Welcome to our blog! Discover how easy it is to become a home cook. Learn to eat fresh, get organized with meal prep, cook healthy with easy recipes and gain healthy meal prep ideas...but be forewarned, we have a contagious attitude towards food and cooking!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Kale, Squash and Bean Soup

Kale, Squash, and Bean Soup
Kale, Squash and Bean Soup

Looking for a comforting soup to prepare that is colourful and full of veggies?  Here is an easy one to try.

Kale, Squash and Bean Soup

A tasty colourful soup recipe filled with loads of great veggies
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick celery, tops removed
2 medium carrots, cut into medium sized dice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2inch cubes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 28 fl oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups coarsely chopped kale, stems removed
1 cup canned chick peas, rinsed

In a large soup pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute for 7 minutes until soft.  Add carrots, celery, garlic, squash, cayenne, thyme, tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add kale and chickpeas and cook until squash and carrots are cooked about 10 more minutes.  Discard bay leaves and serve.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Avocado Food Facts

Avocado half

Avocado Food Fact

Here are some fun food facts about the avocado you may never have known:

  • The avocado is a fruit that's full of fat.
  • 1 cup pureed avocado is 384 calories, most of it is from fat.
  • Two of the more common types of avocados are the black hass and the thin-skinned green fuerte.
  • When ripe, an avocado should be firm but yield to a soft touch.
  • Store an avocado at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate for 2-3 days.
  • An avocado will oxidize and turn black when cut. To avoid this, sprinkle lime or lemon juice over avocado slices.

Avocado's are the main ingredient in guacamole, check out our recipe here.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

How Do Cranberries Grow?

Picture of fresh ruby red cranberries
Scarlet colour cranberries have a tangy flavour

How Do Cranberries Grow?

The scarlet colour of cranberries and their tangy flavour add a colourful lustre to winter recipes.  Cranberries grow on vines in marshes or bogs.  In spring they bloom with pink flowers, in summer the flowers give way to green buds which become ripe cranberries in September.  Most cranberries are harvested by flooding fields.  "Egg beater" type machines loosen the berries from the vines, which float to the top, they are then skimmed off the top.  

Cranberries will last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator and are easy to freeze.

Looking for recipes for fresh or frozen cranberries?  Try these two easy recipes:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Fried Rice With Tofu

Fried Rice With Tofu
Fried Rice with Tofu, easy and fast!

Fast & Simple Fried Rice With Tofu 

A fast and simple weeknight dinner that everyone will love.
Serves 4

1 tablespoon canola oil plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, separated
3 eggs beaten
3 green onions thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 carrots finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced small
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced small
½ cup frozen peas
1 package firm tofu, cut into small cubes (or cooked chicken)
4 cups cooked white rice
½ cup soy sauce

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wok over medium-high heat.  Add eggs and scramble until cooked, but not too dry.  Remove eggs and clean out pan.  Heat 1tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat.  Add onions and sauté with garlic, ginger, carrots, celery jalapeno pepper and red bell pepper.  Sauté until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes.  Add peas and tofu and sauté another 3 minutes.  Add rice, soy sauce and eggs.  Mix until combined and rice is hot. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yummy Tuna and Pasta Casserole

Picture of Tuna Casserole
Tuna and Pasta Casserole

Yummy Tuna and Pasta Casserole

Serve with a big green salad and you have a delicious easy dinner that the whole family will love.

Serves 4

½ package egg noodles
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 hardboiled eggs, thinly sliced
1 (7 oz) can tuna, drained 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
¼ cup red peppers, diced (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs or 1 cup crushed regular potato chips

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Cook noodles according to the package. Drain, rinse, place into a casserole dish and set aside. Melt the butter over medium low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add flour and stir until lightly brown. Turn up heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. Add dry mustard powder, cheese, hardboiled eggs and tuna. Spoon into noodles. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add onion mixture to the noodles. Mix to combine. Sprinkle bread crumbs or crushed potato chips on top. Bake 20 minutes in oven. Serve with a green salad.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What is White Canned Tuna?

Canned White Tuna Labels that are products of Canada
Look for product of Canada & packed by hand when buying white canned tuna

Do You Buy White Canned Tuna?

When you buy canned tuna fish at the grocery store do you buy white or light?  I recommend white tuna, also called Albacore.  This tuna is whitish in colour, has a meaty texture and a smooth fresh flavour.  Light canned tuna can be either yellowfin, skipjack or tango. Skipjack is slightly darker and more tender with a fishier test.   Yellow fin is firmer with a light yellow colour and a milder states. 

