Recipes

My “Butter Chicken” Recipe

My "Butter Chicken" Recipe

Who doesn’t love great tasting food?

Honestly, I think it is really strange when people profess to be a foodie. We all love food don’t we? We all need it to survive. But there is a big difference between loving food and exercising self-control in the process to not cross that fine line that leads to gluttony. Please don’t tell me you are a foodie. Remember that the pleasure we derive from eating is not the primary goal – nourishment is. Nourishment and pleasure must go together; they feed each other (excuse the pun).  🙂

My eight year old daughter discovered Butter Chicken this past year and though she only eats a small amount (she only ever eats a small amount of anything), but is a discerning eater who eats slowly and savours her food. But because dairy doesn’t work well for her I decided that I would experiment in the kitchen and come up with a “Butter Chicken” that she could eat with confidence!

I have been experimenting with Eat Right 4 Your Type for the last few years and so have made modifications to this fantastic Butter Chicken recipe, to suit my needs. It works well for the rest of my family too (give or take some ingredients); each of us, a representative of the four blood types!

My version is for those who are dairy-free. I know it sounds strange to even call this dish Butter Chicken when there is no butter or decadent cream and by the way there is no chicken either; I have replaced the chicken with Turkey cutlets. My son is blood type B and my husband is blood type AB, both should avoid chicken. Generally, chicken is so over consumed by everyone that I have cut back on the amount of chicken I prepare and serve to them at home. So turkey it is!

I have made this dish only three or four times, but it has turned out great each time, so I feel ready to share it with you. If you try it please let me know how it turns out. My son thinks it could use a little more garlic and ginger for his taste, so I will experiment with those quantities next time.

Also, I find that it tastes even better the following days; I always make enough for leftovers.

Make this ginger / garlic paste ahead of time. Here’s how: chop up at least 2 inches of fresh ginger and 3 to 4 cloves of garlic to make a generous 1-2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger and garlic each; equal parts. But often when using a food processor it helps to have a larger quantity being processed for the machine to run smoothly. This is why I generally make more and keep it in the freezer. Place into a small food processor and add water in small amounts to create a paste. Set aside in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you will be making the recipe.

Fresh Ginger/Garlic pasteFrozen Ginger/Garlic paste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg boneless Turkey Cutlets
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 4 pods of cardomom
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup or more of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions
  • 2 – 3 tsp (or more) of garlic/ ginger paste (see above)
  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 2 Cups homemade Turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)

Instructions:

  • cubed turkey cutlets1 kg boneless Turkey cutlets cubed (a cutlet is a breast cut in half or more slices) I use kitchen food scissors for cutting the cutlets into cubes.
  • 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately from 1 lime depending on juiciness)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 generous tsp red chili flakes

Juice from 1 Lime

Sea Salt

1 tsp red chili flakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Marinating Stage 1 of 2

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast:

  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 10 raw almonds

Roasting almonds & bay leaves

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

seeds from cardamom pods

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

cardomom seeds and gently roasted almonds & bay leaves half-way ground in coffee grinder final coarse powder

 

 

 

 

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

Spices

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

marinating stage 2 of 2

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Virgin Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

Olive Oil

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Cook until sealed

Simultaneously…

    • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
    • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

Dried Methi

Tomatoes & Fenugreek Leaves

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine. Add 2 Cups Turkey stock

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (approximately 45 minutes total cooking time.)

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

ENJOY!

Here are the instructions without photos for easy reading:

1) Combine the above ingredients. Place into a non-reactive (choose glass) food safe container and cover with a lid. (I like Frigoverre by Bormioli Rocco). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2) Just before your hour is up, in a flat pan on medium heat, gently roast: 2 dried Bay Leaves and 10 raw almonds

3) Gently roast until they darken slightly, turning over occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • Remove seeds from 4 pods of cardomom (there are 12 seeds in each pod).

4) In a clean coffee grinder, place cooled roasted bay leaves, almonds and 48 cardamom seeds and grind into a coarse powder.

5) In a small bowl combine the following spices:

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

6) Mix the coarse powder mixture with the above spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric)

7) Add this combined spice mixture to the marinating Turkey cubes. Mix well.

8) Continue to marinate Turkey for an additional hour, covered in the refrigerator.

AFTER the second 1 Hour (two hours total), remove marinating Turkey from the refrigerator. It’s cooking time.

9) Heat 3 TBSP Olive Oil, on medium heat in a large high-sided frying pan or pot.

