Tag Archives: Carrots

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!

Romano White Bean Vegetable Soup with Quinoa

Can you believe summer is just about over? Today is the last day of August and then it’s September! The month when school starts up again! Feels like the summer went by so quickly!

But that’s alright as I am not going to be going back to school anytime soon. I’ll just work work work my way to better money and a better position in the company!

As its Monday I decided to make it a meatless and delicious one! This recipe is absolutely fabulous! Actually, I think that is my word, you know the one word you use all the time? Well I am pretty sure “fabulous” is my word of choice. My youngest niece constantly says “seriously”, but the way she pronounces it is like the new Oxford Dictionary word “srsly” like all the vowels are knocked out and the acronyms flow together. My oldest niece however uses the word “literally” all the time.

So now you know the word I seem to utilize often!

Anyway I made the best meal ever. It was oddly easy and so delicious. Also super healthy and filling. Honestly just perfect.

I got the recipe from the cooking tab in the New York Times website. Here you can find the direct link to the recipe!

White Bean Vegetable Quinoa soup

My meal was your basic tomato base soup as most my soups are, but honestly just delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion (40g), chopped
  • 2 small celery stalks (75g), sliced
  • 1 carrot(25g), peeled and sliced
  • 1 can (540ml) romano beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (411g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup (43g) quinoa
  • ¼ cup (5g) parsley, chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium sized pot and sauté onion, celery, and carrot for about five minutes or until semi cooked. Add romano beans and garlic to vegetables and sauté for an additional two minutes.

  2. Mix in diced tomatoes and vegetable stock and allow mixture to simmer for about twenty minutes.

  3. Then add quinoa, parsley, herbs, and allow quinoa to cook for fifteen minutes with lid on pot.

  4. Once quinoa is cooked, remove bay leaf and add salt and pepper as desired.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

This is such a wonderful soup. If you like beans and quinoa this is honestly the soup for you!

Though I have something to ask you all… have any of you used shredded bay leaves for any of your dishes? I’ve not ever heard of shredded bay leaves and don’t even know how to add that to a soup or anything. Since I was taught to remove the bay leaves how does one remove shredded bay leaves?

Shredded Bay Leaves

For my soup I just added the leaves to a tea leaf strainer and let the leaves boil along with the metal in the pot. How odd is that right? Does anyone else do that?

Well regardless of how I used the bay leaves, this soup came out very well! I actually keep going back for a spoonful! So tasty!

I hope you all get to trying this. It is fabulous! Plus you will have it finished within a half hour!

So please everyone make this dish! You will love it

Happy eating

Perfect Vegetable Soup for any Diet!

As of Monday, my parents decided to get back on the diet train to slim down some. So since then they’ve been nixing carbohydrates, fats, and mostly every beverage out there. With their diet, they end up running out vegetables to enjoy for their meal this means I am keeping an open eye on other meals that will spice up their lives. I’ve found a lovely shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash instead of potato mash with the normal ground beef as one interesting meal.

However for this evening’s meal I thought I’d try to keep a normal dish but keeping it super healthy to follow their diet.

I went for a vegetable soup with a tuna salad sandwich. Except without the bread, but with lettuce. Making it into a wrap.

Vegetable Soup and Tuna Lettuce Wraps

That way mom got to have all her vegetables for her dinner AND her protein. So going into detail abuot their diet, for lunch and dinner they enjoy any veggies and a protein with whatever dressing for their veg.

Meal

Food

Beverage

Breakfast
2 eggs, 2 rashers bacon 1 cup grapefruit juice
Lunch
Any vegetable and protein 1 cup grapefruit juice
Dinner
Any vegetable and protein 1 cup grapefruit juice
Before bed

1 cup tomato juice OR low fat milk

If you do not want to have a cup of grapefruit juice, you can avoid it and have a half a grapefruit instead, though most people find it easier to pour juice out of a carton rather than halve a giant citrus fruit and cut out piece by piece. Also, when you are not drinking the above beverages you will be drinking water.

Anyway, I got the recipe from Cooking Classy, though as for the tuna wrap I didn’t follow a single recipe and just used my imagination and created! The direct link for the soup recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves (25g) garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ¾ bag (525g) mixed vegetables
  • 1 can (475ml) diced tomatoes, in juices
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Chopped parsley as garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.

  2. Pour in vegetables and sauté until soft, then when ready pour in can of diced tomatoes and stir until it begins to simmer.

  3. Mix in parsley and thyme as well as salt and pepper before pouring in vegetable broth. Place bay leaf in contents and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

  4. Once ready, remove that single bay leaf and add any additional herbs to perfect the taste before you pour it into your bowl.

  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Now I didn’t really follow the recipe I linked above, but I did get the idea to make it a tomato based soup from it! Plus I didn’t want to overdo it on vegetables if I already had a bag of pre-packed vegetables!

Pre-Packed Soup Vegetables
Pre-Packed Soup Vegetables

The wraps were literally leaves of lettuce with a tablespoon of tuna salad in the piece of lettuce. I made it with only 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise making it as healthy as possible but still a source of protein for mom!

At any rate, this is a fabulous soup! Dad even had a small bowl-full before he went out for supper with his work colleagues! He thoroughly enjoyed it too.

If you are interested in slimming down and need a good meal for that diet, this may be perfect for you! Just follow the diet I’ve written out above and you’ll be losing kilos as quickly as a day into the diet! Though remember, men lose weight quicker than women. It sucks, but it is a fact.

Anyway, happy eating!

Avo-Avo-Avocado All the Time!

If you like avocado come to South Africa! This country seems to have avocado this and avocado that in every which way you look. Not that I mind as I love avocado, or avo as the locals call it.

My dream is actually to own my own avo plant. I am going through the process of trying to grow one at the moment even! Though it is a very difficult process. You have to get the pit (seed) from your avocado, insert four toothpicks around the pit and emerge half of the pit in a glass of water (ensuring that the point of the pit is facing upwards). You then have to wait a few days for the skin of the pit to fall off and wait up to three weeks until you (MAYBE) see roots sprout from the bottom of the pit. That is when you finally plant your avocado seed to EVENTUALLY (it takes up to 7 years) get your own fruit. Such a long process, eh? And you never know if your pit is good enough until you see roots coming out. Ugh.

Growing an Avocado Tree

Anyway, with avocado being a big thing in this country, I too like to do things with this fruit. So earlier this week I made an avocado hummus! Mmmm mmmmmm!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of can (410g) chickpeas, drained
  • ½ large avocado, cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor combine all ingredients except paprika powder and blend until smooth.

  2. Place green avocado hummus in a bowl and sprinkle paprika powder on top.

  3. And enjoy!

Eat with chips, on bread, in a pita, or with fresh vegetables. I had mine with mini carrots!

Avo Hummus

It was absolutely wonderful. I ate it so quickly that I could only offer a little to my mom to try. And I got lucky as she wasn’t too keen on it! Instead I just finished the entire Tupperware container myself. Excluding the one bite mom had of it.

The thing about my Avocado Hummus is that there were some chickpea chunks, but I love chickpeas so it didn’t matter much, However if you like your hummus smooth like creamy mashed potatoes then by all means blend until fully smooth and lacking any graininess!

This was a great snack for when you were craving something and would usually eat something unhealthy!

I hope you all enjoy this hummus as much as I did!

Healthy Hearty Soup to Cleanse My Body

Learning is one of the greatest things about living. Everyday you learn something new. Be it about the world you live in, the people who surround you, or the body you inhabit.

This weekend I learnt a lot about myself. First I’ve learnt that I cannot speak French. I spent the weekend in Paris with my friend and realized that when in France, I want to speak every language I know BUT French. I spoke some English, Spanish, Dutch, and the little Portuguese I know all in one. Not a word of French ever came out of my mouth.

I also learnt that my body cannot handle copious amounts of non-nutritious food. My friend lives a life of sugar and starch. I doubt she understands what life is with vegetables and fruit, while I do not understand how life can be lived with only sugar and starch. I had about a handful worth of vegetables all weekend long. That is not enough for a human.

So having returned to the Netherlands yesterday night, I promised myself I would make a delicious and nutritious meal the following night. I can tell you that I definitely did just that.

Minestrone Soup for DaysIf you can’t figure out what that is in the large pot, it is minestrone soup. I have been craving it for some time now and decided to finally go about making it. I made a large amount of it too as I know my body needs to have better food inside it than what I have consumed since Friday.

