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Simple Sunday: Stir Fry

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve done a Simple Sunday post, but we’re back, and today we have quite possibly one of the easiest dinners you could make!

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Because in our opinion there is no simpler a meal than a stir-fry! But simple does not mean boring or bland- all you need is a few ingredients to give it a pop of flavour.

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All you need is one pan, a handful of veggies, a source of protein and a little seasoning and you’re in business, people!

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Ok, so you actually need two pans, one for the stir fry and one to cook your noodles or rice or whatever you decide to serve it over. ¬†But the pot you cook your grain in hardly gets dirty at all so in our minds it doesn’t really count ūüôā

So what went into our stir fry this time around?  Carrots, bok choy, onions, mushrooms and salmon. Only a few ingredients but we assure you our family ate it right up!

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We feel as though the stir-fry has been shoved under the rug. ¬†Its a meal that many cooks turn there noses up at, one that is considered “too simple” or “commonplace”. ¬†Stir-frys are under appreciated in our opinions, so today we’d like to give them the spotlight. ¬†Let them take back the credit that is rightfully theirs.

So grab your frying pans and join us in a deliciously simple stir-fry-making extravaganza!

Simple Salmon Stir Fry

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

450 g. salmon filets
1 tbsp olive, grape seed or coconut oil
ground black pepper
Garlic salt or powder
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches of bok choy
2 large carrots
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the salmon filets with black pepper and garlic salt or powder.  Place in the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Put the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.  Remove the filets and set aside.

Add the minced garlic and diced onion to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent.  Julienne the carrots (aka- cut them into thin match-stick pieces) and add them to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes. Slice the bok choy and mushrooms and add them to the pan.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.  Add all other ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender yet still crisp.

Serves over rice or noodles, is desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite veggies to put in a stir-fry?

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Word Play

When it comes to food, the term “blackened” is not a descriptor you would typically want to use to describe your dish. ¬†To us, anyways, the word blackened is kind of synonymous with other words like “burnt” or “charred”- doesn’t exactly get your mouth watering, does it? ¬†No, it sort of just leads us to think of another word… “inedible”.

Think about it- blackened cookies, blackened toast, blackened pizza… suddenly you don’t feel well and you’re (cough, cough) “not hungry”, right?

In fact, the term blackened is right up there with words like “wilted”, “fermented” and “sapid” (who knew that word means something tastes good?!?)

Yes, for the most part if your dish is blackened, you probably burnt it and it probably isn’t going to be very, well…¬†sapid.¬† (There. ¬†We tried using it and we were right- it just sounds weird.) ¬†But there¬†is¬†a time when the term blackened is a good thing.

A very good thing.

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If you hear the word blackened in front of the word salmon, you can forget all of your preconceived notions of what you thought the word meant, erase the images swirling in your mind of charred, dried-out fish, and dive in fork-first!

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Because this salmon is slammin’! (Sorry- we couldn’t resist!)

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But in all seriousness, we may never eat salmon any other way ever again- it was that good.

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There are 2 simple steps to creating this mouth-watering dish, and only about 25 minutes until it is on your plate! The secret to perfectly-done blackened salmon (aka-not burnt) is to sear it in the pan and then finish it off in the oven!  That way you get a crispy outer-layer, but a flaky, succulent inside.

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Succulent.¬†Now there’s a word we want to hear more of! ¬†Or how about¬†delectable, exquisite,¬†or¬†tantalizing?¬†

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Actually, if there was a word that combines all of those we’d have a dead-ringer!

Delecquitalizing? Tantaquitable? Hmm… maybe we’ll just let the pictures do the talking ūüėČ

Blackened Salmon

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 lb. salmon (you can also use fillets)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder + a dash of salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a small dish, combine all the spices.  Generously coat both sides of the salmon with the spices and gently rub into the flesh.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, place the salmon in the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are blackened, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes to blacken the other side.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and move fish from the pan onto the baking sheet.  Bake in the centre of the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the salmon is no longer dark pink in the middle and flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with avocado-corn salsa (recipe below).

Avocado-Corn Salsa

Prep: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 a large avocado
3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 tomato, diced
1 green onion, diced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small dish and serve.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had anything that’s been “blackened”? What are your favourite food-descriptor words? (We’re always looking to expand our repertoire ;))

Party Pleaser

What’s creamy with spice and all kinds of things nice?

