Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Apple & Pear Glazed Chicken with Prosciutto Brussel Sprouts and Almond Yams

The herbs and spices in this Chicken recipe are so festive and are sure to bring some joy to your tastebuds! 

Apple & Pear Glazed Chicken  

2 Chicken Breasts 
olive oil
1 tablespoon butter 
2 pink lady apples
1 pear
1/4 cup honey 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 lemon 
s & p

Cook chicken breasts in a cast iron pan till golden brown and remove from heat. 
Peel and slice apples & pears caramelize in cast iron pan, with butter, honey, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, lemon juice and salt & pepper.
Once apples and pears are a dark glaze colour throw the chicken breast back in and toss and warm up & serve.

I served with Prosciutto Brussel Sprouts & Yams.
For the Sprouts I simply put in a baking dish with olive oil and about 100 grams of prosciutto bits (from Oyama sasuage on Granville Island) and baked for 30 mins.
I just laid out the Yams on a cookie sheet, brushed with olive oil and sprinkeled with blanched slice almonds, viola! 
I would recommend having a good peeler in the kitchen, I used to have a pampered chef one but it grew leggs and went missing :( Good thing I had a little helper to do the peeling :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lamb & Balsamic-glazed Root Vegetables

This recipe was inspired from my British Columbia Seasonal Cookbook that I picked up from Edible BC one day wandering around Granville Island on my lunch break. This book is fantastic they have recipes for all the seasons and give a nice little historical descriptions about the foods they have chosen for the recipe. For this particular recipe the authors describe that before greenhouses and imports "root vegetables" were an important winter food since they were easy to grow, lasted months in the cellar and were carbohydrate-dense and thus filling. This dish uses the sweetness of reduced balsamic vinegar to enhance the earthy flavors of these winter staples. 

First Preheat oven to 375. Combine ingredients of the marinade and set aside. 

The Veggies:
purple potatoes
yellow onion 
garlic (bulb) 

 Chop into preferable size chunks and put in baking dish. Then smother and toss in the marinade. 

Marinade pt.1
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil 
2 tbsp honey 
1/4 cup fresh parsley 

Lastly Add 
2 sprigs of fresh thyme 
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Bake in the oven for about an hour. 

I picked up the rosemary Lamb from the Granville Island market and just seared in the cast iron pan, sliced and served on top of the root vegetables. 

The root veggies are even good cold for taking to work the next day :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sweet & Savory Delight

Price Smart foods now has portioned out applewood smoked bacon packaging which is fantastic when cooking for just 2. This little breakfast I whipped up was a nice combination of sweet and savory. I spread some herb and garlic borison cheese on cinnamon raisin english muffins then placed a couple strips of bacon on top along with some grilled mushrooms and steamed spinach. Lastly I placed an over easy egg on top and sprinkled some tex mex cheese on top. We were out of milk so substituted with some festive eggnogg in our coffees and it was delish! 

Asparagus Rolls

You have to excuse the poor quality photo, I forgot to take a nice pic of this platter before leaving the house :(
 I used to work for Yellow Rose Catering Co. in Kelowna about 7 years ago and I still remember  the delicious asparagus rolls they used to make, and i'd get to snack on the leftovers from the weddings :) I attempted making these tasty morsels for my potlatch christmas party and they were a huge success. 
This is how I made them.
First I warmed up 2 bars of plain cream cheese in a med size bowl then added some cream, about a tablespoon of creamed horseradish and fresh ground pepper. 
Then I spread the cream cheese on a slice of meat (I used mesquite turkey and rosemary ham) placed a spear of picked asparagus on top and rolled up, then cut into bite size pieces and stabbed with a fancy toothpick. I used some parsley to garnish the plate as well as the jalapeno and garlic from the pickled asparagus jar. It only took me about 45mins to shop for all the ingredients and prepare the platter. Happy Holidays :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Diavola

I've never been much of a pizza lover but my boyfriend introduced me to Ragazzi Pizza Co. and after trying some of their lip-smacking pizzas I too became a fan. Two of our favorites are the Cacciatore & the Diavola. I wanted to attempt making something like the Diavola at home. I headed to the market and got most of my ingredients from Dusos including the pizza dough. Since I don't have a round platter or a rolling pin I just stretched out the dough on a cookie sheet after throwing it in the air a few times like a real pizza maker. Then I spread on the pizza sauce, put on a layer of spicy capicollo, added olives, roasted garlic, jalapenos, sun dried tomatoes and asiago cheese. I like it nice and crispy and it took about 35 mins in the oven at 350 degrees, its best to keep an eye on it and take it out when its just the way you like it. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sleeping Bag Snacks.

This tasty treat I decided to make at home after being charged $4.50 for  1 roll at Dusos on Granville Island (whatta rip!) I was shocked that they even put it in a huge container that was the size of a kleenex box (so unnecessary). I ended up get two bunches of asparagus at the produce stand on the left of Dusos for $6 and the prosciutto was $4.50 for 100grams at Oyama Sausage just to the right of Dusos. This snack literally took me 10 mins, just sautéed the asparagus, wrapped it up in prosciutto and sprinkled fresh parmesan. 
With the second bunch of asparagus I made a different variation. I spread sun dried tomato cream cheese on medium sliced smoked turkey breast, plopped in a slice of spicy chorizo (leftover from pizza making, will post later), added some spinach leaves then the asparagus and rolled into a delicious sleeping bag snack! 

Chef at Home


Michael Smith is the host of cooking show Chef at Home which is hands down one of my favorite cooking shows. He is always experimenting with different flavors and really encourages his viewers to make modifications and try new things on their own. I myself am not very good at following recipes religiously, I like to play around and add create a dinner without my nose in a book. Recently I have discovered Chef at Home actually airs during my lunchtime workout so I can be deliciously inspired while huffing away on the elliptical (having the Victoria Secret fashion show on during my workout would probably increase my productivity much more!)

The dish above was what I made last night inspired by Michael Smith with my own a simple yam addition. I make yams alot since they taste so good and are packed with vitamin B6 and potassium which help reduce the risk of heart disease and control blood pressure. I simply wash, slice, layout on pan, brush with olive oil, season and broil in the toaster oven for about 45mins. They should always be the first thing to get going since they take so long and by doing them in the toaster oven you can save energy & $$ :) 

Fennel Apple Salad

Yield: 4


For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 granny smith apples, quartered and cored.
  • 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 bulb of fresh fennel, sliced thinly and fronds reserved
  • 1 granny smith apple, sliced thinly


For the Vinaigrette:

To make the vinaigrette, place 2 granny smith apples, cider vinegar, brown sugar and mustard in a small saucepan and cook until soft. Puree with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

For the Salad:

Put the sliced fennel, fennel fronds and sliced granny smith apple in a large salad bowl and toss with a few spoonfuls of the warm apple vinaigrette.

Pot Steamed Salmon

* I used wild Coho salmon since it has a milder flavor than Sockeye. I also cooked with the skin on since it retains more flavor that way. 

Yield: 2


  • 2x6 ounce filets of fresh salmon, skin removed
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring orange juice to a hearty simmer. Add chopped onions, olive oil and capers and let simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture reduces by at least half. Add salmon and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and steam for five minutes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

mmmmm Pumpkin Lasagna

After following a link to this  recipe off talented writer Cassandra Andertons facebook page I couldn't wait to make it! Right after work I headed to the market to get my fresh and organic ingredients. There was a link to how the make the puree from scratch which added an extra hour on the preparation for this dish but completely worth it! I substituted the white noodles for organic whole wheat ones and skipped pre-cooking them since they actually become tender from the juicy puree in the oven. I also used organic dark maple syrup and added a sprinkle walnut bits to the top layer. This recipe was a hit, my boyfriend loved it and so did his friend who dipped into it :)  I a few pieces to work and they were enjoyed by all, even the head chef at my evening job was impressed! 
Here is the link to the recipe:

~enjoy :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nutty Chicken with Whiskey Carrots & Mashed Truffle Fingerlings

After stocking up on a huge bag of produce from Granville Islands last farmers market of the season I just had to grab a couple chicken breasts and get creative in the kitchen. 
How I made the Nutty Chicken; what I did was use my little nut grinder (top left picture) to make a combination of walnut and almond flakes then I put them in a bowl and added paprika, tumeric and fresh oregeno in another bowl I squeezed fresh juice out of a mandarin orange and added a splash of my homemade rosewater. Then I put the chicken breast in the liquid and then the dry nut mixture. Next I placed a fresh green onion in the middle of the chicken breast along with a strip of cave aged gruyere cheese and rolled up the breast and stuck into the oven for 25 mins at 350. 
For the carrots I simmered them in our cast iron pan in organic chicken stock for about 12mins then added a splash of maple syrup, splash of whiskey and handful of fresh dill for the last few minutes. Now the reason I always use a cast iron pan while cooking is because teflon is harmful to the environment and also can cause health problems such as birth defects and infertility. I used chicken stock instead of olive oil because once olive is heated up it looses its nutritional value. 
I boiled a couple handfuls of my little red fingerling potatoes then threw them in my favorite hand processor (my grandmother gave me for my birthday) with about half a cup of milk, a couple table spoons of mushroom truffle oil, a couple teaspoons of white pepper and a few sprinkles of salt. Viola! I topped it all off with a fresh cut fig.
It was all pretty good, the carrots were perfect and my bf especially loved the hint of whiskey I added. Upon deliberation we both came to the conclusion that the chicken needed something else to add a little spice, perhaps some red chillies.... The mashed potatoes were good too but needed something to offset the natural bitterness of the fingerlings. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steamed Clams & Chorizo Sausage on Roast Squash

