Category Archives: ginger

Frakin’ Tasty Bison Burgers with Tomato, Avocado and Fennel Salsa

Dearest readers:

My life has been a flurry as of late. Selling a house is hard work, annoying and nerve wrecking. Every time my iPhone rang, I got nervous hoping it was my agent with an offer. While we did sell our house a few days ago (WOO!), it is NOT something I wish to repeat, uh…EVER. Random strangers walking through your house when you’re not there, being kicked out on your day off ALL DAY. It’s nutty. But we’re psyched about the new place, and now that the house is sold, we can concentrate on that.

Crossfit utterly destroyed me today. I mean, seriously. It was the first time I’d ever felt ill after a WOD (workout-of-the-day), but not necessarily sick-to-my-stomach ill. More like completely exhausted, slightly faint and spaced out.

I’d gone later in the day than I was used to, and had nothing to eat that morning. Granted, doing fasted workouts is something I’ve been experimenting with over the last 1-2 weeks and feeling great about. I imagine the very fact that I lounged around too long this morning, and drank coffee (which I normally don’t do before a WOD – way too dehydrating) was causing an exhausting workout. Not in a good way.

However, there’s always a silver lining kicking around some cloud…isn’t there? I picked up some egg white protein powder from a local supplements place (Popeye’s, to be exact), and some omega-3 capsules. I came home, still feeling funny, and whipped up the TASTIEST PROTEIN SHAKE EVAH. It tasted just like vanilla ice cream. I’m not even joking. In fact, just writing about it right now is making me crave one, even though I just stuffed my face on the proceeding unbelievable meal.

The shake, since I know you Crossfitters are out there reading this, is really quite simple.

2 1/2 scoops vanilla custard flavoured egg white protein powder
1 small very, very ripe banana
1 cup coconut water
1 heaping tablespoon of strawberry greek yogurt (Liberté brand is amazing)

Blend. Drink. OHMYGOD! It’s vanilla ice cream, isn’t it?! This is something magical that will make that dreaded whey shake a thing of the past. The yucky-tasting past!

Edited March 27th, 2015. Sooooo…funny thing about this supposedly amazeballs protein powder. Not long after consuming shakes made with it, I broke out in a RASH ALL OVER MY TORSO. I returned it. End of story.

I picked up some ground bison from Medium Rare after my WOD the other day. I love me some bison. It is more tender than beef, the texture is smoother, and it has a meatier taste, if you can believe it. It’s special.

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day. Hot, hot, hot. Like, break-out-the-shorts-and-shave-your-legs kinda day. Wifey and I enjoyed a ride out to Heavy Duty Cycles today so she could drop off her Sportster for repairs. Turns out the shop had closed 20 minutes prior.

Crap.

I did the only reasonable thing I could think of doing. Why get mad after driving all-the-way out to Scarborough?

Call Tony. On his cell.

Bam. Problem solved. Leave the bike. It’ll be fine. He’ll be there in a few hours.

Awesome.

On the way home, Linda and I discussed our honeymoon plans to LA, and how rad it’s going to be; we are also moving in to our fabulous new house when we get home. SO MUCH WIN is on the way, folks.

We went to Zet’s where Linda ate a stupid, Hulk-sized double pattie hamburger (which bacon and cheese, atta girl) no less. I ate a 10 oz steak, two eggs, the puny, sad looking tomatoes and romaine they put on the side of the plate to look purdy, and a couple home fries.

Why do people think I’m vegetarian again?

We returned home. After busying myself in the kitchen for a little while, this is what came out. And yes, I ate again.

Fennel is an amazing vegetable. Definitely a favourite of mine. If you don’t like liquorice – I’m sorry, what do you mean you don’t like liquorice? I don’t know you. Flee from me! Roasted, pan-friend in butter or lard, or eaten raw, it’s versatile and delicious.

Frakin’ Tasty Bison Burgers with Tomato, Avocado and Fennel Salsa

Make the salsa first, so it can have some marinating time in the fridge, while you prep and cook your burgers. The longer the salsa hangs out in the fridge, the tastier it will be.

Da Burgers

1.5 lbs ground bison
1 large clove garlic, chopped up coarsely
1 spash or 2 or gluten-free soy sauce (it’s worth searching out: it’s bolder and richer tasting)
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Grated ginger, about 30 passes on a microplane grater
1 egg

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and make into three large burger patties. Crank your BBQ up to about 400 degrees. Add ’em to the grill and flip after about 4 – 5 minutes. These should take only a few minutes longer. Do not overcook ’em!

Da Salsa

About 1.5 – 2 cups finely sliced fennel
8 – 10 cocktail tomatoes, washed and halved
Roughly 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
Half peeled english cucumber, thickly sliced
1 small avocado, cubed
Juice of one lime
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all of the above and toss, toss, toss to coat. Let this chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer, the better.

I happened to have a butternut squash in the fridge, which I cut up and threw into the oven. Serve all of the above to someone you love…or a hungry Crossfitter. But overall, as always…ENJOY! HUG YOUR KIDS!

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Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

This lamb curry is out of this world. Wow. I thought my butter chicken was awesome the other week, but this dish is special. However, I have successfully burned my tongue twice since digging in. You can’t fully enjoy food with a burnt tongue, or when it’s too hot. You end up gobbling it down and not really enjoying it at all. It simply becomes sustenance.

Amazing food should be like an awe-inspiring, brilliant album. Or amazing sex. You should want to talk about it, make it for all your friends and family, spread it around (whoa, ok, maybe not the sex part), and proclaim undying love for it. Food that is nourishing, not just filling, should do just that.

Marinating overnight helps flavours mingle and settle in. You know, get to know each other:

“HEY GINGER! Haven’t seen you in a while!”

“What are you talking about, garlic? We were hanging out with butter chicken last week!”

And so forth.

I love spaghetti squash. In fact, I knew not of its existence until a few years ago. It is a more than ‘good-enough’ substitution for actual spaghetti. It is slightly sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Ridiculously easy to prepare, as well.

This curry is full of coconut oil, and coconut milk. I even snuck in some butter. It’s a party going on in there, folks! An intensely flavourful, creamy, luscious party. You know you want to jump in.

Food has better parties than me!

Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

Meat and Marinade

1kg stewing lamb chunks (about 2.2 lbs)
1 sweet onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 coconut milk
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 tbsp finely grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer)
1.5 tsp cumin

Other Stuff

10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 can coconut milk
1 large spaghetti squash, about 4 lbs in size
2 teaspoons turmeric
Black Pepper
Sea salt
Red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the “Meat and Marinade” ingredients and marinate 24 hours, if not more. I think mine chilled in the fridge for about 26 hours.

Remove from fridge. Preheat a large pot, and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pot. Brown this curried mix of lamb and onions in batches. You will need extra coconut oil for each batch. Oh no, more coconut oil. How horrid!

Once you’ve browned all your lamb off, set it aside. Empty 1 can of your favourite coconut milk into the pot, and add 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed, and one whole cinnamon stick. Let this simmer on medium high for about 4 minutes. Add your lamb in. Season generously with sea salt, as we did not put any into the marinade.

Stir. Cover. Add your 2 tablespoons butter. Turn the heat down to low for about an hour. Stir frequently, as coconut milk tends to stick to the bottom of your pot and burn. We do not want burnt coconut milk. No way.

Stab your spaghetti squash multiple times all over with a fork or sharp knife. Sorry squash, but your time has come!

STAB!
STAB!
STAB!

Are you done venting your days frustrations? Place the wounded squash into your microwave, and cook it on high for about 20 minutes. Mine was done at around 18 minutes. Your microwave will vary. If you hear steam escaping after about 15 minutes, take it out carefully with a set of tongs. Place it into a large bowl, and slice it open. Be careful with this step, as you may end up with a face full of steam, and a nice burning sensation that you did not ask for! Using a spoon, scrap out the seeds. Throw this away. Using the same spoon, continue to scrape out the innards of the squash, until all you have left is an empty shell. Discard.

After an hour, remove the lid, and crank the heat back up to medium high. We want to reduce the sauce to make it nice and thick, and make the flavours more intense. Stir frequently again. After about 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Add your cilantro at the very end.

In a large frying pan, add your 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil to a hot pan. Add in your spaghetti squash and leave it to slightly brown. Toss like a professional. C’mon, you can do it! Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, and about 1 teaspoon black pepper. Season lightly with sea salt. Turmeric will turn the already beautiful, golden squash even more golden. It will add smokiness, depth and a hint of sweetness. Ah, turmeric. You sexy bitch you.

Look at the colour of that squash! This is before adding turmeric. Brilliant.

Serve this up, allow it to cool slightly, as it will be tantalizingly hot. And monumentally delicious. Savour each bite of tender, spicy lamb and aromatic squash.

This is what good food should do for you!

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Two-Part Post: Bone Broth, and Buttered Scallops with Green Onions and Dulse Soup

Whoa. That title is wordy. It’s also delicious!

Bone broth: full of minerals, collagen, gelatin, protein, fat. What’s not to love? It’s extremely easy to make, and highly nutritious, especially if you are working on repairing a not-so-happy gut.

Edited March 27th, 2015.

Bone broth is delicious, yes. I still make it. A miracle cure for “a-not-so-happy-gut”? Hardly.

First, find a butcher whom you trust. Ask if they have beef bones. They should sell them to you for dirt cheap.

Do you have a crockpot? Yes? Good. If not, do this in the largest pot you have on the stove. You will have to watch it. Having a crockpot makes this ridiculously easy. Turn it on and go to bed. That kind of easy.

I threw about 2, maybe a 2.5 lb bag o’ bones into the oven last night, at 350 degrees for an hour to roast and become truly special.

So special!

Cut up 1.5 white onions into large chunks. Take an entire head of garlic, and slice off the top to expose the garlic. Yes, you’ve been exposed garlic! DEAL!

Toss these ingredients into your crock pot. Add about 1 – 2 tablespoons sea salt, and about the same amount of whole peppercorns.

Now, at this point, you can also add any veggies you want: carrots, celery, broccoli stems, you name it.

Once your bones are done roasting, let them cool a bit, and add them to your crock pot. Cover this concoction with cold water. My crock is about 3 quarts, I believe.

Turn the heat to low, and allow this to become beautiful over the course of 8 hours. If your crock pot can go for longer, do it. I cooked mine for 12 hours.

Beautiful, nourishing bone broth. How I love thee. I try to make this stuff once a week, if I can.

Now, onto them scallops, green onions, and dulse, OH MY!

Buttered Scallops, with Green Onions and Dulse Soup

3 cups bone broth
11 – 12 small sea scallops, fresh or defrosted
2 tablespoons organic butter
One whole green onion, finely chopped
One handful of dulse, snipped into smaller pieces
1 – 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
Red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Serves two. Or, if you’re really hungry, serves one 🙂

Reheat your bone broth over the stove; bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat. There, that part is done.

Heat a small frying pan on medium-high heat. Drop in your two tablespoons of butter. Is it sizzling? Good. Let it sizzle and foam. Watch it. Burnt butter is sad. Carefully place your scallops in, one at a time. Watch the butter. It will start to brown, and your kitchen will smell OUTSTANDING: nutty, sweet and divine. Trust me on this. Keep watching your butter. Take it off the heat for a moment or two, if you have to. But allow the butter to turn into a rich, caramel colour. Now, carefully flip those scallops. You’re just cooking these through. Tough scallops are sad. Do not overcook them, or else I’ll get a sea of texts from random scallops that YOU ruined, saying “WHY! She hates me! Why does she gotta overcook my ass?!” and I’ll be like “Bro…I dunno. Stop texting me, weirdo”.

K? K.

Season with a touch of sea salt. Add in your green onions. Stir. Remove from heat.

Transfer your broth to a nice big bowl. Pour in your scallops, all that butter, and green onions. Add your dulse**, grated ginger, and hot pepper flakes. You are DONE and have a wicked, awesome, tasty soup! Look at you, you smarty pants you!

**Dulse is seaweed: full of minerals, including iodine. I like eating it straight out of the bag! Delish!

Enjoy 🙂 Let me know what you think!

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