Friday, May 30, 2014

Bean Sprout Salad

Bean Sprout Salad
This is so simple yet it's so yummy to eat as a side with rice and some sort of protein (stir fry, stew, anything Asian, etc.).

K actually likes to eat it on its own. He uses his fingers to pick up everything. He's going through a phase where he likes to use his hands instead of a fork or spoon. OH WELL. Hopefully it'll end soon :P

Bean Sprout Salad
(serves 4-6 as a small side)

  • 1 lb bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 green onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, toss cucumbers with a pinch of salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch bean sprouts. Rinse under cold water and squeeze out as much water as possible. 
  3. Add bean sprouts to cucumbers. Mix in green onion, sesame oil and garlic. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. (Optional) top with sesame seeds. 
  5. Serve with rice and some sort of Asian okazu or alone.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade
I think I have found the perfect cocktail to make for parties/get-togethers/dinners, etc. This is so nice and refreshing. I know the Gin is optional, but you're totally missing out if you don't add it.

If you want to make it pretty, just add some lemon slices and strawberry halves.

Strawberry Lemonade
(makes one 2 liter pitcher)

  • 2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled & halved
  • 1 cup lemon juice (~4-6 lemons)
  • 2 355ml Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • 2 cups water, plus more
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Gin (optional)

  1. In a small pot, heat up 2 cups of water with 3/4 cup of sugar over medium high heat. Once the mixture starts bubbling, turn the heat to low and continue simmering until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. In a 2 liter pitcher, combine strawberries and lemon juice. Using a hand/stick blender, puree strawberries with lemon juice until smooth. Slowly pour the ginger ale down the side of the pitcher to create as little bubbles as possible. There will be bubbles, but don't worry.
  3. Slowly add in the syrup you just made into the mixture. Stir in enough water to fill up the pitcher.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. The bubbles will settle after chilling in the fridge.
  5. To serve, combine 1-2 ounces of gin with 3/4 cup of strawberry lemonade, or drink on its own.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fish Tofu & Veggies Stir Fry

Fish Tofu & Veggies Stir Fry
There's nothing quite like a simple stir fry to stretch your protein. In this case, it's a half pound of fish tofu. Okay, fine. So fish tofu doesn't really have that much protein, but still. It's protein-ish? Meh, you can always just sub the fish tofu with any protein. Chicken or pork slices are always my go to (marinated with soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and oil). It's what I grew up with...but I think fish slices would go nicely too. Just gotta brown them, take them out and then add them back in at the end so that it's not overcooked.

To make this totally vegetarian, just add some marinated firm tofu and you're good to go. :D

Fish Tofu & Veggies Stir Fry
(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup toasted/roast cashews
  • 1/2 - 1 lb fish tofu, sliced (or 1 marinated chicken breast, sliced/1 package marinated tofu, cubed/ 1/2 - 1 lb marinated pork tenderloin, sliced; etc.)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 slices ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2 inch long pieces, white parts separated from green parts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

  1. Heat up a wok over high heat. If your cashews aren't roasted, toast them in the dry wok and then set aside in a clean bowl.
  2. Add oil and let it heat up until the oil shimmers. Add in ginger, garlic and white parts of the green onion. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Add protein and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Toss in onions, carrots, celery, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Mix well. Cover and cook until protein is cooked through and veggies are tender crisp.
  5. Stir in green parts of the green onion. Transfer everything onto a serving dish. Top with toasted/roast cashews.
  6. Serve with rice and soup.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken
I don't know what's more toddler friendly than sweet and sour chicken. Honestly. It's sweet, it's tangy and it's saucy. God, I love this stuff. K just goes for the pineapples. He'll eat a couple of peppers, but then spit them out cuz he likes the pineapples more. It's almost impossible to get him to eat anything other than the pineapples if he feeds himself. Can't blame him. They are pretty darn sweet. Fresh all the way!

Sweet & Sour Chicken
(serves 4)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2-2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 tsps sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 green onion stalk, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 tsps canola oil, divided

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Toss in chicken and marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat up the wok over high heat. Add remaining canola oil. Once the oil shimmers, add chicken to cook in one layer. Once one side is browned, turn the chicken slices over to start cooking on the other side while you add ginger, garlic and onions. Stir the mixture and let it cook while you put the slurry together.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining cornstarch in water, remaining soy sauce, and vinegar. Add to the mixture in the wok.
  4. Toss in bell peppers and pineapples. Add ketchup and the remaining sugar. Mix well. Cover and let it cook for a few minutes until the peppers are tender crisp and the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Taste and add more ketchup if needed. Toss in green onion.
  6. Serve with white rice and soup.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken Florentine Penne Casserole

I have not made a chicken florentine in a LONG time. The last time I made it, I really loved it and swore I'd make it again. Well, I never did. It was just too much work. Lazy much? Totally. =\

Well, I'm totally craving the flavours again, so I made this concoction. I wasn't sure if there'd be enough milk to cook the pasta properly without drying out anything. OMG how happy was I when it came out perfectly. I gotta give credit to the mushrooms and spinach though. I'm sure they helped in it. :D

You can make this vegetarian or into a side dish by just not adding the chicken. Or you can sub with firm tofu.

