Tag Archives: coconut

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

toronto

Perhaps nowhere more so than Kensington Market

20131027-215632.jpg

20131027-220308.jpg

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.

20131027-215737.jpg

20131027-215815.jpg

This place is my Mecca.

20131027-215829.jpg

20131027-215840.jpg

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.

20131027-215907.jpg

20131027-215853.jpg

20131027-215713.jpg

For vintage shopping

20131027-215700.jpg

People watching

20131027-215921.jpg

And the obscure,

20131027-215934.jpg

20131027-215946.jpg

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

20131027-215622.jpg

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?

 

Cha cha cha Chia! Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding with Sea Salt

27 Feb

20130227-113307.jpg

When you’re not consuming any sugar (and I mean any- including fruit, honey and agave), things can get intense. I’m talking cravings. I generally don’t have a strong sweet-tooth, however at times I do intensely desire chocolate. How cliche!

This recipe was the result of such urges.

It is perhaps the most wholesome dessert in existence, or at least that I can think of right now…chia, peanut butter ( no additives) raw cocoa, stevia, vanilla, avocado, coconut milk, sea salt. Simple.

If you are unfamiliar with chia, it is known as a “superfood” (ugh. For lack of a better term) These versatile little suckers are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid (apparently 8x more than salmon!) and are a complete protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids. Chia seeds are additionally a very high source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, fibre and calcium. They conveniently lack any discernible flavour, so can easily be added to almost anything.

When soaked, chia seeds form a gelatine, making ground chia useful as a thickening agent. Or a cute green pet. Your choice.

Ingredients

Makes 4

1/2 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw cocoa
1 cup coconut milk (full fat is best)
1/2 small avocado (or 1 banana)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon stevia (or 1 tablespoon raw honey, melted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground sea salt to garnish

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness/saltiness/chocolatey-ness and adjust according to preferences.

Divide into four small bowls and chill for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

Garnish with fresh mint (pictured), shredded coconut, salted peanuts or sliced bananas and serve immediately.

I think if I was not on this cleanse, I would make the recipe with banana and honey over avocado and stevia. (I warned you that things were going to get creative around here!) These puddings are pretty filling and packed with protein.

Confession : I may have eaten this and only this for dinner one time. And then again for breakfast. Don’t judge.

Sweet Potato Kofta with Cashew Coconut Curry

17 Apr

Image

I’m so sorry for abandoning the blog. The last few weeks have been an time of intense non-procrastination. Are you proud of me? Which is really a positive space to inhabit and every university student should aspire to. Thus, I have stayed far away from the blog. Too far. Although not much cooking has occurred, some has. There were even a couple of great dishes and photos taken, including some lovely tuna cakes and hearty gallo pinto bean burgers inspired by our trip to Nicaragua last summer.  But, alas, these posts were not meant to be.  I put off writing them for so long that I no-word-of-a-lie forgot the recipes. SO in honour of my hellish statistics exam now completed I’ve made these delectable treats to make up for lost time!

This is my take on Indian kofta, usually a vegetarian dish made of potato, vegetables or cashews and paneer. I decided to use sweet potato because I like them. I decided to use feta because I didn’t have any paneer, and Scott and I both randomly brought feta home yesterday (must.use.feta). They are quite healthy and easy to make!

Sweet Potato Kofta 

  • 2 cups cooked sweet potato
  • 1/2 red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup flour ( I used rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  1. Mix cooked sweet potato (skin on) with flour, red pepper, cilantro, yogurt, garam masala, ginger, feta and salt in large bowl.
  2. Form into small round balls.
  3. Cook in coconut oil at medium high heat until crisp and browned on all sides (about 2 minutes each side)

Image

Cute, huh? These would be great on top of mixed greens, or served as appetizers with tamarind chutney. But really, they were fabulous topped with a rich curry.And, not to “toot my own horn” or anything, but this curry is the best I’ve ever made (and I’ve made lots). I couldn’t get enough! It was inspired by one of my favourite cookbooks, Everyday Indian, but I put my own spin on it with the cashew and coconut instead of the (lighter) yogurt version (also awesome, but less creamy).

Cashew Coconut Curry 

  • 2 large onions
  • 4 medium sized cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tsp spicy cayenne
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  1. Sautee onions in coconut oil until browned over medium-high heat, long enough to be almost caramelized (about 15-20 minutes. This is a key step for enhanced flavour!). Once browned, add garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Then add tomato paste and cumin and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Reduce heat and add Garam Masala, honey (or sugar), cayenne, tumeric and salt. Cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add yogurt, water and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, then blend well with hand held blender until smooth.
  4. Separately, puree cashews with remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk until smooth. Add to curry mixture.
  5. Simmer over low heat until ready to serve!

I served the kofta and curry over these corn crepes (almost like a dosa) with a green salad dressed in sesame vinaigrette.

Two notables- the next time I make kofta, I’m going to add chopped cashews. The sweet potato was rather soft and it would be nice to add more crunch. The bell peppers added to that, but even more crunch with the creamy-ness of the curry would be spot on. Secondly, the plain yogurt added a nice dimension that cut the richness of the curry a touch. In my opinion, it was an essential ingredient to the success of the dish. If there is no yogurt available, I would add a squeeze of lemon at the end for brightness.

Whew. Yummy.

Hopefully there will not be such a stretch until my next post! I’m looking forward to summer holidays (!) starting next week (!!). Scott and I are headed to Europe next month, so Food, Mostly may soon be reporting from abroad!

Image

Excitement!

Immy May

UK Lifestyle Blog

The Illusive Femme

inside my colourful mind

Crafty little Coco

DIY, Gluten-free Recipes and Life on Oahu

the vegan delicious

Vegan Recipes + Real Food

Maryseeo

Food|Beauty|Health|Travel|Everyday Adventures

Curated Style

Toronto life in style and fashion

eatprayjade.wordpress.com/

eating and traveling in pursuit of la dolce vita

%d bloggers like this: