Pumpkin Brown Rice and Millet Congee with Shan Yao 南瓜山藥糙米與小米粥

Before the western style bakeries and American cereal boxes got popular, congee was definitely one of the breakfast staples in Taiwan. Not only did I grow up having it for breakfast regularly, but whenever my tummy was not well or when I got a cold, my mom would also make it for me. It can soothe the stomach and is easy to digest. Moreover, you can make it in your rice cooker without having to do much work! In fact, the congee recipe I made last year - Chinese Cabbage, Tomato, and Shiitake Congee, was something I made throughout a terrible flu! Since it's the cold season, I decided to do a new type of congee whose key ingredients are pumpkin and shan yao (山藥). Shan Yao is also called huai shan (淮山). It's a type of wild Chinese yam, that is very nourishing. It can be used to aide digestion, relieve a cough, boost the immune system, lower high blood pressure, and tonify the kidneys, among other things. In this recipe, I used puréed pumpkin, instead of pumpkin pieces, which gives a thick and creamy texture, as well as a beautiful orange fall colour! Make this congee when you're feeling a bit under the weather or when you need an easy, warming nutritious bowl!


Tofu & Acorn Squash Rice Casserole with Tomato Sauce 義式南瓜豆腐焗烤飯

When the leaves start falling, you know this is the time of the year that you begin to crave hot baked dishes. I love baked pasta, but I also enjoy making asian-inspired baked rice dishes like this one. 


Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Overnight Oat Smoothie 肉桂南瓜蘋果隔夜燕麥粥奶昔

My latest must-have has got to be overnight oat smoothies! I've been making overnight oats for many years now, but only recently did I think about blending it into a smoothie! The result is this luscious, thick texture, which I love, and it's much easier to eat and digest for your first meal of the day. For these reasons, it's great for both elderlies and kids, too. Besides the apple and pumpkin, there are plenty of other healthy ingredients such as turmeric, allspice, and nut butter. In addition, it's naturally sweetened by the apples, pumpkin, and dates without any sugar or sweeteners! If that weren't good enough, I also find that by using the combination of allspice and other spices, it almost achieves the taste of chai tea! Bringing more spices into our diet can be very beneficial for our health, too. So start your morning off with this yummy, nutritious smoothie, and taste all the comforting flavours of Fall!


Baked Pear & Ricotta Wonton Hand Pies with Rosemary and Chocolate 巧克力梨子奶油起司香酥派

Whenever I make Chinese wontons, I almost always have some extra wonton wrappers left. Of course, the simplest thing is to wrap them and store them in the freezer until the next use, but why not use them to make something completely different? Since pears abundant this time of the year, I thought they would make a perfect filling for the season. With the rosemary, it adds a fragrant woody aroma to make this dessert even more special, not to mention that it goes perfectly well with chocolate, too! There's no sugar, just a little maple syrup, and since it's not fried, you can pop as many as you wish without worrying about your health or feeling guilty. Next time you have some leftover wonton wrappers, turn them into this simple, yet sophisticated dessert!


Grilled Corn with Miso Butter, Scallions, and Nori 日式味噌烤玉米與海苔和七味粉

A few days ago I had a strange urge to make some miso grilled corn. Miso is one of the most used Japanese ingredients in my kitchen. Since it's salty, it always pairs well with something sweet. I know that there are quite a lot of variations on this recipe and most of them call for more butter than I personally would like. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE butter and I'm not vegan, but for health reasons, I generally try to cut it down as much as possible. I find that even with the small amount of butter I used here, the buttery flavour still comes though, and with the scallions, nori and a bit of Japanese spicy chili powder, it's absolutely scrumptious!


Sunny Peachy Ginger Smoothie 薑味桃子鮮果思慕昔

I love adding ginger to my drinks and to my cooking. The benefits of consuming ginger are many, such as reducing inflammation, boosting your immune system, maintaining normal blood circulation, helping nausea or indigestion, and more. There are just so many good reasons to not leave it out of your diet. The fresh ginger gives the drink a little zing to pick you up, while blending perfectly with the sweet peach.


