Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cheese (on sale!)

I've had a few different people tell me lately that they are buying the real cheddar cheese instead of the processed cheese.  This is great news since real food is always best!  However I've come to find out that these folks are either scared to stock up when it's on sale (this week Kraft Cracker Barrel 500g is on sale for $4.99 at the Atlantic Superstore) because they're afraid it will go bad or they are buying lots and freezing it.  Hold the phone folks!  Stock up and DON'T freeze it.  Check the expiry dates.  You'll see that the cheese you are buying today is usually good for 2 - 3 months as long as the vacuum seal is intact.  I buy 4 or 5 packs when they're on sale.  Now you know!


I love beets!  I never did as a child and I've learned a lot of other people never did either.  I don't know if it's the colour or the fact that the only way we ever saw them was pickled.  I'm not a huge fan of pickles in general.  They're all right but around here they are served as condiments for a big cooked dinner.  When I'm having a big cooked dinner of potatoes, veggies, roasted meat and gravy I tend to have little room leftover for condiments.  Hence, beets never made it into my standard repertoire.  But as a travelling foodie beets have made their way into my heart.  And as a gardener they've made their way into my garden!  I always swipe some young ones for their green tops to saute as a simple green side dish.  Mmmm

I like my beets done simply.  Roasted if you please!  Here is a quick way to make beets to take to your next BBQ and have leftovers for delicious salad later on.

BBQ Beets
Serves 6-8

  • 2 lb of beets, greens removed and washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 blue cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut any large beets in halves or quarters so that all the beets/pieces are roughly the same size.  I like them around 1 1/2 inches or big enough not to fall through the grates of the BBQ.
  2. Place the beets in a pot of water and bring to a boil on the stove
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the beets are tender when poked with a folk, about 20 minutes
  4. Remove the pot from the stove, drain and let cook until you can handle them
  5. Now if you don't have gloves your going to end up with very pink hands.  I get a pack of plastic gloves at the dollar store and have them on hand for just such an occassion.
  6. Remove the skins on the beets by rubbing them with your hands. 
  7. Toss the beets with olive oil, now they are ready for the grill whenever you want them.
  8. In a small bowl mix the balsamic and blue cheese.  Set aside
  9. You can travel to your BBQ party with one large bowl of pre-boiled beets and a small container of the balsamic and blue cheese mixture (or you can have this ready to go ahead of time if you're the host)
  10. Heat the BBQ to high.  Grill the beets on all sided for just a couple of minutes
  11. Return the beets to the big bowl, pour the balsamic and blue cheese over and toss..
I live mine as a side to red meat or portabello burgers.  Save any leftovers to toss with some salad greens and toasted nuts.  I like pumpkin seeds!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Pork and Grilled Peaches

I've seen a few variations of this recipe.  This is my version which when served to my family members, got great reviews. 

Pork and Grilled Peaches
Serves 3-4

  • 1lb pork sirloin, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 4 peaches, cut in half and pit removed
  • olive oil
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced

  1. Heat either the BBQ or a grill pan on the stove top to high heat
  2. Grill the pork on all sides until cooked through,  about 8 -10 minutes depending on thickness
  3. While pork is grilling spray or rub the peaches all over with olive oil
  4. In a dry pan over high heat, toast the pine nuts
  5. Toss the pine nuts in a bowl with the balsamic, blue cheese and shallots.
  6. When the pork is done, remove from the heat and let rest
  7. Add the peaches to the grill or pan and grill on all sides
  8. Toss the peaches with the pine nut/balsamic mix
  9. Serve the pork with the peach/pine nut/balsamic mixture, dividing it equally between the 4 pieces of pork.

Enjoy! We sure did!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ponzu Tuna and Sesame Bok Choy and Noodles

I'm boiling up a big batch of noodles today since it's cooler.  In the summertime it's nice to have pasta and rice pre-cooked and in the freezer, ready to go for those BBQ meals.  Cause seriously, who wants to boil a big pot of water at the end of a hot summer day?!  Part of today's noodles will get used in my Sesame Bok Choy and Noodles. The rest will hit the freezer for another meal later on.

I picked up some Albacore Tuna Loins from the CostCo.  $9.99 for 5 loins frozen.  I try to keep some fish in the freezer and the price on these couldn't be beat.  I didn't have high expectations but these were awesome! 

Ponzu Tuna Loins
Serves 3

  • 3 tuna loins
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  1. Heat the grill or grill pan on high heat
  2. Mix together the lime juice and soy sauce to make the ponzu sauce.
  3. Marinate the tuna loins in the ponzu for 10 minutes
  4. Sear on each side 1-2 minutes for rare.
  5. Heat the leftover marinate in the microwave for 3 minutes on high.
  6. Serve the tuna loins with the heated leftover marinate ponzu sauce.

Sesame Bok Choy and Noodles
Serves 3 - 4

  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 head of bok choy, white and green parts separated and sliced.
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked spaghettini noodles, preferably whole wheat

  1. Heat a dry saute pan over medium high heat with the sesame seeds added
  2. Heat until the sesame seeds are golden, remove the seeds
  3. Heat the oil in the pan.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  5. Toss in the white part of the bok choy and cook until softened
  6. Add in the green onions and noodles and cook until the greens are a bit wilted and the noodles are heated through, about 1 - 2 minutes
  7. Serve the tuna from above on a bed of the sesame bok choy and noodles with the leftover heated ponzu sauce on top!
(OMG, I just made this, ate it and still forgot to get a picture of it! UGH!)