Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Rice Noodles with Shrimp Scampi

Food. Food is a deadly thing. It is amazingly delicious most of the time, but it is so grand that sometimes you end up stuffing your face. And you know what? I stuffed my face today. I really did. I have a food baby in my belly.

So today mom and I had it lazy. Initially we had planned to go down to the neighbourhood clubhouse for dinner (as every Wednesday they have a buffet dinner), but instead we made our own meals at home. And mom didn’t even make her own meal. She popped her “meal box” into the microwave though and ended up with sweet and sour chicken curry. I however made a real meal. Best of all it was my favourite protein ever!

Shrimp.

I love love love shrimp. I’m not too keen on removing the shell from king or queen shrimp, but normal shrimp that has already been deveined and such is perfect for me.

Rice Noodle Shrimp Dish

I got the recipe from The Recipe Club but if you would like to see the recipe directly, here is the link. The original recipe feeds four people while my recipe is perfect for two. Or even just one very hungry mouth (like mine was).

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 brick rice noodles
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (approx. 3 cloves) garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup (205g) frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 3 slices of half a lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and vegetable oil to water as you bring you water to boil.

  2. Meanwhile in a small skillet or frying pan combine butter and olive oil until bubbling. Add chopped garlic and cook until aromatic (be careful as garlic burns easily). Add shrimp and cook until pink (approx. 5 minutes), then remove from heat and add parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon slices. Add last two ingredients and set aside.

  3. Water should be boiling now. Place your rice noodles into the pot and allow to cook. Noodles should be cooked in just 3 minutes.

  4. Drain noodles and return to pot. Combine shrimp mixture with noodles and toss till all is coated.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Shrimp with Rice NoodlesOkay, so I didn’t quite combine my shrimp and noodles all that well because rice noodles are a difficult thing to deal with, BUT I tried. And it still came out pretty well! I may have placed a few too much lemon juice in it though. I also could have done more by adding more garlic as I am a garlic lover, though I was quite content with this. I mean an hour later and I am still very very full.

I really do have a food baby.

Anyway, you may have noticed I called the measurement for the rice noodles a brick. The reason I do that is because the noodles come in a rolled up chunk which is very brick-like. Think like your raw egg noodles that you get for ichiban instant noodles. The noodles are shaped in a brick. Well rice noodles are much the same.

This was a delicious and I am glad to have enjoyed a lovely shrimp dish. Shrimp is definitely my favourite shellfish from the shellfish family. It is just a shame my mom doesn’t like them. That is one good thing to look forward to when living alone again. More delicious shrimp dishes!

Oh well! I hope you all enjoyed this recipe and have a wonderful rest of the day!

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Indian Pumpkin Heaven

It is meatless Monday again, and another day to enjoy pumpkin. Yay pumpkin!

Today I made a big batch of pumpkin puree and decided freezing it would make for a good idea. At least for the next time I make something which needs puree. I can tell you that this will be soon.  I’m in the mood for pumpkin cookies…

But for now? For now I made a pumpkin curry.

Lots of Pumpkin Curry

You all should know I have a thing for Indian cuisine by now. I mean Trinidadian cuisine is more Indian than Caribbean and I do love a good curry. Delicious.

So here is today’s meal that I got from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup (495g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cans (800g) canned tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (125ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cans (448g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (224g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes)

  2. Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, coconut milk, black beans, and chickpeas. Add 1 tablespoon of curry paste and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and add another tablespoon of curry paste (keep in mind that some are spicier than others) add final tablespoon of curry paste if you can handle heat.

  3. Mix well before adding three tablespoons of agave nectar to your curry, this will balance the flavours.

  4. Bring to a boil and make sure all ingredients are mixed well together. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on a very low simmer.

  5. Serve over rice or quinoa.

 I served mine over the yellow rice I’ve previously made when I first moved here. But it didn’t taste as good as it did that day.

Do you ever have that? Where you make something (just as you did previously) yet it doesn’t taste the same? It makes for difficult times!

Pumpkin Curry and Yellow Rice

I love how it looks colorful, though it is only red, black and white. Like that riddle: What’s black, white, and red all over?

My curry! And a newspaper… the real answer is a newspaper.

Anyway, I hope this interests you as much as it did me and my pumpkin obsession!

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें
Or as they say in English: Enjoy your meal!

‘Tis the Season to Enjoy Pumpkins!

‘Tis the season to enjoy Pumpkins, well at least it is in the Northern Hemisphere. BUT it is October, the month of Jack’o’lanterns, so why can’t it also be the month of everything pumpkin? Well in my household it is! Even my sister who lives in the Netherlands knows that!

