Thursday, September 24, 2009

metabolic cleanse menu #5: taste bud food

Discovered a neighbourhood gem today: Taste Bud Food. It's a friendly storefront with a chef cooking healthy "ready-to-heat" meals. Doesn't get much better than that! How's this for a cleanse-friendly menu?
Metabolic cleanse dinner menu #5
Chickpea & Carrot Salad + Yellow Roasted Beets & Walnut Salad
~I don't think I was supposed to eat walnuts...~

Grilled Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf and Braised Fennel
~Hope there wasn't any butter in this!~

Day 6 is going to be tough. I go to school in the afternoon and evening so my dinner meal choices are incredibly limited. I may have to forfeit the cleanse for an all-natural protein granola bar, which I will eat for during my dinner break. yum.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

metabolic cleanse menu #4: grilled chicken with brown rice pasta

Earlier today, I was trying to follow a Bob Lutz Twitter chat at work. Shortly after it finished, this tweet from Canadian culinary personality Lucy Waverman caught my eye:

Butter 2 slices challah on both sides. Add 1/2 cup taleggio, 6 thin slices crisp apple,1T chutney.Fry slowly on each side pressing down.#yum

I almost stopped my cleanse on the spot. Luckily Maria from Fresh Eats was nearby. She talked me out of aborting the cleanse during a moment of severe weakness. A few hours later, I was still planning my "quit" but my Pilates instructor half-told me to keep on truckin'. {wow! just realized how chi chi this all sounds}

So, here we are. I've now completed four days of detox. I feel great on the inside but I've become completely ambivalent about food. I don't really care what I eat, nor do I really enjoy it. And, that's bothering me a lot! The only thing I'm craving is to start caring again.

Metabolic cleanse dinner menu #4
Red leaf lettuce and grape tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Grilled chicken on top of brown rice spaghetti and store-bought tomato sauce

Big unknown: Will I make it through detox day #5?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

metabolic cleanse menu #3: lebanese

Metabolic cleanse dinner menu #3
Fattoush, no pita chips
Zaatar Shish Tawook with a little rice, no pita
No wine

Ordered from Mazaar. If you like Lebanese food, it's worth the drive to Windsor, just to get yourself some homemade pita bread.

I'm ready for bread and wine again. And, cheese. So much cheese.

Naturopathic doctor, if you're reading should know that I might quit this cleanse at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. That would make it a 6.5 day cleanse. Thank you very much.

Monday, September 21, 2009

metabolic cleanse menu #2: salmon with green beans and pesto

It's Monday at 7:50 p.m. and I think I survived "day two" of the cleanse.

Metabolic cleanse dinner menu #2:
Roasted salmon with green beans and pesto
No wine

The salmon recipe is from Jamie's Food Revolution and it took all of five minutes to prep before popping it in the oven. Unfortunately, the store-bought pesto contained a little sugar (it was one of the last ingredients listed, I swear)!



You can find the recipe here. And, if you're not on a cleanse, take Jamie's advice and serve with some roasted fingerling potatoes. I'm imagining it right now...and it tastes good!

metabolic cleanse menu #1: roast chicken

On Sunday, I started a metabolic cleanse. It was recommended by my naturopathic doctor who basically said that detoxing my liver and gastrointestinal tract would build a strong foundation for my immune system. Apparently, this will help me not get a million colds this winter (I'm hoping that it will also prevent swine flu). So, for the next seven days I'll be drinking icky rice and pea protein shakes and eliminating alcohol, beef, dairy and wheat from my diet.

Metabolic cleanse dinner menu #1
Homemade hummus and Mary's Seed Crackers
Roast chicken
Grilled vegetables with balsamic basil dressing
Tossed salad
No wine
Betcha can't wait to hear about menu #2...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

a not so traditional rosh hashanah dinner menu

Years ago, when my then soon-to-be hubby and I were negotiating my move to Windsor, I requested that we spend the first night of the Jewish holidays with my family. So on Friday, hubby and I drove four hours to spend the first night of Rosh Hashanah in St. Catharines. Luckily, his CTS has an input for our iPod so we were able to chill and prepare ourselves for this:

Appetizers included cheese plate, smoked oysters, chopped liver and hummus
World's best chopped chicken liver (made by my mom, of course!)
Aunt Shelley's Greek salad
Scalloped Potatoes

P.S. Like usual, the more wine I consumed the less focused the photos! :) Sorry.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

marinated roasted red pepper recipe

Every Sunday I design a weekly menu. This way, I can hit the grocery store once and cook several meals throughout the week. Like usual, things don't always go as planned so I'm often left with unused vegetables. I still haven't found a good use for wilted lettuce but old red peppers can easily be transformed into marinated roasted red peppers.

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, splash
  • Balsamic vinegar, splash
  • Fresh herb of your choice: basil, rosemary, thyme etc.
Char peppers on the barbecue. When they are black on all sides, place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. After 20 minutes, peel the skin off the peppers and thickly slice. Next saute the roasted red peppers on low-medium heat with the remaining ingredients. Enjoy as an appetizer with baguette and buffala mozzarella or serve as a garnish on grilled steak and potatoes. Or just eat.

P.S. Wondering what's on the dinner menu this week? We've got:
  • Monday - Panko-crusted turkey scallopini with tomato sauce on brown rice pasta
  • Tuesday - Greek salad with grilled chicken breasts
  • Wednesday - Soy Vay marinated top sirloin, roasted cauliflower and tossed green salad
  • Thursday - dinner out
  • Friday & Saturday - Rosh Hashanah with our families

Wish me luck! I hope to stay on schedule!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

how to make baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant dip)

It's eggplant season and I love it! One of my favourite treats is baba ghanoush which can easily be made at home and enjoyed with pita chips.
  • 1 medium-large eggplant
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Smoked paprika (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
Slice eggplant lengthwise into quarters.
Cook skin side down on a hot barbecue until soft. I like to put a piece of aluminum foil underneath.
Cool the eggplant, then scoop out the insides into your food processor. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse. Slowly add some olive oil and pulse. You'll want to add just enough olive oil to achieve a relatively smooth consistency but don't let it get soupy! Top with chopped parsley.
Time to eat eggplant dip!

Friday, September 11, 2009

vegetarian sandwich recipe

When in need of a seriously fast, reasonably healthy meal I think...grilled vegetable sandwich.

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1/4 cup of pesto
  • 8 pieces of torn buffala mozzarella
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 small focaccia buns
  • extra virgin olive oil
Slice the veggies and brush with olive oil. Grill. Take grilled vegetables off the heat and quickly grill the buns. Rub half a clove on garlic on the toasted bun. Top with grilled vegetables, pesto, a few pieces of cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Eat. Serves 2.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Guest blog by Lauren: Long Weekend Vegetarian Feast

We had such beautiful weather today, my husband and I decided to make a late lunch/early dinner and eat outside on the patio. Since I'm a vegetarian and my husband isn't, it can often be difficult to make meals that appeal to both of us. All of the dishes we made today are tried and true vegetarian recipes that we both love. They're all great recipes for a meat-free Monday meal! The Best Caesar Salad Recipe
This recipe is from one of our favourite restaurants - Daiquiri Dick's in Puerto Vallarta. It's an eggless recipe (actually dairy-free if you omit the parmesan cheese) and is absolutely amazing! It's not truly vegetarian because of the anchovy fillets but you can remove them if you don't eat seafood.
1 3/4 oz Onion (roasted or caramelized)
1 clove Garlic
5 Anchovy Fillets
1/4 tsp Ground dry mustard
1/4 tsp Sugar
1 TB Worcheshire sauce
1 TB Soy Sauce (yes, soy sauce)
1 TB Lemon juice
2 oz Apple cider vinager
1 drop Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Canola oil

In a blender combine all of the ingredients except the oil and Parmesan cheese. Allow it to spin away, adding the oil in a thin stream. Once all the oil has been assimilated, taste and if necessary, adjust seasoning. Use the nicest, crispest Romaine leaves in with the dressing and before serving, dust with Parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper. I also add croutons and a handful of sliced up cherry tomatoes. We typically put in about 1/2 the amount of oil but you'll need to adjust based on your preference.
Bruschetta on ACE Rosemary Focaccia Bread
4 large ripe tomatoes
Fresh basil (handful)
Olive Oil
Balsamic drizzle
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic (1 clove)

Slice and chop the tomatoes after removing the core. Loosely chop a handful of fresh basil and squeeze in the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil (roughly about 2 TB - enough to lightly coat the tomatoes) and season with salt and pepper. Last but not least, we've found an amazing balsamic drizzle that we use when we make bruschetta. We add a touch in the bruschetta and then top our bread with some as well. This is optional but well worth it if you're able to include it. Before serving the Focaccia we lightly grilled the bread on the BBQ. Simple pasta with cherry tomatoes
This started out as a simple pasta recipe from one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks. I've experimented with it over the years and made some changes based on what I like best. I believe the original recipe had cherry tomatoes, arugula and squashed olives.
3-4 containers of cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil (handful)
Olive oil
Chili flakes
Garlic (2-3 cloves)
Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: I kept it simple today but you can easily add a few additional ingredients to give this pasta a bit of a twist. Arugula is great in this pasta (include at the end) or you could add in some shrimp/scallops to make it a seafood pasta - we cook them in a separate pan in butter, garlic and white wine and then add them to the pasta when it's all done. This is a great vegetarian pasta but it's yummy to add in some seafood as well.

Loosely chop up the tomatoes. In a pan on high heat, drizzle some olive oil and add in garlic, a sprinkling of chili flakes and the basil. Once it starts to sizzle add in the tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium. Stir the sauce occasionally. You can start boiling the water for the pasta at the same time that you start the sauce. We like it with linguini but you can use any pasta. By the time the pasta is ready your sauce should be done. Top the pasta with some fresh Parmesan cheese and you're ready to go.

*To read Lauren's fashion blog visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

new recipes: wild rice salad, grilled salmon

Our friends Hilly, Sue & Simone joined us for dinner on Sunday night. I took the opportunity to try two new recipes...a rice salad and a grilled salmon with a crunchy shallot mustard vinaigrette. You are going to love this rice salad and so are your friends. Trust me, this is going to become your go-to recipe for potluck dinners! The fish's vinaigrette was flavoured with shallots, grainy mustard and honey. It was a wonderful enhancement to the already delicious grilled wild salmon.

Wild rice salad with roasted red peppers
~Cook brown rice and wild rice blend according to package. After rice has cooled to room temperature, mix in chopped roasted red peppers, chopped fresh herbs like mint, basil and parsley, add lemon/olive oil dressing, lemon zest, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. You can find a more complete recipe in Jamie Oliver's book Jamie's Food Revolution.~
This summery meal was a hit. I love when Hilly "oohs and ahhs" over the food. Do you have any summer meals that you must make before the fall is fully here?