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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 😉

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 ;))

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Simple Sunday

Sometimes, the food blog world kind of feels like an exclusive club.

Don’t take that the wrong way, we’re not saying that us bloggers and self-proclaimed “foodies” are snobs and won’t let anyone else into our club or anything- as a matter-of-fact, it’s quite the opposite.  We love it when other people read our blogs and we always get excited when people tell us they’ve made our recipes!  We spend lots of time trying to encourage everyone to give our recipes a try.

But the problem is that so often our recipes aren’t always doable by the general public.

Because let’s be real, here- how many people do you know who keeps things like coconut flour, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, butter extract, peanut flour, stevia, and date paste stocked in their pantries and fridges?  Unless you have at least one foodie friend, probably no one.

Over the past week this was brought to our attention.  While our recipes may look delicious, we were told by some people (in a completely friendly way) that they want to make some of them, but when they look at the ingredient list they have no idea what half of the stuff is, and it scares them off.

Basically, our recipes are so often geared toward the food-blogging crowd.  People who aren’t deterred by unconventional ingredients and are willing to go to every random health food store in the city looking for one specific item.

But don’t you think we should make our content more accessible to the general public?  Isn’t the purpose of writing a healthy food blog to get people in the kitchen cooking healthy food?

We’re not saying that we should all ran-sack our pantries and get rid of all those random ingredients, but we are saying that we should all attempt to create recipes that appeal to everyone on a more regular basis.  If we want to help people become healthier, we can’t scare them off with weird and unknown ingredients, can we? (Let’s be real, here, “nutritional yeast” is not the most appetizing-sounding thing)

Which is why we have decided to start a new weekly feature- “Simple Sundays”.  We’re not going to stop using all the random ingredients we’re accustomed to buying (and off the record, most of the stuff we get can actually be found at No Frills or the Bulk Barn), but at least one day a week (aka-Sunday) we’re going to post a recipe that requires minimal ingredients, all easy-to-find and recognizable to the general public, and is very simple to make.

So to kick things off with our first official “Simple Sunday”, we decided to make you a snack!  And what is simpler than roasted chickpeas!

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Here is the story behind this: a family member asked us for some help coming up with some healthy snack ideas.  We gave this person a few ideas, like having a bowl of cut-up veggies in the fridge, making smoothies, having yogurt and berries, making healthy dips (like hummus ;)) and then we suggested roasted chickpeas.  To our surprise, she had never heard of doing this before!  Then we thought, if she hasn’t heard of this before, there’s probably a million other people out there who have never heard of eating roasted chickpeas!  So we decided we had to fix this, and we went ahead and made two recipes for you.  One sweet, one savoury, to appeal to everyone!  Let’s start with the sweet:

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Maple and cinnamon!  There is no sugar added to these, (aside from the sugar in maple syrup) and no oil.  Just pure crunchy goodness!

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But there are a lot of other reasons why this recipe is an excellent snacking option, and that’s all thanks to the chickpeas!  Chickpeas are very high in fibre, a great source of protein (not a complete protein, but if you’re eating a balanced diet you should have no problem getting all the amino acids required to make complete proteins) low in fat, sodium, and of course have no added preservatives or chemicals, so you can munch happily knowing everything that’s in your food!

So here’s the very simple recipe:

Maple-Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

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Prep: 5 min.
Bake: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 c. cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Pat the chickpeas with a towel to soak up the excess water.  Place them in a bowl and toss them with the maple syrup and cinnamon.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side down) and spread the chickpeas over it.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy and browned. (don’t worry if some of them start looking a little bit black) Allow to cool completely, them place them in an air-tight container and store in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.

**this recipe can easily be doubled!

And now on to the savoury ones: chili chickpeas!

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This recipe has no salt, and only a teensy bit of olive oil- but loads of flavour, we assure you 🙂

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So if you’re the kind of guy (or gal!) who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, these are probably right up your alley!  If sensible snacking has been your Achilles heal, we strongly encourage you to give these a try!  Even if you’ve never eaten chickpeas- we promise you won’t be disappointed!

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And if you don’t particularly enjoy spending lots of time in the kitchen, you can make a double batch and then you’ll have enough to last you for at least a week (depending on how quickly you eat them but we give you fair warning: these are addictive!).

Chili Roasted Chickpeas

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Prep: 5 min
Bake: 30 min
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients:

1 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
pepper (add as much as you like, more pepper = more kick!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Pat the chickpeas dry with a towel, and place them in a bowl.  Toss them with the olive oil and the spices.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side down) and spread the chickpeas across the sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes, until they are browned and crispy. (Don’t worry if a few of them become slightly charred-looking)  Allow to cool completely, then store them in an air-tight container and keep them in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.

And that concludes our first Simple Sunday post!  If you have anything you’d like us to post about for simple sundays, please send us an email at twosaucysistas@gmail.com, or leave a comment below!  We’d love to hear from you 🙂

~twosaucysisters

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 🙂

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?