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You can make friends with salad

The other week I invited my friends over to watch the bachelor in paradise and offered to make them dinner. When trying to work out what on earth I should make I realised we had a bunch of lemons and limes in the house that needed to be used so I did a google search for limes and corn and came across this delicious looking recipe for a mexican street corn salad.

When I visited Bali a few years ago my favourite thing to eat was spicy street corn and this recipe while different instantly reminded me of that experience so I had to give it ago. This salad was super easy and really tasty, in fact the girls I made it for liked it so much they both remade it for themselves the following week, if that is not #cookingwin then I don’t know what is.

Like always I did alter the recipe a bit. Because I am lazy I bought frozen corn rather than cutting it from the cob, and I used about 600 grams, I also used 1 whole red capcium and 1 whole green capcium while the reciepe only asks for 1/2 a red one. I also deicded to include some grilled chicken breast and used about 600 grams as well. I totally forgot to get a jalapeno which is a shame and somehow forgot about adding the avocado at the end – going to blame my friends for that one, was too busy talking to them and not thinking about the recipe 😛

I also chose to use yoghurt rather than sour cream and feta cheese rather than cotija cheese. I have actually never heard of cotija cheese and don’t actually think the coles in Canberra sells it .

corn 1

So I started off by cooking the chicken, once that was done I cooked the corn in the same pan so they would also get some of that flavour. I sprinkled some cumin and smoked paprika to the corn while it cooked and my goodness it smelled amazing. Once the corn was done I decided to lightly cook the capcium and onion as well, as I am not really a fan of raw onion. I also added a little of the spices to them while they were cooking.

Next I surprised myself a squeezed the limes into a bowl rather than directly to the mixture so I could scoop out the seeds #learning. I then decided to add the mayo, yogurt and spices into the same bowl and mixed all together before adding to the salad.

corn 2

Probably should have wiped the sides of the bowl before taking a picture ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There was enough for 6 servings so I got to enjoy the salad again for lunch the next day. When I make it next time I think I will add a bit more corn, while there was a lot because of everything else I included it didn’t really remind me of street corn but was a crazy delicious meal!

Corn - plated

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Not fal-awful at all

Not going to lie, I googled falafel puns. I actually feel like a MasterChef right now, I mean I made falafel from scratch! I mean turns out this is insanely simple to do but I will take my cooking wins wherever I find them.

I used a taste.com recipe but made a few changes along the way. Rather than edamame I used peas, simply because I like peas more than edamame, I also replaced the pistachios with almonds due to being allergic to pistachios. Also I used about 4 cloves of garlic not one because garlic is life.

This recipe was super easy to follow, I just chucked everything in the food processor and blended away. It said to add the lemon juice just as everything started to come together. I didn’t really know what that meant but stopped when it looked like the picture below.

Food processor

I did forget to mention above that I doubled this recipe as I was making dinner for a few people to eat while we watched the Bachelor in Paradise, so if you try to make this yourself your food processor may not look so full. I have no idea how much lemon juice I ended up using, roughly 3/4 of a large one. As I was squeezing it in a few seeds feel in the mixture, but I think I got them all out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I also realised at this point I forgot to buy fresh mint, so I just sprinkled a little dried mint in, same difference right?

When everything was all mixed up I started to make little balls and place on the baking tray, they look really pretty but the mixture was super wet, at this point I was quite worried that I had messed it all up.

pre oven

I made 19 falafel balls in total, it was pretty difficult getting them to the same size due to how wet the mixture was. I also cooked them for 30 minutes in total, the recipe says 25-30 and they definitely needed the extra 5 minutes.

Cooked

As you can see they came out looking like weird healthy cookies but my goodness they were tasty!

plated

I chose to mix hummus with the yoghurt for the dressing, and someone also added harissa paste to yoghurt for their dressing both were delicious additions. The falafel had a really great lemony taste and they weren’t too dry.

What I learnt

  • I am a MasterChef 😛
  • Falafel is super easy to make
  • I should squeeze lemon juice into a cup before adding into a dish
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Fully loaded

There is something so cathartic about baking, it really is one of my favourite hobbies. When looking for inspiration I always visit  averiecooks.com if you haven’t checked out her website before you are seriously missing out. However Averie doesn’t just post incredible recipes for cookies and cakes, but also has a large selection for mains as well. Earlier this week I just couldnt find anything to cook that actually interested me so I decided to browse through her collection and came across a seriously tasty looking dish, Loaded Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats.

Even though I decided to be lazy and skip a step by purchasing pre-shredded roast chicken, this meal still took me over an hour from prep to table, but it was definitely worth it. I think it was scooping out the zucchini that took the most time, the first one was especially hard, lucky these are loaded so no one noticed how demented it looked, I did get better and maybe faster the more I did though.

loaded 1

So I actually only made one mistake this time, I completely missed the step where it said to pre-cook the zucchini for 20 minutes before adding the rest of the fillings, oops. It wasn’t until I put the dish in the oven and went to check how long to cook for that I realised my mistake. I ended up just leaving it all in there for 25 minutes, I think the addition of cheese meant that the dish did not dry out.

loaded 3

I will admit that I was super nervous waiting for this to come out, I was scared that it would be both over and undercooked thanks to my mistake.

loaded cooked

When the dish finally came out I was super hungry and excited to give it a try. So excited and hungry in fact that I totally forgot I had guacamole and sour cream sitting in the fridge. I don’t think it was needed in the end anyway

loaded plate

Overall this was a big hit for everyone at home and I will definitely try more reciepes by Averie in the future.

What I learnt:

  • Read the whole recipe before I start cooking
  • Read it all again