Ma Po Tofu with Eggplant is an easy and delicious dish to make, any night of the week. Preparation takes about 10 minutes and another 10 for cooking. Dinner will be on the table in no time.
I have been making ma po tofu for many many years. It is warming and satisfying and delicious anytime of the year.
I make this dish with pork. but you could easily turn this dish into a vegan dinner by omitting the pork. With so many seasonings such as ginger, garlic, green onion, soy sauce and vegetable broth – you won’t miss the pork.
Ma Po Tofu actually dates back about 200 years. It was originally made by an elderly woman at The Chen Xingsheng, a small restaurant that she ran with her husband.
Ma means pock, and po means elderly, so mapo was actually used to describe the woman who made and served this delicious dish.
If you need a quick and delicious dinner – Ma Po Tofu with Eggplant is for you!
It’s still winter here in Ottawa, but about 9,000 km straight south of us, Martes de Carnival is going on in Argentina. To mark this special event, Melissa Johnson from the delicious and inspiring breadandwords food blog and I have teamed together to create two variations of Matambre: a unique, colourful and very traditional dish of Argentina.
Matambre is made from flank steak that is stuffed with a variety of herbs and vegetables and then rolled up! Matambre is really an amazing and delicious dish. There are so many flavours popping out at the same time – it’s just so so so good! You can serve it at dinner parties, backyard barbecues or as an appetizer. It’s so delicious!
Matambre literally means kill (matar) hunger (hambre). And this dish certainly does that quickly!
As Matambre is so versatile, Melissa and I decided to do two variations of this amazing Argentinian dish. Melissa’s recipe for matambre is reminiscent of the one her Argentinian mother used to make. Her matambre is stuffed with parsley, cheese, garlic and other colourful vegetables. Melissa seared her steak and then baked it in the oven.
For my recipe, I wanted to add some spice, so I added a layer of chorizo sausage. The spinach combined with the carrots and red peppers is divine. And who knew that olives would taste so mighty fine with steak. Well, they do. Amazing, actually! After the steak is rolled up and seared in a hot skillet, it was simmered in a red wine-based broth for 90 minutes until tender. Yum!
To make matambre, you have to butterfly your flank steak. To do this, you will need a very sharp knife, so be careful with your fingers! In the center of the piece of steak (running with the grain) cut about half way through the meat. Then make two short slits perpendicular to the main cut. Slice the steak open along the long cut. Just go easy, if you poke through, it’s not a big deal. You want this steak to open up like a book.
Now it’s time to start layering the filling ingredients. As you lay down the filling, leave a few inches at the far long end.
For my matambre, spread the steak with dijon mustard, leaving a one inch border. Next, spread a layer of herbs, jalapeno peppers and garlic. Then sprinkle sauteed chorizo sausage all over and followed by a layer of spinach leaves. Next, make rows of the sliced red peppers, orange carrots, green olives mixed with roasted red peppers, and red onion.
Roll the steak up towards the empty long end. It may look a bit messy, and if a few filling ingredients pop out, don’t worry, you can put them back in after it is all tied up. Keep the seam side down as you start to tie it up. I used four strings across the steak, and because I wanted to simmer it on top of the stove, I also used one long one for the full length. (Here’s a great video to watch, just scroll down to the bottom, if you want some tips on tying up your meat!)
Sear the steak on all sides in a hot skillet. I simmered my matambre, but you could also bake yours. If you’re interested in baking your matambre, check out Melissa’s instructions to see how she baked hers.
After about 90 minutes, when the meat feels tender, it will look sort of like this. It really stays together quite well.
Time to slice this matambre up!
Again, get a really sharp knife, and slice your matambre. It actually slices really easily. And have a look inside. So gorgeous! Look at all those colours!!!
All of the ingredients create a lovely pattern inside. Remember to present it on your prettiest platter. It will be a showstopper! It’s popular to serve it with chimichurri sauce. You will find the recipe below.
Try both of our recipes or mix and match: bake mine or simmer Melissa’s on top of the stove. Or choose your favourite ingredients from both recipes.
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard (depending on the size of your steak)
1 handful each parsley, watercress, and cilantro (chopped)
2 tbsp pickled jalapeno, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic
1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
1 carrot, cut in quarters
1 red pepper, sliced
about 10 large green spanish olives, sliced in half
1/2 roasted red pepper
2 chorizo sausages, cooked and chopped up
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups red wine
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
2 tomatoes (scrape the seeds out, and chop fine)
1 red onion (chopped fine)
3 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
one handful of parsley (chopped fine)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
Butterfly the flank steak. See instructions above, or find a video on youtube (it's really easy, actually)
Spread dijon mustard all over steak.
Chop the parsley, cilantro and watercress together with the pickled jalapeno, cumin and garlic. Make sure they all get mixed together.
Spread the chopped herbs on top of the dijon mustard. Leave 2-3 inches at the far, long edge of the steak empty. This makes it easier to roll up.
Spread the chorizo sausage on top.
Layer the washed baby spinach leaves on top of the sausage.
In rows, running along the grain of the meat; place the olives, carrots, red pepper. You can do thick rows, repeating rows etc. But try not to overstuff, or it will be difficult to roll.
Roll the steak, and leave it on the cutting board while you get ready to tie it up.
Cut about 4-5 pieces of butcher's twine and tie the twine around the steak. I used one extra long one to tie from end to end because I simmered it on top of the stove and I didn't want anything to fall out.
Sear the steak on all sides in a large hot pan, until all sides are nicely browned.
Place the steak in a large pot.
Add 2 cups of red wine (I used Malbec because it's Argentinian).
Add water until the steak is submerged.
Add the oregano, thyme, garlic and bay leaves.
Simmer for about 90 minutes, until meat is tender.
Place on a cutting board and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Slice up and serve with steamed carrots and sweet potato fries. Yum!
Chimichurri Sauce: Chop, chop, chop all of the herbs and vegetables until very fine, especially the parsley.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
Let the marinade sit in the fridge for atleast one hour.
Refrigerate after dinner. Will be good in the fridge for a couple of days.
chimichurri recipe lightly adapted from Jamie Magazine
I recently had Julia Konovalova’s cookbook, The Ultimate One-Pan Oven, sent to me to review from Food Bloggers of Canada. I prepared one dish from the book for my review: Easy Chicken Thighs in Peanut Sauce with Green Beans. It was soooo good. I’ve tried a lot of homemade peanut sauces over the years, with most recipes being duds, but this one was tasty and full of flavour. If you’re interested in family-friendly, easy and delicious recipes, read on.
The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook was written by blogger Julia Konovalova, creator of Imagelicious. I have to admit, this is my first cookbook review. I have been reading cookbooks since I was a little girl, and somehow thought this would be a fun and easy activity. Well, of course, browsing through any cookbook is fun, but reviewing one is not as easy as I thought.
I realized as I was going through this book, that there is a lot more to a good cookbook than just the recipes. Everything about the book has to make you want to use it: the photos, the names of the recipes, the layout of the book, the style of writing, the categories of recipes and of course, the recipe instructions.
I will break my review down into the categories mentioned above.
Every recipe in this book is complimented with an eye-popping, mouth-watering photograph. I love that the photographs are light and bright and really expose the natural look of each dish and are not over edited. The dishes look just the way they would on your kitchen table at suppertime. And that’s nice.
While browsing through the cookbook, I was drooling over the food adjective-heavy names. She includes recipes such as Cocoa-Rubbed Pork Back Ribs with Chocolate BBQ Sauce, or Roasted Berries with Orange Mascarpone. The names, ingredients, accoutrements – so simple, so delicous-sounding.
I really like the layout of this book. The book starts out with a short two-page intro of how Julia got interested in cooking, as well as what she likes and doesn’t like. This helps the reader decide quite early on if they’re on the same page as the author. Julia doesn’t like stress in the kitchen. She likes healthy family-friendly recipes with minimal effort and washing up. Also, the abundance of photos really entices the reader to use the book.