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Salsa-chipotle Hummus, of course! ūüôā

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We made this hummus a few weeks back when we went to Toronto for two of our good friend’s birthdays, and it was a huge hit! So naturally, 3 weeks later, we’re finally getting around to giving you the recipe! ūüôā

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We’re certain that you’ll love it just as much as everyone did at the party!

p.s. This hummus is FABULOUS made with black beans instead of chickpeas! ūüôā

Salsa Chipotle Hummus

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Prep time: 10min
Makes: ~2cups

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. salsa
1 or 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1 clove of garlic
hot pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Put olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, water, salsa, chilis, garlic and spices into a food processor and blend until creamy, about 1 min. Add chickpeas and blend until smooth.

~twosaucysisters

Smokey Greens

So now you all have coleslaw marinating in your fridge, right? ūüėČ

Before we continue, though, let’s remind ourselves of the¬†feast¬†meal our family enjoyed the other day…

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Yesterday we gave you our creamy coleslaw recipe, so today we’re moving on to the other side [of the plate] to talk about collard greens!

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We suppose now is as good a time as any to explain to you the inspiration behind this meal. ¬†There’s a restaurant near our house called Memphis Fire Barbecue Company. ¬†Our brothers and father discovered it sometime while we were away at school. ¬†We came home one weekend and they were all excited about this great new place and couldn’t wait for us to try it! ¬†We were a little skeptical because the whole “meat, meat and more meat” thing isn’t really our scene- not that we don’t like meat, just not in such large quantities, you know? ¬†But when we got home late from work and really didn’t feel like cooking anything we caved and agreed to order-in some Memphis.

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So now you’re probably expecting us to say that we were blown away and couldn’t believe that we had ever thought we wouldn’t like it, aren’t you? ¬†The truth is, we weren’t. ¬†Like we said, large amounts of meat really aren’t our thing. ¬†We liked it well enough, but we weren’t head-over-heals for it or anything. ¬†Our brothers, of course, were in heaven!

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The funny thing is, though, is that while the pulled pork was definitely the star of the show, our brothers couldn’t stop raving about the collard greens! ¬†We had to agree with them, they¬†were pretty tasty! ¬†Of course, they were cooked in a fairly large amount of butter, and there were salty bacon bits in them, so they weren’t exactly the healthiest greens we’ve ever eaten.

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But we knew that they could easily be healthified (yup-that’s a word) and still taste great! ¬†How did we do it? ¬†First off, we decreased the butter (confession: we had no butter left over in the house so we used margarine) and used low-sodium vegetable stock to help with the wilting process and give the greens a little more flavour. ¬†Also, since we don’t really like bacon all that much (we know, we know, we’re crazy) we left it out and instead used some liquid smoke to achieve that coveted smokey flavour that bacon imparts on the collard greens. ¬†Toss in some garlic¬†et voila!¬†You have healthy, tasty collard greens!

Collard Greens

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Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of collard greens
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter (or margarine)
1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Melt butter or margarine in a large pan over medium heat.

Chop the collard greens into thick strips.  Add the chopped greens and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring often, until slightly wilted (about 5 minutes).  Add the stock and liquid smoke and continue to cook until the greens are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and season with a dash of salt.

~twosaucysisters

What restaurants does your family love?  Have you ever had collard greens before?

Hummus Hiatus

It has been 33 days since we last posted a hummus recipe. ¬†33 days!¬† We think that’s a record for us! ¬†Some of you were probably starting to wonder if we were okay!

Well, you needn’t worry yourselves- we are just fine, and we’ve been eating plenty of hummus (we’ve just been going back to the basics lately- now there’s a throw-back for ya!)

But in case you were all starting to feel hummus-deprived, we are back after our hummus hiatus with another delicious rendition of our favourite dip the best food ever.

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This time around we looked Eastward for some inspiration and made a Curried Hummus! ¬†We suppose that makes it more middle-eastward, but we won’t get too picky about details.

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But seriously, our hats go off to the people of the Middle East! ¬†Boy do they¬†know how to cook! ¬†We don’t even know if they have a word for “bland” in their language, because they probably never use it- everything they make has a positively magical blend of spices that makes every single one of their dishes burst with flavour!

