Beet, Jicama and Pepita Salad

Beet, Jicama and Pepita Salad - trustinkim

The sweetness of beets combined with the crispness of the jicama, tossed in a simple lime dressing, come together to create a delicious and refreshing salad. Jicama is a mild, crunchy, and slightly sweet-tasting root vegetable that has a lot of healthy properties. If you’ve never tried it before, I recommend giving it a try; it’s pretty easy to like. Read here for more info about nutritional properties of jicama.


I found the recipe in a Rick Bayless cookbook, and just made a few changes. Because I had these salad greens in my garden, I substituted the radicchio that the recipe called for. I also substituted toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for the peanuts.

What you need:

  • 1 pound beets (about 4 medium beets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or unrefined peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice plus a little zest
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 pound (about 1/2 medium) jicama, peeled and cut into 3/4 cm thick batons
  • salt to taste
  • salad greens
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted and cooled

What you do:

  1. Cook the beets in boiling water until they are soft all the way through. When cooled, peel and cut into 3/4 cm thick batons.
  2. Whisk the oil, lime juice, lime zest and agave nectar together.
  3. Combine the beets, jicama, and dressing. Salt to taste.
  4. Serve the beets and jicama on top of the greens. Sprinkle with the pepitas to serve.


Hazelnut, White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Biscotti

hazelnut white chocolate sour cherry biscotti - trust in kim

These biscotti are a variant of my usual recipe, which is awesome, but it’s always fun to try something new. These are not the kind of biscotti that you have to dip in coffee to make them edible; they taste great on their own, and you can bite into them easily without moistening them first.

Biscotti are just cookies that have been baked twice – the dough is formed into logs and baked, then sliced and baked again. Simple enough. They keep for a long time, which was why they were invented. But they are so good they don’t usually last very long…

Read about biscotti/biscotto grammar here!

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon anise liquor OR 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1  & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried sour cherries, chopped

What to do:

1. Toast the anise seeds in a frying pan or in the oven, then crush them with a mortar and pestle or in an electric spice grinder.

2. Toast the hazelnuts until slightly browned, then allow them to cool before chopping them.  They burn easily, so watch them carefully and toss often.

3. Cream the butter, then add the sugar and cream it further. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and anise liquor or extract.

4. Combine  the dry ingredients and mix in with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.  Add the white chocolate, nuts and sour cherries and stir until just combined.

5. Divide the dough into two pieces.  With floured hands form into two logs on a baking sheet.  Bake at 325 F for 25-30 minutes.

6. Allow to cool until you can handle them, and then slice the baked rolls diagonally about 2 cm thick and place on the baking sheet with one of the cut sides facing up.  Lower the oven to 300F and bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned.  Turn each biscotto over and bake for another 10-15, until that side is also slightly browned.

7. Place the baked biscotti on cooling racks, and allow to cool completely before packing. Store in an airtight container for up to a few weeks.

biscotti on the pan

cutting th biscotti

Red Wine Chorizo Tapas

red wine chorizo tapas - trust in kim

This crowd-pleasing chorizo snack makes a great starter, with a few chunks of bread to soak up a little bit of the shallot-red wine sauce. I found the recipe on this site, where they say it’s a great use for leftover red wine – but don’t worry if you don’t have leftover wine. It’s okay to start a whole new bottle, so you’ll have some wine to drink along with your beautiful tapas. Good idea, right?

I mopped up some of the chorizo fat after it had cooked, but the original recipe left it in – do as you wish, but I try to get rid of extra fat when I can.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 200 grams cured chorizo, cut into slices about about 5mm thick
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 200ml red wine (I used Casillero del Diablo Carmenere)
  • flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for a garnish

What you do:

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat – I tend to use cast-iron, and then just use that as the serving dish. Heat the olive oil and fry the shallot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced chorizo to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes until they start to get browned and crisp. Use a paper towel to mop up a bit of the fat.
  3. Add the bay leaves, paprika and red wine. Cook until the wine has thickened and coats the chorizo.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top to serve, along with some bread.



Grilled Vegetable “Caviar”

This delicious and healthy recipe consists of some grilled vegetables, red onion, herbs, and unprocessed sunflower oil. It makes an excellent topping for crackers or crostini, and I have also used it as a topping for grilled salmon and chicken.

The recipe comes from the cookbook Mamushka by Olia Hercules. I have made a few other recipes from this book, and really loved the coleslaw (recipe to come one day), Armenian Roasted Vegetables, and the amazing Beet and Gherkin Salad.

