Everything

Fuck This

by KitchenRebel on November 12, 2017

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I suffered a devastating loss. A gut punch that knocked the wind right out of me.

I couldn’t get off the couch for 6 days.

I couldn’t breathe it hurt so much.

The only reason I didn’t kill myself was because statistics are not in my favour.

Since I’m stuck here, and I can’t really live on the couch, I might as well start the work of healing. Again.

I thought I’d start writing about it.

Because talking and sharing apparently helps. But I’m not a fan.

But I’m getting so tired of waking up crying.

Crying and suffocating.

The pounding in my head hasn’t stopped since Tuesday. Feels like non stop construction going on all the time. Its so fucking loud.

I thought there was actual construction going on in the neighbourhood. I woke up to pee in the wee hours and thought theres construction happening outside at 2am! Not until mid morning the follow day did I realize the pounding was in my head.

Slow constant loud pounding in my head for 6 days.

Whoooop  Whoooop  Whooooop

Last week a doctor said to me, “… you’re suffering everyday.”  And I made therapist person tear up. And that was when I thought I was doing pretty great. lol I was about to go on my dream vacation.. My childhood dream vacation. No wonder it turned into a nightmare.

Fuck me.

Fuck this.

It time I start being unapologetically authentic.

Living my truth. Sharing my truth.

 

Mushroom Chard Spaghetti in Creamy Garlic Celery Sauce (without cream)

by KitchenRebel on October 1, 2014

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This garlic celery sauce was creamy yet light, without using any cream. Using pasta water instead of cream is a great way to lighten up sauces while still keeping it creamy.  

This tasted like a restaurant meal.  

It would be a great date (or company) meal. Quick and easy to make, and sure to impress. 

So tasty no one will even notice there isn’t any meat in it.  

(Hubby said it was ‘outstanding’ and he doesn’t even like mushrooms) 

ingredients

2-4 tablespoons butter
8oz mushrooms, sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped
1 bunch chard, chopped 
1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, chopped 
1-2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4-5 tablespoons  water (from pasta) 
Spaghetti 

instructions

  1. In a large pot boil water with salt for spaghetti. Cook spaghetti very al dente (firm to the bite), it will cook for an additional 2-3 minutes in the sauce.
  2. While spaghetti is boiling, heat a large saucepan to medium hot
  3. Add butter (save one tablespoon for later) and sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown
  4. Add garlic and celery, sauté for 1- 2 minutes, until fragrant 
  5. Add cream cheese, chard.
  6. Add spaghetti, parmesan and a few tablespoons of pasta water, tablespoon butter and stir through
  7. Add more water if you’d like more sauce.
  8. Check seasoning. You probably won’t need salt because the pasta water is salty and so is parmesan. Add pepper if needed. 
  9. Turn off heat and cover for 2-3 minutes. Sauce will thicken and spaghetti will cook in sauce for a few minutes.
  10. Serve with fresh parsley and parmesan 

 

MC Pasta 3 update 

Cauliflower Chowder

by KitchenRebel on September 18, 2014

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I love cauliflower. I never thought I’d ever see the day I’d say that. Cauliflower has always been one of my least favourite vegetables, I hated everything about it, from the smell to the texture and taste, but cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes changed all of that. And since then I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of cauliflower recipes – crispy cauliflower, cauliflower ‘rice’, cauliflower fried ‘rice’, cauliflower pizza and cheesy ‘bread’ sticks, fritters, cakes, cauliflower hash and revisiting childhood cauliflower stew and curry recipes. And with all the health benefits, Cauliflower has become the new superfood in my kitchen.

This  cauliflower chowder came together from ‘nothing in the fridge’ ingredients. You know when the fridge is almost bare and you don’t want to go to the store.

Creamy and hearty, this cauliflower chowder is almost fat free, the huge pot of soup has a total of only 2-3 tablespoons of oil.  I didn’t have any olive oil or butter, so I very sparingly used my precious bottle of avocado oil.

There is no cream or dairy in this soup. Instead I made cauliflower puree, a cauliflower ‘milk’ of sorts, by blending cauliflower and a quick vegetable stock (NEVER use store bought stock) I also added a sautéed onion and bay leaf to add extra flavour to the cauliflower ‘milk’.

There are no potatoes in this chowder. And if you want to go completely starch free you can omit the corn or use your favourite vegetable. I used corn because it was all I had on hand.

ingredients

FOR THE STOCK:
1-2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 onion, quartered
1-2 carrots, roughly chopped (optional)
Corn cobs

FOR THE SOUP:
1 Cauliflower
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Carrots, diced
1/2 cup Red Pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3 ears of corn, cut off the cob (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups) Don’t forget to scrape down sides to get ‘milky’ bits
Vegetable stock
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste (optional)

instructions

First make the stock:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. While oven is heating, chop vegetables, saving any extra peels and end bits for stock
  3. Place onion, celery, carrots (or any other veg you’re using – I had 2 tomatoes from the freezer) on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned
  4. In a stock pot or large pot, add corn cobs and roasted veg. Add water (I just filled the pot) and boil for about 30 minutes VegStock

MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER ‘MILK’:

