Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FFTG Minestrone Soup!

Time to start cooking again ....
Inspired by a soup night with my two most constant Friends
The Darkness of the month of November should be filled with the warmth of good friends and great Soup.

The start of any really good soup is your stock.  Without it soup is water and sautéd veggies.
The best way I know how is to buy a whole chicken. Give it a good rinse in the sink stick er in a pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Skimming the top to remove impurities.  Add a rough chopped onion maybe a celery stick, a bit of carrot, a bay leaf, parsley.  Let simmer on the stove like this for 2- 3 hours adding enough water to keep everything under water as it cooks....making a stalk sounds like a big step but it really isn't !
Once the chicken is in the pot simmering just put your stove timer on and forget about it.  THe result is chicken that falls off the bone (more than enough for your soup) and a stock that will make the soup of your dreams!
After 2 hours or so (depending on the size of your chicken) Strain liquid into a clean pot, let it cool, then refrigerate it. Remove the fat that congeals on the surface before using the stock.

Next Soup Ingredients:


1 Can Kidney beans 
1 Cup Chopped Onion 
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1 Cup Celery, minced
1 Cup Carrot, chopped
1 Cup Zucchini, chopped
1 Cup Green Beans, Chopped
1 Cup brown mushrooms, chopped
2 Cups shredded chicken  
1 Can Whole Tomatoes 
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tsp Oregano and Basil
1/2 Cup fresh parsley 
3 Tbsp dry red wine 
3 1/2 Cups of your brilliant stock (or a carton of store bought if you must cheat)
parm cheese :)

In a heavy pot sauté veggies in olive oil.  After 5 - 10 mins add Stock, oregano, garlic, basil, beans, wine, chicken and tomatoes simmer soup until ready to serve.  I love to stick all of this into my crock pot in the am and leave it to cook for the day dinner is ready when your friends arrive :)
I have included a pic of the greatest noodles for minestrone but I actually prefer to add Brown Rice instead.
Serve soup hot sprinkled with parmesan & parsley 
Good red wine, a pretty baguette, a yummy Green Salad
And EVEN screaming kids playing tag in a small mobile home pare nicely with this great soup.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fresh Fruit Tart

Blackberries.....Huckleberries....&  Peaches OH MY !
Use Very Little Sugar 
try using Agar Agar as a thickening agent ;)
Trust me this will be TART
Serve with a dollop of Vanilla 0 Fat Greek Yogurt 
Celebrate the abundance of beautiful Fresh Fruit that is everywhere around us 
as another summer comes to a close  
I save bags of these berries and fruit in my freezer so I can bring summer back all winter long 
just by making a Pretty Tart

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Made this today too
sorta made my little guy happy :)

Make Lentil Burgers or Veggie Burgers Tuna Burgers OR Chicken Burgers ...Ditch the bun use the Burger as your BUN! After All ...We all want Less BUNS

Want to Have a Carb Free Meal....But craving a Burger ...Solution Break Up with Your Buns!
Lentil Burger
Lentil Burger
Tuna Burger
Tuna Burger
Chicken Burger

Use up That Zucchini !!! Bread (Hollyhock Recipe)

Out there you will see A LOT of Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake this time of year.  This Bread is still pretty sweet but without the Chocolate chips it seems to pair nicely with a bowl of savory soup on a rainy day.

Zucchini Bread:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Sunflower Oil
  • 3 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Cups Grated Zucchini
  • 1 1/2 Cups unbleached White Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1 Cup roasted Chopped Walnuts (I used Almonds and hazelnuts)
ALSO fans of sesame seeds???  line your oiled loaf pan with a thin layer of sesame seeds looks pretty tastes great and helps the loaf slip out of the pan!

Pre heat Oven to 350
In a large bowl combine Sugar, oil, eggs, butter, vanilla beat with wire whisk.  Mix in grated zucchini.

In a separate bowl combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.  Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet.  Pour the batter into a well oiled loaf pan and bake for 1 Hour, until firm and a toothpick comes out of the center clean.  Cool for 15 mins before removing from pan.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clean Manicotti Post Workout Meal: Always a hit and perfect to Freeze.

Manicotti is fun to make ...I think.
You can buy oven ready noodles that you don't have to pre boil
but I really like these much better.

Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Medium Carrots, grated
  • 1 Small Pkg of Lean Ground Turkey 
  • Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Pkg of Frozen Spinach, thawed (make sure to squeeze ALL of the water that you can out!)
YOU WILL ALSO need 1 - 2 Large Cans of Tomato sauce 

Cook Turkey in a Large skillet till completely cooked.  Put aside to cool in Large Bowl.

