It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Black Bean Couscous Salad

Toss all together in large bowl:
1 cup prepared couscous
2 cups corn niblets (I use the frozen kind, run them under cold water for a minute to thaw, and drain thoroughly.)
2 cups black beans
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion

Whirl all in blender:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (or 1 of each)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.
2. Refrigerate at least two hours.

Can be served cold or at room temperatures. (Toddlers tend to prefer room temperature for everything, so that’s usually what I do.)

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food, health and safety | , , , | 1 Comment

Basil Chicken Curry

This is not a quick recipe, but it’s soooo good. No, I don’t spend all morning cooking. The children usually eat for lunch what my family had for dinner the night before, so I just prepare enough to feed everyone. It’s much simpler!

First, make the spice rub:
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper
1/4 teaspoon each: turmeric and chili.

(This is enough to coat 500g/1 pound of chicken. I make 3 ounces/100g of meat per person, so in my home, a pound of boneless chicken feeds my family, with a bit left over. I need more than that for the daycare, so I just coat the extra chicken a little more lightly to make the rub stretch that far. It works!)

Coat the chicken with the rub and refrigerate an hour or two. (Or overnight. Whatever works with your schedule.)

The rest:
1 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons basli leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger root, minced

1. Saute onion and pepper for three minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Remove from pan.
2. Brown chicken in same pan. Remove.
3. Heat coconut milk in same pan. In cup, whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons coconut milk, then use to thicken the coconut milk in the pan. It’ll be the consistency of cream when you’re done.
4. Add everything else and heat till chicken is cooked through.

Very savoury. Can be served over rice or with naan. I like to serve this with a side of cucumber raita, though sometimes I just serve cucumber slices with a dollop of yogurt on top. (Close enough!)

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food | , | 1 Comment

Black bean soup

3 cups cooked black beans
2 cups vegetable stock
325 mL tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon each: thyme, cumin, oregano
freshly ground pepper to taste
12 drops hot sauce
(2 teaspoons lemon juice)

1. Dump everything except lemon juice in medium-large pot. Bring to boil over medium heat.

2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

3. Discard bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice. Puree with immersion blender.


Optional: garnish each bowl with a dollop of plain yogurt and a thin slice of lemon.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food, health and safety | , , , | 5 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Veggie-cheese pie

(This one started off as a ‘galette’, has been downgraded to ‘pie’. Heh. Same thing happened to spanakopita: same dish in pie shell instead of phyllo, sooo much easier to prepare! And way fewer calories. (The kids don’t care about that last one, but I do!))

Tuesday: Veggie burgers, salad.

(The salad is arugula with strawberries, walnuts and balsamic vinegar. Very simply, truly delicious, but I suspect the arugula won’t be an immediate hit. Tip: NEVER let a presupposition like this prevent you from serving something to small children! There are two reasons for this: 1) They might surprise you and love it. You never know! 2) In time, with repeated exposures, children will accept food they previously rejected. Really! Low-key, matter-of-fact persistence pays off.)

Wednesday: Chicken basil coconut curry, black bean-couscous salad

(This is a mild coconut curry. They’ve loved it in the past, I expect they’ll love it this week. Soooo good.)

Thursday: Black bean soup, cornbread, salad

Friday: Char sui pork, lentil-beet salad

As always, any recipes available upon request.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food | , | 2 Comments