Category Archives: Tested Recipes

Havin’ a kale of a time….

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I don’t know whether to be impressed or embarrassed by how quickly I came up with that pun. I can’t cohesively write an essay anymore, but I CAN make sad vegetable jokes with ease.

With that sparkling intro, I’m here to chat about kale. One of my favourite veggies, because of its amazing superfood status as well as its hearty flavor. Also, I weirdly find it to be very beautiful …its so curly and pretty!!! No? Just me?

kale dress

 

{You rock that kale dress, lamb. I get it}

Here’s why you should eat kale:

  • It contains more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, K (for kale! but no, not actually), and C.
  • Good source of minerals: copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus
  • Source of antioxidants: carotenoids and flavanoids specifically, in a very simplified explanation they combat ageing/cancer inducing free radicals. KALE MAKES YOU LIVE LONGER GUYS (don’t quote me on that)
  • Lots of fiber, little fat, low calorie=filling up on good stuff

So now you just wanna run out and grab the prettiest bunch of kale to bring home and munch on right?! Well no, because raw kale is a daunting and (initially) intimidating vegetable. Do you eat it like lettuce? Do you cook it? Should I eat the stems? How do you turn them into chips?

Never fear, dear reader. As a major kale enthusiast, I have made all the kale-eating mistakes one can make (hint: there aren’t that many. It’s only a vegetable). Learn from me! Also check out these fantastic recipes to integrate kale into your daily life

 

purple kale

{purple kale for the fashionistas}

Tips for cooking with/eating kale

  • Nope, don’t eat the stems. They are as tough and bitter as my old middle school teachers. Just tear the leaves off into bite sized chunks. If I’m feeling especially kitchen savvy I’ll wash and rip up and entire head of kale and throw it back in the produce bag for quick using throughout the week 
  • If you don’t normally wash your veggies (it happens), put in the extra special effort for kale. Kale is on the Dirty Dozen, and tends to have high levels of pesticide residue (if not organic).
  • It lasts for a WHILE though. I once rinsed a head of kale real quick and stuck it in my fridge in a bag, forgot about it, then found it a MONTH later and it was still crispy. Not joking guys. None of that slimy spinach shit here, just add a little water and wrap it up and itll last for at least 2 weeks, usually more.
  • As for most leafy greens, undercooking is better, taste wise.

Annnnnd the recipes!

kale sweet potato hash

1. Kale Sweet Potato Hash-smoked paprika is KEY here, also amazing in all other regards.

2. Kale+grain bowls- this is my go to meal. Cook up a big batch of rice/quinoa/couscous to use throughout the week and just toss a protein and steamed kale in there (time saving tip: you can steam shit in the microwave.). Makes you feel all smug and healthy since there’s so many superfoods in one meal

My go to combo is kale, quinoa, cashews, chickpeas with curry and hot sauce. Takes about 15 minutes to pull together once you’ve made it a few times and very filling/delicious (also, CHEAP).

3. Raw kale salads: the options are plentiful. Give er a search on the google. MOST IMPORTANT PART: make the dressing and let the kale marinate. or else youll be chewing on that raw kale like a masticating cow. The vinegar in the dressing helps tenderize the rough kale. This also means leftover kale salads are da bomb.

Some of my fave kale salads

Weekend Glow Kale salad

Kale apple Coleslaw– this is my new favourite way to enjoy kale: shredded!

Kale and Fig Salad (on my menu this week)

4. The infamous kale chips!!!!! I dont know about you guys, but I’d read about kale chips forever before I actually attempted them, and then it took equally forever for me to figure out how to make them taste good. The most delicious ones are made from a dehydrator. I”m sorry to tel you that, but its true. To get the saucy crispy DELICIOUS kale chips youll find in the bags at health food stores, you need to use low heat for a long time. This means using a dehydrator or your oven, on it’s lowest heat with the door open.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy kale chips without a dehydrator though! They just wont be the full flavoured kind you’ve probably seen on health blogs/stores. For oven kale chips, keep it simple. Some flavoured olive oil, salt and some choice seasonings are best (I like garlic salt, pepper, dill, or smoked paprika!).

To make kale chips in the oven, simple rip up bite sized pieces of kale, massage in the oil and seasonings, then spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350. watch these suckers carefully, burnt leaves taste pretty bad guys.

If you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator (aww yeah, welcome to the club), Angela’s recipes are THE BEST.

Alright friends, I’m starting my MCAT course at the bright and early hour of 8:30, so I’m gonna cut this off now. Even though I could probably write about kale for another hour…….

see ya!

Tonight’s jam: My mama often plays Billie Holiday while she cooks or else “its just too boring” (I did not get my cooking obsession from her, that’s for sure). Although a master chef she is not, she is the hardest working, selfless, smart and down to earth woman I know. In honor of mother’s day and my awesome mom, here’s a little Billie:

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Feast

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Hey world,

So this year Ryan and I decided to not make a big deal out of Vday, and just have a nice dinner over Reading Week when I went to visit his hometown. In hindsight, this really just meant we did Valentine’s day twice, since we still celebrated a little on Feb 14, so it got a little confusing when to do cards/gifts. Or in my case, you just get so excited about the prospect of making an amazing meal and forget to do a card (IM SORRY SO SORRY).

Anyways, on to the meal! Originally Ryan and I were going to cook together but I got a leeeeeettle carried away with the menu so I kind of took over and decided to cook for him. It was reeeeeaaallly good. Took quite a bit of prep, but after midterms and an illness reduced my diet to oatmeal and eggs it was refreshing to spend that much time on a meal.

So I started out on foodgawker, and gradually planned a menu. This was a little difficult, since as you remember from Date Night Ryan and I don’t usually eat the same thing. But I persevered!

In the end, I did most of the cooking ahead of the meal, with a few things I had to cook between courses. Ryan said it was all DELICIOUS, and so did I. Although, I’ve noticed the longer I spend cooking something the less impressed I am with the finished product. So Ryan’s vote counts for more than mine (the only time this is true).

Here it is!

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{the goodies}

1. Potato, Bacon, Apple Soup

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{so happy to be eating such good soup}

I adapted this recipe by adding potato (originally just apple and bacon) and less cream. This soup was probably my favourite part of the meal, it had such good flavors and was really filling. It would be an ideal lunch soup I think. Also I make an exception to my no pork rule for the occasional bacon recipe because cmon, its bacon.

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{this is Ryan’s “smiling for girlfriends blog cause she won’t leave me alone until I do” smile…qt}

2. Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Crusted Asparagus with a fried egg

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{mmmm}

This is one of my favourite ways to make asparagus, although the addition of the egg was new to me and made it feel really gourmet. I’d read about egg and asparagus pairing really well together, and knew it was two foods that Ryan and I agree on, so thought it was perfect!

For the asparagus, I squeezed about 4 cloves of roasted garlic out of the garlic head, literally coated all the asparagus, shook some parmesan out on to the spears and popped em in the oven at about 425. I then fried the egg, put it on top, and cut it so the yolk was kind of a sauce. SO GOOD MMMMMMMM.

3. Basil, Provolone and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken with a mushroom white wine sauce. Plus linguine and alfredo sauce.

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{yup that looks gross. I swear it tasted way better than that}

I was kind of underwhelmed by this recipe, which was an adaptation of this. I swapped out the bacon and used roasted red peppers, and didnt bother with rolling or tying up the chicken. Although all my friends think I’m being fancy when I stuff chicken, its actually really easy!

How to make stuffed chicken breast and impress your friends

1. Cut chicken almost in half, length wise, so that you can open it up like a book.

2. Pound both halves of chicken flat with a heavy thing (water bottle, heavy mug, textbook coated in plastic bags, etc)

3. Put your stuffing in the middle, then “close the book”/wrap the other half of the chicken on top so that it forms a rough seal.

4. Chocolate Raspberry Pots de Creme

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{yeah, I made that, nbd}

MMmmmmmmm. I really liked these, although it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I decided to modify this recipe by using coconut cream instead of whipping cream. My stomachs been bothering me, and also I have always wanted to try baking with coconut cream.

So basically pots de creme are grown up puddings. Melted chocolate in cream then cooked until its a custard. I made the raspberry syrup the recipe recommended, but after straining out the seeds I had basically nothing left. I am not one to waste expensive raspberries, so I used the seedy bits as a topping and loved it.

For some inexplicable reason, I decided to add more coconut cream then the recipe used…I honestly don’t know why in hindsight. I added the recommended cup, then thought it didn’t look like enough (although I have never made this before) so added another. INSTANT REGRET haha.

This meant that my pots de creme took forever to set, then an additional forever to chill, so Ryan and I enjoyed them as a kind of chocolate soup. Still delicious, I really liked the intense chocolate flavor with fresh raspberries.

I made 3, and the third stayed in the fridge overnight. It turned out great! So I guess this is a make ahead dessert.

This was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Also reinforces that I like to cook, but I don’t want to be a chef or anything. Best to keep cooking as a hobby.  Hope youre all having a great (short) week!

PS. This is by far one of my favourite songs, on one of my favourite albums. This guy is so talented, and acoustic guitar always gets me.

Wussup blog world?!

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I have been wanting to start a blog for approximately 2 years now, and even though I should be studying (ALWAYS), this is a very momentous occasion for me.  I trust my hoardes of followers are already checking to see if I’ve posted something, so I’ll get to it.

I was doing my usual blog troll this afternoon, and came across something amazing. First, a lil bit of back story. The Fitnessista was the first healthy living blog I came across, and it kinda changed my entire attitude surrounding healthy eating and fitness. It could be fun! Delicious! I was working at a bank, living alone, and slightly miserable so reading her posts were like having a really fun, fit friend who had great ideas for dinner. Anyways, she has always posted pictures of her raw macaroons and never given the recipe, instead saving them for a future cook book.

Until today! Well no, not actually. This recipe was posted a while ago and I never noticed. I was into the archives today (during  a particularly boring lecture) and discovered this little treasure. So I decided to make them!

Fitnessista Raw Red Velvet Macaroons

-2 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

-1/3 cup cocoa powder

-1 1/3 cup almond meal

-1 cup maple syrup

-1/4 cup beet juice (for color)

-pinch cinnamon

-1 t vanilla

-pinch sea salt

Dehydrate for ~36 hours

macaroons

I made some minor changes: no beet juice (I wish!), and I halved the recipe, because maple syrup aint cheap.

Side note: Since I omitted the beet juice aka red coloring, does this make these macaroons just ‘velvet’ macaroons?

After taking this pic, I decided to test drive one and holy moly it was so good. Like a warm, coconut brownie thing, that was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This was only 4 hours in the dehydration station too. They’re supposed to get even crispier, but I might turn it off early because a) I like them with chewy middles and b) 36 straight hours of dehydrating will jack up my utilities bill, something I dont need any help with in a room with an uninsulated closet and space heater.

Heres a really sweet soundtrack for macaroon making:

This was fun! Yay for blogging! I will most likely be back tomorrow. Thanks fans!!!!