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Thai Coconut Curry Soup

16 Apr

I love all things curry, and coconut, and spicy. Hence this soup.  It was time consuming, but worth every second. It’s got some heat, and the coconut milk makes it a little bit sweet. I added in lots of veggies to make this super nutrient packed and yummy.

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

2 chicken breasts – skinless, sliced thin

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp oil

Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken and curry powder. Cook through. Set aside.

1/2 head broccoli – cut into tiny florets

1/2 bell pepper – medium size chunks

2 carrots – sliced

1 cup mushrooms – slice thick

1 tsp oil

Saute until tender but not mushy.

1 medium onion – diced

1 jalapeno or thai chili – minced

1/2 inch ginger – grated

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 tbsp curry paste – red or yellow

2 tsp curry powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 large sweet potato – cut into cubes

1/2 cup lentils

2/3 can coconut milk

5 cups chicken broth

lime – for garnish

Add onion, chili, ginger and garlic to a big pot.  Saute until onions are translucent. Add curry paste, curry powder and brown sugar. Heat for about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, lentils and sweet potato. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add chicken and veggies, simmer for 5 more minutes. Reduce to low heat, slowly add coconut milk. Heat for another 10 minutes. Serve with a lime wedge!

The cutest little dinner you ever did see

11 Apr

Okay, so it doesn’t involve puppies or babies, but these meatloaf muffins are pretty cute and tasty! This is not dry, bland, icky meatloaf. Its full of flavour and nutrients. On the side are some quick stir fried veggies in hoisin sauce and sesame oil.

Meatloaf Muffins

1 lb lean ground beef

1 onion – caramelized

2 handfuls of baby spinach – chopped

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup quinoa – cooked

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp italian seasoning

1 egg – beaten

1/2 cup chili sauce, or salsa

Salt and pepper – to taste

Caramelize the onion with a little bit of butter, salt and a bit of white sugar. Toss all ingredients into a bowl, mix until just combined.  Press mixture into muffin pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Top with cheese and put back into the oven until it is melted.

Serve with extra salsa or chili sauce 🙂

 

you only live once,

Karla

Sunshine and Fish Tacos

21 Mar

Since today was absolutely gorgeous and I spent the whole afternoon outside working onmytan. I was in the mood for one of my favourite light, but also super flavourful meals. FISH TACOS! I adore spicy food, and guacamole, and cheese, so they all made it into this super quick dish.

I whipped up a quick guacamole (recipe below) with avocado, tomato, lime and because I didn’t have any jalapeno, a little cayenne pepper for some heat. Seasoned with a little salt and it was perfect. Avocados have become one of my favourites lately. They’re so versatile and are a great source of healthy fat to keep me full between meals!

I pan seared some fish in lots of spices (cayenne, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder) and a little olive oil. Threw it and the guac in a toasted corn tortilla and topped with a little feta. Of course mexican cheese like queso fresco would have been ideal, but feta did the trick. If only I could have a fridge full of lots of different cheeses all the time. Silly student budget.

On that student budget note, I should mention that most of my meals are based on what I can get on sale. We stock up on frozen fish and other proteins when they’re on sale. I got 4 good sized filets for 3.99 this week, so this meal rings in at about 2.00 per serving (2 tacos).

You only live once,

Karla

Guacamole:

1/2 ripe avocado – mashed

1 small tomato – diced

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt and cayenne to taste

 

 

Pizza

16 Mar

Every university student loves pizza. It’s almost a universal truth. I’ve had some pretty good pizza and some pretty horrible pizza over the years. I’ve also had some pretty decent gluten-free pizza and some less than wonderful gluten-free pizza. So I decided to make my own.

No, I did not make my dough from scratch. Gluten-free dough is a pain, and takes way too long for me.  So I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust. It’s also dairy free for anyone with casein issues. It was pretty simple. Added the yeast package to warm water, threw in the mix, 2 eggs and 2 tbsp of olive oil, then let it rise for about 20 minutes.

The dough comes out pretty sticky, and really not anything like a normal pizza dough. It’s kind of lumpy and weird. However, I’m used to that kind of thing now. I halved it and smooshed it over the pan. I’ve heard of people throwing plastic wrap on top then rolling it out, but that was way too much work for a pizza. I pre-baked the crust for about 10 minutes, until it was golden brown.

Below you’ll find the recipe for my homemade pizza/pasta sauce. It’s just a tomato base, you can add anything to it though; spices, meat; mushrooms, veggies etc.

I brushed the crust with garlic oil and then topped it with sauce, spinach and feta cheese. Threw it back in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. The result was a super yummy pizza! The dough was a little more chewy than a normal crust, but not soggy or doughy like most gluten free baked goods. I give Bob’s Red Mill a thumbs up on this one 🙂

You only live once,

Karla

Tomato sauce for Pizza or Pasta

1 can diced tomatoes

3/4 can of tomato paste

3 cloves of garlic – smashed

salt, pepper, blend of herbs/spices to taste  – I use oregano, basil, thyme

1 tbsp brown sugar

Cook the tomatoes and paste together over medium heat. Crush the garlic cloves under a knife and add to simmering tomatoes. Add spices, salt, pepper, and sugar. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Puree until smooth.

Notes: I use an immersion blender to make this. It’s really easy and I just let the sauce cool a bit before I can puree. If you’re going to use a blender or a food processor you’ll want to let it cool a good amount before you puree or you’ll have a kitchen explosion.

Newest Obsession

14 Mar

3 words. Reduced balsamic vinegar. So delicious. It brings so much flavour to almost anything I’ve made with it and it means I don’t have to use any of that cheap wonderful wine laying around my humble student home. I have cooked pork in a maple balsalmic reduction. I’ve added reduced balsamic to tomato sauces and even a little bit to a soup I made earlier in the month. All so delicious.

Tonight I decided I wanted a really slowly cooked and flavourful meal. Braised chicken thighs was the result.

I started with skin on bone in chicken thighs and seared them off over medium heat in my big cast iron pan because it’s oven safe. I made sure the skin got super crispy and then flipped them over for a few minutes to sear the more meaty side. I took them out of the pan, added a little butter (don’t cheap out…butter is

better), some quartered mushrooms and about 6 cloves of roughly chopped garlic. I let the mushrooms cook down then added enough balsamic vinegar to cover the bottom of the pan. I let that reduce to half and then threw the chicken back in . Then I added enough chicken stock to cover the chicken just until the edge of the skin. That way it wouldn’t get super soggy. Tossed this into a relatively hot oven (400F) for 45 min. Literally throw it in and come back 45 min later.

After 45 min I took it out of the oven, took the chicken out and put it on a plate, reduced the sauce left in the pan a little and added two huge handfuls of baby spinach. I wilted this down then plated it up over some rice.  Potatoes of any kind would also be nice.

This was one of my favourite meals to date. The chicken came out super moist and flavourful. Perfect soul food.

Disclaimer: I don’t use recipes that often. I get inspiration from the food network and some really awesome recipe books, but I rarely use a recipe when I cook. Basically its a dash of this, some of that until I like the flavour! I haven’t made anything inedible yet, so I’d say it works pretty well. But for anyone looking to recreate this I’ve added the approximate amounts below!

 

You only live once,

Karla

Balsamic Braised Chicken Thighs

6-8 chicken thighs – skin on, bone in

1 tbsp butter

1lb mushrooms – quartered

6 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

1/2 c balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cup chicken stock – enough to almost cover the chicken

2 big handfuls of baby spinach