Zucchini Spaghetti and Shrimp

I really, really love zucchini spaghetti – it’s much less time consuming than spaghetti squash. I made the mistake of cooking the zucchini too long and it got kind of soggy and watery. Still good, but maybe not so appetizing to those who are hesitant about this dish in the first place. You can also see in the pictures that I added the basil while it was cooking. In the directions, I’ve changed it so that you mix all of the zucchini ingredients together first, then toss in the pan. The point is to heat through, not cook.

The other great thing about this is that it would go great with a bunch of different proteins. You could bake some crispy tofu and add it, or maybe some edamame beans… a nice white fish or even chicken would go well with it, too. We went with shrimp, because I had a craving!

Zucchini Spaghetti and Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 green zucchini, grated
  • 1 yellow zucchini, grated
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • olive oil
  • white wine

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Directions:

  • Prep all of your veggies – the trick with the zucchini is to cut them in half width-wise, and then grate them the long way on a cheese grater. 
  • In a bowl, toss together zucchini, basil, juice from the lemon and some lemon zest.
  • Heat two pans with oil – one for the shrimp, one for the zucchini.
  • Add garlic and shallots to the pan for the shrimp.
  • Add zucchini to the second pan. Heat through, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once, warm, add shrimp to the garlic and shallots. Add a splash of white wine. Cook through.
  • Plate zucchini and top with shrimp. 
  • Serve.

 

 

 

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Mexican Fried Rice

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve posted, and I’m sorry. We were in the process of moving for months… and now our kitchen is finally kind of functional. It’s still mid-renovations, but I can cook!

I made some Mexican fried rice the other night with some guacamole, and it turned out really well. It made for some really great leftovers as well.

If you don’t want to use rice, you can always substitute quinoa, or even lentils would be ok. Or you could go crazy and use a couple different types of beans and make this more of a warm Mexican bean salad. 

 

Mexican Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning
  • 1 pinch red chili flakes
  • 2 pinches paprika
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed really well
  • 1 can corn, rinsed really well
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • handful cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado

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Directions:

  • Cook the rice.
  • Make the guacamole: mash together 1 avocado, 1 garlic clove, pinch of shallots, 1 tsp cilantro, some dice tomato and lime juice.
  • Heat some oil in a pan. Once warm, add garlic and shallots. Fry until fragrant, then add both beans and corn. After they are warmed through, add the rest of the veggies and seasoning. Add cilantro.
  • Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in rice, then add some lime juice.
  • Top with guacamole.
  • Serve.

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Coconut Black Eyed Peas

(adopted from a recipe found here.)

I’ve had some dried black eyed peas sitting in my cupboard forever. So the other day I decided I was going to do something about it. I put them in a bowl of water… and then did nothing for about two days. I had nothing planned for dinner last night, so I quickly searched for a recipe to use and found a really simple and lovely one.

The biggest part I changed was the bacon. I had bacon two nights in a row for dinner already, and even though it goes against everything I stand for, I decided three nights were too many. Instead I baked some tofu with olive oil and soy sauce for some salt.

Coconut Black Eyed Peas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • olive oil
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • fresh parsley if you have it. Dried parsley will do.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup and some black eyed peas (soak the peas for about 8 hours before hand)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Chop up the tofu and drizzle with enough olive oil and soy sauce to coat.
  • Place in oven and bake for about 22 minutes total – flipping half way through.
  • In a large sauce pan, heat some olive oil. Add the garlic and shallot. Saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the red peppers, tomatoes, parsley and a bit of coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the peas, rice and the rest of the coconut milk. Simmer for about 20 minutes – or until most of the liquid is absorbed, then remove from heat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. This last part is important. I was so hungry that I didn’t let it sit, and I ate some pretty crunchy rice.
  • Top with baked tofu.

Tofu on the way to the oven.

Still really light and tasty - but let it sit before eating! It shouldn't look like soup!

 

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Quickie Kale and Quinoa Dinner

I love miso. I think I could eat this dinner three times a week and never get sick of it.

Quickie Kale and Quinoa Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • kale, torn into pieces
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp red miso
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Cook your quinoa. When it starts to simmer, add the minced garlic.
  • Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and miso and about 2 tbsp water. Saute for about another 4 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
  • Add the kale and cook for another minute or two, or until kale wilts.
  • Mix the kale mixture in with the cooked quinoa.
  • In the same pan, fry the egg.
  • Plate the quinoa, add the egg on top and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.

