Category Archives: Dinner

Tandoori Chicken & Curried Couscous

So, like I predicted yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to update everything I wanted, I was tempted with chicken wings (Deep fried! AHHH) and mussels…how could a girl resist?  Well…resist is exactly what I should have done;  Me and deep-fried food have never gotten along, ever, so I woke up this morning with the most excruciating stomach ache I’ve ever had, I couldn’t even stand up straight! WHAT!?  I had to cancel my farm plans (boo!) and stayed in bed until I could breathe normally and my gut wasn’t all angry and knotted up.  I feel better now, but damn, what an intense pain!  No more fried food, ever.  I should have listened to myself; lesson learned.

Onwards! Life goes on, and yadda yadda.  Back to the food; recently I got a really great deal on chicken legs and thighs at the grocery store, so I stocked up and shoved a lot of the packs in the freezer.  One thing I love, is getting mail, especially care packages from back home.  Recently we received one from the in-laws, so great! Curtains (yay!  There are no Indian fabric stores out here, or none that I’ve found yet, so buying fabric for simple things around the house is a pain in the wallet), chocolate, and tandoori masala…mmmm.
Obviously I decided to make tandoori chicken since I haven’t had any since I got married last October! It’s best to let the chicken marinate overnight, but if you must have it right away, a couple of hours will do.  I paired this with masala couscous and some steamed green beans sautéed in some butter and garlic.

Tandoori Marinade

2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp tandoori powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 small onion diced finely
1” piece of ginger grated
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
*I used about 8 skinless, bone-in chicken legs

Mix all ingredients together and add chicken, store in airtight container or in a freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.  When you’re ready to eat, just grill on the BBQ or stick it in the oven at 350 until no longer pink on the inside. (*Note, tandoori chicken tastes BEST when it’s done on the grill*)

Masala Couscous

The best couscous to water/liquid ratio that I’ve found is one cup of couscous to 1 ¼ cups of liquid.
I always make extra couscous because I like having it the next day as a small snack or I add it to a salad.

2 cups couscous
2 ½ cups low sodium chicken/beef stock or water
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
2-3 heaping teaspoons of garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 tomato chopped small
¼ tsp red chili powder
½ green chili
Salt to taste

  1. In a medium saucepan bring chicken stock to a boil, add couscous, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat, add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent, approx. 4 minutes
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes
  4. Add in the turmeric, salt, and garam masala and cook for approx. 8-10 minutes until you can ‘smush’ the tomatoes and the whole mix is paste-like
  5. Fluff the couscous and add to the masala mix, taste and adjust the seasonings, serve with the tandoori chicken and a side of garlic green beans.


Long Live Breakfast

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts how much I love having breakfast for dinner; actually, I could have a variation of breakfast for every meal of everyday for the rest of my life: think non training breakfast; egg whites and oats don’t really grind my gears as much as bacon pancakes or waffles with nutella.

I had an uncontrollable urge to have a greasy breakfast for breakfast today….although I woke up SUPER late (1:30 pm…oops) and so it turned into a greasy lunchfast , even better! I dragged the Mr. with me to Cora’s and had a giant non paleo plate of heaven, mmmm, I can still taste it *burp*. Gross, just kidding. So, when we got home and started cleaning, my mind automatically went to food (obviously. If you know me you know how often I think of food. All the time, all day long.) There was that urge again. My mind kept screaming “BREAKFAST! BREAKFAST! BRRREAKFASSSTTTTT!!!!” my stomach followed suit, and then my whole body was screaming for breakfast. I did the only thing I could do; give in.

Enter Crepes.

There is a place in BC called Cafe Crepe, and it is so very good. They have other things on their menu besides crepes, but really…why would you go to a place called Cafe Crepe and order a burger?? Anytime I was downtown with my two awesome foodie friends S and N we’d end up there. The first occasion was filled with rain, a K’naan concert in said rain and a lot of beer, crepes and an unfortunate event involving Spanx. Note to everyone, Spanx are evil, avoid them at all costs, especially if you want to breathe…or eat and drink beer for that matter. Annnnyway, another time we went just to hang out and decided to grab a coffee and a crepe while we were downtown I decided to have something ‘simple’ you know, an Spanish coffee and stack of butter and sugar crepes. HOLY SHMOLY.

That was the food memory that came flooding back to me today, I had to whip up a batch. I am lucky enough to have a husband that understands my need for all things food, with the promise of ribs, he went to the store for me to pick up some much needed vitals:

Shrimp and Brie Cheee

My local CSA pack provided the rest; farm fresh eggs, candy-sweet tomatoes and the freshest kale I’ve ever had in my entire life. You can fill the crepe with whatever your heart desires; I just sautéed the shrimp in salt, maple pepper and butter, and, when they were done, pulled them out and sautéed up some tomatoes and kale; added some brie cheese and topped it with the kale, tomatoes and shrimp. Get creative! Roasted red pepper, prosciutto and an over easy egg is also one of our favourites. Nutella, banana and coconut; sugar and butter, PB and Jam…and so on and so fourth. Go wild!

Basic Crepes

1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk as we didn’t have cow’s milk on hand)
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients and add to dry mix, beat until smooth.

Heat a pan as you would for pancakes. For each crepe pour a ¼ cup of batter onto the hot pan, and immediately rotate the pan until a thin film covers the bottom, cook for about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Spread with favourite filling and enjoy!

*Unfortunately*, we ate them so fast this is the only shot I got of the crepes I made today, I have a couple of crepes left so I’ll try to get some better shots tomorrow!


Aloo Paratha

Weekend breakfasts at my mom’s house were always ones worth waking up on time for. My all time favourite was “aloo anday” essentially, potatoes and eggs. I think it was a Quesnel thing; actually, I’m almost 100% sure it is a Quesnel thing. You make hashbrowns, that’s right, no packaged crap here, with onions and garlic, and then when they are forkish tender you crack a bunch of eggs on top, and cook until the whites are no longer runny. Serve up with some Heinz canned beans (yup, this foodie goes wild for that canned goodness), toast and OJ, OH MAMA! I’m drooling now just thinking about it.

With all that being said, this blog post is not for that dish, haha. It’s actually for my second favourite breakfast, aloo paratha; potato filled Indian flatbread. Serve these hot, smeared with butter and with buttermilk, or, scrap the butter (nooooo) and serve up with some mango pickle. Whichever way you choose to eat these, you’ll be sure to love them as much as we do.

Aloo Paratha

Potato Filling

6 potatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil (we use coconut oil)
1 tsp Jeera (Cumin seed)
½ green chili, chopped or
½ tsp of red chili (omit all together if you don’t like spice, or add as much as you want)
Salt to taste
2-3 heaping Tbsp Garam Masala

Dough:

2 cups duram atta flour (available at any South Asian grocery store. See photo below)
Water
1 tsp oil

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Filling Directions

Boil the potatoes until fork tender, let them cool slightly, peel and set aside

Over medium heat, add oil to a large frying pan, add the jeera and toast slightly (about 30 seconds), add in the onions (and green chili if using) and cook until translucent. Once onions are cooked, add in the red chili, garam masala and salt, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Mash the peeled potatoes and add the onion mixture. Mix well until everything is combined, adjust the salt/chili to your preference now if not enough.

Dough Directions

In a medium sized mixing bowl, measure out the flour

Add a small amount of water at a time, mix with your hands as you’re adding it in, you want the dough to just come together; if you add too much water, just add a bit more flour until it feels almost like pizza dough. Knead for about a minute, cover the ball with a tsp of oil and set aside.

Putting it all together!

Have a small bowl with oil nearby, or, if you’re being bad, melted vegetable shortening.

Heat a flat cast iron pan over medium-high heat, or you can use a pancake pan, or any pan for that matter with low sides

Make a small ball of dough (approx 2 inches high and across – no need to be exact, the size of your ball just determines the size of the finished paratha)

Roll out the dough until it’s about the size of a small plate (keep your surface lightly floured throughout the whole process so the dough doesn’t stick)

dough ball; rolled out dough

Take some of the potato filling, shape into a ball, and place in the middle of the dough

Filling goes in...

Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, squish it together at the top and give it a little twist to secure it

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Carefully twist and press the filled dough down into a flat disc

filled

Start rolling out the dough. Here’s what I do:

Roll one side about three times, lift, flour the surface, flip to the other side, roll again a few more times, continue until the dough is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

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ImageLift the parauntha and place onto the hot pan, let cook for about 1-1 ½ minutes and then flip, oil the cooked side and after another 1-1 ½ flip again and oil that side. Cook again for the same amount of time, flip, oil, do it once more and your parauntha should be ready, if not, cook a bit longer on each side but don’t oil anymore (unless you want to).

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Place in a plate on top of a piece of paper towel, make as many as you’d like (the filling and dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

Eat as they are, or serve with buttermilk; sour cream; butter; mango pickle, or anything pickled for that matter. My favourite is pickled lemon…mmmmm.

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Mom’s Easy Flour Tortillas

When I was younger, I had the most vile experience at a Mexican restaurant for a friend’s birthday; I was violently ill for a few days afterwards, and I swore I would NEVER have Mexican food again.

I should know better than to make food related promises before I even hit 20; rest assured that I’ve learned my lesson since then.  My motto for life now is “If I didn’t like it the first time I ate it, I’ll eat it again just in case I was having a bad day.”  I’m glad I changed my attitude towards food since that experience, a big part of that shift is my mom, and grandma; those two women are the best cooks that I have ever encountered; their passion for food shows in absolutely everything that they cook.  That being said…I’m really the only one in the family that will venture outside of my comfort zone with food.  This recipe however,  should please any of the fussy eaters in your household, you can fill it with anything!  This is my mom’s recipe, and it is divine, the tortillas are soft off the pan and they crisp up beautifully in the oven; they will keep for a couple of days wrapped tightly in the fridge.

Fajitas!

Mom’s Easy Flour Tortillas
Makes approximately 9 tortillas

2 cups All Purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup warm water

  1. Place flour into a medium sized mixing bowl, cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles small peas.
  2. Add enough water to the point where the dough just starts to come together, you may not need all of the water.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it is nice and smooth.
  4. Make about 8-9 balls and brush with melted shortening, let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out the balls and cook on a flat cast iron pan.
  6. Fill with your favourite ingredients!

prepared dough

Cooking

Finished Tortillas

Chicken Fajitas


Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

I got this recipe from a dear friend ages ago after I just finished competing in my first ever figure show, I think she got it from Oxygen Magazine, but I have yet to track the recipe down.  They are amazingly delicious and healthy, great for a post workout meal, just pair a couple with a great big spinach salad and you’re good to go! You could probably also bake this up in a casserole dish as well, and serve as a healthy family dinner with steamed veggies and salad.

 

Brown Rice and Chicken Muffins

2 Cups cooked brown rice
1 Cup finely chopped cooked chicken ( I always add extra chicken, I use about 2.5 chicken breasts, so about 2.5 cups)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 ½ tsp curry powder
8 heaping Tbsp plain low fat yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 egg whites

 

Pre Oven

1)      Preheat oven to 375  coat a muffin tin with olive oil ( I used coconut oil)
2)      Combine all ingredients except the egg whites, into a large bowl
3)      Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter
4)      Fill muffin tin with mixture
5)      Bake 35-40 minutes or until muffins are golden brown on top

Post Oven


Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

Being a military wife comes with certain…perks..haha I guess you could call them. It’s hard having the Mr. away for months at a time, but it’s nice to have my alone time, and we both find that it keeps the relationship fresh. Basically, we rarely get sick of each other and when we start to fight, it’s usually time for another sail! The part that I find hard when he comes home though, is figuring out what to make for dinner every night. My father in law visited us recently from Vancouver, and it was nice to have a piece of home here with us for a little while; but having two hungry men at home put a bit more pressure on me in the kitchen. I decided to pull out my signature dish (as my husband calls it), Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken; this dish is absolutely Ah-May-Zing! I got it from a blog years ago but can’t seem to track down the link, if anyone can help identify the original source that would be awesome! The recipe doesn’t call for any veggies to be added, and I’ve found that when I do, I don’t have a lot of sauce to coat my rice or noodles that I serve up with the dish; so, what I do is sauté them separately and then add them to the noodles/rice and pour the chicken and sauce over top, or just roast them seperately and serve them on the side. I have used shiitake mushrooms in the chicken (for the last 5 minutes of cooking) and it tastes fantastic. This time, I served it up with roasted market fresh purple carrots and brussel sprouts, yum!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, and cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 lb. bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, generously seasoned with kosher salt
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat and add sugar. Cook until the sugar starts to melt and turn brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the caramel is bubbling and turns reddish-brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, very carefully, pour in water. Please be sure to turn your face aside while you do this so you do not get splattered. If the caramel hardens, set the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the caramel dissolves, then pour it into a heat-proof measuring cup or bowl.

Sugar beginning to melt

Caramel

With hot water (so the leftover caramel bits don’t seize up on the bottom of the pan), clean and dry the pan. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and heat canola oil in the skillet. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add sliced garlic and cook for an additional minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion, ginger, and garlic from the oil and reserve in a bowl.

To the skillet, add chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken no longer looks raw on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Yes, the pan will be crowded! Add the reserved caramel sauce, fish sauce, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to coat the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook (the mixture will be simmering briskly) until the chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken every 2 to 3 minutes, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved onions, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes. Serve over chow mein noodles or rice. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken

Purple carrots from the market

Finished product


Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Sandwiches

I am so fortunate to have been blessed with some amazing friends, seriously, I consider myself to be a very lucky lady. I’m even more lucky to have friends who can cook, or in this case, a friend’s awesome boyfriend that can cook! I’ll refer to them as Mr. D and Ms. N, they had me over before I moved out East, and Mr. D made these amazing Pulled Beef sandwiches and Ms. N made this intensely seductive chocolate cake (which I’ll post soon), ever since then, me and mine have been making these at least once a month. The best part? You put the meat in the slow cooker and pull it out (literally and figuratively) in the evening when you’re ready for dinner! You MUST try this; it will blow your mind.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

1 Tbsp Canola oil or olive oil for searing
1 eye of round or top round beef roast
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups beef stock
1 ½ cups Barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Grainy mustard
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Hot pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp pepper

  1. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, sear both sides of beef
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker
  3. Add beef
  4. Cook for 8-10 hours on low

That’s it! We serve it on hamburger buns with mixed greens, mayo, cheese and Dijon mustard (yes, in the photo above I jammed some plain ruffled potato chips in there as well, heh). Sometimes I just put it on top of a salad or in my eggs in the morning. Delish.