Awesome Avocado Bruschetta

Awesome Avocado Bruschetta

By Susan Arruda


A delicious, fresh twist on an old favourite! 

Avocado offers a creamy texture and an impressive array of
nutrients, including 
vitamins B, C, E, and K, fiber, calcium and healthy monounsaturated fats.


1 ripe avocado
2 medium tomatoes, diced (approx. 2 cups)
3 stalks chopped, green onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ a lime
1 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, diced
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. olive oil for brushing onto bread
Whole wheat baguette or dried whole wheat toasts/Friselle


Combine all ingredients. Optional: Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour to allow flavours to marinate.

Avocado chopping tip: Cut avocado in ½ , make cuts in the flesh while still in the shell, scoop out with a spoon.

                                                                                                                                                              Cut avocado while still in flesh
                                                                                                                                                           Cut avocado while still in flesh

Preheat oven to 400oF
Brush bread with olive oil and bake until crisp and edges begin to brown. (only a few minutes; don’t go far)

Top bread with the bruschetta mixture and serve.

Optional: Sprinkle additional cilantro over top, if desired.

Beef Quinoa Gourmet Burger

Beef Quinoa Gourmet Burger

by Susan Arruda

YIELD: 7 Servings


1.5 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
3 tbsp. rolled oats
1 tbsp. flax
2 stalks chopped green onion
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. sea salt & pepper


Whisk the egg with a fork and combine it with the ground beef. Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixture and combine well. (You may choose to add the toppings mixture listed below) Shape the ground beef into patties.
Cook on pre-heated pan on medium heat for approx. 4 minutes per side.

Plate the burgers for several minutes to cool before assembling in buns.

Toppings for two burgers:
2-3 sliced mushrooms
2-3 sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp. olive oil or oil from sun dried tomato jar mixture, if used
Season with salt & pepper to taste
Cook the above toppings for several minutes until mushrooms are cooked.

Note that the above toppings are for 2 burgers. You can triple the above amounts and add to the ground beef mixture, if desired.

Add the desired condiments and toppings of choice. Some low fat options include: mustard, salsa, tzatziki, hot peppers,

Note: Nutrition info. does not include toppings and bun.

Avocado Lime Scrambled Eggs or Omelette

Avocado Lime Scrambled Eggs or Omelette

by Marco Girgenti – Not Just For Breakfast!

YIELD: 2 servings


4 eggs or 3 liquid egg whites and 1 whole egg
1 tbsp. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Small clove of minced garlic
1/2 stalk of green onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 avocado, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime


Add the oil in a hot pan over medium heat.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 mins.

Add the green onion, mushrooms, peppers and cook for 3-4 mins. stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the eggs and/or egg whites in a separate bowl.

Season with a dash of salt and pepper, or to taste.

Pour the whisked eggs into the pan around the vegetables, making sure to cover the entire cooking surface.

Cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the sliced avocado, resting them on top of the eggs
and sprinkle with juice of 1/2 lime.

Cook for another minute or two and serve.

For scrambled eggs: Mix the egg mixture using a spatula or mixing spoon after adding eggs into pan as eggs cook through.

For omelette: After pouring eggs into pan around the vegetables, being mindful to fill in all spaces, let cook through. When the eggs have set, fold one half of omelette over and add the avocado as outlined above.

Baked or Roasted Butternut Squash

Baked or Roasted Butternut Squash

By Marco Girgenti

YIELD: Serves 2, one half each.


1 butternut squash (washed)
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of maple syrup (or agave)
(optional, a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg)


Preheat oven to 350 deg, F/180 deg. C
Slice off the very top nub of the squash.
Cut the squash in half, from top to bottom.
The squash does not have a large pit like an avocado, so you will be able to slice right through it.

Once open, use a spoon to scoop out the inner flesh until you have a cleaner hole and make absolutely sure to save the seeds! Susan has a wonderful pumpkin seed recipe that will work with these seeds as well, just search the site for “pumpkin seeds.”

Lay the squash on a baking sheet (covered with aluminium foil) or in a roasting pan.

Pour half of the olive oil into the hole of one half of the butternut squash, and the rest into the other. Repeat this for the syrup you choose.
With a basting brush, use the holes as a “mixing well” so to speak, to mix the two together.

Once thoroughly mixed, lightly brush both sides (inside only) of the butternut squash with the mixture. You will have a some of the mixture left in the holes, but much of this will be absorbed by the cooking process.

Again, if you wish you can also dust the butternut squash with cinnamon, or garlic… the choice is yours, be creative!

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until fork tender. Allow to cool, and serve as is.


An entire, large butternut squash typically has about 150-200 calories, (raw).
Remember that the addition of oil adds 120 calories per tablespoon.
Also, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup adds about 53 calories.
So, in the final analysis, one half of the butternut squash as prepared in this recipe is equal to about 185 cal per serving.

Better For You – Butternut Squash Soup

Better For You –
Butternut Squash Soup

by Marco Girgenti

YIELD: 6 Servings

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small-med. onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2-3 medium potatoes, cubed (sweet potatoes can be substituted)
1 small apple, chopped
1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock – 900 mL carton of organic low sodium chicken stock (Home Goodness brand); see prep instructions below.
1 sprig fresh rosemary, approx 3-4 inches (small sprig of rosemary converts to approx. 1/2 tsp. of dried); fresh is recommended.
½ tsp. coriander

Remove rosemary sprig after cooking.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: After cook time, add a pinch or 1/8 of chili flakes for those who love the heat!
Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, apple and squash for approx. 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Add seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
Allow to cool slightly before next step.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. If you prefer some texture in your soup, you can choose to mash the ingredients using a mashing tool instead of pureeing.

Cabbage Supreme – Marisa Girgenti

Cabbage Supreme

by Marisa Girgenti

A delicious, economical dish!

