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Bring the Restaurant Home with Chinese-style Chicken!

Wow! It's been a while since I posted a recipe!

Without further ado, here's an AMAZING recipe that my roommate and I tried out last night for supper. I always had trouble keeping chicken moist, but this time, I felt like a real restaurant chef! This recipe is truly finger-licking good!!

- 2/3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1x5 cm strips
- 1 1/3 cup snow peas
- 1 green peppers, cut into thin strips
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tbsp sherry [optional]
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp suga
- 4 slices gingerroot, cut into thin slices
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste


1. Slice the chicken breast into strips ½ to 1 cm wide and about 5 cm long. Mix with the soy sauce, sherry (optional), cornstarch, sugar, and 2-3 slices of ginger. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
3. Prepare the vegetables. Coarsely chop the onion, thinly slice the pepper, and mince or press the garlic. Keep the snow peas whole. Cut 2-3 more slices of ginger.
4. Heat ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying-pan or wok. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, cook 2-3 min until they start to soften, then set aside on the warmed serving plate in the oven.
5. Turn up the heat and add ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil. First add some salt, then immediately add the snow peas. Stir constantly for 2-3 min since they cook very quickly (the colour should stay dark green). Put the snow peas on the plate with the other vegetables. Keep the plate warm.
6. In the same wok, add the remaining oil and the marinated chicken. Reserve the remaining marinade. Stir constantly over medium heat 7-8 min until the meat is almost cooked. Then put the vegetables back into the wok, add the new slices of ginger plus the reserved marinade. Cook another 2 min. Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.

Serves 2.

(source: http://soscuisine.com/en/recipes/view/chinese-style-chicken-with-snow-peas?sos_l=en)


Mom's famous teriyaki sauce

The sharing of recipes in my family is quite the controversial topic. Some of the women love to share recipes, such as my mom, while others hoard the family recipes and only pass them onto their children. This has lead to some sneaking around, and consipring by the women to get certain recipes. Fortunately, the do not have to do that for this recipe, one my mom created herself.

It is simple, it is fast, and it tastes great...however, you may want to consider a breath mint afterwards. :)

1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of soya sauce
4 tbsp of ketchup
2 tbsp of vinegar
4 cloves of garlic

Yes that is all. However it is best to use a hand held blender such as those little ones for making vinaigrettes, and mix so that you have no seperation between the liquids. It is ready when you are, however, like wine, it gets better with age, so let it sit for a half hour or so if you can.

What to do with this?
I love this on steak, you can marinate the steak in it, or you can simply dip the cooked steak into the sauce. It is also great on rice and chicken.
This sauce can last forever in your fridge.


zucchini and yellow pepper risotto with A BASIL BONUS


So I have recently begun working, by which I mean I have a real job that leaves me exhausted by 6pm and yearning for sleep by 10. Somewhere along the line between unemployed vagrant and underpaid (but profoundly grateful) teacher, I lost the time I used to spend chopping vegetables to my couch and tired feet. I realize that this is my own fault: granola bars and coffee do not a lunch make 5 days a week. I've been burning out because I'm just not feeding my furnace, so here's a recipe I'm returning to in a time of nutritional need. I used to make this for special occasions, but risotto is actually one of the best things for me to eat for lunch as my version is packed with nutrient rich vegetables and the benefit of fresh herbs, satisfying carbs and dairy protein. Besides, risotto is one of those rare foods that actually benefits from a microwave, or can be eaten cold, which suits my noontime cravings just fine. Also, sometimes I buy a whole basil plant and can't keep it alive so I just eat it, in this :)

FYI this is a little time consuming, and I would set aside an hour to do it, but it' worth the wait for the long term gain :) And it's an impressive dish when you're done, not to mention totally delicious.


  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 zucchini. diced generously
  • 1 large yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups dry risotto
  • 4 tbsp dry white vermouth
  • 7 cups vegetable broth, simmering
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
  • EXTRA LARGE handful (or entire plant) of fresh basil, torn roughly
  • 1 cup (freshly) grated parmesan cheese (I know it's expensive, but the real stuff will make such a different with the basil, it's really worth the extra dollar to buy a block of reggiano and grate it yourself)

Heat half your oil in a large skillet on high. When it's super hot, but not smoking hot, toss in your zucchini and peppers, and stir fry them for about 2-3 minutes, until they're starting to get a wee bit golden brown (gauge by the zukes, not the peppers). Add your garlic and stir it all together to fry for about 30 secs, then remove it all to a separate plate and set it aside for a spell.

Heat the rest of your oil in a heavy pot (this will eventually hold everything, so account for about 7 cups of rice); add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft, which usually takes a good 2-5 minutes IMO. Add the risotto and cook it all together, stirring so it doesn't stick, for another vague 2-5 mintues (you want your risotto to become translucent, which has taken a wide range of times in my experience). Make sure the risotto is well coated with the olive oil.

Pour in your vermouth (delicious); let it bubble and steam away - this is its job, and I promise, not a waste of your vermouth :) Add ladleful by ladleful of hot almost boiling stock to your risotto pot, stirring each ladleful until it is absorbed by the rice. Do this until all your stock is finito. This should realistically take about 20-25 minutes. The rice will get creamier and tender, but should still be firm (think al dente pasta). It will get a little tough to stir.

When this is done, stir in your pre-cooked veggies, along with any of their escaped juices. Add in the butter/margarine, basil (LOTS OF BASIL) and grated parmesan, stirring gently (but forcefully, for the cheese spreadage). When mixed, drizzle with oil if you like, garnish generously with EVEN MORE BASIL(!) and serve hot.

