Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Green Curry Rice Bowl

Green Curry Rice bowl

Hi everyone! Just like that, August is drawing to a close and summer is almost over! My baby girl is almost eleven months old now and she’s been eating all different kinds of solid foods. She loves chicken, salmon, eggs, all the vegetables, all the fruits….the only thing she doesn’t like so far is watermelon. There’s something about watermelon that makes her gag and cough it up.

I’ve begun to slowly wean her off breastfeeding in preparation for my return to work in a month (boo!), but I still breastfeed her in the morning, before her nap, and before bedtime. In between those feeds, she eats three meals a day with us – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is easy to make for the whole family – she’ll have avocado, an organic egg scrambled with a little whole milk, and whatever fruit I have on hand. I’ll have the other half of her avocado on toast, and my husband will have his usual sausage and eggs or bacon and eggs. For lunch, baby E will usually have leftover chicken, potatoes mashed with a little whole milk, and peas. I’ll just have a sandwich or leftovers myself.  However, for dinner, I’m struggling with making something good for the husband and I, while being wholesome enough for baby E to share with us. I mean, we can’t eat roasted chicken, peas and mashed potatoes every night! But if I make steak or something spicy, than she can’t share it with us. The last thing I want to do is to prep two different meals!

So I’ve decided to try and make a rice bowl.  These rice bowls are sometimes referred to as Buddha bowls and are usually comprised of some sort of grain, lots of colourful vegetables and a nice sauce.  This rice bowl served two purposes for me – one, it is a good meatless Monday dish; and two, all the vegetables that I was going to prep for the bowl could also serve as baby E’s dinner! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Green Dragon bowl at 13th Avenue Coffee House here in Regina, so I set out to replicate their green curry sauce for my rice bowl.

So first, I wanted to have a coconut rice for the base of the bowl. I needed a full can of full fat coconut milk for this sauce, but I took about a quarter cup of the coconut milk and thinned it out with enough water to use as the liquid for my rice in the rice cooker. I can’t really give you exact measurements for the rice because I just use my rice cooker with its handy little markers for how much liquid I need!

Then I started the sauce (instructions below) and had that simmering on low to thicken up while I prepped all the vegetables.

For the vegetables, I wanted to use up as much as I could from my fridge. Mini cucumbers, grated carrots and red cabbage just needed to be cleaned and prepped. For the broccoli and mushrooms, I sliced the mushrooms, tossed it with olive oil and salt, and then steamed both the mushrooms and broccoli for five minutes. I also had a huge yam, so I diced that up, tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you notice though, I had a bit of the squash pushed to the side and that little pile was unseasoned because that was what baby E was going to eat!

Since I had the oven going, I also baked a small chicken breast as well for baby E. She’s too young to partake in meatless Mondays! After everything was cooked, her little meal contained some roasted yams, diced plain baked chicken, some mushrooms, and some small broccoli florets, paired with a sippy cup of water.

My meal was paired with a nice cold glass of rose wine.

Green Curry Rice Bowl

Give this recipe a try for a healthy meatless meal! You can basically use any vegetables you have on hand, just make it as colourful as possible!

Green Curry Rice Bowl

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Jasmine rice, cooked in coconut milk and water
  • 2 broccoli crowns
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 mini cucumber, sliced
  • 5 large crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • GREEN CURRY SAUCE
  • 2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 14 oz (400 ml) can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

1

To make the green curry sauce, combine the curry paste and the coconut milk in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Whisk until paste and milk are fully combined. Add the fresh lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down low and simmer for 20 minutes (or until you're done prepping the rest of the bowl).

2

Dice a sweet potato into small cubes, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

3

In a small bowl, coat the mushrooms in olive oil and a dash of salt. Steam the broccoli and the mushrooms together for 5 minutes.

4

Assemble the bowl by layering the all the veggies over your coconut rice and drizzling the curry sauce on top. I serve the extra sauce in a little gravy boat so that we can add more to our bowls if needed. Garnish with a squeeze of lime and enjoy!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Portobello Mushroom Burger

Portobello Mushroom Burger

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it’s already mid-August! I have two months left of my maternity leave, and I’m trying to soak in every sweet summer minute. I’m also trying to finish my baby girl’s baby scrapbook. I need to get it done before I go back to work, because I know there’s no way I would have time to do it once I’m back at work! I must say, I am really enjoying this whole scrapbooking thing. I mean, I’ve bullet journaled for over a year now, and scrapbooking is kind of similar to that except with photos…and more stickers!

I’m still trying to do meatless Mondays in our household. The husband is still not a fan, but he did request that I try to do a portobello mushroom burger. He figures that if it’s served with fries, it would be a substantial enough meal for him. There used to be a restaurant here in Regina that served a portobello mushroom burger with cream cheese. It was so good, but I haven’t been able to recreate it yet. I can’t even remember the name of the restaurant – it was on Albert St, where Slow Pub is now. Does anyone remember what it was called? This would have been 7-8 years ago.

The marinade on this portobello mushroom recipe is on the savoury/salty side with the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to give it a meaty flavour, and the Montreal steak spice gives it a meaty taste as well. Portobello mushroom burgers can often be slimy if not cooked properly. I find that you almost have to over grill them a bit and get a good char on them to dry them out. 7-8 minutes on each side on the grill seems to be the right amount of time for me.

I like to top mine with some Swiss cheese, grilled red onions, some spinach and tomatoes. And of course, remember to butter and grill your buns! It makes all the difference!

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Montreal steak spice
  • choice of toppings and cheese

Instructions

1

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil and the steak spice. Place the mushroom caps in the bowl and coat with the sauce. Let stand while you preheat the grill or barbecue.

2

Heat the grill or BBQ to medium heat. When hot, brush the grill with some oil.

3

Place the mushrooms on the grill (top of mushroom down first), reserving the marinade for basting. Grill for 7-8 minutes on each side, brushing with the marinade frequently.

4

Top the mushrooms with your choice of cheese during the last minute of cooking. I used slices of Swiss cheese.

5

Serve the mushrooms on buttered grilled buns, with your choice of toppings. I like tomatoes, spinach and grilled red onions.

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Braised Mushroom and Tofu

Has anyone watched the documentary on Netflix called “What the Health”? I really like food documentaries, but I do find them to be biased and fear mongering, and this one was definitely on the extreme fear mongering side. My first reaction after watching “What the Health” was to immediately become a vegan! But I know that is impossible – I love all kinds of food way too much and my husband would probably divorce me if I told him we were going to become a vegan household!

However, I do think there are legitimate health reasons to eat more plant-based foods and to limit animal and dairy products. I think ‘moderation’ is an approach not taken enough – our society tends to embrace the ‘all or nothing’ approach when it comes to diet and exercise. Also, our society tends to like labels – vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, etc. Can we just stop it already with the labels? What’s wrong with just trying to eat healthy most of the time without giving your food choices a label? Personally, I think labels introduce guilt and judgment, and life is hard enough without inflicting those emotions on myself and others!

Also, on a related side note: I’m always curious about those vegans who eat imitation cheese or imitation meat. Those imitation products are so processed – you can’t tell me that those processed imitation products are healthier than just having a piece of real cheese once in awhile?!

For me, I could never become an ‘all or nothing’ vegetarian or vegan, but I can take steps to limit the animal products that I eat and that my family eats. For one, I am going to make more of an effort to order the vegetarian option when I go out to fancy restaurants now. Most of the time, these vegetarian options are dishes that require more effort than I am willing to put into my cooking so I should take advantage of it! Secondly, I am going to make an effort to have one vegetarian dinner per week in our household, a “meatless Monday” if you will (except I can’t guarantee that it will be Mondays all the time).

So getting my husband to even adopt one meatless dinner per week is going to be tough. He’s a small town Saskatchewan boy, he likes his meat and potatoes, and he is a big eater. If I’m going to make a vegetarian dinner, it needs to be hearty!

My first ‘meatless Monday’ dish was a braised mushroom and tofu dish, Asian-style. You guys, this was my first time buying tofu! I went to the Asian food store in Regina here, and bought the tofu as well as a dark and light soy sauce since we had run out.

I bought my shiitake mushrooms at the Asian food store as well. I was looking for dried shiitake mushrooms as they have more flavour than fresh, but they only had fresh ones. You can use dried shiitake if that’s what you have, just soak them in water for about 20 minutes before cooking. For the tofu, you’ll have to deep fry it for a few minutes until it is golden brown. I just used a small pot with enough canola oil to submerge the tofu pieces. I wish I had an Acti-fry though – that would be a healthier preparation for the tofu. I’ll have to put Acti-fry on my wish list of kitchen supplies.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! I served this dish with some jasmine rice and a side of sliced cucumbers to dip into the delicious sauce. The husband said it tasted great, but both he and I were still kind of hungry after (we are both big eaters though!).

What are some of your favourite vegetarian recipes?

Braised Mushroom and Tofu

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box firm tofu
  • Canola oil to deep fry the tofu
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 shiitake mushrooms (if dried, soak in warm water for 20 minutes before cooking)
  • 2 bunches of bok choy, wash and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp water + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 stalk green onions, chopped

Instructions

1

Cut the tofu into 1-2 inch rectangles and pat dry with paper towels. Heat up a wok/deep fryer/pot with enough oil to submerge the tofu pieces and deep fry them until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon and set them aside on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

2

Heat up a medium sized pot and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add the minced garlic, and stirfry for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, bok choy and the fried tofu.

3

Add the soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar and water, and give it a stir.

4

Cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat to low, and let it braise for 15 minutes.

5

Add in the corn starch slurry, stir and let the pot sit on low heat for 5 more minutes uncovered on the stove.

6

Add in the green onion and serve immediately with jasmine rice.