When you want to eat something like chips and dip but you want it to feel super healthy. YOU MAKE THIS!
Also known as: I think I will be a bird in my next life because I really love eating seeds of all kinds. Baking with seeds makes me happy and this recipe makes me especially happy because you can use whatever seeds you have on hand, along with a large helping of super-good-for-you flaxseeds.
Homemade crackers full of crunchy healthy seeds, and a mashed up bean dip topped with feta and cilantro to feed your healthy munchy fix. This is a tasty snack BUT it's also something you can feel good about because:
I like to have both whole flaxseeds and ground flax on hand to use for different purposes. Obviously if you buy whole flaxseeds you can always grind them yourself, but I use both kinds frequently so I buy both... Like I said, I am a bird.
For all seeds (and nuts!), it's a good idea to keep them in the fridge or freezer so they last longer and don't go rancid.
Switch up the seeds in the crackers depending on your preference/what you have on hand, same deal for the beans in the dip!
If you have time and patience you can roll out the crackers and cut them into desired shapes... or you can be "rustic" like moi and just bake one giant sheet of cracker, breaking it up into shards after it's baked and cooled. Rustic it is.
Flax Seed Crackers
Recipe adapted from "Beauty Foods" by Caroline Artiss
Bean + Feta Dip
Recipe adapted from "Beauty Foods" by Caroline Artiss
I yay, you yay, we all yay for PAEEEEELLA! (Spanish pronunciation lesson)
FIRST things first: check out my tiny paella pan!! A souvenir I snagged from a dollar store in Barcelona. I was looking for a traditional paella pan to take home, but then LOOK TINY THINGS!! And if we all know me, we know that it's hard to say no to tiny things. Also, way more travel friendly am I right?
Paella, if you are unfamiliar, is a rice dish hailing from SPAIN and it is darn delicious. It is made (and often served) in it's own namesake pan, which is recognized by it's shallow depth and two skinny U-shaped handles on opposite sides and is much bigger than the one shown above.
Paella usually contains a mixture of seafood and/or chicken and/or pork and sometimes vegetables, and always a lemon wedge to squeeze over the top before you dive in. Spiced with smoked paprika (HELLO I'm sold), it gets its signature golden yellow colour from tiny expensive threads of saffron... the gold of the culinary world. Some dishes are worth the splurge. Paella is one of those dishes.
I had the joy, privilege and pleasure of experiencing paella for the first time whilst travelling in... where else... SPAIN! Yes!
I was lucky enough to find myself in the little southern town of Nerja with my dear mother and father. Traveling with mom and dad is great because we try our best to live like the locals, buy ingredients from local stores and cook our own meals in our little rental apartment. We learn about new ingredients and go out for ice creams and coffees and bakery treats, but we rarely eat full meals out... mostly because it's very expensive and there are sooo many tourist traps! But Mom and I (mostly Mom) do our research and if we find a good authentic restaurant, we might be able to convince my dad to go out ;)
One sunny Spanish day, we decided to throw caution and our frugal budget to the wind and treat ourselves to a lunch on the town. Or, I should say, a lunch on the beach. #livingthedream
A high priority on our vacation To-Do List (or at least on mine) was to try an authentic Spanish Paella. My dear mother is the best travel researcher and she scoped out a suitable venue: a bustling oceanside outdoor "restaurant" feeding fresh paella to the masses, complete with white plastic chairs and tables allowing you to feel the sand under your feet and the sun above your head. We set out on a warm walk along the beach, hearts hungry for adventure and stomachs hungry for PAELLA.
GOOD NEWS: It was DELICIOUS! So flavourful and comforting and exotic all in one dish. We loved it! One of the best parts of the experience though was getting to see how they made it... In a GIANT paella pan! This is how you feed the masses, out on the beach, with one massive pan. It's a little bigger than my mini one ;)
Look at that golden rice! And all those shrimpies! I'll take three helpings please.
Our little fiesta on the beach was so deliciously inspiring that we knew we must learn how we could re-create our own paella back home...
My dear Papa, who is a fantastic cook, especially of ethnic foods, took to researching and creating and quickly perfecting his own version of paella. Now, it is a regular dinner request in our home and one of my personal favourites!
Which is why I was terribly excited to once again get the opportunity to eat paella in its country of origin... this time in the grand city of BARCELONA.
I visited Barcelona with one of my best travel buddies... my Aunt! Traveling with my Aunt is kind of the best for a few reasons:
Not a bad day I must say, not a bad day at all.
We sipped our sangria whilst looking out the window and across the street at the famous Sagrida Familia Church (which we coined the Sangria Church, for obvious reasons, but also much easier to say) and shared a pan of paella. Another trip to flavour town with a super fun mixture of seafood and pork along for the ride! It's an adventure in a pan let me tell you. Yup, pretty hard to beat that experience...
HOWEVER... I have to admit that while the paella I ate in Barcelona that day was mighty tasty, I could not help but compare it to the paella I have become accustomed to at home, prepared by my dear father. I must say, he makes a mean paella. It might not be 100% authentic, but it's darn close and it's 100% tasty so who cares! Every time I eat it I am transported back to wonderful memories of warm and sunny Spain. And now, aren't we all the luckiest bunch because today he shares his recipe!
Enough rambling about my travels, here's how you can have your own Spanish Paella fiesta!
Pablo's Spanish Paella
Recipe from my papa (serves about 3-4 people)
If you have ever been to the big, bold, brilliant city that is Berlin, you know about Curry Wurst! It is Berlin’s street food, and it’s everywhere. Which is great. Cuz I love it.
It’s ridiculously simple though; in it’s most basic form it is just a big ol’ juicy sausage, cut into pieces and drizzled (or more often drenched) in ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder. Some places will make a special curried-ketchup sauce. Almost all places serve it in a little white paper vessel along with a 2-prong wooden fork, designed for eating it right there, standing on the sidewalk. It’s not fancy, but its DARN TASTY.
I have been lucky enough to get to visit Berlin TWICE thus far in my life and you bet on my second time round I was stoked to get another curry wurst experience. It was everything I hoped for and more. I must say eating street food in a city where it is also legal to drink in public makes things all the more fun.
During my free-time-wanders I stumbled upon none other than the Curry Wurst Museum. Yes, Berlin has a museum dedicated to their infamous street food. I had to check this out. Although I did not have the time to pay to go into the museum, I did enjoy wandering through the gift shop. There I found such wonders as ceramic versions of the paper plates they are served on, and even stuffed-crochet curry wurst sculptures... along with Curry Wurst t-shirts, magnets, keychains, and all the usual gift shop paraphernalia. I also managed to obtain a recipe for a Curry Wurst sauce! SCORE. I knew that this was something I must create in my own kitchen back home. Danke!
I’m sure there is a specific type of sausage that you are supposed to use for making Curry Wurst, however I am not really sure what it is. I think whatever you like to eat and whatever you have on hand will suit just fine. You could slice it up and eat it as is, standing in your kitchen, street food style. You could maybe make some french fries to go with it on the side ya? Or put it in a bun like a fancy Berlin style hot dog. Follow your heart. But don’t forget the extra sprinkle of curry powder dusted over top before you serve it. That part is essential ;)
Recipe sourced from the Curry Wurst Museum in Berlin, Germany
Heat the water in a pan. Add sugar, curry powder, paprika, salt, Sambal Oelek and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in vinegar and ketchup. Bring to a boil once more. Let cool before serving.
Cook up some sausages, on the grill or stove however you like, and serve with the curried ketchup. Sprinkle with an extra dusting of curry powder over top. YUM
Tiny Tea Party
It's about celebrating the tiny things.
© 2015 Larissa Costella
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(All images and content are my own unless otherwise noted)