Cooked Oatmeal with Baked Apples and Maple Syrup


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I don’t know if age has affected my metabolism but my weight sure has been creeping up little by little despite my lifestyle being the same. And it has become frustrating. I watch my diet, I am careful not indulging on sweets too often, I go to the gym everyday but the weight is not bulging. What to do?? Well i thought i would take the bull by its horns as we say in French, and try to find solutions to fix this problem. And this week, this is what i have done:

1. I am trying to go to bed earlier to get more than 7 hours of sleep

2. I talked to a personal trainer so he can vary my exercise routine

3. I am trying to eat every 2-3 hours as suggested by the trainer and health experts.

3. And I am trying to fix a more balanced and copious breakfast which includes a bit more carbs than what i have been eating.

As suggested, I am trying to eat more proteins and more carbs. So this week my breakfast has essentially been  3 white scrambled eggs, and oatmeal.

Oatmeal has never been a favorite of mine, but I always have some at home, because it makes for  a quick balanced breakfast if nothing is around. I have always cooked it with milk and added fresh fruit to it which gets boring quite fast.

This week, having more time, I have been playing with various ingredients to make this boring oatmeal much more pleasing to my tastebuds. Yesterday, I used fresh coconut, today I used apples.

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Ingredients for 2-3 :

  • 1 apple peeled and sliced.
  • 1/2 cup of pecan halves
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 cups of regular milk ( I used Fat free Lactaid)
  • 1 tbsp of Good Quality Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of Muscovado Brown Sugar ( Raw Brown Sugar from the Mauritian Islands- to be found in special grocery stores)
  • a pinch of cinnamon ( optional)
  1. Turn the oven to 475.
  2. Place the sliced apples into a bowl and sprinkle 1 tbsp of the Muscovado brown sugar and some cinnamon if you want. Stir to coat the apple slices with the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Empty those apples sliced onto a deep flexipat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet.
  4. Place the pecans on the other half of the pan so that they will roast as the same time as the apples will bake.
  5. Cook both in the oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the cooked oatmeal. Place the oatmeal,  and the milk into a medium-sized bowl and cook the oatmeal for 3 minutes in the microwave.Watch that the milk does not boil over. It will start rising at about 2 1/2 minutes.
  7. Stir and set aside to let the oatmeal expand and cool. I don’t like when it is too hot…
  8. Add the vanilla, and a pinch of Cinnamon.
  9. Divide the oatmeal equally in 2 or 3 portions in individual bowls. Then add the cooked apples.
  10. Mix and drizzle some maple syrup. Break the pecans in small bit and sprinkle them on top of the oatmeal. Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

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Cranberry and Pecan Coated Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower


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Sometimes it is just nice to repeat some of the dish that i posted. One of my favorite recipe is the Pecan and Cranberry Coated Chicken so tonight I decided to use this topping to fix my salmon. Yummy!!

Ingredients for 1 single sized salmon:

  • 2 tbsp of cranberry that you would have previously soaked in 1/4 cup of hot water for rehydrating them,
  • 2 tbsp of pecan,
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar,
  • 1/2 tsp of olive oil,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt,
  • 1/32 tsp of pepper
  1. Place the salmon filet on the deep flexipan or silpat and season the salmon with salt and pepper by sprinkling it lightly. Set aside.
  2. In a small chopper, place 2 tbsp of cranberry, 2tbsp  of pecan, 1 tsp of brown sugar,  1/2 tsp of olive oil, and chop this mixture well.photo 1
  3. Coat the salmon with it.
  4. Cook in oven at 400 for 5-6 minutes. Enjoy!!!

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I served Roasted Cauliflower with it. Un vrai Delice;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Gorgonzola and Pecan Crusted Salmon


It was a bit late when I got home last night after one of my cooking class, but since I had not eaten I was starving. I did not really have time to think about what I really wanted to eat.. I just used what I had on hand: salmon, gorgonzola and pecan.

For the cooking class we had made gorgonzola, pecan and apricot tartlets and this made me think that that mixture would probably good as the topping of my salmon.

Ingredients for 3 people: 1 small filet of salmon, 1/3 cup of gorgonzola, 1/3 cup of pecan, 1 tbsp of maple, salt and pepper.

In small chopper, chop the nuts very tiny and set aside. Grind the gorgonzola cheese on a cheese grater. Mix the two ingredients and add 1 tbsp of maple ( it takes some of the bitterness and the bite out of the cheese), and mix well.

