Recipe Of The Day: Veggie, Pork and Rice Stir-Fry with Thai-Style Sauce

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Missed me?

I sure did miss you guys. But my jaw didn’t agree, post-wisdom tooth extraction. And when you can’t eat anything solid for a week, there isn’t much to talk about on a cooking blog.

Well… Now that I’m able to function normally, again, here I am!

With a new recipe to get the gears working again in terms of using up leftovers in a creative way.

The said leftovers: grilled pork chops, white rice, fresh coriander and a shitload of veggies with little time left to their edible life.

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Looks more appetizing than it sounded as a description… Yet another proof that a picture’s worth a thousand words!

To that, add a homemade thai-style sauce, and you’ve got a stir-fry sure to please everyone!

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Eating non-sticky rice with chopsticks was one hell of a challenge!

(Note: The ingredients listed below are the ones I used, but you can adapt anything to match what’s leftover in your fridge. That’s the great thing about stir-fries!)


Recipe for Veggie, Pork and Rice Stir-Fry with Thai-Style Sauce (serves 2):

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp thai sauce (the sweet and spicy kind you find in the Asian products section of your supermarket)
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

For the stir-fry:

  • 1/2 onion, cut into thin stripes
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into stripes
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts separated
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 6-7 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pork chops, pre-cooked
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 cup white rice, pre-cooked


  1. Mix all sauce ingredients together; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in white parts of green onions and the rest of the veggies. Cook until the zucchinis have softened and the mushrooms are slightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, remove fat from the pork chops and discard. Cut the meat into bite-sized strips.

Add rice, pork and sauce to the sautéed veggies. Stir until the rice is reheated and the sauce evenly coats the whole dish. Serve immediately and top with green parts of green onions and fresh coriander.

(Note: I won’t post a nutrition label for this recipe, as there are so many possible variations)


Feels good to be able to eat crunchy foods after a week of soup, smoothies and scrambled eggs!

…. and binary puzzles…

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Anyways. More posts coming up soon!

-AF

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Recipe Of The Day: Chia Crackers

I must admit, I’m a sucker for crackers.

All kinds of crackers.

From Triscuit to Ritz cheese bites (aren’t those a trip down memory lane? I always got them as my afternoon snack back in kindergarten), I swear, do NOT hand me a box of crackers, or I’ll finish it all in 15 minutes.

When I first bought that 300-g bag of chia seeds, I wondered how I was gonna use it up.

So I just thought “Hey, crackers.”

And came up with a 3-ingredient recipe. 3 ingredients. Chances are you’ve already got them all in your pantry if you’re here looking up chia recipes.

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They taste better than they look, I promise! Blame the 6AM lighting

          Add chive and onion cream cheese and fresh veggies, and you’ve got the perfect healthy snack! Fast, inexpensive, quick to make and chock-full of nutrients: can it get better?

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          Recipe for Homemade Chia Crackers (makes around 4 servings of 7 crackers each)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine together flour, chia seeds and salt. Add in water and mix well until a dough is formed.
  3. Thinly roll out the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  4. Remove the piece of paper on top, then cut dough into bite-sized rectangles. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the outside is crispy.

Nutrition info:

Nutrition Label chia crackers

          I’ve been so busy lately… taking some time for myself is a relief for sure! Lately I’ve started practicing yoga at home, beat my personal best 10k time and took up piano…more and more personal projects coming up for this summer! I’ll try my best to keep posting as often as I can… I promise!

          -AF

Recipe Of The Day: 5-Minute Asian Style Quinoa Bowl (Post-camping trip fuel)

Long time no see!

Wanna know what I was doing all that time?

Studying, of course!…

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          …or perhaps preparing for this weekend’s camping trip.

          One hell of a camping trip, I must say!

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Posting this picture will probably make me question my whole being and the purpose of my existence on this Earth. But hey, it’s now everyday that you get to go canoeing in a wetsuit!

          Canoeing for 4 hours on a calm river does have kind of a soothing effect, plus it goes by fast when you’re surrounded with cool people.

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           And the food. We’re not talking about trail mix all weekend long here guys. We’re talking about food prepared by the whole group (31 of us), with everything already planned out by the campground guide.

Beef fajitas for dinner, and of course marshmallows to grill on a campfire…

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          …plus chocolate cookies to make S’mores!

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I didn’t even put the chocolate part of my top cookie face down in the marshmallow. I really AM starting to question myself as a whole.

          The hard part was the night. Trust me, when you’re camping at a relatively high altitude on the riverside, you’re better off bringing a winter coat or something. Even if the days are hot.

          My sleeping bag’s zipper broke, so I only could use it as a blanket. I wore jogging pants, a cotton long-sleeved shirt, a hoodie, a Gore-tex jacket, a wool hat, socks and gloves, plus Hot-Shots on my hands and feet, and I was freezing. I barely slept for an hour and only started to warm up after 2 hours of rowing in the sun, still wearing exactly the same clothes as I did during the night (and it was maybe about 15 degrees Celsius in the morning and 20 in the afternoon..?)

          Nothing else could warm me up. Not even the bacon grilled cheese and hot chocolate we had for breakfast. (But damn, how good was that.)

          TL;DR: great experience overall, but draining as hell.

         (Btw, all photo credit for the camping trip goes to Naomi Ma Daigle)

          So today, for lunch, I was looking for a quick, low-cal fuel source to counteract the sugar overdose of the previous 2 days.

          Leftover quinoa and frozen Asian-style mixed veggies. Sounds like a good base.

          Soy sauce, ginger, scallions and a soft-boiled egg. I think we’ve got a dish here.

          (Credit for the lack of pictures goes to my full 1GB-memory cell phone that turned the picture I took into a broken file)


Recipe for 5-Minute Asian Style Quinoa Bowl (serves 1):

  • 1/2 cup fully-cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Asian style frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small saucepan, pour just enough water to fully cover an egg. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium, put the egg in and cook for 5 minutes. (If you want it hard-boiled, leave it in for 2 more minutes.)
  2. In a single-serving microwaveable bowl, combine quinoa, soy sauce and ginger. Push to one side of the bowl and set aside.
  3. Thaw the veggies in hot water in a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to the serving bowl, in the free spot next to the quinoa.
  4. While the egg is still cooking, microwave the quinoa and vegetables for 2 minutes, or as desired.
  5. Once the egg’s done, remove the shell and put on top of the bowl. Season as desired. Cut in half, let the yolk run a little and dive in!

Nutrition info:

NutritionLabel


You know what the best thing about camping is?

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          Mosquito bites! These suckers got me in all the weird places… My ear’s so swollen it’s sticking out and… well I won’t talk about the other hard-to-reach places they got me at. 😉 Better go now… gotta take care of ’em! ‘Later!

-AF

Recipe Of The Day: Japanese Brown Rice and Fried Egg

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!

I recently bought chia seeds for the very first time and had absolutely no inspiration as to how to use them, especially in savory dishes. So I went online and found this recipe for sticky chia brown rice and eggs.

Healthy, filling, plus it sounded delicious. Too good to be true, right?

So I looked in my fridge and pantry, and the only rice I had left was that leftover from dinner 2 nights ago, with veggies and soy sauce already added in. No raw brown rice, not even a cup of the usual Uncle Ben’s Converted (which we usually always have at home). No green onions either.

But it was love at first sight with that recipe. And I wanted sticky chia rice. At the very moment. I had just come back from a tough run and I had been looking forward to that moment I’d be eating the oh-so-delicious-sounding dish.

But hey. White rice with soy sauce and sautéed veggies… 1. has an Asian kick to it, which isn’t completely out of context since that sticky rice is a traditional Japanese breakfast and 2. I had shallots. Sure, the taste is different from that of green onions, but the goal is to add an onion-ish taste to the rice!

So I took a chance..

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        A delicious chance! (The yolk did break while the egg was cooking, but shhh. We’ll just say I had already started eating ’cause I couldn’t resist it.)


