Tag Archives: gourmet

Panang Chicken Curry with Red Cargo Rice

Tonight’s Menu: Thai Panang Chicken Curry with Red Cargo Rice (gluten and sugar free)


As of late my health hasn’t been exceptional (due to high levels of stress I suspect) so I have decided to embrace some new diet rules for the next month or so. I have always been an advocate for clean, natural eating but cleansing has never really been my thing. Probably because I would go into deep depression without solid food in my life. With that said, I have decided to compromise…for the next month, I will enjoy my first 2 meals juiced or in smoothie form and eat a nutritional (real) dinner. Here’s the kicker, everything that goes into my body must be gluten and sugar free.

So there you have it and here’s tonight meal which is one of my favourites and loaded with fibre, iron, protein, calcium +++. Enjoy

Serves 2
Prep time: 15 mins. | Cook time: 30 mins.

1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp  red curry paste (be sure this is sugar-free)
2 lime leaves
1/2  onion, sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced (I used 1/2 of each a yellow and red pepper)
8 lg mushrooms
1 cup of fresh spinach
small bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

2 c prepared red cargo rice


Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Toss in onions and let saute for approx. 1 minute. Add in peppers, mushrooms and chicken. Saute for approx. 2 minutes stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and add coconut milk, curry and lime leaves. Let simmer slowly for approx. 15 mins stirring occasionally. When ready your sauce should slightly coat the spoon. Stir in spinach, peanuts and cilantro. Season to taste with S&P. Remove from heat and serve immediately over red rice.


Mussels Provencal

Today’s Menu: Mussels Provencal

Mussels, a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner option are very low in fat and so easy to prepare. There are so many ways to prepare them so I decided upon a classic for my first mussel post. Make sure you ask for the newest arrivals and inspect them yourself to make double sure the shells are closed. Keep on ice in the fridge until ready to use.

Mussels are a good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Potassium and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Manganese and Selenium. (http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4186/2)

2 pounds mussels
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion (Brunoise or fine diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 c. white wine
1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped)

Clean mussels and set aside. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic. Saute until tender and increase heat to high. Deglaze with white wine and add the tomatoes, parsley and cinnamon. Simmer for 3 mins, add the mussels and cover until all mussels open up. Divide the mussels into serving bowls with a splotted spoon. Leave liquid over heat until reduced slightly (approx. 3 mins) and spoon evenly over mussels.

Make sure you have a few large bowls ready for serving and sprinkle finished product with coarse sea salt.

GFYG Express! xO

Turkey Burgers with Thick-Cut Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Tonight’s Menu: Gourmet Turkey Burgers with Thick-Cut Sweet Potato Oven Fries and Chili infused Dipping Sauce.

Yesterday was a lazy one, I’m assuming it was all the rain and cold weather or just me not getting off the couch all day.
Lazy for me = hungry for delicious bad-for-you treats. Instead of running out to my local Gourmet Burger for a double with bacon and brie, I decided to make my own Good-for-You version. Yes, this took all my will power but I am quickly learning my homemade GFYG versions  of my favorite foods are better and less expense. Plus what would I write about.
I decided to use lean turkey for the patties, the flavour ended up quite good but please make sure your grill is super hot as they tend to fall through the grill and stick a bit because the lack of fat. I added caramelized onions and hummus to avoid my usual cheese and mayo (which are probably my favorite foods, yes I would eat them together if I knew it wasn’t going to give me a heart attack in 5 years). For the bun I avoided white rolls and bought a flat multi-grain ciabatta and grilled it with a swipe of olive oil. As we all know with the burger must come the fries. Thick cut are the best option for my healthy homemade sweet potato version as SP tends to get mushy when baked (and don’t forget to leave the skin on for added fiber). For the dip, it was as easy as mixing FF sour cream and chili powder, very delicious and won’t stick to your hips (and arteries) like flavoured aioli.

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 20 mins

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
2 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 small onion (chopped and sautéed)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. bbq sauce
5 tbsp. panko flakes
2 tsp. chili powder

1 medium onion (sliced and caramelized)
1 tbsp. hummus per burger (store-bought or homemade)

4 small sweet potatoes (thick cut)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

5 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder

Set your grill to high heat and your oven to 400º. Heat a small skillet over low heat and add sliced onions with a tsp. olive oil and S&P. Leave to caramelize stirring occasionally.
Place sliced sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add olive oil & S&P. When all potatoes are coated transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven. Set timer for 20 mins and cook until browned turning half way through. Mix together FF sour cream and chili powder and set aside.
Mix together all turkey burger ingredients. I like to use my hands to make sure it is mixed well. Form into patties and place on a plate lined with parchment paper. When your grill is mighty hot, place patties on grill and do not turn until well cooked. When the burgers are well done place portioned bread on the grill until they form grill marks.
Serve burgers open faced topped with veggies and hummus with oven fries and chili dip on the side.

Hope you enjoy. I sure did! xO

Brown Rice Pasta Puttanesca with Chicken

Tonight’s Menu: Brown Rice Pasta Puttanesca with Chicken

After a very long workout, busy weekend and late night catching up with Adam from It All Starts With Butter over wine, I was exhausted tonight. I thought pasta would be a quick and healthy option, plus with a bit of a hangover I was craving carbs and bold flavours. This recipe turned out before than expected and I ate way more than I should have; highly recommended if I do say so myself.

For the past 2 years I have replaced all the pasta in my house with a brown rice version. Previously only available at speciality health stores BRP is now readily available at your local grocery. BRP does not contain gluten and as most of you know brown rice is considered a super food packed full of nutrients namely fibre, selenium, protein, etc. aiding in weight loss, cancer prevention and the list goes on (more info on brown rice).

