POTATO AND PUMPKIN SOUP :

It’s Friday afternoon and my phone says it’s currently nineteen degrees Celsius here in Nairobi. In no way I’m I thrilled about this current weather we are having. Just last month I was complaining about the heat and now it’s a whole different struggle.

The weather took its toll on me and I was not spared from the terrible cold but luckily I’m back and healthy and ready to get back in my element which is cooking and getting lost in the kitchen. I hope you are keeping warm wherever you are and here is a nice warm soup recipe to keep you cozy over the next cold days of March. Let’s get cooking :

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 slice of pumpkin
  • 7 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Thumb size ginger
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dhana jeera (1/2 coriander, 1/2 cumin)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil or butter for cooking.

PROCESS:

  1. wash and clean your pumpkin, potatoes and carrots then chop into small pieces. No need to be precise because we are going to blend this later on.
  2. In a pot, add your oil/butter and your onions, garlic, ginger and carrots. Next add your turmeric and cayenne and cook for two minutes on medium high heat.
  3. Next up add your potatoes and pumpkin. Proceed to season with paprika and cinnamon. Add your tomato paste too and stir until well combined. Add your salt and pepper and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add two cups of water into your pot or until the potatoes and pumpkin are completely under water. Be careful here. You don’t want to put too much water if you don’t want thin soup. You can always go back and add water if it’s not enough while it cooks. I went back with one more cup of water since it was running out in the pot and the potatoes were not yet soft.
  5. Cover your pot and let this cook for five to seven minutes or until you can pierce the pumpkin or potatoes easily with a fork or knife.
  6. Once cooked, set the pot aside and let it cool before blending since blending extremely hot foods is dangerous. You can as well skip the blending and eat your soup as it is but I love my soups blended. Once cooled, pour all of your pot contents into the blender and blend to your preferred consistency, whether smooth or chunky. I like mine extremely smooth and thick so that is how I blended mine.
  7. Next, you can always go ahead and reheat it in the pot if it got too cold while cooling then serve.
  8. Garnish your soup with pumpkin seeds and a small dollop of cream. Go ahead and be extra and add fresh coriander leaves and enjoy! Might I suggest, eat this in your bed and you’ll forget how cold it is outside.

RELATED POSTS:

  1. Carrot and ginger soup
  2. Tomato soup

LOVE, C&C.

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HOMEMADE MANGO SYRUP

IMG_20171209_201602_588.jpgBeing a person that takes their breakfast seriously, I wanted a homemade syrup that would go well with my pancakes and toast. I usually go for honey for pancakes but this mango syrup blew my mind. We are in the mango season here in Nairobi and this is one of the recipes I came up with using mangoes before they become scarce again.

Once you are done making this syrup, I kid you not you will want to grab a straw and drink it all at once because it’s just that good. Let’s get cooking:

INGREDIENTS:IMG_20171209_193946_131.jpg

  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar/honey
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Lemon zest from one lemon

PROCEDURE:

  1. Clean and chop your mango then add in a sufuria/pot. Next add your sugar/honey .IMG_20171209_182212_121.jpg
  2. Add half a cup of water then proceed to put the sufuria on high heat. Once it starts simmering, add your lemon juice and lemon zest then turn your heat on completely low, cover it and let it come to a boil.
  3. Stir your mangoes occasionally or after every five minutes and mashing them using a fork or potato masher to release their juices. Cook the mangoes for a total of 20 minutes on low heat.
  4. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let it cool. Once it has cooled give it a quick blitz in your blender if you want a thicker syrup. This also helps blend all the extra pulp. You can also run it through a fine sieve to get rid of the pulp.IMG_20171209_182909_934.jpg
  5. Store any extra syrup in containers and feel free to add a generous amount of your mango syrup on everything you eat. Brb, I’ve got to make french toast that would go so well with this 😉 Enjoy!IMG_20171209_201602_588.jpg

LOVE,C&C.

 

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE BOWL:

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Let me just say that this tropical smoothie bowl tasted like a well deserved vacation. So my mom had recently traveled to the coast and when she came back she came with plenty of coconuts for us. I can’t begin to tell you the number of recipes my brain was coming up with once I laid my eyes on them. I had to of course make a smoothie out of one of the coconuts as the last one in honor of my November smoothie bowl month.

I added more tropical fruits such as mango, pawpaw and pineapple to give it more of a tropical taste and I must say the fruits blended in so well together and the coconut added a rich flavour. I had this for lunch and not in the morning like I usually do because I am currently reading for my exams and with little time to cook in a day that there are no leftovers to warm up, the blender comes in really handy.

INGREDIENTS:IMG_20171127_175627_428.jpg

  • Half a coconut
  • 1/2 a cup of fresh coconut water
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 slice papaw
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 large mango
  • 1/4 cup of nuts
  • 1/4 slice pineapple

PROCEDURE:

  1. Carefully crack open your coconut. Once the coconut cracks, immediately put it over a cup to fetch all the fresh coconut water from inside. Once all the coconut water has drained,proceed to crack it open to reveal the inside and scrape out all the coconut meat as much as you can. You can as well get the grocer who sold you the coconut to do this for you. They usually do it for free.IMG_20171127_180454_512.jpg
  2. Next, add your coconut water into the blender before adding all the rest of your ingredients in the blender. The coconut water will be the base of our smoothie and the only liquid we will be using. If the smoothie will be too thick for you, you can add a little bit of water or milk. Blend until smooth.IMG_20171127_181050_693.jpg
  3. Once everything is all blended together, serve in your favourite bowl. Add your favourite toppings such as bananas, mangoes and coconut and enjoy your vacation like tropical smoothie.IMG_20171127_185407_078.jpg

I would really love to know if you enjoyed this smoothie bowl series and if you would want more smoothie bowl recipes. Also let me know if you got to try out any of the smoothie bowls and which one was your favorite. In case you missed any here’s a recap:

  1. Beetroot and mango smoothie bowl
  2. Dreamy papaya smoothie bowl
  3. Green smoothie bowl
  4. Sunny melon

LOVE, C&C

SUNNY MELON:

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I really love it when i get to play around with available ingredients in the house and the results turn out to be more than i expected. One of my favourite fruits has to be the watermelon. You know, the juicy kind with the right amount of sugary sweetness that is guaranteed to quench your thirst on any given sunny day.

This sunny melon came in handy last weekend (with just the right amount of balanced sweetness and tanginess) when it was all sunny and warm unlike the weather we are having right now because as i write this, it is raining heavily outside and all I want to do right now is crawl back in bed. I would highly recommend that you enjoy this on a hot afternoon but hey, the cold never bothered us, right? Let’s get to it:

INGREDIENTS:

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  • Half a watermelon
  • One cucumber
  • Quarter slice pineapple
  • One lemon
  • Two oranges
  • Thumb sized ginger

PROCEDURE:

  1. Clean all your ingredients thoroughly and add all of them to your blender. Ensure that you get rid of the skins completely to avoid unwanted bitterness. You will notice that I did not add any liquid to this because the watermelon is such a succulent fruit that will provide enough natural juice to keep the blender going. You can add a small amount of water if you so wish.IMG_20171118_204008_307.jpg
  2. Once everything has blended together, you can proceed to enjoy your smoothie but personally I did not like the extra pulp that was left so i proceeded to sieve out the pulp and after sieving I was left with the juice.IMG_20171118_204130_544.jpg
  3. You can proceed to enjoy this immediately or you can let this sit in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes before serving cold on a hot day. Enjoy!IMG_20171118_230246_590.jpg

LOVE, C&C.


