14 Mar 2017
in Breads, food, health, Lunch, recipes
Tags: apples, bread, cheese, eggs, French toast, sandwiches
March in Ontario has us all looking forward to spring. And along with that comes a welcome school break – a whole week of free time!
Let’s help Mom and Dad survive March madness by getting creative. We’ll make them lunch!
Start with a loaf of fresh whole-grain bread. Add eggs, low-fat milk and some nice seasonings. Then fill with fruit or low-sugar jams, and cheese or nut butter. Use any combination of fruit and protein fillings your heart desires. Sweeten your sandwich with a touch of mineral-rich maple syrup, a time-tested spring tonic offered up by our Canadian forests. And you have a lunch anybody would definitely come home for.
Kids, put on your chef hats and get to work on this easy recipe. And remember to clean up afterwards, perhaps while singing about peanut butter. All recipes should be this simple!
I soaked my bread in egg, milk, and seasonings in this Pyrex bowl.
French toast sandwiches with apples and gouda
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 apple, sliced (MacIntosh or other good baking apple is best. My Granny Smith was good, but remained a little crunchy after baking.)
- 3 ounces cheese (brie, gorgonzola, mild cheddar, gouda, goat cheese or whatever kind you like)
- 1 tablespoon oil (coconut or canola), flavored with a dab of butter
Cooking French toast sandwiches
Cooking French toast sandwiches
Cooking French toast sandwiches
Cooking French toast sandwiches
As you can see, I made just one sandwich, so I cut amounts in half.
If your frying pan won’t hold two sandwiches lying flat in a single layer
(like mine doesn’t), fry the bottoms of your sandwiches one at a time.
Transfer them to a second, larger pan for the oven portion of the cooking and continue from there.
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Whisk the eggs with the milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a shallow bowl.
- Soak 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning once, until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Slice the cheese thinly and core and slice the apples. See TIP (below) for slicing apples easily.
- In an oven-safe skillet big enough to hold two sandwiches, melt a dab of butter with the oil over medium heat.
- Cook two slices of bread in the oil until golden on the bottom.
- Layer the frying bread slices with the cheese, then cover the cheese evenly with the apples.
- Cover the two filled slices with a second slice of eggy bread.
- Flip the sandwiches and move the pan into the oven, preheated to 350F.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottoms are golden.
- Remove and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, if you want.
Try smearing one of the slices in your sandwich with nut butter and soak the other side in the egg mixture. Top the nut butter with banana slices or even pear or papaya slices if you want to be more original. Then finish your sandwich as described above.
Experiment with different kinds of bread – try sourdough, croissants (you can get whole wheat ones, these days), or even a fresh rye.
Sweeten the egg mixture with liquid stevia and omit the syrup topping. This option would appeal to folks who want to eliminate added sugar in their meal plans. It’s what I did. The sandwich tasted amazing. Avoiding added sugar lowers the glycemic index of your lunch. It’s especially important for people who want to avoid chronic diseases, like diabetes or fatty liver. Or enjoy your sandwich with only its natural sweetness.
Remove core by slicing in from the bottom of the apple
- Cut your apple in half with stem end up and slice downwards to the bottom.
- With flat side down, cut each of the halves in half again, along the core.
- Take each quarter and angle your knife from the bottom of the core to dead centre (see picture).
- Then twist and press upwards on the knife. The core pops out easily, without breaking the piece in half. Don’t try this from the stem end, or the segment will break.
- Finally, cut each quarter into thin slices, about 2 mm wide.
- Any slices left over after filling your sandwich make nice plate decorations.
- Check out an earlier post for info on apple nutrition.
Any way you slice it, have an amazing March break. Let Vinny know here all the amazing things you are doing (and eating) over your week away from school.
14 Feb 2017
in Drinks, food, health, recipes
Tags: antibacterials, antioxidants, oregano, respiratory illness, sore throat
Oregano grows like crazy in my garden. I use it as an ornamental ground cover. Then I discovered you can make a tea from it that is useful in curing sore, bothersome throats. Since that is what I have, I’ve given this drink a shot. I love herbal teas and this is a pleasant one. Only time will tell as to whether it heals my sore throat.
