Butter Chicken Masala

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


All I want when it’s cold outside is creamy, hearty, warm meals! I got sick of eating soup variations so I tried a recipe for Butter Chicken. It’s a little spicy, really creamy, packed with flavor, and I can have it with cauliflower rice which has been my new thing. Here’s my take! 

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Time: 30 mins plus time for the chicken to marinate  

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly sliced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chili pepper, I used jalapeño
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, unseasoned
  • 1 cup half & half (can use heavy cream)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch (optional) 
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)  

Recipe:  

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes, removing any fat or skin, then add it to a large freezer / zip loc bag.
  2. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, fresh ginger and salt. 
  3. Close the bag removing any air, and use your hands outside of the bag to move the chicken around the mixture so it coats evenly. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the bag with as little of the marinade as possible. Put it in a bowl & set it aside.
  5. In a pressure cooker, add the butter, garlic and jalapeno. Let it sauté for a bit so the butter melts & the garlic cooks. 
  6. In a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, salt, tomato sauce and heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the pressure cooker and cook for 5 mins. Let it release steam naturally for another 10 minutes before removing the lid. Hint: if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can slow cook the mixture for 4 hours. 
  8. If using cornstarch to thicken the sauce, stir it into one tablespoon of water and add the mixture to the pressure cooker.
  9. Stir to combine.
  10. Garnish with cilantro and serve!
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Quick Kimchi

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


I know I know.. it's not red like normal kimchi. But guess what? It's really yummy. And you have a version of kimchi in 20 minutes. So try it.  

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 Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:  

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt  
  • 1 teaspon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger  
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil  
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Guyanese pepper sauce made with scotch bonnets)  
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar  
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Recipe:  

  1. In a small pot, cook the cabbage & minced garlic in the water. It may seem like too little water for the cabbage, but remember cabbage already has a high water content so don't add more than 1/4 cup! Let it cook for ~4-5 minutes.
  2. Take the heat off & move the pot off the burner. You can also transfer the cabbage at this time to a large bowl. 
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the cabbage & mix to combine.
  4. Refrigerate the kimchi & enjoy later or add to fried rice, fries, anything you want!  
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Summer Squash Boats

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , , ,


Stuffed with amazing habanero lime shrimp! This delicious carbless meal promises to be a crowd pleaser! Try it for a small meal for two or as an appetizer or main for a party! The list of filling options is endless!  Go crazy. 

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Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:  

  • 1 zucchini & 1 yellow summer squash (or whatever squash combos you have)
  • olive oil for drizzling  
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • half a bag of large shrimp, peeled & deveined  
  • 2 medium sized limes
  • 3-4 slices of habanero, seeds removed  
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  

Recipe

  1. Cut the squash in half longways. 
  2. Scoop out the middle of the squash with a spoon. Leave enough flesh on the bottom & sides so that it can hold up to the filling & grilling (hey that rhymed!) 
  3. Drizzle olive oil around the top of the squash, then flip them over on grill mats, or a cookie sheet if you're baking them, so the flesh is facing down.  
  4. Grill the squash on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes depending how large they are. You want them still crunchy, not too soft.  
  5. While the squash is grilling, sauté the shrimp in the lime juice, habanero & vegetable oil.  
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste, then turn off the heat.  
  7. Use tongs to flip the squash over on the grill mats. Fill them with the habanero shrimp, and drizzle with any leftover sauce.  
  8. Close the grill to allow the shrimp to cook into the squash for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.   
  9. Remove the squash boats from the grill mats & serve on a platter. Enjoy!  
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Creamy Vegetable Soup

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , ,


It's gettin cold outside! Have no fear, my creamy vegetable soup will warm you right up! Soups are amazing because they're one-pot dishes that you can sort-of forget about after you throw the ingredients together! 

