Tag Archives: spicy

Chilled Sesame Tahini Soba Bowl

15 Jul

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You guys. I am so very excited to share this recipe with you (!!).

I had a very ho-hum week in the kitchen. Some recipes I tried fell disappointingly flat.

Obviously, I want to share only my favourites. As a blogger, this can be a frustrating process when trying to come up with fresh content!

And then- Hallelujah!- I whipped up this dish and I knew I had to share. The flavour was out of this world.

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These cold soba noodles are basically a vehicle for this awesome sauce (NOT to be confused with “awesomesauce”- cringe) which called for tahini and a shocking amount of sesame oil.

I’ve always thought sesame oil was to be used rather sparingly, but here it totally works.

Colour me surprised!

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This can be consumed hot (loved it), cold (also loved it) as a side dish (yum) or as a meal (did that!)

Try it out and tell me what you think! ( Based on this recipe from foodnetwork.com)

Cold Sesame Tahini Soba Bowl

20 minutes, serves 4

– 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
-1 tablespoon molasses
-3 tablespoons sesame oil
-3 tablespoons tahini
-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-3 cloves garlic, minced
– pinch or two of hot red chilli flakes
-1/2 fresh red bell pepper, sliced thinly
-1/2 cup peanuts
-1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
-1/2 cup chopped spring onion
-fresh cilantro
-wedge of fresh lime
-1 package soba noodles

1) In a small saucepan, bring soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic to a boil. Turn heat to low and stir in molasses and return to simmer until reduced about 1/3.
2) Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add sesame oil, tahini and sprinkle of chilli flakes. Whisk to combine. Add salt if desired.
3) In large pot, bring water to boil and add noodles. Stir and watch until they soften (should take 3-5 minutes). Do not over cook!
4) Have ice bath ready. Drain noodles, plunge in ice bath and drain again. Rinse well with running water.
5) Combine noodles and sauce and rest of ingredients. Garnish and serve.

Feel free to add chicken or tofu to hearty it up. Although I found it rather filling on its own and the peanuts added good protein.

I want to make more. Right now.

M

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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

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

Caribbean Spiced Pork Ribs Revisited

7 Jan

Two years ago today I posted this recipe. It was one of my first ever posts! Unsurprisingly, it got very little attention.

So, I decided to revisit this little gem, because I remembered it being mag-nificent. Besides, it is cold as psshhht outside, so why not contrast the winter chill with a little spicy jerk heat and beachy daydreams?

The rub is fairly easy and extremely flavourful, chock full of fresh ginger and lime zest. It would also be awesome on chicken or maybe (?) even tofu! ( I’ll have to experiment with that one, stay tuned)

Fork poised.

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Brrr.

This recipe indulges my love of spices. We have just finally recently got our spice act together along with some new and overdue shelves.

Can I show off our cute little kitchen for a sec?!

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It makes me happy.

I served these ribs with lime roasted sweet potatoes and blackened corn and quinoa salad.

Caribbean Spiced Pork Ribs
Serves 4, approx 28 ribs (or eat for dinner and then again for breakfast)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons white (or black) pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cups of orange juice (can also substitute water here)

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1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Assemble rub (minus the OJ)  and mix well. Press the rub into the ribs on both sides, but more thickly on the top side. Add to roasting pan with 2 cups of orange juice.
3) Bake for 1.5 hours, covered in foil. Baste occasionally. Remove foil and cook an additional 20 minutes.
4) Remove and serve with choice of sides.

Yum. Dinner. And again with eggs for breakfast.

Decadent.

M

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Spaghettini in White Wine Cream Sauce with Sausage, Capers and Garlic Confit

18 Dec

I made this recipe while half in the bag. It culminated after a spirited afternoon of listening to music and chatting with my love in the company of lots of wine and year end best-of lists. Miraculously, this dish emerged as an elegant meal that only added to our evening. It was rich and packed with flavour, perfect for soothing the transition into early winter darkness that is, frankly, super depressing.

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If you’ve never made garlic confit before, you probably should. It is super easy and can be added to almost any dish to add some finishing oomph. It is essentially whole cloves of garlic slow cooked in olive oil until soft. It’s a lot like roasted garlic, but the bonus is the by product garlic-infused olive oil that can (and should) be saved for future sauces and dressings. I die.
I made a batch before hand (which inspired this pasta dish now that I think about it ((foggy)). The most annoying part is peeling the cloves, but luckily the garlic I had comprised of those dreamy, huge, easy to peel bulbs which made my life a lot less tedious. Just peel garlic (don’t smash!) and submerge in good quality olive oil, over low heat simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half until very soft. Reserve the garlic and olive oil and use in future dishes (i.e everything).
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Spaghettini in White Wine Cream Sauce with Sausage, Capers and Garlic Confit 
  • 8 cloves garlic confit (or roasted garlic)
  • 1 fresh red pepper
  • 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 cup dry white wine (or whatever you be drinking)
  • 3 Italian sausages
  • Pasta (about four servings)

