Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thai Twist {Recipe ReDux}

It's April 21, and in my world that has always meant the day between my brother and my birthday, or sometimes even the day we celebrated together. Currently, it means time for my monthly Recipe ReDux post! I haven't been posting as often as I'd like lately, but I always try to plan to participate on the 21st. The April theme this year is: Treasured Cookware – Share a story of classic cookware – and a healthy recipe to go with it. Some of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day next month (May 11,) but it’s more than once a year that many of us cook with a pan, a wooden spoon or another piece of cookware passed on to us from the kitchens of our favorite relatives. Let’s see what you can cook up with your treasured kitchen tool!

I thought this was a great topic, since we often have a food specific theme, and I am very excited to see the variety that comes out of it. I had many items to consider since I often get kitchen related gifts - such as the tagine my parents gave me yesterday.  I have platters and a cake plate from my grandma, wine glasses from my mother-in-law, various gadget from my bridal shower, etc. However, with our recent winter-like weather, I was inspired to make a soup and use the ceramic french onion soup bowls I have from my mom. I even used the homemade placemats she gave me for Christmas in some of the shots.

I've made french onion soup at least twice before, but since I love tom yum gai soup so much, I thought I would try a Thai twist and play around with the flavours. 

Thai Twist French Onion Soup
Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
5 medium white onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
1 piece fresh ginger (2-3", size of your thumb), grated
1 lemon grass stalk, smashed & cut into 3 pieces
1-2 red Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
1/2 whole wheat baguette
1/2-1 cup Emmental cheese, shredded 

1. Melt butter and oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. I learned from chef Michael Smith that combining the two protects the butter and it's flavour from burning (and I also use his concept of caramelizing the onions). Add the onions, sugar, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and a splash of water. Stir and cover, cooking for 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove the lid and reduce to medium low, stirring frequently to keep the onions from sticking, for about 30-40 minutes until the onions take on a darker caramel colour.
3. Add the ginger, lemon grass, chili pepper(s), garlic, and broth. Simmer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile slice the 1/2 baguette into 1/2" pieces (I made 8) and turn on your broiler. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly toast each side.
4. Remove the lemon grass and discard. Spoon the soup into four oven safe dishes, top with toasted bread and shredded cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
This variation adds a hint of spice and more complex flavours to a traditional dish. It was perfect for our rainy Sunday and will definitely be made again in my home.
See below for the cookware that inspired my fellow dietitians and their recipe creations. Feel free to share a story about cookware that you've received and/or that inspires you in the kitchen.

Happy eating!
Steph Langdon, RD

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Egg-cellent Easter

Those who know me, or read my posts, will know that I like to challenge our habits. When it comes to things like holiday weekends, I like to think of new ways to be healthy and still enjoy great food. I know we are fortunate enough to be invited for two family meals this weekend and I'm sure there will be some chocolate around. I'm also counting on some warmer weather, so that we can get outside and enjoy the fresh spring air.

Easter doesn't have to just be a feast and loads of chocolate or jelly beans. It can be a time to celebrate spring vegetables and fruit with new recipes. Or a chance to think of themes, like I do - for me, Easter is eggs and carrots. So today I thought I would share a few egg ideas that may inspire you this long weekend.

Eggs are a great, quick protein to add to any meal or snack. One large egg has 6g of protein, 70 calories, and 14 key nutrients (including iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, folate, protein, selenium, and choline). They are also very versatile and can help you get vegetables into your day if you're creating things like omelets or frittatas. I have a few recipes on my Pinterest page that I have tried and enjoyed:
- spinach, mushroom, feta frittata
- mini quiche
- quinoa, egg, avocado, and edamame

With eggs in mind, I recently came across a Canadian Lentil recipe that I tried for lunch today. See below for the recipe and share your favourite Easter food traditions or egg dishes in the comments.

Top of the Mornin' Lentil Frittata

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
  • 2 (whole) shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 (whole) cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1½cup (375 mL) chopped kale
  • 1 (whole) green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fully cooked lentils or canned lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 8 (whole) eggs, whisked
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) 2% milk
  • dash sea salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • to taste salt and ground black pepper


1. Heat the oven to 350˚F. In a 9-inch, deep, oven-proof skillet, sauté the shallot and garlic in butter until golden. Add the kale and green pepper and sauté until rendered. Add the cooked lentils and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and salt and pepper together. Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Gently stir the mixture once. Cover the skillet and cook on low-medium heat until the
sides are slightly golden (the centre will still be runny).

3. Remove the lid, sprinkle the cheese over the frittata and bake in the oven until the centre is no longer runny. Use the broil option if available to add additional browning to the top of the frittata. Set to rest for 5 minutes.

4. Garnish with parsley or cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Happy Easter!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching