Easy Healthy Recipe Thursday: Turkey Spaghetti Squash (6 Servings)

This dinner recipe is excellent for people who love pasta, yet they are on low carb diet.   Spaghetti squash also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart diseases, inflammation occasioned by arthritis and different types of cancers, omega-6 fatty acids are ideal for promoting proper brain function.

Remember, for every dinner dish that are introduced in “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we aim for $5 CAN per serving maximum. Here is the recipe and cost of ingredients:

1 small spaghetti squash ($3.28 CAN)

20 ounce ground turkey ($6.93 CAN)

3 teaspoon capers, minced ($0.25 CAN)

3 teaspoon fresh  oregano, minced ($0.10 CAN)

3 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped ($0.08 CAN)

1 tablespoon avocado oil ($0.50 CAN)

0.5 cup onion, minced ($0.36 CAN)

4 cloves garlic, minced ($0.66 CAN)

2 green onions, minced ($0.19 CAN)

2 cups tomatoes, crushed ($1.56 CAN)

salt to taste ($0.05 CAN)

ground black pepper to taste ($0.05 CAN)

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1) Boil water in a wok or big pot over high heat.  Half spaghetti squash and place cut squash on a plate.  Steam squash over medium heat for 30 minutes or until soften.

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2) Allow squash to cool and scoop out strands of squash with a large fork and set aside.

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3) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 2 minutes.  Add turkey and cook for 4 minutes.  Add garlic, tomatoes and bring to a boil.

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4) Add capers, oregano, salt, pepper, cilantro and green onion. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Briefly toss spaghetti squash into turkey mixture and serve.

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There you are! Although the texture of spaghetti squash is not the same as real pasta, this dish still tasted very good! You can also add red pepper flakes if you want to add some kick to the dish.

Ultimately, this dish costs $14.04 CAN in total, which is $2.34 CAN per serving. Better than spending your money at a restaurant eh?

Do you like spaghetti squash? What is your favourite spaghetti squash recipe? Post your comments below. Till next time!

P.S. The prices were as of Tuesday, April 14, 2014 at No Frills. 

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Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday: Baked Basa Fillet (4 Servings)

With this era of increasing food prices and economical uncertainty, a lot of  people are having harder times to make meals that are affordable and healthy. Unfortunately, many of them cannot keep the balance of affordable and healthy because most people think healthy food are more expensive.  In “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we will show you recipes that are inexpensive, affordable and easy.  Who says healthy food is expensive?

For every recipe in “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we would buy every ingredient in No Frills because they are a lot of No Frills in Toronto and the groceries in No Frills are affordable.  (No Frills did not endorse me to do this).

Ok! Let’s talk about the recipe.  Today,  we will be making Baked Basa Fillet. We chose Basa because this fish is affordable and does not overcook easily.  In addition, fish is a great source of many nutrients such as omega-3, is rich in protein and healthy fats and low in saturated fat and is heart-healthy and good for brain and eye development. This recipe is great for dinner.  In addition, for every dinner dish that are introduced in “Easy Healthy Recipe Wednesday and Thursday”, we aim for $5 CAN per serving maximum. Here is the recipe and cost for each ingredient:

1 teaspoon avocado oil ($0.50 CAN)

1 cup cucumber, diced ($0.50 CAN)

0.5 cups onion, minced ($0.13 CAN)

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced ($0.03 CAN)

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced ($1.0 CAN)

2 tablespoons thyme, leaves only ($0.50 CAN)

0.25 teaspoons salt and ground black pepper ($1.0 CAN)

4 unfrozen basa fillet ($5.51 CAN)

One-third cups feta cheese, crumbled ($1.50 CAN)

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1) Preheat oven to 450F.

2) Heat avocado oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cucumber, onion and garlic.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until tender.

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3) When mixture becomes tender, mix in tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper.

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4) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.  Arrange basa fillet in single layers in baking dish.  Spoon cucumber mixture over each fillet. Top with feta cheese.

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5) Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is easily flaked with fork.

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And there you are! So the total cost to make this dish is $10.67 CAN.  That means it costs $2.67 CAN per serving.  THIS IS VERY CHEAP AND MEETS WITH OUR $5 CAN MAXIMUM (See! Healthy food does not have to be expensive).

As to the dish, the sauce was very DELICIOUS and the fish was not overcooked.  In addition, I smelled the thyme already when the fish came out from the oven.  Moreover, the feta cheese not only added saltiness to the dish, but also added “creaminess” when the cheese was eaten together with the fish.

Do you have your favourite fish recipe? What is your favourite fish? Post your comments below. Till next time.

P.S. The prices were as of Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at No Frills. 

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Recipe (1 Small Loaf)

A few days ago, I showed you guys how to make sourdough starter. I feel this would be more complete if I ACTUALLY make bread with the starter.

But before we go on, I just want to say thank you to the people who looked at my post yesterday. I posted the link to my own Facebook page, and I did not even know so many people are interested in knowing why did I start doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).  This is one of the reason I am still doing this sport today because the BJJ community is very supportive and everyone is helping each other out. There are some outliers of course, but I will talk about this later.  Many of the comments on my Facebook were positive.  Here were some (names were covered due to privacy reasons):

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THANKS GUYS! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!

Okay! Now back to sourdough bread recipe.  I used whole wheat flour because it is healthier.  Whole wheat flour is more expensive than all-purpose flour, but not that much (probably one or two dollars more for the same weight).  Since bread making is a long process, therefore you also have to make sure you schedule your time properly.  Here is the recipe:

3.5 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups warm water

0.5 cups sourdough starter

2 teaspoons salt

Noticed I did not weigh my ingredients (weighing ingredients are more accurate when baking)? This is because I think some people do not have a scale at home, and this recipe worked for them as well.

1) Put all ingredients in a BIG bowl in this order: starter, water, flour and salt.  You do not want starter and salt to interact with each other at this point because salt inhibits yeast’s growth.

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2) Mix everything until a dough is formed.  If it is too wet, put more flour; if it is too dry, put more water. Transfer to a floured surface when dough is formed.  Knead the dough until windowpane test is passed (just grab a small piece of dough into golf ball size and stretch dough into translucent membrane.  Your dough is ready to rise when the membrane does not break).  It took me less than thirty minutes to knead the dough.

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3) When dough is ready to rise, put it into a bowl, cover with a wet cloth and let the dough rise to double its original size in a spacious environment. It may the dough four hours to twenty-four hours to rise, depends on where you put the bowl.  Mine took twelve hours to rise.

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4)  When dough is rise properly, punch dough to release carbon dioxide from the dough and re-incorporate oxygen to the dough.  After you punch the dough, let the dough rise to double its original size again.  Mine took another twelve hours.

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5) When dough is ready, round dough on a slighly floured surface and let is rest for thirty minute.

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6) Turn on oven to 150F and grease loaf pan with oil.  When oven is ready, put dough into loaf pan and put loaf pan in oven.  We are now proofing the dough so the bread is ready for final baking.  Make sure you turn on the steam in your oven because steam is needed for proofing and baking process.  Since I only have a toaster pan, I had to fill a cup with water and put the cup inside the oven. Mine took almost 1.5 hours to proof.  I know my dough was ready when I use my finger to push the dough and the dented part slowly came up.  If you did that and the dented part came up instantly, that means your dough is not ready to be baked.

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7) When dough is ready, turn up your oven to 350F and slash one side of your bread.  I put tin foil on my dough so it did not get burnt easily. Bake your bread for  twenty-five minutes to one hour.

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8) When you see your bread has browned (about twenty-five minutes), you can check to see if your bread is done by using a thermometer and poke a hold to your bread.  Your bread will be ready when the dough reaches the temperature between 190F to 210F.  Let the bread rest for at least thirty minutes after baking.

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9) When bread is completely cool, you can start eating it!

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There you go! The bread will taste slightly sour when cooled, but it is still good for your homemade sandwiches or just with butter or your favourite spread alone.  Also, you can see the bread is very easy to make and you spend most of the time just waiting.  So give it a try!

Have you made sourdough bread before? What is your recipe? How long did it take you to make yours? Post your comments below. Till next time!

Broccoli Soup Recipe Inspired by Gordon Ramsay (2 Servings)

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This is recipe is inspired by Gordon Ramsay in his Kitchen Nightmare UK show when he showed of the owners his version of broccoli soup. I find it very healthy, easy-to-make and delicious. I do not get why she said Gordon’s soup is too bland. Anyways, I like Gordon Ramsay not because of his pretty face, but because of his work ethic.  He works so hard to get to where he is now.  I truly believe anyone can achieve whatever they want as long as they are consistent, persistent, passionate, and hardworking. I cannot say I am a hard worker, but I work more than 12 hours a day to achieve the goals I want.

I am going to work at a kitchen this summer, so I believe I will introduce more unique recipes to you guys.

Anyways, I got the ingredients today and it took me one hour to make it.  Here is the recipe:

2 broccoli heads, cleaned and cut

6 cups water

1 tablespoon avocado oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons 0% yogurt

15 pistachios, crushed

pinches of salt and pepper

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1) Boiled water in high heat. Put salt, oil and broccoli in pot when water boiled. The water should be covering the broccoli.

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2) When broccoli is cooked.  Turned off the heat and strained the broccoli.   Make sure you saved the water because you need the water for blending later.

3) After straining the broccoli, put broccoli in the blender and blended until broccoli become small pieces (about 15 seconds).  Add garlic into blender and slowly added broccoli water.  At this point, the amount of water added is up to you.  Add just a little if you want a thick soup and add more if you want a thin soup.

4) Put the blended broccoli-water mixture to a pot and let it boil.

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5) When boiled, add salt and pepper for taste. Ladled soup to a small bowl.  Scooped yogurt to the soup and garnish with pistachio.

And voila. The soup tastes so good. It has the broccoli flavour with a slightly sour kick from the garlic and yogurt.  Pistachio also added a salty crunch to the soup.

Do you like broccoli? How do you usually eat your broccoli? Do you have your own secret broccoli soup recipe? Post your comments below. Till next time!