Sunday, August 8, 2010

Black Bean Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 can tomato chunks
2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
4 cups Chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
hot sauce to taste

In large pot cook onion and garlic in oil til soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes. Puree with immersion blender (leave a few beans and chunks if desired). Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips if desired.

Note: This can be a base soup. Add whatever vegetables you have on hand (ie peppers, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Be creative!

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

6 Italian Sausages
3 chicken breasts (or 12 thighs)
1 tbsp oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomatoes chunks (28 oz)
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 can kidney beans (19 oz)
1 tsp each chili powder, oregano, cumin
½ tsp thyme and black pepper
½ cup fresh chopped parsley (optional)
hot sauce to taste
2 cups long grain white rice

If using chicken breast, cut into chunks. Place sausages and chicken on baking sheet. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning and bake at 375F for ~30 minutes until cooked. Cut sausage into bite size pieces. In large pot, cook onion, peppers and garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes, paste, chicken broth, beans, spices and hot sauce. Stir in chicken and sausages. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add rice. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until rice is tender.

Note: If you would like a soupier meal, reduce rice to 1 cup.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fish Pie

1 pound firm white fish fillets
1.5 cups milk
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves (whole) 
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 medium potatoes
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Boil potatoes in salted water with 3-4 cloves of garlic. Boil until tender. Mash potatoes and garlic with a bit of milk. Set aside.

Lightly salt and pepper fish, place in deep fry pan and cover with milk. Add onion and cloves and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for abut 5 minutes until fish is cooked (flakes easily). Remove fish and flake into chunks. Remove cloves and reserve milk mixture. In fry pan melt butter and then add flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Wisk in reserved milk until thickened. Remove from heat and add nutmeg and fish.

In greased 8x8 casserole dish, layer fish and sauce. Spoon mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle cheese over top. Cook for at 350 F for 30 minutes. If top isn't brown, place under broiler.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

1 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp pepper
1 can diced tomatoes including juice
1/2 jar red curry paste
1 tsp Caribbean curry mix
2 tbsp honey
1 stalk lemongrass
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
450 g. bag red lentils (~2 ½ cups)
1 tbsp lime juice
4 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups water
2 cans coconut milk (14 oz)

Cook onion in oil and add garlic, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Stir in coconut milk and cook for 30 minutes longer.

Note: Can be easily frozen in individual containers.

Mennonite Fruit Cookies

1 cup margarine
1-½ cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup fruit juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp each ground allspice, nutmeg & cloves
2 cups craisins or raisins
1 cup chopped dates
2 cups chopped candied fruit peel
2 cups chopped pecans
½ cup whole wheat flour

Cream margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs and fruit juice. Add flour, soda, salt and spices and stir well. Combine fruit and nuts in separate bowl with ½ cup whole-wheat flour. Stir into batter. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Yield: 90.

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

4½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp each allspice, cinnamon and ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fancy molasses
¾ cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl stir flour with baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, beat butter with brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar until well mixed, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time, then molasses. With electric mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture just until mixed. Scrape down side of bowl if necessary. Divide dough into 4 portions. Form into round discs and wrap in plastic wrap. refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with oil or line with parchment paper. Place remaining 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar in a bowl. Remove one portion of dough. Pinch off about 1 tbsp (15 mL) and roll into a ball. Roll in sugar, then place on baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough, spacing balls at least 3 inches apart as they spread out while baking. Bake until cookies begin to set around edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on sheets about 5 minutes. Makes about 95 cookies.

