Vegetarian

Let’s veggie it up: Curry chickpea and leek in a boat

Eating spaghetti squash has become very common in our household recently. I am still  working on discovering  what goes best with spaghetti squash and this week it was curry 🙂

FOR THE SQUASH:

2 medium spaghetti squash
2 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt and black pepper on each half

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Wash and cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop the seeds with a spoon and discharge them. You  could also save them and roast them for a snack.
Sprinkle the squash with salt, black pepper and olive oil. Place the squash in a backing tray lined with parchment paper; cut side down. Cook it for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending of the squash and oven. The squash is done when it’s tender and you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh.
Using a fork to separate the flesh into strands. I prefer to leave them right therein their own skin.
Serve immediately by itself or seasoned with veggie and / or meat sauces.

FOR THE CURRY CHICKPEA – LEEK 

1 large  leek

1 medium carrot

4 white mushrooms

2 cups of chickpea ( home cooked in advance )

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cumin and turmeric  powder

2 cups of veggie broth

( just to stay on the vegetarian side; you can use the chicken broth if you prefer )

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

First you need to start by cutting and cleaning the leek. When I buy leek I always cut it, clean it and store it in the fridge in a veggie bag, portioned for stews or soups. I try to use it within 2, max 3 days after I buy it.

I discharge the dark green ends ( the very dark and thick ones ) and use the light green and white parts. Cut it in half, lengthwise, and wash it in running cold water, thoroughly. If you have the time let it stand for about half an hour in a large bowl of cold water. You would be surprise of the deposit of dirt and sand from the bowl’s bottom. If you want to use the darker, greener part, cut them thin and start by adding those part to the pan after that the light green ones and the last the white parts. Like this you give enough time for the green ends to tenderize. I try to waste as little as possible every time by adding the dark green parts when I cook a veggie or chicken broth. It will add lots of flavor to the broth.

Coming back to the leek chickpea boats;) Heat a pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and  the leeks cut in small slices. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the grated carrot. (about one cup grated carrot ) and about half cup of broth and cook uncovered.  When the leek start to tenderize ( about 5 -7 minutes ) add the other spices and  mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chickpea and broth and simmer on low heat until the liquid is thickened.

Serve it over the ready squash boats ! There is only one more thing to add: yummy !

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Breakfast, Brunch, Vegetarian

Pineapple-Kiwi Smoothie

We are still playing with the Ninja blender. This time we tried a green smoothie just with green and yellow fruits.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and cut in pieces
  • 1 small fresh pineapple, cut in chunks; I used the juice from the container
  • 1 large red and green mango, pilled and cut in pieces
  •  2 medium ripped bananas
  • 2 large  ripped kiwi
  • 1 cup filtered water

Blend all the ingredients together to the desired consistency and enjoy it.

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pinepple-kiwi-smoothie

 
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Breakfast, Vegetarian

Homemade Almond Milk

Since we got the new blender I was thinking of trying to make almond milk or cashew milk. I was browsing the internet and this time my inspiration was Pastryaffair.com.

I never thought this will be so simple to make. So I went got the almonds and just did it:)

Now you can also add flavor to it. There was a funny thing that happened to me.   I was so sure I got vanilla extract at home. I was just buying some extracts the day before. I just opened it and I was ready to pour it when a strong lemon ( very nice lemon ) flavor hit my nostrils . I checked my shelf. I got every flavor there but vanilla. 😦  I decided to go ahead and to add a pinch of almond flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of almonds ( I got slivered almonds )
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon pure organic almond extract
  • 3 table spoons of maple syrup ( I skip it this time )

 

Put the  almonds in a bowl and cover with 3 cups filtered water. Cover and soak over night or for about 8 hours. Strain and rinse with fresh water. Add the almonds to the blender and 5 cups of filtered water. Add the extract and maple syrup if using. Blend on high for about 3-4 minutes. Using a cheese cloth strain the milk to remove the pulp.

Keep it in the fridge for up to 7 days.

