Kalamata Olive Hummus

Take your hummus to the next level by adding Kalamata olives – the saltiness of the olives along with the brine gives the plain hummus an extraordinary make over

Kalamata Olive Hummus 2
sorry for the not-so-good-quality of the photo

I fell in love with hummus about three or four years ago (?).

At first, I thought hummus can’t be more exciting. I thought:  having a bread on the side, some veggies and scrambled egg would keep me love the old, plain hummus like no other.

The good thing with hummus – when you have the basic recipe, you can add whatever you fancy. I have tried with roasted red bell peppers and it was amazing! I have also tried this Gochujang Hummus – oh my! It was really good!!

So it happened that I had kalamata olives and I don’t know what to do with them (I only eat olives when they are in pizza). I had to look for recipes and this caught my attention. Again, I was like, ‘Why I haven’t thought of that?

You know what happened next – I took my food processor to do its job. I used the same Easy Microwave Hummus recipe I have on the blog and added chopped kalamata olives along with its brine.

Thanks for the inspiration, Christine!

Oh my! This Kalamata Olive Hummus is so good I could eat the whole thing in one go! The saltiness of the olives and that brine – it is extraordinary! If you are a hummus lover, you’d definitely love this twist! Trust me coz I really did!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 200. No co-hosts for this week, so we will come back on Tuesday to vote for our favorite recipes. 😀 Thanks to our lovely Angie for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday, people!

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, water reserved (optional: you can reserve 1 heaping tbsp for serving later)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp olive brine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve (optional):

  • Olive oil
  • Few pieces chickpeas
  • Paprika
  • Roughly chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Separate the chickpeas and its water. Reserve the chickpeas water for later.
  2. In a bowl, place your drained chickpeas and remove the skins by taking pieces with both of your hands and rubbing them together. You will notice that the skins with be removed easily and float, then you can easily discard/pour out the water along with the skins.
  3. Wash the skinned chickpeas and drain.
  4. Place the chickpeas in a heatproof bowl and put back the reserved chickpeas water.
  5. Add the garlic cloves and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. In a food processor or blender, add in the microwaved chickpeas with garlic along with chopped Kalamata olives, brine, lemon juice, salt and tahini. While the food processor/blender is mixing, add olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the seasoning at this point, if desired.
  7. Transfer to container and place in the fridge to thicken up and develop flavor.
  8. To serve, drizzle more olive oil, pitted Kalamata olives, chickpeas, roughly chopped parsley and paprika. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita bread.

Note: Skinning the chickpeas is totally optional. You may start with 1/3 cup tahini and add as needed.

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Kalabasa Soup with Dried Fish

The Filipino ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ (Squash with Coconut Milk) in its new form – more appealing, thus, picky eaters would finally love this (well, they should 😀 )

Pumpkin vs Squash. Which one is which? I’ve always had that question since I was a kid, but never really took it seriously. Then there’s my 9-year old nephew saying we are having a soup with pumpkin whenever he knows that we are having such dish.

Growing up, I know Kalabasa is squash. But just to avoid confusion (I am the one actually confused), I will call this one Kalabasa Soup.

Kalabasa Soup is a twist made on ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ which is a soup made of Kalabasa cooked in coconut milk with spices. It is cooked in different variations from places to places. Some add chicken, shrimps and dried fish. In our home, we always use dried fish. Daing (da-ing) or Bulad (boo-lad) refers to a dried fish from the Philippines. Fish are dried by sun-drying and adding salt liberally after splitting up the fish in half and thoroughly cleaned. Bulad can be eaten as is after frying with rice and vinegar dipping sauce.

I am not a huge fan of fried Bulad, but I love it mixed with ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’

‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ looks like the photo below. My version is cooked with ginger, tomatoes, onions, Bulad and coconut milk. The addition of Bulad makes the dish so tasty. I always choose this over the ones with shrimps. Though I love the addition of Daing, I don’t eat it – I give it away (to people who would love it or to doggies).

The traditional way of serving this (in our home) is –  just eat with rice (lots of rice!!!!) and fried fish (I even fry an egg to go with this – why not?). I always mash the Kalabasa like a kid and mix it with my rice.

You may (???) wonder why I am serving this in a different form.

Kalabasa is such a favorite – kids and adults, but there are people (even adults – why??) that when this is cooked with visible veggies (coz some adds spinach, eggplants, string beans, and so on), they would only go for the soup (the coconut milk part). What’s good in that?? Eat veggies, people!

So the thought came to my mind where streets are always busy – make ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ more appealing and easier to eat for kids and picky eater adults, too.

This may look different from the one I grew up eating but tastes exactly the same. At the end of the day, the picky eaters – kids and adults – would definitely love this. I know that, for sure. And I know that I did a good job in serving this dish in its new form.

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 198. Thank you to our ladies this week, Aunt Juju, Liz and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, lovely people, and have a fantastic weekend!

Kalabasa Soup with Dried Fish

Ingredients:

  • Cooking oil
  • 3 fat garlic, minced
  • 2 thumb size ginger, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Bulad (or any dried fish, or fresh shrimps-cleaned)
  • 3 cups Kalabasa/Calabaza (or Butternut Squash), sliced into 1×1 cubes
  • 4 cups coconut milk (I used fresh, but canned is fine)
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Salt, to taste (if using dried fish, be careful in adding salt as the fish is already salty)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add cooking oil.
  2. When the oil is hot enough, add in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add in onions and tomatoes and cook until soft.
  4. Add in Bulad (or whatever you are using) and Kalabasa.
  5. Add in part (3/4) of the coconut milk and let the Kalabasa cook until tender. This will take 5-7minutes.
  6. Add the remaining coconut milk and let simmer for another minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and add sliced spring onions. (This gives additional flavor, too) Season with salt, if needed.
  8. When the dish has slightly cooled down, remove the Daing (you can shred the consumable parts and eat with the dish later, or discard if you want) and place the cooked dish in the food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth and pureed.
  9. Serve this according to your liking: can be served like a traditional soup with a slice of bread (haven’t tried, but I know it will work) or with rice and another fried fish (can be fried mackerel or anything you like).

Notes: If using chicken, shrimp or meat, you may need to add bouillon cubes to enhance the flavor.

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{Whole30} Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

This version of middle-eastern eggplant dip is made with roasted garlic which gives a hint of sweetness to the dip. Perfect with cucumbers and carrots. You know what? This is also perfect with roasted veggies to enjoy as a ‘salad’. 

Do you remember me posting about the crazy food budget I was trying to do? Well, it was nearly successful until I ran out of tahini.

There are many stuff I need to have in my pantry, but I think, since I had my relationship with tahini, it is the most essential one. I did try my best to fit a certain food budget each in a week. First three weeks were completely fine. I’ve managed the headaches I had while thinking deeply what meals could I have within that certain amount. I had to divide meals into more than two meals. I was close to celebrating that finally, for the first time since I was born, I’ve learned how to manage a certain amount of money in a month. I was wrong.

It gone wrong when I started to look for a dip. I wanted hummus, but chickpeas are out of the Whole30 circle. I’ve thought of baba ganoush, which I also really love. It was saved in my system (that I would make it on the coming weekend), but later I found out that I ran out of tahini. I had to choose – whether to reboot my system (which I am 99.9% sure not possible) or to stop this insane food budget and get that bottle of tahini to make my tummy happy. As you can see, I choose that latter. I’ve told myself that I think I did well for the first three weeks and it’s time to celebrate. Three weeks sticking to the food budget? That was insane and I am glad I survived three weeks! Phew!

Baba ganoush is a Middle-eastern eggplant dip. This does not require a lot of effort, but it requires patience while waiting for the eggplants to be cooked and for them to cool down before peeling. After that, everything will be the food processor’s job. I’ve read different versions on how to make this and all of them used freshly minced/grated garlic. I’ve made the same at first, but I didn’t like the aftertaste of the garlic. Even after I brushed my teeth, my burp tasted garlic! Yuck! So the second time, I roasted a whole bulb of garlic while my eggplants are cooking and mixed the garlic with the rest of the ingredients and it was A-MA-ZING!

The roasted garlic gave a hint of sweetness to the dip and it was superb!! Baba ganoush and hummus are now having a battle – which one is better. I might try roasting the garlic the next time I make hummus and let’s see which one wins.

Baba ganoush stayed delicious for two days in my fridge. I enjoyed it with cucumber and carrots. I also tried adding cajun roasted sweet potatoes on top of the dip and I loved it, especially when you add harissa-tahini sauce. I could eat this everyday!

Have you tried making baba ganoush with roasted garlic? If not, why not try it? You will love it, I am sure.

I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #195. Thanks to Angie and our co-hosts, Monika and Sandhya.

Whole30 Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, 600g in total
  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • 4-6 tbsp lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Roasted garlic, 2 whole bulbs (for roasting garlic, you will need: 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and aluminum foil)
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • olive oil, to drizzle the baba ganoush
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chili powder, to serve (I used kashmiri chili powder)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the eggplants. Pierce them using a fork and apply a thin amount of olive oil in each.
  2. Turn on the stove top to low-medium and place the eggplants above and cook until soft, making sure to turn them to make sure that they are evenly cooked.
  3. While eggplants are cooking, preheat the oven to 400F. Cut off the head of the garlic bulb, making sure that cloves are exposed. Place in aluminum foil. Pour olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Close the aluminum foil and place in larger baking pan. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until garlic is soft when pressed. (Your house will smell amazing!) When done, remove from the foil and let cool, Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and set aside until ready to use.
  4. When eggplants are done, transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate for 5 minutes. (This is to further steam the eggplants) Remove the lid and let cool down. (I used a portable mini fan to cool them down coz I was very impatient.)
  5. Peel off the eggplants and place the flesh into the food processor.
  6. Add in chopped parsley, tahini, cumin, roasted garlic, olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Add in lemon and salt according to liking.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with parsley, paprika or chili powder.

Note: This can be eaten right away or can be kept in the fridge.

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{Whole30} Baked Eggs in Smoky Sweet Potato Nests

These baked eggs in smoky sweet potato nests are so perfect that you’d want to everything in one sitting – sweet, salty and spicy. Great to make ahead of time, too. 

How many eggs are allowed to consume in a day? Some say 2 and some say 3. Some say it depends on the rest of the food you consume during the day. I say unlimited. Whaaaat?? You’ve heard (or read) me right. I don’t forbid myself from eating how many eggs I want in a day, but I also don’t eat much and by ‘much’ I mean 6 eggs in a day. When I am really starving, all I want to eat is 2 sunny-side-up eggs – make that with super crisp edges with a runny yolk! Yum! When I am super stressed about anything – the answer is the same. You may probably think I’ll have chocolate in mind, but honestly (and now you know), I’d take eggs again. So when starving strikes + super stressed about clearly anything = 4 sunny-side-up eggs in a day. Cool down! It only happens during weekends. I don’t even know how come I (sometimes) starve during weekends. I may have to reflect on that.

I love my eggs so much that I only choose recipes that are worthy to sacrifice my eggs. Meaning: I’ll choose the recipe with eggs over sunny-side-up eggs. As if I don’t reserve some in case I starve or feel stressed, ha! Also, I am reserving some space in my tummy for sunny-side-up eggs in case of emergency. But making these baked eggs in smoky sweet potato nests might have changed my mind…

Smoked paprika is my new favorite spice. Apart from curry powder, smoked paprika has a very, very special place in my heart (or tummy). I have seen so many recipes like this and they all sounded lovely. But I wanted sweet potatoes and smoked paprika together.

I used hot smoked paprika since I am saving the regular smoked, also in case of emergency. If feeding kids, you can use the regular smoked. I love how the sweet potatoes and eggs tasted with smoked paprika. These were so good that I almost finished everything in one sitting! Hmm, yeah, I may have not eaten them in one sitting, but I ate everything on the same day! Oooopppps!

Today is so fun as I am one of the co-hosts for this week’s Fiesta Friday #192.   The lovely Zeba is sharing the co-hosting duties with me. Join us and enjoy delicious food and good stories. Thanks to Angie for letting this party happen. Please visit the host and co-hosts’ blog, along with the party goers and take time to leave a nice comment on their posts. I am sure it will make everyone smile today.😊 Happy Fiesta Friday!

Whole30 Baked Eggs in Smoky Sweet Potato Nests

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (packed) sweet potatoes, shredded
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 medium eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare muffin pan and generously spray with cooking oil/olive oil spray.
  2. Place your shredded sweet potatoes on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the liquid out. Transfer to a bowl, add olive oil, hot smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Take about ¼ – 1/3 cup of the mixture and use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup to create a nest.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nests are golden brown.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully crack an egg over each nest.
  6. Put the pan inside the oven and bake further for about 8-12 minutes or until the desired doneness of the egg is reached. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Let them stay in the muffin pan for about 10 minutes before enjoying.

Notes: 

*You can use regular smoked paprika to be kid friendly. 

You can top them with any hot sauce like Sriracha or any other topping you’d love.

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{Whole30} Cajun Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Chicken and cauliflower rice flavored with cajun seasoning and roasted to perfection. This is one of the healthy meals I truly enjoyed during my Whole30 adventure. 

The adult human body is 50-65% water. My brother told me mine is composed of 80% green tea. I consume a lot of green tea. Let’s say an average of 1-1.5 liters everyday. Then, water. Don’t ask me – I just love the comfort I get from drinking green tea. Need something to go with a slice of cake? Green tea. Need something to drink while watching TV? I could use a cup or two. When calculating my expenses? I’ll get the whole kettle, please! I am not sure if the word is comforting or addicting.

If my body is composed of 80% green tea, maybe the 15% is for cajun seasoning (let’s call it CS). I have never met CS before. Or if did, I didn’t knew about it. When we met, it was love at first taste. It was like the goddess Aphrodite made me fall in love with CS instantly. I wanted to eat something with CS every single day. But most days, I end up with roasted potatoes. If I should describe it in one word, I would say ‘addictive‘. But I can’t eat anything cajun roasted without my harissa-tahini sauce. They are just so perfect together that they can even marry each other!

Sad to say, bottled tahini can be a bit pricey. I might break the bank when I continue with the CS and tahini marriage. So I had to give CS and tahini some space. CS has to stay, and tahini needs to leave… for now. I have to pair CS with CF (cauliflower).

I have been eating cauliflower rice for a while now, so I’ve thought of roasting CF with CS and chicken. But instead of frying the riced cauli, I roasted them together with the chicken.

The dish turned out really good – the cauli rice was so tasty given the fact the I have coated them with cajun seasoning, olive oil, ghee and garlic. The juices of the chicken also added good flavor to the cauli rice. The cauli rice and chicken were roasted to perfection.

This can be done in separate baking pans, but I have only one oven rack so I fit them in one pan (pictured above). When the cauli rice was cooked, I removed the chicken, transferred to a plate and polished off the cauli rice and moved to a serving plate. Then I returned back the chicken to the pan and again placed back into the oven to cook thoroughly.

This is one of the perfect meals I enjoyed while on the Whole30 adventure.

I am bringing these at Fiesta Friday #191. Thanks to our Angie and to our co-hosts this week, Aunt Juju and Antonia.

Whole30 Cajun Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower (about 4 cups florets)
  • 4 chicken pieces (preferably chicken thighs and drumsticks)
  • Parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

Prep tip: Riced cauliflower and chicken can be marinated (placed in a baking pan) overnight inside the fridge with me rest of the ingredients.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, ghee, garlic and Cajun seasoning.
  3. In a baking pan, add in riced cauliflower. Pour in half of the oil Cajun-oil mixture and give it a good mix.
  4. Rub the other half of the oil mixture all over the chicken, adding a good pinch of salt on each chicken pieces.
  5. Place the chicken over the riced cauliflower.
  6. Bake the cauliflower rice for 25-30 minutes. After that, remove the chicken from the pan. Transfer the cooked cauliflower rice to a plate and put back the chicken pieces to the pan. Return back inside the oven and bake for further 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the oven. Place the cauliflower rice (season with salt, if necessary) on a serving plate, top with chicken. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Notes:

Chicken and cauliflower can be placed in separate baking pans, making it easier to remove the cooked cauliflower rice. It mixed them in one baking pan so the cauliflower rice will get the juice from the chicken.

You can make a large batch and keep some in the fridge up to two days for your next meal. Keeping them in the freezer will make them last longer.

I made only a small batch and kept the half of the dish and enjoyed after 2 days.

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{Whole30} Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters with Cashew Cream

Crispy and smoky sweet potato fritters with only three ingredients, and then served with citrusy cashew cream that gives extraordinary taste to the fritters

Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters 1

Among friends and family, I love anything sweet the most. Of all the people I’ve been close to or worked with, I never met someone like me who loves sweets like I do. That changed until I met my new colleague:

*new colleague makes tea* Do you have sugar?

Me: Um, yes! *handed over the container with sugar*

*new colleague puts sugar in her mug*

Me: *very shocked* No way!! You didn’t just put 6 teaspoons of sugar in that small mug!!

*new colleague LOL* I love very sweet things!

Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters 4

That was totally crazy! Oh, wait… Does any of you consume that much of sugar in one small mug with one tea bag??

My boss knows that I love anything sweet, too. In fact, he gave me a small box of Baklavas! It was insane coz I was doing the Whole30 that time and it has only been two weeks. It was my fourth month, but I just can’t mess it up! Well, I’ve thought of taking a bite and convince myself that ‘Nah, it’s just a bite. It won’t hurt.’ I’ve fought very hard seeing that box in front of me for the whole afternoon. As soon as I arrived home, I placed the box in the fridge. And yeah, I survived the temptation. Bravo, Jhuls! Yourself is so proud of you!

Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters 2

Soooo, for a person who has a sweet tooth like me, it is kinda difficult to do the Whole30 without having anything sweet. Thanks to sweet potatoes. Aside from the lovely sweet potatoes, I love munching on cashew nuts, too.

I had sweet potatoes that have begun sprouting and I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes-smoked paprika relationship, so why not make something really good?? Add arrowroot starch and I am all set for my snack. Um, how about the ‘sauce’? I was lazy to make mayo and my ketchup is not Whole30 compliant so I had to check from my BFF Google what can I do? I came across with citrus cream and found out that it uses cashew nuts. No questions asked, no doubt – I should make it!

Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters 5

The citrus cashew cream gave a very nice taste when eaten with the sweet potato fritters. Imagine sweet and citrusy. It’s like a sweet potato lemonade. Um, is that a thing?? I had one problem which was the cashew cream not turning into a very smooth cream coz I used a regular blender. I think this is an excuse for me to get a high powered blender. What do you think?

Going back to these beauties, they are absolutely heaven! I’ve made eight from the recipe below and all went to my happy tummy!

I am bringing these at Fiesta Friday #189. Thanks to our Angie for making this amazing party possible.💐

Whole30 Smoky Sweet Potato Fritters with Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

For the cashew cream:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashew, soaked in warm water for 2 hours
  • 1/4 warm water
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Pinch of salt

For the sweet potato fritters:

  • 300g sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

For the cashew cream:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small container and place in the fridge until needed.

Source recipe: OnTheDF

For the sweet potato fritters:

  1. In a bowl, place all shredded sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch, and smoked paprika. Mix until combined.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add in olive oil.
  3. Take about 1/4 or 1/3 cup of the mixture and press to bind. Fry in hot oil on both sides until cooked and crisp.
  4. Serve with cashew cream, mayo, ketchup or with your other dipping sauce.

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{Whole30} Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Chicken thighs and veggies coated in balsamic vinegar and other spices you may already have on hand, roasted to perfection! Huge batch can be made ahead and reheated the next day/meal. 

Grocery shopping should be one of the happiest moments in a foodie’s life and grocery day should be labeled as ‘Oh! It’s a happy day!’ day. The ‘Oh! It’s a happy day!’ day turned out to be my ‘Oh! What a nightmare!’ day! I used to spend a lot of money on food, especially when my brain saved my Mom’s line “You don’t have to refrain from spending when it comes to food.” And yeah, for years, that’s what I did! Thanks, Mom! 

My feeling before when planning to go to the grocery store was 500% happy, but now it’s more like 5% happy that I am going to a happy place, 5% feeling anxious that I MIGHT spend much on unnecessary stuff and 90% I KNOW that I will get unnecessary stuff! Don’t ask how I know the percentage – I just know!

I was trying to convince myself that I am trying to eat healthier and eating more clean food than dirt can be a bit pricey. But again I realized that even if I eat dirt, I still spend a LOT! At the moment of receiving my salary, I have so many plans to buy (well, most of them… FOOD!) The truth is, I DON’T HAVE BUDGET FOR FOOD! I never did!

 

I just buy whatever I want! But as people say ‘you don’t always get what you want’.

Soooo…. I am teaching myself now how to limit my expenses when it comes to food! Sorry, Mom. I have to. I know you’ll be proud of me up there. Wish me luck!

I bought 8 pcs of chicken thighs, not-so-expensive sweet potatoes, mushrooms and I used the remaining bell peppers I have. I had balsamic vinegar and the rest of the ingredients so I had a chance to make this superb meal. The other four pieces chicken thighs were kept for another dish. I kept half of this dish for another day so this can be made ahead and reheated the next day/meal. See? I am learning…

What are you up to this weekend? For sure, I’ll spend some quality time with my kitchen. Right now, I am happy to be co-hosting Fiesta Friday # 184 with the talented and creative Petra @ Food Eat Love. And of course, this party is not possible without our Amazing Angie. Please click on the image below and take the time to visit, will ya?

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I hope you will love this dish and I am thrilled to know that balsamic vinegar is also Whole30 approved. So exciting!

Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into squares
  • 1 medium sized onion, quartered
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • Parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Prepare a baking dish enough to accommodate the chicken and veggies.
  2. In a bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic powder, minced garlic, dried oregano and dried thyme. Add in chicken and sweet potatoes and give it a good mix. Add the coated chicken pieces and sweet potatoes in the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Add in the mushrooms, bell pepper and onion to the bowl with the vinegar mixture. Mix to coat. (You can add little vinegar & olive oil, if necessary). Add these veggies to the baking dish with chicken and sweet potatoes and bake for additional 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. If desired, you can also broil the chicken and veggies to darken the color a bit. Add chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Source recipe: One Pan Balsamic Roasted Chicken and Vegetables by Yammie’s Noshery

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{Whole30} Spicy Ground Beef and Butternut Squash

This dish of ground beef and butternut squash is spiced with nutmeg and cumin – will leave your kitchen smelling so warm and inviting and your tummy full and happy. 

There are times that even if you haven’t tasted the food or the combination of ingredients, you’d instantly thing that it’s weird. That’s what happened when I saw nutmeg and cumin a recipe. I am not a huge fan of cumin, but I am trying use it so I would be used to it. And nutmeg – I only use it for white sauce for pasta. The smell of nutmeg is kinda weird to me when I think of adding it to food. So nutmeg and cumin? Hmm, let me think about that! But you gotta try to see for yourself, right?

If you notice from the amount of serving I have written below, it’s 1-2. That is because I just wanted to try this recipe, especially the combination of cumin and nutmeg. I was doubtful at first, but I know I’d eat anything with butternut squash. I cannot explain how I liked the dish, but it was definitely good! It was a unique combination (at least for me) of everything, but I am happy that I tried it – so perfect for to add up to my collection of Whole30 recipes. And as I expected, I finished the dish in one go!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday #179, hoping that my food buddies will love this. Thanks to our co-hosts, Petra @ Food Eat Love and Laura @ Feast Wisely. And of course, to our lovely Angie!

Spicy Ground Beef and Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 250g ground beef
  • 1 cup peeled & chopped butternut squash
  • Parsley or coriander, to garnish*

Instructions

  1. In a pan with medium heat, add in olive oil.
  2. Add onion and jalapeno and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions turn brown.
  3. Add in beef and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add in powdered spices and mix to incorporate.
  5. Add in butternut squash and put the lid on. Cook until the butternut is cooked (about 8-10 minutes).
  6. Remove the lid and season with salt and pepper. Add in fresh herb.

Source recipe: Spicy Ground Beef and Butternut Squash by My Heart Beets

Notes:

The source recipe calls for fresh sage, but I didn’t have any.

This serves from 1-2. You can double the recipe. 

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{Whole30} Harissa Sweet Potato Fries

A very nice replacement to naughty deep-fried potatoes and this is Whole30 compliant. This has lesser oil, no flour or breadcrumbs for the coating – so this is gluten-free, too. 

I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I wake up in the middle of the night and it is very difficult to go back to sleep again. When I get up for work, I thought I just took a nap. Still, I don’t feel that sleepy. It’s like I’ve swallowed a bunch of energizer battery. I am not complaining – I love being hyper. But having that much of energy in the middle of the night is not good!

Do not tell me about drinking chamomile tea. I tried – it didn’t work. I tried again, it didn’t work. I even bought dried chamomile flowers – still didn’t work. Do I have to drink the whole packet of dried flowers? Hmm, I guess my body has too much energy that a cup or two of chamomile tea is not strong enough to calm me down.

I’ve stayed like that for weeks – I wanted to get up and do the laundry at 1am or iron my clothes, or even do this harissa sweet potato fries again… only if I bought a huge bag of sweet potatoes.  I would have enjoyed this all by myself. But with that very lovely smell coming from this – I don’t think so. The neighbors might ring the bell, too. 😀

This sweet potato fries is flavored with harissa and contains less oil. The coating doesn’t include oil except the oil that comes from harissa. I’ve used the harissa I’ve made and it was irresistibly good!

I served this with harissa-tahini sauce and it was crazy good! I have also tried with homemade harissa and wow – also really good! I haven’t tried the store-bought harissa, but I guess it would do just fine. I am sure this would be great with mayonnaise and ketchup, too. 😉

I am sharing this healthy stuff at Fiesta Friday #178!. Thanks for the amazing party, Angie!

Harissa Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper greased with little olive oil.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and wash thoroughly. Slice into fries and place in a bowl or ziplock bag.
  3. Add in harissa, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix to coat the sweet potatoes.
  4. Place in the prepared baking pan, making sure to put them in a single layer, not crowded.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked and tender.
  6. Serve immediately with harissa-tahini sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup or harissa.

Source recipe: Harissa Sweet Potato Fries by Wall Flower Kitchen

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