How to Put Out a Chilli Fire in Your Mouth

Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag

It’s enough to make even the toughest of us panic…

You’ve just taken a big bite. You didn’t think it was going to be too hot. And then the burning feeling starts to build. And build. And build.

You brace yourself for the onslaught…

Ouch!

Or as Fergal would say… ‘Ouchies!’

I still remember my worst chilli burn like it was yesterday…

I was working in my first ‘real job’ as a young food scientist in the Kellogg Australia product development department and was out to dinner with a big group of friends. It was Friday night. We’d been at the pub for a few hours before heading in search of a good curry.

Squeezed around the table, it was noisy and the wine was flowing. Happy days.

Until the food came out.

I was starving and reached for what I thought was a lone green bean on top of one of the curries. I took a bite.

It definitely wasn’t a harmless green bean. My world closed in on the inferno in my mouth.

Luckily I knew what to do. (Food science to the rescue!)

And no I didn’t reach for the water. Or another slug of vino.

I knew better.

So I grabbed the raita, creamy yoghurt flecked with cucumber chunks.

I held the mixture in my mouth, swirling it around before swallowing and starting with more life-saving yoghurt.

Thankfully things calmed down in my mouth. And dinner went on.

Although I didn’t enjoy it because I couldn’t get over the fact that I’d been so stupid. When do Indian restaurants ever use a ‘lone green bean’ to garnish their beef vindaloo? It’s always a chilli. How could I be so foolish?

So why did the yoghurt work?

Simple chemistry.

The component of chillies which makes them hot is called capsaicin and it’s only soluble in fats and oils. While water and wine may give momentary relief from the temperature difference, the capsaicin doesn’t dissolve and stays in your mouth causing all the pain.

Full fat yoghurt on the other hand, has enough oil to dissolve the culprit and move it on. Problem solved.

Of course it doesn’t have to be yoghurt.

Fergal recently had is own chilli experience when he rubbed his fingers on my chilli-infested chopping board and popped said fingers in his mouth. Luckily a big glass of cold milk sorted him out straight away.

But basically anything with some oil will work. Coconut milk or coconut yoghurt or even a mouthful of a creamy mild curry will do the trick.

What about you?

Ever had a ‘green bean’ chilli moment of your own? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Cajun Chicken in a Paper Bag

There’s something really magical about dusting cooked food in a spice mix just before eating. Not only do you get the beautiful spiced flavours, it also coats the chicken to give a slightly crunchy crust. So good and so little effort!

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
450g (1lb) chicken thigh or breast fillets
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 large cabbage
3 green onions (optional)
3-4 teaspoons cajun spice

1. Chop chicken in to bite size strips. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat.

2. Rub chicken with a little oil and salt. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned on the outside and just cooked through.

3. While the chicken is cooking, slice cabbage as finely as possible and toss in a bowl with the mayo and green onion (if using). Season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide cooked chicken between 2 plates and serve each person with a paper bag. Serve cajun spice in the middle of the table so each person can toss it in with their chicken.

5. Serve cabbage salad in the middle of the table.

6. Get each person to pop their chicken in their paper bag and add their share of the spice mix. Shake bag and eat spiced chicken with the salad.

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Variations

no cabbage – serve spiced chicken with baby spinach or other salad greens on the side.

vegetarian – replace chicken with sliced halloumi or poached eggs. For the eggs, just serve on a plate and sprinkle with the spice (instead of tossing in the bag).

egg-free – use a vegan mayo for the salad dressing. Or replace with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

vegan – follow the egg-free suggestions and replace chicken with 1-2 drained cans of chickpeas. Warm in a little oil in a pan then serve with a paper bag and the spice as per the chicken.

no cajun spice – try another spice blend like moroccan, ras el hanout, pirri pirri or just use a little salt, black pepper and mild chilli powder (you won’t need as much as the cajun blend).

different meat – feel free to use chicken breast fillets, pork fillet or some plain pork sausages.

hot! – add a little chilli powder to your spice mix.

Big love,
Jules x

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ps. There are only a few days left…

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To join us for the ‘Mind Body Detox Online Summit’.

Join me (and 17 other experts) from 1st October for this FREE Virtual Event and discover how to:
* Conquer your cravings
* End bloating and fatigue
* Have glowing, radiant skin
* Tap into greater energy and vitality
* And more!

For more details go to:
www.bodyminddetoxsummit.com/

I hope you can join us!
Jx

NOTE: The links to the MBD Summit are affiliate links. If you purchase an optional VIP upgrade for the summit, I’ll get a commission. So you’ll be supporting Stonesoup too!

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Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Orzo Pasta

Roasted eggplant, tomato and feta pasta! This is an easy and healthy weeknight dinner. cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by DeLallo Foods.

First of all, THANK YOU for your kind words and excitement surrounding my cookbook announcement! I am so glad we can talk about Love Real Food now. My mind has been so preoccupied with the book lately that I haven’t been able to come up with much to talk about, other than the weather. I’m tired of talking about the weather. (Are you tired of hearing me ramble on about the weather? Yes? I don’t blame you.)

Now we can talk cookbook, too. Your enthusiasm got me all fired up last week and kept me fueled through shooting six recipes on Friday. Thank you! I keep forgetting that I can share the process now, but I promise to start sharing sneak peaks of #loverealfoodbook this week.

eggplant

I designed the cookbook’s recipe list to be more season-less than seasonal, because I want most of the recipes to appeal to you and be available to you year-round. That means I’ve been reserving the super seasonal recipes for the blog, which is fun because I can publish them when they’re prime for the making.

Like, this pasta dish. It’s perfect for this time of year. It’s not too hot outside to crank up the oven and roast eggplant, which is at its peak right now. I’ve had an odd hankering for roasted eggplant ever since I made Anna’s Mediterranean quinoa salad. Most people describe eggplant as bitter, but I’d say it’s borderline sour. Tangy. Pillowy. Hearty. So good, if paired with the right flavors.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Orzo Pasta appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Apple Oatmeal Pancakes & News!!!

Fluffy and healthy apple oatmeal pancakes! You can whip these up in your blender in no time. cookieandkate.com

I have never enjoyed keeping secrets, even the good kind. I just might burst from anticipation so here it goes: I’m making a cookbook! It has been in the works for ages, and by ages I mean years, which is a long time in the blog world.

My cookbook is called Love Real Food, as in Cookie and Kate Love Real Food. It’s a title that makes a statement, one that I hope will appeal to you, my most wonderful readers, and a broader audience that hasn’t yet stumbled on this blog or this way of cooking. It’s a statement that conveys my bursting-at-the-seams enthusiasm for real, wholesome food, the kind that both delights the senses and nourishes the body. I hope you like it!

ingredients

Love Real Food will be an extension of what you have come to expect on this blog, plus some fun special features. It will include 100 recipes that are all vegetarian, fresh and full of flavor. I’m being very careful to use accessible ingredients and have been testing the recipes over and over again to make sure they’re perfect.

I’ve finalized about a quarter of the recipes so far and I CAN’T WAIT to share them with you all. The blueberry muffins alone! They took me nine tries to get just right but they were worth it. The book won’t be complete without a few favorite recipes from the blog (even those will be reworked and tweaked), but the vast majority will be brand new. My stomach is so full right now, you guys.

Continue to the recipe…

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6 Low Carb (Paleo) Breakfast Ideas that don’t involve eggs

Coconut & Almond 'Cereal'-2

The first time I tried going paleo there was one meal I really struggled with.

If you’ve ever had an attempt at eating low carb or going ‘full paleo’, I bet you’ve struggled with this too.

Yep. Breakfast. Breakkie.

Now I think about it, when I went vegan for a week, breakfast was the most tricky then too.

This time, my experiment of eating full paleo for a month, breakfasts have been relatively easy.

Since moving to our little farm last year and getting a flock of chooks (that’s chickens for you non-Australians!), I’ve become a huge fan of having eggs for breakfast.

There’s something so great about having a proper breakfast of poached eggs and some veggies.

I love it.

But even I can’t have eggs for breakfast every single day, so I thought I’d share my fave breakkie ideas for when eggs aren’t an option…

6 Egg-Free Low Carb / Paleo Breakfast Ideas

1. Green Smoothies
I don’t have a high speed blender so I find my green smoothies tend to be a bit fibrous… not exactly smooth! So I haven’t really gotten into this craze. But they can be a brilliant way to start getting some veggies in your breakkie.

If you’d like a FREE ebook dedicated to vibrant green smoothie recipes, then have a look at the Body Mind Detox Summit which I’m participating in this year.

2. Coconut Yoghurt
If only I’d known about coconut yoghurt back during my vegan week! I’ve been enjoying a commercial one but if you’d like to make your own, there’s a recipe over here.

I’ve bookmarked a page from the My New Roots cookbook for cashew yoghurt which I’m really eager to try.

3. Chocolate ‘Granola’
I’d forgotten about this recipe until I was doing research for this blog post. Looking forward to whipping up a batch this weekend as a treat for my last days of paleo month!

4. Overnight ‘Chia’
In Summer I do love to soak rolled oats to make bircher musesli or ‘overnight oats’ but you can get great results with chia seeds as well.

For one person, just soak 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds in 2/3 cup coconut milk, almond milk or other milk. Either leave in the fridge overnight or as long as you’ve got. The longer you soak the less crunchy the chia will be. Serve straight up or with fresh fruit such as blueberries.

5. Paleo Toast + Avocado
I’ve been making my paleo bread, which is based on coconut flour (and does contain some eggs!) to have with avocado. Fergal isn’t convinced (he spits it out!). But I do like having it as a quick change from my eggs.

6. Coconut & Almond ‘Cereal’ (recipe below)
This grain-free Paleo cereal mix (pictured above) has been a life saver during my month of eating paleo for those days when I don’t feel like cooking eggs. See below for the recipe…

Need more ideas?

If you’re happy to include some legumes and / or eggs, check out My 9 Favourite Healthy Breakfast Ideas and 6 Slightly Unusual Healthy Breakfast Ideas.

—-

Coconut & Almond ‘Cereal’


This grain-free Paleo cereal mix was inspired by the lovely Eleanor Ozich from over at Petite Kitchen.

I generally have it with coconut yoghurt and sometimes a handful of blueberries or raspberries. But you could eat it with milk or your favourite dairy-free milk if you prefer a more traditional ‘bowl of cereal’ experience.

takes: about 20 minutes
makes about 2 cups
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup sliced almonds
4 tablespoons psyllium (optional)
2 tablespoons chia seeds, whole or ground (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Spread almonds on a baking tray and toast for about 10 minutes. Stir and cook for another few minutes until the almonds are just lightly golden.

2. Cool the almonds on the tray then toss in the coconut, psyllium (if using) and chia (if using).

3. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for a few months.

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Variations

raw ‘cereal’ – don’t worry about toasting the almonds.

sweet – feel free to add your favourite dried fruit. Or serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

more! – feel free to double of triple the recipe.

nut-free – replace almonds with sunflower seeds or pepitas or both. Skip the toasting step.

different additives – any whole, chopped or ground seeds or nuts like hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, linseeds, sunflower seeds or pepitas. You could also add rolled oats or oat bran for a more cost-effective cereal but it won’t be paleo any more.

Big love,
Jules x

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******

ps. While I’ve got you, just wanted to let you know about an online event I’ve been interviewed for…

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It’s called the ‘Mind Body Detox Summit’ and is being run online in early Oct.

I invite you to join me (and 17 other experts) for this Free Virtual Event
and discover how to:
* Conquer your cravings
* End bloating and fatigue
* Have glowing, radiant skin
* Tap into greater energy and vitality
* And more!

Here’s your invitation:
www.bodyminddetoxsummit.com/

I hope you can join us!
Jx

NOTE: The links to the MBD Summit are affiliate links. If you purchase an optional VIP upgrade for the summit, I’ll get a commission. So you’ll be supporting Stonesoup too!

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20 Healthier Game Day Recipes

20 healthy, crowd-pleasing game days recipes! See them at cookieandkate.com

I haven’t watched a football game yet this season (go Sooners?!). I know that game day season is here because I’ve caught glimpses of helmets flashing on TVs and heard whoops in my neighborhood. While I’m clearly not the biggest football fan in town, I love any excuse to slow down and catch up with friends—especially when good food and drinks are involved. Sign me up.