Last night I made a divine dish I found in the local Eat Magazine and just had to share! I got the spicy chorizo from Oyama Sausage on Granville Island and all the produce from the farmers market that comes to the island every thursday, the squash was specifically from Klippers. I also picked up a small walnut loaf from Terra Breads to soak up the yummy sauce. I also substituted anise seeds for fresh fennel since I forgot to pick it up and they taste similar anyways. Anise has some great medicinal heath benefits by aiding as a mild anti-parasitic, reliving toothaches and reliving menstrual cramps. The recipe was pretty easy and so delicious, give it a try!

Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: About 60 minutes, Makes: 4 servings
• 1 medium acorn squash, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed and discarded
• 3 Tbsp olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 2 fresh chorizo sausages
• 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
• 1 small fresh fennel bulb, core removed, remaining bulb, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 ripe medium tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp store-bought or homemade pesto
• 2 lbs. fresh clams, rinsed in cold water (see Note)
• 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Set in the squash, skin-side down. Pour in enough water to just coat the bottom the pan. Brush the
flesh of the squash with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Cover and
roast the squash 20 minutes. Uncover the squash and roast 20 to 25 minutes more, or
until tender.
When the squash are about 20 minutes from being done, heat the remaining oil in widebottomed
pot set over medium to medium-high heat. Remove the casing from each
sausage and pull themeat into small nuggets (about 1/2-inch round) and set in the pot. Fry
the sausage until cooked through. Add the onion and fennel and cook until tender, about
3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine, tomatoes and pesto and bring to a simmer. Simmer 3 to 4
minutes, and then season with salt and pepper.
When the squash is tender, turn off the oven. Add the clams to the sausage/tomatomixture,
bring back to a simmer, cover, and cook just until the clams open. Set a quarter squash
in each of 4 wide, shallow bowls. Divide and spoon the clams and their cooking liquid over
the squash on each plate. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Note: Discard any clams that do not close when squeezed or tapped before cooking, or
those that do not open after cooking. Both are signs the clam is dead and should not be

Friday, October 16, 2009

Morning Mate

My roomates always cursed my smoothie routine in the morning! Luckily my loving partner whom I live with has the same desire for a nutritional kick start in the am. We both leave for work around the same time so we take turns making shakes.We both sorta modify a base recipe that we find delicious and energizing. The essentials are blueberries, blackberries a banana, walnuts, honey, oil (olive or flaxseed), protein powder and either coconut water or rosewater. Other ingredients we sometime add are gogi berries, almonds, cinnamon and hemphearts.

So why blueberries? Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) have ranked blueberries #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain powerful phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin, which is the pigment that gives blueberries their color. Blueberries are associated with numerous health benefits including protection against urinary-tract infections, cancer, age-related health conditions and brain damage from strokes. They may also reduce the build-up of so-called "bad" cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease and stroke. Additionally, blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, and are high in fiber and low in calories. Blackberries are not only free (my bf spends hours picking them from a secret location then we freeze them) but they are high in fiber and vitamin C they also strengthen blood vessels, protect eyesight and reduce heart disease.

Bananas are natures best source of potassium they also lower blood pressure and act as an antacid. We have swapped from tossing in a handful of almonds to walnuts since they have significantly higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as compared to other nuts. Having a healthy dose of omega 3’s everyday are essential for optimal nutrition since they fight cancer causing agents, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the protective effect of omega 3’s exhibited in brain health could even show promise for future research in the prevention of Parkinson's disease! My man likes to use olive oil, I like to use flaxseed oil since it increases body’s production of energy, accelerates healing, improves absorption of calcium, strengthens nails, improves function of the liver and its good for the skin!

Right now we are using Transform plus as the powder in our shakes cause it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals including greens and spirulina. Sometimes we use the Nutiva hemp series in Amazon Acai or Berry pomegranate which also has a tone of beneficial ingredients. Gogi berries are another powerful antioxidant that minimize damage to cells from free radicals. These berries are rich in vitamin A which have anti-aging effects and they also boost immune function, protect vision and prevent heart disease. These should be avoided for anyone taking blood thinning prescriptions.

Last but not least is a sprinkle of hemp hearts, these expensive little morsels can be found in health food stores and they are a power food that are full of beneficial vitamins and enzymes. To top it off we wash down a couple Krill Oil capsules and vitamin D with our nutritious shakes.