Appetizers, Sides

Oven Roasted Okra

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A side dish or snack—simple, healthy and pays tribute to fried okra.  I like it hot from the oven with some spicy salsa.

Ingredients:

1lb of fresh okra, diced (frozen does not crisp up well)

1 tbsp of water, cornmeal and white poppy seeds

2tbsp of oil

salt, pepper and chilli powder according to taste

spicy, chunky salsa for serving!

Method:

Chop the okra and put in a bowl.

Add water, cornmeal, poppy seeds and seasonings.  Toss to combine and coat.

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Coat a cast-iron skillet with oil and add the okra.

Roast for 20 mins at 400F.  Halfway through roasting, stir and toss the okra a little bit.

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Serve hot!

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Breakfast, Cookies

Almond Butter Oatmeal cookies

A 5 ingredient wonder ! This is cookie is rich and moist and guilt-free ! So here goes !

Mix the following in a bowl:

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 honey

1/4 crunchy almond butter (use smooth if you like)

2 eggs

2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Drop batter to form cookies, I made 5 large cookies for breakfast, you could get a dozen small cookies.

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with coffee or a cold glass of  milk !

Italian, Poultry, Salad, Sides

Saffron Chicken, Lemon and Green Bean Salad

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), scrubbed well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • About 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (tenderloins removed), trimmed of visible fat
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Use a fork to prick the lemon in 3 or 4 places. Place in a small saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes or until quite tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the saffron, mint, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag. Add the chicken and seal. Massage to coat; let it marinate (at room temperature) while you prep the beans.

Set up a steamer over a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium heat). Place the beans inside; cover and steam for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and a brighter shade of green. Cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work.

Grease a large skillet with cooking oil spray and place it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken. (It’s okay if some marinade remains on the chicken; discard any remaining marinade.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes or as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned. Cool, then cut into bite-size pieces, transferring them to the bowl of green beans.

Slice off and discard the ends of the lemon, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the flesh and pulp. Cut the remaining peel (with pith) into thin slices, then into 1/4-inch pieces, adding them to the bowl as you work. Add the thyme.

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the honey in a liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsified dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the lemon-chicken mixture and toss to incorporate. Serve at room temperature.

Fish & Seafood, Lent, Salad, Sides

Pesto Shrimp Salad with Roasted Artichokes, Fennel and White Beans

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A warm salad for a cool summer evening.  if you are not a fan of shrimp or allergic to shellfish, chicken would be a great substitute. It would be perfectly fine without any animal protein at all ! Eat it like a salad for lunch, side dish for something off the grill or toss is with pasta, this is a light and lovely meal !

Ingredients:

1lb cooked shrimp

1 package frozen artichokes, thawed and drained

2 bulbs of fennel, sliced

1 can of white beans

juice of one lemon

10 basil leaves, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp of minced garlic

2 tsp of red pepper flakes

1/4 store bought basil pesto

salt and pepper to taste

Methods:

Preheat oven to 375F

Toss oil, fennel, artichokes, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic in a bowl and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet

Roast for 45mins till fennel and artichokes and brown.

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In a pot, heat pesto and toss in beans and shrimp.

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Add the roasted vegetables and toss to coat all the ingredients together.

Serve hot or warm !

 

 

Breakfast, Brunch

Raspberry Coconut Cereal Bake

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Yet another gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast dish that is delicious hot or cold–perfect or those busy summer mornings when you need a good start to your day.

Ingredients:

3 cups rice cereal

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

2 egg whites

3/4 cup almond milk

1tsp vanilla extract.

1/4 cup frozen raspberries, crumbled

non-stick cooking spray.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

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Spread cereal on the bottom layer and drizzle with  half the honey.

Sprinkle the coconut over the cereal and the remaining honey.

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Mix eggs, egg white and almond milk with a 1tsp of vanilla and pour over cereal mixture.

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Crumble frozen (not thawed) berries over the top.

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Bake for 20-25mins till the eggs set.

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Serve warm or cold.

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Breakfast, Brunch

Blackberry Almond Breakfast Custard

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Another delicious breakfast recipe ! Perfect warm or cold and a healthy yet decadent looking change from that boring bowl of oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup liquid eggs

1/2 cup almond milk

1 pint blackberries

2/3 cup of slivered almonds

1/4 cup honey

1Tbsp of coconut sugar

Method:

Blend honey, milk and eggs in a blender

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Spray a 9″pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the custard

arrange the blackberries all around the plate, so that each slice gets 2-3 berries

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top with almonds and coconut sugar

bake for 40-45mins in 350F oven till the top is golden and the custard has set.

enjoy warm or cold.

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Classics, Comfort food, Poultry

Celebrating 1000 followers!!

A while ago this blog hit a milestone of 1000 followers ! Never in my wildest dreams did I see that happening, so thank you to all those have been a part of this flavor quest ! As a celebration, the initial plan was to go out for a nice dinner and update you all about the adventure. But instead I decided to challenge the boy and asked him to make me dinner instead ! The only rule was that he could not prepare something that we have made before ! So he decided to make a wonderful lemon rosemary roast chicken with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Here are some pictures from the cooking event ,

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Comfort food, Soups, Stew

Winter Minestrone

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 can of peas and carrots

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2-3 Tbsp thyme, rosemary and sage

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice

4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of Swiss chard.

 

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, peas, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Meanwhile, in an oven preheated to 375F, roast 1 acorn squash

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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, the bay leaf, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and Swiss chard and roasted, cubed squash. Continue to cook till the chard wilts and soup comes to desired consistency.

Serve hot with crusty, buttery bread !

 

Breakfast, Brunch

Cranberry Almond breakfast bars

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There is something about baked goods that just sounds delicious and sinful. I have always been a fan of scones, muffins and bakery treats for breakfast. However, my tummy is not that happy with them. Trying to be careful of what I eat for breakfast, I have been experimenting with different types of “bakes”. This is a gluten-soy-lactose free breakfast bar that turned out really great !
Ingredients:
¾ cup of oatbran
½ cup creamy almond butter
½ cup liquid egg whites
1 cup of almond milk
1 tsp of baking soda
1tsp of baking powder
2/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 cup dried cranberries

Method:
Preheat oven to 375F
In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure out almond butter, eggs and milk-add to a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly.

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Next add the oat bran, baking soda, baking powder and mix well.

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Stir in the cranberries and coconut at the very end.
Pour batter into a greased 9”x9” baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

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Serve warm with a drizzle of honey, agave or maple syrup—it would also taste good with yogurt and fresh berries !

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Breakfast, Brunch, Cake

Honey Lavender Cake

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Here is another kitchen experiment that turned out quite well—you can have it for breakfast, brunch, tea or even a night time pick me up. It also happens to be gluten-soy and lactose free.
Ingredients:
¾ cup of oatbran
¾ cup ground almond flour
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup liquid egg whites
1 cup of almond milk
1 tsp of baking soda
1tsp of baking powder
1Tbsp of crushed lavender
2 tbsp agave
2 tbsp of honey

Method:
Preheat oven to 375F
Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk and slowly add into the dry ingredients, whisking as you pour.
At the very end fold in honey and agave.
Pour batter into a greased 9”x9” round cake pan.
Bake for 20-25 mins till pale golden on the top.
Serve warm—this is would pear well it poached pears and a dollop of honey greek yogurt !