Tag Archives: recipe

Turkey muffins

With less than 8% fat, about 22g of protein in a serving of 100g, for my macros, turkey muffins were a perfect lunch idea.

When I made them yesterday I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the aroma was steaming out of the oven. I ate this over spinach and with roasted sweet potato.

Ingredients:

500g (1 package) extra lean ground turkey
1 red bell pepper chopped into tiny squares
1/2 red onion also chopped into tiny squares
1 egg
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce for chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Maille Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° before preparation
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Drop turkey mixture into silicone molds
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off and let muffins set for an additional 20 minutes in warm oven.
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables, spinach, sweet potato or rice.


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these muffins! Finally, delicious turkey that was moist, flavorful  and a great lean protein that goes with other healthy options.

I will definitely be making these many more times again this year! How do you cook with ground turkey or chicken?

xxserena

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Easy classic chili recipe 

Everyone loves chili.

If you’re vegetarian or just want a break, just omit the meat and add chopped fresh peppers, portobello mushrooms, or … What else would go well in a steaming hot bowl of delicious and healthy chili? Leave a comment and let me know!

Note please, this recipe has beans in it so if you are a purist than stay away from this recipe. Don’t look!

Ingredients:

1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 pack chili seasoning mix
1 can passata or diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 can corn

Directions:

  1. Brown beef and onions together. Medium high heat.
  2. Add can and jar of tomato sauce, drained beans, seasoning pack, mushrooms, corn and water.
  3. Simmer for one hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Low heat. Covered.

And voila! This chilli can last the week in the fridge but it probably won’t last that long because it is so delicious. It will get better with time because the flavours will begin to combine and the chili will thicken. Great toppings for this is plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, cheese, chopped green onion or hot sauce.

Calories? This chili has about 250 calories per cup, loads of fibre from the beans and corn, about 22 grams of protein, about 9 grams of fat and about 23 grams of carbohydrate.

Brown beef and onions over medium/high heat for about 10-15 minutes until all beef is cooked. If you wish drain some fat after this step. All photography in this blog by @serenapeace (Instagram)
I used this seasoning packet but you don’t have to! Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon cumin powder, one teaspoon red chili powder, one teaspoon minced garlic and one teaspoon ginger if you like instead! If you want a smoky taste, you can also add liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce (a teaspoon of each or more to taste!)
Love the simple directions to make chili on the back! Even though this packet said hot and spicy it wasn’t especially hot or spicy but added a great flavor to the chili!
I use one can of diced tomatoes and one jar of spaghetti sauce in my pot of chili. I add water to the jar/can and swish it around to get the last bits of tomato into the chili! Add more beans or different beans if you wish here! I also add one can of canned corn. Notice the face of a murderer in the background since I love to watch Dateline with Keith Morrison as I cook!!
MMMMmmm mushrooms. If you don’t like, add peppers. I like mushrooms!
Canned diced tomatoes work the best in chili for some reason.
First time using a flavor packet; I’m glad I did! Taste was awesome.
After half an hour of cooking. Still not ready but I couldn’t resist a taste at this point.

I topped mine with Greek yogurt but try sour cream or cheese if you wish!

 

 


The chili will thicken as it stands so it would also be delicious over rice or pasta.


Let me know how you like it!

xxSerena

Fat-burning cabbage vegetable kombu soup 

After a week of eating out, shovelling in the delicious savoury cooked delights that my city has to offer…

 

I decided I need a break.
When I’m serious about it, losing a few pounds and getting back to normal, I make either a mung bean lentil soup or a cabbage-based soup.

I decided to make a cabbage soup with a crown of broccoli, a chopped red onion, two strips of kombu, celery, carrots and some vegetable bouillon. 


I bought the seaweed in dried squares, added it into the soup like an herb bouquet, and then threw it out after it had been in the soup for a few hours.

Are used to to make my batch but I realize now that you only need one because it swells up and expands. The reason for the seaweed is that it adds great benefits to the broth.

The recipe is easy. I started with only a teaspoon of olive oil, chopped small red onion, 10 black peppercorns, about 10 fennel seeds and they cooked that for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then I added the chopped celery and carrot.


Then came the cabbage, broccoli and the water, of which I added enough to fill the pot, probably 8 to 10 cups.


Then I added the combo seaweed and one vegetable flavouring pack, in the form of a gel. 


I simmered the soup for 20 to 25 minutes and then added fresh herbs. I used thyme, sage, Italian parsley and some rosemary.


Drink as much soup as you can, exercise, sleep well, drink lots of water, go for massage and feel better!

xxSerena 

Making a cheese and tomato sandwich for work

In my quest for a good work sandwich, I wondered how to make a boring cheese and tomato sandwich more exciting and up to date. How will I make this tomato and cheese sandwich modern?

First, slice the flax bread.

   
 
And then one side gets sun-dried tomato and onion chutney and the other side gets fresh rosemary mayo.

Fresh rosemary Mayo is just ordinary mayo with finely chopped rosemary spread into it.

  
Then we add the layers. Finally sliced tomato. Aged cheddar cheese. Butter lettuce. Fresh basil leaves. Pea sprouts. And cucumber.

 
  
  
  
And then pack the sandwiches up nice and tight! To eat at work the next day.

   
 
What are your favorite sandwiches to make for work?

xxSerena 

 

Stuffed baked portobello mushrooms recipe

I love stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms hold stuffing really well and to be honest I love stuffed fish, stuffed cabbage, stuffed pastry, the list goes on and on. I like something delicious inside  something already delicious! Anyways I’ll stop the ramble before this gets off-topic. Back to my stuffed Portobello mushrooms.

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms ready to enjoy, hot out of the oven. Photography by Serena Alibhai
This recipe makes two stuffed mushrooms. For a dinner of two you can serve this as the main course along with a side of salad, pasta or potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Half teaspoon hemp heart seeds
Half a small red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fry onion with salt and oil for five to 8 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. In a bowl combine yogurt, Parmesan, hemp seeds, salsa and cooked onions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fill portobello mushroom caps. Place a tiny bit of olive oil under each mushroom cap before placing on cookie sheet or foil.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Portobello mushrooms. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed and baked. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Tender, great flavor and delicious. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
They were delicious. And very filling. Check out this link for some nutritional facts for portobello mushrooms:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9170/2

Do you like mushrooms? Have you ever made stuffed mushrooms? How do you make them?

xxSerena

8 DIY face masks that will do wonders for your skin

I love a good face mask, especially done at home.
Facials over makeup for me, any day of the week! But even when I’m wearing makeup, a good base of healthy skin makes everything work smoother, more beautiful, more vibrant.

Here are a few homemade do-it-yourself face masks. Try the one that calms what ails you!


  
  
  

Would you ever try these at home? Have you ever tried a recipe like this?

xxSerena

How to make delicious baked sweet potato fries 

They tend to get soggy or burnt, but I found a great simple way to bake delicious sweet potato fries. 

Here’s some nutritional facts before we begin:

  
Firstly, I like to either wash my sweet potato I didn’t advance or find a sweet potato that it is clean because you will not wash your sweet potato. This is a trick to allowing the olive oil and spices to stick.

  
Next is cut your sweet potato in half first and then in disks before slicing into fries. Preheat your oven to 450°. 

   
 
Then drizzle enough olive oil to coat all sides of your fries. I do this directly on my foil-lined cookie sheet. Then add spices. I used salt, pepper, garlic pepper and dried oregano.

  
You will cook your sweet potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes. In between cooking time take out the sweet potatoes and turn them. 

  
Serve your baked sweet potato fries with condiments of your choice. I chose a tahini lemon sauce. You can use garlic mayo or a red pepper aoli or cucumber garlic yogurt.

  
What’s your favourite way to eat sweet potatoes? 

xxSerena

Chicken split pea soup recipe

This warm winter soup recipe is great for so many reasons: health-wise it’s high in protein and low in fat. It’s even got vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s very easy to make, if you don’t mind letting a soup simmer on the stove for a few hours while you do other things, stirring ever hour or so. It’s also so delicious. You have a great mingling of spices, spinach, butternut squash, chicken, onions and of course the star of the dish – what gives it the thick wonderful consistency of a stew – yellow split peas.

Yellow split peas are low in fat and high in fibre & protein.

Here are some basic nutritional facts for yellow split peas:


Here’s a great winter recipe that I learned from my cousin’s wife. She uses chicken on the bone. To keep mine lowfat I use rotisserie chicken breast.

Ingredients:

450 grams yellow split peas (half the bag)
2 cups diced butternut squash
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic purée
1 teaspoon ginger purée
2 cup spinach or 1/2 package frozen spinach
2 pieces rotisserie chicken breast, diced
Salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons dal spice mix (tumeric, Red chili, black pepper, cumin, coriander, brown Cardiman, green cardamom, dehydrated dill, citric acid)

Directions:

  1. Fry diced onions in olive oil with salt, pepper and dried spice mix. Cook under medium heat for about 6-8 minutes and you can smell the aroma.
  2. Add rinsed yellow split peas, garlic and ginger. Stir to mix.
  3. Add butternut squash and spinach. Stir.
  4. Add stock and cooked chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for four hours, stirring once an hour, until squash and lentils almost dissolve.

 

I used a mixture of diced red and yellow onion because that’s what I had. I fried the onions in the mixture of spices and olive oil. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
Add pureed ginger and garlic. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
Add the yellow split peas and stir to blend flavors. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
After adding other ingredients including water, butternut squash and spinach. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
After a few hours of simmering, about 3-4, the yellow split peas and squash will dissolve and create a very thick delicious and healthy soup. After adding other ingredients including water, butternut squash and spinach. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

It was very delicious by the way! Plus nutrient dense so a great weight loss dish.

Have you ever cooked with yellow split peas? Do you enjoy lentils?

xxSerena

 

 

What I brought to my office Christmas potluck

Our area was given the responsibility of “appetizers.” Easy right? I don’t know about that. There are a lot of appetizers to choose from. I didn’t have a lot of time and I was taking the train to work so I didn’t want to carry a lot with me.

So I made a batch of homemade jalapeño pimento cheese. And a package of crackers.

If you have been reading my blog the past year you know I love pimento cheese.

And I always make it fresh. And if you make it fresh too and remember: always use real, high-quality, sharp cheddar cheese. Some countries call sharp extra strong or extra old. Buy the good stuff!

Also, another tip: I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix these ingredients. It gives a fluffy light texture to the pimento cheese.

So delicious! The perfect spread for vegetarian sandwiches as well.

Ingredients:

One block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
One block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
Quarter cup full fat mayonnaise
Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper
Quarter teaspoon garlic powder
One jar drained pimentos
1 tablespoon finely chopped marinated jalapeño peppers

Directions:

  1. Take the Philadelphia cream cheese out of the fridge and place on the counter for a couple of hours to soften.
  2. Grate the cheese.
  3. Put all ingredients in the mixer and mix for five minutes.
  4. Spoon into clean containers. Refrigerate for at least two hours so flavors can blend.
  5. Serve over crackers, in sandwiches, with vegetables or stir into pasta as a sauce.

Use the best quality sharp cheddar cheese you can find. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Open and grate the cheese. This cheese is preserved in wax. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Mix cheese, jalapeño and cream cheese together.
Add pimento. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Mix well to combine flavors and texture. Photography by Serena Alibhai
After it’s made, tap the container down and refrigerate over night of if you can’t wait at least an hour! Photography by Serena Alibhai
 

I love homemade pimento cheese! I hope my coworkers enjoy it too!

Here are some pics of the actual “appetizer” portion of our potluck! 

 

“Bacon jam” with baguette. Photography by Serena Alibhai

     
Spinach dip with bread and six layer dip with chips. Photography by Serena Alibhai
  

Real McDonalds chicken McNuggets! Photography by Serena Alibhai
   
Hey, there is my pimento cheese with crackers! Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Photography by Serena Alibhai
 

What are your favorite appetizers to bring to potlucks? What did you bring to your office potluck?

xxSerena

Creamy tangy homemade salad dressing

Usually I drizzle extra virgin virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and a couple cranks of salt and pepper on the greens.

But since I’m trying to keep my work salads purely vegetarian this week, I thought I would up the ante on the salad dressing.

This was my concoction. I think it’s pretty good.

I made enough salad dressing here for about 3 to 4 salads. I’m not very generous with dressing.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
A couple of shakes Worcestershire sauce
1 squeeze anchovy paste
Half teaspoon garlic pepper
Couple of cranks sea salt
2 dashes balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sour cream

Directions:

Mix all together. Keep in fridge for up to 72 hours. Use on salad as dressing.

Start with extra virgin olive oil.
Maille Dijon Mustard is my favorite.
Worcestershire sauce is hard to spell. And pronounce. Also it adds great flavor.
Making salad dressing.
Anchovy paste.
Garlic pepper seasoning.
Grind in sea salt.
Mix your homemade salad dressing.
Mix in sour cream.
Add balsamic vinegar.

 

Mix homemade salad dressing thoroughly.
Use homemade salad dressing on greens.

Do you make your own salad dressing? If so, what is your favorite?

xxSerena