the best thing on miku’s menu

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the salmon oshi sushi – pressed bc wild sockeye salmon, jalapeño, and miku sauce that’s flame-seared to perfection.

you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu since everything is so delicious, but where you can make the biggest mistake of your life is if you don’t order the salmon oshi sushi as part of your meal.

and just in case you were wondering what $300 of salmon oshi sushi looked like…

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ten-minute stir fry

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ingredients: garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, cooked rice, brown mushrooms, spinach, eggplant, eggs, sesame seeds, fresh basil, ginger, sea salt, and black pepper.

chop up the garlic and sauté in sesame oil. crack the eggs into the pan (season with salt and pepper) and chop up the mushrooms and eggplant while the garlic and eggs are cooking in the pan. add the mushrooms and eggplant into the pan, then add the cooked riced, and cover in soy sauce (and a little more sesame oil). chop up some ginger and fresh basil, and add into the pan. add the spinach in and watch it shrink down. season with salt and pepper, take off the heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

i’m pretty sure this post took me longer to write up than making this dish for dinner tonight.

dinner party yvr #dpyvr

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last night, my friend lisa and i attended dinner party yvr, one of the best charity events that i’ve ever been to. the concept behind it: chefs volunteer to make a meal at their house for a group of strangers, everyone donates at least $50 (which goes to each chef’s charity of choice), and dinner is served. this happens all around the city at various homes, with each chef cooking a different style of dinner for a group of six people or so. the dinner that lisa and i went to had a “dining like at vij’s” theme, which consisted of homemade naan, amazing indian dishes straight out of vij’s cookbook, wine/beer pairings to go with all the dishes, and masala peas (think wasabi peas, but with indian spices) along with a yummy bourbon cocktail while we waited for dinner to be served.

every picture posted on instagram/twitter from the event with the hashtag #dpyvr got an additional $5 donated to charity by one of the sponsors, blueshore financial.

spaghetti squash with sausage and kale

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ingredients: spaghetti squash (get them to cut it in half for you at the grocery store – if they’ll do it, it will save you a lot of hassle), sausages, kale, garlic, onion, pine nuts, fresh parsley, sea-salt, black pepper, and olive oil.

pre-heat oven to 400°, scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds, place the pieces of spaghetti squash on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper, and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes.

while the spaghetti squash is in the oven, chop up the garlic, onion, sausages, kale, and parsley. put the garlic and onion in a pan first with olive oil – eventually add the sausage pieces to the mix, then the kale, pine nuts, and parsley.

once the spaghetti squash is ready, fork it out into a bowl and then add the sausage and kale mixture to it. season with salt and pepper.

make your leftovers taste different the next day by adding different spices to it – i recommend rubbed sage.

crockpot coconut curry chicken

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i took the recipe from here and modified it as i saw fit. i love crockpots because they fit in so easily to a busy, work-filled schedule.

ingredients: coconut milk, chicken, olive oil, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, sea-salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, and whatever other vegetables you’d like to throw in there.

the night before work: place the ginger, onion, and garlic in a blender, and blend together until it forms a paste. heat up a pan with olive oil in it, transfer the paste into the pan, and add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, and sea-salt to it – cook for a few minutes. chop up all your vegetables as well – put everything away in the fridge.

the morning before work: place the chicken and vegetables in the crockpot – cover everything with the coconut milk and paste. turn it on low, and let it cook while you’re at work.

the evening after work: come home to a delicious smelling place, make some rice, and enjoy a dinner that essentially made itself!

mint in meatballs? delicious.

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mint in meatballs… i was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be absolutely delicious.

i would normally post a link back to the original recipe, but i deviated so much from it that there’d be no point. well, i didn’t deviate from it ingredient-wise, but i just didn’t agree with the techniques she used. firstly, the author told me to set my oven at 425°C, and i did at first, but then all this smoke started to emerge from the oven so i turned it down to 350 before a fire started. the author of the original recipe also wanted to GRATE the zucchini and sear the meatballs over the stove before placing them in the oven – ain’t nobody got time for that! i chopped up the zucchini in my blender (it had a “chop” button that i’ve been wanting to test out) and i stuck the meatballs straight in the oven until they were fully cooked. i love finding efficient ways to do things, without compromising quality. some might see it as laziness, but i prefer the term “being resourceful.”

besides, who wants to cook a laborious dinner after returning home tired from a full day at work? that’s what i thought.

ingredients: ground turkey, zucchini, green onions, fresh mint leaves, cilantro, cloves of garlic, egg, sea-salt, pepper, and cumin.

pre-heat oven to 350°C. chop up the ingredients and place in a bowl. crack the egg in there, add the spices, and mix everything around with your hands. shape into meatballs, put on a baking tray (i lined mine with a sheet of wax paper), and bake for around 15 – 20 minutes, or until they are done.

easy, simple, and delicious.

crockpot magic: dinner that will make itself, and leftovers for lunch

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crockpots are one of the most incredible inventions of mankind. the greatest thing about crockpot recipes is that most of them require little to no prep, you can toss all the ingredients in there in the morning before work, leave it to cook for the day, and come home to a delicious dinner that cooked itself.

here’s the recipe to a dish i tried last week. i didn’t use measurements as usual, but just felt it out according to my personal preferences and taste-buds (eg. i like garlic, so i put a lot of garlic in there).

ingredients: chicken, black beans, corn, onions, garlic, chicken broth (just enough to almost cover everything), cilantro, avocado, sea-salt, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and rice.

the only real prep that this recipe requires is chopping up the onions and garlic, which i did the night before. i put all the ingredients (except for the cilantro, avocado, and rice) into the crockpot, and left it to cook for the day on the “low” setting (i turned it on at 7 am and came home to it at around 6 pm). then i shred the chicken up into pieces (with a fork and knife) without taking it out of the crockpot, stirred it around, and left it to cook for another 15 minutes. while it was cooking, i made some rice in my rice cooker, chopped up cilantro and avocado, and then put a bowl together when it was all done.

i also had leftovers for days, and i brought a tupperware full with me to work the next day. bringing my lunch to work is something i’ve never been good at, but managed to successfully do four out of five days last week – it was quite the milestone for me, as this was the first time that has happened in my entire working life. according to this article, people who go out for lunch every single day spend roughly around $2,500 a year on lunch. definitely something to think about.

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