Good Eats · Healthy eating

Good Eats – Light Summer Salad

This is a salad that was inspired by the summer time. When I was still a student in the summertime a couple of friends and I loved to head to Panera and have a light salad for lunch before we buried ourselves in our research again. We would always sit outside of the store, that’s how much we enjoyed the summer. Fuji Apple Chicken salad from Panera is the salad that I always go back to, no matter how many times I keep telling myself I need to try something else  the next time I go to Panera.

Now that we are all done with graduate school, and started working in the real world. I finally realized that I can actually gather all the ingredients and make it at home especially after discovering that you can buy the Fuji apple vinaigrette dressing from Target or Meijer. It’s not only a pretty quick and easy salad to put together, it’s also super colorful and light just like the summer time.

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All the colors in the dish make it feels like the summer is here.
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Here is the finish product after I tossed in the dressing, grilled chicken and sesame seed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of regular cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup of purple cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup of shredded kale
  • 1 large Fuji apple (julienne)
  • 1 large riped mango (diced)
  • Fuji apple vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seed

Instructions:

  1. Combined both types of cabbages, kale, apple and mango in a big dish.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with dressing, toss to coat.
  3. Top it off with grilled chicken and some sesame seed.

 

Easy three steps for this light summer salad. Anybody can make this dish as long as you have all the ingredients. I guarantee you, after making it at home you will not want to spent 10 dollars for a bowl of salad again.  Enjoy the colorful salad, hopefully summer is going to be here very soon.

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Good Eats

Good Eats – Saturday dinner for three

This recipe is not going to be something that you can whip up in 30 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend doing this when you are in a hurry, I would do this on a Saturday or Sunday when I am not in a hurry to do anything. We made a Saturday night dinner my brother was in town for a visit a couple of months ago. He is living in the west coast whilw we are in the east, I haven’t seen him in four years. We got to spent some real quality time together.

The main part of the dish is the salmon and the steak, you can add any side dishes you would like to go with that. I paired this dinner with some green beans, mushroom, mashed potatoes and garlic bread.

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In someways my boyfriend and my brother are alike, they both love their steaks.
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As for me, I was never a big meat-eater. I prefer a nice piece of salmon any day.

Ingredient:

Steak marinade

  • 2 pieces of strip steak
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Salmon marinade

  • 1 piece of wild caught salmon steak
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice or lemon juice ( I used whatever I had left from the steak marinade)
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Mashed potatoes

  • 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sautéed mushroom and green beans

  • 2 cups of trimmed green beans
  • 2 cups of sliced portobello mushroom 
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 3 tbsp of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garlic bread

  • 3 slices of baguette
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Kraft’s Colby and Monterey Jack finely shredded cheese

Instructions:

Steak and Salmon steak

  1. Add all the ingredients for the steak marinade into a ziplock bag along with the steak. I prefer to marinate my steak overnight, if you don’t have the time, you could just marinate it for a couple of hours. Do the same for the salmon steak.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet (I used a regular non stick pan since I do not own a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. Add in a tablespoon of butter and a stalk of rosemary to the skillet.
  3. Pat dry the steak with paper towel before placing it in the skillet. Cook each side of the steak on the skillet until a dark brown crust starting to form on each side of the steak, usually takes about 5 minutes or so.
  4. Lower the heat to medium low heat in case your steak is browning too fast. Cook the steak on medium low heat to make sure the center of the steak is fully cooked, that should take about 7 minutes. Depending on how rare you like your steak, you can adjust your cook time, our family likes it more medium.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover the skillet with aluminium foil, for the steak to rest  for 10 minutes while you move on to make the rest of the dish.
  6. As for the salmon steak, it takes much shorter time to cook the fish. The salmon should only take about 3 minutes for each side, on medium heat.

Mashed potatoes

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into smaller chunks, cover with cold water and add a tablespoon of salt into the pot. Bring it to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to be mashed. Drain potatoes and set them in a bigger bowl, use a potato masher or in our case a large spoon.
  2. Mashed the potatoes until it has a smooth texture. Slowly stir in the pre-warm milk and butter into the potatoes.
  3. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed mushroom and green beans

  1. Heat oil with a large pan over medium high heat, add in mushroom and butter, sauté them for about 3 minutes, add in the chicken stock and the beans. Cover and reduced heat to medium low, cook the beans until they are crisp and tender. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic bread

  1. Spread butter evenly over the baguette, sprinkle garlic powder and dried oregano on the baguette.
  2. Top it with the shredded cheese and bake it in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes at 350°C.

This is probably one of the more complicated recipes that will appear on this blog. It took a while for me to put them into words, but the dinner is actually not bad. If you prepare all the ingredients needed for this dinner, you should get this dinner in about an hour and a half. I hope you enjoy the recipe, it might not be steak dinner at a fancy restaurant, but we had fun making it.

