Category Archives: FOOD

Examples of my food writing which include restaurant reviews, memoirs and recipe reviews as well as photos of my food dishes.

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

You know what I love more than overpriced chocolate and flowers? These Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes of course!

Seriously, I truly adore quinoa, chickpea and latkes. Coming together as one, in perfect harmony.

I’ve always been more of a savoury kind of gal.

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Here’s the deal with Valentine’s Day. I love the story of Saint Valentine, a priest who was imprisoned for ministering Christians who were being persecuted by the Roman Empire. He performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While imprisoned, he healed the daughter of his jailer, and on the day of his execution he left her a letter signed “Your Valentine”.

I’m all about celebrating a day of love, but c’mon do we have to ruin another holiday with excessive consumerism? (But of course we do!). Somewhere deep within my dark soul lies a cheesy romantic, but it’s going to take more than shitty chocolate and expensive flowers to make me swoon.

What’s that you say? Would I like some brie and baguette? Oh well, you shouldn’t have…<<blush>> <<eyelash flutter>>

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

I know we all say “but you should be celebrating your love all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day”. Every day kinda does feel like Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, because I always feel loved, and hope I make him feel the same. I like the spontaneity of nice gestures or when we give each other little gifts throughout the year. Like when he bought me this cute skull egg mold:

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes-Skull Eggs

Skull Eggs

I know, so sweet right?  Skulls are always better than hearts, in my opinion.

However if you read my blog, you know I love any excuse to create thematic food. I’ve had this heart shaped mold sitting in my drawer for ages, so for my Valentine’s Day post I decided to make my Quinoa Chickpea Latkes and give them some extra love!

This was a recipe I developed during the first year of my blog, and I actually won third place in a local newspaper contest. My recipe was featured in the Toronto Star and I won a free ticket to this awesome local food event called Feast of Fields. The inspiration behind the recipe was to create a gluten free pancake-latke hybrid for my friend who suffers from many food allergies.

The Quinoa Chickpea Latke was born.

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Originally I named my creation a “latcake”, a potato-like pancake, but now I feel it leans more towards a latke. But my latke is made with all kinds of tasty and nutritious ingredients. Quinoa is the base and the egg mashed with the chickpea binds the whole patty together. Packed full of protein from the quinoa and chickpeas, these latkes are also high in fibre with the addition of flax seed and spinach.

Super food latke? I think so!

I love these patties because they can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a vegatarian burger for lunch or dinner. They’re so versatile and go with any number of sweet or savory toppings. My favourites are tofu mayonnaise with pickles, salsa or apple butter. My boyfriend loves them with red chili jelly!

Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
  • 19-oz (540-mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cups flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups organic baby spinach
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • oil for frying (I prefer avocado oil)
  • Possible toppings:
  • tofu mayonaise
  • gherkins
  • red chili jelly
  • mango chutney
  • apple butter
  • broccoli sprouts
  • hummus
  • tzaziki
  • cottage cheese
  • avocado

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa as per directions or in a rice cooker.
  2. Drain and rinse chick peas.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and chick peas and mash well with a potato masher.
  4. Add flax seeds, pesto, curry, salt and pepper.
  5. When the quinoa is cooked, add to the large bowl along with the spinach.
  6. Mix well until the spinach wilts from the hot quinoa. Shape into six to eight 2.5"-3" round latkes.
  7. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 3-4 latkes in the skillet and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Carefully flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove and cover with foil to keep warm.
  9. Repeat for remaining latkes. Top as desired.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/02/15/valentine-quinoa-chickpea-latkes/

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

I like to look at Valentine’s Day as a day of love for anyone in your life, and <<cliché>> the best way to say “I love you” is with a homemade gift. I remember as a kid we would make a valentine for every kid in class so that no one was left out. Maybe we can still turn this holiday around folks! Cook up a batch of these latkes, and bring them to the office, or give some to your neighbours.  Spread the love!

What was the last nice gesture you made for someone you love? Let me know what toppings would be tasty on these Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes!

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Valentine Quinoa Chickpea Latkes

Mac & Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Let’s here it for Mac & Cheese Slow Cooker Chili!

<<crowd roars>>

It’s Superbowl time!

<<crickets>>

OK, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a big football fan. I never really watched football until I met my current boyfriend and I still don’t follow the sport. But I do like to put on my cute Argos hat and go to a live game once and awhile. Live sporting events are always fun, and I even won a years worth of pizza once!

But I digress.

Every year I help my boyfriend throw a Superbowl party, and in return, he helps me with my annual Oscar Party (with minimal complaints). Personally, I love any excuse for a thematic party!

Cantaloupe helmets anyone?

We’ve done the epic dip stadium, pretzel bits, wings, thematic shooters and of course, the classic chili. But I had yet to attempt a mac and cheese chili. I had read about merging these two awesome dishes together in my Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook so I decided to use my go-to chili recipe and slow cook it, mac and cheese-style!

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

One tip I picked up from America’s Test Kitchen is to mix the raw meat with a panade, a mixture of bread and milk often used in meatballs. This way you can still brown the meat ahead of time to develop the flavour, but prevents it from overcooking in the slow cooker. Also, it helps to make an aluminum foil collar or sling for thick dishes such as this, to prevent burning.

My favourite chili recipe has evolved over the years, and uses the winning combination of beef and pork. Red, green and jalapeño peppers join forces to add a light, sweet crunch. There is a good dose of heat from the chilis as well as hints of cocoa and a splash of beer to give the tomato sauce some added richness. I used Daiya cheddar cheese because my poor boyfriend is lactose intolerant. I find this brand really holds up nicely when melted, and there is no shortage of oozing cheese, as you can see from the photo below.

