Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

My quarter century birthday was on the 24th and it was surrounded with love. We ate home made prosciutto eggs benny at a great little bistro with bottomless mimosas and toured some gorgeous ice sculptures.

Every good day ends with soup. Ok, maybe not but this good day did and many others have so I’m sticking by that statement. This Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot is so simple and yummy, I love how light it is yet it still has that umami satisfaction and fills you right up. The poached egg on top adds the perfect amount of creamy richness with the dark mushroomey (is that a word?) broth.

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

The sun shines. I feel overflowing with gratitude, no life isn’t perfect. But there’s perfection in that very fact. There’s perfection in potential. We all hold so much potential and the more I see my own life morph into something I can feel good about, the more apparent that fact becomes.

For the first time, I kinda, sorta, feel like I have my shit together. Like I’m on the right track and everything is aligning as it should.

I was feeling very cynical this time last year, my heart was heavy and life felt wrought with unending challenges. To compare it to the light heartedness I feel now is indescribable. There are so many ups and downs in life, but there are certain things which we have the capacity to change in order to improve our situation.

I hope for all of you that the new year is unveiling new hope and joy in your hearts. It’s a nice feeling indeed when the changes we make in our lives blossom into deeper contentment.

Winter can be a really challenging time but it’s also a good time to hunker down and look within for outer inspiration. I wrote an article recently on how to cope with the winter blues, check it out if this is something you struggle with.

 

Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs sesame oil or coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 thai red chili, minced or 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 lbs shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bundle green onions, chopped
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, add ginger and garlic and simmer for a minute until aromatic.
  2. Add rice wine vinegar and let it simmer for another minute or so before adding the coconut aminos or tamari, fish sauce, coconut sugar and chili.
  3. Add the mushrooms and let them cook for a bit soaking up some of the liquid.
  4. Add chicken stock and once the soup is simmering add the shrimp. You can also add the eggs at this point or poach them separately in a pot of boiling water with a bit of vinegar.
  5. The eggs and shrimp will take about 5 minutes. If you poach the eggs directly in the soup, be sure to not stir while they're cooking.
  6. Serve one egg per person and garnish with chopped green onions. Enjoy!
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Shrimp and Shiitake Hot Pot

Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de Pollo

Sopa de pollo

 

The ideal soup. In the words of my father, probably my biggest food critic besides myself. The man that thinks everything I make needs more gluten. The guy that when I try to get him on board with our sugar cleanse, goes out and buys a box of halloween candy and claims he thought sugar cleanse meant MORE sugar.

Sopa de pollo

If he loved this soup, i’m pretty sure everyone will. Best part, it uses a whole chicken which in my opinions is the easiest most economical way to eat chicken. A whole free range chicken feeds a crowd and you get the bones to make stock later. By far the easiest way to cook a whole chicken is to make a big soup.

Sopa de pollo

 

There’s no risk of it not being cooked or worse, being dry and overcooked. The only downside is you don’t get that crispy skin, but I personally looooove the fat that the skin imparts in the soup. It’s so rich, and although the coconut milk isn’t a traditional addition, it adds a creamy comfort to my version of sopa de pollo like none other.

Sopa de pollo

Sopa de Pollo

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cooking fat of choice
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes + equal amount of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder or 1 whole chipotle in adobo (chopped)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 2 C squash of preference (delicata,butternut etc.) cut into cubes
  • 1 C sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-5 lbs)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 lime + extra for garnish
  • large handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or slow cooker heat oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until golden and fragrant and add crushed tomatoes, spices and salt.
  2. Add the whole chicken, roasted red peppers,squash, sweet potato and water to cover chicken. Cover and let cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove the cooked chicken and place in a large bowl. Let it cool a bit before removing meat from the carcass.
  4. Add pulled chicken, coconut milk and the juice from one lime.
  5. Serve with chopped cilantro, fresh avocado and lime wedges.
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Sopa de pollo

Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.

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Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls

Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls

These Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls served in a Thai Peanut broth

As the fresh prince of bel air would say, my life got flip turned upside down.

