Monthly Archives: January 2013

Blood Orange Hummus

Blood Orange Hummus

One of my favorite dips is Hummus. I fell in love with it as a kid and rediscovered it again in the last couple of years when I started to lose weight. It is a great snack jam packed with protein and great flavor. Over the last year I have tried many different variations of Hummus, I have added Leek, Red Onion, many different things that really didn’t change the flavor at all, more just changed the texture.

I was at Edmonton’s Italian Centre this weekend and bought a few blood oranges, this is one of my favorite time of you because this is when different types of oranges are in season. I wanted to cook something with them but didn’t know what to make. I had planned to make hummus that day and it hit me! I must say, it totally gave it a different taste which I really enjoyed, and with the spices I added to it, it made it have a more refreshing flavor. It also gave it a very slight pinkish hugh to the look of the hummus.



1 Can of Chickpeas – Drained and rinsed, I saved about 2 Tablespoons of the juice from the can to use.

Blood Orange

2 Blood Oranges – Juiced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

4 Cloves of Garlic – Pressed

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/3 Teaspoon Cumin

1/3 Teaspoon Ground Ginger


Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Save about 2-4 Tablespoons of the liquid from the can and put it in a medium sized bowl. Once the chickpeas have been drained fully add them to the bowl. Then Juice your two blood oranges and make sure to get every last drop! Then add that to the bowl, now add the olive oil and mix together. In a little bowl mix the Paprika, Cumin, and Ginger together and add to the larger bowl. Using a garlic press, press 4 cloves of garlic and mix together well. Now you can either use a blender or a food processor to puree this or you can used a hand held puree mixer, which is what I used. You really have to work it well if you use a hand held mixer.

Almost Ready! 

I found that this was the most flavorful Hummus I have made. The juice from the Blood Orange is really complimented from the Cumin flavor. I really gives a nice new perspective on a classic dish. I love it with the traditional lemon juice but this is my new favorite way to make this.

I am such a Hummer lover that I rarely use mayo or any other kind of condiment on a sandwich and use Hummus in its place. Having grown up around garlic my entire life, I am one of those people that really loves that flavor on anything and has no problem if someone has ‘garlic breath’.

I am tempted to try making hummus with other kinds of citric fruits in place of lemon juice. You should too.





– Matthew {Season to Taste}

Tagged , , , ,

Salmon Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Salmon Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

This week I came up with probably my favorite recipe to date! I Salmon Stuffed Portobello Mushroom. Portobello Mushrooms are the massive mushrooms that look very ugly and you would think would taste awful, when in fact they are so delicious and very healthy for you. They have some protein as well as some fiber which is always a plus! I came up with this recipe because I felt like I needed to incorporate more protein into my diet as well as the blog. I am also a huge fish fan, I’m not a true Albertan because I would take fish over beef any day of the week.   The filling of this stuffed mushroom is strictly vegetables and salmon.

I need to come clean though before we get started, I didn’t use fresh salmon, I used frozen. I buy frozen salmon fillets in packages of 5, they make a great quick lunch or dinner. They are low in fat and calories, and high in protein. So I highly recommend picking some up.




2 Portobello Mushrooms – Cored

1 Salmon Fillet  – Skin Removed

1/2 Red Pepper – Diced

1 Cup Spinach – Wilted Down

2 Green Onions – Diced

1 Shallot – Diced

2 Garlic Cloves – Minced

1/2 Teaspoon Dill

Salt and Pepper to taste

The juice of 1 Lemon

Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Graded to Taste

Lemon Zest


Preheat your over to 350 degrees(F) In a frying pan, heat olive oil and once warm add salmon fillet. Cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from pan and using a fork shred the salmon and put in a large bowl. Now in the same pan on a low heat wilt down your 1 cup of spinach and set aside to cool. Then add diced red peppers, onions, shallots, garlic and the lemon juice. Now add the the wilted spinach to the bowl along with dill, and salt and pepper. Filling

Now take your mushrooms and core them, removing the stems and using a spoon drag the spoon around the inside and get out all the lose brown mushroom parts, add all this to the same bowl as the other ingredients. Now using a spoon fill both of your mushrooms with the filling, there should be enough for two. Pack them in real nice and tight and make sure to not break your mushroom.

Now place in a backing pan and bake for 20 minuted. Once the 20 minutes is up remove and grade on the cheese, I used 5 year old sharp cheddar to give it some kick. Then add a bit of lemon zest to compliment the lemon juice in the filling. Now bake for another 5 minutes, remove and let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.




