Category Archives: Non-Vegetarian

Fantastic Dutch Cuisine and Goodies

I am the lucky girl who gets to live in a city with a relatively large Dutch community. This means they have an actual store that caters towards those who miss their homeland as much as I do. This means I get to have all the Dutch goodies in the world.

Like when was the last time you had pepernoten or hagelslag since having left the Netherlands? Are any of you actually Dutch? Well I haven’t had pepernoten since last November when mom and I flew back to Holland while renewing our visa’s for in South Africa. We stocked up on pepernoten, kruidnoten, stroopwafels, Pickwick tea, and Wilhelmina mints and brought a whole bunch home to SA.

Well this November we went to the Dutch bakery in the city. Yes, it isn’t as amazing as going to the Netherlands, but instead we just went to our local store. I felt the great need to introduce my boyfriend to what I call delicious treats from the Netherlands.

I’ve now introduced him to hagelsag and he loves it. He says he prefers the dark chocolate hagelsag over my childhood favourite, the colorful one.

So having just introduced him to the goodies of my country, I thought I should do more.

Growing up my favourite dish was stamppot. Stamppot is best described as a potato and vegetable casserole which is mostly paired with meat.

My favourite was stamppot zuurkool, this being sauerkraut casserole. When I was a kid it was with delicious meat sausages but as I do not eat red meat anymore I’ve altered the recipe a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup non-dairy sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of sauerkraut, drained
  • 6 rashers of turkey bacon
  • 3 chicken sausages, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, boil your peeled and chopped potatoes for at least 20 minutes until potatoes are easily poked with a fork.

  2. Drain water and beat potatoes with an electric mixer or potato masher. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper until potatoes are at desired flavour.

  3. Spoon mashed potatoes into an ovensafe glass container and set aside.

  4. Take three of the rashers of bacon and slice into pieces and begin to cook in an oiled frying pan. As bacon begins to brown, add sauerkraut to the mix and cook until heated through.

  5. Once sauerkraut is cooked, spoon onto potatoes.

  6. In same frying pan, cook last three rashers of bacon and chicken sausages and cook until both are browned.

  7. Once cooked, spread onto sauerkraut and pop dish into the oven to heat stamppot thoroughly.

  8. Remove and enjoy!

The recipe that I followed wasn’t one from an online recipe, but from my own recollection (with the help of my mother through questions) of my favourite dish.

I am so glad I made this as we both loved it so much. He had up to three servings! Completely finished whatever leftovers I was hoping to have! Oh well, he was a happy camper after supper.

IMG_2627

We’ve been indulging in all sorts of Dutch goodies now. We actually feel the need to return to the Dutch bakery soon and getting more pepernoten and hagelslag!

Although stamppot is very Dutch, we also enjoy nasi and pindasaus, this being an Indonesian inspired rice dish with peanut sauce. I also got a package of a nasi seasoning and pindasaus package. Can’t wait to try it!

IMG_2557

How fantastic is this all?

Well we both were happy having had stamppot the other day and we cannot wait to keep experiencing new meals together!

I hope you all give this a try and enjoy it as much as we did!

 

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Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Whole Bunch More!

It is a soup sorta day don’t you all think?

Although today wasn’t all that cold. But it still felt like the day to enjoy a Mexican inspired meal.

Today started off with a somewhat cool morning and ended with bright sunshine and warmth. The high of the day was about twenty-two degrees centigrade. Can you believe that tomorrow is said to be twenty-seven?! Yeah, both Friday and Saturday is pretty much bikini weather days! The following day however will end up being thirteen degrees.

Kind of sounds like April in the Netherlands.

Not been to the Netherlands in April? Well around the end of the month right around Koningsdag (King’s Day), we get like three days of really nice and hot weather. It goes up to thirty a lot of the time. Only thing is that the days before that it is like sixteen degrees and the days afterwards it is like nineteen degrees. Both pre and post Koningsdag are rainy days while during it is perfectly wonderful.

That honestly is like it is to be this week. It is even rumoured that we are going to have snow this coming Tuesday!

