Balinese Satay Chicken & Coconut Peanut Sauce

Coming to you is another travel inspired, globe trotting recipe immersed with Balinese culture and flavors! My recent trip to Bali this January was filled with a lot of culinary experiences, which included cafes to hidden gem restaurants! I once again had to reminisce back on every meal I loved and decipher which I wanted to bring to your plate. This, as you can imagine, was down right impossible! To choose from all the goodness Bali had to offer was certainly tough! But my mind kept going back to my first dinner on the East coast of Bali, a simple Chicken Satay, AKA, Sate Lilit Ayam. So that’s what it came down too, a beautiful way to share food and fill your belly is my version of a Balinese Satay Chicken & Coconut Peanut Sauce.

Bali has an intriguing combination of historical culinary influences, the cuisine consists of traditional Indonesian flavours, combined with Chinese and Indian flares. It is so apparent in the popular rice & curry dishes you can find in traditional restaurants. This stunning island is also populated with plenty of cafes and restaurants catered towards tourists. Some offer foreign flavours, some have poorly executed bland Balinese food, while others have beautifully melded new age modernized dishes with old school Balinese flavours which created magic.

The coffee industry in Bali has always been booming but cafes are bringing their robust beans to the next level. We loved taste testing every cup of java and cafe hopping! Beware of the coffee plantation tours and insane prices at the end of them. They boast their Luwak coffee (an animal which eats the coffee bean, then poops it out, yes poops it out!) It is quite the delicacy, but most of the Luwak beans we found out were fake and extremely over priced. These tours were an immersion into their coffee culture, but with caged up Luwak’s and insane prices in their boutiques, we had better luck buying real sumptuous coffee at Seniman Coffee in UBUD.

Our typical daily meals were starting the days with a cup of delectable floral coffee, fresh & sweet tropical fruit or bright smoothie bowls. After much exploring, snorkelling, monkey forests, temples, bike riding, waterfalls and rice fields, we would be famished. Lunch usually consisted of satays, fried rice, fresh coconut curries, laska soups, veggie bowls while sipping on fresh coconut water or lassi smoothies. Dinner was usually lighter with some grilled fish, veggie slaws, more fresh fruit and our favorite dessert, sticky rice pudding to end the day perfectly!

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of Balinese food, I’m so thrilled to bring you my take on satay! My Balinese Satay Chicken & Coconut Peanut Sauce is perfect for sharing and bringing together those you love. Full of savoury spices with a rich peanut sauce to mop up with perfectly grilled chicken satay. Time to get the grill going again as summer nears again, although I BBQ in the snow, as most Canadians do, hehe! Alright, here is the recipe!

Here is your shopping list:

Ingredients:

15-20 Bamboo skewers – soaked

For the Chicken Marinade:

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 chicken breasts – cut into long thin slices

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp fresh ginger (or dried)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp tamarind (gluten free) or soy sauce

1 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut

For the Peanut Sauce:

3 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp tamari

1/2 tbsp lime juice

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/3 cup coconut milk

1 red chili finely diced

2 tsp honey (I used Drizzle’s Turmeric Honey)

1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Get Cooking:

Get your bamboo skewers soaking in water to avoid them burning on the grill.

Start by cutting your chicken breasts into long thin strips, thick enough to thread onto your bamboo skewer lengthwise.

Add all your marinade ingredients into a food processor or I pulled out my mortar and pestle and got smashing! Blend until marinade smooth and pour over chicken strips in a bowl, allow them to marinade as you make the peanut sauce.

For the peanut sauce heat your sesame oil over medium low heat, then add peanuts, garlic, chili’s and coconut, stir and heat for 3-5 minutes. Once fragrant, add your tamari, peanut butter, honey and coconut milk, stir and heat for another 5 minutes, add lime juice to finish. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

Next, take your soaked bamboo sticks and thread your chicken on, weave the stick through a couple times. Heat grill to 400 degrees, make sure your grill is oiled and put your chicken sticks on, cook approximately 5 minutes per side, flip and cook another 4-5 minutes or until done.

Pile up your chicken satay sticks, you can toss some cilantro and green onion on them and have your peanut sauce ready for dipping. My Balinese Chicken Satay with Peanut Coconut Sauce makes an amazing appetizer and great for social finger food! Get ready to be transported to Bali!

I cannot wait for you guys to try these little chicken sticks of DELICIOUSNESS! I love hearing from you guys and thank you for your continued following and support, it’s beautifully overwhelming, XOXO.

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A Taste of India – Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl

I am finally getting a chance to sit down and reminisce a little bit about my trip to India! Most of you know I had the opportunity to go for a medical mission in the Bengal region of India, I also had some time to explore the region as well as the excitement of the city of Kolkata. The seriously incredible cuisine and the beautiful hospitality of the Indian people has truly transformed me! As well, it’s what you’ve all been waiting and asking for… I am bringing you a delicious recipe that will bring India to your own table, no need for the 2 days of travel! It was ridiculously difficult to know where to begin on what recipe to create, there are so many flavours and dishes that I fell in absolute love with in India, choosing just one to bring to you today seemed literally impossible. In the end I decided to keep it simple and traditional with a dahl, a Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl to be more precise!

You are probably wondering, what the heck is dahl!? Dahl is a very common dish in India, usually served at pretty much every meal and incorporates some type of legume such as lentils, split peas or beans, it is then transformed into a punch you in the face (in a good way) with flavour, stew or soup! The flavours and presentation of dahl changes greatly from region to region in India, I was in the Bengal region and a lot of the dahl had a sweet undertone with coconut influence. I LOVE LOVE coconut and decided to elevate this recipe by adding shredded coconut to the stew itself, as well as start with some coconut oil for richness and finish with some hearty coconut milk for depth. I am so thrilled to share this Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl recipe with all of you, it turned out better than I could have expected!

