Beef and Broccoli

This is a quick supper and has so much flavour…

First you will need:

  • 1 lb thin cut of beef sliced across the grain into strips
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda

I found the most amazing tip somewhere on the internet a while back. I usually don’t like beef strips because they often turn out tough and chewy, however, adding a tsp of basking soda to the marinade makes all of the difference. The beef is tender, soft and absolutely perfect! However, very important.. don’t leave it in the marinade for more than 30 min!!

While the beef is marinating, make the sauce and prepare 4-5 cups of broccoli florets.

For the sauce

  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp Tamari
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp water

Add an 1-2 inches of oil to your wok for deep frying, and in batches, deep fry the beef for about a minute until golden brown and set aside.

When the beef is done, pour all but about 2 tsp of oil out of the wok and heat back up…

To the hot wok add 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced and one chopped onion and stir fry until the onion is translucent.

Add the brocoli and cook until it has changed colour but is still has crunch to it.

Add the sauce to the broccoli and cook down for a min or two and then thicken the sauce with a mix of 2 tsp of cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water…

Add the beef and you are done…

You can serve this on rice, as I believe most people do, but we like it on its own…

Beef and Broccoli

Dehydrated Curried Lentil Soup

Let me say this first, I don’t like Lentils.

I mean… at all.. but I do want to like them.

They are cheap, they are filling and they are healthy (and how can I call myself a hippie if I don’t eat lentils!) but each time I tried a recipe I ended up hating them even more.

A few weeks ago I picked up a bag of Lentils at the grocery store determined to try et least one more time.. this week I put Lentil soup on my meal plan.

Because the recipes that I have tried in the past never worked for me, this time I didn’t have a recipe, I didn’t have a guideline… I just decided to wing it… it worked. I loved this soup!

I used my pressure cooker to make the soup as I was in a bit of a rush and I will definitely be making it that way each time…

For the soup:

  • Chop up 1 Large onion and sauté in a bit of Olive oil.
  • Add a few minced garlic cloves
  • Add a few stalks of celery, a few carrots and a red pepper (all diced)
  • Cook down the veggies for a few minutes and add some salt and pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, oregano and basil and a few tsp of curry powder.
  • Add about 8-9 cups of stock (Veggie or Chicken)
  • Add 1 small can of tomato paste
  • Finally add in 2 cups of dried red Lentils

If using a pressure cooker, bring to a simmer, put the lid on, bring to pressure and cook for 20 min.

If using a pot, cook for about an hour or until the lentils have given up their shape and the soup is all creamy and thick.

Adjust seasoning to taste…

This was our meal last night and the leftovers were put away in the fridge. That is when the dehydrating idea came into play.

I am loving my dehydrator and have been wanting to try dehydrating soup that can then be powdered and reconstituted with hot water. Great for a quick meal, snack or for when we go camping…

Using the non-stick sheets in my dehydrator, I lathered about 1 1/2 cups of the thick soup onto the sheets about 1/4″ thick, making 6 trays of soup.

I put the dehydrator at the temp that I usually use for veggies and fruits, so quite warm, and after about 1-2 hours I started seeing the thinner parts were becoming very dry and crumbly. After about 6-7 hours all the trays were completely dry, even the thicker parts.

Dehydrated Curried Lentil soup

Dehydrated Curried Lentil soup

Next, I put all of the pieces in the Food processor and made it all into a powder…


Dehydrated Curried Lentil soupCurried Lentil soup powder

It was really that simple…

Of course we had to test it out. It took about 3-4 Tbsp of powder to get a good consistency in one cup of water… it is a bit thinner than the original soup, though I could be thicker if I used more powder, but the flavour was right on and Xavier brought it into the living room and ate it all up.. so it definitely got the thumbs up!

I am so happy that not only did I make a Lentil soup that I will be making again, but it also made a great instant meal for the whole family!


Meat and Sweet Potato pie

When I was in BC last year, Annie brought me to an amazing little restaurant in Prince-Rupert. On the menu was a “Cajun Pie” that was absolutely delicious. I asked what was in it and when I got home I took some of the flavours that I loved that were in it and made it my own… I have made it quite a few times now and finally wrote down the proportions to share…

Because the boys are mixed on “spicy” I found a way to have all the flavour without the spice. Of course, if you like it spicy, add some cayenne to the spice mix or right to your plate.