Speaking of snow and cold, a woman told me something very very interesting today!

The more berries on a tree, the more severe the winter will be!

What tree you may ask? Not a mulberry tree, but a Mountain Ash tree!

Mountain Ash Tree

Apparently the Mountain Ash trees are very much covered right now. So all this talk that it will be an Il Niño type of winter doesn’t seem t actually apply. Or does it? Can one actually tell the forecast for the upcoming winter?

To be or not to be a warm winter, that is the question.

Well back to my soup! Sorry for blabbing on about everything else but the food!

So I made a very simple and quick Chicken Tortilla soup. I’m someone who has made a good few of these soups and thought I would try for this one. I definitely saw why it was a twenty minute soup! I also saw that I am lacking some serious herbs and spices in my kitchen. I mean I have a whole bunch of them but I am missing two of the most critical types of spices!

  • Chilli powder
  • Red pepper flakes

How do I not have these for a soup such as this one is beyond me!

I got the recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch, the direct link for the recipe can be found here. I added a few more ingredients that I feel really needs to be in every tortilla soup. I also removed a few ingredients.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 breast of chicken (283g), cooked and shredded
  • 1 medium yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper (175g), chopped
  • 1 small jalepeño, sliced and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 can (398ml) stewed diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (940ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (398ml) red kidney beans
  • 1 can (199ml) corn
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, quartered and squirted in each bowl (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tortilla, sliced

Instructions:

  • In a large deep pot, sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper, and jalepeño in olive oil until soft and fragrant.

  • Add stewed tomatoes to vegetables and mix. Add cumin and paprika powder. Mix well before adding chicken broth to the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for five minutes.

  • Now add shredded chicken, kidney beans, and corn and reduce heat and allow to boil onwards for five minutes.

  • While soup is simmering, in a small frying pan heat oil up and fry tortillas until chip-like in consistency.

  • Stir through cilantro and ladle into individual bowls.

  • Top with three strips of the tortilla chips, top with several cilantro leaves, and top that with three slices of avocado. Now squirt some lime juice into soup if doing that.

  • Enjoy!

I love love love this sort of soup. But I love anything with shredded chicken such as a normal chicken soup, an arepa, an epanada, avocado chicken salad, etc. Love it all.

Anyway, I ended up enjoying the soup with a very cool and almost luminescent looking juice! One of the best things about being in North America are having those frozen Minute Maid juices! Like this one!

Almost Glowing juice
Almost Glowing juice

And to go with this Limeade I am also enjoying this Limoncello scented hand cream. I now live in a very dry part of the world (however Johannesburg was also very dry), and I am in constant need of creaming my hands. I recently went to Bath & Body Works and bought about three hand creams for just $12. So beside every sink in my apartment (and luckily there’s only three) I have one of these cream bottles to soften your hands up! This is the one I have in my personal washroom.

Limoncello Hand cream
Limoncello Hand cream

By the way, this Limoncello hand cream smells A MILLION times better than the actual Limoncello liquour. A couple years ago I tried to make a Limoncello cocktail for my little sister and I and well…. it tasted much worse than medicine generally tastes! Blegh!

And before I am done, have you all heard of the amazing story that archaeologists found the another humanoid creature that may change history as we know it? They found it just outside of Johannesburg in a cave! This creature being part Neanderthal and part cro-magnon! While watching the news they said that these humanoids had long hands like ours, however instead of being straight in length like ours, they were longer and curved to be able to climb! How cool is that!

I am just amazed by all that is discovered in this fantastic world we live in.

Anyway I am so sorry for just going on and on like crazy today.

Guess I had just so much to say! Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the day and enjoy your meal!

Happy eating… and learning!

Cold Weather Food means Pie!

I hate the cold. I really do.

In the Netherlands, winter is generally just under ten degrees centigrade and very very wet. Well it isn’t even officially autumn here and it is like a Dutch winter as it is only six degrees and super duper rainy. It is so wet and cold that I actually had to turn up the thermostat from fourteen to nineteen! So if this is the temperature for a Dutch winter… want to know what a Canadian winter is like?

You know it is cold when you actually feel the need to touch your thermostat! Usually I can brave the cold though that wasn’t the story today.

So with this ridiculous cold I thought to make an almost-winter meal!

Plus I bought two boxes of pie crust with two individual rolls of pie crust in them. So I was thinking of using those up rather than freezing them.

What better way to utilize pie crust than to make a pie? Better yet a chicken pot pie!

How wonderful is that?

Chicken Pot Pie Before Baking

This was the first time I have ever made such a thing. I was speaking to dad on the phone this morning and he told me to use seasoning and herbs to make the pot pie flavourful! So I did that and it smelled AMAZING but I have a feeling I used just too many herbs. Oops.

I got the recipe from Pip and Ebby, but the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (50g) carrots, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup (225g) frozen peas
  • 4 asparagus stalks chopped in ¾ inch length
  • 1 yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup (190g) chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (284ml) cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup (60ml) almond milk
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 rolls of refrigerated pie crust

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (176ᵒC)

  2. In a large frying pan, combine garlic and vegetables in olive oil at medium heat and fry until soft and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Add shredded chicken, chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and flour and mix until combined.

  4. Mix well adding herbs and seasoning until you’re happy.

  5. Now place one sheet of pie crust in a pie plate and pour chicken mixture into pie crust. Top with second pie crust sheet and seal sides. With a sharp knife, cut slits to allow pie to breathe when cooking.

  6. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and put in oven for forty minutes or until golden brown.

  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

I’m happy to have accomplished this for the first time! But I did over season. Too much thyme!

But it was pretty good for a first time!

I mean generally pot pies are under seasoned with a complete lack of flavour but I just slightly over did it! At least for my taste buds. I am sure my father would have loved it! Though he has a love for sauces and seasonings…

Chicken Pot PieHow does one prevent a pot pie from oozing out the sides though? It makes things very very messy looking.

And does a pot pie ever not look messy? You know how when you slice a cake it looks whole? Well do pot pies always look so blegh?

Chicken Pot Pie

I would think there would be a more solid consistency but that wasn’t quite the case. Is that normal? I am sure it is but I am not a fan of mess. And this is surely extremely messy!

I can say that I feel really warm now! Whether it is that the heat has now been turned on or due to the meal, I don’t know, but I feel good!

No longer cold! But speaking of the cold, I was told that there is meant to be snowfall in southern Alberta one of these days. I was also told that just last month there was snowfall down there as well. How crazy is that? It is meant to be colder in central Alberta, not in southern Alberta! Geez.

But clearly I’m in the right area if I haven’t seen the snow as of yet!

Anyway, this is it for me! Hope you all try this out… maybe with less thyme and rosemary! You won’t regret it!

Happy eating!

Delicious One Pot Rice and Beans with Chicken and Cilantro

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve had a pretty quiet week this week. From Monday through to Thursday I was completely free. So got up to some things. Took the public transport like a pro yesterday though. Went from one side of the city allllll the way to the other side. Now I know that may not seem all that impressive, but my new city is a HUGE city.

Edmonton_street_map

I feel like I have accomplished a lot after going from the one side of my city to the other. But I became much prouder today after having hung up a few things in my kitchen! Anyway we aren’t here to listen to my happy moments, we are here for food!

My handiwork

So for this evening’s meal I made a basic rice and beans dish, except it wasn’t just your normal rice and black beans dish, but a fabulous dish.

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a good while and finally got around to it. This recipe comes from the website Cooking Classy while the direct link for this recipe can be found here. Are you still curious to what I’ve cooked up? Well it is a One Pan Cilantro, Lime, and Chicken Rice and Bean dish. How good does Cilantro, Lime, and Chicken sound in a black bean and rice dish? Heavenly!

Black Bean and Rice with Chicken, Cilantro, and Lime

The recipe I followed was for four portions but I pretty much halved it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 breast (283g) of chicken, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 green onions (10g), sliced (set aside half the chives for later)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (237ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 chili pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 can (250ml) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (185g) white rice
  • ¼ cup (15g) chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet for medium-high heat and fry chicken seasoned with salt and pepper for approx. 6 minutes, add the white bits of the green onions and garlic to the chicken and cook for a minute.

  2. Sit in broth, green bits of green onion, green chili, lime zest, lime juice, black beans, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to boil. Add rice and allow to boil fully emerged in broth for a minute. Remove dish from heat while lid is on skillet and allow dish to rest for 5/6 minutes.

  3. If rice is not cooked fully, return pan to medium heat and cook and toss for 1 minute to allow rice to absorb excess moisture. Remove from heat, toss in cilantro and let rest uncovered 3 minutes.

  4. Top rice and beans with cilantro and green onion. Squirt some lime juice in the bowl before serving.

  5. Enjoy

I am so glad that I made this meal. It was so delicious! Lime, cilantro, and green onion is the perfect combo. Absolutely perfect.

Also, have any of you heard of Ma’amoul? It is the most delicious cookie I have ever come to know. My boss likes to purchase them for us to all enjoy at work. However today while I was grocery shopping I thought to buy some for my apartment too. I probably should have been strong but I really couldn’t help myself! Ma’amoul is a shortbread pastry generally filled with dates. This cookie is a traditional Lebanese cookie and is soooo good. I’m not really a date person but these are delightful!

Date Ma'amoul

I hope that you get to enjoy both the rice and bean dish and the date ma’amouls! The website Cooking Classy is a great website for fantastic recipes and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy eating!

Craving for a Cajun Favourite

It is bloody cold.

I mean it.

Each person feels the cold differently, we are all effected by the lower temperatures in different ways. For me my nose feels it. It gets so incredibly cold and even starts to hurt. I never noticed the sharp pain until today when I noticed the one side of my septum aching. If I still had it pierced I would understand but now? Weird.

Well today was very cold. Winter is officially here. I thought I could rock a thin sweater when I went out with my friend but I was very wrong. I should have worn a wool sweater or something. It is ridiculous how cold I was today!

Cold weather (Don't judge, I know most of you will say this isn't cold)
Cold weather (Don’t judge, I know most of you will say this isn’t cold)

Anyway, it is these types of days that we should enjoy something hot to warm our insides. Heat helps whether it is spice or temperature doesn’t really matter, just as long as it warms you up!

So today I wanted to make a gumbo. Now I had no idea it was going to be such a chilly day, but I am still very happy to have made a gumbo.

Gumbo comes from Louisiana, though it was first made in the mid 1700’s when the African slaves would cook a French soup combined with fish stew. Talk about an ancient food!

When I first was introduced to gumbo I was fifteen and we were invited to a get-together with a couple of daddy’s colleagues. I’m pretty sure the lad who cooked up the gumbo wasn’t even Cajun himself. BUT the meal was spectacular!

It seems that everyone in the oil industry is an expert in something that isn’t originally from their place of origin or passport country. For example dad has a colleague who is Scottish but has a Spanish accent and is far more Venezuelan than he is Scottish. Dad also knows a lad who is Dutch and also is far more Venezuelan than Dutch. So if the non-Cajun whipped up a fantastic gumbo it is pretty normal. At least to us.

Well, I got the recipe from The Housewife in Training Files – LOVE that name! Makes me think of the X-Files but girly, gosh what a nerd I am. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though. I followed mostly everything perfectly except I used fresh okra.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 (130g) green bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup (115g) celery, chopped
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) okra, chopped
  • 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • ½ Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups (750ml) chicken broth
  • 2 breasts (566g) of chicken, diced
  • ¾ cup (400g) frozen shrimp, slightly thawed with tails removed
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 1/8 a cup cold water – this makes a slurry

What is a slurry? Well it is a semi-liquid mixture such as cement, manure, or cornstarch and water!

