Southwest Quinoa Salad

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients – Julia Child

This has become my mantra over the past week. I love spending time in my kitchen cooking away, usually with a glass of wine in my hand. Obviously, that’s not practical or even possible every night.

When I made the Turkey Sliders last week, I grossly overestimated how much quinoa I would need. Not a problem, it’s easy to find something to use leftover quinoa in. An easy go-to is quinoa salad.  My usual additions are chickpeas and cucumbers. But, out of boredom (and probably out of chickpeas), I decided to mix it up a bit. This recipe is really simple and delicious, but quite healthy as well. It’s even better the next day. I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 Cups Quinoa, cooked

1 Cup Black beans, drained and rinsed

1 Red pepper, diced

1 Avocado, diced

1/2 Cup Red onion, finely diced

1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped


1/4 Cup Lime juice

2 Tbsp Honey

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over Quinoa mixture and toss until combined.

A quick tip about the limes.  To get the most juice out of them, I find it helps to roll them under the palm of your hand or stick them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.


Curry Turkey Sliders

Curried Turkey Sliders

Every recipe starts out as an experiment for me. Often, I’m trying to see how healthy and flavourful I can make something and still have my kids eat it. I’m fortunate to be blessed with children that are not too picky. Although they both have things they won’t eat, they will usually try at least one bite of whatever I make. I think these sliders are an example of a recipe that really turned out (that doesn’t always happen). As a result, they’ve become a fairly regular meal at our house. I usually mix them up in the morning, so at dinnertime I just need to form and bake them. My son also loves to have them in his lunch the next day (cold). You can top them with whatever you like, my favourite is the Mango topping recipe I’ve added below and a few baby spinach leaves.



1 Lbs Ground Turkey

1 Cup Apple, grated (about 1 large apple)

1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa

1/2 Cup Onion, finely diced

1 Egg

1 Tbsp Madras Curry

2 tsp Ginger, grated

12 Slider buns

Mix together the first seven ingredients until well combined. Let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then form the mixture into 12 sliders and bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 375 degrees, until cooked through.

Mango topping:

1 Mango, finely diced

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp Cardamom

1/3 Cup Water

Mix together all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cook over low to medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes until thickened.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

As a parent of two children, I need to have healthy, grab-and-go snacks on hand.  Granola bars are often loaded with sugar and various other ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and the ones that aren’t are a tough sell to a 6 year old. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a little sugar and chocolate, but rice puffs and a few oats coated in corn syrup (and who knows what else), is a bit much. These muffins are my happy medium. The kids get a few chocolate chips and I get to know exactly what they’re eating.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 Cups Whole wheat flour

1/4 Cup Hemp hearts (or flax seeds)

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Ground ginger

1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup Apple Sauce

1 Cup Cooked Pumpkin

1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

In a large bowl, beat the egg until frothy. Add in the sugar, apple sauce, pumpkin and milk. Mix well. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 – 20 mins. Makes 12 muffins and two very happy kids.


With the opening of the Olympics last week, I decided to host an opening ceremonies party. It only seemed natural that the food would celebrate several of the countries from around the world.  Also, naturally, the idea to have a party only came to me the day before. I will admit a few of the dishes were store bought. However, this little gem was created and devoured in my own kitchen. This recipe will make two tourtieres.

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 lbs ground pork

1/2 lbs ground beef

1 C carrots, diced

2 C potatoes, diced

1 1/2 C beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pie shells (store-bought)

1/2 C Maple Syrup

Pre bake 2 pie shells at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until starting to sweat. Stir in Cinnamon, cloves and thyme. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes more. Add in the beef, pork, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Toss in the potatoes, carrots and beef stock. Stir and cover. Simmer for 10 -15 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp. Remove from heat.

Remove the 2 unbaked pie shells from the tray and roll them out. These will be used as the top crust on the tourtiere.

Spoon meat mixture evenly between the pre-baked shells. Lay the rolled out pastry on top and crimp the edges. Brush the top with Maple Syrup. Place the pies back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, until the top is golden brown.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps are my husbands favourite. I’ve been making them for several years now, but he still requests them for dinner almost every week. Enjoy!

1 lbs Ground Turkey

2 tbsp. ginger, minced

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

1 C onion, diced

1/2 C water chestnuts, diced

2 tsp Asian five spice

2 tbsp. Tamari (or other soy sauce)

2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce

1 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp Chili flakes (optional)

1 head of Butter lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine also work)

2 Carrots, julienned

1 Red pepper, julienned

1/4C Cashews, chopped and toasted

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in Asian five spice and cook for 1 more minute. Mix in Turkey and cook until no longer pink. Stir in Water chestnuts.

In a small bowl mix together Tamari, Hoisin sauce, Honey and Chili flakes (if using). Add to turkey mixture and cook until heated through.

To serve, spoon mixture on to lettuce leaves. Top with Carrots, peppers, and cashews.

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