2017 Cook My Books Challenge: February

I’ve got to say guys, I’m impressing myself. I’m not usually one to stick to my goals, but I’ve made it through month 2 of my Cook My Books Challenge. I guess what they say about making yourself accountable really does help with achieving your goals!

In case you’re new to the blog, my challenge to myself was:

This year I will cook at least 3 recipes per month from my cookbooks and post a recap at the end of each month!

So here’s what I cooked from my books in February:

1. Fettuccine with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper-Feta Sauce from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger

I had high hopes for this pasta, but I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Even though the sauce had almost 1 cup of feta blended into it, you really couldn’t even tell it was in there so I had to add plenty more on top! I much prefer my own recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta.


2. Radicchio with Beets, Sweets, and Classic Balsamic Dressing from Whole Bowls by Allison Day

I really loved the flavours in this salad! I’m not usually a big fan of radicchio, but paired with the sweet root vegetables and feta (I was very heavy handed on the cheese), its bitter taste was balanced out. This dish was also very visually appealing with the beautiful purples and bright orange vegetables.


3. Cuban Stir Fry of Pork, Black Beans, and Sweet Potato from Lucy’s Kitchen by Lucy Waverman

I made this recipe on a Sunday night after a heavy lunch with J’s parents, and even by 8 pm neither of us had much of an appetite. Normally I would have just ditched our dinner plans and made us toast, but I was determined to squeeze this recipe in! It was pretty good, although I think I expected more of a flavour punch from it. Next time I would perk it up some lime zest to make the citrus flavour more pronounced.


What recipes have you made from your cookbooks recently?

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Brussels Sprout and Gruyere Frittata

This Brussels sprout and gruyere frittata is a delicious and healthy way to get a serving of vegetables at breakfast!

This Brussels sprout and gruyere frittata is a delicious and healthy breakfast!

When counselling patients, I’m not a big fan of “rules”. Rules aren’t fun, especially if they’re telling you not to eat something. I don’t work that way. So instead I like to focus on adding in foods like vegetables in enjoyable ways.

But again, I don’t like to go by rules like “eat vegetables at every meal.” Because, I get it, don’t usually like vegetables at breakfast either. I eat oatmeal almost every day and sorry, I’m not hiding spinach or zucchini or whatever else in there (although, pumpkin spiced oatmeal is pretty delicious).

This Brussels sprout and gruyere frittata is a delicious and healthy breakfast!

But if you’re a savoury breakfast fan, frittatas can be a great way to get in some vegetables in your morning meal. And the possibilities are endless! All you need is the basic formula (I like 8 eggs + 1.5 to 2 cups vegetables + 1/2 to 1 cup cheese) and you can customize from there.

This frittata uses shredded Brussels sprouts, which you saute first until they start caramelizing to bring out their flavour. I like either gruyere or white cheddar paired with Brussels sprouts, but especially gruyere for its toasty flavour. I also  add parmesan to the egg mixture to up the cheesy factor. High five for a fast, easy, cheesy breakfast!

This Brussels sprout and gruyere frittata is a delicious and healthy breakfast!

Brussels Sprout and Gruyere Frittata
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Brussels sprout and gruyere frittata is a delicious and healthy breakfast!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • ¾ cup shredded gruyere, divided
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and place a rack in the middle to upper middle spot.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs. Stir in the parmesan, gruyere, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a small cast iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet. Add the shallot and Brussels sprouts and saute over low heat, until the shallots are soft and the Brussels sprouts start to caramelize. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and make sure the vegetables are evenly distributed. Cook for about 1 minute, until you see the edges start to set.
  5. Place skillet in the oven and bake until the eggs are set, about 15 minutes.


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Separating Self Worth From Food Choices

The more I practice as a dietitian, the more passionate I become about promoting body positivity, feeling good about ourselves, and taking the focus off of weight. I’d like to introduce more posts exploring these topics to this blog, starting with today’s post about separating self worth from food choices. Let me know what you think about me doing more posts on these topics!

Separating Self Worth from Food Choices

Men’s locker room talk got a lot of attention in this past year. Well, if by “locker room talk” you mean sexual harassment. But that’s a whole other can of worms.

Anyways, today I wanted to chat about women’s locker room talk. Which all too often consists of diet talk and detox talk. I think subconsciously, the reason I never shower at the gym and prefer to shower at home is so that I can get in-and-out of the women’s locker room as fast as possible and thus avoid hearing these conversations.

I wasn’t fast enough one day this week though because I caught a snippet of a conversation between two students catching up on their weekend. Starting with:

“I was so bad…”

Ugh, I HATE that phrase. I mean, did you murder someone? Did you rob a convenience store? No? Oh, you just ate a few slices of pizza or went out for a McFlurry?

That doesn’t make you bad! Just as choosing green smoothies and tofu stir fries doesn’t make you good. We need to start separating our self worth from our food choices. We are more than what we eat!

And I’m not trying to be all holier than thou here because – believe me – I’ve been there. I think if someone said they hadn’t, they’d be lying. We are all exposed to these ways of thinking from a young age so of course those thoughts are going to infiltrate our own. But having these thoughts on any kind of regular basis can be destructive. I remember in 10th grade some girls in my class decided they were being “good” by skipping lunch every day, so I thought I needed to be “good” and do that too. Well, all that came of that was incessant hunger pangs through my afternoon classes, barely enough energy to walk home at the end of the day, and an all out binge when I got home. Healthy? Not at all.

The good news: these ingrained thought patterns can be changed, and it starts with awareness. Next time you have one of these kinds of thoughts, recognize it – and replace it. Instead of “I’m being bad”, think about how much you’re going to enjoy your [insert food here] and make the decision to mindfully eat it. Way more fun than beating yourself up, right? Keep on thinking this way and over time, those negative thoughts will be powerless.

How do you deal with these kinds of thought patterns? 


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