Tag Archives: Olive Oil

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!

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Friday Night Chicken Gyros

Ah Greek food, the most amazing thing to ever be made in this world.

I remember being in our all-time favourite restaurant in the Netherlands a few years ago and telling both my parents that I have decided that I need to marry a Greek man, an Indian, or a Trinidadian. They asked me why and I told them flat out that if I marry a man from Greece, India, or Trinidad I can become great friends with their mothers and learn the cuisine I love so much. But really all I truly need to marry is a man from Greece or Trinidad, because Trinidadians can be of Indian decent and may know both Indian and Trinidadian cuisine.

But since I have yet to find prince charming from either Greece or Trinidad & Tobago, I thought it would be best just to enjoy some Greek cuisine for a meal.

Easy Chicken Gyros

So how about them gyros?

I may never get over how Anglophones say “jieros”, because in the Netherlands it is spelled as giros and well in Dutch we have a heavy sounding (almost phlegm-filled) G sound that to my Anglophone ex-boyfriend, is pronounced like “hiros”.

Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but as always its been tweaked here and there.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (283g) breast of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (225g) baby spinach
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of fresh parsley
  • 3 gorditas (or pitas)

Tzatziki

  • ¼ cup (61g) Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breast on chopping board and slice into thin chunks of meat. Then place sliced chicken in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs, as well as salt and pepper. Mix until well coated and set aside to marinate.

  2. Wash cutting board (or get a new one) and begin to mince garlic for tzatziki, then slice red onion for filling of pita.

  3. Heat a small frying pan on the stove top and add marinated chicken to pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. While chicken is being cooked, grab a small bowl and mix yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

  4. When chicken is cooked, take off heat and set up gyro to your liking (mine was set up by placing the spinach on the “gordita”, then adding the fresh parsley leaves, adding the thinly sliced red onions, a few strips of chicken, and then adding a dollop of tzatziki to the mix)

  5. Now enjoy!

Because this recipe is only enough for three gorditas, it is most likely enough to feed one hungry person or being served as an easy snack for three.

I was quite happy with three, though I may be a little sleepy now!

Spinach and Chicken filled Gyro

Now usually gyros are not made with spinach, but I thought why avoid healthy green leafy goods when they are as delicious as they are good for you? Yum!

On a side note though, I am sure those of you who have a keen eye for detail may have noticed in my initial photo there is a pot in the background.

You’re right, there is! I am growing herbs. Every evening around dusk I water my pots and the following day I see my babies have grown a little more. Fresh Herbs

In the white pot I’ve got basil growing, the light gray pot is filled with chives (and some other foreign plant), and in the dark gray pot I’ve got flat leaved parsley! I can honestly say that growing chives is the hardest as they need the most water or they begin to brown on the ends. It’s like they’ve got split ends, except they are crisp from the sunlight!

So that’s me with my partial green thumb! And my delicious Greek meal!

Hope y’all enjoy your meals just as I have!

Refining a Favourite Eggplant Meal

Let’s all just be a little lazy and just have ice cream for dinner? God I wish I could! But my body would hate me. Hate me more than it already does for cooking in this heat.

A little tip for someone house hunting – do NOT rent an apartment on the top floor which is without an air conditioning unit! Also take into consideration of where the sun rises and sets. If there is no air conditioning unit and you are on the side of the building where the sun sets, you will most likely die. Lord knows I have today.

Last night I decided to sleep with the window open, thinking that that would cool my room down. It didn’t. I woke up suffocating in the heat. I had plans to leave the apartment today too, but I couldn’t manage to do so because of the heat.

So I stayed in, dying. I realized though that this heat either makes you not want to eat at all or it makes you want to eat easy things. Like junk food.

Well I made something healthy for dinner, though I regret it now after feeling the temperature from the frying pan.

Anyway, before I gave up meat this was one of my favourites. I remember having lived in the Caribbean and being at a fellow Canadians house and enjoying this meal my mom had made. So I decided to try it myself. But with a twist.

