Making paper bag popcorn in the microwave is one of the easiest ways I know to make popcorn with less cleanup, and creating a healthier version compared to store-bought microwave popcorn.
Here’s what you will need:
A brown paper lunch bag
Step 1: Pour ¼ or ½ cup of popcorn kernels into the bag.
When I make popcorn for myself, I use about 1/4 cup of kernels, it’s the perfect amount for a snack-size serving. Use 1/3 cup if you want to share with another person or use ½ cup to completely fill the bag with popped popcorn.
Step 2: Close the bag
Fold the top of the bag twice to prevent the kernels from spilling out.
Step 3: Listen to the popcorn pop
Microwave on high heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until you can’t hear any more kernels popping. Depending on the type of kernels you use and your microwave’s power, timing will vary.
When the microwave stops, let bag sit for about a minute. Remove popped popcorn and place in a bowl. If there are any uncooked kernels, keep inside the paper bag, refold the top of the bag, and microwave for an additional minute.
Step 4: Add any flavouring you wish
My favourite is still the traditional buttered-flavour popcorn. Take a stick of butter (I use salted butter to avoid adding further salt) and melt in the microwave for a minute. Pour melted butter over the popcorn, toss to mix, and enjoy!
There’s a reason this baked feta pasta is an internet sensation! My twist on the very popular dish from Finland, with a salty baked feta, sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic, asparagus and parsley are tossed with al dente rotini pasta to create this easy, creamy, yet delicious dish!
Baked Feta Pasta is the latest trend to go viral all over the internet and you can find tons of videos and pictures on TikTok, Twitter and on your Instagram feed.
This recipe has 8 ingredients — a block of feta cheese, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh garlic, asparagus, and a short pasta of your choice — and of course, salt and pepper to taste.
Tomatoes – cherry or grape tomatoes work great.
Asparagus – I added it as a veggie to the dish but you can omit if desired. I think next time, I will also add some fresh spinach.
Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil has the best flavour, and I encourage you not to skimp on it.
Salt and pepper – a little goes a long way since the cheese is naturally salty.
Feta cheese – block-style feta is best and will give you the creamiest consistency (but the crumbly kind works too). Greek Feta cheese is slightly creamier and stronger flavour, but Canadian Feta made from cow’s milk also works great — this is the kind my picky son prefers.
Pasta – short pasta (like penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or farfalle) is easier to mix in. I used rotini pasta in my dish.
Parsley – use a generous 1/4 cup or substitute with fresh chopped basil.
Garlic – Add half while baking and the rest as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Baked Feta pasta is a brilliant way to create a creamy pasta sauce. You basically bake a block of feta in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish together with tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and a little salt and pepper. When the tomatoes burst and cheese starts melting, you mash the cheese into a creamy pasta sauce, add your pasta, mix together, and you have the perfect pasta dish that can be served as a main dish or an accompaniment to a meal.
My spin on this baked feta pasta is the added asparagus as I wanted to introduce a vegetable into the dish and make it as a main meal without a meat protein in it … and it’s also the only vegetable my son doesn’t mind eating.
Origin of Feta Pasta
The Baked Feta pasta craze was started in 2019 by Tiiu Piret and Liemessa, two bloggers from Finland. Liemessa’s recipe was then adapted in the U.S. which went viral on TikTok and has became a major trend.
The best thing about this baked feta pasta dish is unlike heavy cream-based sauces which can separate, this recipe retains it’s creamy texture. Add a bit of filtered water (or pasta cooking water if you have any left), before reheating in the microwave or stove-top.
How to Make Baked Feta Pasta
This recipe is so easy. You mix everything in one dish! The veggies and cheese sauce bake together in the oven while your pasta boils on the stove, then you combine them together and you have an incredible Baked Feta Pasta dish.
Prepare veggies – in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, combine tomatoes, asparagus, 1/3 cup olive oil, half of your minced garlic (two cloves), salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the veggies, then create a space in the centre.
Cook pasta – while the baked feta is cooking in the oven, start cooking your pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente according to package instructions. Very important: Reserve 1/2 cup hot pasta water.
Add garlic and herbs – remove the baked feta dish from the oven, and add finely chopped parsley and remaining minced garlic. Use the back of a spoon to mash the cheese, and mix with the oil and juices released from the tomatoes.
Add pasta – drain the pasta (no need to rinse the pasta) and add it to the hot cheesy sauce. Mix until all the pasta is coated with the creamy feta sauce. To add an additional creamy texture, pour some of the reserved pasta water, in small amounts, until the desired creaminess is achieved.
Serve this dish a s a main course or as an accompaniment to a meal. Add proteins to the dish, like chicken tenders or shrimp (add during prep and it will cook with the rest of the dish in the oven) or add any veggies you like (such as sweet bell peppers, spinach, rapini, or broccolini). This recipe is so versatile and easy to make, that you can whip it up easily for dinner during the busy work week. Serve this dish with a simple salad, and your family will think that you’ve spent hours in the kitchen making it!
3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1-1/2 cup asparagus (ends trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 Tbsp to drizzle over cheese
Add 1/3 cup olive oil, tomatoes, asparagus, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt to a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
Toss to combine. Create a space in the centre and place your block of feta in the pan. Drizzle the top with 1 Tbsp olive oil and another sprinkle of black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes (on top rack, or middle tray in a conventional oven) until tomatoes start to rupture.
While the baked feta is cooking in the oven, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions, stirring a few times to keep the pasta from sticking. Drain pasta (reserving some cooking water if you decide to add it later).