Pumpkin this, pumpkin that, pumpkin EVERYTHING!

To start off the season right I made a soup with pumpkin!

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Although I wasn’t too fond of the soup, when dad came home (from his two weeks in Angola), he went for seconds he loved it that much.

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

I got the recipe from here, but I added more pumpkin and another step to the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 4 cups (1kg) pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (185g) quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups (720ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Handful cilantro, diced

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook until aromatic.

  2. Add pumpkin and spices and cook for a couple minutes.

  3. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes just before adding the remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.

  4. Add beans and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Once quinoa is cooked and pumpkin is soft, grab a potato masher and mash pumpkin until soft (leave some chunks of pumpkin whole).

  6. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro.

Although it is hot in Africa, lately I’ve been rather chilly, so this soup was perfect for dinner to warm my frozen body up.

Also, I’ve been meaning to educate you all on how to cut an onion. Now I know we all know how to cut an onion, but do you know the best way to do so? And the quickest?

One of my best friends taught me while we were in the kitchen. I was taking forever to cut and thankfully she came around and showed me the easiest way. Now I even cut tomatoes like this when I need chopped tomato!

First slice it length-wise
First slice it closest to the chopping board, horizontally
Then slice it higher, still length-wise
Then slice it higher, still horizontally
And again till you're at the top, length-wise
And again till you’re at the top, horizontally 
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Continue to slice the onion vertically
Continue to slice the onion vertically
And again
And again
Now begin slicing until it looks like you've cubed your onion
Now begin slicing until it looks like you’ve cubed your onion

Now you should know how to cut an onion just like all the big time chefs of the world (or at least the chefs that taught me). And you have a great pumpkin soup recipe. I am sure this soup will benefit you more than it does me if you are based in the northern hemisphere where it is currently autumn. I know there’s already been severe snowfall in Alberta, Canada during the final months of summer, so it may be a very cold winter.

And a cold winter is best accompanied by a nice hot soup, right?

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Green Food Made Right

Who loves healthy cuisine which is bright green in color?  I’m sure I can answer that one for you – me!

I am sure there is something wrong with me for liking bright (almost toxic) green foods. But they are just so pretty. To think Aqua is my favourite color with my love for bright green in food!

So for tonight’s meal we went for a simple healthy and bright green pasta sauce on spaghetti. Yum!

Keepin' It Green

I got the recipe from here and followed it to a Tee, but just had to share its amazingness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup (45g) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup (225g) spinach, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a small food processor combine avocado, basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper if desired.

  2. Add green sauce to pasta (if you’ve made some) and combine Parmesan cheese to pasta and sauce mixture.

  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

How easy is that!? And so delicious. And you know what is even better? Before you mix Parmesan cheese to the pasta the sauce almost tastes like guacamole! This I love very much.

Avocado Pasta Sauce

Because I LOVE guacamole. Actually scratch that, I love avocados. Period. I would LOVE to have an avocado tree.

Imagine just walking through the back yard when you’re craving for a full and fleshy avocado for a snack or even a salad and being able to! That does sound heavenly. Shame it takes several years to actually be able to grow avocados on a tree! UGH.

Oh and if you’re wondering, the spaghetti I used was this fantastic gluten free stuff we got from Woolworths.

Gluten Free SpaghettiWhy doesn’t NL have this much gluten free goodness in our grocery stores? Good thing I’m in South Africa now!

Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy this meal as much as my mom and I did!

Eet smakelijk!

P.S. If you ever have a water shortage it would be best to refrain from making pasta in a food processor or at all as most of the tools used to make pasta (and a sauce) need to be rinsed if not washed immediately. Tools such as the strainer, food processor, cheese grater, as well as pans and plates. But with a water shortage this cannot be done.

Big mistake on my part!

But do enjoy your meal!

Panorama of Walk Haven dog Heaven
Panorama of Walk Haven dog Heaven

Here’s a Pilaf for Meatless Monday

I had planned to make dinner at three in the afternoon, but you know what happened? I couldn’t for the life of me find the bay leaf! And I needed that bay leaf! I searched high and low for it and came up empty. So instead I had to wait for 5 o’clock to roll around so I could ask mom where she had hidden it.

Well when she came she too could not find the packet of bay leaves. It is as though they have gone missing!

Well luckily dinner is super-fast and easy tonight, with our without the bay leaf! So I just started dinner at five, two hours later than I had hoped. But I can tell you I did make some homemade raita at three-ish. That can hint off the theme for tonight’s meal.

But if you are not so culturally experienced in cuisines, tonight’s theme of a meal comes from India! And you know what? It fits with Meatless Monday!