Eggplant Parmesan

Do you know what this is? It is a very neatly plated meal of Eggplant Parmesan.

I don’t think anyone can truly succeed in making it look so attractive unless they work at a Michelin star restaurant.

 Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto

Well this was my meal. Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto. I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1  eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc commonly used)
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup (57g) grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup (113g) thinly sliced basil + extra for serving

Instructions:

  1. First, saute the eggplant. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add eggplant and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Add garlic, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 more minute. Scoop eggplant into a bowl and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot. Simmer until quinoa is tender and chewy, about 20 minutes. 

  3. In the same saute pan you used for the eggplant, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and chopped tomatoes, reserving a handful for garnish. Simmer until the wine is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and eggplant.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately, with additional chopped tomatoes, parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper.

Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa RisottoThis was different from my normal favourite. I am not too sure if I liked it or not. Probably not if I am unsure, but I would still love to hear if you all liked it!

Oh and the wine I used was a South African one as my entire immediate family is in SA right now.

Albert Heijn Droog Wijn

I’ve been thinking about something totally unrelated to my meal. Why do women either gain or lose weight when heart broken or breaking up with their partners? I remember how both Arnold Schwarzenegger’s and Tiger Woods’ wives lost an incredible amount of weight upon going through the divorce. While when women break up with their partners they too either lose or gain weight. I know I am gaining now.

I am no longer stressing on what I’ve been trying to fix and not succeeding, but still I am gaining. My internal strength has lessened with the giving up of my one-sided relationship. And I am someone who has always been able to say no to chocolate, yet now all I crave is it. What is going on here!?

I need to get back on my healthy train! And fast! Any advice?

Anyway, happy eating!

L

The Absolute Perfect White Fish Summer Salad!

How does one prevent smoke from making way to the smoke detector when frying some sort of meat? I know the easiest way to prevent it from going off is by opening windows and using doors or towels to “swoosh” the smoke out of the area, but really how do you not smoke up a place?

I know how to use all sorts of techniques in the kitchen but I have no idea how to prevent smoke from appearing as I fry fish or poultry.

(Well daddy, I hope you’re happy to know that my smoke detector works!)

Yes, today as I made my early dinner, I faced with a loud beeping from my smoke detector. I don’t know what I did as I tried to rip it from the ceiling, but it did finally stop (thank God!)

Besides having struggled with such a horrible (yet appropriate) machine, I also made a fantastic meal. A meal I may never make again due to my fear of having the smoke detector go off again.

Grilled Pangasius Spinach Salad

I actually may never make any non-vegetarian meals ever again because of that very fear. Well after this weekend that is, because I’ve purchased a few containers of shrimp at the same time that I purchased the pangasius used in this dish.

The lovely recipe for this dish is found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • a pinch of salt and pepper (to season fish)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 fresh pangasius fish fillets
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice

Instructions:

  1.        Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside to keep warm.

  2.        In a small bowl, whisk the honey and lime juice together.

  3.        Preheat a large pan at medium-high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and place on the grill. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side, brushing the fish with the honey lime glaze.

  4.        Divide the spinach leaves over two dinner plates. Arrange the sautéed vegetables over the spinach and top with grilled. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes over the salads. Lightly dash with olive oil and lime juice.

  5.        Serve immediately and enjoy!

I truly enjoyed this dish. Even though my fish was a bit on the burnt side along the edges, it tasted amazing! Best of all is that this recipe is for 2 people so I’ve got leftovers for a fantastic lunch tomorrow! I am excited. Especially since I do not have to fry the fish again and listen to the singing of my smoke alarm.

I feel like such an idiot because of that. I had to Facetime my mom in my distress from my incident. Instead we had a lovely twenty minute conversation.

 Anyway this meal is super light and very ideal for a summer dish. If it is hot where you’re at you should be making this white fish dish!

Enjoy your meal!

Turkey Wrap Lunch & Quinoa Fried Rice Dinner

 When you live on your own do you just make one plate of food for the night or do you make a couple servings worth for a couple nights?

Usually I just make a meal for the one night, but last night I went for the big meal. It will probably benefit me to have a good lunch for tomorrow anyway. Although today’s lunch wasn’t all that bad either.

For lunch I made a turkey wrap with a sun dried tomato and corn salad while for dinner I went for quinoa fried “rice”. Both very healthy and very filling, thus being great meals!

For the wrap all you will need is the following:

  • A couple slices of turkey
  • Small head of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons canned corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 whole wheat tortilla wraps

Directions:

  1. Mix tomatoes and corn kernels together with oil and vinegar.

  2. Lay out two whole wheat tortillas and add turkey slices.

  3. Spread chopped head of lettuce over turkey and then spread tomato and corn mixture over that.

  4. Wrap up tortilla and keep tight, then enjoy.

Turkey, Tomato, and Corn wrapsThe recipe above is obviously for two people but I was a hungry monkey so I had both. Skipping breakfast means dealing with a hungry lady. Not smart.

So for dinner I had the not so fried rice, as it was quinoa. The recipe for that one can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa as instructed on the bag (1 cup quinoa; 2 cups water)

  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside. 

  3. In a large frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry eggs. Flip once and then set aside. Once cool enough cut into thin slices.

  4. In same frying pan or wok heat another tablespoon of olive oil and add garlic and shallots. Cook until translucent. 

  5. Add chopped mushrooms, zucchini, and broccoli to garlic and onion and fry for approximately 4 minutes. 

  6. Next add quinoa, corn, and chopped carrots and cook for another 2 minutes.

  7. Add ginger and soy sauce and toss in with quinoa mixture.

  8. Finally add egg and green onions and serve. 

Quinoa Fried RiceI am aware that this plate looks to be more vegetables than quinoa, but that is because the rest of the quinoa is in a tupperware container in my refrigerator. I didn’t quite proportion my plate that well.

All in all it was a very productive food filled day.

If you end up making either meal I am sure you will enjoy them. I definitely did.

Eet smakelijk!

 

 

Almost Caprese Sandwich for Lunch

Do most people eat lunch usually? At work do you take a break in the day to consume more energy or consume enough starch to cause a food coma? I know so many people who skip the meal we call lunch to go to the gym. Is that truly smart? Not really, but you try convincing those who seem to know best…

For today’s lunch I stopped in the grocery store to buy sliced goat cheese for sandwiches and some cherry tomatoes.

I absolutely love cherry tomatoes. When we lived in Canada I even briefly had a cherry tomato plant. Although once I got my first tomato I gave up on the process of growing more. Actually, I did the same with my watermelon vine when we lived in Venezuela. As soon as the first sign of an actual fruit being made sprouted, I completely gave up making them. I could never work at a nursery.

Image
Caprese-Style Sandwich

My aim for this sandwich was to follow the theme of a caprese salad. Except caprese salad is made with mozzarella which comes from a cow. This cheese is just regular sliced goat cheese. And instead of using fresh basil I just went for dried basil, because why waste large box of fresh basil when you already have dried basil?

These are the ingredients for the one sandwich:

  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 slice goat cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • Soy butter for one slice of bread

Directions:

  1. Pop 2 slices of brown bread in toaster. As you wait for bread to toast, chop cherry tomatoes in half.

  2. Once bread is ready, coat butter on one piece of bread.

  3. Place goat cheese on butter coated bread, then add tomatoes on top of cheese.

  4. Sprinkle dried basil over tomatoes and cheese. Then drizzle olive oil over second piece of bread.

  5. Finally put second piece of bread with olive oil side down on tomatoes. Enjoy.

Almost Caprese Sandwich

I must say, this was rather delicious. Made me wonder why anyone would ever want to skip lunch when one could go down a healthy route or at least a tasty one!

If you try this faux Italian sandwich then I hope you like it.

Buon Appetito!