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil at a medium heat and mix in flour to make a roux. Once like a paste and fragrant, turn heat to low and mix in vegetables and stir well until vegetables soften. Add diced tomatoes and herbs and spices and cook for an additional five minutes.

  2. While gumbo is cooking, cook your side dish. This usually is rice, however you can also use quinoa as I’ve done.

  3. Add chicken broth, diced chicken, and frozen shrimp. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add slurry and bring to a boil until gumbo has thickened. Serve with your choice of starch.

  4. Enjoy!

So for some weird reason my gumbo was more of a soup consistency than a stew. Kinda annoying if you ask me. But it tasted good. AND it warmed us all up. Though I am back to my cold state. If you guys could feel my nose you would all shiver too! It is like ICE!

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

To try and thicken the consistency we mixed our multicolored quinoa into it. That definitely did the trick.

The biggest issue I had making this was definitely my inability to open up the tin can! Do you ever have the issue where you cannot open a can? I definitely did. Dad actually had to run out to the grocery store and buy TWO more can openers because we were both unable to open my can of diced tomatoes. Ridiculous right?

Assortment of Can Openers
Assortment of Can Openers

So now we have an army can opener – does anyone know how to use it? We have a normal one that cuts around the inside of the circumference of the inside of the lid, and there is the can opener that cuts the entire top of the lip off. The first two from the right are the new ones. That last left hand one is the one I couldn’t work. I feel like an idiot.

But I guess we all have our failures in the kitchen. For some people it is forgetting to put flour in brownies, for others it is sprinkling your breakfast with cumin rather than cinnamon (my friends son does this), and then there is me who is unable to open the can with the can opener.

Cold Trees
Cold Trees

Back to the cold, yesterday I learnt that for the winter the gardeners tend to warm the trees up by wrapping them with the long grass. I guess it really does get cold. This 15ᵒC weather is really cold. Everyone says it. So I guess the trees feel it too. These trees are from the western Cape (closer to Capetown) where it is much warmer, so that is when they wrap ’em in long grass. Interesting right?

Alright, I’m done blabbering. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

Happy eating!

Spicy Chicken and Cilantro Soup

Well, it’s officially cold in South Africa!

Now I know you will say it isn’t cold, but look at it how I see it – over the summer it was rainy and hot and somewhat humid at a high of 40 degrees Celsius, NOW though it is getting dry and the highs are like 20 degrees.

It is kind of like how people who encounter snowy winters think that 20 degrees is hot. But that’s not hot, hot is the peak of summer along the equator. Yet I know that it is hot when you have lived in the cold that comes with winter. Just like this is rather cold after living in a hot summer in Africa.

So with the cold that has decided to show its face in my life, a soup was needed. A soup with kick? Even better!

Peruvian Chicken Cilantro Soup

With my love for Latin American cuisine, this meal showcases Peruvian cuisine. If you end up loving this meal as much as we have you will surely love Peruvians as well!

I got the recipe from the website Nutrients, You Fools, however the direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1 (75g) small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (44g) small leek, sliced
  • 1 (90g) green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (25g) small carrot, chopped
  • 1 green serrano chili, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups (1L) warmed chicken broth
  • 4 (520g) small potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (275g) baby corn, roughly chopped
  • 4 (1.1kg) breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (30g) bunch cilantro
  • 1 green serrano chili
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 cups (500mL) warm chicken broth
  • 2 small limes, chopped (optional)
  • 1 green onion, sliced (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, on medium heat melt butter and sauté onion, leek, pepper, carrot and chili peppers for five minutes or until all vegetables are soft.Chopped vegetables

  2. Add grated garlic, cumin, and oregano to vegetables and sauté until fragrant.

  3. Add four cups of broth, potatoes, baby corn, and shredded chicken breast to vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  4. While chicken is cooking, blend cilantro, serrano chili, garlic, and two cups chicken broth in blender. Add mixture to soup and mix.

  5. Once everything is blended through, add additional salt and pepper or adjust additional flavours to mixture if needed.

  6. Serve with chopped lime and green onions. This is optional.

  7. Enjoy!

This soup was fabulous! My body was thoroughly warmed up.

Is anyone else lazy about making broths like I am? If so I made today’s chicken broth with three of these individual packets of chicken seasoning. These packets are pretty amazing and flavoursome!

Roast Chicken Stock IMG_2872

So these serrano chilies, did you know that they are called serenade chilies in English? I didn’t till I Googled serenade chilies!

Anyway, this was a great meal and I’m sure I’ll be sipping at the soup for a few hours to come. May even have some with the housekeeper for lunch tomorrow! It’ll definitely help me with the weather.

Hope you all enjoy it!

Brazilian Rice and Beans with Chicken Sausage

Bom día todo o mundo!

I recently realized that I have cooked so many different cuisine types since becoming a food blogger. And I love constantly learning about the different types of cuisines and dishes each country has to offer. I just love trying new dishes!

But today I decided to categorize the tab on my homepage for “international cuisine” into all the cuisine types. So now if you go to the main page and look above at the tabs you will read “appetizers”, “dinner”, “dessert”, and “learning about the chef”, then within the dinner you will find different tabs and that will then go on to different types of tabs within those tabs!

While thinking about all the different types of cuisines I like and am interested in, I then thought of more foods I lust to try. For tonight’s meal I also wanted to keep up with my international way and keep up with the food I’ve had over my travels.

About thirteen years ago my father moved my family to Brazil for a few years where I tried all sorts of great foods and just enjoyed myself. I did have issues at school, but I had some great friends and would enjoy the beach right down the road from our house as well as all the great amounts of food. We lived in the very popular suburb of Ipanema for a while before we had our apartment in Leblon. Both the hotel in Ipanema and the apartment in Leblon were within two blocks from the beach.

View from Balcony while in Ipanema
View from Balcony while in Ipanema
My sister and I in Rio
My sister and I in Rio

Anyway, after we moved from Brazil, I remembered missing pão de queijo, farofa, coxinhas, freijão preto, and my absolute favourite: biscoito de polvilho. Of all those great Brazilian foods, for this evenings meal I tried to make a meal with beans.

I got the recipe from favourite family recipes, though if you would like the direct recipe just click here.

Brazilian rice and beans

I did tweak the recipe some as the original recipe calls for smoked sausage, but as I do not eat red meat or pork I just used plain old chicken sausage. And as good as the original photo on the recipe looked, I will have to say that the meal itself was pretty bland in my opinion.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 chicken sausages, chopped
  • ½ cup (115g) green onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (210g) basmati rice
  • 2 cups (470ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (425g) pinto beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet sauté sausages, green onions, and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft.

  2. Stir in rice, chicken broth, pinto beans, salt and pepper, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked.

  4. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.

  5. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!

Brazilian Rice and BeansAlthough I wasn’t all too keen on this dish, it was great to enjoy some Brazilian food again. Though I really do miss biscoito de polvinho. The last time I had that was last April when I went to visit my wonderful Brazilian friend in Paris.

Selfie with Biscoito de Polvilho

Amazing treats those things are! I love my friend Sashinha for treating me with those. I do remember finding a store in Amsterdam or Rotterdam that sold these one year and having boughten so much. Loved them!

Anyway, this was our meal for the night and I hope that you all enjoy it. If not try any of the other links for wonderful Brazilian foods that would be a great addition to your list of meals to try!

Happy eating!

Mexican Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

I love tacos! (dun dun dun dun dun) I love tacos!

In case you are wondering, I was creating the beat in between the lyrics of “I want candy”. But I don’t want candy, instead I love tacos.

Love love love tacos.

The best part about these tacos are that they are super healthy!

For a long time I’ve been interested in the idea of a lettuce wrap but never got around to doing it until today. I am so glad I finally got into it! This was a fantastic meal!