Grilled Peach & Avocado Toast with Cheddar Cheese 焗烤酪梨桃子與巧達起司三明治

If you ask me what my favourite snack is of the season, I'll probably have to give it to this one! It's one of those recipes that was created when my fridge was sort of empty with a few left-over ingredients. You know how sometimes you're craving a snack during the day, but there's not much around to snack on, so you get really creative and throw anything you've got together? This was one of those cases! But it was so good that I've been making this every end of summer during the peach season, and now, you'll also be able to make it. It's slightly sweet and savoury at the same time, which makes a healthy and delicious snack or even breakfast. And because of that, kids will love it, too!


Grape & Olive Tea Sandwich with Dill 葡萄青橄欖與羊乳酪抹醬英式三明治

This recipe was the first time I tried this combination of toppings on bread, and just like the Strawberry & Radish Tea Sandwich, everyone seemed to really love it at our party! I used local Ontario blue grapes that I found here in season. They're a little smaller than regular grapes, which I thought would be kind of cute, but you can always substitute with regular grapes. With the lemony goat cheese spread and some dill on top, it was the perfect combination of salty-sweet.


Strawberry & Radish Tea Sandwich 草莓櫻桃蘿蔔與羊乳酪抹醬英式三明治

I made this sandwich when I had a little party a few weeks ago and it was very well-received! Not only does it look elegant, it's very simple and delicious at the same time! The creamy spread gives a little hint of lemon and goat cheese flavour, and it blends perfectly with the sweet strawberries and radishes!


Creamy Lemony Goat Cheese Spread 檸檬羊乳酪麵包抹醬

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure to host a little going away party for my dear friend. I could've made several big dishes and had everyone serve themselves, but I thought, why not make it an event that everyone would remember! I've always believed in expressing love and making lasting memories for others through food. It was my mom's cooking that taught me that. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, it kind of grew on me later.


La Crêperie de Josselin | 巴黎 - Josselin可麗餅餐廳

One of the foods that you must have when you go to France is crêpes! I've tried some when I was there in the past, but they weren't anything special, so I kind of gave up on it. However, I decided to make it my "mission" to find a good crêperie this time, and one of the places I came across in my research that looked worth trying was La Crêperie de Josselin.


Zucchini Noodles & Watermelon Salad with Lime, Chèvre, and Mint 青檸檬薄荷櫛瓜與西瓜沙拉

When the weather is warm, it's so nice to have a simple and cooling salad like this one. Get all your anti-oxidants and vitamins in no time. Plus, if you don't mind a little bit of crunchiness, the watermelon seeds will add some extra protein, oil, and fiber, too!


Japanese Cucumber & Radish Sunomono with Fava Beans and Wakame 日式涼拌小黃瓜沙拉佐蠶豆與海帶芽

This is a salad that I actually have been meaning to share with you for a long time! Thanks to my dear friend, who gave me these beautiful Japanese Koransha ceramic dishes last year, which gave me the idea to use them and write this recipe. It's one of my favourites and is something I make very often during the summertime. It's basically inspired by the traditional Japanese sunomono, which is often made with cucumbers or cucumber and wakame in vinegar and soy sauce. You can find it in most Japanese restaurants. It's actually quite easy to make at home, and it's the perfect appetizer or accompaniment for any Asian food. In this recipe, I added some radishes and fava beans, which contain a good amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to make this traditional dish even more nutritious. The dressing is slightly tangy and sweet, and with the different textures of the vegetables, everything just ties together nicely!


How to Prepare Fresh Fava Beans 如何處理新鮮蠶豆

Some of you may not be very familiar with fava beans. They're also called broad beans, and are a great addition for vegetarians and vegans. They're high in protein, fiber, isoflavonoids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and contain a good amount of folates, vitamin B6 and thiamin also. You can buy them in dried form, but why miss out on the opportunity to have them fresh when their season comes? They look, taste and feel totally different when they're fresh.  I know it's quite a process to go through, and it takes a lot of bean pods to make enough beans, but believe me, you'll be happy you did!


