Posts in Stir Fry
10 minute creamy broccoli & carrot salad
creamy broccoli & carrot salad with yogurt dressing



Fall veg at it's best

These days, I waltz between the desire to have a hot soup and fall into hibernation and flood my body with beautiful raw produce. Today, I took a penchant for the later and decided there was still time for a good ol' raw salad before the season is out.

Broccoli & carrots (and most other root veg) are abundant during this part of the year and they overflow the tables of our local farmer's market. So I figured, why not experience them at their best one last time before everything becomes either pickled, cooked or fermented for the winter season.

easy lunch salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife
easy carrot & broccoli salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife

TZATZIKI: A creamy dressing worthy of the MEDITERRANEAN 

I'll admit I'm having a bit a of a love affair with dairy these days, and this recipe is no exception. The plain yogurt and raw garlic add a delightful tanginess to this otherwise banal salad. It's just so luscious I was tempted to lick the sauce container instead of rinsing it off like a decent adult human being.

When mixed with the sweet carrots, the crunchy broccoli, the tart cranberries & the pungent shallots, it's a match made in heaven. Just the perfect amount of every flavor with every bite being slightly different than the last.

easy lunch salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife
Creamy broccoli & carrot salad - the nomadic wife


1 medium broccoli
6 medium carrots
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1/2 C dried cranberries
1 french shallot


1 C Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 pinch of salt


Mince your garlic & cucumber
Mix them with yogourt & salt and let sit until you're ready to eat so the flavors can develop.
Chop your veggies into bite-size pieces, and layer them into jars (or a large bowl).
Layer on minced shallow, pumpkin seeds & cranberries.
Serve with half the creamy tzatziki sauce.


Greek salad bowl with farro and nettle
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife



A fall bowl with some summer vibes

If you’re anything like me, you love bowls. They’re just the easiest kind of meal to put together because more often than not they can accommodate whatever veggies you have hanging out in the fridge. Now, if you’re ready to up your bowl game while keeping it crazy simple, carry on. I’ve got a few fun twists on the traditional bowl for you.

With fall well on its way & the cool of winter just around the corner, I wanted to develop a recipe that was both cool & filling and reminded me of the summer days that seem to have come and gone too fast. 

greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
easy Greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife

Farro, a trip to the Mediterranean 

Farro is the perfect vehicle for a recipe like that. You can even cook it ahead of time, pop it in the fridge days where you have no desire to boil anything. If you haven’t had it before, you’re seriously missing out in the grain department!

It’s been a staple of Italian cuisine for a very long time, and with the mediterranean theme in mind, I started pulling together flavors that would complement its tender & chewy nature. As far as taste goes, most people say farro is pretty neutral, though I’d argue it does have a slightly nutty flavor to it. 

This is great news, in any case, for all your bowl-crazy people out there. Put simply, it’ll go well with just about any produce and just about any sauce.

twist on the traditional greek salad with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife

A twist on a classic: Greek Salad

We’ve all had greek salad before, and although this recipe doesn’t feature most of its quintessential ingredients — no tomatoes or olives to be found — it does feature its summer quenching zing & spicy notes of oregano.

Then the twist: stinging nettles. They are a somewhat mysterious good-for-everything plant. Though I agree it’s not the most common of ingredients, it is, in my opinion, a pantry item that everyone should explore. Especially women, as it’s loaded with iron. I suggest you get it in dried form (like I used in this recipe) as it can be incredibly difficult to find it fresh unless you’re growing it yourself. It has a very green taste, for lack of better words. Some describe it as the lovechild of spinach and artichoke, though in this context I find it is overall more of a mild greenery taste.

Should you decide that you do not want to be bothered with it at all, though I really suggest you give it a try, you can substitute it for dried parsley, or even chopped up fresh spinach.

greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife


1 C Farro
¼ C nettles
¼ C pumpkin seeds
¼ C crumbled feta
4 lebanese cucumbers
2 sweet red peppers
1 T oregano
2 T white wine vinegar
4 T olive oil
A pinch of salt


Cook your farro with 4 C of water and a pinch of salt for about 45 minutes, it should be tender but firm.
While it’s cooking, chop your cucumbers & peppers.
When your farro is ready, let it cool (or rinse it under cool water to accelerate the process).
Place half of the farro & half of the toppings in a bowl, repeat for the second bowl then drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt & white wine vinegar. 
Toss well before eating & enjoy!


Garlic & Oyster Sauce Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts with oyster sauce - the nomadic wife
easy 10 minute side dish brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife



A little comfort for the soul.

I did part of my growing up in San Francisco where I got to experience the most authentic southern Chinese flavors this side of the Pacific. At the time, I lived with a wonderful lady who would cook all of the traditional dishes she grew up with as a girl.

Some of these dishes were amazingly simple to make yet incredibly complex in flavor... just a matter of a quick toss in the wok and a spoonful of richly flavored condiments from a land far away. Still today, they are some of the dishes I turn to when I am in search for a little comfort.

10 minute succulent brussels sprout side dish - the nomadic wife
brussels sprouts with garlic and oyster sauce - the nomadic wife

Oyster sauce, a gateway drug.

These condiments, which when left to themselves can be quite powerful, umami and sometimes rather stinky, meld into the dish and elevate all of the flavors present. Yet not all of them are immediately pleasurable to a typical North-American pallet. 

Oyster sauce, in my opinion, is the gateway drug to some more intense eastern condiments like numbing Szechuan pepper, or fermented shrimp paste. It tastes slightly of the sea, with an underlying sweetness, which pairs perfectly with just about all green vegetables.


East meets west.

While oyster sauce is traditionally used to flavor vegetable and meat dishes, or sometimes mixed into noodles as part of the sauce, you will never find a Chinese cook serving up Brussel sprouts with it.

However, many of the vegetables typically served with it are from the brassica family just like Brussels are, so it's not entirely a foreign concept to serve up cabbage-like things with this sauce.

It's mid-September here in Edmonton and cabbage, Brussels & broccoli are all in season. They all pair, in my opinion, rather well with a little garlic & a lick of oyster sauce.

Simple side dish of garlic brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife
garlic brussel sprouts with oyster sauce - the nomadic wife

What can I serve this with?

Typically, I would serve up a great big dish of veggies as a side when dishing out a family style meal. Think of the sorts of things you would typically see a large family sharing in a Chinese restaurant. Everyone can grab from the middle of the table what they want. A little of this, a lot of that.

However, when it's mid-afternoon and I'm looking for a little pick-me-up I typically turn to a much simpler option of steamed rice or noodles with a little sesame thrown on top.

garlic & oyster sauce brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife


10-12 large Brussels
(swap for broccoli or cabbage)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1T butter
Oyster sauce

Serve with steamed rice & sesame seeds


Chop your veggies into bite size pieces and place them along with the butter in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat.
Toss a few times until butter is melted, then chop garlic and add it in.
Toss a few more times until fragrant, add to a large bowl along with rice & top with oyster sauce. 


MEL × RIVERBEND: Herbaceous Spanish Tortilla de papa
perfect weekend brunch recipe, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Quiche or tortilla: a simple recipe by the nomadic wife



Eggs are seldom only eggs.

I'd love to say I grew up on quiches and variations there of, but the truth is I mostly have fond memories of eating them in small restaurants and food-court lunches in Montreal with my cousin, Cat. When she worked downtown, I would go meet her every so often for lunch and we would have this beautiful quiche in a little sandwich & soup place near her office.

Those fun loving lunches, filled with laughter and all matter of things not only left me with an immense sense of joy, but they introduced me to a gloriously fluffy egg dish, typically filled with vegetables and herbs. I was smitten with quiche and always thought it must be immensely difficult to reproduce. Little did I know.

As the years went on, I then discovered the French omelette (thank you Julia Childs), the Italian frittata & finally the Spanish tortilla. While I loved them all for their differences, and they all have a place in my kitchen, these days I have to admit I'd rather not turn on the oven for a plate of eggs.

Call it laziness if you must, but if I'm hosting a group of girlfriends or enjoying this by myself, I like to just be able to cover for a few minutes, let it fluff up to a soft pillowy goodness, then rest and scoop it right into my mouth.

Herbaceous spanish tortilla recipe by the nomadic wife
simple brunch recipe all your girlfriends will love

Tortilla, Quiche & Frittata 

To crust or not to crust? To add dairy or not add dairy? To pan fry or bake? Ahh! How many existential questions can possibly surround a good plate of well whisked eggs?

Truth be told, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. While it does include yogurt for fluffiness (which I love to substitute in the place of a more traditional creme fraiche), it's crust-less so by definition not a quiche, which usually comes in a crisp, flaky, well buttered crust.  Both the filling ingredients and the egg are set together in a pan, so one could argue it's truly a frittata, yet it's loaded with potatoes which is most often found in tortilla.

The way it's cooked and set also makes a difference. Typically a quiche is baked in the oven. While a frittata is started in a hot pan and finished in the oven & a tortilla is done completely stove top by flipping it halfway (if you're a ninja) or covering immediately after adding the egg mixture which is the technique I've used here.

Let me say that all three types of egg filled dishes are divine, but this one has a special place in our kitchen.

simple spanish tortilla with herbs by the nomadic wife

Poh-tay-toh   Poh-tah-toh

Not all potatoes are created equal & exploring the different varieties is definitely part of the perks of getting a Riverbend Garden CSA share. In this recipe, I used the Mozart variety (beautiful pink on the outside and yellow flesh on the inside) because it lends itself well to be smashed or mashed. I find that it tends to be a little bit more tender than most, but cooked the way I've done it here it doesn't quite fall apart.

Each potato has it's purpose, because of how the flesh is composed. Some are better boiled, others baked or even make the perfect french fries. If you're curious about which direction to head when you're facing a new potato, there's a handy-dandy little page right here that can give you some insight.

Torilla with chives, parsley, garlic & shallot by the nomadic wife
A simple weeknight potato dish, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife

What can I put in tortilla?

Well the traditional take is potatoes (Tortilla de Papa) to start and then truly you can add what ever you like. Softer vegetables tend to do well in here, especially if you give them a chance to release their water before pouring in the egg mixture. Think of onions, shallots, peppers, zucchini or even greens like spinach or kale.

In this version, I focused on aromatics and herbs. So I skipped the vegetables in favor of chives, shallots, garlic & parsley and it always turns out perfectly lovely.

Our new favorite potatoes and egg dish spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Steaming hot plate of spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife


10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 medium shallot
½ C chopped chives
½ C chopped parsley
2 T butter, divided

2 eggs
1 T yogurt
2 T milk
1 t olive oil
Salt & pepper


Start by dicing your potatoes into uniform bite size pieces and placing them in a small pan with enough water to cover.
Boil the potatoes over medium heat until all the water has evaporated then add 1 T of butter and reduce heat to medium low to allow the potatoes to finish cooking and brown slightly.
In the meantime, chop your garlic, chives, shallot and parsley, then add them to the potatoes & mix well.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, milk, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper until you have a uniform blend.
Give the potatoes a good stir, then pour over the eggs and give the pan a quick shake to ensure even distribution. 
Cover with the pan lid and cook until the middle is set, about 5-6 minutes.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.



Rustic Farro with Kale & Mushroom

love the earthy flavors of this dish.

It’s rich, filling & feels like comfort food without all the extra fat that usually entails. I know that mung beans & farro take a little bit of extra time to cook, but they are so worth adding to the rotation in your kitchen.

Plus, if you make them [farro & mung beans] plain you can use them in other recipes throughout the week.

This year, I started eating farro. It's not something I was familiar with until I met a lovely farmer from Gold Forest Grains. It's has a nutty sort of taste that I am really fond of and pairs delightfully well with mushroom, tomato & kale.

Over the past few seasons, I've made it into soups & salads but I had never tried it quite like this before. So one night, as I was beginning to wonder what I should serve up for dinner (and therefore rummaging through my fridge) it came to me.

I wanted a way to use the remaining Kale that I got from Riverbend Gardens as it was starting to look sad in the crisper. Granted, it had been there for an extended stay, so I couldn't possibly blame it for wanting out!

Together, these simple ingredients form one of my favorite dishes to date. One that will surely make it into our rotation on a more frequent basis & one I never have to hear "not this again" about.

Yup. The man of the house loves it too! Muaha.




½ C mung beans
½ C farro
½ yellow onion
2 C bella mushrooms
2 C kale
2 C tomatoes
1 t apple cider vinegar
2 T coconut oil 


First, cook your mung beans & farro according to the package instructions, takes about 25 mins.
When there are about 10 minutes left on cooking your beans & farro, start the mushrooms in a medium pan with 1 T coconut oil.
Let your mushrooms sweat & when the pan is almost dry, deglaze with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Add onion, tomato, mung beans, farro with the remaining coconut oil.
Once it thickens up, add the kale & when it turns bright green it’s ready to serve!



For a single serving

¼ C mung beans
¼ C farro
¼ yellow onion
½ C bella mushrooms
½ C kale
½ C tomatoes
½ t apple cider vinegar
1 t coconut oil 

Follow the steps above, for a super quick solo dinner.. or make the whole recipe & have your leftovers for lunch!

Asian Inspired Noodle Bowl

When I used to live in California, I had a wonderful Chinese woman who lived with me, a caretaker of sorts.  She used to cook all of dinners & school meals. I learnt an incredible amount of techniques and combinations while observing her cook from my highchair at the counter. Of all the things I remember of this woman, one thing was certain, she was a big fan of ginger.

The flavor of ginger to me, or even the smell of it when it becomes fragrant in a hot pan, really feels like home. I chalk it up to the amounts of ginger I consumed in my high school days. Haha. It reminds me of moments when I would open up my lunchbox and there would be neatly arranged vegetables & shrimps atop an even layer of steamed rice. Every bite was perfectly wrapped in salty soya sauce and pungent ginger. It was bliss.

