Buckwheat pancakes–vegan, gluten-free, (and gasp!) no sugar added

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Morning delight with all the accoutrements

There is one half of all breakfast foods that accompany coffee or tea superbly. They are by and far most appealing to the sweet tooth. But who says you have to forego all the pleasures of breakfast foods when you give up sugar? Not me! If you are following a vegan, gluten-free, or sugar-free diet, this recipe will keep your taste buds happy. And if you’re following a plain old healthy natural diet, this recipe won’t disappoint either, even if you can’t believe there’s no wheat in it! Continue reading

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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

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