Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quinoa, Chick Pea, Avocado Salad

I had a recipe for something similar in a vegetarian cookbook but I didn't have all he ingredients so this is what I made.  The recipe I was supposed to make is at the bottom of the page.

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 avocado, cut up
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 small apple, chopped
1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped

Put it all in a bowl then sprinkle with:

Juice of 1/2 lime
1 T of olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Makes one big serving.

629 calories, 77g carb, 32g fat, 15g protein

Actual recipe for Black Bean, Chick Pea, Avocado Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, sliced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1/4 chopped, fresh coriander
1 tsp grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Toss the veggies and coriander in a large bowl.

Whisk together the lime rund and juice, oil, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper.
Pour over the salad and toss to coat.

Makes 6 (small) servings :)

About 320 calories, 11 g protein, 16 g fat, 36 g carb, 8 g fiber

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

I had this for lunch at my Pro-D day on Friday - it was so yummy but it'll make your nose run. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.  It comes from a Michael Smith cookbook I think, but I'm not sure which one, so I guess you'll have to go buy all of them.  :)

2 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-4 tablespoons oil (I only used 2, recipe called for 4)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 to 2 litres (quarts) of chicken or veggie stock (depending on how big the sweet potatoes are)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I just bought a can of chipotle peppers, it didn't say adobo sauce but it seemed "saucy" ;)
Salt to taste
1 teaspon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin

sour cream
corn of flour tortilla wedges made into 'chips'

1. Saute onions in oil until browned.

2. Add garlic and saute a little longer.

3. Add broth and grated sweet potatoes.  (My sweet potatoes must have been really big compared to what the recipe called for because 1 litre was nowhere near enough. I added a second litre and it was perfect.)

4. Bring to simmer then add cinnamon, cumin, chopped chipotle pepper (only use 1/2 a pepper if you don't like it mild-med hot), and salt.

5. Simmer until sweet potatoes are soft.

6. Puree with immersion blender, or process in batches in your regular blender. Thin with more stock or water if needed.  Check seasoning - salt?

7. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and/or home made tortilla chips.

(Brush tortillas with a little oil and bake in oven until crisp. Cool and break into pieces.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yummy Black Bean, Brown Rice, Swiss Chard Mess

I made this for dinner tonight, tossing in stuff as I went. It was SO good but then, anything that begins with sauteed onions and mushrooms HAS to be good.  What follows is my recipe.  Obviously you can use different veggies and beans etc. All measurements are approximate and can be easily changed.


1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped or sliced mushrooms
Butter/olive oil/margarine or ?
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups swiss chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon
1-2T light soy sauce
Other herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, whatever you like


1. Cook the swiss chard in pan with a little water and a lid for 6-8 minutes

2. Saute onions and mushrooms in a non stick pan (oilve oil, butter, maraginze whatever you want). Add freshly ground salt and pepper. 

3. Add rinsed black beans, cooked rice, and drained swiss chard to the pan and mix well. Let heat through for a few minutes.

4. Season any way you like - I squeezed in the juice of one lemon and added a dash or two of light soy sauce, more salt and pepper, and some dried herbs ( - what ever you like.)

I had some left over sliced, sauted zucchini so I threw that in too. I would have put in some diced red pepper but I was out.

This meal had about 425 calories - depending on how much fat you use.  Nutrient info is approximate and comes from

Calories - 425
Carbs - 67 grams
Fat - 15 grams
Protein - 17 grams

* I'll admit, I was really hungry and ate two helpings.....  Oops.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Homemade Fruit, Nut, and Seed Bars

Healthy homemade bars are really easy to make if you have a food processor although I'm guessing they could also be made with a blender or even by hand if you want.  With home made bars, there are no unknown ingredients, and I assume, they are cheaper.

Here's a recent batch I made. You can mix and match any kind of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds that you want of course.  This time I weighed everything because I wanted to get a rough idea of how many calories were in each bar.  This picture only shows 1 oz each of dates and prunes. I added another oz of each because the mixture was a bit too dry.



2 oz dried dates
2 oz dried prunes
1 oz dried apricots
1/2 oz raisins
1/2 oz dried cranberries
1/2 oz walnuts
1/2 oz almonds
1/2 oz sunflowers seeds (I used toasted)

Throw all of this into a food processor and whir for a few minutes until the mixtures looks like this. Test the consistency to see if it holds together easily. Add in more dried fruit if it's too dry.

I divided this batch into 5 equal piles, using my small kitchen scale (45 grams or 1 1/2 ozs per bar), again, because I wanted fairly accurate calorie count this time.  Form the mixtures into bars (or balls or whatever).  Wrap each in plastic wrap.  Store in cupboard or fridge  - I don't think it matters.

Makes 5 bars

150 calories each

Carbs - 27 grams
Fat - 5 grams
Protein - 2.4 grams

(Nutrient info is approximate. Analysis based on data from

Monday, July 18, 2011

Falafel Pita

I will type up the instructions tomorrow but here are the pics now for my friends Brian. :)

Strained yogurt in a coffee filter for 30 min, add dill, S&P, and garlic if you like. 

Heat pita and falafels (cut in half) in a non stick pan. Keep flipping until warm through.

Cut up veggies.  Lots of choices here, you can add other stuff too of course.

Start layering on the warmed pita.

According to Sparkpeople, it has 325 calories.  Check out the dinner info here

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Frosting

I found this recipe on the internet today, after hearing about it from Erin337, and adapted it a little. It tastes AMAZING and is way lower in fat and calories than regular frosting. It's also vegan for those of you who are looking for more vegan recipes.

This is a great frosting for my non fat, no egg, Chocolate Banana Cake (see the recipe list on the right.)

1 ripe avocado
1/2 - 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar (depending on the size of the avocado)
1/4 cocoa (unsweetened)
1.2 tsp vanilla

Whir in a food processor and spread on a cake or eat from a spoon. :)

For comparison:
1/2 cup pureed avocado - 180 calories
1/2 cup butter - over 800 calories

Super Easy Spicy Sweet Potaotes

OK, my twitter friend Rhonda, (@ramavery) from Ontario, gave me this recipe and it's too good not to share.

Peel and slice sweet potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.

Coat with a little olive oil.

Sprinkle and toss with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper (and anything else you like).

Spread on a baking sheet (I put it on parchment paper first for easy clean up).

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Watch them after 15 mins.

Ooh la la... yum!

Quick and Easy Chipotle Mayo

I make this when I have sweet potato fries but it would probably be good with the recipe above as well.

Mix mayo and dry chipotle powder to your taste.

When I'm being healthy I use low fat mayo, or sour cream, or plain yogurt, or low fat Miracle Whip or a mixture of any of these, but truthfully, decadent mayo is the yummiest.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quinoa, Black Bean, Chick Pea Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

This was based on a recipe from my new Vegetarian Collection cookbook from Canadian Living, but I changed quite a bit.

1 19 0z (540 ml) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 19 0z (540 ml) can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
2 cups cooked quinoa

(You could also add chopped tomatoes and any other salad veggies you like.)

Put all ingredients in a large bowl, toss with dressing.

Chili Lime Dressing

1 tsp grated lime peel
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp (or more) chili powder
Lots of freshly ground salt and pepper
(1 clove of garlic, crushed, if desired)