Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

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Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

I have become obsessed with making the perfect quinoa curry ever since I ate this particularly flavourful tofu curry at Urban Herbivore in a food court in Toronto. One wouldn’t think that a meal from a food court would make such an impression but I distinctly remember the crispy tofu and the creamy, sweet and spicy broth.  Ever since then, my mission has been to create the same comforting experience, and I believe I have finally completed my quinoa curry quest!

My quinoa curry is packed full of protein, hints of sweetness, simmering spice and a creamy finish that will have you returning for seconds.  The base of the curry is oil infused with whole cardamom, fenugreek and coriander seeds, however if you don’t have whole seeds handy substitute with 25% less (1 teaspoon whole seeds = 3/4 teaspoon ground). In Indian cooking ground spices are used as well as whole spices to slowly build layers of flavour.  I used fenugreek because it has all kinds of great health benefits – including flushing out harmful toxins and helping digestion – an important aid during our detox!  The heat from these spices builds slowly on the palette, and is balanced out by the soothing sweetness of the coconut and raisins.  The carrots and almonds provide a nice crunch, as well as complimenting the earthy element of the quinoa.  What makes my curry unique is that instead of using an onion as a base, I used fennel.  I made this substitution because my boyfriend loves fennel, and because I thought the licorice flavour would tie the spicy and sweet elements together nicely.  We devoured this curry while watching the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones – the perfect comfort food when watching that unpredictable show.  Needless to say, I have really fallen in love with fennel, and I can’t wait to make this curry again!

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 640

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

Ingredients

    For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • For the tofu:
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 350g package extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into half inch cubes
  • For the curry:
  • 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 x 398ml can coconut milk
  • 300g frozen shrimp, defrosted
  • 1 x fennel bulb, top removed and two layers of outer bulb finely diced. Save fronds for topping.
  • 2 x medium carrots peeled, trimmed and sliced lengthwise and chopped into half moons
  • 4 x baby bok choy, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 x lime
  • 2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 x 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ a red chili finely chopped
  • 5 cardamon pods, shell removed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek (substitute for coriander seeds if needed)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa if needed. Combine quinoa with chicken broth and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn down to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Add raisins. Keep covered.
  2. In the meantime, heat oil in a hot skillet until oil starts to smoke, then turn down to medium heat. Carefully place tofu in hot oil and toss every few minutes until just lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel to absorb the oil.
  3. Heat unsalted butter in a small pot over medium heat. Toss whole spices until they crackle.
  4. Add fennel and cook until translucent.
  5. Add freshly ground spices and ground curry, cumin, coriander, ginger, garlic and chilies. Stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add carrots and enough stock to cover the ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add coconut milk & bok choy, stir and bring to a simmer.
  8. Add shrimp and 1 cup stock, stir and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the garam masala & tofu. Stir well.
  10. Bring to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Place one scoop of quinoa in a bowl, pour curry over quinoa and top with almonds, cilantro, fennel fronds and lime.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/04/23/quinoa-fennel-curry-with-shrimp-tofu/

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

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Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

One of my favourite wraps in Toronto can be found at a small downtown coffee shop called Le Gourmand. Their chicken apple curry wrap is a standout: sweet crispy chunks of apple, spicy hints of curry, and tender roasted chicken all wrapped up in a creamy bite. I no longer work in that area, but have been tweaking my own version ever since.

My two-bite chicken kale wraps are a quick, light lunch or a healthy afternoon power snack.     Being on a detox, I had to find a substitution for the wrap. I’ve had endive and Boston lettuce wrapped food before, but I’m a big fan of kale and of all the leafy greens, kale has the highest nutritional value. Kale is packed full of vitamins A,C & K and has 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach!  This leafy green is also high in fiber which helps support our digestive track and is loaded with antioxidants, a key benefit during a detox. By massaging the kale in apple cider vinegar and olive oil, the leaves become more pliable without losing the crunch. I’ve added raisins to this recipe because I love the tiny bursts of sweetness alongside the crunchy apple, but I know many people dislike raisins for exactly this reason (but let me try to convince you…give raisins another try!).  If you prefer, you can substitute the raisins with maple syrup. This recipe serves four, but I could easily eat half the portion myself, the chicken-apple-curry combination is so addictive! I secured the wraps with a toothpick, but feel free to dive right in and scoop up the chicken with the kale, Ethiopian-style.

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Rating: 41

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 240

Two Bite Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Ingredients

    For the wraps:
  • 16 kale leaves, stems carefully removed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • dash of sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 2 x 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 x celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 x large Gala apples peeled and cored. 1 coarsely grated, 1 finely diced
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of golden raisins or 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • juice from half a lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat griddle to 350C.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in between two pieces of parchment paper and pound to an even thickness with a meat tenderizer.
  3. Grill chicken until lightly browned and no longer pink inside approximately 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Remove the stems from the kale leaves and place in a large bowl. Add apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Using your hands, carefully massage the kale for 1 minute and let sit.
  5. In a medium bowl mix together celery, apple, raisins (or maple syrup), curry, cumin, and garlic powder. Shred the chicken breasts into the bowl. Add Greek yogurt and cream the chicken and ingredients together.
  6. Drizzle with the juice from half a lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Carefully spread out the kale leaves. Place a spoonful of chicken filling at the edge of the widest part of the leaf and roll inwards, tucking in the edges while rolling and wrapping the bottom of the leaf around the wrap, securing with a toothpick.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/04/18/two-bite-chicken-apple-curry-kale-wraps/

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

Chicken Apple Curry Kale Wraps

A Paleo Breakfast: Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay’s Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

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Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay's Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay’s Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

The snow is finally melting, spring has sprung, and detox time is upon us!  I have been detoxing every spring for the past 6 years now and I look forward to it with great zeal.  I love experimenting like a mad scientist, discovering new, healthy dishes and afterwards I feel revitalized and full of energy.  While I love my carbs, coffee and cows, after a cold winter hibernating and packing on the “winter fat” as I lovingly call my excess padding, by the time spring rolls around I feel sluggish and start craving all kinds of sugary foods.  These are some major indicators that it’s time for me to reset my system.  So for the next three weeks I’ll be avoiding: processed sugar, corn bi-products, beef & pork, coffee, dairy (except for Greek yogurt, goat cheese and feta in limited amounts), alcohol – and the hardest one for me: gluten.

I can go without caffeine and alcohol without a problem, I love teas and have grown quite fond of a club soda with lime.  I don’t have a big sweet tooth, so sugar is never an issue.  But to have breakfast without toast?!  Sacrilege! In previous years I have found some decent brown rice bread.  Food For Life’s brand was the best of the bunch, but it’s expensive and the loaves are small.  Last year I discovered a paleo bread recipe from Elana’s Pantry and while the density resembled more of a loaf, the bread was still flavourful, packed full of nutrients and held together well.  This year, my boyfriend requested banana bread for our first detox breakfast, so I modified this recipe by adding a banana, cashew butter (almond butter would work as well, but cashew is his favourite), whole flax seeds for a bit of crunch and I doubled the coconut flour and baking powder.  The result was a really addictive and filling banana bread!  We polished the whole loaf off in two days (and are half way through another…but who’s counting).  Topped with my favourite apple butter, this paleo bread makes my stomach forget about toast…for the moment.

Paleo Banana Bread

Paleo Banana Bread

Banana bread is not optimal for yolk dipping (annddd I’m back to missing toast) so for our breakfast I made scrambled eggs.  Not just any scrambled eggs – Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs.  When I discovered Gordon’s recipe, I realized that I had been incorrectly scrambling for years.  First off, I was using a fry pan instead of a pot that allows you to contain the eggs and mix them properly.   Second, which was the biggest change for me, is that the eggs are cracked directly into the cold pot along with the butter and are scrambled in the pot as it heats up slowly over medium heat.  This ensures the fluffiest of scrambled eggs, and the butter gives them a velvety finish.  Finally, the eggs should be seasoned at the very end, otherwise the salt will break down the eggs and make them watery.  Gordon’s eggs call for a tablespoon of creme fraiche, but we’re on a detox so no dairy for us!  I added tumeric to our eggs which gives them a bit more of an “eggy” flavour, and tumeric is a strong antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory, perfect to help cleanse the liver.

Gordon tops his with some chives, but I like adding either some spice or sweetness to my eggs and will top mine with hot sauce & avocado or pomegranate.  I sprinkled some pomegranate arils over today’s scrambled eggs to compliment the sweetness of the banana bread.  Our bellies were happy and full after this breakfast, and we still have lots of banana bread and pomegranate to munch on for an afternoon snack!

Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay’s Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: Calories for the loaf are for 16 slices. Eggs serve 2.

Calories per serving: 128 per slice, 288 per serving of eggs

Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay’s Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

Once the bread is in the oven, seed the pomegranate. The eggs will only take 5 minutes to make, so begin them once the bread is cooling.

Ingredients

    For the paleo banana bread
  • 2 cups blanched almond meal flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large ripe banana, broken up and smashed into small pieces
  • ¼ cup golden flax seed (raw, whole)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter, slightly melted
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey, slightly melted
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Apple butter
  • For the scrambled eggs:
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted grass fed butter*
  • ¼ teaspoon tumeric
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    For the paleo banana bread
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease a 20cmx20cm square cake pan
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, flax seeds, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add eggs and banana, blending in the banana. Mix well.
  5. Add cashew butter, coconut oil, honey, apple cider vinegar and mix until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Test with a toothpick by inserting into the middle of the loaf. If toothpick comes out clean, cool on wire rack for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Best served warm and topped with apple butter (Wellesley is my favourite brand)
  9. For the scrambled eggs:
  10. Crack the eggs into a medium pot off the stove, and add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  11. Over medium heat and using a spatula, vigorously scrambled the eggs, removing the pot from the stove 3-4 times whenever the eggs begin to set. This will prevent the eggs from overcooking and keep the nice and fluffy.
  12. Add the tumeric when eggs are just beginning to set.
  13. When eggs are no longer runny, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  14. Serve and top with pomegranate arils.

Notes

*I've read some debate regarding whether butter is Paleo-diet friendly. If you can't find grass fed butter, substitute with one tablespoon coconut oil.

Adapted from Elana's Pantry's Paleo Bread and Gordon Ramsay's scrambled eggs recipes.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/04/14/paleo-breakfast-banana-bread-gordon-ramsays-scrambled-eggs-with-pomegranate/

Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay's Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate

Paleo Banana Bread & Gordon Ramsay’s Scrambled Eggs with Pomegranate