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When in Doubt

Ah, my weekend is almost over and tomorrow back to work..again (gotta bring in those paychecks otherwise won’t be able to afford those groceries to make yummy and healthy food).

Today I finally got a chance to cook another “exotic” veggies: Swiss Chard!

The first thing came in my mind was: stir fry. Yup, I’m very Asian and stir frying is usually fool proof, especially cooking a new type of veggies for the first time. So I gathered the usual stir fry staple ingredients: onions, oil (I used Applegate bacon), some protein (I used my pre-cooked grass fed ground beef) and salt.

It has a slight earthy taste of beet, wasn’t quite a fan but not hate it either. I might not cook it long enough because the stems were still pretty chewy. Next time I should cook the stems first before dumping the leaves. But regardless, I packed these as part of my lunch for tomorrow

Anyway, wanna know what else I had for today? Ok here we go.

Post workout meal: baby food pureed butternut squash – one of my stash from the freezer. I’m glad this one wasn’t spoiled unlike last time!

Veggies with Beef Roast topped with Mushroom Gravy Sauce = delicious! Hubby K loved it as well!

I marinated some lamb shoulders for tomorrow (recipe coming soon if they turn out yummy) and I was wondering what should I do for another package of lamb shoulders. Then I remembered this:

I haven’t made Masala Lamb for a while so today I decided to make it again. But as usual, I could never even follow my own recipe to the T.

Some adjustments I did for today’s Masala Lamb:
– I added 3 tomatoes

– No coconut milk & jicama
– Used 1 cup beef broth
– 3 whole cloves
– Mashed the garlic, onions and shallots in mortar and pestle

– I blanched the lamb shoulders to remove the impurities

– Next I saute the mashed garlic/onions with masala paste and the cloves in low heat until fragrant

– Afterward I poured in 1 cup of beef broth, the lamb and chopped tomatoes

– Season with salt to taste, cover and let it cook on medium low for 30 minutes

The result? It tastes even MUCH BETTER than the first time I made this! The tomatoes added some slight tartness to the sauce. Plus since I didn’t use coconut milk, the sauce wasn’t that rich and thick. The lamb meat was super tender that it even pulled away from the bones very easily.

I was doubting if I should add the tomatoes in, fearing it’ll dilute the whole taste but it turned out not.

Any other idea how to cook Swiss Chard?

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8 Comments

Posted by on April 17, 2011 in food, life

 

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One Pain Gone, Another Comes Along

Good news: my stiff neck felt tons better so I could do my workout this morning.

Not so good news: I woke up today with a dry throat – not that severe yet but I felt discomfort, especially swallowing any food with strong spices.

This morning workout was quite something. I had to brave myself doing cartwheel. From what I remember, I haven’t done it before, even when I was a kid.

Picture links to the original source

So my FUGLY cartwheel looked more like this:

Picture links to its original source

Regardless in the end of the whole workout, I was covered in sweat. In fact, I could splash sweat around from my hair – gross I know..sorry.

As usual, refuel with post workout meal: one small baked sweet potato and some chicken meat from Steamed Whole Chicken

For my sore/dry/irritated throat, I packed up some Vitamin C : oranges and lemon slices


I like sour stuff, but not that much that I could eat lemon slices just like that. I dunked these slices into hot water so I could have an instant hot lemonade. Been drinking that for the whole day. The lemon soothes my throat, so good.

Guess what? Hubby K made the dinner today, which was steamed Chinese veggies and stir fry Cabbage with Cauliflower seasoned with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and Coconut Aminos. For the protein, just need to heat up whatever I made yesterday. So convenient to do batch cooking in advance to save time for the next meals 😀

Tonight’s dinner/tomorrow’s lunch

Were you very active when you were a kid?
I considered myself as a timid and quiet kid (according to my mom). Vaguely, I mostly spent my time playing by myself and in grade school, I didn’t really hang out with a group of other kids that much either. I started to be more social towards junior/high school.

Alright, I gotta go to bed early so hopefully this dry/irritated throat will be gone by tomorrow. Blame it to the constant hot/cold weather of Southern California!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in food, life

 

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One Day Trip Getaway

Living Primal/Paleo doesn’t always associate with food choice and working out. What’s the point of eating healthy and exercise if you’re not enjoying your life to the fullest? I realized all of this time I’ve never really taken one day to just get out from the regular chores and just relaxing.

Yesterday, Hubby K and I went for a day trip to Santa Barbara. Since we would want to enjoy our time as much as possible with the least stress, we decided to take a train instead of driving.

For Los Angelenos people like us, it’s pretty rare to take public transportation. Most people prefer to drive on their own because our public transportation system is plainly…HORRIBLE. Unlike Asia or Europe, if you miss the train/bus, you either have to wait for another 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Weekends are the WORST. Back home, I always took public transportation everywhere because it was super convenient. Buses were always come every 5 minutes, so no need to sweat if you missed it. Not in Los Angeles.

Anyway, it took us about 3 hour to get to Santa Barbara vs. 2 hour if you drive – but then you’ll feel tired and had to worry about parking etc etc. Plus, we won’t be able to enjoy some scenery on the way if we drove.

Before heading off the the station, I refueled myself with whatever left over in the fridge for breakfast (beef stew plus asparagus stir fry)

Packed some Primal friendly snacks, which we didn’t touch except for one of the “hacked Larabar” that I made (will post the recipe soon).

The train was delayed a bit on the way so we arrived 30 minutes later than the scheduled time. But no worries, we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves since our return train won’t be there until 7pm.

We went to The Palace Grill, a Cajun Cuisine Restaurant for our lunch.

The inside was pretty small and decorated with New Orleans style.

After reading the menu, we decided to order “All the Best” Platter which consist a little bit of all seafood stuff (main, appetizer and (gasp!) dessert)

appetizer, main dish (see the mini muffins and small potatoes?)


Apparently, they’re famous with their Bread Pudding Souffle – which was included in our order.

But I told the waitress if I could substituted one of the dessert with gluten free one and she said yes….with an extra charge of course.

Bread pudding souffle (left) with creamy whiskey sauce and Homemade Mango Sorbet (right)

Not gonna lie, I polished off the sorbet AND also nibbled some of the Bread Pudding Souffle as well (Hubby K had some of it), but in the end we still couldn’t finish it. It was pretty good actually – just a little hint of sweetness with cinnamon. I think it was sweet enough without having the whiskey creamy sauce poured into it (the waitress just did it right after she brought in to our table and I didn’t get a chance to tell her to hold off on the creamy sauce).

Oh, I also confessed I took a bite of the muffins and had some rice from the platter earlier as well. 🙂

For the rest of the day, we walked off our lunch around the area (from downtown to the pier and the bike path and came back). Another rule from Primal: Move around a lot at slow pace plus we got plenty of sunshine for the whole day!

It was really sunny but VERY WINDY AND FREEZING!

Lots of wine! Too bad we don’t drink.

World Market – carry everything from furniture to grocery stuff! (Bacon Chocolate anyone??) – Too bad it’s not Primal/Paleo – lots of forbidden ingredients like soy lecithin, emulsifier etc.

Got some simple meal for our “dinner”.

salad for her, sandwich for him

I ate my way around the grated cheese and skipped on the croutons and the dressing. Veggies taste good enough without any dressing already.

On our return trip, I’m happy I was able to snap these sunset scenery!

Got another delay, and didn’t get back until 11pm as opposed 10:30pm.

Overall, we had a nice, short and relaxing trip, although we slept in until 9am today and didn’t get to eat breakfast until 10:00 am

breakfast??

Plus I woke up on the wrong side yesterday so I’ve been having stiff neck (couldn’t even turn my head to left) and today was a bit better although still a little stiff.

Nibbled on some unsweetened banana chips and some macadamia nuts as well.

Now going to run to grocery store to replenish my pantry, plus hopefully I could cook some meal for the upcoming week.

*sigh* Back to the usual routine – never ends!

Public transportation vs driving – which one do you prefer?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2011 in food, life

 

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All About Fruits

I love tropical fruits: pineapple, mango, jack fruit and even the stinky durian 😀

hellooo stinky durian...yumm!! 😀


(source)

Also there are some fruits that are only exist in Southeast Asia, such as
mangosteen

Sweet and bit tart - very fresh taste. Be careful with the stain - it won't wash off!


(source)

salak” (dunno the English name –snake fruit?),

The skin has very rough texture, like scales but very thin. The flesh is very crunchy with a bit of tart. Eating too much will cause stomach discomfort plus constipation (at least to me)


(source)

marquisa (passion fruit)

(source)

jambu air (wax apples, water apple(?), rose apple(?))

the closest taste I could come up is a combination of apple and strawberry (imagine a strawberry with apple crunchiness..haha) Can be eaten as salad, dipped into spicy chili sauce as seen in the picture


(source)

duku (pron: dookoo)

Similar to longan's flesh but softer and very sweet if really ripe


(source)

rambutan

Similar taste to lychee

(source)
Aaah I miss all those exotic tropical fruits! Ever since I came to the US more than a decade ago, I have NOT gone BACK to my home country – (pretty bad huh?). However, part of me is kinda “scared” of going back, mainly “scared” of the culture shock. Ok enough rambling, sorry about that.

So since today’s topic is on tropical fruits, I’d like to share my way of cutting a pineapple. I was a bit hesitant to post this because c’mon, everyone knows how to cut a pineapple, right? Or better yet, buy pre cut or canned and skip the hassle of wrestling with the pineapple.

I personally like fresh cut pineapple than the store bought pre-cut, let alone canned one. Fresh pineapple has that juicy, tangy and fresh taste. Unfortunately, fresh cut pineapple doesn’t store well in a long period time.Kinda a bummer that I have to control my pineapple intake because eating too much pineapple irritates my stomach and my tongue.

Ok let’s get down to the business, shall we?
When picking a pineapple, look for the ones that’s still kind of green with a bit of orange/yellow color at the lower part. One trick my mom told me is to look at the “eyes” – the bigger they are, the better 🙂

big eyes 😀

Also check there’s no bruise/soft spots as a result from being dropped/smashed. Nice and firm with some fragrant is the best.

Cut the top part first – don’t cut way too deep or you’ll waste a lot of it.
Begin to cut the sides – going around until you cut out all the skins.

Now here’s the fun part. Most people just keep cutting the sides they got all the “eyes”. But that wastes a lot of the pineapple flesh and I’m a person who hates wasting food.
My mom taught me how to cut out pineapple eyes without sacrificing too much of its flesh 🙂 See the pic below

First find the perfect diagonal alignment between the upper and lower part of the eye then cut into it – don’t cut it too deep. Do the same thing on the opposite side. You’ll end up cutting out 2 eyes in wedges 🙂

Keep doing it until all the eyes are removed – and you got this nicely shaped pineapple 😀
Notice I didn’t bother to clean the top and the bottom just yet. It’s only small bits and I try to save as much of the flesh as possible.

So divide the pineapple lengthwise as shown then cut off the top and bottom part.

There you go, Now just slice it lengthwise – remove the core (when I was a kid I love eating the cores..so crunchy!)

Cut into bite size and store them in tupperwares.

Freshly cut pineapple are ready to be eaten anytime!

Goes well with my last stash of strawberries for today’s afternoon snacks. YUM!

I’m sorry if my instructions are a bit confusing and grammatically incorrect. I admit I am not the best writer, let alone writing in English which is my second language.

Have you tried any of the exotic tropical fruits that I mentioned above?

Aah finally tomorrow’s Friday and weekend is getting closer! Yay!

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in food

 

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Crispy Taco Chicken

It’s been a while since I used my homemade taco seasonings so I decided to use it to marinate my chicken legs for tonight’s dinner.

Crispy Taco Chicken
Ingredients:
2 Chicken legs
2 Chicken wings
3-4 Tbsp taco seasonings
1-2 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Rub the chicken with the seasonings – make sure to rub seasonings underneath the skins as well – marinate for 4 hours or more (I marinated this in the morning before went to work)

2. Steam the chicken for about 20-25 minutes in high heat (same method as Caramelized Chicken Legs)

3. Preheat the skillet with 2 Tbsp avocado oil

4. Pan seared the chicken in medium high heat until the skin turn crispy

Enjoy over a bed of veggies 😀

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2011 in food, recipe

 

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Quickie Chicken Curry

I made this super simple and fast version of chicken curry couple days ago and it turned out yummy. The whole thing only took about 15 minutes.

Quickie Chicken Curry
Ingredients:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast – cube cut
1 garlic clove -minced
1 shallot -minced
1-2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion stalk -chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat the skillet with 2 tsp ghee or coconut oil
2. Lightly pan fry the chicken breasts – turn over occasionally
3. When the chicken were half cooked (brownish on each side), mix in the minced garlic and shallot – stir until combined
4. Pour in coconut milk, season with salt and pepper accordingly
5. Remove from the heat – topped with green onions

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 3, 2011 in food, recipe

 

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Baby cabbages and Dressing Up

My first time trying brussel sprouts (got the frozen ones)

Nuked it and paired with the roast beef and coconut-apple pudding for my morning breakfast.

Taste-wise was ok…a bit bitter – is that normal?

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 28, 2011 in food

 

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