Monday, June 12, 2017

Watermelon Cake


Watermelon season has arrived and this Watermelon cake is a fun way to really make this fruit into a spectacular dessert. 

 My family and I love fresh fruit. We love it so much we could definitely forgo a traditional cake for this total fruit Watermelon Cake and not even think we were eating something healthy.  This watermelon cake is really fun to make and it will be a hit at your next summertime party.                                                 

Watermelon Cake
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer 
1 watermelon (pick one that is large in the middle)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1 tub (8oz)whipped cream non-dairy topping
1 20oz can of crushed pineapple -drained very well
1/4 cup powdered sugar ( or sugar substitute for low sugar option)
Toasted coconut (optional)


Wash the outside of the watermelon well. Then carefully 5 inch slice from the middle section of the watermelon.  Lay the slice flat and cut the rind off.  Then slice the 5 inch thick slice into two equal halves as pictured.   The diameter of my circles were about 5-6 inches. Chill watermelon slices really well until you are ready to assemble.

 Drain crushed pineapple really well.  If you do not do this step, you filling will become runny.  Take a little less than half of the whipped topping and mix with the drained pineapple and sugar. Chill filling for 20-30 minutes before assembling cake.

Place one watermelon circle on cake plate.  I placed wax paper on either side of the cake plate to keep the plate clean.   Top slice with filling.  Top with second slice of watermelon.

 Take remaining whipped topping (if you like add some sugar to taste) The coat the outside of the entire watermelon cake with the topping.  Carefully apply toasted coconut if you desire.

 Decorate the cake as you desire with fruit.  Chill for 30 minutes before your serve.  Slice and use a cake server to place on plates.  This cake is best served the day you make it.  Enjoy.

Note: You can use any fruit you like to decorate the top of the cake such as kiwis, raspberries, blackberries, pineapple etc...

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Simple Greek Salad


This fresh Greek inspired salad is a versatile side dish that will make any meal tasty and delicious.   

Simple food is always good in my opinion. I took simple fresh salad ingredients that I always have in my fridge and then made an even more simple dressing.  This dressing was so tasty that I wanted to eat with a spoon.  

My family and I ate this over grilled fish for a light summer meal.  The weather is hot these days so I want salad to be the star of every meal we gather around.  This salad was definitely the star of our meal.

I should have actually doubled my salad because we were all asking for seconds of the salad and even scraping the dressing off our plates with our forks to get every last drop. 

I am so happy my kids are finally getting into things like olives and feta cheese (my son used to sneer at the mere mention of olives).   

My son also detested fresh tomatoes, but now he relishes them.  My tip for parents of picky eaters is to never give up on them.  Unless they have an allergy to a particular food, just keep those "icky" ingredients showing up in their meals.  They will have to learn to pick them out or they can just try them.  Hopefully your kids will eventually just want to eat them too.  My son has overcome his dislike of onions, olives, tomatoes, green beans and mushrooms.  We are still working on some like eggplant and zucchini, but there is still hope.  Just remember to make the ingredients small so eating them doesn't seem like such a big mountain to climb.

Simple Greek Salad
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

3-4 cups of chopped cucumbers (English seedless or mini Persian)
3-4 medium size tomatoes cut into small wedges
1 medium onion (red or yellow) cut into slices
Kalamata Olives pitted and cut into half
1 cup feta cheese crumbled

1/4 cup canola oil 
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch sugar - to taste
2 Tbs finely crumbled feta cheese  

Step 1:  Cut and prepare all salad ingredients
Step 2:  Make dressing by combining all the ingredients together and shaking it bottle until well emulsified/combined.
Step 3:  Combine salad ingredients (except for crumbled feta cheese) and dressing and chill for 30 minutes. 
Step 4:  Place dressed salad ingredients in bowl or platter and top with feta cheese. Serve as a side salad with any meal or over grilled meat/fish

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Korean Ground Beef and Kimchi Bowl


This Korean Ground Beef and Kimchi Bowl is a fast stir fry dish that is full of hearty and robust flavors.  

I love walking through my Asian Market and looking around at all the international produce and products that I find there.  Sometimes, I must admit, it can be a bit intimidating.  I try to buy one or two items and add them to simple stir fries that I traditionally make at home and see how they taste. 

Kimchi is a very popular dish in Korea and it has also become pretty popular here in the US. I bought a huge bottle of prepared kimchi from Costco.  My kids and husband (I sadly admit) did think the fermented cabbage that is really aromatic with garlic and spices was a bit strong.  I could not eat that entire jar by myself, so I had to come up with ways of incorporating the flavors of kimchi into my cooking.  This stir fry worked out perfectly!  They loved the kimchi when it accentuate the flavors of the stir fry.

This Korean beef bowl was a home run in both flavor and fun.  So don't be shy to try the new items you see in your international market.  I can't wait to experiment more with these ingredients.

 Korean Ground Beef and Kimchi Bowl
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

1 1/2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup up to 1 cup chopped Korean Kimchi made with cabbage
1 yellow onion medium dice
1 bunch scallions chopped (save some green tops for garnish)
1 carrot finely julienned
1 medium zucchini finely diced 
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1/2 Tbs grated fresh garlic
4-6 Tbs soy sauce (adjust to taste)
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar  (adjust to taste)
1 heaping Tbs Korean Hot Pepper Paste ( Gochujang)
1 Tbs Korean Hot Pepper Flakes ( Gochugaru)

Toasted Sesame Seeds
Green Onions sliced

Brown ground beef in a large pan or wok.  Season lightly with salt and black pepper. 

Cut and prep all veggies. 

Add grated fresh ginger and garlic to browned beef and cook for 1 minute. 

Add 1-2 Tbs canola oil to pan if needed. Next add the prepared vegetables.

Then add the Korean Hot Pepper Paste, Hot Pepper Flakes, brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir well.  Finally add the chopped store bought or homemade cabbage kimchi (add a couple of tablespoons of the kimchi juice too)

 Stir well.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve with rice or quinoa. 

Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and green onions tops. Enjoy. 

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thai Cabbage and Chicken Soup


Swimsuit season is fast approaching and if you want to eat healthy, but don't want to give up your love of spicy food.. this Thai Cabbage and Chicken Soup is your answer.
 Have you ever heard of the Cabbage Soup diet?  I tried it once and I swore I would never eat cabbage soup again.  This is NOT that cabbage soup.  
This is a delicious and bold Thai inspired cabbage and chicken soup.  The protein from the chicken helps satisfy your hunger.  The soup is low-carb and I can eat two bowls of it without feeling guilty.   
There is good fat from the coconut milk, lots of healthy ingredients like ginger, garlic, turmeric and of course cabbage.  Since the cabbage and the other vegetables get cooked down, I added some fresh chopped onion and some jalapenos for extra crunch.  I also added more sambal oelek to the soup bowl.  Sambal oelek is one of my favorite condiment obsessions...if you haven't tried it yet.. you should! 

2 cups shredded chicken (either poach chicken or use rotisserie chicken)
8-10 cups chicken stock (either store bought or homemade)
1 small white cabbage (3-4 cups chopped)
1 large green bell pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (about 1 heaping Tbs minced)
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 (15) can diced tomatoes
1 (15) can coconut milk
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
red chili flakes to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
3-5 Tbs fish sauce ( to taste for salt)
1 Tbs sambal oelek (Asian Chili garlic Paste)
chicken bullion powder (optional) to enhance stock

sliced jalapeno
finely diced red onion
Sambal Oelek

 Heat 2 Tbs canola oil in large soup pot.  Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper with some salt and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Next add ginger and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.

Then add chopped cabbage and saute for another 2 minutes. Next add black pepper, turmeric powder and red chili flakes.

Then add chicken stock, shredded chicken, vinegar, fish sauce, diced tomatoes and sambal oelek (this is available in most grocery stores or in Asian markets).  
Simmer soup for 15-20 minutes. Finally add coconut milk and simmer soup for another 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning.  If more salt is needed add fish sauce or serve at the table.  If the soup turns out too salt, dilute with a little water. Serve hot.   Garnish as suggested above.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Curried Yogurt Dressing


These spicy chicken lettuce wraps prove that low carb-meals don't have to be bland or boring. I topped the wraps with a condiment that is full of flavor as well. 

I actually made this curried yogurt dressing because a Kitchen Simmer follower asked me to work on a curried non-mayo spread that can be put on sandwiches and wraps.  This dressing/spread uses plain yogurt instead of mayo so it's guilt-free enough to add an extra dollop or two. 

I spiced it up with curry powder and red chili powder. Then I added some sweetness with fresh mango.  If you don't have fresh mango, you can always substitute some spicy-sweet mango chutney like Major Grey's Mango chutney. 

The dressing also makes a great dip for veggies and tortilla chips.  I am a big fan of yogurt and I always use either Greek Yogurt or full fat plain yogurt when I make any of my recipes.  These days,  I actually no longer even buy sour cream.  When I make Mexican food at's all about yogurt in our house.

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Curried Yogurt Dressing
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

2lbs boneless/skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into strips or chunks
salt and black pepper to taste
red chili flakes to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning 
1 large onion sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
1 red/orange bell pepper sliced
Curried Yogurt Dressing
1 medium onion chopped
1 sweet bell pepper (yellow or red) chopped
1 spicy chili pepper sliced
1 cup fresh mango chopped (you can substitute sweet mango chutney)
1/2 tsp up to 1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt and black pepper to taste
red chili powder to taste (1/2 tsp) 
1 Tbs lime juice
1 cup or more of full fat plain yogurt

Heat a large skillet with 1 Tbs canola oil.  

Saute chicken with salt and black pepper. Then add garlic powder, turmeric powder, red  chili flakes, dried thyme and Montreal chicken seasoning.   

Next add sliced onions and bell peppers.  

Saute until all ingredients are cooked.  Taste and set aside. 

Serve with lettuce and Curried Yogurt Dressing given below.

Curried Yogurt Dressing Directions:

Saute onions, chili and peppers with 1 Tbs of canola oil.  Then add mango and cook until softened.

Next add seasoning and cook down for several minutes.  Finish with lime juice.  Allow mixture to cool and put in a food processor to cream and make smooth.

Once mixture is cooled, add plain yogurt.  Mix well.  Taste and season as desired.  Chill overnight if you desire to use this as a sandwich condiment or use immediately with these lettuce wraps.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.