Friday, March 28, 2014

Sesame miso sauteed Shanghai bok choy

I'm always open to finding more ways to gain more online presence, so yesterday afternoon after much lurking on the True Detective subreddit, I decided that I should obviously venture beyond Twitter and post my photos on the FoodPorn or CulinaryPorn subreddits. So everyone, this is my first attempt at redditing. Because this is the Internet, someone left an unnecessarily rude comment and someone else asked for a recipe, so I might as well share it up here as well. Expect to see me more on reddit! 

Sesame miso sauteed Shanghai bok choy
  • 1lb Shanghai bok choy
  • 1 tbs canola oil
  • 1 tbs miso paste (I used light)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, slivered
  • 5 shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  1. On high heat, brown garlic and shallots in the canola oil.
  2. Add the bok choy and lightly stir fry (it should look a deeper green and be more tender to the touch when cooked).
  3. Add the miso paste and make sure it's evenly distributed and dissolved.
  4. Once the vegetables are thoroughly cooked, remove from heat and mix in sesame seeds and sesame oil.
✓ vegetables
✓ fiber 
✓ Vitamin C

✓ unsaturated fat
✓ probiotics 

Note: If you don't have miso paste, you can try using doenjang (Korean soybean paste) or yellow soy bean paste as well. These products are fermented soy products and are prepared with lots of salt, so there's no need to add more salt if you are using these bean pastes. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market

To be totally honest, Dover Street Market is out of place in Murray Hill. The haute fashion culture and inexplicably overpriced oddly cut pieces of plastic blend materials is just not something you would encounter in the lower reaches of Lexington Avenue. Even though I live less than half a block away from Dover Street Market (or as we still like to refer to as Touro College), it took me awhile to finally get myself to venture inside the 7 story maze of Commes de Garcon, Supreme, Louis Vuitton, Nike Design, and other unaffordable brands.

TL;DR: Easy to get a seat (for now). Try the scones or the granola, but they're overpriced like everything else. And don't get the breakfast sandwich.

Rose Bakery is British cafe/restaurant that has a simple menu and is set on the first floor and mezzanine of Dover Street Market. It has an industrial feel because of the exposed stainless steel kitchen and cafeteria-like tables and chairs. I went on a Saturday morning for brunch, and it was very easy to get a table. It seems to get more filled in the afternoon from the over-fashionable shopping crowds.

We started with drip coffee ($4.50) and a minimalist fruit salad, which was a bowl of thin granny smith apple slices and small mango chunks sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds ($8). We also ordered the lemon zest scone with clotted cream and jam ($5), which was the highlight of my meal. The single scone was the perfect balance of dense buttery-ness and airy floury-ness. Though I'm pretty sure it was just served with butter instead of clotted cream, the wild blueberry jam made up for it.

My mom ordered the granola with plain homemade yogurt ($11), which was a small 3-4oz yogurt with an disproportionally large bowl of granola. The granola was an addictive crumble of oats, almonds, and dried apriocts and cranberries laced with a guilty amount of honey. I had the breakfast sandwich, which was a sad excuse for a flavorless flaccid sausage messily stacked with an egg, avocado mush, and tomato jam on an over-sized overly buttery brioche bun ($17). DO NOT get the breakfast sandwich. You will finish your meal dissatisfied and wondering why you allocated so much of your daily caloric needs on that mess and sad excuse for a breakfast sandwich.

Despite the generally overpriced everything at Rose Bakery and the unacceptable breakfast sandwich, I actually went back later that afternoon for tea time. I had a ginger lemon tea, which was a big pot of water with a few slices of lemon and a lump of ginger, with a slice of their fruit cake ($13 with tea). My uncle tried their walnut cake, which was a nutty loaf that was served with a single whole walnut. The cakes should actually be renamed to loafs, but they were not bad. They were baked on premises, properly moist, and generally boring. The best part was the small buttery sugar sprinkled chocolate cookie that came with my hot drink. I would stop by again after 4pm for tea time, but only because I live half a block away.

If you're dropping g's at Dover Street Market, Rose Bakery is the obvious choice for a coffee or tea break. Otherwise, definitely stop by for a scone or some granola to do some serious people watching. The characters that flow through are definitely worth the time, and it's undoubtedly a cool place to meet someone for coffee.

Rose Bakery
Dover Street Market
160 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pineapple Carrot Breakfast Muffins

As you probably know by now, my family loves a good bagel for breakfast. But bagels are calorie laden and usually filled with either high fat or high sodium things (cream cheese, sausage, bacon...). I'm always looking for healthy breakfast alternatives to introduce to my parents, so recently I've been making my olive oil banana bread and these great muffins.

I've been volunteering at Cooking Matters for the past year as a nutrition educator. Each healthy cooking and nutrition course runs for 2 hours a week for 6 weeks, and participants get some hands-on food prep experience, nutrition advice, and grocery shopping tips. As an educator, I receive an instructor guide which includes lesson plans, worksheets, and a lot of healthy recipes. One of my favorites that is used pretty much every class I've observed, managed, or taught for is this great muffin recipe. It's quick, easy to follow, and can be altered in so many ways to make even healthier or to incorporate ingredients that you enjoy. Also, these muffins come out moist, fluffy, and only slightly sweet, making them perfect for breakfast. Give it a try and let me know what your favorite mix-ins are!

Who doesn't love waking up to a full jar of muffins? 
Pineapple Carrot Breakfast Muffins (~18 muffins)
3 carrots, grated (about 1-1.25 cup) *
1 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice
5 tbs canola oil
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbs white distilled vinegar
1 cup oats *
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour *
1/2 cup light brown sugar *
1/3 cup raisins *
1/3 cup walnuts, crushed *
2 tbs ground flax seed *
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

*Walnuts and raisins were listed as optional ingredients in the original recipe. I added the oats for fiber and flax seed for omega 3's. You can choose to include or omit these when you're making your muffins. In this recipe, I also used 1/4 cup less sugar, 1/2 cup more carrot, and substituted half the flour with whole wheat flour.

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients: flours, sugar, oats, raisins, walnuts, flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together all wet ingredients: carrot, pineapple, water, canola oil, and vinegar.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. Either coat the muffin tin with canola oil or line it with paper muffin cups.
6. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with the batter.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

✓ whole grains
✓ fiber
✓ fruit/vegetables
✓ omega 3's
✓ unsaturated fats

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Balance Your Life's Chopped Greek Salad, Chicken Florentine Pasta, and Turkey Black Bean Chili

Earlier this week I led my second Balance Your Life cooking class at Tufts. This cooking class was the final session of a workshop series geared towards students living with kitchens but without meal plans. Therefore the focus this time was on how to make one pot meals and tips for putting together quick bites. I took popular easy to make recipes and altered them here and there to make them healthier. For example, using ground turkey instead of ground beef reduces the amount of saturated fat in the chili, as does using low fat yogurt instead of sour cream for a topping. Small switches like these can help you easily transition to a healthier lifestyle. 

In addition to learning about healthy cooking, the participants also got a visit from an Eco-Rep. The Eco-Rep taught us about choosing sustainable foods, how vegetarianism can positively impact the environment, and how to compost on campus. Everyone learned a lot about how to choose foods based on health, ethics, and sustainability. 

Enjoy the recipes! 

Chopped Greek Salad (serves 6-10)
·         3 cucumbers
·         2 boxes plum tomatoes
·         1 red onion
·         1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
·         ½ cup feta cheese
·         2 tbs olive oil
1.      Slice cucumber into small quarters, plum tomatoes into half, and onion into small pieces.
2.      Combine in a bowl with olives and olive oil. Top with feta cheese, salt, and black pepper to taste. 

✓ vegetables
✓ monounsaturated fat
✓ calcium

Chicken Florentine Pasta (serves 10-12)
·         2lb chicken breast, cut into small chunks
·         1 bag baby spinach
·         2/3 cup parmesan cheese
·         1 cup low fat plain yogurt
·         Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian medley spices
·         1 lb (1 box) whole grain penne
·         6 tbs olive oil
·         1 can low sodium chicken broth

1.      Preheat oven to 375F.
2.      Cook pasta in a large pot following package instructions.
3.      In a pan, sear chicken in olive oil. Season with Italian spices, a dash of salt, and black pepper. Mix in spinach. Stir lightly and remove from heat.
4.      Oil a 9”x13” baking tray, then line it with the drained pasta. Mix in the yogurt, half the parmesan, and the chicken broth.
5.      Fold in the chicken and spinach. Top with a layer of parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. 

✓ lean protein
✓ vegetables
✓ calcium
✓ whole grains

Turkey Black Bean Chili (serves 10-12)
·         1lb ground turkey
·         1 onion
·         3 large green bell peppers
·         3 large yellow bell peppers
·         1 can black beans
·         1 can sweet corn
·         1 32oz can diced tomatoes
·         3 tbs chili powder
·         1 tbs ground cumin
·         1 tbs garlic powder
·         1 tsp salt
·         shredded low fat cheddar cheese
·         2-3 limes
·         16oz low fat Greek yogurt

1.      Wash and chop onions and bell peppers.
2.      In a colander, drain and rinse beans and corn.
3.      In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and brown.
4.      Once browned, add the turkey with spices and cook until browned.
5.      Add beans, tomatoes, corn, a cup of water, and seasonings to the pot.
6.      Lower heat to medium and cook until all the flavors are blended (15min – 2hr).
7.      Add salt to taste. Serve with lime, shredded cheese, and yogurt in place of sour cream. 

✓ lean protein
✓ vegetables
✓ calcium
✓ fiber
✓ low sodium

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Asparagus

After a rough Sunday, I needed an uplifting dinner to brighten my mood. I had about 5lb of meat waiting in my freezer because I am splitting a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) with my friend Katie. She gets 10lb of lamb chorizo, ground turkey, pork loin, beef cuts, and more per month from Lilac Hedge Farm for $8.80 a pound. I defrosted the lamb chorizo and pulled out one of my favorite go-to recipes: Italian sausage and broccoli rabe orecchiette. The lamb chorizo was very flavorful and substituted great in the recipe. But really what really surprised me this meal was how delicious my asparagus turned out! Definitely a side worth making all the time.   

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Asparagus (serves 2-3)
1 bunch asparagus
1-2 tbs olive oil
1/3 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic, slivered
1 tbs Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Lay out the asparagus in a single layer on a baking tray.
3. Drizzle on the olive oil, salt, and garlic. Make sure it's mixed well.
4. Top with a generous layer of Parmesan.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.