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Friday, November 30, 2012

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges




''There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.''- C.S. Lewis



I love sweet potatoes - love it boiled, sauteed and roasted. I've never really had or thought to roast it unpeeled until today. I was in such a hurry and couldn't find my potato peeler - and thought meh I'll just eat the skin . It came out really really good and even the hubby that absolutely hates sweet potatoes loved it . Will definitely be adding to our weekly menu. It was very easy to prepare, I'd definitely recommend over regular white potatoes, this is because they are more nutritious than white :- they are packed full with antioxidants, rich in vitamin c and beta-carotene oh and plus they have a lower glycemic index - tis a WIN, WIN in my books


Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato
Sea salt to taste
Paprika - pinch to 1/2 tsp
Chilli  Chipotle powder - pinch to 1/2 tsp
White ground pepper  - pinch to 1/2tsp
Parsley  - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 1/2 tbs

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 400F
1) Cut sweet potato in wedges , place in a clean bowl and add ingredients , toss until evenly coated
3) Spread on a baking sheet (try not to overlap) - roast for 30-35mins - be sure to check/flip every say 10mins

Serve hot with green salad and some homemade sauce















Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sauteed Bok choy




You have exactly one life in which to do everything . Act accordingly.


Bok choy
Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family. There are three types of boy choy, all of which have tender green leaves and thick but edible stems. Bok choy is rich in vitamins A,C and K and contains healthy levels of folate and vitamin B6 
(ref livestrong.com)


Below is a quick saute recipe 

Ingredients
Boy choy  1 head 
Onion      1
Grape tomatoes 1/3 cup
Chilli/Habero      1 ( optional)
Rice Vinegar       1tbs (optional)
Water/broth         1/4 cup
Ginger                 about 1/2 tbs
Olive oil              1 tbs - may use sesame       
Salt to taste

Directions

1) Slice boy choy - both green and white parts

2) Saute onions and ginger in olive oil until onions is tender

3) Add remaining ingredients starting with grape tomatioes ,white part of bok choy , cook for 1-2mins then add green parts , cook for 3-5mins , add salt and vinegar and simmer for 1-2mins

Serve hot 











ref :livestrong.com

Quick Kale Salad - Kale, Strawberry, Kiwi & Cucumber



There is no better way to fight weakness that with strength, Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.' - Henry Rollins'



Did I already mention I love kale? if not for the umpteenth time kale is truly one of my favorite leafy green.

Here's a quick/easy kale salad recipe 








Ingredients

Strawberries (4)
English cucumber (1/2)
Kiwi   (1-2)
Hazelnut - may substitute for almond, pecans, or even dried fruits/raisins

Dressing 
Raspberry vinegar 3-4tbs
Agave                   2tbs
Black pepper         1/4 tsp
Dijon mustard        1tbs
Extra virgin oil        3/4 cup
salt to taste





Beet recipes




The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why - Mark Twain


I absolutely love beets (beetroot); they're low in calories, contain no cholesterol and are packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. I only started eating them this year and started doing so by adding to my early morning smoothies and salads - now I've moved on to cooking with it  - they go nicely with just about any herbs/spices - so be sure to play around with your what you have in your kitchen - -in addition to herbs they are also great with a bit of honey, vinegar or lemon juice - YUMYUM

Below are a few recipe inspirations

organic beets

Beet chips



sauteed beets with a side of cous cous




Below are a few recipe ideas



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Avocado, Mango & Grape Tomatoes Salsa




Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.


Grilled shrimp with a side of Avocado, Mango & Grape tomatoes.

Made this a few months ago and never really documented it - so forgive me if my recipe isn't really helpful - It's simply shrimp marinated in lemon juice and old bay seasoning (i think) and a side of avocado, mango and grape tomatoes - I may have added a light dressing of maybe lime/lemon with agave but not 100%  - - tis hardly rocket science - play around with what you have in your fridge 

Ingredients

Shrimp (say 1 cup) 
Salt
Old bay seasoning
Lemon juice 1 tbs

Salsa
1 Avocado 
1 Mango
1 cup of grape tomatoes

Dressing
Lemon juice/Vinegar/Lime
Agave
Extra Virgin Olive oil - (optional)

Directions

1) Place shrimp in clean bowl, add lemon juice & add old bay or salt to taste - let marinade for an hour in the fridge

2) Thread marinaded shrimp onto a skewer 

3) Heat grill , and grill skewers for 5-10mins (or until cooked)

4) For side  - chop ingredients and place in a serving bowl ; prep dressing and drizzle on salsa to serve









Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bean cake[moi-moi] topped with onions & spinach


Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Bean cake (moi moi) is a staple food in Nigeria. Moimoi is essentially a bean cake/pudding made from blend of black eyed/brown beans, peppers & onions. Moimoi makes a great protein rich  vegetarian dish.
It is normally steamed in leaves, empty cans, foil paper or ramekins , it can also be baked in the oven - this is my preferred method - (less hassle)









Ingredients

2 cups dry beans (this yields 4 cups wet/soaked beans)
1 bell pepper (lg)
1 small onions
1 habenero/scotch bonnet - optional
1 cup of water/broth to blend mix
2 tbsp of extra virgin oil
Corned beef (may opt for boiled eggs, sausages, fish or veggies)

Seasoning
Salt to taste

Garlic      1/2 tsp
Turmeric  1/2 tsp
OR

All purpose season or Bouillon cubes X 2  (optional )


Directions

Pre heat oven to 350F
1) Soak beans overnite or for at least 3hrs if using black eye beans; the brown variant only takes 20 mins to de-skin. Wash off the skin/covering.

2) Blend beans, peppers, & onions with water or broth for more flavor

3) Add oil and chosen seasoning (i used all but the bouillon cubes)

4) Prep filling - I used corned beef - about a slice

5) Grease pan or dish with oil

6) Pour bean mixture into pan to about halfway , add filling , then pour remainder mix

7) Place in the oven and bake for 45mins or until done (test by sticking a tooth pick in it - clean pick means all done)

8) Remove from oven and let cool for 15mins

Serve as a main or side dish
   - serve with rice
   - serve with tomato stew

I opted for a caramelized onions and spinach topping - this was incredibly yummy .





























[Breakfast] Steel-cut oats with fresh fruits



Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration - Thomas Edison

Steel-cut oats

I must say since we purchased a pressure cooker - making steel-cuts oats has been a breeze (this is one tough grain to cook) - normally would take 25- 30mins to cook , this now takes 8mins using the pressure cooker . Did I already note that I love pressure cooking? if not WELL I LOVE PRESSURE COOKING! It's simply the bomb diggity. 

Ingredients 
1 cup steel-cut oats (serves 2)
2 cups water or 3 cups water (if using a cooker)
Salt to taste
dash of cinnamon (optional)

Direction
Throw all into pressure cooker and set to 8mins , natural release

Conventional
1 Bring water to boil
2 Stir in the oats
3 Once oats starts boiling , turn down heat to low
4 Simmer uncovered or partially covered for 25-30mins - be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning

May be sweeten with agave, honey or maple syrup . 








[Breakfast] Pancakes topped with fruits (grilled bananas)



You don't have to be great to start , but you have to get started to be great 
-Les Brown


Breakfast during the week for me is usually yogurt & fresh fruits, granola cereal or a tall glass of homemade whey protein shake - simply because it's much quicker - occasionally when I have time I'll make a sunnyside up - but I'm usually on the run - so anything more than 10mins is not an option. That said on the w'end I like to take my time to make breakfast for the family - from hash browns, omelette, waffles/pancakes etc 

For Thanksgiving we had homemade pancakes - now baking is certainly not one of my strengths - I just don't get the exact science - so I prefer to get pre-made mixes and simply add water , eggs  etc. I'm still working on my own batter recipe - we're 50% there.


Ingredients
Pancakes
Pancake mix - Namaste waffle/pancake mix - gluten free/kosher certified
2 Eggs
1 tbs of coconut oil
1 tbs of brown rice syrup (optional )

Bananas
2 bananas ( serves 2)
Cinnamon
1/8 Coconut oil - optional
1/8 Natural cane sugar - optional

Direction
Pancakes - follow direction on packaging
Bananas
 - preheat grill pan or grill
 - peel banana and then slice into two
 - combine sugar and oil in a bowl - mix together
 - apply mixture to bananas and let marinade for 3-5mins
 - place banana on grill , grill each side for 2mins or until grill marks appear - 
 - remove once done and serve 








Thursday, November 22, 2012

Swiss Chard , Peach and Radish Salad



Swiss chard! Want a leafy green packed with all green goodness/nutrients? then Swiss chard is for you: . It is high in vitamins A, K and C. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein

I only discovered this uber fab vegetable early this year - so far I love it in sautes and salad - It is slighty bitter but nothing compared to kale and mustard greens .

This recipe calls for raw ingredients

Ingredients
Organic swiss chard
Radish 1- 2
Grape tomatoes - 1/4 cup (or desired)
Peach
Pinch of salt (optional)

Dressing : Raspeberry Vinegar & Agave syrup

Directions
Chop greens in medium chunks and place to a bowl
Cut tomatoes, radish and peach and add to bowl with greens
Toss bowl
Serve with desired dressing








Desserts - Rum flavored Watermelon Balls


Rum balls anyone? This 'dessert' is perfect for hosting - incredibly easy to make and all so yum.

Note - Instead of rum you may choose other flavors/drinks


Ingredients
Watermelon - 1/4
Malibu Coconut Rum - 3 tbs (to desired)
Shredded Coconut

Directions
Ball watermelons using a melon baller and place in clean plastic bowl
Pour rum or desired drink
Freeze for 1-2hrs

Garnish with shredded coconut and served chilled












Healthy Snacks - Plantain chips



Craving a bit more than nuts, seeds and granola? then try plantain chips. This is usually fried but this recipe shows it baked -tis equally yummy !

Ingredients
Plantain (1)
Coconut oil (1 tbs)
Turmeric 1/8 - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Water - 2 cups

Directions
Using a mandoine or sharp knife thinly slice plantain into a bowl
Add the water , let sit for 1 min - (this steps makes the chips crisp and crunchy)
Remove slices from water and place on paper towel - pat dry the excess water
Grease baking pan
Spread slices on pan
Bake for 15-20mins - at 10-12mins - flip chips

















xx

Jo






Quick Appetizer - Crackers with Toppings


Crackers make a great everyday snack; but you can easily top with a variety of things to take it from plain to an appealing appetizer for your guests. It is extremely easy to do - play with what you have in your pantry/fridge.

The recipe shown uses a mix of fruits, fish and veggies

Ingredients
Salmon (poached or grilled)
Avocado
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Grapefruit
Crackers
Dressing

Direction
Arrange selected topping on cracker (note : if you choose to use a dressing be sure to mix before topping)
Serve










Refried Beans and Tortilla


I love beans - they are mega high in proteins, fiber, iron and plenty good stuff. Beans is featured at least 2-3 times in our weekly household menu . It can be eaten in so many ways ; salad,  side dish, with tortilla, rice, plantain etc
This recipe calls for dry beans - you can use the canned and adjust accordingly.
Before I bought a pressure cooker the cook time was 90mins but that's been reduced significantly to 25-30mins.

Ingredients
11/2 -2 cup beans (black-eyed or brown beans)
Olive oil - 1tbs
Tomatoes (2-3)
Red Bell peppers (1)
Onions 1
Chilli (Habanero/Scotch bonnet) 1 -2
Curry - 1tsp
Bouillon - 1 cube optiional
Sea salt
Tortilla

Garnish 
Bell peppers
Sweet potatoes (S)


Direction
Cook beans in 6-8 cups of water for 90mins - be sure to check water level every 20mins; top up as required
If using a pressure cooker; follow the directions per manual/recipe book .
Blend tomatoes, half the onions, half the bell pepper, habanero  with a little water - say 1/3 cup
Heat mid-size sauce pan , add oil, add remaining onions - saute for 2-3mins
Add tomatoes blend and salt to taste- cook on low heat for 5-7mins
Add additional seasoning - curry , bouillon - simmer for 2-3mins
Add cooked beans , mix well with blend - simmer for another 3-5mins
Should you want it mashy - you may do so using a potato masher or a large spoon

Garnish with grape tomatoes, bell pepper & boiled sweet potatoes (diced)

Serve as a side dish or on wholewheat tortilla

















Grilled Plantain, Zucchini & Squash



Hey friends,

Ok I guess I haven't been posting as often as I thought I would - I must confess I thought this whole food blog would be a piece of cake. The cooking bit is probably the easiest, followed by the photography however finding time to pen down the recipe and instruction is what I struggle with - I struggle because all of my recipes are pretty random (inspired by my mum, restaurants, friends, books etc), I don't measure and pretty much go by how I feel.  Cooking to me is an art there's no set way - you should be able to play around with ingredients - the photos are just there for inspiration - the ingredients can be changed - Ok enough of the excuses now - please do bear with me as I slowly find my way .Thank you for your patience

Ok today's meal (well more like a few months) is Grilled Plantain, Zucchini & Squash.  Plantain remains one of my favorite meals - It can be fried, baked, boiled and grilled. I chose to grill in this time - it was just as yummy fried - oh and we're trying keep the waistline in check so frying is NOT an option

Ingredients
1 Large plantain (preferably mid-ripe)
1 Zucchini (mid size)
1 Yellow Squash (M)
Roasted garlic grapeseed oil (any healthy oil should do, infact coconut oil will be superb) - 1 tbs
Red pepper flakes 1-2tsp
Sea salt to taste (may opt for additional seasoning)

Preparation
Using a sharp knife*, thinly slice plantain, zucchini and squash into a clean bowl
Add desired oil
Add salt to taste
Grill in the oven/bbq/grill pan  for 5-10mins or till done

Once cooked serve hot with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes

*(may use a mandoline as well for precise cuts)













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