At about 30 minutes, the tomatoes should start to release their juices (crinkly roasted skin is the indicator). Remove from the oven and immediately stir in remaining minced garlic and parsley. Toss to combine.
Using the back of a large spoon to press the cheese into the olive oil and stir until cheese is well incorporated in the dish.
Stir in drained cooked pasta. Add reserved pasta water for a creamier texture, if desired. Serve warm.
Important: Be careful with those tomatoes (the juicy centres will be very hot if you eat them right away).
This gluten-free coconut custard tart recipe is the perfect combination of coconut macaroons and custard in a bite-size treat. A great Passover and Easter dessert!
This is a traditional Portuguese recipe that I inherited from my mother-in-law. What I love about this Pastéis de Coco recipe is the ingredients are readily available in the supermarket and it’s the easiest dessert to whip up. The coconut adds a nice dimension to the custard and also helps create a beautiful golden brown topping. The end product is a delightful but delicious little pastry, great to bring to parties or to enjoy with your afternoon coffee or tea.
These tarts are a perfect spring time dessert. There is no flour used in this recipe so it’s perfectly okay to serve this dessert during Passover. Be aware, as they bake, the batter puffs up and separates into a crispy toasted coconut topping with a sweet smooth custard underneath. As they cool, the centre collapses slightly creating a nest. How fun would it be to add a dollop of jam or chocolate eggs in the centre for the Easter holiday?
I totally love this dessert as the tops are golden brown and the inside is a soft, custardy goodness that will delight your taste buds.
These dessert tarts are best consumed within a day or two. To be honest, when ever I make these, they don’t last the day. However if you happen to have any left over, make sure you refrigerate them in a seal-tight container for up to 3 days.
I personally like serving these coconut custard tarts a bit warm, so put them in the oven for about 7 minutes at 350°F prior to serving.
Using the regular muffin liners, this recipe will yield approximately 10 – 11 tarts.
By Jena Branco, Marketing Coordinator, Brand & Marketing Communications, SECL
This Anytime Chocolate Mug Cake is moist and chocolatey. Made in the microwave and ready in minutes, this easy treat is perfect for all chocolate lovers …anytime you have a craving!
Sometimes you crave a piece of chocolate cake. Am I right? This easy mug cake recipe is perfect for when you want just a little cake, and don’t want to bake a whole cake! It’s easy to whip up, is ready in less than five minutes, and has a warm and moist texture. I’ve tried a few microwave cakes before, and most turned out dry or lack in flavour, but once you’ve tried this one … you won’t be disappointed …. I promise!
What I love about this recipe is that I have all the ingredients in my pantry most of the time. It’s specifically created to be made in a mug (or in a ramekin), in the microwave, without eggs. Eggs are traditionally used in cakes to act as a binding agent to hold its texture/shape, but in the case of a mug cake you don’t have to worry that. Some people mix all the ingredients in the mug which makes for one less dish to wash, however I prefer to mix all my ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour the mixture into my mug or ramekin.
Please note that ALL microwaves are different and will yield different results — it can overcook the mug cake if you aren’t careful. I’m using the Sharp 24″ IoT Microwave Drawer (SMD2489ESC) which is 950 watts, cooking at 100% power for 70 seconds. Knowing this information, it may help you better judge how long to cook yours for and at what power.
Do I Need a Special Mug?
This is a good question .. and the answer is YES and NO. You want a mug that’s big enough to hold the cake once it’s cooked (and to prevent from spilling over the top), so you want to have at least a 12 ounce mug. If you want to split the recipe in half (sometimes I’m feeling a bit generous and I share with the hubby), it’s ok to use a ramekin or a small coffee mug. One more tidbit, try not to use a mug that is tall and skinny as you will end up with an unevenly cooked finished product. The most important factor in all of this, is to ensure your mug is microwave safe.
So anytime you have a craving for chocolate cake … go start mixing, and you’ll satisfy our craving in less than 5 minutes!
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. milk (or a non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional, but encouraged)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (however, I like to use coconut oil)
1 tablespoon hazelnut chocolate spread (Nutella) or mini chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together
Whisk in the milk and oil until all ingredients are combined, and all clumps are gone.
Pour batter into a microwave-safe mug or ramekin
Add hazelnut chocolate spread in the middle of the batter or mini chocolate chips. Push slightly into the batter
Place mug (or ramekin) into the microwave (hint: place a paper towel under the mug, this is to catch any batter if your mug cake overflows).
Microwave mug cake for 70 seconds on high.
If you’re splitting the recipe in half and putting batter in two separate ramekins, it’s important to know that you can only put one ramekin into the microwave at a time. Cook for 60 seconds on high.
Carefully remove from the microwave and serve immediately.
Top with whipped cream, a small scoop of ice cream, or sprinkle some icing sugar over top, if desired. Enjoy!
By Jena Branco, Marketing Coordinator, Brand & Marketing Communications, SECL
This Gluten-free and Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is healthy and delicious. It’s so easy to make and oh so creamy … but sssshhhhh, don’t tell your family there’s no dairy in it!
What I love about this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe is that it combines two of my favourite comfort foods: pasta and cream sauce! Butternut squash isn’t only the colour of cheddar cheese, but makes a super creamy sauce when it’s cooked and blended. Although I’m not lactose intolerance, I’m finding these days my body doesn’t seem to react too fairly when I consume dairy products, so my search for an amazing creamy sauce (without the cheese) was on!
