Category Archives: healthy spread

Make Your Own Naturally Sweet Peanut Butter

Is peanut butter sweet?????

I never know that peanut butter that made only with peanut is naturally sweet. But it is. Sooooo naturally sweet.

You may already know that I have an addiction to nuts, yet I have never try the home made nut butters, because I always worried that it may burn my only food processor. After doing considerable amount of research on blogs, I find that the key is to roast your nuts.

So in the oven these Spanish raw peanuts go:

I roast them at 400F for about 5 minutes. Then they continue to cook. You can smell the roasted nutty smell around the house…

I tried to rub the skin off, yet no luck. So I just dump all of them in the food processor.

After painful 8 minutes ( I thought my food processor is going to smoke!!!!! :-()

Here they are:

Smooth, velvety texture of home-made peanut butter! I gave it a taste – so , so , so sweet. It is perfect for the morning toast. Yah!

btw, my food processor isn’t smoke 😛 It is not so hard to make nut butter. You just need to get through that painful 8 minutes ~~~ haha

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Filed under healthy spread

Good Old Friends – Day 1

Last weekend was a blast. I am so blessed with such great friends around me. Even though we haven’t met in person for 4 years. Everything refreshed just as a ‘click’. Witty chat, inspiring talks, and lots lots lots of fun together. I haven’t really feel this ‘rejuvenation’ for quite a long time.  I am extremely happy with my good old friends coming to DC 🙂

Especially, we all really ENJOY food. Maybe we are old enough to not to worry about losing weight.  Start to savor the flavors , enjoy dessert, be adventures about all new dinning experience, which all make every meal even more delicious. Now I really don’t feel comfortable having meal with someone who keep on talking about calories and fat. That is nerve-racking.  What I need is an accompany that says ” M’mmmmm , yummy yummy!! ” 😀

We start the day with my home-made sesame corn bread and hot chocolate:

Have lots of jumps and fun:

haha, yes, that is ME. Doing some really weired jumping. Actually I was trying to pose something more elegant than this….but turns out my friends all love this one!!! looks like I was chasing the sun !

Then we went to Spicy Chinese restaurant for comforting dinner :

It was really spicy…..The spicy fish:

and spicy game hen (…okay, maybe u couldn’t see it…, it was all covered up!)

greenbean with spicy sauce:

I need to recommend this: crispy duck. The duck meat is “cold” , which is really good for the summer (suppose to quench the fire in your body, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine). I am trying to figure out how this is made. It was very crispy skins yet not greasy at all. The meat was very tender and juicy.

It was a very pleasant day. I really enjoyed the friendship and the food 🙂 Day 2 dining adventure coming up next!

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Filed under Authentic Asian, healthy spread

It’s Spring Break!!!

Hey Hey Hey everyone – spring break is fiiiinaaaanly here!!! I am so excited!! well, not as excited as my 2007, while I was in Austria:

or as my 2008, while I was in Argentina, the glacier

or as my 2009, while I was in Barcelona:

in 2010….I am stay here, happily, and hopefully do as much work as I can before the proposal defense in April 🙂 I am gonna make it up in 2011!!!

okay…if I am staying, I am gonna make this week really pleasant , by some nice food!! I bought smoked salmon yesterday. Writing papers makes me dizzy and craving for proteins as crazy! I have never been such a carnivore before 😛

hmmm….this is the first time I get wild Alaska smoked salmon …. eating raw always sounds a challenge to me. I even googled online to see if I should eat it directly (please, don’t laugh!! haha ) okay. sounds like there is a pretty popular version of lox. but I don’t have the bagel. I has asparagus!!! how about wrap some smoked salmon on the asparagus???

M’mmmm I can already imagine the nice color combination …

but when I try to cut the salmon in stripes, oh damn it!!! it all falls apart!!! there is NO WAY I can have nice strips to roll the asparagus up!

Plan B: make a smoked salmon sauce OVER asparagus. should be nice huh?

So I dig out my dill and cottage cheese, and make this bowl of sauce in a pretty liberal way:


and pair it with stir-fried asparagus:

ahahahhaha, NICE!!! the color combination looks awesome! that’s what I want ! and save me lot of trouble from wrapping 🙂

after mixing the cottage cheese and smoked salmon together, I just pour it over the asparagus , and finished the whole plate !! so satisfying!!!

now back to my previous post of truth or lies….I am a good liar!!  (wait, is that a compliment?)

