Tag Archives: lunch

3 Lobster BLTS displayed on a plate diagonally cut

Ina Garten’s Lobster BLT Uses This One Ingredient to Elevate A Classic Sandwich


The Barefoot Contessa knows how to turn any dish into a main event – like this elevated Lobster BLT with avocado where she whips up a quick sauce with mayo, ketchup and pickle relish for an updated version of a classic sandwich.

3 Lobster BLTS displayed on a plate diagonally cut

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Summer Entertaining Recipes

Lobster BLT

Active Time: 20 minutes plus assembly time
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

4 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon
½ cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s
¼ cup ketchup, such as Heinz
1 Tbsp sweet relish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted and peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
8 (½ -inch-thick) slices good bakery white bread, lightly toasted (see Cook’s Note)
4 large Bibb, Boston, or butter lettuce leaves
4 (¼ -inch-thick) ripe red tomato slices (1 large tomato)
½ pound cooked lobster meat, sliced (see Cook’s Note)

Related: Ina Garten’s Easiest Weeknight Meals

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon on the rack in a single layer. Roast the bacon for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, for the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper in a medium bowl and set aside. Slice the avocados crosswise ¼ -inch thick, place the slices in a bowl with the lemon juice, toss gently, and set aside.

Related: Dinner Etiquette Tips That Would Make Ina Garten Proud

3. To assemble, place 4 slices of toast on a board and slather them generously with the dressing. On each sandwich, place first a lettuce leaf, then a layer of avocado, then a slice of tomato. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cut a slice of bacon in half and place both halves on the tomato. Top with a quarter of the lobster. Generously spread more sauce on the remaining 4 slices of toast and place them, sauce side down, on the sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Related: Ina Garten’s Quick Recipes Using Store-Bought Ingredients

Cook’s Note: To toast the bread in the oven, arrange the slices on a sheet pan and place in a preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes, until lightly toasted. If you buy cooked lobsters, two (1 ¼ lbs) lobsters will yield ½ lb of lobster meat.

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Okonomiyaki on a patterned plate

Okonomiyaki is the Japanese Street Food You Need in Your Life

Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a Japanese savoury pancake made with flour, eggs, finely-chopped cabbage and customizable add-ins such as shrimp, scallops, bacon, chicken, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Cooked to a perfect crisp on an iron griddle, okonomiyaki is then adorned with tasty toppings like okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, bonito flakes, green seaweed flakes and red pickled ginger, each contributing to the flavour symphony that makes this dish so wildly delicious. There are also variations in the batter, fillings and toppings depending on region.

This version is based on the most popular style of okonomiyaki, originating from Osaka. I fell in love with this style of okonomiyaki when I lived around the corner from a long-standing, tucked-away gem of a restaurant called Okonomi House in Toronto. Next to experiencing the real deal in Osaka or a place like Okonomi House, making okonomiyaki at home is fun and very doable. Plus, I’m all about any recipe loaded with veggies and protein that qualify as a proper standalone meal. And just as the word “okonomi” means “as you like” in Japanese, feel free to tailor the add-ins and toppings to your taste, substituting in different proteins or making it vegetarian.

Note
The Japanese ingredients used in this dish (instant dashi powder, okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi and aonori) can be found at most large Japanese, Chinese and Korean supermarkets.

Okonomiyaki on a patterned plate

Okonomiyaki

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes (less if cooking multiple pancakes at a time on a griddle)
Total Time: 50 minutes or less
Servings: 4

Ingredients
For the okonomiyaki batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 packet (7g) instant dashi powder (optional)
¾ cup water
4 large eggs, whisked
4 cups green cabbage, very finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp beni shoga (red pickled ginger), roughly chopped (optional)
1 cup raw bay scallops, defrosted and patted dry, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup raw shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined, patted dry, cut into ½-inch pieces (from 6-7 jumbo shrimp)
Oil, for cooking
3 strips uncured pork belly or regular bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

Ingredients for Japanese Okonomiyaki (savoury cabbage pancake)

Toppings
½ cup okonomiyaki sauce, warmed slightly in the microwave (For a homemade substitute, whisk together 4 Tbsp ketchup, 4 Tbsp  Worcestershire sauce and 2 Tbsp sugar)
Japanese mayonnaise, to taste
Katsuobushi (fermented smoked dried bonito flakes), to taste
Aonori (green seaweed flakes), to taste
Beni shoga (red pickled ginger), to taste

Toppings for Japanese Okonomiyaki (Savoury cabbage pancake)

Directions
1. For the okonomiyaki batter, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, instant dashi powder (if using). Add water and whisk – it should be very thick. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate.

2. Into the batter, stir in pickled ginger and scallions. Add cabbage in gradually (it will seem like a lot of cabbage but rest assured, it is supposed to be thick with just enough batter to bind everything). Fold in scallops and shrimp.

Related: Japanese Fruit Sandos

Batter for Japanese Okonomiyaki (savoury cabbage pancake)

3. Heat skillet over medium heat and drizzle with oil. Alternatively, you can use a cast iron griddle (smooth side) to cook multiple okonomiyaki at once, just use separate pot lids for each pancake.

4. Scoop one quarter of okonomiyaki batter onto skillet and form into a circle about 6-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick. Scatter ¼ of pork belly or bacon pieces on top and cover with lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes or when the bottom is lovely and brown. Flip using two flat spatulas. Cover and cook another 4-5 minutes or until second side is brown. Flip once more so bacon side is facing up again.

Okonomiyaki being flipped in a skillet

5. Cook uncovered one minute more. Transfer to serving plate or keep warm in 200 F oven. Repeat with remaining three pancakes, reducing heat to medium-low to prevent pan from over-heating and burning the remaining pancakes.

Related: Japanese-Inspired Rolled Hot Dog Omelette

Okonomiyaki being flipped in a skillet

6. To serve, spread a layer of okonomiyaki sauce (2 Tbsp per pancake), followed by squiggles of Japanese mayo, a generous heap of bonito flakes, sprinkles of green seaweed flakes and more red pickled ginger, if using.

A closup of okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake)

Love Sonia’s okonomiyaki recipe? Try her Japanese chicken curry next!

a butternut and bacon tart

A Brunch-Worthy Butternut and Bacon Tart

Rarely are tarts seen alone. We tend to bring them to the table in the company of other small dishes for a summer lunch: radishes on a dish of ice; a coarse, piggy terrine; a bowl of leaves and herbs; or a wedge of cheese. And yet they can be a main dish, if the filling is substantial and it is served with generosity. In the spring of 2018, I made a tart that would pass as a principal dish.

Satisfying enough to be offered as you might a pie, with a single green vegetable on the side. The result was a saffron-hued butternut and bacon tart, served with nothing more than a big blue and white bowl of peas at its side. The recipe hit the spot and I have been making it ever since.

Note: In theory, there is little need to peel the butternut squash, but I do here. The skin, however tender, seems at odds with the gentle texture of the tart filling. Add as much water as you need to make the pastry easy to roll, but it is worth remembering that the less water you put in the less likely it is to shrink in the oven.

a butternut and bacon tart

Butternut and Bacon Tart

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
For the pastry
⅜ cup butter
1 cup plain flour
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp Parmesan, grated
1-2 Tbsp water

For the filling
1 butternut squash (about 500 g)
8 strips smoked bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup milk
Handful parsley, chopped

To finish
2 Tbsp Parmesan, grated

Directions
1. Make the pastry: cut the butter into small dice and rub into the flour with your fingertips until it has the texture of soft, fresh breadcrumbs. Alternatively, reduce to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add the egg yolk, the Parmesan and the water, a tablespoon at a time, stopping when you have a firm, even-textured dough. Set the oven at 375° F.

2. Peel the squash, halve lengthways and discard the fibres and seeds (you should be left with about 350 g). Then cut the flesh into short wedges, each weighing roughly 35 g. Place the pieces in a steamer basket and cook over boiling water for 8–10 minutes until soft. Cut the bacon into pieces the size of a postage stamp then fry in the oil in a shallow pan until the fat is translucent and just starting to crisp. Remove from the heat.

Related: A Veggie-Packed Crustless Quiche Recipe

3. Beat the eggs, cream and milk, season, then add the chopped parsley. Place an 8-inch round tin with a removable base on a baking tray and line with the pastry, making certain you have pushed the dough deep into the edges and that there are no tears or cracks. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.

4. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 3–5 minutes or until the pastry is dry to the touch.

5. Lower the heat to 355° F. Place the pieces of squash in the pastry shell, then scatter over the crisped bacon. Pour in the custard and dust the surface with the grated Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until just warm (when tarts such as this are at their most delicious).

A Cook's Book cover by Nigel SlaterExcerpt from A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater ©2021. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

A Cook’s Book: The Essential Nigel Slater with over 200 recipes, $40, amazon.ca

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Related: Save That Leftover Pie Dough and Make These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies!

Sesame Soba Noodles with Kale and Edamame

Super Easy Sesame Soba Noodles with Kale and Edamame

Soba noodles are quick to cook and they work well at room temperature, making them a natural choice for a quick or make-ahead vegan lunch. You could even whip up this dish before leaving the house, as it comes together in one pot in under 10 minutes. Although it includes only a few ingredients, it is very flavourful— soy sauce and sesame oil bring so much to the table.

Sesame Soba Noodles with Kale and Edamame

Sesame Soba Noodles with Kale and Edamame

Ingredients
6 oz soba noodles
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
¼ cup soy sauce
1 ½ Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha or other chili-garlic hot sauce (optional)
2 cups finely chopped kale

Directions
1. Boil the noodles and edamame together until both are tender, 3 to 4 minutes (double check your packages to make sure this is the correct cooking time, as there may be some variation). Drain and rinse under warm water to prevent clumping.

2. Toss the cooked noodles and edamame with soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce (if using), and kale. Taste and adjust the flavours.

3. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2 to 3 days.

The Vedan Family Cookbook by Anna Pippus coverExcerpted from The Vegan Family Cookbook by Anna Pippus. Copyright © 2021 Anna Pippus. Photography © 2021 Anna Pippus. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

The Vegan Family Cookbook, Amazon, $30

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Love this soba noodle recipe? See our guide to alternative pasta for more noodle options.

a closeup of vietnamese pizza

Crispy Rice Paper ‘Vietnamese Pizza’ is the Street Food-Inspired Snack You Need to Try

Rice paper is having a moment in the foodie world, spawning interesting usage across cuisines and even boldly crossing over from savoury to sweet. Beyond the well-loved Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, rice paper is now being used as dumpling wrappers, rolled up into rice cakes for Korean tteokkbokki, deep fried and seasoned as a crispy snack and even replacing glutinous rice flour to make Japanese Daifuku mochi. This virality of rice paper is how I came to discover Bánh Tráng Nướng aka ‘Vietnamese Pizza’, a popular street food in Vietnam featuring rice paper grilled over charcoal until crispy and then topped with a myriad of toppings including quail eggs, scallions, dried shrimp, pork floss or sausage, sweet chili sauce or sriracha, and even corn and cheese. At home, use a skillet on the stove to crisp up the rice paper followed by your own toppings of choice. This recipe shows one of our favourite combinations but do take the liberty to make this your own – it’s very versatile!

a closeup of vietnamese pizza

Vietnamese Pizza

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
4 Vietnamese rice papers (make sure it is made from rice, not tapioca)
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
4 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
8 quail eggs or 4 medium chicken eggs
¾ cup loosely packed pork floss (see note)
Optional toppings: corn kernels, shredded cheese, crispy fried shallots, Japanese mayonnaise, sriracha, hoisin sauce, etc.

Note: Pork floss is seasoned dehydrated pork popular in East and Southeast Asian cultures. You can think of as finely-shredded pork jerky or savoury cotton candy with a lot of umami. If you don’t eat it or can’t find it, substitute with bacon bits, julienned ham, sliced hot dog, sliced vegan sausage, etc. or omit entirely.

ingredients for vietnamese pizza

Directions
1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Place a single rice paper on the dry skillet – it will start to curl up right away. When it does, flip it over once to make it easier to add toppings.

Related: Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple

2. Sprinkle scallions on top. Drizzle about 1 tbsp of sweet chili sauce  and cook for a minute. Crack the egg (2 if using quail eggs, 1 if using chicken eggs) right on top, scrambling it and spreading it almost to the edges of the rice paper.

a vietnamese pizza in progress

3. Once the egg is almost fully cooked, sprinkle about 3 Tbsp of pork floss all over.

Related: How to Make Vietnamese Bun Cha, The Rice Noodle Salad Your Lunch Bowl is Craving

vietnamese pizza with pork floss sprinkled over top

4. If desired, fold the rice paper over when it’s pliable. Then continue to cook until the rice paper is crispy. Alternatively you can skip the folding step and cook until rice paper is crispy. Repeat steps 1-4 for remaining rice paper and serve immediately.

a folded vietnamese pizza in a cast-iron skillet

Love Sonia’s Vietnamese Pizza recipe? Try her Japanese Chicken Curry next!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Goddess Soup with Avocados and Feta

We all know we need to eat more greens, and oftentimes that means eating lots and lots of salads. But as the weather cools down, a raw salad just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to blend up those greens into a refreshing and creamy soup, and we have just the recipe. The fresh herbs add a wonderful aromatic scent and flavour, while the avocado lends the soup a gorgeously creamy texture. Don’t forget to top with feta for the perfect salty finish!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 oz or 1 small box of baby spinach
1½ cups fresh parsley, leaves and stems
1 cup fresh mint, leaves
½ cup fresh basil, leaves and stems
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable stock
2 avocados, 1 reserved for garnish
½ lime, juiced
¼ -⅓ cup crumbled feta

ingredients for herby green soup on a white countertop

Directions:
1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and swirl around the pot.

2. Add in the onions and cook until translucent.

3. Next, add in the spinach, parsley, mint and basil. Mix around until slightly wilted. Season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

ingredients for herby green soup in a stock pot

4. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Carefully blend the soup with 1 whole avocado, squeeze in the juice from half a lime, re-season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Related: This Creamy Green Hummus is Made for Avocado Lovers

6. If it’s too thick, add more broth to get your desired consistency.

7. To serve, pour into individual bowls and garnish with crumbled feta, diced avocado and cracked pepper.

herby green soup topped with feta and avocado in a bowl

Love Tamara and Sarah’s herby green soup? Try their sourdough toasties next!

Fried Bacon (selective focus) on an old vintage wooden table

All the Ways to Cook Bacon For That Perfect Crisp

Fried Bacon (selective focus) on an old vintage wooden table

Few aromas compare to the smell of bacon cooking on a Sunday morning nor are there many meals not made better with bacon. Better still, the popular breakfast staple also comes in pork alternatives (and even vegan options), and can be cooked in a variety of ways to optimize that perfect crisp. Whether you tend to reach for thick-cut, regular or peameal bacon, here is a roundup of all the best ways to get your bacon fix. 

Whatever your chosen method, be sure to let your bacon temper to room temperature by taking it out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes prior to cooking to get the best results. 

Air Fryer

This trending way to cook your bacon is just one more food you can prepare in your air fryer. While it may not be immediately intuitive to cook your bacon in a countertop appliance, and while it may require a bit more maintenance, the results may just be worth it for you. The bacon is crispier when it doesn’t cook in its own fat, and depending on the size of your air fryer, it’s a good option for those looking to prep only a few pieces. The trick? You may need to shake your basket to allow all the drippings to drip down and away from your bacon. 

– Take out bacon from the fridge about 15-20 minutes prior to cooking
– For this method you need to preheat your air fryer to 400°F
– Lay out each strip with no overlap
– Shake the basket as needed
– Air fry until the bacon is your desired crunch (about 8 to 12 minutes)

Raw bacon strips

Pan Seared: Non-stick or Cast Iron

With this method you really only need your non-stick or cast-iron pan and your choice of bacon. The key is to not preheat your skillet. 

– When your bacon has tempered, lay out the strips on the cold skillet without overlapping the pieces so the fat renders slowly and consistently
– Cook over medium heat until you’ve reached your desired crispness and flip, as needed
– Cook for about 8 to 12 minutes
– Lay over a paper towel to absorb excess fat and serve

Just remember to dispose of that cooking grease in a responsible way

Close-Up Of Bacon Slices In Barbecue Grill

Baked: Grill or Parchment

This method requires a longer cooking time than the other methods, but it is a set-it-and-forget-it method in that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, once you’ve placed it in the oven. It leads to a meaty bacon, with minimal shrinkage and the aluminum foil helps keep the drippings in place for easier clean-up. Pro-tip for extra flavour: Brush maple syrup on top of the strips prior to baking for a caramelized, crispy maple crunch to your bacon.

– Preheat the oven to 400°F (or even up to 425°F, if you prefer bacon crispier)
– Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch the drippings, making sure to fold up the foil along the edges
– Lay a wire rack on top of the foil
– Arrange slices of bacon on top of the rack so there is no overlap
– Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick and done you prefer your bacon

You can also bake your bacon on parchment paper without the rack (bake for about 18-24 minutes) but the results will basically resemble fried bacon, as the bacon bakes in its own fat. Place the strips on paper towel to soak up any excess fat prior to serving.

Microwave

While this may be the least sophisticated method, it is the quickest. It also allows you to prep only a few slices without committing to a full batch, and the cleanup is the easiest with the microwave. In this method you simply lay the bacon between sheets of paper towel and microwave on high until done. However, this method is also quickest to send your bacon from underdone to overdone, so it may require a few tries until you’ve perfected the timing. It may also require check-ins to remove any slices that are done from the ones that still require microwaving. 

– Layer two paper towels on a microwave-safe plate
– Lay bacon on top and cover with another two sheets of paper towel, without overlaying any slices
– Microwave for 4 to 6 minutes depending on thickness of your cut
– Check in and remove any slices that are done
– Continue microwaving the remaining slices in short bursts, 10 to 15 seconds, until all slices are done

Related: These Budget-Friendly Microwave Recipes Are Total Time-Savers

Sous vide cooker. In field of view are control panel which is backlit touch controlled temperature and time settings with chrome finish, ergonomic non-slip soft touch body, scroll wheel for adjusting time and clamp. Power cable. Clip system attached to pot of water. High point of view. Shallow depth of field.

Sous Vide

While this method is arguably the most elaborate and requiring the most planning (up to 24 hours ahead of your desired eating time), it may be worth the effort if you’re looking to truly wow. It taps into sous vide’s immersion circulator technology to render bacon that’s consistent, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and with least shrinkage compared to the other methods. Worth noting is that this only really works with thick cut bacon, so if you plan to try this one out, don’t waste your time on regular-cut. 

– Put the entire unopened package of bacon into a large pot or container
– Fill with enough water to cover the entire package
– Cook with the circulator at 147°F for 8 to 24 hours
– After the cooking process finishes, remove the strips from the package, separating each slice
– Quickly sear each side in a skillet so the bacon doesn’t look raw and serve

Related: The History of Peameal Bacon — Plus Our Favourite Recipes

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Sourdough Toasties Are So Quick and Easy, Here Are 3 Ways to Enjoy Them!

