Posted in Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Main Courses, Vegan, Vegetarian, tagged Avocado, cilantro, comfort food, delicious, Gluten Free, low fat, Mexican, onion, tasty, Vegetarian on February 20, 2017|
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We had a bunch of dear friends for Superbowl a few weeks ago and I made this vegetarian chili. I know I’m a little late, but I wanted to capture the recipe for next year. It was delicious and it makes a huge amount (1 L or 8 cups). It has a lot of great flavours and textures, I’ll definitely add it to my repertoire for future Superbowl parties.
Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 1 L (8 cups)
- 180 g (1 cup) dried red kidney beans (soaked for 12 hours)
- 1 small onion, diced (100 g)
- 1 small carrot, diced (100 g)
- 1/2 butternut squash, diced (150 g)
- 2 celery ribs, diced (100 g)
- 250 mL puréed tomatoes (200 g)
- vegetable stock or water, to cover
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste
- 2 tsp ground cumin, toasted
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup Pearl Barley, cooked
- 1 avocado, for garnish
- 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
- chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Put the beans in a pot, cover with 2 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for ten minutes. Drain.
- Combine beans with everything but the frozen corn, cooked barley and the garnishes in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover. Cook for 8 hours on low or until beans are tender. Add frozen corn and cooked barley about 30 minutes before serving to allow to heat through.
- Serve with garnishes or plain.
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Happy Civic Holiday to my Ontario readers! It’s the second last long weekend of the summer! I can’t believe summer is almost over! I don’t even want to think of The Ex (Canadian National Exhibition). So let’s not!
How many times have you heard or experienced: Necessity is the Mother of Invention? Some of my best cooking experiences come from exactly that expression, either I’ve forgotten to purchase something or what I was counting on was no longer viable. Case in point: we were at the Upper Deck a couple of weeks back and I had intended on making Waldorf Tuna Wraps for our car lunch for the way home but the fajita shells were old and too dry to make a decent wrap that wouldn’t fall apart, so I decided to make some fajita shells from scratch! They worked out so well, JT proclaimed he liked them better because they had flavour and did not feel dry and crumbly when he bit into it, in fact, they reminded me of a very thin Naan because they are slightly chewy. My wraps held together perfectly. So one afternoon in the city, I decided to experiment and create a recipe that was blog worthy and this post was developed.
I had no idea making these fajita shells was so easy, 4 ingredients, mixed together and knead a little, rest a little (both the dough and the cook), roll out, cook on stove-top in a skillet and they are done! See? So damn simple. I doubt I’ll buy ready made fajita shells ever again. This recipe makes 7 wraps that are about 25 cm or 10 inches in diameter, if you make smaller ones you’ll get more of them! I was being lazy and didn’t want to have to wash a whole bunch of measuring tools so I simply put my bowl on my scale, tared it to zero and kept adding ingredients, each time, tarring to measure from zero. One bowl makes it even easier.
Easy Whole Wheat Fajita Shells
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
This recipe makes 7 shells that are about 25 cm or 10 inches in diameter
- 275 g (scant 2 cups) AP unbleached white flour
- 75 g (2/3 cup) whole wheat flour
- 20 g (2 tbsp) EVOO
- 5 g (3/4 tsp) sea salt
- ~200-220 g (2/3-1 cup) water
- non-stick cooking spray or a light vegetable oil
- Measure all of the ingredients into the large bowl of your stand mixer. Insert dough hook and slowly knead the ingredients together until a smooth ball forms (I made this dough while it was rather humid so you may need to adjust the water). Set aside for 10 minutes and allow to rest.
- Divide the dough into 7 equal portions (about 83 g each). Dust your work surface with a little flour, and roll out each ball into a 25 cm or 10-inch circle. It’s best not to stack them because they will stick together.
- Heat to medium, a cast iron skillet that is at least 10 inches in diameter. Spray or oil the skillet lightly. Cook each fajita shell about 2 to 2.5 minutes each side or until slightly browned.
- Allow the shells to cool ever so slightly and bag them immediately with parchment separators in a zip-lock bag, use as needed. These will stay fresh for 4 days but they have no preservatives so if you are not using them right away, store parchment separated shells in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight to use. If they have hardened, heat very gently prior to use to make them more supple.
- You won’t regret this.
- I cooked my fajitas on a well-seasoned cast iron crêpe pan, you may use a non-stick pan or a large skillet.
- Purée spinach or basil with some water and use it instead of just plain water.
- Use tomato juice instead of plain water.
- Flavour with herbs or spices for a change.
- I updated the ingredients with imperial volume measures August 3.
The shells have excellent texture, unlike that sticky white-bread quality the store-bought kind have. The Greek-Style chicken with goats cheese and black olives were absolutely delicious and they did not fall apart or get too soggy even after having been made in the morning for a later lunch.
