Archive for April, 2011

Even though breakfast is my favourite meal, I’m always hesitant to spend a small fortune on fancy cereals and overpriced granola.  So thanks to my lovely friend Kate who found this gem on an aptly named site:  marathonmom.ca.  Aren’t we all running a marathon everyday?   While you’re at it, run over to our buddies at Better Bulk on Danforth to buy these ingredients.  It’s nice to support the local businesses and you can get a nice hill workout running up woodbine.

1 cup quick cooking oats (we only had large flake oats on hand and it still worked fine)
1/2 cup finely chopped black mission or Turkish figs
1/2 cup each milk & plan yogurt
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 red apple & ripe pear, cored & finely diced

Place oats & figs in a large bowl. Whisk together milk, yogurt, orange juice, maple syrup, vanilla & orange zest. Pour over mixture and stirr until well combined. Stir in cinnamon, diced apple & pear. Refrigerate four hours or overnight. Makes 4 cups (1L). For added crunch & protein, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, walnuts and/or almonds before serving.


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Kudos goes out to my buddy Dan at work, who is the only male to have contributed a recipe to the blog.  This was originally for use on the BBQ with the shrimp on skewers (hence shell-on), but Dan has done it several times by shelling the shrimp and frying them up on the stove.  My kids don’t like shrimp, but yours might.

2 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 sm. lemon (2 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. ground fresh ginger root
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chopped thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
45 lg. shrimp (2 lbs.), deveined but NOT shelled (*unless you plan to fry on the stove)

Combine ingredients and coat shrimp.
Can prepare ahead and leave shrimp in fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Fry in the pan and serve hot.

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Barley Risotto

This also came from Dianne at work from a book called Super Nutricious, Incredibly Delicious Recipes.  Everyone in my family loved this risotto.  You could add a bit more barley and stock because it barely fed the four of us.  I served it with broccoli for the girls and Joe and I had shrimp.  Delicious.  I think you could also chop up some butternut squash in there instead of the shrooms.

2 tsp evoo
2 medium onions, diced
2 lg portabello mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I will probably omit the mushrooms as my kids won’t eat them)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup pot barley
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup parmigianno reggiano

Heat a medium saucepan that has a tight fitting lid over medium heat.  Add the oil and onions. Saute for one minute.

Add the mushrooms and garlic.  Saute for one minute.

Add the pot barley and chicken broth and stir.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes, or until barley is cooked.

Remove from the heat.  Gently stir in Parmesan and serve.


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This came from Dianne at work from a book called Super Nutricious, Incredibly Delicious Recipes.  I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to do so this week.

2 tsp canola oil
1 lg onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Thai style chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup cashews

Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat.  Add the oil and onion and saute for 3 minutes or until onion is just cooked through.  Add the garlic and eggs.  Stir until eggs are cooked through.  Make sure to break the egg into smaller pieces.  You don’t want one big blob of cooked egg.

Add the rice, vegetables, soy sauce and chili sauce.  Stir well.

Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the veggies are heated through.

Sprinkle with cashews and serve.


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I found this on allrecipes.com and Adelaide loved it.   I know, I know, the title has the word VODKA in it and yes the recipe does call for it, but you can exclude it.  Unless of course, you want the kids to go to bed early, then I suggest you add some more vodka 😉  You can also reduce the quantity as it does make quite a bit.

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil (I didn’t use nearly this much.  Just covered the bottom of the pan)
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
3/4 cup vodka (optional – I used chicken stock instead)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you’re serving to your children)
1 cup half-and-half cream (I only used 3/4 cup of 1/2 and 1/2)
1 pound penne pasta

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil; stir until soft. Add prosciutto and vodka. Simmer until almost all liquid is gone.
Add tomatoes, cayenne, and herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in half and half, and heat for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until done. Drain. Serve sauce over noodles.


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This is a new way to use up that can of black beans that has been sitting in your cupboard for 5 years.  It’s an awesome remake of the classic hummus.  Thanks to the Globe and Mail.

1 can (19 ounces/540 millilitres) black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, optional

Place the garlic in food processor and pulse until chopped.  Add the remaining ingredients (except the beans) and pulse until everything is combined.  Add the beans and blend until smooth.  I, personally, would add some water to this and pulse again.  I found the texture to be a bit thick and I think a bit of water would smooth it out somewhat.  But it was good and a nice change to the regular array of spreads and dips.


In a mixing bowl, combine black beans, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, Using the back of a fork, mash ingredients until smooth.

Place in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve cold.


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I found this on the joy of baking site and made some changes.  Both girls and Joe loved them.

1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries or raisins
2 cups (270 grams) grated raw carrot (about 2-3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour (I added some ground flax and used w/wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar (I reduced this amount to 3/4 cup)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3.5 grams) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) (optional)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (180 ml) safflower, corn, or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Peel and finely grate the carrots and apple. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Stir in the dried fruit and coconut. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients, along with the grated carrot and apple, into the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 18 standard-sized muffins.


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