Archive | November, 2012

The ultimate “superfood” recipe… from a super friend!

25 Nov

After hearing me complain about not having the time and energy to cook often, my near and dear friend JC offered to write a guest post on a fabulous recipe she recently cooked up.  It sounded so good that I was sufficiently motivated to get in the kitchen earlier this week to try it out for myself.  Thank you, Jess!

My life and gastrointestinal system was changed forever after 2 years of cohabitation with Lisa. Brownies made with black beans? Substituting applesauce for oil in cake? And perhaps the most influential dietary change involved making rabbit food aka bran buds part of my daily routine.

Four years since I spread my wings and moved out on my own, I continue to be inspired by Lisa’s baking and cooking creations! How does she manage to make such healthy, fibre-packed creations so damned delicious. My own culinary adventures range from comical failures (really, how does one manage to mess up the peanut butter cookie recipe on the back of the jar) to raging successes – which I am sharing with you today.

While having never made kale before, I have often read about its wonder as a “superfood!!” Classic google search “healthy recipe and kale and delicious” (those people at google really can read my mind), led to this truly delectable concoction! Immediately after having my first bite, I texted, “I literally just made the most delicious creation of life…I think it is blog worthy.” So here you are! Enjoy!

Nutritious and Delicious!

Squash, Tofu, and Kale Curry

Due to my life in Northern Ontario, my odd working hours, and limited grocery store hours, I made a couple small modifications – using an acorn squash and green curry paste instead of what was listed on the recipe.  Note: I (Lisa) made a few other substitutions of my own which can be found below.

2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Madras
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (16-ounce) package extra-firm or firm, water-packed tofu
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 large delicata squash, halved, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes  (I used 1 medium butternut squash)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
8 cups coarsely chopped kale or chard, tough stems removed
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus more to taste
Optional: Sriracha for added heat!

  1. Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes; toss the tofu in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, ginger and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.  (Note: I boiled the squash for ~5-10 minutes before adding it at this step, but I think it will probably cook through if you follow the recipe as written).  Add coconut milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil. Add half the kale (or chard) and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the tofu to the pan, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving: 410 kcal, 47 g CHO, 9 g fibre, 19 g fat (6.6 g saturated), 22 g protein, 373 mg sodium.

Cooking with E: Nori-wrapped Salmon in Miso Broth

20 Nov

I’ve returned to my old ways.  A dismal one blog entry in the past month– and it wasn’t even written by me!  Pathetic.

Working full-time has its perks (a salary!) but also has its pitfalls (less time for cooking, blogging, SLEEP, exercise, and the list goes on).  Lucky for me, Mr.  E has been around for the past couple of months to ensure that I’m well-fed.  If it weren’t for him, dinner would often consist of an omelette or scrambled eggs, toast, and broccoli.

[As an aside, my friend doesn’t think that eggs are “real” food for dinner.  I would appreciate it if you could take a minute to answer this poll and let me know your thoughts.  We’ve been having this debate for 8 years now!]

E has been cooking up a variety of dishes, including slow cooker beef stew, jerk chicken, Asian chicken soup with daikon, authentic sweet and sour pork, more stir fries than I can count on one hand, and one of his more interesting concoctions: chicken breast stuffed with pineapple, sundried tomato, feta, and smoked cheddar.  I was skeptical, but it was surprisingly tasty.

My favourite “E” dinner to date was adapted from a dish featured on the cover of the Autumn LCBO Food & Drink Magazine: Nori-wrapped Salmon with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Soy Beans in Miso Broth.  Sounds impressive (and intimidating!) but E claims it was “pretty easy.”  The broth was simple yet flavourful, the fish tasted divine, and the edamame added just the right amount of texture.

Definitely a dinner-party-worthy dish.

How the dish should look

E’s version (don’t forget to slice the salmon in half before serving!)

Nori-wrapped Salmon with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Soy Beans in Miso Broth
(from Food & Drink magazine, Autumn 2012)

1 oz (30 g) dried black trumpet mushrooms (E used shiitake mushrooms)
5 green onions, trimmed and cut in half
2 inch length of ginger, sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)
2 cloves garlic
4 salmon fillets, each 6 oz (175 g)
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sheets nori (the large sheets of dried seaweed used in sushi)
1 cup frozen shelled soy beans (aka edamame)
2 tbsp miso paste
micro-greens or shredded green onion to garnish

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in enough warm water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse mushrooms under cool running water. Slice larger ones in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  3. In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups (750 mL) water to a boil. Add green onions, ginger and soy sauce. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and discard solids. Return broth to pot.
  4. Using the side of a large knife, lightly crush garlic to release juices, leaving cloves in 1 piece. Rub salmon with garlic and discard cloves. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Working with 1 sheet of nori at a time, place salmon, skin-side up, in the centre of the nori. Fold edges up and around to enclose salmon as you would a gift-wrapped box. Place, seamside down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining salmon fillets. Roast for 12 to 14 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to rest while finishing the broth.
  5. While salmon is roasting, return broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add soy beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in mushrooms; cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, add miso paste and stir until miso is dissolved.
  6. Divide broth and vegetables between 4 shallow bowls. Slice each salmon fillet in half on the diagonal and place 2 half-fillets in each bowl. Top with a small handful of micro-greens or shredded green onion.

Serves 4.  Per serving: 450 kcal, 13 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 26g fat (5.3 g saturated), 41 g protein, 505 mg sodium.