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Toronto eatin’: easy cauliflower ‘fried rice’

If you feel like you’ve been eating badly this holiday season and you want to ‘lighten up’ your dinner menu, there are many great alternatives to dishes that contain rice. In some homes, rice is a staple and in others it is avoided at all costs. Cauliflower fried rice will make you feel less guilty, but still fill you up. Personally, mashed cauliflower or cauliflower mac and cheese is a favourite of mine to make every time I want to switch it up and reduce my carb intake. Cauliflower fried rice will be another one to add to the list.

Ingredients:

  • One large cauliflower head
  • 2 large eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 1 tsp fresh hopped ginger
  • 5 table spoons soya sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots ( or broccoli mix)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1tsp salt (or more if needed)

Directions:

  1. You can choose to grate your cauliflower or just place in a food processor to make your ‘rice’
  2. Add vegetable oil to a hot skillet and lightly scramble your eggs with a dash of salt. Remove eggs and set aside
  3. Add more oil to fry the scallions, garlic, ginger and onion, stir until softened- not brown
  4. Add the cauliflower along with some salt and the soya sauce
  5.  Stir constantly and cook until tender
  6. Add the eggs, sesame oil and sugar
  7. Taste to add more seasoning if necessary

It’s that quick and easy to have delicious guilty-free fried rice at home. you can use this dish as a side or even add cooked chicken strips.

Will you try this recipe at home? Comment below

 

5 places to dine in Toronto this winter

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean the fun has to end. A friend of mine said that her favourite thing to do is dress up and go out for dinner, a casual lunch or even an early morning breakfast. So here are five recommended spots by Women’s Post to dine this winter in Toronto.

Copacabana Brazilian Rodizio

You don’t have to go all they way to Brazil to experience an authentic way of cooking grilled Brazilian foods. Copacabana has four locations in Canada and two are based in downtown Toronto. This unique style of serving food is similar to many rodizio’s around the world. Rodizio refers to an all you can eat style Brazilian steakhouse, where servers bring large skewers of meats and grilled vegetables ( but mostly meat) around to your table and they carve off slices. The servers keep coming until you over indicate with a card you wish not to be served. Copacabana Toronto also adds lively Brazilian flair to their atmosphere by having samba dancers performing on Fridays and Saturdays as well as an aerial silk performer.

Blu Ristorante

As the name may suggest, this restaurant is self-proclaimed as the number one Italian restaurant in Toronto. It has actually been the recipient of Open Table’s Diner’s Choice for the past seven years in a row. This Yorkville-based restaurant offers an intimate and formal dining space with the ambiance of live music. Expect menu choices such as braised octopus with black kale pesto and fettuccine with Nova Scotia lobster tail, calamari and tiger prawn. Blu is the place to enjoy great Italian food and a wide selection of wine in a warm and inviting space.

Cactus Club Cafe

This trendy Adelaide West restaurant,located in the heart of the financial district is a personal favourite, no matter the season, Cactus Club Cafe will give you a lively and upbeat atmosphere even on a dreary Monday night. There are three levels to choose from, and a heated rooftop for those milder winter nights featuring a live DJ. With prompt and friendly service, you will certainly enjoy this restaurant as you dine on the creations of culinary masters and specially crafted cocktails for each season. This winter, bar operations manager Kris Jensen introduced two new seasonal creations, the Whiskey Ginger Smash and the LateHarvest Daiquiri with hints of Saskatoon berry and elderflower.

La Banane

Voted as one of the best new restaurants of 2017 by Toronto Life, La Banane offers eclectic french cuisine to the streets of Toronto. Located on Ossington Avenue, this stunning spot offers a fresh raw bar with mussels, oysters, shrimp, crab, lobster, and scallops. Obviously, all that seafood pairs will the abundance of wine that this french bistro has to offer. La Banane is led by Chef Brandon Olsen, who has curated the menu consisting of his personal french inspired food passions.

Cacao 70

One of the key points of going out to eat in the winter is that you want to feel comfortable and cozy. Cacao 70 is located in the Distillery District and offers a Queen W. location as well. This popular chocolate drinking bar, originated in Montreal, but has slowly spread all over Canada. It is not just all about their speciality of Chocolate, but the restaurant offers the experience of using Chocolate in different flavour adventures. Enjoy drinks like Black Sesame hot cocoa and Champurrado, which features  hot chocolate with spicy cinnamon and whipped cream.

What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?

Holiday Baking: homemade grape leaves

Stuffed grape leaves are a delicious snack and can often be found in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants. Homemade grape leave wraps, also known as Dolmades, provide a delicious vegan treat not only during the holidays, but year-round. They are surprisingly easy and affordable to make, and combine some of the best spices out there, including dill, mint and lemon with rice and pine nuts. Can you say yummy?

Begin by making the filling of the grape leaves with rice:

  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup of fresh dill
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Begin by roasting the pine nuts and onion in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. After a few minutes, add the rice, one cup vegetable broth and cook rice al dente. If you completely cook the rice, it will be mushy in the grape leaves so only half cook. Once the rice is complete, add dill, mint, lemon, salt and pepper and allow to cool.

Prepping the grape leaves: 

  • Grape Leaves
  • Salt

Take the grape leaves (either jarred or fresh) and put into a pot of boiling water with salt. Allow the leaves to soften until pliable, but do not over-soften or they will tear. Remove from water and pat dry.

Wrapping and cooking the grape leaves:

Once dry, spread the grape leaf out and put two scoops of filling in near the base of the leaf. Fold the two bottom sections of the leaf up and then the sides of the leaf before rolling tightly into a grape leaf roll. Repeat.

Once the grape leaves are wrapped, pack firmly into a pot in layers. Pour the remaining vegetable broth, lemon juice and ¼ cup of olive oil over the wraps. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, but do not boil or the leaves will fall apart. Lower heat once simmering and use a plate that can be heated to press down on the grape leaves and keep them in place. Let the leaves simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Drain excess water and enjoy once cool.

The grape leaves are relatively easy to make and will give you a healthy snack to munch on while waiting for that main holiday meal. They also keep well, so you can eat them throughout the week once your leftovers run out. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Herb roasted chicken breast

Roasting the turkey at 325 degrees and allowing it to rest for fifteen minutes ensures that it will be very moist.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6½  to 7 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1½  to 1 ¾ hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read meatthermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is overbrowning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest atroom temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

 

 

Excerpted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.