Category Archives: Dinner

Nobu Halibut

This is usually made with cod but Halibut was what was locally in season at the time I made this. With that season about to begin again I figured now is a good time for other folks to give this a go. This is a new spin on a centuries old Japanese recipe usually done with black cod. The first time I tried this was in a usually reasonably priced restaurant, I was blown away by the flavours….and then the price…15.00 for a tiny piece of fish, this was an appetizer portion. Yeah. Well, you can probably figure out what happened next. I craved this fish, this tasty expensive fish. It had drawn me in with it’s full amazing flavour, I was a slave to my need to have another taste but my frugal side screamed at me that there must be another way! So here we have it. My solution to the nobu cod dilemma with local fish. Note: the miso here is key, no miso no nobu. Say that last bit out loud…it’s kinda funny. Come on, now give it the Miyagi voice. There you have it. See? Now, to the nobu!

  • 2 or 3 pieces fresh halibut (total about 1 lb)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 5 tbl white miso paste (white only,the other colours just won’t be the same)
  • 2 tbl sugar or honey
  1. Mix the last four ingredients in a container you intend to marinate the fish in. Preferably a container with a lid.
  2. Pat the fish dry and place in the container. Spoon some of the marinade on top to get full coverage. Cover and allow to sit in your fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
  3. Lightly wipe off the excess marinade. Lightly grill or pan fry the fish on both sides to sear, just until that surface turns brown you aren’t cooking it here.
  4. Transfer the fish to an oven preheated to 400F. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Oh what a tasty delight you are about to have! This is my new favourite fish dish. Loved it so much I made it for my family on christmas eve and now my fellow foodie sister wants the recipe. Sorry it took me so long to type it out for ya Laura! Each serving contains: 363 calories, 6.7 grams fat, 9.1 grams carbs, 60.5 grams protein, no fiber sadly. Have a nice high fibre side dish to compensate. I made us a tasty quinoa and edamame bean pilaf on the side. Goodtimes! A fun variation is to add 1 tsp sriracha sauce to the marinade, spicy nobu! Keep in mind you can do this recipe with pretty much any white fish you like, go nuts!

 

 

Hardcore Hobbit: Roast Beef

As LOTRO says, “nothing can beat this savory pot roast”. So delicious! I don’t make roast very often because of the expense of buying one, what I keep forgetting though is each time I buy one it makes a few meals, not just one. With that consideration it’s actually a bargain when you pick one up on sale and oh so tasty. In the game roast beef is made with salt, cauliflower, and marinated beef (beef, green onion, salt). I highly recommend doing a roast in the crockpot, I find I get the most tender meat this way with very little fuss. I also always cook my roast from frozen, again omg tender! It will also make it’s own gravy this way. My mouth is watering just thinking about this roast again. Time to get to pictures and recipes before I raid the fridge.

  • 1 roast of choice, frozen
  • 2 tbl cornstarch
  • 2 pouches beef low salt oxo
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence
  • 4 tbl white wine
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 cup cauliflower
  • 2 tbl margarine
  • 1 tsp steak spice
  • green onion, sliced
  1. Place the roast in a crockpot, top and surrounding with the next nine ingredients on the list.
  2. Cover and cook for 6 hours on high or 10 hours on low.
  3. Before serving, boil a pot of water. Add the cauliflower and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes or less. Drain. Add the margarine and steak spice. Mash. Season to taste.
  4. Serve and top with gravy from the crockpot and green onions.

There are so many variables in this recipe, cut of meat, size of cut, etc. So sadly I cannot give nutritional values for this one. The picture above is from my husband’s plate, it is a surly dwarf portion for sure. A hobbit trying to watch their figure should probably aim for a portion that looks more like this:and go easy on the gravy…I know…it’s hard. So nummy!

Hardcore Hobbit: Wild Mushroom Soup

To make up for not posting for so long I have made it a double hardcore hobbit recipe week. Am I forgiven? How about after you taste this soup? It is delicious! It is exactly what I needed after a busy day. I paired it with some light havarti stuffed buns. Omnomnom! In Lotro this soup is made using mushrooms, mixed herbs, and leek stock. Fantastic! The soup was nummy nutritious velvet in a bowl. With the large serving size it was incredibly filling, a great dinner course all on it’s own. What hobbit would protest a dinner with mushrooms as the star? Shall we?

