Tag Archives: simple preparation

Mexican-style Salad

30 Sep

In an attempt to make some healthier choices (I’m even back at the gym after a prolonged absence. Helllooooo, muscles I’d forgotten about!), I’ve been ransacking some cookbooks I haven’t opened in a while for inspiration. In the book Get Naked in the Kitchen, there is a pretty great recipe for a Mexican taco salad bowl. I made minor adjustments to the original to suit both my taste and what was in my cupboard. The end result had everything you could want in a healthy meal: it was filling, it was easy, it had lots of flavour, it was balanced, it came together in 25 minutes and it’s 100% adaptable. You can substitute the lemon juice for any vinegar, the brown rice for white or quinoa, the flavouring of the black beans or the black beans for another kind be it white, pinto, black-eyed peas…whatever you like. You could also throw in some tortilla chips for extra crunch. Give it a go!

Serves 2.


3-4 c greens (I used baby arugula)
2 tb olive oil + 2ts for beans
1 tb lemon juice
1 c brown rice, cooked
1 can black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 ts cumin
1 ts chili powder
splash of water
1/2 sweet pepper, chopped
1 avocado
Salt & pepper
handful of cilantro, chopped


1. Cook the rice according to directions.
2. In the meantime, heat the 2ts of olive oil in a pan to a medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent, about five minutes.
3. Add in the beans, cumin, chili powder. Toss in salt & pepper to taste. Stir together and then add a couple of splashes of water to the pan. Turn up the heat and cook another 5-10 minutes until the water evaporates.
4. Slice the avocado in half. Remove the pit and cut the flesh into cubes. Season with salt, pepper & lemon or lime juice.
5. Toss greens and red pepper in a bowl with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Split evenly on two dishes, making a well in the middle.
6. Plate rice in the well among the greens and then top with beans, avocado, cilantro and hot sauce if you so choose.


NYT Project: Broiled Lamb Chops

19 Dec

This particular recipe wasn’t on my original list; however, I was looking for something to make with the Brussels sprouts and this seemed like a pretty simple dish. I generally try to steer clear of making two new dishes at once, but with four simple steps this looked pretty foolproof, even for me. (Though I’ve been cooking for years now, sometimes my sense of timing is a little off.) Lamb has been on my list of food that I want to attempt to cook, so clearly it was meant to be!

Serves 2.


2-4 lamb chops per person
extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
salt and pepper
unsalted butter, optional
herbs (dill, mint), finely chopped, optional
lemon juice


1. Place the lamb chops in a dish and cover with olive oil. Add in the garlic and marinate for 30-60 minutes.
2. Turn on your broiler and position the oven rack so that it is 2 inches below the heat source.
3. Season the lamb with salt & pepper, then place on a foil-lined tray and cook for 4 minutes per side for rare. (recommended, but add extra time if you want them more on the medium-rare side.)
4.  Remove from the oven and plate. If you like, add a small pat of butter, some herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to each chop.

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Sunshine Salad

22 Jun

This recipe comes from a little Mexican cookbook that’s been kicking around the apartment for years, but we really only started using it recently. I sent this recipe to a friend of mine a couple of months ago and she raved about it.  We decided to make it for Father’s Day and after a couple of bites, I understood why she’d liked it so much: it’s fresh, it’s simple and it’s kind of addictive. So much so that we made it again the next day…

Serves 4, as a side dish.


1 c pineapple (1 can)
1 avocado, diced
1 1/2 c corn (or 1 14oz can)
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 – 2 green onions, sliced
2 oranges, peeled & sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 ts black pepper


1. Assemble all ingredients in medium-large bowl.
2. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. …Eat.

Pasta with Portobellos, Sage & Walnuts

29 Nov

A simple, easy, savoury pasta dish that can be thrown together quickly. The toasted walnuts are a great touch: some crunch to go along with the nutty flavour. Note, though – when you’re toasting them, keep a close eye on the pan! Those things’ll burn before you know it!

You can use whatever pasta you have in the cupboard. I made my first batch with penne, but you could use spaghetti, rigatoni…anything your heart desires! Also, while this is a vegetarian recipe, if you have some prosciutto in the fridge, it goes quite nicely for a salty bite.

Serves 4.


3/4 lb pasta
3 tb extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c unsalted butter
3 large portabello mushroom caps, gills discarded, caps thinly sliced and cut into 2″ pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 c loosely packed fresh sage leaves
1/3 c toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


1. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1c cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 2 tb butter in a medium sauce pan. Add mushrooms, sprinkling with salt & pepper. Cook roughly 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender and brown. Set aside on a plate.
3.  Using the same pan, add in 8tb butter (it’s a lot, I know, but it’s the sauce!) and heat to medium. Add sage leaves, stirring occasionally until  dark and crisp. (3 to 5 min.)
4. Add the mushrooms back to the pan along with the pasta, the walnuts and half a cup of the reserved liquid. Season with salt & pepper and toss until the pasta is well coated. Add in more liquid if you need it.
5. Serve in warm bowls and top with a generous portion of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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