Category Archives: Home Cookin’

Guerilla Style Fish Dumpling Soup

I was in a rush and wanted to make a quick healthy meal, so I made some fish dumpling soup with whatever i had in the fridge, guerilla style! I only had 4 dumpling wrappers left, so I spooned the rest of the filling into the broth and it held together, kind of like the fish balls in hot pot.

Ingredients:

For filling/fishballs

1 filet of tilapia (or whatever fish you have at the moment will do)

1/3 carton of silken tofu

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp ground ginger

Dumpling wrappers

For broth:

2 cups veggie/chicken broth

1 tsp hondashi (optional)

2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp dark vinegar

White pepper

Method:

Bring all broth ingredients to a boil on high. Cut the tilapia into chunks and blend/food processor with rest of the filling ingredients until it’s a smooth paste. Fold into dumplings and spoon the rest into the bubbling broth. Cook for 10-15 minutes until everything is floating.

Advertisements

Golden Dumplings

With leftover dumpling wrappers from lunar new year in hand, I was excited to finally have an excuse to make this recipe. I’ve never eaten or even heard of dumplings filled with beans. It’s a weird concept to me—mung beans are usually used to fill pastries (especially during moon holiday) or served as dessert in Taiwanese culture. I ended up really enjoying these dumplings. They were savory, a little spicy, and the shallot really up the flavor factor.

For those of you unfamiliar with hulled mung beans, this is what they look like:

(Image courtesy of Dr. Ben Kim. Incidentally this link leads to a delicious Korean pancake recipe that I want to try later!)

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients:

Makes 12 dumplings

1/2 cup shelled mung beans (or 1 cup cooked canned chick peas, etc, just pan fry then mash coarsly)

1 cup water

1 small shallot, minced

Splash of olive oil

Splash of sesame oil

Kosher salt and fine white pepper

12 dumpling wrappers

Method

Bring the mung beans and water to a boil in a small pot, then simmer  on medium low heat for 30 minutes or until beans are thoroughly cooked. Remove the beans from the pot, turn the heat to high, and add in both the olive and sesame oil. When oil is heated (about 1-2 minutes), add in the shallot and cook until soft and fragrant. Add the beans back and and flavor with salt and white pepper to taste.

Stick the bean mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool down. Put something good on TV (My choice was The Bachelor!) and get ready to make the dumplings. Have a small bowl of water by you. Put a wrapper on your right palm, dip a finger from your left hand in the bowl of water and wet the entire rim of the wrapper. Place a tbsp or two of the filling on the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over in half, and crimp the edges together so everything is sealed up tightly.

Boil a large pot of water (filled 3/4 of the way). Put in the dumplings and cook for about ten minutes or until all the dumplings are plump and floating at the top.

I drizzled soy sauce, dark vinegar, and sriracha sauce on top of my dumplings.

Jealous?

Tahini Fudge

This recipe is a perfect combination of Aaron’s love for fudge and mine of tahini…also it took all of ten minutes to make.

I’m sorry this looks like poo. And I’m sorry I cut out a piece before I remembered to take a picture. But it’s still really good and not HORRIBLY unhealthy. Make it!

Adapted from (never home) maker

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats, uncooked

1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

2 tablespoons tahini (or peanut butter)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sugar-free maple syrup

Method:

In a food processor, pulse together the rolled oats, walnuts, and coconut flakes. You want to form a fine meal. Combine the chocolate chips, tahini, and oil and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted together (mine took a minute and a half). Stir in the  vanilla extract and maple syrup, the add the oat mixture. It should be a thick dough. Press the dough down in an 8 by 8 pan until it is even and smooth. Cover and let set in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes.

Salted Cornmeal Sugar Cookies

Usually healthy desserts are trying to be something they’re not. Healthy chocolate chip cookies. Whole grain pumpkin pie. They’re never quite what you know they should be. That’s why I like this recipe. I’ve never had a cornmeal sugar cookie before, so I thought this recipe is creative, healthy, and actually tastes good! Give it a try.

Adapted from (never home)maker

Makes 6-8 cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Earth Balance Spread with Olive Oil

2 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend

1/4 cup Eggbeater / 1 egg white

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Separately, cream the Earth Balance and sugar for about 5 minutes either in a magic bullet, by hand, or kitchenaid. Beat in vanilla and Eggbeater. Combine the butter mixture to the dry mixture, the scoop out tablespoons of the cookie dough on to the cookie sheet and pat down with fingers (these cookies don’t spread very much). Sprinkle sea salt on top of cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.

95 calories/cookie

Donut Holes

I needed some awesome dessert to follow up my corn pizza victory and Shipley’s has been giving me the side eye lately, so I decided to make donuts! Well…donut holes. I put donut pans on my amazon wishlist for Christmas but no one got them for me…ahem…so I used mini muffin pans and pretended they were donut holes. If you’ve met me, you know that I’m absolutely obsessed with donuts. Dunkin donuts, in particular, but really I’m a donut slut so I’ll take whatever I can get, even those powder sugar donettes you find at gas stations, you know, the kind that makes you look like a  total cokehead if you forget to hold your breath when you eat them.

I know you love those too. Don’t even lie.

Anyway, the donuts I’m about to share with you were super fluffy and of course 100 times healthier than regular donuts. I was truly surprised at how good they are. And by the time I ate them I wasn’t even that drunk anymore, so my judgement was most likely accurate, although when I’m drunk I usually never think I’m drunk so you never know. The only way to be sure is for you to make them while sober (or not!) and let me know what you think.

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup almond milk

10 packets of splenda

3 tbsp of sugar

1/2 tsp apple-cider vinegar

1 and 1/2 tsp eggbeater or egg white

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp pureed pumpkin (or applesauce, mashed banana, or vegetable oil)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, then oil, milk, and vanilla in another bowl. Then add the vinegar to the milk mixture and immediately pour wet onto dry. Mix (but don’t overmix), pour into greased muffin/donut pan, and bake for 12 minutes.

These are great as is, but if you want a glaze, I took  2 tbsp almond milk+1 tsp powdered sugar, mix thoroughly, dip donut holes lightly, and give that sprinkles bottle some good shakes! I imagine it would also be delightful to dip them in a cinnamon sugar mix…

Makes 18 donut holes at 35 calories/hole, or 6 regular sized donuts at 100 calories/donut.

Corn Pizza Crust

A pizza crust? Made of corn? No.

Impossible, you say.

It will probably crumble and taste like ass.

That’s what I thought too. I follow Pink’s Pizza on Twitter and this was one of their tweets:

“Because I’m having a not-so-great day today, I’m going home & ordering a Big Boss. Because I wish I was the Big Boss. #houston#food #pizza”

I so wanted to do the same. I was having a fine day but you know, potato potahto.

I went home all excited, thinking that I was going to order a big, meaty pizza (and then momentarily got distracted by a Chinese delivery menu…I don’t remember the last time I ordered Chinese in. It’s such a romanticized notion to me, mostly because we live in the ghetto and no one wants to deliver to us…and when they do they’re inevitably lost and calls for direction…I’m an Asian girl so of course I RULE at giving directions…and driving…oh wait, no, I don’t, I totally fulfill the stereotype). Then my guilt got the best of me and I started looking through my recipe database for a healthy pizza crust. I’ve made this one before and while it was tasty, it didn’t have the pick-up-a-slice ability…it was more of a use-a-fork-or-make-a-mess type pizza.

I decided to open a bottle of wine to sip on while I cook, which is always a great idea because you end up loving whatever you make. I don’t know about you guys, but alcohol has the same affect on me as mentally retarded brownies do, not that I ever eat those. Even after just two glasses of wine, I motherfucking want to eat the whole house. Although I didn’t have high hopes for this pizza, it really turned out to be delicious, and my drunken haze only fueled my enthusiasm.

The crust tasted actually like a dough crust. And it has but two tbsp of flour in it. Insane. And has a corn flavor to it, which I love.

It even had a charred bottom, like how a charcoal grilled pizza would. What woulda thunk it?

Enough talk. Make this already.

Adapted from Modern Vintage Cooking

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1/2 cup eggbeater (or 2 egg whites)
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs (preferably unseasoned)
1/4 cup nonfat shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tablespoon nonfat plain Greek yogurt

For topping:

1 box of sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup  nonfat shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thaw the corn if using frozen. Blitz in blender or food processor, then mix with the rest of the ingredients. Spread evenly on a greased 12 inch pizza pan (this is for a thin crust, if you like Chicago style deep dish, you can use a 7.5 inch pie/tart pan with deeper walls). Bake for 35 minutes. Take it out of the oven.

Turn the oven to 450 degrees.

Move the crust to a cooling rack and let it sit for ten minutes. Move it back to the pizza pan and top with mushrooms (or whatever topping you want), then spread the mozzarella cheese over the mushrooms. Sprinkle parmesan over everything. Pop it back in the oven for 12 minutes, the put it on high broil for 2 minutes.

So. Effing. Good.

Totally satisfied my craving for a pizza, and at 70 calories per slice, I say that’s pretty good. That’s right, ladies and gays—I said 70. You can eat half the pie and still be fabulous.

Two Minute Chocolate Cake and Milk Brewed Coffee

Tonight we went to a lovely, healthy dinner to celebrate my friend Kelly’s finishing or her olympic marathon trial. i’m amazed that I know someone who’s actually in the running (Get it? Ok I don’t even make myself laugh.) for the olympics, but to get back to the more important matter, the dinner was very healthy, which I love. Her fiance worked with *17, the restaurant for Alden Hotel, for a delicious and healthy dinner. While I enjoyed the salad and pasta, the dessert was a huge disappointment. We were offered the choice of fruit or cake and, uhhh duh, I picked cake.

Cake. That’s what I was expecting. The menu said “desserts are not cream based” but I’ve enjoyed plenty of vegan desserts in the past so I was still optimistic. What we ended up getting was more of a muffin, and a hard one at that. Made with real sugar. If I’m going to eat a vegan, none cream-based dessert, what is the point of using real sugar, which makes up for a significant portion of calories? I came home determined to make a low-calorie, sugar-free dessert.

Not to blow my own horn, but toot toot! My dessert was the same portion, 115 calories, and tasted a million times better. And I made it in the microwave in two minutes. WHAT.

I’m going to get on my soapbox for a minute (by the way, do you like how the intro to this recipe is ten times longer than the recipe itself?) and say that I’ve gotten a lot of flack for making healthy desserts. And last weekend, I learned that I’m actually better at baking healthy than “regular” desserts. I made a chocolate babke, Asian mini butter buns, and pan de queso. The babke was yummy but took way too fucking long, the mini butter buns didn’t fluff up, and the pan de queso were so hard that they were like ninja muffins I could throw at burglers (my fault, I ran out of cornstarch so subbed rice flour—bad idea). What was my point…oh yes. I’d rather eat yummy, not as rich, and a fraction of the calorie desserts than ok dessert that are 1000 calories. If I’m going to eat a “real” dessert, they better be damn good.

And this chocolate cake was pretty damn good. And healthy.

Try it.

Adapted from Babble

Two Minute Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

2 tbsp bread flour (for the fluffiest result, use bread or self rising flour. If you want to be really healthy, I’m sure whole wheat or spelt flour would work just fine.)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
6 packets of splenda
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup egg white or egg beater

Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a small mug or ramekin, whisk together well with a fork. Lick fork clean and make sure it’s as sweet as you want it, or else add another packet of splenda or more. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

This was really fluffy and yummy. I almost always am in the mood for chocolate sheet cake, and this is so easy to make. I love eating it right out of the microwave, all warm and gooey. And guess what. It’s even better with some milk brewed coffee. WHAT!

Milk Brewed Coffee

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk

1 cup water

5 heaping tbsp ground coffee

Method:

Heat milk and water on the stove until it simmers. Pour into french press with the coffee grounds. Stir and put the french press cover on. Let it seep for four minutes. Stir coffee with wooden spoon, press the cover down, pour into mug.

Sweet Potato Lasagna

I made the original recipe for a potluck party, but found it a bit too greasy for my taste. I promised cousin Jennie that I would modify the recipe to make it a bit healthier, and being a woman of her words, and perhaps having an ulterior motive of needing to use up a LOT of  sweet potatoes (thank you CSA produce overload), I did! I made this healthier by using ricotta and cottage cheese instead of marscapone,  reduced the amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, took out the butter, and added more herbs for flavor.

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Serves 6-8 (a lot for the both of us, so I ended up freezing most of it. I ate some for dinner today and it heated up very well.)

Ingredients:

9-12 whole wheat with flaxseed lasagna noodle sheets ( I was skeptical about the texture of these noodles, but they were nice and al dente, just the way I like it!)

Six medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

16 ounces non-fat cottage cheese

16 ounces non-fat ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

A couple sprigs of rosemary and marjoram, chopped

3 shallots, thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

a bunch of sage leaves

olive oil for drizzling

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay cubed sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (only about 1-2 teaspoons). Use your hands to coat the squash and potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let cool.

Once cool, mash with a potato masher or fork.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add in shallots and garlic, and whisk every 30 seconds or so for 2-3 minutes. The shallots and garlic should be fragrant.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper, and the shallots/garlic mixture. Combine until somewhat smooth and spreadable.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray, then lay a single layer of noodles down. Spread half of the  sweet potatoes, then half of the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture on top of that. Repeat with one more set of noodles, sweet potatoes, and the rest of the ricotta/cottage cheese. Crumble mozzarella and parmesan on top of the whole dish.

Top the dish over with sage leaves and bake for 45 minutes, or until cheese on top is golden and bubbly.

Serves 6-8 people, so I cut this into 10 generous pieces, and it’s about 250 calories/piece.

I had to, right?

Crock pot and I have a history. My running buddy is simply obsessed with it, so of course I made fun of him endlessly calling him nasty names like pepaw and gramps, and constantly asked him if he’s misplaced his dentures again. It’s been a running joke (get it) between us—and now I’m sure I will never hear the end of it.

Karma’s a bitch, and that bitch loves slow-cooked pot roast.

This, is How, You Doooo Eeeet

Like I said in this previous post, I have yet to find a western restaurant that does pork belly right. Correction: the Modular Food Truck does the pork belly justice, but in every other restaurant, I always make the mistake of excitedly ordering the pork belly, then being completely disappointed when the meat to fat ratio is 2 to 1 instead of 1 to 5. I know some people are not fans of fat, but if you’re not, you shouldn’t be ordering the pork belly.

If you feel the need to include a lot of meat on the belly, then you should braise the shit out of it so the meat is tender. The meat attached to the belly is by nature not the most tender. A word to chefs out there: to get the best and cheapest pork belly with the correct ratio of meat and fat, go to any Chinese supermarket! They do it right. Look for a sign that says “五花肉,” or just ask for the pork belly, or just look for the slabs of fat in the meat case.

Now, on to the cooking process. In my completely unbiased opinion and upbringing, my uncle #4 makes the best goddamn pork belly in the world, and I will get into fisticuffs with anyone who disagrees with me. My sister posted his recipe here. Check it out and make it!

Don’t forget to get out the maternity pants! Elastic is your friend.