Friday, 29 March 2013

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

I learned how to make this dish at a local cooking class with my 2 girlfriends. It smelled soooo good while it was cooking and it tasted even better. I don't eat fish. 

Of any kind. 

But I wanted to give it a try and I have to say Tilapia has no taste, so I liked it. I decided to make it at home instead of substituting it with chicken. It was a nice treat for my man who loves fish, but rarely gets to eat it at home. Even though I like it, my disdain for fish is so deep, that I still struggle a little with each bite, but I think I will get better.

This dish came together very quickly when the food prep was done the night before.


hot cooked basmati rice
tilapia fillets (I cooked 2)
lime wedges
Cooking spray
1 tsp     dark sesame oil
2 tsp     minced peeled fresh ginger
2          garlic cloves
1 cup    finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup    chopped green onion
1 tsp     curry powder
2 tsp     red curry paste
1/2 tsp  ground cumin
4 tsp     low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp   brown sugar
1/2 tsp  salt, divided
1          (14oz) coconut milk
2 tbsp   chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat 1/2 tsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, cook for 1 minute.

2. Add peppers and onions, cook for 1 minute.

3. Stir in curry powder, paste and cumin, cook for 1 minute.

4. Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 tsp of salt and coconut milk, bring to a simmer (not boil). **the recipe did not say how long to simmer it, so I didn't for very long, but next time I will simmer it for longer to reduce the sauce and thicken it up more**

5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

6. Brush fish with 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Place fish on baking sheet covered with cooking spray. Broil for 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork **we broiled it for 12 minutes I think**

7. Serve fish with sauce, rice and lime wedges.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Thai basil Pork/Chicken

I enjoy this meal. It is also really quick and easy to make, especially if you do your vegetable prep the night before. When I made this, I didn't have fresh basil, so I had to substitute for the frozen stuff and I didn't find it as good, so I do not recommend it.


2 chicken breast or strips of pork
½ medium red and orange pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
5 tbsp oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
6 fresh hot chillies, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp water
20 whole basil leaves
1 tsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp water 


1. Slice meat into strips – ¼ inch thick, 2 inches long & 1 inch wide. **I used already cut pork strips, it saves on prep time**

2. Heat oil in wok until just about to smoke, add garlic and chillies – stir fry for 30 seconds. 

3. Add chicken or pork and fry for 2 minutes. 

4. In a bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar and soya sauce. Add to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute. 

5. In a bowl, combine oyster sauce and water. Add to the wok and cook for 30 seconds. 

6. Add peppers, onions and ¾ of basil leaves to the wok. Fry for approx 2 minutes until begin to soften. 

7. Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to the wok. Stir fry until it thickens thicken. 

Place on top bed of jasmine rice … and top with remaining basil leaves.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Meal Plan for Mar 25 - 29

Here is this weeks meal plan!

Meatless Monday - Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes with a homemade berry sauce

Tuesday - Thai Basil Pork. No, I am not making this for the 3rd week in a row...I am trying to actually make this! Every time I put it on my meal plan, we end up going to my parents for supper. I am not is nice to not have to cook or do dishes :)

Wednesday - Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce. This is the dish that I learned how to make at a cooking class with some girlfriends. And for those who know me....yes, you see correctly, your eyes are not deceiving you...I am COOKING and EATING FISH!!! I actually tried it when I went to the cooking class and this fish did not smell or taste like fish. It was actually really good.

Thursday - Frozen dinner night. I made some Turkey Pot Pies when I was pregnant and I am going to cook the last one.

Friday - Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta

Spaghettini with Spinach, Garlic and Lemon

Spaghettini with Spinach Garlic and Lemon

I made this for lunch the other day and it is was so yummy. I think I may make a large batch and use it for lunches at work.

I wouldn't serve this dish as an entree, but it could be a good side dish to any kind of protein for supper.

The only adjustment that was not in the original recipe, was that I added Parmesan Cheese. Cheese makes everything better.


1 lb spaghettini, angel hair or spaghetti pasta

6 tablespoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
10 oz bag of baby spinach

1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

2. In a skillet, heat 6 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-4 minutes.

3. Scoop the pasta out of the pot with tongs and add to the pan. Stir to make sure it is all coated.

4. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir. I like to let the juice reduce, then I add the Parmesan cheese. Stir every few minutes to try and get the noodles a little crispy.

5. Add the spinach and stir for 2 minutes to let it wilt. Then serve.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet

Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet



Why don't you hop in your car now?