“I’m normally not a big fan of cabbage or coleslaw but I was very impressed with this dish; versatile and so delicious!” – Susan

YIELD: 4 Servings

One medium sized cabbage head
1 cup water
Spice and season to taste with sea salt, pepper and paprika
Spicy sauce of choice, to taste
3/4 cup pure white vinegar
2 tbsp. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 bay leaves
Optional: add turkey sausage at onset of cooking or serve with Polenta or other lean protein source of choice

Peel off the outermost leaves of one full cabbage head and discard. Cut the cabbage in half and then chop and slice, julienne style.
Place into large pan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.
Add seasonings and spicy sauce to taste.
Add remaining ingredients and cover and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until al denté.

Serve hot or cold.

By Mistake Meatless Moussaka

By Mistake Meatless Moussaka

One night as I prepared my ingredients to make this dish, I realized I had forgotten to buy the meat and so, a dish wash born!

A meatless version of this popular dish, Moussaka is considered one of Greece’s national dishes. Although this recipe rendition is not authentic to the traditional recipe using meat and traditional béchamel sauce, today Moussaka is made in many different ways to suit various tastes and dietary preferences.




YIELD: 8 Servings

2 tbsp. EVOO (plus approx. ¼ cup extra for brushing the sliced eggplant)
2 large onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 14oz. cans of plum tomatoes, chopped
½ – ¾ cup red wine or water, if preferred
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp. ground allspice
1/3 – ½ chopped oregano or parsley leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 large eggplants, sliced and brushed with EVOO
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

¼ – 1/3 cup butter
½ cup of spelt flour
2 ½ cups of whole milk (3.25%)
¾ cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 medium eggs, beaten
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook until just beginning to turn golden in colour. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes. Add the fresh chopped herbs of choice after 15 minutes of simmering.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the eggplant. Slice the washed eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices and brush them with olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper to taste. Pan fry the eggplant slices over med-high heat until lightly browned on each side; approximately 2 minutes per side.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low-med. heat. Add the flour and stir using a large mixing spoon. Over low heat, slowly whisk in the milk a small amount at a time. Allow mixture to simmer for about 8 minutes. Stir in about 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes before beating in the eggs.

Arrange a layer of the eggplant slices (approx. 1/3 of the batch) in an 8”X13” ovenproof dish. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the sauce mixture. Cover the eggplant with 1/2 of the sauce. Add a third of the cheese sauce. Repeat and cover with a layer of eggplant slices and repeat process. The final layer of eggplant is topped with remaining cheese sauce along with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake in 400 o F for about 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.

‘Nacho’ Typical Nacho Dip – 7 Layer!

‘Nacho’ Typical Nacho Dip – 7 Layer

By Susan Arruda




Layer 1 – Bottom Layer:
½ cup light sour cream
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 can white kidney beans, 540 ml, 19 fl oz., pureed
Taco Seasoning consisting of:  1 tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. cumin, ¼ tsp. paprika, 1/8 garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. onion powder, 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp. dried oregano,
1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper  (or use 2 tsp. of prepared taco seasoning that is low in sodium and trans fat free)

Layer 2 – Guacamole
2 ripe avocados (med-large size)
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice of one lime, approximately)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
½ tsp. sea salt

Layer 3 – Creamy
½ cup light sour cream (3% or 5%)
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup/1 pkg. (8oz/250g) light or non-fat cream cheese with garden vegetable seasoning consisting of:
½ tsp. roasted red pepper, ¼ tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. chives, ¼ tsp. celery, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. basil, 1/8 tsp. parsley, 1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper (or 2 tsp. prepared garden herb spice)

Layer 4 – Ground beef (vegetarians can omit this layer)
1.5 Lbs. of extra lean ground beef
2-3 minced garlic cloves
Seasoning:  2 ¼ tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cumin, 1 ½ tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer 5 – Salsa
Seven cups strained chunky salsa of choice; mild, medium or hot
1/3 to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Layer 6 – Cheese
2.5 cups shredded low fat cheddar cheese

Layer 7 – Lettuce
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1-2 stalks green onion, chopped
Optional – add chopped tomatoes and black olives


FIRST LAYER: Puree the kidney beans in a food processor or blender. Add the sour cream, Greek yogurt and seasonings and blend or puree to combine.
Pour and spread the dressing evenly in a 9” X 13” pan. Cover and store in the refrigerator as you prepare the next layer.

SECOND LAYER: Place the avocados and all the ingredients listed for the second layer in a food processor and whip until smooth.  Spread evenly over the first layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator as you prepare the next layer.

THIRD LAYER:   Combine all the listed ingredients and blend together thoroughly.  Layer the dip evenly, return the pan to the refrigerator and proceed with the next layer.

FOURTH LAYER: Cook the ground beef in a frying pan until almost fully cooked.  Transfer to a strainer and rinse to rid of any excess fat. Return back to the pan and cook with the garlic and seasonings. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before adding to the dip.

FIFTH LAYER: Place the salsa in a strainer over a bowl and press the salsa against the strainer using a spoon to squeeze out excess liquid (to avoid your dip getting soggy).  Add the chopped salsa and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly over the ground beef mixture.  (Reserve the salsa liquid for other cooking adventures)

SIXTH LAYER: Shred the cheese and spread evenly over the salsa.

SEVENTH LAYER: Chop the green onions and the lettuce along with other additions, if desired and spread evenly as the final layer.

Serve with our home baked pita chips, or plain nachos. 


Use food kitchen scissors to cut your whole wheat pita into ¼ slices and then 1/8 (cut the ¼ pieces in half).  Open and pull pita apart (front from back) at the seams and spread evenly on a baking sheet.

Bake in a 200oF oven for approximately 20 minutes or until crisp.