Game day food is notoriously heavy, greasy and meaty, so I rounded up my top twenty healthy, crowd-pleasing, seasonally-appropriate recipes for you. You’ll find everything from appetizers to salads, main dishes and a couple of desserts. Since serving a crowd often requires attention to special diets, I should mention that they’re all vegetarian and many are gluten free and vegan as well (I’ve made notes on those below).

Continue to the recipe…

The post 20 Healthier Game Day Recipes appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Lentil & Couscous Stuffed Peppers

Lentil couscous stuffed peppers, a simple and healthy weeknight meal! - cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.

Well hello! I’m in a tizzy with good news this morning and can’t wait to share with you all. There’s excitement in air, too. Can you feel it? Summer might be winding down, but I just spied a pumpkin at the store and I’m looking forward to all the fun activities that fall brings.

bell peppers, lentils and couscous

Before I get ahead of myself, I thought we’d better make good use of those glorious end-of-summer bell peppers. I wanted to make stuff bell peppers that weren’t super heavy and cheesy, so I drew some inspiration from Middle Eastern mujaddara and stuffed them with a simplified couscous version.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Lentil & Couscous Stuffed Peppers appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Greek Farro Salad

Greek farro salad, a fresh whole grain salad featuring fresh Mediterranean flavors! - cookieandkate.com

Sometimes recipe concepts sit on my list for months, waiting to be made; sometimes a craving strikes and a corresponding recipe materializes out of thin air. Such is the case with this Greek farro salad. It features bold Mediterranean flavors (lemon, herbs, chickpeas, roasted red peppers and feta), tossed with lots of fresh, peppery arugula and warm, chewy whole grains. Pass me a fork already.

ingredients

The best part? This salad keeps well for two to three days in the fridge, which is always welcome, but especially right now. The seasons are changing here in Kansas City and it’s just too nice outside to stay inside and cook. Let’s soak up all the seventy-degree days we can get!

To that end, I’m keeping this post short and sweet. Do let me know how you like this salad—please comment below and post a photo to Instagram with the hashtag #cookieandkate! I always want to hear/see how my recipes turn out for you.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Greek Farro Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

The Best Birthday Present. Ever. + a Sale!

Paleo Carrot Cake w Maple Cream Cheese Frosting-4

I‘ve been imagining writing this blog post for a long time. Like over 18 months.

Anyway here we are. And I have good news!

So last week I celebrated my birthday. And the best birthday present? Like, Ever?

I’m having another baby!

In February!

Yes, Fergal is going to be a big brother. (He’s really excited too!)

As is the tradition here at Stonesoup, I have a killer birthday cake recipe to celebrate (recipe below).

And a Birthday Sale!

For the next 72 hours*, you can pickup a copy of the 2-Minute Meal Plan for 30% OFF.

Each year I choose a different ebook to celebrate with. This year I wanted to celebrate with the 2-Minute Meal Plan because it’s still the best selling of all my eCookbooks.

And it’s a really unique book as the subtitle says, it’s a revolutionary approach to help YOU plan & cook healthy food fast…

To find out if the 2-Minute Meal Plan is right for you before the Birthday Sale ends go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/2mmp/

ingredient thesaurus logoPLUS! As an added bonus, everyone who buys during the sale will also get a FREE copy of the Stonesoup Ingredient Thesaurus. Which is designed as a go-to guide for when you need to substitute ingredients. You can’t buy this book alone. It’s only available as part of the sale.

Paleo Carrot Cake w Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Paleo Carrot Cake

Since my neighbour Heather gave me the recipe for her Stupidly Easy Banana Bread, I’ve been having a great time experimenting with baking without sugar or stevia and using fruit as a sweetener instead. Lots of fun!

This processed sugar-free cake uses dates pureed with a little water and I must admit, I love it even more than the sugar-laden original recipe! The dates add a lovely caramelly flavour. So good!

enough for 6-8
takes about an hour
200g (7oz) pitted dates
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
250g (8 1/2 oz) almond meal
250g (8 1/2 oz) carrots, coarsely grated

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 20cm (8in) cake pan.

2. Place dates in a heat proof bowl. Cover with 150g (5oz) boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes.

3. Transfer date and the soaking water to your food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste. Stir in the oil, eggs, almond meal and carrots. Mix with a spoon until just combined.

4. Scoop the cake mixture into your pan and bake on the middle shelf for 45-50 minutes or until the cake feels springy when touched and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5. Cool in the tin. Or enjoy warm.

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Variations

nut-free / budget – replace almond meal with 200g (7oz) flour. And expect the baking time to be reduced.

different veg – grated zucchini are lovely or try using the same amount of roasted sweet potato or beets.

no coconut oil – use melted butter or an oil with a neutral flavour.

vegan / egg-free – your favourite egg replacer will probably work. I’d try 2 mashed ripe bananas to start but I haven’t done this yet!

Paleo Carrot Cake w Maple Cream Cheese Frosting-3

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I know this isn’t Paleo but it’s totally my first choice for those rare occasions when I do want to add some frosting to my cake. Normally I’m more of a ‘just serve it with double cream’ kinda girl.

enough for a VERY thick layer 1 x 20cm (8in) cake
500g (1lb) cream cheese
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Remove the cream cheese from the fridge to soften about an hour before you want to make the frosting.

2. Whizz the cream cheese in the food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup and whizz to combine. Taste and add more maple syrup as needed.

3. Spread on your cooled cake.

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Variations

sugar-free – skip the maple syrup or replace with a teaspoon of vanilla extract or the seeds from a vanilla bean pod.

less thick frosting – use half the recipe or make a bigger cake!

paleo / dairy-free – just serve your cake without frosting. Or try chilling a few cans of coconut cream and whipping the solid cream that forms on the top.

Big love,
Jules x

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*ps. If you’re wondering why 72 hours?

At the risk of showing my age, it’s because I was born in 1972. So it’s a special number for me :)

Here’s the sale link again:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/2mmp/

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Spicy Watermelon Margaritas

Spicy watermelon margarita - cookieandkate.com

When your day isn’t going your way, make margaritas! That’s what I say. When six o’clock rolled around yesterday, I satisfied my margarita craving with one of these thoroughly refreshing, sweet-and-spicy watermelon margaritas. They’re the latest in my collection of seasonal margaritas and I implore you to make them while the melons are still here.

watermelon

These margaritas aren’t far off from last summer’s honeydew margaritas. Basically, you scoop the melon into your blender (I used my awesome new Vitamix 5200, thanks Vitamix!). The blender will turn the melon into juice in no time flat. You may or may not want to strain the pulp out of the juice, depending on your watermelon and your personal preferences.

Naturally, the quality of your watermelon makes a huge difference in the flavor of your watermelon juice, so hunt down a good one at the farmers’ market if you can. I’ve found that the best watermelons for juice are any watermelons other than the standard grocery store variety, which is what I used here out of necessity. Boo.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Spicy Watermelon Margaritas appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Creamy Cherry Tomato & Summer Squash Pasta

Super simple and fresh summer pasta recipe - cookieandkate.com

Are you struggling this morning? Me, too. I caught up with family and friends in Oklahoma this weekend, over campfires and Mexican food and deep-dish pizza. It’s been glorious and I’m struggling to get back into work mode. Only have three and a half more days until next weekend!

I made this light but creamy pasta dish before I left town, and I might just make it again when I get back. It’s simple to make, plus it’s loaded with veggies and tastes much more indulgent than it really is. Burst cherry tomato juices, a little bit of butter and goat cheese, and reserved pasta cooking water form the most delicious of sauces.

summer squash and cherry tomatoes

That pasta cooking water is magical, so don’t forget to save some before you drain the pasta. It’s full of starch, which lends a fat-free creaminess to the pasta sauce, and helps the sauce stick to the pasta instead of just running off into your bowl.

We cooked the pasta in a relatively small pot, which meant that we got super concentrated cooking water, which I actually recommend. If Serious Eats says it’s ok, then I can, too, right?! (If you really want to geek out with me, check out “Does Adding Pasta Water Really Make a Difference?,” too. Let’s discuss!)

Continue to the recipe…

The post Creamy Cherry Tomato & Summer Squash Pasta appeared first on Cookie and Kate.