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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Big Breakfast

It's the Saturday morning of the annual Calgary Folk Music Festival. I am going to be expending a whole lot of energy outside in the heat today. There are acts on six small stages plus the main stage! That's a lot of music to take in. Of course it is 30° c out today so I will need good fuel to keep me going all day. :) Here is what I have just finished eating for breakfast!


1 egg, poached
1 cup of baby potatoes, boiled until done
2 cups of spinach, sauteed quickly in ghee
1 small tomato, sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
fresh ground pepper to taste
coarse salt to taste.


If you were really decadent (like kencent)
you could slice up your cooled boiled potatoes and fry them in butter and garlic with some green onion and chives for a morning hash. (oh yes he did!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baby Spinach & Strawberries with Raspberry Poppyseed Dressing

Kids love this one too!

2 packages of baby spinach
1/2 cup organic mayonnaise
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. organic blue agave syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp. poppyseeds
1 1/2 cup strawberries, washed and cut into bite size pieces


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, agave syrup, almond milk and poppyseeds. In a large salad bowl pour the dressing over spinach and cut strawberries and toss.

simple brown rice breakfast

If I'm making brown rice for dinner, I always make a little extra. That way there is a fast and easy breakfast at the ready for the next morning.

Reheat your rice and then top with diced fruit salsa. Today I had market strawberries, apricot and plums, but you could use any fruit that might be in season. Raspberries, blackberries, mango, pears, whatever! If your fruit is a bit tart , drizzle with a bit of organic blue agave syrup. You could also use some fresh or shredded coconut, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds and almond milk. Just be sure to add a good helping of milled flax and voilá! a healthy and delicious breakfast in seconds.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Firecracker Salmon and shiitake stir fry

We love this recipe from I bet you will love it just as much!
2 wild pacific salmon fillets
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 Tbsp. gluten free tamari soy sauce
2 Tbsp. quality balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. sucanat
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. salt


1. Place the salmon fillets in a glass lidded dish, In a separate bowl, combine peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, green onions, sucanat, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and salt. Whisk together well, pour over fish. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

2. preheat barbecue grill on med heat and lightly oil the grill.

3. Grill the fillets for about 3 0r 4 minutes per side. (Done when fish just flakes with a fork.)

4. Serve with wild rice and quick shiitake stir fry.

Quick shiitake stir fry:


1 yellow bell pepper, washed , seeded and chopped
2 small heads of baby bok choy, washed, and chopped with the greens separated from the white part
1 cup snow peas, washed and hard bits removed
2 green onions, washed and chopped
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Agave Syrup
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup water


1. In a large skillet or wok, heat peanut oil over high heat add green onion, ginger, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms. Stir and cook for a minute or two.

2. Add the white part of the bok choy and the yellow peppers, stir for another minute or 2 and add the remaining vegetables, Stir until combined, add the soy sauce, sesame seeds, agave syrup and sesame oil, stir.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the water and corn starch and pour mixture over stir fry. Reduce a little bit and then take your stir fry off the heat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Simple Grilled Beet Salad

3 medium beets, trimmed and washed
1/4 cup Raspberry vinegar
small handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh salad greens, washed and cut into bite size pieces.


1. In a medium saucepan, boil beets in water for about 15 minutes. Should still be somewhat firm when done.

2. Remove beets from saucepan with tongs and slice into rounds. Beets will stain your hands so wear rubber gloves if you handle them.

3. Make a quick raspberry vinaigrette with the oil, vinegar, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Whisk and separate into 2 small bowls.

4. Preheat your barbecue to low/med, oil grill with some olive oil, place beets on grill and brush on some raspberry vinaigrette from one of your bowls. Turn after 2 minutes, brush with vinegar again and grill another few minutes until done.

