Apple Granola 蘋果烤燕麥

This autumn is the first time that we have our own back yard. As nice as it is, I learned that it takes quite a lot of work at this time of the year to keep everything looking orderly and alive. Apparently, you have to trim most of the plants, so they will start setting new buds as soon as the old ones have fallen off. And then, as some of you already know, you have to rake all the falling leaves that cover the yard, so they won't interrupt the growth of the plants and grass. All this needs to be done before the winter arrives. Since our house is surrounded by quite a few big maple trees, picking up the leaves can feel like an endless job. With the large amount of physical work ahead of me, having a good breakfast has become especially important, as it gives me the energy to start off the day and last several hours without having to snack on much else.


The Spicy Apple

As the cold weather starts to kick in and the season changes, many of us tend to catch a cold. I thought I'd share with you this powerful and electric drink from The Juice Truck cookbook (see my book review and more of their recipes here). It doesn't require many (or special) ingredients to make, as most of us usually have apples, lemons, and ginger in the fridge and cayenne in the pantry, but this is not just your average apple juice. It's got some special kicks from the ginger and cayenne and a little hint of rosemary (I highly recommend using it). Besides, the apple season is here! If you happen to have too many from your own apple picking adventures, here's an opportunity to put them to good use. Sniffles, sore throat, or indigestion - you name it - this drink will help you to survive the cold season and feel good to boot!

Tahini Greeny

I love tahini, and when I saw the name of this smoothie from The Juice Truck cookbook (see my book review and more of their recipes here) by Zach and Ryan - co-founders of The Juice Truck - it made me want to try it right away! In the smoothie, there are healthy ingredients like, tahini, kale, and mint. There's no sugar or even sweeteners, only dates and bananas. A lot of drinks that are sweetened by bananas often taste too banana-y to me, however the taste of this smoothie is surprisingly different: It's one of those drinks that, before you make it, you aren't sure if it's going to taste tahini-like, banana-y, greeny, or minty, but in the end, it comes out with a pleasant, subtle taste of mint and the other flavours underneath it. It was gently sweet and the colour was perfectly green, too! Since it contains a good amount of protein and healthy fats, it would make a pretty darn good breakfast or mid-day healthy snack!

The Macro Bowl

With a busy schedule, one quick thing that I often like to make is the one-bowl meal! It's a great idea for weekdays. I love this recipe from Zach and Ryan's The Juice Truck cookbook (see my book review and more of their recipes here). It's also one of The Juice Truck's top sellers. It's super healthy, satisfying, colourful, tasty, and most importantly, it's really easy to make! The dressing reminds me of Chinese cold sesame noodles. It's so good that you'll want to drink it up or put it on everything! In the recipe, there was no cooking time listed for baking the yam, tofu, and cashews; I would recommend baking the cashews for 15 minutes, tofu for 20 minutes, and yam for about 30 minutes.

The Juice Truck Cookbook Review and Recipes

I've been adding smoothies and juice to my diet for many years, so when Penguin Random House offered me a copy of The Juice Truck cookbook (which is published by their division, Appetite), I felt very fortunate and was really thrilled to read what was in this book! The Juice Truck: A Guide To Juicing, Smoothies, Cleanses And Living A Plant Based Lifestyle is written by Zach Berman and Ryan Slater, longtime childhood friends, and the two co-owners of The Juice Truck in Vancouver. The inspiration behind their cold-pressed juice bar--Canada's first ever--was from their one year-long backpacking trip to Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka, where they discovered some local healthy secrets and remedies made with real plant-based foods. After months and months of experiments and research, The Juice Truck was finally launched in the summer of 2011. 


Cook Lively by Laura-Jane Koers | Cookbook review + Recipe + Giveaway

Whether you believe in a raw food diet or not, I think we can all agree that we need to bring more raw food into our everyday meals. Since most of the time, the nutrients are destroyed from high-temperature cooking, adding more raw food to your diet can be more nourishing and, yes, lively. Cook Lively: 100 Quick and Easy Plant-Based Recipes for High Energy, Glowing Skin, and Vibant Living Using 10 ingredients or Less by Laura-Jane Koers (the creator behind the popular Canadian vegan food blog, The Rawtarian) is a great introduction to raw, plant-based food and is the perfect book for anyone interested in eating better and learning healthier ways to cook your food. 


Spring Pea Soup with Orzo and Mint 青豆薄荷濃湯與Orzo義大利麵

Though the local English peas can't usually be found at this time, can you blame me for being a little bored with root vegetables after five winter months?! Every spring I'm always itching for something green and springy. The weather is still chilly here and the local spring vegetables won't appear for nearly another month. This is a time when I'm dying to have soups like this. Luckily, I can find frozen peas all year round.


Instant Pot Hearty Vegetable and Lentil Soup 法式綠扁豆與薏米蔬食湯[電子壓力鍋版]

There have been several snow storms in Quebec this winter. I was especially happy when I received my friend's text and invitation for a lunch at his home on a very cold and snowy day a little while back. If you ever tasted my friend's cooking, you would know why I was happy to be invited. You see, my friend is a very good cook. His food is simple but homey at the same time, which is exactly what I love to have during the cold weather. As a local, he's proud of his culture and heritage, and he often likes to share with me the traditional Québécois cooking that he grew up with.


Instant Pot Vegetable Broth 蔬菜高湯 [電子壓力鍋版]

I don't know why I never shared this recipe with you before, but vegetable broth is one of the things I make at home all the time, and it's also something I prefer homemade. It's not just easy to make, but the great thing is that it'll help you to put those leftover ingredients or vegetable scraps to good use -- like kale or mushrooms stems, green leek tops, the trimmings of cauliflower, broccoli, celery, carrots, or onions, etc. I'm always trying to find ways to use the entire vegetable as much as possible without letting it go to waste. You'd be surprised how much flavour they can add to the broth!


Gluten-Free Cranberry-Orange Millet Muffins 橘香蔓越莓小米馬芬

I can't believe that it's been more than half a year since the last time I blogged here! Life has been changing so much this past year. With some new work and a new schedule, I was completely overwhelmed. But don't get me wrong, it was a very good year! I felt very productive and happy to go back to what I used to do in NY: being a personal chef for someone who has special dietary needs and playing harp in various musical projects. Though my mind was mostly occupied, there was never a moment where I stopped thinking about, writing, and testing recipes; it's just that finding the time to photograph and actually put together a post was the most challenging part! This year, there are some new musical projects that are coming up, plus some possible other exciting things on the horizon. I'll still be busy, but no matter what, I'll be posting every month or so.