For 2 pies (one feeds our family and the other is lunch or frozen for an easy supper)

  • 3 lbs of ground pork
  • 1 large sweet Potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)

For the spice mix:

  • 3 Tbsp minced Garlic
  • Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp white pepper (not black pepper, the flavour of the white pepper is important)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (nutmeg/cinnamon/allspice/ginger/clove)
  • Crust for 2 pies

Mix all of the ingredients of the spice mix together to form a paste.

spice paste for Meat and sweet potato pie

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large pot, brown the meat and set aside. In the same pot as the meat was browned, add a bit of oil then add onion, sweet potatoes and red peppers and cook until soft. Add a bit of water to deglaze the bottom and then add the spice mix and add the meat back. Mix well so that all of the spices are incorporated and then make sure the seasoning is right by tasting.

Fill two pie dishes with the meat mixture, cover with pie crust and use a fork to pierce the pie all over. You can also put an egg wash over the crusts.

Bake for 45 min until Golden brown.

Meat and sweet potato pie

Uncle Marc’s Roasted Sirloin Tip…

In the past, on New Years day, we would head to my grandmother’s house and have supper there.

Every year my uncle would prepare a Roast Beef. I would sit in the kitchen and talk to him and watch him while the others sat in the living room. When I moved out on my own, I started to make his recipe and I have never looked back. It is not exactly his recipe anymore as it has evolved, and I have made it my own, but it is inspired from his…

This is meant for a Sirloin tip roast or simular. I’ll share my recipe for a rib roast soon…

Take the roast out of the Fridge at least an hour before you want to start roasting it.

In a small bowl combine…

  • Equal parts of Dijon Mustard and Butter. (about 1/3c of each)
  • Add a good dose of coarsely ground pepper (about 2 Tbsp)
  • A Tbsp of Kosher Salt if a bit more according to taste.
  • a Tbsp of Garlic powder

Then, add flour to the mixture until it becomes a thick paste and set aside.

Heat the oven to 500F

In a shallow pan, place some whole carrots on the bottom creating a rack and place the roast on the carrots.

If the roast has a fat layer, you want the fat side up.

Lather the mixture on top of the roast. (you can wet your hands to make this easier)

Sprinkle a bit more salt and pepper on top for good measure…

Place an oven proof thermometer in the roast for optimal results. It takes so much of the guess work out of the equation and the roast ends up perfect each time!

Place in the hot oven, let bake for 10 min at 500 and then put the temp down to 350. Bake until the roast is at the desired temp, not forgetting the temp will rise while sitting.(for a med-rare roast I take it out at 135F)

Let sit for 15-20 min before serving.

roast beef with dijon mustard crust

Serve with Mashed Potatoes and gravy (my favourite Red wine/Rosemary gravy recipe to come soon) for a perfect winter meal…

Split pea soup…

This is based on a Quebecois dish “Soupe aux pois” which is traditionally made with a ham bone, salt pork belly and yellow slit peas. I made a ham the night before and threw out the bone before I had the craving to make this soup, and I didn’t have/want the salt pork belly so I so just used a bit of leftover smoked ham, though you can leave that out also if you really wanted to but the smoky flavour really adds to this dish…

This is another of those very easy soups… though you do need to allow for a few hours of cooking…

First soak 2 cups of dried yellow slit pea in water for 1 1/2 hours…

Dried Split peas soaking

Chop up some leftover smoked ham (about 2 cups)

ham for soup

Celery (2 stalks)


Carrot (3)

with carrots

Then Chop up a large onion…

chopped onion

Drain the peas and you’re ready to assemble…

In a large soup pot with a bit of olive oil, Sauté the onion until translucent, season with a bit of salt and pepper, add the remainder of the ingredients and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer and let simmer for about 2 1/2 hours… the peas will fall apart on their own…

Adjust seasonings (I added about a tsp of garlic powder and 1/3 tsp of smoked paprika) and that’s it!

Of course I serve it with my homemade bread 🙂

Split-pea soup and homemade bread

Can you believe that I used to refuse to eat any kind of soup?

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