Coconut Turmeric Relish

Found this in the Bon Appetit – April 2018 p. 73 the same issue with the Kimchi – Fried Grains. This definitely had a kick to it so you can half the amount of hot pepper or omit it completely. Either way this is a great addition to coleslaw, stir-frys, meats, veggies (the original recipe was for grilled cauliflower), and anything else that sparks your interest!

Here it is straight out of the magazine. You’ll find my modifications below.

* I found that 1/3 cup olive oil was a bit much. I think you’d be fine with 1/4 cup

* for the mustard seeds I used pickled version we always have in the fridge

* for the Fresno chilli I used the equivalent of a preserved hot pepper

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

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Kimchi-Fried Grains

If you love kimchi or simply just some spice in your fried rice, give this a try! The original recipe called for a fried egg on top but I switched it up with some stir fried chicken thigh pieces.

Kimchi- Fried Grains (adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine – April 2018 p.68)

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken thighs, cubed and cooked
  • Β½ cup kimchi, plus 3 Tbsp. juice from jar
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • Handful of kale, chopped, stems removed
  • 2 cups cooked grains (such as farro, spelt, quinoa, or barley)
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Squeeze kimchi over a small bowl to catch juices. Add juice from jar to make up 3 Tbsp. and set aside. Chop kimchi; set aside. Cut dark green tops from scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Thinly slice white and pale green parts and set those aside too.

2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add carrots, and cook, tossing often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved white and pale green parts of scallions and kimchi and cook, tossing often, until scallions are just golden, about 3 minutes.

3. Add grains, cooked chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, and reserved kimchi juices; cook, tossing, until grains are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

4. Top with sesame seeds (if using), and reserved scallion tops. Serve and enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

Going Vegetarian (almost Vegan!)

So we have come up with the idea to go vegetarian (almost vegan) for one month to find out two things:

1. How this will change our bodies and how we feel.

2. Challenge ourselves to come up with new recipes and stick to a meal plan.

Obviously this will take some planning and persistence. We have given ourselves one day a week where we can venture beyond the restrictions (if we feel the need). Otherwise here is our restriction list:

Eliminiate: Meats (beef, pork, chicken, game etc.); Seafood (fish and shellfish) and some Dairy (cheese, milk, cream, yogurt) and Eggs

Limit: Honey

Focus: Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes and Grains

We are both excited to try this out and I’m looking forward to writing about this to all of you! We have a BBQ with friends on February 17th so we have agreed we will start this experiment on February 18th.

***Please share with us some of your favourite vegetarian/vegan dishes!!***

I will update at the end of every week with examples of recipes we used πŸ™‚

Your,
Natural Groove Gal


Next Post: Vegan “Meatballs”


New Year. New Toy.

Yup folks. The Magic Bullet. Finally! πŸ™‚

This thing is amazing!! Initially I wanted it to make my vast aray of yummy delicious health smoothies among other things……and there are so many other things you can do….excitement rising…

On top of the many possibilities, it’s not only so easy to use….it’s easy to clean too. Yes the infomercials are fully true!! 
Besides the smoothies, my first experiement was to make sorbet. Two different ones, because why not??

Berry Sorbet
Ingredients:
Frozen berries – about 1 cup
Honey –  to taste
Red Wine – enough to blend smoothly

Peach Sorbet
Ingredients:
Frozen peaches – about 1 cup
Honey –  to taste
Orange Juice – enough to blend smoothly

Blend. Mix. Freeze.

And there you go! A delicious and healthly treat πŸ™‚
Next I will be trying out soups, dressings, and let’s not forget drinks!

Let’s just say I’m not the only one excited about this…the gormet chef loves it too πŸ™‚

Until next time,

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Cooking and Crafts #1: Chili and Cornbread – Christmas VillageΒ 

Finally got to do one of these days with my girl Kat!  We’ve been talking about this for way too long. Here’s what we decided to do:
For the Cooking: Chili and Cornbread

For the Craft: Christmas Village

The Cornbread

Found a great recipe on Pinterest which utilized my cast iron skillet. The result below:

Here’s the recipe I followed on This Gal Cooks: Cast Iron Buttermilk Corn Bread

Sidenotes:

*I didn’t have buttermilk so I mixed 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of apple cidar vinegar – Worked just fine!

*I baked it for exactly 20 minutes 

*Also my skillet is 12 inches instead of 10 so the bread came out a little thinner then it was suppose to but it still had a great texture and crunchy crust!

The Chili

Ingredients:
4 strips of Bacon
1 lb Ground Beef
2 Onions, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
1 can Kidney Beans, drained
1 can Black Beans, drained
2-3 Tbsp Chili powder (depending on how much you like spice!)
2 tsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Apple cidar vinegar 
1/2 tall can dark Beer
Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish:
Cheddar, shredded
Green onions, chopped

Directions:
1. Heat up large pot on medium high heat. Once hot throw the chopped bacon in, stirring occasionally until cooked. Remove bacon and set aside. Spoon out half the fat from the pot and turn heat to medium.
2. Add ground beef, stirring occasionally until just cooked. Add chopped onion and garlic, continue stirring.
3. Turn heat up and add diced tomato and beans, continue stirring until boiling, turn low to simmer.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Leave on simmer for 30-45 minutes.The longer you cook it the thicker it will get.
5. Serve immediately with garnish and cornbread πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

The Christmas Village

This idea stemmed from Kat receiving new pieces for her christmas village plus we both love decorating!! And why not do it with some good food and drink??

After dinner Kat and I went through all of her christmas decorations with the help of your two cats Oryx and Kitten. Oryx even got into the festive spirit by dressing up as Rudolph.

We started by placing the cobblestone down (one of the new additions) which fit perfectly on her wine rack width wise, just a little short length wise.

But she had something else that was a new addition to the village…snow!! Which we used to hide the lack of cobblestone on either side.

And the final night scene.

Another section we completed was the woodlands corner.

Tons of fun with many creative results! First cooking and crafts night = success!! πŸ™‚

Thanks to Julie, a fellow cooking gal, for her wonderful cornbread recipe. I will be checking out more of her recipes and you should too!

And thanks to one of my best girls Kat for being a creativity nut just like me!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

Mind on Media #1: The Economic Shift of Breakfast

As we all settle into the new year I’ve decided to start a new blog series entitled Mind on Media. I read many articles in relation to food and nutrition and I usually have a few thoughts go through my head. I figure why not write and share my ideas, pose a question or two and hopefully I will read your ideas as well πŸ™‚

The Article:
Breakonomics: How our abandonment of breakfast cereal is shaking up the economy
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Published on December 31, 2015 in the National Post, on the front page of the financial section.

The Economic Shift of Breakfast

Cereal anyone?

The answer is most likely ‘no’ in most homes, so what are we eating now and why has it changed?

1) Convenience
This is one of the key words in our society today. Sitting down at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal doesn’t quite fit the bill.

Now a days, both parents have to work, a student has full time classes as well as a job, and commute times to and from work have increased drastically.

Whatever anyone’s reason is, everything has got to be on-the-go, and a single serving. Whether it be a smoothie, a yogurt with package of grains and nuts or a breakfast bar/sandwich/wrap. You don’t even have to get out of your car as all of these options are available through most drive thrus.

Even at the grocery stores you can buy packages of single serving whatever. Bad? Not necessarily. Though you are better off health wise if you make these yourself. But even the homamade health guru has ways of producing convenience. Make ahead smoothie freezer bags (See: Hello Glow) or baking trays of breakfast bars (See: Love and Zest). Whether you’re health conscious or not, convenience is the key to getting some breakfast in you.

2) Health
As you’ve heard of many times before, breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Let’s take a look:

Cereal = processed carbs = low protein, low fibre, high sugars and who knows what else.

Today many studies say you basically need the complete opposite of that: high protein, fibre and good fats; low in sugars and anything artifical. Foods such as eggs, whole grains, nuts, seeds and yogurt have become the foods of breakfast.

There is also a growing emphasis on the “fresh” aspect of food. People are wanting more foods that are real and natural (as we should be!). The packaged processed carbs that most cereal has to offer isn’t cutting it in our pantries anymore.

And that leads us to…

3) Economy
In order to stay in business, food companies are in the midst of changing not only the product itself but how the product is packaged. As stated in the article above: General Mills now does a variety of breakfast bars, individual wrapped of course. Kellogg offers frozen breakfast sandwiches, as does Nestle.

Even places like McDonalds and Tim Hortons have seen breakfast sandwich sales sky rocket over the past few years.

Food companies are also shifting their focus on labeling. More and more you see the positive health aspects on packaging (“contains whole grains” or “all natural ingredients”). There is also a focus in promoting what “bad foods” are not included (“no artificial flavours” or “no trans fats”).

The popularity of grocery stores that offer fresh and organic produce has increased over the ones who simply offer cheaper prices. To tie in the convenience aspect – an increasing amount of cities have organizations that deliver organic produce to your door every week (if you are in the Toronto area check out Mama Earth Organics)

So it would appear that breakfast has shifted on many levels. Will cereal eventually disappear from the shelves? What have you noticed in your area with this shift? Let me know your thoughts!

Also what do you/your family have for breakfast? Please share a favourite morning meal of yours by commenting with a picture, a recipe or a link πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Butter Poached Salmon with Quinoa, Spinach and Tangy Chili Salsa

Time for dinner. I knew we had some salmon, but what to go with it? Salad? Ugh, nope I wanted something different.

Yup this is one of those meals that came together and ended with “Yup that’s a keeper!”

So I thought I’d start off the new year by sharing a great recipe that’s super easy to put together!

image

Butter Poached Salmon with Quinoa, Spinach and Tangy Chili Salsa

Tangy Chili Salsa (recipe here)
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Water
2 Salmon filets
2 Tbsp Butter
Handful of Spinach
Handful of Nuts (pecans, walnuts – optional)

1. Make Tangy Chili Sauce. Once all the ingredients are added (minus the balsamic vinegar which is added at the end) add quinoa and hot water. Stir and let simmer for 20-25 min.

2. About 10 min before the quinoa is done, heat up a sauce pan to a medium heat. Add butter. Cook salmon filets for on each side for 3-5 min depending on your preference. Take off heat.

3. Take quinoa mixture off heat and add spinach. Stir until wilted.

4. Spoon quinoa mixture onto plate and top with salmon filet.

Enjoy!!

Your,
Natural Groove Gal