Friday, April 26, 2013

Quinoa-Beet Salad with Chili-Ginger-Lime Dressing...& the Sunny Side of Fried Egg!

Honestly, I’ve never cooked with beetroot; pickled beet is also my least favorite.
After browsing the net to learn more about the benefits of beetroot (from and, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve been missing the most awesomeness vegetable for decades. For me, it was unacceptable! So, I went to my local supermarket and grabbed a bunch of 3-midium size beets home to play with.  

With no plan, as usual, of how I wanted to cook with beets, I actually started with what I know best and love most, beet smoothie.   

Since quinoa is very trendy and many recipes cooking with quinoa can be found everywhere on many food blogs, I’ve decided to make quinoa salad with beetroot for my lunch today. I’ve cooked quinoa before but the hubby was not a fan of quinoa so I thought I would be eating this salad with only me and myself. What a treat!

 You know, you can add any of your favorite vegetables and dressing into the salad as you wish; however, the dressing for my salad has a little kick of spicy from chili garlic sauce that I use. If you don’t like spicy, you can just reduce or skip it all together and use the rest of the ingredients. However, I found that the little spicy from chili makes me want to keep eating even more. And a gorgeous sunny-side-up egg makes this salad even more luxurious, if you will.

What you need:   2-3 servings

1/2 cup dried quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup diced red beet
A pinch of salt
2 small Persian cucumber, diced
2 small yellow sweet pepper
1 tbsp. finely chopped green onion – for garnish

 *sunny-side-up egg

For dressing:

1 tbsp. Asian chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. fresh squeeze lime juice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. finely grated garlic
1 tsp. finely grated ginger

How to:

- Add quinoa, water, beet and salt in a small pot and cook over medium high for 5 minutes and reduce to simmer and continue on cooking with the lid on until all the water is absorbed – for about 10 minutes. Set aside and let it cool.
- Add diced cucumber and yellow sweet pepper into cooked quinoa in a salad mixing bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad bowl, and gently toss together to mix well. Sprinkle with green onion to garish.
- Serve as lunch with any protein of your choice or serve as a side dish.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The BB Smoothie.....xoxo

I knowwww…another smoothie; and Yessss…I am a smoothicholic!    

The B & B is for beet & blueberry which contain powerful nutrition and health benefits that help boost our endurances. This smoothie is the most gorgeous smoothie I’ve ever made! Just look at its color and you will go WooowwwW….and then, you will feel like superwoman who can take on anything that come her way. No joke!  

The hubby’s reaction to my beet smoothie was, “Ewww!” But after he has a big sip of my beet smoothie, he said, “hmm…it’s actually really good!” For that reason, beet smoothie has been immediately added to my smoothie collection. Yeyyyyy! 

That’s all I want to say, really! But read this and you will want to find out more about eating fresh beetroot if you want to live a little bit longer and still look younger.

According to, “Beet juice, which is naturally sweet, yields health benefits that may include weight loss. It contains a number of vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Beet juice is highly potent and should not be consumed by itself. You should consider blending beet juice with other vegetables. Using just half a beet per serving is enough to get its nutrition and health benefits.”

without blueberries added

 So, should you now become beetroot fan like me?   

What you need:  for 1

1/2 of medium size of beetroot chopped
A handful blueberries
1/2 cup orange juice
6 oz. low-fat plain yogurt (or any of your favorite)
1 tbsp. honey – optional
1/2 cup crushed ice

: Blend everything in the blender on high speed until smooth and frothy



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Detox-Green Smoothie – no dairy products

Yeah! Green smoothie……again! But wait! I didn’t add any yogurt this time!

So, woke up this morning, I “tried” to “skip” my coffee, again (I’ve tried many times, didn’t work). I went straight to the fridge and took out the stuffs I needed to make my “morning” smoothie.
To the hubby surprise, he asked, “What are you doing? Aren’t you gonna have your coffee?” The coffee was made and smell so good, but I said, “No, I’m having smoothie breakfast.”

This smoothie made out of all things “green” of what-I-had-on-hand, and a banana – green apple, green grapes, Persian cucumber, celery, and spinach. I added banana instead of my usual yogurt because I wanted to try “to like” it in a smoothie. I never like banana in smoothie, don’t know why, but I added it anyway.

The smoothie came out surprisingly nice and refreshing with a strong hint of celery and a little hint of banana. After a big glass, I felt very full like I just finished a big breakfast –and that’s awesome!

