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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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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?

 

Black Bean, Walnut and Mushroom Burgers

12 Feb

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Today marks the beginning of my cleanse. It’s a bit intimidating. No gluten, dairy, sugar, vinegar, coffee or alcohol for awhile. A month, at least. So, last night, for our “last supper”, I made these gluten free black bean burgers. And I covered them in lots of tangy mayo and homemade sweet relish. Devine.

Black Bean, Walnut and Mushroom Burgers

(Makes 6)

1.5 cans on black beans, rinsed and well drained
Approx 10 white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup walnut pieces
1 onion
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 egg
3 cloves garlic
Fresh parsley
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
1.5 teaspoons red chilli flakes (I enjoy spicy)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Dice onions and slice mushrooms, and sauté over med-high heat until onions are soft and mushrooms have reduced. Turn to medium heat and add chopped garlic, salt and pepper, cumin, curry powder and chilli. Fry for another few minutes, until fragrant. Preheat oven to 400.
2. In food processor, add beans, walnuts, corn meal, olive oil, egg, mushroom and onion mixture, fresh parsley and a pinch more salt. Pulse until just mixed (do not over mix).
3. Once combined, form into patties and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 400.
4. Carefully remove with spatula, and serve with whatever toppings you like. I chose avocado, mayo, tomato, relish and fresh basil.

Things might get a bit “inventive” around here for the next little while, but hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the ultra healthy recipes and stick with me!

Because of this new food challenge, I’ve joined Our Growing Edge,Our Growing Edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things”.

Trying new things, growing as a person, why not?

You can find more info about it here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

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.

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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.

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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?

What are your favourite brunch foods?

Do you like carrots as much as I do?

Hearty and Spicy Potato Leek Soup

2 Jan

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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.

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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!

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

Baked Balsamic n’ Honey Glazed Tempeh- Prepare to be Converted

18 Dec

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There have been three lonely packs of tempeh sitting in the fridge forever. Three. That’s a lot.  Like an old hand-me-down hanging in the closet, time and time again I just never seemed to reach for it.

I realize that I have sung the praises of tempeh and its health benefits in the past (as in this post and this post) but lately it has just seemed…uninspired.

So, determined not to toss it (as that would be very wasteful), I searched the miraclenet and in 10 seconds found this recipe from Making Love in the Kitchen, one of my favourite Toronto healthy eating sites/blog (Check it out, guys).

As usual, it did not disappoint!

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First of all, let me just share some major reasons to love tempeh: 

  1. It is a probiotic food- like yogurt, meaning that it helps your body produce healthy bacteria. It also has antibiotic properties.
  2. Tempeh is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.
  3. AND very importantly, unlike tofu, tempeh maintains all of the fiber of the bean, and gains some digestion benefits from the enzymes produced during the fermentation process used to make it.

Still not convinced? Then I suggest you try this recipe.

Baked Balsamic and Honey Glazed Tempeh 

(recipe is for two 250 gram packages)

  • 2 packages of tempeh cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or dried)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 bay leaves

Marinade: 

  1. Add vinegar, garlic, honey, thyme, tamari, oil and bay leaves to large bowl and add tempeh cubes to marinate in the fridge and mix (2-24 hours, mixing occasionally)

Cooking

  1. Preheat oven to 350, place tempeh and marinade in a glass dish and cook covered for 20 minutes
  2. Remove from oven, stir, and recover. Cook another 20 minutes. Your house should smell amazing by now, and your mouth should be watering.
  3. Remove cubes from sauce and transfer to bowl.
  4. Over medium high heat, cook sauce until bubbling. Add cornstarch to thicken (tip: stir cornstarch with small amount of water in separate bowl first to make a loose paste before adding to sauce. This eliminates clumps).
  5. Cook for about five minutes, until syrupy. I added fresh black pepper for some more bite. Pour over tempeh and mix.
  6. Garnish with scallions and fresh basil. Serve over rice or quinoa. Eat!

Best tempeh recipe I’ve tried yet! This is a very simple way to incorporate it into your diet. Also great for those who are vegan and/or gluten free.

ps. If you are making this on the fly and don’t have time to marinate it first, its no biggie, but recommended. Proof: this dish was even better the next day.

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And hey, I have 99 likes on Facebook- such a tease. Anyone care to make it an even 100? It would make my day!

Carrot Soup with Black Garlic and Feta

9 Nov

I have a million photos of food from Italy. It was such an amazing, inspiring trip. If you are at all interested in food and wine, head to the Terra Madre conference in 2014. Book it now. Just go.

Carpaccio, pizza, fried artichokes, fresh green olive oil, gnocchi, spicy  goat stew and cheese cheese cheese!

I will tide you over with an appetizer, I mean a  primi, until I get these essays done am able to try out and share some true Italian  recipes.

Until then, why not start off with a delicious soup?

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This soup was easy to make, and perfect for a cold fall day. I finally tested out that black garlic I picked up on Granville Island in Vancouver, which was exciting indeed!

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Black Garlic is essentially fermented, caramelized garlic. It looks just like regular garlic, but the cloves are jet black, sweet and sticky. The flavour is phenomenal.

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I topped the soup with a drizzle of black truffle oil, a generous amount of feta cheese and arugula.

Perfetto!

Carrot Soup with Black Garlic and Feta

  • 10 fresh carrots (approx)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 5 cloves black garlic (or half a head)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • truffle oil (to taste. Go slow. It is strong)
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  1. Wash and chop carrots ( I didn’t bother peeling them…nutrients are in the skin, non?) and boil them in salted water until soft
  2. Meanwhile, fry onion in butter and white wine until brown. Add the wine over time, in quarters, so that the onions brown well. Reduce heat, add turmeric an mix well with the onions.
  3. Drain the carrots, and return to large pot. Add the onions, garlic and stock. Blend well with hand blender until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 30 minutes (or more)
  5. Once served, add 1/2 cup of feta cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil.

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If you don’t have black garlic, not to worry. The regular stuff will work just as well, but maybe use only three cloves instead of five, unless you find vampires absolutely terrifying.

Creamy Coconut Curry with Tempeh and Lentils

16 Oct

As soon as I came home tonight, I knew it would be one of those dinners. You know. The whipped together ones. The ones you can’t believe actually turned out to be tasty, based on the sheer lack of provisions at hand.

That and the fact that for days I’ve been eating rice for breakfast, because we don’t even have eggs, bread or cereal.

Upon raiding the pantry, I did discover some lentils and coconut milk (and spices, naturally).

This curry was awesome! Sometimes I enjoy the challenge of being my own imaginary iron chef.

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This was very healthy too, served on quinoa with a side of salted cucumber. Remember this post touting the benefits of tempeh? It is like tofu’s cool older brother. And miraculously my cilantro was still fresh because of this method!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil (I’m even out of coconut!)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 medium green chili (I used 1 fresh jalapeno) , seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can lentils
  • 2/3rd of a package basil tempeh
  • fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  1. Fry up onions in oil until browned, and then add garlic and ginger.
  2. Add spices and toast over medium heat- cumin, fenugreek, turmeric , garam masala, salt, pepper, cayenne until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add tomato paste, chopped chili and brown sugar, cook another few minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk. Puree mixture with hand held blender until smooth.
  5. Add lentils, kaffir leaf  and tempeh ( I use Henry’s Gourmet Organic Tempeh with Basil)
  6. Let simmer for 20 minutes (or longer) to allow flavours to blend. Finish with fresh cilantro and lime juice.

Obviously, if I had more veggies, I would have added them. And perhaps some cashews. However, this sauce makes a great versatile base for whatever ingredients you happen to have in the fridge.

On a separate note, this post is a bit of a milestone for me, its my 30th! (Post, that is!) Hurrah!

When things get busy , it can be sometimes difficult to cook, take photos and post. And sometimes, even with the best intentions,  I’ve made some flops, like this one: Image

Looked lovely, but sadly this salmon masala’s fish flavour was too overpowering for the delicate sauce. Sometimes recipes need a few tries to get right. But I aim to post more often in the future!

My New Year’s resolution in Jaunary, 2012 was to start a food blog. I knew I loved to cook, but nothing about blogging. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve really enjoyed the process.

So, sincerely, from me to you, thanks for following Food, Mostly!

A Graceful End to Summer, Spicy Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Bacon

17 Sep

The Queen West Art Crawl happened today, where local artists showcase their wares in Trinity Bellwoods park. It could not have been more perfect September afternoon in Toronto, sunny, clear, and 24°.

We chose to not only participate in an art crawl, but a self possessed food crawl as well. Because it is corn season, a buttery cob could not be passed up (and yes, the above vat of boiling goodness  is pure butter, or so they said)

Lemon pepper, salt, cayenne. Too many choices.

Food trucks are finally taking off in Toronto, but mostly only at sanctioned events. Despite being an amazing city for food, T.O severely lacks in any sort of  street eats other than burgers and hot dogs. New York puts us to shame (naturally), but I’ve recently discovered Vancouver does too (gasp!)

The blue truck is a cupcake truck. Not really my thing, but cute nonetheless!

We decided to try some tacos at Gourmet Bitches (or temruoG sehctiB, as the lettering on the truck states). It is a taco truck run by hot bitches in Van Halen tee-shirts. I dig the aesthetic.

Totally intrigued, we ordered the Bitchen’ Beef, described as Hibiscus vanilla bean beef (?!) with fresh tomato salsa and green onions.

$10 was a little steep, these were pretty tiny. The vanilla bean was present but subtle, and they had a nice heat. The hibiscus however, was lost on me.

Yum.

We then walked West along Queen, heading up to the Polish Street Festival on Roncesvalles. Why not, right??  We  ate meatballs with fried peppers and onions and salmon cakes with tartar sauce. Both were delicious, but the salmon from De La Mer Fresh Fish Market was outstanding.

(P.s. the distance from the Art Crawl to the Polish Festival was significant enough to warrant multiple snacks)

There was also fresh corn roasting going on there, which inspired me for dinner- Can you say, Chow-dah??

‘ I picked up five fresh ears on the way home.

Spicy Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Freakin’ Delicious.

Recipe inspired by Bev Cooks

  • Bacon, 3 slices, cooked crispy and chopped
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled
  • 3 cobs of fresh sweet corn
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp (ish) cayenne
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • course salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
  1.  In large pot, boil corn on cob in salted water for approx 10 minutes and set aside
  2. In small pan, fry bacon. While bacon is frying, prep veggies, garlic and shrimp
  3. Remove bacon once crispy and set aside.  Fry shrimp in pan with bacon fat for about 4 minutes. Toss and cook another minute until shrimp are opaque (do not over cook), and set aside.
  4. Saute onions, red pepper and celery in same pan (if desired) until onions are well cooked. Add garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and cayenne and turn heat to medium low. Add small amount of water to pan if it starts to get too dry.
  5. Cut cooked corn from the cob to produce kernels, and saute with veggies and spices.
  6. In medium pot, bring chicken stock to a simmer.
  7. Add 1/3 of veggie and corn mixture from pan to the pot with stock and add sour cream. With hand held blender, emulsify until smooth (does not have to be perfect)
  8. Add shrimp, 2/3 of the bacon, and remainder of the corn and veggies. Add basil.
  9. Serve in bowls and garnish with dollop of sour cream, black pepper, more basil and bacon.

The bacon with paprika added smoky saltiness to the sweetness of the corn and shrimp, and the basil added freshness and depth.

Great flavours, pretty, and also, very filling.This eats like a meal!

A new favourite to be sure.

Back to the Kitchen-Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

8 Jul

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Cooking for one isn’t all that fun, hence the drop off in recipes that you may have noticed lately (sorry). It can be a lot of effort and mess when cereal or a smoothie would probably suffice, amiright? While Scott has been in Asia, I’ve been feeling less than inspired cooking wise, especially since I’m usually working during dinnertime hours. But today, a gorgeous and sunny Sunday that included a run in High Park followed by a terrific Ashtanga class left me feeling simultaneously famished and inspired.

I had a bag full of quickly ripening avocados on my hands, and wanted to try something other than a guilt-inducing solo guacamole binge. Besides, it is no secret that I love avocados. To me, avocados are one of nature’s greatest triumphs. So delicate, rich and subtle. Sometimes I find them just plain beautiful. Don’t these ones look perfect? And besides besides, my blog needed some love. Cooking for one? Pha! Cooking for all. (Sorry about that). 

The recipe was inspired by this one, from one of my new favourite food blogs A Cozy Kitchen, and also Pinterest, in which people are seemingly fascinated by all-things-avocado (as well as lots and lots of ways to use mason jars).  I added fresh broccoli into the mix, as well as some edamame for protein, and skipped the cheese in favour of nutritional yeast.So yes, this dish is perfect for vegans! I also used spiral Kamut pasta instead of linguine.

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Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

  • 1 and a half medium, ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of almonds
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pasta of choice (about two cups)
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup edamame (shelled)
  • some broccoli

1.Boil pasta in well salted water until al dente. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking add broccoli and edameme into the boiling water with pasta.

2. Meanwhile, blend the basil, thyme, almonds, garlic, nutritional yeast and some olive oil into a paste (as smooth as possible).

3. Add the avocados and mustard to the pesto and blend well, adding a bit more olive oil. If too thick, add some water. Blend until smooth.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon juice and stir well.

5. Drain pasta with veggies, and incorporate the sauce. Mix well. Sprinkle with more nutritional yeast, pepper and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!

This was incredibly fast and easy. If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, or are just plain skeptical, I encourage you to use Parmesan instead (actually, I encourage you to try it first before you knock it! But Parm would also be delicious) . Next time, if I wasn’t in a rush ( to relax in front of the T.V) I would roast the garlic first for added depth.

Added bonus: on a hot day this does not require standing guard over a hot stove (with the exception of the pasta-boiling part), but keep in mind that avocado turns brown after awhile, so this is best served immediately if you are concerned about things like presentation.

All in all, a great summery solo meal!

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