Goodfood Recap #33

goodfood

After an over-extended break from Goodfood, we finally got back to one of these boxes. It was a huge help to get back to cooking some Goodfood meals especially with some cool new recipes to try out. They all looked very delicious so I was excited to give all of these a go.

Let’s check it out!

Shrimp Ramen
with Quick-Pickled Ginger, Spinach & Mushrooms

Shrimp Ramen

Seafood meals are always the first to be done. Its been a while we’ve done anything with shrimp. Its winter and ramen is a great option as a nice cozy food to warm up. Another really great about both shrimp and ramen and spinach because these foods all cook very quick so its a nice efficient meal. The only thing here that needed a different pot was to make the pickled ginger which is also a fairly easy thing to do also. In terms of taste, the broth here is what stands out. The pickled ginger has always been the portion of these meals that I don’t quite care for. Everything else from the fresh ramen to all the flavors here is pretty good.

Polenta-Crusted Chicken Breasts
with Endive-Spinach Salad & Honey-Herb Dressing

polenta-crusted chicken

I don’t normally make food thats heavy on the crusting and stuff. So, its a nice little change in pace to do this one. What really adds to this is that its actually pretty easy to put together. Plus for something with both the oven roasted and frying in pan, everything times together really well to do simultaneously and not feel too rushed. However, I didn’t actually try the salad on the side. It does look fresh and good, plus it uses endives which I’ve only ever cooked with once and still wondering how to incorporate it into other meals when possible.

Agedashi Tofu & Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
Garlic-Furikake Green Beans, Daikon & Rice

Agedashi Tofu

I’ve only had Agedashi Tofu in restaurants. In my memory, it uses the softer tofu than the one used in this recipe. However, it is a fun little one to put together as well. On top of that, I’m a big fan of daikon but never know how to make it so this is a lovely way to do it especially since the seasoning in the rice as well also makes it mega delicious. I really liked this one a lot. Agedash Tofu’s magic is also in the sauce and this one is very similar to the Japanese restaurant around my area. Not my habit to cook a lot of Japanese food at home except with these boxes, however, its a nice change in pace from the normal. I’m probably going to make the rice, daikon and green beans outside of the box and make the fried tofu instead of the agedashi one though.

Spiced Pork Bowl
with Blistered Cherry Tomato & Pepita Salsa over Red & White Quinoa

Spiced Pork Bowl

The last meal we made was this bowl. We always love to make bowls because they are so convenient to put together. Credit goes to my husband for putting this together on the weekend when I had to go to work for some overtime and it turned out to be the star of the box for myself. The pork had delicious seasoning. The crunchiness of the lettuce and the acidity of the cherry tomatoes plus the quinoa blend all matched together so awesomely. I ended up eating both of the meals for dinner and lunch the next day. That is how good it is. Definitely one that I’m going to try to make on my own time.

Overall…this week was pretty good.
It had a lot of fun meals with all kinds of different spices and meats. 
Also, all the meals were within the 30 minutes cooking mark so efficiency also gets it some points.
My favorite goes to the Spiced Pork Bowl but everything was really good this time. 

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Battle of Ingredients: New Year’s Eve Hot Pot

BATTLE OF INGREDIENTS

It seems we do about 6 Battles a year looking at things to land on our 12th session for NYE Hot Pot in our second year of Battle of Ingredients. We are definitely getting more organized, I can tell you that much. Most of the time, things don’t happen because we are busy with one thing or another with life. 2018 wrapped up in style with ourselves doing a New Year’s Eve Hot Pot session. There isn’t really much to talk about usually but here’s a little sharing on the stuff I put together and other vegetables and noodles we used.

Wines

Wines

We actually only got to drinking the J.P. Chenet Rose Sparkling Wine. It was a nice match for the meal. We mixed up some drinks for the rest of the evening with some people spiking their soda with tequila or Rum and Coke and myself, I had some Cranberry Ginger Ale spiked with Irish Whiskey or Apricot Brandy.

Hot Pot

Hot Pot

Our division of tasks for this battle of ingredients were Phoebe with the vegetables, fruits and other things necessary like noodles and she prepared a soup base (which we didn’t end up using because of technical difficulties she is still thinking about).

Hot Pot

She brought:

  • Bok Choy
  • Chinese Broccoli
  • Enoki Mushrooms
  • Udon Noodles
  • Konnyaku Noodles
  • Egg Tofu
  • Apples and Oranges

I took care of meats and dessert. I forgot to take a picture of everything so forgive the incomplete bits.

