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Friday, May 28, 2010

Mexican Chicken, Chili and Grilled Corn soup

This soup has kick and is very satisfying on a rainy day (like today)   It makes a full pot so you will have plenty left over.  The heat of the peppers combined with the sweetness of the corn is fabulous.  A little bit of sour from the lime and it has everything.
note: we ate this for three days for both lunch and dinner and at the end of those three days my husband turned to me and asked- "Can we make this again within the week?".  it's that good. 

First you have to make your chicken broth
The Broth
Chicken Broth Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 large red onions, rough chopped
2 cups carrots, rough chopped
2 cups celery, rough chopped
Course salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 whole organic chicken
1 sprig thyme
1/3 cup Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
1 sprig tarragon
1/3 cup celery leaves
8 whole black peppercorns

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over med. heat.  Add the crushed garlic cloves and sauté for 2 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the onions, carrots & celery to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 8 minutes. 

2. Cut up your chicken into pieces with a heavy cleaver- making sure to cut the bones to expose some marrow.  Add to pot and fill the pot with water until it covers the chicken, bring to a boil.

3.  Tie the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, tarragon and celery leaves into a bouquet using butchers twine.  Add to the pot.  Add the black peppercorns to pot, bring broth to a boil, turn down to med-low, partially cover and simmer for 3 hours.  (add more water if required 1/2 way through cooking)

4. Skim off any fat, strain the chicken broth through a mesh sieve, then strain again through cheese cloth a couple of times until your broth is nice and clear.  Leave to sit and separate a while so that you can skim off the fat.  (I have a special fat skimming container that I use)

5. Hand pick the the good chicken meat and set it aside for soup recipe.

The Soup!
Mexican Chicken, Chili and Grilled Corn Soup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce) minced
1 hot Anaheim New Mexico chili, reconstituted and chopped
1 red onion, diced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
course salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
5 cups chicken broth  (if you don't have enough, top it up with water)
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped coarse and smushed with the side of a knife
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (hand picked from your broth earlier)
1 handful cilantro , chopped
1/2 cup wild rice
2 cobs of corn, grilled
canola oil for grilling
1 cup canned, strained black beans
1 tsp. sucanat (or brown sugar)
handful of cilantro, minced (and some  for garnish)
Fried corn tortillas for topping
Fresh lime to taste
Creme fraiche or sour cream for the dairy lovers

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over med. heat.  Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add chipotles, chilies, red onion, cumin, cayenne, paprika, salt and fresh ground pepper.  Sauté for 8 minutes.  

2. Add the chicken broth, the tomatoes, oregano, hand picked chicken meat and a handful of cilantro.  Partially cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

3. In a separate pot, boil some water, add wild rice and cook according to package, strain.

4. Heat some canola oil, brush some oil on the corn  and grill your corn either in a cast iron pan or on a grill.  You want each side to be grill marked (slightly brown).  Slice off the corn niblets.

5.  In a cast iron pan, heat some oil on medium and add corn tortillas slices, fry until golden, set aside on paper towels.

6.  Add the corn niblets, wild rice and black beans to the soup and stir to combine.  Season with salt, pepper, sucanat and cilantro.

7. Serve soup with crispy tortillas, a squirt of fresh lime, and some creme fraiche or sour cream if you eat dairy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nutrient Density Score Chart

Find the link here-
 Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient density scoring chart
This little chart is pretty much all you need to figure out what is good to eat, what is better and what is best.

If you choose foods from the green and yellow charts first and then add some foods from the gold chart on the far right in moderation- you will be eating healthy.  So easy.

now- go buy some Kale!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas & Red Chili Sauce

 Ken has been holding on to this recipe from his fav site (Cooks Illustrated) to try for several years.  We finally made it and wowzers!  it was good.  I made mine completely dairy free and he used dairy.  Either way we loved it and highly recommend this easy Mexican inspired dish

Sauce & Filling-

1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, pressed (about a Tbsp)
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sucanat (sugar)
4 chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/4" strips
2 -8 ounce cans of crushed tomato's
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 -4 ounce can pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped
(2 cups sharp cheddar cheese for those of you who eat dairy)*

