Salade de…Boeuf?!?


When we had a houseful of teenagers, “leftover roast beef” was an oxymoron. But our home is emptier now, and our eating habits have changed as well. Today at lunch we needed to use some roast beef. But not too much. Also on hand: a couple of roasted beets, some arugula, and the last ounce of Shropshire Blue from our New Year’s party. We sliced the beets on a bed of arugula, then the beef. Next, a vinaigrette using a tablespoon of grainy mustard (ours was Kozlik’s), a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, and the zest and juice of half an orange. A grating of the cheese and we split about a tablespoon of pecans over the two plates for extra crunch.

A Cinderella Story


Quebec’s stunning Cendrillon cheese from Alexis de Portneuf is delicious all on its own, or with breads, or fruit. But we decided to use it to dress up the ubiquitous beet salad, and elevate that beyond the same old version showing up on menus all over town.

We sliced some leftover roasted beets. Then we sautéed a diced shallot in a little olive oil, and stirred in the juice of a grapefruit and a tiny splash of wine vinegar, plus about a half teaspoon of brown sugar. We reduced this to a couple of tablespoons and mixed with the beets, and set it aside to cool.

On the plates, a mixture of winter and greenhouse lettuces – Boston, radicchio, and arugula. Top it with the beets and grate about an ounce (30g) of the cheese on each (it must be very cold or it is too soft to grate – cubes or slices would work also).

Thanks to this cheese, a dull salad was transformed into a real beauty.

One Spicy Pie


We’re really getting back into our healthy habits. Our two most important weapons are exercise and meal planning. Going into the day with a food plan means we don’t have to worry about being distracted by circumstances. We’ve also taken time to choose recipes that account for how much we have going on, on that day. Busy days get simple, tasty solutions…like this one.

It’s a delicious recipe from Cooking Light, which has been a tremendous resource on our journey. Since we’re being very conscious of getting our veggies, we served it with a nice salad on the side. We made three adaptations; we cooked the garlic in heart-healthy olive oil, and we substituted a mix of chili powder and cumin for the taco seasoning. We also used cheese that we already had on hand, and weighed the portions carefully.

It's the Great Pumpernickel


This weekend I tried pumpernickel from Jean Paré’s classic cookbook, “Breads”.

It turned out so well I kept looking for excuses to eat it. So lunch had to be a sandwich! Albacore tuna mixed with tomato, dill, grainy mustard and light mayo made the filling tasty enough to hold up to the robust flavour of the bread. And with the whole grain rye flour, the loaf has enough fibre to enjoy without regrets.

Stacking up Flavour


We’re back on track after a flurry of holiday eating. Despite seeing a flurry of faddish food recommendations, we know what works: eat less, move more. The minus twenty temperatures don’t help encourage us to get out and walk, so we spent some time on the treadmill and the rower today. This breakfast is a tasty way to start a busy day.

It’s half a whole wheat English muffin, topped with a tomato slice and a thin shaving of red Leicester cheese. Over that, a poached egg, a sprinkling of chili powder, and some chopped basil. Filling, flavourful, but doesn’t pack in more calories than we need.

Friday Fish and…Frugality


Long day! The bathroom reno revealed that we have been sitting on the upstairs toilet on a wing and a prayer. Weather made us late for an important appointment. It’s payday and we haven’t shopped but have leftovers from the last meal plan. What to do?

We cooked some long whole wheat pasta. Meanwhile, we used a tiny bit of olive oil and sautéed a shallot and half a bulb of fennel. When the pasta was nearly done, we added a can of wild-caught salmon, a diced tomato, and some red pepper pesto to the pan. Then we tipped in the cooked pasta and let it sit for 5 minutes to gain flavour.

When it was ready we stirred, served, and sprinkled with some chopped dill.

Now…off to the couch to forget the day. (Thanks East Dell, we’re sure you’ll help with that).

Playing Chicken


’twas in the dead of wintertime…yet it hardly seems it. We had a great walk around the neighbourhood today, and it was chilly but the sun was blazing. We spent the afternoon readying the house for the New Year, after the post-Epiphany cleanup.

Then to dinner. An amazing chicken breast (the whole thing, not just parts) from Plank Road Market. The husband did it as a simple roast, nothing added. We mad a little garlic mash and served it with a salad of Ontario veg, many hothouse-grown. Lettuce, arugula, cukes, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Dressing of mustard, chicken fat, and cider vinegar. A little candlelight, some East Dell wine. Ahhh…

Feeling a Little Cheesy…

It’s the time of year when minds turn to winter weight loss. But we’re not big believers in the quick fix. What gets us into a mess can often be turned around to get us out. We’re free of holiday distractions and back into our normal “eat less, move more” routine. Today though, the Toronto weather is still in the deep freeze. (Yes Winnipeg, we hear you laughing…) it made us want a warm and satisfying breakfast.


For 330 calories, here’s what we had: 2 large eggs, scrambled in a nonstick pan and topped with 1/2 ounce of Shropshire Blue cheese. On the side, a slice of whole wheat toast with 2 teaspoons of blueberry-raspberry jam we made back in the summer (thanks, East Lynn Farmer’s Market!) and half a small hothouse local tomato.

Starting the day in a satisfied frame of mind!