Smearing a whole bunch of interesting ingredients on a toasted piece of sourdough bread is our kind of meal. Here, we make three different sourdough toasties that mix and match ingredients to bring out sweet, fresh, herby, earthy and zesty flavours. You can get as playful as you want with these, or keep them as simple as possible. The best part? They require minimal-to-no cooking and take literal minutes to put together.

It’s a real “you can’t get it wrong” recipe no matter how you make it. You can enjoy these toasties as a quick and easy meal or snack for yourself, or impress guests with them (seriously, they are so beautiful to look at!). While we like to devour them as an open-faced sandwich, you can always close them up for a heartier toastie.

Related: Bread Baking for Beginners: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Roasted Grape, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7-9 minutes
Total Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 cup loose red grapes
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt, plus more for finishing
2-4 slices sourdough bread
1 tsp butter (optional)
2-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
2 tsp chopped and toasted almonds or pecans
1 tsp lemon zest
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Pepper, to finish

ingredients for sourdough toasties, 3 ways

Directions:
1. Preheat the toaster oven or oven to 400°F.

2. Place the grapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle olive oil and sea salt on top. Toss to coat and roast for 7-9 minutes until bursting open. Allow to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, toast the sourdough bread in a toaster. If preferred, brush the sourdough bread with butter and toast in a pan over medium heat until crisp.

4. Once toasted, spread ricotta over top. Be generous!

5. Load the roasted grapes over the ricotta and sprinkle with chopped nuts, lemon zest and thyme leaves. Finish it with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

3 sourdough toasties being prepared on a white plate

Pesto, Feta, Beet and Honey Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp pesto
1 large or 2 small beets, roasted and sliced into thin wedges
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp honey
A small handful of fresh microgreens
Sea salt and pepper, to finish

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Smear a hearty amount of pesto onto the toasted sourdough and top with sliced beets.

3. Crumble feta over top of the sliced beets and drizzle with honey.

4. Top with microgreens and finish with sea salt and pepper.

Related: Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

3 sourdough toasties in progress on a white plate

Hummus, Cheddar and Tomato Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2-5 minutes
Total Time: 5-8 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp hummus
2-6 slices cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 small cucumber, ribboned
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Spread a generous amount of hummus onto the toasted bread and top with sliced cheddar cheese. Place in the oven to broil for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

3. Carefully remove the toast from the oven and top with tomato slices. Place the cucumber ribbons over the tomatoes.

4. Finish with sea salt and pepper.

Related: This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

Sourdough toasties 3 ways on a white plate

Love Tamara and Sarah’s toasties? Try their rainbow veggie halloumi burgers next!

sweet corn arepas on a grey plate

Make the Most of Corn Season with These Sweet Corn Arepas

Sweet corn arepas, or chocolo arepas, are sweet and cheesy. I lean toward adding both queso fresco and Manchego cheese to the dough for a more interesting taste, rather than mozzarella. But I leave it up to you… The key is to get your griddle very hot so that a nice crusty outer layer forms. In my desire to make this a full meal — breakfast for dinner, that is—I toss together a tomato and avocado salad to cut through the richness.

sweet corn arepas on a grey plate

Sweet Corn Arepas

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Arepas
1 cup sweet yellow corn kernels
1 cup pre-cooked yellow cornmeal or Masa Arepa
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup quesito or fresh ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons
¾ cup 2% milk

Raw Tomato & Avocado Salad
2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
2 Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and cubed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
4 ounces quesito or queso fresco, crumbled
½ cup cilantro leaves

Directions:

1. Grind the corn in a food processor until the kernels break apart and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the ground corn to a large bowl and add the cornmeal, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, the ricotta cheese, and Manchego cheese. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to combine. Add the 3 tablespoons butter and the milk and stir until the mixture comes together. Do not overmix. In the beginning, your mixture will look like a very loose pancake batter. Don’t fret, the cornmeal will take a few minutes to absorb
the liquid and achieve a better consistency. Allow the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the raw tomato and avocado salad: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and avocados. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

4. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter until bubbles form. Measure ½ cup of the batter and pour into the pan — pancake style. You can fry the arepas 2 at a time or more, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the skillet. Cook the arepas until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You may need to turn down the heat as you go so that the pan doesn’t get too hot from batch to batch. Place the finished arepas on the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.

5. To serve, plate each arepa and top with a spoonful of the tomato and avocado salad, the crumbled quesito, and cilantro leaves

From the book COLOMBIANA by Mariana Velásquez Villegas. Copyright © 2021 by Mariana Velásquez Villegas. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos by Gentl & Hyer.

COLOMBIANA: A Rediscovery of Recipes and Rituals from the Soul of Colombia, Amazon, $40.

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Smiling Chef Nazaree in an orange apron and floral blouse

5 Steps to a Better School Lunch With Junior Chef Showdown Winner Nazaree

Kids will be back in school  before you know it, so now would be  a good time to start brainstorming about your family’s September routine. Why not make this the year that you start incorporating kids into the lunch planning process? After all, learning how to make school lunches is a great way to encourage kids of all ages to become more comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

With this in mind, we turned to one of Canada’s most talented young chefs and this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Nazaree, to give us some of her tips and tricks for packing better school lunches. 

Related: The Winning Dish From Junior Chef Showdown Will Become a Family-Favourite Meal in No Time

A boy eating lunch while watching his mom slice a cantaloupe

1. Get Kids Involved

Inspire kids to get excited about eating lunch at school by offering them a variety of options, making different recipes or taking them grocery shopping. As most parents can agree, just because their child likes a particular type of food or recipe at home does not always mean they’ll enjoy eating it at school. 

“I love eating pizza, but not if it’s cold,” Nazaree says, explaining that her microwave in the cafeteria isn’t always the best. “Instead, I like to bring a pizza-inspired sandwich to school,” to which she adds marinara sauce, shredded cheese and her favourite pizza toppings.

A sandwich in a child's bento box with cherries and carrots and celery

Related: Kitchen Skills Parents Should Teach Their Kids By Age 10

2. Pack Better Sandwiches 

There are many reasons why people love packing sandwiches for lunch: they’re portable, budget-friendly and the variety of ingredients that you can pack inside are endless. But there’s one aspect about sandwiches in your lunch box that’s hard to love they can get soggy quickly.

“Soggy sandwiches are worse than soggy pizzas,” Nazaree says with a laugh. Keep lunch box sandwiches from getting too soggy by packing the ingredients in individual containers and assembling the sandwich once it’s time to eat, she says. 

Another way to keep lunchbox sandwiches interesting is by rotating from your go-to sliced bread to bagels, pitas or baguettes. Kids with a more adventurous palate can taste test different cheeses or experiment with various sandwich toppings like mustards and dressings. If you or your little one isn’t a fan of sandwiches, check out these portable lunch ideas.Mango salad with tomatoes and onions

3. Switch Things Up

Busy families know that it’s all too easy to get into a rut when packing lunches for school. Add more excitement to your lunchbox by thinking how different ingredients can be incorporated into multiple meals and snacks. “I love bringing sliced mangoes to school,” Nazaree says. But to add more variety to her lunchbox, she eats them plain some days and uses them in her fruit salad on others. 

School age girl filling up reuseable water bottle

4. Buy Proper Supplies  

Stocking up on proper lunch supplies like reusable snack containers, thermal food jars and reusable water bottles makes packing lunches for school much easier. 

For many students, bento boxes are the must-have accessory in the cafeteria table. “Bento boxes are really popular for kids in the first or second grade,” she explains. For middle school students like herself, Nazaree recommends using bento boxes for more exciting lunches like build-your-own tacos. 

Apple Pie granola bars

5. Bring Shareable Snacks 

After many students experienced virtual learning during the past year or so, eating lunch together in person will feel even more special for kids that are returning to in-person learning. Nazaree says that nut-free desserts like donuts or ice cream sandwiches are always a big hit, if parents want to bring in treats for special occasions such as birthdays.

“My friends and I like to swap juice boxes, and we always like to share cookies and chips,” she adds.  So the next time you’re packing a special snack like homemade granola bars, ask kids if they want to pack a few extras to share with their friends at the lunch table. 

Watch Junior Chef Showdown and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Falafel sliders on blue serving platter

Summer Feast! Baked Falafel Sliders With Tabbouleh and Tahini Sauce

You’ve probably heard of falafel before — but what about falafel sliders? They are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and they’re shallow fried (or even baked) to make the process easier. Serve them on flat breads with tangy tabbouleh salad and a lot of tahini sauce, and you have the perfect summer feast.

Falafel sliders on blue serving platter

Baked Falafel Sliders With Tabbouleh and Tahini

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10 falafel patties

Ingredients:

Falafel
¼ yellow onion
3 large garlic cloves
1 cup dry chickpeas (approx. 2 ½ cups after soaking)
1 cup parsley, packed
¼ cup cilantro, packed
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil + ¼ cup for frying/baking
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp black pepper

Tabbouleh
½ cup fine bulgur (can substitute with couscous)
2 cups parsley, packed
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, loosely packed
½ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder

Tahini Sauce
½ cup tahini paste
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp salt

Falafel slider ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Make the falafel: add onion and garlic to a food processor and process for a minute. Next add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, baking soda, salt, cumin and black pepper and process for a few minutes until well combined and the mixture holds together well.

Falafel slider mixture in food processor

2. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. Once they’ve rested, form the patties ensuring they are not too thin (approx. ½ – ¾ inch thick).

3. Shallow fry the falafel for 1 minute on each side until golden brown. You can also bake them at 400°F for 25 minutes, flip, then bake for a further 15 minutes.

Falafel sliders being baked on baking tray

4. Make the tabbouleh: soak the fine bulgur in ½ cup of hot water and cover. Let stand for a few minutes, then fluff.

Related: Healthy Middle Eastern Recipes You’ll Make on Repeat

5. Finely chop the parsley, tomato, green onions and mint. In a bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and chili powder. Mix the bulgur, parsley mixture and dressing together. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Tabouleh salad in yellow mixing bowl

6. For the tahini sauce: mix together the tahini paste, lemon juice and salt. Whisk everything using a fork continuously until you achieve a smooth consistency. The sauce may seize up when whisking, but continue to whisk until it smoothens out. Thin with a bit of water if required to achieve desired consistency.

7. Serve sliders on flat breads with tabbouleh salad and tahini sauce.

Like Amina’s falafel sliders? Try her 20-minute salmon or her Middle Eastern bulgur, pomegranate and almond salad.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

With this Can You Vegan It? recipe, I’m turning everyone’s favourite spicy chicken sandwich into a vegan-friendly dish. What makes the Nashville hot chicken sandwich unique is that it is deep-fried to maximum crispiness and then dipped in a spicy hot oil mixture. To make this easy for the home cook, I’m pan frying the sandwich twice (vs. deep-frying it). Once to cook throughout and once to coat in a mixture of spices. Instead of traditional chicken breast, this sandwich features extra-firm tofu as the protein. Be sure to press out any excess moisture from the tofu before getting started.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
½ cup vegan egg substitute (if vegetarian, use traditional eggs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 sesame buns
Vegan mayonnaise
Bread and butter pickles
Shredded lettuce

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice the block of tofu into 4 equally sized patties. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg substitute mixture. Put the flour in it’s own bowl and the panko in it’s own bowl. Season the egg substitute mixture, as well as the flour and panko with salt and pepper to taste.

Related: You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

2. Dip each tofu patty in the flour, followed by the egg substitute, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
When ready to fry, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, cook patties for 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden.

Tofu for vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being coated in panko

3. Turn heat off and whisk brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika into the pan. Fry the patties once more over low to medium heat until coated, about 15 seconds. Once you remove them from the pan, drain any excess oil onto a paper towel or two.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being cooked in pan

4. Slather buns with mayonnaise and add patty. Top with pickles and lettuce. Enjoy!

Person holding vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich

Like Marcella’s vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich? Try her vegan egg salad recipe or her vegan eggnog.

Karaage chicken and waffles on white plate

This Epic Karaage Chicken and Green Onion Waffles Recipe is Sweet, Spicy and Savoury

Inspired by Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken in Toronto, our Dining In spicy karaage chicken and green onion waffles features a quick and easy sesame-soy maple syrup and spicy mayo using a togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend you can find at most Asian supermarkets (if unavailable, you can substitute with a mixture of salt, chili powder and sesame seeds). Every bite is sweet, spicy and savoury, making for an exciting dish that can be eaten for brunch, lunch or dinner — and it’ll certainly impress anyone who tries it.

Karaage chicken and waffles on white plate

Spicy Karaage Chicken and Green Onion Waffles

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 waffles

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp sake
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp + 1 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp togarashi + more for seasoning
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 green onions, thinly sliced + more for garnish
½ cup potato starch
½ cup cooking oil
4 tsp pickled ginger

Karaage chicken and waffles ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Pound chicken thighs to a ¼ -inch thickness using a meat mallet or bottom of a metal sauce pan. Place them in a medium bowl and add ¼ cup soy sauce, sake, garlic and ginger. Mix to combine and marinate chicken for 20 to 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the sesame-soy maple syrup by combining maple syrup, remaining soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside until serving.

Related: Fantastic Fried Chicken Recipes

3. Make spicy mayo by whisking together the mayonnaise and togarashi seasoning in a small bowl. Set aside until serving.

4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and remaining sesame oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and set aside.

5. Once chicken is done marinating, add potato starch to a large bowl. Using tongs, transfer chicken to potato starch, shaking any excess marinade off the chicken. Toss until chicken is evenly coated in the starch.

Related: These Waffle Recipes Will Make You Jump Right out of Bed

6. Heat cooking oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay chicken thighs, one at a time, in the oil and fry for 3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Cook in 2 to 3 batches, ensuring not to crowd the pan. When finished, rest the chicken on a cooling rack and season with togarashi.

Fried chicken on cooling rack

7. Cook waffles in a waffle maker until golden brown.

8. To assemble, lay a waffle on a medium plate. Arrange two chicken thighs overtop and drizzle generously in sesame soy maple syrup. Use a squeeze bottle (if available) to drizzle chicken with the spicy mayonnaise. Finish with pickled ginger and a sprinkling of green onions.

Karaage chicken and waffles being plated on white plate

Like Philip and Mystique’s chicken and waffles recipe? Try their Mexican-inspired taco burgers or their West Indian egg curry.

Watch the how-to video here:


Cross-section of pretty sandwiches made of white bread with whipped cream and sliced fruits

This Japanese Fruit Sando is the Sandwich of the Summer

Fresh fruit and sweetened whipped cream sandwiched inside fluffy white bread is a fun and easy no-bake treat to make. Called a fruit sando in Japan, it is made with Japanese milk bread (shokupan) which is wonderfully light and springy with a little bit of chew. Most East Asian grocery stores or bakeries will have them. If you can’t get a hold of it, the closest substitution is thickly-cut Texas toast or any thickly-cut, fluffy soft bread you can find. Use your favourite seasonal fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwis, mangos, blueberries, etc. in this Kindred Kitchen recipe. Whatever you choose, arrange the fruit strategically along the cut line for an oh-so beautiful reveal.

pretty Japanese-inspired sandwiches with whipped cream and sliced fruit

Japanese Fruit Sando

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 3 sandwiches

Ingredients:

7 large strawberries, stems trimmed off
3 kiwis, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 mango, peeled and pitted and fleshy sides cut into long thick slices
1 passionfruit (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
6 Tbsp powdered sugar
6 slices of Japanese milk bread or other fluffy white bread

Three Japanese fruit sandos with strawberries, mango and kiwis ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Wash and pat the fruit with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Trim, peel, pit and cut as required (see above).

2. Pour whipping cream and sugar into a chilled bowl and whisk until stiff peaks. You’ll want the cream to be on thicker side, but also be careful not to overwhip. With a stand mixer, this takes 60 seconds.

Related: Bucket List Burgers and Sandwiches You Need to Try

3. Lay out bread slices and spoon ⅓  cup of whipped cream on each of the six slices. If you have a little bit of whipped cream remaining, hang onto that for the moment. Spread the cream evenly, leaving a small border around the edges which will be trimmed off later.

4. On three of the bread slices, arrange your fruit (in this case: strawberries, mango slices with passionfruit pulp dribbled on top and kiwi halves). Pay attention to how you place the fruit along the intended diagonal cut line since that’s what will be shown when the sandos are cut in half. Fill in larger gaps between fruits with any remaining whipped cream. Place the other bread slices on top.

Three Japanese fruit sandos with strawberries, mango and kiwis

5. Without changing the orientation of the sando, wrap each one tightly in a piece of plastic food wrap while pressing gently, but firmly down on it. Use a marker to draw a line on the plastic wrap where the intended cut will be so you know where to cut it later.

Three Japanese fruit sandos with strawberries, mango and kiwis wrapped in plastic wrap

6. Chill in refrigerator 30-60 minutes. When the rest time is over, make note of the marker line and unwrap each sando. Make a clean, firm cut along the line using a long, sharp knife. Trim off the four crusts (my kids snack on these). Wipe knife clean between every cut. Separate the sando halves to reveal your beautiful fruit design.

Like Sonia’s fruit sando recipe? Try her three-ingredient kimchi chicken patties or sweet and sour shrimp and tofu recipe.

The Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Menu With 5 Ingredients Per Meal

Have you ever looked at a gorgeous recipe photo and thought: “I’m definitely making that!” only to become way less enthused when the instructions call for 20 ingredients or more? We’ve been there. So, we’re giving you the opposite: a day’s worth of 5-ingredient meals. From breakfast to lunch to easy dinner recipes, they’re all easy to make — and the lunch dish is particularly quick (because We Know You Have 10 Minutes!). One rule: oil, salt and pepper don’t count toward the five ingredients. Okay, that’s it. It’s time to get cooking!

Breakfast: Maple Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 1

Maple quinoa bowl


Ingredients:

¼ cup quinoa
¾ cup non-dairy milk
¼ – ⅓ cup toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup blueberries (or your favourite fruit of choice)
Splash of maple syrup, to taste

Directions:

1. Place the quinoa and non-dairy milk in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes until fluffy and all the milk is absorbed.

2. Pour the quinoa into a bowl, top with walnuts or almonds, blueberries and a hearty drizzle of maple syrup. Feel free to add more non-dairy milk.

Note: You can replace the quinoa with brown rice or oats. If you already have these grains pre-cooked, simply toss them in the saucepan with just a bit of non-dairy milk to heat up.

Lunch: Quickie Grains, Greens & Beans Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

½ cup cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice
½ cup chickpeas
1 cup baby kale, mesclun greens or baby spinach
½ green apple or avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp creamy tahini
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. If you’re using brown rice and it’s not cooked yet, do so according to package instructions. For a grain-free option,  use cauliflower rice.

2. Place the rice or cauliflower on the bottom of a wide bowl or reusable to-go container if you’re taking this lunch with you.

