Tag Archives: dinner

Non Potato Cajun Fries

We all love French fries once a while. Crispy, thin, tender inside, with a side of ketchup or mayo. Served either in a brown bag at Five Guys or on a nice plate in a restaurant… I am salivating just thinking of it!

Here is a way to satisfy that potato fries craving without actually having potato fries!

You’ve heard of rutabaga?

Neither had I.

It’s a kind of turnip that, when you chop it, season it and pop in the oven, looks just like potato fries! Much less starchy, just as delicious! But remember, I am in no way to stop having real fries once a while…just not everyday!

This works really well with parsnip as well.

To make a nice batch, you will need:

2 or 3 rutabaga, washed

Salt

Pepper

Cajun Spices

Garlic Powder

2 tbsp Olive oil

Sauce:

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Garlic powder

Cajun Spices

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice your rutabaga in a French Fry form. Fat or slim, it depends on your preference! Just try to make them all relatively the same size. 

Place them in a bowl and add the olive oil. Toss them well so that they all have some oil on them. 

Season with salt, pepper, and of course, the cajun spices and the garlic powder!

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until they  seem ready to you. While they bake, prepare your dipping sauce by adding the spices to the yogurt. 

Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy!

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Dijon Chicken on the Grill

Grilled chicken is one of the easiest things to make, and it’s so wonderfully versatile. You can marinate it or coat it with whatever ingredient you like depending on your mood of the day.

One day, I was in a Dijon mustard mood.

I have no shame in saying that I am a mustard snob. I absolutely hate French’s mustard because once you go Dijon, you never go back.

The taste is strong yet subtle, if that makes any sense at all. It makes the simplest meal taste like it was fit for a king.

Barbecue season is around the corner, so these little guys are a perfect quick dinner for the family! Serve it with salad for a light meal, or with my eggplant fries and salad for a perfect meal.

For 4 people (and some leftovers), you will need:

1 pound of boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup Dijon mustard (regular and a l’ancienne preferably)

Salt and pepper

Flatten your chicken thighs. 

Coat your chicken thighs with the mustard. You don’t want to drown them in mustard, but you do want to make sure that each piece is nice and covered in Dijon goodness.

Season with salt and pepper and put in a bowl.

Turn your grill on!

Once it is heated and ready, put the thighs on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes of each side (it may be more, but I don’t want you to overcook it! Thighs are more difficult to estimate a clear cooking time). 

Make sure your chicken is not pink when you cut through it and you’ll be fine.  

Once they are cooked, remove them from the grill and serve them immediately.

Enjoy! xx

Cinnamon Roasted Carrots and Pears

Long title, I know, but I couldn’t possibly leave an ingredient out!

I made this one night because we had a few pears going rotten and I didn’t want to just throw them out, but eating them raw would have been a little nasty.

So I opened the fridge and thought: “What could I roast with pears?….Carrots! and Cinnamon!” The sweetness of the pear and the cinnamon blend really well together, and the carrots allow the dish to be not too sweet.

And thus was born this wonderful side dish.

I’m giving you the ingredients, but the proportions are really up to you. If you want lots of carrots, go ahead.

It goes really well with chicken or with another roast.

To feed 4 and have leftovers, you will need:

Multi-colored carrots

Pears

Cinnamon

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven at 350 F.

Cut carrots and pears in medium chunks. You could also leave the carrots whole but they will take longer to cook. 

Combine with oil in a bowl. 

Sprinkle on the vegetables, as much or as little as you want (cinnamon is natural super ingredient, just saying. Don’t be shy).

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are tender (or tough) to your liking. 

Serve with main dish.

Enjoy xx

Coconut Crusted Chicken

How I came across my inspiration for this recipe is quite funny:

I used to volunteer at a children’s library, which, when it is not toddler rush hour, can be rather quiet. I decided to walk around and look at all the books the lovely library had to offer.

I came across a series of parenting magazines, that, as it turns out, have amazing recipes! This was once of the first ones I saw and I knew I had to try and make my own version. Here it is!

To make enough for 4 people, you will need:

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp canola oil

Salt

Pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Honey

Juice of half a lemon

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Wash chicken under cold water. 

Cut chicken into strips. Put in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to your liking and coat your chicken. 

Take a Ziploc bag. Put the garlic powder and coconut in it and shake. 

Now comes to fun part. Put the chicken in the bag of flavour and shake it well, making sure that all of the pieces are well coated. You may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. 

Bake the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through. 

To make your sauce, simply add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. 

Serve your chicken with a simple green salad. 

Enjoy!

Beautiful Baked Eggplant

A few years ago, you couldn’t put me in the same room as an eggplant. I hated it. I thought it was the weirdest, most random vegetable in the world. Now, I can’t get enough of it. It is one of my favourite vegetables now, and that’s all thanks to a dear friend of mine who got me hooked. She’s my veggie junkie. I can’t thank her enough for introducing me to the wonderful and diverse world of veggies.

Now, let’s get serious.

They say that we can have as many vegetables in a day as we want because they’re just so darn good for you! We’re not talking about starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn or peas, we’re talking about all of those other ones: beets, carrots, turnips, celery, zucchini, cucumber, and of course, EGGPLANT.

This is one of my most treasured dishes, and I was inspired, both aesthetically and ingrediently (just made a word) by the fabulous British chef, Ottolenghi. He is simply amazing. He wrote an entire cookbook on how to cook vegetables. It’s called Plenty, and I consider it as my healthy Bible.

This recipe is wonderful as a side dish to chicken or lamb. I’m not telling you how to serve it; I am merely giving you suggestions.

For 4 servings, here is what you will need:

1 large eggplant

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Thyme leaves (any spice is good, so don’t cry if you don’t any thyme at home)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

For the sauce:

1 cup Plain 0% Greek Yogurt

1 crushed garlic clove

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Cut your eggplant in half. Take a knife and cut diamond shapes in your eggplant, without cutting all the way through. You must to do this so that the olive oil will absorb itself better in the eggplant.

Place them on a cookie sheet and brush your olive oil on the eggplant halves. Make sure you brush it well! Think of it as a painting ; if you only press the brush a little on the canvas, we won’t see what you’re painting!

Add salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes. By this time, your eggplant should be nice and browned.

Your kitchen will smell like heaven at this point. Take a moment to savour the smell!

Now I will tell you how to take the pomegranate seeds out without struggling for hours on end! I have no merit in unleashing this secret, it’s all Ottolenghi’s genius.

Take half of the pomegranate and hold it in your palm over a bowl. The cut side should be against your palm. Now, take a wooden spoon and gently but thoroughly massage the pomegranate skin. Do this for a few minutes and eventually, you will see the seeds coming out of your hand naturally! It’s amazing!

Now for your sauce, mix the yogurt with the garlic.

Serve your eggplant as is shown in my picture.

Fair warning: your guests might drool at the sight of this marvellous side dish.

Perfect Pasta with a Touch of Parmesan

What? A healthy blog posting about pasta?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Like I have mentioned before, eating the food you love does not make you unhealthy: eating 6 bowls of does. A serving of pasta is about 1/2 cup, which is about the size of your fist. If you can’t possible imagine only eating 1/2 cup of pasta, that’s fine; just don’t eat too many starches before in the day (bread, rice, potatoes, cookies…). We need about 5 servings of starch per day. Yes! Five! For weight loss, that probably goes down to about 4 but no less! You need to eat enough in your day so that you don’t spend your days cranky and…well…starving. If you’re anything like me, you’re a total b**** when you’re hungry, and trust me: no one wants that.

Ideally, you would use whole wheat pasta, but if you’re like me and you still have tons of delicious white pasta lying around the house, you can use it without a problem.

Italians are genius. No really, I’m serious. What other culture do you know turned their most popular dish into everyone’s comfort food? Think long and hard before answering me. I’m sure you’re thinking “No my culture is better” or “Everyone loves Vietnamese, what are you talking about”; but do you really think you’ve beat me on this one? I didn’t think so.

The greatest thing about pasta is that you can have a really simple recipe that tastes like a million dollars. Here is an example: this dish is hands down one of the easiest recipes you will ever make, and if you don’t burn the house down, it is also one of the most delicious ones. It kind of tastes like spaghetti aglio e olio (oil and garlic) but without the oil! The broth gives it a subtle taste of heaven, I’m not joking.   I prepared my dish with shrimp, but the original recipe doesn’t call it; it just calls for lots and lots of pasta! Mamma Mia! (I couldn’t help myself).

Thanks to Martha Stewart and The Londoner for the inspiration!

For 2 starving beings or 4 moderately hungry beings, you will need:

6 oz spaghetti

1 cup chopped tomatoes (add a couple of orange ones to add some color!)

A few leaves of fresh basil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Oregano

Salt

Pepper

2 cups of chicken broth (vegetable broth works fine for all the vegetarians out there)

1 tbsp olive oil

12 oz uncooked shrimps

For the shrimps:

I recommend grilling them. The flavour is a million times better. Either way, put your shrimp in a bowl, add the oil, salt and pepper, and toss until the shrimp are covered in oil.

Next, turn on your grill, wait for it to heat, and place your shrimps. You really must be careful with shrimp, because you don’t want to overcook them. If you do, they will taste like rubber. Start with 2 minutes on each side, but always check them! Make sure the tails becomes pink but the skin has to be only slightly pink. If they’re still grey, you need to cook them more. It’s hard, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.

Put them in a bowl and set them aside for now.

For the pasta:

Put all of your ingredients in a skillet. Make sure you do not put everything in a pot, because the broth will not evaporate quickly enough. You’re looking for a saucepan in your mother’s kitchen, not a frying pan.

Next, pour the broth into your creation and turn your heat on high. Put the lid on and wait for the broth to boil. Once it is nice and boiling, turn your heat down to medium, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 10 minutes.

When your time is up, remove the top and keep stirring until your broth is completely evaporated. This may take a good 10 minutes, but don’t give up! The result is wonderful.

When your arm is too tired, that means that dinner is about to be served! Make sure to have some freshly grated Parmigiano on the table. Buon appetito!