Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Basil Tomato Soup

That's all that was left in the crock . . . that should tell you how good it was . . . LOL . . .

1 can (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
8 fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup and 3 tbsp whipping cream
3 tbsp and 2 tsp butter

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil and sugar. Reduce heat to low; stir in cream and butter.

This was my contribution to the swap. This was a new recipe but I think everyone really enjoyed it. I served my soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

West Indian Chicken

2 servings
350 calories per serving

1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp ginger root, grated
1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
1 chicken leg with back, skinless
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 green peppers, cut into strips
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp fresh cilantro (optional)

Press the garlic, grate the ginger and put them in a bowl. Pour in the lime juice, then add salt and pepper. Separate the chicken drumstick from the thigh and put the pieces in the bowl. Rub the chicken with the marinade, then cover and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.

Prepare the vegetables: finely chop onion and cut the peppers into strips, peel the potatoes and cut into 1.5 cm cubes.

Heat the oil in a sautepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and saute thoroughly on each side until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Take the chicken pieces out of the pan and set them aside, keeping them warm on a plate in the oven.

Lower the heat to medium, thn add the onion and saute 2-3 minutes, taking care not to let it burn. Add the peppers and cook 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Mix the curry with a little bit of the coconut milk and add it to the pan. Cook 2 minutes over low heat with constant stirring.

Put the chicken back into the pan, then add the remaining coconut milk and enough water to make the mixture moist. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

Add the potatoes and brown sugar, cover and cook an additional 45-50 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Garnish with cilantro leaves then serve.


Melon Granita

4 servings
70 calories per serving

1/2 melon or cataloupe
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water

Peel the melon and remove the seeds. Coarsely dice the flesh, then transfer it to the jar of a blender. Pour in the lemon juice, sugar and water, then pulse until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large glass or metal pan, large enough so that the liquid will be less than 1 cm thick. Freeze until the mixture becomes a firm slush, about 40 minutes.

Scrape the surface with a fork and spoon out the shavings into transparent glasses to serve.


Monday, 27 June 2016

The best Caesar Salad I've ever eaten!!!!

WOW!! The best Caesar Salad I've ever eaten. Everything was so fresh and the dressing (which I did NOT put anchovies in) was fresh and just a little bite from the vinegar. I loved having fresh warm croutons that did not break teeth. Highly recommend this recipe.

2 servings
440 calories per serving

2/3 chicken breasts, skinless (400 g)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 slice whole wheat bread, cubed
2 anchovy fillets, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp wine vinegar
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 slice bacon, chopped
1/2 Romaine lettuce, turn into bite-size pieces (I used 1 Romaine lettuce heart)
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat or preheat the broiler.

Pat the chicken dry, then brush it with a little of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the chicken until cooked through and golden-coloured, about 15 minutes, turning it once. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a baking sheet, using a little more of the oil. Lay the bread cubes on the sheet and coat them thoroughly with the oil. Grill or broil until the cubes are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Drain the anchovy fillets, pat them dry on a paper towel, then mince.

In a small saucepan heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the crushed garlic then cook 2-3 minutes until it is softened. Add the minced anchovies, then stir and mash them 1 minute to form a paste. Set aside.

Separate the egg yolk from the white.

In a bowl, whisk together the yolk, mustard, vinegar, grated Parmesan cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the remaining olive oil in a stream, whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Add the garlic and anchovy paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a nonstick pan, fry the chopped bacon until crisp/ Set aside on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.

Wash the romaine lettuce, then spin-dry. Reserve the outer leaves for another use. Tear the pale-green inner leaves into bite-size pieces.

In a salad bowl, toss the romaine lettuce with the croutons, the bacon bits and the dressing until the salad is well combined. Cut the chicken crosswise into thin slices, then arrange them over the salad and serve.


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Steamed Couscous

2 servings
210 calories per serving

2/3 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup coucous
1 tsp butter, unsalted (optional)

Pour the water into a saucepan, then bring it to a rolling boil. Add the salt and oil. Remove the saucepan from heat then slowly pour in the couscous while stirring gently. cover for 2 minutes, until the couscous has swelled and all the water is absorbed. Add a little more water if the couscous looks too dry. 1-2 pats of butter can also be added, if you wish. Serve.

Hal and I both love couscous.


Apple Compote

This was our supper one Saturday night: Garden Salad, Cabbage Soup, Green Lentil Stew with a Tomato Sauce, and Apple Compote.

Here's the dessert recipe:

7-1/2 apples
1/1-4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Cut the apples into quarters without peeling them. (I peeled 8) Put them in a saucepan.

Pour 1-2 cm of water in the bottom of the saucepan and add sugar. Cover and cook over low heat about 10 minutes, until the apples are softened completely.

Puree the apples using a food mill. Let the puree cool down and serve cold or at room temperature. (I left the apple quarters whole; didn't puree them)

A lovely light dessert; a perfect end to the meal.


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Green Lentil Stew with a Tomato Sauce

I've renamed this "Tomato Stew". Delicious. Simple. Very filling.

2 servings
190 calories per serving

7 tbsp green-brown lentils(dried), rinsed and drained
1 cup My Mother's Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
salt to taste

It is not necessary to soak the lentils in advance.

Rinse the lentils and pick out any small stones and debris. Cook them in a saucepan of salted water, about 20-25 minutes until tender but still somewhat al dente. Drain the lentils, discard the liquid and set them aside.

Heat My Mother's Tomato Sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the lentils and cook 5-7 minutes, with occasional stirring, until the lentils are fully cooked.

Serve with steamed couscous, steamed basmati rice or steamed brown rice.

I served it with whole wheat couscous and it was perfect.

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

makes 2-1/2 cups

1-2/3 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

A food processor to chop the vegetables and a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time would make things easier with this recipe.

Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.

Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times; the vegetables must soften without burning. Add the diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste.

If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close and bring to high pressure. Cook 15 minutes from the time it starts to spatter (Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine when high pressure has been reached. If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.

This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze larger quantities.


Cabbage Soup

8 servings
Preparation 10 min / Cooking 50 min
140 calories per serving
onions, thinly sliced
600 g
7 cups
Savoy cabbage, or green , finely chopped
550 g
2 1/2
carrots, shredded
260 g
1 1/2 tbsp
canola oil
23 mL
2 1/2 tbsp
butter, unsalted
35 g
3/4 tsp
3 g
1 1/4 tsp
5 g
1/2 tsp
ground pepper
2 g
5 1/2 cups
chicken broth
1.38 L
2 3/4 cups
milk, partly skimmed, 2%
700 mL
Before you start
food processor will make chopping the vegetables easier.
1. Prepare the vegetables: thinly slice the onions; finely chop the cabbage; shred the carrots.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetables, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well, then cover and cook 25 min over very low heat.
3. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15 min. Pour in the milk, then adjust the seasoning.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. Milk may be added when the soup is reheated.

This soup is delicious and simple to make . . . but . . . I found out that my husband does not like cooked cabbage (only likes raw in salads) . . . you learn something new every day.

Sugared Oranges

Quite delightful. Hal had a second serving and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He says this dessert is a real keeper.  Another great recipe from soscuisine.com

2 servings
Preparation 5 min 
Standing 10 min
70 calories per serving 


2oranges360 g
2 tsplemon juice, freshly squeezed1/4 lemon
1 tspsugar4 g


  1. Cut the oranges into bite-size pieces. Put in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar. Let rest a few minutes.
  2. Toss well and portion out into individual cups. Serve.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Beef Stroganoff

2 servings
Preparation 15 min 
Cooking 40 min
340 calories per serving 


200 gbeef, top sirloin, cut into 1 x 5 cm strips 
1 tbspwhite flour (all purpose)8 g
1 tbspcanola oil15 mL
1/2onions, finely chopped 100 g
1 tbspbutter, unsalted 14 g
1/2 cupbeef broth 125 mL
8button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced110 g
1 tbsptomato paste15 mL
2 tbspwhipping cream 35%30 mL
1 tspWorcestershire sauce 5 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

Keep the serving plates in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.


  1. Cut the meat into 1 X 5 cm strips, then coat them with flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion a few minutes until translucent, then take it out of the pan and set aside on a small plate.
  3. Turn the heat up high, add the butter, and brown the pieces of meat in the same pan, until nicely coloured, about 5 min. For large quantities, avoid crowding the meat in the pan and work in batches. Add the warm broth to deglaze the pan. Put the onion back in and season with salt and pepper. Start cooking gently, covered, for about 20-25 min.
  4. Add the thinly sliced mushrooms, then continue to cook an additional 10 min.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste with the cream and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the pan and cook over very low heat 3-5 min, taking care not to let it boil. Serve on the warmed plates.

Fried Bananas with Ice Cream

LOVED IT !!!!!!!!! I forgot to put the lemon juice in so I don't know if that would have made it even better or not. From soscuisine.com . . .

Preparation 5 min / Cooking 5 min
220 calories per serving


1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 bananas
2 scoops vanilla ice cream


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir, using a wooden spoon, until the sugar is slightly caramelized. Add the lemon juice and cook 2 min with stirring.
Slice the bananas crosswise on a bias and add them to the skillet. Sauté 3 min over high heat, turning them once.
Portion out the bananas onto individual plates, add the ice cream on top and serve.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Moroccan-Style Chickpea and Tomato Salad

2 servings
Soaking 30 min 
Preparation 10 min
Standing 10 min
310 calories per serving 


1/4red onions, finely chopped40 g
1 tbspextra virgin olive oil15 mL
1 1/2 tbsplemon juice, freshly squeezed1/2 lemon
1/4 tspcayenne pepper 0.4 g
1/4 tspground cumin 0.4 g
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  
1 1/2 cupchickpeas/garbanzo beans (canned)375 mL
2tomatoes, Roma type, deseeded and diced 140 g
4 tspfresh mint, finely chopped 4 g


  1. Finely chop the onion, then put it in a small bowl filled with water and a few drops of vinegar. Let stand for about 30 min at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. This makes the raw onion crispier and easier to digest.
  2. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice into a salad bowl. Add the spices, salt and pepper. Using a fork, whisk the vinaigrette until it is emulsified.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then place them in the salad bowl. Dice the tomatoes discarding the seeds, then put the pieces into the bowl. Finely chop the mint then add it to the salad. Add the previously chopped onion. Toss well to combine. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Let the salad stand about 10 min to allow the flavours to develop.
  5. Serve.

Beef and Barley Soup

4 servings
Preparation 15 min 
Cooking 1 h
180 calories per serving 


1/4onions, diced50 g
1 stalkcelery, diced 70 g
2carrots, diced200 g
6button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced80 g
1/2 clovegarlic, minced or pressed  
2 tspolive oil10 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  
1potatoes, peeled and diced200 g
120 gstewing beef cubes, diced  
1/4 cuppearl barley 50 g
3 cupsbeef broth 750 mL


  1. Prepare the vegetables: Dice the onion, celery and carrots; thinly slice the mushrooms; mince or press the garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and mushrooms, thensauté until they are tender, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes; dice the beef cubes into small pieces (about 1 cm).
  3. Add the barley, potatoes, and beef, then sauté 2 min with stirring. Pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer 50 min, or until the barley and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Adjust the seasoning, ladle the soup into bowls then serve.


The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Spiced Carrot Soup

4 servings
Preparation 10 min 
Cooking 25 min
100 calories per serving 


4carrots, cut into thin rounds400 g
1/2onions, finely chopped100 g
1 clovegarlic, finely chopped  
2 1/2 tspbutter, unsalted12 g
2 1/2 tspcurry powder 7 g
1 1/2 cupchicken broth375 mL
1 1/2 cupwater 375 mL
1/3 cupcream 15%85 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

mandolin will make slicing the vegetables easier.
blender or food processor will be very useful to purée the soup.


  1. Prepare the carrots: slice them into thin rounds, finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. In a pot, sweat the onion and garlic in butter over medium heat for about 3-4 min. Add the carrots and sautéa few minutes. Add the curry and cook 1 min with stirring. Add salt and pepper. Pour in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 min.
  3. Purée the soup in a blender or processor, then pour it back into the pot. Stir in the cream and just warm the soup a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve.


The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer. Cream should not be added before freezing, but later when the soup is reheated.