(To Garnish)

  • Dried (or fresh) parsley
  • Red chili flakes
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Parmesan
  • Sea salt

Hmmm…let’s see if I remember this correctly now (I kid)

  1. Pre heat oven to 350-375 degrees. On baking sheet, place sliced red pepper and whole cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil and salt in the oven. Set timer for one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place peeled garlic cloves in low simmering olive oil for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Your house will smell amazing.
  3. When veggies and garlic are almost done, in a  separate pan fry the  sausages in bite sized pieces. I removed them from their casing for a more rustic feel (about 10 minutes over medium heat).
  4. To begin the sauce, in a medium sized frying pan, over high heat reduce wine to about 1/3 of liquid (about 4 minutes). Add butter and stir.
  5. Add capers and cream to the sauce and stir. (Tip: some capers are extremely salty, you may want to rinse them first). Remove two cloves of cooked garlic from the oil and break into the sauce. They should be very soft. Mix.  Taste for salt and let simmer over low heat.
  6. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until desired level of done-ness (for me, about 6 minutes). Strain pasta and leave just a little bit of starchy water in the pot.
  7. Return pasta to pot with water and mix about 2/3 of the cream sauce into the pasta along with the sausage.
  8. Once plated, top with the peppers, tomatoes, three cloves of cooked garlic along with the remaining sauce.
  9. Garnish with spices and cheese.

I really liked how the peppers and tomatoes turned out. Super packed with flavour, and just a little bit charred. Yum.

Quick! Eat this now before all your January diets start! (Or just wait until March when winter becomes just too much to bear without food like this).

Tell me, what’s your favourite winter comfort food? Maybe I’ll feature it on the blog! 

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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? 

My Go-to…Quinoa “Fried-Rice” with Egg

12 Nov

What I’m about to show you is kinda personal.

It’s my  not-a-recipe, what’s-for-breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner??, boozy-morning-after, I-need-a-spicy-meal-now meal. In other words, my go-to, or what you’d get on a Sunday morning if you’ve crashed on our couch.

I decided to take a pic and share it here because this one was pretty special. It was topped with asparagusguys. Baby asparagus.

Swoon.

It’s my take on Korean fried rice (minus the kimchi). The beauty is you can throw in random veggies that need to be consumed in a timely manner,(but if you’ve got it, by all means add some kimchi!)

The key components here are quinoa (or rice), salsa, hot sauce and a gooey fried egg. (I like to have cooked rice or quinoa always on the go in the fridge for quick meals like this).

I cook it at a really high heat to make the quinoa/rice crispy, similar to the effect stone BiBimbap bowls create.

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Maddie’s Quinoa “Fried Rice” with Egg 

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or rice)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (for frying)
  • 2 or 3 chopped scallions (for frying and some reserved for raw garnish)
  • 2 or 3 (heaping) tablespoons salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 medium onion (1/6th reserved for raw garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • hot sauce (to taste)
  • veggies (peppers, celery, spinach, or whatever you like)
  • fried egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In oil, fry onions, scallions and veggies until browned in a large frying pan. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant. (Reserve some slivers of raw and green onion for garnish).
  2. Next, add rice/quinoa and salsa. Mix well. Then add vinegar, honey, hot sauce, salt, pepper and onion and chili flakes.
  3. Spread mixture evenly over surface of the pan and let cook over high heat. Do not mix! Cook about 5-7 minutes until mixture begins to brown and crisp up at the bottom.
  4. In separate pan, fry eggs.
  5. Remove mixture from pan using large spatula into bowls. Top with fried egg, onions and salt (maybe even asparagus!)
  6. Mix and enjoy

WARNING: I like it spicy! Adjust recipe according to your heat preference!

So there we have it, like being seen sans makeup, this is a rather revealing look into a pretty strong kitchen habit of mine. This is what I make in my most relaxed, pajama’d and disheveled state. Some people like Mac n’ Cheese, but this to me is the perfect comfort food.

20131112-225112.jpg(Since I’ve shown you so many posts from inside the kitchen, I thought I’d take a shot of the outside view.  So cozy!)

Tell me! What is your favourite go-to meal? 

Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

16 Feb

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While craving bacon but having no eggs, I whipped this up for a Saturday lunch. It was a huge hit. Very flavourful, and so satisfying after a solid week of salad eating (see last post). I used gluten free rice pasta and omitted the cheese, but for all you sensible people reading, this would be magnifico topped with some fresh shavings of Parmesan.

So far the no dairy-sugar-gluten thing has been quite manageable, while cooking at home that is (don’t ask me about the wine and coffee). It just requires making simple substitutions. However, eating in restaurants is much more difficult, and working in one is even harder, especially with all the amazing Valentines Day desserts flying around.

Let’s just say that this dish made up for a weeks worth of discipline! Smoky, salty bacon, sweet caramelized onions, spicy tomato sauce and bright, fresh herbs. No one felt deprived.

Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

Serves 5-6

1 package gluten free brown rice fusilli
1 package organic bacon, chopped into small, bite sized pieces.
1 large onion
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh basil
1 carrot
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon hot red chilli flakes
Olive oil
Stevia (substituted for sugar)
Salt and pepper

This recipe requires juggling a few elements simultaneously. Start to finish it should take about 40 minutes.

1. In food processor, combine carrot, 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 of onion and parsley until very finely chopped. Add some olive oil while processing so it doesn’t all stick to the sides. Set aside.
2. Heat a regular sized pot to medium and add 3 cloves chopped garlic, cook until fragrant and add tomato paste and then crushed tomatoes. Season with salt, mix well and let simmer. (Some water might be necessary if the sauce is too thick)
3. In a larger pan, at medium high heat, cook chopped bacon along with second half of onion, also chopped. Cook until bacon has reduced and is almost crispy and onions are browned, about 20 minutes. Using a spoon, skim the bacon fat out of the pan as it accumulates.
4. Add pasta to pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, return to sauce and add stevia (or sugar) to balance acidity and finish with drizzle of quality olive oil and half of the fresh basil. Turn to low.
6. In a separate frying pan, sauté the onion-carrot- parsley mixture until soft. Once cooked, add tomato sauce along with two tablespoons of the pasta water and stir well.
7. Once pasta is almost done, drain and return to pot, along with the sauce. Mix well. The pasta should finish cooking in the sauce, for added flavour. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the pasta, add the chillis and the rest of the basil, roughly torn and incorporated throughout. Finish with black pepper and (optional) Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a nice glass of red, for me 😉

Black Bean Cheddar and Kale Enchiladas

30 Jan

Delicious, if a little time consuming. I made these corn crepes and the sauce from scratch, but you could save time and easily use store bought tortillas and enchilada sauce if need be.

I got a new camera from the handsome Scott for my birthday this week, a Cannon Powershot G15. What do you think?
Food 518 Food 483 Food 484 Food 487 Food 489 Food 499 Food 510I still have to spend some time learning the different functions. And I’m working at night in a kitchen with weird light (food photographs so amazingly well in natural light, but for some reason, despite my studenty-leisurely afternoons  I still spend the majority of my time in the kitchen after sunset).

So far my New Years Resolution to cook and post more has been…unsuccessful? Sorry. Discipline has never been my strong point. Maybe my new camera will help with that.

Hopefully this recipe will inspire someone, somewhere. I was indeed inspired by another blogger, raudette . She’s good at it! I had to make these, and make them NOW.

Black Bean, Cheddar and Kale Enchiladas

Sauce:

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cilantro
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or veggie)
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. In a saucepan, heat coconut oil until liquid, and add cumin, chipotle, cilantro and flour, cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and stock, bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or so until thickened.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Filling

  • 2 cups chopped green kale 
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Fresh cilantro (to taste)
  1. Finely slice leek and onion and fry in coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. 
  2. Add garlic, and a splash of stock to keep onions from sticking. Add cumin, kale, garlic, corn and beans. Saute for 3 minutes of so.  Turn heat down to low and add olive oil and chili flakes.
  3. Take mixture off heat and mix in cheese, season with fresh lime juice, salt and pepper.

Cornmeal Crepes 

Find my  recipe here . This time I used olive oil instead of butter (healthier) and it worked great.  I also cooked two crepes at a time in two pans to save time. Yields 10, using 1/4 cup of batter for each.

Assembly:

Pour sauce to cover the bottom of two baking dishes. Roll about 2 large tablespoons of kale mixture into the crepes and fit snugly into the dish, facing down.  Top with more sauce and grated cheese. Cook at 400 for 15 minutes, and then broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the cheese.

I served these  on quinoa with more sauce. Top with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado or whatever your hear desires (my heart desired some green habanero hot sauce from Mexico. I was not disappointed!)

I usually don’t eat a lot of cheese. I made an exception for tonight, due to the humongous block of pre-Christmas cheddar sitting in the fridge, untouched. It was lovely.

In a few weeks time, I will be embarking on a major candida cleanse. This will test my said lack of discipline immensely.  No sugar, no coffee, no alcohol,  no gluten and no dairy for a month. It sounds boring, but on the upside I’m hoping to try out some new and creative recipes!

Has anyone tried a cleanse like this?

What was the hardest part?

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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.

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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