I love delicious food! And bonus if it's healthy! I'm always searching for new recipes, mostly healthy, but sometimes a bit more decadent. Please let me know if you try any of the TrustInKim recipes, or just enjoy looking at them in an ad-free space. Enjoy!
Well it’s been about eight months since I’ve posted a recipe; working full time and working on a master’s degree doesn’t leave a lot of time for hobbies. I’m still cooking of course, and finally took a photo of something, so thought I’d share this yummy and delicious hummus recipe.
If I had more time I would have cooked my own chickpeas, but happy to have a time-saving can of them in my cupboard!
For the smoothest hummus you can take a few minutes to remove the peels from the chickpeas. It really does make a difference! But of course you can just throw them in there with the skins on.
This is best made in a food processor, but if you have a blender or immersion blender, those could do the trick. I suppose if you had a lot of time you could do it with a potato masher . . . ? Let me know if you try that!
I purposefully didn’t add amounts here. In the procedure below I suggest how much I added, but this is a really good recipe for “adding to taste;” add a little, then a little more if needed. I like mine lemony, and I like to serve it right away . The leftovers are excellent, but the batch fresh out of the food processor is the best.
I have been eating this hummus with crackers and as a dip for veggies.
What you need:
can of chickpeas, drained, and preferably with skins removed
cilantro, clean and chopped once or twice, stems and all (unless there are some really thick, woody stems)
What you do:
Pour the chickpeas into the bowl of the food processor.
Add a dollop of tahini. I used about 1/4 cup.
Put the lid on the food processor and blend it up for about a minute.
Add a clove of crushed garlic (or more if you love your garlic), a whole bunch of cilantro (mine wasn’t a huge bunch), a little salt, half a lemon to start, and a pinch of cumin to start. Let that process until the cilantro is well chopped, and the hummus is creamy.
Taste your hummus and see what you’d like to add more of. I almost always add a bit more lemon.
Add a bit of water to make it the consistency you like and process again until it is really smooth, and you have the right balance of flavours. If you are going to refrigerate your hummus, keep in mind that it gets firmer when it’s been in the fridge for a while, so adding a bit more water can be a good idea.
When the hot weather starts, this is my favourite beverage. To be fair, hot weather in Vancouver isn’t all that hot, but I’m a bit of a lightweight when it comes to heat.
This is one of the easiest “recipes” I have posted. Espresso (or really strong coffee), ice, and Oatmilk (or your choice of “milk.”) And Enjoy.
Thanks to my old friend Mike Peterson for introducing me to Oatmilk through his Cereal reviews! Oatmilk is the perfect non-dairy drink! I prefer the unsweetened version of Earth’s Own Oatmilk, because it works so well in coffee, tea, and in my steel cut oats and breakfast.
I’ve been growing fava beans on my balcony all winter. Planted in November, and beginning to harvest at the end of May. I didn’t think I would be harvesting so late, but it is so worth it! The beans are creamy and have lovely flavour. And check out the photo at the bottom of the page to see the gorgeous green of the bean after shelling!
This recipe is more of a guide. What I thought was going to be a massive crop, ended up being only 8 pods (for now), which yielded 18 beans. So I ended up making a really small portion of this spread, using less than half of an avocado.
In the photo I’ve got some delicious corn crackers, but we actually preferred the fava-cado spread on a piece of bread. The crackers had a lot of flavour on their own, so the milder bread allowed the flavours of the fava and avocado to shine through.
A word on growing fava beans: Yes, you can grow them in summer, but when I did that they got infested with aphids. Growing them over winter, in Vancouver, was pretty easy. I just had to wrap them up a bit when we had a cold snap. So after half a year of growing, I finally get to eat them! This is the first harvest, but there are a lot more pods still growing . . . hmm, what should I make with the next harvest?
What you need:
fresh fava beans
bread or crackers
What you do:
To prepare the fava beans, get a pot of salted water boiling. String the pods and remove the fava beans. Boil the beans for 3 minutes. Drain the beans and then put them in a bath of ice water right away. This will help them to stop cooking, and retain their gorgeous bright green colour.
Now you can slide the beans out of their skins, revealing the gorgeous green colour!
Mash the fava beans together with some avocado (I used more fava than avo). Use an immersion blender if you like. Season with a little bit of salt and a squeeze of lime.
Serve with bread or crackers right away. Not as good after refrigeration.
