Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

I love this recipe. The beans and rice make a complete protein so it's an excellent meatless meal. It's also deadly cheap and super, super easy. Seriously, beyond simple. You can use brown rice if you like but it makes the fiber content really, really high (so drink lots and lots of water to avoid a backlog....) You can also spice it us as much as you like. Get out the Tabasco!

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 4 - 6

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced (or you can use a fresh one)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 19oz/540 ml can of red kidney beans, do not drain
  • 28 oz/796ml can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Coat the bottom of a saucepan with oil and heat over medium
  2. Add the onions and peppers and cook until soft
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is done. (the rice package should give you a pretty good idea of how long this will take)
  4. Serves sprinkled with cheese
Dang this is good!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Indian BBQ - Acorn Squash Perfection

Okay, I know I never posted a Paralympics menu. Man have I been busy lately! And I haven't even touched the backyard yet. I'm hoping to clear out some old bushes and put in a blueberry bush, some tomatoes, maybe some peppers. On the side of the house, in space that we cleared last year, I am planning on planting some root veggies, potatoes, onions and maybe some garlic. But I digress.

Since I didn't get a menu up for the Paralympics, I thought I'd share what I did pull together as a "Healthy Menu" with links to all the recipes. I'll try to get that up in the next couple of days.

But to talk about the meal I had tonight... YUM. BBQ season is officially full on around here. I did a Tandoori Beer Can Chicken which is definitely going to be a summer mainstay! I also did 2 acorn squash. Super simple.

Acorn Squash Perfection:
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with honey, toss in some onion slices and sprinkle with curry powder. Roast while doing a chicken or roast on the bbq, about 350 F for an hour or so, until you can poke a fork into the flesh. Don't drain out the liquid that accumulates in the centre! Put it in a bowl and scoop out the flesh and add it. Add a little butter and mash. That's it. You'll be amazed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Quick note. Broken Mom on the mend. Trying to help out as much as possible while being motivated by warmish sunny weather to clear yard, plant things.. oh, and take down outdoor Christmas lights (left up, not because I am beyond lazy {which I am} but to show support during the Olympics), wash and shave large hairy dogs, etc, etc, etc. Just realized Paralympics start tonight. Menu is roughed out. Will share at soonest possible opportunity (maybe tonight... if I have any energy after running errands with gimp mother and shaving said hairy dogs....)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Leftover Turkey Curry

Are you wondering why I'm talking about leftover turkey in March? I froze some from my holiday bird and now I'm going to make use of it. I've made turkey curry before but this time I'm going to use a basic sauce that will make it a more " European style" curry sauce. That's what it made me think of when I tasted it, it tasted like something I would have had in Sweden. So I wouldn't call this a seriously authentic Indian dish. I'm using the sauce recipe from the Fiskboller as the sauce recipe for this curry sauce. It's just the right sauce for this dish (how many times did I just say 'sauce'?!). And this is a one pot meal!

Leftover Turkey Curry
Serves 6 -8

  • 1 lb dried pasta, penne or fusilli work well
  • 3 cups broccoli, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp curry powder (or more if you like)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups diced leftover turkey or chicken
  • 8 frozen cilantro cubes or 1/4 cup fresh, finely chopped

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add broccoli in for the last 4 minutes
  2. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside
  3. Heat butter in empty pasta pot
  4. Saute onions until soft, 3 - 5 minutes
  5. Add ginger and garlic and cook 30 seconds
  6. Add flour and whisk for 30 seconds
  7. Add chicken broth a little at a time, whisking until incorporated and thickened
  8. Add curry and fenugreek
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste
  10. Toss in turkey and heat through
  11. Add pasta, broccoli and cilantro and fold in until blended.

**A couple of notes.

If you don't have fenugreek then don't worry, turmeric would be nice too but just plain curry powder does just fine.

The cilantro cubes I speak of are the frozen packs you can find in the produce section. You can also use the tube of cilantro, just give a squeeze! Obviously fresh is best but I keep the frozen cubes on hand because it's a herb I often use but never seem to have and when I do buy it I never use it all and it goes bad in my fridge. You can skip it. The flavor will be different but still quite yummy.

Use whole wheat pasta if you want to up the nutrients.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Scary fridges, freezers and other bedtime stories...

I just came back from my mom's. She fell and hurt herself quite badly so I headed over to help out for the day. My first task was to decide what I'd make for dinner. This required a review of her fridge and freezer. I was seriously depressed when I found an expired box of fresh spinach, unopened and a 3 pack of romaine hearts gone bad. I even found a cream cheese that was unopened and expired Nov 2009 in the back of a shelf! Then I played the "Name That" game while trying to identify frozen meat packs hiding in the freezer. People, people, people label EVERYTHING that goes into your freezer. It's a simple task that makes life so much easier in the long run. Tomorrow I'm going to do an inventory of her freezer contents and get a list done up for the freezer door so she'll know what she has without having to poke around and play the "Name That" game every time she goes to cook.

Mom had a just made a Pete's run the day before her accident. If you live anywhere near Halifax or even visit once in a while, you've been to Pete's for a top notch selection of veggies. If you're not lucky enough to live here, then if you ever head this way plan a trip, even if it's just for snacks. It's a fun spot. Mom had veggies at home she had forgotten about plus she bought a bunch of stuff at Pete's so I wanted something that would make a big dish with lots of leftovers and use a lot of her veggies. So what did I do?!

Lasagna! It's a great way to use a whole lot of veggies. (and I managed to identify some ground beef to throw in as well) For today's edition I used leeks, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus and tomatoes. Man was it tasty. And Lasagna doesn't have to be too complicated. Fresh lasagna noodles freeze right in the package and are ready to go when you are or buy the ones that don't need boiling. You don't have to get really complicated with the sauce or you can buy something already to go. Today I just used a can of tomatoes and tomato paste with some italian seasoning sprinkled in. And the very best part.... tons of leftovers that freeze beautifully!

I'd like to take this opportunity to speak to the issue of overbuying. Either make a list of what you need or want before you go to the grocery store or as soon as you get home, take your receipt and sit down and make a menu plan. Go through the items you bought and determine what will go bad first then use it first. And so forth and so on. Don't assume you'll remember what you bought or what you planned to use the items you purchased for. WRITE IT DOWN!! It is the simplest and most effective advice I can give you.

Monday, March 01, 2010

And now we bring you the Paralympics!

The fun continues! The Olympics may be over but now we need to show our Paralympians the same support. What they do is even more awe inspiring! I'm hoping we get the same type of television coverage. Nothing is so exciting as watch live events with the all the thrills, chills and spills! I'm going to do my part and develop a Vancouver 2010 Paralympics Menu.

So what do the Paralympics represent? Athletes - well that's obvious. Determination - sure. Commitment - definitely. Over coming obstacles - yup. Living with Challenges above and beyond the average - oh yeah. So how am I going to represent the Paralympic experience in a menu? Hmmm. I've done the international winter menu for the Olympics, I'm going to do a summer inspired international menu for the World Cup this coming June. I think the best thing I can do are meals that are simple, uncomplicated, tasty, healthy and quick. Because that's what every Paralympian needs! (and so do most of us on a daily basis!!) Meals healthy enough for athletes, quick for busy people, simple for those who aren't masters in the kitchen.

So stay tuned for the offical Paralympic Menu. The game start in just 11 days! And once again - Go Canada Go!!