Browsing Tag


Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes


roast chicken, stuffing, chorizo, cannellini beans. Thanksgiving, Christmas



I’m making a bird.  But, instead of turkey, I’m cooking up a Gordon Ramsay Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Chorizo dish.  Mmmm, it’s a bit smokey,  spicy and so succulent! Did you also happen to notice that I spelled ‘honor’ the American way?  Seems fitting just this one time, right?  OK, I digress.  Back to the recipe…  Here’s what it looks like before and after roasting (below).  Looks good… right?roast chicken, stuffing, chorizo, cannellini beans. Thanksgiving, Christmas


gordon ramsay, roasted chicken, stuffing Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes


Easy Baked Halibut, simple baked halibut, easy dinner, healthy dinner, healthy fish supper, easy dinner, easy supper, easy recipe

“Delicate and Delicious” is the best way to describe this baked halibut recipe

Fish can be dicey.  It’s not for everyone.  But, trust me, you and your guests WILL like this baked halibut recipe.  The best part? It couldn’t be easier to make.

Easy Baked Halibut, simple baked halibut, easy dinner, healthy dinner, healthy fish supper, easy dinner, easy supper, easy recipe, Roasted Root VegetablesA couple of years ago, when my youngest son Cole had to have several teeth pulled, I had my fridge and pantry stocked with food that needed NO chewing.  Sadly, apart from soup, most of it was junk food  like Jello, pudding and popsicles. But, I didn’t care… whatever it took to get him over that painful hump.  That night, I made baked halibut for dinner assuming he would sit this one out.  To my surprise, he asked to try the baked halibut.  Not only did he scarf down one piece, he asked for and ate another one! He loved it!   Proof that this is a winning recipe.   If you can get a kid to eat seconds of fish after dental surgery, you know you’re onto something.  Continue Reading

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes


Easy salmon recipe, Best Salmon, Best Salmon recipe baked salmon

Asian Baked Salmon = Serendipity

It’s been a while!  Did you think I stopped blogging?  Here’s what’s been going on.  I’ve been juggling some development work, multiple courses, school assignments/exams and half marathon training which has been VERY humbling…Turns out, I’m not nearly as fit as I imagined.  Life has been busy, but SO invigorating.  Did I mention that I also learned how to play Mahjong? I’m enjoying it all at the expense of my blog “Walnut Kitchen”.  I’ve been remiss about posting, but I haven’t stopped eating, so here goes another recipe recommendation.  Asian Baked Salmon.

Easy salmon recipe, Best Salmon, Best Salmon recipe baked salmonHas this ever happened to you? Or, maybe I’m just losing it. (hence, trying to keep Alzheimer’s at bay with all the courses I’m taking)  In a messy box where I keep recipes, I accidentally came across this old standby that I haven’t made in years.  I have no idea why I stopped?  In fact, a friend who I gave this recipe to ages ago, reminded me about it when I was looking to her for inspiration on what to cook!  So, I just had to make it again.  The verdict:  Asian baked salmon is quite simply divine. I won’t wait so long to make it again.   You should try it too.  

Whether you are making it as a family supper or as the main attraction for a dinner soiree, the best thing about it is that you do all the work ahead of time.  Trust me, there’s barely any slaving away in the kitchen beforehand.  Baking rather than barbequing is a little more conducive to enjoying the pre -dinner conversation.  Bonus!

Easy salmon recipe, Best Salmon, Best Salmon recipe baked salmon IMG_5116Not only is this a satisfying meal, I’ve been learning so much recently at the course I’m taking at the Institute for Holistic Nutrition about the benefits of this fish.  Salmon is a great source of Vitamins D, B3, B6 and B12.  Fish is also a great food to eat to reduce inflammation which is a huge problem for most of us, especially in our lower gut.  

If you can, try to get wild salmon.  It is far more nutritious and much safer compared to the farmed varieties which can contain toxins.   In fact, the more I learn, the more convinced I am that spending the extra money is worth it.  I served my Asian baked salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts.  If you decide to do the same, don’t forget to put the veggies in the oven at least 30 – 40 minutes in advance of the salmon.  Easy salmon recipe, Best Salmon, Best Salmon recipe baked salmon



  1. 6 – 8 salmon fillets (skin removed 7 oz pieces)
  2. Marinade
  3. ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
  4. ¼ cup soya suce
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  7. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  8. 2 cloves crushed garlic
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  10. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  11. 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and place in large Ziploc bag with salmon and marinate anywhere from 1 hour to 12 hours. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes. Voila! Enjoy.
Walnut Kitchen

Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes




I’m not yet prepared to give up meat and dairy to become vegetarian or vegan.  In fact, I’ve been stockpiling some of my favourite chicken and beef recipes to share with you in the months to come.  But, based on all the information I’ve taken in lately on the dangers of eating animal products and the merits of eating exclusively plants and whole foods, I can see transitioning to a vegan diet one day soon.  My aunt Milli and mother-in-law Nassa would be proud!  As a foodie, I am determined to find and share recipes that won’t compromise on taste and the joy of eating delicious food.

Mushroom Risotto is one of my all-time favourites.  IMG_4867The creamy ‘al dente’ rice combined with the earthiness of wild mushrooms makes it THE ultimate winter comfort food.  I’m SO excited to share a recipe I’ve been making for years that eliminates the chore of standing over the pot stirring constantly.

IMG_4750Delia Smith’s “Oven Baked Wild Mushroom Risotto” is heavenly and so easy to make.  I first learned about Delia Smith while living in London in my 20’s.  She is one of Britain’s most popular cooks, TV presenters, columnists, and cookbook authors.  The most popular of the 21 million books she has sold and the winner of the 1996 British Book of the Year award is “Delia Smith’s Winter Collection”.  That’s where this recipe comes from.

Two things to mention:  Instead of butter, I used coconut oil, and although this recipe uses a small amount of Parmigiano Reggiano, you can easily leave it out or replace it with a vegan Parmesan ‘style’ cheese.  Give this a try – you won’t regret it!

Delia Smith’s Oven-Baked Wild Mushroom Risotto

Serves 6 as a starter (I like to double the recipe and eat it as a main course)


1 x ½ oz (10g) dried porcini mushrooms

8 oz (225g) fresh dark-gilled mushrooms

2 ½ oz  (60g) butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 oz (175g) Italian Arborio rice

5 fl oz (150ml) dry Madeira

2 Tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, plus 2 oz (50g) extra, shaved into flakes with a potato peeler

salt and freshly milled black pepper 

Pre-heat the oven to 300 F or 150°C


Soak dried porcini mushrooms by putting them in a bowl and pouring 1 pint (570 ml) of boiling water over them. Leave them to soak and soften for half an hour.

Meanwhile, chop the fresh mushrooms into ½ inch (1 cm) chunks – not too small, as they shrink down quite a bit in the cooking.

Now melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the onion and let it cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Then add the fresh mushrooms, stir well and leave on one side while you deal with the porcini.

When the porcini mushrooms have had their half-hour soak, place a sieve over a bowl, line the sieve with a sheet of paper towel and strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Squeeze any excess liquid out of them, then chop them finely and transfer to the pan to join the other mushrooms and the onion. Keep the heat low and let the onions and mushrooms sweat gently and release their juices – which will take about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the dish in the oven to warm.

Now add the rice and stir it around to get a good coating of butter. Then add the Madeira, followed by the strained mushroom soaking liquid.

Add a level teaspoon of salt and some freshly milled black pepper, stir and bring up to simmering point, then transfer from the pan to the warmed dish.

IMG_4797Stir once then place it on the centre shelf of the oven without covering.

Set a timer and give it 20 minutes exactly.

After that, gently stir in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, turning the rice grains over.

Now put the timer on again and give it a further 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and put a clean tea towel over it while you invite everyone to be seated.

Like soufflés, risottos won’t wait, so serve presto, pronto on warmed plates and sprinkle with the shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.IMG_4831





Just as a funny footnote.  I tried to make a healthier version of this recipe by replacing the Arborio rice with short grain brown rice and replacing the Parmigiano Regianno with Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.  Unfortunately, it was a failed experiment.  Stay tuned for the healthier recipe in the future once I figure it out!

I wanted to acknowledge my awesome husband Andrew Burnstein who singlehandedly cleans up boatloads of pots, pans, and dishes and always does so with a smile. (not forgetting to ALSO mention his help with the computer AND this blog)  Lucky Me!!! Thanks Andrew xxx

My one and only, Andrew Burnstein

My one and only, Andrew Burnstein


Food Michelle's Favourite Recipes




Gordon-Ramsay-1I am a HUGE fan of conventional , or, as they say in the TV business “dump and stir” cooking shows.  Sadly, they barely exist anymore.  It seems competition shows are the only type of food show that gets any sizeable viewership. For years  Gordon Ramsay has been yelling and screaming all over primetime with “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Master Chef”, to name just a couple.  But it’s his daytime cooking show that I love most.  ramsay and family

gordon ramsay's ultimate home cooking







“Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking” is a chance to see the softer side of Gordon as he cooks dishes with his kids and his mom at home.  Besides the thrill of being a voyeur in his private life and kitchen, the recipes he makes are to die for.  One of my favourites is his Roast Chicken with Chickpea Stuffing.  You should try it.

A couple of suggestions:  I get the butcher to make a couple of slits and loosen the skin from the flesh and I replace butter with coconut oil because it’s healthier and has the same consistency as butter.  I throw in some potatoes, parsnip, sweet potatoes at the bottom of the roasting pan.


Serves 4-6

IMG_29911 large free-range corn-fed chicken (about 2kg), giblets removed
Small bunch of tarragon, leaves roughly chopped
200g butter, at room temperature
3 heads of garlic, halved horizontally
Olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x 400g tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 red chillies, sliced
1 lemon, zested
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400F. Season the inside of the chicken. Place the tarragon and butter in a bowl and beat until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

    Loosen the skin over both chicken breasts by gently pushing your fingers underneath it. Now push the tarragon butter under the loosened skin so that it covers the whole crown.

  2. To make the stuffing, put the chickpeas into a bowl, season and add the chillies, lemon zest, thyme leaves and a dash of olive oil. Mix well. Spoon the chickpea mixture inside the chicken cavity and place the whole lemon at the entrance.
  3. Place the garlic heads, cut side down, in a roasting tin. Put the chicken on top and drizzle with olive oil. Season the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and roast for 10–15 minutes, until turning golden and beginning to crisp up. Reduce the heat to 180ºC/350F and continue roasting for 1¼–1½ hours, until cooked through and golden all over.
  4. Extract the lemon from the cavity of the bird and spoon the stuffing into a large bowl. Place the chicken on a warm platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 10–15 minutes.
  5. Spoon the garlic out of the pan and squeeze the pulp into a sieve placed over the bowl of stuffing. Slice the roasted lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the garlic. Push the garlic and juice through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Mash the entire contents of the bowl with a potato masher. Mix well, then transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.IMG_3332 (2)