My First Pad Thai Dish

Filed Under (Pasta, Supper) by Lisa on 02-06-2011

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This afternoon I decided I wanted to make some kind of new noodle dish. I thought an Asian style dish would be a nice change from our usual Italian pasta dishes. I found a recipe for Pad Thai that sounded simple to make and fairly quick, so I gave it a try. I made huge changes to it, since it really had hardly any vegetables in it, and I love vegetables.

The result was a super yummy Thai noodle dish! It was slightly spicy and very flavorful.

This was my first time cooking with rice vermicelli noodles, and I cooked them exactly according to the package instructions (place in boiling water, and remove the heat, let stand for 5 minutes, then rinse in cold water), but my noodles seemed fairly clumpy after. I used a fork to get them less clumpy, but I am still wondering if there is a trick to make the vermicelli noodles free of clumps. Any suggestions?

Here is one of my special ingredients: coconut vinegar!

Pad Thai Noodles
Adapted from allrecipes.com
*serves 4

8 oz rice vermicelli noodles
1 red bell pepper
½ small package lean ground turkey
½ lb precooked shrimp (peeled and shelled tails removed)
3 cloves garlic
3 green onion stalks
3 carrots
3 handfuls broccoli
2 stalks celery
½ vegetable bouillon cube  (dissolved in 1 cup boiling water)
½ cup organic ketchup
½ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut vinegar
Garlic powder
Ground black pepper
2 cups bean sprouts
Chopped peanuts to garnish

In a large frying pan brown the turkey. Meanwhile prepared all vegetables (dice and chop them). Add the green onions and garlic cloves to the browned turkey. Season with garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Add the precooked shrimp. Cook for a couple minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables (except the bean sprouts). Cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the lime juice, ketchup, coconut vinegar, fish sauce, and dissolved bouillon cube  (in water). Stir to form a sauce. Sprinkle on more ground black pepper and garlic powder. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. In a large pot boil water. Once boiling at the vermicelli noodles. Remove from heat. Keep in the hot water for 5 minutes. Rinse well in cold water. With a fork separate the vermicelli noodles to get rid of any clumps. Now add the bean sprouts to the noodles (stir them in). Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix everything well. Serve hot!! ( I microwave mine again to make it steaming since the rinsing the noodles cools off the dish a bit too much I think). Garnish with peanuts.


The Best Pizza Ever!

Filed Under (Pizza, Supper) by Lisa on 11-11-2010

I have been a long time reader of Annie’s Eats, a food blog I admire greatly. Annie recently posted a recipe for Spinoccoli  Pizza. I had never heard of any kind of pizza like that before. Spinach and broccoli seemed like a very odd combo for a pizza, but everything about the recipe (including the mouth watering photo) sounded like it would be pretty good. Since I am a HUGE lover of pizza I had to give it a try.

I made the pizza with my own favorite crust recipe, and added some deli Cajun chicken to the toppings for extra protein.

The result was the best pizza I had ever had in my whole life!! Seriously, I have been to many pizza restaurants in my life (fancy ones, and cheap ones), and nothing has ever compared to this pizza. The pizza sauce is absolutely divine. It is so simple and quick to make. The garlic sauce complements the broccoli, spinach, chicken and cheese combo perfectly.  I changed the sauce a little by using garlic powder, instead of a garlic clove.

If you are a pizza lover I highly recommend you check out the recipe for this amazing pizza on Annie’s Eat’s. Thanks for posting this pizza recipe Annie!

Cauliflower, Ham and Cheddar Soup

Filed Under (Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 11-09-2010

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Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I tend to only like served raw with dip, or in some form of soup. Since we have had a whole head of cauliflower in the fridge for over a week, I decided it was time to make something with it. I found a recipe for a cauliflower soup online at allrecipes.com that seemed like it would be really good, so I gave it a try. I altered the recipe quite a bit.

My cauliflower soup turned out very well. It makes about 5 large servings. It’s a simple soup, that delights the taste buds.

Here is the recipe.

Cauliflower, Ham and Cheddar Soup (inspired by allrecipes)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion (I used red onion)
2 vegetable bullion cubes prepared according to package (I added 4 cups of water for 2 cubes)
3 more cups water
4 cups chopped cauliflower
1 cup cooked ham chopped
4 medium potatoes diced
1 ½ cup low fat cheddar cheese grated
1 ½ tbsp dried parsley
Salt
Black pepper
Garlic powder
1 garlic clove diced

In a large pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion and diced garlic clove. Brown. Add the diced potato and cauliflower. Season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Continue to cook about 10-15 minutes. Add the prepared vegetable bullion cubes (I used 4 cups water to prepare them, and 3 additional cups in the soup for a total of 7 cups of water). Add addition garlic powder, and black pepper, and cook for 1-2 hours. Pour half of the soup into a blander and puree. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and continue to cook. Add the chopped ham and parsley. Cook for another 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the grated cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted into the soup. Serve immediately.

Pea Soup for Dinner

Filed Under (Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 26-05-2010

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Yesterday was another cold and rainy day. When it came to dinner I defiantly wanted something warm. I decided I wanted some soup for dinner. I had been thinking about making pea soup for some time, but I had never made it before so I was always a bit hesitant to give it a try. My mom is the queen of pea soup making. Her pea soup always turns out well. It is nice and thick and the peas are completely dissolved. The ham gives it that traditional pea soup taste that only pea soup has. I wanted my soup to be just a good as hers so I got her to give me the recipe. Of course once again her pea soup recipe is another recipe that she has never written down, so she gave me the recipe verbally while I was making it.

My pea soup turned out really well, but it wasn’t as thick as hers usually is. I think it’s because we didn’t quite have enough split pea’s (she usually puts in 1 cup and I had a fair bit less then that) so next time I make it I will definitely be adding more peas to it. I also added perhaps a wee bit too much water to the soup initially. However my mom said to fill the pot ¾ full, but then she later said 2/3 full might have been better. This is the reason I really prefer written recipes. However after making this pea soup (and taking notes as I made it) I know have a recipe for it, to follow next time. My pea soup was still very yummy, hearty and warm. Perfect for the cold weather we had.

Here is the recipe

Mom’s Pea Soup
Serves 4-5

1- 1 ½ cups dried split peas
1 white onion
Deli ham
2 carrots
3 medium sized potatoes
2-3 stalks celery
½ cup lentils
½ cup barley
1 tsp salt
black pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
a dash allspice
a dash ground cloves

Fill a large pot about 2/3 full of water (use more water for a thinner soup). Bring water to boil. Add dried peas. Reduce heat once boiling to medium heat (as long as the bubbling continues. The peas need to boil for about 2 hours to dissolve). Dice the onion, and add it to the pot. Dice the potatoes, celery, and carrots, and add to the pot. Chop the ham to desired size pieces and add it to the pot. Add the salt, black pepper, cloves, allspice and bay leaf. Continue to boil on medium heat until 2 hours has elapsed from the time the peas were added. Once the two hours is up, add the barley and lentils (they don’t taste as good if cooked very long), and continue to boil for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Baked Salmon for Dinner

Filed Under (Supper) by Lisa on 25-05-2010

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A few days ago I decided to do some more experimenting in the kitchen. This time there was no recipe involved at all, I completely went out on a whim and made something that I had no idea how it would taste. That something was a baked salmon stuffed with light herb cream cheese, and coated in a sauce I created and then sprinkled with cracker crumbs. The result was a very tasty baked salmon. I will definitely be making this again! I served it with baked potatoes and corn on the cob.

Here is my recipe

Baked Stuffed Salmon
Serves 4

One large Salmon Fillet (frozen)
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Garlic powder (to taste)
Paprika (to taste)
Balsamic vinegar (a few drizzles)
Lemon juice (a few drizzles)
Worcestershire sauce ( a few dashes)
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup light mayonnaise
A few shakes light parmesan cheese
½ – 1 cup cracker crumbs
Light herbed cream cheese (½ cup or more)

Defrost fillet for about an hour (removed from package and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil). Cut the fillet into desired number if pieces. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Set aside for another hour or so, to let the spices absorb. Drizzle lemon juice and balsamic vinegar over fish. Set aside for about 30 minutes to let it absorb. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make slits in each piece of fish (where the cream cheese will be stuffed into. Stuff with cream cheese (more is better for a more moist fish). In a bowl add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce a small amount of cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir to form a sauce. Spread over fish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake in the preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes. Serve immediately.


Cod For Dinner

Filed Under (Supper) by Lisa on 10-05-2010

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Lately I have been trying to incorporate more sea food into my diet. In the last 6 months or so I have likely eaten more sea food then I have eaten in the rest of my 25 years.

A few days ago I decided to make some cod fish for dinner. I had never made cod before, so this was a new experience for me. I searched for a recipe online, and found one at allrecipes that I thought sounded easy and delicious. The recipe was for Baked Cod with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I changed the quite a bit to suit my tastes and the ingredients on hand.

My cod turned out very well. The horseradish flavor was fairly strong, but the red pepper gave the sauce the perfect amount of sweetness that balanced out the strong horseradish flavor. The cracker crumbs absorbed some of the sauce and gave the fish a nice slightly breaded texture. Inside the cod was soft, moist and very flavorful. I think seasoning the fish and letting it absorb for some time before cooking is key in getting the fish flavorful from top to bottom.

I served my fish with baked potato, butter corn, and maple garlic carrots.

Here is my adapted recipe

Baked Cod with Horseradish Sauce

3-4 medium to large fillets cod (frozen)
1 large red pepper

8 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp olive oil ¼-½ cup water
About 1 cup crushed crackers
Salt
Black pepper
Garlic powder
You will also need aluminum, foil

Defrost cod for about an hour. Cut into desired number of pieces. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside. Let the spices absorb for about 30 minutes (min). Cut the red pepper into pieces. Place the red pepper, and horseradish in a blender. Add the olive oil and enough water to create a thick sauce (you might need to add it gradually with blending). Blend until a thick sauce is formed (I had a few small chunks of red pepper in my sauce but I used it anyways because I thought it would just add to the flavor of the sauce). Spread the sauce evenly over the fish. Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the sauce. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 50 minutes. Serve immediately.


Cabbage Rolls

Filed Under (Rolls, Supper) by Lisa on 27-04-2010

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A few days ago I was contemplating what to make for supper. I had been thinking about making cabbage rolls for quite some time, but I told my self many times that they were too time consuming to make. I finally decided to make them a couple days ago. I started preparing them early, and I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t that much work, nor were that that time consuming to make.

This was my second time making cabbage rolls ever in my whole life. They turned out really well. I was inspired by a recipe I printed for cabbage rolls back in 2008 (the first time I made them) from this website. I served my cabbage rolls with cheesy garlic bread.

Here is my recipe (inspired by foodtv.ca)

Cabbage Rolls

1 vegetable bouillon cube (prepared according to package)
1 can tomato soup
2-3 tbsp vodka
desired amount of water (I used aprox 3 to 4 cups of water for a thin sauce)
olive oil
2 white onions
3 cloves garlic
0.4 kg extra lean ground beef
A few drizzles balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
Salt
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Paprika
1 medium sized head of cabbage

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop onions and garlic. In a large frying pan or skillet using medium heat brown the ground beef. Add the onions and garlic to the beef and brown. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Cook for several minutes. Now stir in the precooked rice. Add the 2 eggs and continue to stir the rice mixture until the eggs are cooked and evenly distributed in the rice. Remove from heat. In a large pot cook the head of cabbage. If possible remove as many full leaves of cabbage from the head first  before placing them in the pot to boil for 2-5 minutes (to soften them). Now drain the cabbage and remove remaining leaves from the head. Fill each intact leaf of cabbage with the rice mixture. Roll to seal (they may not be completely sealed but that is okay). Place in a large baking dish. Once all the cabbage rolls are in the baking dish add the tomato soup on top of the cabbage rolls. Now add the water, and the prepared vegetable bouillon cube. Sprinkle the vodka on top. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar evenly all over the cabbage rolls.  Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. Serve right away with a crust bread.

Shrimp and Salmon Pizzas

Filed Under (Pizza, Supper) by Lisa on 23-04-2010

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A couple days ago I was in the mood for some exotic pizza. Most of the time when I make home made pizza, even when I try to vary the toppings my pizza’s turn out more or less the same, with slight flavor or texture variations. They are extremely delicious though.

I was inspired to make some seafood pizza’s by reading a Panago Pizza Flyer that was advertising their Oceano Pizza’s.

I used my mom’s wonderful pizza crust recipe that is tried and true.  For the sauces, I used light bbq sauce on one pizza, and for the other pizza I used two different sauces. Since I had some left over home made onion dip in the fridge I decided to use that for one half of the pizza, and my usual pesto sauce for the other half of the pizza. Using the dip was a bit of an experiment but it paid off! The pieces of pizza that I had with the dip sauce ended up being my favorite.

