Category Archives: Snacks

Five New Habits This Month


Weight Release Update #2 – They say that it takes 21 days to change a habit. This is Day21 for me in changing how I workout, eat and look at releasing the extra pounds I put on in 2012. Here are five of the habits that I’ve been working hard at changing this month…

  1. Eat Less – Move More. My weight-release philosophy is quite simple, it was shared with me by my mother ,and my older sister. That’s it – Eat Less, Move More.
    I’m by no means a fitness or nutrition guru, but I’ve picked up my fair share of tips over the past 41 years. I’m happy to share my “ah-ha moments” with you over the coming weeks/months of my personal journey. The retirees at the mall show me every day that if I get moving NOW… I’ll keep moving well into my 60s, 70s and 80s. I want to live to be 100, so I know that I’ve got to get active, and stay active every day between now and then.
  2. The Sigg Bottle Is Your Friend. I usually don’t stock juice in our fridge. My husband and I prefer to use our 1L Sigg bottles and to drink water (tap water), either straight-up, or with a squeeze of organic lemon juice, or with Mio/Crystal Light. I changed my juice-habit many years ago, so I find it quite easy to drink 2 to 3 litres of water per day. When I’m walking I carry a Sigg bottle of very cold water to hydrate me throughout my workout. Yes… I CAN drink water and walk at the same time!Of note, I have heard that most of the time when you think you’re hungry, your body is actually thirsty. So I try to drink a glass of water, instead of opening the fridge and grabbing a snack. But if I’m still hungry after that, I try to keep some healthy snacks of pre-cut fruit/veggies front and centre in my fridge. I like the meal plan where you eat 6 smaller meals a day.

    1L Sigg bottles are your best friend. I have a few and place them around the house for easy access to my water, great for traveling too.

    1L Sigg bottles are your best friend. I have a few and place them around the house for easy access to my water, great for traveling too.

  3. Make Breakfast Simple. I switched back to a weight-release-proven smoothie recipe using Lean Fit’s Whey Protein Powder, Frozen Berries (Strawberries or Blueberries), Agave Nectar and Skim Milk. One of my girlfriends shared this trick with me last year while she was shaping up, and it totally worked for her. You can read more about how to make that smoothie recipe on one of my previous blog posts. These smoothies taste very much like a milkshake if you blend them long enough.If you detest the grittiness of a typical protein shake, then this is the right brand of protein powder for you. This powder does not contain fibre, plus as a bonus, it’s low-carb (2g). And how else can you ingest 25g of protein first thing in the morning? I find having a high protein breakfast keeps me fuller, longer during the day. I get mine at Costco for about $40 for a 2kg container, which lasts me 2+ months. And when I’m busy writing, or running off to afternoon meetings, I’ll sometimes have a smoothie for lunch, but not very often.
  4. Downsize Your Dinner Plate. We have been using these Correlle Stoneware plates for many years. This year I decide that instead of using the 11.5 inch dinner plate for eating supper off of each night, that my husband and I would begin using the 8.5 inch lunch plate instead. We also focus on eating 3:1 vegetables to meat, or 2/3 of the plates for healthy veggies or salad, and 1/3 of the plate for protein.

    Bigger is NOT better. Our portion control is out of whack in North America. Focus on using plates that are 9-inches or smaller for your meals.

    Bigger is NOT better. Our portion control is out of whack in North America. Focus on using plates that are 9-inches or smaller for your meals.

  5. Don’t Deprive Yourself. You don’t need to deprive yourself of your favourite meal, snack, or treat/dessert – you just need to remember to eat in moderation. My weakness is pretzels, but I can allow myself ONE serving size of 13 pretzels as a snack every once in awhile. I’ve portioned them out to cut down on my mindless eating while watching my favourite show.
    Yes, you CAN have a treat every once in awhile, in moderation. Try portioned out your snacks, or just one treat, like a truffle.

    Yes, you CAN have a treat every once in awhile, in moderation. Try portioned out your snacks, or just one treat, like a truffle.

