Hello friends! Hope everyone is ready for a so not Valentine’s Day recipe! I won’t apologize for not being a part of the sparkly heart, chocolate coated everything, and dessert craze madness. I mean, if any of those indulgences are offered to me hell yes, I’ll eat them but I won’t be making them. I’m not a Valentine’s Day hater or anything I just don’t have time to make treats when I should to be putting forth my energy into eating some quality meals. And just the thought of V-day picture taking…oh god the picture taking.
I have a confession: The picture taking aspect is by far my most dreaded part of food blogging. Snapping solid pics is just not as easy as 1, 2, 3 for me. First, there is the light issue. I live in Winnipeg where it’s winter for months on end with not a lot of sunshine-(especially during the hours when I’m free to snap). Second, I also have two mischievous photo bombers (my cats) that I need to lock up for the duration of my photo shoot or else there will be mayhem. This is a fact. A little ways back, Poncho managed to dump over my entire cup of my D.I.Y Salted Caramel Mocha mid photo-shoot. I actually cried. Not a hard ugly cry or anything-I’m not a drama queen. It was more so a defeated “I would hate you if you weren’t so cute” cry. Pet owners, you know what’s up. Third, I’m lazy haha. After cooking and baking my tush off the last thing I want to do is make it look all pretty, dirty some more dishes, fumble around with my camera, board placing’s, and the whole white foam board bit. Yes, I know…what I really need is a course on photography. And equipment. Or maybe I could just have a talented professional follow my every move in my kitchen and all of those problems would be solved!
Now don’t get me wrong, once I do get a good shot (and I mean a good shot for me), I am so happy. It’s worth the effort. And I totally understand the importance of a good food porn picture. My eyes work just as everyone else’s when I’m scoping out recipes. I need a visual and if it looks phenomenal then there’s a 99% increase in the chances of me wanting to replicate it. We are human; we do in fact judge books by the cover even though we know we are shallow if we do ;) This is the reason I include a picture with every single one of my recipes in both of my eBooks. People like and some people need that visual aid. I hear ya my friends. This is why I will continue to take my half ass shots of my recipes and suck it up. Unless anyone is considering that position where you just follow me around in my kitchen and do the dirty work….you’ll get to eat for free haha!? On a side note, I am aware that food bloggers often purchase professional pictures online from photographers. As wonderful and convenient as that sounds...I feel like it's cheating. I mean the food featured on my blog should at least be food that I have made...well, that's how I see it anyway. I'll stick to my own handy work for now. Hopefully I eventually get around to some further self-education on the art of food photography and maybe eventually take a course and upgrade my equipment…maybe. No promises are being made.I think I would be more motivated to if money making was my main goal here, but it’s not. I’m just a passionate girl wanting to share the fun of real food.
Any who, that was all very off topic but that’s how I roll. Once I start with a thought there is no stopping me. You would’ve been bored listening to a detailed and lengthy explanation on Cajun seasonings and pretty vegetables tossed in a bowl anyway, trust me. So here it is. The not so Valentine’s Day but oh so nutritious- Cajun Carnival Bowl. The chipotle mayo was a recipe from Thug Kitchen’s "Eat Like you Give a F*ck" cookbook and it really is not necessary for this recipe to turn out fabulous. The spices added right into the veggie skillet compliment the dish perfectly just as is, I promise. I just whipped up the mayo because I had all of the ingredients in stock and I had been eyeing out that bad boy of a recipe since I got the book.
Cajun Carnival Bowl with Chipotle Mayo
- 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
- ½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of cooked black beans
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa (so ~1/2 cup uncooked)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. oregano
- 1 cup kale, massaged and chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- To make the chipotle mayo, blend all ingredients together and set aside.
- Boil your sweet potato cubes in a medium pot for a few minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium-low heat until fragrant.
- Add the chopped red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked sweet potato, black beans, quinoa, cilantro, and all of the spices and mix thoroughly.
- Turn off the element and add the massaged and chopped kale and stir it into the veggie mix.
- Serve right away with or without the chipotle mayo and extra cilantro on top for garnish.
So what is everyone doing for Valentine's Day? My hubby is away this weekend (not that we celebrate the holiday anyway haha) so I have a whole self loving weekend to myself! I have a breakfast date planned with a friend and I can't wait. Breakfast dates are my favourite kind of dates!