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.

Fast Fennel Chicken

Healthy food! It’s all around us, but with so many tempting treats beginning to make an appearance, being able to cook up a fast feast of healthy food is essential. Today we made a veggie-packed pasta dish.


We started by putting 2 ounces or 60 grams per person of whole wheat pasta on to cook. In the meantime, we diced four skinless, boneless chicken thighs into a sauté pan with some olive oil. As the cooked, we finely diced and added a shallot and a clove of garlic. Next came a carrot, peeled and diced fine, and 1/4 head of fennel, finely diced. While it was cooking over low heat,we ground up about a teaspoon/5 ml of fennel seed, and zested a lemon. we juiced the lemon into a small bowl and got rid of any seeds.

When the pasta was al dente, we drained and tipped into the sauté pan with the lemon juice, zest, fennel seed, a small amount of pasta water if needed, and a couple of tablespoons (10 ml) of light whipped cream cheese. We left it in the pan, covered but off the heat, for about 3 minutes for the flavours to come together, and ate it up. The cooking took less than half an hour, including boiling the water…leaving more time to watch Christmas specials and make some presents.

Cold Comfort, my Friend

20111205-213315.jpg. There’s a forecast of snow tonight, so some cold weather food was in order. And after several days of traveling, comfort food would be even better. Luckily we always have some cooked beans in the freezer. We sautéed some diced pancetta from Plank Road Market with a shallot and any oyster mushroom. Then we added some yellow pepper and celery. The last things to go in were a couple of servings of cooked white beans and some dried thyme from this summer’s garden. The whole thing went in the oven in a covered casserole for the flavours to meld.

We served it with some leftover roast beets, warmed in the oven with a sprinkling of thyme and a crumbling of Ontario feta. Then we settled in to watch the hockey game and A Charlie Brown Christmas (a classic message about how secular consumerism can’t obscure the true meaning of the holiday).

Let it snow!