I am serious.

I think this is one of my top favourite recipes this year.Wait, I don't think, I KNOW. Not only does it taste delicious, but it was very easy and QUICK to make....and it all cooks in one pan!!! This recipe will be put on a frequent rotation in our house. I HIGHLY recommend.

I was supposed to make steak, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, however on our first day of spring, we got dumped with snow. I didn't feel like BBQing, so I used this recipe as a back up plan and I am so happy that I did.

I made a few adjustments, but not many. I stayed pretty true to the original recipe.

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
12 oz smoked turkey sausage (kielbasa), sliced **I removed casings and next time I would chop them up smaller to get a little in every bite**
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
10 oz can of stewed/diced tomatoes
1/2 cup whipping cream
1-2 bell peppers, chopped *I added this**
1 tsp of red pepper flakes **I added this**
8 oz cut pasta (I used whole wheat rotini) **UNCOOKED**
4 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, for topping
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, peppers, onions and red pepper flakes, then saute for about 5 minutes (do not over cook or sausage will become rubbery.) Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
  2. Turn heat up to high then add chicken broth, tomatoes, whipping cream, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add pasta and stir to combine. Place a lid on top then simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring once or twice. Add green onion and spinach, then stir to combine and cook until the spinach becomes wilted, about 1 minute. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Meal plan for Mar 18 - 22

Update on my 1 month pledge - I suck. Not sure how else to describe it. Basically if I don't have leftovers, I run to Sobeys for a salad or fruit by my work, or I get some subs. At least I'm not eating grease....but still....I suck. I am too busy taking care of everyone and everything else in the evening and when I do stop, all I want to do is sit my arse on the couch and have some quality time with my man.

My son on the other hand is doing great. He's reaching for more fruit and veggies and has been having leftovers for lunch. We still have not had time to make the taco muffin tins. They may have to wait until the next week when he is with me. In a few weeks, I will dedicate a post to healthy lunch ideas for kids.

Here is my meal plan for is week:

Meatless Monday - Pad Thai that I made back in January. I was craving it and it made my son very happy.

Tuesday - nothing since my man and I are going out to eat and then to a Brit Floyd concert. We are big Pink Floyd fans and are looking forward to seeing this cover band.

Wednesday - steak on the BBQ, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes and asparagus.

Thursday - nothing since it is my sons piano and our karate night. We are eating on the road again that night. I suppose I could pack something, but why when someone else can cook, serve us and do the dishes? Well worth it on our busy schedule. Sometimes I feel like a crazy person.

Friday - Thai Basil Pork. We didn't get to make this last week because we ended up having a date night while my parents took the kids.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Chicken Parmesan with Basil Garlic Pasta

Chicken Parmesan and Basil Garlic Pasta

This was my favourite dish from last weeks meal plan. We didn't get to make it until tonight because we ended up going to my parents for supper the night we originally planned to make this. I am glad that we waited because it is not a week night meal. It was very time consuming, but it was sooooo worth it. Best Chicken Parmesan I ever had. The ones I have had at restaurants have always been too soggy. This was crispy and cheesy.

If you click on the title, it will take you to the original recipe, but I am posting the recipe with the adjustments we made.

The pasta went perfectly with this meal and it was kid approved. The pasta was very easy to make and I think it can go as a side to many meat dishes.

Chicken Parmesan:


  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of heavy plastic  (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Season chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  3. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan in a separate bowl, set aside.
  5. Place flour in a sifter or strainer; sprinkle over chicken breasts, evenly coating both sides.
  6. Dip flour coated chicken breast in beaten eggs. Transfer breast to breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for each breast. Set aside breaded chicken breasts for about 15 minutes.
  7. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Cook chicken until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
  8. Place chicken in a baking dish **used a 9x13** and top each breast with about 1/3 cup of marinara sauce. Layer each chicken breast with equal amounts of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and provolone cheese. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned and bubbly, and chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Basil Garlic Pasta


  • Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place spaghetti in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the spaghetti with the olive oil, butter, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

This was my first time making and eating Quinoa. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because smell is a big component to whether I will like a food or not. Quinoa is not the best smelling food, but I was relying on the cheese to do its thing in this recipe.

Honestly, if Quinoa wasn't a super food, I probably wouldn't eat it again. Maybe it was just this recipe, but I have a few more that I want to try before I truly say if I like Quinoa or not.

