Day 11: Lemon Tarragon Salmon Benny on a bed of Kale Hash.

 Holy freaking moley. Aaron and I teamed up for this puppy and it’s mind-boggling. I was on potato and kale hash duty, while Aaron conquered the salmon, hollandaise sauce, and poached eggs. 

  
For the potatoes, I didn’t really follow the recipe. I added tarragon, cumin, paprika, chopped green onions, half a lemon of juice, salt, and pepper. I then cooked them until they were tender in a large frying pan with olive oil on medium-high heat. When the potatoes were within 5 minutes of being done, I added the chopped kale. I definitely want to experiment with my eggs to make them crispier, perhaps by baking them for a bit. 

Aaron made the poached eggs by filling a frying pan with water, adding a couple splashes of apple cider vinegar (you can use regular vinegar), and covering the pan with a lid in order to bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, he cracked the eggs and cooked them until the egg whites hardened and the egg yolk looked like it was more solid. I really like my yolks medium-hard so that was exactly how I liked it. 

On a side note, a good friend of mine, Dalice, recommended cooking your poached eggs in pasta sauce. She’s a smart lady. 

He made the hollandaise sauce using Jamie Oliver’s recipe, except he added a lot more lemon juice. It turned out really well, but he recommends not heating the sauce too much, as it will separate. 

My recommendation if your hollandaise isn’t working out is to follow Julia Child’s advice on this site: http://m.cookstr.com/recipes/hollandaise-sauce-4

The potato recipe I was taking inspiration from can be found here: http://sharedappetite.com/breakfast/sweet-potato-and-kale-hash/

More beauty shots: 

   
   
My recommendation would be to try this with a friend. It’s too much work for one person. Also, cook your potatoes first and get them just perfect before starting anything else. They can sit in the oven to keep warm while you start on the eggs, etc. 

Have fun!

Day 12: Cheesy Enchilada Soup

I’m back and with a vengeance! I made so much soup we won’t need to cook for a month. 

  
Now, I believe I doubled the recipe on everything, except for the beans and the green chillies. Those I kept to the regular amount. The chicken and onions I’m sure I quadrupled…but no regrets! 

If you can’t find corn flour, like me, then just add twice the amount of all-purpose flour. Easy Peasy. 

If your recipe is just not tasting quite right, I would say to add more cheese, cumin, or oregano. The man would say to add more salt and pepper. I think he may know something I don’t, because it tasted better when he dumped a ton of salt in. That being said, it is a great, filling soup. 

  
I followed the homemade enchilada sauce recipe from this site, as well as the soup recipe: 

 http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cheesy-chicken-enchilada-soup-recipe/
P.s. This is (yet again) not a 20-minute recipe! 

Day 10: Simple Summer Corn Soup

This recipe was really surprising. The whole time I was making it I couldn’t get over how non-soupy it looked. I’ve been making these rich, flavourful soups and now I’m making a can of corn, some onions, and some broth together and it’s supposed to magically look like soup? No way. To be honest, this never looks like soup, no matter how long you cook it (unless you blend it, which I elected not to). However, it is insanely good and super easy to make!! This is the perfect recipe if you own zero spices, because there are none involved. 

I added a splash of milk to the soup, and chose canned niblets instead of working with corn cobs. I also used chicken broth instead of vegetable, as it’s all I own. Pretty happy with my decisions! My one recommendation would be to add more potatoes, especially if you aren’t blending it. It’s a bit more hearty that way. 

  

Link:  http://minimalistbaker.com/simple-summer-corn-soup/

Day 7: Southwest Turkey Chilli

Oh lord. Please, don’t ever over-full your crockpot. I thought it would be OK to fill mine to the brim and it boiled over in the night. I woke up and it was all over the counter and the floor. I know this seems like common sense but I wanted to risk it and, in hindsight, I really shouldn’t have. 

However, this recipe was awesome. I totally didn’t follow it, but it was awesome nonetheless. I essentially added the following:

  • 2 lbs cooked ground turkey
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 big cans of diced tomatoes (you should probably drain these as best as possible)
  • 2 packs of chilli seasoning
  • 1 regular-sized can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of beans in tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of brown kidney beans
  • 1 yellow pepper 
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in abodo sauce.

We had to drain off some juice before cooking it, as when we combined it we found it was way too runny. If you don’t like spicy foods, cut back on the chipotle, as it does add quite a kick to the recipe. 

I can’t wait to make this and freeze it for camping this summer! Pretty healthy considering it’s nothing but veggies and turkey. It certainly doesn’t take like healthy food though, which is nice. 

I completely forgot to take pictures before we devoured it all, sorry! 

Here’s the link: http://mariahspleasingplates.com/slow-cooker-southwest-quinoa-chili/

Day 9: Roasted Garlic Alfredo TortelliniĀ 

So what I’ve been finding is that the recipe today and the soup from yesterday are producing about 4 meals worth of food. It’s pretty nice, because it gives us two just enough food for dinner the night I make it, as well as enough for lunch the next day. We could be living off salads for lunch, but we don’t have that type of will power.

I lovedĀ this recipe. While I didn’t have enough cream or parmesan cheese, I thought to add a couple splashes of chicken broth and a few cherry tomatoes. Best substitutions ever. At this point I’m learning what I can throw into recipes for the fun of it, and it’s really helping me to not waste food.


Here’s a helpful tip for peeling garlic: put each clove of garlic into the microwave for 10 seconds. The garlic will be hot, so be careful, but the “wrapping” will slip right off.

This recipe calls for 2 heads of garlic and I know what you’re thinking; You’re thinking they must mean 2 cloves. They really do mean two heads. Don’t worry, we all learn one day that there’s no such thing as too much garlic. However, don’t eat this if you’re going out in public…or if you’re single and looking to mingle. You’ll reek of garlicky goodness (but it will only smell good to you). Life’s just tough that way.

