Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fajitas



This is my, "we have steak left over from last night's bbq and I don't feel like eating microwaved steak" dinner plan. It's pretty quick



 F U N D A B B L E R  F A C T 

Corn tortillas have CALCIUM in it! It is a great way to eat bread low in calories!
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/baked-products/5183/2


Serves about 4-6 people (about 3 small corn tortillas each)
Takes about 1 hour to prepare and cook (if you don't have left over meat)

 I N G R E D I E N T S 

Thinly sliced meat - abut 1 pound 

Onions - 3 medium
Garlic Cloves - 4 (or more)
Bell Peppers - 5
Corn- about 1 small can
Black Beans - 1 can drained and rinsed (OPTIONAL)

Cumin - 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon - 1/8 teaspoon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Tortillas (I prefer corn)
Cheese - minimum  of 200 grams (your choice: monterey jack, cheddar, mixed…whatever you like)

Some oil for frying/sautéing


 I N S T R U C T I O N S 

After washing all your veggies of course:
Start slicing away (try to keep them the same size).


1. Slice your bell peppers



2. Slice your onions 



3. Slice your meat (HINT: now you can buy pre sliced meat if you are pressed for time OR what I like to do when the thin sliced steaks are on sale, I buy a few we bbq them (actually my hubby does-YAY hubby!) and then the left overs I slice and throw in with the veggies to warm up and revive with spices. Saves all the meat cooking, cutting steps below).



4. Add in your oil, then your meat. Add in half of your cumin (so 1 teaspoon) your cinnamon, and some salt and pepper. Throw in a handful of the onions you chopped. 



5. Dice some garlic, add it into your meat once the meat is almost finished cooking and has started browning.



6. Mix in your veggies. Do not over cook, just mix and warm so that the veggies start to sweat a bit. Now if you are not a fan of uncooked onions, be sure to add them BEFORE your corn and bell peppers. Cook them to just before the point you like them THEN add in your bell peppers. Ideally you will just warm up the bell peppers (to add texture and keep in the max of its nutrients. Bell peppers are best eaten raw).



7.Now you can either serve on rice (seen below) OR on tortillas.



9. For the tortillas, grill/broil/fry your tortillas a bit, then melt on your cheese.



10. Top it off with the mixture and your favourite salsa and VOILA! you've got yourself dinner!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tina's Tomato Soup



This recipe was my mission for my cousin who was visiting us in Montreal in winter. She doesn't really like any soup but tomato soup, so I had to find a way to make it because i'm crazy like that! So thanks to her, I have a tomato soup recipe. Today it was rainy, still so I felt like soup!


Takes about 30 min
serves  4-5
Freezable- without the cream


 FUNDABBLER FACT 

Tomatoes are great for so many things and are especially a great source of lycopene that helps fight cancer. When cooked it is absorbed into body easier than when raw. You need about 1 cup of tomatoes a week for a good dose of lycopene. 

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/5-foods-starve-cancer




 INGREDIENTS 

Carrots - about 2 medium/small sized ones roughly chopped
Onion - 1 small roughly chopped
Garlic - handful of cloves (about 6-7) roughly chopped

Diced tomatoes - two 28 oz cans. (the jumbo cans)
1 bullion cube w 1.5 cups water or 1.5 cups broth (adjust to the texture you prefer)

Parsley - dried 2 tablespoon
Basil - dried 2 tablespoon
Oregano - dried .5 teaspoon
Turmeric - .25 teaspoon

Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: cooking cream


 INSTRUCTIONS 

1. start by frying your onions, garlic and carrots. Chop up your carrots (smaller than in my photo) because the rate at which your soup cooks is the rate at which your carrots are cooked through). This is a very important step as the nutty flavour of the browned onions and garlic add a great layer of flavour to your soup.



2. Add two LARGE cans of diced tomatoes. Now this is important because as my experiences have shown the tartness of the tomatoes are so much better for the soup than paste. If you're not picky about the precise flavour, it works, if not, use the diced tomatoes. The paste is too sweet.



3. Add in your spices.



4. Let your concoction boil until your carrots become tender. (check it with your spoon to see if it cuts easily.)



5. Emulsify/Purify



6. What I do is add cream to each serving. I am trying to cut calories, so I tend to decorate with 1 teaspoon of cream for a hint of flavour. My husband can eat a whole cow and still lose weight, so for him I put in about 5 tablespoons in until the color is pinkish. 



The best part is having fun with the cream and decorating. Have fun and let go… and eat up! :) 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Salad Shirazi (Persian Cucumber, Tomato, Onion Sald)

Salad Shirazi is a Persian Salad traditionally made with lemon juice. I prefer vinegar. Try both and let me know which one you prefer! 



