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corn chowder with chile, lime and cotija — smitten kitchen

In comfort food, Entrees, soup on August 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm

I evicted a longtime resident of my To Cook list this week with this corn chowder. I have no argument with traditional corn chowder — it has cream, bacon, and potatoes and thus would be impossible not to love as soup or salad — but I adore to the point of boring everyone around me…

via corn chowder with chile, lime and cotija — smitten kitchen


A Healthy Version of Something Dirty

In comfort food, Entrees, Uncategorized on August 4, 2017 at 12:54 am

Pearly-pink salmon kept juicy with a coating of creole spices and olive oil, cooked over vegetable-filled “dirty” brown rice. A healthy, family-friendly and surprisingly quick and easy recipe for a midweek dinner. Leftovers are great cold in a wrap – lettuce or grain. I’ve only been to New Orleans once. A long, long time ago – […]

via One-Pot Creole Salmon and Dirty Rice (with vegan tweak) — food to glow

Soyrizo Stuffed Peppers

In comfort food, Entrees, meat substitutes, Recipe on December 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Spice and everything nice, this is a good Saturday night meal to Netflix and chill with. If you like Tex-Mex and stuffed peppers, this totally exciting use for one of my favorite soy products will satisfy both cravings.

Side note: the author of this blog is funny. Follow her for good food and a good laugh.

Emerging Adult Eats

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I had a fight with a can of mandarin oranges.

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The can won.

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That’s why this post is a day late. I spent my Sunday evening in the ER tending to my filleted finger.

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You know the metal cans with the pull-tab top? Well, I was pulling & it was stuck. I moved the can over to the sink to tug harder, thinking juices are going to splatter on me. All of a sudden, something splatters all right – my blood! I cut a hunk of my pinky out & had to stare at my finger for a good minute to make sure the top half wasn’t hanging on for dear life. I wake Garr up from his nap & we go to the ER & they are like ohhh you need a tetanus shot I am like ohhh wonderful. Then they poured some fiery acid onto my open wound &…

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Incredible Cauliflower Mash Recipe (a perfect festive side dish)

In comfort food, sides on December 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Do you want your Christmas menu to taste different from your Thanksgiving menu? Try adding a new side dish that doesn’t stray too far from what you know.  This cauliflower mash is a perfect example! It looks like mashed potatoes but is much more sophisticated. With the use of vegan or goat dairy, your guests will be sure to remember this dish for holidays to come.


food to glow

This is NOT a substitute for mashed potato. It is a fabulous, lux side dish to make, serve and eat on its own merit. Steam, blend, eat. A great everyday recipe to entice the veg-phobes in your life. A perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving accompaniment but quick enough for every day, too. :-)Mashed cauliflower has been around awhile, hasn’t it?

As the vanguard vegetable in the paleo and low-carb movement, cauliflower has transformed, Cinderella-like, from the last thing eaten on the plate (if at all) to being clamoured for – whole, roasted and burnished with spice. The centrepiece of the meal.

I started hearing about cauliflower as a carb sub back in 2011, but kind of ignored it. I just thought “why?” Why ditch mashed potatoes? Just give yourself less…I also thought, how can a whole roasted cauliflower – however herb-bedecked and dripping in tahini sauce – be a main meal, especially if you have growing children? I didn’t get it. I still don’t get it. At least not for these uses.

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Recipe: Crispy Mock Fry Chicken

In comfort food, fried vegetarian food, Recipe on March 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

WP_20141229_19_58_48_ProI don’t know if you remember that my husband is a vegetarian or that I have a community of friends that are vegetarian. Watching The Ellen Show one day, Chef Robert Martin demonstrated how to make vegan fry chicken. Thank goodness he recorded the recipe on his Youtube channel as The Official Hungry (  So I went out the following weekend and I bought raw cashews for homemade cashew cream, the Gardein Scallopini, spring roll wrappers and the experimentation was on.  I followed the recipe but I knew it could be better. The recipe below has been customized with my tweaks that I think make it taste more like chicken. A chicken eater like myself would know more what chicken taste like than a vegan or vegetarian and I don’t know why but I find that important in translation for mock meats.  Maybe that is why I will never like tempeh; it never taste like any meat I know.

