Mexico

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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

A healthy Mexican baked dish with quinoa and lots of vegetables.    

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 415ml bottles of Old El Paso mild taco sauce* (see notes below)
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • small tortillas and lettuce to serve* (see notes below)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, taco sauce, corn, kidney beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, 1 cup shredded cheddar, and 1 cup shredded mozza. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spread quinoa mixture into a large baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake in oven until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese has melted (10-15 minutes). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The original recipe specified Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce, however this product was not available in our local grocery store. We substituted with Old El Paso mild taco sauce. Mild sauce (half the amount) or tomato sauce (increase cumin and chili powder) could also be substituted if taco sauce is not available.
  • Our kids enjoyed eating the casserole wrapped up burrito-style in small tortillas with lettuce and additional tomatoes.

Family Ratings

  • Papa: 4/5, this recipe would be even better with more spice (medium or spicy taco sauce) and substituting half of the quinoa for ground beef.
  • Girlie: 4/5, this is great burrito-style!
  • TW: 4/5,
  • McM: 4.5/5, very light and healthy recipe, I love the quinoa!

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Original recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

Philippines (Part 1)

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Lentils and Pechay

Filipino side dish with bok choy.

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups canned lentils, drained
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh bok choy, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetarian chicken broth

Directions

  1. Blend the onion in a food processor to create a soft mush.
  2. In a large pan, combine blended onion, 1/2 cup broth, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. Cook (3 minutes).
  3. Add the canned lentils and remaining broth. Bring to a boil, add the bok choy, and cook until tender (about 5-8 minutes).
  4. Serve.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 3.5/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would be even better with more bok choy!
  • Girlie: 4.5/5
  • TW: 3.5/5, I don’t like tomatoes
  • McM: 4/5, double the amount of bok choy next time!

Note

  • Lentils were substituted for mung beans in the original recipe. Mung beans were not available in our local grocery stores.

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/philippines-monggo-beans-and-pechay-mung-beans-and-bok-choi-305953?photo=155213

Laos (Part 2)

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Papaya Salad

A traditional Laotian side dish.

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe papayas
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small red chilis, deseeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons shrimp paste (see previous post on this blog)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. Peel papayas. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds and discard. Shred papaya and set aside.
  2. Mash garlic and chilis together using a meat tenderizer or mortar and pestle.
  3. Drain the excess juice from shredded papaya. Then add the mashed garlic and chilis, shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and cherry tomatoes. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5
  • Papa: 4/5, would have liked more tomatoes and more chilis!
  • Girlie: 5/5, this is delicious!
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 3/5, very sweet initially with a spicy aftertaste, a little too spicy for my preference but a tasty side dish with an exotic flavour!

Original recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/lao-papaya-salad-447215

Italy (Part 3)

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Zabaglione

Dessert sauce served with berries and biscotti.

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 1kg strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 prepackaged biscotti

Directions

  1. Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 egg, 4 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar, wine, vanilla, and salt in a large heatproof bowl.
  3. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. See photo below.
  4. Whisk vigorously over medium heat until thick and creamy (8-10 minutes).
  5. Immediately pour over berries and serve with biscotti.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4/5, creamy texture similar to meringue
  • Papa: 4/5, this dessert would go well with coffee!
  • TW: 2.5/5, tastes like marshmallows and I don’t like marshmallows
  • McM: 4/5, refreshing dessert!

Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/zabaglione-with-berries-recipe.html

Italy (Part 2)

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Pasta Primavera

Vegetarian pasta dish with farfelle and oven-roasted vegetables.

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 200g matchstick carrots
  • 5 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (2 inches long)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
  • 700g farfalle (bowtie pasta)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced vegetables (all except cherry tomatoes) with oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Arrange the vegetables in an even layer on two large baking sheets. Bake, stirring after 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the vegetable begin to brown (20 minutes total).
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain.
  4. In a large pot, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5, light and tasty pasta dish!
  • Papa: 3/5, rather bland for my taste
  • Girlie: 3/5, not enough flavor
  • TW: 3.5/5, could have used more spices
  • McM: 4.5/5, baked vegetables have a nice texture and the spices and Parmesan add a delicious subtle flavor!

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Original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pasta-primavera-recipe.html

Iceland (Part 2)

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Kryddad Raudkal med Blaberjum

Spiced cabbage with blueberries, a sweet-tart Icelandic side dish. Picture above (right) with baked fish (left) and brauoterta (bottom).

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup black currant jam
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tart green apple (Granny Smith), cored, peeled, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. On medium-high heat, melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook onion until soft (5–7 minutes).
  3. Add blueberries, jam, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cabbage, apple, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender (60 minutes).

Family Ratings

  • McM: 4.5/5, very delicious with a range of tangy and sweet flavours that compliment baked fish nicely!

Original recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/icelandic-spiced-cabbage-with-blueberries

Sri Lanka (Part 2)

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Gotukola Sambol

Traditional Sri Lankan salad with a strong but refreshing flavour.

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches Italian flat-leaf parsley (substituted for Sri Lankan gotukola)
  • 3 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 50g unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 50g sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse parsley. Chop coarsely.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine parsley, onion, tomato, coconut, and lime juice. Use tongs to mix the salad until ingredients evenly distributed. Serve.

Family Ratings

  • Mama: 4.5/5, would be great as a summer salad!
  • Papa: 4/5
  • Girlie: 2/5
  • TW: 4/5
  • McM: 3/5

Original recipe: http://www.srilankanrecipes.info/recipes/Sambols/GotukolaSambol.aspx