This recipe was was better once I added sour cream and Sriracha sauce on top to give it some flavour. If I made this recipe again, I would add more garlic, cheese and milk. This turned out a little dry and not very cheesy, which I was expecting since it was supposed to be Mac and cheese. I also added onions and peas to this recipe, but next time I would add more. Also, I will be adding BACON to this recipe next time....bacon makes everything better.

Serving Size: 8
Ingredients: (I might even cut the whole recipe in half next time, it made a lot)
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Veggies of your choice (optional) **I used peas and onions**
  • good pinch of salt and pepper
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced **I will use 4 next time**
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk ** I used 2%, but I will add some cream next time as well**
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling **I will use 2 - 2 1/2 cups next time**
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese ** I added this to the recipe**
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions
  • Bacon **I didn't add bacon this time, but I will next time for sure**


·  Lightly saute any veggies you would like in this dish. ** the original recipe did not say where to add the garlic. I added it here. Next time I will use 4 garlic cloves and I would add some red pepper flakes too**

·  Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)

·  Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish( or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray.

·  Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. Add some salt and pepper or some seasoning salt.

·  Transfer to prepared baking dish. Add some cheese on top and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned. **I cooked mine for 30 minutes, I think it would have been even more dried out if I cooked it longer. I may cook it less next time**

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Meal plan for Mar 11 - 15

Meatless Monday - I am making Quinoa for the first time! Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Thursday - Pasta and meat sauce (freezer meal from this weekend)

Friday - Thai Basil Pork and Rice

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Massaman Curry

This Massaman Curry recipe is if not as good, but better then any Thai restaurant. If you love Thai curry dishes, then this one will be your new favorite. Plus, it is very easy and quick to make. I made this as a freezer meal last weekend. I made the sauce, but left out the sweet potato until the night we actually ate it. 


2 Chicken Breasts
1 large Yam
Bottle of Fish Sauce
Package/can of red curry paste 
2 cans of coconut milk
1/2 lemon
handfull of peanuts
clove of garlic
Jasmine rice


1. Wrap the yam in paper towel and nuke it until it is soft (5-6 minutes, depending on size). Afterwards just peel and cube it and set aside. 

2. Open both cans of coconut milk. Take a thick layer off the top of the coconut milk (enough to cover the bottom of a pot; just a thin layer is needed) bring to a simmer and reduce it to a thicker consistency. There's natural oils in there that will cook and season the chicken. This will take 2-3 minutes.

3. When it has reduced a bit, add 1 minced clove of garlic, then half a tin/package of red curry paste. This is also good time to give the mixture a couple shots of fish sauce and half the juice of a lemon. Cook until paste breaks up and dissolves into the milk.

4. I usually start to cook the jasmine rice at this point. 

5. Once the paste has dissolved, add the chicken. 

6. When the chicken is cooked, add the remaining 2 cans of coconut milk. Uncovered, reduce sauce for a bit (5-8 min), then add handful of peanuts. Let the sauce reduce till it's a nice consistency (to your liking really). I find it looks a little soupy, but will thicken up a bit when you add the yams.

7. At the very end, add the nuked cube Yam. (If you add it too soon it will just break apart in the sauce) 

8. Spoon over some nice Jasmine rice. Add some more crushed peanuts on top.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Chicken Enchiladas (great freezer meal)

This is the BEST recipe you will ever find for enchiladas. These enchiladas were made for me by one of my closest friends. She actually made Massaman Curry for me for the first time as well and I will also be posting that recipe this week. Yeah, she rocks.

This recipe is time consuming and messy, but it is so freaking worth it. We made 2 batches and froze them.

All I had to do today was defrost them, roll the chicken mixture in tortillas, poor the sauce on top, grate some cheese and then bake them. This is a very good freezer meal.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas (mine made 8 large tortillas)
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425.

1. Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.

2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

3. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. 

Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. (sorry, this pic looks like I had an accident with a knife)

4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

5. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 30 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

6. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).

7. Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Sometimes healthy food doens't taste good

So, my son and I made the healthy Strawberry Shortcake Muffins (click for link) yesterday. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of stevia, but I didn't have enough, so I used some stevia and the rest with sugar (I really wanted to avoid using sugar). I know my palate is used to sugar and how it makes everything taste SO much better and if I just cut most of it out of my diet, my palate would adjust....but I am not sure if I want to bad enough. These muffins were not awful. They were moist and fluffy....but tasteless. They look yummy though.