These oven-baked falafel are super tasty, and my official taster is looking forward to eating them again! Deep-fried falafel are delicious, I don’t enjoy cooking with boiling oil, and I think baking is healthier.
This photo was taken before the tahini sauce, hot sauce and pickled turnips went on – oops! Somebody was eager for the photos to be done so the eating could begin. I’ve also served these with some hummus and a cucumber, tomato and herb salad.
I found an aleb falafel, a falafel shaping device, for under $10 at a local Middle Eastern store. You can use a spoon or your hands to form them if you don’t have an aleb falafel.
This recipe is especially easy to make if you have a food processor, but you could also give it a try with a potato masher. It’s quite simple: all the ingredients go into the food processor bowl, you whiz it up, form the balls, and bake them. While they are baking you can prepare sauce and veggies.
These falafel freeze quite nicely!
What you need for the falafel:
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or equivalent home-cooked
3 large eggs
1/ 2 cup bread crumbs
1 large white onion, chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1 cup cilantro (I like to use the stems too)
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil for brushing on top of falafel before baking
What you need for the tarator sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
salt to taste
What you do for the falafel:
Heat the oven to 375F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Add the chickpeas, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, parsley, cilantro and garlic to the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture becomes doughy.
Add the baking powder, seasonings and olive oil and process again until all the ingredients are combined.
Form falafels with an aleb falafel (I lightly oiled mine before use), or scoop with a tablespoon and form into flattened balls with your hands.
Use a pastry brush to brush a little bit of olive oil on the tops of the falafel, to help them brown nicely. Browning = flavour!
Bake for about 25 minutes, then check to see if it is done; mine needed more time. You will know when it is done if a knife inserted in the centre comes out pretty much clean.
While the falafel are baking you can make the sauce.
What you do for the taratour sauce:
Mix the garlic in with the tahini.
Add a little bit of lemon juice and mix well. Add lemon juice and water a little at at time until the sauce is creamy but not too runny.
My mom says, “This is the best bread I have ever had.” And my mom has had a lot of good bread, much of it made by her, so I consider that the strongest endorsement for this delicious chocolate sour cherry bread.
This isn’t a sweet bread, just a loaf of my usual no-knead (Jim Lahey recipe) bread, with the addition of sour cherries I picked in summer and froze, and some good quality dark chocolate. If you’re unfamiliar with no-knead bread, it’s a bread that is left to rise overnight. It is baked in a dutch oven, which helps to create a crunchy crust. So delicious! Just takes a bit of planning ahead – there’s very little hands-on time, but you need to move the dough a few hours before baking.
It was the most delicious the day it was baked, and while still a little warm. But it was also very nice the next day, toasted, with a little butter.
Feel free to add a bit more chocolate or cherries if you want!
What you need:
2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rye flour (or use all ap flour)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 & 1/3 cups water, room temperature
6 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60%, Bittersweet)
1 cup pitted sour cherries (if using frozen cherries, do not thaw before adding)
What you do:
In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir just until it comes together. It will look a bit shaggy, but it’s fine.
Cover the bowl with a lid, plate or plastic wrap and leave to sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. Eighteen-ish hours is preferable, especially if it’s a little cooler in your place. This time around I left mine even longer, and it was probably my best ever. After about 4 hours you can work in the chocolate and cherries. I experimented with adding then in the beginning, but somehow it doesn’t rise as well.
About two hours before baking time, spread out a large piece of parchment paper and put a coating of olive oil over it. Use a spatula to coax the dough out of the bowl, and then use floured hands to gently form it into a loaf, and place it seam-side down onto the parchment paper. Invert the bowl over the dough and allow this to sit for about 2 hours.
About 1/2 an hour before baking, turn the oven to 450°F/ 232°C. (If using a Romertopf/clay baker, make sure you have pre-soaked it, and then place it in the oven BEFORE turning the oven on.) If using a cast iron dutch oven, place it in the cold oven to heat along with the oven.
When the oven is ready, gently place the dough, seam side down, into the lidded baker. This should be pretty easy to do, since you can just pick up the corners of the parchment paper and transfer the whole thing into the pot. If you want to, you can use a sharp knife to make a few slashes a few centimetres deep into the top of the bread.
Place the lid on the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. After that time, remove the lid and bake for 15-25 minutes. The crust should be dark, and the bread should sound hollow when you tap it.
Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for about an hour. When it is hot it will be too sticky inside to cut, but after an hour the bread will still be warm enough for the perfect tasting experience.
Burgoo is a popular Vancouver restaurant that serves the best comfort food. I tend to order this tomato soup because there aren’t a lot of meals on their comfort food menu that a lactose-intolerant person can eat.
Not only is this soup lactose-free, but it is soooo delicious! Also, it’s quite easy to make – once you’ve chopped everything up you just simmer for an hour, purée, and you’re ready to go.
I made a few changes to the recipe: since I am making it in Winter, I didn’t have fresh tomatoes that I thought would enhance the flavour. The recipe called for some canned and some fresh, and I have used all canned tomatoes. I added a few carrots, and I made the recipe a little bit smaller so it would fit in my pot.
This soup is even better after reheating, and freezes really well. I love making a massive batch and freezing most so I can have a healthy soup anytime I need it.
Just a word about the wine: please use a wine you would actually want to drink. If you like a sweeter red wine (ick), then you should probably use less brown sugar. The alcohol burns off, so there is none left in the soup, should you be serving it to people who don’t drink alcohol.
This serves 6-8 people.
What you need:
2 – 796 mL cans of whole or chopped tomatoes (San Marzano are the best!)
3 cups water
250-375 mL your favourite red wine
1 very large sweet onion (or two small ones), chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
optional: olive oil for drizzling before serving
What you do:
Put everything in a large pot.
Gently bring it up to a simmer.
Simmer for one hour with the lid off, stirring from time to time.
Purée, and if you want a super smooth soup, run it through a sieve or food mill.
Taste to see if you want to add more salt, pepper, or anything else.
Here is an updated version of a recipe from a few years ago. I made one big change in the method: I didn’t add the fruit and nuts in the first proofing because it is easier for the dough to rise on its own. I added the fruit when I formed the loaves. Another benefit was that it was easier to work the fruit into the dough at this time.
This stollen is filled with brandy-soaked sour cherries and raisins, toasted almonds, and plenty of marzipan. It is coated with butter and powdered sugar, for flavour, but also to help from drying out.
When I was a kid we often had Stollen at relatives’ houses at Christmas, but I didn’t like the “fruit,” because the flavour and texture seemed nothing like a fruit, those red and green bits of preserved ‘something.’ This recipe uses delicious dried sour cherries and raisins soaked in Brandy or Rum – yum!
The stollen from my childhood was always a bit too “aged” for me, since it would be made ahead and left to sit for weeks, and the same for the present-day grocery store Stollen. This one is good if you “age” it, but you can also eat it when it is freshly baked. I like to eat a small portion fresh, and then freeze or share the rest.
In Vancouver, my favourite place to shop for baking supplies is Famous Foods; they have pretty much everything you need, and a lot of it is in bulk sizes. Gourmet Warehouse is awesome too, and for those who are not local, they also ship.
If you don’t love marzipan feel free to leave it out. I believe marzipan is a misunderstood food, since a lot of people have only eaten a stale version – the good stuff is basically almond and sugar! Yum!
The original recipe is found here (oops, I lost the link when I updated the recipe!). I changed the fruit, and added almonds and almond extract, and added more melted butter in the end.
This recipe makes two large loaves (or four smaller ones with a shorter baking time).
What you need:
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup dried sour cherries
1/2 cup brandy or rum
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 packages active dry yeast (4 & 1/2 teaspoons, or 14 grams) + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a few drops of pure almond extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 to 5 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
200 grams (7 ounces) marzipan (or a little more if you love marzipan)
melted butter (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
What you do (Updated Version Dec 2021:
Combine the raisins and cherries in a bowl and cover with the brandy or rum. Let it sit for 12 – 48 hours, stirring from time to time (Shortcut: just soak for an hour). Drain the brandy or rum, keeping it to add to the dough later. Pat the fruit dry with paper towels and toss the fruit in 2 tablespoons of flour.
Toast the almonds until very lightly browned.
In a large bowl add 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees-any hotter will kill the yeast, colder and it won’t activate) and stir it in. Sprinkle the yeast on top and stir it in and let it sit until the yeast starts to bubble, about 5 minutes.
Heat the milk, salt and 1/2 cup sugar in a small pot over medium heat, until just warm (110-115 degrees).
Add the milk mixture (make sure it’s just warm, not hot, or it will kill the yeast), vanilla and almond extracts and eggs to the yeast mixture and combine by beating with a fork. Mix in the reserved brandy or rum (there should be about 1/4 cup. If not, top it up to 1/4 cup).
