Chimichurri Sauce

PARSLEY  is the star of the show today. I grow it in large containers in summer. It is abundant and keeps on giving. Cut it back and a few days later you have MORE!

Valdishesout

Chimichurri:

an herb-based condiment that is a culinary specialty of Argentina and Uruguay. Typically served alongside grilled steaks, roasted beef and pork sausages, it is made from parsley, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a base of olive oil and vinegar.

I add a little red pepper flake for that kick. 

Recipe: 12 servings 1 tbsp each

  1. Large bunch of fresh parsley washed stemmed and finely chopped = 1 cup
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil
  3. 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  4. 2 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1 tbsp + red wine vinegar 
  6. 1 tbsp + fresh lemon juice
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. Fresh cracked pepper
  9. Dried chilli flakes (optional)

MACROS

99 calories  per TBSP

Fat 9.3 Carbs 3.2 Protein 1.8

Quinoa black bean corn salad

Featured

great for a crowd and I’m usually feeding a crowd .

Keeps refrigerated for a week- if it lasts😉  

 

Cook quinoa according to package drain drain and put aside

6 cups cooked and cooled  quinoa ( tricolour or red)

2 cups drained rinsed black beans

2 cups cooked frozen corn

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups red bell pepper chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 6 limes

1 jalapeño thinly sliced with seeds

1-2 handfuls of cilantro or parsley chopped

sea salt to taste

pepper

MACROS -1 cup per serving

34gCARB 6gFAT  7.6gPROTEIN

 

 

*add more lime juice and or cilantro if you wish

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Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa, a grain or seed? You decide. I won’t get into that. Should you eat it? YES!!!
It’s so versatile and easy to cook. From sweet to savoury, on its own or added to vegetables, a little goes a long way. So here is one of my fav’s.
My family loves these Quinoa cakes and I’m sure you will as well😉. These remind me of summer 2014☺️so bear with me, not bare with me😇these little cakes make me happy😄

Preparation/Cook time about a hour Makes 15 1/4cup size cakes

INGREDIENTS
5 +1/2 cups (cooked )quinoa as per package instructions ~2 cups dry
3/4 cups finely chopped shallots(or onions)
1/4 cup more or less😐Olive oil-(or try Coconut oil)
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes( I like mine pulverized😊
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup homemade fresh breadcrumbs*
4 eggs beaten
1/4 c finely chopped parsley(in summer I prefer fresh chives which are so easy to grow😎

*to make fresh breadcrumbs cut a fresh loaf of italian bread into pieces small enough to fit into a VITAMIX or other blender. Process until they are crumbs. Voila😊

TOOLS

large non-stick skillet
Spatula
Ice cream scoop 1/4 liquid measure

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PREPARATION

Sauté shallots in 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil with a pinch of salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat until tender and set aside to cool.
Measure out the cooked and cooled quinoa, place in a large bowl. Add cooled shallots or onions.
Beat 4 eggs with 1/2 cup water, add Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley.
Add the latter to the quinoa. Combine until blended. Let stand about 10 minutes.
On medium high heat add 1 tbsp oil in skillet. Measure out a level scoop full of quinoa into skillet. I cook about 5 per turn in my skillet. Make certain to leave some space between the cakes.

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Now this is where things get pernickety 😁so hang in there with me.
After a few minutes of cooking, use the back of your spatula to ever to slightly press the cakes down to form patties. Continue searing for another 3 minutes.
5-6 minutes total per side. Patience😯 now gently turn each one over and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until they are nicely golden. You may need to coax the runaway quinoa back to their pod😅I mean patty.

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They will be crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Eat them cooled or warm. We like a little spicy aioli with ours😍Place them on a platter for summer bbq’s, or store them in an airtight container once cooled and take a few for lunch.
This is a basic recipe. Add in whatever you wish. I prefer mine simple.
Try them out. Let me know how it went.
Love to hear from you. Be kind😘

Fresh herbs add flavour to summer salads

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I love my herb garden. This year I’m growing basil, parsley,lemon thyme, sage, oregano,coriander and even curry.
Next time you make a salad, try adding fresh parsley and basil to your salad greens. It will brighten things up.

Breakfast frittata with Pico de Gallo

Egg white frittata with fresh chives from the garden pico de gallo black beans for fibre and added protein and ripe avocado for healthy fat

#eatbreakfasteveryday#addherbsforflavour#keepitlite#deliciouslybalanced

Start with one whole egg and add 3 egg whites.
Scramble.
Chop fresh chives. Add to eggs
Heat virgin coconut oil in a fry pan.
Pour in egg mixture. Maybe just a pinch of salt.

Cook over medium high heat, fold in half until cooked through.
Serve with fresh avocado, black beans and Pico de Gallo, or salsa fresca.

PICO DE GALLO

1 large hot house tomato chopped
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1/2 chopped jalapeño
1 tbsp pickled chopped jalapeño
3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of one lime
Pinch of salt

Nonnas pickled beets

Looking for a quick side tonight?

This strata of pickled beets takes about 10 minutes if you purchase pre- cooked whole beets or canned will work too.

INGREDIENTS:

2 bunches of beets or 3 cans of cooked beets
2-3 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
4-5 mint leaves
Red wine vinegar
A few drops of olive oil
A few tbsp bread crumbs

PREP:

Once boiled, if you choose fresh beets let them cool. Peel them and slice into 1/4 inch disks.
Chiffonade your mint leaves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJEQFgfv7iw

In a serving dish (2-3 inches deep) lay down the first layer of beets. Drizzle generously with red wine vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. Add sliced garlic, mint and some bread crumbs to coat. Repeat until all beets are done.
Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Pickled beets

Curried Cashew butter chicken

Some of the best dishes are created without a recipe or a plan.
This one falls under that category.
Having taken out a few organic chicken breast, I had no idea where I was going with them. First thing I did was look in the fridge for vegetables.
Next, I knew I wanted a bit of heat so I pulled out my crushed hot pepper flakes. Then, some organic curry powder.
Half way there….
Here’s what I came up with in 15 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly against the grain
( best of slightly frozen, you will need a sharp knife)
3 Tbsp virgin organic coconut oil
2 heaping tbsp organic curry powder
1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper flakes(best if ground to a powder)
2 tbsp organic cashew butter
2 tbsp hot water
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 napa cabbage thinly sliced
2 baby bok choy thinly sliced
1 large brown mushroom thinly sliced
Salt to taste

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted, add curry powder, hot pepper and a pinch of sea salt. In a small bowl mix cashew butter and hot water. Add this mixture to the skillet.
Increase heat to medium high.
Toss in sliced chicken and coat evenly. Cook about 3 minutes, then add in the onions, cabbage, bok choy and mushroom all together.
Place a lid over the skillet for a minute or so to wilt down the cabbage.
Adds pinch of salt. Mix to combine the chicken and vegetables.

Plate and sprinkle with some crushed cashews for some crunch.
I only had almonds in my pantry and they worked well.

Baked chicken fajitas

Eat chicken? Most of us here in Canada do. In fact, the average Canadian eats over 30 kg of chicken per year according to recent statistics. That being said, there are countless chicken recipes to try.
This one is simple and you likely have all the ingredients available in your fridge and freezer.
This recipe requires one bake pan which doubles as your serving dish. Prep and cooking time takes less than one hour.
Try it tonight!

INGREDIENTS:

5 boneless skinless organic or naturally raised chicken breasts sliced into 1″ strips
2 red peppers sliced lengthwise 1″ thick strips
1 green pepper same as red
1 1/2 large red onion sliced 1/2″
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1-2 tsp cumin
1/2-1 tsp hot chilli flakes ( depending on your taste)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3+tbsp organic olive oil or melted virgin coconut oil

PREPARATION:

Pre-heat oven to 400′

Kick ass Paleo chocolate cake

If you can’t live without chocolate then this one’s for you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
pinch sea salt
10 oz. pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp freshly brewed warm coffee
3 eggs at room temperature
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 325*.

