Friendly Food Snobs


pomegranate molasses roasted Brussels sprouts


IMG_2844Savoury, sweet and nutty, pomegranate molasses roasted Brussels sprouts can win over any Brussels sprout hater. Halving the sprouts means more edges get crispy and the pomegranate molasses adds a tangy sweetness and helps the veggies caramelize. Pairs well with lamb, beef tenderloin or pork for a holiday meal. If you have leftovers, yummy tossed cold into salad the next day. Serves four.

pomegranate molasses roasted Brussels sprouts

3 cups Brussels sprouts ends removed and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degree. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Top with Brussels sprouts and drizzle over oil and pomegranate molasses. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast 15 minutes, then stir and flip. Cook for 25 minutes total or until crispy and tender. Look for pomegranate molasses in any middle eastern food shop, Whole Foods or any health food store. It lasts in your pantry forever and is great to add to salad dressings. Can’t find it? Just use honey.


halibut with roasted tomatoes

IMG_2798I am a big fan of fish for weeknight dinners. It cooks quickly and is simple to make delicious. Salmon, cod and halibut are my favourites.  This dish has all the flavours I love –  fresh and Mediterranean with slightly charred tomatoes, garlic, butter, capers and olive oil. It reminds me of eating fish caught that morning on seaside holidays.  Serves two. Can easily be doubled for four.

Hint: Buy fish from your grocery store’s fish counter the day you want to eat it. This avoids the dreaded fishy smell and ensures it’s fresh. I am often that crazy person at the fish counter asking “But what’s the freshest?” But it makes for yummy fish every time.

halibut with roasted tomatoes


2 halibut fillets
1 clove garlic
1 shallot finely chopped
olive oil to coat pan
2 tablespoons butter
20 or so ripe cherry tomatoes halved
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons drained capers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I get the fish counter to take the skin off as it makes for easier clean up. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat oil to coat the bottom of an oven safe pan. Cook halibut for 2-3 minutes a side and then remove from pan. Add butter to pan at medium heat. Saute shallots. When fragrant, add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Once you smell the garlic add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Nestle the fish back into the pan, spooning some sauce over it. Tuck in both bay leaves and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until fish completely cooked. Serve over rice or couscous with capers sprinkled on top.  .

vietnamese style chicken + rice noodle salad

I LOVE the flavour profile of Vietnamese food. So happy I finally figured out how to make this at home. Plus the recipe comes together in 30 minutes. This dish has so many layers. The rice noodles to slurp, the vegetables to crunch and the herbs and Vietnamese dipping sauce that make it so addictive. This used to be my favourite take out in my single-just-starting-my-first-real-job-days. Ten years later, I finally figured out the recipe and make a variation of it once a week.  Serves four.

Vietnamese style chicken + rice noodle salad

Ingredients for the chicken:
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Ingredients for the salad:
Half of a package rice noodles (makes four one cup servings)
2 grated carrots (or chopped red peppers)
½ cucumber cut into thin matchsticks
½ cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or mint)

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 tablespoon  rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons water to dilute the sauce (optional)
Juice of half a lime

Slice chicken lengthwise. Combine the garlic, hoisin and chicken and marinate for 20 minutes while you prep everything else.

Pour just boiled water over the noodles in a bowl. Let noodles soak for 4 minutes before straining. After straining well, pour a few drops of rice wine vinegar over top to keep them from sticking.

Scrape off a little of the chicken marinade. If it’s too saucy, it won’t crisp up. Sear it on either side until cooked through on medium-high heat in a non stick pan (or cast iron) or toss it on the BBQ. It cooks quickly because it’s so thin.

Plate the noodles, vegetables, fresh chopped herbs, peanuts and chicken with sauce on the side. Serve with soy sauce, siracha hot sauce and lime wedges on the table if you like. Dig in! Also very delicious the next day cold or warm as leftovers. [wink, wink]

italian potato salad

Weather this weekend is all sunshine. So we’ll be eating al fresco, lighting up the grill and tossing the last of my summer basil plant all over our plates. Simple, mediterranean and fresh, I’ve been making this version of potato salad for years and this is my favourite variation of recipe. Serves four with leftovers.

italian potato salad

8 small red potatoes cut in half or quarters
3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
6 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
1 onion cut into half moon slices
1 teaspoon brown sugar
8 sun-dried tomatoes chopped
salt and pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat two tablespoons oil in frying pan and begin to caramelize onions. Adding sugar and salt and pepper after ten minutes. Boil potatoes (skin on) in salted water until tender. Chop garlic and mix with remaining four tablespoons olive oil, pinch red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic and salt and pepper to create the dressing. Leave at room temperature. Drain potatoes when done cooking and mix into dressing while potatoes still warm. Stir in the caramelized onions. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with basil strewn across the top. Can be served at room temperature or straight from the fridge. Capers, feta or black olives make lovely additions too.

kale potato soup


Sometimes you just need a reset. A little virtue after too many indulgences. This veggie soup hits the spot for me and beats any diet. Feel free to improvise with whatever you have in the fridge. Like most soups, it freezes well and tastes even better a day or two later. Makes eight servings.

kale potato soup

1 small head of kale or 1/2 of a large head of kale chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped
2 onions chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 carrot chopped
3 small potatoes peeled and chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
handful fresh parsley, basil, chives, thyme (any fresh herbs on hand)
olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan
6 cups water or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon herb de provence

Don’t worry about perfect slices, as the soup will be pureed near the end. Heat olive oil in big pot and saute onion, carrot, garlic and herb de provence until fragrant. Add the kale and cook until wilted. Add water/stock, potatoes and broccoli. Adding more liquid if you want the soup thinner, I like 6 cups just fine. Simmer covered for 40 mins. Let cool slightly, add the fresh herbs and puree using a hand blender. Stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.

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