Week of October 27, 2014

Challenge completed! JW and I managed to get though an entire week without doing groceries! The experience was surprisingly satisfying — besides clearing out a lot of what was cluttering our freezer and pantry, we saved about 100$. I think I will try to make it regular practice to  work in at least one meal each week that is composed solely from what I already have on hand.

Monday – Grilled salmon kebabs

Photo cred: Skinny Taste

Wild Canadian sockeye salmon is on special at my grocery store this week. I thought I would make the most of the last days of nice weather where I can still use the BBQ before it gets too dark.


  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless wild salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 16 bamboo skewers soaked in water 1 hour


  1. Heat the grill one medium heat and spray the grates with oil. Mix oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl to combine; set spice mixture aside.
  2. Beginning and ending with salmon, thread salmon and folded lemon slices onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 kebabs total. Spray the fish lightly with oil and season kosher salt and the reserved spice mixture.
  3. Cook salmon to desired doneness. Serve with salad.

 Tuesday – Cod piccata with scalloped potatoes

Photo cred: Skinny Taste

The original recipe was for flounder piccata, but you could use whatever white fish you prefer (or even chicken!).  I’m going to use cod because it’s on special this week.


  • 4 cod fillets
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • sliced lemon, for serving
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Season fish with salt and pepper.  Heat oven to 200°. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites. Place the bread crumbs in another dish. Dip each fish filet in the egg whites, then bread crumbs.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Spray a generous amount of olive oil spray on one side of the fish, and lay it in the pan, oil side down. Spray the other side of the fish generously to coat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until fish is opaque and cooked through. Set aside on a platter in a warm oven until you make the sauce.
  3. Over medium heat in the same pan, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to half, about 3 – 4 minutes. Discard the lemon halves, add the capers and spoon the sauce over the fish; place a slice of lemon on each filet and top with fresh parsley.
Photo cred: Canadian Living
Photo cred: Canadian Living

I’m still trying to get through the 10-lb bag of potatoes my mother-in-law brought us a few weeks ago. I found this recipe for scalloped potatoes, which is a relatively healthier version than the  classic, over at Skinny Taste. I’ve only adapted it slightly.


  • olive oil
  • 6 medium peeled yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch-thick (2 lb 4 oz peeled)
  • 2 tbsp light butter, melted
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  2.  In a large bowl, combine potatoes, butter, salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper. Arrange the potato slices in the oiled baking dish.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring milk, thyme, bay leaf and nutmeg to a boil; pour over potatoes. Bake uncovered, for 45 – 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Wednesday – Mustard chicken with fresh herbed rice

Photo cred: Troisfoisparjour

The recipe is translated from Trois Fois Par Jour, a food blog my friend Amé introduced me to earlier this summer. The original recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs, but you could use bone-in too I suppose. You may need to extend the cooking time and make sure the inside is cooked properly.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of leeks, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Old-style (grainy) mustard
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 to 2 tbsps fresh chopped tarragon (or other favorite herb)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  •  1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. In a big skillet, heat olive oil and brown the thighs. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to an oven-safe pan.
  2. In the same skillet, add the leek and garlic, sautéing for 5 minutes or so over medium heat until soft. Deglaze the pan with wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well, season generously and spoon over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
  4. Meanwhile, in the same skillet, prepare the rice. Heat the olive oil and soften the onion. Add the rice, stirring well to coat with butter. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice has completely absorbed all the liquid.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork when done, and add the chives. Serve with the chicken.

Thursday – Dhal with vegetables

Photo cred: BBC Good Food

This will be my use-only-the-ingredients-I-already-have recipe for the week — or almost. Cauliflower and carrots will be in my basket this week, I have some green beans in my freezer, and lentils and spices in my pantry. I will only have to get a can of tomatoes. My version is very slightly adapted from the original which I found in one of my cookbooks.


  • 2/3 cup yellow lentils
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • One 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tbsps plain yogurt


  1. Rinse the lentils separately in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and put the yellow lentils in a small bowl covered with water and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in the spices and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3.  Stir in the carrots and cauliflower. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and cook, covered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the vegetables are cooked. Stir in the yogurt. Serve over rice or naan bread.

Friday – Leek, chard and corn flatbread

Photo cred: Smitten Kitchen
Photo cred: Smitten Kitchen

Man, I can’t get over how much I love Smitten Kitchen. I always find the most perfectly delectable, yet easy-to-make recipes that feed my exact cravings. This flatbread pizza recipe (taken verbatim from the original) will be the perfect dinner for JW and I before we head off to our friends’ Halloween party. I may or may not add some roasted chicken strips — I’ll see how I feel.


  • 1 1/2 pounds pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 12-oz bundle chard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling baking surface
  • 4 oz goat cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the ends off your leeks and halve them lengthwise. Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch half-rings. Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and drop in sliced leeks. Swish them around with your fingers, letting any sandy dirt fall to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks and drain them briefly on a towel, but no need to get them fully dry. Do the same with your chard ribbons, but you can leave the leaves on towels until they’re nearly fully dry, while you cook the leeks.
  2. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the leek slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leek for 10 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat back to medium, add the chard ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 4 minutes. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more if needed. Finally, add your corn kernels, cooking them with the leeks and chard for just another minute.
  3. Sprinkle two baking sheets with cornmeal. If you have pesky old baking trays like I do, and your breads really like to stick to them, I find things will release more reliably if you first lightly spray them with an oil before sprinkling on the cornmeal. Roll or stretch half your dough into a rectangular-ish shape (flatbreads are prettiest when they’re irregularly shaped, in my humble opinion) and arrange it on the prepared sheet. Spread half the leek-corn-chard mixture on it. Sprinkle it with half the log of goat cheese, crumbled into small bits.
  4. Bake flatbread in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the bread begin to brown slightly (they might brown more deeply in a better oven than they did in my lousy one). Repeat with remaining dough, filling and goat cheese.
  5. To serve, slide each flatbread onto a cutting board and cut into 8 rectangles. Serve immediately.

Week of October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! This is one of my most favorite holidays of the year, second only to Easter. Although I’m not crazy about turkey, I love just about everything else about Thanksgiving — the chilly air, the family dinners, the fragrant pies, the spicy wines… And of course, the fact that most of the weekend is spent cooking! 🙂  JW and I were invited to an orphans’ Thanksgiving on Monday evening at a friend’s place. I volunteered to bring some appetizers and desserts.  Find the recipes below!

Also, I have an announcement to make: this week I will be experimenting with a completely meat-free menu! With the exception of Monday night’s turkey dinner, the rest of the meals this week will be vegetarian.

Monday – Thanksgiving treats

I have 4 kilos of apples I need to go through before they start going bad, so the things I’m going to bring to the Thanksgiving dinner will be very much apple-based. I will make Ricardo’s tarte fine with apples and cheddar, the highest-rated apple pie, and a very pretty-looking apple cake I found over at Smitten Kitchen.

Appetizer: Ricardo’s tarte fine with apples and cheddar

Photo cred: Ricardo


  • 1/2 lb (225 g) puff pastry, thawed from frozen
  • 3 tbsps cream
  • 1/2 Cortland apple, skin on, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 3-1/2 oz (100g) aged cheddar, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pasty to a 10-inch square. Poke the surface all over with a fork. Lay onto the baking sheet.
  3. Brush the pastry with cream. Cover the pastry with the apple slices, sprinkle with chives and top with cheese slices.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese becomes golden. Let cool to room temperature, and slice into squares to serve.


Dessert: Highest-rated apple pie

Photo cred: Taste of home
Photo cred: Taste of home


I went on a hunt for the most highly-rated apple pie on the internet. This is what I found. I only very slightly modified the original, which was rated 4.8/5.0 by 6056 people.

  • Two 9-inch pie crusts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently and slowly pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Cover with the second pie crust, and press the edges together with a fork to seal the top and bottom crust together. Brush the egg all over the dough, and when finished slice four small slits into the top of the pie.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.


Dessert: Sunken apple and honey cake

Photo cred: Smitten Kitchen
Photo cred: Smitten Kitchen


  • 4 small apples, peeled, halved, and cored
  • 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 good pinches of salt
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • A good pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with butter or a nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
  2. Prepare apples: Place peeled, halved and cored apples cut-side-down on a cutting board. Use a knife to create parallel thin slices, but only cut halfway through each apple so that the apples stay intact. Don’t fret if you cut through, however; you can just reassemble the halves on the cake in a few minutes. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and 2 tbsps granulated sugar.
  3. Prepare cake base: Beat butter and 6 tbsps granulated sugar together in a bowl with electric beaters until fluffy. Add honey and beat until combined. Add vanilla and egg yolks, beating until just combined. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over cake batter, and mix for just 5 seconds, until they disappear. Add flour, half at a time, mixing only until just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl with cleaned beaters, beat egg whites until stiff. Stir 1/4 of them into the cake batter, to lighten it a little. Fold in the rest in three additions. It will seem impossible to fold in at first because the batter is so stiff, but it will loosen with careful folding. Only fold the last addition of egg whites until it has mostly disappeared (a couple faint streaks of egg white are fine).
  5. Spread cake batter in prepared cake pan, smoothing the top. Arrange apple halves face-down over the cake batter. No need to press the apples into the batter. You can pour any extra lemon juice and sugar in the bowl over the apples.
  6. Bake cake: 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then cut around the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan at all, and unhinge the sides. Let cake cool completely. You can store it at room temperature at this point, or after you add the honey, for up to 3 days at room temperature. After that, a fridge is best for longevity. The cake is lovelier on day 2 than day 1.
  7. Before serving, if you’d like the glaze to look glossy, or whenever the cake is cool, if you don’t mind if the honey sinks into the cake: Warm 1/4 cup honey and a good pinch of sea salt until it liquefies to the point where it makes a thin glaze — this will take less than 30 seconds. Brush honey-salt mixture over cooled cake.

Tuesday – Hoppin’ John

Photo cred: Simply recipes

Last week, I came across this incredibly delicious-looking and hilariously-written (if slightly raunchy) food blog, Thug Kitchen. I pored over their pages and bookmarked a dozen recipes that I couldn’t wait to try, before realizing that the entire website is completely vegan. I hadn’t even noticed! In fact, this website is what inspired me to attempt a veggie week. This first recipe for Hoppin’ John was taking almost verbatim from the blog — although I did clean up the language a bit.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed (or if you prefer it hot, then keep some of the seeds in) and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth


  1. Rinse the black-eyed peas. Put them in a medium container and cover them with a couple inches of water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. Chop up the onion, bell peppers, and celery. In a large pot, warm the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it starts to brown in some places, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and celery and cook until they get soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chipotles and garlic to the pot, along with thyme, oregano, paprika, black pepper, bay leaves, and salt. Stir and cook for 30 seconds. Toss in the drained black-eyed peas and the broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Let simmer uncovered until the peas are tender. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how long you soaked your peas and how old they are. If you start running out of broth before those are ready, add a little more broth or water. If the peas are tender and you’ve still got too much broth in there, drain a bit off. Check the seasoning when you are all done and add more herbs or spices if you think it needs it. Serve over rice, topped with some green onions.

Wednesday – Potato-cabbage soup

Photo cred: My Recipes
Photo cred: My Recipes

In addition to all the apples, I also have a huuuuge bag of potatoes I need to find something to do with. One thing is this potato-cabbage soup that the Irish in me is really excited to try! It’s barely adapted from the original.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1 leek, white parts cleaned and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups boiled Idaho potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch slices


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cabbage, leeks, garlic, and salt and cook until the cabbage is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a blender, puree until smooth and season to taste with additional salt, if desired. Serve with crusty bread.

Thursday – Sweet potato and chickpea wraps

Photo cred: Thug Kitchen

If you have any sweet potatoes leftover from Thanksgiving, mash them with some chickpeas and roll them into a wrap, as suggested in this recipe over I got from Thug Kitchen.  (Plus, another use for my million apples – score!)


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2-15 ounce cans
  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps water or broth
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tsps tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsps water
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tortillas


  1. Place the sweet potato cubes in a steamer basket over a couple of inches of water on the stove and steam for about 15 minutes or until you can easily stab them with a fork. Turn off the heat and keep them covered.
  2. While the potatoes are steaming, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over a medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook them until they start to brown, about 8 minutes. Mix together the water, lemon juice, and tamari in a small glass. Add the chickpeas to the onions, mix well, and then add the lemon juice mixture. Cook for a minute or two until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the herbs and spices and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the steamed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add the remaining oil, water, and salt. Gently mash, but keep it chunky. When you are done with the sweet potatoes, cut up the apple into little sticks. Squeeze a little lemon juice over them so they don’t brown.
  4. Smear some of the sweet potatoes on the tortilla, add the cooked chickpeas and onions, spinach, and the chopped up apple. Wrap it up and enjoy.

