Tag Archives: fast

Chilled Sesame Tahini Soba Bowl

15 Jul

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You guys. I am so very excited to share this recipe with you (!!).

I had a very ho-hum week in the kitchen. Some recipes I tried fell disappointingly flat.

Obviously, I want to share only my favourites. As a blogger, this can be a frustrating process when trying to come up with fresh content!

And then- Hallelujah!- I whipped up this dish and I knew I had to share. The flavour was out of this world.

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These cold soba noodles are basically a vehicle for this awesome sauce (NOT to be confused with “awesomesauce”- cringe) which called for tahini and a shocking amount of sesame oil.

I’ve always thought sesame oil was to be used rather sparingly, but here it totally works.

Colour me surprised!

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This can be consumed hot (loved it), cold (also loved it) as a side dish (yum) or as a meal (did that!)

Try it out and tell me what you think! ( Based on this recipe from foodnetwork.com)

Cold Sesame Tahini Soba Bowl

20 minutes, serves 4

– 1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
-1 tablespoon molasses
-3 tablespoons sesame oil
-3 tablespoons tahini
-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-3 cloves garlic, minced
– pinch or two of hot red chilli flakes
-1/2 fresh red bell pepper, sliced thinly
-1/2 cup peanuts
-1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
-1/2 cup chopped spring onion
-fresh cilantro
-wedge of fresh lime
-1 package soba noodles

1) In a small saucepan, bring soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic to a boil. Turn heat to low and stir in molasses and return to simmer until reduced about 1/3.
2) Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add sesame oil, tahini and sprinkle of chilli flakes. Whisk to combine. Add salt if desired.
3) In large pot, bring water to boil and add noodles. Stir and watch until they soften (should take 3-5 minutes). Do not over cook!
4) Have ice bath ready. Drain noodles, plunge in ice bath and drain again. Rinse well with running water.
5) Combine noodles and sauce and rest of ingredients. Garnish and serve.

Feel free to add chicken or tofu to hearty it up. Although I found it rather filling on its own and the peanuts added good protein.

I want to make more. Right now.

M

The Beet’s Mushroom Walnut Quinoa Burger (Vegan)

1 Jul

The most popular posts I’ve ever done on Food, Mostly are vegan.

Coincidence? I think not.

In my opinion, vegan cooking requires just a little extra creativity and innovation. It is one of the reasons I enjoy preparing it so much. And it seems as though there are a lot of you out there searching for vegan inspiration! 

The number one, hands-down most popular post on the history of this site is this recipe for tofu “butter chicken” (and one of my personal fave recipes ever). The second is for this balsamic and honey glazed tempeh bowl, and tied for third is this recipe for veggie burgers made with black beans, mushrooms and walnuts from a few years back.

Every so often I like to revisit old recipes (as I believe I’ve improved in the kitchen/blog over time). However, this time I stole a similar recipe from the kitchen at work.

I present to you, The Beet‘s famous Mushroom Walnut Quinoa Burger

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You’ll Need:

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used half white, half crimini)
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter (can substitute tahini, as I did)
1/4 cup tapioca starch (can substitute corn starch)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil to coat mushrooms

1. In large roasting pan, combine walnuts, onions, garlic cloves and mushrooms. Coat with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper.
2. Roast for 30 minutes at 400.
3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa on stove top.
4. Once roasted, drain off excess moisture and combine mushroom mixture in food processor with 1 cup of cooked quinoa (reserve other cup) along with tahini (or almond butter) and tapioca starch. Leave oven hot.
5. Once blended, add rest of cooked quinoa and mix (so the quinoa remains whole)
6. Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
7. Form into patties (makes approx 8) and put on greased baking sheet. Bake burgers at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
8. While baking, prepare your toppings.
9. Serve hot!

They’re not the prettiest but any stretch, but they’re tasty, filling and easy to prepare.

Note: these burgers are not crispy. They are a bit soft. For a crispier (and more decadent) effect, coat in cornmeal and fry in coconut oil. Also, taste for flavour again after adding the quinoa, as I find it can dilute the depth a bit.

Load up with your favourite toppings! I chose fried balsamic mushrooms, old cheddar-not vegan!!-, hummus, avocado and BBQ sauce.
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Or…if you’re just plain lazy and happen to be in Toronto, come visit me at my adorable little home-away-from-home, The Beet!

xo

M

Rosemary and Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

18 Apr

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This was a super easy and quick recipe to whip-up. In fact, Scott made this as I coached him (with feet-up) from the kitchen table (so fun!). These chops would be great for when you have company and are caught off guard have not a lot of time to prepare.

