Spicy & Sour Shredded Potato Stir Fry

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My family and I immigrated to Canada when I was 6 years old. Up until that point I grew up in the Northwestern region of China where a beautiful blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavours came together at the end of the silk road. The food I grew up with is still what influences my tastes today. Asian-Fusion is definitely my favourite type of cuisine (if that’s even really considered a type of cuisine).

One of my favourite stir fries I used to eat in the restaurants in China was an incredibly easy and flavourful dish which incorporated shredded white potatoes to have a spicy and sour taste with a hint of Szechuan peppercorn. It’s usually served as a second stir fry to accompany a protein based stir fry at restaurants, but even by itself it’s pretty delicious!

There are many different ways to make this dish as it’s one of the most common dishes in that region on China. Some people cook it with only rice wine vinegar, some add in MSG, and some versions are very red after adding in chili oils & pastes. This is just my version using simple ingredients the majority of people have access to and have the dish mirror the original the best that I can remember!

Here’s everything you need

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium-sized White Potatoes ($1.30)
  • 1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic ($0.04)
  • 1 Scallion ($0.09)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar or Black Chinese Vinegar ($0.27)
  • 1 Tsp Light Soya Sauce ($0.02)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt ($0.03)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
  • 1/4 cup water or Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorn (optional)
  • Takes 20 min,
    serves 2.

    Total Cost = $2.16!*

    Compared to the $7-9 at restaurants!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    The first thing you’ll want to do is peel & julienne the white potatoes. I find that the best way to julienne the potato is to cut it in half along the longer side and make thin slices.

    Shredded-potatos-toudou-si.jpg

    Shredded-potato-stirfry.jpg

    Once it’s sliced, take the slices and stack them up then cut small slivers so you have thin long strips of potato. After you’ve julienne the potatoes, put them in a large bowl and rinse them about 3 times (enough to get all the starch out). This allows the “potato-y” taste of the starch to not overpower your stir fry. After you’ve rinsed the pulp out, fill the bowl with water (there shouldn’t be any bubbles or dewy water – it should be clear!) and let the potatoes sit while you cut up the rest of your veggies. This allows the potato to stiffen.

    shredded-potato

    Next, mince the garlic & ginger. Julienne the long hot green peppers, and cut the green onions into slivers.

    shredded-potato-ingredients

    Take a wok and place it on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and let it heat. Once  warm, add in the ginger, half your garlic and half the green onions. This is when I add in the Szechuan peppercorn, it allows the numbing flavours of the peppercorn get infused with the oil. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix.

    Stir-Fry.jpg

    As soon as the ginger starts to get golden and it starts to get aromatic in your kitchen, drain the potatoes and toss them in! After about 3 minutes, add in the rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.

    shredded-potato-cooking

    Stir for about 5 more minutes and add in your long hot green peppers and the rest of your garlic – save the green onions for last! Stir for about a minute and add in the water or chicken stock, this will allow the potatoes to cook a bit faster. Now add in the green onions, 1 Tsp of salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.

    shredded-potato-cooking-spicy

    Stir for about 2-3 minutes and your stir fry is done! Try biting a sliver of potato to see if the texture is to your liking, but it definitely shouldn’t be soft or soggy – it’s supposed to have a slight crunch!

    Shredded-potatoes-tou-du-si.jpg

    And in under 20 minutes and $2.25 you have a yummy spicy potato stir fry!

     

    I hope you enjoy it! Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% appreciated! 🙂

    *This recipe can be gluten free if you swap the soy sauce to a GF soy sauce!


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

    2 Medium Sized White Potatoes – Loose – ($1.30) – $11.40/kg
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Light Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    Green Long Hot Green Peppers – ($0.34) – $4.39/kg

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    Fresh Chicken Summer Rolls

    healthy-Summer-rolls-1.jpg

    Summer rolls are my go-to quick meals in the summertime and occasionally in the Winter when I want a light but filling meal. They can be packed full of your favourite veggies, proteins, herbs, and always be delicious. Though a lot of people know what summer rolls are – it seems a lot of people also don’t seem to realize how easy (and cheap!) they are to make!

