I love avocado. This may be why I love living in South Africa. Avocados are everywhere and with every dish. YUM!
So for this evenings meal I had to utilize avocados!
Although the recipe is a vegetarian one, I topped it with chicken. But because the actual recipe is strictly vegetarian this is a very vegetarian post!
I got the recipe for this lovely and easy meal from Cooking Classy though the direct link to the recipe can be found here.
1 ½ cup (600g) wild rice
2 medium avocados
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup (15g) chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook wild rice as instructed on packaging.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl mash both avocados with a fork until smooth. Add lime juice, cilantro, cumin, garlic, and S&P until mixed well.
Once rice has been cooked, combine rice with avocado mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.
I sliced two chicken breasts over the avo rice mixture and placed a few leaves of cilantro on the chicken.
Honestly the avo rice tastes JUST like guacamole. How amazing is that!? Plus wild rice is delicious on its own so this was heavenly. Just heavenly.
Here’s an interesting fact for you about wild rice. I’m just learnt this and find it rather interesting at least. Did you know that one cup of raw wild rice is equal to four cups of cooked wild rice. One simple cup to four cups, wow.
Anyway, I recently bought two amazing books. I honestly can’t stop reading the one book which consists of many amazing stories. Normally I’m not interested in books that contain several stories rather than just one consistent story, but this book is FANTASTIC! This book is called 101 Kruger Tales – it’s a novel of several extraordinary stories that people experienced while being in the Kruger National Park. The other book I bought was The Elephant Whisperer which is about a man who helped elephants which were damaged by horrible people and such. The best part is that since the man died (about five years ago), every year on his birthday the herd of elephants come to his widows house and pay their respects. How lovely is that!?
If you are planning on coming to South Africa or just love exciting stories you really should get 101 Kruger Tales!
What is your favourite herb? And do you pronounce the H in the word herb or pronounce it as “erb”? I guess because I was raised by my Canadian mother and speaking her English I tend to pronounce the H in herb. But although I speak Canadian English, there are a lot of American things I tend to do in English. Like I spell color without the U yet I spell a lot of other things with an RE at the end. Or I add the U to certain words like “neighbourhood”.
Anyway, what was I asking? Oh yeah, what is your favourite herb?
Mine is definitely cilantro (or coriander). The fresh stuff. Yum yum yum. Though I can tell you that it is difficult to grow. I’ve failed in Holland and in South Africa. Have any of you successfully grown cilantro?
So cilantro did feature in this evenings meal.
I made a fantastic quinoa and chicken bowls. Bowls being a meal combined in a bowl.
I got the recipe from Eat. Drink. Love. – what a lovely name for a blog! The direct link for the recipe can be found here. I didn’t really make the bowl like the photos on Eat. Drink. Love., but it all tasted grand!
2 large chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (170g) quinoa
2 cups (470ml) chicken broth
1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (425g) black beans
¼ cup (59ml) water
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (40g) cilantro, chopped
¾ cup (115g) green peas
1 large tomato, chopped
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt and pepper then add chicken breasts to honey lime mixture and allow to marinade for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a pot of chicken broth to boil. Once boiling, add quinoa to bubbling chicken broth and cover pot. Remember to turn down heat to low to allow quinoa to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes and do NOT remove lid until quinoa has fully absorbed broth. Then turn heat off.
Mix in ¼ cup of cilantro and 1 ½ tablespoons into the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to quinoa for additional flavour.
In a small frying pan on medium heat, add can of black beans WITH liquid. Mix in spices and mix well. Fill ¼ cup water to can of beans and then place in bean mixture. Turn heat down to low and allow black beans to simmer for 15 minutes.
Then take chicken breasts from marinade and place in a frying pan at medium heat and begin to fry. Watch out that honey from marinade can cause chicken to burn easily.
Once chicken is cooked set aside. Once cooled begin to shred chicken for bowls.
When everything is ready begin setting up your bowls. Fill bowls in following order:
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Now you do not need to fill your bowls as I have, but my mom isn’t all too keen on black beans so I wanted to remove the bean flavour from mixing in with the quinoa for her. Just to ensure it isn’t all too black bean-y. And if you want you could also add some dairy to your dish (cheese or sour cream), but I kept it simple.
Although it was simple without cheese or sour cream it came out great! I have to say cilantro is definitely the key ingredient in this masterpiece. It just adds so much flavour to the meal!
God, I love cilantro!
Well this meal turned out fantastically. Mom and I even went for seconds after setting up a plate for our housekeeper for lunch tomorrow. It was wonderful! The beans made the dish more Mexican, but the honey and lime made think of a more Asian meal. Which I find weird, but whatever.
If you end up making this I hope you love it as much as we did!
It has been a very long time since I’ve had a Meatless Monday and you know what? Today I’ve got a Meatless Monday Meal for y’all! Woohoo!
So my dad thinks he should go on a diet and his version of a diet is meat and veg. Well since I do not eat most of the meat he likes I thought I would give him a protein packed vegetarian meal. The best protein packed ingredient that I know he also enjoys would have to be lentils so that is what I made for dinner tonight, something very lentil filled.
I got the recipe from here but I was very dissatisfied by the way it was written. Both the instructions and the grammar were atrocious. Though it could just be that I dislike poor spelling and grammar. So if you are like me and dislike poorly written recipes just read below and you will see my version of the recipe!
1 cup (200g) dried red lentils
5 cups (565g) spinach leaves, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ cup (115g) red onion, diced
1 small green chili
2 cups (470ml) water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons cumin powder
½ teaspoon mustard
2 Tablespoons olive oil
A pinch red pepper flakes
Sauté the red lentils, spinach, half the garlic, red onion, and green chili in a large pan until spinach has wilted. Then pour water and bouillon cube into pan and allow lentils to cook. When lentils are finally soft drain water (though keep it to adjust consistency of curry).
With a handheld food processor or potato masher mash cooked lentils and vegetables to a semi-purée with chunks. Add salt for more flavour.
Use stock water to make a more curry-like consistency.
In a small frying pan fry the remainder of the garlic, add cumin, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Cook until a smooth hot consistency.
Pour hot garlic-mustard mixture into lentils and mix well.
Serve with rice and/or naan.
I’m sure cumin seeds and mustard seeds would have made a better combination for the flavouring but I just used American mustard and cumin powder from a jar. Why buy something you won’t end up using another day?
I do not know if you all know of my background in the hospitality industry, but I had a teacher who would call the handheld food processor a dildo and now to this day I call that device the dildo. Thanks Mr. Young! There are a few items that I sexualize due to my teachers actually. Mr. Young made certain kitchen devices sexual while Mr. C would make the professional coffee machine in the restaurant dirty. I guess it is a good way to remember what to do and how to clean things. Kind of like acronyms to help you remember certain things in school.
Anyway this was my meal for the day and it went pretty well. I am definitely full and believe my parents are too. Lentils definitely rock and keep us well fed!
If you all end up making this I hope you enjoy it too! Curry is always nice for a cold day for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is as if I fell off the side of the earth. Except instead of landing into outer space I landed in South Africa!
Tomorrow evening will make a full week of being in South Africa. The ten days or so before that, I spent both cleaning my apartment up to “check out” as well as just spent some quality time with both my parents and my sister. Because I didn’t have my apartment to make true love-filled cuisine for my loved ones, we just ate out. A LOT. And because of all the eating out, I have a lot of restaurant reviews I’ll have to do soon!
But before I get to that, I think it is time to update you on a lovely meal! Also my first meal made in South Africa for my mom and dad. I can happily say that they both enjoyed this to the max.
For this evening I made both a lovely meal and a very rich dessert. If y’all are dessert lovers, this could be something you can handle. If not, stay clear from that recipe!
I already know that I make a killer Greek marinated chicken, so I thought maybe dinner should be Greek cuisine. Neither mom nor dad had ever had this Greek chicken meal before, so I thought I would treat them to our favourite culinary treat made from our own kitchen. While I was thinking of this meal though, I had to think of something to pair with the chicken. What I thought of was rice. So I found a nice Mediterranean rice recipe which actually had a more Indian twang to it instead. Was delicious nevertheless!
Heat the oil, turmeric, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon in a medium pot over medium heat.
Add the dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to slightly toast the rice and spices. You may hear a slight popping or crackling noise as the rice toasts.
Add 2.5 cups of chicken broth and one bay leaf to the pot. Place a lid on top, increase the heat to high, and bring the pot to a rolling boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let it simmer (with the lid in place) for 10 minutes or as long as directed on packaging.
After letting it simmer for 10 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest (do not remove the lid) for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!
This made a superb rice! My parents were very very impressed. Though it is more of an Indian style, it went perfectly with everything. Next time we make Indian, I’ll be sure to make this rice with it!
A few hours after we had dinner we had dessert. Only because I had to allow the top of the cake to set. You know how men are known for not reading instructions? Yes that is a generalization, but it seems to be a very true one most of the time. Well sometimes when I am in the kitchen I too do not read instructions. Oops!
I got the recipe from here, though I used my famous chocolate cake instead of a box cake. Do any of you every think boxed ANYTHING tastes fake compared to something homemade? To me I can just taste the falseness in the flavours. Yuck! I have yet to share my homemade chocolate cake with you guys, but stay tuned! I am sure it will happen sooner rather than later. What with me living with my mom again and all!
Here are the ingredients:
1 package chocolate cake mix and the ingredients needed to make the cake according to the package
3 cups (339g) ricotta cheese
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (5.1 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup cold almond milk
1 ½ cup canned whipped cream
Preheat your oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC) and spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.
In another bow, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.
Bake the cake at 350ᵒF (175ᵒC) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Once cooled, flip cake so ricotta is on the serving plate first and the chocolate cake is above it (not touching the plate)
Begin to stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully, fold the whipped cream into the pudding until combined.
Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day.
The whole last step about allowing the cake to refrigerate for six hours completely went over my head. So instead I had it cool for a minimum of three hours. I had planned dessert time for nine o’clock! Though the anticipation was so high that we had it at 8:30PM instead!
The ricotta was a little too weird for mom, but it tasted grand. Incredibly rich – I will eat it alongside a large glass of almond milk, but still good.
I had to show my sister in Holland and she instantly decided she and her best friend would have to make it! So one way or another, my entire immediate family will have some rich cake in their lives! Wonderful!
Anyway, I hope all of you enjoy the Greek style rice with this truly chocolatey cake!
It is official. I hate the heat. Actually no, I hate that the Dutch haven’t thought to install air conditioning units into just about every apartment or house. I hope that after this summer heat they will think that global warming is a real thing and that each coming summer will have highs of thirty. With that knowledge the Dutch will then put air conditionings into houses and apartments. Because Lord knows this heat is making me suffer.
A woman is not supposed to perpetrate like I am. It is horrible.
Anyway I finally did what I needed to do: I made tacos for Taco Tuesday!
I got the recipe from here, though there are several ingredients I left out.
2 gorditas (or small tortilla wraps)
1 cup iceberg lettuce
½ lb (200g) shrimp, deveined
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon paprika powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ avocados
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
In a small frying pan, heat olive oil and add shrimp to cook. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika powder, thyme, garlic, and salt and fry until cooked thoroughly.
Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Remove the meat from the skin of the avocado and place in a large bowl (or food processor depending on ripeness of avocado), add chopped garlic and onion and mash until avocado is mushy. Add cilantro, lemon juice, and vinegar and mix until flavour is as you prefer. Mix in salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lay out gorditas and place iceberg lettuce on top, spread shrimp over lettuce, add a dollop of guacamole on top of the shrimp and sprinkle with leaves of cilantro.
I have never processed guacamole, but one of my avocados were a bit hard so I couldn’t smoothen it out with just a fork so the food processor worked best! And it worked out best!
Guacamole – like toasted tomato sandwiches, is something I am known for making well. Every time we have traditional tacos at home I have the task of making guacamole for the family. Both my sister and I can eat it straight out the bowl! Mmmhmmm!
You know, because it is so hot and my body cannot handle the heat too well without the air conditioning, I barely eat. Is that a thing for others as well? I was honestly full after only two tacos. The two that are photographed. That is insane! Especially since I usually can eat a horse!
Anyway, I hope those of you who make my famous guacamole AND the tacos enjoy everything to the max!
Recently I realized that my “lazy day” food tends to fall under the same thing, but it constantly has a twist! Sometimes it has beans in it, sometimes peas, sometimes fresh tomatoes, sometimes ground veggie crumbles, and sometimes just plain ole tomato sauce.
Can you guess what my lazy day food is?
Well it is pasta of course!
And today I added this amazing stuff I saw at my health food store.
It is Ground “Beef” from the Vegetarian Butchers! How amazing is that!? And on that green circular sticker it says that this stuff won the award for the best tasting vegetarian beef in 2012, that is how good this stuff is!
I ended up cooking it all but only using a half of that slab of “ground beef”. It was rather fulfilling even with only a half of that used.
That was my complete meal. I never just warm up a jar of pasta sauce, I always make my own from scratch. If you are also interested in making your own sauce just look below to my recipe:
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped thinly
½ cup (125g) ground “beef”
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (390g) chopped tomato in juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
a pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Microwave ground “beef” for about a minute to allow frozen meat to thaw out. Break in half and place one half in fridge and the other on a frying pan with one tablespoon of olive oil.
Begin chopping onion and garlic and set aside. Keep eye on meat to keep from burning. Once cooked remove meat from pan and place on plate or in a bowl.
Add chopped onion and garlic to hot frying pan with second tablespoon of olive oil. Fry until fragrant then add meat back into pan. Cook for about two minutes. Then add tomatoes in juice to meat mixture.
Add spices to the sauce to add flavour. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer to combine flavours. If sauce becomes too dry add a couple tablespoons of water to mixture.
Serve immediately over any sort of pasta you’ve cooked and enjoy!
This was a fantastic meal and I cannot wait to make something else with this ground “beef” from the Vegetarian Butchers.
Where you’re from do they have meat like this? From a Vegetarische Slagerij? Or do you only get Vegetarian Meat Crumbles from your basic grocery store?
If you are ever in the Netherlands and you happen to be a vegetarian, I do suggest you take a visit to Den Haag and go to the Vegetarische Slager. Although according to the website (which I just visited) they are located everywhere it would seem. SO you wouldn’t have to only visit The Hague, but you could go pretty much anywhere. Awesome!
Well you definitely should and enjoy it! I know I am!
While my lazy day go-to meal is pasta, I know others tend to go for take-out pizza, McDonald’s, soup, porridge, etc. So what is yours since you now know mine!
Learning the Kitchen as I follow my Culinary Quest in life