Oktoberfest Feast

From Germany to Missouri, Three of My Favorite Oktoberfest Beers

I have spent many an October tasting German-style beers. One of my favorites is from Boston, called Samuel Adams Octoberfest. It has a rich, deep reddish amber hue that perfectly reflects the spirit of the season.

The Samuel Adams Octoberfest blends together five great roasts of malt to make a delicious melody of sweet flavors. Including caramel and toffee which are perfectly seasonally appropriate. 

A close comparison is the Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest.

My Favorite Oktoberfest Beers

Samuel Adams Jack-O

Jack-O’s cinnamon and nutmeg aromas recall memories of freshly baked pumpkin pie. It has the ideal balances of seasonal spices with a crisp, refreshing finish. This pumpkin ale pairs perfectly with the transition of summer into cooler days and nights.

BROOKLYN OKTOBERFEST

Brewed in traditional style with only German hops and malts, this award-winning Oktoberfest carries the banner of a beer tradition that goes all the way back to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria’s day. The beer’s toasty malts and crisp finish are great paired with fall stews and end-of-the-summer grilled brats.

SURLY BREWING CO. OKTOBERFEST  

Surly Brewing knows traditions are meant to be tested, which is why this newly released take on a malt-forward märzen ever so slightly breaks the mold. Using a five-malt mash and two types of German hops, this golden beer is bigger and bolder with bitter notes for balance.

What is Oktoberfest 

An Oktoberfest party, to many, is an autumn celebration, So this year if you want to enjoy the Oktoberfest festivities you are going to have to do it at home. You can host your closest friends and family, please be safe and keep it small for 10 people and under. And if you are going to do a traditional Oktoberfest that means you should have it outside, usually in a biergarten or under a big tent. These three beers go great for a oktoberfest celebration so enjoy

Let us know in the comments what your favorite Oktoberfest beer

soup

Fall is Soup Season – Lazy Lunch Ideas

The weather is turning cooler.  And it’s lunchtime.  You want something quick, filling, and tasty. You check out the  can soup options in your cabinet.  Oops, you have none.  Got to consider healthy options. Not so sure about canned/packaged soups?

Each soup recommendation’s image provides you with the essence of what is and/or what could be, depending on your culinary skills and inspiration.

So be adventuresome and add to your grocery list the following:

1. Progresso Classic French Onion

The essence of the Parisian version, enhance the flavor of this beef broth based soup with a sprinkle of Gruyere or Parmesan cheese.

2. Health Choice Country Vegetable

Chock full of delicious vegetables and legumes, this hearty vegetable soup hits the spot.  Need more flavor…then add a pinch of your favorite herbs to enhance the taste.

3. Bar Harbor Condensed New England Clam Chowder

Clam chowder is a New England favorite.  This soup represents the best of what one thinks about as home made. Enrich with a little skim milk or light cream or just enjoy the thickness of the condensed version.

4. Pacific Organic Reduced Sodium Chicken Noodle

Nothing like a good representation of Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Combine organic chicken, garden vegetables, hearty egg noodles, and a balanced blend of seasonings and you have a delicious homebrewed soup.

5. Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium Minestrone Soup

Mix noodles, beans, veggies and a rich tomato broth and you have a hearty satisfying soup to warm you during those chilly Fall days.

 Feeling inspired?

To stay on the healthy side of things, always check out the sodium and carb content before you make your final soup selection. 

Flavor might need adjusting?  You can always enhance the flavor by adding some of your favorite herbs.

And when time allows, put that crock pot to work and make a gigantic batch of chicken vegetable soup with skinless chicken thighs, using your favorite fresh vegetables.  Freeze it for those quick lunch urges that you’re bound to encounter in the wintry days ahead.

BTW –  What is your favorite wintertime soup or stew?

Pumpkin Spice Season

Are You Ready For Pumpkin Spice Season?

Summer is winding down and Americans are already clamoring for their pumpkin spice fix…usually lattes, muffins, donuts, cakes and pies.

Summer is winding down and Americans are already clamoring for their pumpkin spice fix…usually lattes, muffins, donuts, cakes and pies.

Why all this passion for pumpkin spice? It must be the health benefits and perhaps the taste as well. Loaded with vitamin A, pumpkin spice helps to boost immunity, improve eyesight, and contains inflammation fighters, antioxidants and potassium. According to the renowned Cleveland Clinic, it also can help prevent heart disease and promotes brain health. So do not feel bad eating a lot of Pumpkin Spice during Pumpkin Spice Season.

Pumpkin Spice Season

Evidently adding pumpkin spice to your diet can have tremendous benefits. So what are some of the healthy ways to introduce pumpkin spice into your daily diet: For those who love a splash of cream in their coffee or tea, try the dairy creamer Califia Farms’ Pumpkin Spice Better Half. Made with coconut cream and almond milk, with real pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. And it’s sugar free! A choice of protein and fruit bars such as KIND and LARABAR, low in sugar, moderate in calories.

How does spiced pumpkin vinaigrette sound to you over a nice bed of greens sprinkled with dried cranberries and walnuts…yum! Looking for some pumpkin spice in your morning cereal…then try Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, made with real pumpkin puree or Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats! Even Hostess has pumpkin spice twinkies!

Everyone one loves Pumpkin Spice Season

Pumpkin Spice Season


Also let’s not forget about Starbucks pumpkin spice hot and cold brew offerings, canned pumpkin puree and, most of all, and probably the best, fresh pumpkin available in your local supermarkets. In conclusion, think about making your own pumpkin spice mixture. Basic ingredients include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
Experiment. Add a little cayenne, turmeric, cumin, or star anise. Even a sprinkle of garam marsala may give it a different twist.

Pumpkin Spice Season

And don’t forget the real pumpkin…after all, tis the season!

BTW, What’s your favorite pumpkin spice guilty pleasure?

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Tips for being a better cook

Being a better cook: Cooking is a skill that you are born with but I like to believe cooking can be  improved with a little practice and cool tips. No one is a fabulous cook from day one.

I taught myself by eating a lot of food and a whole bunch of trial and error. In the beginning, I started with the basic stuff, had a few successes and a couple of fails. Over the years I have found a couple of helpful tips that I want to share with you.

A simple way to keep salad lettuce, and vegetables fresh?

Before making salad, soak your veggies into iced water for 30 minutes. This way you will have fresh vegetables, just like you have recently cut them from the farm.

vegetables fresh

A simple way to prevent oil from splattering out of the pan?

Just take a pinch of salt, and sprinkle on your frying pan. This would prevent oil from splattering.

splattering out of the pan

Do your eyes tear up when you cut onions, try this technique.

Peel the onion under running water. Refrigerate before chopping them. And chop near a candle flame would reduce the sensitivity.

cut onions, try this technique.

How to prevent ice cream from melting while serving?

Keep your bowls in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving ice cream to your guests. Cold bowls would not let ice cream melt too fast.

ice cream melt too fast.

How to make overripe tomatoes, fresh again?

Take a bowl of cold water, and add salt. Add overripe tomatoes to the cold water, and leave overnight. In the morning tomatoes would be fresh and firm.

What is a faster way to sauté onions with less oil?

Sauté sliced onions without oil, this would reduce moisture from onions faster. Later, add a little oil to sauté the onions. This is how to use less oil and your sautéing will be faster.

sauté onions with less oil?

Did you know how to prevent apples from turning rotten?

Simply apply lemon juice on cut apple. This would prevent apples from turning rusty.

apples from turning rotten

A simple way to keep cilantro fresh and green for a long time?

Cover the coriander leaves in cheesecloth, and keep it in refrigerator. This will keep coriander leaves fresh and green for longer time.

cilantro fresh and green

Did you know how to peel off orange, or tomato skin effortlessly?

Keep orange or tomato in hot water for 2 minutes, and then in cold water for 2 minutes. Now you could easily peel off the skin.

How to remove garlic skin easily?

Soak garlic in warm water for 30 minutes before peeling. Garlic skin would come out easily without any effort

remove garlic skin easily

Did you know how to peel ginger skin quickly & easily?

Peeling ginger with the side of a metal spoon is an easy & quick way to peel ginger. This way ginger skin would come off easily.

ginger skin quickly & easily

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Yogurt

Tostadas also known as toasted tortillas are typically deep fried. This Shrimp Tostadas recipe calls for a lot less oil witch makes it a little healthier. But has just enough to get that same golden crispiness. We are going to top these bad boys with adobo-marinated shrimp and a refreshing bean salad.

Finally we whip up a quick lime yogurt to spread and put it on the warm tortillas for a thin layer of creamy goodness and to help the toppers stick to the crunchy base.