I’m so glad we finally ran out of pasta.


Linkage: http://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com/easy-roasted-garlic-alfredo-tortellini/

Day 8: Creamy Tomato, Sausage, and Tortillini Soup

So I chose this recipe because I’m a hard-core Costco shopper and had way too much Tortillini and sausage left over from my last soup recipe. 

  

It actually turned out pretty fantastic and only took maybe 30 minutes to make….Don’t quote me on that, I have no concept of time. 

I used a pasta sauce called “Mediterranean Garden” by Pure Edibles, and I’m really happy with the results. The unhealthy part about this soup is the 2 cups of cream that go into it. It gives you the option of half and half or 18% and I would definitely choose the half and half if you’re trying to not consume as many calories. 

The only change I made to the recipe was adding a bit more basil and sprinkling some parmasean on top. I recommend doing both! 

   
    
 
I added the last picture for those clean freaks like me šŸ™‚
Here’s the link: http://www.letsdishrecipes.com/2010/02/creamy-tomato-sausage-and-tortellini-soup.html

Day 6: Kale, Sausage and Tortollini Soup

I started cooking this but had an appointment to run to. Luckily my trusty side kick was able to finish it up! 

   
   
End result? Really, really good. Which is surprising due to the presence of kale, but it’s true. This recipe is a winner and I can’t wait to make it again. 

It takes about 1-1.5 hours to make, and I recommend cutting everything up before you start. It’s pretty difficult to multitask for this one. 

Here’s the link: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/italian-sausage-tortellini-soup/?m

Day 5: Jamie Oliver’s Black Bean, Spring Green, and Pork Stir Fry

1.5 hours of cooking. My kitchen is a mess. All I know is that I need a wok and a nap.

There is so many ingredients in this recipe that I’d never heard of. You know why? Because the Brits like to use completely different terms for the same thing! Or maybe it’s us who use the other term, as they technically were here first….

Here’s some quick translations for North Americans: 

  • Corn flour = Corn Starch
  • Caster Sugar = Berry Sugar
  • Spring onions = shallots
  • Higher-welfare pork = I believe this refers to the ethical nature in which it was raised/killed. It should have specified to get low fat pork, because I spent 30 minutes alone just separating fat from pork and it looked like good stuff to me when I was picking it out. 
  • Ground Nut Oil = Who knows? Couldn’t find it but apparently peanut oil will suffice. That being said, I couldn’t find that either so I used walnut oil. Pretty sure walnuts come from trees not the ground so I’m just winging it at this point. Wait, where do peanuts come from?! A lovely lady informed me that different oils are suitable for different temperatures, I’m thinking this is critical but I’ll worry about that out later. 

I had to make a few substitutions to this recipe, but who are we kidding, it’s a stir fry. You can put a cupcake in it and no one will care. I added crushed red pepper flakes instead of chillies because I didn’t see them on the ingredient list when I was shopping. I also added sesame seeds because I’m awesome, and I looked at the pineapple in consideration but decided I was too lazy to cut it up and throw it in. I couldn’t find fermented black beans on their own, so I used a black bean sauce from the “Asian foods” section. I also used brown basmati rice because let’s face it, it’s superior to sticky rice. Not that I’m ricist. I also added bean sprouts and carrots. 

   
 

First taste? Mhmm that’ll do. The ginger has the most overpowering flavour of all the ingredients, but I did add a lot because “5cm ginger” is not a helpful reference to quantity. 

   
 

I would recommend this recipe, or at least adding cooking wine and ginger to your favourite stir fry recipe. Use about 1/2- 3/4 of the ginger I did, as mine was a bit much. 
Here’s the link: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/pork-spring-green-black-bean-stir-fry/

Day 4: Bolognese Sauce

Now this is what I call a recipe! I was super happy with how this turned out; it was very favourful and wasn’t anywhere near as much prep as I expected. The hardest part is just timing it right with dinner, as you have to start making it 8.5-9 hours before its done. The prep of the ingredients takes about 30 min-1 hour and then the slow cooker takes 8 hours. Definitely worth the wait!

The recipe calls for a stock pot and a Dutch oven, but I didn’t have a Dutch oven so I used a large frying pan (it turned out just fine!). In case you’re a novice cooker like me, an example of “coring” a tomato can be found on YouTube and is actually pretty easy. I recommend using VERY ripe tomatoes if you’re going to be coring them, as bruised or old tomatoes are soggy and hard to cut. This is where a good, sharp knife comes in handy! Also, below is what you call a “stockpot”, in case you didn’t know the terminology for it.

I forgot to buy enough onions this week, so my recipe is onion-less. I also forgot Italian seasoning, so I put chicken seasoning and some cumin on my ground beef, instead. I’m slowly learning you can never have too much garlic, so hopefully that will make up for the lack of onions. I’d like to one day try this recipe with ground turkey instead of beef. Also, I used Roma tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes, which were probably more difficult to cut and core. I’ll try that next time.

Here’s a picture of the goods before the 8 hour cook in the crock pot:

And the finished product:


Happy to have found another success!

http://www.littlespicejar.com/slow-cooker-bolognese-sauce/

Day 3: Broccoli Cheese Soup

I have a new favourite thing: the smell of butter and onions being sautĆ©ed in a pan. I’m not one for meditation or hot tubs, but I think the smell of those two together may just be the perfect stress reliever. Who knew I’d find something like that in the kitchen? 

   
    
   
This recipe wasn’t too hard, and turned out pretty well. The end result doesn’t have a whole lot of flavour, but if you add salt and pepper when serving then it’s pretty good. Probably just needs more cheese! 

Here’s the link: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/11/slow-cooker-broccoli-cheese-soup/