Tea is always in fashion. Why not gives yours a little extra punch?
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon organic raw honey
- Cut the leaves to release the oil.
- Boil the water on the stove for 10 minutes.
- Add oregano leaves and allow to steep for five minutes.
- Strain and add the honey.
- Drink while hot to reap its maximum benefits.
Macbeth’s trio of witches likely used oregano in their many brews. Oregano has been around for thousands of years, popular in cooking and medicine.
Its potent antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties are said to be effective against respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract infections and even against dangerous microorganisms like Listeria and MRSA. Its very high concentrations of antioxidants have recently been reported in the Journal of Nutrition.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with details, but ongoing studies are continuing to verify the usefulness of oregano in treating a whole range of problems from diabetes 2 and cancer to dandruff and acne. Read this link to learn more. You will be amazed.
Always consult your doctor before trying things out on a serious ailment. But many believe a drop or two of oregano oil or a handful of its fresh leaves can be good for whatever ails you. Pip pip!
Oregano oil and kids
Use caution when using herbals on kids. Children under 5 years old shouldn’t have oregano oil by mouth. You can rub some oil on the soles of their feet, though. For further information, read this article, then talk to your doctor.
07 Feb 2017
in food, health, recipes, Soups
Tags: fermented foods, fish, miso, phytonutrients, spices
Readers will know how much I’ve been struggling with miso. It’s been a challenge finding flavor combinations that compliment a miso soup base and are both healthy and delicious. But I think I’ve now got something that works for me. The health benefits of miso are worth the effort. Maybe you should give this a try? More
31 Jan 2017
in Desserts, food, health, recipes
Tags: apples, coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, easy recipe
Vinny suspected something was amiss when he began to smell a decidedly strong odor of apples, wafting from the cupboard whenever he opened the door. He pulled out his brand new bag of apples for inspection. Alas, three of the apples were already beginning to, well, rot. Out they went into the compost. But what to do with all the rest? More
24 Jan 2017
in food, health, recipes, Soups
Tags: broth, fermented foods, miso, phytonutrients, probiotics, vegetarian
Another attempt at creating a delicious miso soup
Vinny and I have a lot in common. I’ve heard that kids often need to taste a food 10 times before they learn to like it. That’s me to a T with miso. More
10 Jan 2017
in food, health, recipes, Soups
Tags: antioxidants, fermented foods, miso, phytonutrients, probiotics, salt, shrimp, vegetables
Miso’s Christmas toy
“Here, Miso,” called Vinny, holding out his hand to his fluffy caramel kitten, who gladly came over for a gentle rub behind the ears.
“Why did you call him Miso,” Isla asked as she threw a small toy mouse for the kitten to chase.
“I suppose it was because I like Asian food,” said Vinny, “and this little guy is the exact same color as miso, a food used in Asian cooking. More
09 Dec 2016
in books, food, health, recipes, stories
Tags: art, children, experiments, family, games, life, nutrition, reading, science
I enjoyed participating in a few holiday craft sales this year, showing off my book Cook Up A Story. I met many wonderful people who bought up most of my stock and all of my aprons and chef hats.
I only have a few copies left. In Canadian dollars I can offer a better price than that at the Blurb Book store, which quotes American dollars. Because of the current exchange rate, Canadian prices are lower than those quoted on Blurb Bookstore on-line. And conversely prices are 33% lower yet if you are paying in US dollars. As of Dec 17, I’m down to my last three copies: More
22 Nov 2016
in books, Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Snacks, stories
Tags: art, children, Christmas, family, healthier recipe, party food, wine
‘Tis the season, whether we like it or not. I personally love it! So much fun getting together with old friends, sharing some sparkly, sampling baking made at special times of the year, remembering happy days from years past… and meeting new neighbors! I even love the whole shopping thing, searching out little baubles to put under the tree and surprising the people I love.
That’s why I happily agreed to help my daughter Kristina host an open house at her place this year to launch the holiday season. More
15 Nov 2016
in Drinks, food, health, recipes, science
Tags: apple cider vinegar, bananas, congestion, cough, honey, sea salt, sore throat
Despite what the Internet says, forget about tequila as a cure for a sore throat. Snopes says it’s wishful thinking.
If you want to boost your immune system and speed recovery from a sore throat, cough, or sinus congestion, think instead about honey, vinegar, green tea, sea salt and fiery spices. More
04 Oct 2016
in food, health, Salads, Side dishes
Tags: avoiding sugar, carrots, nutrition, tomatoes
Turn carrots into a delicious, make-ahead party salad.
Pot luck party time
“What are you bringing to the pot luck picnic tomorrow, Vinny?”
Vinny looked at his super slim and very athletic friend. “Think I’ll bring a crunchy curried cauliflower salad, Val. It’s easy. I took it to a party on the weekend and it was a hit. I just added curly lettuce leaves and my own cabbage slaw to Farm Boy’s offering and I was done.”
“Crunchy?” asked Val. “Does that mean uncooked?”
“Why, yes,” said Vinny.
“Guess I won’t be eating any, then.” Val smiled.
“Oops, I forgot! You can’t eat uncooked fiber! Sorry!” said Vinny.
“No problem,” said Val. “There will be plenty of other things there I can eat.”
But Vinny loves a challenge and began to think how he could turn his salad into something his friend Val could eat too. Easy, he thought. Cooked carrots. Just peel, slice, and add a dressing. More
29 Sep 2016
in food, stories
Malware is the high fructose corn syrup of our computer family.
Vinny took a breather over the summer to do some travelling. He’s been as far away as Slovenia and Italy, visiting with family in England en route. And back home he’s roamed as far as Saskatchewan in Western Canada and as near as White Lake in Ontario.
When he got home, he was in for a bit of a surprise. Vinny couldn’t load photos into Cook Up A Story any more. Even worse, he couldn’t load photos into his Facebook page. More
09 Aug 2016
in food, health, recipes, Salads, Side dishes
Tags: eggs, lycopene, nutrition, tomatoes, vinaigrette
Vinny pays homage to the tomato
Vinny has been remiss! That means he’s made a big mistake, has been careless, or both. For although he has featured tomatoes in many posts, especially those where he is extolling the virtues of a bunch of super foods, he’s never devoted a post solely to these delicious vegetables… er, fruits, actually. More
02 Aug 2016
in Desserts, food
Tags: cream, custard, eggs, pastry, Slovenia
We just got home from a wonderful visit to Europe. One of our pleasures this trip was a leisurely tour of the small country of Slovenia. It’s a land where fairy tales come true. And to prove it, I’m posting a recipe for the heavenly Bled Cream Cake. More
18 May 2016
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes, Soups
Tags: beans, carrots, chick peas, chicken, lentils, Moroccan, oranges, pulses, soup, spices, stew, sweet potatoes
Vinny’s summer vacation
Summer is in the air and Vinny and I are heading for the great outdoors. That means you won’t likely be hearing from us here again till September rolls around.
We leave you with a one-pot dinner idea that you can make for a crowd over the summer. More
04 May 2016
in Drinks, food, health, recipes, science
Tags: avoiding sugar, cook books, fruit, limes, punch, reviews, soda water, Star Wars, Stevia
May the fourth be with you!
Enjoy a replay of a recipe we posted a few years back for a summertime drink that’s as good for you as it tastes. Fresh lime juice gives this cooler its Yoda color, and sparkling water adds the bubbles. For a gourmet touch, add some lime sorbet.
Click here for the recipe.
26 Apr 2016
in Appetizers, Breads, Desserts, Drinks, food, health, recipes, Salads, science, Soups
Tags: bananas, cakes, children, chocolate, family, fennel, nutrition, nuts
Vinny’s been updating older posts recently and putting them up on Yum Goggle. Yum Goggle features food photography from contributors around the world. The photos whet your appetite for the recipes you can get simply by clicking on the pictures or the words GET THE RECIPE. It’s a great site and we’re proud to be a part of the team. More
12 Apr 2016
in Desserts, food, health, recipes
Tags: birthday cake, chocolate, French, ganache, nutrition, pie, tart
It’s Sharon’s birthday today, so Vinny brings you a rich, chocolatey tart with no flour in the filling, that you can stick candles in and sing happy birthday around, merrily. With this dessert, you can enjoy a slice and know that along with your birthday calories, you are also getting a decent helping of nutrition. More
05 Apr 2016
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: April Fool's Day, cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, fruit fool, ginger, pudding, rhubarb
What is an April Fool?
The only surprise I was treated to on April Fool’s Day was Alex Trebek, walking onto his game show set without his pants! I did, however, write this post for you on April 1st, which should entitle me to name my fruit pudding recipe April Fool. It’s a tasty British fruit “Fool,” in the traditional sense.
29 Mar 2016
in Appetizers, food, Main dishes, recipes
Tags: ancho spice mix, beans, environmental footprint, gourmet, gumbo, lentils, nutrition, protein, pulses, shrimp, Spanish, tapas
Year of the pulse…
In honor of this versatile food group, we present a dish starring beans, lentils and dried peas. We served our spicy shrimp gumbo as the opening course for our Spanish tapas gourmet dinner this year. But it works well in larger amounts as a main course, too. More
22 Mar 2016
in food, health, recipes
Tags: cleaning, disinfectant, pests, plants, vinegar
Carafe of white vinegar
My favorite use for vinegar is to make my own vinaigrette. No surprise! I’ve posted several versions over the years, as salad is now one of my favorite lunches.
But vinegar is good for so many things other than preserving or flavoring food. Here are five of my favorite nonfood uses for vinegar. More
15 Mar 2016
in Drinks, food, recipes
Tags: cava, cocktail, fruit, oranges, Spanish, wine
Spanish tapas dinner party
It’s that wonderful time of year when we host our annual gourmet dinner, which has been going on for a very long time now. We never get tired of trying out new recipes for our friends.
This year we chose a Spanish tapas theme, with the hope that we could prepare many of the dishes ahead of time and just enjoy ourselves on the evening.
To welcome our guests, we served a cocktail originating from Valencia, where oranges reign supreme. More
02 Mar 2016
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, stories
Tags: avoiding sugar, baking, cake, chocolate, cream cheese, eggs, goat cheese, Pi Day
A cake suitable for Pi day, photo by Tip Junkie
The story behind Pi day
Normally, I’d choose a pie to celebrate the math constant π (Pi = 3.14159…) on its special day, which is coming upon us soon. Scientists the world over will likely be tucking into a delicious slice of one, perhaps a banana cream or pecan pie, More
23 Feb 2016
in Desserts, Drinks, food, health, Salads, Snacks
Tags: antioxidants, B vitamins, goat cheese, kale, magnesium, mood foods, nutrition, potassium, watermelon
Watermelon is a mood food
As most of my friends fly south for the winter, I thought I’d inject a little sun into my own life with watermelon. Deep into February as we are, a food to lift our spirits seems in order.
I’ve covered some of this before, but for newer readers, are you surprised to learn that watermelon is a good source of the mood vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine)? I was. Turns out thiamine is important for maintaining electrolytes and transmitting nervous-system signals throughout the body. Pyridoxine works with enzymes that convert food into cellular energy.
Who needs warm weather… Let’s party!
Watermelon is a berry
Another surprising fact about watermelon… its fruit is a pepo, a special kind of berry with a thick rind and fleshy center.
Watermelon pepos offer the most nutrition per calorie of any common food.
Red is the give-away. Bright colors signal a big pay-off in lycopene, an antioxidant repeatedly studied in humans and found to protect against a whole slew of cancers… prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and colorectal, for starters.
Watermelon offers lots of beta-carotene and another antioxidant, vitamin C. Besides helping lycopene to ward off cancer, these vitamins also battle heart disease, arthritis, and asthma.
Then there is the mineral potassium, guardian of our cardiovascular system, brain, and kidneys.
Finally, watermelon provides lots of the master mineral magnesium. Magnesium is the big boss for over 300 cellular metabolic functions. Poor soils make magnesium scarce in today’s foods. Lack of magnesium is related to irritability, tension, sleep disorders, and muscular cramping, including the heart muscle (attack!).
How to enjoy watermelon
Watermelons retain most of their nutrition even after being cut and stored in the fridge. But watermelon is best eaten at room temperature when the flavor, plus the phytonutrient capacity, is at its best.