Add two cups of flour and use a wooden spoon to combine. Cut the 1/2 cup butter into small pieces and work into the dough using a fork.
When the butter has been evenly distributed, add one cup of flour and mix it in. Add about half a cup more flour, adding more until the dough forms into a workable ball (not too much flour to make it too stiff).
Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should become smooth and elastic.
Here comes the trickiest part: adding the fruit and almonds. To do this I flattened the dough out a bit, sprinkled about 1/2 cup of fruit on, and kneaded it in. Continue this process until all the fruit is combined, then do the same with the nuts. If any pieces of fruit are sticking out of the top of the dough, pick them off and knead them in a bit more.
Melt a little bit of butter and use it coat a large bowl. Place the ball-shaped dough into the buttered bowl, then turn the dough butter-side up so it is coated in butter. Loosely cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume, about 1-3 hours depending on how warm your room is.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter.
Punch down the dough and divide it into two parts (or 3 or 4 for smaller loaves). Form one half into a flat oval using your hands.
Cut the marzipan into quarters and roll into a rope just short of the length of the dough. (For smaller loaves I used just one rope of marzipan). Place two of the marzipan ropes on top of the dough, leaving space between them, then roll the sides of the dough over the marzipan, pressing down in the middle. Roll the ends of the dough over a little, and then gather the loaf and place it rolled-side down on the parchment paper. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.
Brush the loaves with butter, covering with a tea towel. Let the loaves rise until about doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 375F. Bake for 30-40 minutes; if you tap on the loaf it should sound hollow, and it will be dark golden brown.
Remove the loaves from the oven and brush with more melted butter! Dust them with sifted powdered sugar and let them cool completely before packing.
You can make your own hummus! It’s so easy, delicious, and saves you money! Whether you use canned chickpeas or cook them from dried, it’s easy to make a great hummus. When I make hummus at home, I appreciate knowing exactly what goes into it, and adding more or less of whichever flavours I choose – and for me it’s all about the lemon right now!
This recipe is a variation of the hummus recipe I make often, but in this one I’ve added lemon zest along with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Plus a bit of cumin and hot sauce to perfect it.
You can use canned chickpeas, or prepare your own from dried chickpeas. I highly recommend removing the skins from the chickpeas to make a really creamy hummus. If you use split dried chickpeas, they are already skinless, so you will not need to remove the skins, but the flavour is a little different than the regular chickpea. Of course, you can always keep the skins on, but your hummus will not be as smooth. If you’ve got the time it’s worth a try, and removing the skins can be somewhat meditative.
One of my favourite meals that includes hummus is hummus kawarma, a Lebanese dish with lamb. Of course hummus also great with fresh pita, or as a veggie dip. I also love to toast day-old pita brushed with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt to make crackers, and then dip them in hummus.
What you need:
1 & ¼ cups dried chickpeas (or one 540mL can)
1/3 cup tahini
4 or more tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
cumin, to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
hot sauce (optional) to taste
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
5 or more tablespoons ice-cold water
What you do:
Cook the chickpeas ahead of time, so they are cold when you use them to make the hummus. If you are using canned chickpeas I highly recommend removing the skins. This is a bit of work, but here’s what I do: I drain them, then put them in a large bowl with water. Then I rub some of them between my hands, and a lot of the skins come off that way. Then I go through them and pull off most of the remaining skins.
Place your drained chickpeas in a food processor or blender. Process them until you have a thick paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, a little hot sauce, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; blend this. With the machine still running, drizzle in some of the ice water and let it mix for several minutes. You will get a very creamy paste. Taste to see if you want to add any more lemon juice or any of the seasonings. Add more water if you think it needs it to be smoother; I like to add a bit more water than I think I will need, as hummus tends to thicken up a bit when refrigerated.
Cover and refrigerate if you are not using it right away, but remove from the fridge at least half an hour before you want to eat it.A little drizzle of good quality olive oil is a nice way to top it off when serving.
I have to say, I was against the idea of a potato taco in the beginning – kind of like I was against the idea of a potato pizza – but in both instances I was proven wrong. The creamy potato and black bean filling in these tacos, paired with this fire-roasted salsa, makes them a pretty awesome treat!
It’s pretty simple really, just cook some potatoes (I used a purple one because I had fresh ones from the garden), open a can of black beans (or make your own from dried beans). Smash them together with some spices, add a little cheese, throw it into a frying pan in a tortilla, and you’re done.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to feed two people, and the process: