Crock Pot Beef and Parsnip Stew over Greens

I have a confession to make, a few months ago I decided to start eating healthier and reduced my intake of carbs and started working out. I was so happy as I was feeling great and seeing results. But yet again life got in the way and derailed me. I get stuck in this pattern every time. I set out with such determination to change my life and finally lose the weight and it lasts for maybe a month. I have no will power and sadly neither does my husband so we always seem to derail our healthy goals. I keep thinking that I must not really want it badly enough if I keep failing at it but I know that isn’t true. I do want to be healthier and to not pass on my bad habits to my daughter. What is annoying is that the reason I keep falling off the wagon isn’t because I don’t enjoy eating healthy. I actually would often choose some of the healthier meals when given a choice, it is all down to time and money. Cutting out carbs increased our family budget quite a bit. We found that our portion sizes had to be a bit larger in order to feel full and eating that much fresh veggies just ended up costing more. But I know the cost of my health is far greater then the financial cost of buy more produce. I am not entirely sure what it is going to take to make these changes permanent as I have been a yoyo health eater for years now. But yet again I am climbing back on to the wagon. I stared off the week with this stew, similar to a stroganoff, and served it over a bed of greens from my garden. It was yet another reminder how good and filling healthy food can be. Lets hope this time I stick with it. I will let you know how my progress is going over the weeks. Maybe talking about it more on here will keep me accountable.

Crock Pot Beef and Parsnip Stew over Greens

178mL (3/4 c.) beef stock
500g (1 lb) steak, cubed
1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil cooking spray
320g (2 c.) cubed peeled parsnips
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
400g (3/4 lb) mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp cornstarch
500g (20 ounces) greens, (spinach, curly kale, turnip greens)
4 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil

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Pea Soup #SundaySupper

This week’s Sunday Supper theme is about a subject that has become very near and dear to my heart, Farmers Markets and Local Food. Over the past few years I have really been trying to focus on this idea of eating locally sourced food. Even in my business I only source my meat from local farms and am currently searching for a good locally source for my cheese. I believe one of the ways we can make our own part of the world better and stronger economically is by supporting local business’.

Today I am sharing a recipe that uses a vegetable that is used a lot in my house because it is my daughter’s favourite vegetable, fresh peas. Now I almost hesitate saying peas are her favourite because she only likes them fresh. If you give her frozen peas or peas from a can she wouldn’t touch them. I have 30 pea plants growing in the garden this year and while they have produced a lot of peas my husband and I haven’t been able to eat any of them because my daughter goes out into the garden and eats them off the plant. And since it is such a healthy food I don’t have the heart to scold her. So instead I bought some fresh peas from our local market.

I am also a proud stall holder at our local market on Saturday’s so I make an even bigger effort these days to buy from my friends on the market. I am excited to see what everyone else in the Sunday Supper crew has come up with not just because I love food but because I love seeing what ingredients are in season around the world.

Pea Soup

15mL (1 Tbsp) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped
450g (15 oz) shelled peas (about 1.2kg of pods) plus 5 pods
750ml (3 1/4 c.) water (or vegetable stock if you’re omitting the bacon)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Small bunch of mint, chopped and creme fraiche, to serve
recipe from The Guardian

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Bacon Cheese Burger Soup #SundaySupper

This week was meant to be my week to get caught up a bit on life. I am working two part time jobs at the moment, well I say part time, one of them is my freelance work and that can vary with how much work comes so sometimes it feels more like I am working a full time job while juggling a part time one. But this week I was off from my part time job and I really thought things would be looking up with more time to get caught up with life. But sadly that just wasn’t how it went, my freelance work piled up on me and yet again the rest of the house and life seemed to get pushed to the side and forgotten. And to top it off, this week has been a major stressful work week for my husband.

What do you do at the end of a very stressful week?

When we were living in Texas we had this pub down the street that had the best burgers and our favourite beers. It was our bad week retreat. But these days having a toddler and trying to save money and eat out less means that having guilty treats like that for bad weeks doesn’t work so well. So instead we opted for hubby picking up some beers and I gave my Bacon Cheese Burger Soup idea a try. It was amazing!

