Friday, December 02, 2011

(Caribbean Inspired) Coconut Curry

I love making this, and even my Guyanese Mother-in-law loves this recipe! She gave me the basic ingredients, but I tweaked it, a bit.  I love the rich and exotic combination of spices and coconut, this meal always makes me happy!

This recipe will serve about 5

You will need:

Your favourite curry powder, ground ginger, salt, pepper, tumeric, cumin, creamed cocnut, vegetable oil,
a medium sized onion, six medium sized potatoes, four cloves of garlic, two tomatoes, and a can of chickpeas.
My tools of choice, a good sharp chopping knife, a serrated knife, and a wooden spoon.
I like to use a large heavy bottom pot.


Roughly chop your potatoes, (peeling the skin is optional) and finely chop onions and garlic.

Cut 1/3 of the coconut cream from the block, finely dice the garlic, and roughly chop tomatoes.

Thoroughly rinse chickpeas.

Now, this is my favourite spice blend. 
4 Tbs of Curry Powder, 2 Tbs of Tumeric, 1 Tbs of Cumin,
1 Tbs of Salt, 1Tsp of Ginger, and Black pepper to taste.

Over Medium heat....

Add two tablespoons of oil to your cooking pot, (or enough oil to cover the bottom).
Add your onions and coat with the vegetable oil.  Cook for two minutes.
Add your spice blend.  Toasting your spices from the beginning really intensifies their flavor!
Mix in the spices and cook for one minute.
Add enough water to cover the pot's bottom.

Stir to make sure your onions are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the creamed coconut, garlic and tomatoes.

Add the potatoes and rinsed chickpeas.

Give everything a good stir, mixing everything together.

Add enough water to just cover your potatoes.
This is when I add my pepper, (if you want more heat, add it in the beginning).
I usually don't measure my pepper, I just lightly sprinkle enough to cover half the top's surface.

I leave the temperature on medium and let the pot come to a slow boil.

Then turn the heat to low and simmer until
the a fork can easily slide through the potatoes.
(About 15 minutes, the key is cooking it slowly
to bring out all the ture flavors of the spices,
coconut and veggies!)

Most of the water will evaporate while simmering, creating a nice thick sauce. 
If too much water is added, than the curry will be a bit soupy, but it still tastes right!

My personal favorite!!

(I will edit this later and show how I make rice)

I hope you enjoy making this as much as we enjoy eating it!  Experiment with other vegetables, like eggplant, spinach, cabbage (for a more Jamaican curry) or green beans!  I like to use potatoes and chickpeas as a base, then add whatever - to switch it up!


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Make it Vegan

When I started following the vegan diet, I started by substituting the meat and dairy I was eating for soy based alternatives. However, all the soy alternatives made me very tired and bloated. The lack of meat caused some withdrawal feelings, I was irritable and had a hard time concentrating. Since I've switched to the vegan diet my skin has never been so clear. [I have had acne since I was 12, but now I just get a cluster of pimples now and then, I still have slight rosacea, however.]

I thought I was eating really well, but didn't know why I was feeling so awful. So I talked to a very good friend whom is a nutritional therapist. She told me I was eating too many soy based alternatives, which are processed foods which are hard on the body. Her suggestion was to eat more whole foods, nuts and beans. She was right, and now I am trying new recipes. I've never felt so healthy and I know it's because of the way I'm eating.

BUT I still get cravings for some old favorites, such as the lasagna and shepherd's pie I've shared with you. Another food I get nostalgic for sometimes is deep dish pizza!

Pizza Hut Vegetarian Pizza, without cheese!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quinoa with Mushrooms

Well, it seems the nice weather has distracted me from photographing food because I've been trying to get the flowers to pose for me!  We are in the middle of preparing for our first move in five years so updates may continue to be a little bit slow, but I'm sure my new kitchen will inspire many new recipes to share with you!

In my last update I posted pictures of our garden seeds.  Unfortunately the peat moss pots molded, the herb and veggie seeds that sprouted were very weak and didn't make it.  But the sunflower is almost as tall as me!  So we went to our local nursery and bought some of our favorites - cucumbers, parsley, oregano, basil, tomatoes, and hot peppers.  Rahne brought home a bean plant from school, which will make a very nice addition to our little garden patch!  I will post some photos, soon!

However, today I have a quick little recipe that I got from my Mom, who got it from a gentleman at a health food store, where she was researching vegetarianism when I first cut out the meat.  Quinoa is a grain, like couscous or rice, but is the best source of protein in all the vegetable kingdom.  This grain can be made as a breakfast cereal by adding fruits, (fresh or dried) and milk, or you can make it savory by adding some grilled veggies, like I am doing in the recipe below!