Good Eats

Good Eats – White Chicken Chili

So far most of the recipes that I have posted are winter food. If you are curious why is that, here is why, it’s still winter time in Michigan. The cold weather makes you not want to get out of bed let along your house. So the next best thing is some nice comfort food. White chicken chili is a real quick and easy dish to make especially when you are in a hurry, all you need is a big enough pot to hold all the ingredients, as well as all the ingredients listed below. They are mainly canned food, some of us might already have them on hand but not quite sure what to do with it.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of McCormick White Chicken Chili seasoning mix
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 pounds of chicken breasts
  • 1 can of great nothern beans
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 2 cans of whole kernel golden sweet corn
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of chicken broth/ chicken stock

Instructions:

  1. Cut up the bell pepper and chicken into bit size pieces.
  2. Drained and rinse all the canned beans and sweet corn, set aside for later use. The diced tomatoes only need to be drained.
  3. Add olive oil in a pot and heat it over medium high heat. Add in bell peppers and the bite size chicken breasts and saute until the chicken breasts are golden brown.
  4. Add in McCormick White Chicken Chili seasoning mix, and saute for a minute or so. Stir in the chicken broth/ stock and simmer it for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in all the beans , diced up tomatoes and sweet corn kernel, continue simmer for another 20 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I love to serve it with some sliced avocado on top of the soup. You could also served it with a dollop of sour cream and some tortilla chips. Enjoy a bowl to help you get through the winter.

Good Eats · Healthy eating

Good Eats – Quick and Easy Yakiudon

My boyfriend and I both have full time jobs. We are the kind of couple that like to bring our lunch/ dinner to work if we can, not only does it save money, but we do get tired eating out every day, and what we make at home better caters to our tastes. In addition, there aren’t many food choices in Kalamazoo, unless you are willing to have fast food every single day. To me, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of steaming hot noodles, especially on a cold day. Since it’s not practical to bring a container full of soup and noodles, I am willing to compromise, I am fine with a bowl of hearty Yakiudon. Yakiudon uses thick udon noodles typically put into a soup but instead is stir fried into this delicious little dish.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of shrimp, shell and tail removed
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 2 bricks of frozen udon
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 pack of bonito shaving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blanch the frozen udon in a pot of boiling water for a minute to make sure that all the noodles are seperated. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside for the stir fry.
  2. Combine soy sauce, sesame paste, and oyster sauce with two tablespoons of hot water. Set aside for later use.
  3. Heat up the frying pan with small amount of oil, add the eggs and make sure you scramble it while cooking it. Stir fry the eggs, shrimps and bean sprouts until the shrimps are cooked.
  4. Drained the udon, and add it into the stir fry. Combined all the ingredients together in the frying pan, and add the sauces. Make sure you turn down the heat to medium low, so that you don’t burn the udon noodles.
  5. Season with salt and white pepper to your own taste.
  6. Serve on a plate and add some bonito shaving if you would like.

With a full schedule, this is our version of Yakiudon with a little twist. It’s not something real fancy but it tastes pretty good, and the most important thing is, this recipe is really quick and easy. If I can make this, I am sure all of you can cook this at home.

Good Eats · Healthy eating

Good Eats – Century Egg Porridge

One of the hearty breakfast that I love especially on the weekends when you actually have more time to prepare food is porridge. Typically, you would make porridge with oats and milk or water, but in this recipe, we are making the asian style porridge which required rice and water or chicken stock. This asian style porridge takes a little longer to cook as compared to the regular oats and milk.

Porridge is usually served as a light meal such as breakfast. This porridge was made from boiling rice in water or chicken stock. The porridge is left simmer in the stock/ water until it becomes a creamy texture. We often have porridge with Chinese cruller, it adds a little crunch to the creaminess of the porridge.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of diced chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup or white jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp of diced fresh ginger
  • 1 peeled century eggs
  • pinch of salt and ground white pepper

Instructions:

  1. Rinsed the white jasmine rice and while bringing the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot. ( you will need a big enough pot to hold all the ingredients while not exceeding two thirds of the pot’s volume.)
  2.  Once the chicken stock it boiling, uncover the pot, add in the jasmine rice. When the rice and the stock started boiling, turn down the heat to low, add in the diced ginger and chicken breast.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Season with a little salt and ground white pepper before serving.

This is a dish that you should serve it hot, it tastes a lot better when it’s hot. Enjoy your breakfast on a cold Sunday.

Good Eats · Healthy eating

Good Eats – Quick and easy Irish oatmeal

As a lot of you might already know, breakfast is essential to start off the day. I have a couple new year resolutions, and one of them being eating healthy. In Michigan you will have more cold months, and during these cold months, I recently found a healthy way to have my breakfast. I dug out the container of steel cut Irish oatmeal that I bought from Costco a couple of months ago. I used to eat oatmeal on a daily basis when the weather was warmer and you can get berries everywhere.

Long story short, couple days ago, I started cooking my steel cut irish oat in almond milk. I cooked it for about five minutes, add in some chia seeds. As soon as the mixture thickens up, stir in some honey and you’re good to go. I personally like to top it up with some granola with some frozen berries. Honestly, it’s so easy and it’s so so good, I have this oatmeal for snacks too.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of steel cut Irish oatmeal
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or your preferred milk)
  • 3 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1/4 cup of frozen berries
  • 1/4 cup of honey, almond & chia granola (or your preferred granola)

Instructions:

  1. Bring almond milk to boil, and stir in oats and chia seed.
  2. Simmer uncovered for about 5 to 7 minutes over low heat until thicken.
  3. Stir in honey, frozen berries and topped with some yummy granola.
  4. Enjoy your breakfast. Good morning!

 

Eating healthy doesn’t always need to be boring, give this a try, you might even like the taste of it.