Coming from such a healthy weekend last week this might seem like a calorie loaded meal but hey everything in moderation, right? This soup has all the goodness of a burger in a warming soup form. And after the rough work week it turned out to be a perfect substitute for our pub burger and beer night.

This week Sunday Supper is all about soup. While I do love soup all year round I go a bit soup mad during winter because there is just something about soup that warms you from the inside out on the cold winter days. My thing with soup is it is so easy to throw together a soup that there really is no excuse for tinned soup. So if you have found yourself stuck in a boring soup rut you need to check out the amazing recipes the Sunday Supper crew have put together, we have more then 40 ideas to hopefully last you the rest of the winter.

Bacon Cheese Burger Soup

500g (1 lb) minced beef
1 Tbsp worcester sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 rashers of bacon
1 onion, chopped
31g (1/4 c.) flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
120mL (1/2 c.) cream
960mL (4 c.) chicken stock
125g (3/4 c.) carrots, diced
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
113 (1 c.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

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Potato & Savoy Cabbage Soup with Bacon

Here the days are still pretty cold and dark so we still look for warm comfort meals. I don’t know about you but I tend to stick to the same soups every winter and after a while that can get boring. We do love them but it can get a bit monotonous. So this winter I have tried to challenge myself a bit more with soup and the results have been fabulous. Interestingly enough without planning it that way all of my new experimental soups have included bacon, I have already shared my Lentil and Bacon soup and I am really excited about a new one that I will be sharing at the end of this month, but I am keeping that one a surprise for now. What can I say, I am a recent bacon convert so I am a little bacon obsessed. This potato and cabbage soup with bacon is so unique and hearty without making you feel sluggish afterward. So you don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying the wonderful bacon.

Potato & Savoy Cabbage Soup with Bacon

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stick

2 garlic cloves
200g (8oz) Savoy cabbage

1 Tbsp olive oil
550g (3 1/2 c.) floury potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 L (4 /1/4 c.) chicken or vegetable stock

8 rashers streaky bacon

adapted from BBC GoodFood

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Tarka Dhal

Sorry for the long silence. Between getting sick and starting a second job I just haven’t had the time to sit down and blog as much as I would like. I am hoping this week to start carving out more time to dedicate to the blogging world so I can get back into things. This post accidentally went out on Thursday minus any images and after I discovered it went out I quickly took it down. So now I am over due it to you so here we go.

A few weeks ago someone asked if anyone had some good Indian Curry recipes, I thought to myself ‘Oh of course I do, I make curry a few times a month’. But then I looked through my posts and I realized I didn’t have as many as I thought I did. Shame on me.

Curry is the national dish of in England and it is a cuisine that we love and enjoy every month. So I am rectifying the lack of good Indian curry dishes with this fantastic lentil curry, Tarka Dhal. I never knew how much I could love lentils until I tried my first lentil curry, which admittedly wasn’t Indian but Malaysian. When I was 14 we went to Malaysia and I was first introduced to lentil curry. I had only eaten one type of curry dish up until that point but I discovered curry is so much more then just one dish. I have to admit I had no idea how vast the curry world was. The possibilities are endless, there are sweet curries, spicy curries, creamy curries, tomato based curries, vegetable curries, meat curries, I really could go on. If I posted a curry recipe every day I probably wouldn’t run out of unique recipes to share after several months. I could almost guarantee that if you don’t like curry there is probably a curry out there for you. Different cultures have their own versions and their own mixture of spices. I was recently introduced to North African curries and now have a new culinary cuisine that I can’t live without.

One of the wonderful things about a Dhal curry (lentil curry) is they are very cheap to make. I keep all of these ingredients on hand so recipes like this make their way into my kitchen frequently when my budget is at its tightest. This recipe was a new one for my to try and I have to admit I was slightly confused by some of the original instructions and I had to make a few changes to match what I had on hand. I am a bit confused by the original recipe’s instructions for what you do with the chillies. The result is a bit strange of a process and I am not sure what it adds but I will say this tasted wonderful so I guess in the end that is all that matters. Right?

Tarka Dhal

250g (1 1/2 c.) red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
1 litre (4 1/4 c.) water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife (my chillies were large so I just added 2)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Adapted from BBC Food

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