My Uber Burger

Some would say you should live by the 80:20 rule – eat properly 80% of the time, and a little indulgence (ie: 20%) is ok!  Well, tonight’s dinner bridges between the two!  Introducing the uber burger!  100% lean ground beef, with a slice of decadent brie to give it the ultimate in gooeyness!  For my 80% goodness – add sauteed mushrooms, red onions, and red peppers, a hint of smashed avocado (again with the gooey).  Love it!  And for the bun – I know a whole wheat option would be better, but tonight it is a white english muffin lightly toasted and smeared with sweet chilli sauce!  Add a side of mixed green salad and some roasted sweet potato for the perfect antidote for Monday!!!

What’s your uber burger?

For now, that is all she wrote – time to sink into my uber burger!

Mushroom Spinach Tomato Soup in winter

I am very grateful to a friend who introduced this soup to me after a bike ride in the fall.  The simplicity of this Mushroom, Spinach and Tomato Soup make it a quick and nutritious lunch after a winter’s hike.  (Click here for photos from the hike.)

One of the many great things about this soup is simplicity and versatility!  It can be modified to suit your needs.  Need a gluten free soup – substitute the pasta with gluten free pasta choices, potato cubes or some kind of legume (chickpeas or red lentils come to mind!).  No tarragon – substitute basil.  Spice it up with some red pepper chilli flakes.  Throw in some prawns or cooked chicken pieces for a little more meat.

Mushroom Spinach Tomato Soup

2 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 can (28oz) stewed diced tomatoes

1 can (10oz) chicken or vegetable broth

1 can water

1/2 tsp dried tarragon

3/4 cup baby pasta shells

2 cups fresh spinach

garnish:  grated cheese

1.  Melt butter – saute mushrooms and onions (approx 2 mins).

2.  Add tomato, broth, water and tarragon.  Bring to boil and stir in pasta.

3.  Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Stir in spinach for 1 minute or until wilted.

4.  Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with grated cheese.

With a recipe this simple, even the kids can help!

Bon apetit!

Coconut Curried Chickpea Soup

Rich and flavoursome, this coconut curried chickpea soup is sure to warm your body and soul!

A number of years ago I bought Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds 300 Sensational Soups cookbook.  It has been one of the most used books in my collection!  With winter fast approaching, I love digging into a steaming bowl of soup, especially after getting out to hike or ski in Gatineau Park!

This particular recipe is vegan friendly, full of flavour and only gets better the next day!

Coconut Curried Chickpea Soup – Serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 lbs small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cans (14 – 19 oz/398 – 540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar (I omitted this one)
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach (approx 3 oz or 90g)

Garnish with toasted shredded coconut

1.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until softened (about 6 mins).  Add garlic and saute for 1 min.  Add curry powder and saute for 10 seconds.  Add potatoes and stir to coat.

2.  Add stock and coconut milk; cook for 10 minutes.  Add chickpeas and zucchini; cook for 1o minutes or until tender.  Stir in brown sugar and lime juice.  Add spinach and stir until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with toasted coconut.

If you like it hot, throw in a dash of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes.

The fragrant curry, rich coconut milk and the meaty texture of the chickpeas are sure to keep you warm as winter approaches.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Hello world!

Hello world…

All my life, I have enjoyed food…local, foreign, fresh and healthy.  I have a terrible sweet tooth side as well and would love to be able to eat anything I want.  This isn’t always the case, but it is a learning process.

As nutrition and health are so fascinating to me, I enrolled myself in a Natural Nutrition course.  There has been so much to learn, so many helpful tips to put into practice and new foods to try.  I am a student – but I thought I would share some of my learnings as I go.  (If you have health concerns, please consult a health care provider – this blog is born out of my interest in nutrition, love of food and interest in health – but I have no qualifications to make any recommendations.  Everyone is unique and as such, should seek out professional opinions specific to them in the case of health issues.)

I also love to cook, entertain and experiment in the kitchen.  I find my life is getting crazy busy so my time to play in the kitchen can sometimes be compromised as I spend more time at work and away from home!

Feel free to join me on my journey to continue to learn, share information I find useful, and links to other sites or posts that tweak my interest.

Besides food, my interests include sports (cycling and skiing), travel (my travel-itis has been flaring, I must warn you) and photography.  I have both travel and photography blogs to add to my list of insanity – feel free to check them out!!

Travel:  Travel Destination Bucket List

Photography:  AnitaMacPhotos