Category Archives: Dinner

Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

A good wander over to the farmers market yielded these tasty little gems called garlic scapes or garlic greens. These are basically the flower stem of a garlic bulb. They give you that garlic flavour without too much garlic bite. They have a really short season though so grab them when you can! They do freeze nicely though. I love garlic dressings, my mom makes a Croatian salad that I just adore that has a lovely simple garlic dressing. In my opinion the bitier the better. For those who want milder garlic joy though a garlic scape dressing would definitely be the way to go.

  • 3 garlic scapes or more, chopped
  • 1 cup vinegar of choice (in this version I used malt)
  • 1 tbl extra virgin avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. Add the ingredients to a blend and blend until smooth.

I love how simple salad dressing can be! Makes 8 servings (2 tbl each). Each serving contains 19 calories, 1.1 gram fat, no fibre, no protein, 3 grams carbs. Aren’t those the best salad dressing nutritionals ever? It doesn’t take much to go far with this dressing. Now that salad season is upon us this is definitely the time to hit the farmer’s market and get those ingredients to start making your own dressings and salads!

Tonkatsu

Another one of my favourite ways to enjoy pork. Our trip to Vancouver to once again enjoy a tonkatsu japadog just won’t come fast enough so I had to make some here at home. So nummy, so easy, and really not that bad for you. Avoiding the deep frying really does that. I also modified the breading so that we get more fibre out of it. It’s been so busy and hectic over here, with japanese being my comfort food I guess it comes as no surprise that here is another japanese style recipe to share. Hehe. I love the crunch of this dish, it tastes and sounds like naughty! Being a huge ketchup lover that tonkatsu sauce is nothing but epic win for me.

  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 tsp dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 12 oz pork tenderloin chops or stirfry strips (I went with the strips)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the panko and potato flakes in a plastic bag.
  3. Add the chops or pork strips to the bag and shake to coat.
  4. Arrange the coated pork on a baking sheet and bake at 450F for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of the sauce you made.

Serves 4. Each serving contains 244 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 13.9 grams carbs, 2.4 grams fibre, 26.2 grams protein. Great on a nice sticky rice or shredded cabbage.

Mediterranean Turkey Slider

I keep ordering turkey burgers in restaurants and every time it ends in disappointment. Turkey burgers do not need to be dry and flavourless! This summer my husband and I are working on conquering the turkey burger’s bad rep.  Making them an adorable slider is only the first step, adding a ton of flavour brings it home. At one point while eating these I actually forgot I was eating a turkey slider…this perplexed me. I recommend serving these with the aioli I made. Oh aioli you complete me. It is another cheater’s aioli but it really does add that perfect condiment to these pretty little sliders.

Mediterranean Style Aioli

  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp poultry spice
  • 1 tsp italian spice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • 2 tbl light mayonnaise

Turkey Sliders

  • 1 tsp each poultry spice, italian spice, original Mrs. Dash (I’m trying to lower the sodium)
  • 3 tsp dehydrated onion
  • 500 grams extra lean ground turkey
  • 3 tbl fresh parsley
  1. Mix the aioli ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to top on sliders.
  2. Combine the slider ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Form into 9 slider patties. Grill over medium heat 2 minutes per side. Maximum 5 minutes.
  4. Place on slider buns, top with aioli, serve!

Makes 9 sliders. Nutritional info does not include bun. Each slider with 1 tsp of aioli contains 71 calories, 2 grams fat, .3 gram fibre, 9.6 grams protein, 3 grams carbs.  Time to get those grills going!

Teriyaki Beef Stirfy

I have mentioned my love of japanese food right? Let’s talk about it some more then, shall we? I find japanese food to be such a comfort. In fact, when I was in getting some blood work done (which I’m a total wuss about) I mentioned it to the nurse when she was asking about my most comforting foods to distract me. Talking food keeps me conscious…is that an obsession? She was honestly surprised. Especially, when I mentioned it was sushi first, then teriyaki, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the world. She expected to hear mac and cheese or perhaps some sort of pot pie. Nope, if the world has let me down bring me sushi, teriyaki, and green tea….stat! In case of emergency break out the green tea ice cream.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (separated into 1/4 cup amounts)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbl honey (separated into 1 tbl portions)
  • 1 tbl dry sherry
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbl minced shallot
  • 1 tbl cornstarch
  • 8 ounces lean beef steak
  • 1 cup broccoli
  1. Slice the beef thinly and place in a plastic bag and cover with 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tbl of honey. Allow to marinate for atleast 4 hours, overnight is perfection.
  2. Remove the beef from the marinade. Discard marinade.
  3. Heat the pan or wok to medium high. Toss in the garlic and shallot and stir around for about 30 seconds. Add the beef and cook until almost done.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining soy sauce, honey, water, cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Add the broccoli to the beef with a sprinkle of water. This will give off a bit of steam for the broccoli to cook just slightly. I like my Broccoli barely cooked, if you like more add a bit more water and a bit more cooking time.
  6. Add the sauce and cook until thickened. Serve!