Julia’s experience as a food blogger is evident in the personal anecdotes she includes at the beginning of every recipe. She always has a nice paragraph at the beginning of every recipe explaining what she loves about a particular ingredient in the recipe on the page. Her comments and dialogue are very insightful and help us get to know her and learn what is important to her: her family, fresh produce and a no-muss no-fuss style of cooking. This book is so perfect for people that love home cooked meals, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking dinner.
I love the categories in this book. Because this book is primarily savoury dishes, with ten sweet dishes at the end, all baked in a pan in the oven, it could be challenging to divide the recipes into interesting and different groups. But her categories are brilliant: Oven-Made Breakfasts, Complete One-Pan Oven Meals; Hands-Off Main Dishes, Simple Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, Easy Sides, One Pan, Many Nibbles and ending with Delicious and Unique Desserts.
The instructions are clear and precise. I like how she uses metric and imperial measurements, as we Canadians still use a mix of both.
She also has many helpful Notes at the bottom of the recipe.
If you’re looking for a cookbook as a gift this Christmas, definitely have a browse through this book. It is full of imagination, creativity and some very delicious meals anyone would be happy to prepare for suppertime.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). While the oven is preheating, mix 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the olive oil with the peanut butter, lemon juice, orange juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a bowl. (Julia mentions that she likes to use a small glass jug for this. She recommends heating the sauce ingredients, as it's much easier to mix when the peanut butter is warm).
Place the chicken thighs in the middle of a 11 X 17 inch or 28 X 43 cm nonstick baking pan. You need room for all the ingredients to spread out. Make sure that the chicken thighs are fully flattened. Pour half the sauce over the thighs, then flip and pour the rest of the sauce, making sure that it fully covers the chicken. Alternately, you could mix the thighs in a bowl with the sauce. However, that would add one extra dish to your washing up.
Spread the green beans around the chicken thighs in one layer. Pour the remaining 1 tbsp (30 ml) of olive oil over the green beans, season with salt and pepper to taste and lightly mix with your hands or tongs to cover them with oil and seasoning.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked to 165 degrees F (74 C) and the sauce is thickened.
Serve with rice, if desired, or double the amount of green beans and cook on a separate pan.
I love turkey but it seems that major holidays are the only times that I think of serving it for dinner. And yet there are plenty of ways to cook turkey without having to roast a whole bird.
I really like using ground turkey (ground chicken would also work if you can’t find turkey) as an alternative to ground beef. Turkey is very versatile and has a delicate flavour complimented by many other flavours,
This Totally Awesome Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables is an easy healthy one-pan dish that you will want to make again and again.
All of the ingredients are cooked all together in one pan: potatoes, autumn vegetables and turkey meatballs. I love dishes like this. While everything is baking in the oven, I can set the table and get drinks ready or sit for 30 minutes and read another chapter in one of my on-going reads.
The vegetables caramelize slightly in the pan while the turkey meatballs bake to a nice golden brown. Halfway through baking, pour over a tin of cherry tomatoes to create a scrumptious thick tomato sauce.
This dish is also tasty without the tinned cherry tomatoes…just turkey, veg and potatoes!
With or without the tinned tomatoes, this one-pan dish comes together in a flash and is just SOOOO yummy!
You could also make this dish with either chicken, pork or beef or a mixture if you like.
This dish is best with a glass of your favourite wine, some baguette and jazz music in the background.
Totally Awesome Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables
Chicken Wings are one of the easiest and quickest meals anyone can make. You can buy chicken wings all year round from your local supermarket, which is great. Also, they’re inexpensive and quick to prepare and cook: no chopping, marinating or deboning. And they’re finger foods. Who doesn’t love that!
Normally I bake them slathered in barbeque sauce, but I wanted to try and get crispier chicken wings. This Quick and Spicy Chicken Wings recipe works a charm.
My Quick and Spicy Chicken Wings are super quick to prepare. They are seasoned with a balanced combination of spices and herbs including chili powder, chipotle chili pepper, oregano and a few others. The cayenne pepper is adjustable. I used 1/2 a teaspoon, but if you are making these for wee ones, just leave it out. It’s not super hot, just a nice warm flavour, but too much heat for small ones.
This recipe makes about 1/4 cup of spice mixture. You could also multiply the recipe by 3 or 4 and keep it in a jar and just measure out 1/4 cup every time you make wings. You could also sprinkle a bit of this spicy mixture on chicken breasts to use in wraps or fajitas.
For a fantastic finger food dinner, serve these up with some veggies, pita bread and hummous or one of your favourite dips. Then you could eat the whole dinner with your fingers! Less dishes, more time for fun!
Summery weather is slowly fading, but we’ll still be able to barbecue for awhile. While I love everything about summertime: the warm weather, flowers bursting with colour, camping and barbecuing, I also love autumn.
My husband and I always loved camping, especially in the late summer or early fall, when the lakes had warmed up, the bugs had mostly left and the evenings were warm and still. And whenever we camped, we always made Jamaican Jerk Pork.
It was fun getting ready for our camping trips. We would make the Jerk marinade the night before our trip, a family tradition, like making fruitcake at Christmastime.
Arriving at the campground too was always exciting. We would set up our tent and make it cozy with our foamies, sleeping bags and pillows. Luke would hang the clothes line and I would get the fire ready for dinner.
Homemade Jamaican Jerk Pork is so perfect for the barbecue, or campfire. Marinated cubes of pork in a spicy, aromatic marinade made with scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, fresh thyme and other ingredients. It is pure heaven. We always served the jerk pork in pita bread or wraps with fresh juicy local-grown tomatoes and crisp iceberg lettuce. The heat of the jerk with the fresh coolness of the vegetables are a perfect match.
Jamaican Jerk is really easy to make with white and green onion, thyme, soy sauce, oil and a few pantry spices.
All the ingredients go into the food processor to get finely chopped and mixed together.
Barbecuing the pork is super easy. You can barbecue the pork cubes either on skewers, or in a perforated pan that’s designed for barbeques. I usually wrap the pita bread in tin foil and heat it gently by the fire.
When the pork cubes are finished cooking, fill some pita bread or a wrap with pork cubes, grilled pineapple, tomato and lettuce.
Place all ingredients (except pork) in a food processor and blitz until everything is finely chopped.
Cube pork. Mix pork cubes and jerk marinade together. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Next day, thread cubes of pork on skewers and barbecue until meat registers 145 degrees F on a cooking thermometer. Meanwhile, warm pita bread in low oven (about 300 degrees) for about 10 minutes. Or, if you are cooking outdoors, wrap the pita in tin foil and place on top of grate to warm up. Don't get them too hot or they will just toast.
Place jerk pork in a bowl and serve with diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce and pita bread cut in half and popped open. Alternatively, you can place ingredients on top of pita and just roll up. Serve with your choice of barbecue sauce or salsa if you like.
The peppers you choose will depend on how spicy you want the jerk marinade. The most common hot peppers available in supermarkets are: jalapeno (mild to hot), serrano (hot), habanero (very hot), bird's eye chill peppers (very very hot). And remember! when working with fresh peppers, be extra careful and never rub your eyes, nose, or mouth when working with peppers. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after cutting the peppers up.
Another thing that works very well for seasoning this marinade is to add a tablespoon of a good store bought jerk marinade (such as The Shizzle Sauce (VooDoo Hot), Walkerswood, or Pikkapeppa Jerk Sauce, to name a few) and add a tablespoon to your homemade marinade. The store bought sauce won't go bad for months (unlike peppers) and adds extra flavour as well as some heat. You could also freeze tablespoons of sauce or peppers and they will keep for months in the freezer. Thaw them on the counter or microwave on low to soften up to use. You might wonder - well why not just use store bought jerk sauce? Because I still think this homemade sauce is better than any store bought sauce.
The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler. Sweaters are coming out of their storage bins, light ones first. The heavy wool ones will come later. The rain jackets are hung in the front closet. Rain boots are placed in the hallway near the door. Autumn is coming.
Cooler weather also means new menus. So, I’m filling my pantry and freezer with new ingredients for these approaching autumn days: pasta for comforting macaroni and cheese and hearty lasagna, beans for chili and soups, and dried fruit, nuts and a multitude of flours for baking – cookies, squares and pies. And I’m filling my downstairs freezer with big containers of soup stock.
This Armenian Red Lentil and Apricot Soup is a perfect seguay into our autumn menus. The earthy onions, carrots and lentils remind us of the approaching coolness, while the flavour of the sweet apricots tug at the memory of the summer weather that hasn’t completely ended.
Apricots have always been very special in Armenia, as their scientific name, Prunus Armeniaca, or Armenian prunes, shows. They have grown in Armenia for many centuries. A recent dig at an ancient village found apricot cores that were over 3,000 years old!
So, it goes without saying, that Armenians use apricots in many of their dishes.. During apricot season, women make jams, marmalades, even homemade apricot vodka. After the season has ended, apricots are places on balconies and rooftops to dry in the sun to be used whole or made into apricot leather. Armenians want their precious apricots to last until the next season.
This soup is very tasty and also very nutritious. This soup provides an excellent source of iron, protein, folate, B vitamins, Vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Not bad for one bowl of soup.
You can use store bought of homemade vegetable stock. If you want to make your own vegetable stock, you can find my recipe here.
If anyone had any doubts about vegan food – whether it’s tasty, nutritious or filling – one bowl of this soup would settle that argument. I hope you enjoy my Armenian Red Lentil and Apricot Soup.
Like most families, we love to barbecue on the weekends. But sometimes I get tired of eating so much meat. My husband suggested we try marinating and grilling tofu on the barbecue. So, I came up with this Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for the Barbecue. It’s really good – I think you’ll like it. It has sweetness from the orange juice and honey, saltiness from the soy and lots of extra flavour bits like ginger, garlic. Yum!
Tofu, for those of you who are not familiar is made from coagulated soy milk. It has been made for thousands of years beginning in China. The story goes that a cook once accidentally curdled some soy milk and … tofu was born.
Tofu is fantastic for soaking up flavours of sauces and marinades. Which is why this marinade works so well with tofu. All the flavours of orange, soy, honey, ginger, and sesame oil soak right into the porous soy cubes. This marinade also works in stir-fries as a sauce with chicken or tofu if you do not barbecue, or it’s raining or it’s wintertime. Just use with your favourite stir-fry combination. Or keep checking my website, and I’ll try and post a recipe soon!
Tofu is a super healthy meat alternative. In a 100 gram serving (about 1/2 a cup) there are 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of protein and about 350 mg of calcium, which is about 20% of our daily needs. When compared with chicken or steak, it is much lower in calories and much higher in calcium. It is lower in protein than chicken or steak, but one serving is ample enough.
The tofu caramelizes to a lovely golden brown on the barbeque. It’s very difficult to cook it this way on the stovetop, which makes barbequing that much more exciting!
Before you begin making this dish, you should press the tofu to remove any extra liquid. When pressed, the tofu is less apt to fall apart on the barbeque. Place the tofu in a shallow bowl and cover by a small plate. Place a weight on top of the plate. You could use a can of tomatoes, a small bag of sugar, anything that weighs about 1 kg. Leave the tofu like that for about 60 minutes. Drain away the liquid, then place the pressed tofu in a container with the Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade to soak up all those yummy flavours.
Barbecue on a medium heat until golden brown all over, turning often. Brush on additional marinade as it cooks.
Press tofu to remove extra liquid. Place tofu in a shallow bowl. Place a small plate on top. On top of the plate, place an object that weighs about 1 kg (large can of tomatoes, small bag of sugar etc.). Leave for about 60 minutes.
Drain away extra liquid.
Chop the garlic and ginger finely.
Add all other ingredients into microwavable bowl.
Place in microwave for about 30 seconds, until the honey and orange juice concentrate are melted.
Stir all ingredients together.
Pour over tofu.
Place in refrigerator for about 2-3 hours.
Grill on medium heat on barbeque. Baste with extra marinade.