Mexican chicken Lettuce wrap

I got the recipe from the blog Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy hour which I found on Pinterest after looking up Lettuce Wrap recipes. The direct link to the recipe can be found here. The recipe is quite a small one which I decided to increase in size, but as you already know – I LOVED it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (86g) can black beans
  • ½ cup (90g) can sweet corn
  • 1/3 cup (76g) green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (8.5g) tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
  • 1 head of lettuce (of your choice)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the chicken, beans, corn, onion, cilantro and chips in a large bowl and mix.

  2. Spoon in vinegar and mayonnaise and mix well.

  3. Wash head of lettuce and pat each of the leaves dry before spooning the chicken salad into the leaves.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

I honestly feel that this may be one of the best tacos I’ve had in a very long time. It reminds me of a deconstructed taco actually as there are tortillas in the salad, and usually a proper taco is held together with a hard shell tortilla.

Mexican Chicken SaladMexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Although the idea of a lettuce wrap doesn’t seem all that filling, I can tell you that my mom was incredibly full after her meal! Though I did give her a plateful of five wraps. She also tried the chicken salad with bread and decided that the lettuce wrap was ten times better with the salad than a slice of bread.

About the tortilla chips, I find buying tortilla chips in South Africa to be super difficult. Most the time when we go down the chip aisle we see a variety of assorted flavoured chips but rarely ever do we see basic chips like the ones we bought today. Thankfully we did find what we found today. But most the time it is SO hard to find that here.

Tortilla chips

I honestly adored this and hope you all enjoy it as much as mom and I did!

Happy eating!

South African Creole Fusion from a Favoured Cookbook!

I miss the days where we would get fabulous recipes from cook books. Don’t get me wrong though, I love finding recipes online too. It is just that those recipes you tend to find in cook books are usually delightful and wholesome. If they were published in a book, they must be the best of the best! Online you have to dig through millions of recipes before you find one which truly is amazing.

All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

Well as of late one of my friends has been spoiling me with South African treats of all sorts. A few weeks ago I tried a koeksister which is a little cookie type thing. Last week I got to try a melktert, this being the Afrikaans way of spelling out “milk pie”, however in Dutch it would be spelled as “melktaart”. This took me forever to realize that a tart or pie in Dutch is not the same as it is in Afrikaans. Yet they are pronounced the same.

Afrikaans eh? They really changed Dutch words to make it more their own.

Anyway, my lovely lovely friend who has been introducing me to South African treats also loaned me one of her mama’s cookbooks which was written by a South African woman. Ever heard of Annette Human? No? Well she is a well-known food writer in South Africa! And from reading this cookbook I see why!

For the recipe I made for this evening, this is the blurb she wrote before writing out the recipe:

“The Creole descendants of European colonists in Latin America have developed a distinctive and very flavourful style of cooking. Tomatoes, green peppers, and rice are characteristic ingredients in their recipes – as in this dish. The chicken may be replaced with portions of boerewors.”

For those of you who don’t know boerewors is the Afrikaans spelling of “farmer’s sausage”.  As I do not eat red meat, this is not for me, but my family and friends love it as well as other South African meat treats such as droëwors (droge worst) or in English “dry sausage” and biltong. Biltong is the South African version of beef jerky when simply described to foreigners.

Creole Chicken Casserole Pre-Cooking

So according to that blurb above, the dish I made was a Creole Chicken Casserole. The cookbook I got it from is called the All-Colour Cookbook and it is by Annette Human. If you are interested in the recipe, read below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) white basmati
  • 1 kg chicken portions (I used 3 thighs and 4 breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 smallish green peppers
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice as directed on packaging. Rinse in a colander under cold running water and drain. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken portions with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Quickly fry a couple of chicken portions at a time in oil until golden brown on both sides. Place chicken in shallow ovenproof dish with a volume of 10 cups (2.5L). Sprinkle rice on top.

  3. Halve and seed the green peppers and cut into strips. Peel the onion and chop roughly. Peel and crush garlic. Place in pot in which the chicken was fried. (Leave just enough oil in pot to braise the vegetables.) Add tomatoes with juices, curry powder, and dried thyme. Cover with lid and braise the vegetables for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon the vegetables over the rice layer. Pour liquid in after. Cover the container and cook the dish for about 40 minutes at 200ᵒC (390ᵒF) until chicken is tender. Serve with young peas and a beetroot salad.

