Category Archives: Dining

Categories Dining, Recipes

One-pot Chicken and Potatoes Stew

One-pot Chicken and Potatoes Stew

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
Quick prep. One pot. No mess. Now place the lid on and go do your things while it cooks. Double the amount to have leftovers and an amazing sauce to have with rice once the potatoes are all gone. This is a staple dish in our home and I have probably made it 500 times over the years.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins

Equipment

  • A wide, large pot
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup cooking oil of choice
  • 8 Drumsticks or chicken thighs, with skin and bones washed and pat dried
  • 4 potatoes cut into 8 pieces each
  • 1 large onion sliced into 8 chunks
  • 2-3 carrots chopped into 8 pieces each
  • 4 cloves of garlic smashed
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
  • When oil is warm, carefully add in the onion and cook until softened, inserting a large fork into each piece to separate the onion layers.
  • Add the chicken parts and fry until one side is lightly golden. Turn the pieces to fry the other side until lightly golden.
  • Add in the smashed garlic and carrot pieces. Give it a quick stir and add the soy sauce and 1 cup of water. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the tomato paste and spices. Please taste before adding more salt as the soy sauce is already salty. Add water just to barely cover the chicken parts. Stir to allow the water, tomato paste and spices to mix well.
  • Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, and add water to barely cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Taste the liquid to see if more salt is required.
  • Simmer for additional 45 minutes until the liquids have reduced a bit and the potatoes are softened.
  • When the stew is ready, sprinkle some parsley, if using, and serve hot.

Notes

You can omit the potatoes and simply cook the chicken parts until they are very soft. Meanwhile, cook some rice in a separate pot and serve the stew over rice.
Categories Dining, Recipes

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
If I had to choose one food that I could eat quite often, it would be Pizza. I enjoy making the dough from scratch at home, choosing toppings from what I can find in the fridge. Plus it does not get fresher than that. I love the sizzly sounds as it comes out of the oven and the endless options I have for toppings. Making homemade pizza is easier than you may think and worth the effort.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • Mixer - optional
  • A large bowl
  • A cookie sheet or pizza stone - optional

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams 00 pizza flour or unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1-1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large jar tomato/pizza/pasta sauce of choice
  • 300 grams grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • ½ onion very thinly sliced, layer separated
  • Good quality dried oregano

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, place 1 cup of warm water. To ensure the temperature is proper for the yeast and warm enough, you should be able to safely and comfortably dip your finger in the warm water for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast or sprinkle the dry yeast onto the water. Mix with a fork. Let sit until frothy (about 10 minutes).
  • In the mixer bowl with a kneading hook (or in a large bowl if you have no access to a mixer) place the flour and olive oil.
  • Once the yeast has some froth at the top, begin mixing the flour and oil at low speed, slowly pouring the yeast mixture into the flour. After about 1 minute add the salt and continue kneading until a ball is formed, which is a little sticky. If it is too wet or sticky, add a little flour. If too dry, add a bit more warm water.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. Remove the dough hook. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a clean, slightly wet kitchen towel. Place at a warm spot and allow to rise for about 60-80 minutes until doubled in volume. If kneading by hand, place in a large bowl and cover.
  • Once the dough has doubled remove the plastic cover or towel. Prepare a surface to roll the dough on, sprinkled with flour to avoid sticking to the surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts and begin rolling each section into a thin layer.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. If using a pizza stone, place it in the cool oven and heat them together. If using a cookie sheet, sprinkle some flour on the cookie sheet. Place the dough on the cookie sheet or heated pizza stone.
  • Spread ¼ of the pizza sauce on the dough. Top with ¼ of the thinly sliced onion, oregano, and mozzarella. Sprinkle ¼ of the Parmesan cheese last.
  • Place in the bottom rack in the oven and bake for about 10-20 minutes until cheese is golden and the dough is cooked (time depends on the thickness of dough and if using a cookie sheet or pizza stone).
  • Repeat with the other 3 pizza doughs.
  • This pizza freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for up to a month in an air-tight container. When ready to enjoy a slice of pizza, remove the desired amount from the container and place in a preheated oven to 350 F until the pizza is hot.

