Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Tequila Turkey

Back in the day, I made just about everything posted by Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. It's all completely non-compliant for me, but if you feel the need for a cheat day, make her steak with blue cheese cream sauce. I made it for myself on my birthday, and it was amazing.

I used to make this dish regularly in its original form with chicken. Now, I substitute turkey and omit the hot peppers, but it still tastes great.

Tequila Lime Turkey (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)


  • 3 whole limes, juiced 
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup tequila (I used Jose Cuervo)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil 
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets


  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a food processor (or chop what needs chopping by hand) and marinade the turkey breasts overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook, fire up your grill and let em rip. And by that, I mean cook for 10 minutes per side.
  3. Serve with salsa, pico de gallo, and/or mixed salad. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Are They Real?

Of course they are!

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been asked by a few people whether I actually make the food on my blog. Since I haven't taken many pictures, it's easy to assume I would just adapt things I've seen around, and then post them.

I make everything you see on this blog. Often, I make it more than once to try different variations and get things just right. This is why I sometimes go for long periods without posting - because I'm in the midst of recipe development. My process is to try everything at the same time and come up with a gem of goodness that works its way into my rotation. I don't stick with one thing and keep at it until it's perfect. That would be boring.

I have some more adaptations to post in the coming days that I have already drafted, and then you'll start to see more things with pictures. I have a small digital camera in my kitchen, and I've been using it while making dinner most nights. It's been pretty fun for me, and you'll all be able to see what I do, step by step.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Turkey Burgers with Pear Salad

Are you ready for... the Umami Burger?!

It's a meat burger with beautiful Vietnamese flavours. The original recipe can be found here, and I've modified it o make it more BTD friendly. This is not a 100% compliant burger because of the fish sauce (anchovies), but it just tastes so darn good that I can overlook the small deviation from the diet.

As for the original recipe from, I'm not keen on sauces with meat, so I made a pear fruit salad, which really involved grilling pears and pineapple and adding them to a salad of tossed greens and some walnuts.

Ingredients - Burger

  • 2 lbs ground turkey (mixed breast and thigh)
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp honey or agave
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions - Burger

  1. Mix all ingredients together and let sit for at least 20 mins. The longer, the better.
  2. Form into patties and grill. I grill mine for about 10 mins per side.
  3. Serve with salad. What salad? This salad!

Ingredients - Salad

  •  2 pears, chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 a pineapple, chopped into large chunks
  • small handful of basil and parsley, minced
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • skewers for grilling

Directions - salad

  1.  Combine all ingredients together (except skewers) and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Thread the fruit onto skewers and cook on the grill with your burgers.
  3. Combine the grilled fruit with mixed greens, lemon juice and olive oil. Top with walnuts for some crunch. 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Indian Dish

Or, Dahl done another way. The original recipe here called for chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), which I can't eat, so I substituted lentils. I have a had huge success making Dahl, so I used the spice mix from this dish with the technique of making Red Lentil Dahl, and a beautiful new recipe was born!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 average size broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 pineapple, cut into small pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 1 ¼ cup red lentils 
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 2 Bay Leaves 
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish) 
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream (for garnish)

  • 3 tbsp of Mustard Seeds 
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin 
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds 
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder 
  • 1 tsp of Ground Cinnamon 


  1. Toast the spices (not the cinnamon) in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet, cool, and then crush into a fine powder with the cinnamon. I used my spice grinder in this case, and it worked great.
  2. Heat the oil in the same large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions for 3-4 min or until translucent. 
  3. Add garlic and ginger and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add spices and salt and sauté 3-4 minutes more. 
  4. Add lentils, vegetable stock and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 20 min. 
  5. Add broccoli and pineapple and stir to combine. Add lime juice and some water if it looks too thick. 
  6. Simmer 5 minutes more or until lentils are tender and broccoli has softened, but still has some bite and colour. Garnish with cilantro and some plain yogurt or sour cream. 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Veggie Quiche

Oh how I love me some eggs! Quiche, frittata, omelette - whatever you like, it's eggs cooked with savory goodness, and it's awesome for any meal of the day.

This quiche doesn't have a crust. The original calls for baking the quiche in one big pan, which works, but I wanted cute little quiches, so I put mine in muffin tins. Not a bad plan, and they looked cute, but I destroyed my muffin tins because I forgot to grease them first. So word to the wise, grease your bakeware!


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 onion, fine dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 large handfuls of fresh spinach or kale (if using kale, cut into small pieces and remove the ribs)
  • olive oil for sauteing and greasing
  • salt
  • mixed herbs of your choice (parsley, oregano, etc)
  • feta cheese, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat  your oven to 400F.
  2. Saute onion, garlic, and broccoli over medium heat for a few minutes with a pinch of salt, just to get them a little soft.
  3. If using kale, add it with the other veggies, if using spinach, wait until the veggies are soft, turn the heat off, and add it at the end, mixing until it's wilted.
  4. While the veggies are doing their thing, scramble the eggs with a splash of water (makes them fluffy), a pinch of salt, and your chopped herbs.
  5. Grease the muffin tins, then all the veggies to the tins first. Fill the tins about 1/2 way up. I got about 8 standard-size muffin tins filled with veggies.
  6. Add the eggs! Just pour them in until they come close to the top, but not all the way up. They will puff up while cooking.
  7. Sprinkle each one with a little feta cheese.
  8. Pop in the oven for about 15 mins, or until the tops are brown.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Curried Turkey Broccoli Soup

So I was really skeptical about this one, but since it combines a bunch of things I love, I decided to give it a shot.

You know what? It's good! Really good!

And a very pretty colour, don't you agree?


  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • about 1/2 lb of chopped turkey breasts
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil (about two table spoons)
  • 1 cup of crushed walnuts
  • 1 medium size bowl of grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When it's good and hot, add the turkey and some salt and sear the outside. We're looking to get it brown, not necessarily cook it all the way through. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the turkey to a plate and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add onion and garlic with a pinch of salt. Let everything cook down for about 5 minutes, then add spices. Let the spices cook for about a minute, then add the broccoli and mix. Let that cook for a minute or two, then add the soy milk.
  4. Reduce heat to low and let everything cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off the heat and grab your immersion blender and blend til everything is nice and, well, blended. It will look like a mint green smoothie.
  6. Add the meat back in and turn the heat back on. Cook on medium for another 5-10 minutes to get everything nicely mixed. Add the lemon juice to give it some zip and check for seasonings.
  7. Serve with grated carrots and walnuts for garnish.
Yes, that's a giant bag of red lentils in the background. I lurve me some lentils. :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Portobello Pizza

I've made stuffed mushroom caps before, but this was much better. The only reason it is remotely in the realm of "pizza" is because of the shape: this is wheat-free, and very pretty when served with a salad.


  • 1 package large portobello mushrooms (mine had about 8 caps)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 handfuls of spinach or kale (I used spinach) 
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 leek, fine dice
  • 1 onion, fine dice
  • fresh basil
  • fresh parsley
  • winter and summer savory 
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • feta cheese, crumbled 


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
  2. Clean the mushroom caps by scraping the ribs out with a spoon and discarding the stems. Put them on a cookie sheet.
  3. Heat up a large skillet and add some olive oil. Saute the onion, leek and garlic with a good pinch of salt until they are soft, about 8 mins.
  4. Give the herbs a rough chop and add to the pan, letting the mixture cook for another minute.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the spinach and lemon. The residual heat will wilt the spinach. Keep mixing until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Spoon some of the mix into each mushroom cap. I used a tablespoon measure and got about 2 Tbsp per cap, give or take. Crumble some feta cheese on each cap and pop in the oven to brown for about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with salad for a lovely summer meal.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Whiskey Grilled Salmon

This recipe started life as Whiskey Grilled Pork with Couscous from Since I can't eat pork, I substituted salmon because of its robust flavour. Now, hard liquor is also forbidden, but since we have a bunch of it that we can't drink, I use it in marinades. All the alcohol burns off when you cook it, anyway.

This tastes kind of like whiskey BBQ sauce, even though it doesn't have tomatoes or vinegar. Somehow, whiskey just lends itself to grilled meats. It's tough for me to describe, but suffice it to say this is delicious.


2 Tbsp whiskey (I used Rye, being Canadian and all)
2 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Splash of soy sauce
2-4 salmon filets


Combine the first four ingredients and let the salmon marinade in the yummy mixture for at least two hours, if not overnight.

Fire up your BBQ and grill for about 4 minutes per side.

I served this with a plain tossed salad, but it would work beautifully with rice, couscous, or quinoa as well.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Homage to BodyRock week!

This week I decided to adapt recipes from one of my favourite sites, I found Bodyrock in 2009 when looking for bodyweight workouts. I've drifted away from the site in favour of heavy weightlifting, but now I've gotten back into bodyweight and the Bodyrock community in a big way.

In addition to workouts, there is a big section featuring recipes! You can't out-train a bad diet, and they have great recipes, including reader contributions, full of flavour and nutrition.

Here are the recipes I used for one week of meal planning (my adaptations to follow in future posts):

Recipe For Whiskey Grilled Pork And CousCous 
Delicious & Healthy Pizza Recipe
Broccoli Cream Turkey Breast Soup 
Healthy Veggie Quiche Recipe – Pre Workout Meal 
Our Anniversary Dinner Recipe – Indian Dish 
Tasty Chicken With Pear Sauce

The recipe names are exactly as labeled on the site - no, I haven't lost my mind and started eating chicken and pork again. I substituted turkey for chicken, and salmon for pork, which turned out way better than I expected.

Monday, 4 July 2011

A New Look

Hi everyone,

I changed the layout a touch. I decided it was time for some sprucing up (read: a better background image).

That is all.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Spanish beans

Back in the days before the BTD, I had a love affair with chorizo. I still love chorizo, but I don't eat it as regularly as I used to because it's a) pork, and b) smoked. All the same, if you love chorizo, I definitely recommend adding it to the bean recipe, below. Although this dish is great without any added meat, the chorizo puts it over the top.

Spanish Beans (inspired by Epicurious


  • 1 onion, diced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (about 1 tsp)  
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 2 cans (19oz) Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Small handful of parsley, minced 
  • 4-6 sprigs of winter and/or summer savory, leaves removed and minced
  • 2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach (or more if you wish)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Pinch of salt 


  1. Cook the onion with a small amount of oil and a pinch of salt in a medium pot over medium heat until onion is soft, about 6 mins, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and paprika and let cook about 1 min.
  3. Stir in herbs and beans, then add spinach and a scant 1/4 cup of water. Mix until combined, and let cook for a couple of minutes, uncovered, until the spinach wilts a bit. If the mixture looks too dry or is sticking to the pot, add more water.
  4. Just before serving, add lemon juice for added zippiness.
  5. Check of seasonings and adjust as necessary, then comer!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Quinoa Veggie Burger

It's burger season here in Vancouver, and this one is absolutely divine. I adapted the recipe from Chatelaine without too much hassle or difficulty. It was more or less compliant off the bat, which I liked. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and full of flavour.

I've been looking for a good vegetarian alternative to your standard meat burger. Though these can be made in standard burger size and served with a salad - you'll see in the directions how this is done - they would also make great mini burgers, dolled up for a cocktail party as finger food with a dab of sour cream and chives on top.

Quinoa Veggie Burger (adapted from Chatelaine)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (about 2 cups cooked) 
  • 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/2 227 g pkg cremini mushrooms, coarsely grated (1 cup) 
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (about 3/4 of a zucchini)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated carrot (1-2 carrots)
  • 1 small shallot, minced 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • small handful of parsley, minced  
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch 
  • pinch of coarse salt 

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, about 14 min. I buy my quinoa in bulk, and this is my method: rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil and then add the 1/2 cup quinoa (ratio is 1:1.5). Give it a good stir, put a lid on, drop the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and fluff with a fork. Let it cool with the lid off. 
  2. Grate your veggies. I have done this in with a hand grater and a food processor (with grater attachment). It works well, and if you aren't pressed for time, use the hand grater to save yourself some dishes. 
  3. Heat a large, wide non-stick frying pan over medium. Add oil, then mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, shallot and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 min. 
  4. In a large bowl, mix egg, starch, salt and parsley. Add quinoa and mix thoroughly and then add veggies and mix.
  5. Heat the same non-stick frying pan over medium. Add a little more oil if the pan looks too dry. Firmly press quinoa mixture into a 1/2-cup measuring cup. Turn and release into pan. Gently press to shape into a patty about 4 in. wide. Repeat, cooking 2 patties at a time. Cook until golden and warmed through, about 4 min per side.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Blood Type Diet for Travellers

Hello everyone!

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting as regularly lately. This is because I have been away on vacation in Las Vegas with my friends for a birthday celebration. I love the hot, dry weather, the nightlife,  the shopping, and how Vegas is so unapologetically over the top.

While there, I tried my best to stick to the blood type diet as much as possible. For an AB who can't eat wheat or corn, that proved to be somewhat problematic, especially when grabbing food on the go. I'm of the opinion that in a city like Vegas, someone somewhere will have what you want, so we didn't do so badly. Sometimes too much choice and temptation can be problematic, of course ("It all looks so good! Can I have one of each?!").

In less diverse places, sticking to the diet can prove much more challenging due to lack of options. I did come up with some tips that I think would be helpful, and I hope you find them useful as well:
  • When eating out at a restaurant, go vegetarian. Most vegetables are acceptable to all types, and you will feel pretty light after your meal.
  • Bring some food with you. My friends and I flew out of Bellingham rather than YVR, so once we drove across the US border, we bought some snacks at a grocery store and brought them with us. This was a less expensive option than going out each time we wanted a snack, and helped me stay compliant. We didn't buy much: almonds, cranberries, oatmeal, banana chips (not for me) and carrots. The hotel gave us a fridge to keep everything fresh. I put them in my checked luggage, but they will also go into carry-on without a problem. 
  • Allow yourself one cheat day. I did this the day we ate at Thomas Keller's Bouchon for brunch, and it was awesome. It will also save your sanity.
Pastries at Bouchon? Yes, please!
  • If you find standard portion sizes too large, order an appetizer or two instead. This gives you some nice variety and won't make you feel over-stuffed. 
  • For breakfast, find a place that does omelets and get a custom one. You really can't go wrong with that, and it will fuel you up for the rest of the day. 
  • Cocktails are tempting, but just say no and order wine instead. The mixes and juices used in cocktails are usually packed with sugar or HFCS and other stuff you probably shouldn't be consuming. AB's can't touch hard liquor, but wine is A-OK, so just stick with a glass of wine or two and enjoy your meal. 
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Have at least a little discipline. If you're with a group of people who aren't familiar with the diet, just explain that you're on a restrictive diet and you need to be selective in your food choices. Most people will respect this.
I hope you find these tips helpful and useful in your upcoming travels!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

More Nomato Sauce! Now with fresh herbs!

Folks, it's the last variation on a theme, I promise.

I changed my nomato sauce recipe to accommodate the lovely fresh herbs I have growing on my deck right now. I received some baby plants and a huge planter for my birthday at the end of May, and despite my east-facing deck and the constant rain we've been having all Spring, my plants are growing like, well, weeds.

The 2011 Garden of Doom has multiple varieties of parsley, basil, summer and winter savory, dill, red-veined sorel, thyme, oregano, and cilantro. It smells so! freaking! good! It took a couple of hours to plant everything and I water most of them every evening before bed, and fertilize once every two weeks. If you have a small patch of earth or even a planter on a deck, I recommend giving it a try.

Nomato Sauce Redux

Basic Sauce

6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 beet, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, sliced
1 bay leaf, whole
1 1/2 cups of water

Flavour ingredients
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, fine dice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup winter and/or summer savory, chopped (this really makes the sauce - don't skip it!)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1/8 cup fresh... you get the idea)
2 tsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
salt to taste
Place all ingredients of the basic sauce in a pot and boil, covered for 30 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender. Add water, if needed, until mixture has a tomato sauce texture.

Saute garlic and onion over low heat in olive oil with a little salt until soft, about10 minutes, then add herbs and saute for 5 minutes more.

Add basic sauce and bring to a boil, then add wine and lemon juice, if using. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. Add salt to taste.

Enjoy over pasta, pizza, or anything else you would make with tomato sauce.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

My favourite pizza crust

I like to make pizza about once every week or so. Before starting the BTD, my favourite pizza was served at Cat's Social House on Granville Island in Vancouver, and it was full of things I'm not allowed to eat: chicken, bbq sauce, corn, wheat, and a few other things I can't remember.

The pizza I make at home is very simple and straightforward, topping-wise: mushrooms, kale or spinach, goat cheese, mozzarella. And a little sauce. That's it.

Making a wheat-free pizza means loving thin-crust pizzas, which fortunately, I do. You just can't get that same fluffiness from a rice flour pizza, no matter how much yeast you use. It also gives me the opportunity to get creative and fun with the flavourings by adding herbs and spices for extra flavour.

Pizza Crust

Makes enough for two crusts. They freeze well.

  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (you can use milk, but arrowroot gets slimy when mixed with dairy)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp. xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or one clove garlic, minced)
  • 1/2 tsp each dried oregano, basil and marjoram
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the warm water with the sugar and yeast in a small mixing bowl, stirring gently to dissolve the mixture. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so it can get bubbly.
  3. Combine the brown rice flour, arrowroot starch, xanthum gum and herbs in a larger mixing bowl, in the bowl of your stand mixer if you don't want to mix everything by hand.
  4. Add the oil and lemon juice to the yeast mixture, which should have some air bubbles by now.
  5. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir well, or mix well with a dough hook. Mix until well combined.
  6. The dough will be somewhat sticky, so sprinkle some rice flour on it and let it rest while you get your pizza pan ready.
  7. Use a pizza stone or pizza pan with the holes in the bottom. Do not use a regular cookie sheet for this - it won't get crispy enough.
  8. Divide the dough in two and set one half aside. Roll out the other half on a well-floured surface until it's about the size of your pan, then just like a pie shell, roll it onto your rolling pin and unroll it on the pan.
  9. Don't worry if it's not perfectly round. We're going for rustic here.
  10. Before adding your toppings, put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until it gets a little golden. This will help the bottom stay crisp so you don't have to torch your lovely toppings waiting for the crust to cook.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes while assembling the rest of your toppings.
  12. Once the pizza is all assembled, put it back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is golden and lovely, remove from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes (it's hard, but at least try to let it cool), then slice and munch!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Nomato Sauce, part 2

The ER4YT has a basic nomato sauce recipe that is absolutely fabulous. Texture-wise, it is very different than your standard tomato sauce, but taste-wise, it's amazing, and I prefer it to my other Nomato Sauce recipe for use as a pizza sauce or dip.

No-Tomato Tomato Sauce (shamelessly copied and slightly amended from Eat Right for Your Type)

Makes enough for two servings of pasta or as sauce for one large pizza.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 an onion, fine dice)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 4 ounce jar pimientos, undrained
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar or agave

  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat a few minutes, until onions soften. Add a pinch of salt while they're cooking to help them soften.
  2. Add parsley and stir.
  3. Puree pimientos in food processor or blender with lemon juice.
  4. Add to pan with basil, oregano and wine.
  5. Simmer lightly until thickened. 
  6. Turn off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. The sauce will thicken a bit once cooled.
  7. Taste and add salt and/or sugar as needed.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Nomato Sauce

You know what I like? Tomato sauce.

You know what I miss? Tomato sauce.

It's that sweet and acidic tang that takes your basic starch and makes it extra awesome. Tomatoes are the one and only nightshade that are all kinds of fine for AB's, but not for A's. So, unwilling to go sauceless, I researched substitutes. This is sauce 1, which is very easy and cost-effective to make in large quantities. Sauce 2, made with pimentos, has the great tangy flavour, but lacks in texture, and is more expensive to make. I'll be posting that recipe in an upcoming entry.

Nomato Sauce (inspired by The IC Chef)


Basic Sauce

6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 beet, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, sliced
1 bay leaf, whole
1 1/2 cups of water

Flavour ingredients
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 leek, cleaned and minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup red wine
salt to taste

Place all ingredients of the basic sauce in a pot and boil, covered for 30 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender. Add water, if needed, until mixture has a tomato sauce texture.

Saute garlic, leek, and herbs for 5 minutes in olive oil with a little salt, and add parsley and saute for 10 minutes more.

Add basic sauce and bring to a boil, then add wine. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and keep cooking until sauce thickens to desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Enjoy over pasta, pizza, or anything else you would make with tomato sauce.

I'm in the Newsletter!

I'd like to say hello to any and all readers who have been directed here by the June ER4YT newsletter, or from anywhere else on the web, of course. I hope you all enjoyed my article, and I welcome any feedback and questions you may have, so please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and say hello.

The June newsletter can be found here:

I'm absolutely delighted that I was given the opportunity to write about my success thus far with the BTD. I had a great time writing the article and it gave me a good chance to reflect on how far we have come with our health, nutrition and lifestyle since February.

