Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Snack: Tuna Patties with Garlic, Lemon Aioli

Dear Jess,

It was so wonderful to see you the other night, even if it was for only a couple hours. I cherish our 'snuggle' times.

My plan today was to make Jamie's Shortbreads. As it turns out, I had to wait for my butter to come to room temperature before I could start. Thus, I tried this quick little number. It comes from a cookbook that my mom picked up at Costco called Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook. It's part of a new 'eating lifestyle' that is fast spreading. I like the concept as it falls in with eating whole foods, and cutting out refined sugars, flours and preservatives. I guess it's not so much new as 're-invented'. It has recipes for all sorts of dressings, mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauces etc. This book is beautifully put together, with an index of the names of the recipes paired with a picture of it! I have made my grocery list to include a couple meals from this book.

I can still taste this one! Jason and I just finished eating it 10 minutes ago. I didn't have high hopes for it, as it looked too simple to be delicious. I was (happily) wrong.

Tuna Patties with Garlic, Lemon Aioli
From Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook
3 cans of Tuna packed in water and drained
2 eggs
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Mix the tuna with eggs, dill, salt and pepper.

2. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium to meium-high heat. make sure the oil is nice and hot!

3. Form the tuna mixture into 11-12 small, slightly flattened patties and cook in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes per side.

4. You will not be able to fit all 11-12 in your pan at the same time, so you might have to add more oil for each batch. Make sure the patties are brown before you flip them so that they hold together! Serve with my Simply Coleslaw (p. 202) and topped with Garlic Lemon Aioli (p.72).

I'm sure you understand the benefits of coconut oil. I love that you can use it on medium to high heat with no fatty, unhealthy things happening to the oil, or your food. (It is expensive, but I wait until the Bulk Barn has a sale.) It created a really nice 'deep-fried' browning on the patties. So long as you leave them long enough these patties do stay together. 

Fortunately, we had just come from my mom's last night with some left over coleslaw, so I just pulled that out of the fridge. I haven't made my own mayo yet, so I simply used some olive oil mayo, minced garlic, and lemon juice for the aioli. Just keep mixing until the flavour is where you want it!

I also realized you didn't take Beauty and the Beast with you! I will try to remember to bring it for you Christmas party.

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maple-Garlic Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Dear Jess,

The weather today is so amazing! I just went for an hour long walk with a friend through the zoo. The sun was just warm enough to warm your back as your walking, and the air was just chill enough to turn your cheeks pink. So beautiful.

Yesterday I was at home thinking how long it had been since I made an actual 'meal' dinner for Jason... when I realized it has been too long! No Frills had Pork Tenderloin on sale, so I quickly looked up some tasty-looking marinades. I had 5-6 hours for it to sit in the fridge. Perfect!

Maple-Garlic Marinated Pork Tenderloin
adapted from this recipe
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
lots of fresh ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp low sodium soy-sauce 
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 - 2  pounds pork tenderloin
1. Combine mustard, sesame oil, garlic, pepper, soy-sauce, and maple syrup. Place pork in a large Ziplock bag and add marinade.  Chill in refrigerator for 5-8 hours. (You could also leave it over night if you want)

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Remove pork from marinade and set in a small oven-safe dish. Pour marinade over pork and cover with foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes.

This recipe is so delicious and so easy. Next time I will serve it with rice or potatoes. A little fresh ginger would be delicious added to the marinade as well. 


Monday, November 12, 2012

Homemade Spicy Sausage Alfredo

Dear Sally,

I can totally relate to the feeling of busy. I too often give in to the thought "I don't have time" and get away from cooking. Today was my report card writing day and after I finished my rough copies at noon I decided to jump into the kitchen. Jesse brought home four . .  FOUR pumpkins from his mother's store. He asked if I could use them. My first reaction was excitement over all of the things I could make with pumpkin. That was before I cut, seeded, peeled and boiled it all. Needless to say I had enough of pumpkin after that. I put the pumpkin aside and decided to work on dinner.

Jesse asked me for a creamy pasta and so I opted for an Alfredo. It smelt amazing when I was making it. This is not a dish that can be modified for someone with my allergies and still taste amazing. The recipe comes from my head so it may not be precise but I am sure that it will still taste delicious.


2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic
2 cups 18% cream
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
2 spicy Italian sausages1 package pasta


1. Start boiling your salted water for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil prepare the pasta as directed.

2. Cook the Italian sausages over medium heat. Slice and cook again until browned. Set aside.

3. Heat the butter in a small saucepan. When it is melted add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds then add the flour and stir constantly. Make sure you have the cream near by. Add the cream to the flour mixture a little at a time until it is all added. Stir continually and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the mixture is boiling and begins to thicken add the shredded cheese and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Serve while hot.

I hope you and Jason are staying nice and cozy in Peterborough. Can't wait to see you soon.

Love You!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Italian Sausage and Beef Lasagna

Dearest Jess,

I am sick of always saying 'What a busy time!' I feel like such a wussy wimp! Oh well. Things have been busy, but my school  pictures job has tapered off and I am able to breathe as I contemplate what is to come next. I am getting caught up with housework and cooking. Laundry is finally manageable, and my kitchen has been thoroughly disinfected and wiped down. Hurrah!

This is the second time I have made this recipe. It's from Eat Shrink and be Merry, makes your house smell amazing, and is delicious! I recommend this to anyone!

From Eat Shrink and be Merry, Page 137

8oz (227g) light mild Italian Sausage
8oz (227g) extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
2tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar (22oz/700ml) tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained, cut up
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used Thyme this time)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 cups light ricotta cheese (16oz/454g)
1 pkg (10oz/280g) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped (I used fresh spinach)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 cups packed shredded light mozzarella cheese (6oz/170g)

1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. To make sauce, spray a large, non-stick pot or deep, non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Remove casing from sausage and break into small pieces in skillet. Add ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook an stir over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 1 more minutes. Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, basil, vinegar, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. While sauce is simmering, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

5. To assemble lasagna, spread 1 cup meat sauce over bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, cutting pieces to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 remaining sauce over noodles, followed by 1/3 mozzarella. Top with 4 more noodles, 1/3 sauce, all of the ricotta mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella. For top layer: 4 noodles, 1/3 sauce, 1/3 mozzarella.

6. Cover lasagna with foil and bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let lasagna stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes before serving.

I love you and miss you, as always. I am thrilled to hear that you two are able to settle down a little bit. I can't wait to come and see what you've done to your house and have nice long visit!