Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Craving for a Cajun Favourite

It is bloody cold.

I mean it.

Each person feels the cold differently, we are all effected by the lower temperatures in different ways. For me my nose feels it. It gets so incredibly cold and even starts to hurt. I never noticed the sharp pain until today when I noticed the one side of my septum aching. If I still had it pierced I would understand but now? Weird.

Well today was very cold. Winter is officially here. I thought I could rock a thin sweater when I went out with my friend but I was very wrong. I should have worn a wool sweater or something. It is ridiculous how cold I was today!

Cold weather (Don't judge, I know most of you will say this isn't cold)
Cold weather (Don’t judge, I know most of you will say this isn’t cold)

Anyway, it is these types of days that we should enjoy something hot to warm our insides. Heat helps whether it is spice or temperature doesn’t really matter, just as long as it warms you up!

So today I wanted to make a gumbo. Now I had no idea it was going to be such a chilly day, but I am still very happy to have made a gumbo.

Gumbo comes from Louisiana, though it was first made in the mid 1700’s when the African slaves would cook a French soup combined with fish stew. Talk about an ancient food!

When I first was introduced to gumbo I was fifteen and we were invited to a get-together with a couple of daddy’s colleagues. I’m pretty sure the lad who cooked up the gumbo wasn’t even Cajun himself. BUT the meal was spectacular!

It seems that everyone in the oil industry is an expert in something that isn’t originally from their place of origin or passport country. For example dad has a colleague who is Scottish but has a Spanish accent and is far more Venezuelan than he is Scottish. Dad also knows a lad who is Dutch and also is far more Venezuelan than Dutch. So if the non-Cajun whipped up a fantastic gumbo it is pretty normal. At least to us.

Well, I got the recipe from The Housewife in Training Files – LOVE that name! Makes me think of the X-Files but girly, gosh what a nerd I am. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though. I followed mostly everything perfectly except I used fresh okra.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 (130g) green bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup (115g) celery, chopped
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) okra, chopped
  • 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • ½ Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Small pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups (750ml) chicken broth
  • 2 breasts (566g) of chicken, diced
  • ¾ cup (400g) frozen shrimp, slightly thawed with tails removed
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 1/8 a cup cold water – this makes a slurry

What is a slurry? Well it is a semi-liquid mixture such as cement, manure, or cornstarch and water!

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil at a medium heat and mix in flour to make a roux. Once like a paste and fragrant, turn heat to low and mix in vegetables and stir well until vegetables soften. Add diced tomatoes and herbs and spices and cook for an additional five minutes.

  2. While gumbo is cooking, cook your side dish. This usually is rice, however you can also use quinoa as I’ve done.

  3. Add chicken broth, diced chicken, and frozen shrimp. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add slurry and bring to a boil until gumbo has thickened. Serve with your choice of starch.

  4. Enjoy!

So for some weird reason my gumbo was more of a soup consistency than a stew. Kinda annoying if you ask me. But it tasted good. AND it warmed us all up. Though I am back to my cold state. If you guys could feel my nose you would all shiver too! It is like ICE!

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

To try and thicken the consistency we mixed our multicolored quinoa into it. That definitely did the trick.

The biggest issue I had making this was definitely my inability to open up the tin can! Do you ever have the issue where you cannot open a can? I definitely did. Dad actually had to run out to the grocery store and buy TWO more can openers because we were both unable to open my can of diced tomatoes. Ridiculous right?

Assortment of Can Openers
Assortment of Can Openers

So now we have an army can opener – does anyone know how to use it? We have a normal one that cuts around the inside of the circumference of the inside of the lid, and there is the can opener that cuts the entire top of the lip off. The first two from the right are the new ones. That last left hand one is the one I couldn’t work. I feel like an idiot.

But I guess we all have our failures in the kitchen. For some people it is forgetting to put flour in brownies, for others it is sprinkling your breakfast with cumin rather than cinnamon (my friends son does this), and then there is me who is unable to open the can with the can opener.

Cold Trees
Cold Trees

Back to the cold, yesterday I learnt that for the winter the gardeners tend to warm the trees up by wrapping them with the long grass. I guess it really does get cold. This 15ᵒC weather is really cold. Everyone says it. So I guess the trees feel it too. These trees are from the western Cape (closer to Capetown) where it is much warmer, so that is when they wrap ’em in long grass. Interesting right?

Alright, I’m done blabbering. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

Happy eating!

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Quick & Easy Arugula & Penne Pesto Salad

I watch far too many cooking shows. I’ve always watched them though.

I remember way back when I would have sick days as a child, I’d watch cooking shows. And I’d be super relaxed watching them. However at this time in my life was a time where I didn’t even know how to turn on the oven to make corndogs. Keep in mind that I only really learnt how to cook at the age of seventeen.

Shocking right? Well growing up in third world countries and having a housekeeper or your mom always cook for you leaves you uneducated in the kitchen. At least I sure was!

Well in this day of age when I watch cooking programs I also learn from them.

For this evenings meal I decided to apply some of my new found cooking techniques to the meal.

This evening I made a simple salad with roasted pepper in it. Well it’s the pepper that I roasted just like they do on cooking programs!

Roasting a Bell Pepper
Roasting a Bell Pepper

I got the recipe from Gimme Some Oven, the original recipe can be found here. And when I say original it is because I did tweak this recipe some.

Arugula and Penne Pesto Salad
Arugula and Penne Pesto Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (115g) whole wheat penne
  • 2 bell peppers
  • ½ cup (74g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup (150g) fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup (62g) coriander pesto
  • 2 cups (80g) arugula/spinach mix salad

Instructions:

  1. Cook penne as directed on packaging.

  2. Meanwhile turn heat on a small burner to low and place bell peppers (one at a time) on the burner. Allow to brown (it may bring up a burnt smell so keep an eye on the pepper), rotate often until brown enough for your likings.

  3. Chop roasted bell peppers and place in large bowl.

  4. Combine roasted peppers with arugula/spinach mix, mozzarella, and tomatoes.

  5. Once penne has cooked, drain and rinse in cold water for twenty minutes until cool.

  6. Add cooled penne with vegetables and mix with coriander pesto.

  7. Enjoy!

As you can tell, I roasted my pepper on the oven burner! I actually know how to do a few things on the burner as my friends once taught me how to cook the “ghetto” way.

This recipe was FANTASTIC, super easy and just great. You may need some salt, but otherwise it was great!

But have any of you heard of coriander pesto? It is divine! You can add this to wraps, salads, sandwiches, the works. It is so tasty!

Coriander Pesto

You can use any pesto for this salad though. Actually are there other types of pesto? Besides the original one and this coriander one? Are you curious about what sort of pesto’s there are? If so I just googled it, here is a link including eleven different types of pesto’s!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my mom and I did! It is a great easy and healthy recipe for those nights when you need a quick meal!

Happy eating!

South African Creole Fusion from a Favoured Cookbook!

I miss the days where we would get fabulous recipes from cook books. Don’t get me wrong though, I love finding recipes online too. It is just that those recipes you tend to find in cook books are usually delightful and wholesome. If they were published in a book, they must be the best of the best! Online you have to dig through millions of recipes before you find one which truly is amazing.

All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

Well as of late one of my friends has been spoiling me with South African treats of all sorts. A few weeks ago I tried a koeksister which is a little cookie type thing. Last week I got to try a melktert, this being the Afrikaans way of spelling out “milk pie”, however in Dutch it would be spelled as “melktaart”. This took me forever to realize that a tart or pie in Dutch is not the same as it is in Afrikaans. Yet they are pronounced the same.

Afrikaans eh? They really changed Dutch words to make it more their own.

Anyway, my lovely lovely friend who has been introducing me to South African treats also loaned me one of her mama’s cookbooks which was written by a South African woman. Ever heard of Annette Human? No? Well she is a well-known food writer in South Africa! And from reading this cookbook I see why!

For the recipe I made for this evening, this is the blurb she wrote before writing out the recipe:

“The Creole descendants of European colonists in Latin America have developed a distinctive and very flavourful style of cooking. Tomatoes, green peppers, and rice are characteristic ingredients in their recipes – as in this dish. The chicken may be replaced with portions of boerewors.”

For those of you who don’t know boerewors is the Afrikaans spelling of “farmer’s sausage”.  As I do not eat red meat, this is not for me, but my family and friends love it as well as other South African meat treats such as droëwors (droge worst) or in English “dry sausage” and biltong. Biltong is the South African version of beef jerky when simply described to foreigners.