I was so excited that this dish turned out as well as it did because I really wanted to try something totally different and make sure it would pass as a meal. I brought this for lunch the next day on a bed of fresh baby spinach and it was DELICIOUS! I really think I am no to something with the stuffed mushrooms. Obviously there are a million people out there who HATE mushrooms, and I don’t understand at all why. But this is something really worth trying. Its super easy, super inexpensive, and SO HEALTHY. This is another meal that you can substitute different ingredients to make you favorite flavors come to life. Another thing, this is a great alternative to a stuffed bell pepper.

Finished Product



I will say one thing that sucks about this recipe, there is no good way to take a photo of a Portobello Mushroom, they are sooooo ugly. I had to use my fancy Bunny Plate to make it look pretty!

Get Cooking!


-Matthew {Season to Taste}


Tagged , , , ,

Beet Greens and Quinoa Vegetable Stir Fry

Beet Greens and Quinoa Stir Fry

I went shopping for produce the other day and came across some beautiful  organic golden beets. I immediately picked up  the most full bunch I could find. The leaves that were attached were massive and were such a dark deep green color, and looked soooo beautiful. Just looking at them made you feel healthier. I bought everything else I was shopping for and was going to buy some spinach or lettuce when I suddenly realized I didn’t need any because of the large amount of greens attached to the beets.
When I got home I thought about what I could make with these greens, and it hit me to make a Stir Fry with a bunch of different vegetables. The good thing about stir frying is you can really add any ingredients to it and it is a great way to clean out your produce crisper.
I chose to use quinoa instead of rice which is generally more traditional for stir fry’s because it is such a super food and is very healthy and very tasty!
5-7 Big Beet Greens – Chopped


1 Small Yellow Onion – Diced
1 Cup Sugar Peas – Whole (remove the pointed ends)
1 Yellow Pepper – Diced
1 Fennel – Cut into Strips
3 Small Tomatoes – Cut into quarters
1 Shallot – Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic – Minced
The juice from 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Dill
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/2 Cup Quinoa
Beet GreensDirection:
In a large frying pan or wok, heat up the olive oil on a medium heat. Once heated, add the beet greens and cook until they begin to wilt. Once wilted add the yellow pepper, fennel, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and shallots. Cook down for a bit. Once the veggies are all cooked, add the lemon juice and dill, garlic, ginger, and salt and pepper. Fry them all together and on a high temperature  for about 5 minuets to cook away some of the liquid and then turn down the heat to low.

In a medium sauce pan add one cup of water and 1/2 a cup of quinoa and cook for 15 minutes on a medium heat. Once cooked add the quinoa right into the frying pan or wok. Serves 3-5 people.
Quinoa has become such a popular food in the last few years. It is served at most restaurants now, usually in the form of a salad. It is such a healthy food. One of the ‘Super Foods’ we hear so much about. It is loaded with protein and has a lot of dietary fiber in it. It is especially great for vegan people as it is also high in calcium. It is also gluten free. It can really be eaten by anyone, which now a days is extremely rare that there is a food out there that everyone can eat. It is a better alternative to rice which was something that made me want to make this.

photo 1

The beet greens were such a flavorful green to use and they are a very dark leafy green which is so healthy and they contain a lot of fiber as well.
This was a very healthy recipe and it can be made with a lot of variations and flavors to it. Open up your spice cupboard  and try mixing different flavors in with your stir fry. EXPERIMENT! It is so much fun to try and see what you can come up with.
– Matthew {Season to Taste}
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Turnip and Celery Root Hash With Bacon

Purple Top Turnip and Celery Root

I have been on a quest to try new vegetables that I have never cooked with or even eaten, and pairing them with other amazing flavors. This dish has two new vegetables that I never used before, Purple Top Turnip and Celery Root. I am very excited for this dish. It makes a great dinner for a cold snowy day – the pure definition of comfort food. It can also make a great dish for a brunch, adding poached or scrambled eggs to it will make it a morning meal time favorite.


Disclaimer: Celery Root is very ugly when you buy it! But the taste, is unreal. It is obviously very similar in taste to celery sticks, but much more savory. Don’t be afraid of the its ugly appearance! Buy it! Cook with it!


Leeks and Onion

2 Purple Top Turnips – Peeled and cut into cubes

1 Celery Root – Peeled and cut into cubes

6 Slices of Bacon – Some Fat Removed

1 Yellow Onion – Sliced

1 Leek – Sliced

3 Tablespoons Cilantro – Chopped

1/2 Tablespoon Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Salt



In a large frying pan start by cooking your bacon on a medium heat. Make sure to stir it a few times to ensure both sides are cooked evenly and is crispy. Once it is cooked (about 5 minutes) remove the bacon using a slotted spoon, and drain all the bacon fat except for 1/4 of a cup. In the bacon fat, cook your Turnip and Celery Root as well as your Onion and Leek. Once everything has been sautéed, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes stirring just once, this allows for everything to brown and become a bit crispy.

