Green Beans and Tomato Rice Soup

March 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

This easy to make soup is full of flavour and makes a nice snack or light meal.  It is easy to digest and full of garlic, so I often serve it to my kids when they are sick. On a cold day this warm bowl of soup with hot sauce, really warms me up.

Cooking time 45 minutes
Serves 4

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced red onions
1 bulb crushed garlic
3 1/2 cups (875 ml) diced tomatoes
3 cups (750 ml) greens beans
4 cups (1 L) boiling water
3 cups (750 ml) cooked short grain brown rice
1 tbsp (15 ml) salt

1. Heat a large stock pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the cumin and mustard seeds.
2. When the seeds pop add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the onions and sauté until caramelized.
3. Ad the green beans and cook until they begin to soften and then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they turn to mush. You may need to add some water during this process.
4. Add the water and rice to bring to a boil. Add the salt and serve.


Grilled Tomato and Bocconcini Sandwich

March 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

When one of my friends bought their first home, I gave them a panini grill as a housewarming gift. My bachelor friend who works from home, likes to make quick easy meals for lunch and the panini grill has proven to be the perfect companion. Whenever I go over I like to make this bocconcini and tomato sandwich which is inspired by the Caprese sandwich from Pane e Formaggio Cafe and Coco et Olive Cafe in Vancouver. The lightness of the bocconcini and tomato is nicely complimented with the sweet and tart flavour of the balsamic reduction. The basil takes the palate to a whole new level making this sandwich truly a work of art.

Cooking Time 15 minutes
Makes 1 sandwich

2 slices of sourdough bread
olive oil (optional)
salt (optional)
bocconcini sliced
tomato sliced
balsamic reduction

1. Preheat your Panini grill.

2. Brush olive oil on the inside of the bread and lightly sprinkle with salt. Place the bocconcini, tomato and basil on the bread.

3.  Close the sandwich and brush olive oil on the outside of the bread (optional). Place on the Panini grill and cook for  5-6 minutes or as recommended for your grill. If you don’t have a grill, you can use a frying pan instead. Heat your pan on medium-low heat and place the sandwich in the middle and cover. After 2-3 minutes flip the sandwich and cook for another minute or so.

4. Pull the sandwich out of the grill when the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Place on a cutting board and cut in half. Open the sandwich and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Mango and Pecan Salad

March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment


The beauty of a salad shines through when you assemble them on an individual serving plate. When you make salads in a big bowl, chances are the smaller bits will sink to the bottom. The visual appeal of food is just as important as taste and can easily enhance the dining experience. When creating your own salads, keep in mind the taste, colour and texture when combing ingredients.

Prep time 10 minutes

3/4 cup (185 ml) chopped spinach
3/4 cup (185 ml) mixed greens
1/2 mango cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp (30 ml) goat’s cheese (optional)
1/8 cup (35 ml) pecans

Arrange the ingredients on a plate in the order listed and toss with your favorite dressing.

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