Creole Chicken Casserole Pre-Cooking

So according to that blurb above, the dish I made was a Creole Chicken Casserole. The cookbook I got it from is called the All-Colour Cookbook and it is by Annette Human. If you are interested in the recipe, read below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) white basmati
  • 1 kg chicken portions (I used 3 thighs and 4 breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 smallish green peppers
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice as directed on packaging. Rinse in a colander under cold running water and drain. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken portions with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Quickly fry a couple of chicken portions at a time in oil until golden brown on both sides. Place chicken in shallow ovenproof dish with a volume of 10 cups (2.5L). Sprinkle rice on top.

  3. Halve and seed the green peppers and cut into strips. Peel the onion and chop roughly. Peel and crush garlic. Place in pot in which the chicken was fried. (Leave just enough oil in pot to braise the vegetables.) Add tomatoes with juices, curry powder, and dried thyme. Cover with lid and braise the vegetables for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon the vegetables over the rice layer. Pour liquid in after. Cover the container and cook the dish for about 40 minutes at 200ᵒC (390ᵒF) until chicken is tender. Serve with young peas and a beetroot salad.

Serves 6

Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

I think my favourite part about this cookbook is that Annette Human wrote the measurements out in both metric and imperial! I only know and understand imperial measurements in the kitchen which makes it hard for me to follow recipes which need a scale to measure out the grams for every ingredient when following a British recipe. But thankfully this woman thought it out and wrote every ingredient in both grams and cups! What a lifesaver!

Although I did tweak the recipe some (I added an additional pepper as mine were on the small side) I also added more seasoning. And of course as a lover of garlic, I added two more cloves. I’ll include a photo of the original recipe so you can see it without my tweaks.

Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

This was a pretty good recipe. A little bland for me (thank goodness I added more seasoning!) but I quite enjoyed it!

I know I will try to do some more South African recipes from this book before I give it back!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Happy eating!

Flu-Fighting and Air Way Opening Soup

The cold and flu season comes at the two worst times of the year: during the winter time and before a long flight overseas. Thing is the flight could be at any time of year and even more than once, it depends on how much you fly.

As it is not winter time in South Africa, I definitely have a long haul flight that I have to take. And you know what? I developed some sniffles earlier in the week. So I thought a soup would be the best way to cure my illness. Plus we all know that Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup has always been the way to cure any cold or flu.

Although a chicken soup is a great way to diminish any trace of a bug in your body, there are other great tools to ensuring you come out perfectly healthy! Epicurious has a list of six ingredients that should be in your flue fighting diet, the link for that is here.

So although I love a good chicken soup to fight any illness, I don’t ever go for the boring old chicken soup you get in a package, I like to spice it up. Literally. Mexican infused soup with a good kick makes it all that much better. I mean you get the chicken to fight the power, and chili to open your airways. Pretty perfect if you ask me!

Chicken and Rice Soup

I got the recipe from Food.com though the direct link to the recipe can be found here. Lately I’ve been thinking about chicken rice soup. Not chicken noodle, but rice. And I remember mom used to make chicken rice soup when my sister and I were kids. I remember hating it though. The faces I would make in our small kitchen in Ciudad Ojeda was pretty ridiculous. Especially with how I just made a chicken and rice soup right now. No idea why I wasn’t fond of the soup before because I quite like it today!

Chicken and Rice soup
Mom’s Plate, with Avo on the Side

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups (1,410ml) chicken stock
  • ½ cup (97.5g) white basmati
  • 1 cup (235ml) water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (200g) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup (75g) onion, chopped thinly
  • ½ jalepeño, sliced and chopped
  • 1 cup (125g) chicken breast, shredded
  • ¼ cup (59ml) lime juice
  • ½ cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, bring water to boil, once boiling add rice and turn heat to low and allow rice to simmer with lid on pot for 15 minutes.

  2. In a separate pot (a large one), bring chicken stock to boil. Once boiling turn heat down and allow to simmer.

  3. Finally in a small pan, fry chicken with salt and pepper seasoning until brown. Remove from pan once cooked and set aside. In same pan add olive oil and sauté onion and jalepeño for a minute until fragrant. Then remove from heat.

