Thursday, November 3, 2011

Curried Red Lentil Spread -VEGAN

Sorry for the long pause, our family grew this summer and has been blessed with another beautiful baby girl named Mariza.

Ok, down to business!

Last week I attended an outdoor Autumn potluck with the task of creating something healthy, and orange to share. I'm not vegan, but having grown up being at times vegetarian, beans and lentils find there way into almost every meal at our house. This is a quick, inexpensive and healthy snack that's also great to bring to those winter gatherings.

Curried Red Lentil Spread

2 C red lentils
2 Bulbs roasted garlic
1/2-1 t yellow curry powder
3 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Water to thin if needed

Slice tops off bulbs of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, close in a foil pouch and bake at 425 until you smell their yummy goodness, remove from oven, allow to cool in pouch and squeeze out cloves. Wash and cover lentils with water, simmer until soft, remove excess water and allow to cool. Puree lentils, garlic, curry powder and olive oil. Add salt to taste and water as desired to achieve desired consistency. Serve with tortilla or pita chips as a spread for bread or on sandwiches.

Energy & Time Saving Tip:

Avoid heating the oven up just to do the roasted garlic, instead why not do big pouches of them while baking something else and freeze them, that way they are always on hand.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

- J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, December 13, 2010

Galanga Soup

Oh my goodness YUM!!! I haven't made it in awhile but I just finished off the last spoonful of a huge pot of one of my favorite soups. This amazingly flavorful, sweet and spicy Thai soup was first introduced to me by my good friend Lisa and to this day it remains a favorite at our house. Once you have all the ingredients it's really simple, I dare you to give it a try this week, you won't regret it!

Galanga Soup

1 c sliced galanga root (fresh or dried)
1 c sliced fresh lemongrass
1 c fresh lime leaves
2 large onions thinly sliced
12 c chicken broth (I make mine with the whole chicken, onion peel and cilantro stems)
1 whole chicken cooked and picked off the bone
1 lb large shrimp
4 cans coconut milk
1/4 c sugar
1-2 daikon radishes sliced into bite sized pieces
16 oz sliced button mushrooms
4 Thai chili's thinly sliced (makes a pretty hot soup)
1/4 c fish sauce (add more if desired)

Garnish with:

Thai basil, cilantro, Thai chili peppers, & sliced lime.

Put all ingredients except garnish in a big stockpot, simmer for 30-45 minutes covered. Allow to cool and serve over rice or rice noodles.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rosemary Potatoes

Sorry I have been MIA the past couple months, who knew chasing after a toddler would be so time consuming? Lets ease back into things with an easy yet fantastic side for dinner, brunch or all on it's own! These go like wildfire around here and store well for re-heating, so if you can, why not make a double or even triple batch?

Rosemary Potatoes

6 large potatoes, scrubbed & chopped into bite-size chunks
4 T olive oil
1-2 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped (dried can be substituted)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together. Pour onto a large baking pan, bake for 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and turn over. Reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Great for brunch served with french toast and quiche or whatever pleases you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quote of the day

Omit and substitute! That's how recipes should be written. Please don't ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute.

- Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garbanzo bean salad

One of my favorite salads, healthy, easy and flavorful. We eat it all summer long at my house and I guarantee you'll fall in love, especially if you like the zing of lemon.

Garbanzo bean salad

4 cups garbanzo beans (cooked and cooled) - canned may be substituted
1 bunch parsley finely chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 red onion chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
2 lemons (pulp & juice)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Combine all ingredients except feta cheese in a large bowl add salt and pepper to taste, if possible allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Serve alone or on a bed of lettuce and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Great with falafel & hummus or whatever pleases you!

Medicinal FAQS: Parsley is one of the most versatile medicinal plants around and is absolutely a must have in any well stocked herbal garden. Parsley is high in iron content and rich in vitamins A, B, C and trace minerals. Leaves, seeds, and roots all have medicinal value in the treatment of diseases of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism, arthritis and sciatica.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hibiscus Lemonade

It finally warmed up, so I decided to make a nice big batch to enjoy while I finished planting the herbs and vegis on Victoria Day. This one comes from my mom who always makes it better than I do, but I keep trying to perfect it, and I think I'm close.

Hibiscus Lemonade

1 c dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 - 1 c honey
3 lemons
2 liters water

In a large glass container add flowers and honey, boil water, pour into glass container and stir well, allow to cool, squeeze in the juice and pulp of lemons, strain and serve with a lemon wedge over ice.

Serve alone or with a nice bowl of gazpacho and fresh bread. YUM!

Tip: Also makes great popsicles!

Medicinal FAQS: Flower extract has been used in many folk remedies for liver disorders, high blood pressure and as aphrodisiac. Hibiscus relieves stomach problems, sweetens breath and soothes nerves. An extract of the hibiscus flowers lower cholesterol content in blood serum and helps to prevent oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). Daily uptake of Hibiscus tea is useful for reducing high blood pressure.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Zucchini Bread

It's been awhile since I made this and I forgot how simple and fantastic it is. I just stuck it in the oven and can't wait to have a hot slice in a bit. Enjoy!

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 c light olive oil
1 T vanilla
2 c sugar
3 c grated zucchini
3 c flour ( I use half unbleached & half whole wheat)
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c walnuts (optional)

Beat eggs until foamy, add oil, sugar & vanilla, mix well, add zucchini & stir. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients & slowly combine wet mixture, do not over mix! Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans and bake for 1 hr at 325 f.

Goes great with Chai tea, a Cafe´ Miel or whatever pleases you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Orange Infused French Toast

I'm huge on healthy eating and usually don't touch bread that is not whole grain, but french toast is the one exception and as my mom puts it, "you must use white trash bread" and for those of you who don't know , white trash bread is basically the cheapest, whitest french bread you can find. We don't have it often for Sunday breakfast but since we are having it tomorrow, I thought I should share.

Orange Infused French Toast

1 loaf white trash bread thickly sliced
1 organic orange - grated rind, juice & pulp
4-6 eggs
1 - 2 C whole milk
1 T vanilla extract
Butter for skillet

Heat large skillet on low-med, whisk orange juice, pulp, rind, eggs, milk and vanilla generously , soak as many pieces of bread that will fit in your skillet until bread almost falls apart, butter pan and cook on low-med for 5 minutes on each side or until slightly browned. Repeat as necessary.

Serve with real maple syrup & butter or for special occasions, whip cream and fresh berries.

* non-organic oranges have and extremely high concentration of pesticides in the rind

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kahlua Pork (Rice Family Recipe)

I was given this amazing & simple recipe by my friend Mary Pat and can't wait to try it! She says it freezes well, feeds a small army & leftovers make a great cabbage soup base, just add more veggies, water and a few bullion cubes to taste. What more could you want?

Kahlua Pork

6 lb or larger pork butt or shoulder roast
1/4 c Hawaiian rock salt, kosher salt, or rock sea salt
2 t liquid smoke
2 T Worcestershire sauce
a few cloves crushed garlic
1-2 t ground ginger
1 c water
1 large cabbage

Place above ingredients in crock pot on low 8-10 hours on low or overnight, meat will fall apart, shred with fork. Add 1 large cabbage; shredded and cook until tender.

Serve with rice or by itself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let the indoctrination begin!

Making her first batch of cookies with mama! Oh joy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quote of the day

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.

- Elsa Schiaparelli

Beef & Onion Skewers

Changed slightly & adopted from another favorite Sierra Leonean recipe, these yummy quick and easy skewers can me made up to two days in advance or marinated for as little as two hours before broiling or grilling. I promise these will be a hit even with the kids!

Beef & Onion Skewers

2 lbs beef cut into skewering size pieces
4 T natural creamy peanut butter
2 limes Juice & pulp
1 T salt
1 t garlic powder
2 large onions chopped for skewering
2 T tomato paste
1 t black pepper
1-3 t Cayenne pepper depending on your spice desires
1 T powdered thyme
1 t ginger powder
2 T oil

Set chopped onions aside. Pour lime juice/pulp and add all other ingredients except oil over beef, mix thoroughly with your hands and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours. Pour oil over beef right before cooking and distribute evenly. Stagger beef and onion on skewers and broil or BBQ for a few minutes on each side, remove from heat, cover and allow to steam in juices for 10-15 minutes before serving.

On those busy nights, serve with plain rice & vegis or for special occasions serve alongside jollof rice & stew or of course, whatever pleases you!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Groundnut Stew

This spicy and delicious chicken stew is a wonderful way to warm your belly during the cold winter months. For you vegetarians, omit the chicken and add the vegis that please you most, I recommend potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes & celery. I have enjoyed many variations over the years, mostly of Sierra Leonean origin, but at home this has become my interpretation, hope you enjoy it!

Groundnut Stew

1 whole chicken (cut into 8-12 pieces & skin removed)
4 tomatoes (2 sliced thinly & 2 set aside to process)
2 bell peppers (1 sliced thinly & 1 set aside to process)
4 onions (2 sliced thinly & 2 set aside to process)
2-4 habanero peppers (depending on your spice desires! I use 4)
6 carrots cut into 1" chunks
6 potatoes cut into bite sized chunks
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 c smooth natural peanut butter
1/2 c peanut, canola or olive oil
1/4 c dried thyme
1/4 c soy sauce
2 t salt (more to taste upon completion)
2 t white pepper
2 t garlic powder
1 T season salt
2 c water (more to reach desired consistency as needed)

Marinate chicken 24hrs in advance if possible in the 1/4 c soy sauce, 1 t garlic powder, 1 t white pepper & 1 T season salt. Fry chicken on med-high in the 1/2 c oil until very brown, drain and set aside. Cover bottom of a large stew pot with oil remaining from the fried chicken and set to med-high, once oil is heated add sliced onions and sliced bell peppers and allow to brown, add sliced tomatoes, and remaining seasoning. In a blender or food processor, process, remaining onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and 2 habanero peppers, add to pot, cover and allow to simmer on med. Process peanut butter, tomato paste and water and add to pot along with carrots, potatoes and the 2 remaining whole habanero peppers, cover and simmer on low-med for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and more salt, thyme and water as desired. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve over rice accompanied with homemade ginger beer or whatever pleases you!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quote of the day

Food to a large extent is what holds a society together and eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.

- Peter Farb & George Armelagos
- Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating