Tag Archives: chicken

Week of April 20, 2015

Things on my to-do list last weekend:

  1. Go to a super awesome bridal show with my friend Rebecca, who recently got engaged! (And buy a bunch of things at the show, even though I am not the one getting married) — Check!  And check!
  2. Enjoy cold beers on a sunny patio — Check!
  3. Run the Toronto Yonge Street 10 km — Check!
  4. Visit Kate’s amazingly adorable and unbelievably pretty new baby girl — Check!
  5. Change my phone number to a Toronto area code (only 3 years later…) — Check!
  6. Cook all my meals for the week and update my blog — not check. Oops! I guess I can’t do 6 productive things in one weekend. Oh well! Here’s catching up…

Monday – Zucchini quiche


I had a leftover pie crust in my freezer, 3 or 4 zucchinis that were starting to go soft, and some leftover cheese from a pizza this weekend. Enter this recipe I found over at A Taste of Home.


  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 3 medium)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion; cook and stir until tender. Drain and cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and seasonings until blended. Stir in cheese and zucchini mixture. Spread mustard over pastry shell; add filling.
  3. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Cover edge loosely with foil during the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent overbrowning. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Tuesday – Thai chicken burgers


I have made this recipe before from my It’s All Good cookbook. It’s fresh and summery and great with sauteed kale, bok choy or broccolette.


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 shallots, very finely minced
  • 1 tsp very finely minced red chili (or more or less, however hot you like it)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil (such as canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil)


  1. Thoroughly mix chicken with garlic, cilantro, shallots, red chili, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into 4 burgers, each about 3/4-inch thick.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both sides with a bit of oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.

Wednesday – Chickpea curry


Interesting-looking vegetarian recipe from Budget Bytes. 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 8 oz spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (29 oz.) can chickpeas


  1. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger on a small holed cheese grater. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions have softened (3-5 minutes).
  2. Add the curry powder and continue to sauté with the onion mixture for one minute more. Add about 1/4 cup of water and to the skillet along with the fresh spinach and continue to sauté until the spinach has wilted. The water will help steam and wilt the spinach (no water needed if using frozen spinach).
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them to the skillet along with the tomato sauce. Stir well to distribute the spices in the sauce and heat through (5 minutes). Serve over rice or with bread.

Thursday – Asian chicken lettuce wraps

From It’s All Good. I think instead of wrapping these up in lettuce leaves I will use rice wraps.


  • Neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or safflower oil)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 head of bibb or iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • A few scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced


  1. Heat a few tablespoonfuls of oil in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and add chicken, along with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring to break the chicken up, until browned, about 10 to15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat few more spoonfuls of oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, lotus root, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the carrot just begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Combine chicken and vegetables in 1 pan and add ½ c. of Lee’s Hoisin Sauce along with ½ cup of water; cook for a final minute or 2 to just bring everything together. Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the lettuce leaves until you’ve used it all up. (This recipe makes about a dozen wraps, but it depends how big your lettuce leaves are.) Scatter the cilantro and scallions over the lettuce cups and serve with sriracha if anyone wants a little kick.

Friday – Sexy fish stew

I’m not sure why this is called “Sexy fish stew” but JW found it over at All Recipes and it looks pretty tasty & is highly rated!


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, trimmed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 pound boneless fish filets, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and stir leek, shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the melted butter until softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir wine into leek mixture, increase heat to medium, and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Mix fennel and potatoes into leek mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add cream and stir to combine.
  4. Stir fish and tarragon into soup, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir gently, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Week of April 13, 2015

Guess what? We’re moving! Our landlord announced that she would be putting our apartment up for sale this week. JW and I talked seriously about buying it ourselves, and although we would have loved to it just didn’t seem realistic in our timeline of where we want to be in 2, 3 or 4 years from now. So, *sigh*, we are sad to leave our little nest, but we’re both really excited about getting a fresh start in a (much bigger!) beautiful, bright new apartment a few blocks from where we live now. We’ll have a second bedroom! And hardwood floors! And — a backyard! I could have an herb garden!! ♥

Monday – Spicy beef tortillas


The fillings for the tortillas are loosely based on this recipe.


  • 3/4 pound flank steak or other beef, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp each, cumin and dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla wraps


  1. Mash the avocado with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Set aside.
  2. Julienne the cucumber and carrot, and toss with the remaining lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large, deep skillet or wok over a medium-high flame. Add a drizzle of oil. When it starts to shimmer, add meat, peppers, fish sauce, salt, cumin and thyme. Toss to combine and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Spread the mashed avocado on a wrap, and fill with meat mixture and vegetables. Wrap up tight and enjoy.

Tuesday – Salmon pie with rice crust

Photo cred: Eggs.ca

I have made this recipe a couple of times. It’s a great go-to recipe when you have leftover rice on hand (as I do this week), or leftover fish or crab meat. I love the crispy rice crust – it’s particularly good with brown rice, I find.


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked rice, cooled
  • eggs
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2/3 cup fat free evaporated skim milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • can salmon, drained
  • 3/4 cup shredded light Swiss cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Spray 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with cooking spray. Stir rice and one whisked egg together in medium bowl. Press rice mixture into bottom and up side of pie plate.
  3. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk remaining eggs, evaporated milk, dill, salt and pepper in large bowl. Stir in onion mixture, salmon and half of cheese. Spread over rice crust. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven until knife inserted in centre comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Wednesday – Lemon chicken breasts with cauliflower rice

Photo cred: Food Network

I have been wanting to try cauliflower rice for awhile. I found this great tutorial — it couldn’t seem easier. Perfect to go with lemon chicken breasts.



  • 1 head cauliflower

Lemon chicken

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon



  1. Clean the cauliflower and chop into florets. Put florets into a food processor and pulse until the pieces resemble grains of rice.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F. Spread cauliflower rice out on one or more baking sheets (depending on how much you have) into a single layer. Don’t make yourself crazy about the single layer thing, you just don’t want to crowd the pan or it will steam and remain moist. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping the “rice” at least 1x. Remove, serve and Enjoy!

Lemon chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
  3. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Thursday – Garlicky swiss chard & chickpeas

Photo cred: Foodie Crush

This recipe came in my veggie basket this week, and I think they got it here.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 bunches swiss chard, center stems cut out and discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional


  1. In a larges skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of hte chard and cook, 1 to 2 minutes. When the first half has wilted, add the remaining chard. When all of the chard is wilted, add the chicken broth. Cover the skillet and cook the chard until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the chard through a fine sieve (strainer) and set it aside.
  2. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until they are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chard and chickpeas and cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Drizzle the lemon juice over the mixture and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle cheese on top just before serving, if desired.

Friday – Ramen

Photo cred: Chatelaine

I liked the potential versatility of this recipe — you could add whatever meat, fish or vegetables you wanted.


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 85-g pkgs ramen noodles
  • 2 cups frozen edamame, thawed and shelled
  • 4 cups pea sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. Cover with a large piece of wax paper. Using a rolling pin or mallet, pound thickest part until chicken has an even thickness. Transfer to a pie plate.
  2. Whisk rice vinegar with soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour 1⁄4 cup sauce over chicken, coating evenly. Reserve remaining sauce for noodles.
  3. Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium. Add chicken and cook until springy when pressed, 6 to 8 min per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Let stand for 5 min, then slice into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Cook ramen noodles, following package directions but omitting seasoning packet, until tender, 3 to 4 min. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and return to pot. Stir in reserved sauce, edamame, pea sprouts, green onions and chicken.

Week of February 02, 2015

I’m back! I had to take a little break from meal planning and blogging. Last week was weird and crazy and uncertain and stressful, but something really exciting ended up happening amid all the mayhem — I got a job!!! I’m so excited! I’ll be covering a one-year maternity leave in a behavioral neurology clinic. I start in March! 🙂

Now that that’s all settled and I’ve recovered from the excitement, I’m ready to plan my meals for the coming week. For most of them, I turned to two new cookbooks I received at Christmas, Plenty More and Ottolenghi.

 Monday – Batata harra

Photo cred: She's cookin
Photo cred: She’s cookin

I was running out of ideas for using the boatload of potatoes we have, until I found this simple, spicy recipe in Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. He suggests serving it with a piece of fish or chicken, which I will do. This recipe makes a lot, but I love the idea of having leftovers with scrambled eggs for breakfast!


  • 2 1/4 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and chopped into pieces
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to completely dry.
  3. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, and spread the potatoes in a single layer. Pour both oils over the potatoes and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Mix gently, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes, red bell pepper and half of the cilantro, and return to the oven for another 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the potatoes are tender and nicely browned.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature, adding the remaining cilantro just before serving.

Tuesday – Chickpeas and spinach with honeyed sweet potato

honeyed chickpea sweet potato

This is my veggie dish for the week, which I’ve only barely tweaked from Ottolenghi’s original.