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And that is precisely what we were going for with this hummus- bold and spicy with enough flavour to send your taste buds into over-drive.

And you know what?

We think we nailed it ūüôā

Curried Hummus

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Total Time: 10 min
Makes: approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor or a high-powered blender and process until smooth. ¬†Add up to 1/4 cup extra water if it is too thick. ¬†(Tip- this hummus tastes even better the next day, so if you’re making it for a party, we recommend putting it together the day before)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like Middle-Eastern cuisine?

Round 2: Roasted Garlic

On Wednesday¬†we talked about three hummus recipes¬†that we made last week.¬† ¬†We gave you the full recipe for our spinach hummus the other day, but in an effort not to bore you with an endless string of hummus recipes, we’ve held off giving you the second edition. ¬†(Even though can you ever really be bored with hummus recipes? ¬†We don’t think so…)

But now that we’ve given you a one-day intermission, we think you’re ready for round two! ūüôā

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This roasted garlic hummus is much more traditional, but traditional doesn’t mean boring! ¬†An¬†entire bulb¬†of roasted garlic went into this batch, so it definitely wasn’t lacking in flavour!

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If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you really must. ¬†When you roast garlic, the cloves turn so¬†soft and buttery, you could practically spread it on toast! ¬†The strong and pungent flavour that is so characteristic of raw garlic is also mellowed-out considerably when roasted, which is why you can put an entire bulb of it in one batch of hummus without reeking of garlic for a week ūüôā

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This hummus truly embodies the idea that simplicity is delicious.  Its easy, quick, and healthy.  And if green colour of the spinach hummus scares you a bit, maybe this one would be more up your alley?

At any rate, you should give this hummus a try, and then get ready, because we’ve still got another rendition coming your way!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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Prep Time: 30 min
Time: 10 min
Makes: ~ 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic

2 c. cooked chickpeas (about 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350C.  Slice the top of your garlic bulb (just the tips) off and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft, lightly browned and aromatic.

Once the garlic has cooled off a bit, place all other ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever roasted garlic?  What is your favourite way to enjoy it?

WIAW: The Hummus Addition

Happy What I Ate Wednesday everybody!

A couple weeks ago we professed our love for hummus¬†and gave you a recipe for artichoke and garlic hummus. ¬†Well, ever since then we’ve been on a major hummus-kick! ¬†We¬†just can’t seem to get enough.

You know how there are those cravings you get where you just have to have a certain food, then you eat that food and your craving is satisfied?

Well, our craving for hummus is not like that.  It is never fully quenched.  We may eat it and be temporarily satisfied, but this state is short-lived.

Guaranteed at our next meal we will open up the fridge and see the container of hummus sitting there, and that craving will come right back.

So this week, we are declaring What I Ate Wednesday to be the hummus edition because we are bring you not one, not two, but three new hummus recipes!  And you know what?  We had two more flavours that we wanted to make, but we ran out of tahini!  Tragic, we know.

First up?  Spinach hummus!

This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Covent Garden Market here in London, where we tried this flavour from a restaurant there called Nate’s. ¬†It was so delicious we knew instantly that we¬†had¬†to recreate it at home.

This stuff was gone in less than two days.

For round two, we went a slightly more traditional route and made roasted garlic hummus:

An entire bulb of roasted garlic went into this lovely golden hummus!  Not the kind of stuff you want to order on your first date, but delicious none-the-less!

And finally, a much more non-traditional flavour: Thai Peanut Ginger Lime Hummus!

This was our favourite out of all three! ¬†We really can’t say enough about it, except that it was absolutely¬†packed¬†with flavour! ¬†It’s Asian meets Middle Eastern meets¬†Mediterranean fusion- all of the best rolled into one!

We will do our best to space these recipes out over the next several days, so you don’t feel too bombarded with hummus recipes, because we do¬†have a few other tasty recipes to share with you! (Despite what it looks like, we actually¬†have¬†been eating more than just hummus for the past week! ¬†Although a hummus-diet doesn’t sound so bad to us… ;))

For now, though, we suggest you do two things: First, head on over to visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons to see what all the other WIAW participants have been eating, and second- GO BUY A WHOLE LOT OF CHICKPEAS.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday, everyone! ūüôā