Sunday, February 27, 2011


I took this salad along to a potluck luncheon and it got lots of favorable reviews. It outshone the unimaginative green salads it was next to. It has a unique ingredient not often found in salads - barley. I like the wholesomeness of the barley, the added goodness of spinach and the chewy texture.
(I know the pictures all look similar, but this one is different again)

1 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 cup brown rice, rinsed
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup seeds (almonds, pumpkin or sunflower)
4 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp basil or oregano

In saucepan of boiling water, cook barley until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Let stand 10 minutes to dry. Transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, in separate saucepan, bring 2 cups water and rice to bowl. Simmer until tender. let stand for 5 minutes. Add to barley mixture; let cool.

Cut tomatoes in half; add to barley mixture. Add onion, pepper, celery, seeds, feta and chopped spinach.

Add dressing and toss.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tonight, I had some left over broccoli and carrots and made them into one of my favorite soups. I always like having soup on hand so I have something delicious to eat for lunch.

1 tbsp oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 potato, diced (I didn't add one)
1 can white beans
2 cups milk
1 cup cheese, shredded (opt.)

Cook onion and garlic until softened.
Add remaining 5 ingredients. Cook until soft.
Blend until smooth
Add milk and cheese
Season to taste (sometimes I throw in a little red hot sauce for some wow)

Friday, February 18, 2011


I love the different contrasts in this salad. The salty feta, the sweet dates, the lemon and honey dressing, the soft and crunchy - it is my all time fav for quinoa

2 1/4 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup green onion or leek
1/2 cup pepper, chopped
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (almonds, pumpkin, sunflower)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine water and salt in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add quinoa, Stir.
Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered for about 20 minutes without stirring, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add celery, onion and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add to quinoa. Cool.

Add next 5 ingredients. Toss

Combine all 5 ingredients in small cup. Drizzle over quinoa mixture and toss until coated.
Makes 6 cups

Thursday, February 17, 2011


People who eat a lot of fibre every day may be less likely to die prematurely from a range of illnesses - including heart disease, cancer and infection. The benefits of fibre in weight loss, lowering cholesterol and protecting against heart disease have been well established, but studies show that most people don't reach beneficial levels. Adult women should eat 25 grams of fibre each day and men about 38 grams. A half cup of lentils contains about 8 grams of fibre, a half cup of raw almonds has nearly 9 grams. Fibre has a greater protective effect when it comes from grains rather than fruits, vegetables or beans because whole grains contain vitamins and minerals that have been shown to prevent disease.


1 cup wheat berries, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced ( I didn't have any)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl combine wheat berries and 3 cups water. Refrigerate over night. Transfer to medium pan; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered 45-60 minutes. Drain; cool.

In large bowl combine drained wheat berries, garbanzo beans, apricots, cranberries and green onions. In bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Pour over wheat berry mixture; stir to coat.

You could also throw in celery, carrots, or seeds to vary taste. Whatever you have on hand.

This is a good way to start to use up some wheat storage. I now only have 23, 000 lbs left.

Monday, February 14, 2011


When I am looking for an easy meal, I buy a precooked chicken, take the meat off the bones, boil up the carcass with some veggies to make stock and then proceed to make the most delicious chicken soup. It is sooo much tastier than boring, traditional, boiled until it is flavourless soup ( with nasty goopy noodles)


This soup can be made with leftover rice, thus reducing the cooking time by 30 minutes. Leftover, cooked chicken or turkey can also be added to the soup. Sauteing the vegetables well bring out their natural sweetness. This is a key to developing flavour in any dish that call for sauteing vegetables.

7 cups stock or water
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced (I prefer using leeks which look better and aren't so oniony)
1 cup carrots, celery, parsnips, diced (I throw green beans in too)
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup cooked chicken or turkey
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

. bring stock and rice to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes
. saute onion (leeks) carrots, celery and parsnips in oil over medium heat until vegetables start to brown
. add garlic, oregano, cumin, thyme and cook for 30 seconds
. transfer veggie mix to stock along with chicken. Continue cooking for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked
. add parsley before serving

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Farro is a flavourful ancient grain with a mildly nutty flavour and pleasing chewy texture. I saw it at Costco recently, but it is also available at Italian supermarkets. It is a cross between rice and barley in flavour. It is versatile and easy to prepare. Add this ancient grain to soups or salad, use as a side dish or even for breakfast. It is worth trying out as it is high in protein and fiber.

Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs

4 cups water
1 1/2 cups farro
2 tsp salt
4 green onion, chopped using most of green part
1/4 cup fresh parsley (don't even think about using dried)
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground pepper

. rinse farro
. cook in water, bring to a low boil and cover for 30 minutes or until "al dente"
. drain and cool
. add the tomatoes, onion, parsley to the farro and toss to combine
. whisk together garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil.
. add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat
. the salad can be refrigerated overnight
. especially nice with feta cheese added and additional vegetables - celery, peppers, olives, green beans

Monday, February 7, 2011


This recipe is a budget conscious and healthier version of Hamburger Helper. There is no need to use packaged meals when this is so easy to do. And tasty also.

2 lb hamburger
1 onion
2 garlic, minced
1/4 cup mushrooms (opt)
1 28 oz can of tomatoes
1 can tomato soup or 1 cup salsa
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp relish
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheese
green onions and fresh parsley
3 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta

. brown meat with onion and garlic - cook pasta while browning meat
. add mushrooms
. add pasta, canned tomatoes, soup, milk, ketchup, relish, mustard, salt and pepper and cook 30 minutes over medium low heat until hot and bubbly (could also be placed in a casserole and baked 325 for 45 minutes)
. add cheese, parsley and onions before serving
. this makes a lot so half could be frozen for a later meal

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Flax is a nutritional powerhouse and a super healing food. Everyone can benefit from adding flax seeds to their diet, especially those who suffer from constipation, intestinal and digestive problems, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. And of course, they have the highest percentage of "essential fats" of any seed which makes them ideal.
This recipe is made using flax seed so it is especially healthy. It is easily digested, contributes to a good night sleep and keeps your intestines healthy. Rumpelstiltskin can be made ahead of time so you can make it in the evening and have it for breakfast. It is a pleasant taste surprise for anyone eating it for the first time.

6 tbsp flax seeds
2 cups milk
1 banana, mashed with a fork
1 tbsp honey
juice form 1 orange
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

. Pulse the flax seed in an electric coffee grinder for 5 second until ground.
. Bring the milk to a boil then stir in the flax meal
. Boil for 30 second, remove from heat then pour into bowl and let cool
. Add the banana, honey and orange juice
. Whisk vigorously
. Fold in the apple
. This mixture will have the consistency of pudding
. You can also add chopped dates, raisins, dried fruit or fresh strawberries or kiwis.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Perhaps the best chicken you'll ever eat! And a good way to use up that giant jar of sun-dried tomatoes you bought.


4 boneless chicken breasts

4 tbsp olive oil
2 clove garlic, chopped
4 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, plus some oil from tomatoes
2 tsp lemon or orange zest
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp basil

Mix marinade ingredients together; pour over chicken breasts in a plastic bag. Place in refrigerator at least 3 hours or over night. Place in baking pan and cook 325 (covered) until done; 45-60 minutes.

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of half lemon
4 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

To make vinaigrette, mix all ingredients together. Warm (do not boil). Serve with hot chicken.