The Yellow Curry

The Chef made a super yummy yellow chicken curry tonight! Being the usual me, I tried to promote the possibility of adding some kind of veggies (e.g., green peas) to the curry, but I wasn’t permitted to because the Chef in the house likes to stick to recipes Ă  la lettre. 🙂 For a vegetarian version of this curry, I think roasted cauliflower would be a great substitute for chicken!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • SautĂ© onion until lightly browned.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, paprika, bay leaf, sugar and salt.
  • Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yoghurt and coconut milk.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf.
  • Stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
  • Let it simmer for 5 additional minutes.
  • It’s now ready to be served – with rice, bread or Naan.

Note: The whole thing takes 25-30 to cook.

Bon Apetit!

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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!

Stir-Fried Rice

On a nice Saturday morning, you wake up late, when the sun is so high in the sky and you feel unbelievably hungry. You open the fridge to see what good food you could have and realize there’s just nothing… You see a few eggs left, some mushrooms, a cucumber and some leftover plain rice from the night before. You open the freezer and see a little bit of frozen Edamame and corn. Then it all clicks in your head, and you know exactly what you should make for a comforting quick and easy brunch: STIR-FRIED RICE! 😉

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Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Spring onion
  • 3 eggs
  • Frozen Edamame beans
  • Frozen corn
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • Soy sauce

Instructions

  • Fill a small pot of water and wait till it boils
  • Add the frozen Edamame beans with some salt and cook for 3-4 minutes
  • When done, let it cool a bit, then remove the beans from their pods(shells) and keep them in a bowl
  • Lightly beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl
  • Heat your wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot enough, pour the egg in to make an omelette
  • Tear the omelette with your spatula into small pieces and remove from wok
  • Turn the heat up on the stove; add oil again and fry your garlic until lightly brown (garlic is optional)
  • Toss the frozen corn, mushrooms, cucumber in the wok and stir fry for a few minutes
  • Add some salt and pepper
  • Add the cooked rice, preferably from the night before and mix everything thoroughly together with some soy sauce until all ingredients and rice are well blended
  • Add the omelette egg back into the pan. Mix again and spread some minced spring onions on the rice.

Tadaaaaaaaaaaa! 😀

How to make good rice:
Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add rice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed, for about 20 minutes.
It’s best to use rice that was made the day/night before because freshly cooked rice would be too hot, soft and sticky… unless you like your stir-fried rice mushy 😛

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! 🙂

Stir-Fried Brocolis

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium heads of brocoli, cut into florets
  • 1 bunch Chinese brocoli, trimmed
  • 2 tbps of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbp cornstarch
  • 1 tbp of superfine sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbp of toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil until almost smoking.
  • Stir-fry the brocolis for 4-5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and garlic.
  • Add the mixture to the brocoli.
  • Cook over gentle heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce
  • thickens slightly.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the sesame seeds, and serve
  • immediately.

Vegetarian Gluten Free Pizza

We made two wonderful 12-inch vegetarian gluten-free pizzas that evening. The crust turned out to be really thin; and let me tell you something: you cannot go wrong with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese!! =)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Gluten Free Pizza crust Mix (Bob’s Red Mill) 453g
  • 1 pack of Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbps of Olive Oil
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 2 packs of Parmesan Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Peppers
  • Parsley

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • In a large bowl, combine water and yeast
  • Let stand a few minutes
  • Add eggs and oil to mixture and blend briefly
  • Add Gluten free Pizza Crust Mix and blend until combined
  • Leaving dough in a bowl, split in half, cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes
  • Place dough on greased pizza pans
  • Using wet hands, speed out dough to cover the full pizza pan
  • Bake without toppings for 7-9 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cover with favorite sauce and toppings
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes

Eggplant Gratin

Eggplants (Aubergines) are known for its deep purple color and unique taste and texture (bitter and spongy?). So it’s really important to know how to cook them! Well, with the help of an excellent cooking assistant, I was able to execute this great Eggplant Gratin! =)

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Eggplants, thickly sliced
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Dried thyme
  • Canned chopped tomatoes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Heat the oil in a casserole over medium heat
  • Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a plate
  • Cook the eggplant slices in batches in the same casserole until they are lightly browned
  • Transfer to another plate
  • Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom of the baking dish
  • Sprinkle with parsley, thyme and salt and pepper
  • Add a layer of onion, tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkling parsley, thyme and salt and pepper over each layer
  • Continue layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant slices
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the eggplant slices are tender. Serve hot.