Just quarter a large watermelon berry and slice off slabs. Eat the flesh right off the rind and spit out the seeds.
- one cup watermelon cubes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- one cup kale, ribs removed and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 ounce goat cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Chop the flesh into bite-sized chunks.
- Drizzle them with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or vodka. Let them soak it up for a few minutes.
- Use them to top a plateful of greens, kale in my photo, which I drizzled with avocado oil and massaged well.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese or, my favorite, goat cheese.
Vinny’s pink watermelon cooler
- 2 cups watermelon cubes, frozen
- 4 ice cubes
- Juice of one fresh lemon (1/4 cup)
- Juice of one fresh lime (2 tablespoons)
- 2-4 tablespoons of any sugar syrup you have. I used home-made red-current couli, But any fruit syrup, even grenadine (from pomegranates) or maple syrup, will do. I use an equivalent amount of stevia unless it’s a special occasion.
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 pinches of black pepper
- 3-4 ounces raspberry vodka (optional)
- ¼ to 1/3 cup club soda, depending on whether you add alcohol or not and the size of your glass
- Blend the whole works except for the club soda for a few seconds.
- If you want to serve some of the cocktails without alcohol, leave the vodka out and add it back to the glasses of the folks who want it.
- Fill each glass about halfway with the watermelon fizz. Add 1 ounce alcohol to each glass if you didn’t include it in the mix. Top up with club soda. Adjust flavor with more lemon juice if needed.
- Spoon some of the pink foam into each glass and top with a raspberry or a mint leaf to garnish.
When the winter blahs get you down, break out some watermelon and smile :).
14 Feb 2016
in Breakfast foods, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: fiber, heart, nutrition, pancake, sugar, sweet potatoes, Valentine's day, vegetables
Luv U… B mine?
Here’s a terrific treat for the family on a day that celebrates all things close to the heart. It’s terrific because this valentine doesn’t involve candy, but it tastes wonderful, anyway.
My mystery delight involves sweet potatoes. They release their sugar gently, taking their time, so you don’t suffer from sugar spikes associated with refined white sugar that is added to most sweets.
I published this 4 years ago with all the good news about sweet potatoes. But I’ve since updated the photos and made the recipe even easier (there as well as here).
Light and fluffy!
Heart-y sweet potato pancakes
Serves 2 or 3
- 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes (1 medium potato boiled until fork tender, then peeled, mashed, and measured)
- 1/4 cup flour (whole grain if possible)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 3 eggs (omega-3 if possible)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons liquid oil (coconut, if possible)
- Boil your sweet potato until fork tender. Then peel, mash, and measure. Use 1/4 cup mashed potato per egg, for each person. My recipe serves 3 people from 1 potato.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and canola oil. Of course you can use any kind of eggs, milk or oil…. but on a day we are celebrating love, I think we should be as kind to our hearts as we can be with these healthy ingredients.
- Whisk the sweet potato puree into the liquid ingredients. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are just blended.
Cooking and Presentation
- To follow through with hearts on Valentine’s Day, spray a large nonstick or cast-iron frying pan with oil and add a dab of butter for flavor. Heat the pan on medium heat until oil sizzles a bit.
- Fill the pan with 1/4-cup scoops of batter. I had room for 3 or 4 at a time. When bubbles rise to the surface of the pancakes, lift a corner and check the underside. When golden brown, flip the cake over, using a spatula. After a minute or three, once the second side is golden as well, flip the cake onto a wooden cutting board.
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, turn each pancake into a love-note for your sweetie. I presented these golden treats with a splash of maple syrup and some berries on the side.
Hey, sweet patootie, I yam keen on you! B mine?
“You are berry cute,” I said. “I think we’re cut out for each other!”
09 Feb 2016
in Appetizers, Desserts, Dips, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, dip, easy recipes, goat cheese, icing, lemon, spread, Stevia, yogurt
Whipped goat cream
Once upon a time I came across a recipe that called for whipped goat cheese. So I took my basket and headed to the grocery store, where I eventually found a small tub of the stuff at three times the cost of regular, ordinary, every-day goat cheese.
