Ginger Roasted Squash Apple Soup

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Ginger Roasted Squash Apple Soup (with Anise star as garnish)

Though the Harvest season is well over and done, there is no way I could get through this cold blistery weather without this soup recipe at least once a month.  With so many winter spices, it warms the tummy and the soul.  Here I used the delicious Kabocha squash (which I recently found out is also called the “buttercup squash”) and apples that are still fresh, but other than 1 or 2 bruises, you don’t want to eat any longer.  Continue reading

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Gluten-free Rosemary Bread!–No Gum Trial

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Gluten-free Teff Rosemary bread

Most gluten-free breads have at least 4 different kinds of flours and 1 or 2 types of gums, used as stabilizers or thickening agents.  Whether you buy a pre-mixed blend, or each of those ingredients separately, they add up to a pretty penny, especially with the addition of gums.  This recipe aims to keep it simple.  And I must humbly say, it was successful. Continue reading

Fresh Frittata

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Skillet frittata with a cup of joe

We’ve all heard the saw “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” If you like a high protein meal, this is the time of day to have it. Proteins even out sugar levels after consumption versus a meal high in only sugars.  A meal high in sugars causes your body to store sugars quickly, which explains the characteristic crash about 30 minutes after consumption.  This is why it’s important to have a meal that balances sugars with protein.  Though you don’t want too many animal proteins throughout the day, breakfast is the time to indulge.  After a high-powered meal like this frittata, you’ll have more focused energy that sticks with you throughout the day. Continue reading

Better than Drugs: Mood-Altering Effects of Eating with Others

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If you’re down in the dumps and the highlight of your day is to reach for the bottle, consider calling up a friend to grab some grub instead.  Or even better, make a meal together.  There is a body of research that suggests eating with others is associated with decreased depression and obesity.  Continue reading

Home-made Pad Thai

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Pad Thai at home

Fried noodles is a dish I’m constantly craving on days when all I want to do is warm up with some hot spices and grub!  Though it is difficult to master at home.  I hope my recipe gives you a good springboard from which try more creative, better versions yourself!  There are some basics to making a good stir-fried noodle dish, and not everyone makes it the same way.  This is what my family’s been doing for generations, but please let me know if you have any tips or better techniques!  The following recipe will give you 2 huge servings or 3 regular servings. Continue reading

Diet and Book Review: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

T. Colin Campbell and his book ¨The China Study.¨ Image taken from silvieandmaryl.com

The China Study is an evidence-based nutritionist’s bible.  All hail T. Colin Campbell (and Thomas Campbell, his son and co-author) for the comprehensively cited critical analysis of nutritional literature.  In this book, he meticulously combs through animal and human studies on high protein versus low protein diets, arguing that a plant-based, low protein, whole foods diet offers the most health benefits in general and specifically for certain conditions.  Continue reading

Stir-fried Pork and Chives

Of the 50 years of sound nutrition research out there, it is clear that a whole foods plant-based diet is generally the healthiest diet regimen. (I will explore this more in a future blog and elucidate what I mean.) Besides the hang-ups we have with the word “diet,” the biggest obstacle to implementing healthy dietary habits is the lack of a familiar cuisine repertoire of plant-based dishes. Most traditional cultures have many “soul food” dishes that consists of small amounts of meat or animal fat with many vegetables and grains. Take for example a simple cabbage roll. The cabbage roll is an almost ubiquitous cuisine found across cultures. Traditionally, it is made with some minced meat, some barley or rice, and vegetables and mushrooms. The Eastern Europeans pour tomato sauce on top of theirs, the Chinese use seafood and tofu as their stuffing, and some in the Middle East season theirs with lemon and olive oil. When dishes like these are modernized/Westernized, they become more focused on meat and less on the other ingredients. These dishes become “beef-stuffed cabbage rolls”, ground beef/turkey chilis, and steak and a few potatoes. Think of what an average hearty American meal entails. Most will conjure up an image of spaghetti and meatballs, steak and potatoes, or hamburger and fries. Some might think of a chicken leg with vegetables, or steak and salad. Though these dishes have their own nutritional value, they focus on a huge amount of protein as the star, and less on other aspects of the dish. Don’t get me wrong, some people are leading the frontier of building a healthy American cuisine repertoire.

Since I was born in Hong Kong, a cuisine hub of the world, I want to contribute to this canon of good food by adding my knowledge of easy recipes and healthy eating.  Stir fries are wonderful ways of focusing on entire dish, not just the protein.  Here are a few of essential tips for making the perfect stir fry. Continue reading

Eat for the season: Winter

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Snowfall on a frozen Hudson River

We’re well past the winter solstice and the holidays, yet the 12 inches of snow outside my window prompted me to write about what exactly we should be eating in the winter.  Everything is dead.  There are no signs of fresh vegetation outside.  But, I can still get anything I want fresh from the grocery store, which can be confusing.  The holidays are a wonderful reminder of fall harvests and the types of foods available such as sweet potato, squash, cranberries, and nuts.  But when I go down the street to dine, the cafe serves me ice cold water, and I can choose from 5 different raw salads.  This is a big winter no-no.

In Chinese medicine, winter is about going inwards.  It is the most yin time of the year.  It relates to the kidneys and water.  When we look at nature, everything returns to the earth, remains a little more still, so that by spring, there is enough energy to regenerate.  It is a time for storage.  Continue reading

2014: We welcome you with open arms!

Let’s face it. Every year, we have the same resolutions. Eat healthier. Workout. Be more loving to those we care about. Meditate. Drink less. Be happy. Be a better person.

This year, let’s just be. Let’s be grateful for what has been and what’s to come. Let’s know that we are good and that what we have before us will reflect our goodness. There will always be tools to help us get to where we want to be, yet sometimes, where that is right where we are right now. I’m toasting this new year with one of my favorite Jelaluddin Rumi poems. Continue reading