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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Ketchup spaghetti!!!

Japanese ketchup spaghettiMan, it feels like I haven’t cooked a lot of Japanese-inspired recipes. Japanese cuisine is my absolute favourite — I could eat Japanese food every single day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and not ever get tired of it. True story.

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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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Soba salad + keeping yourself within budget.

Spicy shimeji and enoki mushroom soba noodle saladOkay, I remember complaining last week that it didn’t feel like spring, but now I think it totally does! The sun peeks out a bit every here and there and oh, RAIN. Yes, I’m talking about a Vancouver spring. Seems like it’s been such a drab week – grey skies and rainfall. But honestly speaking, we have been getting some great sunny days randomly — not complaining one bit. Atleast the temperatures have been increasing and we’re (almost) consistently in double digit weather, hurrah!

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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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Spring is (almost) here!

Roasted asparagus, gai lan and double couscous saladI was so convinced that spring had arrived a couple weeks ago. The sun was shining, the cherry blossoms on my street are starting to bloom, flowers are springing up from the ground…BUT living in Vancouver, that’s just never the case. The sun never lasts for long because the rain comes or in this week’s case, the cold! I think it’s down to 0 or 2 degrees or something aka unacceptable.

But my mind has not shifted from those clear blue sunny skies we had just weeks ago; I think I am rooted in the spring mindset so much so that spring has entered my kitchen. Doesn’t my roasted asparagus, baby gai lan and double couscous salad scream “springtime” to you?
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Forever a noodle queen.

YakisobaIf there is one thing I can eat every single day, it would be noodles — specifically, Asian noodles. Whether it is pho, ramen, udon, jap chae, bibimguksu, soba, mee goreng, pad thai, or even instant noodles, it really doesn’t matter to me. I love it all. I seriously think I can live off it forever, not even kidding.

Something that I haven’t had in ages would be yakisoba. And since I had a bunch of leftover frozen vegetables and noodles, this was the perfect option for a quick, weeknight dinner.

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Discovering new ingredients.

Israeli couscous and cauliflower saladWith that same bag of organic lemons in my previous post, I still had a couple leftover which I was going to reserve for some iced water with lemon. But instead of just wasting it on that, I decided to incorporate it in a new dish: Israeli couscous and cauliflower salad.
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Move over, Cactus Club.

Cactus Club's teriyaki rice bowlIf you know me, you would know that I hate chain restauurants with a passion. Places like Cactus Club, Earls, Joey’s, Browns Social House, etc. Just very unimaginative food. Consistent, yes, but the food has never been outstanding (atleast since my highschool days). Cactus Club is probably the best out of the bunch, in my opinion, and yes, I do get trapped into going there sometimes out of convenience, friends’ choice, and its senstivity-free menu.

Now, if there is one dish that I have to choose out of the entire menu at Cactus that is the bomb dot com, it would be their teriyaki rice bowl. The good news is that I never have to go to a Cactus Club ever again because I just made that shit right in the comfort of my own home.

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