The beauty of drinking this smoothie is that it makes me feel like the healthiest person in the world! Sounds like over the top… I knowww. I’m trying to get over myself right now.

What you need makes 2 big glass 

 1 handful baby spinach
1 handful seedless green grapes
1 medium Green Smith apple, chopped unpeeled
1 medium Persian cucumber, chopped unpeeled
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 banana
1 cup apple juice (love to try with coconut juice next time!)
1-2 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup crush ice

: Blend everything on the high speed until it smooth and frothy

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sung-kaya Faktong / Coconut Egg Custard in Kabocha Squash

I went grocery shopping another day and saw this good looking Faktong that made me wanted to make Thai dessert. But I was torn between making Sung-kaya Faktong and Buad Faktong because I like them both. After the very long thoughts (took me days to decide), I decided to make Sung-kaya Faktong first! 

So, what is “Faktong?” Oddly pronounced, isn’t it? Well, Faktong = kabocha squash, and it’s famously used in Thai cooking in both savory and dessert dishes. It’s usually used in red curry with chicken or pork, or in spicy vegetable soup called “Kang Liang,” which is my favorite, and sometimes it can use for stir-fry with egg and meat of your choice that can be eaten with rice. These are just a few dishes cooking with Faktong that most Thais seem to like them a lot. 

Both Sung-kaya Faktong and Buad Faktong are Thai desserts that can easily be found everywhere at the market. They both used coconut milk for the creamy part that lend natural sweet to the dish with the hint of paradise, just like other Thai desserts. I’m pretty sure that most of Thai dessert are called for coconut milk, because we have plenty of coconuts growing in every parts of Thailand. And that we rarely use cow milk in Thai cooking.

Honestly, I don’t make Sung-kaya Faktong that often; I only make it once in a while whenever the wave of nostalgia kick in – just like this time. 

 What you need:

1 1/2 lbs. Kabocha squash                                
4 large eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk                                
3/4 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
A tiny pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract – optional

How to:
- set the steamer over high heat

- Cut off the top of the squash, clean and scrape out all the seeds, rinse and set aside

- Whisk together the eggs, coconut mile, palm sugar, salt, and vanilla extract (if used) *you can adjust the sweetness more or less per your own liking. Mine was just sweet enough, not too sweet.

- Pour the egg mixture through the fine sieve directly into the prepared squash 

- Bring it to the steamer and steam for about 45-50 minutes without peeking since it might cause the squash to breakup
- Let it cool down completely before cutting and serve


Friday, April 12, 2013

Spicy Calamari and Green Apple Salad...

Honestly, I have a hard time writing this post. I made this dish about two weeks ago but I had no ideas what to write about it. I quickly mixed up this dish for my lunch one day as I was so hungry and didn’t really think much about adding anything else into it. This dish, if you looked at the ingredients, was so simple, probably too simple. There were only 3 main ingredients for the salad and a simple dressing, and yet, who’d knew calamari and Green smith apple were so good together like a happy married couples. It was so minty-tasty and delish.

I bet it will taste good with shrimp, crab, and other seafood as well. And add some roasted peanuts, walnuts, or almonds for some crunchy – that would be awesome! 

What you need:   for 1 or 2

1 1/2 cup calamari rings, cooked
1 medium Green smith apple, sliced into matchsticks
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

The dressing:
1 tbsp. Asian chili garlic sauce
2-3 tbsp. fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 tbsp. mint leaves, chiffonaded

How to:

- If your calamari rings are uncooked, cook them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes but don’t overcooked or they will become rubbery.
- Add cooked calamari, green apple and red onion in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until the sugar is dissolved – adjust the flavors to your own taste.
- Gently toss the dressing into the prepared salad to combine well and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Strawberry-Orange Smoothie...

I love smoothie, can you tell? I feel recharged and energized every single time after having my smoothie fix – and I just couldn’t help it and need to share with the world how great and wonderful smoothie is for the body, especially the smoothie makes with yogurt. 


 There are beautiful and fresh strawberries – and oranges – everywhere I go this time of the year. The hubby knows how much I love my smoothie which I have it every day, so he picked up 2 containers of fresh strawberry for me yesterday. There are sweet juicy and red gorgeous.

 Making smoothie is as easy as peeling a banana. But as I've mentioned earlier, I just couldn’t help it and I need to share this with the world.

Stay healthy, my friends! 

