Asparagus Pizza

I don't think I've posted any pizza recipes yet ... this one is my current favorite. And it's an original. Came from my brain, it did.
Here's what it looked like before the cheese ...

So ... use whatever crust you like. Khrista has posted one that I am going to try next time I make pizza ... I use Bertolli Five Brothers - Roasted Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce for the base. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, parsley and garlic powder. I chop a couple asparagus spears up, slice some mushrooms and a bit of red onion. Add kalamata olives and some nice marinated green olives. Sprinkle with a good handful of pine nuts. Add some crumbled feta cheese.

Then top with the mozarella. Put in a hot oven ... 200C ... 400 F. Usually takes about 10 - 15 minutes but watch it at the end so it doesn't burn !

This is a yummy yummy pizza. No, I don't cook the asparagus before I put it on. It cooks perfectly with the pizza !!!

The Enchiladas of Loveliness that Jill Makes but Pam Found

As the title may suggest, Pam found this recipe, and I adapted it to make it into a quick and easy cassarole.

3/4 lb lean ground beef
2 cans refried black beans
12 corn tortillas
about 1 cup salsa
about 1 cup enchilada sauce (we make our own using a mix from Watkins and tomato sauce)
up to 2 cups of cheese (obviously, if you want to cut down on calories, use less cheese)

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, drain off any excess grease. Add about 1/2 cup salsa and the beans. Stir until well mixed and the beans lose their can shape.
Grease (or line with baking paper) a 9x12 pan. Layer 6 of the tortillas on the bottom. Add the beef/bean mixture. layer the rest of the tortillas. Generously cover the top with enchilada sauce and a little more salsa. Make sure it's all sealed and soaked in the sauce. Top with cheese and broil for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Let sit another 5 minutes.
Serve with your favorite toppings (we use chopped tomatoes, onions, black olives, avocado, shredded lettuce, jalepenos, sour cream, and salsa).

Serves 8.

Quinoa with Red Peppers

Found this recipe in"From The World's Finest Pasta and Grains" by Anne Marshall
Serves 4
3 red bell peppers (capsicum)
1 cup quinoa
1 tbls virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 12 wedges
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped. (Do I even need to say that I used more than this ?!)
1 large tomato, cut into 12 wedges
1/4 black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbls capers
1 tbls chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
oregano sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the broiler (grill)
Cut the peppers into wedges, following the natural indentations. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place, skin side up, under the hot broiler and heat until the skin bubbles and starts to scorch. Place the peppers in a clean plastic bag, seal and cover with a cloth for five minutes. (I don't do this. I put the peppers in a bowl of cold water ) Remove the skin for the peppers with your fingers, then cut into long, thin strips.
Coook the quinoa according to package directions. Keep hot.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
Add the tomato and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the peppers and heat through, about 2 minutes.
Add the olives, capers, oregano and salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the vinegar, then remove from the heat.
Spoon the quinoa onto a warm serving platter, spoon the pepper mixture into the venter, garlnish with the oregano sprigs and serve immediately.


Khrista asked what Pappadams were. Figured since she didn't know there are probably others who haven't discovered this culinary treat !! I have never made them myself but one day I will try. Any of you ever done it ? Got a good recipe ??
I looked up Pappadams for a definition ... Here's what I found.
(poppadum, paparh, papad, papadum )
An Indian flat bread made with lentil flour.
The pappadam are fried or grilled.
You can purchase papadam in packages and lightly fry them before use.

(I got this photo here)

This is how I buy Pappadams. They last forever in the pantry. We have cooked them two ways. 1. In Hot Oil. 2. In The Microwave. Easy Easy Easy ... both ways.

(I got this photo here)

Hope that helps ...

Another Pizza Recipe

This Veggie Pizza is fairly quick and easy to do, especially if you do the chopping before hand. We found premade whole wheat crusts which really ratchet up the easy factor!

1 lb of veggies (we usually use red and orange peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, artichoke heats [the frozen kind], red and white onions, minced garlic, and jalenpenos [obviously those are left off of Pam's]) chopped up small.
1 sm can of chopped up black olives
1 sm can of tomato sauce
2 lg or 4 sm Boboli whole wheat pizza crusts
Finely shredded italian cheese

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil (we usually make more than is needed for the pizza and use the cooked veggies later in a pita or something for snacks, it also freezes well) untill tender crisp. Mix together tomato sauce and olives and spread generously on pizza crust. Add veggies and top with cheese.