Notes

Feel free to add your favourite toppings. Overloading the pizza with topping may result in soggy pizza dough. My favourite toppings are onion, sweet potato (cubed and roasted) and goat cheese in addition to the basics offered here.
You can omit the tomato sauce, replacing it with a generous coating of olive oil before placing the toppings.
Categories Dining, Recipes

The world’s quickest vegetarian meal

The world’s quickest vegetarian meal

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • A medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl
  • A large plate or lid to cover the bowl
  • A medium-sized pot
  • Fork

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry couscous fine or medium
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water boiling
  • 1 can organic chickpeas or beans of choice
  • 1 jar high-quality, organic pasta sauce, 650 ml
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place the dry couscous in a medium bowl. Add the salt and olive oil. Mix well with a fork until all the couscous turns a bit shiny.
  • Add the boiling water, quickly stir with a fork and cover with a large plate, lid or plastic wrap. Bowl must be completely covered. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, pour the pasta sauce into a pot and bring to simmer. Add drained chickpeas or beans and mix. Bring to simmer again. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed, to taste.
  • With a fork, fluff the prepared couscous to separate the grains as much as possible.
  • To serve, place the desired amount of couscous in a small bowl, top with the prepared sauce.

Notes

For a spicier version, replace the pasta sauce with an Indian-style cooking sauce such as Tikka Masala sauce or a prepared sauce for butter chicken (a vegetarian version).
Categories Dining, Recipes

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
It’s a chilly evening, and you are craving a super quick, easy-to-make dish that will satisfy your hunger, nourish you and, most importantly, be delicious. I give you one of my favourite soups to make and eat. It’s high in fibre, satisfying, delicious and super-quick to prepare. Plus it’s vegetarian!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • A medium-sized pot
  • A sharp knife
  • Serving bowls

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 litre carrot juice or water
  • ½ cup red lentils thoroughly washed and drained of access water
  • Optional your favourite chopped herbs

Instructions
 

  • In a pot, heat olive oil. Add the onion and saute until the onion turns translucent. Add garlic, celery, ginger and carrots. Cook until softens.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes until lentils are soft.
  • If the soup is too thick, add some more carrot juice or water.
  • Adjust spices to taste.
  • To serve, place the desired amount in a serving bowl and garnish with your favourite herbs, such as cilantro, basil, parsley, dill or mint.

Notes

For a spicier version, while mixing in the spices add some chilli flakes or a bit of chilli pepper powder.
The quantities here are for about 4 servings. You can double all ingredients to have more as this soup is great the next day too.
Categories Dining, Recipes, Snacking

High-Protein Oat Pancakes

High-Protein Oat Pancakes

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
As a mother to two athletic boys and as an active person myself, I had to find creative ways to incorporate more protein in each meal. Here is an easy way to turn a breakfast favourite into a high-protein meal that will keep anyone feeling fuller for longer. You can make these pancakes gluten-free if you ensure the ingredients provided are GF such as the oats and the baking powder.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 39 mins

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Frying pan
  • Small ladle
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups large oats (GF if preferred)
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup water or milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder (GF if preferred)
  • Coconut oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Place oats in a food processor or blender and process until the texture resembles sand.
  • Peel the bananas and chop them into bite-size pieces. Add to the processed oats.
  • Add the eggs, yogurt, water or milk, honey or maple, and salt and blend until smooth.
  • Add the baking powder and blend for another 20 seconds. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Mixture should be slightly runny and not too thick. Add more liquid if necessary.
  • Heat a large flat frying pan or a pancake pan on medium-high heat. Place a teaspoon of coconut oil in the pan and let it melt. With a heat-proof baking brush, spread the oil to cover the cooking surface of the pan.
  • With the ladle, place the desired amount of pancake mixture and fry until a few small bubbles form at the top of the pancake, and the bottom is golden-brown. Flip the pancake and fry for another minute on the other side.
  • Place the cooked pancakes on a dish and cover them with tin foil to keep warm while the other pancakes are being cooked.
  • Repeat the frying process with the rest of the mixture.