Indian Pilaf with Raita

I love Indian cuisine. So much that I told my parents the other day that I should fall in love with an Indian so that his mama and I can be in the kitchen together so I can learn proper traditional Indian food. Sounds good does it not? I guess I should go down to Durban for that. Apparently that is where all the Indians are located in South Africa.

Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but pretty much followed the recipe except for the fact that I didn’t have a bay leaf. This fact really annoys me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup (250g) Jasmine rice
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 cup (170g) frozen assorted vegetables, thawed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tomato, chopped small
  • 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped finely
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • Juice from one lemon
  • A handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped

Spices

  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mango, baked
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala

Instructions:

  1. Wash and soak rice in water for a half hour, while soaking add all spices excluding cumin and Garam Masala together in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. In a large pan, heat oil and cook cumin until its aromatic (10 seconds)

  3. Add minced garlic, ginger, and green chilies to oil and cumin mix, fry for a minute and then add chopped onion and cook until lightly caramelized.

  4. Once onions are lightly browned, add spices in small bowl to mixture as well as thawed vegetables. Mix and cover and cook for five minutes.

  5. Add chickpeas and chopped tomato to mix and combine.

  6. Now add strained rice and 1 ½ cups water to mixture and gently fold in. Allow mixture to begin to boil at medium heat and cover and turn to simmer. Cook rice for 10-12 minutes or until rice is cooked completely.

  7. Once rice is cooked, add lemon juice and stir lightly. Turn heat off and add Garam Masala to the mix.

  8. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and raita to lessen bite.

  9. Enjoy!

Pretty easy right? Yum yum. But do you know how to make raita? If not here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cucumber, grated
  • 1 cup (250ml) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon, Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions:

  1. Grate half a cucumber (with skin on) and press until dry with paper towels. Once drained place in a small bowl.

  2. Add minced garlic and yoghurt and mix thoroughly.

  3. Sprinkle Garam Masala and mix well.

  4. Once ready to serve, sprinkle chili on top and enjoy!

So the recipe for the raita I got from here, but it didn’t have garlic in it and well I LOVE garlic (plus isn’t raita meant to have that spicy kick that garlic makes?) so I added that key ingredient.

If you checked out the original recipe for the pilaf you would have noticed that it called for Mango Powder. If you were anything like me you would have wondered what the hell that was. Well I googled to see how to make it and was pretty bummed to find out it takes five days to create. BUT if you are interested in creating it click here to find the recipe.

Vegan Indian PilafIf you aren’t a fan of spicy I would opt out from adding chili powder to the raita, otherwise follow all that is above. It should make a spectacular meal that you will very much enjoy!

I know I did.

So if you make this meal I hope you do enjoy.

As they say in Hindi:

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें or

Apanē bhōjana kā ānanda lēṁ

Sweet Craving Cured with a Mugcake!

I hate getting cravings for something sweet! And it is usually when there is nothing in your household!

I had that craving last night. Luckily I recently bought a carton of eggs so I had an egg to produce a masterpiece. Though my masterpiece tasted more the part than it looked. If I had powdered sugar it would have made my cake look better!

 Chocolate Coconut Flour Mugcake

I realized that for those times when I crave something sweet, I should always have coconut flour on hand. It makes the best tasting sweets! Plus coconut flour smells amazing! It is like a powdered Caribbean goodness! Kind of like sunscreen, but edible!

So I got the recipe from here and pretty much followed it to a T except that I keep my sweetener of choice as vegan as possible. AKA: my sweetener of choice is always agave nectar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a medium coffee mug mix all dry ingredients together until a light brown color.

  2. Crack the shell of your egg and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well (make sure all dry ingredients are no longer at the bottom of the mug).

  3. Add agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond milk to mixture and mix until smooth.

  4. Place in microwave for three minutes and enjoy!

I then drizzled some extra agave nectar over the top of the mugcake. It was truly delicious!

Though again I know how my presentation sucked! Next time I’ll have to use some fresh berries and frozen yoghurt to enhance the presentation of my mugcake!

And the next time I do this, I will most likely be feeding the likes of my mom! So some ice cream would work best for that moment. 

Anyway, enjoy your sweet craving cake making!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Paella-Like Dish!

I have recently realized that I am addicted to shrimp. Maybe even all shellfish. But shrimp is what I can get my hands on more often than any other shellfish (since grocery stores only ever carry artificial crab for salads and sushi – yuck!) I am pretty sure that artificial anything isn’t all that good. Well except for artificial food coloring, I really don’t mind things unnaturally colored a bright red or something. Colors are awesome!

