Cashew Cilantro Sauce

cashew dressing - trustinkim.com

This pretty green sauce makes an excellent topping for Mexican food. Cilantro and parsley with a hint of lime, combined with the creaminess of cashews makes it irresistible. So far I have used it in a Burrito Bowl (pictured), and it was also delicious on pinto bean and avocado enchiladas. When I was eating my leftovers at work a lot of people were curious about it – but it’s not just a pretty face! So delicious!

I found this recipe in The Plant-Based Foodie: Vancouver by Brad Hill. It is part of a recipe for a burrito bowl, but this dressing was definitely the standout of the dish. The only changes from the original recipe are: I halved the recipe, and I used unrefined sunflower oil rather than grape seed oil. I probably used less parsley and more cilantro than the recipe called for because I’m not the biggest fan of parsley, and also I don’t tend to measure with recipes like this.

The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few days.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons grape seed oil or unrefined sunflower oil
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

What you do:

  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least an hour, then drain them.
  2. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for about a minute, until the mixture is smooth. Add a little water if you want it to be a little runnier.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roasted Eggplant with Roasted Chickpeas and Tahini Sauce

roasted eggplant and chickpeas with tahini sauce - trustinkim

I have seen a number of recipes for roasted chickpeas lately, but I wasn’t very interested in making them because of a bad experience with some chalky store-bought roasted chickpeas. For some reason I decided to give them a try, and was really happy with the result. They come out just the right texture, not too dry, not too soft. I love the bit of saltiness topping off the creamy eggplant and tahini sauce. Add the sweetness of the pomegranate seeds and you’ve got a pretty perfect vegan meal.

This dinner is quite simple to make. Most of the work is done by the oven, roasting the eggplant and the chickpeas, and while it is roasting you just have to whip up a quick sauce.

I made this a few months ago, and I didn’t actually measure the sauce ingredients, so this is my best estimate of the amounts I used. I cobbled this recipe together from ideas I’ve seen in various cookbooks, most notably the Ottolenghi (drool) cookbooks.

What you need:

  • 1 – 540 mL can chickpeas
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 – 4 long and skinny, or 8 small eggplants
For the sauce:
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water or more as needed
  • parsley to garnish

Optional:

  • pomegranate seeds, of they are in season. Chopped dried sour cherries might be nice too.

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.
  2. Rinse the chickpeas and pat them dry with a clean towel. Toss them in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then toss with salt, pepper and cumin. Spread out into a single layer on a baking tray.
  3. Wash the eggplants and slice them in half lengthwise. Place them cut-side up on a baking tray and brush them with olive oil.
  4. Roast the chickpeas and eggplants for 30-40 minutes, tossing the chickpeas halfway through the time. The eggplant should be very tender when you poke it with a fork. The chickpeas should be slightly crunchy, but not hard. It’s a good idea to test the chickpeas a few times in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  5. While the oven is doing its thing you can make the sauce. Whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Slowly add the water to make a pourable yet still thick sauce. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed.
  6. Plate the eggplant, drizzling the sauce over them, and then top with the chickpeas. Garnish with chopped parsley and optional pomegranate.

Turkey Meatballs Marsala with Egg Noodles

turkey meatballs marsala with egg noodles - trustinkim

As soon as I saw this recipe in Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Every Day I knew I would have to make it soon – and I know it will be one of my regular dishes. It’s got that great comfort food feel to it, and it was liked greatly by all the tasters. It smelled so good that I didn’t even take time to get a better photo!

I made a few changes to the recipe: It was written as a chicken recipe, but I used turkey; I find it easier to get good quality ground turkey at my grocery stores, plus in my opinion turkey has a little more flavour. I substituted non-dairy milk and cream since I have a lactose sensitivity. I wrote the recipe up with the option of using a non-dairy butter substitute, but I still used butter because there’s really no substitute for the flavour, and I’m willing to suffer a bit for that goodness. The chicken stock I used is homemade; I store it in the freezer for times like this, because I haven’t found a store-bought stock that tastes nearly as good. For the seasoning, next time I would add the salt and pepper to the sauce at the last minute, rather than before adding the meatballs as the recipe specified. I found that the meatballs contributed to the flavour of the sauce, and it was slightly over-salted. 

This meal serves four, and I served it with some gorgeous tomatoes from my Uncle Arnie’s garden, just with some salt and pepper cracked on top, and a little olive oil if people wanted to drizzle that on. Red wine too! All in all, a super delicious meal!

What you need for the meatballs:

  • 450grams (1 lb) lean ground turkey or chicken (I used turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the onion
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk or water
  • freshly ground black pepper

What you need for the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup dry Marsala, sherry, or Madeira (I used Gonzalez Byass Oloroso Nutty Solera sherry)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 3/4 c chicken stock or broth (I used my homemade stock)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (I used Silk Coconut Coffee Cream – doesn’t taste like coconut)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

What you need for the noodles:

  • 340 grams (12 ounces) wide egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoons butter 
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh chives

What you do:

  1. To make the meatballs, begin by heating a large frying pan and adding half the olive oil and butter. Once that is hot, add the minced onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes; the onions should become a deep golden brown when they are done. Remove them from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Put all the meatball ingredients in a bowl, including the cooled onions, and stir to combine, not overmixing. Using wet hands, form the meatballs using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time. Place them on a plate.
  3. Using the same frying pan, heat up more of the olive oil and butter, and place the meatballs in the frying pan. Don’t be tempted to turn them until they have sufficiently browned or they will fall apart! Once one side has browned, roll each meatball, and keep doing this until they are browned all over. Place the cooked meatball on a plate – they will not be cooked through; this will happen later. I had to do this step in multiple batches so I that didn’t overcrowd the frying pan.
  4. Now is a good time to start boiling a large pot of water; if it’s ready before you need it, you can always turn it off and bring it back to a boil later.
  5. To make the sauce, add the Marsala/sherry/Madiera to the frying pan and let it boil, scraping all those tasty meatball bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has almost disappeared. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan and allow it to melt before adding the flour. Cook this mixture, while stirring, for one minute. Add the broth slowly, whisking it into the flour the whole time; make sure it boils before adding more. Add the cream, bring it to a simmer, and then add the meatballs. Reduce the heat and let the meatballs simmer for 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Taste the sauce to see if you need to add more salt and pepper.
  6. Towards the end of the sauce and meatball cooking time, cook the noodles in the salted water, according the the package instructions. I like to start testing the doneness after 5 minutes of cooking time, to make sure I don’t overcook them. Nobody likes a soggy noodle!
  7. Place the drained noodles in a large serving bowl or platter and toss them with some butter. Pour the meatballs and sauce over the noodles and garnish with the chives.
  8. Enjoy!

Avocado and Pinto Bean Enchilada

avocado and pinto bean enchiladas - trustinkim

This is a really satisfying vegetarian enchilada. The beans are loaded with flavour, and the avocado adds a lovely creaminess. Making this the first time was a bit of an experiment, as I was testing out what it would be like to bake the enchiladas with the avocado stuffed inside them – and it’s awesome!

The beans need to be soaked a day in advance, and then they take over an hour to cook. I made the beans and sauce ahead of time, so it was really quick to just roll the enchiladas, bake, and eat. It’s a bit of an involved recipe, but it makes a lot of delicious food that is excellent as leftovers.

The recipe for the sauce is from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, and the filling is my own creation. I prefer to make the beans myself instead of using canned ones; when you cook them yourself you can add all those great flavours. Plus it’s really cheap.

What you need for the beans:

  • 1 cup dry pinto beans
  • about 4 cups vegetable stock, or water and a bouillon cube
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 dry Morita chilis
  • 1 stalk celery, whole
  • 1 carrot, whole
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

The other ingredients:

  • 5-6 flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados
  • the greens from the cilantro, chopped
  • lime juice
  • 1-2 cups grated aged cheddar
  • salsa or hot sauce to serve
  • yogurt or sour cream to serve

What you do:

  1. Begin by soaking the beans the night before you want to cook them.
  2. Drain the beans and add the broth, or the water and bouillon. Add the onion, Morita chilis, celery, carrot, cilantro stems, garlic, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Add a little boiling water if they start looking too dry.
  3. At this point I cook off any excess liquid by raising the heat and stirring. Keeping all that concentrated liquid retains its flavour, making the beans irresistible.
  4. Discard the vegetable pieces and bay leaves.
  5. The enchilada sauce can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat. Let the sauce cool before making the enchiladas.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F. To make the enchiladas, begin by spreading some of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Mix the beans with the chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, and some lime juice. Dip a tortilla in the tomato sauce so that there is some on both sides. Spread the bean mixture in down the centre of the tortilla and top it with some grated cheese. Roll it up and place it in the pan seam-side down. Do the same with the rest of the filling.
  7. Add any remaining sauce to the top of the enchiladas, and then sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more. Let the enchiladas sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

avocado and pinto bean enchilada - trustinkim

Garlic Confit

garlic confit - trustinkim

Garlic confit is simply garlic that has been slow-cooked in olive oil – but it is also magical! It can be added to pizza, vegetable, soup and so many other foods, and the garlic-infused oil can be added to salad dressing or used for roasting.

I made up a batch recently and I’m quickly making my way through the jar of garlic, which has a lovely mellow roasted flavour. So good!

What you need:

  • a few bulbs of garlic
  • olive oil

What you do:

  1. The most labour-intensive part of this recipe, peel the garlic cloves. Mine had the green “germ” growing inside, so I cut the cloves in half to remove it. I think it adds a bitter taste.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  3. Place the peeled cloves in a dish and pour in some olive oil, until all the cloves are covered. Use tin foil to cover the container, then place it in the oven for about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the container from the oven and let it cool. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. It should keep for a few weeks.

 

Thug Kitchen’s Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

thug kitchen enchiladas - trustinkim

This vegan recipe comes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, which came out of the Thug Kitchen blog. It’s a great recipe, but since the book is full of expletives (a lot of f***ing this and that), I’ve written up a clean version for those who prefer that.

It’s a super tasty recipe, and I enjoyed my leftovers for a few days.

For those who feel they really need some meat in their enchiladas, Mexican chorizo would be a nice addition.

I serve this with lots of Cholula hot sauce, along with some Mexican cotija cheese sprinkled on top for those who are not vegan.

What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

What you need for the filling:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), chopped into nickel-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a pack of tortillas (mine were a corn and flour blend)
  • sliced avocado (garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

What you do:

  1. First make the enchilada sauce, which can be done ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat.
  2. To make the filling, begin with the sweet potato. Put a few centimetres of water into a medium pot and place a steamer basket in it. Bring the water to a boil. Place the sweet potato in a steamer basket to steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender. When the sweet potato is done, put it into a bowl and mash it. It’s okay to leave some chunks.
  3. While the sweet potato is steaming, heat a large frying pan and add a little oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until it begins to brown, then add the zucchini and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and black beans and cook for another few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sweet potato and maple syrup.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan or microwave. Dip each tortilla in a bit of sauce so the bottom of it is coated. Fill the tortillas with a few spoons of the filling, then roll and place it seam-side down on the baking dish.
  5. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  6. Top with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce or your favourite salsa.

 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Savoury Marinated Peaches

 

P1060829

This chicken and peaches dish makes really a delicious summer meal, and feels a little bit decadent. I love the balance between the sweetness of the peaches, and the salty goodness of the prosciutto and capers. The peaches are marinated before adding them to the chicken, which makes them just a little less sweet. Normally I remove the skin from chicken thighs, just so they are a little healthier, but on this one it’s really necessary to leave the skin on so it can get nice and crispy.

I served this with a baguette and salad. Delicious!

This recipe comes from “Fine Cooking” magazine no.136.

What you need for the marinated peaches:

  • 3 medium ripe peaches
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons spiced dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar

What you need for the chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • about 30 grams thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 3 pounds / 1.4 kg chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

What you do:

  1. To marinate the peaches, begin by slicing them into wedges about 2 cm thick.
  2. Combine the rest of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and gently coat the peaches with it. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  4. On medium heat, pour a little olive oil into a large dutch oven or frying pan that can go in the oven. Slice the prosciutto and cook it until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add a little more oil to the pan. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper on all sides. Brown the chicken on both sides in several batches, about 12 minutes each batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  6. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot, and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the leek and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften.
  7. Add the flour to the pot and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Pour the peach marinade in and cook until the liquid thickens, scraping the browned parts from the bottom of the pan. This should take about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the broth and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the chicken back in the pot with the skin facing up, and bring the liquid to a boil again. Place the pot in the oven with the lid off and braise for about 25 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through.
  9. Remove the pot from the oven and turn the broiler on high. Put the chicken skin-side up onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy.
  10. While the chicken is crisping up, continue to watch it carefully, and place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir the sauce occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. (Of course part-way through your chicken will be crisped up, so you can just switch the oven off, and maybe keep it slightly ajar so the chicken doesn’t burn).
  11. When the sauce has thickened, add the capers and peaches, stirring with a gentle touch until the peaches have warmed. Stir in the butter and 1 tablespoon of tarragon, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Place the chicken on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with the prosciutto and remaining tarragon.

Enjoy!

All the ingredients for this recipe were purchased at Vancouver’s famous Granville Island Market, which happens to be a short walk from my home. The amazing chicken was from Jackson’s Poultry. The prosciutto, plus a delicious Manchego cheese as part of an appetizer, came from Oyama Sausage. A Bread Affair makes my favourite baguette in the city. The organic Okanagan peaches were also purchased from one of the day vendors at Granville Island. I love shopping for everything in one market, and knowing that it will all be of the best quality.