Smoked Salmon Spread


Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, <15 mins, appetizers, on the go, quick, dips, snacks
Serves: 1 large bowl or 6 bagel spreads | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 2 mins

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This is one of my all time favourite dips. I’m surprised it has taken me this long to write it up! A good cream cheese bagel has always been one of my weaknesses. When I did a vet student placement in New York years ago, there was a bagel cart parked outside of the American Medical Centre. Every morning I’d get an ‘everything bagel with cream cheese’ and it was always the best part of my morning because he loaded it with so much cream cheese 😛. One day I walked up to the cart and before I even spoke, he already started apologizing that he had sold out of the ‘everything bagel’. Although I was disappointed, I was more surprised that he actually remembered me and it was nice the have a bagel guy that knows my “usual”. (Don’t worry guys, I got a plain bagel instead, and it had just as much cream cheese 😜). Aaaaanyways, I digress. The point of that story is that I really fucking love bagels and cream cheese – but what’s even better? Smoked salmon and cream cheese! You’ll commonly find “lox” on the menu of a bagel shop in New York (lox and cold smoked salmon are often used interchangeably, although lox isn’t always smoked). It’s usually served on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, dill, and red onion. Mmmmmmmmm. This recipe is essentially all of those ingredients blended together to make a quick and easy salmon spread.

This dip is perfect to serve as a dip at a party served with some fancy crackers, or as a quick and easy snack or breakfast spread over a warm toasted bagel.

What type of salmon?

I prefer to use cold-smoked salmon for this recipe (the fancy pieces of sliced pink heaven). I usually buy them in big packages from Costco so it’s a little cheaper and it’s also a great way to use up the remainder of the smoked salmon before it goes off. Blending it with the cream cheese and other ingredients preserves it a little longer. It also gives you a break from eating straight up smoked salmon because you bought too much from Costco because it was so cheap… You can also use smoked trout which is a little cheaper and to me, they taste very similar.

You can also used canned smoked salmon instead which will make this recipe even cheaper to make, however the canned version will have a more robust fishy taste so you’ll either have to use less of it in this recipe or increase the rest of the ingredients. It also won’t have the pretty pink colour so your dip won’t have the blush pink colour, but flavour wise is similar.

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!

Recipe originally adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/233564/the-best-smoked-salmon-spread/

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 package (8oz/226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 150g smoked salmon (cold smoked sliced or canned*)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill, (leaves only, no stem)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (ie Tabasco) OR 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps green onion, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy/smooth.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or best overnight before serving. Enjoy!

Serve spread on a toasted bagel or as a dip with crackers.

Notes:

  • Halve the recipe if you’re making it for yourself for breakfast. It’s a large portion and you’ll end up eating it for a week trying to finish it before it goes off. Speaking from my own experience 😜.
  • *If you’re using canned smoked salmon, the fish flavour will be more robust and you may have to use a little less of it or increase the other ingredients to adjust.

Summarized Recipe:

Smoked Salmon Spread

Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, <15 mins, appetizers, on the go, quick, dips, snacks
Serves: 1 large bowl or 6 bagel spreads | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 2 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8oz/226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 150g smoked salmon (cold smoked sliced or canned*)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill, (leaves only, no stem)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (ie Tabasco) OR 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps green onion, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy/smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or best overnight before serving. Enjoy!
    • Serve spread on a toasted bagel or as a dip with crackers.

Notes:

  • Halve the recipe if you’re making it for yourself for breakfast. It’s a large portion and you’ll end up eating it for a week trying to finish it before it goes off. Speaking from my own experience 😜.
  • *If you’re using canned smoked salmon, the fish flavour will be more robust and you may have to use a little less of it or increase the other ingredients to adjust.

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published: Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly!

This recipe is near and dear to me. My mom used to make it for us when I was a kid and I don’t think I properly appreciated it until I moved out from home. I had to get a dental procedure done a couple months ago and was instructed not to eat any hard foods for a day or two and the first thing I thought about making was mom’s salty congee. I called her up in Canada on the way home from my procedure and she gave me the rough instructions and ratios for me to figure out (she never writes down recipes and just eyes the ratios when she cooks). I picked up the ingredients before heading home and made it that night for dinner. It was surprisingly super easy and it turned out just like mom’s. It was amazing, nostalgic, and brought me right back to my childhood. I ate 3 bowls in one sitting!

Now I crave this every time I’m sick (Toby has amazingly learned how to make this dish for me for when I’m unwell 😊). It’s so warm and comforting, kind of like the effects of a chicken noodle soup. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

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:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.

In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.

Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.

When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Mom’s Savoury Pork & Cabbage Congee 鹹稀飯


Date Published:
Nov 8th, 2021 | Last Updated: Nov 8th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy, healthy, soups, Taiwanese
Serves: 4-6 (as a main) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 350g pork mince
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 7 cups (1.75L) water
  • 4 cups of cabbage, chopped to 2cm squares 
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the pork mince and cornstarch together (this may be easier to do by hand). Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add in the rice, water and pork. Break up the pork into smaller pieces when adding it to the pot and stir. Turn the heat on HIGH and bring it to a boil with the lid on.
  3. Once the water boils, add in the cabbage, salt and chicken stock powder. When the water boils again, turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer with the lid on until the congee is to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure your congee doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
    • I like my congee thick and porridge-y consistency so I let it simmer a bit longer. If you prefer your congee more watery and soupy, turn off the heat earlier.
  4. When the congee is to your liking, turn off the heat and immediately add in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs into the congee until they are cooked (a few seconds). Mix in the white pepper and sesame oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. Serve!

Avocado Fries


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

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I could eat these all day everyday! Avocado fries are a great way to snack healthy. They’re easy to make, but I’ll admit a little time-consuming since you have to bread each one separately, but they’re SO worth it. You can change up the spices for different flavours but I prefer to keep them simple and let the dipping sauce create the extra flavour. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft & creamy on the inside. Serve it as an appetizer, a snack, or a side to a burger.

To keep with the healthy profile, these fries are baked in the oven instead of deep-frying. The secret to keeping them crispy and crunchy is to bake them on a wire rack so both sides get evenly cooked without any liquid pooling and softening the breading. You can also cook them in an air-fryer but I find it easier to make large batches in the oven. Pair it with any dipping sauce you like! Our favourite is sriracha mayo or toum mixed with Greek yogurt. Mmmmmm. To change it up, you can make zucchini fries using this exact same recipe too – in fact, the steps are identical so I’ve just duplicated the blog post and changed up the 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:

  • 5 large hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).

Slice each avocado in half. Remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Then slice the avocado halves into strips.

I made zucchini fries at the same time and forgot to take a photo with avocado instead so pretend the zucchinis are avocados 😅

Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl: 1) Flour, 2) Beaten eggs, 3) Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika.

Bread the avocado strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the avocado strip. Place the breaded avocado strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the avocado.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!

You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Summarized Recipe:

Avocado Fries

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 5 large hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).
  2. Slice each avocado in half. Remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado from the skin. Then slice the avocado halves into strips.Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl:
    1. Flour
    2. Beaten eggs
    3. Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika
  3. Bread the avocado strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the avocado strip. Place the breaded avocado strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the avocado.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!
    • You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Zucchini Fries


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

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I could eat these all day everyday! Zucchini fries are a great way to snack healthy. They’re easy to make, but I’ll admit a little time-consuming since you have to bread each one separately, but they’re SO worth it. You can change up the spices for different flavours but I prefer to keep them simple and let the dipping sauce create the extra flavour. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve it as an appetizer, a snack, or a side to a burger.

To keep with the healthy profile, these fries are baked in the oven instead of deep-frying. The secret to keeping them crispy and crunchy is to bake them on a wire rack so both sides get evenly cooked without any liquid pooling and softening the breading. You can also cook them in an air-fryer but I find it easier to make large batches in the oven. Pair it with any dipping sauce you like! Our favourite is sriracha mayo or toum mixed with Greek yogurt. Mmmmmm. To change it up, you can make avocado fries using this exact same recipe too!

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:

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).

Cut the top end of the zucchinis off and discard. Then slice each zucchini in half horizontally and then slice each half into about 6 sticks (see photo).

Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl: 1) Flour, 2) Beaten eggs, 3) Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika.

Bread the zucchini strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the zucchini strips. Place the breaded zucchini strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the zucchini strips.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!

You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Summarized Recipe:

Zucchini Fries

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, healthy, snacks, appetizers, low-cal, sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups panko
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 tsps Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsps paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (425˚F). Prepare a greased cooling rack over a baking sheet (see photo).
  2. Cut the top end of the zucchinis off and discard. Then slice each zucchini in half horizontally and then slice each half into about 6 sticks (see photo).
  3. Prepare 3 bowls and put the following in each bowl:
    1. Flour
    2. Beaten eggs
    3. Panko, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and paprika
  4. Bread the zucchini strips one at a time by first covering it in flour, then dredging it into the beaten eggs, then finally tossing it in the panko/parmesan mixture and pressing down so the coating sticks well to the zucchini strips. Place the breaded zucchini strip onto the greased cooling rack prepared earlier. Repeat for the rest of the zucchini strips.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them cool slightly on the rack before transferring it to a serving plate. Enjoy!
    • You can alternatively put them in the air fryer at 200˚C for 8-10 minutes.

Leek & Potato Soup


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, mains, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Oct 2021: 8 leeks for $1 at the Canning Vale clearance market!!!

It’s the weekend which means once again Toby and I headed to our favourite clearance market this Saturday for some incredible deals. We’ve only got a couple weeks left in Perth so I tried not to go too crazy, but when I saw this bundle of leeks for $1, I just had to! That’s right, for only ONE DOLLAR, I got 8 big beautiful fresh leeks! I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with them all, but the first thing that came to mind was the classic leek & potato soup. Luckily they also had a 4kg bag of potatoes for only $2.50 😄.

If you’re unfamiliar with leeks, it’s a vegetable that looks like a giant spring onion. It’s part of the onion/garlic family and has a more subtle onion flavour with a hint of sweetness. Just like an onion, it’s a pretty versatile vegetable. You can throw it in pretty much anywhere you would use an onion. They are notoriously known for trapping sand and dirt in their layers, so make sure you wash the layers thoroughly before using it.

This creamy potato leek soup is so easy to make and cooks up quickly. The base recipe is good on its own, but if you’re looking for something more indulgent, then check out the suggested toppings. Stay tuned for more leek recipes!

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 large leeks (or 3 regular sized ones) – you want about 5 cups chopped
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1kg (~4 large) yellow/Yukon gold potatoes, diced into cubes
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Extras for serving if you’re feeling fancy and indulgent (optional):
    • Grated cheese
    • Croutons
    • Bacon bits

Directions:

Prepare the leeks: Cut off and discard the roots and the fibrous leaves (see photo). Slice the remaining stalk in half vertically and wash the dirt and grit away from in between the layers. Slice the leeks and set aside in a bowl.

In a large pot over MED heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and leeks together until the leeks are soft (~5 mins).

Add in the potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir. Cover with a lid and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are very soft (~15-20mins).

Once the potatoes have softened, remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme and use a stick blender to emulsify the soup. (You can use a blender as well if if yo don’t have a stick blender.)

*Tip: if you prefer a chunky soup, reserve some of the potatoes and leeks prior to blending and then add them back into the soup afterwards.