Dumplings Pork Balls

  • Pork Balls (Homemade with minced lean ground pork and garlic seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • Dumplings (Homemade with the same as the previous and store-bought wonton wrappers)
  • Sliced Chicken breast seasoned with sesame oil, salt and pepper
  • Store bought Frozen fondue beef slices
  • Fish Tofu (from my mom)

Pumpkin Cookies

As for dessert, I had some dough left from the previous potluck so made some more Pumpkin Cookies.

Also bought:

  • Marshmallows
  • Lindt Dark Chocolate
    • 70% Madagascar
    • Swiss Dark

For soup bases, we had a divided pot borrowed from my mom. One side was with water and all the flavoring was from the ingredients added in while the other part was diluted Chicken Broth.

The hot pot went really well. Phoebe and I did most of the cooking and allocated food to everyone around the table. There’s always the worry of not having enough food and it all worked out. We even had leftovers. Definitely something to consider for the winter months to do as it makes it a lot simpler and actually quite nice to explore what ingredients to use and soup bases to make and such. It is an idea that we can discuss further to change things up just like how we slot in BBQ during the summer.

Recap: Goodfood #27

goodfood

Welcome to the next recap of Goodfood for last week’s box! One repeat and a few that sounded pretty good. Bowls usually are surprisimg winners, burgers always have a nice twist and well, sometimes meatballs and couscous are the simple combo that we need.

Grilled Tofu Dragon Bowls
with multicolored carrots, snow peas & red rice

grilled tofu dragon bowl

Tofu isn’t our cooking specialty so a lot of it is either at my mom’s or when we get a Goodfood box. My husband isn’t a huge fan of it either. We ended up getting this because we have loves past meals in bowls. Granted, usually it is something I have generally tried before and this one, I haven’t. However, the tofu and the red rice is super nice. The sauce here is amazing. My only issue was the raw veggies which I went ahead to cook because I had a part of it raw and honestly didn’t enjoy it at all. I’ve always liked my vegetables cooked so that is honestly a personal preference.

Chicken Yakitori
with roasted carrots, chinese broccoli & miso butter

Chicken Yakitori

The repeat here is this chicken yakitori which still remains as delicious as what I remember. On top of that, I always forget to do it for the Battle of Ingredients but the recipe calls for roasting chinese broccoli in the oven and the leaves turns out like making kale chips. It comes out some delicious flavors and its mostly seasons with salt and pepper which is all very awesome. Plus, Jasmine rice is my favorite variety of rice so everything here really justifies why I like this meal a lot and enjoy making it also.

Paprika-Garlic Chicken Sandwiches on Pretzel Buns
with horseradish mayonnaise & green salad

paprika-garlic chicken sandwich

The husband took care of this meal and the next. Its been a crazy week for us so these meals had a lot of it just being myself eating it and him only tasting it. I’m not going to lie that I ended up skipping most of the salad because of the horseradish. They gave a warning of the spiciness of it and washing hands afterwards. Luckily, my husband put together only a little bit of horseradish so it worked really well without burning my mouth. The chicken spicing with the paprika and garlic is really delicious. I’m adding this recipe to my chicken burgers ideas whenever we ever think about it and want to change up from beef.

Pork Meatballs & Roasted Vegetables
with wild jungle peanuts & lemon balm couscous

pork meatballs & roasted vegetables

Finally, we wrap up with the pork meatballs and roasted vegetables on couscous. I have to say that the entire meal here is pretty well balanced. The tomatoes add a more acidic taste as tomatoes usually do with their more sour flavor but it works to give a lot of balance with the other vegetables added in here. The highlight here is the wild jungle peanuts which are specially picked from some region (Amazon, maybe? I can’t remember…) but taste pretty much like a peanut. The couscous is my issue as I had to pick out  the lemon balm because it was just too much in it and was so strong. Other than that, this was a pretty decent meal. I just need to remember to cut the onions into smaller pieces so the meatballs don’t have such coarse onions, making it stand out a ton. However, the spices are quite delish.

Overall, this was a pretty decent box. I liked everything fairly well. There were some issues here and there that makes me say that I love it with the obvious exception of the Chicken Yakitori. One more box next week and then we made the decision to drop the meal boxes to monthly basis for a while so we clear up some of our frozen meats in the freezer and eat some garden veggies from our garden and my mom’s garden, which she’s been sharing with us.

Restaurant: Congee Queen (Thornhill, Ontario, Canada)

I always talk about Asian cuisine after going to Toronto. Its usually the closest place with good Chinese cuisine in particular since to be honest, Montreal has a lot of great restaurants but Chinese cuisine itself is a bit lacking. Its why I tend to avoid it whenever given the option. Sad, because I do truly love Chinese food. I mean, its not hard to imagine seeing as I am Chinese and my mom makes about the best Chinese food in town or its my best friend who also is a master in the kitchen.

Not surprising that the rare time that we all end up in Toronto for a wedding, we meet up for a dinner the night before to hang out. We never do double dates much seeing as we all have funky work schedules and commitments so this was a great time to catch up and have fun.

We lived at the Courtyard Marriott in Thornhill and right next door was the flagship store of Congee Queen. Let’s check it out!

Congee Queen

Congee Queen

Dinner Selections

Congee Queen

Crab Meat & Vegetarian Shark Fin served with Conpoy Rice in Chicken Broth

My best friend was the one who ordered this meal. She wanted to give this a try mostly for the vegetarian shark fin. It actually had a really  nice flavor. The textures are all there and the chicken broth was nice. I was originally worried that it would be too strong like on the salty side as broth sometimes tends to be, but it wasn’t like that.

Congee Queen

General Tao Chicken Rice

My husband mostly focused on eating this meal. General Tao is very much non-traditional Chinese food however, I don’t usually fuss over these things. My husband thought it was good although he did end up not eating all the huge pieces of chili peppers because those were really intense.

Congee Queen

Snow Pea Leaves with King Mushroom

One of my choices for the evening was this snow pea tips with oyster mushrooms. I think my description is the correct one but the one in the description is the one that is shown on the menu in case you ever want to get it at this restaurant. The season for snow pea tips is a little bit past so it was expected that they were more old in texture so it was more stiff and chewy. The mushrooms are always a nice alternative. I actually eat more of these types of mushrooms in Goodfood boxes and I really like them a lot. This veggie plate is a win. If we had it back in April when the snow pea tips were in season, then it would have been perfect.

Congee Queen

Pork Rib with Onion on Sizzling Hot Plate

The second dish that I picked was pork ribs. This is a pretty traditional dish at least for myself when we went to Chinese restaurants when I was younger. I don’t go to Chinese restaurants as much mostly because Montreal cuisine isn’t great but Toronto is a different story so I was excited to see how they would prepare this. This one was okay. I think we all agreed that it tasted okay but it was nothing too fancy and felt a little overpriced.

Congee Queen

Fried Eggplant, Minced Pork with Spicy Sauce

My best friend’s second choice was this dish which is an uber traditional Chinese dish. I was pretty full so I didn’t eat a whole lot of this one but it was fairly good. I’m not a huge eggplant eater but I do appreciate its health properties so I try to eat it more often and learn to appreciate it. This one was slightly spicy also.

Congee Queen had some pretty delicious meal. It does some cool dishes and sometime switches up some traditional meals to something of of a fusion of sorts. I do think that for the experience, it is a little bit more pricier than I would want to pay. I don’t mind so much paying for good food if there is something original but for the portion size and the price of some of the very common dishes, it definitely felt not exactly equal. Luckily, I am visiting and I don’t like Montreal chinese food so I didn’t mind it so much.

With that said, I am aware that for a congee restaurant, I didn’t have congee. We did have dinner but next time, if I was going for brunch or lunch, then that would absolutely make an appearance. Suffice to say, despite little things, Congee Queen is a place that I would go again when I head down to Toronto again.

Goodfood Recap #24

Goodfood

Back to back weeks going on. Sorry for the delay. We’ve actually been really behind in cooking in general but we finally did finish up this box.

Do note that due to various reasons, we are again decreasing the frequency of Goodfood boxes. With our schedule, its actually becoming more of an inconvenience plus, we just can’t seem to decide on some of the recipes so we altogether decided to let some weeks by. It all works for the better financially also since these boxes are convenient but as we all know, convenience usually comes at a price. And well, July and August have been quite taxing on the wallet so we have to make our necessary cuts.

Without further ado, lets check out last week’s box!

Salmon Burgers
with Remoulade, Red Cabbage Slaw & Roasted Potato Fries

salmon burgers

My husband is a burger fan and we usually tend to try out the burger recipes. I can tell you that salmon burgers aren’t quite our cup of tea. We love salmon but as burgers and with this remoulade, it just wasn’t up our alley. The best part of all this was the roasted potato fries and well, you will see that its quite a frequent appearance in the meals we have been choosing. I’m sure salmon burgers are good for some people but a mix of factors here just didn’t work for us.

Spiced Chicken
with Bell Pepper & Cucumber Coucous Salad

spiced chicken

You can’t go wrong with chicken. Over and over its been proved to be right. It has been a while since we’ve had a couscous meal so this was really fresh to have the bell pepper and the cucumber with the salad. The chicken spices were really good. Its a simple meal but very delicious.

Grilled Greek Chicken
with Prune & Cerignola Olive Sauce, Roasted Potatoes & Arugula-Almond Salad

grilled greek chicken

When I first looked at this recipe, I was starting to worry about the prunes and olives and the taste that it would give. Surprisingly, it works really well. The potatoes were good, The chicken spices were simple and the prune and olive sauce worked so well with everything. My only issue is that it had arugula and I’m just not a big fan. Luckily, whatever was left over, my husband cooked the salad and paired it with another meal afterwards.

Pork-Lemongrass Skewers
with Crispy Rice & Bok Choy Salad

pork lemongrass skewers

The highlight of this box for sure goes to these pork-lemongrass skewers. It caught my eye when I was choosing this as one of the recipes. All the cooking goes to my husband as I’ve been busy with Fantasia Festival so he’s been taking care of a lot of these things for me. Crispy rice has appeared a few times in recipes and they are really good. The skewers and pork lemongrass is really tasty and there’s ginger in there that subtly was setting my mouth on fire and I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. My husband cooked the salad instead of leaving it raw which I love because while I’m slowly getting back to eating raw vegetables, I do like it cooked.

Overall, a pretty decent box. There was some surprises like the prune and olive sauce for the chicken.
Some things delivered like the pork-lemongrass skewers but of course, there was also the disappointing salmon burger. 

Which meal caught your eye in this box?

Recap: Goodfood #22

A little bit behind schedule for last week’s Goodfood. We only made the final meal for yesterday’s lunch. Luckily, it was a box full of relatively quick meals, which always helps on busy weeks to be healthy and not have to carve out huge amounts of time to cooking.

Contrary to the last box, this one was all about new recipes and exploring some new foods. Its an adventure that we love. We are skipping the next two weeks of boxes so maybe I’ll whip up some fun meal to explore. There has been a few recipes I’ve been eyeing.

Let’s not go off on another tangent and take a look at what was on the last week’s menu!

Summer Shrimp Rolls
With Green Peas, Tarragon and Lemony Cabbage slaw

So…nice way to start this but we forgot to take pictures of the meal before eating it. It happens that we forget every once in a while.

Summer Shrimp Rolls are pretty good. They were pretty easy to do and the flavors are really distinctive. I liked it a decent amount. When I first looked at everything, I couldn’t imagine how it would work together but it actually does go well together. They had an overflown looking rolls so we put as much as we saw fit and I ate the rest on the side which worked well also.

Steaks with Roasted Tomato Chimichurri
& Spinach-Potato Salad

steaks chimichurri

I feel like the constant topic of these menus are changing it up to my own beliefs. I’m not claiming to be better or more knowledgeable than the Goodfood chefs. I followed everything here almost to a T, except for the spinach-potato salad. I served that separated because the roasted potatoes turned out so great that if I were to add the washed (meaning wet) spinach to it, it would just make it soggy and counteract the time it had in the oven and lose the texture and flavor. Its my opinion of it and I liked it. The cut of the beef was quite thick and since I’m not the usual steak cooker at home, I had to put it back on the stove after slicing it to give it a more done cut. We don’t like seared meats and more leaning on the well done or Medium done at the minimum. The roasted potatoes is great and the chimichurri spices are awesome!

BBQ Pork Tournedos
with Garlic Green Beans & Charred Scallion Rice

pork tournedos

The thick meat here also had a bit of problems for us. My husband took care of this meal. For him, it seemed to be fairly simple to do. I loved the charred scallion rice. I’m not much of a straight up strong scallion flavor person but the rice had this beautiful aroma that just made it taste super delicious. The garlic green beans are awesome. I think my husband added a little bit too much salt so its not the recipes fault. The salt and pepper seasoning is based on personal preference and our salt tolerance is pretty different since I eat fairly bland foods, according to other people. The tournedos were pretty good once we got the cooking done for it. I’ve never been a tournedo person. I would much rather just cook pork chops with a side of bacon, but then thats just me.

Fresh Dan Dan Noodles
with Ground Pork, Baby Bok Choy & Yu Choy

fresh dan dan noodles

There was a lot of hesitation for this one. My husband didn’t really want it. In the end, it didn’t matter because I ended up eating the two meals. A rarity with these boxes since usually I hit more menus that I can’t eat when they get here and changing it would just be a waste of time and ingredients. I hadn’t had dan dan noodles in a long while so I figured learning how to make it was cool, especially since its pretty simple to put together. It is a very efficient meals. I thought the bok choy and yu choy mixed together was great. The chinese five spices are always delicious and adding in that there was a good deal of sauce, even after reducing it, the noodles still had absorbed a bit of it and made everything taste really good.

Overall, it was a decent box.
We had a few tweaks here and there but it had alright dishes.

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?