Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

I’ve probably made about a million variations of rice and beans, it’s an easy meal to throw together at a moment’s notice, especially if you have some plain rice and beans cooked already.

I thought about this spiced rice and beans on a long exhausting ride home on one of those activity-filled unending summer days, we had nothing home except for leftover rice and a jar of black beans that was to go into a salad.

I’m particularly drawn to this kind of food whenever I’m little stressed or fatigued, perhaps it’s the turmeric, or maybe it’s because it’s filling and sates my hunger.

Spiced Rice and Beans Spiced Rice and Beans
Spiced Rice and Beans

I swear I think up the most scrumptious meals when I’m tired and hungry, on that journey I craved a simple and tasty dish that would also be satisfying and nourishing.

A modest of rice and beans enlivened with a melange of flavours and unique spices – rustic mustard seeds, fragrant coriander, warm and nutty cumin and earthy turmeric.

I tossed in a few vegetables and finished off with zesty lemon and cilantro.

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

It’s a great lunch or quick weeknight meals, or an awesome contribution to a potluck picnic, like the one I’m going to this long weekend, it makes a wonderful side-dish at summer barbeques.

There are a few ways to prepare it; when I have time to spare, I brown the rice with the sautéed spices and vegetables and cook it in vegetable broth, it takes more time but it’s so flavourful!

This is my ultimate comfort food!

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I’ve been neglecting this space lately, not giving it the attention it so deserves. The funny thing is, I’ve been cooking and rediscovering food and photography with renewed fervency, I just can’t seem to translate the passion on to this spot.

I have so many stories and discoveries to share – it’s a little overwhelming and I probably need to figure out how to take it one step at a time, just like the way I’ve learned with cooking… one ingredient at a time

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I put off finishing this post and spent the last few days in New York – eating and exploring, it’s a city that never fails to thrill, and I always come back inspired and rejuvenated, albeit with deep longing to remain there.

Then I got home and returned to this meal, this old thing that I’ve made about million times, and suddenly it looks fresher, like I could make it a million more times and it’ll be different each time.

I’ve been exploring spices lately; in this spiced quinoa and lentils, I tried pungent mustard seeds and warming cumin and coriander seeds with lots of red onions and finished it off with cooling mint.

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

I make this quinoa and lentil combination quite often, variations of it, usually when I don’t have time for a proper meal, it’s an easy, one-pot dish, nutritionally dense and filling, I love the earthy and nutty flavours and quinoa is such a great substitute for rice.

It’s a protein, fiber and whole grain powerhouse and it’s comforting.

The mustard, coriander and cumin seeds are at their best here; they enrich the warm savoury flavours of the lentils and quinoa, and something magical happens when you combine lentils and onions in olive oil – it’s beyond delicious

This is an easy favourite, very satisfying with plenty of leftovers to come home to.

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils
Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

Spiced Quinoa and Lentils

Almond Chickpea Flour Cookies

Almond and Chickpea Flour Cookies Almond and Chickpea Flour Cookies

I really like these cookies! I think about them sometimes in the most inopportune times – like while walking through the fog this morning.

We were awoken by foghorns today; it went off persistently every few minutes until it forced me out of bed, and as the sun shone through the fog on my way to work I figured we were in for the most perfect of winter days; sunny, bright with crisp chilly air and brilliant blue skies.

I thought of how much I’d love to have a winter picnic… perhaps of hot cocoa and cookies, and how ideal these almond chickpea flour cookies would be.

Almond and Chickpea Flour Cookies Almond and Chickpea Flour Cookies by Elsa Brobbey

This is probably the first cookie recipe I ever pinned, yet I only started making them quite recently, and I’ve made them several times since.

It’s delicate and crunchy, the kind of cookie you would crumble over ice cream – if you were into that sort of thing.

I like these cookies a lot!

The first time I made them was an experiment of sorts; I substituted fine-ground white cornmeal for semolina because that was what I had around at the moment, it worked so perfectly I haven’t yet used semolina like the original recipe called for.

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They are a lot like these almond butter cookies, another favourite… both are almond based, gluten free and of course vegan – these however are a little airier with a subtle fragrance of cardamom.

Chickpea flour also adds sweet nuttiness and a good boost of protein, which isn’t typical of cookies.

The cookies in the photos are from a month ago when we were in the throes of the holiday season, I was eager to use my new Christmas present, a cookie press. It was a trying endeavour… some shapes more so than others but they turned out well (I think).

I feel I should caution against the temptation to taste the dough before it’s baked as raw chickpeas tastes not too pleasant.

Something wonderful happens when they’re baked though, and you can’t really tell that these cookies have chickpeas in them.

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Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

So this summer I bought a little waffle maker intent on making a ton of waffles.
You see, I owned a waffle maker previously; it just sat there taking up space, and produced not a single waffle until I gave it away one day.

I went into my second waffle maker purchase determined to do things differently this time; I tried not to get too excited, but I couldn’t help myself…

I envisioned stealing into the kitchen on dusky weekend-mornings, and the cathartic process of mixing floor, and milk and other wholesome ingredients, pouring batter onto the hot griddle as sweet heady smell of waffles cooking fill the tiny apartment. And the waffles… oh the waffles would be fluffy, crisp on the outside, light and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles

I’m pleased to say my dreams won over, I’ve put the waffle maker to work, we’ve made some good waffles since; not as much as I’d like, and not usually in the earliest of mornings – but I’ve loved the scent of waffles wafting through the kitchen, and I’ve had a few tasty fluffy ones.

We had waffle bread with whipped coconut cream and raspberries when they were in season.
There was the salad of arugula and summer fresh fruit with mustard vinaigrette and waffles for lunch

I made a big batch and froze them for breakfast in a hurry, which was a big hit with my little houseguest over the summer.

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles Lemon Cornmeal Waffles
Lemon Cornmeal Waffles IMG_1693

The lemon cornmeal waffles recipe was one of the very first I came across when scouring the internet for dairy-free and egg-free waffle recipes – and I had all the ingredients at home, it was almost too perfect.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love cornmeal/polenta.

And these waffles are exceptional, the cornmeal make these waffles shine; it retains its crisp texture and impacts a unique mildly sweet nutty flavour, and a nice lemony kick.
These waffles taste a little like cornbread but airier, it’s big flavour for just a few ingredients and not too much work and I sometimes double the recipe and freeze the leftovers, I pop them in the toaster on those busy or lazy mornings and breakfast’s a go.

I love mine with my sweet and tart blueberry maple sauce.

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Stewed Black Beans with Red Palm Oil

Stewed Black Beans with Red Palm Oil Stewed Black Beans with Red Palm Oil

A pot of beans simmering away on the stove almost always takes me back to years past when we’d spend our Sundays in the kitchen making soups and stews to last us the week, and although the memories aren’t pleasant, I can’t make beans with red palm oil without thinking back on those uncertain teen years.

It’s true, you know… time softens bad memories and sometimes even lends you a different perspective.

So this stewed black beans is done a little differently now; it’s simpler, easier and unburdened by meat, kind of like my life now.

The original recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Bon Apetit, with borlotti beans, sage and olive oil, which I tried a couple of months ago.

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I used black beans this time; it’s rich in protein, dietary fibre and antioxidants, but I love it for its hearty, rich, almost creamy texture.
Red palm oil is earthy, with flavours that remind me of traditional West African cooking.

I won’t get into the politics of red palm oil except to say that for centuries several cultures have been using it for culinary, medicinal and religious purposes.

And then there are the spices in this stew… mustard seeds, cumin, harissa, ginger and thyme – piquant and fragrant, that helps meld the black beans and red palm oil together in a delightful way that absolutely works.

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