All Meals Plans

I am personally a huge fan of tostadas. They are one of my favorite Mexican dishes. I really love that they are so versatile. You can pretty much put anything on them from beef to shrimp even vegetarian style! I always like to start with a layer of something soft like avocado, refried black beans or salsa. But in this case we are going to use a nice lime Yogurt sauce.  

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Yogurt

If yow want you can even add a little heat to the shrimp but don’t burn your mouth. You can adjust the spiciness of the shrimp up or down with how much jalapeño tabasco sauce and fresh jalapeños you use as some peppers are hotter than others. If you like a lot of heat, leave in the jalapeño seeds.

Preparing your ingredients for you Shrimp Tostadas:

Take your scallions and trim the ends, then finely chop into little pieces. Take 2 large garlic cloves and chop finely. Reserve ¼ of the cilantro sprigs, then finely chop remaining cilantro leaves and stems. The last part of your prep is to zest and juice lime, but make sure to keeping them separate.

Marinate shrimp:

In a medium bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of chipotle and half of the lime juice and half of the chopped garlic. Add shrimp to the large bowl and, season with salt. Toss the shrimp and make sure to coat the shrimp for maximum flavor.

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Yogurt

Make beans & lime-yogurt:

Make sure to rinse and drain your black beans. Than in a medium bowl, combine beans, chopped scallions and cilantro, remaining chopped garlic. Add 1 teaspoon chipotle, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. I am a big fan of seasoning to taste so make sure you sample and adjust salt and pepper as needed. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, lime zest, and remaining lime juice; season to taste with salt.

Time to Make tostadas:

This part is a little tricky so make sure you pay close attention. You do not want o burn the tortillas. Heat ¼-inch oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add tortillas to skillet, one at a time, and cook until brown and crisp, about 30 seconds per side (watch closely).

Cook shrimp:

This is going to be the simplest part of the recipe. Carefully pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from the skillet. Add shrimp and cook over medium-high, stirring, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Shrimp Tostadas with Lime Yogurt

Assemble & serve your Shrimp Tostadas:

Its time to complete your meal. Spread lime yogurt on tostadas and top with black bean mixture, shrimp, and remaining cilantro whole sprigs.

What you’ll need: 1 oz scallions 2 cloves garlic 1 oz fresh cilantro 1 oz chipotle chiles in adobo sauce 1 lime 12 oz large shrimp 1 can black beans 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar 7 oz 2% Greek yogurt 6 white corn tortillas coarse salt olive oil neutral oil, such as vegetable or safflower

Equipment: zester strainer small skillet

Shrimp Tostadas with Black Beans & Lime Yogurt

Tostadas—toasted tortillas—are usually deep fried. We cooked ours in a lot less oil, but just enough to get that same golden crispiness. These get topped with adobo-marinated shrimp and a refreshing bean salad. We whipped up a quick lime yogurt to spread on the warm tortillas for a thin layer of creaminess and to help the toppers stick to the crunchy base.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2

Equipment

  • medium skillet
  • microplane or grater

Ingredients
  

  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 container Greek yogurt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 10 oz pkg shrimp 2
  • 1 oz chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 1 oz fresh cilantro
  • garlic use 2 large cloves
  • 1 oz scallions
  • kosher salt & ground pepper red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • neutral oil
  • medium skillet
  • microplane or grate

Instructions
 

  • Prep ingredients: Trim scallions, then finely chop. Finely chop 2 large garlic cloves. Reserve ¼ of the cilantro sprigs, then finely chop remaining cilantro leaves and stems. Zest and juice lime, keeping them separate.
  • Marinate shrimp: In a medium bowl, combine 2 teaspoons chipotle and half each of the lime juice and chopped garlic. Add shrimp, season with salt, and toss to coat.
  • Make beans & lime-yogurt: Rinse and drain black beans. In a medium bowl, combine beans, chopped scallions and cilantro, remaining chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon chipotle, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil; season to taste with salt. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, lime zest, and remaining lime juice; season to taste with salt.
  • Make tostadas: Heat ¼-inch oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add tortillas to skillet, one at a time, and cook until brown and crisp, about 30 seconds per side (watch closely).
  • Cook shrimp: Carefully pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from the skillet. Add shrimp and cook over medium-high, stirring, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  • Assemble & serve: Spread lime yogurt on tostadas and top with black bean mixture, shrimp, and remaining cilantro whole sprigs.

