Delicious, Nutritious Fruity Smoothie

I recently discovered this delicious, nutritious smoothie recipe with mango, banana pineapple, avocado and spinach.

How to prepare

Simply blend together 0.5-1 cup water, 1/2 banana, 1 cup roughly chopped mango, 1 cup roughly chopped pineapple, 1 avocado and 2-3 cups baby spinach.

What I love about this recipe

  • Packed with nutrients
  • Full of flavor
  • A great way to use up spinach that would normally be lying neglected at the bottom of the fridge
  • A hit with the whole family and a good way to include  healthy fruits and vegetables in the kids’ diet

Suggestions/Modifications

  • If you are not too keen on banana, I would reduce the amount or even eliminate it altogether because even just half a banana can overwhelm the other flavors in the smoothie
  • If you don’t have time to chop up all the fruits, try using pre-chopped frozen fruits instead (lightly thaw before blending)
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Ready to drink!
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My testers….this smoothie is “kid approved”

 

 

Delicious Coconut Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

I would never have thought of combining shrimp, coconut and grapefruit in one dish but that is exactly what this coconut shrimp ceviche recipe does, and the result is divine!

I was inspired to make this recipe from the book “Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining” by Karen Bussen.

I modified the recipe as shown below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound  (approximately 90-100) shrimp, peeled, cooked, with the tails removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 to 1.5 grapefruits roughly chopped into sections, peel removed
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • If shrimp is frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Remove tails (if present) by gently prying off. You could also use a knife but you may lose some of the shrimp left inside the tail.
  • Extract juice from lemons (approximately 3 to 4) into a small bowl.
  • Add coconut milk to lemon juice and stir briefly to mix.
  • Cut grapefruits in half (transversely) and chop into small sections (skin removed)
  • Place shrimp in a serving dish and add grapefruit sections.
  • Pour lemon/coconut milk over the shrimp/grapefruit.
  • Chop up fresh cilantro and sprinkle over the dish.
  • Add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

What I love about this recipe:

  • Unique blend of flavors
  • Very quick and easy to make
  • Kid-friendly

Options/Modifications:

  • You can add some diced jalapenos for extra flavor.
  • You can chop up the shrimp into small pieces prior to marinading.
  • You can serve with steamed rice or on its own.
  • You can use raw shrimp and then marinade for a longer time (about 1 hour). The citrus juices of the lime/lemon will cook the shrimp.
  • Coconut milk can be quite high in saturated fat so you can select a light version with less fat if preferred.

Enjoy your delicious coconut shrimp ceviche!

 

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Coconut shrimp ceviche

 

Scrumptious Black Bean Enchiladas

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Image courtesy of potentialdoctor.com

I’m always on the look out for new tasty recipes, particularly ones that are kid-friendly and nutritious. Last week I stumbled upon this delicious bean enchilada recipe. It was scrumptious and very easy to make. The main ingredients are beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, grated carrots wrapped in tortillas and topped with a dollop of yogurt and grated cheese.

Now, my kids have an onion ‘radar’ second-to-none, but I was able to disguise the onions by chopping them up as small as possible and frying them in some delicious spices that the kids could not resist. (The spices were Dhana jeera and Garam masala which can be found at Indian stores and some supermarkets. If you are unable to locate these particular spices, you can whip up something similar using ground coriander, cumin, cloves and turmeric).

You can use any type of bean for this recipe (I used black beans) and even include some lentils. A green salad complements the enchiladas nicely. This recipe was a hit with the entire family and refrigerates well for a subsequent meal. I hope you enjoy your enchiladas as much as we did!

 

 

 

Cilantro and Lime Salmon

I am always looking for new ways to cook fish and this week, I found an absolutely mouth-watering recipe for making salmon. Since I am cooking for a family of four and time is of the essence, my goal is to make recipes that are tasty yet easy to make.

Cilantro and Lime Salmon. Photo credit: potentialdoctor.com
Cilantro and Lime Salmon. Photo credit: potentialdoctor.com

The salmon recipe courtesy of Closet Cooking consists of a simple marinade made from cilantro, lime (juice and zest), and garlic. Jalapeno chilies are an optional ingredient. I made the salmon with a side of mashed potatoes, tomato and corn salad.

What I loved about this recipe:

  • The marinade keeps the fish moist during cooking
  • Makes use of healthy ingredients such as garlic and cilantro
  • Tasty lime flavor
  • Easy and fast

Suggestions/Tips:

  • Try to avoid cooking for more than the recommended time as this will dry out the fish.
  • If you don’t have much time to marinade the salmon, then marinade for just 15 minutes prior to cooking. This will still make a difference in bringing out the tasty lime flavor.
  • To enhance the appearance of the salmon, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges

I hope you enjoy your cilantro and lime salmon dish!

Delicious Breakfast Egg Cups

I have been really enjoying trying new recipes regularly. It gives me something to look forward to in the kitchen, I get to surprise my family with something new and it is helping me to get more organized with my meal planning!

This week’s new recipe is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe courtesy of Super Healthy Kids.

It consists of eggs, spinach, red peppers and cheddar cheese baked in a muffin tray.

A freshly baked breakfast egg cup.
A freshly baked breakfast egg cup.

What I loved about this recipe:

  • Fast and easy
  • Colorful appearance from the spinach and red peppers
  • Versatile (you can vary the ingredients you include)
  • Great way to use up left-over vegetables
  • Freezes well for future meals
  • Kid-friendly (although one of my kids did pick out the red peppers!)

Suggestions/Tips:

  • Only fill the muffin tray 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up because the egg expands upon baking.

I hope you enjoy your breakfast egg cups!

Freshly baked breakfast egg cups.
Freshly baked breakfast egg cups.

Ginger Chicken Curry with Tender Peas and Basmati Rice

My recent goal has been to experiment with at least one new recipe a week. The new recipe I tried this week was a delicious ginger chicken curry recipe courtesy of Once Upon A Chef.

Delicious Ginger Curry Chicken. Image courtesy of potentialdoctor.com
Delicious Ginger Chicken Curry with Peas and Basmati Rice. Image courtesy of potentialdoctor.com

What I loved about this recipe:

  • Great combination of flavour (garlic, ginger, curry powder, cilantro)
  • Easy and fast to make
  • Can be easily batch cooked
  • Uses readily available ingredients
  • Combines peas with the chicken all in one dish
  • Freezes well for a second meal
  • It was a big hit with the husband and kids

Recommended side dish:

This scrumptious chicken curry goes very well with a simple side of basmati rice.

Suggestions/Tips:

  • I have made other chicken curries before but I think what really brought out the flavour of this recipe was the freshly grated ginger and also rubbing the chicken pieces with curry powder before cooking.
  • I found that the curry tasted better without the yoghurt although this could have been because of the type of yoghurt I was using. I recommend tasting the sauce before adding the yoghurt to assess whether it’s really needed.
  • I discovered that frozen peas taste fresher than canned peas and are better for your health.
  • Adding turmeric to the basmati rice while cooking will complement the color of the chicken curry.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Building Your Cooking Confidence…New Recipe of the Week

One secret to eating healthily is finding delicious and nutritious recipes that are easy to make. I have been amazed by the sheer diversity of flavor that you can find in recipes, none of which have to be complicated or time-consuming. Cooking can seem intimidating but it doesn’t have to be! With time and practice, we can build our confidence in the kitchen and boost cooking skills to a new level.

Trying at least one new recipe each week is my latest goal towards eating healthily. Experimenting with new recipes is a great way to build your cooking confidence and has multiple benefits:

  • Improved cooking skills: My former roommates still tease me to this day about the ‘delicacies’ I used to prepare during our university days, namely, rice with ketchup. I really had very few cooking skills! The only way to improve was for me to roll up my sleeves, be willing to experiment and launch myself into the kitchen. Before long, I fell in love with cooking. Food is a great way to connect with people. It breaks down barriers and provides endless topics of conversation! Take your cooking one step further by learning one new recipe each week.
  • Increased confidence in hosting guests: I remember when my husband and I got married and I was nervous about having our first couple over for supper. I realized that I needed to build my confidence in the kitchen. The only way to do that was to practice! Fortunately my husband was willing to eat just about anything and was very patient as I found my way in the kitchen. The more I cooked, the more confident I felt and it wasn’t long before having a group of 30 people over to our house didn’t phase me. Keep trying something new in the kitchen. Even if it fails, you can always try again!
  • A wider variety of nutrients: I cringe when I think about how I used to eat in the past. I can remember a phase when vegetables were optional. I knew they were important but somehow I just didn’t know what to do with them. By trying a new recipe every week, this will provide the opportunity to try a wider variety of foods (vegetables included!) with a greater selection of healthy nutrients.
  • Sustained motivation: I personally am more motivated to cook when I am trying something new or tweaking an existing recipe. The same cycle of meals can be boring so keep it fresh by adding some diversity and expanding your repertoire!
  • Happy family: I have to say that when I try new recipes, the energy at our dining table is tangible. The husband and kids get excited and I feel a great sense of satisfaction in seeing them enjoy what they are eating. Make your cooking journey a shared experience where others can enjoy your new creations!

Without further ado, here is the new recipe of the week, courtesy of Closet Cooking.

Broccoli and Cheddar Quinoa Bites

A freshly baked broccoli and cheddar quinoa bite (image courtesy of potentialdoctor.com)
A freshly baked broccoli and cheddar quinoa bite (image courtesy of potentialdoctor.com)

I made a quick dip for this meal that consisted of soy-sauce, honey, dijon mustard and freshly grated ginger.

  • My review: Very simple to make, fast, nutritious and delicious.
  • Options: I used cajun spices instead of cayenne alone.
  • Kid-friendly? A resounding yes! My kids gobbled this up before I had time to sit down at the table
  • Tip 1: If you have babies or toddlers, you may want to steam the broccoli slightly before baking the mixture in the oven because the baking process does not soften the broccoli completely.
  • Tip 2: Cook a double portion of the quinoa, freeze half of it (prior to mixing with the other ingredients) and use it in subsequent meals such as salads, soups, stews etc.

If you are nervous or unsure about cooking, don’t despair! There is a wonderful world of cooking out there to discover. Take it one step at a time and soon you will have improved cooking skills and more confidence in the kitchen!