In Search of Yummy-ness

A Canadian Food Blog

bliss bowl with fresh mushrooms


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An Interpretation of the Freshii Bliss Bowl

Homemade version of Bliss Bowl

I was trying to think of something healthy I could eat for lunch today, and since I had some leftover brown rice from last night I decided to try making a version of the Bliss Bowl from Freshii. Of course, it didn’t taste exactly the same as the dish from the restaurant, but it was still good. Oh, and I don’t order tomatoes or red onions in my Bliss Bowl, but you certainly could add those ingredients if you want to be more authentic.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup cooked brown rice

– 1 roasted bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces (I used a jarred version)

– 1/4 cup sautéed sliced button mushrooms (I used pickled mushrooms because it was all I had. It wasn’t great.)

– extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)

– 1/2 an avocado, chopped into bite-size pieces (good luck with that…)

– crumbled chèvre goat’s cheese (to taste)

– balsamic vinegar (to drizzle)

– salt and pepper (optional)

Warm the rice in your serving bowl if using leftovers. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Add the avocado and goat’s cheese, then drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Be light-handed with the vinegar or it will overpower the other ingredients. If you choose to use pickled mushrooms, use less vinegar or your dish will be too acidic. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Enjoy!~

EDIT 09/04/13: I made it for lunch again today, this time with fresh mushrooms. So much better…

bliss bowl with fresh mushrooms

Kale Chips


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Kale Chips (Recipe)

Kale Chips

Kale seems to be really popular these days. It’s probably because this dark leafy green vegetable is full of vitamins and minerals. Honestly though, I don’t think it tastes very good. It has a strong flavour and a tough texture that I just don’t enjoy.

On the other hand, I could eat kale chips by the plateful! They are light and crispy, with a deep earthy flavour. I think they almost taste like roasted broccoli. I’ll have to try making these chips with baby kale instead, the flavour might be a bit milder. I think Loblaws is carrying organic baby kale now.

 

Ingredients:

– 1 small bunch of kale (even a small bunch may make enough chips for 2-3 batches)

– 1 tbsp olive oil (or olive oil spray)

– sea salt (to taste)

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Wash leaves and remove the “spines” (stems) from the kale.

3. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner or pat gently with a towel to remove excess moisture.

Kale

4. Rip the kale into small, chip-sized, pieces.

5. Toss with a small amount of olive oil (or mist the chips with an olive oil spray).

6. Sprinkle with a very small amount of sea salt. Kale is naturally a bit salty, so if you add too much salt the chips will taste bitter.

7. Arrange the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Fresh Kale

8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the kale has become dark and crispy.

Making Kale Chips

9. Remove the chips from the oven. Drain on paper towel if needed

Kale Chips on Tray

10. Allow to cool, then eat immediately. I recommend that you do not store leftover kale chips in a plastic bag as they become soggy. I put my leftovers in a bowl and cover with a clean, dry, tea towel.

Enjoy!~


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A Change from Mac ‘n Cheese

Macaroni Pie Recipe

 

Every Caribbean household seems to have their own version of this cheesy baked dish. It’s a comfort food staple in the West Indies, and it’s pretty easy to make. This sweet version is my mother’s recipe. If you prefer a more savory pie, omit the sugar and add a pinch of salt to the mixture.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves 4
2 cups uncooked dry elbow macaroni
1 ½ tsp salt (for cooking water)
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups grated cheddar or marble cheese (reserve ¼ cup for topping)
1 ½ cups evaporated milk (approx. 1 can)
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp granulated or brown sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Boil macaroni in salted water until tender, then drain.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
  4. Add milk, pepper, and sugar and stir until combined.
  5. Stir in 2 cups of cheese, and the cooked macaroni.
  6. Pour into a greased, 8 x 8, baking dish and top with reserved ¼ cup of cheese.
  7. Bake until firm (aprox. 30-40 minutes).
  8. Allow pie to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, so it can set.
Variations: There are so many ways you can make this dish your own. You can try different types of cheese, add grated onion to the mixture or top with fresh herbs, breadcrumbs or ketchup.
Tips:
       Cold cheese is easier to grate.
       The older the age of the cheese, the more “cheesy” it will taste
       If the cheese begins to brown too quickly, add a piece of foil over the top of the baking dish.
       This dish can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge, but it does not freeze well.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with stewed or barbequed chicken and a salad of leafy greens.
Enjoy!~
Dressing the pita chips


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Easy Pita Chips (and Hummus)

Hummus and Pita Chips

Get Michael Smith’s hummus recipe here

Pita chips are super versatile and very easy to make. Yes, I know you can buy them in stores but I prefer to make my own because it’s cheaper!

In my opinion, nothing goes better with pita chips than hummus! I don’t have my own hummus recipe, so I used Michael Smith’s (see above for link).

How to make Pita Chips: 
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut the pitas into triangles (easiest way: cut the circle in half, then half again, then half once more)
3. Put the triangles into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season as desired (I just use sea salt usually)
4. Spread the triangles out on a sheet pan, bake for 6 minutes or until crunchy. I try not to overcook mine because I find they become hard instead of crunchy.
5. Let the chips cool the serve with hummus. Chips can be stored for a few days in a zip-top bag.

Hummus Mise En Place

Wash your chick peas

Hummus in food processor

Dressing the pita chips

Pita chips in oven

Enjoy!~


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Sautéed Red Bell Peppers

 

 
How to make it: 
1. Wash and cut 2 red bell peppers into strips (be sure to remove the pith and seeds!)
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat
3. Add the pepper strips, and saute for 6-7 minutes, or until the peppers soften and the skins char a little.
4. Season with salt and pepper (or a lemon pepper blend)
Enjoy!~