Monday, July 7, 2014

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

Stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and it seems to be a recipe from Cook like a Champion, Really easy, one pot recipe and quite nice on a rainy night.
Ingredients :
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapenos minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1(15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and well rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup of corn kernels
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 avocado halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
and I added one diced bell pepper (any colour you choose)

Instructions :
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add garlic jalapeno and cook stirring until fragrant ( about one minute)
Stir in everything -bring to a boil , reduce heat and cover until quinoa is cooked through. About 20 minutes
Add lime juice and avocado at the end, and serve straight away.
It's really good and super easy and quick to make.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peruvian grilled chicken & birthday parties

So, we had family over for dinner a few weeks ago to celebrate Ronnie's 13th birthday. And, as usual when they come over for supper, they tried something new...grilled Peruvian chicken with millet and a black-eyed pea salad. Okay they were new recipes for us as well but thankfully it worked out.

Food is inextricably intertwined with memories and for good reason. Good food often equals good memories and we've had 13 years of them with Ronnie. Mind you not all of them were good - I just need to think of how I felt when we received her diagnosis of Angelman syndrome; it felt like the world was ending. I think the worst part was being told that my beautiful daughter's incredible belly laugh was 'just a symptom'. Well we are further down the road of AS than we were and Ronnie continues to show us what she can do and what she wants to do and all with that incredible belly laugh. It was not 'just a symptom'. Her unbreakable spirit is part of who she is and I am so very proud of her.

Grilled Peruvian Chicken
makes enough for 8 breasts; cooking time is ~50 minutes; allow 6 hours minimum for marinade
  • 1/3 cup of soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon oil (we use sunflower)
  • 8 boneless chicken breasts (you can also use one whole chicken instead but we prefer the boobs)
    • for the vegetarians, we marinated tofu steaks
      • drain the water from the tofu package
      • slice your tofu into thick slices (3/4") and place between two sheets of paper towel
      • push down gently but firmly to eliminate as much water as possible
      • pour some of the marinade over the tofu steaks - note that the tofu does not need to marinate for as long as the chicken but 2-3 hours should be fine.
  1. Blend soya sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 tsp pepper and oil in a blender.
  2. Put chicken in a large bag and add marinade. Seal the bag and marinate chilled for 8 to 24 hours.
  3. Grill chicken until done - approximate 8-10 minutes per side.
  4. Grill tofu for about the same amount of time.
Handy tip: we started the marinade over frozen chicken breasts. This way the breasts defrosted while being infused with the flavours at the same time; yummy.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Black-eyed peas and sweet potato casserole

So it's been a while since a post but we haven't stopped cooking. In fact, we continue down that road of fascinating food exploration with two vegetarians, one part-time vegetarian, and one omnivore.

What's a part-time vegetarian you ask? Well, that would be Ronnie. On some days she eats vegetarian fare and other days she eats meat. Depends really on the meat and how protective the omnivore is being with the meat in question, and whether she wants to share it or not.

Tonight was a vegetarian meal and I admit to being a little concerned when I first heard the ingredients. But to my happiness it was actually kind of tasty - a keeper. So if you are ready to try something different, here you go:

Black-eyed peas and sweet potato casserole:
Serves 4; preparation time is ~10 minutes; cooking time is ~20 minutes

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp thyme (we used basil)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks (or pumpkin which is what the original recipe called for)
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
  • a little vegetarian stock, to just cover the vegetables
  • salt
1. In a lightly oiled pan fry the onions until they soften. Add the cinnamon, curry powder, paprika, mixed spice, nutmeg, thyme (or basil) and brown for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the beans. Pour in a little stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until sweet potatoes (or pumpkin) and carrots are soft but not breaking up.

3. Turn in the beans, season and allow to heat through, uncovered. 

4. Serve with rice, couscous or quinoa.

We used black rice for the very first time and it was fun and fantastic!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

No-Egg Chocolate Cake

A nice and easy cake mix :
What you'll need :
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa ( I melt Baker's chocolate instead of dry cocoa
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil ( I use Safflower oil)
2 tsp. Vinegar
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C, measure first five ingredients into mixing bowl,
Stir and and make a well in the center.
Add remaining ingredients to well. Mix well until smooth. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan.
Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes until an a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool,

Yum !! really nice.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Quinoa, not just for supper anymore

I was a huge fan of oatmeal, growing up. Memories of my grandmother's house and a large pot of oatmeal on the stove in the morning. As of late I can't eat it anymore, and I moved on to cold cereals, mostly gluten free. I found that whilst I enjoyed the taste of these cereals, it really wasn't filling me up.
I then stumbled onto Quinoa. Looking for recipes I then realized that a lot of people use it for breakfast.  I decided to give it a try and man, am I happy.
Here is a little recipe that I make in batches and re-heat as needed.

What you need :
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp chopped dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, figs or dates all work well)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond, soy milk
1 tbsp maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar -it's optional but rounds out the flavors nicely.

What's next :
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan,
  2. Heat on medium, stirring until quinoa has soaked up the liquid and the dried fruit plumps up.
You can adjust the consistency (thick or thin) by adding more milk
and you're done

This makes 2 cups cooked.I find that I have a big appetite in the morning and I can eat almost a full cup of this cereal, and I am really full after so I keep the leftovers for the next morning. I just re-heat it and it's all good for the next breakfast.

Quick Moroccan Zucchini

This is a really quick and easy meal to make when you're short on time.

What you need :

2 tbsp of olive oil
3-4 small zucchini, chopped
1 Onion, red or yellow
4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
1 tsp (5ml) of cinnamon
1 tsp (5ml) of ground cumin
19 ounces (1 540 ml can) chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 pint of cherry tomatoes ( can be replaced with 2 large regular tomates chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste.

What to do next :

I have used Couscous , Bulgur and Quinoa as the accompaning grain with this dish, I find that if cooked with a vegetable broth, they are quite interchangeable and it's really a question of preference. I usually add a little lemon juice and parsley to whatever grain and find that all three really accompany this dish well.

1. Make the couscous, bulgur or Quinoa as per the directions for each grain and add some lemon juice, parsley and I prefer vegetable broth.
2. Place some oil in a large frypan, wok or saucepot over medium heat.
3.Toss in zucchini, onions and garlic.
4.Sauté and stir in the cinnamon and cumin.
5.Cook until vegetables begin to soften.
6.Fold in chickpeas and tomatoes and heat through.
Season with salt and pepper
Serve with the couscous /bulgur / quinoa

Time to prepare :
Prep time approx 10 to 15 min.
Cooking time : Quinoa takes around 12 to 15 minutes, Couscous and Bulgur max. 5 to 8 minutes so estimate 15 to 20 minutes for everything.
Nice and quick on a busy night and with the chickpeas included this meal is quite filling.
Enjoy !

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Been Busy

Haven't posted in here for a while. Been busy, life has a way of doing that sometimes. Posts of recipes that excelled and some that flopped coming to this page soon.
Stay tuned....