I usually cook quinoa with broth, but the miso already adds a lot of flavour.

You'll need to add some water to liquify the miso. I also added some chili flakes for some heat.

This mixture is also good when cold and eaten for lunch the next day.

I love how orange the yolk from organic eggs are!

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Oatmeal Muffins

(adopted from the recipe found here.)

I thought this recipe was really cute because you get to top each muffin with different toppings… which was great in theory. The muffins are really dense and good, but next time I think I will just mix the blueberries into the batter. Turns out I prefer blueberry  muffins to any other kind.

I also love that I keep finding healthy muffin recipes. So much for the theory that you’re better off eating a doughnut than a muffin for breakfast.

I did adjust the original recipe a bit, and added some buckwheat groats – which add a distinctive texture and taste. The muffins are good though! Easiest breakfast ever.

Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

(Note: I played pretty fast and loose with the measurements… so don’t worry about being exact.)

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tbsp natural peanut butter – melted
  • honey… I kind of just poured it in, so maybe… 1/4 cup?
  • 5 1/2 cups oats (a little more if the mixture looks like soup)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • toppings – I used blueberries, dried golden raisins and currants, bittersweet chocolate chips and pecans and unsweetened coconut.

Who thought muffins ingredients could be so healthy?

Toppings - that's coconut, not cocaine. Although, that would be one way to perk up in the morning.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all your wet ingredients in a large bowl – mash your bananas first. I have an awesome avocado masher that is great for this.
  • Add in your dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be runny – but not soupy.
  • Spray a muffin pan, or use cupcake liners.
  • Pour mixture into the muffin cups. Top each muffin with the toppings you so desire.
  • Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes, turning half way through.

Mashed bananas and eggs.

Muffin mixture.

Look how plump those blueberries got! That's why I love them the most.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup

(adopted from a recipe found here.)

This soup is extremely hearty. You will definitely serve yourself more than you can eat – or you will eat it, and feel uncomfortably full afterwards.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 handful broccoli florets
  • 1 head garlic, roasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dried thyme
  • paprika
  • black pepper

 

The original recipe called for cream, but I skipped it.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place your cauliflower and broccoli on a baking sheet with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together to coat.
  • Wrap the garlic head in tin foil and place on the baking sheet.
  •  Place in the oven for about 25 minutes – taking out and tossing half way through.
  • Heat some olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrot, parsnip and celery. Saute for about 10 minutes or so.
  • Add seasonings. I added a lot. I’ve developed a bad habit of eye-balling ingredients.
  • Saute until fragrant.
  • Add water and bouillon cube with the bay leaf and garlic. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add broccoli and cauliflower and simmer for 10 more minutes, then remove bay leaf.
  • Now whip out the handy-dandy food processor, and slowly add the soup and process until smooth.
  • If the soup has cooled down, add it back to the pot to re-heat.
  • Serve!

Before the oven.

Seasonings and veggies mixed together.

Nice and roasted after the oven.

Simmering.

Process to a consistency you prefer.

So good - and will make your house smell delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cauliflower Pakoras

(adopted from recipe found here.)

This is probably the best way to eat cauliflower. These were delicious even when microwaved the next day. We had them with a simple romaine lettuce and spinach salad. I had to change some ingredients simply because I didn’t have them and/or I couldn’t find them at the store. They still turned out really well.

Cauliflower Pakoras

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (or more) curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (or more) turmeric
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • warm water
  • oil for frying – not olive oil!

Directions:

  • Chop up all your ingredients.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium to large bowl, then add onions, ginger, jalapeno and cilantro.
  • Slowly add warm water to the mixture until you achieve a slightly thick batter – think “pancakes.”
  • Add your cauliflower to the mixture and stir until the florets are all well coated.
  • In a deep pan, heat up oil.
  • Set up a plate nearby with some paper towel to drain the oil off of the pakoras.
  • Once you see the oil shimmering, do a test cauliflower.
  • When ready, fry the cauliflowers until they look crispy brown.
  • Serve with a chutney – we didn’t have any, so a sweet mango salsa made for an excellent substitute.

I mixed the veggies first, which made it difficult to incorporate the flour smoothly.

Wet ingredients added.

Be sure to mix well.

Testing the oil.

Add the rest of the cauliflower.

Don't be afraid to let them get a little brown.

Keeping the plate close by prevents hot oil accidents.

Sneaky fish salt and pepper shakers keeping an eye on things.

Done!

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