Maple Glazed Salmon

1/4 c. maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot, if desired
1 1/4-pound salmon fillet
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Mix all ingredients except salmon and green onions.

Cut salmon fillet into 4 serving pieces. Place fish in shallow glass or plastic dish. Drizzle marinade over fish reserving about 1/4-cup marinade to serve over cooked fish.

Refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Cooking – Oven Method: Heat oven to 400°. Remove fish from marinade; set aside marinade. Place fish in baking dish. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, basting occasionally with marinade, until fish flakes easily with fork.

Variation – BBQ Method

Grilled Maple-Glazed Salmon: Instead of baking, place on grill rack, cover and grill fish 5 to 6 inches from medium coals 4 minutes. Turn fish; brush with marinade; cover and grill about 4 minutes longer or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork.

To serve, drizzle reserved 1/4-cup marinade over fish; top with green onions.

Adapted from Green Mountain Spa

Snow, Snow Everywhere

Drifts outside our house after a snowstorm

I rarely shovel snow anymore; I generally leave the task to my husband, or like our city, rely on Chinooks (a weather phenomenon:  http://www.theweathernetwork.com/index.php?product=glossary&pagecontent=glossaryindex&pagecontent=chinook) to do it for me.  We also have neighborhood kids that come around and offer to shovel for $5.00.  Works for me.

Here are some tips for shoveling snow that are useful for all who shovel, chronic pain or not.  I asked my friend Patti  at http://calgaryoccupationaltherapist.ca/ to help with some tips; she contributed most of these.

  • take frequent breaks
  • use a snow blower if you can afford one
  • schedule a time for shoveling when you have time to rest following the activity
  • delegate when possible or hire someone if you can afford to
  • stretch before shoveling – warm up the muscles
  • practice pushing light amounts of snow first to warm up
  • choose the right shovel for you, i.e. choosing too a shovel that is too big may result in you having to push and lift too much snow at a time; too small a shovel will make the job take much longer
  • wear appropriate footwear that provides good grip and support – you don’t want to slip
  • use a broad grasp on the shovel with your hands shoulder width apart
  • add sand or salt to increase speed of melting or to provide extra traction
  • use your leg muscles and bend at the knees rather than mostly using your back muscles
  • avoid twisting when tossing the snow; position yourself so you toss the snow straight in front of you

My tip?  Move to a locale where you never have to shovel snow again.

Great Morroccan Garbanzo Salad

2/3 c. each quinoa and millet

1 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 stalk celery, chopped

2-3 green onions, sliced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 pepper, chopped

1/2 c. raisins

Dressing

Combine in a covered container:

1/4 c. oil

1/2 c. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. each garlic powder, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper

1 T. liquid honey

Rinse millet and quinoa.  Bring 1 1/3 c. water to a boil, add millet and quinoa.  Lower heat to medium and cook, uncovered, about 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.   Put in a bowl with the vegetables and raisins.  Add dressing, stir to combine.  Chill in the fridge several hours.  Makes about 4- 6 servings.

Meatless Monday: Dutch Banana Baby

Bananas carmelizing in the frying pan with margarine, sugar, and spices.

Also called German Pancakes, these are baked in the oven and served with either fresh squeezed lemon, butter and powdered sugar, or fruit toppings and syrup.

I’ve got a touchy tummy today (and apparently a fondness for alliteration) so I’ve made this for lunch. Adapted from a recipe in my Vitamix book.

Grease a 9″ pie plate. Preheat oven to 400F.
Saute the following in a frying pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes until everything melts and the sugar browns:
4 firm-ripe bananas, sliced
2 T. margarine
1.4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg

Place into the prepared pie pan.

Combine in a blender or by hand:
3 eggs
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. milk or dairy-free milk
1 T. reduced fat sour cream or yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour over the banana mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with any of the above mentioned accompaniments.  Also awesome with sliced apples instead of the bananas.

Cole Slaw Plus

Combine in a large bowl:

1 Bag Cole Slaw mix

1 can pineapple chunks, drained [reserve ¼ c. of the juice]

Approximately ¼ c. each of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds (toast in a frying pan sprayed with Pam on medium til they start to brown)

¼ c. each dried cranberries and raisins

Cole Slaw Dressing:

Combine in a small bowl and add to cole slaw mixture.
Approximately ½ c. mayonnaise (fat-free or low-fat)

¼ c. milk

Little bit of the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple

½ tsp Celery Seed

Makes a fairly large salad.  Substitute nuts such as sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts, for the seeds.

The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever

Cookies Cooling on the Counter

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are my husband’s favorite cookie. I love these ones because they are low in sugar – the sweetness mostly comes from the raisins. These do not last long at our house.
Adapted from http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2010/11/27/homemade-marshmallow-peeps/

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
a good shake of cinnamon
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/3 cup coconut (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat the butter, oil, brown sugar and cinnamon until creamy; beat in the egg ad vanilla.

Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir until almost combined; add the raisins or other dried fruit and stir just until blended. Drop large blobs on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until set around the edges but still soft in the middle.

Makes 1 – 1/2-2 dozen cookies.

Hamburger Soup

Outside our front door

The weather outside is truly frightful.  -30C with the windchill. Goody.  Cold can make my chronic pain flare, in part from the “shoulder hunch” – you know the look, shoulders hanging off the ears to ward off the chill. A drafty house doesn’t help.   I’ve moved my laptop in front of the fireplace.

Here’s a go-to soup we make often.  We’ve taken it on winter car picnics like the time we went to visit the ice sculptures at Lake Louise, Alberta.  A thermos of soup, a thermos of hot chocolate  and some buns were our repast that day.  We also take it in our RV in the summer (made ahead) for our first night when we’re busy getting set up at our campsite.  It makes a fast, filling supper or lunch, requiring only buns to complete the meal.  Great for potlucks too.

1 lb. lean or extra lean ground beef, browned

2 large cans Habitat vegetable or minestrone soup

Combine in a large pot and heat until steamy.  Serves about 4.

Curried Quinoa Salad

1 cup raw quinoa (2 cups cooked)
3/4 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1 T. dried
2 T. curry powder
1/4 cup rice or other vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
2  tsps. ginger – either ground or pureed

 

Prepare quinoa (see below). In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, dried apricots, green onions, walnut pieces and cilantro.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together curry powder, rice vinegar, canola oil and ginger until combined. Drizzle over quinoa mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

 

To prepare quinoa: Rinse one cup of quinoa thoroughly in a strainer under water (if you don’t rinse it thoroughly, it will taste bitter). Shake off excess water. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover saucepan with a tight lid and reduce temperature to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed.

 

While quinoa is cooking, you can toast the walnuts and slice the dried apricots and green onions.  To toast walnuts easily, place in a frying pan over medium heat that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook stirring occasionally until walnuts are browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

 

Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Cheese

I absolutely love my Vitamix blender; it is the bomb! I am able to make, and heat, cheese sauces in it. No more burning the milk on the stove. I highly recommend buying one, but they are expensive. Here is a simple cheese sauce recipe (adapted from the Vitamix recipe book) that can be blended, thickened and heated in the Vitamix. Add to 2 cups cooked macaroni and mix thoroughly.

1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. milk

Dash of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, oregano and cayenne pepper.
Place all ingredients in the Vitamix and blend on high for 3 – 4 minutes or until heavy steam comes out of the vents (mixture will thicken as it heats.)  Remove lid plug and add 1 cup cubed Cheddar or other cheese through this opening. Blend another minute.

The result is Comfort Food Yum!

Easy Thai Soup or Salad

I haven’t had this for a meal for a long time but sure enjoyed it today.
1 package Thai Kitchen Rice Noodle Soup
About 1 cup frozen vegetables
Chopped leftover cooked chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu

Bring 2 cups water to a boil; add noodles, seasoning packets and frozen vegetables and cook approximately 3 minutes. Stir in leftover protein and let it heat a bit. Pour into a bowl and enjoy.

You can also eat this as a salad by cooking the noodles according to package directions, then draining and rinsing them with cold water. Add seasoning package, fresh vegetables and protein and a little olive oil and lemon juice, or salad dressing of your choice. Serves one.