Category Archives: Main

Pomegranate BBQ Tofu

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The weather has been a bit wonky here. Feels like summer one day and chilly the next. This is a perfect cozy meal. I wrote about this recipe a long time ago, but my very amateur photography skills didn’t display it in the best light. This is a post worth repeating.

The household (read: the husband) doesn’t eat red meat, but I don’t miss it with this recipe. The bbq sauce is worthy for vegans and meat eaters alike. Even if you’re not a big tofu fan, it’s worth making the sauce. This is a great vegan recipe to have in your repertoire.

Pomegranate molasses are called for in this recipe. You can find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but I’ve also found the ingredient quite easily in gourmet shops.

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Review: How to feed a family

How_to_Feed_a_Family
I was really excited to receive How to Feed a Family
for review when I was pregnant. I also received this as a gift (signed by the author!). While my kid won’t be eating the meals in this book for awhile, I don’t have the same luxury of time to be in the kitchen for hours. It’s tiring work growing a human being, so a lot of the cooking was done by R. He can cook, but he doesn’t like recipes. His meals are much more laid back: grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, nachos and cheese, tuna melts or a frozen meal. While he is happy to eat that all the time, I need some variety. So I made him test out the cookbook.

He bookmarked a bunch of recipes to try which is always a good sign.

Apple and chicken curry was simple to make and the directions were straight forward. It’s quick enough for a weeknight dinner and the yogurt gives the dish a nice creaminess. It wasn’t too spicy so it’s very kid friendly. 2 chicken thighs didn’t seem enough, so we used more. I wish the weight for the chicken was given as pieces can vary in weight.

For an easy breakfast, I made the Oatmeal and Strawberry Blender Pancakes. Because all the ingredients are just thrown in, the batter comes together in no time. The pancakes tasted…well…healthy. I’m used to making fluffy, not very wholesome, but delicious pancakes on the weekend. I understand as a parent you want to feed your kids more nutritious meals. Would I serve these to my kids? Absolutely! Would I make them for a brunch with friends? Probably not. Balance is key so I would consider these as everyday pancakes and the version I usually make as a weekend treat.

The last recipe I tested was Risotto, Spinach and Kale Cakes with Parmesan. These are bite sized and easy to take on the go. Once I made it, I had to make it again that same week. Doubling the recipe and freezing it would make an easy last minute dinner option. I’d also mow down these as a snack. I usually take pictures of what I make, but none of the pictures turned out.

There’s a handy legend letting you know which ones are quick to make or my favourite, the ones that make little mess. I would have also liked to see a quick index for the legend. That way I can see a list of make ahead meals at a glance.

The book is geared to older children so you won’t see any first foods like purees. While I still have a couple of years before my baby will be eating any of the food in this book, I like how it’s fast and uncomplicated.

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image courtesy of Random House

Thanks to Random House for sending me a review copy. As always, my opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation.

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Review: Vegan Indian Cooking

vegan_indian_cooking_coverI’ve added yet another vegan cookbook to my collection. This time Vegan Indian Cooking. I have a few Indian cookbooks, but sadly hardly used. I haven’t spent the $ that’s needed to buy all the spices that are required. On top of that, a lot of the recipes in those books are too complicated (exception: Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. See review).

You do need a few spices to get the right taste. I’ve accepted this as a necessary part of Indian cooking and I’ve begun buying spices on an as-needed basis. I find if you start skipping a lot of spices, the end product becomes bland.

The recipes here are simple to prepare and flavourful. I made the tofu curry and I recommend baking the tofu first to boost the texture. The curry was easy to make and if you’re not vegan/vegetarian, this is a good base for meat like chicken. I knew this dish would turn out spicy so I omitted the teaspoon of cayenne which would have been suicide for me.

The sweet and sour potatoes even though the ingredient list is short, it doesn’t come off as bland.

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Chickpea poppers. I think the oven took longer to preheat than the actual bake time. The prep work is nearly zero and it’s healthy because it’s baked, not fried. I did find the original recipe makes a large batch so next time I’ll halve it. Singla, has the chickpea popper recipe posted on her blog.

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The Ripe Banana Curry is another easy one to prepare. It’s a nice change from using those over-ripe bananas for banana bread to make something more savoury.

As someone who can’t really tolerate spicy food, I found I had to tone down the recipes quite a bit. If you’re spice averse, I’d only use a fraction of what’s suggested or omitting some items completely (e.g. if a chile pepper is needed, you might not need the cayenne pepper as well). The index is a little frustrating to use and could be laid out better. They’re sorted by their title name and that makes it harder to find what you’re looking for. The banana curry, for example, wasn’t under banana or curry. It was listed under the Indian name and the title (which was a person). I’m not too familiar with the Indian names so I’d often have to flip through the book to find what I was looking for. Another thing I’d like to see is the serving size. The yield is stated, but serving sizes are my lazy way of seeing how many people it can feed. I do like how the author has included weights for some ingredients. I’d like to see more cookbook authors do this as a “large” potato is open to interpretation.

I’ve bookmarked more that I need to try (baked samosas, anyone?) and I really like how it’s health-focused without sacrificing taste.

Thanks to Agate Publishing for sending me a review copy. As always, reviews are my own opinions and I did not receive monetary compensation.

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Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Making gnocchi has been on my laundry list of things to make, but I never made it because I didn’t have a ricer. Do you need a ricer to make gnocchi? Nope. But to get the fluffy light gnocchi that everyone dreams of, a ricer is strongly recommended.

Once I got my ricer, I put on my game face to make some gnocchi. The result was leaps and bounds better than any store-bought. It’s worth the trouble to make and to be honest, it wasn’t difficult. Set aside some time on the weekend and make some. If you want to make enough to freeze for future use, you’ll need a few hours.

You can either boil or bake the potatoes. I boiled mine, but some prefer to bake them so there isn’t any extra moisture added). Once done, you wait until you can handle peeling it (but don’t wait too long because they still need to be hot) and them put them in the ricer. Afterwards, put the riced potatoes in the fridge. This will help in forming them.

The trick here is the amount of flour you’re using. I found that more flour made for a more dense dumpling. A lot of recipes advise against over-kneading to avoid something gluey, but don’t be too afraid because you don’t want it falling apart in the water. Make sure you work it enough so that when you hold a clump of dough it doesn’t crumble.

I used the recipe from Making Artisan Pasta. It looks like a great book, but I haven’t tested other recipes so I can’t give a full review. The recipe makes a small batch making it easy to get your feet wet before you decide you want to double the recipe.

I made SimplyRecipe’s arugula pesto to go with it.

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