Fried egg on mixed greens with red wine vinaigrette, blue cheese and bacon

This recipe is for one, because I was playing around with it and needed to test it on only one victim at a time.

You have to make this deliciousness ASAP. I won’t even have an introduction, just go! Go!

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Fried egg on mixed greens with red wine vinaigrette, blue cheese and bacon

Serving: 1

Ingredients

  • 1-2 teaspoon red wine
  • 1-2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 strips bacon, cut
  • 1-2 tablespoon onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful mixed greens
  • 1 teaspoon blue cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pecans
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut up your bacon and fry it on med-high heat. While that’s cooking, whisk the: red wine, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil together. Taste test and adjust proportions as necessary. Season with salt and pepper and get back to your bacon!
  2. Take the crispy bacon out of the pan and place it on a small bowl. Keep the oil.
  3. In the oil, over low heat, caramelize the onions. Once they turn golden, crack an egg on top. Cover the pan and leave it until the egg whites are cooked (you want the yolk to be runny! It mixes deliciously with he vinaigrette).
  4. Put your greens into a bowl and top with pecans and blue cheese. Crumble bacon on top.
  5. When the egg is done, put in top of the salad, season, and pour the vinaigrette on top!

Smoked salmon and feta scrambled eggs

Hello, hello!

How is everyone doing today?

First of all, I would like to ask if you ever had seafood in your scrambled eggs? No? Me neither. That is, until I tried shrimp and smoked salmon scrambled eggs at a restaurant and was blown away! I really enjoy smoked salmon, especially with feta and spinach, and I wanted to recreate the meal I had at the restaurant – with feta! this is a good quick to-go meal that stocks you up on lots of vitamins and healthy fats!
So, here we go!

First, chop up some feta, smoked salmon, and onions (not pictured!). The proportions are all up to you, but a good baseline would be to start at ~1 tablespoon each. (I use 1 1/2 tablespoon of feta!)

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I cracked two eggs in a small dish and scrambled them together. If you decide to season here, make sure to note that the feta is pretty salty itself, so compensate by putting less salt in the eggs. You can add a splash of milk here (2 teaspoons) to make the eggs fluffier.

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Start the pan off at medium high heat and put in olive oil. When it’s hot enough that when you add a piece of onion the oil sizzles, add all of the onions. Cook for about a minute at this temperature before turning it down to low. At this point, the onions are caramelizing and you should leave them be for ~10 minutes.

After ~10 minutes, add in the eggs. Take a wooden spatula and start mixing up the eggs. You should be continuously churning the eggs to get it to be scrambled! Do this at low heat throughout. Here is a great video that explains this process thoroughly.

When the eggs start firming up, add in the smoked salmon. Mix the salmon in, and then add in 2/3rds of the feta (save the rest to sprinkle on top). Continue mixing until the eggs are cooked and then plate it! Season with: pepper, salt, and paprika to taste (and cayenne pepper if you want a kick).
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Smoked salmon & feta scrambled eggs

Serving: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped smoked salmon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped feta
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne

Instructions

  1. Heat a pan at medium-high heat and add olive oil. Wait until the pan is hot before adding onions.
  2. Cook the onions for ~1 minute before turning down the heat to low (make sure you still hear sizzling!) to caramelize them for about ~10 minutes.
  3. Keeping the heat at low, add in whisked eggs.
  4. Take a wooden spoon or spatula and start mixing the eggs.
  5. About 2 minutes in, add the smoked salmon.
  6. Keep cooking and scrambling the eggs.
  7. Another minute in, add 2/3rds of the feta.
  8. Cook until the eggs are cooked and the feta melted.
  9. Plate it, season and sprinkle the remaining feta on top.

Enjoy!

Crunchy baked sriracha popcorn

Hey everyone! Hope the new year has been off to a great start!

Now, I’ve also recently obtained a fondness for spicy food. A friend of mine introduced sriracha sauce to me, and while I’m not obsessed like some are, it does add a nice kick to food! Of course, I had to try it with popcorn, one of my favourite foods!

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Baked sriracha popcorn

6 cups popped, plain, popcorn (~1/4 cup kernels)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (extra virgin olive oil degrades at high temperatures), melted
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
Sriracha, to taste (I put 1/2 teaspoon)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250F
Place the coconut oil in a small bowl and add the spices to mix. Pour it over the popcorn and mix thoroughly. Taste test a few and add seasoning as you see fit. If the popcorn is to your liking, then skip baking and enjoy! If you desire it to be a bit crispier…. Read on ☺.

I use a silicon baking sheet to bake the popcorn, but wax paper should work as well. Place the popcorn in your chosen baking ware and bake for 10 minutes.

At the end, it should be very crunchy! If it ended up a little over baked, sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil on top!

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Enjoy and happy new years!

Basic Chicken Liver and Carrot Pâté

Hey guys. How’s it going? Hope It’s going well!

I’ve had a hell of a few months. From exams, to relatives, to an awesome summer job. And cooking. Lots of cooking. And I think, it’s about time to start sharing the food with y’all.

Let’s cook up some chicken liver pâté- Ukrainian style.

First things first, get your hands on chicken liver, white onions, carrots and seasoning (well, some oil too).

You need about 1 large white onion and chop it coarsely. Let it brown in the pan.

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Then, take your trimmed liver and put it on top of the onions.

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After about 2 min, dump in the carrots. I said you need a large pan for this, right?

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Cook it on med-high until the liquids boiling then switch to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the inside of the liver is not pink.

You should have a good amount of liquid by the end.

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Season it with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper if you can handle it.

After, transfer to a bowl (with high sides!), take your handheld blender and blend, blend, blend! (Alternatively, you could use an actual blender.)

You get… Umm.. okay, I know it doesn’t look too pretty… But taste it! Good right??

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How do you like it? Have you had chicken liver before? What’s your favorite chicken liver recipe?

Chicken liver and carrot pâté
1 bowl
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 600g trimmed, washed, and thawed chicken liver
  • 300g shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • other spices (eg. cayenne) to taste
  1. Heat the oil on med-high before adding in the onion.
  2. Brown the onions for a couple of minutes.
  3. Dump in the liver and let cook on med-high for about 3 minutes.
  4. Put it in the carrots. There should be some liquid in the pan by now, so cook until you see bubbling liquid.
  5. As soon as you see bubbling liquid, turn down the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the inside of the liver is no longer pink.
  6. Turn off the heat and transfer the contents of the pan into whatever your blending in – make sure to season it before you start blending though!
  7. Blend everything up (via blender or handheld blender etc), put it in an air-tight container and into the fridge.
  8. Enjoy!

Quick Tips: Coconut Oil Butter

Hello everyone!

I recently read about a new healthy, very hyped about, food item: coconut oil. It’s full of short and medium fatty acids, which are supposed to be good for you. And you know what? It tastes awesome too.

That’s why my quick tip for you today is to substitute coconut oil for butter when you make popcorn! Use it to pop the popcorn and as seasoning! I’ve done it twice already, and I’m sold. If you’re worried that it will taste like coconut- don’t be. It’s ultra subtle; my parents didn’t even realize I was using coconut oil.

Currently, my favorite popcorn seasoning is coconut oil, and salt. What’s yours?

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Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie

Guys, my jaw is on the floor right now. You will NOT believe what just happened.

Background:

I have been trying to eat well/’clean’, for the past couple of years; it’s still a struggle and a process to find alternatives for refined/processed food, but it’s happening. So, I read about “2 ingredient cookies” by Blogilates (a totally awesome blog, BTW). It sounded too awesome to be true — and, in some respects, it was. The first time I made them, they were mushy and had this weird banana after taste (surprise, surprise?). They were okay, but they weren’t enough for me to give up ‘normal’, full fledged cookies.

Today, I read about reports talking about the dangers of processed white sugar. Apparently, it’s horrible*. I knew that, but now studies are directly linking it with some serious conditions (eg. diabetes, and heart disease). So… I decided to tackle the Blogilates recipe again.

I used her recipe as a base – and I think it’s perfect for that. You have the banana which acts as the glue, and the oats which act like the flour. From that stage, you can add ANYTHING you want!

So, I decided to go and take 1/2 a banana and 1/2 cup of oats together. I then added 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla extract.

That should give it some flavor, but then I remembered how the cookies were a bit soft, and I like crunchy cookies! So I went into our cereal cardboard and got some cereal that had bran flakes, puffed oats etc. and mixed it in. I also remembered that we had sunflower seed butter and decided to add that in to deepen the flavor (I’m sure peanut butter would work the same way).

This is the cookie 'batter'.

This is the cookie ‘batter’.

Finally, I added in a few chocolate chips because I’ve been craving chocolate and knew I would binge on it if I prolonged the torture any longer.

I plopped the (six) cookies on aluminum foil and slipped it into a toaster oven set, preheated 350F, for 20 minutes.

Off they go!

Off they go!

And… Ta-Dah!

The final product!

The final product!

Totally different from the first time, these were crunchy and the cinnamon and vanilla gave it fragrance. The banana was totally hidden and just acted as a binder. (If you don’t want them crunchy, bake for less time.)

Now… here comes the amazing bit.

My brother and his friend are over at my house, playing on the computer downstairs. They paddle upstairs and go into the kitchen looking for chips, cookies and pop. Forcing my brother to eat a salad or oatmeal is like pulling teeth. I told them to try the cookies I made, and they went “okay!”.

them: “Are these homemade?”

me: “yes”

them: “Are they fresh?”

me: “just took them out 2 minutes ago”

(I love how they have such qualifications for the food they eat…)

and then….

“Wow! These are great!”

My eyes went like this: O.O. I thought they were great, a good alternative to ‘normal’ cookies, but definitely not something I saw my brother eating.

I asked them, “you know these are healthy right?”

They both looked at me, “No, but it doesn’t matter… they’re good. Where are the rest?”

(Here I admit that I ate 4 of the 6 and they only had 1 each.)

Then… They asked me to make more.

WHOA. Okay, this is a keeper.

So, I urge you to try and experiment with the base, add in whatever you feel would make them good. You might surprise yourself (and others!).

Cookie Base

makes 1 dozen

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 banana
  1. mash the banana
  2. mix in the oats
  3. bake on an aluminum sheet, in a preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes (closer to 20 minutes for crunchy cookies, and closer to 15 minutes for soft cookies)

Here’s my variation:

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie

makes 6 cookies

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon (any nut) butter
  • 1/8 cup cereal (e.g. puffed rice, bran etc) (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips
  1. mash the banana
  2. add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon, mix
  3. add in nut butter, mix
  4. add in oats, mix
  5. add in cereal, mix
  6. add in chocolate chips, mix
  7. put on aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350F oven
  8. bake for 15-20 minutes (closer to 20 minutes for crunchy cookies, and closer to 15 minutes for soft cookies)

Have you experimented with a recipe like this? What did you come up with?

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*great article, with sources to relevant studies

Homemade Sauerkraut

QUICK! What dish can prevent scurvy? If you guessed lots and lots of oranges, you’re right. BUT! There are loads of other contenders, and I’d like to introduce to you one of them: sauerkraut.

It all started when  I read about the benefits of fermenting vegetables, specifically, about the powerhouse that is kimchi. I was talking to my mom about it: it has probiotics, it’s spicy… and the process of fermenting vegetables is something new to me and something that I haven’t seen much of in the western diet.

My mom just gives me ‘the look’, “And what about sauerkraut?” D’oy! Turns out, we have our own ‘version’ of kimchi: sour cabbage! I researched a bit more, and found that the same bacteria you flourish to make kimchi is the same as that of sauerkrau they’re all lacto-bacteria that are supposed to be great for you. For the readers who are hesitant in eating bacteria on purpose, read up on this. Did I tell you that Captain Cook used it to prevent scurvy? Cool. Also, did you know probiotics may help with symptoms of some forms of eczema, and autism? Amazing. Finally, this is a great alternative to those who are lactose intolerant and feel left out because of all the hype about probiotics in yogurt!

Okay, now I know you’re dying to go out to the store and buy some. But not so fast. Most store-bought sauerkraut has been pasteurized, which you do not want. So, why not make some yourself? Treat it as a science project – that you can eat after!!

Here is a brief portion of the process of fermentation of sauerkraut from wikipedia:

“The fermentation process has three phases, these phases are sometimes referred to as population dynamics. In the first phase, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter lead the fermentation, and begin producing an acidic environment that favours later bacteria. The second phase starts as the acid levels become too high for many bacteria, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and other Leuconostoc spp. take dominance. In the third phase, various Lactobacillus species, including L. brevis and L. plantarum, ferment any remaining sugars, further lowering the pH.[3] Properly cured sauerkraut is sufficiently acidic to prevent a favorable environment for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the toxins of which cause botulism.

Please look at the bold: growth of  C. botulinum is hindered because it is not the right environment and it is out-competed by the other bacteria. So do not worry about botulism!

Onto the show!

Start off with common cabbage, CANNING SALT (eg, Himalayan salt), and sliced carrots (optional). Make sure to weigh your cabbage so you can get an idea of how much salt you need to add. The ratio is roughly 3 liberal tablespoons of salt to 5 pounds of cabbage.

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The ingredients

Take a knife and chop up the cabbage into smithereens!

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The aftermath

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We like to add shredded carrots with the cabbage.

Alright, now you have to transfer the sauerkraut to larger pot for it to ferment. Take a few handfuls of the cabbage and a some salt and mix it together in the pot. Pat that morsel down. Repeat this process until you have transferred all the sauerkraut into a large pot. The goal is to have the salt evenly distributed throughout the cabbage.

The next step varies from recipe to recipe, but the point is to weigh down the cabbage to encourage water out of the cabbage. What my mom does is take a plate that is a bit smaller than the circumference of the pot and put it on top of the cabbage. Then, she fills a large mason jar with water and puts in on top to act as a weight. Finally, cover everything with a towel so nothing foreign gets in there, and leave it at room temperature for three days!

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The contraption

After the three days, there should be cabbage juice at the top of the pot. At random times, take a long skewer and just skewer the cabbage to the bottom. This will let gas out, and will make it less smelly.

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Underneath the ‘hood.

Finally, just take the cabbage, place it all in jars, and there you have it, sauerkraut!

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My family got it before I did…

Remember, it is advised to ease yourself into eating sauerkraut by eating a few fork-fulls a day because it is very acidic and might upset your stomach if you eat a bunch at once. Once you’ve adjusted to it, it is advised to just eat a couple of bites with every meal to improve digestion.

How to prepare:

1) place it in a bowl

2) drizzle with vegetable oil

3) sprinkle with sugar ( to taste)

4) Hear your stomach saying: THANK YOU!

Sauerkraut tastes best paired with meat, but it’s a good combination with almost everything. What do you like to pair sauerkraut with?

Enjoy!