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Saturday, January 28, 2012

"I'm not eating enough vegetables" soup

Life has been a bit crazy this week, and with one thing and another my diet has ended up heavily weighted towards meat, eggs and cream with a distinct paucity of veggies. Which is fine, for a while, but today my body just said GREEN so I went with the instinct. This was the result.

1 whole broccoli, coarsely chopped (if you're like me and enjoy eating the stem, chop & include that as well)
1 whole cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 whole brown onion, sliced
1 courgette, sliced into rounds
250g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
1 chicken stock cube
A dash of allspice
A large dash of sage
A large dash of rosemary
A dash of salt

To serve:
Grated cheddar
Sour cream
Double cream

In a large stock pot/soup pot, dissolve the two stock cubes in some hot water. Add all of the veggies, sprinkle the allspice, salt and herbs, then top up with more water until the veggies are almost covered.

Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer slowly until veggies are soft - I think it took about an hour and a half for mine, but maybe not even that.

Spoon into a bowl and add a pile of grated cheese (I used cheddar but parmesan would have been amazing) and a glug each of double cream and sour cream. Mix thoroughly and enjoy.

This makes a LOT of servings so be prepared to stock your fridge or freezer with the leftovers!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Turkey Mince with Paprika and Allspice

This dish came about because I had turkey mince, a few bits and pieces of veg and the spice cupboard, and not much else that was useful to go with it. So I just went with my instincts and came up with something unexpectedly amazing. It’s a rich, creamy dish, somewhat reminiscent of Moroccan cuisine, sweet and spicy and warming.

It’s low-carb and therefore correspondingly protein and fat-rich – not great if you’re on a low calorie diet, but perfect if you’re not dieting or on a low-carb regime (as I am).

This recipe will make 2 big serves if you’re eating it by itself, or it could easily be stretched to 4 with sides of rice or couscous and some extra veggies. I had it by itself and it was fabulous, but I'll relish it with rice when I'm allowed some again.


500g turkey mince (ground meat)
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper (capsicum), diced
1 courgette (zucchini), grated
Double handful thin fresh green beans, ends cut off and beans cut in half
Splenda (or sugar)
½ a chicken stock cube
2 tsp freshly grated ginger, or ginger granules to taste
Paprika, allspice, turmeric, garlic granules to taste
1-2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
A good glug of fresh double cream

1. Melt some butter to coat the bottom of a large frying pan. Cook the onions in the butter with some Splenda (or sugar) on high heat until soft and translucent. Add the capsicum and beans and cook until the capsicum starts to soften. Add more butter when necessary to keep the mixture moist.

2. Add the ginger (if using grated) and the turkey mince. Fry stirring frequently until the mince is browned. Add more butter when necessary to keep the mixture moist but don’t make it too greasy.

3. When the mince is browned, add the courgette and fry until it starts to go translucent.

4. Add the lemon juice – just go with your instincts – and the crumbled stock cube. Mix well to incorporate. Then add plenty of paprika, a good scattering of allspice and turmeric, and a few dashes of garlic (plus a good scattering of ginger if using granulated), a shake of splenda or sugar and a small shake of salt. All this is to taste – add, check, adjust if necessary. You can’t go too far wrong. Make sure you use plenty to give the dish loads of flavour.

5. When the meat and veggies are coated with spices and everything tastes great, turn the heat down to the lowest setting. When the sizzling calms down add a good glug of cream to the frypan, enough so that when you stir it in all the meat is coated. Cook until the cream is heated, stirring constantly. When the cream is hot, serve immediately.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sweet Potato Kugel

This is a Jewish dish that I discovered (and tweaked) this past November. It's a delicious and healthy meal that I personally enjoy eating cold in the days afterwards. I suggest being liberal with the cinnamon. Enjoy!


5 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 8 cups)

2 apples (I use cameo apples, but any crisp apple is good)

6 eggs

1 cup raisins (You could also use dates. Just chop them and skip soaking.)

½ cup orange juice (or the juice of one orange)

½ cup walnuts, crushed to small pieces

½ cup pecan halves

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

¾ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cloves

butter for greasing (I've used Pam before and it works just fine)

1) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x12 cake pan with butter.

2) In a small bowl, soak the raisins in orange juice, adding water so the raisins are covered. (You can speed up the plumping by microwaving for 30-45 seconds.)

3) Peel the sweet potatoes. Using a grater blade on a food processor or a box grater, grate them. Put the grated sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

4) Beat the eggs (The fluffier they are, the fluffier your kugel). Mix into sweet potatoes.

5) Grate the apples, add to the sweet tater & egg mixture.

6) Stir in the salt and spices.

7) Add the raisins and soaking liquids. Stir.

8) Pour/scoop mixture into your cake pan, smoothing flat.

9) Sprinkle with pecans and walnuts, pressing them a little into the kugel.

10) Bake 45 minutes or so, until the edges are a little browned and the top gets golden. Let it cool a bit, then cut into 24 pieces, but know that everyone will probably want more than one.


TOTAL: 3936 calories, 111g fat, 93.1g fiber, $10.59

PER SERVING (TOTAL/24): 164 calories, 4.6g fat, 3.9g fiber, $0.44

PER (LARGER) SERVING (TOTAL/12): 328 calories, 9.3g fat, 7.8g fiber, $0.88

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crustless Quiche

This recipe makes a great breakfast or handy snack food if you're on a low-carb diet such as the Neris & India diet or Atkins. It's easy to prepare, keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and tastes great.


* 4 eggs
* 1.5 metric cups (375mL) of whole milk, cream, unsweetened soy milk or a combination; I used 150mL of double cream and 225mL of unsweetened soy milk.
* 1 large tomato, sliced
* 3 rashers of thick-cut streaky bacon, diced
* The crisp parts of three spring onions (green onions), sliced
* About 6 button mushrooms, sliced
* ½ red pepper (capsicum), diced
* 6 tinned asparagus spears
* ¾ metric cup grated cheddar cheese
* Oregano and marjoram, to taste
* Paprika, salt, pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 190C / 375F

2. Prepare a pie dish or alternative (I used two small round cake tins lined with greaseproof paper)

3. Arrange tomato slices over the base of the pie dish.

4. In a saucepan, gently fry bacon, pepper (capsicum), spring onion and mushroom until just soft.

5. Arrange bacon & fried veggies over the top of the tomato, and scatter grated cheese on top of the veggies. Sprinkle oregano and marjoram over the cheese.

6. In a large bowl or blender, beat eggs and milk/cream together with a good dash of paprika, some salt and some pepper, to taaste. When thoroughly blended, pour into the pie dish.

7. Arrange asparagus spears in a star shape on top.

8. Place pie dish in preheated oven and bake for 35-50 minutes. Start checking after about half an hour as times will vary. If you're making more than one you may need to rotate them in the oven. Cook until golden on top. It's ok if the centre is still a bit gooey as it will finish cooking from the heat of the rest of the quiche after it's taken out. Mine took about 35 minutes in a fast oven - I accidentally slightly overcooked one of them but it still tastes great.

9. Store well-wrapped in the fridge and eat within a few days.

I've only eaten this cold, but I imagine it's tasty hot as well! It went down a treat with my 3-year-old stepson too :)

You can vary this recipe a thousand ways - any combination of meats, vegetables, cheeses, seasonings etc will probably work. Experiment with it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cheesy Beef n' Rice

My favorite dish to make.

Cheesy Beef n' Rice

1 c Long Grain Rice
2 T Butter

3 c Broth (or water)
2 Carrots, shredded
2 t Beef broth powder (if using water)
1 lb Ground Beef, browned

Onion Powder
Garlic Powder

1/2 c Cheddar cheese, shredded

Saute rice in butter. Add everything else, save the cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir twice during baking. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until cheese melts.

(can be cooked on the stovetop, covered, until the rice is soft and the liquid is absorbed)

Kate's Hard Tack

This is a favorite snack in my family. I use fresh-ground soft white wheat. I suppose store-bought whole wheat flour would work, but I've never had it in the house! :-/ I make a double batch of this, and the guys pack it up in their lunch boxes for school or work. We all love hard tack!

7/8 c Warm Water
1/3 c Oil
1/4 c Honey
1 t Salt
3 1/2 - 4 c Flour

Mix into a stiff dough and roll flat on baking sheet. Poke with fork and score. Bake 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

Cora's note: "Done" can be anywhere from dark brown to barely hardened on top. Play around with it.

Grandma's Macaroni

This is the "family recipe" that we thought Grandma was hiding for years and years... turns out she never knew anyone wanted it, and when I asked, she was happy to give it to me.

Grandma Shirley's Macaroni and Cheese

Equal parts dry macaroni noodles and cubed cheese (sharp or medium cheddar)
Cook noodles in salted water with some minced onion
Beat egg in a greased casserole: 1 egg per 2 cups dry macaroni
Add one cup milk per egg
Add noodles and cheese
Mix well
Bake 20-30 minutes at 300 degrees

Cora's note: We always put tons of paprika on top. I cover it for half the cooking time.