 

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I enjoy it with my morning coffee 🙂

Vegetarian

Garlic Pureed Spinach with Oven Spicy French fries

As a child I was a very picky eater. My mother always had a hard time make me eat. Don’t get me wrong, she was a great cook and growing up I was able to appreciate it. As a child I was very stubborn when it was about food, and I  had just a few dishes I would eat. Curiously spinach pureed was one of them.  Back home we would call it ” Spinach pureed with garlic and milk ( or sour cream ) “. My mother would serve it with  fried eggs and a quick potato pan buns. To be honest I think I loved the buns more and I think she knew that because  she would refuse to make them without the spinach pureed. LOL

Ingredients for 3-4 servings

  • 2 fresh spinach bunches or  2 bags ( 350 g each )  of fresh spinach. Frozen spinach works as well but I think it would never have the same flavor as the fresh one.
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream ( 5% )
  • half of cup of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bag of spicy French fries ( oven roasted )

Directions

Bring a large pot with water to a boil and when is bubbling add the spinach. Do not cook more than five minutes. We don’t want to miss all the vitamins. Strain the spinach and let it in the strainer to lose all the liquid. You can press it from time to time with a spoon.

After the liquid is drained minced the spinach very well on a cutting board. Place the minced spinach back in the strainer to lose the liquid if there is some left.

Preheat the oven as per potato package instruction and bake them for about 15 minuteas or as indicated on the bag.

In a deep skillet add the olive oil and the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the flour and stir. Add the yogurt and the milk and cook to a low heat until it looks like a smooth sauce. Add more yogurt or milk if needed. It should have the consistency of a sour cream. When the sauce is ready add the minced spinach and cook for about 1 minute stirring continuously.

Serve it with spicy French fries. All I could say is that I was asked for more 😉

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Bon  Appetite ! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian

Roasted veggies

I just love veggies. Especially roasted in the oven. I could say this is my favorite way of eating veggies.  They’re easy to make and delicious.

This time I used: cauliflower, broccoli, red onion and baby tomatoes. I roasted the broccoli red onion and tomatoes on one tray and curry cauliflower on a second tray.

Mixed them together or eat them individual. Yummy !

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Enjoy!

 

Vegetarian

Curry Roasted CauliFlower with Sweet Green Peas

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It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve cooked anything curry related. Hot days came on us here in Toronto where mornings felt like 32 and afternoons felt like 40.  I turned away from the stove and oven as much as I could. Instead I switched to fruits and veggies salads and pre-cooked chicken.

It’s the weekend now and to treat ourselves, I’ve decided to ignore the heat. With the air conditioner turned on in the living and the fan turned on in the kitchen I’ve decided to conquer the heat and turned the oven on.

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon tandoori powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 cups frozen sweet peas

 

How you do it:

Break the cauliflower in small florets and wash it thoroughly. Shake the colander well to drain the water excess. Put the colander into a large bowl and sprinkle the followings  over the cauliflower: salt, curry powder, olive oil, tandoori powder, turmeric. With two spoons mix well until every floret is covered in curry. Set a baking tray with baking paper and pour the cauliflower over.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower can be easily pierced with a fork.

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This can be eaten as a side dish or just by itself.

I decided to follow the inspiration recipe I found on Andie’s Mitchell blog andiemitchell.com. As I had sweet pea in my freezer, I decided it’s a good time to use it.

While the the cauliflower was in the oven I brought the 3 cups of sweet peas to a boil for about 5 min. Drain well and mix with the curry cauliflower. Delicious !!!

 

Bon Appetite !

Breakfast, Vegetarian

Strawberries, blueberries ….

When it’s about  wildberries I have to admit I am addicted to them. I can go very “wild”. I just love them in any form at any time of  day, breakfast, brunch, snack, even lunch or dinner. I forgot about ice-cream 🙂 or chocolate with berries ….

Today I just indulged myself. I had one of my favorite breakfast: pita, strawberry jam, and fresh berries.

I am going to let the pictures talk …

If you are like my daughter and hate jams … well I will offer you another option:

Bon Appetite !!!

Vegetarian

Broccoli cheese casserole

Recently I found a very interesting culinary blog called : simplyrecipes.com. I loved the recipes, the explanations and not at least the pictures, even though I would love to see more pictures.:)Digging and saving a lot of recipes to my bookmark I decided to try: Broccoli cheese casserole.

Checking into my fridge I realize I do have everything I need : broccoli, cheese, eggs… so nothing could stop me to try it 🙂

Ingredients:

I am going to write all the ingredients from the recipe that inspire me but I made some changes or skipped some steps.

  • 2 bunches broccoli,
  • 2 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips ( I skip this step … I haven’t use bacon )
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour ( I haven’t used flour either )
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream ( I used 3% yogurt )
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2  tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 250 g cheddar cheese, grated : I used a mix of cheese : cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella and  parmesan

But with al the changes and skipping steps the cheese broccoli turn out amazing.

Before oven:

After oven:

On the plate:

Bon Appetite !!!

PS. Thanks Elise for posting this and ispire me !