    In most restaurants, two of these wraps can go for $5-6. It’s a lot more cost saving (and fun) to be making these at home! Try to go through this recipe and see if it becomes a staple for your own hot summer days.


    INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 6 WRAPS
    TAKES 30 MINUTES, SERVES 2

    1/4 of a package of thin vermicelli noodles ($0.49)
    6 Rice Paper Wraps ($0.39)
    1 Carrot ($0.16)
    1/3 Cucumber ($0.66)
    6 Romaine Lettuce Leaves ($0.30)
    1/2 cup of fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) ($0.49)

    FOR THE PROTEIN: (You can use any protein you’d like, ex: substitute chicken with 1/2 block of Tofu)

    1 Chicken breast ($2.33)
    1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
    2 Tsp Soya Sauce – 1 for marinade, 1 for sautéing ($0.02)
    1 Tsp Ginger ($0.01)
    1 garlic clove ($0.02)
    1 scallion ($0.09)
    1 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.05)
    1 Thai Chili Pepper (Optional)

    Total Cost = $5.02* – $0.83 each!

    Compared to the $5-6 for 2 at restaurants! For the amount you make – its comparing $5.00 to $15.00-$18.00! That’s a great trade off.

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    The very first thing you should do is boil a small pot of water for your vermicelli noodles. I personally think the texture of the noodles is the most important part of these wraps, they should never be wet and soggy! While the water boils, gather all your ingredients!

    ingredients-summer-rolls-fresh-healthy

    Preparing your protein should be the next step. Chop the green onions then mince the garlic, ginger, and Thai chili if you opted for it to be spicy! Next slice your protein (I used chicken), then add in the cornstarch and soy sauce. Mix it all together!

    By now your water should be boiled. Add in the 1/4 package of vermicelli noodles. Lower the heat to medium and cook the noodles for about 2 minutes. Once the noodles look cooked, drain and rinse using a sift. Try to squeeze are much water out as possible and cool the noodles in the fridge. Putting the noodles in the fridge allows it dry out a bit more and allows it to have a great texture!

    chicken-ingredients-rolls

    Once your protein ingredients are ready, set a pan on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and wait for it to heat. Once heated, add in the ginger. As soon as it gets aromatic, add in the protein. Stir for about 2 minutes and wait for the chicken (or your choice of protein) to cook through. Once it does, add in the green onions, garlic, soy sauce, and chili. Now stir quickly for another 30 seconds and take it off the heat. Set it aside.

    marinated-chicken-rolls.jpg

    Now that your protein is set, start cutting up your veggies! I chose the julienne most of the vegetables so it’s easy to fit into the wraps.

    chopped-vegetables

    Once your veggies are ready, you can now start making your wraps! Take the noodles out of the fridge and shake them up a bit so they pull apart.

    Take a large flat bottom pan or bowl (wide enough to fit the rice paper) and fill it with warm tap water. Grab a couple paper towels and put them next to the pan, you’ll be using these to dry the rice wraps! Put a rice paper wrap in the warm water and wait for it to get soft – it shouldn’t take more than 1 minute. Once it does, take it out and try to shake off as much water as possible, then dry it on the paper towels. This allows it to stick and hold better as your make your roll! Place the wrap on a cutting board or a flat surface and start filling!

    summer-rolls-healthy-instructions-copyThe easiest way to wrap is to pull up the bottom half, then the side of the wrap, and then roll it up. And there you have it! In less than 30 minutes and 5 dollars, you have a wonderfully light but filling, healthy lunch for two!

    healthy-summer-rolls-3

    These wraps can be further enjoyed with sriracha, hoisin sauce, and especially my All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce! I can’t recommend that enough, it’s just wonderful.

    This recipe can be gluten free if you substitute the soy sauce used in the protein to a GF soy sauce!

    summer-rolls-dip

    Enjoy! And any feedback is 100% appreciated.