  • 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 19-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups spinach (I will use chard)
  • Coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sweet potato

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried mint


  1. Put the sweet potatoes in a saucepan with the water, butter, honey and salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, turning the potatoes halfway through to color evenly.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are simmering, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree, cook for a minute, stirring, then add the tomatoes and the ground cumin. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes over a medium heat and then add salt/pepper to taste.
  3. Stir the spinach and chickpeas into the tomato sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Make the yoghurt sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients and seasoning with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the warm chickpeas into a serving dish, arrange the sweet potato slices on top and garnish with the coriander leaves. Spoon the yoghurt sauce on top or serve on the side.

Wednesday – Chicken burgers with sunchoke fries

Photo cred: Olive & Herb
Photo cred: Olive & Herb

I had never heard of sunchokes before they appeared in my veggie basket this week. Turns out, they are the tuberous roots of a type of sunflower. I am going to make these “fries” with them, served with simple chicken burgers.


For the burgers

  • 1 lb ground white meat chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp finely minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sunchoke fries

  • 1 lb sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley


For the burgers

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Shape into patties. Fry patties in a skillet until golden and cooked through (about 5 minutes per side) or, if you’re feeling adventurous enough to brave the cold, grill on the BBQ.

For the sunchoke fries

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Scrub the sunchokes and chop into bite-size chunks. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated.
  3. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the skin is slightly browned. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve plain or with a side of ketchup.

Thursday – Warm beet salad & grilled fish

Photo cred: Ottolenghi
Photo cred: Ottolenghi

I’m kind of addicted to beets these days. We keep getting them in our basket and I just love them! Ottolenghi suggests roasting them for a salad, which totally appeals to me — however, I’ve had to modify his original recipe quite a bit to fit with the ingredients I have on hand this week. I will serve with a piece of roasted white fish.


  • 2 lbs red and/or golden beets
  • 3 oz sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup watercress
  • 2 cups chard, spinach or arugula
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pre heat the oven too 400 degrees F. Wash the beets and wrap them in foil individually. Bake in the oven for anything from 40 to 90 minutes, depending on their size (baby beets might take even less). Check each one, as cooking times vary a lot: the beet should be tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
  2. Spread the sunflower seeds out in an ovenproof dish and toast in the oven alongside the beets for 8 minutes — just until lightly colored.
  3. Once the beets are ready, unwrap them and peel with a small knife while still warm. Cut each into halves, quarters or cubes. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Toss well and then taste: there should be a clear sweetness balanced by enough salt. Serve warm.

Friday – Curried fish stew

Photo cred: Taste.com
Photo cred: Taste.com

I have so much leftover passata from pizza night last Friday, and when I googled “leftover passata” I found a Châtelaine page with some tasty suggestions. Here’s one.


  • 2 cups passata
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp Madras curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 chopped white fish fillets


  1. Pulse all ingredients except the fish in a blender. Transfer to a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chopped fish and boil until cooked through.

Week of January 19, 2015

I’m having one of those Sundays where I just don’t have the energy to get all creative with our meals this week, so I’m doing a bit of recycling — I’ve posted a few of these recipes before,  but that just means they’re tried and true! 🙂

Monday – Beet and arugula salad with salmon

Photo cred: Bon Appetit
Photo cred: Bon Appetit

I got this recipe from the Food Lover’s Cleanse and have only slightly adapted the original. I’m going to serve with a piece of grilled salmon to make it a bit more filling.

  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • 2 ounces (¼ large) ounce avocado
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • Piece of grilled fish of your choice, like salmon
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss beets with a drizzle of olive oil in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add whatever herb you like and ¼ cup water. Cover pan tightly with foil (you want steam to build up in there) and roast beets until a paring knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in covered pan, which will help loosen the skins. Rub off skins with paper towels.
  2. After beets have cooled, toss with arugula, quinoa, olive oil, and lemon. Top with avocado, sunflower seeds, and a piece of grilled fish.

 Tuesday – Chicken with squash purée

Photo cred: All recipes
Photo cred: All recipes

I’ve made this chicken before, remember? I’m going to leave out the limes this time, and serve with my own version of the Food Lover’s Cleanse-inspired squash purée.