*NOT Virgin or Extra Olive Oil, because these oils are not meant for cooking with.

10) When the Olive Oil is hot add approximately 1 Cup of chopped yellow or Sweet cooking onions. Fry until golden brown. About 10 minutes.

11) Add 2 generous teaspoons of previously prepared garlic/ ginger paste. Fry for one minute.

12) Add marinated Turkey cubes and any juices that may have collected in the marinating container. Cook on medium until Turkey cubes have sealed; they will take on an opaque appearance.

Simultaneously…

  • 1- 14 oz. Can of unsalted diced Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP dried Fenugreek Leaves (kasuri methi)

13) With a food processor or in a container using a hand held blender, ground the tomatoes and fenugreek leaves into a smooth paste. Add to pot and combine with Turkey.

14) Add 2 Cups Turkey stock to pot and combine.

15) Cook until Turkey is cooked and sauce is reduced by half. (see feature photo above).

OPTIONAL: I don’t do this but as an optional Butter addition, melt 3 TBSP Butter or Ghee in another pot, then pour over top of cooked Turkey and mix in to finish.

Serve with homemade steamed Cumin Basmati Rice (easy recipe to follow – one of these days) and fresh steamed or roasted vegetables.

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Guacamole

Homemade Guacamole

Now that I know my secretor status, according to Eat Right 4 Your Type, I have started eating avocados again. A lot. Before I knew my secretor status, I followed the program as if I were a secretor, which meant not eating any avocados. I missed them for the nine months or so that I abstained. I even stopped looking at them at the grocery store. It is amazing to me what we can adapt to if only we give ourselves the opportunity to try. There are a lot of unusual rules in the ER4YT plan that don’t seem logical; like I can eat avocado but NOT avocado oil. I find it all very interesting especially because it seems to be so effective for me. I did the secretor salivary test a few months ago: I am a Non-Secretor. The good news is that I can eat avocados again, the bad news is that Non-Secretors have, potentially, a health disadvantage; which gives me even more reason to stay on top of what I eat. Click here to read Lesson Ten: Secretor Status.

My Homemade Guacamole Recipe

1 – 2 TBSP. diced Spanish Onion

1 – 2 TBSP. seeded and diced  Tomatoes

2 TBSP. finely chopped Cilantro leaves

less than 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

2 Very Ripe Hass Avocado (pictured above) mashed and leave some in chunks.

Juice from half of a fresh lime (it should be very juicy, producing at least 2 TBSP.)

2 twists of the Sea Salt Mill

NOTE: I’m sure any variety of avocado will do, but I prefer the taste and texture of the Hass Avocado.

Directions:

Not sure there is an easier recipe? Just prepare all the ingredients in the order I’ve listed and combine together. Voila!

Below are some photos to guide anyone new to the kitchen. Remember to use only the leaves from the Cilantro, no stems.

Spanish Onion, diced

Cilantro

Less than 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

seeded Tomatoes

Guacamole

Today I made another batch and added some finely diced garlic.

To my surprise, I prefer it without the garlic. The garlic seemed to hide the cayenne pepper. Interesting.

ENJOY!

By the way, the following Blood Types should avoid avocado.

  • AB (secretor & non-secretor),
  • B (secretor & non-secretor) and
  • O (secretor)

Avocado is:

  • Beneficial for Blood Type O (non-secretor)
  • Neutral for Blood Type A (secretor & non-secretor)

Seared Tuna Steaks

Seared Tuna Steaks

Three out of four of us love this recipe. ‘Dot’ is not so into it, she has only just turned eight years old and still gets a little turned off by bits of green herbs in her food.

This is another tried-and-true recipe from Jamie Oliver ’s book: The Naked Chef. You can find the recipe on page 95.

Cover of "The Naked Chef"

Cover of The Naked Chef

We try not to eat too much tuna on a regular basis because of its potential for high levels of mercury. But when we do have it we either order it at our favorite Japanese Restaurant where we know the chef and respect his standards for quality control or I buy it fresh from Longliner Seafoods Ltd. at Granville Market.

I don’t always follow the recipe exactly. If I don’t have a dried red chili, I use a teaspoon or so of dried red chili flakes. And in place of coriander seeds, I will use a generous teaspoon of ground coriander. And I usually add more garlic. Those are my only deviations.