What did I do differently? Instead of cashew cream, I used the coconut milk in a can. West Indians use this type of milk to make rice and peas.  How is this different from the refrigerated version? It is creamier.  I also use this milk in my vegan cooking because it develops a better taste and helps keep cakes moist. Second difference, I season the scallopini patties.  Before molding them into chicken thighs shapes, I season them with seasoning salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder etc because good fry chicken is heavenly seasoned chicken. Lastly, I flour, wet then bread because that is how I would do real fry chicken. All these additional steps are so worth it because you end up with with pieces that look and taste like real chicken; then and only then is a vegan recipe successful.


  • 1 Package of Gardein Scallopini
  • ! tsp of Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • !/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Paprika Powder
  • Spring Roll Wrapper
  • Bowl of Warm Water
  • 1/2 Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Seasoned Panko Crumbs
  • 1 tsp of Tumeric
  • Pinch of salt

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  1. Thaw Scallopini patties and mash them together.
  2. Season meat substitute with the first 6 spices on the list, mix well.
  3. Separate the mixture into four(4) equal pieces.
  4. Soak a spring roll wrapper in warm water till soft.
  5. Wrap each piece of mixture in wrapper and set aside (use spring roll method).
  6. Set up a breading station:
    1. flour seasoned with salt and pepper
    2. coconut milk
    3. panko crumbs seasoned with turmeric
  7. Dip into flour, then into coconut milk, finally into panko crumbs.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes so the coating will adhere to the meat mixture.
  9. Heat oil in a deep fryer, or heavy bottom pan.
  10. Fry till brown on both sides and drain on paper towel.

For more of Chef Roberto Martin’s Recipes check out his cookbook:


Recipe: Hash Brown Stacks

In Cooking Tips, Recipe on October 16, 2014 at 10:42 pm

So what does a gluten free breakfast look like?  It looks like this!


This is one of the yummiest breakfast recipe I can cook without any gluten.   It can be made in 15 minutes. It was I make when I want to feel fancy but on a budget.  Would you believe that it was made with frozen hash brown patties?  Next time you are gonna have brunch with the girls , this is the recipe to try.


  • 2 hash brown patties
  • 1 egg with 1 tsp of water
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 slices of ripe tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado slices
  1. Toast hash brown patties in the toaster oven while you prep the other ingredients
  2. Spray non-stick frying pan with cooking spray
  3. Beat your egg with 1 tsp of water and pour into frying pan
  4. Season with salt and pepper in the pan and let fry on one side before flipping


  1. 1 hash brown patty
  2. 1/2 the fried egg
  3. slices of avocado
  4. slice of tomato
  5. season with salt and pepper


So Good!! No gluten, good proteins, good fat, good flavor.  Enjoy


Homemade Ravioli Challenge, Check

In Cooking Tips, pasta, Recipe on November 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

IMG-20131101-00366I finally did it! I made homemade ravioli. Like many of you, I have seen chef after chef make ravioli on TV. Some chefs make them with homemade pasta dough and others used wonton wrappers. For the last four weeks I have been teaching an after-school cooking class to students in grades 4-6 and this was one of their favorite recipes. Not being able to cook the ravioli, the students assembled the ravioli easily and quickly. I figured if they can do it, so can you. I adapted my spinach filling from my stuff shells recipe to create this recipe. I also made triangles instead of traditional squares because Alvin ate them too quickly the first time I made them; I didn’t even get a chance to try the first batch. These ravioli are so good that at my Sabbath lunch everyone ate them without batting an eye. So don’t think you can’t do it because you can. Homemade Ravioli, check!

12 ounces, Part Skim Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese
1/2 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
1 Whole Egg
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 box of frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
24 whole Wonton Wrappers
Small bowl of Water

1. Put large bowl of water to boil with salt
2. all ingredients together in large bowl
3. Lay out at least 4 or 5 wonton wrappers (it saves times)
4. Put a teaspoon of the filling on half of the wrappers
5. Wet the edges of the wrappers and fold in half
6. When all the ravioli are assembled, drop them gently into the pot
7. Let the ravioli cook for 3-4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon

If preparing in an advance, do not cook instead lay them flat, drizzle with olive oil and refrigerate.