  1. Grate cauliflower using a food processor, or by hand using a cheese grater
  2.  Heat 1 tablespoon avocado or olive (or other) oil in a saucepan
  3. Add onions and bay leaves, sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions begin to soften slightly
  4. Remove bay leaves, save for using in soup
  5. Add cauliflower, cover with stock, remove from heat
  6. Using a blender, blend until smooth Cauliflower Milk

MAKE THE SOUP:

  1.  In a large pot, heat 1-2 tablespoons avocado or olive (or other) oil
  2. Add diced onion, and bay leaves, sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft
  3. Add celery and carrots, sauté for 3-4 minutes until carrots start to soften
  4. Add red pepper and garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant
  5. Add flour, corn and corn ‘milk’, sauté for 2-3 minutes
  6. Add cauliflower ‘milk’, check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Simmer for 5-8 minutes until soup is thickened

cauliflower chowder

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French Chocolate Mousse

by KitchenRebel on September 18, 2014

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Chocolate Mousse was one of the very first gourmet recipes I made, the first recipe I followed that didn’t come from my mums handwritten recipe book. I think I was 15 at the time, and I thought anything with whipped egg whites was technical. Cream and chocolate were expensive ingredients we only used on special occasions. And there I was just making it for a middle of the week dinner. I felt so fancy. Melting chocolate, separating and beating eggs and then piping whipped cream on top, I had never made anything so pretty.  I was so proud of myself.

It’s been years since I made a chocolate mousse. I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to make something classic. No new version or the quicker mousse recipes I’ve sometimes used. And the farm fresh eggs I had just bought seemed like perfect excuse to make a classic French mousse.

Rich creamy velvety decadent chocolatey mousse.

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

ingredients

6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup (170g), plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) dark rum
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

instructions

  1. Use a double boiler, or fill a saucepan 1/3 full with hot water and set a bowl on top. Over barely simmering water, melt together chocolate, butter and coffee until smooth. Remove from heat, set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, set aside.
  3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk egg yolks with 2/3 cups of sugar, rum and water until mixture is thick, and light coloured like mayonnaise, about 3-5 minutes. (You can also use an electric hand mixer)
  4. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks in the bowl of ice water, and beat until thick and cool
  5. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks
  6. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and salt until they hold their shape. Whip in the 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then add the vanilla
  7. Fold one third of the beaten egg whites into a the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the egg whites until just incorporated, be careful not to over mix it or the mousse will lose volume.
  8. Spoon mousse into serving bowl, or divide into individual serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm

 

 

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Sessame Tahini Salad Dressing

by KitchenRebel on September 18, 2014

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This is such a quick and easy dressing. I usually just stir it up in a cup with a spoon.

But you can make it even more creamy if you beat the tahini and lemon juice together.  Tahini and lemon get thick when mixed together. You can add as much or little yogurt as you want. I’ve made this using all yogurt for a very creamy dressing and dip, and sometimes with mostly water for a smooth pourable light dressing.

ingredients

1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoon plain yogurt
2-5 tablespoons water
pinch of cumin
smoked paprika
salt to taste

 

instructions

  1. Beat (or stir) tahini and lemon juice together
  2. Beat (or stir) in yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time. Depending on how creamy you want it.
  3. Mix in  2-4 tablespoons water, depending on how thick you want it
  4. Season with cumin, paprika, salt

Buffalo Wing Hummus

by KitchenRebel on September 17, 2014

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Buffalo Wing Hummus!  This was a big hit.

Creamy buffalo wing taste, with crunchy falafel and pita chips. Everything you love about buffalo wings – spicy creamy wing flavour with crunch. This was an unexpected treat on the mezze platter. And the first to go!

I also made cheddar chicken strips to add a cheese component to recreate the buffalo wing experience. And the chicken strips wasn’t even needed. This buffalo hummus was perfect with falafel or chips.  One of the few occasions where chicken isn’t the first to go.  Thats practically unheard of at my table.

There are a bunch of ‘secrets’ to the smoothest hummus. One very logical one is to peel the garbanzos beans. I thought of doing it, but after peeling two beans, I realized I don’t need my hummus to be THAT smooth. Ain’t nobody got time for that! And the extra fiber can only be good for you.

I played around with the order I added the ingredients. This time I beat the tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Like you would when making mayonnaise.  I’ve never had a problem with hummus not being lush velvety and creamy .
And this hummus was so tasty and yummy, and unexpected, it disappeared in no time.

I think this is our current favorite creamy sandwich spread and dressing. without the fat and guilt.  You won’t miss the mayo and cheese. And best of all, you can overeat without feeling sick after.

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ingredients

1/4 cup Tahini
1/4 cup Lemon juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 can Garbanzo Beans/ Chickpeas
2-4 tablespoons Buffalo wing sauce (I used 4 tablespoons – we like it spicy)
water (options)

 

instructions

  1. Add tahini, lemon juice to food processor
  2. While processor is running, Add first tablespoon of olive oil very very slowly, like you would when making mayo.
  3. Scrape down sides. Turn on and while running add remaining oil
  4. Add garbanzo beans, process till smooth.
  5. Scrape down sides, process to make sure beans are smooth
  6. Beat in 2 tablespoons buffalo sauce, one tablespoon at a time
  7. Check seasoning, add more buffalo sauce to taste.
  8. Add water if its still too thick.

