Quick Weeknight Meal

Got home late, so I made a quick dinner with salmon and leftover veggies I found in the fridge. Put them all together in a foil packet and stick in the toaster oven. No brainer.


Rice Cooker Bibimbap

Making bibimbap (a Korean rice dish) in a rice cooker is such a genius idea. I adapted my first attempt using the brilliant suggestion from Teczcape. In my small kitchen, I don't have much room for any more small appliances or a big Korean stone pot, so this is perfect.

I cooked the rice as usual, and when the cooker was done, I threw in a big handful of spinach, cut up kimchi, nori strips, and a sprinkle of furikake. I shut the rice cooker again and pressed the "cook" button once more. After it was "twice done" in a few minutes, I cracked in two quail eggs and let the machine steam it for another minute. The eggs were too cooked for my liking; next time I'll crack the eggs in just prior to mixing it up before serving. Forcing the rice cooker to "re-cook" it several times dries up the rice more, which gives you some crispy edges--similar to the slightly toasted rice you get when bibimbap is cooked in a traditional Korean hot stone pot.


Chili Pasta

Leftover chili con carne from yesterday now becomes spicy pasta for today, when I add some whole wheat spaghetti.



That's it--autumn's already over and winter's here. Frost is appearing on cars everywhere and the only thing I can do is make chili to battle the, uh, chill (sorry). Now before I go on, I must confess I don't really like beans. I only enjoy them as various pastes and curds. So cutting out beans, I sautee garlic, plenty of onions and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Throw in some ground beef. Add a half a dozen low-sodium beef stock ice cubes that I keep handy in the freezer, toss in carrots, tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper, smoked paprika and some chipotle powder. Simmer and stir...serve with sour cream and toasted garlic-buttered loaf ends. The perfect food for vegging out in front of the TV, watching Mad Men on a cold rainy day.


Steak Wrap

Cheap steak at the supermarket = steak wrap with avocado and crispy greens.


Turkey Salad Sandwich

October 13th was Thanksgiving in Canada. As usual, my talented sister and I made Thanksgiving dinner, although it always seems more like her making the turkey and meal, and me helping out with the sides and prep.

So I'm polishing off the leftover turkey right now, turning the trimmings into turkey salad, substituting turkey in my usual chicken salad. Celery, mayo, toasted pine nuts, a dash of cumin, salt and pepper are added. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours (it's even better overnight), and I spread a little bit of dijon mustard onto both sides of some light country rye bread before spooning in the mix and toasting the sandwich. I always make a big bowl because I always end up eating forkfuls of this while making the sandwich.

Our Thanksgiving meal consisted of a 48-hour-brined turkey stuffed with herbs and oranges, celeriac mashed potatoes, gravy, fried fresh sweet corn cakes, turkey stuffing made with mushrooms and Italian sausage, cranberry sauce spiked with citrus zest, sauteed carrots, green salad with pear and pomegranate dressing, and my sister's dessert of fruit segments, cranberry and prosecco jellies.


Improvised "Flammekueche"

I came across this flammekueche recipe and decided to improvise it into more of a mini pizza for an easy meal. Using whole wheat pitas as a base, I spread a layer of sour cream and topped it off with proscuitto, red onions, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

As a side, I made a roasted fig, proscuitto and walnut salad with balsamic dressing.