After trying a few recipes I found on the internet, I decided to create my own (inspired by a combination of 2-3 recipes). As I’ve written many times, my son is the pickiest of eaters — if he knew butternut squash is a “vegetable”, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t touch this dish again. Luckily for me, he couldn’t tell the difference! My butternut squash creamy sauce isn’t too strong in flavour or spice and by making this vegan version of mac and cheese , it is a great way to sneak in some healthy veggies and make this traditional dish more nutritious.
What You’ll Need in this Recipe:
Pasta – You can use any type of pasta you like; whole wheat, gluten free or regular. However, I used Brown Rice pasta in the shape of shells as a gluten-free option.
Butternut Squash – Try to buy a medium sized butternut squash for this recipe. If you buy a really large squash, you can freeze the rest in a tightly sealed freezer bag up to 3 months. They also sell pre-cubed butternut squash in the produce aisle, if you don’t want to peel and cut your own. Or, you can buy the cubed frozen butternut squash in the freezer aisle.
Plant Based Milk – I usually have almond or cashew milk around but you can use any kind of plant based milk you like, just make sure it’s plain and unsweetened.
Nutritional Yeast – There are quite a few spices in this recipe but the most important is nutritional yeast. It’s what gives the butternut squash mac and cheese its’ cheesy flavour without adding any dairy. It’s usually sold in the natural food section of your grocery store, or in the spice aisle at Whole Foods, but in my case, I had to order it from Amazon as the two grocery stores I went to were completely sold out.
Almond Flour (optional) – I use almond flour (toasted in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes) — instead of breadcrumbs — for a true gluten-free recipe.
How to Make Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
This recipe is really easy to make and there are only a few steps:
You start by washing the outside of the Butternut Squash before cutting in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roasted squash always has tons of flavour, so this is how I like to cook mine. I used the Superheated Steam Oven at 400°F in the Supersteam Roast function for 20 to 25 minutes, however if using a conventional oven, roast at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Add the roasted butternut squash by scooping out the insides into a high powered food processor or blender along with almond milk, spices and the nutritional yeast. Blend until it’s silky smooth.
Cook your favourite pasta according to package directions (usually, adding pasta to a pot with lightly salted water, bring water to a boil and simmer until tender), drain and then pour the butternut squash cream sauce and mix together. And … serve and eat!
If so desired, you could put it in a baking dish and bake it in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes to get a nice crust on top.
Optional: Set a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread almond flour on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Then sprinkle a tablespoon or two on top of your mac and cheese prior to serving!
2 cups of Brown Rice pasta
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (you can add an extra 1/2 cup if it’s too thick)
Wash butternut squash, cut it in half length wise, and cook for 20-25 minutes in the bottom tray of oven.
Scoop out butternut squash and add to a blender along with the almond milk, nutritional yeast and all the spices. Blend until creamy, about 1 minute.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and add back to the pot. Pour butternut squash sauce over the top and mix until combined. You can turn the stove heat on, if you need to warm it up. Serve and eat!
If so desired, you could put it in a baking dish and bake it in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes to get a nice crust on top.
Optional: Preheat Superheated Steam Oven at 350°F in the Convection Bake function. Spread almond flour on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Then sprinkle a tablespoon or two on top of your mac and cheese prior to serving! Topping off with some chopped basil and red pepper flakes makes this dish look too good to eat!
By Gina Greco, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist, SEMCA
**NOTE: The Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (SSC0586DS) is not sold in Canada.
We’ve all been there: it’s 3:00 pm during a busy workday, and hunger hits! It can be easy to gravitate towards a bag of chips or sugary granola bar because it’s pre-packaged and ready to go, but oftentimes those snacks will leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungrier. We are sharing some of our favorite go-to snacks to have during the week that is simple to prep the night before or require only a few minutes to put together. Whether you’re craving something salty or sweet- we’ve got you covered!
Hummus is one of our favorite snacks because it is so versatile and can be paired with various foods like fresh veggies, crackers, or toast! This recipe from Inspired Taste is versatile and tastes so delicious; you’ll never repurchase store-bought hummus again.
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.
Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then process another 30 seconds or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.
Most likely, the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Frozen Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
Curb your sweet tooth with these mouthwatering chocolate peanut butter banana bites from Not Enough Cinnamon! These are a delicious, mindful choice, including healthy fat from peanut butter, potassium from the banana, and antioxidants from the dark chocolate. We love to add a bit of flaky sea salt on top to finish them off! YUM!
3 bananas ripe but still firm
1/4 cup peanut butter or your favorite nut butter
10 oz dark chocolate
2 teaspoons coconut oil *optional but recommended!
Cut the banana into slices (about 1/4 inch – 0.7 cm each). Set aside half of the slices and arrange the other half on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Heat peanut butter in the microwave on low/medium for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring in between, until it’s smooth and easily spreadable.
Spoon about one heaped 1/4 teaspoon (up to 1/2 teaspoon if the banana is large) on the banana slices you arranged on the baking sheet. Top with the other half of the banana slices you set aside earlier. Freeze for two hours.
When the banana sandwiches are frozen, prepare the chocolate. Place chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips if using) in a microwave-safe bowl along with the coconut oil (it helps the chocolate melt and stay smooth).
Microwave on low/medium heat in 30 seconds bursts, stirring between each until chocolate is fully melted and glossy (watch carefully, so the chocolate doesn’t burn).
Prepare another baking sheet (or a plate) with parchment paper. Take two to three bites out of the freezer. One by one, dip them in the melted chocolate and, using two forks, “roll” them in chocolate to cover all sides.
Remove excess chocolate and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining frozen sandwiches.
Place the chocolate covered bites back in the freezer until set. Once they are set, you can transfer them to a container. Store in the freezer.
2 cups of thinly sliced potatoes of any kind will work (about 2 medium-sized potatoes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Other spices, such as black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, etc. *optional
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the potato slices (2 cups) and olive oil (1 tablespoon). Mix well, so every surface of every slice of potato is covered evenly- you may want to use your hands for this since the sliced potatoes may stick together.
Place the sliced potatoes on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap (but they can touch a little on the edges). Sprinkle them evenly with the kosher salt (1 teaspoon)and any other spices you want to use. Bake in the top half of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Turn OFF the oven and allow to sit in the oven. At the same time, it cools off 15-30 minutes (this is optional if you’re in a hurry, but highly recommended, as it will make the potatoes crispier. Keep an eye on them through- the residual heat can quickly burn them if you aren’t careful!).
Serve potato chips plain or with your favorite dipping sauce.
Crunchy Granola Clusters
Trail mix is so 2020. Upgrade your snacking with this granola recipe from blogger, From Scratch Fast! We love topping our yogurt off with this or grabbing a handful when we need something crunchy and nutrient-dense.
1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats, divided
1 cup pecans
½ cup walnuts
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup coarsely chopped dried fruit, such as apricots, dates, cranberries, currants, cherries, etc.
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (or a mix of both)
¼ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put ½ cup of the rolled oats in the food processor and process to coarse flour. Add the remaining oats, along with the pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped, about 5-6 pulses.
In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup or honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour the syrup mixture over the ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until the mixture comes together and looks damp, about 8 pulses.
Transfer the granola to the baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, press it into a ½-inch thick rectangle, about 8×12-inches large. Bake 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 190 degrees and bake until lightly browned along the edges, golden on top, and firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes longer.
Cool the granola on the pan. Break it into clusters before serving.
By Jena Branco, Marketing Coordinator, Brand & Marketing Communications, SECL
These homemade Potstickers (also known as Chinese Dumplings) are easy to make and incredibly delicious. Cooked in the SuperSteam+™ Superheated Steam and Convection Built-in Wall Oven — there’s no oil splatter to clean up afterwards!
Potstickers are “steam-fried” Chinese dumplings made with round wrappers and stuffed with juicy fillings, traditionally pork and cabbage, but I modified my recipe based on my family’s preference. This recipe is not only easy, but the flavours are exactly what my family enjoys! Since I’m always watching my caloric intake, I use extra lean ground chicken breast instead of the traditional pork. However, feel free to use any protein you wish such as shrimp and ground turkey.
Potstickers are different from other Asian dumplings by their cooking method. They are lightly browned in oil first (to get a crispy bottom), and once they have a bit of colour, water is then added to the pan. Covered while cooking (with a lid) so the dumplings can finish cooking in the steam. This steam-fry method produces a juicy dish … and that’s what potstickers are in a nutshell!
Cooking in the SuperSteam+™ Superheated Steam Oven is similar to the “steam-fried” method using the Supersteam Roast function. What I love about this, is unlike the stovetop option, you won’t have any oil splattering when you add water to a hot pan with oil in it. The Superheated Steam Oven will produce a crispy potsticker with a juicy centre … and no oil splatter.
Enjoy these potstickers as an appetizer or serve as a meal along with your favourite salad.
This potsticker recipe is made with:
ground chicken: I buy extra lean ground chicken breasts from the butcher, but you can buy regular ground chicken too.
shiitake mushrooms: do NOT rinse mushrooms or else they will suck up water and make your potsticker filling wet, and in turn, make your potstickers soggy. Instead, brush off any dirt with a damp paper towel if needed. I used my mini-food processor to finely chop the shiitake mushrooms.
green onions: make sure they are thinly sliced
ground ginger: I prefer the flavour of ground ginger, but feel free to use fresh ginger in this recipe. You will need 1” peeled ginger, peeled and minced.
garlic cloves: used two cloves, minced
soy sauce: I use light soy sauce (or sodium reduced) so your filling won’t be too salty.
sesame oil: toasted sesame oil is best but you can use regular if that’s what you have on hand
salt & pepper: just a dash of each
water: about 2 tablespoons for sealing wontons
vegetable oil: to coat the potstickers before cooking
Wonton wrappers: I purchased the square ones since that’s what my local grocery store carried. There are many recipes for homemade wonton wrappers (my fave is from China Sichuan Foods) but honestly these days, I don’t have the patience or time.
How to Fold Wrappers for Potstickers
Potstickers look fancy, but they are actually very easy to put together. With the round wonton wrappers, you add the filling, fold them in half and pinch the edges together. Use a fork to crimp the edges together for a fancier presentation. Traditionally, you would fold the wrapper in half and pleat one side of the wrapper to seal in the filling. This is the most common way you would see at the restaurants or takeout menu.
If you cannot find the round wonton wrappers, don’t worry! The square ones are just as good. Put your filling in the centre of the wrapper, dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the wrapper, then bring all the corners together on the top. Lightly pinch the edges together to seal in the filling.
How to Make Potstickers in the Traditional Way
These dumplings are easier to make than you might think. Here’s how:
Make the potsticker filling: Just put all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined using cleaned hands or with a spoon.
Form the dumplings: Fill each wrapper with about a tablespoon of filling. Wet your finger in water, then run it along the edges of the wrapper. This will help keep it closed.
If your wrapper is round: Fold the wrapper over the filling to create a half moon shape, pinching the edges closed to seal.
If your wrapper is square: Scroll up to see step-by-step photos for folding square wrappers into dumplings.
Pan fry the dumplings: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Lightly fry the dumplings until the bottoms are golden.
Steam the dumplings: Add 1/3 cup of water, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam the dumplings until the water has cooked away. Uncover and cook for another 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
Serve: Remove from heat and serve your dumplings with soy sauce and thinly sliced green onions!
By Matthew Vecera, Senior Manager, Brand & Digital Marketing, SEMCA
**NOTE: The Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (SSC0586DS) is not sold in Canada, however this recipe will work in the Superheated Steam Oven (SSC2489DS) on the Supersteam Roast function. Temperatures and baking times are stated in the baking instructions as an option.
At some point, you’re going to eat beef. I don’t get to share this very often, but my father was a butcher. So it is safe to say that we ate well, but my father had some rules. There were some things that he would not eat or bring home for the family. These were things that he considered, allow me to paraphrase graciously here, “lesser cuts of meat.”
Don’t get me wrong; this worked in my favor quite a bit when I was a child because it included liver, kidney, and tongue. However, there was a downside as well. My father would never bring home chuck steak… that includes any chuck, so we never had pot roast. He would never touch skirt steak. Most of all, he would never, ever bring home short rib.
Oddly enough, times change. Modern pressure cookers brought back classic pot roast, as well as a chuck roast’s greatest aspiration, “Beef Bourguignon.”
Skirt Steak grew in popularity as a hot appetizer. And short ribs? Short ribs went from being the cheapest cut of meat in the market to being the most expensive, most sought after prize in the meat counter.
American and European Cuisines deal with this rather tough cut of meat by cooking it for a very, very long time. Braising it until the meat is not just falling off the bone but soft. Soft enough to serve with a spoon as a ragu. And while that is heavenly, Asian cuisines embrace the chewiness and fattiness by slicing short rib very thinly, bone and all, on a butcher’s band saw, to make slices that grill in seconds and can be cut with a pair of scissors.
These are definitely toothsome. A gentleman would use a knife and fork. I… on the other hand, tear into them like a caveman coming off a hunger strike.
I used my favorite pan liners on the broiler tray. Seasoned both sides but cooked them bone-side-up. You want the bones’ flavors to baste the meat, and since the cooking time is so long, you want to protect the meat from the upper heat source a little.
I set the oven to 485oF for 40 minutes. I really set it for 60 and decided that they were done at the 40-minute mark, but judge for yourself. If your meat was in the fridge, you might need to cook it longer. My short ribs pretty much came out of the grocery bag and into the oven, so 40 min was right for me. Whatever your desired doneness, you are looking for this.
The extended cooking time allows more fat to be rendered out of the meat. The superheated steam is hot enough to start the Maillard reaction on the meat’s proteins and produce the deep browning and complex flavors. Mouthwatering. A little chopped green onion (cut on the bias, please) is all that you need.
The wine must be red, and it must be bold. It may be time to revisit that Merlot that fell out of fashion. It may be time to break out the deep red blends from Puglia, Italy, or Argentina. It may also be time to floss and have a nap.
Satisfy your cravings for beef with this salty, chewy, and indulgent recipe. Eat with your hands!
Course Main Course
Keyword beef, short ribs
Prep Time 5minutes
Cook Time 40minutes
Author Matthew Vecera
Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven or 24” SuperSteam+™ Superheated Steam and Convection Built-In Wall Oven (SSC2489DS)
14PiecesShort RibsBone-in, square sections
Salt and pepper, for taste
Olive oil spray
2TbspGreen onion, chopped on a bias.
Using aluminum foil or a tray liner, season both sides of the short ribs with a generous amount of salt, and coarse black pepper. Turn all of the pieces bone-side-up and spray with olive oil.
Bake at 450 degrees F for approximately 40 minutes. Cook to your desired doneness. / If using the SSC2489DS SuperSteam Oven, preheat oven to 425°F in the Supersteam Roast function, and cook approximately 40 – 45 minutes.
Garnish with chopped green onion and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
By Gina Greco, Senior Brand Marketing Specialist, SEMCA
**NOTE: The Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (SSC0586DS) is not sold in Canada, however this recipe will work in the SuperSteam+ Superheated Steam Built-In Wall Oven (SSC2489DS) on the Convection Bake function, or a conventional oven. Temperatures and baking times are stated in the baking instructions as an option.
Sunkissed Kitchen thought it was time to bring you some real comfort food this winter in a sea of salads! Baked mac and cheese with a surprise layer of buffalo chicken — now that is a meal that we can totally get behind any day of the week. The combo of spicy and creamy is truly out of this world! This recipe is kept gluten-free using gluten-free pasta and then blended brown rice crackers for a crunchy, golden brown topping.
However, if you do not wish to have the gluten-free element in the recipe, feel free to use traditional pasta and flower instead of arrowroot. Our Sharp Chef Michelle used a combination of Sharp appliances to create this tasty dish. The Sharp Induction Cooktop(sorry, this cooktop is not available in Canada)was a great tool when making the delicate cheese sauces, and the Superheated Steam Countertop Oven was an excellent tool to bake the casserole in only 12 minutes! This recipe is a creamy comfort food classic elevated with a spicy buffalo chicken base! If you’re a mac and cheese lover like we are, this is not to be missed!
Baked Whole Chicken
4-pound chicken* whole
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
black pepper to taste
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
1 pound macaroni noodles gluten-free, if necessary
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup buffalo wing hot sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs gluten-free (brown rice crackers, blended into a flour)
White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
4 cups aged white cheddar cheese shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
Rub chicken with salt and spices, and place in a shallow baking dish.
Bake in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven on 425º F for 50 minutes on the BAKE/REHEAT setting.
If using the Superheated Steam Oven, preheat oven to 425º F on SUPERSTEAM ROAST setting, and bake for 50-60 minutes.
If baking in a conventional oven, preheat the oven to 425º F. Cover the chicken and baking dish with foil tightly and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, and bake for another 30 minutes to brown.
Once the chicken has cooled some, remove the chicken from the bones and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Boil water and cook pasta per package instructions.
Prepare the buffalo chicken by melting butter in a frying pan and then adding the hot sauce. Add the shredded chicken and mix to coat.
Add the buffalo chicken to the base of a 9×9 baking dish.
Prepare cheese sauce by adding the broth to a saucepan over low heat. Set the Sharp Induction Cooktop to level 1 for the simmer enhancer feature. If using a standard cooktop, turn on the lowest setting.
Add mustard powder and garlic to the broth, and stir until the broth has warmed.
Sprinkle the cheese with arrowroot, and stir to coat gently.
Add the cheese to the broth, and use a fork to mix it well. “Whisk” the cheese until a very smooth and slightly thin cheese sauce is formed. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more broth to thin it out, so it easily coats the pasta.
Pour the cheese sauce over the drained pasta, and mix to combine.
Add the pasta to the baking dish in a layer over the buffalo chicken.
Top the macaroni with a dusting of breadcrumbs.
Bake in the Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven for 15 minutes on the Broil/Grill function at 450º F until the breadcrumbs are toasted and the casserole is heated throughout.
If using the Superheated Steam Oven, preheat oven to 450º F on CONVECTION BAKE setting, and bake for about 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are toasted and the casserole is heated throughout.
If baking in a conventional oven, preheat the oven to bake at 425º F, then bake for 20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Serve with carrots and celery, or sprinkle on blue cheese.
**NOTE: The Sharp 30″ Drop-In Radiant Cooktop (SDH3042DB) or the 24″ Drop-In Radiant Cooktop (SCR2442FB) are not sold in Canada, however these recipes will work on any stovetop.
Last year at this time, I was on a plane coming back from Montreal, logging into my email to see if the travel company to see if they got the last payment for my 2-week excursion through China. Flash forward 12 months later (you can see where this is going), I am laying in my bed under a blanket going through virtual tours of the Great Wall of China online. The bottom line is this; we have seen many changes over the past year, and those who love to travel have had to put their plans on hold while the world heals. While I can’t be eating a pasta dish in Italy or zip-lining through Costa Rica, there is no reason that we can’t tap into our cultural side through fine cuisine by one of the best chefs I know (yes, that is you!)
One of my resolutions for the new year is to try new foods and get a bit more innovative in the kitchen. Looking through Pinterest boards and reading numerous food blogs, I have found a new uplifting trend of transforming basic Ramen into a culturally appetizing meal. While I viewed Ramen as a quick and simple meal in the past to avoid a lot of meal prep and time, it makes sense to take a guilty pleasure of mine to the next level.
Throughout this Ramen recipe roundup, I plan to showcase some of my most favored recipes containing Ramen derived from countries around the world. From stops in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we will travel to these exotic and breathtaking destinations through these amazing cuisines and creations.
The first time I was introduced to ramen noodles was my freshman year of college when I had $4 to my name, and they were one of the most affordable things on the shelves. While that chapter has ended in my life, they continue to be a guilty pleasure of mine and something I enjoy whipping up in the kitchen when my stomach begins to growl. Between the amazing taste and the simplicity behind the preparation, I am looking forward to sharing with you some interesting takes on ramen to take it up a notch.
To start our journey worldwide, I want to share this amazing recipe from “Self-Proclaimed Foodie” calling for Asian Ramen Noodles. I decided to start with more of a traditional (but tasty) option to ease into this roundup.
So, what do you say, want to create a flavorful dish in under 20 minutes? Rummage through your kitchen cabinets and head on over to the grocery store to find the obvious ramen noodles (8 oz.), toasted sesame oil (2 teaspoons), minced garlic (2 cloves), grated ginger (1 teaspoon), soy sauce (3 tablespoons). You will also want to have a tablespoon of each of the following: fish sauce, sesame seeds, brown sugar, and a ½ teaspoon of chili paste.
I know all those ingredients sound tasty, and in a span of 10 minutes, you are going to go from a countertop spread out to a delicious meal on the table. Don’t believe me? Set the timer and go!
Grab a pot from your kitchen and boil the Ramen noodles in water. If you follow the packaging directions (without the seasoning), it should take approximately 4 minutes. Once it is good to go, drain it and set it aside.
Take the sesame oil and heat it using a saucepan or a small skillet (either one will work). Over medium heat will be ideal.
Next, you are going to want to cook the ginger and garlic. This will take about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Head over to the counter and gather the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame seeds, brown sugar, and chili paste. Take the pan off from the heat and whisk it together.
Finally, take the drained noodles and mix them with the newfound (and yummy) sauce. If you feel a little gourmet, feel free to garnish the topping with green onion and additional sesame seeds.
While I know we have already traveled to Eastern Asia through this ramen recipe roundup, I decided that it may be the best thing to take a layover in Korea before heading to other international hotspots. Personally, I have always had a strong interest in South Korean culture, and included in their culture is the food. When I was 5 years old, two of my best friends were twins born in South Korea, and throughout our friendships, I was slowly introduced to the Korean way of life.
