When I was growing up, I always thought cooking Indian food was complicated. I’d always watch my mom and be amazed at how she never used anything to measure and essentially just ‘eyeballed’ it. All the different spices. All the different vegetables. And of course, all the different ways to cook it! Since then, I’ve learned the basics but I’ve also realized there’s no ‘right’ way to cook Indian food. It all comes from experimenting, smelling and tasting to adjust to your perfect dish.
Once kitchen staple we absolutely need to have is a mortar and pestle. The way it just crushes and grinds ingredients together…the flavours are literally infused into one another! You can buy one at any home store and IKEA even sells it. But beware, one stop at IKEA and I’ll be leaving with a whole cart full of things.
When I put together this recipe, I wanted something simple to follow. Nothing too crazy. This dish is so easy to make on any weeknight and the ingredients are super easy to find! My rotis may not be round but this dish is the bomb!! 🙂
Who doesn’t love a one pot wonder? While grocery shopping this past weekend, I quickly put this recipe together. Comfort food was what I wanted. Something homey, creamy and fabulous all in one pot. I mean come on! Who wants to dirty unnecessary dishes?? Definitely not me. I don’t even like washing the dishes once I’m done cooking or baking! After some thought, I put my vision into action and made it for my family for our weekly Sunday dinner. They were happy (as usual) 😉 It’s pretty much chicken and mushrooms in a creamy sauce topped with peas and of course, crispy bacon. Need I say more?
Paneer is so common in South Asian dishes especially in Indian dishes. I’ve heard that you can make paneer at home but sometimes I can’t be bothered, since it’s relatively cheap to buy in stores 🙂 This chilli paneer was absolutely delicious! I started off by cubing the paneer into bite sized pieces and lightly pan fried them. I then combined the spices and formed a sauce for the paneer and literally just combined it together…that’s how easy it was 🙂
Pav Bhaji has been one of my favourite Indian food dishes of all time! You could say that it’s an Indian vegetarian version of a Sloppy Joe. It’s this amazing one-pot meal. Which is essentially a vegetable curry served on a hot buttery dinner roll. Since all of the vegetables are mashed up, its a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
One of the major things that I’ve learned while making this dish is the use of butter. Butter plays an essential role in this dish! My family has been making pav bhaji for years and they’ve always used canola oil. I on the other hand, have found that by replacing the oil with butter, you’ll end up with a more richer and creamier dish 🙂
You can totally make this using premade store bought mix (all you need to do is add the veggies). But I would totally make this from scratch! Trust me, not only will your dish be more flavourful but you’ll also feel good about making it on your own 🙂
My boyfriend and I were walking through the frozen foods section at our local Costco and we saw some chicken strips on sale. I immediately went in and reached for a bag! As I looked more closely to the labels on the bag and noticed the word ‘18% meat protein’. My first thought was…’Shouldn’t this be 100%’? I then turned it around and started looking at the ingredients. To my surprise, I found a whole bunch of ingredients that I could not pronounce let alone even understand. I literally threw the bag back into its rightful spot and started looking around at other products that contained this certain ‘meat protein’. And sure enough, there were more! Of course after seeing this, my boyfriend started going off on a tangent about conspiracy theories. 😉
The whole drive home I kept thinking about the ingredients I saw listed. I then knew that I would never be buying these products ever again! It was time for some homemade chicken strips 😀
The ingredients needed are pretty basic and can be found most households. Chicken (breast or thighs), buttermilk, sweet paprika, salt, pepper, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder and of course Corn Flakes to get the best crunch without having to deep fry the strip 🙂
– 4 chicken breasts (or 5 boneless chicken thighs) cut into ½ inch strips
– 1 cup of buttermilk
– 2 tbsp of sweet paprika
– 2 tbsp of sugar
– 1 tbsp of salt
– 2 tsp of pepper
Corn Flake Mixture:
– 4 cups of Corn Flakes (crushed to your desire)
– 1 tbsp of garlic powder
– 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
– 2 tbsp of basil
– 1 tsp of salt
– ½ tsp of pepper
1) Place the chicken strips into a freezer bag. Add the buttermilk, sweet paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix until well coated. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight for the best flavour.
2) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3) Place the Corn Flake mixture in a dish. Remove the chicken strips from the buttermilk mixture and coat evenly in the Corn Flake mixture.
4) Arrange the strips on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
5) Bake strips for 8 to 9 minutes then flip the strips. Continue baking the strips for another 8 minutes.
6) Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and ENJOY! 😀
I absolutely LOVE jalapeño poppers! I started making these yummy peppers back when I started home ec in grade 6. I remember how I came home after making these in school and immediately I wanted to make them for my family. That night, my mom and I made these and wow! They were polished clean instantly! Since they are seeded, there isn’t as much heat as there would be if they were whole peppers. I’m constantly modifying this recipe as I’ve made it so many times. Sometimes I’ll add in more or less cheese. Sometimes I’ll use breadcrumbs instead of panko but I’ve finally narrowed it down this! A couple of years ago, my mom asked me to make this as a side for our Sunday family dinner. A part of me didn’t want to as filling the peppers always took me a long time. But then I thought to myself, why not just use a piping bag to fill them?! By doing this, the time it now took to fill these was less than a quarter of the original time! The other great thing I love about these is how they are baked! Now you can have more of these without feeling guilty 🙂
– 15 jalapeño peppers (seeded and halved)
– 1 tbsp of olive oil
– 1 small red onion (chopped)
– 7-8 cloves of garlic (minced)
– 1 tsp of salt
– ½ tsp of pepper
– 1 package of cream cheese
– ½ cup of parmesan cheese
– 2 egg whites
– 1-1½ cups of panko
– 2 tbsp of dried oregano
– 2 tbsp of dried tarragon
– 2 tbsp of dried parsely
1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3) In a small fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent.
4) Transfer into a small bowl. Add the cream cheese, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cream cheese has melted.
5) Fill the pepper halves with the cream cheese filling. (I found that a piping bag made this much more easier than using a spoon.)
6) In a large bowl, combine the panko, remaining parmesan cheese, oregano, tarragon and parsely.
7) Add the egg whites into a small bowl and whisk until frothy.
8) Dip the pepper halves 1 at a time into the egg whites and then coat with the panko mixture.
9) Place peppers cut side up on the prepared baking sheet.
10) Bake peppers for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
11) Enjoy!! 😀
Guacamole is a dip made from avocados and is originally from Mexico. All you need to make a standard guacamole are ripe avocados, onions, some spice such as chilies and of course some acidity such as a lemon or a lime.
The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. I bought a big bag of avocados from Costco. They were completely firm and were a raw green colour. I did manage to look online and find out how to quickly ripen an avocado. One tip that was listed was to put the avocado in a brown paper bag and to let it sit at room temperature. By placing the avocado in a brown paper bag, it traps the ethylene gas that they produce and helps them ripen quicker. Except unfortunately this did not work!! We keep our fruit basket on the counter top right by our stove. I found that the avocados ripened quicker in the fruit basket by the stove rather than in the paper bag!
I was originally going to make just regular guacamole but then I thought to myself…why not make Crab Guacamole???!! It sounded like a match made in heaven!!! 😀 I started brainstorming what to put into this amazing crab guacamole and boom an idea came! I decided to use the ripe avocados, red onions, jalapeno peppers, lime juice, cilantro, salt, sour cream and of course crab meat!!
– 1 can (120g) of crabmeat (drained)
– 2 ripe avocados (diced) (with the seeds)
– 1 small red onions (diced)
– 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced)
– 5 tsp of lime juice
– 5 tsp of salt
– 1 tbsp of sour cream
– handful of chopped cilantro
1) In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients including the seeds from the avocados. By adding the avocado seeds into your guacamole, it will keep it from going brown 🙂
After going to Olive Garden and having a long awaited Godfather marathon with my boyfriend this weekend, I decided to make a copycat recipe of the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup! I love how rich and creamy the soup is. It’s super easy and quick to make! It also freezes pretty well so you can always make a big batch and freeze half of it for later 🙂
The vegetables used in this recipe are pretty basic…onions, carrots, celery and spinach. Since I am allergic to the pesticides sprayed on fruits and vegetables, I either buy organic or cook down whatever I am eating. For this recipe, I just cooked the carrots and celery a bit longer than everything else
– ¼ cup of butter
– 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
– 1 cup of finely chopped onions
– ½ cup of finely chopped celery
– 1 cup of finely shredded carrots
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– ¼ cup of flour
– 4 cups of half and half
– 2 (14 ounce) cans of chicken broth (I used 1 and a half for a thicker soup)
– ½ tsp of salt
– ½ tsp of dried thyme
– ½ tsp of dried parsley flakes
– 1 cup of finely chopped spinach leaves
– 1 cup of diced roasted chicken
– 1 package of gnocchi (if frozen, prepare as per the directions on package)
1) In a large pot, melt the butter and oil over medium heat.
2) Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until golden brown
3) Whisk in the flour and cook for approximately 1 minute
4) Whisk in 1 cup of half and half. Bring to a simmer and while whisking add in the remaining half and half 1 cup at a time. Simmer until thickened
5) Whisk in the chicken broth. Continue simmering over medium/ low heat
6) Add the salt, thyme, parsely, spinach, chicken and gnocchi
7) Simmer for about 8-10 minutes
8) Enjoy! 🙂
Growing up lasagna was one of my most favourite dishes! My grandma always made meat lasagna with the traditional red sauce and used Ricotta cheese. My mother on the other hand made beef and spinach lasagna with the traditional red sauce but used Mozzarella cheese.
As I’ve stopped eating beef and pork, I would always make turkey lasagna but the meat would always be dry. I then thought why not make a lasagna twist??! Why not have a cream sauce than a tomato based sauce? Why not make a vegetarian mushroom lasagna?!
I then started brainstorming different ingredients to put into the lasagna. Of course there would be lots and lots of mushrooms!! Portobello, crimini, porcini and last but not least the white mushrooms!
Next came the cheese! Instead of the typical Ricotta cheese I decided to use Parmesan, Gouda and Gruyere. All three of these cheeses would give such an amazing amount of flavour 🙂 There would of course be fresh basil, parsley, garlic and red onions and of course lots and lots of white wine 😉 My boyfriend also decided to come over and help me put this masterpiece together and I must say it came out pretty rich, creamy and tasty!!
– 2 large Portobello mushrooms (washed, gills removed and thinly sliced)
– 1 pound of white mushrooms (washed and thinly sliced)
– ½ pound of crimini mushrooms (washed and thinly sliced)
– 1 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms
– ¼ cup of olive oil
– Salt & pepper
– ½ cup of water
– 1 red onion (finely chopped)
– 7 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
– ½ cup of white wine
– 3 tbsp of butter
– 3 tbsp of flour
– 3 ½ cup of milk
-¼ cup of fresh chopped basil
– ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley
– 9-12 no bake lasagna noodles
– 1 ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 cup of grated Gouda cheese
– 1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese
1) Roast the portobello mushrooms. Heat oven to 425ºF. Toss the portobello mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes. Transfer into a large bowl once roasted and set aside.
2) Microwave the water and porcini mushrooms for 1 minute. Let mushrooms sit until softened. Finely chop the mushrooms and reserve the liquids.
3) In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and add onions, salt and pepper. After 6-8 minutes add the chopped white, crimini, porcini mushrooms along with 5 chopped cloves of garlic & salt and pepper.
4) Once the mushrooms have cooked (8-10 minutes) add in the white wine, roasted onions and portobello mushrooms, stirring until the liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
5) Stir in the butter and allow to melt. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add in the milk and porcini liquid. While stirring, bring to a simmer. Add in the basil and parsley (reserve some of the basil and parsley for the topping.
6) Pour some boiling water into a baking dish. Add the lasagna noodles into the water. After 2 minutes remove the noodles and discard the water.
7) Toss together the 3 grated cheeses. Spread some of the mushroom mixture over the bottom of the pan. Arrange 3 noodles on top of the mixture. Spread a third the mushroom mixture evenly over the noodles. Then sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat the layering of the noodles, mushroom mixture and cheese 2 more times.
8) Cook the dish in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add the garlic, basil and parsley over the cheese topping.
9) Broil the lasagna for the next 3-4 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.
10) Let cool 15 minutes before serving and ENJOY! 🙂
Who doesn’t love crispy chicken nuggets? My favourite chicken nuggets growing up (and still) are the McDonalds chicken nuggets! But I do feel guilty about eating the deep fried nuggets from McDonalds. This nugget recipe cooks the nuggets by baking them..not frying them so you can eat as many as you like guilt free 🙂
– 3 chicken breasts (cut into desired pieces)
– ¼ cup of mayo
– 3 tbsp of ketchup
– 2 tbsp of sriracha sauce
– salt & pepper
– olive oil
Breading – 1 cup panko
– 3 tbsp of tarragon
– 1 tsp of garlic powder
– 1 tsp of paprika
– ½ tsp of black pepper
– 4 tbsp of Italian seasoning
– 1 tsp of Cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp of poultry seasoning
– ¾ cup of breadcrumbs
1) Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3) In a large bowl, combine the breading ingredients.
4) In a medium bowl combine the mayo, ketchup, sriracha sauce and salt & pepper.
5) Dip the cut up chicken into the sriracha sauce mixture then dip into the breading mixture.
6) Add the breaded chicken pieces onto the baking sheets.
7) Sprinkle with some olive oil.
8) Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the nuggets and bake for 6-8 minutes.
9) Enjoy with either ketchup or ranch dressing 😀