It’s been a while.

Umami & MeHi friends. It’s been a while.

You can tell when I haven’t been cooking when my blog is barren. I haven’t written a post in almost 3 weeks!!! Way too long and I’m so sorry! I was away in San Francisco for a weekend and the rest of the time I haven’t cooked. I hadn’t grocery shopped, my fridge and cupboards are barren… WHO AM I!??

Well, the wait is over and I’m back! Up on the menu today? Moroccan vegetable stew.
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FREE COOKIES?!

Banana date oatmeal cookiesOh, my bad. I meant free as in allergen-free. Sorry to get your hopes up!!!

These banana date oatmeal cookies are 1) sugar-free, 2) dairy-free, 3) egg-free, 4) nut-free, 5) gluten-free, 6) soy-free and oh, 7) vegan. It doesn’t sound appetizing to you, does it? My sister would probably comment on me being “hipster” again but hey, they’re actually not bad at all! Plus, it’s got all these amazing superfoods mixed in which makes it even BETTER for you.

Are you ready for the recipe yet!?!
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Broccoli trees + other great grocery spots.

Garlic broccoli saladI’ll tell you a not-so-secret secret: one of my favourite places to grocery shop would be Sunrise Market in Vancouver. It’s a super cheap, no-frills old Chinese market that I believe used to be Sunrise Soya foods which produced tofu back in the day (and I think still to this day — correct me if I’m wrong). It’s this amazing market in the middle of the downtown eastside. Fresh produce is dirt cheap and besides that, you can get killer deals on tofu, dumplings, packaged foods, etc. Basically everything.

This time around I got some huge broccoli trees that were bagged into the Reduced bin and I swear, there were atleast 2-3 heads worth of broccoli in there. For $1.00. Yes! Since I wanted to make something new with the broccoli, I decided to whip up a quick steamed broccoli salad.
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Cookies for an occasion.

Lemon crinkle cookiesThis past weekend was my friend Devon’s birthday and, of course, being the baker that I am, was designated “dessert girl”. I never get a say at these things. Since I was in charge of dessert, I decided to bake something up to use up a few of my organic lemons that have been looking lonely in my fridge and that could easily be shared by everyone at the party. I made some simple lemon crinkle cookies for the occasion which was a hit!

But let’s be honest, when has my cooking or baked goods ever NOT been a hit?!?!
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Roasting vs. sauteing mushrooms.

Roasted mushroomsHow have I gone this long without roasting mushrooms!? SERIOUSLY. This is the only way I will have my mushrooms from now on…besides mushroom risotto, that is. This roasted mushroom recipe will complete your life. Guaranteed.
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The BEST Vietnamese salad roll, ever.

Raw enoki mushroom and avocado salad rollsI absolutely LOVE Vietnamese salad rolls. Whether it is the traditional one with shrimp, minced pork, Vietnamese ham, or whatever, they are one of my favourite ways to eat a salad because who has the time to sit down and eat nowadays?! They are great for an on-the-go lunch or snack and are even more delicious with a few dabs of Sriracha and hoisin sauce. Mm….

Lately I have been finding myself skipping the rice noodles traditionally found encased inside the roll as a lighter and healthier way to eat my rolls. I usually throw more lettuce or greens in there but sometimes, I do miss those carb-y noodles. I hadn’t ever found a suitable substitute those noodles…UNTIL NOW.

Introducing to you, my raw enoki mushroom and avocado salad rolls.
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Killer lettuce wraps.

Avocado, shrimp and egg lettuce wrapsLooking for an innovative and refreshing way to eat your food? Skip the tortilla wraps and use some leafy greens instead! I present to you my avocado, shrimp and egg lettuce wraps.
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