1. I am a night owl. I stay up REALLY late….

Nope – I try to go to bed as early as possible , especially these days, around 10:30pm or so. since I heard a really scary story that your liver begins to detox in 11pm…..

2. I can eat the whole jar of almond butter in one day.

Ahhhahahahhaa, YES!!! isn’t that scary?! but I do LOVE nuts butter!

3. I take good care of my car – no dent at all!! I am a great driver!

Nope – I am a good driver…but I am a poor parker. I hit  my car TWICE!!!$%*($*& while I was parking. sigh!

4. I call my parents ( they are in China), once a week.

Nope- actually I call them almost every day. I am the only kid in my family, and I know my parents need me now.

5. I don’t like talking while I am having dinner.

Nope!!!! I LOVE talking while eating ! I know its not polite, but I feel chat over the dinner table is a great way to bond with family and friends 🙂

6. I had never blogged before.

Nope. I had a blog , but its about my life, instead of food. obviously I find more passion in talking about food!

7. I updates my status on facebook every day!

Nope. I am not a tech geek. You can tell that I am not updating my blog every day!


surprised, aren’t you ? what a $%(#$*& are you, buddy?! hahaha

hope you have a goooood night, my dear blogger friends 🙂

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread

Several Days of Light Eatings : Tribute to Warm Salad

I always feel a little bit hesitate to have salad in the cold days. I am kind of avoiding those cold greens, which makes my stomach really uncomfortable after eating. Yet after several days of trial, I fall in love with them. Inspired by Maggie , I decide to say YES to salad, even its is snowing outside! 🙂

My salads are warm, light, and veggie-ful. Hope my dear readers could try them out to fulfill your veggie-cravings.

Warm Salad Course One: Baked Kale, Mushroom and Eggo Salad

Ingredients:

it’s all there in the names!

Mix kale leaves, sliced mushroom with pinch salt; have an egg on it before sending them to the oven. Yes egg, not cheese this time 😛 ( you all know that I’m a big cheese eater! haha) You would love when the flavor of egg immersed in the kales!

Bake them about 15 min at 350 degree oven, easy dinner!

the top kale leaves are crisp like those kale chips, and bottom kale leaves are still leafy green! I love this combination of crunchy and juicy from the same kale leaves!

in-between two salad course, I would like to show off a coffee (instant coffee! can’t believe it!)

yeah, I was amazed when I got this beautiful pattern and take a pic of it right away. never imaging a sophisticated swirl will come from a instant coffee!! The dark bubbles melted away pretty quickly.  To be honest, I like this “taster’s choice” from Nescafé – my favorite way ? mix 1tsp of them, 1 tsp of chocolate powder, makes it a nice sweet treat for the day.

Alright, now comes our 2nd course of warm salad:

Endive and Red Pepper, with Acorn-Tofu Creamy Sauce:

wash the greens and red pepper, lightly salt them, and microwave the bow for 45 second. That’s the key for making the warm salad without losing the fresh color of the greens!

The creamy white sauce (which I had marketed for thousand times i guess? hehe :-P) . This time is a bit different because I add in some nature sweetness from Acorn. It should be more yellow-ish than it appears here:

I use : 1 small baked Acorn, mashed, 1/3 cup of silky Tofu, 2 tsp of shredded cheese, lemon and pepper to taste.  Puree all of them till smooth texture.  if you like ranch for your salad, this might be a great healthy alternative 😀

Enjoy my dear friends!

 

btw, I had think about doing a 7-day challenge about posting everything I send to my stomach . Though I see lots of blogger friends doing that, it’s still a bit scary to me…I mean, posting everything I eat, means making a big confession of some of my guilty pleasures. well, but I guess it’s really fun to find the truth of your diet and see what’s right and wrong. My dear friends, have you done that before? How do you feel? Do you think that’s a good idea or I’ll get “traumatized” after that?

I’ll try to start the week after, because, this week is thanksgiving! I probably will scare myself to death seeing myself eating sooooo much food ! hahaha 🙂

Have a good night, my friends!

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Filed under healthy spread, Salad

Creamy TOFU source, Purple Marble Cake

If you opt for creamy white sauce every time waiter asks for topping of that linguine, – please count me in! I love the smooth texture and cheesy smell of the white sauce… and not surprisingly, I feel guilty every time I indulge.  But this creamy tofu sauce is definitely gonna replace your guilt with pure pleasure : really light yet decadent flavor of that creamy white sauce !

It goes well with Italian noodles for sure, and of cause salad greens. I was inspired by actor’s diet blog post of a tofu sauce, she kindly send me the link – yet I am overwhelmed by the ingredients’ names…they are just beyond my limited ingredients-name-pronunciation abilities!!  So I am again relying on my instinct for food… 🙂 Sorry Lynn, I am being sloppy ! but the sauce ends up really good!!!

So here is my simple ingredients for creamy tofu sauce:

1. 1/2 cup of silky tofu.

2.  1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.

3.  TJ’s Lemon and Pepper, to seasoning.

4. 1 tsp of sesame oil ( you can use olive oil too:)

and that’s all!!

Blends them really well until this smooth texture (oops, not that smooth, huh :P)

I promise that tofu sauce is 100% creamy white sauce flavor, yet much less fat and cal. The consistency of the sauce turns out perfect in my first try, you can make it thicker or thinner as you prefer.

Top endives and roasted red peppers with creamy tofu sauce, packed with protein and veggies.

I wish the restaurants  offer me this option too!!!

As my tradition, dessert is served. Gee. I am adapting all the recipes – is that a bad sign of a chef ???

So my light version of famous marble cake today is : purple marble cake

The lovely purple color comes from the red bean and purple sweeten rice. I am addicted to creamy red bean  spread as you all know. and this time I add in some purple sweeten rice which said to be good for girls’ blood system.

So for purple part is the red bean spread and blended purple sweet rice porridge. white part – simple and easy as the ordinary cake base. I guarantee the mixture of the two result in this purple-ish color:

“Life is short, so have some dessert first” . (from a small breakfast cafe in country side Australia).

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread, Light Delight, Sweet Endings

Simply Delish. Warm Snakebean Salad. and Very Basic Scone. yes that’s its name.

I am a little bit down right now. Well, I’m pretty excited and delighted the whole day because of the fabulous weather and progress of my work.  Nice and productive day, favorite zumba class. Then I got a email from my advisor about the writing problem of my paper. He is really sincere in pointing out this problem for me. I’ve been doing pretty much match and programming all these years and didn’t involve myself with writing that much. Now I’m near the end of the program and need to be ready for the job market next year. Sometime we avoid the problem and thought we’ll get over it, well, in the end, we all need to face it. That’s my writing problem . it is finally here. I am a little bit hate myself not solving this problem earlier. On the other hand, I guess I’m really lucky to have someone bluntly raise this issue for me – hope it’s not too late and I decided to make a difference this time.

Okay, back to eats. (do I sounds really down??? sorry, I am. .)

I make some scone this morning. My virgin scone experience.  Since I need to make some really fancy ones for X’mas, this is the first small step . Also, this is the very first time I follow everything on the back of that flour package.

IMG_9888Big mess of my kitchen – never thought knead a dough would SO difficult ! it’s always so sticky !!!

I guess I use twice much flour as it instructed. whatever , finally it’s not stick to my hand !!!

Since this is a virgin-scone, I won’t bore you with the recipe . Nothing fancy in it, just flour, baking powder, salt, milk and butter.

see how fat they are??? I begin to doubt that 15-18 min instruction is enough for my big dough!!!

IMG_9901 So I leave it in the cozy oven for about 30 minutes.

First batch comes out pretty good – golden browned, buttery crisp outside , hot and fluffy inside.  Very very buttery – it says I need 1/3 cup of butter and I firmly stick with the rule.

My pinky friend is with me again today and I don’t mind share with her my scone at all!

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This is just the first version of my scones. it’s so simple and basic that I can not even think of a creative name for it. So I just name it as “VERY BASIC SCONE“.  do you mind?

I’m a bit going to extreme today – kinda depleted with my cognitive resources I guess, really being uncreative about the names. Because the food is simple. and they taste delish.

For lunch, I had a warm Snake bean Salad ( ooops, did I just go from extremely simple name to extremely scary name? )

This is a very easy to make warm salad, perfect for cold days, and rocks in its crunchiness.

IMG_9912Total cooking time is about 15 min.

1. cut tofu into small cubes , and boil them in hot water for about 2 min.

2. cut snake bean into your favorable chewy size . and boil them for about 10 min, until that funny bean smell go away 🙂

3. 1 tsp of light soy sauce, 1/3 tsp of sesame oil.

4. finely chopped pumpkin seeds for the top.

Done.