For the chicken

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil

For the purée

  • 2-lb. squash (butternut, ideally) halved, seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil. Season squash with salt and pepper and place, cut side down, on sheet along with garlic cloves. Roast on bottom rack until squash is tender, 45–50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. In a small bowl, mix together the spices for the chicken, and sprinkle generously on both sides of the breasts. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side.
  3. When the squash is done and cool enough to handle, peel garlic and scrape flesh from squash. Mash garlic and squash together in a large bowl. Add cumin, paprika, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday – Slow-cooked pernil

Photo cred: Skinny Taste
Photo cred: Skinny Taste

I didn’t even know what pernil was until two minutes ago when I went looking for ideas on what to do with a pork roast I bought on special and found this recipe. Turns out, “Pernil is a typical pork dish in the Latin Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba.” I will serve with tangy grilled broccoli. Yum!

For the pernil

  • 3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Juice of 2 limes

For the broccoli

  • 1 head broccoli, separated into florets
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.
  2. The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours. After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

For the broccoli

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, mix together all ingredients. Shake well.
  3. Spread broccoli evenly on a cookie sheet and grill florets until they are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, about 15 minutes.

Thursday – Broccoli purée soup

Photo cred: Parade
Photo cred: Parade

We save all our broccoli stems after we’ve removed the florets to eat, and when we’ve amassed enough (4-6 stems, I’d say) JW makes the most wonderful, creamy purée. I’m not sure there’s really a recipe for this soup; I think JW just improvises every time he makes it. To make it a little bit heartier, I am going to ask him to add a few potatoes this time.

  • At least 4 broccoli stems, rougly chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of small potatoes (like New or Fingerling), chopped into small cubes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a stockpot. Sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant, only about a minute or two. Add the broccoli stems and potato cubes and cook until they begin to soften, stirring frequently to mix all the flavors.
  2. Add the broth. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the broccoli stems and potatoes are very soft. When done, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before pulsing in a blender to purée.

Friday – Pasta with turkey meatballs

Photo cred:

JW was craving pasta as one of our meals this week, and I think I have a few turkey meatballs and sauce in our freezer (recipe below). Perfect for an easy, end-of-the-week meal.

Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure garlic does not burn. Add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add in both cans of tomatoes with their juices and remaining basil leaves. Turn to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow sauce to simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon.


  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
  • Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse onion, arugula, parsley, garlic, sage, basil, thyme and rosemary until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine onion-herb mixture with turkey, salt and pepper; mix with hands.
  2. Roll turkey mixture into about 12-16 golf ball-sized meatballs. In a large pot over low heat, warm tomato sauce. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook meatballs in skillet in batches, stirring, until browned, 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer meatballs to simmering sauce (recipe below); partially cover pot. Cook meatballs, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Serve over pasta.

Week of January 05, 2015

We’re back! After a wonderful two-week holiday visiting family & friends, I must admit I am glad to settle back into my old routine. My clothes were starting to fit a little too tightly and I am looking forward to eating normally again. I’m really craving lots of vegetables and simple, simple meat and fish dishes after all the overindulging over the holidays. Also, I got two new cookbooks as gifts, which I can’t wait to try out!

Monday – Massaged kale salad with simple mackerel

Photo cred: Yeo Valley

Typically, my favorite way to eat kale is sautéed in olive oil and sea salt, but I recently read about massaged kale salad in my Bountiful cookbook. Also I’m going to take advantage of the mild weather (3 degrees today!) and serve this salad with whole mackerels, lightly brushed with olive oil and simply grilled on the BBQ.


  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and saved for veggie stock
  • 1 avocado or 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 mackerels or other small fish such as sardines
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the kale leaves into strips. In a large bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice. Add kale strips and massage the kale with your hands until it softens and becomes “limp”. If using olive oil, massage leaves with olive oil and toss with lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Descale the fish and brush lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill on the BBQ until the skill is crispy and the flesh is fully cooked.

Tuesday – Spicy chicken & spaghetti squash

Photo cred: Simply Recipes
Photo cred: Simply Recipes

This recipe was inspired by one I found, again, in Bountiful, only I’ve replaced the sausage with a spicy chicken recipe I found over at All Recipes.


  • 2 1/2 tbsps paprika
  • 2 tbsps garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 spaghetti squash


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly oil a sheet pan and place the squash, cut sides down, on the pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the flesh is easily torn into strands with a fork. Remove the flesh from the shells and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
  3. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear. Slice the chicken into strips and place on a bed of spaghetti squash to serve.

Wednesday – Curry-roasted root vegetables

Photo cred: Jonathan Lovekin

This recipe is from one of my new cookbooks, Plenty more (thanks, Val!). It immediately caught my eye, but I’m a little worried I won’t be able to find the required leaves used as seasoning (curry & lime leaves)… Fingers crossed that one of our local grocery stores will carry them. I will adapt the recipe to fit the veggies in my basket this week, but any root vegetables would be delicious roasted in this way. I will serve this with a piece of grilled salmon and a squeeze of lemon.


  • 1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1 bunch beets, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into batons
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 3 tbsps lime juice
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh or frozen lime leaves, very finely shredded
  • 2 stems fresh curry leaves, kept on the stem
  • 2 fresh salmon fillets, grilled to taste


  1. Place the veggies in a large roasting pan. Add the olive oil, curry powder, half the lime juice, and salt and pepper. Toss well and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice during cooking. Add the lime and curry leaves and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, pour the remaining lime juice over the top and serve warm with simple grilled salmon.

Thursday – Pork tenderloin and quinoa salad

Photo cred: watercress.co.uk
Photo cred: watercress.co.uk

I found this fabulous-looking salad recipe online today, which I have only slightly modified. I will serve it with a simple grilled pork tenderloin (I found a yummy rub over at Skinny Taste!).


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium head broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 oz hazelnuts (approximately 12-15 nuts)
  • 1 bunch watercress or arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook the quinoa in boiling water for 10 mins or until just tender. In a separate pan of boiling water, cook the broccoli florets for 2 mins. Drain the quinoa and broccoli in a large sieve and rinse in cold water until cold. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the oil, lemon zest and juice and seasoning to taste. Toast the hazelnuts under a medium grill, then roughly chop. Add to the quinoa, along with the watercress. Toss to combine and set aside.
  3. Combine the cumin, garlic and chili powders, paprika and pepper in a small bowl and rub all over the tenderloin. Preheat the grill to high, or preheat the broiler to high.  Grill or broil the tenderloin, covered on high 5 minutes on each side, then move to indirect heat if grilling, cover the grill and cook an additional 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 145°F (about 20 to 22 minutes total). Serve with the quinoa salad.

Friday – Medieval Times

Our friend Jess is hosting her birthday dinner at the super-kitsch, super-fun-looking Medieval Times restaurant, so we’ll be eating out. I’ve never been to one of these restaurants but I will be sure to give an update next week!

Week of December 15, 2014

JW and I are going home for the holidays next week. I am really looking forward to all the good food I’ll be eating (my mom is hosting a World Tapas potluck, and of course we’ll be eating lots of turkey!). I’m likely to be having my share of not-so-good food as well… JW has been talking for weeks about Ashton’s Poutine — it’s been his tradition for years that the first thing he does upon arriving to Quebec City is get an Ashton poutine (literally, the. first. thing.). I guess I’ll be getting back to the gym in January!

I’m in that period where I’m trying to use up as much as possible of what’s in our fridge before we leave. I managed to track down a couple of recipes that should help me get through what’s left of my veggie basket etc.

Also, this is going to be my last post until we return on January 4th, so Happy Holidays!

Monday – Deconstructed stuffed cabbage

Photo cred: Skinny Taste
Photo cred: Skinny Taste

I have three heads of cabbage a I need to use ASAP — they keep showing up in my weekly baskets, and I never knew what to do with them until I found this recipe over at Skinny Taste. I’m excited about this one because I actually love stuffed cabbage rolls, but they’re so time-consuming to make that I seldom try. Can’t wait to see how this recipe turns out!


  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add ground beef and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground beef and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While it simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces. Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  4. When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.
  5. In the dish, layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.
  6. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese (if using). Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.

Tuesday – Hmong chicken stir-fry

I kind of made up this recipe. It’s inspired by one I’ve made before, which I found over at Blue Kitchen, however I didn’t want to use beef so I integrated a few ideas from a similar chicken-based recipe over at Organic Valley.


  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped, loosely packed cilantro
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Wash the chicken breast and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to medium hot. Add the garlic and chicken and stir-fry until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, oyster sauce and fish sauce and stir-fry for 2 or 3 more minutes, until the flavors are combined.
  3. Add cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes and green onions and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes more. Serve hot over rice.

Wednesday – Vegetarian curry

Photo cred: Pinch of Yum

This, I love: a straightforward, no-fuss recipe for something tasty that I’m bound to love, using only 5 ingredients and can be prepared in 15 minutes. Thank you, Pinch of Yum!


