Tag Archives: Asian

Asian Buckwheat Soba Noodle & Chicken Bowl

Now who doesn’t love a gorgeous bowl of noodles doused in asian flavors with a bit of crunchy peanuts and grilled chicken?  Throw in some fresh, crisp vegetables and scallions and before you know it there’s an asian invasion inside your mouth.  Wow I am really on a roll lately with bad puns…

I found these noodles at this AMAZING gluten free store that is unfortunately 2 miles away from my house. I say that because it has an incredible selection which makes my eyes bulge and my money disappear.  The appeal of packaged gluten free goodies is often too tempting and I opt not to indulge but some hearty gluten free pasta can be a girls best friend when in a pinch.  Fortunately for the BF though because this was an on the fly meal for him, which he gobbled up faster than I could clean the kitchen.

The saddest part though is that I made this months ago, like maybe in June?? :/ I took the pictures and then left them to hang out on my phone till tonight when I was cleaning through the clutter and all the 1,000’s of apps I have & don’t use.

This is your fairly classic combination of asian flavors and as always make to order for your own taste buds!


1 serving buckwheat soba noodles (always check for GF if needed. Soba does not guarantee it is GF)

1 carrot julienned

1 serving pre-cooked chicken

2 scallions cleaned and sliced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp oyster or fish sauce

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

**flavorless or peanut oil to saute, or for lighter version use low sodium vegetable broth


-Boil noodles according to directions.

-Mix sauce ingredients, tamari-vinegar.

-Add oil or veg broth to a deep skillet, bring to medium-high heat and add carrots, ginger, garlic.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until carrots soften.

-Add noodles with a bit of pasta water if needed and mix together.  Add your chicken & sauce ingredients & mix till everything is coated and warmed up.

-Remove from heat and add scallions and 1 tbsp crushed peanuts or sesame seeds if allergic to peanuts.

Put in your favorite bowl and eat up!


Asian Broccoli and Almond Chicken Salad over Brown Rice


Back to school next week and it will indeed be a stress induced apartment here. I will be diving head first into my masters program while the BF starts law school. So I have been trying to plan meals ahead or what is easiest to make because I know I’m not going to want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. (Well I want to but it’s just not going to happen) And considering I probably won’t have access to a microwave to warm up school lunches, they need to be able to travel and be eaten cold. So does that look like chinese take out? Cuz it’s not!

But the good news is this is just as easy to make and of course a lot healthier! I love being able to satisfy my cravings for salty, greasy junk food without all the consequences that usually come after eating them. This seriously requires no skill or chopping or slicing or dicing. Literally a matter of throwing ingredients in a dish, bake, stir, eat. So you have no excuses! Go make your lunch for the week!


Recipe serves 2

1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
2 chicken breasts with marinade (see below)
2 scallions sliced, green parts only
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup frozen broccoli
-1 tbsp sesame seeds


-Cook 1/4 cup brown rice with 1/2 cup water and splash of sesame oil and tamarind paste. Prepare according to directions and check when a little water is done, you may need to add more.
-Meanwhile put your almonds and scallions in a large enough bowl to mix everything.
-Thaw broccoli in microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute and toss in bowl with almonds and scallions.
-When the chicken is finished cooking, allow to cool slightly so you can pull apart pieces with a fork and then throw it in the bowl. Pour the marinade over everything and should help warm the broccoli to completely thaw. (Snag the big pieces of garlic unless you’re a weirdo like me and love eating big pieces of garlic)
-When the brown rice is cooked toss in the bowl and stir everything together. Taste to see if you need any more soy sauce, vinegar…etc. I like lots of black pepper and then finish it with sesame seeds. Bam! Lunch for the week. Or if you have an appetite like me, maybe two days 😉

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade
-2 Chicken Breasts
-2 tbsp tamarind paste
-4 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
-2 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 garlic clove cut in half
-1 tbsp sugar (I use coconut)
-juice of 1 lime
-2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
-1 tbsp fish sauce

-preheat oven 350 degrees
I use a glass bread baking dish and stir everything together, coat chicken and throw it in the oven. Check after 5 minutes, flip and check again after five minutes. Should be about done, double check because everyones oven is different.


This would be really delicious hot or cold 🙂

Almond Crusted Chicken over Kelp Noodle Stir Fry


So it’s been a looong time since I have wanted some chicken. But lately I have really wanted some chicken nuggets- an old best friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Except I didn’t want that false 30 ingredient stuff that they call food. I wanted some homemade crusty and almondy chicken. And let me tell you it was about as easy it is to go through a drive through.

I have been eating almonds like they are going out of style. I don’t know what has stirred up my craving for them but I think I eat them 1, 2, 3, ok 4 times a day. It doesn’t help that I caved and bought the cocoa dusted kind- they are like crack Well what I presume to know about crack. That is that it is really addicting… you know what I mean.

My other new favorite thing lately are kelp noodles. I have had them for awhile but I actually didnt want to eat them. This is a result of trying shirataki noodles a year ago and not loving them. I did eat them after preparing them but the whole fiber thing did not pan out well for me. Plus dealing with the fishy smell and difficult to chew texture was enough for me to not go back. So when I looked at the kelp noodle texture I was expecting them to be very similar. But after I kept seeing them pop up on other blogs and people raving about them I thought I should at least try them. The verdict–>love love love them! Unlike shirataki noodles you can actually chew them and they have a crunchier texture which I am all about. Plus its great that they are super low in calories and high in vitamins like calcium. And no fishy taste or smell! I picked mine up at Wegmans and got a 1 lb. bag for around $4.30. Not too bad considering a box of gluten free pasta cost about the same or more and delivers less nutrients and more calories. So I call that a win win.

If you can’t tell already I am totally obsessed with Asian flavors, and sweet and spicy things. So to make this recipe even more fool proof I just sautéed some broccoli and julienned carrots with garlic, ginger and some store bought sweet and spicy sauce. Which I totally took credit for when BF said, “Wow I really like the sauce” 😉 I didn’t experiment with having him try my kelp noodles and served his with just the veggies. Although he is a trooper with a lot of my strange food I wasn’t going to risk wasting these.

20120808-153120.jpg They are just too good.

This meal hit my comfort spots on so many levels and was completely guiltless. If you could hear the crunch when I bit into that chicken and to think that this recipe is actually quite slimming because almonds are known as being synonmous as a belly flattening MUFA. (At least in my world 🙂 )

So go spend the 5 minutes it takes to make this and then come back to your computer to thank me 😉

Recipe for 1
Ingredients I didn’t measure anything to give or take, kind of fool proof
1 chicken breast soaked in non-dairy milk for 4 hours or more
1 egg
1/8 cup arrowroot powder/or other gluten free starch for dredging
1/4 cup sliced almonds
handful of gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tsp favorite seasoning blend unless using seasoned breadcrumbs
handful of kelp noodles, (or more!)
1/4 cup sweet onions chopped
1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup julienned carrots
up to 2 tbsp jarred sweet and spicy sauce
1 garlic clove
1 tsp minced ginger

-Soak chicken in almond milk to prevent drying when cooking.
-Remove and shake off excess milk before dredging.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheet with tin foil (make sure it can handle the heat!)
-Set up dredging bowls and put flour in 1 bowl, scrambled egg in another, and almonds combined with breadcrumbs if using. I crushed up almonds a bit with my hand.
-Coat chicken in flour all over, then move to egg and coat well, then move the almond and crust really well. for that crunch!
-Spray your tin foil and lay chicken directly on, I find this works better than using a cooling rack and I didn’t need to flip but everyones oven is different so take a peek after 5 minutes and make the judgement call.
-My chicken was done in around 15 minutes

For stir fry sauté onions on med high heat. Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to stir and cook until veggies are cooked, should only take 3-4 minutes. Then I just took off heat and mixed in kelp noodles and the sauce.

Top with chicken and dig in!

And then if your like me and want to completely ruin your healthy dinner, indulge in an entire box of raisnettes because your BF won’t help you eat them and you can’t just use pure will power to stop reaching into that box while watching the new Batman movie because it’s been years since you’ve done that too! 😉

Baby Eggplant, Maitake Mushrooms & Forbidden Rice Indi-asian Fusion


I love love love forbidden rice. It is not something I frequently see in the grocery store but I can tell you when I spotted it I scooped it up right away. I’m not even a huge rice person but there is something about the flavor and texture. It has this chewiness that other rices don’t have. Maybe thats why the Emperors made it “forbidden” 100 years ago in China. That’s where it gets its name from and they made it off limits to everyone else. They believed it made them especially strong and that it contained exceptional benefits. Well lets just say they were on to something. Forbidden rice is jam packed with anthocynanins which are like super powered antioxidants that are found in all “purple” foods.  It  actually has a deep dark purple color which you see when you cook it.

So I have had this lovely ingredient patiently awaiting in my pantry for its call into a dish and that time finally came after I made a trip to a nearby Asian grocery store. I picked up some Maiktake mushrooms also known as hen of the woods. They are really pretty looking and they have great earthy flavor.

20120724-200545.jpg Just a few health benefits of these mushrooms is that they can boost the immune system, help you lose weight because they are high in fiber and low in calories, anti-cancer properties by activating macrophages which are your “good guys” in your immune system and they can help lower blood sugar levels.  Just to name a few.

When I was thinking of what direction I wanted to go with this dinner I couldn’t decide between Asian or Indian, so I’m sure you can assume what I did. Yup I combined them. I’m not sure this is for everyone because it had a lot of flavor but I really enjoyed it. I wanted to use some Indian spices that I have had and not really cooked with them much. Some cumin seeds, coriander seeds and a few fenugreek seeds. I wanted to use these because they too are packed with nutrients which I was not aware of before I made this. Did you know 1 tbsp of cumin seeds has 22% of your daily iron needs? Fenugreek seeds too have 20% your daily iron needs as well as almost 3 grams of protein and fiber. Together these seeds have been shown to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, ease digestive problems and help prevent cancer! Who knew these seeds were actually superfoods!


So although I wanted to throw all of these into the dish I also have been loving miso paste lately and wanted it to join the party. I consider this to be another superfood because it is alive with good bacteria to help your tummy. It also taste really good. So I wanted to use a smidge of this with a bit of love from tamari and some chili flakes for heat 😉 But really just a smidge.  In case you have never worked with it before just make sure you add it once your food is taken off the heat so not to kill the healthy bacteria.


-Up to 1 tbs of cumin and coriander seeds

-1/2 tbsp fenugreek (these amounts really depend on your taste)

1/4 cup uncooked forbidden rice

1/4 cup vidalia onion

1 garlic clove

3 maitake mushrooms

1 cup baby eggplant diced

*optional, vegetable stock for healthier stir fry

*optional dinosaur kale leaves chopped

1 tsp miso paste

splash of tamari

sprinkle of chili flakes


-Cook forbidden rice according to package

-Once it is almost done, begin toasting your seeds in large enough frying pan over medium heat.  Toast them until it smells fragrant but becareful not to burn.  You may or may not use oil (I don’t).

-Add splash of oil or vegetable stock,  onions, mushrooms and eggplant and saute over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.  Add either another splash of oil or more stock and add your kale and garlic.  Cook until wilted.  Season with tamari and chili flakes.

-Once everything is cooked, remove from heat and stir with rice.  Add miso paste and stir well.

*If you don’t want the whole seeds in your dish, use a coffee grinder after they have been toasted and cooled.  Then sprinkle over the onions when you begin to saute and stir well.

Butternut Squash, Broccoli & Shiitake Stir Fry


Sometimes I find myself just craving the most random things. Today it happened to be broccoli. I know weird right? I wanted to dump the whole frozen bag to be defrosted but I refrained to only about 1/2 ;). I think these odd cravings are maybe the body’s way of saying I need these nutrients. Although when my body says banana, peanut butter and chocolate what is it looking for…hmm

Some other finds I had in my fridge was some pre-chopped butternut squash from Trader Joes. I never buy fruits or vegetables that aren’t in the whole form but for the price of around 2$ for 1lb. and the grunt work is done for me (cutting butternut squash is meant for iron men) why not? So I roasted it all yesterday which was so convenient and put it back in the fridge for times like this. I’ve been implementing some more carbs into my diet because I think my energy has been low and I don’t often eat grains because I never feel like cooking them. (I know silly right?) I have also been looking at my diet and thought my iron is most likely low due to eating mostly plant foods and not eating “smart” but I plan to do a post soon so check it out for some energy boosting tips!

Another TJ’s find I had was shiitake mushrooms. This actually led me to researching them because I don’t know much about them and since they’re asian mushrooms I knew they most likely had some great health benefits. Did you know there has been extensive research on them proving to have benefits towards your heart, lowering your cancer risk and improving your immune system? Plus they’re high in B vitamins, fiber, zinc, copper…not a bad gig for a delicious low calorie food huh?

So to continue the asian love I flavored with some classic ginger, garlic, tamari and sesame oil. Some sweet chili sauce, flakes and sesame seeds made it perfect! So satisfying and comforting without weighing you down, in only 15 minutes!

5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked butternut squash
1/4 cup sweet onion
up to 1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup broccoli (or more 🙂 ) I always use frozen
1-2 garlic cloves
1-2 tsp fresh ginger root grated
1 carrot peeled like linguine
2 scallions sliced thin, green parts

-Heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and broccoli and sauce 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, tamari and rice vinegar and saute 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes (don’t walk away, you don’t want garlic to burn). Add carrot and butternut squash so everything is hot and mingling. Take off heat and stir in scallions and top with sweet chili sauce and sesame seeds.


Quick and Easy Asian Salmon Cakes & Sweet Potato Stacks

Canned Salmon.  Not a very enticing ingredient.  Canned wild sockeye salmon?  Boneless and skinless? Ok, maybe we’re on to something.  But now what?  That’s how I felt after buying a can of good quality sockeye salmon, totally clueless and not wanting to put a lot of effort into date nights dinner.

So after googling some salmon cake/burger recipes I decided to just stick with my favorite Asian flavors and keep it simple.  I love recipes that I can literally stir together in a bowl and throw in a frying pan.  They are practically fool proof.  The only thing that needs perfecting here is getting the right consistency.  I used some blended gluten free tapioca bread to help bind the cakes, but next time I might use some oat flour or something with a bit more thickness.

And as for those delightful sweet potato stacks?  Thanks to my mandolin they took about 5 minutes to prepare and get into the oven.  Yeah, I love things that are that easy.  I have been thinking I wanted to do some kind of sweet potato, beet goat cheese stack, which may be coming in the future- {you can’t rush these things ;)} But I followed the recipe from here, except I forgot my muffin pan was a mini so I just stacked them on a sheet pan which worked out fine (spray the pan! I always forget!)

Oh and my favorite salmon topping of course, goat cheese and avocado spread.  Simple, easy and delicious on everything!  I also made some minted mango chutney for an added bit of flavor but I ended up just eating it after like a healthy sweet treat 🙂

Ironically, date night photos are always lack-luster because the BF can’t wait for me to have a photo shoot but don’t let that keep you from trying this recipe.  It is so easy and so yummy, I got the dance- so you know it’s man approved too 🙂


1 can wild sockeye salmon (boned and skinned will make your life a lot easier)

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 garlic clove minced

3 scallions chopped, (green part only)

1 slice gluten free bread for binding

juice of 1 lemon



Mix everything really well in a large bowl.  I did this the day before so the flavors can mingle.  When ready make into 2 large or 4 small cakes and pan fry about 5 minutes on each side till they get nice and crusty.  Top with spread and serve on gluten free buns, fresh lettuce or solo!

Sweet Potato Stacks

Use a mandalin to slice 2 sweet potatoes.

Throw in a bag with 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp fresh ginger, 1 garlic clove minced fine, few dashes gf soy sauce and half fresh squeezed orange juice.   Shake really well to coat and stack on a baking sheet or use a muffin pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes on 350 till they are tender.

Goat Cheese & Avocado Spread

Mix 2 oz goat cheese with 2-3oz avocado.  Add juice of half a lemon, and season to taste.

Minty Mango Salsa

Chop 1 ripe mango and mince 1-2 tsp fresh ginger.  Combine in a bowl with 2-3 sprigs fresh mint.  Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

This recipe may seem long but it is so easy, healthy and affordable!  The cakes turned out perfectly moist and the sweet potato stacks were a match made in heaven!

Healthy Sweet & Spicy Breakfast “Eggroll”

Lately I have been having a lot of sweet breakfasts and I wanted to try to switch to more savory ones to try to lessen my intake of sugar.  This breakfast is a good transition because it has a bit of both plus lots of vegetables and protein, perfect way to start the day.  This is very easy to prepare and you can use your favorite selection of vegetables.

Recently, baby bok choy has become one of my favorite new super foods.  Did you know 1 cup has only 15 calories with 2g protein plus omega 3’s and 6’s?  It is also packed with Calcium, vitamin A, C & K!  How have we not met sooner my love??  Especially for those who aren’t green vegetable people , this is not bitter at all and only needs a little bit of flavor.  I also had some pretty red bell peppers, mushrooms & my favorite addition to freshening up Asian flavors, some orange zest.

Oh and I am not afraid of some garlic or onions-ever, especially at 9 in the morning 😉

I was so pleased with how this turned out.  Savory, zesty with a tad of spice and sweetness- a delightful way to start the day.  Oh and this healthy eggroll clocks in at 300 calories, booya!


2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sweet thai chili sauce

1/4 cup spanish onion

1 garlic clove

1/2 red bell pepper

1/4 cup mushrooms

1/2 tbsp orange zest

1-2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 bunch baby bok choy

1-2 scallions diced, green parts only


-First prep and wash everything by rinsing your bok choy, light scrub on orange, wipe your mushrooms.  Slice and chop everything, onions, red bell pepper, (I like fine dice for them) mushrooms, garlic clove, and scallions.

-Heat medium sized saute pan with spray if non-stick and toss onions in.  Saute 2-3 mins and add red bell pepper.  Once they begin to soften slightly add your mushrooms.  Saute 2 minutes and add garlic and rice wine vinegar.  Throw in orange zest, orange juice and sesame oil.  Add your baby bok choy and saute till wilted.  Throw on a plate and cover to keep warm.

– To make eggroll scramble 2 eggs with 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp sweet thai chili sauce (mine is homemade and is spicy, if yours is store bought you might need to add cayenne or other spice) till well combined.

-Heat crepe pan or non-stick pan and make your “egg crepe” by dropping half the batter, or 1/3 if you want a truer “eggroll” size and roll around to make a even circle.The batter is very thin and delicate so be careful when flipping.  Check out those red hot pepper flakes, ooo baby that will wake you up in the morning! 🙂

-Finish cooking the rest and assemble.  You can top with a drizzle more sweet thai chili sauce but I didn’t think it needed it.

This is very breakfast friendly since it cooks fast, is filling and satisfies every taste bud!

(I made 1 eggroll size and 1 crepe size because I was impatient 🙂 )

Calories 295

24g carbs

17g fat (10g from eggs, 7g from sesame oil)

17g protein

Avocado and Goat Cheese Smothered Sockeye with Cauliflower Fried Rice

This week, me and the bf celebrated our four year anniversary by spending the day in the city.  He took care of the whole day and I wanted to make him an especially nice dinner for his gift in addition to all the Mad Men seasons- (we are hooked and so ready for season 5!)  I loooveee salmon and I got really lucky getting Sockeye on Salmon at my first trip to Whole Foods!  Yes I have had a fear of going there because I know I would outspend my budget since I am able to do so every week at any grocery store.  I literally pulled up and I felt like a kid going to a candy store, the anticipation was so much that I did not take a cart so I could only buy what I could carry.  I apologize for the sloppy plating, but he was pulling the plate once I took one picture because he was so ready to eat it so I couldn’t take 20 pictures like I usually do.  Considering this was a fairly light meal in that it was Salmon and vegetables it was very satisfying and not difficult to prepare at all!


2 portions Wild Sockeye Salmon- (I prefer this among all because it cannot be farm raised)

1/2 avocado

2 oz goat cheese

1 tsp herb de Provence

1 medium zucchini

4 carrots

1/2 head roasted cauliflower

1 shallot

5oz bella mushroom or other preferred

soy sauce (gluten free if necessary)

sesame oil

fresh ginger

Directions: Prep 10-15 minutes

-De-bone fish or ask them at the store to do it for you.

-Blend or hand whip avocado and goat cheese and splash with fresh lemon juice. Mix in herbs de Provence. Keep refrigerated until 15 minutes before you cook the salmon.

-Cut cauliflower into florets, lay on tin foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes on 400 degrees turning once for best results. Once cooled enough toss into blender to get rice consistency.  Don’t overdo it like I did, but then you can call it cauliflower polenta 😉

-Shave the zucchini and carrots (use skin on zucchini if organic and washed for extra nutrients) with potato peeler or mandolin.

Directions: Cook time 15 minutes Preheat oven to 350 degrees

– Saute shallots until fragrant, add mushrooms and cook for five minutes.  Add 1 tbsp fresh ginger and cook one minute.  Add carrots and zucchini.  Add few dashed sesame oil and soy sauce.  Optional add orange zest and splash orange juice.

-Coat the top of salmon with avocado-goat cheese mixture.  Bring saute/oven safe pan to medium heat add 1 tbsp butter (salmon and butter are best friends in my book) & 1 tbsp sesame oil.

-Cook salmon for 4 minutes in pan and then place into oven to finish cooking another 4-5 minutes or to your liking. I don’t like salmon cooked more than medium rare/medium the most.  Somehow I ended up cooking it exactly how I like although there was some cursing in fear of overcooking.

-Meanwhile, to make “fried” cauliflower rice, put it back in the pan with splash sesame oil and soy sauce till warm and coated. 

(This is my plate, looks a bit nicer but not perfect). This was REALLY good and REALLY easy.  When you are going to make this just make sure you have everything ready because all the ingredients cook quickly. This can definitely be done on a busy weeknight in 20 minutes or less.

Kung Pao Chicken

There is an amazing place, which serves the absolute best Kung Pao Chicken my boyfriend and I have ever had, which says a lot cuz we’ve tried it all over.  Unfortunately, it is 3,000 miles away in San Diego.  Every time we are visiting family on the west coast, we go here, sometimes 3-4 times in the week that we are there.  When we asked the owner why it is so good he of course told us it’s a secret recipe, and that we are not alone in our obsession for their Kung Pao Chicken.  Apparently he has flown it to people (celebrities?) all over because they love it as much as we do.  It’s spicy, crunchy and has just enough sweetness so that you can’t stop until you’ve hit the bottom of the carton.  It’s not meant for sharing, and using chop sticks is just out of the question.  So I attempted to remake this, foolish I know, but everywhere around here just doesn’t even come close.  I was inspired by http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/01/kung-pao-chicken.html recipe and made a few changes. Although it did not have the “Pao”(my fault I was afraid 10 chilies would be too spicy and used 3 dried with seeds) and next time I will had red chili flakes or possible use some fresh red chilies.


Go to his website for recipe because I followed it almost to a “T”  http://www.closetcooking.com/2012/01/kung-pao-chicken.html


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