Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffinos

What the heck’s a “muffino”, you ask? Why, it’s a bambino (baby) muffin!

I like muffin tops the most, and I always seem to have to force myself to eat the bottoms. So, the shallow holes in the small-muffin tray eliminate that problem for me. Plus, eating mini muffins is fun.

These muffins were made using an awesome Oatmeal Chocolate Chip mix from Quaker. I blended a ripe banana and added it in.

For more info on the mix, check out the “Awesome Finds” page (to the right).

Bananas on FoodistaBananas


Unbelievably Simple King Crab Legs

I. love. crab legs. I used to only eat them at restaurants because I had no idea how to cook them myself, but I’ve learned they’re actually really simple to prepare! When you buy them, they’re already pre-cooked. Essentially, you just have to steam them in a pot to get them hot and ready to eat.

Here, I’m sharing a really easy recipe shown to me by my dad.

Check with your market when they’ll go on sale– I’ve seen them for half-price a few times a year.

** Big Tip: Have scissors handy to cut the shells open and get to the good stuff!

Unbelievably Simple King Crab Legs

  • approx. 1 kg frozen King Crab legs
  • 1/2 bottle white wine (Pinot Grigio if you have), OR 1 bottle beer
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 stick unsalted butter

In a large pot, melt butter on med-high heat.
Add Garlic.
After about a minute, add wine (or beer).
Add crab legs (may have to bend some to fit).
Cover, let simmer approx. 15-20 minutes.
Transfer crab legs into a big bowl, pour pot juices over.
Dig in!

Falafel Salad

Commonly eaten in a pita, falafels are super tasty and work fantastically as the star of a salad.

To prepare them at home, you don’t have to make the falafel mix from scratch– So far  I’ve found microwaveable pre-formed balls (top photo, from the Loblaws vegetarian section by the fresh produce) and a box mix that you just add water to and fry (second photo, from the Loblaws isles).

I prefer a bit of crunch to my falafel, so the fry mix was more to my taste (compared to the softer microwaved ones). The microwaveable falafels are definitely easier to prepare, but they’re both really simple. Choose which you prefer and just follow package instructions!

Tip: If you choose to fry your own, make sure the oil is *really* hot first, or else your falafels will just fall apart as they fry.

** As for the “salad” part, add whatever veggies you like!

In the top photo, I used lettuce, red pepper, yellow pepper and tzatziki.

In the bottom photo, I used parsley, carrot (just shredded on), tomato and tzatziki.

* You can find a super simple tzatziki recipe under the Tookies “Sauces and Dips” category.


Egg “Muffins”

These yummy little things are a cinch to whip up, and you can customize them in all sorts of ways! They’re fantastic for breakfast or for a hearty mid-day snack. My dad invented them one morning and they’ve become a Sunday morning staple for our family. The great thing about them is that you can throw in whatever veggies, meat and cheese you have, as long as you’ve got eggs. Don’t underestimate the punch these little things pack, though– they’re quite filling!

Egg “Muffins” (the way I did them here)
(Makes 6)

  • 1/2 a tomato, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped
  • cheese (amount and type is your choice– I used Old Cheddar here), thinly sliced
  • 6 cold cuts (I used smoked chicken breast here) (OR, you can even use smoked salmon!)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 6 eggs
  • grease of your choice (oil or butter)– I use butter

Preheat oven to 300 F.
Grease each muffin cup.
Press 1 cold cut (or salmon) into the bottom of each muffin cup.
Crack an egg into each cup (don’t worry about keeping the yolk intact).
Place a tomato slice, and sprinkle some green onion, onto each one.
Ground some black pepper onto each one.
Bake until clear egg whites become white.
Remove from oven and add some cheese onto each one.
Bake again until cheese has melted and eggs have risen slightly.
Remove each egg “muffin” carefully with a fork & enjoy!

Prosciutto and Mozarella-Wrapped Lime-Marinated Asparagus

Great as part of any meal, this one’s so easy to do and so easy to remember. My dad introduced me to the idea, and I adapted it in my own way. The lime adds an unexpected and mouthwatering flavour. Paired with the Prosciutto and mozzarella, this combination will totally become a repeated recipe. (It has for me at least!)

Prosciutto and Mozarella-Wrapped Lime-Marinated Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottom ends cut off
  • 2 packages prosciutto (or the equivalent from the deli, about a pound)
  • mozzarella (buy a small ball, you may use it all)
  • 2 limes
  • olive oil (to drizzle)
  • black pepper (to taste)

In a small pot, put some water on to boil.
Place the asparagus upright (with elastic still on) into the water (only about half the asparagus will be submerged in water). Cook until softened and starting to sag over (but not mushy and overdone).
Meanwhile, cut mozzarrella into thick, long, rectangular pieces about as wide as asparagus is.
Lay out prosciutto slices and place a mozzarella piece on the end of each slice.
Once asparagus is cooked, lay flat (on a plate, cutting board, whatever) and squeeze lime juice liberally onto them. Turn them so that fully soaked. Let sit a few minutes.
Place each asparagus onto one mozzarella/prosciutto slice and roll.
Heat a large nonstick pan on medium heat and lay the rolled asparagus flat, prosciutto ends facing down (may have to repeat, depending on how big pan is). Turn so cooked all over and mozzarrella melts.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with freshly ground black pepper.


Cauliflower, Eggplant (Chickpea) & Tofu Curry

This week as I shopped for groceries, I tried to think of something new I could make. Somehow the idea for a cauliflower and eggplant curry floated into my mind, and I thought I’d give it a shot. When I got home, I smelled a bunch of my spices and set aside the ones I felt worked for what I wanted, and I decided on the ratios based on the taste I had in mind. I’d picked up some tofu for miso soup earlier, and the decision to add it in was totally last minute. All-in-all, it worked out quite nicely! My parents were scrambling for seconds from the pot after I gave them some to try.

A suggestion: Try adding half a can of chickpeas in with the vegetables. They’d go great with the flavour of this dish.– I wish I’d thought of doing that earlier!

Cauliflower, Eggplant (Chickpea) & Tofu Curry

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into ~ 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into little “trees”
  • 1/2 can chickpeas (if you like)
  • 1 large onion, chopped roughly
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower oil + 2 tablespoons
  • ~ 250 g med-firm or firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 heaping tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cream (I  used a 5% that “tastes like 10%”)
  • approx. 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

In a large pot, heat the 5 tablespoons of oil (on medium heat). Add onions and stir.
Once onions begin to become translucent, add water, cauliflower and eggplant (and chickpeas if you choose).
Cover with lid until cauliflower softens (a few minutes).
Add the curry, coriander and garam masala and stir until everything is coated and yellow.
Cover and let steam for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cream and salt & stir well.
Turn off stove and let stand on warm burner with lid on.

To prepare the tofu:
Drain the water, use a dish cloth to gently soak up excess water from the tofu.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat.
Cut tofu into 1 inch pieces.
Place tofo onto hot pan, sprinkle liberally with cornstarch, and cook until each side has a golden colour (4-5 mins each side).
** Be gentle with the tofu because it’s delicate and will break apart if handled roughly.

Stir pot well, add tofu, stir again lightly to coat and serve!

Goes great with Naan or on a bed of rice.

Yemista (Stuffed Peppers)

A traditional Greek dish, this recipe is fun and easy, yet still looks impressive on the dinner table. The recipe can be varied to your taste, so use this as a guideline.

Yemista (Stuffed Peppers)

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 large peppers (colours of your preference)
  • approx. half a large bunch of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground meat (of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 stock cube (beef for beef meat, chicken for chicken)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • approx. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds inside. Keep the tops to cover them once stuffed.
Coat peppers lightly with the teaspoon of olive oil (as if greasing a pan). Place peppers into a baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet with high sides (or a medium pot) over medium heat.
Stir onion into oil (to coat), and cook until starts to become translucent.
Add pepper.
Add dill.
Add water.
Add rice.
Stir contents of skillet until mixed well and meat begins to cook.
Turn off stove and spoon filling into the peppers. Don’t pack tightly because rice will expand as it cooks.
Cover peppers with their tops and pour any remaining juices from the skillet into bottom of baking dish. Add some more water if needed until there is a total of 1″ of liquid.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil (or lid if possible), and place in oven.
Cook for 30 minutes (or until rice is fully cooked), then remove covering and cook for another 10 minutes.
* Note, if you notice at any point that the bottom of baking dish gets dry, add 1/2 cup of water (to help rice cook).