About Me

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finally! " Four"

I happened to come across this Restaurant...don't ask me how, as I'm not sure, but I am IMPRESSED!

It is called " Four" and it's in Toronto.  Every dish is under 650 calories. Yet it is fine dining, great atmosphere...no subway sandwiches! haha!

This place will be on my list to visit, the next time we are in Toronto! The menu looks fantastic!

FOUR- Toronto

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Asparagus- is in season! Chicken Dinner

*Stuff some chicken breasts with fresh asparagus and creamy goats cheese
* throw some cherry tomatoes all around...mushrooms, whatever is in your fridge.
*Splash of white wine, season with salt pepper and lemon wedges.

Put in oven 40 min before you want to eat.
* take dog for  a walk while it bakes.


and good!

serve on top of rice.

how about some tea and lemon/lavender shortbread for dessert?


mixed berries leftover from breakfast?

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Ultimate Burger..sneak peak!


this is THE one.

Home-made buns, 3 types of ground meat, lots of "extra's" to give it more flavour.. aoili lemon sauce...brie, fried onions, you name it. EVERYTHING fattening about it. But all in moderation, right?
Recipe coming soon!


ps. You better mop up your keyboard....it tastes even better than it looks! :-)


So my Pilates class is over now.  Summer is here. Normally I hire the Instructor to come out to my house and instruct a class for us Wednesday mornings, and have a few neighbourhood ladies over to attend the class.

It's usually WONERFUL!  9am, out in the grass, view of the blue bay, birds and waves making a nice background noise, while we all work those abs, legs, core!

However, I find it a bit stressful, ensuring there is enough ladies that come to make it worthwhile for our Instructor, worried about rain as sometimes we have so many ladies, that I'm not sure we would have enough floor space inside my  house.  Then I have to make sure the grass is cut and not too wet.

So this year, I have decided against it. However, I am worried about my body. Without Pilates, I tend to get " soft".  I'm going to have to look into finding another class, or learn how to teach myself.  I hope I have the self-discipline.  I am planning on taking a Fitness Instructor course in the Fall. Instructing Pilates  outdoors in nature ( summer) ...would be my dream and I hope to make it happen. I'd be in great shape from teaching everyday, that is for sure!  LOL

ps. I found this amazing website if you want to make your own Pilates Routine to fit into your lifestyle.

Pilates Work-out On-line

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Make your own " Herbs de Provence"

From Wikipedia

Herbes de Provence Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) is a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s.

The standard mixture typically contains savory, fennel, basil, and thyme flowers and other herbs. The proportions vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture. Lavender is only added in American mixes but is not used in French traditional mixes

But I want to add my lavender...so  I guess I am  making the more American version of Herbes de Provence.

Total Time: 5 minutes

•1 tsp dried thyme
•1 tsp ground rosemary
•1 tsp summer savory
•1/2 tsp lavender (optional but traditional)
•1 tsp marjoram
•1 tsp dried basil
•1/2 tsp dried sage
•1/2 tsp dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Crush slightly with a pestle or the back of a spoon. Store in an airtight container. Rub into meat,chicken or fish for a dry rub or combine with olive oil for a marinade.
Wouldn't small containers of this, wrapped pretty and given with a few recipe cards on how to use the herbs be a cute gift for friends?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quinoa 101

Quinoa (pronounced /ˈkiːnoʊ.ə/ or /kwɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

World Quinoa Production - 2005

(thousand metric ton)

Peru 32.6

Bolivia 25.2

Ecuador 0.7

Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.



Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

The first step in preparing quinoa is to remove the saponins, a process that requires soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking, or rinsing it in ample running water either in a fine strainer or in cheesecloth. Removal of the saponin helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative. Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience.

A common cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 14–18 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta). As an alternative, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, treating it just like white rice (for both cooking cycle and water amounts).

Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavor. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing bitter greens like kale.

Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries; it is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes.

Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and gluten-free baking. For the latter, it can be combined with sorghum flour, tapioca, and potato starch to create a nutritious gluten-free baking mix. A suggested mix is three parts quinoa flour, three parts sorghum flour, two parts potato starch, and one part tapioca starch. Quinoa flour can be used as a filling for chocolate.

Curried Quinoa Recipe

Serves Six to Eight

1 Cup Quinoa
1½ Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
½ Onion Diced (about 4 or 5 oz.)
1 Tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger Root
½ Fresh Green Chile
(Finely Chopped)
1 Heaping Tsp. Turmeric
1 Heaping Tsp. Coriander
¼ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1¾ Cups Water
½ Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
Salt to Taste
 1.Rinse quinoa with cold water. Use a fine mesh filter or coffee filter. If you're a klutz like me use the fine mesh filter or a lot of quinoa is going to wind up in the sink!

2.Place oil and diced onions in a heavy saucepan. Saute the onions on medium high heat for four to five minutes.
3.Add the ginger root, chile, and quinoa. Cook for one minute stirring constantly.

A fine, white spiral appears around the grain as it cooks.

4.Stir in the turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for one minute stirring constantly.

5.Add the water and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

6.Stir in peas. Cover and cook for four or five minutes or until peas are tender and all the water has been absorbed.

7.Fluff with a fork before serving.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad


3 Cup cooked quinoa (1 cup dried)

1/3 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

3 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Teaspoon ground cumin

1 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon sugar

1-1/2 Cup canned black beans, rinsed

1-1/2 Cup corn kernels (about 2 cobs) or defrosted frozen

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 Pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup chopped green or black olives

1/4 Cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 Cup chopped fresh coriander


1.Cook quinoa

2.While quinoa is cooking, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and sugar into a vinaigrette in a small bowl.

3.Combine quinoa and all remaining ingredients, except fresh herbs, into a medium-sized bowl.

4.Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine.

5.Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavours to combine. Add fresh herbs just prior to serving. May be served at room temperature.

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving: 407 calories, 17 g fat, 14 g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 11 g fibre. Excellent source of vitamin E, folic acid, thiamin, iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.

Wine Pairing

Off-dry Riesling



Inspired- Healthy Vegetarian Luncheon

I went to a friends house for lunch the other day.  Another " foodie friend" that is in great shape, eats healthy and looks fabulous!  This is a sample of what she served me for lunch, with a glass of Pino Grigio out on her porch, in her historical old stone farmhouse. What a beautiful day. She has totally inspired me to eat more of these dishes. It was delicious!

Mango Salad

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1-lb) firm-ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper until sugar is dissolved, then add oil, whisking until emulsified. Add remaining ingredients and toss until coated.


Stuffed Peppers with goats cheese and Quiona.

I totally forgot about using such an interesting item. Quiona.  Now I am on the search for it in the grocery store to make more. Delicious and SO healthy.



3 medium-large bell peppers, any color
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 can vegetable broth (or 2 cups)
1 package mushrooms, any variety, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
 1/4 cup goats cheese
1 garlic clove, finely diced
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375*.

Cut the peppers in half length-wise and take out the seeds.

Place onto a lined cookie sheet face up and salt the insides.

Pre-cook the peppers while you prepare the stuffing.

In a medium saucepan, add a little olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms on low-med low until soft.

Salt and pepper the veggies, then add the quinoa.

Add the veggie broth and cover.

Simmer on low per package directions (about 15 minutes).

When  done, add in crumbled goats cheese and olive oil to taste.

Once the peppers have softened and slightly browned in the oven, remove them and stuff with the quinoa mixture.

Cook approximately 10-15 mins more until the quinoa is a little browned on top.

Stuffed Mushrooms  ( healthy version)

•18 large mushrooms, stems removed
•1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
•1 Tbsp. olive oil
•1 medium zucchini, cleaned and shredded
•1 large carrot, cleaned and shredded
•1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
•1 tsp. good-quality flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
•1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
•1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
•1/4 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish generously with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe mushrooms with a clean towel. Remove stems and discard. Squeeze all of the water out of the spinach by wrapping it in a kitchen towel or paper towel and wringing thoroughly.

Place the spinach in a large bowl. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini, then add it to the frying pan. Add the shredded carrot to the frying pan. Cook 2 to 4 minutes until softened. Add to the bowl with the spinach. Mix well. Fold in the ricotta cheese, sea salt and pepper until well combined.

Place the mushroom caps (cavity side up) in the prepared baking dish. Spoon this mixture into the mushroom caps. Top with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pour the white wine into the bottom of the baking dish around the mushrooms. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly, and the mushrooms are cooked.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer is HERE! yup! that view of mine is back...

gosh! How I love living here when I look out and see that gorgeous view! But that also means we entertain more, we eat more, we drink more, we gain MORE!

I enjoy sitting in my Muskoka chair, sipping, nibbling and that is about it for the summer.

So I have joined SOCCER!

Never played it in my life, but a good friend convinced me to join. So there we are. In these cute uniforms, with college level competitive athletes HALF our age. Oh boy! trying new things keeps you young, right?

The good part is they are very nice, patient, understanding and forgiving! We are learning the game and getting an AMAZING work-out. They say you run over 6km during every game. I swear it is 10k!  But it is FUN, so off we go. One night where I have to get my butt out of the lounge chair and put the wine glass down.

So I tried some Black Bean/Turkey Burgers this week.

Very good. Just need a bit more spice, so I will work on those before I post a recipe to share with my foodie friends.  I'm also working on the most amazing BEEF BURGER on home-made buns for the people that can eat a 1 lb burger and 19089089 carbs and still be oklol  Fun to do though.