Monthly Archives: August 2012

fettuccine with prosciutto and peas in a cream sauce


Deliciousness in a bowl. All the food groups are present, too! including fat! But I care not. This dish is super easy and all around awesome. I was surprised as the flavours are definitely something I’d expect to find in a restaurant meal! Try it!

Fettuccine with prosciutto and peas in a cream sauce
1 lb fettucine
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup onions, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I actually used 10% and it was fine.)
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a skillet and cook onions until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Throw in the prosciutto and saute for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until nearly evaporated. Add the peas, cream, salt and pepper. Cook until the cream reduces by half, 5 minutes or so.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over and toss carefully. Add the parmesan and parsley, toss again and serve with more freshly cracked pepper.

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sweet and spicy apple-mustard pork chops


Growing up, we always had a jar of apple sauce at the table when eating pork chops. The flavours of apple and pork really do go marvelously together and this recipe is a great twist on that classic flavour pairing.

I’d never had apple butter before but picked up a jar of it at the local butcher’s. Wow. That stuff is amazing. I can’t believe I’d never had it before. I think I’m going to try my hand at making my own this fall!

Sweet and Spicy Apple-Mustard Pork Chops
4 1″ thick boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat (mine were closer to 1 1/2″)
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup apple butter
2 tbsp prepared mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups apples, peeled and sliced (about 3 large apples)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp cider vinegar

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook pork chops until browned on each side, about 6-7 minutes.

While the pork is cooking, combine the apple butter, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon over pork chops. Lower heat and cover. Allow the pork to cook about 10 minutes, until it’s slightly pink in the middle and the juices run clear.

Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add apples, onion and vinegar to sauce in pan. Stir and cover, cooking for 5 minutes or until the apples and onions have softened.

Spoon the apple mixture over the pork chops and serve.

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cheeseburger macaroni


I decided to try out another recipe I’d pinned on Pinterest tonight. I love cheeseburgers. I love mac n’cheese. How could I not love a combination of the two?

I enjoyed the recipe. It’s a good home-made version of Hamburger Helper and the flavours were a “blast from the past”. I have to admit that ever since starting this blog, I’ve strayed away from plainer, less complicated “comfort foods” and I’m glad I decided to try this one. The kids loved it and ate seconds and it’s a really good budget friendly recipe.  There are lots of leftovers and I’m sure the dish will be great re-heated for lunch as it’s quite saucy and likely won’t dry out as much as pasta leftovers sometimes do.

Cheeseburger Macaroni courtesy of kevinandamanda.com
I did take some liberties with their recipe and the changes will be reflected below.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 heaping tbsp taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth (or water)
1 cup elbow macaroni (as you’ll see by the photo, I used rigatoni… because that’s what I had to use up in my cupboard.)

Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.

While everything cooks, make a cheese sauce

2 Tablespoons butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

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honey-ginger grilled salmon


I tried this new salmon marinade out thinking I needed a change from my standard go-to marinade. It was nice but the flavours weren’t strong enough and the fish marinated for close to 45 minutes. I also had a hard time with grilling the fish, as you’ll see from the picture below!

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 green onion, chopped
1 (1 1/2-pound) salmon filet

In a large Ziploc bag, combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, orange juice, honey, and green onion; mix well. Place salmon in bag and seal tightly. Turn bag gently to distribute marinade. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat and lightly oil grate.

Remove salmon from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes per inch of thickness, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

If you’re like me and suck horribly at anything BBQ related, it may come out looking like giant piece of charred fish…

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pasta with sausage and caulifower


or how to make a meal for 5 for under $7.

I’ll admit this isn’t the fanciest or the most visually appealing recipe but it’s tasty, quick and easy and more importantly, cheap. The recipe made enough food for 5 meals in total and the ingredients didn’t cost more than $7!

Let’s recap:
Pasta with Sausage and Cauliflower
1 onion, chopped $0.47
2 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets $1.49
1 tbsp olive oil – no idea. Let’s say $0.10 but even then that’s a high estimate if you ask me!
4 italian sausages, casings removed – A pack of 12 sausages cost me 4,99 a few weeks ago so that’s $1,66
1 cup cherry tomatoes $1,29
1 cup chicken broth (I’m going to say free for this one because I made it from chicken bones and it was in my freezer!)
4 cups pasta (I used large shells. I should have used penne or some other short pasta) $0.80
4 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated (I’m going to guess at this one too and say $0,50)

That’s a whopping total of $6,31, or $1.26 per meal!

It’s easy to make, too!

Coarsely chop the onion and cut the cauliflower into small pieces (about 2 cm).

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 2-3 min.

Remove the skin from the sausage, then add the meat to the pan. Break up the meat using a wooden spoon and cook 4-5 min until it looses its pink colour. Add the tomatoes and saute for another minute or two.

Pour in the warm broth and stir in the cauliflower. Bring to a boil then lower the heat.

Cover and simmer 10 min until the cauliflower is cooked al dente and the broth is almost completely absorbed (the sauce should still be moist).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

Drain the pasta then pour it into the frying pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the grated cheese then toss well and serve.

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me vs the pin.


Sometimes I wonder why I try to win against Pinterest.  I always lose. Things always look prettier, easier and certainly more polished than anything I ever put out.

I’ll console myself and convince ya’ll that I’m proud to be keepin’ it real.

I found this pin for Apple Nachos on Pinterest last week and thought it would be a great snack for the kids. I decided to give it a try on Sunday morning.  http://www.manifestvegan.com/2011/10/apple-nachos/#more-9006

The concept was great. The kids and I devoured the whole plate at 9:45 in the morning! I was so stuffed I had to skip lunch.

But, the truth is. My plate looked nothing like the pin. Natural peanut butter (or at least the Costco brand!) does not thin out and “drizzle”. It gets soft and well, soft. That’s about it.  Did you also know that peanut butter can burn in the microwave? Oh yes. It does. And it smells like burnt hog hair and looks like a crumbly mess of… you can use your imagination.

But, it was delicious. And easy, and sort of healthy. We ate the equivalent of two large apples, a banana, some nuts and some peanut butter in one sitting.

   vs    

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unrolled cabbage rolls


Cabbage is in season and cheap! And I used some earlier this week in my Singapore Noodles recipe. Ground chicken was also on special… what does one do? Search for a recipe that can use both cheap meat and copious amounts of cabbage that sits on a shelf in my fridge, using up an insane amount of space.

Layered cabbage-roll casserole

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 /2 cups beef broth
3/4 cups uncooked brown rice (quick cook is best for this recipe!)
1 medium head of cabbage
1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground chicken (or turkey, or beef)
1 egg
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans cream of tomato soup (I cringed at this because I don’t normally use canned soup but the results were tasty! I made sure to use reduced sodium)

Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions bgin to soften. Add broth and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20-25 minute until the rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water toi boil. Cut cabbage into 8 wednges and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove tough inner pieces, separate individual leaves and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine rice with beef, egg, parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Mix.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with 1/2 the cabbage leaves. Spread the beef-rice mixture evenly over the cabbage. Top with the remaining cabbage leaves. Empty both cans of sopu into a medium bowl. Add 1 can of water and mix well. Pour soup evenly over the cabbage. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350F. Reduce heat to 325F and cook for another 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

I’m including a picture even though I shouldn’t, because it honestly looked like one of the most unappetizing meals on the planet! It was really quite tasty! And the meal set me back $5.50 at most!

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