Category: Dinner Recipes

Chicken Stir Fry with Mushrooms and Snap Peas




We recently moved and one of my favorite highlights of our new place is that it has a gas range. Nothing beats the responsiveness of gas. Not only is it instant heat, there’s something so right about cooking with fire. The stove is not the only thing giving off heat right now, summer has definitely arrived and when the heat sets in, as it has, I like to turn yo recipes with either blissfully cooling elements or to fiery-hot ones that will get me sweating with chili and other warming ingredients like ginger and garlic.

The marinade for this Chicken Stir Fry with Mushrooms and Snap Peas is simple and comes together quickly. I know I’ve said up to four hours in the recipe but I’m not convinced that an overnight marinade would be bad here since there isn’t anything too acidic in it to cook the chicken. I quite like the idea of doing this the night before or in the morning and coming home to a ready to go dinner. Likewise, you could prep the chicken in a zip top bag with the marinade before freezing, simply defrost, et voila!

Chicken Stir Fry with Mushrooms and Snap Peas

makes dinner for four (with rice)

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless – cut into 1 inch/bitesized pieces

1Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 C ponzu, tamari or light soy sauce

1 tsp dried chili flakes

1 Tbsp grated ginger

1 Tbsp grated garlic

1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Allow to marinate for up to 4 hours but at least 1 hour.

Prepare the vegetables; thinly slice and set aside:

2 portobello mushrooms

1 bunch of scallions (green parts only)

as well as

4 cups sugar snap peas

In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, quickly cook the chicken in 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms, scallions and peas, tossing to cook until the mushrooms are hot and the peas are cooked but still crunchy.

Serve over brown rice and garnish with pea shoots.

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa


It’s not even the middle of May and it was 25 Celsius here yesterday. When it’s warm and bright like that I want to eat dinner in the back yard, with a great cocktail or a cold beer, and let the day just fade away into the evening. Something easy, fresh, bright, lime wedges doing double duty in glasses and on plates. Laughter, sunset, the din of the city as it cools and slows down again for another balmy night; this is the landscape of perfect summer cooking and eating. But what to make?
Easy: fish tacos! (more…)

Chili Rubbed Roast Chicken

whole chili roast chicken

How is it Sunday again? This weekend has slid by without permission or warning. Highlights include: sunshine and lots of it, drinks and snacks with some friends, one of whom is moving overseas this week, the best cannoli in the city, sleeping in one day, getting up early the other, reading, writing, a clean house and a lot of laughs. Around here, Sunday usually means a pseudo-traditional Sunday dinner. By that I mean that we all sit at the table and the meal itself is usually something that propels us into the week with some leftovers. This particular Chili Rubbed Roast Chicken makes it into the rotation frequently because it’s so easy and versatile.

chili roast chicken


I usually do chickens 3 at a time. With five people in the house we can easily go through one and a half chickens at dinner and then leftovers go into lunches as plain pieces, chopped and added to salads and sandwiches, or for another dinner that week, shredded and used in tacos or burritos. Sometimes, it’s just eaten cold from the fridge as a snack. That’s how we roll. The recipe is after the jump, happy fleeting weekend, everybody!  (more…)

Rolled Turkey Breast with Sausage and Mushrooms

turkey roulade with sausage and mushroomsI really, really love Fall. It’s my favourite. I love the crispness in the air, the changing leaves and the cooler, darker weather with the promise of the holidays and then shortly after, spring. Mostly though, I love cooking in the fall. I love the farm to table inspiration of the harvest, I also love slow cooking where the bulk of the work is done by the oven or a heavy, simmering pot. For me, Fall and Winter are the most ‘traditional’ seasons for cooking, not surprisingly because of the holidays and the ideas of big family meals garnished with tradition and steeped in expectation. Hmmm, there’s good stuff there, but also, a colossal amount of pressure. Shouldn’t cooking be a fun and rewarding activity? I tend to think so. We have to do it, so we may as well make the most of it. If the prospect of a ‘traditional’ family meal centers around a turkey, (not everyone’s traditions are the same, I realize), then I might have just the thing for you: a departure from what Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners of yore may have looked like, but also a nod to the classic turkey and every good feeling that comes from slow roasting meat with herbs and serving it with finesse.


some assembly required

some assempbly required

How is it possible that we are in the second week of September already? Here in Vancouver that doesn’t quite mean that summer is over in terms of warm weather but it does mean that the pace and timing of one’s life may begin to return to normal: back to school or back to work, vacation memories fading quickly. Whether these few weeks are about ‘normalizing’ for you or not, chances are you’re feeling some sort of pinch, some sort pressure, I know I am. When we’re under stress or duress, even if that stress is “normal” for us, it can be so easy to let slide the most important things for our overall well being: eating well, sleeping, exercising and taking time to actually enjoy your life, not just letting it rampage past, leaving you a dizzy spectator.

I won’t preach on sleep or exercise, two things I’m in no position to lecture on, but eating well and enjoying life can so often go hand in hand – but how do we do so when there just aren’t enough hours in the day?

At our house, when no one wants to cook and take out is leaving us non-plussed, we do an antipasto style dinner, some assembly required: plates of this and that which everyone assembles as the wish. Everyone gets something they want, there aren’t many dishes and with a well stocked pantry and fridge it’s not a nuisance to prepare. Make the selection as simple or as elaborate as you like, just make sure you hit the main categories: fruit, veggies, protein (meat or cheese or both, usually) and some sort of vehicle to get it all in, like bread, crackers, tortillas, even fresh lettuce leaves. Beyond that, add something sweet, something zingy (think chutney and/or pickles or olives) and if you’re really feeling luxurious some hummus or baba ganoush to dip and spread.

So take a deep breath, put on some good tunes, crack a bottle of wine and enjoy the satisfaction of putting out a simple dinner without ever turning on the stove.