Rosemary Mint Barbecued Lamb Chops

I am trying to catch up on dinners I did last month and didn’t write up.  Tonight’s dinner is actually the Sunday night dinner we had for Mother’s day.   This year’s mother’s day I spent in the kitchen.  It started off with brunch at our place where we/I made some waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.  My mom loves her sweets and we decided rather than going out for breakfast, we’d stay home and have a relaxed morning.   Breakfast started with champagne and orange juice and the main event was the waffles. (gluten-free of course).   Once we were fully satiated, mom and I went out and bought some plants for the pots.  We’ve done this for a few years now, its kind of nice going to get the plants and then go back  to each other’s house and help plant them.

Mom loves lamb so I decided we’d have lamb chops, roast potatoes, parsnips (her favourite vegetable) broccoli and roasted tomatoes.  I was trying to make sure we had lots of colour on our plates and a meal we could cook on the barbecue.

rosemary bush sm

In my garden I have rosemary and mint plants and I try to use them as much as I can with my cooking.  I decided to take some mint and rosemary with a bit of garlic and olive oil and marinate the lamb chops for a few hours.   I took a couple of sprigs of rosemary,  a couple of sprigs of mint, chopped them up, mixed them with 2 cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. (a dash of salt and pepper too).   I rubbed this mixture on the chops and placed them covered in the fridge for the afternoon. 3-4 hours.

The potatoes were just the local yellow creamers I got with my vegetables this week.  They were cut in half and rubbed with some olive oil.   I placed the potatoes in one of the Chinese take out  foil pans with a bit more olive oil, salt, pepper and placed them on the barbecue.  I did the same thing with some cherry tomatoes, except I added a bit of garlic and salt and pepper to them.

Because we spent the afternoon in the garden, I wanted a quick and easy dinner and that is what we had.    When we were finished planting, we were ready to cook dinner and that took less than an hour.

I peeled the parsnips and started sautéing them in the frying pan with a bit of butter.

parsnips frying sm

Dennis fired up the barbecue and the potatoes went on about 20 minutes before anything else.   After 20 minutes, the tomatoes went on for about 10 minutes and the lamb was the last to show up.   The lamb only took about 10 minutes (we like it medium rare).

Here they all are on the barbecue together.   Heating up, sizzling away and looking fabulous!

roasting vegetables on the bbq sm

The broccoli was another simple dish, ½ cup of water in the saucepan with the broccoli a

Dessert was another one of mom’s favourites and that was fresh berries on a meringue.  We had some whipped cream left over from breakfast so I put it on the meringues and topped them off with some fresh strawberries.  Yummy!

We did another week of Empowered Health cooking and I’m attaching the link to the latest shows.  This show can be seen on check TV Mondays and Thursdays.

Please come back and see us next week for another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.

nd a dash of salt, brought to a boil and steamed for 3-4 minutes.

Voila!  Here’s dinner.  It was tasty and delicious and oh so simple to make.

barbecued lamb chops and veggies sm.

Dessert was another one of mom’s favourites and that was fresh berries on a meringue.  We had some whipped cream left over from breakfast so I put it on the meringues and topped them off with some fresh strawberries.  Yummy!

We did another week of Empowered Health cooking and I’m attaching the link to the latest shows.  This show can be seen on check TV Mondays and Thursdays.

Please come back and see us next week for another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.

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Acorn Squash stuffed with Chorizo Sausage

This week was another simple dinner packed with flavour!    I had a lot of things to get done by Sunday evening so I had to find something that did not take a lot of time to prepare.   Stuffed Acorn Squash is something we love to have in the Fall and chorizo sausage is a favorite of mine. After quickly browning the chorizo sausage, I stuffed the squash and baked it in the oven for about ½ an hour and the meal was rated a 9/10 from my guest (mom).  It was a meal with layers of flavor and something I would not hesitate to serve to guests.

For some reason I felt like some Brussels sprouts as a side dish.  I’m not really a Brussels sprouts fan, but the idea of frying them in a bit of butter, toping them with some cooked bacon and sprinkling them with Romano cheese was something I couldn’t resist.  So… dinner consisted of stuffed squash and fried Brussels sprouts sprinkled with cooked bacon and Romano cheese.

The idea of stuffed squash came to me after visiting our local liquor store.   At the checkout they often have “TASTE” magazines on display with suggested recipes that  pair well with spirits.  The magazine is complementary and filled with wonderful ideas for all occasions.  It comes out every season and for the most part their recipes are seasonal and fresh.   The one that inspired me was the 2013 fall version,  volume 15 issue 3.    The recipes are lovely and the great thing is they make suggestions on the type of wine or beverage to serve with them.     If you ever have a chance to look at these magazines, I highly recommend them for inspiration.

Dessert was a simple chocolate ice-cream and gluten free brownies.    A lovely finish to the day.

The squash takes a bit of time to prepare.  Purchase an acorn squash and cut it in half.   Scrape out the seeds in the middle and discard.  Brush with melted butter and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  This gets them starting to soften.

Chorizo stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 1 medium Acorn Squash
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup of butter
  • ½ lb of chorizo sausage
  • ¼ cup of frozen peas
  • 8 mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp home made pesto (you can find the recipe in one of my earlier posts)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Romano cheese

While the squash shells are cooking, cut a small onion in thin slices, melt butter and sauté the onions in the butter to soften and ultimately brown.  Add the mushrooms and chorizo sausage and sauté until the onions and sausage are cooked.

Add the frozen peas and cook until they are done.  Add the peas, tomato paste and pesto and stir until ingredients are well mixed.  Stuff the squash with the meat mixture and push down until it fills the cavity.   Sprinkle with grated Romano cheese and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.   This makes enough for four people.

stuffed squash small

Brussels Sprouts with prosciutto and Romano cheese.

  • ½ lb of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 thick slice of prosciutto or bacon chopped in ½” pieces
  • Butter for sautéing the sprouts
  • Grated Romano cheese for finishing touch

Prepare the Brussels sprouts by trimming off browned leaves.  Cut off stems and cut the sprout in half lengthwise.

Melt butter in the frying pan and add prosciutto or bacon and cook until browned.  Place the Brussels sprouts in pan cut side down.  Sauté until they become golden brown.   Turn and brown the other side until the sprouts become soft and tender crisp. (5-7 minutes).  When cooked place in serving bowl and sprinkle with Romano cheese.

sauteed brussel sprouts small

We are putting the finishing touch on my new website.   Starting next week my blog will be posted on     Please come and visit us there, we have a lot of great information on leading a healthy happy life by living intuitively.   My holiday treats cookbook will be available for purchase  for $2.99 within the next week.   All the recipes are gluten-free but better than that, they are delicious.

My Sunday Night Dinners at Julia’s Place will continue on the new site but there will be a link from WordPress for the first couple of weeks.    Have a wonderful week.   I’ll see you next week!

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Butter Chicken in the Crockpot

For the month of October we have had glorious weather on the West Coast.  The weather man said that we had 1 ml. of precipitation all month and we’ve been taking advantage of the sunshine and dry weather.   Sunday I went up to the Sunshine Coast to visit a friend in Secret Cove.  The day was wonderful not only because of the sunshine but also because I was with some wonderful friends.   We ate like queens with fresh prawns caught in the ocean the day before, and fresh salmon which was also caught locally.  My day trip did cause me some grief though, because I needed to have something ready for dinner when I got home.  We were taking the 4:30 ferry home, and people were arriving for Sunday Night dinner at 6:30!

I decided to use my trusty crockpot and I found a recipe for butter chicken that I could leave cooking all day.   The bonus was that the crockpot recipe was not only easy to prepare but delicious.  Everyone gave it a rating of 9 out of 10 and the only reason it didn’t get a 10 out of 10 was because they only gave last week’s cod recipe a 9 so they didn’t feel they could give this dish more than last week.  Both recipes (last week and this week) received rave reviews.

Gillian and Chris brought some Aloo Gobi (a dry Indian cuisine dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices) and some pakora’s with some chutney.  They went beautifully with the main dish.

I always thought butter chicken was made with butter and a lot of cream.   As it turns out, it only had 3 tablespoons of butter and the sauce was made with yogurt and coconut milk.  I substituted Goat Greek Yogurt for the yogurt and coconut milk doesn’t cause Dennis any trouble so we were good with the rest of the ingredients.

Crockpot Butter Chicken

  • * 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut up into bite size pieces
  • * 3 tablespoons butter
  • * 1 onion, diced
  • * 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • * 1 ½ tsp. Garam Masala
  • * 2 tsp. tandori barbecue spice mix
  • * 1 tbsp. tandori curry paste
  • * 2 tsp. curry powder
  • * 1 can (6oz/156ml) tomato paste
  • * 1 tsp. cardamom
  • * 2 large tomatoes chopped up into ½ inch cubes
  • * 1 can coconut milk (14 oz/ 400ml)
  • * 1 cup plain yogurt ( I used goat yogurt)
  • * Salt and pepper to taste
  • * Chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro for garnish


1. In a large saucepan melt butter and stir in onions and garlic along with cut up chicken.  Cook until chicken is brown and onions are soft.  This should take about 8 minutes.  Add Garam Masala, tandori barbecue spice mix, tandori curry paste, curry powder and stir until well mixed.  Add tomato paste and stir making sure the mixture is smooth.

2. Place ingredients into the crockpot and stir in the chopped tomatoes, yogurt and coconut milk and adding cardamom at the end.  Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high from 4-6 hours making sure the chicken is well cooked and the sauce is the thickness you like.

4. Serve with basmati rice and garnish with chopped parsley.  This would be a wonderful dish served with naan bread on the side.   We had it with pakoras and Aloo Gobi and it was a perfect mix of Indian flavours.

butter chicken sm

pakoras smaloo gobi sm

Pakoras                                                                Aloo Gobi

Another lazy dessert was served this week – mainly because I was not around on Sunday to prepare anything special.   Mom brought over a fresh fruit salad and I had picked up a frozen package of Gluten Free Brownies from the grocery store.  They were a lovely finish to the meal.

fruit salad small

Next weekend we are heading over to Yellow Point Lodge for our yearly birthday party for my mom.  I’m not sure whether I’ll be home in time to do my regular Sunday Night Dinner – it might just be pizza but stay tuned, you’ll find out what we had when I post next week’s blog.

I am thrilled to announce that I have a new website.  This site will host my blog from now on and it will also include all of my activities including seminars and courses.   You can find me at  We are working very hard to build the site with lots of interesting and helpful information so please be patient with us.    We expect to have my Gluten-Free Holiday Treats recipe book available by next week so get ready to participate in the holiday treat parties.   This will be the beginning of a series of books that we’ll be rolling out throughout the next year.

Thank you for joining me for another week of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.  I will be back the week of November 11th.