Related: Healthy 5-Ingredient Lunch Ideas You Can Make Quickly

3. Pile the chickpeas together in one area of the bowl. Place the greens in another area of the bowl. Then add the apple or avocado on top.

4. Drizzle tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper, then mix. If you’re taking this lunch to-go, you can dress it beforehand or place the dressing components in a container on the side.

Watch the how-to video here:


Dinner: Sheet Pan Miso Salmon

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 2


Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli, chopped in florets
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
2 ½ oz pieces of salmon
2 Tbsp white miso
3 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Push some florets to the side and place the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet, so the flesh is facing up. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

4. While the broccoli and salmon are baking, prepare the miso marinade by whisking miso, maple syrup and sesame oil.

5. Take the salmon out of the oven when it’s done (you know it’s done when a fork gently flakes it apart) and immediately brush or spoon the miso marinade over top.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s 5-ingredient meals? Try their spicy sauteed cauliflower and chickpeas or their blackened trout with green beans.

Published January 8, 2020, Updated March 11, 2021

Vegan egg salad on baguette

This One Ingredient Will Change Your Vegan Recipes Forever (Plus a Vegan Egg Salad Recipe!)

Kala namak AKA black salt is the secret ingredient to many vegan recipes. It is a kiln-fired rock salt with a similar texture to a pink Himalayan salt, but with a strong hard-boiled egg flavour. Often used in South Asian cooking, it is the perfect way to add egg flavour to any eggless dish. It is amazing in this Can You Vegan It? egg salad sandwich recipe — serve it between two slices of your favourite bread or on a toasted sourdough baguette (my preference!).

Black salt

Vegan Egg Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Vegan egg salad on baguette

Ingredients:

16 ounces medium or firm tofu, pressed
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
¼ cup chives or green onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric
½ teaspoon kala namak
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Sourdough baguette, for serving

Vegan egg salad ingredients

Directions:

1. Press the tofu before using to drain out any excess liquids and ensure it soaks up the ingredients.

Tofu chopped up on cutting board

2. In a mixing bowl, toss together the tofu, celery and green onion. Set aside.

Vegan egg salad mixed in bowl

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, turmeric, kala namak and pepper.

Related: Healthy Vegan Snack Ideas Featuring 10 Ingredients or Less

4. Pour mixture over tofu and toss to coat. Scoop mixture over bread, garnish with chives and enjoy!

Vegan egg salad mixed in bowl

Like Marcella’s vegan egg salad recipe? Try her vegan eggnog recipe or her six different recipes from one humble can of tomatoes.

Your New Favourite Dish Starring Avocado: Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad

With all the glorious warm weather in recent weeks, we’re seriously craving more light, healthy summer recipes that will curb our hunger pangs without leaving us feeling overheated. So, if you’re looking for something quick and easy – and that doesn’t require an oven – try this unique guacamole-inspired salad straight from Molly Yeh‘s kitchen.

Diced avocados, cucumber, red onion and roughly chopped garlic are drizzled with a homemade dressing that boasts the complementary flavours of paprika, oregano and lime. It’s definitely one of our new favourite ways to eat avocados.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bagel Salad Recipe is an Instant Brunch Classic

Molly Yeh’s Guacamole Salad Recipe

Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 avocados, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 English cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lime, juiced
Hot sauce, as desired
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chicken Shawarma Tacos

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, garlic, cucumber, cilantro and red onion.

2. In a separate small bowl, stir together the olive oil, paprika, oregano, lime juice and some hot sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Drizzle the dressing on top of the vegetables and fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

How to Make Vietnamese Bun Cha, The Rice Noodle Salad Your Lunch Bowl is Craving

This vibrant rice noodle salad boldly features Vietnamese-spiced pork patties, thin rice noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs, spring rolls and a salty-sweet sauce. It’s the lunch bowl you’ll be returning to again and again. The best part? You can meal prep all the components on the weekend, pack them up and enjoy throughout the week. You’ll be the envy of your co-workers!

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Pork Patties
1 lb ground pork (use regular or lean for the most flavour, not extra-lean)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lemongrass paste
1 Tbsp honey

Nuoc Cham Dressing
½ cup warm water
¼ cup honey
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup fish sauce
1 small red chili pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced

Noodle Bowl
Approx. 4 cups cooked rice noodles
4 large (or 8 small) cooked spring rolls, cut into small pieces
1 lettuce head (like Boston), with some leaves intact, some shredded
1 large red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 large English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
approx. ½ cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
large bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
large bunch fresh mint, for garnish
limes, quartered, for garnish

Directions:

Pork Patties
1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mix to make sure ingredients are well combined.

2. Use a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop to make 16 patties, flattening them slightly with your hands.

3. Place patties on a plate, covered in the fridge, until ready to cook.

4. Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan (preferably one with griddle marks) over medium heat.

5. Cook patties until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads 160˚F.

6. If not using straight away, set patties aside to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Nuoc Cham Dressing
1. Whisk all ingredients in a small jug until combined. Some honey will produce a dressing that’s a little cloudy – that’s fine! Set aside until using (can be refrigerated).

Noodle Bowl Assembly 
1. Gently reheat pork patties and spring rolls in a slow oven or microwave.

2. Line the bowls with one large lettuce leaf each.

3. Add shredded lettuce, cooked noodles, vegetables, pork patties and spring rolls.

4. Sprinkle over peanuts, cilantro and mint.

5. Serve with the lime quarters and dressing on the side and allow people to season with these to taste.

Tip: You can prepare all ingredients in advance and simply assemble when you’re ready to eat. For an amazing desk lunch, pack separate containers with noodles, vegetables, dressing and pork patties/spring rolls, and simply assemble for a meal to remember.

Here, we reveal the healthiest meal-prep lunches that won’t get soggy, plus our best no-heat lunch ideas to avoid that dreaded office microwave line.

The Epic Winter Salad That’ll Keep You on Track This Season (Ft. the Best Dressing Ever)

Who says winter lunches and dinners need to revolve around steaming stews, soups and roasts? Instead, try an epic winter salad that’s loaded with the season’s best produce. This fresh and colourful recipe is adaptable to any of your favourite cold weather add-ins: try cauliflower instead of Brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds instead of dried cranberries, sliced chicken breast instead of chickpeas, crumble over feta to add richness and so much more. What you won’t want to change is the lip-smacking roasted garlic dressing with a hint of sweetness to tie it all together. 

The sturdiness of the vegetables used enable you to meal prep this on the weekend for a week of filling lunches or veg-forward dinners. Even if you’re cooking for one, make the entire recipe and reward yourself with something nourishing and delicious every day this week. 

Epic Kale Winter Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 

Ingredients: 

Salad
300g Brussels sprouts, tough ends removed and halved lengthwise
250g (1 large) beet, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
3 Yukon gold or 2 peeled sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges or cubed
1 onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 large or 2 regular cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp kosher salt
6 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn or shredded into manageable pieces
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup toasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds

Dressing
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp applesauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp kosher salt
Roasted garlic, from above 

Directions:

1. For the salad, preheat oven to 400ºF. Add Brussels sprouts, beet, potatoes, onions and garlic to separate areas (to prevent the beets from staining the other vegetables) of one large or two medium rimmed baking sheets and evenly divide over olive oil, thyme and salt, and then toss vegetables to coat. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Squeeze the garlic out of its paper and smash to create a paste; reserve garlic paste for the dressing. 

2. For the dressing, in a medium glass jar to shake or bowl to whisk, combine all dressing ingredients, including the smashed garlic paste, from above. Shake or whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy (it’s okay if there are some small bits of roasted garlic – it’s sweet and won’t be pungent like a chunk of raw garlic would). 

3. Toss a portion of the dressing with the kale to coat and add to large platter, or divide among 4 to 6 individual salad bowls. Toss a portion of the dressing with the chickpeas and add to the platter or divide amongst bowls. Add a section of each of the roasted vegetables and drizzle over remaining dressing. Sprinkle everything with sunflower seeds and cranberries, and serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Alternatively, instead of composing the salad, toss everything together before serving.

Entertaining this season? May we suggest this show-stopping healthy grain bowl for a crowd (featuring mashed sweet potato and wine-baked tofu!). You’ll also love these 15 vegan roast alternatives for meat-free guests.

Bento Lunch Boxes: How to Make Colourful Back-to-School Meals Your Kids Will Devour

Packing healthy school lunches that your kids won’t challenge can be just a little stressful, especially if you have a picky eater on your hands. The foods you prep need to energize, nourish and keep your child focused throughout the school day. Luckily, gone are the days of the sad brown bag and that same soggy ham and cheese sandwich. That’s partly thanks to the bento lunch box, which has changed the game, giving parents a far easier method for meal prepping, and kids a way more enjoyable way to eat. Read on for eight genius tips on packing the ultimate back-to-school lunch, plus three bento box ideas you’ll be quick to replicate.

1. Pack the Rainbow

Pack as much colour as you can into your kid’s lunch box. This means lots of vibrant fruits and veggies, so they can get the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Everyone eats with their eyes first, so when something looks colourful and appetizing, the process of digestion begins. Kids also take eating cues from how food looks, rather than from how it tastes.

Main: Chicken salad sandwich with cucumber, carrots, spinach (or stuffed in a pita or tortilla)
Side: Roasted sweet potato cubes
Snack 1: Blueberries with strawberries sliced into hearts or stars
Snack 2: Edamame beans or green peas
Dessert: Mini chocolate chips with pumpkin seeds

2. Get Creative

Many kids like what’s familiar to them, and if they enjoy eating the same thing every day, one way to change it up is to get creative with how the food is displayed. If your youngster love strawberries, cucumbers or melons, try slicing them into stars one day, cubes the next and hearts the following week. Thread their favourite fruit through a stick to transform them into skewers. Take their sandwich ingredients and roll them into wraps, stuff them into mini pitas or thread them through to make sandwich kebabs.

Related: Healthy After-School Snacks Kids Will Love

3. Cover Your Macro and Micronutrients

Ensure your little ones remain fueled throughout the day by sending foods packed with fibre, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. If you’re already filling lunch boxes with fruits, veggies, seeds, beans/legumes or animal protein and a whole grain, you’re covered. Packing a sweet treat is also a must, so think of more nutritious options like homemade granola bars, better-for-you cookies or healthier muffins. Remember to limit the refined sugar, which can impact your child’s behaviour, energy, focus and mood.

Main: Pesto pasta noodles with sliced cherry tomatoes
Side: Steamed green beans with sesame seeds on top or raw snap peas
Snack 1: Skewered mango and grapes
Snack 2: Cubes of cheese or crispy chickpeas
Dessert: Mini cookies or strawberries with chocolate chips

4. Repurpose Leftovers

Packing school lunches can be a lot of work, so if you can, repurpose dinner leftovers from the night before. If you have leftover chicken, make the lunch box Mexican themed and pack the chicken with avocado, corn and salsa. If you have extra lasagna, cut a square and pack that. You don’t need to start from scratch if you have foods to work with. Also, do your best to pack the night before, and avoid adding another stressful task to an already busy morning!

5. Be School Safe

Nut allergies are quite common these days, and most schools are now nut-free. Keep this in mind when you’re packing back-to-school lunches, and replace classics with nut-free alternatives. For example, if you were going to pack a peanut butter and jam sandwich, swap the PB for sunflower butter. For something like trail mix, ensure it’s made with seeds. If you’re buying snacks, there are loads of allergen-free options out there.

6. Get Your Kids Involved

Studies show that if kids have a hand in helping grow, prep or cook food, they’re more likely to eat it. So involve your children in the packing process. Have them decide what they want to eat – you can even ask them to come up with a meal plan schedule to paste on the fridge. If possible, ask them to help with the prep: maybe they can skewer fruit, or slice strawberries with a kid-safe knife.

Main: Protein pancakes
Side: Heirloom carrots, sliced + dollop of hummus to dip
Snack 1: Crispy chickpeas or raisins
Snack 2: Raspberries and kiwi
Dessert: Orange slices dipped in chocolate or with chocolate chips

7. Keep it Clean

Don’t pack foods that have a strong, offensive smell, or something that’s going to leak all over the rest of the meal. This will pretty much guarantee that your kid will pass on eating his or her lunch!

8. Lunch as an Afternoon Snack

There may be times when you open your child’s lunch box after school, only to discover the meal you lovingly prepared is still sitting there. When your kids come home, they’re usually starving and desperate for a snack. This is the perfect time to offer up these lunch leftovers to ensure the food you spent time making isn’t wasted.

Here, a nutritionist reveals meal prep tips to avoid a sad desk lunch (plus two 10-minute recipes) – because parents deserve inspiring lunches, too!