  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsps red curry paste
  • 2 small heads broccoli (and/or other veggies of choice)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsps cold water


  1. Saute broccoli (and onion/garlic if you wish) in a tablespoon of oil. After a few minutes, add the coconut milk and let simmer for 5-8 minutes. The broccoli should soften but still be tender-crisp.
  2. Add the curry paste to the pan and whisk it until it combines with the coconut milk. Add the chickpeas.
  3. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for about a minute, then reduce heat and let cool slightly. Sauce will thicken as the mixture cools. Enjoy hot over rice.

Thursday – Leftovers pizza

I have a frozen ball of dough in the fridge, so I am planning to throw together a pizza with any leftover cabbage, meat or cheese from Monday; chicken stir-fry from Tuesday; and broccoli from Wednesday. I think I also have some sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge I should use… This is going to be one weird pizza!


  • 1 pizza dough (bought or home-made)
  • Leftovers from the week


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Roll out pizza dough and brush with olive oil. Top with ingredients and bake for 15 minutes, or until toppings become golden.

Friday – Christmas dinner with colleagues

We have our last holiday get-together with people from work on Friday, so I won’t be cooking. I will, however, be bringing a box of cookies to the party — my last issue of Châtelaine had a series of fancy shortbread cookie recipes, and I must confess that I was so excited, and the recipes were so easy, that I made almost all of them. So now I have 20 dozen cookies (I’m not even exaggerating) that I need to give away — in the spirit of Christmas! 😉

Week of November 10, 2014

I just back from the grocery store and I am really excited about the meals this week! I re-discovered one of my old favorite food blogs, Qlinart,  which was my go-to site for Asian-inspired dishes when I first moved into my own place and began cooking for myself. This week, for some reason I’m really in the mood for precisely that type of food, as you will see from my menu.

Friday, JW and I will be going to a cottage we rented in the Georgian Bay. It’s our anniversary, and we wanted to do something special, so we’re stealing off for a few days to a rustic log cabin in the woods just off Lake Huron. Looking forward to it! ♥

Monday – Lemongrass chicken

Photo cred: Qlinart

I’ve made this many times, and it really is best on the BBQ, but if the weather is too chilly the oven certainly does the trick. I find the original recipe is a little heavy on the oil, so I’ve reduced it a tad.


  • 1 whole grain-fed chicken
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 4 tbsp finely minced lemon grass (about two stems of lemongrass)
  • 6 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 3 tsps hot chili flakes
  • 1 tsp hot chili paste
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt(or to taste)
  • 2 tsps ground pepper


  1. To prepare the marinade, mix well all above ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl with a spoon.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken (flatten the chicken for the grill or the oven roast) and rub the skin and the interior with the prepared lemongrass-garlic-chili marinade. Let marinate for 24 hours or overnight in a well-sealed container.
  3. Having been marinated overnight, the chicken is ready to be grilled in the BBQ or roasted in the oven. When grilling on the BBQ, set the temperature to medium-high and keep the BBQ lid closed, but make sure to flip the chicken once in a while to maintain an even grill and avoid burning. The chicken should be cooked between an hour and an hour and a half.
  4. If oven roasting, set the temperature to 350F. Place the chicken in an oven bag and follow instructions. It’s really worth it to use the oven bag – it cuts down the roasting time by almost half and makes the most tender and juiciest bird ever. Roast the chicken in the oven bag for about an hour and a half until the skin is golden brown. (Without an oven bag, roast for 2 and half hours.) Once the skin is golden brown, it’s a good indication that the meat is cooked. The juices at the bottom of the pan is a good sign that the chicken is moist and tender. Remove and discard the oven bag and the juices. To add that final “grilled” touch, place the chicken in the oven and “broil” for about 2-3 minutes until parts of the skin are slightly burnt. And voilà, oven-roasted-broiled chicken without the BBQ.

Tuesday – Braised chicken with winter squash tagine

Photo cred: Qlinart

We bought too many squash (squashes?) for last week’s stuffed squash recipe, so I thought I would use my single leftover gourd in this recipe. Also, I was just thinking that I haven’t used my tagine in literally years, what a perfect excuse!


  • 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut in large chunks
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large winter squash, diced 1 inch chunks
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1 orange peel
  • handful of fresh coriander to garnish, coarsely chopped
  • roasted slivered almonds to garnish (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil in the tajine base and stir in the onions, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon and saffron for about 2 minutes or until the onions have softened a little.
  3. Gently add the chicken and stir until all sides are lightly browned. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and lower the heat the medium, cover with Tajine lid (dome), and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the squash by carefully peeling and dicing it. Remove dome and add in the diced squash, the orange peel and the dates. Put the lid back on and carefully place the tajine in the oven to bake for about 15-20 minutes. (Edit – I made this tonight and 20 minutes was definitely not long enough. The chicken was still raw and the squash was rock-hard. I extended the cooking time to a total of 60 minutes). Spices should slowly infuse in the chicken and squash, giving the dish incredible flavour.
  5. When done, remove from the oven, slowly remove the lid and sprinkle the coriander and almonds. Serve with couscous, rice or a side dish of vegetables.

 Wednesday – Green Thai curry shrimp soup

Photo cred: Food52

This recipe was given to me by word-of-mouth from my friend Amé. It’s so easily adapted to incorporate any veggies, chicken, or whatever, and it’s the perfect soupe-repas.


  • Zest and juice from one lime
  • About 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half a pound of raw shrimp
  • 2-3 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 package vermicelli (angel hair) noodles
  • Asian veggies of your choice (watercress, mushrooms)


  1. Heat some olive oil in a stockpot. Sauté the ginger and garlic for a few seconds, and add the shrimp until the meat just begins to turn pink. Add the zest, lime juice and curry paste. Mix well so the shrimp is coated with everything.
  2. Add the coconut milk and the broth. Bring to a boil. then reduce heat and simmer a few minutes until you’re sure the shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Add the vermicelli and veggies, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Thursday – Grilled pork chops with lemongrass and ginger

Photo cred: Qlinart

Pork was crazy cheap this week, and so to continue with my Asian food fetish this week here is a lemongrass-marinated pork recipe. I have again reduced the oil but otherwise it’s copied verbatim from the original.


  • 4 pork chops with bone
  • 1 stalk lemon grass (remove hard surrounding shell with your hands, and chop finely the inner softer stalk)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar (or ¾ tsp regular sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp red hot chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Put the pork chops in a large freezer bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a meat tenderizing hammer. Transfer to another large freezer bag and add in the lemongrass, garlic, ginger sugar, fish sauce and chili flakes. Drizzle in the oil over the meat and spices.
  2. Close the bag and shake well and give the pork a good massage with your hands so as to mix in the spices well. Lay bag on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Before grilling, take out the bag and leave at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove marinated pork from the bag. Grill both sides on the barbecue for about 5-7 minutes each side until well done.
  5. Slice the pork and serve with fresh lettuce and rice vermicelli. You can also wrap the pork slices in rice paper to make fresh spring rolls.

Friday – Linguine with chard and shrimp

Photo cred: EatingWell

As I mentioned, JW and I will be out of town this Friday but I did find this tasty recipe that I might have made if I were home.


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine
  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per pound)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 16 cups thinly sliced chard leaves
  • 1/4 cup clam juice, or water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook linguine until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add chard in handfuls, stirring until it wilts before adding more; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk clam juice (or water) and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the pan; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan, add lemon juice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. Drain the linguine and return it to the pot. Add the sauce; toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges.

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 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!

Week of September 22, 2014

Last night JW and I went to see Nick Offerman headlining at JFL42. I was so excited and had been looking forward to the show for weeks, but I had perhaps set my hopes a little too high because unfortunately I was let down. The show wasn’t so much funny as it was a discussion about Dan Winters, canoeing in nature, Gordon Lightfood and Nick’s undying love for his wife. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but definitely something a little funnier. I guess I will have to stick to Parks and Rec!

This week’s menu includes two vegetarian meals and is otherwise a little chicken-heavy — chicken is on special this week at my grocery store. You may want to substitute in a fish dinner instead.

Monday – Triple-mustard-crusted chicken and hobo corn

Photo cred: Foodpeoplewant.com

Monday’s dinner is from my Poulet cookbook. Tasty and simple, this recipe is perfect to start the week without any fuss or hassle.


One whole chicken
1 tbsp peanut oil
3 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp dry mustard
2 tbsp mustard seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Hobo corn
4-6 ears fresh corn, husk and silk removed
2-3 tsp butter at room temperature
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Heat peanut oil in a Dutch oven and brown on the sides and bottom. Transfer to a plate, pour off any excess fat and wipe away any burned bits in the pan.
2. Add the stock, Dijon, and dry mustard to the pan over medium heat. Return the chicken to the pan, breast-side up. Sprinkle the mustard seeds on top.
3. Put the chicken in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
4. While the chicken is cooking make the corn: Rub each ear with butter, sprinkle with salt and a lot of black pepper. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Wrap each ear tightly in aluminum foil and put in the oven or on the BBQ. Cook about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the chicken and corn from the oven. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving.

Tuesday – Potato -leek soup

I love potato-leek soup, especially in autumn. Normally, this soup is quite calorie-heavy, but I was excited to find this recipe over at Skinnytaste that substitutes the cream for milk.

1 bunch leeks (about 4) dark green stems removed
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup 2% milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash leeks very carefully to remove all grit. I usually cut them horizontally and separate the rings to make sure no dirt remains. Coarsely chop them when washed.
2. In a medium soup pot, melt butter and add flour on low flame. Using a wooden spoon,mix well. This will thicken your soup and give it a wonderful flavor.
3. Add chicken stock, leeks, onion, potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for about 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth adding the milk and adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Wednesday – Butternut squash dal

Photo cred: Canadian Living

I haven’t had Indian food in a while! I’m going to give this vegetarian recipe a try with the butternut squash in my basket this week.

1 cup dried red lentils
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced gingerroot or 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger
2 tbsp Indian yellow curry paste or powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chopped peeled butternut squash, about 1 lb/500 g
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Garam masala

1. Place lentils in a fine sieve and pick through to remove any stones or grit. Rinse well and drain; stir into broth and set aside.
2. In a large, deep saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; saute onion for 3 min or until starting to soften. Add garlic, ginger, curry paste (to taste), salt and pepper; saute for 2 min or until softened. Add lentils in broth, squash and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.
3. Cover, leaving lid ajar, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 min or until squash and lentils are soft and tender. Remove from heat and mash lightly with a potato masher. Sprinkle with cilantro and garam masala. Serve with papadum, basmati rice, or naan.

Thursday – Sticky lemon chicken

Photo cred: Blue Kitchen

I found this recipe several years ago over at Blue Kitchen, and just like Ricardo’s grilled lemon olive chicken recipe, it’s one I regularly turn to. I think lemon is one of my favorite flavors on chicken, and the honey in this recipe makes each bite finger-licking good!

8 to 10 pieces of chicken [4 drumsticks and thighs or a whole chicken cut up]
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar [or red wine vinegar]
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, thickly sliced [into 6 or so slices]

1. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Add oil and brown chicken until golden on both sides [in batches, if necessary], about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate and reduce heat to medium.
2. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add sherry vinegar and cook down until reduced by half. Add soy sauce, honey, remaining thyme, water and lemon juice to pan and stir to combine. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat with sauce. Add lemon slices. Cook until sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 to 12 minutes, turning chicken frequently to coat with sauce. Chicken should be done by that time; pierce a thick piece with a knife point to see that juices run clear.
3. Transfer chicken to serving platter or divide among 4 plates. Drizzle sauce over chicken and use lemon slices as garnish. Serve with couscous.

Friday – Apricot-glazed pork tenderloin

Photo cred: Louise Thomas

This pork tenderloin is one of my mother’s recipes that she has previously shared on her blog, which is full of super tasty, super healthy recipes and exercises to keep fit. I will serve it with a massaged kale salad I found over at Flowtoxcleanse.


Pork tenderloin
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4-cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/4-cup finely chopped dried prunes

Creamy massaged avocado kale salad
1 small bunch of kale
1 large avocado
1 lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium bell pepper

1. Pat dry 2 pork tenderloins and brush with some of the above mixture.  Reserve the remainder and add 1/2 cup water to it.  Put aside.
2. Heat oil in a fry pan and brown the tenderloins on all sides. Add the remaining sauce to the skillet with the pork, and add dried apricots and prunes.
3. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the pork.
4. While the pork is cooking, make the salad: Remove kale leaves from stems. Wash and dry thoroughly. Chop kale up and place into a large bowl. Juice 1/2 a lemon and use a little drizzle of olive oil and some salt to the kale then massage it into the leaves until they get soft.
5. Place the ripe avocado, apple cider vinegar, juice of the other lemon half, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl and mash & blend until creamy. Massage it into the leaves until fully covered. Chop up some bell peppers and add to the salad. Set aside until the pork is ready.
6. Remove the cover from the simmering pork, raise heat slightly and cook until pan juices reduce slightly.  Thinly slice pork; top with fruit mixture.