Spring Onion Ginger Oil


Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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This is hands down my all time favourite dipping sauce. It’s a common dip served in many Asian restaurants usually alongside a poached chicken. It’s a flavour BOMB and you only need a few ingredients to make it. This sauce is quite salty eaten on its own and along with its strong flavours, it will overpower most things, thus it really only goes well with lightly flavoured food. My favourite dish to use this sauce is with Hainanese Chicken Rice but I’d also happily drizzle this sauce over a bowl of plain white rice and an egg. Oh baby!

I’ve tried making this sauce since forever but never got the proportions right until now. I nearly uprooted all the spring onions in the garden to make this sauce! I’m seriously OBSESSED with the flavours in this sauce.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

The recipe makes roughly 1 cup of sauce which is enough for our family of 4 when served with Hainanese Chicken but feel free to adjust as you need.

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke.*

Add in all your ingredients (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cooled.

*Note: If you let your oil become too hot, it will splatter when you add in your ingredients (be careful!) – just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool then add your ingredients. I find that the flavours aren’t as strong when the oil is too hot. It tends to deep-fry the ingredients rather than let the flavours infuse out. Just take the pan off the heat for a minute to let the oil cool down then add in your ingredients.

Done! Serve when cooled.

Summarized Recipe:

Spring Onion Ginger Oil

Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: ~1 cup (enough for 4 ppl) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil (or any neutral-tasting oil)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil on MED-HIGH heat until it JUST starts to lightly smoke. Add in all your ingredients from step 1 (ginger, garlic, spring onion, salt) and quickly stir for 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients continue to steep in the hot oil until cool. Done!

Click here to learn how to make Hainanese Chicken Rice to pair with this sauce!

Sloppy Joes


Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, healthy/low cal, kid-friendly
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

Sloppy Joes – a classic American dish made of beef (or pork) mince, onions, green peppers/capsicums and a buttload of ketchup. This recipe is super easy, doesn’t need any fancy ingredients, and only requires one pot. The best part about this recipe is that it’s also surprisingly low in calories (roughly 200 calories per serving without the bun) yet still filling.

If you’ve never had a sloppy joe before, it’s kind of like a sweeter spaghetti bolognese but without the spaghetti, sandwiched between a hamburger bun. You can’t eat it without making a mess – hence the “sloppy” in the name. It’s a popular dish in North American and is commonly served to kids and picky eaters due to its simple flavours. It’s not the dish for date night nor a dish to impress foodies, but it’s easy, filling and satisfying. It would actually be really good to bring to a BBQ lunch and you can cook up a big batch in no time.

It’s a pretty straight forward recipe but you can watch the video below to guide you through if you need any help.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

I doubled the recipe in the photo so it’ll look much more than what you need
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1.5 cups ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns

Directions:

Brown the ground beef in a pan over medium heat. Drain off any excess liquids.

Add in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper/capsicum. Cook until soft.

Drain out as much liquid and oils as you can. I only had regular mince meat in my freezer rather than lean so I had quite a lot of fat to strain!

Drain off any excess liquids and oil.

Mix in garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.

Season with salt and pepper, add more sugar or ketchup if you prefer it “sloppier”.

Serve over hamburger buns. Done!

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Sloppy Joes

Date Published: July 31st, 2020 | Last Updated: July 31st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, healthy/low cal, kid-friendly
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1.5 cups ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hamburger buns

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a pan over medium heat. Drain off excess liquids if any.
  2. Add in the onion, garlic, and green pepper/capsicum. Cook until soft. Drain off excess liquids and oil.
  3. Mix in garlic powder, mustard, ketchup and brown sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, add more sugar if needed or more ketchup if you prefer it “sloppier”.
  5. Serve over hamburger buns. Done!

Good For You Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola


Date Published: July 30th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 30th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, < 30mins, quick & easy, snacks
Serves: 8 cups (16 servings) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Ohhh granohhhhla! I love making my own granola. I love the smell that fills the kitchen as it bakes and I love that I can put in whatever I want and feel good about it. I’ve adapted this recipe from Erin Lives Whole which and changed it up to better accommodate my taste (read: making it chocolate!) – don’t worry, I’ve kept all the good stuff in there so I can still enjoy this relatively guilt-free. I’ve also doubled the recipe because Toby and I go through it so quickly.

In the vet world you don’t always get to have your lunch break, so I usually pack a small container in my bag just in case and sneak in bites here and there between consults. It’s perfect to keep me satiated for the rest of the day and I don’t have to worry about heating it up or taking time to prepare it – just add milk! This recipe has saved so many people from a hangry vet 😜.

What makes this granola good for you? The natural and wholesome ingredients! Like most granolas, the bulk of this recipe is rolled oats. Oats is chocked full of fibre and has benefits in lowering cholesterol. It’s also made with coconut oil, chia seeds, honey, and natural peanut butter. Depending on the brand of peanut butter you use, each serving (1/2 cup) is roughly 220 calories. This granola makes a wonderful quick breakfast on the go when topped with some fresh fruit, or a filling snack throughout the day. You can change it up and add extras like nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips…etc. Have it with milk (regular, almond, soy…etc.), greek yogurt, or even sprinkled on top of ice cream. Mmmmmmm.

This recipe is super simple and quick to put together. I’ve added in the weights of each ingredient so if you’re feeling lazy and have a kitchen scale, you can just pour everything in one bowl to the correct weight and mix!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup (280g) natural chunky peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened)*
  • 2/3 cup (220g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (620g) rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsps (47g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

*If you’re struggling to locate natural peanut butter or find it too $$$, you can use regular peanut butter but skip the salt and half the amount of honey (110g instead of 220g).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 165˚C (~325˚F). Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.

Then add in the rest of the ingredients except for the oats: cocoa powder, salt, chia seeds, cinnamon.

Then add in the oats and mix until fully combined.

Press the mixture into the tray and compress it down (this will help you get chunky clusters).

Bake until golden brown (about 15-20mins).

Let it COMPLETELY cool before breaking apart (~20 minutes). If you try to break it apart too early, it will be very crumbly.

Enjoy! Store in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Summarized Recipe:

Good For You Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

Date Published: July 30th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 30th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: healthy, < 30mins, quick & easy, snacks
Serves: 8 cups (16 servings) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (280g) natural chunky peanut butter (unsalted and unsweetened)*
  • 2/3 cup (220g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (620g) rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats)
  • 1/3 cup (26g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsps (47g) chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

*If you’re struggling to locate natural peanut butter or find it too $$$, you can use regular peanut butter but skip the salt and half the amount of honey (110g instead of 220g).

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 165˚C (~325˚F). Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Then mix in the cocoa powder and chia seeds.
  4. Finally, add in the oats and mix until full combined.
  5. Press the mixture into the baking pan and compress it down with your spatula.
  6. Bake until golden brown (about 15-20mins).
  7. Let it COMPLETELY cool before breaking apart. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

Rough Puff (Easy Puff Pastry)


Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: pastry, how-to
Serves: 1 sheet of puff pastry | Prep time: 5 mins | Make time: 50 mins

Jump to recipe | Watch the video

Get ready to have your world changed with this easy puff pastry recipe. If you don’t know what puff pastry is, it’s a flaky buttery dough that’s commonly used in pastries such as danishes, turnovers, tarts…etc. The traditional way to make this dough takes effort and time which is why a lot of people commonly buy the pre-made frozen dough from grocery stores. It’s great to keep in the freezer for a quick dessert or snack. There are SO MANY things you can make with puff pastry. I love using it to make spanakopita, curry puffs and cherry cheese danishes (all of which are on my to-do list of recipes to write up). Once you learn how to make puff pastry, you’ll unlock a world of possibilities!

In Australia, especially in country towns, puff pastry isn’t always easy to find which led me to try and make it myself. This puff pastry dough is a rough and easy version (hence the name “rough puff”) that yields fantastic flaky buttery results. All you need is 4 basic ingredients that you most likely already have in your fridge.

Like a croissant, in order to get buttery flaky layers, you need butter and you need to keep it in layers within the dough rather than have it combined together. Therefore, the key to a flaky puff pastry is to keep everything cold so the butter doesn’t melt into the dough. We’ll be using cold butter, cold water and lots of fridge time. This dough is easy to make, but make sure you keep everything cold and don’t overwork the dough to keep the buttery layers.

You can watch the video below to guide you through the recipe.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 cups (288g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g cold unsalted butter (NOT softened!)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) cold water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and cold butter cubes.

Use a spatula to mix it all together and coat the butter in flour.

Add cold water to the mixture.

Mix the ingredients until you get a thick mixture of clumpy flour and butter (pictured above).

Turn out this mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times with your hands until you get a rough thick dough (1-2 mins). Do NOT overmix! You want there to be flecks or small chunks of butter in your ball. This is what makes your pastry flaky. If your dough is all one colour, you’ve kneaded it too much! Gather your dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

After 20mins, roll out your dough on a floured surface into a rough rectangle shape. You should have a marbled effect in the dough (see photo above).

Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third up (like a letter). Then turn the dough 90 degrees, roll it out in an up and down direction (not side to side) and fold it into thirds again. Repeat rolling and folding the dough another 3 times. Remember to always stick with one direction of rolling so the butter doesn’t become too incorporated into the dough. If this sounds confusing, check out my video tutorial below.

Try to do the rolling step relatively quickly because you don’t want the butter in the dough to melt while rolling. If melting, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden up then continue rolling.

After you’ve finished working with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for another 20mins or overnight.

Ready to use for your recipe! (When you use the recipe, you don’t need to unfold the dough, just roll it out.)

Watch the Video Tutorial!

Summarized Recipe:

Rough Puff (Easy Puff Pastry)

Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: pastry, how-to
Serves: 1 sheet of puff pastry | Prep time: 5 mins | Make time: 50 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (288g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g cold unsalted butter (NOT softened!)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) cold water

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and cold butter cubes. Use a spatula to mix it all together and coat the butter in flour.
  2. Add cold water to the mixture and mix the ingredients until you get a thick mixture of clumpy flour and butter (pictured above).
  3. Turn out this mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times with your hands until you get a rough thick dough (1-2 mins). Do NOT overmix! You want there to be flecks or small chunks of butter in your ball. Gather your dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20mins, roll out your dough on a floured surface into a rough rectangle shape. You should have a marbled effect in the dough (see photo above). Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third up (like a letter). Then turn the dough 90 degrees, roll it out in an up and down direction (not side to side) and fold it into thirds again. Repeat rolling and folding the dough another 3 times. Remember to always stick with one direction of rolling so the butter doesn’t become too incorporated into the dough.
    • Try to do the rolling step relatively quickly because you don’t want the butter in the dough to melt while rolling. If melting, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden up then continue rolling.
  5. After you’ve finished working with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for another 20mins or overnight.
  6. Ready to use for your recipe! (When you use the recipe, you don’t need to unfold the dough, just roll it out.)

Thai Green Curry Paste


Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 1 large bowl, enough for ~4-5 curries (at 4 portions each)
Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 5mins

Jump to recipe

Thai curries. They’re fantastic. They’re amazing. They’re so flavourful that I can never pass it up when I visit a Thai restaurant. The actual process of making a good Thai curry isn’t all that complicated as long as you have the curry paste, which is where most of the flavour comes from (and also the most effort). You can buy packaged Thai curry pastes from pretty much any supermarket these days and for pretty cheap too, but if you’re like me and have the need to conquer seemingly complex recipes, then this is the recipe for you!

Thai curries come in a wide variety, but the most common ones you’ll see are red and green curries. Traditionally the main difference between these two are the colour of the chillies that are used. The red curries are usually spicier by using red chilli peppers and chilli powder whereas the green curry colour comes from the more mild green chilli peppers and other green ingredients like kaffir lime leaves, coriander/cilantro and sometimes basil.

Brace yourself. There are a BUTTLOAD of ingredients that go into this Thai green curry paste (17 to be exact) but it’s packed with flavour and beautiful aromas. It does takes some time to gather and prep all the ingredients, but the end result is a wonderfully fragrant and flavourful paste that’s well worth the effort. Since this paste does require a bit of effort and time, I’ve adjusted the recipe to yield a large portion so you only need to make this once and be able to use it again and again. ✌🏻

The actual process is pretty simple – just chop and blend, but the sheer number of ingredients required to make this paste takes time. If you don’t have access to an Asian grocer, it may be pretty challenging to gather some of these ingredients.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

*Note: all of these ingredients are going into a food processor/blender, so you only need to roughly chop them to fit into the processor!

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped – I usually buy a large pack of frozen lemongrass stalks since it’s harder to come by near my area, but feel free to use fresh ones!
  • 4 long green chillies, roughly chopped (keep the seeds in for extra spiciness)
  • 5 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 7 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps grated galangal (or sub with 2 Tbsp ginger + zest of 1 lime)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps of coriander/cilantro roots and stems, washed – roots have a milder flavour than stems. If you prefer a stronger coriander flavour, have more stems than roots or all stems
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dry)
  • 2.5 tsps dried shrimp paste (belachan)
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
  • 2 tsp palm sugar syrup (or equal amount of brown sugar or maple syrup or 1/2 tsp molasses)
  • 2-4 Tbsps coconut milk (or water) as needed to help the paste blend

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, combine all of these ingredients except the coconut milk and blend until you get a thick paste.

Tip: if any of your ingredients have excess moisture (ie. thawed lemongrass stalks), squeeze out the extra liquid before blending to prevent having an excessively wet paste.

Add in the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time to help your ingredients blend to a smooth paste.

Taste and adjust flavours. If it’s too spicy or salty, add more coconut milk. Adjust sugar and salt as needed. Remember that this is a paste to be used in recipes, so getting the perfect balance isn’t as important at this stage unless you’ll be eating this paste on its own. You can always adjust the flavours in your actual recipes later.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate: you can keep this paste in an air-tight container (I usually use a glass jar) in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • Freeze: if you’re not going to use the paste anytime soon, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and take them out as needed (roughly 1 Tbsp of sauce per ice cube). Will freeze well for several months.

Recipes that use this paste:

Summarized Recipe:

Thai Green Curry Paste

Date Published: July 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, asian
Serves: 1 large bowl, enough for ~4-5 curries (at 4 portions each)
Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 5mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 4 long green chillies, roughly chopped (keep the seeds in for extra spiciness)
  • 5 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 7 cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps grated galangal (or sub with 2 Tbsp ginger + zest of 1 lime)
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps of coriander/cilantro roots and stems, washed
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dry)
  • 2.5 tsps dried shrimp paste (belachan)
  • 2 Tbsps fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or 1/8 tsp table salt)
  • 2 tsp palm sugar syrup (or equal amount of brown sugar or maple syrup or 1/2 tsp molasses)
  • 2-4 Tbsps coconut milk (or water) as needed to help the paste blend

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of these ingredients except the coconut milk and blend until you get a thick paste.
    • Tip: if any of your ingredients have excess moisture (ie. thawed lemongrass stalks), squeeze out the extra liquid before blending to prevent having an excessively wet paste.
  2. Add in the coconut milk one tablespoon at a time to help your ingredients blend to a smooth paste.
  3. Taste and adjust flavours. If it’s too spicy or salty, add more coconut milk. Adjust sugar and salt as needed. Remember that this is a paste to be used in recipes, so getting the perfect balance isn’t as important at this stage unless you’ll be eating this paste on its own. You can always adjust the flavours in your actual recipes later.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate: you can keep this paste in an air-tight container (I usually use a glass jar) in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • Freeze: if you’re not going to use the paste anytime soon, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and take them out as needed (roughly 1 Tbsp of sauce per ice cube). Will freeze well for several months.

