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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Frittata

Eggs are one of those staple ingredients always kicking around in my fridge. Whenever I am looking for a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner, I usually resort to eggs. They are a great source of protein, but often get overlooked, especially for dinner.

I am not sure how eggs became a breakfast food anyways. When I was a kid, I never ate eggs for breakfast. And even to this day, many outside of North America think eggs are really a lunch and dinner food.

Whatever the reason, I love eggs at any time. They are so versatile and so healthy. I made this frittata for dinner, but of course, it would make a great lunch, brunch, or even breakfast. If you have leftovers, you can cut a wedge and bring it to work for lunch as is or in a sandwich. Yep, I said it. A frittata sandwich! So delicious with a few greens and some dijon mustard, chipotle mayo, or even ketchup!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rice with Merguez Sausages & Veggies

People always ask me how I decide what to make. And to be honest, it really depends.

Sometimes I get inspired in the grocery store or market, buy a whole bunch of stuff and then make up combinations on the fly depending on what I bought and what's left in my kitchen as the week goes on.

Other times, I read a book or see a recipe and that inspires me to go shop for specific ingredients (and of course, during that trip, I usually pick up lots of other stuff which I will find ways to use throughout the week).

There are times when I might just start to crave a specific taste or texture, often some form of comfort food, and try to replicate that nostalgic feeling.

And there are times when I just get stuck in a rut and keep making the same thing over and over and over.

But the other day, I asked my husband what he would like to eat. He often lets me know what he feels like or makes mention of a favorite dish, and I try to accommodate it into my crazy "to make" cooking/baking list" but it is very rare that I come right out and ask him point blank. But and did. And one of the things he mentioned was sausages with rice and tomato cooked together like his mom makes. Of course. It has to be like his mom's. And of course, I know that I can never come close to replicating his mom's cooking.  But, I thought I would give it a shot from my memory of this dish.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Red Lentil, Split Pea and Coconut Curry with Kale

I don't know what it is, but I often feel that a meal isn't a meal unless it has some kind of meat. I could make the best salad in the world and eat a ton of it, and still feel a little bit dissatisfied (and guilty for feeling dissatisfied).

Then I realized that it isn't really the meat. It's the protein that satisfies me. So I have started to add walnuts to my salads. And to be honest, just that little change makes a huge difference (plus, they give a great crunch). Totally satisfying.

This got me thinking. What other meals do I love with meat? Well, for starters, I love curries. I love duck curry, chicken curry, fish curry, you name it. But for some reason, I always feel a little bit guilty about eating curries because of their richness, with the coconut milk and duck (my favorite). So, that's it. Curry became the perfect candidate for a food makeover! The goal? Maintain it's warm and spicy flavors but turn it into an everyday, guilt- free but satisfying meal. And I was able to do that with split lentils and peas.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins

Breakfast is always a routine during the week. Not much thought... just the same actions everyday.  But sometimes, it's nice to shake things up a little. This doesn't mean waking up early, breaking out the pans, the eggs, the mess and cooking up a storm. It just means thinking about breakfast in advance and doing some relaxed cooking or baking the day before.

The perfect breakfast treat? Muffins. And I am not referring to those gigantic, fat and sugar laden ones that you buy at the coffee shop on the way to work. I mean homemade muffins. Granted, there are some healthy store bought ones now, but nothing beats the ones you make at home. They are actually very easy and quick to make, and are the perfect break from the daily grind.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lemon Cornmeal Poppyseed Bundt Cake

I cannot say this enough... I am in love with everything and anything lemon!

Especially in baked goods. I think it's something about the citrus cutting that baked good richness. And the bright yellow color of sunshine. Or maybe I just really love lemons.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ratatouille with Fennel

When I think of stew, I usually think of meat and potatoes that have been slow cooked for a long time until tender.

It's only recently that I have tried and enjoyed stews of vegetables, beans, and other stuff. One thing that I have discovered, is that veggie and bean stew doesn't take as long as the traditional. But it's just as flavorful and of course, healthier too.

To make things a little interesting, I had a bulb of fennel sitting in my fridge and didn't know what to do with it. So I added it to the ratatouille and it was fantastic. The fennel just gave the dish an extra layer of flavor and crunch which was perfect.