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Easy & Fresh 2016 Dishes

Happy 2016, royalties! It’s the start of another year which means a whole lot of new things to do, curiosity to satisfy and of course, foods to try and eat. With a new calendar ahead, it’s going to be another year of fun, food and learnings for us all. And #TRC cannot wait!

Before we start filling our calendars with events and whathaveyous, let’s not forget to pay attention to our pantries. Yes, our year-end splurge surely has lots of fresh veggies and fruits in store for the hungry us. Instead of the usual, here’s some of my personal favorite munchies that’s not only easy to make but will help you clean your pantries in an instant. Enjoy!


Papaya Salad with a Kick
A delicious new dish for your leftover papaya. Best served with grilled fish.

Cut the papaya in half and get rid of the seeds. Once clean, cut into strips and then in chunks. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add thinly sliced onions, fresh cilantro or basil, fresh calamansi juice, extra virgin olive oil (TIP:always use EVOO for your salads and no heat dish), freshly grated ginger, chili powder or fresh chilies, salt and pepper to taste.


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Photo credits

Chickpeas with Herbs
The versatility of the chickpeas makes them a pantry must have – for me, that is. This recipe is your basic chickpeas staple that can be used for all your dishes that requires chickpeas. Mash them, keep them whole or blend – any way you want, they guarantee a taste so distinct you’d love to munch on them on any given day.

In a deep pot, add 2 cups of drained chickpeas (I used canned – you can also use dried). Using a cheesecloth, make an herb bouquet of onion (white, quartered), fresh thyme and bay leaves. You can always mix and match your herbs. Add herb bouquet to the pot. Pour at least 8 to 10 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower down heat and let the chickpeas cook until tender. At least an hour. Add salt and pepper to the pot. Cook until chickpeas are tender on the outside and creamy on the inside. Once done, drain the chickpeas. Store in the fridge.

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Photo credits

CCM Slaw – Cabbage, Carrot and Mango
This is the easiest appetizer/salad you can ever whip with all your leftovers. Not only is this easy to make, it’svery vibrant and rich in vitamins too. Don’t be limited with the ingredients – add toasted pine nuts, mint and honey for that festive new year kick!

In a cold bowl, whish freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, cumin powder (optional), cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Gradually add a third of a cup of EVOO. Set aside. In another bowl, add slawed cabbage, julienned carrots and mango stips. Toss to combine. Season to taste. Toss veggies and dressing in cold bowl.

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Photo credits

Mashed Potatoes – 4 Easy Ways
Personally, I love how easy and versatile a cup of mashed potato can be. With your cravings and pantry staples, you can always come up with a new flavor and taste that you will surely love. Remember: Mix and match your flavours!

  1. Cheesy Mashed Potato
    In a bowl, add mashed potatoes (use real potatoes!), grated shard cheddar cheese and minced garlic. Mix well.
  2. Spicy Tuna Mashed Potato
    In a bowl, add mashed potatoes, canned spicy tuna flakes and garlic powder. Mix well.
  3. Garlicky Mashed Potato
    In a bowl, add mashed potato, minced garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Oftentimes, I add some other fragrant herbs to make the garlic flavour stand out.
  4. Creamy Mashed Potato
    In a bowl, add mashed potato, cream cheese, all purpose cream, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well. Can also add chopped green onions for that addeed zing.

Make #TheRoyalChef your Thursday habit! I am on Instagram (@theroyalchefleebai) and twitter (@royalchefeats).


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