Thursday, June 16, 2011

This blog has moved....

I have decided to simplify my online life and move this blog to my website on Wordpress.

Here is the new address:       - click on Edie's blog

If you are a subscriber, it will continue to be sent to your e-mail address automatically.

You can also order my creation:  "The MIndful Meal Planner - A 52 Week Workbook" on that site!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wheat Berry Salad and The Dinner Bell

My mother always rang a dinner bell to call the 6 children and Dad to the table. The bell would ring "da-ding, da-ding" , then Mom would follow it up with an operatic: "diiiinnnnnerrrrrrrr".  That bell brings back more family memories for me than any other sound or smell. The nightly ritual of coming to the table at 6 P.M. was a comforting constant in our lives.

She has told me several times that she no longer has use of the bell and that I should take it down if I would like to have it. She doesn't seem to have any sentiment attached to it???
Gee....why wouldn't anyone be sentimental about cooking for 8 everyday........hmmmmm....I wonder???
The last few visits I couldn't bear to unscrew it from the wall at 6 Highland Drive - it just belonged there and I thought removing it would be depressing.
But during my last visit, she said it again..." take it, I am not calling anyone to dinner anymore."  I realized that I only have a few more years to use that dinner bell before my own little chickadees start to fly away from the nest. So, I took a screwdriver from Dad's very organized tool bench and unscrewed it off of the wall.
Mike and I secured it to our wall. It really looks like it has been there forever....

Da-ding, Da-ding!
I am glad to have it.....and the memories!

Last night I put together a salad meal with one of my favourite grains: Wheat Berries.
What is a wheat berry? All wheat products originate from wheat berries. They are wheat kernels with only the inedible hull removed. Very nutritious and so delicious!

They have a chewy, chewy texture and a bit of a nutty, earthy flavor...they work in a dessert -  similar to a rice pudding or even as a breakfast cereal when milk, raisins and cinnamon get involved.

This recipe is adapted from a very entertaining book about family and dinnertime....aptly called: The Family Dinner, by Laurie David.
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time

Wheat Berry Salad

2 cups wheat berries, rinsed
6 cups water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
1 cup or more frozen edamame beans, defrosted
1 cup or more dried cranberries
freshly ground salt, pepper

I used a rice cooker to cook my wheat berries which takes about 55 minutes to get them to the right consistency. All of the water will not be absorbed - drain them.
If you use a pot on the stove, cook uncovered for about 50 minutes. Check after about 45 minutes to see if they are ready. Chewy and tender is the consistency you are looking to achieve.

Mix the dressing of oil and juices and add to the cooked grain.
Add the cranberries, edamame beans and any other add-ins such as: crumbled feta, chopped fresh herbs, chopped greens, walnuts.
Store covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Looks nice served on a bed of lettuce....
Comme ca:

Bella is very helpful in the garden...she wants to plant a hamburger tree.

Can we plant a hamburger bush Mom?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cheater Stir Fry

I had intended to post about a more impressive meal than this.
It was baked haddock with fiddleheads, carrots and rice - and it was nice....
but then, after the delicious meal that I wanted to share with you, after a few hours of digesting that delectable meal.....I came down with the stomach flu. 
So, I am sorry, but I can't even think about that meal, let alone look at photographs, reminisce and write about it.

And then, you know what is like, for the next couple of days, cooking is just not something you want to do... the sights and smells of food are just too much for your sensitive system...

Mike and the boys took over the chicken dinner on Sunday, but by Monday I felt I should pull it together and get a good meal on the table. Luckily, there was leftover chicken and brown rice.
Perfect..... a stir fry!
I thought to myself, 'Do I really want to chop alllll of those veggies???"the answer was 'no', so here is:
Cheater Stir Fry.....and they all loved it!

I bought a big bag of frozen 'Stir Fry Vegetables' -all I had to chop was an onion, some garlic and the chicken.

The best part of this post is the stir fry sauce which is adapted from Mollie Katzen's book: Get Cooking. 

Make the sauce first:

Orange Ginger Sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (I keep mine in the freezer and grate as needed)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp cornstarch

Combine all of the sauce ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch in a liquid measuring cup with a spout. and whisk until blended.
Put the cornstarch into a small bowl and drizzle a little of the sauce over it. Whisk this together, then add it back to the measuring cup of sauce. This sauce is so tasty - and it can be made ahead and kept for days in the fridge.

Heat a wok over medium heat and add a glug of olive oil.

Add the chopped onion and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add a few cloves of crushed garlic.

Throw in 6 or 7 cups of the frozen stir fry veggie mix (I have to say, it is not as good as chopping the fresh veggies and putting them into the wok according to how long they cook....but anyway...)

Stir fry for about 8 - 10 minutes, add the chopped chicken and after whisking the sauce again - throw that in too.

The sauce will thicken up nicely. Stir fry for another 2 minutes or so.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fast and Easy Black Bean Burritos

Fast and easy meant something entirely different in high school - but at this stage we are referring to a healthy,delicious meal; ready in under 30 minutes.

These Black Bean Burritos are perfect for those rainy days that your dog rolls herself over decaying animal remains. Yes, THOSE days...

I used leftover brown rice, store-bought salsa and canned black beans - (Eden has cans without BPA).

Heat a large pan and add a glug of olive oil.
Saute sliced onions and smashed garlic cloves. ( just peel and smash them with the side of my chef's knife - palm on knife, push down.)
Add some sweet peppers - any colour.

Saute and then stir in cooked rice, salsa and beans. Add a little hot sauce, if desired.
Heat oven to 375

When heated through. Place a large tortilla in a lightly oiled baking pan with sides. Fill it with about 3/4 cup of the bean rice mixture and roll it up tightly. Keep filling those tortillas, chicka

Fill a couple of tortillas (tucking in sides before you roll them up) and wrap them to have for lunches!!

Spread a little more salsa on top, and a little grated cheese.
Bake in oven until cheese melts


 It looked prettier in real life...

Bella enjoying the pleasant smells of Spring!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Release....Leftover Salmon and Penne Pasta

I do believe Spring has sprung in Nova Scotia!

And with Earth Day coming - time to reduce, reuse and recycle!

REDUCE: Bella doesn't need all of that 'fluff for the summer:


These shoes - honestly.... Where did I think I was going? Worn once...and I felt overdressed for the occasion. Anyway, REUSE....... by someone else.

How about the clothes Will has outgrown - cute plaid shorts and his ski jacket from two years ago - REUSE ... by a sweet little neighbour.

  I wanted to 'clean out the larder' before my next grocery trip, so came up with this simple meal. Granted, it should have had more veggies or a salad for more nutrition - but we are reducing here folks!
This dish is similar to the last post, forgive me - but it is such a simple and delicious meal that follows the 'cook once, eat twice' I decided to share it.
The salmon was cooked and enjoyed with ample veggies the night before. It had been a piece too large for one meal, so the leftovers went in the fridge to be RECYCLED into a new dish.

Salmon, Peas and Penne Pasta

1. Cook the pasta until almost dente, add a lot of frozen peas to the pot for the last 3 minutes or so.

2. Drain pasta and peas

3. Add pesto, as I did, or a nice drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and a dash or two of salt.

4. Add slivers of cooked salmon.

5. Toss gently and grate fresh parmesan on top.

After scanning the house for anything else that was neither functional nor beautiful - I looked outside to the backyard. How long has it been since the boys and neighbours have played on the swingset? Can it really be a year...or maybe even two? It seemed that those days would never end - where did the time go??
Feeling 'tres' sentimental, I remind myself that we want them to grow up and become responsible, independent adults. Wouldn't I be worried if they still wanted to hang out with me and play on the swing set? So this is good - they are 'cutting the apron strings',becoming independent and forming their own interests and opinions (opposite of mine, no matter what I say!) Lauchlin will be driving in the next couple of months. In the eyes of a parent, it just doesn't seem possible that their baby will drive away from them... on their own! - Take a look at this commercial

Neighbours down the street with two wonderfully lively little girls wanted the swing set! When the Dad came to load it onto a trailer, I try to warn him how fast this stage goes by - he tells me how busy he is keeping them fed, active and engaged - I know, I know, I remember....but it goes so fast....RELEASE....

There goes the swing set...RELEASE

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quickie Pesto Pasta for a Hairy Night

Now, I know when I say the word "quickie" you are automatically going to think something sexy is happening in my kitchen....may I remind you that this is the 'Dietitian's Kitchen' which upholds high standards of cleanliness and decorum. :) 

Speaking of cleanliness, our sons are getting to the age where they are becoming proud of their ability to put on muscle mass. They admire their muscles in the living room mirror which can be seen from a nice vantage point in the dining room. When this happens I feel this internal surge of anxiety of an ensuing conflict - and can hear my father's voice to my teenage brother Harry, who was/is very hairy, "Harry, go get a shirt on!!"  NO ONE was allowed to walk around without a shirt on, especially near the kitchen - it would not matter if you were the queen.

So even though our boys are not yet hairy like Uncle Harry - I will not accept this shirtllessness in the kitchen/dining area....

Speaking of hairy, we had a hairy night on Wednesday so I turned to one of my favourite quickie meals at 6:55 P.M.

 Pesto Pasta With Broccoli and Chicken

Whole wheat Pasta
Cooked chicken breast, cubed
Parmesan Cheese

Add dry whole wheat pasta to lightly salted boiling water.

Approximately 5-6 minutes before it is done, throw some cleaned, cut broccoli florets and stems on top to steam.

To thin your pesto a little, you can use some of the pasta water. I had pesto in the freezer from last fall - You can use store-bought pesto if needed.

Drain the pasta and broccoli in a colander and put back into pot. Stir in lots of pesto and some cooked, cubed chicken breast.


Top with some freshly ground pepper and parmesan and serve with a salad!

It will be on the table in about 20-25 minutes!

 Watching my boys turn into men is fascinating, and sad at the same time - it goes by so fast that you want to turn back the clock and see them toddling around again asking for a cuddle- even just for an hour
I guess, in my mind, they will always be my little boys - even with muscles and....hairy chests...

" Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
                                                                                                      -Robert Brault (writer)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poor Little Cabbage!

"You poor little image" my mother used to say to me as a child. A picture of a cabbage always came into my mind and I wondered why she called me a cabbage - and why was I 'poor' - after all, I felt pretty lucky!

I was born 8 years after the first 5 Shaws, who arrived in quick succession. So it was just by luck, and nightly prayers of sister Joey, that I made it into this family! There were many pet names for the 'baby' of the family: Edie bun-bun, Edie-belle, Eedle, little punk, and my sister Joanne's, "angel of my heart"
Now I hold all of these endearing names in my heart like precious family heirlooms.... even 'little punk' which always make me laugh inside.
Brother Harry called and left a message recently - "Hey Eeedle" it goes.............. I saved it to remind me of my great luck to have been born into such a great 
patch of people!



Did you have a nickname at home? I would love to hear them!

Anyway, back to the poor little cabbage

This quick recipe makes a wonderful crunchy winter salad. You can alter almost any ingredient as you desire.
Citrus segments or fresh pineapple pieces
Apple cider vinegar
Other nuts and maybe a little crumbling of feta? Why not....


Remove the outermost leaves. Cut the cabbage in half and take out the core. 
(I just used 1/2 of a medium cabbage for this recipe -makes a lot!)

Put pieces of the cabbage into the grate blade of the food processor - or chop it finely.

Dice up a couple of apples and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them. Add to grated cabbage.
Throw in some dried cranberries if you wish.

Mix up a little vinaigrette: app 2:1 olive oil to balsamic vinegar, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic  - taste and adjust.

Toss the vinaigrette with the cabbage

Top it off with some walnuts and sunflower seeds - particularly if you are using this as a lunch - you will want the protein.

Avocado on Rye Toast with Purple Cabbage Salad

Enjoy your poor little cabbage!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roasted Veggies and Salmon en Papillote

March is Nutrition Month - the theme this year: "Celebrate Food..... From Field to Table"

Here is an interesting piece on preserving farmland on The Current : 


Getting a little tired of winter veggies? Same old carrots, potatoes, parsnips,.......
have you tried roasting them?
Roasting veggies intensifies their flavours and creates some interesting textures:  sweet and salty, crispy and creamy - YES! You will be turned on by root veggies once more! Not a Brussel Sprouts lover? Roast them and try them again!
Onions make you cry? Roast them and you won't shed a tear!


Preheat the oven to 400.
Peel (if necessary), and cut the veggies into similar sizes for even cooking. Don't cut them too small.

Peel some garlic cloves - but leave them whole - they will taste like creamy candy!!

Throw all of the veggies in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil.

Go ahead and season them with a little freshly ground salt and pepper.
Adding a few sprigs of rosemary is not a bad idea either....

Spread the veggies out in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the oven.
Toss them around every few minutes

Test a couple pieces after about 30 minutes to see if they are tender. Cook until tender and carmelized.

So maybe you have been roasting veggies for years and you are thinking - 'oh, I opened up this blog post for THIS....ho hum, Edie, tell me something I don't already know.'

Oh....uh...gee........tough audience...hmmmmm

Have you used parchment bags yet? Or should I say have you cooked 'en papillote' ?


Rinse and pat your filets dry (salmon, trout, haddock etc).
Put a slice of lemon on top of each filet - you may want to season with herbs or just a grind of salt and pepper.
Slide them into the parchment bag - or create a bag out of parchment paper. Put this on a baking sheet. (I actually just threw my bag o' salmon right on top of the veggies!)

When the roasted veggies are about 10- 12 minutes away from being tender, put the fish in the oven. Cook until the fish flakes easily and is opaque. 
Careful opening your papillote! It will be STEAMY AND HOT!


Bella making snow angels

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pretty Pity Pot Pie

I had a few moments of self pity the other day as south-bound neighbours dropped off their perishables for us to enjoy while they soak up the sun in the Dominican. 
With sniffles and a cough that just won't stop, I walked Bella along the frozen lake in the bitter cold wind and felt sorry for myself - thinking "Gee, why aren't we going south with the rest of Tantallon?!

But then - I realized I have leftover chicken and broth in the fridge and WE will have chicken pot pie for dinner!!

I decided to call this recipe "Pretty Pity Pot Pie". 
In the movie, Waitress, the heroine played by Keri Russell is a waitress and genius pie maker who names her pies as to how she is feeling. It is a quirky, sweet film and I highly recommend it! But enjoy it with a Coconut Cream Pie instead of popcorn!

This chicken pot pie is traditional except for the pretty top of crispy golden phyllo pastry. It is sooooo pretty and better for you than a pastry top!

Warning Type A's: amounts of ingredients are approximate according to what you have available and your preferences.

glug of Olive oil
2-3 stocks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
Approximately 2-3 cups of veggies such as carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, peeled and cubed.
Approximately 2 cups Chicken broth
~ 1cup Cooked chicken, cubed
 1 tsp each dried oregano, rosemary, sage (improvise with herbs that you have!)
pinch salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
~ 2 cups of quick cooking veggies you have around: chopped broccoli (florets and stalks), frozen peas
1/4 cup flour or enough to thicken the broth

Pretty Top:
4-5 sheets of phyllo pastry
1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter

1. Heat a good sized soup pot over medium heat and add a glug of olive oil 
2. Add the onion and celery and saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the diced vegetables and stir. 

4. Add a couple of cups of chicken broth, cubed chicken, herbs and salt and pepper. Let the veggies simmer until almost soft, about 10-15 minutes.

5. Take out about 1/4 cup of the broth and put in a small bowl. Whisk in the flour to thicken. Add this mixture back to the broth and stir. Do this again if it does not thicken up to your liking.

6. Add the quick cooking veggies such as broccoli and peas. Simmer for a few more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

7. Ladle the filling into 1 or 2 pie plates or square pans. 

8. Preheat the oven to 425.

9. Spread 1 Phyllo sheet out on a cutting board. Brush with butter or olive oil

10. Scrunch it up with your fingers and place it on the pie filling. Repeat this step until the whole pie is covered.

Put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.

 Remove your pretty pie from the oven and give thanks for winter and all of its comforts!

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
Albert Camus