Avocado Toast with Kale Salad & Fennel Salad

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Audrey’s soon to be alma mater, The Hamlin School, put on a lovely musical The Wizard of Oz. I went to see it last night and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, especially considering the fact that they only had two weeks of rehearsal. The girls looked like they were all having a lot of fun, singing and dancing their hearts out.  I have always believed that anyone can act if he or she is given the right part.  And these kids proved me right. They were all impressive in playing the characters they were assigned to do.  According to Audrey, she had the most embarrassing part in the whole show — Toto the dog. She was in a thick furry dog suit, bouncing around and sweating like crazy.  I could tell that there were moments she subconsciously wanted to hide when she was on stage. I told her afterwards that, like anything in life, the only way to enjoy something is to give it all. According to Angela who went to see her in today’s performance, Audrey was having a great time prancing around with confidence.  

I made some yummy avocado toast with massaged kale salad and lemon olive oil marinated fennel salad for lunch — a perfect light meal to enjoy two hours before curtain time. Massaged kale is one of Angela’s favorite salads, while the marinated fennel is Audrey’s favorite. The ingredients are deceptively simple, but the result is refreshing and tasty.

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Ingredients:

4 slices of bread of choice

2 avocados, separated

1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, separated

2 tablespoons olive oil, separated

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon or more toasted pumpkin seeds

A pinch lemon zest (optional)

A couple of mint leaves (optional)

A few slices of radish (optional)

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Preparation:

Make the massaged kale salad according to instruction in this link

Make the marinated fennel according to the instruction in this link.

Mash 1 avocado with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Toast the bread slices.

Spread mashed avocado evenly on the 4 pieces of toast.

Top the toast with kale salad or marinated fennel. Add thinly sliced avocados. Top with thinly sliced radish or mint leaves and sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds.

The recipe makes 4 servings.

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Rhubarb & Strawberries with Healthy Vanilla Ice Cream

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Rhubarb is in season — plump, crimson and shiny like jewels. I bought two pounds of these ruby stocks today and decided to try them in two different flavors. One with grapefruit juice, which turned out to be best chilled, and other other with a bit cinnamon and brandy that is better served warm. They are both quite delicious by themselves, but absolutely divine with my home made healthy vanilla ice cream.

Most people might associate Rhubarb with British desserts, but the Chinese have actually used the rhubarb roots as medicine for over two thousand years. Rhubarb traveled along the Silk Road to Europe in the 1400s, and then from England to America with the early settlers.

Why did my ancestors only use the roots for medicine and not the delicious stocks for dessert? As a matter of fact, my contemporaries in China don’t eat rhubarb either.  2700 years after it’s first recorded use as medicine in China, I think it’s high time for rhubarb to travel back to China as a dessert!  I am taking Audrey to see my parents in Shanghai this summer and will bring rhubarb seeds with us.  Apparently the rhubarb roots that are used for medicine in China is of a different variety from the one that we use in America to make desserts.

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Rhubarb & Strawberries in Grapefruit Juice

Ingredients:

5 cups rhubarb, sliced into 2 to 3 inch long strips

2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved

1 cup or more red ruby grapefruit juice

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon xylitol or sugar

Zest from 1/2 lemon

Mint leaves for garnish

Preparation:

Place rhubarb, juice, xylitol or sugar, 1/2 of the zest in a pot over medium high. Cook until rhubarb is soft, gently stir as it cooks.  It may appear to have not enough liquid in the beginning, but as the rhubarb softens, it should be completely submerged in the liquid.  Add a little more grapefruit juice if there is not enough liquid.

Make sure that you don’t cook the rhubarb for too long or it will become too mushy. 

Turn off the stove and let it cool for a minute before folding in the strawberries. Serve cold or chilled.

Healthy Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup fat-free Fage or other Greek Yogurt

1 1/2 cup 2% milk, or milk of choice

4 1/2 tablespoons xylitol or sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. I used Vitamix. Pour into the ice cream maker and let churn for 25 to 30 minutes.

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Alternative:

Rhubarb & Strawberries with Brandy

Ingredients:

5 cups rhubarb, cut into desired shape

2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved

1 cup water

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon xylitol or sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup brandy

Preparation:

Place rhubarb, water, xylitol or sugar, vanilla, cinnamon in a pot over medium high. Cook until rhubarb is soft, gently stir as it cooks. Pour the brandy in and stir for 30 seconds.  Turn off stove and add strawberries. Mix and let cool.  Serve warm or cold.

