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Pinterest challenge: chicken avocado soup

Chicken Avocado Soup recipeI love broth soups! I made one couple of weeks ago that I used to often make. This one is different though (one of the reasons for choosing for today's challenge)! The broth is poured over rather than used as a base for the soup. This is why it tastes soooo fresh as some ingredients don't even get cooked (some herbs and avocado). I tried avocado baked, not a good taste (to me at least)! But in this scenario it tasted wonderful! Anyway, try it for yourself ;-).

CHICKEN AVOCADO SOUP adopted from Mama Miss

  • 2 chicken breasts (I used 4 as I wanted to use for something else. Chicken cooked this way is sooo versatile!)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • bunch spring onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1.5l chicken stock
  • pinch of cumin
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • lime wedges

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron pan over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add chicken to the heated skillet and place it under the grill. Shred chicken and cover with foil to keep warm, then set aside.Chicken Avocado Soup recipe2. Sauté spring onions (reserving some for latter) and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add diced tomato; Sauté 1 minute, until soft.

Chicken Avocado Soup recipe3. Make broth by add chicken stock and cumin to pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
4. Layering in separate bowls; Fill each bowl with shredded chicken, diced avocado, remaining spring onions, coriander leaves, and lime wedge (one per bowl).
Chicken Avocado Soup recipe5. Ladle the chicken broth onto the layered chicken in each bowl. Serve!
Chicken Avocado Soup recipe
Enjoy!
Rasa xoxo
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My favourite breakfast smoothie

Blueberry Breakfast SmoothieA long long time ago I got this Juice recipe book from a sale and for a while I was following it religiously (sometimes I set myself a goal to try every recipe in the book). Unfortunately I never managed to try all the juice and smoothie recipes (one of the reason was that I did not have all the needed juicing equipment for it), but I did find some smoothies that I still make sometimes these days. The Blueberry breakfast smoothie is one of them, because the flavours are not what you get in a regular berry smoothie. So please have a try!Blueberry Breakfast SmoothieBLUEBERRY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE adopted from Juice! by Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson

  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 handfuls blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 tbsp plain yogurt (love Yeo Valley natural yorgurt, not promoting just saying!)
  • 2 tbsp quinoa
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp runny honey

Blueberry Breakfast SmoothieBlend the blueberries with orange juice, yogurt, quinoa, oil and honey! Thats all! If you want to make it pretty then sprinkle the smoothie with some quinoa and blueberries.Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie Blueberry Breakfast SmoothieEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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Pinterest challenge: “love it or hate it” vietnamese beef stew

Vietnamese Beef StewThis may have been the love of first sight but definitely not the love of the first taste. As soon as I saw One-pot Vietnamese Beef Stew pic on Pinterest I was sure I wanted to try it straight away. I was particularly interested in trying all those spices that I have never used before (such as lemon grass or kaffir lime leaves), so I followed the recipe quite literally (not substituting a thing!). The result? Well, it was something that me and Joni was not quite prepared for! Aniseed taste took over the overall flavour. Maybe I have overdone with star anise? So my initial response was to add more sugar to reduce that strong flavour, but nothing helped. Eventually realised that if you eat it on toast with some soft cheese on top then the stew taste blends in quite nicely. So you could say that we got used to taste! I cooked quite a lot of that stew so had a chance to eat it in many ways although I was so tempted to throw it away (even if I hate waste). So there you go, thats my feedback. So if you like that kind of flavour, then go ahead, it was fun cooking it!Vietnamese Beef StewVIETNAMESE BEEF STEW practically copied from Supergolden Bakes

  • 900g beef, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 4 banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 625ml | 2 1/2 cups hot beef stock
  • 450g | 1lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Basil leaves, chopped to garnish

1. Combine the beef, flour, spice, pepper, lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Leave to marinate for an hour.Vietnamese Beef Stew2. Preheat the oven to 160C and have all your vegetables prepared. Place chopped chillies and shallots separately from tomatoes and carrots (you don't have to, but it helped me to keep organised as these were going to the pot at separate times). Vietnamese Beef Stew3. Put the oil in the frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, lower the temperature to medium-low and brown the beef cubes. Add the shallots and chillies and fry for a couple of minutes.

Vietnamese Beef Stew4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, cinnamon stick, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and stock and bring slowly to a rolling simmer. Transfer to the casserole and to the oven.Vietnamese Beef Stew5. Cook for an hour then add the butternut squash (be careful the pot will be very hot) and give the stew a stir. Return to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until meat is very tender.Vietnamese Beef Stew6. Add some chopped basil leaves, check the seasoning and serve with crusty bread.Vietnamese Beef StewAnd try it on top of the bread with some crumbled soft cheese on top!Vietnamese Beef StewHave a lovely week!

Rasa xoxo

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Heartwarming chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts

Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeWhen it is so cold outside it's difficult to stay on diet. You just want to stuff yourself with food and roll into bed. Can you relate? Or maybe it's just me! But I did find a solution to it! A soup! Soups based on broth (not chowders, purees, or cream soups) have an extremely high water content yet can be filling and warming. Here is a chicken soup that originally started as a stew but have been modified sooo many times and now it's just a soup (a very lovely soup). I hope you like it ;-). Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeCHICKEN TOMATO SOUP WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, pealed and grated
  • 2 celery sticks
  • a knob of butter
  • 1kg chicken drumsticks
  • 1.5l-2l chicken stock
  • 8 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large potato, pealed and cubed
  • 200g brussel sprouts, pealed and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a knob of butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. My granny used to always say that fried carrot in butter gives that sunny colour in soup... awww!

2. Add the chicken drumsticks and stir until coated in butter as well.

3. Add the stock and bring it to the boil.

4. Add tomatoes, potato and brussel sprouts. Simmer everything slowly for up to an hour, on the low heat with the lid on.Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipe5. Once all cooked, have a quick taste to check the seasoning, pull the meat from the bone (unless you want to eat drumsticks whole) and serve.Chicken tomato soup with brussel sprouts recipeEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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Pinterest challenge: roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls

Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsThis is my first Pinterest challenge this year! So I thought I will pick something on the healthy side. I think we all have been guilty of heavy eating during holidays and I am sure every one of you would love to start fresh and come back to a healthy eating routine. This awesome and wholesome bowl full of veg has instantly caught my attention! And I am glad it did, because this magic bowl is full of flavour! It actually taste real and the combination of flavours really works. So why not to try?  Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsROASTED VEGGIE, CURRIED AVOCADO AND COCONUT RICE BOWLS adapted from Half Baked Harvest

(roasted veggies)

  • 1/2 butternut squash, pealed, seeds removed and sort of cubed (I kind of sliced it in wedges)
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped (I pealed it as well, but I wish I left the skin on)
  • 250g bag of brussels sprouts, all sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful pecans

(coconut rice)

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • pinch of salt
  • 80g creamed coconut, grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

(curried avocado)

  • 2 ripe avocados, pealed and pitted
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1tsp curry powder (used mild one)
  • 1cm cube ginger, pealed and grated
  • 1 tsp honey (got mine from Florida!!!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

(for assembly)

  • handful of goat cheese or blue cheese (tried both and preferred goat cheese in this combination)
  • arils from one pomegranate

1. Start by roasting the veg. In a small bowl (or a cup) whisk together the olive oil, cayenne, maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the veggies out in the baking dish and drizzle the olive oil mixture over them and toss well to coat. Roast it in C210 preheated oven until vegetables are tender and starting to brown (about35 - 45 min), stirring the veggies halfway through. During the last 15 minutes add the pecans and toss to coat.Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls2. Meanwhile, cook the rice. Add the rice, coconut water, salt, coconut oil and creamed coconut to a medium size pot and cook it as usual. As I have electric cooker I cook my rice this way (although I really hate electric cookers at least it is good for cooking rice and stuff!). So I bring the rice pot to boil and then I switch the cooker off. The heat that remains on the electric plates will finish cooking the rice without burning it! Just don't be tempted to open the lid while magic happens!

3. Final step is to make curried avocado! Just pull all the ingredients to the food processor and whizz... ta da! Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowls4. To combine the bowls just add a little bit of everything: roasted veggies, rice and curried avocado. Sprinkle the bowls with some cheese and pomegranate arils.Roasted veggie, curried avocado and coconut rice bowlsEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

 

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Biscuits or scones?

Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeWe recently have visited States and I finally had a chance to taste a biscuit... for breakfast, with the gravy!!! What? If you come from America than this might not be that surprising to you. But here in England biscuit has a complete different sense and purpose. It even looks different! The biscuit that I had in States reminded me of scone that we have over here. Maybe we don't eat scones with the gravy, but we certainly have cheesy types as well. I must admit eating the biscuit with gravy inspired me to try and marry the scone with the soup! Not just any soup, but the most british one: broccoli & stilton soup.Biscuits or scones?I of course tried to determine the differences between american biscuit and british scone, but did not found that many. Although the ingredients are practically identical, the scone recipe might call for buttermilk, oatmeal or even barley (especially the most traditional recipes). So I guess the choice is yours how to call this baked delight ;-).Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeI often bake these basic type of scones, because they are that basic that you can add any flavour you want to them. You want them sweet = add a 1-2tbsp sugar and handful of dried sultanas, you want them cheesy = add any cheese you want! I replaced butter with coconut oil, just because I believe that make the scones feel a little bit less naughty. And it works every time! Oh, I just love the consistency and the benefits of the coconut oil!

BASIC COCONUT OIL SCONES

  • 150g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 45g coconut oil
  • 30ml milk (can be substituted with coconut milk)
  • 1 medium egg (or add another 25ml of milk if you want to keep it even more basic)

1. Mix all the ingredients together (mix flour and baking powder separately first) until everything combines well and shapes non-stick dough.

2. Roll the dough 1 cm thick and by using cookie cutter cut the dough into the circles.

3. Bake the scones for about 10-15 in the preheated 180C oven. Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipe Biscuits or scones? Basic coconut oil scone recipeEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo

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How to bake Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits)

How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) As I write this I am Lithuania and I thought it would be nice to post something Lithuanian to make for Christmas. Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) are very traditional, but they might not be to everybody's taste.  Some might find them too bland but they are definitely fun to make, so please give them a chance! If you are trying to imagine what they taste like imagine a small breadstick but with poppy seeds in them. They are usually served soaked in poppy seed "milk" but can be eaten as a snack. Interested? Then read on ;-) How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) KŪČIUKAI

  • 500g  plain flour
  • 7g dry fast acting yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 250ml milk (lukewarm)

1. Mix all the ingredients and form it into a dough. Kneed the dough for at least 5 min. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) 2. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a bowl. Cover it with cling film and place it somewhere warm for an hour or so. When the dough has risen (at least doubled in size) then punch it to "deflate" it and cover it to proof for another half an hour. 3. Once the final proofing is done shape the dough into sausage shapes and slice them into small bits (about 1cm in size).  How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) 3. Bake these in preheated 190C oven for 5-7 min until slightly golden but not brown. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) I must admit, this recipe is slightly naughty! Traditionally Lithuanians don't eat any dairy or meat during Christmas eve and this recipe certainly has some milk and eggs. If you want to try you can soak these in poppy seed "milk". To make the "milk" just soak some poppy seeds in sweetened water and mash them with a mortar and pestle. The water should turn slightly white and milk like. How to make Kūčiukai (Lithuanian Christmas Eve biscuits) Enjoy! Rasa ;-)

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