Given this background and as a tribute to my friends, I have decided that it would be perfect to showcase the Spicy Korean Beach Ramen Noodles recipe from “Crème de la Crumb.” After you are done putting this masterpiece together, you will probably wonder why it isn’t photographed and on a major food television network. This under 30-minute recipe from start to finish has already been proven to be a tasty option for many, with people quoting it as an “easy and flavorful dish recipe” and “I went back for seconds.” If that isn’t enough for you to already be non your way to the kitchen, someone even rated it “20 stars”.
You know the drill, put on a mask and head on over to the grocery market or place your order on your phone and pick up a flank steak (1 lb.), gochujang (4 tablespoons), and two tablespoons of the following: thinly sliced green onions, oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar. Also, make sure you add ground ginger (1 teaspoon), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), beef ramen with seasoning (2 packages), a ½ thinly sliced white onion, and a ½ of sliced mushrooms to your cart. Lastly, make sure you have 4 tablespoons of each, minced garlic, and sugar.
Grab a small bowl and gather the gochujang, green onions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and sugar to whisk it together.
Go in your drawer and grab a large Ziploc bag, pouring half of the whisked mixture into it, adding the in the steak. Seal it and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Cover up the remaining sauce and place it in the refrigerator. Keep it nearby as we will use it soon.
Next, take the oil and drizzle it onto a large pan over medium heat. Take the steak and the Ziploc bag out of the fridge and use tongs to place the steak (keep everything else in the bag) in the pan. Cook it on each side for approximately 5-8 minutes until it looks brown on the outside.
Once the steak is good to go, place it on a large cutting board. Now, remember that bag I said to keep nearby. Place the remaining marinade and the onions, mushrooms, ramen noodles, and ramen seasoning into the pan with water until it simmers. Allow it to cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Head on back to the steak and slice it thinly across the grain. Take the steak strip and place it in the remaining sauce you placed in the fridge, stirring everything together. Cook it until the steak is hot throughout the garnish for a few minutes. Serve it (add green onions for extra taste) and enjoy!
It was set up perfectly, a family vacation to Italy set for the summer. Between my parent’s milestone wedding anniversary and birthdays within a short amount of time, we decided that it was finally time to do something we have always talked about. That was a family vacation to Italy. Between my parent and all my grandparents being born in the US, my great grandparents immigrated to this country from Italy; therefore, my roots have been a bit distant. While I was all set and began planning for one of the best trips ever, you know what happened (yes, a global pandemic), and the trip was put on hiatus.
While I may not be jetting off for a fun-filled week at the Amalfi Coast, I figured I would do the next best thing and visit the boot-shaped country through this recipe roundup. If you have followed my work and recipe highlights on Simply Better Living, you probably find no surprise that I included an Italian-style dish within it. Dubbed as a “classic chicken ramen bowl with an Italian twist,” it is surely a win in the kitchen. Join me in the journey on how to make
Between the broth and the topping, we will need quite a few items, so let’s jump into it. To start with the broth, we will want to make sure we grab a shopping cart and put in extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons), a ½ cup of the following: diced celery, diced carrots, diced onions, and then salt (2 teaspoons). You are also going to want to add fresh ground pepper (1 teaspoon), red pepper flakes (1 tablespoon), chopped garlic in water (1 tablespoon), 2 anchovy fillets, 4 thyme sprigs, 2 basil springs, chicken stock (64 oz.), and a pound of noodles.
This is already sounding yummy, and I haven’t even gotten to the toppings yet. For this, you are going to need 4 large eggs, a shredded rotisserie chicken blanches broccolini (1 lb.), thinly sliced radishes (1/2 lb.), and diced white and green onions.
Grab a large saucepan and heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Then cook the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper until they are soft. This should take approximately 8 minutes. Once ready, add the red pepper flakes, anchovies, thyme, and basil and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Make sure to reduce the heat and add in the chicken stock, simmering it for approximately 20 minutes. After that, make sure to remove the basil and thyme before you add in the noodles.
Next, grab an additional large pot and boil up some water (add some salt to make it boil a bit faster). Once boiling, add in the eggs and cook them for about 5 minutes. Additionally, while the eggs cook, grabs a large bowl and fills it with cold water; once the 5 minutes is up, place the eggs in the bowl carefully and give it about 2 minutes to cool down. Peel the eggs and halve them the long way.
Finally, place the noodles and broth into bowls, topping each of them with chicken, broccolini, radishes, green onions, and egg halves.
For many years, one of my dream vacation destinations has been to spend some time and travel throughout the entire continent of Africa. Between swimming with Great White Sharks in Cape Town, feeding giraffes at dinner in Kenya, the countless safaris, and everything in between. While all these are amazing landscapes, I believe that our next destination will be Nigeria’s green jungles. While we can’t hop on a truck and view these beautiful gifts from Mother Nature, we can imagine ourselves there through the amazing cuisine (while getting to cure our spice tooth).
One of my new year’s resolutions is to venture around the globe (virtually, of course) and research and taste some amazing recipes and dishes from continents around the world. So, when I thought of an around the world concept for this recipe roundup, I ran with it and was able to find this taste worthy Nigerian Beef and Ramen Noodle Pepper Soup from “Foods From Africa.” This flavorful and low-calorie creation is perfect for any occasion. Hey, the occasion could be right now, right?
Head on over to your local market and get some ingredients for the bone broth and pepper soup. For the broth, make sure to pick up grass-fed beef bones (2 kg.), 2 tablespoons of each alligator pepper, Jamaican nutmeg, and African negro pepper. 3 carrots, 2 onions, and garlic clove (yum!).
For the pepper soup, ensure that you have a bone broth (1.5 liters), grass-fed beef fillet (400 g.), Thai basil (50 g.), and ramen noodles (240 g.). Also, be sure to pick up another onion, garlic clove, a beef stock cube, and de-seeded scotch bonnet pepper. Are you ready?
First, take out a Dutch oven and place the beef bones within it, covering it with cold water. Set it on high heat for approximately 20 minutes allowing for the bone to simmer. Once ready, remove the heat and drain the liquid.
Next, you are going to preheat your oven to 350°C, placing all the bones you have blanched on a baking sheet, and roast them until they are brown. This should take about 40-50 minutes.
Take the bones and place them into the Dutch Oven, adding about 4 liters of water and all of the spices, including alligator pepper, negro pepper, and Jamaican nutmeg. Set it to bring a low boil and take away any scum that may rise to the top. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for approximately 6-12 hours, ensuring enough water to keep the bones covered. Trust me; it will be worth the wait.
Approximately 3 hours towards the simmering end, add in the onions, garlic, and carrots, letting it simmer for 3-4 hours.
Finally, you are going to discard the bones and strain them through a sieve. Let it cool, then take out a mason jar or a large secure bowl, placing it in the freezer. The coolest part? If you plan on using it beyond a week later, you can place it in s secure freezer bag and use it up to 6 months later if unopened!
First, you can prepare your fillet of beef to cook by rubbing a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over the meat. For a little kick, add some salt and black pepper (I know I would, but it is totally up to you).
When ready, transfer the beef into the pan and let it fry for approximately 5 minutes, constantly turning the meat. This will make sure each side is properly browned (and each bite is tasty). Once the 5 minutes is up, please remove it from the cooktop and cover it, setting it aside.
Next, you will want to preheat your oven to about 375 degrees and add the chopped onions and garlic into a skillet for about 2-3 minutes. To help make the pan a bit less sticky, throw in a tiny bit of bone broth and place everything from the skillet to the Dutch oven.
Add in the bone broth, stock cube, scotch bonnet pepper, and salt, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer cover for 15 – 20 minutes. After that, place the browned fillet in the oven, allowing it to roast for approximately 10 minutes.
While everything is getting all roasted and tasty, now would be a great time to prepare the Ramen noodles. Utilize the package instructions and follow them accordingly, not overcooking them (slightly al-dente is key). Remove the beef from the oven and slice into about half-inch-thick slices. It should be rare (and delicious).
Finally, take the beef slices, chopped basil, and ramen noodles and place them in the Dutch oven. Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes and enjoy!
We have one last travel voucher left in our pack and one place for a stamp left on our passport. Can you guess where we will visit next? I’ll give you a hint; it has beautiful hills and sands, as well as a rich culture. We are going to the Middle East! While I have never been personally, I have heard nothing but great things about the beautiful and innovative villages and cities through close friends of mine. Therefore, it will be the perfect place to end our trip. The next dish and the final dish we will introduce contain Tahini, a Middle Eastern condiment.
This tasteful Tahini Miso Ramen with Crispy Tofu from “Soom Foods.” I usually try to include a vegan option to cater to all my readers, and this one is interchangeable. If you take out the egg ingredient, BAM, you have a vegan dish! And speaking of ingredients, let’s grab a few.
For the crispy tofu, we are going to want to pick up a block of extra firm tofu (14 oz.), a tablespoon of each, including olive oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch, salt (1/4 tsp), and pepper (1/4 pepper). For the yummy mushrooms, we will want to grab some additional olive oil (2 tsp), a package of cremini mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
Don’t worry, we need one more round of groceries, and then we are off to whip it up in the kitchen. For the ramen, make sure to grab ramen noodle (2 packages), olive oil (2 tsp), toasted sesame oil (2 tsp), minced cloves garlic (2), a tablespoon of both freshly grated ginger and white miso paste, vegetable broth (5 cups), and some salt (1/2 tsp). Also, find room in the cart for Tahini (1/4 cup), toasted sesame oil (1 tsp), soy sauce (2 tbsp), rice wine vinegar (2 tsp), soft boiled eggs (2), thinly sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and sesame seeds.
Now that you have rummaged through all your cabinets, let’s get started!
First, we are going to start by making the crispy tofu by preheating the oven at 425 degrees F. Press the block of extra firm tofu using a dish towel to remove the water, and cut it into 1/2”-3/4” cubes placing them on a baking sheet tossed with tofu, olive oil, and soy sauce until coated. Add in cornstarch, salt, and pepper and toss that in as well until the whole thing is covered and coated. Bake it for approximately 30-35 minutes, tossing it while cooking (only once) until it is crispy and brown.
Heat a non-stick skillet and place it over medium heat for the mushrooms. Once it is hot, add cremini mushrooms and sauté it for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure that you stir it occasionally until the edges are golden brown. If you want to add a bit of taste, season it with salt and pepper.
Next, take a soup pot and place it on your Drop-In Radiant Cooktop over medium-high heat, adding some olive and sesame oil. Once it begins to heat up, add in garlic and ginger, sautéing it until fragrant (for approximately 30 minutes)—Cook for an additional 1 minute adding in white miso paste, and stir it constantly.
Add and combine in vegetable broth, tahini, salt. Then raise the heat to a high, and once brought to a boil, utilize the package instructions to add in the ramen noodles. Once cooked, add in and stir the sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Feel free to add salt for an extra kick (totally up to you).
Finally, place the ramen into bowls, top it off with the crispy tofu, sautéed mushrooms, 2 soft boiled eggs, thinly sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!