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Salads, Sides & Soups

Bacon Asparagus Wrap

Bacon and asparagus together provides just the right amount of savory. A very simple dish.

Beef Bone Broth

Beef Bone Broth is my favorite soup base.  It has so many layers of complex flavors, and with a pressure cooker, a breeze to make as well!

Chicken Gumbo Soup

A spicy soup made of okra and a medley of vegetables that is a perfect comfort food for a cool day.

Chilli - No Beans

This is a great dish to warm up on a cold winter's night, especially for those who like the heat of chilli without the heaviness of beans.  I recently updated this recipe with the addition of celery, carrots and bacon to give it a little more depth in flavor.   For an Italian twist, I serve it over some spaghetti and topped with fresh Jalapeno chilies.  A squirt of lemon juice over the top of the chili lightens the dish.

Curry Mash Potatoes

This recipe adds curry to mash potatoes. It makes a great side to any meat dish. Go ahead, give it a try!

Easy Indian Curry Eggplant - Baigan Bharta Inspired

Mashed Curry Eggplant is another Indian dish that my family loves.  It works great as a dipping sauce for breads, as a vegetable side or as a filling for quesadilla or roti.  Making it is not as difficult as I thought.  Start the process by baking the whole eggplant in the oven to and start a curry in the pan, then put the two together.  Because of this dish, my husband buys eggplant every chance he gets.

Fresh Vinegar Chilli - Malaysian Inspired

This side is an abbreviated version of the typical vinegar chilli that I used to have in my childhood. It's quick, a little sour and spicy, perfect to spice any noodle dish up.

Ham And Split Pea Soup

This is a dish I make with leftover ham bone.  It is easy to make, flavorful and very much a comfort food, especially on cold days.  This recipe is Not a "creamy" Ham and Split Pea Soup, it's more of a "chunky" soup with cubes of veggies and ham interspersed throughout, Goes well on its own or served with warm toasted bread. 

Hot Chilli Oil

This recipe is similar to Sichuan Chilli Oil, but without the mouth numbing Sichuan pepper. This side works great to spice up any meal, either during the cooking process or afterwards at the table.

Korean Gochujang Salad Vinaigrette Over Roasted Broccoli.

GoChujang (Korean hot fermented bean paste) is quickly becoming one of my favorite condiments in the kitchen.  It has such complex flavors - rich, salty, sweet and spicy.  In this vinaigrette, I add vinegar and sesame seed oil to round out the many flavors of GoChujang.  I have used this over roasted broccoli or a simple lettuce/cucumber salad.  Feel free to add to any of your favorite vegetables, roasted or not!

Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad

This is one my favorite banchans in a Korean restaurant. Cooling and fiery, with a bit of sweet to the round out the flavors.

Oven Roasted Zucchini Salad

Oven Roasted Zucchini Salad is a fresh way to serve zucchini.  I made this zucchini dish as a side to Paprika Lime Pork Chops and the two flavors complemented each other perfectly.

Potato Salad

A creamy side dish which goes well with any grilled meat.

Quick Shrimp Hot Chili Oil

In Malaysia, there is a wonderful condiment called "Sambal".  It usually involves a paste of onions, garlic, chilies and if you were lucky, dried shrimp.  While I love the flavors of onions and garlic, making pastes (rempah) is too time-consuming right now for my schedule.  So upon learning how to make Sichuan Chili Oil, I thought that it would taste great with some dried shrimp in it.  So this my quick and dirty version of my beloved Sambal.  Feel free to reduce the amount of oil to 3/4 the amount that it is called for, but I find the extra oil useful when frying something starchy (such as noodles or rice) when more oil is needed.  The flavored oil adds color and flavor to any dish that it is used in.

Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes

This recipe is based on the Greek lemon potatoes recipe but with a little bit of spiciness to it.. Makes a great side.

Roasted Salsa Verde

Roasting the vegetables gives this salsa a nice smokey flavor. Feel free to cut back on the jalapeno peppers if needed. Give it a try!

Roti Quesadilla

One of my Mom's awesome fusion recipe ideas. Here Malaysia's flat bread, roti canai, (also known as roti paratha), becomes rich and even more flavorful with the addition of cheese and chopped chilli peppers. Great for an afternoon snack, or a quick lunch. Thanks Mom!

Sichuan Chili Oil

A friend of mine, who is originally from the province of Sichuan, told me how to make this side. Thanks, Didi! I couldn't believe how easy it was! Being a lover of all foods spicy, this side is something I use often to "spice" up my meal. The addition of the ginger enhances the flavor of the chili oil.

Sichuan Style Beef Noodle Soup

Sichuan Style Beef Noodle Soup is one of my favorite noodle soup dishes - and if you know me, you know I like noodle soup.  It's a spicy comfort food that is perfect on a cold day.  If you have the time to make homemade beef bone broth, your mouth will thank you.

Spicy Curry Hummus

Spicy Curry Hummus brings the delightful flavors of Indian Curry and Hot Peppers to Greek Hummus. My family really enjoys this as a spread or as a Hummus dip.

Spicy Sriracha Coleslaw

This recipe puts a twist on the traditional Coleslaw. Here we add spicy Sriracha Sauce to regular coleslaw. My kids loved it so much they became vegetarians for the night.

Spicy Sweet Red Pepper Spread

With oven roasted sweet peppers, zucchini and leeks, this recipe makes a sweet and optionally spicy dip for pita or nacho chips, or a flavorful spread for sandwiches, tortilla wraps or quesadillas. Great for a picnic, a quick lunch or an appetizer.

Sweet And Salty Spanish Peanuts

My kids love the peanuts we get as appetizer at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  This is my attempt at the sweet and salty peanuts they so generously serve us.

Sweet Mustard Mashed Potatoes

On our last visit to Germany, I found a new condiment in the grocery store - Sweet Mustard.  Being without my regular spices to work with, I added the Sweet Mustard to Mashed Potatoes.  My family enjoyed the meal as a side to Currywurst Sausages (without the Sandwich).  Now back home in North America, Sweet Mustard is not an easy condiment to find = so I add the sweetness to my favorite mustard to make the mashed potato recipe.  We have it as a side to Paprika Lime Pork Chops or Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Taiwanese Inspired Braised Pork Noodle Soup

Taiwanese food has always had a hold on me.  I love the strong flavors.  Being keen on strong flavors, I've increased the amount of spices used. Also being a fan of noodles, I added noodles to the Braised Pork dish to make Taiwanese Braised Pork Noodle Soup.  It is a great dish to warm up with on a cool winter's day.

Thai-inspired Corn Cakes

I enjoyed this at a Thai restaurant once and couldn't get it out of my head.  I have spiced mine up with lemon leaves and chili flakes but feel free to omit these if you prefer or if you don't have it on hand.  Sweet, spicy and lemony, these corn cakes are a nice afternoon snack, or a unique appetizer.

Tikka Masala Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a breakfast of eggs poached in tomato sauce common in Israel.  Being one who favors spice, I thought the eggs would go well with the creamy and spicy tomato-based Tikka Masala.  It can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner, served with a light salad and bread.  Here is my version.

Vietnamese Inspired Beef Stew

This is a hearty soup that can be cooked in a pressure cooker or stove top. Fresh spices (i.e. ginger, onion, garlic, hot chili pepper, lemon grass) can be replaced with dry powdered versions if more convenient. It very much reminds me of an American Style beef stew except with a stronger spice flavor, thanks to the cinnamon, star anise and lemon grass. Great meal to warm a cool night.