In the photo below I had forgotten to grill and add the tomatoes, so it looks a little different than it should; it was still delicious. You can see the real deal in the salmon-topped photo below.

vegetable caviar -trustinkim

What you need:

  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 long green peppers (I used 1 green, 1 red)
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon unrefined sunflower oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil

What you do:

  1. Place the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant on a hot barbecue, over the flame on a gas stove, or oil them lightly and broil them in the oven. Roast, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are charred all over and have collapsed. Put the the roasted vegetables in a container with a lid and let them sweat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove most of the skins from the vegetables. It is fine to leave a little bit of the blackened skin. Remove the seeds and stem from the peppers. Roughly chop the grilled vegetables.
  3. Mix the grilled vegetables with the garlic and red onion, then dress with the sunflower oil. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the herbs.

vegetable caviar on salmon - trust in kim




Papaya-Lemon Popsicles

papaya lemon popsicles

Oh, I’ve been looking forward to these popsicles! In Mexico I fell in love with paletas – it’s so hard to say which was my favourite, but I definitely loved the lemon ones. I found these overripe papayas at Granville Island for $1 a piece – awesome deal! So this awesome find, combined with the vancouver weathergorgeous hot weather we’re experiencing right now, and with the abundance of lemons I bought the other day, I knew just what to do with them. Plus I have report cards to write, and I’ll do almost anything rather than that job.

When I was a kid the thing I looked forward to in my stocking was a papaya. They weren’t easy to find in Vancouver in the 70’s, so it was a real treat. We would squeeze a little lemon juice on them, and a tiny sprinkle of sugar. There popsicles are reminiscent of those Christmas mornings. I have used gelatine in these, so they have a softer bite, just like my Oma used to add to her raspberry popsicles.

Here’s a link to the popsicle maker I bought on Amazon. It does the job, and the popsicles look pretty!

What you need:

  • about 3 cups of very ripe papaya
  • the juice of 2-3 lemons, about 3/4 of a cup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (this makes the popsicles not very sweet – add more if you have a sweet tooth!)
  • 1 package gelatine, 2 tablespoons

What you do:

  1. Peel and seed the papaya; cut into rough chunks and place in a blender.
  2. Add the lemon juice to the blender.
  3. Heat  1/3 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small pot until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Sprinkle the gelatine over 1/4 cup of cold water. Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over the gelatine and stir continually until the gelatine has dissolved.
  5. Puree the papaya for a few seconds, then add the sugar and gelatine mixtures. Puree for a few seconds, or longer if you prefer no chunks in your popsicles.
  6. Pour the popsicles into moulds and freeze for about 6 hours. This is the hardest part!
  7. Enjoy!


Paletas - trustinkim
Paletas at La Michoacana in Puerto Vallarta


Korean Cucumber Salad

korean cucumber salad - trustinkim

This simple cucumber salad was made as a side dish for Korean Beef Bulgogi, but I’m look forward to serving it with other meals in the summertime when my cucumbers have grown. It is a refreshing salad, with just a hint of spice to it.

I found the recipe here.

What you need:

  • 1 long english cucumber
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and ground sesame seeds (plus a few more whole ones for garnishing)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned

What you do:

  1. Combine the vinegar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds in a bowl.
  2. Thinly slice the cucumber and add it to the vinegar dressing. Add the green onion and carrot and toss to coat everything with the vinegar dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Garnish with sesame seeds and more green onion.

Korean Beef Bulgogi

Korean Beef Bulgogi - trustinkimKorean beef bulgogi is marinated for a few hours, making it very tender, and then cooked quickly and dipped into sauce before eating. The marinade plus the dip provide the dish with a ton of flavour. We served it on white rice with a spicy kimchi, purple pickled cucumbers, and a cucumber salad. The only tricky part was getting the beef sliced really thinly.

It was fun to go to the Asian supermarket and choose some prepared pickled side dishes. I also bought an Asian pear that I was going to cut into matchsticks as a garnish, but totally forgot about it.

I found this in a cookbook called The Global Grill by Kathleen Sloan. It serves six people.

What you need for the beef marinade:

  • 2 & 1/2 pounds (just over a kilogram) beef strip loin
  • 1/2 cup light light sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted and ground

What you need for the dipping sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dark soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (I used sriracha)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bean paste

What you need for serving:

  • rice (we used 2 cups of jasmine rice)
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • green onions for garnish
  • side dishes such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, salad

What you do:

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a container with a lid.
  2. Slice the beef as thinly as you can, using a very sharp knife. If you put the beef in the freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing it is easier to get the thin slices.
  3. Cover the beef with the marinade and refrigerate for about four hours.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
  5. Return the beef to room temperature before cooking.
  6. Preheat a grill or frying pan to high heat. Cook the beef for about 1 & 1/2 minutes per side. Serve it right away with the dipping sauce.