All posts filed under: Mains

Pork & Sambal Green Beans

It has been a scorcher here in southern BC for the past few weeks and with a west-facing apartment, temperatures inside our cozy home have easily reached 100 degrees in the evening. Rather than avoiding turning on my stove and sticking to no-cook recipes like salads and sandwiches, I fired up the stove to make a hot dinner; hot in the sense that heat was used to cook the food, and hot in the sense of spice. I was drawn to make some spicy food during this heat wave to test the theory that eating spicy food when it’s hot outside actually helps to cool you down. I never really tested this theory before as I have lived in a cool Canadian climate my whole life (or have had air conditioning to compensate those few hot days we get up here); but I heard that this theory actually works and has worked for people who live in perpetually hot climates for hundreds of years. So since we were stuck in this heatwave and sans air …

Asian Heritage Rice Bowl

If you are looking for a new healthy meal recipe that packs a ton of nutrition and is also delicious, look no further than my Asian Heritage Rice Bowl. Rice bowls (and their vegetarian equivalent, Buddha bowls) have been popping up everywhere lately and I can understand why. They are a fantastic way to get a variety of colourful vegetables, fruits, proteins and grains into your diet. Essentially, the bowl starts off with a base (often rice or salad) and you simply add handfuls of each ingredient to the bowl to make up a full meal. These Asian Heritage Rice Bowls were originally inspired by the chicken rice bowl at Heritage Asian Eatery in downtown Vancouver. As I am now living in Victoria, I miss these bowls SO MUCH and there isn’t anything here that is quite like it (or is of good enough quality). So, when I find myself getting a Heritage Asian Eatery craving, I make this bowl.  While Heritage’s bowl uses a whole chicken leg, I opt for using a chicken breast …

Maltese Stuffed Artichokes

Of all the delicious spring vegetables that are in season right now, the gorgeous globe artichoke is one of my favourites. Not only do they taste amazing when cooked, I love the springy, flower-like look of them in general. When uncooked, the tightly packed, overlapping leaves on the artichoke looks like a budding flower, and then when it’s all cooked, the leaves open up and it looks like it has magically bloomed. So cute! If you have ever heard the saying “With every rose comes its thorns”, this definitely applies to the artichoke…almost literally. The most prized part of the artichoke is the heart. When cooked, it is soft, creamy and meaty and is definitely the reward of the vegetable. But in order to get to the heart, you have to get passed the prickly leaves and spiny thistle inside of it. At the center of the artichoke, there is a thistle called the “choke”. My grandma (who is Maltese) always used to say that if you ate the “choke” you would choke. I was …

Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Chicken & Cheese

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away and to celebrate, I have come up with a fantastic recipe that is perfect for the occasion: Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Chicken and Cheese. This recipe is my take on Chiles Rellenos, a classic Mexican dish made with cheese-stuffed Poblano peppers that are breaded, deep fried and topped with a luxurious red salsa. While I absolutely love Chiles Rellenos (and order them from restaurants every time they are on the menu), they are quite a bit of work to make at home with all the breading and deep frying. This recipe lightens up the classic Chiles Rellenos recipe by avoiding the breading and deep frying, so it’s much healthier for you and is a great keto meal! If you have never had Poblano peppers before, you are missing out! These large, dark green peppers are very common in Mexican dishes and are mildly spicy. They are much less spicy than a jalapeno, but are a bit spicier than a regular sweet bell pepper. They are also …

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I love taking on new projects in my kitchen and challenging myself to make something that I have never made before. It keeps it interesting and helps me learn about new ingredients, what things pair well together, and lets me practice my cooking techniques. While the results may not always turn out as expected, it’s always a great learning opportunity and keeps me motivated to continually improve and learn new things. This past weekend, I took on a fun (and successful!) project in my kitchen: making homemade cheese! While I thought making cheese is very labor intensive, highly technical, and time consuming, I made a batch of fresh Homemade Ricotta Cheese in under 30 minutes and with only three ingredients. Read on below to see how I made it. Ricotta is an Italian cheese that can be made with cow, water buffalo, goat or sheep milk. Traditionally, it is made from the whey that is left over from other cheese making processes and is simply “recooked” to coagulate any remaining proteins in the whey. This …

Homemade Margherita Pizza & Dough

When making homemade pizza, having a tasty crust is essential. While some may like thin crust pizza (I actually only like thin crust from take-out pizza shops), I love making thick-crust style pizza at home— mainly because of this amazing pizza dough recipe. This pizza dough is like a cross between regular pizza crust and a foccacia bread. It’s flat and holds up against the toppings just like a regular pizza crust should, but it is also thick, soft, moist and airy just like a foccacia.  This is from adding one special ingredient to the dough…olive oil! I add quite a bit of olive oil to the dough (5+ tablespoons) which makes the dough so moist, flavourful and crispy once baked. I really have not found any restaurant or pizza place that makes their dough like this (and I eat a lot of pizza), which is why you need to try this recipe for yourself! Now I know what your’re thinking. Pizza dough is hard to make, I need special ingredients, tools etc. I’m here …

Soup Series: Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

Just like I mentioned in my Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce post, I can’t seem to get enough of cauliflower these days. I love the dense and hearty texture of this cruciferous vegetable in the late fall and early winter. It just seems to really fill you up and keep you warm. Speaking of keeping you warm, you wouldn’t suppose this yummy veggie would keep you EXTRA warm in soup form? Hey, I’m looking for any heat I can get- it is the rainy season after all! So there it is, in all its cauliflower and garlicky glory, Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic soup! My partner and I had a version of this soup last spring at Artisan Eats Cafe on Bowen Island. It was so warm and comforting on this cold day, and that view was really amazing! I however, could have done without the semi-burnt toast and tons of cream in the soup. But from the first spoonful, I knew I had to make this at home! And clearly it was a very memorable …