Spicy Thai Tuna & Fennel Salad

Apr 16, 2012 by

I’ve been doing a lot of eating over the past week. I think its time to slow it down and get back into my usual eating habits. I was looking through my recipes and realized that I really don’t post enough salads. That is not to say that I don’t eat salads ~I just haven’t posted. I made a dressing that I adapted from Everyday Food over a year ago. I don’t fancy store bought dressings that much. Generally I have my salad naked – sans dressing. I adore crunchy romaine with garden vegetables. But I also like warm salads that include Quinoa, Zucchini and other root vegetables.

Today’s recipe is a quick and easy, nutritious salad. I usually serve the dressing on the side so that I pour what I desire. For the Tuna, I added only to the plate because it was too spicy for my son so I could not mix it into the main bowl. I find regular tuna to be one of my least favourite things when its plain, so the Spicy Thai version is the one I prefer. It is quite spicy for me, so I don’t eat more than half a can at a time. A little goes a very long way for me. Regular tuna can certainly be substituted and you can use as much as you would like from the can. You can also choose to omit the tuna and serve the salad along with dinner. I am also using Fennel for the first time in a very long time. I forgot how much I liked it. I’m happy I was able to incorporate it in this freestyle salad. I believe the Fennel and Tuna are the unusual suspects and so, I named the salad for them :-)


Spicy Thai Tuna and Fennel Salad


Spicy Thai Tuna & Fennel Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Lyn of The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2
A quick salad with Spicy Thai Tuna and Fennel
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tsp Honey Mustard Dijon
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salad:
  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce, chopped and washed
  • 2 Baby Cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 85g Can Spicy Thai Tuna (or any tuna you like)
  1. Add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a jar. Shake and set aside
  2. In a large bowl, add romaine, tomatoes, fennel and cucumbers
  3. Toss to combine
  4. Add tuna and dressing, toss to coat or serve dressing on the side, serve Tuna in individual plates


The dressing before I shook it. Not sure why, but it looked like a flower to me. I see beauty in weird places, I guess. OK, don’t stare at it! lol


Salad Dressing


I almost omitted the tuna when I saw how attractive the salad looked. Way to go tomatoes!


Tossed salad!


So here was my turning point. Do I add the Tuna? Or have it on its own, this gorgeous salad.


Fennel, Romaine, Cucumbers & Tomatoes


I added the dressing to the salad, followed by the tuna.


Spicy Thai Tuna and Fennel Salad


I feel much better about all that eating during Easter. Much better.



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Turkey and Potato Skillet

Mar 28, 2012 by

I’ve wanted to do a one-pot dish for some time now. I was tired of using ground turkey the same way all the time. Needless to say, it gets a little boring for everyone. Something new was definitely needed! Balance is always my goal, so there’s a good ratio of protein, starch and greens… and some sweet corn too, to brighten it up a bit. I love that the ingredients are what we know and love and that the recipe can be tweaked as needed. A versatile recipe is a good recipe. I also wanted a sweet sauce in the mix, to give a constant flavour throughout the entire dish, but not overpowering it. I’ve made this dish twice and I’m happy enough with the result to share with you here. It’s funny – when I’m freestyle cooking, I really need to write down what I do. The second time I made this I was hoping I got it right so that it would turn out just as good as it did the first time!


Turkey, White Potato, Sweet Potato, Sweet Peas



Turkey and Potato Skillet

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Ketchup (Or regular Ketchup is fine)
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Large sweet Potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Large While Potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Cup Sweet Peas, thawed from frozen (or canned if you like)
  • 1/2 Cup Sweet Corn, thawed from frozen (or canned if you like)


  1. In a hot skillet, add olive oil
  2. Add Onion, sauté until softened
  3. Add garlic, stir until softened
  4. Add Ground Turkey and use a spoon to break into small chunks
  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper, Thyme and Oregano. Stir to incorporate
  6. Brown the turkey for about 8 minutes on a medium-high heat
  7. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add ketchup, sugar, vinegar and broth
  8. Mix with a spoon until a smooth consistency is achieved
  9. Pour over the turkey, stirring to combine
  10. Add cubed potatoes, stir and cover over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked
  11. Add the corn and peas and cover for another 5 minutes
  12. Stir to combine

Aside from the subtle sweetness of this dish, the colours are so appealing to me. I think I’m addicted to green. There HAS to be something green in my plate. I love sweet potatoes. White potato – not so much, but each has its special place in my diet. I was happy to join the two for this Turkey and Potato Skillet dish.


Turkey and Potatoes in skillet



Turkey and Potato Skillet



This was so easy to make and filled with colourful goodness. Perfect for a mid-week dinner!


Happy Wednesday!







