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Simple n’ Sweet Potato Chutney

23 Oct

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This recipe for sweet potato chutney is one of my favourites due to its simplicity and freshness. Great served cold with cheese and crackers or -even better- heated up and with a fried egg after coming home tipsy from the bar.

Try out this sweet potato chutney for your next event/dinner party/hangover cure.

Sweet Potato Chutney

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cooked and mashed
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon anchor powder (powdered mango) (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (to taste)

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Let sit, refrigerated for at least 1-2 hours before serving. This allows the flavours to blend and intensify. The result is tangy, smooth and strangely addictive.

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I made a big batch and it kept really well, at least a week, in the fridge. It is really versatile stuff that can be used to enhance many dishes, sandwiches and snacks. TIP: make sure there is enough lemon juice. It is supposed to be tangy, and a but crunchy from the onion.

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This was a pretty cheese and chutney plate I made for Thanksgiving. The others are mint, and a spicy bottled one that was a gift from The Netherlands with ingredients I could not begin to understand.

Dutch is a weird language.

xo

M

Lamb Kofta Meatballs with Spiced Yogurt

17 Oct

I’ve never been a huge fan of lamb. The problem is, I often see photos of and recipes for lamb that look really tantalizing. (I feel the same way, only stronger, about goat cheese. I know, I know…)

While casually cruising around Kensington recently, I popped into Sanagan’s Meat Locker, an amazing hipster butcher (pardon the term), that we recently discovered. This is the kind of busy place that requires you to grab a number and await your turn. Once you have that little paper tab, things tend to move quickly. You are under pressure.

During this hasty moment, with endless options before me,  I spontaneously bought some ground lamb.

Middle Eastern food and flavours are amongst my favourite, and many recipes call for lamb. So what the hell?

“I’ll make kofta!” I thought.

But alas, I didn’t have any wooden skewers, and couldn’t find any in a pinch. So instead of cooking these on a stick (!!) I made them into meatballs. They were equally delicious if not quite as fun.

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I served them with spiced yogurt and paprika, a couscous salad and fried eggplant.

 

Lamb Kofta Meatballs with Spiced Yogurt 

(Makes about 15)

  • 1 lb ground organic lamb
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (toasted) or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons semolina (couscous) uncooked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Spiced Yogurt 

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Cup roughly chopped parsley and mint (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp chives (fresh or dried)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients of yogurt sauce first, and let sit in the fridge
  2. In small pan, lightly toast cumin seeds with slivered almonds (can also use pine nuts, which are more traditional)
  3. Combine lamb with all of the spices, onion, herbs, egg and semolina. Mix well with hands.
  4. Roll into small meatballs, being careful not to pack them too tightly. If you have the time,let them rest for 30 minutes or more refrigerated to let the flavours blend.
  5. You can either pan fry them or bake them. I fried them lightly over medium high heat (about two minutes) and then baked them on a tray at 300 for 10 ish minutes.
  6. You can also form them onto soaked skewers (fun!) and bake them that way.

This meal totally hit the spot. I fried up some eggplant (my new fave) dipped in egg whites, and layered it with raw cucumbers (a nice contrast of soft and crunchy), with a lemony couscous/tabouli hybrid salad. I drizzled the whole thing with fresh lemon juice and touch of olive oil.

The yogurt sauce was spicy and tangy and complimented the lamb very well.

These were a hit well worth repeating! They would also make great appetizers.

I may be a lamb convert yet. Stay tuned! 

xo M

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Favourite Things: July- Chicago, Montreal, Beck and recipe for Kale and Herb Fritters with Chipolte Tahini Yogurt Dip. Whew.

4 Aug

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July flew by with the quickness!

Things I did this month:

-Visited the Art Institute of Chicago
-Finally saw Beck live
-Ate crepes in Quebec
-Slept in a tent

Pretty excellent.

Here are a few of my favourite things!

ONE: Visiting friends, new cities and live music. (That’s three things)

We headed to Chicago once again this year to catch the Pitchfork music festival and meet up with Mike and Brittany. Headliners: Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar. All delivered excellent sets. I also really loved St.Vincent, Jon Hopkins and Tune-yards.