    As a chocoholic, you bet your bottom dollar that I’m not giving up my truffles! I allow myself one truffle, every few days when I have a sweets craving.By the way, did you know that is hosting Winnipeg’s 1st Annual Chocoholics’ Buffet at The Gates on Roblin Ballroom. This fundraiser benefiting the United Way of Winnipeg is an all-you-can-eat dessert bar of the very best chocolate desserts that our local chefs have to offer. If you’re interested in attending, you can buy tickets online here and join us on Saturday, April 20th, 2013.

    Winnipeg's 1st Annual Chocoholics' Buffet - This is a No Calorie Zone

    One night of indulgence! I’ll be working out hard between now and April 20th so that I can enjoy all the goodies.

    So enjoy my Weight Release Updates in addition to my healthier LunchFor1 posts. I hope that my suggestions can help you to shed a few pounds in the coming months of 2013. Please feel free to  share your own success stories and tips in the comments area below. Or keep me posted on your own progress via Twitter (@LunchFor1), on my Facebook Page, or by subscribing and following me on my blog.


Weight Release Update #3
Five Things You Can Easily Switch & Lose For Good
(coming soon)


Healthy Chai Tea Coconut Loaf

Healthy Chai Tea Coconut Loaf

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I want to trim down a bit while at the same time enjoying some of my usual favourites in new and healthy ways. Everyone loves a piece of breakfast loaf, however those recipes usually contain tons of fat, carbs and therefore calories – and let’s not mention how much worse the Starbucks, Tim’s and coffee shop treats are for you. However, this recipe has a nice blend of spice, sweetness, fibre all wrapped up in a really great,moist taste. This is a figure-friendly recipe that I absolutely love as it uses no butter nor oil. The batter smells heavenly even before you bake the loaf!

This is a simple, quick and healthy loaf to make

This is a simple, quick and healthy loaf to make

Chai Coconut Loaf
(yields 9 slices)

1/3 cups of Quick-Cook Rolled Oats
(or whatever type of oats you have on hand)
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, minced*
3/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar (or 1-1/2 cup regular brown sugar)
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut, unsweetened

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand in your cupboard right now

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand in your cupboard right now

* TIP: I like to peel my fresh ginger and freeze it in a Ziploc bag.
For recipes like this it makes grating a 1/2 teaspoon very easy.

1 cup Chai Tea, steeped 5 minutes
1/3 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1/2 unsweetened Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. Place all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, and stir together.

3. Add all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Combine until just mixed as this is a quick bread so you don’t want to over-mix, or you will get a hard, tough loaf.

4. Grease loaf pan by spraying it quickly with Pam.

This loaf does not rise very much, so feel free to fill the pan right up

This loaf does not rise very much, so feel free to fill the pan right up

TIP: Dress up this loaf for Brunch by doubling the recipe, and baking it in a Bundt Pan. Simply adjust the baking time accordingly.

5. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into it comes out clean.

6. Slice and serve as-is without butter or margarine as the flavour is great. It’s best served warm by the way. It’s great after a 10-second refresher in the microwave.

Lots of fibre and tasty goodness in this 'slice of health'

Lots of fibre and tasty goodness in this ‘slice of health’

This loaf freezes wonderfully too! You may want to double this recipe and make two loaves, because you will love this guilt-free treat as a breakfast item or snack. TIP: I freeze the slices individually for quick breakfasts on the go.

What is your favourite loaf to bake?
How do you think you could make your usual version more healthy?

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms – A Great Holiday Appetizers


At this time of year it’s a great idea to have a few last-minute appetizers to pull out of your fridge to wow unexpected guests. These marinated mushrooms are super easy to make, and hold well for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, or can try canning them for a longer-lasting product.

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms

1/2 bag White Button Mushrooms, small
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce, Low-Sodium
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more)


1. Boil a large pot of salted water.

2. Place the mushrooms whole into the boiling water for 7 minutes.
I do not recommend washing your mushrooms until just before you are going to cook them – a light washing is fine. I scrub mine 4 at a time in my hands under running water.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sririacha.