Notes

These pancakes are more on the neutral side - not sweet or salty, so any toppings of your choice would work well. Here are some options:
Maple syrup, honey, Blueberry sauce, whipped ricotta, nut butter, chocolate sauce, cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, desiccated coconut or coconut flakes.
Categories Dining, Recipes

Epic & Colourful Summer Salad

Epic & Colourful Summer Salad

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
I hereby give you your new go-to summer salad. Seriously, it doesn’t get better than this. This salad truly has it all - it’s filling, crunchy, satisfying and colourful. For lunch or as a side for dinner, you pick!
This vegetarian salad provides a nice balance between healthy carbs, fats and protein. It is high in fibre, good nutrients, and the whole family can enjoy it.
Bonus: If you don’t have a certain vegetable, just swap it with whatever you have in the fridge.
Prep Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chilled, cooked grain of choice: quinoa, whole-wheat couscous or bulgur
  • ½ can pre-cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper cubed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cubed
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 Roma tomatoes cubed
  • ½ cup fresh peas
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • Black olives pitted and halved, optional
  • Dried cranberries or raisins optional for some sweetness

Dressing

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Begin with preparing the dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a jar, close with a lid and shake until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, place the chilled grain of choice, chickpeas, bell peppers, carrot, tomatoes, fresh peas and parsley.
  • With a tablespoon, mix all ingredients. If adding black olives, cranberries or raisins, add them now and mix.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow the flavours to set.
Categories Dining, Recipes

Classic Chickpea Hummus

Classic Chickpea Hummus

Author Shani - Lemon Tree Nutrition
Chickpea hummus is a staple in Middle-Eastern cuisine. Chickpeas are high in fibre, complex carbs, plant protein, vitamins and minerals. Pair it with some veggie sticks or whole wheat pita bread and you got yourself a nutritious and satisfying snack or even a meal.
Bored with regular chickpea hummus? Look at the notes for optional flavours and colours.
*Please note this dish contains sesame paste.
Cook Time 20 mins

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can pre-cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup Tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped or ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • warm water

Instructions
 

  • Place the canned chickpeas in a colander, drain juices and rinse well with tap water.
  • Place drained chickpeas in a food processor or a blender and blend for 30 seconds just to break up the chickpeas a little.
  • Add Tahini (sesame paste), garlic, salt, cumin and lemon juice.
  • Add 1/2 cup of warm water and process/blend to a smooth consistency, scraping the sides and adding a bit more water until desired texture has been achieved. The ideal texture would be silky. Please note, the hummus gets firmer after a while. If you have added too much water, add one tablespoon of Tahini at a time until preferred consistency has been achieved.
  • Taste the hummus and fix seasoning if required. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Leftover should be kept in an air-tight glass container in the fridge, for about 2 days.

Notes

Here are some delicious modifications to your hummus:
  • Roasted peppers Hummus- Before starting the blending process, add 1 roasted red pepper.
  • Pink Hummus - Before starting the blending process, add 1 small cooked cubed beet.
  • Bean dip - Replace cooked chickpeas with cooked white beans.
Serving options:
  • With whole wheat pita bread (classic in the Middle East); veggie sticks; or even diluted with some extra water to turn into a dressing to drizzle over greens.
  • Middle Eastern style serving - In a small plate, spread 2 tablespoons of fresh hummus in a circular way (view picture), drizzle with a bit of olive oil, garnish with some whole cooked chickpeas, and sprinkle a bit of sweet paprika and chopped parsley on top.