Tag Archives: asian

Spicy Sesame and Ginger Bok Choy with Bean Sprouts

sautéed bok choy & bean sprouts

This simple recipe of bok choy and bean sprouts is a great healthy side dish. It packs lots of flavour thanks to the chilies, ginger, garlic, and of course sesame oil. How yummy is sesame oil?

I had some bok choy and bean sprouts in the fridge. Some of the ingredients I had a few nights earlier for a stir fry.  I wanted to create a recipe to share on the blo,g but didn’t have much to work with.

I love putting myself in the kitchen, and getting creative with what I have. Even if it is quite limited. Some of my favourite recipes were born by just surrounding myself with ingredients ,and creating on the fly, experimenting. This is something that many people aren’t very comfortable with, that is creating vs following a recipe. It is a great way to improve your cooking skills. Get creative.

I love looking at cookbooks and other blogs for inspiration as well, but often the best inspiration for deliciousness are the ingredients themselves.

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Filed under Recipes, Side Dishes, vegetables

Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe with Udon Noodles


Stir Fry has to be one of the most popular weekday meals around. Everyone seems to make a stir-fry. Even people who don’t really cook.

A common answer to the question “what did you have for dinner last night?” seems to be, “oh, just stir fry.” Well your answer the day after making this recipe can be, “a kick-ass stir fry you need to try!”.

Many people can’t imagine a stir fry without some kind of meat or seafood, but this vegetable stir fry recipe will change that. What’s the secret? The sauce of course. An almond butter and sesame seed sauce that is sweet, spicy, salty, and tangy. Continue reading

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Green Beans with Fried Shallots and Cashews

Green Beans with Fried Shallots and Cashews

The inspiration/idea for this recipe came one evening as I was sitting out on my balcony reading through Burma by Naomi Duguid. Burma is more than just a cookbook. It is a book filled with beautiful pictures of food as well stunning visuals  of Burmese life.  You can actually learn quite a bit from this book and I find it incredibly interesting.  So much detail is provided about the country’s traditional food, you can’t help but want to learn more and most of all taste some of it!  I would recommend this book to anyone. It is simply amazing.

The recipe that inspired me for this green bean recipe was a simple dish called long-bean salad with roasted peanuts.  It called for fish sauce, roasted peanuts, fried shallots, shallot oil and lime. As you will see I changed the recipe by using cashews instead, using sesame oil, dropping the fish sauce and adding cilantro.

You may notice that in the instructions the beans are cut in half but in the picture they are whole. After having made and eaten the dish I decided I thought it was better to cut them in half. Cutting them in half will allow you to get more cashews and shallots with the beans in each mouthful. Isn’t that the point? Get all that delicious stuff in your mouth at the same time and enjoy.

Green beans are in season now so get on those fresh local beans while you still can.  Continue reading


Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipes, Side Dishes

Tofu, Broccoli, and Rice Noodles with Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce (101cookbooks)

Tofu can definitely be hit or miss.  My favourite way to prepare it is to bake it in a marinade.  This way the tofu really soaks up the flavour of whatever you want it to.  Noodles, broccoli, and marinated tofu with a spicy lemon coconut sauce from 101cookbooks is the dish I present to you here today.  This sauce can be used to liven up all sorts of different dishes, so get creative.  Lemon, green chiles, cilantro, coconut.  You get the point, it’s good.

The tofu is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chile, agave, miso and brown rice vinegar.  Classic for a reason.  A lot of my marinades for tofu and tempeh have most of these ingredients in them.   It is simple, easy, and it works every time.  You can add other ingredients, and leave others out.  Experiment a little and see what you like.

I used brown rice noodles which were great.  Their texture was perfect, not sticky, and the flavour was a good compliment.  I have also tried it with 100% buckwheat noodles, but I found the flavour too strong  for the dish.  Experiment with different noodles.  Every health food store, supermarket, specialty shop, and Asian market has different brands and types of noodles.  I am constantly trying new kinds.  The choices are numerous.  What’s great about the brown rice noodles is that they are gluten-free which is great for all who have cut gluten out of they diet.

The first time I made this dish I experimented with baking the tofu before marinating to see if it would soak up the marinade better without any moisture in it.  I baked, marinated, and baked again. It was pretty good.  I wouldn’t say a necessary step.  What was different is that the tofu was crispier this way, and there was a lot more leftover marinade, which could be used as a sauce, meaning the coconut sauce wouldn’t be as necessary.  In the method described below, the marinade evaporates when you remove the foil to brown the tofu.  Once again something for you to experiment with.

The marinade before meeting the tofu.

The chile, cilantro, scallion, garlic paste before meeting the coconut milk and lemon.

 Tofu, Broccoli, and Rice Noodles with Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce


1 454g block tofu
250 g brown rice noodles
1 big head of broccoli, cut into florets

Tofu Marinade

1 tbsp miso
1 garlic clove, grated
1 chunk of ginger (about 1/2 your thumb), grated
1/3 cup wheat free soy sauce/tamari
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1/2 cup water

Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce from 101cookbooks

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 medium jalapeno (or serrano) chile, de seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced (~8 scallions)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (full fat)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste


Cut the tofu  into 8 equal slabs.  To press the tofu cover it in paper towel or a clean dish towel and put something heavy on top for 30 minutes.  If using paper towel switch to a fresh paper towel after 15 minutes.

While the tofu is being pressed, prepare the tofu marinade.  Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Once the tofu has been pressed long enough, cut it into even sized cubes.  The exact size is really up to you.  Combine the cubes of tofu with the marinade in a large ziplock bag .  Move everything around to make sure all the tofu is covered.  If you are going to cook the tofu right away, put it directly into an oven proof dish with the marinade.  Place the tofu in the fridge for 30 minutes or more, even overnight if you have the time.

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Place the tofu and the marinade in an ovenproof dish, making sure all the pieces are flat. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip the tofu and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes on each side to brown the tofu until there is just a little marinade left.

While the tofu is baking prepare Heidi Swanson’s delicious coconut sauce.  Her instructions, as found on her website 101cookbooks.com, are below.

“In a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chile into a paste along with the salt. Alternately, you can use a food processor.  Add the oil and the scallions, and smash or chop a bit more.  Add the cilantro, pulsing the food processor (if you’re using it) just a few times.

Transfer the mixture to a jar or bowl, and whisk in the coconut milk, then the lemon juice. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed. Store in a refrigerator for up to a week.”

15 minutes before the tofu is ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles.  Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse.

At the same time, steam the broccoli florets for a few minutes until lightly cooked.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles, the broccoli, the tofu and the remaining marinade.  Mix everything together well.

Serve in bowls topped with as much coconut sauce as you deem necessary. 2-3 tablespoons should do the trick.


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Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes