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Tusan Bean Soup


Some nice hearty soup to warm you up on a cold day like today!


Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time : 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
  • 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced1 1large leekleeks, (white and light green parts only), diced
  • 1 potato , peeled and diced1 1potatopotatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , sliced2 2cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 4 4cups cups(1 L) (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage 3 3cups cups(750 mL) (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans , drained1 1can (14 oz/398 mL) can (14 oz/398 mL)white kidney beanwhite kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Toasts:
  • 1/2 baguette 1/2 1/2baguettebaguettes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic , halved1 1large clove garliccloves of garlic, halved


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010

Healthy (and non-healthy) Holiday Treats

It’s that time of the year again…it’s the Holiday’s!!

This is a time to kick back and relax as you attend countless family and social gatherings and lets not forget of course about the feasting! Sadly with all the lovely Holiday feasting and dinning that occurs between Thanksgiving acute_snowflakend New Years studies have shown that people on average can gain up to 1 pound in weight!

Now you might consider that a relatively low number, one pound, but a pound a year over several years can add up rather quickly!

So here are some Holiday treats that you should probably avoid and others to love 🙂

Try to avoid this tempting treats…

Eggnog: This oh so tasty treat may tantalize your taste buds, but consider this before having a glass…one 8-oz (~250mL) serving can exceed 250 calories and 5g of saturated fat! Throw around the idea of having a small glass of red wine or some light fruit juice as an alternative 🙂


Dips: Though they are extremely delicious you never actually know what can be lurking within them…extra extra cheese…heavy cream? The only thing that is not a mystery about them is the fact that they are like a chorus of angels in your mouth when you eat it. As an alternative to the mystery dip try hummus or a home made salsa instead.

Now for some Healthy Alternatives!

Sweet Potatoes:  These yummy powerhouses are absolutely delicious! and they taste like dessert!! Packed with an assortment of healthy nutrients you can swap out your regular potatoes and add these guys in to amplify the taste and you can cut back on added sugars too!

Cocoa: Chocolate lovers will love this one, in moderation of course.  Studies have shown that having a small amount of chocolate (the darker the better) can actually lower your blood pressure!


So remember this Holiday season to watch what you are treating on and look out for these guys! Maybe you’ll save yourself a pound if you do! 🙂

Mango Strawberry Snowcones

These simple yet delicious “snowcones” are a great summer treat to help you cool off. They’ll take you under 10 minutes (maybe even under 5) to make and they’re a much healthier alternative to store bought popsicles or freezies


  • Ice
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 lime


  • Fill a food processor with ice and process until it is very fine.
  • Add the mango and strawberries and process until blended.
  • Scoop into bowls or small glasses and squeeze over with lime juice.

Grilled Vegetable Salad


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 eggplantImage
  • 1 onion
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/4 fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup feta


  • Slice all the vegetables, except for the tomato, to be grilled.
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • Grill the vegetables in batches, about 10 minutes for the pepper, 8 for the eggplant and onion, and 6 for the zucchini.
  • Cut the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces and transfer to a bowl.
  • Pour over the oil, vinegar, and oregano and mix
  • Stir in the tomatoes and mint, crumble the feta over top and serve.

Carrot, Date and Feta Salad

This salad is great as a side but it can also be used as a crunchy topper for burgers or sandwiches. Don’t worry about it going bad quickly either, it gets better as it marinates a bit.


  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 tbsp chopped toasted almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup fetaFood Network's Carrot, Date and Feta Salad
  • 2 tsp honey
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • lime juice


  • Slice the carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
  • Soak in ice water until the ribbons firm and curl up, about 15 minutes, and then pat dry.
  • Mix together to honey, oil, salt and lime juice.
  • Add the carrots, feta, almonds and dates and toss.