Highlight: Annie Clark of St. Vincent absolutely killed it and Beck performed one of my all-time favourite tunes, Chemtrails.

 

 

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TWO: The Art Institute of Chicago

…is now one of my favourite art galleries. Ever. So many iconic and priceless works of art, including American Gothic, Seurat’s La Grand Jatte, and Nighthawks. The Magritte exhibition was excellent, and made me come away with a new, greater appreciation for the Surrealists.

blognotapipeIt is not.

I could spend allllll day there, happily.

And audio tours. Obv.

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THREE: Mile End, Montreal. 

Last weekend we headed to Quebec for two nights. We spent a wild one in Montreal and another wild one (literally) in the wilderness outside of Magog, where we got to spend some time with more fantastic faraway friends. This is where the tent sleeping happened.

This charming neighbourhood in Montreal is home to fabulous coffee and bagels . A must (re) visit.

Highlights: Eating St. Viateur bagels hot out of the oven dunked in tangy cream cheese, $10 drink specials for 4 tequila shots (including tabasco chasers!) at Andrews Pub in downtown Montreal, people watching while drinking excellent espresso from Myriad, swimming in Lac Magog, partying into the wee hours with Nick and Kate, road trip playlists and eating cheesy asparagus crepes the size of your head.

 

 

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Understandably weary.

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bagel

coffee

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FOUR: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer SPF20 Sunscreen

I love cosmetics and I just gotta share my latest favourites.

This product is another home run for me from Tarte. Contrary to most makeup, it is possible that this stuff has actually improved my skin overall. I have not broken out once since I started using it and the texture and evenness of my skin has improved! Impressed.

Bonus: it contains mostly natural ingredients. I don’t think I could ever stray from this super-light foundation.

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Five: Kale and Herb Fritters with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt

I stumbled upon a fabulous food blog called Alexandra’s Kitchen. Intrigued, I decided to try out these fritters, as I had a whole bundle of kale withering away in the fridge (AS PER USUAL)

I was skeptical at times throughout the (slightly messy) process, but the end result was SO good. The tahini dip was my own edition, which I also like to pair with falafels.

You could substitute any dark leafy green, such as chard or mustard greens or even a combination.

 

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Kale and Herb Fritters with Tahini Chipotle Yogurt Dip 

(makes approx 8)

  • One large bunch of leafy greens, stems removed.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 green spring onions (about)
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (maybe a bit more 😉
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil for frying (unscented)
  1. Simmer greens in boiling salted water until soft, about 5 minutes
  2. Strain well and pat dry with paper towel
  3. Blend everything in a food processor except for the cheese. Once well blended, fold in the cheese.
  4. Over high heat, fry fritters in batches (about 1.5 tablespoons each) (about 5 minutes on each side). Be sure to leave enough room in the pan to flip them properly!
  5. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Tahini Chipotle Yogurt Dip 

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • Fresh juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Mix!

 

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Ok so…they’re not pretty, but these were a huge hit. They are a fun way to eat more greens, and potential flavour combinations are endless,. Really, you could  combine any fresh herbs with any greens and the result would be delicious.

They reminded me a little bit of palak paneer…I think next time I’ll try adding some different spices and put an Indian spin on it.

Happy mid-Summer all!

 

xo M

 

This and That: Aubergine with Lemon and Raw Garlic, Smokey Bacon Jam on Rye with Cream Cheese, Poached Eggs

29 Apr

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This past weekend my mum came to stay with me. I had to work the whole weekend, but she didn’t seem to mind. While I was gone she filled the fridge, scrubbed the stubborn old bathtub and cooked cool things, like bacon jam. She also kept us well stocked with wine and gin.

It’s the little things.

Although she’s back home, her recipes are now immortalized with these photos of the plate of leftovers I had today for lunch, which included that smokey bacon jam. She also made this awesome roasted eggplant pickled in lemon juice, raw garlic and plenty of parsley that is a must-share. In addition: rye toast, tangy cream cheese, poached eggs, avocado slices and salad.

