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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Finding a new use for old ingredients.

Couscous cakesThe title of this entry is obviously a favourite of mine. There is just something so thrilling about having the ability of taking something old dish and making it into something even more amazing than the last. Case in point: leftover couscous from my asparagus and double couscous salad. Having not made a ton of couscous in my life, little did I know that a little goes a long way. Since I didn’t want my salad to be overly carby, I decided to save half of the couscous for a later use. Days go by and it’s still sitting there. What do I do with that? I pull a Giada de Laurentiis and make her recipe for couscous cakes.
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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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Turning tacos into a salad.

Taco saladLong are the days where I used to eat crispy shell tacos from Taco Time. That was back in the day where I didn’t know what a real taco was or what they tasted like. But sometimes, just sometimes, I crave that crunchy, Tex-Mex-like flavour. And since I had some leftover Mexican rice and fresh salsa, I didn’t want it to go to waste so I had to reinvent it somehow. It was going to be a taco salad.

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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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