Place the salmon on a silpat and coat the salmon with that gorgonzola mixture. Cook in the oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Et voila! Serve with fresh grillled vegetables.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Easy Nut Bars


It is not fun to get old. Everything goes to sh…..That’s not fair!!! I never really had a problem with managing my weight until the magic number of 30 came around. As soon as I hit that number, it seemed that if I looked at a cake, it would go straight to my hips and thighs:- ( and since I am a bit vain as far as appearances,  I had to adapt and change my diet in order to fit in my pants:-). At that time, already 10 years ago,  the Atkins diet was so popular that I chose to completely illuminate all white carbs and most starch from my diet. It worked so I have followed this lifestyle for the past decade. ( Yeah already…)

If at first it was difficult, after a few weeks, it was easy and I have not missed not eating those chips, potatoes or other starch.

In fact, even if I am starving at times, and potato chips or other ” not so good snacks” are around the house, they do not tempt me. I rather snack on nuts, fruits or protein bars. The problem is my sweet tooth. I like to snack on sweet things. Proteins bars have been a great substitute to candy bars. The problem with them is that you have to watch careful for the ingredients as most protein bars contain carbs, and sugars and they are high calorific. They are also very expensive and can taste so unnatural. This weekend as I could not find a protein bars around the house, and did not feel like running to the store,  I decided that I could make my own nut bar. How hard could it be???? After perusing several recipes, and not having any ingredients that they were calling for ( rice syrup, dates, ) I decided to do the following: bind the nuts with almond butter and maple syrup ( what I had on hand).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup of raw blanched almond.
  • 2 cups of pecan,
  • 2 cups of almond,
  • 1/4 cup of almond butter,
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup,
  • 1/4 turbinado sugar,
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla extract.
  1. Place the nuts on the flexipan that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet .
  2. Cook them for 10 minutes at 375 to roast them. Stir the nuts a few times during cooking so that all nuts will be roasted on all sides.
  3. When they are roasted and you can start smelling that nutty aroma coming out of your oven, remove the flexipan  from the oven and place the nuts in a food processor to break them. They should be broken in pieces but not milled.
  4. Then in a small saucepan, add the maple sugar, the almond butter and the  turbinado brown sugar and bring to boil.
  5. Add this mixture to the nuts and stir to coat the nuts.
  6. Empty this content back into the flexipan and with a spatula, press hard to make the mixture an even flat bar.
  7. Place the flexipan back into the oven and cook for another 10 minutes at 375. Et voila!!!

8. When the cooking time is up, remove the flexipan from the oven and let it cool.

9. When the nut bars is completely cool, peel the flexipan off the nut bar, and with a sharp knife cut 2x 1 inches nut bar.

10. Place those bars either in a ziploc bar or in an airtight container so that the bars will remain dry.

NB: You can really vary what you put in those bars. Next time i may add dried fruits and maybe chocolate morsels. I will let you know what happens. For now, i am happy with those bars, they taste pretty good, not too sweet and a good snack ( which was all I wanted;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pecan Crusted Salmon with Brown Sugar and Miel de Maguey Reduction


Salmon is a great fish. It is so mild that it will take on any flavor you add to it. It is excellent grilled “au naturel”, sauteed, or even baked. I eat a lot of it because I love fish, and salmon is fairly easy to prepare unlike many other fish. Tonight I wanted to try out something that has been twirling in my head for a few days…Honey Pecan Crusted Salmon with Brown Sugar and Miel de Aguave Reduction. And here it is:

Ingredients for 2:

  • 1 lb salmon filet,
  • 1/2 cup of pecan chopped really small,
  • 1 tbsp of honey,
  • salt and pepper to taste,

Ingredients for the Miel de Maguey Sauce: 

  • 1 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of butter,
  • 3 tbsp of Miel de Maguey,
  • sea salt and pepper to taste.

1. In a bowl, place the chopped pecans, add the melted honey and stir to coat the pecans. 2. Place the salmon on a silpat.

3. Season lightly the salmon with pepper and sea salt.

4. Coat the salmon with the pecan/ honey mixture.

4. Bake in a warm oven at 400 for 7 minutes. You may need more if you like your salmon medium well ( i like mine medium rare).

5. While the salmon is baking, in a small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter.

6. When the butter is sizzling, add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 3 tbsp of Miel de Maguey.

7. Bring to boil and let it simmer until it has reduced to its third.

8. To serve, place 1- 2 Tbsp of the sauce on the plate and lay the filet over the fish. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!