Monthly Archives: February 2010

Homemade Soy-Almond Milk and Fiber-Rich Warm Salad

For those of you who read my post several days ago may remember that I had some digestion problem for quite a while.  My attention has been draw to the fiber – rich food that cure the problem.  This is also the first time I really feel the power of fiber! The research result is quite interesting, and hopefully my dear blogger friends will find it helpful. if you feel disgusted by the regulation topic, haha, 😀 this post may not be for you 😛


Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Each acts differently in the intestines and benefits the body in different ways. Soluble fiber acts like asponge; insoluble fiber acts like a broom.

Soluble fiber. Found in dried beans and peas, oat bran, rice bran, barley, and fruit pectin (the substance used to thicken jams and jellies). Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines, mixes the food into a gel, and thereby slows the rate of glucose digestion and consequent absorption in the bloodstream.

Insoluble fiber. This is the stringy stuff that holds plants together. It’s called “insoluble” because it doesn’t dissolve in water. It can be found mainly in plant leaves, peels, skins, and the coverings of whole grains (e.g., wheat bran). Like a disposable diaper, insoluble fiber can absorb many times its own weight in water. This water adds bulk and softness to the stools and keeps them moving along more comfortably. Think of eating fiber like brushing your teeth – it cleans out your intestines daily.

So now you should now the kind of fiber you need to prevent the problem, or to fix the problem.

Here is more about the foods for each category:

Best sources of soluble fiber are:

  • oat bran
  • kidney beans
  • lentils
  • sweet potatoes
  • oranges
  • broccoli
  • pears
  • apples
  • barley
  • peas
  • Best sources of insoluble fiber are:

  • wheat bran
  • legumes
  • skin of fruit
  • seeds and nuts: sunflower seeds, soybean nuts, almonds
  • Sounds cool isn’t it?! now its the time to incorporte them into your daily diet:

    I made this almond – soy milk for breakfast with my new babe:

    Fiber-rich with chickpea, black fungus, and greens for a warm salad, where black fungus “ has a reputation in Chinese herbal medicine for increasing the fluidity of the blood and improving circulation. It detox the body. It is “scavenger” of digestive system. It can adsorb dust and impurities in digestive system on its special pectin and excrete together”.

    Soak the dry black fungus in the warm water and boil them for about 10 minutes. then its ready to eat!! it has a bittersweet taste, but very crunchy:-D

    Seaweed salad. The seaweed is a traditional salad ingredients in Asia dishes, “it’s loaded with antibiotic properties, helps counteract obesity, strengthens bones and teeth, and aids in the digestion process. Seaweed also strengthens the kidneys and nervous system, and helps reduce cholesterol. Sea vegetables or seaweed are the most nutritious foods, higher in vitamins and minerals than all other vegetables, and are excellent sources of calcium”.

    The seaweed tastes like a slightly, earthy, and crunchy spinach. Not much flavor. Therefore, we need lots of seasoning to bring the flavor out:

    To make the dressing:

    1. 1/2 cup of light soy sauce

    2. 1 tsp of Korean Spicy paste

    3. 1/4 cup of black vinegar,

    4. 2 tsp of sesame oil

    The ingredients you can use in the seaweed salad:

    1. About 2 cups of seaweed, boiled in the water for about 15 minutes, rinse it well in code water.

    2. Sliced firm flavored tofu, which really can pick up the seasonings.

    3. sliced pickled radish, diced, sliced Chinese Sausage, sautee in the medium-high heat for about 5 minutes till its golden brown and have nice crunchy surface.

    Mix them all together and enjoy the fresh taste of this traditional Asian style Salad:



    Filed under Healthy Breakfast, Salad

    Still, Happy Lunar New Year…with POMOCHI

    Hey Dear blogger Friends, do you know that the traditional lunar new year celebration actually last for the whole week ?!?! and you have every reason to celebrate it till the Lunar Jan 15th 😀    So today I am gonna make another traditional Chinese New Year food. The Chinese name is called ” Nian Gao” , which literally means ” higher every year”. In Japanese, this kind of food is called ” Mochi”.

