Monday, January 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Oat Squares

When I saw this recipe at Go Bold with Butter, I wanted to try it.  The reason being it has rolled oats and some of my favorite ingredients in there.  Not sure what happen but mine came out looking different from their photo.  Nevertheless, it is still crispy and crumbly like they described.  I think it would taste even better with chocolate chips, flax seeds and possibly walnuts in it.  I would probably play with the recipe when I make it again.

* I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover*  Well, a change from the traditional Chinese New Year cookies!  Actually it is quite similar to the cornflakes cookies without flour except this one uses oats.  So, I think instead of bar squares, you can also do it in a pretty mini paper cups.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pan-fried Salmon in Special Sauce

This was just a regular salmon dish at my house, except I was trying on a new sauce.  Because the sauce was sweet, slight hint of sour and savory, I didn't bother to season my salmon.  I didn't flour it either just to cut down on the refined flour intake.  When you flour your meat, poultry, seafood to deep-fry or when you add cornstarch/potato starch to thicken the soup/sauce, do you know that you are actually adding refined processed white flour into your diet?  You probably didn't know right?   I didn't notice this small little detail until I heard it from a healthy eating guru in some healthy Chinese cooking show.  It made me aware of this fact, with the knowledge, I would try to cut down on it as much as possible.  It was hard as lots of Chinese dishes need the thickening starches to make a dish palatable.  Just look at my sauce above, it would certainly look more appetizing if the sauce is thick instead of watery.  Also, the fact that all of the egg drops soup and hot and sour soup in the Chinese restaurants are laden with thickening starches, it does make me think twice when ordering it.  Wonton soup is definitely a better option I guess.

Now you are aware, it's up to you to make the right choices!  Again, moderation is the key!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ching's Chili

I have been reading the Super Immunity book and bean is one of the high-micronutrient super foods that was advice to consume regularly.  Frankly I don't cook beans often as I often used the green and red beans to make sweet Chinese dessert soup.  Black and Soy beans to boil Chinese soup and that's about it.  The only bean that I used in cooking is garbanzo beans and that was when I cooked the Japanese curry.  So, after reading that book, I wanted to incorporate more beans into our diets.  Since the weather is getting cold here, a warm bowl of chili came into my mind.  And just when I was thinking of that, the organic brand of beans and tomato sauce were on sales for $1 each.  And that just about made up my mind.

This is Ching's Chili, or my chili as I used ground chicken, tri-bean blend, onion, celery, tomato and corn (for more fiber and additional micronutrient intake) and my own way of seasonings.  We all loved it and I am going to head out to buy more of these tri-bean blend and organic tomato sauce while it is still on sales.  Looking forward to more Ching's Chili in these cold weather.  Feedback to me when you give my chili a try yeah!

This tri-bean blend has organic dark red kidney beans, organic pinto beans and organic black beans.  I was just happy to find three different colored beans in a can.   What a great way to get the nutrients from these beans (What a bummer!  The last few trips I went to KS and they were out of this Tri-Bean Blend!!).

I am aware of the resin linings of tin can and more so from the tomato sauce, but what did I do when my organic tomato sauce came in a tin can instead of a glass bottle?  For this, I just pour out the tomato sauce and didn't bother to scratch the can clean or add water to rinse everything out, so there was still a lining of tomato sauce left on the can, that's the best I can do in this case.  Or else, I would have to make my own tomato sauce.  Luckily I don't depend on can food, I get most of my micronutrients from whole natural food.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baby Bok Choy with Minced Chicken

I made this for a potluck dinner the other day.  I just want to show you a picture of how I plated the baby bok choy.  In the middle, I stir-fried some minced chicken with chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms and garnished with chopped scallion and crispy fried shallots.  You can also make it vegetarian by omitting the ground chicken and use an assortment of mushrooms.

You can serve this during a Chinese New Year dinner.  I think it's beautiful!

* I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover*

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Avocado Milkshake

We all know that avocado has the good fat that would help in reducing heart disease.  But how often do we eat avocado anyway?  Hardly for me as I have no idea what to do with it except to eat it with a little sugar sprinkle on it, top it with salad (but we hardly eat salad) or make it into guacamole.  Then, I saw Phong Hong Bakes's Avocado Milkshake with chocolate sauce and according to her, it was delicious.  So, when shopping at Sprouts recently, I saw that the avocado was on sales for 3 for $1, it's just too cheap to pass it up.  Hence, I bought some to give this milkshake a try.  I was surprised at how rich and creamy this milkshake was and definitely yummy with the chocolate sauce.  It was very filling too, perhaps a smaller glass for dessert or serve it as breakfast or light lunch.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Korean Spicy Kimchi Topokki

My variation of topokki.  Kimchi Topokki!!  I figured the intense flavor of kimchi would give the basic spicy topokki a boost and I was right.  I actually liked this version better as I found the flavor was more well rounded.  This makes a great meatless meal too.

Feel free to adjust the thickness of your sauce as I think mine was a bit too dry.  I think it would taste better with a little more sauce.  Happy experimenting and whoever try this, please feedback to me ya! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Congo Bars

I was given some cookie bars during the holidays that left me with a favorable impression as it was really delicious.  I had no idea what it was nor I have tasted it before, so I went online to look for a cookie bar recipe that resembled the cookie that I had.  I found the picture of Congo Bars looked similar and decided to give it a try.  Later, I realized that this Congo Bar actually resembled Blondie very much as they both make with similar ingredients.  And Congo Bar is actually another variation of Blondie.  I might give Blondie a try in the future.  For this, the only difference I changed was I used cashew nuts instead of walnuts or pecans.  The taste was fairly closed and I am happy with the result.

The above picture is how I wrapped the cookie bars.  I used red and white tissue papers, cut them out and wrapped the cookie bars like wrapping a candy and put them in a decorative zipper bag.  You can also wrap it in foil first and then cover with a solid color cellophane paper and pack them in a decorative box as gift.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Green Tea Cream Puffs

I was left with some heavy cream from Thanksgiving.  So, I needed to use it before it expired and I thought of  making a green tea flavor cream filling for some cream puffs.  Cream puff is very easy to make, I just followed a classic cream puff dough recipe and play with the flavor of cream filling.

Cream puff freezes well and I especially loved how the heavy cream filling tasted after in the freezer.  To me, it tasted so much like ice-cream and making it so good.  You can drizzle the top with melted milk chocolate to make it more presentable for a party or potluck.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Korean Spicy Topokki

Topokki or dukbokki is a popular Korean street food that is made of rice cake sticks, fish cakes and gochujang.  You can spot the street vendors selling this popular snack food all day long.  Because of it's popularity, lots of variation had been created.  Most of it are spicy but there is also a sweet and salty variety that uses oyster sauce as a base.  Some added ramen, cheese, seafood, curry, meat, chicken, etc.

Here, I used the basic recipe that was at the back of the package of the rice cake sticks that I bought.  I liked the chewiness of the rice cakes and I didn't make it too spicy.  You can add 1 Tbsp. of  Korean chili pepper powder to brighten up the color further and make it spicier.  I will be sharing my other variation in a different post later.