Category Archives: Dinner

Lemon and Herb Quinoa

Happy Monday! I had the whole weekend off, but I haven’t gotten called in yet today, so I just might have a 3-day weekend. Last week I was called in every day, so it’s been nice to get some stuff done in the last few days. Josh’s brother, girlfriend and our niece, Hannah, are coming to visit this week. We’ve been running around trying to get everything organized and clean. I accomplished a lot on the weekend including a bunch of cooking and homework! This morning I’ve already done a lot too. I woke up, had lemon and hot water, then made myself a energy-packed breakfast. I had 3 scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of toast with sliced avocado on top.

On Saturday I got my Mother-in-law to eat quinoa! I think this was my greatest accomplishment of the weekend and the best part is that she liked it. I cooked salmon on a cedar plank on the BBQ and served it with lemon and herb quinoa and sauteed spinach. It turned out absolutely amazing and was packed full of flavour and nutrients! Below is the recipe for the quinoa.

Cedar Plank SalmonLemon and Herb QuinoaSalmon and Lemon and Herb Quinoa

Lemon and Herb Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tbsp. olive or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tbsp. white wine
2 cups vegetable stock (I only had one cup, so I used water for the second one)
4 big slices of lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. each of chives and parsley (or herb of your choice)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
 
  1. Sweat garlic, shallot and a little salt and pepper in pot with oil on medium heat until cooked (about 2 minutes). Add the quinoa and stir for 2 minutes to toast and coat in mixture . Add the white wine and let cook for a minute.
  2. Add the lemon zest and vegetable stock, then increase the heat until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. When done, stir in the lemon juice, zest, and herbs. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

I’m off to a Rypped class at the YMCA, so hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

Homemade Mini Pizza’s

Hey, how’s your weekend going? Mine has been going well so far. I had Friday and Saturday off. Unfortunately it rained for both days – actually it snowed on Friday! I woke up to go to the gym and I had to brush snow off the truck. A couple weeks ago I had taken my snow brush out thinking that I wouldn’t need it anymore. I guess I haven’t experienced enough of Prince George winters to know that it can snow in May here – yuck!

After avoiding the mall for a couple months, I finally ended up there. Josh had some banking to do, so I went straight to David’s tea to get their Spring collection. It comes with 5 different flavours which are absolutely delicious. I got one extra one on top of that too.

photo (96)

Last night i made mini homemade pizzas. I made a whole wheat crust and cut the dough into smaller chunks so we could have our own personal pizza. I like less cheese and more veggies on mine than Josh. It’s pretty obvious in the picture which one is who’s. On mine I put oven-dried cherry tomatoes (that I made), roasted peppers, mushrooms, red onion, a little bit of mozzarella, and goat’s cheese. I finished it off wish some fresh basil. It was amazing!

photo (94)

 

photo (95)

 

I’m back to work today. I’m going to head to the gym, and then try and get a few things done before work. I really hope this weather get’s a little nicer like it was last week. The sunshine always seems to make me feel happier and more energetic. I want to get outside and go for some walks.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend!

Lentil, Mushroom and Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

Hey! Happy Wednesday! The week is already going by quick. My weekend was very relaxing. I visited family and did some cooking (of course). As I mentioned, it’s sooooo nice to be able to eat healthy and cook my own meals. I don’t regret my decision to change jobs one bit. And, 6 more sleeps until Josh is home already!

I’ve been going to the gym as much as possible. I took Sunday off to relax. I feel myself getting stronger and more toned, so hopefully I will be ready to reach my goal of 10 successful push-ups by March 3rd. This week I’ve been working 7-3, so I’ve been getting up at 5:00 am and going from 5:30-6:30 before work. It gives me energy at work and then I can relax and get other things done afterwards. Today is Day 20 of my 90 day challenge and I’m feeling amazing!

Sunday night I made something new. I’ve seen this recipe before and have been wanting to try it for a while. Lentil, Mushroom and Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie. I found the recipe from this site. Josh’s Mom was a little skeptical about it as it’s not a traditional Shepard’s pie, but to her surprise, it was delicious! She even had seconds. I made mini pies to bring in my lunch too. I even had someone at work ask me for the recipe. This is definitely a recipe I recommend you try.

photo (75)

photo (78)

photo (80)

photo (76)

Something I found interesting about this recipe is that steel cut oats is one of the ingredients. It helps bind the first layer together and gives it even more nutrients. This recipe is packed with flavour and it’s good for you. The only thing I changed is that I put 2 cloves of garlic instead of one.

Well hope your week is rocking like mine. Definitely looking forward to the long weekend. Please send any of your favourite Easter recipes.

A Night of Relaxation

Good morning! We’re almost at the end of the week already. Yesterday I went to the gym, did a little cleaning, then sat back and relaxed while Josh made me dinner. Yes – I got to be the one relaxing! The only thing I did for him was make homemade pasta. This is white pasta, but next time I’m going to make whole wheat, which is something I haven’t done before.

photo (65)photo (66)photo (64)photo (68)

I really want the attachment for my kitchen aid mixer, then I don’t have to hand crank it, and I can make even more different types (and shapes).

I have to say I couldn’t even believe what he decided to make me. I must have taught him something because it’s definitely the best meal he’s ever cooked (that I’ve seen). I thought he was pretty good before, but I was very impressed. Usually it’s slow cooker roasts, chili’s or BBQ steak.

First he brought out a balsamic and olive oil dip with bread.

photo (70)

Then the first course he had veggies with these huge lime-garlic prawns that were cooked perfectly!

photo (69)

For the main course he made a creamy tomato sauce for the pasta and topped it with seared scallops. It was sooooooo good!! 

photo (71)

I’m going to add in that he also picked up a great bottle of wine. 

photo (67)

I know – I’m spoiled. I do the cooking 90% of the time, but it is sure nice to be pampered like that sometimes! Even though some of this meal wasn’t exactly food I planned on eating on my 90 Day Challenge, you can’t say no when someone (especially your boyfriend) is cooking it for you. He also bought a mini cheesecake for us to share for dessert. I was in heaven!

Today we’re going snowshoeing to the old gun range. That will be my exercise for today. It’s been snowing since last night, so that means snowboarding this weekend! Have an awesome day!

It`s Official!

Hello! Guess what!?!? We’re going officially going to Jamaica for 2 weeks next month! We finally made the decision. There were other places available for the dates we wanted, but they were quieter (more boring) areas that didn’t have the adventure feel we wanted. We wanted to go somewhere that had more to offer than sitting around the resort. We’ll be staying in Ocho Rios and there is plenty to do there. We’ll be going zip-lining, hiking up falls, visiting different beaches, tubing down a river, kayaking, windsurfing and much more. The trip is all inclusive, so we just have to pay for some of the extra excursions. I can’t even tell you how excited I am! Don’t worry I’ll take a lot of pictures.

I’ve finally gotten some cooking done. The other day I made a big batch of quinoa salad. I didn’t exactly follow a recipe – I just kind of threw it together. It turned out pretty darn delicious. I even had a couple people have a bowl and give me feedback. My only complaint was that I could have used a little less garlic. I could taste it in my mouth for a while. I loaded it with veggies, a lemon vinaigrette, then topped it with homemade candied walnuts and goats cheese. Yum!

Candied Walnuts or Pecans

1.5 cups walnuts or pecans
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
 
1. Heat oven to 350C. Whisk water and sugar together, then bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup. 
2. Stir in nuts and stir to evenly coat. Strain extra liquid and lay on baking pan.
3. Bake for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. It may take a bit longer (or less) depending on the oven. The mixture will start to stick to the nuts. Let cool completely before using.
 

20130117-165228.jpg

I also made butter chicken and naan bread from scratch. It’s one of my favourite Indian dishes that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. We had Josh’s sister and her boyfriend over for dinner and they thought it was delicious. Next time I might make it a bit spicier.

20130117-165252.jpg

Josh made a roast in the slow cooker yesterday. I chopped the vegetables for him, but he did everything else. It smelt absolutely delicious in the house all day.  I made sure to load it up with lots of veggies!

20130117-165313.jpg

I’m not sure what the weather is like where everyone else is, but it’s been warmer than usual here. It’s been above zero which has left the roads sloppy and the snow melting. Some of you might be happy about this, but I`m not impressed. It means bad snowboarding and sledding conditions. We managed to get some skating in last night. I`m not the most athletically talented person, but I always try. It was fun shooting the puck around and getting some exercise. We also went to the gym and pool yesterday, so I`m feeling super today!