Turn tofu a few times until each cube is a nice golden brown.
This Lemony Greek Horiatiki Pasta Salad fits the bill for a meal anywhere, anytime., especially picnics. If you have been following my blog, you will know that I love picnic food and this salad is perfect for a picnic at the beach, in a park or on a mountain hike. Of course, it is also a treat as a packed lunch during the week. Chock full of veg, crispy red onion, briny black olives, salty feta, tangy tomatoes and vinaigrette infused pasta, this salad is sure to have your family reaching for more!
This Lemony Greek Horiatiki Pasta Salad is also perfect as it solves the question: pasta? or salad? So, with this easy to pull-together meal, you get both.
My friend, Bonnie, and I visited Greece many years ago during our year long adventure. You can read more about our travels here. I had chosen Greece as the warm place that I wanted to spend my always cold January birthday. I can still recall the briny olives, the creamy, salty feta and the anise scented bread that we ate there at many outdoor cafes.
Feta cheese is a very important component of greek food. And this Lemony Greek Horiatiki Pasta Salad is loaded with feta. While we were in Greece, we worked at an orange orchard picking oranges to make some money so we could continue travelling. We would walk over to the orange orchards in the morning. We worked alongside local greek women. Everyday they would bring homemade greek bread and big hunks of creamy, salty sheep’s milk feta cheese for lunch, as well as bottles of red wine. Heavenly! And so kind!
There are many different types of feta cheese available in Canada and other countries around the world. It’s very difficult to get true greek feta cheese outside of Greece as they just don’t produce enough. Head over here, if you would like to read up on the various types and what makes them different.
I’ve included a really handy tip in this recipe for people like myself who enjoy onions, but just wish they were a little milder. If you soak diced red onions for ten minutes in boiling water, it removes the strong, bitter onion flavour, but maintains the crunch and the sweeter milder flavour of onions. I love this technique. This is a trick I learned from Emiko Davies in her cookbook Florence, by Emik0 Davies.
This salad really comes together in a snap. While the pasta is cooking, you can slice the tomatoes, cube the cucumbers, crumble the feta and drain the olives. After you have drained the pasta, pour in the lovely veg, drizzle on the vinaigrette and lunch is ready!
You can eat this salad slightly warm or at room temperature.
Thai Chicken with Chilies and Basil is the perfect comfort food. Tender pieces of bite-sized chicken nestled in a fragrant spicy sauce with basil added at the end. Served over top of a mound of rice completes this dish.
This dish, Thai Basil Chicken is considered comfort food in Thailand. I read about this dish when I was following the news story about the Thai soccer boys trapped in a cave. One of the boys said that the first dish he wanted his mom to cook for him was ‘Gai Pad Krapow’ (Thai Basil Chicken).
Comfort food is so very personal. We have a few favourites in our house and they always hit the spot when I serve them at dinnertime. Comfort food can be personal or cultural. It can also be sentimental and remind us of dishes our moms cooked when we were little. I often prepare our family’s favourite comfort dishes after a stressful week, during a blustery cold winter day or even for a celebration. And my family is always happy when I do. Even the aroma of these dishes cheers everyone up.
After following the news story of the thai boys, and learning a bit about Thai people, I was eager to sample comfort food from Thailand. This comfort dish is made from garlic, sambal oelek, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, chicken and basil. And it’s a snap to prepare. In Thailand, they make this dish with Holy Basil, which is extremely difficult, if not impossible to find outside of Thailand. I used regular basil from the local supermarket and it tasted delicious. In Thailand they also use local chilies, but I like using sambal oelek, as there is no chopping involved and it is very easy to adjust the amount of heat I want to add to the dish.
Thai Chicken with Chilies and Basil is so delicious. One bite combines a hit of chilies, tender chicken pieces, sweet herbal basil, comforting rice and aromatic fish sauce. It may actually become a new comfort food for our family.
What’s your comfort food? Write back and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Prep all your ingredients: cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, peel and crush the garlic, measure out the sambal oelek, stir together the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugars and wash and chop the basil.
