Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sausage & onion Hash topped with a poached egg.

No recipe.

Diced onion, breakfast sausage cut into pieces, par-boiled baby new potatoes cut in half. Just toss everything in a pan and cook till browned and the potatoes are slightly crisp. Top with shredded cheese and a poached egg. Garnish with sliced green onion and fresh cracked pepper.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Faux-Fried Wontons

Please excuse the repeat photo. I cheated. :)

Yesterday I taught you how to make wontons and today I'm going to give you an idea of what to do once you've made them.

If you recall, I once had a soft spot for deep fried wontons. These days I'm trying to avoid deep fried products so I tried baking my wontons to see what would happen. The little bundles of goodness turned out surprisingly well. The skins bake to a crunchy texture and the insides stay moist and tender.

You'll need as many Pork and Shrimp Wontons as you'd like to consume (or serve to guests, if you must).

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. Arrange wontons in a single layer, spaced evenly apart, on the parchment.

4. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

5. Bake in the hot oven for 10-12 minutes or until the skins start to turn golden brown.

6. Serve with sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce or plum sauce for dipping!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How To Make Wontons

I grew up eating Chinese food once or twice a week because my dad, who is an excellent cook, took Chinese cooking classes. Stir fries and sates were his specialty. Wontons have always been my favourite Chinese staple, especially deep fried. I remember as a teenager, sitting at the kitchen table for hours, folding wontons so my dad could make soup. He would always make a small batch of deep fried ones just for me. Drizzled in sweet and sour sauce, deep fried wontons, at one time, were my ultimate guilty pleasure. Nowadays I like to fit in my pants so I don't indulge in wontons quite as often as before. When I do find the desire and time to make a batch, I often make extra to freeze. Straight from the freezer, wontons can be dropped into boiling broth for a quick and delicious lunch of wonton soup.

Makes about 5 dozen


1lb ground pork
1/2lb (225 grams) baby shrimp, chopped into smaller pieces
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 inch piece of ginger root, chopped fine
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
2 tsp sucanat
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 pkg wonton wrappers
small dish of water


1. Add all ingredients, except wonton wrappers, to a large bowl. Using your hands, mix together well so everything is incorporated.

2. Using your finger, lightly wet the top and bottom edges of a wonton wrapper.

3. Scoop a small amount of meat mixture onto the middle of the wonton wrapper. The scoop should be just under one teaspoon full. Anymore and the wonton won't seal properly.

4. Fold the wrapper in half, on a diagonal, to form a triangle. Press down the edges to form a tight seal.

5. Dab a bit of water in the bottom centre of the triangle. Gently pull the right point of the triangle over to the centre and press to seal it to the centre.

6. Do the same with the left point.

7. Arrange completed wontons on a parchment lined baking sheet until ready to use.

Coming soon... Faux-Fried Pork & Shrimp Wontons and Wonton Soup!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slow Cooker Lazy Cabbage (un)Roll Casserole

I have two very sad pieces of news:

1. My mom ate all my left over Lazy Cabbage (un)Roll Casserole.
2. I didn't get a chance to take a picture before she ate it.

The good news is, this dish is REALLY REALLY good. So good, it prompted my mom to steal from my fridge, a rather large tupperware container full of it. Then she e-mailed me asking for the recipe because she was telling the ladies at work how good it was and now they want to make it too.

All the taste without the hassle.


- 1lb (16oz) pkg coleslaw mix or 1/2 whole green cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice, uncooked
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato soup
- 4 tbsp sucanat (or brown sugar)
- 2 cups water


1. Brown the ground beef in a saute pan. Drain excess fat. Mix in garlic. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together diced tomatoes, tomato soup, sucanat and water.

3. Place coleslaw/cabbage in the bottom of your slow cooker. Using the whole bag of coleslaw mix may seem like a lot of cabbage, but it will wilt down. Layer ground beef over top of coleslaw. Follow with onions and rice. Pour tomato mixture and water over top. Add a bit more water if it looks too thick. DO NOT STIR MIXTURE.

4. Set slow cooker to high for 4.5 hours.

5. Once cooked, stir well to mix.

6. Top with a bit of shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Freezes well too!

I used a 6 quart slow cooker. If yours is smaller, reduce the amount or make it in batches and freeze the left overs. To reduce the amount, use 1/2 bag of coleslaw, 1 cup rice, 1 can on tomato soup, 1 cup of water and 3 tbsp sucanat. Leave all other amounts the same.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Potato Nachos

Alternate title: Mexican Poutine

This is not health food. Or even healthy food. But it makes me happy and right now I could use some happy. It's also quick, easy and everyone loves it. Plus there was a woman's Olympic semi-final hockey game on TV. Canada vs. Finland. Winner goes for GOLD on Thursday. Did I mention I will be at that game on Thursday? Anyway, every hockey game viewing needs some nachos. Did I also mention I ate the entire plate of potato nachos myself? It was one of those days.


