Category Archives: lunch

Taco Salad

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I tried this great taco salad recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be MerryIt’s called Na-Cho Ordinary Taco Salad. I don’t do a lot of meat recipes on this blog but I really enjoyed the meal. Instead of nacho chips, crisp romaine lettuce is used instead. There’s beef (I used pork), corn and black beans and some cheese. Below is the recipe I’ve adapted from the original.

Cooking the meat and the onions only takes about 10 minutes. I recommend having the salad ingredients diced and ready to go before you cook the meat.

The Meat Portion:

  • 250-500 mL cups of ground pork
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • half can jalapeno peppers (100 mL or to your taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

  • I head of romaine lettuce, ripped into pieces and washed
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 2 cups canned black beans, drained
  • diced peppers
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
  • sliced avocado (optional but highly recommended)
  • Salsa for the topping

Assembling:

  1. Brown the pork over medium-high heat.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the onions until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli powder and jalapeno.
  3. Once the pork is cooked, add it to the vegetables. Add barbecue sauce and salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble the salad: lettuce first, then the pork and cheese. Add the vegetables and top with salsa.
  5. Enjoy!
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Chicken and cheese … salad

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Tonight’s meal involves shredded chicken and breaded, heated goat cheese on a bed of spinach with a lemon, Dijon and tarragon dressing. I added two pears – cut in chunks – which was the perfect addition.

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I chose this meal to honour the memory of our late kitten, Nola. She passed away last weekend due to a congenital liver disorder. Nola loved to follow us around the house, and the  kitchen was no exception. She would hop up on the closest bar stool and watch me chop, sauté and assemble a meal. She was a picky eater but we discovered a  wet food flavored chicken and cheese that she loved. Even in her last few days, when she was at her weakest, she would manage to eat a few bites when we cracked the can open.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bundle of spinach
  • Three cups shredded cooked chicken (I purchased a rotisserie chicken and skinned and tore it apart – I used about 2/3 of the bird)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 block of goat cheese (about 150 gram packet) *Keep in the fridge until it’s ready to cut to help keep its form*
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 pears, cut into chunks

Let’s get started:

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  1. Cut the stems off of the spinach, wash and place in a bowl
  2. IMG_3683Add Shredded chicken on top
  3. Cut the pears, place in bowl as well
  4. IMG_3685In a separate bow, add the olive oil, tarragon, lemon juice and zest and Dijon mustard. Mix. Pour on top of salad.
  5. IMG_3687Now for the cheese: Mix the bread crumbs and egg together.
  6. IMG_3690Cut the goat cheese into eight, think chunks
  7. IMG_3691Heat some canola oil in a pan over medium heat
  8. IMG_3693Pat the bread crumbs to the cheese chunks. Place on pan for about a minute, flip (you don’t want them to melt, just let the bread crisp, so watch them carefully).
  9. Place breaded cheese on top of the salad. Enjoy.

This one’s for you, Nola!

A quick, quinoa fix

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My husband and I whipped together this salad tonight to go along with our fish. It was inspired from a similar salad my sister-in-law prepared yesterday for a picnic. Quinoa, of course, is considered a super food with plenty of protein.

I ate this salad while the quinoa was still warm and the feta cheese was melted — it was heavenly and cured my hunger pains. We got about three cups or so from the quinoa, plenty for leftovers tomorrow.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbles
  • dash of wasabi (optional, it was in our fridge so we tried it out)

 

Assembly:

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Add to a saucepan with water. bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover on low, for 15 minutes. Let stand for five minutes.IMG_3459
  2. Meanwhile, dice the vegetables.IMG_3458
  3. Add quinoa to a serving bowl and add oil, pepper, feta cheese, wasabi and chopped vegetables.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Did you like the salad? Try the quinoa cookies, quinoa crunch for your breakfast parfait or, quinoa stuffed cabbage rolls

 

 

 

Even in Alberta, fish can taste delicious

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Here is a mouth watering fish taco recipe I found in the April edition of Alive. I’ve wanted to make this for awhile but both my husband and I are from coastal provinces so we’re a little snotty when it comes to eating seafood in land-locked Alberta. But, we did find an amazing fish store (with great steaks too) in Crowfoot Plaza and decided to give it a try.

Now, I’m not a fan of cabbage so I tweaked the original recipe, Fish Tacos with Pickled Shallots. I did make the pickled shallots but forgot to use them. So here is what I used:

  • one pound halibut or other white fish (I used haddock)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • half a lime
  • 2 avocados
  • Bunch of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Salsa
  • 8 small tortillas (see recipe below)

1. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Cut into two-inch pieces.

2. Add the olive oil and spices. Add in fish and combine. Set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Cook fish on medium heat in a non-stick frying pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.

3. Cut up avocado. Add lime juice and cilantro and mash together.

4. Assemble. Place avocado mixture on base of tortilla. Add lettuce, fish, salsa and cilantro.

IMG_2022As for the tortilla recipe, it’s pretty darn easy to make. I would make them 10 minutes or so before you start to cook the fish so they’re still warm when you eat them. I got this from an older Moosewood recipe book.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a little oil

Like I said, pretty basic stuff.

1. Combo flour and salt in a bowl and slowly add water. Stir until combined.

2. Transfer to the counter and knead for a couple of minutes. Add extra flour if needed.

3. Break into six dough balls. Roll them flat, about 1/8 inch thick.

4. Place on lightly oiled tray and cook fr 10 to 15 minutes (watch closely, as they cook quickly).

DONE

‘Tis the season for pomengranates

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Here is the second part of yesterday’s blog post — the Baby Spinach with Avocado, Pomegranate and Sunflower Seeds salad. This recipe wasn’t taken from the Moosewood. I took it from Jillian Michaels’ Master Your Metabolism Cookbook. (Michaels was one of the personal coaches featured on the Biggest Loser back in the day and is apparently coming back in January 2013 for all you fans).

This is a great time to cook with pomegranates because they’re currently in season until about January. You can buy the juice all year but not the fruit. And the seeds are juicy and crunchy and a great addition to salads.

Read more here about the health benefits of this fruits but to shorten it for you here is the summary — “a glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.”

This recipe asks for spinach and I find a plain spinach salad can be a little slimy tasting so I purchased a mixed greens and herb package from Planet Organic. It had some dill in it, which added a great flavour.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 large shallot, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 10 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds toasted (something I never do, I just toss them in)
  • 1 avocado

1. Throw the orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice, shallot, olive oil,  chili powder, salt and pepper into a blender. Mix until smooth and set aside.

2. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut the pom in half. Holding on half under the water and remove the seeds with your hands. Drain the seeds well, discarding the membrane. Set aside 3/4 cup. Use the rest another time. (I don’t always need the  bowl of water but I do find it helps with rubbing off the membrane).

3. Combine the greens and all but 2 tablespoons of the pom seeds, the sunflower seeds, and about 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Dish salad out onto plates (To roast the seeds: place on baking sheet and cook for 2 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven).

4. Pitt, peel and slice the avocado thinly before arranging on top of the salad. Spinkle the rest of the seeds on top with remaining sauce.