 

GREEN SMOOTHIE BOWL

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It’s a cold Sunday morning and i’m in the kitchen making a breakfast smoothie. Once I was done, I went to ask my brother if he wanted some and he said yes. He followed me into the kitchen and once he saw the green coloured smoothie in the blender, he changed his mind. This is a common reaction among my friends and family. Green smoothie bowls or green juices immediately turn them off even before they get to taste them unlike bright coloured smoothies such as my Dreamy Papaya smoothie bowl or beetroot and mango smoothie bowl

There is no major secret when it comes to making a green smoothie delicious. You just have to play around with fruits and vegetables to balance the taste out and not have your smoothie taste like my sister would say, “blended grass”. Fruits such as bananas or apples add a sweet kick to smoothies but be careful not to go overboard with the sweet fruits. This is because it is somewhat equivalent to feeding your body nothing but sugar and that is where the greens come in to balance everything. With that said, let’s get to it:

INGREDIENTS:IMG_20171112_195447_032.jpg

 

  • 3 kale leaves
  • 3 spinach leaves
  • Half an avocado
  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • Half a cup of milk.
  • A handful of nuts
  • Half a mango

PROCEDURE:

  1. Add all your ingredients into the smoothie and blend until you reach your preferred consistency.IMG_20171112_195717_351.jpg
  2. Pour your smoothie into your bowl.
  3. Proceed to add your favourite toppings and enjoy. 

LOVE, C&C.

BEETROOT AND MANGO SMOOTHIE BOWL

I love breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day and I never hesitate coming up with something savoury or sweet in the morning. On this particular day I wanted something sweet yet healthy and it’s during such times I resort to smoothies like this kale and strawberry smoothie bowl I made last month. I immediately fell in love with this beet and mango smoothie just because of its colour even before tasting it, hence I named It Pretty In Pink after the 1986 romantic film.

 Beetroots contain valuable nutrients that help in fighting cancer, detoxification and boost your stamina. I personally don’t like eating beets all plain so i was quite happy to find a way to incorporate it into my diet. Let’s get to it:

INGREDIENTS :

  •  one beetroot 
  • Two bananas
  • One mango
  • Half an avocado
  • Half a cup of milk/or plain yogurt.

for the toppings: (optional) 

  • Diced mango slices
  • Banana slices
  • Crushed nuts (optional)
  • Chia seeds (optional)

PROCEDURE :

  1. wash and clean all of your ingredients and add all of them into a blender starting with the milk to give the blender blades a good and smooth rotation when blending. 
  2. Pour your smoothie into a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy! 

Love, C&C.

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

I love snacking. I’m the type of person who always craves crisps or popcorn almost everyday. This is not a healthy habit and that is why I decided to replace these said snacks with healthier options such as these chicken lettuce wraps.

This is a really light snack that carries a lot of flavors from the chicken and the lettuce. Apart from being a snack, it is also serves as a good appetizer for your guests if you decide to have a party or gathering at your home. Let’s get cooking:

INGREDIENTS:

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  • Chicken breast
  • One head of lettuce
  • One red onion
  • Three cloves of Garlic(finely chopped)
  • Thumb size grated ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • Two tomatoes (for garnishing)
  • Spring onions (for garnishing)
  • Two carrots (finely diced)

For the seasoning:

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  • One tablespoon of garlic powder
  • One tablespoon of soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of honey
  • one tablespoon of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE:

  1. Clean and chop your chicken breast into bite size pieces.IMG_20170822_233016_020.jpg
  2. Heat your oil in a pan and cook the chicken on medium high heat until brown and tender.IMG_20170822_233030_801.jpg
  3. While the chicken is cooking, whisk your honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, grated ginger, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a bowl until all combined then set aside.IMG_20170822_233042_212.jpg
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside on a plate and on the same pan add about a tablespoon of oil and cook your garlic and carrots until the garlic is transparent or fragrant.IMG_20170822_233052_774.jpg
  5. Next add your cooked chicken followed by the seasoning we had made earlier and toss the chicken in the mixture. Let this cook on low heat for about four minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors.IMG_20170822_233114_676.jpg
  6. Once the chicken is cooked and done, turn off the heat and prepare your lettuce leaves. I put two leaves on top of each other then served the chicken on top followed by a garnishing of carrots, onions and tomatoes. Enjoy!IMG_20170822_232839_968.jpg

LOVE, C&C.