Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Five Ways To Beat That Holiday Food Hangover

We all do it, just about every year. We eat until we can eat no more. And then we eat some more... One of my favourite websites, published a great comic about Thanksgiving, but the idea generally extends itself into the new year... the print is a little small, if you can't make it out, click the picture and it'll take you to the page, trust me it's worth the second it takes.

So... onto the five ways that I think are best for beating that holiday food hangover:

1. Probiotics: 

-Actually it's best if you just take these all month. We buy these in pill form, and they just seem to keep everything on track. We take them with breakfast and dinner.

2. Bump up that Fibre: 

-Chances are, you're not going to eat out for all three meals a day. I am not for a second trying to suggest you replace holiday goodies with leafy greens or bran muffins... I mean, if you want to, go for it... I am of the opinion, though, that the week between Christmas and New Years is the one week that I am not going to miss out on food. Even if it means a couple of pounds to work off at the end of it, which buy the way if you follow rule number 5, this doesn't really become a problem. But, there's nothing wrong with adding in some Mini Wheats to your breakfast, making sure you stick some fruit into your day, or checking out some new recipes at places like, where they pretty much put bran in everything. I always find having a nice greek salad for lunch also makes me feel refreshed too.. If you want my recipe, check out the pic below.

-By the way, ideal consumption of fibre per day is something like 25-30 grams per day. Not many of that get that, but now's not the time to try! Add that to the dozen sausage rolls and 3 cups of gravy you already ingested, and talk about plumbing problems! Try fitting in an additional 5-10 grams, and make sure you get plenty of water with that (see number 3!).

3. Drink Plenty of Water:

- I've heard that we may not actually need 6-8 glasses of water per day. I happen to be a fan of water, I just think it makes you feel better. But even if you don't, around this time it's important to flush all that pie dough out and avoid it sticking to your ribs... Not to mention all of the additional salt we take in at this time of year.. Water will just make you feel better, plain and simple.

4. Walk it off

-I know most of us will not even dream of going for a walk right after a huge meal...If you can, more power to you. Do it. Even if it's 20 minutes. And if that's really not going to happen for you, go the next day. Chances are, one day through the holiday season you'll wake up feeling like you have rocks in your stomach, and taking a walk really helps things settle. You can read about it at, but essentially it helps digestion and speeds up metabolism.

5. Eat Slowly, stop when you're full. Wait till everyone else is served.

-This is honestly one week out of the year that I have a hard time practicing what I preach. The French are able to eat everything they want, and they don't usually have such horrible digestive problems. That is because they follow the above principles. It really does work.

Hope your holiday season is full of good food, good wine and good times.
Have a great day!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Easy Butterflied Baked Shrimp

As far as I know, here in Quebec, we call this Shrimp Scampi, but when I did a search for that, I came up with something totally different.... So I found this Wolfgang Puck recipe at the Food Network, but changed it a little bit because of what I had on hand. This is a great, quick one that would be ideal for serving for New Year's Eve. You could make it earlier in the day, and then it cooks in just minutes. 


  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 16 extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on (I used about a pound of large frozen shrimp)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (don't go for dried...)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 ounces butter, melted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Lemon wedges, as garnish

Start by butterflying your shrimp, shell on, from head to tail where the vein was supposed to be removed... but don't you find deveined shrimp always seem to have some part of the vein left? Anyway, the original recipe suggests you also make three little slits going the opposite way, but I didn't read that the first time round, and it wasn't really a big deal. 

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Mix together the breadcrumbs, herbs, s & p, and garlic. Drizzle a little butter onto your baking sheet to prevent the shells sticking. Then, it's pretty much an assembly line. Think of Chicken Cutlets... Same method, except with butter instead of eggs and milk. Dunk the opened shrimp into the butter, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Then, place each shrimp on your baking sheet, open-faced up. Single layer only!

At this point, you can refrigerate the shrimp for a couple of hours if needed (Take it out a few minute before baking if you do this) or pop it into the oven for five minutes. This recipe is so easy, and was delicious. Happy Holidays and may you eat until you can eat no more!

Have a great day! 

Thursday, 22 December 2011


So it's my Dad's birthday, and we decided against buying presents this year for Christmas, but I still wanted to do something small for his birthday (even though he told me not to). My dad really loves his beer, so I figure how can he be made at an idea like this? I've been seeing this idea all over the place, and decided it was time to steal this idea for my dear old Dad. The first place I saw this idea was over at Life of a Modern Mom. She did a great job with a few different bottles. I like her Guinness bottles best for some reason... Don't you just think that is the most attractive beer? Anyway, I myself went for festive colours, and I am happy with how these turned out.

At this time of year, we are all looking for something different to give people. Something meaningful, useful, or sometimes just plain funny. What interesting gift ideas have you come up with this year? I'd love to hear about them. Hope the remainder of your pre-holidays are filled only with that good kind of Christmas stress, and that things don't get to frantic.. Otherwise, crack open a nice bottle of beer, and chill out. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tomato Brie Snack

So I don't know about you, but I sometimes find that it's hard to think of interesting snacks that are quick, healthy and preservative free.... The North American granola bar and low fat yogurt so do not make the cut for me.... In fact, even good, real yogurt is not my favourite to bring with me wherever I'm at... So I'm on the hunt for some interesting snacks. The checklist? Not too high in overall calories, some fat is ok though; it must have protein as my blood sugar gets a little testy otherwise; as fake-food-free as possible, and overall just good.

Pretty much every school I go to has a toaster oven in it, so I decided to combine two things I really like: tomatoes and brie. Not to mention my fridge is slightly overstocked with more cheese than I know what to do with at the moment...Not such a horrible problem to have!

I suppose you could just eat this at room temp if you didn't want to bother heating it up. And here's what I came up with I just put it in the toaster oven on 400 or so, and waited a couple of minutes. Drizzled on some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and black pepper, just 'cause.... Here's what I came up with:

You may think that I'm a nut and that I'm totally off on this being calorie frendly... I've gotta say, as a former Weight Watcher member, I can count calories in my sleep. I used maybe slightly more than an once of cheese, and a half a teaspoon of really good quality olive oil. This is certainly not more calories than one of those over-process, less than extraordinary granola bars. And for my taste, I'd pick this option any day. I've gotta say, this one was lusciously gooey and delicious. Remember, eat real food, practice moderation, eat slowly!

I'd love to hear what interesting snack options you guys have been coming up with lately, please do chime in, I'm looking forward to hearing some interesting ideas!

Have a great day!

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Monday, 19 December 2011

A Thirty Minute Meal: Cheesy French Mushroom Baguette

This is a recipe that I have made several times over the last few years. I got the idea from Rachael Ray, it's pretty similar to the original, but I sort of just throw stuff in according to what I have on hand. You can check out the original recipe here. Not only is it totally delicious, but it can also be thrown together in 30 minutes, a plus, especially around the holidays. It's a sort of a sophisticated pizza-ish meal, that is a lot healthier.

* A word on the amount of cheese in this recipe. I realize 3 cups sounds like an awful lot of cheese, and if you wanted, you could cut it down. But honestly, if this is your main meal, and you DO get 8 servings out of this, I don't think there is any reason for panic here. Yes cheese is fatty, but let's not forget that some fat does make us feel more satisfied more quickly, and literally makes us happy. Do you know that a diet that is too low in fat can be linked to depression? That would explain why I turn into a total nut-job whenever I've gone on Weight Watchers... Also, this is a vegetarian meal, and so this cheese is also an important source of protein. Moderation is key. EAT THE CHEESE, PEOPLE!

I think this recipe is VERY Mediterranean. Just have a small piece, a salad and a glass of wine, and you will be totally satisfied.

SERVINGS:  4-8 servings 
(depending how many men are around....)


2 packs of white button mushrooms, sliced (or a mix of whatever is good - price is a factor !)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 sprig fresh if you have it)
s & p
1/2 cup white or red wine (both work well, but I only ever have red in the house)
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 baguette
3 cups sharp cheese (I like cheddar, but any strong cheese will do)

2 onions, caramelized, to go on top of the mushroom mixture (that takes some time...)
a few handfuls of chopped spinach, to be added to the mushrooms with the wine


If you are caramelizing the onions, go ahead and do that before anything else, because it takes quite some time. Cook on medium low with some olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper for at least 20 minutes or so. This was the first time I added that step in, and I'd say it's worth the extra effort.

Chop up all of your mushrooms, and heat up a big pan on medium to medium-high. Eyeball about 3 or so tablespoons of olive oil. Dump in your mushrooms, and stir in the bay leaf, thyme, s & p. Let the mushrooms cook until they've released their liquid. Add in the wine. I had some leftover spinach to use up, so I figured why not bump up the nutrition as much as possible. Leave it cook for just a couple of minutes.

While this is cooking away, half the baguette length-wise, and pull out some of the insides, creating a concave shape for more mushroom-y goodness.

Pile the mushrooms onto the open baguettes (get them on a cookie sheet before, to avoid a transportation disaster). If you have the caramelized onions, spread them on top of the mushrooms. Pile on the cheese, and stick these puppies under the broiler.

And there you have it folks. A marriage of mushrooms and cheese into a melty, flavour explosion... It is totally decadent.

Have a great day!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review: Fun Foodie Find - Preservative Free Veggie KD!

So about a year ago, Kraft Dinner came out with a new line of healthier, "smart" mac 'n cheese. I have to admit. I was a doubter. But since following the Mediterranean Diet, I've made it a goal to try to consume foods with the least amount of chemicals, preservatives, and general non-food items possible. BUT I LOVE KRAFT DINNER!!! Any good ol' Canadian girl will tell you the same thing. Whether or not you put ketchup on it is up for debate (I SAY YESS!), but other than that, it's a classic! So needless to say, I've been missing KD for sure.

I decided I'd give it a try Kraft Dinner Smart Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese and let you Nervous Nellies all know how it turns out.


I like it! I've gotta say, it's not as different as I thought it would be. The vegetable being used here is cauliflower. My gut reaction was that it sounded disgusting. But, knowing that this was a product with far fewer chemicals, I went against my better judgement and gave it a shot. It was really good! Does it taste like cauliflower? Yes. But, somehow, in the best possible way. I don't love cooked cauliflower, because it has this sort of strange, back-of-your-throat taste to it that when I was a kid could make me gag. But the aftertaste of the KD was a very pleasant taste, kind of like you get when you're eating a really good cream of cauliflower soup.


This was a concern for me. I thought it might be a little mushier with all of that cauliflower in it. Well... in reality, who actually knows how much goes into the mix. By no means am I thinking this is a substitute for vegetables. Anyway, the texture was not much different from regular KD.


Here is what goes into this stuff:

Pasta (wheat flour, freeze-dried cauliflower), cheese sauce (dried whey [from milk], cheddar cheese, salt, butter, sodium phosphates, natural flavours, citric acid (acidulant), annatto (for colour)

While this is definitely far better than the original KD, here's where I have some mixed feelings... 

1. "Natural Flavours" is a very loosely used term here in North America... It basically means that whatever "flavour" they used came from something from nature originally... as for what happened to this product between it's death and the arrival in the local grocery store... well... it is left up to the imagination.

2. "Annatto" is, according to Wikipedia: "a derivative of the achiote trees of tropical regions of the Americas, used to produce a yellow to orange food coloring and also as a flavoring." I suppose there could be worse things...but I still don't know how natural this is.

3. "Sodium Phosphates" are a big mystery to me. According to, it is "Sodium phosphate is a generic term that may refer to any sodium salt of phosphoric acid." Um... well that doesn't tell me much. So I checked what phosphoric acid is. According to, it is a clear liquid that is a mass-produced chemical. It is also a good rust remover, and the ingredient in Coca-Cola that rots your teeth. Yum... I remember my grandfather telling me how in WW2, they used to use Coke to clean the blood off the streets... So... doesn't sound too great. That this KD has no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives seems like a far stretch to me, and is only true by strict definition, I guess. Disappointing.

The Verdict: I DO overall think this product is a pretty ok alternative to regular KD if you are trying to follow a fake-food-free way of living. If an old fashioned macaroni au gratin with white sauce and sharp cheddar is a ten in terms of how good and normal the ingredients are, and KD is a one, I'd give this version a 5. It tastes good, has somewhat better nutritional value, and even though it still has some ingredients I am skeptical of, it is still a much better option than regular Kraft Dinner.

That being said, stick to that sharp cheddar version of macaroni and cheese, other than a late night craving once or twice a year. And when that happens, bring out the ketchup!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Strange Things for Breakfast...

So today I decided to take the day off. As some of you know, I am substitute teaching right now, which gives me lots of freedom to come and go as I please, but yet to work as often as I need to. I've been feeling under the weather, and after a busy, busy weekend, I decided to stay home, do some blogging, rest up and tackle Mount Laundry and the Land of Dirty Dishes.

On my way home from driving the hubby into work (I need the car for groceries) I was thinking of weekly meals, and got smoked oysters in my head.... and couldn't get them out. To the point that I decided to have some as part of my breakfast. Why not? They work with all of the rules of the Mediterranean Diet. Who's to say there aren't a bunch of Greek or Italian fisherman doing the very same thing at their houses? Ok, I know sardines are a little more traditional, but who's really looking? Anyway, all I have to say is, yum... I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast, and now am off to do some groceries!

My question for you today is, what are some of the strangest things YOU have ever had for breakfast?

Can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Have a great day.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Chicken Fajitas

So Mediterranean My Way is all about taking the principles of the Mediterranean Diet and putting them in action  in a way that is relevant to my life. Since I am Canadian, and live on the outskirts of one of the best culinary cities in North America, and maybe the World, that means my flavour palate has a really wide range, and includes ingredients from... everywhere! This is my fajita recipe, I usually make it with chicken, but it could certainly be used for pork or beef. It's always a big hit, and you'll definitely never go back to those chemical-laden seasoning packets again.

Servings: Well... Depends how many fajitas you can eat! About 6-ish.


2 bell peppers
1-2 medium onions
2 lbs chicken breast
1 tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
S & P to taste
Optional: a splash of lemon, lime or hot sauce for the end (or a combination of 2)

grated Cheddar (the stronger, the better)
thinly sliced lettuce or your choice
sliced avocado or guacamole
sour cream (FULL FAT!)
hot sauce


This recipe can be whipped up in under 30 minutes for sure, start to finish. You'll wonder why you've been paying 15-20 bucks a person for ordering them in a restaurant where they come out on one of those smokey skillets that make everyone stare at you in wonder....

Slice up the peppers and onions into nice biggish slices. You want to know they're there when you eat your fajita! Fry them up in a little olive oil in a caste-iron skillet.

Do the same with your chicken breast. Then dump in the dry herbs and spices. Fry it on a medium heat (higher if you're NOT using a caste iron pan). I just want to point out why one would want to use a caste iron frying pan. Take a look at the nice colour it gives the chicken. That's flavour baby. Caste iron is the best for meat. Period.

Serve this all up with the condiments I've listed, but really... it's your fajita! Add whatever you like!

Enjoy! Don't forget a nice glass of wine, something really full bodied with a deep flavour. Think Argentinian or Chilean.

Have a great day!

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Little Mermaid Cake

So a little while ago, I ended up making two identical Ariel cakes for the very same day... it was very bizarre. I guess the Little Mermaid is the theme to have for little girl birthday parties these days. I can't believe it's lasted this long!

So I thought that maybe to kick-start me getting back into things, I would start off with a my very favourite chocolate cake recipe. I like it primarily because of the taste, but also because of it's simplicity in both method and ingredients, all key factors in my book.

If you want to get my marshmallow fondant recipe, you can check out a previous post I did about a Barbie Cake. I did make it by hand this time though.

Before the fondant went on, this cake was iced with the Wilton Buttercream recipe. For the filling, since it was a two layer cake, I took about a cup of icing, and mixed in a big ol' spoonful of dulce de leche, and then chopped up two milky way bars finely and mixed it all together. That turned out really nicely... although you can't REALLY go wrong with those ingredients, now, can you?

So this cake recipe come from, and it is now the only one I use for chocolate cake. It sort of has an Oreo taste to it if you can imagine. It's a soft, delicate cake with rich colour and an intense chocolate taste. I often find chocolate cake not as chocolatey as you'd expect it to be, but this recipe will not disappoint.  In this particular cake, I double the recipe and bake off two ten inch square cakes, which is different from the usual. I just lowered the temp and extended the baking time.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Also makes great cupcakes in about 18-20 minutes!

Here are a couple of alternate views of my cakes, everything was hand made by moi, well, except the candle.

Have a great day!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Back in Action!

I'm back! So for those of you who do not know, I am a teacher. Two years ago, I made the decision to switch over to my local school board, which is pretty hard to get an English job teaching in, as I live in Quebec, and although it is one of our English school boards, it is French Immersion, meaning that the kids spend at least 50% up to 100% of their day in French. My French is good, but the grammar aspect, not good enough to teach. It's so surprising to me that people don't realize that not all of Quebec is French speaking, and that there is a substantial population who live their lives pretty much only in English. I only really started speaking French, other than obligatory, poor quality French classes in school, when I worked in a French private school as the English teacher.

ANYway.... All that to say, I decided to switch over to this board despite all of this, and wait it out and be a substitute in the meantime. I like this school board much better than the others, and there is very little travel involved, which makes a huge difference. So now that I'm subbing, I realize that I think for the time being I actually like it better than teaching. The money is just about the same, there's no planning, no parent teacher interviews, portfolio nights or report cards, no long-term stress (a bad day just means I need an extra glass of wine, and then it's over and done with), the work is regular but if I feel like taking a day off because my house is a mess, I just don't work that day! This board has an online substitution system that is just fabulous, and I basically made my salary for a good part of last year not knowing a single person in the board, yet working everyday because of this online system. So, unless I get a great offer, I plan to keep subbing, and am thrilled at the thought of the freedom it gives me.

I spent Term 3 of last year replacing a teacher on sick leave in the most wonderful grade 1 class that could ever be, and I loved it. That same teacher had a gradual re-integration this year, with a different class, and I was replacing her a few days a week up until very recently. That being said, if you look at my past posts, you'll notice they sort of dropped off in September, and then stopped altogether. I guess I got a little overwhelmed with being in that class, and just stopped writing. But now that I've finished up with that, I'm back into the swing of things. I'll be back writing, hopefully Monday through Friday, and sometimes the weekends too. I'm super excited to be back into action, and have lots of great ideas to share with you all! I hope you will join me, and as usual I would love to hear about your experiences with the Mediterranean lifestyle, weight loss and seasonal living.

Until Monday!
Have a great day!