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Red Deer Foodie

…getting busy in the kitchen!

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Who out there has tried quick cooking barley?  What a chewy and filling delight it is!!  I picked some up from The Green Pantry (a wicked online local food connector based out of Lacombe).  Progressive Foods has several recipes on their website and I adapted one of their recipes for “QC Barley Mandarin Salad” and turned it into a smaller yield (only 2 of us to feed that week!).  You know what it tastes exactly like?  You know those raman noodle salads that grannies always bring to family reunions?  So good but full of deep fried fatty noodles, tons of oil etc?  This salad tastes just as good – if not better and is so healthy!!  I also whipped up some quick cedar plank grilled salmon – perfect meal!!  The only thing is, you need to be kind of prepared in the morning b/c the salad needs to marinate all day in the fridge.  (I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out so  I didn’t document the whole thing with photos!)

Asian Barley Salad  with Cedar Grilled Salmon

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked Quick Cooking Barley 

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup diced celery

2 tbsp green onion chopped

3 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained (I used 2 of the individual serving portions)

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Bring chicken broth to a boil and add the barley.  Continue boiling for 1 minute, then cover and simmer for 9 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand until all the liquid has been absorbed.  Allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and pepper.  Add the sliced mushrooms, celery and barley.  Stir to combine.   Chuck in the fridge for the day and then toss with the rest of the ingredients right before dinner!  The reason I do this is b/c I just think that the cilantro and green onions go soggy!

On to the salmon:

Grilled Salmon Marinade Ingredients:

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 individual servings (filets)

1 cedar cooking plank


Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a shallow bowl.  Add the salmon and turn to coat – let marinate for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, soak the plank in water for about 20-30 minutes.

Heat up the bbq to about 450degrees.  Assemble the salmon on the plank and toss onto the grill – close the lid and don’t open it again for about 10 minutes.  Check it out and see if it’s done to your liking.  Serve with the Asian Barley Salad and you have a pretty awesome dinner!!




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I haven’t been doing a lot of baking lately, mainly because we are experiencing an unusually hot hot hot summer!  Who wants to turn the damn oven on when it’s already 26degrees in the kitchen?  Barf – not me!!  A rainy patch finally blew through and I was able to blast out some cookies that I found in my favourite cook-book on earth, yep you guessed it Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood!!  I adapted the recipe ever so slightly and just love the cookies that came out!  They are rich and chocolatey – I love biting into the chocolate chips too!  These freeze great and make a nice little treat straight out of the freezer – the 7 year old definitely was down with these cookies – he called them “brownie cookies” and that is as good as a description as any!!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Double-Chocolate Cookies 


1 cup softened butter

1 1/2 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350degrees and line cookie sheets with baking paper.  Set aside.  wet to dry; about to get married

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add the dry to the wet and blend well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls, and flatten slightly with your hand or with a spoon (the cookies will flatten slightly as they bake). Bake in the centre of the oven for 8-10 minutes.

The cookies will seem puffy when you remove them from the oven, but they flatten out as they cool.  Let the cookies set on the sheet for at least a minute before removing to cool on a rack.

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I’ll bet when I say “curry” the last thing most people think about is “Japan” – but it’s one of the country’s most popular dishes – you can even get it at 7-11 conbinis!  It was one of the few Japanese dishes that I “mastered” while over there, so I was delighted to find it quite easily in Canada, but then was a little dismayed that the instructions on the box were a bit different than how I had been taught!  Anyways, here’s my version of how to cook this delicious curry stew – if you know people who are a bit on the fence when it comes to curry, make this for them – it will convert them for sure!!

a sweet mild curry anyone will love!

Japanese Vegetarian Curry


this is all you need for a quick delicious meal!!1 box Glico Brand curry sauce (usually comes in hot, medium or mild – the hot is not hot!)

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup baby potatoes, quartered

1 cup cauliflower (cut to bite-sized, no smaller b/c it will turn to mush!)

2 cups cooked rice (Jasmine or Basmati)


In a large pot, heat oil over medium high and add onions.  Saute until soft.

Add the carrots and potatoes and stir to coat in the oil.  Let cook this way for a couple of minutes, until you start to smell the carrots.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Break up the curry blocks and add to the pot – stir until the blocks have melted and a sauce has thickened.

sweet blocks of curry sauce - break into a few pieces before adding to the pot

Decrease the heat to medium, add the cauliflower and put a lid on the pot.  Stirring occasionally, cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

To serve – fill half of a shallow bowl with rice, and then ladle curry into the other half – this is traditional and if you screw this up you fail at this dish!  This is also one of the few Japanese dishes that is served with a spoon – attempting to eat this dish with chopsticks will get your ass kicked out of CoCo’s so fast you won’t know what hit you!

For the record, I’m sure the Japanese would never add cauliflower to their curry, I just do when I have it in the house – I sometimes even make it with chickpeas and I am sure that traditional Japanese curry would also never include that!  Normally you would find it with carrots, onion, diced potato and either chicken or beef.  I love making this dish in the slow cooker with tiny cubes of stewing beef – soooo good!

So if you haven’t tried this curry, I totally encourage you to try it out – you can find it in the ethnic aisles of most grocery stores.  Enjoy!!


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