Tag Archives: Vegan

Chickpea and Kale Curry for Dinner

What’s with the kale craze?

In the Netherlands there are some vegetables that cannot be found, but since realizing what the direct translation of kale is in Dutch, it’s been something I am interested in. In Dutch kale is called boerenkool (farmers cabbage) and until I recently figured that out, I thought you couldn’t find it here just like you can’t find spaghetti squash. Luckily that is a leaf which is easily found.

When I was in Canada late spring of this year, I noticed that my active fit friends would add kale to all sorts of smoothies. They would also be using it in salads and all sorts of other healthy meals. Since I admired my healthy active friends I was interested in the food and decided to see if we can find this same leafy green in the Netherlands. Thankfully it was easily found.

So for tonight’s meal I found a perfect curry with kale. I was looking online for something with chickpeas and found this lovely photo of a chickpea kale curry while the blog didn’t have a concrete recipe to follow, but photos with information to follow, so I measured out my own ingredients which can be seen below:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried coriander flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 bunch chopped kale

Directions:

  1. In large pan, pour olive oil into pan and allow to get hot at medium heat. Once hot, add chopped onion and cloves garlic to pan. Mix until all is coated and fragrant. Once translucent add herbs and mustard to onion mix and stir until all is covered in herbs. Do this for 30 seconds.

  2. Once spices are aromatic add drained chickpeas to onion mix and stir until all is coated in herb mix. Add can diced tomatoes and coconut milk and mix well. Turn up heat of flame and allow tomato chickpea mix to boil. Once boiling turn to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

  3. As curry reduces taste. If flavour is mild, add ¼ teaspoon coriander, fennel, cumin, 1/8 a teaspoon ginger, and ½ teaspoon of garam masala. Extra herbs

  4. Once flavour is suitable to your taste, add a bunch of kale to curry and mix in well. (I suggest you only add one bunch at a time as the kale absorbs a lot of the liquid)

  5. Enjoy!

*If you eat the curry with rice, make rice as per box instructions during the time of simmering the curry.

Curry of Chickpeas and Kale
Curry of Chickpeas and Kale

How delicious does that look? The recipe above makes 4 servings. Four servings which every one of us enjoyed the last fourth of the serving.

If you don’t know about the benefits of kale, here is a great link for it!

This recipe was honestly fit for a king. A true recipe for royalty. If you decide to make it I am positive you will enjoy it greatly!

ਮੌਜਨ ਕਰੋ – Enjoy your meal in Punjabi

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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!

Quinoa Vegetable Sushi with Miso Soup

When you go to the grocery store are you ever tempted to buy the sushi that is found in the packaged fish section? I am ALWAYS tempted. Sushi is like my go to meal for everything. Unfortunately it is pretty costly. Especially when you’re a poor student as I am.

So now a days I just make sushi at home. It is as easy as pie. And that was what I made last night for supper.

Homemade SushiAlthough when I am making sushi for dinner I have to eat it with something else. Just plain ole sushi just doesn’t seem good enough. So I boil up some water to have some instant Miso soup too!

Miso SoupEven looks similar to the stuff you would find at Japanese restaurants. Delicious.

Here’s the recipe I followed for my sushi meal:

  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 small puntpaprikas (I think these are just pointed bell peppers in English)
  • 1 small cucumber, julliened
  • A bag of shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon pesto (optional)
  • 1 package seaweed
  • Soy Sauce with less sodium
  • Miso soup powder 

Directions:

1)      Add ½ cup quinoa to ¾ cups water in pan and put to boil on stove, once boiling allow to simmer until quinoa is cooked (no more liquid in pan)

2)      As quinoa is cooling, cut the puntpaprika into thin slices. Do the same to the cucumber.

3)      If quinoa is cooled enough that you can handle its touch, spoon a couple spoons of the quinoa and place on one end of the seaweed. *Make sure seaweed is with the smooth side up.* Add cucumber, puntpaprika, and couple pinches of carrots to quinoa mixture

4)      Roll into small logs with quinoa part being rolled first. When sealing up log, wet final end of sushi with some water to stick against other part of sushi.

