Chicken Diablo

chicken-diabloThere are many versions of this recipe. For my Chicken Diablo, I will be broiling the chicken breasts instead of using the fry pan. It is a healthier, lower calorie version when you bake or broil your chicken in the oven. If you use homemade mayonnaise for this recipe, you will not have all the preservatives you get in the store bought version. This is easy to make and so tasty!!!




6 pieces chicken breast
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. mayonnaise or yogurt
1 tbsp. dry white wine or chicken stock or lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( or more Panko or bread crumbs )
1 tbsp. chopped thyme or rosemary or sage or other herbs

1. Dry chicken breasts with paper towels
2. Pound the chicken between 2 pieces of parchment or cut in half to make the cutlets thinner.
3. Combine in a deep dish or bowl the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, wine, Worcestershire (Worcester) sauce, Tabasco and pepper.
4. Combine and then place on a plate the Panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and chopped herbs.
5. Dip chicken into the sauce and then coat on both sides with the Panko mixture. Place on a wire rack until ready to cook.
6. Preheat broiler and place baking sheet in the oven.
7. Place a piece of parchment on the baking sheet and then the chicken on top.  Broil 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Turn over after the first 4 minutes.
8. Reduce heat from broil to 350F/180C and bake 5 minutes longer.  Yummy!
chicken_breadingCoated chicken, ready to broil
chicken_breaded_ovenChicken Diablo out of the oven. Tasty and low cal!
chciken_diablo-plateChicken Diablo with roasted asparagus, tomato and sweet potato salad
cottage_tableWelcoming dining room at the picturesque lake house.
HAT2FOOD TIP: Serve warm and then refrigerate any left overs which are great cold sliced on salads or in a sandwich with some oven roasted tomatoes or just lettuce and more ‘homemade’ mayo of course.
You will want to make extra!


Need a Tasty Treat Today? Craving Sweets or Chocolate? Here is the solution!!!

My neighbour loves chocolate and loves sweets but she gets headaches for days afterwards. I started thinking about this and kept my mind and my eyes open for a solution. I did some testing with organic dates and almonds and came up with these treats.


Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp natural raspberry flavour*
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, natural raspberry flavour vanilla extract and salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They will store longer in the freezer. My neighbour tried them and did she get a headache?  You guessed it!  NO!
Added pizazz – Sprinkled edible gold leaf on your truffles. Or – add organic lime zest on top of the truffles -right before serving for that extra tang.
*Note:  Natural raspberry flavour is made by companies such as Boyajian and is available through and other sources.


Curb your Sugar Cravings
A few weeks later, I was chatting with my hairdresser about food. She was concerned about the sugar that her adult sons were ingesting and she asked me if I had any recipes for dates and nuts. She had tried to make some sweet treats on her own with limited success. She was chopping the ingredients with a knife. You really will not get that smooth consistency with a knife. A food processor is really ideal for this process. You can change the consistency by adding more lime juice or almond milk.


1 cup soft pitted date
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1T organic matcha green tea powder
1 T unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional)

Add dates and almonds to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until they come together into a ball. Break up ball and add cocoa powder, matcha powder, almond milk, vanilla extract and pinch salt. Process until all ingredients have been combined and form into a large sticky ball again. Roll into 20 small balls and dust with more matcha powder.
Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or longer in freezer.

didyouknow2FOOD FACTS: You do not become hypoglycemic with these treats. They do not elevate your blood sugar. Remember with sugary treats, you are full of energy or have the sugar rush. Inevitably, after the peak then comes the crash. These truffle treats have very healthy ingredients;  full of nutrition and will also give you a boost if you are working in the office or you are at the gym.  You can keep on going like the “Ever Ready Bunny” .


2 cups pistachios
I cup pitted dates
4 organic limes, zest and juice of each.

Mix only 1 1/2 cups of the pistachios and all the dates in food processor until it comes to a ball.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the pistachios for the coating. Process the pistachios and dates until it comes together in a ball (about 3 minutes). While this is mixing, zest the limes and then juice them. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios into tiny bits to be used for coating. Break up the pistachio-date ball and add zest and juice of all key limes. Process until well combined. Toss pistachio-date mixture into 18 balls and then roll in chopped pistachios. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month or longer in freezer.
HAT2FOOD TIP : You can change the consistency of these sweet treats by adding more lime juice or almond milk as needed. Also if you are using the zest of any citrus fruit, you must buy organic to avoid the pesticides. If you are just eating or juicing the lime,  you don’t need to pay extra for the organic.

Spicy Roasted Salmon

SPICY ROASTED SALMON is a tasty way to prepare salmon. Poached or pan fried salmon is so tedious, tiresome and boring. Coat your salmon with a spicy rub before roasting it. You can make extra rub and store it to use later on a roasted acorn squash. (This is a healthy alternative to the usual brown sugar and butter coating for squash.)

1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp sugar substitute (optional)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp dried chipotle or cayenne pepper
1Tablespoon grated lime rind

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place fish skin side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Mix spices and place on top of salmon.
Roast in center of oven 8 to 10 minutes until done.

spicy_salmon-rubThe rub is enough for 4 salmon fillets.
I use half of the rub and I roast 2 salmon fillets.
I have one for dinner and then have the other one cold for lunch a few days later.
You are busy.
You don’t have time to cook each and every meal.
I store the rest of the rub to use for a roasted acorn squash that I will make at a later date.
These ingredients store very well in your pantry.

So how do you tell if your fish is done?
Do you flake it to see?
Have you ever had a restaurant serve a piece of fish where the sides have been cut to see if it is done?
Drop a paring knife into the middle of the fish from a height of about 6 to 8 inches.
If it goes through the fish, it is done.
If it meets resistance, return it to the oven and roast a few more minutes.
Please do not overcook this wonderful salmon.
You may just as well have used canned salmon because that is what it will taste like.

You will have succulent juicy healthy salmon by following these directions!

Healthy Quinoa Burger

The world has changed from our North American meat and potatoes society.
It is now meat and couscous (North Africa) or quinoa [KEEN-wah] (Peru) in South America. You may also try bulgur (durum wheat) from Turkey, a cousin to couscous. Wild quinoa has its roots from the Spanish (Peruvian) area. Merging cultures helps us to add healthy variety to our meals.
I prefer quinoa as a side to my meal or on its own.


Tasty Quinoa Burgers

QUINOA (pseudocereal grain)
It is not a member of the true grass family like wheat. Quinoa has powerful health benefits. It is high in protein – more protein than rice or wheat and tastes great. Since it is not related to wheat or grain quinoa is gluten-free.. Quinoa recipes can be sweet or savory. Marathon runners load up on cinnamon scented quinoa with walnuts, honey and coconut milk. Is quinoa the new breakfast of champions?

Quinoa Burgers Recipe with Beet Greens

1 bunch of BEET GREENS, stemmed and washed (1/2 to 3/4 pound)
2 cups cooked quinoa, preferably rainbow quinoa
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
⅔ cup finely chopped carrot
⅔ cup finely chopped onion
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice mill
2 garlic cloves
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 egg (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Either steam the beet greens for 2 minutes above 1 inch boiling water, or blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain, squeeze out excess water, and chop medium-fine. Place in a large bowl with the cooked quinoa.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are just about tender, about 3 minutes, and add the ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant, and add the cumin and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for another minute, and remove from the heat. Stir into the quinoa mixture.
3. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, or in a bowl using a fork or a potato masher, purée the chickpeas with the lemon juice and, if using, the egg. Add to the quinoa mixture and stir everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Begin heating a heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Seasoned cast iron is good, and so is a heavy nonstick pan that can go into the oven. Moisten your hands lightly and shape 4 large or 6 smaller patties. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 1 to 2 minutes on one side, until nicely browned. Carefully turn the patties over and place the pan in the oven.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the patties are lightly browned; if they fall apart you can patch them together with some pressure from the spatula. Remove from the heat and serve, with or without buns, ketchup and the works.

Beet Salad with Pecans and Feta

It All Starts From A Seed
I already have my beet seeds ready for spring planting in early April (in Toronto, Ontario, CANADA). It’s been a chilly March which may force me to plant my seeds in late April this year. I really enjoy beet salad, especially when paired with goat cheese. Soft goat cheese or feta cheese both work well in this salad. I was inspired after I made Wolfgang Puck’s Goat Cheese Napoleons for the first time. Amazing! I love beets so much that I now grow them in the garden at the lake house. Last year, as most years, they were left unattended ..and Mother Nature watered my beets.  I liked to pick my baIMG_0003by beets when they are about 1″ in size. When I served my beet appetizer to Chef Jamie, a weekend guest, his eyes immediately opened wide. He couldn’t believe the flavour. I bought the same type of seeds this year; golden and ruby beets. My favorite golden beets are sweeter than their deep red sibling. Even the greens from the golden beets are sweeter.
This year, I decided to grow beets in my balcony pots in Toronto. I will still faithfully plant them in the north country by the lake. I fear the Toronto smog may take its toll on my city beets. It will be interesting to see how they both turn out; the country beets and city beets.

6 medium beets
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
3 cups baby arugula or other tender greens(like watercress, baby spinach, etc.)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste, if you wish
Optional: 1/2 cup toasted pecans
Serves 4 people.
Single Servings: refrigerate what you don’t plan on eating. It will be hard to resist not having this salad the next day for lunch or dinner.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rinse the beets and cut off the greens, saving them for another use. Hint: chop and freeze the greens if you are not using soon.
3. Bake beets in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until tender. I am using my glass baking containers for this instead of the classic foil.
4. Let them cool and then slip the skin off using gloves or paper towels to protect your hands from colouring. Cut into edible sized pieces.
Optional: You can toast your pecans in the oven for about 10 minutes, leave them untoasted (healthier but not as tasty) or candy them (not as healthy but yummy!)
5. Combine ingredients for the salad dressing. I do not use any salt in this dressing. I find that I do not miss it. The feta is salty enough.
6. Toss the greens in the dressing reserving some to drizzle on top of the salad. Place the greens in the serving bowl. The beets and pomegranate seeds are scattered on top. Then I layer on the feta and pecans but do not toss them. The feta will just stain from the beets. Drizzle more dressing on top and serve.

WHEELSVARATIONS: Finely chop some of your beets. Toss the beets and pomegranate seeds in the dressing and place this mixture on the ends of  endive leaves.
When making my salad I substituted 1 tablespoon of brain octane oil for one of the tablespoons of olive oil.
Candied PECANS
For candied pecans, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Toss the 1/2 cup of pecans in the syrup and roast in the oven on a parchment lined baking sheet at 325F for 10 minutes. Yummy! If you have guests, you need to make sure to make extra candied pecans. While the pecans are cooling, you will inevitably find those taste testers in the kitchen. Some pecans will magically disappear.
Sprinkle finely chopped feta cheese on top of the minced beets that are on the endives and serve as an hors d’ourve or appetizer for your guests.
You can freeze your beet greens or leave them in the refrigerator. NEXT…I will provide a new and unique recipe on how to use your beet greens. I am tired of just steaming, sauteing, or putting them in soups. Something new coming up on my next blog. A healthy, tasty recipe you may have never thought you would dream of making.