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins

Pasta Puttanesca
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion (sliced thin)
10 white mushrooms (sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
8 pitted black olives (quartered)
1 large ripe tomato (cubed)
1 1/2 tbsp. capers
1 c. pulled chicken (or 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts)
1/4 c. red wine
1 jar plain tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried chili flakes
1 pack of brown rice fettucine or spaghetti

Set a large pot of salted water on high to boil.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and mushrooms. When slightly golden add garlic, olives, capers, tomato and chicken. Sauté for 3 mins stirring occasionally. Deglaze pan with red wine. Add the tomato sauce, chilis and season with S&P. Leave on very low heat to simmer.
Add brown rice pasta to the boiling water and stir immediately. When the pasta is al dente, drain and divide into serving bowls. Top each bowl with a large ladle of sauce. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan and chilis.

Happy eating! xO


Roasted Beef with grainy mustard and sweet potato

Tonight’s Menu: Roasted Beef with grainy mustard jus, slow roasted sweet potatoes and grape tomato salad.

On my trip today to the local supermarket I noticed that eye of round beef roasts were on sale. What luck; eye of round is considered a cheaper cut in the world of roasts as it tends to be tougher and has less flavour than others as it contains less fat marbling, but these problems can be solved with the right preparation.
And obviously perfect for me as it allows me to eat red meat without the high-fat worries that usual come along with it.
To make sure the roast contained the least amount of fat possible, I trimmed all visible fat and cooked the roast in my rotisserie. I added flavor by sauteing mushrooms and onions then deglazing the pan with red wine, beef stock, grainy mustard and rosemary. I started the meal with a side of fresh tomato salad to cleanse the palate.

Serves 4
Approx. cooking time 1 hrs. 

1 eye of round roast large enough to feed 4
4 tbsp. grainy mustard
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 sprigs of rosemary (broken by hand)

3 lg. sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp olive oil (rubbed on potatoes)

1 package of mushrooms (any kind will do)
one small onion (sliced thin)
1/2 c red wine and 1 glass for yourself
1 c beef stock (reduced sodium)
2 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 spring of rosemary

1 pint of grape tomatoes
6 lg. basil leaf (chiffonade)
1 tsp. olive oil

Set oven to 325º. Mix mustard, garlic and rosemary and rub on roast. Place roast in rotisserie and set for one hour. Peel and thick slice (3/4 in.) sweet potato and rub with oil and S&P and place in the oven. Now go workout for 1/2 hour 😉

10 mins. before timer goes, sautee mushrooms and onions in a skillet on low. Remove beef from rotisserie when done, place on a cutting board to rest and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Slice tomatoes in half and place in a bowl. Spinkle with oil, basil and S&P to taste. Divide into small bowls.

When mushrooms and onions are browned turn heat up to high, let the heat raise for approx. 2 mins and deglaze with wine. Add stock, mustard and rosemary and let reduce to about 1/2 cup. Season with S&P to taste.

To serve place thinly sliced beef on plate and top with potatoes. Spoon a small amount of mushroom sauce over each, serve with salad on the side and presto Good-for-You Gourmet!

Enjoy xO

Blackened Salmon with Roasted Fennel and Red Peppers

Tonight’s Menu: Salmon with lemon caper sauce served with roasted fennel and red pepper.

Salmon is a great alternative to poultry or red meat as it tends to be lower in fat and high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.
By searing the salmon in a very hot skillet and using a rub of chili powder I avoided using excess oil to avoid sticking. The chili powder also adds flavor without having to add unnecessary salt. For the sauce I prepared this as you would a traditional beurre blanc but without the butter. By substituting butter with chicken, vegetable or fish stock and adding new flavors (black olives, garlic, capers) you only need a small amount of sauce that offers big flavor without being too acidic or tangy.
The fennel and red pepper were roasted at a low temperature for a long time bringing out their natural sweetness thus avoiding having to use any excess flavors or oils to make a perfect finished product.

Serves 4
Approx. cooking time 2 hrs. (or less)
Approx. 300 cals. and 15 g. fat per serving (no worries, it’s good fat!)

4, 4 – 6 oz portions of salmon filet (with skin)
chili powder (rub on flesh side of each portion)

1 lg. Fennel (sliced)
2 lg. Red Pepper (sliced)
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
salt & pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lg. Shallot (Brunoise or fine diced)
5 lg. Black kalamata olives (pitted and sliced)
3 tbsp.capers
1 lg. clove of garlic (minced)
Juice of one lemon
1/4 c. white wine
1/2 c. reduced sodium chicken (fish/veg) stock
salt & pepper (to taste)

Set oven to 300°. Slice fennel and red pepper, toss in oil and salt and pepper. Spread over cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone sheet. Place in oven and set timer for 2 hours. If time is limited you can cook at 350° for approx. an hour or until tender and slightly browned. Make sure to turn during cooking.

Approx. 20 mins before vegetables are done increase oven temp. to 400º and set a large skillet on high heat. Wait until the pan is slightly smoking and lift the pan from heat and add the oil turning the pan to coat. Place back on the heat and quickly add the salmon chili powder side down. Sear until almost blackened, remove the skillet from the heat and transfer salmon to an oven safe dish and place in oven next to the vegetables. Set timer for 10 mins for a medium doneness. Return skillet to high heat and add the oil and shallot, saute until tender stirring constantly (approx. 2 mins), then add in garlic, olives, capers and saute for another 2 mins stirring constantly. Deglaze pan with wine and add lemon juice and stock. Reduce to about 1/4 c. of liquid and season with s&p.

To serve place fennel and pepper on plate and top with salmon. Spoon a small amount of sauce over each salmon and presto Good-for-You Gourmet!

Before dinner I worked up an appetite by doing 45 minutes of cardio. Highly recommended 😉

Enjoy xO