Tag Archives: healthy.

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

Vegan Scones with Chipotle, Green Onion and Thyme

7 Oct

I’m a bad blogger. Not that I’m bad at it (cough), just that I’m un-disciplined.

I didn’t do my favourite things list for August (Camping! Family reunions!) OR September (Las Vegas! Utah! Wedding!)

But I’m back.
It is fall.
A fresh start.

And have lots of new recipes to share.

I made these today. They turned out so delightfully that I ate three straight out of the oven and ruined my appetite for the rest of the day. Such a sucker for a savoury scone.

These scones substitute coconut oil and coconut milk for regular butter and dairy, so I like to think they’re a bit healthier than the average scone.

What’s great about them is you can really add any flavour combination you like, non vegan too (Jalapeneo Cheddar? Garlic Rosemary? Black pepper Lime?) They can also be sweetened up by adding more sugar and teaspoon of vanilla (Apple Cinnamon? Blueberry Basil? Lemon Ginger?)

Vegan Scones with Chipotle, Green Onion and Thyme
Recipe adapted from The Vegan Delicious

Makes about 15

– 1 1/4 non dairy, creamy milk (I used coconut)
– 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
– 3 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup sugar (add another 1/4 cup if making sweet scone)
– 1/2 cup non- hydrogenated vegetable oil (shortening) or coconut oil (cold)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
– 4 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
– 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 375

2) In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

3) In a separate bowl combine coconut milk with apple cider vinegar and let rest 5-10 minutes. This creates a “buttermilk” like curdle.

4) Add the coconut oil to the dry mixture. It is important that the oil is fairly hard. I refrigerated it for about 10 minutes prior. Mix with wooden spoon. Finish mixing by hand, crumbling the oil into the flour (without melting it!). It should turn the flour into a “pebble-y” texture.

5) Stir in the milk and olive oil with the wooden spoon. Do not over mix.

6) Line baking tray with parchment paper and scoop batter onto pan with large spoon. These puff up quite a bit, so make sure they have lots of space!

7) Bake for 15-20 minutes until they become golden and crispy on the outside. Cool on baking wrack.

So tasty! I was at times skeptical, but they came out extremely light and fluffy. Let me know if you try these out!

Very simple.

xo M

Hello, Crispy “Fried Chicken”! p.s. It’s Baked.

29 May

ImageWhat do you do when you have a hankering for something greasy and sinful but can’t lower bring yourself to pop out for a Double Down?

Why, you create a mock up of course. In this case, involving cornflakes. 

I remembered that I had hungrily Pin-interested something of the sort late one night, so I dug around and found some recipes. The following is a conflation of a few that I discovered as well as the recipe on the back of the Kelloggs box.

You’re welcome. 

The end result was satisfying, to say the least, and pretty fun to make too. 

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Healthy Crispy Baked “Fried Chicken” 

  • 8-10 chicken drumsticks or thighs  
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic- crushed 
  • salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each)
  • liquid smoke
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups (or more) crumbled cornflakes 
  1. Combine yogurt, salt and pepper, paprika, garlic, mustard and a few drops of liquid smoke in a medium sized bowl or ziplock bag. Combine chicken and coat. Let marinate for at least one hour, or as long as possible. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350. 
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, egg, milk and more salt, pepper and dash of paprika until smooth, to create a batter. 
  4. In separate shallow bowl or pan, crush cornflakes. 
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and dip into batter and then again into crushed cornflakes. Place evenly on a foiled and greased cooking pan. 
  6. Drizzle coated chicken with melted coconut oil. 
  7. Bake at 350 for one hour until tender, and chicken is no longer pink inside and juices run clear. 
  8. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot. 

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I served the chicken up on baby spinach with a warm, limey blackened corn salad and roasted pickled beets (don’t ask what’s in the corn salad- I I made it in a rush and I honestly don’t recall- but I know that it includes bulgar wheat, fried onions and red pepper, cumin, parsley, cayenne, honey and lime). The pickled beet salad is from the Polish deli next door ( which I’m obsessed with, and often clean them out of their stock!)  

I thought this meal came together bee-autifully. 

Try it out, guilt free. 

M x

 

 

Reminiscing: My version of Thai Pad See Ew

11 Apr

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I was craving Beef Bourguingnon, a cozy dish I’ve been intending to make since there was snow on the ground  (not that long ago, to be fair). I bought the beef, the mushrooms, the fresh rosemary, thyme, pearl onions, bacon and egg noodles. I cracked open my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and GASPED. To my horror, I discovered the dish takes upwards of four hours to complete masterfully. I just didn’t have that kind of time.

