Monthly Archives: August 2016

Cooking on Sundays: Fried Rice and Zucchini Patties

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It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and haven’t had the chance to sit down and blog. My busy season at work has started and September is only going to get busier since we have four events and I’ll be on the road for at least three of them. With so much on my mind, I didn’t really want to think about what I was going to be cooking this week so I went grocery shopping and went with what my body wanted. Meals this week include: fried rice with roasted veggies (and steak – not pictured because I’m going to make it fresh for dinner), zucchini patties with tzatziki and potato salad (because that’s what I’m craving). Keeping it super simpleĀ this week. Happy cooking šŸ™‚

IMG_20160828_210423508Zucchini Patties

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, grated
  • 2 inch block of cheese (I used Gouda), finely diced
  • 1 egg or flax substitute (ground flax seed mixed with water, 1:1)
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs green onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon super hot spicy chili flakes

Directions

  1. Grate zucchini and add some salt to it and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Wring out the water from the zucchini and place in medium sized bowl
  2. Finely dice cheese of your choice. I find that the cheese melts better when diced instead of grated
  3. Mix all ingredients together and form into patty shape. You can use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to mold it and keep consistent sizing
  4. Please molded patties into the fridge for 30 minutes so that it can firm up
  5. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350F and bake for 10 minutes and then flip them for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Tzatziki

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated or diced
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (I used PC lactose free yogurt)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and then either grate or dice it – depending on your preference
  2. Combine yogurt, garlic and lemon juice with cucumber. Mix and place in fridge or use immediately
  3. Serve with your favourite veggie sticks or with zucchini patties
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Port Credit: my first long distance bike ride

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I had always wanted to visit Port Credit, Mississauga for no apparent reason other than I have passed it many times on the GO Train and have always wondered what was there. A couple of weeks ago, my roommate and I decided to take the ride via the Waterfront Trail and it was awesome. A couple things I learned along the way:

  • If there’s a will, there’s a way. I haven’t ridden a bike in a very long time and having only started recently, I didn’t think I could take such a long journey (45 kms is not an easy feat, at least not for me) but with determination to get out of the house and see a new place, I did it!
  • Bike riding is a great way to see and explore new places. The last time I did something like this was when I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards in 2013 (rented bikes and rode to each one, it was a spectacularly fun and exhausting day).
  • Always wear sunscreen. I learned the hard way and slightly burnt my nose and have a wicked farmer’s tan.
  • Getting lost is part of the fun. We were following the GPS but it is sometimes different from real life – it happens. Since we weren’t in a rush, we backtracked and eventually found our way. Also met some nice ladies that led us back onto the trail!
  • Being carefree. Since the ride took longer than suggested by Google Maps – 1 hr 50 mins to get there and 1 hr 30 mins to get back, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s a joy being able to stop and look at the clouds in the sky; without a worry to be had. Also, when you’re riding and you feel that summerĀ breeze passing you, there’s something inside of you that says everything is going to be alright.

For a first long distance trip, I think it was well worth the couple of hours it took and I maybe fitter than I think since there weren’t any muscle aches afterwards. Also, the mint chocolate ice cream bar helped šŸ™‚

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Cooking on Sunday: Pantry Medley Mix

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I wasn’t feel well last week so didn’t end up doing a lot of grocery shopping. I also noticed that the freezer was starting to fill out so decided to do another pantry/freezer clean out (read about my first one here) to make way for other foods. The medley of meals this week include:

  • steak with mushrooms, onions, green beans and mushroom burger mix (sauteĀ the mushrooms and onions after the steak, it smells and tastes amazing!)
    • basting and cooking the steak in butter is heavenly

mushroom and onions

  • mushroom burger mix with tuna cakes (I still have so many cans of tuna left!),
    • Mix 2 cans of tuna with 2 eggs, chopped green onion, salt and pepper, bread crumbs, crushed red chili pepper flakes. Mold into 1/4 cup sizes and bake in oven for 22 mins.

meatballs and tuna cakes

  • homemade tomato sauce with lasagna sheets and turkey meatballs
    • Sauce: chop up veggies and tomatoes and place in a pot and simmer until it thickens (you can add tomato paste too)
    • Pasta: break up sheets of dried lasagna and boil until al dente (about 8-10 mins)
  • stir fry veggies and vermicelli
    • Chop up desired veggies and saute them in a frying pan
    • Prepare vermicelli according to package instructions. Add to veggies
    • WhiskĀ together: 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and pour over veggies and vermicelli, stir until mixed

Not much of a recipe week, more of a put things together that taste good and keep it simple. Happy cooking šŸ™‚

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Cooking on Monday because it’s a long weekend!

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With it being a long weekend, I spent most of the timeĀ outdoors and with friends and family – very much needed. Also, the weather has been really nice so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but there’s no shorter way to do meal preps. To avoid being too hot in the kitchen, I did everything in batches and in the oven so I wouldn’t have to stand over the stove. For this week, I made: baked porkchops with roasted veggies, Napa cabbage slaw, carrot soup, tofu “jerky” and mushroom barley burger mix (I defrosted it and broke it up in a pot and mixed with collard greens).

Porkchops

Baked Porkchops

Ingredients:

  • 5 porkchops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse the porkchops and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Mix salt, pepper and brown sugar together. Massage into the pork on both sides – get it right in there.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and flip over for another 15 minutes.

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Carrot Soup

(adapted from Thug Kitchen’s cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Ā 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Peel and chop the carrots. Chop the celery. Toss with olive oil, cumin and salt. Roast in oven for 35 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
  2. Once the carrots have cooled, place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Add more water to get to desired consistency.
  3. Garnish with herbs if you have some on hand.

Tofu jerky

Tofu Jerky

IngredientsĀ (from Thug Kitchen’s cookbook):

  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mince fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or similar hot sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, thickly sliced

DirectionsĀ (adapted from Nacho Average Cook):

  1. Open and drain a package of tofu. Pat the tofu dry with paper towel or a cloth towel.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow, flat pan (I use a Pyrex dish).
  3. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices and place into marinade. Set aside in fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Place marinated tofu slices on a single layer and set the marinade aside.
  6. Put in oven for 15 minutes. Then remove and flip. Bast with more marinade on each piece and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip once more and bast with more marinade and put back in oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy on its own or in a salad.

Napa Cabbage Salad

Napa Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 leaves kale, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
  • Tofu jerky marinade
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. Rinse and dry Napa Cabbage and kale leaves. Thinly slice them and put them in a large container.
  2. Thinly slice the green onion, can include white bit if you like (I do).
  3. Mix the lime juice with the leftover tofu jerky marinade. Toss with salad when ready to eat.

Hope you had a good Monday and happy cooking šŸ™‚

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