I turned 30 this past week, which required a massive cheat day, which unfortunately turned into kind of a cheat week. Case in point, my birthday dinner was a grilled steak with blue cheese cream sauce. Totally non-compliant but 100% delicious. We're back on the straight and narrow now, and I'm looking forward to sharing more recipes and adaptations.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Feta-stuffed Turkey

Don't let the title fool you - you're not stuffing an entire turkey with feta, although that would be awesome. No no, this is for stuffing either breasts or thighs - your choice - with a beautiful mixture of feta and goat cheeses and sauteed vegetables. It also works with chicken, if you can eat chicken.

If you're stuffing the breast cavity, just make an incision and create a pocket to fill. Or butterfly the whole thing and roll it up. I made this dish with two turkey thighs, which I rolled, stuffed, trussed, and grilled.

Feta-stuffed Turkey (serves 2 very generously, or serves 2 with leftovers)


Two turkey thighs or breasts, ready for stuffing or rolling
Extra-virgin olive oil for sauteing and coating the outside, so about 1 Tbsp
1/4 of an onion, fine dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
250g (or so) sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp minced parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 oz. goat cheese
1/4 c feta cheese, crumbled
sea salt, to taste


Preheat your skilled on medium and add a little oil. Saute onions and garlic for about 2 mins, then add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Let everything cook for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms have released most of their water. Add herbs and cook a minute more, then turn heat to low and add the cheeses. Stir until combined then turn the heat off.

If you have time, let the mixture cool before stuffing the turkey. If you're in a pinch like I was, put the mixture into a metal bowl and stick it in the freezer to cool down quickly.

Hot cheese burns, you know.

Stuff and truss as appropriate, and coat the outside with a little olive oil and a touch of sea salt. Everything inside is pretty salty, so you don't need much.

Cook on a preheated grill for about 18 mins per side. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

You can also cook them in a 350F oven for 30 mins. I recommend searing the sides in olive oil first, then popping them in the oven.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Jewelled Salad

In my last post, I talked about a pared-down Easter dinner and promised a jewelled salad to go along with the tasty kebabs.

This salad uses a lot of dried fruit, some of which has been specifically noted as beneficials for both A's and AB's. The dried apricots remind me of little amber pieces, and I feel that the abundance of dried fruit gives this salad a Middle Eastern vibe.

Jewelled Salad


1 recipe Basic Citronette

Green salad mix (I use Spring Mix)
handful of dried apricots, rough chop
handful of dried tart cherries
handful of dried dates, pitted and rough chop
1/3 of a cucumber, chopped into bite-size pieces


Mix all ingredients together and toss with dressing. Serve immediately and admire the lovely colours!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Two meats, one marinade

Happy Easter, everyone!

Later today I am going to my in-laws' house for a huge family dinner. It's going to be awesome! I hope you all have an excellent day as well, whether or not you celebrate Easter, or if you're just enjoying a lovely Sunday.

Easter can be marked by a host of meats, and when I was younger, it was always ham or some kind of pork product. Once I started cooking for myself, I decided I enjoyed the Greek tradition of serving lamb, which fortunately, is allowed for AB's. The other day, I made a pared-down easter (small "e" on purpose) dinner of kebab and jewelled salad, using Mediterranean flavours for the marinade and Middle Eastern flavours for the salad. Since my husband can't eat lamb, I came up with a marinade that also works for chicken, which he ate.

Before making kebab, soak your skewers in water for as long as possible, preferably overnight. I use bamboo skewers and put them in a plastic container with a little water, and just leave them to soak.

Mediterranean Marinade (Remember, it's a marinade, not a sauce - one recipe goes a long long way)


8 cloves garlic, minced
A few glugs of extra virgin olive oil (or about 1/4 c, if you need to be precise)
juice and zest of one lemon
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (lamb)
1 tsp fresh thyme (chicken)

Meat of choice (lamb, cubed; and chicken, cubed)


I set up my station by opening two large Ziploc bags and folding over the openings so it was easy to pour things in. Mince and juice everything together (by hand or food processor, doesn't matter) and then divide evenly between the two bags, adding the specific herbs as needed (so, rosemary in the lamb bag and thyme in the chicken bag). I didn't feel like cleaning my food processor, so I cut everything by hand and just added to each bag as needed.

Add the appropriate meat to each bag, seal it, give it a good massage, and then let it marinade for a least a few hours, or overnight if you can.


Once I was ready to grill, I threaded the meat onto bamboo skewers, about 4-5 pieces each. Cook each kebab for 20 minutes. On my grill, I heat it up to high and do 5 minutes per side, then rotate.

I have used both metal and bamboo skewers, and I like the bamboo ones better. It's true that the metal ones conduct heat into the meat much better and they are reusable, but I find I have more control with the bamboo ones, so I prefer them.

Need a wine pairing? Both lamb and chicken go well with Pinot Noir in my opinion, so we drank a Wild Goose (BC) 2008 Pinot Noir.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Vegetable Stock (making something from nothing)

Trying to find a commercially-produced vegetable stock that's BTD-compliant is next to impossible. There's always something that makes it inappropriate for A's (tomatoes, usually) or AB's (wheat, corn). So I decided to make my own.

And even better, I used mostly vegetable scraps that would have otherwise been thrown in the garbage. Since this recipe makes about 2L of stock, which costs about $10 at my grocery store, that adds up to quite a significant savings.

Stock is a mixture of vegetables and herbs simmered in water to produce a flavourful broth. You can use any combination of veggies that you find palatable, but at the very least, use the following:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, rough chop
2 stalks celery, including some leaves, rough chop
2 large carrots, rough chop
1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed
small handful fresh parsley
6 or so sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water

I have been saving vegetable 'scraps' in a large Ziplock freezer bag (about 27cm x 27cm) for a week or two. This includes the following (they were all washed really well prior to freezing): parsnip ends, broccoli stems, carrot peelings, parsnip peelings, onion skins, onion ends, carrot ends and celery ends.

You can keep adding to your bag as time goes on. When it's full, it's time to make stock!

I was a little short on onions in my freezer bag, so after heating up some oil on medium-high in a large pot, I chopped one onion and let it heat up, then dumped the contents of my freezer bag in the pot. It's a big frozen mess but it will thaw very quickly and reduce down. All I added from the list above was the green onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and of course the water and salt.

Adding salt is very important due to osmosis. Cooking chemistry time: water moves from less salty environments to more salty environments, meaning that the water inside your veggies will move to the salty water around it, forcing flavour out of the vegetables and into your stock.

Once everything is in it looks like this:

See? Mostly ends and peelings, ensuring maximum flavour is imparted from the vegetable to the liquid. Yum!

Bring the whole thing to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain the broth and then let it cool, and then freeze for storage.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Skinny on Skinny Jeans

This is a vanity post so I can tell you all how awesome I feel today, and how we've been managing our food to get to this state of awesomeness.

I have lost 15 lbs so far and my body fat has gone down about 8%. My husband has lost about 20 lbs. Today I am wearing a pair of skinny jeans to work that I haven't worn in a long time. I need a belt to keep them up and I don't have a huge muffin top showing. Win!!

For the longest time, I thought my metabolism was broken. I have always trained hard and often and eaten whole foods. After reading the BTD book and sticking with the diet for a couple of months, I have come to the conclusion that my metabolism works just fine - it was my eating habits that were broken, since I was eating in a way that would benefit type O's instead of the more omnivorous ABs.

The blood type diet isn't marketed as a weight loss program, but losing weight is a pleasant benefit of the diet. In the book, Dr D'Adamo says (this is abridged, you understand) that when you body is not busy fighting toxins, it can better utilize the food you take in and not store the leftovers in your fat cells. I try to incorporate as many beneficials as I can, but if you stick with all beneficials, you will be malnourished. In my meal plan, if it isn't forbidden, it's allowed.

As far as I'm concerned, any diet that has you eating more veggies, less processed food and less meat, which this one does, will work out in your favour. The BTD just offers more refinement. I also agree with the structure of the suggested meal plans: eat smaller meals and more of them to keep your metabolism and blood sugar steady. I was eating three squares a day plus snacks, which was working against me because I was just taking in too much. It wasn't until I went through the regimented Extreme Fat Loss Diet and forced to eat more often that I ended up eating less at each meal because I just wasn't as hungry any more.

How to do this? Regimentally. You need to force yourself off 3 squares a day by eating less at each meal. Eat slowly, don't eat until you're full - go to about 80% full, and then stop. It will be difficult at first, and you'll be hungry, but after about a week, you'll be fine. Drinking water or herbal tea will help fill the void.

Because I train in the morning, my weekday meal plans look something like this:

7am - breakfast (omelette, or 1 serving of Prograde Lean, or some oatmeal)
10am - mid-morning meal (piece of fruit with cheese or yogurt, or berry flax protein shake)
12:30 - lunch (leftovers from dinner the night before, or salmon sashimi with miso soup)
3:30 - midafternoon feeding (I have the most trouble with this one because I often forget to eat, even though I pack my snacks. Tomatoes/cucumbers/carrotts with some cheese)
6pm - dinner

I go for a walk in the evening and drink water, so I'm not hungry and I don't eat anything.

Once a week I go balls to the wall and have a cheat day. No limits, no holds barred, no guilt. You need a cheat day if you're on a restricted diet. There are two reasons for this:

1) it's psychologically rewarding and will ensure you continue your good habits
2) it will keep your body from thinking it's starving and increase your lepitin levels, which are your fat-burning hormones

A few people have asked me to write a post about the BTD and weight loss. It's a sensitive topic for me and not an easy one to write about, but since I'm successfully wearing skinny jeans today and feeling awesome, I decided to go for it. It felt good to get my thoughts down and I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Basic Salad Dressing (Citronette)

I've haven't really had a commercial salad dressing in a long time because they are full of things you shouldn't eat (even good ones like Renee's, unfortunately), so I always make my own from scratch. Before doing the BTD, I would mix some kind of oil with some kind of vinegar and a touch of salt and pepper and call it a day. If you can still have vinegar, I recommend almond oil and red wine vinegar - it's delicious.

Vinegars of all kinds are forbidden to A's and AB's, so I made citronettes. Citronettes are dressings made with a citrus of some kind plus oil, with the citrus replacing the vinegar in a vinaigrette. The world of citrus for A's and AB's extends to lemons, limes and grapefruit. This is the salad dressing I use every day. You can make as much or as little as you like. It keeps in the fridge for about a week.

Basic Citronette


Juice of 1/2 a lemon
About the same amount of extra virgin olive oil (slightly less for those who prefer a sharper-tasting dressing)
small pinch of sea salt
1/8 tsp dry mustard powder (I use Keen's)
small squirt of honey, about 1/4-1/2 tsp


Whisk all ingredients together until well-blended. Enjoy with salad of your choice.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Honey Garlic Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

When I ran out of sake and couldn't make my beloved Miso Salmon, I came up with this as a substitute. When grilled on the BBQ, the honey creates a barbecue-like glaze that is just delightful. It's especially wonderful served with a strawberry, goat cheese, roast asparagus and cucumber salad, and a glass of rose for extra poshness. Happiest accident ever!

Honey Garlic Salmon


2-4 WILD salmon filets. Remember, farmed salmon is full of sea lice and failure.
1-2 Tbsp light tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder (add more if you want a more potent flavour)
juice of 1/2 lemon
splash of olive or grapeseed oil


Mix all ingredients together and marinate salmon for a minimum of 1 hr. I find it tastes worlds better when the salmon marinates for 24 hours.

Grill or pan sear for 4 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with side of your choice. As a mentioned above, I love this with a light summer salad. If asparagus is in season, try roasting it. It's amazing. My husband says they are almost as good as French fries. This is my no-fail method:

Roasted Asparagus


1 bunch thin asparagus (not the fat spears), washed and trimmed. If using in salad, cut them in half horizontally so you have little half-spears.
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of sea salt


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Arrange the asparagus on a cookie sheet (you need a low-sided sheet pan to keep them from steaming), drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, and mix thoroughly with your hands. Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes on convection, or 12-14 mins on regular. They will be crispy and salty when removed, and can be served as-is, or mixed with a salad.

If you're looking for a wine to pair with this meal, I recommend a robust, off-dry rose. I used a La Frenz (BC) 2009 Rose (Rattlesnake Vineyard).

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The easiest dinner ever: Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese

It's a main, a side dish, AND a salad. It's pretty and it's good for you. You need it in your life.

If you've never made roasted vegetables, you need to start immediately.

I make this two or three times a week and it's always fantastic. Vegetarian. Vegan, even, if you omit the cheese. And very filling.

Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese


Any combination of vegetables you like, cut to about the same size.

Need some inspiration? Here's what I like to use:

Butternut squash
Beets, peeled
Kale (give this a rough chop and add it at the end)

Olive oil, for drizzling
Fresh herbs of your choice (thyme and rosemary do it for me)
2oz or so goat cheese, cut or crumbled into small pieces


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Chop everything (or buy it pre-chopped. No judgment!) and mix around in a roasting pan of your choice. I have two roasting pans and use both, because one you start chopping you may as well keep going: one is Pyrex and was purchased recently; the other is aluminium and was my grandmother's. The aluminium pan roasts better, probably because it conducts heat more evenly. Word to the wise.

Anyway, don't overcrowd your pans otherwise you'll have steamed veggies and not roasted veggies.

Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pop them in the oven for about 35-40 mins. Add the kale and stir it all around, and roast for another 10 mins.

Serve hot with goat cheese on the top. Delicious!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Curried Carrot Lentil and Apple Soup

You know what else you can do with lentils? Add them to soups! When blended, they make everything nice and creamy and rich, just like they do in this soup. It's spicy, tangy, fresh, and rich, and can be enjoyed hot or cold. I had this for dinner one cold dreary Sunday night and cold for lunch the next day. It was lovely with a dollop of plain yogurt. You could also serve it with goat cheese for extra yummy.

Since this will all be pureed at the end, don't worry about your chopping.

If you're looking for a good wine pairing, I recommend Riesling or Rose.