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website, as well as my Farmboy receipt.

    Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
    500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
    500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    Romaine Lettuce – $1.50
    3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
    1 Cucumber – $1.50
    Basil – $1.99
    400 g package of Thin Vermicelli Noodles – $1.99
    Six Fortune Rice Paper Wraps – $2.99(comes with 45-50 papers)

    Ginger Scallion Noodles

    Ginger-scallion-noodles-lift.jpg

    If I could eat every meal at David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar I would. Unfortunately that’s not the reality so I decided to do my best to recreate one of his simple noodle bowls at his restaurant! I adapted the recipe from his Momofuku cookbook to contain ingredients that you won’t have to travel far for, and all can be done within 10 minutes!

    Once you master this noodle bowl, it’ll become a staple easy lunch I promise!


    Ginger Scallion Noodles

    Ingredients & Costs

  • 1/4 of a package of wheat noodles ($0.42)
  • 1 tbs Ginger ($0.03)
  • 1 garlic clove ($0.02)
  • 2 scallions ($0.18)
  • 1½ tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
  • ½ tbs Rice Vinegar ($0.09)
  • 1½ tsp Soy Sauce ($0.03)
  • ½ tsp Salt ($0.01)
  • 1 Thai Chili Pepper (Optional)
  • Total Cost = $0.85*

    Compared to the $8-10 at noodle bars!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    First you should note that the noodles in the recipe are everything! The cookbook highly recommends you use fresh ramen noodles, I just ended up using fresh wheat noodles that you can get at any Chinese grocery store in Chinatown! They’re always my go-to noodle for small bowls and soups.

    Wheat-noodles-thin.jpg

    One package can definitely be enough for 3-4 people, so I only use a quarter of the package for a small bowl for my lunch!

    First things first, mince your ginger and garlic as small as you can! Ideally, if you have a food processor, you can toss them in there. Cut your scallions so they are about 1 1/2 inches long and slice vertically. Adding the Thai chili pepper is completely optional, I just love to have heat to any noodles I eat! While doing this, put a pot of water on the stove.

    ginger-scallion-noodles-vegetables

    Once everything is chopped up, grab a small bowl and pour in the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, all the veggies, and mix!

    ginger-scallion-noogles-mix

    By now your water should be boiling, toss in your noodles and they should be ready within 1 minute! While waiting, use a small pan and pour your ginger mixture in. As soon as it gets aromatic, wait 15 seconds and take it off the heat. Once your noodles are ready, drain, rinse, and toss it into the pan with the heated mixture.

    Mix the noodles in with the sauce and your noodles are ready within seconds!

    Feel free to add in extra sides at the end (ex. Kimchi, pickled cucumbers, pickled cabbage, etc) it’ll all taste yummy!

    ginger-scallion-noodles1

    And that is one of the easiest lunches you can make! And all for under $1!

    Hope you enjoy it, any feedback & comments are definitely appreciated 🙂


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

    1 Lb of Shanghai Fresh Wheat Noodles ($1.69)
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)

    Veggie-Packed Noodle Bowl with Tofu Steaks and Peanut Sauce

    I’m an omnivore in every sense, but I aim to have vegetarian meal days twice a week as a preference. Doing this not only allows me to eat a larger variety of vegetables, but also is cheaper than eating meat, is more sustainable, and forces me to learn how to make meals that don’t use meat as a crutch. This veggie noodle bowl does just that.

    Inspired by a local vegetarian restaurant, this noodle bowl packs in so much flavour, incorporates a large variety of vegetables, and is my go-to meal since it’s one of the easiest and fastest meals anyone can make. This recipe can also be vegan and/or gluten free if you substitute a few ingredients with others (I’ll be highlighting those substitutes). This is an incredibly dynamic dish as you can pick and choose what vegetables you want to add depending on your preference, almost any leafy green works!

    The protein of the recipe is the sweet soy sauce marinated tofu, with an addition of the All Purpose Peanut Sauce recipe I posted earlier this week! If you wish to add meat to the bowl, you absolutely can by just substituting the tofu and keeping the marinade the same!


    INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 1 LARGE BOWL
    Takes approx. 15 minutes to make

    Marinated Tofu:
    1/4 block of Firm Tofu ($0.62)
    1/2 Tsp of Corn Starch ($0.006)
    1 Tsp of Dark Soy Sauce (regular works fine if you don’t have dark, this just has a richer flavour) ($0.01) – Can be substituted to be GF
    1/2 Tsp of Cumin ($0.02)
    1/4 Tsp of ground Szechuan Peppercorn (you can use regular pepper, but I highly recommend a trip to Chinatown to get this peppercorn!)
    1 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.07)
    1 Tsp Honey (or Maple Syrup if you want a vegan recipe) ($0.05)

    The Bowl:
    1/3 – 1/2 of a sheet of Thai Vermicelli (rice) noodles depending on appetite! Each package usually comes with 3 sheets ($0.20)
    1/3 cup Broccoli (or Chinese Broccoli) ($0.19)
    2 heads of Baby Bok Choy (and/or Nappa Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, the list goes on!) ($0.50)
    1/4 cup Zucchini ($0.19)
    1/3 a Bell Pepper (Green, Orange, Red, Yellow – pick your preference!) ($0.70)
    1/3 cup of Thai Peanut Sauce ($0.46)
    1 Green Onion to garnish ($0.09)
    Cilantro to garnish ($0.08)

    Total Cost: $3.18

    Compared to the restaurant cost of $19 per bowl!

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    First the tofu. This is the main marinade I use for the majority of meals I make with tofu, mainly because it gives it a great crunchy crust but still keeps the salty and sweet taste of the soy sauce and honey. First cut 1/4 of the block for 1 bowl (I got greedy and cut 1/3rd and had left over tofu!).

    tofu_1

    Take the left over tofu, fill a container with water, and store it away for other meals! Next, slice the tofu to be about 1cm thick, and then cut again diagonally.

    tofu_3

    Use 2 pieces of paper towels and squeeze excess water out of the tofu by pressing down on it on both sides. This allows the tofu to soak up more of the marinade. After drying, take a small bowl and combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey (or maple syrup), cornstarch,  Szechuan pepper, and cumin. Stir it all together, put the tofu in a different container, and pour the mix on top of the tofu. Now mix! Or shake! Whatever floats. While doing this, put a pot of water on boil.

    marinated_tofu2

    Let the tofu marinate for a bit. You can chop up your veggies now! The great thing about this bowl is that you can really add in anything you want! Any leafy green works perfectly, or anything you would put in a salad. I decided to cut up bok choy, Chinese broccoli, orange peppers, and zucchini. Chop up the scallions and cilantro as well to act as your garnish. I don’t recommend you skip on this step, the two herbs really tie the dish together.

    veggie_bowl_vegetables

    By this time your tofu should be marinated enough, put a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, use a pair of tongs and fry the tofu on each side for about 30 seconds to make sure its nice and crispy. Once the tofu’s skin is well cooked, take another paper towel and transfer the tofu from the pan onto the towel to let it collect excess oil. Keep the leftover oil in the pan for our next step!

    marinated_tofu

    Time to boil the noodles! By now the water should be boiling. Break off a piece of the rice noodles, I’ve made the mistake of cooking 1/2 a package for 2 people too many times – trust me it’s definitively going to be MORE than what you expect!

    rice_noodles_gluten_free

    Read the instructions on the package, but they should be ready within 3-5 minutes. Feel free to check after 3 to see if it’s soft to your own liking.

    Once the noodles start to cook, toss all your vegetables in the pan you cooked the tofu in (except the garnish!) on medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and wait for it to get hot. When the vegetables start to steam, take the lid off and splash a teaspoon of soy sauce on and stir for about 15 seconds. Take the pan off the heat.

