Moroccan Spiced Carrot Slaw

The Super Bowl is a great excuse to eat like crap. Burgers, pizzas, chicken wings, fries, chips… you name it. So it’s time to go back to a healthy and delicious diet. The new issue of Food & Drinks by LCBO has this wonderful and easy-to-make recipe. I tried it, and I liked it, so I am sharing it.

It serves approximately 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp mint, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a frying pan, put cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne in on small to medium heat. Toast for 1 to 2 mins until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a small bowl, add olive oil, grated garlic, and the toasted spices. Stir and mix well until it combines.
  3. In a big bowl, add julienned or shredded carrots, the spiced oil, lemon juice, and toss.
  4. Season with salt to desired taste.
  5. Add raisins, dill, and mint and toss.

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Taiwanese Beef Stew

December was a busy month. I traveled, worked, traveled, and played. It has been fun, but I am ready to embrace 2017 with these resolutions: read more, write more, and draw more.

So let me start 2017 with my favourite authentic Taiwanese beef stew.

My grandpa used to make this beef stew with homemade noodles as a quick meal for me when I was little. In my many years living in North America, I never found any restaurant that served a beef stew similar to the one my grandpa made.

Until I found this recipe.

When I said authentic, that means it’s not North Americanized. So if you would like to try the flavour but prefer different cuts of meat, you can substitute them for the beef shank that I use.

This serves approximately 5-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef shank
  • 6 slices ginger
  • 2 green onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced

Spices:

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp spicy bean paste
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper corns
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp rice wine
  • olive oil

Instructions:

      1. In a big pot, add approximately 3 Qt. of water, the beef shank, ginger, green onion, and 1 tbsp rice wine. Bring it to boil. Use a spoon to take out all the bubbles(Important!). Save the beef broth for later.
      2. Remove the cooked meat from the broth, let it cool, and cut it into cubes.
      3. In another pot, heat the olive oil, and add the Sichuan pepper corns, garlic cloves, onion, and tomato. Cook it on low heat for 1-2 mins until the onion softens. Stir it frequently.
      4. Add spicy bean paste, sugar, soy sauce, and the rest of rice wine. Cook it for 1-2 mins.
      5. Add the beef to the pot. Cook it for another 1-2 mins.
      6. Add the beef broth, star anise, and bay leaf. Bring it to boil and simmer it for 1 hour.
      7. Turn the heat off. Put the lid on. Let it sit overnight in room temperature.

Tips:

  • Make sure you let it sit for a day or so. The beef becomes tender and soft.
  • In Taiwan, we serve this beef stew with noodles as beef noodle soup. The noodles I often see are somewhat close to the shape of linguine. You can certainly serve it with different grains like rice, or quinoa.

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Chocolate Chips Banana Bread

It must be that time of the year! I haven’t baked for about a year but in the last 2 weeks I’ve baked 7 times, including 2 lemon ricotta cakes, 3 pumpkin loaves, and 2 banana breads. So, as you can see, I am writing down everything that works for me – no stand mixer, no hand mixer, no food processor are required.

 

All you need is:

      • 2 big mixing bowls
      • 1 nine inch loaf pan, or 2 regular muffin tin (this recipe makes approximately 15-18 muffins)
      • whisk, spatula, measuring spoons and measuring cups

Ingredients:

      • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 large egg
      • 5 banana (4 for the batter, 1 for the decorating (optional))
      • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter(4 tbsp for the batter. 1 tbsp for buttering the pan/tin.)
      • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 Fº
      2. In the dry ingredient bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt.
      3. In the wet ingredient bowl, mash 4 bananas. Then whisk in an egg, sugar, vanilla extract, and 4 tbsp melted butter.
      4. Slowly fold the dry ingredient bowl into the wet one until the batter is blended.
      5. Coat chocolate chips with some flour and fold them into the batter.
      6. Butter the loaf pan/muffin tins.
      7. Pour the batter into the pan/tins. Lay sliced banana on the top. Bake it for 65 mins. If you use muffin tins, bake it for 20 mins.
      8. Let it cool at least 10-15 mins.

It’s a banana bread recipe and I should bake it in the loaf pan. But I prefer to bake them as muffins. They’re cuter, faster, and easier to pack for snacks. I love the smell of the batter as it’s baking – a delicious vanilla aroma.

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin is in season! I always like pumpkins: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake…everything about pumpkin! But I never once wanted to make them because I didn’t have a mixer or food processor. Luckily I’ve found some recipes that do not require one. This is one of them.
This recipe is my OWN development. It works very well and I am proudly sharing with you.
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This recipe serves approximately 6.

All you need is:

  • 2 big mixing bowls
  • 1 eight inch loaf pan
  • whisk, spatula, measuring spoons and measuring cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter(4 tbsp for the batter. 1 tbsp for buttering the pan.)
  • pumpkin seed (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fº
  2. In the dry ingredient bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground clove, and ground nutmeg.
  3. In the wet ingredient bowl, whisk an egg, sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract until it’s smooth then add melted butter.
  4. Slowly fold the dry ingredient bowl into the wet one until the batter is blended.
  5. Butter the loaf pan.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake it for 65-75 mins.
  7. Let it cool at least 10-15 mins.

I’ve worked in a kitchen store as an assistant for cooking classes. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from the teacher is knowing my oven. The baking time is an estimation. My oven tends to get too hot so it takes about 65 mins to bake the bread through without burning the top.

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