When I finally had a minute to spare I sat down and examined the label. The ingredients were goat cheese and water… and a few chemicals. It seemed I’d bought a processed food fortified with who knows what. And I thought: why can’t I make that myself – and leave out the chemicals?
Why indeed. It’s so simple, I didn’t even need a food processor. I got great results with nothing but a spoon and a bowl.
Goat cheese and lemon – so easy to whip up
Whipped goat cream
Makes approx 1 1/4 cups or 20 tablespoons
- 1 cup (150 grams) goat cheese, at room temperature (mine comes in a tube)
- 2 tablespoons yogurt from 2% goat’s milk (I make my own… You don’t? OK, use natural Greek-style yogurt instead)
- freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Stevia* to taste (0 calories) or 1 teaspoon honey
- sea salt, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water, or as needed to achieve desired consistency
- Combine goat cheese, yogurt, sweetener, lemon juice and zest into a bowl.
- Cream them together with a wide spoon until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons of hot water, as needed, to get a light creamy consistency. Add more if you like it runnier, as for a dip perhaps.
- Season to taste with a little sea salt.
*This is a great recipe in which to experiment with Stevia, because it sweetens while enhancing the lemon flavor. It works better than sugar.
Pear taquitos with whipped goat cream
How to serve goat cream
This works great in the recipe I mentioned off the top, for pear taquitos. I make it often for special occasions, and it is always a success.
Whipped goat cream goes well with fruit and today I enjoyed it with sliced apple.
Use it as a low-sugar icing on cupcakes or tarts. Whipped goat cream adds moistness and tang to any chocolate, lemon, or banana treat.
Thin it out a bit more and use it as a veggie dip for carrots or turnip sticks.
Whipped goat cream works as a spread on crackers. I like it with Triscuits (20 calories each) but if you like bagels or toast, I’m sure it would be delicious there as a spread.
One tablespoon of whipped goat cream has 21 calories. It has equal amounts of fat and protein, about 1.5 grams each.
Whipped goat cream is a low-carb food, only 0.3 grams (if you use stevia to sweeten).
This food is a good source of vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin and iron.
By the way, you can reduce the amount of fat per tablespoon by adding more water. This is how manufacturers make low-fat butter and mayo. Now, you can make them too and save some money. They charge more for products with less fat because of the processing cost.
26 Jan 2016
in food, health, Side dishes
Tags: butternut squash, fats, fiber, potassium, ricotta, sweet potato, vitamin A, vitamin C
This sad butternut squash needs a make-over. Dress her up in Ricotta.
“Who wants to eat an ugly thing like that?” asked Will, staring down a decidedly unpleasant-looking butternut squash.
19 Jan 2016
in Appetizers, Main dishes, recipes
Tags: casseroles, cream, easy recipes, eggs, goat cheese, leeks, pears, quiche
A crustless quiche with a difference
Vinny’s blogged about pears, leeks, and goat cheese before. But here they team up to give you something a bit different. Sweet and savory meld to make an unusual main course for lunch or a spectacular beginning to a fancy dinner. And except for the chopping, it’s easy! More
12 Jan 2016
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes, stories
Tags: bacon, bluefish, fish, Gollum, green curry, haddock, snapper, sustainable fish, sustainable seafood
Gollum’s oven-baked haddock with bacon
This small, slimy hobbit lived on an island in the centre of an underground lake, in the story The Lord of the Rings. He was endowed with magic that extended his life well past the time when he should have left the building.
Gollum thought his staying power was due to a ring that he called My Precious. But I think his regular meals of cave fish and seaweed was the most likely reason for his amazing, long life. More
05 Jan 2016
in Appetizers, Dips, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Salads
Tags: crab, cream cheese, easy recipes, environmental sustainability, fish, mercury, seafood, sustainable seafood
Crab is a safe bet
Everybody loves fish for its lean protein and its omega-3s that do wonders for our brains. But these days our poor heads are so bombarded with info on which fish are facing extinction or which types are loaded with deadly mercury that we are almost afraid to try any fish at all.
I’m here to tell you though that plain steamed crab meat is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. More
29 Dec 2015
in Drinks, food, health, Holiday foods
Tags: ginger, mood foods, tea
Mrs. Claus serves a soothing cup of tea.
Santa felt poorly. He was dead tired after his epic night’s ride around the world. Too many chimneys to climb. Too many sherries to gulp down. He sneezed into his cottony white hanky and sighed.
Mrs. Claus settled him by the fire and helped him get his dusty leather boots off his aching feet. By and by, she brought him a steaming-hot pot of tea and a warm cup. “Something to bring you around,” she said with a smile and gave him a gentle hug.
But as you can imagine it wasn’t a pot of English breakfast tea. Oh no. It had honey and lemon and ginger, oh my! More
22 Dec 2015
in food, Holiday foods, recipes, Side dishes
Tags: dough, pierogi, pierogies, red peppers, sweet potatoes
Sweet potato perogies are red inside and out
It’s Christmas time again by golly, ’tis the season to be jolly!
It’s also the season to make our Christmas perogies. This week we got right at it. More
15 Dec 2015
in food, Holiday foods, recipes, Soups
Tags: beets, borscht, Christmas, cucumbers, Ukrainian, yogurt
Borscht at Christmas
Continuing with my holiday plan this year, I bring you again a favorite family recipe we always make at Christmas, in one form or another. Festive, traditional and delicious, here’s the version we made last year, which we’ve christened: Zoë‘s borscht. Merry Christmas, one and all!
01 Dec 2015
in Appetizers, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, coconut sugar, easy recipes, nuts, pecans, walnuts
Crunchy sweet nuts are great for dressing up salads, cheese platters, and desserts at Christmas and for other special occasions. Plus, they’re easy!
Kids love to make them. Make lots and keep them on hand to use whenever you want some pizzazz. More
24 Nov 2015
in food, health, Holiday foods, recipes, Side dishes, Snacks
Tags: almonds, avoiding sugar, Christmas, cranberries, easy, gourmet, oranges, Stevia, Thanksgiving
An essential, whenever you roast a turkey
This post might at first glance appear a tad, well, boring. There’s no story nor any songs to sing as you cook. All there is, is one simple but tasty and traditional recipe, done up in bows and boasting less sugar and more pizzazz than you get in the canned kinds from the store. This could be a recipe staple for your family’s celebrations. More
17 Nov 2015
in Breakfast foods, food, recipes, Salads
Tags: cheese, eggs, meringues, spinach
Egg clouds crown your salads.
This is an easy and impressive dish if you prepare all your ingredients ahead and save making the eggs till the end.
I saw these clouds while surfing for egg dishes and meringues last week. Then I discovered that Rachael Ray herself had copied my take on this idea (haha).
Although most people might like to serve egg clouds for breakfast, my spin involves crowning a lunch-time salad with them. More
10 Nov 2015
in books, Desserts, Drinks, food, Side dishes
Tags: Fool, fruit, gooseberries, leeks, pudding, roibus, tea, war
Redwall Abbey – A child’s delight
To honor the people who gave their all in the Great Wars, I’m reposting some recipes I first brought to you in 2012. These traditional recipes were in vogue during the scarce years of the Second World War… but many probably go back much farther than that, handed down by mothers and mother’s mothers in Britain ever since they began to grow potatoes and cabbages… and gooseberries! More
03 Nov 2015
in food, health, Main dishes, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, cancer, dairy, meat, meatballs, pork, red meat, turkey, WHO
Traditional cooking, with a healthier outlook
The WHO’s stand on meat
The World Health Organization (WHO) has just sent shock waves through the earth’s stratosphere. What they said was something that anybody who has been following nutrition news in the past few years already knew.
WHO news: Processed meats cause cancer. And red meats probably cause cancer.
But unless you are genetically predisposed to the disease, the increased risk according to most experts is relatively low. Nevertheless, it’s real. More
27 Oct 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: eggs, halloween, meringues, nutrition, protein, Stevia, sugar
Here’s another easy recipe for small fingers. Kids learn how to separate eggs. Then they can make up these cute, tasty little Halloween ghosts and marvel at the mysteries of food chemistry.
