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Archive for the ‘Moroccan’ Category

It sure has been forever and a day.

I’ve been cooking – I promise!

I’ve even been photographing!

(just not posting anything.)

More importantly – I’ve been working and saving and WE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO EUROPE!

Funnily enough, our mainly Europe trip has ended up consisting of:

  • 5 weeks in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
  • 2 weeks in India and Nepal (my heart flutters for Nepal)
  • 2.5 MONTHS in Europe
  • 3 days in NYC (hehehe – this is solely for us to ice skate at Rockefeller Centre at Christmas time!)
  • and then back to Canada to live for a year or two or 5 million, who knows.
So throw any food/restaurant/cafe ideas my way for any of those extremely vague travel plans I have given you!
To keep your tummies rumbling, here’s a little of what I’ve been up to lately..
Moroccan Chick Pea and Vegetable Curry. Served with cous cous and yoghurt.

A sneak peak into my quest for the perfect flatbread! Tomato, Basil, Onion, Caper and Cheese Flatbread.

Chilli Soy Hokkien Stir Fry.
(I work near an Asian cafe’ and have been stealing stir-fry tips to get the smokey flavour!)

Pizza pizza maaaaan!

What you will need…

FOR THESE RAINBOW CUPCAKES!

Creating some artwork with food colouring and a handy-dandy toothpick!

Fresh outta the oven.

Rainbow Delights!
Both cupcake AND icing recipe are from JoyofBaking.com – I’m really enjoying this website, it’s so easy to find good basic recipes. Everything I have tested from it has turned out great!


CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE.

Nom Nom Nom Nom.

pssst, this is mah new do. Ya dig?!



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What do you do when you wake up looking like the elephant woman? (For serious, I woke up with a lip the size of my nose!)

Well you obviously go to the doctor first and get a magical cream to fix your disfigured hideous face … AND THEN when you can’t go to work (for obvious reasons, such as scaring customers off of their food), you stay home and make about a billion salads. When you realise a billion is probably a little much to fit in your fridge, you settle on six. Just six. . . of the best salads of your life.

These are:

  • soy soba noodle salad
  • rosemary lemon potato salad
  • pesto pasta salad
  • balsamic bean salad
  • chargrilled vegetable salad
  • meditteranean cous cous salad

soy soba noodle salad:


this could easily be made super spicy, but I like to taste and enjoy the flavours of the noodles themselves. Also, hold back on over saucing the noodles as they will get sloppy < this is not good.

2 rounds soba noodles

2 T soy sauce

1 T sweet soy sauce

1 T vinegar

1 t sriracha

1 t sesame oil

1 t fresh ginger, grated

1 T toasted sesame seeds

Capsicum, 1/4 cup thinly sliced

Cabbage, 1/2 cup thinly slices

Cook soba noodles for a couple of minutes in boiling water, remove and dunk into cold water to give them their chewy slurpy texture and stop the cooking process.

Mix together all other ingredients to form the sauce. Toss noodles in sauce and leave the flavours to infuse for at least half an hour.

rosemary lemon potato salad:


this one would be delicious with something green like spring onions, but alas I had none. I feel like the extra roasting of potatoes at the end gives them a better texture than usual mooshy potato salad, which I dislike.

10 baby potatoes, cut into bite size pieces, par boiled

2 T olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 brown onion, thinly sliced

1 T fresh rosemary, finely diced

1 T lemon juice

1 t salt

1 t pepper

Par boil the potatoes until almost cooked through.

In a big frying pan add oil, garlic, onion and rosemary. Cook until onions are translucent. Add in potatoes, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a 180C oven for about 15 mins or until slightly golden. Remove. Cool in fridge. EAT!

pesto pasta salad:


I mean honestly, is anything bad with pesto? When basil is not in season you can use rocket and save on money – and probably the taste of bad out of season herbs!

2 cups mix of rocket, basil and spinach

2 garlic cloves

1/2 red chilli

1/2 cup cashews

good glug of olive oil

squeeze lemon juice

salt

Blitz!

1 tomato, finely diced

1 avocado, finely diced

Cook 2 cups spiral pasta until al dente. Drain and while still hot add about 2 Tablespoons of the pesto, extra salt and pepper. When slightly cooled add the tomato and avocado and mix through. Serve cool.

    balsamic bean salad:

    This salad will bring you great joy and make you as strong as Popeye! Even though there is no spinach in it… It’s simple and full of things that you can just throw in from your pantry. Excellent!

    1 tin mixed beans

    1 T olive oil

    1 T balsamic vinegar

    1 garlic clove, finely minced

    1/2 t horseradish

    salt

    pepper

    5 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

    cucumber, 1/4 cup finely diced

    Add oil, balsamic, garlic, horseradish, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rinse beans and mix through, add in artichoke and cucumber. Let flavours combine for at least half an hour.

    chargrilled vegetable salad:


    THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SALADS EVER. Fo real. It sounds really strange with the sweet marinade, but it brings out the earthy flavours in the mushroom and eggplant. The Asian flavours don’t come through in a strong way in the end, just the flavour of ohmagoodnessdeliciousness.

    10 swiss mushrooms, small and roughly the same size

    eggplant, 1 cup, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms

    pumpkin, 2 cups, diced roughly the same size as mushrooms and eggplant! (see a theme?)

    1 T sweet soy sauce

    1 T sweet chilli sauce

    1/2 t sriracha

    1 t water

    7 marinated green and black olives

    1 cup rocket, chopped

    Roast mushrooms and eggplant at 180C on a tray for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked and soft.

    Roast pumpkin on a separate tray at 180C for about half an hour or until cooked and browned.

    In a bowl whisk together sweet soy, sweet chilli, sriracha and water. When mushrooms and eggplant are still hot, add to this mix and coat well. Leave them soaking in this until the pumpkin is out of the oven. In a big bowl add the rocket, olives, pumpkin, mushroom and eggplant mix. (there was some sauce left over in mine and i opted to save it to dress the salad later if it needed it.)

    meditteranean cous cous salad:


    Yum yum yum! The flavours in this dish are delightfully balanced and Moroccan. I love me some Moroccan flavours. You can use any dried fruit, but I tested a couple and found apricots to be the best. It really does round off the flavours nicely, and therefore I banish you from removing it!

    1 cup cous cous

    1 cup water

    glug olive oil

    1 t smoked paprika

    1/2 t za’atar

    1 t ground cumin

    1/2 t ground coriander

    1 t dried chilli flakes

    1 t salt

    1/2 cup grated carrot

    1 handful roasted, unsalted mixed nuts

    5 olives, quartered

    1 T dried apricots, very finely diced

    Oil for extra body

    In a saucepan bring 1 cup of water, olive oil, smoked paprika, za’atar, cumin, coriander, chilli flakes and salt to a boil. Add in cous cous, stir quickly with a fork, cover and leave for 5 minutes until cooked. Pour into a big bowl and fluff with a fork. Add in carrot, nuts, olives, apricots and extra oil if the consistency is too dry.
    ———–

    This seems like a crazy amount of salad (it does make a LOT), alas, it only took me about an hour and a half to create. Stick some funky tunes on and get chopping. The crazy thing about all of these flavours is that they all work together! Nothing really overpowers anything else and it is a nice harmonious mix in the belly 😀

    * T = Tablespoon
    t = teaspoon.
    Just incase…

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    Super simple, super easy, super cheap, super fast recipe. Also great for winter as it is delicious and hot – i mean really, what more do you want in winter?!

