Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Big news! I am finally a Registered Dietitian! That's right. I'm a legitimate nutritionist now. I was going to do a post on fried chicken to celebrate (just kidding! But if you're interested, check out here, here, or here), but I decided instead to feature my favorite meal of the day: breakfast. Hope this provides you with some inspiration on how to build a balanced plate for the most important meal of the day... besides second breakfast, of course.

Peanut butter on raisin bread with avocado and sliced nectarine

Folded cherry tomato omelette over arugula with an English muffin

Peanut butter cinnamon banana whole wheat toast

Veggie omelette, avocado arugula toast, and grapefruit slices

Cherry tomato scrambled eggs, whole wheat English muffin, and chicory coffee

Everything bagel with arugula, mashed avocado, and cherry tomatoes

Fresh basil pesto on English muffin, plain omelette, and sliced yellow tomato

Cherry tomato omelette over arugula, raisin bread, sliced nectarine

Friday, August 14, 2015

Baked spaghetti squash

I'm back in NOLA with a more sizable kitchen (thank goodness I moved out of student housing), so I hope to be doing way more cooking now. I was craving some red gravy the other day while I was studying, so because I have so much time, I first started with some homemade marinara sauce. There are obviously countless number of things you can do with marinara sauce, but because I'm having quite a nutrition quick these days (studying nutrition for most of the day helps), I decided to make a healthier, lighter "baked ziti." And because I'm southern now, I baked it all in a cast iron skillet. Yup, I went there. 

Here I introduce the spaghetti squash, a round elongated yellow colored squash that once baked, yields a stringy delicious squash that resembles... spaghetti. Or shark fin, depends where you're from. Though there are a lot of steps in this recipe, I assure you that the end result is totally worth it! Make lots because the leftovers taste even better. 

Baked spaghetti squash
For the squash:
1 spaghetti squash
2 tbs olive oil 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
2. Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise, coat with olive oil, salt, and seasoning and bake for 40-45 minutes face down.
3. Remove from oven and scrape the insides of the squash out with a fork. 

To put it all together:
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 lb ground turkey (feel free to season with garlic powder and Italian seasoning) 
3-4 cups marinara sauce (depends how saucy you like it) 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella (I used pearls because that's what I had) 

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Heat oil on cast iron skillet. Sautee ground turkey until brown. 
3. Add spaghetti squash and mix well. 
4. Pour red sauce and incorporate with the turkey and spaghetti squash.
5. Layer on the cheeses and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. 

And to make it even better? Serve with fresh basil! 

✓ fiber 
✓ vegetables 
✓ lean protein 
✓ lycopene
✓ low sodium

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Guilin 桂林, Guangxi China

I realized that every July I unintentionally take a blogging break. This time around it was because I planned a very impromptu trip to Hong Kong and Guilin with my lovely mother! Guilin claims to have the most incomparable landscapes of mountains and waters under the sky. With over 300,000 small peaks amidst a winding network of rivers, Guilin's  And you know what comes with great water? Amazing tofu and fresh seafood.

Guilin is most famous for its rice noodles. I was never a huge rice noodle person, but these are different. They're thicker and more slippery than any other rice noodle I've had before. All you need is some cooked rice noodle, a mushroom/pork broth, peanuts, fresh scallion/parsley, blanched vegetables, pickled string beans, and chili soy sauce. I had it for breakfast every morning with a nice fried egg, and I even had it for lunch on some days with some snails. Other than slippery rice noodles and the silkiest tofu, Guilin also has a lot of fresh water seafood such as crawfish and catfish (much like the south). Their most famous preparation for fish is called beer fish, which is a fish slightly pan fried and braised in a beer based tomato sauce. Goes great with white rice. So there's plenty of Guilin chili sauce and fermented tofu to buy as souvenirs, but my personal favorite is dried osmanthus flower (gui hua 桂花), also Guilin's namesake. It has a distinct sweet floral smell that adds both fragrance and color to any tea or dessert. Apparently the city is in full bloom during mid Autumn festival!

Famous Guilin rice noodles with snails

fresh passionfruit! 3RMB or two for 5! 

beer fish

osmanthus flavored almond flour cookies

fresh lotus pods

the best chive pancake ever in Yangshou