Category Archives: Lunch

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!

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Hardcore Hobbit: Chicken Carrot Soup

So, here we are, all drenched from those april showers. It is still so cold out there! Must comfort our little hobbit selves with a bit of soup I say. In LOTRO chicken carrot soup is made from carrots, green onion, and chicken stock. To do something different with the soup I added some matzo or matza balls to it instead of noodles, rice, etc. All I did was use a mix and drop them in during the last 20 minutes of cooking. So delicious. If you havent’ tried matzo balls before you should really give them atleast one chance. They are delicious and filling! My husband has been asking when I plan to cook with them again. One day I will definitely have to make some of my own, for now I trust the mix. Another fun addition was the use of “carrot noodles” they make it so the carrot flavour is everywhere in the soup but more fun texture wise.

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 6 cups hardcore hobbit chicken stock
  • 150 grams shredded cooked chicken (may already be in your stock)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbl italian seasoning
  • 10 matzo balls (optional)
  1. Using a peeler shave the carrots into noodles. Cut the length if they are longer than desired.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the matzo balls to a crockpot. Cook low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Add matzo balls during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Makes 5 servings. Nutritional info does not include the matzo balls as they are optional. Each serving contains 66 calories, .6 gram of fat, 4.7 grams carbs, 1.2 grams of fibre, and 10.4 grams of protein. These servings are pretty big too! About 2 cups of broth and carrots. Plenty of room for a couple of matzo balls I say!

Butternut Squash Soup

My first taste of butternut squash soup was at a marche restaurant in Toronto. I was so blown away by its creaminess and flavour I worked hard to recreate it. I think I’ve come close and on top of that it is completely healthy. Theirs probably had cream in it but I have found that this recipe just doesn’t need it. It is tasty and creamy all on its own. Pair this with some fresh baked bread and you really have a heavenly meal. It’s a favourite of mine really, especially when it is cold and rainy. Which happens often out here!

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 bartlett pear, cored and chopped
  • 6 cup water or chicken stock
  • 2 purple basil leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and leeks. Saute until carmelization occurs.
  2. Add the squash, pear, stock or water, basil and pie spice. Season with some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the squash and pear are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender until it is smooth.
  4. Reheat the soup and serve.

Makes 8 large portions. Each portion (about 2 cups) is 72 calories, .8 gram fat, 4.4 grams fibre, 17.2 grams carbs, 1.3 grams protein. Calculated if water is used instead of stock. If you need a bit of extra creaminess a dollop of fat free sour cream is excellent in this. I don’t usually do that, made for a pretty picture though!

Shrimp and Avocado Sandwich

This sandwich is inspired by a delicious deli that is in downtown Victoria. Sam’s Deli does sandwiches so well, we make it a point to bring anyone who visits us over there for lunch atleast once. They have mastered the art and the portions are simply uber. Oh yes, they do right by the earl. My favourite sandwich is the shrimp and avocado. Oh such tastiness. Sadly, I don’t always find myself in that touristy part of downtown so I go without sandwich…that and I’m sure their uber sandwich portions are well…not so friendly for my weight loss attempts. While they just use straight avocado I decided to go with more of an avocado spread to help it last longer between sandwiches. The result was scrumptious. I also went with a Portuguese bun, sadly the whole wheat ones were sold out that day *shakes fist*. I was not to be denied sandwich on a technicality though. The beauty in this sandwich lies in its simplicity. It is…shrimp and avocado.

  • 60 grams cooked salad shrimp (I used west coast shrimp…omnom)
  • 1 bun or bread of choice (not counted in nutritionals, be random)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  1. Blend the avocado, lime juice and seas salt together until smooth. If you prefer chunky then just chop and toss a bit!
  2. Pile the shrimp on the bread, top with 30 grams of avocado mixture. Top with ground pepper. Omnomnom!

You see the simplicity? You typically get enough avocado spread for 4 more sandwiches. Each sandwich filling (shrimp and avocado mix) contains 134 calories, 7.3 grams of fat, 3 grams of fibre, 4.4 grams of carbs, and 13.4 grams of protein. Don’t worry about that fat too much. It’s the avocado and that is good for you. You do need so much fat in a day so you might as well make it a fat that is good for you!

