#pasta

Fighting the good fight

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Satin Red Shirt- Pretty Little Thing| Bra- UnderArmour| Leggings- Uniqlo| Boxing Gloves- Twins|Tassel Earrings- H&M

Photography by. Bernadette Mira

Assisted by. Garrett Hagen

When I was a young girl I was constantly dancing. I started dancing to keep the traumatic experiences that I was enduring when I was 6 to about 10 years old at bay. I could express my feelings that way without turning it out on myself. All I wanted to do was dance. There was never a moment that I wasn’t thinking about it. While ‘studying’ at school, I would be creating new dance combos in my head. Then as soon as I would get home from school, I would turn on the stereo and dance in the living room until most of my family members came home and there wasn’t enough room to do double turns and leaps. After dinner,  I would then head to actual dance classes till about the late evening. Even though I needed that support from my parents to understand what I was going through, dance was the only thing that I could rely on. It helped me get through the most painful moments. I would dance while tears were streaming down my face and afterwards I can honestly say that I felt refreshed and felt like I was doing something for myself.

There became a point where dancing was put on hold and unfortunately I never seriously got back into it like when I was at 17. So, after years of almost zero physically activity, I found another passion. It’s been about a year and half now that I started doing kickboxing. I never thought that I would find something else that would make me feel the way that I did when I was dancing. Not only does it make me feel great from just the aspect from working out, but I feel like I have family there.

It’s almost like a slap in the face to the people who weren’t there for me when I was younger. I have that now and I’m grateful for that. If I’m down, people notice and they care to ask. The teachers are remarkable and they care immensely about what they’re doing. The past year and a half, I’ve been in and out of kickboxing from getting sick or hurt, which ALWAYS is a bummer during the down times that I’m out, but I’m always coming back to that space when I recover.  I found my family and I’m not going to let that go.

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Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 medium onion finely diced

4 large garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp. of olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper to season

1 to 1  1/2 pound of ‘good’ ground beef

1 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 can of puree tomatoes

1/2 cup of water (if needed for sauce)

1/2 tsp. of dried basil

2 tbsp. of dried oregano and fresh oregano to top

1 tsp. of dried thyme 

1 tsp. of red pepper flakes

(More kosher salt and black pepper to taste)

1/2 a packet of spaghetti 

Parmesan cheese 

Directions:

  1.  For Sauce: In a dutch oven or large skillet, saute onion and garlic on medium heat with 2 tbsp. of olive oil until soft. Season with kosher salt.
  2. Then add 1-1 1/2 pound of ground beef and cook until brown on medium-high heat with the onions and garlic. Season with black pepper and kosher salt.
  3. Once brown, add 1 tbsp. of tomato paste and stir into the meat until combined.
  4. Then add one can of puree tomatoes (if there isn’t enough sauce add 1/2 cup of water to the mix and boil off till the mixture has reduced, for about 15-20 minutes)
  5. While the sauce is boiling off  add the seasonings. Basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper, kosher salt and pepper for taste.
  6. While the sauce is cooking on medium-high heat periodically stir so it doesn’t stick to the pan and or dutch oven.
  7. For Spaghetti: For my spaghetti, I add enough water until it fills the pot half way. I then add a dash of kosher salt and about 1-2 tsp. of olive oil. I then bring the water to a boil and add the spaghetti. I like to cook my pasta till al dente, about 15-18 minutes.
  8. Once draining the spaghetti and the sauce has reduced/seasoned to your liking, grab yourself a big plate and dig in. Be sure to add some fresh oregano and parmesan cheese to top it off! Enjoy!

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Spicy Lamb Curry with Jourdan

2016-06-25

Photography by: Zee Nunes (Left) and Bernadette Mira (Right)

Here it is everyone! Like I said, I aim to please. Today’s recipe is representing those spicy dishes. The type of dishes where your tongue starts to tingle and you feel a tear roll down your cheek. This is also the type of dish that I hope Jourdan Dunn herself would approve of. It’s Italian meets Indian meets Thai meets Jamaican and probably a bunch of different cultures mixed together!

The photo taken by the ever so great Zee Nunes blew me away. I didn’t think  Jourdan Dunn could get any cooler, but she’s rocking a kick ass afro! She’s representing the curly girls and natural girls. I love it! Jourdan’s outfit and her personal tastes inspired me to create a dish featuring homemade pasta and a spicy curry dish, that I’m sure she would enjoy eating.

Enough with the talk, here’s…

Spicy Lamb Curry

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Marinade for lamb-

1 pound of cubed lamb

1/2 cup of whole milk yogurt or greek yogurt

1 tsp. of turmeric powder

1 tbsp. of yellow curry powder

1/2 tsp. of crushed mustard seeds

1/2 tsp. of red chili flakes

1/2 tsp. of garlic powder

1/4 tsp. of ginger powder

sea salt to sprinkle

Sauce-

1 can of Thai Kitchen coconut milk 

half of a finely diced onion

3 finely minced garlic cloves

2 tbsp. of fresh ginger grated

2-3  diced Jamaican hot peppers (more if you want more spicy-ness)

1/2 tsp. of black peppercorn or black pepper

3 tbsp. of yellow curry powder

1-2 tbsp. of turmeric powder

1/4 tsp. of onion powder

1/4 tsp. of garlic powder

1/4 tsp. of coriander

1 tsp. of ground mustard seeds

1 tsp. of red chili flakes

Topping-

Fresh chopped basil or Thai basil

splash of lime juice

Extra-

Olive oil

Homemade pasta (The recipe I used wasn’t great, so I suggest using packaged pasta or rice. If you feel up to the challenge, try making homemade pasta. I hope you find a good recipe.)

Dutch oven or big pot to store curry

Ziplock bag

Plastic gloves (to cut hot peppers if you want to be extra cautious)

Cook’s notes: Here is the correct way to chop hot peppers.

Directions:

1. Prepare the lamb to marinate over night or for at least 6 hours.

2. If lamb doesn’t come prepared into cubes, cut into even sliced cubes.

3. In a small bowl combine the spices to the yogurt. Stir until well combined.

4. Add the diced lamb into the marinade sauce. Coat until completely covered.

5. In a ziplock bag, store the marinade lamb in the fridge over night or for at least six hours.

6. Next day or day of, bring olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven to a simmer. Then add the marinade lamb to the pot.

7. Next we will start the ‘browning’ process. (Well, that’s what I like to call it.) The lamb will need to be cooked on both sides to get a nice, caramelized brown on each side. Periodically check each side to get the desired brown you want.

8.Once brown, with a heat thermometer, check the lamb’s temperature making sure it reaches to 145 or above. (I allowed mine to get to 160)

9. Once it reaches a safe temperature, remove the meat and set aside in a small bowl.

10. On medium heat add more olive oil to the pot. Then add diced onion, garlic, ginger and hot peppers. Stir every now and then until the onions become translucent. Once translucent add the ground spices and stir well until combined.

11. Next, add the lamb back into the pot along with the coconut milk. Stir and cover on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Or until your pasta or rice is done cooking.

Enjoy on top of rice, store-bought pasta or homemade pasta!! Add basil to top and a splash of lime to brighten the dish. Be sure to keep a glass of milk near by or bread if you can’t handle the spice!

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Photo by. Bernadette Mira