- 1/2 bag frozen french fries (get ones with skin if you can and wedges work even better!) Or make your own fries. That would be even better!
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and mozza cheese (more as needed)
- 1/4 cup bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (about 4-5 slices) - or be cool like me and use prosciutto, because that's all I had available.
- 1/2 small onion, diced small
- 1 green chili, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 tomato, diced small (Mine doesn't have tomato! ARG!)
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- sour cream and salsa for dipping

1. Bake fries according to package directions. You want them nice and crisp. Half way through baking, lightly sprinkle taco seasoning evenly over fries.

2. While fries are baking, cook bacon till crisp. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain some fat. If there is excess bacon grease in the pan, drain it off, then add onions and cook just until translucent.

3. When fries are done, remove from oven. Leave oven on. Place fries into a shallow baking dish. Top evenly with cheese, onions, bacon and green chili.

4. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and just starting to bubble.

6. Sprinkle green onion, tomato and cilantro on top. Serve with sour cream and salsa for dipping or spoon them on top of the fries and eat with a fork. :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cooking & Prep How To's

I woke up early today and spent quite a bit of time searching YouTube for cooking "How To" videos. I have started a "How To" library. Most of the How To's are things I often do or talk about on this site. Some (like how to shuck an oyster) are things I have yet to do but would like to try. If you have any suggestions for what else can be added, let me know.

Looking for cooking terms? This site has a very extensive list.

- How to Seed a Tomato

- How to make a Cosmopolitan (Mix one up then watch the rest of the videos!

- How to chiffonade herbs

- How to butterfly shrimp

- How to shuck an oyster

- How to dice vegetables and more precisely, how to large dice vegetables and how to small dice vegetables.

- How to dice an onion

- How to julienne

- How to cut a bell pepper

- How to segment a citrus fruit (also called Supreming)

- How to seed a pomegranate

- How to fold a wonton

- How to fold a spring roll

- How to remove pin bones from fish

- How to open a bottle of wine and what to do if you break the cork, which I do quite often.

- How to open Champagne

- How to poach an egg

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Favourite Snack

Corn Thins, Laughing Cow and sliced green onion...

...or chives, or basil, or cucumber, or tomato, or smoked salmon, or salsa. Anything goes.

Quick, easy, light and delicious.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Soba Noodle Salad

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

The cast of characters:


1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce
1 tsp sucanat
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp grape seed oil

1. In a container with a tight fitting lid, add all ingredients and shake well to combine.


12 oz soba noodles, cooked per package directions and cooled
1 mango, peeled and julienned
1 small red pepper, julienned
1/2 cup snap peas, sliced vertically
2 carrots, sliced then julienned
3 green peppers, sliced thin on a bias
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
prepared dressing (may not need all of it)

1. Place chilled soba noodles in a large serving bowl.

2. Add vegetables and herbs. Toss to combine.

3. Shake dressing again and drizzle 1/2 over top of salad and toss well. Add more dressing to suit your tastes.


- Add some cooked, diced chicken or shrimp. Use this sauce to marinade the chicken or try the marinade from my Vietnamese Salad recipe.
- Add fresh, chopped cilantro.
- Kick it up a notch by adding finely sliced fresh Thai chilies.
- Serve the noodles warm and lightly stir fry the vegetables (peppers, carrots & peas) then toss.
- Use rice vermicelli noodles instead of Soba noodles.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cookies & Ice Cream

Last year, 10cent posted about a Dairy Free & Soy Free ice cream, made from coconut milk. The product had instant appeal to me since I'm trying to reduce my dairy intake and I have a strong disdain for most things soy based (aside from natural soy beans). Coconut milk ice cream seemed too good to be true.

I was at Whole Foods yesterday and finally located the coveted coconut milk ice cream. Made by Turtle Mountain, in my neck of the woods it is called "So Delicious" instead of "Purely Decadent" for some reason. This luscious treat contains SIX ingredients (Michael Pollan would be pleased) and is sweetened with Agave syrup which is perfect for the diabetic ice cream loving contingent of my family. The texture is so light and creamy, almost like soft serve. I hate hard ice cream so this is absolutely divine. Mint Chip is my favourite!

For an extra special treat, I topped my ice cream with a little gluten free chocolate chip cookie, made by KinniKinnick Foods. Made with pea starch, the Montanas Chocolate Chip Cookies are the BEST gluten free cookies I have ever tasted. The taste and texture is very similar to Dad's Chocolate Chip Cookies and for gluten free, that is a pretty good comparison. Unfortunately these are not "health food" cookies, so one or two every once in a while does a craving just fine.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quejos Brazilian Cheesebuns

A few years ago, while at Granville Island Market, I picked up a couple bags of Quejos Cheesebuns. Back then, I didn't know what it meant to be "gluten free", I just knew that these buns were very, very good.