In separate Large Skillet saute onions and garlic till translucent, add carrots, mushrooms, and spinach and saute. 
Add Cooked Veggie skillet to turkey and mix together.  Allow to cool a bit.  Add Your Cottage cheese and combine. 
Prepare a Large baking pan pouring just enough Tomato sauce in bottom to cover.
Now Stuff the manicotti shells and line up in pan.  When pan is full pour sauce over noodles just to cover ...If you opt to use the oven ready noodles make sure that you cover all the noodles in sauce so that they will cook properly...but caution ....this takes up much more sauce, resulting in more calories.

Cover With Tin Foil and bake @ 350 for an hour or so or until you can see that the filling is bubbling nicely....take the foil off about 10 minutes before the hour is completeto make the top a bit more crisp.

AND always make too much ...package it up and freeze
your sweetheart will thank you later!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baked Falafel & Beet Dill Soup, Garnished with Greek Yogurt Sprouted Mung Beans & Toasted Sesame Seeds:

This is a Brandi Recipe my sisters are both Glorious cooks...
THis is a recipe she might even be making lately since our Quadra Island Gardens are overflowing with beets.  My mom and I had this for lunch on my day off this week.

BEET Dill Soup:


  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Pounds of Raw Beets cut into 1" Chunks
  • 1 Large Onion 
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp toasted Caraway seeds
  • 1/8 tsp cayanne pepper (be careful with this one ..I would recommend using half of this much and it will still be very hot
  • 3 Cups chicken or veggie Broth 
  • 2 TBsp Fresh dill 
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk (optional)
  • s&p to taist

Saute Onions & Garlic, add remaining ingredients excepts Milk
 allow to simmer on your stove
add Milk at the end 
Pure if desired  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Interval Timer & Body Rock TV

The Two above links are totally inspiring to me.  Most of the time in my crazy life right now I cannot attend the gym.  This makes me so so SO super grouchy!!!
My poor kid!!!
I feel terrible about myself
after battling with it in my head for much too long I realized I had to figure out how to train at home with no equipment and almost no floor space
impossible ????
I know I am not alone...but suffer no more my friends
all you need is you
after all is YOU vs YOU
nothing is stopping you
go to Body rock tv
choose a workout
watch it
write it down
the interval timer  (see other link to beach fitness) can be adjusted to whatever you need
walking lunges
push ups
they are all waiting for you
you just need a plan
then your gym is anywhere you are
check it out

I started out with the above site as inspiration but decided I wanted more information I ordered a few books on the topic and feel i found a real hit.

This book by Mark Lauren is really amazing.  His approach to exercise is serious but remains basic.... His techniques are responsible for training strongest military personal...but still basic and adaptable enough to be preformed by a gal in her boot room with only the time allotted  by a single Sponge Bob episode ....I find his workouts easy to tackle I can choose a body part I would like to train...flip through the pages, select a couple of exercises and just go for it ...
This book in my opinion is a worthy investment for anyone

Friday, August 20, 2010

BreakFast Of Champions:

Basic Easy COULD eat a bowl of Cereal, Orange Juice, Coffee with Cream and Sugar....
The problems with this meal:  Too Low in Protein, No Vegetables (yes even Breakfast should include Veggies!) No Good Carbs, No fish oils or good fats.....AND two calorie containing me you do not want to waste your calories slurping a drink

This meal below Pared with a morning ritual of supplements including a multi Vitamin, two fish oil caps, and Greens +  is a complete meal that will keep you going

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


These are the basic Supplements that I use.  It looks like a lot ....and supplements are never cheap...but the only way I can wrap my mind around it is that it is part of my grocery bill.  They are important to my success.  Things like a good multi vitamin and Good Fats are just an absolute must.  
From Left to right:
  • Abs + : yeah.... it is a Fat Contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and a good dose of  Green Tea extract.  This Aids in Fat Loss and gives me a boost of energy.  A lot of fat burners contain a high level of caffine.  Side effects are sometimes not very pretty...they can cause anxiety, loss of sleep, and irritability among other stuff.  Greens + uses green tea and is a much milder choice.... but using anything like this should be approached very  cautiously.
  • Multi Vitamin & ZMA:  Taking these should take care of any potential dietary deficiencies that could be missed in the foods that you eat.  The Multi I take in the morning and the ZMA right before Bed. 
  • Greens + (see lower Picture)  This Supplement is full of vitamins and minerals, loaded with free-radical absorbing antioxidants.  Packed with a variety of base producing compounds that will neutralize your dietary acids, as well it includes healthy bacteria to protect and detoxify your gut.  As you exercise and diet toxins are released from your fat cells.  This supplement helps the body detoxify.  I use Greens 1 x per day usually mid morning.
  • Good Fats:  These are essential to success.  We need a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in our diets to maintain healthy cardiac function, mood stability, insulin balance, as well as joint and skin health.  Our Bodies cannot produce good fats we can only get them from our food.  I Use a fish oil, or Udos, or some other sort of good fat like nuts and seeds or avocado with each meal.
  • NEXT POST WORKOUT Nutrition:  Post workout meal is probably the most important meal of the day for anyone who is serious about training.  As soon as I finish training I down a protein shake with BCAA, Glutamine, and 2 Creatine capsules.  Basically without getting too technical these supplements aid in muscle recovery promoting growth.  Also Important to pair with your protein is a serving of some sort of simple carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit.  I usually throw 1/2 a Banana into my shake :) Carbs are as important post workout as Protein.  Carbs will be used by your body to restore muscle glycogen.  If your post workout meal does not contain carbs, your body may actually break down muscle tissue ...this undoes all of your hard work!  That would be a bad thing!  Carbs also create an insulin spike which helps to move nutrients into your muscle tissue faster.

Lunch: Tuna, Spinach, Avocado Nori Rolls with Carrot Ribbons

Creating Lunch:

  • Mix in smal Bowl 1 Can Tuna, a bit of Greek Yogurt, TBSP Brown Rice
  • Spread out Nori paper prep with bed of Spinach leaves
  • Add Tuna Mixture
  • Add Avocado
  • Sprinkle with Black Sesame Seeds
  • ROLL

  • Make your Carrot Ribbons, small bowl of Brags for dipping with wasabi mixed in 
  • MAke a Cup Of Jasmine Green Tea :)
  • Frozen BlackBerries YUM!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bodo Snack: Goon Doo Bread, Lemon Loaf, Organic Plums, Peaches and NUTS!!!:

Where are you going Mum???
Crazy ...
Wanna Come?

Rain In August:

This morning I woke up to a rainy day.  This seemed novel since our weather has been beautiful and sunny for so long.  Needless to say we really need a good rain.  So when I got up I was inspired to warm the house up a bit and have that cosy warm feeling.
I made Boden a zesty lemon poppy seed loaf which turned out to be  a recipe that wasn't so bad in the fat and calories dept.  As the loaf cooked in the oven I made a pot of homemade Chai tea from the Hollyhock Cook Book.  The house smelled glorious and felt super cosy.  I save the Chai in a mason jar without adding the milk.  As I want to drink it I heat up just what I want and add milk and some Stevia to sweeten.  I also drink this without the milk and it is just as yummy.
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf:

3/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Vegetable oil
1 Egg
2 tsp grated Lemon rind
1/3 Cup Milk
3 TBSP Lemon Juice

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 TBSP Poppy Seeds
1/3 Cup Yogurt

2 TBSP Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Icing Sugar

  1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray or butter a 5 " loaf pan.
  2. For the cake, combine the sugar, oil, egg, lemon rind, and the 3 TBP lemon juice.  Mix well then add Milk, mix again.
  3. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the dry mixture to the wet  alternating with the yogurt.  Mix just till incorporated.  Do not over over mix.
  4.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 mins, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.  Set the pan on a rack to cool for about 10 mins.
  5. For the glaze, combine the icing sugar with the 2 TBSP of lemon juice.  Glaze the cake while still warm.  Prick the top all over with a fork.  Brush the glaze on over the cake top and sides with a basting brush.    

Holly Hock Chai:
Chai is a sweet, spiced aromatic Indian tea that is bold in taste.  Double the recipe and drink it all day :).  The Cardamon seeds neutralize the effect of the caffeine in the black tea, giving bit a gentle uplifting quality that won't fry your nerves.

Makes 6 Cups:

9 Cups of water
1/4 Cup freshly grated Ginger
2 Large cinnamon sticks
2 tsp whole cardamon seeds
12 cloves
2 Whole Star anise or 2 tsp of whole fennel
2 Black Tea Bags
3 Cups of Milk or non-Dairy alternative
1 tsp vanilla
sweeten as desired :)

  1. In a Large saucepan, boil the water with the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and star anise until only 1/3 of its original volume is remaining, about 3 Cups.  Remove from heat.  Add tea bags, cover and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Put this through a sieve to strain off the whole spices ad tea bags.  
  3. Gently reheat adding the milk and the vanilla extract.  Sweeten to taste.  Serve hot or cold :)
Add some Chai to your next smoothy you will be so surprised how yummy it makes it.
Try This:

7 Ice Cubes blended till crushed.  Add 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 4 whole almonds, 1/2  a Banana, and about 1 Cup of Chai Tea.  Blend till smooth.  Add Two large handfuls of fresh Spinach.  Blend again until smooth and GREEN.  Enjoy!  

My Sister's Bday Dinner at The Heriot Bay Inn:

So this weekend my beautiful Sister celebrated her birthday in style at the Dining room at the HBI.  Since I can't eat a pretty meal without taking pictures, I wanted to post some for everyone to see.

I had the Wilted Spinach Salad.  Everything was super beautiful and super delicious.