The recipe I used was from here. I followed the recipe to a T, although I used larger proportions for a larger amount of soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can cannelini beans (or any white bean rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ¼ celery, diced
  • ¼ cup zucchini, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, shredded
  • ¼ cup fresh green beans, cut in 2″ pieces
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped (save 1 tbsp for garnish if desired)
  • ½ cup small pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼  tsp 
  • ½ ground Mediterranean oregano
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or large sauce pan and add celery.  Cook the celery for a few minutes (because they take longer to soften) and then add onion, zucchini and green beans.  Once onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
  2. Add the Diced Tomatoes, carrots, the vegetable stock, beans and the spices.  Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add pasta and cook for 15 minutes.  Add spinach during the last 3-4 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Boy, did my body desire such a wonderful thing.

While I was in Paris I had a great time with my friend and making new friends, but the food was just not good for me. Chips, cookies, and other sweet thing just aren’t good for this body of mine. Do you understand what I am saying? No, this isn’t me just feeling guilty about what I’ve eaten. This is my internal organs screaming at me not to eat poorly ever again.

I hope you all enjoy this soup as much as I did.

Happy eating.

P.S. Here are some photos of my little weekend vacation. My friend is not in any of the photos as she hates camera’s, instead you will see my new friends.

The Eiffel Tower and I

IMG_2020
View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower
IMG_2089
My new friend and I at the 1am Light Show

 

Healthy Meal with Exploration of Zuid-Holland

It feels as though I have been on a cooking vacation/hiatus. It literally feels like forever since I’ve been in a kitchen. Except I cannot live without being in the kitchen. But today was definitely the first meal in a week? I think it has been a week!

Last weekend an old friend came by. I have not seen her for ten years so this was like a reunion type of thing. We spent Friday night just catching up on the couch, just talking until sleep came over us. Then Saturday morning we hopped on a tram to Madurodam, which is like a miniaturized version of the Netherlands. Once we were done from there I took her to Scheveningen, this being the most popular beach in the country. Before we left from the beach we had a little bite to eat at a Japanese restaurant and then we popped back to my apartment to get our belongings and headed to my mom’s house. We had a quiet night eating dinner with my family and watching the Voice UK and then hit the sack. The following morning we headed to the city of Leiden and explored the downtown area.

Postcard from Madurodam

But tonight now that I am back in the kitchen, I made falafels with homemade hummus and carrots. I’ve been craving chimichurri sauce and thought this would go great with my new obsession for falafels. It truly did. Perfectly delicious!

I made both a homemade hummus and chimichurri sauce while just fried store bought falafels and heated some pita bread.

Falafels with Carrots and Hummus

Classic Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup Chickpeas, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. If hummus is not smooth enough for your liking add more lemon juice and/or olive oil.

  2. Scoop hummus into small bowl and refrigerate.

Chimichurri Sauce (recipe found here):

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teasooons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. If sauce is not liquid enough, add more olive oil or lemon juice and mix until smooth.

Assembling Your Falafel:

  1. Choose your vegetables and chop in the appropriate size

  2. Heat pita breads in oven until warm

  3. Fry falafels until brown and warm

  4. Once pitas are warm, cut half of the pita along the rim and coat sides of pita with hummus

  5. Cut the falafel balls in half and place in the pita. Top with greens of choice (I used arugula lettuce, slices of red pepper, and whole chickpeas)

  6. Top with chimichurri sauce and additional hummus if you want

  7. Now enjoy your meal!

Falafel with Carrots and HummusThis was so delicious and really filling. I hope you make it as well and enjoy it as I have!

As they say in Greek: καλή όρεξη! (Enjoy your meal)

P.S. Here are some more photos of our travels over the weekend to Madurodam and Leiden:

Giant Seagull Taking Over the World (or at least Madurodam)
Giant Seagull Taking Over the World (or at least Madurodam)

For those that know me, I love dodge rams... so finding one in Madurodam was great!
For those that know me, I love dodge rams… so finding one in Madurodam was great!

Together in Madurodam

Gate Towards Citadel of Leiden

The City Hall of Leiden
The City Hall of Leiden
View of Church of Leiden from the Citadel
View of Church of Leiden from the Citadel