Pistachio Avocado Pesto

I’m one of those people who has a sensitivity to pine nuts. It’s not so bad to have stuff that may have been in contact with them but if I eat them, well…it’s just not a happy time. So, for the longest time pesto was something I eyed with longing and dread. Then one day years ago I made my own, but with different nuts. There was dancing and rejoicing far across the shire. Pesto was once again a tasty thing to be had again. I have done it with walnuts, pecans, and almonds but so far my favourite has to be this newest version with pistachios. Pesto is chock full of nice and healthy ingredients but sadly so full of fats. It’s those fats though that are giving us those healthy benefits so they stay. This is one of those things to be enjoyed in moderation.

  • 30 basil leaves
  • 4 tbl pistachios
  • 4 tbl extra virgin avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbl parmesan cheese
  1. Pulse the pistachios to the desired texture in a blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until a paste or sauce forms.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 92 calories, 8.3 grams of fat and .9 grams of fibre. To help metabolize a lot of that fat you can add a clear dissolving fibre supplement to the mix without any loss of taste or texture. This pesto is great tossed with angel hair pasta but my favourite is serving it as a flatbread topped with a nice light goat cheese and prosciutto.

There are some really great high fibre flat breads out there or you can make this using some of the dough from the deep dish pizza crust recipe.

Salmon Cakes II

This week I revisited my tasty salmon cakes. I made a small change to them but it was such a difference I just felt I had to share it. I just plain didn’t think it was possible for these to get even tastier. My husband made the suggestion of coating the cakes in potato instead of panko. They are much easier to coat now and the nutritional value of them is much better! This is definitely how I will be making them from now on. Look how pretty they turn out!

  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tins salmon, boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 shalot, diced fine
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbl panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup instant potato flakes (in a separate bowl)
  1. Combine all except the potato flakes in a bowl.
  2. Form into 6 patties (use an ice cream scoop as a measure)
  3. Dip the patties in the potato flakes.
  4. Spray a baking sheet and preheat your broiler a bit.
  5. Cook the cakes under the broiler for 4 minutes per side.

My original attempt is here: Salmon cakes

As you can see I changed the seasonings just a little and the coating. Here are the new servings! Makes 6 slider sized patties. Each patty contains 96 calories, 4 grams of fat and .7 grams of fibre. It’s just a small adjustment in the values but I think they make a nicer salmon cake. I find that the potato flakes are an easier coating to work with too. Win/win really! In the picture I served them with a sweet heat mustard. Num!

Spicy Mini Sandwich

The perfect tasty treat for the hobbit on the go! There are so many wonderful ways to make variations of club sandwiches and this is one I had this week. I love these mini bagels I have found, they are boiled and baked and full of bagel goodness. One or two is all you need with a tasty side dish like baked chips or a salad. Then tada! You have been to the deli. A very good lunch indeed. Hah, and now I just realized why I am so amused by the title of this sandwich…I play a mini in LOTRO…I could see her eating this…but then I’m just a big ol’geek.

  • leaf of lettuce
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1 slice of bacon, cooked crispy
  • 1 tsp half the fat mayo
  • 1 mini bagel
  • 2 tbl piri piri sauce or seasoning
  1. Marinate chicken breast in the piri piri spice the night before.
  2. Slice bagel, toast, spray with butter cooking spray if desired.
  3. Pan fry or grill the chicken breast. Slice thinly after resting the meat for 5 minutes. Place 1 ounce of chicken on the bottom bagel half. Reserve the rest for future sandwiches or sharing…if you dare.
  4. Top with bacon slice broken in half. Spread mayo on the top half of the bagel, top with lettuce leaf.
  5. Assemble!

Makes one immediate serving…and ofcourse chicken for future servings. One mini sandwich is 167 calories, 6.4 grams of fat, and 1.1 grams of fibre. If you need to reduce the fat go with turkey bacon, I went with bacon because sometimes you just need to indulge. Another great version is using avocado instead of mayo. NUM! Like your sandwich extra spicy? Add some of that piri piri seasoning to your mayo.