NOMS: Indian by Gordon Ramsay with Pineapple-Coconut Lassi

good morning sunshine!  off to school!
new swag from auntie MC.  i love these unevenly striped sweats.  
this week's craft at Franc Départ was making elastic bead bracelets.  this, undoubtedly, has been my favourite craft of the entire year.  nothing brings you back to being 10 years old like having packs of elastic with a gigantic bin of beads in every colour including neon and metallics and every shape!  i made this one for Moses and was super stoked to find one single letter block bead that just happened to have the letter M on it.  love the neon green stars.  i hope they have it out next week, i need to make more!
 brekkie was scrambled eggs with leftover quinoa, some grated, chili powder.  it's so good.  the kids have been digging it.  lunch startred off with a smoothie of bananas, fresh pineapple, frozen strawberries and a big handful of kale.  i've done smoothies with spinach but i have been a little apprehensive about doing the kale.  i decided to try it since we had fresh pineapple on hand.  one of my girlfriends told me there was a fruit that balanced the kale out but i couldn't remember if it was mango or pineapple?  anyway.  the colour looks a little malty but i assure you fully that it turned out super sweet and tasty.  kids downed it in seconds.  if you have kids that are colour sensitive, i would advise you to do what neighbour cait does and put the smoothie in a non-clear cup with a cover and maybe even a straw!  do not be scared of the kale.  i promise you won't taste it.
 i made an atrociously awful dinner the previous night, save the coconut rice.  i pan roasted some kale and put it to the side to do more fresh pineapple with a tbsp of Organic Avalon cream with a drop of hazelnut syrup.  weird combo right?  the cream and hazelnut syrup was a happy accident from experimenting with botched recipe from the night before.  added the kale and leftover rice to the pan and tossed it altogether.  
my kids love ring pops.  they also love popsicles.  i saw a super cute set by Fred (i think) at Home Sense when shopping for Momo's birthday and didn't buy them.  i was kicking myself until i found this set for $2.50 at Dollarama!!!!
 it's going to be a good summer
 on the way home from school we swung by my inlaws to pick up some herbs from our little garden.  i should really remember to take photos as the plants we bought from the nursery have been thriving!  we have a bunch of kale growing as well. 
 anyway they have three rose bushes in their front yard and these poor magenta babies had just reached their peak were starting to wilt a little, i HAD TO grab them and take them home.  i had to.  they were begging me and i didn't have the heart to say no...
they are so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  well i guess this is growing up. 
dinner was triple amazeballs.
i've been really stoked that we have gotten back into the habit of visiting the library again.  thanks to kevin's addiction to comic books or graphic novels, he has also been bringing home movies and recipe books including Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: 100 Of My Favourite Indian Recipes.  i literally heard the heavens open and choirs of angels belting Ode to Joy.  so it's been almost two weeks of me going through the book and trying to figure out what to make.  it's been crazy, i've been exhausted and kevin has been cooking for the most part.  

Chicken Badami
Badami means almond, and this dish is typical of Moghlai cuisine, which favours using raw nuts to make a thick and creamy gravy.  Serve this dish with plenty of naan bread, as you want to mop up every last bit of the flavourful almond sauce.

because i'm slow in the kitchen. it took me a while to prep everything but holy god was this ever one of the best meals ever.  we also had Stir-fried butternut squash without the dried chilli's from the book, both over some coconut basmati.  i will post the recipes for both at the end of this entry.
 for the first time since our Golden Noodle night with KLF and Milos, the kids didn't slump around and play with their food.  it was gone in seconds.
 for dessert, i wanted to make Mango Lassi but we were all out of mangoes.  all we had left was half a fresh cut pineapple, a tub of Coconut Bliss (non dairy, non soy, all organic coconut) ice cream, leftover toasted coconut for the rice and some mint leaves.  with cardamom, grated ginger, and half a lime of juice, the only thing missing was booze.
 i don't know if i will ever make Mango Lassi again after having this.  the lime added the perfect tang to the pineapple/coconut.  the ginger added a little more zing and the cardamom gave it a touch of exotic sweetness.  OMG THESE WERE SO GOOD.  recipe below.
 seriously.  so spoiled.

Chicken Badami

500g organic boneless and skinless chicken (thighs or breasts) cut into 2cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

25g slivered almonds (i don't know a handful?  i forgot about them...)
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan spread
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped (i forgot to do two, one was sufficient)
1 cinnamon stick (yes a stick)
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (i used ground cardamom and added along with the other ground spices)
3 cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
5 tbsp finely ground almonds (bulk section)
300ml natural yoghurt ( i used 1 small carton organic Avalon cream)

Put chicken pieces into a large bowl with the garlic, ginger, lemon juice and S&P.  Mix well, cover with cling film and leave to marine in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Place large frying pan over medium heat, add the slivered almonds and dry-toast until light golden brown.  Remember to toss every once in a hwile to avoid burning.  Tip onto place and leave to cool.

Return the pan to the heat and add the butter/spread and onions.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionially for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.  Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and fry for 2-3 minutes before adding the cumin coriander, turmeric and ground almonds.  (I only had ground cardamom, so i added it in with the rest of the ground spices instead of with the cinnamon stick and cloves).  Add the chicken to the pan and stir well to coat the meat in the spices.  Turn the heat up slightly and stir frequently until the chicken turns opaque.

Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in the yoghurt/cream.  Bring to a slow simmer, cover the pan and cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until chicken is tender.

When ready to serve, ladle the chicken into a serving bowl and sprinkl over the toasted almonds to garnish.

Stir-Fried Butternut Squash with Dried Chilli


1 large butternut squash
2tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp onion seeds (don't know what this is and did not use it_
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3-4 dried chillies, deseeded and chopped (did not use these)

Peel butternut squash, discard seeds and cut into 2cm cubes.  Blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes then drain well.

Heat the oil in a wide sauté pan.  Add the cumin and onion seeds and fry for 30 seconds, then add the garlic.  Sauté gently for a couple of minutes until the garlic is soft but not coloured.

Add the butternut squash and chillies to tthe pan and toss well to coat with the spices.  Season well and cook for a further 4-6 minutes until squash pieces are tender and beginning to crisp slightly around the edges.

Pineapple Coconut Lassi (worked off of this original Mango Lassi recipe)

Half a fresh pineapple
275ml of Coconut Bliss (half the tub hee hee hee)
1 cup of almond milk
4 ice cubes
1 tsp of grated ginger
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
juice from 1/2 a lime
toasted coconut
mint leaves finely chopped

put it all in the blender. top with toasted coconut and mint leaves!  die and go to heaven.

Coconut Rice
This recipe also has cumin seeds, but feel free to opt out since the butternut already has them!

2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups basmati rice
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp melted butter or Earth Balance Margarine (or whatever you prefer...)

1.  Cook basmati in rice cooker if you are lazy like me and are prone to burning rice in the pot.  If you don't have a rice cooker, continue to read.  Rinse your rice.  Pour into a medium sized pot and fill until you have an inch of water from above the rice line.  Heat on high until water bowls, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes until water has evaporated and rice is tender.  

2.  Add cumin seeds and toast for 3 minutes or until fragrant.  Add coconut and toast, stirring frequently until golden.  SERIOUSLY, you HAVE TO watch the coconut, it goes from 0 to 60 in seconds and i have burnt coconut one too many times...  Rwmove from heat and reserve.


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