Broil for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust is crisp. (we recently learned that if the pizza is too close to the broiler the cheese will melt too fast and the bottom won't be nice and crispy) Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

So, It's my first post to this site, and I'm still a bit of a newbie to blogging. I was going to post a pie and crust recipe because the crust is easy and AMAZING, but then I thought of my audience, and decided that my first post would try to fit in with the healthier tone of the site. After this, though watch out... we'll be "eatin' the fat and drinkin' the sweet." to quote an old southern baptist we know.

So, a cookie recipe might not be a good start for healthy... but it's a bit healthier than normal. Note the canola oil and whole wheat pastry flour. Both supposedly add health, but neither take away from the taste.

When you mix these up, they look a bit like brownie batter instead of cookie dough. And, be careful not to overake them... just like brownies.

Oh, one more note. I don't like dark chocolate, so I substituted white choco chips for the dark chocolate.


Sorry there's no picture, I ate them all before I was invited to post on the blog.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (2 ounces)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate (2 ounces)
2/3 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. (If you're using a Kithcen-Aid mixer, don't use the cookie paddle. Instead use the wire attachment used for whipping cream.) Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and the pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Copyright, 2005, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved

I'm hoping my name's going to be on the bottom of this... if not, I'm Ellie Smith.

Pizza Primavera

Pizza Primavera

Weight Watchers book "Pizza, Pizza." Copyright © 2003

Makes 6 servings

½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

2 plum tomatoes, cut into ¾ -inch chunks

1 zucchini, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 yellow squash, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 red onion, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan cheese, shaved

prepared whole wheat pizza dough

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking pan with olive-oil nonstick spray.
  • Combine the asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place the vegetable in a single layer on the pan. Roast until tender and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  • Arrange one rack on the bottom rung of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 475°F.
  • Sprinkle prepared pizza dough with the mozzarella cheese, then top with the roasted vegetables. Bake in the bottom rack of the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough with Whole Wheat Flour

Fridays around here are known as "Pizza Night." It's a tradition my husband's mom started a few years ago. Then, it was take-out from our favorite pizzeria. Now, it's just us three here in Alaska, I have taken to making our own dough and providing a wide array of toppings!
It's one of my favorite nights to cook, because we all make our own individual pizzas however we like. Pizza is a great accompaniment to a movie or board game!
My husband is a stickler for his favorite: pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and pineapple.
My daughter is a plain ol' pepperoni kind of girl.
Personally I like to make my pizzas sans meat, and LOVE lots of veggies!
Try this dough with the recipe titled "Pizza Primavera" that I have posted!
This pizza dough recipe pleases all of my family's selective tastes! It's a wonderful crispy on the outside-tender on the inside crust!
Hope you enjoy!

Bread Machine Pizza Dough with Whole Wheat Flour

The Bread Machine Cookbook by Donna Rathwell German

Makes 2-14-inch round pizzas

1 1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole-wheat flour ( I love Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour.)

2 teaspoons yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine as directed by your manual.

This dough turns out crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Kung Pao Chicken

My husband always orders this dish when we eat Chinese. I was thrilled to find a "healthy" version in my newest edition of Oxygen magazine. This was incredibly yummy! I was sad there were only leftovers enough for my husband's lunch! :o( Next time I think I'll double it! I will take pictures the next time I make it!

Kung Pao Chicken
Makes 4 servings
Ready in 20 minutes

1 lb. chicken breast
1 tablespoon soybean or cooking oil
½ cup chopped green onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons crushed hot red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (I know fresh is best, but I only had dried on hand.)
½ tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons rice wine (I only had cooking sherry on hand, and it tasted fine.)
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (Shoyu)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup peanut, raw
4 cups cooked brown rice

1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in wok or saucepan, add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
2. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and ginger to the pan and stir-fry 20 seconds.
4. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the rice wine; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil and add to the pan. Cook, stirring until sauce thickens.
5. Stir in chicken and peanuts and serve with the brown rice.

Leftovers For Lunch

I had the leftover Avocado Salad on top of warm basmati rice for lunch today. VERY NICE.
I made lentil wraps for dinner. They were GREAT this time !! I used Mountain Barley Bread instead of lavash - heaps better. I also added homemade hummus before I toasted the wrap. I'll be posting the hummus recipe as soon as I take an acceptable photo of it !
Can't wait for tomorrow's leftovers for lunch !