But now I am going off topic. So about food, shrimp to be precise.

Last night I made a sort of Paella-like dish which had shrimp. If you do not know what Paella is, it is a rice dish that uses a lot of saffron and paprika powder. It is most commonly known for being a seafood dish, but you can use sausage with it, make it purely vegetarian, or even a meat lover’s dish! I have only ever had it as a vegetarian dish and a seafood dish, but I am sure all ways are equally delicious.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

For last night’s dish, instead of using rice though, I used quinoa! The original recipe can be found here, but my tweaked recipe will be seen below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons salted butter
  • 1 lb (500g) shrimp, deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onion and 2 cloves garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add uncooked quinoa, ½ paprika powder, and ¼ red pepper flakes and mix for about a minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is cooked it should be fluffed with a fork for greater volume.

  2. While quinoa is cooking, in a smaller pan heat 1 teaspoon of butter, when melted add shrimp and sprinkle with remaining paprika powder and red pepper flakes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Cook until shrimp are no longer translucent, finally add minced clove of garlic to the pan to add extra flavour.

  3. Melt remaining butter in 2 minced cloves of garlic to make a sauce for drizzling.

  4. Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, sprinkling with parsley. When garlic butter is melted and cooled, drizzle over shrimp and quinoa and serve immediately!

  5. Enjoy!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

This dish was absolutely delicious! Though it could have been a bit more garlicky. Yet when you look at the recipe it already is pretty garlicky!

I guess shrimp and garlic are my culinary vices!

Oh and last night the Netherlands played Australia and of course kicked Aussie butt! The score was 3-2. I was fully decked out in orange in support for our national team the Hollandse Leeuwen!

Hup Holland Hup!

Who were you supporting, the Dutch or the Australians?

Anyway, if you make this recipe I hope you enjoy it! I know I did!

Eet Smakelijk!

Colorful Taco’s and Tulips

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend doing all sorts of great stuff.

I spent my weekend with my father who came up to Europe for work. He’s been in and around Scotland, France, Germany, and had a weekend off and spent it with my sister and I. Although I did see him about three weeks ago before he and mom moved to South Africa, it was nice having him over and spending quality time with him.

Dad and his two daughters at the Keukenhof
Dad and his two daughters at the Keukenhof

Because Daddy was here I didn’t really cook as I tend to more experiment in the kitchen rather than make dishes I know I like. So I feared I would make something absolutely disgusting and we’d have to go out anyway. Instead we went out rather than my cookery making us all ill. We had Greek on Friday, Japanese and Indian on Saturday, and McDonald’s on Sunday. It had been a long time since both my sister and I had McDonald’s so it was a nice change.

Question: When you go to restaurant outings do you ever rate the place? I try to always do so on TripAdvisor!

Now that Dad has gone back to being all over Europe I am back to making my own healthy meals.

Spicy Pangasius Taco Bowl

For tonight’s meal I went for a Spicy Pangasius Taco Bowl. Now I know I swore I wouldn’t be eating meat anymore due to my last incident with causing my smoke alarm to go off, but I couldn’t help myself. This meal looked so good online that I had to make it myself. I found the recipe here, but used a different fish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Pangasius filets
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (150g)  fresh sweet corn kernels 
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can (150g) black beans
  • 1 cups (250ml) cooked brown rice
  • fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, or pico de gallo for topping

Instructions:

  1. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish filets. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish filets to the pan. Grill the fish on each side for several minutes, checking the middle whether if done or not (fish should be completely white and flake apart easily). Remove fish filets and set aside.

  3. Add corn, red peppers, and onions to the pan with no additional oil. Heat over high heat for several minutes WITHOUT stirring to get a brown/black roasted look on the outside. Repeat for several minutes (stir, wait, stir, wait) until the peppers and onions are tender-crisp. Add the black beans and heat through.

  4. Layer rice, corn/pepper mixture, and fish in a bowl – or mix everything together in the skillet. Top with any of the toppings listed above!

Pangasius Taco Bowl

Just one plate (or bowl) of this can really fill you up! I haven’t eaten much today and yet I was full before I could even finish my plate. Luckily I had made enough to make another bowl and place in the fridge for tomorrow.

If you do not really like fish because of the fishiness, then this is honestly the best dish for you. Both tilapia and pangasius are wonderful fishes to cook as they are not fishy at all! So I really think you all should try this.

On a side note, if you’re ever in the Netherlands between March to May you should try and visit the Keukenhof. If you like flowers or you like to see what is typical of the country you visit then the Keukenhof is a place to attend! It is a giant park filled with tulips of all sorts lined up to make designs when looked upon from above. Truly beautiful.

Rows of Flowers

Tulipa "Caribbean Parrot"
Tulipa “Caribbean Parrot”

The Tulip Covered Cow and II hope you enjoy the recipe and one day come to our beautiful country of the Netherlands!

Eet smakelijk!

 

Colorful Mexican Stuffed Avocado

‘Tis the season to be colorful. The season of Spring is the perfect season to bring out all the colors in your closet or make-up drawers. Or in my case – place on a plate and indulge in!

Although I am always colorful when it comes to food. Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, I will always find an excuse to add a pop of color to a normal white plate. Mexican Quinoa stuffed Avocado

This looks pretty festive for the season of Spring, wouldn’t you think?

And not only is this beautiful, but it is delicious too!

Although the recipe is considered as an appetizer, I’ve made this into a meal. Because why would someone combine all this protein for an appetizer? If this is the starter then the meal must be the size of a pea! Anyway, I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients
  • Avocados (1 small avocado per person)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Start by rinsing your quinoa well and then place it in a sauce pan and toast for about two minutes until the quinoa starts to smell ‘toasty.’ Add one cup of water or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. (To get fluffy quinoa, it’s really important to not stir it, just let it be, keeping a close eye on it)

  2. Chop the red onion and red pepper and add all the ingredients, minus the quinoa, in a bowl and mix well with the taco seasoning. Once the quinoa is finished and has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture.

  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool.

  4. To assemble the avocados, begin by cutting them in half, removing the skin and the pit. (You can also scoop a little extra from the pit to add more room for the quinoa mixture – do this after you peel the skin off!)

  5. Scoop about ½ a cup of the quinoa mixture into each avocado, more if you can fit it.

  6. Finish by mixing Greek yoghurt and lemon juice together and adding a little dollop on top of the quinoa mixture and some chopped cilantro and serve.

  7. Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed AvocadoDoesn’t that look too much to be for an appetizer? Especially with the fact that black beans, quinoa, AND avocado have protein in it. Not to mention the fact that Greek yoghurt has protein too! Although, a dollop or two doesn’t give you quite the kick needed.

So that’s my dinner for this evening.

But, because I only used a tablespoon of taco seasoning there is a big chance that I’ll make taco’s tomorrow for dinner. I just need to buy lettuce, salsa, and wraps. I’ve got everything else to make a perfect taco or six. (When I was younger, I loved tacos so much that I would have between four to six – no lie) I don’t think I can accomplish that now though.

Y’all should totally make this. You could make it as it should be, an appetizer. OR you can eat it as I did as a meal.

Buen provecho, gente!

Following Culinary Trends with Healthy Eating

I never thought I would conform to the “in” trends, but I have noticed that I am doing just that. I am currently in the process of building a hypothetical business for my final year studying International Business and Hospitality and have to determine whether my business will be on or off trend. I looked up the top five culinary trends of last year and the forecasted trends for this year.

Here are last years culinary trends:

  1. Healthier meal choices
  2. Smaller portions
  3. Local, artisan food
  4. Asian inspired comfort food
  5. Salted fruit

And here are the forecasted trends:

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood’s
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmentally sustainable
  4. Healthful kids’ meals
  5. Gluten free

Now my hypothetical business will be completely off trend as it is going to be a desserterie, alas my personal culinary needs and desires are completely on trend. I aspire to be healthier and somewhat gluten free. So really I am conforming to fit in, aren’t I?

In my moment of being healthy and gluten free I made a delicious polenta dish with sautéed spinach. Super easy, filling, and most of all super delicious.

Polenta topped with Sautéed Spinach and MushroomsIngredients:

  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ – ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1)    Pour water and milk into a saucepan and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Put on a high heat and wait to boil then cover with lid and turn heat to a low and allow cornmeal to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until thick.

2)    Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a hot frying pan. Add onions and garlic and fry until translucent. Mix in mushrooms and second tablespoon of olive oil (if needed) and fry mushrooms until soft. Next add spinach and sauté until wilted.

3)    Scoop polenta on a bowl plate and place sautéed spinach over top. You can add additional salt and pepper onto the polenta or add it to the spinach. Remember not to overdo it! Enjoy!

Ready to Eat!This was pretty damn easy to make. Only downfall is that the polenta doesn’t come out of the saucepan like jello in a bowl. It coats the entire pan like crazy. I hate cleaning that.

Other than that, it is still super tasty. And only one bowl of it made me full. Although I’ve been eating well today. All healthy, and filling. The correct portions have made me full.

But you should definitely make this! And you can add some butter to your polenta before you plate it. I hear that is better.

At any rate – eet smakelijk!