F U N D A B B L E R  F A C T

Vinegar- Apple cider vinegar is great to balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol.  (This site says only organic non pasteurized vinegar does that so read up and eat up! http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/the-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/) 

Olive Oil - Contains Omega 3 and 6 (remember it is not heated in this recipe so it keeps its benefits. Eat away guiltlessly) http://www.oliveoilsource.com/definition/omega-3-and-omega-6-fatty-acids



Takes about 15 min to make
Serves about 4-5 people


INGREDIENTS

  • Tomatoes - 2 large diced
  • English Cucumber (the long one with thin skin wash really well, or buy organic) - 1 large  diced
  • Onion - 1 small/med  minced


The rest of the ingredients are to taste, but I will write what I use:

  • Olive oil - 8 table spoons 

  • Vinegar - about 8 table spoons (your choice of what type of vinegar you would like. The ones I prefer are balsamic or apple cider or red wine vinegar)

             OR
       
           Lemon Juice (I use fresh to avoid the additives, ie: sulfieds, in the bottle).

  • Dried mint - 1 tea spoon crushed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Take your ingredients wash them well. 



Cut your onions


Cut your tomatoes


Cut your cucumbers (tastes better with skin, so use organic or wash well). 

Add your Spices



Add Oil and Vinegar



Mix, Chill, and Serve!


Enjoy!

Rainbow Chickpeas



 FUNDABBLER FACT 
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are high in folic acid, manganese, iron, copper magnesium and molybendum. http://www.glycemic-index.org/chickpeas-nutrition.html

Also, You can make cookies out of Chickpea flour. As a matter of fact they are my favourite traditional Iranian Cookie called "Noon Nokhodchi". I have not personally tested out the recipe but here is a link to what it looks like and about how it is made: 

http://www.farzifood.com/en/recipe/noon-nokhodchi.aspx



OK so this is one of my new obsessions is this mix of Rainbow Chickpeas. I think it is fabulous, beautiful, delicious and convenient.  The only problem is, I'm not sure if it is available in all of the US, namely AZ. I hope it is for your belly's sake! The brand here is Clic

 http://www.clicfoods.com/nclic.asp?lng=1&page=4

I never knew there were so many types of chick peas, and as i noted in my previous post, the darker the chickpea, the higher in antioxidants! Way cool!



Couscous With Chicken Chips



Here is my last Minute Couscous with Chicken "Chips" (For a gluten free variation use millet instead of couscous) My "shoot I have no dinner ready" go-to recipe. Still healthy, complete and super easy!

Takes about 30 min to make 
Serves about 4

FUNDABBLER FACT
The darker the color of chickpea, the higher the antioxidants in it! Yes Antioxidants in Chickpeas! (http://www.oracvalues.com/forum/thread-chickpeas-high-in-antioxidants)


INGREDIENTS

Dried Parsley - 2 table spoons
Dried Mint - 1 tsp
Turmeric .5 tsp
Pepper
Chicken Bouillon Cube


(Salt to taste - but be careful you have salt in your rotisserie chicken and your bouillon. I didn't add salt as my husband will add salt regardless of the saltiness of the dish).

Couscous (or millet) - 2 cups dried
Boiling water - 2 cups

Rainbow chickpeas - 19 oz (if you are making your own about 2 cups)
Onion - half, finely chopped (or a bunch of green onions finely chopped)
Frozen veggies - 2 cups (My mix had peas, green beans, chopped carrots, Lima beans, carrots and corn)

Vegetable oil - about 2 table spoons (enough to brown your chicken)
Chicken - 1 lb (rotisserie chicken de-boned, about a half)


COOKING ORDER
1. Start your chicken on medium flame to fry with oil.
2. Mix your spices with the boiled water
3. Add your veggies, chickpeas and onions to the water mixture.
4. Add in your Couscous, Microwave for 2 min and fluff.
5. Serve with some yogurt mixed with dried mint and pepper and you have a great, complete meal!

EXPLANATION OF STEPS

THE CHICKEN
Start with the chicken first. I usually have de-boned rotisserie chicken in the freezer in small ziplock bags. I weighed it and it is about 1 lb. So manage that as you will. 

My husband calls this "Chicken Chips" because what I do is i fry it slowly on medium heat until it is SUPER crispy and golden brown add in pepper at the end so the pepper keeps its flavor. I don't add salt because the rotisserie chickens are so salty anyway. 



THE COUSCOUS



2. I mix in my spices first in a microwave safe bowl I will put the Couscous in (WITHOUT the Couscous right now). I then mix in the water and stir everything, this way everything is nicely dispersed and my chicken bouillon is dissolved. Leading to even spice coverage of the couscous. So spices + boiling water.



3. Rinse your frozen veggies so they defrost a bit add to the spice and water mixture along with your chickpeas.

4. Add in your 2 cups of dried Couscous. Stir, you will have what looks like excess water, don't worry put it in the microwave for about 2 min. Take out and fluff! Ready to serve!



MILLET OPTION
For the gluten free recipe, basically cook your millet with the spices above, then mix in your veggies and chickpeas once the millet is cooked and still warm. 

SIDE:
Plain Yogurt, pepper and dried mint to taste with a bit of salt. 





