Tag Archives: easy preparation

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 3: Coconut Barley w/ Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta

4 Apr

I love kitchen tools whether they’re essential or absurd (who DOESN’T need a hot dog slicer??). On that note, I think spiralizers fall right in the middle: you don’t neeeeeeed one but they’re neat! Why not have fun with your food and eat it in a different way? Inspired to bust out this particular gadget, I based my next lunch jar on using it on some zucchini. I also made up some chewy coconut and lime barley, tossed in some salty feta and added in bright, blanched asparagus and corn. Lots of flavour and super filling, I’m making it again next week!

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Makes 3.

Ingredients

1 zucchini, peeled and spiralized (or, in a pinch, use a peeler to cut into ribbons and then slice those ribbons thinly)
5-10 stalks of asparagus, diced
1 c corn
1c barley
3 tb shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 c feta, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Directions

1.Place 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, coconut milk) in a pot along with 1 cup of uncooked barley and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked to desired chewiness, add in the shredded coconut, lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil to blanch the corn and asparagus. Once the water has boiled, toss in the veggies and cook for just a couple of minutes. Drain the pot and put the veggies into ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove and set aside.

3. Layer your ingredients: barley, asparagus, corn, zucchini & feta. If you’ve got any leftover cilantro, you can toss that on top, too. When you’re ready to eat, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’re set!

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Tomato Lentil Coconut Soup

25 Jan

My 2016 resolution is to make at least two new recipes every month. I felt like I’d fallen into a rut, making the same five or six dinners over and over. I needed some motivation to try my hand at something new that would be enjoyed by everyone at the table. Soup is kind of perfect for this sort of challenge: it’s an easy, diverse, hearty option that can be anywhere between light and brothy or heavy and creamy. Wherever it may fall on that spectrum, it has got to be satisfying and the one I made this weekend was fantastic. It only took 30 minutes from start to finish – there really isn’t much prep at all. The flavour definitely improved overnight, so I’d recommend making the soup the night before and enjoying it the next day.

The recipe calls for butter but if you happen to be looking for a vegan recipe, you could certainly substitute the butter for oil.

Ingredients

1 tb butter
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ts  coriander
1 ts fresh ginger, grated
1 cup red lentils
1 can coconut milk
2 c water
1 796ml can diced tomatoes
2 ts honey
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat and toss in the onions. Cook til soft, roughly 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
2. Add in the garlic, coriander and ginger. Sauté til aromatic, 1 minute.
3. Pour in the lentils, coconut milk and water. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are very soft.
4. Remove from the heat. Add in the tomatoes, honey, salt and pepper and blend . (I used my immersion blender, but you can certainly pour it all directly into a blender.)
5. Season to taste!

soup

Slow Cooker Burrito Bowls

12 Oct

Every time the seasons change, I start hunting for new recipes. Anything I can toss in the slow cooker in the morning and have ready for dinner in the evening shoots straight to the top of my to-try list. When I came across a burrito bowl recipe from The Kitchn, I was pretty sure it was going to be a hit. It’s healthy, it uses ingredients I have in the house already and appeals to the adults and the foodNURDling. We topped the tender chicken, fluffy rice and kernels of corn and black beans with shredded cheese, avocado and hot sauce. You could also add sour cream, salsa and/or cilantro. I let everything cook for 6 hours, but you could certainly go 8 hours if that’s the timing that works for you. Cook up some rice on the stove, top with all the burrito-y goodness and you’re set!

Makes a lot. Unless you’re feeding a football team, you’ll have leftovers.

Ingredients

1-1 1/2lbs chicken thighs or breasts
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c chicken stock (plus more for rice)
2 ts chili powder
2 ts salt
1 ts cumin
1 ts pepper
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
1 c corn
2 c rice
Optional: sliced avocado, shredded cheese, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce

Directions
1. Place the chicken, diced tomatoes, stock, chili powder, salt, cumin & pepper in the slow cooker. Ensure the chicken is immersed in the stock/liquid from the tomatoes. Add more stock (or water!) if necessary. Cook on low for 5 1/2 – 7 1/2 hours.
2. When the timer goes off, add in the black beans and corn. Stir everything let it cook for half an hour.
3. In the meantime, cook up the 2 cups of rice (I used jasmine rice, but you can use whatever you have in your kitchen). If you’ve got extra stock, use that instead of water. It’s much more flavourful.
4. When the 30 minutes are up (or are close enough to up) remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with a couple of forks, taking care to remove any small bones. Toss the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir.
5. Grab some bowls and spoon in some rice, then the chicken, beans and corn with a good helping of the sauce. Top with whatever appeals to you and enjoy!

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Easy Roasted Chicken Thighs, New Potatoes & Veggies

30 Jan

With the foodNURDling around, I don’t have a lot of spare time or free hands. A few days ago, however, while he slept blissfully in the early evening I headed into the kitchen to make dinner. It felt so good to be back in there after weeks away from the stove.