For toppings, for the bbq sauce pizza I used: baby spinach, red bell pepper, shrimp (already cooked and tails removed), red onion, smoked salmon, and light mozzarella cheese.

bbq sauce pizza before baking

For my pesto and dip sauce pizza the toppings I used were: artichoke hearts (marinated canned), sun dried tomatoes (also marinated and canned), baby spinach, shrimp, and light mozzarella cheese.

pesto and dip sauce pizza before baking

The pizza’s were a huge hit in my house hold were there is at least one serious sea food lover. I will defiantly be making sea food pizza’s again!

pesto and dip sauce pizza after baking

bbq sauce and salmon shrimp pizza after baking

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Filed Under (Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 10-04-2010

Yesterday I was having one of those days where I had no idea what to make for dinner. I was browsing some blogs for ideas, and I came across an interesting recipe on Love and Olive Oil’s blog for pumpkin turkey chili. Since we still have quite a bit of pumpkin in the freezer from last fall, I decided I would give their recipe a try. I changed it quite a bit to suit the ingredients that I had on hand. Here is my adapted version of their recipe.

My pumpkin turkey turned out very well. It was warm and zesty but not so spicy that I needed to extinguish my mouth. I served it with some garlic cheese bread. I will defiantly be making this recipe again. Thanks Love and Olive Oil for posting the recipe.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil via  Serious Eats originally posted on Erin’s Food Files
Makes about 6 large servings

Olive oil
2 large onions
1 red bell pepper
4 medium sized potatoes
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1-2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 can chili style beans (14.5 oz)
2 cups pumpkin pieces
1 ½ tbsp chili powder
1 ½ tbsp Chinese 4 spices (cumin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
½ tsp salt and a few shakes
½ tsp pepper and a few shakes
2-3 tbsp dried cilantro
Garlic powder a few shakes
1 vegetable bullion cube prepared according to package (I used 2 cups of water with it)

In a large pot heat the olive oil (enough to coat the bottom). Add the ground turkey and brown. Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables (mince or dice). Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the browned turkey and cook for a few minutes. Season with a couple shakes of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now add the red pepper, and ½ of the cut up potato. Cook for several minutes stirring occasionally. Add the beans, and stewed tomatoes. Prepare the vegetable bullion cube in 2 cups of water. In a blender add the other ½ of the chopped potatoes, the vegetable bullion water and all the pumpkin pieces and puree. Add the pureed mixture to the pot and continue to cook. Add more water if you think the chili is too thick. Season with all spices and herbs to taste. Simmer for 40 minutes  to one hour. Serve warm.

Savory Ribs

Filed Under (Supper) by Lisa on 03-04-2010

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Yesterday afternoon I was contemplating dinner. I decided I wanted to try something I had not made in years; ribs. I love ribs but the only times I have eaten them in the last few years is when my mom made them, or in restaurants. I decided to give making ribs a go. I asked my mom for the recipe she uses since her ribs always turn out very well. The recipe she uses entitled “Sticky Ribs” comes from Reader’s Digest Low-Calorie Cookbook. She often makes modifications to her recipes but doesn’t write them down, so I was on my own to make my ribs like hers with out really knowing exactly how she changes the recipe.

I followed the Sticky Rib recipe fairly closely mostly just altering the amounts of various ingredients. I also omitted the tomato paste and used organic ketchup instead.  I skipped using orange zest entirely and instead used just orange juice. I also used Dijon mustard instead of French.

The ribs turned out to be divine! They were sweet, and mildly spicy at the same time. They were a major house hold hit, and I will defiantly be making them again.

Here is my adapted recipe from Reader’s Digest Low-Calorie Cookbook.

Makes about 18 small to medium sized ribs

Savory Ribs

About 18 pork ribs excess fat trimmed

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 ½ tbsp olive oil
¾ cup orange juice
2 tbsp organic ketchup
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ribs (trimmed of fat) into a large pot, and cover with water. Add 2 tbsp of vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl combine the remaining 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and cayenne and stir until well combined.

Drain the ribs (after the 20 minutes is up) and arrange them in a 9X13 baking dish. Pour the sauce over the ribs and coat evenly.  Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn each rib over. Bake for another 20-25 minutes without the foil on top. Serve warm.

I served my ribs with green salad and baked potato.



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