Garlic Rosemary Rub


Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 1/2 cup (enough for a 2.5-3kg lamb roast)
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

Jump to recipe |

This rub is SO freaking good and PACKED with flavour. It goes fantastically on a roasted leg of lamb or as a sauce for a steak. It only takes a few minutes to put together and you only need a few simple ingredients. It’s even better if you get to pick the herbs from your own garden ☺️. You’ve just gotta try this!

This recipe is originally from Damn Delicious where she used this rub on a roast leg of lamb. The lamb was so damn good that I just had to add it to my recipe box and share it with you guys.

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp salt – cut the salt in half if you’re going to use it as a sauce
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper

Note: instead of chopping all the ingredients, you can put them all in a food processor and blitz until chopped.

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Garlic Rosemary Rub

Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips
Serves: 1/2 cup (enough for a 2.5-3kg lamb roast) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp salt – cut the salt in half if you’re going to use it as a sauce
  • 2 tsps ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Done!

Note: instead of chopping everything you can put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined.
Recipe source: Damn Delicious

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)


Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Jump to recipe |

Tabbouleh (or tabbouli) is a simple mediterranean salad mainly comprised of whole grains, tomatoes and parsley. There are many versions of this salad out there but this one is by far my favourite and simplest. The freshness from the lemon juice and veg pairs really well with a heavy main dish such as a roast lamb. It’s also pretty good as a topping in wraps!

I like to use white quinoa in this recipe for the fluffiness, but you can sub it out for a different whole grain if you like for different textures. This recipe is super simple, healthy and filling. Feel free to add in some baked chicken breast or canned tuna or salmon for an easy lunch.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – if you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s super simple. Just boil 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa until the liquid is absorbed. You can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need.
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Directions:

Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator.

Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Tabbouleh (Mediterranean Quinoa Salad)

Date Published: July 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, healthy, easy, < 30 mins
Serves: 4 as a side dish | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (20mins including cooking quinoa)

Ingredients:

  • Salad Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1.5 tsps lemon or lime juice
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 3 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp (equates to 1 cup uncooked quinoa) – you can follow this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make quinoa for some guidance if you need
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped (either curly or flat-leaf)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients together (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes) and whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the salad ingredients together (parsley, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries, black beans (if using)). Add your salad dressing and toss everything together.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled in refrigerator. Done!

How to Cook Quinoa


Date Published: July 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Prep time: 5 mins to measure ingredients | Cook time: 15 mins

Did you know that quinoa is actually a seed? This superfood is packed with protein, nutrients and fibre. Best of all, it’s really easy to cook and takes only half the time to make compared to rice. It comes in different colours but white quinoa is the most commonly used and tends to be the fluffiest.

To me quinoa itself doesn’t have much flavour other than a hint of nuttiness, which is why I love using them to bulk up salads to make them more filling and to add some extra nutrients to my diet. They can be a little pricey in regular grocery stores here in Australia, but if you’ve got a Costo membership you can buy them at a pretty good price in bulk and it stores well for a very long time (I’m still using the same bag from 2 years ago!). You can also use quinoa as a rice substitute or eat it as a side dish using recipes that star quinoa such as the delicious tabbouleh that pairs beautifully with a lamb dish.

The directions below are a little wordy because I wanted the instructions to be as clear as possible without any room for confusion, but I promise it’s actually SO easy to make it. You essentially just boil 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa until all the water absorbs and then you fluff it. Done!

I’ll be updating a short video on how to cook quinoa shortly – I just wanted to publish the written version first because I couldn’t wait to share some good quinoa recipes with you guys!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the tutorial. If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Quinoa – quinoa will expand about 3 times its size once it’s cooked, so measure out your quinoa according to how much you want to make (ie. if you want to make 1 cup cooked quinoa, then measure out 1/3 cup raw). Usually if I’m making a big salad for 4 people, I’ll measure out 1 cup raw to make 3 cups cooked.
  • Boiling water – you can use room temp water as well, but I find boiling water makes the cooking process a little quicker. You want a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, which means if you’re using 1 cup raw quinoa, you’ll need 2 cups of water, or if you want 1/3 cup raw quinoa, you’ll need 2/3 cups of water.

Directions:

Rinse the quinoa and strain out the water (I find it easiest to put the quinoa in a mesh strainer and run it under tap water until the water runs clear).

In a saucepan (or any size pot that will accommodate how much cooked quinoa you want), add your washed quinoa and water. Put the lid on and turn the heat on HIGH until it starts boiling.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to MED-LOW until all the water has absorbed and the quinoa softens and “opens up” (this will take about 10-15 mins). Make sure you watch the quinoa carefully when the water is nearly gone or else you may burn it.

If there’s only a small amount of water left (just slightly wet at the bottom of the pan), you can turn the heat off early and keep the lid on to let the quinoa soak up the remaining water (~ extra 5 minutes).

Once all the water has been absorbed, fluff the quinoa up with a fork and add to your recipe! Done!

See how the quinoa has “opened up” when cooked and fluffy

Smoked Salmon Salad with Roasted Sesame Dressing


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

Jump to recipe |

I love this salad. It’s so flavourful, satisfying, and best of all it’s really easy and quick. You can easily customize it too. I came up with it one morning while trying to make a quick lunch for the fam and at the same time clearing the fridge of ingredients – I never expected it to turn out so good!

This recipe sounds fancy smancy but it’s the quickest most ridiculously easy salad to put together as long as you have roasted sesame dressing on hand. You can make the dressing yourself from scratch (the recipe is on my to-do list to upload, I swear), but often times I let the good people at Kewpie do the hard work for me especially if I’m in a rush or just feeling extra lazy. Kewpie does such a fantastic job with this dressing that Toby and I like to keep a 1L bottle in the fridge and use it on SO many things as a dipping sauce – I highly recommend picking up a bottle next time you’re at an Asian grocer.

Roasted sesame dressing is commonly seen in many Japanese restaurants served on their side salads in bento boxes. It’s a creamy dressing that’s packed with roasted sesame flavour. It elevates the most basic salads to another level, including this one. While you can use this dressing with virtually any salad ingredient, I found that when you pair it with smoked salmon, something absolutely magical happens. The heavy savoury smoked salmon paired with the dressing is balanced out by the fresh crisp veggies that results in a refreshing salad with a heap of flavour.

Next time you’re in a rush to pack lunch but still want something delicious and healthy, think of this salad! Or better yet, next time you’re inviting people over for a dinner party but you’ve exhausted all your energy on the main dish, you can quickly whip up this salad as a starter or a side dish to impress.

I’ve written this recipe with veggies I commonly have in my fridge as a staple in most of my salads (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers/capsicums, and cucumbers) but of course you can change it up to whatever veggies you like such as grated carrot, radishes, spinach, red onions…etc. This recipe is so easily customizable. The only thing I don’t usually pair with this dressing is cheese. I find that the creaminess of the dressing tends to overpower most cheeses so why bother adding it in – fewer calories, amiright?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced – you can use smoked trout as well which I find is usually cheaper and tastes very close to smoked salmon
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Feel free to customize the ingredients to whatever you like or whatever you’ve got in your fridge. The bold flavours of the salmon and the dressing makes this salad pretty forgiving with whatever veggies you want to chuck in it.

Directions:

Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do. Let me know how yours turned out in the comments! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Summarized Recipe:

Smoked salmon salad with roasted sesame dressing

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salad, healthy, quick and easy, <15 mins, asian
Serves: 1 person as a main, or 2-3 as a side salad
Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 30 seconds to toss the salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of lettuce, washed and shredded
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • 1 handful of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 handful of red bell pepper/capsicum, chopped
  • 50g smoked salmon, sliced
  • Kewpie roasted sesame dressing to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl and toss with as much dressing as your heart desires. Done!

Classic Simple Guacamole


Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Jump to recipe |

I love guacamole. LOVE. Seriously. The creaminess of the avocados with the freshness of the tomatoes and lime juice is pure happiness in a bowl. I could easily devour a whole bowl of it myself while binge-watching something. It’s quick and easy with no actual cooking required – just chop some ingredients and mix it all up. Try to make it a little ahead of time because it tastes so much better after a few hours in the fridge to let the flavours infuse. Trust me.

Avocados are quite fatty by nature so the bad news is that the calories tend to stack up when you have too much. However the good news is that it’s good fat and has numerous health benefits so it’s actually quite good for you (as long as you don’t pair it with too many chips 😅).

My favourite way to eat guacamole is to simply have it as a dip served with tortilla chips. It’s a simple, quick and filling snack – but of course it goes amazingly on so many other things such as nachos, fajitas, tacos, burritos…etc.

I think my guacamole obsession started back in my university years in Canada with my old roommate Taryn. We’d frequently go to Gryph’s Sports Lounge/Campus Bar above the hockey rink and always order nachos with a side of guacamole. I don’t know what they put in their nachos, but it was so simple and satisfying. No fancy meats or sauces – just good ol’ nachos, cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Even after we graduated we met up a couple times at Gryph’s just to get the nachos and catch up (although from memory the last time we went there they had changed their nachos 😞).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Happy Cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 large hass avocados – a tip on how to choose avocados: gently squeeze them. You want them to be firm but with a slight give. If they squeeze in too much then they’re over ripe. If you don’t plan on using them for a while, then buy them more firm and leave it out on your counter to ripen. Hass avocados work best in guacamole.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion (~1 medium onion), diced – you can use regular yellow onions instead but the red ones give a bit more sweetness
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste) – different limes will have different sourness, so taste as you go and add more if you need (if you accidentally go overboard, add some sugar or more salt)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste) – salt enhances the flavour of the ingredients. If you’re not sure whether you need more salt, I’d recommend letting the guacamole sit in the fridge for an hour after the flavours marinate together and then taste it to adjust flavours
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional for a bit of heat)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl. I find it easiest to mash avocados by using a whisk as a masher. If you prefer your guac more chunky, stop mashing when you get to your desired consistency.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients to the mashed avocados (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. I find that different limes have different degrees of sourness, so start with a small amount (like half a tbsp) and then add more as needed – I’ve had to add up to 2 Tbsps of juice before. It’s better to start with a small amount rather than overdo it. If you’re having some trouble adjusting the flavours, you can let it chill for a few hours first to let the flavours blend together and season it afterwards.

Ideally refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving (overnight is better) to let the flavours marinate together, then taste and adjust ingredients as needed. The difference between letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight vs serving it right away is night and day. Trust me.

Enjoy! Serve on the side of burritos, fajitas, nachos, or even just with some chips and crackers as a snack.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Summarized Recipe:

Guacamole

Date Published: July 24th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 24th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy, < 15mins, snacks, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins (not including refrigeration)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large hass avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced (~2 tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro/coriander

Directions:

  1. Peel, pit and mash the avocados in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (garlic, tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, pepper). Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  3. Ideally refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to let the flavours marinate together then taste and adjust flavours again as needed.