 I just don't love muffins enough to eat a tasteless one. I would probably have to slather it in warm butter to enjoy it....which totally defeats the point of eating healthy muffins. My son did not like it, but my man and daughter did, so they were not a complete waste of ingredients and time. I will eat 1....maybe 2 because they are not awful....but I will not make these again. I am still on the hunt for healthy, but tasty muffins....

My son and I never got around to making the Muffin Tin Tacos yesterday because we ran out of time. However, he doesn't have school due to March Break anyway, so we will make them another time. I will post them when we do.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

My 1 month pledge and meal plan for Mar 4-8

So, I didn't end up making Massaman Curry last week because we went to East Side Mario's instead. Our daughter had a blast eating our food and playing with her Penne pasta. It is so nice to not always have to pack her a separate meal for her when we go places. Now, if I only I can get her to drink anything other then milk and in any other format then a bottle....

So, the Massaman will be making an appearance on the menu later this week when my son has gone away (he doesn't like curry).

While our daughter napped this weekend, my man and I made some freezer meals. I made the Massaman and my man made a double batch of chicken enchiladas. Both of these recipes are some of out favorite meals. The enchilada recipe is VERY time consuming and a TON of dishes get dirty, but the end product is VERY MUCH worth it. We also make a double batch because it is so time consuming. I think we will try to make 1 or 2 freezer recipes on the weekend depending on our schedule. We had no plans this weekend, so it was a perfect time to get ahead for the week. It is nice to get ahead so that I am not running around after work like the fast/bold/crazy mouse that we killed this weekend in our house.

I have been reading this blog 100 days of real food. I really love this woman's pledge to eat whole foods and  I admire the dedication it took to make to 100 days with a family of 4. At this time in my life, I don't feel like I could make the pledge, but I can still start to make some food choices that are better for my family. I have been trying to make meals as healthy as I can and that is okay with me. However, since my son has been making his own lunches for school, I have been lax on supervising and encouraging healthier choices for him. He knows to always bring 1 fruit or vegetable, but his main meal isn't always healthy. When we have left overs, he will bring that, but when there isn't, he usually goes for the microwavable whole wheat mac and cheese. Not so healthy....

My pledge is to help my son cook and plan healthy lunches and snacks for school for 1 month. While we are at it, I might as well do the same for myself and plan better lunches while I am at work. I will be updating how this pledge is going on my blog.

Here is the meal plan for the week:

Meatless Monday: well, we are breaking this rule since we are going to my in laws for supper and we are having my favorite meat sauce. I will be doing another meatless dinner this week instead.

Since my son and I have this day off,  we will be making some Muffin Tin Tacos (homemade taco seasoning) and low fat Strawberry Shortcake Muffins for lunches this week to help with my 1 month of healthy lunches pledge

Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin with pan sauce and Parmesan garlic roasted potatoes and carrot sticks

Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas

The NEW Meatless Thursday: Spaghetti Aglio eolio

Friday: Massaman Curry

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Key West Chicken

Strawberry Avocado Salad and Key West Chicken (click for links)

So, I enjoy salads. However, I have only ever had 3 salads that I have LOVED. This recipe is one of them. Me and my man could have eaten 2 big bowls full. FAVORITE NEW RECIPE. It is not only tasty, but so easy and quick to make. Only thing to note is that if you want to use the Key West Chicken (which compliments it perfectly), you should marinade it the night before. The aroma the chicken gives off is heavenly and it tastes soooo good. I used leftovers the next day to make a chicken and spinach sandwich and it was just as good the next day cold.

I was going to make spicy maple pecans for this recipe....but then I read the recipe. I needed to soak them overnight, then cook them for 12 hours. Ummmm.....nope.

The dressing in this salad is sooooooo good. The original recipe calls for sugar in the dressing and I left it out based on reviews from the recipe. I think it would have been too sweet if I had added it.

Key West Chicken:


3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I only used 2, but I still followed the recipe)

1. In a shallow container, blend soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic. Place chicken breast halves into the mixture, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for the night. 

2. Grill on the BBQ. Not sure what it would be like in a pan, but I am sure it would still be good. 

Strawberry Avocado Salad 


2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp honey
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
Salad greens and spinach
1 avocado
10 strawberries sliced
Chopped Pecans
Peppers (I added yellow and orange peppers to this recipe)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Place the salad greens and spinach in a bowl, and top with sliced avocado and strawberries. Drizzle dressing over everything, then sprinkle with pecans. Cut up the chicken and add on top. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving, or serve immediately.