Mushroom Sausage Risotto


Date Published: April 3rd, 2021 | Last Updated: April 3rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour

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Warning: This recipe is slow, painful, and requires constant attention, but the end result is a beautiful creamy risotto, made the traditional way. It’s not difficult but it is time-consuming. If you’ve got a spare couple of hours on a lazy day off, this recipe may be for you. So why is making risotto so slow and painful? Believe it or not, the creaminess of a risotto is from the starch of the rice that is released slowly by constantly stirring the rice in a small amount of liquid. As you agitate the rice grains, the released starch creates a creamy texture with the broth without any need of cream or butter. This process must be done slowly on a low-medium heat or else the starches won’t release properly and your risotto won’t be as creamy. Although it’s a mind-numbing process to wait for the liquids to absorb each time, the constant stirring of the risotto can actually be kind of therapeutic if you’ve had a long day and just need to zone out.

I’m a fan of versatile recipes and this recipe fits right into that category. I’ve written it as a ‘mushroom and sausage risotto’, but you can add in whatever meat or veg you want. Just keep the methods of making the rice the same and at the end just stir in whatever cooked meat or veg you like. You can even stir in a few tablespoons of pesto! To make this vegetarian, simply omit the sausage and use vegetable broth instead.

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:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 sausages
  • 250g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Warm up the broth either in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Set aside.

In a pan on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and cook the sausages until the outside is crispy then remove them from heat and set aside. Wait for them to cool a little then slice them into bite-sized pieces.

In the same pan with the leftover oil, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they’re golden brown. Remove the mushrooms and any liquids and set aside.

In the same pan on MED heat, add another couple tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic and onion until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add in the rice and sauté for a couple minutes until the rice absorbs some of the oil. Then add in the 1 cup of white wine and sauté until all the wine is absorbed by the rice.

Once the wine is absorbed, add 1/2 cup broth to the rice and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Once the last of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the cooked sausages and mushrooms (with any of their liquids) and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Then turn off the heat, add the parmesan and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Tip: To make it indulgent, stir in 50g of butter at the end before serving.

Summarized Recipe:

Mushroom Sausage Risotto

Date Published: April 3rd, 2021 | Last Updated: April 3rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 sausages
  • 500g white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Warm up the broth either in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Set aside.
  2. In a pan on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and cook the sausages until the outside is crispy then remove them from heat and set aside. Wait for them to cool a little then slice them into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In the same pan with the leftover oil, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they’re golden brown. Remove the mushrooms and any liquids and set aside.
  4. In the same pan on MED heat, add another couple tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic and onion until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add in the rice and sauté for a couple minutes until the rice absorbs some of the oil. Then add in the 1 cup of white wine and sauté until all the wine is absorbed by the rice.
  5. Once the wine is absorbed, add 1/2 cup broth to the rice and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  6. Once the last of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the cooked sausages and mushrooms (with any of their liquids) and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Then turn off the heat, add the parmesan and stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
  • Tip: To make it indulgent, stir in 50g of butter at the end before serving.

Babička’s Svíčková (Beef with Vegetable Cream Sauce)


Date Published: March 29th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 29th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 3 hours

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This is Toby’s babička’s (grandmother’s) version of a svíčkova. It’s Toby’s all time favourite Czech dish that he learned from his babička when we first started cooking together so he could show me what authentic Czech cuisine is. There are many different ways to make this dish but this is the version Toby has grown up knowing and will forever be his favourite version. He has made this for me a handful of times over the years and its so damn delicious every time that we just had to add it to this website collection of recipes.

I’ve never been to Czech Republic nor do I know much about the cuisine, but according to wikipedia, Svíčkova is one of Czech’s most popular dishes – I can see why! In its simplest terms, svíčkova is a steak dish served with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and smothered in the most addicting creamy vegetable sauce made of parsnip, celeriac, carrots and onion. There’s a slight lemon-y tang to the sauce that balances out the heaviness of the cream. The knedlíky is my favourite part of this dish because the fluffy bread just soaks up all the delicious sauce. The sauce is meant to be on the runny side, rather than a thick gravy – I’m always super tempted to just drink the sauce as a soup every time.

Although this dish is pretty straight forward, there are a few steps to it and it takes time for the flavours to slowly simmer out – allow about 3.5 hours total.

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 Tbsps (50g) + 1 Tbsp (25g) + 25g lard
  • 2 medium onions (~3 cups), diced
  • 1 whole celeriac (~3 cups), peeled and grated
    • Celeriac can come in a wide variety of sizes. The one we got was roughly bigger than a baseball: 370g before peeling and 300g after peeling which came up to about 3 cups once grated.
  • 2 medium sized parsnips (~3 cups), grated
  • 3 large carrots (~3 cups), grated
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 whole dried allspice berries (or 1/2 tsp ground allspice)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 600-700g good quality steak (ie scotch fillet, eye fillet, rump steak – the less tendon, the better)
  • 200ml thickened/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Serve with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and wedges of lemon

Directions

(If you haven’t already, you can make the knedlíky dough first and while it proofs for an hour you can start making the svíčková.)

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt 50g of lard and add in the diced onions. Sauté the onions until lightly browned and translucent.

Turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the grated celeriac, parsnip and carrots. Add in another 25g of lard into the vegetables and mix it around (the extra lard prevents them from burning). Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (392˚F).

Once the vegetables begin to soften, add in the beef stock, black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Make sure you COUNT the number of peppercorns and allspice berries you add in because you’ll have to take them out later. Bring the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer for 2.5 hours with the lid on.

In a pan or skillet on HIGH heat, melt another 25g of lard and sear the beef on all sides. Put the seared beef in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove it and add it to the pot of vegetables along with any juices and continue to let it simmer for the rest of the 2.5 hours with the lid on.

(You can take this time to cook the knedlíky if you haven’t already.)

Once the veg and meat have simmered for 2.5 hours, remove the meat, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Set aside the meat and discard the spices. Use a stick blender and blend the veg/stock mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard any fibrous material.

Place the strained mixture back into the pot, add the thickened cream and lemon juice and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Then add the beef back into the pot and heat until warmed. Remove the beef and slice.

Serve by placing a couple slices of beef with a few slices of knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) on a plate and a generous portion of the sauce overtop. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Babíčka’s Svíčková (Beef with Vegetable Cream Sauce)

Date Published: March 29th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 29th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps (50g) + 1 Tbsp (25g) + 25g lard
  • 2 medium onions (~3 cups), diced
  • 1 whole celeriac (~3 cups), peeled and grated
    • Celeriac can come in a wide variety of sizes. The one we got was roughly bigger than a baseball: 370g before peeling and 300g after peeling which came up to about 3 cups once grated.
  • 2 medium sized parsnips (~3 cups), grated
  • 3 large carrots (~3 cups), grated
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 10 whole dried allspice berries (or 1/2 tsp ground allspice)
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 500-600g good quality steak (ie scotch fillet, eye fillet, rump steak – the less tendon, the better)
  • 200ml thickened/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Serve with knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) and wedges of lemon

Directions:

  1. (If you haven’t already, you can make the knedlíky dough first and while it proofs for an hour you can start making the svíčková.)
  2. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt 50g of lard and add in the diced onions. Sauté the onions until lightly browned and translucent.
  3. Turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the grated celeriac, parsnip and carrots. Add in another 25g of lard into the vegetables and mix it around (the extra lard prevents them from burning). Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (392˚F).
  5. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add in the beef stock, black peppercorns, allspice berries, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Make sure you COUNT the number of peppercorns and allspice berries you add in because you’ll have to take them out later. Bring the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then turn the heat down to LOW and let it simmer for 2.5 hours with the lid on.
  6. In a pan or skillet on HIGH heat, melt another 25g of lard and sear the beef on all sides. Put the seared beef in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove it and add it to the pot of vegetables along with any juices and continue to let it simmer for the rest of the 2.5 hours with the lid on.
  7. (You can take this time to cook the knedlíky if you haven’t already.)
  8. Once the veg and meat have simmered for 2.5 hours, remove the meat, peppercorns, allspice berries and bay leaves. Set aside the meat and discard the spices. Use a stick blender and blend the veg/stock mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture into a bowl and discard any fibrous material.
  9. Place the strained mixture back into the pot, add the thickened cream and lemon juice and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Then add the beef back into the pot and heat until warmed. Remove the beef and slice.
  10. Serve by placing a couple slices of beef with a few slices of knedlíky (Czech bread dumplings) on a plate and a generous portion of the sauce overtop. Enjoy!

Hungarian Mushroom Soup


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Toby and I have been relief veterinarians travelling around Australia for the past 6 months. We’ve spent the last two months in Grafton, NSW and we have quite enjoyed our time here with the great team we’ve been working with. Sadly it’s time for us to move on in a couple of weeks and once again we have to start the process of using up all the things in the fridge. I’ve had a few recipes lined up for the week to destock the fridge, most of them repeats of old dishes, but today I decided to make something new. I’ve had this ‘Hungarian Mushroom Soup’ recipe saved from Allrecipes.com for over a year and for whatever reason never got around to making it until today. It was the perfect recipe to get rid of leftover parsley and celery – which I always end up buying too much of because every recipe only ever needs a little bit (and I refuse to buy half bunches of celery for $3 when I can get a whole bunch for $3.50 even if I don’t need it – it’s the principle!) I’ve never been to Hungary (it’s on the bucket list) nor have I had authentic Hungarian soup so I have no idea how close this recipe is to the real thing but Toby confirms that the ingredients and the flavours of this soup is very Eastern European, so how far off could I be? 😜

I LOVE mushrooms and any kind of creamy rich soup so you can see why I was especially excited to try out this dish. This isn’t any ordinary creamy mushroom soup – in fact, there isn’t any heavy cream at all. The creaminess comes from a flour/milk mixture that thickens the soup and the addition of sour cream makes it even richer. Paprika adds a smokiness to the soup that pairs well with the fragrance of dill which are the two dominant flavours of the dish along with the tang of the sour cream. If you want to make this soup low calorie, you can substitute the butter with olive oil and skip the sour cream altogether and serve it on the side as a dollop. This soup can be served on its own as an appetizer or a side dish, or you can bulk it up with some diced potatoes or add in nokedli (Hungarian dumplings) for a full meal.

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 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (or 1.25 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika (sweet Hungarian or smokey – or 1 Tbsp of each)
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream – to make this soup lower in calories, you can add in dollops of sour cream at the end instead of mixing it in
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.

Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.

Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.

(If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)

Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.

Summarized Recipe:

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (or 1.5 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.
  3. Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.
  4. (If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)
  5. Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Get ready for a quick and easy, healthy, low-calorie, and flavourful stir-fry! Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile – you can add just about any veggies you want to this dish, perfect for clearing out the fridge at the end of the week. The flavourful sauce is just oyster sauce but when cooked in all the released juices of the chicken and the liquid from the veggies, it becomes damn delicious and magical. Serve over a warm bed of rice or toss in some noodles.

You can easily change the amount of spiciness of this dish. This recipe is suited for a mild to moderate amount of spice, but feel free to kick it up a notch by adding more chilis or use a spicier type of chilli instead. A good chilli oil would do well in this dish 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:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 long red chillis, sliced and deseeded (feel free to use a stronger chilli if you prefer it spicier)
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).

Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)

At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.

Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.

DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!

Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced and deseeded
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).
  3. Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)
  4. At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.
    • Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.
    • DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!
  5. Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Favourite Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Soup


Date Published: March 22nd, 2021 | Last Updated: March 22nd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, vegetarian, easy, quick, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Of all the soups I make, this is probably one of the top go-to soups that Toby and I put together the most often. Why? Because it’s damn delicious, damn easy, healthy, low calorie and and filling. It even makes for an easy clean up. Sounds too good to be true, eh? The best part is that you don’t need to follow this recipe to a tee. You can add whatever veg you like to the roasting pan – which is a perfect way to sneak in extra veg for picky eaters or an even better way to clear out the fridge. All you gotta do to make this delicious soup is to roast the veggies, add some chicken stock, and blend it all up. That’s all! No cream, no butter, just a buttload of veg that keeps you full. If you ever follow the NY Times Cooking Blog, they occasionally post “no recipe recipes” which I think is a term that perfectly describes this type of recipe.

I’ve written the recipe as a guide to the basic version of the soup but feel free to swap out or add in any of the ingredients – the combinations of this soup are endless. I’ve made it with cauliflower, red pepper, zucchini…etc. If you want to bulk up this soup even more, you can add in rice and chicken as well. To make it indulgent, add a cup of cream at the end.

