Saturday, 24 December 2016

Eggnog Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Eggnog is a favourite holiday treat of mine, but Simon and Anna are not fans. I bought So Delicious coconut milk eggnog instead, and they both tried it and liked it. We also buy coconut milk ice cream from the same brand, so I figured it was worth a shot. It's Gluten free, dairy free, and doesn't contain eggs.

I used spelt flour in this recipe, but that can be swapped in equal amounts for whole wheat flour if you don't have it on hand. The applesauce and eggnog keep this cake moist, so it needs a dense flour.


Dry ingredients:
1 cup spelt flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 tbsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp nutmeg 
1/4 tsp ground cloves 
2 tsp ground ginger 

Wet ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
3 tbsp pure maple syrup 
2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/2 cup eggnog
1 cup unsweetened applesauce 
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix until uniform. Set aside.

Combine coconut oil and brown sugar in either stand mixer or a second bowl. Cream the sugar, then add remaining wet ingredients. Mix well.

Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, or pour the dry ingredients into the stand mixer bowl. Mix until uniform.

Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch round cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mascarpone Frosting 

Combine 1 cup (227g) mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp of eggnog. Mix until uniform. When cake is fully cooled, coat evenly with frosting and refrigerate before serving.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies

I drink a lot of tea, and I mean a lot...about 3 litres of it per day. My favourite is chai, specifically Double Spice Chai because it's even spicier than regular chai tea. I found a recipe for chai spiced cookies from the Whole Foods Market site that sounded awesome, but there were many comments left from others who had tried out the recipe that it was too dry. I followed the original recipe at first. I wasn't happy with the crumbly texture of the dough, so I adjusted the balance of dry and wet ingredients and balanced the spices to my liking. The cloves were overpowering in the Whole Foods recipe.

I adjusted the recipe to make it more like my Gingerbread cookie dough, so it can be cut with cookie cutters instead of rolled into balls. Also, I wasn't feeling the sugar coating, I'd rather have royal icing with added vanilla!

So here it is, perfect for the version of Vanilla Chai Spiced Cookies. They're like a chai latte in cookie form!

Yield: 24 medium/large cookie cutters


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water
Canola oil spray, for greasing baking sheets


Cream the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add maple syrup, spices, and salt and mix again. Add flour, baking soda and water and mix until well combined.

The dough should be just firm enough to knead into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, flour the work surface. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Lightly grease with canola oil spray.

Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough and space evenly on baking sheets with room to expand. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet with a spatula and place on cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before icing.

Royal icing

Combine 3/4 cup icing sugar, 2 tbsp of egg whites, and 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Blend together with hand mixer. Scoop icing into piping bag, push down into point, and snip off a small piece of the corner. Start decorating!


My new cookie jar:

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

A few years ago, I convinced Simon to try roasted Brussels sprouts. They are one of my favourite vegetables, and that's my favourite way to cook them. He was skeptical, since he'd had some soggy, overcooked Brussels sprouts in the past. I took the tray out of the oven, he popped one in his mouth and said, "What do you know? I like Brussels sprouts." We've had them weekly in the fall and winter since.

When I saw a recipe for roasted cabbage, I figured this would also be a winner in our house. I was making Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes, and my timing was off, so we ate the cabbage steaks as an appetizer, which is just as well, because it was a giant cabbage and the slice took up the whole plate. Anyway, if you like roasted Brussels sprouts, give this a try!


1 head green cabbage
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic powder, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with canola oil spray.

Slice the cabbage into 6 or 7 one inch thick pieces. Lay flat on the greased foil, and brush with olive oil. Season with garlic powder and pepper. Flip over and repeat on opposite sides.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until outside layer is crisp and centres are tender.


Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween Snacks

Happy Halloween! Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year. I love making and wearing costumes, the parties, and I love gory horror stories, especially in the form of podcasts:
Lore podcast (folklore)
Sword and Scale podcast (true crime)
True Crime Garage podcast (true crime)
The Generation Why podcast (true crime)
Casefile podcast (true crime)

To get into the Halloween spirit, we went to Escape Manor to try out the new Tomb room. We didn't get very far! It was the hardest room I've tried yet.

After that, we enjoyed some Halloween snacks:

Spooky Spider Web Soft Pretzels
I used my Whole Wheat Pretzel dough recipe for this one, and shaped it into a spider web. To make the spider web, divide the dough into halves. Cut one half of the dough into thirds to roll out three equally sized straight lines and cross them on a greased round pizza pan. Next, divide the other half of the dough into three unequal portions, one small, one medium, one large. Roll them out and stretch them to make circles around the straight pieces already on the pan. Once the circles are complete, make points by curving them inward slightly and pinching the points that intersect the straight lines. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake for 15 minutes at 400°F.

Jack O'Lantern Veggie Tray
This was very easy to make, but even easier on a round tray. The carrots will fit perfectly in the circle, then make a face with chopped up pieces of celery. You could also use black olives for eyes, red pepper slices for a mouth, it's up to you!

I used my Authentic Guacamole recipe for this, then transferred the mixed guacamole to a clean bowl, and pressed it down flat with a spatula. Add blue corn chips (these are gluten free, by the way) for hair, and make a monster face with matchstick cut carrots, pieces of chips, black olives, red pepper slices, etc.

Halloween Gingerbread Cookies
This Gingerbread cookie is my mom's, and it's a holiday tradition. Pick up some Halloween themed cookie cutters, and add some chocolate chips, icing, candy, whatever you like!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Spicy Ginger Sesame Chicken Meatballs

Meatballs are my go to freezer recipe. I make about four dozen meatballs at a time, put them in a freezer bag, and take them out for easy lunches at work. They reheat so well! These meatballs also have a
sauce to go with them, so if you're planning to put them in the freezer, allow the sauce to cool, then pour over the meatballs and toss inside the freezer bag.

This would also make a great appetizer for a party!

Makes 40 meatballs

Ingredients for meatballs

2 lbs (900g) ground chicken
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp chili pepper flakes
Black pepper, to taste
1 tsp sesame oil (and more for greasing hands)
Canola spray, for greasing pans

Directions for meatballs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, then coat with canola spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until uniform. Add a drop of sesame oil onto hands before mixing so ingredients do not stick. Roll into balls, and place evenly spaced onto baking sheets.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes, until lightly browned.

Ingredients for sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
Chili pepper flakes, to taste
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
Black pepper, to taste

Directions for sauce

Combine all ingredients but 1 tsp of sesame oil and minced garlic cloves in a measuring cup. In a small saucepan, heat remaining 1 tsp of sesame oil and garlic, and saute for 1 minute on medium/high heat. Pour sauce mixture into saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Pour sauce over meatballs to serve.

Nutrition (per 4 meatballs with sauce)

Calories 248
Fat 9.0g
Saturated fat 2.3g
Carbohydrates 12.6g
Sugars 7.5g
Protein 28.2g

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

I'm so in love with my slow cooker, that recently, I've talked two of my friends and my sister into buying one. Slow cooker baked potatoes is one of the recipes I tell everyone to try. I love baked potatoes (who doesn't, really?)!

Here are the pros of making baked potatoes in the slow cooker:
  • Quick weeknight dinners--they are ready when you get home!
  • It does not heat up the kitchen like running the oven for an hour does.
  • You can prepare them the evening before* to plug in the slow cooker in the morning.
  • You can prepare extra potatoes, cool them, and make twice baked potatoes the following day.
  • Barbecuing?  Add them to the top rack to crisp up the potato skins.
 *There is no need to poke holes in these, they will not explode. If you poke holes in them and leave them sitting overnight, they will turn black. So...don't do that.


4 to 6 medium/large Russet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil in small bowl
Sea salt, to taste


Wash potatoes. Make 4 or 5 little "balls" of tin foil to place on the bottom of the slow cooker pot.  This will provide more even cooking. Place each potato onto a piece of tin foil, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Roll up tin foil to cover potato. Place each potato in the slow cooker, and place the lid on. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

If you are grilling other foods to go along with your potatoes, carefully unwrap the potatoes from the foil and place on the top rack of the barbecue for a few minutes to achieve a smoky flavour.

Made extras? Make twice baked potatoes!

I like to make a couple extra baked potatoes, carefully unwrap them from the foil, and place them on a cooling rack. They will take about 2 hours to cool fully. Once cooled, place them in a tupperware container or wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

The following day, slice potatoes in half and scoop out the centre, leaving enough flesh behind to maintain the shape of the potato. Put the scooped out potato into a mixing bowl, add an equal volume of goat cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, chopped chives, and season with salt and pepper. Mash the potato and goat cheese mixture with a fork. Scoop mixture back into potato skins. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F, until lightly browned.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Authentic Guacamole

I had the opportunity to host cooking shows with a chef from Mexico on one of my ship contracts. For the "Sauces" show, he demonstrated how to make pico de gallo (fresh salsa, pictured at bottom right), and guacamole, and brought a giant bag of tortilla chips with him so the audience could come up to taste it. He taught me how to make authentic guac.

The key making guac is to make a pico de gallo first, mash the avocados in a separate bowl, then fold the pico into the mashed avocados. By making the pico first, you can make sure that you have the right ratio of tomatoes to onions/jalapenos/cilantro. The tomatoes should be twice as much as the other ingredients combined (so you should see twice as much red when it's all mixed).

You can also double the batch of pico de gallo, use half of it in the guac and use the other half as salsa.

I recommend using Roma tomatoes, because they are very fleshy with minimal liquid, gooey stuff and seeds.

To make Pico de Gallo:

2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno
1/2 lime
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro

Core and slice the tomatoes into four, then scoop out the excess liquid/seeds/gooey stuff. The flesh and skin should be all that is remaining. Dice the tomato into chunks.
Peel and finely dice red onion.
Finely dice jalapeno. You can leave the seeds for extra heat, or remove them for a more mild flavour.
Combine tomatoes, onion and jalapeno in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze half of a lime over top, add black pepper and sea salt, and toss with a fork.
Tear cilantro into small pieces and add to bowl, then toss with a fork. The pico should have twice as much tomato to everything else.

To make guacamole:

3 ripe avocados
1/2 lime
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Pico de Gallo

In a medium bowl, scoop out avocado and squeeze a half lime over top, add black pepper and sea salt. Mash avocados with a fork. Do not overmash, it should be chunky. Next, carefully fold in the Pico de Gallo, do not crush the tomatoes.

Serve with chips, fresh veggies, or Mexican dishes.

You might also like:
Mexican Fried Rice (Vegetarian)

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Muffin Tin Turkey Meatloaves

Simon's favourite meal is turkey dinner with all the fixings. If you follow this blog regularly, you'll know that I love to work with ground chicken and turkey to make meatballs and burgers. Ground chicken is inexpensive, and you can hide all kinds of veggies in the mixture! I wanted to create a meatloaf recipe that would be easy to prepare in advance and reheat for a weeknight meal, and that captured the flavours of a traditional turkey dinner. These would be great paired with turkey gravy and mashed potatoes.

The muffin tin sized meatloaves allow you to bake them in advance, freeze them, and defrost the number of portions that you need for a weeknight meal. Just reheat them in the microwave. After making these for the first time, I think I need to invest in a silicone muffin pan for next time, since it was hard to get completely clean.
Update: I purchased silicone muffin tin liners from Ikea (they come in a 20 pack). I had to make the meatloaves a little smaller to adjust for the liner size, so the yield was larger (18 meatloaves). I baked them for 30 minutes with the foil on, removed it, put them back in for 18 minutes, scooped them out of their liners and they were a bit wet on the bottom, even though the tops were nicely browned. To fix that problem, I put them on a baking sheet, with the wet side up, and put them under the broiler for 5 minutes. This also worked great.

You can, of course, use the same recipe and make them into meatballs if you prefer not to use a muffin tin. For meatballs, bake at 425°F for 22-24 minutes.

Makes 12 mini meatloaves


900g (2 lbs) ground turkey
227g (1/2 lb) button mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp ground sage
1 tbsp dried parsley
Black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing muffin tin


Place mushrooms, spinach, onion, and garlic in a food processor and grind into small pieces. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Add dried herbs and spices, egg, breadcrumbs, olive oil and ground turkey. Mix until uniform.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a muffin tin with canola oil to grease.

Divide turkey mixture into 12 equal portions, and form each portion into a ball. Place each into a muffin cup.

Cover the muffin tin with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 20-22 minutes uncovered, until mini meatloaves are browned on top.  Remove muffin tin from oven and place on a cooling rack for 3-5 minutes, then remove each mini meatloaf to serve immediately, or allow to cool fully, then freeze.

Nutrition (per 1 mini meatloaf)

Calories 190
Fat 10.1g
Saturated fats 1.7g
Carbohydrates 5.1g
Fibre 0.7g
Sugars 1.0g
Protein 22.5g

Sunday, 31 July 2016

High Protein Banana Cinnamon Waffles (gluten free)

I haven't posted much in the past two months since we bought a house and moved. Most of my kitchen gadgets were all packed up. My friend Steve shared this recipe from Damn Delicious, which looked so awesome, I wanted to buy a waffle iron. Yesterday, Simon and I were in Walmart buying odds and ends for the house, and we happened across these kitchen robots:
I bought some cottage cheese, and the rest, we already had at home.

