Monday, May 12, 2014

Beef Kaftas with Tahini-Lime Sauce, Lemon Thyme Chicken Skewers and Black Bean Quinoa Salad...

Four more days until Food Revolution Day this Friday... 103 countries and over 124,000 participants have signed up to cook something this day!

This weekend was a busy one. Saturday was my 11th year wedding anniversary and my husband and I celebrated with a fabulous dinner at Ici Bistro, a classic French restaurant in downtown Toronto. For Mother's Day Sunday, we organized a family picnic which my sister and I prepared foods to tote. The main theme was Mediterranean, but it became an eclectic mix of cuisines with my sister's Mexican and Indian goodies. Here were the kebab-type recipes I made to serve with pitas and a variety of fresh toppings:

Beef Kaftas with Tahini-Lime Sauce
Makes 12 kaftas

In medium mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef, 1/2 medium onion, chopped, 1/2 cup mint, chopped and 1/4 cup parsley, chopped. Add 2 jalapenos, finely diced if you like it spicy! Season to taste with salt and pepper. If possible, refrigerate, covered, overnight to let flavours develop. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini with juice of 1 lime and 1/4 tsp. salt. Thin with water to desired texture.

Divide beef mixture and pat into cigar-shaped patties,
each about 1-inch wide and 3 inches long.

Heat oil in skillet, over medium-high heat. In two batches, cook kafta until
browned on all sides and cooked through, about ten minutes. Drain oil.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Skewers
Makes 12 skewers

Marinate 1-1/2 lbs. chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces with 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic and onion powders and 1/4 tsp. paprika. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and add four sprigs of thyme. Refrigerate at least one hour.
Cut off extra fat and cartilage attached to the thighs and discard.

Heat greased barbecue or grill pan to medium heat. Thread chicken 
onto 12 skewers soaked in water for one hour; Grill both sides 
each for eight minutes or until cooked through.

Place the meat in a foil container separated by foil.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad  (my sister's recipe)
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa (she used multicoloured)
2 cups chicken broth
1 garlic smashed
1/3 small red cabbage, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup of can corn, drained
1/2 can (540 mL) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 a container of grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped green onion
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
TIP: add a few dashes of ground chili powder, add cubed cheese of choice such as Monterey Jack or chopped avocado when ready to eat.

1)  Boil the chicken broth with the garlic in a pot.  Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. If quinoa is still wet, cover the lid and cook a little longer. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and pour into a large bowl, toss out the garlic and place in the fridge to cool.

2)  Combine all the vegetables in the quinoa; mix well.  Add the olive oil, cumin, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  Mix until everything is well combined. Adjust seasonings to your taste. TIP: If you find it a bit dry and clumpy, add a little more olive oil, red vinegar and lemon juice.  If it becomes too sour, add more cumin and salt to balance it out.  Refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Great Addition TIP: Add more vegetables if you like such as red pepper, chickpeas, cucumber, or carrots. 

Black Bean Quinoa Salad, fresh veggie platter, Mexican 7-Layer Dip, Samosas

Enjoying all the delicious food on a beautiful Mother's Day at the Bluffs!

Didn't catch any fish on my boys first outing... better luck next time!

On April 28th, Sobeys launched Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party challenging Canadians to host a potluck leading up to Food Revolution Day on May 16. For each photo post of participant's potlucks on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PotluckChallenge and #FRD2014, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward Independence Project. What perfect timing and opportunity for all of us to use this special occasion to mark another! Don't forget to post your potluck photos to help a great program sponsored by Sobey's and to contribute to the Food Revolution!

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