Parc de Sceaux 蘇鎮公園

In Paris, it's hard to avoid crowds almost anywhere. You can go to the Bois de Vincennes, which is a large park to the east of Paris, and still, you'll find people everywhere. If you don't like crowds, but enjoy walking around beautiful parks, like me, then the Parc de Sceaux is the perfect place for you. It's, in my opinion, one of the loveliest park that I've been to. Located just about 10km away from central Paris (you can get there by taking the RER B line), you can easily find yourself a quiet grassy spot to have an afternoon picnic or take a romantic walk!


Paleo Banana Bread 無奶油無糖香蕉蛋糕

I recently came across this popular paleo banana bread recipe from Civilized Cavemen Cooking. Even though I'm not paleo (nor do I follow any other diet), I generally try to avoid using sugar and highly processed foods. I noticed in the recipe that you could replace the grass-fed butter with coconut oil (which I often like to do when baking), and instead of regular flour it calls for coconut flour, which I'd never used before. But these aren't the only good things about this recipe. There's no use of sugar or any sweeteners at all! I mean anywhere. Right away, I knew this was my kind of recipe, and I was determined to make it and eat it! (*≧▽≦) Since it's less sweet than regular banana bread, plus it's high in fiber and protein, it makes a perfect nutritious breakfast for your everyday morning! Though the texture is slightly different than the banana bread we're used to, it's really similar, and each bite is moist and full of rich banana-y flavour! Check out the recipe here, I hope you'll like it!


Asparagus, celery, and citrus green juice with sprouts and bee pollen 蘆筍芹菜綠色果菜汁與蜂花粉顆粒

Do you normally throw away the woody ends of the asparagus? Here's how you can save them and make use of them. Asparagus is very low in calories, and is a great source of folates, vitamin B-complex, minerals, and anti-oxidants! So I thought I'd try to use as much of it as possible. After tasting this delicious juice, you may think twice before throwing away those tough end parts!


Caesar Grilled Asparagus 凱薩風燒烤蘆筍

I don't know about you, but for me, the best part of Caesar salad is the anchovy flavour! Since I just got a huge bag of beautiful, local, organic asparagus, I thought I'd grill them and top them off with the Caesar sauce from my Caesar Asparagus Ribbon Salad recipe from Foodie In Quebec City last year. I basically recreated the recipe by grilling the asparagus instead of leaving them raw and shaved, topped with chopped soft boiled eggs instead of poached, and finally finished with the Caesar sauce without using the thyme and parmesan cheese.

Soft-Boiled Eggs (法式水煮蛋)

*This was a post that first appeared in my prior blog, 2 Sisters et 1 Cat

I'm an eggy person, you might call me an egg freak. Therefore, I'm very particular about my eggs! If you've ever had a brunch at a French restaurant, you probably have had some soft-boiled eggs before. I don't know about you, but I love having my eggs underdone most of the time. It is fairly easy to prepare; the trick is just the timing. The creamy runny yolk makes it a perfect accompaniment for salads, vegetables, on toasted English muffins, or any breakfast dish.


Asparagus & Zucchini Tartine with Poached Egg, Cheese, and Basil 法式蘿勒櫛瓜蘆筍烤麵包(tartine)與水波蛋

Have you ever tried the combination of asparagus and zucchini together? I was so delighted to see a lovely image on Karolane Rondeau's Instagram feed - "Œuf poché avec des asperges et zucchinis hachés sur un croûton. (Check out her beautiful feed on Instagram that has lots of wonderful breakfast/brunch ideas!) I would never have thought of enjoying them together chopped on a piece of bread, until I saw her photo, which looked really delectable and inspired me to make this recipe! It's sweet, mild, and you can easily pair it with just about anything - if not an egg, perhaps with your favourite cheese, or with a piece of prosciutto or smoked salmon. It'll all work, and would make a perfect Sunday brunch!


