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They don’t call it “Family Day” for nothin’

February 21, 2010

Last Monday many Canadians enjoyed a day off, thanks to what’s been named “Family Day”.    So I decided to observe the holiday in true form by cooking a few dishes in generous portions.  If you didn’t know me, you would of thought I was cooking for a family of four.  Nope…we’re just a household of two people with big appetites. 

Roasted Root Vegetables — carrots, parsnips & celery root

This was one of the many recipes my mom and I made during the Basic Skills Course we took at Calphalon this summer.   The nice thing about Calphalon is that they do most of the dirty work for you, including cleaning and prepping the ingredients.   It was my turn this time and I briefly contemplated another recipe when I got a glimpse one of the ingredients – celery root (aka celeriac).  Who knew celery root was so gnarly?!   I feel bad for the thing…honestly, one of the ugliest vegetables I have ever seen.   Have a look for yourself…
Celery Root (ain't it pretty)

Celery Root

I recall being impressed by this recipe, so I closed my eyes and handed over $2 for the root.   Turns out prepping the celery root is painless and its appearance does not reflect it’s taste.  Give this a try if you can brave it.
Roasted Root Vegetables - Stage 3

Roasted Root Vegetables - Stage 3 (stove top)


  • 2 Carrots – sliced on a bias
  • 1/4 Celery Root – sliced 1/2 inch thick, similar size as carrots (I didn’t have any other recipes for it so I used the full thing)
  • 2 Parsnips – sliced on a bias
  • 1 Tbsp each freshly chopped thyme and parsley
  • 1 Clove garlic pureed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat over to 375 F
  2. Preheat frying pan over med-high heat. Add butter and oil.  Toss in root veggies and sear, gaining even colour.  I never thought to pre-cook veggies on the stove top prior to roasting, but it gives them a nice colour and texture
  3. Season with fresh herbs, garlic and salt & pepper
  4. Finish cooking in the oven, 20-25 minutes until fork tender

Wasabi Salmon

Please don’t let the name scare you off.  The wasabi is so mild is virtually non-existant, but something puts this salmon recipe at the top of my list (tied with the Maple Dijon Salmon from a few weeks ago).

Wasabi Salmon (Avocado Salad & Roasted Root Veggies on the side)


  • One 18-oz Salmon filet
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (I use less than this, you be the judge)
  • 2 Tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tsp wasabi paste
  • 2 Tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tsp minced ginger


  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Line an 8″ pan with wet parchment paper or spray with oil/butter
  • Put salmon in pan.  Mix last 5 ingredients in a bowl
  • Reserve 2 tsps of the sauce and pour remainder over the salmon
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (just enough so that the middle is a little pink – it will continue to cook on it’s own)
  • Pour the remaining sauce over the salmon

Pros:   5 ingredients gets major points and the taste is just wonderful (my mouth is watering thinking about it)

Cons:  The average person doesn’t have wasabi paste readily available.  I used the last of it on this recipe so it’s going on the shopping list.

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

Got this one from my favourite recipe site –  Just type in any ingredients you have on hand and you’ll get a slew of options with great tips from reviewers.   In this case, something prompted me to buy ground turkey for a change and this recipe was the winner when I saw its 5 star rating.

Not the most appetizing photo but tastes better than it looks

Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf (Stage 4 - Pre-Oven)


  • Click here.  I made a few modifications based on the reviews – used broth instead of water, add another Tbsp of tomato paste or BBQ sauce for extra flavour (note: you can replace the hot sauce with the BBQ sauce or ketchup if you’re sensitive to heat)

Pros:  It’s your healthy meatloaf alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste (easily be mistaken for beef)

  • Quinoa is packed with protein.  It’s actually the ONLY grain that is a complete protein, so great for vegetarians (not this “turkey” recipe per se).  It’s gluten/wheat-free, low on glycemic index, high in fibre/vitamins/minerals and super quick to cook. 

    Cons:  Takes a bit of time to cook.   It’s not that visually appealing, but it tastes better than it looks and sounds.  This seems to be the  theme for the ingredients in today’s post – first gnarly celery root, then wasabi, now this unappetizing blob of meatloaf.   I’ll make it up to you in the next post 🙂

    5 Comments leave one →
    1. April 9, 2010 1:00 am

      I’ll have to try the Quinoa recipe, especially since i bought 2 bags of it at Costco. i’m still trying to figure out how to use it as replacements, so far i’ve been able to substitute it in any couscous recipe, especially tabouleh. meatless meatloaf… yum!

      • April 9, 2010 1:06 am

        You must try the quinoa meatloaf (assuming you’re not vegetarian). My mother called me tonight to let me know she made it AGAIN (3rd time since the post) but used beef and it turned are fantastic. I have a few other quinoa recipes that are fantastic and will post for you.

        I had no idea they sell quinoa at Costo. I was there this weekend to buy our Lara bars, bag of avocados and almond butter, but must have skipped the aisle with the quinoa. Thanks for letting me know!

    2. Julie permalink
      March 13, 2010 8:23 am

      Danielle, you were right, the quinoa meatloaf was delicious! I am not a meatloaf fan and I loved it, Gavin, who could spot a speck of quinoa a mile away, gobbled it up, and Sean, Mr. “you can’t fool me with ground turkey” gave it 2 thumbs up. Thanks for sharing:)

      • March 17, 2010 5:01 pm

        Phew! Glad to hear it went over well. Now it’s your turn to share the recipe for your chicken with lemon basil sauce. I could try to guess but that might be a disaster.

    3. Adrian permalink
      February 26, 2010 11:36 am

      WOW! Next time we are in TO or you are here in Victoria, we are putting you to work in the kitchen! The recipes look great!

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