Foodie Fridays: Feast Your Eyes

One of my closest friends (who is my age) has loved Canadian Living for as long as I’ve known her – so we’re talking early 20s. Not that there’s anything WRONG with that, but you might argue it’s a little unusual, since she’s not exactly in the brand’s target market. Apparently that love was passed down from her own mom, who hooked her up with a few Canadian Living cookbooks around the time she moved out. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, I myself have used a few of CL’s recipes from their website, and I don’t know if they shackle their chefs to the test kitchen stoves or what, but every single recipe I’ve tried has not only been phenomenal, but supremely easy to make, with easy-to-source ingredients, and full nutritional info. May I actually direct you to one of my most frequently made recipes (as recently as this week?) Try the vegetarian chili fries. They are phenom.

Canadian Living The Affordable Feasts Collection


Apparently all of the Canadian Living readers out there can’t satiate their appetites (or those of their families) with the few recipes included in each new issue, so for the last few years the brand has pulled together collections of tried & tested recipes on various themes – from BBQ favourites to slow cooker options. The latest entry is hot off the presses and available in stores this week, focusing in on ‘Affordable Feasts’ that stretch small budgets to create memorable meals.

Japanese Cold Noodle Chef Salad

Photo Credit: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Like all Canadian Living titles, the book is extremely easy to navigate, with five general sections focused in on Red Meat, White Meat, Eggs, Beans & Tofu, Pasta, Noodles & Rice, and Hearty Vegetables. All of the sections feature a mix of recipes for weeknight dinners as well as special occasion ideas, along with tons of helpful tips, and special features like vegetarian options and slow cooker selections to accommodate your culinary preferences. And the recipes? Well of course they all sound yumtastic! Meat eaters will drool over spicy Sri Lankan Devil’s Chicken, hearty Pork Chops with Peppered Apples, and the fancy schmancy Steak Alla Pizzaiola, while vegetarians or those looking for some Meatless Monday options will find plenty to like, including Sweet Potato Perogies, Grilled Peanut Tofu Salad, and Couscous & Cheese Stuffed Zucchini.

I personally would EASILY add this cookbook to my gift list for at least half-a-dozen people, ranging from my mom (who is a cookbook fanatic) to my sister (who is saving for a house / isn’t one for fussy eating) to of course, my Canadian Living diehard pal. And at $26.95 (list), I’m already getting a head start on not breaking the bank. As a special gift for all my readers, I’m giving you a quite literal taste of the Affordable Feasts contained in this book, with a sample recipe for ‘Beef Bulgogi’. On the table in quick order, this Korean-inspired dish is sure to whet your appetite for the rest of the cookbook!

Beef Bulgogi

Photo Credit: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Quick Beef Bulgogi 

Bulgogi, a Korean marinated beef dish, is traditionally served with rice and spicy kimchi pickles. Use whatever grilling steak is on sale – a single pound (450 g) is plenty to feed four people. If you can’t find Asian pears, use any firm pear.

3 tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin or white wine

1 tbsp each granulated sugar and sesame seeds

1 tbsp sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

4 green onions, thinly sliced

Half Asian pear, peeled and grated (about 1⁄3 cup)

1 lb (450 g) beef grilling steak, thinly sliced

1 tsp vegetable oil


1) In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and all but 2 tbsp of the green onions until sugar is dissolved.

2) Stir in pear and beef; cover and let stand for 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Drain off marinade.

3) In wok or skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat; stir-fry beef mixture until beef is browned, about 3 minutes. Garnish with remaining green onions.

Makes 4 servings. per servIng: about 204 cal, 24 g pro, 9 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 6 g carb, 1 g fibre, 53 mg chol, 293 mg sodium, 361 mg potassium. % rDI: 2% calcium, 19% iron, 1% vit A, 3% vit C, 6% folate. 

Finally what would a Foodie Friday be without some sort of giveaway? I’ve got five copies of this sensational new book to giveaway to five of you. Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment by February 15th with your favourite cheap & cheerful go-to dinner dish + who’d you give this cookbook to if you won (or if you’d keep it for yourself – I won’t blame you).

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around February 16th to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Share this contest on Facebook and leave a link to your ‘Share’ in the comments below so I can credit you with a bonus entry! Hint: there are Share tools on every single post that make it easy to spread the word about your favourite gift ideas. 

91 Responses to “Foodie Fridays: Feast Your Eyes”
  1. I would keep this cookbook for myself – i love cookbooks! And i enjoy Canadian Living, too. I can’t think of a particular cheap & cheerful recipe; however, i am always happy to try something new, with fresh ingredients – that always makes me fee good 🙂

  2. leah says:

    I’ve always been a fan of Canadian Living’s recipes. Funny you mentioned the chili fries because I made them last week with great reviews from the family! I would definitely keep the book myself because I know I would use it over and over. Shared on facebook, here is the link I think but I’m not sure if I did that correctly. 🙂

  3. S. Hirano says:

    I usually do not think of the cost of the food I serve when I am entertaining, but I do stay on budget when cooking for my family during the week. I would love to keep the book for myself so that I could entertain on a budget!

    My go-to budget meal is pasta, and it is quick to cook too!

  4. Penny R. says:

    My favourite cheap dinner idea is a hamburger beef. It’s cooked hamburger with a can of condensed mushroom soup, and a can of water, 2tsp of garlic powder. The nice thing with this dish is you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand to the dish. I like to add asparagus, sometimes green pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli always works well too. I would keep this book for myself.

  5. Joan G says:

    I regularly make a meal called Saturday Night Special – it’s a baked spaghetti dish with ground beef, canned tomatoes and cheese plus various spices. I’d keep the book, I love experimenting with new recipes and if it turns out I share it with close friends.

  6. Francine says:

    I’d keep it for myself – my favourite cheap ‘n cheerful go-to dish is Shepherd’s Pie

  7. Tania B says:

    My go-to cheap and cheerful dish would have to be pork chops with mushrooms and rice!

  8. My go to cheap and cheerful dish is pasta with meat sauce. And I would keep the book.

  9. Wendy Turney says:

    One of the quick-fast things I make for my husband is this: I make up some macarroni with a cheese sauce (sometimes its KD!) and while the pasta is cooking, brown up hamburger mixed up with lots of onions, Montreal Steak spice, and pepper. You can combine the two or serve the meat mixture separately from the pasta, and everyone makes up their own, with more meat or less meat, depending on your wants. I like to add tomatoes to mine for both the color and taste!! If I should be so lucky as to be picked, I would keep the book, but share recipes with both family and friends. This recipe book has Beautiful pictures!!

  10. Anne Derkat says:

    I’d keep it for myself. I love pasta recipes

  11. Alison Braidwood says:

    My favourite cheap and cheerful dinner is fusilli with tomato sauce – the sauce is store-bought but I doctor it with lots of pesto, some sweet Thai chilli sauce, and I add frozen edamame to the pasta water about five minutes before the noodles are done. Delish.

  12. Kiki says:

    Oooooh! I love Canadian Living cookbooks… I would have to keep this one and put it next to (my essential in the kitchen, besides salt and pepper!) the Canadian Livingslow cooker cookbook. Having given you that hint, one of our fav cheapie meals is pulled pork (yes, from the Canadian Living cookbook!) The cheap cut of meat with a few simple ingredients, simmers away for a few hours and then is devoured with crust rolls and lots of napkins.

  13. Alison Braidwood says:

    Oh, and if I won the book, I’d keep it for myself.

  14. goldie scharf says:

    I want the book for me

  15. sarah perry says:

    My cheap go to meal would be Chicken legs, mashed potatoes homemade gravy and some veggies. Been doing more cooking this year than last, and I have loved Canadian Living since I set eyes on that first copy, so I would keep this for myself 🙂 Everything sounds so yummy!

    I shared on facebook Sarah perry.

  16. Normal I try to gift things like this as I google a lot of recipes and get creative with others… but I think I would keep this one for myself. I love some sweet potato fries with a nice curry dip. Delicious!

  17. Andrea says:

    My cheap go to dinner dish is breakfast for dinner. Eggs and toast, omelettes, french toast, pancakes, quiche…anything like that. I also really love chicken and dumplings if I have all day, super easy, really inexpensive, its just takes all day too cook. I would keep this for myself if i was lucky enough to win. thanks for the chance.

  18. Lori P says:

    Go to cheap and easy meal is ‘Kitchen-Sink’ pasta, which sometimes turns into a creative exercise on the incorporation of leftovers. I’d keep this cookbook myself, since Canadian Living cookbooks are always practical and inspiring.

  19. janine says:

    love to try new recipes

  20. Jeannie Smyth says:

    My cheap and easy meal is something my Mother used to make. Its called Shell Casserole and consists of hamburger, a can of stewed tomatoes, spices and grated cheddar cheese and pasta shells. It is comfort food at is finest and very quick and easy to make! I would definitely keep the cookbook myself. I love Canadian Living and have several of their cookbooks.

  21. Grace F says:

    My cheap and cheerful pick would have to be good old oven-roasted chicken, with tons of sage salt and some olive oil rubbed on the outside, and baked until the skin is super crispy. And of course roasted veggies on the side, completed with a double-baked potato. And there is always leftovers from this meal to be enjoyed the next day or two.

    I agree that Canadian Living recipes are definite winners! I have yet to come across one that doesn’t turn out scrumptious.

    I love Korean Bulgogi and am looking forward to trying out this recipe. Tip: One can also purchase the very thin sliced beef from Korean Supermarkets in the frozen section. It’s super lean, reasonable and there is no waste. The same type they use in the restaurants.

  22. PJ wiseman says:

    i would keep to cook book for myself 🙂 My go to dish is a home made tomato bisque as I can tomatoes in the summer we always have tones on hand.

  23. Debbie Petch says:

    I love taking my meatloaf to go! Thanks.

  24. diane says:

    My favourite cheap dish is pasta with marinara sauce. I often add some fried veggies and lots of hot sauce. I would keep the book for myself.

  25. Susan says:

    My favourite go-to dish is probably some kind of pasta with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and grated parmesan cheese. If I won this cookbook, I would probably give it to my son so that he can increase his cooking repertoire from grilled cheese sandwiches!

  26. Crystal Kordalchuk says:

    I would give the cookbook to my best friend Julie as she’s always looking for new meal ideas to cook for her children 🙂

  27. Sean Pynaert says:

    spaghetti and meatballs – cheap and easy!

  28. Cathy M says:

    Love Canadian Living My go to recipe would be Chicken Chili. I would keep this book for myself

  29. My favorite go to recipe would be pasta salad with veggies and fruit. 🙂
    This book would go to my daughter.

  30. Sandi Tymchuk says:

    I love to make egg-based dishes for a lower-cost protein source. Making a flat egg omelettte base is useful for tomato sauce and cheese.
    I would love to have this book myself–I promise to share!

  31. Sande says:

    Would love the book and your recipes are great. The beef bulgogi dish is one I’ll try. Could be made with chicken too I think – or salmon.

  32. patricia says:

    would love this

  33. Kristi Friesen says:

    I would keep the cookbook for myself because I am on a budget 🙂 One of my favorite cheap and easy dishes is Cottage Pie, it’s like Shepherds Pie but with layers of thinly sliced potatoes on top, yum!

  34. Sarah G says:

    My fave Canadian Living recipe of all time has to be their chicken and black bean burritos… I can literally make 10 or 20 at a time and they freeze/cook beautifully! And yes… I would keep this book for myself 🙂

  35. sandra mitchell says:

    I would love this book and my cheap and my favorite go to recipe is lazy cabbage roll casserole

  36. Tracey says:

    My favourite cheap & cheerful go-to dinner dish is chicken stir-fry. I would keep this cookbook for myself as I am always looking for good go-to dinner recipes.

  37. mousecat says:

    I’d keep the cookbook for myself!!
    My favourite go-to recipe is maple-glazed salmon on the BBQ. So easy and very, bvery tasty!

  38. Brenda says:

    My favourite cheap & cheerful go-to dinner is chicken pot pie. I would keep this cookbook for myself.

  39. Kelly P says:

    I make baked ricotta pasta. It’s easy, filling & delicious! I’d give it to my mom, she just finished a complete kitchen reno & finally has a place to display her cookbooks.

  40. thomas rusinak says:

    nice book

  41. thomas rusinak says:

    photos of the food look great!

  42. Victoria Ess says:

    My favourite cheap disk is homemade chicken noodle soup! I would keep it for myself — I’m in the mood for some new meal ideas!

  43. Victoria Ess says:
  44. Linda Chaput says:

    i would keep the book for myself and my favourite dish is spaghetti with hamburg and heinz tomatoe soup. sure is delicious

  45. Karen says:

    easiest dish is a quinoa salad…and i would probably keep the book for myself!

  46. Carol Oddy says:

    The meals shown look really good, my cheap and cheerful dinner dishes is hamburger casserole with fresh or frozen vegetables, mushroom soup with potatoes on top with a sprinkling of cheese. If I won the book I would definitely keep the book for myself, I love to try out new recipes.

  47. lucy says:

    I would keep the book for myself. hamburger casserole

  48. Alison K says:

    My favourite cheap & cheerful go-to dinner dish is Ramen, dumplings & Chinese vegetables. I’d like to give this cookbook to my dear friend who knows how to cook but is always looking for a new challenge.

    Bonus Entry: Shared this contest on Facebook (

    Thank you

  49. Elaan says:

    Cheap and cheerful go-to dish – well that would have to be my pasta & veggie bake. It’s got pasta, ground beef, roasted veggies and is baked with cheese on top. It’s really easy to make. 🙂
    I would totally keep this cookbook! It looks fab!

  50. Cynthia Ronald says:

    My favourite affordable dish is ground turkey tacos – healthy, tastey, affordable. I just bought this book for my daughter as part of her birthday present, so I would keep it for myself….

  51. Go-to-dish: 1-1/2 cups of chopped ham, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, 1 can of mushroom soup, 1/2-2/3 can milk (depending on how ‘soupy’ you like this dish, and 4-6 cups of cooked macaroni (or any other pasta).

