Coconut Black Rice Pudding

I saw a recipe for Black Rice Pudding with coconut & banana in At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen a while back, bought the black rice, put it in my cupboard and promptly forgot about it.  I didn’t make the recipe before for 2 reasons;  (1) it only uses half a can of coconut milk which is so annoying because what am I supposed to do with the other half?  (2) it needs to simmer for an hour on the stovetop.  Well, now I am sitting at my kitchen table all day anyway, and decided no one is here stopping me from using the whole dang can.  Lol I said dang.  I’m trying to keep it clean, ok?

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Black Bean Brownies

So, as I mentioned earlier, I’m moving soon and trying to use up everything in my cupboards.  Since I spent a significant portion of medical school preparing for a zombie apocalypse (The Walking Dead had a big impact on me), this is no easy task.  I have so many cans of everything.  Black bean brownies it is.  Problem – I had no maple syrup, which is my go-to sweetener and dangerously little honey (my second choice).  Since buying more of either is kind of defeating the purpose of using up my cupboard contents, I had to get creative.  

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Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding

Hands up anyone who has seen a million recipes for chia pudding but still hasn’t made it.  Today is the day.  Inspired by a recipe from Deliciously Ella’s cookbook, and several others from around the web, this will keep you satisfied until lunch.  I actually find if I’m eating breakfast too late, I can’t have it or else it will throw off my whole eating schedule because I won’t want lunch until its almost dinner.  It doesn’t make me feel super FULL, just really satisfied.  Its weird.  But in a good way.  If you put it in a transportable container, you can just grab it and go in the morning.  

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Taco Salad

With the weather warming up, all I want for dinner is salad.  This is a long-time favourite of mine.  Its easy to throw together and oh-so-satisfying.  I make it with either homemade refried beans or with lean ground beef, depending on which side of the flexitarian spectrum I’m leaning towards that day.  I had Steak Tagliata yesterday, so today I went for the beans.

taco ingredients - kaleigh's kitchen
taco ingredients – kaleigh’s kitchen

Making your own refried beans is as easy as frying up some garlic in a pan and dumping in the entire contents (water and all) of a can of black beans in.  Simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is mostly gone, add a small handful of minced cilantro and some salt to taste and you’re good to go.  For the beef option, just brown 500g lean ground beef with 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chilli powder.   

taco salad - kaleigh's kitchen

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Steak Tagliata

I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but once I ordered “Steak Tagliata” at a restaurant expecting pasta (tagliatelle) and a salad showed up.  A quick phone-google enlightened me – tagliata means sliced grilled beef served with spices and olive oil.  My cheat meal was not to be.

A few weeks later, I hadn’t been to the supermarket in a while and I made this salad with the remnants of my sad, almost empty (except for one million condiments obv) fridge.  I was almost out of EVOO (not enough for a dressing), so I added a few tablespoons of the steak drippings after frying to make it go further.  This, along with some balsamic and maple syrup, made the most delicious dressing.

Needless to say, my “whatever is in the fridge” dinner turned out to be a hit.  I told Zac I made “steak tagliata” and then when he thought it would be pasta I pretended to be super-cultured and gave him a mini Italian lesson…. kidding I’m not that mean – I was actually just happy that I wasn’t the only one.

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Fresh Spring Rolls

Fresh spring rolls are a popular Vietnamese menu item.  They are quite versatile though, with the mild flavour of the rice paper allowing you to really experiment with the contents.  Here I used carrots, cucumber and celery, because that is what I had on hand.  Next time I want to add sweet red pepper and thinly sliced red onion as well.  To make vegetarian, tofu could easily substitute the chicken.  I was inspired to make these after seeing a photo of them on Kayla Itsines blog a few weeks back.  Kayla recommends making your own sauce, which is usually healthier than a store-bough condiment, but I have a major weakness for hoisin sauce so I used that instead.  This is a great, beautiful recipe to have under your belt with summer just around the corner.

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THE Salad

This is my go-to salad.  Its easy, unique, and the perfect balance of light and satisfying.  Growing up we ate salad almost every night with dinner, but I hadn’t ever really had toasted seeds on a salad until I was living on my own, because my brother is allergic.  Now I’m making up for lost time (sorry Ryan!), and love garnishing my salads with seeds.  Sunflower seeds are high in copper and vitamins E & B1.  They also are a source of healthy fats, which are important to consume with a salad to maximize absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.  The EVOO in the dressing helps here as well, if you have to omit due to allergies.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with new salads, but for a time I made this so consistently to go with our meals, that we started referring to it simply as “THE salad” and the name stuck.

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