Beet Salad Recipe

My kale obsession is gradually being replaced by beets haha. Red, golden/yellow or candy cane beets I’m loving all of them! I made a simple beet salad recipe full of flavour even your vegetable haters won’t be able to resist.

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Ingredients:

-2  red beets

-6 small-medium carrots

-2 apples

-thumb size fresh ginger

-1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I just used about 2 handfuls, no need to be completely exact)

-1 small-medium red onion

– approx. 3 kale leaves (you can add more if you want)

– 1 can chick peas

– 1 lime/lemon

– extra virgin olive oil

– salt & pepper

Procedure:

1.Wash the veggies and kale

2.(Optional) I quick pickled because I don’t like eating raw onions. Totally just a preference, you can add it raw if you like. So for the quick pickle, I sliced the red onions then put them in a small bowl. I then added white vinegar and balsamic vinegar (could use apple cider vinegar instead of using 2 different kinds), salt, pepper and a teaspoon of honey. I mixed the sliced onions around then left them until I was ready to add them to the salad

  1. With a grater or a food processor, grate the red beets, carrots and apples. You will need a large bowl for this
  2. After grating the veggies, chop the kale leaves then add them in the large bowl
  3. Then add the onions
  4. Open a can of chick peas then drain the liquid before adding it in the large bowl
  5. Then add the sunflower seeds
  6. With a mircrograter, grate the fresh ginger on the large bowl (or you can finely chop it)
  7. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper
  8. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil
  9. Squeeze 1 lime/lemon
  10. Using your hands you’re now ready to mix! You will notice that some juices have come out from the apples and beets, that’s totally normal but try not to over mix it because you don’t want mushy salad
  11. Enjoy!

 

This recipe yields 6-8 healthy servings. Definitely a great lunch to bring to work or school!

 

Give my recipe a try and let me know what you think  by leaving a comment below. I’m always open to questions and suggestions.

 

Always,

K

 

The evening I decided to take on Chipotle and McDonald’s

Whenever I am trying to decide what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack, I generally base it on my mood. After all, shouldn’t I eat what I feel like eating? No, this is not an excuse for you to overindulge yourself in eating something you might regret eating later on. Moderation and balance is key here! So, I decided to create a healthier alternative for Chipotle’s Burrito bowl. Plus, what if I told you that you could make the same crispy golden fries from McDonald’s at home? By making it at home, you can reduce the salt content and add your own flavours! I paired my fries with a honey garlic aioli with a dash of tangy hot sauce.

This is turned out to be an incredibly long blog post so I divided these recipes into two pages. Feel free to visit those recipe pages directly by clicking links below.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl or Salad Dupe

simple homemade guacamole
simple homemade guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 corncobs
  • 1 medium size red onion
  • 10-15 beef rib eye rolled (you can also use leftover grilled skirt steak or chicken)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic paste
  • dash of dried thyme, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ lime
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 ripe red tomato
  • green onions/scallions (garnish)
  • 1 avocado
  • chili flakes
  • chopped kale leaves

Procedure:

  1. In a medium sized pot, add the three corncobs and water. Then let the pot boil; remove the husks if they were not removed when you bought them before cooking them in boiling water
  2. While the corncobs are cooking, wash then chop the kale leaves into shreds; you can chop them smaller to make them easier to eat
  3. Then dice the red onion and tomato
  4. Set the diced onion and tomato aside, then start cut the rolled beef rib eye in smaller pieces (about and inch or so in length); if you are using another type of protein, just cut them in bite size pieces (about the size of your thumb)
  5. Once the corncobs are cooked (it should take around 10 minutes or so), drain the water and set it aside to cool
  6. In a small pan, melt the butter then start sautéing the red onions (sprinkle some salt to bring out the sweetness of the onions even more)
  7. Once you notice that the onions are starting to get caramelized add the dried thyme, paprika, cayenne, and cumin. Let the spices cook a bit before adding ¼ teaspoon of garlic paste
  8. Then add the beef rib eye or the protein you’re using for the dish
  9. Let the beef rib eye cook (if you’re using raw like me) or if you’re using a leftover protein, just sauté the meat well so that the onions and spices are mixed well with the protein
  10. You may notice that there are some browning on the pan, use ½ lime and squeeze the juice to deglaze the pan
  11. Season with some salt and pepper then set it aside once the beef rib eye is cooked; you can ignore the beef rib eye conditional if you’re using another protein that’s already cooked
  12. The corncobs should be cool enough at this point so we can start separating the kernels from the cob by running your knife from the tip to the bottom of the cob; you can cut the corncob in half first then separate the kernel to prevent yourself from getting cut with the knife. Tip: make sure that the bottom of the corncob is secure before running your knife through the cob
  13. In a medium size bowl, combine the corn kernels and the protein and onions mixture with the freshly diced tomatoes
  14. Then in a large bowl, you can start assembling by placing the kale first then the corn mixture
  15. I added diced avocadoes on top and a simple homemade guacamole (1/2 avocado, ¼ teaspoon garlic paste, chili flakes, lime juice, salt and pepper; mashed using mortar and pestle)
  16. Chop green onion/scallions for garnish

You can also add cooked black beans and quinoa (instead of rice) into the mix. I just didn’t have it in stock when I made this dish. Also, definitely add some fresh cilantro into the corn mix! Again, I didn’t have it in stock but would recommend putting it into the dish.

