Tag Archives: fresh

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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Sweet Potato Kofta with Cashew Coconut Curry

17 Apr

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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)

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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!

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Excitement!

Something Light

18 Jan

There’s really little explanation required here…only a salad after all. To me, however, a great salad is a beautiful thing.

Sundays' yogurt and dill dressing, spinach, shaved cucumber, carrots, red pepper, feta and black pepper

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A Rare Sweet-Something

4 Jan

Avocado and Chocolate Pudding

I’m not huge into baking or sweet things, nor do I make desserts very often, however, this was one of my recent favourites! I kind of made it up with the inspiration of something I saw online. The original intent was to top it with whipped cream and more berries, but they looked so nice at this stage that I decided to quit while I was ahead (truthfully it tasted better with the additional cream, so next time I will work it into the final “design”, instead of serving it on the side). Luckily, my best friend who lives in Holland brought back some of those awesome caramel-wafer-waffle cookies which were amazing dipped into the fresh whipped cream.

If I knew last night I’d be starting this blog the very next day, I would have at least taken some better photos!

Due to popular demand (or at least said  best friend):

( makes 6 servings)

  • 4 small avocados
  • 2 bananas
  • 3/4 cup raw cocoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • some whipping cream
  • some sour cream (more sour cream than whipping cream- did not measure, sorry! Just enough to achieve a nice consistency in the food processor)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 small cap-fulls of vanilla extract (the real stuff)
Garnish with fresh berries and pear.
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