Pour some oil into a frying pan or wok. Add garlic and sambal oelek. Saute until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
Add the chicken. Saute on medium until the chicken is cooked, about 5-8 minutes.
When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the soy, fish sauce and sugar mixture. Stir this mixture and continue cooking on medium, until everything is mixed thoroughly.
I’m sure most people will agree with me that there is nothing more summery than cooking outdoors on the barbeque!
Living in Canada with four distinct seasons, means that each season is only about 3 months long, June, July and August are the warmest months of the year, so we like to cram in as much outdoor activities during these months as possible. So, lots of bike rides, swimming, picnics at the beach and farmer market visits. And for mealtimes, it’s all about barbequing out on the patio.
This Asian Chicken BBQ Marinade with Sake ticks all the boxes for a lively summery grilled chicken dinner. Nothing says big flavour like this combination of sweet asian pear and honey, aromatic ginger, green onions and sake, salty soy, nutty sesame oil and spicy sambal oelek!
When I was growing up, my Dad mostly barbecued hotdogs and hamburgers. And that’s fun, if you’re in a pinch for time or cooking for four very hungry kids. But my favourite barbeque dinners are with meats that have marinated for hours and then grilled to perfection. In my house we all have our favourites, jerk pork, steaks coated with a sizzling spice mix or my favourite – marinated chicken.
Chicken is the perfect vehicle for a marinade as it is a milder meat than beef or pork. After marinating for a few hours, grilled chicken comes out moist and tender with a crispy exterior brimming with flavour.
Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit and the juices should run clear.
And my favourite part about barbequing chicken is coming up with new maraindes. Marinades really up the game when barbequing adding lovely sweet, spicy, salty, boozy flavours.
This marinade is so simple and easy to make. All the liquid ingredients are poured directly into the blender. Chop the asian pear, green onion, ginger and garlic and throw them in too. Blitz the marinade on high for 3-4 minutes until it is very smooth and then pour over the chicken to marinate for a couple of hours. Then you’re ready for grilling.
Add chopped garlic, green onions, ginger and asian pear into blender.
Blitz for about 3-4 minutes until smooth.
Place chicken in a plastic container or freezer bag or glass bowl.
Pour marinade over chicken. Cover.
Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
Remove chicken and place on plate.
Simmer remaining marinade in a pot for 10 minutes. Use this marinade to brush on chicken while barbequing.
Grill the chicken on barbeque until thermometer reads 165 degrees fahrenheit.
Serve on a bed of lettuce with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. You can also serve this grilled asian chicken on italian or ciabatta buns with your favourite toppings such as lettuce, tomato and raosted red peppers and barbeque sauce.
My Tuscan Tuna, Bean, Tomato Salad is as delicious as it is nutrient-dense. This Tuscan Tuna, Bean, Tomato Salad contains beans and tuna for protein, torn naan bread for carbs, tomatoes and herbs for fibre and vitamins and is sprinkled with olive oil and red wine vinegar. The olive oil will keep the salad moist, keep you filled longer and provides numerous health benefits.
I created this recipe last week when the temperature hit an all-time high of 47 degrees celsius in Ottawa. That is the hottest day I have ever experienced, and that includes visiting Hawaii in August! I was inspired to make a Tuscan salad after leafing through Emiko Davis’s cookbook, Florentine. So many of her Tuscan recipes feature so many of my favourite ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil, onions, fresh herbs, country bread, and beans.
I love italian food, but Tuscan recipes are even more special. Everything is so simple, and yet come together so naturally, like all the ingredients belong together. This simple salad can be prepared in about 10 minutes with a tin of tuna and beans, fresh cherry tomatoes and some other pantry supplies.
This salad is perfect for a light backyard lunch, a picnic at the beach or a packed lunch. Whatever the occasion, this salad’s fresh flavours and contrasting textures will provide you with a delicious nutritious lunch.
This salad would also work with garbanzo beans (chick peas) or romano beans, if you don’t have pinto beans. I’m just partial to pinto beans. You can make this salad vegan by eliminating the cheese and tuna. Then increase the other ingredients by about one third.