5)      Place log of sushi into some cling wrap and add to refrigerator to allow to cool. Continue process two more times. For additional flavouring add a couple dollops of pesto in roll.

6)      Once sushi rolls are in fridge cooling down, bring some water to boil in a kettle.

7)      As kettle begins to howl, pour water into a bowl with Miso soup powder at bottom of bowl. Stir well.

8)      Remove sushi from fridge and slice into even logs.

9)      Before eating, get your wasabi or soy sauce and enjoy!

It is really quite easy, wouldn’t you say? Once you get the hang of doing this more often then it becomes the best meal to make. I sure make it often enough to be a pro at homemade sushi.

Dinner Time

Best part about it all? It is 100% vegan! Although for you who need some meat in the mix are more than welcome to add whatever it is you wish to make your sushi more edible. I tend to make sushi with vegetables though. (I can’t be bothered to buy a big pack of crab and only use a few pieces… )

For you who are wondering about the ingredients of the Miso soup the below list is what I read on the side box:

– Miso (rice, soy beans, sea salt, A. oryzae)
– Wakame (seaweed)
– Dried green onions

Pretty nice, eh? I am all that more happy to make such a meal.

Plus I have a weird love of seaweed. I tend to go to the Chinese grocery store here and buy snacking seaweed which looks like this:

IMG_0523
Snacking on some Spicy Seaweed in Bed

Now you know just how weird I really am with my love for seaweed! Maybe it is time I move to the land of dried seaweed, hmm. Nah I am far too terrified of the natural occurrences which could ruin the country… or at least me.

Anyway, I hope you end up trying this lovely dish!

As they say in Japan: せていただき

(or in English: Enjoy your meal)

Pineapple Smoothie for Breaky

If you like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain… I started my morning singing that song. Why you may ask? Well I thought of having a lovely smoothie for breakfast. I am not much of a smoothie maker, at least not at home because our blender isn’t all too high powered, but I remembered how mom previously bought pineapple so I was thinking of making a Caribbean theme breakfast drink. Rupert Holmes was definitely running through my mind over and over again this morning.

Image
Pineapple, Apple, Gooseberry smoothie

This is the recipe I followed:

  • 1/3 cup pineapple
  • ½ an apple
  • 4 gooseberries
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds

Directions:

1)    Mix all ingredients in blender until at preferred consistency and pour into glass. Add more chia seeds for garnish

Pretty straightforward and completely easy. And you know, extremely delicious. Especially if you like the Caribbean flavours of pineapple and such. Although upon just googling I found out that pineapple is not originally from the Caribbean, but from Brazil. If you did not know that, then now you do. I know I just learnt a thing or two.

Image
Top view of breakfast smoothie

So with one glass of this pleasant smoothie and I was absolutely stuffed. Although, while I drank it I also chewed the liquid. Now I know that sounds bizarre, but if you chew a drink like a homemade juice or smoothie you are in fact burning calories to then gain more energy once consuming the liquid. I think I saw that on a post on one of my fitfoodies who I follow in IG. Unfortunately I cannot recall who it was I heard this fact from but I have a link you can look into here.

If you end up drinking this I hope you enjoy it! And if you weren’t one to chew before, I would hope you are now!

¡Buen provecho!

Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats

I truly do love to experiment in the kitchen. So much that I decided to ramp up my overnight oats last night. Don’t get me wrong though, I love my normal blueberry oats, but I saw some cherries in a can and thought ‘why not add some of that to my oats rather than using honey and cinnamon?’ So I did just that.

Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats
Delicious Blueberry Cherry Overnight Oats

When I saw what color everything was and that I could find a surprise beneath the surface I was instantly excited. I personally love deceiving things, like cakes that look so ordinary with a chocolate or vanilla icing, and then you cut a slice only to see that it is actually a vibrant red velvet cake. You are enthusiastic about cake, but then you see the color difference and are far more interested. That is completely how I am. So when I saw the full cherries under all the blueberries I was pretty stoked to be eating my breakfast.

Cherries beneath the surface
Cherries beneath the surface

This is what I did (keep in mind I always keep my oatmeal and milk about the same in measurements):

2/3 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup almond milk
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons canned cherries

A handful of blueberries

Directions:

1)    Mix oatmeal, almond milk and chia seeds in a large cup or a small bowl

2)    Add canned cherries with their syrup to oatmeal (you can add as much as you want)

3)    Spread handful of blueberries above top of oatmeal mix and place in fridge until ready to eat following day

Delicious delicious. If you end up making such a thing I hope you find joy with the colors as I did.  If not, I am sure you will enjoy the taste. It isn’t all that sweet and still checks all the right boxes.

Bon appétit!

Lentil Soup: Leftovers for Days

On Sunday I made a massive batch of lentil soup for both my mom and I. I said that we had enough for days on end… I must say I was definitely not lying. I wasn’t going to return home today but due to a furnace failure in my apartment building I ended up returning to my mom’s place. This meant that instead of having her peperoni pizza which only mom and my sister can eat, we just ate more leftovers. Mom told me that she already ate this soup yesterday and that we’ll be eating it for dinner tonight too. That’s a helluva lot of lentils!

Leftovers with Extra Flavouring

To me, the lentil soup I made Sunday was just a bit on the dull tasting side, so I thought I would add some more flavour to the mix for tonight’s meal. For those who know me, they know I am addicted to curry powder. I swear, I am more Indian than my Indian boyfriend. So I added ½ a teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, and some fresh black pepper to taste. So we ate some more lentil soup which took on a more stew-like consistency.

I never knew that lentils absorbed so much liquid, did you? But that was our meal for the evening. Just to let you know, the rest of the leftovers will be disposed of. Day 2 of leftovers for Africa is probably enough for this household.

Another Photo of Leftovers

You know, after looking at these photos for some time I am starting to think that this meal looks like something you’d find public school cafeteria ladies putting on your plastic plate. Looks pretty awful. Kind of like mystery meat. Alas, I can assure you that this meal is much tastier… I mean c’mon, my mom has been eating it for three days straight. We didn’t just toss the rest in the bin, but she ate it till the end.

Lentil Soup for Sunday Dinner

Back to being healthy. Yesterday I made those amazing Black Forest Cheesecake Cups, but today I went for a healthy and super filling dinner. I love lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa so I tend to try and make something hearty with one of the three often. Tonight I went for a delightful soup. Because who dislikes soup? Those in my family know I love it.

I used to live off of Sapporo Ichiban soup, yes that’s right. I would eat at least one package a day. Now I know how bad that is for someones body, but it was just so good. Luckily, as the years passed I learnt how to eat those such soups with chopsticks which allowed me to take my time with food like that.

Now though, I do not eat that instant type of soup as often as I used to. I tend to prefer making homemade soups. Just like todays meal of Lentil soup with Cilantro and Cumin. I got the recipe from the fatfreevegan blog.

Bowl of Lentil Soup

Here is the recipe I followed:

  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, uncooked
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 large gold or red potatoes, cut into large cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes (use if water is used instead of broth)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Additional seasonings: ¼ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach (chopped if large leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons Red wine vinegar or lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Chop all vegetables and divide onions, garlic, and celery from other vegetables

  2. Add olive oil to a large pan and allow to heat at medium temperature. When hot enough, add chopped onions, celery, and garlic. Mix until translucent.

  3. Add chopped carrots and potatoes to onion and celery mix until all is coated. In this process rinse 2 cups of lentils until water is clear. Once done that add lentils to vegetable mix. As everything becomes coated, then add eight cups of water to pan.

  4. Turn heat to high, as the water heats up, add 2 bay leaves, bouillon cubes, dried cilantro, and ground cumin, and pepper and cover soup. Once soup begins to boil, turn heat down and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or when lentils are soft.

  5. If soup is too dry, add water as you see fit. If it is too weak, add additional seasonings to enhance taste. Once ready, chop spinach and add to soup. Add salt and stir in red wine vinegar or lemon juice and serve hot.

The recipe which I linked to you has a complete different step by step process, but in that recipe Susan, the author uses a pressure cooker. I do not have that so I just estimated how to go about her recipe in a large pot. This recipe makes for 8 portions. So we’ll be eating this soup for days on end. Fortunately, this soup is super good for you and will probably help with filling us up throughout the week and helping slim us down too.

If I am to make this recipe again I would add chopped tomatoes to the soup. I like soups that have a tomato base which this one does not have. Tomatoes also add a very full flavouring to such meals, but this definitely wasn’t a bad meal whatsoever.

Too much soup for one night

If you end up making this super hearty meal I would love to know how it goes for you.

¡Buen provecho!

Zoodles with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Happy Sinterklaasdag everyone!

Now I know that is incorrect “sinterklaasdag”, but what is it that they say to someone when it is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands? Because when it is Christmas in the rest of the world they say “Merry Christmas!” or when it is Easter it is “Happy Easter!”, but what do they say when it is Sinterklaas?

Sinterklaas is a Dutch iconic figure who is much like Santa Claus, but this man comes to the Netherlands on a boat with a white steed and little zwartepieten who are his helpers. The boat hails from Turkey (or so I think it does) and has many of presents for all the little ones who leave their shoes out of their houses. Sinterklaas then rides his white horse down each road to place treats and gifts in the shoes of the children while letting his horse eat the carrots and cookies left out for the animal. Anyway, that day in which all that gift giving from this man and the treat eating is today.

Many Dutch families all over the country are celebrating this day, while our not-so-Dutch Dutch family are not. Not that I mind, to me this is just a day on the calendar. The 25th of December is something to make a big deal about. What about for you? Do you have a special day to celebrate?

So for todays dinner I made zoodles! You know, zucchini noodles! They are so delicious, I do not know why I have not heard of them until recently.

Pesto Zoodles with Oven Baked Tomatoes

Doesn’t that just look delicious. Super festive with the color scheme, but also just purely good! I got the recipe from here. But here is the recipe that I did, because as you should know, I tweak everything.

  • 2 medium zucchinis

  • ½ pint multicolored cherry tomatoes

  • clove of garlic

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon organic pesto

  • sea salt and pepper 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ᵒF or 220ᵒC

  2. Clean and halve half pint of multicolored cherry tomatoes and toss in a splash of extra virgin olive oil until evenly coated. Crush and then chop a clove of garlic and add to tomato mixture. Sprinkle with a generous dash of sea salt and spread on a cookie sheet, seed side up.  (I used a small glass baking dish)

  3. Roast tomatoes for 15-20  minutes

  4. Use a julienne peeler to create zucchini noodles 

  5. Place a pot of water (below half of pan) on stove top and allow to boil.

  6. Once boiling put julienned zucchini into a colander and place colander over boiling water. Allow zoodles to become al dente.

  7. Once complete, place in a large mixing bowl combining zoodles with tablespoon of pesto (more to your preference) and mix well.

  8. To serve: place zoodles in a bowl, top with cherry tomatoes. Serve hot. 

This recipe is super easy and super delicious. Not to mention it is completely gluten free and vegan! It makes my body feel happy.

Zoodles with Tomatoes

I also then decided to treat myself to a perfect romantic meal for one. That makes me sound so lonely and pathetic. Stupid long distance relationship! So I poured myself a glass of wine and lit a couple candles.

Romantic Dinner for One

If you end up trying this recipe out, please let me know. I would love to know how you feel about these zucchini noodles!