    So what the heck is POMOCHI????

    haha, it’s POM + Mochi = POMOCHI!!! (since POM + Nian Gao = POMIANGAO…..that’s doesn’t sounds very appealing to me:-P , thus I am gonna adopt Japanese way of Nian Gao) .

    making POMOCHI is a lot of fun. Because the main ingredient is the glutinous rice….you got an extremely sticky dough to play with. That reminds me of the time spent with my Mom making them several years ago!!!!

    I made a black sesame filling POMOCHI. The ingredients are : 1 cup of glutinous rice flour, about 1/4 cup of POM juice , grind black sesame, coconut oil from coco 😛 (thank you!) , coconut flakes,  sweet-scented osmanthus, and a about 1 tsp of sugar.

    For the glutinous dough: mix the POM and 1 cup of rice flour. See that nice cute pinky color??? I fall in love with it instantly!!! Steam them for about 10 minutes , and cool it down completely.

    For the fillings : mix 1/4 cup of grind black sesame, 1 tsp of coconut oil, 1/2 tsp of osmanthus, and  1 tsp of sugar. Stir till they become little sticky crumbles.

    Now comes the tricky part: making the mochi. Some tips I just find ( didn’t realize it was so difficult when I made them with Mom!!!

    1. spray some oil on your hand ( yes!!) it makes the dough less sticky to your hand and easy to round it up.

    2. make a ping-pong sized ball first, then “dig” a small hole for the filling (please don’t be greedy in terms of fillings…) , and seal the top. Then start to roll the dough in your hand till its really round and smooth.

    Great Pinky POMOCHI already!!!

    yes its ready to eat. But I would like to add more Chinese flavor:

    Dip the pinky into a bowl of unsweetened coconut flakes. sprinkle some osmanthus for garnish 😀

    coconut flavor crust, sweet scented osmanthus, nutty, delicate crunchiness from black sesame fillings, and POM rice dough. Oh.that makes my day much better. Enjoy , and again, and still, happy Lunar New year!!


    Filed under Fushion Dishes, Light Delight, Sweet Endings

    Happy Lunar New Year with Golden Dumplings

    Happy Lunar New Year My Dear Blogger friends 😀 Tomorrow 2/14, is the traditional Chinese New Year, and Valentines Day. Wish you all have a wonderful, prosperous, joyful year with your sweet one !

    Festivals always means celebration with food for me. I wish I were at  home and taste all of the traditional spring festival food!!! Golden Dumplings is definitely a staple  in these wonderful dishes 😀  My way of celebration? Make Then !

    These dumplings often cooked beforehand , and used in the hot pot dish or soup. It is the magic moment for me when my Mom flip the eggs and form a perfect dumpling. The ingredients is quite simple :

    1. 2 Eggs (courtesy from Eggland best and Foodbuzz )

    2. Beef, marinated with light soysauce and white wine, with sprinkle of TJ’s seafood grill seasoning.

    Take a small pan, heat with veggie oil spray, and pour in 2 tsp of beaten eggs.

    Trick: add in beef quickly before the egg become firm – you have to flip one side and make it stick with the other half. 😛

    Then turn down the heat. Gently press the dumpling and make sure the beef is well done inside.

    Then, please enjoy!! you can eat these golden cuties directly, or put them in your soup. The lightly browned egg and beef will render soup a nice flavor.  I made a Seaweed Tofu Soup today.

    With some seaweed, frozen spinach, 2 golden dumplings, silken sofu, needle mushroom which is quite high in fiber, and has delicate fruity flavor.

    Seasoned with white pepper and salt.

    See how’s inside of the golden dumpling:

    Hope you like our traditional Spring festival food!!!


    Filed under Authentic Asian

    Food is the Best Medicine.

