Category Archives: Dinner/Lunch

Spicy Shrimp and Asparagus over Rice

had this Spicy Red Thai Curry Paste in my pantry for a while now and I thought it was about time that I used it. I was in the mood for something with a bit of heat.

Ingredients: 1 bunch of asparagus (chopped), 1 green pepper (sliced), 1/2 large onion (sliced), 1 tsp chopped ginger, 3 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/4 cup red curry paste, 2 cups of shrimp, splash of soya sauce.




Lentils – A New Year’s Day Lunch

It’s been a slow day so far, as I’m still recovering from last night’s festivities, but I wanted to cook something somewhat superstitious as well as something gentle on my tummy.

Lentils are great for days like today when you feel like you’re on the verge of falling asleep every time you sit down, and as I was sauteing the onions I noticed the smell was quite comforting. Something about the smell of onions sizzling away that reminds me of those hearty meals my mom used to cook up on cold days.

What’s so superstitious about lentils? Well, they are often eaten at this time of year because they resemble little coins which symbolize prosperity and wealth for the new year. This stew would be great for eating on the 31st as well because the lentils help soak up any alcohol you may be drinking later on that evening, and if you make it on the 1st than you can use up any left-over wine you might have kicking around from the party.

You will need: 1 medium carrot (diced), 2 celery sticks (diced), half of a large onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of pureed tomato, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 2 cups of green lentils, salt & pepper to taste.

Start by sauteing the celery, onion, and carrot  on medium-high heat until softened, then add the garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Add the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.

Add the lentils and continue stirring for 1 minute.

Pour in the red wine, tomato puree, and vegetable broth, and cover. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened, add more salt & pepper if needed (this stew tastes best with lots of black pepper).

Check on the lentils every once in a while, you may need to add more liquid.

I added some baby spinach for a bit of color, you could also add some chopped parsley. Serve alongside some crusty bread and top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.



For the love of Burritos….

This meal is so easy. It’s easy to make, easy to eat, and easy to take anywhere.

Refried Bean Burritos with Chili Roasted Sweet Potato

What you’ll need:

8 Large Tortillas, 1 can of refried beans or bean dip, 2 sweet potatoes(diced), 1Tbsp of chili powder, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese(optional), salt & pepper to taste.

Toss the diced sweet potato in the olive oil and chili powder. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Once tender, remove from oven and mash roughly with the back of a spoon, set aside.

Spread the beans onto your tortilla.

Add some of the sweet potato.

If you’re feeling really naughty…….add some cheddar cheese.

Roll tightly.

Heat up your pan with a little oil and lightly fry the burritos.

This will make the burritos toasty on the outside and tender on the inside….

Serve along side some guacamole and salsa.

My Guacamole: 2 ripe avocados, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, the juice of half a lime mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Mix all the ingredients together.

My Salsa: 2 ripe tomatoes (diced), 1/4 of an onion (diced), 1/2 cup of cilantro (chopped), half of 1 jalapeno (diced), juice of half a lemon mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Mix all the ingredients together!

For the love of Burritos…please makes these. I promise you won’t be dissapointed!

Printable recipe at the link below:

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

Do you ever get home from a huge grocery trip, put everything away, and then stare into your fridge and think to yourself…I bought all this food and yet I have no idea what to cook with it! That’s been me lately. This is what happens when you don’t plan your meals and go shopping when you’re hungry.

The good thing about it though, is that it forces you to come up with something using the items that you have, and sometimes the best meals are the ones where you just throw things together without any precise measuring or recipe to follow.

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

What I had on hand: 2 Zucchini (sliced), 1 small red pepper (diced), 1 small onion (sliced thinly),  2 cups of baby spinach, garlic powder, roughly 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese, and some smoked salmon (sliced into thin strips), cooked fettucini pasta.

To assemble:

Saute your zucchini, red pepper, and onion with a little bit of olive oil and about a tsp of garlic powder. Meanwhile, cook your pasta (I used fettucini). When your zucchini has softened, throw in the baby spinach. Once the vegetables are cooked, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the cooked vegetables with your pasta and  smoked salmon, and top with crumbled feta.



Salmon and Shitake Mushrooms with a lunch box switchup

During the holidays it’s difficult to resist the sweets and heavy holiday cooking, especially with all the potlucks and holiday parties happening in December. That being said, I felt like I needed something simple and fresh that didn’t require a lot of effort.

I used Nigella Lawson‘s recipe for Shitake mushrooms and Salmon and I was able to use the leftovers for lunch the next day. I could spend hours upon hours watching Nigella cook. She has such a poetic way of making everything sound so delicious, it’s almost like she’s telling you a story rather than showing you a recipe.

So to start, here is how I made the salmon. Make sure you scroll to the end to see how I transformed this dinner into a lunch on the go!

Cut your salmon filet into 4 manageable pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat up some oil in a skillet. Once your oil is nice and hot fry your salmon. One trick I learned after many failed attempts at frying salmon is to LEAVE IT ALONE! If you try and flip your salmon to early, it will stick to the pan and drive you crazy, so give it some time and check if it’s ready by gently lifting one corner. Once the first side is done, flip over and fry the other side. Set the cooked salmon aside.

Now for the mushrooms

You will need: 1 clove of garlic (minced), 2 tbsps of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of shitake mushrooms (sliced), 1 cup of chopped bok choy, 3 tbsps of soya sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, and a thumb sized piece of ginger (minced)

Add the oil to your skillet, and saute the garlic and ginger.

Add the mushrooms and bok choy.

Once the mushrooms and bok choy are tender, add the soya sauce and sesame oil and simmer for 1 minute.

Serve over a bed of quinoa and enjoy!

Now for the switchup…

Prepare a collard leaf by guiding the blade of your knife along the center stem. This will make the leaf nice and flexible and easy to work with.

Place some cooked quinoa on one side.

Add your salmon.

Add your mushrooms. At this point feel free to add some hot sauce or maybe a sesame dressing, I forgot to do that in this one.

Fold in both sides and roll tightly.

And you’re done!


Miso Dressing with Crispy Tofu Salad

This weather makes me want to sleep….which makes it hard to get anything accomplished, but with my coffee in hand I managed to at least post this recipe.

The dressing is mostly inspired by a salad I had a few times at a japanese restaurant and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. The rich salty flavour of the miso pairs perfectly with fresh crispy vegetables and it all comes together pretty quickly with a few pieces of tofu.

In a food processor, blend together the following ingredients until smooth:

  • Half of 1 large carrot (shredded)
  • 2 Tbsp of dark miso paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of Sesame Oil
  • 4 Tbsp of canola oil

You can add a bit of water if you you like your dressing a bit thinner.

I used an empty salad dressing bottle to store it in the fridge.

Chop up some veggies. I used some shredded cabbage, sliced red pepper, cilantro, basil, and spring onion. Set aside.

I used medium-firm tofu because it crisps up really well. You will need to take it out of the package and dry it out before frying. Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel or napkin and place a heavy dish on top to press out the moisture.

Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and heat up some oil in a frying pan or skillet.

Fry until the tofu is golden-brown and crispy.

I like to toss the vegetables in a bit of dressing before adding the tofu, then I put them into bowls and place the tofu with a little more dressing drizzled over the top.

Acorn Squash Salad

This is my first time using acorn squash. I saw it at the farmer’s market the other day and it looked so pretty I decided I had to try it. The taste is pretty similar to butternut squash but I find that acorn squash is not as sweet in flavour. The best part is you can eat the skin, flesh, and seeds so there is no waste.

So for my first Acorn Squash experiment I give you…Acorn Squash Salad.

First, slice up your squash and seperate the seeds. Set the seeds aside.

Toss the slices in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and blackpepper, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Add 5-6 cloves of garlic(with their skins still on) to the squash as well and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Sprinkle the seeds with some salt and put them in the oven with the squash. Bake until they are golden brown.

Seperate about a handful of seeds from a pomegranate and set aside.

Aren’t they pretty? And they’re full of antioxidants.

Once your squash is done cooking, take the garlic cloves and remove their skins. Now you can make your dressing: 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of dried thyme, 1 tsp of dried rosemary, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Assemble your ingredients over a bed of lettuce, cucumber, and red onion. Drizzle on the dressing and your ready to eat!

While you’re eating your squash, you can feel good knowing that you are getting a ton of fiber, magnesium and a substantial amount of potassium!