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RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  February 2012

Moroccan Spiced Cranberry Couscous   


1 small white onion (or 1/2 medium onion)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 ml) Couscous
1/2 tbsp. Ras el Hanout Moroccan spice blend
(available commercially or see below for homemade recipe)
2 cups boiling water with...
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
Pinch of sage
Pinch of poultry seasoning (optional)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint (OPTIONAL: omit mint and double cilantro)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 sprigs of green onion
Black Pepper, to taste
Drizzle of olive oil, to taste 

Ras el Hanout:  Combine the following spices... 1/2 tsp. All-Spice, 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. powder ginger, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper & 1 tsp. black pepper.  Store in covered container. 

1.  Bring water to a boil.  Set aside on low heat. 
2.  In a separate medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Cook onions until near transparent in colour.
3.  Add Ras el Hanout and coat onions, stirring with a wooden spoon.
4.  Add couscous, boiled water and pinch of garlic, onion powder, sage & poultry seasoning.  Stir, cover with lid and remove from heat.  Let stand 10 minutes.
5.  Remove cover and fluff couscous to loosen and separate grains.
6.  Add dried cranberries, parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice and green onion.
7.  Season with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper to taste.
8.  Dish can be covered and kept warm on minimum heat until ready to serve or serve chilled as a cold salad.

Suggested serving:  serve with baked chicken and a side vegetable such as broccoli or carrots.   

RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  January 2012

Chili & Lime Pan-Seared Scallops

Quick, simple and delicious.  These scallops are a great start for any dinner party. 
12 large scallops
1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juice and grated zest
2-3 tsp. chopped mint, reserving a small bit for final garnish (or chopped fresh basil)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Pepper to taste
1.  Put the scallops in a shallow dish.
2.  Whisk together the chili, lime zest, lime juice, 2 tsp. mint and olive oil.
3.  Pour the mixture over the scallops and gently turn the scallops to coat. 
4.  Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat with just enough olive oil in it to thinly coat the pan surface.  
5.  Add the scallops and sear to brown tops and bottoms of scallops - approximately 2 minutes per side.
6.  Reduce heat to medium-low and finish cooking, if necessary, until just cooked through.
7.  Serve scallops drizzled with the liquid and garnished with remaining chopped fresh mint (or chopped fresh basil).  




RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  December 2011

Roasted Orange & Yellow Pepper Soup


Sodium-free chicken broth, 4 cups
Bell peppers, 4  (2 yellow & 2 orange; red can also be used or any combination of red, orange & yellow)
Onions, 2 medium, diced
Garlic, 1-2 cloves, minced
Lemon juice, 3 tbsp.
Lemon zest, finely minced, 1 tbsp.
Cayenne pepper, 1 pinch  (optional or you could always add more for an extra kick!)
Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp.
Cilantro and/or fresh parsley, 1/4 cup total  (I prefer using only the cilantro.)
OPTIONAL GARNISH CHOICES:  drizzle of olive oil, dollop of sour cream and/or 2 sprigs of chives (see photo)


  • Set the oven to broil.  Roast the bell peppers by placing the whole peppers directly on the oven rack, rotating them every few minutes until largely charred black.
  • Remove the charred peppers and place them in a metal bowl covered with plastic wrap for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.
  • Alternatively... a plastic bag that can be sealed is a substitute for the bowl and plastic wrap.
  • After 10-15 minutes, remove the peppers, peel & discard the outer charred skin.  Using the blunt side of a small knife works well for this task.
  • Discard the stem and white membrane parts of the roasted peppers.  Chop the remaining flesh of the roasted peppers.
  • In a medium size pot, combine all of the ingredients except the cilantro, fresh parsely and garnish toppings.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a light simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered.
  • Cool the mixture slightly and either use a hand-held emersion blender or a counter-top blender to purée the mixture to a smooth consistency.
  • Re-heat the soup if needed before service and top each portion with approximatey 1 tbsp. of fresh herbs (i.e., finely chopped cilantro and/or fresh parsley).
  • Add optional garnish if desired.  ENJOY!!
This recipe was adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter (vol. 29, no. 1)
which was orginally adapted from Fresh Start by Julee Rosso (Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996).


RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  November 2011

Italian-style Grilled Vegetables with Seasoned Bread Crumbs 


  • 1-2 bell peppers (red or orange preferably), cut length-wise into 6-8 segments each.  Remove stem, seeds and white membrane.
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in half across the width and then cut lengthwise from end to end.  Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds from the inner core of the zucchini to create a boat-like cavity from end to end, in which the filling will be placed.  Do not peel the zucchini.  
  • If using only 1 bell pepper (rather than 2): 1 elongated eggplant, cut in elongated rounds (cut on a bias), with a thickness of 1/3" or 0.8cm.  Do not peel the eggplant.  Omit eggplant if using 2 bell peppers; otherwise you will run out of filling.
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I always use 4 cloves since I love garlic!)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Olive oil for drizzling.


1.  Mix bread crumbs, measured olived oil (i.e., the 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp.), minced garlic and parsley.
2.  Season bread crumbs mixture to taste with pepper & set aside.
3.  Toss all the cut vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil to lighly coat.
4.  Arrange the vegetables on a baking tray.
5.  Use a tablespoon to spoon the seasoned bread crumb mixture on the pepper segments, the zucchini "boats" & the eggplant slices. 
6.  Lightly drizzle olive oil over the vegetables stuffed with the bread crumb mixture. 
7.  Cook either in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400°F ...OR... on the BBQ, directly on the grill, for 20 minutes over medium heat.

These vegetables go great with steak.



RECIPE OF THE MONTH:  October 2011 

Single-layer Homestyle Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups White Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar  
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups finely grated carrot


1/3 cup margarine, softened
4 oz. (125g) cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered icing sugar
2 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla


1.  Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
2.  Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.
3.  In a large bowl combine all dry cake ingredients.  Evenly blend all ingredients together.
4.  Add vanilla, oil, eggs and grated carrot.  Beat by hand or at low speed using an electric mixer until fully mixed and moistened.
5.  Vigorously whip by hand or use an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
6.  Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7.  Cool cake fully before frosting.
8.  To prepare frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in a small bowl and beat until smooth using an electric mixer.
9.  Frost top of cake, cut 4 x 6 to yield 24 pieces.
10. Eat and enjoy.  Store in refrigerator.  


Freeze half the cake and half the frosting for a later time. 
You can frost the cake and freeze it ...or freeze the cake and frosting separately, and do the frosting when you thaw the items later.  

This low-potassium, low-phosphorus dessert won't remain low-potassium & low-phosphorus if you eat excessive quantities of it ...and with this delicious cake over-eating can be very tempting.  Limit your risk:  freeze half of it & share it. 

At Kara's Kitchen we believe that everyone should enjoy tasty food.