 

 

 

 

Oven Roasted Flowers.. Cauliflowers and their cousins

by KitchenRebel on September 13, 2014

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I couldn’t resist the beautiful yellow and purple cauliflowers at the market.

There were so many recipes I wanted to try with the pretty cauliflowers, but my carnivore is hooked on crispy roasted broccoli. The fact that he asks for broccoli and cauliflower to snack on makes me so happy, like hearing your child say they’d rather have veg than candy!  Oops, I think I just compared my husband to a child, just his eating habits though.

With so many health benefits of cauliflower and broccoli, its like eating your medicine, delicious tasty medicine.

I added some broccoli and I used my crispy smoked cauliflower recipe. I ran out of smoked paprika (I’ve been putting it on everything lately) so I used black pepper.

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I think everyone loves crispy vegetables, they just don’t know it and don’t realize how much they love vegetables.. yet.

 

No Knead Artisan Bread

by KitchenRebel on September 12, 2014

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I love bread.  I would happily pass up a steak or lobster or any other amazing food for good bread with butter and cup of tea. Bread is 80% of the reason I like going to eat out at fancy restaurants.  Sometimes after I get bread and a drink, I don’t really care about ordering food.

Bread is one of the few things I haven’t been making from scratch.  I’ve decided its time to change that.  I thought a good place to start is the easy, no knead artisan bread recipe thats been floating around for the past few years.

No knead bread is exactly that, no need for kneading.  Simply mix ingredients together until combined. If you’re using instant yeast theres no need to proof yeast or use warm water, simply mix it all together and let the yeast do the work.  The hardest part of this recipe is planning ahead, the dough needs at least 12 hours to proof and make bread magic happen.

Once the dough is ready for baking, most recipes call for baking it in a preheated lidded pot or covered dish. Most recipes call for a cast iron or enamel pot. I used a stainless steel pot and lid. But you can use just about any oven safe dish –

  • Glass pyrex dish with lid
  • Clay baker with lid
  • Pizza stone with stainless steel bowl to cover
  • Heat proof bowl with foil to cover

You’re essentially creating an oven in your oven. This creates steam as it bakes which gives the bread a crusty exterior.  Some recipes use an uncovered baking dish and a container of water in the oven to create steam.

 

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ingredients

3 cups flour (all purpose or bread flour)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water

instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and yeast
  2. Add water and mix to combine to form a shaggy soft dough. This is a no knead bread so you just want to mix everything until uniformly moist, without any dry patches. Your dough will be wet and loose.
  3. Cover bowl and set aside for 12-18 hours.  I left it on the kitchen counter overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to bake – preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball or oval shape (depending on shape of your baking dish or pot). Let dough sit while oven is heating.  Don’t worry if it looks like it hasn’t risen much – it will in the oven. This is called “oven spring”.
  6. When the oven has reached 450 degrees, place pot with lid in the oven and heat for 30 minutes
  7. Dust the top of loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a sharp knife to release some of the trapped gas. It also makes the top of your bread look pretty – you can slash the bread in a tic tac toe pattern, a cross, or just parallel slashes.
  8. Remove hot pot from the oven and put dough in the pot. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove lid and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Theres just nothing like freshly baked bread out of the oven. It has to be one of the most comforting aromas to come out of your kitchen. We could not stop eating this bread. Even hubby who doesn’t like bread ate four slices!  After eating half a bread in record time, I had to remove this from sight to save us from ourselves!

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There are so many options with artisan bread. I added fresh corn to the next batch.

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O.M.G.

It tasted like home – the South African cornbread, known as farm bread, I remember from my childhood.

Next time I’ll try some of my favourite Artisan bread flavours like olive or onions or cheese.  And costing just pennies to make, its so much cheaper than the $6.95 Artisan olive bread I buy at the farmers market.

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Best Liver Ever – Crispy Liver with Sweet Sour Spicy Onions

by KitchenRebel on September 12, 2014

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If you like liver you will love this Crispy Liver and Sweet Sour Spicy Onion recipe. If you don’t like liver, this might make you change your mind about liver.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, but their micronutrient content doesn’t always hold up to what is found in meats and organ meats – especially liver.  It’s why liver is known as natures most potent super foods.

  • An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Contains all of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A, which is rapidly depleted during periods of stress, as well as by consuming a low-fat diet
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of natural folate
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA

Sweet Sour Spicy Onions:

ingredients

2-3 tblsp Olive oil
2 Onions, sliced
1 Jalepeno Pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp Cayenne (optional if you like it with a real spicy kick)
1/2 tsp Smoked or Sweet Paprika
6 tblsp Red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
juice of half lemon
Salt to taste

instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in pan till medium hot
  2. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions begin to soften
  3. Add jalapeño pepper
  4. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until onions start to brown
  5. Add paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using), add 1/2 teaspoon salt, saut̩ for 2 Р3 minutes, till fragrant and start caramelizing
  6. Add vinegar, stir to deglaze pan. Deglazing is when you use liquid to get all the brown bits off the bottom of pan
  7. Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir through and let liquid cook off for 1-2 minutes
  8. Check seasoning, add salt.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

Heat olive oil in pan till medium hot unnamed-1

Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions begin to softenunnamed-2

Add jalapeño pepper unnamed-3

Sauté for 5-6 minutes until onions start to brownunnamed-4

Add paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using), add 1/2 teaspoon salt, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, till fragrant and start caramelizing unnamed-5

Add vinegar, stir to deglaze pan. Deglazing is when you use liquid to get all the brown bits off the bottom of panunnamed-6

Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir through and let liquid cook off for 1-2 minutesunnamed-20

Check seasoning, add salt.
Remove from heat and set aside. unnamed-8

 

Crispy Liver

Calfs liver has a milder flavour. Always eat organic meat, especially organ meats.

I always soak liver in water to get rid of excess blood and the ‘liver’ taste. Remove skin, cut out any sinews. Rinse well.

ingredients

1 lb Calf Liver
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 dashes (about 1-2 tsp) worcestershire sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil for frying

instructions

  1. Soak liver in water to get rid of excess blood. Remove any skin, cut out sinews. Rinse and drain well. Cut into desired size.
  2. Put liver in a bowl add soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Marinate for at least 30 minutes
  3. Heat olive oil in pan till medium hot
  4. Add flour to shallow dish, dredge liver pieces in flour
  5. Carefully add liver to hot oil. Always drop away from you to avoid splashes
  6. Fry liver for 2-3 minutes per side, until outside is browned and crispy, and liver is just cooked through
  7. Serve with onions, and mashed potatoes.

 

Prep and marinade liver: Soak liver in water to get rid of excess blood. Remove any skin, cut out sinews. Rinse and drain well. Cut into desired size. Put liver in a bowl add soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes unnamed-10

In a pan, heat olive oil till medium hot
Add flour to shallow dish, dredge liver pieces in flour unnamed-11

Carefully add liver to hot oil. Always drop away from you to avoid splashes unnamed-14

Fry liver for 2-3 minutes per side, until outside is golden brown and liver is just cooked through unnamed-15
Serve with onions, and mashed potatoes.

My favourite is liver and onion sandwiches. And I love it with extra onions!

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Vegetable Soup

by KitchenRebel on September 3, 2014

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After a long holiday weekend with much meat eating, this soup was just the reset we needed. Packed with vitamins, nutrients and fiber this cleansing soup was like medicine and love in a bowl.

The secret to making this soup tasty is getting extra flavour from the vegetables by roasting some of them for a stock, and roasting some for adding to the soup.  The instructions may seem lengthy for so few ingredients, but layering flavours always makes all the difference.

Do not ever ever use store bought stock. I implore you, its one of my biggest food peeves.  You’re better off using water and adding extra herbs and seasoning to your dish instead of store bought stock. In over 30 years that I’ve been cooking, and the nearly 50 years that I’ve been a professional eater, I have NEVER tasted a store bought stock that tastes good.  Just don’t do it.  Stock is so easy to make, And it can even be very quick. Like the quick stock I made to add to this soup.

For this soup I pretty much cleaned out the fridge. You can add most any vegetable you have or like. I had 3 celery stalks, carrots and half an onion in the fridge that were on their last legs so I roasted them for stock.  Stock is always a great way to use up not-so-fresh veggies.

ingredients

3 ears of corn
1 onion
4 celery stalks
3-4 Bay Leaves
4-5 carrots
2-3 Garlic cloves
1/2 red bell pepper
2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
8oz mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup (approx) broccolini or broccoli
1 bunch chard
1 bunch Kale
1/2-1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or paprika or cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cut corn off 2 of the cobs, scraping down the sides to get the milky bits, put it in a bowl. You’re going to add this, as is, uncooked, to the soup. Save the cobs for stock.
  3. Cut corn off the remaining cobb, put in a separate small bowl, you will be roasting this later. When you scrape down the milky bits add it to the 2 corn cobs you cut in step 1. Again save the cob for stock.
  4. Break the 3 cobs in half, add it to a stock pot (I used a 6qt pot) add about 10-12 cups of water, or fill up about half way.  Heat to medium hot and simmer while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Wash, rinse and roughly chop 2 celery stalks, 2-3 carrots and 1/2 onion. Add garlic cloves and toss in a little olive oil, or use olive oil mister, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Spread out on baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until it starts to brown.
  6. While the veg is roasting, prep the rest of the veg – Dice half red bell pepper, half onion, 2 celery stalks, and 2-3 carrots. Cut everything about the size of the corn kernels.
  7. Remove roasted veg from the oven and add to the simmering corn cob stock. Let it continue to simmer
  8. No need to wash the baking sheet, just add the 1 corn on the cob (the one without milky bits) and diced red pepper. Drizzle or mist with some olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast for about 15-20 minutes. Stirring once or twice, until it just starts to brown.
  9. While corn and peppers are roasting, In a large soup/stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add diced onions and bay leaves, Sautee for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften, but don’t get any colour on it.
  10. Add celery and carrots and sautee for 3-4 minutes. You want veg to soften and release their sugars, without browning it.
  11. Add broccoli, mushrooms, sauté for 2-3 mins
  12. Add roasted corn and peppers, and fresh corn.
  13. Remove stock from heat, pour liquid into soup. I filled pot till about 3 inches from top. If you have extra stock you can either top up your soup or save (freeze) it for future use.
  14. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes
  15. Add washed, chopped chard and kale.
  16. Sprinkle in smoked paprika, check seasoning and add salt.

We loved this soup so much, after having it for dinner, we woke and had it for breakfast. And when we were finished with breakfast, hubby asked if there was any left because he wanted it for lunch again. The fact that that my carnivore is asking for this soup when there is left over short ribs tells you just how tasty and satisfying this soup is.

I make a huge pot of soup every week, its a life saver! Literally. Packed with vitamins, nutrients and fiber its a quick easy way to get your veggies and a great quick meal option for busy days or those ‘what can I eat’ moments. And its so comforting and satisfying it doesn’t feel like you’re eating healthy and having your medicine.

It makes for a great breakfast. We’re often rushing out in the mornings with soup in our coffee travel mugs.

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Lemon Hummus

by KitchenRebel on August 28, 2014

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Hummus is so easy to make. And so inexpensive. Once you make your own you’ll never buy it again.

I must confess, I’m almost sad about no longer buying hummus.  I used to look forward to sampling and buying hummus at the farmers market every week. I’d spend a fortune at that market stand – $6-8 for a container of hummus and I would always buy serval.  Now I can make 2-3 batches of hummus for that price!

The most expensive part of hummus is the Tahini (sesame seed) paste. I suggest buying a large container, its always cheaper, and Tahini lasts forever. I’m not even exaggerating, I found some tahini in the back of pantry that was two years past the expiration date, it looked and tasted just fine, so I used it and I survived. I ate that hummus all week. Now, of course, I don’t suggest testing that theory and using things that much past the expiration date, but safe to say you can buy a large jar and keep it for a while.

After making my own hummus a few times, I went back to buy some, and invited friends to do a side by side blind taste test. There was just no comparison, everyone preferred the home made version. It had a cleaner fresher taste.  And we all noticed that the bought version had a bit of an after taste. For some reason I was actually expecting at least one person to prefer the Artisan Made version from the market.  Now I just wave at Hummus folks as I walk by and every once in a while I stop to buy pita bread. And thats easy to make too, I’ll have to make my own pita bread next.  Hummus is so simple, it takes less than 10 minutes to make. A sassy old lady at my favourite Mediterranean restaurant told me the secret is the order that you add the ingredients. She told me to add the tahini and lemon first and mix till creamy.  It makes for a smoother creamier hummus. So thats exactly what I did.

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  •  1 garlic clove
  • 1 (15oz) Can of Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground paprika and a dash of olive oil for serving

instructions

  1. In a food processor, add tahini and lemon juice. Pulse for about 1 minute. Scrape down sides and process for another minute.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic and cumin. Blend for about 30 seconds
  3. Add the garbanzo beans and blend for about 1 minute, scrape down the sides and blend for another minute
  4. Now your hummus will probably be too thick. Scrap down the sides again, and while the blade is running, slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time until you get desired smooth consistency.
  5. Check seasoning, add salt if needed.
  6. Serve with a dash of olive oil and paprika.

Store your hummus is an airtight container in the fridge, It will keep for a week or two. Although I’ve never had hummus this delicious last that long.  Try my easy falafel recipe.

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Eat as much as you like

by KitchenRebel on July 20, 2014

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I dont trust doctors or nutritionists who limit fruit and veg. I’m sorry but no one gets sick from eating apples. Sure you can find the rare exceptions, and people are just too eager to believe you should eat less fruit. But lets just get real.

Real food. Real sugar.  When you eat the real sugar your body needs and craves, you don’t over eat. When your body has had enough, it doesn’t want anymore. It’s like filling your gas tank. When its full, you stop.

The exact opposite happens when you eat fake, chemical sugars. (thats pretty much the sugar in EVERYTHING we eat. Its even in your milk and chicken!) Your body and brain doesn’t register it as sugar, so you keep eating. You know how you can drink soda or sweet drinks and stay thirsty even when you’re full. Or you can eat that whole bag of M&M’s or other deliciously addictive treat.  You’re filling up but starving your body. Its still hungry for some real sugar.  And you’re overflowing your tank, while your body is starving.

So eat all the fruit and vegetables you want! Pig out. Binge. Get addicted. Even if you think you don’t like fruit and vegetables. With so many to choose from you’ll find things you love. And its so easy, just eat one or two extra fruits or vegetables a day. Before you know it you’ll be eating more.

Your body and mind will love you for it!

 

Spicy Cashews

by KitchenRebel on July 13, 2014

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Cashew nuts are not only delicious, they are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat.

Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Over 80% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids and nearly 70% of that unsaturated fatty acid content is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to olive oil.  And with no cholesterol, a rarity for such a tasty, crunchy treat, cashew nuts are a healthy fat food for heart patients.

High in magnesium, cashews help promote healthy bone and muscle development.  Cashews and other nuts are also beneficial to diabetics and people at risk for diabetes.

Basically, cashews are good for you!  Just remember avoid buying salted or flavoured nuts.

