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
- 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!
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
- 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
- Mix the aioli ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to top on sliders.
- Combine the slider ingredients in a bowl.
- Form into 9 slider patties. Grill over medium heat 2 minutes per side. Maximum 5 minutes.
- 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!
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
- 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.
- Remove the beef from the marinade. Discard marinade.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining soy sauce, honey, water, cornstarch and sherry until smooth. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
Making your own tzatziki is really fun and I love the ability to customize according to taste…which storebought just doesn’t do. I’ve mentioned my love affair with garlic, well I like my tzatziki to reflect that. Perhaps you like a fresher more lemony taste to yours? Or perhaps a different texture? Go nuts there are so many ways to enjoy tzatziki! My favourite? On a ham sandwich instead of mayo. Num! With all the Mediterranean dips I’ve been working on my summer evening Mediterranean al fresco dinning experience is getting closer and closer! I can’t wait!
- 1 cup no fat greek style yogurt or non fat yogurt strained in cheesecloth overnight
- 1 small cucumber peeled, seeded, finely grated, and squeezed dry.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (less if you are not as in love)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh dill (optional)
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and allow to sit for atleast 2 hours. Overnight is best!
Serves four generously (about 1/4 cup). Each serving contains 45 calories, .2 gram of fat, 7.3 grams of carbs, 3.9 grams of protein, and .4 gram of fibre. Great on falafel!
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.
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
- Combine the ground beef, panko, 1/4 cup bbq sauce, parsley, dehydrated onion, egg substitute, garlic, and spices in a bowl until well mixed.
- Press the meat mixture into jumbo muffin cups (6) and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of bbq sauce.
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- Boil the potato wedges for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender but not too tender.
- 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.
- Heat the oven to 425F. Cook the potatoes for 35-40 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
In the game this lamb dish is made with mint sauce, mixed herbs and rack of lamb. This is definitely a special occasion dish, I don’t know many people who have a rack of lamb on any old weekday night. It was definitely a hit, the lamb was so tender and the mint sauce drizzled on was just perfect! I can’t wait to do it again sometime. I’m hoping next time we can grill the meat. I have a feeling that grilling this will lead to epic levels of tasty.
- Rack of lamb
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 tbl fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 tbl malt vinegar
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Hardcore Hobbit Mint Sauce
- Puree the onion, garlic, lemon juice, tarragon, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender. Massage the marinade onto the rack of lamb and allow to sit, refrigerated for atleast 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400F and heat a pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray.
- Sear the lamb on both sides in the pan. Move the lamb to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Cover the lamb with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Drizzle with a bit of mint sauce just before serving.
You know what. Just because this is a special occasion dish let’s not talk about the nutritional info just this once. Keep in mind though the more you trim some of that fat off your rack of lamb the healthier it is. Don’t trim too much off though or you will sacrifice flavour. Serves 4 ( two chops each typically). Amazing when served with a side of pan seared polenta and on a bed of wilted spinach as pictured.
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
- Pulse the pistachios to the desired texture in a blender.
- 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.
Alright, it’s a barley risotto. So creamy, so nummy, and so filling. According to the game barley stew is made with barley and coney stock. Well, to me when you get a grain like that and some stock together it just begs to be made into a risotto. Yes the barley tells me to do things. You can hear it too…I know you can…don’t deny it. Granted, my husband claims I have already made barley stew…that one time I was a bit overzealous adding the barley to the soup. It was tasty yes but this is more elegant and involves mushrooms. What self-respecting hobbit turns down another opportunity for mushrooms? Exactly.
- 1 cup barley
- 200g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
- 3 cup coney stock (any stock of choice works here too, chicken especially)
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 14 g parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 tbl dried parsley (more if using fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Combine the stock and the wine in a pot and heat to near boiling. Lower the heat to low and allow to simmer. We want to keep that good and warm for when we make the risotto.
- Spray a pan and heat to medium. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently until done. About 2-4 minutes depending on desired doneness. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the shallot and garlic to the pan. Cook until the shallots begin to turn golden.
- Add the barley to the pan and toast for a couple of minutes. Stirring constantly.
- Now is the time to have your adventure in babysitting. Add the stock mixture one or two ladles at a time. Allow the liquid to mostly absorb before adding another ladle. This process takes around 20 minutes, so be patient and keep stirring.
- After the last ladle has been poured in and mostly absorbed, add the parsley, parmesan, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and serve immediately.
I like this topped with an additional tablespoon of parmesan but that is not included in the nutritional info. Serves four, each serving contains 252 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 8.5 grams of fibre. I know! Check out that fibre. That’s the reason why you feel so full after eating this side dish. You can serve this for two as a main dish. Prepare to be super full! I love risotto.
We are still locked in those cold days of winter so we need something comforting and warming. I always shake my head when I see those frozen entree salisbury steak dinners. We can do so much better with just a bit of prep. You can even form these patties ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze them (as long as you started with fresh meat ofcourse). You could get this dish on the table in the time it takes to make one of those frozen dinners in the oven. Hehe, I can’t compete with the microwave. Want to know something interesting, they eat this in Japan. It is that international a dish, although out there they call it Hanbagu. I just like saying it, it makes me feel very engrish. Hanbagu is awesome! Fear the hanbagu! We love you hanbagu!
- 400 grams extra lean ground beef
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 200 grams mushrooms
- 2 pkg beef oxo, reduced salt
- 1 tbl light butter
- 2 tbl cornstarch
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbl montreal steak spice
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the beef, garlic, worcestershire sauce and montreal steak spice in a bowl. Form the mixture into small patties and set aside.
- Heat a pan to medium. Spray and add onions and mushrooms, cook until desired doneness, remove from pan. If you like a chunky gravy just set them aside. If you prefer a smoother gravy puree these with the water and set aside.
- Add the patties to the pan and sear on each side. Traditionally, you will finish cooking these in your gravy. If you are doing these remove them and set aside. If not, then cook until done.
- While the patties are searing or cooking. Add the cornstarch, oxo and butter to a small pot. Allow the butter to melt and stir to combine with the dry ingredient. Add the water or puree slowly, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Bring the sauce to a boil. If you had the onions and mushrooms set aside add them now.
- If you are cooking the patties in the sauce place them in your gravy now and allow to simmer covered for 20-30 minutes. If you opted for the cooked patties serve the sauce over the patties and enjoy!
Serves 4. Each serving of patties and mushroom gravy contains 291 calories, 18 grams of fat and 1.1 grams of fibre. Definitely one of those comfort foods, it may be low in calories but the fat is something you don’t want to do everyday. Tasty with rustic mashed potatoes (especially those royal mashed potatoes) and some cooked carrots.