Healthy Southwest Barley Risotto


This recipe is meant to be healthy, and that is how it tastes, but it's a yummy "healthy" recipe.  It can be vegetarian or you can add meat. 

F U N D A B L E R   F A C T F

Hulled barley is the most nutritious of all the barley types. yes there are many types of barley take a look: http://www.foodsubs.com/GrainBarley.htm


Takes about an hour to make
Serves about 6-8

I N G R E D I E N T S 

  • Barley - 2 cups  washed (I use hulled but it will have a little less of a "healthy" taste if you use pearl)


  • Canola Oil - enough to brown your onions and garlic


  • Celery - 1/2 cup of small chopped 
  • Onion - 1 large 
  • Sweet onion -1    or    a bunch of green onions
  • Cloves garlic - 4
  • Chicken broth - 4 cups 


  • Dried parsley - 2 heaping tsp 
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tsp 
  • Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp 
  • Smoked sweet paprika - 1/8 tsp 
  • Dried oregano - 1 tsp 
  • Cumin - 1 tsp 
  • Dried mint - 1/2 tsp  (to help with digestion and gasses)
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  • Black beans - 1 can 
  • Corn - 1 small can 
  • Frozen spinach - about a half a cup of 


  • Cheddar cheese - 250 grams grated 
  • Cream cheese cubed - 250 g of  (1 block of cream cheese, about 8.8oz)



ON TOP WHEN SERVED:
Red bell pepper finely chopped  (not cooked to optimize nutrition and add some fresh crunch)

Small sweet onion finely chopped or green onions

VARIATIONS: 
Add chile powder to taste
Add meat (ground beef, chicken leftovers… whatever you have)
Add fresh cilantro chopped on top if you have some… I didn't
More cheese of course!


DIRECTIONS
Brown your onions with your garlic in a bit of oil. Add your celery. 

Add your spices, give it a whirl to allow for the aromas to awaken from their long dark sleep in your pantry.

Add your broth.



Mix in your washed barley. 



Stir and cover for about 25 min, just before the liquid is liquid gone and barley cooked add in your spinach, corn and black beans.



Add your diced cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese to the top and broil. 



Serve and sprinkle with the onions/green onions and red bell peppers. 



Enjoy!

Red Meat Kotlet - (Persian Kotlets)


Kotlets are a Persian food served with mostly rice and fried tomatoes or eaten with bread and fresh herbs. 

F u n D a b b l e r  F a c t

Kotlet (persian) = Cotlet (French) = Cutlet (English) - a cut of meat. Somehow that was transformed into ground meat being friend in Persian :)

I N G R E D I E N TS

  • 1 lb ground beef/veal/lamb… traditionally beef, but choose your meat.
  • 3 fist sized russet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion (finely grated/puréed)


  • cinnamon - about a quarter of a teaspoon ground
  • salt - to taste
  • pepper - to taste
  • turmeric powder - about a half a teaspoon
  • saffron (quarter of a teaspoon ground)

Makes about 10 kotlets
Takes about 1 hour to make


NOTE
The recipe doesn't really double or triple so for a larger batch here is what I normally use:

Ground red meat - 5 lbs
Potatoes - about 1 lb half cooked (roughly 7 fist sized potatoes)
Eggs - 4
Onion - 2 medium
Turmeric - 1 heaping teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
Saffron - .5 teaspoon ground into a powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Makes about 50 Kotlets
(each kotlet is about 4 inches long uncooked and 2 inches wide)

I N S T R U C T I O N S

Cook the potatoes to the point where you can get a fork into it but with some pressure. Almost cooked but more raw than cooked.

Peel and grate your potatoes and allow to cool.

Mix in the rest of your ingredients massage gently until everything is evenly dispersed. 



Form your "patties" (Kotlets) traditionally into ovals, but really you can make them into whatever shape you would like. (I always make mini ones for kids, they get a kick out of it… I remember I did too! :) )

Place your ovals into a frying pan with heated cooking oil. Use enough oil in the pan to cover the surface of the whole pan. Fry away on each side. 



NOTE: Always use a cooking oil with high smoke points such as Canola or vegetable oils. 

HINTS: 
1. I use 2 spatulas to turn to avoid breaking of your Kotlets. It is also easier to turn when one side is completely cooked. 

2. If you see that your Kotlets are falling apart, place your mixture in the fridge so it cools a bit. and if STILL it sin't working, add another egg and hope it turns out alright! ;)

Fry up some tomato rounds and eat with some rice!  In a rush? Eat them with some bread and fresh herbs like basil, mint, green onions, radishes (I know not an herb but still good). 



Enjoy!

A Spud in Bloom

This is what you get when you don't store your sweet potatoes correctly. At least it's pretty! 



F U N D A B B L E R  F A C T (S)

1. Yams and sweet potatoes are not one in the same. Yams are usually imported to the states from the Caribbean. (http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-vs-yam.html)

2. Best way to cook a sweet potato is baked! It holds in maxiumum nutrients. (http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/sweetpotatobabyfoodrecipes.htm)