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Time: 1 hour  

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cans unsalted tomato sauce  
  • 1.5 cups water  
  • 1 large potato, diced into bite sized chunks 
  • 1 can mixed vegetables (green beans, peas, carrots, corn, etc) 
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning  
  • 1/2 cup milk or lactaid
  • 1 can beans of your choice  
  • Salt & pepper to taste  
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  

Recipe:  

  1. Heat the vegetable oil for 30 seconds in a large pot. Add the onions & sauté until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic & the potatoes, stir to combine.
  3. Add the tomato sauce quickly after (so the garlic doesn't have a chance to burn). 
  4. Then, pour in the water and raise the heat to high so the soup can start to boil. Feel free to add your cans of veggies at this time also. 
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add the seasoning and the beans then cover the pot. Lower to a simmer.  
  6. Let the soup simmer about 30-40 minutes for the ingredients to fully marry in their flavors, turning every so often so it doesn't burn.
  7. Turn off the heat. 
  8. Allow about 2 mins off the stove before you add in the milk. Slowly pour it in as you stir.  
  9. Feel free to garnish with Parmesan or your favorite cheese & enjoy!  

Coconut Pecan Fudge Bars

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , ,


Sinfully delicious... without the sin! I keep seeing people use medjool dates as a natural, healthy sweetner in desserts, but I could never imagine those desserts tasting so delicious!  This raw, vegan, glutenfree dessert will have you grabbing for more. A true guiltless pleasure! 

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 Time: 15 mins 

Ingredients

  • 1 pack medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans - raw  
  • 1 tablespoon salt  
  • 1 cup candied pecans (optional) 
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips  (vegan)
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted  
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon  
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
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Recipe:  

  1. In a large food processor, pulse the dates, salt, cinnamon, 1/2 cup of the coconut oil & the chopped raw pecans until a smooth mixture forms.  
  2. In a large Pyrex, spread a thin layer of the coconut flakes.  
  3. Press the date mixture into the Pyrex so it forms a sheet layer of "fudge" over the coconut flakes.  
  4. Mix the chocolate chips & the rest of the coconut oil together until smooth (melt in the microwave for ~15 seconds if needed). 
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the date mixture & spread to coat evenly. 
  6. Sprinkle candied pecans over the chocolate if desired. 
  7. Refridgerate for at least 2 hours.  
  8. Cut into squares, serve & enjoy!  

Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!  

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Chicken Adobo

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , ,


Another incredibly easy Filipino dish that tastes like a fancy restaurant meal! Chicken Adobo has complex flavor profiles & will be ready in under an hour. This 6 ingredient meal will have your mouth watering. 

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Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:  

  • 5-6 chicken thighs, skinless for a healthier option   
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce  
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper or 5-6 black pepper corns
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar 
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • Optional: chili peppers for garnish / spice  

Recipe:  

  1.  In a large pan, heat the garlic on medium heat (with a little olive oil if desired) 
  2. Add the vinegar & soy sauce to the pan, along with the black pepper.  
  3. Place the chicken pieces & the bay leaf into the pan, turning the chicken pieces over once to get coated in the sauce. Then add enough water to cover the chicken. 
  4. Bring the sauce mixture to a boil & let simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  5. Take another pan, add a spoonful of the fat from the chicken (or vegetable oil) in it bring it to medium heat. Add the chicken pieces from the first pan & allow them to brown.  
  6. Reduce the sauce to about half, while the chicken is browning in the other pan.  
  7. Add the chicken back into the sauce pan & turn it so it is well coated. Serve with rice & enjoy!  
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Fast Homemade Bread

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , , , ,


This is my fool-proof recipe for delicious homemade bread that's ready in about an hour! It is so impressive to make your own bread but with the craziness day to day life, it is tough to find time. Not anymore! The best part is most of these ingredients are usually already on hand, so there's no need to lug yourself to the grocery store to create the perfect loaf. Try this out next time you're craving fresh bread!

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Time: 1 hour  

Ingredients:  

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or 1/2 cup whole wheat + 1.5 cups all purpose)  
  • 1 packet fast acting yeast  
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar  
  • 1 tablespoon basil or Italian seasoning (or spice of your choice really, you can omit this step if you don't want a flavor)  
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt  
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil  
  • Additional warm water if needed for the dough  

Recipe:  

  1. Use a large measuring cup to combine the warm water, sugar & yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. 
  2. Place the yeast mixture in the microwave (without turning it on!) so that it is kept in a warm dark place for at least 15 minutes.  Yeast will be bubbly when you take it out.  
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a large basin, mix the flour, seasoning, & salt together.   
  5. Add in the olive oil & yeast, mix into the flour. Kneed until everything is combined. It's okay if you over-kneed for this dough, you want the gluten activated as much as possible.  
  6. Sprinkle some extra flour on a cookie sheet to avoid the dough sticking to the pan.  
  7. Add the dough on top of the flour & shape with your hands into a loaf. Hint: sometimes I need the bread to cook fast so I make 2-3 smaller loafs and use 2 cookie sheets to bake them in. 
  8. Use a sharp knife to make 3 small slits on top of the loaf.  
  9. Bake on 350 for about 20 - 30 minutes or until the top is crusty. Timing will depend on how tall / thick you made your loaf & how many loafs you split it into. This recipe can make 3 small/medium sized loafs in 15-20 minutes!   
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Stuffed Mushrooms

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , ,


What a delightful vegetarian appetizer!! Stuffed mushrooms are so easy to make & so impressive to serve. I came up with this recipe based on ingredients I had on hand, so  feel free to adjust the ingredients for stuffing based on what you have! 

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Time: 30 minutes  

Ingredients:  

  • 10-12 large stuffable mushrooms (can also use smaller ones for variety)  
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese  
  • 8-10 green olives  
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs  
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage  
  • 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika  
  • 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeño

Recipe:  

  1. Carefully rinse the mushrooms or wipe them with a damp paper towel.  
  2. Pull out the stems & dice them, set them aside in a bowl.
  3. Dice the olives & add them to the bowl with the mushroom stems.  
  4. Add to the bowl the cheese, fresh sage, bread crumbs, & jalapeño.  
  5. Carefully place enough of the mixture into the mushrooms so that it doesn't spill over but are well-stuffed. 
  6. Place the mushrooms on a cookie sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper. 
  7. Sprinkle the smoked paprika on top & bake on 350 for ~20 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms.  

Tip: when the mushrooms start to form a little moisture underneath, they're ready! 

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Lamb Shawarma

by Cindy Yanasha Angulo in , , , , ,


Goodbye Halal Guys cravings!! First time trying to make shawarma & I'm really excited to say it came out delicious! Warm spices marinaded over a leg of lamb for 4 hours then slow-roasted in the oven for 3.5 hours... this easy, no fail recipe will have you drooling after just smelling it! 

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Time: 4+ hours to marinade, 3+ hours to cook

Ingredients:  

  • 1 leg of lamb  
  • 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of the following: ground cumin, ground coriander,  ground allspice, ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground cloves & ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom  
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine  
  • Salt to taste  

Recipe:  

  1. Butterfly the leg of lamb using a sharp knife, set aside in a large basin.
  2. Put all the rest of the ingredients into a food processor (including the onion) & pulse until a paste forms.  
  3. Rub the paste all over the lamb, getting it completely marinaded. Cover the basin with clear wrap & put it in the fridge to marinate for 4+ hours (overnight is best). 
  4. Let the lamb get to room temperature for about 20 minutes, then lay it into a pyrex flat.  Cover it tightly with foil & roast it on 300 degrees for at least 3.5 hours.  
  5. Serve with yellow rice spiced with cumin seeds, salad or in a pita!   

Try my homemade white sauce! Mix mayonnaise, a dash of white vinegar, salt, black pepper, & a splash of water together. Balances out the hot sauce if you're using it on this shawarma!  

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