Makes about 6 girl sized servings.

Foods for your Brain

Today marks International Literacy Day, a day that not only celebrates literacy, but also raises awareness about those who still lack literacy skills. In fact, a staggering 67.4 million children around the world are still illiterate because of various factors. As such, this post highlights the importance of food for the brain for better learning and concentration. While many still lack literacy skills around the world, those who are lucky enough to be in school need proper food in order to succeed. Indeed, the right foods for your brain will keep it clean and fully energized!

First, let's look at key foods for your brain (although various sources will give you slight differences, the ones listed below are good to know):

  1. For short term memory, drink coffee, NOT energy drinks, you don't want to mess with your mental computer!
  2. For long term memory and cognitive processing, eat FRESH blueberries, ripe berries don't contain as many nutrients. If they're out of season, buy them frozen!
  3. To think faster, eat salmon or mackerel, NOT full-fat ice-cream. High levels of fat clog the blood vessels and are just plain not good for your brain, or body!
  4. To energize, eat a high-protein salad with vinaigrette, NOT pancakes or bagels. Avoid eating a high amount of carbs when you need to wake-up, that's what puts you to sleep!
  5. To calm down, eat low-fat yogourt or mixed nuts, DON'T drink soda. A study shoes that people who drink 2 1/2 cans of soda each day are more likely to be anxious and depressed.
  6. To concentrate, drink peppermind tea, DON'T eat candy. In the long run, sugary foods cause highs and lows of sugar, causing fuzzy states of mind.
  7. For good moods, eat aragula or spinash salads, NOT white chocolate. If you're going to go for the chocolate, grab the real deal (the darker the better) as white chocolate does not contain the euphoria-inducing mood boosters that real chocolate brings (because of the lack of cacao).
(Other brain stimulating foods can be found here)

Having said that, breakfast is the most important brain energizing meal of the day! Make sure you have a good breakfast before leaving the house in the morning (or bring it with you at work). It'll keep you alert all day long!

While the discourse around illiteracy is often centered around developing countries, many Canadians still have low levels of literacy and many children still do not get a proper breakfast in the morning. As such, le Club des Petits Dejeuners in Quebec aims at giving kids a proper breakfast in order for them to succeed. I think it's a step in the right direction and definitely one that could help raise levels of literacy in school.

Other organizations such as 1Goal aim to raise levels of literacy around the world! If you know of any organizations or good brain stimulating recipes! Leave a comment on this post! :)



Mayonnaise and bananas you say? NEVER?! Welcome to Miracle Bread

Image by L. Kelly Lyles

I love to bake banana bread. I love the smell, the batter's texture, the endless rotation of possible ingredients, the way it slowly chips away at the mountain of brown frozen bananas in my freezer door. This afternoon it was so chilly that I decided it was the perfect day for the first baking session of the season. It's been so hot this summer that our bananas haven't been keeping worth anything, so there were about 25 frozen fruits calling my name, and baby their time had come.

I wanted to hang on to the few eggs we had kicking around the fridge for breakfast tomorrow, so I made a few substitutions to my traditional recipe. Usually, I go the yogurt route, but having only fat free yogurt on hand means giving up on any kind of rising so guess what I did :) M couldn't, but it turned out great! This bread is just chewy enough but not wet like some healthy banana breads, certainly not too dry, and just sweet enough to make it feel like a treat!

Preheat your oven to 350.
Lightly grease a standard loaf pan (I always cheat and use cooking spray to keep this step really easy. If you do this though, reduce the salt in your recipe: I find cooking spray flavors the loaf more than other options, though it's still a much healthier way to do it).
  • Mash 3 large overripe or frozen-and-then-defrosted bananas in a medium bowl.
  • Stir in 1 tbsp warm water
  • Stir in 1-2 heaping tbsp of Miracle Whip
  • If you have it on hand, mix in 1 tbsp of your favorite low-fat-low-sugar yogurt for a little extra sweetness
In a larger bowl mix
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • .5 cup sugar
Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the wet mix into it. Mix only until dry ingredients are absorbed. Fold in a small handful of chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever your creative little heart desires. Pour that beauty into your loaf pan and bake on the middle rack for about 35-45 minutes depending on your over. Take the opportunity here to check on it every once in awhile and let the deliciousness waft into your kitchen. Mmmm. WHIP IT GOOD!

Baked Lemon Sole...err..Haddock

I had a friend coming over this week and I had to prepare a fast and good supper. I had some frozen fish in the freezer, which I thought was Sole, so I unfroze it in the morning and came back after work to find out it was Haddock. Having no time to look for another recipe, I decided to cook the Haddock using the Baked Lemon Sole recipe I had previously found on cookitsimply.com. It turned out FANTASTIC and took me only half an hour to prep and bake!


- 1 - 1/2 lbs. fish fillets (sole, flounder)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon (6 wedges)
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

1. In bottom of shallow baking or broiling pan, spread oil,lemon juice, and pepper.
2. Swish fish around in pan, coating both sides. Sprinkle with parsley.
3. Broil 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until edges are browned.
4. Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle with salt or additional lemon and pepper.

Note: It takes longer to broil Haddock than Sole. It took me 20 minutes to broil rather than 10-ish minutes. So keep that in mind when cooking.

I served it with the Mediterranean Couscous Salad I previously posted on here.

Enjoy! :)

*image source: http://www.shobdonvillage.co.uk/fish-fresh*