Sweet Rice Breakfast Cereal


2 cups white rice
4 cups water
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans
honey, sugar, syrup, sweetener to taste


In a medium saucepan, cook rice and water until the water is mostly gone (essentially you’re making sticky rice at this stage). It should take about 15 minutes on medium for this stage. Make sure to stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the pan.

Once its cooked, turn off the heat. Add the milk, pecans, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until its blended.

Scoop into bowls, garnish with some pecans, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Serve. This tastes good hot or cold. Makes about 6 servings.

NOTE: If you're using alternatives to regular milk, you may want to watch the sweetness level a bit more as they generally have more sugars than regular milk.

I use those little 1 cup ziploc containers and stick my six servings in the fridge. One for each school/work day and then one extra for when I feel like it. Or Saturday if it’ll last that long :)

Southwestern Black Bean Stew


1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced jalapeño chile, seeded and deveined if desired
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
sour cream or nonfat plain yogurt for serving
shredded cheddar cheese


In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the ground beef and drain the excess fat. Add the onions, red peppers, garlic, jalapeño and seasonings, and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a slow cooker over low heat, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes and meat mixture. Mix well. Allow to simmer at least 2 hours. I usually turn it on in the morning and let it go all day.

Raise heat to high setting and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with some extra cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Chicken with Chickpeas


1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of water (use the can from the soup)


In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until golden. Sprinkle turmeric and red pepper flakes in pan, and mix well. Put chicken on top, and brown on all sides.

Add the soup, water, chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender and the liquid is reduced. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve with rice.

This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow

Almond Amaretto Cupcakes


1 cups unsalted butter
2 cups almond meal
pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Amaretto liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake cups with liners.

Melt the butter in a saucepan (or the microwave) and set aside to cool.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the almond meal, salt, and sugar until well combined.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and Amaretto until combined. Add the cooled melted butter to the wet ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Divide mixture evenly between 12 cupcake liners.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned and bounce back when lightly touched.

Amaretto Whipped Cream Recipe

1 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp powered sugar
5 Tbsp Amaretto liqueur
sliced almonds (optional)

Whip heavy whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream. Mix in powdered sugar and Amaretto until just combined. Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes. Garnish cupcakes with almond slices.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Cupcakes
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts
Gluten-Free Wednesdays
This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast


1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6 1/2 to 7 pounds)
2 Tbsp good olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is over-browning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

Sweet-and-Creamy Hot Rice Cereal


2 cups water
1 cup short-grain brown rice
3/4 cup vanilla nondairy milk
1/3 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit (chopped, if necessary)
2 to 4 Tbsp maple syrup


Combine the water and rice in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

Stir in the nondairy milk and cherries. Stir in the maple syrup to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the desired thickness is achieved. Serve immediately.

Cream of Quinoa: Replace the rice with 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed well) and decrease the initial cooking time to about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin. If you are buying quinoa in bulk, you will need to soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it in cold clear water until the “soapy” residue is gone. Some boxed brands may be pre-rinsed, but they still retain the nutritional goodness.

Beef Ziti with Silky Bechamel


Meat Sauce
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cans (each 14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes

Béchamel Sauce

1/3 cup butter
1/4 all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt

1 lb (500g) ziti pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease a13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Meat Sauce: In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook beef, garlic and onion, breaking beef up with the back of a spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain off fat.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, salt, oregano, basil, thyme and hot pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid ajar, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until some of the liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist.

Béchamel Sauce:
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 6 minutes or until roux is golden.

In another medium saucepan, bring milk to the boiling point over medium heat. Gradually add to roux in a steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking. Cook, whisking constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and salt until cheese is melted. Keep warm.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook ziti according to package directions until just tender. Drain, transfer pasta to a large bowl and stir in 1 cup of the béchamel sauce.

Spread one-third of the ziti in prepared baking dish. Spread half the meat sauce evenly over top. Add another layer of ziti and top with the remaining meat sauce. Layer the remaining pasta on top. Pout the remaining béchamel sauce evenly over top.

Cover and bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbling. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This recipe is also linked to...

It's a Blog Party's Fall Fest Recipes 2011
Food on Friday: Stews and Casseroles 

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fried Capers, Caramelized Lemon and Almonds


4 (6-8 oz) salmon fillets
Kosher salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
4 (1/4-inch thick) slices of lemon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 tbsp capers
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 1/2 tbsp thinly sliced garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 225°F. Drizzle the olive oil on the salmon and season on both sides with salt. Put the fish in a cold, nonstick ovenproof saute pan or small glass baking dish. Place into the oven and cook until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 130-140 and flakes easily when prodded with a fork, 12-15 minutes.

A few minutes after you put the fish in the oven, heat 1 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the butter is hot and foaming add in the lemon slices and cook until they begin to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes. Flip them over and add in the almonds and capers. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and saute for 30 seconds. Add the garlic, parsley, and the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Continue to cook until the lemons soften and the butter and almonds begin to brown, about 2 minutes.

Place the salmon fillets on warm plates and spoon the sauce over them.

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Chicken Enchiladas


8 flour tortillas

Tomato Sauce:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (28 oz/796 mL) can ground tomatoes

Chicken Filling:
2lb/900g boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 sweet yellow or red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cup fresh coriander, chopped


Tomato Sauce: In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, garlic, chili powder, coriander, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until spoon scraped across bottom of pan leaves gap that fills in slowly, about 20 minutes.

Chicken Filling: Trim fat from chicken; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, in batches. Transfer to bowl.

Drain fat from pan. Add yellow and jalapeno peppers, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat, stirring, until tender-crisp, 3 minutes. Add to chicken; let cool. Stir in 1 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese and 2 Tbsp of the coriander.

Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in 13- x 9- inch glass baking dish. Spoon heaping 1/2 cup of the filling down centre of each tortilla; roll up tightly and place, seam side down, in baking dish.

Spoon remaining tomato sauce over enchiladas. Cover with foil; bake in 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake, uncovered, until tip of knife inserted in centre of enchilada for 5 seconds comes out hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining coriander.

Make-ahead: Let enchiladas and remaining tomato sauce cool separately for 30 minutes; chill in refrigerator. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or wrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Add 10 minutes to covered baking time.

This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Mexican

Homemade Pizza Crust


1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp (or 1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
optional: cornmeal for sprinkling
optional: 1 tbsp each garlic powder, italian seasoning, parmesan cheese or whatever flavours you want to taste in the crust
toppings of your choice (tomato sauce, white sauce, pesto, cheese, etc.)


Mix sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes or until it gets all foamy. This is called proofing the yeast.

Pour proofed yeast into a large bowl. Add flour, salt, olive oil and any flavouring additions you want to use. Combine. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to). Roll dough into a ball. Lightly oil a clean, large bowl, add the dough, cover and let rest until dough has doubled in size (how long it takes depends on how warm your kitchen is - the warmer the kitchen the shorter the rising time).

Once dough has doubled in size, remove it from bowl and punch it down. Roll back into ball and let sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans and sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal.

Divide dough in half. Lay on lightly floured surface and roll very thin to the approximate size of your pizza pan. Place rolled dough on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches to the edges of the pan. Try to make it thicker around the edge. Repeat for the other half.

Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Makes 2 12-inch pizzas (or for those of you who order pizza, it makes 2 8-slice pizzas).

If you don't want to use all the dough, you can freeze it. Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag). When you want to make a pizza, take dough out of freezer and allow to thaw before using.

Guava Bars


1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup butter, softened
14 oz. guava paste (more or less, depending on how thick you like your fruit layer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 13x9-inch pan, and line with foil or parchment paper. Lightly grease paper/foil.

Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Slice the guava paste into enough pieces to cover the crust within 1/4 inch of the edge, and place in pan. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over guava paste layer.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven, or until crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool in pan on wire rack before cutting into pieces and serving.

Kahlua Brownies


1 cup prunes
enough warm water to make a cup
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup corn starch or tapioca starch
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup roughly chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan.

Fill measuring cup to the 1 cup mark with prunes. Next, pour warm
water in in over fruit to the 1 cup mark. Puree in a food processor. Add eggs, melted butter, Kahlúa and sugar into food processor and mix until everything is well combined.

In a bowl, sift together flour, starch, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend wet and dry ingredients together and then fold in the nuts.

Spread into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 30-35 min - until the sides start to pull away from the pan, and center springs back when touched.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Prick top of brownies all over
with a toothpick, then sprinkle another 1-3 Tbsp of Kahlúa on top.




2 - 15 oz cans of chick peas
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
6 minced scallions
large handful of parsley
1 egg
1 Tbsp lemon juice
A few dashes of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup rice flour
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying


Place the drained, chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and mash as much as possible. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, scallions, parsley, egg, lemon juice and cayenne. Process until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. Continue to add gradually, you want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle-Eastern markets.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Very yummy with some yogurt-dill sauce (2 Tbsp dill in a cup of plain, low-fat yogurt) in a pita or on the side or as an alternative protein.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)

Honey Coconut Quinoa with Pomegranate


1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup milk or milk substitute
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup shredded coconut, fine
handful of chopped, toasted almonds
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate


Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin. If you are buying quinoa in bulk, you will need to soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it in cold clear water until the “soapy” residue is gone. Some boxed brands may be pre-rinsed, but they still retain the nutritional goodness.

Combine rinsed quinoa, milk, water, cinnamon and pinch of ginger. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 min. At this point the quinoa should have a slight crunch when you bite it. Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid, if any.

Stir in the flaxseed, honey and coconut. Mix well and then top with pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds.

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Honey
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red

Homemade Granola Bars

Dry ingredients:

3 cups whole grain flakes (I used a combination of oat and spelt flakes, but you can also choose a variety of other grains such as rice, barley or kamut)
1/2 cup currants or raisins
2/3 cup chopped almonds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
4 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp molasses
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven at 350 F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat oil and add the other wet ingredients. Stir until smooth and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well to combine.

Turn the mixture into the baking pan, and press to form an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Keep refrigerated (also freezes well).

Note: You can adapt this recipe to your own taste, by replacing the currants with other dried fruits such as apricots or cranberries, and by using nuts instead of seeds. Use your imagination!

This recipe is also linked to...

This Week's Cravings: Honey