3. Once the mushrooms are done boiling, drain them, and place them into a large resealable container.

4. Pour the liquid over the mushrooms, stir together, and cover with the lid.

5. Let your container sit on your kitchen counter to cool.
Allow the mushrooms to begin their marinading process at room temperature for a couple of hours.

6. Then you can refrigerate your mushrooms, and use as needed.

7. Create an Antipasto Platter by adding Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic. Serve the mushrooms with on a platter with room-temperature cheeses, deli meats and crackers or baguette.

TIP: The spicy taste is great!!! For a more intense flavour, pull the mushroom stems out of the caps before boiling which will allow the marinade to permeate into the mushroom from the inside.

These little, succulent snacks go well with any appetizer spread

These little, succulent snacks will go well with any appetizer spread you can dream up this Holiday season

Other Uses…

* Diced the marinated mushrooms up and use as a condiment on burgers or beef dip sandwiches.
* Mince them up to use as a mushroom tapenade on french bread.
* Pop off the stems, and pipe in some soft cheese like Boursin for a fancier appetizer.
* They’d be a great accompaniment to any steak.
* Excellent choice for use in any salad, especially to dress up a Caesar salad with fresh tomatoes.

What do YOU like to have with these mushrooms?
Please feel free to share your uses below in the Comments section.

Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls


To commemorate the series-ending of Desperate Housewives I’ve brought out a favourite no-bake cookie recipe that is a perfect Adults-Only dessert idea. My Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls are a super addition to any cookie baking day you may be planning as they are super easy to make while the other cookies bake away in the oven.

Recently I made them for an Easter alternative cookie just to shake up the dessert selections. They were such a hit, and freeze so well, that I decided to make them once again for the Manitoba Food Bloggers Bake Sale benefiting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. I dedicate this recipe to my mother, who always went the extra mile for my Bake Sales throughout the years.

Using just 6 Easy-to-Source Ingredients

Prep all ingredients in advance using your food processor

Once you add the melting Belgian chocolate using a mixer the dough consistency will look like this

My “Martha” and I make very consistent sized balls together

And just because there isn’t enough sugar content in these already… don’t forget to roll them in sugar to finish them off perfectly

Place on parchment paper lined pan and freeze for a couple hours before you place them in an air-tight container for future use as needed

Chocolate Bourbon Balls make a great gift too!
(photo credit to

And now for the recipe so that you can get started!

Anna’s Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Yield: 4 dozen balls

2 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers, crumbled
(1 box Nilla Wafers, or make from scratch)

1/2 cup White Sugar

1 cup Pecan halves, finely ground

6 oz. Belgian Chocolate wafers, melted

1/2 cup Jim Bean Bourbon

3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup


1. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl.

2. Carefully melt the chocolate wafers in a double boiler.

3. Remove chocolate from stove, stir in bourbon and corn syrup.

4. Add chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Roll dough into uniform 1-inch balls, and then roll them in sugar to coat. I love to use my OXO Gelato scoop for perfect sized balls every time.

6. Place balls in air-tight container and store at room temperature for up to 45 days. Or freeze on flat baking sheet for 2 hours, and place in air-tight container.

And for an interesting variation…

If you double or triple the recipe, and happen to run out of steam part way through rolling the balls,
you can refrigerate the dough which will make it crumbly.
And Voila! L.M.F.A.O. Bourbon Chocolate Crumble is born!

Place the mixture back in food processor to make a fine crumble that is perfect to use on sundaes,
on pancakes, over fruit, on yogurt, or even in a layered cake filling.


Mini Banana Bread Loaves (and mini muffins)

Mini Banana Bread Loaves (and mini muffins)

Happy Belated Easter! I had the pleasure of hosting my octogenarian Father for his annual Spring visit. It was an opportunity for The Not So Desperate Housewife to transform into the Overachieving Daughter – can anyone else relate? I so enjoyed spoiling my Father! We don’t see him throughout the Winter months as neither of us like to drive the 5 hours on the Trans-Canada Highway through temperamental (and unpredictable) Winter weather conditions.

This 82-year old man is an amazing individual (I’m not just saying that because he’s my Dad), and I can only hope that in another 40 years that I have half as much energy, verve and get up and go as my Dad does. As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of viewing Dad’s Spring 2012 Abstract Painting Collection which he tucked into his minivan. Now with these 43 original pieces of art my next endeavour is to host an Art Show & Giveaway featuring these latest works with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the United Way of Winnipeg. It’s part of my family’s giving back belief system in a charity for which my mother and myself worked for many years. For more information about the Monday, April 30th Art Show at Joe Black Coffee Bar (and to view all the paintings available), please visit

John Coleshaw demonstrating his art while teaching his first Abstract Painting class in Winnipeg - April 7, 2012

But this blog is about food and not art…

For the past 6 days I have spent many, many, maaaannnnyyy hours in the kitchen creating a variety of meals for my husband and Father to celebrate the Easter holiday. We don’t have a lot of traditions or ‘must have’ foods like some families, so the menus were pretty easy to plan as the boys are quite easy to please. Some of the foods that we enjoyed included:

  • Cookies: Chocolate Bourbon Balls, Peanut Butter Kisses, and Snickerdoodles
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Poppy Seed Cake
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Borscht
  • Plum-Glazed Pork Tenderloin Kebabs
  • Hot Wings
  • Prime Rib & Yorkshire Pudding
  • Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
  • Hoisin-Soaked Turkey Meatballs!!!

But by special request my Father asked me to make him some of my Banana Bread pointing to a bunch of overripe bananas on my counter – waste not, want not… And I realized that I’ve taken up the reins from my mother who began using this recipe in the early 80’s (before passing away in 1989), and that it’s become a family favourite over the years.

Unfortunately I didn’t take all the traditional blog photos along the way as the boys had taken the camera on their pilgrimage to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. So a fancier, end-product photo will have to do this time…

Next time try creating different shapes from your usual Loaf recipes. These Minis make for easier individual consumption for those who live alone

Our Family’s Favourite Banana Bread Recipe

Yield: 2 regular loaves, or 10 mini loaves AND 24 mini muffins

2 cups Sugar

1 cup Butter

6 Over-ripe Bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)

4 Eggs, well beaten

2-1/2 cups Flour

2 tablespoons Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice

1 cup each of Optional Additions – Golden Raisins, Chopped Walnuts, Chopped Pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. With Kitchenaid Mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and beat for about a minute

3. Add mashed bananas and beaten eggs – combine til well mixed

4. Measure dry ingredients into large measuring cup and gradually add it to your wet ingredients

TIP: Do NOT over-mix, or you will end up with bricks for muffins – this is a quick bread, so only combine ingredients until your flour disappears

As for the Optional Additions… I split the batch in half and did the First Batch of Mini Loaves three ways. A half-pan of plain for my husband (he’s picky), then folded in some walnuts for a half pan just for me, and then added raisins to produce some extra-special ones for my Pops. Then with the Second Batch of Mini Muffins, I did a half pan of raisin, and a half pan of raisin-pecan. If you plan it right you can keep this all to just one bowl AND please everyone, while creating many variations on the theme. To identify them later I put an “indicator” (i.e. raisin for the raisin versions) on top of each loaf/muffin before baking.

5. Spray baking pans of your choice with Pam, or lightly greased with butter – I don’t like using muffin liners anymore

6. Add batter to pans until they are 3/4 full

TIP: Once again I pull out my “Martha” medium-sized gelato scoop to use for uniform mini muffins

7. For baking: two regular loaves will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. For mini loaves bake about 22 minutes. For mini muffins bake approximately 13 minutes.

8. Test with a toothpick for doneness before removing from the oven.

9. Cool on wire racks.

TIP: These freeze beautifully! And I prefer to freeze the mini versions on a cookie sheet before placing into a Ziploc bag.

From my Family to yours… I hope that this recipe becomes a favourite that you too bake regularly!