20130117-165241.jpg

Well that`s all for today. We`re eating left overs tonight then heading out for a snowmobile ride. We`re going to pull each other on the snowboard! This weekend my plans so far include snowboarding, poker night, ice fishing and maybe some shooting. I also need to get organized for the trip since we have to leave to go back to work on Tuesday. Talk to you soon!

Cooking and Relaxing

Hey guys! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was great, but it went buy very quick. We’ve already been off for five days, but it feels like two or three. I`m also finally on a regular sleep schedule as it took me a while to adjust after getting off night shift. Saturday we went to visit Josh`s grandparents. They have a hobby farm where they have cows, pigs, chickens, goats, and a horse. They also have a vegetable and berry garden. I think it`s awesome that they live off the land as much as possible. They know and have control of what goes into their food. I always enjoy going to visit them, especially for dinner.

Besides that we have been visiting friends and relaxing. Yesterday I managed to do a little Christmas shopping and bought myself a few things too. I got some cookie cutters, a pastry bag and tip kit, and some cute cupcake liners. I walked around the kitchen store and wanted nearly everything off the shelves in my kitchen. But, I was a good girl and only got a few things. Maybe Santa will be good to me this year.

 

 

Saturday night I made Sun-dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta with Pesto Chicken. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I didn’t have a plan or recipe, I just went to the store and started putting things in the cart. I served it with some fresh parmesan cheese, basil and homemade garlic toast. I`m bad at writing down my recipes so I will have to post it on my next one. It’s definitely a dish worth trying!

 

 

Sunday we went to the craft fair at the Civic Centre. There was a lot of cool things there, but I was more interested in the food. We bought some fresh fudge and I got some different jellies to send my mom for Christmas. I`m pretty sure I tried almost every sample at the food stands. In the afternoon I baked some brownies and homemade clam chowder. They both turned out really good. That night I made maple glazed salmon with asparagus and a lemon scented risotto. I`ve made risotto many times between school and working in a resort, however, I screwed this one up. I was upset about it at the time because I wanted everything to turn out perfect and I also hate making mistakes. It ended up really thick and had a gluey kind of texture. I asked someone and they said I should have thinned it out with some stock. I guess I will just have to try again! I guess everyone makes mistakes and we have to learn from them. It must be the stubborn French side in me that gets really discouraged about it.

My personal training session on Friday went really well. I was sore for two days! My goals were to increase my cardio, strength and stability as well as tone and maintain my weight. I went again today and I think it hit me harder than the first day. He gave me another routine to do. Nearly everything he has me doing is working out my whole body. I`m hoping to workout 3-4 times a week. I don`t want to aim too high right now, but on days that I don`t go I`d like to do yoga or something active outside. In the winter I`m always outside between snowboarding, snowshoeing or ice fishing.

Well, that`s an update of my days off. I`ll get that pasta recipe up for you as soon as I can. I have to get a couple solid hours of homework done this afternoon. I always end up choosing blogging over homework. It`s more fun and I`m trying to avoid biology. This is my last science course, then the rest of them will be more fun.

Hope you`re having a super day!

Nothing Better than the Taste of Home

Guess what? It has been snowing here for a couple days now!  I can’t even tell you how stoked I am for winter. I know some of you might be disgusted and are ready to head South, but I love winter. Right now it’s fall and I feel like there is nothing to do. During the winter, I can go skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, have some fun in the snow, sliding, ice fishing and lots of other  completely awesome activities. Josh said he would take me up in the mountains snowmobiling. I love getting bundled up and going on an adventure, especially with some tea or hot chocolate in my mug (and maybe some Bailey’s). You come in from outside with your cheeks all rosy red and feeling like ice cubes. You feel such comfort and warmth when you get inside and change into some cozy clothes – I love my fuzzy pajama pants and socks.

As mentioned in my previous post, I try and cook as much as possible on my days off. When I’m deprived of delicious food while I’m away, it makes me want to eat like a Queen when I’m home. Josh has me make French toast, waffles or crepes nearly every morning. Sometimes I make omelettes or we just have cereal, but it’s usually the first three. Yes, I know, I’m so nice! I guess that’s the perks of dating a cook. I get real maple syrup, some fresh fruit and at his request, whipped cream.  I also go to the deli and get freshly sliced bacon. Yes, I know, it’s not the healthiest breakfast, but moderation is the key. When I used to eat super healthy, I felt like I was depriving myself of all the amazing food that is out there.  I just choose quality of the food over anything.

Just a note that the internet has been really frustrating, so I couldn’t get all my pictures for this post loaded. It’s very frustrating because some of the pictures looked so good (I’m talking about the delicious food in them). Hopefully I can get this post updated so you can see the rest of them.

When we went to Prince Rupert fishing, we had all of our fish vacuum-packed so that it would keep longer and better in the freezer. We have halibut, ling cod and salmon (spring, coho and chum). I took a whole side of coho out and cooked it on the BBQ on a cedar plank. I love the flavour the cedar gives the salmon. All I put on it was a little olive oil, garlic and some salmon seasoning. At the end I sprinkled it with fresh parsley. I served it with a mix of sautéed vegetables and some steamed rice. Simple, but delicious!

Another night we made homemade pizza. It didn’t turn out as good as I wanted as the dough was a little thick. Josh put so much toppings on it which included a lot of cheese. One piece was all I needed. His sister and her boyfriend had Thanksgiving dinner which was awesome. As much as I love to cook, I don’t mind going to someone else’s place for dinner. Of course I try and help out with the cooking and cleaning, but it’s nice not having to plan it and slave all day in the kitchen.  It turned out awesome. One of my favourite dishes that night was her rosemary and balsamic roasted carrots – I went for seconds on those. I also made sure to save room for a slice of pumpkin pie.

Still have a few more things to add. I made homemade ‘chicken cordon bleu’ except with pancetta and brie cheese stuffed in the middle and breaded with herbed panko crumbs. I decided to have a gourmet cooking night. Along with that was baked Boursin cheese smashed potatoes. They were also baked in the oven with cheddar cheese melted on top. Oh I know, they sound deadly, and they were. I’m not even kidding; they were the best smashed potatoes I’ve ever had. I served this with roasted vegetables. While I was preparing all of this, I was sipping on some wine and listening to music.

Oh, another night I didn’t have to cook was when Josh made chili. He got everything ready the night before and had it in the slow cooker the next day. That same day I made homemade buns to go with it and some peanut butter cookies for fun. It was cold outside and I was in the mood to bake. The chili turned out very good. He doesn’t cook very often, but when he does, it’s usually always good. We had left over’s for a few days.

Now I must tell you what we made on our last day home. We decided to have a big seafood feast with the family. I made a delicious hot crab dip (recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart) which ended up being a great hit (and of course the picture won’t upload). There was none left by the end of our meal. We also had bacon wrapped scallops, tempura battered halibut and prawns, and some king crab legs. All of it was AMAZING. We ate seafood until we couldn’t eat anymore.

Oh! I also made mini pumpkin cheesecakes. I think I started making these at 9:30pm. I did two things wrong when I made this recipe. First of all, I should have whipped the cream cheese by itself first, because the whipped cream in the recipe ended up increasing the volume of the batter by a lot more than it should have. In my defense, the recipe said to add all the ingredients at once. I also added sour cream to the batter and I wasn’t supposed to because it was a topping to add to it after. You would think in my two years of culinary school I would have remembered one of the most important things they taught us: read over your recipe before you start. Nope, overconfident me just went at it and made a couple mistakes. I was so upset about it. I cooked them anyway and put them in the fridge to set overnight. I decided I would remake them in the morning. I’m not even joking when I say that I had dreams about making those cheesecakes all night. I think I woke up stressed out in the morning! Luckily, they turned out okay. They tasted like cheesecake and still had a good texture. I didn’t take a picture at the time because I was so devastated at all the mistakes I made. However, I can assure you that it tasted good.

I already have a lot of dishes I want to cook when I’m home next. I’m going to get a head start on a little Christmas baking. I’d also like to make some homemade protein bars and healthy muffins to bring to work with me next time.

That’s all I got for today. On my next post I’m going to share with you what food I bring with me to work. I have a whole tote of healthy and delicious surprises. Hope everyone is having an awesome day. I really wish I would have brought some warmer clothes with me for this winter weather. It’s freezing, but I want to go play in the snow!