| Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple

It’s Monday, it’s Family Day (in BC, at least), the sun is shining, and we have a week of vacation to look forward to!

Our plans for the week include climbing, cooking, cycling (Jonty is finally able to do this after his knee injury!), and generally relaxing – really, all the attributes of a good stay-cation 🙂 | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

Flying home this past weekend, I had a 2-hour layover in LAX, in which I spent a good chunk of that time people-watching. The waiting area was filled with a plethora of highly-tanned / sun-burnt people, wearing shorts, flip-flops and sun hats. Looking at the t-shirts many of them were wearing, I suspect most were coming back from a vacation in Mexico.

I’m convinced that a week, or even a couple of days, of sunshine can do good things for a person’s general well-being, especially if you live on the West Coast, where it’s generally a given that the first few months of the year will be spent in grey, rainy weather.

So if you can’t get away for a few warm days somewhere, this meal might be your next best bet! It’s very colourful, and the taste of grilled pineapple will whisk your taste-buds away to a brighter, more tropical place. At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves 🙂

There’s something very satisfying in the pairing of sweet and spicy; in this case, the grilled pineapple mixed in with the spicy red curry hit the spot. | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

This meal is easy to make and can be a clean-out-the-fridge kind of dinner, using whatever protein and vegetables suit your mood. We used coconut milk and our homemade Thai red curry paste as the base for this curry, and added in chicken and an assortment of veggies. While the curry is simmering away, the farro can be cooked and, just before you’re ready to eat, the pineapple can be grilled. | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

In about 30 minutes, you’ve got a dinner ready that will hopefully whisk you away to a warmer, brighter place (at least, in taste 🙂 ).

Peanut-Coconut Red Thai Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 560
  • Fat: 32.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 22.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.6 g
  • Sugar: 14.6 g
  • Sodium: 217.7 mg
  • Fiber: 6.9 g
  • Protein: 36.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 91.3 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 500 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 can (495mL) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (we used our homemade version)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ¼ whole pineapple, sliced into wedges
  • ½ cup farro
For the farro:
  1. Rinse the farro under running water until the water runs clear. Place into a small sauce pan and add enough water to cover the farro by a few inches.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to low, partially cover and let simmer for ~25 minutes, or until the grain is tender but still has a bite. Drain any water remaining in the pan, and set aside until ready to eat.
For the curry:
  1. Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the coconut milk starts to thicken slightly.
  2. Add the chopped chicken, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper and carrot, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
  5. While the curry is simmering, grill the pineapple pieces. Place the pineapple on a grill pan over medium-high heat for 2 - 4 minutes, until the pineapple starts to caramelize and get the nice sear marks on it. Flip the pieces over and grill for the same amount of time.
To serve:
  1. Spoon some farro into a bowl and laddle the curry over top.
  2. Sprinkle with any remaining cilantro and serve with the grilled pineapple.

Enjoy! | Peanut-coconut red Thai chicken with grilled pineapple

New Meal Monday: Yogurt Beet Dip with Chopped Walnuts

Last weekend we cycled down to the Postmark Brewing tasting-lounge to sample the craft brews and nibble the tapas from their Belgard Kitchen. We decided to try the beet dip and veggie platter, which was worth ordering for the vibrant beet colour, alone, and it was very tasty! We nearly always have some beets in our fridge, so I knew I just had to recreate this at home… so last night I took the plunge and tried it out… it was fantastic! | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

Did you know that beets are nutritional powerhouses? They boast a number of health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. They help to lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and help the body detoxify impurities. Beets (and beet juice) may also help improve physical stamina, which is great for all those active people out there, looking to make the most of their workouts! | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

For this dip, the beets are cooked in the oven for about 45 minutes, then puréed in a blender with some Greek yogurt and a few spices. | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

The colour is incredibly bright and vibrant, it’s almost hard to believe that no horrible food-colouring drops are added! | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

I made this in the afternoon and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before we really dug in. The flavour improved as it sat, so if you can wait, I would suggest the same. We ate ours with a few homemade tortillas, and along-side fish tacos made with sablefish. | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

I can see this dip falling into a regular rotation in our household. The original recipe topped the dip with goat cheese, which would be great, but it’s just great on its own too. | Roasted beet and yogurt | Roasted beet and yogurt dip

New Meal Monday: Yogurt Beet Dip with Chopped Walnuts
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 1.5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.6 g
  • Sugar: 1.9 g
  • Sodium: 16.1 mg
  • Fiber: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 1.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.3 mg
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 - 3 (425 g) medium red beets, trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes (less, if you prefer less spice)
  • ½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp finely-chopped parsley
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Trim the beets, cut them in half and place in a shallow roasting pan. Add a few tablespoons of water, cover loosely with foil and bake for ~45 minutes until tender (a fork should easily pierce the beet pieces). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the beet and place in a food processor, along with the garlic, red chili flakes and yogurt. Blend until well-combined.
  3. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and spices (cumin, oregano, paprika, sea salt and pepper). Blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer into a shallow dish either and sprinkle with walnuts and parsley. Serve with warm bread and veggies.
The flavour improves after resting, so feel free to make this dip well in advance. The dip also freezes well, so we will often make a double batch.


