Re: Is there room for broccoli in your Super Bowl feast?

If you haven’t been bombarded by enough ads, tweets and other Facebook statuses about the Super Bowl, you might not know that it’s happening this weekend. A much anticipated game by the ultimate football fans and the occasional half-time viewers, looking forward to performances from Queen B and Cold Play, and of course, the game. Super Bowl has also become another excuse to indulge in some not-so-healthy snacks all in the name of the game. Some chicken wings here, some chips & dips there, and some sandwiches and sliders right across. What if I told you that I came up with a fabulous AND healthier alternative to the average Super Bowl snacks using broccoli and spinach?

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For a lack of a better term, I’m calling this dish ‘Frinachos’. Why? Because if fries and nachos had a baby, it would taste like this! Hands down.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 broccoli florets
  • handful of spinach
  • lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • dried basil
  • honey
  • mayo
  • 1 red chili pepper (or any kind of chili you want to use, e.g. jalapeño, Thai green chili, etc.)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fries (you can by frozen)
  • dried basil
  • 2 roughly diced tomatoes
  • cheese (optional)

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat you oven to the appropriate temperature to BAKE your fries
  2. Get some parchment paper and line your pan
  3. Add as much fries you want to use for the recipe. Spread the fries out in on the pan to make sure that you get those golden brown crispy bits
  4. Bake the fries, again, according to the time recommended on the instructions on the bag
  5. While your fries are baking away, you can start making your guacamole
  6. Start by blending the spinach, broccoli florets, red chili, minced garlic, lime juice, olive oil (~2-3 tbsp.), salt and pepper together. The consistency doesn’t have to be like a pesto, but close to it
  7. In your mortar and pestle (if it’s big enough or your can use a medium size bowl), pour in the blended broccoli-spinach mixture
  8. Open then dice the avocadoes before putting it in the mortar and pestle with the broccoli-spinach mixture
  9. Using the pestle (the thing you use to mash), mash and mix the avocado and broccoli-spinach mixture together. It’s totally cool if there are some small avocado chunks, you just want to make sure that the avocado is mixed well with the broccoli-spinach mixture
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste then you can now set aside your guacamole
  11. Check you fries in the oven and shake them a bit to get an even colour and crisp
  12. Next you need to make the honey garlic aioli by simply combining the honey, chopped fresh garlic, dried basil, mayo, salt and pepper in a small bowl (Tip: I like using the pestle when mixing because it grinds the fresh garlic at the same time, releasing more flavour into the aioli)
  13. Then take out the fries (of course lightly salt them) and place them on a plate
  14. Put all of the components together by first adding spoonful of guacamoles, sprinkling some diced tomatoes around, then finish off by drizzling some of the honey garlic aioli
  15. (Optional) You can also crumble some queso fresco or cheddar cheese on top

 

Now, I know you might be wondering if you/they would be able to taste the spinach and broccoli in there but I promise, you and whoever else is trying this dish will NOT. You can also just serve the guacamole with broccoli and spinach with some whole grain chips! Give this recipe a try and share with us your experiences J Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

Always,

K

 

 

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

 

Have you celebrated your accomplishments today?

IMG_5403Everyday I wake up reaching for my phone to check my emails then go through my social media notifications and feeds. Fifteen minutes to half an hour would pass by and I wouldn’t have noticed. Jumping out of bed, literally, to take a quick hot shower trying to make up for the time I lost lying down in bed while on my phone.

As the hot water rain on my skin and steam fill up my bathroom, I start to list the things I need to do today. Shampoo, reply to Mr. X’s email, rinse, make myself lunch for work, soap, catch up on what’s trending on Twitter, lather, think of a new post, rinse, send a message to my sister then do laundry and dry, but wait, don’t I have a workshop tonight? Everyday we go through our lives trying to complete as many tasks as we can from a list that never seems to end. We don’t notice that, hey I got up before my alarm clock today. Or I managed to finish reading my book last night. Or even, I made a new friend at an event last week.

It’s great to have goals and to keep busy with work, friends and family or activities that you feel passionate about. Just don’t beat yourself up when you didn’t get to do everything you wanted to get done in one day. You are human. You’re allowed to take a break once in a while. There will be enough time.

Now take a deep breath, close your eyes and smile. You did well today! I had a chocolate éclair from the infamous bakery at Warden Station for a not so pleasant weekend and finally getting a post written today 🙂

P.S.

For those interested, I found an app called ‘Balanced’. A simple tool that sends you reminders of activities that you have listed to accomplish on the app. The “reminders are built around mindfulness. You get two each day but only if you haven’t checked the app.”

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