Avocado Toast with Red cabbage, Microgreens, and Hazelnut Oil 紫色高麗菜與野菜苗酪梨醬土司

I started out making this avocado toast more than a month ago. It was just a quick thing to make and I happened to have the ingredients on hand. But then it became one of my favourite avocado toasts! With three super food ingredients: avocado, red cabbage, and microgreens, you'll be getting plenty of vitamin A, C, K, E, fibre, minerals, and antioxidants! As simple as it is, it has all the textures that you'd want - the delicateness of the microgreens, the crunchiness of the red cabbage, and the smooth texture of mashed ripe avocado. What makes it really special are the subtle flavours from the red chilli peppers and the hazelnut oil! It makes a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or snack, and I know it'll become one of your favourite avocado toasts as well!


Coconut-Banana Chia Pudding with Lime 香蕉椰奶奇亞籽布丁

For a while, I've been waiting to make this delicious-looking super creamy coconut banana chia pudding from Fedelicioso, and I finally have some ripened bananas on hand! I love anything with banana or coconut, and when I saw her recipe on Instagram, I just knew that I'd have to try it. The end result was indeed very creamy as she described! 


Cherry Tomatoes, Alfalfa Sprouts, and Avocado Greek Yogurt on Matzo 苜蓿芽小蕃茄酪梨希臘優格與蘇打餅

It was a very busy day, and I wanted to use up some leftover ingredients, so I whipped up this yummy "quickie" yesterday morning. The combination of the sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes, the sprouts, the creamy avocado Greek yogurt, and the light, crunchy matzo were soooo good that we ended up having it for both breakfast and lunch!(≧▼≦;) Avocados are rich in vitamin A, C, E, B6, folic acid, and minerals, and contain high-density lipoproteins (a cholesterol that can protect the body against heart disease). It's a great recipe for you when you have very ripe avocado on hand. The topping goes perfectly well with any type of bread or crackers, but if you can get some matzo, you've gotta try it!! It's light, easy and delicious, and is perfect for either breakfast, lunch or snack. I can promise you that you won't have to feel guilty for having a lot of it!!


Matzo Brei Scallion Pancakes with Sriracha Sour Cream 猶太馬佐蔥油煎餅與拉差酸奶油

Having married a Jewish man, I had to learn a thing or two about Jewish cooking. It was all very new to me, from the meaning of kosher, the religious rules, the big Jewish holidays, the challah bread, the blintzes, to the non-rising bread, matzo, etc. The funny thing is my hubby isn't actually kosher, and he isn't the biggest fan of traditional Jewish cooking either. It was I, on the other hand, who took a liking to a lot of the traditional Jewish food, including gefilte fish - which my hubby referred to as one of the most disgusting Jewish foods (>_<), and that was what got me into learning about Jewish cooking in the first place!


Asparagus, Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Oeufs en Cocottes (Eggs inPots) 法式燻鮭魚蘆筍烤蛋杯

When I first saw the name, œufs en cocotte (Eggs in Pots), I was thinking, is this some kind of fancy French classic egg dish? Only after I looked it up did I realize that it's actually quite simple, yet also a very elegant dish that is perfect for either your weekly or holiday brunch. You basically crack the egg in a ramekin, then bake it with your favourite vegetables or cheese. Not so difficult, right? Since it's (finally) the beginning of spring, I thought I'd use some asparagus here, as it goes so well with the smoked salmon and goat cheese. It'll be perfect for your spring Sunday brunch!


