Monday, February 28, 2011
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp maple flavouring
Stir ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
We usually have maple syrup on our pancakes or waffles, but sometimes when we run out I’ll make this syrup instead. It’s so quick to make that I can make it on the stove while I’m cooking the pancakes and it’s ready by the time they’re done. I saved one of the glass bottles from maple syrup and use it as a container for this syrup. I keep it in my cupboard and it keeps just fine there. It’s not a large amount of syrup so we use it up failry quickly. You could store it in the fridge if you want too, it just makes the syrup a bit thicker but you can always heat it up a little in the microwave to thin it out.
Now for Menu Plan Monday!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 mashed banana
1/3 cup nutella
1 1/2 cups milk
Combine flours and baking powder in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together egg, banana and nutella, then add milk and whisk again until combined. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Cook pancakes on a greased pancake griddle or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once pancakes start to bubble (about 2-3 minutes), flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Cole has unfortunately become quite influenced by commercials lately. He regularly tells me about the amazing cleaning properties of OxiClean, and how Fruit Loops are a source of fibre (ha! like 2 grams?). He also raved about nutella with 'a hint of cocoa' and asked if we could buy some. I don't think I had ever bought nutella for him before so I figured it was about time I introduced him to this delicious treat. He's been enjoying it on toast, on graham crackers, and has even started getting nutella hot chocolate at Starbucks (just ask for a shot of hazelnut in a regular hot chocolate). Mommy has been enjoying it on a spoon straight out of the jar. As you can see we're all about the nutella in our house right now, so it wasn't a surprise when Cole asked for nutella in his pancakes one Saturday morning. I added it to our usual banana pancakes and the result was incredible. I have known for a long time that Nutella and bananas are made for each other, ever since I had my first nutella and banana crepe in Paris many moons ago. These pancakes were reminiscent of that delightful experience. We had these pancakes with syrup, but they're very good without anything on them at all. I took the leftover pancakes with us to the park and they made a great snack. I would imagine that these pancakes also be good with peanut butter if you didn't happen to have nutella kicking around. If you try it let me know.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
5 large bananas
1 can light coconut milk
Peel and slice bananas. Freeze them overnight. In a food processor or blender, blend together the frozen bananas and coconut milk until smooth. Serve immediately.
This recipe comes from The Gracious Pantry, a great site for Clean Eating recipes. I've made her Banana Chocolate Ice Cream and instantly fell in love with the idea of using frozen bananas as ice cream. It's brilliant! We all really loved this coconut version, and I especially loved the simple and nutritious ingredients.
Monday, February 21, 2011
3 large chicken breasts, frozen or fresh
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 oz unsweetened dark chocolate
Place chicken breasts in a crockpot. Combine crushed tomatoes, chilies, chili powder, cumin, salt, sugar, onion and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks. It should fall apart very easily. Stir in vinegar and cut-up chocolate until chocolate has melted completely. Serve on top of diced cooked yams or cooked rice. Also great in quesadillas or wraps, or in a toasted bun as a sandwich.
Lindsay at Eighty Twenty gave me the great idea of serving mole sauce with yams. I had always wanted to try it with chicken but never thought of yams before. Guess what? The boys...ate...yams!! The chicken mole tasted so good that they didn't even mind the yams in there at all. I decided to cook the chicken in the crockpot, because it just seemed like the right thing to do. It turned out to be a great decision. It makes this meal incredibly easy to make, and the flavours have a chance to really blend together nicely. I was very impressed with this recipe, and so was everyone else in my family. Tony had a second dinner of it once the kids went to bed (always a good sign), and took some to work the next day. You might be skeptical about putting chocolate in the sauce but chili and dark chocolate are such an unexpectedly delicious combination, as I learned from my Pumpkin Chili recipe. Don't leave the chocolate out; it really adds depth and flavour to this dish.
It's that time of the week again- Menu Plan Monday!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Recipe adapted from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup quinoa
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
Heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in quinoa, sweet potato, and vegetable stock and turn heat on high until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa and sweet potaotes are cooked. Puree mixture with an immersion blender, or in small batches in a regular blender. Return to low heat and add coconut milk and chili powder. Serve topped with yogurt or sour cream if desired.
I adore sweet potatoes and quinoa so this was my kind of soup. The boys didn't enjoy it quite so much. I knew they wouldn't, but I keep trying to feed them sweet potatoes/yams in hopes that one day they'll learn to like it. If not, at least I get to enjoy it. I loved the combination of coconut milk and sweet potatoes in this dish, with a nice hint of spice from the chili powder. If you leave out the yogurt, this is a great dairy-free and vegan meal!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Potato and Salsa Frittata
Started at 5:26, ready at 5:47 (okay so that's 21 minutes, close enough!)
1 small russet potato
1/2 cup diced ham
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt and pepper
Scrub potato well, poke it a few times with a fork and bake it in the microwave on high for about 5 minutes until cooked through. Chop up one half of the potato; you only need half for this recipe (the other half is great for lunch!). In a small bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Heat a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add egg mixture, then sprinkle with potato, ham, and green onion. Drop dollops of salsa evenly throughout the frittata. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and place under broiler for another 3 minutes, until cheese starts to bubble and egg is set. Cut into pie-shaped wedges. Serve with avocado and salsa if desired.
This would have probably taken less than 20 minutes instead of a minute over if I didn't have two boys whining at me every 5 seconds and telling me they're hungry. I know you're hungry, that's why I'm making dinner! It's funny how Cole can be so hungry and yet still not eat his dinner when I finally put it on the table. I had to pull out the ketchup on this one. When all else fails, I resort to ketchup. It worked; Cole seemed to like it once it had ketchup on top of it, and he also liked the avocado a lot too. Bennett, on the other hand, didn't want anything to do with the avocado but really enjoyed the frittata...with ketchup of course.
So let's try another blog hop. Last week didn't go so well, but I'm hoping that will change if I keep at it.
Please add your quick meals to the link list below, and please link back to my site in your post. You can use this button:
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 unseasoned bread crumbs
3 tbsp minced green onions
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced gingerroot
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp minced cilantro or basil
1 tbsp minced gingerroot
1 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non stick spray.
Combine all meatball ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Form mixture into 40 small (1 inch) meatballs and place on sprayed pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cooked through.
While meatballs are cooking, prepare sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients together in skillet or pan and heat over medium-high, stirring, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes until thickened. Add meatballs to sauce and serve hot.
The combination of ingredients may sound odd, but trust me on this one, the flavours work together. Tony was especially impressed with these meatballs. Well either that or he was just trying to convince Cole to eat them. After a lot of Tony's gushing about the food, Cole finally tried a bite. He wasn't overly thrilled but he did eat a few more bites. Bennett ate most of his dinner, which was great, except for one little thing...he ate without his clothes on.
I don't know what it is with him lately, but he just won't keep his clothes on!
Anyway, this meal was good but I thought it was a little heavy on the ginger. It's probably just because I have a strange aversion to ginger. When I was pregnant I tried drinking ginger tea because I heard that it can help with morning sickness, but it just made me even more nauseous. Since then, it makes me feel a little sick when I taste or smell too much ginger. A hint of ginger is fine, but unfortunately these meatballs had a tad too much for me. I was alright when I was eating them, but afterwards I felt a bit queasy. Ugh. Please don't let my weird thing for ginger stop you from making this; it really is a good recipe. It's from Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry, which is pretty much my cooking bible. Every recipe I've made from that cookbook has been fantastic. Whenever I make something really good, Tony will ask, 'is it from that shrinking book again?' And the answer is most often yes.
I've linked up with this great site, check it out:
Monday, February 14, 2011
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
To prepare chicken, heat oil in a large non-skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to brown. Flip chicken over and add remaining 8 ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until chicken is no longer pink, about 20-25 minutes.
To prepare rice, combine rice and broth in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat, then let simmer until rice is soft and liquid absorbed. Time will vary depending on what kind of rice you use. Once rice is cooked, stir in honey, cinnamon and pistachios.
To serve, place a bed of rice on each plate and top with chicken. Pour sauce overtop.
Recipe adapted from
Quinoa 365: The Everyday Super Food
The original recipe calls for quinoa, not rice, but Tony and the boys don't really like quinoa as much as I do, so I had mercy on them and made this with rice instead. It was great with the rice, but I'm sure it's yummy with quinoa or couscous if you like either of those. Unfortunately I overcooked the chicken so it was a little dry. Make sure to watch the chicken closely so you don't make the same mistake as I did. Tony and I still ate it up and enjoyed it, because it still had wonderful flavour. I thought the rice was especially good with the pistachios. I love snacking on pistachios, but never thought of putting them in a meal like this. I would definitely do it again.
It's Menu Plan Monday, so here is my meal plan for the week:
Wednesday: Pancakes and Turkey Bacon
Thursday: Indonesian Fried Rice
Friday: Vegetable and Pesto Penne
Sunday: Chicken Mole
Monday: Salmon and Spinach Gratin
I'm trying a lot of new recipes this week, so I can't wait to share them with you soon.
If you haven't seen my Fast Friday post, please check it out and feel free to add your link. I'd love to feature someone's recipe but so far no one has shared anything.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Stovetop Tuna Casserole
From Eat, Shrink and Be Merry (Tinbucktuna)
Started at 5:18, ready at 5:38= Exactly 20 minutes!
8 oz (227 g) uncooked rotini or fusili pasta
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used peas and corn)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup diced onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can (10 oz/284 ml) condensed, reduced-fat cream of broccoli soup, undiluted (any cream soup will do)
3/4 cup (3 oz/85 g) packed shredded light old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1/4 light sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp minced fresh dill or fresh basil leaves, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cans (6 oz/170 g each) chunk light tuna in water, drained or boneless, skinless salmon, drained
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding frozen vegetables to the boiling water for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta and vegetables.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In a large, non-stick pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add soup, shredded cheese, sour cream, parmesan cheese, dill/basil, mustard powder, and black pepper. Mix well and cook until sauce is bubbly and cheese has melted. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, vegetables and tuna/salmon.
This is really quick to put together and it's so amazingly good! It's my absolute favourite tuna casserole recipe. Cole doesn't usually like it (he says it's spicy??), but the rest of us love the stuff. Please share your fast recipes, I'd love to hear them.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
1 lb ground turkey
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
3/4 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400F. In a bowl combine all ingredients well. Use your hands if needed. Pat mixture into a greased 8x8" pan. Mark into 16 squares with a knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Cut out the squares and remove from pan.
For sliders, place a turkey square inside a small bun and top with a square of provolone or mozzarella cheese. Spread pasta sauce onto the other side of the bun, then put them together.
I don't generally have a lot of time to waste when I'm making meals, so I love finding short-cuts like this one. These squares are quicker and also less messy than forming individual meatballs. Most of the family really enjoyed the sliders, except for Cole. I actually thought he would like them because he's always asking me for burgers. I didn't put pasta sauce on his because I remembered from last time with Pioneer Woman's sliders that he didn't like how messy the sauce was. I offered him ketchup and mustard instead so it would be more like the kind of burger he likes, but he still wasn't interested. Apparently I can't compete with MacDonald's cheeseburgers! Oh well, I tried.
The next day I cut the remaining squares into even smaller squares and added them to the rest of the pasta sauce, then poured it on top of tortellini. It was really good! Even Cole ate some of it.
On another note, here's a great site a found for meal planning and other organizational tips: http://orgjunkie.com/ There's a Menu Plan Monday link-up, so I'm going to participate. Hopefully I'm going it right, this is my first time!
Here's my Menu Plan for this week. I've also posted it in my side column and in the Meal Planning Section for you.
Tuesday: Black Bean Tortilla Soup
Wednesday: Tuna Tetrazzini
Thursday: Tofu Triangles
Friday: 4-Cheese Rigatoni
Sunday: Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Salsa
Monday: Fettuccine Pizza
Friday, February 4, 2011
Basic Baked Oatmeal:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp flax seed meal
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients separately and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Pour mixture into a lighlty greased 8x8 pan. Cook for 20-25 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Think of the above recipe as your canvas. This is the base to which you can add pretty much anything your heart desires to create your own masterpiece. Here are a few recipes that I've come up with so far:
Raisin Spice Baked Oatmeal
Add 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg to the basic recipe.
You can pour milk over it and serve it like regular oatmeal, or once it cools you can cut it into squares for oatmeal on-the-go! It's perfect for packing in lunches or for a quick nutritious snack.
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
Add 1/2 cup of peanut butter to the basic recipe.
You can serve it with sliced bananas:
The boys really liked this one. Their favourite sandwich is peanut butter and jelly, so they thought it was pretty great that they could enjoy it in oatmeal form.
Peaches and Cream Baked Oatmeal
Add 1/2 cup diced canned peaches to the basic recipe.
Try serving it with vanilla yogurt or a splash of cream. I used yogurt and it was amazing!
Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal: 1/2 cup diced apples, 1 tsp cinnamon
Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal: 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal by Tidy Mom (my recipe is an adaptation of this one- Thanks Tidy Mom!)
Another post about Tidy Mom's recipe by i am mommy
Fruit on the Bottom Baked Oatmeal by Cooking for Seven
Baked Banana Oatmeal by Kath Eats Real Food
Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal by The Creative Pot
Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal by Family Fresh Cooking