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Keeping with the season. Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage and Lacinato Kale

This week I decided we’d stick with a seasonal dinner.  Everywhere you go these days you see piles of pumpkins so I thought we should incorporate pumpkin into our Sunday Night Dinner.  Pumpkin is filled with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E and it is a great low calorie vegetable often recommended by professionals for lowering cholesterol and weight.  I love pumpkin pie but I have never really explored  other recipes or ideas for using it.  This week,  instead of pumpkin pie, we had  a pumpkin, sausage and lacinato kale pasta dish.

For our starter, I took a recipe from a cookbook I received when we were on the cruise ship last month.  HollandAmerica had a recipe competition where they asked guests to submit recipes that we felt were worthy of winning their contest.  They didn’t tell us what the prize was but I thought for fun I’d submit my Lamb Tagine recipe and voila, I won the contest!  For winning the contest I received a new cookbook called “A Taste of Celebration” by Rudi Sodamin.  Rudi is a Master Chef and the most highly decorated chef working on the world’s oceans.   This week I decided to make a recipe he suggests as one of the courses for a Thanks Giving Feast.  It was Bibb Lettuce Salad with Oranges, Fennel and Green Goddess Dressing – definitely a recipe I’ll make again!

The salad contrasts sweet and salty with creamy and tangy.

fennel butter lettuce orange and green goddess dressing sm

Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 small scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar (I didn’t have this so I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (I used Goat Greek Yogurt here)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor, puree the mayonnaise, anchovies, scallions, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and sour cream until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the dressing to a container.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • 5 oranges
  • 2 heads Bibb Lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise very thinly (I used my mandolin and it worked like a charm)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish.


  1. With a sharp knife, trim the top and bottom from each orange.  Stand them upright and cut downward to remove the rind and pith in thick strips.  Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the segments.  Cover the orange segments with plastic wrap and reserve.
  2. Divide the lettuce leaves among the six plates.  In large bowl combine the orange pieces and fennel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place a portion of the fennel orange mixture on each plate of lettuce and top with Green Goddess Dressing, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage and Lacinato.

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (I purchased both mild Italian and Spicy Italian sausages)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced and chopped
  • 3 cups peeled, diced seeded pumpkin
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Marjoram
  • 1-1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale trimmed, ribs removed, leaves cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 8 oz. dried pasta (we used gluten free pasta)
  • ½ cup cream cheese (we used tofutti cream cheese)
  • ½ cup grated Romano cheese
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

lacinato kale sm

Lacinato Kale (looks like romaine lettuce)


  1. Slice the sausages into bit size pieces and place in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the sausage until browned – 5-7 minutes.  Depending on how much fat is in the sausages, add the olive oil in the center of the pan and place the chopped onions in the middle of the pan pushing the sausages towards the outside.  Cook the onions until they are soft and slightly browned – this should take about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Put a large pot of well salted water on the stove set on high and boil over high heat.  Once the water boils, add the pasta making sure the boiling does not stop.  Stir the pasta in the pan and cook according to the directions on the package just until el dente.  (this should take about 12-14 minutes)
  3. Once onions are browned, add the chopped pumpkin, wine, garlic, Marjoram, and cook until the wine evaporates.  Add 2/3 cup of chicken broth and cook until the pumpkin is almost tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the kale and remaining broth, cover and cook for 5 minutes until both vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted in the pan.  Finish off with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When Pasta is done, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain the rest off, rinse the pasta once or twice to get rid of the sticky residue.  Add the pasta to the frying pan with the sausage and vegetables with enough pasta water to make the sauce the right consistency.
  6. Place a serving on each plate and top with additional grated Romano cheese.
  7. Enjoy this dish!  I bet your friends and family will love it!

sausage pumpin kale pasta sm

I have to say I was a bit lazy on the desert side this week.   I found some fabulous Sorbetto – lemon flavour and mango flavour so we had a scoop of each and it was a light and tasty desert.

mango and lemon sorbetto sm lemon and mango sorbetto sm

I would definitely serve this meal to friends.  Mom who is not really a pasta person actually took a doggie bag home this week.  I think she liked it.

For those of you who are interested, I am putting a small cookbook together.  It’s a book with some of my favorite gluten-free treats for Christmas.  I have figured out how to make treats for Christmas gluten-free so that our non gluten-free guests won’t even be able to tell the difference.  Included in the book with be melt in your mouth GF shortbread cookies, GF Christmas Cake (like the traditional fruit cake), GF Christmas Carrot Pudding, GF turkey stuffing and several more. We’re hoping to have it ready for distribution next month so stay tuned!

Look for next week’s dinner.  Right now I have no idea what it will be but I’m sure it will be delicious.

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Sunday Night Dinner Black Cod with Leek Fondue and Red Wine Reduction

Boy it seems like forever since my last post. As it turns out, my last post was about a month ago,  September 4th just before my trip. I’ve been sailing the ocean on a Cruise Ship for the past three weeks  and although I continued to eat Sunday Night Dinners, the internet connection on the boat was painfully  slow {done through satellite connection} and extremely expensive. I am sorry for leaving you alone for  the past month but I promise I’ll make it up to you with some wonderful dishes in the next few weeks.

Our cruise left Vancouver BC on Sunday September 15 and our route was down the west coast of the  US, Mexico, over to Costa Rica, through the Panama Canal, down to Columbia and back to Fort  Lauderdale in Florida. The trip took 18 days and we travelled over 6500 miles. The cruise line was  Holland America and the ship we travelled on was the Zaandam. It was a fabulous trip and one I would  highly recommend for anyone who is interested in an adventure.

zaandam photo Astoria

One of the great things about Holland America is their Culinary Arts Center. I believe it is the only cruise  line that has such a center, and my days were spent learning new techniques and gathering some  wonderful recipes. The Health Department has become involved in the safety of guests on board and they have decided that eating food that is not prepared in the kitchens that have been certified safe by the health department is not allowed, so we were not able to taste anything that was prepared in this center but I can tell you that everything looked and smelled fantastic. In order to evaluate the blend of
flavors, I’ll have to try all of the recipes I gathered and taste them for myself before recommending them to my followers.

We arrived home in Vancouver late on Thursday night October 3rd, and I promptly left for a pre-planned  retreat on Bowen Island the next day. By the time I got home from Bowen, it was 2pm on Sunday afternoon so I did not have much time to work on dinner but I really wanted to have my Sunday Night Dinner. Gillian and Chris were free to come over and so was my mom so I had to come up with something quickly.

leek fondue and black cod smaller

I chose a recipe that was demonstrated on the ship called Black Cod with Leek Fondue and Red Wine Reduction. It looked simple enough: The hardest part was finding some black cod {Sablefish}. I went to four different places before I found enough for dinner and I had to buy it frozen because fresh Black Cod is almost impossible to find at this time of year. The end result was superb and I highly recommend it for guests and family alike.

Because of Dennis’ intolerance for dairy items, I had to adjust the recipe for us. However, I will provide you with the original recipe and make a note of the changes I made. Dennis is able to handle goat cheese and goat milk so I substituted goat milk and some tofutti cream cheese for the cream in the recipe.

Black Cod with Leek Fondue and Red Wine Reduction Recipe

For the Black Cod

  • 4 6 oz Sablefish/Black Cod filets
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Canola Oil or Olive oil
  • Butter


  1. Season Cod with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat pan with oil, add butter to hot oil.
  3. Add fish skin side up and saute until golden brown.
  4. Flip and saute on the skin side until internal temperature is 137 degrees or the fish flakes

For the Leek Fondue

  • 3 Medium sized leeks, sliced and cleaned
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill


  1. Blanch leeks in salted boiling water & strain well.
  2. Heat butter in pan and saute for 5 minutes, add half the cream and reduce, add additional
    cream and reduce again.
  3. Take sauce off the heat and add dill

** I substituted 1/2 cup of goat milk and 1/2 cup of tofutti cream cheese for the cream. I also added 1/4 cup of dry white wine to the fondue.

For the Red Wine Reduction :

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup port cooking wine
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter


  1. Reduce red wine vinegar, port, beets, and shallots until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat.
  2. Pass through sieve, and whisk in butter.

**I roasted the chopped beets in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees and then added them to the liquid in the saucepan and then went through the reduction process. I did not have any cooking port so I used some port I had in the liquor cabinet and it worked well. The Holland America Recipe also said to Pass the red wine reduction through a sieve  which meant the beets are removed from the sauce which I felt would be shameful so I left the beets in the sauce and served them around the fish and leek fondue. (It might not be as gourmet, but it was sure delicious).

This dish can be served in a large bowl or on a plate. To serve the dish place some of the leek fondue in the center of the plate/bowl and carefully place the sauteed fish on top of the fondue. Drizzle the Red Wine Reduction around the leek/fish center and serve. We had great reviews of this dish. Gillian gave it 9 out of 10 which is pretty good in my books. I would definitely serve this again. I might put the red wine reduction through the blender to make it more elegant to look at, but the flavours were magnificent.

I served a simple green salad just before the entre, including cherry tomatoes, a chopped avocado and red leaf lettuce. The dressing was made of spicy tomato sauce, mayonnaise and some apple cider vinegar and the simplicity of this salad was perfect for the dinner.

Gillian brought two flavours of gelato for desert – strawberry and mango which made a clean desert after such a flavorful meal.

serving bowl of gillian's gelato sm.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll take some of the recipes I collected on board and share them with you. They all looked and smelled delicious and I can hardly wait to taste them.

Please come back next week for another edition of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.

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Sunday Night Dinner in Calgary

Last week was a different kind of week.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my niece is trying to beat Leukemia which she was diagnosed with on Easter weekend this year.   To say the journey has been emotional would be a complete understatement.  Last weekend Taylor (my niece) was going through very powerful chemo therapy prior to a stem cell transplant.   To see someone you love go through this process is very hard.

Jacqueline’s husband took their son Travis to Toronto for some R & R before school starts, and I went to Calgary to stay with Jacqueline and Taylor.  Most of our time was spent at the hospital watching Taylor get her chemo.  Once the session was through we would all go home for the rest of the day and then bring  her back the next day.

Jacqueline has some amazing friends and they have all rallied around her by providing an endless supply of food to make sure the family is at least having some great meals.  Her friend Chrissie brought over some Greek food Friday night that took us through three dinners !   We had finished most of her food, except for some rice and a few roasted vegetables so I decided I would do my Sunday night dinner incorporating what was left in to the menu.

This Sunday night dinner consisted of barbecued salmon, roasted Greek vegetables and roasted corn on the cob plus what was left of the Greek rice dish.   When I barbecue, I like to cook as much of the meal as I can on the barbecue so I decided to do the corn at the same time as I was cooking the fish.    I wrapped the husked corn with some wet paper towels and then wrapped foil around the whole husk before putting it on the barbecue.  The wet paper towel keeps the corn from turning brown and helps to keep it moist and tender.  It is cooked on the barbecue for 8-10 minutes being turned every couple of minutes.

salmon prepped for the barbecue in calgarycorn on the cob ready for the bbq

When I went shopping for the dinner ingredients, I found some wild sockeye salmon but it was pre packaged in pieces that looked way too big for the three of us.  It had been pre-frozen and purchasing more than what we needed seemed pointless so I asked the fishmonger if he would cut the fillet in half.  Taylor had been eating like a little bird all week so I didn’t think she needed much.  I got some other goodies for Jacqueline and headed home ready to cook a delicious meal and watch a movie.

Because Taylor and Jacqueline both like salmon, I decided to do something a little different and make something so yummy it would be irresistible.  I went on line to look up salmon on the barbecue and found a couple of recipes that looked good.  I took some ideas from one and a few more from another and came up with the following:

Barbecued salmon with Gingered Soy Sauce

  • 1.5 lbs. salmon fillet (preferably wild)
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 shots toasted sesame oil (most bottles just allow a few drops)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • Dash pepper


  1. Grease a rimmed cookie sheet and spread the sliced onion on the pan for the fish to sit on.  Place the fish skin side down, on the onions and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle pepper over the length of the fish and get ready to put it on the barbecue.
  2. Heat the barbecue to medium and cook for 5 minutes with the lid down.
  3. Check the fish with a sharp knife and see if it is cooked through. I would think a 1.5 lb fish fillet would take at least 8 minutes but you can tell by taking a sharp knife and cutting through the thickness of the fish to see if it is still bright red/pink inside.  You don’t want to cook it too much, but you want to have it cooked “medium rare”.
  4. In the meantime, assemble the soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, garlic clove and lime juice in a small bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. When the fish is cooked take it off the barbecue and cut it into serving pieces.  Place it on the plates and drizzle with the ginger soy sauce.  Serve the meal with additional vegetables of your choice and listen to the moans of pleasure from your guests.  This is definitely a keeper!

bbq'd salmondinner2.

When I served this dish, I served up a small piece for Taylor because she had been eating like a little bird all week, and gave Jacqueline and me a more normal size piece.  Well, Taylor inhaled the fish and asked if there was any more.   Jacqueline gave her some of hers, and I offered some of mine but Taylor was really hungry and wanted more than what I had.    I had to get in the car and drive to the store to get some more!  I couldn’t believe she liked it so much!!

I went to Safeway which was within 5 minutes of Jacqueline’s house but they had nothing so I had to go all the way back to Superstore 15 minutes away and purchase another whole piece in case she wanted  even more fish.   I was so excited about the fact that she wanted so much food.

Dessert was a blueberry pie.  Taylor said that was what she wanted for dinner so what Taylor wants right now she gets.   I purchased a frozen pie shell and some fresh blueberries and strawberries.  Jacqueline made the pie the way Taylor likes it and I certainly agree that it’s a good one.

Blueberry and Strawberry pie:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh cut up strawberries
  • 2 frozen pie pastries (one for the bottom crust and one for the top)
  • ¼ tsp. all spice
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. flour


  1. Thaw the frozen pie crusts
  2. Place the berries, sugar, allspice and cinnamon in a bowl and stir until mixed and sugar has dissolved.
  3. Put “pie bird” in the centre of the bottom pie crust to hold up the top pastry and pour the berry mixture around the figure.  Spread the berries out evenly and get ready to put the crust on top.   Take the crust out of the foil pan and carefully place it over the bottom and crimp the edges.

strawberry blueberry piestrawberry blueberry pie ready to bake!

4.   Place the pie in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Check it and if it is cooked let it rest  before cutting it for serving.  Serve a slice of pie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy.

baked pie

That’s it for this week.   Taylor’s transplant has gone well so far.  She had the new stem cells on Wednesday August 28th and she is now entering the time when they start doing their work to rebuild her immune system and build healthy bone marrow.

I will be back next week for another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place.   Stay tuned for next week’s version.

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Sunday Night Dinner August 18 2013

Sunday Night Dinner August 18 2013. This weekend we headed up to Whistler so we’re short on recipes but large on places to go for some great food!

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Sunday Night Dinner August 18 2013

This week we decided to head  up to Whistler for the weekend.  We left home on Friday afternoon and came back late in the day on Sunday.   Little did we know it was Crankworx up there!    The weekend was filled with activities and the town was alive with thousands of people who had headed up to  the mountain for Crankworx, which was held in France July 6-14 2013 and Whistler August 9-18 2013.   When we drove up on Friday we had no idea what we were driving up to.   This event was born in Whistler BC and it is a 10-day multi-disciplinary mountain bike festival celebrating epic endurance, supreme flow, monster air and vertical-dropping riding.”

This year was the 10th year of competition and the downhill, slope style and enduro legends of the world battled for free ride glory.  Dennis and I stood there in awe watching the daredevils come down the hills.  There were thousands of people lining the hills and cheering on their favorites as they literally came flying down the hill.  We only saw a couple of crashes, but the competitors got up and walked away seemingly un-injured.   For those of you who are mountain bike enthusiasts, I recommend you make the effort to participate or at least come up and join the spectators next year.

Here’s a photo of the people lined up to go up the chair and ride their bikes down the hill.

crankworx line up for chair

Before we headed up to the mountain, I made a reservation at one of our favorite spots for dinner.  We found 21 Steps Bar and Kitchen about three years ago and we go there for dinner every time we visit Whistler.  It is known as a place to go for “modern comfort food”.  The menu offers a selection of small sharing plates as well as full dinners.   I’m not sure we’ve ever had a full dinner because there are so many tantalizing items on the menu that we have only had the sharing plates.  This weekend was no different; we started with a bowl of marinated olives, followed by steamed mussels in a coconut curry broth, fried goat cheese with roasted garlic and star Anise and Orange Braised Pork Ribs.  Everything was delicious as it always is.  From the town center you can look up and see the bar, it’s 21 steps up:

21 Steps bar and kitchen sm

We wandered around town looking for a place to go where we could listen to some music but the bars and nightclubs were packed with young athletes and spectators and it was going to take a long time to get into any of the establishments we might have wanted to visit, so we went back to Club Intrawest and made it an early night.

We have another favourite place we go for breakfast called Ciao Thyme-Bistro.  You are guaranteed a wonderful breakfast but be prepared to wait for several minutes to get in.   The only meal we’ve had there is breakfast but they serve lunch as well and if it’s as good as their breakfasts you’ll be very satisfied.  Here’s a link to their website:   Dennis had the traditional eggs Benedict but I couldn’t resist their Portobello Mushroom which included a Portobello mushroom, grilled asparagus, roasted tomatoes and two poached eggs with a house cut salsa and rosemary roasted hash browns.   It was a wonderful twist to a breakfast omelette and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Breakfast was enough to carry us through until dinner so we didn’t stop for lunch.   We were going to go for a bike ride but once we were suited up and ready to go, the rain started and we decided to wait it out.   That took longer than expected so we decided rather than riding our bikes, we’d go for a walk up to LostLake and along the lower Panorama path back to town.   We came across several signs on the path saying “caution, tiny toads crossing the path – proceed with caution”.   We weren’t sure it was for real but we saw several of these tiny toads crossing just around the signs.   They are migrating from LostLake into the forest at this time of year – who knew??  Unfortunately I forgot my camera but other astute tourists had their cameras:   These toads are about the size of a beetle so if you are not looking down before you take a step you are likely to squash one of them.   These photos in tripadvisor were taken last year which suggests this migration takes place every year around this time.  Our walk lasted about an hour and a half and was very enjoyable.   We ended up in the village around 5:30 just in time to see the downhill performance of some of the Crankworx competitors.  It was an amazing site and we found an unobstructed viewpoint.

crankworx downhill august 18 2013    Whistler Village Crankworx Aug.18

By the time we got back to Intrawest we were hungry and looking for a place to have dinner.  We decided to go somewhere close to the Club so we went to Milestones and had a lovely dinner. Our table faced the hill and we watched all kinds of people walking their dogs up the ski hills and playing mini golf.

Sunday Morning we had to check out of the Club by 11am and we wanted to go somewhere new for breakfast.  We asked Brodie, the desk clerk, where we should go and he suggested we try “Elements”.  He said it is a place where the locals go and it was in behind the Market Place in the Village North.  I thought I had an idea where it was but boy was I wrong!   We had to ask four people before we figured out where it was.   Brodie was correct it is behind the Market Place but it is well hidden and you really need to look for it.

elements sign sm

Here is a photo of the sign but to make it easy, find the Summit Hotel and it is between the hotel and Northlands First Aid center.  I am telling you, it is definitely worth the exercise to find it!   I had another portabella breakfast with roasted vegetables and some crumbled goat cheese in a frittata. Elements has been voted Best Tapas by the locals in the annual Whistler Pique News Magazine since it opened in 2005.  It also runs a close 2nd for Breakfast just behind the Wild Wood Pacific Bistro (which just happens to be owned by the same long time Whistler residents).  If their tapas are anything like their breakfast, 21 Steps will be in a run for their money in our minds.  We are going to have to try them for dinner next time we are in Whistler.

Squash and chirizo sausage hash smportobello and roasted tomatoe with chevre cheese fritatta

Squash and Chirizo sausage hash                Portobello & tomato with Chevre cheese Frittata

Clean Plates!

empty squash hash plate smempty frittata plate sm

They even had gluten-free items on their menu!

After breakfast we headed back to the Club and took in the Farmer’s Market on the way back to the car.  The Farmer’s Market was very busy, and there was lots to look at and taste.  We purchased a couple of things and spoke to several vendors, who make sure they are participating in this market each week.  They do pretty well on Sundays  in Whistler.

farmers market sunday Whistler

We left Whistler around 2pm and had a leisurely drive home to Vancouver.  Even though it was crazy busy up there, we had a wonderful weekend and came home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.  I’m afraid this week all you’re getting is some photos of our fabulous breakfast at “Elements” but I’ll make it up to you next week with some wonderful recipes for Sunday night dinner.

Don’t forget our weekend Retreat at Bowen Island this fall.  It is a women’s retreat meant to rejuvenate you and kick start your personal plan for a fresh start to healthy living.   Please visit our site for more information:

There is $100 off registration if you book before September 6th!

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Slow-Baked Tofu with Stir-Fry and Indonesian Peanut Sauce

Looking for inspiration this week I looked through several different books.  I thought maybe I’d do barbecued ribs but the more I thought about it, the more it didn’t really feel like the right meal.  I looked in one of my favourite cookbooks, “The Healthy Kitchen” by Andrew Weil, and Rosie Daley.  Rosie used to cook for Oprah so you know she has to have some good ideas for making food delicious and healthy.    I flipped through the pages and came across “Slow-Baked Tofu with Stir-Fry”.   Tofu is something many people stay away from because they don’t know what to do with it, and they have pre-conceived ideas on what it tastes like.   All my guests were carnivores so I took a bit of a risk hoping they would be adventurous.    My goal was to serve a dinner that was out of the ordinary and give my guests something to think and talk about after the meal.

We had a full table this week; my niece and her boyfriend, Mom and Lynda who is a friend who often looks after Moxie when we go away.  Lynda reads my blog each week so I thought it would be fun to have her participate in it this week.    I’m hoping she enjoyed the adventure.

The evening started with us sitting outside on the patio enjoying appies and listening to stories about the trip Gillian and Chris took last week with their friends from Nova Scotia.  They did the West Coast Trail from Port Renfrew to Bamfield on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  The stories were very entertaining and the roasted egg plant dip was fantastic.  Gillian brought a plate of sweet peppers cut into bite sized pieces and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped off with a bocconcini ball of mozzarella cheese.  Of course the dip and the plate of peppers were gluten-free.

roasted eggplant and garlic dip

The Roasted Eggplant Dip was taken from the June 2009 “Food Every Day” magazine. (A Martha Stewart publication).  On page 91 you’ll find the recipe but I’ll give it to you below:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4 garlic cloves (skin on )
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more to drizzle on the dip before serving
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tabsp. Tahini
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • Paprika for garnish
  1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place eggplant and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons oil.  Roast until garlic is soft and golden, 20 minutes.  Remove garlic and set aside.  Continue to roast eggplant until soft and deflated, 20-25 minutes more.  Let cool 20 minutes.
  2. Slice eggplant open and scrape flesh into the bowl of a food processor.  Peel garlic and add to bowl, along with lemon juice, tahini, salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Process until smooth. (Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days).
  3. Serve drizzled with more oil and sprinkle with paprika if desired.  Serves 8

I chose to marinate and bake the tofu, and make the peanut sauce ahead of time so that when people arrived, I wouldn’t be stuck in the kitchen.  You can find these recipes on pages 193, 126 and 52 (The Healthy Kitchen).   This meal is great because you get your helping of vegetables and they are all tossed and cooked in a delicious marinade.  The recipe suggested you serve the stir-fry over Spanish rice (page 136) with peanut sauce as a garnish (page 52 “The Healthy Kitchen”).    However you can also serve the stir-fry over Brown Rice topped with sesame seeds.

Slow-Baked Tofu with Stir-Fry


  • 1 tsp. toasted-sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ¼ cup of natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
  • 2 tbsp. peeled, sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Dijon-type mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 16 oz. packaged firm tofu
  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a baking dish.
  3. Drain the tofu and slice it vertically into nine ½ inch segments.
  4. Lay the tofu slices in the marinade and turn them gently, using a spoon, to completely coat each one.  Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the tofu over and baste the tops with the marinade. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the tofu slices puff up, turn light brown, and become slightly hard.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  When completely cooled, cut into cubes.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  •  1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp. natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
  • 1 tbsp. Thai chili sauce or 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp. shopped chives
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves.
  1.  Sauté the onions and garlic in the sesame oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Cook for 4 minutes, until the garlic turns golden brown.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, chili sauce or flakes, paprika, and cumin and whisk until completely blended.
  4. Add the ginger, honey and peanut butter, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick.
  5. Remove from heat and add the parsley, chives, and mint.
  6. Pour 1 cup into a bowl and put the rest in the refrigerator to be used within the next week on vegetables, chicken or just plain rice.  This recipe makes enough for a second meal.  I can hardly wait to pour the peanut sauce over chicken on a bed of spinach.

stir fry with indonesian peanut sauce on spanish rice indonesian Peanut Sauce on baked tofu vegetable stir fry

Tonight – Wednesday we used up the leftover Peanut Sauce and poured it over barbecued chicken on a bed of spinach.  It was delicious!

left over Indonesian Peanut Sauce on barbecued chicken on a bed of spinach

Now, back to Sunday…

Spanish Rice:

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup shopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp. salt
  1.  Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot over low heat; add the onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and sauté, stirring for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the spices, rice stock, and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.


  • ½ head broccoli
  • 1 large onion, sliced and peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut match-stick style
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ lb. snow peas strings removed
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. natural soy sauce (such as tamari)
  • ¼ cup water or vegetable stock.

Garnish – 1- 1/2 cups peanut dipping sauce or 2 tbsp. sesame seeds.

  1. Cut the florets off the head of the broccoli, slicing the large ones in half so they are all more or less the same size.  You should have about 2 cups.  Discard the stalks or save them for another stir-fry or for soups
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic, and carrots for 3 minutes in the olive oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat, being careful not to burn the oil.  It should not smoke.
  3. Toss in the broccoli, show peas, and mushrooms.  Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the vegetables moving for another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir the soy sauce into the vegetables, add the water or vegetable stock and continue cooking for a minute.  Drop in the cubed tofu, toss a few times, cook for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat.  Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables steam for about 6 minutes.
  5. Place ½ cup prepared rice on each of 6 plates, cover with equal portions of the stir-fry, and top with some peanut sauce or 1 tsp. sesame seeds.
  6. Voila, another delicious vegetarian meal.

Dessert was my strawberry rhubarb and ginger crumble served with some vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

strawberry rhubarb crisp with coconut vanilla icecream

Our Empowered Health show is on reruns now so I won’t bore you with clips from the cooking segments.

I will however, remind you of our retreat on Bowen Island planed for October 4-6th this fall.  We only have room for 20 people so if you are thinking about attending the earlier you sign up the better.  There is a $100 saving for registering before September 6th 2013.   Here is a link to our site that explains what the weekend is about.

The Healthy Kitchen – Recipes for a Better Body, Life and Spirit.  Andrew Weil, M.D., and Rosie Daley.  ISBN 0-375-41306-5

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Thai-Style Halibut on Lemongrass Skewers

Thai-Style Halibut on Lemongrass Skewers.

Dinner this week was made up of recipes I tore out of a magazine and tucked away years ago.  I wish I had seen it earlier – the dishes were wonderful!

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Thai-Style Halibut on Lemongrass Skewers

Have you ever looked at a recipe in a magazine and thought to yourself “this looks amazing I’ll cut it out and we’ll have it for dinner some time”. We do it all the time and I have recipes in my cookbook cupboard that I’ve ripped out of magazines and never used. This week, I went through my recipes to see if I could find something to inspire me. I found a page that I must have ripped out, Thai Style Halibut on Lemongrass Skewers with Mango Salsa, plus Argentinean Grilled Vegetable Platter with Chimichurri.  What a taste thrill it was! Have you ever barbecued romaine lettuce? Romaine Lettuce, yellow zucchini,
onions and tomatoes all done on the barbecue.

grilled vegetable platter 2

Sunday morning started out with preparing the marinade, placing the fish and marinade in a Ziploc bag and putting it in the fridge for 8 hours. You can marinade the fish from 30 minutes up to 8 hours and I figured if we’re going to marinate it, we should give it several hours to blend the flavours. The second thing that takes time is making the Chimichurri so plan your day so you have at least 8 hours before dinner.

Thai-Style Halibut on Lemongrass Skewers:

  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. Thai green curry paste
  • 2 Ibs. skinless halibut fillet, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 12 (8-inch) lemon grass stalks or flat bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 30 minutes.
  • Instead of using lemongrass skewers, I cut several 2″ pieces of lemongrass, pressed them with a  flat knife to release the flavour and placed them in the marinade.


In a bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, curry paste and mashed lemongrass. Place fish in a large sealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat the fish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 8 hours, tossing occasionally.

After marinating is complete, remove the fish from the marinade and thread the fish onto the skewers leaving space between the pieces. Grill for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning once, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Serve on brown rice with golden mango salsa.


Golden Mango Salsa:

  • 2 cups chopped mango
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • Dash of salt


In a bowl, combine mango, lime zest, lime juice and hot pepper flakes. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

mango salsa


  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 11/2 cup olive oil
  • 11/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 314 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. hot pepper flakes (I only used 1 tsp. and I thought that was enough)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


In a bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano, hot pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 day. (if you don’t have the time, transfer the chimichurri to a small saucepan and warm over low heat to about 120 degrees for 1-2 minutes and then let stand for about 1 hour to blend).

Left over chimichurri can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

Argentinean Grilled Vegetable Platter with Chimichurri:

  • 4 Ibs mixed seasonal garden vegetables (such as zucchini, yellow summer squash, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant and onions)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups Chimichurri (recipe follows)


Halve zucchini, squash and romaine lengthwise. Cut tomatoes, eggplant, and onions into I-inch thick  slices. Brush the cut side of the romaine with olive oil. Brush the other vegetables with oil on both sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  1. Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Grill eggplant and onions for 3-4 minutes per side, turning once until charred on both sides.
  2. Place zucchini, squash, and romaine cut side down on the grill. Grill for about 4 minutes until the cut side is charred and has nice grill marks.
  3. Grill tomatoes on one side for 3-4 minutes until charred.
  4. Arrange vegetables on a platter and drizzle with chimichurri. You will be amazed at how delicious this is!


Thai style mussels cooked on the barbecue:

The Thai-style Halibut recipe instructions said to throw the marinade out once the fish was out of the bag. I had a hard time thinking about pouring out all of the wonderful flavours and ingredients so I decided to make it do double duty. I bought some mussels and put them in a foil pan, poured the left over marinade over them and covered the pan with foil. We cooked them on the barbecue for about 7 minutes until the shells opened wide. We served them with some fresh bread and thoroughly enjoyed them.

mussels done on the barbecueall that's left of the mussels

mussel shells empty

this is all that was left of the mussels

Mom isn’t much of a mussel fan so I bought some fresh shrimp and an avocado for her. She had a special appetizer and so did we.

mom's appetizer

I had intended to serve fresh sliced peaches with vanilla ice cream for desert but we all felt we had had enough food to eat without desert.

The recipes for the Halibut, Grilled Vegetables and Mango Salsa all came from the July 2010 issue of Taste for Life magazine. They gave credit for these recipes to 300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig ($24.95 Robert Rose, 2009) If this dinner was an example of what you can expect from this book, I would highly recommend it!

All of the Empowered Health episodes have aired so I don’t have a new episode this week. We’re working on another season for next year so stay tuned.

What I am doing is putting together a women’s weekend retreat over at Bowen Island with my colleague Dalyce Brandt.  Dalyce is a life coach and we have put a two night three day event together that is called “Rejuvenate Me”.  Here’s a link to our website and facebook page.  We only have room for 15 women and the spaces are filling up.  If you are interested in joining us, we’d love to have you.   It is scheduled for October 4,5 & 6th 2013

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