Monday, March 24, 2014

Smoky Paprika Chipotle Chicken Thighs

This was an EASY slap together dinner. It was basically a mix-then-stick-in-the-oven type of cooking. It is also delicious and full of flavor.

About the spice, VG's Smoky Paprika Chipotle. This was a spice I found at my parents' spice cupboard. It was purchased at TJ Maxx in a set. It was just sitting there untouched, so one day I decided to spice chicken with it. It tasted fantastic! I was ready to order it in bulk online but decided to check the local TJ Maxx... and behold, there it was on the shelf. I'm not sure how long they will stock this spice in their shelves, but I'm glad that it's still there. Otherwise, you can click on the link and purchase it here.

So, here's my dilemma. People usually give the dark meat to people they like less. If it were me, I'd say... "Hell yeah! Give me the dark meat!" -- Though chicken breasts are the healthier option, I prefer all the other parts of the chicken (sans bones, gizzards, chicken feet, face, butt) - simply because they're juicier and taste better. I'll take chicken thighs over breasts any day.

Smoky Paprika Chipotle Chicken Thighs
By Elle A
Serving Size: 6
Marinate Time:  1 hour (optional)
Cook Time:  40 minutes
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Water
3 tbsp VG's Smoky Paprika Chipotle *
6 Boneless Chicken Thighs
Salt & Pepper as needed

  1. Preheat oven 325° F
  2. Mix olive oil, vegetable oil, and water in a mixing bowl. 
  3. Add VG's Smoky Paprika Chipotle spice to the mixing bowl and whisk.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper to chicken thighs then add to the bowl. Coat evenly with the mixture. 
  5. Marinate for one hour (optional)
  6. Place chicken thighs in a glass oven safe container and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and flip each chicken thigh. Bake for another 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
  8. Serve with brown rice and a side of vegetables.
  9. Add salt and pepper as needed.
* If you don't have this spice, try your own blend of these spices: chili pepper, mesquite, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, chipotle, and sugar.
* We tend to like our chicken with more flavor, so we add more spice to it for kick.
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Minced Beef Wellington

I used Veggie Crumbles for this recipe instead of ground beef.
Next time I make it, it will be the real meat.


Due to how the puff pastry defrosted, I couldn't roll it like the
recipe describes. Instead, I placed the stuffing in the middle, brought
in two sides of the pastry and sealed it at the top and at the sides.
It still turned our rather well.

The first time I tasted Beef Wellington was at my friends' wedding reception circa 2012. It had a crunchy outside and a moist meat inside. I always wanted to duplicate the dish, and even though my version could never top what I had at that reception, I finally got a chance to attempt cooking it a couple of nights ago. I made it vegetarian (Griller Crumbles instead of ground beef) so that my mother could taste it.

This recipe wasn't bad, considering the use of vegetarian meat - my husband loved it. His exact quote, "I will be asking you to make this often!" -- Next time I make it, I'll use REAL LEAN meat. It will taste loads better. Can not wait to cook it again - perhaps next month. 

Here is my take on Oh Sweet Day's Minced Beef Wellington.

Minced Beef Wellington
By Oh Sweet Day
Serving Size: 6
1 medium onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 potato
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
2 tablespoon thyme
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb good quality minced beef
salt and pepper to taste
500 g puff pastry

  1. Preheat over to 350F.
  2. Peel and chop the onion, carrot, celery and potato into one centimeter cubes.
  3. Place all vegetables, rosemary leaves, and thyme into a frying pan with olive oil. Fry and stir for about 8 minutes or until vegetables soften and color.
  4. Put vegetables into large bowl to cool completely.
  5. Add the minced beef to the bowl with salt and pepper and half the egg. Scrunch together.
  6. Roll out pastry to size of small tea towel.
  7. Place mince mix along one long side, in sausage shape.
  8. Brush edges of pastry with egg and roll pastry to cover mince completely. Squeeze ends together.
  9. Put onto baking tray, brush with remaining egg. Bake for an hour until golden.Slice and serve with gravy.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Flavoured Water

I started making my own fruit water using my Prodyne Fruit Infusion Pitcher. Every morning, I'd drink 16.9 fl oz - the size of a water bottle. It's refreshing and cleansing. 

There are many recipes of how to flavour water on Pinterest and I can't wait to try some. But in the pictures in this post, I cut lemons, squeezed some, added strawberries, piled them inside the hallow rod, filled it with water, and then let it sit overnight inside the refrigerator. By morning, the water is flavoured. I don't add any sugar or any artificial sweeteners. I'm trying to get used to the real sweetness and taste of some foods in its natural raw state. This whole pitcher can fill 5.5 water bottles. I love love love love love it.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Parmesan Garlic Spaghetti Olio With Red & Green Peppers

I make one pasta dish a week and it's usually a variation of Spaghetti Olio. In Italian, Olio means oil. So this spaghetti dish is oil based, simple, and versatile. You can't go wrong with an olive oil and garlic base - and then whatever else you want to to flavor the dish. What's fantastic about it is that my whole family loves it. Our picky toddler can devour this in massive amounts. It is a winner and it's soooo easy to make.

Parmesan Garlic Spaghetti Olio 
With Red & Green Peppers
By Elle A
Serving Size: 4
Total Time:  35 minutes
4 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Large Chopped Onion
1/2 Large Red Pepper Chopped
1/2 Large Green Pepper Chopped
10 Cherry Tomatoes Quartered
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 Box of Spaghetti
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3/4 cup Water
2 tbsp Garlic Powder
3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
6 Strips Turkey Bacon Chopped

  1. Saute garlic in a large pot with 2 tbsp ghee or butter until golden. Add the chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. 
  2. Add the red pepper and green pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Set it low heat for another 5 minutes. Continue stirring. Add salt and pepper as desired and then set aside. 
  3. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. 
  4. Cook turkey bacon strips according to package directions and set aside. Chop once cooled.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup water, 2 tbsp garlic powder, and 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
  6. Add the cooked garlic, onions, and the red and green pepper. Mix.
  7. Add more salt, pepper, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese to taste. Mix.
  8. Mix in or top with cherry tomatoes.
* To make this diabetic friendly, use Dreamfields Spaghetti
* Substitute tomatoes with chopped sun dried tomatoes for a different taste
* For a kick, sprinkle crushed red peppers
* Omit turkey bacon to make it vegetarian
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