Chicken Florentine Penne Casserole
(serves 6)

  • 3 1/2 cups dry penne pasta
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 300g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 284ml can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 Tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together milk, cheese, mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until the mixture is no longer clumpy. Mix in chicken breasts, penne, spinach and mushrooms. 
  3. Transfer mixture into a  2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix melted butter and Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the casserole. Tightly cover the casserole with a greased aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes, uncovered, to crisp up the breadcrumbs.
  6. Serve with a light salad and/or soup.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lemony Strawberry Mixed Greens Salad

Lemony Strawberry Mixed Greens Salad I'm a sucker for buying the big bags of lemons at the grocery store. It's silly because I almost never use up all of them unless I'm making lemonade, which means I'll almost have to throw away a few. It's sad when I have to. I know I can do other things with it and one of those things is to make a lemony vinaigrette. It's the easiest way for me to use up anything citrus: to make a vinaigrette. Lol.

This vinaigrette can be used on any salad with strawberries and/or sweet greens. If not using on a salad with sweet ingredients, I'd add more honey.

Lemony Strawberry Mixed Greens Salad
(serves 6)

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • A pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic infused virgin olive oil
  • 150g mixed greens
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

  1. In a bowl, combine lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle in 2/3 of the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Taste and add more olive oil if the vinaigrette is too acidic.
  2. In a large salad bowl or mixing bowl, combine mixed greens, strawberries and pistachios. Drizzle dressing over greens and gently toss. 
  3. Serve with a creamy/rich entree.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pineapple Cucumber Salad

CRAZY simple. This is definitely one of my favorite summer dishes. I learned this from my mother in law. She makes it for every potluck event and I gobble as much of it down as I can without looking too much like a piggy. :)

Depending on the dried plums, you may need to add some vinegar or lime juice and sugar. There's this specific kind that my mother in law brings back from Malaysia that just makes this dish superb. I have no clue what the brand is, so I can't even Google it. She always brings it back in a clear bag. Like the ones you use for bulk foods....oh well!

As you can tell by the top picture, clearly, I forgot the carrots. But I do have a picture below that my MIL made just last weekend. :)

Pineapple Cucumber Salad
(serves 6-8)

  • 1 small fresh pineapple, cubed (3-4 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, cut into 2 inch pieces or cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 3 dried plums
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Sugar (optional)
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely diced (optional)

MIL's Pineapple Cucumber Salad
  1. In a medium bowl, sprinkle two pinches of salt over the cucumbers and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and place back into the mixing bowl.
  2. Add pineapple chunks, carrots, the dried plums, vinegar and chili pepper, if using. Mix well. 
  3. Chill in the fridge overnight before serving. 
  4. If the salad is too sour, add some sugar. If not sour enough, add more vinegar.
  5. Serve as a side to any (spicy) Asian dish or eat alone.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sriracha Baked Chicken Breast

Sriracha Baked Chicken Breast
It sucks when I try something new and I like it but Hubby doesn't. This was the case for this chicken. I liked it cuz it's so easy and I can use it for salads, quesadillas, fajitas, burgers, etc. But Hubby did not like the taste of it. Boo...I guess I'll have to file this under the list of things I'll have to have when he's not around....unless I want to make a separate meal for him. >_>

Sriracha Baked Chicken Breast
(serves 2)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsps virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsps Sriracha
  • 1 /2 tsp allspice
  • Pinch each of salt & pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking/roasting tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow dish (or even right on the baking/roasting tray), mix together oil, Sriracha, allspice, salt, pepper and lime juice. Place chicken into the dish/tray, flipping and rubbing to get chicken all coated with the mixture.
  3. If needed, transfer chicken to baking tray lined with the parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked.
  4. Take chicken out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. Serve as is with rice and a salad, or use in salads, quesadilla, fajitas, burgers, etc.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Meat

Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Meat
So I love eggplant when it's stir fried or deep fried. I just love it. Hubby can't stand it so I almost never have it unless we're out at a restaurant. This is probably only the second time I've bought eggplant to cook at home. I'm so glad I did. This was so yummy.

I made it spicy just cuz I'm just in love with this garlic chili that I bought on a whim from the grocery store a while back. If I don't have any chilies at home, I just use this. It's crazy spicy and SO GOOD. Probably cuz we love garlic so much in our household...I dare say that it's better than Sriracha for stir fries and that sort of thing. Anything that requires a dipping sauce or something like that, Sriracha is still king. ;)

Honestly, you can turn this into a vegetarian dish if you don't add the meat. It doesn't really matter whether you do it or not. I just don't like making too many different dishes at night (read: lazy) so I add the meat to ensure I get some protein. :P

Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Meat
(serves 2)

  • 1 medium Chinese eggplant (about 8-10 inches in length), cut in half lengthwise and then 1/2 inch half moons or into 2 inch long strips
  • 1/4 lb lean ground pork
  • 3 Tbsps soy sauce, divided
  • 3 tsps canola oil, divided
  • 2 tsps cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tsp sugar, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger, cut into slivers
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic chili
  • 1 green onion, finely diced

  1. In a small bowl, marinate the pork with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of canola oil, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat up remaining oil in a wok over medium high heat. Swirl it around so that all the sides are coated with a thin later of oil. Add marinated pork and cook until browned. Add in eggplant, garlic, ginger and cook until eggplant starts softening.
  3. Stir in oyster sauce, remaining sugar, remaining soy sauce and garlic chili. Toss until well coated.
  4. In a small bowl or cup, make a slurry out of the remaining cornstarch and water. Add to the wok and toss. Cover the wok and cook until eggplant is fully cooked.
  5. Turn off the heat and toss in green onions.
  6. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wonton Noodle Soup

Wonton Noodle Soup
A childhood classic for me is mom's wonton noodle soup. For a long time I couldn't figure out how she made the soup taste so good. It's really very simple, but I just put too much stuff in it. Then one day I got lazy and didn't put all that extra seasonings and then it tasted like the one mom makes. More salty though, since Hubby needs his salt. He's a funny one. His body craves salt, and he'll get sick if he doesn't get enough. Very cool.

Wonton Noodle Soup
(serves 2)


  1. In a large pot, bring about 2 inches of water to boil. Cook wonton noodles until al dente. Transfer to two deep soup noodle bowls. Add in the frozen wontons and stir for about half a minute to remove the flour. Drain wontons and rinse out the pot.
  2. Add about 5 cups of water back into the rinsed pot. Bring to a boil. Add season water with a pinch of salt and chicken bouillon. Once water has boiled, add wontons back into the pot and cook until wontons are cooked through (they'll float to the top). Add Maggi seasoning and taste soup. Add more salt if needed.
  3. Turn off heat, add a splash of soy sauce and stir in green onions. Ladle 8 wontons and soup per bowl over noodles.
  4. Serve hot.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana BreadRarely do we have bananas that are ripe enough for banana bread these days but it does happen once in a while. I've been craving peanut butter and/or wanting to put peanut butter in everything lately so I figured I'd put some peanut butter in the banana bread. And then of course I thought to put chocolate chips in it. I could you not? :P

K's daycare is a nut free environment. This means this is definitely not daycare friendly, so I'll have to help K finish this at home. The things a mother will do for her child, eh? ;)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread
(makes 1 loaf)

  • 1/2 cup butter, soften
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl or large bowl with hand mixer, cream butter, sugar and peanut butter until creamy until creamy.
  3. Mix in bananas, vanilla extract, eggs and sour cream until well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add that and chocolate chips to banana and peanut butter mixture. Beat until everything is just combined.
  5. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to knock any air out.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toohpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top becomes too brown, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Serve with coffee and/or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or milk, etc.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Easy Lo Mein

Lo MeinSo it has occurred to me that I've never posted a Lo Mein recipe here. WTF?!!??? It's one of those things that I like to make as a quick snack. Mind you, it almost always turns into a meal just by adding some veg and some leftover (roasted) meat.

My mom always made it super simple for us for breakfast. Just cooked hot oil with soy sauce. Believe me, it's worth it to heat up the oil. I remember sometimes she didn't have time to heat up the oil and it just never tasted the same. :(

But, of course, Hubby likes it with spice. Meh. I'll eat it whichever way. I love it all!

Easy Lo Mein
(serves 2)

  • 2 bundles dry thin shrimp egg noodles
  • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 green onion stalk, finely diced (optional)

  1. In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add in the bundles of noodles. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until al dente, using chopsticks or tongs to separate noodles from their bundled form.
  2. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a microwaveable bowl. Cover with saran wrap and cook on high for 20 seconds. Carefully uncover the bowl.
  3. Using tongs or chopsticks, transfer noodles into the bowl of sauce and mix. Some of the residual noodles water will help make the noodles saucier.

If you don't want to use the microwave, just mix all the ingredients, except for the noodles and oils. Heat up the oils in a wok or pot and then pour it over the sauce mixture and then mix in the noodles.