Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mixed Green Salad with Dried Cranberries

To me, Christmas is cranberries.  There are many different ways to cook with them but in a salad, dried is the best.  This recipe is in  Recipes To The Rescue Newsletter, spring 2010.

Serves 4-6

1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

1 small head green or red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, grated
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
2 medium tomatoes, cut into large chunks
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
salt and pepper

Combine all salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl.  Toss with enough dressing to coat.  Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Guilty Eating

Isn’t it time the experts stop guilting us about the food we eat?  Every time I go for a cookie, donut, or french fry I have to shut down a shaming voice shouting inside my ear, “No! Don’t eat that.  It’s full of fat, you will become an oversized blimp overnight!”  It doesn’t stop me.  I eat it with guilt and pretend not to notice the pesky voice.

Every time I gleefully go for the salt shaker and lightly shake… okay maybe not so lightly - salt all over my food, I feel like I’m suddenly going to have a heart attack. I’ve been told salt is bad, but let’s face it, salt makes food taste better.  In fact, it reduces bitterness and can make food taste sweeter…how bad can that be?

Then there is sugar!  I don’t know about you, but I get extreme pleasure from eating a sweet, chewy, chocolate chip cookie. However, sugar is the new enemy.  It’s at the root cause of…well, apparently everything!  We eat way too much  (which is easy to do) and are going to die of something (pick your illness) because of it.  Well, at least we will die happy!

Not only do we have health guilt today, we are now heaped with environmental guilt.  Yep, every time we take a bite of food we have to worry about how it affects our water supply, soil sustainability and air quality.  Agriculture is a huge driver of climate change.  If you think about it, farmers have to drive tractors to produce food. That food is transported to a distribution centre or manufacturing plant and driven to the grocery store.  Then we drive to the store and back with our precious grub.  This endlessly repeating cycle creates greenhouse gases and climate change doom!

If you are a red meat eater, it’s doubly bad. Farmers grow tons of food for cows, in turn creating massive amounts of manure and methane gas, which is really harsh on the environment.  Just drive past a cow lot and your nose will know what I mean.
The guilt doesn’t stop there.  Our food purchases are also part of the problem. Think of all the food we buy and don’t eat. Now imagine all the fossil fuels that went into creating that food only to have it land in the trash can. We, the consumers, are mostly to blame for the 1/3 of food that is globally lost or wasted along the chain starting at the farm and ending in our kitchens.  Talk about guilt!  

So, how do we conquer healthy and environmental eating guilt?  I have a plan. 

1.  Eat! Enjoy all the food you consume…isn’t that what life’s about? Yes we should listen to the health and environmental folks. But, take what they say and apply it to your own lifestyle, incomes, and traditions.  If you love chocolate chip cookies, then don’t eat them all. Share them with your workmates.  If you cook too much food, share it with your elderly neighbour. If you can’t afford fresh produce for vegetarian meals, buy frozen. 

2.  Read your food labels so you know what’s in your food.  If the first item in your barbecue sauce says sugar, then skip it and go for the one that has tomato sauce as its main ingredient.

3.  Eat locally and eliminate food travel. Ride a bike to the grocery store.

4.  Eat less red meat…yes, this is possible.  The key is to get comfortable with herbs and spices.  The complexity of these flavours will surpass the tasty fat in meat.  

5.  Cook your own food.  This way you can control how much fat, sugar and salt you consume. The solution here is to menu plan. It’s a lot easier to get your act together in the kitchen when you have a plan. 

6.  Waste less food.  Challenge yourself to create meals from leftovers in your fridge. Create a salad with the vegetables from your crisper, throw on some feta cheese, garbanzo beans and you will have a meal.  Or Make a fruit smoothie with the leftover spinach, some nuts, fruit and yogurt.

Do a little good and the guilt disappears. And, by the way, if you are looking for a tasty chocolate chip cookie recipe…this is one is great!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Which of the following has the most fibre per 1 cup?

Avocado, pureed  

Kiwi, sliced 

Apple with skin   

Acorn Winter Squash 
Potato, baked no skin 

Avocado has the most fibre.

Avocado 15.6 grams. Florida can boast having the first avocado tree in North American. However, today 80 % of the crop comes from California.

Acorn Squash 9 grams. Winter squash has a hard thick skin and a firm interior which needs to be cooked longer than summer squash such as zucchini and pattypan.

Kiwi 5.4 grams.  Kiwi is also known as the Chinese gooseberry.  Its sweet/tart flavour is unique among all fruits.

Apple 3 grams. There are thousands of apple varieties to choose from with a range of different colours, textures and flavours.

Potato  0.9 grams. Russet potatoes are also known as the Idaho potato, or baking potato. They have a high starch but low moisture content which makes them best for making french fries.

From USDA Food Composition Database

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Simple Chicken Chow Mein

Looking for a fast simple dinner to it is!

Serves 6
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 cups chow mein noodles
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced thinly
2 handfuls green beans, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
1/2 cup bean sprouts

Combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, honey and garlic together in a small bowl.  Add chicken strips, mix well, cover and place in refrigerator while preparing the rest of the dish.
In a large pot of boiling water cook chow mein noodles 3 minutes or until cooked.  Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside.  

In a separate bowl prepare the sauce.  Combine cider vinegar, honey, soy sauce, tahini and cornstarch.  Stir and set aside.  Heat wok over medium high heat.  Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through and no longer pink.  Remove chicken and set aside. Add ginger and garlic to wok, stir-fry 1 minute, then add red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, celery and green beans.  Stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes, adding a little water if bottom gets dry.  Add sauce, bean sprouts, chow mein noodles and chicken.  Stir until thick then serve.   

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cooking Reboot - 4 Week On-Line Program

Are you someone who would like to:

  • eat better to improve your health & energy
  • prepare more meals at home & eat less take out
  • save money on groceries
  • get organized and meal plan
  • understand what's in your food
  • feel inspired and motivated again in the kitchen?

Then Cooking Reboot is for you!  A 4-week online program that will reboot your love for food and cooking.  Starts November 2nd.  Receive a 50% discount by using the coupon code novembercooking.  Check it out at