Tuesday Night's Dinner

Cajun-Spiced Fish WIth Fresh Corn Salad
(from a Super Food Ideas Magazine)

I decided to do two different types of fish as I thought the cajun flavor would be a bit much for the kids. So ... the bits of fish on the left are done with a lemon/salt rub. The bits on the right are the cajun ones.

Serves 4.

Cooking Time : 20 minutes


  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 4 boneless white fish fillets ( I used dory )
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 250g green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped ( I only used 1/2 an onion )
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Make Salad - Half fill a saucepan with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Add corn and beans. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until beans turn bright green. Drain. Refresh under cold wter. Pat dry with paper towel. ( I didn't do that - didn't seem necessary when I'm fixing to pour lemon juice on top of it !!) Combine corn, beans, onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and coriander in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle seasoning over both sides of fish. Gently rub onto surface with fingertips.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with oil. Cook fish, in batches, ( I didn't do batches but rather used two frying pans as I was cooking two different flavors !) for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until just cooked through.
  4. Serve on top of corn/bean salad.

This was nice. Rory really liked the corn/bean salad. The cajun fish was SPICY but I'm realizing now that I used WAY MORE than 2 tsp of the seasoning ! I just poured it on !!

I'm posting this recipe in here as well because I served them together tonight but I wouldn't serve these two recipes together again. This avocado one is nice but I think next time I will serve it whent we BBQ or do a roast. I think it would be nice with a piece of meat, some mashed potatoes and this ...

Individual Avocado and Asparagus Salads (from the COLES grocery store junk mail)

I can't decide which photo I like best so I'm posting them both !

Serves 6.

Prep Time : 10 minutes


  • 2 bunches aspagarus, blanched (I didn't blanch ... I cooked them with a bit of olive oil in the oven)
  • 1 punnet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted ( I didn't toast them )
  • 1/4 cup sultanas (raisins)
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves ( I just sprinkled a bit of the dried stuff )
  • 3 avocados, halved, stones removed ( I only used 2 )
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablesspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  1. Combine asparagus, tomatoes, almonds, sultanas and basil.
  2. Mix together all dressing ingredients and pour over asparagus mixture. Toss to combine. Place on top of avocado halves and garnish with coriander leaves to serve.

Monday Night's Dinner

It was DELICIOUS !!!! If you haven't tried this yet, you need to ! YUMMMMMMMM !

Bonnie's Breakfast Smoothie

I started making this smoothie using the Magical Breakfast Blaster recipe that I saw on Oprah, way back when I had the time to watch TV !
I have modified it quite a bit though so here is my recipe ... you can modify it to suit your tastes and nutritional requirements !
1 banana
a handful of frozen blueberries
soy milk ( maybe 1 cup ?)
a handful of ice
cinnamon ( to taste, I probably use a tsp or a little bit more)
vanilla ( again, to taste, I probably use 1/2 tsp ?)
pyllium husk ( I use a dinner spoon full)
flaxseed (linseed) meal (1 tbls)
a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
sometimes I add about 1/4 cup of fruit juice for a different flavor but not usually

Throw it all in the blender together. It will look something like this !

Blend. Pour into a glass and drink.
I love this ! For many reasons. Let me tell you them!

1. I can take it with me. Often, I make it, put it in a take away coffee mug with a lid and a straw and drink it on the way to dropping Jono at school. This keeps me from skipping breakfast ... something of which I have been a lifetime ( after my mom stopped making my breakfast ! ) offender.

2. It is nutritious ! Two serves of fruit. Blueberries are full of antioxidants ! Psyllium for fiber. Flaxseed for my Omega 3 and 6. Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory. Spinach ...well, it's one of the foods you should eat heaps of and I get it every day at least once when I'm making these smoothies. Soy Milk for protein. And Banana ... I don't know what's good in a banana but I do know that I LOVE THE FLAVOR !!!! Potassium ... they have potassium, right ?

3. The kids love it. I often double the recipe so they can have a glass too !

4. It can be modified to suit tastes or nutritional requirements. Rory doesn't like the psyllium or flax in his. Says they are too earthy. The flax will thicken it so make sure if you are putting flaxseed meal in it that you drink it straight away. Don't let it sit for 30 minutes like Rory did !

Give it a try ... I'd love to know what you think. Of course, many of you are just coming into winter but here in Australia we've just passed the first day of SUMMER !! Smoothie season !!