    Moroccan vegies with cous cous:
    olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 big zucchini, diced into big chunks
    7 mushrooms, diced into big chunks
    2 teaspoons cumin powder
    1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
    1 tin tomatoes

    1 handful rocket
    salt
    pepper

    1 cup cous cous
    1 cup vegetable stock
    1 teaspoon za’atar

    In a big pot fry onion and garlic in oil until softened. Add in zucchini and mushroom.
    After about 5 minutes, add in cumin, chilli flakes and tomatoes.
    Place lid on pot and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    In the meantime bring stock, salt, pepper and za’atar to a boil in another saucepan. Once boiled, remove from the heat, stir in cous cous with a fork, replace lid and leave for around 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
    NOTE: this is my perfect way of doing cous cous, i have no idea why but this makes it crazy fluffy and amazing and never stodgy. It retains enough heat to fully cook through within a few minutes and be perfect. Perfect, i tells ya.

    This recipe should clearly have eggplant in it to be uber-moroccan, but i had none 😀

    Rocket pesto
    2 cups rocket
    1 garlic clove
    1/2 cup cashews
    good glug of olive oil
    salt

    Blend everything to buggery in a blender. The end.


    Paprika chips:
    Cut potatoes into chunky chip size. Pat dry. Lay on baking tray with olive oil, paprika and s+p. Roast at 200 for about an hour, flipping every 20 minutes ish until crisp.


    For dinner we had swiss mushroom burgers with rocket pesto, tomato, onion, carrot, alfalfa and lettuce! I figured giant swiss mushrooms would be almost as good as portabellos (how do you spell this freaking mushroom?!?!!) … alas, they shrunk to about half the size when I fried them in a balsamic marinade. Still tasty – just small.

    burger production line 😀

    nom nom nom.

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    Tonight I perused some food blags for quite some time and out of nowhere (I was looking up vegie burger recipes!) I came up with this Moroccan style (very loose style!) dish. And I must say, it was delish! The balance of flavours was quite nice and I’m very much into mint and yoghurt lately – along with the spicy chilli this just seemed to work. Muffin liked it and we both devoured it within about 2 minutes. Yum yum yum and yay for new creations!

    Moroccan vegetables with herby cous cous:

    Cous cous:
    Oil
    Sundried tomato pesto
    Pre made salad dressing (optional)
    Salt
    Pepper

    Yoghurt:
    ½ cup yoghurt
    1 handful mint finely sliced

    Herb slurry:
    3 garlic cloves finely chopped
    1 handful basil torn
    1 hot red chilli, finely sliced
    ½ teaspoon cumin
    ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    Salt
    Pepper
    ¼ cup (ish) olive oil

    1 zucchini
    ¼ capsicum
    1 japanese eggplant
    1 juicy tomato
    1 leek
    3 mushrooms

    1 lemon wedge

    Cous cous:
    Bring 1 cup water and 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the boil. Once boiled, take off heat and add in cous cous and stir with a fork quite quickly. Cover and let stand for up to 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready – you don’t want the grains to stick together. Loosen with some more olive oil, sundried tomato pesto and salt and pepper. I find that it needs quite a bit of salt. You can always chuck in some pre-made salad dressing if you have any laying around also, this always tastes good 😀

    Yoghurt:
    Mix yoghurt with mint. Duh.

    Herb slurry:
    Mix all ingredients for ‘sauce’ in a bowl. It should make a kind of slurry, there should be an even balance between oil to herb.

    Vegetables:
    Cut zucchini and eggplant in half and then slice each half into about 4 pieces each. These should be fat, long triangular type sticks (excellent description, bug) just look at the picture!!
    Steam these vegetables for a few minutes to soften them.
    Slice capsicum and cut the tomato into wedges.
    Toss all vegetables in a bowl with the herb slurry. Bake in a 220C oven for about 10 minutes.

    While that is happening, fry mushrooms and leek in a frying pan until golden brown.

    When vegetable come out of the oven throw in the frying pan and give a quick flip to mix all of the flavours together.

    Serve on a bed of cous cous, with mint yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon.

    Devour.

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