Serves 2 generous portions. Each serving contains 240 calories, 4.6 grams fat, 18.6 grams carbs, 1.7 grams fibre, and 29.4 grams protein. Great on rice or noodles to complete that take out japanese experience.

Chicken with a Goat Cheese and Mead Sauce

What to do with leftover mead…I never thought I would actually wonder something like this. Thing is I love cooking with various other wines so why not give cooking with mead a try? I love goat cheese and it pairs beautifully with mead. This needs to be done! The end result was creamy, tart and slightly sweet with nice body to it. Definitely the star of this chicken dish. It seems to me like just the thing hobbits might serve to dwarf dinner guests.

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 60 grams goat cheese
  • 1 tbl corn starch
  • 1/4 cup mead of choice (I chose a local spiced mead)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbl light butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. If you choose you can marinate the chicken in a bit of mead for a few hours. It is really tasty to do but not crucial. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until done. While the chicken cooks make the sauce.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the cornstarch and stir until combined.
  3. Slowly add the milk and mead, whisking constantly.
  4. Once the sauce has heated to near boiling (do not let it boil). Add the goat cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Serve on top of sliced chicken breast.

Serves 2 and is easily doubled to serve more! Each serving contains 241 calories, 5.8 grams of fat, 10.2 carbs, no fibre (you can fix this by adding a clear supplement), and 29.9 grams of protein.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich

No, we are not engaging in cruel and unusual chicken torture here. I just couldn’t call this bbq since I made it in a crockpot. It really is a bbq pulled chicken sandwich, so very delicious. My aim here was to control more of the sauce. I would usually make the sauce using ketchup but since my beloved ketchup does contain a lot of sugar I had to investigate another way. Happily after much tweaking, I found it! I suggest serving this as an open face sandwich, it is nummy and the bread doesn’t dull the sauce as much that way. I love how using the crockpot means you can have that bbq joint style of taste no matter what the weather is like, and healthy too! This was great at the end of a really busy day too. Stir sauce, add chicken, set crock, run around all day, eat nummy food. Epic win.

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen is best if using thawed lower the cooking time
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbl rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 tbl garlic powder
  • 2 tbl worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbl splenda
  • 1 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1 tbl sweet with heat mustard
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a small bowl.
  2. Pour a layer of sauce on the bottom of the crockpot. Add the chicken and then top with the remaining sauce.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Using a pair of forks shred the chicken and stir. Ladle onto bun of choice.

Serves 4. Nutritional info does not include the bun. Each serving contains 183 calories, 2.8 grams of fat, 10.9 grams of carbs, 1.6 grams of fibre, and 27.6 grams of protein. Definitely a tasty plan for busy days. Remember that each serving of this also contains a serving of veggies! Pair this with a salad and you are dealing with a beautifully balanced meal for so little effort.

Philly Cheese Steak

This is one of those recipes that isn’t much of a recipe really. More like an example of how to make those naughty things we love a bit healthier. My husband loves philly cheese steaks, especially when they come in pizza form. So with some leftover buns I decided to give making these healthier a go and see if they pass with the cheese steak eater. They did! Here is what I did.

  • Thinly sliced eye of round steak, tossed in montreal steak spice
  • thinly sliced 4 crimini mushrooms
  • thinly sliced 1/2 sweet onion
  • thinly sliced 1/2 red pepper
  • 4 sliced of reduced fat provolone cheese
  • 2 herbed sub buns
  1. Saute the steak in a hot pan until done. Remove and set aside and keep warm.
  2. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until the juices come out and the onion caramelize slightly. You can add the red peppers to the cooking mixture if you like. I like mine to have some crunch left in them.
  3. Layer the steak in the cut buns, top with the mushroom and onion mixture. Layer red peppers on top and then the cheese.
  4. Arrange the sandwiches on a flat pan and put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly. Serve!

Makes two subs. There is so much room for variation in this recipe it’s difficult to post nutritionals for it. I will say though that for us it was what I usually spend on dinner. This philly was totally conquered and really easy.

Meat Cupcake

Yup. You read that right. When I first brought our puppy Kaylee home, 2 years ago, I re-watched Firefly with her. She needed to see the real Kaylee that she was named after, she slept through most of it ofcourse. One moment that caught my eye was Simon’s birthday that takes place in the episode ‘out of gas’. Kaylee says (the character, not the dog…if the pup starts telling me things I understand, then the rumors of my craziness have no longer been exaggerated):

Kaylee: [about Simon’s birthday cake] Couldn’t get ahold of no flour, so it’s mostly protein. In fact, it’s pretty much what we just had for dinner.
[everyone laughs]
Kaylee: But I tried to get the frosting as chocolatey tasting as possible.

Hehe. So there it was, I too need to make a meat cake. Now, I didn’t make the frosting as chocolatey as possible but it does make for a mighty fine dinner.

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crubs
  • 1/2 cup garlic bbq sauce (divided into 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbl dehydrated onion
  • 4 tbl egg substitute
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp italian spice blend
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mashed potato
  1. Combine the ground beef, panko, 1/4 cup bbq sauce, parsley, dehydrated onion, egg substitute, garlic, and spices in a bowl until well mixed.
  2. Press the meat mixture into jumbo muffin cups (6) and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of bbq sauce.
  3. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove carefully from the muffin cups, place on your serving plate and top with mashed potatoes. I stuff my mashed potatoes in a sandwich bag, snipped the tip and piped onto each meat cake. Best done when the mashed potatoes are warm.

Makes 6 meat cupcakes, I do not include the potatoes in my serving analysis as everyone likes to make them different or even use the frozen ready made kind. Mine were made with just potatoes, a splash of chicken stock and a tbl of margarine. Each serving contains 224 calories, 13.2 grams of fat, .5 gram of fibre, 9.4 carbs, and 15.8 grams of protein. Each serving also contains a high dose of shiny. Heh, yet another firefly inspired meal…I need to get out more.

Hardcore Hobbit: Large Supreme Repast (Juniper Pork)

It’s time to work on our rep! In LOTRO cooks that are a part of the guild prepare certain recipes that help them earn a reputation as a scrumptious cook. Ok maybe not scrumptious but it is rep all the same. One of those recipes is the large supreme repast. Wow….that was a potential typo of doom. The game says this meal is made of pork, spiced potatoes, mint sauce, mixed herbs, mixed spice. As luck would have it I had just visited a local epicurean spice store that is sadly closing it’s doors. This means ofcourse I picked up all sorts of fun spices to play with for unbelievable prices…and play with them I shall. I absolutely had to use the juniper first! It called to me, it told me to do things. Tasty things. Shall we?

  • 1 tbl dried juniper berries
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbl smoked sea salt
  • 9 oz red potatoes, wedges
  • 8 oz pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbl dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • butter cooking spray
  • Hardcore Hobbit Mint Sauce
  1. Grind the juniper berries, 1 clove of garlic, smoked salt, and peppercorns together. Rub the mixture to coat the outside of the pork tenderloin. Allow to sit for atleast 1 hour.
  2. Boil the potato wedges for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender but not too tender.
  3. In a separate bowl, press the garlic and add the parsley, oregano and pepper flakes. Add some salt and pepper if desired. Add the cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Pour the potatoes onto a baking sheet and spray with butter spray.
  4. Heat the oven to 425F. Cook the potatoes for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Heat a skillet to medium high. Add the pork tenderloin. Sear on all sides for 2 minutes. Move the pork tenderloin to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve topped with a drizzle of mint sauce and potatoes on the side.

Serves 2. Each serving contains 324 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fibre, 36 grams of protein and 21.3 grams of carbs. Great served with a side of steamed asparagus to complete the dish. I have to say I am totally in love with the way juniper goes with pork. So floral and woodsy at the same time! Perfect for a hobbit dish. I must explore this spice more.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon chicken is one of my favourite chinese take out dishes. I am particular about it though. There is only one place that makes the lemon chicken I love. It’s Magnolia restaurant in St. Catharines, Ontario. I am in Victoria, BC so this poses a problem. If you are out there…GO!! Yes, it is a naughty dish when I have it over there but you just shouldn’t be good all the time. This restaurant is super special to us. My family has been eating their food since I was a little girl (from their various other restaurants), my husband proposed here (he put the proposal in a fortune cookie, foodies!), and we had our rehearsal dinner there. I look forward to having it when we are next in town…but for now I have this substitute which is good but a different twist. In this case I was not trying to imitate them, just fill a foodie void. I love having food that reminds me of special restaurants that are far away from us. Is that foodie stalking?

  • 2 tbl dry sherry
  • 1 tbl soy sauce
  • 6 ounces chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbl fresh lemon juice (squeeze it yourself, it does make a difference)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbl grated ginger root
  • 2 tbl splenda or brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dried pepper flakes
  • cooking spray
  1. Combine the soy sauce and sherry. Toss the chicken in the mixture and allow to marinade for atleast 1 hour.
  2. In another bowl combine the broth, cornstarch, splenda or sugar, red pepper flakes, and ginger root. Stir until cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  3. Heat a pan or wok to medium high. Spray and add the chicken. Cook until golden and cooked through.
  4. Add the broth mixture and stir constantly while bringing the mixture to a boil. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens, about a minute or two. Serve!

Serves two. You can easily increase the servings by just adding more chicken, especially if you are not a sauce addict like myself. This is great with shaved carrots stirred in near the end as well. Each serving contains 185 calories, 1.1 grams of fat, 20.8 carbs, .2 grams of fibre, 20.9 grams of protein. Calculated using unpacked brown sugar. If you want a slightly lower calorie count and less carbs just substitute with the artificial sweetener of choice for 157 calories and 12 grams of carbs.