Tag Archives: soup

Chill out!

16 Jul

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It’s summer…and the weather is HOT! (NOT that I am complaining…I am a summer baby, and I can take the heat). But sometimes, our bodies just crave the cold stuff. If the picture at the top of this post confuses you, it’s because there’s a bit of tromp d’oeil going on (that’s French for “tricking the eye”) – this soup was downright chilly!

I got the idea on Tuesday, when I was thinking of what to have for lunch, and what I had in my fridge. IMG_2124I was thinking that the crushed San Marzano tomatoes I had would make a lovely soup with a roasted red pepper, some Laughing Cow and fresh basil. But I didn’t want to go to the time, temperature and trouble of making a hot soup. So, I thought, why not use these ingredients to make my own version of a cool and creamy gazpacho?

For those of you who don’t know, Wikipedia tells us that “Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern region of Andalusia.” I use the term gazpacho loosely, as I’m sure mine isn’t authentic (and, quite frankly, I enjoyed it more than any gazpacho I’ve had), but it was absolutely amazing, can be made in the bowl it’s served in, and uses only 4 ingredients (plus water, salt and pepper). What more could you ask for?

Creamy Cold Tomato and Red Pepper Gazpacho – serves one

*Some quantities are approximate, as I didn’t measure, just threw stuff in. I don’t think a little more or less of any one ingredient will ruin the dish, you’ll just give it your own unique spin.

  • About 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes (use San Marzano if you can find them – they’re amazing)
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 wedges light Laughing Cow cheese
  • A generous handful fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About the same amount of water as crushed tomatoes

Put the cheese in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds until softened. Add all remaining ingredients (except for the garnishing basil leaves) and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (if you don’t have one, you could throw this in a blender, but you REALLY should get an immersion blender, it makes life so much easier (unless you give yourself stitches with it…but that’s another story)). Chill in the fridge until nice and cold (or go for a few minutes in the freezer if you’re in a rush). Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy – that’s it, that’s all!

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Paired with roasted cauliflower and a grilled cheese on a thin bun, this was the perfect lunch – the summer version of everybody’s favourite comfort food classic – tomato soup with grilled cheese. Please, please PLEASE try this soup. It is dead easy, and tastes like summer in a bowl. Totally refreshing, no heating up the kitchen, and minimal clean up – what more can I say to convince you?

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Well, Ill try this: I loved the soup so much that I made it again on Thursday – exactly the same, didn’t change a thing. This time, some garlic scapes accompanied the cauliflower (both roasted), and I swapped out the thin bun grilled cheese for a quesadilla made with goat cheese, fresh basil, and grape tomatoes plus a few slices of full-sized tomato. Other than the tomato making the flatbread slightly soggy, the whole meal was delicious.

Now see that bottle in the back left? That was one of my delicious impulse buys at Winners on Wednesday. I should really stay away from the “home” and checkout sections of that store .Why? Because I go in to look for oven mitts and a spoon rest, and come out with this:

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The spoon rest (at least I got one thing on my list – they didn’t have any oven mitts that I could see), rose water (it’s one of those things I see in recipes from time to time but can never find. Now that I have it I probably won’t be able to think of/find  a recipe that uses it, because that’s the way my life goes), fudge brownie coffee (the crazy thing about this, is that I would tell you I don’t drink coffee – I just bought this stuff to add variety to my iced coffee drinks), freeze-dried apple/strawberry combo (I’m a sucker for freeze-dried fruit, love the stuff) and truffle (the mushroom, not the chocolate)-infused balsamic vinegar (it was fancy, French, and came in a spray bottle….I couldn’t say no!). And the crazy thing is, that’s not even everything I wanted to buy. I resisted the urge to get fancy tea (darn that promise I made to myself not to buy more until I used up my overflowing stash) and cute bowls that were ON SALE.

…anyway….I misted that vinegar over the roasted veggies and it was actually quite delightful. I love things in spray bottles – just so perfect for finishing things like roasted veggies and adding a touch of flavour. I will certainly re-use this bottle when the tasty vinegar is gone.

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Speaking of cool, check out this AMAZING mega-salad that I had after UFC class with Donna Wednesday night. It’s a pumped-up summer time version of the watermelon/feta salad of a few weeks back. My greens were garden lettuce and arugula. Veggies: lightly cooked asparagus (the last, I’m afraid, until next year), cucumber, red pepper, tomato, and grilled zucchini and Vidalia onion. The herb-age was tons of fresh basil.

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For added protein power, I grilled a Sobey’s BBQ Chipotle chicken breast (I did this and the veggies, along with steaming the asparagus and chopping the melon at lunch time, as I knew I would be home later, and I wanted there to be minimal time between getting home and enjoying this salad. The plate you see to the left, along with the chopped melon were waiting for this sweaty beast when she arrived home). IMG_2165

I threw all of the above into my standard “big salad” bowl (Pampered Chef medium square bamboo bowl, in case you were wondering) with a cup of watermelon and honeydew chunks (leftover from the Edible Arrangement), salt and pepper, and feta crumbles! My dressing was made with schmancy blueberry wine vinegar, fat-free Italian dressing, Dijon and olive oil. The fruity flavour went perfectly with the salad.

All in all, pretty much a perfect summer salad. Some people see eating salad for dinner as punishment, but I can ensure you, it is not so with this salad. It was the perfect mix of cool, crunchy, sweet, spicy and salty, and it was totally and completely satisfying.

What are your go-to cold recipes for hot weather?

Chill out!

4 Jun

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I love oatmeal. I love soup. I love summer. Don’t think these things go together? That’s where you’d be wrong. Yesterday, I enjoyed cold versions of both, perfect for warmer weather ahead. Read on, and you’ll learn how to summer-ize two of my (and maybe your) winter favourites.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a delicious take on the blog world’s overnight oats: a recipe I am calling “Tropi-cold” Oatmeal. Here’s how you make it:

The night before, combine:

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • a splash of vanilla
  • tiniest pinch of cardamom (optional: I didn’t put enough in, so couldn’t really taste it)
  • touch of Brown sugar twin (or sweetener of your choice, or leave out)
  • 1 cup mostly mango and pineapple, chopped, plus a few sliced strawberries

Stir it all together in your bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Open up the fridge in the morning, uncover and serve (no AM prep required Smile). Mmmm….SO GOOD! And would be great for a busy morning. I have to say, this was only my second attempt at overnight oats, and I liked it much better than my first. Expect to see this one (and variations, of course) all summer long!

Now onto the cold soup (same bowl, different deliciously chilled dish). I’ve IMG_1657made a cool cucumber soup before, and figured with all this fresh local asparagus, I could come up with something tasty. Add in a few fresh herbs and some PC Blue Menu Tzatziki, and we’ve got ourselves a winner!

Cool as a Cucumber (and Asparagus) Soup (I didn’t measure, so quantities are not exact – this made one large portion)

IMG_1653– several spears asparagus, cooked until tender (I cooked them softer than I normally would since I was going to be blending them up), then immediately plunged into icy water

– a handful fresh spinach

– about 1/3 cucumber, peeled and chopped

– 2 green onions (white and most of the green part), chopped

– fresh mint, parsley, dill and chives, chopped

– a big spoonful of PC Blue Menu Tzatziki

– garlic salt and pepper to taste

– a couple of splashes of waterIMG_1650

 

This is what the asparagus looks like when it’s in the ice water. It’s important to do this right away, so it doesn’t cook too long and so it’s nice and cold to add to the soup.

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This soup is EASY! All you have to do is put everything in a bowl/pot/micro-cooker that you microwaved the asparagus in and then blend away with your immersion blender (or you could put it in a blender/food processor if you don’t have one of these guys, but really, YOU SHOULD….I use mine all the time). Season to taste with salt and pepper, add water until you reach your desired thickness. Then chill it in the fridge until it’s nice and cold (I didn’t have a lot of time, so I actually stuck mine in the freezer for a bit to get it nice and refreshingly cold.

Optional: garnish with Greek yogurt and fresh parsley before serving. Mmmm! This will be a perfect one for the dog days of summer, when it is just too hot to cook (although I will have to eliminate/substitute the asparagus once it’s out of season). It is so refreshing and also filling, while also being incredibly light.

So IMG_1655that soup did not appear all on it’s own on the stage that is the dinner table (or more often than not, dinner counter) of HHH. Nope, it was a part of Friday night PIZZA night! And it had been FAR too long since I made my own Friday night pizza…what with last week’s low carb-ness, 2 Fridays of being on vacation (NOT complaining), crazy-mad catering, ladies’ retreat at church, we’re talking a month and a half! So Friday night pizza at home came back with a bang in a majorly summery and delicious way: summer corn and bacon pizza! Let’s go in for a close-up!

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So here’s the down low on this beauty:

The usual crust (pre-baked, of course)

Sauce: quick mix of some salsa, light BBQ sauce, Splenda and 2 finely chopped grape tomatoes

Cheese: 1/3 cup ligh Italiano cheese (it was what I had on hand)

Toppings: just under 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed; chopped green onion; chopped red bell pepper; chopped fresh parsley and chives; 1 generous tablespoon of bacon bits.

Bake around 425 until cheese melts (5-10 minutes). Cut and enjoy!

I also served this supper with some roasted cauliflower (cumin, garlic salt, pepper, olive oil). Simple, but delicious…why change what works?

Dessert was a new recipe I tried for a frozen creation that I’m debating about whether or not to share with you, as it didn’t WOW me…we’ll see.

Just a note about all the fresh herbsI’ve been using on here (and you’ll continue to see all summer). I have a lovely herb garden to pick from, and I try to take full advantage of it all summer long. That being said, I know that many of you don’t have the luxury of having a wide variety of herbs right outside your kitchen door. I would hope that my posts/recipes might inspire even one of you to plant a few herbs. But I know not everyone is a green thumb, so feel free to buy the fresh herbs, and if this gets too expensive, experiment with dried herbs and/or leave out one or two. I’m telling you now, the flavour won’t be the same. It will be good, but different.

I’m just writing this because the last thing I want is for you to take one look at a recipe and say “I don’t have that herb, I can’t make it.” No, no, no, my friends! One thing I want to get across with my recipes/cooking is that they’re quite flexible, and can be varied according to your tastes and what you’ve got on hand. Who knows? You may just make a variation that is even better than the original. Use my recipe as your guide, and let it be your jumping-off point to whatever you create! Your kitchen is your studio, let the recipe be your own unique work of art (okay, I’m done with the chees-y clichés now Winking smile).

Do you have any summer versions/variations of favourite dishes?

Take a guess

5 May

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Let’s play a game…it’s called: “Guess what the above photo is” (I know I know, where do I come up with these names?). A pile of rocks? A close-up of a swamp? Nope. How about some slightly freezer-burned-but-still usable and totally delicious frozen leftover’s of Katie’s Mushroom Barley stew? Yep, you got it!

IMG_0972I made this stuff a couple of weeks back, and never got around to posting it (plus, I figured you could just read all about it on RFKW). I changed the veggies and seasonings a bit, based on what I had on hand, added some dried mushrooms, but kept the recipe the same other than that….delicious! We had one portion in the freezer, and the tupperware somehow got broken (hence the freezerIMG_0974 burn) so I wanted to use it up. I made a few additions, turning one portion into two, and another tasty meal. When it comes to leftovers, I’m a re-invent and re-imagine kinda girl (but Katie, it’s not because your stew wasn’t already delicious), so here’s how I re-imagined this stuff.

I started by chopping up some garlic (surprise, surprise), onion, eggplant, red pepper and mushrooms. I sautéed them in 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat until slightly browned.

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Then, I added a bunch of chopped kale, and cooked until it had wilted. To the veggies, I added the frozen stew, 1 cup of Romano beans (leftover in the fridge after the veggie stew…when I have leftover beans, I am always itching to use them, as they get slimy SO fast) and some canned tomatoes. I seasoned with salt and pepper, IMG_0976Italian seasoning and dried thyme and added a bay leaf. I brought it to a boil, then reduced heat simmered for about half an hour….long enough for the frozen stew to thaw and everything to blend together. This made two hearty and SUPER-filling bowls of bean, barley and veggie stew (my mom couldn’t even finish hers)!

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Now, I had planned to make turkey bacon BLTs on the side, but I was in for a nasty surprise when I opened the package – super-slimy turkey bacon. Too slimy even for me to use! So I went for plan B – opened the freezer, found some frozen pre-cooked chicken breast pieces, and made a Mediterranean chicken pita. I filled two light pitas with the chicken (tossed with a bit of Greek seasoning), spinach, tomato, red onion and spread with a bit of my fav – PC Blue Menu Tzatziki and seasoned with a bit of garlic salt and pepper. Turned out a pretty yummy plan B! And the light, fresh flavours went perfectly with the hearty, filling stew. IMG_0984

I’d say if you compare the top and bottom photos, it makes a pretty good before and after, wouldn’t you? I guess I’m all about the remixing this week. What do you do when an ingredient you were planning to cook with has gone bad? Do you totally scrap the meal, or just improvise a little?

Recipe Remix

4 May

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I don’t really cook with a lot of recipes on a day-to-day basis. I certainly use recipes for baking, as it is more precise. And I like trying new recipes on special occasions, but for typical Monday-to-Friday dining, most recipes I use are in my head.

One quality I like in my “head recipes” (ones I have come up with myself, and are quite flexible) is adaptability. Remember my veggie chili? It is one such recipe. The beauty of it is that you can keep all of the ingredients the same, change the spices, and you’ve got a brand new recipe! Observe the following.

Start exactly the same way as theIMG_0965 chili. Dice up the veggies of your choosing and finely mince some garlic (the veggies can vary, but to me, garlic is an essential. You can omit it if you want – but be warned, life is better with garlic Smile). For every portion, use one teaspoon of olive oil. Heat the oil over medium-high in a saucepan (non-stick is easier for clean-up), add the veggies, and sauté for a few minutes.

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Just like the chili, add some canned tomatoes, beans of your choosing (remember, 1/2 cup per portion), and a little bit of water/stock. You can see I spared no expense on the canned goods and bought a really expensive brand. Winking smile For this stew, I also added some dried mushrooms (LOVE these things, an amazing flavour boost) and some frozen chopped spinach for extra produce. Season with salt and pepper. For this particular stew, I was going for a sort of Italian vibe. I added Epicure marinara sauce mix and sundried tomato and herb dip mix (it is for WAY more than just dips people!). Let the stew come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (I was in a bit of a rush since I had an appointment to go when I was making this last night and only simmered for 15 minutes, but longer is certainly ok).

There you have it….a few tiny tweaks and it’s a brand new recipe! I made a 2-serving batch since I’ve got a busy week coming up (catering a dinner for 20 on Saturday!Surprised smile) and have to start groceries/prep on Thursday night, so the second portion will be Friday’s lunch….LOVE having lunches made ahead!

Since the chili remix is not too long, I also thought I’d share last night’s dessert IMG_0970with you: a vanilla cheesecake/mousse-ish dessert with chocolate pieces. The picture TOTALLY does not do it justice (sorry, my food photography skills still need work), and neither does that horrible title,  but once I tell you what’s in it, I think you’ll be in!

Here’s what you do to create this simple, but delicious concoction.

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Combine a about 1 1/2 tbsp fat-free cream cheese and a couple tablespoons of thawed Cool Whip light/fat-free (if it is frozen, just microwave for about 6 seconds – not any more or it’ll melt!) with one fat-free refrigerated vanilla pudding cup. Stir in a splash of vanilla and just a touch of splenda. Stir in one Thinsations Fudge-dipped bar, chopped. Top with a little more Cool Whip and enjoy!

Now, you could just stir the bar into the pudding, but the addition of the cream cheese and Cool Whip gives it that little something extra. These cream cheese adds a bit of richness and a cheesecake-ish flavour. The Cool Whip makes it fluffy and a bit mousse-like. And just like the chili/stew recipe, it is totally remix-able! Try it with another flavour of pudding, and any 100 calorie pack/bar that you like and voila – a whole new dessert!

With all of these recipe remixes. I would say I am the Ty Pennington of healthy eating, wouldn’t you? Do you think I could get my own show – Extreme Recipe Makeover? Would you watch?

Sorry this post is a little short. Busy night (typing this on Tuesday) and I’m tired. I just BARELY made it to hula hooping….came SO close to calling and cancelling my spot! So you guys are lucky that I like you so much and hung in there to post for you….I kid, I kid, I really do love blogging my eats and adventures on HHH, but some days are longer than others, you know? Hopefully today will be energizing and inspiring and I’ll be back with something new and exciting for you tomorrow! What do you do re-energize/re-inspire yourself after a draining day?

Cabbage Patch

18 Feb

With this post, the B theme ends. And, as for the title, I’m not talking about those wonderful dolls from the 80’s and 90’s….I am talking about Cabbage Patch Soup, from Janet and Greta Podleski’s cookbook, Crazy Plates. If you haven’t heard of the Podleskis, they are two sisters who have written 3 cookbooks of healthy (and delicious) recipe and also have their own show on Food Network Canada. Funny story: it turns out they went to high school with a woman I know (they’re from St. Thomas Ontario) and she really didn’t like them!

I made this soup a couple of weeks ago on a day off….making soup is the perfect activity for a day off when it’s cold outside, I think. My mom goes to stay with her parents often on the weekends. She wanted something hearty and healthy to take with her. But, my grandpa (along with many in his generation, I think) is Mr. Meat and Potatoes…his palate is not that vast, and so there are many things that I love that he wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. I made this soup for my grandparents a few years ago and they loved it…so this is the recipe that came to mind with her request. It’s so hearty and filling, it’s a great suppertime soup.

It makes such a huge batch that I had some for supper before it got sent off…I enjoyed mine with half a roasted squash, a small coleslaw salad and a grilled cheese sandwich on light bread (confession…. I love processed cheese slices for grilled cheese…even though many people would say they’re not “real” cheese).Give this a try if you’re looking for something to fill you up and warm you up on a cold winter’s night.

Here’s the recipe:

Cabbage Patch Soup

From Crazy Plates

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1- 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 – 5 1/2 oz can tomato paste
5 cups low sodium, low fat beef broth
2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. sugar
1 bay leaf
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage (the recipe calls for Savoy cabbage, but they didn’t have any at my grocery store, so I substituted plain old green cabbage and it worked fine)

In a large soup pot, cook beef, celery, onions, green pepper and garlic over medium high heat until beef is browned. Add all remaining ingredients except cabbage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in cabbage and simmer for 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

My Favourite Things – meals for one

27 Jan

Time for another installment of My Favourite Things. As per a request after my last post, this one is devoted to some of my favourite meals/cooking tips for one person. I lived on my own for three years during university, and I am alone for meals a lot of the time now, so cooking, shopping and eating for one have become second nature to me. I really didn’t even realize that cooking for one is a challenge for some people until my sister mentioned it to me. So here are a few of my best tricks/favourite meals.

A nice big pasta supper. See my basic recipe for pasta with meat and veggies. Then you can change up the veggies and meat (or go meatless, use cheese or beans) and play with it until you have the flavours you like. Pasta is a fairly inexpensive meal that comes together quickly, which is great after the end of a long day.

Soup and Sandwich Supper

The nice thing about eating alone is that you have no one to answer to. If you just feel like a soup and sandwich, you can go for it! The sandwich can be whatever you like – grilled cheese, meat, both, veggie. You can use any kind of bread – make a quesadilla with a tortilla (or roll it into a wrap), use normal bread, a bagel, pita or English muffin. I really love sandwiches made with grilled or roasted veggies (and you can make these ahead – use them in salads or soups too) and goat cheese. Sandwich these between bread, grill it in a panini press/grill pan/frying pan and enjoy cheesy deliciousness. 🙂 Grilled portabello mushrooms also make FABULOUS vegetarian sandwiches. Grilled cheese sandwiches with a little bit of fruit (sliced apples are great) are another favourite of mine. If you want a meatier option, sandwich meat is always a quick option, or you can use up your leftovers to make another meal. And if all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with a good old peanut butter sandwich for supper.

As for soup? Mmmm…love it, especially this time of year! Here are a few of my favourite soup tips:

Classic quick chicken noodle

Veggie puree – I love vegetable cream soups…with just about any veggie. Broccoli; cauliflower; squash and apple is a great combo; zucchini…the list goes on.Basically, you just cook the veggies (I usually saute in a bit of olive oil), puree with a bit of liquid (you can just use water and salt or use broth), add milk (or fat free cream cheese or laughing cow cheese are really great), season and heat through. Nutmeg is always good in veggie cream soups. Squash soups taste great with a bit of cinnamon mixed in, or curry is good if you like it (I am not a huge curry person myself though). I love using my immersion blender to make soups (LOVE this gadget, one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever received…seriously).

A lot of canned goods are inexpensive and great for adding to soups. Canned beans make a great healthy, tasty and cheap addition to soups for protein. Canned tomatoes are excellent for adding volume/liquid to soups, particularly veggie ones. You can add the trinity of southwestern flavour (as I like to call them) – paprika, chilli powder and cumin – and do a yummy southwestern veggie soup. Tomatoes, corn and black beans work well together.

