Recap: Goodfood #19

Goodfood

Welcome back to another recap for Goodfood!

We’ve been ordering these boxes at quite regular intervals. Its nice to see that this time’s menu actually reflects quite a bit on the warmer weather and gives us a very nice summer vibe. These recipes are on the more time-consuming side though as they estimate approximately 40-45 minutes for each of these and we usually always surpass that time.

Let’s just get right into it.

Enchiladas Verdes with Zucchini, Rice & Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

enchiladas verdes enchiladas verdes

I haven’t had enchiladas for pretty much as long as my lactose-intolerance relapsed back in 2008 or something. I still remembering loving them whenever we went to Mexican restaurants with my friends back in college. This one is a little different as its our vegetarian meal of the box. I don’t usually start with the vegetarian meal however, I was tight on time and this was the easier one to put together. It also had an ingredient that I’ve never used before: Tomatillo. A fun little one to put together. There is a decent amount of chopping but putting it together was quite fun. It yielded 6 enchiladas so we made them in two separate oven pans. Mine excluded all dairy products, which means no sour cream mix for the rice and not cotija cheese on top. My husbands had everything as it should be. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this recipe but it turned out to be quite tasty. Not too crazy about the tomatillo salsa but the wrap itself (which is what it is without the Mexican parts was really fresh and delicious.

Mojito Chicken with Crispy Rice & Chayote-Mango Salad

mojito chicken

One of the more unique recipe ideas from Goodfood has to go to transforming mojito to clash with a chicken dish. I get the concept behind it but I wasn’t quite sold. It didn’t help that they gave a mango that was over-ripe for a crunchy salad texture. It was mushy and in the end, I actually put it aside from just eating by itself. At the same time, I’ve had a traumatizing chayote cutting experience last year so I had my husband do that part since apparently my hands (and it happens to a lot of people) react to the chayote when you cut it and it dried out my skin and I just start peeling so its best to use gloves when you cut them as precaution. And they suggested to not cook it, which I didn’t like the idea of seeing as my hands didn’t like it, imagine my mouth, right? So we ended up grilling it a little so changed the recipe up for ourselves. I like chayote when its done good and it was pretty good, the crispy rice had a good idea but not sure in execution it worked as well and the best part did go to the chicken itself as it got infused with various mojito-ish flavors and the spices worked well. A little disappointing but it had some good elements and cool ideas.

Miso Butter Pork with Red Rice & Yu Choy

miso butter pork

And we present to you the highlight of the box and also my experiemental choice which turned out to have some really nice trick up their sleeves. Miso in anything usually is a really salty idea. So I went light on the salt and pepper in general for this one. If I remember correctly, the rice had garlic and then had mirin and sesame oil added to it afterwards which adds a lot of nice flavors to it. There was some cool marinated apples on the top also with mirin and vinegar and sesame oil (maybe). Which made everything very marinated and helps that the pork was only cooked with salt and pepper and not some special spice. The Miso Butter element was really just the sauce that was poured over it. I could definitely have lowered the salt a little bit more however, it still was really delicious. I only ever use mirin when I get these boxes and I’m not sure using sesame oil on rice is a good long-term eating habit plan but every once in a while, its a pretty nice touch.

BBQ Pork Burgers with Crispy Onions & Garlic-Butter Corn

bbq pork burger

Onto my husband’s time in the kitchen as he makes delicious burgers. He took over while I did gardening so I actually have no idea how any of this recipe works. I can tell you that this burger buns were better than the last one we had. The patty was also quite delicious. The garlic-butter corn was really good also. Crispy onions do add a nice little bite to the burger as well. This one was a pretty decent success. We don’t eat pork burgers a lot, mostly because I never think about ground pork but its a nice change from beef. Our second fave of the box for sure!

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
Next one is the 20th recap and while I debated to stop doing it, I have so much fun sharing these cooking experiences.

Any of these recipes appeal to you?

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Recap: Goodfood #17

Goodfood

Time for last week’s Goodfood recap!

Shrimp Sushi Bowl
with Seared Edamame, Cucumber & Carrots

Shrimp Sushi Bowl

Shrimp Sushi Bowl was the meal I looked forward to the most in this box. Everything worked pretty well. Making the carrots was a bit of a pain but it still tasted fairly decent. However,  there’s something that just didn’t seem to be absolutely awesome. Although, my favorite part is the seared edamames. Oh boy, those were so tasty. I would definitely try to see where I can find it soon and sear some to eat.

Honey-Dijon Chicken
with Zuchinni Slaw & Orzo

honey dijon chicken

Orzo and Chicken and honey-dijon are all super awesome for this meal. I didn’t try out the zucchini slaw since I don’t eat raw foods but my husband liked it quite a bit for the freshness and the crunchy taste of everything. The best part of this meal was how simple it was to make. It estimated about 20 minutes and did take about 30 minutes for myself since I’m slow at grating food. It just hows how recipes don’t need to be over complicated to taste good.

Roasted Chicken Thighs
with Root Vegetables & Fennel Slaw

roasted chicken thighs

Double chicken menus are always welcome in our household. When its a one pan solution, it gets even better. The only deal here was that I had put the lemon juice on the dish at the end and boy was it overpowering the dish. Maybe it was because I let it sit too long before eating it for lunch. However, it still worked well for what it was. The spices were really good and it had a nice balance between veggies and meat. I’ve realized that this is one of the few ways I do enjoy eating fennel so this one is a decent win.

Mosto Cotto-Glazed Pork Chops
with Millet, Kohlrabi & Dried Cranberry Salad

mosto cotto-glazed pork chops

The final meal of the box was the one that we weren’t too sure about. We do love pork chops but didn’t really know what Mosto Cotto is. However, this one turned out quite tasty. The millet, kohlrabi and dried cranberry salad turned out to be pretty good as well with a nice crunch. My husband wanted more walnuts but the balance was all there. This was a good meal also.

Overall, this box was pretty good. It didn’t have anything that particularly blew our minds but a lot of the flavors were there and it was all fairly efficient meals. Ticks the boxes I like about getting these boxes. Some new ingredients that we’ve never tried out also which is also part of the experience and why we keep getting it.

Battle of Ingredients #7: Easter/Spring Edition

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next Battle of Ingredients. My co-host Starry Traveler Phoebe and I gathered this time with friends for a little Easter/Spring celebration.

Heres what we did!

Wine

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Tonight’s wine from our friends is the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. It was light and sweet. A more in depth talk will be in the wine recap next month.

Main Meals

Lamb Chops – Phoebe

Lamb Chops

Phoebe gets the big task of taking care of the meat dish this time around. We did research and realized that Easter usually revolves around ham or lamb and after some talk, she decided to take on making lamb chops. They were marinated and topped with salt and various herbs. It took about 2 hours to cook in the oven.

This one turned out pretty good. It wasn’t cooked through but I’ve had chops before and they usually aren’t plus it was marinated and seasoned just enough to have a lovely taste.

Ratatouille – Kim

Ratatouille

Recipe via Pinterest: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5312-ratatouille?epik=0DYovE_IWH0tx

Trying out a quick one pot ratatouille this time as our primary vegetable dish. I followed the recipe above fairly closely. Eggplants aren’t in season right now so they were hard to find good ones. So the portion for that was a little less. However, this ratatouille was both easy to make and tasted pretty good. I may have overcooked it a little and it would have benefited from having some pasta or something to serve with. In comparison to the original, I think I skimped out on diced tomatoes a little. Everything’s a learning curve and I certainly had fun making this one and would try it again particularly using a pot this time instead of a pan since there is a lot of vegetables to add in so it started getting a little crowded and that affected the cooking time.

The better version would be to slice everything thinly and then organize it and pop it into the oven to cook. Perhaps a future trial.

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes – Kim

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe: https://veganinthefreezer.com/dairy-free-herbed-scalloped-potatoes/

Next up is something of a side thing which was the scalloped potatoes. I recently made scalloped potatoes for a Goodfoods box and thought about it for this meal as a dairy-free style and found the recipe above on Pinterest. Scalloped Potatoes were done in the afternoon in advance as to free up the oven space and then reheated. We used a mandoline to quicken the process. We used some unsweetened almond milk (unfortunately, I only had the vanilla flavor) and we took a chance with it to see if it would affect the taste. It did still have a slight vanilla flavor which felt a little weird but overall, the texture is still there. I’d redo this one with the herbs (as the recipe above indicated but I didn’t have any this time around) and also with some unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. We only ended up with one portion left over so I’d say it had a decent result.

Dessert

Marshmallow Wands – Kim

Marshmallow Wands

Recipe: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/springtime-marshmallow-wands/

The ideas I went through for the dessert was numerous but with the two dishes above, I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went with these springtime marshmallow wands which is basically skewering three marshmallows and then coating them with dark chocolate and adding sprinkles then letting the chocolate harden. Its times like these that I wish I knew how to temper chocolate before coating it so that it would have that lovely crunch when you bit into it. Anyways, I am still learning and these did turn out really great. I know that the coating could have been better but I learned a lot from this recipe as simple as it may seem. Marshmallows and dark chocolate is just yummy! It is a little on the sweet side so I only made enough so everyone had one.

This wraps up this Easter/Spring edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Not quite sure what is next one but might be a spring Farmer’s Market edition for 2018.
Its still in discussion right now 😉

Do you celebrate Easter and what foods do you make?

Goodfood Recap#16

Goodfood

Last week’s Goodfood box was quite a few cool menus and the first time we went with a repeat. We actually love the menu so much that we forgot to take the picture again before chomping it all down. Either way, we took the picture from the last time we cooked  the meal. We will talk more about it.

Let’s check out last week’s meals!

Marinated Salmon & Noodle Stir-fry
with Yuzu Sauce, Baby Bok Choy & Snow Peas

Marinated Salmon

We always opt for fish dishes when we can since fish in general is so expensive to buy. This one turned it pretty well. Its a stir-fry so already guaranteed to be pretty simple to put together. The preparation wasn’t too long either and it was just a bit stir together in the pan when all the elements were done. We always love the added sesame seeds to a dish. It adds a nice little bit texture to the dish. I can’t say I love this recipe but it definitely wins on being easy to put together. Its always great to learn what ingredients to put together a nice little stir-fry and this one is a solid choice (especially since there was recently a sale on salmon and we have some frozen and to be eaten soon).

Ancho Chicken Taco
with Beet-Cabbage Slaw & Toasted Pepitas

ancho chicken tacos

My husband apparently doesn’t know how to put together a taco and assembled a quesadilla resemblance thing here and ate it like a sandwich. I only took a bite from this meal since I had some other food that I needed to eat but from the bite, its a pretty decent meal even if its not wrapped into a taco style. Its fairly simple to put in and didn’t take too much time. I’m not sure about the ancho part of the thing though but thats just my personal preference. My husband absolutely loved it.

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich
with Sundried Tomato Hummus

ratatouille sandwich

The repeat meal of our box goes to this fantastically delicious vegetarian sandwich called the Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich. Its packed with flavors from the sweet peppers to the tangy cherry tomatoes and then rounded off with a sundried tomato hummus. Its really a lovely sandwich. The last time was actually my husband who put together a lot of it and this time, I took my shot at it until I went to toast the buns and then burnt them a little. Still, its one that I’d definitely make again. Its truly fantastically delicious!

Peanut Butter Dumplings
with Sesame Green Beans

peanut butter dumplings

The recipe says that I wasn’t supposed to fold the dumplings this way but this is the way I know how to fold them since I was little so I kept to my own methods. My husband did the cooking and didn’t read the instructions very well for the dumplings so ended up pan-frying all sides when it was supposed to fry at the bottom then steam in the pan to cook the dumpling wrapper. Either way, it still tasted really great. Other than the vegetarian filling taste really awesome, the peanut butter sauce was super delicious. We actually loved it so much that we kept the leftover and cooked some veggies with it the next day and it turned out really well since the peanut butter dissolves pretty much but the taste retains itself. I loved this one a lot.