Tortillas & toppings

10 -6" corn tortilla's
vegetable oil
1/2 head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded
2 limes, quartered
salsa or chopped tomato
(cheese and sour cream if you eat dairy)*
Guacamole-  ( I made mine with 3 avocados, pitted and diced, juice of 1 lime, 1 jalapeno pepper diced, some red pepper flakes, a bit of salt, a bit of olive oil, chopped cilantro and 1/2 small onion chopped)


1. Start on the sauce and filling-  Heat oil in med saucepan over med/high heat until shimmering, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown (5 minutes).  Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt & sucanat, cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  Add chicken, stir to coat for another 30 seconds. Add crushed tomato's & 1/4 cup water, stir to separate chicken pieces.  Bring to a roll, reduce heat to med. low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through (8 minutes).

2. Pour the mixture through a med. mesh strainer into a medium size bowl.  Use the backside of a ladle to press the chicken and onion mixture and the liquid sauce will extract.  Set the chili sauce aside.

3.  Transfer the chicken onion mixture to a plate and place in freezer to cool (10 minutes).

4.  Once cool, combine the chicken onion mixture with cilantro, jalapeno, (cheese)* in a med. bowl and set aside.

5.  Preheat oven to 300° F with rack on lower middle position.

6.  Smear a 13x9 inch baking dish with 3/4 cup chili sauce.  Set aside.

7.  Lightly spray tortillas with oil and place on baking sheet, bake for 3 minutes until soft and pliable.  Remove from oven and increase the temp. to 400° F  for the next step.

8.  Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup filling.  Roll each tortilla by hand and place in baking dish, side by side and seam side down. 

9.  Pour remaining chili sauce over the enchiladas.  (and sprinkle with cheese)*

10.  Cover baking dish with foil and bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes.  uncover and serve with guacamole, lettuce, lime wedges, salsa or tomato (cheese and sour cream)*

*- dairy or soy products for those of you who eat that.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Goan Coconut Curry Chicken & Cauliflower Keema

We bought  a new cookbook. Kris Dhillon's -The New Curry Secret.  Do not attempt these recipes if you are a novice cook or if you are in a hurry.  From scratch, these two dishes will take nearly 4 hours of cooking/prep time.  Is it worth it?  Oh yes.  This is fine dining Indian style.  I highly recommend the dishes.  Highly.

Be sure to read recipes through. Start by making the curry sauce, then the cauliflower (and brown basmati rice) and then cooking the chicken* and then making the Goan chicken dish itself.  This is much easier to do with two chefs. 

The first thing you will need to make is the curry sauce.  This curry sauce can be stored in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for a month.  This recipe will make enough for around 4 main curry dishes.

Curry Sauce-
prep & cook time- 1 hour

4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 kg onions, sliced
1 tsp. salt
50g fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
50g garlic, coarsely chopped
1.5 L water
1 225 g can tomatoes
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. paprika


1. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add sliced onions.  Stir on high heat for 1 minute, turn down heat to med/high.  Continue to cook onions, stirring frequently for 10 minutes, until onion is transparent and beginning to brown at edges.

2.  Add salt, stir well, turn down heat to lowest setting, cover pan and continue to cook onions for 20 minutes, stir occasionally. 

3. Add ginger & garlic to onions. Turn heat up to med. and cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.

4. Add water, bring to boil on high, turn heat down  and simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

5.  Once cool, ladle half of onion mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.  Pour blended onion mixture into a clean bowl and repeat with second batch.

6. Wash/dry your saucepan, [reserve 4  Tbsp of curry onion sauce at this point for cooking meat.]*° 

7. Place the canned tomato contents in clean blender and blend until smooth.

8.  In your cleaned saucepan, add 1 Tbsp oil and heat on med.  Add the tomato paste, tumeric & paprika & cook for 30 seconds.  Add blended tomatoes, bring to boil, turn down the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes, add the blended onion mixture and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes, using spoon to skim off froth from time to time.

Goan Coconut Curry Chicken-
prep & cook time- 25 minutes

Spice Mix-
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 green cardamons
4 cloves
1- 1 inch piece of cinnamon

Remaining Ingredients:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. tumeric
325 ml curry sauce (that you have made earlier -see above)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
300 ml coconut cream
450 g precooked chicken fillets (recipe to follow this list)*
2 tsp. tamarind paste dissolved in 2 Tbsp warm water

*[Precooked Chicken fillets recipe-]
prep. & cooking time 25 min.
3 large chicken breasts with skin and bone removed
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. tumeric
4 Tbsp reserved curry onion sauce *°
 Remove fat and sinew, rinse and pat dry chicken fillets. Cut each fillet into 8 equal size pieces about 1 inch  wide.  Place the oil, tumeric and curry onion sauce*° into a large saucepan and mix well.  cook on med. heat, stirring continuously, until sauce starts to darken about 4-5 minutes.
 Add chicken and stir until all pieces are coated with sauce, turn heat down, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is tender, stirring frequently.  Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Goan Coconut Curry Chicken Directions:

1. Grind all the spices for the spice mix with a mortar and pestle (or electric grinder)

2. In a large, heavy frying fan, heat oil on med. & add spice mix.  Fry for 1 minutes until aromatic.

3. Stir in tumeric, curry sauce, salt, chili powder & paprika. Bring to a boil, cook on high for 3 minutes until thickened slightly.  Turn down heat.

4. Add coconut cream & bring slowly to a simmer.  Add the chicken to the sauce & stir well.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in tamarind & serve.

Cauliflower Keema

1 small cauliflower
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 green chili, finely sliced
350 ml curry sauce
150 g frozen peas
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Directions for Cauliflower Keema-

1. Break cauliflower into florets, rinse and drain well. process in food processor on slow chop until coarsely minced.

2.  Heat oil in heavy based saucepan, add fennel seeds, tomato, salt & tumeric.  Cook on med. heat for 2 min. stir in green chili.  Cook 1 min., add cauliflower.  Stir for 3-4 min. on med. heat and add curry sauce.

3.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost evaporated and cauliflower is tender.

4. Stir in peas, cook for 5 min., stirring often.

5. Serve garnished with cilantro.

We served our meal with brown basmati rice and mango chutney.  Recipe for mango chutney on another day!

If you have any questions, pop me an email!
10 cent

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fiddleheads & Fried Egg

 Well I saw these baby fiddlehead's in my local market and I decided to try them.  I admit that up until about an hour ago I had NEVER tried a fiddlehead.  That said, I made sure to read up on the best way to cook them and pretty much every source I looked at claimed it was best to boil them like crazy until you are sure they are cooked.  Steaming apparently can leave behind a bitter taste.  So here is how I ate em-

(And yes, I liked them; though not in the same way I like,  say, chocolate or sweet potatoes or even spinach.  My guess is fiddleheads are a bit of an acquired taste.  So I intend to keep trying as they are very good for you!)

a generous handful of fresh fiddleheads, hard stems removed and rinsed thoroughly in cold water
sesame oil
gluten free soy sauce
sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 egg, fried


1. Boil your fiddleheads in a medium pot for 7-9 minutes.  (fry your egg just before they are done)
2. Drain, place in a clean bowl and toss with sesame oil and soy sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with a fried egg.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


A traditional jonnycake pancake.  Serve with sausage ("or" bacon for those of you who eat bacon) & fried egg, top with maple syrup & a pat of butter.


1 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp sucanat (sugar)
1 tsp. salt (ok a tiny bit less perhaps)
3/4 cup boiling water
3-4 Tbsp rice milk


1. Combine the cornmeal, sucanat, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add the boiling water, stir and add the milk.  You might need to thin additionally with more milk.  The mixture should easily drop from a spoon.

2. Drop by large spoon onto a hot greased non stick griddle (use vegetable oil for the griddle) 

3. Cook 5-6 minutes per side until nicely browned and cooked through. (flatten the jonnycake a bit when you turn it over if you need to spread the cornmeal out)

Note- We use Bob's Red Mill cornmeal which is quite granular, some brands are finer and might require more water. If you were from say, "Rhode Island", this flour (Bob's Red Mill) would be considered entirely wrong!  They use a light stone-ground white flint cornmeal from Rhode Island. We simply used what we had.  :)