    Before I go into food, let me explain the reasons of all today’s meal first…..Having been back  to U.S for almost 3 weeks, well, my stomach clearly doesn’t adjust as well as my academic ability does. I have digestion problems these days, feel bloated before and after each meal, and didn’t go to bathroom as often as I usually do 😦  That sounds awwwwwwwwful and annoooooooooying . I guess here might be a good place to discuss the problem, since most of you guys are immersed in a healthy living style and know a lot about body balancing.  I searched over the internet and find I am kinda lack in fiber intake. I realized that in the last few weeks,  my breakfast only contains soymilk and home made bread, which contains about 0g fiber. Even though I take onion, carrot, grounded beef and tofu for lunch or dinner, there is No significant amount of fiber in it. It might be O.K if I don’t suffer from digestion problems. But at this special moment, I need to really do some research and make a fiber-rich meal!!!

    I believe food is the best medicine. So start with the most nature ingredients. Here is my research result: several food may help :

    1. Edamame (whole green soybeans) : 5 grams of fiber for 1/2 cup

    Some Typical Chinese Food:

    2. Black Fungus : ” it has a reputation in Chinese herbal medicine for increasing the fluidity of the blood and improving circulation. It detox the body. It is “scavenger” of digestive system. It can adsorb dust and impurities in digestive system on its special pectin and excrete together”.

    3. Black Sesame : In traditional Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds have sweet and neutral properties, and are associated with the Kidney and Liver meridians. They function to tonify yin jing and blood, moisten the intestines, and help build the spirit

    4. Walnuts: Typically, walnuts are used to treat pain and weakness in the knees and back, aid in digestion, and relieve asthma. Recent evidence suggests walnuts may play a role in lowering blood cholesterol levels

    5. Pearl Barley: These whole grains are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for our health. More importantly, barley is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.1 cup for 6 grams of fiber.

    Alright, enough. Now on to how I used them today:

    I used ingredients 1 and 2, with some Carrots to make the lunch:

    Getting so much trouble spelling the word : Sauté. For those of you who can live without this word in your daily Asian creations, I totally understand the pain…every time I need to go to Google and let it spell right for me. Sigh, I don’t have a French keyboard!!!! So I made a decision today which would make my blogging life thousands times easier. Since I made stir fried veggies or meat everyday – blame it on my typical Chinese stomach, that I am gonna transform the word Sautéed dish in to Warm Salad – Asian Style. Oh yes, happy about my decisions 😀

    It’s a quite easy salad. Heat the pan with 1 tsp of veg oil. Stir fry the edamame first, for about 2 minutes still it changes color. Then stir in the black fungus, adding 1/2 cup of water, let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Lastly the carrot. If you like , add 2 tsp of soy sauce. The black fungus is quite crunchy, and the edamame too, fresh, nutty, butter flavorful.

    In the afternoon, I made a special tea with ingredients 3, 4 and 5:

    The black one is the grounded sesame, the yellow one is the walnuts, and white one is the barley powder.  Add in the hot water bit by bit, and constantly stir the mixture till its really smooth.  The “tea” is kind of thick textured, the roasted smell from sesame and walnuts is a hit.

    Result? feel much better now. Hope feel even better tomorrow.

    Dear friends, do you have any food suggestions you think might help? I would love to hear it!! thank you!


    Filed under Fushion Dishes

    What’s Your Daily Water Profile?

    Inspired by Sophia‘s “food profile” post, I kept thinking of what defines myself….well, first start, in terms of drink. I prefer my daily water to be:

    creamy, lightly sweetened.

    or Bold, roasted flavored.