Serves 6

Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

I think my favourite part about this cookbook is that Annette Human wrote the measurements out in both metric and imperial! I only know and understand imperial measurements in the kitchen which makes it hard for me to follow recipes which need a scale to measure out the grams for every ingredient when following a British recipe. But thankfully this woman thought it out and wrote every ingredient in both grams and cups! What a lifesaver!

Although I did tweak the recipe some (I added an additional pepper as mine were on the small side) I also added more seasoning. And of course as a lover of garlic, I added two more cloves. I’ll include a photo of the original recipe so you can see it without my tweaks.

Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

This was a pretty good recipe. A little bland for me (thank goodness I added more seasoning!) but I quite enjoyed it!

I know I will try to do some more South African recipes from this book before I give it back!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Happy eating!

I’ve Returned to the Kitchen with some Chicken

Travel: gotta love it, you get to see old friends and family, make new friends in the process, and best of all you get to be lazy and eat out trying new foods and restaurants!

I love traveling, I love trying new things, though I also love being home and cooking my own meals.

So mom and I just returned from the Netherlands last night around ten o’clock. Our trip to the Netherlands was great. I got to see my family, old school mates, and try new restaurants. I’ll be rating those restaurants on TripAdvisor as well. I should really make a living from rating meals and restaurants…

Anyway, I missed home cooked meals. So I’ve got all sorts of wonderful things planned for the next few days. This evenings meal consists of a Lemon Butter Chicken dish. This butter chicken is not a curry. Just a wonderful meal with a lot of butter and lemon juice.

I usually do not cook with a lot of butter (mostly because my father does not like it) but also because I have horrible images of a very well-known Dutch chef sliding a bunch of butter into whatever meal we were making and then sucking his butter coated finger. He is a great man and chef, has a very lovely and known restaurant in the Netherlands, but when I worked with him I experienced his love of butter. And now I am stuck with such a memory of him enjoying raw butter on his index finger.

Anyway, I got the recipe from DamnDelicious, an amazing website with all sorts. I also follow the writer, Chungah on Instagram. She has the two cutest Corgi’s ever! The direct link for the recipe can be found here though.

I almost followed the recipe to a complete T, just that I minimized the amount of chicken and used the breast of a chicken rather than the thigh. Also, I didn’t minimize the amount of liquid for the gravy. I kept the original recipe for the liquid. I love sauce and gravy that I am almost sad when there is barely any for the meal.

Lemon Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 breasts of chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (235ml) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (120g) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (25g) parmesan, grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups (450g) fresh spinach, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ᵒF (204ᵒC)

  2. Season your chicken with paprika powder and salt and pepper.

  3. In a large oven safe pan at a medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter then place chicken in pan. Sear sides till golden brown (approx. 2-3 minutes) and set aside.

  4. Melt remaining butter in pan and add garlic and sauté until fragrant, then add chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan, lemon juice, and thyme to pan.

  5. Bring to a boil but reduce the heat allowing butter mixture to simmer. Add chopped spinach to mixture and mix until wilted and sauce has thickened slightly.

  6. Replace chicken to pan and pop pan into oven to roast chicken until completely cooked through. Cook for about 30 minutes.

  7. Once ready serve over rice with sauce drizzled over chicken and rice.

  8. Enjoy!

Lemon Butter Chicken on a bed of RiceIf you like a creamy garlic/lemon flavoured dish, you should certainly like this! Especially if you can handle butter!

My mom wasn’t the biggest of fans of this dish, but I didn’t mind it!

I’m sure it was healthier than some of the meals I had while in Holland! I didn’t eat THAT unhealthily, but I sorta did. I mean our last lunch meal was from a snack bar! My mom had the typical Dutch kroket while I went for kipcorn! Kipcorn being a chicken stick.

Broodje Kipcorn met fritjesAnyway I hope you will all enjoy this dish!

Happy eating!