IMG-20131101-00370 (1)

Pesto Cream
1/2 – 1 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of light cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Puree basil leaves, garlic, cheese and oil in the food processor
2. simmer the light cream until reduced and thickened
3. Add pesto to thickened cream and season with salt and pepper

Recipe: Vegetarian Coconut Curry

In Cooking Tips, Entrees, Recipe on September 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm

001Being of West Indian descent, I am prone to love curry.  Since tasting Thai food, I have realized that not all curries are created equally.  Even among the West Indian islands there are different strengths of curry.  I have found that curry from the Trinidad is stronger than the curry that comes from Jamaica and Asian curry is more floral. Don’t get me wrong because all are delicious and I love them dearly but every now and again I crave Thai curry which is usually cooked with coconut milk. Something about coconut milk and curry that warms my soul.  This curry can be used with all proteins but this one includes a seitan product that Alvin buys from Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, NJ. I have made this with blue fish and whole porgies which is so yummy.  I also think that using TVP Chunks would be great, my doctor friend does it that way.  Please try this recipe and if you can, let me know how it comes out.


  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 stalk of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 package of setian or 1 cup of TVP Chunks
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 carrot, julienne
  • 1/2 cup of sliced red pepper (bell or Cubanelle)
  • 2 dried hot chilies
  • zest of a lime


  1. Warm oil in frying pan over medium/high heat
  2. Brown and remove protein
  3. Saute shallots, garlic, ginger and scallions until fragrant (add oil if needed)
  4. Mix in curry, turn down fire and cook for 1 minute
  5. Add water and stir until because it becomes a thick paste
  6. Pour in coconut milk and soy sauce and add dried chilies
  7. Return the browned protein to the curry sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Mix in vegetables (carrots and broccoli) and cook until tender.
  9. Finish with zest of lime

Hint: Serve over Jasmine rice garnished with cilantro


Recipe: Simple Swiss Chard Saute

In Cooking Tips, Food, Recipe, sides on June 14, 2013 at 12:37 am

Are you tired of eating spinach? Have you had your fill of kale? I know I was in search of another green fix.  I use leafy greens as a source of protein, antioxidants, calcium and iron since I am known not to eat enough of any group.  If you are a vegetarian, leafy greens are your best friend because they provide a great amount of protein along with beans.  In my research, I also found out that Swiss Chard is full of vitamin K. Vitamin K is good for muscle and bone growth which concerns me especially because of my Lupus.  Vitamin K is also essential for maintaining cell growth.  You can have a vitamin K deficiency but you can turn that around by adding vitamin k dense foods such as Swiss Chard, Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kale.

So my question is, how many of you have tried Swiss Chard?  At the farmer’s market, I would pass this colorful stemmed bouquet because I never tasted it.  Finally at Trader Joe’s, they had a bag of washed and chopped rainbow Swiss Chard that look manageable. I thought “how hard can it be?”  Come to find out, it’s pretty simple.  A few cloves of garlic, lemon juice and you got a pretty tasty side. Lesson learned: don’t be afraid of new produce.


  • 1 Bag of Swiss Chard, chopped and watched
  • Juice of 1/2 of  lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in saute pan
  2. Saute garlic until fragrant (make sure not to burn)
  3. Add Swiss Chard and saute
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over hot greens
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Cook till tender to the bite

Turkey-Less Roasting

In Cooking Tips, Editorial, Food, Products, Recipe, sides on December 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm

It’s almost Christmas which means another celebratory meal is around the corner.  I realize that a lot of 1st time vegetarians will be out there wondering what to cook.  I guess it depends on how good a cook you are.  You can make your own seitan turkey if your really good.  Most purchase a retail version of a turkey roast.  I was in Whole Foods the other day and found that Gardein makes a Turkey Roast.  I like Quorn’s roast for those of you like me who can’t eat soy.  There is of course the mother of the movement – Tofurky.  Before these readily available versions, there was Worthington Dinner Roast which  doesn’t look like a roast but taste good.  In my West Indian Family and community, we are not big turkey eaters but if we do eat turkey it better have good gravy.  I give credit to the beautiful and simple gravy to help turkey and mock turkey taste good.  So I am re-posting the recipe for the “Full Proof Gravy” as a gift from Not Just Tofu to you.


  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt (Lawry’s preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth


  1. Melt margarine or butter in sauce pan
  2. Add celery, garlic and onion to melted butter
  3. Cook till soft
  4. Dust vegetables with flour and cook for 1 minute
  5. Slowly whisk in vegetable broth
  6. Season broth with seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, onion and garlic powder.
  7. Let simmer until slightly thickened (if too thick, slowly add more broth)

quorn roast tofurky worthington dinner roast

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