When measuring your dry ingredients be sure to be accurate. Level off the ingredients with a knife.
Mix together all dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl and
Sift these ingredients onto parchment paper, and set aside.
Place the dates and warm coffee in a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Then add eggs coconut oil and vanilla extract. Continue blending and scraping down sides of processor. The mixture should have a smooth consistency.
Add the wet to the dry and stir until smooth.
Grease an 8″ round cake pan with coconut oil and add a few tbsp of almond flour & cocoa to coat the pan and tap out the excess flour. Pour the batter in the pan. Tap the pan. Don’t worry if the batter isn’t perfectly smooth on top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 28 minutes in an electric oven worked well.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.
Place a large plate over the pan. Give the pan another few taps and Invert it into the plate.
Serve as is or with this simple frosting care of Elenas pantry.

Simple chocolate frosting :

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Place chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over a simmering pot of water.
Melt then add the vanilla. Place the frosting in a fridge for a half hour.
Frost your cakes over a rack as the frosting may drip down the sides.
The cakes can be left out at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerate in an airtight container for a week.

Winter Asian pork stew

Pork stew

When it’s cold outside there is nothing better to warm your belly than a nice bowl of stew. And this pork stew with Asian accents will do just that. I was searching for something other than the traditional beef stew and stumbled upon this one, which came from Fine Cooking. I tested it out and made a minor adjustment. Now, IMO it’s perfect. 😉
It is relatively inexpensive to make as it utilizes pork shoulder or pork butt (same thing). You may ask your butcher to trim off the excess fat, and there will be quite a bit. Don’t fret about removing all of it. Some will add flavour and the excess can be removed after the cooking process.

You will need a heavy bottom pot, or Dutch oven.

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, fat trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 to 2 inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil, more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh lemongrass
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 or 2 Thai bird chillies or 1 rounded tsp of red chilli flakes
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups onion wedges ( 3/4″ wedges)
2 cups butternut squash (1-inch dice)
2 cups diced red pepper( 1″ dice)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice, more to taste
1 tbsp fish sauce, more to taste

PREPARATION:

Position rack in the bottom third of your oven and heat oven to 325’F
Spread the pork on paper towels to dry for 10-20 minutes before browning. If the meat is very wet, pat it dry. Use this time to chop the onion celery and carrot.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot (6 quart), until it is shimmering hot. Season 1/4 of the pork with salt and pepper and arrange it in a single layer in the pot( leaving 1/2 inch space between pieces. Brown well on all four sides, adjusting the heat if necessary. Each batch should take about 10 minutes to brown. Transfer the pork to a large bowl in batches. Repeat with the remaining pork pieces. Once all the pork is browned remove the pot from the heat and let it cool a few minutes.
Leave about 2 tbsp of fat in the pot and if there isn’t enough fat then add in oil equal to 2 tbsp. Return the pot to medium heat, add the chopped onion, celery and carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, cook stirring often and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula. Cook until the vegetables have softened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander and chillies and cook stirring about 1-2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water, stirring to dissolve any of the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by about 1/2, 5-8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and the additional 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Return the pork to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer.
Crumple a 12×16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out.
(crumpling makes it easier to handle)
Place the parchment directly on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes of stewing, add the onion wedges to the pot. Cover with parchment and lid and return to the oven another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the squash and bell peppers. Cover with parchment and lid and return to the oven, cooking another hour until the pork is fork tender.

Stir in the cilantro, lime juice and fish sauce and taste adding more if necessary. Degrease the stew by laying a paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peeling it off. Once the stew is chilled, lift the solidified fat off the top with a slotted spoon. Reheat over medium-low heat to serve.

This stew can be made ahead up to 2 days.