I had some chicken thighs, some potatoes, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t want to make a lot of dishes, so on to a large roasting sheet they were to go. In a large bowl, I made a quick marinade with olive oil, paprika, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and tossed in the chicken and halved new potatoes. In went the potatoes into a hot oven, followed by the chicken and finally the peppers and tomatoes (with just a little salt, pepper and olive oil). Forty-five minutes later I have moist, aromatic chicken, beautifully roasted potatoes that are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and lovely, caramelized vegetables. There was almost no prep work and minimal clean up: perfect!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs (skin removed, if you like)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 tb paprika
1 tb thyme
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper
1 lb small potatoes, halved
1 sweet pepper, sliced
1 container of cherry tomatoes, scored on the top

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, oil, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the potatoes and chicken and toss to coat.
3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread out the potatoes in a single layer on one side. After 15 minutes, add the chicken (skin-side down if you kept it) and stir the potatoes around. Bake 15 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes are up, add the vegetables to the sheet (with their own salt, pepper and olive oil) and flip the chicken over. Bake for another 15 minutes.
5. When the  last timer goes off, remove the sheet from the oven and enjoy!

chicken thighs, potatoes, veg

Turkey Meatballs w/ Vegetables & Rice Noodles

26 Sep

New house, new kitchen, new recipes! Tried this one out last night and it was a whole pile of filling, healthy deliciousness. Definitely give it a whirl: it’s easily adaptable and pretty quick to make. J pickled the red onions and cucumbers that he served and it added a great sour bite to the sweet and spicy sauce that accompanies the dish.

You could also serve the meatballs as an appetizer, serving the sauce on the side as a dip.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1 tb sesame oil
1 tb chives/green onions, finely diced
2 ts cornstarch
1 pinch chili flakes (optional)
1 ts salt

1 tb hoisin sauce
1 tb rice wine vinegar
1 tb oyster sauce
1/2 tb Sriracha sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tb soy sauce

bell peppers, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1/2 red onion, juilenned

2 green onions, sliced
1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
2 lime wedges

1-2 packages rice noodles, cooked according to instructions

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Do not overmix. Refrigerate for anywhere from 2 – 24 hours.
2. Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil. Dampen your hands and roll out roughly 16 meatballs. Bake 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs and preheat your broiler. Cook for 5 more minutes.
3. Meanwhile, if you plan to stir fry the veg, heat a pan with 2 ts of olive oil to medium and sauté for 4 -5 minutes. If you’re pickling them, however, you can skip this step.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce. Adjust flavouring to taste – some people like it hot, some salty, some sweet.
5. Place the noodles at the bottom of a bowl and layer in the vegetables and meatballs, topping with green onion, cilantro and a lime wedge for garnish. Either pour the sauce on top or serve on the side.

Turkey meatbals

Josh’s Delicious Thai Chicken Soup

13 Oct

The weather here in Toronto has been pretty spectacularly crappy the last couple of days.  It’s grey, it’s gloomy, it’s rainy: the kind of weather that makes you want to hunker down under a blanket with a big bowl of comfort food. Enter: Josh. He took a pic of this fantastic-looking soup and I knew I wanted to make it – that it was perfect for this kind of week. You can make the entire thing in about 20 minutes, including prep time.

Happily, he posted the recipe within a day or so and I made it last night.  I added shredded carrots, mushrooms and a little more hot sauce than it calls for, but that’s just me. The base recipe is great. You could also make it a vegetarian dish by substituting the chicken bouillon cubes for vegetable stock/cubes and not adding any protein.

Josh's Thai Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

425g (15 oz) tinned corn kernels, undrained
2 chicken stock (bouillon) cubes, crumbled
8 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 tb finely chopped fresh ginger
500g (alb 2oz) skinless chicken breast, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 ts sweet chilli sauce
1 tb fish sauce
200g (7oz) fresh thin rice noodles
2 large handfuls cilantro leaves, chopped
2 ts grated lime zest
2 tb lime juice

Directions

1. Bring 1 litre of water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add corn kernels and their juice, the stock cubes, spring onion and ginger, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
2. Add the chicken, sweet chilli sauce and fish sauce and simmer for 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, put the noodles in a large bowl heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5 minutes, or until softened. Separate gently and drain.
4. Add noodles, cilantro, lime zest and lime juice to the soup and serve immediately.

Thai Red Curry Mussels

5 Jul

My new obsession in the kitchen: mussels. These are fast becoming addictive to both cook and eat! I love how simple and tasty they are, and how many different ways you can make them. I said I wanted to make a new kind every month and, two months in, I’m making good on my word. Next month, I want to try to replicate the beer-lime juice-tomato broth that I had at Dos Amigos on my first visit. But first up…

Serves 2.

Ingredients

2 lbs mussels, cleaned (discarding any mussels that are open)
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 yellow/green pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1/3 c white wine
1 13oz can coconut milk
1 1/2 tb garlic, minced
1 1/2 tb  red curry paste
1 tb fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 tb sugar
1 small handful cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. In a large pot (the wider, the better), heat to a boil the white wine, coconut milk, garlic, curry paste, fish sauce and lime juice, stirring to incorporate all the ingredients.
2. Add the  peppers, onions and mussels into the broth.
3.  Put a lid on the pot and let everything steam for 5 – 7 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally.
4. Serve with crusty, warm bread.
IMPORTANT: Discard any mussels that do not open after they have been steamed.

Mussel-y Goodness!

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