Hot & Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Recently, when the sun goes down here in Victoria, there has been a chill in the air  (if the sun decides to come out at all). I have been craving the warmness that comes with a good Hot & Sour soup. I’ve taken everything I like about Hot & Sour soups (and other tasty Asian soups) and well, this is what I’ve come up with!  Enjoy!!

  • Avocado Oil
  • 1 c. shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2c. chopped leek
  • 2 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 block of cubed Organic Super-Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 tsp. Sambal Olek
  • 1/4 c. Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 c. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 c. Chicken (or Veggie) stock
  • 1/2 serving of Brown Rice Pasta
  • 4 baby bok choy
  • 8 baby tomatoes, halved

Heat avocado and sesame oils in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, leek, ginger, chili paste, and tofu; cook and stir for 3 minute to infuse the flavors. Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and pepper in a bowl, add this to the pot. Stir for a few minutes.  Add the Chicken Stock, bring the soup to a boil, and add rice noodles (I used Fettuccini Style Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta, broken into 1″ pieces).  Simmer for 10 minutes (or until pasta is cooked).  Add baby bok choy and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish the hot and sour soup with chopped green onion and/or cilantro before serving.

A few notes: Often folks use a thickener in this soup.  If this is your style, simply take out 1/4c. of broth and whisk 3/4c. of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) until dissolved.  Slowly add this to the soup and stir until the soup thickens.

Egg is also added to this soup, I am not a huge egg fan but if you’d like to do this you can add 1 beaten egg to the soup before the baby bok choy.  Make sure the soup is hot. Stir the soup until the liquid is moving in one direction. Remove spoon and slowly pour in the egg mix. It should cook almost immediately. Feather the egg mix with a fork to break up.

Voila!  Enjoy!!

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Blueberry, Fennel, Arugula and Feta Salad

Last night Aaron and I went to get some fresh, local goods at the Red Barn Market. I was pretty excited to see that some 5lb boxes of fresh blueberries had just arrived that day.  Paired with some shaved fresh fennel and Arugula from the garden, this salad was a true beauty.

BFFA salad

  • 1 1/2 cups Arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 4 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp crushed Almonds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Juice and Zest of one Organic Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp East Coast Maple Syrup
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all of the salad ingredients and set aside in a large bowl. Whisk dressing together and gently toss into the salad just before serving.  So very tasty!

 

Two Ingredient Super Cookies

Two Ingredient Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet (this is important as these cookies are sticky)

– 2 large organic bananas
– 1 cup of gluten free oats

Mash and mix those two together. Old bananas are amazing for this, but you can also use fresh ones. If bananas are getting old, put them in your freezer and just defrost before using them for baking. As bananas are different sizes your results may be off a bit. If the batter looks runny = add more oatmeal

Now for your ‘optional’ add ins! Try not to add too much goodness as you want to make sure your cookies stay together!
-a handful of raw cacao nibs
– Sunflower seeds
– Pumpkin seeds
– Pecans (pieces)
– Walnuts (pieces)
– cinnamon
– raisins
– cranberries
– any dried fruit

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

I’ve heard that these cookies can get quite hard if left on their own for too long. So once they’re cooled off, place them in a sealed container. Makes about 15 cookies.

The perk? If you eat 8 cookies, you’ve had: 1 banana, 1/2 cup of oats, and half a handful of nuts, seeds and dried fruit

Ginger-Steamed Halibut with Sesame, Soy & Ginger sauce

The season for fresh Halibut has begun here in British Columbia. Being from the east coast I’ve grown up with a love of fresh, locally caught seafood. If you’re also a seafood fan please make sure that you choose your seafood wisely. In BC check out the OceanWise list to ensure that you’re eating clean, sustainable seafood. The inspiration from this recipe came from the Eating Well website.

Halibut

I had never steamed fish before trying out this recipe.  Wow, it’s a keeper!

  • a beautiful piece of Halibut (any flaky white fish will work). I am terrible at quantities of seafood, so I used approx, 2 large servings.
  • thick slices peeled fresh ginger

Bring a couple of inches of water to boil in a pot. If you have a bamboo steamer, use the pot you usually use with that. I have a pot insert so that seemed to work well. Place the fish into the steamer skin side down. Place the slices of ginger over the fish (if you love ginger – use a lot, and if you don’t love ginger – just a little will do!). Cover and steam for about 7 minutes for each inch of thickness of the fish.

While the fish is steaming you can whip up some sesame, soy and ginger sauce.

  • 2 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten-Free soy sauce
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Combine minced ginger, garlic and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Heat grapeseed oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add sesame oil; allow the mixture to get hot. Add soy sauce (be careful, it will splatter a bit) and cook for 1 minute more.

That’s it! I served my fish on a bed of Arugula and Pea Shoots with baked yam fries. Soo good!

Beet &Walnut Hummus

Beet Walnut HummusYum Yum Yum. I wanted to make a tasty healthy snack and here we are! This one is for you, Bee!

• 1/3 cup walnuts
•1 tablespoon cumin seeds
•2 cooked beets (steamed), cut into cubes
•1 large garlic clove, crushed
•1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
•Juice of 1 lemon (divided)
•Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
•A little olive

Toast walnuts until fragrant. Let cool.

Warm a small frying pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than a minute, so be careful not to burn them. Crush seeds with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

Put garlic and walnuts in food processor and blitz until fine. Add beets, the tahini, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good grind of pepper, and then blend to a thick paste.

Adjust the flavour by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and/or pepper, blending again until you are happy.

This would be amazing served with goat cheese!

Organic Chicken Quinoa Chili

My dear and lovely, wonderful pal Bronwen gave me this recipe and I love it. It’s simple and so tasty. I brought this to another soup swap that I had with pals today. Please note that this makes a lot of chili!

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 x 540mL cans of organic diced tomatos
  • 1 x 540mL can of organic black beans
  • ½ cups organic corn
  • 2 ½ cups of veggie or chicken stock
  • 2 organic / hormone free chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine and mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker, set on low and cook for 5-7 hours.

Quinoa Spaghetti with Bison Meatballs in Tomato-Vegetable Sauce

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I’ve made this a few times and have to say, it’s amazing. A spin on an old classic dish that really steps it up a notch and transforms it into a nutritious lean meal. This recipe serves 4.

Meatballs

· 1 pound of ground Bison (Bison is really lean, nutritious and is usually hormone and antibiotic free)
· 1/2 small white onion, diced
· 4 green onions, diced
· 1 egg
· Salt and Pepper

Yes! That’s all you need to make Bison Meatballs. They’re really tasty without masking the natural flavours of the Bison.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, by hand works best. Roll into balls (whatever size you like) and place on a baking sheet. Place in a 350F oven for 15 minutes; flip over and again for about 10 minutes (until done)

Tomato-Veggie Sauce
· 1-2 Tbsp. EVOO
· 1/2 small onion, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, diced
· 8 tomatoes (or 3 cups of baby tomatoes for a sweeter sauce), diced
· 1 cup vegetable stock (or 1/3 cup red wine if desired)
· 1 small jar of organic tomato paste
· 1 red bell pepper, diced
· 1 small zucchini, diced
· 1 portabella mushroom, chopped
· 1/3 cup of basil, chopped
· Paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, rosemary, to taste

In a large pan, heat oil. Add Onion, garlic, and spices and a little water and sauté until tender. Add tomatoes and stock. Cover and let simmer for 12 minutes so tomatoes can reduce.

Add tomato paste and stir well. Add veggies and continue cooking until sauce thickens and veggies are done. Once the sauce is ready stir in fresh basil. (I usually also add spinach to my sauce).

I usually make the sauce completely before making the pasta. I add the meatballs directly to the sauce while rests.

Quinoa Pasta

I am a huge fan of quinoa pasta. It cooks quickly and really well. I recommend getting a package of GoGo Quinoa Spaghetti.

Prepare spaghetti as per directions on le package.

Ta DA! Now you’re ready to roll!

Place pasta on a plate and top with Sauce and Meatballs. Top with more fresh basil. (I often put shredded spinach on the base of the plate before the pasta) Soo Good!