What's Cookin' ?

The Menu At Our House This Week !
2. Lentil Wraps with Homemade Hummus and Fresh Carrot Sticks
3. Rice and Beans with Avocado Salsa
4. Pastina in Brodo
Roasted Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad
Garlic Rye Bread Crostinnis
6. Spinach and Pumpkin Dahl with Basmati Rice and Pappadams
7. Quinoa with Red Peppers served on a Bed of Rocket ( Arugula )
EIGHT of these dishes are ones I've never made before.
Will let you know how they come out and will post recipes that are FABULOUS !
What's on the menu at your house this week ???

Crock Pot Apple Cider

This has long been a tradition at the family holiday gatherings. It is so easy, I start it last thing before I go to bed and wake up to the most amazing perfume ever! It's healthy, too!


-1 bottle apple cider, the bottle that's about 1/2 gallon
-1 bottle cranapple juice--same amount as the cider
-whole cloves (I fill my tea ball nearly half full of them and throw the ball in--keeps the cloves from getting in my cup (yuck!))
-2 cinnamon sticks
-a pinch or two of powdered ginger (add to taste, but remember it will get stronger since it will simmer overnight)

Throw everything into the crockpot, set to low and simmer overnight.

(If you need to make a second batch, good luck, because it isn't nearly as good heated together on the stove, or heated on high in the crock pot till it's hot. The flavors really need to blend for all those hours.)

P.S. All of the comments in parentheses are things I have discovered by doing wrong, ignore them to your taste buds' peril!

P.S. you get ready to enjoy this yummy drink, clink your mugs and give thanks to the Giver of All Good Gifts, and hug everyone nearby!

Soothing Your Borborygmi ...

Who knew that cinnamon is good for relieving diarrhea, cayenne pepper is good for indigestion, and fennel good for, ahem ... gas. Check out "14 Tummy Soothing Herbs" . You can thank my Mom for this tidbit of helpful information !!

PS - Don't know what Borborygmi is ? Check it out here ....

Have you tried ....

... the spinach and pumpkin dahl yet ? No ? You need to !!! If only to smell this .... I wish that I could include the smell with this photo of cummin seeds, turmeric, onion, garlic and ginger !!! BUT I CAN'T so you're going to have to cook it yourself !! I made it again the other night ... it really is YUMMY !

Apple-Dijon Chicken

For the low-carb crowd!

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Salt and pepper

2 T butter

1 medium tart cooking apple (such as Granny Smith), thinly sliced

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 T Dijon-style mustard

1. Butterfly cut each chicken breast half by cutting horizontally from one long side of the breast almost to, but not through, the opposite long side of the breast. Lay the breast open. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

2. In a large skillet cook chicken, half at a time, in 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat until no longer pint (170 degrees F), turning to brown evenly, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm with aluminum foil.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Add apple, cooking and stirring 3 minutes or until tender. Add whipping cream and mustard to skillet. Cook and stir until heated through and thickened slightly. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve sauce and apples over chicken.

Note: My kids don't like the Dijon, so I remove their serving of apples and cream before adding the Dijon.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 342 cal., 16g total fat, 142 mg chol., 407 mg sodium, 6g carbo., 1g fiber, 40g protein


Broccoli Salad


1 Medium bunch of raw broccoli

1/2 cup Mayo

1 Tlbs red wine vinegar

1 Tbls sugar

1/4 cup raisins or craisins

1/2 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts

1/4 cup bacon bits

Cut the raw broccoli off the stem into bite size pieces. Toss the first five ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve, then add the almonds and bacon bits. Note: the longer it chills in the refrigerator the better! We love this recipe, yummy!

Dahl - Spinach and Pumpkin

I loved this !! So easy. I got it out of a free magazine that I picked up at the health food store but I ( as I do ) changed it a bit while I was cooking it !
  • olive oil ( for sauteeing)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 (or more !) cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger - grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 400g pumpkin ( butternut squash in the states ?) - bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 250g ( box) frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch sea salt
  1. Saute onion, garlic, ginger and spices in oil 5 minutes - stir constantly. Add pumpkin, lentis, spinach, coriander, salt and water. Cover and simmer 1 hour. I set my timer and came back to stir it every 10 minutes. ( was necessary ! )
  2. Serve with rice and poppadams. ( how do you spell that !!?? )

Granola a la Shay and Bonnie

This recipe was originally given to me by Shay. I've made a few changes ...