While at Whole Foods recently, I found Quejos again. Still wheat, gluten and yeast free and now a line of dairy free cheesebuns, made with soy, and another line made with coconut milk; Made in Vancouver, Quejos have come a long way, baby.

Spinach and Onion is my favourite but the Jalapeno ones are good too. I have mine with breakfast, as a snack, or use them to make a sandwich. Toasted then slathered with a bit of butter, they are chewy and doughy and just darn good. closer to "real" bread than any gluten free product I have encountered and they don't weigh the same as a brick! Bonus!

It's a weekday, but I'm having a "weekend" breakfast of champions... two poached eggs, one turkey sausage, a big old fruit salad and a Quejos. Yum yum!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sauteed Mushrooms & Beet Greens

I picked up some beets at the market, complete with the greens attached. While I admit, I normally am one to let things go to waste, today it was not in the cards. The beets were put to use, root, green and all. Unfortunately I don't have a picture because I ate the goods a little too quickly. :)

greens from a bunch of beets (I used 6-8 leaves)
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
couple tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.

2. Add onions and saute for a minute until starting to turn translucent. Add mushrooms and saute another couple minutes until just starting to brown.

3. Tear the leaves into 2-3 inch pieces. Toss greens into saute pan.

4. Add balsamic vinegar and stir until greens start to wilt.

5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Schnitzel

This recipe is adapted from Canadian Living. It's tough craving chicken strips while trying to avoid wheat and gluten... Until I found Glutino Gluten Free Bread Crumbs. Hallelujah! Then I read the ingredients: Milled corn, evaporated cane sugar and sea salt. What? I just paid how much for jazzed up corn meal?! If you don't have or can't find gluten free breadcrumbs, corn meal and a pinch of sea salt works just the same.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 egg
1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
splash lemon juice
2 tsp corn starch mixed with a bit of water

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Between sheets of waxed paper, using meat mallet, pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. In shallow dish, mix together flour, salt, pepper and thyme. In separate shallow dish, whisk egg with 2 tbsp (25 mL) water. In third shallow dish, combine bread crumbs with half of the parsley.

4. Dip chicken into flour mixture to coat both sides. Dip into egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Dip into bread crumb mixture, patting to coat evenly. (Use Michael Smith's tip of using one hand for the wet bath and one hand for the dry bath. Save you from breading yourself.)

5. Place prepared chicken on greased baking sheet and put the sheet into the hot oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until appropriate internal temperature is reached and the crust is crispy and just turning golden brown.

6. While chicken is cooking, saute mushrooms with olive oil in a sauce pan. Cook until golden. Remove from heat and wait until chicken is cooked.

7. Once chicken is cooked through and the crust is crispy and browned, remove from baking sheet onto a plate and cover with foil. If there are any brown bits on the baking sheet, add a tablespoon or two of broth and scrape up the bits with a spatula. Add the drippings to the mushrooms. Add the garlic, remaining broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

8. In small bowl combine corn starch a few teaspoons of warm water. Stir into sauce and cook until sauce thickens into a gravy. Season well with salt and pepper.

9. Serve over chicken and garnish with remaining parsley.

I served my Schnitzel with sauteed beet greens and roasted red potatoes!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kale Chips

This recipe comes from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook. Ms. Reno claims this is "the easiest recipe in the book" and I think she is right. My desire to try kale was inspired by Marianne, who has been eating kale chips just about every night lately. I actually ran into Marianne at the produce market today and mentioned that I was going to try kale chips for the first time. She described them as being "not quite like potato chips".

Well, you know what? Marianne was right. When baked until crisp and tossed with olive oil and some seasonings, kale tastes like nature's potato chips. Kale chips are really, REALLY good.

Kale is also VERY GOOD FOR YOU! The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth describes kale as a "nutritional powerhouse". Part of the cabbage family, kale is a powerful antioxidant as well as being packed with calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and K and contains 4g of protein and 3g of fiber (per 2 cup serving). It also has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli... what is the miracle food now?

If you needed any more reasons to try kale, well, take my word for it - kale tastes good and is quick and easy to prepare. Plus, kale is in season right now!

Kale Chips:

1 bunch of kale, rinsed/dried and trimmed (can be broken into smaller pieces)
1 tbsp good quality EV olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp dried oregano
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Place kale leaves in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic salt, oregano and pepper.

4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet.

5. Roast leaves in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the leaves during the last few minutes to ensure they don't char. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

DO NOT over bake your kale!! I over did mine a bit and bit and some pieces tasted slightly bitter from being burnt... but it was still a success.

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