Lasagna – Old family favourite

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This is not your Nona’s lasagna, but this is MY version of Lasagna, a version I’ve made and fed my growing boys so many many times. My older son Adam at 3 used to call it ‘Pisania’ “Mom I love Pisania” lol This recipe is basic, but you can add and subtract ingredients to change it up!

Lasagna – Old family favourite

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced Onions?3 tbsps minced Garlic
  • 2 lbs ground meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken)
  • 1 tsp of salt?2 tsps Cumin powder?680 ml Tomato sauce.?200 ml of water
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 tbsp Hot sauce (optional)
  • 200 - 300 gms Lasagna Noodles
  • 24 leaves of baby kale
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and add the onions
  2. Allow the onions to sweat and add the garlic to cook off that raw garlic flavour
  3. Add in the ground meat
  4. Break up the meat and allow it to infuse with the onions and garlic
  5. Add salt and cumin powder and mix it in
  6. After a few minutes you will notice liquid coming out of the meat, keep stirring to break up the lumps
  7. Add 680 ml of tomato sauce and mix this in well
  8. Add 200 ml of water int the jar to catch all that residual sauce
  9. Throw in some fresh Basil
  10. Put a lid on this for 2 mins and allow this to simmer
  11. Add hot sauce for a little kick
  12. Layer the sauce, lasagna, cheese & kale
  13. Stick this uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 mins
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/lasagna-old-family-favourite/

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

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Whoever said that Chicken soup is good for the soul is spot on. These three Chicken soup recipes with vegetarian options are like a warm hug on a cold day. These 3 recipes are made very easily and can be stored in mason jars for a wonderful light meal all week long. I grab whatever soup I fancy and bring it to work and at lunchtime, all I have to do is reheat in the microwave and enjoy!

The first soup is a Sweet Corn soup also known as the Chicken sweet corn for a non vegetarian version. This soup is a favourite in every Chinese restaurant and it’s so easy to make, my mom would make this for us all the time. If you like seafood, this is also super delicious with crab meat.

The next recipe is a Thai Coconut Rice & Mushroom soup, again, with or without Chicken. Lemongrass and Thai Red Curry paste is the star in the soup and is made hearty with Mushrooms and Rice.

And finally who doesn’t love a good old fashioned Chicken Noodle soup. The stock is enhanced with Garlic and diced Carrots & Celery make this super colourful. Cooked Pasta is added to the broth together with some fresh Parsley. This soup is not cooked for long to prevent the veggies from losing their vibrancy and crunch. Again, Chicken is optional.

3 Chicken Soups for the soul with Veggie options

Ingredients

  • Sweet Corn Soup
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 400 ml Creamed Corn
  • 1 tsp Chilli Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp light Soya sauce
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 2 tbsps Spring Onion leaves
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken optional
  • Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  • 600 ml Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 1 Lemongrass stick cut in 4, 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp Thai Red Curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce (use Soya for Veggie option)
  • Fresh cracked Pepper to taste
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked Rice
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken
  • Noodle Soup
  • 600 ml Stock (Chicken or Veggie)
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup each diced Carrots & Celery
  • 1/2 cup cooked Pasta
  • 1 tbsp chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded Chicken

Instructions

  1. Sweet Corn Soup
  2. Heat up the stock
  3. Add the creamed corn
  4. Add the Chilli Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Soya and stir
  5. Beat the egg and drop into the soup stirring with a fork
  6. Add the sliced spring onion leaves
  7. Add shredded Chicken optional
  8. Thai Coconut soup with Rice & Mushrooms
  9. Heat up the stock
  10. Add the lemongrass and allow to infuse into the stock and remove
  11. Add the red curry paste
  12. Add the mushrooms, fish sauce and pepper
  13. Add the coconut milk
  14. Add a pinch of salt and the rice
  15. Add shredded Chicken optional
  16. Noodle Soup
  17. Heat up the stock
  18. Add the Garlic
  19. Add the diced carrots and celery
  20. Add the noodles
  21. Add the Parsley
  22. Add shredded Chicken optional
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/3-chicken-soups-soul-veggie-options/

Beef Sandwiches – Potted Beef Spread

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My friend Viola Gardonis is famous for her Beef Sandwiches. Wherever she goes, there is a tray of neatly cut triangles with a delicious creamy filling. She told me they were super simple to make and sent me the recipe, you know the kind with no weights or measures! I never really felt the need to make them as Vee as we call her is always the sandwich queen and I don’t want to step on her toes, however when she said she couldn’t make our picnic, I decided to give her recipe a go.

I developed the recipe just going by memory of it’s incredible taste. This filling is mildly spiced and is made creamy with Mayonnaise and Mustard that I added for a little kick. I also worked with a half ground and half shredded meat texture so you get something to chew in the sandwich.

