Tag Archives: Quinoa

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

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It’s Taco- I mean Tofu Tuesday!

Who needs a taco-Tuesday when you can always have a tofu-Tuesday?

Actually, I have no idea how people make tofu taste so damn delicious. When I was working at the Keltic Lodge in Nova Scotia, a lovely married couple who I befriended made me this divine tofu dish. It was definitely tofu, but it didn’t have the consistency nor did it taste like it. It was kind of spicy and dried. I loved it. I just have no idea how they came about making it.

I actually have no idea how people dry their tofu and make it into amazing things. I need a vegetarian/vegan teacher to educate me on how to drain the liquid from tofu and create amazingness from it.

Today I did try to remove the tofu from the packaging it came in and place it between a dishcloth with a cutting board beneath it and a plate above it BUT the tofu just disintegrated. I wasn’t even pressing hard. It just became a blob of crumbs. A liquefied blob of crumbs. How can anything be liquefied? Well my tofu was! Maybe it was because I got the tofu in a box, gosh I don’t know!

Morinaga Tofu in a Box

Anyway, I tried to make this recipe I found on Popsugar on how to bake tofu. I really did try. It just flopped.

Marinated Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC) and line a cookie sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.

  2. Place tofu slices on tray and drizzle with soy sauce and agave nectar.

  3. Sprinkle with thyme, dill, and cumin and pop in oven.

  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

  5. Enjoy!

I did all of this and my tofu still came out a liquid absorbed blob. It doesn’t taste all too bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted. Because like most people, I dislike the consistency of tofu! Vegetarian meat crumbles are so much easier to eat than tofu as they are more of a solid that tofu is.

Tofu on a bed of Quinoa with Asparagus

Well I served the tofu on a bed of quinoa with some pan fried asparagus seasoned with salt and pepper. Nothing all too special, but I can tell you that that asparagus did rock my world!

I made enough food for two people, though due to a hungry mother hen, half of my asparagus was consumed. Thus making this dish only for one person. Plus lets be honest, I was kind of turned off by my failure with tofu that I couldn’t go for a round two.

Anyway, if any of you can successfully dry tofu out I would really like to hear how this dish went for you! I’m sure once it comes out properly it is magnificent. Please let me know!

Happy eating!

One-Meal Bowl with Quinoa, Cilantro, and Chicken

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.

One Bowl Meal

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mix in ¼ cup of cilantro and 1 ½ tablespoons into the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to quinoa for additional flavour.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Once chicken is cooked set aside. Once cooled begin to shred chicken for bowls.

  7. When everything is ready begin setting up your bowls. Fill bowls in following order:

    1. Quinoa
    2. Chopped tomato
    3. Green peas
    4. Chopped cilantro
    5. Black beans
    6. Shredded chicken
  8. 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.

Quinoa, Tomato, and Green Peas
Quinoa, Tomato, and Green Peas

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!

Quinoa, Cilantro, and Chicken bowl

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!

Happy eating!

‘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!

Spanish Influenced Quinoa Scramble

Meatless Monday came and went for this week and although I went with a shrimp meal, I didn’t get around to posting it online. Also, I actually wanted to make todays meal for the whole meatless theme, but when I finally got around to going to the grocery store (about 7:15pm) there wasn’t a single zucchini in sight!

Serves me right though as I only went to the grocery store at a quarter past seven in the evening.

I had planned to go at ten in the morning, and then at eleven, then later at two or three in the afternoon and finally I went at seven. I have this thing where I prefer to go to the grocery store when it is somewhat deserted. Does anyone else have that?

I mean I don’t have a fear of people – I love people! I talk to strangers all the time when I am downtown or at the grocery store, hell I’ve even gone on dates with people I’ve met while downtown! BUT I hate going to a very packed grocery store.

I finally got the zucchini I longed for yesterday, but today. And I made this:

 Spanish Quinoa Scramble

The PERFECT meal for a breakfast. But I had it more as a dinner. Good thing I’ll have enough leftovers!

I got the recipe from here, and for once there were no tweaks. Though I should have added garlic and red onion.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup (100g) cherry tomatos, quartered
  • ½ cup (85g) cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup (50g) cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together eggs, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.

  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add zucchini and red pepper. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add tomato and quinoa and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Pour egg or tofu mixture over the vegetables and cook, string constantly, until the eggs are cooked through. Top with cheese and allow to melt.

  3. Serve with avocado and enjoy!

Spanish Quinoa ScrambleI can definitely picture myself making this for my father once I move to South Africa. This would be a perfect protein-packed healthy breakfast, though for his taste it would need to be ever so slightly spiced. Maybe with Sambal or just a lot of red pepper flakes. 

Speaking of South Africa – only twenty days left until I header out! Exciting stuff!

Anyway, if you make this meal, I hope you enjoy it! Beware that it will probably be much better as a breakfast…

¡Buen provecho!

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!

My Lebanese Craving Satisfied!

I love international cuisine. I really do. And lately all I’ve been doing is craving Lebanese cuisine. But not just the normal stuff you would find in a restaurant, no. What I have been craving is the vast amounts of food my sisters mother-in-law makes. My sister married a Lebanese man, so if we ever visit his mom, we get to enjoy true authentic Lebanese food. And enough to last just about a week if you eat in moderation.

Although I do not have the right touch to make all the food that she tends to make, and nor do I have enough bowls to house all these dishes, I just made enough for mom and I.

Yes, my mom has come from South Africa to visit! She is staying by my place for about ten days before she flies off to Canada to see my sister and then probably to enjoy real Lebanese cuisine! – Lucky her!

I ended up making a simple dish of Falafels in a Pita with Tabbouleh and a Tahini Sauce drizzled over top.

Falafel Pitas with Tabbouleh

See, not that much. But it was very delicious!

 Now, you can always make the falafels from scratch, but I am a lazy person and just bought them from the “vegetarian section” of my grocery store. I got the recipe from here, but of course tweaked it some.

Ingredients:

  • Tabbouleh
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • ¼ English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
  • ½ cup finely chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tahini Sauce
  • ¾  cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed/chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan,  add quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until water is absorbed in quinoa)

  2. Allow to cool and begin mixing chopped herbs with tomatoes and pepper in a bowl. Mix with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

  3. Add somewhat cooled quinoa to the herb mixture and set aside. 

  4. In a bowl (or food processor) mix tahini, greek yoghurt, and lemon juice together. Chop cilantro and garlic and add to yoghurt mixture and allow flavours to blend with liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste and place bowl in fridge until ready to use.

  5. Pop pitas in toaster and fry falafels in frying pan until cooked and begin to form pitas when ready. 

  6. Then enjoy!

Falafel Pitas with TabboulehMom and I quite enjoyed our meal! Sure it wasn’t what my brother-in-laws mom would make, but it is pretty good for my amateur cooking skills!

With mom being here, we have gone shopping as a group (with my sister as well), we have already gone out for dinner with a friend of the family, and we have taken a nice stroll in a park in the city.

While in the park we even found a neat part with huts and tepees! So of course mom had to take photos of me “living” in these such houses.

Het HuttenbosHet HuttenbosTypes of Birds in the HaagsebosYesterday was truly a lovely day to enjoy good weather and better company.

If you all make this, I hope you truly enjoy it!

 As they say in Lebanon:  Bil hana
Or in English, enjoy your meal!

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

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!

Fried Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce and Quinoa

Why must food be so amazing? Someone must find out the reason behind our love for one of the needs for mankind. And while you’re at it can you figure out why I love this green stuff I like to call Chimichurri sauce?

I am guessing it may have to do with my love for the country of Argentina. Or maybe it is my longing to return there? I haven’t a clue, but I know I love it!

So for tonight’s meal I’ve got fried tofu coated with chimichurri sauce with quinoa and a side of a salad going for me. 

Fried Tofu, Quinoa, and a Salad with Chimichurri SauceOkay, so I may have gone a little overboard on the chimichurri sauce, but can’t you see that I love it that much? Its like food heaven. BBC should add this to one of their Saturday Kitchen episodes, but make it something for food heaven rather than food hell. Because everyone prefers food heaven, right?

I got the idea to make this from here, but I of course did not make use of the vegetable kale and my sauce is green not red.  Which really means I’ve alternated the entire recipe. Oh well the original is up above.

Firstly I would like to state that tofu is a pain in my rear. I haven’t yet mastered how to drain the sponge-like meat replacement of the liquid in which it comes in. I like to squish it between two paper towels on each side and press it between a bowl plate and a side plate, while placing something heavy on the side plate. Now that does drain the tofu of some of its moisture, but it certainly doesn’t do much  for what is needed. How do you drain your tofu of its liquid?

Anyway, here’s the recipe for chimichurri sauce:

Ingredients:

  •  1 cups fresh parsley and/or cilantro, firmly packed 
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves (optional)
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients above in a food processor and mix until the only lumps you see are from the parsley not being smooth. 

  2. Chill until ready to use.

As for the tofu press it and drain it for at least 2 hours. Once it is without its water, marinate tofu in sauce for another two hours at least. Once ready, begin to cook the quinoa as per what is instructed. Then fry the tofu on low in olive oil. Once brown plate up and drizzle with chimichurri sauce again.

Then enjoy!

Close Up

Because I do not eat meat I opt for tofu as my meat, but you can use steak, lamb, a white fish, salmon, chicken, basically any meat out there. When my dad goes to Buenos Aires he enjoys having this special sauce with his steak at certain restaurants along the harbour.

Ah, the life of an Argentino – drinking an espresso in the sun on a terrace with a cigarette delicately between your fingers speaking the harmonious language of Castellano. – And I am picturing a well kept man with exquisite shoes who is dressed appropriately when I say that. Because neither do I smoke nor do I drink such strong coffee. Plus I am not an Argentine, but a Dutch/Canadian.

Anyway, as I was eating this fabulous meal I was being a lazy cow watching Covert Affairs behind my laptop.

Dinner with Covert AffairsMake no mistake, when I finally have children this happening will never occur. No electronics while at the dinner table. Not even the television will go on. Dinner time is family time. At a table with chairs where conversation of our days will be had.

But until then I have a couple seasons to watch of Covert Affairs!

If you end up making this I do hope you enjoy. And if you’re wondering – the black specks on my photos are black beans. I thought I’d utilize them after opening a small can of them during lunch and not finishing them.

¡Buen provecho!