Tag Archives: beans

Cilantro, the Recipe Killa

Let it be known that I love cilantro.  I think it is bright, fresh, and sassy tasting, and I love the refreshing zip it adds when it’s included in salsa (especially Lonestar Texas Grill’s).

Let it also be known, that I fail at cooking with cilantro.  I once absolutely ruined my Mexican Lasagna with too much of it, and I almost did it again tonight with a Mexican quinoa stir fry.

As much as I like cilantro, too much of it is DISGUSTING.  It is basically all you can taste.  It overpowers everything else in the dish.

When I am cooking with it, I will add some, think it doesn’t look like enough, and add more.  It’s bad news.  I thought I learned my lesson the first time I did this… But ol’ Andy-pants has now banned me from adding cilantro to anything he is eating.

So picky.

Shmanyway, despite the cilantro incident, dinner ended up being quite yumtastic.  Thankfully, I was able to pick out most of the cilantro, and counteract the rest with a bit of lemon juice.  Phew.  Dinner saved.

I <3 Quinoa

This quinoa stir fry included onion, garlic, green pepper, corn, kidney beans, salsa, and cheddar cheese (and of course CILANTRO).  While I cooked the quinoa, I stir fried the onion and garlic for 5 minutes before adding the green pepper, corn, and kidney beans.

Colourfully Yummy

I then added the quinoa, 1 cup salsa, and 1 cup cheese to this mix (and the cilantro, but we’re leaving that out ;)), and stirred it all together.

Et voila.

Quinoa Goodness

And here’s the rest of my eats today if you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?)


Beastly Salad

A salad beast including romaine lettuce, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, shredded carrot, green onion, black beans, and cashews.  Surprisingly VERY filling and just what I needed after this cheesefest (literally)…

So Cheesy!

Now THAT is CHEESE.  Holy shmoly, that is cheese.  I decided I wasn’t feeling anything at home for breakfast this morning, so I just grabbed a banana and hit up Druxy’s as soon as I got to work for some grilled cheese action.  You choose your bread, cheese, and toppings, and I chose 12 grain bread, havarti cheese, and scrambled eggs.

I had NO idea it was going to be so cheese heavy.  Yowza.  Ah well, I cleaned my plate (or, waxed paper in this case).  It was ridiculously delicious.

Team Buy

A few months ago, TeamBuy (like Groupon, but Canadian) gave me some TeamBucks (like a gift card) to buy something on their site.  Usually gift cards burn a hole in my pocket, but this one I have been saving until I found something good that I actually wanted.  I didn’t want to spend it on something silly like $10 for $25 worth of pizza, you know.

Well I finally used most of it!  I bought a 10-class pass to a Boot Camp nearby, which I am starting tomorrow evening (wish me luck, I may die), and I used some of it today on this:

I am not a beauty expert AT ALL, but I think it’s a pretty good deal, so you guys may want to check that out!

Hope you all have a great night!

PS – I updated my Playlists page with some new beats!

PPS – Thanks for all your well wishes yesterday!  I am feeling allllll betta today!

Question of the evening:

  • Have you ever ruined a dish with too much of one ingredient?


Some WIAW Action

Gird your loins my friends, it’s time for…

(and thank you to Peas & Crayons for being the brains behind this beautiful eating operation)

Not gonna lie, my eats were pretty stellar today.

First up!


Breakfast was a portable cup of delicious smoothie that included frozen strawberries, a frozen banana, fresh pineapple, and about a cup of almond milk (plus a little xanthan gum for thickening).

Portable Yumminess

I took this baby to-go, as I had a long car ride ahead.

Downtown Toronto

At least traffic was light!  I headed downtown to meet my coworker Liz, before carpooling to Brock University in St. Catharines.  We have a coaches conference coming up there in the spring so we were just doing a little site visit.

And that is where I scored my lunch.

Big Ol' Stir Fry

A giant chicken stir fry, and the cafeteria had one of those circular grills, so you pick out all your ingredients and they stir fry it in front of you.  Love those.  Why couldn’t my school have one of those?!

Our conference coordinator at the university treated us to lunch, which was a nice surprise.  She really knows the way to my heart and is currently in the running for my favourite person (in the conference coordinating category ;))

It may have been dinner that truly stole the show for me today though…

Quinoa Goodness

Protein-packed quinoa stirfry (I’ll put the recipe up at the end of this post).

I love quinoa more and more each time I eat it.  It has totally replaced rice for me, and it just has a good healthy taste.  With every bite I get the feeling that I am eating something that is so absolutely good for me, and I love it.  Of course it helps that it is tasty.

I Love You, Quinoa

Friends, if you are on the fence about trying quinoa because it has kind of a weird appearance, just buck up and do it.  You will not regret it.  It is fast becoming my favourite easy meal.

I am off to hit the pavement for a run (didn’t happen this morning, whoooops!)  I will see you cheeky minxes later!

Here is the recipe:

Protein-Packed Quinoa Stirfry


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can any kind beans, rinsed (I used a bean medley that included chick peas, kidney beans and white beans)
  • 1 can green beans, rinsed (you could also use fresh, but I only had canned)
  • half a large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup salsa


1. In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray (I used olive oil spray, or you could just use a couple teaspoons of oil), add your gaaaahlic and onion.  Cook on low for about 6-8 minutes until translucent.

2. Add both cans of beans, stir, and continue to cook until the beans are warm.


3. Add in the cooked quinoa, stir.

4. Add in the salsa, and stir it alllll together.

Annnnd, deliciousness is born 😉

Stay full, my friends 🙂


Happy 97th Birthday to my Beautiful Nana!

My beautiful little Nana is turning 97 today!

My Sunny Nana

97!  That is a big deal, Lucille.

In my tribute to my food-lovin’ Nana, I mention how positive she is, and that I truly believe this is how she has lived for so long and is still doing so amazingly.  I think she is the prime example of how your attitude about life directly impacts the quality of your life.

Nanners & I

Sure, like everyone, she worries about things, particularly her family.  She went through a little phase of worrying about my brother Eric when he was in his second year of high school, about how he might join a gang and start smoking (he didn’t do either).  And she worries sometimes that my purse might get stolen (you must always be aware of “purse snatchers”, they can get you when you least expect it ;)).  But she loves her family, loves her friends, and is deep down just a genuinely happy and good person.

Nana & Fam

My Nana enjoys every moment, takes each day at a time, and is a huge advocate of noticing and appreciating the little things in life.  It is rare to see her without a smile on her face, and I know whenever I talk to her she will have something encouraging and uplifting to say.

She is an amazing woman, a true inspiration, and I am proud to call her my Nana!

Nanners & Me Circa 1983

Nanners & Me 2011


Mel’s Cool Beans (And Rice)

This past summer, my friends Mel and Woody hosted a couples weekend at their cottage. There were 10 of us in total, and it was a really great time full of swimming, games (including Poker, and my fave Pictionary), relaxing, drinks, and of course EATING.

Woody made some pretty serious ribs for everyone on night number one, which got rave reviews from the boys:

Woody’s Delicious BBQ Ribs

But it was Mel’s beans and rice on night two that really stole the show for me. Most of the time at cottages all I eat is meat: burgers, hotdogs, ribs, steak…and maybe some bagged salad on the side if I’m lucky. When Mel’s beans and rice entered the picture, it was so refreshing to eat something substantial and healthy, sans meat! I gobbled it up and went back for more.

That spicy beans and rice dish really stuck with me. I have been fantasizing about eating it again ever since that cottage weekend, and kept meaning to ask Mel for her recipe.

Well, I finally got it, so tonight I tried it out!

The greatest thing about the rice and beans, in my opinion, is that it has a story behind it! Mel told me she was originally inspired to make it after visiting Costa Rica. There they eat it for both breakfast and lunch every day (and call it ‘casado’), which was perfect for Mel, since she is a vegetarian, and therefore didn’t have to struggle to eat while traveling there.

Mel and I on New Years

Mel let me know that she improvises with her recipe, and made me feel free to improvise with it as well. I wanted to stay true to her recipe, at least the first time, so the only change I made was using brown rice instead of white.

Casado Recipe

  • 1 and a half cups rice
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 (small) can peaches and cream corn
  • 1 cup salsa (Mel and I both used half a small jar of Tostitos medium)
  • A few dashes of cumin, chili powder and garlic powder
  • A couple pinches of paprika
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice as normal (I am a terrible rice cooker apparently, and I think I slightly overcooked mine). Add beans and corn and let them warm up on medium-low heat with the rice for about 5-10 mins. Stir in salsa, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese.

Annnnd DONE!


This was even a hit with my serious meat-loving lovah, who said he didn’t even miss the meat! We both cleaned our plates.

My Dinna

I would not change anything about this recipe (except I’d be more careful with my rice). I thought it was absolutely perfect as is. It made a LOT, so I set aside some for us for lunch tomorrow, and then froze the rest. Easy, healthy, delicious. My top three fave qualities in a recipe.

This recipe is also gluten-free in addition to being vegetarian.

Thanks Mel! 😀

EDIT: I made this again and it looked like this:

Beans & Rice Part 2

Pretty big difference!  I clearly sucked at the rice cooking the first time.