Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mediterranean food. Tabbouleh. Hummus.

I felt like Mediterranean food and decided to make tabbouleh with hummus.  You can pair it with chicken and pita bread, and you'll have a wonderful light healthy meal.

Recipe for Tabbouleh

Prep time: 35 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes
4 servings, 1 cup each

You need:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (about 2 bunches)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced


    1. Combine water and bulgur in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand until the water is absorbed and the bulgur is tender, 25 minutes or according to package directions. If any water remains, drain bulgur in a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.

    1. Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and scallions to the bulgur. Add the dressing and toss. Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 1 hour to serve cold.

Recipe for Hummus

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes

You need:

  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed and then minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Parsley (chopped) for garnish


    1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.

    1. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.
Makes about 3 cups.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Korean Kogi BBQ Tacos




Serves 4

You need:

  • 1 pound cooked pulled pork, cooked shredded chicken
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup Quick Cucumber Pickle (below) or prepared kimchi (Korean pickled, spicy cabbage)
For the Kogi BBQ Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Korean fermented hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


    1.  Whisk all ingredients together until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. You can make this a few days in advance and store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

For the Quick Cucumber Pickle

  • 1 large English cucumber (or 2 Japanese cucumbers), sliced very thinly
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh chili pepper (or more depending on your tastes)
    generous pinch of salt

1.      Mix together all ingredients. You can make this a few hours in advance and store in refrigerator, however the longer it sits, the less “crunch” you’ll have. I like making this cucumber pickle 1 hour prior, storing in refrigerator and serving it cold on the tacos for texture and temperature contrast

Raisin Butter Cake

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fudgy black bean brownie

I know black bean brownies might sound a bit strange, but I say don’t knock till you try it. This is a healthy way to get your proteins from a dessert! When beans are pureed with eggs and oil you get this creamy texture. That’s how it mimics a fudgy brownie. It’s a perfect recipe for those of you following a gluten free diet or just interested in lowering your saturated fats. I made this for the first time and I just love it! It’s creamy, chocolaty, and healthy! You can enjoy this without the guilt. :)
Don't knock it till you try it

Whole Wheat Calzone

Whole wheat calzone with ricotta spinach filling. Serve along with homemade tomato sauce.

I did not add enough cheese, but it only made it healthier ;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giada Adobo Chicken

One Sunday morning, I was watching Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network. She was preparing this Filipino dish called Adobo chicken. Its chicken drumsticks soaked in dark sauce topped with fresh parsley. It was falling off the bone and it looked delicious! And I was in luck. Most of the ingredients she listed I already have in my pantry. It was basic ingredients that most asian family would have in their kitchen. I substituted a few things that I did not have. I used lemon instead of lime, cilantro instead of parsley, and turbinado sugar instead of light brown sugar. Here is the recipe:


Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: About 3 hours including the marinating


  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Lime wedges or lemon wedges


For the marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a 9-by-13-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning the chicken over halfway through.
Place the chicken and marinade in a large, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven and add the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, turning the chicken every 20 minutes, until cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the liquid and arrange on a serving platter. Discard the bay leaves and garlic cloves. Whisk the arrowroot and lime juice into the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken or serve 
Adobo Chicken

healthy almond meal banana muffins

These muffins are absolutely healthy with no flour or butter! 

Inside the muffin has a chocolate filling


Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: About 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

You need:

  • 9oz almonds + some slice almonds for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 bananas (approximately 1/2 lb peeled) + extra slices for topping
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt (optional for topping if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (if doing cocoa center)


  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Grease baking pan of choice (either an 8-9 inch fluted flan tin, a bread dish or muffin tin) and dust with flour OR lightly moisten baking paper and line tin.
  2. Whizz 9 oz almonds and baking powder in food processor until finely ground, but be careful not to go too far or you’ll end up with almond butter. Set aside in bowl.
  3. Whizz eggs, sugar, bananas and cinnamon for about 5 minutes or until pale and really fluffy. Pour over almond meal and stir through.
  4. If adding cocoa powder, place 1/3 of batter into separate bowl and stir in 2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder. To create the chocolaty center, first pour 1/2 your original batter into baking tin, then do your dollop of cocoa batter and then pour remaining original batter to cover cocoa. Top with thinly sliced bananas and almonds. Bake about 40-45 minutes for bread and 30-35 minutes for muffins (or until top is browned and skewer comes out clean). You just don’t want to overcook in the oven because they’ll continue to cook a little as they cool. Sprinkle on sea salt immediately after removing from oven.