Instead just make you own. Its not only easy and cheaper than store bought varieties, it’s better for your body and the taste is far superior.

ingredients

1 lb Roasted, unsalted Cashews (if using raw cashews toast them first)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Roasted Curry Masala)
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice powder (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

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instructions

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil to medium hot
  2. Add curry powder, and fry for a few seconds to release flavour
  3. Add smoked paprika.
  4. Add cashews, toss to coat with seasoned oil, Stir fry for a 1 -2 minutes, being careful not to burn them
  5. Turn heat off, add lemon juice powder, and salt.
  6. Spread out on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  7. When cooled, store in air tight container. They taste even better after a day or two!

Best Ever Fried Chicken

by KitchenRebel on July 6, 2014

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It’s National Fried Chicken Day today and I’m excited to share my new improved Fried Chicken recipe, with a secret ingredient that will give you perfectly light, crispy, crunchy coating every time.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have fried chicken.  Believe it or not, you can eat the real thing, not oven ‘fried’ or almost as good as fried chicken, but real damn honest to goodness, slap your mama good, fried chicken. Because we all know there is NOTHING like the real proper fried chicken.

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When my husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, he’s main concern was not being able to eat fried chicken. He is fried chicken obsessed. I’m not even exaggerating, I think he is a fried chicken addict. You may think you like fried chicken or know someone who does, but not like this. I think he may actually love fried chicken just as much as sex. lol

But eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t eat fried chicken. He has managed to maintain normal blood sugar and I lost over 60lbs, dropped 8 dress sizes, easily!

Yes, you read that right, I ate fried chicken and lost weight. And for the first time in my life weight loss was easy and actually a real pleasure! No gimmicks, no fancy diets, no weird foods and no spending extra money. In fact eating better and spending LESS money!

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You just have to follow the 3 chicken rules.

First rule of chicken – ONLY EAT ORGANIC CHICKEN. No exceptions! EVER.
Not just to be a decent human being and not support the torture and abuse of animals, but because its what your body needs. Real food without chemicals.

Chickens have it the worst off of all the factory farmed animals. Did you know that cage free chickens don’t ever see sunlight?  Cage free doesnt mean clean, chemical free or humanely treated. They are still pumped full of chemicals and hormones because of their unnatural living conditions.

Eating factory farmed chickens is like poisoning your body. You might as well just go eat KFC and fast food, give up on healthy eating and prepare for the diseases you and your loved ones will suffer at some point. Over 75% of diseases are caused by diet. We are eating ourselves sick. You’re eating your way to cancer every time you eat those cheap supermarket chickens!

Second rule of fried chicken – Fry in olive oil. No canola, corn or other harmful oils and oil blends. One of the biggest lies is that you can’t fry in olive oil.  We put olive oil on our salads because its good for you, so why not use it to fry your food. And its how people have been frying foods for centuries.

You wouldn’t pour canola or corn oil on your salad, so don’t put it in your food. EVER.  Most commercial vegetable oils are a mixture of unidentified oils that have been extracted with chemicals. Stop using these oils immediately!! If you have them in your cupboard, just throw them out or use them in the garage or for DIY projects or cleaning. They are not fit for human consumption. And if you’re thinking about the money you’re wasting, its cheaper than the damage you’re causing your body and cheaper than doctors bills!

Third rule of fried chicken – Moderation! Yep, its that bitch moderation again, you have to eat and drink with her at all times.
This applies to all fried foods. You can be healthy eating fried foods, but you can’t eat it everyday or every week. Once a month or less. Everything in MODERATION.
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I make a lot of fried chicken. A. LOT.  I usually joke that I make more chicken than the average chicken restaurant. I’ve tried so many different recipes, from brining, buttermilk, over night marinating, the cold water extra crunchy method, the double crunchy method, Southern fried, Country fried, Korean fried chicken, broasted, panko coated, Japanese Katsu, to every version of KFC copy cat recipe you can find on the inter webs. I’ve sourced fancy and unusual ingredients and learned about different peppers and seasoning. I studied KFC history and the evolution of the recipe. Did I mention my husband is fried chicken obsessed?
You name it, I’ve tried it. But this is by far the easiest and my favourite recipe. It’s the one I get most compliments and recipe requests. And best of all, its quick and easy. With no special or expensive ingredients.  I can get complete fried chicken meal, including sides, to the table in under an hour.

ingredients

1 whole fryer chicken (3-4 pounds) cut into pieces.
2 Eggs, beaten
1/3 cup hot sauce (of your choice, I used Louisianna Hot Sauce and Chipotle Hot sauce)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Good quality olive oil for frying. About 1/2 – 3/4 inches of oil in pan.

SEASONONED FLOUR MIX: 

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

instructions

1.    Beat eggs, add hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces to egg mixture, mix to coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate.

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2.    In a large bowl add flour, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper

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And the secret ingredient…

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Baking powder! Its the secret to light, crispy coating every time. Remember to always buy aluminum free baking powder. 05

3.   Mix or whisk flour and seasonings together to combine thoroughly.
4.    In large pan, heat olive oil till medium hot. (350-375 is ideal temperature for frying. )

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4.    Dredge chicken in seasoned flour. Only dredge the pieces you are about to fry. Adding any moisture to the seasoned flour mixture will activate the baking powder.
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5.   Shake off any excess flour, and carefully drop chicken pieces in hot oil. Always drop facing away from you to avoid splashes.