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Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Zucchini and Cheese

Mar 26, 2012 by

Last nights dinner was so very interesting to me. I knew I had to roast some zucchini that was begging to be eaten. I also wanted to try the Quinoa Pasta that I bought a few days ago. I had never seen it before and I wanted give it a try so I could see how it tasted and how the texture compared to regular pasta. And there’s the cheese. I’ve always had a thing for cheese. It’s not something that I will give up easily, so bear with me as you see cheese all over this recipe. I kept it subtle. Promise :-) …Although I purposely avoided measuring how much cheese I used…

It was tasty, meatless and certainly something I intend to have again. My hubby thought it was quite nice. I don’t think I could convince him to have this without some meat though. He is far from a part-time vegetarian, like what I’m on the path to becoming. Baby steps. As I read more about it and find recipes that suit my palate, I’m truly considering reducing my meat consumption.

Here’s the finished result…another freestyle recipe :-)


Quinoa Fusilli Pasta & Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan Flakes


As for the Quinoa Pasta, I realized that it takes a little longer to cook than regular pasta. The package suggested 13-15 minutes – spot on. Anything before that, it’s still rather firm. Also, you have to eat it right away. I decided to toss it in a cheese mixture in order to make it moist on the outside. I don’t do dry pasta very well. A cream sauce or olive oil is pretty much mandatory. The texture of quinoa pasta is just fine and I would not have noticed the difference at all. I will buy it again, if I come across it. Its Quinoa. I can’t go wrong. Right?


Quinoa Pasta - Gluten Free, Corn Free


Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Zucchini and Cheese
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Lyn
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4
An easy meal perfect for any day of the week. Quinoa, Zucchini and Cheese.
  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil for bushing the Zucchini
  • Few Tbsp grated or shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 8 oz Quinoa Pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
  • 1 Scallion, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp Cream Cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken Broth
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. In a medium pot, bring about 4 cups of salted water to a boil
  3. Add quinoa pasta and cook according to package directions
  4. Cut ends off zucchini then slice each into 6 wedges
  5. Grease a rimmed baking tray with olive oil
  6. Place zucchini, skin side down on the greased baking tray
  7. Brush with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper and parmesan
  8. Roast for 20 minutes, until the zucchini is golden brown
  9. In a medium pot, add cream cheese, chicken broth and parmesan
  10. On medium heat, still until melted and combined
  11. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cream cheese mixture
  12. Toss to lightly coat
  13. Add salt and pepper to taste
  14. Cut zucchini into chunks and stir in or serve on the side
  15. Garnish with Scallion and parmesan flakes

I used Quinoa Pasta but you can use any pasta for this recipe


I got my son to eat the zucchini. I had to basically emphasize that it had cheese on it. Not that there was too much, but he needs encouragement to eat “new” veggies. He has lettuce, green beans and broccoli under his belt. He needs to conquer zucchini so I can move on to another vegetable. Goodness rules in my house!





Zucchini, Sliced, oiled, sprinkled with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese


Roasted zucchini, fresh out the oven. So fragrant. Even the crispy parmesan stuck to the tray looked good to me.


Zucchini, roasted for 20 minutes



Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan Cheese


Zucchini never tasted so good.


Dinner is served - Quinoa Pasta & Parmesan Roasted Zucchini


What a way to start the week. Happy Monday friends!



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Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken with Spirali Pasta and Kale Pesto

Dec 16, 2011 by

Every now and again I tend rebel. I’ve been using recipes because that’s how I learned to cook. But some days I just want to throw caution to the wind and follow my heart and do what comes to mind. And that’s exactly what I did. I gave my friends on Facebook a quick peek at what I prepared. Because I didn’t follow a recipe, I don’t have a fancy name for it so the ingredients will have to do for now.

On my recent grocery shopping trips, I picked up a few items just for fun. White/Black Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning. Both completely out of my comfort zone but I’m all about expanding my horizons. The risk was well worth it. Although I did hold back, just a little.

I used Kale for the “pesto” because I really like the health benefits and it has a nice flavour. However, after smelling the Chipotle seasoning (that bad boy is strong), I opted to leave the cheese and any form of nut from the pesto. Traditional pesto consist of  Basil, Parmesan or Romano Cheese, Olive Oil, Pine Nuts and Garlic. It makes me smile to myself and ask the question – is it still really pesto if it doesn’t have cheese and nuts? Ah well. It tasted great so I’m still calling it pesto. There. I’ll try it with all the ingredients next time.


Black / White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Smoky Paprika Chipotle Seasoning

Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken



Kale Pesto


Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken with Spirali Pasta and Kale Pesto
Recipe Type: Entrée
Author: Lyn from The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
A spicy meal suitable for any day of the week
  • 5 Chicken Breast Cutlets
  • 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika Chipotle Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Cups Spirali Pasta (Or any pasta you have – Penne or Fusili)
  • 1 Cup frozen Kale, defrosted
  • 2 Tbsp White Truffle Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn, thawed (optional)
  1. Prepare Pasta according to package instructions
  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and chipotle seasoning.
  3. In a large skillet, cook chicken for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
  4. In a small food processor, combine Kale and White Truffle Olive Oil.
  5. Drain pasta. Add Kale and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut chicken into strips. Serve with pasta and corn as garnish if desired.


Smoked Paprika Chipotle Chicken, Pasta, Kale Pesto & Sweet Corn


There’s no need to panic if you didn’t plan dinner tonight. The possibilities are endless…





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