Guest Post: Asiya of Chocolate And Chillies

Hey hey hey! Look at who we have here today! It’s my homegirl Asiya who blogs over at my favorite (Asi, it’s favOrite, not favOUite 😉 ) space on the internet, Chocolate and Chillies!  Not only is she a co-host with me and Sarah for Eid Eats 2016, but she is one of my closest friends and confidantes.  She holds a special place in my heart, and I am so grateful and blessed for her friendship.

You know those cartoons where there’s an angel on our right shoulder and a devil on the left?  Well Asiya is the angel on my right shoulder, giving suggestions on where to cut fat in recipes, or where we can swap wheat flour in for all-purpose flour.  My foodie desires are like the devil on your left shoulder, whispering things like, “more butter baby!”

Well, since it’s Ramadan and the Shayateen are chained up, I’ll hand it over to our Angel Asiya, and she can share the healthy and delicious yummies that she’s been up to 😉

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Ramadan Mubarak!  I hope everyone’s fasts are going well and we are all making the most of this blessed month.  I’m very excited to be guest posting on Henna’s fabulous blog!  Henna and I have been good friends for a few years now. Over these years, Henna has become one my closest friends.  She is someone you can go to for advice or for just a “Hey Girlfriend!!!!”  It’s amazing how the internet connects people who otherwise would never have met.  Not only is Henna a wonderful friend…but she is also a great cook!  Her blog is full of delicious recipes.  Our family has lately been enjoying her Cajun Chicken Pasta.  It has been a big hit!  Her recipe for Chicken Keema has been a life saver on many occasions when I’ve needed something quick to whip up or if I have run out of adrak laysan (ginger garlic paste).  Bolani is one of my favourites and Henna’s recipe was delish!

Now for the recipe I am sharing with you today!  I find in Ramadan it can be hard to keep a balanced diet, especially with these long fasts.  Also, with our traditional South Asian diet, we tend to indulge in a lot of deep fried goodness.  So today I am sharing a recipe the helps to balance out all those unhealthy iftaris.  It’s a one pot meal and super quick to make which is a great help during Ramadan.  You can have it on its own or pair it with some grilled chicken or fish.  Leftovers also make a great suhoor!  For a change you can have leftovers wrapped in a tortilla topped with some sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

Thank you Henna for sharing your space with me and for letting me guest post on your blog!

 

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

 

One Pan Mexican Quinoa 

Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 tbsp canola oil

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 green chilli, minced

1 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 19 oz tin black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cup frozen corn

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp minced cilantro

Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add garlic and green chilli.  Cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.  Add quinoa, water, black beans, tomato, corn, chilli powder, cumin powder, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Cook until quinoa is cooked, about 15-20 minutes.  Mix in lemon juice and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Avocado Banana Shake

Continuing on the beverage train, today I’m sharing a recipe the was inspired by our last trip to Toronto, Avocado Banana Shake.  It’s healthy, filling, cooling, and perfect for either Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) or Iftar (meal at sunset).

This literally takes a few minutes to throw together. Dump everything in a blender and blitz away!

 

AvocadoBananaShake

 

Avocado Banana Shake

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bananas, peeled and diced
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pitted

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Since we’ve had three back to back Iftar (break-fast) recipes, I thought that I should share something that would be nice at Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). These oatmeal pancakes (recipe adapted from here) are full of the goodness that comes with oats, they keep you feeling full without any added heaviness, and they’re super easy to throw together (everything is whizzed in a blender!).  Surprisingly they’re also light and airy in texture, even though they’re loaded with oats!

OatmealPancakesPic

Oatmeal Pancakes

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant or old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the jar of a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly grease the skillet, and pour batter in ¼ cup increments. Cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned and large bubbles appear. Flip the pancake and cook until browned on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with oil as needed.

Honey Pecan Granola

I was never a fan of granola growing up. Over time, however, my tastes have evolved, and now I’m a big fan (probably has something to do with my love for all things crunchy). I love snacking on it parfait-style, sandwiched between layers of creamy Greek yogurt and sweet and juicy strawberries. It makes a great snack and breakfast, and it is SO easy to prepare!

(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

HoneyPecanGranolaPic

 

Honey Pecan Granola

Yield: 4 ½ Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°F and set aside a parchment lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, and salt and mix well. Set aside.

Combine butter and honey in a saucepan and warm over medium-high heat, until the mixture attains a runny consistency. Pour the butter and honey mixture over the oat mixture and mix well, making sure that it is evenly coated. Transfer oats to the baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Allow granola to cool completely on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Chili Mac and An Invitation!

My son is a big fan of chips and salsa, so I asked my husband to pick some up on his recent trip to Sam’s Club. He came home with 2 huge jars (though to his credit, they sell it packaged that way) of salsa. So in an effort to put a dent in our huge salsa supply, I searched online and stumbled upon this recipe for Chili Mac. I took a quick look at the recipe and realized that I had almost everything, and went ahead and gave it a whirl. People, try this! The name is totally misleading, and the meal itself is really healthy. For a meal that serves four, it only has ½ cup of cheese. Also, regular pasta can be swapped with whole wheat or even veggie pasta. It’s a healthy and delicious meal that comes together very quickly.

Also, on a totally different note, I have an invitation for you! My blogging buddy Sarah, of Flour and Spice, recently reached out to me with an idea. Sarah suggested that we team up and host a virtual Eid Party. The premise of the “party” is that those who choose to participate will post a recipe that is evocative of Eid for them, whether that be traditional or something new/innovative. So now my friends, is that I invite you to join us! If you think that you would be interested in participating, just leave me a comment saying that you would. We’ll be sending out emails later this week to everyone that we know, so be on the lookout 🙂

 

ChiliMacPic

 

 

Chili Mac

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound small shell pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup picante sauce (regular salsa can be used as well, although additional liquid might need to be added)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese

Directions:

Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until well browned and all liquid has evaporated. Stir in picante sauce, corn, chili powder, and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in pasta and cheese. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted.