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Fresh vegetarian dish for Summer – tri-colour vegetable pasta in pesto sauce

Tonight I really want to cook something light and vegetarian. Well, actually I have tried to eat less meat and would love to go for more vegetable dishes, not saying that I am turning into a vegetarian or even vegan, but I don’t mind to do that one day. No matter I am going to be a vegetarian or not, for sure I think I would love to cut down the amount of meat that I am going to consume. Maybe it’s good to have meat once or twice a week, the rest of the time is just vegetarian. Therefore, instead of Green Monday, I should do Meat Monday ūüėČ

Today I decided to cook a pasta dish, and I am thinking to make again our own pesto. I did it in the past, but it is really good if we just stop buying those ready made from the bottle and just doing our own ones. More fresh and healthy for sure! Well, definitely taste much better!!! To make our own pesto, you need a lot of green herbs, you can come up with your own combination, as long as you love the taste. If you would like to follow my version, here you go! I was using basil, two kind of parsley, the continental one and the curly one, coriander and garlic, I love spicy, so I would like to add red chilies, and I also love to add some parmesan cheese.  You can omit the chili and cheese if you prefer not spicy, but I think the cheese touch is great. Then, add around 100ml olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. That touch is more like a chimicurrri sauce, but I love the touch of acidity to keep it really fresh! Place everything in a food processor and blend everything together. Now you have your own pesto ready, you can store them in the fridge for a week if you could not finish it in one go.

For the pasta, this time I bought something organic, from this Italian brand Tarall’Oro. It is Torchietti, but you can also cook with fussili or penne. Cook the pasta with the cooking time according to the package, on the other hand, get the vegetable ready. Heat up the pan with olive oil, and then put the sliced garlic and chopped onion into the pan. Saut√© them until they start to turn soft, then add the chopped zucchini and yellow pepper into the pan, fry them until they turn brown. Place the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan one minute before the dish is done, fry quickly with the tomatoes, season with salt and switch off the fire I also love to add more chili but this is totally optional. You can choose other vegetable, but I think it is very nice to have three bright colours in the dish, and these three ingredients go well together.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water with the strainer and mix them well into the vegetables. Then add few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the pasta and keep mixing until you feel it’s enough. You can serve the pasta with some extra shredded cheese, and a touch more pesto. Garnish it with some parsley or basil.

I think this is really yummy and fresh for Summer time!

 

 

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Thai homemade dinner – the best for hot Summer

Long time no Thai! Miss that! It is very hot these days here in Hong Kong, so I am thinking to cook Thai cuisine for tonight. As the dishes are quite simple and easy, I decided to cook few dishes, in order to have more varieties for us. Once again, I’ve based everything with this Thai recipes that I bought a while ago, and modify the dishes a little bit to my version.

I’ve made 4 dishes tonight, but everything more or less are based on those ingredients. You know Thai food, you cannot get away with ingredients like, garlic, chillies, lime, coriander, lemongrass, and something like that. So it is good to get everything chopped up at the same time, minced garlic, finely chopped red chillies, chopped ginger, chopped spring onion, finely chopped coriander, roughly chopped kaffir lime leaves, sliced galangal, and I guess that’s it.

The four dishes are: steamed scallops, tom yam kung, fried prawns with sesame seeds and steamed spare ribs with black bean.

First of all, let’s get the spare ribs marinated for a while before cooking. Mix black bean sauce, salt, sugar, a bit of light soy sauce, corn flour, and some mince garlic and chillies in a bowl, mix them well. Then, add all spare ribs into it and make sure all of them are coated with the mixture, let them sit in the fridge for at least half an hour before steaming. When you are ready, just put them nicely on a plate and steam around 20 minutes and serve with some chopped coriander and spring onion as garnish. I served this dish at last, as this is kind of a main dish for me, but somehow I feel that is kind of Chinese to me, not so Thai. Maybe the black bean sauce in Thailand is different than the black bean sauce here.

For the steamed scallop, I would like to add vermicelli. So, we need to cook the vermicelli first, just boil them in hot water quickly until they turn soft. Dry them and let them sit aside to cool down, if they start sticking together, just use some warm or cold water to rinse them a bit. To steam the scollop, place them in a steam basket, and place the vermicelli, chopped chillies, minced garlic and a touch of chopped ginger on each scollop, and steam for around 10 minutes or until they are cooked. Try not to overcook them, because they will become chewy. Garnish them with some chopped coriander and spring onion to serve, and a touch of lime juice that help to bring up the freshness. For the sauce, mix light soy sauce and fish sauce with sugar, chillies, ginger and lime juice. Add some sauce directly on the scollop to serve.

For the fried prawns, we need to mix the batter first. Use plain flour, and add egg, touch of salt, sesame oil, and a lot of sesame as you like. Add warm water into the flour and keep mixing them until it turns into a creamy batter. Then, remove the shell from the prawn but keep the tail part, devein them and dip them into the batter. When the oil is ready, deep fry the prawns until they are done. Serve them with some lime juice and the same sauce as the steamed scallop. Don’t forget to garnish them with chopped coriander.

And for the tom yum kung soup, the most iconic soup / dish in Thailand. Heat up the pot with some oil, then fry the minced garlic, sliced galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and chopped red chillies quickly. Add the kind of meat that you like, I was using chicken and some button mushroom. Then, add chicken broth into the pot, and bring it to boil. You can also add the chilli paste to increase the flavour, and when it’s almost done, add the prawns, fish sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and lime juice and let it simmer for few minutes until the prawns are cooked. Serve the soup with chopped coriander.

4 courses, not too difficult, and doesn’t take too long. As the cooking time for each dish is not too long.

 

 

 

 

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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Sunday dinner – cod fish and chorizo in tomato sauce and mixed brown riceÔĽŅ

It’s been few weeks that I was focusing on cooking healthy food, this is the first week after a while that I try to cook something different, not saying that I am cooking some unhealthy food….. lol….. I will try to stay with healthy, but not vegetarian or vegan for this week.

I am thinking to cook a fish dish, instead of always cooking salmon, maybe cod fish is an option for tonight. I am going to do a tomato sauce with chorizo, onion and celery, then to serve it with mixed long grain brown rice. Still sounds healthy, right?

So, heat up the pan with some butter, and then put the minced garlic and diced onion into it, fry them until they start to caramelise. Then, add the chopped red chili pepper, chopped celery and diced chorizo, fry them a bit, and then add the diced tomatoes with some tomato puree as well if you want to have a stronger taste. Add some water and bring it to boil, season it with salt, pepper and some pripika. On the other hand, also season the cod fish with salt and pepper, then add the cod fish in and cover the lid, let it simmer for around 10-15 minutes and remember to flip the fish over in the middle of the way.¬† On the other hand, you should have get your rice ready, I am using rice cooker, so it’s easy and quick.

When the cod fishes are ready, serve them with rice and garnish it with some parsley.

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Healthy Sunday dinner – vegetarian pasta

2017 seems not to be on my side, after getting laid off, I just got another piece of information that our landlord would like us to move out. Why everything have to come at the same time? Well, we always should look into the bright side, but sometimes it’s a bit too much and hard to stay positive all the time. I will try but it’s a bit tough these days.

I was busy with flat hunting this weekend and do not have much time to think about what to cook. So, I just come up with something very simple and healthy, in order to fit into our healthy theme lately. A vegetarian pasta – tri-colour fussili with asparagus and mushroom. 

The ingredients are very simple and of course based on vegetable, asparagus, mushroom and onion are the key ingredients and of course the tri-colour fussili. Bring a pot of hot water to boil and ready for the pasta. Heat up the pan with a touch of olive oil, then add sliced garlic and chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion start to turn brown. Then, add the chopped red chilli pepper and mushroom, fry them and squeeze some lemon juice in. When the mushroom turned soft, add some white wine and cook a bit. Finally, add the chopped asparagus in, cook them a bit and then add a bit of salt. The sauce is basically ready and you can just add the pasta when they are done, don’t forget to add some chopped parsley. Mix the fussili pasta well together with the sauce, and serve them with some roasted pine nuts on top to add a touch of nutty texture.

I found this pasta particularly light and healthy! You can also use this as a salad, chill them and then mix with some salad to eat as a pasta salad.

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Green Sunday dinner to leverage with my juicing husband…. quinoa with green salad and nuts

My husband watched this TV show by Joe Cross, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He is really amazed by this Reboot programme and the amount of information he got, only to do it with juicing and how much nutrition your body can get and how to balance your diet with raw food and processed food. So, he decided to start juicing and reboot his body on Saturday, he would like to have someone doing this with him, but I would not be able to do it as I think I will feel hungry all the time….. He got his brother in Germany, who is going to kick off the reboot programme with him at the same time, which it’s great to have someone doing this together.

As I would not be able to do juice fasting together with him, but I would like to have a nice juice to start off my day. First of all, we managed to get a second-hand juicer, the powerful Breville¬†juice fountain elite. It is very important to have a good juicer, as you are going to live your days with only juicing. There are lots of varieties of juice you can find online and Joe Cross also got a good amount of juice recipes, that can get either from the app or on the website. I was testing the juicer with¬†my first attempt, to juice with apples, carrots, celery, cucumber and ginger. The juicer is really amazing and speedy, you get a jar of good juice in 30 seconds! Tasting fresh and feeling healthy! My husband was trying to follow the recipe from Joe Cross, and he started off with the Mean Green Juice with cucumber, green apples, celery, kale, lemon and ginger. It tastes good and very green, I love the taste! Compare to the super green powder that I used to drink, I guess this one should be better because it is so fresh! Now whatever I see, I see them in juice……!

For Saturday and Sunday dinner, I also try to leverage with my juicing husband. I try to have a raw diet, or more raw food instead of processed food. I had a salad for dinner with 100% raw food, and for Sunday dinner, I did a dish with quinoa and salad. Even it is not a 100% raw diet meal, it is at least over 51% with raw food. For the quinoa, boil it with a double portion of water in a sauce pan, and I add the leftover sauce we had the other night from the steam mussels. The sauce was full of mussel flavour, and it tastes so good with the quinoa, with still a bit of vegetable leftover in it. I served this quinoa with a mixed green salad, chopped tomato, sliced mushroom and some mixed nuts. Season the salad with a touch of salt and add the quinoa directly on it, eat that like a warm salad.

 

My first trail

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Seafood Night – Fish, Prawn and Crab

This Sunday dinner, I am thinking to work on seafood. I’ve been thinking to do a dinner with Fish, Prawn / Shrimp and Crab (ť≠öŤĚ¶ŤüĻ). I was thinking to work on my presentation, and do something¬†closer to a fine dining approach. But then, I lost my¬†enthusiasm totally, because I did not manage to defrost the pastry. By the time I need to work on the pastry, I have to come up with a solution quickly, so I decided to use the bread instead. Forget about fine dining presentation…

I started it off with the Prawn Rolled Toast, as I said, my original idea was to wrap them with pastry and bake it. I might try it out again later on, but let’s make it with bread for the time being. The pack of frozen prawn is with 9 pieces of prawn, let’s cook them first in a pan with a bit of water. Remove them from the pan when they are 80% done, and we will cook them through in the oven later on. Remove the shell but keep the tail part on, ¬†devein the prawn¬†and¬†sit them aside and let them cool down. To use the bread to wrap, we have to use a roller to flatten the bread. Use half of a sandwich bread, and coat both side with butter. Lay Swiss cheese, cucumber strips and a piece of prawn on top of the bread, add some wasabi mayonnaise or just mayonnaise, and then roll up the bread and close it tight. Add a layer of egg wash on the surface, and place them in the oven to grill under 200C for 10 minutes.

I’ve used only 4 pieces of prawn for the toast, so I use the rest of them to add into the Crabmeat Salad. Chop the prawn into small dices and get a large salad bowl ready, chop the rest of the¬†ingredients into¬†dices and add them in the bowl. I am using cucumber, tomato, onion, avocado and crabmeat, mix everything well in the salad bowl. Then, add lemon juice, a touch of salt and plain yogurt into it, mix them well and adjust the taste. Keep them cold in the fringe to serve later with the tuna, or you can have them separately as long as they are cold enough to serve.

For the Seared Tuna, let’s work on the dressing first. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red chilli¬†and¬†lemon juice, taste it and adjust. I did not manage to get a thick piece of tuna steak here, what I’ve got is only 2 cm thick, but ideally we should work with something around 3 to 4 cm thick. For what I have, I could not have the tuna cooked in a way like cooked on the surface but still raw in the middle. What I’ve got was the entire tuna steak is cooked, because it is too thin. Cut the¬†tuna steak into rectangle shape, coat the entire surface with sesame seeds. Heat up the pan with a mix of sesame oil and olive oil, fry some sliced garlic until golden brown and set them aside for later use. Fry the tuna each side around 15 seconds,¬†you can see how much it’s been cooking on the section, and you can decide on how much you want that to be cooked. When the fish is done, slice them into thick pieces and serve with some mixed green salad together with the crabmeat salad.