Category Archives: Recipes

Bridgerton Inspired Head-Turning Coconut Shrimp Soup!

Calling all faux-wannabe royals – this recipe which I found tucked away in Hello Magazine is an easy-to-make tasty little gem which according to the copy “conjures up memories of meals served in the popular TV period drama, Bridgerton!

SERVES 6

  • 1 small Yukon gold potato
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil1 large leek
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, diced and divided
  • 11/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  1. Add potato to a small pot of water and and bring to boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium and simmer until tender about 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat add 3 tbs oil and add leeks and 6 cloves of garlic. Cook until leek is soft approximately 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over high heat, add remaining 3 tbs oil, shrimp and remaining garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes or until done.
  4. In a food processor, add leek and potato, coconut milk and puree.
  5. Pour into a medium saucepan over low heat and add red curry paste and ginger. Cook 2 minutes stirring often.Remove from heat.
  6. Pour into individual bowls and add chopped shrimp, add mango and cilantro to garnish.

Enjoy with a glass of bubbly!

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Vegetarian Singapore Noodles

I found this in Canadian Living Vegetarian and it’s delicious. For those of you who eat prawns, it’s an easy addition or switcheroo for tofu! This recipe is fast and easy and it heats up well the next day.

  •  8 oz rice stick vermicelli
  •  3 tablespoons sodium-reduced soy sauce
  •  2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  •  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •  2 cups shredded napa cabbage
  •  1 1/2 cup drained and cubed Sunrise Extra Firm Tofu
  •  sweet red pepper julienned
  •  4 oz snow peas julienned
  •  green onions thinly sliced
  •  cloves garlic minced
  •  4 teaspoons curry powder
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanut (optional)

In large bowl, soak vermicelli in warm water until softened and separate, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar and 3/4 cup water; set aside.

In wok, heat oil over medium-high heat; stir-fry cabbage, tofu, red pepper, snow peas, green onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper; stir-fry for 1 minute. 

Stir in soy mixture; bring to boil. Stir in noodles, tossing to combine; stir-fry until tender, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts (if using).

You can check out the full recipe here.

Thanks Canadian Living for your fantastic test kitchen!

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Yummy Pad Thai

I’ve experimented with a few Pad Thai recipes and this one is simple, flavourful. The recipe is from a site called “Tastes Better From Scratch” that’s got loads of great recipes. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been great each time. You can find a more detailed post here.

Picture from Tastes Better From Scratch

Ingredients

  • ▢ 8 ounces flat rice noodles
  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons oil
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • ▢ 8 ounces uncooked shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu , cut into small pieces
  • ▢ 2 eggs
  • ▢ 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • ▢ 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
  • ▢ 3 green onions , chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ▢ 2 limes
  • ▢ 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro , chopped

For the Pad Thai sauce:

  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ▢ 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar * see note
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce , or more, to taste
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter , optional
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender.  Rinse under cold water.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp, chicken or tofu, garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping only once.
  • Push everything to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.
  • Add noodles, sauce, bean sprouts and peanuts to the pan (reserving some peanuts for topping at the end). Toss everything to combine.
  • Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately!

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Tomato Coconut Curry with Cod

My sister and her boyfriend gave this recipe to me as a part of my birthday present. I must say, I’ve made it at least a dozen times since then. It’s super easy, and really yummy. You can find a collection of their discerning recipes on this website right here.

This photo comes from Epicurious also a great food website:)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup mild red curry paste
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (5.4-oz.) can coconut cream
  • 4 (5-oz.) skinless, boneless cod fillets, patted dry
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour oil into a large wide saucepan and add shallot. Set over medium-high and cook, shaking pan often, until shallot is golden brown, 3–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot to paper towels to drain; season with 1/2 tsp. salt.
  2. Return pan with oil to medium-high heat and add ginger and curry paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until paste begins to stick to pan, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to burst and curry just starts to stick to pan, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Season fish fillets all over with 1 tsp. salt and arrange over tomato mixture. Transfer pan to oven and bake until flesh is opaque all the way through, firm to the touch, and easily flakes when thickest part is pierced with a paring knife, 18–22 minutes.
  4. Transfer fish and curry to a platter. Toss basil with lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Scatter over curry. Top with crispy shallots.

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Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, Lemon, and Oregano via Epicurious

This recipe by GLAIA KREMEZI is fantastic.

  • 3  pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a single layer in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.
  3. Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you like, preheat the broiler and broil the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve at once.

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Scallop Tom Kha Thai Soup

I tried this last night and loved it! Of course I changed the recipe and used prawns instead of scallops and added garlic and onion and served it with brown rice. But that was it!  It’s definitely a keeper. Wait a minute I also substituted chicken for veggie stock and I used only one can of coconut.

This was passed on from a friend who found it in Coastal Living magazine.

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How to Make It

Step 1

Combine stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard solids.

Step 2

Return coconut milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil over high. Stir in mushrooms, sambal oelek, lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in scallops, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among 6 bowls, and top with remaining 2 tablespoons each basil and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

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Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce

My sister introduced me to this and now I can’t stop making it. You can find this and some other fantastic recipes on her website here. For anyone who ever wondered how to make crispy tofu, put the oil away. This is easy, fast and super delicious.  I’m what my brother calls a ‘radical’ cook, a nice way of saying I can’t follow recipes. For this recipe I used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the marinade.

Happy Eating!

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu (preferably organic, non-GMO)
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • cornstarch

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 ½ tbsp creamy peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Start pressing tofu using a tofu press, or wrap in clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy — like a cast iron skillet or books — on top to press out the moisture. Press for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, prepare peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and whisking thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
  3. Cut pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and add to a large plate. Top with Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Gently toss to combine using hands or a spoon. Let marinate 2-3 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally.
  4. Use a slotted spoon or your hands to transfer tofu to a paper bag. Add cornstarch 1 tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer.
  5. Transfer tofu to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping at the 18-minute mark to encourage even baking. It should be firm to the touch, firm on the edges, and slightly browned on the exterior once removed from the oven. Bake slightly longer if needed.
  6. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet (12 inch) over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and the peanut sauce. Toss to coat. Stirring frequently, sauté the tofu for about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is hot and well coated with peanut sauce.

 

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Shrimp Cakes with Dill Remoulade & Fennel Slaw

My brother brought this recipe to my attention when he was planning his wife’s birthday meal. It turned out to be a huge success so I thought I would also give it a try. He got this recipe in the LCBO magazine where you can find many great recipes. I made a rookie mistake when I made these and made them too big so they literally were shrimp CAKES. While delicious it was pretty rich! What I like the most about these shrimp cakes is that it really is mostly roughly cut pieces of shrimp held very delicately together with egg and breadcrumbs! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

DILL REMOULADE
½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise (reduced fat is fine)
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) thinly sliced green onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped dill
2 tsp (10 mL) capers, rinsed, chopped
1½ tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard
1½ tsp (7 mL) grainy mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice
½ tsp (2 mL) hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

FENNEL SLAW
½ fennel bulb, trimmed
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

SHRIMP CAKES
1 lb (500 g) shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika
6 tbsp (90 mL) panko bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
⅓ cup (80 mL) cornmeal
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil, divided
Dill leaves to garnish

1 For the dill remoulade, combine mayonnaise, garlic, green onion, dill, capers, mustards, lemon juice and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt, if necessary, and pepper. (Remoulade will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 5 days.)

2 For the fennel slaw, cut fennel in half lengthwise through core. Slice thinly crosswise on a mandolin, discarding cores. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Drain before using.

3 For the shrimp cakes, rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, chop into pieces between ¼ and ½ inch (0.5 to 1 cm). Place in a mixing bowl with egg, onion, smoked paprika and panko. Season with salt, if necessary (most frozen shrimp are salty), and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

4 Place cornmeal on a plate. Form heaping 2-tbsp (30-mL-plus) portions of shrimp mixture into 2½-inch-diameter (6-cm) patties. Coat patties in cornmeal.

5 Working in 2 batches, heat half of vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pan-fry half of shrimp cakes until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel. Repeat for remaining shrimp cakes.

6 Arrange shrimp cakes on a serving platter. Top each with a dollop of remoulade and some drained fennel slaw. Garnish with dill leaves.

Makes 12 cakes

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Lemon Drop (martini, of course)

The Lemon Drop Martini is a thing of beauty. Perfect for breezy summer evenings, a drink on the dock, or backyard BBQ, it’s great anytime, anywhere as long as someone else makes it for you! That’s the key. It needs to be delivered on a tray in an icy, frosted glass.

In an attempt to cheer myself up this last weekend, I cooked like crazy and Dave made Lemon Drops, (several I might add and which turned to Lime Drops when we eventually ran out of lemons). It was nothing less than a perfect collaboration. And guess what? I climbed out of my downward spiral of OH MY GOD the world is going to hell and other self-inflicted sadnesses that seemed determined to take me down. unnamed.jpg

Here’s how to make these lovely little gems.

For one Single Lemon Drop
Ingredients:
11/2ounces vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
3/4 ounce fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 to 5 ice cubes
lemon twist

Chill martini glass in freezer for ten minutes. Pour vodka, triple sec, sugar and lemon into martini shaker with ice cubes. Use lemon to rim the glass and dunk in sugar. Shake martini shaker, pour, drink, enjoy and repeat!
Cheers!

While Dave made these I prepared an appetizer of avocado, prawns and aioli with a twist of lemon, followed by fresh tomato bisque soup finished with whipped cream, and then the final course, pasta with fresh pesto. The next night I made paella. I’m happy to say that all this food and drink celebration beat back the sads and I had a fantastic weekend enjoying something of a culinary and liquid renaissance!

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Italian Grandma Pesto

101 Cookbooks is my new favourite vegetarian cooking website. I love the context and details provided for each recipe. There  isn’t so much that it’s too much to read but there’s exactly enough to give you everything you need to understand the “why” of cooking something a certain way.

I’m not a lover of commercial pesto and rarely eat it but this pesto is simple and fabulous. The trick is to hand chop everything. You can get the full explanation of why it is so much better here but my own feeling is that the unevenness of hand-chopping makes each bite a little different.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic
  • one small handful of raw pine nuts
  • roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and freshly grated
  • A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
Chop Ingredients
The official chopping protocol from 101 Cookbooks is below. As I’m incapable of being able to follow any recipe to the letter, we simply chopped the large bunch of basil, the handful of nuts, and garlic and then slowly added in the parmesan and then made sure it was properly mixed. The 101 Cooks method leaves you with something of a pesto cake (yum!). We prepared some elbow pasta, mixed in the pesto added salt and pepper and presto Pesto!
It was delicious.
  1. Chop the garlic along with about 1/3 of the basil leaves. Once this is loosely chopped add more basil, chop some more, add the rest of the basil, chop some more. At this point the basil and garlic should be a very fine mince. Add about half the pine nuts, chop. Add the rest of the pine nuts, chop. Add half of the Parmesan, chop. Add the rest of the Parmesan, and chop. In the end you want a chop so fine that you can press all the ingredients into a basil “cake” – see the photo up above. Transfer the pesto “cake” to a small bowl (not much bigger than the cake).

Form a Paste
  1. Cover the pesto “cake” with a bit of olive oil. It doesn’t take much, just a few tablespoons. At this point, you can set the pesto aside, or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Just before serving, give the pesto a quick stir to incorporate some of the oil into the basil. Francesca’s mom occasionally thins the pesto with a splash of pasta water for more coverage, but for our gnocchi this wasn’t necessary.

 

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