  • 5 cups Hardcore Hobbit Leek Stock
  • 4-5 cups various mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake, portobello, and crimini)
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 fl. ounce dry sherry
  1. Combine the ingredients in a crockpot. Do not worry if the mushrooms seem to over power the amount of stock, they will cook down and provide their own liquid.
  2. Cook for 8 hours on low (or stovetop simmer 30- 60 minutes)
  3. Using a handblender or blending in batches process the soup until it is blended. I went with a texture that was blended but not smooth. I liked the variations in colour and texture. That is personal taste, go with what you like! Season with extra salt or pepper as needed. Serve.
  4. Want a tasty variation? My husband topped his soup with fat free sour cream. He even made a ghost on top to celebrate the season. Isn’t it cute? I tasted his variation and it is indeed nummy!!

Makes 5 generous and filling servings. Each serving contains 205 calories, 5 grams fat, 35 grams carbs, 4.7 grams fibre, and 5.9 grams protein. A great fall day treat. Using local mushrooms makes the flavour of those mushrooms sing! When selecting your variety of mushrooms you might want to check out what is local to your particular shire and in season. Every hobbit deserves the best mushrooms they can find.

Hardcore Hobbit: Leek Stock

My first weekend at yoga teacher training was a crazy one but a great one! I met a whole bunch of awesome new people AND I worked a couple of really tasty recipes on the side. Epic win! I made this mostly in the crockpot while I was away at training, so it’s perfect for you other busy hobbits out there. In LOTRO leek stock is made with leeks, water and shire taters. I love the smell of this stock, it certainly picked up my spirit when I walked in the door. Look at all those beautiful leeks!

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 3 medium leeks, thinly sliced, white/light coloured parts only
  • 4 small potatoes, cubed
  • 5 cups water
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat a pan to medium high. Add the butter, swirling it around to coat the pan.
  2. Add garlic and onion. Cook until onions begin to caramelize.
  3. Add the leeks, cook for about 1 or two minutes. Stirring constantly.
  4. Pour into a crockpot.
  5. Add the potatoes and water. Heat the crockpot for 8 hours on low. You can do this faster by just adding the ingredients to a stock pot and heating over the stove for 30-45 minutes on medium high. Make sure the potatoes are tender before serving.

Makes 5 super generous servings. Each serving contains 180 calories, 4.9 grams fat, 32 grams carbs, 4 grams fibre, and 3.7 grams protein. This is a great soup base! A great departure from the same old veggie soup base that most vegetarians can get stuck with. You can use lighter butter substitutes for this soup but I found that full fat butter really helped those leeks along flavour wise.

Banh Mi

Otherwise known as the Vietnamese sub. This is one of those times that food network helped me find a new food to try. The show that clinched me having to try these subs featured a food truck named nomnom (you can already see why my curiosity was piqued.). Everyone flocked around this truck to get their unique sandwiches. I had to try it. So on our next visit out to Vancouver we hit vietsub, which many claim makes the best banh mi in Vancouver. I’m not a connoisseur yet but that was definitely one tasty sandwich.  It was spicy, the pickled veggies had a delightful crunchy pungency that coupled blissfully with the creaminess of the dressing. Oh yes, I am a banh mi fan. I can’t go toddling off to Vancouver everytime I crave one though. So, this is my attempt at my bon ami the banh mi.

  • 2 sub buns
  • 1 tbl light mayo
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional, I like my bahn mi to bite back)
  • 2 tbl liverwurst
  • 2 tbl fish sauce
  • 2 tbl soy sauce
  • 2 tbl canola oil
  • 2 tbl brown sugar, unpacked, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 lb thin flash fry top sirloin steak
  • 1 carrot, thinly julienned
  • 2 oz daikon radish, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbl rice wine vinegar
  1. Combine the mayo and sriracha, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, canola oil, 1 tbl sugar, garlic and pepper in a bowl. Add the flank steak. Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate for atleast 4 hours.
  3. Combine the carrot, daikon, remaining sugar, salt, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Cover, refrigerate and allow to pickle for 4 hours. Turn once during this process. Drain.
  4. Heat a skillet to medium. Sear the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain.
  5. Cut open the rolls, spread the cut top side with half the spicy mayo mix and the bottom half with 1 tbl of liverwurst.
  6. Top with the beef and the pickle mixture. Repeat with the other bun. Serve.

