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