Chicken Fettucine in Garlic Cream Sauce

¼ c butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped
pinch crushed red chili pepper
1 tsp dried basil
½ cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 chicken breasts, cooked, diced
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup half and half cream (10% B.F)
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups fresh baby spinach
fresh fettucine for 4
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Saute onion, garlic and chili pepper in butter (very lightly). Add basil and worchestershire sauce and saute this mixture until the moisture is out of the onions. Add chicken and white wine, mix together and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring the contents to a boil. Strain all the solids from the cream sauce and set them aside in a bowl. Reduce the cream remaining in the pan until it lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture back into the cream sauce and leave on stove just to heat through. Cook the fettucine as directed. Add the spinach leaves to the fettucine to wilt them. Drain. Pour sauce over the pasta/spinach mixture and sprinkle with parsley.

Note: Substitue 1 lb scallops, salmon or shrimp for the chicken. Add with wine but cook for a few minutes until slightly underdone before removing.

Buttermilk Cornbread

¼ pound butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

Melt butter and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cormeal, flour and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into greased 8 inch square pan. Back at 375 F for 30-40 minutes.

Note: My son makes this all the time. He found the recipe on the web and won't change a thing! I would love to add grated cheese and maybe some jalepeno peppers but only when he isn't around.

Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas

¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp paprika (or smoked paprika for smokier taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried crushed red pepper
½ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
4 chicken breast halves with bones
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
1 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Preheat oven to 450°. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon of this mixture into small bowl; whisk in yogurt and set aside for sauce. Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining mixture; toss to coat. Pour bean mixture around chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Source: Bon Appetit | May 2008

Grilled Coconut Shrimp

1 400 mL can coconut milk
2 tsp green curry paste
1 tbsp chopped ginger
4 lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp lime juice
1 lb large shrimps
¼ cup unsweetened coconut

Place coconut milk in a skillet and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by a quarter - it should be the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in the green curry paste, ginger, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar. Cook another 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce is thickened and fragrant. Stir in 1 tbsp (15 mL) each of mint and coriander and all of lime juice. Cool.

Divide sauce in half in 2 bowls. Season shrimp with salt and stir into half of sauce. Marinate shrimp in sauce for 30 minutes. Reserve other half of sauce for dipping sauce. Remove shrimps from marinade and discard marinade. Preheat grill on high and grill shrimps about 1½ minutes per side or until pink and slightly curled. Cool. Stir in coconut and remaining mint and coriander to dipping sauce. Serve with shrimps. Place shrimps on bamboo skewers, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Lime leaves can be found in Oriental grocery stores. If you can't find them substitute 1 tbsp grated lime rind.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 small mushrooms
125 g Herb and Garlic Boursin cream cheese
½ -1 tsp dried chives (or fresh if desired)
bacon (about 6 slices)

Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Mix cream cheese and dried chives together. Microwave the cheese a bit to soften it if necessary. Precook the bacon so it is about half cooked, and still 'wobbly' and cut or break into 3-4 pieces. Fill mushroom caps with cream cheese mixture, then top with a piece of bacon in a pyrex or metal rectangular baking pan. You can do this much several hours ahead and cover with waxed paper. Put in oven around 350 F until the bacon it all looks cooked, around 20 minutes.


1 lb ground beef, cooked (may substitute ground chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green & red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
28 oz can diced tomatoes
14 oz can Accents Chili tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
3 bay leaves
4-5 cans kidney and/or black beans

Cook onion, peppers, celery and garlic in oil until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1- 1 ½ hours. This can also be made in the crock-pot by combining the cooked meat, cooked veges and then remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. Serve with crusty bread and shredded cheese.

Spicy Thai Noodles

angel hair pasta (spagettini)
1 cup shredded napa cabbage
1 large carrot, julienned
½ small green bell pepper, julienned
½ small red bell pepper, julienned
1 handful snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 bunch fresh green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp red curry paste (in can or jar)
¼-½ cup chicken broth
1 tsp hot chili paste (or to taste)
Garnish: 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta as directed. Stir fry veges with garlic and ginger. Add curry, broth and chili paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add noodles. Garnish and serve.
Note: Some curry paste is mild and some spicy. Green curry paste is usually milder than the red. You may wish to use green curry paste and eliminate the hot chili paste for a milder dish.

Pecan-Cranberry Crusted Salmon

700g boneless salmon fillet (cut in 2 inch strips)
Salt and black pepper
½ cup unseasoned whole wheat or multi-grain breadcrumbs
¾ cup pecan halves (toasted)
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp minced parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon in baking dish and season with salt and pepper. In a food processor, grind breadcrumbs, pecans and cranberries until combined. Add the maple syrup to moisten. Top the salmon fillets with pecan mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Serve with Spicy Noodles


1 pound extra lean ground beef (or substitute ground turkey or chicken)
1 tsp onion powder or 1 small onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1-2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
BBQ sauce

Cook the onion and pepper til soft. Combine with mustard, egg, garlic, curry, paprika, Worcestershire, ketchup and pepper. Mix with beef and add bread crumbs. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with ends of bread (helps soak up any grease) and press meat mixture into a loaf pan. 

Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes until no longer pink inside. Turn out onto a baking sheet, remove and discard the bread pieces and cover with BBQ sauce. Bake another 5-10 minutes. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

Makes excellent meatballs.

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can milk
1 onion thinly sliced
shredded cheese (as much or as little as you like)

Whisk together soup and milk. Spray the bottom of an 8 x 11 casserole dish (lasagna pan works well) with Pam. Spread a few spoonfuls of the soup mixture in the bottom then a layer 1/3 of the potatoes, onions, soup mixture and cheese in layers. Bake at 375 F for 45-60 minutes (until potatoes are soft) and top is lightly browned.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 ½ cups all purpose flour (half whole wheat, half white)
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup margarine (not the soft-tub kind)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Cream margarine, peanut butter, and sugars; beat in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour mixture, blending well. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls; place on greased baking sheets. Flatten each cookie with the tines of a fork; dip fork in water periodically to keep it from sticking to the peanut butter cookie dough. Bake at 375° for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Note: I use the hard margarine instead of butter as I find they stay chewy and soft. My kids and hubby adore these cookies.

Monday, March 22, 2010


one-1” slice Crusty bread (no crust)
1 cup cold water
5 med fresh tomatoes
1 med seedless cucumber
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 med onion, chopped
1 small chili pepper, seeded
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp pepper
1 cup croutons
green onions, chopped

In large bowl, soak bread in water. Whisk to break up bread. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze to release seeds over sieve. Add juice to the bread and discard seeds. Coarsely chop cucumber, reserving half, then puree other half with the squeezed tomatoes. Pour tomato mixture into bread mixture. Chop green and red peppers. Reserve half. Puree remaining halves, chili pepper, onion and garlic and add to tomato mixture. Stir in vinegar and oil. Add more water if soup is too thick. Add salt and pepper and remaining chopped cucumber, green and red peppers. Chill for at least an hour. To serve: garnish with croutons and green onion.

Fish Chowder with Tomatoes

2 medium peppers, chopped (1 red/1 green)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp oil
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
½ tsp crushed thyme
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
2 med. potatoes, cubed
3 cups water
1 cup dry white wine (or water)
250 g pkg Philadelphia cream cheese, cubed
2 lbs fish fillets (haddock or cod)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Sauté onions, peppers and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, thyme, cayenne and water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes. Cover and simmer x 10 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat. Add cream cheese and stir until it melts.Add fish and parsley, simmer covered and cook for 4 minutes (don’t overcook). Stir in salt and pepper.

Chicken Tajine

2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp oil
3 lbs boneless chicken thighs & legs
1 lg onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
2/3 c chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp saffron
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp pepper
1 cinnamon stick, broken
Juice & rind of 1 lemon

Heat oil and brown chicken in batches. Remove to plate. Cook onion and garlic in same pan until softened. Add tomato, all but 2 tbsp of the parsley, ginger, paprika, saffron, cumin, pepper, cinnamon stick, lemon juice and rind and 2 cups chicken broth. Return chicken and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until juices run clear, about 45 minutes.Remove chicken and boil sauce until thickened by one-third, about 12 minutes. Pour over chicken on platter. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Serve with side dishes of:
  • Olives
  • Whole Dates
  • Toasted Pecans or Walnuts
  • Rice or Coucous
  • Roasted Vegetables (squash, carrots, onion, red pepper and zucchini, etc).

Hashbrown Potato Casserole

¼ cup melted butter (optional)
1 can cream of potato soup
12 oz grated cheddar cheese
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
32 oz frozen hashbrowns (do not thaw)

¼ cup butter (or just use PAM spray)
½ cup crushed corn flakes (or whole wheat bread crumbs)

Combine first six ingredients in large bowl. Add hashbrowns and mix gently. Spread in an 8 x 11 pan sprayed with PAM or two smaller casseroles. Combine topping mixture and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. Can easily be frozen (Do not cook before freezing). To reduce amount of butter, do not add to potato mixture and spray crushed corn flake topping with PAM.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bean Salad

1 can green beans
1 can yellow beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chick peas
1 green pepper cut in thin rings
1 onion cut in thin rings

½ cup sugar (can also try sugar substitite like Spenda)
½ cup vinegar
½ tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dry basil
2 tbsp parsley

Combine first 6 ingredients in serving bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in measuring cup and microwave until sugar dissolves. Cool and pour over bean mixture.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pulled Beef (Crockpot)

One 3.5 pound boneless beef chuck roast
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ginger ale
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red chili powder
12 sandwich buns or soft hamburger buns

Place the roast in the crockpot. Combine all remaining ingredients, except buns, in bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. Transfer the roast from the crockpot to serving platter, cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes before shredding meat with two forks. Place the shredded meat back in the cooker and stir to evenly coat with sauce. With tongs, pile meat onto sandwich buns and add a bit of sauce.

Serve with:
Grilled veges-mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, zucchini
Roasted sweet potato/white potatoes

Friday, March 5, 2010

Butter Chicken

2 tbsp butter
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp gingerroot, minced
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
1-19-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 whole rotisserie chicken, cut up
1/3 cup light (5%) cream
¼ cup light sour cream or yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
Hot cooked basmati rice

Melt butter in deep skillet. Add onions & garlic and cook until tender. Add gingerroot, chili powder, tumeric and cinnamon. Cook 1 minute more. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cut up chicken, cream and sour cream. Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve over hot basmati rice.

Curried Squash Soup

1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, chopped
4 cups squash, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp dried parsley
salt, pepper & hot sauce to taste

Throw veges on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and spices and toss to coat. Bake at 375 til squash is tender (about 30 minutes). Put everything into stock pot and add broth. Simmer for 20 minutes then purée with an immersion blender.

Or: Sauté onion, garlic and carrot in oil for 5 minutes. Add curry and cumin and stirfry for a minute or so. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until all vegetables are tender. Puree until smooth. Add seasonings. You can also cut up a live squash instead of the frozen.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 large onion, chopped
1 med. carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups chopped broccoli (frozen or fresh)
1 cup lentils, rinsed thoroughly 
1 cup skim milk (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

In large saucepan combine onion, carrot, celery, garlic and stock. Bring to boil and add lentils. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer until broccoli and lentils are tender. Puree until smooth. Add milk and seasonings.

Breakfast Quiche Bites

5 eggs
5 thin slices ham (chopped finely)
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
grated cheddar cheese (or other choice)
6 slices whole wheat bread

Beat eggs with whisk. Add ham and onion. Remove crusts from bread and flatten with rolling pin. Cut each flattened bread slice into four (24 squares in total). Spray a 24 cup mini-muffin tin with PAM and press a square of bread into each cup. Divide egg mixture (~1.5 tbsp) evenly amongst cups. Top each with a bit of grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until firm. Makes 6 servings (4 each). Can be frozen and reheated in microwave or oven.