  4. Chicken should be able to be handled now, so shred chicken and set aside.

  5. Begin to fill bowl in these steps: 

    Solids in Soup before Broth
    Solids in Soup before Broth
    1. Rice
    2. Onion/jalepeño mixture
    3. Tomato
    4. Cilantro
    5. Chicken
    6. Chicken stock
    7. Lime juice (only a teaspoon or more if desired)
    8. Avocado
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken and Rice Soup
Chicken and Rice soup with Avo

Chicken and Rice SoupThis was absolutely fantastic! Although I did completely forget about the lime juice, but with cilantro and jalepeño, who needs lime?

I loved this. Truly did. It was the right amount of kick to open up our airways and fight the illness that made its way into my body.

The thing about flying with a cold or flu is that you could be quarantined as a threat for having Ebola. And that isn’t even a lie. If I am flying from South Africa to Europe (which I will be) there is a big threat that anyone with a fever could have Ebola. That is something NO one wants. Especially when going from one continent to the next.

So a flu-fighting soup was the ultimate way to go.

I think this was a success. Though we will only see for sure tomorrow evening when I hop onto the 11 hour airplane to the Netherlands. My poor body will be in pain after sitting for hours on end!

AND we will go from 32C days to 6C days. Sooo cold. Luckily I’ll have my blanket sweater with me and my two pairs of boots. I’ll definitely be needing lots of tea and coffee from Starbucks to survive the cold.

Anyway, this is my meal for the evening and it was incredible! Chicken with pimiento in a soup is my favourite type of soup. If you end up making this I hope you enjoy it as much as my mother and I did.

Happy eating!

New Meal for a New Year

Happy hump day! Actually happy New Year too, because I learnt that one can say that all of January if one hadn’t said it yet to someone. Frankly I find that kind of weird, but I do remember people greeting me with a “happy new year” through much of January while I was still at school.

I feel really bad for being lazy and never writing on here. That’s a lie, I feel bad for being lazy in general. I feel like I haven’t cooked in ever! I planned on making a meal last week and instead I fell asleep in front of the laptop – who does that!?

I hope you all have been enjoying 2015 so far by doing amazing things, do any of you have New Year’s resolutions that need to be completed? I didn’t make any resolutions, I just hope to be more on point when it comes to studying. Today I did get some studying into my day! And as you may be able to tell, I cooked this evening!

Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach

Today I made a Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach. Although my mom isn’t too fond of sundried tomatoes, she went for seconds!

I got the recipe from here and pretty much followed it to a tee.

Ingredients:

  • 5oz (300g) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups (565g) fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente for as long as directed on packaging. Add a tablespoon of oil into the water to keep spaghetti from sticking.

  2. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook garlic until golden brown (approx. 3 minutes). Transfer garlic to paper towel to drain of oil.

  3. In a large skillet drain oil from smaller skillet and begin to fry chopped garlic. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and spinach and sauté with balsamic vinegar. Bring up heat to medium-high and cook until spinach is wilted.

  4. Toss spaghetti with sundried tomatoes and spinach mixture. Stir in ½ cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and most of toasted garlic chips.

  5. Plate up and top with ½ teaspoon of feta cheese, additional salt and pepper, and three or four garlic chips. Serve warm.

Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and SpinachThis to me is such a nice meal for Spring and Summer. So perfect for us in the Southern Hemisphere as it is the peak of Summer in South Africa! We have had some pretty hot days!

I hope you all love this meal as much as my mother and I did! It really was lovely. Anything garlicky is great though. I love garlic.

Anyway I hope 2015 is great for you and your family and enjoy the year of the Sheep, especially if this year is your year in the Chinese Zodiac!

Happy eating!

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!

Pizza Without Pizza Sauce

“The meal is not over when I’m full, the meal is over when I hate myself.”

This is a quote that defines me right now. I am currently pregnant with a food baby. Kill me now.

But all self-hate aside, yesterday’s meal was spectacular! To my understanding, everyone loves pizza. I am definitely one of those that fall into the category of “everyone”. At the same time though, majority of people in this day of age love the thought of eating pizza, but prefer not to as it is unhealthy and fattening.

