Wednesday, June 30, 2010

veggie meat with bok choy and eggplant

have been doing more vegetarian dishes and had an eggplant to use so i boiled then stirfried in strips with a pack of yves asian "meat" and a few heads of baby bok choy in the wok. threw in some garlic chili sauce and a bit of soy sauce and fish sauce.

pretty good although the flavour from the yves asian "meat" was a bit overly ginger-tasting. and i don't mind ginger but it added a little more sweetness than i like for eggplant.

Monday, June 28, 2010

simple potato salad

i had leftover boiled potatoes and it is summer so potato salad time
i find mayo to be kind of heavy so i do a bit of a cheat to get the creamy potato salad flavour

this is how i made my potato salad this time around (yum!)

6 medium sized boiled potatoes - skins off and cubed
2 spring onions chopped
5 eggs boiled, peeled and chopped
1 cup low cal ranch dressing
2 tbsp prepared mustard (was out of plain dijon and this worked really well
3 dashes of paprika
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tbsp fresh basil from the garden - chopped

eggs on the boil, and then all the ingredients together...

refrigerate for at least a few hours, and overnight is even better. i find that ranch dressing gives the creaminess of mayo without the heaviness of it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

he will not sleep

he will not sleep
he wills not to sleep
will he not sleep
sleep...he will not
will sleep! no, not he

Thursday, June 17, 2010

just redesigning the look of the blog

i may try out a few backgrounds, and i still have to design the header, but just trying out a few new looks for the blog - it's time - been using the same design for nearly two years

decisions decisions

simple pad thai

when i am out of tamarind, this is my alternate pad thai recipe

so simple pad thai

vermicelli/rice noodles (at least 1/2lb) softened in hot water

then in a wok, fry (use a bit of oil or water
3 eggs that are already lightly beaten
1lb shrimp (skins off, tail off

then for the sauce which you add after frying the eggs and shrimp

1/3c fish sauce
1/4c ketchup (usually prefer a few tbsp of tamarind but this does work well)
1.5tbsp sugar
1/2c water (may need a little more if you cook longer
2tbsp minced garlic

then add the rice noodles
and about 3min before you are ready to serve
add 2-2.5c bean sprouts

toppings (all optional but add a lot of flavour
3tbsp of the greens of spring onions chopped
1/4c peanut pieces
dash of crushed red pepper or siracha sauce
3tbsp cilantro chopped
lime wedges to squeeze over your dish

yum - this has been my pad thai recipe for at least 10yrs now, yum! if i have it i substitute tofu for eggs and tamarind for the ketchup (and then less sugar)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

making food for the bubs - grilled cheese

i love books like those by the sneaky chef as i have not only used them for c and e but also for adding extra goodness to some of the less healthy food indulgences (blog post last month re. black beans and the cake mix)

so for c, who is 3 and not always open to every type of food (although he does try most things - his latest love is pho from pho bo ga king - about 30m from our house), i sometimes have to get a bit creative. so with grilled cheese i most often add pulled chicken or mashed sweet potato in the sandwich. he's great with any whole grain (he's never really had white bread), so the challenge is to make a grilled cheese that has more than just cheese and bread.

i sometimes do shapes too.
and this time i combined both...

so simple
- ancient grain bread
-2 slices provolone
- 2 tbsp pulled chicken breast
- dash of minced garlic
- butter
- and butter for frying in the iron-cast skillet

and the result...
went heart-themed (and the only thing he didn't finish was the polish sausage - guess the heart does matter when it comes to 3yr old eating patterns!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

does the world have a dream?

an interesting lecture i attended this weekend asked this simple question...

does the world have a dream? and then, do we have a dream for the world?

are we all reactionary, is the world about reaction and then gave me much food for thought.

the algonquin shaman continued...close your eyes and listen to these words - imf, politics, money, oil spill, g8, g20...there were some chuckles in the audience.

did the words make you think, and more - did you react to them.
the chuckles spoke loudly.

he then went on how he could have used words like relationships, community, family and images/reactions would have been stirred as well.

then it moved into the global realm - is it all about reacting? do we simply move from disaster to disaster? does it sometimes get too much that we turn away from the news, from what is occurring in the world?

the talk stirred up more questions for me than i could answer. and ones that i hope i can.

we all have dreams, but what do we dream for this world? if we collectively dream, with our different voices, a world dream, could that shift from simply travelling from nightmarish disaster to disaster?

if the world could put its voice to a dream what would it be? a collection of voices, motivated and meditative - could that help usher in the dream-world. i love the phrase many voices make light work - we all take a piece of the seemingly enormous labor of fulfilling the dream for this world, and we make light, less-burdensome work.

...didn't help my insomnia (several weeks running), but it did make me think - does make me think - does make me ask, and look again at the vital importance of dreams.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

simple salad

i wasn't super hungry for supper so i made a simple salad as you can see and the boys had leftovers

Saturday, June 12, 2010

instant oatmeal muffins

another easy dessert / snack since i am not much of a baker
from allrecipes

modifications i made - adding a few slivers of empire apple to each muffin, using the whole egg not just the egg white, and soy milk instead of cow's milk

Friday, June 11, 2010

rolled oats jam dessert bars

this is easy, and from a recipe at

i didn't change a thing - they were easy and the butter gave a bit of a shortbread taste to them. nice with coffee!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

tagine in a wok

well it's not really a tagine - i don't have a pretty tagine pot
and i don't think chorizo qualifies as moroccan
this is moroccan inspired, and even if it is cooked in a wok (the only thing that can fit the volume of ingredients) it is still tagine to me - yep - use cous cous, can call it tagine!

chorizo sausage - i use a whole packaged one from presidents choice - chopped
baby spinach - bag
can of chickpeas - drained and rinsed
one onion chopped or 3 green onions chopped
1 tbsp of minced garlic
half a cup of stock - chicken or mushroom both work well
cumin to taste
salt to taste - may not need it, we don't usually
i had a cup of chopped, cooked sweet potatoes left over from another recipe so i threw that in too

cous cous as per package instructions

i throw everything in the wok except for the baby spinach, and get it all simmering and happy and blended together

then i start adding the spinach

and they sweat it out

this is yum, and other than some chopping - super fast

the bubs will eat the chickpeas, chorizo, sweet potato and cous cous so that to me makes it a winner

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

quick, indian inspired curry filling with dosa

so dh comes home at 445 en route to take the bubs for a walk and advises me that he forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer to bbq this eve.

hmmmm - search through and not much in leftovers. i am trying to go gluten free so was scouring the cupboards for an idea - hmmm chick pea flour - dosa! and potatoes - curried dosa filling.

i made up this recipe based on various curries i already do

5 medium organic yellow skinned potatoes (any type will do
1.5tbsp each of turmeric, cumin, curry and crushed garlic cloves
salt to taste
about 1/4 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
1 spring onion chopped
1.5c water

boil potatoes - cool them and chop into small chunks
chop the spring onion

in a big frying pan or wok throw in the water, spices and coconut
when they all look nice, blended and bubbly, add potatoes and onion
simmer on medium for a few minutes

OMG! these were genius on the dosa - surpassed expectations, and was really impressed at just how well this last minute improvisation went

super super yummy - led me to overeat a bit but hey, only a little oil was used to fry the dosa other than that, none at all

simple dosa recipe - i use chickpea flour and rice flour in equal amounts, pinch of cumin, pinch of garam masala, add water and blend to a thin pancake texture and fry as thin as possible
- they aren't as pretty as a south indian/sri lankan restaurant but taste just fine

um - i even made a dessert while making this supper - okay, so it was gluten free white cake - i did add tonnes of blueberries and had enough to make a dozen muffins and a pie plate sized coffee cake - yum yum yum!

freezer bag tip

i don't know, maybe everyone does this and i am the last person on the planet to figure it out.
but in case i am not, i get more use out of my freezer bags
as in - i can use them pretty much forever

what i do is save bags that bread, pitas, rolls come in - then i store any leftovers that i want to freeze instead of put in the fridge. so i wait until the food is completely cool, grab an old plastic bread bag, and put it in the freezer bag.

what is great about old bread/pita bags is that parts of it are transparent so you can still see what's inside and it's a great way to store smaller portions of leftovers in particular. i often put similar types of leftovers - like noodles or vegetarian dishes - in the same freezer bag. it's neat, clean and easy

keeps my life easy, and i don't have to buy freezer bags often at all.
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