Friday – Veggie stir-fry

Photo cred: Betty Crocker

Original recipe from Betty Crocker.


  • 2 tsps finely chopped gingerroot
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups small broccoli flowerets
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce


  1. Spray wok or 12-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add gingerroot and garlic; stir-fry about 1 minute or until light brown. Add broccoli, carrots and onion; stir-fry 1 minute.
  2. Stir in broth and salt; cover and cook about 3 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Mix cornstarch and cold water; stir into vegetable mixture. Cook and stir about 10 seconds or until thickened.
  3. Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir 30 seconds. Serve over rice or chow mein noodles.

Week of October 6, 2014

I just returned from a wonderful, long weekend in Quebec City. I got to reconnect with colleagues, visited with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and Sunday afternoon we had a surprise baby shower for one of my dearest friends. It was precisely what I needed, and now I am back and ready to tackle October!

While waiting for my flight home to board on Sunday evening, I did one of my favorite airport things: bought a cooking magazine to leaf through on the plane! I opted for Ricardo’s most recent issue, which was a special edition on reducing food waste (in addition to all kinds of tasty recipes, of course). I found a lot of the suggestions very useful! Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • I am always throwing away entire cans of tomato paste (most recipes only call for a couple of tablespoons, at most, and I am terrified of botulism so I never keep the leftover) but Ricardo offers up an amazing solution for avoiding all this waste: when finished using what you need from the can, scoop little portions of tomato paste (about 1 tbsp) onto a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen solid, collect them in a freezer bag and store them for future use.
  • Instead of throwing away scraps of rinds and peels (e.g., after peeling carrot or onions, or removing the tough leaves from celery, radishes, carrots or whatever), keep them in a freezer bag for the next time you’re making soup stock.

Without further ado, here is this week’s meal plan!

Monday – Stuffed squash

Nothing is more autumny than squash! This recipe was adapted from the original.


  • 2 medium sized acorn squash, halved and de-seeded
  • 1lb extra lean ground pork
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fat free chicken broth
  • Generous pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Place the squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish, add 1/4 inch water, cover with foil, and bake until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Spray a large, nonstick skillet with nonfat cooking spray. Add in onion, garlic and 2 tbsp broth and saute until onions begin to become transparent, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in ground pork, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Cook until pork is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to low and add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has minimized, stirring occasionally.
  5. Fill the hollow of each acorn squash half with 1/4 of the ground pork mixture. Serve immediately.

Tuesday – Rogan Josh

Significantly adapted from the original.


  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the ginger, garlic, yogurt and tomato purée into a blender. Blend well until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in a wide heavy pot over a medium heat, brown the meat cubes in several batches and set to one side.
  3. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon into the same hot oil. stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on color.
  4. Now put in the onions. Stir and fry for 5 minutes until they turn a medium brown color.
  5. Put in the yogurt tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garam masala, salt and pepper. Add the meat cubes and juices.
  6. Add the water and bring to the boil, scraping all the browned spices off the sides and bottom of the pot. Cover and cook on low for an hour (or until meat is tender).
  7. Every 10 minutes give the meat a good stir. When the meat is tender take off the lid, turn the heat up to medium, and boil away some of the liquid.
  8. The fat that collects in the pot may be spooned off the top before serving.

Wednesday – Broiled trout with sun-dried tomato pesto


This week’s fish recipe courtesy of Ricardo!


  • 1 1/2 lb (675 g) skinless trout fillet
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) store-bought sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) crumbled feta
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the broiler. Oil a large baking sheet.
  2. Lay the trout fillet on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Spread with pesto. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange the asparagus around the fish. Lightly drizzle theasparagus with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of the fish.
  4. Serve the fish and asparagus together. If desired, accompany with 15-minute brown rice.

Thursday – Lemon chicken pasta

All recipes

I’m not typically a fan of pasta, but JW really loves it. I’ve discovered this recipe, which makes us both happy — he loves the pasta, and I love the lemony tang.


  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) package rotelle pasta
  • 1 cup milk (or cream, if you don’t mind the fat)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
  3. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the milk (or cream) and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Friday – Pizza night!


There are really no ingredients or instructions here. Just make your own pizza dough, and top with fresh veggies, meat, herbs and cheese. Bake until golden!