Recipe for Japanese Brown Rice and Fried Egg (adapted from this recipe on the Daily Burn website) (serves 1):

  • 1 cup leftover cooked rice (if plain, add soy sauce and sautéed veggies to your liking; just make sure that the whole thing is completely chilled before using, to avoid a “mushy” result)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 shallot or green onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oil of choice to fry the egg (olive or sesame give it the best taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small saucepan, mix together water, half the onions (if using green onions, use the white part here) and chia seeds. Let rest for long enough for the chia to absorb the water and make a gel, about 20 minutes.
  2. Bring the chia gel mixture to a boil, then add in the already prepared and chilled rice. Mix well, then turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the rice reaches a sticky texture.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the egg to your taste (Sunny-side up is the traditional way, feel free to experiment with other cooking methods such as poaching or scrambling). Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. When the rice is done, transfer to a plate and put the egg on top. Sprinkle with some more chia seeds as well as the other half of the onions. Serve with steamed or sautéed vegetables.

Nutrition info:

NutritionLabel (3)


Sorry for the lack of pictures… I didn’t have the time to take any of the process, as I was also busy making chia crackers! More chia cooking experiments coming up soon! ‘Later!

-AF

Recipe Of The Day: Nature Valley Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast parfaits.

The perfect healthy breakfast for hectic mornings: whipped up in 5 minutes and eaten in 3. Fruit, yogurt and granola make a perfect combination of tasty AND nutritious, with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and protein.

The only thing is, you can’t predict when you’ll be running late.

And in some households (I’m not talking about mine, what were you thinking..?), healthy eating isn’t the primary grocery shopper’s priority. (I can almost hear the guy in question say “Why would I buy a box of tasteless granola for 5$ when I can get 2 family packs of Honeycomb for the same price?”) And even if you do intend to buy what you want, you don’t always have the time.

This Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6:30 and needed to be out the door by 7. I was longing for a breakfast parfait, but that damn granola was missing again.

Suddenly it dawned on me: I still had leftover Nature Valley bars form my trip to Nicaragua. (Oh, the culinary experiences we made over there. There’s definitely something to write about that…)

So I went for the usual: I diced 2 strawberries…

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          …poured a single serving of yogurt on top…

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          …and then crumbled that granola bar on top!

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          The result?

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          Might as well not buy any granola again until I’m out of Nature Valley bars..! Though I do have a feeling that it won’t be long before they’re all gone… Almost looking forward to the moment I’ll make my next batch of homemade granola (coming up in a future post!)!


          Recipe for Nature Valley Breakfast Parfait (makes 2 small servings… you might as well eat them both for a filling breakfast!):

  • 1/2 cup strawberries (or berries of your choice), diced
  • 2 single servings fat-free yogurt (I used Source Strawberry Vanilla Tango)
  • 1 2-bar pack Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (I used Oats ‘N’ Honey)

          Dice the strawberries and put them into 2 bowls or tall glasses. Pour a single serving of yogurt on top of the berries in both glasses, then crumble a granola bar on top of each.


Nutrition info:

NutritionLabel


          I bought chia seeds for the first time this evening, being new to this whole “healthy-eating” scene… Recipe ideas, anyone? I do like trying out other people’s creations… but I need some inspiration to come up with my own! 😉 So comment away! Thanks in advance guys!

          -AF

Recipe Of The Day: Decadent Date Squares

Remember that picture from my last post about my homemade iced tea?

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Ah, good ol’ times. Seems like just yesterday.

          Admit it. Mondays suck. Even if it’s getting hotter outside, you ARE craving that sweet, indulgent dessert to get through the rest of your day. You guys are lucky, ’cause I’ve got the perfect combination of sweetness, fat and a little fiber to clear your conscience.

          Date squares!

          …and when you think about it, it can’t be that bad with a nice scoop of vanilla iced cream. Served on a tong-shaped plate (or even on that ugly Christmas plate you got as a gift for the Holidays in 1994), it’ll most definitely get that summer touch you’ve been longing for.

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Okay, maybe not on that ugly Christmas plate you got for the Holidays in 1994.

          Plus they’re quick and easy to make using ingredients you probably already have at home! Which means… no harmful chemicals or hydrogenated oils like you’d find in boxed desserts… even though they’ll be ready in the same time as it would take you to make that cake from the mix!

          I bet some of you are already telling themselves: “Oh God, will she ever stop bragging and get to the damn recipe..!” Well, you guys are served, ’cause here it is!


          Recipe for Homemade Date Squares (makes 16 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (preferably rolled or steel-cut, quick oats will make the crust too crumbly)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (white or pastry, haven’t tried gluten-free, if someone does let us know in the comments)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (very important or else the crust won’t have a uniform texture)
  • 3/4 diced pitted dates (I used a small pack of Medjool dates)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (to cut off some of the sweetness)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the dates, water, and 1/3 cup brown sugar to a boil, and cook until thickened. Add in lemon juice, then remove from heat. Spread the date mixture over the crust, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden. Cool, then cut into squares.

Nutrition info:

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Maybe a little (way) too much on the dense side considering the serving size… but hey, Mondays suck and you deserve a treat! 😉 ¡Hasta la próxima!

-AF


Recipe Of The Day: Homemade Iced Tea

…told you it would come soon!

I’m a runner. I just love running. At first I only did it to lose weight (5’3″, 160 lbs around Easter of 2012, now 120), but over time I developed a genuine passion. I recently ran my first official 10k:

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(I had to exchange running packages with a girl from my group who wanted to run the 5k, so that I could have the orange set which gave me the right to run the 10k and that she could have the purple one to run the 5. Ah, organizational trouble, we all love it, right?)

          Anyway. When I get back home from a long run, it’s always nice to have a refreshing drink on hand.

          My mom and I are big fans of loose-leaf tea. So at some point, I just wondered “Hey, why not make it iced?”

          So I went to our local tea shops and got the Pom-Tango (mango and pomegranate) black tea from the summer collection and a mix of Raspberry Balsamico and Limeade Twist fruit infusions (the one in the picture), steeped them twice as strong as I normally would…

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Already getting some coloration after 15 seconds…

          slightly sweetened them with a touch of honey…

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… then let them chill and poured them over ice. The result?

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(Here’s the final result for the Pom-Tango variety)

          A tasty, refreshing summer treat that will sure be a hit! Perfect with a rich and decadent dessert like my homemade date squares (coming up soon)!


          Recipe for Homemade Iced Tea (makes 24 oz of tea, 48 oz with ice; 6 servings)

  • 24 oz boiling water
  • 7,5 tsp loose-leaf tea (I used 3 perfect teaspoons from David’s Tea) (If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, replace it with 6-8 teabags)
  • 1-3 tbsp honey (depending on the type of tea used, as well as your personal taste: if using straight, strong black tea, you might want to use more; cut back if using fruity teas or infusions)
  • 24 oz ice
  1. Bring the water to a boil and transfer to a Mason jar (or any other heatproof container).
  2. Steep the tea for the same amount of time as you normally would (5 minutes is a common time for black teas and fruit infusions, if in doubt look at the package), then discard tea and add honey. Let chill until warm, about an hour and a half.
  3. Let the tea cool completely in the refrigerator for about 1 more hour. When it’s time to serve, either pour over ice in a pitcher or fill glasses halfway with ice to make individual servings. Drink in the 2-3 days after making to ensure the best flavor.

Nutrition info (numbers based on a total 8 oz serving, 4 oz tea and 4 oz ice, with 4 tsp honey added to the whole jar):

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Just made a new batch… plus my grandma’s taking me to “tea time” this afternoon as a graduation gift… more about that soon… I’m out guys! Gotta run off all these indulgences to deserve them! 😉 ‘Later!

-AF


EDIT: As of 05/25/15, my recipe for Decadent Date Squares is available here.