Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Healthy Lunch Ideas

grilled chicken breast with dino kale, sugar snap peas, quinoa mixed with sauteed mushrooms with S&P and balsamic

In our household, we've been consciously trying to improve our diet by trying to stick to lean proteins, lots of leafy greens and whole grains. We've totally converted to brown rice, spelt pasta (infinitely better than whole wheat pasta) and whole grains like quinoa and barley. One big personal hurdle was to eat healthy lunches while at work. It is too challenging to stick to healthy options when left to eat out or do take out. It is also very very expensive to eat take away healthy organic foods. I was spending up to $20 a day sometimes eating from places like Real Food Daily! Well, I got wise and put in a little effort on Sunday nights to prepare lunch items. I've been doing this for a month now and I've not only saved money but lost weight and feel great! I basically steam vegetables, make a whole grain and a protein. I try to stretch out the pre-made items by switching out the protein or adding an avocado or nuts. Sometimes at the end when I'm low on items, I'll supplement with hummus and flax bread. The following are list of things that combine well as a salad or as a group of sides like the pic above with yummy grilled chicken breast. I personally don't care for traditional salad too often but can eat lightly steamed greens everyday! Remember, try to vary your diet as much as possible and always eat whole foods. I know us cookngs love our pork and yummy comfort foods. With moderation and balancing with wholesome options, we can eat really anything we want!

Ideas for lunch items

Proteins: chicken breast, boiled eggs, lentils, tofu, tuna, pork tenderloin
greens: kale, collard greens, chard, arame seaweed, broccoli
veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, sprouts, squash
grains: brown rice, quinoa, kashka, barley, cous cous
dressing: tahini or Annie's Asian Sesame dressing
toppings: nuts, sunflower seeds, japanese seaweed/sesame condiment

Please share your ideas for easy healthy lunches in the comments!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chinese New Year Celebration Feast 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 
Sharing Mama Ng's Menu

Braised shiitake mushroom with oyster and 
fat choi ( might be some type of sea veggie? looks odd but fun to eat)

 Lobster with ginger scallion and chinese celery

 Foo jook tong ( bean curd soup) with mushroom and chinese dried scallops

Pea shoot stir fried with garlic and fish sauce 

 Crispy roast pork

 Steamed seabass with ginger scallion and soy sauce

 Buddha's delight ( Lor horn jai) 
quite of list of ingredients used in this dish, let's see if i can remember them all,
napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom, bean noodles, wood ear fungus, water chestnut, beancurd sticks, fat choi , snowpeas , am i missing anything else ?
sorry about the poor photo, couldn't wait to eat 

White poached chicken served with oyster and hot mustard sauce.
 Always happy with Mama Ng poached chicken, so moist and tender.

Posted a little late but better than never. 
Did you enjoy your New Year's celebration?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top Chef All Star thoughts

Does working under extreme conditions truly measure a chef's talents? Is this the Amazing Race or Top Chef? While a fun and dynamic challenge, I couldn't help but to feel bad for these poor tired souls. Clearly, the requirement of running laps on no sleep got the better of ALL of them. The culmination, Carla puttering around the store still shopping with only under an hour to cook. All of the dishes lacked imagination and the choice of equipment baffles me. What I would have done is grab a rice cooker and an electric wok and rocked a stir fry over rice. No? Who hasn't gone to a greasy Chinese joint at 3AM after partying all night? Just sayin' Come on! But this is why I pose the extreme conditions question. Does the effort for better television destroy the potential for truly inspirational cooking? I for one am not a fan of the one-hand-tied-behind-the-back or no-utensils or no-sleep challenges.
Poor Angelo. This week I realize that he really was not getting weirder and weirder. I really did not see until now that this is a man at his Top Chef threshold. He was running on empty. The same chef who put out complex and beautiful food made salty potato soup. Sad but it was his time to go. I knew something was up when Mike was singing his praises followed by clips of uncharacteristic bro-love gestures from Angelo.
Dale won with grilled cheese and tomato soup. I'm sure it was a fine grilled cheese and tomato soup. But really? A grilled cheese and tomato soup won an elimination challenge of Top Chef All Stars with only 7 chefs left? Maybe Bravo should do a Top Top Chef Producers show.


Why did they even have the interior designer guy on? That was so random.

Okay, maybe having Ming Tsai judge was more random than the interior designer guy.

I wasn't a fan of the Muppet quickfire. But since Molly liked it I liked it too. Ok, I liked Elmo's "cow chips" comment.

Nice sweater Bourdain!

To Molly he's Dr. Tony!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Top Chef All Star thoughts

Well, well, well. Ciao Fabio. We are sad to see him go but after all, it is Top Chef, not Top Comedian! He is SO funny though! Bravo needs to give him his own show. This episode is one of my all time favorites. The challenges were interesting and dynamic and how 'bout having Jimmy Fallon as guest judge?? He was so much fun! His family and the announcer guy from the show were hysterical! Congrats to Carla for one delicious looking pot pie. This is very reminiscent of her season where she really steps up leading into the finals. Let's hope she can go all the way again! I really like her food; simple, honest and always true to her style. Dale goes from too bland to too salty. Come on bro! Wake the #$@ up!! Antonia rocked the tongue and showed some skills. The rest were not memorable. Angelo acts creepier and looks greasier every episode. What's going on with that dude?

a little like Hannibal Lecter? just a bit?


Hey Angelo! It's "chee-poht-lay" (chipotle)

What was Dale calling Angelo? Was it "stunning guy"?

I like eating tongue but was a little skeeved by seeing the whole big thing being sliced. ewww