Ingredients (My Version):

1 tsp. dried red chili flakes

1 generous teaspoon ground coriander

1-2  garlic cloves, crushed

1 good handful of fresh basil, finely chopped

1 good handful of  cilantro, finely chopped

juice from 1 lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3-4 tuna steaks

Directions:

  • Mix together in a small bowl: red chili flakes, ground coriander, crushed garlic, chopped basil & cilantro and lemon juice. Add sea salt & freshly ground pepper if desired.
  • Rinse Tuna Steaks with cold running water, pat dry and place on a dish big enough to coat each tuna steak with the herb mixture.
  • Preheat a large frying pan. Jamie says to get the pan “very, very hot” then pour some oil on a paper towel and quickly rub the frying surface of the pan. Do this quickly and only once the tuna steaks are ready to go immediately into the pan, otherwise, the oil will start to burn.
  • Actually, rather than tossing the steaks in the pan, be precise with placement because they will stick onto the place you put them. Once in the pan you will not want to move them around. After 45 – 60 seconds of searing, it will be easy to turn them over for another 45 – 60 seconds.
  • Letting each steak sear for 45 – 60 seconds on each side.
We (the adults) prefer our Tuna Steaks cooked a little more than traditional searing. Our son, however, prefers it closer to sashimi – I try to strike a balance. We leave our raw fish eating for our Japanese Restaurant outings.
You will notice in the finished product at top, that the centre of the fish is more pink than red. I will sear them for 90 seconds on each side, then cut through the middle and see how it looks. Remember to factor in that even once the fish is removed from the pan it will continue to cook a bit longer.
This is the kind of dish that you want to cook and serve immediately. So having the rest of the meal prepared and on the table makes for a winning combination.

Sometimes when I know that I want leftovers, I will intentionally sear the Tuna Steaks for less time so that when I reheat them the following day they will be just right and not be cooked through like canned tuna. They are also great served cold on a salad the following day; I create my version of a Salad Nicoise.

Serve with an extra wedge of lemon. I like to serve with a green salad, steamed kale, roast sweet potatoes and brown rice. The possibilities are endless.

 

Enjoy!

Fresh red chile de árbol chili peppers

Fresh red chile de árbol chili peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FYI: Eat Right 4 Your Type

This recipe averages out as Neutral for all types. However, A and AB blood types, both secretor and non-secretors should omit the red chili peppers. Tuna is listed as Beneficial only for AB blood types, for both secretor and non-secretor.

Below is a Blood Type Table for Seared Tuna Ingredients:

Blood Type Tuna Cilantro Basil Red Chili Pepper Coriander Lemon Juice
O secretor Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral
O  non-secretor Neutral Neutral Beneficial Neutral Neutral Neutral
A secretor Neutral Neutral Neutral Avoid Neutral Beneficial
A non- secretor Neutral Beneficial Neutral Avoid Beneficial Beneficial
B secretor Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral
B non- secretor Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral
AB secretor Beneficial Neutral Neutral Avoid Neutral Beneficial
AB non- secretor Beneficial Neutral Neutral Avoid Neutral Beneficial

This table is accurate as of the date of publishing this post. Check with the source for an up-to-date listing at Dr. D’Adamo Type Base 4. Click on any food item and it will show you an incredible page summarizing everything you might need to know about that food. Wow! Really, check it out.

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Roasted Roots with Ginger & Lime Juice

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

with Ginger & Lime Juice

Here is the suped up version of my Roasted Winter Squash with a Twist.

In this version I use Jewel and/or Garnet Yams and/or Sweet Potatoes and mix in Butternut Squash and/or Acorn Squash (whatever is available). Although, did you know, that the “Yams” we consume in North America are actually Sweet Potatoes? To get true Yams, apparently requires some effort, one must source them from a market that specializes in Tropical produce. This link: Sweet Potatoes & Yams gives the breakdown for anyone interested in clarifying the confusion.

For me it was particularly interesting because I am exploring Eat Right 4 Your Type. For me as a type O, Sweet Potatoes are beneficial and Yams are Neutral. Turns out, the Yams I thought I was eating are actually ALL sweet potatoes (Yay!), but are labeled as Yams at the grocery store. It all kind of makes my head swim though.

UPDATE: Recently, I got the results from the Secretor Test. Turns out I am a Non-Secretor, which means that both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are neutral for me. I’ll still keep eating them, but maybe not quite as often!

Anyhow, this recipe has become quite a staple. I love it! And now that I’ve made it so often, I can whip off a batch in no time. Sadly, it disappears just as quickly. The kids will sample it from time to time when they are feeling adventurous, but mostly it’s a dish that my husband and I eat. Lucky for my husband, who is an AB – Secretor, both Yams and Sweet Potatoes are beneficial.

It’s good cold, but outstanding when served warmed up – which brings out all the flavours.

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Bowl for mixing
  • 2 Cookie Sheets
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Grater

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Sweet Potato Tubers (mix of varieties) peeled & cut into chunks
  • Butternut Squash or Acorn Squash (optional) peeled & cut into slices
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Ginger peeled and grated Or 1 Tsp. ground ginger root (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. or less of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 – 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 to 1 Fresh Lime
  • 1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, leaves plucked from stems & finely chopped
  • 3 Scallions (green onions), chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Wash, peel and cut sweet potatoes and squash into desired shapes and sizes. Enough for two cookie sheets or more for batches.
  • Place in large mixing bowl. Add approximately 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I usually just make a splash with it into the bowl).

Peel & grate, 1-2 inches of fresh ginger.

I use a spoon to peel the ginger. It works much better than a vegetable peeler.

1 tsp. grated – depending how spicy you like it 🙂

Add approximately 1 TBSP. of Dried Red Chili Pepper Flakes to the mixing bowl.

Here is a picture showing 1 tsp. dried ginger, less than 1 TBSP. chili flakes and a 1/2 tsp. ground Himalayan Salt.

However, of late I’ve not been adding any salt.

Stir to combine and coat the vegetables.

Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets.

Place into pre-heated oven for 30 minutes (depending on oven). Check periodically. I find that the sweet potatoes need 10 additional minutes for a nice roasted appearance. For the squash, I usually roast them 20 additional minutes (but turn them over when I take the sweet potatoes out of the oven), to achieve the same roasted appearance on both sides.

Once the vegetables have been removed from the oven I allow them to cool slightly before returning them to the mixing bowl.

While the vegetables were roasting I would have added to the mixing bowl:

1. Separated 1 Cups worth of cilantro leaves from their stems and chopped them.

2. Cut up the scallions

3. Squeezed the juice from 1 fresh lime

Note:  I usually only add the juice from one lime and see how it tastes. It’s easy enough to add more the next day. I’ve made the mistake of adding too much lime juice and regretting it, but easy enough to remedy by adding more roasted vegetables.

Also, I’ve noticed that not all limes are juicy, so I always buy 4 or 5 limes at a time. A few times I’ve cut open limes and though they ‘feel’ perfectly juicy from the outside, they are completely dry; it’s disappointing when you need them right then and there.

Finishing Up:

Depending on how things look I may add a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the bowl and mix it with the lime juice, cilantro and scallions. Then I toss in the Roasted Vegetables and gently combine to coat the vegetables well. I then cover the bowl or transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.

Reheat before serving.

Dedicated to my friend V, whose husband isn’t fond of cilantro, but he gave the dish a try when they visited us last month – and he said he liked it. So maybe for all those averse to cilantro, give this recipe a try…(?).

Kale Chips

Baked Kale Chips

Getting your greens…

Our kids have been eating steamed Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Broccoli and Broccolini, basically from since they started eating solid food. We joke that they’ve already eaten a lifetimes supply in their short lives.

My son recently said that he’s just Kale-ed out, but would love to eat it: Kale Chip style. I had only ever made Kelp chips for my son, which he loves; He craves them from time to time – likely his body telling him he’s getting low on Iodine!

For some reason, however, I never made Kale Chips. I guess because there was never a need – everyone was getting their daily requirement the old fashioned way.  About a year ago, my friend brought over some dehydrated Kale Chips and he still remembers liking them to this day.

Since I don’t have a dehydrator (yet!) I decided to make a batch of Kale Chips to see what might happen. I made two batches, because the first batch got over cooked slightly…they’re not great overcooked even by a margin. I tried to push them on my son – “just try one, tell me what you think?”, but he called me on it right away. “Mom, these are burnt”. So with the second batch, I kept watch like a hawk. Some were perfect while others could have used a few more minutes. So I removed the chips that were just right and kept the others on the tray and slid them back into the oven. Watching all the time.

They should look a vibrant green when cooked just right and be crispy to the touch. They still taste great if undercooked – they just lack the crispy chip crunch, fall-apart texture, which are better for storing in an airtight container…if there’s any left for storing that is! Try as I may, the batch gets eaten up before I can ever get them to the container. Not such a bad problem to have. Except, for the fact that it’s me and my husband who devour the batch. My son still prefers the dehydrated Kale Chips…Can anyone recommend a great food dehydrator?