Today, ginger is a staple in my pantry. I even have some growing in a pot by the window, despite the cold climate. It's my go-to spice to brighten & bring a little heat to soups, broths, juices or sauteed veggies like the ones in this bowl.

So here's to a little slice of my home to yours! Bon apetit! 




Makes 2 Portions

1 bunch broccolini, chopped
2 C mushrooms, chopped
1/2 a 1 lb package of flat rice noodles
6 cloves crushed garlic
1 heaping T of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 T toasted sesame oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ t chilli flakes
2 T tamari
1 t honey
1 lime, for serving
Sriracha for serving - optional 


20 mins prep + 15 mins cook

Soak rice noodles in room temperature water, they need about 20 mins to soften up.
After soaking, boil the noodles for 7-10 mins, then drain and rinse.
Chop mushrooms, add them to a large pan and cook them until they have released all their water.
Chop broccolini, add it to the frying pan along with garlic, ginger, 2 T sesame oil, green onions & chilli flakes.
Cook, stirring frequently until softened. I like my veggies still crunchy but some people like them cooked to death.
When your broccolini turns bright green, add the noodles, tamari, honey, one tablespoon sesame oil, and two cloves crushed garlic.
Cook just long enough to warm up the noodles. 
Garnish with a squeeze of lime, more chili flakes & some sriracha if you want some extra heat!

Northern White Hash

This has to be one of the easiest, most succulent meals I've made in a long time & I think you're going to love it! 

It's a mix of potatoes, greens (I used kale here, but you could use chard or collards if you like) and beans. It's deceivingly simple to make and packs a nice little bit of heat. Sounds like something overly simple, but when you source your ingredients from local farms (in this case Riverbend Gardends) you can more fully appreciate the flavors each ingredient brings to the dish when it isn't over crowded by sauces, spices or each other.

So when in doubt, keep it simple.

I like to make this recipe for friends at impromptu gatherings because everyone loves it and the one-pan prep is really easy to clean up.

P.S. This also warms up well. In the morning with a fried egg, it's divine! 


Note: You can add an egg on top of this to make it more like a north american breakfast, but I like it without the egg just the same.



wheat free, meat free, egg free, soy free



4 fist sized potatoes
1/2 C chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 14 oz can of great northern white beans
2 T coconut oil
1 T olive oil
2 C kale, chopped
1/2 T chili flakes
Salt & pepper



First, place 1 tbs of coconut oil in a large frying pan
Then, dice your potatoes & onion.
Then, add your potato in one layer. Fry until golden on one side.
Add 1 more tbs of coconut oil.
Then add in your onions & garlic. Give it a good stir. 
Once it has become quite fragrant, add white beans and the olive oil (or butter). Stir again. 
Add kale on top of everything, when the kale has steamed the dish is ready.

Optional: top with fresh parsley for an extra touch of green goodness!

TNW × Riverbend Gardens: Southern Greens & Corn Bread

Channeling my inner Southern mama this week & getting my greens on! Seriously there are so many types of greens available in the market right now it could make your head spin!

I've done this recipe with kale, collards, chards & even turnip greens and it tastes wonderful every single time. So don't fret if you don't feel like having kale again. Make it with whatever greens your heart desires!


Makes 4 servings

2 T coconut oil
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 t cumin
1 t smoked salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chili flakes
5 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 C vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

For the cornbread check out this recipe! The only difference is that I made them in bite sized instead of a loaf but either way works well!


5 mins prep + 30 mins cook

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions with the coconut oil until slightly softened
Add the red pepper flakes, cumin and garlic. Cook until fragrant.
Add collard greens and cook another minute. 
Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. 
Cook until greens are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes, apple cider vinegar then give it a good stir.
Season with smoked salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Ginger Beef - with veg option

I have to say I was never a huge fan of ginger beef for the simple reason that I found out the beef is deep fried in cornstarch. Not the healthiest! 

This version however, keeps all the crazy delicious asian flavors with none of the extra waist line worrying frying. 



Makes 4 portions

2 hand sized chuck roast steaks cut into strips
For a vegeterian alternative, cut 30 to 35 white mushrooms into strips & pan fry until the mushrooms release all of their water and the pan goes almost dry. It seems like a lot but they shrink considerably
2 sweet peppers cut into strips
2 large handfuls of kale

Serve with steamed rice


1 T coconut oil
4 T tamari (or soya sauce)
1 t sesame oil
1 T fish sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T sriracha
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced


5 mins prep + 15 mins cook

Place your steak strips into a hot pan with the coconut oil, let brown
Mix all of the other sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, let sit
Put your peppers & kale into the pan
Add sauce & stir until everything is evenly coated
Serve hot on steamed rice