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6.    Once you’ve filled the pan, turn the chicken over, starting with the first piece you added. This seals in the crunch and ensures crispy coating on both sides without deep frying.

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7.  Fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remember dark meat takes longer, about 12-15 minutes. White meat cooks quicker, about 8 -10 minutes.

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And now its chicken time… KrFC time! As my hubbys says, the best time of all.

Instead of heavy, rich side dishes, try lightening things up by having guilt free Cauliflower Mash instead of mashed potatoes, or mac and cheese. And spicy garlic green beans instead of greens cooked with ham or animal fat.

Enjoy!45

 

Falafel

by KitchenRebel on July 5, 2014

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Falafel is a Middle Eastern deep-fried ball or patty made from garbanzo beans (chickpeas), fava beans or both.

Garbanzo beans, like other beans, is packed with soluble and insoluble fiber. Which is good for your heart and digestive system. Soluble fiber helps you get rid of cholesterol. It forms a gel-like substance in your digestive tracts which traps bile (which contains cholesterol) and ferries it out of your body.

Soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. It is a low glycemic index food (GI) which means the carbohydrates in them are broken down and digested slowly. If you have diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia, beans can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Also helpful in controlling your appetite

Insoluble fibre helps to prevent digestive disorders by increasing stool bulk and preventing constipation.

Beans are a great source of protein. But remember beans are not a complete protein, combined with a whole grain or other incomplete (vegetable) protein, they can provide almost as much protein as meat, but without the saturated fat and high calories.

Garbanzos are high in iron.  which not only boosts your energy levels, but is particularly important for women who are menstruating, pregnant or lactating and also growing children.

Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants. It lowers the risk of breast cancer, protects against osteoporosis and minimizes hot flushes in post-menopausal women.

And now for the best thing about garbanzo beans and falafel – It is DELICIOUS!

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So delicious, yummy and satisfying, it’s a popular street food in many countries.  Even my carnivore loves it and always comments on how he can’t believe something without meat can taste so good.

I mean its a crispy fried… I don’t even need to end that statement. Fried and crispy is always a treat. I think you can fry a pencil eraser and it would taste good straight out the fryer. But please don’t test my theory, try fried beans instead.

A few things to note about making falafel:

  • I find it best to use dried beans. Canned beans make for a mushier texture, and they are usually higher in salt.  Dried beans are all natural, no salt, no mystery ingredients or preservatives. You have total control of what goes into it. 
  • Remember to soak your dried beans at least overnight, this not only softens the beans, but helps to reduce gas. I like soaking my beans for 2 days. Rinsing and changing the water 3-4 times.
  • Most recipes use breadcrumbs or flour. I forgot to add the bread crumbs one day, and didn’t notice the difference. Now I just omit them from the recipe. Who needs extra empty carbs, right?
  • I usually make at least a pound at a time. (Makes about 48 falafels) They make for great leftovers, and are even great cold straight out of the fridge. 
  • I added olives, to replicate falafel from our favourite falafel place. And I’m almost disspointed I won’t have a reason to go back there. I’ve also perfected their hummus and creamy dressing (recipes to follow)
  • I use extra fresh parsley and cilantro. Adding fresh herbs is always a great way to get extra medicine and flavour in your meals.

ingredients

1 pound of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 12 hours
1 medium onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cups black olives (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons baking powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3-4 tablespoons of Olive oil for frying

instructions

  1. Rinse the soaked garbanzo beans. Working in batches, grind up all the ingredients to a coarse texture.
  2. Grind/pulse garbanzo beans

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  3.  Next batch, Add parsley, onions and garlic and more beans

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4.   Next batch: Add cilantro and remaining beans

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5.  If using olives, add them last. Pulse 2-3 times to chop roughly

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6.   Mix ground bean mixture together.
7.   Add cumin, smoked paprika, sessame seeds and salt. Mix to combine

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8.   Refrigerate falafel mix for at least an hour.
9.   If using baking powder, mix in baking powder just before frying
10   Heat olive oil in a pan to medium high heat.
11.   Using a cookie scoop, or spoon or your hands, shape into balls.
 Add to hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown

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Falafel keeps well, and makes for great leftovers. They also freeze well. I remember this from a restaurant I worked in, but I have never freezed them at home, they’re just too easy to make and have fresh.

Falafel is in regular rotation on my menu. I hope you enjoy this healthy meal and snack as much as we do.

Crunchy Spicy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

by KitchenRebel on July 4, 2014

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Crunchy and spicy are always a sure win. These oven roasted garbanzo beans are a tasty and healthy snack. And great way to satisfy a crunchy salty craving.

Simply toss garbanzo beans in olive oil and some spices and roast until crunchy.  I usually just toss them all together on the pan I’m roasting them on, but this time I used one of my favourite marinades. A combination of herbs, spices, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.

ingredients

2 cans of garbanzo beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3-4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

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instructions

  1. Roughly chop garlic cloves.
  2. In a bowl (I used a measuring cup) add olive oil, lemon juice, roughly chopped garlic and crumbled bay leaves.
  3. Blend together using an immersion blender (Or you could use a blender or food processor)

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4.   Add the rest of the ingredients – rosemary, thyme, oregano. Pulse once or twice.
5.    Add sweet paprika, smoked paprika, chili flakes and salt, Mix together with spoon

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6.  Rise and drain garbanzo beans
7.   Pour marinade over the garbanzo beans and toss together.

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8.    Preheat oven to 400
9.    Spread garbanzo beans out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
10.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
11.   Drain on paper towel
12.   Serve warm or room temperature.

They’ll stay crispy for a few days stored in a resealable bag at room temperature.

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Zucchini Fritters

by KitchenRebel on July 3, 2014

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This has been the season of zucchini in my house. Zucchini has been plentiful and affordable at the farmers markets.

I’ve been cooking zucchini almost every day for couple of weeks.  These fritters are so easy to make. I was in the mood for a treat so I added cheese. And its the perfect way to sneak in extra veggies.

ingredients

3 cups zucchini, grated (I used 2 large zucchini)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 corn muffin mix (or all purpose flour, corn flour or jiffy mix)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
2 large eggs, beaten
Pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons olive oil for frying

instructions

  1. Grate zucchini, Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse and drain. Using paper towels, or cheese cloth, squeeze out all excess water.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients – zucchini, parmesan, cheddar, corn muffin mix (or flour) and beaten eggs.
  3. Season with pepper to taste. (I don’t usually add any extra salt with I use cheese)
  4. In a large pan, heat olive oil to medium high. Drop spoonfuls of zucchini batter into the pan, flattening them out with spatula or fork. Fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, flip over and brown the other side.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Mustard Mashed Potatoes

by KitchenRebel on June 30, 2014

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I must confess that I don’t usually like fancy mashed potatoes.  I think I’m the only person I know of who doesn’t even like garlic mashed potatoes. But when I saw these Mustard Mashed Potatoes on a BBC cooking show I was so intrigued, I immediately went to boil potatoes. 

These tangy mashed potatoes instantly became a favourite.

The most important part of mashed potatoes is choosing the right potatoes. There are basically 3 types of potatoes: starchy like Russets, waxy like red potatoes, and somewhere in between like Yukon Golds.

Never use waxy potatoes, they don’t break down and mash as easily and they don’t absorb butter and milk as well as starchier varieties. Russets and Yukon Golds are best for mashed potatoes. Of the two, the Russet will give you the creamiest mash, but many people prefer the flavor and golden color of Yukon Golds.

I used Russets for this dish because thats what I had.  I always boil potatoes whole with skin on, that way it maintains best flavour and doesnt absorb too much water and the peels wipe off easily (just be careful not to burn your hands)

ingredients

2 pounds of Potatoes
3-4 tablespoons butter (or to taste)
2/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

instructions

  1. Boil whole potatoes, skin on, for about 30-40 mins, depending on size, until tender. 
  2. Drain and let potatoes cool for a few minutes until easier to handle. Peel off the skins. Put the potatoes back in the pan, cover and gently head for a minute or two
  3. Heat milk and butter together in a small saucepan or microwave, until warmed and butter is melted. 
  4. Remove potatoes from the heat and mash the potatoes with butter and milk until there are no lumps. 
  5. Mix in grainy mustard.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Garlic Zucchini Noodles

by KitchenRebel on June 24, 2014

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I made a spicy version of those yummy Garlic Zucchini Noodles I made the other day.

I simply added about 1/2 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, cumin and curry powder.

Since we’re eating only vegetables and fruits on our Reset Cleanse, I’ve been packing our veg with flavour. Adding intense and exotic flavours like cumin and curry are not only delicious and different, they’re good for you.

Cumin and curry are known to help with digestion. Remember always use whole spices if you can.

 

Crispy Smoked Paprika Cauliflower

by KitchenRebel on June 17, 2014

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Cauliflower and its cousins, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, are packed with rich nutrients, they offer a healthy dose of potassium, Vitamin C, fiber and folic acid. Cauliflower boasts a cornucopia of B vitamins: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9.

This sometimes stinky family contains sulfur compounds. Thats that gassy farty smell they sometimes have. And you sometimes have after eating them. These sulfur compounds help prevent cancer.

Not all cauliflower is white. You can find green and orange varieties, the difference is in the amount of chlorophyll present during growth.

There are many ways delicious ways to enjoy cauliflower, I used to think I hated cauliflower and now the biggest problem is deciding how to prepare it. I think cauliflower mash or this crispy cauliflower can make even cauliflower haters enjoy cauliflower.

And best of all, its so simple.. The hardest part of this recipe is doing the dishes!

Preheat Oven to 420 (I just like that number, and my oven is a lil wonky) you want high heat (400-450) You want crispy not mushy. 

The measurements for this recipe really depends on the size of your cauliflower. Just eyeball it and sprinkle away. 

ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

1-2 tsp smoked paprika

1-2 tsp garlic powder

salt

olive oil

instructions

  1. Wash cauliflower and cut into florets.
  2. Spread cauliflower out on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. I use an olive oil sprayer. Remember you don’t want to go overboard with oil, you don’t want greasy cauliflower. And you want to keep it healthy.
  4. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake for about 15 mins, or till browned as you like