5. Toss your salad greens with the other bowl of vinaigrette and serve with grilled beets.

Yumith! and pretty too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Spaghetti Squash and Savoury Dijon ground Turkey meatballs

It was a cold and rainy day and we felt like warm comfort food. This meal is very satisfying.
(Spaghetti Squash)

1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp. organic butter
1 Tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

(Turkey meatballs)

1 pound ground turkey breast
1 Tbsp. Worcester sauce
1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1 free range egg, beaten
1/2 large onion, diced
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh chives chopped
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper , to taste
2 Tbsp. cold pressed organic canola oil

(Tomato Sauce)

6 large tomatoes, processed in a blender quickly
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 shallots, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. chili pepper flakes
1/2 handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 handful of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. red wine
salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste



1. preheat oven to 400° F

2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and seed. Place each side face down in a large baking dish. Cover with a 1/4 inch of water. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Squash ( when done should be tender when forked)

3. Use a fork to scoop out the squash and form "spaghetti" strands.

4. Heat butter and oil in a large sauté pan over med/high heat, add garlic and fry for a minute. Add cooked squash and sauté for a few minutes, tossing occasionally.


Turkey meatballs-

1. In a medium size bowl, combine the turkey, Worcester sauce, Dijon mustard, beaten egg, parsley, onion, chives and dried rosemary.

2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium/ high heat. Form "meatballs" and drop them into the pan. turn occasionally. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until turkey meatballs are cooked through and nicely browned. Set aside on paper towels to absorb any extra oil


Tomato sauce-

1. Heat a med sized pot (or sauté pan) over med/high heat and heat oil. Add garlic, shallots and chili flakes, cook for 2 minutes. Add blended tomatoes, cook for 4 minutes and add basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute, add red wine and cook for another 5 minutes.

2. Serve on sautéd spaghetti squash with a couple of turkey meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Coconut Quinoa Hiking Bars

I wanted to make a convenient bar to bring with me hiking. Quinoa is loaded with protein. Combined with coconut, dried fruit and nuts, this delicious square will give you energy to spare. I made this recipe to be gluten free, dairy free, cane sugar free and processed flour free. You will love it for a quick breakfast bar as well!

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
1 1/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups organic shredded coconut (sulphur free)
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped fine
1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped fine
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped fine
1/4 cup almond butter, room temperature
1/3 cup agave syrup
3 Tbsp. brown rice flakes
1 Tbsp. peanut oil


1. Place the rinsed quinoa in a med saucepan and cover with the water, add salt and stir once. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes undisturbed. Once cooked, remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl to cool. Allow to cool while preheating the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, chop your nuts and fruit.

3. When the oven has reached temperature add the almond butter to the still warm quinoa and mix well. Next add the agave syrup and mix well again.

4. Add the chopped fruit and nuts to the quinoa mixture now, stir, add the oil and finally add the coconut and brown rice flakes. Mix until everything is combined.

5. Press mixture evenly into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. Allow to cool before slicing into bars.


Tumeric Curried Quinoa


1 cup Quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
2 Tbsp. natural red palm oil
3/4 onion, diced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 red hot chili peppers, finely sliced
1 1/2 Tsp. tumeric
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped


1. Heat oil in med. sized saucepan on med/high heat, add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until starting to brown.

2. Add ginger, chili's and quinoa. Stir constantly for 1 minute, then add the tumeric, coriander, cinnamon and salt. stir again for 1 minute.

3. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

4. Toss with chopped cilantro, adjust seasoning (salt) if needed and serve.

Excellent with fresh garden beans/peas or greens. Add some chutney for sweet contrast.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spicy Garlic Rice Noodles with Grapefruit, Tangerine, Mint and Orange

Fav! it's delicious and fresh and spicy and fun and summer in a bowl.