I followed the recipe from Damn Delicious, but halved it, to test the first batch. There's no sugar in them, and I had four ripe bananas on the counter, so I wanted to try a half batch without, and another half with bananas. The sugar free ones are pretty good, but I preferred the banana ones. So here they are! If you like, you can even add 1/4 cup of PB2 to this recipe for a peanut butter banana waffle.

Makes 6 servings


2 cups oats
1 cup cottage cheese
4 overripe bananas
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
6 eggs


Put all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender. Preheat waffle iron, spray with canola oil. Pour 1/2 cup of batter per waffle section. My waffle iron has two sections, so it requires 1 cup of batter per batch.
Cook until golden brown. Top with nut butter for added protein.

Optional: Serve immediately, or allow to cool and freeze. Reheat in toaster.

Nutrition (per 2 waffles)

Because there is less cottage cheese per serving, the protein content is lower with the bananas, but the macros are still pretty impressive:

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Soy Sauce & Sesame Seed Chicken Drumsticks

We are moving to a new house soon, so we spent most of our Canada Day packing, cleaning out the fridge, and taking furniture apart. My goal to use up some of the items in the cupboard and fridge is going well, and we're still three weeks out from the move.

This recipe came together because I was trying to figure out what to marinate chicken drumsticks in, and we just happened to have these items on hand. We paired it with roasted asparagus, jasmine rice and Indian spiced lentils.

Makes 12 drumsticks


Package of 12 chicken drumsticks, skin on
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp honey
Black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan


Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, lime zest and juice, honey, and black pepper in a bowl. Place chicken drumsticks in a freezer bag or large bowl and pour sauce over to coat chicken. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil spray. Place marinated chicken drumsticks on the baking sheet, evenly distributed. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven, flip drumsticks over, then place back in oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, for a total cooking time of 40 to 45 minutes.

Nutrition (per drumstick)

Calories 168
Fat 6.0g
Saturated fat 1.4g
Carbohydrates 3.9g
Sugar 3.0g
Protein 23.4g

You might also like:
Honey Lemon Chicken Drumsticks
Spicy Coconut Lime Chicken Drumsticks
Roasted Sweet & Spicy Chicken Drumsticks
Barbecue Chicken Legs Spice Rub

Friday, 24 June 2016

Morrocan Chicken Kebabs

I had chicken breasts, sweet potatoes and asparagus in mind for dinner, then thought, "Who wants a plain chicken breast?" I made this Moroccan style marinade for kebabs instead!

Don't forget to soak wooden skewers for 1 hour in water prior to grilling, otherwise they will burn. You can soak extra skewers and place them in the freezer for easy preparation next time you want to use them.

Makes 6 kebabs


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 skewers, pre-soaked
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Slice chicken breasts into 3 cm (1.5 inch) pieces. Place inside a freezer bag or Tupperware container. Mix remaining ingredients together and whisk. Pour over chicken pieces and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove skewers from water, then feed marinated chicken pieces into skewers. Grill until juices run clear and chicken is fully cooked.

Nutrition (per kebab)

Calories 338
Fat 18.5 g
Saturated fat 4.0g
Carbohydrates 2.8g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 38.8g

Monday, 13 June 2016

Mexican Black Beans with Onions & Garlic

It's been a while since I posted. We've been so busy, I haven't had time to try out many new recipes. The good news is, we bought a house! House hunting took quite some time, and now on to the packing...

Simon made this recipe, and I asked him to log it as a guest post, but you can check out his photography skills above. Last year for Father's Day, we bought him some barbecue accessories, one of which was this quesadilla basket. It can be used on the barbecue, or over a fire for roasting (as long as you have oven mitts). It's great for camping! We used it on the barbecue this weekend, and made fresh guacamole and Mexican-style black beans on the side. So delicious!

This recipe can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth. It's high in iron, and packed with fibre and protein to keep you feeling full. Keep the sodium content lower by using no salt added broth, or use homemade broth.

Serves 4


19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup no salt added vegetable broth or chicken broth
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste
Optional:  Cilantro, for garnish


Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add onions, garlic and cumin and saute until onions are cooked. Add black beans, hot sauce, broth and salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes, until broth is cooked off. Set aside to thicken with lid on before serving. Top with fresh cilantro for garnish.


Calories 165
Fat 4.2g
Saturated fat 0.5g
Carbohydrates 25.8g
Fibre 6.6g
Sugars 1.9g
Protein 7.8g

Monday, 23 May 2016

Honey Lemon Chicken Drumsticks

I found a cookbook for grilling recipes at Chapters on sale for $10, and this recipe was an adaptation of one of the recipes in the cookbook. I adjusted it to match the ingredients I had on hand. I roasted these in the oven, but I'm sure they'd be great on the barbecue as well!

Makes 12 chicken drumsticks


12 chicken drumsticks, skin on
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp dried parsley
Dried chili flakes, to taste
Black pepper and sea salt
Canola oil spray, for greasing


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil in canola oil spray. Place chicken drumsticks evenly spaced on greased foil.

In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together. Brush sauce onto drumsticks. Turn the drumsticks over and coat the other side. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and turn them over. Place back in the oven for 20 more minutes.

Nutrition (per 2 drumsticks)

Calories 192
Fat 5.3g
Saturated fats 1.4g
Carbohydrates 9.9g
Sugars 8.9g
Protein 25.6g

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Pork Souvlaki

Pork tenderloin was on sale a couple weeks ago, so we had it in the freezer. I recently moved some of the cookbooks that were remaining at my condo (that I just sold) to the house, and was flipping through Stefano Faita's cookbook and I happened across a pork souvlaki recipe. That sounded like the perfect way to enjoy the tenderloin we bought! Side note: Stefano Faita's cookbook is full of awesome (and easy) recipes, so I suggest checking it out. Don't forget that your local library has cookbooks!

Makes 8 souvlaki skewers


1.0 kg pork tenderloin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Black pepper

Additional items:
8 large bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before assembling
Tzatziki, for dipping


In a small bowl, combine olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper.

Slice pork tenderloin into cubes, and place in a large bowl. Pour olive oil mixture over pork, and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.

Place bamboo skewers in water and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Remove skewers from water, and put 6 cubes of marinated pork on each.

Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until browned.

Serve souvlaki with tzatziki for dipping.

Nutrition (per 1 souvlaki)

Calories 254
Fat 12.9g
Saturated fat 2.7g
Carbohydrates 0.7g
Protein 32.8g

Monday, 25 April 2016

Traditional Meatloaf

Meatloaf madness! Anna asked for meatloaf for dinner last week, so we made it, but ended up freezing the raw meatloaf in the loaf pan because our schedules were too hectic. I defrosted it in the fridge, which was awesome to come home and just pop it in the oven. I will have to do them in advance more often!

I cheated and used instant beef gravy for topping.

Makes 1 loaf, 10 slices


2 lbs extra lean ground beef
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely diced
1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
Black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing


Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix until uniform.

Grease a loaf pan with canola oil spray. Pack meat mixture into the pan.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place loaf in oven for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, drain excess fat and grease into a metal bowl (when cooled, dispose of excess fat in a freezer bag and throw out). Place under broiler for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Prepare gravy while meatloaf stands. Remove from loaf pan and slice.

Nutrition (per slice, not including gravy)

Calories 212
Fat 7.0g
Saturated fat 3.0g
Carbohydrates 9.7g
Fibre 0.8g
Sugars 1.6g
Protein 26.0g

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Thai Turkey Burgers with Sesame Ginger Slaw

Barbecue season is back! I love making meatballs and burgers because they are a great way to experiment with new flavours for ground chicken or turkey. This recipe for burgers would also make a great meatball to bake in the oven when the weather is not warm enough for grilling.

These burgers are high in protein and iron (21% of Recommended Daily Intake), and lower in sodium than frozen burgers.

Note: In cold weather, these can be baked in the oven at 425 degrees F for 20-22 minutes.

Makes 10 patties


For patties:
2 lbs ground turkey (or chicken)
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, finely ground in a food processor
4 green onions, sliced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp lime juice
Black pepper, to taste
Coconut oil, for greasing hands

For assembling burgers:
1 bag of shredded cabbage for coleslaw, tossed in Sesame Ginger dressing
Sriracha, for added spice
8 hamburger buns


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the patties and mix well with a spatula. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil. Grease hands with a small amount of coconut oil. Roll a tennis ball sized portion of the meat mixture into a ball, then place on the tin foil. Press the ball down into a flat patty the same size as the hamburger buns. Press the centre down slightly thinner than the outsides of the patty for even cooking.

Grill patties until juices run clear. Place patties on hamburger buns and top with Sesame Ginger coleslaw and sriracha to taste.

Nutrition (per 1 patty)

Calories 354
Fat 19.4g
Saturated fat 3.4g
Carbohydrates 13.1g
Fibre 1.7g
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 36.1g

Friday, 15 April 2016

Mexican Chicken Casserole

I found a similar recipe to this on the Betty Crocker site, and it looked so good, I had to make my own version. This is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken breasts. You can plan ahead for the week by grilling or baking 3 extra chicken breasts, and the rice can be cooked the evening before or the same day. This is a great recipe to freeze in individual portions for quick lunches.

I made fresh guacamole to top the casserole, but you can use any taco toppings you like. When I sliced open the avocados, I was a little worried that they were overripe and had already started to go bad, but they were perfect! So satisfying.

You can either make two smaller casseroles (freeze one for later!) or one large one.

Makes 10 servings


3 cooked chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
215mL jar taco sauce (mild or hot)
2 tsp low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese for mixing in, plus 1/2 cup additional for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (reserve 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping). Mix until the ingredients are coated with taco sauce and seasoning.

Pour mixture into one large or two medium sized casserole dishes. Add remaining cheese on top.

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes, then remove lid or foil, and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition (serving of casserole, not including guacamole)

Calories 418
Fat 14.9g
Saturated fats 7.4g
Carbohydrates 32.4g
Fibre 4.8g
Sugars 2.8g
Protein 39.1g

Friday, 25 March 2016

Jerk Chicken Meatballs

Now that's a spicy meatball!

I haven't posted in a while, because we were on vacation in Fort Myers, Florida, so I haven't had to do much cooking lately. While in Florida, we stopped at a bookstore, where I found Rachael Ray's The Book of Burger. I've been making many different meatball recipes over the past year, and I actually looked for a cookbook on meatballs. Now, I did find one, but it wasn't what I was hoping for (it was mostly sauces to serve meatballs in, not different meatballs). This book though, was the burger version of what I had in mind! So, this is my first go at one of the recipe from Rachael Ray's book, but I adapted it for meatballs (added breadcrumbs, carrots, and more spices). These are pretty spicy, so you can adjust the chili flakes to meet your taste.

Note: I was out of eggs, so that's why there isn't an egg in this. It worked fine without it, but feel free to add one if you like.

Makes 60 meatballs


1.0kg ground chicken or turkey
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped in food processor
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp Jamaican all spice
2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp brown sugar
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan
Olive oil, for hands


Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl, combine spices, herbs, and sugar. Mix together until uniform.

In a food processor, chop vegetables finely.

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, chopped vegetables, spice mix, minced ginger, and lime juice. Mix with a spatula.

Place a drop of olive oil on hands, then start forming chicken mixture into balls. Place evenly spaced on baking sheets.

Bake for 22 minutes, until meatballs are lightly browned.

Nutrition (per 6 meatballs)

Calories 256
Fat 11.7g
Saturated fat 2.0g
Carbohydrates 12.1g
Fibre 1.2g
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 29.2g

Friday, 4 March 2016

Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings

This is an awesome baked chicken wing recipe, but you can also use this sauce on baked chicken thighs. Eating chicken wings can go overboard pretty fast, so I like to make Russet potato or sweet potato wedges for the side dish, since potatoes are a high satiety food (they make you feel full). Of course, a side of celery and carrot sticks are a must with chicken wings too!

Makes sauce for 18 wings


18 chicken wings
Zest of 2 limes
Juice of 3 limes
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Black pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with canola oil. Place chicken wings evenly spaced on foil.

In a bowl, combine lime zest, juice, coconut oil, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Mash together with a fork. Stir in cilantro and black pepper.

Use a spoon to place a portion of the sauce and cilantro onto each chicken wing.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.

Nutrition (per 3 wings)

Calories 290
Fat 13.9g
Saturated fat 6.5g
Carbohydrates 4.2g
Sugars 0.9g
Protein 36.5g

You might also like:
Zesty Baked Chicken Wings

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Cinnamon Muffins

Is it just me, or does this muffin have a face? I can't unsee it.

Anyway, the recipe...if you haven't tried baking with beans or chickpeas before, don't worry, you can't taste them. I threw some stuff in a blender, and the resulting texture was dense, almost like an oatmeal muffin. These are packed with protein from the chickpeas, peanut butter and eggs (without having to add expensive protein powder!), have lots of fibre and potassium. One of these contains 20% of the recommended daily intake for iron.

These are a great homemade alternative to a post-workout protein or energy bar. The calories, fat and protein in these are very similar to the macros in a Peanut Butter Clif Bar, but these have more fibre, twice the potassium, and less than half the sugar!

Makes 12 muffins


19oz can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup PB2
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan


Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a muffin pan with canola oil spray.

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon batter evenly into muffin pan. Bake for 18 minutes, or until tops are firm.

Remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack.


Calories 243
Fat 7.5g
Saturated fat 2.1g
Carbohydrates 34.0g
Fibre 8.7g
Sugars 9.5g
Protein 11.8g

Monday, 15 February 2016

Flourless Chocolate PB2 Muffins

These muffins are high in protein and fibre due to the black beans in them, which will help keep you full. They make a great on the go snack. I kept the added sugars minimal, so they are not very sweet...more like a dark chocolate flavour (it should be noted that I love 90% dark chocolate, so the not-so-sweet thing doesn't bother me!). If you prefer more sweetness, you can increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup, or add 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup. If you like, you can add 1/4 cup of brewed coffee in place of the water to give these a mocha flavour.

I mixed the batter in the food processor, just because it was the easiest way to mix these. The batter comes out fluffy and cake-like.

Makes 12 muffins


15oz can black beans, drained
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup PB2
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan


Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a muffin pan with canola oil spray.

In a food processor or blender, place all of the ingredients, then blend until smooth.

Scoop batter into muffin pan evenly.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until muffin tops are firm. Remove from pan and cool on a cooling rack.


Calories 199
Fat 6.3g
Saturated fat 4.4g
Carbohydrates 28.0g
Fibre 6.3g
Sugars 5.0g
Protein 9.8g

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Buffalo Chicken, Blue Cheese & Spinach Meatballs

It's -30°C, feels like -44°C outside today. When I first moved to Ottawa, I'd heard that -40 happened here, but had never experienced anything like that before (I'm from southern Ontario, where winter is comparatively balmy). The first time I went out in -40, my eyelashes froze. The condensation from my breath froze them. So now, I just refuse to leave the house if I don't have to. Instead, I'm making chicken soup in the slow cooker (I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store) and meatballs in the oven.

Meatballs are an easy item to batch cook, because you can make extra, allow them to cool, and put them in a freezer bag to freeze for later. When you want them again, you can put them on a baking sheet frozen, and reheat them for 12 minutes at 375°F. It makes for a great weeknight dinner. You can also pack meatballs full of veggies to stretch the recipe and, obviously, squeeze more veggies into your diet. I served these alongside roasted sweet potatoes and celery sticks.

These are flavourful enough to be eaten on their own, or you can add the Buffalo sauce to toss them in. They are great either way!

Makes 52 meatballs


900g (2lbs) ground chicken (or turkey)
125g (4.4oz) blue cheese
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
142g (5oz) baby spinach, chopped in food processor
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan
Olive oil, for hands


Preheat oven to 425°F and line baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spray foil with canola oil.

In a large bowl, combine ingredients and coat hands with a couple drops of olive oil. Mash ingredients together with hands. Roll mixture into balls and place evenly on baking sheets.

Bake for 22 minutes until lightly browned. Lift meatballs off foil with a spatula. Allow to cool.

For the sauce:

1 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Sriracha
Black pepper, to taste

Bring the hot sauce, butter and garlic to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Allow the sauce to thicken. Stir in Sriracha and black pepper.

Place meatballs in a large bowl and toss in Buffalo sauce.

Nutrition (4 meatballs, without sauce/with sauce)

Calories 195/229
Fat 8.1g/11.5g
Saturated fat 3.2g/5.3g
Carbohydrates 7.2g/8.0g
Fibre 0.8g/0.8g
Sugars 1.0g/1.2g
Protein 22.4g/22.5g

You might also like:
Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki (the most popular recipe on the blog)
Zesty Baked Chicken Wings

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Roll the Dice workout

I did this workout with my Boot Camp class yesterday, and it's a challenging but fun workout that can easily be adapted for home. You'll need two dice, a pair of dumbbells and a mat.

We did a 5 minute warm up, followed by round 1 (exercises 1-6 in blue marker) for 12 minutes, round 2 for 12 minutes (in red), and round 3 for 12 minutes (in green), followed by 5 minutes of stretching for a total 45 minute workout. You can adjust the length of time you do each round to fit your desired workout time.

Roll two dice, the first number picks the exercise, and the second picks the number of reps. Note the x5 on the top of the board--the number on the dice was multiplied by 5 to decide the number of reps. For example, if you roll a 4 and a 2, you would perform exercise #4, lunges, for 10 reps. If the number of reps is high, like 30, divide the exercise into 2 sets of 15 with a 10s rest between.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Spinach & Artichoke Pesto

Love me some pesto!  It's great on chicken, grilled vegetables, on a flatbread, and of course, on pasta. Pesto is a great alternative to marinara sauce if you are trying to reduce added sugars in your diet, plus one serving contains 10.8g of heart healthy unsaturated fats, and 6.3g of protein.

Be sure to keep an eye on the pine nuts when you are toasting them. I turned away for a few seconds...they were burnt, and I had to toast a new batch. Not the worst mishap that can happen in the kitchen, but you know, pine nuts are on the pricey side!

Serves 8


1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups baby spinach, packed
1/2 cup fresh basil, packed
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
170mL jar marinated artichokes, drained
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried oregano
Black pepper, to taste


In a frying pan over low to medium heat, toast pine nuts until fragrant, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until uniform.


Calories 168
Fat 13.8g
Saturated fat 3.0g
Carbohydrates 8.2g
Fibre 3.8g
Sugars 0.8g
Protein 6.3g

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Peanut Butter Honey Graham Cookies

Simon and Anna bought me a bouquet of flours for Christmas.
I'm definitely more into flours than flowers. One of the flours is Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground Whole Wheat Graham Flour. I'd never baked with graham flour before, but it makes an awesome cookie! These cookies are a cross between a lightly sweet graham cracker and a dense peanut butter cookie. Simon isn't a fan of traditional peanut butter cookies, but he loved these!

My oven runs hot, so I baked these at 325°F for 10 minutes, but you might have to bake at 350°F, depending on your oven.

Note: I minimized the sugar content as much as possible, so if you like a sweeter cookie, add another 1/4 cup of honey to this. The sweetness level of the recipe is about the same as a honey graham cracker.

Makes 32 cookies


1 cup whole wheat graham flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup large flaked oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey (see note above)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan


In a large bowl, combine flours, oats, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until uniform.

In a second bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and egg. Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth and thick consistency is reached. Add flour slowly and mix with hand mixer again until combined.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with canola oil.

Roll dough into 1 inch diameter balls, place on baking sheet evenly spaced apart, then use the back of a fork to flatten cookies to just under 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 9-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Nutrition (1 cookie)

Calories 69
Fat 4.0g
Saturated fat 1.9g
Carbohydrates 7.4g
Fibre 0.8g
Sugars 3.7g
Protein 1.7g

Saturday, 9 January 2016

PB2 Banana Chocolate Chip Squares

Frozen bananas were taking up valuable real estate in the freezer, so it was time to make banana bread. We opted for squares this time, mostly because they bake faster. We were running low on whole wheat flour, so we added PB2 to the dry ingredients instead. If you haven't tried it before, it's dehydrated peanut butter in a flour like consistency.

I ran out of coconut oil, so I used canola oil instead, but you can use either.

Makes 12 squares or muffins


1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup PB2
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Canola oil spray, for greasing


Preheat oven to 350°F. Greasing an 8x8 pan with canola oil spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, PB2, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until uniform.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas, then add maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract. Mash together with a fork again. Add egg and stir.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just enough to combine. Add chocolate chips, save some to sprinkle on top. Pour batter into pan, spread evenly, then sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.


Calories 170
Fat 6.4g
Saturated fat 1.2g
Carbohydrates 25.8g
Fibre 1.8g
Sugars 10.9g
Protein 3.2g

Friday, 8 January 2016

Roasted Red Pepper & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffed chicken is always a winner at our house. We've made Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts before, and I wanted to try another variation. The "prosciutto" I used was actually a leaner cut of charcuterie style ham, and as much as I love prosciutto, I liked this even better! It was leaner and more flavourful.

The chicken breasts I bought were very large, so half was more than enough for me. The nutrition information is calculated for the full chicken breast though.

I served these with Oven Baked Basmati Rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Makes 6 chicken breasts


1kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 strips prosciutto or cured ham
6 roasted red peppers
Canola oil spray, for greasing


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with canola oil.

Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing along the side and opening like a book. Place a slice of prosciutto in the centre of one side. Slice a roasted red pepper in half and place each half on top of the prosciutto. Fold chicken breast back over top, then fasten shut with toothpicks. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until juices run clear.


Calories 371
Fat 14.5g
Saturated fat 4.2g
Carbohydrates 4.5g
Fibre 0.9g
Sugars 3.2g
Protein 52.9g