So, I bought an ice cream maker.
We have many great independent ice cream shops around the city, and we’ve been known to buy a pint or two from time to time. But at over $10 per pint it’s an expensive habit. So, when I found an ice cream maker on sale, I knew I had to buy it—to save money of course! (Anyone who knows me, or has ever been shopping with me before, knows that I can rationalize just about anything.)
My adventures in homemade ice cream making have been fantastic so far, and I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes for Greek yogurt ice creams and fruit-based sorbets. You may be asking yourself, “what’s ice cream got to do with salad?”” Well, I had some very ripe mangos left over after making a batch of coconut mango sorbet and a fridge full of fresh herbs after a recent trip to the farmer’s market!
Happy first day of Spring!
We are currently cat-sitting two adorable, 4-month-old kittens; they are the cutest things I have ever seen. Even when they are getting into trouble they are cute. Any time I step foot in the kitchen they are right behind me and often jumping up on the counter checking out what I’m doing, or trying to steal a piece of food. We’ve discovered that they will try to eat ANYTHING. I grew up with cats and they would sometimes eat people food, but not like these guys. They’ve forced me to clean up as I cook and not be such a disaster in the kitchen, which my husband is loving because that means less clean up for him!
I mean come on, look how cute they are! Ok, enough about the cats.
The other night I was staring into my fridge, looking for some dinner inspiration, but all I saw was a fridge full of produce staring back at me. As I started taking out different vegetables I noticed a jar of peanut butter and knew exactly what I wanted to make—peanut sauce! Well not just peanut sauce on its own, but a rice bowl where I could use a variety of vegetables and highlight this delicious peanut sauce.
There are many versions of rice bowls or buddha bowls on the internet and they all revolve around the same principle: fill a bowl with hearty whole grains, add as many vegetables as you can fit, and top it all off with a yummy sauce. Two things I love about this concept are, one, it revolves around vegetables and whole grains (win!) and, two, with a little bit of prep you can have lunches or meals for the whole week (double win!). Here I used cooked chicken, roasted cauliflower, grated carrots, purple cabbage for colour and crunch, and quickly steamed greens, all topped off with this addictive peanut sauce. It’s a wonderful mixture of textures and flavours and each mouthful is different than the last.
The cats are really loving the clicking of the keyboard as I type this and keep pouncing at my hands – I think they are telling me it’s time to quit blogging and play with them. Enjoy!
Chicken & Veggie Rice Bowls with Peanut Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 199
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Total Carbohydrates 57g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter (no sugary stuff here)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use sriracha)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons water (or more to desired consistency)
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 2 cups of sliced red cabbage
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 cups of cooked brown rice (= 1 cup dried)
- Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish
- Start with the brown rice as it takes the longest to cook. Use 2 cups of water for each cup of dried brown rice.
- Next roast the cauliflower – cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets, coat with a small amount of vegetable oil, salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet at 425F for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until cauliflower is golden brown.
- Prepare the sauce – combine all the sauce ingredients in a small blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if the sauce seems too thick. If you don’t have a blender, you can make the sauce in the bowl—just be sure to grate the ginger and garlic, and mince the cilantro finely. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken – season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom with oil. Add the chicken thighs ensuring not to overcrowd the pan— you want the chicken to brown. If you don’t have a large enough pan you can do this in batches, or use two pans. Cook for 6 minutes on one side, then flip, and cook for another 6-8 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Steam the kale – add the kale and 1 tablespoon of water to a large pan, cook over high heat until the kale is bright green, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Now time to assemble – divide all the ingredients into 4 bowls, starting with the brown rice on the bottom. Top with all the vegetables and sliced cooked chicken, then pour over the peanut sauce and garnish with peanuts and/or cilantro. Enjoy!
BREAKING BLAND EATS http://breakingblandeats.com/
I’m dreaming of warm California weather today. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re on day number ‘I’ve lost count’ of clouds & rain while my friends to the East are getting the snow storm of a lifetime. Back in November, my husband and I spent an amazing week touring around southern California, which of course included a day at Disneyland. Walking around the park there were a lot of great food choices but I took note of all the people eating hot chili in what we would consider summer weather. Everyone else was bundled in warm jackets and pants while we were sweating in t-shirts and shorts! We may also have been sweating from the 30,000 steps we took while running around the park trying to avoid the line-ups, but either way our definition of cold is clearly very different.
A few years ago, on our way back from Mexico, we decided to bring back a rather large bottle of tequila. I don’t know why we did this, maybe it was too much sun (or maybe too many drinks at the beach?), but at the time we thought it was a good idea. Fast forward 4 years and we still have a huge bottle of tequila sitting on our shelf. In my attempt to slowly make our way through the bottle, without actually drinking it, I came up with this marinade for chicken. It’s now my go-to whenever I need super flavourful chicken for a Mexican inspired meal. It’s delicious on tacos, quesadillas, or as a topping for a nice salad. I recommend getting the marinade started first, because you want to let the chicken soak up all the flavours for at least 30 minutes before you cook it. While you are waiting, you can prep the rest of the ingredients for the warm corn salsa.
It’s reached that time of year again. It’s officially too hot to use any appliance in our small, one-bedroom apartment. Dinner-sized salads have edged out comforting soups and stews on my dinner rotation. I came home from work needing something quick to eat. Since I didn’t have any leftover protein in the fridge, I went to my trusty cupboard and grabbed a can of chickpeas. These little beans pack a punch of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as heart healthy fibre. You’ve heard me talk about fibre before and for good reason. Most of us simply don’t get enough! By adding more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and these versatile legumes into your diet, you can easily boost the amount of fibre you eat.
This salad has all the key ingredients of a delicious and satisfying meal-sized salad; crunchy vegetables, tangy dressing, protein-packed chickpeas and a burst of flavour from the lemon and fresh herbs. I can already picture this salad going perfectly alongside grilled meat or fish, or even wrapped in a tortilla for a quick lunch.