Onions

Thai Beef Salad!! A Delicious Light Gluten-Free Meal!

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During this time of holiday food over-indulgence, a light fresh meal is always appreciated.  This Thai beef salad is a huge hit with my family.  It is a delicious light supper that is salty, sour, sweet and spicy.  It is healthy and makes a great pack able lunch with the left overs if there are any.  Just make sure to drain off the excess dressing before packing into your lunch container and use one that is water tight. I hope you try it out.

Picture courtesy of taste.com.au.
Picture courtesy of taste.com.au.

Thai Beef Salad

Dressing:

zest of one lime grated

juice of four limes

3 Tablespoons of fish sauce

1 Tablespoon soya sauce

3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of sesame oil

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

4 green onions sliced thin

2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro leaves

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped fresh Thai basil

3 hot red Thai or regular hot chilli peppers finely minced

1/4 red onion cut into thin matchsticks

1/2 tsp black pepper

Salad:

10 ounce rump steak 1 inch thick

2 English cucumbers cut into thin half circles

5 tomatoes chopped into chunks

Mix all ingredients of dressing and set aside for half an hour to soften onions and allow ingredients to meld.  Grill steak on BBQ or in a hot sauté pan medium rare.  Allow steak to cool.  While steak is cooling, place vegetables in the dressing.  Once steak has cooled to room temperature, slice thinly across the grain and place in salad.  Toss all ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes.  Serve.  This is excellent over fresh greens and some steamed rice or cooked rice noodles on the side as a main course, or makes an excellent side salad as well.  It is a wonderful salad to use up left over cooked steak as well.  I hope you enjoy this delicious dish.  Cheers, Michele

Pork And Chorizo Stew!! Spicy And Delicious!

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The cooler days are inspiring me to cook more hearty comfort foods which still keep within our healthy eating guidelines.  This Pork and Chorizo stew is a perfect example of a hearty and delicious dish which warms your stomach and your soul.  I was inspired by a recipe from the BBC Good Food website and of course tweaked it to my taste.

Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.
Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.

Pork And Chorizo Stew

2 Tbsps olive oil

1 pound of pork tender loin or pork chops cut into 1 inch cubes

2 chorizo sausages

1 onion chopped

1 large carrot chopped

4 stalks of celery chopped

1 red pepper chopped

1 yellow pepper chopped

1 orange pepper chopped

1 tsp crushed dried oregano

1 large pinch hot chilli flakes

2 tsps smoked paprika

2 tsp chilli powder (I used Ancho Chilli pepper powder)

4 bay leaves

1 small can of tomato puree

1 large can of chopped tomatoes

3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups of chicken or beef broth

1 large can of chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of baby potatoes, halved

1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.  Cook the pork until browned all over and remove to a bowl.  Add sausages and cook until well browned, remove to cutting board and slice into thin slices.  Place onion, carrot, peppers, herbs and spices in pot and saute until onion is translucent.  Return the pork and chorizo to the pot and add tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, wine and broth.  Cook til bubbling.  If too thick, add some water or more chicken stock.  Cover and allow to cook for 45 minutes over low heat, or in a 350 degree F oven. Add peppers, beans and potatoes and return to oven.  Cook for 45 minutes more and check periodically and add liquid if the stew is too thick.  Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

I hope you try out this recipe inspired by the BBC Good Food website.  Cheers, Michele

Quick Kimchi!! Spicy Korean Goodness!

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I mentioned in my Bibimbap post that I love Korean food and a quintessential part of this cuisine is their delicious fermented foods.  Kimchi with Napa cabbage being one of the most common types.  I was inspired and borrowed this recipe from one of my favourite Youtubers; Maangchi who has a wonderful channel and blog as well as her own cookbook.  You should check her out.  This is a quick and delicious version of Kimchi when you don’t have weeks to prepare it ahead and just have a sudden craving for something delicious and spicy.

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Quick Kimchi

1 large Napa cabbage (you can substitute regular green cabbage if needed)

1 cup water

1/4 cup of salt

Paste Mix:

6 cloves of garlic finely minced

1 carrot peeled and finely julienned

1 Tbsp sugar

3 green onions chopped

1/4 cup of fish sauce (I will reduce this a bit next time as the result was a bit too salty for my taste)

1/4 cup of dried hot pepper flakes (I got mine in an Asian Market)

Finely shred the cabbage, removing the hard core at the bottom.  Place in a large bowl and mix in the salt and water.  Massage the cabbage well, coating it all with the salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  While the cabbage is soaking, mix together the garlic, carrot, sugar, green onions, fish sauce and hot pepper flakes into a paste.

Once the cabbage has soaked in the salty water, pour off the excess liquid and rinse at least three times in cold water until the cabbage doesn’t taste salty.  Squeeze out the excess water and add the paste.  Mix well, massaging the paste into the cabbage until completely coated.  Place in a large lidded container and press down to remove all the air.  Put it in a safe spot on your kitchen counter for a day or two.  Check to see if it is fermenting by pushing down on the mixture with a spoon, bubbles should come up and there should be a bright red liquid in the container, yeah, it’s working.  Science and food are amazing!!  Then place the container in the refrigerator to allow the fermentation process to continue slowly.  It can be eaten fresh which is delicious or you can keep this for months and serve with what ever you want, Korean food or otherwise.  It has been scientifically proven that eating a diet with fermented foods added in is very healthy and nutritious.  I hope you try this recipe out and check out Maangchi’s blog and Youtube channel.  Cheers, Michele

Aloo Gobi!! Cauliflower And Potato Curry!

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I have been craving Aloo Gobi which is a simple vegetable curry for a while now and so I finally bit the bullet and made some.  It is so yummy and comforting.  I got new potatoes and a cauliflower on the discount table at my local fruit and veg store so this is a very cheap meal.  You can add meat or chickpeas to the recipe to make it a whole meal, but we are having it with tandoori spice rubbed chicken breasts off the BBQ!  Yummy.  Serve it with rice and naan bread if you have it and you have a super simple supper.  Hope you try it.

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Aloo Gobi

1 small head of cauliflower cut into small flowerettes

2 pounds of potatoes cut into bite size pieces

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated and finely chopped

1 tbsps of vegetable oil

2 onions cut into small pieces

3 large cloves of garlic finely minced

2 inch piece of ginger finely minced

3 small hot chilis finely minced

2 tsps of tumeric

2 tsps of cumin

2 tsps ground coriander seed

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 large 16 oz tin of crushed tomatoes

2-3 cups of water, vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups frozen peas

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Then add chilis, garlic, ginger and the finely minced stems of the cilantro.  Stir til slightly cooked.  Add potatoes and cauliflower, spices and salt and stir well to coat the vegetables.  Add can of tomatoes.  Then cover the vegetables with as much stock or water as it takes to just cover.  Simmer over medium  to low heat for 30 minutes. Check the potatoes and cauliflower and add the frozen peas.  Cook for another 30 minutes until liquid reduces.  This may take longer depending on the size of your pot.  Once ready sprinkle with the chopped cilantro leaves and serve with steamed rice.  Perfect delicious and easy vegetarian meal or side dish. But like I said, you can add chicken or chickpeas to add some protein.  Hope you try it.  Cheers, Michele

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Gluten-Free Chicken Quesadillas!! Spicy Deliciousness!

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I have been working quite hard at staying gluten-free in my diet and the one day I ate some regular cookies, I had a huge headache.  So am back to gluten-free again.  This recipe is so easy and quick and with a nice fresh salsa is a lovely dinner.  If you are a vegetarian you can change out the chicken to add more beans.   I have added a recipe for a sour cream and cilantro dipping sauce which is delicious with the quesadillas.

Chicken Quesadillas

2 packages corn tortillas (~20 tortillas)

1 cooked chicken, skinned, meat removed and chopped into small pieces

1 red pepper chopped small

1/2 small red onion chopped small

1-2 large jalapeño peppers minced fine

3 tomatoes chopped small

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1 can corn drained and rinsed

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of dried coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese

juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients (except for the tortillas) together well.  Lay the tortillas out and spread the mixture equally over half the tortillas.  Place the second tortilla on top to form a sandwich.  In a non-stick fry pan preheated over medium heat, place 1 tsp of vegetable oil.  Fry each of the quesadillas until lightly browned on the outside and then place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Once all the quesadillas are fried, place in oven and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Cut into quarters and serve with salsa and this sour cream and cilantro dipping sauce.

Sour Cream and Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1 container of sour cream

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp lime zest

1 green onion chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together well.  Serve with the quesadillas.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Cooked Turkey or Chicken!! Upcycled Recipes Three Ways!

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This is not the season where we are usually inundated with cooked turkey or chicken, but I always seem to have left overs when ever I roast a bird. These recipes can be used with either.

Image courtesy of www.allrecipes.com
Image courtesy of www.allrecipes.com

Turkey Enchiladas

10 corn tortillas

2 cups cooked turkey chopped

1/4 red onion chopped fine

1 red pepper chopped fine

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 can black sliced olives

1/4 cup cream cheese

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 can red enchilada sauce

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients from turkey to cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Place 1/4 the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.  Place the rest of the enchilada sauce in a flat bowl and dip tortillas in to moisten before stuffing with 1/10th of the mixture.  Roll up enchilada and place in the pan.  Continue until all tortillas and filling are used.  Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce and the remaining cheese.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until sauce and cheese is bubbling and cooked through.

Image courtesy of www.finecooking.com
Image courtesy of www.finecooking.com

Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 small can of tomato paste

6 cups of chicken broth

2 cups shredded cooked turkey

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

1 can corn drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

salt to taste

Toppings:

3 corn tortillas cut into thin strips

2 avocados so chopped small pieces covered with juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup queso fresco or feta cheese

1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions until soft.  Add Chili powder and tomato paste and cook, allowing the paste to brown slightly, stirring constantly (this adds a certain smokiness to the soup).  Add broth, chicken or turkey, beans, corn and tomatoes.  Cook for 15 minutes over low heat.  Serve with toppings.

Image from www.tasteofhome.com
Image from www.tasteofhome.com

Turkey A La King

2 Tbsp butter

1 onion minced small

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 celery stalks minced small

1 green pepper cut small

2 Tbsp corn starch

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat

2 cups cooked white or brown rice

In a large heavy sauce pan cook onion, mushrooms, green pepper and celery until soft.  Mix cornstarch with milk and add the milk mixture, stock, peas, salt, pepper and turkey meat to vegetables.  Cook until sauce thickens.  Serve with rice.

I hope you enjoy these turkey plan over recipes.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Grilled Onion Salad!! Upcycled Recipes Many Ways!

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As I mentioned in the post with this salad, it is a delicious recipe.  It can be used in a myriad or different ways.  Rather than just three options, I am going to be listing off many ways to use up any left overs…if there are any.

Spanish Roasted Onion Salad

6 large onions peeled sliced thickly width wise (red or white onions)

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme

2 Tbsp capers drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large baking pan oiled with 1 Tbsp olive oil, lay out the slices of onion. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar over top. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the onions are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle with capers. This can be served hot as a delicious side dish. You can add more balsamic if the onions are very sweet and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.  Here are some options of how to use these delicious onions.

  1. Use as a sandwich filling with cooked chicken or beef.
  2. Heat the onions up and top grilled meat
  3. Mix into scrambled eggs.
  4. Add the onions chopped to soups and stews.
  5. Mix with steamed vegetables (broccoli or snow peas) for a delicious side dish.
  6. Add to risotto or any pasta dish.
  7. Serve on a toasted bagel with cream cheese.
  8. Put warmed onions on a toasted English muffin and top with poached eggs.
  9. Serve cold with steamed or grilled fish. Or with smoked salmon.
  10. Use your imagination!

I hope you enjoy and try out these suggestions of uses for this delicious grilled onion recipe.  Cheers, Michele