Culinary Wednesday: Cashew Pesto Spaghetti Squash with BC Spot Prawns

Summer is almost here! As West Coast girls – This means fresh Pacific Ocean seafood is about to tantalize our taste buds.

A friend recently shared this GF+Vegan Cashew Pesto recipe paired with Spaghetti Squash with us. We tried it out and 100% approve. Spaghetti Squash is the best substitute for pasta, and still has an “el dente” texture with a sweet finish. The cashews in the pesto offer a creamy texture and contain healthy monounsaturated fat that promote good cardiovascular health.

Always buy your seafood local & wild (and fresh if possible). Not only will it taste better –  but the nutritional differences are quite substantial.

Cashew Pesto Spaghetti Squash with BC Spot Prawns

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Cashew Pesto

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup fresh basil (or more to taste)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Soak the cashews 4 hours (or boil the cashews in hot water for 15 minutes), then rinse and drain. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender, and blend until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add more lemon juice, broth, or olive oil if you’d like a thinner consistency. Keeps about 3 days covered in the refrigerator.

Spaghetti Squash

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut Squash in half, remove seeds in centre.
  • Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and put sheet into the oven.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
  • Using a fork, scoop out squash. It should come out as little strings similar to spaghetti noodles.

Spot Prawns

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 10 peeled spot prawns

Heat all ingredients together over high heat for 2-4 minutes.

Combine all ingredients together with 1 cup of diced cherry tomatoes. Serve hot or cold.

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Culinary Wednesday: Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice

Coconut + Kale + Turmeric = The healthiest meal you’ll eat all week. Three major powerhouse foods paired with rice (or quinoa substitute) will have your inflammation reduced, skin glowing, and hormones regulated. The lists to the benefits of these super foods is extremely lengthy. Here’s a few reason why we encourage adding kale, coconut, and turmeric into your diet.

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Coconut:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improve digestion
  • Wards of wrinkles
  • Stabilize glucose levels
  • Fight off viruses
  • Build cells
  • Regulate hormones
  • Increase thyroid production
  • Fight of infection
  • Stave off memory loss
  • Kill bacteria

Kale:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Detoxification
  • Antioxident
  • Heart support
  • Brain development in infants
  • Cancer prevention
  • Healthy vision

Turmeric:

  • Antibacterial
  • Weight-loss
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-Alzheimer
  • MS treatment
  • Wound healing
  • Digestive health

This wonderful recipe was created by naturallyella.com, head over to her page for other recipes & more.

Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice
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Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  45 mins
Total time:  55 mins
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
Turmeric Rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, if needed
Kale
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Toasted Cashews, for topping
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the ginger, cooking for one minute. Next, add in the rice and turmeric, toasting for one more minute. Measure in the vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the majority of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cutting the leaves into 1/4″ strips. Towards the end of the rice being ready, heat the tablespoon of olive in a large, wide pot. Add in the garlic, cooking for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic. Add in the vegetable broth, cover, and let kale cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the coconut milk and continue to cook greens until tender, roughly another 3 to 5 minutes more. Taste and add salt as needed.
  4. Serve greens over a heft scoop of turmeric rice and top with toasted cashews and coconut.

Turmeric Rice with Coconut Kale

Culinary Wednesday: Roasted Parsnip and Pomelo Salad

More sweet than sour, with juicy meat and pulp, pomelos are considered grandfathers of grapefruits.The upper layer of this fruit is thick and soft and can be peeled easily. The pulp inside comes in a variety of colours ranging from yellow to pink and red. You can find the fruit growing on citrus trees in the heat of summer and or in tropical climates. Pomelo fruits weigh up to 20 pounds and have a mixed taste. It is sweet like orange, tart like grapefruit, tangy like tangerine and very juicy.

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Similar to other citrus fruit, pomelos have an extensive list of benefits.

  1. Anti-Aging: Contains “Spermadine” which protects cells from the process related to aging and cell damage.
  2. Heart Health: Pomelos contain 410mg of potassium per serving. This regulates blood pressure levels. Abundant with pectin, pomelo juice is capable of clearing arterial deposits accumulated in the body.
  3. Vitamin C: Increasing your immune system, decreasing cardiovasolar deterioration, prevent urinary tract infections, and inflammation.
  4.   Fiber: Makes you feel full, eat less, and bowels function correctly.

This featured recipe by golubkakitchen.com is a refreshing, simple, and light winter salad. “The earthy and grounded flavors of parsnips combine well with the bright and juicy pomelo in this salad, but feel free to use grapefruit or orange to get a similar effect if you don’t have access to a pomelo. Walnuts and raisins toasted and plumped in spicy coconut oil add a nice finish, full of warming flavors, perfect for winter. This salad is very simple to prepare, and the parsnips make it filling enough for a light lunch or dinner. Enjoy!”

IMG_0717-crvRoasted Parsnip and Pomelo Salad

  • 3 large parsnips – scrubbed clean, cored, cut lengthwise into long wedges
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon paprika, depending on how hot your paprika is
  • 2 handfuls walnuts – roughly chopped
  • 2 handful raisins
  • 1 pomelo – segmented
  • 4 cups baby spinach

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Add 1tablespoon of melted coconut oil to parsnips, toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until soft, flip at half time.
2. In a large bowl or in individual serving plates, combine spinach, roasted parsnips and pomelo segments.
3. In a medium pan, warm 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium low heat, add paprika, large pinch of salt and walnuts. Toast for 5-7 minutes, until golden. Add raisins at the last couple minutes to plump them up. Spoon nuts, raisins and spicy oil over the salad. Serve immediately.

parsnip-salad

Culinary Wednesday: Coconut Chia Pudding with Kaffir Zest

Native to Thailand, kaffir leaves are a memeber of the citrus family – responsible for their distinctive lemon lime aroma. At some point in your gastronomic adventures, you’ll be sure to try a Thai curry, sip on spicy Tom Yum, or taste the Tom Kha soups and wonder what is it that makes these dishes so zesty and flavorful? It’s the lime leaves in the food that lends them that distinct flavor typical of the Southeast Asian cuisine.

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Kaffir Lime is a bumpy fruit with a rough skin. Opened up, it resembles a sweet lime, except that it’s not so sweet, rather much bitter. For this reason, the fruit isn’t used as much as its leaves. The leaves are the richest part of the plant.

In popular Thai culture, this plant is known to cleanse the mind and the body and ward off evil spirit. The juice of the fruit also has bleaching properties, is used for healthy gums, as a digestive tonic, and blood purifier.

We found this recipe on http://www.wholesome-cook.com to be an easy morning revive incorporating the kaffir leaf benefits, coconut & chia fats, and antioxidant rich berries.

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Kaffir Lime & Coconut Chia Pudding with Berries
Author: Martyna | Wholesome Cook
Prep time: 25 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients
– 2 cups coconut milk
– 6-8 kaffir lime leaves
– ¼ cup chia seeds
– 4-5 strawberries, hulled and diced
– ¼ cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
1. Place half the coconut milk in a small saucepan and add crushed kaffir lime leaves. Place over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 5 minutes then turn off the heat, add remaining milk and leave for 20 minutes to cool completely and infuse.
2. Once the milk has cooled down, add chia seeds and whisk well, leave for 5 minutes and whisk again to remove any clumps that might have formed. Divide the mixture between two serving glasses or jars, leave for 5 minutes and stir again. Place in the fridge.

3. In the morning, top with diced strawberries and blueberries, which you can prepare in the evening as well, and enjoy on the go.

Culinary Wednesday: Thai Mango Salad

Nicknamed the “king of fruit”, over decades mangoes have been used to soothe stomachs. Similar to papayas, mangoes contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties. Mango is rich in fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day in your diet, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles and symptoms of a spastic colon. Research and studies published at Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety have demonstrated that dietary fiber has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, including certain cancers and heart conditions. Now you have even more reasons to include this delicious fruit in your daily diet. The more you participate in strenuous activities,the more bodily potassium you lose, which is yet another helpful side effects of mangoes – high potassium content.

Message from the chef: Lazy Cat Kitchen

Today’s recipe is a Thai-inspired mango salad designed to be a delicious light meal on a hot summer’s day. This dish balances the sweetness and warmth of the mango with the acidity of the lime juice and the kick of chilli. It has a pleasing range of textures: the softness of the mango contrasting the crunch from the peppers, cos lettuce and nuts. For best results try and use an unripe mango, as they aren’t quite as sweet and closer in taste to the green mango that’s used for this kind of salad in Thailand.

This recipe is a perfect portable meal for work!

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Ingredients

serves: 4 (as starter) preparation time: 20 mins

  • 1 large Thai green mango or unripe mango*
  • 1 large red pepper (I used Romano pepper)
  • a handful of romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 spring onions, white parts sliced finely
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red chilli, diced finely
  • handful of roasted cashews (or peanuts), chopped
  • fresh coriander and/or mint, chopped + a few whole leaves for decoration

Dressing

  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tamari (for gluten-free version) or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • ground pepper, to taste

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Method

  1. Using a sharp knife or a special peeler, julienne mango, pepper and zucchini. Tear lettuce leaves roughly.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for the flavours to marry.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all salad ingredients apart from nuts.
    Mix the dressing in, adjust seasoning. Serve sprinkled with nuts and a few leaves of mint and/or coriander.

Recipe by http://www.lazycatkitchen.com/thai-mango-salad/

Culinary Wednesday: Lemongrass Sweet Potato Gyoza

Lemongrass is an amazing super-herb cultivated and consumed in abundance in South East Asia. Found at most groccery stores in the form of fresh stalks and dried herbs, lemongrass is most commonly used to flavour teas, curries, and soups. It’s distinct sweet lemon flavour when crushed releases an essential oil called citrate, the same lemony flavour is also released when stepped as a tea.

Lemongrass has many health benefits and healing properties containing multiple compounds, oils, minerals and vitamins. The primary chemical component in lemongrass, citral, boosts potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.

Equally celebrated in Ayurveda medicine, lemongrass is used as a diuretic, sedative/calmative, detoxification and tonic.

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Drink up your lemongrass tea! Here’s some general uses of this super-herb:

• Cough, cold & sore throats

• Anxiety

• High cholesterol

• Type 2 diabetes

• Colitis

• Digestion

• Rough, dry, scaly skin

• Acne

• Constipation

• Kidney detoxification

• Insomnia

• Relaxation & deep sleep

Sounds amazing right?

– Lemongrass is amazing chopped up and added into your typical curry: While simmering your curry (coconut milk + curry paste + veggies) add a handful of fresh stalks in to add a sweet lemon hint (even better if you can find kefir leaves to toss in there too).

– Try lemongrass tea (available at most groccery stores), if not buy fresh stalks (or dried herb) pair with fresh ginger, chamomile, honey, and you’ll have yourself an super immune boosting tea. Great for any common colds or cases of inflammation.

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We were super inspired by this lemongrass creation courtesy of olivesfordinner.com

Sweet Potato + Lemongrass + Gyoza makes for an super tasty meal.

Lemongrass Sweet Potato Gyoza

INGREDIENTS
Gyoza:
– 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and peeled
– 2 TBSP peanut oil
– 3-4 lemongrass hearts, chopped (reserve the outer stalks for broth or tea later)
– 1 large shallot, sliced thinly
– 1/2 fresh cilantro, chopped
– 1/8 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
– vegan dumpling wrappers (I used square, but round is fine too)
– 1 tsp ground flax seeds (I used a coffee grinder), mixed with 5 TB flax milk

Gyoza Sauce:
– 1/4 cup mirin
– 2 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
– 1 tsp vinegar
– tsp organic granulated sugar
– 1 tsp to 1 TBSP Sriracha (dependant on spice preference)
– red pepper flakes

METHOD
Chop the sweet potato into small, dice-sized pieces. Bring plenty of water to boil in a medium-sized pot, add the potatoes, salt and a bit of oil and boil, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.

In a small saucepan, saute the lemongrass hearts and shallots in the peanut oil for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Transfer to the sweet potato mash and combine well. Add in the peanuts and chopped cilantro and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

To assemble the gyozas, lay one wonton skin on a flat surface. Dip your finger into the flax seed/milk mixture and run it along both ends of the wrapper to help create a seal. Then place 1 tsp of the sweet potato mixture into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wonton into a triangle shape and run your finger along both edges to seal it. Then, pinch the edges together to create a crimped shape along the edges. Lay the assembled gyoza on a slightly oiled cookie sheet while you prepare the rest of the gyozas.

Once they are all assembled, heat some oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up very well, about 4-5 minutes. Gently place the gyoza in a single layer in the pan, taking care to watch for any oil splashes. Let them sit in the pan for 3-4 minutes, or until well-browned on one side. Take 1/4 cup water and slowly pour it into the pan. It will violently sizzle. Cover immediately, and reduce the heat to low. Allow it to steam for an additional 5-7 minutes. Transfer back onto the cookie sheet to cool, and repeat the process until all of the gyozas have been cooked through.

To make the sauce, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. These can be served warm, room temperature or cold.

 

PC: thewanderlustkitchen +  thegourmettraveller.com.au

Pumpkin & Chili Stir-Fry with Kecap Manis Sauce

Kabocha, squash, and carrots are key vegetable starches in the Indonesian diet.  Kabocha, commonly called Japanese pumpkin is an Asian variety of squash, very similar to the North American pumpkin in shape. With its naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter in taste than butternut squash, Kabocha enhances flavour in both spicy and savory dishes.

It also has multiple health benefits:

Feel Fuller: contains 3 grams of fibre per cup keep you feeling fuller for longer!

Better Vision: 1 cup contains double the recommended daily Vitamin A intake keeping your eyes strong, skin soft, and bones healthy.

Sounder Sleep: Rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Increased serotonin sound sleep will also improve your mood, win. win!

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Pumpkin and Chili Stir-Fry with Kecap Manis Sauce

Ingredients:

– 1 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cubed

– 3 tbsp peanut oil

– 1 onion, thinly sliced

– 2 cloves garlic, crushed

– 4 chiles, sliced

– 8 oz sugar snap peas

– 1/4 cup kecap manis (soy sauce + equal parts organic brown sugar)

– 1 bunch thai basil leaves

– 1/2 cup toasted cashews

– steamed jasmine rice, to serve

 

Method:
1 – Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil on high. Add pumpkin. Cook 2-3 minutes, until almost tender. Drain well.

2 – In a wok or large frying pan, heat oil on high. Stir-fry onion 1-2 minutes, until golden. Add garlic and chilies and stir-fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Mix in pumpkin and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden.

3 – Add peas and kecap manis and stir-fry 1-2 minutes more.

4 – Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves and cashews. Serve with rice.

 

Recipe courtesy of Recipes-plus.com