Healthy sauteed mushrooms

I felt like eating some sauteed mushrooms without all the butter and fat that I might normally include in my mushroom dish and found this version to be very satisfying indeed. I used Dijon mustard to add a nice flavour to the mushrooms. I also used this mushroom mixture in my quesadilla with chicken and other vegetables.


½ tbsp. olive oil

1 shallot, sliced finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup chicken broth

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp Dijon mustard


  1. Heat pan, then add olive oil
  2. Stir fry shallots and garlic until well cooked
  3. Add mushrooms and stir fry to mix in shallots and garlic
  4. Add chicken broth, yeast and mustard and mix well.
  5. Cook until mushrooms are soft and there is not too much liquid.



Pretzel buns

I was in the mall the other day and the smell of pretzels was just wonderful, so I thought I would try and make a healthier version with my kids. We used whole wheat flour and added some nutritional yeast to the dough. Instead of making them bite size or rolling it up in the form of a pretzel we just shaped them into little buns. The results were delicious little buns. It is best to be eaten hot, though they freeze really well too.



1 cup warm water

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp active dry yeast

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp nutritonal yeast

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup hot water

2 tsp baking soda

Extra sesame seeds for the tops of the pretzel buns

Extra nutritional yeast for the tops of the pretzel buns

Parmesan cheese for the tops of the pretzel buns



1. Mix warm water, honey and yeast together. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix flour and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix the flour mixture with the honey yeast mixture. Mix until dough is well combined and forms a bowl.

4. Rub the oil all around the dough. The dough can be left in the mixing bowl to rise. Cover  the bowl with saran wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave to rise for about 2 hours in a warm place.

5. Divide dough into four. Roll each section into a long roll and cut into equal pieces, and then form into little buns.

6. Cover and let it rest for another 30 minutes in a warm area.

5. Mix the baking soda with the hot water in a bowl. Dunk each pretzel piece in the baking soda water, and then place it on a baking sheet. If the dough loses it shape, just shape it back into a bun. Sprinkle with desired topping- sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, and/ or parmesan cheese.

6. Bake at 400 F for about 8-10  minutes or until it is baked through.





Chickpea flat bread

My Mom and sister are trying to be gluten free and dairy free for the next few weeks. This has made me quite interested in the different types of foods that do not include gluten. My sister brought my attention to bread made with chickpea flour. This bread is almost like a quiche, you could add in various types of vegetables to make it a substantial lunch. For this recipe, I only used onions and garlic, but I think it would be nice if you included, diced carrots and broccoli as well. I used roasted garlic, because I had this in my fridge, but you could also use regular garlic cloves. The only downside about this recipe, is letting the mixture sit for about 3-4 hours. However, this bread tastes good the next day as well, if you need to make it in advance. Best to heat up in an oven (using a broiler) or on the stove, so that you get the nice broiled taste. But the microwave can be used as well. This recipe would work really well as part of a brunch as well. Eat this bread topped with cilantro and salsa or an eggplant dip.


2 cups chickpea flour

3 cups chicken broth (could substitute with vegetable broth or water)

2 cloves roasted garlic

1/4 cup red onions, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil


1. Pan fry onions. Set aside

2. Whisk chickpea flour, broth and garlic together. (I used a stand mixer, and let it run for a few minutes)

3. Let mixture sit for about 3.5 hours

4. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil in the bottom of a 13 inch pan. Add chickpea mixture. Sprinkle onions on top and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes (until mixture is set). Broil for about 3 minutes to get a nice golden brown colour.

5. Let the bread cool slightly before removing from the pan.

20130714_165351_resizedI should have broiled this a little longer, but was in a rush to leave for an appointment.

Corned beef with endives

I have always wanted to try endives, but for some reason never got around to it. I have seen a lot of recipes using endives as an appetizer. All the pictures that I have seen always look so pretty. I bought the endives, but then had trouble deciding what to put in it. Out of necessity, I decided to use the endives as part of my main course. I cooked up some canned corned beef  with potatoes, mixed it up with avocado and then scooped some onto each endive. This certainly can be served as an appetizer as well.  As I was preparing it, I was quite certain, my son was going to say this was terrible as he does not like corned beef. However, I got the total opposite reaction. Instead he said this was his favourite meal. He wanted to know the name of the meal so that if ever asked what his favourite meal was, he could answer correctly. Sometimes, I do get it right.


1/2 tbsp oil

1 can corned beef with hash browns

1/2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp tumeric powder

1 avocado, cubed

2 endives, leaves separated, rinsed


1. Heat oil in a frying pan.

2. When the oil is hot, add corned beef and seasonings. Stir fry until the beef is slightly browned.

3. Turn off heat. Mix in avocado

4. Scoop into the endive leaves.


Panzanella Salad

I had to take a salad for a family get together and thought this colourful salad would be a great addition. Using vegetables I had in my fridge, I put together this salad quite easily, though it can be a little time consuming to take the time to cut everything in bite size pieces. However, the results were well worth it.  You can use a combination of any vegetables that you like. I mixed in the dressing and bread just before we were ready to eat in order to avoid everything getting soggy to early. But I did enjoy eating the salad with the slightly soggy bread the next day as well. This salad makes a great base for a meal especially on a hot day.



1/2 a french baguette, cubed and toasted for about 5 minutes

8 grape tomatoes, quartered

1 cucumber diced

2 stalks celery, sliced thinly

4 carrots, sliced thinly

2 red peppers, cubed
1/4 red onion, diced

2 avocados, cubed



In a small jar I mixed in:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic, minced

2 tbsp raspberry wine vinegar (can be substituted with red wine vinegar)

If possible let the dressing sit for awhile to allow all the flavours to combine.



1. Mix all the vegetables together

2. Add bread

3. Add in salad dressing.


Quick Avocado and black bean salsa

In keeping with trying to be vegetarian twice a week, we had a very fun meal of Salsa with avocado and black beans, baked mushrooms and homemade bread.  We also had some nachos with our meal. The salsa was quick to make, because I used a store bought jarred salsa as the base of this dish.  You can add in any vegetables that you like to the salsa. The kids enjoyed this meal and did not complain about eating black beans.




½ cup chunky salsa

1 tin black beans

2 yellow peppers, diced

½ cucumber, deseeded, diced

2 avocado, diced

3 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Mix all the ingredients together.  Squeeze the lemon juice and toss this salsa salad.


Baked Eggplant chips

For 2013, we are hoping to be vegetarian two days a week. This means, that I need to introduce new vegetables into our meals. This week was eggplant. I used the long  Chinese eggplant for this recipe. I found these eggplant chips so delicious. It was easy to make, but you just have to watch them to ensure that they do not burn.   The next day, I broiled the remaining few chips in the toaster oven to heat them up, and they crisped up even further. To spice these chips up, you could sprinkle some chili powder on them as well baking. These eggplant chips go well served with rice and other cooked vegetables. It also makes an excellent appetizer.


1 eggplant, sliced (thickness depends on how you want them, thick for chewy or thin for crunchy)

Garlic powder

Sea salt

Vegetable Oil


1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat generously with vegetable oil.

2. Arrange sliced eggplant on the tray and then turn them over, so both sides are coated with the vegetable oil.

3. Sprinkle garlic salt and a dash of sea salt.

4. Bake at 400 F for about 12 minutes on each side. This will of course depend on how crispy you want them and how thickly they were sliced.


Salmon Cheese turnovers

So I have finally finished my son`s challenge to create 10 school lunches from countries around the world. This last one, is inspired by Cheese Turnovers from New Zealand.  These turnovers are best eaten warm, so they need to be sent to school in a Thermos. I added some salmon to this dish, to give the kids some extra protein. I also sprinkled a little bit of blue cheese as garnish, since my kids love this cheese.


1 egg, beaten

½ cup milk

½ cup plain flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning

2 cups cheese, grated

1 can flaked salmon



  1. Lightly oil a baking tray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Shape into little patties.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes in a 400 F oven.DSCN2590_2496

Tomato Onion Chutney

I really love eating chutney with my rice, especially when I,cook Indian food. Chutneys can be eaten cold and are great when the rest of your meal is dry.  This chutney was quite easy to make, but the results were quite wonderful. The white wine, gave the dish a very subtle flavour. You could substitute the wine with a vegetable or chicken stock if you prefer. My husband and I really enjoyed eating it with our rice and chicken yesterday. It keeps for a few days in the refrigerator.


4 tomatoes, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

½ cup white wine

1 inch ginger, finely diced


½ lemon

1 tbsp Olive oil


  1. Heat pan and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onions and stir fry until translucent.
  2. Add the white wine to the onions and keep cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add tomatoes and ginger. If the tomatoes are cut small, the cooking time will be shorter.
  4. Cook until the tomatoes become soft and almost pureed like.
  5. Add in juice of ½ a lemon. Stir and remove from heat.
  6. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Mint and Onion Chutney

I love the refreshing taste of mint, especially on a hot day. Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow, however, you have to grow them in pots as they can take over your garden. As a result of this, I did not have as much mint as I would have liked for my chutney. I need to add to my current one mint plant. The coconut, gives the mint a really nice crunchy texture as well. This mint chutney is a great accompaniment to any meal. It also tastes great smeared on some baked chicken.


2 cups mint leaves

1 big yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tbsp tamarind paste, seeds removed, soaked in 1 tbsp of water

3 tbsp grated coconut ( or unsweetened desiccated coconut)

1 tbsp oil


  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Allow seeds to brown slightly.
  2. Add the onions. Sauté till soft and translucent. Add in garlic  and coconut.
  3. Add the mint leaves and mix in with the other ingredients.
  4. Add the tamarind paste and stir.
  5. Cool for a few minutes and then grind in a blender until the mixture is smooth. If you like the onions a little chunky, then do not blend for too long.

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