In a big bowl, mix 1/3 cup cold pressed canola oil, 1/3 maple syrup, honey or both and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well.
4 cups oats
1 cup nuts (I like whole cashews, slivered almonds and a few peanuts)
some seeds (I like sunflower, sesame and flaz)
½ cup shredded coconut
bit of psyllium husk or wheatgerm
Mix real well. Should not be too dry. Will goop together but not like cookie dough.
Spread onto baking sheet ( keep together … don’t spread too thin or it will burn )
180C bake.
Stir every 5 minutes. Watch closely, especially at the end or it will burn.
Should be crispy and toasted.
Add dried fruit. (I like almonds and raisins)
Optional … choc chips. (I never add these but Shay always does !!)

Roast Potatoes with Feta

These are sooo easy and sooo yummy.

  • potatoes ( how ever many you want ) washed. I don't peel them but you could if you wanted to make more work for yourself.
  • olive oil
  • thyme ( or lemon thyme )
  • fetta cheese
  1. Preheaat oven to 200C. Grease ( or use baking paper - that's my preference ) a large baking dish.
  2. Slice potatoes - about 1cm thick. Put in baking dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with thyme. Toss to coat. Roast for 45 minutes or til tender. ( watch that they don't burn but usually they just go nice and crispy on top )
  3. Add crumbled fetta cheese to top and serve.

Yesterday, for Sunday lunch, we had roast lamb ( just stuffed fresh rosemary and garlic under slits I made in the skin ) with these potatoes and those lemon carrots. Delicious !

Chicken and More ..

Macadamia Chicken
Broccoli with Garlic and Chilli
Lemon Roasted Onion and Carrots


Macadamia Chicken.
I got this recipe from a lady named Megan who participated in one of those email recipe exchanges.
  • 600g - 1kg chicken breast fillets - sliced.
  • 1 cup crushed macadamia nuts
  • 3 cups of fresh breadcrumbs (Just chuck bread into the food processor and process til it looks like breadcumbs ... I used whole grain bread)
  • 250 g of shredded parmesan cheese (I just used the stuff I always keep in the fridge ...)
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • 120 g melted butter ( I used olive oil instead of butter )
  1. Grease baking dish (I used baking paper instead )
  2. Place sliced chicken pieces evenly across bottom of dish.
  3. Combine all other ingredients and spread evenly across all the chicken.
  4. Bake in moderate oven (180C) for 30-45 min.
  5. Cut into squares and serve with salad. (is really nice with cranberry sauce or mango puree)

I didn't serve with salad ... or the sauces.

I served with the following :

Lemon Roasted Onions and Carrots (from:The Great Vegetarian Cookbook)

  • 2 large brown onions
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 5 small carrots
  • 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic ( I, of course, used many more than 4 ! )
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Cut onions and lemons into eight wedges
  2. Combine onion, lemon, carrot, garlic and rosemary in baking dish. Drizzle with oil, stir gently.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in moderate oven about 1 hour or until tender.
  4. Increase overn temperature to hot, bake vegetables about 10 minutes or until browned. ( I skipped this last step as I didn't think it was necessary ... )


Broccoli with garlic and chilli (from: Super Food Ideas magazine April 2007 edition)

  • 800g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced ( uh, yeah ... more than that )
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  1. Bring large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook brocolli 3 minutes or til bright green. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat iol in a large, deep fying pan or wok over low heat. Add garlic and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Increase heat to medium. Add broccoli. Toss until well coated.
  3. Season with Salt and Pepper. Serve

Cuban Black Bean Soup

6 slices lean bacon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
large onion, chopped
green pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon thyme
5-6 cups beef bouillon or vegetable stock
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
dash hot red pepper sauce
low-fat sour cream
chopped fresh thyme or parsley for garnish

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the bacon until starting to crisp. Add the garlic, onion, and green pepper, stir-frying for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and thyme and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the stock, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are as tender as you like them . (I simmer for only 10 minutes.) Remove from heat. (Optional step I leave out: carefully puree about 2 cups of the beans and vegetables in a blender or food processor. Return pureed mixture to the soup.) Stir in lime juice and red pepper sauce. Serve garnished with a spoonful of sour cream and a little chopped thyme or parsley. Goes well with crusty bread or rolls.

Yum-tastic Chicken Stir Fry

This chicken is melt in your mouth tender and juicy! Yum. Yum. Yum.

