Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kale! Spinach! and Flax! SMOOTHIE yummy!

A friend of mine suggested that I try green smoothies in the morning to switch it up from juicing. I tried it and love it and it has been my breakfast for a few weeks now! This is going to be a typical cookng recipe where you can put in any variation of ingredients to make it your own. What I'll share is my favorite base shake to which you can change out the fruit or the greens. Yes, the smoothie green from green leafy veggies.  Don't worry because you won't even taste them! You get the nutrients from the fresh ingredients but also the fiber! I like using frozen fruit because it makes the shake nice and cold! I still love fresh pressed juices but have them later in the day. I've been feeling so great and even losing a little off the waistline since it is low carb!


Em's green smoothie
1 banana
Handful frozen blueberries
Handful frozen mangoes
1 cup almond milk
Handful spinach or kale
Teaspoon flax powder
1 ice cube

Blend all together with blender!

Have a happy healthy summer!

Gazpacho heirloom tomatoes

Embarking on our healthy summer theme, we would like to share this easy and delicious gazpacho recipe. There is nothing better on a hot day (or any day) than a big bowl of cold tomato soup! For this recipe, the quality of the ingredients really matter. Try to get juicy sweet ripe heirloom tomatoes if you can. If not, plum tomatoes are fine. San Mariano canned tomatoes will work too if fresh is impossible.  Also, use Campbell's or Hunt's tomato juice. I like the sweetness and consistency of the juice. I like to top my gazpacho off with avocado and pickled shrimp. I think crabmeat would also be a great topping! And oh, I like chopped jalapenos and tart Louisiana hot sauce to add some heat! 
I can't wait for you to try this recipe!


3 large heirloom tomatoes
(or 6 plum tomatoes or one can san marzano)
one red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
one bell pepper
one cucumber
juice of one lemon
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
cliantro chopped

get your blender and a large bowl
cut all the veggies into small 1 inch pieces
buzz in blender one veggie at a time and pour into bowl
(pour in some tomato juice to help blending along)
do not over blend!  it should be chunky
mix together all ingredients 
salt and pepper to taste
top with favorite toppings, avocado and cilantro are musts!

If you have a food processor, follow same recipe and just pulse chop each ingredient

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Comfort Food

When you were a kid feeling low or having a bad day, your mom would offer you hugs and comforting words, and then proceeded to make you something to eat that would always make you feel better.
I want to share a dish with you that still to this day makes me feel better when I'm feeling down.
Let me first start with my bad day, or should I say bad month...
A month ago the restaurant I work at went through an overhaul.  It was a month of scary events that consist of what you most likely read in chef/restauranteur memoirs.  The chef quit, the owners stepped in and starting cleaning house.  There was yelling, firing, crying, pots being thrown, people walking out, and nights where I find myself still working at an ungodly hour.  The stress level was way past the danger zone.  Everywhere I turned, someone was freaking out and yelling at me.  My boss, my co-workers, even my customers. But! Life is a they say.
So I find myself in the kitchen...where most life problems are worked out.  This time it was my sister, Annie who was offering comforting words... and food.  I just sat there feeling like I went through hell, no words, too exhausted for tears.  She made me dinner and when she put out my favorite dish, I stared at it and wanted to cry, again.
It is a very simple dish made out of eggs and water - that's it.
You take equal portions of egg and water, beat it together and steam it for about 10-15 minutes.  The cool factor in this is how she portions the water perfectly.  Let's say she uses four eggs.  She cracks three into a bowl and the with the last egg, she makes a tiny hole on top and shakes out the last egg into the bowl.  She now has a perfect measuring "eggcup" for the water.  She fills the "eggcup" with water then pours it into the bowl; 4 times.  At this point, you can add water ever you like; mushrooms, scallions, etc.  She adds a little oil for a moist texture.

This is what comfort food is all about.  A simple recipe, usually from childhood and generally has an effect on you like the last scene from Ratatouille.  I scooped a very generous portion over rice, add some oyster sauce, took a bite...and voila! I felt much better.  Thank you Annie, you knew exactly what to do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cabbage with Mushrooms & Turkey Bacon

I love when a great dish comes out of what's left in the fridge from the week.  I had leftover cabbage, some cremini mushrooms (a pint) and a few slices of turkey bacon.  I threw it all together and the results was this delicious rustic and hearty dish, something I imagine a Polish grandmother might also make!

First I browned onion and garlic in olive oil, then added the turkey bacon (chopped) and then the cremini mushrooms sliced.  I let it saute until it was nice and caramelized.

Then I added sliced cabbage and mixed it in, it was a medium size head.  I drizzled more olive oil and covered the pot.  I let it steam a few minutes then I continued sauteing mixing often (my arm was tired!).  As soon as the cabbage was tender enough I added salt and pepper to taste.  The cabbage was sweet, crunch and had a delicious smoked flavor from the turkey bacon.  It was yummy!  Next time I'm going to use smoked turkey kielbasa instead of bacon. Tip: try not to overcook the cabbage; I'm convinced that anyone that doesn't like cabbage or brussel sprouts has only eaten them overcooked!  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dungeness Crab and Ginger Egg Fried Rice

For tonight's dinner I made my favorite fried rice and boiled dungeness crab.

30 Minutes cooking time !
 15 mins for the rice and 15 mins for the crab.

Ginger Egg Fried Rice

- 3 cups - cooked rice
- 2 tbs ginger - cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 eggs - lightly beaten
- 1/2 onion - chopped
- peas
- scallion - chopped
- soy sauce
- white pepper

1. Heat pan or wok with oil, add onion and ginger - stir and cooked for 1-2 minutes
2. Add the rice - stir and cooked until all mixed well
3. Push the rice aside and slowly add the eggs - when it's half cooked stir in the rice 
4. Stir fry until eggs are fully cooked and season with soy sauce and white pepper
5. Add scallion, cilantro and some peas
* I made the rice ahead of time and let it cool down completely that way the rice will be loose and fluffy not sticky

Boiled Dungeness Crab 

Heat a pot of salted water - bring to boil 
Add crab - cook for 15 minutes
 *cooking time 8 mins for 1 pound 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Drunken Chicken with Shitaki Mushroom and Ginger - Steamed

Drunken chicken,  marinated chicken in rice wine. 
And yes, I love it very marinated, the wine just does something magical to the meat - helps tenderize and gives it this lovely aroma.
Often reminds me of the chicken wine soup Mama Ng likes to cook for us from time to time. Very popular in the cold seasons as it helps promotes the blood circulation. It is very strong in flavor but delicious and best consumed in small amounts. Will post more on Mama Ng chicken wine soup one day.
Here is my version. 

Steamed Chicken with Mushroom and Ginger 

I used boneless chicken thighs, marinated in rice wine mixture over night.
Steamed it with 2 types of mushroom and a lot of ginger. With the tender chicken soaking in the ginger rice wine mushroom broth.... delicious ! You can serve it over noodles, rice or congee. We had it with white rice and Chinese broccoli on the side.

- Chicken - Boneless thighs - slice into 1 -2" size
- Shitake Mushroom - cut to 1 "
- Wood ear mushroom - cut to 1 "
- Ginger - cut in matchsticks
- Garlic - minced
- Scallion - cut slant

Marinade for the meat 
-ShoaXing - Rice wine
-Light soy sauce
-Sesame oil
-brown sugar
-white pepper
-garlic and scallion - minced
* combine together in a bowl and adjust the seasoning to your liking

Wood ear and Shitake Mushroom
Most of the flavor you get is from the shitaki and not much from the wood ear but you get a fun jelly texture.
Soak into warm water until soften then slice in bite size pieces.

Mix together the marinated chicken with mushrooms garlic and ginger.

Top with scallion ( I like to drizzle a few drops of fish sauce right before steaming)

Steam for 20 - 30 mins depending on the amount of meat. 
while the chicken was cooking I quickly stirred fry Chinese broccoli with garlic and oyster sauce.

Here's dinner... and don't forget the chili garlic hot sauce!