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Fried Rice with Edamame and Tofu Puffs

February 18, 2015

Once in a while, my little meatavore will opt for a semi-vegetarian dish. Since lunch meals are my current ongoing battle, I am constantly seeking easy meals to throw together at the last minute. Especially on Tuesday mornings when we have to be out of the house at 7:45am for running club. Mamma mia!

Fried rice with tofu puffs

So making a big batch of fried rice early in the week means my morning lunch assembly involves a little microwaving and ta-da…done!

By the way, I should also say that if you ever have leftover rice from any take-out meals, DON’T throw it out! It’s perfect for making fried rice, so use it before you chuck it in the compost.

Fried Rice with Edamame and Tofu Puffs

  • Leftover cooked rice
  • 1-2 eggs
  • Oil for frying (I use Rice Bran oil)
  • Frozen edamame (or peas or corn – whatever frozen veg you prefer)
  • Tofu Puffs (literally called “tofu puffs”! I prefer the mini ones)
  • Soy sauce


Heat oil in a large frying pan on med-high heat. Add rice and stir to coat the rice, 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, scramble 1-2 eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Add the tofu puffs and continue to fry for 3 minutes.

Fried rice

Add your frozen veggies and stir together for another 2 minutes. Then, moving the rice and tofu to one side of the pan, pour in the eggs.

Fried rice

Scramble the eggs and once solid, mix in with the rice, tofu, and veggies. Integrate everything together and drizzle with soy sauce (quantity to your choosing, perhaps 1-2 tsp).

Fried rice

Continue to stir all ingredients together for another 3-5 minutes.

Scoop and fill the thermos! Lunch is done! Now go finish your coffee…


Vietnamese rolls

February 10, 2015

The proper title of these are “Vietnamese Salad Rolls” but let’s be honest here, there’s no salad going into these if I want my kids to eat them. Soooooo….I have modified them (as you should as well) to suit their particularl (dare I say, “picky”) needs. As all moms do. Sigh.

Super easy to throw together and best of all, just put them in a tupperware container in the fridge and you can pack them for their lunches. I made these one day so I could do just that, and Simone proceeded to eat four of them on the spot. Needless to say, I make a dozen or so at a time so I always have them handy for lunch, snack, dinner. Even Giselle enjoyed them, but plain, without sauce.

Vietnamese Rolls

Vietnamese Rolls

  • Shredded chicken
  • Vermicelli noodles (portion to match the chicken)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Rice paper (buy from grocery store or specialty store)
  • Fresh cilantro or thinly sliced veggies (omit if necessary, save for parents!)

I thaw a small-medium sized ziplock bag of my pre-made shredded chicken. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the rice noodles (1-2 “bunches”); cook for 5 minutes then strain. Then, in a shallow saucepan, boil water and reduce heat to medium to cook the rice papers. Lay one rice paper in the hot pan water and remove carefully after 5 seconds. Use a large pancake flipper to help with this – these little buggers can be tricky to work with.

Lay rice paper flat on a smooth surface (cutting board, large plate) and place a spoonful of chicken, and noodles in the middle. I squeeze hoisin on top for the school lunch ones, but at home I serve them with a delicious peanut-soy dipping sauce on the side. Fold the sides in first, then roll the rest of the soft rice paper over the mixture.

Vietnamese Rolls

Peanut-soy sauce

February 10, 2015

This is one of my favourite new recipes for either a meal on its own, or as a sauce on the side. Gotta love that kind of versatility!

As a dipping sauce, I serve this at home with my Vietnamese rolls which contain shredded chicken and rice vermicelli noodles. It’s a perfect combination.

Peanut Soy Sauce

As a meal, I put the sauce and a package of raw chicken breasts into the crockpot and let the magic happen. Once cooked, I serve on brown basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. Pretty divine if you ask me.

This recipe comes from Family Fresh Meals.

Peanut-soy Sauce (roughly half of the portions below)

  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey

Peanut-soy Crockpot Chicken

  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the Crockpot chicken, the original recipe calls for 2 lbs of chicken and even suggests adding a yellow bell pepper. I found the pepper to become too mushy so instead I serve with a side salad or slaw.

Reminder: Quinoa doesn’t totally suck!

