With the start of school and adieu to summer vacation, I begin to accept that Fall is just around the corner. Every year when I spot the first copper-y dried leaf fallen on the sidewalk, I think of (lower your device's volume if you're at work haha) this old KFC commercial where the woman is screaming and pointing at something. The camera then turns to the sidewalk in front of her, showing a single fallen maple leaf on the ground with the voice-over saying "summer can't last forever". She then bolts in the other direction. I feel exactly the same way! Does anyone else (Canadian) remember this one? Best. Commercial. Ever. My favorite. :)Read More
Cauliflower has been having quite a moment in the sun.
Have you seen all the clever and creative uses of cauliflower lately? The popular ones that spring to mind are cauliflower steak, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower buffalo 'wings', cauliflower tater tots and even using cauliflower as a smoothie ingredient to provide bulk without the added sugars of bananas and other fruits (can't say I'm sold on that one ... yet).
So despite it's pale and unexciting appearance, turns out this cruciferous veggie kinda has superpowers! And cauliflower RICE, for me, is the most super-y-est of them all because of it's ease of preparation (including how much faster it is to cook versus rice), superior nutritional value over rice, it's versatility and above all, how satisfyingly well it stands in for rice.Read More
Hiya! It's been a minute since I posted. How has this month flown by so fast? Oh I remember now. It's because I've had my hands full with the girls who are on summer break. Why even is there a summer vacation? People who work don't get 2 months off their jobs (I mean other than school-related staff). Stay-at-home parents don't stop cooking / dishes / laundry / vacuuming / groceries / chauffeuring and all of that for a couple of months every year. Why do children get 2 months off school? Isn't school basically their job? Seems like a good idea to keep their minds sharp all year round. Maybe next year I will sign the girls up for math camp all summer heh heh. #tigermomgoalsRead More
This one is my favorite twist on banana muffins. I am a die-hard fan of the distinctive flavor of black sesame seeds. In these muffins, I especially love how its earthy nuttiness balances the sweetness of the bananas. A liberal sprinkling of extra black sesame seeds and coarse sugar give the muffins delightfully crunchy tops, making them extra special.Read More
I am super excited to share this recipe as a follow-up to last week's Everyday Veggie-Loaded Ragu share. For forever, it was a no-brainer to make a lasagna later the same week I make up a big batch of my go-to ragu. I literally don't know a single person who doesn't like lasagna, do you? But when we began limiting dairy and gluten consumption (among other things) at the end of 2016, it seemed our lasagna days were over. Bye bye.
Or so I thought.Read More
Does the internet really need another 'spaghetti sauce' recipe? For a year and half since I started this blog, the answer to myself was consistently NO. Yet here it is. Why?
Instead of seeing it as too pedestrian to be blog-worthy, I now see it as invariably delicious, nourishing and actually an excellent representation of what we eat hence what I like to bring to the blog. A ragù (an Italian term) is a sauce made with ground meat and vegetables usually used for pasta. This is my take on the ubiquitous dish. It is uncomplicated yet deliberate in ingredients to maximize both taste and nutrition. It is beloved in my universe (my family). It is tried, test and true.Read More
If you know my modus operandi, you know I'm all about tasty and healthy meals with minimal effort. People often assume I love to cook (whatever gave them that idea ;)) but the honest truth is, I'm more driven by the end game than the process. My paramount goal has always been to feed my family simple homemade meals created from clean, whole ingredients. That's why I gravitate toward uncomplicated food. Are you anything like me? If so, this recipe is perfect for you too.Read More
The girls showered me with their praises when they tasted this loaf. And since I thrive off flattery and compliments (heehee), I made a second loaf immediately for next morning's breakfast which was greeted with the same gleeful enthusiasm.
Stroke stroke stroke. My ego.
Never you mind that the judging panel was comprised of a 6 year old and a 3 year old. I decided I would definitely share this recipe on the blog with you so you too can have your ego stroked. Or at the very least, have your breakfast sorted.Read More
I assume most people's mornings are just as hurried as ours. Mine goes like this: wake up, get self ready (aka barely splash some water on face and put a bra on), dress children, make breakfast, pack lunches and most importantly drink that coffee that's getting cold dammit. The saving grace of warmer mornings now is more simple options for breakfast, such as chilled overnight oats or overnight chia puddings. Lately the girls have been obsessed with chia pudding parfaits and they really get a kick out of choosing their own fixings and assembling their own little parfaits. Which is a complete score for me. I can sip my hot coffee while they take over that part of the morning routine.
Besides hurried mornings, this Do-It-Yourself concept translates really well for overnight guests or a weekend brunch gathering with friends too, as the main event (as it is definitely filling enough) or a hands-off component of a larger spread. The assortment of goodies is more or less the same, although you may add more options to make it extra special (see my suggestions further below). All you need to do is scale up in quantity. The best part is how it can be styled beautifully into an impressive spread, as I've done for this blog post. Isn't it pretty? As a mama of a daughter with food restrictions, it's bonus for me that it is suitable for both adults and children, as well as people with dietary constraints since the entire set up is dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free, vegan and paleo-friendly (if the granola is omitted from the parfait for those individuals).Read More
I'll concede that as far as food trends go, you're much more likely to see a chia pudding pop up on your Instagram feed than a tapioca pudding. You might even say the latter is super old-school. But to people like me and my husband who enjoyed it growing up, it holds a supreme ranking as far as desserts that delighted us as children.Read More
I had a sudden hankering for something sweet, chewy, nutty with a hit of chocolate and a touch of saltiness......buuut still kinda healthy and definitely not tooth-achingly sweet. After 5 minutes of pantry-diving and another 10 minutes perusing Pinterest for inspiration, this bar was cobbled together in no time at all and boy, did it satisfy every single one of those needs.
So scrumptious. So addictive. I'm already diving into the second batch within a week. I had to...for research purposes.Read More
The selfish part of me doesn't want to publicly share how ah-mazing beef cheeks are for braising! Beef cheeks are at once lean and tender. When slow cooked or pressure cooked, it is extremely flavorful and yields lusciously to your fork. Or should I say, spoon because that's the utensil to use for this dish. It's how wonderfully tender it is!Read More
Sometimes a classic flavor combo just beckons. Like this classic chocolate cake with strawberry mascarpone buttercream. The cake itself is more or less a one-bowl situation and the buttercream is the simpler American style (faster to whip up) except made more luxurious with the additions of mascarpone cheese and homemade strawberry puree. I happened to have strawberry puree in my freezer from the end of last summer (strawberries cooked down with a bit of water then blended until smooth) but you can also use a quality, naturally sweetened strawberry jam. This cake just proved to me again why chocolate and strawberries are perfect companions.Read More
When I discovered a package of frozen udon in the freezer, I was delighted. My cravings spoke loudly and decisively. I knew instantly that I wanted to enjoy it in this easy coconut curry noodle bowl. Since we limit grains including wheat these days, we rarely slurp down any noodles (made from wheat) at home anymore. I cherished this bowl of udon with my entire being.Read More
Due to popular demand, I'm putting up this recipe which is an oldie I found through the Food Network website and have made it again and again. These days we are limiting gluten and refined sugars but I make exceptions when I'm baking for others or just as an occasional treat. Believe me I don't go wasting that 'quota' just on anything. I have to tell you, these shortbread cookies are well worth it.Read More
This is one of those one-pot meals that are extremely easy to make and extremely tasty. The magic happens during the last bit of simmering when the starches released from the rice cakes combine with the liquid cooked out of the napa cabbage to create a velvety, luscious sauce. It is satisfying and oh so very delish.Read More
Currently my favorite caffeinated iced drink (I was obsessed with this horcatta iced latte for awhile too), it beats any iced latte drink you can order at SBux. Although I was thrilled that Starbucks recently started offering almond milk option, it still comes out of a carton. Nothing compares to homemade nut milk. Nothing! Before you think there is no way you have time to make this, think again. Besides the passive time required to soak the nuts (see note below re soaking), it takes about 15 minutes to make a batch which can be savored over a week of lattes. That's a pretty solid ROI if you ask me!
Of course, you can drink the nut milk straight up. It is so, SO delicious! But what isn't improved with a shot (or two) of nice strong espresso? I think you know the answer my friend. Cheers!Read More
Ever since my family moved to a diet with limited dairy, my girls have been begging for mac & cheese. This is a dairy-free version which satisfies all the cravings for the real thing. They love it so much I literally have to cut them off before they gorge themselves silly on it.Read More
Guess what? I have another awesome mash-up for ya. Okonomiyaki wraps.
First of all, what is okonomiyaki? Other than that it's fun to say (rolls off the tongue doesn't it), it is a Japanese savory pancake originating from Osaka, Japan. The pancake batter itself is traditionally flour-and-egg based, with finely shredded cabbage mixed right in. The name itself translates to "grill as you like it", meaning you can adapt it by adding to the pancake batter a variety of different ingredients from veggies (i.e. corn, mushrooms, potatoes) to meats (i.e. pork, beef, chicken) to seafood (i.e. shrimp, squid, fish). When we lived in downtown Toronto, we were lucky to be a 2-minute walking distance from Okonomi House, a small Japanese-run restaurant that specializes in - you guessed it - okonomiyaki. It was there that we discovered this ultra tasty food.Read More