Miso-Glazed Salmon

I came across a package of miso in the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t leave without it. Miso is one of my favorite restaurant flavours, plus it benefits from various enzymes, probiotics and vitamins, so I figure I had better explore its wonders in my own kitchen.

This salmon came out perfectly and was so easy to make that I would do it every night from now on but sadly that wouldn’t do much for this blog…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb (450 g) wild salmon
  • 2 tbsp light miso paste
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 drops hot pepper sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

  • Place salmon fillet on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Mix remaining ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a small bowl.
  • Brush salmon with light layer of glaze.
  • Broil on high for 8 minutes.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds, serve with rice and steamed Chinese broccoli or bok choy, and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4 g carbs, 9 g fat (the healthy kind!), 23 g protein, 1 g fibre

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Vegetarian Lasagna

I hope everyone had a super fun Canada Day! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – Dave and I spent the long weekend in Vancouver so I was away from my kitchen. Naturally I spent most of the trip doing research for Just Indulgence (read: I gorged myself at every restaurant). We had jumbo prawn garnished cesares, raw oysters, coconut curry, congee, fried rice, chow mein, wonton soup, miso baked tofu, tuna tataki, decadent sushi rolls, green tea ice cream, parsley and truffle fries, smoked salmon salad rolls, bean salads, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, antipasto plates, BBQ chicken, saffron rice, mango jicama salad, lemon baked cauliflower, raspberry cake with cream cheese frosting, rice crispy squares, omelets, huevos rancheros and organic raspberry rhubarb pie with vanilla gelato, to name a few…

Here’s a lasagna post I meant to make last week before I got caught with my mouth full in Vancouver:

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Lasagna is a bit of a pain in the a** to make, but it’s so worth it in the end. To help with time I chopped all the veggies the night before so it was much faster to get cooking after work.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 22 oz/700 ml low sodium pasta sauce
  • 19 oz/540 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup light feta cheese
  • 300 g spinach
  • 3 egg whites
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded light mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

  • Soak sun-dried tomatoes in 1 cup boiling water, while you prepare sauce.
  • Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add red pepper, zucchini and mushrooms and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add dried spices, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, vinegar, pepper and drained and diced sun-dried tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce temperature and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Cook lasagna noodles as per package instructions.
  • Mix ricotta, feta, spinach and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  • Spread a thin layer of tomato-veggie mixture over bottom of 9″ x 13″ oil-sprayed lasagna dish. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles, followed by 1/3 of remaining tomato-veggie mixture, 1/3 ricotta mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat. Finish with 4 lasagna noodles, remaining tomato-veggie mixture and mozzarella
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes, plate and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 358 calories, 38 g carbs (11 g sugar), 13 g fat, 23 g protein, 6 g fibre

Shrimp & Tofu Red Thai Curry

When I see a thai curry on a menu I just can’t help but indulge myself, though I cringe to think of the hidden fats and salts seeping into me. Needless to say, this has been a dish that’s been on my learn-to-make-healthy list for a while. Using lite coconut milk and drastically cutting the fish sauce, this curry is actually really healthy and totally satisfying!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 6 spears asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1/2 large zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 small can sliced bamboo shoots
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 40 jumbo shrimp (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • red chili flakes to taste

Curry Paste

  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or brown/white sugar)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

DIRECTIONS

  • Place all curry paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Bring coconut milk, leaves and curry paste to a boil in a large pot.
  • Add in all vegetables, tofu and shrimp, cover and let simmer until shrimp are no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, serve over steamed rice and garnish with red chili flakes and cilantro. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 351 calories, 20 g carbs (8.5 g sugars), 16 g fat, 32 g protein, 4 g fibre

Zucchini Pizza

Yesterday I biked ALL the way to the grocery store (okay, it was only 15 minutes) to find they didn’t have the large whole wheat pitas I was excited to use as pizza crust. So what’s a health nut to do? Not compromise with white flour pitas, that’s for sure! Nope, they actually got a whole lot healthier and lower calorie (only 100 per piece) with zucchini!

I had remembered seeing a zucchini pizza go by on my pinterest feed, so I figured it was a good time to check it out. The verdict is: total winner!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 sticks turkey pepperoni (120 g)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 120 g light mozzarella, shredded
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut zucchinis lengthwise into four slabs.
  • Place on baking sheet covered in parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil.
  • Broil on high until they just start to brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cover with toppings.
  • Broil on high until cheese browns.
  • Sprinkle on red pepper flakes, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 “slices”.

Per slice: 100 calories, 8 g carbs, 5 g fat, 8 g protein, 2 g fibre

Pork Tenderloin Gumbo

Gumbo is pretty healthy as it is, with all those onions, tomatos and other stewed veggies, but I figured why not make it even healthier?! So I cut the sausage and substituted it for some lean pork tenderloin! Though one serving is only 337 calories, I couldn’t even finish my plate with all the spice, super filling veggies and lean protein. Super comforting and super healthy – this is my kind of meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Add pork and stir until cooked on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic. Stir until veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, oregano, chilis, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 337 calories, 39 g carbs, 6 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g fibre

Crispy Garlic Mint Pressed Tofu

This was my first time pressing tofu, and wow, am I glad I did! It’s a keeper and has a solid place in my repertoire for when vegetarian friends come for dinner. I know some people aren’t a big fan of tofu’s spongy wet texture, so this is a great way to get away from that while still being able to enjoy the benefits of this inexpensive and lean source of protein. I’d almost describe the pressed tofu as having a chicken texture, in fact it quite looks like a thin strip of chicken when you cut into it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut tofu crosswise into 4 slabs. Firmly blot each slab between paper towel to remove excess water.
  • To make marinade, combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover tofu on all sides with marinade and place on a plate. Cover with plastic and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  • Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • Remove tofu from marinade and press off excess liquid with paper towels. Reserve marinade.
  • Arrange tofu flat in frying pan. Cover tofu with another frying pan, weighing upper pan down with a full kettle or large can of tomato sauce or beans.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5 until well browned.
  • Flip tofu, press and cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
  • Place tofu on serving dish. Pour remaining marinade into pan, heat briefly and use it to garnish tofu.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa or another grain and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 330 calories, 6 g carbs (1 g sugar), 26 g fat (4 g saturated), 22 g protein, 1 g fibre

Lemon Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

This was one of those use up the leftovers in your fridge kind of stir frys. I wanted to keep it really light and low-calorie as I had eaten about half a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (thanks for nothing, Mom) yesterday afternoon and was feeling pretty guilty…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and cook in olive oil over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger and leeks and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add bok choy and peppers and cook until softened.
  • Turn heat off, squeeze in lemon juice and grind in pepper (I like to hammer it with TONS of pepper).
  • Serve over quinoa, rice or any other grain you like!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 293 calories, 21 g carbs (8 g sugar), 11 g fat, 30 g protein, 3 g fibre

Fennel, Cannellini Bean & Prosciutto Salad

I got a reservation at Noma!!! I cannot believe my luck! Noma in Copenhagen is, for the 3rd year in a row, rated the #1 restaurant in the world.

Dave and I are taking a trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm in September, so naturally we had to do a bit of research on the food we’ll be exploring over there. We marked our calendars for June 11th, 2012, reservation day for the month of September at Noma. We weren’t expecting success as an estimated 20,000 people try to get a reservation on reservation day, and we only have a 4-day window in town, but somehow, at 2 AM (10 AM Copenhagen time), after 7 minutes of Chrome browser refreshes we got through to find but a single time slot left that works for us! Lunch date at Noma on September 4th!

So because I was feeling so stoked all day, I thought I’d keep the mood light and fresh with a delicate summer salad for dinner. Fennel, cannellini beans, peas, carrots, egg and prosciutto made for a playful combination of flavours and an extraordinarily satisfying salad, packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh dill, loosely chopped
  • 4 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices lean prosciutto

DIRECTIONS

  • Discard tough outer layer of fennel and slice thinly. Submerge fennel in an ice bath and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook eggs for 9 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Meanwhile, blanche peas and carrots in another pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Combine fennel, peas, carrots and beans in a large bowl.
  • To assemble dressing, mix lemon juice, dill, mustard, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a small dish.
  • Toss fennel salad with dressing.
  • Warm a drizzle of olive oil in large frying pan and cook prosciutto until crispy.
  • Arrange salad on serving plate, garnishing with quartered egg and prosciutto.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 480 calories, 50 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 17 g fat, 31 g protein, 16 g fibre

And what to do with the fennel tops you now have lying around? Pop them in a vase and you have an instant green centrepiece!

Braised Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy

I’ve never been a huge fan of pork, but figured I’d give it another try since I’ve been reading it is one of the leanest meats out there. At 143 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated) and 26 g protein per 100 g (3.5 ounces), pork tenderloin is a very healthy source of protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 lbs (600 g) pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • 4 baby bok choy

DIRECTIONS

  • Warm half of olive oil over medium heat in frying pan. Add pork, seasoned with salt and pepper, and saute until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place pork on a plate and set aside.

  • Add remaining oil to frying pan with garlic, ginger and leeks. Sautee until leeks soften, about 4 minutes.

  • Add water, wine, soy sauce, sugar and pork. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let braise for roughly one hour, stirring occasionally.

  • After hour has elapsed, lay bok choy over pork and leek mixture, cover and let cook until bok choy softens, about 7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, plate with steamed rice and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (excluding rice):  350 calories, 11 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 12 g fat, 40 g protein, 1 g fibre

Eggplant Lasagna

This is quite possibly the most delicious dinner I’ve made – though it might be a tie with Mexican lasagna, which will be posted soon – AND it’s vegetarian!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 cups pasta sauce (low sodium if possible)
  • 1 cup shredded light mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine oats, parmesan and basil in a shallow bowl or deep plate.
  • Beat eggs with a fork in another shallow bowl or deep plate.
  • Cut each eggplant into 8 round slices.
  • Dip each eggplant round into the egg and then press it into the oat mixture, coating both sides.
  • Place coated eggplant rounds onto a baking sheet sprayed in olive oil. Spray tops of eggplant rounds.
  • Bake eggplant at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, turning and spraying with olive oil half way through.
  • Assemble lasagna by spooning 1 cup pasta sauce over bottom of 9″ x 13″ casserole dish. Follow by half the eggplant rounds, another cup of pasta sauce, half the mozzarella and repeat.
  • Sprinkle parsley on top and bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven, plate and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 205 calories, 24 g carbs, 8 g fat, 12 g protein, 5 g fibre