Easy Vegetable Stock

Making your own vegetable stock is easy to do, and will give your soups amazing flavour.  I usually make some when I’m making a soup, and try to make extra so I can put it in the freezer for another time.  I don’t salt my soup stock – I wait until I put it into a recipe, and adjust the salt in a way that suits that particular recipe.

What you need:

1 onion

1 celery stalk

1 carrot

a small chunk of ginger

a few garlic cloves

1 star anise

1 bay leaf

pepper corns

What you do:

1.  Put all the ingredients in a large pot, cover with cold water, then bring to a boil.

2.  Lower heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.

3.  Strain and use right away, or freeze for later.



Ground Turkey, Veg & Brown Rice Dish

This is an all-in-one type meal, with lots of veggies, some lean ground turkey, and nutritious brown rice.  It takes a bit longer to cook brown rice, but you can put it on to cook while you prepare the veggies and start cooking them with the turkey.

What you need:

brown rice, 3/4 cup uncooked (I use Lundberg whole grain)

some lean ground turkey (or not, for a veggie option)

one large onion, preferably sweet

red bell pepper


olive oil

salt and pepper

optional: one can sweet corn, balsamic vinegar

What you do:

1.  Start with the brown rice:  bring rice and 1 & 1/2 cups of water to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes.  After that remove from heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.

2.  While the rice is cooking, get started on the veggies.  This won’t take the whole 55 minutes, so you can do other things for a while, then spend 20 or so minutes on the rest of the recipe.  First slice the onion into strips that are just less than 1cm wide.  In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium high, then add onions and cook them until they are slightly browned.

3.  Cut peppers into strips similar in size to the onions.  Add to the onions and cook for a few minutes.

4.  Grate the carrot and add to the other veggies.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the onions are quite brown.

5.  Place the veggies in a bowl, then cook the ground turkey until it’s not pink any more.

6.  Add the cooked rice to the turkey and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, for several minutes.  Now add the veggies (and optional corn) and cook until they are reheated.  Season with salt and lots of pepper (and add optional balsamic vinegar).

7.  Voila, you’ve got your one-bowl dinner, which is great reheated the next day(s) for leftovers.

I use cast iron frying pans because they are naturally non-stick.  As well, I don’t have to worry about scratching their surface, or the possible health risks that may be associated with Teflon.   To clean them, I make sure I scrape them while they are still hot, then scrub them  later.  I don’t use any soap on them.  From time to time I heat the pan up, then add some canola oil and rub it in with a paper towel.  This helps keep up that natural non-stick coating.

The handle can get hot, so I have a “Banana Handle,” which is made by Fred.