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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables


I was loving the whole quinoa salad thing and decided to try making a warm, savory, quinoa salad.  I harvested and incorporated an eggplant from my container garden into this dish.  However, I think the eggplant could've grown a little bigger.

I stabbed holes throughout the skin of the eggplant because that's what I had learned from roasting eggplant when I was younger.  But I think it might be for when you're roasting eggplants whole.  We would throw the entire eggplant directly onto the burning charcoal of the fire to roast.  We did this for a dish called tortang talong, which is roasted eggplant, skins peeled, flesh flattened down, dipped in scrambled egg, and fried.   I will go over that in another blog post/video.   I cooked the eggplant first  in my video because it takes longer.

It turned out great.  This recipe reminded me of fried rice because everything is all mixed into the dish.  But it made so many servings, I was eating it for days and I'm kind of tired of quinoa now.  It'll be a while before I make something else with quinoa.  If you'd like to try this recipe, see below.

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggplants, cut into 2-3 inch pieces and stab holes throughout skin to allow heat to cook through
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water (for cooking quinoa)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bullion paste
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 7 mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 chicken meatballs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Instructions:
  1. Prepare ingredients as indicated above (cut, stab, chop, mince).
  2. Air fry eggplant for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Rinse quinoa.  Place in pan.  Add water and bullion.  Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cover.
  4. Remove cooked eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces, and add to cooked quinoa.
  5. Air fry zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and meatballs for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The add it to the quinoa salad and mix.
  6. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to quinoa salad and mix well.
  7. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables (regular speed, full video) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Korean Style Seafood Bok Choy Chickpea Pancake


I wanted to make a Korean style pancake with a lot of vegetables.  I also wanted to experiment with chickpea flour since I already had it at home.  Supposedly, it's very nutritious but I don't know what it has, like vitamins or whatever.  You can google it if you're interested.  I know it contains fiber like any other bean and that's why you fart when you eat a lot of beans.

Real Korean pancakes don't use chickpea flour, a lot of recipes even say pancake mix.  My local Korean store stocks pancake mix.  I checked the ingredients for one of them, which were flour, baking soda, and msg so it didn't seem complex.  I basically looked at several recipes and made my own variation.  I also found a veggie pancake that sounded delicious.  I'll have to try that another time.

I think this turned out just okay.  My pancake didn't hold together as well as it should have.  This was probably due to the use of chickpea flour instead of regular flour or pancake mix.  Another thing that I would also change is the shoyu (aka soy sauce) in the sauce.  I used a brand called Kikkoman because someone gave it to me and that's what I had on hand.  He was gonna throw it out, that's the only reason I took it.  I didn't want it to go to waste.  But it has a distinct umami flavor that I don't care for and it tastes very salty.  My favorite shoyu is low sodium Aloha brand.

If you'd like to try and make it exactly the way I did, the recipe is as follows:

Ingredients for Pancake:
  • 1 cup mixed seafood, defrosted
  • 3 cups bok choy, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 3 stalks green onion, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons oil for cooking
Ingredients for Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 sprinkle toasted sesame seeds
Instructions:
  1. Prepare ingredients as listed above (slice, chop, defrost).
  2. Heat large pan.  Add oil.
  3. Add bok choy, white onion, and green onion. Stir fry until half wilted.
  4. Add seafood, sprinkling around the pan evenly.
  5. In a bowl, mix chickpea flour with water and egg.  Pour batter all over vegetables and seafood.
  6. Let sit for a few minutes to set before flipping over to help keep the pancake intact.
  7. Flip and let cook through.
  8. In a separate bowl, mix all ingredients for sauce together.
  9. Serve pancake with sauce.
  10. Enjoy!
IG post of this video: Korean Style Seafood Bok Choy Chickpea Pancake (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Korean Style Seafood Bok Choy Chickpea Pancake (regular speed, full video)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Air Fried Panko Curry Tofu


This experiment turned out great!  I remember doing some tofu cooking experiments years ago.  One of them involved freezing the tofu to dry it out.  This was supposed to help it get a texture closer to meat.  I don't remember if I liked that recipe or not.  But I remember the first step was to press the tofu down to get out as much liquid as possible.  I did that for this recipe.  I wasn't necessarily trying to get a meat texture, but I wanted to make the tofu firmer to withstand what I was about to put it through.

Tofu is pretty bland and will take on any kind of flavor you add to it.  The curry powder added just a light curry flavor.  In retrospect, I would've preferred the curry flavor as a sauce added after air frying.  Regardless, this was still delicious.  So that idea is another experiment that I'll try next time.

If you want to try this, here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 block tofu
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • sprinkle of dried parsley
  • Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Avocado oil spray
Instructions:
  1. Open and drain tofu.
  2. Cut block of tofu evenly into four rectangles.
  3. Lay paper towels on a baking pan.
  4. Spread tofu rectangles onto paper towels.
  5. Cover tofu with another layer of paper towels.
  6. Add another pan onto the paper towel-covered tofu.
  7. Add something on top to weigh it down and help the liquid get squeezed out of the tofu. (I used a bottle of olive oil and left it for about ten minutes)
  8. Remove weight and paper towels.
  9. Beat eggs.
  10. Add curry powder and dried parsley to eggs and beat again to combine.
  11. Pour panko into a separate bowl.
  12. Dip pieces of tofu into egg mix, then panko, and repeat, coating all sides.
  13. Spray all sides of panko-coated tofu with avocado oil.
  14. Air fry for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  15. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Air Fried Panko Curry Tofu (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Air Fried Panko Curry Tofu (regular speed, full video) 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Colorful Quinoa Salad


I have really been enjoying the quinoa salad from Costco lately.  So I decided that I'd like to try experimenting with different quinoa salad recipes.  An internet search returned a lot of results.  I did a variation of the first recipe that popped up.

Here's the link to the first recipe that showed up in my search.   It's called Favorite Quinoa Salad by Cookie and Kate https://cookieandkate.com/best-quinoa-salad-recipe/

If you have been following me, you know that I love to experiment and sometimes, it doesn't turn out that great.  But I don't care.  It's fun for me.  So here are the things I did differently.
  • Used pinto beans instead of garbonzo beans because the can said no salt was added.  I compared it to the can that didn't say anything about salt and it was 12% daily value of salt versus 1% in the no salt can.  I don't even know why there's 1% if no salt was added.  I wasn't about to boil beans from the dry state, so no salt added canned beans it is.
  • Added a can of corn for color - eat a rainbow everyday.
  • Used preserved lemon juice instead of fresh - it was more convenient and that's what I had on hand.  That being said,  I wrote it down wrong and put four times the amount that it called for. No wonder it was super citrusy! I don't know if citrusy is even a real word. Lol!
  • I omitted the sea salt.
Okay, so if you want to try the version I made, you need to like lemony flavor.  If I made this again,  I'd stick to the recommended amount (1/4 cup) of lemon juice from the original recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water for cooking quinoa
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sprinkle of black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Cook quinoa.  Combine quinoa and water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover till most liquid is gone. Turn off.
  2. Open beans and corn.  Rinse and strain.
  3. Chop cucumber, bell pepper, parsley, onion, and garlic. 
  4. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  5. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Colorful Quinoa Salad (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video:  Colorful Quinoa Salad (regular speed, full video)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Broccoli Salad


I got a big bag of broccoli from Costco for this week's vegetables.  I can't just have the same regular, plain broccoli all week.  I have to make at least one different style of broccoli.  A google search returned a broccoli salad recipe that was kinda like a cole slaw.  I didn't have all the ingredients, but I pivoted and used what I had on hand.

Here is the link to the original recipe: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/broccoli-salad/. Thanks for the idea, www.spendwithpennies.com!

Here is my variation of it.  I roasted the broccoli instead of having it raw, used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower, used a shallot instead of red onion, and omitted the salt.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1-1/2 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 big shallot, chopped
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • sprinkle of ground pepper 
Instructions:
  1. Splash some olive oil on the broccoli florets and air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Cook bacon until crispy.  Cut into small pieces. (I cut it with scissors and let it land directly on the broccoli.
  3. Chop shallots.
  4. Combine shallots with all remaining ingredients to create dressing. Mix well.
  5. Add dressing to broccoli and bacon and mix well.
  6. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Broccoli Salad (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Broccoli Salad (regular speed, full video) 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Korean Tofu Soup with Bok Choy


I was so excited to make this.  I had been growing some baby bok choy in my container garden and wanted to cook a dish with it.  I think it could've grew a little longer and got a little bigger, but I was impatient. Lol!  Since I only had a small amount, I wanted to make something that was enough for just one meal.

I need to say that this turned out very salty.  I couldn't stand it and did not drink the broth.  With that being said, I would definitely make this again, but with a different broth.

If you're a salty food fan, you will love this.  So here it is.

Ingredients:
  •  About 5 baby bok choy
  • 1/2 block tofu, sliced into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons green onion, sliced
  • 1 powder pack Soft Tofu Broth Seasoning (Jayone Foods, Seafood Flavor)
  • 1 pack red pepper oil (comes with the Jayone Foods, Seafood Flavor pack)
  • 1 egg
Instructions:
  1. Harvest and rinse your bok choy well.
  2. Cut tofu into bite-size cubes.
  3. Add water to pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Add powder packet and stir to dissolve.
  5. Add tofu to broth.
  6. Add egg.
  7. Add bok choy.
  8. Enjoy!
YouTube post of this video: Korean Tofu Soup with Bok Choy (full video, normal speed)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Chickpea Veggie Salad


I am trying to get more vegetables in my diet so I need to keep it interesting.  This salad is colorful and that helps stimulate my senses.  It looks nice.  Unfortunately, it was a little bland.  So I decided to add some salad dressing at the end.

You can really add any kind of vegetables or beans you like to this type of salad.  It's also a great way to use up any small bits of vegetables you have in your fridge so they don't go to waste.  This was my way to use up the canned goods I had in my cabinet.

Here's the recipe for the salad pictured above.

Ingredients:
  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into florets and stems peeled and sliced, and roasted/air fried with oil
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 big shallots, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can beets, chopped
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • drizzle of garlic infused mac nut oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salad dressing (optional - I needed more flavor.)
Instructions:
  1. Cut broccoli, toss in oil, and air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  2. Chop cucumber, tomato, and shallots.
  3. Open cans of chickpeas, corn, and beets.  Drain in colander.
  4. Combine all ingredients and toss well.
  5. Add additional dressing for flavor if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

IG post of this video: Chickpea Veggie Salad (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Chickpea Veggie Salad (normal speed, full video)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tofu with Toppings



Tofu is super versatile because it basically takes on whatever flavors you add to it.  You can top cold tofu with any kind of toppings you like. After I made this one, I tried making a version with kim chee cucumber and Korean seasoned bean sprouts. That was really good too.

Here’s the recipe for the one pictured above.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, halved then sliced into cubes
  • Taegu (seasoned cod fish)
  • Shoyu
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Green onion, sliced 
Instructions:
  1. Slice tofu in half so that you have two blocks for two servings.
  2. Slice them into cubes, keeping the block shape for presentation.
  3. Add desired amount of Taegu, shoyu, sesame oil, sesame seeds, alfalfa sprouts, and sliced green onion.
  4. Enjoy!
IG post of this video: Tofu with Topping (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Tofu with Toppings (full video normal speed)