'Tis the season for winter squashes! I love the variety of pumpkins and squashes in the markets now - my favorites being pumpkin pie pumpkins (those small round guys), buttercup pumpkin and when lucky enough to find them, kabocha squash aka Japanese pumpkin. Good ol' butternut squash is excellent all year 'round too and is particularly loved by my girls. All of these squash varieties can be used in this recipe. Choose your favorite and the flavor of it will shine through in this simple yet delicious sauce.Read More
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
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
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
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 you. 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
If you love a little pucker with your sweet with a little tropical twist, you'll go mad for this tart!Read More
I have been looking forward to sharing this recipe for months...I just had to make it a second time to make doubly sure it was a winner. IT IS. If you know miso's intense brininess and gochujang's savory pungency, then you might hesitate to believe me that using both of these together in this recipe results in a braised pork roast that is deeply flavorful, yet mellow. Wonderfully mellow. Believe.Read More
I'm so happy to kick off the new year with a recipe I'm rather excited about as it uses an amazing and wildly flavorful ingredient that is a relatively recent discovery for me - tamarind. I didn't grow up with tamarind, but I have made up for that lost time by how much I love it now. Are you thinking what even is tamarind anyway?Read More
I have a dichotomous personality when it comes to food. I avoid processed food in the house, go to great lengths to find products with no added color, flavors, preservatives or emulsifiers (like that insidious soy lecithin). I make a conscious effort to ensure our meals are not heavy with refined carbs and that vegetables & leafy greens are well-represented in general. All measures to eat more clean and healthy.Read More