Quebec Style Yellow Split Pea Soup

Quebec Style Yellow Split Pea Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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There are many variations of this soup. You will find this in many restaurants, in Quebec, on Fridays. This is a hearty soup with lots of protein. You can half the recipe and it will still serve 6.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb of unsmoked ham hocks
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 4 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 celery rib finely diced
  • 2 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 1/2 cup of dried yellow split peas rinsed and sorted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried savoury
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 6 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Trim off and discard skin from ham hocks.
  2. In a very large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Add carrots, celery and onion. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in dried split peas, bay leaves, savoury and thyme. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in broth, water and ham hocks. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours. Stir regularly until the peas are soft and soup has thickened.
  6. Remove bay leaves.
  7. Remove ham hocks. Take the meat off the bones and shred. Add back to soup and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 445
  • Fat 18 g
  • Sugar 6 g
  • Carbohydrates 39 g
  • Protein 32 g
  • Fibre 16 g

This is a very filling soup. Serve it with country biscuits, if carbs are not an issue and it is a full meal. If you serve it as a side or appetizer, it is thick enough that you don’t need to serve it with anything at all. Ham hocks often come frozen. If you can’t find any, you could use left over ham. Be careful on the salt you add if you use ham. When you come to reheat, you will need to add water or chicken broth. You can also freeze this soup. Like I mentioned at the top you can half the recipe easily and it won’t alter the recipe at all. Just have fun and make it your own.

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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No two recipes for aglio e olio are the same, but this one is pretty true to the classic. The key is roasting the garlic to perfection, a golden brown. If it’s too light, you don’t get the full flavour and if it’s too dark it gets bitter. My advise, do this slowly and you will succeed.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of fresh italian parsley chopped
  • 1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large pasta bowl.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine olive oil and garlic in a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat to slowly toast garlic, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat when the oil starts to bubble and continue to cook until garlic is light brown.
  3. Stir red pepper flakes, salt and pepper into the pasta.
  4. Pour in hot oil and garlic and sprinkle the italian parsley and half the parmesan, toss until well combined.
  5. Serve pasta topped with the remaining parmesan.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 755
  • Fat 35 g
  • Sugar 3 g
  • Carbohydrates 87 g
  • Protein 23 g
  • Fibre 4 g

This is not a recipe to do if you are on a diet. I am a firm believer that everything in moderation’s is ok. You can serve it as a sided and then it’s only a half guilty pleasure. I have the nutritional facts as 4 smallish servings. You can make it quite spicy, you can add toasted pine nuts. Just have fun and make it your own.

Easy Swedish Meatballs

Easy Swedish Meatballs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a quick go to meal that is tasty, easy and impresses guests. I make my own beef meatballs but if you need to save time, you can use thawed frozen meatballs. Whatever works best for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 10 ounces of meatballs

Directions

  1. If you are using fresh meatballs make sure to brown them and cook slowly to make sure they are cook through.
  2. Whisk together stock, cream, flour and spices in a large saucepan over low heat until smooth.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in meatballs, and continue cooking until meatballs are heated through about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 393
  • Fat 32 g
  • Sugar 1 g
  • Carbohydrates 12 g
  • Protein 15 g
  • Fibre 1 g

I make meatballs with extra lean ground beef, panko, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. I use a cookie scoop to make sure meatballs are even. You can make these with ground chicken, ground turkey, pork and beef, venison, whatever your heart desires. If fat content is an issue you can sub heavy cream with whole milk. You will need to add a tbsp of flour to thicken.

By using lean meats, that will help reduce the fat content. What you serve it with will make a difference. I served it on spaghetti squash. Added fibre without adding carbs or many calories. That choice is yours. Basically have fun and make it your own.

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: 24 small cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies that don’t contain any flour, butter, eggs or refined sugar. The dough takes about 5 minutes to prepare. What more could you ask for?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups of quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix applesauce and oats. Mix with a spoon until evenly combined and all oats are moistened.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  5. I used a cookie scoop and made 24 small balls.
  6. Use a spoon or a fork to flatten to approximately 1/2 inch. These cookies will not spread or change shape as they bake.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes depending on thickness. (To know if your cookie is cooked, try to lift the cookie with a spatula. If it lifts easily, they are ready)

Nutrition Per Serving with Splenda

  • Calories 50
  • Fat 3.5 g
  • Sugar 3 g
  • Carbohydrates 5.5 g
  • Protein 1.2 g
  • Fibre 0.9 g

I used chocolate chips as this recipe is not very sweet. You could use just about anything as a fill in. Dried fruit works well, raisins, depending on your nutritional needs or restrictions. A traditional serving would be two cookies. Even with chocolate chips, they are still a good option even for diabetics. Think of how you could change them for Halloween or Christmas. Just have fun with these and make them your own.