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  • Bunch Organic Kale (Purple Kale, Lacinato Kale [also known as Black Kale or Dinosaur Kale] and Curly Green Kale…are there more varieties?)
  • Remove Kale from stem – discard stem
  • Tear Kale into preferred size for chips
  • Wash Kale
  • Spin dry with salad spinner or towel dry
  • In a big bowl drizzle a small amount of Olive Oil – careful not to use too much – 1tsp.(?)
  • Add a light sprinkling of Sea Salt
  • Use hands to massage oil evenly over Kale
  • Lay Kale on a baking sheet (I use parchment on my cookie sheets)
  • Place in oven
  • Set timer for 10 minutes
  • Do Not walk away or get distracted…this is a quick operation
  • Enough time for clean up or a 4 Minute Tabata…am I being pushy?
  • By 6 minutes it becomes obvious that Kale is cooking
  • By 8 minutes most pieces will be ready – at which point I take out the sheet and start checking for done-ness.
  • And return to oven the ones that need a bit more time.
  • Watching all the time.

(above) one bunch Organic Curly Green Kale

(above) Remove Kale from stem

-Discard stem-

Washed then dried with Salad Spinner (above)

My son’s favorite Olive Oil, because it doesn’t taste too Olive-e.

I used a small amount of this Sea Salt.

– A couple turns from my Salt Mill.

Here is a comparison photo,

Cooked Kale chip (left), raw Kale (right).

ENJOY!

BEST Turkey Soup Ever!

The BEST Homemade Turkey Soup Ever

from Ginny Love’s

Simply Love – A Family Cookbook

 “Some people roast turkey at Christmas just so they can eat turkey soup a few days later.” – Ginny Love

Yup, that would be me!

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Large Soup Pot w/ lid
  • measuring cups
  • strainer/ sieve
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • garlic press

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 diced onions
  • 2 – 3 peeled & diced carrots
  • 2 – 4 diced celery stalks
  • 3  Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (I used Ghee)
  • 12 Cups homemade Turkey broth
  • 1 – 2  pressed or minced garlic cloves
  • 2 – 3 Cups chopped turkey meat
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cups uncooked Rice or Barley
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper for taste
Because I was making two batches of this soup at the same time I cut up more vegetables.
I make one batch with barley and a second with brown rice to be gluten free.
If you like more heartiness in each spoonful, as opposed to mostly liquid
then you’ll have to experiment with quantities for yourself.
Keep a record of how many cups of each diced vegetable, chopped turkey and grains
you use so you’ll know for the next time around.

Pressed garlic.

Heat pots on medium.

Once pot is warm add unsalted butter or Ghee.

As butter begins to melt, add diced carrots, celery and onions.

Saute until soft. Below.

Once softened, add pressed or minced garlic. Above.

Let garlic cook for a minute or two before adding the stock.

[I added 14 Cups stock to my large pot and

10 Cups stock to my smaller pot.]

While the homemade turkey stock comes to a boil (above)

chop the turkey meat (below).

I divided the meat for my two batches:

4+ Cups for the large pot w/ Barley

2+ Cups for the smaller pot w/ Rice

This is the rice I used.

 Once the stock comes to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer.

Add the grains and meat.

 Add 1/2 Cup Brown Rice (rinsed and drained).

[I added the rice to my smaller pot.]

 Pot barley.

or

Add 1/2 to 3/4 Cups of pot barley (rinsed and drained).

[I added the barley to my larger pot.]

Or maybe you would  like a combination?

Adding a cup of Pasta is another option.

Add chopped turkey meat.

 Cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.

(until rice or barley is cooked through)

ENJOY!

I find that when I reheat soup on the stove the next day it tastes even better,

rather than reheating it in the microwave.

This soup freezes well.

Be sure to cool overnight in the refrigerator before transferring to plastic freezer containers.

Homemade Turkey Stock

Carrots of many colors.

So, you have roasted your Turkey and it turned out beautifully.

This is a beginners guide to making homemade Turkey Stock.

I have been making my own stock and homemade soup for ten years, but last year I came across Ginny Love’sSimply Love – A Family Cookbook. Since then, I’ve been following her recipes for homemade Stock and Turkey soup. The rest of the book looks great, but I just haven’t spent the time exploring the other recipes yet.

Kitchen Supplies:

  • Large Stock Pot with a lid
  • Stainless Steel Bowls (or other)
  • Very Fine Sieve
  • Containers for storage and freezing

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 onions, cut ends off, keep skins on, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, un-peeled, ends cut off, cut in two
  • 2 stalks of celery, ends cut off, cut in two
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 – 20 peppercorns
  • Cold water

I used to get really irritated when following recipe instructions; two carrots – does that mean two big carrots or two small carrots? Couldn’t the author just say one cup chopped carrots? My rule of thumb is that if I like a lot of something, I include more of it. Now, with experience and practice I find it all balances out nicely.