Once it has browned a bit, add the Paprika and Salt and Pepper and mix well. This may result in your frying pan to brown a bit on the bottom on the inside, but this is fine. Add the bacon back into the frying pan and mix again once the bacon has warmed up stir in the chopped Cilantro and lower the heat and let sit for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve! Serves 4-6.

Hash I did some reading on the both of the main vegetables in this dish… just to find out what there nutritional qualities were and learned that the Celery Root, unlike most root vegetables has very little starch to it. It can also be eaten raw – but in my opinion much better cooked. Like I said before it also has a very savory flavor to it, unlike celery stems. The Purple Top Turnip is very high in Vitamin C, it also contains fiber.

I really found that this dish made me full. I made it on a week night and it was the perfect dinner. Its a very comforting dish. Adding the bacon to it really complimented the root vegetables tastes. I am for sure going to make this again, only next time for brunch. It has such a brunch taste to it, must have been the bacon.

The other plus was that this dish wasn’t very expensive at all! The most expensive this was the bacon. I would say that for all

Turnip and Celery Root Hash with Bacon

of the ingredients in this I probably spent around 10$ in total. Total money saving dish! Give it a try!


Matthew {Season to Taste}

Tagged , , , , , ,

Asian Salad with Watermelon and Vermicelli

Asian Salad with Cocktail

Happy 2013! I hope everyone had an amazing New Years. I wanted to start 2013 off with something bold and fresh and full of different flavors. So I came up with this very satisfying rustic Asian inspired salad. Using fresh watermelon, herbs, and  crunchy romaine lettuce, this salad is the perfect dish to make for a quick meal or a dinner party. It’s like a rainbow on a platter. One of my New Years resolutions is to cook with as much color as I can and this salad is the perfect start to that goal!

2013 is about new beginnings, letting the past go and finding what makes you happy. For me that means getting healthy and making sure I eat the best foods I can and cook with the most delicious of ingredients. Be adventurous this year and combine flavors to see what you can come up with, I really did this when making the dressing for this salad, I added different spices I don’t usually cook with.  LIVE YOUR LIFE THE BEST WAY YOU CAN THIS YEAR!

Here we go, first recipe of this year!

Ingredients For Salad:


2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts – Chopped

1/2 Cup Vermicelli Noodles – Cooked

1/2 of One Small Watermelon – Cut in Cubes

1 Carrot – Grated

8 Radishes – Chopped in Quarters

1/4 Cup Cilantro

1/4 Cup Mint – Bruised

5 Green Onions – Diced

2 Shallots


Ingredients for Dressing:

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lime – Juiced

1/2 Tablespoon Ground Ginger

2 Pinches of Ground Horseradish

5 Cloves of Garlic – Minced

1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint Leaves

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Start by getting your water kettle boiling and place your Vermicelli noodles in a large Pyrex bowl, add boiling water and let stand for 4 minutes and drain. Wash your Romaine lettuce and chop length wise so you have lettuce strips, then shred your carrot using a cheese grater. Wash and cut your Radishes into quarters. Chop your Green Onions and Shallots. On a large platter (you can use a bowl, but I think a platter is much nicer) place all of your ingredients and then garnish with your Mint and Cilantro. Top with cubed Watermelon.

To make the dressing combine Olive Oil, the juice of one Lime, Garlic, Mint, Horseradish, and Ginger in a blender or smoothie maker. Drizzle over top of salad and mix together and serve. Serves 4-6 people. 

Asian Salad

This Salad would also be amazing with a protein like chicken or shrimp.

Like I said before, I really want to strive this year to cook with a lot of color and make innovative dishes that are new and exciting. I know that making a salad isn’t really the most innovate of dishes to make but I love making and eating salads that are new and put a mixed greens to shame. It is so easy to get creative and eat well. By starting to add a fruit to a salad, it makes it more refreshing and exciting.

Asian Salad

I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year and I am so grateful to all of my readers and can’t wait to share all that The Desperate Cook has to offer in 2013.


-Matthew {Season to Taste}

Tagged , , , , ,

Coming soon…

Hey followers! Just wanted to take a moment and say I will be back very soon with new posts for 2013! I had to take a quick break and take care of some family stuff. But here is a little taste of what’s to come….

Watermelon and Vermicelli Salad with homemade Dressing.


Love lots!
Matthew {Season to Taste}