Sunday, March 31, 2013

Green Cabbage Kimchi

This green cabbage kimchi came about because I haven't been to the Asian market for a while and I was so out of napa cabbage or any Asian greens for that matter.  I am not even a Korean but I just had to have a big jar of kimchi in my refrigerator these days.  I used to dislike kimchi because of its pungent smell and taste, but while reading about the benefits of probiotic and kimchi, slowly I became to like kimchi especially the homemade ones as I can adjust the taste according to my liking (mostly towards a sweeter taste).

After it is fermented, it doesn't taste much different from the napa cabbage kimchi, except perhaps crisper.  Loved it in the instant ramen and the soup was just sourish delicious!  Read that there is a lot of probiotic in the juice of the kimchi so don't throw it away. Besides the beneficial bacteria for your gut, kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Salad for Lunch

Our lazy and healthy lunch (minus the fried chicken tender)!  These days when I made my Asian Peanut Sesame Salad Dressing, I would double the recipe and keep it in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.  Then, I would pack the salad with dressing on the side for Evy to bring to her school for lunch.  Edda and I would eat that for lunch as well and that's the best way for us to have some raw food into our diet.  As in our Chinese culture, we hardly consume any raw food, it has to be quickly blanch in hot water or in a quick stir-fry.

For this salad, I was trying to incorporate as much nutrients as possible so I added fruit (banana, dried cranberries), seeds and nuts.  Not to forget the cilantro (can remove toxic chemicals from the body).  I forgot to add tomato and Hijiki seaweed.  I finally thought of another way to eat the Hijiki seaweed but on that day itself I forgot to use it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brown Rice Kimbap/Gimbap (Korean Rice Rolls)

I am loving kimbap/gimbap because you can basically put everything you desired as fillings.  I loved to make kimbap using my leftover turmeric barley brown rice (hence the yellow color) or brown rice .  These days, I would keep some nori seaweed wrapper in my pantry so that when I feel like making some kimbap, I can.  I made the above for my girl's school lunch, she loved eating it and there was no mess.  I would make another for Edda as well when she comes home from school. 

Close up of my fillings above:  Fried eggs, imitation crab meat, spicy tuna, carrot, pickled radish and blanched bean sprouts (I wish I have some cucumber though for extra crunch).  The filling is very versatile, if you can think it, you can make it.  In fact, I like to make kimbap using leftover. 

This would make a great picnic lunch as well.  I can't wait for summer to arrive so that I can go picnic with my girls.  Well, if the weather turns nice like in the 70s, that's a good reason to go picnic, doesn't have to wait until summer. :-P

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Baked Turkey Meatballs

Do you love the convenience of frozen meatballs that sell in the supermarkets?  I do!  But as I am becoming more aware and more educated about food such as whole food vs processed food, I couldn't bring myself to buy it.  As I flipped to the back and read the ingredients list, I had to sigh and put the frozen meatballs back in the freezer.  I told myself, if I want some meatballs, I just have to make it myself and freeze it!

I chose turkey because I bought a small turkey breast during the Christmas sales.  I removed the turkey bone and hand minced the turkey breast with a cleaver.  Then, just added the seasonings and baked.  Since my turkey breast was small, it didn't yield much meatballs, next time I would have to make more to freeze.  These turkey meatballs were delicious as it.  Or you can add it in spaghetti sauce, or make a BBQ meatballs sauce, or an Asian style sauce to coat the meatballs.  I even sandwiched it in a bun with a slice of cheese for Evy to bring in as her lunchbox to school.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Avocado Milkshake with Gula Melaka

Gula Melaka as we said it in Malaysia or palm sugar is made by extracting the sap from the flower bud of a coconut tree.  It is very fragrant and has the deep dark brown color and used in many Malaysian dessert.  I made the avocado milkshake before using the chocolate sauce and my readers commented that I can substitute the chocolate sauce with Gula Melaka which I thought was brilliant.  Finally the avocado was on sales again and I couldn't wait to try this.  It was indeed delicious but I think you need to like avocado to really enjoy this dessert.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chicken Wonton Mee

I loved my noodle and can't leave without it.  These days I would cook noodle for dinner at least once a week.  When I shop at the Asian market and see some fresh wonton noodle, I would buy 2 to freeze it at home.  So whenever I feel like eating some wonton noodle (or egg noodle), I can thaw it a night before in the refrigerator.  My husband brought back some Hawaii BBQ chicken for supper one night, but I don't eat supper and thus the leftover.  So, this was what I did with the chicken!

Par-boiled some chai-hsin (Chinese greens), boiled some frozen homemade chicken dumplings, microwave the leftover Hawaiian BBQ chicken and sliced it, chopped some scallions to serve.  I also concocted a yummy sauce for my wonton noodle which I will keep it a secret.  :-P

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easy Pocket Bread /Pita Bread Lunch

I was searching for pita bread to buy but strangely I couldn't find it in any of the supermarkets that I frequent.  Then, I saw an ad. at Sprout and saw that they have whole wheat pocket bread!  That's just like the pita bread that I was searching for.  I bought those and made a quick lunch for Edda and me and also for Evy to bring to her school.  For Evy, I put half of the pocket bread in a Ziploc bag with a spoon and a packet of ketchup.  And then fried the smoked fish ham with 2 eggs in the morning and packed it in a thermos so that it would keep warm until her lunch time.  She was having fun stuffing her pocket bread and enjoyed eating it as well.

See my salad above, I added strawberry and dried cranberries and it was so delicious.  Now I must eat my salad with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds (would add some walnuts next time).  Click here for my peanut sesame salad dressing.  Now I double the recipe and keep it in a glass container in the refrigerator and stock up on organic romaine lettuce hearts for my quick lunch.  The dressing is good as a dipping sauce for Vietnamese spring rolls too.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Oyster Sauce Topokki

As I mentioned earlier, Topokki or Dukbokki is a popular Korean street snack made of rice cake sticks and fish cakes.  This is my sweet and salty oyster sauce version of topokki.  I added Korean smoked fish ham, rice cake sticks, onion and fish cakes.

I sliced the rice cake sticks into half for faster cooking time.  This dish is more suitable for children or those who can't seem to take spicy food.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Angel Hair Pasta with Clams

If you are my avid blog reader, you should know that I loved to watch healthy Chinese cooking shows from Taiwan.  And clams have always been brought up as a healthy food to eat.  It is high in vitamins and minerals especially B12 (prevents Alzheimer disease) , iron (prevents anemia) and selenium (helps fight arthritis), protein, manganese, Vit. C, copper, riboflavin, zinc, and potassium.  You can read more about the health benefits here

Since the clam meats that I bought were frozen and cooked, I made a pasta dish with it.  If I have some fresh and live clams, I would cook Kam Heong clam/ lala or steam it with homemade sweet rice wine with gingers and scallion.

Anyway, I read that wild clams or any seafood might have some mercury in it, so I paired it with cilantro!  Oh yes, as cilantro can remove heavy metal like mercury from the body through elimination process.  Hence, it's a great idea to pair cilantro with any seafood that you cook.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Fish Maw Soup (鱼肚汤)

I don't know why but during the Chinese New Year, I always want to cook a pot of fish maw soup or bamboo fungus soup (竹笙).  I added bean curd sticks, shrimps, mushrooms and eggs into the soup.  I did not thicken the soup with starches but tried it with beaten eggs instead.

Is there any benefits of eating fish maw?  I did a search and it said fish maw is an excellent source of collagen.  Just like what the Chinese believe the collagen of chicken feet and pig trotter would give you a beautiful skin.  It is said to help with blood circulation and improve your skin.  Do you know any other benefits besides what I had mentioned?