New Meal Monday: Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Mascarpone Cream

Somebody has a birthday today… and it’s not me!

M: What kind of birthday treat would you like this year? I’ve been thinking about it and have some ideas.

J: Oh, nothing fancy, maybe some scones like we had in Leavenworth (with the raspberries and white chocolate)… Well, maybe a cake would be nice… Maybe a sponge or a pound cake? … Chocolate might be nice… Maybe some fruit or something? … But really, anything is just fine…

Now you’re talking! In the words of Tom and Donna, Treat Yo Self! 🙂

The Birthday Cake? A chocolate layered cake with mascarpone cream and raspberries!

I was looking around for a new chocolate cake recipe (because one can never have too many cake recipes…) and many of them called for a cup of freshly brewed coffee, to bring out the flavour of the chocolate. I’ve never tried this before, so figured now was as good a time as any! The cake turned out very chocolate-y, and you cannot taste the coffee at all (if you’re wondering).

The cake recipe I used said the batter would be very thin… and it was. And as I began pouring the batter into the spring-form pans, I started to second-guess my choice of pan. Yup, the batter started leaking out the bottom. QUICK, QUICK, INTO THE OVEN!!! A little bit leaked out, but not as much as I was expecting, cake-crisis deftly averted 🙂

To boost the raspberry flavour, I reduced some raspberries down to a thick purée. While this was cooling, the mascaropone was whipped with icing sugar and a touch of vanilla. | Chocolate raspberry cake with mascarpone cream

First layer topped with mascarpone cream and a layer of raspberry purée.

The result was exactly what I pictured in my mind! The tart berries, rich chocolate and slightly sweet mascarpone meld together in the most fantastic way. | Chocolate raspberry cake with mascarpone cream

The look on Jonty’s face when he saw the cake confirmed that my birthday-cake-vision was a good one. | Chocolate raspberry cake with mascarpone cream

And the taste? Pretty darned good, if I do say so myself! The cake is really moist and has held up well in the fridge for the past few days, as we nibble away on it. This cake recipe is definitely a keeper! | Chocolate raspberry cake with mascarpone cream

Happy Birthday, Jonty!

New Meal Monday: Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Mascarpone Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the cake:
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or boiling water)
For the decorating:
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries, for the top of the cake
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), to reduce into a purée
To make the cake:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and prepare two 8 or 9-inch cake pans (line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease the bottoms and sides). I used spring-form pans, which leaked slightly. If you do the same, make sure you place your cake pans on a cookie sheet to catch the leaks.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make sure any clumps of sugar and cocoa powder are completely broken down.
  3. Add the milk, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the coffee (or water) and stir until just combined. The batter will be very runny. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes our clean.
  5. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, and invert the cakes onto the wire rack to cool completely.
To make the raspberry purée:
  1. Place 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen) into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and reduce them down until they thicken
To make the mascarpone icing:
  1. Whip the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until the icing is nice and fluffy. Taste the icing at this point. We don't like super-sweet icing, so this was good for us. If you prefer a sweeter icing, feel free to add more icing sugar to taste.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Spread half the icing on the bottom cake. Cover with the cooled raspberry purée.
  2. Place the second cake on top and cover this with the remaining icing. Top with whole raspberries.
This cake holds up well, covered in the refrigerator, for 3 or 4 days, but for the best visual appearance, wait until you are serving it before adding the raspberries to the top.


New Meal Monday: Spicy Stout Mustard

While we were traveling, we sought out gastropubs so we could sample local specialties, especially if they brewed their own beer on-site. If food was served, the menu often included a charcuterie platter, highlighting locally-made sausages and cheeses. These platters would have a few types of mustard to accompany the meat, often made using some of their local brews: the flavours were so much better than anything out of a plastic bottle! After leaving Leavenworth, I was inspired to try making our own.

The result? Fantastic!! And so easy! The style of mustard I made took less than 10 minutes in total. Prepared mustard is no more than mustard seeds, a liquid (water, vinegar, beer, etc.), a sugar (honey, sugar, maple syrup, etc.) and a few spices for flavour and colour. | Spicy stout mustard

A few things I learned during my google research:

  1. Yellow (or white) mustard seeds are not as pungent / spicy as black or brown mustard seeds.
  2. A mustard does not get its “kick” until the mustard seeds are broken open and react with a liquid.
  3. A mustard made purely with vinegar will not be as pungent as one made purely with water, but the flavour will last longer (the more acidic the liquid, the longer it will take to break down the mustard enzymes).
  4. A mustard made purely with water will have a very strong kick, but it will not last as long (mustard enzymes break down very quickly).
  5. Using a warm liquid will deactivate the mustard enzymes, making the final result less pungent. Cold liquid will, conversely, keep all enzymes intact and ensure you get a nice, nose-burning condiment.

