Mushroom, Chicken and Soba Noodle Soup

I’m a huge fan of soba noodles, they somehow satisfy a serious carb craving without making you feel like you just ate a heavy meal afterwards. Growing up, I was lucky to have a mom who made a lot of authentic, Japanese-style home-cooked meals. One of my favourite meals was always chilled soba noodles in a light soy-flavoured sauce with a sprinkling of dried nori seaweed on top. Although I’ll always love that classic way to enjoy these buckwheat noodles on a hot summer day, the world of food blogging has opened me up to so many different ways of preparing soba noodles, and I’m happy to say that this soup won’t disappoint. It’s healthy and flavourful and oh so good. If you love soba noodles as I much as I do, you should also check out this sesame soba noodle salad..yum!

Mushroom, Chicken and Soba Noodle Soup
Yield: about 6 servings

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2½ cups mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (shiitake or cremini)
4 scallions, sliced, with white and green parts separated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp. grated fresh ginger (peeled)
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
6 oz. soba noodles
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
12 oz. baby bok choy, ends trimmed
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, white scallion parts, garlic and ginger to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil.

Add the soba noodles to the pot and cook at a boil for 5 minutes.  Stir in the shredded chicken and bok choy and cook 2 minutes more, until noodles are tender and bok choy is wilted and slightly softened.  Stir in the lime juice and soy sauce.  Adjust seasoning with kosher salt if needed.  Top with scallion greens.  Serve warm.

Annie’s Eats, slightly adapted from Kitchen Confidante


Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

Today is a lazy kind of day. I’m lounging, listening to Taylor Swift’s new album on repeat, occasionally pausing my iTunes so I can watch a tear-jerking YouTube video like this one. I’m also daydreaming about owning a pair of theseLouboutins one day and dropping out of school so I can go back to camp next summer. I’ve also decided that I’m going to marry Hunter Hayes just so that he can sing me this song every day.

On lazy days like today, I don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into making a meal. That’s what sesame soba noodle salads are for! Soba noodles cook pretty quickly, much quicker than regular pasta, so by the time you finish chopping up a few things and making a to-die-for nutty vinaigrette, your soba noodles will be ready and you just have to throw everything together! Soba noodles are also a nice change from usual pasta but still satisfying in the carbohydrate department. I love this salad freshly made and as leftovers, served cold :)


Sesame Soba and Noodle Salad


For the Salad:
9.5oz soba noodles
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 loose cup cilantro leaves, minced
1 (12oz) package shelled edamame
sesame seeds (optional garnish)

For the Dressing:
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons honey
salt to taste
Directions: Before cooking the noodles, prepare all of the raw ingredients. Chop the bell peppers, thinly slice the green onion (or scallion), and mince the cilantro. Add veggies and herbs to a large mixing bowl.Prepare edamame according to package directions. If frozen, cook for a few minutes in warm water to bring up to room temperature. Make sure your edamame is shelled (no one likes to eat chewy pods!).One the veggies are all prepped, go ahead and cook the noodles. Soba noodles only cook for 4-5 minutes, so don’t wander too far. Once the noodles are cooked, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water immediately.In a separate bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.Combine noodles, veggies, and dressing in the mixing bowl and toss until everything is well combined. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish, serve, and enjoy!

Daily Garnish


Creamy Avocado Pasta


Fun fact: I hate leftovers.

Actually, not really a fun fact seeing as it only complicates my life when it comes to preparing my meals. I absolutely love when a meal has just been cooked. I feel like it tastes so much better when it’s fresh out of the oven or out of the pan. So when I see that same meal in a container in the fridge, completely chilled, I’m just not as enthusiastic about eating it. As a student preparing all of my meals on my own while away at school, I’m faced with two options: I can take the time every night to prepare a fresh-cooked meal for dinner, or I can save time (and usually money!) by preparing several servings of the same recipe and having leftovers for a few days.  More often than not, the idea of saving time and money wins out, and I’m stuck with my leftovers for now…

Anyways, the point of that story was to let you know how thrilled I was to have found this recipe, for a creamy avocado pasta that can be made in 15 minutes AND cannot be used for leftovers (due to the fact that the avocado sauce should not be re-heated). Although I guess you could eat the pasta cold. I never really thought of myself as a picky eater, but I’m cringing at the thought of cold pasta (that’s not pasta salad).


This meal is very simply and easy to make, and does not require a lot of time or ingredients, making it perfect for people like me who dislike leftovers, or even for those nights when you feel like there is absolute nothing in the fridge that you can make a meal out of. All you really need is an avocado, clove of garlic and a bit of lemon. If you’re making this meal for one, half the recipe below!

Creamy Avocado Pasta 

Yield: serves 2

1 medium sized ripe avocado, pitted
½ lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish (zest optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, to taste
½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 oz pasta

Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Cook pasta until al dente (see package for instructions).

Place the garlic clove(s), lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor, and process until smooth. Add in the avocado and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, mince the garlic cloves finely and mix well with lemon juice and olive oil. Mash the avocado in with a fork or potato masher and add in, along with salt. Mix well to combine.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on avocado sauce and toss until fully combined. Serve immediately.

**Please note that this dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce, so serve immediately.

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Black Bean Quesadillas

These black bean quesadillas are absolutely delicious and guilt-free. They’re loaded with black beans and corn which make them filling enough for a lunch or weeknight meal, and they freeze really well so you can make a whole batch at once and freeze any leftovers for a lazy day 🙂   This recipe also calls for making your own taco seasoning. If you’ve never made your own taco seasoning before, don’t panic. Chances are you already have most, if not all, of the spices and it’s super easy to make!

There’s enough cheese in this recipe to act as a binder, but if you love cheese like I do then you may want to increase the amount of cheese by 1/4 cup.  I still have some of these tucked away in the freezer, but I know I will definitely be making these again in the near future 🙂

Black Bean Quesadillas

Yields: 10 quesadillas

1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 small red onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
1 batch taco seasoning 

Drain the can of beans and rinse lightly. Place the beans in a large bowl along with the corn (no need to thaw).

Rinse the cilantro, remove the leaves, and chop roughly. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, and shredded cheese to the bowl with the beans and corn. Lastly, mix up a batch of taco seasoning and add to the bowl. Stir everything until evenly mixed.

Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook in a skillet on both sides over medium heat until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted.

To freeze the quesadillas, simply fill each one and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for one hour to solidify the quesadillas and then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).

 Source: Budget Bytes

Stuffed Italian Burgers

Burned once, shame on you.
Burned twice, shame on me.

I haven’t really been myself lately. I’m happy you can’t see me right now.

I made burgers. These ones, to be specific. I let my housemate have a bite, and the following week I made another batch with my housemate. They’re that good. Just a warning, be careful when you bite into one of these. The melted cheese can get really hot and can burn you if you’re not careful! Oh. And don’t burn these 🙂

Stuffed Italian Burgers
Yield: 3 burgers


1 lb. ground sirloin
2 tbsp. yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. black pepper
1-2 dashes of balsamic vinegar
Sliced fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves

To make the patties, combine the ground sirloin, onion, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl.  Mix well to thoroughly combine.  Divide the mixture into three equal portions; divide each of these further into halves so that you have 6 equal portions of the meat mixture.   Form each portion into a thin, round patty.  Place a slice of fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves on top of three of the patties.  Lay the remaining patties on top of these, sandwiching the mozzarella in the center.  Pinch the edges of the patties together to form one large patty with the cheese in the center.

Cook the burgers on a preheated grill until cooked to your desired doneness and until the cheese inside has melted.  Serve with your desired condiments.

Source: Annie’s Eats, loosely based on Michael Proietti’s Mulberry Street Burger

Parmesan Chicken

This is one of the first recipes I tried out from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook (which I bought for 25% off!!).  I love most of the recipes and the pictures of beautiful, but my real issue with it is that all of the recipes that require eggs, call for extra-large eggs. I’m used to most, if not all, of the recipes I use requiring only large eggs. I tried googling a conversion, but to be honest I don’t know how accurate it is.

Luckily the amount of egg you use in this recipe doesn’t have to be precise, because you are only using the egg as a mixture to coat the chicken in.  I really liked this recipe, and the chicken tasted delicious. I think I ended up using 3 large eggs in place of 2 extra-large, but to be honest I don’t think it really matters here. 🙂

Parmesan Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
unsalted butter
good olive oil

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tbsp. of water. On a thrid plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

Serve with extra grated Parmesan and a light salad, as desired.

Source: the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook by Ina Garten

(Cheater) Chinese Steamed Fish

Sometimes I have the most random cravings. The kind where I desperately crave something I normally never eat/don’t like/doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever.

This meal was a result of one of these cravings.  I’ve never been the kind to choose fish over poultry, beef or pork, and I’ve never been a fan of a strong ginger taste in meals.  However, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it hit me hard. I had to have fish. With ginger. And green onions.

And so I began searching for recipes, and when I saw this one, it pretty much sang out too me. It was a great moment.

This meal literally takes 5 minutes to make, as long as you have cooked rice on hand. It is a cheater recipe, as you are not actually steaming the fish, you are cooking it in the microwave instead…but it still tastes good!!!  In my photograph, the green onions and ginger are sliced rather thickly, so you can alter this recipe depending on how strong your affinity to ginger and green onions is. If you are not the biggest fan, than I recommend using less ginger/green onions, and slicing them smaller.  Other than that, this is a very simple meal to make!

(Cheater) Chinese Steamed Fish


1 lb fish filets (white fish like flounder, cod, halibut, orange roughy) (I used cod)
2-3 stalks green onions, julienned
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and julienned
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp vegetable oil (something without flavor)


Place filets in single layer on a microwave safe dish. Spread ginger and green onions over the fish. Nuke on high for 2-3 minutes until fish is cooked. Sprinkle soy sauce evenly over the fish. Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it is HOT (i.e. if you dropped a piece of onion in, it would sizzle). Pour the oil over the fish (I think the idea is to sizzle all of the onions and ginger). Serve.

Source: Use Real Butter

Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

I like shrimp.

I think it’s one of my favourite seafoods.

I also like crab and lobster and salmon.

But shrimp is relatively affordable and easy to prepare.  That always earns points in a university student’s hectic life.

Feta and tomato sauce is a combination I have never tried before this, and now I ‘m wondering how I ever lived without it. The feta is a lovely, creamy, delicious addition to this shrimp and tomato sauce. I don’t recommend leaving it out if you can!

This recipe is only for the sauce alone, but I boiled up some pasta and made it into a more filling dish, but the sauce is thick enough to be eaten by itself!


Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce


1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp. minced fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
1 to 1 1/4 lbs. medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 oz. feta cheese (about 2/3 cup, crumbled)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the juices thicken a bit.  Remove the sauce from the heat, and stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a baking dish, if desired, and bake until the shrimp are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Source: Annie’s Eats





Broccoli and Cheese Rice Casserole


Do you have a slow cooker?

This is what mine looks like.


Cute, right?

Slow cookers are handy little creatures where you throw food in, turn it on low or high, run out the door for a full day’s worth of lectures and meetings on campus, and then come home to a warm, cooked meal.

They’re pretty affordable. My mom got me mine for about $20-30 CAD at Walmart.

You can make all sorts of things in a slow cooker, including soup, chili, and this delicious rice casserole. Yum!


Broccoli and Cheese Rice Casserole

Makes 4-6 servings.


1 lb. chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen, thawed
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup minute rice, or 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt


1. In a pot of boiling water, cook broccoli for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
2. Saute onion in butter in medium saucepan until tender. Add to broccoli.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the broccoli and onion mixture. Pour into a greased slow cooker.
4. Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Make sure you don’t remove the lid during cooking, as a lot of heat will escape!!


Source: adapted from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook Collection


Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno.

A ridiculously long and complicated name for simple, quick, and delicious meal.

One of my housemates is the kind of person that looks for simplicity in recipes. Once she saw (and tasted) this pasta, and realized how few ingredients she needed, she asked for the recipe right away.

I normally halve the recipe, but I’ve listed the full amount below.

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno


2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-14 oz. cans diced Italian plum tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. pasta (tubes)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 c. parmesan


Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium high heat, 1 min. Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally until thickened, 15 min. Add S&P. Meanwhile, cook pasta. Toss pasta with sauce.Place half of pasta in an oiled 9×13” dish. Cover with half parmesan and half mozzarella. Top with remaining pasta, then parmesan and mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.

Source: Annie’s Eats