Healthy Pineapple Carrot Cake

Healthy Pineapple Carrot Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This healthy carrot cake is a lighter version of the original. It is moist, easy to make and is lower in sugar and has no butter or oil.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (I used splenda 1:1)
  • 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup of finely grated carrots (about 2 large)
  • Pam vegetable spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray Pam on 8×8 ceramic cake pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together egg and applesauce.
  5. Add vanilla, sugar and crushed pineapple. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour dry ingredients into wet and gently mix with a spatula until completely combined.
  7. Stir in carrots until evenly distributed.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 25-35 min until pick comes out clean from centre.
  10. Cut into 12 squares.

Nutrition Per Serving with Splenda


– Calories 55
– Fat 0.55 g
– Sugar 2.8 g
– Carbohydrates 10.1 g
– Protein 2.0 g
– Fibre 1.0 g

Nutrition Per Serving with Sugar


– Calories 94
– Fat 0.55 g
– Sugar 11.3 g
– Carbohydrates 18.6 g
– Protein 2.0 g
– Fibre 1.0 g

This cake is easy to make. The longest part is grating the carrots and making sure that there is no extra protein (the skin off your fingers) as I so often scrape my fingers on the grater.

I’ve given the two versions of nutritional facts with sugar and with Splenda. Even using sugar, a diabetic can have this as the carbs are low and so is the sugar. You can ice it with a cream cheese frosting (let me know if you want the recipe) but it doesn’t even need it. You can sprinkle a little icing sugar for extra sweetness but that is up to you. There are so many possibilities including chocolate chips, or raisins, or even dates that there is no reason you can’t have fun and make it your own.

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Applesauce is often something I have in the house. I’ve learned to buy the little cups as many recipes ask for it but in small quantities. I hate opening a jar and then have half go bad. Here is a recipe that calls for just one of those prepackaged cups of unsweetened applesauce. I’ve given you a couple of options on the fat or sugar content below.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil or applesauce (if you have extra, my nutritional value below is based on oil)
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of white or cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups of white, spelt or oat flour (I used white unbleached flour)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar or sugar substitute (my nutritional value is based on sugar, if using substitute sugar value is 0 g)
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 tsp of baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of allspice (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk liquid ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add remaining dry ingredients to form a batter.
  4. Smooth into a greased 8” square pan.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
  6. Cool, then frost if desired.
  7. Cut into 9 squares.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 130
  • Fat 4.4 g
  • Sugar 7.2 g
  • Carbohydrates 21.6 g
  • Protein 2.8 g
  • Fibre 2.6 g

So as you can see this was really easy. Just because it is low in fat and sugar doesn’t mean it can’t taste good. I made mine with oil but without the sugar. I used splenda 1:1 and it was fine. This also brought the calories down to 102 cal per piece. If you change the oil to applesauce it goes down to 66 and only 0.4 g of fat. You can add raisins, chopped walnuts, even chocolate chips without making it go crazy on calories or sugar. Depends what you are after. You could even ice it, if you really wanted to. I thought it was great plain but now it’s your recipe and have fun and make it your own.

Easy Stroganoff

Easy Stroganoff

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Quite a few people are intimidated by stroganoff. I’ve seen recipes that are tricky, need so many ingredients, and hours of work. Here is a quick, easy, great tasting version that is on your table in just over an hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tbsp of spicy steak spice
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 cup 5% sour cream
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 2 tbsp of non fat half and half cream
  • 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
  • 1 package of extra broad extra large Egg White Noodles (no yolks)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Brown meat in large stock pot on medium. Make sure to crumble meat.
  2. Leave about 1 tbsp of fat and drain the rest.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms. Stir regularly.
  4. Once mushrooms are soft, add the spicy steak spice, beef broth and sour cream.
  5. In a separate bowl, add flour, cream and mix well.
  6. Add to meat mixture.
  7. Simmer for about an hour.
  8. Cook egg noodles per package instructions.
  9. Serve meat mixture over noodles.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 603
  • Fat 10.8 g
  • Sugar 5.9 g
  • Carbohydrates 71.3 g
  • Protein 51.3 g
  • Fibre 4.0 g

This is my version of quick stroganoff. I was at the store and saw the packaged one and thought I could make this and probably a little healthier version. It is really high in protein, so a good meal to have after a hard workout. It reheats well. Serve it with a salad, or veggies, and you have a complete healthy meal. You can change the ground meat to chicken or pork, or even economical round steak sliced thin.