Sometimes self love is the hardest thing. Especially if you’re like me and continually put others first. Even when doing so does them a disservice. Life’s a real B sometimes, forcing you to make those tough decisions and question your self worth.

My gusto for culinary delights has decreased over the stress of these past weeks, along with my waistline. Again with the self love thing, food often tops the list of things I have tortured myself with in the past. Emotional eating, or its opposite is a reality for so many of us under duress (and who isn’t). Inspiration is creeping back in to my life, mostly thanks to Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks and food gawker. I’m not worried about macros or calories or paleo right now, my focus is on enjoyment and quality, something that will cheer me up without creating digestive havoc. Enter: gluten free rice ramen noodles. As many of you can surely relate I was obsessed with ramen noodles as a child and ate them raw or cooked day and night. It’s slightly terrifying just how many MSG packages I must have consumed along with my favourite comfort food.

After reading Dr. Mercola’s article on what happens inside your stomach when you eat instant noodles  the next time I eat them would have to be under torture. But I’ve happily discover lotus foods gluten free organic rice ramen alternative made from rice and millet and they are surprisingly SO freakin’ good.

I don’t often eat peanuts or peanut butter because they are actually a legume and can be difficult to digest. Conventional peanuts and peanut butter also have very low standards when it comes to moulds like aflatoxin and by the time we get them are often rancid. But there are a few good companies out there and really what other flavour compares to peanut? It’s directly correlated with fond memories of childhood lunches and has long been a staple food in this part of the world. Once in awhile I need to get my peanut fix so I opt for this brand of peanut butter which is made with coconut oil. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal compounds in it so I like to think that it helps preserve the integrity of the peanuts. No real studies on this but I don’t get that rancid taste from this peanut butter like I would others.

 

One of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants makes this luscious peanut noodle soup with loads of fresh cucumber noodles. There’s something about peanut and cucumber, I think it rivals PB&J any day. Paired with the sweetness of mango and thick luscious ramen noodles these Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls brought my appetite back pretty quickly. I’m back in action folks…and ps. I missed you.

 

Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 2 gluten free lotus foods ramen cakes
  • 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise into thin strips and then cut again to make long vertical noodles
  • 1/2 ripe mango, cut into thin strips and cut again lengthwise for thin strands
  • 2 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
  • crushed peanut or cashews for topping

Instructions

  1. In a blender combine peanut butter, tamari, garlic, chili, lime juice, coconut sugar and chicken broth until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat until simmering.
  2. Add ramen noodle cakes to brother and cover for 3-5 minutes until soft and tender.
  3. Separate noodles and broth into two large bowls and add a generous amount of the cucumber and mango strips on top with a sprinkle of green onion and crushed nuts.
  4. Serve hot or cold and enjoy!
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These Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls served in a Thai Peanut broth

Masala Daal

Masala Daal

masala daal

Daaaaaaaaaaal. Flashes of India flood my brain, I miss that place. It was so easy to just roam the streets in wonder, soaking up culinary delights around every corner. Daal is a staple, with a million variations, and of course I have my own, it’s a simple rendition that takes little time, great for a meal in a pinch.

Honestly, this months been really tight and our budget is stretched to say the least. As nice as it is to eat paleo and have bacon and free range beef and a fridge brimming with vegetables all the time, it’s not always realistic. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think its right to sacrifice our need to feed ourselves good food. That’s why I have such a hard time buying commercially raised meats, once you witness just how unethically these animals are treated its hard to turn back. Ignorance is bliss, and my bliss is running out. Once in awhile compromises have to be made, and lentils are one thing that I always keep on hand for rainy days.

Other cheap eats that still nourish and sustain are free-range eggs, which really offer a lot for the price. Kale is another nutrient dense veg that doesn’t hurt the wallet. And of course having plenty of spices always makes life more exciting. Sometimes I surprise myself by what I can create from what seems like sparsity. Often some genius creations come out of being strapped for cash.

masala daal

As far as legumes go, lentils are pretty easy to digest and if you soak them first it greatly increases the bioavailability of their nutrients. Lentils are actually quite high in a lot of minerals, and they have a surprising amount of iron, 1 cup is 40% of the RDI.

But enough of that nerd speak. They’re delicious, cheap, and you can store them for a long time. This masala daal warms my heart every time I eat it and should be enjoyed with a nice dollop of plain yogurt, India style.

Masala Daal
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 C red lentils
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 6 C chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or other hot chile, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ C plain yogurt for serving
  • cilantro and green onion, chopped for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan or pot add lentils and chicken stock. Cook lentils until soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet add oil until melted, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until the start to literally pop.
  3. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic and slightly browned.
  4. Add garam masala, tomato paste and a bit of stock from the lentils just to get everything moving. Cook for a few minutes and add lentils and the rest of the chicken stock, let this simmer for another 10 minutes, add salt to taste and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and green onions

masala daal

Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup

Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup

cashew carrot ginger soup

A simple soup, to warm your bones on chilly days, when all you have in the fridge are some carrots, a knob of ginger and your preferred broth.

This is a staple soup that I’ve been making for years. It’s so easy, you don’t even have to think about it, yet the combination of flavours is complex enough that its still interesting and leaves you wanting more.

 

I’ve been writing a few articles lately around the web with minimalism as the main theme.  In regards to being productive, minimalism seems to me the most effective tactic. With a tangle of distractions to pull us away from the task at hand, it can be hard to accomplish much of anything. Though I’ve been writing in a work context, I think principles of minimalism apply just as well for cooking. We can obsess over a complex dish with 16 ingredients, and sure the results might be worth it. But often I find I get more enjoyment out of simple dishes that take minimal effort and offer maximal results.

 

cashew carrot ginger soup

 

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It requires a conscious decision because it is a countercultural lifestyle that stands against the culture of overconsumption that surrounds us.-Joshua Becker

 

 

cashew carrot ginger soup

This is a minimalist soup, may it simplify your life and bring you a feeling of serenity.

 

 

Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • ½ C raw cashews
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 carrots, chopped
  • 8 C vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot add cashews and stir around until lightly toasted. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Melt coconut oil and add onion and ginger, cook until soft.
  3. Add carrots and toasted cashews and cover with stock, add salt and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender to puree once the carrots are nice and soft.
  5. Serve with green onion, extra toasted cashews, toasted coconut or quality sour cream or yogurt.

 

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder

 

 

Ahoy there mates!

I live in a place that resembles a town by the sea, the vastness of Kootenay lake allows the imagination to easily play pretend. Walking along the shore line there’s even a faint fishy smell and the rocks could easily be shells. The fish aren’t as abundant as they were once upon a time, but alas, things change.

I keep a little stockpile of wild sockeye salmon for days where the extra omega-3’s are a Godsend. Have I mentioned how important omega-3 fatty acids really are, seriously when I am lacking in these healthy fats my whole demeanour changes and my skin gets all mangled. So having steadfast super yummy and omega-3 rich recipe like this bomb dot com chowdah is essential!

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder

I implore you to try it out even if your a chowder skeptic like J, this chowder passes the test. Brimming with nourishing creamy broth, tender scallops and nutrient dense wild salmon. I like to keep the spices minimal, a bit of fresh dill and green onion is all that’s needed and this dish comes together in a pinch. Searing the scallops before adding them to the soup gives a really nice texture but its totally optional, check out my post on how to perfectly sear scallops.

 

 

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder

 

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sockeye salmon, bones and skin removed
  • ½ lb fresh scallops, seared (optional)
  • 1 Tbs ghee
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 large white or yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs coconut cream
  • 1 Tbs tapioca flour+1 Tbs cold water (optional thickener)
  • 2 green onion, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large pot add ghee, onion and garlic, fry until translucent.
  2. Add fennel, fish sauce, potatoes and salt and stir well.
  3. Cut salmon into chunks and add with fresh dill and chicken stock.
  4. Cover and let this simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add scallops and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut cream, tapioca and water and mix well until nice and thick.
  7. Serve with fresh green onion and fennel fronds.

 

Paleo Salmon and Scallop Chowder