Warning: You may get pot envy. I got this pot a few years ago – it’s actually a pasta pot, but works so well for stock. It is a Stock Pot with Steamer Insert. So once the stock is ready and cooled slightly, I can lift the steamer insert from the stock pot, and voila! Let the stock cool down before replacing the lid and putting it into the refrigerator overnight. So easy.

Once you have carved away and refrigerated all the succulent meat from the bones

you will be left with the carcass.

 Place the carcass into a large stock pot. Below.

Add to Stock Pot:

 10 – 20 Peppercorns.

1- 3 Bay Leaves, depending on size.

Add to stock pot:

1-2 washed Onions, leave skins on, cut away ends, cut into quarters

and washed un-peeled cut carrots and celery.

The onion skins add colour to the stock.

Place stock pot into the sink to fill with water or transfer water using measuring cups.

Add enough Cold Water to the Stock Pot to cover carcass.

If you are using the steamer insert be careful not to over fill with water

as the water will spill out over the side of the stock pot once it starts to boil.

 

Notice the height difference of the steamer insert to the stock pot. Below.

Place on High Heat to bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer for 45 – 60 minutes.

Below, shows the contents of the steamer pot after cooking.

In the picture, I have lifted it away from the stock.

Discard the contents from the steamer pot.

Let it cool first.

Below. This is what the stock looks like after taking the steamer insert out.

 

Below, the chilled stock after being in the refrigerator overnight.

 

I use a big spoon to skim off the congealed fat which has risen to the surface.

Then with my other Soup Pot sitting in the sink

and a very fine sieve sitting over the top of the pot,

I slowly pour (in batches) the chilled stock.

In the picture below, I used the finer of the two sieves.

I have a few very large stainless bowls which I use to transfer and strain the stock a few more times.

Some people use a cheesecloth to pass the stock through to make it very clear.

I find my very fine sieve works nicely.

Above, the total amount of Turkey Stock.

The container with lid went directly into the freezer.

The rest of the stock went towards the Turkey Soup.

I make two different batches:

One batch with Barley (for my husband and son)

– which is my favourite but NOT gluten free 😦

The other batch I make with brown rice for me and my daughter.

I will post the instructions for THE best turkey soup you’ve ever tasted…soon.

Roast Turkey

This post is for anyone who has never roasted a Turkey.

It is really easy once you do it a few times and gain some experience – much like learning a new exercise! Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

I used to think I was a lousy cook, but I just never gave myself a chance. I’d try something once or twice and if it didn’t work out I figured that I just wasn’t cut out for cooking. But, I’ve learned that finding the right recipe is more than half the battle. I often chose recipes that looked amazing – some complicated, others simple but if the flavours didn’t appeal to me, then in the end it would feel like quite the disappointment, a waste of time and waste of ingredients. Now, from reading a recipe I know if it’s worth the attempt. And I’m figuring out how to use a recipe as a template and work with the ingredients that are compatible for me.

But really, the entire point of roasting the turkey is to be able to make homemade turkey stock – to make the best turkey soup you’ve ever tasted! Really, before Winter comes to an end you will want to learn this and be ready for next Fall.

First make sure you have all the necessary kitchen supplies at hand. Lay everything out ahead of time – like a cooking show – it really does make everything run that much more smoothly.

The kitchen supplies and preparation:

  • Washed sink and surrounding work surface clean and clutter free
  • Cutting board
  • Pre-cut paper towels
  • Roasting Pan
  • Roasting Tray (which fits inside roasting pan)
  • Turkey baster (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil (oiled)

After Roasting:

  • Large Platter or Carving Block with grooves for catching cooked turkey juices
  • Tea Towels

Ingredients:

  • Turkey! (in this example I used a 13.26 lb. Turkey)
  • Remove Turkey from refrigerator approximately 1 hour prior to the time you want it in the oven to ensure that it won’t be too cold going into the oven
  • 1 tsp. Salt + 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Pepper set aside in bowl (more or less depending on preference)
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (I used Ghee)
  • 1 onion, washed, cut into quarters keep skins on – cut & discard ends – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, washed, cut in half lengthwise – keep skins on – Place into the Roasting Pan (optional)

How To:

Preheat Oven to 425 F.

With a garbage can by your side, place Turkey (which is still in it’s sealed bag) into the clean sink. Remove the Turkey from the bag. Turkey is now sitting in the clean sink. Discard the bag to the garbage.

If your Turkey has the neck in it’s cavity, remove, rinse and dry it. Place the neck into the Roasting pan to the side of the roasting tray – along with the carrot and onion. You  won’t be eating the neck, carrot or onion – rather they will provide nice flavour for the gravy – later.

Inside the Turkey’s cavity you may also find a plastic bag holding the giblets (the heart, liver and kidneys)…I discard these along with the outer bag.

With cold water, rinse the Turkey well, inside and out. Be sure to drain all the water from the cavity before placing it on the paper towels which are covering your clean counter or cutting board.

Dry the Turkey well, inside and out with paper towels. You won’t see any pictures of this…sorry, you’re on your own. Try not to splash your entire kitchen in the process. And make sure to not leave any paper towels inside the cavity! Double check.

Once dry, I find it easier to just place the bird on the tray.

Rub the melted butter all over the outside of the Turkey. Try not to let it all run into the pan! Your Turkey will still be cold from the refrigerator, so the butter will harden slightly as you rub it on – that’s ok. Then, rub some of the salt and pepper all over the outside of the Turkey and into the cavity. You can experiment with different herbs – this time I forgot to add any – but you can add fresh sage or a few rosemary sprigs into the cavity.

That’s it. Now it’s ready to go into the oven.

I lightly sprayed the shiny side of a long sheet of aluminum foil with Canola Pam.

Then I tented the foil over top of the Turkey (oiled side on bird), trying not to let the foil sit on the Turkey – hence ‘tent’. The oil is to help prevent the foil from sticking on the skin should the two come in contact.

Oven Instructions:

 

  • First 45 Minutes at 425 F.

  • Then lower the temperature to 325 F for the remaining time.

  • For this Turkey, it was 2.75 hours @325F.

General rule is 15 Minutes per pound unstuffed and 20 minutes per pound stuffed. But everyone you talk to will have a pattern that works for them. So far this has worked wonderfully. The skin gets nicely browned and crispy (though I don’t eat the skin – looks pretty though). You may want to pull the roasting pan from the oven periodically to check on the turkey and baste it if necessary. This size of Turkey roasted perfectly on its own. I didn’t have to baste it.

Take the foil ‘tent’ off the Turkey one hour prior to the end of cooking, depending on how the skin is browning. Reserve the foil for later. If it’s looking like it is getting too dark then you may decide to leave the tent on. Experiment.

Place a platter or carving block with grooves for catching the juices onto the counter beside the stove top. Once the Turkey has finished roasting, place the roasting pan onto the stove top elements. Transfer the roasting tray on to the platter or carving block. Cover the Turkey with the foil used for tenting, plus another piece if necessary then cover the foiled turkey with a few clean tea towels to keep the heat inside the bird. Let the Turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. The resting time allows for the juices to settle back into the meat, which is what you want. Make sure the tea towels don’t fall into the platter or carving board – the towels will absorb any juices that can be poured into the gravy.

Juices from the Turkey should have dripped into the roasting pan. Remember to discard the onion, neck and carrot from the roasting pan. You will have a nice collection of fat and juices for gravy. I’ll have to show you that another time. It’s pretty easy to make the gravy.

Below, is the amount of Turkey I was able to cut away. Each of these glass dishes holds seven cups! We ate some for dinner that night, and most of the leftovers was reserved for Turkey Soup.

Now you’re ready to make the turkey stock. But wait till I post those instructions before you run out and order your turkey! Coming soon!

Roasted Winter Squash With A Twist

This side dish has a twist…

a twist of Lime Juice.

Where I live it’s cold outside. Most days are still above zero, but I’m more of a summer person and don’t do very well eating cold vegetables in winter time. As a result, I have been making a lot of roasted squash and root vegetables this fall and winter. This is one of my new favourite dishes. I first tasted it at Whole Foods Market‘s hot food bar. It’s not everyday that all ingredients will be on my acceptable list. I think I have left out one or two spices from the original, the following is my version. It tastes equally good hot or cold. And really good the next day for sure!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Organic Butternut Squash
  • 1 Organic Acorn Squash
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  • Fresh Lime Juice Squeezed from half or from all of one lime, (depending on preference).

Preparation: 

  • Wash Squashes.
  • Cut stem and bottom knot from squash, discard.
  • Cut Squash length-wise into halves.
  • Remove seeds and strings, discard.
  • Placing cut side down, cut squashes into inch thick slices and cut away tough outer skins – as shown below.

