June 29, 2011

Pack and Go Ideas for the Cottage (Spring & Summer)

Recipes from Healthy Starts Here!

These two recipes can be made ahead of time and then transported to the cottage.

Make the marinade and add the chicken, seal in a resealable bag, and place in a cooler. Cook it up at the cottage.

The pancake recipe – mix the dry ingredients in a bag or container at home and then just add the milk, egg, and oil at the cottage. The strawberry sauce can be made ahead of time as well and packed in the cooler.

Jerk Marinade

Jerk is more than just a highly spiced combination of antioxidant rich green onions, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and hot spices. It’s a process that doesn’t work if you’re in a hurry.

The chicken, fish, or tofu needs time to marinate, the grill needs to be fired up, and that protein needs to cook slowly. All of these elements have to be in place so that the end result will be spicy sweet and full of flavour.

This jerk recipe is mild on the heat side so if you want spicy, you’ll need to add your favourite hot sauce. I kept the marinade mild so kids and friends who are spicy-food challenged could enjoy the fabulous flavours.

You really need a food processor to make this marinade.

1 onion, chopped into quarters

4 green onions, chopped into quarters, the green and white part

1 tsp (5 mL) honey or sweetener of your choice

1 tsp (5 mL) ground thyme

1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

1 tsp (5 mL) cracked black pepper

½ tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg

½ tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes

3 tbsp (45 mL) lower sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar



  1. Whirl everything in a food processor until it forms a thick paste. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  2. Can be used to marinate poultry, fish, and tofu.


Makes approx. 1 cup (250 mL)

One cup contains:

246 Calories, 15.3 g Total fat, 1.5 g Sat Fat, 0.3 g Trans Fat, 1757 mg Sodium, 29 g Carbs, 7 g Fiber, 10.9 g Sugars, 6 g Protein


Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving

1 ½ Carbohydrates, 1 Meat and Alternatives, 2 ½ Fats


Jerk Chicken

I lived on Queen Street East while I was in the Second City Comedy Troupe. Everyday I walked to the Old Fire Hall, at that time SC’s main stage location; I would go right by an exotic Caribbean restaurant called the Real Jerk. The smells that wafted out that door were tantalizing. I was a starving actress back then and rarely went to a sit down restaurant, and it killed me to just walk on by. It wasn’t until I started dating my partner, Scott, about fifteen years later, that I got to taste the restaurants specialty, Jerk Chicken. It was totally worth the wait.


2 lb (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, approx 12-16 thighs

The entire recipe for Jerk Marinade, see above

1 large resealable plastic bag



  1. Place the Jerk Marinade into a resealable plastic bag or in a non metallic casserole dish. Add chicken and make sure that the marinade is coating all of it. Gently press the air out, reseal the bag, and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Make sure to massage the bag every so often to make sure the marinade is coating all of the chicken. Open the fridge to get a glass of milk, massage the chicken. Open the fridge to get an apple, massage the chicken, you get the drill. If you are using a casserole dish, make sure the marinade is coating the chicken. Cover the dish, and spoon marinade over top of the chicken every so often.
  2. Preheat indoor grill or outdoor BBQ.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill. Close the lid. Discard the marinade.
  5. Cook chicken on low direct heat until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) approx. 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Flip often to reduce blackening.
  6. Remove from grill and place on a clean plate. Let sit covered for 5 minutes. Serve.


Makes 8 servings

One serving = approx 3 oz (75 g) cooked chicken

One serving contains:

213 Calories, 11 g Total fat, 2.9 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 302 mg Sodium, 3.6 g Carbs, 1 g Fiber, 1.4 g Sugars, 24 g Protein


Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving

1 Extra, 3 ½ Meat and Alternatives


Cooking Tip:

This recipe is for eight people, so you can either cut the recipe in half or cook up the whole thing and serve the leftovers cold the next day. It’s a fabulous make ahead dish to take on a picnic or to a cottage.



Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

Fresh strawberries are so perfect that all they need is something to sit on.

What better sit-upon for ripe delicious strawberries than chocolate pancakes? Especially when the chocolate pancakes are studded with chocolate chips?



1 ¼ cups (310 mL) skim milk or fortified organic soy beverage

1 omega- 3 egg

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour

¼ cup (60 mL) natural cocoa powder

1 tbsp (15 mL) wheat germ

1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated white sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL) cinnamon

1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder

¼ cup (60 mL) at least 60% cocoa mass chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 200º F (95 ºC).
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the milk or soy beverage, egg, and oil.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, and chocolate chips.  Whisk in well. Let sit while the pan is heating, the batter will get a little thicker. Stir before you start frying them.
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of canola oil or spray to lightly coat the pan.
  5. Before you spoon out the batter make sure that you give it a stir each time. Why? Because chocolate chips sink and unless you want the last couple of pancakes to be laden with the little morsels, you need to stir.
  6. Spoon in 2 tbsp (30 mL) of batter per each pancake, swirl batter with the back of the spoon to make a 4-inch (10 cm) pancake and cook till bubbles form on the top of the batter and the underside is dark golden brown, flip and cook the other side till done. Keep warm in oven, on an oven proof pan or plate till all pancakes are cooked.
  7. Serve with Strawberry sauce (see recipe below), or if you are time pressed simply slice fresh washed, hulled strawberries on top.


Makes eighteen 4-inch (10 cm) pancakes

One serving = 4 pancakes

One serving contains without the sauce:

257 Calories, 9.5 g Total fat, 3.3 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 288 mg Sodium, 35 g Carbs, 4 g Fiber, 11.2 g Sugars, 9 g Protein


Strawberry Sauce

4 cups (1 L) fresh strawberries

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

Honey or sweetened of your choice, if they need some


  1. Gently wash strawberries under cold running water. Hull – remove green cap, and put the strawberries into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add lemon juice and whirl it together. I think chunky looks better, but if you want a really smooth sauce go crazy with the ON button. Depending on the sweetness of the berries you may or may not have to add a sweetener. I prefer honey, but it’s your choice. Splenda works well. Add and whirl. If you don’t have a blender, use a potato masher instead.
  3. Serve over pancakes.


Makes approx 2 ½ cups (625 mL)

One serving = ½ cup (125 mL)

One serving contains:

40 Calories, 0.4 g Total fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 2 mg Sodium, 9.6 g Carbs, 3 g Fiber, 5.8 g Sugars, 1 g Protein



Cooking Tip:

These make great mini pancakes. When my son was little I would make a batch of loonie sized pancakes and he would eat them cold as a mid morning snack. I also fed him Rye-Crisps and told him they were cookies. He’d ask for a cookie, I’d give him a Rye-Crisp. His first day at Nursery school, he came flying out the door and could barely contain himself with the news that nursery school had the best cookies ever and could we try some of those.  He had eaten his first store bought real cookie. As a health food advocate I cried inside, as a mom, I told him we would give them a try. It was a sad day in Smithville.





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