Well yesterday’s meal was anything but unhealthy and fattening!

 Hummus Pita Pizza

How delicious do these miniature pizza’s look? I got the idea from here, but instead of using pita bread (which is actually really difficult to find in the Netherlands), I used my new addiction – gorditas! They are really so much better than the basic non-existent pita bread found local grocery stores!

Ingredients:

  • 5 small pita breads (or gorditas)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons thyme
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) original hummus
  • 1 cup (149g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cup (74g) cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • ¼ cup (37g) black olives, sliced
  • 1 jalepeño, sliced
  • ¼ cup (37g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Drizzle olive oil on hot frying pan and lightly fry pitas, flip frequently and sprinkle with thyme and salt for better flavour

  2. As you fry the pitas, chop vegetables and set aside.

  3. Once pitas are crisp, spread hummus over leaving a centimeter of “crust” visible.

  4. Add chopped vegetables over hummus, arrange so vegetables are spread out evenly.

  5. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and finally with crumbled feta and enjoy!

Although the pita bread (or in my case, gorditas) are not that strong that the pizza stays a flat surface, it is easy enough to fold in half and enjoy!

Too bad it is summer time too as this could make a perfect after school snack for those of you who have kids! But if you do have children this could also be a great snack in the middle of the day between events such as swimming or riding bikes outside. Actually, do kids even do such activities anymore?

When I was a kid, summertime was filled with activities such as riding our bikes all around the desert-like terrain that made up the island of Aruba, swimming in our back yard pool, building tree houses and climbing trees, all sorts of physical activities! Although I am not a physically active person, we did a large amount of physical activity!

My childhood was filled with getting cuts and scrapes every other day. But what about now? Do children still get hurt through physical activity? Or are they more preoccupied with the digital world?

Regardless of what they do, this will be a great snack. Healthy and delicious!

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

Eet smakelijk!

P.S. – here are some photos of my patriotism towards my nation and my second home! (Both the Netherlands and Argentina play against one another tonight… actually right now)

Argentine flag accent nail
Argentine flag accent nail
Dutch flag accent nail
Dutch flag accent nail

And here’s some Dutch humour:

The Kings wife is an Argentine,,,,
The Kings wife is an Argentine,,,,

Lazy Mexican Sunday

The definition of lazy should be linked to my name. I can just imagine it. Flipping through one of the many dictionaries in our house and finding the word lazy which states this:

Lazy (n) – a person who is not very active such as Liselot.

Although the actual definition of lazy is an adjective, but hey! It could easily be a noun!

I have spent my day being lazy. Except I did make a delicious meal. If you like color like I do and you like a mixture of flavours in your mouth, this is truly for you.

Flautas de Pollo

How amazing does this look? I got the recipe from here, but as I used smaller wraps they didn’t quite take on the name of flautas or taquitos.

Ingredients:

  • 3 gorditas (small soft taco wraps)
  • 1 (238g) breast of chicken
  • ½ cup (74g) cheddar cheese, grated
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ an avocado, sliced

Pico de Gallo

  • ½ cup (74g)  tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup (74g) cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup (37g) red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ jalepeño, sliced and chopped
  • ¼ cup (37g) cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a small frying pan, cook chicken breast thoroughly. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to add extra flavour.

  2. Turn oven to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF) and place three gorditas into oven for 4-6 minutes, while gorditas are warming up begin grating your cheese.

  3. Once chicken is cooked allow to cool and then begin to shred. When gorditas are warmed up, remove from oven and add shredded chicken to them. Top with cheddar cheese and wrap up (insert toothpick to ensure wrap won’t undo) and place back in oven for three minutes or until cheese has melted.

  4. During this time you can chop your tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and jalepeño and place them into a small bowl. Mince your garlic and chop your cilantro and add that to the bowl as well. Squirt with about 2 Tablespoons worth of lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well.

  5. As you remove your “flautas” from the oven, open up and place a teaspoon or so of Pico de Gallo on top. Slice your half of an avocado and add two “strips” on top of your Pico de Gallo and re-wrap and enjoy!

IMG_4003 Pico de GalloWhen I first took a bite of the Pico de Gallo, I was so mystified by its taste. It was like heaven in my mouth. The spice from the jalepeños with the citrus from the lemon juice, the sweetness of the tomatoes, with the eye-watering tartness from the red onion – it was perfect! I haven’t had anything this wonderful in a while!

I immediately made two flautas and gobbled them all up. I can say that I am full now. But full and content. I am actually happy after that meal.

I definitely advise all of you to also make this as it is spectacular!

Anyway,

Buen provecho!

Filled Pasta Dish for Summer

I love summer, I truly do. I did however realize that it makes me into one helluva lazy woman. I have put off going to the grocery store for about a week long. When I do go out I end up avoiding the grocery store altogether, but when I stay home I keep getting dressed and ready to leave around twelve, and then I never do because I want to avoid the busyness in the grocery store. How lame am I?!

I’ve even been running out of things to create in my kitchen that I ended up ordering in on what we call Thuisbezorgd (this being an online website to order from). The food wasn’t even all that good! So finally today I went to the grocery store. My body is quite happy having cherry tomatoes, avocado, and bread again.

But for tonight’s dinner I went for something very Summer-festive. I think y’all will like it too!

Parmesan Perline Pasta Dish

I saw a photo online and thought it looked grand so I had to make it myself. There was no recipe so I created one on my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup (250g) perline purse pasta filled with Parmesan cheese (you can also use ravioli or another filled pasta)
  • ½ cup (50g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ball (125g) mozzarella, chopped
  • 6 leaves basil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pan with water and set to boil, once boiling cook perline pasta as directed on packages

  2. On a chopping board, halve tomatoes, chop mozzarella, and slice 3 leaves of basil.

  3. Once pasta is cooked, drain and replace in pan. Once cool, add tomatoes, mozza, and basil to pasta and mix.

  4. Sprinkle dried parsley and oregano onto pasta mixture and mix with vinegar and olive oil.

  5. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and serve immediately.

  6. Enjoy!

First, I apologize for neither knowing what perline pasta is in English, nor being able to find it online. If you know what it is, please leave a message to let me know!

The amount of color on this dish makes it the perfect summer meal. Although the actual ingredients and taste make it more summer-worthy than the look of the meal itself.

Parmesan Perline Pasta Dish

Be sure that your pasta is cooled or the mozzarella will harden and take on a more solid-like cheese than the soft almost solid that it is.

Besides the fact that my mozzarella is kind of a rock-hard solid, my meal was fantastic! And so easy! I don’t know about y’all, but I love easy meals to go with the summer fun. Or as it seems to me (my summer laziness).

Oh well, I have food again! Hope you all have had a lovely Canada Day and have a fabulous American Independence Day (AKA, 4th of July) tomorrow!

Buen provecho!

Pasta with a little Red, Green, and White

For a mostly vegetarian eating vegetarian, I have not been eating a lot of vegetarian meals. What a contradiction! For the past couple of weeks my diet has consisted of a lot of shrimp and chicken. Guess that is why I consider myself a pesco pollo vegetarian. Alas, for today’s meal I went back to the basics. Went for something simple and completely delicious.

Shell Pasta with Sautéed Spinach and Feta

Now I know my plate does not look all that attractive, but the meal was just what I needed. A bit of spinach, a bit of tomatoes, and just the right amount of healthy salt found in the feta – delicious!

My all-time favourite cheese may just have to be feta. Well and Gouda.

I saw a photo online without a recipe, so I made the recipe on my own. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup (170g) small whole wheat shell pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (450g) spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • ½ cup (75g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup (75g) feta, cubed
  • Salt  and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat a pot of water on the stove top and let water boil. Once boiling cook pasta as instructed on package.

  2. While pasta is cooking, heat tablespoon olive oil in frying pan. Add shallot and garlic to pan and begin to fry (about 1 minute) add spinach to pan and sauté until spinach is wilted and garlic is aromatic.

  3. Once pasta is cooked, drain well and return to pot, mix spinach with pasta. Add chopped tomatoes and cubed feta to pasta and stir.

  4. Immediately plate and sprinkle with pepper and additional salt (if desired)

  5. Enjoy!

Pretty easy! And I swear, the feta was the perfect touch. Yes you can substitute feta with Parmesan cheese, but the feta was pretty great!

Hope y’all try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did. It is a great summer recipe!

Buen provecho!