    Warm mushrooms and ham in butter. Once mushrooms are wilted, add soup and milk. Warm the mixture without boiling. Add cooked macaroni noodles. And voila! Ham Super Supper Dish.

    I would keep this book for myself. 🙂

    Shared link on FB.

  52. Sunshine G says:

    Pasta with a bunch of veggies, almonds, and olive oil with lemon and lime juice.

  53. kristen says:

    replace noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini pasta! (and I think I’d need to keep it!)

  54. Jayne Cameron says:

    I would definitely Love this cookbook. I like trying new recipes and I like cookbooks with pictures of what I am making that can guide me. I am also very fond of Pasta.

  55. krista maksymchuk says:

    That recipie looks so good, I’m definately going to try to make it

  56. I am a horrible cook .. I have no patience in the kitchen ! I would keep this book for myself. my favourite and easy go-to dinner is pasta with meat sauce ..and if I am feeling fancy I will add in sausage !

  57. I think I would keep the book for myself as I am cooking for 6+ usually! My go-to meal that is affordable & tasty is usually a nice stew in the winter (or bright salad with lean meat on the side in the summer).

  58. angela mitchell says:

    If i won I’d keep this cookbook for myself. A cheap cheerful dinner that I make is blackbean and corn quesadillas. Cheap, easy, super quick and yummy.

  59. Mary says:

    Sounds like a great cookbook. I would definately keep it for myself.

  60. leah says:

    I go to cheap and easy meal is mashed cauliflower! I’d keep the cookbook for myself 😉

  61. julia g says:

    My cheap and cheerful recipe of choice is sausage and pepper pasta.
    I would keep this book for myself as my cooking needs more variety.

  62. Wendy Blue says:

    My favorite cheap & cheerful go-to dish is pasta & meat sauce with a colorful fresh salad on the side. I would absolutely keep this cookbook for myself! I posted a link to your contest on my facebook timeline:!/ Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  63. Tori says:

    My favorite cheap recipe is vegetarian refried bean tacos. So cheap. So good. I would keep the book for myself. I’m a cookbook addict!

  64. Vicki says:

    My cheap recipe is chili, loaded with beans. I’d keep the book for myself- I have a very large teenage boy to feed.

  65. Marlene J says:

    I love Mexican food.. I make it for anyone who is hungry!
    Would keep the book for myself! 🙂

  66. prairiebelle says:

    My dish is homemade pasta sauce with spagetti. Tastes so much better than one in a jar and full of veggies to keep us healthy..and it is cheap!


  67. prairiebelle says:

    shared on facebook as belinda m

  68. Sandra S says:

    Pasta with garlic, peppers and olive oil is always tastey and affordable

  69. Sandra S says:

    Forgot to mention above that I would like to keep for myself.

    I shared on facebook

  70. lori butler says:

    wow i would indeed be keeping this book 🙂 shared on facebook, thank you

  71. Suzanne v says:

    Tuna casserole. And I’d keep the book for myself!

  72. Christine S says:

    Spaghetti & meatballs . The book?for me of course.

  73. Sande says:

    budget friendly is always great – and good food – well is always good food. I covet this book.

  74. Lynn A says:

    I would keep the cookbook for myself. I have them all I believe. I also read cookbooks like novels. My go to is any kind of chicken pieces,dipped in egg and then panko crumbs, and baked in the oven. And to make things easy I usually make this with roasted small potatoes with varying seasonings and also roasted vegetables such as asparagus, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc

  75. Linda Klages says:

    I’d give the book to my daughter-in-law who loves cookbooks.

    I like diced chicken, diced multi-coloured peppers topped with a jar of salsa – looks & tastes great

  76. Sara MacDonald says:

    My chea and easy go to meal is spaghetti – bonus that it pleases 2 young kids! I’d keep the cookbook because I am always experiementing and trying to find new recipes to add to the menu!

  77. aarone says:

    My go-to dish is stir fry. I would keep this book for myself because I need to learn how to cook better!

  78. Carol M says:

    My cheap and cheerful meal would be stir fried tofu. And I would keep the cookbook for myself to add to my collection of CL cookbooks!

  79. aimee says:

    chili fries and i would keep the cookbook i could use the cheap ideas

  80. Sherri F says:

    Pasta and garlic bread would be my cheap meal! I would love to win this book for me!

  81. Maegan Morin says:

    My favorite meal to make is Beef and Broccoli! Yum Yum Yum

  82. Dreena says:

    My cheap dish to make is easy – a quesadilla. Always has cheese in it, onions and tomatoes.
    I’d keep the book for myself – could use some inspiration.

  83. Francesca says:

    pork roast and potatoes!!!! i would keep it for myself to add to my cooking books collection!

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