If you buy Albacore tuna directly from a locally based fishing business, or from the farmers market or a specialty store then you’re in for a big treat. The flavour is far superior than that from the commercial canneries.  

I’d also highly recommend you look for Albacore tuna that has been caught in the Canadian North Pacific because, not only it is “Product From  Canada”, but it contain less mercury.  Yep, unfortunately, fish can accumulate mercury in their muscles through absorption from the surrounding water and from ingesting prey and their prey’s prey.  So the larger and older the fish, the more mercury it’ll have.  Tunas can grow up to well over 400 pounds and can live up to 10-12 years, hence they have the highest mercury count.  

However, albacore tuna caught in the Canadian North Pacific are smaller, 20-40 pounds and are only 3-4 years old, resulting in less absorbed mercury.  In fact, Canadian North Pacific Albacore tuna (fresh, frozen or canned) has been well tested by Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is considered safe to eat with lower mercury levels than other Albacore tuna caught in other parts of the world.   If it’s not Canadian tuna then it’s recommended that children under the age of 12 and women considering becoming pregnant, are pregnant or are breast feeding, limit how much they consume each week. Mercury can affect developing brains. For safe levels refer to this chart at Healthlink BC  https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/mercury-fish.  

So Remember...

So, remember when buying canned white tuna to look for Albacore (white) tuna that’s a “Product of Canada,” and preferably from a locally based fishing business. Lastly, limit the amount consumed if you’re feeding it to someone under 12 or you are an expected or breastfeeding mother. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dad's Cookies

I found this recipe in an old cookbook of my mother's.  It must be at least 40 years old! It's very similar to the iconic 'Dad's Cookies' found at the grocery store today, but much tastier!  

Stack of homemade Dad's Cookies
Dad's oatmeal, coconut cookies

Dad's Cookies

An old simple recipe worth making.  

1 cup butter
2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
2 cups coconut

Mix all together and drop by teaspoon on to a greased cookie sheet.  Press with a fork dipped in cold water.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

How To Eat Kohlrabi

How to eat and cook kohlrabi
Green Kohlrabi

Do You Eat Kohlrabi?

Do you buy and eat kohlrabi?  It’s a vegetable that looks intriguing but also intimidating.  It reminds me of a remote controlled green (or purple or white) space ship with green parachute leaves.  What do you with it?  Peel it? Cook it?  Or eat it raw?

I was told years ago in one of my classes that they were easy to grow and worth growing to eat, because they were, well, worth it.  

So when I found one sitting in my CSA box last season I was pleasantly surprised because I would be forced to try it.

I’m glad I did.  I peeled off the thick green layers, chunked it up and threw it into the evening stir fry.  I also threw some smaller pieces into a salad to eat raw.  It had a pleasant radish/turnip taste which melded  nicely with all the other veggies.

So, if you’re looking to add excitement to your nightly cooking routine, I challenge you to buy a veggie that you’ve never tried before but always wondered what it tastes like, such as Kohlrabi. Buy it, bring it home, figure out what to do with it and eat it.  You too, may be pleasantly surprised.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cranberry Loaf

Here is a simple and colourful cranberry loaf to try.  Buy a couple bags of cranberries and freeze them so you make this loaf throughout the winter.  A perfect treat to nibble on with your afternoon coffee.

Cranberry Loaf that is loaded with fresh cranberries
Cranberry loaf

Cranberry Loaf

Makes 1 loaf

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line loaf pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a medium size bowl whisk together butter, vanilla, egg and milk.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. Fold in cranberries. Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour to 60 to 70 minutes or until done.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How to Choose the Right Squash to Cook

Description fo 5 different kinds of squash vegetable
5 different kinds of squash

Confused about how to choose a squash vegetable?

1.  Spaghetti squash. When cooked its pale flesh can be scooped out into spaghetti-like strands as shown in this Martha Stewart clip. 

2.  Red Kuri Squash.  These are part of the Hubbard squash family. It slightly resembles a pumpkin and has a nutty flavour.

3.  Blue Hubbard winter squash.   These rather rare squashes can grow up to 50 pounds!  I can’t imagine how you’d cut that squash…maybe with a chain saw?

4.  Acorn squash.  This one sports a ribbed, thicker skin and grows in an acorn shape, not surprisingly.  It has a bright orange and slightly fibrous flesh that pairs well with sweet, spicy and savoury dishes.  It comes in a variety of colours.

5. Butternut squash.  This bell-shaped squash has a thinner skin (easier for cutting) and is readily available.  It has a mildly sweet flavour that goes well in both sweet and savoury dishes.

When choosing squash, pick ones that are heavy for their size, and free of brown blemishes