Week of March 27

Here’s a log of all the food I made this week! 🙂

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Sweet Potato Nachos

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2015 is here and I thought I would try ‘making a comeback’ by posting more regularly (maybe weekly or bi-weekly). In the past year or so, I have been posting my food pictures mainly on Instagram (among all other photos I take in my daily life). That said, with the new year come the New Year’s resolutions, including eating healthier, being more organized and disciplined.

The first recipe of the year is “Sweet Potato Nachos” inspired by one of Oh My Veggies‘ weekly meatless plans. I first made this last year, and I remember it was quite flavourful. Then I kind of forgot about it, until recently. This is a very easy dish to make, as a snack, or a simple meal. You can customize it with your preferred toppings, and you can also decide on how much topping you want to use.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • A can of black beans
  • Celery, chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Toss the thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place the sweet potatoes (in single layer preferably) in a baking pan and put it in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once the sweet potatoes turn brown and crispy, you can flip them so that the other side also cooks well.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add the celery, black beans and cheese on top.
  • Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Take the pan out and top with remaining shredded cheese, avocado, green onions and sour cream.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Black Bean (flour-less) Brownies

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When I stumbled on this brownies recipe on one of the favourite food blogs, my instant reaction was –> (O.o) Then I thought… well maybe this is not so weird because I know my Mom uses black/red beans to make Chinese pastries. Since I’m a beginner in baking, and only learned how to bake muffins so far, I thought why not give this a try and see how they turn out. I had nothing to lose really, apart from perhaps making some odd tasting brownies for my boyfriend and colleagues in honour of Valentine’s day! 😛

Well, the verdict is that the brownies turned out very decent; they tasted very much like brownies, and you don’t even have to use flour or butter – just a tiny bit of oil! And it’s super easy to make! So if you’ve never made this kind of brownies before, why don’t you give it a try sometime? 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground/instant coffee
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat the over to 350° F
  • Grease a non-stick baking pan with some baking spray
  • Line the pan with parchment paper

For the next steps, you can use a blender to mix all the ingredients, but if you don’t have one like me:

  • Pour the black beans in a mixing bowl and smash them well
  • Add the eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, milk, balsamic vinegar, oil, baking powder, baking soda and ground/instant coffee
  • Mix everything together well
  • Add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and combine
  • Pour the brownie batter into the pan
  • Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top
  • Bake for about 30 minutes
  • Use a toothpick to see if it comes out (quite) clean
  • Remove the pan from the oven to let them cool
  • Slice them into squares

Voilà!!!

Quinoa Black Beans Salad

This year, winter lasted forever, spring just settled in with sun-rain-rain-sun-rain-hot-cold-hot-cold-cold-cold and summer might last for a month! But that’s ok as the shorter it is, the more we will cherish it, right? =)

Spring and summer mean less cravings for comfy food, at least in my case, and more determination to stick to healthy diets. And also, we bought a healthy meal plan this week which tells us what to eat every day at every meal. This makes it sooo easy as we don’t need to think so hard about what to cook every day. Being organized and having a plan for the whole week with easy to prepare dishes is all it takes to eat healthier. It’s easy to say “let’s just eat out” when you are starving after work, and have nothing in the fridge and no idea what to cook!

So today I made a simple and quick salad using boiled quinoa, black beans, corn and zucchini.

Quinoa is known to be a superfood, filled with protein, various vitamins and minerals and the seeds look so pretty, but I don’t consume it enough. I think I still have the pack that I bought a year ago… I just forgot about it, until lately when I told myself repeatedly that I’m going to use it more in my recipes.

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So here it goes!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup black beans rinsed from can
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly squeezed lime to taste

Instructions

  • Boil water and cook the quinoa for 20 minutes or until you see the grains uncoil and they are soft.
  • Combine all ingredients with the cooked quinoa and mix.
  • Squeeze lime on top as desired
  • Salt and pepper and other spices (I used a bit of cayenne pepper, paprika and a little bit of tumeric) to taste!

Enjoy!

Quasi-Roasted TofuBergine

A dish inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s Aubergine Caviar recipe…

I still remember the first time I tasted a roasted eggplant dip made by Tommy, it was like heaven! Yes heavenly delicious! 😀 A few friends and I were spending the weekend at a cottage up-north; the poor guy was spending more than 1 hour in the kitchen making this dish, as it takes 30-40 minutes for the eggplants to bake in the oven – while the rest of us were enjoying ourselves in the hot jacuzzi outside in the freezing cold winter. So I told myself that when I make the dish one day, I refuse to go through this kind of long process. In fact, I rarely use the oven to cook. I’m just not fan of the idea of waiting that long and using that much electricity. So I decided to adapt this Ramsay recipe to my own style! I don’t know if it tasted as good as his version, but it sure tasted yummy enough!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sized Aubergine/Eggplant, cut into small cubes
  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped thinly
  • Dry parsley leaves
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  • When the pan is hot, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and brown the tofu.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan after they turned slightly golden brown and set aside.
  • Add another 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and fry the garlic.
  • Add the aubergine cubes and cook them until they become a bit soft – for about 7 minutes.
  • Add a bit of water in between to keep it moist.
  • Throw in the browned tofu and stir.
  • Toss the basil leaves, dry parsley leaves in.
  • Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve with toasts, or rice.

Enjoy! 🙂