Curry in a Hurry

Last week I was craving an Indian dish but didn’t have the time, the ingredients or my mothers expertise to make that happen. So I went searching online for a “curry in a hurry” type dish and ended up making up my own (risky I know) but it turned out quite good!

I know everyone has been saying this but I cannot believe how quick this summer has been going. I have been fortunate enough to have accomplished a lot off my bucket list and still have a few more outings to look forward to! This has been my first summer not living at home in my 23 years, so it has definitely been a huge adjustment to make. But I am loving all of the opportunities the “south” has to offer.

 

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Enjoy!

Mackenzy

P.S. This recipe tasted even better the second day!

Curry in a Hurry

Minced garlic

Olive Oil

Chopped vegetables (red pepper, carrots, onions and zucchini are what I used)

1 can of diced tomatoes

Tofu, cubbed (I made mine vegetarian)

1 can of coconut milk

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp red curry paste

1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of water, bring to boil and then let simmer

Begin by cooking down garlic, olive oil and your onion of choice. Then add your vegetables, preferably the ones that will take longer to cook and your tofu (or meat of choice). Drain the diced tomatoes before adding them to the mix, then add the coconut milk, cumin, curry powder and curry paste. Let cook until all the flavours blend. I served it on top of the quinoa.

 

Sweet Potato Nachos

First of all I apologize for the lack of posting these last few weeks, life got busy and I failed to take the time to sit down and write a post. I did, however, manage to take some photos of my meals so that I could share some of the recipes I have experimented with.

I have had a whirlwind of a week since Kate (who is basically my sister) came to Ontario for a visit. The week included a Blue Jays game, a few birthdays (including mine), fireworks and a very special family visit to name a few. To top the whole week off, I tasted my first ever watermelon cake. The recipe can be found here.

Last night for dinner Kate shared her recipe for Sweet Potato Nachos…sounds delicious right? Well you’re right, they were amazing and definitely healthier than your average nachos. Similar to nachos you can pick which toppings you would prefer, we choose black beans, tomatoes, avocado, green pepper, green onion, cilantro, goats cheese and salsa for the side.

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The trick to these nachos is you need to bake the sweet potato before, it is easier if they are very thin. That way they will crisp to the perfect chip. Also, it is recommended you bake the chips first and then you add your toppings afterwards, due to the time it takes to bake the sweet potato.

These are that perfect combination of a healthy snack and sweet treat you have been looking for!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

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Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potatoes (as many as you like, depending on crowd of people)

Black beans

Tomatoes

Avocado

Green Onion

Green Pepper

Cilantro

Goats Cheese

Salsa

** Please note these toppings are only suggestions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, slice the sweet potato very thin and bake until cooked throughly or crispy, depends on your personal preference. Add sweet potato to your plates and add the toppings of choice. It is recommended to eat with a fork and knife, things can get pretty messy!

 

My Big Fat Greek Dinner

Ah yes, tis the season for a big old BBQ and dinner on the back deck. Luckily the long weekend was able to provide that for us all to enjoy. I mean it could have been warmer but I try not to be negative. I will admit I love the smell when you are walking down the street or sitting on your own back deck and you can get the subtle smell of your neighbours BBQ. There is absolutely nothing better.

To me the long weekend has always been spent at my cottage, my family always using this weekend as “opening weekend”. Ultimately this means bring clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, grab some work gloves and rubber boots because there is work to be done. As much fun as this sounds, it really makes for some great memories with the family and we all look forward to it every year.

I have always been a lover of Greek food, I think I can thank my mom for that, since I was a kid she has been making her traditional Greek salad (recipe below). It wasn’t until last year when she finally shared the secret recipe to making this salad. I kid you not, I struggle getting a Greek salad at a restaurant after having my moms for so long.

 

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Trust me when I say this, you will require a breath mint after this meal, there can never be enough garlic in one meal.

Enjoy!

Mackenzy

 

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Chicken Souvlaki

Chicken, chopped in strips

1 tbsp Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp dried oregano

Add all ingredients to a bowl or bag and let marinade.

You can either BBQ, bake or pan fry the chicken. When I cooked it recently I baked it and it was delicious.

 

Greek Potatoes

Potatoes, washed and chopped into cubes

Dried Oregano

4 garlic cloves, minced

Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place chopped potatoes into pan, drizzle olive oil over potatoes, sprinkle oregano to lightly cover top of potatoes, add minced garlic to the mixture and toss around.

Cook until a fork easily goes into a potato.

Greek Salad

My Mom’s Traditional Recipe 

Peppers, different colours, chopped in large pieces

Red onion, chopped in large pieces

Cucumber, chopped in halves

Tomato, chopped in large pieces

Black olives

Feta

Dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Oregano, sprinkled lightly on top of dressing mixture

Add all vegetables to bowl.

Mix up dressing and add to salad and toss.

The longer it sits the better.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup of greek yogurt

Half a cucumber, chopped very fine (or grated)

A handful of fresh dill, minced

The juice of half of a lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for a couple of hours prior to the meal.

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Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup

Happiest of mothers day to all of the mothers out there! This day has been the best spring/summer days by far, I spent the majority of the afternoon on the deck reading. I was lucky enough to have had a visit from my mom and sister, Cebryna, this weekend, it was about time we all reunited back in Ontario for a girls weekend. Of course  a large part of our time together is spent cooking.

Now back track three weeks ago while home for Easter weekend, my mom shared this wonderful recipe for Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup. Boy was I surprised how much I enjoyed this soup. It was the perfect combination of Thai spicy but also so much flavour with the curry. The lentils are also an exceptional source of protein.

I am still shocked that it is already May 11th and I am almost graduated from the Corporate Communications Program at Sheridan. Time sure flies when you are busy. It is most definitely important to enjoy every moment you have and take advantage of every opportunity. I have been so blessed this past year for  I have met so many wonderful people that have encouraged my career to prosper!

Enjoy! 

Mackenzy

 

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Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup

1.5 cups of red lentils

2 white onions, chopped

Garlic & Ginger (To taste)

2 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste

1 tbsp Tandoori Curry Paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp fish sauce (if you don’t have any, don’t bother getting it)

1 tetra pack of chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

1/2 tsp sriracha sauce

Coconut Oil

Peanuts, chopped

Cilantro

Begin by soaking the lentils in water. Add chopped onion to coconut oil in pot, add in garlic and ginger at this point. Once the onions are transparent, begin to add the curry pastes, lime juice, fish sauce, chicken broth, coconut milk and sriracha sauce. Then add in the softened lentils and let simmer until the soup thickens.

Add chopped peanuts and cilantro to top when served.

White Kidney Bean and Kale Soup

It’s that time of year again, school is coming to an end quickly and this time I am embracing the working world! Looking back on myself in September I have grown and changed so much, I truly have learnt a lot about myself and met so many wonderful people.

This blog began as an class project and throughout it I have developed a passion to experiment with recipes and decided I will continue to blog. This time during all the hustle and bustle of finishing assignments I made a study break to make this delicious White Kidney Bean and Kale soup.

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This soup was incredibly hearty, colourful and flavourful. I am not a fan of those recipes that provide a lot of leftovers, this provided enough for four bowls, which was perfect for me!

I found this recipe on Chateline, but I made a few changes based on what I had in my kitchen. I had cooked quinoa already made from making my Chocolate Quinoa Avocado Muffins (keep scrolling for the recipe) so I was able to put it in already cooked which sped up the cooking process.

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Overall, if you are looking for a healthy, filling soup you have found it! I will be making this again.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

White Kidney Bean and Kale Soup

Adapted from: Chateline

Ingredients:

1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/3 cup dry quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken)

1 can of white kidney beans

2 cups of baby spinach (I used kale)

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add oil, then onion. Cook until onion is soft, about 3 min. Add carrot, garlic, cumin, coriander and quinoa. Cook for 2 more min. Pour in broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until quinoa is cooked, about 15 more min.

Stir in beans and spinach. Cook until beans are hot and spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 more min. Serve immediately.

Easy Vegetarian Chili

This past week as been perfect is every way, shape and form. My family has not been on a vacation together for many years and with all of us living in different cities it was time we all reunited for a family vacation. My sister and her husband gave my dad tickets to the Daytona 500 for his retirement last year so timing worked out perfectly for us all to attend. We began the week with the NASCAR race, which let me tell you, I am the newest NASCAR fan and you will be seeing me at future races. Following that we went to Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom. I have always been a Walt Disney fan so we could not resist attending when our house was five minutes away from the parks. All and all it was the most fantastic trip with my family and it is hard to get back to reality.