Chili

I love a nice pot of chili. I never use a recipe – like many other things I make, it depends on my mood/what’s on hand. Quite often, I make vegetarian chili using just beans, or sometimes add soy crumbles. You can use whatever meat (or not) is your preference.  Two of my favourite “secret” ingredients are a pinch of cocoa powder and coffee (either add liquid or even some dried instant coffee). Both add a nice depth of flavour to chili – try it sometime! Even if you’re only cooking for one, make a big batch. Chili freezes well and is GREAT for leftovers. You can use leftover chili to: top a baked (or “microwave-baked”) potato, put on a taco salad, top chili fries (either make homemade regular or sweet potato fries, or use frozen ones) or nachos (and of course, don’t forget the cheese!) and to make a dip – nothing like a good old Mexican layered dip with chili – you can do one layer of taco seasoning mixed with cream cheese/sour cream, a chili layer, then cheese over all, microwave and enjoy (ok, I know that last one is not a traditional “meal,” but it sure is a tasty way to use up chili).  You know what’s great about all of these recipes? If you don’t feel like/don’t have time to make chili, they all work with canned chili (such as my FAVOURITE one).

Stir Fries

Stir fry is a healthy, quick meal that can be easily reduced or expanded depending on how many people you are serving. Again, you can use whatever protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu, shrimp) and veggies you have on hand. For me, garlic is a must for seasoning. Fresh ginger adds a nice Asian flair. And, if you’re like me and can take the heat, dried chili flakes are great too. I start by having my ingredients all chopped and ready to go. The basic method is to heat a pan (non-stick is best) till it’s nice and hot over medium-high heat, add a pit of oil (or use PAM), then add your meat and garlic (and ginger and chili flakes if using), cook until the meat is almost done, stirring occasionally but not too often (or the meat won’t brown). Then add all your veggies, cooking and stirring until crisp-tender. Near the end comes the fun part – seasoning! Now, if you’ve used ginger, garlic or chili flakes, you can just add salt and pepper and call it a day. But in the last few years I’ve discovered some Asian sauces that make your stir-fry taste decidedly more “restaurant-y.” Try any of these on their own, or mix and match to create your own “secret sauce.” Soy sauce is a classic, Teryaki is great, but my three new favourites are black bean sauce, oyster-flavoured sauce (doesn’t taste fishy, trust me, I HATE all fish/seafood) and chili garlic sauce. I bought these because I was making recipes that called for them, and now I love them on their own. They are available in the Asian section of most grocery stores (even here in Simcoe!). Once you’ve sauced and seasoned your stir-fry, cook and stir a few minutes more. You can serve your stir fry over rice, pasta, bulgur, couscous or quinoa (all of which are pretty cheap and easy to make).

I have more ideas, but this is a long enough post already. These are just some of the classic single stand-bys. It looks like I’ll have to do a Part II of favourite meals for one.

Let me know if you have any great single meal ideas or if you have any requests for favourite things posts.

Make-ahead lunches

17 Jan

Given that I work as a teacher, packing a lunch is a regular part of my weekly routine. This isn’t something I necessarily enjoy, as I love cooking so much that if it were up to me, I would be at home with endless time to prepare fabulous meals for lunch every day – but I guess that’s what my summer is for. 😉 I have a few tricks that streamline lunch-packing. I NEVER make lunch in the morning – always the night before, or even on the weekend if I can help it.

I made today’s lunch on Saturday. I was having a big salad with roasted veggies and lentils as part of my lunch. I just doubled up on the veggies – then threw them into a container with salad, lentils and cheese, made my dressing (keep it on the side until the last minute) and added my other lunch components (yogurt and a fibre 1 bar) and I was good to go!

Soups are one of my favourite make-ahead lunches. I like to make big batches on the weekend and then they’re ready to go during the week. Sometimes I even make a really big batch and freeze individual servings. These are great to grab when I just don’t have time to put something healthy together. The picture in this post is the soup I made yesterday – it was sort of a curry-Morrocan-ish vegetable and lentil soup (I know, more lentils, but I opened the can yesterday and I really don’t like it when there are slimy canned beans in the fridge :P). I basically sauteed some veggies and garlic, added part of a can of chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper, coriander, curry, cumin and chili powder; and one cup of lentils. Then I let it simmer until everything was tender and flavours had blended. This made 2 servings, so that’s most of my lunch for 2 days this week.

So that means it’s only Monday, and I’ve already got 3 lunches mostly taken care of – I’m in good shape!

Do you have any tricks to make lunch-packing any easier?