Beef Sandwiches – Potted Beef Spread

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Beef or Lamb/Mutton cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt
  • Whole spices - 2 Star Anise, 2 Bay leaves, 2 black Cardamons, 2 inch stick Cinnamon, 6 green Cardamons, 10 Cloves
  • 2 green Chillies - 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsps Mustard
  • 4 - 6 tbsps Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Butter
  • Bread

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat cubes with the lime juice, powdered spices, salt & pepper
  2. Add oil to a pressure cooker and add the whole spices
  3. Remove the whole spices and keep aside in a small cheese cloth and tie it
  4. Add the meat into the flavored oil and cook for a few minutes till you see a lot of juice come out of the meat
  5. Add the spice bag in, cover the pressure cooker and cook for one whistle
  6. Cool and open the lid, add 1/2 cup of water and close again
  7. Cook for 2 - 3 whistles till the meat is tender
  8. Cook open to dry up all the gravy
  9. Remove and shred the meat
  10. Process half the meat and combine with the half shredded for texture
  11. Add the mustard and mayo and mix
  12. Spread onto buttered bread for great tasting sandwiches
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/beef-sandwiches-potted-beef-spread/

Mexican Street Corn – Elotes

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I’ve been to Mexico several times, granted most times in the walled comfort of an all inclusive. With every visit, we made a point to visit the sights and eat the local food as well, after all you don’t really know a country until you’ve tasted it’s local cusine. Sadly I never really tried this street style corn till I tried it at a Mexican restaurant El Local Loco here in downtown Toronto. Corn is cooked then roasted, smothered in Mayo and topped with spices and cheese – what’s not to love?

A little recipe research and development and a new fave was born. When served this at the restaurant, they only topped one side with a dollop of stuff and presented the stalk with the husk but it had been cut off which I thought was weird. I prefer to get the topping all over the corn, so every bite has maximum flavour. I also pulled the husk back and tied it so you can use it as a handle to eat your corn.

You’re going to LOVE making this!

Mexican Street Corn – Elotes

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1 tbsp Mayo with a squeeze of Lime
  • ½ cup shredded Cheese
  • ¼ tsp each Ancho & Chipotle powder, Salt & Pepper
  • Coriander

Instructions

  1. Boil the corn and then roast it
  2. Brush on the Mayo
  3. Add the Cheese
  4. Add the seasoning
  5. Garnish with Coriander
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/mexican-street-corn-elotes/

 

Gourmet Hot Dogs

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Happy National Hot Dog Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer screams for Hot Dogs and this year I’m giving these humble Hot Dogs a gourmet spin. Just using toppings, I made a Thai Red Curry Dog, Nacho Dog and a Shawarma Dog. I used Chicken Franks in these recipes, but you could use Beef or Pork sausage as well and instead of a flimsy hot dog bun, I’m using crusty Baguettinis!

 

Using simple ingredients like Red Curry sauce, crispy Mama noodles, Thai Basil, Cheese, Jalapenos, Salsa, Sour cream Tahini sauce, Pickled Turnips & Parsley, turn an ordinary hot dog into something quite extraordinary!

Gourmet Hot Dogs

Ingredients

  • Hot Dogs
  • Buns
  • Thai Red Curry Dog
  • 1 tbsp red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsps Coconut Cream
  • Mama Noodles
  • Caramelized Shallots
  • Thai Basil
  • Coriander
  • Nacho Dog
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Jalapenos
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Shawarma Dog
  • 2 tbsps Tahini
  • 2 tbsps Sour cream
  • Pickled Turnips
  • Shallot rings
  • Parsley

Instructions

  1. Prepare the hot dogs by creating diagonal slits in the sausage and grill on the BBQ
  2. Slit the mini Baguettes from the top down(see video)
  3. Prepare the red curry sauce by mixing the red curry paste with the coconut cream on a medium heat, remove and cool
  4. Mix the tahini & sour cream together
  5. For the Thai Red Curry Dog, top the hot dog with the sauce, caramelized onions, mama noodles for crunch, thai basil and coriander
  6. For the Nacho Dog, top the hot dog with cheese and jalapenos and just warm in the oven till the cheese melts and then top with salsa and sour cream
  7. For the Shawarma Dog, top the hot dog with tahini sauce, add shallot rings, pickled turnips and parsley
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/gourmet-hot-dogs/

Kimchi Fried Rice

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If you love Kimchi, you’re definitely going to LOVE this Kimchi fried rice. Kimchi typically made with cabbage but not exclusively. It is brined and fermented. Recently my friend Chef Sang Kim popped into my kitchen and showed me how to prepare Kimchi. It’s a bit of work, but once done you have a large batch to enjoy or share with family and friends. Check out that video here –

Once you have some Kimchi whether it’s home-made or store bought, Kimchi fried rice is merely a few delicious steps away.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kimchi
  • 2 tbsps Kimchi brine
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang or Pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp light Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sliced Spring Onions
  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Broccoli & Green Pepper
  • 3 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
  • Fried Egg
  • Spring Onion leaves
  • Sliced red Chilli

Instructions

  1. Drain the kimchi and reserve the brine
  2. Add the gochujang and sesame oil to the brine
  3. Chop up the drained Kimchi
  4. Heat some oil and saute the spring onions, mushrooms, broccoli and green pepper
  5. Add the rice and all the marinade and mix well
  6. Add some spring onion leaves
  7. Fry an egg till the yolk is just set but still runny and add salt, pepper, spring onion leaves and red chilli
  8. Top the rice with the egg and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kimchi-fried-rice/

 

Tangdi Kebab – Kalmi Kebab

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Tangdi in it’s simplest translation means leg and refers to the leg of a Chicken. This BBQ Chicken preparation is either marinated in a cream base(Kalmi), Red spice blend(Tandoori) or a Green spice blend(Hara). Sometimes, just the drumstick is served and other times you will get the drumstick and the thigh together.

 

India & Pakistan and the surrounding countries are famous for these kekabs with their delicious smoked taste that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor. Most people don’t have tandoors in their homes, so I’m going to cook this on my BBQ. You can also use a frying pan or the oven.

Tangdi Kebab – Kalmi Kebab

Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 Drumsticks
  • 1st marinade
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp each Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2nd marinade
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Gram flour
  • ½ cup of grated Cheese
  • 2 tbsps of minced green Chilli
  • ½ tsp each of Ginger paste & Garlic paste
  • ½ tsp of red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp of Haldi
  • 1/2 tsp of dried Fenugreek or Kasuri Methi
  • 3 tbsps Cream
  • For Basting
  • Mustard Oil
  • Dried Fenugreek

Instructions

  1. Prepare the hung yogurt by adding it to a cheese cloth and giving it a gentle squeeze to remove the extra water
  2. Prepare the drumsticks by removing the skin and make gashes in the flesh
  3. Marinate it with the 1st marinade for a minimum time of 30 minutes
  4. Follow with the 2nd marinade
  5. BBQ on all sides till cooked basting with the mustard oil in between
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/tangdi-kebab-kalmi-kebab/

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon Vietnamese Rolls

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I first tried Vietnamese Spring Rolls more than 10 years ago when one of my Asian co-workers brought in a large platter for a potluck. It was a very traditional filling with Shrimp and it was love at first bite. Since that day. I always have rice paper wraps in my pantry. They are inexpensive and can be so easily customized. I’ve made the traditional Shrimp version so many times but for a change I wanted to try Smoked Salmon. This one is a winner. Not only is it big on taste with the Salmon and fresh herbs but it’s also a NO COOK recipe, something I so very rarely do.

These Vietnamese Spring rolls are packed with Spinach, Smoked Salmon, Cucumber sticks, spiced Bean noodles and topped with fresh Mint, Coriander & Thai Basil. It’s served with a spicy & tart dipping sauce.

 

Follow my YouTube video for tips and tricks to making these and you’re off to the races!

 

These rolls are filling and also healthy. I recently took a batch with me to a friend’s house to enjoy after a brisk walk. They loved the rolls and absolutely adored the dipping sauce as well!

Smoked Salmon Vietnamese Rolls

Ingredients

  • 25 – 30 Rice paper wraps
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • ½ cup Mint
  • ½ cup Thai Basil
  • ¼ cup Coriander
  • 1 – 2 Cucumbers cut in sticks
  • 300 gms Bean thread Noodles
  • 500 gms Smoked Salmon
  • Sauce
  • ½ cup Lime Juice
  • 5 tbps Fish Sauce
  • 2 tsps Red Curry Paste

Instructions

  1. Because the size of the wrap varies, your ingredients listed are approximate
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the lime juice, fish sauce and red curry paste together
  3. Prepare the bean thread by soaking it in hot water for a few minutes and then draining it completely
  4. Add 4 tbsps of the prepared sauce to the bean thread and mix it in
  5. Soak a sheet of rice paper in room temp water till soft and place on a kitchen towel
  6. Pat the front side dry
  7. Add Spinach, Salmon, Cucumber sticks, a bit of the bean noodles and finish with the herbs – Coriander, Mint & Thai Basil
  8. Fold over one side and pull it just so it makes contact, then tuck in the sides and roll
  9. Store on top of parchment paper to prevent sticking and cover with more parchment paper to prevent drying out
  10. Serve with the dipping sauce
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/smoked-salmon-vietnamese-rolls/

 

Trout in Parchment Parcels – En Papilotte

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Meal prep gives me some extra time and peace of mind. This recipe is incredible, I cook some Trout together with rice and veggies in one package. It’s a complete meal in one bag!

Trout in Parchment Parcels – En Papilotte

Ingredients

  • 4 Trout fillets (6 oz each approx)
  • 2 cups Minute or Express Rice
  • 24 Asparagus spears
  • Broccoli florets
  • Mushrooms
  • Sliced sweet Peppers
  • 1/4 cup melted Butter
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions
  2. Cut 4 large pieces of parchment paper
  3. Fold each one over and add rice, the veg and top with a piece of fish
  4. Mix the mustard with the butter, add salt & pepper and parsley
  5. Spoon this over the fish
  6. Add lemon slices and more parsley
  7. Seal and cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/trout-in-parchment-parcels/