One Dish, Two Spoons: Mother’s Day Special

13 May

In honor of this weekend’s celebration of Mothers’ Day we’ve decided to each showcase one of our mothers’ classic recipes. With a clean twist.

Tess’ Take

The dish I will forever remember my mother for will be her tuna casserole.  There’s just one problem: I HATE tuna casserole.  It has nothing to do with how my mom cooked it – all my other siblings seemed to really enjoy it.  Maybe it’s because in the early years tuna casserole nights were also ballet lesson nights, which I dreaded.  Perhaps the two have been fused together in my memory.  So no matter how strongly I felt that this was my mom’s signature dish, I just could NOT bring myself to cook it for this post.

After much deliberation and consultation with my sisters, we decided that my mom was known for cooking: Chinese Hekka, anything with mushroom soup, chili, stew, garlic bread, pork chops with apple sauce, scalloped potatoes, tuna melts, and meatloaf.  I realized while reading this list that I have actually never made meatloaf, so that’s what I chose to cook tonight.

The ingredients in my mom’s version included: lean ground beef, tomato sauce, bread crumbs, eggs, chopped onion, and s&p.  So while the goal of this post was to clean up one of mom’s classic recipes, I realized that there really wasn’t much to improve on.  Still, for a change of scenery I decided to make my way over to Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking website for a (Mini) Muscle Meatloaf recipe.

Muscle Meatloaf (serves 4)


– 1 lb extra lean ground beef 
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 cup rolled oats
– 1/2 egg
– 1/2 tbs dried parsley
– 1/8 cup low fat parmesan
– 1/8 cup 1% milk
– 1/2 tsp oregano
– s&p


1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

2. Press mix into a bread pan.  Or, try making Dave’s version by filling muffin tins with the mix.

3. Bake at 375 for 30-35 mins until cooked all the way through.

I enjoyed my meatloaf with a side salad… then seconds of the meatloaf 😛  All in all, I thought there was a bit more flavor to this version because of the parmesan and spices.  However, I still like the way mama used to make it.  Isn’t it always better when mom makes it though?

I love you mom.  Thanks for everything you gave us, and gave up for us growing up.  And thanks for all the good food!



Jess’ Take

When Tess and I decided to make dishes in honour of Mother’s Day, there was one meal I knew that I had to make.  Growing up in a family with two meat-loving brothers and a father, steak was a popular item on the weekly menu (much to my disgust).  What better to go with steak than baked potato and caesar salad? My Mom’s thoughts exactly.

So while I obviously do not eat steak and I prefer sweet potatoes to white, here is a vegetarian spin on the steak and potato dinner:

Portobello Mushroom with Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes and Homemade Caesar Salad

Portobello Mushrooms

2 Portobello Mushrooms

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tbsp balasmic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper


Heat brill or broiler over medium heat and broil or grill, flipping halfway through until tender and juicy.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 medium parsnip, grated

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp fresh sage

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F

Wash potatoes and poke several holes throughout (to prevent any explosions).  Place on middle rack and bake for 20-30 minutes until tender.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Once cool enough to handle, slice off top and scoop out potato with a spoon, leaving outer skin intact.

In a mixing bowl combine potato, parsnip, oil and spices. Mix well to combine then scoop back into potatoes.  Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until tops are slightly crispy.

Homemade Caesar dressing

2 egg yolks

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

1 c. olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp tobasco (we like it spicy)

In a blender combine egg yolks, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon, worcestershire, and tabasco.  Blend until smooth.  Keeping a low speed, slowly add olive oil allowing it to emulsify, blend for an additional 30 seconds.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with crisp romaine, croutons, parmesan cheese and a lemon wedge.

Thank you Mom for all the wonderful kitchen memories, I look forward to creating new ones soon.





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