Thai Mango Salad

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A girl I follow on YouTube called Leyla from Getfitwithleyla occasionally posts recipes for healthy meals, namely vegan. This salad was one of those recipes I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It looks so colorful and full of flavor, and I’ll eat pretty much anything with mango in it. I also like trying new salad recipes to keep me motivated to eat salads and keep vegetables interesting. It turned out pretty well, and the flavors were pretty interesting because there were so many in this dish. It mixes sweet with salt, and spice with tartness. You can also adjust this to your own liking if you’re not a fan of spice or anything else in this dish. I didn’t follow Leyla’s recipe exactlty because i forgot to buy red onions, so I used shallots/green onions instead. I rarely follow instructions so I’m sorry I don’t have exact measurements of things. My measuring involves, “Yeah, that looks about good.”

Ingredients

  • Bell peppers/capsicum: assorted colors.
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 Mango
  • 1 Cup parsley
  • Bean sprouts

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Dressing

  • 1/2 Jalapeno pepper
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

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Directions

First is the painstaking task of cutting the mango, bell peppers and cucumber julienne style. Julienne is a fancy way of saying cut stuff into long thin slices. They make machines for this process but I like most people I imagine do not own such a machine. It is also quite trying to peel the mango, but I think my years of working in a restaurant have traumatized me from having to peel and cut onions and potatoes en masse.

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So, two hours later after you’ve completed this step you need to finely chop the parsley and green onions.

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Now set these ingredients aside to prepare the dressing.

Grate the ginger and cut up the jalapeño peppers finely. In a small bowl add the soy sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, jalapeño peppers and ginger and mix together.

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The dressing may sound odd, but it’s what really creates the thai flavor in this. If it sounds too weird, you really could add whatever dressing you’d like to this…it just wouldn’t be a Thai salad anymore.

Now you just add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Leyla suggested to add cashews to this dish to add even more of an Asian flavor. That would be a good idea if you are eating this salad on its own. It is a pretty filling salad. I didn’t add cashews because I was serving it with steamed cod.

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This salad was pretty good to me but I like weird flavors and have a love for mango. I was actually pretty surprised with how much it had that signature thai flavor. I honestly thought it was going to just taste like a salad with soy sauce, but all the flavors work really well together. I actually think this would be a hit with my vegan in-laws so I’ll definitely be making it the next time we get together. I have to admit my husband didn’t warm to it immediately. There was a bit of slow chewing and a look of befuddlement going on, but he only likes about 3 of all known vegetables. He also is not a fan of mango.

But if like me you are drawn to the weirdest thing on the menu, are adventurous and have 5 free hours then give this a go!

Note: It really only took me about 45 minutes to julienne the ingredients, it’ll be okay.

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Cumin Pork with Avocado Salsa

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I found this recipe on one of the major recipe sites. I can’t remember which one, but so many have this recipe. I don’t make it exactly as they describe because I am terrible when it comes to reading instructions. I just borrowed my mother-in-law’s sewing machine and skimmed over the instructions. After messing with it for an hour I got fed up with it not working and put it aside. In comes my husband who is all for technicalities and reads the manual. He figures it out immediately and gets it working. It’s just one of my downfalls…What was I thinking going into accounting when I clearly have NO eye for detail?

Anyway, once again I like this because it’s so easy. Pork cooks really quickly, and only needs about 10 minutes on the pan. I am also all for recipes that use such few ingredients. I don’t have the patience or desire to go out and find 50 different ingredients, especially when some require going to exotic stores.

Ingredients

Pork Chops/Tenderloins

Whole or ground Cumin

Salt

Olive Oil

Sauce

1 avocado

1 Cup Salsa Verde

I may be wrong but I feel like using whole cumin that you ground up brings out more flavor, especially during the cooking process.

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All you have to do is add some salt to the pork, and then sprinkle cumin over both sides. I then add a small amount ( about 1 Tblsp) Olive Oil to the pan, and then cooking the pork on medium to high heat for about 5-10 minutes on each side. For the sauce you just cut up one avocado into small cubes and then combine it with the salsa. It is very hard to make this sauce look appetizing, but I assure you it is really good.

IMG_3064Now you just pour the sauce over the pork and serve it with whatever you like. I usually serve it with salad or corn. The flavor of the avocado salsa mixed with the cumin pork just works so well together. I’m sure that if you try this you will add it to your dinner rotation. It’s also really healthy, and the sauce makes it very filling!

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Steamed Salmon & Salad

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When it comes to salmon I can be pretty picky. I mainly like salmon raw as sashimi or sushi. I very rarely like Salmon cooked in terms of being fried or baked in an oven. There was one time my husband made salmon that was a complete freak accident, and it was amazing. The skin on each side was perfectly seared and crispy, while the inside was perfectly cooked. Never again have we been able to recreate it. Never. No matter what we do the sides do not come out crispy, so I gave up. But last week I tried steaming salmon in the rice cooker and it came out perfect! This is now in rotation for dinner because it’s so easy and only takes 30 minutes or less. All I do is put salt and lemon pepper seasoning on top of the salmon, and then drizzle some lemon or lime juice on top and let it steam. Surprisingly the white rice option on our rice cooker perfectly cooks both the rice and fish at the same time limit. I cook basmati rice along with the fish so my husband doesn’t starve, and then we both have it with salad.

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For the past few weeks I have really been liking putting kale into our salads. Kale has a bitter taste that adds both flavor and texture to a salad. I use both kale and red leaf lettuce, with tomatoes and avocado. I also add capsicum if I have any in the fridge. I think salads are usually more appetizing when they have a lot of textures and flavors going on in them. My husband also makes a light dressing that is really good using the following:

Dressing

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Steak Sauce

1 Tsp Italian Herbs

Don’t be thrown off by the steak sauce, it adds an extra bite to the flavor! Apple cider vinegar is a great alternative to store bought dressing because it has so much flavor. It’s both tart, sour and sweet. The perfect combination for salads. Apple cider vinegar has countless health benefits too, so this salad is like a superfood beast!

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Cilantro & Parsley Meatballs

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Ingredients

1 cup cilantro

1 cup parsley

1lb ground turkey

1 egg

1/2 onion grated

Salt, pepper, and 1tsp cumin

1 jar pasta sauce (I used Spicy Marinara because I love spicy food)

Instructions

These are really easy to make and pretty quick. Just heat up the pasta sauce in a pan or pot on low heat. Finely cut up the cilantro and parsley. Combine all the ingredients together and then form into balls. Once the sauce is bubbling a bit in the pan then add the meatballs and cover. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat.

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I make this with a bit of pasta for my husband, but I just have it with salad. It’s really light and healthy, and it’s so full of flavor because of the fresh herbs. I love making this too because it’s so quick, which is nice for when you have to make dinner after work/school/LIFE etc.

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These were so good I may have to make them again for dinner tonight. I’m also going to find a way to make them vegan for my in-laws. The mixture of the herbs and the pasta sauce is too good to miss out on. I think I may just have to replace the ground turkey with a chickpea and potato mixture perhaps. But try this, it’s awesome! You can even make your own pasta sauce, but nobody got time for that!

Strawberry Fields with Sprinkles of Cinnamon

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I had some strawberries that were starting to go to the dark side so I thought I’d add some to my greek yoghurt today. I also like to add cinnamon to a lot of things because it smells and tastes amazing, and it has numerous nutritional benefits. I was dealing with a low immune system and some related health concerns last week and it really made me wonder how much we can help cure and protect our bodies with food and natural remedies, rather than taking medicine, namely antibiotics. The misuse, and overuse of antibiotics is creating superbugs, and it scares me to think that they may not work one day when we really need them.

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I used a plain Greek yoghurt that was 140 calories, with a few cut up strawberries and sprinkled cinnamon on top. I think overall this would only be about 200 calories, which is pretty decent for a very filling breakfast, or snack.

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  • Contains fiber, calcium, iron and manganese.
  • It has the ability to kill certain bacteria, fungi and parasites, and it is used in food preservation.
  • It helps your digestive system, especially if you have an upset stomach.
  • It regulates blood sugar level, which is especially good for diabetics.
  • It can reduce bad cholesterol.
  • It can also aid in weight loss by slowing down the body’s process of breaking down glucose.

I’ve also been trying my hand at making different kinds of healthy desserts that I can serve to my sister-in-law and her husband who have been vegan for over a year now. I’ve tried making vegan cupcakes, and rum balls at Christmas time which turned out pretty good. Today I just made a very basic dessert of strawberries and bananas with cinnamon and dark chocolate (no dairy). The cinnamon once again kicks up the flavor and just makes it a simple and easy little dessert to have at family get-togethers.

Simple Ingredients

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End Result

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With Cinnamon

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So as you can see it’s nothing that’s going to change any lives here, and nothing that probably hasn’t been done before. I did think adding cinnamon gave it a nice twist though, but it depends on whether you like cinnamon or not. I also love to bake peaches and pears with cinnamon, and some honey. Peaches and pears aren’t fully in season yet though so I also used up some bananas that were getting too ripe. I just used the same basic idea again. Nothing to write home about.

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I sprinkled cut up banana pieces with cinnamon first, and then dipped them in the melted chocolate. The melted chocolate by the way was just dark chocolate squares melted down with a bit of water. I didn’t want to add any more sugar to the mixture.

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Bananas are very squishy as you know and hard to deal with so I used sticks to hold them up. It’s easier for people to eat them too. This would also be a good idea for kids birthday parties to have some healthier alternatives. Sprinkles definitely make them look more festive and fun. You could decorate them however you wanted with assorted sprinkles, nuts, or even edible glitter.

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Scrambled Egg with Spinach

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Ingredients:

  • Olive oil (optional). You can also use Pam spray that has no calories.
  • 1/2-1 cup spinach. Raw or frozen.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 eggs

This is a really basic thing you can cook in a few minutes for breakfast, or even lunch. You can even add different spices, and just use egg whites. I personally don’t see the problem in eating the yolk but it doesn’t matter either way. This is just really healthy and the spinach adds extra flavor and vitamins. You just have to whisk the eggs and spinach together and then fry them like you usually would. I prefer to use frozen spinach because it adds a better consistency to the eggs. Raw spinach takes times to really cook down and mesh with the egg. Frozen spinach also still contains all the vitamins that raw spinach does, and it’s more convenient.