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Let’s dive in shall we?

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac And Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Oh YES! This Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili is a tower of epic cheesy proportions. One spoon cannot even handle all the mac and cheese chili action that is happening. Packed full of juicy meat and macaroni, swimming in rich tomato sauce and spice, this is a meal fit for a king, or a group of hungry football fans. The best part is that it only takes two hours in the slow cooker!  This crazy delicious marriage of our two favourite comfort foods is super filling, and the leftovers are perfect to freeze for a later date.

 

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 slice of sandwich bread, ripped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 pound medium ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions minced
  • 1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ of a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup strong, dark beer
  • 2 cups shredded Daiya cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Line slow cooker with 6 aluminum foil sheets and coat with vegetable spray, this will prevent the mac and cheese from burning.
  2. Make a panade by mashing the bread and almond milk into a paste in a large bowl using a fork. Using your hands, mix in the beef and pork, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon.
  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, japaleno, garlic, chili powder, tomato paste, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes. Soften until lightly browned approx. 8-10 min.
  4. Stir in the beef and pork mixture, breaking up any large piece with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, honey and cocoa powder. Stir frequently scraping up any brown bits, and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in macaroni, broth, beer, 1 cup cheese and transfer to prepared slow cooker. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, Cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 2 hours on high.
  6. Gently stir pasta, adding some hot water if the chili seems too thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve with some hot sauce on the side.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/02/06/mac-cheese-slow-cooker-chili/

Our Super Bowl party was really fun, I even tied for second place for the prop bet and I had no idea what I was doing! We also made Brunswick stew in honour of Atlanta and some skillet corn bread for New England. I also found this recipe for football deviled eggs courtesy of My Mommy Style. So cute!

Football Deviled Eggs

Football Deviled Eggs

Also check out these awesome cupcakes that my friend made!

The highlight for me was Lady Gaga, I’ve always loved her and this performance was no exception. I feel as though she really took advantage of the platform and maximized the whole space from the skies, to the crowd to her big dance troop. I loved all the glitz and glam of her set. The power of her voice is amazing, especially with the physical intensity of the show. It’s funny and sad how everyone nowadays seems so shocked when an artist doesn’t lip sync.

I had decided to root for New England, so after the nail biting overtime I cheered in victory! A winning team with champion Super Bowl party food. My work here is done!

What did you make for your Super Bowl party?  Have you ever made a mac and cheese slow cooker chili?

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

How super cute is this Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie in a mason jar?  

OK I admit, I’ve kind of been on a mason jar kick ever since I started canning two years ago.  Everything is better in mason jars!  I’ve been using mason jars for all kinds of things from tea to herbs to hair clips.  I actually received this one at a fund raiser.  They handed them out as labeled drinking glasses, such a good idea right?  

For my absolute fave smoothie, I wanted a special presentation but I confess <<looks sheepish>>, I just don’t get the smoothie bowl thing, they just look like pretty bowls of cold soup.  But a 500ml mason jar worked beautifully, and the best part about using a mason jar is that you can save some for later or take it to go! No matter how you have it, one thing is for certain: my Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie is a real treat!     

For years I religiously started my mornings off with a smoothie, but during the winter season my body started craving a warm breakfast.  This smoothie became my go-to recovery snack, or sometimes I’ll make it for a light lunch or healthy dessert.  This smoothie is super nutritious but you’d never know it because it tastes oh-so-creamy and chocolate-y.  

Did I mention how lusciously rich this smoothie is?  I did?  Ohh…

Using a frozen banana really gives it that milkshake texture. I highly recommend freezing all your bananas right now!  But the best part is that the only sweetener is organic honey, and even though it contains sugar, honey also contains powerful antioxidants.  

Gotta love those blessed antioxidants!

The key ingredient to this smoothie is the raw cocoa powder. Be sure you buy the raw, plain powder as cocoa mixes often contain sugar.  Also, BONUS >> cocoa powder also contains antioxidants.  When consumed with high levels of fiber, raw cocoa powder actually helps improve digestion.  Good thing this smoothie has a big chunk of fibrous avocado!

But enough with those boring health facts (I love health facts!).

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

I was inspired to combine avocado and cocoa after trying the Goop Chocolate Love Smoothie. The cocoa blended with the avocado creates a rich, chocolate creaminess, plus I love avocados in general.  Bring on those healthy fats!  I also added cocoa nibs because I like a bit of crunchiness, it reminds me of a chocolate chip shake (but be sure to check your teeth after, they will give you a wicked smile). Finally as if we didn’t have enough antioxidants already, I added a handful of greens.  I like being sneaky with salad!  Spinach is the easiest to blend unless you have a Vitamix. If you have one, I’m quite envious of you and your ability to pulverize kale.

The L-Glutemine powder is an optional addition – I add it to help repair and maintain muscle.  I’m currently training for my 6th marathon so I need all the recovery foods I can get!  But let me tell you – nothing is more rewarding after a long run than this velvety, packed-full-of-chocolate super green smoothie.  

…except maybe a bagel with peanut butter and banana.

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

51

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 smoothie

Calories per serving: 360

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe frozen banana, peeled*
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cold, filtered water
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ½ cup fresh greens like spinach or kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened raw cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 teaspoon organic or raw honey
  • 1 scoop L Glutemine
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a bit more water as per thickness preference.

Notes

*frozen bananas work best in a smoothie, they give them a milkshake-like texture. Simply run the frozen banana under warm water and the peel will slide off

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/30/healthy-chocolate-green-smoothie/

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie

What are your fave smoothie ingredients?  Are any of you training for a spring marathon?  Let me know what you think of my Healthy Chocolate Green Smoothie!