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:

  • 1kg (~6 cups) pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups (3 large stalks) celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1.5 tsps paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 cups loosely packed (120g) baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180˚C (375˚F).

Roast the veggies: In a large baking tray, add in: pumpkin, celery, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Mix it all around and roast in the preheated oven until all the veggies are soft and breaks apart easily when cut with a wooden spoon (30-45 mins). Toss the veggies around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Once the veggies are cooked, empty the contents of the baking tray into a pot and add in the chicken stock. Turn the heat on to MED-HIGH and let the soup come to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat OFF and remove the pot from the heat*. Then use an immersion/stick blender and blend the soup until smooth.

*It’s very important that you remove the pot from heat before you start blending otherwise when the thickened soup starts boiling again it starts to splatter everywhere!

Add in the spinach and submerge it into the soup until the leaves become soft, then blend the soup again until everything is combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!

(Tip: If you’re feeling indulgent you can add 1 cup of heavy cream at the end. I always leave out the cream to make it a healthy soup.)

Summarized Recipe:

Favourite Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Soup

Date Published: March 22nd, 2021 | Last Updated: March 22nd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, vegetarian, easy, quick, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~6 cups) pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups (3 large stalks) celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1.5 tsps paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 cups loosely packed (120g) baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (375˚F).
  2. Roast the veggies: In a large baking tray, add in: pumpkin, celery, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Mix it all around and roast in the preheated oven until all the veggies are soft and breaks apart easily when cut with a wooden spoon (30-45 mins). Toss the veggies around halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  3. Once the veggies are cooked, empty the contents of the baking tray into a pot and add in the chicken stock. Turn the heat on to MED-HIGH and let the soup come to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat OFF and remove the pot from the heat*. Then use an immersion/stick blender and blend the soup until smooth.
    • *It’s very important that you remove the pot from heat before you start blending otherwise when the thickened soup starts boiling again it starts to splatter everywhere!
  4. Add in the spinach and submerge it into the soup until the leaves become soft, then blend the soup again until everything is combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!

(Tip: If you’re feeling indulgent you can add 1 cup of heavy cream at the end. I always leave out the cream to make it a healthy soup.)

Warm Pumpkin Kale Pesto Bowl


Date Published: March 20th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 20th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salads, easy, mains, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

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Last weekend Toby’s parents came to visit us in Grafton, NSW and we took them for brunch at a local café called Heart & Soul, recommended by one of our nurses. Like many restaurants in the COVID-age, their menu was digital and after scrolling through a few options, this caught my eye: “Breaky Bruschetta Stack – Organic sourdough bread with sautéed mushrooms, tomato, kale, pumpkin, danish feta & H&S pesto. Can be made vegan & is also a great lunch option $17.90″. Usually when we eat out, I tend to get something hearty, meaty, and not at all healthy, but I wasn’t particularly hungry that morning so I decided to get something a little lighter from their limited menu. I wasn’t expecting too much since the ingredients seemed pretty basic but I was happily surprised! In a small town of pubs and cheap takeaway food, I was impressed by the wholesome food and myriad of hearty flavours that came through in this dish that not only made it super filling but it was damn delicious. If you’re ever in Grafton, NSW I’d recommend heading to this café.

True to my nature, of course I had to try and recreate the dish when I got home. This recipe is the result of my attempt at recreating the dish and I must say I’m pretty damn close. Even Toby, who’s not usually a fan of kale, enjoyed it! The feta and pesto flavours dominate this dish but are contrasted well by the sweetness of the warm roasted pumpkin and the juiciness of the sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes on a bed of soft massage kale. This hearty healthy dish is satisfying, filling, and a snap to put together. Serve it warmed or cooled.

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:

  • 500g (~3 cups) pumpkin, diced into 2cm cubes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 bunch (~5 cups packed) curly leaf kale
  • 200g brown or white button mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters
  • Pinch of fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 150-200g soft Danish Feta (Greek Feta is okay too but will have a stronger taste and you may want to use less of it)
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 poached eggs (optional)
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread or rye (optional)

Directions:

Roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 180˚C (375˚F). In a bowl, mix together the diced pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and a pinch of salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins until golden. Set aside.

You can roast it in an air fryer as well to save some time.

Prepare the kale: While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Discard the stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.

Note: Massaging the kale well is KEY to this dish! Massaging it softens the kale and makes the flavour more subtle.

Poach 2 eggs (optional). Set aside.

In a skillet on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of thyme until golden brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the diced tomatoes to the hot pan. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes until they start to soften then add back in the mushrooms and cooked pumpkin to the skillet and mix around until everything is warmed through. Turn off the heat.

Butter and toast the sourdough (optional).

Assemble the salad: Divide evenly between 2 large plates: sourdough (if using) + massaged kale + roasted pumpkin/mushrooms/tomatoes + 4-5 spoonfuls of pesto + 4-5 spoonfuls of feta + 2 poached eggs (if using) + sprinkle of flat leaf parsley. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve warm!

Summarized Recipe:

Warm Pumpkin Kale Pesto Bowl

Date Published: March 20th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 20th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salads, easy, mains, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 500g (~3 cups) pumpkin, diced into 2cm cubes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 bunch (~5 cups packed) curly leaf kale
  • 200g brown or white button mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters
  • Pinch of fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 150-200g soft Danish Feta (Greek Feta is okay too but will have a stronger taste and you may want to use less of it)
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 poached eggs (optional)
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread or rye (optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 180˚C (375˚F). In a bowl, mix together the diced pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and a pinch of salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins until golden. Set aside.
    • You can roast it in an air fryer as well to save some time.
  2. Prepare the kale: While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Discard the stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.
  3. Poach 2 eggs (optional). Set aside.
  4. In a skillet on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of thyme until golden brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the diced tomatoes to the hot pan. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes until they start to soften then add back in the mushrooms and cooked pumpkin to the skillet and mix around until everything is warmed through. Turn off the heat.
  5. Butter and toast the sourdough (optional).
  6. Assemble the salad: Divide evenly between 2 large plates: sourdough (if using) + massaged kale + roasted pumpkin/mushrooms/tomatoes + 4-5 spoonfuls of pesto + 4-5 spoonfuls of feta + 2 poached eggs (if using) + sprinkle of flat leaf parsley. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve warm!

Oma’s Pumble and Knockle (Hungarian Paprika Potatoes with Bread and Nokedli)


Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

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Years ago when I first started cooking, I asked my friend Alex what his favourite dish was. He said it was a traditional Hungarian dish that his Oma (grandmother) would often make for him called “Pumble and Knockle” (we’re not sure if this is actually how the name of the dish is spelt, but it was his closest guess). I asked him to get the recipe for me to expand my cooking repertoire, but like typical old school grandmas she doesn’t measure what she puts in the dish and does it all by feel. He eventually took some photos and notes of her making it and this is my attempt at deciphering her recipe. Some of the amounts aren’t exact so I had to guesstimate a little. I’ve never actually had this dish from her before and I have no idea how close I am to the real thing, but I must admit its pretty damn tasty.

This may not be the most mind-blowing dish you’ve ever had, but its humble, down to earth, and made with basic cheap ingredients that make it satisfying and filling. This pumble and knockle is made up of caramelized onions, paprika potatoes, simple nokedli (noodles), and buttery bread. The simple flavours make you just want to keep eating and eating.

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:

  • Nokedli:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
    • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)
  • 1 Tbsp + 50g of salted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly into rectangles 2mm thick
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 slices of white bread, cut into 2cm squares

Directions:

Make the nokedli (noodles) dough: combine egg, salt and water in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then gradually add in the flour until you get a thick sticky dough (you may not need the whole cup of flour). Set aside.

For more comprehensive step-by-step instructions, follow the nokedli instructions here.

In a large pan or wok on MED-HIGH heat, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until it starts to turn translucent (~5mins). Then add in the sliced potatoes, paprika and salt. Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked and the onion is caramelized (~15mins). When finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside.

While the onion and potatoes are cooking, cook the nokedli by bringing a small pot of water to a boil and tear off 2cm pieces of the nokedli dough and drop it into the boiling water or use a spoon to drop the dough into the water to make it less messey. The dough will be ready when it floats to the top. Taste to see if they’re cooked (3-5 mins). Once they’re ready, remove them from the pot and strain them. Set aside.