What you needjust for yourself
1 cup fresh strawberry, chopped
1 orange segmented and juiced (or 1/2 cup orange juice)
6 oz. nonfat plain yogurt (or yogurt of your choice)
1 tsp. honey – optional
1/2 cup crushed ice

: Blend everything together on high speed until smooth and frothy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Lemony Squares...

I got a big bag of lemons from the neighbor another day and the hubby started to squeeze out the juice right away. He, then, made some lemon ice tea and mentioned about making lemon sorbet…and the lists go on and on and on.

I often make lemon dessert because the hubby and I love anything lemon. Who doesn’t?    Especially this time of the year when everything is so bright and shine.  We just can’t get enough of lemons.

Yesterday, I made some Lemon bars to a retirement party of my former co-worker and received quite positive feedback from my friends at the office – and that’s really made my day.    When I got home, the hubby was asking if I left any of lemon bars for him. Oooops!  Sorryyyyy.... 

The secret of making a really goooood lemon bars is lemon zest and lots of lemon juice. Lemon bars, in fact, should lead with the shocking tangy the moment you bite into it and then the sweetness comes later. This bright creamy citrus custard with the zingy tangy lemon zest on the flaky shortbread crust is just so perfectly delicious after big meals as palate cleansing. But be careful though, it can be quite addictive. Be warned!

What you need: for 24 bars

For Crust: 9 x 13-inch baking pan

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus for dusting)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter soften in room temperature
A pinch of salt

 How To:

- Preheat the oven to 350’F
- Line the 9x13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and grease with butter, set aside.
- Whisk together butter and powdered sugar using either standing or hand electric mixer or spatula, and then add flour and salt and mix well until it form into the dough (I use spatula and my both hands!)
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and use your fingers to press the dough out evenly to the bottom of the pan, dust your hands with flour if necessary.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or put it in the freezer for 5 minutes, as I did, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until it turn slightly golden brown.
- While the crust is baking, let’s make the filling!

For the filling:

4 large eggs
1 cup granulate sugar (or more if you like more sweet)
1/2 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt

How to:
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest and stir in the flour until it has no lumps.
- Pour the lemon mixture directly in the fresh baked crust, and put it back into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar, cut into small squares and serve.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Thai Red Curry Pork with Asparagus

I’m thinking about comfort food and nothing could be more perfect than a good Thai red curry over hot steamed jasmine rice. That’s all I need. For haven sake, I’m Thai…and I just want to feel like home.

I haven’t have Thai curry for a while and I am craving for it today. So, I’m making Thai red curry with pork and some good looking asparagus since they are in season right now instead of bamboo shoots I have thought of using them earlier.  

To keep the asparagus vibrant green, I blanched them first for 3 minutes in hot boiling water and immediately transferred them into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and added them into the curry the last minute before taking off the heat. This way the asparagus stayed looking fresh and crisp, and they made the curry looks much better. 

Of course you can substitute pork with other meat of your choice or even tofu as well as your favorite veggies.  The most important ingredients is the creamy sauce of coconut milk and the red curry.  However, the seasoning can be adjusted to your own liking whatever you like, but there should have a little bit of sweetness in it.   If you are uncomfortable with using fish sauce, use sea salt but never soy sauce!  Noooo...... 

The curry came out “perfect” as I thought it would be. The creamy of coconut milk, the “just-right” spiciness of red curry paste, the tender pork, and the fresh veggies when pour over hot steamed rice that soaked up the awesome sauce instantly, I thought I was having this meal at home…in Thailand.

Just loving it!

What you need:

1 lb. pork meat, sliced about 1/4-inch thick x 1 1/2-inch wide x 2-inch long
3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch long, blanched
1 cup red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup Thai basil leaves
2 leaves kaffir lime leaf, tore by hand into a few pieces
1 can (4 oz.) Thai red curry paste (I used Maesri)
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup water

How to:

- Add canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat
- When the oil gets hot, stir in the red curry paste until it fragrant

- stir in 1/2 can coconut milk and keep stirring until the coconut milk has released its own oil which
can be seen on the surface and fragrant, for about 5 minutes

- Add the pork meat into the pan and stir to cook through
- Mix 1 cup of water and 1 can coconut milk to thin it down and then stir it into the pan, add tore
kaffir lime leaf, season with fish sauce, salt and sugar (more or less, adjust to your own taste), and let
the pork meat to cook until it tender for another 10-15 minutes
 - When the meat is tender enough for your liking, add red bell pepper and cook for another 1-2

- Turn off the heat and stir in blanched asparagus and Thai basil leave
- Serve hot with steamed rice – white or brown rice as you desired


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