Based on 7 Servings but I would make them smaller next time.
Based on 7 servings. Make 10 servings out of this recipe to have more manageable points.
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Posted in Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetable Sides, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged coconut, Gluten Free, healthy, Mexican, Vegetarian on June 27, 2016|
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A Chicken Mole Enchilada is not a low calorie dish, it’s about balance so I decided that I wanted a lighter side, hence the Coconut Cauliflower “Fried Rice”. It’s really easy to prepare and goes well with Mexican and Thai dishes. The coconut flour absorbs moisture and helps the cauliflower “fry” instead of steam.
Coconut Cauliflower “Fried Rice”
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes about 1 L or 8 cups coconut cauliflower “fried rice”
- 2 heads cauliflower, washed and chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- Add cauliflower to the bowl of your food processor (blender or emersion blender will not work), plus a few times until cauliflower resembles rice. Add the coconut flour and pulse to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven, add the cauliflower rice in batches (we don’t want to steam it, just heat it and give it a rough fry, like fried rice). Continue until all of the “rice” has been fried. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Coconut flour absorbs moisture so the coconut cauliflower rice actually retains a similar texture to rice.
- Coconut flavour may not work with all dishes but it was absolutely wonderful with the Chicken Mole Enchiladas.
- You may also add some spices to this dish, like cumin or coriander but the mole was flavourful enough, I did not want to confuse the palette.
Based on 15 servings.
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Posted in Chicken, Gluten Free, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged almond, chocolate, cilantro, coconut, comfort food, delicious, Mexican, onion, tasty, Vegetarian on June 20, 2016|
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My Father in Law passed recently. He made his 92nd birthday two-weeks earlier. It was very sad to lose him but to be honest, the last few years have not been kind to him, he simply existed, partly by choice and partly by nature (use it or lose it). That’s all of our parents now and I must tell you that it feels weird being an orphan at my age, both JT and I were very close to each other’s parents. Since Dad lived in Toronto, we made arrangements close to home and our home was the hub, which proved to be a lovely distraction. Our dearest friends Paul and T drove up from Wisconsin to help us and console us. Paul had known JT’s Dad through business so there was a strong connection with him. My newly married nephew and his bride also stayed with us because they live about two and half hours from the city. The house was alive with action! My FIL would have LOVED it!
Everyone came to the city to be at his bedside—I know he would have loved that too, although he didn’t love attention, he loved the buzz of activity. He passed very peacefully during the early hours of the morning of May 28, he didn’t suffer long. That evening, everyone gathered at our home and we had a wonderful family dinner telling stories and being there for each other. We ate rotisserie chicken, a variety of store bought salads and some homemade cookies I had in the freezer (I didn’t have time to throw anything together). We had the visitation on June 2 and the service on the 3rd. At 12pm on the 2nd, I discovered that everyone was coming for dinner just prior to the service the very next day so I sprung into action and made a huge batch of chicken mole out of the leftover rotisserie chicken. Fortunately, I had tried this recipe before and got the thumbs up from JT, so it was an easy decision to make it again.
We had a couple of leftovers that JT and I had for dinner later that week.
The mole sauce can be made in a slow cooker but I did it stove-top this time—I found it therapeutic to be involved in the dish, chopping, stirring and cooking. Like any saucy dish, this definitely tastes better the next day. The rotisserie chicken is an easy addition to the mole, just shred it and stir it into the cooled mole sauce, fill the corn tortillas, refrigerate overnight so the flavours can meld. It was a huge success! Everyone loved it.
JT usually orders a mole when we dine at a Mexican restaurant and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at it. Although there are many recipes handed down generations that take two to three days to make, this one can be made in about an hour. It developes the depth of flavour as it sits overnight. I would not rush it, make it a day or two ahead.
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
Makes 24 Enchiladas (15 cm or 6 inch corn tortillas)
For the original recipe, please click here.
- 750 mL (3 cups) sodium-free chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 500 mL (2 cups) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 good sized oranges)
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) EVOO
- 570 g (1 1/4 lb) sweet onions, sliced
- 55 g (about 1/2 cup) sliced almonds
- 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 g (4 tsp) cumin seeds
- 8 g (4 tsp) coriander seeds
- 4 g dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed*
- 4 g dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed*
- 40 g (about 1/4 cup) raisins
- 4 8 cm x 1 cm (1/2-inch) strips orange peel (orange part only)
- 1.5 g (1 1/2 tsp) dried oregano
- 45 g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 g ground cinnamon (omit if using Mexican chocolate)
- Chopped fresh cilantro or green onions
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 rotisserie chicken (or 3 left over), shredded (replace with firm tofu or beans if vegetarian)
- 200 g (2 cups) Queso de Oaxaca or Mozzarella Cheese, grated
- Crème fraîche, sour cream or yogurt as garnish
- Sriracha sauce/or chipotle mayo as garnish
- Heat the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) a large Dutch oven, add the sliced onions and sweat them out.
- Add the almonds and toast slightly. Add the garlic and cook until they release aroma, then add the cumin, coriander, two types of chilies (*replace with 15 mL (1 tbsp) smoked paprika if you prefer less spicy food) and raisins, cook until you can smell the spices.
- Add the raisins, orange peel, oregano, chicken stock and orange juice. Mix well. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using the dry chilis, remove them and discard.
- Add the chocolate and cinnamon (or Mexican chocolate) and stir until chocolate has completely melted. Using an emersion blender, blitz the sauce until very smooth. Cool completely. Set aside 2 cups of sauce. Stir in the cold shredded rotisserie chicken.
- Fill each corn tortilla with some chicken mole and a little cheese, tuck the rolls into an oven proof pan with the rolled end secured. Repeat until there is no more mole. Pour reserved sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with grated cheese. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
- 1 hour prior to sitting down to eat, preheat oven to 350° F (177° C). Bake enchiladas for 30-40 minutes or until totally heated through (inside temperature should be around 150° F (66° C) and cheese should be melted and bubbling.
- To serve, drizzle with Crème fraîche, sour cream or yogurt and Sriracha sauce or chipotle mayo. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and/or green onions. Serve over Coconut Cauliflower Rice (recipe to come).
We had these at the cottage a week or so ago. I added a little guacamole for fun. I don’t have many food style tools at the cottage so the garnish is quite rough.
- The enchiladas freeze well. You may wish to slip a piece of parchment between each enchiladas so you can easily separate them.
- *If you are concerned about the dish being too spicy, omit the dried chilis and replace them with 15 mL (1 tbsp) smoked paprika.
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Posted in Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Ladies Night, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Slow Cooker, turkey, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged Avocado, cheese, chili, chocolate, cilantro, cinco de mayo, crock pot, delicious, garnishes, Gluten Free, Mexican, onion, slow cooker, tangy, tasty, tomato, turkey on May 11, 2015|
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The Japanese Sakura Cherry Blossoms in High Park
Our Cherry Blossom tree in the front yard
Cinco de Mayo Inspired Turkey Chili
A Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight in water
- 250 g sweet onions, chopped
- 25 g garlic, finely chopped
- 300 mL tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 500 mL water and or chicken stock
- 900 g ground turkey breast
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 5 g dried ancho chili (seeds and veins removed)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- 30 mL tequila (a nice smokey one)
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced thinly
- 10 tbsp Greek Yogurt (approx 150 mL)
- 10 tbsp mozzarella cheese
- handful of Cilantro, or to taste
- 3-4 Green onions, finely chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, finely sliced
- Pre-heat slow cooker on high. Rinse beans and add to the slow cooker along with the onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste and the water and/or stock and give it a good stir.
- Brown the turkey meat in a very hot cast iron pan in batches. Add the browned turkey and juices into the slow cooker in batches. Once you have browned all of the turkey, remove the pan from the heat and deglaze the pan with the tequila, scraping off all the delicious turkey bits from the pan. Add this liquid into the slow cooker.
- Give the chili a good stir. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until the beans are fork tender. If the chili is too liquidy, then remove the lid for the final hour of cooking.
- Serve hot garnished with sliced avocado, a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, chopped green onion, shredded mozzarella cheese and finely sliced peppers.
Based on 10 Servings
It’s heavy on the points but high on flavour.
A delicious Mexican Flavoured Chili
Ladies Night May 2015
I should have set up the tri-pod for an all in shot.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Fish, Gluten Free, Recipes, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged Apple, arugula, celery, cilantro, Cucumber, lime, Mexican, onion, scallops, shrimp on April 10, 2014|
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Spring has been slowly emerging, taking its dear sweet time, but today, it’s finally going to be 17°C (62.6°F). Even on Tuesday, the sun was shining and it was actually warm enough to sit outside in the sun with a cup of hot coffee. We’re cautiously hopeful for spring, although there is still some ice in our backyard believe it or not. Stubborn ice that just won’t give up. One of our radio stations has a repeating ad that goes something like this: “April, you have just one job: melt the GD ice so spring can finally show up.” Seriously, just one job! Can it be THAT hard? Yes, we are frustrated! But at least it’s starting…
I’m beginning to think about summer foods, lighter fare and this is a quick and delicious recipe I came up with for lunch about a month ago; I think it may have even been snowing at the time (a month ago). The bright, fresh flavours contrasted against the peppery arugula will make a sensational meal on a super hot, humid day (soon, please be soon). Definitely making this lovely dish for the cottage, it’ll be perfect for eating on the dock, wearing shorts and a light T!
