A little indulgence

Perfect for late winter, this special meal will let your family indulge their cravings while taking in lots of healthy fruit and vegetables.

Creamy Mushroom Chicken with Noodles

This classy meal is a throwback to some real comfort food, and is sure to be a hit at your table.  If you’re not a fan of noodles, serve with rice or your favorite grain. Serves 4.

• 1 lb. (455 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

• 1 package egg noodles

• ½ lb. (225 g) mushrooms, sliced (about 1 package)

• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) butter

• ¼ cup (50 mL) white wine, chicken stock, or water

• ¾ cup (175 mL) table cream

• ½ tbsp. (7.5 mL) herbes de Provence

• Salt to taste

1. To begin, poach the chicken. In a skillet with a lid, cover the chicken with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken and slice. Discard cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package directions and set aside, covered. 

3. Once the chicken is cooked, melt butter in a clean skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.

4. Deglaze the pan with wine or stock. Add cream and reduce the heat to low. Add herbs and salt, stirring gently.

5. Add chicken and mushrooms to sauce. Simmer on medium low for 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce. Serve hot over noodles.

Pear & Spinach Salad

Combining fruit with spinach is a great way to get your reluctant eaters to enjoy it. This salad sweetens the deal with a honey-based dressing. Serves 4-6.

• 4 cups (1 litre) baby spinach,
washed and dried

• 1 red onion, finely sliced

• 2 pears, chopped

• 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped walnuts

• 1/4 cup (50 mL) goat cheese, crumbled

For the dressing:

• ¾ cup (175 mL) olive oil

• ¼ cup (50 mL) honey

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) lemon juice, fresh if possible

• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) Dijon mustard

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) herbes de Provence

1. In a blender or food processer, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Blend until thoroughly combined. 

2. Place the spinach, onion, pears, walnuts, and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Cherry-Coconut Dream Loaf

This pink and red treat is almost a cake, but if you call it loaf you can eat the leftovers for breakfast. Leave out the coconut if you prefer. Makes 1 loaf.

• ¼ cup (50 mL) butter, softened

• 1 cup (250 mL) sugar

• 1 egg

• 2 cups (500 mL) flour

• 2 tsp. (10 mL) baking powder

• ½ tsp. (2.5 mL) salt

• 1/3 cup (75 mL) cherry juice

• 2/3 cup (150 mL) milk

• ½ tsp. (2.5 mL) vanilla

• ¾ cup (175 mL) maraschino cherries, chopped

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) shredded coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (176 C).

2. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.

3. Combine flour with baking powder and salt and add to mixture, blending well.

4. Pour in cherry juice, milk, and vanilla while mixing. You should have what resembles pink cake batter. 

5. Add cherries and coconut and gently mix until well distributed. 

6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and slice to serve.