Monday, November 26, 2012

For the love of God Gary, go back to work!

NHL lockout, Day 72 Lentil and Mango Chutney Soup (from Nourishing Friends)

Oh Gary, when will  it end? This week it was lentils and mangos and last week it was Kasha and Bow Ties. KASHA AND BOW TIES, GARY! I'm sure my kids can't get enough of my newly sparked interest in things like cumin and kasha but they'd understand if we had to go back to the simpler days of meat sauce and hamburgers and BBQ chicken inhaled 5 minutes before the puck dropped. Please, Gary, get me out of the kitchen and back into the den where I belong!

Mango Chutney
3 ripe mangos, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 c sliced blanched almonds
1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 c coconut milk
1/4 c honey
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch each of cayenne and cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to high but keep stirring so it doesn't stick. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until almost caramelized.

10 c water
2 c mixed green, brown and red lentils

Bring the water to a boil and add the lentils. Simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Once tender, stir in the mango chutney and cook for another 10 minutes.

I like my soup a little sweeter so I added 2 tablespoons of agave nectar to the pot.

My kids LOVED it!*
What about a bribe, Gary? Here's my 6 year old's wallet with his brother's 'borrowed' allowance.
I found it while cleaning up his room the other day.
I'm sure he'd happily donate if I stop making him try things like Lentil and Mango Chutney Soup.

* my kids wouldn't go near it with a 10 foot pole even though it really was out of this world

Monday, November 19, 2012

NHL lockout = family eats well and smallest kid learns to read

Vietnames Soup (Pho Ga) and Sticky Chicken
I used chicken soup that I had in the freezer and just added the spices
This is a nice change from Bubby's chicken soup. 

I took this recipe from a website called Steamy Kitchen. You can follow the recipe in full detail there but here are the basic ingredients:

1 whole chicken (I used premade chicken soup which was way less time consuming)
1 whole onion cut in half
3-inch chunk of ginger, unpeeled

Place the ginger and the onion on a small baking sheet and broil for about 15 minutes until they are evenly charred. Once cool, scrape the charred skin from the ginger, cut into small chunks and add to the broth along with the onion and spices below. 

2 tbsp coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
small bunch of cilantro

Since I used chicken soup that I had in the freezer I didn't have the chicken from the broth. I steamed boneless breast cut into thin slices and added that to the soup just before serving (it's also great with paper thin beef added raw to the boiling soup just before serving - it cooks in no time). 

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer for 1 1/2 hours. 

Accompaniments to the table (everyone adds what they like):
1 lb dried rice noodles (prepare as per directions on the package right before serving otherwise they get too sticky)
2 c bean sprouts
cilantro tops
1/2 shaved red onion
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Hot sauce
Hoisin sauce
sliced chili

I also made Vietnamese Sticky Chicken which was amazing. 

2 garlic cloves, minces
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 lb boneless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/4 in thick slices

Marinate for at least 15 minutes and grill. I sprinkled with sesame seeds before serving. 

Masterchef tip: I like to make this soup December through October as I find myself queasy during the month of Movember. Otherwise best served over candle light... very small candles... ok, no candles, in total darkness.

Can't wait for December!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Best Quinoa Ever!

I've taken up cooking. No joke. I even make my kids call me Masterchef. It all started when I bought the cookbook Nourishing Friends. So far everything I've made has been a hit. Here's a variation on a quinoa recipe.

Quinoa with Red and Yellow Peppers

2 c Quinoa
3 c water
3 peppers cut into 1" pieces
6 cloves of minced garlic

Bring water and quinoa to a boil and then simmer on low for 15 minutes

In a saucepan sauté the garlic and the peppers until soft

1/4 c Tamari
2 tbsp agave nectar (found in any health food store)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
6 green onions thinly sliced
*Estrogen (optional)

Add everything together and enjoy.

I find that THIS...
...makes walking into THIS (my garage)...
...all the more bearable!
You can substitute estrogen with eating while lying naked on a marble floor which has a similar refreshing flavour.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hooked on (some sort of ) Phonics

Translation: Can we get some bagels and can we get some cream cheese
I'll panic when he's under the chuppah and says "I (Ninten)do".