Overall, this box turned out very good. Two vegetarian meals and both of them were my faves in this box.

Dinner: One Pan Chicken & Veggies

My baking and foods section is now primarily dominated by Battle of Ingredients and Goodfood recaps and that is generally the moments in life I try new things. But, this past weekend was my husband’s birthday so since we’ve had a lot of expenses (and I did buy him more than usual Boxing Day hauls), I took it simple and took care of all the cooking this weekend. We did have some other experiences where we had to finish up leftovers from the week and went out with friends, but I ended up trying out three new recipes and this first one was a simple and efficient dinner meal: One Pan Chicken & Veggies.

One Pan Chicken & Veggies

One Pan Chicken and Veggies

Original recipe used as guidance via Pinterest: https://natashaskitchen.com/2015/11/23/one-pan-chicken-and-vegetables-recipe/

Ingredients

3 pieces boneless chicken thighs, sliced in thirds
1 tsp Piri Piri spices
1.5 lbs baby potatoes, halved
1 lb Nantes carrots, halved lengthwise
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chicken thighs with the piri piri spices. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate while preparing the vegetables.
  3. Take a large cookie sheet and line with aluminum foil (or parchment paper and if you don’t mind the mix, you can just grease the pan with oil). Combine veggies in a medium (or large) bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss. You can also toss in the lined cookie sheet with your hands, its your preference and saves on an extra bowl to wash. Pour the veggies into the cookie sheet, parting them in half so the middle third of the pan is reserved for the chicken.
  4. Take the chicken from out of the fridge and place it down the center of the cookie sheet in the reserved place mentioned before.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then take it out to turn the veggies and the chicken and put back for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure your chicken is cooked through, to be sure the internal temperature should reach 165F and juices run clear.

We definitely changed up the recipe from the original quite a bit. I needed a recipe really to figure out around what temperature to bake the whole pan at and for how long. Chicken is one of the meats you can’t eat raw so that was pretty important. This is a very simple meal and you can switch the spices around to what you like and use whatever veggies you like. In my opinion, potatoes and carrots are pretty tough to cook through so other veggies should turn it decent. We also make zucchini in a pan on the side as well since we needed to it those. It saves on dishes and is a simple preparation and cooking method which leaves time to take care of the dishes you worked with during the time (unless you have a dishwasher) and do other things during the wait time. I don’t think its necessary to turn the veggies and the chicken but I wanted to make sure that it would cook well on both sides. The chicken turns out very tender and not dry at all. I honestly improv-ed a lot of the dish so the spices and S&P quantity in the ingredient list might be a little off.

Have you tried One-Pan meals?
What do you like to cook?

Recap: Goodfood #15

Time for another Goodfood recap!

As I struggled with a few things last week, my husband was a major champ and came home from work and still helped me out with cooking the meal. Bad time management on my part due to little bit a temporary dose of depression and some stuff on my mind. Luckily, we did get through the week and the meals all turned out really well. A little mixed bag for this box.

Let’s check it out!

Haddock with Chermoula Mejadra & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

goodfood

First up is this lovely haddock. We are a big fan of trying out new types of fishes. I believe another box at haddock and we liked it. To be honest, we were slightly skeptical with this one but it was an absolute pleasant surprise. The rice was spiced wonderfully and there was a lot so we ended up making a fried rice with it for lunch. We learned how to make crispy onions in the pan and it turned out really delicious. My husband loves the smell of onion so he was elated. Not a whole lot of preparation and the first part is multitaskable which is always important. The final product was pretty delicious.

Spiced Maple-Lime Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Blistered Green Beans

goodfood

The highlight ingredient of this box to discover was maple butter which is in this menu. If you have gone to a sugar shack and had that dining experience, you come to expect these bold sweet flavors on anything with maple. In this one, it was a nice subtle flavor that complemented the chicken really well. The mashed sweet potato was tasty to balance out the meal and the green beans gave it a lovely veggie crunch. This one was one of our faves in this box for sure!

Szechuan Eggplant & Tofu with Jasmine Rice

goodfood

This was our vegetarian pick of the week and also the Chinese dish. Its a tad spicy but the chili did have its seed taken out so automatically that helps a ton. My husband isn’t a big fan of tofu or eggplant. This one uses a firmer tofu and fries it so it had a lovely taste and texture. This dish came together much better than I expected and other than eating it all in one go felt like my mouth was on fire (just because I don’t eat spicy stuff a lot), this one is was pretty good.

Ground Beef Pizza with Crispy Kale

goodfood

Finally, we ended with the ground beef pizza. This one did get a advisory recall on the beef afterwards but we cook our beef well done all the time and nothing happened for us. This pizza though is the highlight of the box. We loved every element of it from the simple tomato sauce to the nicely seasoned ground beef onto a crispy kale to top it off. It was awesome. My husband had it with the cheese and my side was without and we both loved it the same.

Overall, this box was great. We were hesitant about the recipes we chose but they all turned out to be pleasant surprises. Our favorite was absolutely the ground beef pizza however, that maple butter was delicious with the chicken and the sweet potatoes. I’m definitely going to make more mashed sweet potatoes from now on.

Toronto 2018: Meals Recap!

Toronto is the closest haven for good Asian food. Of course, after last year’s success with Asian Legend for Drew, I started thinking up some spots to go to already. There were some changes in plans but in general, it all tastes pretty awesome and we had a few nice chats and some great drinks.

Lets check out where and what we ate!

Day 1 Dinner: Kinton Ramen, Markham

Kinton Ramen

Hogtown Ale, Sake Mojito and Bamboo

Kinton Ramen

Chicken Ramen

On the day we arrived in Toronto and even the day after, we had still some snowfall and what beats winter like eating some hot ramen. It helps that my husband was so excited to go. And when we got there and they had the whole Yakuza game soundtrack sort of music blasting, it was super good for everyone’s mood.

Day 2: Moxie’s Grill and Bar at CF Fairview

Moxie's

Moxie's

Starters: Sushi Cones

Moxie's

Half rack ribs

Hunger after a long day at the zoo and then some shopping took us to a more convenient location at the mall. We have had Moxie’s before in Markham and Vancouver and both experiences either left us with a sour taste from bad service or kind of average food for the price tag. The one at this Fairview mall however gets a thumbs up in both categories. It had some delicious food and pretty decent drinks.

Day 3: Korean Grill House in Markham

Korean Grill House

Cherry Blossom (Gin + Orange Juice)

Korean Grill House

Special Bibimbap (Spicy)

Korean Grill House

Chicken Bibimbap

The original plan was to do the whole Korean grill experience since my  husband hasn’t tried it before but since we were all fairly tired after EGLX, we ended up just going with some bibimbap. I personally love it a lot but wasn’t feeling quite as hungry so just took the chicken bibimbap. In the afterthought, I probably should have gotten beef but it still tasted fantastic. There was a choice to add on the spicy sauce but I didn’t take any. My husband on the other hand took the special bibimbap which had chicken, shrimp and beef and also added in one spoon of the spicy sauce.

Day 4 Brunch: Ding Tai Fung Restaurant

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Soup-filled Steam Dumplings

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Rice

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Ding Tai Fung Markham

Fried Pork Buns

To wrap things up, we went for a lovely little brunch at Ding Tai Fung for a little dim sum. Of course, there was no denying the soup-filled steamed dumplings because they are my faves. We also ordered a few other dumplings and such from the menu as well as a fried rice to wrap it all up. Everything still takes very good. I haven’t been here in 2 to 3 years and its nice to see the food quality still very much the way I remembered it.

Overall, a great foodie trip (as much as it was everything else)! 
We had some nice chats and tried some nice cocktails and beers.
Awesome company usually makes it even better!

Toronto still has lots of great food that we’re going to be trying out soon (or next year)!
The recap of our two main highlights of the trip are coming up!