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!