What Baby Ate: Upma (Savoury South Indian Porridge)

Little Pip is 8.5 months and has become a little beaver! In addition to chewing her crib to nothing, she uses her two bottom teeth to attack pacifiers, toys, and of course, her food.

She was never really into the idea of eating “baby food.” With Little Bear, I revelled in the chance to make him all sorts of combinations of pureed baby food. I played with flavour profiles and used my Baby Bullet all the time.  My freezer looked like something out of Pinterest. But Little Pip would much rather grab something we’re eating and gnaw away at it! Continue reading

Turkey Noodle Soup

I’m a Christmas dinner purist. Give me the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. Don’t forget the cranberry sauce. And definitely don’t forget that turkey!

And while I love Christmas dinner, I’m about done with the leftovers after one day. The problem isn’t the leftovers so much as it is the proportion of what is left. Too much turkey, no more gravy, not enough mashed potatoes. Boo! Continue reading

Avocado Oil: Our New All-Purpose Oil (& an Avocado Oil Salad Dressing Recipe)

At the end of March I had an opportunity to check out the Healthy Family Expo. There were countless fun activities, an awesome kid’s adventure zone, and too many great and innovative products to even start to list. We left weighed down with product that we were excited to try out, and we were honestly not disappointed by any of the new products we tried out. Continue reading

Healthy Protein Breakfast Muffins

I have a confession to make.

I can’t follow a recipe.

Okay, well it’s not that I can’t follow a recipe…it’s that I never do.  I love trying out new recipes and will usually attempt to stay close(ish) to a recipe the first time I make it, but I am the queen of substitutions and add-ins. And sometimes when that happens, well, I end up with something completely different from what I had set out to make in the first place. Continue reading

Broccoli Quinoa Rice Casserole

delicious broccoli quinoa rice casseroleOkay, so it’s not the shortest name, but just call it delicious and comforting, because that’s what it is! I am a huge fan of creamy, comforting broccoli rice casserole, and have tried many versions of the lighter and healthier broccoli quinoa casserole but always felt like it was missing something. This version is a marriage of both versions. The added quinoa gives the dish a protein boost, which is a plus when I’m feeding my picky vegetarian toddler, but the rice, cheese, and slurry offer the creaminess that I have come to expect from this dish. Continue reading

Tofu Teriyaki

Our all-time favourite food to go out and eat as a family has to be Japanese food. While we’re crazy about sushi, we also have lots of other dishes that we love, including tofu teriyaki. Between the fish eater (Arun), the chicken eater (me), and the vegetarian (Little Bear), we’re all satisfied with tofu teriyaki. But, unfortunately, our Japanese cravings are never really satisfied. We could eat mounds of sushi one day and be yearning for more after two days. Our solution is that I often make our favourite Japanese food at home.delicious and easy tofu teriyaki

While my sushi isn’t quite restaurant quality, my tofu teriyaki is a different story. I actually prefer my tofu teriyaki to the dish that you would order in most Japanese restaurants. To start with, restaurant tofu teriyaki is typically served as large pieces of tofu, doused in teriyaki sauce, over rice with a sprinkling of vegetables. The result is a sometimes soggy mess of tofu that just tastes overly sweet. My tofu teriyaki is comprised of much smaller pieces of tofu, meaning optimum batter to tofu coverage. Also, I don’t hide a tiny bit of cabbage and carrots under my tofu, but choose to add a fresh side of vegetables to my dish. Another thing that I like about my version better is that the pieces of tofu maintain their crunch. Rather than covering the tofu with a ridiculous amount of teriyaki sauce, I lightly toss my tofu in the teriyaki sauce right before serving.

This tofu dish is easy to make and is great served with Calrose rice.  I also enjoy a beautiful green vegetable served next to this and some nori on the side. The best thing about this dish is that it is a fan favourite. Everyone in our house enjoys it and Little Bear likes my homemade tofu teriyaki way more than what we get when we order it from the restaurants.

Try it out, and I bet you’ll be snacking on the fried tofu cubes even before it gets to your plate!

tofuteriyaki

Tofu Teriyaki

Ingredients:
1 – 350 gram pack of organic tofu, medium firm
1/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup corn starch
¼ tsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper

Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Teriyaki Sauce (adapted from Mark Bittman’s teriyaki sauce recipe):
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
3 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp corn starch

Method:

  1. Drain the tofu and cut the tofu into small ½ inch cubes.
  2. Place the rice flour, corn starch, salt and pepper into one large plate or container. Whisk well to mix together.
  3. In small batches, toss the tofu into the flour and corn starch mixture. Once finished tossing all the tofu, start over again and toss the tofu in the flour and corn starch one more time.
  4. Pour about a half centimeter of oil into the bottom of a pot and heat on med-high heat until the oil is ready for frying. Once ready, slowly and carefully drop pieces of tofu tossed in the flour and corn starch mixture into the oil.  Make sure not to just dump a bunch of the tofu in, as it is likely to stick together then. Fry until tofu is golden-brown. Remove tofu from oil when done and put on plate lined with napkins.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, make the teriyaki sauce: Combine the soy sauce, water, and honey together in a pot over medium heat.  Allow to come to a simmer and then add the minced garlic. Allow to simmer another minute. Turn off heat.  Put corn starch into a bowl and add 3 tbsp. of the heated soy sauce mixture. Whisk together well. Add the corn starch and soy sauce to the sauce on the stove. Whisk in well. As the sauce sits for a minute or two it will thicken up slightly. The sauce should be runny but not too runny.
  6. Toss the tofu in the teriyaki sauce. The sauce should just be lightly coating the tofu. Serve over Calrose rice.

tofu teriyaki

Easy Indian Barbecue

It was the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada and unfortunately I spent the better part of the weekend sick…and not just pregnancy sick. Sick sick. The worst kind of sick on a super hot long weekend when you’re pregnant and really just want an Advil! Loaded with my essential oils, Manuka honey, and lemon, I battled it out most of the weekend, but unfortunately succumbed to an icky sick induced sleep for the better part of the holiday Monday. Yep, so for the first long weekend of the summer here in Canada, I slept.

Mind you I did feel better when I woke up and I finally had an appetite after not being able to eat much for the past 24 hours. And what better way to celebrate feeling slightly better, a sunny day, and Queen Victoria than an Indian barbecue?! Continue reading

Compound Butter

There are few things in life that taste as good as butter. Don’t bring me margarine…I just want beautiful, creamy, delicious butter!

Whether you enjoy butter spread over your toast or melting into your corn, there is one way to make your butter even better:

Transform your butter into compound butter!

compoundbutter

If you’ve never tried compound butter, you’re missing out.  Not only is this a way to elevate your butter, it also is a great way to save up leftover herbs while looking super fancy with minimal effort.

Compound butter is basically a combination of butter and your choice of herbs, spices, or other flavourings. Making compound butter is incredibly easy and it stores well in the fridge or even the freezer. One of my favourite things about compound butter is once I’ve added in my favourite herbs, it’s a cheap and simple way to add those flavours into my food even when those herbs are not readily available or in season.

Some amazing options that you could add in:

Savoury:

Fresh dill and lemon zest

Fresh basil and roasted garlic

Oregano and garlic

Sundried tomato, chopped olives, and roasted garlic

Cilantro and lime zest

Sriracha and chilli flakes

Sweet:

Chocolate shavings and vanilla

Maple syrup and walnuts

Fresh berries

Cinnamon and brown sugar

Almond extract and shaved almonds

The sky is the limit.  Think of your favourite flavour combinations and try it out!

 

Compound Butter:

Materials needed:

Bowl, spoon, spatula,

Parchment or wax paper

Freezer-safe container

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter, softened

Your choice of chopped herbs, spices, and flavours – start with 2-3 tablespoons total, to start.  Adjust according to taste.

Method:

  1. Mix chopped herbs, spices, and flavours into softened butter, making sure to distribute your add-ins evenly.
  2. Transfer butter mixture onto parchment paper and carefully shape into a log. Roll parchment around butter log and twist ends to close off.
  3. Freeze wrapped compound butter. (Alternate: freeze compound butter for 30 minutes and then slice into ½ inch rounds.)
  4. If using the butter soon, store butter in the fridge, otherwise, store the butter in the freezer in a freezer-safe container.

 

Slow Cooker Indian Kidney Beans (Rajma)

They say every pregnancy is a little different, and so far, that couldn’t be more true for me. At 13 weeks, I feel miserable. But since that has become the new norm for me, I will adapt. Accommodate. Make things work!

One major difference this time around is my appetite.  I had nausea throughout my entire pregnancy with Little Bear, but this time around, there are waves of nausea, followed by complete, savage, hunger.  Which has meant having a stocked fridge…when I need food, I need it fast! Continue reading