The thin, flat egg noodles stood on the counter, forlorn, calling my name. I wanted them.

Attempting a Plan B, I was reminded me of my favourite dish when I was in Thailand, Pad See Ew, which is a lot like pad thai but with thicker, flatter noodles and a saltier sauce. That dish is traditionally made with rice noodles, but the shape and texture is similar.

Bingo.

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I was inspired by this recipe by Rachel Cooks Thai, but I added to it.

Pad See Ew

  • 1/2 package of fresh wide, flat rice noodles (sen yai), (or egg noodles)
  • 2 chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, shredded or minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, shredded finely
  • 3/4 of a red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, sliced thinly
  • 6 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Peanuts, roughly chopped for garnish
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • Sqeeze fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
  1. Prepare your sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey and vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Chop peppers and mushrooms. Saute in hot wok with coconut oil until tender.
  3. Blanch noodles in boiling water until almost cooked.
  4. Over high heat, add garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant and almost browned. Add chicken and cook through.
  5. Push the chicken and veggies to the side of the wok and add the egg to a clear space. Scramble.
  6. Push the egg to the side and add the noodles and the sauce. Mix it all together and cook over high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated (about 5 minutes)
  7. Add the broccoli and spring onions and cook through.
  8. Serve immediately with garnishes!

This was so good, fast and fresh. It took about 25 minutes start to finish. I would recommend prepping as much as possible before heating up the wok- slice, dice and chop everything ahead of time for speedier results. A vegetarian version would be simple- swap out chicken for tofu.

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I’ve been such a bad blogger lately- I’m finishing school and starting a new job at the same time, and have sadly not had much time to cook. But I just wrote and submitted my last-ever essay this morning. My blog was the first thing I turned to! A good sign for things to come? ( Hope so)

M

P.s. memories of picnic spots past…sigh

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Harissa Spiced Tofu Bowl with Cured Lemon Cous-Cous and Herbed Yogurt

9 Mar

YUM. A colourful and spicy triumph. This whole dish was inspired by an experiment with preserved lemons (which I made ages ago) yet mysteriously had not been enlisted to bolster any recipes. They are my new favourite ingredient. I love Middle Eastern flavours.  It may be my favourite kind of food (after Indian, obvs), and something I’d like to experiment with much, much more.

All of the elements of this dish worked together beautifully. The tofu was spicy and chewy, the couscous fluffy and savory, the avocado rich, and the tangy herbed yogurt tied it all together seamlessly.

20140309-235243.jpgThis was also my first time making Harissa paste. It is a Tunesian hot pepper paste that is usually made with fresh hot red peppers. I didn’t have any of these on hand, so I substituted them for dried chili powder and smokey paprika. It was pretty easy and packed a huge punch of flavour. I can’t wait to try it out again (with fish, with chicken, with chickpeas, and and and…)

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Harissa Paste: 

  • 1/2 half teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (crushed or shredded)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Mix.

I then coated the tofu cubes with the spice paste and let it sit for 1 hour (the longer the better). On an oiled baking sheet I baked the tofu with lemon slices at 350 for about 45 minutes. (I really like baked lemons, bothvisually and for a cleansing, sour finish to the meal!)

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Meanwhile, I prepared the cous cous and yogurt.

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Moroccan Spiced CousCous

  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • red pepper, sliced
  • 2 small dates, chopped (or substitute raisins or dried apricots)
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon cured lemon rind (chopped finely)
  1. In a small pot, bring 3.5 cups of salted water to a boil (optional: use vegetable or chicken stock). Once boiling point is reached, add two cups of couscous and remove from heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil and cover tightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in small frying pan, fry onions until soft (about 6 minutes). Add spices (minus the parsley) and fry over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes) mixing well. Add some coconut oil if the pan gets too dry. This should form a nice paste.
  3. Once couscous is ready (about 5 minutes) remove lid and fluff gently with a fork. Add to frying pan and mix wit onion and spice mixture. Add raw tomatoes, peppers, lemon juice, lemon rind, dates and parsley, taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Mix well.

This made for awesome leftovers.

“What is cured lemon rind?” I hear you wondering. It’s basically lemons pickled in their own juice with lots of salt and a few spices. You only use the rind for flavour, and a little bit goes a really long way to brighten up any dish.  I was inspired by Chuck Hughes’ Food Network show Chuck’s Day Off, which I love. He put it on fish, and made it look so sexy (the fish I mean).

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You should try it out!

Cured Lemons:

  • 4 lemons
  • 1.5 cups course sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 kefir lime leaves

Read more 

Cured things make me happy. Listen to this song while making these for a double whammy.

Now onto the easiest/yummiest concoction…

Herbed Yogurt

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or one clove fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilntro
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch brown sugar, to taste

If you do nothing else, make sure you include this yogurt. It made the meal, in my opinion!

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To serve, pile all elements haphazardly into one bowl. I served with a dollop of garlic hummus, avocado, sesame flat breads and fresh cilantro.

Dayyyum.

And that’s how we do March.

M

Italian Turkey Meatballs with Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Brussel Sprouts

19 Feb

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My search for the perfect meatball recipe has come to an end. After an arduous journey (not really)  I can safely say that this is the one. And turkey at that. Colour me surprised.

Very juicy, very flavourful, lovely texture and extremely light. Perfection.

I served these babies on a bed of brown rice with a homemade tomato sauce and balsamic roasted brussel sprouts and cherry tomatoes. Over all a pretty healthy meal, and couldn’t be easier.

Italian Turkey Meatballs
(30 minutes) (makes approx 16 meatballs)

  • 1 package lean ground turkey (approx 1 lb)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup panko (or traditional breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried chillies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Splash balsamic vinegar (approx 2 teaspoons)

1) preheat oven to 400. In large bowl, assemble all ingredients and mix well.
2) Form into small round meatballs (makes about 16) and place on baking rack
3) Bake 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle.

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I roasted the tomatoes and brussle sprouts simultaneously, although they needed about 25-30 minutes at 400. I covered generously with olive oil and some sea salt. Half way through roasting I drizzled on some balsamic and sprinkled with a bit of brown sugar and returned to the oven. I broiled them for the last 5 minutes to give the sprouts a bit more colour.

They turned out to be a perfect addition to the dish. The textures worked well with the meatballs, as the sprouts were basically melt-in-your-mouth soft.

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I made a simple tomato sauce by sautéing 3 cloves of garlic in olive oil along with 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds and diced red pepper. Once soft, I added crushed tomatoes and seasoned with salt, pepper, brown sugar and some dried chillies and a splash of balsamic. I made the sauce first, and added a 1/4 cup to the meatball mixture before baking.

I layered the sauce over the rice and topped with the meatballs, which I covered with more sauce and the roasted vegetable. I topped it all off with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

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I was thrilled with this recipe. I hope you try it out. Let me know if you do!

M

West African Peanut Stew

14 Feb

Old Man Winter, you bastard.

Cold ears. Dry skin. Static-y hair. Runny noses. Short days. Long sleeves. Slush.

I’m having a mild bout of winter blahs. I’ve been busy watching the Olympics and not motivated to do much extra, such as cooking interesting things and writing about it. I’m afraid the ole’ blog has suffered!

I’m sorry.  I’ll be better.

I hope this post makes up for it, because it is the perfect antidote for a cold winter night.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chili, I really really do. Everyone should have a killer recipe (like this one!) in their repertoire (arsenal? I can’t decide). But let’s face it, sometimes its boring. Like stir fry. I could make it blindfolded.

May I suggest something to shake things up? How about this spicy and hearty peanut stew? Try it out! It was seriously satisfying.

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West African a Peanut Stew
(Serves 4-5. Time: 1 hour. Adapted from Saveur) 

  • 6-8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilis
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Fresh lemon

Directions
1) Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large pot and brown chicken drumsticks over medium high heat until browned on all sides (approx 10 minutes). Set aside.
2) Meanwhile, prep onions, garlic, ginger and 1 chilli and add to hot pot once chicken is removed. Sautée with a more oil until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
3) Add spices (turmeric, cinnamon, pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves) and fry for about one minute.
4) Add tomato paste and cook until slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter. Stir until melted and incorporated.
5) Return chicken to pot along with stock (or water) and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
6) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 25 minutes.
7) Add sweet potato and cook until tender, about another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
8) Season with salt and add roasted peanuts and second chopped fresh chilli. Finish with squeeze of fresh lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Yum. This stew is really filling, and made great leftovers. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender, but I’m sure it would still be great vegan-ized with tofu. I liked the crunch of the peanuts.

I served it over couscous (aka the lazy-man’s rice) with salad. The next day we had it with sautéed balsamic mushrooms, salad and flatbreads.

Note: my peppers were not extremely spicy, so I did not de-seed them. Proceed with caution if you think yours may be hotter. Also, if you think the stew is too thick, add one more cup of liquid.

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What are your favourite winter recipes? How do you stay sane at this time of year? Let me know below!

Thanks for reading.

M

An Indian Feast and a Recipe for Chicken Vindaloo

21 Nov

On Sunday I cooked an Indian dinner for seven, as a long overdue “thank you” to our friends that helped us move way back in April. (Long. Overdue).

This may have been the most elaborate meal I’ve made to date.

I tried to find authentic recipes. I made palak paneer, eggplant bhartha, butter chicken (my mum’s recipe!),chicken vindaloo, sweet potato chutney, salad, rice, and a tangy lemon cardamom tart for dessert (to be featured in a future post). My favourite (as in, the only one I wouldn’t tweak at all) is the one I want to share with you today.

The chicken vindaloo was the winner! (Sorry mum, I didn’t use the heavy cream in the butter chicken after all. Sometimes mothers really do know best)

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This is what 10 hours in the kitchen looks like!

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But make no mistake, cooking for lovely people is one of my favourite ways to pass the time, and the day flew by.

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Chicken Vindaloo

Spicy, tangy, delicious.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 onions)
  • 2 tbls fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tabls paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used rice)
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbl tamarind paste
  • 1 tbl tomato paste

For Chicken Marinade: 

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbl fresh ginger
  • 1 tbl garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 healthy glugs olive oil
  1. In bowl or ziplock bag, marinate chopped chicken in yogurt mixture for at least an hour (3-4 is probably perfect, I did 5)
  2. Once ready to begin cooking, preheat oven to 400
  3. In hot pan fry onions until browned. Then add garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  4. Meanwhile, assemble spice mixture in small bowl.
  5. Once oven is hot, cook chicken in the marinade for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  6. Add spices to onion mixture and cook a few minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  7. Add tamarind and tomato paste, as well as water.
  8. Using hand held blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth.
  9. Add vinegar and honey.
  10. Once chicken is cooked, transfer (along with cooked marinade) into the sauce
  11. Cook uncovered over a low simmer until sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and cilantro. Serve over basmati rice with naan.

This dinner was a huge success. I was so worried about not making enough food, but turns out I was way off. Today is Thursday and there is still a ton of leftovers in the fridge! (Although the vindaloo was the first to be polished off and half the lemon curd ended up spilled on the floor. Oops!)

I will definitely try out the butter chicken again and refine the other recipes as well.

Indian is my favourite cuisine. It is really fun to make, and especially EAT.

I’m hungry.

What’s your favourite Indian dish? 

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?

 

Thanksgiving Guyanese Essequibo Chicken

17 Oct

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I got this recipe from this hilarious cookbook called Don’t Stop the Cook!  that my mum brought me back from a vacation to Jamaica. It inexplicably has a rather earnest-looking (white)  pirate on the cover,  features many, many Caribbean recipes and contains zero photos.

It’s my new favourite cookbook. This recipe was amazing.

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I made this in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey because…I didn’t feel like turkey.  I was originally going to make Jerk spiced ribs, but I left it too late and all the butcher shops were closed.

Plan B!  I still wanted to use this book, so I decided to try out the Essequibo. It was amazing! The flavours were super rich and full bodied. The sauce reminded me of a French ratatouille, which might make sense considering that France at one point colonized Guyana.20131017-191623.jpg

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He liked it!

Guyanese Essequibo Chicken (serves 4)

  • 8 chicken thighs (or drumsticks would work well too)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 1 onion (red or yellow) chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. In a large pan (I had to use two medium sized ones) heat oil over medium heat. When hot, sprinkle sugar over oil and let bubble (do not burn)
  2. Add chicken to sugar/oil and fry until browned evenly. Add red or yellow onion and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add celery salt, garlic salt and green onions, thyme, red pepper, tomato and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes or so,
  4. Add tomato paste and water. Simmer on low heat for one hour, skimming the fat off the top of the sauce with a teaspoon.
  5. Combine cornstarch with about two tablespoons of water and quickly stir into sauce mixture to thicken.
  6. Mix well and season with pepper and more fresh thyme.

Serve on top of rice and beans with salad!

Fun (?) fact: “Essequibo (Dutch: Essequebo) was a Dutch colony on the Essequibo River in the Guiana region on the north coast of South America from 1616 to 1814. The colony formed a part of the colonies that are known under the collective name of Dutch Guiana”

Immy May

UK Lifestyle Blog

The Illusive Femme

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