Stir-Fry Sauce:
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts , patted dry with paper towels, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch squares
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (we used regular sesame oil)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (we omitted this, cause we forgot)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (obviously we used like 4x as much)
8 teaspoons peanut oil or vegetable oil (if you have non-stick pans, you can get away with much less oil)
1 small head bok choy , stalks sliced on the bias into 1/4-inch slices, and greens cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips

Start some rice or rice noodles or whatever aisan carb you desire.
For the sauce: whisk together the sauce ingredients; set aside.
For the chicken and vegetables: Toss the chicken with the soy sauce and sherry; set aside, marinate for about 30 min. or so. In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, cornstarch, and flour; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, and 1 teaspoon peanut oil; set aside.
Stir the marinated chicken into the sesame oil-cornstarch mixture until uniformly combined. Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking; add half of the chicken to the skillet in a flat, even layer. It's important to cook it only half at a time, otherwise it steams, it doesn't fry nicely. Cook, without stirring, but gently separating the pieces, until golden brown on the first side, about 1 minute; turn the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 30 seconds. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Repeat with an additional 2 teaspoons peanut oil and the remaining chicken; cover to keep warm.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the now-empty skillet and return to high heat until just smoking. Add the bok choy stalks and red bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet to clear the center; add the garlic-ginger mixture to the clearing and cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the stalks and continue to cook until the stalks are tender-crisp, about 30 seconds longer. Stir in the bok choy greens and cook until beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds.
Return the chicken to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet and cook, tossing constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Serves 4


Here is a little something interesting I read recently.
"When scientists in a laboratory want to clutivate a few germs in a dish, what do they put in to aid growth ? Yes, you've guess it - sugar. Germs just love it - all the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, stomach upsets, meningitis and more have a particular fondness for sugar. And so does yeast. We all have yeast present in our bodies and generally it does no harm, but as soon as it is fed with an excess of sugar, it produces a toxin that can be detrimental to our health, particularly to our reproductive, nervous and digestive systems."
Quote Taken From Food Buster for Kids by Amanda Cross

Peach crumble

The addition of a surprising amount of lemon juice perks this up wonderfully.

-8 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (I used drained canned peaches, they were a little soft but tasted fine; I will try this again with fresh ones)
-juice of one lemon
-1/2t ground cinnamon
-1/4t ground nutmeg
-1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
-1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
-2T cold butter cut into small chunks
-1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly spray a 9" pie pan with cooking spray.

Arrange the peaches in the pan, sprinkle with lemon juice and spices.

In a small bowl, mix together flour and brown sugar. With your fingers, crumble the butter into it (it's OK to leave the butter a bit chunky). Stir in the oats. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the peaches.

Bake till the juice is bubbly, the peaches soft and topping browned, about 30 minutes. Makes 8 smallish servings.

If you double this recipe, bake it in a 9x13 pan, and bake for 45 or so minutes.

Pasta with mixed mushrooms

Here is a simple recipe using my new flavor of wonderfulness--lemon! It adds a freshness and zip that keeps your mouth happy.

-2T olive oil
-garlic to taste--we use 8 cloves
-10 oz baby bela mushroom caps, sliced thick (1/4" or so)
-8 0z regular white mushrooms, sliced the same thickness as above
-zest of one lemon (use a fine grater if you don't have a zester, being careful to only grate the yellow part)
-juice of the same lemon
-salt and pepper to taste
-8oz whole wheat long pasta of some sort (we used thin spaghetti)
-1/2 to 3/4 cup of the hot water you cooked the pasta in (I'm adding this as an ingredient so you don't pour it down the sink (like I did the first time!) when you drain the pasta!)
-1cup freshly grated romano cheese (parmesan is fine, too)
-1/2 cup fresh basil chopped (the fresh adds a ton of flavor, use fresh if at all possible)

Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Do the veggie prep while the water is heating.

Throw the pasta in the water to cook.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then saute the garlic till it smells yummy but hasn't turned brown. Add the mushrooms and cook on medium high till they are tender and lightly browned (4 or 5 minutes). Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When the pasta is al dente, catch the reserved water you need and drain the rest of the pasta. Throw the pasta into the frying pan with the cheese, basil (reserve some for a garnish if you want), as much of the reserved pasta water as you need to make everything coat everything nicely, toss it around till all is well coated, serve right away.

Blueberry Banana Bliss

Ok ... want to satisfy your sweet tooth in an ice cream sort of way, but without all the fat and sugar ?? Here's a neat dessert I learned about a while ago but had forgotten until tonight when we were having a discussion with Jono ( our walking encyclopedia ! ) about healthy vs. not healthy food !
If you are like me, you'll already have an over ripe banana or two in your freezer. If not, you can freeze one. So, take the bananas out of the freezer about 20 mintues before you want to make your dessert. Peel and put in food processor with 2 tsp vanilla essence, and a pinch of cinnamon. Process 'til creamy. Don't process too long or it becomes quite "airy". Dish into bowl, top with frozen blueberries and pure maple syrup (optional). I've seen a recipe that topped it with walnuts too ...
I used 4 bananas for the 4 of us tonight and it was WAY TOO MUCH ! I think 2 would have been sufficient !

Roast Veggies a la Bonnie

Roast veggies, this a something I've learned to do since I've been in Australia. I made this one the other night just as a side dish and it was SOOOOO GOOD !! And E-A-S-Y ! All I did was chop up asparagus, pumpkin (butternut squash or sweetpotato are good too), red bell pepper, and spring onions into bite sized pieces. Added the cherry tomatoes Alia picked from our garden the other day. Sprinkled with my "pizza mix" that I keep in jar since we make pizza so often. (it's just garlic powder, basil, parsley and oregano) Sprayed with olive oil spray and put into a hot ( 220C - 430F ) oven. Make sure you use some baking paper on the bottom of the baking dish so they don't stick !! I think I baked them about 10/15 minutes ... til tender. Then I served (straight from the oven) on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with crumbled fetta cheese and kalamata olives. FANTASTIC !! LIGHT !! NUTRITIOUS !! DELICIOUS !!

My Photo of Aunt Jo's Beans

A couple of nights ago, I made Mexican Beans and Rice for dinner ! They were delicious ... but sooooo spicy ! I have to ask, Aunt Jo, is there really supposed to be 1 TABLESPOON of chilli powder in it ? Good thing we had sour cream in the fridge to cool our mouths ... ! As you can see, I also topped mine with a sharp cheddar cheese and avocado. VERY TASTY ! and so easy to make ! Loved it and will definitely make it again, maybe with a bit less chilli powder next time !

Couscous with Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms

I have an intense love affair with couscous. And this is very yummy. If you aren't full at the end of the meal, drink a little water and you will be!

1 T olive oil
12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced (obviously we put in about half a clove! HA)
1- 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach (or 1 1/2 cups firmly pressed fresh)
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T dry white wine or lemon juice (I think we use lemon juice since we never have dry white wine on hand)
1 package couscous (about 1 1/2 cups, if you don't use a flavored kind, substitute chicken broth for the water)
Grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat oil, add chicken, onion and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
Stir in spinach, water, mushrooms, wine and bring to a boil.
Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff couscous lightly with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings (300 calories per serving)

Lentils for Lunch

This was a very acceptable way to eat lentils !
The original recipe was from a Woolworths Fresh Magazine and was called Lentil Wraps. I modified it and I'm going to post my modified version.
3 slices multi grain bread, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
2 X 400g cans of lentils, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 tbls multigrain flour (or whatever flour you have on hand)
Lebanese or lavash bread, to serve
(The original recipe also called for hummus and tabouli to serve, I used neither.)
  1. Process bread in a food processor until breadcrumbs form. Put one cup of breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over med heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, cumin and turmeric and stir until well combined. Cook for 1 minute. Cool.
  3. Add lentils, coriander and onion mixture to food processor. Process til well combined. Transfer to bowl with breadcrumbs. Add egg and flour and stir until combined. Original recipe said to make 16 small patties and fry them. I just dumped the whole mixture into a med hot fry pan and cooked, turning often, til it was a bit crispy ... but not too much so.
  4. If you are using the hummus, spread it on your your bread and top with tabouli and 4 lentil patties ( if you did the patties ! ) I put sliced tomatoes, fresh baby spinach and sliced red bell pepper on mine, topped that with the lentil stuff. Roll to enclose filling. Cut in half to serve.
  5. That's where the original recipe stopped. I tried it but the bread was a bit dry ! So ... I got out my handy dandy sandwich press and toated that puppy ! That made all the difference ! I enjoyed this lentil lunch ! I'll be having leftovers tomorrow ....