Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sautéed Rapini with Balsamic Reduction

I was inspired by a side dish at DeSoto's, a very good neighbourhood restaurant. I love rapini and this is quick and very, very tasty.


  • 1 bunch rapini, washed, bottom 1/2" of ends cut. I also separated the larger branches from the main stem for easier eating
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced finely (less if you don't love garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)

Let's do it!

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar and wine uncovered until it becomes syrupy. If it becomes TOO thick, add water to thin.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan that has a lid.
  3. Add garlic and stir until it starts to turn golden.
  4. Add rapini and salt. Toss with kitchen tongs to coat every piece in oil and garlic. There was a ton of rapini so I did this in stages, the rapini will wilt and reduce in size as it cooks.
  5. Add a splash of water to the pan and cover for about 5 minutes or longer, depending on how al dente you like your veggies. 
  6. Once the rapini is cooked to your liking and the balsamic reduction is ready, toss it all together with the second tablespoon of olive oil. 

That's it! It's a super tasty way to get your greens in!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vegan Kimchi Fries

Please excuse the crappy cell phone photo

Every year my friends put together a vegan thanksgiving meal. Most of the people who attend aren't vegan, but we all love the challenge of making something delicious and vegan. My contribution this year was vegan kimchi fries. I had a non-vegan version at a Japanese restaurant last year and it sort of stuck with me.

This isn't a lunch thing you would take to work, but man, it was tasty.


  • 2/3 package No Name Shoestring Fries (1kg)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan kimchi, roughly chopped
  • 1 package Sol Cuisine Tangy Korean BBQ Meatless Chicken, sliced thinly, not sauced
  • 3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 4 stalks green onions, chopped

Let's Do It!

  1. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high and add oil. Sauté the kimchi for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the meatless chicken and stir until heated through.
  3. Add the sauce from the meatless chicken package and stir for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to let the flavours permeate.
  4. Cook the shoestring fries according to the package and put on a nice platter.
  5. Reheat the kimchi/chicken mix on the stove, cover the fries.
  6. Mix the vegan mayonnaise and and Sriracha to your preferred level of spiciness and flavour. Put in a ziplock bag. Cut off a small corner of the ziplock bag and drizzle over the dish.
  7. Sprinkle with green onions.

This dish was a big hit. I can't wait to make it again with non-vegan options.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Not-Just Red Pepper Soup

My husband and I recently took a trip to Italy where I tasted this incredible soup in a restaurant called Roscioli in Rome. It was dairy free, but incredibly creamy and had a real complexity to the flavours. The soup at the restaurant had little shrimp and chunks of salami in it (it tastes better than it sounds), which I haven't done for this recipe. Honestly, I don't know how close this is, I just know that it's tasty.

Cooking time: 1-1.5 hours altogether
Working time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8


  • 2 Red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1" sections
  • 1.5 shallots, peeled and chopped into 1" sections
  • 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups homemade turkey stock
  • 1 tbsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
  • Olive oil to coat veggies and 1 tbsp for soup

Let's do it!

  1. Toss the veggies in some olive oil and roast in the toaster oven on the toast setting until everything gets soft and you start to see a bit of charring. Remove garlic peels once cool enough to touch
  2. Meanwhile, deseed the tomatoes. How I do this is I pour the entire can into a large bowl and open each tomato with my hands and scrape out the seeds, then shake the tomato out in the can liquid until the seeds dislodge. I put the cleaned tomato into the soup pot. After doing this with all the tomatoes, I pour the can water through a sieve and use a wooden spoon to moosh any leftover tomato bits through, while keeping the seeds out. It's labour intensive, but it's worth it.
  3. Add everything into the soup pot and blend using an immersion blender BEFORE TURNING ON THE STOVE. Unless you want to splash molten soup all over yourself.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the flavours are blended to your liking.
  5. If you're not too picky, the soup is more or less good to go. If you're going for the the smoothest soup in the world, push the soup through a super-fine drum sieve, which will take about 10-15 minutes of active stirring, but will result in a velvety, bright texture. 
  6. At this point, I added some water to thin it out a bit and to dilute the soup, since it was very strong in flavour.

There it is, a very bright, tasty soup that will have guests asking "what... what exactly is in this?", but in a good way!