Curried Carrot Lentil and Apple Soup (adapted from Dinner with Julie)


olive oil for cooking
1 large onion, rough chop
2-3 celery stalks, rough chop
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1-2 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry lentils (red or green, doesn't matter)
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 L turkey or veg stock (or chicken stock for you non AB's out there)
Sour cream or plain yogurt, for serving (optional)


In a large pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, celery and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add a pinch of salt to help everything soften and cook. Add the curry powder and ginger and cook for another minute, then add the carrots, lentils, apple and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, until everything is nice and soft.

Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot. Season with salt if it needs it, and serve hot, with a dollop of yogurt sour cream on top to cool the spice, if you like. Serves 6.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Red Lentil Dahl

In keeping with the love of lentils, today's post is all about spicing them up, Indian style. Dahl is kind of like a lentil stew with any mix of spices and liquid you like. This version has just enough spice without heat, is delicious hot or cold, inexpensive to make, and whips up in no time. I make this about once a week. Sometimes twice.

The original recipe calls for toasting whole spices, which I'm sure makes this dish amazing. Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients - you can get everything from the grocery store. I have a well-stocked spice cabinet, but almost all my spices are ground and from the grocery store. I've made adjustments and tested this dish multiple times to get it just right. You know what I've found? It's a little different every time, but always amazing, so don't worry too much about exact measurements. If there's something you don't like, just omit it. Simple as that.

Red Lentil Dahl (adapted from Eden Kitchen)


1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
Plain yogurt or sour cream (for garnish)


Toast the spices (not the cinnamon) in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet, cool, and then crush into a fine powder with the cinnamon. I do this old-school, with a mortar and pestle. It also works with a spice grinder, but is a lot more fun the old-fashioned way.

Heat the oil in the same large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions for 3-4 min or until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add spices and salt and sauté 3-4 minutes more.

Add lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 20 min.

Add lime juice and some water if it looks too thick. Simmer 5 minutes more or until lentils are tender.

Garnish with cilantro and some plain yogurt or sour cream.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Lentil Love

Since we have cut down our meat and dairy consumption, I have been integrating a lot of lentil dishes into the weekly rotation. What can I say - they're tasty, they're cheap, they come in different colours, they're a good protein source, and they can go into almost anything. The only drawback as far as I am concerned is their high carbohydrate content. A favourite of ours for the last few weeks has been Red Lentil Dahl, adapted from Eden Kitchen. A new favourite has just come from Dinner With Julie, requiring almost no adaptation.

The lovely thing about lentils is that they can replace the meat portion of your dish very easily, especially where soups, stews, curries and chilis are concerned. Their flavour is so neutral that they will blend nicely into just about anything you're making, and the texture is similar to that of ground meat if you leave them un-blended. I prefer lentils to just about any soy product because I believe they are healthier (read: non-processed).

If you're looking to go meatless or consume less meat, try replacing meat with lentils. This is especially crucial for those on the A diet. A couple of recipes will be forthcoming to get you started!

Monday, 21 March 2011


Make you strong like bull!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

My Oma used to make borscht when I was little and it was as comforting for me as chicken soup is for most people (she made that too, btw). Her version had beef, and since the hubby and I can no longer have beef, this is a lighter vegetarian version. It tastes great hot or cold, and I think it's a lovely dish to commemorate the first day of spring.

Borscht (adapted from Dinner With Julie)

olive oil, for cooking
2 onions, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, fine dice
2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 leek, diced
1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded
4c vegetable stock
3-4 beets, peeled and roasted
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste

Low fat sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 375F.

Peel your beets with a paring knife and wrap each one in tin foil. Put them all on a baking sheet and cook for about 1 hour. Open the little parcels and let them cool so they can be handled later.

(Protip: there are like a zillion ways to roast beets - peeling then roasting is my favourite way)

In a large pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions with some salt for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, leek and cabbage and cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is soft and starting to turn golden.

Add the stock and 2-4 cups of water. Grate the beets using the coarse side of a box grater and add those as well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened slightly. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste and serve hot, with a big dollop of sour cream on top.

Take a minute to look at the colour of your soup. There's nothing better than that gorgeous magenta colour.

This is also great served cold as leftovers the next day. Sour cream is a must.

When you eat roasted beets, leave a post-it note on the back of the bathroom door reminding yourself that you did so to avoid some scares the next day.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Spaghetti-squash Tetrazzini

I saw this in a Chatelaine magazine, and was so happy that I could adapt it without any trouble whatsoever. I enjoy using spaghetti squash in place of pasta, and have been doing it for ages because it makes lighter, healthier meals.

Spaghetti-squash Tetrazzini (adapted from Chatelaine)

  • 14 g pkg dried mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 227 g pkg sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour mixture, or brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup cold goat's milk
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella chees, or goat's milk mozerella 
  •  2 thinly-sliced tomatoes, if serving AB's only
  1.  Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half, take out the seeds, and lie the cut sides down in a big baking dish, and then put about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover and bake for about 75-90 minutes depending how big the squash is. Remove squash and let cool slightly.
  2. Your kitchen will smell awesome!
  3. Increase oven to 450F. Crumble a 14-g pkg of dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup white wine and let soak 10 min.
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium. Add olive oil, minced garlic cloves and a package of sliced cremini mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms soften, about 4 min. Add 2 tbsp of flour, 1 tsp dried basil, a pinch of salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg and the soaked dried mushrooms and wine. Cook, stirring often, 1 min. Stir in 1 cup milk. Cook until sauce thickens, 2 to 3 min. Remove from heat, then stir in 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  5. By now, your squash should be cool enough to scoop. Scrape the strands into the skillet with a fork and mix with the mushrooms, milk and cheese.
  6. Scoop squash mixture into 4 individual oven-safe dishes or an 8-in. square baking dish. Smooth tops. Top with 2 thinly sliced plum tomatoes if you are serving AB's. Bake until bubbly, 10 to 15 min.
Need wine pairings with this dish? I suggest an oaked chardonnay to compliment the earthiness of the mushrooms. I served this with a Nicholson Ranch chardonnay from California.

    Thursday, 10 March 2011

    The AB Breakfast Omelette

    I like to work out first thing in the morning. There are a few reasons for this: I haven't been awake long enough to talk myself out of going to the gym. My work hours are long and waiting until the end of the day means a very unproductive workout. And it's damn crowded in my gym after work.

    Most days, I'm in the gym between 4 and 4:30am lifting big heavy weights, turbulence training, and endurance training. Not all on the same day, of course. After I'm done, I like to eat a good breakfast high in protein and unrefined carbs to refuel my body. I do this even on the days when I have to dash off to work.

    To make life easier, I saute all my veggies Sunday night to get them ready for a week of breakfast-y consumption, and just keep them in the fridge. Here's what I cut up on masse:

    1/2 or 1 onion, fine dice
    1 sweet potato, fine dice
    1 stalk of celery, fine dice
    2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
    250 (or so) grams of mushrooms, diced

    Heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the veggies, starting with the top of the list and working your way from onions to mushrooms as each layer softens. Add a pinch of kosher salt to help flavour everything and help it soften. I like to add some paprika and chili powder at the end for extra flavour.