January 30, 2015

It’s the “I have no idea what to make” meal and after a couple of years, it’s still golden . Quinoa isn’t my favourite item to cook with, but I love, love, love, making quinoa patties. Or better yet, eating them. As a main or side dish, they just work. And they are also a great way to scoop up leftovers if you need a break from making frittatas. My last batch of quinoa patties was made with fried mushrooms, sautéed kale, and parmesan cheese. I served it with a side salad and ate the leftover patties all week for lunch. Quina patties Quinoa patties and side salad To revisit my quinoa patty receipts click here. What will you make yours with?

The ultimate leftover frittata recipe

January 26, 2015

I’m a self-proclaimed “Queen of the leftover dishes”. There’s a part of me that thrives on coming up with a delicious (or I’ll settle for decent) dish that involves leftovers. My favourite go-to right now is frittata. I probably make one or two a month and they serve us well for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Now of course the kids aren’t going to be all over it, but they will often eat components of the frittata before I put it together. For example:

  • roast potatoes (check)
  • fried mushrooms (check)
  • sautéed asparagus (check)

But put it all together and “no thanks” is all I get. Sigh. Anyway, for the rest of us normal human beings, give it a try and you’ll find a new found love in those annoying leftovers. frittata Frittata Choose a medium-large sized skillet with high sides. Pre-heat broiler on med-high temperature. Prepare your veggies, or re-warm your leftovers. Here are some of my favourites and you can just combine whatever you like to have (as few or as many as you prefer):

  • roast potatoes (cut into small bite-sized portions)
  • coarsely chopped fried mushrooms
  • sautéed kale, asparagus, and/or peppers
  • turkey bacon, ham, or sausages
  • olives

Once cooked, put all veggies in a skillet with a tbsp of oil, on med-high heat. frittata   To 6-8 eggs beaten (depending on the size of your skillet), add:

  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh parsley (finely chopped)

Pour beaten egg mixture into skillet covering all the veggies. Allow to sit on med-high heat until sides become firm (5 mins or so). Just before transferring into the oven, add some grape tomatoes on top for a decorative appearance. frittata Cook under the broiler (use the bottom grill) for another 10 mins or so until the centre of the frittata is no longer liquid. Check often to ensure you aren’t burning the daylights out of it under the broiler. 🙂 We love to eat our frittata with Frank’s Hot Sauce (yum) but you could also try it with ketchup or salsa. If you discover any other great leftovers for this dish let me know. Buon appetite! frittata

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

January 23, 2015

Once a week I pick up Simone from school and we go home, have a snack, and work on homework. This is my “window of opportunity” to fill her with as healthy a meal as I can. So I usually grill some vegetables since that’s probably what her diet lacks the most. Her favourite by far are roasted brussel sprouts. Truth.

I for one grew up hating these little green nuggets that smelled like gym socks; but I suspect that had more to do with how they were prepared than the vegetable itself. If you have a deep hatred for brussel sprouts the way I did, I suggest you try this (or invite yourself over to my place on Thursdays when I usually make them) and give them another chance. Even my dad had some at Christmas this past year and loved them.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.

Trim and cut in half (or quarters if you have particularly large brussels) as many as you are willing to experiment with.

Drizzle very lightly with EVOO and coarse salt.

Drizzle over the brussels lemon juice from a freshly squeezed lemon.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

And in they go; bake for about 10 mins and then give them a scrape and move around the pan. Put them back in and check every 5 mins until they are on the “verge” of burning – that means they are well roasted.

Serve warm and drizzle with more freshly squeezed lemon juice. Be sure to let me know if you are a convert! 🙂

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

A bowl full of brussel sprouts and a wicked game of Uno (she devoured the bowl, and kicked my butt at cards).

Tiramisu Bread

June 20, 2014

Mamma mia! We have a winner here and it comes out of a loaf pan and is filled with creamy delicious marscapone cheese.

Recently we had a most delicious lunch at La Trattoria where they served us tiramisu bread. It was probably the best thing I’d eaten (inhaled) in a long time. I quickly jumped online and roamed the Internet until I found a recipe that seemed to be a close recreation to this edible form of perfection.

The recipe I used came from The Cooking Bride’s blog and it is pretty flawless. I can only suggest two minor changes:

  • I only had to bake it for 40mins at 350 degrees (any longer and it dries out which is a real shame)
  • I used an entire small ~9 oz package of marscapone instead of actually measuring 8 oz.

Give it a try! (I promise it’s well worth it)

Tiramisu Bread