Use eggs at room temperature for frothiest results. Or put eggs from fridge into warm water for 5 minutes or so to warm them up. More
20 Oct 2015
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, Snacks
Tags: chocolate, easy, hazelnuts, nutella, nutrition, nuts
Low-sugar brownies have a secret ingredient
Kids, get your aprons on. We’re going to whip up some brownies that are as good for the body as they are for the soul. Including time to wash up the dishes, these treats should take no more than a half hour away from your Minecraft play time. More
13 Oct 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, recipes
Tags: antioxidants, avoiding sugar, berries, halloween, nutrition, pie
“That’s scary!” Isla declared, her wide eyes shifting from the cooking pot to the finished product. I knew Halloween had been on her mind, now only a couple of weeks away.
“How so?” I asked. More
06 Oct 2015
in books, Breakfast foods, food, health, recipes
Tags: cheese, easy recipes, eggs, kale, nutrition, onions, Redwall Abbey, tomatoes
Crispy egg ‘N onion hogbake
This recipe, inspired by the Redwall Cookbook for kids, has nothing to do with pigs. For the life of me, I can’t come up with a reason that explains why they named it a hogbake. Perhaps it’s a typo, and they meant to call it a henbake.
Regardless, I loved its simple healthy ingredients. More
22 Sep 2015
in Desserts, food, health, recipes, science, Snacks
Tags: avoiding sugar, diabetes, pancreas, Stevia
Nuts and fruit slow down the release of glucose into the blood.
Sugar’s role in our health
Sugar is Will’s favorite food group.
“Maybe you can cut back on the sugary things, once in a while,” Vinny suggests.
“Sugar is in everything!” Will proclaims. “It gives us energy!”
“That’s true,” Vinny agrees. “What I don’t like, though, is when we add sugar to our food, over and above what nature puts there. Have you heard about your pancreas?” More
15 Sep 2015
in books, Desserts, recipes, science, stories
Tags: chocolate, custard, pears, pies, reviews
A blind orphan threads her way through the streets of Saint Malo at the end of the World War II, with a fresh-baked loaf under her arm. Her name is Marie-Laure and dry bread is all she will have to eat for several days… .
Hidden in the loaf are coordinates destined for the Allied Forces, pin-pointing where the Nazis are headquartered in the town, where their supplies are stored, where their ammunition is kept. Marie-Laure’s uncle radios this vital information across the airwaves on a powerful set hidden in their attic. More
25 Aug 2015
in food, health, recipes, Salads
Tags: dressings, kale, keeping cool, lettuce, shrimps, spices, yogurt
Salad days… wilted in the heat
“I’m wilting,” said Vinny as he plopped down in a lounger under the Japanese lilac. “Ottawa broke a 123-year-old record today when we scored a temperature of 34C.”
Will flapped his shirt, trying in vain to make a breeze for himself. “Ya, I’m WILL-ting, too. It feels like a steam bath out here. Let’s cool off with the hose.”
“Except I’m hungry,” said Vinny. I’m going to whip up a warm salad first, with a little spice to heat it up even more.”
“That sounds crazy,” said Will. “Why would you want to make a warm salad when we’re boiling out here?” More
18 Aug 2015
in Desserts, health, recipes
Tags: British, custard, dried fruit, eggs, fats, shortening, steamed pudding, suet
Vinny’s “skinny” Spotted Puddink
Get the kids together and make a “skinny” version of Spotted Dick, a traditional English steamed pudding. Cook up Harry Potter’s favorite dessert at Hogwarts just in time for the new school year and make some magic happen! More
11 Aug 2015
in Desserts, food, health, Holiday foods, Snacks
Tags: avoiding salt, avoiding sugar, dairy, diet, fats, refined white flour, soda
Added refined sugar makes these treats a no-no for best health
Last time, I introduced you to Dr. Joel Fuhrman and his list of 10 best foods for battling the effects of old age. Now I’m going to show you his list at the other end – Fuhrman’s 10 worst foods… foods that can lead you to an early grave. More
04 Aug 2015
in food, health
Tags: beans, berries, broccoli, diet, fruit, kale, mushrooms, nuts, onions, pomegranates, seeds, spinach, tomatoes, vegetables
Eat more leaves and berries… and onions. And tomatoes!
Eating for a long life
Put these 10 foods on your grocery list every week and you’ll up your chances of living a longer, healthier, happier life! So says Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. More