Gluten-Free Bean Stuffing

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Bean stuffing with chicken, rice, and asparagus

We recently bought an antibiotic-free, hormone-free whole chicken on sale. It’s such a treat to bake an entire chicken in the dutch oven that I couldn’t resist. The best part of roast fowl is the stuffing, which I normally don’t get to eat, but I’m making it, so I’m eating it! So why not make it gluten-free too? This recipe is so easy and delicious, you won’t even realize there’s a mainstream simple carb alternative.  Continue reading

Bacon Squash Succotash–Refrigerator Wars Battle 1

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Bacon Squash Succotash

This dish is the result of what I call the first battle of the refrigerator wars. Reminiscent of looking into a full closet without the faintest idea of what to wear, the refrigerator wars is the kitchen analogy. Why do I have so much food in the pantry and the refrigerator, but I have nothing to eat? The solution to this problem, which everyone faces, can be answered in a variety of ways. The easy solution is to go out to eat or make convenience food out of a box or a can. The overachiever will solve this issue by going to the store and buying all the ingredients for a recipe that is appealing during this desperate hour. The defeated solution is to not appeal to the appetite, and munch on whatever you can–a nut, a tortilla chip with ketchup, dry ramen, whatever. But the winner will conjure up a dish that is healthy and easy, yet appetizing and flavorful. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Warm oven: Baba Ghanoush

While the oven is still hot from roasted chicken or holiday cookies, might as well use the heat for an appetizer, right?  Baba Ghanoush is easy and fun to make.  Smooth, creamy, zesty, and smoky–pureed roasted eggplant makes an excellent dip with pita chips or raw veggies.  Also, my partner and I got a huge bag of Japanese eggplant from the Asian grocery for $0.99.  Hard to beat! Continue reading

Classic Roasted Chicken Thigh Recipe

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Right out of the oven

Chicken thighs are probably my favorite part of the chicken.  You can get natural “no hormones” added, “antibiotic-free” chicken thighs for a decent price.  And when cooked properly, the skin is crispy and melts in your mouth, the meat is juicy and flavorful, and it complements so many veggie options.  This is a great way to center a protein-rich meal with a myriad of side dishes when you don’t have much to cook with.

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 small onions (red or otherwise), sliced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs marjoram (or other dried herb like rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, sage, or a mixture depending on the desired flavor and what’s available)
  • 1 tbs olive oil Continue reading