Archive for ‘Healthy Foods’

November 25, 2013

Super Simple Brussels Sprouts

by tina


This dish is super simple! Can’t mess it up. I’ve made it for a bridal shower (pictured above) and for potlucks, and have received many compliments on it.  Anyone can make this–it only requires 4 simple ingredients :)


  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (preferably smaller in size)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper



Wash the sprouts and remove the outer (shorter) layer for each sprout.  Chop off the stems (about 2 mm) for each sprout.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the brussels sprouts in.  Boil on high for 3-4 minutes (depending on the size of the sprouts. 3 minutes if smaller sprouts).

Strain the sprouts right away and run them under cold water for about 1 minute. Let the sprouts sit and cool.

*If the sprouts are larger in size, you can cut them in half (after boiling them).


While the sprouts are cooling down a bit, use a large bowl to make the olive oil mixture.

In the large bowl, put the extra virgin olive oil in.  Add salt to taste, and add the pepper (I like it peppery, so I use this pretty freely). Mix and taste it. The mixture should be just slightly salty.

Once you have the desired saltiness and pepperiness of the mixture, place the brussels sprouts in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for 5 mins and your dish is ready!


August 13, 2013

Lotus Root with Beech Mushrooms and Ground Pork

by tina


While traveling in Japan, lotus roots appeared in a lot of my dishes. As I perused my local Japanese market the other day, I saw some nice looking lotus root so I decided to buy a pack. (Experiment time! So exciting.) This would be my first time cooking lotus root and I wasn’t quite sure what I would cook it with, but right next to the lotus roots at the market were a variety of mushrooms. I figured mushrooms could go together with the lotus roots, sure why not, so I picked up some Japanese brown beech mushrooms (buna-shimeji). I didn’t think I would get much of a full flavor from just lotus root and mushrooms, so I also picked up some ground pork. In my head, I thought to myself that these three ingredients shall go together, and it did (luckily)–This dish turned out quite tasty!


  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • ~0.4 lb lotus root
  • 1 pack brown beech mushroom
  • 1/2 green onion, thickly chopped (preferably just the green part)
  • oil


  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons honey (use more or less to taste. the sugar content of different types of honey will be different)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon rice vinegar



Sauce: mix honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Make sure the honey is fully dissolved.

Take the lotus root and peel off the outer skin. Then slice very thin cross section pieces.

For the beech mushrooms, cut off the bottom part and separate the mushrooms out.


Place the pan on the stove and turn the temperature to high. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil in. Once the oil is hotter, add the green onions. After the green onion sizzles for about 30 seconds, place the ground pork in. Stir and separate the ground pork out with a spatula.


When the ground pork looks about 70% cooked, add in half of the sauce. Stir.


Then immediately place the lotus roots in. Stir.


Place the mushrooms in. Add the rest of the sauce. Stir and mix well to evenly distribute the sauce.


Turn the temperature to medium high and continue cooking and stirring for about 4-5 minutes, or until lotus root is slightly caramelized from the soy sauce.


January 25, 2013

麻油雞湯 (Sesame Oil Chicken Soup)

by tina


This soup is great for warming up from the cold weather and also great for when you have a cold!

This recipe is from the memory of how my late mother used to make it. There are many variations to making this chicken soup. I think some people use light and/or dark sesame oils.. red or black dates.. rice wine or shao xing wine. But as far as I know, this is the tastiest and best recipe. :P Just kidding. I only say that because… who doesn’t love their mother’s cookings?


  • 1 silkie chicken (~2 lbs. my chicken was 1.85 lbs. you can use regular chicken too)
  • 15 ginger slices, thinly longitudinal (julienne) sliced with the ginger skin unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 licorice root slices
  • ~10 dried red dates
  • ~1/8 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup rice wine
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • salt



First, cut the chicken into small pieces. The trick to cutting the chicken wings and legs is to cut at the “soft” spots where the cartilage connects the limbs. The body portion is a different story. I just hacked away at the bones.. =]


Place the pan on the stove and turn the temperature to high. When the pan is hot, place the ginger slices in and stir (yes, before you place the oil in the pan). This is to take the moisture out of the ginger so that it won’t splatter hot oil at you.

When it looks like the ginger has been dried or becoming a little brown, add 1/4 cup of sesame oil in. Stir.

When the ginger looks browned, add the chicken pieces in. Stir, to get the chicken pieces in the oil.

Add the licorice root, red dates, and half of the goji berries. Mix and Stir to try to evenly cook the chicken.


The pan should be sizzling by now. Then add the 1/4 cup of rice wine in. Stir. Turn the temperature down to medium high. Let it cook a little more and simmer. Stir occassionally to cook evenly.


When there is not a lot of visible liquid left, turn the temperature off.


Boil the water in a large pot. Add all the contents in the pan in the boiling water. Add the 2 tsps sesame oil and 1/8 cup rice wine. Add a few dashes of salt.


After everything comes to a boil, turn the temperature down to medium low-low. Let the chicken cook thoroughly and simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Add more salt to taste.


You could either enjoy as simply a soup or you could add some noodles. ^_^



December 21, 2012

Swiss Chard with Fresh Figs

by tina

This post is long overdue… I came up with this recipe late summer when I had randomly bought fresh figs that were on sale at Whole Foods. I also had bought swiss chard to make chicken soup with, but I ended up experimenting and pairing the two, swiss chard and figs, together and the flavors turned out quite well!


  • 3 large stalks of white chard
  • 4 black mission figs (fresh)
  • 1 garlic clove (large), minced
  • 1/4 cup red garlic cooking wine (regular red cooking wine would work as well with an additional minced garlic clove)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

(1-2 servings, or appetizer portion)


Chop up the swiss chard into small pieces. Slice the fresh figs into 4 pieces each.

Turn the temperature to high, place about a teaspoon of oil in.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic.  As the garlic is sizzling, add the swiss chard, quickly stir.  Then add the figs, wine, and balsamic vinegar, and stir.

Turn the temperature down to medium high.  Add in some salt to taste and continue stirring.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes more, or until the swiss chard has softened. The chard should be slightly soft and not too soft..

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December 21, 2011

Stir-Fried Japanese Mushrooms

by tina


  • 1 pack king trumpet mushrooms (Eryngii)
  • 1 pack white beech mushrooms (Bunapi)
  • 1 pack beech mushrooms (Buna Shimeji)
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • thai chili peppers (optional)

All the mushrooms in their packaging:

Wash the mushrooms (although they’re actually pretty clean looking already) and green onions. Slice the trumpet mushrooms into thin pieces. For the beech mushrooms, slice off the bottom portion (and throw away) and separate the mushrooms with your hands. Slice the green onion into wide pieces. Mix the sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce together to make the sauce. Mix the corn starch thoroughly with the water (for thickening. not pictured).

Place the pan on stove and turn temperature to high. Pour in the oil when the pan is hot. Once the oil is warm, place in all the cut and separated mushrooms. Stir fry the mushrooms for 1 min. Add the green onions (and chili peppers, optional) and stir fry for 1 min. Add the sauce. Stir and mix it evenly with the mushrooms. Let it cook for 3-5 mins, with in between stirrings.

Turn the temperature down to medium low. Have the corn starch mix ready. When the dish has simmered down a little more, add the mix all around and stir. (It is crucial to have it simmer down because the corn starch mix may become lumpy at high heat). Stir and cook on medium low for another 2 mins.

These mushrooms are so good AND healthy for you.
According to the site, they also cultivate Maitake mushrooms, but I have yet to find that one in the grocery stores near me.

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