This is such an easy casserole to make – it gives you a load of options and it is really the quintessential comfort food. I was FULLY INTENDING to have a nice, simple salad for dinner, but whatever, I was tired, it’s cold out and I just wanted something soul satisfying. So I dumped some tortellini with a bit of spiced up jarred tomato sauce, topped it off with a (very) simple cheese sauce and some breadcrumbs and voyla, simple tortellini casserole. There may also have been a glass of red wine, ButWeDon’tNeedToTalkAboutThat. [Read more...]
Sure it’s a ‘Green Smoothie’. But stop gagging, it’s delicious, I swear. It’s seriously tasty because you mix nutritious greens, delicious fruits and some heart-healthy veggies for good measure. I’ve been having this at least 3 times a week for the past 3 weeks and it’s a heck of a meal on its own.
As for the equipment, I got a lovely new Kitchenaid blender for Christmas and I’ve been giving it a good workout. I find blending this is actually better than using a juicer – you get all the fiber and a powerful blender will actually break down the cell walls of the greens, which helps your body absorb as many nutrients as possible. I CAN HAZ ALL OF THE VITAMINZ. [Read more...]
Crock pot meals were made for winter, don’t you think? This beef and lentil stew looks like a lot of spices and ingredients, but the technique is so easy, you sauté a couple of steaks, you dump everything else into the slow cooker, simmer for 12-14 hours and DONE.
A note before we begin: I used 1/2 cup each of three kinds of lentils, mainly because that’s what I had in the house. Feel free to use any lentils you want. [Read more...]
Calabash. Sounds all fancy and exotic doesn’t it? ‘I’d like to have some calabash in the kasbah please’.
Okay, enough of that. Calabash squash is a great addition when cooking lentils, and Indians have been adding it to daals for ages. It’s called lauki, dudhi or kaddu in India, and just like pumpkins and other gourds, there are many kinds. The kind we use most with lentils are this kind, though you can substitute any kind, including pumpkin, other autumn squashes and even summer squashes like zucchini. [Read more...]
This healthy yogurt raita might end up being the shortest recipe ever, you guys. I’ve mentioned before how this idea of combining basic fresh ingredients like onions, cilantro, tomatoes and sometimes cucumber with a neutral base like yogurt or avocado (ahem, guacamole!) is something that cross cultures and cuisines – and this is another example.
Raita is that cooling Indian dish that people often eat alongside biryanis and other, spicier dishes. Sometimes it’s as simple as grated cucumber mixed with yogurt, and sometimes it gets.. well, slightly less simple, with steamed, chopped spinach with, you guessed it, yogurt. Either way, plain yogurt is your friend. Or, at least, your tummy’s friend. Plus, hey there protein and calcium and probiotics! [Read more...]
“This is the song that doesn’t end…..” Ah crap now that song is stuck in my head. Anyway, moving right along.
The other day I was at the butcher and I caught sight of some lovely (yes, I find cuts of raw meat lovely, don’t judge me) fresh Ontario lamb chops. I had to get some. I’ve been dying to try a lamb chop crock pot meal recipe that’s been brewing in my head, and heeeere it is! Crock pot meals are fun.
A quick note – this recipe does have an extra step of cooking the meat with the spices before you put everything into the slow cooker, but I’m always leery of putting raw meat into a slow cooker for hours on end. Just seems dodgy somehow. Stupid bacteria. [Read more...]
The other day, I made chicken meatballs for my lovely friend Shannon’s baby shower. Which is apropos, since her adorable little son’s nickname is Meatball. Har har, geddit?
Anyway, this recipe was a bit of an experiment, but it seemed to do really well at the party (as in everyone ate ‘em), so here goes. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of the actual meatballs when they were served, so here’s a photo of them cooking. Note the cool bubbly oil and pretend like they’re in a serving platter. [Read more...]
Chicken Biryani is one of those quintessentially Indian dishes that most people both love to eat and are terrified of. Rich and full of flavours like cinnamon, cardamom and saffron – this is truly the food of Kings.
I have cooked many a biryani in my life and know two things about it -
1) There are hundreds of recipes for biryani, most of which are wonderful and soul satisfying.
2) It takes a crapload of time to cook.
But fear not, gentle souls! For I am here to educate, inform, and more relevantly – show you how to cheat. So here’s a recipe with pictures of a (much, much) quicker version that I made on a Tuesday night and still had time to listlessly watch crappy, mid-season weeknight TV. [Read more...]
Cooking lentils is much easier than most people think, and there is just so much you can do with them. This recipe takes about half an hour, including making the tempering paste and cooking the lentils and everything.
I’m a big fan of dry chicken curries. They’re so much less fuss than stuff with gravy and cook way faster. Plus, you don’t have to futz about with removing skin and/or bones, and with easily available extra lean ground chicken, the stuff can be as low fat as you please.
Ground chicken curry can also make for a great weeknight, one pot meal. You can serve it with steamed rice, or whole wheat flatbread and you can increase the amount of fiber in your meal too.
This dish took me about 35-40 minutes to cook – the chicken itself doesn’t take very long, but cooking it a bit longer helps roast the spices and add some lovely ‘browned’ flavour to the meat. It does make a difference, I promise. [Read more...]