I took my inspiration from this site. I ended up using a combination of yellow and black mustard seeds, and used a nice stout as well as apple cider vinegar. | Spicy stout mustard

The mustard seeds are mixed with apple cider vinegar and stout and refrigerated overnight.

The next day the stout, sugars and spices are mixed together over medium heat, then blended with the mustard seed mixture. | Spicy stout mustard

That’s it! You have an unbelievably-tasty mustard! | Spicy stout mustard

We’ve made this mustard twice now – mixed it into salads, eaten it on pizza, slathered it on freshly-baked bread… The flavour combinations are endless, and I’m excited to experiment! | Spicy stout | Spicy stout mustard

Spicy Stout Mustard
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 cups
  • Serving size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0.6 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.7 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 73.7 mg
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Condiments
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ⅓ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup black mustard seeds
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup stout, divided
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp ground allspice
  1. Place the mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of stout into a bowl. Mix, cover tightly with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
  2. When ready to make the mustard, add ½ cup of stout, brown sugar, honey, salt, turmeric and allspice to a small sauce pan. While stirring, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a blender, add the mustard seeds with their liquid and the recently cooled mixture. Blend until you reach your desired consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight before use.


New Meal Monday: Soft, Whole Wheat Lavash

One of our regular RV meals while traveling involved wrapping a tonne of veggies and protein into a tortilla. When it was warm outside, we would use raw veggies, grill up some prawns and mix up a quick guacamole. When it was cool, we would sauté the veggies, and add some roast chicken. It was always a quick, but very satisfying all-in-one meal. Somewhere along our travels, Jonty found a packet of lavash, a nice soft flat bread that made the wrap-rolling much easier; when we could find them, this became our wrap-bread of choice!

Now that we’re back at home and have our oven back, I thought I would dust off my bread-baking hands, and make a batch. While I’m no stranger to bread baking, I have never tried making flatbread before. It’s super simple and, as always, is much tastier than the store-bought variety!

The recipe list is short (flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil) and most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise. | Homemade wholewheat lavash

Start by sifting together the flour, salt and yeast. Add in the water and olive oil and mix with the paddle attachment of your mixer (or wooden spoon, if by hand) until combined. If you are using whole-wheat flour, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow it to fully hydrate. | Whole wheat lavash | Whole wheat lavash

Switch to the hook attachment and knead for 5 – 6 minutes (or remove from the bowl and knead with your hands on a floured surface) until the dough becomes soft and pliable. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size. | Homemade wholewheat lavash

Pre-heat your oven to 500°F with an upside down baking tray inside (or feel free to use a pizza stone, if you have one). Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. | Homemade wholewheat lavash

On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll out each piece of dough into a very thin rectangle. Make sure both sides of the dough are floured, as well as your rolling-pin, to prevent sticking. When you think the lavash is rolled thin enough, it’s not – roll it out even more! | Homemade wholewheat lavash

Carefully place the lavash (with the parchment paper) onto the baking tray and bake for 2 to 2.5 minutes, or until the bread starts to bubble and turn brown. | Homemade wholewheat lavash

Leave to cool on a rack, and start with the next lavash. If the bread is for eating later, you can stack the lavash on top of each other as they cool. Once completely cool, place the bread into a plastic bag to keep them soft. They should keep up to 5 days in a bag, without refrigeration. | Whole wheat lavash | Whole wheat lavash

Use as a wrap, filled with your favourite ingredients, or nibble on a piece slathered with peanut butter and honey while you wait for your husband to get come home from work (… if you happen to find yourself in that situation…). | Whole wheat lavash | Whole wheat lavash

Soft Whole Wheat Lavash
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8 lavash
  • Serving size: 1 flatbread
  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 6.3 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.8 g
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 294 mg
  • Fiber: 5.2 g
  • Protein: 7.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Based on the flatbread recipe fromthis site
  • 340 g / 12 oz / 2½ cup Whole-wheat flour
  • 113 g / 4 oz / ¾ cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  1. Sift the flour, salt and yeast together. Add the water and olive oil and use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Let rest for 5 minutes to allow the whole wheat-flour to fully hydrate. Switch the mixer to use the dough hook and knead for 5 - 6 minutes, until the dough is soft and pliable.
  2. Transfer the dough into a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1.5 to 2 hours).
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 500F (or as hot as your oven will go), placing a pizza stone or upside-down rimmed baking tray, onto the centre rack to warm through as well.
  4. Section the dough into 8 equal portions. On a well-floured piece of parchment paper, roll one portion of dough into a very thin rectangle. Carefully place the dough and parchment paper onto the baking sheet. Bake for 2 to 2.5 minutes, or until the lavash has bubbled and browned slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
Eat them right away, or cool and stack them and place them into a plastic bag, to avoid them drying out. These should keep up to 5 days on the counter, in a plastic bag.