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 It was originally made by an elderly woman at The Chen Xingsheng, a small restaurant that she ran with her husband.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!
This dish, Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables, is a real family favourite. It has everything an asian stir-fry should have: sweet and salty sauce, crisp stir-fried vegetables and these amazing sweet potato noodles. So good.
I got this recipe from my friend, Kana, who I met years ago when we both lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our family had moved to Halifax for my husband to do his medical internship. Kana and her family had come to Canada for two years to learn English as well as Canadian culture. In a very short time, Kana and I realized we both loved cooking.
We were both eager to learn cooking from each other’s country. We started getting together every Friday for ‘East-West Cooking’ Classes in each other’s kitchens. While our children played together, Kana and I would cook Japanese family favourites in her kitchen: sushi, sukiyaki, rice balls and other fantastic Japanese dishes. On other Fridays, she would come to our house and we would make meatloaf, roast chicken or nachos. Our kids and husbands loved this arrangement. I think our most fun day was when we made gingerbread houses just before Christmas.
Sweet Potato Noodles are fantastic to be know about, because, just like rice noodles, they’re perfect for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. The only ingredient for these noodles is sweet potato starch. Personally, I find sweet potato noodles easier to cook than rice noodles. For me, rice noodles always seem just seconds between being not done to overdone. If you have any suggestions on cooking rice noodles, please send them my way!
Sweet Potato Noodles are VERY long. When Kana taught me this dish she just snipped the cooked noodles into shorter pieces with her scissors. I still do it this way as it’s super easy. You could break the noodles up when you put them in the pot, but I just pull up a bunch of almost cooked noodles with my tongs and snip away until they all look a good length.
This dish is fantastic for a picnic or potluck dinner as it tastes amazing at room temperature. You can eat it hot, but it tastes fine even after it has cooled down.
If you would like to make a vegan/vegetarian version, just replace the beef either with sauteed tofu, or double up on the vegetables. You won’t miss the beef at all.
Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables
I love oats. They are probably my favourite grain. I love them in bread, muffins, cookies as well as cooked for breakfast. If you browse through my blog, you’re going to find a lot of recipes using oats.
I especially love oats for breakfast. I think they make the most healthiest and filling breakfasts whether they are in granola or this recipe for porridge.When I make porridge, I don’t add any sweeteners. Instead I love to pile in loads of fruit. I use fresh fruit and berries in the summer, but in the winter when it’s hard to find fresh fruit or they are super expensive, I use frozen fruit.
My usual mix of fruit is mango, blueberry and sweet cherries, but one day I only had mango. So, I just used what I had and couldn’t believe how perfectly mango goes with oats. Who would have guessed? Traditional porridge is usually cooked with raisins and brown sugar and served with an extra splash of maple syrup. But the smooth sweet flavour of tropical mango balances so well with nutty tasting oats, it’s like they were meant to go together. And forget the added sweetener: mangoes are so naturally sweet, you won’t need any.
Different Types of Oats
Steel-Cut: These are also known as Irish or Scottish Oats and are the closest to their original grain form. The oat kernel is cut one or two times to help it cook. Cooking steel-cut oats can take between 15-60 minutes. They are nutty, chewy and very nutritious.
Rolled Oats: Whole Oats are toasted, hulled, steamed and then flattened with giant rollers. Rolled oats take about 15-20 minutes to cook.
Quick Cooking Oats: These are similar to rolled oats, but have been cut before being steamed and flattened so they cook quicker. Try sprinkling some in muffins or pancake batter to add an extra texture.
Instant: These oats cook very quick. They are cut, pre-cooked, dried, steamed and flattened. They cook super fast, but because they’re been processed so much a lot of their nutrition has been lost.
Oat Flour: You can make oat flour by putting rolled oats in a blender or food processor. They add a nutty flavour to baked goods, as well as making them more moist and crumbly. You can substitute up to 30% of flour in a recipe with oat flour. Try it the next time you bake some muffins and see how you like it.
Oat Bran: This comes from the outer layer of the oat kernel. Whole Oats always contain oat bran, quick cooking or instant oats do not contain oat bran as it has been removed. Oat bran is high in fibre and is often eaten as a hotel cereal, sprinkled on cold cereal or added to bread, cookies and muffins for extra fibre.
Not only are oats delicious they are also super healthy. If you are also an oat lover, here are some cool nutrition facts about oats:
oats are low in calories and they slow digestion which helps you feel full longer.
1/2 cup of oats has 150 calories, 5 g of protein, 27 g of carbs, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of fibre.
oats help prevent constipation as they contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.
dietary fibres in oats decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting good cholesterol (HDL)
oats contain enterolactone and other plant lignans which protect against heart disease.
according to the American Cancer Society, lignan in oats also helps reduce the chances of hormone related cancers such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
Enjoy cooking and baking with oats!
If you enjoy oats as much as I do, here is some additional reading: