Archive for the ‘Dinners’ Category

This recipe was adapted from http://greencilantro.blogspot.ca/search/label/Chinese. I’ll eventually make the original recipe without substitutions.



2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed, soaked for a day, drained

10 shiitake mushrooms

3 stalks of green onions

5 cloves garlic

2 eggs

1 cup lean ground beef *

1 cup minced pork

1/2 cup ground chicken**

2.5 tbsp  cornstarch (if you use potato starch, increase by tbsp.)

3 tbsp soya sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp sake and dry sherry (These are optional. I just had them in the house. You could use rice wine too.)

salt and pepper to taste

pinch sugar

2 cups fresh shrimp, deveined and chopped

*You could use 2 cups of pork instead, or substitute the ground beef with any other type of meat or firm tofu.

**This one may seem like overkill, but I had a 1/2 cup of chicken that I HAD to use up, so I just threw it in the mix. You can omit this if you want.


Day 1:

1. Soak the glutinous rice and shiitake mushrooms together, in a sealed container overnight.


Day 2:

1. Put green onions, garlic, and eggs in a food processor and pulse until fine.


Sorry for the blurry picture, I had to use my cell for this.

2. Add the lean ground beef and pulse to a puree.


3. Add the ground pork, ground chicken, corn flour, soya sauce, sesame seed oil, sake and dry sherry, salt/pepper/sugar into the food processor and pulse until mixed.


4. Mix in the chopped shrimp by hand.


5. Divide and shape mixture into equal size balls and roll them in the glutinous rice.  I tried making balls and rolling them into the glutinous rice but I found that they picked up too much rice and it was hard to handle them. Instead, I layered some rice on my hand, stuck a ball of filling in my hand, and gently squished them. I’m sure that’s a technical term somewhere in the world. The rice went all around the filling, and I was able to get the same size for each ball since they all had to fit within my fist.


6. Steam for about 10 to 12 minutes, or  until cooked through.

Bolognese sauce is a great dip for Egg Bread with Pesto.

Bolognese sauce is a great dip for Egg Bread with Pesto.



Next time I make these, I’m going to layer my plate with parchment paper. I didn’t enjoy scrubbing the stick stuff off my plate after it had cooled down.


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I don’t know what else to call this, but it goes so well with fried foods. Lately, I’ve been eating it with Dhal Puri. Don’t eat this before you go out in public 🙂


8 garlic segments

2 thai chili

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)

2 Tbsp salt (I like mine salty, use less if want)

pinch of sugar

NOTE: You can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice.



Combine all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you get a fine dice.

The sauce gets better with time, so it’s best to make it a day in advance if you can. It lasts 2 weeks in the fridge or 3 days out of the fridge. It may last longer out of the fridge but I wouldn’t risk it. I left some out of the fridge for a few days and the garlic turned blue. I don’t eat blue garlic.




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Chickpea Puri with green beans and heirloom tomatoes.

I love Dhal Puri.  My mom used to buy it from an Indian store when I was younger and I always loved it with curry. It was one of those special foods that you only got when we had parties or when my parents felt like eating it. We infrequently ate it, but I really enjoyed it. Since I began eating a plant-based diet (all of a week ago), I’ve been brainstorming things I could eat. Then I remembered Dhal Puri. It`s amazingly easy, and will definitely be a staple in our house from now on.  I`ll be posting my first version here but will update later with different, more “healthy” versions. I tried to stick as close to the original recipe as I could without modifications just to see if I could do it, but since I’m me, I modified it just a little.  Next time I make this,  I’m going to try substitutions such as; white flour with whole wheat and flax seed flour, or the dhal for hemp seed, or chia seeds. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean Puri Recipe:

Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup dry chickpeas (soaked over night)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

1/2 tsp roasted ground coriander seeds (I put this in because I love coriander seeds. It’s not in the original recipe.)

Puri Ingredients

250 g white flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup water (the original recipe didn’t have an amount for water and I didn’t measure how much water I used. I’ll measure it out next time and update this recipe.)

2 tbsp canola oil for the skillet/non stick pan


1. Boil the chickpeas in salted water with the turmeric until the outsides are cooked but the center is still al dente.

2. While the chickpeas are cooking, make the Puri.

3. Put the white flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Make a well in the white flour.

4. Add salt and olive oil to the well.

The dough is soft and a bit sticky. Put flour on your hands before you pull a chunk off of it!

5 . Put your mixer on medium and begin adding water slowly to the flour. You want a soft but workable dough. Do not over mix otherwise your dough will get very sticky. If you’re mixing by hand (which is what I did so I could feel the texture my first time around), place a wet cloth under your mixing bowl so it doesn’t move so much. Then, with one hand use your index and middle fingers to gently swirl the olive oil in a circular motion bringing the flour into the center. With the other hand, slowly pour in the water into the well while continuing to mix with the other hand. Remember, you want a soft pliable dough.  All of this took me about 7 minutes.

6. Let the dough rest for at least 20 min.

7. The chickpeas should be cooked by now. Drain them and grind them. I used my magic bullet (with the 4 blades not the 2 blade), but a food processor would work just fine here too. You could also use a mortar and pestle if you have a lot of time on your hands 🙂

Chickpea mixture with ground cumin and coriander seed. I made a lot. It freezes well.

8. Add the ground cumin and coriander to the chickpeas. Taste and add salt if necessary.

9. Pinch a 3 inch ball of dough and flatten it a bit with your hands.  Spoon about a 1/2 tsp of the chickpea mixture into the center of the dough. Take the sides of the dough disc and bring them together. You should have a closed ball.

10. Flour your work surface and the top of the ball. Roll out the ball to about a 1/4 of a cm. Some recipes say that you should be very gentle, but I wasn’t and none of my puri’s ripped or broke.

11. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1/2 tsp of oil. When the pan is hot, add the puri.  Cook for about 1- 1.5 minutes and then flip. Cook for another minute and take off the heat. Repeat this process until your dough is finished.

Great way to get hummus, beans and cucumber into a toddler all in one go!

My little girl is a camera diva 🙂

I ate my chickpea puri with green beans, hummus, cucumber, and a vinegar garlic sauce that my mom used to make when I was at home. She probably still makes it, but I didn’t eat it very much until I started to eat Vegan.

I got these green beans from Costco. I steam two whole bags in one go, and then cut them up and stick them in the fridge so they’re ready at any time.

My mom’s chili, garlic, vinegar sauce. I make a whole batch of it on Sundays and eat it all week long!



Update: I made a double batch of the Dhal Puri again with Dhal this time.  It didn’t taste any better or worse than the chickpeas. The only difference is that I didn’t have to soak the dhal (yellow split peas), which means I didn’t have to plan to make the filling.

I also substituted:

1/4 cup of flour for whole wheat flour

1/4 cup of white flour for a mix of ground flax and chia seeds

Dhal Puri dough with ground flax/chia seed and whole wheat flour.

My conclusion: Not bad but nothing beats the flavour and soft chewy texture of white flour. The Puri turned out a lot more dense and was almost crispy. The day after I made a double batch of the white flour dough so I could alternate healthier, whole wheat, ground flax/chia seed puri, for oh so good white flour puri 🙂 I can’t get enough of this stuff!

I ate them with cucumbers and hummus 🙂

Oh, and I had cucumbers on the side with chili and salt. Mmmmmmm spicy salt.

 Yum 🙂

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Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are one of my favourite things to eat!  The ingredients are fresh, simple, and delicious.  I was going to say that they’re also easy to make, but when I do, a friend of mine always replies, “Ya, for you!”  So in case anyone else might think the same thing, I just won’t say it.  Even if they are easy to make.  I’d say the most important thing with the spring/salad rolls are to have fresh ingredients.  In my personal opinion, the only staple you MUST, MUST, MUST have are the basil leaves, bean sprouts, the vermicelli and the rice wrappers.  Others may not agree, but whatever, this is MY blog!

Here’s the “recipe”.  I say “recipe” because the salad rolls really depend on the taste of the cook.  There are certain ingredients I like to have in my wraps so I chose those for this recipe.  You could substitute most of these ingredients for almost anything else that you like!!  My husband once asked if we could put Tuna in the wraps, and really, even though I looked at him funny and then walked away, Tuna wouldn’t be a bad idea for someone who loves it!


Shrimp 1 package of 16/20 zipper backed shrimp

Cook the shrimp in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Then cut them in half lengthwise.  If you’re not sure what I mean, look at the “finished product” picture below.

Note: I hate to de-vein shrimp so I buy them pre-cleaned. I also normally don’t buy shrimp this large but my husband did the shrimp shopping…hence…GIGANTICO shrimp.

They were pretty good and not tasteless as I had imagined them to be.  They were also beautiful to look at, which was a bonus.







3 Lebanese cucumbers (julienned)

I like the baby cucumbers because I think they’re sweeter and have more of a crunch than regular seedless cucumbers.  If you can’t find them, then you can use half of a regular English seedless cucumber.





1/2 package of bean sprouts

To preserve the life of your beans sprouts: Rinse them in cold water (I use a bit of soap in my first rinse, then re-rinse them twice more in cold water to wash away the soap), then wrap them in a paper towel and put them in a sealed container.  Bean Sprouts go bad really fast in plastic bags.

You may be wondering why I rinse them in soap…well the answer to that is because soap breaks down most pesticides (or so my husband says!  But since he’s a Biochemist, I tend to believe a lot of what he says in regards to biology and chemistry :P).  Don’t use a heaping load of soap though because who wants to eat a mouthful of soapy veggies??  Just put in a small drop for a litre of water, swoosh your veggies around, and then rinse. No need to buy expensive eco-yadda-yadda-cleaners, just use the soap you use to clean your dishes.  I’m such a cheap-o.



1/2 package of Rice Vermicelli (boiled according to the package’s instructions.  Once drained, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.)

You could use a whole package though and keep the left overs to make a Vermicelli bowl with all the left over ingredients the next day! Oh how I love Vermicelli.  My tummy is grumbling as I write this!







3 leafy lettuce leaves

We used the regular green leafy lettuce, but it really doesn’t matter what kind of lettuce you use.





1 package of small rice wrappers

I prefer the small rice wrappers because the allow me to eat more and with more variety! One roll will have carrots, basil, noodles and shrimp, another will have basil, lettuce, cucumber and bean sprouts…the combinations are endless!  *drool*





1 package of Basil

Some use Arugula in place of Basil, but I’m too set in my ways to allow for that difference in flavour.


12 cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 large carrot (julienned)







Here are some shots of me cutting up the veggies. I know most of you know how to julienne a carrot or cucumber, but in case some of you don’t, here you go!



















Here is what the finished product looks like! Oh wait! We forgot the peanut sauce!


Peanut Sauce:

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter

5 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce

1 Lime (juice only)

pinch sugar

2 Tbsp soya sauce (the light one not the dark mushroom one)

1/2 tsp sesame seed oil

1 pureed garlic clove

1/4 cup water (you may need more depending on how thick you want your sauce to be)

Now HERE is a better picture!!

Wrapping Directions

1. Soak your rice wrapper in warm water.  Once the wrapper is soft enough to eat, take it out of the water and lay it on a clean towel.  Do not use a plate as you will end up gathering water on the plate which will get absorbed into the rice wrapper making it difficult to wrap.

2. Add your veggies and noodles onto the rice wrap.  Make sure you don’t add too much! The wrappers are delicate and you don’t want to over stuff them.

3.  Roll your wrap away from you.  At the half way mark of your rice wrapper, fold in the sides as you would with a burrito.

4.  Then continue rolling away from you. The rice wrapper should cling to itself as long as you don’t soak the rice paper for too long.  Then dip and eat!!

Easy peasy right?? I’m so lucky that I have foodie friends who’ll come over, wash and buy all the ingredients, do the dishes, AND take pictures of the food as long as I prepare everything.  What a great deal!  Sometimes I feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick but SHHHH let’s just keep that between you and me 🙂


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