    Let this cool, then store in the fridge until needed.

    So for each omelette, I scramble:

    2 eggs from free-run chickens (or if I'm feeling really virtuous, I'll use 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, saving the yolk for mayonnaise)
    splash of water
    pinch of salt

    Gather the other accoutrements:

    Spinach leaves
    Low-fat feta cheese

    Preheat a small skillet on medium and add a little olive oil. Once it's hot, add the eggs and let them cook for a minute. Add a handful or so of veggies and spread them out over 1/2 of the omelette. While everything is cooking, add a small knob of cheese (like 1 Tbsp - I just crumble it over everything with my hands) and the spinach leaves.

    While everything is still a little soft, fold the side with no veggies over the veggies and flip the whole shebang over. Turn the heat to low, cover it with a lid, and cook for a few more minutes. I like mine a little gooey, and this method leaves me with a slightly raw, vegetable-y omelette.

    Beats a bowl of cereal any day!

    Sunday, 6 March 2011

    No-wheat Tortillas

    I looooove tortillas. Quesadillas, enchiladas, chips, and anything else that can be made from or wrapped in a tortilla, I adore. Back in the day, I used to take a tortilla, spread peanut butter on the inside, and roll it up with thinly-sliced apple and eat the whole mess for breakfast every day. It was a great portable breakfast or snack for work and it tasted great.

    Now that wheat and corn are verboten, I've had to find alternatives. Rice-only tortillas taste like cardboard. I may be taking this little diet seriously, but I still need flavour in my life. So my search brought me to websites promoting gluten-free recipes. Since I've abandoned all hope of finding a store-bought tortilla that meets my needs, I've resorted to making them myself.

    First things first, I need flour. No problem! Enter this website. They used corn products in the original mix, so I've adapted it as follows:

    All Purpose Flour (adapted from Gluten Free Cooking School)

    Ingredients (all are from Bob's Red Mill)

    3 parts brown rice flour
    2 parts arrowroot
    2 parts soy flour
    1 part almond meal

    Mix all ingredients together in a container. I use a big Rubbermaid one with a sealed lid and locks on the side.

    This mix smells darn good and has a lovely texture. I used a 1-cup measure per "part", so I ended up with 8 cups of flour.

    To make tortillas, start with 2 cups of your all-purpose flour and add:

    1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1 c. warm water

    (Tortilla recipe adapted from Gluten Free Cooking School once again)

    Using the methodology on the original site, this recipe should make 8 tortillas.

    Coles Notes version of instructions: mix all dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix until fully mixed. Use your hands. Divide into 8 pieces, roll them nice and thin, then cook for 4 mins per side on a cast iron flat top griddle or in a pan (if you don't have a griddle).

    Friday, 4 March 2011

    Miso Salmon

    So there is no shortage of recipes out there for miso-glazed salmon. This one is not glazed. It's marinated. And it has booze. And I'm not very precise with my measurements. So enjoy!


    WILD Salmon fillets. The not so wild ones are full of things like sea lice and failure (2, 4, however many you need. I buy my fish pre-cut at the store because I'm lazy)

    2 heaping spoonfuls white miso paste
    1/4 c soy sauce or tamari
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 tbsp honey
    2-3 tbsp (or more) sake


    Mix all ingredients together and marinate at least 12 hours, or longer for extra yum. Grill salmon for about 4 mins per side, depending on the salmon's thickness.

    Serve with your choice of sides, such as brown rice and salad. I had mine with a green salad and some sauteed kale. You don't know how to make sauteed kale? Well aren't you in for a treat. Here's how:

    Wash a bunch of kale and cut into small pieces
    Heat some olive oil in a large saute pan on low and throw in 2 cloves of minced garlic
    Once you can smell the garlic, add the kale with a pinch of salt and move it around in the flavoured oil for a few minutes or until it's as done as you like. If you would like to steam it, but the lid on your saute pan and let it cook for a few minutes.
    Kale should never be mushy. Mushy kale is why people hate kale.

    No-vinegar Mayonnaise

    Remember how I said that this no vinegar business was cramping my salad-making style? Well, it's also cramping my condiment style. I didn't realize just how much stuff has vinegar as the second or third ingredient on the list. Mayonnaise? Yup. Ketchup? You'd best believe it. Worcestershire? Heavens to Betsy, I die.

    I like a little bling (read: condiments) with my food, so for the firs time ever, I made my own mayonnaise. You know what? It's so yummy and so much better than anything from the store. If you have a lot of patience and a mixer (I used a hand mixer because my KitchenAid Mixer was out of reach and the husband wasn't home), I recommend trying this.

    Mayonnaise (adapted from Elizabeth Nyland at Guilty Kitchen)


    2 room temperature egg yolks (leave them on the counter for a couple hours). I used eggs from free-run chickens
    1/2 tsp mustard powder
    1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
    400 mL Extra virgin olive oil
    Juice of one lemon


    I can't really instruct as well as Elizabeth does, so I recommend using the method described and shown in her original post. The Coles Notes version is this: grab a metal and bowl and beat the egg yolks, salt and mustard powder in it. Then add 200 mL oil in a veeeeeery thin stream.

    I ended up pouring my olive oil into a measuring cup and adding it drop by drop from a teaspoon. Totally time-consuming, but it worked very well.

    Add the lemon juice and the rest of the oil and keep mixing it til it looks like mayonnaise. Or til you can mix no more. Whichever comes first.

    Leave it alone for an hour to two to let the lemon juice do its thing, then keep in the fridge and enjoy with everything. This is a great flavour carrier, so feel free to add herbs and spices as well, to make a more flavourful mayo.

    Mayo really has a bad rap, but I feel it's undeserved. We're talking about 2 egg yolks and some olive oil here, people; nothing too scary.

    I'm going to enjoy this with sweet potato fries and a beer and I recommend that you enjoy it with whatever you love as well.

    Cheesy Broccoli Soup

    I love cheesy broccoli soup. Back when I used to snowboard regularly, it was my favourite thing to eat after a day on the slopes. Perhaps not the best choice nutritionally, but man did it taste good.

    Luckily for me, broccoli and several dairy products are on the beneficial list, and it's easy to healthy it up a bit. I based my recipe on the Broccoli Soup recipe at Fat Loss Quickie by Scott and Angie Toussignant.

    Extra virgin olive oil
    2 large heads of broccoli, chopped (including stems)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups water
    1 large stalk of celery, fine dice
    1 onion, fine dice
    2 tbsp almond or walnut oil
    2 tbsp arrowroot starch
    2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
    Dash of ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup goat milk
    1-2 oz. goat cheese
    cheddar (AB) or feta (A), for topping
    Salt to taste

    1. Heat oil over medium heat
    2. Add broccoli, celery, garlic and onion, sprinkle with salt, and saute until slightly softened.
    3. Add water, cover and boil for 5-10 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Do not drain.
    4. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.
    5. Mix arrowroot and oil together until smooth, and add a ladleful of warm soup. This is going to create a slurry.
    6. Stir slurry into hot soup, add broth, and heat to boil. Boil mixture for 1 minute while continuously stirring.
    7. Add nutmeg then turn heat down to low (or off). Add milk and goat cheese and stir.
    8. Remove from heat and season to taste. Serve with grated cheddar cheese or feta on sprinkled on top.

    Tuesday, 1 March 2011

    Turkey Curry

    I've been making turkey curry for ages in some form or another. I prefer the taste of turkey to chicken, and I like that I can buy turkey tenders from the store, which cuts down on my prep work. Some sauteed veggies and a can of Patak's sauce, serve over rice, and there you go.

    Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on Patak's sauces? They are full of things no one should eat, like vegetable oil, but more important, they contain several ingredients that are unsuitable for As and/or ABs, such as tomatoes and coconut milk.

    I needed inspiration, so I looked through my Thai and Indian cookbooks for help. New Thai Cuisine, by Nathan Hyam, proved most useful. I ended up making a peanut butter pineapple curry sauce, which can be used with any combination of meat, soy, and/or veg you like. It's intended to be a dipping sauce for satay, but when thinned out, works nicely for curries.

    I used turkey because it's good for me. And because I like it.

    Pineapple Peanut Sauce (adapted from New Thai Cuisine, by Nathan Hyam)

    1/4 of a pineapple, fine dice (A/AB beneficial)
    1 tbsp soy sauce (A beneficial/AB neutral)
    1 tsp curry powder (A neutral/AB beneficial)
    1/4 tsp hot curry powder (optional)
    2 garlic cloves, minced (A/AB beneficial)
    1/4 cup water (or more as needed to thin the sauce)
    3 tbsp all-natural peanut butter (ALL-NATURAL. Don't mess around here and use something that's packed with crap. Do yourself a favour and use the good stuff where the ingredients are limited to peanuts and salt. I like Maranatha.) (A/AB beneficial)

    Other goodies

    3 turkey tenders, or however much you want, cut into pieces (A neutral/AB beneficial)
    1 onion, rough dice (A beneficial/AB neutral)
    1 celery stalk, rough dice (A/AB beneficial)
    Extra virgin olive oil (A/AB beneficial)

    1 head of broccoli, cut into pieces (including the stems) (A/AB beneficial)
    2-3 parsnips, peeled and chopped (A/AB beneficial)
    1 zucchini, chopped (A/AB neutral)
    1 cup mushrooms of your choice, quartered (I used cremini) (A/AB neutral)

    Preheat your oven to 450F. Lay the broccoli, parsnips, zucchini and mushrooms on a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, mix with your hands, and pop the tray into the oven. Cook for about 15-20 mins, or until the veggies are good and roasted with brown and black bits on them.

    Now, let's make some curry sauce! Put the pineapple and any accumulated juices into a small saucepan and heat over medium. Add everything else except the peanut butter and let it come to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Mix until smooth, and add more water as needed to make it saucier. Or leave it the way it is.

    Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium and put in a little olive oil. Add onions, celery and a small pinch of salt, and let them soften. The salt will help the onions sweat. Once the onions are translucent, add the turkey and cook until it is opaque.

    Reduce heat to low. Add your sauce, put on the lid, and let the whole mess cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the roasted veggies right before serving, mix, and enjoy over rice.

    Monday, 28 February 2011

    Cutting out negatives

    To make things easier on ourselves, and most notably on me, we decided that the first step was to cut out  harmful foods from our diet. Harmful foods are to be considered poisons.

    It's an easy way to start the diet. If you need to make changes gradually, this is a good way to do it. Just cut out one thing a day or so. As long as a food is beneficial or neutral, you're doing well. We decided to look at portion control later, since I don't necessarily agree with the nutrient distribution recommended for ABs. I am very carb sensitive and I don't eat wheat, and I find that eating starchier stuff in the morning (from fruit and veg sources) and more protein and fat-rich foods at night works well for me. I also eat at least two eggs a day from free-run chickens. It's the best breakfast ever, bar none.

    For the past few years, I have started my day with at least two cups of coffee with a dab of milk. Guess what's on the harmful list for AB's?

    That's right. You guessed it. Coffee. All types. Now, this information is not in the book. Rather, it's on the website. The recommended caffeinated beverage of choice is green tea. I like green tea and usually drink decaf green in the afternoon. I'm on cup of Jasmine Green #4 right now. I can tell you that it isn't the same as coffee. Not by a long shot. But, I do like that it gives a gentle jolt as opposed to a hard jolt, and I like that my breath doesn't smell and I don't feel so thirsty.

    Trying to see the positive here, people. Work with me.

    Next thing I eat on a daily basis to go: vinegar. Vinegar is harmful to A's and AB's because of our low stomach acid. Now, vinegar is easily replaced with any other acid, including citrus, so lemon and lime juice. I love me some citrus fruit, but I have to say, there are only so many citronettes a person can make without getting bored. I eat a salad at least twice a day (lunch and dinner) so that equals a whole lot of salad dressing. I haven't eaten a commercial salad dressing in years because they are made with all kinds of evil crap I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole (read: canola oil).

    Many of the dishes I love eating have vinegar in them. I ate pickled veggies by the fistful when I was growing up because my Oma always canned her veggies. In my last post I talked about getting creative with my food. Well, this is one of the ways my creativity is being challenged: replacing fancy schmancy vinegars with more AAB-friendly citrus fruit. In some upcoming posts I'll go through the recipes I like and show how I have adapted them to the blood type diet.

    You may be wondering why we don't just cut these dishes out of our rotation.

    Where's the fun in that?

    They are favourites for a reason: they taste good. They're easy. They're fast. And we both like them. Like any diet, if it's not sustainable and enjoyable, we won't stay with it.

    Blood Type What?!

    The blood type diet is something my husband introduced me to last year. He had heard about it and wanted to check it out. I hemmed and hawed and forgot about it and remembered it and forgot about it again, until one day I found a copy of The Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D'Adamo in a used bookstore near my house. I bought the book and brought it home. It sat on our shelf for awhile. Then, to shed a few pounds, we started (and completed) the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet by Joel Marion.

    In our last few days of that diet, my sweetheart read The Blood Type Diet and proudly declared this was to be our next diet challenge. He is type A, which lends itself to a vegetarian diet. I am type AB and could remain an omnivore, more or less.

    The name of this blog comes from our combined blood types. No, it isn't a weird hybrid type with three alleles instead of two.

    At ages 29 (me) and 31 (him), neither of us have serious health problems, and our diet was already full of lean meat, raw veggies, and in my case, limited carbs, so there is nothing we really have to "fix". I look on this diet as a lifelong guide for healthy eating.

    Our plan for the first two weeks is to stay true to the hard and fast rules of the diet. After that, we can relax the rules a bit. This will get us used to a new way of eating, and will get me more used to the foods we can and can't have. I do the meal planning and cooking in our house, and need to rethink the way I approach food. The adjustments to our diet are not that extreme, per se, but I am having to get, um, creative with our favourite culinary staples.

    But more on that later.

    To prepare, I read the AB chapter of the book and downloaded the iPhone app for easy reference. I used the recipe database on Dr. D'Adamo's website to construct my first meal plan, which I'll post in a few days.

    Today is day two for us, and my second day without coffee. Aie!