    I drink lots lots of waters every day, especially when I am at home and need to hold a warm cup at hand all the time. Besides morning cup of Joe (sorry, still addicted!), I drink various kind of “weird” drinks. Need something really thick , creamy, sweet , and fresh???  try this Mocha Milk Tea I just got in the newly opened Asian grocery store. Mocha is pronounced as “mo cha”(green tea flavored), instead of “mo ka” (chocolate)

    The milk tea originated from Hong Kong ( I guess), made with black tea and real milk, with splash of sugar or condensed milk. It have a coffee-like color, velvet texture, taste very creamy , with the distinct flavor from black tea. This Mocha milk tea is made of green tea powder that is extremely popular in Japan.  The green-colore makes me feel I am drinking veggies (well actually I am not!), that’s the very reason I was attracted!!! Lightly sweetened, according to my sweetness tolerance scale:-P, and very creamy. In terms of taste , I would give it a 4/5. what’s that 1 point missing?  well, it has hydrogenated oils which are bad for your health. I know its bad, but still drinking it!! oh man. plus, there is some green tea powder will be left at the bottom of the cup…which is kinda bitter flavor!!

    Sibling sweet teas is always a pleasure in the afternoon. No wonder there is a milk tea brand called “3:15 milk tea” , haha :-D.  Another special tea I would like to introduce is the Home-made Korean Barley Tea :

    The Barley tea has a toasty taste, with slight bitter undertones, and perfect substitute for the coffee if you are craving something thing that has a bold roasted flavor. In addition. Barley tea is very good for your health: (

    • Barley tea may help supplement daily nutrition levels.
    • Barley tea may help improve blood sugarlevels.
    • Barley tea may help in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
    • Barley tea may help protect against certain forms of cancer.
    • Barley tea may help facilitate proper digestion.
    • Barley tea may help in cleansing the body of toxins.
    • Barley tea is believed to be good in relieving early symptoms of colds.

    Nice huh. Now comes the very simple steps of making Barley Tea:

    heat a frying pan, NO OIL!!  pour in Quaker medium Barley. Stir it constantly, for about 10 minutes, should be like this :

    When it became brown colored, turn off the heat. and let it cool down completely.

    Seal it in an air-tight bottle, should be able to stay fresh for a couple of weeks. (not empirically tested though, I drink them all within 3 days! :-D)

    Boil a Barley Tea, please , so yo can get the maximum flavor from the roasted barley. for 1/3 cup of Barleys, pour in 5 Cups of water, bring it to simmer for about 15 minutes, till the water become clearly browned too.  Then enjoy!!

    For the Barley leftovers: you can mix in honey and have it as a bowl of high-fiber grains:

    Or, use the crunchy and chew barley in your favorite breakfast cake recipe:

    Ingredients :

    1 cup of Barley left from Simmered Barley Tea, 1/2 cup of boiled mung beans, 2 cup of flour, 1/3 cup of corn starch, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 2 tsp pumpkin spicy.

    Mix the ingredients well, Bake at 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, till the surface is crispy brown.

    Enjoy your teas with a sweet side:

    or with this cute mocha mochi :

    I hope you all have a good cup of water, dear blog friends 😀


    Filed under Fushion Dishes

    Should We Call it Chili or Warmy?

    Hey Friends, we here Maryland, BLIZZARD again!!! This might be the heaviest , craziest snow storm I have ever seen in my life.

    Look at my poor car buried in the snow like a big BUN….oh man. what I am gonna do with it…..

    He is in much better shape than mine!!!!

    Good news is finally the sky cleared up around 6pm. Guess good work out tomorrow!!! I am gonna dig my car out !

    Cold days make me think of this Chili. actually, I am wondering , why it is called chili, instead of warmy???? it’s so hot and fulfilling !

    So I decided to call it Warmy :

    I used:

    Cheating!!! (Shhhhh….)

    Yes, I use a Chili Mix 😀 that makes my life much easier after whole day brain spinning at programming….Compared to the sweeter alternative Cincinnati one, I prefer the Terlingua Red Chilli in  Hard Times Cafe. It’s redder, spicier, and flavorful.  But tons of beef normally makes my digestion system protest the day after. Therefore, I intended to make this version more vegetarian.  So if this one doesn’t turns out like the one in the HTC, please bear with me  and simply enjoy the veggies 😀


    1. Brown the beef till the fat comes out.

    2. Use the fat to saute onion and carrot. Till onion releases some water.

    3. Now , adding a can of tomatoes, crushed please.  and pour in all the juice.  this adds a sour and sweet flavor to the dish. Then, add in 2 cups of warm water to the pan.

    4. according to the instructions, I am supposed to use only 1 tsp of chili power. I already seal the rest and ready to stew. BUT. Thank God I tried. It’s NOT spicy at all!!!! So I add another tsp, still, not taste like chili!


    alright, I am just being bold and pour in the whole bad of chili powder. Finally it taste very chili!!

    5. Cover the pan ( you are supposed to do. But I don’t have the lid). and stew for like 10 min.

    Ready to eat the home made chili!!! I topped with the left over 6 cheese Italian, you can top with cilantro, sour cream, and paired with corn bread as the HTC will serve. Its just a little bit spicy, with sweet flavor from caramelized onion and sauteed tomatoes.  It’s such a warmy dish on a snowy day 😀


    Filed under "Local" Cuisine, Sweet Endings

    Extremely Excited about the First Yeast Experience:Bread with a bit Oriental Flavor

    Hey Chefs, today I am gonna bored you with tons of real bread pictures. I am so excited with my very first yeast-bread experience that I am gonna devote all this post to my sweet-scented osmanthus -ed, medlar -ed, walnuts -ed, black sesame -ed, banana filling -ed, bread.

    The snow definitely increase my productivity in terms of cooking.

    isn’t that beautiful?!  we are getting much more snows this year, and for the weekend, another Blizzard is on the way. Gonna be really bad this time, for 20 inches of snowing.  stay home , stay warm, and stay focused….of food  😀

    alright, onto food:

    So I made this bread for the first time of my life.

    Somehow I am kinda avoid making anything yeast-related, pizza crust, buns, bread of course, for weired reasons. I have heard about my grandma complaining about “yeast is not ready!” or ” the buns fail becoz of the yeast”, or “yeast is dead”, all the time while she was making buns when I was really young. Guess that create a really bad impression of yeast in my childhood. So from then on, I am just not willing to try any bread recipe. Huh. isn’t that silly 😀 well, the “dark” days are over!!! I am so glad I conquered my fear for yeast!!!

    Here comes this brave trip :

    I follow the instruction and recipe, step by step, very closely for the first time. simply because I want a success for my first bread experience.  1 bag of yeast (25g) dissolves in 1/4 cup of warm water, stir and wait till the bubble comes up ( about 5 min).

    Mix in the following ingredients :  3. 75 cups of flour( I don’t know why the recipe use this kind of strange amount, but I just follow it!!)     1/3 cup of sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp of salt.   1/2 cup of warm water. and the yeast water.

    Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I am tired ….so the dough doesn’t look that smooth , huh :-P. But the dough does RISE well!!! Yeah!!

    For the fillings, I use:

    sweet-scented osmanthus , banana, 2 tsp of black sesame, 2 tsp of walnuts, mixed well.

    Now we fill the dough :

    Test your skill to seal it!!!!

    Give your imagination free rein:

    I use the sweet-scented osmanthus and medlar

    Bake. Patient. Please.  300. oven for 40 minutes.


    Very home-made style!! (well, I meant to say it’s not perfect). but the crust looks very bready, and crusty: take a closer look (are you getting bored? sorry!!)

    and the fillings is naturally bananaly sweet, specially nuts flavor from crushed walnuts and black sesame, and touch of sweet scented osmanthus.

    The inside of the bread is so soft and perfectly sweetened, and the outside is so crusty and crunchy. oh that burned medlar? its  like burned raisin. Never feel so good after baking – its a GIANT LEAP for me!!!

    Enjoy my dear blog friends!


    Filed under Fushion Dishes