In a pan (you can use the same pan as before, just give it a quick wipe-down) on medium heat, melt the butter and add the bread pieces to it. Stir for a few minutes until the bread soaks up the butter and becomes lightly toasted. Then add in the cooked nokedli and cooked potato/onion mixture. Mix it all together and cook for another few minutes until everything is warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Original photos of Oma making Pumble and Knockle: an homage

Summarized Recipe:

Oma’s Pumble and Knockle (Hungarian Paprika Potatoes with Bread and Nokedli)

Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • Nokedli:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
    • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)
  • 1 Tbsp + 50g of salted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly into rectangles 2mm thick
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 slices of white bread, cut into 2cm squares

Directions:

  1. Make the nokedli (noodles) dough: combine egg, salt and water in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then gradually add in the flour until you get a thick sticky dough (you may not need the whole cup of flour). Set aside.
  2. In a large pan or wok on MED-HIGH heat, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until it starts to turn translucent (~5mins). Then add in the sliced potatoes, paprika and salt. Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked and the onion is caramelized (~15mins). When finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In a pan (you can use the same pan as before, just give it a quick wipe-down) on medium heat, melt the butter and add the bread pieces to it. Stir for a few minutes until the bread soaks up the butter and becomes lightly toasted. Then add in the cooked nokedli and cooked potato/onion mixture. Mix it all together and cook for another few minutes until everything is warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Creamy Mushroom Coconut Lentil Soup


Date Published: March 11th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 11th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, low calorie, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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I’ve literally JUST made it up in the kitchen and thought it was too good not to add to the recipe collection. As an attempt to eat healthier, Toby and I have been cooking with more green lentils lately. Although higher in carbs, green lentils pack a ton of fibre which keeps you feeling full for longer, lowers cholesterol, and makes you regular (lol). Toby never thought he liked lentils but ever since we started cooking with them he’s realized that he has just never had them made properly!

This soup is not only packed with veggies, high in fibre, and healthy, but best of all it’s low in calories!! Each serving is only 280-380 calories (exact calories will depend on the brand of coconut milk and chicken stock you use). When I say “serving”, I don’t mean a dinky half-ladle bowl – I mean a decent sized bowl of soup that makes you feel satisfied and full. Sounds too good to be true, right?

This soup tastes creamy but not overly heavy. It’s a chicken stock-based soup cooked with onions, celery, a ton of mushrooms and fragranced with fresh thyme and lemon. The lentils add bulk to the soup and are cooked to your liking. The small amount of coconut milk (only half a can for the entire pot) is just enough to make it creamy and indulgent – you’ll forget this soup is low in calories!

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 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) green lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (roughly 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon peel of 1 large lemon, sliced into large strips
  • 200ml (1/2 a can) coconut milk

Directions:

In a large pot on med-high heat, sauté the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the diced onion and celery.

Cook until the celery softens then add in the sliced mushrooms. Continue sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid.

Add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: lentils, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, lemon peel, and coconut milk. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low-medium and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked to your liking (~25-30 mins), stirring occasionally.

Once the lentils are cooked, pick out the lemon peel, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Creamy Mushroom Coconut Lentil Soup

Date Published: March 11th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 11th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, low calorie, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) green lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (roughly 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon peel of 1 large lemon, sliced into large strips
  • 200ml (1/2 a can) coconut milk

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on med-high heat, sauté the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the diced onion and celery. Cook until the celery softens then add in the sliced mushrooms. Continue sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: lentils, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, lemon peel, and coconut milk. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low-medium and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked to your liking (~25-30 mins), stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, pick out the lemon peel, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Serve!

Lemon Parmesan Tuna Cakes


Date Published: March 6th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 6th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: appetizer, snacks
Serves: 6 medium sized cakes (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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These tuna cakes pack a punch of lemon flavour! They’re easy to make and pretty quick to whip up. Lemon, parmesan and garlic are the heroes of this recipe all packaged together into a patty then breaded with panko breadcrumbs for a crispy exterior. You can make these cakes small to serve as an appetizer or a quick snack, or form them larger and put it between two buns to make a crunchy tuna patty burger! Enjoy them on their own or drizzled with a creamy tartar sauce or sriracha mayo.