McDonald’s French Fries Dupe with Honey Garlic Aioli

Ingredients:

  • potatoes (I usually use whatever I have in stock, but you can use russet potatoes or yukon gold if you want a specific kind)
  • vegetable oil
  • salt

This is a super easy recipe and you can cook crispy fries different ways. I chose going traditional and frying them TWICE! But you can bake them in the oven as well. The key to a fry that is crispy on the outside and soft inside is blanch frying. This is basically a fancy term for frying the cut potatoes for a few minutes (around 3-5 min) then taking them out to rest for a bit. Once you blanche fried the potatoes, you can actually freeze them then cook them later on. Of course, before putting them in a bag to freeze, let them cool for a couple of minutes.

Another tip when frying fries: washing the cut potatoes in cold water and letting them sit in the cold water for a few minutes. Once you drain the water, it removes some of starch from the potatoes. That’s important because it helps with preventing the potatoes to brown or burn quickly.

Honey Garlic Aioli:

This is the easiest and one of my go-to sauces of all time. You can use it for dipping or on a sandwich as a condiment.

IMG_5312Ingredients:

  • salt & pepper
  • mayo
  • garlic paste (or roasted garlic for more flavour and depth)
  • hot sauce (your choice!)
  • honey

In a small bowl (or if you’re using roasted garlic you can use the mortar then the pestle to combine all the ingredients together) put 2-3 tablespoons of mayo, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste, 1 teaspoon honey, 3-4 squirts of hot sauce and salt & pepper to season. Combine all the ingredients together and you have your aioli! Sometimes, I add dried herbs as well to add more flavour; dried parsley or basil works well.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below 🙂

Always,

K

Kale Caesar Salad

IMG_5285Kale, kale, kale… You’ve been the talk of the town for months, or maybe years now? With a ton of kale bunches growing at our family’s backyard garden, it is inevitable that I blog about a kale recipe. So instead of making another kale post bragging to give you more healthy benefits, I chose a different route. Re-inventing a salad that allegedly contains a lot of fat and calories seemed like the better option.

I like using kale instead of lettuce for Caesar salads because it can hold it’s texture and crunch a lot longer than lettuce. It also adds bitterness to the creamy Caesar salad dressing. Instead of croutons, I used diced fresh tomatoes to add some sweetness and slight tang into the salad. And my secret ingredient to adding a little bit of spice (and yes more health benefits) paprika!

Ingredients:

  • kale bunches
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • Caesar salad dressing (homemade or store bought is fine)
  • grated smoked gouda
  • bacon, roughly chopped to smaller pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • salt & pepper

Procedure:

  1. Wash your kale bunches and separate the leaves from the stalk
  2. With your knife, chop the kale leaves into smaller pieces; you can tear the leaves with your hands as well
  3. Set the kale aside in a large bowl
  4. Wash the tomato before dicing it
  5. Once diced, add the fresh tomatoes into the same bowl with the kale
  6. Roughly chop 2-3 pieces of bacon strips
  7. Add the roughly chopped bacon into the same large bowl
  8. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over the large bowl
  9. Gently mix the ingredients around, then add about a table spoon of Caesar salad dressing
  10. Mix the ingredients around some more, then using a microplane grater, grate some smoked gouda into the mixture (around 2 tablespoons worth)
  11. Gently mix the salad again; you may noticed that because the cheese was added after the dressing, it sticks to the salad more effectively
  12. Check if you need to add a little bit more dressing and cheese into the salad to make sure that it is incorporated well; DO NOT over dress your salad! It makes the leaves soggy and you wouldn’t be eating a salad at that point, you would be eating dressing.

Yes, it’s not the healthiest with the cheese and the dressing but it’s healthier than the traditional! It’s all about the balance. You can add grilled chicken or even slices of steak to add more protein into the dish.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below 🙂

Always,

K

Lentil Soup Recipe

IMG_5211Every once in a while I find myself in a phase. I had a shawarma phase, bran muffins phase, and samosa phase. I would go around different stores selling these foods and see which ones I liked best or make different versions myself. Now I’m on my lentil soup phase! I know it’s a little weird considering it’s scorching hot outside and I’m on a soup phase. The good part about lentil soups is that you can eat them warm. Lentils also have awesome health benefits. They are high in protein and good for your digestion!

I have made multiple versions of lentil soup. They absorb spices and herbs quite well so it’s fun playing around with different flavours. Here is a super easy lentil soup recipe!
Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked lentils of your choice
  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • fresh basil and lemon thyme leaves
  • dried rosemary
  • spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ~2 cups of water

IMG_5205From what you can tell, I’m drawing inspiration from Italian flavours with the garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs.

IMG_5210Procedure:

  1. Start by peeling and chopping 4-5 cloves of garlic
  2. Set the garlic aside then move on to dicing the tomatoes.
  3. Once the tomatoes are diced, start roughly chopping the fresh herbs (you can also just tear them in smaller pieces instead)
  4. In a hot medium size pot, pour in the extra virgin olive oil into the pot then swirl it around so that the entire bottom surface has enough oil
  5. Add the chopped garlic into the pot
  6. Sauté the garlic until the edges turn brown
  7. Once the garlic edges turned brown, you can add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, chopped herbs and dried rosemary
  8. When the tomatoes release their juices you can add the uncooked lentils into the pot (use a small to wash the lentils before adding them into the pot to take out any impurities)
  9. Mix the ingredients around then add the water. Add a pinch of more salt and pepper before closing the lid
  10. Check on the lentils once in a while to make sure they don’t burn or if they need more water (I like to add a little olive oil when I check them so they don’t stick at the bottom of the pot)
  11. Meanwhile, chop or tear your spinach leaves in smaller pieces.
  12. After 10 minutes, add the spinach into the pot.
  13. Check the pot after 5-7 minutes then check if the lentils are cooked.

I used Chinese five spice and spicy sesame seed oil at a different version and it’s by far my fave! Try out different flavour combinations and let me know which ones are your favourites by leaving a comment below!

Always,

-K