Recipes: December 2012 Archives

Inexpensive healthy meals

Lia Kurylo of the Atco Blue Flame Kitchen in Edmonton has some great ideas for creating healthy and inexpensive meals for the family:

  • Peanut Butter Wraps
  • Quick Ravioli and Beans
  • Tuna, Tomato and White Bean Salad
  • Penne with Lentil Sauce
  • Really Lazy Cabbage Rolls
  • Spicy Sausage and Bean Soup


Courtesy of ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen



1/2 cup (125 mL) peanut butter

4 flour tortillas (8 inch/20 cm)

1/4 cup (50 mL) strawberry jam or fruit spread

2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced bananas

1/4 cup (50 mL) granola

Spread peanut butter evenly over tortillas, leaving a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) border. Spread jam over peanut butter and top with bananas. Sprinkle with granola. Tightly roll up each tortilla jelly-roll fashion. Serve immediately or wrap individually and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Serves 4.


1 tbsp (15 mL) oil

3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 pkg (300 g) fresh cheese ravioli

2 cups (500 mL) diced tomatoes

1 can (14 oz / 398 mL) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 tsp (2 mL) thyme, crumbled

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook ravioli according to package directions; drain. Add ravioli, tomatoes, beans, thyme, salt and pepper to frypan. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.


2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon peel

1/4 tsp (1 mL) basil, crumbled

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

2 cups (500 mL) halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced green onion

3 tbsp (40 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (170 g) chunk light tuna, drained

Lettuce leaves

To prepare dressing, whisk together first 7 ingredients (lemon juice through pepper) until blended.

Combine tomatoes, green onion, parsley, beans and tuna in a bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Place lettuce leaves on individual serving plates. Top with salad. Serves 3 - 4.


2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onion

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped celery

1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped carrot

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp (10 mL) cumin

1 can (28 oz / 796 mL) diced tomatoes

1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) lentils, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

3 cups (750 mL) penne pasta, cooked and drained

1 cup (250 mL) shredded feta cheese

To prepare lentil sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin; saute for 1 minute. Add next 6 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Toss lentil sauce with hot cooked penne. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4.


1 tbsp (15 mL) oil

1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground beef

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 can (14 oz / 398 mL) tomato sauce

1 3/4 cups (425 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) long grain rice

1 tsp (5 mL) chicken or beef bouillon mix

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg

6 cups (1.5 L) coleslaw mix

Light sour cream

Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add beef, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring to break up beef, until browned, about 7 - 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Stir in next 8 ingredients (tomato sauce through nutmeg). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is thickened. Sprinkle half of coleslaw mix over bottom of a greased 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking dish. Spoon half of beef mixture over coleslaw mix and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining coleslaw mix. Spread remaining beef mixture over top. Bake, covered, at 350ºF (180ºC) for 1 hour or until bubbly and heated through. Serve with sour cream. Serves 6.

Cook's Note: If desired, 2 cans (10 oz/284 mL each) tomato soup may be substituted for the tomato sauce in this recipe. If using tomato soup, reduce water to 1 cup (250 mL).


2 cans (19 oz / 540 mL each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups (500 mL) water

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 lb (0.5 kg) hot Italian sausages, casings removed

1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup (50 mL) tomato paste

5 cups (1.25 L) canned chicken broth

1 tsp (5 mL) rosemary, crumbled

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes

2 cups (500 mL) small shell pasta

1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine 1 can of chickpeas and water in a blender. Puree until smooth; set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, stirring to break up sausages, until browned, about 7 - 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Add onion and garlic to pan; saute for 2 minutes. Stir in pureed chickpeas and tomato paste. Add remaining chickpeas, broth, rosemary, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. May be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Reheat soup before proceeding. Add pasta and simmer, uncovered, for 10 - 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese and parsley. Ladle soup into bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 - 8.

Cook's Note: Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.


Holiday Punch

Food writer Karen Anderson has a great recipe for a beverage to serve to guests over the holidays.


Karen's Cracker Jack Apple Punch

A new punch line - a quick recipe for something to welcome your guests with and liven up the party

1 - 1.89L bottle soft apple cider (I love the organic one made by Blush Lane)

1 ½ c Calvados - apple brandy

1 bottle sparkling wine

10 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged or Angostura bitters

Dash cinnamon or grated nutmeg

1 iced ring of apple slices - water and one green and one red apple.

Combine all of the above in a punch bowl.

Note: Make the apple ice ring ahead by cutting a green and red apple in slices and laying them in a circle in the bottom of a Bundt cake pan. Add enough water so they stay in place but don't float. Freeze them in place and then add more water to make a nice sized ring. Pour hot water over the outside of the pan and release the ring into the punch bowl when it is time for your guests to arrive.



Food columnist Mary Bailey has a great recipe for roasted turkey using sausage and kale. She also includes a traditional recipe for stuffing. 

Roasted Turkey Breast with Sausage and Kale Stuffing

1 boneless turkey breast (about 7 pounds), trimmed and butterflied

sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper

Sausage and Kale Stuffing

1T extra-virgin olive oil

3 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed*

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 med bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped

1/4 c water

1/4 c chopped dried cranberry or raisins

2 toasted pine nuts

handful panko crumbs

1 T coarsely chopped fresh sage

½ t fennels seed (optional)

sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper

Heat 1tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage, breaking up large pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl. Pour out extra fat, leaving about a T in the pan.

Add garlic to skillet. Cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add kale and water. Cook until kale wilts and is almost completely cooked, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels, squeezing out excess water.

Add kale, raisins, pine nuts, sage, and panko crumbs to bowl with sausage. Season. Transfer to a cutting board, and chop finely. Transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate until ready to use.

1 T extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove skin from turkey; reserve.

Place turkey breast, skinned side down, on a cutting board. Spread halves of breast apart so breast opens like a book. Release tenders (strips of meat) from breast. With a sharp knife, slice through thickest part of each breast half, creating flaps that you can open to create a more uniform thickness.

Cover turkey with plastic wrap. Gently pound to an even thickness (about 3/4 inch thick) using a meat mallet. Remove plastic. Season

Spread stuffing over surface of breast in an even layer.

Tightly roll turkey breast, starting from your left side, to enclose stuffing. Center reserved skin over top of roast, and wrap turkey tightly, smoothing skin out over meat to remove any air pockets beneath skin. Using a few short lengths of kitchen twine, tie roast at 3 or 4 evenly spaced intervals to keep skin from coming loose. Rub oil over skin, and season generously with salt and pepper.

Transfer turkey, seam side down, to a large roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes.

To serve: Let the stuffed turkey breast rest for at least ten minutes before you carve.


Classic turkey stuffing  

Classic stuffing recipes are variations on the theme of butter, celery and onions, herbs and seasonings and bread.

1/2 c butter

1 large bunch celery chopped including leaves

4 large onions chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed        

1/4 cup poultry seasoning (or sage, parsley and thyme)

 2 T dry sherry or dry white wine

1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock (approx) 

salt and pepper

2 loaves dry bread, torn into cubes.

Melt butter in a large saute pan, and add onions, celery, garlic  and seasoning. Let cook, without browning, for about 15-20 minutes until most of the moisture is gone and the vegetables are very soft. Add sherry, stir, add stock, stir, season generously with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Pour over bread cubes and mix lightly. Check for seasoning. Let cool. (Stuffing can be made the day before and refrigerated, covered, overnight.) Makes about six cups of stuffing.