Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Open Sesame

I am always surprised when people tell me they don't eat vegetables. I don't hear those words strung together often, but I do probably hear then as often as I hear someone tell me they're a vegetarian. 

It's a really weird thought to never enjoy a crunchy carrot stick, a baked sweet potato, or steamed asparagus, but I guess people are allowed their own opinions... 

I just hope that everyone gives things a chance before making a snap decision. I've heard many of those non veggie eaters tell me they "just know they won't like the taste" and "no, they've tried it before" when speaking their mind about veggies. 

Maybe this quick Asian veggie dish will make some non-eaters give tasting a go. I think it looks good and I know if tastes good! So give them a go if you dare...

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Prince in the Pauper

Yes, I wrote the title correctly. I didn't mean the Prince and the Pauper.

This was the first time I cooked fish in parchment paper and I am so surprised about how easy and delicious it was. It was definitely a prince inside paper.

I have been reading about parchment paper fish for a while and I learned about three different techniques. I decided that it would be smart to start with easiest way, so all I did this time was staple my parchment square together.

I know I will cook parchment fish again, and next time I will be more adventurous with my technique. Stapling was easy and I will try it again, but I want to try out all the ways and see which one is best for me.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Cheeseburgers in Paradise

And if by the title of this post you thought I was going to be making cheeseburgers, you're wrong. 

One of my favourite thing to do when I'm cooking is take one food I love and morph it into a second food I love. 

I've already shown you my Loaded Potato Soup where I used everything I love in a bake potato and made it into a soup. Now it's time to use everything I love in a cheeseburger and make it into a quiche. 

But since cheeseburgers are made individually for each person, I think it's important to make my quiches individual too. And since bacon only enhances cheeseburgers, I think it can only enhance my new Cheeseburger Quiche. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Flying Purple People Eater

Well I saw the thing comin' out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said "ooh-eee"
It looks like a purple eater to me

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)

You've got to remember singing this song as a child. 

And didn't it make you want to eat only things that were purple? Surely I 
can't have been the only one?

For some reason that song came into my head again and I decided that I 
needed to make an all purple meal. 

I have already tried my hand at making an all yellow meal and it turned out 

I think this one did too. Let me know what you think. 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Wishes of Prosperity

I think a lot of resolutions and wishes are made with thoughts of wealth.

Can you think of the number of times you blew out birthday candles and wished for cards filled with a bill or two, the number of turkey wish bones you pulled hoping for a bigger pay check, or the number of new year's resolutions made with dreams of pricy treats, vacations, or just extra money in your piggy bank.

And I don't believe you if you don't admit to not dreaming of wealth of some kind.

So let's encourage wealth with a yummy (and healthy) Asian style meal on Chinese New Year today. Yu Sheng or Prosperity Fish Salad is a healthy dish with lots of deeply coloured veggies and Omega-3 rich salmon. Just toss everything together, pile the dish as high as you can, and you'll prosper in the coming year.

At the very least you'll feel healthier and happier after eating this meal. And isn't that what we're really wishing for when we dream of wealth?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year is approaching faster than you can say seaweed salad.

Ok, maybe not that fast, but pretty close. Chinese New Year is on January 23 and this year, the Year of the Dragon, will be something special. 

It's going be an especially great year because this is the only mythological creature in the Chinese zodiac. The other creatures are all found on Earth, rabbit, tiger, ox, and so on. 

This year the Dragon will help us to face challenges on our road to success. Years of the Dragon are all supposed to be benevolent and full of grace, and I am predicting nothing different for this one. At least I hoping it will be!

And as this year is specifically the Year of the Water Dragon, I'm sharing with you one of my favourite Asian treats - Seaweed Salad. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Meatless Meals

One of my New Year's resolutions was to try and have one meat free meal a week. Once I started thinking about it, I realized it was easier than I expected. Plus, it's going to be fun to cook new things. 

Then I looked into some of the benefits of my resolution and found out a whole lot of great things. 

Going meatless only one day a week is great for not only you, but also the environment. 

You might have already known that going meatless once a week can help reduce your risk of getting preventable diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, but did you know how great it could be for the environment?

Studies estimate that the meat industry generates almost 20 percent of man-made the greenhouse gas emissions that are increasing climate change throughout the world. That's a lot more than even transportation...

Plus, the water needs of livestock are enormous. Studies estimate that 1800-2500 gallons of water go into each pound of beef! 

So do your part for yourself and the environment; stay meatless once a week.  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


January 13 marked a Ukrainian folk holiday, Malanka, New Year's Eve on the Julian calendar. On this day everyone feasts and runs around town playing pranks.

Carollers go house to house and act out a small play with a man dressed in women's clothing leading everyone. This holiday caps off Christmas festivities and despite how cold the Ukraine is, symbolizes the celebration of Spring.

The story of Malanka tells how Spring is now released from captivity and how her arrival brings flowers and greenery back to life again.

I see the first snow that has fallen in Victoria when I look out my window, so I am not sure if Spring was released here yet, but I am sure hoping she comes soon.

To celebrate Malanka this year, I made pedehe - a Ukrainian pasta dish filled with cheesy potatoes!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Loaded Question

What can you eat if you can't chew anything? 

Recently I had to rack my brain to come up with a bunch of ideas for chew-less meals because Luke just had his wisdom teeth out. 

First on my list of meals to try was soup; particularly pureed soups. But I didn't want just any soup. I wanted something fun because having your wisdom teeth out is the complete opposite of fun. 

So I revamped one of my favourite things into a pureed soup. 

What was it? 

None other than the simple baked potato. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bella Notte

Oh this is the night
It's a beautiful night
And we call it bella notte
Look at the skies
They have stars in their eyes
On this lovely bella notte
Side by side with your loved one
You will find enchantment here
The night will weave it's magic spell
When the one you love is near
Oh, this is the night
And the heavens all rise
On this lovely bella notte...

This song will always remind me of two things. The first is Lady and the Tramp, which then makes me think about spaghetti and meatballs.

But that's not what I am cooking up tonight. What I am cooking up tonight is what the second thing this song reminds me of - accordions.

Yes, accordions are a little weird to be cooking up... But I'm not literally cooking accordions. I'm just making a side dish that resembles the instrument!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Queen of the "Grains"

Christmas and New Years are always full of treats. If it's possible, and I am saying if, the holidays may have too many treats...

And every single January I always tell myself that I need to eat a little healthier than usual. At least for the first month of the year. 

So it's time to break out the queen of the "grains"and discover just what I can try to whip up. 

Quinoa may look like a cousin grain of cous cous, but it's actually a relative of spinach and swiss chard. It's very high in protein and includes all nine essential amino acids. It's great for building and repairing tissue, helping with migraines, diabetes, and couldn't be better for your heart. 

Keep reading for my sesame infused Quinoa recipe and you'll have no excuse not to eat healthy :)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Sweet Carmoline

Sweet Carmoline
Duh duh duh
Good food never seemed so good 
I'm so inclined
Duh duh duh
To believe it never would

Aren't those the lyrics to the Neil Diamond song? 

Well, I guess I've been singing it wrong. Maybe that's why no one ever wants to hear me sing?

Regardless, I have a little treat to share with you. It's a another delicious tart made from puff pastry formed in a mini muffin tin. But this time I made my tarts into something both sweet and savoury. 

And after you taste one, I think you might just start singing the words to Sweet Carmoline a little differently too. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Spread a Little Love

I try a lot of new foods, especially when people I love suggest a new recipe to me. Everyone that knows me knows that I love food, so it's special to me that they want to share a recipe. 

Today's recipe was from a loved one. But usually I read the recipe and think that it sounds yummy. Or I see a picture and see a mouth watering treat. 

This time I read the recipe and saw the picture and I just had to take my loved ones word for it because the recipe sounded weird and the picture looked a little unappetizing too. 

I saved the recipe to make on New Year's Eve and it was worth it. It surprised me with lots of flavour and it really proves the point that you can't always judge a book by it's cover.