You’ll Need
-6 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
-1/4 sea salt
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 boneless centre-cut pork chops
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1) Chop garlic and rosemary finely, mix with salt and pepper to create a rub.

2) Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Don't burn! (Learned this the hard way!)

3) Heat a grill pan to medium high. Rub pork with rosemary mixture on both sides. Place pork in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until desired done-ness. Baste in balsamic glaze throughout cooking process, while reserving some for final drizzle.

4) Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tip: bring raw pork to room temperature before cooking (but not too long if exposed to air!). It helps with tenderness. Optional: marinating pork in milk for a few hours before also helps to tenderize.

Enjoy while lounging in front of reruns of Modern Family or alternatively, while entertaining your own elegant, real life one.

M

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Reminiscing: My version of Thai Pad See Ew

11 Apr

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I was craving Beef Bourguingnon, a cozy dish I’ve been intending to make since there was snow on the ground  (not that long ago, to be fair). I bought the beef, the mushrooms, the fresh rosemary, thyme, pearl onions, bacon and egg noodles. I cracked open my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and GASPED. To my horror, I discovered the dish takes upwards of four hours to complete masterfully. I just didn’t have that kind of time.

The thin, flat egg noodles stood on the counter, forlorn, calling my name. I wanted them.

Attempting a Plan B, I was reminded me of my favourite dish when I was in Thailand, Pad See Ew, which is a lot like pad thai but with thicker, flatter noodles and a saltier sauce. That dish is traditionally made with rice noodles, but the shape and texture is similar.

Bingo.

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I was inspired by this recipe by Rachel Cooks Thai, but I added to it.

Pad See Ew

  • 1/2 package of fresh wide, flat rice noodles (sen yai), (or egg noodles)
  • 2 chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, shredded or minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, shredded finely
  • 3/4 of a red bell pepper, finely sliced
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, sliced thinly
  • 6 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Peanuts, roughly chopped for garnish
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • Sqeeze fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
  1. Prepare your sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey and vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Chop peppers and mushrooms. Saute in hot wok with coconut oil until tender.
  3. Blanch noodles in boiling water until almost cooked.
  4. Over high heat, add garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant and almost browned. Add chicken and cook through.
  5. Push the chicken and veggies to the side of the wok and add the egg to a clear space. Scramble.
  6. Push the egg to the side and add the noodles and the sauce. Mix it all together and cook over high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated (about 5 minutes)
  7. Add the broccoli and spring onions and cook through.
  8. Serve immediately with garnishes!

This was so good, fast and fresh. It took about 25 minutes start to finish. I would recommend prepping as much as possible before heating up the wok- slice, dice and chop everything ahead of time for speedier results. A vegetarian version would be simple- swap out chicken for tofu.

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I’ve been such a bad blogger lately- I’m finishing school and starting a new job at the same time, and have sadly not had much time to cook. But I just wrote and submitted my last-ever essay this morning. My blog was the first thing I turned to! A good sign for things to come? ( Hope so)

M

P.s. memories of picnic spots past…sigh

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Italian Turkey Meatballs with Balsamic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Brussel Sprouts

19 Feb

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My search for the perfect meatball recipe has come to an end. After an arduous journey (not really)  I can safely say that this is the one. And turkey at that. Colour me surprised.

Very juicy, very flavourful, lovely texture and extremely light. Perfection.

I served these babies on a bed of brown rice with a homemade tomato sauce and balsamic roasted brussel sprouts and cherry tomatoes. Over all a pretty healthy meal, and couldn’t be easier.

Italian Turkey Meatballs
(30 minutes) (makes approx 16 meatballs)

  • 1 package lean ground turkey (approx 1 lb)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup panko (or traditional breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried chillies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Splash balsamic vinegar (approx 2 teaspoons)

1) preheat oven to 400. In large bowl, assemble all ingredients and mix well.
2) Form into small round meatballs (makes about 16) and place on baking rack
3) Bake 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink in the middle.

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I roasted the tomatoes and brussle sprouts simultaneously, although they needed about 25-30 minutes at 400. I covered generously with olive oil and some sea salt. Half way through roasting I drizzled on some balsamic and sprinkled with a bit of brown sugar and returned to the oven. I broiled them for the last 5 minutes to give the sprouts a bit more colour.

They turned out to be a perfect addition to the dish. The textures worked well with the meatballs, as the sprouts were basically melt-in-your-mouth soft.

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I made a simple tomato sauce by sautéing 3 cloves of garlic in olive oil along with 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds and diced red pepper. Once soft, I added crushed tomatoes and seasoned with salt, pepper, brown sugar and some dried chillies and a splash of balsamic. I made the sauce first, and added a 1/4 cup to the meatball mixture before baking.

I layered the sauce over the rice and topped with the meatballs, which I covered with more sauce and the roasted vegetable. I topped it all off with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

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I was thrilled with this recipe. I hope you try it out. Let me know if you do!

M

Vegan Thai Green Curry with Tofu

21 Jan

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Things I Dislike:
1) being windswept
2) fluorescent lighting
3) the term “amazeballs”

Things I Like:
1) great cover songs
2) magazine subscriptions arriving by mail
3) green curry

Hopefully you like # 3 too.

Here is a simple recipe that really hit the spot on a cold, cold night.

Vegan Thai Green Curry

(30 minutes. Serves 2 with some leftover)

  • 1 small white onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 handful fresh green beans, sliced thinly
  • 5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 package firm tofu, cut into smallish cubes.
  • 1/2 can coconut cream
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • Zest of 1/2 fresh lime
  • 3 kafir lime leaves
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • Coconut oil (for frying)
  1. In a hot pan, fry thinly sliced onion, mushrooms and red pepper with coconut oil until soft. Add curry paste and mix well.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add crushed garlic. Cook until fragrant and stir in the coconut cream and almond milk.
  3. Add kafir lime leaves. Bring to a low boil.
  4. Reduce heat and add tofu and seasonings (sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, lime juice). Adjust according to personal taste.
  5. Finish with broccoli, green beans and cilantro (do not over cook). Remove lime leaves. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  6. Serve immediately with rice!

Notes: 

In Thailand, restaurants usually have four condiments on the table:  sweet (sugar), sour (lime juice or vinegar) , salty (fish/soy sauce) and spicy (chilies) . People generally customize their dishes according to their preferences. Feel free to try this! Or, if you trust me, this recipe is balanced to what I think is just perfect.

I used Aroy-D brand green curry paste. It is pretty hot! Depending on your taste, maybe add less curry paste to start off.

I used Arvinda’s kafir lime leaves. They are like bay leaves, but have a lush flavour that add dimension to this curry. You can buy them at most grocery stores.

Coconut milk varies widely from full fat to lite. For this dish, I used coconut cream (about 6 tablespoons or 1/2 can) of the full fat version.  Coconut cream is the really thick creamy stuff that rises to the top of the “light” versions. If you want to use lite coconut milk, add the whole can and reduce the almond milk to only 1 cup.

Cut the peppers thinly, and the green beans too. I sliced the beans in half lengthwise (slightly tedious) , but worth it for the overall texture of the dish.

Please add fresh basil to this dish if you have it! I sadly, did not.

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Enjoy!

M

Easy Wild Berry Crumble with Cardamom Crust

9 Dec

This is what a half eaten crumble looks like. Sorry, I was not swift enough with my photography! It was super tasty though.

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The beauty of this crumble is that you can whip it up quickfast for an easy dessert while entertaining. Assembly is fun in that non-precise way I tend to enjoy. The crust is also optional, so if you’re really pressed for time, just skip it altogether.

Crust
1.5 cups all purpose or pastry flour
1/2 cup butter at room temp
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
Pinch salt
Green cardamom pods (approx 8-10)

1) Mix flour and salt
2) Seperately, cream sugar and butter together and slowly add egg
3) Meanwhile, crack open cardamom pods and dry roast inner seeds for 3-4 minutes (do not burn). Crush with mortar and pestle and add to flour.
3) Slowly add flour mixture to butter/sugar until ball is formed
4) Flatten into a disk or baking dish, chill.

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Cardamom has a pretty distinct flavour, but mixed with the berries it’s subtle. It added just a little something extra to the overall dish. And since I was serving this as part of an(other) Indian dinner (surprised?) I thought it would tie it all together nicely.

Berry Crumble

1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup oats
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small squares
4-5 cups mixed berries (I used frozen- blueberries, cherries, blackberries)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Pinch of salt

1) In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and oats. Mix. Cut in the butter.
2) In another bowl, combine berries, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss evenly to coat.
3) top crust with berry mixture, and then top that with oat mixture. Ensure cold butter is evenly distributed on top layer.
4) Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until top is golden and fruit is bubbly.
5) Remove from oven and sprinkle with more brown sugar for crunch and some sea salt for flavour. Serve warm.

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Health food this is not. But delicious this is yes. ‘Tis the season and  yadda yadda yadda.

These Bourbon-Miso Pork Chops Made Me Want to Blog Again

28 Sep

Are you there blog? It’s me, Maddie.

It’s been so long, I forgot my WordPress password.

It’s been so long, I forget how to work my iPad.

It’s been so long that I was worried that I had forgotten how to cook.

I was only reassured after magically dreaming up this recipe. I made it twice just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.

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It wasn’t.

Sss’uper Easy Bourbon-Miso Pork Chops

-2 Bone in chops
-4 tablespoons honey
-2 tablespoons miso paste
-2 cloves finely chopped garlic
-2 shots Bourbon
-black pepper
– maybe some water

1) pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2) in small sauce pan sauté garlic until fragrant, add Bourbon and let simmer for two minutes, stirring frequently, then add miso and honey, stir often and let reduce. Keep simmering over low heat.
3) brown chops on both sides using a skillet over high heat (2 minutes on each side should do)
4) transfer to baking sheet and cover with 1/3 of the sauce. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, baste with other 1/3 of the sauce. Do not overlook!
5) when chops are done, finish with remaining sauce and top with crispy red onions or garish of choice.

These were juicy and the sauce is a nice combo of sweet/salty, my all time favourite combo. Also fast!

On account of laziness and circumstance, I apologize for being such a wild non-blogging-flake, but rest assured my undisciplined and non-cooking summer was nothing short of dreamy. I am, however, excited to be back in the kitchen and sharing again this fall. I hope you’ll join me!

M

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Quick and Easy, Tuesday’s Tuna Cakes

4 Sep

For many of us, today marked the first day back to school or work. With summer winding down and schedules ramping up you may be interested in some simple and healthy recipes for weeknights.

I apologize for this blurb sounding like something out of a Metro commuter paper, but I read it today for the first time in awhile, and clearly I’m easily impressionable.

These were very simple to make, and so so flavourful! I grabbed a handful  of some fresh basil from my grandparents garden yesterday, it was so fresh and fragrant.  A key ingredient here.

Tuna Cakes

  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 1/2  red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 of a fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • cornmeal
  • coconut oil

1. Combine all ingredients (minus the cornmeal and coconut oil) in large bowl and mix well.

2. Form into medium sized patties and dust with cornmeal on both sides.

3. Over medium high heat in large pan, heat coconut oil.  Fry until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes on each side.

This recipe yields 6. I served them over salad, but they would make awesome burgers. They could also be made into smaller bite sizes and served as an appetizer! Very versatile I’d say.

Back to the Kitchen-Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

8 Jul

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Cooking for one isn’t all that fun, hence the drop off in recipes that you may have noticed lately (sorry). It can be a lot of effort and mess when cereal or a smoothie would probably suffice, amiright? While Scott has been in Asia, I’ve been feeling less than inspired cooking wise, especially since I’m usually working during dinnertime hours. But today, a gorgeous and sunny Sunday that included a run in High Park followed by a terrific Ashtanga class left me feeling simultaneously famished and inspired.

I had a bag full of quickly ripening avocados on my hands, and wanted to try something other than a guilt-inducing solo guacamole binge. Besides, it is no secret that I love avocados. To me, avocados are one of nature’s greatest triumphs. So delicate, rich and subtle. Sometimes I find them just plain beautiful. Don’t these ones look perfect? And besides besides, my blog needed some love. Cooking for one? Pha! Cooking for all. (Sorry about that). 

The recipe was inspired by this one, from one of my new favourite food blogs A Cozy Kitchen, and also Pinterest, in which people are seemingly fascinated by all-things-avocado (as well as lots and lots of ways to use mason jars).  I added fresh broccoli into the mix, as well as some edamame for protein, and skipped the cheese in favour of nutritional yeast.So yes, this dish is perfect for vegans! I also used spiral Kamut pasta instead of linguine.

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Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

  • 1 and a half medium, ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of almonds
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pasta of choice (about two cups)
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup edamame (shelled)
  • some broccoli

1.Boil pasta in well salted water until al dente. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking add broccoli and edameme into the boiling water with pasta.

2. Meanwhile, blend the basil, thyme, almonds, garlic, nutritional yeast and some olive oil into a paste (as smooth as possible).

3. Add the avocados and mustard to the pesto and blend well, adding a bit more olive oil. If too thick, add some water. Blend until smooth.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon juice and stir well.

5. Drain pasta with veggies, and incorporate the sauce. Mix well. Sprinkle with more nutritional yeast, pepper and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!

This was incredibly fast and easy. If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, or are just plain skeptical, I encourage you to use Parmesan instead (actually, I encourage you to try it first before you knock it! But Parm would also be delicious) . Next time, if I wasn’t in a rush ( to relax in front of the T.V) I would roast the garlic first for added depth.

Added bonus: on a hot day this does not require standing guard over a hot stove (with the exception of the pasta-boiling part), but keep in mind that avocado turns brown after awhile, so this is best served immediately if you are concerned about things like presentation.

All in all, a great summery solo meal!

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Immy May

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