Granola Bars & Walnut Coconut Bars

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School has started again and it’s time to make snacks for the girls to either bring in their backpacks or to enjoy after school.  These delicious granola bars and walnut coconut bars are packed with healthy nutrients and energy.  They are also great for breakfast if you are in a hurry in the morning which is what happens on most days for Angela and Audrey.

I had made the walnut coconut bars with dates before, but I made today’s with prunes, which are lower in sugar and higher in vitamins compared to dates.  You can use other nuts such as macadamia, cashew, almonds or pecan, but personally I think walnuts taste the best in this recipe.  

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Granola Bars

Ingredients: 

2 1/2 cup oatmeal (not quick cook)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds dry roasted no salt  (If you cannot find them you can use raw and toast them with the walnuts)

1 cup pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup brown sugar or xylitol

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 t. kosher salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

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Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325F.  Spread oats onto a sheet pan.  Place walnuts on a separate sheet pan.  Toast @325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Stir oats after 10 minutes.  Take walnuts out after 10 min.

While oats and walnuts are roasting, add sugar, honey, butter, vanilla and salt to a saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Bring mixture to a boil.

Prep a clean sheet pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray

In a large mixing bowl, add dried fruit, the hot oat mixture, walnuts, and sunflower seeds and the hot syrup together.  Mix well.

Place mixture on prepared sheet pan.  Spread evenly.  Place another piece of parchment paper on top and then another sheet pan.  Press firmly.

Cool for at least 1 hour and the refrigerate for another 4 hours or overnight.

Cut into desired size and wrap each in plastic wrap.

The recipe makes approx. 12 bars.   

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Walnut Coconut Bars

Ingredients:

3/4 cup soft dried prunes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped

1 heaping cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + more to sprinkle on

Preparation:

Knead all ingredients together like kneading a piece of dough. 

Sprinkle shredded coconut on a sheet of saran wrap on a cutting board. press and fatten the fruit and nut dough on it.  Cover with another sheet of saran wrap and flatten it further with a roll pin. 

Remove the top saran wrap and cut into desired shape and size.

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2 Great Dishes with Fennel

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We went to a friend’s house for dinner last night.  I was to bring a fennel salad with burrata, yam casserole,  potato avocado salad and a no-bake mango cheesecake.  The ingredients for the dishes were prepared and packed in separate containers.  Then I took a shower, blow-dried my hair, put on makeup, got dressed and changed a few pairs of shoes before settling on a pair of Alexander Wang heels.  That was when I looked at the clock and realized that we were going to be late.  In the rush to leave the house, I left the pickled red onion for the potato salad and the burrata for the fennel salad in the fridge at home.  The mangos that I used to make the mango cheesecake were not as flavorful as the ones from Malaysia where I first made the cake.  I’m afraid that I have kind of ruined the Hungry Empress’s reputation.  

So today I remade the less-than-ideal dishes to redeem myself at least in my own mind.  I wish I could switch the dishes from last night like how people exchange gifts that don’t fit them on Boxing Day.

I received a beautiful two-toned ceramic serving bowl from my friend, whose house we were at last night.  I used it to serve my potato salad with the right ingredients for lunch. So Amy, if you read this, this is what I meant to bring yesterday.

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Potato Salad with Fennel, Avocado and Eggs in Greek Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients for the salad:

10 medium red skin potatoes, boiled and diced with skin on or off

1 tender fennel bulb, rough parts discarded and chopped

3 to 4 avocados, diced

4 to 5 boiled eggs

Pickled red onion from 1/2 red onion

Fresh lemon juice to coat the diced

Ingredients for pickled onion:

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup apple red wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

Ingredients for the dressing:

1 cup Fage or other Greek yogurt

2 to 3 tablespoons pale mustard

2 stocks green onions, minced (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and set aside.

To make pickled onion, bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add onion, bring to boil again and then remove from heat, and let sit 4 to 5 minutes; drain. Drain and let pickled onion cool.  Pickled onion should be crispy.  Don’t over cook it or let it stay in the hot brine for too long.

Boil the eggs for 5 minutes (counting from after the water boils) and rinse with cold water.  Do not over boil the egg. The yolks will get flaky if you overcook them.  Peel and cut into quarters.

Cook the potatoes in a pot of water to al dente and cut into bite size.

Cube the avocados and chop the fennel bulb.  To prevent the avocado from browning, coat the cubes with a little fresh lemon juice.

Toss all salad ingredients with the dressing.  Garnish with fennel fronds and serve at room temperature.

The recipe makes 8 to 10 serving.  You can easily half the recipe for fewer people.

I made a similar potato salad with chili peppers in the dressing when I was in Malaysia.  You can check out that recipe by clicking on the link here.

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Fennel Salad with Burrata:

Ingredients:

2 medium heads fennel, cored and very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

6 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

8  to 12 oz burrata

Fennel fronds for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Preparation:

Place fennel, oil, zest and lemon juice in a dish; season with salt and pepper. Let stand 10 to 20 minutes.  Just before serving, arrange fennel salad on a large platter. Cut burrata into halves or quarters and lay on fennel. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired.  Garnish with fennel fronds.

The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of mint leaves, but I found the salad delicious without it.

Chocolate Oatmeal Mug Cake

P1090250We had our wrap party last night, and everyone feels that we are almost at the finish line.  People are buying suitcases and clearing out their shelves and fridges.  Knowing that I cook, some have come to me with their leftover or never-opened sauces, noodles, oatmeal and eggs, etc., hoping that I will somehow be able to use them.

I made a couple of simple and yummy mug cakes for breakfast with some of the ingredients that I received.  If you are bored with oatmeal, try this chocolate oatmeal mug cake for a change.  It actually takes less time to cook than your usual oatmeal.  All you need is a blender and a microwave. Nothing beats a little dark chocolate to set you in the right mood for the day. And you can save the leftover as a snack or dessert later. 

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1 Minute Chocolate Oatmeal Mug Cakes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup rolled oats, ground to flour

3 tablespoon +1 teaspoon milk of choice

1 egg

2 scant tablespoons 100% dark cocoa powder

2 teaspoon brown sugar or xylitol

1/4 heaping teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil

Preparation:

Blend the rolled oats first before adding the rest ingredients in the blender, and then pour the mixture into two greased tea cups or ramekins.  Microwave for about 1 minute each. 

If you mix by hands, mix all dry ingredients together, and then all wet ingredients together before pouring the wet into the dry and mix thoroughly until smooth.

The length of microwave time depends on the power of your machine.  You might need to try one to figure out exactly how long it will take to make the cake in your microwave.  Start at a low time, 45 to 50 seconds and if it’s not done give it another 10 to 15 seconds.

You can also bake them in your toaster oven for 15 minutes.

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You can eat it right out of the cup or flip it onto a plate

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Try my other easy mug cake recipes:

Gluten-free Almond Apple Mug Cake

Chocolate Mug Cake with Banana

Easy Minute Almond Muffins

Cashew Cardamom Chia Pudding & Chocolate Chia Pudding

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Raining season is here in Malaysia. Dark and gloomy days call for sweet treats to lift up the spirits.  These chia puddings are the perfect thing to make for a day as grey as today — effortless to prepare and guiltless to eat.  You can make one before you go to bed and have it for breakfast.  Or you can make one before you leave the house for work and have it for dessert.  Basically it’s just a little workout for your arms — shaking the glass jar as vigorously as you can for a minute or two and voila!  My favorite chia pudding is coconut mango, especially when I can get my hands on the sweet and buttery Ipoh mangos here.  I also love mixed berry chia puddings. 

Today, I whipped up a cashew cardamom chia pudding and a chocolate chia pudding. These happened to be the ingredients that I had in my kitchenette.  They turned out quite delicious.  It has been fun for me to prepare food with limited resources and tools here in my service apartment.  I don’t have a car and can’t just dash to the market to get a missing ingredient, but I find this challenge interesting.  I’ve learned to make do with whatever I have and still cook healthy and delicious food.  I was never a part of the raw food movement — firmly believing that our ancestors’ discovery of fire was a crucial step for us to evolve into humans.  However, I have made quite a number of raw or nearly raw desserts since my arrival here.  There is simply no oven in my kitchenette. 

I think that there is an inherent opportunity whenever we are limited by our circumstances.  We experiment and become more inventive. 

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Cashew Cardamom Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

3 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

1 1/2 cup water

2 tablespoon raw honey

5 cardamom pods

A pinch of salt

Fruits and more cashews for garnish

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Preparation:

Soak the cashews in the water for 8 hours or overnight if you don’t have a powerful blender such as a Vitamix.  Blend the soaked cashew with the water, honey and the cardamom into cashew milk.

Pour the cashew mixture into a glass jar with a water tight lid, add chia seeds and shake vigorously for a minute.  Leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.  Take out the jar and give it another vigorous shake. Put it back to the fridge for 6 hours or longer. The shaking is to prevent the chia seeds from clumping. If you don’t have time, you don’t have to shake it a second time.  If you prefer your pudding less solid, add a little more water.

Garnish with fruits and cashew nuts before serving.  Dried fruits and seeds will go well with this too.

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Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon chia seeds

1 cup milk of choice

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons unsweetened 100% cocoa powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar or xylitol or sweetener of choice

A pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1/4 vanilla extract

Fruits, seeds and shaved dark chocolate to garnish

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Preparation:

Mix the cup of milk with the cocoa powder, sugar, salt and vanilla paste into a chocolate milk and pour into a jar with a water tight lid.  Add chia and shake vigorously for a minute.  Leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so and shake it vigorously one more time.  Let sit in the fridge for 6 hours or longer.

Garnish with fruits and seeds before serving.

These puddings will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

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Mango Avocado Prawn Salad & No-Bake Healthy Mango Cheesecake

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My mangos and avocados finally ripened to perfection.   I made a mango, avocado shrimp salad and a no-bake mango cheesecake with them.  The zesty salad was simple to make, and it was very refreshing and delicious. The cheesecake was yummy and healthy — well, much lower in calorie than your ordinary cheesecake and more nutritious.

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Mango Avocado Prawn Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

1 avocado, cubed

1 ripe sweet mango, cubed

6 large fresh prawns, cut in halves and poached

1 small Thai red onion or shallot, minced

1 small red chili pepper, seeded and minced

1 small green chili pepper, seeded and minced

1 to 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

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Preparation:

Make the dressing by mixing together lime juice, fish sauce, shallot, chili peppers and cilantro. Save some sliced shallot, cilantro and chili pepper as garnish.

Toss the mango, avocado, Poached prawns with the dressing and garnish with thinly sliced, Thai red onion or shallot and cilantro.

Since avocado contains a lot fat, I didn’t need to use any oil for the dressing.  My mango is very sweet, so I didn’t need to add any sugar to the fish sauce.

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Note for poaching the prawns:

I always prepare the prawns by squeeze them for a minute or two with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of Shao Xing cooking wine.  I let them sit in the salt and wine while boiling a pot of water with a few generous slices of ginger.  When the water is boiling, I add the prawns with the marinade into the water.  The water boils again and the prawns turn pink, drain the water and let the prawn cool.

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Healthy No-bake Mango Cheesecake

Ingredients For the Crust:

3/4 cup maple granola cereal

1/4 cup heaping chopped walnuts

1/2 cup soft Medjool dates

2 tablespoon 100% cocoa powde

1 tablespoon coconut oil

A pinch of salt

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I enjoy cooking with the challenge of limited tools and ingredients. It’s amazing what we can make do while producing delicious results.

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Ingredients for the Filling:

1 large ripe mango (about 1 1/2 cup or less diced)

1 tub 60% less fat Philadelphia cream cheese (250g)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

45g sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoon agar agar flakes

1/2 cup milk of choice for the agar agar (I used 2% milk)

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Preparation:

Knead all ingredients for the crust as you would a dough.

Press the crust “dough” tight in a prepared 8 or 9 inch tart dish. (I used a cooking pot lined with saran wrap.)

Leave the crust in the freezer as you prepare the filling.

Blend all ingredients for filling, except for the 1/2 cup of milk.

On low heat, boil the 1/2 cup milk with the agar agar flakes until melt. Transfer to the blender and blend with the mango cheese mixture until smooth.

Pour filling mixture into the prepared crust.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 40 minutes for the cheesecake to set before serving.

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Note:

A friend told me that she made this cake with my recipe and it turned out a little too tart because her mangos were tart.  Taste your mango first, adjust the amount of mango, lemon, and sugar when blending the filling.

Sunday Eggs

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Most of the actors in Marco Polo eat a lot of eggs and chicken breasts — a high protein, low fat diet that helps them grow big muscles and look ripped, I was told.  That made me think of the Disney cartoon character Gaston in Beauty and Beast.  The kitchen is so used to actors eating lots of eggs that when I order my 5-minute boiled eggs in the morning, they come in fours unless I specifically ask for only one or two.  Claudia Kim, who plays Khutulun in the show, would eat six eggs in one go. She has been training to transform her slender willowy physique into one that is taut and muscular.  Unfortunate for me, I never get to train with them, because my character doesn’t move much at all.  I remember getting excited over a long tracking shot of me walking briskly as I talked — the biggest action I had in the entire season.  Needless to say, I don’t need to eat eggs the way they do.