You will need :
quinoa : you can find quinoa at most grocer or bulk food stores.
A small box of your favourite mushrooms, half an onion, and two cloves of garlic.

Preparation :

Finely chop the onion, mushrooms and garlic.

Over medium heat cover the base of the pot with your preferred cooking oil ( I used olive oil )
Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until tender, add garlic and cook for two more minutes.
Stir occasionally.

Add 1/2 of a cup of quinoa and stir.  Add 1 cup of water ( or broth )
Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and cover with a lid.

Add a tsp of Salt, stir and simmer for 15 minutes,
Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, .
Stir, Serve, and Enjoy!

My yummy lunch all packed up for work!

Sunday, April 03, 2011


(Though it started snowing, again this evening...) it is spring, and the boys tilled the garden this afternoon so we went out and got the materials to get our garden ready.

We picked up a bag of seed start soil.

Here are the herbs we use the most!

Those baby cumbers are great on there own, or sliced in a glass of water ;)
The hot pepper is for my Mother-in-law <3
And Rahne picked out the sunflowers, these are supposed to have lots of seeds, yum!

Two kinds of tomatoes, a small breed for sandwiches and cooking,
and cherries for snacking and salads!
We also picked up some peat moss pots, that go right into the ground
when the seedlings have sprouted!

Now, we just have to wait for the winter deja vu to end!  Once the sprouts to have at least two sets of leaves we'll start our fifth garden!  We have great luck with ours and I really encourage you to start one, too. Even if it's in pots.  A friend of mine's Mom doesn't have good sun in the backyard, so she sets up at least 10 big terracotta pots in her driveway! She grows all her favourites!


If you have a great recipe that you would like to share, email it to me and I will try it out, shoot it and post it here and credit you, of course!  I realized I have posted two soups and two dinner meals already and am working on a breakfast and a dessert to share with you soon! 

Friday, April 01, 2011

Vegan Lasagna

We love yummy pastas and this has become a household fave! (Even the meat-eaters enjoy this recipe!)
We experiment with different veggies now and than, and for this blog entry I tried adding eggplant to the mix, that is a weird vegetable to cook if you have any suggestions please comment below!

You will need:

Four cloves of garlic, a bag or box of baby spinach, a box of mushrooms, two small or one large zucchini,
and an eggplant (or any other vegetables you would like add).

Two bottles of pasta sauce, (this is my favourite, I also like the Catelli sauce,) and some olive oil.

One box of oven-ready lasagna pasta.


preheat oven to 450 degrees

Peel and crush the garlic cloves and place in a pot with 2cm (1/2 inch) of water.
(I am using my veggie steamer to try and keep as much nuchies as possible, with about 3cm (an inch) of water.

Fill the rest of the pot up with the spinach, if you are not using baby spinach, trim off the stems.
The spinach really shrinks down so pack it in, turn your burner to medium heat,
turn down to low when the water starts to boil. Cook untill wilted and dark green (about ten mintues)

meanwhile, warm the sauce in a medium sized pot and....

Cut the ends off the zucchini and using a carrot/potato peeler peel off some of the skin,
cut in half and than into thin half moons.

Cut off the ends off the eggplant and cut into thin rounds.
Cut the mushrooms into small pieces.

Steam the eggplant in some water with a dash of slat and pepper.

Coat the base of a large frying pan with some olive oil and saute zucchini untill soft.

Coat the base of a large frying pan with olive oil and cook mushrooms over medium heat untill brown.

and now, we layer the deliciousness!

Using an oven safe dish start with a layer of sauce.

Put down the first layer of (uncooked) pasta.

Start layer veggies, (I've started with the eggplant)

and now the zucchini...

some mushrooms...

and then the spinach...
another layer of pasta....

now, for the second layer of sauce.
Be generous with the sauce, it is the moisture from the sauce that is going to cook the pasta.

(My casserole dish is smaller at the bottom so as I move up I add a third column of pasta.)
I do about three layers of sauce, pasta, veggies, sauce, pasta, and veggies,
putting even a little extra sauce at the top to make sure the lasagna doesn't dry out.

cover casserole dish with aluminum foil for 20 minutes, uncover and cook for another 15 this time taste a piece of the pasta from the top to make sure it is fully cooked.

Let it stand for 15 minutes before digging in! Enjoy!