I’m sure you have all had Indian food locally before (if you haven’t, drop what you are doing and go, now!) they are truly masters of spice and flavour combinations. The depth of flavour and complex layers in each dish fascinate me every time I take a bite, I am always mesmerized on how so many spices in a dish can meld and compliment one another, creating and delivering such a perfect bite! One of my main goals was to stock up on local spices in the markets, I hit the jackpot in the Kolkata wholesale market! My friend and I bought years worth of spices for around $10, my suitcase smelled of a fragrant spice bazaar everywhere I went thereafter, I’m surprised I got through the airport at all!

So back to the Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl I have created for all of you to try! I realize not all of you just lugged pounds of foreign spice back and you may not have an overly developed spice pantry, so I tried to keep the spice count as minimal in this recipe as I could, without sacrificing the flavour. So hopefully most of you can try and fall in love with this Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl recipe I have come up with! Dahl is typically eaten with a flatbread of some kind, na’an or roti are popular, as well as rice, to assist you in mopping up every last drop of succulent dahl on your plate! I had it for dinner over top of butter sautéed kale and it did not disappoint, so good. So here is the recipe and how to make it, in 30 minutes you’ll have yourself an Indian Red Lentil Coconut Kale Dahl feast!

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings:

1 cup dried red lentils – rinsed & drained

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seed or 1/2 tsp dried cumin powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder

2 green cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp red chili powder

2 cloves garlic – thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 medium yellow onion – diced

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup lite coconut milk

Large handful of chopped kale

Get Cooking: 

5 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time.

Heat coconut oil in deep sauce pot over medium/low heat.

Add all your spices except garlic, bay leaf & salt, sauté until fragrant approximately 2 minutes. Watch these closely, spices burn easily!

Add diced onion & salt to spices, saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft.

Add thinly sliced garlic and shredded coconut to mixture, sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add rinsed lentils, mix until well combined.

Pour in your stock and coconut milk, mix thoroughly, add your bay leaf & kale, bring to a boil then decreased heat to simmer, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until your lentils are soft and a thick stew has formed.

Serve with your fav vessel to mop up all that flavour! Flat bread or rice, or some sautéed spinach/kale. Keeps very well in the fridge for a few days.

I hope I have brought a little taste of India to your plates, if you love it, share it with those you love! Thanks for trying my recipes and all your support in my food & travel blogging journey. Feel free to share on Facebook or Instagram! XOXO

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Zuchinni Mint Moroccan Soup

Soup season is upon us! I am that person that could actually eat soup everyday for a week, or even month and wouldn’t get sick of all soup has to offer. Growing up I had the luxury of eating my mom’s many delicious soup varieties and I find myself craving my mom’s vegetable soup on cold days, or any day for that matter. I decided to create a soup that was inspired by a zucchini soup I slurped up in Fez, Morocco, a few months back, the insane amount of zucchini’s and mint that my garden spat up this year were also inspiration! I love traditional Moroccan spices and the Moroccan’s have a way of pairing these with mint ever so well, I thought, maybe I can try! Well, I’d say my Zucchini Mint Moroccan Soup is a perfect balance of those warm spices and a little hint of freshness.

During my recent trip to Fez, Morocco, I had gotten lost in the medina’s winding and never-ending roads, every corner looks similar and it is extremely easy to lose your sense of navigation! I had been walking and bartering all day and my stomach was grumbling, I had made up my mind to try to get back to my riad (hotel) and I would order dinner from the chef there. Well, minute after minute I was finding myself not recognizing anything and seemingly feeling more lost than ever and then I noticed a small sign pointing me towards, The Ruined Garden, it caught my eye and senses for some reason and I thought, what the heck, let’s check it out. Turned out to be one of my favorite food finds during my trip in Fez! This stunning restaurant was truly a secret garden, an old refurbished merchant’s house made into a dreamy café/restaurant which also housed a bread making school! The menu was exciting and I wanted to try it all! I started with a zucchini soup, so beautifully seasoned and creamy, I still think of it to this day. I knew in the right time I had to try to create a version of this soup, well what better time when my garden grew plenty of juicy and flavorful zucchini. This Zucchini Mint Moroccan Soup is perfect to cozy up with and pair with a thick slice of bread with fresh avocado smothered on it, YUM!
Another reason I adore soup, most of them take less than 30 minutes and you’ve got meals for a couple of days at least. With just a few ingredients and no more than 30 minutes, you’ll have a pot of Zucchini Mint Moroccan Soup to curl up with as well!

Here is what you will need to make 4 large servings:

1 tbsp olive oil or oil of your choice (I use avocado oil)

1 medium yellow onion – chopped

1-2 garlic cloves – crushed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

3/4 tsp turmeric

1.5 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

4 medium zucchini’s (approximately 5 cups) – chopped

4 cups of water

5 fresh medium mint leaves – diced

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Get cooking!

Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat.

Add chopped onions and garlic, stir frequently, saute/sweat for approximately 5 minutes.

Add all your spices to the bottom of the pot and let them heat up, 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add your chopped zucchini and mint, stir well, allow this mixture to cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add your water, bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.

If you have a hand-held soup blender, perfect, blend up your soup in the pot until creamy. If you don’t (which I do not), ladle your soup carefully into your blender (it’s hot, be careful!) and blend on high until creamy, then pour back into your pot.

Add your fresh lemon juice, any needed salt & pepper, toast of that bread and mop that soup up!

Hope you all love my Moroccan Inspired Zucchini Mint Soup, let me know what you think when you make it! Tag me on Instagram of Facebook, I’d love to hear from you, xoxo!

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