    By this time your noodles should be cooked! Drain the noodles, quickly rinse them in cold water, and place them in a bowl. Now you can assemble your veggie bowl! Add in the tofu and the veggies.

    veggie_asian_noodle_bowl_vegan2

    Now pour on peanut sauce and you have a delicious healthy, vegetable-packed, gluten free noodle bowl even a carnivore would enjoy. And all for under $3.25 compared to the restaurant cost of $19!

    asian_noodle_bowl_peanut_sauce5

    I’d love to hear feedback (good or bad) or any tips! Don’t hesitate to comment! Enjoy! 🙂


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website.

    1 block (420 g) of Rooster Tofu ($2.49)
    500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
    500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    400 g Suraj Cumin ($3.49) – $0.87/100g
    443 ml LKK Pure Sesame Oil ($6.99) – $1.59/100ml
    500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
    454 Rice Stick Vermicelli Noodles, small ($2.29) – $0.50/100g
    1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
    1 bag of Baby Bok Choy ($1.99)
    1 Zucchini ($0.79)
    1 Orange Bell Pepper ($2.10)
    1 cup of homemade peanut sauce ($1.39)
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
    1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)

    All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce

    asian_thai_peanut_sauce_1

    I was never too keen on peanut sauces in the past, then I started getting into Thai and Vietnamese food while in University so evidently my peanut sauce intake grew exponentially. I had tried to make multiple batches of peanut sauces from recipes I saw online and they constantly turned out.. well.. bland.  They never had that extra kick of acidity the ones in the restaurants had.

    The thing with the majority of Asian sauces is that they usually contain a lot of ingredients that may be hard to come by (not everyone is able to get palm sugar and tamarind paste at their local grocery store!) So I tried to make this sauce to have the ingredients that are a bit more easy to access without looking to hard! To do this I decided to play around with the flavours and ask some lovely local Thai restaurant owners what the sauce actually consists of.

    It seemed the main missing ingredients so many peanut sauce recipes were rice vinegar, coconut milk, and Thai red pepper curry paste. I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk, so I decided to omit it and add water instead (you can absolutely use coconut milk). Once I added in the other ingredients(as well as a hint of sriracha because obviously), my peanut sauce took on a whole new flavour and mirrored those in my favourite restaurants.

    Use this sauce for spring rolls, summer rolls, stir fries, meat satay, noodle bowels, or just about anything! Once you start making your own, it’ll be almost be painful to eat the prepared and preserved bottles you can purchase from the grocery store. 1 cup of the sauce can be used for 2 – 3 dishes or noodle bowls (depending on how saucy you like your meals). Adding a little extra water if its a bit thick won’t alter the taste too much.


    INGREDIENTS for 1 CUP OF PEANUT SAUCE & COSTS
    (Prep time 5-10 minutes)

    1/2 cup of All Natural unsalted creamy Peanut Butter ($0.59)
    1 1/2 Tsp of Red Curry Paste ($0.13)
    1 1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.28)
    1 Tsp Soy Sauce ($0.02)
    1/2 cup of water (or coconut milk if you want a sweeter taste) + 1/4 cup for preference – Free (I hope!)
    1 Tbs of Honey (or 1 1/2 Tbs of brown sugar if you want a vegan recipe) – ($0.21)
    1 Tsp or clove of garlic (minced) – ($0.02)
    1 Tsp of ginger (minced) – ($0.01)
    1 Tbs of Canola Oil – ($0.05)
    1 1/2 Tsp of Lime juice or juice of a quarter of Lime ($0.05)
    Sriracha to taste if you like it to be spicy! (Optional)
    Crushed peanuts (Optional)

    Total Cost = $1.36*

    Compare that to the bland, preservative filled $5.00 peanut sauces you find in grocery stores!
    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


    DIRECTIONS

    Finely mince the ginger and the garlic (as fine as you can!) Pour the oil in a sauce pan or small pot and place it on the stove at medium-low heat. Throw in the minced garlic and ginger and wait for it to get aromatic. Once you begin to smell it cooking, toss in the red pepper curry paste and mix. Make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t catch (no one wants burnt sauce). peanut_sauce_red_pepper_curry

    Once the curry paste is well mixed in with the garlic and ginger, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Continue to stir! It should look something like this.

    curry_vinegar_honey_peanut_sauce

    Once it starts to bubble, its time to throw in that peanut butter!

    peanut_sauce_curry_paste_spicy

    Stir stir stir! Now add in the half cup of water and stir some more! Within a minute, your sauce is almost ready and should look something like this!

    asian_peanut_sauce3

    Now for the final touches, squeeze in the lime juice and add in some sriracha if you want it to have some heat! (I highly recommend you do) Once it bubbles a little bit, you’ll notice the sauce get thicker. If you want it to be a but more runny, I advise you add in another 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer for 30 seconds before taking it off the heat.

    And voila! Within 5 minutes, you have your very own homemade all purpose peanut sauce for 3 servings, and all under $1.50! You can store this sauce in an air-tight container or jar for up to 1 1/2 weeks in your fridge!

    asian_peanut_sauce_2

    I hope you enjoy this protein packed, super simple, sauce! I’m happy to take any feedback (good or bad) or questions!


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.

    750 g President’s Choice Just Peanuts Smooth Peanut Butter ($3.99)  – $0.53/100g
    400 g Cock Brand Red Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    125 ml Realime Single Strength Lime Juice ($0.99) – $0.79/100ml

    Savoury Caramelized Onion Scones

    Scones are one of my favourite things to bake. Mainly because I’m absolutely horrible at baking and scones are incredibly easy to make! And for less than $3, you can make a batch of a dozen scones!

    I’m much more into savoury flavours than I am to sweet. I find that a caramelized onion scone is a good balance in between both.

    *Ingredients & cost calculations below*

    The first thing you’ll want to do is to caramelize the onions. I chose to use yellow onions, some people prefer to use sweet onions. Either will do, just don’t use red onions and it’ll be fine! Chop the onion first in half, peel off the skin, cut off the ends, and slice as you go. You’ll most likely get a litter teary at the point.

    32386548021_bef3ac3629_b

    Get a thick flat bottom pan, I used a cast iron skillet that I got from a second-hand store for $4.99 that’s been nothing but kind to me, and put it on the stove at a medium-low heat. Throw a tablespoon of butter in the pan. Once the butter melts, toss the onions in and stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, you’ll see your onions have decreased in size by quite a bit, it’s just getting dehydrated. At this point you can choose the toss in a tablespoon of brown sugar if you want your onions to be a bit more sweet.

    Continue cooking the onions for about half an hour, a bit more if you wish for it to be even more caramelized.

    32357626492_e1699a42fe_b

    They should look a little bit like the photo above. Take the onions out and put them on a plate or cutting board. Time to chop them up!

    32357626812_d44ea83891_b

    Make sure the pieces resemble small cubes. Now, its time to cool them. Just put the cutting board into the fridge for now. While doing this, heat your oven to 375F.

    Before you get started on the scones, make the buttermilk. Just put the milk in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Set it aside and in 10-15 minutes, voila you have buttermilk!

    Finally! The scones!

    Take the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt and mix it in a large bowl. Next, cut your cold butter into cubes (around 1cm) and knead in with the flour mix, but not too much! This is the worst thing you can do with scones, do not mix in the butter too much, or else the scones won’t be very flaky and you’ll have yourself a batch of biscuits. That’s okay if that’s what you want though.

    Next, add in the buttermilk and start mixing! This is when you take the chopped caramelized onions out of the fridge and toss them into the mix. Once everything’s mixed in, transfer the dough to a surface dusted with flour. Roll out the dough and try to flatten by hand so it’s about 1 1/2 inches thick.

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    You can now either just take a knife and cut the dough into triangles or use a circular cookie cutter and cut your scones! Once everything’s ready, get a baking sheet and lay out some parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, aluminum foil will work just fine, spray some Pam on so nothing sticks, and you’re ready to get baking!

    I put my scones on the top rack and leave it in for 20 minutes or once it starts getting golden brown. And just under 1 hour you have yourself a batch of flaky, savoury, and delicious caramelized onion scones. And guess what the cost was.. $2.92! Compared to bakery cost of $24+.

