Hoisin-Sauced Bok Choy and Edamame

I threw together this hoisin-sauced bok choy and edamame the other day when I was in the middle of my easy-Asian-food craving. It’s just my favorite kind of food — a little salty, a little spicy, and little sweet. This dish tastes as good as it smells (and believe me, that’s saying something). The nuttiness of the hoisin sauce goes perfectly with the brightness of the celery, and the ginger and sriracha infuse the bok choy with a spicy, zesty aroma. The dish is so texturally varied too, with the edamame bringing tenderness and the bean sprouts adding crunch. You can have this dish over jasmine rice, or you can do what I did and eat it right out of the pan. Here’s everything you need to put this quick, easy dish together. Read more…


Spicy Noodle Stir-Fry with Chicken and Bok Choy

This week, I’ve been craving the big, bold flavors of Asian cuisine. Spicy ginger, fragrant lemongrass, heaps and heaps of garlic — these ingredients make the flavor foundation of my favorite foods. My spicy noodle stir-fry with chicken and bok choy is infused with all those tastes and aromas. These noodles are similar to the chicken lo mein that you would get at a takeout place, but without any of the grease  or guilt.

A small amount of toasted sesame oil does double duty in this recipe, serving as base for the stir-fry as well as providing tons of flavor. Low sodium soy sauce keeps the salt level reasonable, and high-fiber pasta adds an extra bit of nutrition to the dish.

As always, feel free to use whatever meat and vegetables you like to prepare this dish. I used bok choy, but regular cabbage would also work well. Got some mushrooms or scallions that you’re trying to use up before they go bad? Toss them in too! Ready to get cooking? Read more…


Pan Roasted Edamame

I’m a recent convert to the wonders of edamame. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on it for so long! Despite (or perhaps because of) how hyped up edamame has been in the last few years, I never gave it a chance. I mean, how tasty can soybeans really be? Turns out that soybeans can be incredibly tasty. It’s all in the preparation.

This pan roasted edamame is a revelation. Served hot right out of the pan and then tossed in spices, edamame becomes the perfect salty snack. It cooks up in about five minutes, and it’s so good for you! Edamame is rich in nutrients — it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and vitamins.

As always, feel free to use your favorite spices to flavor your edamame. I usually stick to salt, pepper, and chili powder, but more exotic spices would be great too. In the mood for Indian? Try using garam masala. Craving Mexican? Toss the edamame in cumin and oregano instead. Couldn’t be easier! Read more…


Minced Clam and Summer Squash Pasta

I might have mentioned this once before, but I think it bears repeating: my mom is a phenomenal cook. Apart from making the world’s best lumpia (I will fight anyone who says otherwise), Mom has always been able to produce delicious non-Filipino food too. She mastered all the standard Southern fare years ago — barbecued ribs, greens, fried chicken, even chitterlings! Hearty stews, filling casseroles, and succulent roasted meats are all right in Mom’s comfort zone. I firmly believe that she would give any number of Food Network chefs a run for their money.

I owe a lot of my culinary sensibilities to my mom’s style of cooking. I, like my mom, believe in simple, easily prepared, and unpretentious food. It doesn’t take a long list of ingredients to make a delicious meal, so why go through that unnecessary hassle?

This minced clam and summer squash pasta totally exemplifies this sensible approach to food. It also happens to be a take on one of my mom’s standby recipes. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already. The canned clams cook down with the squash to create a wonderfully creamy sauce without adding any extra fat. The whole dish cooks up in about 30 minutes, AND it’s good for you. Ready for the recipe? Read more…


Alfalfa, Radish, and Tomato Pinwheels

These alfalfa, radish, and tomato pinwheels are one of my new favorite lunch recipes. They’re just so adorable! Plus, even though they’re incredibly easy to make, they feel sort of fancy. Whenever I snack on them at work, they bring a little extra fun to my day. Of course, these veggie pinwheels make great party food as well. They look so elegant and fresh; they’re the perfect appetizer for your next get-together.

I used alfalfa sprouts and radish because I was in the mood for them, but feel free to get creative. Use any vegetables you like — the more colorful the better! Try to combine a vegetable with some crunch (zucchini or bell peppers, for example) with something that’s going really going to fill the wrap (like spinach or arugula). If you want to bulk up your pinwheels with some lean protein, consider adding some chopped turkey or ham to the mix.  Read more…

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