Barley and Beef Soup

Makes 4 servings


2 cups chopped onion
1 pound chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 chopped peeled carrot
1 cup chopped celery
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
5 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 tsp pepper


1) Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and beef and cooked until onion is tender and beef is browned.

2) Add carrot and celery and cook ~5 mins. Stir in garlic and cook ~30 secs.

3) Stir in barley and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer ~40 mins or until barley is done and vegetable is tender.

Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
113 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas (~1 pound), mashed well
1 tsp vanilla extract


1) Preheat oven to 350 dF (180 dC). Oven rack in the middle.

2) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

3) In a medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Lightly fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until combined and batter is thick and chunky (do not over mix batter. We do not want it smooth). Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for ~20-25 mins or until toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Serve.

Steamed prawns and tofu with sesame-soy sauce


350 g silken tofu
160 g prawns, shelled, deveined and cut into bite-size pieces
4 shiitake mushrooms, chopped finely
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Pinch of baking powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs chopped green onion


1) Wrap tofu in paper towel and press water out. Heat tofu in microwave for ~3 mins. Let it cool.

2) Use fork to break up the tofu (as fine as you like). Mix in the chopped prawns and mushrooms. Add the egg and baking powder to the mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

3) Steam for ~30 mins or until set.

4) For the sauce: Heat sesame oil, soy sauce and green onion in a saucepan until hot. Pour over the steamed tofu and serve.

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