Friday, August 30, 2013

Homemade Granola

Granola is just toasted oats with a mixture of dried fruit, seeds and nuts.  Homemade granola is so easy to make, so why spend more on the store-bought one?  Since I don't eat oatmeal, but I do buy rolled oats for muffin, cookie, bar and bread, so why not make it into granola too right?  I love the granola on yogurt, so I actually made this for my yogurt.  Besides topping my yogurt with granola, I also added some hemp seeds and chia seeds.  And that would be our dessert!

Granola would make a great snack too.  One or two hands full if you found yourself not really hungry or you just want something to chew.  You actually make this in less than 30 minutes and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.  Next time I would add some nuts too, to make it better.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lunch Box for Two

Oh finally came a time that I needed to prepare two lunch boxes.  I was worrying because I hardly have any leftover these days as we all finished whatever I cooked for dinner, well mostly.  They were growing up and started to eat more I guess.  So, I was asking my elder girl, what should I prepare for you and your sister to bring to school if we don't have any leftover?  She said we are fine with sandwiches, you can just make us sandwiches.  I was like what kind of sandwiches, not peanut butter and jelly right?  She said, lettuce with tuna.  I was like okay. So, I went shopping for Rudi's organic bread, organic romaine lettuce, swiss cheese and a Whole Food's rotisserie chicken (as we don't eat deli meat).  If no rotisserie chicken, I can fried an egg with some pork floss, or use the tuna pouch.

Their dad bought a case of yogurt drink without reading the ingredient list, thus the reason the frozen yogurt drinks are in their lunch boxes.  We grew up drinking yogurt drink in Malaysia so it never occur to us that it is actually packed with high fructose corn syrup and all sort of other sugars (bad stuff!).  Anyway, this frozen drink acted like a ice box for the sandwiches.  And it melted into cold drink during their lunch time.  Definitely not buying it again after we finish whatever we have left.

The verdict:  Both of them loved it and kept asking me to make them sandwiches. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Matcha Kaya

This idea came about when I was talking to my girls.  I asked them what would be a good filling for swiss roll that I was planning to make.  I told them I have blueberry jam or should I make some kaya?  What else that we can use as a filling and then Evy said green tea.  I was like hmmm green tea... what about green tea kaya and thus this idea was born.  Gotten excited and made this recipe right away (that's the plus point of having a bread maker!)  Tada!  Present to you matcha kaya!  This kaya is sweet, fragrant and hint of green tea flavor.  I thought it was sweet and going to cut down the sugar to 1 cup in my next batch.  Trying to reduce the sugar if I can.  But lots of people like their kaya sweet, so it's up to you!

After I was done making the kaya and browsing over my sponge swiss roll recipe, only then I realized that my electric beater was broken and couldn't possibly make any sponge cake!!  Oh well, no sponge cake at the meantime until I buy a new electric beater.  Thus far, the cake and muffin that I make only required a hand whisk.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stir-fried Chinese Long Beans with Chicken

You can buy the Chinese long beans at the Asian supermarket.  I don't think you would miss it because it is long and green.  If the long beans look fresh and green, I would buy it.  In Malaysia, we love to fry it with sambal belacan (chili paste) and make it into a spicy dish.  However, since I have some leftover grilled chicken breast, I decided to make a non-spicy dish out of it.  You need to fry it in oil so that it will be crunchy and crisp and delicious.  These long beans are good in fried eggs too where we chopped the long bean into small cubes.  I think I have that recipe in my blog from years back.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Healthy Muffins

I always trying to make my muffin more nutritious.  I was not happy with just a plain banana muffin, I wanted it to be packed with superfood nutrients.  So, for this I added oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, stone ground whole wheat flour and good oil, extra-virgin olive oil (you can use coconut oil too).  I also added chocolate chips (per my girls request) for my girls and dried cranberries for us.  Next time will also add some walnuts to kick it up a notch!  I made these muffins for our breakfast and it keeps well at room-temperature for up to three days.

These muffins are soft and moist and a delicious healthy muffin!  Try it and feedback to me ya!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

I loved mapo tofu!  The usual mapo tofu is cooked with ground pork and since I stop buying pork and too lazy to mince some chicken breast, I created a vegetarian version.  I substituted the ground pork with fresh shiitake mushroom, of course you can use the meaty portabello mushroom too (or crimini or button mushroom).  Since mushroom is good for us, I try to cook more mushroom dishes. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

How to eat Nagaimo? 怎么吃山药?

Nagaimo as it is called in Japanese or  huái shān (淮山) or shān yào (山药) as in Chinese is a nutrient rich tuber/ root vegetable that is loaded with health benefits.  山药 literally translates to "mountain medicine" and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine long time ago.  You can read more about nagaimo and the nutrition facts here.  The Taiwanese cooking show that I mentioned before introduced me to this way of eating the nagaimo.  It is so easy to prepare and I just need to pound it and mix in with my rice or noodle, so why not?  You can buy the fresh nagaimo at the Asian supermarket.  It is not very cheap but not too expensive either.  Since I am the only one who eats this in my family, I usually buy a small piece, the above picture is 1/3 of what I bought.  I cut about 1/3 of the tuber, wash it and peel it (be careful as it is very slippery, it might cause itching if you are sensitive but you can soak it in vinegar water first), then cut it into smaller pieces and place it in a Ziploc bag and pound it with the back of a cleaver or an empty bottle until mushy like picture shown above.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Blueberries Preserves without Pectin

I loved buying organic jam or preserves but it can be quite expensive as it ran out fast in my household.  So, the next alternative would be making my own blueberries preserves!  Organic blueberries/ blueberries are cheap during the summer but organic apple is not.  Luckily I can make do with just one apple for this recipe.  I don't use pectin in all my homemade jam and thus far it works pretty well for me.  This blueberries preserves recipe is very easy to make and don't take a lot of times.  It is a great way to preserve the blueberries besides frozen and save some money too, in addition, this homemade preserves is delicious!  I would freeze more blueberries to make this during the winter when the organic apple is cheaper.