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    Hope you enjoy my first recipe post!

    INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 12 SCONES
    • 3 cups flour, and 1/2 cup for your work surface ($0.792)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda ($0.01)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder ($0.122)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar ($0.035)
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt ($0.022)
    • 5 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter (salted works too, just omit the salt if you don’t have unsalted), cut into 1cm cubes, plus 1 tablespoon for the onions ($0.96)
    • 1 cup of buttermilk (or if you’re a regular human who doesn’t have buttermilk on hand, 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice gets you the same thing in 10-15 minutes!) ($0.45 for milk and $0.11 for the lemon juice)
    • 2 medium-sized yellow onions ($0.44)

    Total Cost = $2.92*

    *Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

    Need the proof?

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.

    2.5 kg of Five Rose All Purpose Flour ($5.49) – $0.22/100g
    225 g of Magic Baking Powder ($3.99) – $1.77/100g
    500 g of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda ($1.49) – $0.30/100g
    4 kg of Labtic Granulated Sugar ($5.69) – $0.14/g
    750 g of Fine Crystal Sea Salt ($5.49) – $0.75/100g
    2L of Neilson 1% Partly Skimmed Milk ($3.58) – $0.18/100ml
    454 g of Neilson Butter, Salted ($5.99) – $1.31/100g
    125ml if ReaLeamon Single Strength Lemon Juice ($0.99) – 0.79/100ml
    3lb Farmer’s Market Yellow Onions ($1.99) – $1.56/kg

    Ugh, another food blog? What else is new?

    Hello world!

    I figure my first blog post should contain a few main things. Try to skim through and see if the value proposition I’m proposing is worth sticking around for!

    So, what’s your story?

    I recently graduated from university in Ottawa, Ontario with a commerce degree and immediately went into a full time marketing position in the finance industry. I was the type of student who would have a full time course load, work part time (and sometimes full time) in a marketing office, and be a teaching assistant for marketing courses at university. It was 75% because I needed to put myself through school and pay rent from the age of 19, and 25% because I’m a workaholic. Having said that, because I was so busy with being busy, I never really had time to slow down. Now that I only have one thing on my day-to-day agenda, it was only a matter of time before I went into a full on identity crisis!

    Trying to find my passion wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be. My passion is simple and it’s primitive. It’s food. It’s cooking. It’s providing nourishment for the ones you care for. I don’t want to get too Michael Pollan on everyone here, but I was raised in a family where food meant love. This may not be an overly healthy relationship you want with food, but finding the right balance is also a journey I hope to share with you guys.

    Ugh, another food blog? What else is new?

    Well, I can’t argue with you there. However, I can tell you that my food and cooking blog has a goal. And no, it’s not to monetize traffic and focus on my SEO metrics. Even though I am an extremely analytical person with a resume focused on data and marketing metrics, I’m going to focus on something else here. Not too long ago I read an article that stated that Millennials are the generation that spend the most on dining out. A whole 44% of food dollars to be exact.

    I’m not hating on eating out here, I love going to restaurants, being served, and eating meals I could never prepare at home. It’s almost one of my favourite pastimes. However, I think a part of this 44% has to do with the fact that some of my fellow millennials aren’t confident enough to cook the meals they see in restaurants, at home. I’m trying to tell you different. You can eat incredibly delicious, high quality, delicate food right in your home.

    Okay.. Where’s that value proposition you promised?

    The value this food blog is trying to bring to you is cost evaluation. With every recipe I post, I’ll be including the costs involved for each ingredient to the cent and provide the full cost to prepare the meals. And you can never forget about the opportunity costs here either. With the numbers involved, I hope to show you guys that making delicious food isn’t hard, and it’s actually really cheap. Compare these costs to those 15$ cocktails and 18$ minuscule plates of ceviche at restaurants, and who knows, maybe you’ll say the words “Lets dine in” a little more often. Stay tuned!