But I love eggs.  The first few times the kitchen delivered 4 boiled eggs for breakfast, I actually ate them.  After a while, I stopped eating so many because I didn’t want to have clogged arteries and die of a heart attack.  Since I began taking Pilate lessons last week, I felt that I deserved some eggs for Sunday morning.  I made a Malaysian omelette for breakfast.  And when I saw a leftover boiled egg and some leftover black rice in the fridge, I made an egg prawn rice stack for lunch. It was fun to make the leftover into something new.

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Malaysian Omelette

Ingredients:

3 medium eggs

2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut milk (full fat) or milk of choice

2 small Thai onion or shallots, thinly sliced

2 stocks spring onion or green onion

2 to 4 chili peppers or red and green jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 tablespoon or more cooking oil

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Preparation:

Beat eggs with salt and coconut milk

Heat oil in a non-stick pan on medium high heat. Stir fry the Thai onion, spring onion, peppers until aromatic. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn the stove to medium. Let it cook for a minute or two.  When the omelette is set at the bottom, but still a little runny on top, fold it in three and turn off stove.

Serve with shrimp sambal sauce. 

Note:

Sambal is a Malaysian spicy sauce that can go with almost any food.  You can substitute with other spicy sauce of your choice if you can’t find it near you.

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Egg Prawn Stack

Ingredients for each stack:

1 hard boiled egg

1 tablespoon seeded and cubed English or Japanese cucumber

4 prawns, poached

2 to 3 tablespoon cooked black rice or other rice of choice

A dash or two of rice vinegar

Garnish with chives, sliced chili and sesame seeds

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Ingredients for sauce:

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon 100% pure dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 bird’s eye chili pepper, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chopped chives or spring onion

Mix more sauce if you are making more stacks

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Preparation:

Chop the cook prawns and set aside.

Chop boil egg(s) and mix with a dash of white pepper powder, a pinch of salt and a dash of rice vinegar.  You can also add 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise to each egg, and serve the stack with a mayo based sauce. But I decided against mayonnaise for obvious reasons.

Rinse the cup that you will use as a mold and do not dry it. Add cubed cucumber, then chopped egg mixture, then the prawns and finally the rice.  Press the rice down to pack the stack firm but not too tight.

Cover the plate with a small plate and flip it.  If the food sticks to the cup, use a knife to run around the edge to loosen it a bit.

Garnish with chopped spring onion, chili and sesame seeds.

Serve the stack with the sauce.

Refreshing Dishes for a Hot Day

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Mediterranean Wraps

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Caprese Salad

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Chilled Tomato Soup

I came home on an exceedingly warm day for San Francisco.  Audrey’s class is on a camping trip, but she is at home because we have a wedding rehearsal to attend on Friday.  She made us a delicious vegetarian lunch, which was exactly what I needed after two weeks of potstickers, pork buns and crepes. 

Audrey is a true and natural cook who does everything by feel.  A dash of this and a dash of that; a handful of this and a handful of that.  I enjoyed watching her making the dishes as much as I did eating them.  She has great instinct and a keen sense of adventure when it comes to creating food.  The home cooked lunch was the best welcome home gift I could imagine, but I am now struggling to re-create the dishes in the blog and share her recipes.  It was a good thing that she kept things very simple and here are the recipes to the best of my recollection.

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Mediterranean Wraps

Ingredients:

8 oz. French green beans, trimmed (blanched or steamed until crisp tender)

1 tomato seeded and thinly sliced

3 oz. garlic-and-herb goat cheese

3 whole-grain tortillas

21 Pitted Kalamata olives

6 canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

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Preparation:

Spread a thin layer of goat cheese evenly on each tortilla and line 1/3 of the other ingredients in the center of each.  Roll tortilla tightly, folding in sides.

Chilled Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups diced ripe beefsteak, heirloom or cherry tomatoes, divided

1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 red jalapeno, seeded

1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation:

Blend 3 cups of tomatoes with oil, lime juice, honey paprika, seeded red jalapeño and salt with 1 cup of water until smooth.

Pour soup into four bowls.  Top with the 1 remaining cup of the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of basil.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

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Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Fresh Mozzarella balls, sliced in half

English cucumber

Basil leaves, sliced

Micro sprouts

Balsamic Glaze

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

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Preparation:

Toss everything in the salad bowl with vigor!