Notes

NUTRITION PER SERVING
Calories 790kcal, Fat 41.0g, Proteins 39.0g, Carbs 69.0g
ALLERGENS
Milk, Shellfish and Sulphites. May contain traces of other allergens. Packaged in a facility that packages gluten containing products.
Keyword eat healthy, shrimp, tacos

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Sweet Homemade Blueberry Pie Ready to Eat

How To Make The Perfect Pie Crust

Yes, you can make your own homemade pie crust! It’s not hard, once you get the hang of it, and the result is so much better than your typical frozen pie crust that you get at the store. To help get you started on your journey here are some great tips to make the perfect pie crust.

Use very cold butter or fat:

Whatever fat the recipe calls for should be well-chilled and cut into very small pieces. The fat in a pie crust must maintain some of its integrity in the dough to make the flakes in the crust truly flaky. Starting with very cold butter makes it easier to keep from over-working the butter into the dough. As a standard rule, you want to freeze the butter for 10 to 15 minutes before starting the dough.

cold butter

Chunks in the dough are okay:

Many recipes call for you to work the fat into the flour until the mixture is similar to cornmeal. That’s ok, but there should still be a few big chunks of fat mixed within the dough to ensure peak flakiness. Keeping a few bigger pieces in there will also help keep you from over-mixing the dough.

preparation of a homemade apple pie, step-by-step, window light

Add a little yolk:

Even if the recipe does not call for it, add an egg yolk. This adds more fat, as well as natural lecithin, which makes the dough pliable and easier to handle.

Olive wood bowl with wheat flour and whole egg yolk as heart shape over old dark metal background. Top view with copy space. Baking concept

Limit the water:

Start off using the least amount of water or other liquid possible. Water aids gluten development, which you want to avoid for a tender pie crust. Add just enough water so the dough holds together. The dough will look quite shaggy and that’s a good thing.

preparation of a homemade apple pie, step-by-step, window light

Do not over-handle the pie crust:

Overworking makes the dough tough. It’s okay to see flakes of yellow from the butter and egg yolk. Also, when working the dough, use your fingertips instead of the warmer palms of the hand. Remember the goal is to make a nice flakey crust.

Chill the dough:

Chill the dough before you roll it out for at least 30 minutes and/or up to 2 days.

Roll the dough the right way:

Lightly flour your work surface, then roll dough from the center outward to create a circle. Lift and move the dough frequently as you work so it doesn’t stick to the surface.

preparation of a homemade apple pie, step-by-step, window light

Let it rest:

Always let your dough rest for at least one hour. Again, it’s all about gluten, and the key to making really flakey crust is to, let your pie crust have time to relax in order for it to be on its best behavior when you’re rolling it out.

making of apple pie homemade

Take charge of the flour:

Use flour liberally to roll out your dough. Don’t even think twice about it. However, once your dough is rolled to the appropriate diameter, take a pastry brush and brush off any and all excess .

preparation of a homemade apple pie, step-by-step, window light

Chill the lined pie pan before baking:

Cover and chill the lined pie pan before baking or adding the filling the pie. This will help the pie keep its shape (and size!) when baked.

To prevent excess browning:

Make the edges perfect during baking, cover the pie edge with a 2- to 3-inch wide strip of aluminum foil, and mold lightly around the edge of the pie. Bake as directed, removing the aluminum foil 15 minutes before the end of the baking time.

Homemade Cherry Pie with a Flaky Crust on Grey stone background.

bowl of long grain and wild rice on black wooden table

Tips for Cooking Rice:

Tips for Cooking Rice: Rice is cooked in millions of households every day, yet cooking it properly still bedevils many aspiring cooks. Cooking tasty rice can be a simple process, provided you follow a few simple steps.

Use a ratio of 2 cups of water or broth to 1 cup of rice: 

Too little liquid results in partially cooked rice burnt to the bottom of the pot. Too much liquid, results in gloppy mushy rice.

mixed brown and black wild rice for healthy eating

Always rinse your rice: 

Before cooking rice, always rinse it. This will make it less sticky and prevent it from clumping together.

Raw Organic Yellow Saffron Rice in a Bowl

Add salt/seasonings to water before adding rice: 

Don’t wait until the rice is cooked to add seasoning. This ensures an even flavoring throughout the rice. You can also add other spices like cardamom or cinnamon with the salt. And if you want to be adventurous, substitute coconut milk for water.

Add a splash of oil to your rice to prevent the individual grains from sticking together: For rice that you don’t want to stick together, add a dash of oil or a pat of butter into the cooking liquid. As the rice cooks, it’ll prevent it from sticking together and give you beautiful defined grains.

Presentation of a dish of Spain, paella being cooked

Rice cooking temperature: 

Once you add rice to boiling water, reduce heat to low or medium/low heat, stir once or twice, and then cover pot. Check periodically for doneness.

Towel underneath the lid: 

During the final stages of cooking, place a kitchen towel underneath the lid to absorb any condensation and prevent it from getting mushy. The idea here is that the towel traps the condensation that would otherwise rain back down onto the rice and cause it to get soggy. Just place the towel underneath the lid during the last few minutes of cooking.

rice garnish with wild and brown rice

Fluff rice with a fork: Just before serving the rice, gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.

Grilled beef steak on wooden cutting board

What are the best seasoning to use with Beef:

Have you ever wondered what spices to use when you’re cooking beef? Find out the best seasoning for beef, and get a printable cheat sheet for your kitchen!

Bay leaf:

Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf commonly used in cooking. It can be whole or ground dried pieces of the plant. It comes from several plants such as: Bay laurel. Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance.

Dried bay leaf on spicy wooden board.

Cayenne seasoning:

The cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annuum. It is usually a moderately hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes.

Aerial view of cayenne chili peppers on wooden backgroud

Chili:

Chili powder (also powdered chili, chile powder or chilli powder) is the dried, pulverized fruit of one or more varieties of chili pepper, sometimes with the addition of other spices (also sometimes known as chili powder blend). It is used as a spice to add pungency or piquancy and flavor to dishes.

Bowl of ripe chili peppers

Curry:

The main spices found in most curry powders of the Indian subcontinent are coriander, cumin, and turmeric. A wide range of additional spices may be included depending on the geographic region and the foods being included (fish, lentils, red or white meat, rice, and vegetables).

Wooden scoop with curry

Dill:

Dill is an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae. It is the only species in the genus Anethum. Dill is widely grown in Eurasia where its leaves and seeds are used as a herb or spice for flavouring food.

fresh dill

Ginger:

Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems about a meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades.

Ginger

Mustard:

Mustard Powder by OliveNation is crafted by grinding the seeds of the mustard plant. This fine yellow powder has a tangy, mildly hot flavor and is also known as dry mustard or ground mustard.

Mustard in glass bowl

Paprika:

Paprika is a ground spice made from dried red fruits of the larger and sweeter varieties of the plant Capsicum annuum, called bell pepper or sweet pepper. The most common variety used for making paprika is tomato pepper, sometimes with the addition of more pungent varieties, called chili peppers, and cayenne pepper.

Paprika

Marjoram seasoning:

Marjoram is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum.

Dried Marjoram leaves

Oregano:

Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family. It is native to temperate Western and Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. The flowers are purple, 3–4 mm long, produced in erect spikes.

organic dry oregano

Parsley:

Parsley or garden parsley is a species of flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region, naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as a herb, a spice, and a vegetable.

parsley

Rosemary:

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs.

a bunch of fresh rosemary
Thyme:

Thyme is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is of the genus Thymus of the mint family, and a relative of the oregano genus Origanum.

bunch of thyme
cold butter

Tips for cooking with butter

Cooking with Butter: Any good cook know that butting is a key ingredient in any meal. So, I have decided to put together a couple of tips for all you aspiring cooks to help you master the art of butter.

1) ​ Before sautéing wait for butter to stop foaming.

Sautéing is best done in hot fat. When foaming subsides, it’s an easy visual cue that the melted butter is hot enough for cooking.

butter in a pan

​2) For pastry use cold not softened butter.

​Good, light pastry and biscuits depend on distinct pieces of cold, solid butter distributed throughout the dough that melt during baking and leave behind pockets of air.

bread and butter for breakfast, breakfast on a table

​3) Add cold butter to pan sauces.

​Swirling a tablespoon or two of cold butter into a pan sauce right before serving adds both richness and body. pull the pan off the heat and add at least one tablespoon of cold butter. To make sure your sauce is thick and glossy, you need to create an emulsion. Swirl or whisk in the butter, returning the pan briefly to the heat if necessary, to help it melt. If you want to thicken and enrich the sauce even more, add more butter, one tablespoon at a time, letting it melt and emulsify between each addition; this gradual process of adding the butter is called mounting.

Ingredients for the base thickener Roux

​4) Slip butter under the skin of chicken breasts.

Start by sliding your fingers between the meat and the skin, entering at either end of the chicken. Working slowly, separate as much of the skin from the meat as you can reach

roasted chicken breast

Grab a few tablespoons of the softened -butter and use your fingers to push it beneath the loosened skin. Rub it directly into the meat as evenly as possible. You can massage the outside of the bird to distribute the softened -butter to the areas that you can’t reach directly.

​5) For creamy mashed potatoes add butter before dairy in.

​If the dairy is stirred into the hot cooked potatoes before the butter, the water in the dairy will combine with the potatoes’ starch, making them gummy. The result? Smoother, more velvety mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes, boiled puree in cast iron pot on dark wooden rustic background, top view

​6) Add butter bits to uncooked eggs for omelets.

​Whisking a tablespoon of cold, diced butter into the eggs before cooking is the secret to a soft, creamy omelet.

omelette-with-tomatoes-spinach-and-green-onion-on-ZLQ9AGP
Organic Grilled Lamb Chops with Garlic and Lime

10 herbs seasoning that go well with lamb

Best Spices for Lamb: There’s nothing better than a perfectly herbed rack of lamb. If you are new to cooking with herbs or just want a brand new flavor combo to try. Simply combine some my favorites from the list below. 

Basil, also called great basil or Saint-Joseph’s-wort

Basil is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae. This herb is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a tender plant, and is used in cuisines worldwide.

basil

Cardamom, sometimes cardamon or cardamum

This a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia.

spices-cardamom

Most curry powder recipes include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers in their blends.

Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, asafoetida, fennel seed. Also caraway, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, white turmeric. Finally curry leaf, long pepper, and black pepper may also be included.

Wooden scoop with curry

Dill is an annual herb in the celery family Apiaceae.

It is the only species in the genus Anethum. Dill is widely grown in Eurasia where its leaves. And seeds are used as a herb or spice for flavouring food.

fresh dill

Mace is made from the lacy, red outer coating

that covers the shell around the nutmeg kernel. Once this coating is removed, it’s dried, and can be found and purchased as whole, golden-orange “blades“, though it’s mostly commonly sold ground. In flavor, mace is very similar to nutmeg, though more subtle and delicate.

Close up of Dish Of Mace

Marjoram is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb

Marjoram is undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle Eastern countries, marjoram is synonymous with oregano, and there the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used to distinguish it from other plants of the genus Origanum.

Dried Marjoram leaves

Mint: Mentha is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae.

It is estimated that 13 to 18 species exist, and the exact distinction between species is still unclear. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally. Many other hybrids, as well as numerous cultivars, are known.

Bunch of Mint

Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family.

It is native to temperate Western and Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region. Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. The flowers are purple, 3–4 mm long, produced in erect spikes.

organic dry oregano

Paprika is a ground spice made from dried red fruits

The larger and sweeter varieties of the plant Capsicum annuum, called bell pepper or sweet pepper. The most common variety used for making paprika is tomato pepper, sometimes with the addition of more pungent varieties, called chili peppers, and cayenne pepper.

Paprika

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary

This spice is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs.

a bunch of fresh rosemary


Turmeric is a flowering plant

of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking.

Turmeric powder in white cup.

The basics of a plant based diet

A plant-based diet is the new craze, its all about celebrating and enjoying the foods that naturally grown and that help fuel our bodies. Also one of the major health benefits is that you will be eating minimally processed. Switching to a plant based diet can be a key to proper nutrition. But before you make this decision you should learn the basics.

As a quick disclaimer don’t dramatically change your diet without consulting your doctor to make sure that there will be no medical issues, such as problems with medications you may currently be on. Also any change in diet should be gradually change to the plant-based diet if you are a heavy meat eater.

Plant Based Recipe

THE BASICS

There is no portion control, no carb counting and no calorie counting with this diet plan. You can eat when you’re hungry, and you can eat until
you get full. Simply make sure that you choose food from the right categories. Of course, there are going to be exceptions that you’ll need to make occasionally. You need to be sure that you aren’t eating too often from your sparingly food category for example.

Plant Based Recipe

WHAT YOU’LL BE EATING

You’ll be eating the following.

Starchy Vegetables: This includes all kinds of potatoes, including sweet potatoes, legumes, which is all kinds of lentils and beans, whole corn, root vegetables and quinoa.

Non-Starchy Vegetables: This includes your leafy greens, broccoli, eggplant, tomatoes and more.

Whole Grains: This includes things such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat and more.

Fruits: All fruits are included if they’re found in nature. This doesn’t include juice or dried fruits.

Spices: You can use all spices

Beverages: Your beverages are limited on this diet. You can drink unsweetened plant “milks”, decaffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea and water.

Omega Three Sources: Your omega 3 sources are flax seed and chia seeds.

Plant Based Recipe

EAT THESE SPARINGLY

These are foods that you can have once in a while, but you should eat them sparingly.

Nuts: The nuts you can eat sparingly are almonds, cashews, walnuts and peanuts.

Seeds: The seeds you can eat sparingly are sesame, pumpkin and sunflower.

Dried Fruit

Coconut

Avocado

Sweetener: Use maple syrup, fruit juice concentrate and natural sugars sparingly

Drinks: You can have caffeinated tea and coffee occasionally as well as the occasional alcoholic drink.

Refined Protein: You can have refined soy and wheat protein sparingly Tofu, Wheat Gluten Protein & Soy Protein Isolate

Plant Based Recipe

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Coconut Curry Bowl with Cod

Cod & Coconut Curry Bowl with Brown Rice: Flaky cod, gently poached in a lively sauce that emphasizes bold flavors of piquant mustard seeds, garlic, and curry powder. Smooth, sweet coconut milk perfectly soothes the spice of the sauce, which is absorbed by a bed of soft brown rice.

There are 5 simple steps for this recipe. First we chop garlic, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes. Next we make brown rice and put to the side. Sauté vegetables and add curry coconut milk and finally the fish. Cook for about 10 minutes and you have a wonderful meal.

Prepare the ingredients:

Peel 2 cloves of garlic and roughly chop. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores. Halve the peppers lengthwise, then thinly slice. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice lime into quarters and place to the side. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Cod & Coconut Curry Bowl with Brown Rice 1

Step one cook the rice:

Fill a small pot with salted water; place on high heat to boil. Add the rice to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 17 to 19 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

Next we cook some vegetables:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high. Add the chopped garlic and mustard seeds (carefully, as the mustard seeds may pop as they cook). Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the prepared peppers and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, until softened and the tomatoes begin to break down.

Now we start making the curry & cooking the fish:

To the pan, add the curry powder and coconut milk (shaking the can before opening); stir to combine. Heat to boiling on high. and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced in volume. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the seasoned fish. Loosely cover the pan with foil. Cook, without stirring, 8 to 12 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and cooked through. Turn off the heat. Carefully transfer the cooked fish to a cutting board; using a forks, flake into bite-sized pieces.

Cod & Coconut Curry Bowl with Brown Rice

Finally we finish the curry & serve:

Add to the pan of cooked vegetables and sauce; next add the juice of 2 lime wedges. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked rice topped with the finished curry and flaked fish. Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side.

Recipes header
curry fish 5

Cod & Coconut Curry Bowl with Brown Rice

Flaky cod, gently poached in a lively sauce that emphasizes bold flavors of piquant mustard seeds, garlic, and curry powder.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cod fillets
  • cups light coconut milk
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ½ lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 small sweet peppers
  • tsps mustard seeds
  • 2 tsps curry powder

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the ingredients: Peel 2 cloves of garlic and roughly chop. Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers; remove the cores. Halve the peppers lengthwise, then thinly slice. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice lime into quarters and place to the side. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
    curry fish 1
  • Cook the rice: Fill a small pot with salted water; place on high heat to boil. Add the rice to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 17 to 19 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.
    Veggie & Sushi Rice Bibimbap 1
  • Cook the vegetables: In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high. Add the chopped garlic and mustard seeds (carefully, as the mustard seeds may pop as they cook). Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the prepared peppers and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, until softened and the tomatoes begin to break down.
    curry fish 2
  • Start the curry & cook the fish: To the pan, add the curry powder and coconut milk (shaking the can before opening); stir to combine. Heat to boiling on high. and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly reduced in volume. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the seasoned fish. Loosely cover the pan with foil. Cook, without stirring, 8 to 12 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and cooked through. Turn off the heat. Carefully transfer the cooked fish to a cutting board; using a forks, flake into bite-sized pieces.
    curry fish 3
  • Finish the curry & serve your dish: Add to the pan of cooked vegetables and sauce; next add the juice of 2 lime wedges. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked rice topped with the finished curry and flaked fish. Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side.
    curry fish 4

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