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After a week of eating in restaurants and trying new foods, I was very anxious to get back into the kitchen to make a delicious homemade meal. I came across this recipe for Easy Vegetarian Chili from Two Peas & Their Pod, I have never made chili before so I was excited to attempt this recipe. The key word being ‘easy’ because the idea of chili intimidated me.

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I started off making this chili in a smaller pot, not having any idea how much it would make and boy was I surprised when I had to transfer it into a much larger pot. I am not complaining at how much it made because was it ever good!

It was the perfect mix of vegetables and was extremely filling. I ended up freezing a large portion of it and it was great in my lunches.

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If this cold weather continues, this chili is definitely a must for everyone. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from: Two Peas & Their Pod

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed
3 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

** I also added mushrooms

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add carrot, celery, peppers, and jalapeno. Cook for five minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

2. Stir in diced tomatoes, beans, and water. Season chili with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and let chili simmer for 30 minutes. Stir chili frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve hot.

Recommended spring break playlist: http://8tracks.com/vspink/pink-ultimate-spring-break-playlist

Not The Ideal First Date Meal

In lieu of all of the Valentine’s Day festivities, food plays a big part in the celebration, I specifically love a good heart-shaped pizza on Valentine’s. It has been an on going tradition for the past five years, however this year we (Karen, Emily & I) went to Al Dente’s  for our favourite gluten-free roasted vegetable and goat cheese pizza. We added in a slice of peanut butter chocolate cheesecake because well we couldn’t resist the temptation, and we had a good excuse being Valentine’s!

Tonight I was feeling especially crafty, since we just purchased a mandolin, I thought I would attempt to make vegetable sushi. Starting out with a thinly sliced cucumber (that will be the outside shell), then I thinly sliced up red & green peppers, red onion, carrot, avocado, and cilantro (these were all the toppings that went inside). The sauces were also a staple to the sushi so I used hummus, a hoisin sauce dressing, and soya sauce. Altogether these rolls were unbelievably delicious and so light, you could eat 5 without feeling guilty.

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I think the trick is to add a layer of hummus on the cucumber prior to adding the vegetables and then line up the vegetables on top of the hummus. I then drizzled the hoisin dressing and soya sauce on top of the vegetables so that the dressing was infused in the roll. Then roll it up slowly so that the toppings all stay in place.

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These rolls would not be the ideal first date meal, however they definitely should be a top choice! They tend to get a little bit messy and all over your face, but at least they are SO yummy! And yes, they are as good as they look!

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Happy Rolling!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

Vegetable Sushi Rolls

Cucumber

Red Pepper

Green Pepper

Red Onion

Carrot

Cilantro

Avocado

Hummus

Hoisin Sauce & Lemon Juice (combined)

Soya Sauce

* The amounts will all be based on how many rolls you wish to make.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza Muffins

So you would think that living in North Bay for the majority of my life I would be used to this cold weather. However, that is not the truth, this so called “polar vortex” has made us house bound. So instead of sitting there like a bump on a log we decided to focus our energy into cooking.

Luckily, I was visiting with my best-friend (more like sister) Kate,  we came across this unique recipe for Gluten-free Quinoa Pizza Muffins and began cooking.

Photo of ingredients Mixed Together. I have to admit, they didn’t turn out quite as pretty as I had hoped and saw on Little Red Delish or So Very Blessed however, they sure did taste good. That’s what matters though right?

These muffins were oh so satisfying. They offered the excitement of having a pizza but didn’t have the unhealthy aspect of eating a slice of pizza. The quinoa acted as dough and the chosen toppings acted as though they would on your favourite pizza. The bonus was using a homemade pizza sauce because it added that extra taste of home.

I knew these muffins were a perfect snack from the start; filled with protein, great flavour and in a bite-sized muffin.

I got so excited while cooking I completely forgot to take a picture once they were finished. Sadly (or not so sad) enough we devoured them rather quickly which left none for a picture. I promise next time I will remember to take photos so that you’re not left hanging.

Enjoy!

Mackenzy

Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza Bites

Adapted from: Little Red Delish & So Very Blessed

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 large eggs

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)

1/2 cup roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped (we forgot to add this)

1/2 cup black olives

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we didn’t think that they needed this)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Pizza sauce for dipping, I used a homemade spaghetti sauce but you can use any pizza sauce that is your favourite.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the quinoa and two cups of water in a covered pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl. Distribute mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup to the top and press down gently to compact.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Broil on low for two more minutes.