Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hoisin Veggie Stir-Fry

assorted veggies
Add whatever veggies you'd like to this stir-fry that's flavoured with hoisin and soy sauce
 Looking for a plant based recipes to try?  This is a fast and easy weekday meal to serve to the family. It's filled with colourful veggies and flavoured with hoisin and soy sauce

Serves 4

tablespoons hoisin Sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon chili paste (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
3 green onions, sliced 
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
Cooked brown rice

In a small bowl combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, vegetable stock, chili paste, sesame seed oil, and cornstarch. Whisk together and set aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger root and garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring. Add remaining vegetables and stir-fry until almost tender about 5 minutes. Add sauce and stir until sauce thickens about 1 minute. Serve over cooked rice.

Veggie Stir-Fry With Brown Rice
Veggie Stir-fry with Hoisin and Soy Sauce

Monday, January 6, 2020

How To Buy Celery

Home grown celery has more flavour then the typical store bought variety

I crunched down on my first bite of celery and was hit with a lively watery texture mixed with a hint of salt. It was good enough for a second bite, then a third and a fourth. The organic celery stick was soon gone.

Celery, you say?  Since when is celery exciting to eat?  When I think of celery the word 'innocuous' comes to mind. It's a vegetable that's like a doormat: it's always there and rarely noticed. Who rushes to the refrigerator in search for a stalk of celery to munch on?  

Growing up, the only way our mother got us kids to eat celery was by dressing it up - stuffed with cheez whiz and a dusting of paprika or peanut butter squeezed between its ribs with raisins placed strategically on top.

It wasn't until I tasted that stick of organic celery that I had a new appreciation for this stringy, hollow, green, stick vegetable. I tried hunting down locally grown celery from the farmers market to replicate my experience. The farmers looked at me like I had broccoli sprouts hanging off my ear lobes when I asked if they grew it. Apparently celery takes a long time to grow: seeds are planted in February and bear fruit in the summer. It has shallow roots so requires constant weeding. It also prefers cool temperatures with lots of water. In other words, it's a pain to grow.

Learning this from the farmer I now have a better appreciation of celery. I think you will too when you try organic celery or celery from a farmer's market. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Celery growing in ground
Celery has a long growing season.

How To Buy Celery 

Celery is a member of the parsley family. Stalks can be eaten raw or used for flavouring in soups and stew-like dishes. Look for firm stalks: avoid limp ones with wilted leaves. With its high water content celery tends to wilt if left at room temperature for too long, so it's best stored in the refrigerator. Home grown celery or organic celery has more flavour than typical store-bought types.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Let's Party With Spicy Pecan Nuts!

Spicy Pecan Nuts

Here’s an easy spicy pecan nut recipe to make when guests come over or you’re invited to friends for dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger, cumin and cayenne and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add nuts, salt, honey and stir to coat well. Transfer to baking sheet and bake 4-5 minutes.

Fun Facts About Nuts!

Did you know nuts are also high in oil and can turn rancid quickly?  It’s best to buy nuts in small quantities where there is a high turnover of stock. Unshelled nuts have a shelf life of 1 year if kept in an air tight container in a dry, cool place. Store shelled nuts in their original package or in an air tight container in the refrigerator or the freezer for 4-6 months.  

Did you know nuts are also high in fat? One ounce of almonds (about 18) equals about 172 calories. In comparison, an egg is about 155 calories and a half an avocado is 130 calories. 

Recipes to The Rescue offers online courses for the everyday home cook that will motivate and inspire you to cook more meals at home.  Check out the Recipes To The Rescue online courses here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing with Sausage

Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing With Sausage
Old Fashioned Turkey Stuffing With Sausage

This is an easy turkey stuffing recipe to make which has sausages!  It's sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s been adapted from the Bon Appétit magazine November 2018. 

Serves 8

1 1/2 pound loaf sourdough bread, sliced in 1“ thick slices and then torn into 1/2”  pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound breakfast sausage
1 cup unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
3 eggs
4 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 300° F. Place bread on 2 baking sheets and bake until dried out, about 25 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let cool.

Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Arrange sausage in a single layer and cook until browned and cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and break into bite-size pieces. Reduce heat to medium and melt 1 cup of butter in skillet. Add onions, fennel and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Toss in herbs.

Increase oven temperature to 350° F. Whisk eggs with 2 cups chicken stock in a small bowl. In a large bowl add bread cubes, cooked sausage, and onion mixture. Add in the chicken stock and egg mixture. Toss. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining 2 cups chicken stock and toss until bread absorbs the liquid, about 8 minutes. Transfer stuffing to a prepared dish, butter a sheet of foil and cover dish with the butter side down.  

Bake until a thermometer in the middle reaches 160° F, about 35-40 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 425° F and continue baking until lightly brown about 25 to 30 minutes.

End the boredom of daily cooking.  
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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle

Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle

A tasty treat to make and munch on during the holidays.

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 cups salted roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir first 3 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until candy thermometer registers 260° F, about 15-25 minutes. Be careful not to let candy thermometer touch the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix in peanuts and butter and cook until thermometer registers 300° F stirring constantly, about 10-12 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla and stir briskly (mixture will foam up).

Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheets, dividing evenly. Spread out brittle as thinly as possible. Let stand until cold and hard. Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. (Can be prepared 1 month ahead.)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Balsamic Vinegar

Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts

I was never a big fan of these little green gems showing up on the Christmas dinner plate because they were always over boiled, soggy and really unappealing. However, roasting them is a game changer. If you haven’t tried it, I’d suggest you give it a go… you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds Brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F.   

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash sprouts and pick off any outer leaves that are brown and wilted. Cut off and discard the base of each sprout. If they’re large cut them in half or quarters.

The goal is to try and have all sprouts the same size so they cook evenly. Add them to a bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Place them on the lined baking tray and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on their size. Serve warm.

Wish to make another veggie dish?  Try cauliflower rice recipe here

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

10 Ways To Snack Smart

Changing Bad Habits

Snacking is contagious. Don’t you agree? Once you start it’s tough to stop. Especially if it’s salty potato chips, greasy french fries or anything with chocolate. Avoiding these treats is tough but doable. Here are a few tips to help you snack smart.  

1.  Just Say No And Don’t Buy The Junk Food  

This is harder to do than you think. But really, if you don’t have the junk food in the house you can’t eat it.

2.  Make Your Own Healthy Smart Snacks

Perhaps it’s a healthy muffin, energy fruit bar, or trail mix. If you make it yourself then you’ll know what ingredients are in it. Often the processed snacks sold at the grocery store are filled with fat, sugar and salt. They also use ingredients we’d never use in our own home cooking such as preservatives, colours and artificial flavours.  

Snack Smart With Homemade Muffins
Home Made Muffins Can Be A Fantastic Smart Snack!

3.  Pre-cut Your Veggies

When you buy veggies from the grocery store, cut them into bite size pieces at home and store them in a nice container in your refrigerator. If it’s easy to grab and eat you won’t miss the chips.  

4.  Try Hummus

Snack Smart With Hummus
Snack On Hummus

Make up a batch of hummus and eat it with your pre-cut veggies. This makes a fantastic snack and will last in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.  

5.  Eat dates   

Try eating a couple of fresh dates. They can be pricey but just a few will give you a big burst of energy.  

6.  Grab an apple  

Grab An Apple

Apples are filled with fibre and water. You’ll be surprised how full you are after eating just one apple.

7.  Drink water  

Often drinking water will satisfy our grumbling tummy. 

8.  Scoop a handful of nuts   

Put a few nuts into a bowl and eat them as a snack. You just need a few nuts to satiate your hunger because they are filled with fibre and fat.

9. Make your own yogurt cup

Yogurt is a great snack. Lots of flavoured yogurts are filled with sugar so purchase plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with a little honey or maple syrup and then add berries on top.

10.  Eat a boiled egg  

Eggs are a fantastic snack. If you boil a few they will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

End the boredom of daily cooking.  
Learn how to meal plan.  It will save you time, money and reduce the stress of meal prep. Sign up for our FREE course, "How To Meal Plan For The Everyday Home Cook."  It's free!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

How To Avoid GMO Foods For The Everyday Home Cook

How To Avoid GMO Foods For Home Cooks
GMO Food Growing In A Field

“You don’t want to buy those strawberries,” says my neighbour with authority. “They’re so perfect they’re GMO strawberries.”

“No they aren’t,” I say politely. “Strawberries are not a GMO food.”

He looks at me with a blank stare, shakes his head as if I’ve just told him that people live on Mars and grow strawberries, and then abruptly changes the subject.

I get it. GMOs are confusing for the everyday home cook and a conversation non-starter. Many food labels proudly claim to be non GMO, which sounds fantastic. But, plenty of everyday home cooks purchase these products without fully understanding what non GMO represents. So to help you make informed decisions at the grocery store here’s a simple explanation about what GMO means and how to avoid them. 

Shreddies Cereal is a Non-GMO Food
Proudly Claiming To Be non GMO, however, wheat is currently not a GMO product

What exactly does GMO mean?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It’s when seeds are altered in a lab for the desired result of a higher crop yield. There are many reasons why GMO seeds were originally produced. These may include: disease and drought resistance, herbicide tolerance or pesticide resistance. The main reason though, is to produce more food and to feed more people.

How are GMO seeds different from normal seeds?

Non GMO seeds evolve naturally. All seeds change over time and new ones are always being developed. Seed producers cross-pollinate different varieties to produce new seeds. For instance, to produce a new carrot seed which is healthier, tastier or perhaps heartier, they’d cross-pollinate different carrot varieties to produce these seeds.

However, developing a GMO seed takes seed production to a new level. The DNA is modified to create totally unique attributes. For instance, the DNA from one species, such as a Basil nut which is resistant to a certain pest, may be injected into a completely different species, such as a soybean. That soybean’s DNA is then modified and it becomes resistant to that specific pest. This results in a new type of soybean, that’s pest resistant and produces a higher yield.

It’s sort of like creating a test tube baby in a lab and changing its DNA using many different donors to get the perfect baby. Only in this case it’s a seed that’s created to grow more food.  

How many GMO seeds are there?

Not many. Here is a current list:

Corn (used to make oil, starch, corn syrup, alcohol)
Sweet corn
Soybean (used to make oil, soy flour, soy portions, lecithin)
Cotton (used to make cotton seed oil)
Squash (zucchini and yellow squash)
Sugar beets (used to make sugar)
Arctic apple (to minimize bruising)

What GMO products are sold at the grocery store?

In the fresh produce department at a grocery store you could possible buy the following GMO foods: edamame, papayas from Hawaii, summer squash, sweet corn, zucchini and Arctic apples. However you won’t know for sure because they won’t be labelled as GMO foods. Canada and the United States do not require foods produced with GMO seeds to be labelled as such.

However, if you purchase produce from a smaller farm it’s highly unlikely to be a GMO food. Producing food with GMO seeds is an expensive process and one that small farms typically cannot afford.

Animals are fed alfalfa and corn feed which often are grown with GMO seeds. So you may be ingesting GMO products indirectly by eating meat protein (beef, chicken or pork), milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and eggs.

Most of the GMO foods you buy from a grocery store are found in processed foods. In fact, up to 80 per cent of processed foods such as prepared meals, baked goods and desserts in the United States will be made with a GMO product.

Farmer in field holding non GMO food
Most GMO foods you buy from a grocery store are found in processed foods.

How will I know which processed foods are prepared with a GMO product?

That’s a tough one because labelling is not required in Canada or in the United States. You have to read the food label. Check to see if any of the above foods mentioned in the GMO list are included, such as cotton seed oil, sugar beets (used as a sweetener), canola oil, or corn syrup (as a sweetener).

Are GMOs bad for me?

It’s controversial. It has not been proven to be harmful to humans or to animals. However, GMO seeds have only been around for about 30 years and the harmful effects of ingesting large quantities of GMO products over a long period of time for both animals and humans has not been largely studied.

But, as I mentioned, processed foods are often made with GMO products. And what is proven is that that eating too much processed foods can lead to health problems. That said, we don’t know if it’s the processed foods that cause the health concerns, the quantity consumed or if the GMO products in the processed foods contribute in some small way. Perhaps it's a little of all.

Why were GMO seeds developed?

They were developed for economical reasons. They produce more crops.

Should GMO foods be labeled?

I think so. Sixty-four countries around the world including Australia, Japan, and EU countries require GMO labeling. Canada and the USA do not. I personally feel it would be nice to know if the food I buy has been produced with a GMO seed.


That's a brief explanation and hopefully after reading this short article you’ll understand better what GMO means and how to avoid purchasing GMO foods at the grocery store. And the next time you see a perfect strawberry in the produce department and someone tells you it must a GMO strawberry you’ll know what to say.

If you’re bored with your daily cooking and would like to eat better, then planning ahead is the only way to go. Sign up for our free course, "How To Meal Plan For The Everyday Home Cook,"  and reduce the boredom of everyday cooking.  It's free!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins

I love cranberries and tend to buy too many when they appear on the shelves at this time of year.  Hence the reason I try to find recipes with....you guessed it...lots of cranberries.

Here's a muffin recipe with cornmeal.  It's a nice blend of flavours and textures.

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins
Cornmeal Muffins

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup yogurt, plan, nonfat
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coarsely chop cranberries in food processor, set aside.  Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, milk, butter and egg and blend.  Add to dry ingredients, mix until just combined.  Fold in cranberries.  Spoon into muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups.  Bake until golden and tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Other Cranberry Recipes:
Cranberry loaf
Cranberry Loaf
Cranberry muffins
Cranberry Muffins
Cranberry Crumble With Fall Fruit

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Curried Chickpea - A Vegetarian Meal

Curried Chickpea

A fast and simple vegetarian meal that the whole family will love.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder 
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 large potato, peeled and minced
1 28 fl oz can tomatoes with juice
1 can (19 fl oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

cooked rice

In a large saucepan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, ginger, onion and saute 7 minutes or until soft.  Add curry powder, ground cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and saute 1 minute.  Add potato, tomatoes and chickpeas.  Simmer, stirring frequently for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.  Add peas and cook 5 more minutes.  Serve over cooked rice with cilantro sprinkled on top.

Take the stress out of preparing dinner every night for you family and learn how to meal plan.  Sign up for our FREE course, "How To Meal Plan For The Everyday Home Cook."  It's Free!