Late Summer Salsa with Roasted Tomatillos

Green salsa never tasted so good!

Green salsa never tasted so good!

Why buy processed salsa from the store, when you can make salsa from fresh ingredients, with more flavor and pizazz? I don’t know either. Continue reading

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Fresh Flavorful Gazpacho

 

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Is cold soup an oxymoron? Not if it’s this delicious!

Gazpacho soup is probably the OG of “healthy green shakes” before their trendiness hit health-conscious populations. Originally from regions of Spain and Portugal, and dating back to the Moors and even Romans, it has been a warm weather staple since ancient times. It is refreshing on a hot spring day, and even better during the summer months. Traditionally, it is made with a combination of tomatoes, bread crumbs, olive oil and vinegar, but I still consider my recipe as a classic-style gazpacho even though I don’t use breadcrumbs. Continue reading

Yummy Probiotic Hummus!

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Believe it or not. It’s tastier than it looks!

Some of my favorite foods are fermented: kimchee, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. One of the best home-cooking secrets is adding the brine from fermented foods to amp the flavor, texture, and nutrients of your favorite foods! This hummus is arguably the best you’ll make at home because of its zesty taste and creamy flavor–and the secret is a probiotic ingredient! Continue reading

Blanched Kale, Apple, and Avocado Salad

Braised Kale and apple salad, the star of the meal

Braised Kale and apple salad, the star of the meal

One dilemma of winter is how to eat fresh vegetables without eating cold raw food. For many people, it cuts out the main source of vegetables in their diet, salads. Well, my friends, salads don’t have to be raw. In fact, braising vegetables can help increase your ability to absorb the nutrients packed in leafy greens. So can adding oil and vinegar (salad dressing) since some nutrients are only extracted in acidic environments such as hard minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium, and others need fat to carry them into the bloodstream such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. So a room temperature, ever so slightly predigested (cooked) salad can be a perfect nutritious addition to a meal. Continue reading

Coconut Date Panna Cotta

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Coconut Date Panna Cotta

This is my first sugar free adventure this week. Who can resist creamy panna cotta? Or anything cutely heart-shaped, for that matter? This dessert is super easy to make, only taking about 15 minutes active time. And it’s a perfect little Valentine’s Day treat. This sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free thing is gonna be a cinch. 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

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