Ingredients: (hot garlic chili sauce)

first you will need to make your own chili garlic sauce (store bought is icky)
to do this -
1/4 cup gluten free fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 small red hot chili peppers
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. organic Blue Agave syrup (or sucanat)  (or sugar)

take 1 or 2 small red hot chili peppers, seed them and chop them very fine
place them in a bowl with the fish sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and agave syrup. stir well to mix. store in fridge, you can use it for up to a week on just about anything :)

Ingredients for Dressing:

1 tsp. gluten free fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. hot chili garlic sauce (see above)
2 tsp. honey (melted)
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions for dressing:

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, stir and set aside

Spicy Rice Noodles ingredients:

125g dried rice stick noodles
1 navel orange
2 tangerines (or small oranges of some sort)
1 ruby red grapefruit
small handful fresh mint, chopped
small handful roasted peanuts, chopped


1. Cut way the peel of the oranges, grapefruit and tangerines with a sharp knife. Separate the fruit from the membranes by cutting between the membranes with a sharp knife. Place the fruit in a bowl and set aside.

2. In a large bowl soak rice noodles for 15 minutes in hot water. Rinse and then immerse in a large pot of boiling water for just about a minute (or until the noodles are tender). drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Cut the noodles into more manageable 4 inch segments and place in large bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the noodles and mix well to coat. Add citrus fruit to noodles and toss lightly. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle liberally with mint and peanuts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grilled Lamb Burgers with Homemade Blackberry Relish

Blackberry Relish- (adapted from this recipe)

1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced.
1 lemon, zest half of the lemon, set aside and juice the lemon and set aside.
1/4 cup sucanat
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine (or natural berry juice)
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 tsp ginger, grated
pinch of salt


1. In a med size ceramic bowl, mix the apple and the lemon juice and set aside

2. In med size saucepan over medium heat combine sucanat, onion, red wine vinegar, garlic and red wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the apple and lemon juice mixture and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add blackberries, ginger and lemon zest, simmer for 15 more minutes or until the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool in fridge until serving.

Lamb Burgers-

1 lb. ground lamb
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
gluten free hamburger buns


1. In a large bowl combine ground lamb with diced onions, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil.

2. mix well and shape into 4 large patties.

3. Grill on high heat for about 6 minutes per side or until cooked through.

4. Serve on gluten free buns with kale and blackberry relish and sweet potato fries on the side.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mushrooms Sautéed with Red Wine and Spinach


2 handfuls of Crimini brown mushrooms, brushed and sliced thin
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup red wine
coarse salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
140 grams of fresh baby spinach


1. Heat a large skillet over med/high heat. Add butter to skillet.

2. When the butter is melted and starting to bubble, add the mushrooms and the diced onion. Sauté until starting to brown.

3. Add the red wine to the pan, season with salt and pepper and reduce.

4. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts.

5. Serve immediately.

This is a nice way to serve mushrooms and very colorful.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grilled Salmon fillets with Papaya Salsa

This recipe is adapted from my fav recipe source, the food network (Canada)

Salmon Fillets-

2 large salmon fillets (about 250 grams each)- fresh Pacific Sockeye salmon
salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Papaya Salsa-

2 mango's, cubed (google how to do this if you have not used mango's before)
1 fresh papaya, cut in half, seeds removed and cubed
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 limes, juice of
1 tsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste



1. Place cubed mango's and papaya in a large ceramic bowl, add the diced onion, peppers, chopped basil and garlic.

2. Mix in the lime juice and zest, add the olive oil and red wine vinegar and stir. season to taste with some salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


preheat grill to med/high heat

1. Season room temperature salmon fillets with salt and pepper. lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil

2. Lightly brush the grill with olive oil as well

3. Grill fish, starting flesh side down for about 2 minutes per side until done (the flesh should all be opaque)

serve immediately with Papaya salsa.

um yah. it's really delicious. serve with a nice side salad like we did or rice or potatoes if you want your starch.

Cinnamon baked Red Pears & Cherries breakfast

1 Red Pear, cored and sliced into pieces
1/2 tsp. butter
1/2 small lemon, juice of
1 tsp. sucanat
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp. dried organic cherries
1 Tbsp. organic blueberry juice
1 serving organic brown rice flakes, cooked according to package instructions.

preheat oven to 350° F (I always use the small toaster oven when I am making single servings)

1. Thoroughly grease a Ramekin with butter

2. In a separate bowl, combine red pear pieces, lemon juice, blueberry juice, dried cherries and sucanat.

3. Pour mixture into ramekin and insert cinnamon stick.

4. Bake for 15 minutes.

5. Spoon baked pears and some sauce over hot Brown Rice flakes cereal , remove cinnamon stick before eating.

- delicious!
add some milled flax or a sprinkling of nuts of you like.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Baked eggs with Cumin and Saffron

so easy and very pretty for a nice weekend brunch.

1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 Tbsp. ghee
1/2 Tbsp. butter (for greasing ramekins)
4 med shallots, diced
6 tiny tomatoes, sliced
pinch of saffron
coarse salt to taste
fresh ground pepper
3 large free run eggs


preheat oven to 375° F
1. In a cast iron skillet, toast cumin for a minute or so on med heat. Next add ghee to skillet and once heated, add the shallots. Cook until soft (about 3 minutes).

2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, a bit of salt and a pinch of saffron. Cook until heated through and beginning to soften (about 3 minutes)

3. Thoroughly grease 3 ramekins with butter. Place ramekins on a baking sheet so you can move them easily in and out of the oven. Fill the bottom of each ramekin with the tomato and shallot mixture. Crack one egg into each ramekin. Bake for 12 minutes (check at 10, might take 14).

4. Sprinkle a little more saffron on each, fresh ground black pepper and some course salt.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer fresh radish, ruby red grapefruit and fennel salad

My mother in law brought me some tiny but delicious radishes from her garden today. so I made a very important salad to enjoy them in :)

handful of radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 small ruby red grapefruits
1/4 cup fennel, very thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 lemon, juice of
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. coarse salt , to taste

you will need a very sharp knife for this salad

1. On a cutting board, cut off the outer peel of the grapefruits. over top of a bowl, cut between the membrane of the grapefruit and pulp to release the fruit into a bowl. Squeeze the remaining membranes into another bowl and set juice aside.

2. If you have never used fennel- wash, remove stems, remove outer skin of it is bruised or otherwise unappealing. cut the fennel bulb in half, remove the innermost hard center part. slice very thinly when using raw.

3. Put the radishes, avocado, jalapeno, grapefruit and fennel in a ceramic mixing bowl.

4. whisk the lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. of the reserved grapefruit juice and the oil in another bowl. season dressing with salt.

5. Pour over salad and serve up on individual plates.

super fragrant and fresh!

Moroccan Lamb tagine with dried plums and almonds

We received a tagine as wedding gift several years ago. It is an excellent cooking vessel that you can use in many ways. The pointed lid allows steam to circulate inside the dish while cooking. This dish is the most prestigious of the Morrocan tagine tradition. This recipe is adapted from a recipe provided by Emile Henry. It is very delicious and quite mild. Also very healthy. Of course. :)

1.2 kg lamb shoulder, cut into pieces
500g dried plums (prunes)
2 cups whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
4 eggs, hard boiled
3 white onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. saffron
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
handful of flat parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp. organic peanut oil
1 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. sucanat (crushed fine)
salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil and the butter on med/high heat in the tagine. When hot, add the lamb pieces and fry a bit, add the onions, garlic, half the powdered cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cumin and salt and pepper. When the meat is golden, add 2 cups of water, cover and cook on med/high for 45 minutes. Add more water if required, stir often.

2. In a separate frying pan, quickly heat the sesame seeds (without oil), just until they start to brown. set aside

3. Also during this time, cook the almonds in boiling water for 15 minutes. then take off the skins and fry them in a little oil until golden

4. After the lamb has been cooking about 30 minutes, take a little sauce and put in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, add the dried plums, the remaining powdered cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, sucanat and a pinch of salt. cover and cook over med heat for 15 minutes. drain the dried plums, remove the cinnamon sticks.

5. When the meat is cooked and the sauce reduced, add the cooked dried plums, stir then sprinkle with sesame seeds, almonds, parsley and cilantro. Cut the boiled eggs in half and arrange around the edge. salt/pepper to taste.

6. serve at table as is. We served ours with brown rice. Tagine is traditionally eaten with your fingers but we chose to have more sauce and use forks. :)