Place Cut Squash pieces in a mixing bowl. Splash in:

  • 1TBSP. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a light sprinkling of Himalayan Salt
  • Stir with a wooden spoon.

  • Arrange on a cookie sheet
  • Place into 350 degree preheated oven. Or go with whatever oven temperature works best for roasting. I use Parchment Paper. (below)

This next part is the time consuming part.

  • I set my oven timer for 30 minutes and let the oven do its work, checking the squash periodically.
  • Usually, at the 30 minute mark, I add another 20 minutes AND drop the heat to 300 degrees, or lower depending on how the squash looks.
  • Depending on how the squash are coming along I either take them out and turn each piece over or I let it continue baking longer.
  • Once each piece is turned I usually bake the squash for another 30 minutes 
  • AND lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees
  • Again, it all depends on how they look. I like them to develop a little caramelized look on the edges…not burnt nor dried out.

Here’s how my batch looked after approximately 90 minutes. In hind sight, I should have doubled my batch and had two cookie sheets going.

At the time of writing this, there is none left. We ate the last of the left overs tonight.

After they have cooled, slide them into a mixing bowl. I pick up my parchment paper and allow them to slide into the bowl.

  • Add 1/4  to 1/2 Cup of chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  • Squeeze the juice from half of one Lime. (You can always add more later if it’s not enough).
  • Mix gently. Carefully to not squash your squash!

I find that the oil and Salt that the Squash bakes in is sufficient and there is no need to add extra.

Now, doesn’t this look like a measly amount for all the time spent in the kitchen? In total it equalled about 2 Cups! For this reason, I try to make a double batch. Luckily, my kids haven’t tried it yet and don’t know what they’re missing. Believe me, I’m not encouraging them to try this one, this one is ALL MINE. 🙂

Let me know if you give it a try. ENJOY!

Oh! And I used my iPhone and the Instagram App to take all these pictures, while I was preparing the rest of our dinner.

Naked-Influenced Salmon

This simple salmon dinner was influenced from The Naked Chef: Jamie Oliver.

Back in 2000, my husband brought this cookbook home. We mostly ate at restaurants in those days, and having read about the simplicity of Jamie’s recipes was appealing. At the time, my husband said, “If you can read and follow instructions, then you can make a great meal with this book.” And he did. He made just about every recipe from this cookbook, without fail.

Because there are some ingredients which I am avoiding these days, I have customized this recipe. The following is my variation. It takes very little time to prepare AND is very low cost. I wanted to share this recipe for both of these reasons. Be sure to make extra for leftovers, whether following my version or the original.

The original (which is amazing, if you like anchovy and olives – I do, but must not…) is on Page 97 from the above mentioned book.

Enough Salmon for two. I got just under a pound of Wild (Previously Frozen) Sockeye Salmon. I usually buy half a pound of fish per person, in our case I knew just the two adults would be eating this. Today the fishmonger cut a bit less than the pound I asked for, and I didn’t want to wait around for another cut. In hindsight, I should have gotten two pounds…there are no leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

Two cups Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Fresh French Green Beans

1 lb. Fresh (or previously frozen) Salmon

Olive Oil

Himalayan Sea Salt

French Green Beans just added to a pot of boiling water.

Green Beans after being Blanched. Boiled for just one minute. Then drained.

With a little Olive Oil on the bottom of the oven safe cooking dish (to prevent the salmon skin from sticking too much)

Place Salmon (which has been rinsed with water and patted dry with paper towel) on to the dish.

Scatter drained -Blanched Green Beans and raw tomatoes to the other end away from the fish.

Drizzle the Olive Oil over the vegetables and just a little over the Salmon.

Sprinkle ground Sea Salt over the entire dish.

THAT’S IT!

Place in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 10 minutes, or so depending on your oven.

This is what it looks like cooked.

I know this isn’t the best picture, but just wanted to show my portion.

 Served with a mixture of Brown and Red Rice – that I had never tried before (conveniently made the day before), called Volcano Rice.

“A colourful blend of prized traditional brown and red rice grown on West Java’s mineral-rich volcanic soil.”

And it only takes 30 minutes to cook, as opposed to the usual 50 minutes for regular brown Basamati, which is what I usually make.

I love this kind of meal. With basic ingredients, it is inexpensive, simple and quick to prepare. No excuses for not eating healthy fare.

Let me know if you try this recipe and how you customize it to suit your taste!