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!

Nokedli (Hungarian ‘Dumplings’)


Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, < 30mins, sides
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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Get ready to make the quickest and easiest “pasta” you’ve ever made. Nokedli is a Hungarian “dumpling” which I can best describe as a gnocchi but slightly squishier and fluffy. It’s made with only 4 ingredients and takes 15 minutes to whip up and a few minutes to cook. It’s so easy and versatile, you may never want to buy pasta again. They may not be the most beautiful, but you just can’t beat the texture of a fresh pasta at such minimal effort. You can make them as big or as small as you like. It’s fantastic sautéed in a dish or tossed in something saucy to soak up the flavour. My new favourite way to have it is mixed in a rich creamy mushroom sauce. This recipe makes 2 servings but if you’re tossing it in a dish with lots of other ingredients such as meat or veggies, it will easily bulk it up to 4 portions.

As an Asian person, the term “dumpling” has always been known to me as pockets of meat wrapped in a thin dough so it confused me greatly when I learned that the European definition of “dumpling” is generally an overarching term for a dough without any filling. European dumplings can vary greatly in ingredients and textures and can be vastly different between different regions and countries. I was actually low-key disappointed when Toby first told me he was going to make Czech dumplings and it ended up being a bread dough 😂. I still find it weird to use the term ‘dumpling’ for anything else but Asian-style dumplings but I’m sure I’ll adjust.

I first came across the idea of making nokedli through my friend’s oma’s recipe for Pumble and Knockle which is a simple hearty Hungarian dish of paprika potatoes cooked in buttery bread. She made hers without any egg which I thought was a bit dense so I went hunting for more traditional nokedli recipes and put this one together (food.com and venturists.net had a couple good ones that I based this one off of).

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 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)

Directions:

In a mixing bowl beat together the egg, salt and 1/3 cup water.

Add in the flour gradually to the bowl, mixing with a fork, until you get a thick sticky dough – it should be roughly thicker than cake batter (you may not need to use the entire cup of flour). Set aside to rest for 10 mins.

While the dough is resting, boil a medium pot of water with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. When the dough has rested, mix it around one more time and drop half a teaspoon of dough into the boiling water at a time. (Tip: lower the spoon into the boiling water for the dough to release from the spoon). When the dough floats to the top, it’s ready (2-3 minutes). Strain and ready to use!

Note: you may want to cook your nokedli in batches to not overcook them or get someone to help you spoon the dough into the pot so they all go into the pot faster.

If you’re not using them right away, rinse them in cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Otherwise if you’re serving it in a sauce, you can add them directly in the finished sauce and serve.

Nokedli tossed in a creamy mushroom sauce 🙂 mmmm

Summarized Recipe:

Nokedli (Hungarian ‘Dumplings’)

Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, < 30mins, sides
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
  • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl beat together the egg, salt and 1/3 cup water.
  2. Add in the flour gradually to the bowl, mixing with a fork, until you get a thick sticky dough – it should be roughly thicker than cake batter (you may not need to use the entire cup of flour). Set aside to rest for 10 mins.
  3. While the dough is resting, boil a medium pot of water with 1-2 teaspoons of salt. When the dough has rested, mix it around one more time and drop half a teaspoon of dough into the boiling water at a time. (Tip: lower the spoon into the boiling water for the dough to release from the spoon). When the dough floats to the top, it’s ready (2-3 minutes). Strain and ready to use!
    • Note: you may want to cook your nokedli in batches to not overcook them or get someone to help you spoon the dough into the pot so they all go into the pot faster.
    • If you’re not using them right away, rinse them in cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Otherwise if you’re serving it in a sauce, you can add them directly in the finished sauce and serve.

THE Best Mushroom Stuffing


Date Published: Feb 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 1 large tray | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1.5 hrs

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Stuffing is definitely in my top 10 favourite things to eat. I could eat it all day everyday – just let me drown in the buttery goodness of the soft bread in aromatic herbs. Warning: this recipe makes quite a big batch for a party, so if you’re scaling down for dinner, feel free the halve the recipe. I always make the full recipe no matter the party size in hopes that there would be leftovers so I could keep eating it for the rest of the week 😜.

Stuffing is a classic side dish to any Thanksgiving dinner. There are many variations out there but the base ingredients are always the same: bread, celery, parsley, and onion cooked in butter and baked in a blend of herbs including poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning doesn’t seem to exist on the supermarket shelves in Australia (then again, neither does Thanksgiving) so whenever I visit home in Canada I always bring back a bag with me. If you can’t easily access poultry seasoning, there are a few recipes floating online to make your own!

I’ve made this stuffing at least a dozen times over the years and it’s always a talking point. The trick that I learned the hard way is not to add too much liquid to the stuffing. You must mix things quickly and not let any liquids pool at the bottom or let it sit for too long before baking, otherwise the bread becomes too soggy and you end up with a really mushy stuffing and doesn’t bake as nicely. To limit the mushiness, you want your bread cubes to be as dry as possible before starting and you want to add only enough liquid so everything is just slightly wet.

Side story: One year at the food pavilion at the annual CNE in Canada, a food booth made stuffing WAFFLES! It blew my freaking mind. The waffle was made of delicious stuffing and then topped with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy. It was like the perfect Thanksgiving dinner in waffle form! I’ve always wanted to try and recreate it, but never got around to buying a waffle maker.

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 loaf of sliced plain bread (cheapest one will do) (or 12 cups  dry bread cubes)
  • 1 cup (227g) salted butter
  • 1 large (2 cups) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth as needed (~2-3 cups) (you can use vegetable broth as well to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Tip: You can store the cubes in the bread bag until ready to use

Dehydrate your bread (skip this step if you’re using dry bread cubes): Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F). Slice the entire loaf of bread into cubes. Spread out the cubes evenly in a single layer on a baking tray (you will need to split it up between a few trays so they get evenly toasted) and bake until the cubes are dry and crunchy, flipping over once. This should take about 10mins. Once the bread cubes are dehydrated, set them aside to let cool.

Alternatively, if you plan ahead you can leave the bread cubes out overnight to air dry instead of baking them – but this may take longer depending on how humid your environment is. I like to store them in the bread bag once cooled.

Tip: This is probably the most time-consuming part of this whole recipe. You can do this step a couple days ahead of time to save time if you’re cooking a big dinner – just keep the bread cubes away from moisture until you’re ready to use.

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F).

Melt the butter in a pot and cook the onion, celery, mushroom and parsley until they’re soft and break easily with a spoon. Once cooked, turn off the heat.

Place the dried bread cubes into a large bowl and season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the bread without the butter liquid and mix everything together quickly, otherwise the bread will start getting soggy.

Pour in the remaining butter liquid from the pot and continue to mix well. Don’t let liquid sit on bottom of bowl! Add the eggs and ONLY enough chicken broth to MOISTEN the bread crumbs (too much will result in mushy stuffing, ~2-3 cups). Mix well.

Once everything is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a large baking tray and bake uncovered for 30-45mins, flipping and stirring once halfway through. The stuffing is done once it turns a toasty golden brown colour. Serve!

Alternatively, you can also cook this in a slow cooker: cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.

Summarized Recipe:

THE Best Mushroom Stuffing

Date Published: Feb 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 1 large tray | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1.5 hrs

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of sliced plain bread (cheapest one will do) (or 12 cups  dry bread cubes)
  • 1 cup (227g) salted butter
  • 1 large (2 cups) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth as needed (~2-3 cups) (you can use vegetable broth as well to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Dehydrate your bread (skip this step if you’re using dry bread cubes): Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F). Slice the entire loaf of bread into cubes. Spread out the cubes evenly in a single layer on a baking tray (you will need to split it up between a few trays so they get evenly toasted) and bake until the cubes are dry and crunchy, flipping over once. This should take about 10mins. Once the bread cubes are dehydrated, set them aside to let cool (I like to put them back in the bread bag).
  2. Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F).
  3. Melt the butter in a pot and cook the onion, celery, mushroom and parsley until they’re soft and break easily with a spoon. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  4. Place the dried bread cubes into a large bowl and season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the bread without the butter liquid and mix everything together quickly, otherwise the bread will start getting soggy.
  5. Pour in the remaining butter liquid from the pot and continue to mix well. Don’t let liquid sit on bottom of bowl! Add the eggs and ONLY enough chicken broth to MOISTEN the bread crumbs (too much will result in mushy stuffing, ~2-3 cups). Mix well.
  6. Once everything is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a large baking tray and bake uncovered for 30-45mins, flipping and stirring once halfway through. The stuffing is done once it turns a toasty golden brown colour. Serve!

Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot


Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

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I don’t tend to buy many pre-made sauces because I want to limit the amount of half opened jars in my fridge and also I haven’t found many pre-made sauces that I haven’t been able to re-create or liked enough to keep around. UNTIL my mom introduced me to the Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce. She learned this recipe from one of her church friends. My mind was blown the first time she ever made this for us. I could eat this dish all day, everyday, the saucier the better! I always hoped she would double the recipe every time she made it. There were never any leftovers. This dish goes so well over rice or sautéed with some thick noodles. Mmm mmmm. You can even change it up and stir-fry it with some onion and bell peppers if you’re not a huge fan of carrots.

Because this recipe is based on a pre-made sauce, it’s incredibly easy and cooks up quickly – perfect if you haven’t got much time.

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 (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned (or thickly grated to save time)
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.

In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.

In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.

Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

You can also try stir-frying it with noodles instead of serving over rice

Summarized Recipe:

Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot

Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.
  2. In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

Flavour Bomb Beef


Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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At the start of the pandemic Toby and I started religiously watching Masterchef AU 2020. Neither of us had watched Masterchef before and neither of us watch much reality television. Perhaps it was the constant ads or perhaps it was the extra time we had on our hands from the pandemic, we got sucked in. At 7:30pm, 5 days a week, we were glued to the tv. We had a few favourite contestants on this show and Kanh is one of them. His dishes always looked so good with so much flavour on the show that I couldn’t wait to get his cookbook when it came out. His book definitely didn’t disappoint (although it’s a bit of a pain to navigate through the ebook version) and as expected, it’s full of amazing recipes with hilarious personal notes. This recipe is straight from Kanh Ong’s cookbook: A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life Love Food with a few tweaks in the methods and reorganizing of the ingredients. He calls it “Shaking Beef” in his book in reference to the shaking of the pan when you make it. We’ve made at least half a dozen dishes from his book but I think this may be our favourite!

This dish is a flavour BOMB. The beef tenderloin is marinated in a sweet dark sauce then seared on a hot pan for a caramelized outside and soft melt-in-your-mouth rare beef on the inside. The bold salty flavours of the beef is best paired with the pickled red onions and dipping sauce (also included in this recipe). I was skeptical at first, but the pickled red onions really makes a huge difference and brings the beef to the next level. This dish got rave reviews with our family and there were no empty plates!

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:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.

Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.

Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.

Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.

We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.

Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Flavour Bomb Beef

Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.
  2. Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.
    • We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.
  5. Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. Done!

Radish/Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 (Luo Buo Gao/Lo Bak Go)


Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snacks
Serves: 1 large plate | Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 1 hr

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Om nom nom I love radish cake. I know it originally in Mandarin as ‘luo buo gao’ which actually directly translates to ‘carrot cake’ because the common Mandarin name for a daikon radish (or Chinese turnip) is a ‘white carrot’ which it kind of looks like – don’t you think? You may see it more commonly called ‘lo bak go’ in dim sum restaurants, which is the Cantonese name. Whatever name you call it, it’s still delicious. I grew up with it in Taiwan as a common breakfast item or side dish. The best is when it’s fried until it’s lightly crispy then served with some garlic soy sauce paste and a garlic chilli hot sauce. It’s also really good when stir-fried in XO sauce (I’m literally salivating writing this).

I always thought luo buo gao was this impossibly complicated dish and never even thought about attempting to make it until I came upon the Woks of Life recipe. After a quick read through, it was definitely doable, but it does take a little effort and time – but hey, in pandemic times all I’ve got is extra time. Now’s the time to experiment! The first time I made this the texture was perfect and I was surprised how well it turned out. The flavours were spot-on, but I wanted more of it so I’ve tweaked the recipe to give it more of a boost so you can enjoy it with or without sauce.

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

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 daikon radish (~600g)
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chicken powder
  • 1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups (130g) rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Directions:

Soak the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms in a few cups of warm water until softened (~10-15mins).

While the shrimp and mushrooms soak, rinse and grate the daikon radish on the largest grater hole.

Toby’s mom has the sumo grater (see photo above) which is an as-seen-on-tv product that actually surprisingly works REALLY well at grating things super quickly and easily. I don’t trust many TV products, but I’d definitely get one of these when we move out.

Add the grated radish to a wok or large pan with 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder and simmer until the radish is cooked and soft (~10-15mins). Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Once the radish is cooked, scoop it out into a large bowl and measure out the remaining leftover liquid. You should have about 1 cup left – if not, add more water until you get 1 cup. Add this liquid to the radish bowl and set aside.

While the radish cooks, chop up the soaked shrimp, mushrooms, sausage and spring onion (make sure you keep an eye on the radish and keep stirring every few minutes). Make sure you remove the tough stem of the mushrooms.

Clean your pan from the radish and over MEDIUM heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the shrimp, mushrooms, and sausage for 5 minutes and fragrant. Stir in the oyster sauce and spring onions then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Add rice flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar and white pepper to the cooked radish bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated, then mix in the sautéed shrimp/mushroom/spring onion mixture. Set this batter aside for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, prepare your steamer and grease a heat-proof pan (make sure it fits in your steamer and ideally square shaped). I didn’t have a square pan in the house so I used a round cake tin instead. Stir the batter one more time and pour it into the greased pan. Steam over MED-HIGH heat for about 1 hour until your batter resembles the radish cake texture. The radish cake is pretty forgiving when it comes to cooking times so you don’t need to worry too much about over-cooking – just don’t go overboard and cook it for three hours 😜!

Remove from the steamer and let it cool for about 30mins. If you’re making this ahead of time you can leave it in the fridge overnight and fry them when you’re ready.

Once the radish cake has cooled, slice it into squares and you’re ready to fry! Heat a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Fry the radish squares until golden brown and lightly crispy on both sides (~3-5 mins per side). Done!

Dust a little ground white pepper over the squares before serving with a side of soy sauce paste, garlic chilli paste/sriracha, or oyster sauce. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Radish/Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 (Luo Buo Gao/Lo Bak Go)

Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, sides, snacks
Serves: 1 large plate | Prep time: 1 hr | Cook time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 daikon radish (~600g)
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (130g) rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. Soak the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms in a few cups of warm water until softened (~10-15mins).
  2. While the shrimp and mushrooms soak, rinse and grate the daikon radish on the largest grater hole.
  3. Add the grated radish to a wok or large pan with 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder and simmer until the radish is cooked and soft (~10-15mins). Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Once the radish is cooked, scoop it out into a large bowl and measure out the remaining leftover liquid. You should have about 1 cup left – if not, add more water until you get 1 cup. Add this liquid to the radish bowl and set aside.
  4. While the radish cooks, chop up the soaked shrimp, mushrooms, sausage and spring onion (make sure you keep an eye on the radish and keep stirring every few minutes). Make sure you remove the tough stem of the mushrooms.
  5. Clean your pan from the radish and over MEDIUM heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the shrimp, mushrooms, and sausage for 5 minutes and fragrant. Stir in the oyster sauce and spring onions then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  6. Add rice flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar and white pepper to the cooked radish bowl. Mix until everything is incorporated, then mix in the sautéed shrimp/mushroom/spring onion mixture. Set this batter aside for 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 minutes, prepare your steamer and grease a heat-proof pan (make sure it fits in your steamer and ideally square shaped). Stir the batter one more time and pour it into the greased pan. Steam over MED-HIGH heat for about 1 hour until your batter resembles the radish cake texture.
  8. Remove from the steamer and let it cool for about 30mins.
    • If you’re making this ahead of time you can leave it in the fridge overnight and fry them when you’re ready.
  9. Once the radish cake has cooled, slice it into squares and you’re ready to fry! Heat a non-stick skillet over MEDIUM heat and add a few tablespoons of oil. Fry the radish squares until golden brown and lightly crispy on both sides (~3-5 mins per side). Done!
  10. Dust a little ground white pepper over the squares before serving with a side of soy sauce paste, garlic chilli paste/sriracha, or oyster sauce. Enjoy!

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This super easy brown butter mushroom recipe was something I whipped up in the spur of the moment today when I was making a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast for lunch. I LOVE mushrooms and lucky for me I had some spare in the fridge as well as thyme in the garden. Something about thyme and mushrooms just makes a perfect combination and even better when cooked in a beautiful aromatic nutty brown butter. I’d recommend slicing them thick like the photos below for maximum absorption of the delicious brown butter!

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:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).

When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms.

It’s important to lay the mushrooms in a single layer and not crowd them in the pan. You need space to let the liquids evaporate or else they’ll boil in their own juices and result in soggy mushrooms. If you don’t have a pan large enough to fit all the mushrooms, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme from the pan and cook the mushrooms in batches.

The mushrooms will initially absorb all the brown butter and your pan will look dry but as it cooks it will start releasing a little liquid. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.

When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Note: Do not add salt before the mushrooms are done or else they’ll dehydrate the mushrooms and release liquid into the pan.

Summarized Recipe:

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).
  2. When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan. If your pan is too small, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme and cook the mushroom in batches.
  3. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.
  4. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Bacon Mashed Peas


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 4 (makes one big bowl) | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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I’m going to be the first to admit that this is a pretty ugly dish and it was a challenge to photograph to make it look delicious 😂. After about 15 mins trying different angles on the small patio table outside, it was still a pile of green mush. Despite its appearance, these mashed peas are so yum and makes a great side dish for almost anything. It’s also a great way to use up that half opened bag of green peas that’s been sitting in the back of your freezer for the past year.

I’m not a huge fan of peas on their own. I find them kind of tasteless and boring. They always seems to be served the same way: boiled with salt and pepper as a filler on a plate. No one really loves eating them but we do anyway because it’s veg, and our mothers have engraved in our brains that we must have a serve of veg with every meal. Welp, I’ve taken those boring peas and put my own spin on it sautéed with onions, garlic and bacon then simmered in beef broth and blended (not mashed unlike the title suggests). Peas are actually quite sweet in their nature and when you blend it all up it enhances the sweetness and you end up with a kind of sweet pile of green mush with bits of salty and savoury bacon. Full disclaimer: this dish still tastes very much like peas so if you actually dislike the taste of peas then this recipe is not for you. Toby has been a lifelong hater of peas and although this isn’t his favourite dish, he did say this was the best peas he’s ever had (but he still doesn’t like peas). His father however loves peas and had multiple servings. I’ll take that as a double win!

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 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 strips of “streaky bacon”, diced (or 3 slices of rasher’s bacon, diced)
    • Streaky bacon is the typical North American bacon that’s higher in fat and crisps up when cooked.
    • Rasher’s bacon is the typical Australian bacon that’s leaner and essentially like ham.
    • I prefer streaky bacon for this recipe because it gives it an extra crispy texture and the bacon flavour is more prominent however it’s not always easy to find in Australia (especially in a pandemic) so I’ve used rasher’s bacon for the photos.
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Defrost your peas by placing them in a bowl filled with room temperature water. Keep replacing the water every 15-20 mins until completely defrosted then drain. You can alternatively defrost them the night before.

Dissolve two beef stock cubes in 1 cup (250ml) of warm water. Set aside.

Heat a skillet or pot on MEDIUM heat and sauté the garlic, onion and bacon together until the onions are tender and the bacon is browned (and crispy if using streaky bacon).

You shouldn’t need to add any oil because the fat from the bacon should melt and provide the oil needed, however if you’re using a leaner cut of bacon like rasher’s bacon, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.

Remove half of the bacon/onion mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the defrosted peas and beef stock to the pan and stir. Let it come to a simmer then take the peas out and transfer it to a blender or food processor (leave excess liquid in the skillet). Pulse it a few times until you get a thick paste. Add a few spoonfuls of the liquid in the pan if your paste is too dry and difficult to pulse.

Pour the contents back into the skillet and stir together with the liquid and add in the reserved bacon/onion mixture. Simmer the peas until the liquid has evaporated and you end up with a thick pasty consistency. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Bacon Mashed Peas

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 4 (makes one big bowl) | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 strips of “streaky bacon”, diced (or 3 slices of rasher’s bacon, diced)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Defrost your peas by placing them in a bowl filled with room temperature water. Keep replacing the water every 15-20 mins until completely defrosted then drain. You can alternatively defrost them the night before.
  2. Dissolve two beef stock cubes in 1 cup (250ml) of warm water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet or pot on MEDIUM heat and sauté the garlic, onion and bacon together until the onions are tender and the bacon is browned (and crispy if using streaky bacon).
    • You shouldn’t need to add any oil because the fat from the bacon should melt and provide the oil needed, however if you’re using a leaner cut of bacon like rasher’s bacon, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.
  4. Remove half of the bacon/onion mixture from the pan and set aside. Add the defrosted peas and beef stock to the pan and stir. Let it come to a simmer then take the peas out and transfer it to a blender or food processor (leave excess liquid in the skillet). Pulse it a few times until you get a thick paste. Add a few spoonfuls of the liquid in the pan if your paste is too dry and difficult to pulse.
  5. Pour the contents back into the skillet and stir together with the liquid and add in the reserved bacon/onion mixture. Simmer the peas until the liquid has evaporated and you end up with a thick pasty consistency. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Done!

Classic Greek Salad


Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

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I love Greek salad. It’s so refreshing and easy to make, perfect for a hot summer’s day or paired with a delicious roast lamb. The dressing only takes 3 ingredients to make and the salad components are easily adjustable to whatever proportion you like. Toby’s not a big fan of olives so I tend to go easy on them when I’m making this salad but feel free to double or even triple the amount of any of the salad ingredients. This salad is healthy (if you don’t go crazy on the feta) and so delicious. If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d suggest holding off on the dressing until right before you serve it because the salt content from the dressing will draw out water from the veg and you’ll end up with a soggy salad.

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:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

*Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Greek Salad

Date Published: August 19th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 19th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian, easy, healthy
Serves: 4 (as side servings) | Prep time: 20 mins | Mix time: 30 secs

Ingredients:

  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tsps lemon juice
    • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salad:
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped)
    • 2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
    • 1 small red onion, chopped or sliced
    • 1 cup feta cheese, roughly chopped or crumbled
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced (or more to taste)
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the salad by mixing the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl: tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, oregano, and olives.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
    • *Note: if you’re making this ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve, otherwise the salt content from the dressing will cause the veg in the salad to release their liquids and you’ll end up with a wet sloppy salad.

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad


Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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In many Chinese households raw vegetables are not very common – if at all. When we moved to Canada it was really strange watching my classmates eat raw carrots and celery as a snack. It was even stranger that someone would bring a platter of uncooked vegetables to a party as their contribution. To this day I’m still not a big fan of raw veg on their own but when it’s paired with a delicious creamy dip or in a flavourful salad, sign me up!…Except for celery. I still can’t eat that shit raw.

Broccoli was one of the last few veg I came to terms with eating raw. I’ve always loved steamed broccoli especially with some garlic and black pepper, but crunching on it raw just felt so wrong…until I came upon this amazing salad that a friend brought to a party a couple years ago. I was going to call this “Jess’ Broccoli Salad”, but I went with a more descriptive title instead for those of you that don’t know Jess 😜 (who’s also a super amazing baker). If you’re a fan of blue cheese, this salad is definitely for you! The bold blue cheese is offset by the sweet and tart cranberries and juiciness of the red onions, then mellowed out with crispy bacon and toasted pecans, all transported by the humble crunchy broccoli for a super flavourful mouthful.

The ingredients list seems long, but most of it is the balsamic dressing. A freshly made balsamic vinaigrette really does make a difference to tie all the flavours of the salad together, but if you’re in a rush, feel free to take a shortcut and use a store-bought version. There are also a few other shortcuts in the recipe marked as “optional” steps, but I encourage you to take the time to toast the pecans, blanch the broccoli and sauté the bacon to bring out the maximum flavours of 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:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
(Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well until all the ingredients are combined.)

Blanch the broccoli: place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.

This step is optional but it helps soften the broccoli a little but and bring out the bright green colours. If you prefer your broccoli raw and crunchy, feel free to skip this step. You can also boil the broccoli a little longer if you prefer it softer.

Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.

This step is also optional, but I find toasting the pecans bring out a lot more depth in the flavours of the salad.

Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Blue Cheese Broccoli Salad

Date Published: August 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: salads, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Balsamic Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salad:
    • 6 cups broccoli, chopped (roughly 3 middle-sized broccoli heads or 2 large ones)
    • 1/2 cup pecans
    • 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
    • 1 cup red onion, sliced or diced (personal preference)
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing: put all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, dijon, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic) and whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Set aside.
  2. Blanch the broccoli (optional): place the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. Use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water on the broccoli. Set aside.
  3. Toast the pecans (optional): Preheat the oven to 180˚C and toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and darker brown, then roughly chop it and set aside.
  4. Sauté the bacon: While you’re waiting for the pecans to toast, sauté the chopped bacon until light brown and crispy. Set aside.
  5. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix together all the salad ingredients: broccoli, pecans, bacon, red onions, blue cheese, and cranberries. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Serve and enjoy!