Serves two bon ami. Each serving (without bun) contains 216 calories, 10.8 grams fat, 1.4 grams fibre, 8.7 grams carbs, and 20.3 grams protein. Check out that protein! This is a great post workout treat.

Lentil Sliders

A few weeks ago my husband and I went out to a vegetarian style restaurant with some gaming buddies of ours called Rebar. You may have heard of them, they have a cookbook that many people swear by. I ended up ordering their almond burger. It was quite tasty and did not disappoint….especially with it’s topping of aioli and alfalfa sprouts. I love alfalfa sprouts…my dad used to call them frog hairs…which made me love them more…I was a very strange little girl. I remain a very strange girl ofcourse. I had been toying with the idea of a lentil slider for some time and this burger inspired me to add almonds. I loved the texture that the almonds in their burger gave. It definitely was that last missing touch to the slider I’ve been aiming for. So, thank you Rebar for the inspiration! Remember, it is good for yourself and the environment if you have atleast one meat free meal a day.

  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 3 tbl dry couscous
  • 5 crimini mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green onion
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 4 tbl sliced almonds
  1. Cook the lentils according to the directions on the package. This is usually 1 1/2 cup of water and lentils simmering for 12 minutes or so.
  2. Using a blender, combine the garlic, mushrooms and half of the still hot lentils.
  3. Pour into a bowl. Add the sliced green onions, dry cous cous, carrots, almonds, and remaining lentils. Stir until well combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Form the mixture into 10 slider patties. Freeze for atleast 4 hours.
  5. Grill or pan fry, usually about 2 minutes per side.

Makes 10 lentil sliders. Each contain (without bun or toppings) 48 calories, 1.3 grams fat, 7.2 grams carbs, 1.8 grams fibre, and 2.2 grams protein. Great served as an open face slider topped with a bit of light mayo mixed with sriracha sauce. Num! In fact these are so nice and light why not serve them as a lovely trio outside?

Hardcore Hobbit: Flounder with Bacon

Well, sure we don’t exactly need warming against the cold of Forochel this time of year but doesn’t a piece of bacon wrapped flounder just sound tasty? How about grilling that piece of bacon wrapped flounder? How about we just say BACON wrapped flounder one more time. *cough* Bacon *cough*. In LOTRO this dish is made using water, BACON (o.k. I was on a bacon kick yesterday), seasonings, and flounder. My husband and I once again collaborated on this one…after all he is the grill master around here. The water part of this recipe eluded me so we made this using frozen flounder. There, water in the ice. Actually using this fish still frozen helped us wrap it in bacon and season it without having it fall apart. If you are using fish from Forochel I’m sure it comes pre-frozen anyways.

  • 2 flounder fillets, still frozen
  • 4-6 strips bacon (I recommend 2 strips of bacon per filet)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin avocado oil
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  •  1/2 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
  1. Add the bacon to a medium hot pan and cook for a minute. Just enough to partially cook the bacon.
  2. Brush the fillets with the avocado oil.
  3. Sprinkle the rosemary and white pepper on both sides.
  4. Wrap the bacon around the filet and secure each slice with a toothpick.
  5. Cook the fillets on a grill for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately. These are great served with some mini gem potatoes cooked in a foil packet on the grill.

Serves 2. Each serving contains (3 oz flounder piece and 2 strips bacon) 172 calories, 7.5 grams fat, 24.4 grams protein, no carbs and no fibre. Get that fibre in using a high fibre side dish and a nice veggie dish. Enjoy!

Hardcore Hobbit: Marinated Chicken Cutlet

With all the craziness that has been going on here it is so nice to be making a hardcore hobbit recipe again. This time I made a nice simple ingredient level recipe. The marinated chicken cutlet in the game is made from green onion, fine seasonings, and chicken. So easy! I find if I see something that contains green onion I tend to go asian. This time I challenged myself to resist that temptation. The end result was delicious and oh so juicy. Once again I marvel at the pretty grill marks that my husband achieved on the grill.

  • 1 green onion
  • 1 long peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbl white wine
  • 1 tsp extra virgin avocado oil
  • 2 garlic scapes or 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbl slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  1. Combine the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour over the raw chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Cook using desired method. We went with grilling, definitely a recommended choice.

Isn’t that green bright? It reminds me of spring. Love it. Serves 2. Each serving contains 137 calories, 1.8 grams fat, .3 gram fibre, .7 carb, and 27.5 grams protein. This assumes you leave only a bit of the marinade on during the cooking process.

Hardcore Hobbit: Onion and Mushroom Omelet

Cooked to perfection! In the game this particular omelet is made with mushrooms, chicken egg, green onion and mixed herbs. This just sounds like a great way to start the day or even enjoy a light dinner! To me there is just something so elegant about enjoying a nice light omelet for dinner with a nice glass of white wine….candlelight is required ofcourse. Better yet, a fireplace nearby. Can you envision it too? A beautiful way to shut out the modern world for a bit. Omelets are so beautifully fluffy on their own but this time I wanted to pair it with a bit of a light fluffy mushroom foam. What hobbit would turn down extra mushroom on their mushroom omelet? Indeed.

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp skim milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 crimini mushrooms, slice 2 leave rest whole
  • 1 tbl white wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a splash chicken stock or water
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1 garlic scape, sliced thinly
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  1. Combine the egg, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until light and foamy.
  2. Heat a small or medium pan to medium. Add the garlic scapes, green onions, and sliced mushrooms. Stir constantly cooking for just one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Spray the pan and add the egg mixture. Allow to cook one minute, cut into it to allow more of the egg to leak through the bottom and cook. Careful you don’t scramble! Allow to cook another minute.
  4. While the egg mixture cooks combine the whole mushrooms, soy sauce, white wine, stock, thyme and rosemary in a blender. Blend until a foam forms.
  5. Place the previously cooked onion mixture on half of the omelet.
  6. Fold the uncovered slide over carefully. Slide the completed omelet off the pan and top with the mushroom foam.

Serves 1. The serving contains 131 calories, 5.4 grams fat, 3.2 grams carbs, .8 gram fibre, and 18.4 grams protein. Filling, elegant, and tasty!

Hardcore Hobbit: Pork Chop

Juicy, tender pork chops oh my yes. I usually have a tough time with pork chops, I really am not their biggest fan so I put this one off for awhile. Then I found these beautiful butterflied pork loin chops on sale. The time to make a pork chop I actually enjoyed was now. In the game pork chops are made with salt, pork chops, and cauliflower. The first thing that came to mind was to do a brine. I hear so many good things about doing a brine before grilling. I have now learned that these things are completely true. Wow! I loved this pork chop. I will be doing brined pork chops from now on. It was juicy, flavourful, and well…tastylicious! I never thought I would say that about a pork chop. These pork chops also displayed what I think are the prettiest grill mark lines I have ever seen my husband do. Was it the magic of the brine or was it the awesomeness of husband….only the grill knows what happened out there. It is not talking.

  • 2 centre loin butterflied pork chops about 4 ounces each
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tbl kosher salt
  • 2 tbl brown sugar
  • 1 tbl molasses
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 long peppercorn or half tsp peppercorns
  • 2 cup ice cubes
  • 2 cup cauliflower
  • 2 tbl margarine
  • 4 tbl chicken stock (added slowly to achieve desired texture)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the water, salt, sugar, molasses, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorn in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the burner and add ice cubes.
  2. Once the brine is cool, place the pork chops in a bowl and pour the brine over them. Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours but no more than 12 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill to high then reduce to medium. Oil the grill and remove the chops from the brine placing them on the grill. Discard brine. Allow to sear for two minutes on each side. Then cook on each side for 3 minutes.
  4. While the chops are cooking bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes or less. Drain. Add the margarine and rosemary and smash. If you want a smoother texture slowly add chicken stock 1 tbl at a time while you mash. Season to taste.

Serves 2. Each serving contains 281 calories, 10.2 grams fat, 8.4 grams carbs, 2.5 grams fibre, and 37.2 grams protein. Oh what tasty happiness these pork chops with a side of rosemary cauliflower be. On a side note, rosemary mashed potatoes are tasty with this too, for those not fond of cauliflower.

Psst, want to know what long peppercorns look like…

They have a bit more of a woodsy and spicier taste than your usual peppercorn. They are a lot of fun to work with. If you see some, acquire!! You can usually find them in Indian grocery stores. You often see them in pickles, Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. Err….I mean….from just beyond the shire ofcourse.