumbles work just as well. Yves makes a great Mexican spiced ground that is perfect in this chili, though I like the Italian spiced one just as well.

You'll need a giant stove top pot, a serious cutting board, and a wooden spoon for stirring. Chili can stain these puppies in my experience, so plastic or a crappy wooden one is likely a good option. Throw in any other veggies you love in chili (or have on hand) - think zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and let me know if you come up with anything even more creative!

Chop: 1 red and 1 green bell pepper
1 onion (I love the sweet ones, though anything but red will do here)
3 celery stalks
1-2 large carrots depending on your love of carrots
Mince: 1 large or 2 regular cloves or garlic

Sautée all of the above on medium heat in 1.5-2 tbsp olive or canola oil until softening (I find this takes about 7-10 minutes).
If you like your chili much spicier (which I often do), dice a jalapeno into the pot at this stage, and pray you got your proportions right.

Add: 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 can(s) diced tomatoes (I like 'em spiced meself)
1 package of meatless crumbles of your choice

Season: 1 generous tbsp chili powder
1 generous tsp dried rosemary
1-2 generous tsp cumin (LOVE cumin)
a few dashes of pepper flakes (very optional, depending on jalapeno status)

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes. I commonly toss in a half container of my favorite tomato pasta sauce if the mess is looking too chunky/not tomatoey enough for my liking.

In my experience, chili is almost always better after sitting in its own juicy goodness for a few hours, and is ALWAYS better on day 2, if you can wait that long :)

Serve hot, topped with sour cream, plain yogurt, chives, grated cheddar, or whatever else you like! Enjoy!!

Mom's Jeweled Moroccan Rice

Photograph: Suat Eman

Potlucks for the win. My friends love to throw a cheap girls night with a smorgasbord of delicious food, and this rice dish trumps potato salad and tortilla chips every time. It makes a statement at a sit down dinner as well, complementing everything from grilled fish to sweet roasted meats, to salads to your favorite white wine. Personally, I love it on its own, or even, gasp, for breakfast: the fruity sweet kick of the dried fruit plus the satisfying feeling of hot rice does it for me every time. Try it out on your friends: it's so pretty, they'll never guess how easy it was.

Serves 4

4 cups cooked rice (your favorite kind. Certain rices will turn out a much chewier dish (hear me rice-for-breakfast lovers), while others will result in drier, more dinner appropriate dishes. Really, it's just a good excuse to try this dish several times :) Of course, consistency will also vary according to how much water you cook your rice in)

1tbsp olive oil

1 cup dried fruit (apricots, raisins, dates...dried cranberries make a great tart addition as well)

.5 tsp cinnamon (because it's so good for you, throw in a little extra if you love cinnamon as much as I do)

.5tsp ginger

.5tsp cumin

.5tsp salt

slivered almonds toasted

optional: garnish with toasted coconut

  • cut fruit to size of raisins
  • soak all fruits in hot water
  • in a non stick frying pan, sautee rice in oil
  • add spices, stir well
  • add fruit and .25cup of fruit water
  • warm through
  • stir in toasted almonds
  • garnish with coconut if desired

Serve however you like, hot, cold, or somewhere in the middle

Healthy Stuffed Eggplant

There are so many recipes that I'm finding online that I just can't wait to try, and this one is surely one of them!

Eggplants were never my favorite vegetables, but once in a while I don't mind eating them cooked or in purée form.

(source: http://operagirlcooks.com/2010/07/22/stuffed-eggplant-recipe/)

Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 medium-sized eggplant (about 7″ long and 5″ in diameter)
- 1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 small (4 oz) zucchini, diced
- 1 medium yellow pepper, diced
- 1 C. cooked short-grain brown rice
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Italian Herb Garlic Gold Nuggets
- 1 small (1 oz) slice whole wheat sourdough bread, processed into breadcrumbs
- 1 oz (1/4 C.) grated parmesan cheese

1. Halve the eggplant, then scoop out the insides with a melon baller or tablespoon, leaving 1/4″ of flesh. Place hollowed out halves in a 9″ square baking dish and set aside.
2. Coarsely chop the eggplant flesh.
3. In a large (12″) non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium flame. Add the onions, and cook until translucent and softened.
4. Add the eggplant and salt to the skillet, cooking until eggplant softens and is no longer opaque.
5. Add the zucchini and diced pepper to the skillet, cooking until softened.
6. Transfer sauteed vegetables to a medium mixing bowl, then add the brown rice, vinegar, and Garlic Gold nuggets. Stir until everything is combined.
7. Preheat oven to 400F.
8. In a small bowl, mix the sourdough breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together.
9. Scoop the vegetable mixture into the eggplant halves, then top them with the breadcrumbs and cheese, patting it down to form an even crust. Bake for 25 minutes.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1/2 an eggplant half Calories: 318 Fat: 17g Sodium 307.9mg Carbs: 37g Fiber: 6.3g Protein: 7.6g

Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad

I just stumbled upon this, great to keep on your fridge!! haha
(source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2ofkxG/backtable.org/%257Eblade/fnord/condiments.html)

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

I just stumbled upon this recipe. It seems like it's somewhat a long preparation, but the outcome looks delish! Again, haven't tried it yet. Perhaps something I'll try when I move into my new home! :)
(source: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/07/grilled-chicken-with-lemon-basil-pasta/)


  • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

Alternative: For our vegetarian Amanda, perhaps some grilled tofu or shrimp would be a good replacement to the chicken! 

Pairing Wine with Thai Food

Amanda and I are both big fans of Thai Food (as I'm sure Beth is as well, always finding herself at Santé Restaurant). Although I always end up going to bottom-hole places like Bangkok in Montreal or random places in the Ottawa Chinatown, sometimes a high class Thai restaurant may require a good glass of wine. Serious Eats gives us three different wine pairings with three different Thai dishes (quotes by Todd Knoll, the executive estate chef at Jordan Vineyard & Winery)

Pad Thai: The classic noodle dish, often served with crushed peanuts.
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay (alternatives: Alsatian wines, Australian Semillon).
"The 2008 Jordan Chardonnay is actually perfect, but any Chardonnay with low alcohol, high acids and balance can work great. Low alcohol is important, especially with spiciness. I like to clean my palate with wine—you're getting some oils, especially with pad thai."

Yom Tam: A hot and spicy soup.
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay again, but a more fruit-forward, unoaked version.(alternative: Reisling)
"You have to be careful with oaked chardonnay, because the spice will accent that, and it's just too much. Go with unoaked. A little residual sugar,and you'll have a better pairing. The balance of spice vs fruit, you want more fruit on the nose or more sugar in the glass.
Chicken Satay: Grilled meat in a peanut based sauce; originally an Indonesian dish but widely adopted on Thai menus.
Wine Pairing: Cabernet, (alternative: Reisling, Chardonnay)
"That's a tricky one. I would definitely go with a wine with some residual sugar. You're getting a spice so you're going to need a sweeter wine, but you don't' want to overpower the chicken. To be honest, beer is better with this dish than wine."