A delightful combination of shrimps and scallops cooked in lime juice
Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche
Makes 1 small serving (to make a meal of it, increase the weight of shrimp and scallop to 100 g in total).
- 30 g shrimp*, cubed rather small
- 20 g scallop*, cubed rather small (similar size to shrimp)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 tsp non-calorie sweetener of your choice
- 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 green onion, minced
- 1 stalk celery, cubed
- 5 cm (2 inches) English cucumber, cubed
- 1/4 apple (or Jicama)
- 5 cm (2 inches) English cucumber, cubed
- 100 g Arugula
- Combine the lime juice and the non-calorie sweetener of your choice and mix well.
- Make sure you cube your seafood into equal sized cubes so that they ‘cook’ at the same rate. Combine the cubed shrimp, scallop, cilantro and green onion with lime dressing and toss well. Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.
- When the seafood has become opaque, add the celery, cucumber and apple and toss well. Serve over arugula or lettuce of choice
The apple adds the sweetness that the jicama would have.
*’cooking’ seafood in citrus does not kill off any parasites, so you should be very careful with the choice of seafood — it should be fresh, or boil in water until done and prepare the salad just prior to serving.
Based on 1 small serving
Based on 1 small serving.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Decorations, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged Avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime, low carb, low fat, Mexican, navy bean purée, Spinach on April 7, 2014|
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I found this clever idea in the latest LCBO magazine. My vases were a little smaller than the idea in the magazine so some of my tulips had to stick out at the top.
Recently, we hosted a dinner party for guests who were doing Weight Watchers and because I don’t like to sabotage anyone’s journey to a healthy weight I decided to make the entire meal WW friendly and that meant putting my thinking cap on. Now I don’t know about you, but I adore guacamole, it’s so creamy, fresh and tangy and it really enhances a few dishes as a condiment but may also be used as a wonderful dip with fresh vegetables!
Now I know what many of you will say, “but wait, avocados are a good fat” and while that is very true, it’s all about balance and budget so if you can save a little here you can spend it there (perhaps on an extra glass of vino?), is all I’m saying!
Before I even searched on line, I had the idea of creating a mockamole from spinach. Why spinach? I chose spinach because #1 it’s a gorgeous green and you can purée it smooth uncooked and #2 it fits well into the WW point system. Once I determined what my basic ingredients would be, I started to search “mockamole” on the net and found that the majority of them are made with green peas. Now green peas are quite healthy but when I did the nutritional calculation using peas, my 1 tablespoon mockamole resulted in 1 WW point whereas my spinach mockamole resulted in 0 points for 1 tablespoon. So that was it.
Guacamole is a simple yet flavourful combination of ingredients and other than subbing out the avocado, I kept it pretty true to form. I used 4 tablespoons of cooked puréed navy beans as my ‘creamy’ ingredient and it worked out great. I loved the bright green colour as well as the bright flavours in this recipe. JT said it was an excellent substitute for real guacamole! It’s quite garlic-y so if it’s date night, you may wish to tone it down a notch or make sure your partner has some too ;-)!
May I interest you in a little dip?
Mockamole (Spinach ‘guacamole’)
Makes about 3/4 cup.
- 100 g fresh spinach (may be frozen)
- 4 tbsp navy bean paste (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
- Cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Chopped tomatoes (optional)
- If using frozen spinach, wring out well. If using fresh spinach, wash and dry well.
- Combine the spinach, navy bean paste, garlic, lime juice and cilantro in a small food processor and process until very smooth (I found my immersion blender did this beautifully). Fold in chopped tomatoes if you are adding them.
- Add chopped green onion and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with cucumber slices, celery sticks or cauliflower florets or use in a meal that requires guacamole as a condiment.
Choose vegetables that hold onto the dip like a spoon!
The cooked puréed beans give this dip its creamy texture.
Who are you calling “dip”?
1 tbsp serving
1 tbsp serving.
- Navy bean purée: I usually make up a batch of plain navy beans for thickening soups, sauces and gravies and then freeze for later use. Cook navy beans in water without salt. Purée and press through a fine sieve. Allow to cool completely and put 1 tbsp portions into an ice cube tray (specifically for savoury things) and freeze. Once frozen, take each cube and put it into a larger ziplock bag and that way you have a creamy gluten-free thickening agent for future recipes.
- If you add too much liquid to the puréed spinach mix, strain for a couple of hours in a coffee filter reserved for savoury things before serving.
- To blanch spinach quickly, add spinach to a heat proof bowl with about 1/2 cup water and nuke for about 2-4 minutes until soft. Rince with cold water and wring out well.
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