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Sweet and Smokey Bacon Jam
Recipe from food.com. Yield 1.75 cups

You’ll need:
– 1 lb bacon, sliced into small peices
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 medium brown onion, sliced
– 3 tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 tsp Sriracha
– 1 cup brewed coffee
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– black pepper
– liquid smoke
– extra water

1) Fry bacon in batches until browned and slightly crispy
2) Fry onion and garlic in rendered bacon fat on medium until translucent
3) Transfer onions, garlic and bacon into heavy cast iron pot and add rest of the ingredients except water
4) Simmer for two hours adding 1/4 cup water every 30 minutes or so and stir frequently.
5) Cool about 15-20 minutes and place in food processor. Pulse 2-3 seconds, as to leave some texture for the jam.

6) Enjoy the endless possibilities- on a burger, on toast, on a sandwich, with cheese and crackers, by the spoonful….

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Roasted Eggplant with Raw Garlic , Parsley and Lemon
Also from food.com

You’ll need:
– 1 large eggplant
– 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil, more as needed
– 4 cloves garlic
– 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley

1) Wash eggplant, cut off stem, leave peel on
2) Slice into quarter inch slices and brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle of salt
3) Bake at 375 for 35 – 40 minutes
4) In a bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and drizzle over plated and cooked eggplant. Cover with parsley and serve.

Keeps well in fridge served cold!

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My day off never tasted so good.

Thanks Mum!

M

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Easy Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

16 Jan

Someone in this apartment does not much care for mushrooms. That being said, he’s been slowly coming around.

So… I decided to push this soup on him.

I loved it. (Too much, too soon?)

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It is really easy and fast with a rich, deep flavour.

Not recommended for those who are shy around mushrooms.

Easy Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup 

Serves 4, total time: approx 20 minutes. Adapted from this recipe from food.com

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups (approx) thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small white onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken. I used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice mushrooms, and fry with onions, garlic and butter.  Add wine and Dijon and reduce (approx 5 minutes)
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour.
  3. Add stock and stir frequently until well incorporated and slightly thickened.
  4. Stir in cream with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Add remaining seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg, sugar)
  5. Serve hot!

This beats the gloopy sodium bomb that is canned cream of mushroom soup any day. I lightened up the cream quotient by substituting milk, to minimize the January guilt pangs. For a soup that eats like a meal, add a hearty scoop of cooked quinoa.

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Yum!

M

An Unexpected Savoury Treat: Caramelized Onion and Cheddar Tart

26 Nov

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I’m not a good baker. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. Baking is too precise, with the measurements and temperatures and ingredients. My foolish experimentation has resulted in failure about half the time. I much prefer to cook and create my own recipes with various substitutions and additions. I find it super fun!

I also don’t have a huge sweet tooth. A piece of dark chocolate satisfies me rather than an extravagant cupcake. Not to say I haven’t had some successes , and even a few great ones. As they say, sometimes with great risk comes great reward. However, behind those baking triumphs lingers stressful memories, of wayward flecks of sugar-butter spinning uncontrollably about the kitchen, and nervous peeks into the oven every 5 minutes to check if the bread has risen, heart in mouth.

The beauty of this tart is that it was a result of another baking failure. Even though I made a successful batch of lemon curd just last week, this time I couldn’t get it to thicken (sadly a huge casualty of lemons and eggs). I was planning on bringing some cute lemon tart-lettes to a friend’s clothing swap, but this was just not meant to be!

Instead I saved the dough and the next day used it to make this cheese and onion tart.

It was a lovely plan B.

Crust

  • 1.5 cups all purpose or pastry flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 egg

1) mix flour and salt
2) in separate bowl, cream butter and sugar and slowly add egg
3) add flour to butter mixture and mix until ball is formed
4) on a floured surface, roll evenly and fit into a pie mould
5) chill

Meanwhile, do this:

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Over high heat, caramelize about 5 to 6 thinly sliced onions in oil or butter. Mix so the onions don’t burn, but not too frequently otherwise they won’t brown! Add pinch of salt and one teaspoon of sugar. Once browned, add drizzle of balsamic to cut the sweetness and mix. This should take approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pre heat oven to 325.

Add grated cheddar evenly over cooled tart crust and then top with onions and fresh thyme. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crust is browned at the edges and top with more fresh thyme and a sprinkle of salt.

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Note: this crust has a sweet, shortbread like consistency. If you’d prefer to use a different pastry recipe, please do!

The cheddar and thyme were a great combination with the onions, but Gorgonzola or chèvre would also be lovely. Maybe even some pear or sautéed mushrooms. The options are endless really.

Serve in small slices. Great for a holiday party!

Tell me: are you a cooker or a baker, or a candlestick maker both?

Persian Eggplant Stew, Fattoush and Baba Ghanoush- an Ode to Aubergine

31 Oct

I don’t cook with eggplants much. When I think of eggplant, what usually comes to mind is that cold, suspiciously slimy and bland ” filling” of roasted veggie sandwiches, the type found at Starbucks or the airport terminal. Blech. Although I find its deep, glossy purple colour and shape absolutely gorgeous (in the same odd way that I find sliced avocados and fresh lemons to be beautiful) the appeal of eggplant has long eluded me. I’ve bought them with false hope a few times, only to see them wither in the fridge, neglected. However,when I saw this tasty-looking recipe for Khoresht-E Bademjan, aka Persian Eggplant Stew, at Della Cucina Provera, It gave me fresh inspiration.

Half way though the cooking process, after I dehydrated it a bit and fried it in olive oil and plenty of salt, I could not stop snacking on my few favourite food, undisguised! Eggplant.

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Deceptively difficult to take a good photo of something so pretty.

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This recipe was sooooo tasty. It was a bit of a process, I suppose, about 3 hours start to finish. It’s not a quick “whip up” recipe, but I find cooking supremely relaxing, so for me it was no biggie.

Once I started with this stew, I was inspired to take the Middle Eastern theme and run with it. With the other eggplant I ended up making baba ghanoush, and then a fattoush salad with toasted pita. I served the stew on couscous mixed with chopped dates, and doused everything with plenty of fresh lemon juice. The whole thing worked together deliciously.

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Baba Ghanoush

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 table spoons tahini
  • 1 roasted eggplant (next time I’d used less chickpeas and more eggplant, probably 2)
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil ( about two tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon smokey paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac powder (and to garnish)
  • Fresh thyme to garnish.

1) Blend in food processor.

Fattoush Salad

  •  red pepper
  •  tomato
  •  cucumber
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • Pita bread, toasted
  • fresh parsley and mint ( I had none, but this would be ideal!)

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • sprinkle sumac powder
  • sprinkle ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Cut pitas into strips and toast in oven with olive oil and plenty of salt at 400 for 10 minutes, or until browned and very crispy. WARNING!: Highly addictive.

Persian Eggplant Stew, Khoresht-E Bademjan 

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Water
  • Fresh thyme to garnish
  1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1 inch strips. Salt on both sides and lay the strips between layers of paper towels. This draws out the bitterness. Let rest for 20 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, brown onions with red pepper flakes, garlic and beef.
  3. Once meat is browned, add turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Then cover with water and stew for one hour or more.
  4. While the meat is cooking, fry eggplant in olive oil until cooked and a bit crispy (This is where I began snacking!). Set aside to cool.
  5. Once meat is tender, add tomatoes. Let simmer for another hour.
  6. Lastly, add eggplant, and season with salt, pepper, honey and squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve over rice, couscous or quinoa. For a (quicker!) vegan option, substitute the beef for lentils or chickpeas. It would obviously change the dish, but would still be good. OR check out this post I did for a veggie Moroccan Stew.

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The plate of spicy stew, sweet dates, tangy salad, crunchy,salty pita chips and garlicky dip all worked together amazingly well. I can’t wait to make this meal again, for guests or family or just us.

It’s turned me into a total eggplant convert! Next on the list: eggplant bharta.

Fun Fact: “Eggplant is an excellent source of digestion-supportive dietary fiber and bone-building manganese. It is very good source of enzyme-catalyzing molybdenum and heart-healthy potassium. Eggplant is also a good source of bone-building vitamin K and magnesium as well as heart-healthy copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin” (www.whfoods.org)

On a side note, October was my best-ever month for Food, Mostly. The comments and views have been really encouraging. Thanks for all the support after a long break of inactivity! I’ve felt much more inspired lately to cook and contribute, and I look forward to growing my blog over the next few months.

Merci,

M

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Becky from  My Utensil Crock To join, or for more info click here.

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Kensington Market, Carlo’s House of Spice, and my Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

27 Oct

Oh, Toronto.

You aren’t so pretty, all street car tracks and telephone wires, parked cars and concrete.

Noisy and sprawling with expensive taxis, glacial transit and grubby pigeons.

But you’ve got character. For all the shopping malls and chain stores, there is plenty of independent and creative spirit alive and thriving in Toronto

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Perhaps nowhere more so than Kensington Market

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One of my favourite things to do is spend the afternoon poking around, grabbing coffee and eating lunch with someone lovely tucked away somewhere in this neighbourhood.

One of my favourite shops is Carlo’s House of Spice. Because I’m a huge fan of spices! Did you know?

He’s got everything, including personal blends.

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This place is my Mecca.

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I like to go and buy obscure spices I have yet to experiment with. This trip I procured sumac powder, amchur powder (mango powder), curry leaves and fenugreek.

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For vintage shopping

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People watching

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And the obscure,

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Kensington Market always puts me in a good mood.

The last last time I visited Carlo’s, I bought his custom hot madras curry powder. I’ve twice made this curried carrot coconut soup, which was so delicious, healthy and simple, my fave combo.

Great for an appetizer, lunch, or in instances requiring immediate night-vision.

20131027-215551.jpgCurried Carrot and Coconut Soup 

  • 1 big bag/bunch of organic carrots (2 lbs?)
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (of your choice)
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat for maximum richness)
  • Appox 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock. Water will do too, in a pinch.
  • salt n’ pepa
  1. Roughly chop carrots, and add to boiling water, peels on. Boil until soft
  2. In the meantime, thinly slice onions and fry in coconut oil until soft translucent over high heat.
  3. Add curry powder and mix. Add 1 tablespoon more oil so spices do not burn. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Drain carrots of water and add stock to the pot. Add onion and spice mixture and coconut milk.
  5. Blend with hand held blender until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Let simmer for about an hour

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This soup was even better he next day, as most soups are. It was hearty, spicy, satisfying, and healthy too!

I can’t wait to experiment more with my growing spice collection, and share it with y’all!

Oh, and if you’re ever in the Market, make sure to check out Carlo’s.

Fun Facts:

Carrots: protect against Cardiovascular Disease, are high in antioxidants and Vitamin A, and are extremely low in calories.

Coconut milk: although high in fat, it is “good” fat, which makes you feel fuller, longer. It is also packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is an anti-viral, coconut milk contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which is quite valuable to the human body. When it enters the body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which is a compound that has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Onions: the phytochemicals in onions improve the working of Vitamin C in the body, thus gifting you with improved immunity. They also contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar.

What are your favourite new spices to cook with?

 

Carrots Two Ways: Latkes with Apple-Yogurt and Caramelized Onions, and Low-fat Carrot Mini- Muffins

3 Jan

Food 437

I better have bionic night vision after this!

These carrot latkes were tasty, and easy to make thanks to my new food processor! I made muffins out of the extra shredded carrots, good for a quick breakfast and lovely with salty butter. That being said,much to my chagrin, there are still carrots left over (see previous post!)

But firstly, today is special for me, as Food, Mostly turns 1!

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2012 was to start a food blog. What started out as some casual poking around on WordPress quickly became a blog in one evening. As a once complete blogging novice, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made thus far. But  more importantly, I’m proud of  creating something that was missing for me, a creative outlet.

This year I have made 38 posts, and had 2,113 views from 28 countries. I have traveled to Holland, France, Italy, Germany, Vancouver and New York.  It has been an amazing and eventful year, and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with y’all.

Food 439

Carrot Latkes with Apple-Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

These are tasty, if a little time consuming. In the future, I would add one shredded potato to the mix, for an added softness. But if you are looking for a healthier, lower carb version of latkes, these are a good option!

  • 3.5 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 small onions, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
  1. In large bowl, combine flour, eggs, carrots, salt and onions. Mix well.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high heat.
  3. Once hot, scoop large tablespoons of mixture into the pan. Fry about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, pressing lightly to flatten with the back of a spatula.
  4. Keep warm in oven on a baking pan lined with paper towels.
  5. Top with yogurt mixed with applesauce (1/3 a cup each) and caramelized onions. Serve immediately!

These latkes are great for a leisurely brunch. I served them with eggs and fresh basil, salad with (surprise!) more shredded carrots and avocado, and a mini carrot muffin.

Food 443

Low-Fat Mini Carrot Muffins 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( or whole wheat) 
  • 2/3 cup of coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cups of applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
  2. Separately, beat remaining wet ingredient.
  3. Combine all, mix well.
  4. Grease a muffin pan (I used coconut oil) and bake muffins at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Makes about 10 muffins. For added decadence, turn these muffins into cupcakes by adding cream cheese frosting (recipe here).

For 2013 I aim to post with more regularity and hopefully gain more followers and friends! (Other resolutions, aside from the obligatory fitness goals  include: read more, wear leggings less, and drink more water, less booze)

There will of course be many new recipes, and hopefully some more travel and design inspiration thrown in as well.  So, sincerely, thank you for following me so far!

As always, I love comments and feedback, its the fun part of  blogging!

So don’t be shy!

What are your resolutions for the new year?

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Hearty and Spicy Potato Leek Soup

2 Jan

Food 400

Christmas and New Years was a whirlwind. From December 23rd to the 2nd of January, my feet barely stepped foot in my own apartment, let alone the kitchen. Today was specifically planned to be a day with no plans. Sleep in, watch some episodes of Misfits (check it out), head to my favourite neighbourhood lunch spot (Zocalo at Bloor and Dundas West) and stock up on some groceries. Scheduling, obligations and rules of any kind were strictly forbidden today. We even skipped yoga.

Pure heaven.

Scott’s parents own a catering business and as a result, we inherited lots of leftover perishables, including  a 10 lb bag of potatoes (!) a 10 lb bag of onions (!!)  and another 10+ lb bag of carrots (!!!). So tonight we made big batches of caramelized onions, carrot ginger soup and potato leek soup.

Food 427

Food 392

The potato leek soup was the stand out winner here (unless eating fork-fulls of pure caramelized onions counts, but it doesn’t). It was the first time I’ve ever made it, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turned out to be really fast, with great depth of flavour. This recipe is pretty healthy, being free of cream, and yet is still nice and creamy (and also happens to be vegan and gluten free).  So hearty and satisfying!

Spicy Potato Leek Soup

  • 1 large leek, rinsed and finely chopped (white and tender pale green parts only)
  • 8-10 medium sized potatoes (lost count, sorry)
  • 1 medium sized white onion, sliced finely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Water (about 6 cups, or just enough to cover the potatoes in a large pot)
  • 1 cube vegetarian bouillon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pressed olive oil
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Wash and chop potatoes into medium sized cubes and add to large pot. Fill pot with water just to cover and bring to a boil
  2. Add bay leaves, veggie stock and salt to water. Boil until potatoes are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, in frying pan,  sauté leeks with garlic, onion and white wine until browned, soft and fragrant.
  4. When potatoes are cooked, add leeks, garlic and onion to pot with potatoes.
  5. Remove the bay leaves, and puree mixture until creamy and well incorporated.
  6. Add almond milk (can also use regular dairy)  until desired consistency is reached. Add olive oil and blend well.
  7. Add parsley, black pepper and hot pepper flakes.
  8. Heat gently (do not boil) for a few more minutes, until heated through.
  9. Garnish with caramelized onions, croutons, cheese, or all of the above!

I picked up a spice mixture of peperoncino, aglio (garlic) and Italian parsley (prezzemolo) in a Roman market during my recent foray to Italy, and threw it in at the last minute. I’m glad I did, as the hot peppers added a nice, subtle kick and the parsley some colour. It really enhanced the recipe!

Food 410

Tell me, what would you do with 10 lbs of potatoes?? (I’m asking because… there are still quite a few left over)

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