Saturday, January 19, 2013

Veggie-Quinoa Soup

I invented this recipe on a cold, snowy day based on the vegetables we had in the fridge.  I wanted to make a veggie-quinoa soup, so I did.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • thyme to taste
  • salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in medium sauce pan
  2. Sautée onion and garlic till translucent
  3. Add in celery, zucchini and jalapeno.  Cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes, till tender.
  4. Add broth, seasoning and quinoa
  5. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce heat
  6. Simmer for approx. 20 minutes, till vegetable and quinoa are cooked through
  7. Blend with a hand mixer till smooth and creamy.
  8. Add in frozen peas and stir well
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings

Calories: 289
Carbs: 42
Fiber: 7
Protein: 8
Iron: 4
Calcium: 9

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Irish Shepherd's Pie

This is one of the 4 recipes that I presented to the Daring Kitchen cooks for the December 2012 Challenge. You can check out the full file with all the how-to pictures here:  Paté Chinois

Recipe Source: Originally found in Homemakers Magazine (Nov. 2007) and now found online at


  • 2 ½ lbs russet baking potatoes 
  • 3 lbs boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut in 1 ½ -inch cubes 
  • 3 carrots, chopped 
  • 1 parsnip, chopped 
  • 1 large onion finely chopped 
  • 8 oz mushroom, sliced 
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 ½ tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or ½ tsp dried thyme 
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper 
  • 2 cups stout or dark ale 
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  1. Peel potatoes, cut in half and place on the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. Mix lamb and vegetables together in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour with parsley, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg.  Add lamb and vegetables, and toss to everything is evenly coated.
  4. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Pour in stout. Cover and set slow cooker.
  6. Cook for approx 10 hours on low or 5 hours on high.
  7. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Don’t worry about the bits of lamb or vegetables that go with it, they enhace the flavour.
  8. Stir in frozen peas
  9. Transfer meat, vegetables and sauce to a oven proof casserole dish. I left mine in the slow cooker, as the insert comes out and is oven proof.
  10. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  11. Add milk, butter and nutmeg to the potatoes and mash them together.
  12. Spread mashed potatoes over the stew.
  13. Bake in oven for approx 15 minutes, until potatoes are browned.

Breakfast Strata

The best thing about a breakfast strata is that you put it all together the night before, refrigerate and just pop it in the oven in the morning.  Within 45 minutes to an hour you have a lovely brunch.

The amounts for this dish vary based on the amount you want to make.  You can have as much or as little bacon/mushrooms/asparagus as you like.  Simply ensure that your milk/egg mixture is enough to soak through all of the bread.


  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Grated cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Fry the bacon mushrooms and onions till tender, not crispy
  2. Cube bread into small bite size pieces
  3. Cut asparagus into small bite size pieces
  4. Toss bread, bacon, mushrooms and asparagus together
  5. Place in oven proof dish
  6. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together
  7. Pour over bread mixture evenly.  Press down to ensure all of the bread is soaked through
  8. Sprinkle grated cheese on top
  9. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours to allow the egg/milk mixture to soak in completely
  10. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  11. Uncover dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, till golden brown and all the egg mixture is cooked through