Tag Archives: Kidney Beans

Ghoulish Peppers say Hello

Hello everyone!

It feels like forever since I’ve written. Though you know what? It probably has been forever!

I’ve just been preoccupied with other things like rating restaurants and such. Which is good, I mean it means I am still writing, however it just means I am not writing and working on my own pride and joy. I’ve been going to restaurants like crazy! All because the new man in my life feels the need to satisfy my belly with good food. Thank heavens that he too is a food enthusiast and finds joy when eating food. Best of all he has a sweet tooth and seems to like the idea of getting fat due to my baked goods! Love it!

Anyway it is my favourite month of the year! The month of Halloween!

Actually I spoke to a woman in line at Starbucks earlier in the month and she said that her five year old daughter said that it was the month of Halloween. She thought it was cute that her daughter said such a thing but  I am pretty sure she thought I was a weirdo for thinking the same thing! Oh well! October rocks!

Now because of this special month I have done all sorts of wonderful things like paint my nails to certain Halloween themes as well as making some Halloween themed suppers!

Spider Nail Art

Tonight was one of those nights!

I made jack-o-lanterns out of bell peppers!

I’ve actually been meaning to buy two pumpkins. One for the beau to do as its been a very long time since having made a jack-o-lantern and the other for myself as I do them annually. Only hard thing about it is carrying them from the grocery store all the way home! Having a car would have made things that much better. Oh well, guess we will be getting our exercise for the day if we buy some pumpkins!

So I ended up making stuffed peppers which I used to strongly dislike when growing up. I remember mom having made rice outside the pepper for my sister and I. Well now I make them inside the pepper!

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I got the recipe from Ceara’s Kitchen, a website on the well-being of living and eating in a happy life. The direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (285g) 7 grain rice
  • 3 cups (750ml) low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (150g) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup (150g) red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ (340ml) cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can kidney beans (275g) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn kernels (115g), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (225ml) tomato sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 3 orange bell peppers, deseeded

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot on high heat, combine rice and broth and cook until rice has absorbed broth and is fully cooked.

  2. In a medium pan, sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add all seasoning and mix until combined. Combine rice with vegetables and pour in tomato sauce, beans, and corn. Mix well and set aside.

  3. If you do not have a deep casserole dish or a glass dish wash out your medium pot for the rice and prepare for your bell peppers.

  4. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF or 180ᵒC.

  5. In the casserole dish, pour tomato sauce and combine with garlic powder, cayenne powder, and herbes de provence. Mix well. Grab your bell peppers and cut out little jack-o-lantern faces with a small paring knife

  6. Fill each of the peppers with the rice dish and place in the tomato sauce. Cover casserole dish with tin foil and place in oven to cook for approximately fifty-five minutes.

  7. Once peppers are cooked, remove tin foil and place the pepper lids on top of the stuffed peppers and on broil for five to ten minutes.

  8. Enjoy once browned.

Best of all I had so much leftover rice that I decided to make a burrito! Perfect for breakfast!

Breakfast Burrito

I love being able to utilize the right leftovers for another type of meal!

When I make burritos (or just breakfast wraps) I make a scrambled egg but before scrambling it in the pan, I just let it cook on a the flat surface until it’s a pancake. I then place that flat scrambled egg-like pancake onto a wrap, add some sliced marble cheese (as I can’t just have plain cheddar), and top that with the leftover rice.

Breakfast Burrito Before WrappingBreakfast burrito after

I do the same tortilla wrap and egg thing with normal breakfast wraps, though I add some sort of leafy green, feta cheese, and sriracha sauce. Also all my scrambled egg pancakes are made without milk and with za’atar. Za’atar is an Arabic spice that I was introduced to by my older sister. She married a Leb and due to his family knows so much about Lebanese and Arabic cuisine! Not that I mind! Love it.

My using of the rice is like Bubble and Squeak but better! Well maybe not as I do not refry everything together, but I do reuse it one way or another!

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See! Even this guy agrees! Look at his cute smile!

If any of you give this puppy a go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy eating!

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!

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

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

 

Colorful Veg for a Colorful Night

Saturdays are great. No, not the band the Saturdays, but the day itself is a wonderful day. You can either relax and be yourself or go out and have a ball, but at the end of the day whichever you choose to do you have fun right? Well this past Saturday much like most Saturdays, I spent it inside relaxing. And now you know how much of a boring person I really am.

I did however decide to spoil my sister. Both my parents went out to my uncle and aunts place for dinner so it was just Hanna and I, oh and of course Austin. Usually I make healthy food which Hanna is not all too interested in, so I thought to change it up Saturday by making healthy nachos with a chickpea Greek salad on the side. It probably should have been the nachos on the side, but really the salad was the side. And oh boy was it scrumptious. Everything was just so perfect and extra colorful. Just the way I like it.

Healthy Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 batch refried beans
    –          1 Tablespoon olive oil
    –          2 shallots, chopped
    –          2 cloves garlic, crushed
    –          1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    –          1/3 cup water

Directions:

  1. Place tin foil on tray and preheat oven to 375ᵒF (190ᵒC)

  2. Before nachos are made, make refried beans. Sauté shallots and garlic in oil in a pan then add kidney beans and water. Allow water to warm kidney beans thoroughly. Once warmed then place bean mixture in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.

  3. Spread tortilla chips on tin foil and sprinkle half the cheese on the chips. Spread the tomatoes over the cheese then add the avocados over the tomatoes, next add the corn and the refried beans.

  4. Spread other half of cheese on vegetables and top with sliced chili peppers.

  5. Place nachos in oven until cheese has melted, approximately ten minutes.

  6. Then enjoy!

Nachos

Salad and NachosNow I know that does not look attractive at all, but Hanna thought I should take a photo, so of course I did.

Although it looks god awful, I know that it tasted amazing. Even when my mom came home she had a bite of the salad and enjoyed it as well.

The recipe for the salad is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

  2. Once ready to eat remove and enjoy.

This was honestly a great meal. So delicious it seemed to be so wrong, but really it was so right. Completely healthy, well except for those chips. But a little starch never hurt anyone, right?

If you end up making one of the recipes above I hope you enjoy it! My little sister and I sure did! By the way, the original recipe for the nachos can be found here.

Buen provecho!

Vegetarian Lentil and Quinoa Chili

It is officially winter time! Today is the twenty-first of December, the first day of the winter solstice… however if you live below the equator it is the first day of the summer solstice! In Buenos Aires it has been between 32-40ᵒC (90-104ᵒF) so far, while in New York it has been mostly cold at between -9-1ᵒC (16-34ᵒF). Although, oddly enough it is currently 15ᵒC (59ᵒF)! It seriously fluctuates over there. While if you are up here in Europe (at least on the coast), we have yet to experience both snow and negatives. Which of course usually go hand in hand.

But to begin the winter season, I thought to make a nice vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili

Daddy came home the other day from Angola and when that happens I need to kind of cut my type of cooking to a bit of a minimum. He loves food with a kick, but it is more standard than my style. So I thought of making my chili because to me this tastes like the beef chili mom used to make when I was a meat eater some three years ago.

This is a super hearty meal that hits all the right spots, keeps you warm, while makes you hot from enough spicy flavouring. Honestly truly delicious. The recipe I followed can be seen below:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Avocado, if desired (to garnish)

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook for a minute or until fragrant and slightly golden.

2.  Add onion and pepper and cook for a few minutes or until onion is translucent.

3.  Add in tomatoes, cumin, chili, cinnamon, curry powder, and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

4.  Add broth, quinoa, and lentils, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender and quinoa has expanded.

5.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, salt and cilantro. Chili will continue to thicken.

6. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer a few more minutes.

This recipe can be found here. If you go to that link you will see the first time I made this chili. I am so happy that they used my photo as their cover photo. Makes me almost feel like a real chef.

And yes, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is a quick make. Takes just an hour and ten minutes if made properly. The first time I made this recipe I used canned lentils, which obviously makes things go a lot quicker, while this time I allowed the tomato, lentil, and quinoa mixture to simmer on a higher heat than usual. This allowed everything to cook for 20 minutes. So depending on the elements you use, you can shorten your cooking time.

Regardless of how you make it, it is a delicious meal!

Flashless Photo

You know, the reason behind my making of it is rather cheeky. The reason for that is that Daddy is not a fan of quinoa. I am not quite sure why, but it is the truth. I thought that making a chili with lentils, beans, and the almost secret ingredient of quinoa would be perfect. I mean who honestly needs meat when you’ve got those three protein packed foods? And you know what? He loved it!

So for his first homemade meal back home I think this was a proper hit!

I really hope that you all try making this chili once. It could quite possibly be my favourite.

¡Que aproveche!