How To: Quickie Meal – Sesame Noodle Bowls


I’m having a bit of a love affair with bowls.

Quinoa bowls, rice bowls, and most recently, noodle bowls. Now we all know I’ve had a thing for food in bowls for quite some time, but  noodles have recently become the latest and greatest thing in my house.



They are also very helpful for getting a toddler to eat their dinner. I bet you didn’t know that long and slurpable noodles were just about the funniest thing on this planet? And eating them? Well the most fun ever!



What also helps is the delicious sesame peanut sauce that gets poured over top of these extra fun noodles. And my daughter is the sauce queen – having recently discovered the wonders of hollandaise sauce, this rich and creamy sauce is now the new fave.



Any long noodle would work in this dish. Having made this more than once recently, I’ve tried my share of noodle varieties. One of my favourites is the sweet potato noodle. They are so hard to find in the regular grocery store, but a friend of mine snagged a package for me in Kensington market. I just love how chewy they are. But rice noodles would be a close second and those are readily found in your local grocery store.

Ditch the plate, grab a bowl of noodles, and douse ‘em with sauce!



Sesame Noodle Bowls

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


  • 3/4 pound rice noodles (udon noodles, whole wheat spaghetti, sweet potato noodles would all work)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1.5 tbsp all natural peanut butter
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1.5 cucumbers (thinly sliced)
  • 1 block of tofu (cubed)
  • handful cilantro and mint (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (chopped)
  • chili garlic paste (to taste)


These noodle bowls would also be great topped with leftover shrimp or chicken in place of the tofu. Any long noodle would work in place of the rice noodle.


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread tofu out evenly on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 20-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and firm. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package direction. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine tahini, sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and garlic. Mix well. Pour over noodles and toss to coat.
4. Divide noodles evenly among bowls. Top with tofu, cucumber slices, mint, cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle with chili garlic sauce, to taste.


How To: Quickie Meal – Hoisin Chicken and Vegetable Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


This past weekend we purchased our first two pints of local Ontario strawberries of this season. I think there may be some strawberry jam happening in the near future.

June is prime time for local produce – rhubarb and strawberries and asparagus, oh my! While June may not scream SWEET POTATOES, this recipe is too good to not shout share.




One of the best things about this recipe is the sauce. That should be no surprise here coming from a self proclaimed saucy gal. The sweet and salty hoisin sauce is mixed into the quickly stir-fried ground chicken and vegetable mixture – I’ve used broccoli and red peppers but really any vegetables would work. And when I say quick I really mean quick. Once your prep is done, and this could be done a day or two in advance, this meal comes together lickity split.





And lets talk about the stuffed sweet potatoes for a second. Looking back, it seems we have a little thing for stuffing vegetables – stuffed spaghetti squash, stuffed eggplant, stuffed peppers, a Mexican stuffed sweet potato, and now this version. Our motto – when in doubt, stuff it!


Make ‘em, stuff ‘em, enjoy ‘em!



Hoisin Chicken and Vegetable Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted From Cookin' Canuck


  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder (divided)
  • 2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 pound ground white meat chicken
  • 1 large bunch broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)


  • 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce


Once your chopping is done, this meal comes together in literally 10 minutes. You could substitute any vegetables for the broccoli and red pepper - mushrooms, green beans, or zucchini would all work great. Ground turkey or beef could also be used in place of the chicken.


1. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Micowave for 4 minutes, turn them over, and microwave another 4-5 minutes, until soft. Remove and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle. Slice them lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving the skins intact.
2. Mash the flesh in a large bowl with 1/4 tsp five spice powder. Stuff the mashed sweet potato back in the shells, dividing it evenly among all four shells. Set aside.
3. Heat a large non stick wok or skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Add ground turkey and 1/4 tsp five spice powder and cook until fully cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
4. Add broccoli and red pepper to skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and sauce to the skillet and cook until everything is coated with the sauce and heated through.
5. Spoon turkey mixture on top of sweet potatoes and dig in!
6. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

How To: Healthy Lunch – Asian Bean Salad


Do you know that the last time we posted a healthy lunch post was way back in April with a delectable quinoa salad? I know, it’s just terrible! It’s the beginning of September, back to school season, and we are seriously lacking recipes and posts in the healthy lunch department. Let me make it all better with this delicious and oh so simple Asian bean salad.



I actually had to do a serious and thorough reading of past blog posts to make sure I hadn’t posted this recipe for you in the past (with almost 200 recipes!!!! it’s easy to lose track). It’s a household staple that I really can’t believe it has taken me this long to share it with you.


When I said this recipe was simple, I meant it was really REALLY simple. The dressing is just three ingredients – apricot jam, olive oil, and rice vinegar. A sweet and sour combo that works so well in this bean salad.



And what else could you want in a healthy lunch for the back to school season besides simple?

So I think it’s fair to say this recipe makes up for the lack of healthy lunch recipes in the past months, don’t you?



Asian Bean Salad

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable
By author Adapted from Ellie Krieger


  • 1.5 pounds green beans
  • 1 package frozen and shelled edamame
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 5 green onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar


The bean salad is great as a vegetarian main for lunch or a side for chicken or fish for dinner. It's best made a day ahead of time so the beans can soak up the flavourful dressing. Some grated ginger or garlic would be a great addition to the dressing.


1. Steam green beans and edamame until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut green beans into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl with edamame.
2. Add green onions, red pepper, and black beans to green bean mixture and mix until combine.
3. Mix together jam, oil, and vinegar and pour over bean mixture. Toss until mixture is fully coated and season withs salt and pepper to taste.



How To: Quickie Meal – Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu


We are definitely making up for our long and cold winter – this weekend was hot hot hot! I normally am not one to complain about a beautiful sunny summer day. It’s never a bad thing when you have a drink in hand and a pool to sit by.

However, when your air conditioning breaks in your condo for the umpteenth time and your thermostat is reading 78 degrees, a hot summer day becomes problematic.



And that is when a no cook meal comes in handy. And when I say no cook, I really mean NO COOK. I too was a bit skeptical of eating tofu simply as is. But after enjoying a cold tofu salad at my local sushi spot, I was sold. The sesame seeds add a nice nuttiness to the tofu and once it’s all drenched in the luscious peanut dressing, it really is drool worthy.



The kale just needs a little massage (don’t we all!) before getting topped with all the other goodies. Working in the lime juice, oil, and maple syrup helps to soften the kale and make it that much more tender and enjoyable.



If you like an extra kick, top it with an additional squirt of spicy sriracha. Then drizzle the whole bowl full with the scrumptious peanut sauce if you’re planning to finish it all right away. Keep the sauce on the side for leftover lunches throughout the week. Although, if I had to guess, I would say you may find yourself spooning the sauce straight from the bowl into your mouth. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!


IMG_3789 Even though my air conditioning is yet to be fixed and the temperature is still hovering around 76 degrees, I can still enjoy a delicious dinner without adding to the stifling heat. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stick my head in the freezer!



Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker


  • 1 bunch kale (stems removed and chopped)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 4 radishes (sliced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cashews (chopped)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha (plus more for garnish if you like things spicy)
  • hot water


This salad keeps well for a day or two, but keep the peanut sauce separate. You could replace any of the vegetables with some sliced cucumber or red onion. The peanut sauce would also be great as a dip for vegetables or spring rolls or drizzled over some grilled chicken.


1. Add kale leaves to a large bowl and drizzle with lime juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. Massage kale with fingers until leaves are slightly wilted and bright green (about 1-2 minutes).
2. Add kale leaves to a large bowl and drizzle with lime juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. Massage kale with fingers until leaves are slightly wilted and bright green (about 1-2 minutes).
3. Place tofu cubes in a large zip lock bag or bowl and toss with sesame seeds until evenly coated.
4. Place tofu cubes in a large zip lock bag or bowl and toss with sesame seeds until evenly coated.
5. Top kale with sliced peppers, radishes, tofu, carrots, and cashews. Drizzle with peanut sauce and serve.
6. Top kale with sliced peppers, radishes, tofu, carrots, and cashews. Drizzle with peanut sauce and serve.
Peanut Sauce
7. Combine all ingredients except hot water. Add hot water about 1 tbsp at a time until sauce is pourable. It took me about 1/4 cup of hot water.
8. Combine all ingredients except hot water. Add hot water about 1 tbsp at a time until sauce is pourable. It took me about 1/4 cup of hot water.


How To: Healthy Lunch – Cashew Quinoa Salad with Asian Grilled Chicken

Saturday night we switched the clocks forward an hour in anticipation of the warm spring weather. I normally wouldn’t complain about losing an hour of sleep in favour of ditching the winter boots and heavy jackets.


Except, what we now have is an hour less of sleep, heavy jackets and winter boots, and snow on the ground. So how is this fair? 

Well to make up for this, I have a treat for you today. Not one, but TWO recipes – who doesn’t love a good 2 for 1 deal? (and this totally makes up for this long and cold winter we’re having, right?)



While this cashew quinoa salad can certainly stand alone as a delicious and healthy lunch or light dinner, the addition of an Asian flavoured grilled chicken breast adds a little bit of extra protein. Not a fan of chicken? The marinade would also work great on salmon, tilapia, steak, or tofu.



And just like our other delectable quinoa salad, you could definitely just throw in a can of beans or chickpeas and call it a meal.


Not only is the quinoa loaded with crunchy cashews, but it gets an extra nutty flavour punch from the gingery peanut dressing. I just realized I gave you another gift to beat these winter blues – the dressing can certainly be used on almost anything, from a leafy green salad to a sandwich spread or vegetable dip.



While we may still need our down filled jackets and UGG boots for a little while longer, you can now spring forward with gusto to a delicious lunch with these two new healthy and flavour packed recipes.



Asian Grilled Chicken Breasts

Serves 2
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Misc Freezable


  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


These chicken breasts pair beautifully with the Asian flavoured quinoa. They are also great as a make ahead and stored in your fridge or freezer. Chop them up or cut into strips and add some extra protein to your next salad or pasta or roll them in a tortilla or pita for an easy lunch option.


1. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil and place in a zip lock bag with chicken. Let marinade in fridge overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
2. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. At the same time, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
3. Grill chicken on grill pan for about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until fully cooked through.

Cashew Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing

Serves 4-6
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen


  • 3/4 cups quinoa
  • 1/2 head red cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 2 carrots (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup cashews


  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp ginger (grated)
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp water (to thin dressing to desired consistency)


This quinoa salad makes a great lunch or side for dinner. I've served it with grilled chicken but it would also be great as a side to salmon or steak. Or toss in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas for a vegetarian main dish.


1. Place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Pour dressing over quinoa and toss until coated.
3. Combine peanut butter and honey in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and add in remaining dressing ingredients. Add some water, a tbsp at a time, until dressing is pourable.