Friday, April 30, 2010

All about leeks

Leeks are a good source of dietary fiber and they contain beneficial amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.  Leeks are also known to have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties. With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. They can be used in place of green onions in many cases.
Washing leeks
Leeks tend to have a lot of sand/grit embedded between all the sections that can be very difficult to remove.  Best way to clean them is to chop the leeks first, break the sections apart, then swish in a bowl or sink filled with water.  Drain through a sieve and you are ready to go.
Healthy ways to enjoy
  • Make an egg white omelet with sautéed sliced leeks, diced red peppers and shredded spinach.
  • Make a low fat breakfast English muffin topped with sautéed leeks and broccoli, then topped with grated part skim cheddar cheese.
  • Top a fresh green salad with thinly sliced sautéed leeks.
  • Make homemade Vichyssoise, a chilled soup made with potatoes and leeks.
  • Serve sautéed leeks with a warm vinaigrette as an appetizer.
  • Garnish a grilled burger with sautéed leeks in place of onions
  • Use sliced leeks as a garnish on homemade soups
  • Toss thickly sliced leeks with other root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes and garlic and roast in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Grill leeks over the barbecue on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly wilted and cooked through.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lightened up Thai Chicken Curry

This recipe is one of my favourites by Anne Lindsay from her New Light Cooking book, 1998.  A real hit with the entire family.  Rich and full of flavour but good for you at the same time.  I usually throw in a cup or so of frozen green peas for added benefit.  If you can find it, serve with brown basmati rice.

Thai Chicken Curry in Light Coconut Milk

What You Need: 
1 Tbsp vegetable oil 
4 tsp red curry paste (medium) 
1 ¼ lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into thin strips 
1 onion, coarsely chopped 
1 sweet red pepper, cut into strips 
Grated rind of 1 lemon 
1 cup light coconut milk 
2 Tbsp fish or soy sauce 
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) 

How to Prepare: 
1. In large non-stick skillet heat oil over high heat, stir fry the curry paste for 30 seconds. 
2. Add the chicken strips; stir fry for 3 minutes; stir in the onion, and cook for 1 minute 
3. Add red pepper & lemon rind; stir fry for 1 minute until onion is soft. 
4. Stir in the coconut milk, fish or soy sauce, & lemon juice; bring to boil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in coriander/cilantro. Makes 4 servings. 

Nutrition Content per Serving: 
251 calories, 34 g protein, 9 g fat, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 478 mg sodium.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Breakfast Energy Boost

This is what I eat every morning from Monday to Friday.  It is extremely nutritious, low in calories and fat and will prevent you from numerous trips to the fridge or snack drawer between meals.  On the weekends I then treat myself to a bagel with peanut butter and jam or waffles.  Thanks for the recipe Dad and Cindy!

Breakfast Muesli

2/3 cup regular large flake (not quick cooking) oats - I find Quaker to be the best
Enough milk (I use 1%) to cover the oats - approx. 1 cup
1/2 cup low fat, low carb yoghurt - I love Source or Silhouette Strawberry flavour
1/4 cup - chopped or sliced toasted almonds (can also eat untoasted)
3/4 - 1 cup chopped fruit of your choice - I use 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup each strawberries and blueberries


  1. Place oats in a sealed container and fill with enough milk to cover.  Soak overnight in fridge.
  2. When ready to eat, place untoasted almonds on microwavable plate or dish and microwave for approx. 11/2 -2 minutes on high until light brown in colour.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Add yoghurt and chopped fruit to the oats and stir in almonds.
  4. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finally a healthy, low fat, low calorie Banana Bread!

Welcome readers to my first post!

Super Healthy Banana Bread

It's not easy to find a satisfying, healthy snack that won't add to your curves. Something that still has flavour that the whole family will enjoy.  My kids love to find this afternoon delight in their lunch-bag.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 65 minutes


1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or Nutri-blend flour

1 cup oats (quick or regular)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tbs canola oil

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

3-4 medium very ripe (black) bananas, mashed

Add in's - 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, coconut or nuts of choice (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
    Add oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla, then fold in mashed banana and add in (if desired).
    Empty batter in to an 8 1/2 inch x 4 1/2 inch loaf tin sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 50 minutes to an 1 hour.
    Makes 12 slices
    Per Slice: Calories 176, Calories from Fat 33, Total Fat 3.6g (sat 0.6g), Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 115mg, Carbohydrate 31.5g, Fiber 3.2g, Protein 4.3g