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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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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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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Spinach overload? Make goma-ae.

Spinach goma-aeI recently discovered the Coppersmith Farmer’s Market in Ironwood Plaza in Richmond near Steveston. Despite its name, it is not an actual outdoor farmer’s market that occurs once a week. It’s more on the lines of a grocery store (think: Langley Farm Market, Kins Farm Market, etc). It’s a cute little grocery store that has amazing prices on produce where a good chunk of it is local. Hey, Richmond IS practically farmville. I picked up a ton of vegetables for just over $5.00, including 2 large bunches of locally-sourced fresh spinach.

It’s been a week and I’ve only used up one. What to do with the other? Make spinach goma-ae.

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Changing the face of samosas.

Rice paper samosas with mint chutneyI’m not sure why but I’ve never been a huge fan of samosas. Sure, they are pockets of deep fried carb-y goodness with the accompanying sweet chutney dipping sauce which, as a whole package, really should be right down my alley but no, I’m not sure what it is.

But I think that might have changed once I made rice paper samosas with mint chutney.

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Mexi-rice.

Mexi rice Did you know that one of my very first jobs was at Taco Del Mar? It was back when I was 15 and although it was short-lived, I learned a lot about Mexican food — er, more like Tex-Mex food. And I discovered my love for burrito bowls. And the most important component of a burrito? The Mexican rice.

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Cauliflower-haters, this is for you.

Roasted balsamic and garlic cauliflowerI’m not sure why cauliflower gets such a bad rep. Just think of it as an albino broccoli. Yes? Okay, maybe not. But still, it is such a delicious vegetable that deserves more credibility than its cousin, broccoli. I have a recipe that will convert cauliflowers into cauliflower-eating-fiends. Yes, it is that good. I’m talking about my roasted balsamic and garlic cauliflower.

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