Jicama & Mango Salad

Dave and I had dinner at my cousin Karen and her husband Shaun’s place a few weeks ago in Vancouver. They prepared an unbelievable dinner for us including this light crunchy tangy sweet salad. Who knew 4 ingredients could make such a delightful dish! Make it as a side dish or throw in some chicken, shrimp or fish and make it a meal.

Dave and I were even thinking it’d even make a great popcorn substitute if we cut the jicama and mango a little larger, and if we ever get around to watching a movie…

I had never cooked with jicama (a.k.a. yambean) before and I’m really sorry I’ve been missing out! This stuff is awesome! I’d call the texture a cross between a raw potato and an apple – though more like an apple in terms of water content. It’s ever so slightly sweet and PACKED with fibre. Here’s how it stacks up to 120g each of apples and potatoes:

Jicama   Apple       Potato

Calories                  46             62             83

Carbs                   10.6g       17.2g       18.9g

Sugars                   2.2g        13.3g         1.2g

Fibre                      5.9g          3.9g         2.0g

Protein                  0.9g             0g          2.2g

Most people have trouble getting enough fibre into their diets, but this salad contains nearly all of your recommended daily intake (25 g in a 2,000 calorie diet) in one serving. For sure a new staple in my house!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 mangos, julienned
  • 2 large jicama, julienned
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix in a large salad bowl, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 203 calories, 48 g carbs, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 21 g fibre

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

Broccoli Apple Grapefruit Salad

I wanted a super light and juicy salad to accompany the dense savoury crispy garlic mint pressed tofu I made for dinner tonight. This salad worked great, beautifully contrasting the garlic and mint flavour with one of dill and mustard.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups broccoli, bite-size pieces
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

DIRECTIONS

  • Microwave broccoli on high for 3 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Mix well.
  • Toss broccoli, apple and grapefruit in dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 large servings.

Per serving: 202 calories, 30 g carbs, 10 g fat, 5 g protein, 7 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

Red Pepper Egg Cups

Last night the girls came over for brunch… though it was dinnertime… so really it was brinner, or a dunch… whatever it was, it was darn delicious. We had a super fun time cooking, catching up and sharing healthy secrets. Sophia in particular brought over these amazing gluten-free brownies made from black eyed peas, which I will definitely be trying out in my own kitchen in the near future. My contributions to the evening were banana apple pumpkin muffins and these roasted red pepper egg cups – a total experiment that turned out beautifully. The roasted red peppers softened right up and caramelized into a certain sweetness that complimented the savoury attributes of the onions, spinach, egg and cheese.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 4 whole eggs (or 8 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut peppers in half height-wise, seed and arrange on baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
  • Crack an egg into each half.
  • Top with onions, spinach, cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 119 calories, 7 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 7 g fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fibre

Along with our delectable eggs we enjoyed this beautiful fruit salad compliments of Sophia and a fresh batch of gluten-free Banana Apple Pumpkin Muffins.

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

Chili Lime Tofu Stir-Fry

Yesterday was National Pita Day according to Extreme Pita (half price pitas all day with proceeds going towards the Heart & Stroke Foundation) so Dave and I resolved to eat pitas for all three of our meals. Sadly our plan was foiled as upon arrival for the final pita of the day we are greeted by a glowing neon “CLOSED” sign. Still hungry and not willing to sink to Subway for dinner, I had to improvise with what little was left in the fridge at home… and it turned out great!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 package (350 g) extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger, onion for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, peppers and cabbage and cook until peppers and cabbage soften.
  • Add tofu, quinoa, chili flakes, lime juice and soy sauce and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving:

Calories 245

Carbs 25 g

Sugars 6 g

Fat 11 g

Protein 16 g

Fibre 5 g

Crustless Roasted Pepper Potato Quiche and Baked Asparagus

Though I absolutely adore eggs, I never make them in the morning as Dave and I make the most amazing steel cut oats breakfast EVER (so good we can’t go a day without them – I’ll post the recipe some day), so I’ve had to incorporate quiches and frittatas into the dinner menu instead!

This one was a bit of work dealing with the peppers, but so worth it in the end!

INGREDIENTS

For the quiche:

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp mined garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
For the asparagus:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Quiche:

  • Place peppers inside down on baking sheet sprayed in cooking oil. Toss onions and garlic in olive oil and distribute over another baking sheet sprayed in cooking oil.
  • Broil on high (onions for 5 minutes, peppers until charred and blistered – careful with this: I set off my smoke detector! Open some windows I guess…). Remove onions from oven and set aside in medium bowl.
  • Set oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Removed peppers from oven and let cool until safe to touch. Peel off skin with parring knife and slice peppers into thin strips. Mix peppers in with onions.
  • Steam potatoes for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  • Assemble quiche: layer half the potatoes on bottom of quiche pan sprayed in cooking oil, followed by half onion pepper mixture and half cheese. Repeat.
  • Whisk eggs and milk together and pour over quiche.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Asparagus:
  • While quiche is cooking, toss asparagus, oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper together and arrange on baking sheet.
  • With 10 minutes left on quiche cooktime add asparagus to oven. Flip asparagus after 10 minutes when removing quiche. Let cook for 10 more minutes while quiche cools. Serve quiche and asparagus together and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings of quiche.

Per serving:

Calories 289

Carbs 30 g

Sugars 8 g

Fat 11 g

Protein 19 g

Fiber 4 g

Veggie Feta Frittata

My mother recently gave me The Looneyspoons Collection for my birthday and I’ve been absolutely LOVING it! Expect most of my upcoming posts to come from Janet and Greta.

Eggs for dinner!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions
  • 1 tsp mined garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 8 large eggs lightly beaten (feel free to use egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled light feta cheese (57g)
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch non-stick frying pan (make sure you have a cover to fit it). Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions soften (about 2 mintes). Add red bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in oregano and thyme and cook for another minute.
  • Reduce heat to low and pour in beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle feta cheese evenly over the top. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure you check the progress part way through – I didn’t have my heat up high enough to start so it didn’t cook after 10 minutes.
  • After cooked through, remove from heat and serve hot.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings. Per serving:

Calories 219

Carbs 5g

Sugar 2g

Fat 16g

Protein 15 g

Fiber 1g