Have fun and make it your own!

Beef and Vegetable Barley Soup

Beef and Vegetable Barley Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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We love soup. What can I say? It can be a side, a main course, comfort food, even a snack. It’s even better when they are easy and you get to use leftovers to make it.

Ingredients


– 1 tbsp of butter
– 1 tbsp of olive oil
– 1 medium onion chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic minced or 5 garlic scapes minced
– 1 carrot thinly sliced
– 3 celery stalks sliced thin
– 1 1/2 – 2 medium zucchini sliced thin
– 1 cup of barley
– 8 to 9 ounces of cooked sirloin steak sliced thin about 1 inch long
– 6 cups of reduced sodium beef broth
– 1 tbsp of Worchestire sauce
– 2 tbsp of Soya Sauce
– 2 tbsp of Diana Sauce or ketchup
– 1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 tbsp of cajun spice

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, over high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, butter and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes until onions are transparent.
  2. Lower heat to medium, add garlic. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, stir until well blended.
  4. Lower heat and let simmer for an hour.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 149
  • Fat 5.1 g
  • Sugar 2.6 g
  • Carbohydrates 17.6 g
  • Protein 7.7 g
  • Fibre 4.0 g

The vegetables are interchangeable. We had steaks the night before and that was the left over. You can sub for inside round which is a cheaper cut. Be sure to cut it against the grain. As a main course, I serve a double serving with a nice salad. Remember that what you put as a veggie, spice, is how you can make this your own. Enjoy and have fun.

Easy Pork Curry

Easy Pork Curry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Did the word easy get your attention? It got mine when I first saw this recipe. Dinner for 6 in 75 minutes, I just had to try it. Turned out pretty good. So here it is.

Ingredients

  • Boneless pork shoulder roast (2 lbs) cut into 1inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (divided)
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can of coconut milk (light)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 4 cups of cooked basmati rice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, over high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes until onions are transparent.
  2. Lower heat to medium, add garlic and ginger. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Add curry powder and stir for 15 seconds.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, coconut milk and chicken stock and stir until well blended.
  5. In a large skillet, over high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and cubed pork, working in batches if necessary. Sear pork on all sides, approximately, 1-3 minutes.
  6. Add pork to curry mixture and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes .
  7. Serve with basmati rice and topped with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 365
  • Fat 16 g
  • Sugar 7.4 g
  • Carbohydrates 20 g
  • Protein 37.2 g
  • Fibre 4.8 g

This was an easy recipe to make. If you are watching your carbs or need to be careful on what carbs you eat that might spike your blood glucose, you might want to switch the basmati rice for brown converted rice, or even a tortilla. The nutritional facts are with basmati rice. You can also make this with the other white meat, chicken.

Have fun and remember to make it your own.

Macaroni Cabbage Salad

Macaroni Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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With summer finally here, macaroni salad seems to be a staple in the summer. Like everything else, if you always make it the same, it becomes predicable and ordinary. I always seem to have extra cabbage in the house so I thought, why not. It will give it a crunch. Also I was short on mayo so I thought I’d do oil and vinegar and lemon juice. Here is the end result.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 head of a medium cabbage sliced really thin
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 4 medium branches of celery chopped
  • 10 oz (uncooked) elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice, fresh preferred but Realemon Lemon Juice is a good substitute
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook elbow macaroni to al dente.
  2. Once pasta is cooked, drain and immediately rinse with cold water until pasta is cool to the touch.
  3. In a very large mixing bowl put cabbage, garlic, onions, carrot, all three peppers, celery and cooled pasta. Mix well.
  4. In a smaller mixing bowl, put vinegar, lemon juice, oil, sugar, chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper and mix very well until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Pour over pasta and vegetable mixture and coat well.
  6. Chill for an hour and serve.

Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories 197
  • Fat 6.3 g
  • Sugar 6.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 30.7 g
  • Protein 4.5 g
  • Fibre 3 g

Pot lucks, picnics, and BBQs just scream for macaroni salad. Well at least they do here. I’ve always worried about it being out too long because of the mayo and feared it would turn bad. This recipe put my mind at ease. Now of course, this is one recipe that you can play with a lot. You have extra avocados, throw that in, it won’t go black because of the vinegar and lemon juice. You want asparagus that you have left over in the fridge, in it goes. Same with broccoli. This is a great way to use up your left over veggies. The only one I would really want to cook is the asparagus (too tough if not cooked).

This recipe screams for you to have fun and make it your own.