Add cream to the soup and bring it to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste. If the soup is too thick, a little more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer until it thickens. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Leek & Potato Soup

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, mains, soups, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks (or 3 regular sized ones) – you want about 5 cups chopped
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1kg (~4 large) yellow/Yukon gold potatoes, diced into large cubes
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Extras for serving if you’re feeling fancy and indulgent (optional):
    • Grated cheese
    • Croutons
    • Bacon bits

Directions:

  1. Prepare the leeks: Cut off and discard the roots and the fibrous leaves (see photo). Slice the remaining stalk in half vertically and wash the dirt and grit away from in between the layers. Slice the leeks and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a large pot over MED heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and leeks together until the leeks are soft (~5 mins).
  3. Add in the potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, and salt to the pot. Stir. Cover with a lid and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are very soft (~15-20mins).
  4. Once the potatoes have softened, remove the bay leaves and fresh thyme and use a stick blender to emulsify the soup. (You can pour the soup into a regular blender as well for a smoother texture).
    • *Tip: If you prefer a chunky soup, you can reserve some of the potatoes and leeks prior to blending and add them back in the soup afterwards.
  5. Add cream to the soup and bring it to a simmer. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste. If the soup is too thick, a little more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, continue to simmer until it thickens. Serve!

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

Jump to recipe |

Get ready for a quick, easy, healthy, vegan, sugar-free, low-carb chocolate mousse! Sounds too good to be true, right? I promise it’s worth a try. Chocolate mousse is one of Toby’s all-time favourite desserts and although this isn’t quite as good as his favourite version, it still got his official stamp of approval for being pretty damn good especially since it’s a healthy alternative! He can gorge on this guilt-free and better yet, it’s SO easy to make.

This mousse isn’t as fluffy and light as a traditional chocolate mousse but it’s still packed with chocolatey flavour and just as creamy because it uses avocados as the main ingredient. You can eat this on its own with some diced strawberries or alternatively choose to use it as a frosting on a cake or as a stuffing in a pastry.

What makes this recipe so amazing?

Quick and easy – Just blend all the ingredients together. It comes together in 15 minutes, perfect for a quick snack or last minute dessert plans.

Vegan – No dairy products are used. Avocados are the main ingredient that gives this mousse its creamy velvety texture.

Sugar-free – Medjool dates are the best kept secret to replacing sugars in a recipe without adding any extra flavour! You can alternatively use honey or maple syrup if you don’t have any dates on hand.

Low-carb – Compared to a regular chocolate mousse, the only ‘carb-y’ ingredient in this recipe are the dates. No extra added sugars

Healthy – avocados, dates, and soy milk make up the bulk of this 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:

  • 24 pitted dried Medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~500g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or any milk alternative)

Directions:

Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).

Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

Ingredients:

  • 24 pitted medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~480g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or more to your liking)

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).
  2. Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)


Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: <30 mins, appetizers, sauce, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 1 large bowl (4 cups) | Prep time: 15 mins | Mix time: 20 mins

Jump to recipe |

This recipe is for all you garlic lovers out there. If you’ve never had toum before, you’re in for a treat! It’s a Lebanese whipped garlic sauce with the most amazing intense garlic flavour. It goes well with meats, as a sandwich spread, or even a quick way to make garlic bread. It’s made with only 4 easy ingredients: garlic, oil, salt, and lemon juice. Although this sauce is technically easy to make, but it can be time-consuming. The key is patience. You need to drizzle the oil and lemon juice verrrry slowly – if you do it too quickly, the sauce won’t emulsify properly.

Make sure you use the freshest of ingredients for optimal flavour. This recipe yields a whopping 4 cups, but for the amount of effort you’re going to put in, you might as well make a big batch. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. This sauce also never seems to last long because its so damn delicious and versatile. I’ve just made a fresh batch today to have with shawarma and pita bread, and Toby has already gone through a quarter of it in one sitting. 😅

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:

You need about 1 cup of garlic cloves = ~2 bulbs of garlic. This is definitely a tedious process but well worth it.
  • 1 cup of garlic cloves (~2 bulbs), peeled with the fibrous tips cut off
  • 2 tsps kosher/cooking salt
  • 3 cups neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Put the garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and blend until the garlic is minced.

Add in a couple tablespoons of oil and blend until you get a thick paste.

Next, SLOWLY drizzle the oil and lemon juice into the food processor, alternating between the two. Emphasis on the SLOW – you want a 1-2mm stream while you’re drizzling it in. If you pour it in too fast, your sauce will separate and won’t be light and fluffy. This process should take about 10-15 mins. Scrape down the sides as needed. You should have a light and fluffy white garlic paste by the end. Enjoy! Store in an air tight container.

Summarized Recipe:

Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: <30 mins, appetizers, sauce, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 1 large bowl (4 cups) | Prep time: 15 mins | Mix time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of garlic cloves (~2 bulbs), peeled with the fibrous tips cut off
  • 2 tsps kosher/cooking salt
  • 3 cups neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Put the garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and blend until the garlic is minced.
  2. Add in a couple tablespoons of oil and blend until you get a thick paste.
  3. Next, SLOWLY drizzle the oil and lemon juice into the food processor, alternating between the two. Emphasis on the SLOW – you want a 1-2mm stream while you’re drizzling it in. If you pour it in too fast, your sauce will separate and won’t be light and fluffy. This process should take about 10-15 mins. Scrape down the sides as needed. You should have a light and fluffy white garlic paste by the end. Enjoy! Store in an air tight container.

Baba Ghanoush


Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |

Baba ghanoush is a Lebanese dish that is typically served as a starter or a side to a meat dish. It’s made with charred eggplants, tahini, garlic and lemon. It tastes similar to a hummus but with an extra smoky flavour from the grilling of the eggplants. The ingredients to a baba ghanoush and hummus are nearly identical but instead substitute the chick peas with eggplants. Comparatively, hummus is much easier to make because you skip the step of grilling eggplants, but flavour-wise I prefer baba ghanoush for the smokiness. If I’m feeling lazy and wanting a whip up something quick for a party or a side, I’ll go for the hummus (you can check out my hummus recipe here).

There are many ways to char an eggplant. Traditionally the eggplant is placed over an open flame until the skin wrinkles and the flesh softens, but I find this method more time-consuming to constantly watch the eggplant and I also find it harder and messier to peel. My preferred method is to slice them in half and char them in the oven on high heat. You can then simply scoop out the eggplant flesh instead of having to peel it.

You can simply serve it with some sliced veg and pita chips, or slathered in a wrap with a chicken shawarma.

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 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft.

Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.

Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Baba Ghanoush

Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft (~30-45 mins).
  2. Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.
  3. Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Hearty Mexican Rice


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |

Update Oct 2021: This recipe has been updated with slightly different ingredients to make it easier to make and even more flavourful!

Mexican rice is a flavourful rice typically cooked with tomatoes and spices and often served as a side dish. It kind of reminds me of a paella. Traditionally, white rice is used but I’ve decided to use a mix of brown and black rice for the extra health benefits. I’ve also further deviated from the traditional form and added ground beef and roasted red peppers to make it more hearty and filling so it can be served as a main dish as well. This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly. You can serve this on its own or as a side, topped with some sour cream and extra grated cheese. It’s also fantastic as a filling in a stuffed red pepper.

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 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 4 Tbsps taco seasoning, or:
    • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
    • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (410g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.

Next add in the spices: taco seasoning (or cumin, coriander, onion powder), and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the crushed tomatoes and stir for another minute.

Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Hearty Mexican Rice

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 4 Tbsps taco seasoning, or:
    • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
    • 3 tsps ground cumin
    • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
    • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (410g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Next add in the spices: taco seasoning (or cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, onion powder), and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the crushed tomato and stir for another minute.
  4. Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking. Turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Curry Zucchini Soup


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Jump to recipe |

This curry zucchini soup is quick, easy and healthy. The bulk of the soup is just zucchinis so its also low in calories as well. This is the perfect weekday meal with minimal effort. Serve it with some croutons, bread, or even toss in leftover shredded roast chicken or vegetables.

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 olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).

(A yellow onion will be fine. I only had red onion on hand at the time.)

2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.

3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).

4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Zucchini Soup

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).
  2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.
  3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).
  4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!