Monday, April 27, 2020

Broccoli Chicken Rice Bake

This is the last dish I cooked up before I decided I wanted to get more groceries.  I had some rice in the pantry and broccoli and chicken tenderloins in the freezer.  The idea for this originated from a woman named Blair, who shares her Dump-and-Bake Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe I found online.  Here is the link to her recipe:

It sounded simple enough, just dump everything (even raw chicken) in the pan, mix, and bake.  But as it turned out, it calls for cream of chicken soup and long grain white rice, both of which I didn't have.  I didn't have cream of anything and I had brown rice, not white.

So here we go with the substitutions.  I found a recipe for a cream soup substitute, which I will link here:  Great, I can make my own!  But, I didn't have all the ingredients for that either. 😲

Substitutions I made
  • Cream of chicken - cream soup substitute recipe
  • Butter - coconut oil
  • Flour - corn starch
  • Chicken stock - chicken bouillon and water
  • Milk - water  
  • Long grain white rice - brown rice
In conclusion, this is one of those dishes that would be best if you follow the original recipe.  This is the most extreme pandemic cooking dish I've made.  Extreme to me because I had to use substitutions and make substitutions for the substitutions.

But not having exactly what you need on hand is good for keeping us creative.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  Maybe not invention in this case, but maybe it will lead to a lot of people coming up with new, tasty recipes and work-arounds.

IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Broccoli Chicken Rice Bake (sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video:  Broccoli Chicken Rice Bake (full video with captions)

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Fried Rice with Bacon and an Abundance of Vegetables

This is one of those dishes where you clean out your fridge and use whatever you have on hand.  I do that a lot and included an entire bag of frozen vegetables.  Frozen vegetables are not my favorite, but I purchased it about a month ago in anticipation of the possibility of food being scarce, due to covid-19.  Certain store shelves (paper goods) have been cleared, but I'm glad food is not scarce.  Here's how my dish was made.

  • 1/2 package bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 block tofu, chopped into cubes
  • 3 cups pak choy, chopped
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/4 c oyster sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon hot chili oil
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (it was a little less than one cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions.
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (chop, mince).
  2. Stir fry bacon until cooked.
  3. Add garlic, celery, pak choy, mixed veggies, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot chili oil. 
  4. Stir fry.
  5. Add rice and stir fry, mixing well.
  6. Add green onions.  Mix well.
  7. Enjoy.
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Fried Rice with Bacon and an Abundance of Vegetables (short clip, sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Fried Rice with Bacon and an Abundance of Vegetables (full video with captions) 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Stir Fried Purple Pole Beans

Stir fried purple pole beans with arabiki sausage and brown rice

Well, damn.  What happened to the purple color in these purple pole beans?  It's almost as if the processing (cutting and cooking) pulled out majority of the pigment from them.  If I showed you this picture without saying anything, you'd probably say those were regular green beans, right?

These beans came from my container garden.  I moved recently, to a location that doesn't have space for a garden.  I was bummed, but oh well. That's life, you move on and pivot.  During this move, I gave my garden to one of my really good friends.  She has a big yard and has a lot of space for them.  The pole beans had just started flowering when they moved.  When I payed her a visit, beans had grown!  She let me take the first harvest and these are it.

Purple pole bean harvest
It's a super simple side dish that almost doesn't even need a recipe.  But anywho, here it is.

  • 6 purple pole beans, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  1. Prepare ingredients as indicated above (trim, slice, chop).
  2. Heat frying pan.
  3. Add oil.
  4. Add garlic and stir quickly.
  5. Add sliced beans quickly after beans so that the garlic doesn't burn.  (If it burns, it will be bitter.) Stir fry.
  6. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Stir fry.
  8. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Stir Fried Purple Pole Beans (short clip, sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Stir Fried Purple Pole Beans (full video with captions)

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Kim Chee Fried Rice

So this is a continuation of the use of the container of whole cabbage kim chee that I purchased from my favorite Korean store named Palama market.  The first dish I made was a kim chee firm tofu soup with seafood, second was another kim chee soup with sausage, tofu, and un choy, this was the last one.

Fried rice is super flexible and you can basically throw in all your leftovers.  Leftover meats, vegetables, rice, eggs, whatever.  As far as the rice goes, leftover rice works best for fried rice.  It's drier and easier to mix around.  My rice, however, was kinda mushy because it's a hard brown rice and I cooked it for a long time to soften it.

I'm not providing measurements for this.  Just throw in what you have.  This is what I happened to have on hand.

  • Olive oil
  • Egg
  • Egg whites
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Tofu, chopped
  • Arabiki sausage, chopped
  • Kim chee, chopped
  • Brown rice, leftover
  • Green onion, chopped 
  • Feel free to add any other left over vegetables and meats you have on hand.
  1. Add oil to heated pan.
  2. Add eggs and stir fry.
  3. Add garlic, tofu, sausage, kim chee, rice, and green onions, stirring well after each ingredient.
  4. Garnish with more green onions.
  5. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Kim Chee Fried Rice (short clip, sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Kim Chee Fried Rice (full video with captions)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Kim Chee Firm Tofu Soup

Alright don't hate me, but I go outside.  Let me explain.  Before all this COVID-19 madness started, I was working on improving my exercise routine.  I started going to the gym regularly and it was becoming a habit.  I wanted to work my jogging up to 10 miles per week.  I actually used to jog a lot.  A two-mile or 4-mile run was normal for me years ago and so was 10 miles per week.  I used to do a lot of 5K runs as well. 

Obviously, I've slacked off hard and I want to get back into it.  By mid-March, I had worked my way up to 3-5 miles per week and felt pretty good about it.   A number of events and personal changes in my life happened.  Additionally, I had to move as the place I was living in was being sold.  I gave up my plants, my entire container garden.

I now work remotely and may get a pay cut soon.  I understand that the previous projected budget for this fiscal year is now a lot less and that adjustments must be made. I know that I'm lucky to still have a job and I am better off than a lot of people and I am grateful for that.  A pay cut is much better than getting laid off and losing medical coverage.  I am aware of this and I am thankful.  I know a lot of people are stressed out right now.  Life is not normal and we are all doing our best to cope.  Don't be mean and talk shit to me.  Everyone has their own struggles.

I go outside to go walking for exercise.  I would like to attempt to jog, but I wear a mask and it's already hard to breath.  I push the crosswalk buttons with my elbows and wash my hands/arms when I reach home.  Yesterday, I tried lifting some weights at home after my walk.

Anyway, I went to the UPS store to return some items.  After moving to a new place, you realize you need some things.  Some things I purchased didn't work out.  For example, the over-the-toilet shelf was missing some pieces and the lazy susan spice rack couldn't fit in my cabinet.  There is a Korean grocery store just under the UPS store, in the same building.  Since I was already there, I decided to stop by.  I got a big container of whole cabbage kim chee and a bento.  It was great because I was able to make numerous meals with the kim chee, including this soup, another batch of kim chee soup with seafood, and a fried rice.  Being able to make a ton of meals with something helps reduce the amount of times you have to go out to get food.

I used firm tofu because that's what I had available in my fridge.  The soft tofu soup made with SOFT tofu, which is the authentic way is much better.  The broth is also much better the authentic way.  This is just my easy variation.  I ate it with some brown rice.

I honestly don't know if I used un choy or pak choy or a different kind of choy.  I googled it and was still unsure.  Let me know if you know, when you watch my videos.  Thank you!

  • 2 Arabiki sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup kim chee, chopped
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch un choy, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chili oil 
  • 2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped
  1. Prepare ingredients as described above (chop, cube).
  2. Add sausages to pan. 
  3. Stir fry until slightly charred all over.
  4. Add kim chee, water, tofu, un choy, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili oil.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Garnish with chopped green onions.
  7. Enjoy!
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Kim Chee Firm Tofu Soup (short clip, sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Kim Chee Tofu Soup (full video with captions)

Friday, April 10, 2020

Fire-Roasted Eggplant Pasta Bake

I was so lucky to have some pre-made, fire-roasted, peeled long eggplant.  It was literally fire-roasted on hot coals.  My grandma had it in her freezer the last time I visited her and she gave it to me.  The intent was to make a filipino dish called tortang talong, which is this type of prepared eggplant, dipped in scrambled eggs and fried.  Obviously, these eggplant never made it to be tortang talong.  I got busy with life and it stayed in the freezer.  Instead, I made this.

  • Sprinkle of salt for boiling water
  • 1 box pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 long eggplant, roasted, peeled, and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bottle marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain.
  2. Prepare ingredients as listed above (chop).
  3. Put oil in heated pan.
  4. Add garlic and onions.  Stir fry until fragrant and onions are translucent. 
  5. Add eggplant, marinara sauce, parsley, and parmesan cheese.  Stir well.
  6. Spread pasta into 9x13 pan. Add sauce and mix with pasta.
  7. Top pasta mix with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees (uncovered) for 30 minutes.
  9. Enjoy! 
IG: @abundanceofvegetables
IG post of this video: Fire-Roasted Eggplant Pasta Bake (short clip, sped up for IG)
YouTube post of this video: Fire-Roasted Eggplant Pasta Bake (full video with captions)

Friday, April 3, 2020

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Well, shit. I really don’t know what happened here and why the pictures don’t show up. I had a hard enough time trying to get the pictures side-by-side. But I’m assuming that if you’re here, you have already seen the YouTube and Instagram icons online and should already know what they look like. Thanks for visiting my page.