Crispy Butterflied Chicken with Lemon and Thyme 脆皮檸檬蝴蝶烤雞

I love roast chicken and I spent a lot of time searching and trying different ways of roasting them. Many years ago, I was watching the Martha Stewart Show, and she happened to butterfly a chicken by browning it in a pan, then finishing it with some lemon juice and garlic. After that, it became one of my favourite ways to prepare it. Over the years, I lost the recipe and added my own little tweaks and changes to what I had remembered, but I've always kept the idea of lemon and garlic in there. Normally, I use regular lemons for this recipe, but since I bought a lot of Meyer lemons lately, I thought I'd use them for this recipe and share it with you. The chicken is butterflied and browned in a cast iron pan first, then goes into the oven to continue cooking. The result is a nice crispy skin with very juicy and tender flesh. Butterflying the chicken easily shortens the roasting time, so your hungry belly doesn't have to wait too long.( ̄▽ ̄) The juice of the chicken, the garlic, the thyme and the lemon all blended together make for a really yummy gravy. It's truly a simple and delicious way of enjoying chicken! Bon appétit!


Black Sesame-Oat Porridge 燕麥芝麻糊

This porridge is actually based on a traditional Chinese sweet dessert porridge that is normally a mixture of blended black sesame seeds and rice. Here, I'm using oats instead of rice, and I make it less sweet than the traditional one. Black sesame seeds are extremely nourishing, and contain a great amount of protein, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and more. By blending the two together with a little bit of soy milk, you get this really creamy and thick texture with a rich sesame flavour, just like the traditional one, plus more health benefits from the oats, walnuts, and goji berries!


Two Eggs Two Ways 雞蛋兩吃

Inspired by the halfnhalf eggs (fried egg whites + scrambled eggs) from Weekendbreakfast on Instagram, I made a fried egg and topped it with scrambled eggs (made from a leftover baking mixture of egg whites, some egg yolks, and a little bit of cheddar cheese). It was so yummy with the combination of crispy fried egg, the creamy runny yolk, and the soft curd of the scrambled eggs! If you're a true egg lover like me, you must make this, and also check out Weekendbreakfast for more breakfast inspiration!


Stir Fried Veggie Beef and Green Peppers in Taiwanese Shacha Sauce 沙茶青椒素牛肉

It's hard to imagine I'd write a recipe using green bell peppers since I've refused to eat them most of my life! Mom used to make this dish (with real beef or pork sometimes), and I would always pick out the peppers. In fact, I hated any peppers. So how did I learn to like it? To be honest, I don't quite understand it myself! (?・・)σ I was watching a Japanese drama, which happened to be about food several years ago (are you surprised???). In one of the episodes, someone cooked a pork stuffed green pepper dish, which looked very delicious to me, and that was it! From then on, I decided that I like green peppers. Actually, I'll even correct myself, and say that I now LOVE green bell peppers! Isn't it funny how your mind can just change like that one day?


Chicken-Taro Meatballs and Tofu Hot Pot 香芋雞肉丸油豆腐粉絲煲

Lately, I've been missing the Chinese hot pot. My mom often made it for the Chinese New Year or on cold days. Unfortunately I can't have it at home because I don't own a portable stove for the table (due to not having enough storage space). I decided that I'd make a hot pot dish that is similar to the traditional one I grew up with, but is done on the stove, and with fewer ingredients. Instead of the fish balls (which are very difficult to find here without all the msg and chemicals) or thin slices of hot pot meats, I made these really yummy and unique taro-chicken meatballs to replace the fish balls, and it still has the cellophane noodles and the tofu I love, plus three other ingredients (because six is the lucky number for Chinese!). Everything is cooked in the same broth like the traditional hot pot, so in the end, all the flavours come together. I didn't even have to season the broth much at all! It was sweet and flavourful all by itself! I hope you make this during the Chinese New Year, and I wish you all a happy and peaceful sheep year!

Chicken-Taro Meatballs 香芋雞肉丸


Whole Wheat Cranberry-Oat Scones with Almonds 全麥蔓越莓杏仁司康餅

I love cranberries in breakfasty things, whether it's a muffin, a scone, bread, pancakes, or waffles, you name it! For Valentine's Day last year, I did a cranberry heart swirled cheesecake for Foodie in Quebec City, so I wanted to do something different this year but still with cranberries. I thought, why not start the romance right from the morning?! I love surprising my hubbie with a nice homemade breakfast in bed, even when it's not Valentine's Day. You can easily make this dough the day before and refrigerate it until use. It'll give you the perfect scone texture you're looking for: crisp on the outside, moist and flaky inside. I love the texture of the oats and almonds mixed together, plus a little tartness from the cranberries. It"s so delicious, you wouldn't believe it contains no butter! So what do you say?


Cranberry Vanilla Butter 蔓越莓香草奶油

I'm a true butter person! I put butter on almost anything I can think of. I also enjoy making different flavoured butters to go with my breakfast bread. It's not just about the flavour; I also love transforming that pale yellow hue into something colourful and flavourful. Maybe I'm obsessed with colours, or perhaps deep down I believe the colour can bring out the flavour even more. Since pink is one of my favourite colours, I thought I'd make a pink butter for this Valentine's Day. It's innocent, romantic, cute and playful! I'd tried one before with fresh cranberries, but this time, I wanted something that has a really smooth and silky texture, with a unique flavour. Then it struck me: cranberry vanilla butter! A perfect breakfast accompaniment for your sweetie this holiday. To get that texture I wanted, I decided to make a cranberry vanilla sauce first, then blend it together with butter. It was so luscious with a hint of orange and vanilla, and the colour turned out to be perfectly pink and seductively pretty!


Edamame and Soba Noodle Bowl with Dulse and Nori 毛豆與海苔蕎麥麵

This was another very quick and easy dish that I whipped up during my terrible flu. It's simple, but still rich in vitamins C, B, K, protein, amino acids, and minerals, which gave me the energy I needed to fight the flu. It took me literally just 10 minutes to make it, with almost no preparation at all. It's super light, delicious, and would make a perfect quick lunch for anyone who doesn't have time. If you have an extra few minutes, steam some vegetables to serve with the noodles, which would make your meal even healthier! So keep some frozen shelled edamame, buckwheat noodles and dried sea vegetables in your house. You never know when they'll come in handy!


Lemon, Honey and Mint Tea 檸檬蜂蜜薄荷茶

As we all know, lemon and honey are both very good for sore throats. I used to make this tea without mint, but we happened to have a bunch of leftover mint in the fridge, so I decided to try it with mint this time. Not only does it have a soothing effect for the throat, but it also adds a nice flavour to the tea! Besides the mint, I used a little bit of ginger as well because it's warming, This is the perfect tea if you have a sore throat or cough with fever. Drink it throughout the day while it's hot. I hope it helps you as it did for me.


Cabbage, Tomato And Shiitake Congee 高麗菜蕃茄香菇粥

If you don't have a rice cooker at home, I urge you to invest in one. My Japanese rice cooker practically saved my life while we had our terrible flu! I'm sure you all know how difficult it is to get up when you're sick, not to mention having to cook! But because of my rice cooker, I didn't have to spend much time or energy. All I had to do was to throw all the ingredients in the rice cooker, and let it do its job. How easy is that! This recipe is the perfect dish for emergency situations or when you just don't have tim to prepare a meal. It's light, delicious, and warming, plus it offers you plenty of vitamins A, C, K, minerals and antioxidants! Next time you're feeling under the weather, make this congee and it'll make you feel better!


Dark Velvet Hot Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal with Toasted Pecans 濃純黑巧克力熱可可燕麥粥

For all you chocolate lovers, this is the "it" recipe for your morning! I originally started out making this breakfast for my hubby (a hopeless chocoholic), but I confess, I even ended up loving this myself. I know you might be thinking that this looks like a dessert, and how can it be healthy?! Well, that's exactly what I wanted it to look like, but did you know that cocoa powder is one of those super foods? It's packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. It can be beneficial for high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and also acts as an anti-depressant. If you're able to find raw cocoa powder, it would be even more nutritious.