Posts filed under ‘Soups and Salads’

Chayote with Coconut/Thoran (SRC)

I am currently (food) obsessed with two things:

1. All things Indian food, particularly curry
2. Everything and anything that be “spiralized” (I use this tool) – such as vegetable, potato or fruit spirals.

Food is fun, eating is fun and eating food in spiral form is just plain awesome.
chayote spirals

When I was assigned Shirley’s blog Enriching your Kid this month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was sold on making a dish with an Indian flare. This was an easy option since her repertoire includes items such as Beetroot Parantha and Banana Dumplings in Tomato Gravy (Kele Ka Kofta)…all unique and intriguing dishes that are now on my “to experiment list”! I ultimately decided on Shirley’s Chayote with Grated Coconut/Thoran since I was drawn to a new food, a new preparation and the seemingly lightness and versatility of the dish: I must say it was a great life choice!

chayote thoran bite2

 Get excited for a new food! Have you ever eaten Chayote (pronounced chai-yo-tay)? It’s a quirky little guy that’s actually considered a fruit; chayote is a member of the cucumber and squash family and can be eaten both in raw or cooked forms. Chayote is a good source of amino acids and Vitamin C that’s also low in calories, sodium, contains no cholestrol and is a good source of fiber. Due to it’s mild flavor, chayote is versatile in a variety of dishes and it can be eaten with or the without the skin.

I left the skin on and cooked the chayote spirals until crisp tender to maintain some texture. This recipe has a flavor punch from the spices, a freshness from the basil and the lemon and a complexity with the combination of coconut and sauteed onions..mmmm! While this dish is traditionally classified as a side, I also served it with cooked quinoa that was tossed with a little olive oil, Braggs liquid aminos and sea salt and had a filling yet light veggie-packed dinner. I even had a few leftovers that I threw into a mixed baby green salad with pepitas and a curry-inspired vinaigrette…bonus points for versatility!

chayote thoran2

I made a few little changes to the original recipe…due to my infatuation with “spiralizing” food, I opted to create chayote spirals instead of grating. I couldn’t find curry leaves so I substituted fresh basil leaves with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I also made the swap of dried coconut in place of freshly grated based on availability in addition to a serrano instead of a green chili. Since I enjoy strong spices, I increased the amount of tumeric and coconut and threw in some cumin seeds just for fun. I’ll be whipping this quick recipe up again soon…could chayote be my new favorite food craze?
chayote thoran

Chayote with Coconut/Thoran (lightly adapted from this recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Soy-free, Nut-free, Quick and Easy

Ingredients
1 – 2 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil or other neutral oil
2 chayotes
1 onion, thinly sliced (I used a yellow onion)
5 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of curry leaf (first choice) or 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 green chilli or serrano, slit in half
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground tumeric (I love spices, I used the larger quantity)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (I used brown mustard seeds)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds, slightly crushed with your fingers (optional)
squeeze of lemon or lime juice (Optional but I find it enhances the spices)
sea salt to taste
1 -3 tbs grated or shredded coconut

Directions

1. Wash and clean the chayote. Either spiralize OR and grate both chayote. I used this tool to spiralize.
2. Slice the onions, chop or mince the garlic fine and slit the chili in half.
3. In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds.
4. Add the curry leaf (if using basil will add in later), onions, garlic and pepper and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the grated/spiralized chayote, ground tumeric and salt to taste. Stir well, then cover and cook for a few minutes. Do not cook the chayote till soft, there should be minimal cooking to leave the crunchy texture. Stir in basil if using instead of curry leaves.
6. Garnish with grated/shredded coconut and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste and more lemon as desired.
7. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

chayote thoran bite

For more recipes from this month’s reveal, please click below!

July 27, 2014 at 10:00 pm 6 comments

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (SRC)

It’s the taste of the tropics right here…hello summer!

Now that it’s “officially summer”, I couldn’t help choosing this fresh, light yet very satisfying salad for the Secret Recipe Club reveal this month. Just look at the gorgeous colors…and I haven’t even started on the flavor profile!

salmon mango grapefruit salad

This salad is a beautiful combination of acidic, sweet and salty with peppery undertones…I recommend sitting out in the sunshine while enjoying this dish, and be transported to your own personal little vacation for the afternoon or evening.

I was assigned Sue’s beautiful blog, Couscous and Consciousness for June, and what a lovely site she has! After getting acquainted with her blog, you can feel Sue’s passion for food, healthy lifestyle and conscious eating and her recipes reflect her outlook as well. While I ultimately chose her Salmon salad with Mango and Grapefruit, I’ve tagged several recipes for the future: Butternut and Tahini Spread, Scallops and Sweet Potato with Vanilla Saffron Sauce and her Green Tomato Cake with Maple Mascarpone…inventive and intriguing flavor combinations that I can’t wait to try!

salmon mango grapefruit salad4

I made a few tweaks to the salad by adding some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to the dressing and I sprinkled a bit of smoked paprika on the fish prior to cooking since I’ve been loving that spice these days. Sue mentioned Thai basil in her write up as well as lotus root, so I threw in some finely chopped basil and I thought the addition of a roasted beet would add a little color and sweetness that would compliment the flavors in the dish in place of the lotus. Since I am sucker for anything nutty, I tossed in some pinenuts for added texture and complexity, but feel free to leave these out if preferred! If you prefer a vegan dish, simply omit the salmon for a light lunch or a side salad and substitute Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari for the fish sauce. I’ll be making this again for sure! salmon mango grapefruit salad3

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (lightly adapted from this recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Nut-free Option, Dairy-free, Soy-free

Ingredients

2 skin-on, bone out salmon fillets (mine were each about 6 oz)
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a couple dashes of smoked paprika
1 Tbsp neutral oil (I used olive oil, but vegetable oil works)

For Salad
1 firm mango, ever so slightly under-ripe, peeled and shredded OR cut into wedges
1 pink grapefruit, peeled & cut into segments and chopped if desired (membrane removed)
3/4 cup shelled edamame
2 generous handfuls of peppery leaves such as rocket, cress, mizuna (I used 4 cups arugula)
1 roasted beet, diced (I used already cooked organic Love Beets, optional)
1 tbsp fresh basil or Thai basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp pinenuts (omit for nut-free)

Dressing:
juice of 1 pink grapefruit
2 Tbsp grated palm sugar or 1 Tbsp agave or honey (don’t use honey if vegan)
1 Tbsp fish sauce or Braggs liquid aminos or gluten free tamari*
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 cm (3/4 in) piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp olive oil (I added for a bit of richness)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Begin by making the dressing.  Place all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to combine or blend in a blender cup if preferred.  Set aside.

2. Put oil in a non-stick frypan set over medium heat.  Season salmon with paprika, salt and pepper. Once pan is heated, place salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for 3 minutes, before turning over and cooking for approximately 1-3 minutes or until done to your liking.

 3. While salmon is cooking, place all the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine.

4. To serve, arrange salad on serving plates, drizzle with the dressing, toss lightly and top with the salmon.

salmon mango grapefruit salad1

For other recipes in this month’s reveal, click below!

June 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm 7 comments

White Turkey Chili

Yes, yes…YES! Fall is here! The breeze is cool, the morning air is crisp and I was able to break out a jacket this week! With Fall being my absolute favorite time of year, I was ready to jump in the kitchen and whip up some “comfort food”.

white turkey chili 1

Warming you to the core, this white turkey chili is packed with flavor, a bit of heat (if desired). protein and fiber. I garnished my bowl with a large scoop of guacamole, baby spinach (for some extra greens), and a squeeze of lime juice…and I was cuddled up on the couch with a huge grin on my face. Needless to say, I am quite the happy camper :)

Here’s to soup season!

Feel free to garnish your bowl with shredded cheese and/or sour cream/Greek yogurt (if you are not dairy-free), or crush a few tortilla chips over your dish for a little crunch if that makes you happy! This chili keeps well and would be a delicious option for get togethers or Monday night football.

white turkey chili 3

White Turkey Chili 
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Corn-free, Dairy-free

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or ghee (use oil for dairy free)
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey (beef or chicken or cubed chicken breast can be subbed)
1 medium onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 anaheim or poblano peppers, deveined, deseeded and diced
1 jalapeño, deveined, deseeded and diced
2-3 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp fajita seasoning
2 Tbsp coconut flour (or other gluten-free flour like arrowroot to help thicken broth)
2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken broth or stock
4 oz diced green chilis (I used canned)
16 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked white navy or cannelini beans (if using canned, rinse well and drain)
juice from 1 lime + more for serving
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp hot sauce or 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper to taste (only if you prefer a little kick)
sea salt and pepper to taste

diced avocado or guacamole for serving
leafy greens for wilting (optional) – spinach, kale, collards
shredded cheese (optional, omit for dairy-free)

Directions 

1. In a medium soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil/butter over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook for 5-7 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
2. Add onions, garlic, both peppers and seasonings to the pan and cook until onions are soft, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add coconut flour and stir to coat vegetables and meat.
4. Pour in the chicken broth and then add in the mushrooms, green chilis and beans and stir. Let cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms start to cook through.
5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Let cook for an additional couple minutes. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce/cayenne (if using) to taste.
6. If adding greens, place in soup pot and let cook for until wilted (2 minutes for spinach, 5-7 for more hearty greens).
7. Serve in bowls and garnish with guacamole or avocado, a squeeze of lime and/or shredded cheese or crushed chips. Enjoy!

Serves about 4-6

white turkey chili bite

September 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm 1 comment

Quick N Easy Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad

I have a speedy post for you today. Nothing fancy, but I was playing around with Valentine’s Day cookie cutters and I had to share:
VDay Caprese Salad

How fun is that? I could have taken better photos…but these were with my iPhone using Hipstamatic on the fly and I couldn’t resist :)

If you are looking for a creative yet EASY Valentine’s dish, this may be something that you could throw together in less than 10 minutes. If your better half likes cheese and tomatoes, this just might be the recipe for you!

All you need are the salad ingredients plus the heart-shaped and/or X’s and O’s mini cookie cutters (I bought for $2 at Hobby Lobby) and you are good to go!
VDay Mozzarella CutOuts

Waaalaaaa, I present you with a Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad!

Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad
Gluten-free, Grain-Free, High-Protein, Quick, Vegetarian, Nut-Free

Ingredients

1 log of presliced fresh mozzarella OR 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced evenly into 1/2 inch slices (you may have leftover cheese depending on how many cutouts you make)
grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1/3 cup per salad)
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt
Fresh basil leaves, rough chopped (not pictured, I got too excited and snapped the photo before sprinkling!)
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (I use about 1-2 Tbsp per salad or to taste)
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I use about 2 tsp per salad or to taste)

Directions

1. Cut out shapes carefully with mini cookie cutters (hearts, X’s, O’s, I <3 U’s all etc all work). Cut out as many as you want in your salad…and have fun eating the edges or save them for another use (like melting in another dish).
2. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
3. Place cut-out mozzarella pieces in or on a serving dish or plate. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Enjoy!

February 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm 3 comments

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