I first stumbled across the original recipe from CrunchyCreamySweet when I was looking for tuna recipes to use up all the tuna we caught when we went deep sea fishing last year. We caught 6 fish and it was quite the struggle to use it all up – we ended up eating tuna for 2 weeks straight! I’ve adjusted the proportions from the original recipe to pack more flavour into the cakes but the root of it is still essentially the same.

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:

  • Tuna Cake:
    • 250g tuna in water, very well drained
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    • 4 Tbsps fresh dill leaves, roughly chopped (or 1 tsp dried dill)
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 4 Tbsps mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • Breading:
    • 8 Tbsps panko breadcrumbs
    • 6 Tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 Tbsps olive oil divided

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the tuna cakes: tuna, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice, zest, egg, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, parmesan, and parsley. Set aside.

In a shallow ball, combine the ingredients for the breading: breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

Form the tuna mixture into 6 equal sized patties (or 4 large ones). If your mixture is a little too wet, you can put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up then form them. Dip each patty into the breading mixture and coat all sides, including the edges. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 2 Tbsps of oil. Shallow fry each patty on both sides until golden brown. Set cooked patties on top of a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve!

Serve it on its own as an appetizer or paired with a side salad or drizzled with creamy tartar sauce or sriracha mayo! Click the links for the recipes.

If you’ve made the recipe let me know what you think about it in the comments! Like and follow our FB page and instagram for the latest updates.

Summarized Recipe:

Lemon Parmesan Tuna Cakes

Date Published: March 6th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 6th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: appetizer, snacks
Serves: 6 medium sized cakes (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Tuna Cake:
    • 250g tuna in water, very well drained
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    • 4 Tbsps fresh dill leaves, roughly chopped (or 1 tsp dried dill)
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 4 Tbsps mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • Breading:
    • 8 Tbsps panko breadcrumbs
    • 6 Tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 Tbsps olive oil divided

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the tuna cakes: tuna, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice, zest, egg, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, parmesan, and parsley. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow ball, combine the ingredients for the breading: breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
  3. Form the tuna mixture into 6 equal sized patties (or 4 large ones).
    • If your mixture is a little too wet, you can put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up then form them. Dip each patty into the breading mixture and coat all sides, including the edges. Set aside.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add 2 Tbsps of oil. Shallow fry each patty on both sides until golden brown. Set cooked patties on top of a paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve!

Serve it on its own as an appetizer or paired with a side salad or drizzled with creamy tartar sauce or sriracha mayo! Click the links for the recipes.

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My version of a San Choy Bow)


Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy, sides, mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Jump to recipe |

If you’ve never had a san choy bow (aka Chinese lettuce wraps), you’ve been missing out on life, my friend. It’s a boldly flavourful stir-fry of minced veggies and ground pork served with a bowl of lettuce leaves where you DIY the wraps yourselves. The mince stir-fry is meant to be on the salty side and when paired with the crisp lettuce leaves it balances out the saltiness perfectly. The bold sauce is the heart of the dish – in fact, you can change up whatever veggies you want or substitute the protein for whatever you want (even tofu) and it won’t make too much of a difference as long as the sauce is right. It’s often made with oyster sauce, but I’ve chosen Hoisin sauce as my base because Hoisin is life. You may also see water chestnuts in many recipes for that extra crunch, but I struggle to find it nearby in my grocery stores so I use diced celery instead for the crunch and a little extra flavour. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add in some puffed rice noodles in it as well.

San choy bow is a pretty common dish in Chinese restaurants either served as a side dish or as a main – either way, there’s no neat way to eat it. Be prepared to have sauce drizzle down your hands no matter how careful you are. The first time I had it was at a Chinese restaurant in Brampton as a secondary dish to our peking duck – the first dish was the typical crispy duck skin wraps and the second dish was the meat of the duck stir-fried with Hoisin sauce and served in lettuce wraps. It was heaven. This recipe is my version of a san choy bow and its an homage to the dish I’ve loved for so long.

Not only is this dish delicious, it’s actually also pretty healthy, low-carb, gluten-free, and best of all really easy and quick to make! You can make everything in about 20 minutes and its also easily customizable and a great way to sneak veggies into the diet.

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 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.

In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.

While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves. You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.

Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.

Summarized Recipe:

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My Version of a San Choy Bow)

Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.
  2. In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.
  4. While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves.
    • You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.
  5. Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
  6. Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.