Simply delicious. It’s light and crunchy. Makes me feel salad is not that bad in the cold days. huh.

Alright. Done with eats. Tomorrow I have very full schedule. Thursday, too. Friday, yes. well, all the following days, I guess I will be extremely busy. I need to fix my writing problem.

Good night every one,

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread

A Hummus You Will NEVER get bloated!! A Sweets You will NEVER feel guilt ! :-) Eggplant Hummus and Yam Pudding

After whole day of relaxation, my Monday actually doesn’t go so well as I expected… I was really exciting to show my prof the work I did last week , but suddenly we realize that there is one critical measure I forgot to calculate. BIG oooooops. Back home and start running the model , again. Well, now I’m really get use to it. Patience, Persistent, and Passionate are now the three words I need to constantly say to myself to keep up a good attitude 🙂 No big deal, I can make it pretty quick.

Running the model and waiting for the result , well, I need to ease up the anxious with food related labor. Open the pantry and see my cumin ! however, I neither soak the chickpea the night before nor have the chickpea can in that pantry (oh yeah, I searched , but in vain). but I do want some hummus !  see, this is me, for food, I seldom plan ahead, since I never know what my stomach is craving for the next day!

For those of you who like me, always feel a bit bloated after eating beans, especially chickpeas, this would be a bloat-free hummus. Chickpea is a healthy food without doubt. It is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber(50% 1cup), Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.  Yet here comes a bit annoying measures : 1 cup of chickpea have 7.9g sugar ? ?? oh yes ! and 269 cal ??? oh yes!! surprise surprise surprise !! em, now I find a good excuse not soaking those peas last night – well I intended to have a lighter hummus!

This light hummus is made with eggplant. IMG_9873 If you happen to have tahini and cumin at home, this would be a really easy dish. We need:

1. eggplant, make several slices on the eggplant

2. 1 tsp of cumin.

3. 1/4 cup of soymilk ( I replace the oil with soymilk, make it a bit lighter).

4. 2 tsp of Tahini

5. 4 Peppers- your choice of which kind.

Firstly, roast the eggplant for about 30 min to give it a nice smoky flavor: IMG_9874 see my purple queen just changes coat!!!

wait till they cool down, and peel the skin off  – oh that was nice and easy.

then, come on my food processor , do your duty of mixing ingredients 2-4 with the roasted eggplant , on high speed for about 2 minutes till its really smooth.

oh, forgot to say, we need to roast the pepper too, no need to spray on oil , just roast them at 350 degree oven with eggplant for about 20 min.

Then, Serve !

IMG_9880

You can either dip the pepper in the hummus, or stuff the pepper with the hummus. When the pepper is roasted, the pungent spiciness just went away, only left with a very soft texture. You may see that I didn’t cut the tip of pepper or eggplant off, since I am a firm believer of that “in defense of food” book — every food, should be eaten as a whole to maximize it’s nutrition value.

did I say that eggplant is only 35 cal per serving? (sorry I’m being a bit nerdy here :-))

IMG_9882To make it taste even better, I first time be VERY patient with food !! I put them in the fridge for about 1 hour. Hooray!! Great move! The hummus now is so cool, and the spiciness of pepper completely went away ! I stuff the roasted pepper with that fabulous hummus, -guilt free and bloat free hummus for a great mid-east dinner!

btw, I tried to eat the skin of roasted eggplant – not very easy to chew , just fyi.

Also I would end my sweet potato series dish with a Light Yam Pudding.  I’m deeply addicted to sweet potato and this addition is reinforced by many blogger’s food creations. They are in season !  (I hope this statement is correct).

IMG_9836

Light and Sweet.

1 egg + 1 cup soymilk + sliced potato. ( does that remind of Häagen-Dazs five Ads?)

400 degree oven, 30 minutes. Done.

when it’s in the oven, the whole apt is full of that sweet soymilk and egg smell.

I just couldn’t wait long enough to get all edges of that sweet potato browned. But they are surprisingly sweet and light, light and sweet.

IMG_9844

Bon appetite, my dear friends 🙂

I hope ya can bear with my sweet teeth.

Today’s workout:

1. power walk 40 minutes.

2. zumba 1 hour. my fav teacher is here!!! great cardio workout!

3. 8lbs *2, 10 lbs weights. 3 groups.

I just find my model estimation is done ! yeah!! go back to work now 🙂

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread, Light Delight, Sweet Endings